The Table -Talk
WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
SAMUEL HARVEY REYNOLDS, M.A.
LATE FELLOW AND TUTOR OF BRASENOSE COLLEGE
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
This web version of Selden's Table-talk includes Samuel H. Reynolds's notes and additional notes by the web version editor, Bob Blair. See the production notes.
Selden's Table-talk by Samuel Reynolds with notes by Bob Blair is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
It is now more than thirty years since the late Mark Pattison [grb] Pattison (1813-1884) was tutor and later rector of Lincoln College, Oxford. He was deeply knowledgeable of 17th century literature and thought. His biography of Casaubon was for many years the definitive life. Dictionary of National Biography (1904) vol. 44, pp. 58-63). suggested to me to prepare an edition of Selden's Table Talk, and gave me some valuable hints as to the way in which a work of the kind ought to be done. Pattison was an enthusiast for Selden; he considered him a typical Englishman, at once a representative of the best points in the distinctively English character, and wholly free from its common prejudices and shortcomings. Selden had certainly what have been termed the three main interests of Englishmen, politics, business and religion. His Table Talk gives us specimens of his remarks on all three, but on matters of business not so many as on the other two. That the conversations which it reports were held between 1634 and 1654, the year in which Selden died, may be assumed with certainty. The reporter, Milward, [grb] Richard Milward (1609-1680) was Selden's secretary and therefore, by custom of the times, a member of his household. Little is known of him. He is assumed to be the original diarist of Selden's mealtime sayings. says in his introductory letter that he had had the opportunity to hear Selden discourse twenty years together, and he thus fixes the range of time which his notes cover. Now the letters referred to in Tythes, sec. 6, bear date in the Autumn of 1653, so that the conversation about them must have come very shortly before Selden's death. The chief part of the discourse is about contemporary events, and Selden's remarks upon these throw an interesting light x on the history of his opinions and on his attitude to the parties of his day.
The early history of the book must be left incomplete on many points. It seems clear, as Mr. Singer [grb] Samuel Weller Singer (1783-1858) edited and introduced two earlier editions of the Table-talk. He also edited the dramatic poems of Shakespeare (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 52, pp. 313-314.) has pointed out, that the MS. of it was put together within a few years of Selden's death. He finds proof of this in Milward's introductory letter where he speaks of 'Mr. Justice Hale, one of the Judges of the Common Pleas.' Hale, afterwards Sir Matthew Hale, [grb] Hale (1609-1676) was a jurist and scholar, very much in agreement with Selden on many points. As chief baron of the Exchequer and later chief justice of the King's bench, he was the pre-eminent jurist of the interregnum and the restoration. He perhaps looked more to reason and equity than Selden thought best, but in general each esteemed the other (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 24, pp. 18-24). A good modern biography of Hale is by Alan Cromarty. ceased to be a judge of the Common Pleas in 1658 on Cromwell's [grb] Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) was a prominent military leader in the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth. From 1652 until his death, he ruled as Lord Protector. Of the many fine (and more flawed) biographies, that by Antonia Fraser is probably the most accessible. death. It is clear too from this introductory letter, that when the MS. was ready it was placed in the hands of Selden's Executors, probably in the hands of Hale, whose name stands first in the list. But what became of it afterwards I do not know. It is not to be found among Sir Matthew Hale's papers in the Lincoln's Inn Library. The collection includes several of Selden's own papers, some of them unpublished as yet, but no part of the Table Talk. I have to thank the Librarian [grb] The Librarian was probably John Nicholson (1829 or 1830-1894), who held that office from 1877 until his death. I am grateful to the Lincoln's Inn Library staff for this information. for his courtesy in placing within my reach very full means of information on this point. Now the earliest printed edition did not come out until 1689, more than thirty years after the MS. had been prepared. Of the history of the book in the meanwhile we know little or nothing. In some form or other it must have been accessible, for it is certain that there were copies made from it or from some second-hand rendering of it. But the long time which was suffered to pass before it was sent to press, suggests that there were parts of it which its trustees did not approve, and there are some at which they may have taken very reasonable offence. Religious questions are handled with a freedom of expression not at all to Hale's mind: the political sentiments are not those of Hale himself, and the book is disgraced by the insertion of several indecent references and expressions, [grb] Earlier editions of the Table-talk made their own determinations of indecency and deleted (silently in most cases) the offending passages. Reynolds seems to have retained most of them. which add nothing to the force of the passages in which they occur, xi and which Selden himself could hardly have wished should go down to posterity as specimens of his everyday talk.
After the Restoration, and during the whole reigns of Charles II and James II, not even the remainder of the Table Talk could have been received with much approval. The course of opinion and of events was setting another way; and Selden's outspoken words, his attack on the divine right equally of kings and of bishops, his reduction of the Monarchy to a limited constitutional form, his love of liberty, his insistence on obedience to law as part of a contract by which kings and subjects were alike bound—all this would have been very unlike the theory that found favour under the Stuarts. When the book at length appeared, in 1689, it was in a form which leaves much to be desired, replete as it is with blunders and in more than one place making downright nonsense of the passage. The present edition does something to bring the text back to what it must originally have been, and it certainly clears away some gross faults of which neither Selden nor his reporter can have been the originating cause. The Harleian MS., No. 1315, in the British Museum Library, has been taken as the basis of the text. The Library has three MSS. of the Table Talk. To the earliest of these, the Harleian, No. 690, the date assigned by Mr. Warner, George Frederic Warner (1845-1936) was later Keeper of Manuscripts and had knighthood bestowed on him. the Assistant Keeper of MSS., is circa 1670. Next in order of time and a little later comes the Sloane MS., No. 2513, and latest of the three is the Harleian, No. 1315, for which the posterior limit of date can (for reasons which I shall presently explain) be fixed with certainty as 1689. Mr. Warner's authority as a palaeographist is so high that his opinion may be taken as conclusive. It is certain, however, that no one of these MSS. can have been the original copy of the Table Talk. The Harleian 690, the earliest of the three, leaves blank xii spaces for all the Greek words under the heading 'Descent into Hell,' and besides numerous other faults, blunders badly with the French. The Sloane MS. is even more out of the question. Besides its later date, it abounds throughout with blunders, grammatical and others, of the most obvious kind. Some of these have been corrected by a later hand, but the paper on which the MS. is written is so very like blotting-paper that almost every correction or change involves a deletion of the original text. The Harleian 1315 is of much better stamp than the Sloane. It accords very nearly with the MS. 690, and it has a special authority of its own by reason of an inscription on the back side of the title, which, as Harley's Librarian says, was written in it by Harley himself. The inscription runs thus—'This book was given in 168 (the final figure is unfortunately wanting) by Charles erle of Dorset and Middlesex to a bookseller in Fleet Street, in order to have it printed: but the bookseller delaying to have it done, Mr. Thomas Rymer sold a copy he procured to Mr. Churchill, who printed it as it came out in 169 ...' This inscription is dated February 17, 1697. It thus fixes the date of the MS. as not later than 1689, and gives it an authority of its own, since it stands as proof that, but for the printer's delay, it would have been the basis of the earliest printed edition. The inscription is incorrect on one point, since it implies that the edition of 169...; (presumably the edition printed in 1696, by Jacob Tonson and Awnsham and John Churchill) was the first that had appeared. This, as we have seen, is not so. The first printed edition came out in 1689.
For bringing back the text to some nearer approach to its original and correct form, the choice lay between the Harleian MSS. 690 and 1315. Both contain excellent readings, and the two together, xiii with occasional help from the Sloane MS. and from the early printed editions, supply material for a fairly satisfactory revision. But where no notice appears to the contrary, the text now printed is that of the Harleian MS. 1315. In all three MSS. several passages which have been detached from the body of the book are misplaced, or are added in an Appendix at the end. These, in the present edition, have been put back to the places to which they properly belong, and as they appear in the edition of 1689. This, and an occasional change of the spelling where it was obsolete or obviously incorrect, are the only changes which have been made without notice. Those who set a value on the vagaries of a half-lettered scribe, will find them in abundance and of all sorts in the Sloane MS. 2513.
With all helps, but in the absence of any conclusive authority, the settlement of the text has been a matter of difficulty and doubt. In deciding between different readings, or in conjectural emendations, I have taken as my guide Selden's own rule. 'A man,' he says, 'must in this case venture his discretion, and do his best to satisfy himself and others in those places where he doubts.' It is safe to assume that Selden did not talk nonsense, and that he was not ignorant of matters with which his published works prove him to have been perfectly conversant. For example, when he is made to say that a suffragan was no bishop, we may conclude with certainty that he did not say this, although the MSS. and the early printed editions agree in putting it into his mouth. When he is made to speak of Sir Richard Weston as the Prior of St. John's, and of Valentine's novels as laying down the limits of episcopal jurisdiction, I have borne in mind Porson's [grb] Probably Richard Porson (1859-1808), a classical scholar and editor of Greek manuscripts. See Watson's Life of Porson (1861), p. 114. remark that no editor in his senses adopts a reading which he knows to be wrong, and I have changed the text accordingly. But in every instance the reader has notice of the change.xiv
Milward, in his introductory letter, requests the reader to distinguish times, and in his fancy to carry along with him the when and the why many of these things were spoken. The alphabetical arrangement of the matter of the book gives us no help here. There is no attempt at a chronological order. Times are confused throughout, and we pass from subject to subject with no notice of either when or why except such as we can gather from the contents of each paragraph. I have done what I could, in an imperfect tentative way, to supply the want. Out of the great stream of events and writings and speeches which formed, so to say, the environment of Selden's life, I have picked out, here and there, what seemed likely to have suggested some of his remarks. In some instances the reference has been clear and certain; in some his published writings have given the clue, and have served to supplement the imperfect information in the Table Talk as well as to correct mistakes which must have been due to his reporter not to himself. Of his very numerous works, his History of Tithes is the only one to which he makes direct reference in the Table Talk. (See Tithes, sec. 6.)
Selden was born in 1584. In 1600 he entered at Hart Hall, Oxford. In 1602 he was a law-student at Clifford's Inn, and thence migrated to the Inner Temple in 1604. He soon became known as a man of vast and exact learning. So great was his fame as a constitutional lawyer, that before he became a member of Parliament he was often called in to advise the House on questions of prerogative, and he is credited with having had a principal part in framing the Protestation [grb] See Rushworth i. p. 162. The stirring words of the Protestation were passed in reaction to King James I's attempts to stifle Parliamentary discussion of issues he thought none of their business: ...the Liberties, Franchises, Priviledges, and Jurisdictions of Parliament, are the ancient and undoubted Birth-right and Inheritance of the Subjects of England, and that the arduous and urgent affairs concerning the King, State and Defence of the Realm, and of the Church of England, and the maintenance and making of Laws, and redress of mischiefs and grievances which daily happen within this Realm, are proper Subjects and matter of Counsel and Debate in Parliament.... of 1621—a service for which he paid the penalty of five weeks' imprisonment by order of the Council. He was thus already a marked man when, in 1624, he was elected a member of the House, a position which he held in several Parliaments, viz. in 1626, 1628, and in the second Parliament of 1640. It was not xv long before he again became a prominent champion of the Parliamentary cause and an opponent of the high-handed acts of injustice done by the King or in the King's name. His knowledge of past history and of precedents made him a valuable ally, and when the Petition of Right [grb] Selden's involvment in the events leading up to the Petition of Right is discussed in depth in David Berkowitz's John Selden's Formative Years (1988). was drawn up, Selden was one of those who had been appointed to give help in preparing it. This, and his general outspokenness in his place in the House, marked him out, a second time, as a proper object for royal vengeance. In the spring of 1629 he was one of what he terms the 'Parliament men imprisoned tertio Caroli,' by a stretch of the prerogative, aided and rendered effective by the subservient temper of the judges before whom the prisoners were brought. Denzil Hollis, Holles (1599-1680)—later 1st Baron Holles—was a younger son of the Earl of Clare. He was the least adamant of the Five Members and gave his bond for good behavior in 1630. Holles was an important figure in the army early in the first Civil War and part of the "moderate" movement in Parliament later. He promoted and facilitated the Restoration and was rewarded with a Barony. Eliot, Sir John Eliot (1592-1632) refused to give surety and died in prison in 1632. He was admired for his eloquence in Parliament and his reputation lasted long enough for him to be posthumously acquitted in 1668. and Valentine Benjamin Valentine (died circa 1652) remained in prison eleven years. He was returned to Parliament in the year of his release. were among his fellow prisoners—an illustrious company, in which Selden may not have been unwilling to find himself included. The charge against them had to do with their conduct and language in Parliament—matters about which no challenge could legally be made by any outside authority. The judges would have bailed the prisoners if they would have given security for their future good behaviour, but this at Selden's instance they most properly refused to do. It would have been a surrender of their privilege for the past, and a check on their future liberty of deed or word. They were accordingly committed to the Tower, and though in Selden's case the confinement did not last long, and his treatment was not harsh, yet the restraint was an outrage which he did rightly to resent, and which in his case and in that of his fellow sufferers was of grave and lasting injury to the cause which it was intended to serve. In politics, as in religion, it is useless to play at persecution. Charles by his half measures succeeded only in making enemies of those whom he had hoped to terrify into submission. Selden was not the most xvi formidable or the most bitter, but neither then nor in the future was he an adversary whom it was at all safe to provoke.
But just as Selden started as a Parliamentary champion on strictly constitutional grounds, so it was not long before the proceedings of the second Parliament of 1640 forced him into more or less of an antagonism to his old allies. We have several traces in the Table Talk of his growing coolness towards the advanced section of the Parliamentary party. Not, indeed, that his breach with his old friends had gone so far as to drive him into the opposite camp, expectant as it was and ready to welcome him if he had come over to it. He still held that the original contract between king and people had been broken, and that the subjects had thus been released from their promise of obedience. The quarrel, he saw clearly, had gone so far that it must be settled by an appeal to arms. It was a contest now, in which the original issues had become obscured, 'a scuffle,' as he terms it, between two sets of opponents with neither of whom could he identify himself. They must fight it out between themselves, and leave decent quiet people to their own business or to their books.
The outbreak of the civil war accordingly found him lukewarm, if not indifferent. He could look with no satisfaction to the victory of either side, to the king's highhanded disregard of law, or to the puritans' zeal not according to knowledge, Romans 10:2. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. and for objects many of which he disapproved. With the authors of the revolution of 1689 he would have been more entirely in agreement. The declared policy of the new rule was just what he had himself stood up for in evil days when power was triumphant over right. The year for the publication of the Table Talk was thus well chosen. When the illegal rule of James II had been ended, and when the Bill of xvii Rights had settled the government of England after the type which Selden approved, then and not till then was his Table Talk given to the world. The day had at length come in which Selden's own principles were in the ascendant, it was the triumph of the only cause for which he had ever cared personally to contend.
After the beginning of the civil war, there is not much
in Selden's public career that calls for notice here. The
references in the Table Talk to the public events of the
time are few and indistinct. We have no word about
Charles' trial and execution, or about Cromwell's rise
and administration. It is hardly possible that these
should not have been frequent matters of table talk, but
we have no record of them in Milward's report. Has
Milward avoided keeping a record of them, or has the
Table Talk, prior to publication, been curtailed and
bowdlerised in a political sense? Or has Selden kept
carefully to his rule that wise men say nothing in
and that the wisest way
for men in these times is to say nothing
(Peace, 1)? If
he did say anything, we have certainly no record of it
The chief subject to which he again and again refers
is of a very different class. In 1643 he was appointed
one of the learned pious members of the Westminster
Assembly of Divines, and the Table Talk abounds with
proofs of the kind of interest which he long continued
to feel in his new work. The Assembly was formed of
all parties in the Church and out of it. The
The term generally refers to adherents of
the Elizabethan settlement of the Church
of England. Their position is captured in
the "et cetera oath" imposed by the Convocation of 1640:
I, A. B., do swear that I do approve the doctrine, and discipline, or government established in the Church of England as containing all things necessary to salvation: and that I will not endeavour by myself or any other, directly or indirectly, to bring in any popish doctrine contrary to that which is so established; nor will I ever give my consent to alter the government of this Church by archbishops, bishops, deans, and archdeacons, &c., as it stands now established, and as by right it ought to stand, nor yet ever to subject it to the usurpations and superstitions of the see of Rome. And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, or mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And this I do heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the faith of a Christian. So help me God in Jesus Christ
(Laud's Works, vol. 5, p 623).
There was a wide variety of opinion within this supposed party, which probably contributed to its inability or unwillingness to promote its views. were included in it, but they studiously did not attend. The rest were Presbyterians [grb] There was also a wide variety of opinion among those whom we look back on as Presbyterians. Presbyterianism in Switzerland and Scotland involved a method of church government based on the authority of a board of elders (including the minister) in each congregation, and the guidance of representatives of those congregations joined in Presbyteries and nationally in a General Assembly. In England, the emphasis was on congregations; the people described as Presbyterians in the Westminster Assembly seem to have accepted the Scots model as not obnoxious. They had no deep objection to synodical hierarchy in church government, but objected to the apparatus of archbishops and bishops on several grounds. One of their positions in the Assembly was that their notions of government were inspired by God's law, and that elders governed by divine right. In general, Presbyterians were satisfied with monarchical secular government, as long as it did not interfere with the government of the church. Areas where they disagreed among themselves include doctrinal and jurisdictional issues. Their divines were largely strong Calvinists, but humanistic opinions were already appearing, and there were various degrees of insistence on the right of Assemblies to legal jurisdiction in moral matters. See Beveridge's A Short History of the Westminster Assembly (1904) for a Presbyterian overview. with a moderate infusion of Independents [grb] Independency stressed the spiritual independence of individuals and the jurisdictional independence of congregations. It taught the need for each man to read, study and understand his bible; and for each local church to teach without guidance from any higher organization. and Erastians. [grb] Erastianism, so called after Thomas Erastus (1524-1883), a Swiss Protestant, is the notion that the state should be supreme in matters of church government. Selden, it is certain, had no great love for bishops and clergy, but he did not regard them with the contemptuous dislike which he felt for the main body of their non-conformist opponents. The lofty claims and the ignorance and xviii intolerance of the Presbyterian section; the ranting of the more ignorant Roundhead under the influence of what he termed the Spirit, were even less to his mind than the prelatical party had been.
In the Westminster Assembly of Divines it was with the Presbyterians that he came chiefly into conflict. They formed a clear majority, and as far as votes went, contrived to carry things pretty well in their own way. This, however, was the limit of their success. The House of Commons refused to ratify their claims to a free spiritual jurisdiction, or to acknowledge the divine right by which they claimed to hold their ministry. In debate they were no less unfortunate. Selden, by the evidence of friends and of enemies, was one of the chief thorns in their side. It was his way to lead them on to argue, to amuse himself with their mistakes and contradictions, and to bring to bear his formidable battery of learning against their favourite doctrinal strongholds. His services in this sort were, as we might suppose, very variously regarded. His friend and fellow divine, Mr. Whitelock, [grb] Bulstrode Whitelocke (1605-1675) was a lawyer and member of the Long Parliament. See Dictionary of National Biography vol. 61, pp. 110-116. a sound Erastian like himself, writes—
Divers members of both houses, whereof I was one, were members of the Assembly of Divines, and had the same liberty with the Divines to sit and debate and give their votes.... In which debates Mr. Selden spake admirably, and confuted divers of them in their own learning.
And sometimes when they had cited a text of Scripture to prove their assertion, he would tell them, Perhaps in your little pocket Bibles with gilt leaves (which they would often pull out and read) the Translation may be thus, but the Greek or the Hebrew signifies thus and thus; and so would totally silence them. (Memorials, p. 71.)
Anthony à Wood, in his Athenæ, quotes Aubrey to the same effect:—xix
He was one of the Assembly of Divines in those days, and was like a thorn in their sides, for he was able to run them all down with his Greeke and antiquities.
Fuller, in his Church History, speaks less approvingly of the work, but bears testimony to the skill with which it was done. 'The Assembly,' he says, 'met with many difficulties, some complaining of Mr. Selden, that advantaged by his skill in antiquity, common law and the oriental tongues, he employed them rather to pose than profit, perplex than inform the members thereof in the fourteen queries he propounded. Whose intent was to humble the jure divinoship of Presbytery.... This great scholar, not overloving of any (and least of all these) clergymen, delighted himself in raising of scruples for the vexing of others; and some stick not to say that those who will not feed on the flesh of God's word, cast most bones to others to break their teeth therewith.' (Church History, Bk. XI. sec. ix. 54.)
But when we pass from friends and neutrals to Selden's opponents in the Assembly, we find more ample proof than ever of his prominence and of the vigour of his destructive work. Poor Robert Baillie, [grb] Baillie (1602-1662), minister of Kilwinning and professor of Divinity at Glasgow, was one of five Scots ministers apppointed to the Assembly of Divines (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 22, pp. 420-422). a worthy Scotch Presbyterian, who had come up from Glasgow to join the Assembly of Divines, bringing with him the pure light of the Gospel as it was understood in those parts, found Selden terribly in his way in the Assembly and afterwards in Parliament. Baillie speaks sadly of 'Selden and others who will have no discipline at all in any Church jure divino, but settled only upon the free will and pleasure of the Parliament.' (Letters and Journals, ii. 31.)
He rises presently to a more vigorous form of denunciation, after proof given of the effectiveness of Selden's antagonism.
'The Erastian party in the Parliament is stronger than the xx Independent, and is like to work us much woe. Selden is their head. If L'Empereur [grb] Constantijn L'Empereur (1591-1648) was a Dutch scholar with a reputation for learning and for oriental languages that rivalled Selden's. Peter Van Rooden provides many valuable details of L'Empereur's life and work in his Theology, Biblical Scholarship, and Rabbinical Studies in the Seventeenth Century (1989). would beat down that man's arrogance as he very well can ...;. if he would confound him with Hebrew testimonies, it would lay Selden's vanity, who is very insolent for his oriental literature.' (Vol. ii. p. 107.) Whether this call on L'Empereur to the rescue was heard, I do not know. I have found no trace that it was in any part of Selden's writings. In Book I. of his De Synedriis veterum Ebræorum, [grb] On the Sanhedrin of the Ancient Jews. Selden quotes L'Empereur and praises him as 'doctissimus vir.' [grb] A most learned man. On one point he disagrees with him, but on a wholly different matter from those about which Baillie was in need of help. (See Works, i. 874.) The De Synedriis was published in 1650, two years after L'Empereur's death.
In dealing with the successive religious questions of his day, Selden's language is substantially the same. The Table Talk, it will be seen, relates to two wholly distinct periods, to that of the attempted High Church movement under Laud's [grb] William Laud (1573-1645) was Bishop of St. David's in 1621, translated to Bath and Wells in 1626 and London in 1628. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633 on the death of Abbot. (Dictionary of National Biography 1904, Vol. 32, pp. 185-195.) impulse and guidance, and to the counter movement when the Presbyterians were in power. The former of these was recognised by the leaders of the Oxford movement of 1833 as in the main identical with their own, since Laud's claims for the Church served to bring into prominence just those principles and beliefs which they themselves advocated, and which the Reformation had tended to obscure. Laud's failure is explained in the Table Talk. The promoters of the movement were in too great a hurry. They forced things on too suddenly, and in such a way as to give offence to those whom it would have been easy to conciliate by more gradual and more gentle methods. With the aims and purposes of the movement Selden had no sympathy, nor had he any with those of its more violent and fanatical opponents. He is thus in almost equal antagonism to each of the two parties which became dominant by turns. If he sometimes xxi defends the bishops, it is not because he has any love for them, but because there must be some form of Church government, and there was no body more to his mind that could be put into the bishops' place. On their claim to rule jure divino, he speaks with great scorn, but he is no less scornful to those who think them so anti-Christian that they must be put away. In such matters as these, 'all is as the State likes.' From first to last Selden shows himself firm and consistent as an Erastian.
His own personal religion has been a matter of some controversy. 'Gentlemen,' he remarks, 'have ever been more temperate in their religion than the common people, as having more reason; the others running in a hurry.' Selden himself was no exception to the rule. Temperate he certainly was; indifferent or lukewarm he would have been termed by the more zealous. Baxter, [grb] Richard Baxter (1615-1691), minister of Kidderminster, was a prominent Presbyterian who continued in his opinions after reestablishment of episcopal government. He had a reputation for learning and piety and remained a leader of the dissenters until near his death (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), Vol. 3, pp. 429-437). If Selden were doctrinally unsound, we would expect Baxter to have known. indeed, reports, on the authority of Sir M. Hale, that Selden was 'a resolved serious Christian, an adversary to Hobbes,' [grb] Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was a scholar and political theorist. His religious views, while unclear, were certainly not those of any of the parties making up the Assembly of Divines. He was accused of atheism (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 27, pp. 37-45). and that the opposition between them was sometimes so sharp that Selden either departed from Hobbes or drove him out of the room. But these alleged contests do not prove much. Both parties to them were men of strong opinions and of somewhat overbearing tempers. If they quarrelled occasionally, as they very probably did, it is much more likely that their quarrels were about politics than about religion. Religion, they both held, was a matter to be settled by the State, and as the State settled it, so it was to be. In politics they were less at one. Selden, as the upholder of a constitutional monarchy based on an assumed contract which both parties were alike bound to observe, could never have been brought to agree with Hobbes, the champion of a monarchy in which no misconduct on the monarch's part could give the subjects any right to resist. For proof, then, of Selden's religious faith we must look elsewhere. We shall not find it in Clarendon, who with all his praise xxii of Selden's learning, humanity, courtesy, affability, and delight in doing good, is silent on the point of his religion. Nor will Usher [grb] James Ussher, 1581-1656, Archbishop of Armagh, was a friend of Selden, with whom he shared interests including antiquities and eastern languages (Dictionary of National Biography, vol 58, pp. 64-72). help us with his very laudatory funeral sermon, in which he finds every excellence in Selden, but says nothing of his piety, because, as his hearers thought, he could find nothing which he could say with truth. The discussions about religion in the Table Talk are not, indeed, in the language of a theoretical sceptic. They show, beyond doubt, that Selden constantly professed a belief in revealed religion. But they are not at all what we should expect from a resolved serious Christian. They are rather in the language of one who takes religion under his wing, and finds it like the virtue of humility very good doctrine for other people. Their author will show respect to the established religion of his country, but he has no great care what form it takes, except as far as it is a powerful political engine which must not be suffered to fall into hands which will turn it to a mischievous use. D'Ewes, who knew Selden personally, took such offence at his seeming want of religion that he did not seek to be intimate with him.
His death-bed scene—he died in November 1654—has, as we might expect, been very variously reported. Lord Berkeley tells us See Historical Applications, &c., written by a Person of Honour, p. 32, and Josiah Woodward's Fair Warnings to a Careless World, p. 129. of the pious friends whom he summoned to be with him at the last, and of his own expressed trust in the promises of Holy Scripture as his best and only comfort at so anxious a time. On the other hand, Aubrey's account, as quoted in Wood's Athenæ, is that 'When he was neer death, the minister (Mr. Johnson) was coming to him to assoile him; Mr. Hobbes happened then to be there: sayd he, "What, will you that have wrote like a man, now dye like a woman?" So the minister was not let in.' But death-bed stories are proverbially xxiii 'common form.' They tell us more often what the narrator wishes to believe, than what he has any good authority for. We find accordingly that Selden's editor and biographer, Archdeacon Wilkins, accepts and records Lord Berkeley's story, and says nothing whatever about Aubrey's. (Works, vol. i, Vita Authoris, p. xlv.)
Selden's vast and varied learning was recognised in his own day by the general testimony of scholars in England and on the Continent, and the fame of it still survives. But this is all that can be said. As a writer, he has never been popular, and is never likely to be. His reputation, like that of Johnson, [grb] Samuel Johnson, the well-known literary figure of the 18th century. depends more upon what has been written about him or has fallen from him in conversation, than upon any writings of his own. This is due, in Selden's case, about equally to the matter and to the manner of his works. The subjects which he treats relate, some of them to the questions of his own day, others to points of real permanent interest, but only to the antiquarian reader, nor had he the art of popularising what he wrote. Much of what he has written is in Latin, and his Latin style, correct as it is, is strangely rough and inelegant. Not seldom it presents an involved series of parentheses within parentheses, until at length the grammatical structure with which we start is put out of sight and lost. When this difficulty has been overcome, and when the reader has at last succeeded in evolving order out of the confused and disorderly mass, the result often is that he finds after all that he has gained nothing for his pains. Selden's digressions are so frequent and so perplexing as often to make it really doubtful what his drift can possibly have been in his Latin or in his English works. He draws at random on his vast stores, until the thread of his argument is lost by his many and prolonged and wholly irrelevant discursions, each of which gives xxiv rise to fresh discursions, one subject calling up another, under no guide but the chance association of ideas in the very learned author's mind. His enormous erudition thus frequently proves to be a weight too heavy for him, an encumbrance rather than a help to clear methodical arrangement.
This fault does not attach to the Table Talk. Selden, under the stimulus of society, was a different man from what he was when he took pen in hand and set himself down to write out an exhaustive account of some subject which he had made his special study, and to treat incidentally every other subject that suggested itself by the way. In writing, a man may go on unchecked to his own satisfaction and to the impatience of his readers. In the to-and-fro toss of conversation he is under more effective restraint, and he becomes short and incisive in just the degree in which he is possessed of the conversational art. In this art Selden unquestionably excelled. We do not need Clarendon's testimony that he was the most clear discourser, and had the best faculty in making hard things easy, and presenting them to the understanding of any man that hath been known. The Table Talk is evidence enough. It is as lively as his written works are dull, as attractive as they are many of them repelling. The miscellaneous collection varies in interest of course. Some of it has to do with matters of mere research; some with matters of grave consequence at the time, but of little or none now. Nor is it free from mistakes and contradictions, or from what its critic in the Acta Eruditorum calls φορτικα ακουσματα. [grb] False notes. In one passage, for example, it speaks slightingly of the learning of the bishops; in another it declares that there never was a more learned clergy, and that no one taxes them with ignorance. In the discourse on Preaching, it first condemns and then recommends preaching often in the same sense. In its defence xxv of duelling, in its explanation of the ass's head story (Christians, 3) and of the Descent into Hell, it is hardly ingenious, much less convincing. Its repeated assertions that moral rules are of no force without a theological sanction, display Selden possibly as a good theologian, certainly as an unsound moralist. Some of its remarks on the obligation of an oath are even more open to question. The discourse on Oaths might almost be headed the art of perjury made easy. But on all these points it is Selden's reporter with whom the chief fault must rest. It was his business to discriminate between what was worth and what was not worth giving to the world ; and not to write down and publish everything said, it might be, at random or in a perverse mood, and forgotten as soon as it was said, or as soon as the thing under discussion had ceased to be a question which Selden had approached as a controversialist rather than as a judge. But when all deductions have been made, enough remains to bear out the very high repute in which the Table Talk has stood. Its critic in the Acta Eruditorum Supplementa, Tom. I.: see viii. p. 424. wishes it included among the multa ingenii monumenta quibus (Selden) aeternam famam meruit.' [grb] The many works by which he earned lasting fame. Johnson singles it out as the best book of its kind in existence, better than any of the much bepraised French anas. Coleridge, as a poet, quarrels with it, but he still finds more weighty bullion sense in it than in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer. This is substantially the verdict which the world of letters has accepted and has endorsed. Johnson, one of the vouchers for it, has been termed the wisest and the wittiest of Englishmen. The Table Talk shows us, so to say, the figure in every-day dress of one who might not unfairly take rank as his competitor for one distinction.
The References in the Notes are to the following Editions:—
Jebb's ed. 1733. folio.
Baillie. Letters and Journals. Edinburgh. 1775. 2 vols.
Bingham. Christian Antiquities and other Works. Clarendon Press. 1855. 10 vols.
Clarendon. History of the Rebellion. Clarendon Press. 1807. 6 vols.; paged as 3 and so referred to.
Clarendon. Life. Clarendon Press. 1827.
Dugdale. Monasticon. By Caley, Ellis & Bandinel. 1830. 6 vols.
Fogioer. Histoire du Merveilleux. Paris. 1860. 8vo.
Gibson. Codex. 1761. 2 vols.
Hardwick. History of the Articles. 1851.
Laud's Works. Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology. 1854.
Nalson. Collections. 1682. 2 vols.
Neal. History of the Puritans. 1822. 5 vols.
Pearson. On the Creed. Clarendon Press. 1816. 2 vols.
Preuves des libertez de I' Eglise Gallicane. 1639. I vol. folio.
Prynne. Histrio-mastix. 1633. small 4to.
Rushworth. Historical Collections. 1721. 8 vols.
Selden. Works. Wilkins' ed. 1726. 6 vols., paged and referred to as 3, folio.
Stow. Chronicle. 1631.
Traitez des droits et libertez de l' Eglise Gallicane. 1639. 1 vol. folio.
Whitelock. Memorials. 1732. folio.
Wilkins. Concilia. 1737. 4 vols. folio.
Wood. Athenæ Oxonienses. Bliss's ed. 1817. 4 vols. (Selden's Life is given in vol. iii. p. 366 ff.)
JOHN SELDEN, ESQ.
HIS SENSE OF VARIOUS MATTERS OF WEIGHT AND
RELATING ESPECIALLY TO
RELIGION AND STATE
distingue tempora [grb] This is part of a quote from Sir Edward Coke: 'Distinguenda sunt tempora; distingue tempora, et concordabis leges.' Times are to be distinguished; distinguish times, and you will attune laws Black's Dictionary, p. 378.
TO THE HONORABLE Milward speaks of these as Selden's executors. I have therefore given the names as they stand in Selden's will (see Works, vol. i, Vita Authoris, p. 53), and as Milward may be assumed to have given them.
MR. JUSTICE HALE,
ONE OF THE JUDGES OF THE COMMON-PLEAS
AND TO THE MUCH HONOURED
ROWLAND JEWKS, ESQRS
Most Worthy Gentlemen,
Were you not executors to that person, who (when he lived) was the glory of the nation, yet I am confident any thing of his would find acceptance with you, and truly the sense and notion here is wholly his, and most of the words. I had the opportunity to hear his discourse twenty years together, and lest all those excellent things that usually fell from him might be lost, some of them from time to time I faithfully committed to writing, which here digested into this method, I humbly present to your hands: you will quickly perceive them to be his by the familiar illustrations wherewith they are set off: in which way you know he was so happy, that (with a marvellous delight to those that heard him) he would presently convey the highest points of religion, and the most important affairs of state to an ordinary apprehension.
In reading be pleased to distinguish times, and in your fancy
carry along with you the when and the why many of these things
were spoken; this will give them the more life, and the smarter
relish. 'Tis possible the entertainment you find in them may render
you the more inclinable to pardon the presumption of
Your most obliged and most humble servant RICH. MILWARD.
I. Abbeys, Priories, &c.
1. The unwillingness of the monks to part with their lands will fall out to be just nothing, because they were yielded up to the king by a supreme hand, viz., a parliament. The lands were taken from the monks by two Acts of Parliament. The earlier, that of 27 Henry VIII, cap. 28, gave the king the properties of the smaller houses, below a clear annual value of £200. The next Act, that of 31 Henry VIII, cap. 13, confirmed the surrenders which the Abbots or Priors of the larger houses had in the meantime been threatened or cajoled into making. Selden's remarks, here, may have been suggested by any one of the numerous attacks made on church property in his own day. If a king conquer another country, the people are loth to lose their lands; yet no divine will deny, but the king may give them to whom he please. If a parliament make a law concerning leather, or any other commodity, you and I, for example, are parliament-men; perhaps in respect to our own private interests we are against it; yet the 4 major part concludes it; we are then involved, and the law is good.
2. When the founders of abbeys laid a curse This may be an objection to one of the arguments which Selden had heard used by Dr. Hacket in defence of the sacredness of cathedral revenues. On May 12, 1641, there was a special session of the House of Commons to hear a dispute between Dr. Burgess, as assailant, and Dr. Hacket, as defender of these revenues; and Hacket, in the course of his speech, urged that 'these' (sc. the chapter revenues and lands) 'are dedicated to God; the founders appoint the uses, and curse any that alter it.' See Verney, Notes on the Long Parliament, p. 75-76. upon those that should take away those lands, I would fain know what power they had to curse me. 'Tis not the curses that come from the poor, or from anybody, that do me hurt because they come from them; but because I do something ill against them that deserves God should curse me for it. On the other side, 'tis not a man's blessing me that makes me blessed; he only declares me to be so; and if I do well I shall be blessed, whether any bless me or not.
3. At the time of Dissolution, they were tender in taking from the abbots and priors their lands and their houses, till they surrendered them (as most of them did). Indeed, the Prior of St. John's, The priory of St. John of Jerusalem, the chief English seat of the Knights Hospitallers, was not touched by the Act of 31 Henry VIII, since the prior (as Selden implies) had not at that time surrendered ; nor does it appear that he ever did surrender. The priory lands were taken away by a special Act passed in the next year. The prior died in May, 1540, on the day on which the suppression took effect. In Dugdale's Monasticon (vol. vi. 800-805) there is a long list of the lands and farms which had belonged to the priory. When the Knights Templars were suppressed, all their lands were given over to the Hospitallers; see (7 Edward II) a letter De Terris quondam Templariorum Hospitalariis liberandis. The grant was confirmed by 6, 7, and 12 Edward III, and some tenements in London, which had been wrongfully seized by Hugh Despencer, were restored and secured to the Hospitallers. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 809, 810. Sir William Weston, Richard Weston [in the] MSS. and early editions; probably through confusion with the name of the High Treasurer in the early years of Charles' reign. being a stout 5 man, got into France,and stood out a whole year; at last submitted, and the king took in that priory also, to which the Temple belonged, and many other houses in England. They did not then cry no abbots, no priors, as we do now; no bishops, no bishops.
4. Henry the 5th put away the friars aliens, These were religious orders, domiciled abroad, and holding land in England. They were pecked at several times before Henry Vth's reign. Edward I began in 1285 : Edward III followed in 1337. In 1361 their lands were restored, but their revenues were still occasionally taken away for a while. They were sequestered during Richard II, and were finally expropriated in 2 Henry V. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 985 if. See also Prioratuum Alienigenorum Catalogus, qui Leicestrensi Parliamento suppressi sunt. Anno Henrici Quinti secundo. An. Dom. 1414. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 1652-53. and seized to himself £100,000 a year; and therefore they were not the protestants only that took away Church lands.
5. In Queen Elizabeth's time, when all the abbeys were pulled down, all good works defaced, then the preachers must cry up justification by faith, [grb] The question preceded the reign of Elizabeth by 50 years, but Selden knew that and is making a jest. Given that salvation is by grace, what must we do to justify our entry to heaven? For centuries, understanding of this question had been guided by verses like Matthew 7:21: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven," which seems to suggest that we have to "do" something—works. Martin Luther, on the other side, relied on verses like Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.", and concluded that justification was by faith alone. not by good works.
II. Thirty-Nine Articles.
The nine-and-thirty Articles are much
another thing in Latin,
See e. g. Article 9, in which
'quamvis renatis et credentibus nulla
propter Christum est condemnatio,'
is rendered by, 'although there is
no condemnation for them
that believe and are baptized.'
In Article 33, 'poenitentia ' is rendered
'penance' an error to which Selden
seems to refer in the discourse
on 'Penance.' The right claimed in Article 37,
'Christianis licet justa bella administrare,'
is enlarged into 'it is lawful for Christian men to
serve in the wars.' The older version
of 1552 had translated the same
words by 'to serve in laweful warres.'
There are some other minor
in which tongue they were made,
than they are
translated into English, They were
made at three several convocations, and confirmed
by Act of Parliament
six or seven times after.
If this reading is to stand, the word
'times' must be taken in a special
sense parliamentary sessions or
terms. So, perhaps, in
'Confession,' sec. i, 'In time of Parliament,'
i.e. when Parliament had met.
The Articles were confirmed
once only, viz. in 1571, by 13 Elizabeth, chap. 12.
There is a secret concerning them: of late,
ministers have subscribed to all of them; but by
act of parliament
The Act orders
that every minister (except certain
specified persons) is to declare his
assent, and subscribe to all the
Articles of Religion which only concern
the confession of the true Christian
faith and the doctrine of the
The obligation on the clergy to subscribe to the whole of the Articles was imposed at a Synod of the province of Canterbury, held in 1604, under the presidency of Bancroft, then Bishop of London. It was then settled that no one was to be ordained who had not stated in writing Quod libro de religionis Articulis, in quos consensum est in Synodo Londinensi an. MDLXII. omnino comprobat, et quod omnes et singulos Articulos in eodem contentos, qui triginta novem citra ratificationem numerantur, verbo Dei consentaneos esse agnoscit (Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 386). that confirmed them, they ought only to subscribe to those articles which contain matter of faith and the doctrine of the sacraments, as appears by the first subscriptions. But Bishop Bancroft, [grb] Richard Bancroft (1544-1610) became Archbishop of Canterbury on the death of Whitgift on 1604, the year after James I's accession (Dictionary of National Biography (1904) vol. 3, pp. 108-112.) in the convocation held in King James's days, he began it, that ministers should subscribe to three things: to the king's supremacy, to the common prayer, and to the 39 articles. Many of them do not contain matter of faith. Is it matter of faith how the Church should be governed? Whether infants should be baptised? Whether we have any property in our goods?
1. 'Twas a good way to persuade men to be christened, to tell them that they had a foulness about them, viz., original sin, that could not be washed away but by baptism.
2. The baptising of children with us does only prepare a child, against he comes to be a man, to understand what Christianity means. In the Church of Rome it has this effect: it frees children from hell. They say they go into i.e. They say that unbaptized children go, &c. The Limbus Infantum was one of the divisions of hell. In the Church of Rome baptism is said to free children from this. See Canons, &c. of the Council of Trent, Session v. sec. 2, 3, 4. On the limbus puerorum, the place of eternal punishment for those qui solo originali peccato gravantur, and on the degree of punishment, the mitissimam poenam which they are alleged to suffer, see Aquinas, Summa Theolog. Supplementum partis 3, quaest. 69, art. 5 & 6. So, too, Moroni (Eccles. Dict, under title Limbo, Limbus) writes—Il secondo luogo, che chiamasi limbo o limbus puerorum, è quello in che vanno i bambini morti senza battesimo. Many various opinions are collected as to the nature and extent of their punishment. That it is to be eternal all the cited authorities agree. So, too, Dante writes of the occupants of the Limbo, or first circle of the Inferno, a vast crowd of infants, women, and men, there placed perche non ebber battesmo, and suffering only duol senza martiri. Inferno, Canto iv. 28-35. limbus infantum. It succeeds circumcision, and we are sure the child understood nothing of that at eight days old. Why then may not we as reasonably baptise a child at that age? In England of late years I ever thought the parson baptised his own fingers rather than the child.
3. In the primitive times they had godfathers to see the children brought up in the Christian religion, because many times, when the father was a christian, the mother was not, and sometimes, when the mother was a christian, the father was not; and therefore they made choice of two or more that were christians to see their children brought up in that faith.8
'Tis said, 23 of Deuteron. 2: "A bastard
shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord,
even to the tenth generation." Non ingredietur in
Ecclesiam Domini, he shall not enter into the
meaning of the phrase
Selden, in his De Successione
in Pontificatum Ebraeorum, says that the sense which he gives here
to the words is universally accepted among the Jews. Works, ii,
is, he shall
not marry a Jewish woman. But
upon this ground,
That the rule in the Church of Rome
was based on this text is stated, conjecturally, by Pope Gregory IX.
In a letter addressed to the
Archbishop of Canterbury on the
appointment of a bastard to the
see of Worcester, Gregory declares Nos
ergo cum fratribus nostris habito
super hoc diligenti tractatu, relectis
canonibus, quosdam invenimus qui non
legitime genitos promoveri
vetant ad officium pastorale, causam
forte trahentes ex lege divina per
quam spurii et manzeres usque in
decimam generationem in ecclesiam
Dei prohibentur intrare.
The matter is then debated pro and con, and
the Pope concludes that although,
according to a canon of the Lateran
Council, the appointment is irregular,
yet he has a dispensing power.
Decretales Gregorii IX, lib. i. tit. 6, cap. xx.
Corpus Juris Canonici, vol. 2, pp. 61, 62
(ed. 2 by Friedberg, 1881).
So, too, Boniface VIII insists on the need of a dispensation, episcopal for the lesser orders, papal for the greater. Ibid. p. 977.
Aquinas cites the text as one among the arguments against the admission of bastards to orders. He concludes against their admission without a dispensation, but on general grounds, and without further reference to the text. Summa Theolog. Supplement, 3 part, quaest. 39, art. 5. grossly mistaken, a bastard at this day in the Church of Rome, without a dispensation, cannot take orders. The thing haply well enough, where 'tis so settled; but that 'tis upon a mistake (the place having no reference to the Church), appears plainly by what follows at the 3 verse: An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord, even to the tenth generation. Now you know with the Jews an Ammonite or a Moabite could never be a priest, because their priests were born so, not made.
V. Bible, Scripture.
1. 'Tis a great question This question is discussed very fully in the course of the celebrated conference between Laud and the Jesuit Fisher, the first complete account of which was published in 1639. Laud handles the matter at greater length and with more unction than Selden; but for the most part substantially to the same effect. See Laud's Works, vol. ii. p. 70 ff. how we know Scripture to be Scripture, whether by the Church, or by man's private spirit. Let me ask you how I know anything? how I know this carpet to be green? First, because somebody told me it was green: that you call the Church in your way. Then after I have been told it is green, when I see that colour again, I know it to be green; my own eyes tell me it is green; that you call the private spirit.
2. The English translation For an account of the persons employed in the translation, and of the rules which they were instructed to follow, see Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 432, and Fuller's Church History, bk. x. sec. 3, § i, with note h in Brewer's edition. of the Bible is the best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best, taking in for the English translation the Bishops' Bible as well as King James's. The translation in King James's time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him who was most excellent in such a tongue (as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downs); [grb] Downes (1549-1628) was Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge and widely respected as a scholar of biblical Greek (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 15, pp. 392-393). and then they met together, and one read the translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c.; if they found any fault, they spoke, if not, he read on.10
3. There is no book so translated as the Bible. For the purpose, i.e. for instance: for proof of what I say. A phrase used by Selden elsewhere. See 'Trade,' sec. i, and—Eudoxus yet hath otherwise placed them; as for the purpose, the spring equinox on the sixth day after the sun's entrance into Aries &c. Works, iii. 1415. if I translate a French book into English, I turn it into English phrase, not into French English. "Il fait froid," I say it is cold, not it makes cold; but the Bible is translated into English words rather than into English phrase. The Hebraisms are kept, and the phrase of that language is kept: as for example, [He uncovered her shame] which is well enough, so long as scholars have to do with it; but when it comes among the common people, Lord, what gear i. e. what stuff. do they make of it!
4. Scrutamini Gk. ερευνατε, probably the Present Indicative, and if so the words have been doubly misinterpreted. Scripturas. These two words have undone the world. Because Christ spake it to His disciples, therefore we must all, men, women, and children, read and interpret the Scripture.
5. Henry the 8th made a law, This was 34 & 35 Henry VIII, ch. i. that all men might read the Scripture except servants; but no woman, except ladies and gentlewomen, who had leisure and might ask somebody the meaning. The law was repealed in Edward the 6th's days.
6. Laymen have best interpreted the hard places in the Bible, such as Johannes Picus, [grb] Johannes Picus Mirandulanus (1463-1494), also called Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola, was an humanist and one of the key figures of the Italian Renaissance. Mirandola's biography was translated from the Latin by Sir Thomas More; see Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola: His Life by his Nephew... (ed. Rigg), London, 1890. Scaliger, [grb] Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) was a Dutch Protestant scholar. His main accomplishment, besides editing several classical works, was a unified system of history that included Roman, Greek, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Jewish chronologies. There is a biography of Scaliger by Prof. Vernon Hall, Jr. published by the American Philosophical Society (New Series, vol. 40, part 2: October, 1950). Grotius, [grb] Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), also called Huig or Hugo de Groot, was a Dutch jurist who wrote extensively on international law, philosophy and religion. His ideas and those of Selden have many intersections. The online article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011) is a good introduction to Grotius. Salmasius, [grb] Claude de Saumaise, latinized Claudius Salmasius (1588-1653), a Burgundian Protestant, was a classical historian. His best-known work in England, a defense of Charles I, was published in 1649; it may have been known to Selden when he made this comment. Most commentaries on the works of John Milton contain some details of Salmasius, whom Milton debated in print. Salmasius's life is briefly summarized in the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th ed.), vol. 24, p. 81. Heinsius, [grb] Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) was a Dutch scholar who, after a long career as a professor of poetry and Greek at Leiden, edited an edition of the Greek testament. There is a recent (1978) biography by Baerbel Becker-Cantarino. &c.
7. If you ask, Which, of Erasmus, [grb] Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Catholic humanist. His annotated editions of Latin and Greek versions of the New Testament provided ammunition for scholars on both sides of the Reformation. See Maurice Wilkinson's biography Erasmus of Rotterdam in the "Catholic Thought and Thinkers" series, New York, 1921. Beza, [grb] Theodore Beza (1519-1605) or Théodore de Bèza, a French Calvinist, published in 1565 a translation of the Greek testament with parallel Vulgate passages and a French translation, with extensive notes. See Henry Baird's biography Theodore Beza, the Counsellor the the French Reformation, Knickerbocker Press, 1899. or Grotius [grb] Grotius's Annotations on the New Testament appeared between 1641 and 1644. did best upon the New Testament? 'tis an idle question, for they all did well in their way. Erasmus broke down the first brick, Beza added many things, and Grotius added much to him; in whom we have either something new, or 11 else something heightened that was said before, and so 'twas necessary to have them all three.
8. The text serves only to guess by; we must satisfy ourselves fully out of the authors that lived about those times.
9. In interpreting the Scripture, many do as if a man should see one have ten pounds, which he reckoned by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10: meaning four was but four units, and five five units, &c., and that he had in all but ten pounds; the other that sees him takes not the figures together as he does, but picks here and there, and thereupon reports that he hath five pounds in one bag, and six pounds in another bag, and nine pounds in another bag, &c, when as in truth he hath but ten pounds in all. So we pick out a text, here and there, to make it serve our turn; whereas if we take it altogether, and considered what went before and what followed after, we should find it meant no such matter.
10. Make no more allegories in Scripture than needs must. The Fathers were too frequent in them: This is amply verified by the 120 closely printed pages of the Index de Allegoriis, in the second vol. of the Indices to Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, p. 123 ff. they, indeed, before they fully understood the literal sense, looked out for an allegory. The folly whereof you may conceive thus; here at the first sight appears to me in my window, a glass and a book; thereupon, I go about to tell you what they signify; afterwards, upon nearer view, they prove no such things; one is a box made like a book, the other is a picture made like a glass. Where's now my allegory?
11. When men meddle with the literal text, the
question is, where they should stop. In this case,
a man must venture his discretion, and do his best
to satisfy himself and others in those places where
he doubts. For although
we call the Scripture the
Word of God (as it is), yet it was writ by a man,
a mercenary man, whose copy either might be
false, or he might make it false: for example,
here were a thousand Bibles
Mr. Barker, the printer. There
is a cause begunne against him
for false printing of the Bible in divers
places of it, in the edition of
1631, viz. in the 20 of Exod[us] 'Thou
shalt committ adultery'; and in
the fifte of Deut[eronomy] 'The Lord
hath shewed us his glory, and
his great asse' ; and for divers other
faults. High Commission Cases,
pp. 296 and 304 (Camden Society).
Barker was not the only sufferer. Laud's account is that—among them (i.e. the printers) their negligence was such as that there were found above a thousand faults in two editions of the Bible and Common Prayer-Book. And one, which caused this search, was that in Exod. xx. where they had shamefully printed, Thou shalt commit adultery. For this, the masters of the printing house were called into the High Commission, and censured, as they well deserved it.... And Hunsford, being hit in his credit, purse, and friends, by that censure for so gross an abuse of the Church and religion, labours to fasten his fangs upon me. History of the Troubles and Trial of Abp. Laud, Laud's Works, iv. 165 and 195.
This edition was known as 'the wicked Bible.' printed in England with the text thus, [Thou shalt commit adultery] the word not left out. Might not this text be mended?
12. The Scripture may have more senses besides the literal, because God understands all things at once; but a man's writing has but one true sense, which is that which the author meant when he wrote it.
13. When you meet with several readings of the text, take heed you admit nothing against the tenets of your Church; but do as if you were going over a bridge; be sure you hold fast by the rail, and then you may dance here and there as you please; be sure you keep to what is settled, and then you may flourish upon your various lections.
14. The Apocrypha is bound with the Bibles of
all Churches that have been hitherto. Why
should we leave it out? The Church of Rome has
her Apocrypha, viz.
Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon,
This is not so. Susannah
and Bel and the Dragon are
canonical in the Church of Rome. They
are not specially named in the
Decree of the Council of Trent, settling
the Canon of Scripture, because they
are printed in the Vulgate as part
of the book of Daniel, and come,
therefore, under the general rule that
the books named as canonical are to be
received entire, with all their
parts, as they are contained in the old
Latin Vulgate. The only books
of the Apocrypha not received as
canonical are the 3rd and 4th Books
of Esdras (printed in the English
Apocrypha as Esdras i & 2) and the
Prayer of Manasseh. See Canons and
Decrees of the Council of
Trent, Session iv.
Accordingly, in the Douay version, the History of Susannah and Bel and the Dragon stand in their appointed place as parts of the canonical book of Daniel. which she does not 13 esteem equally with the rest of those books that we call Apocrypha.
VI. Bishops before the Parliament.
1. A Bishop, as a bishop, Selden discusses this very fully in his De Synedriis veterum Ebraeorum, lib. I, ch. 13. vol. i. p. 1066. had never any ecclesiastical jurisdiction; for as soon as he was electus confirmatus, that is, after the three proclamations These were and are part of the ceremony of confirmation. Strype in his life of Archbishop Parker, bk. ii. ch. i, gives an exact account of the whole process in Parker's case, as it was performed in the church of St. Mary de Arcubus [i. e. Mary le Bow in Cheapside]...; The consecration—until which he 'was no bishop, neither could he give orders'—came eight days afterwards. in Bow-Church, he might exercise jurisdiction before he was consecrated; yet till then he was no bishop, neither could he give orders. [grb] i.e. give holy orders to a new bishop, priest or deacon. Besides, suffragans These are expressly said to have 'no authority or jurisdiction beyond that expressed in their licenses by a bishop or archbishop to whom they are suffragans by commission under seal.' 26 Henry VIII, ch. 14, sec. 6. were bishops, and they never claimed any jurisdiction.14
2. Anciently the noblemen lay within the city for safety and security. The bishops' houses were by the water side, because they were held sacred persons which nobody would hurt.
3. There was some sense for
It was one of Archbishop Laud's projects 'to
annex for ever some settled commendams, and those, if it may be,
sine curâ, to all the small
bishoprics.' Laud's Works, vol. iii. p. 254.
For further proof of the abuse of which Selden speaks, see Sir Ralph Verney's Notes of Proceedings in the Long Parliament, p. 14, giving the heads of a remonstrance of some of the clergy, referring inter alia to commendams. The remonstrance says, in Article 16, 'Bishops hold commendams and never come at them. As Mainwaring, Bishop of St. Davids, and the Bishop of Chester hold two of £1100 per annum.'
[grb] An ecclesiastical living could be awarded in commendam (in trust) to another priest, abbot or bishop if there were none to take the living in titulum (by title). The benefit to the recipient was that he got to keep some or all of the revenues of the parish. at first: when there was a living void, and never a clerk to serve it, the bishops were to keep it till they found a fit man; but now 'tis a trick for the bishop to keep it for himself.
For a bishop to preach,
That bishops did not preach is
among the charges made against them by Nathaniel Fiennes (Feb.
1640). Nalson, Collections, i. 758.
See, too, Sir Benjamin Rudyard's speech on Sir E. Deering's Bill for the abolishing of bishops, &c. (May, 1641). Some of ours, as soon as they are bishops, adepto fine, cessat motus, they will preach no longer, their office is to govern. But in my opinion they govern worse than they preach, though they preach not at all, for we see to what a pass their government hath brought us. Nalson, Collections, ii. 249. 'tis to do other folks' office. As if the steward of the house should execute the porter's or the cook's place; tis his business to see that they and all other about the house perform their duties.
5. That which is thought Clarendon, after speaking of the slovenly state into which many churches had fallen during Archbishop Abbot's time, and of the irregular way in which the services had in many places been performed, adds 'This profane liberty and uncleanliness the Archbishop [i.e. Laud] resolved to reform with all expedition, requiring the other bishops to concur with him in so pious a work.' He adds, presently, that 'The Archbishop prosecuted this affair more passionately than was fit for the season; and had prejudice against those who, out of fear or foresight, or not understanding the thing, had not the same warmth to promote it. The bishops who had been preferred by his favour, or who hoped to be so, were at least as solicitous to bring it to pass in their respective dioceses ; and some of them with more passion and less circumspection than they had his example for, or than he approved; prosecuting those who opposed them very fiercely, and sometimes unwarrantably, which was kept in remembrance.' Clarendon, Hist. vol. i. 148 ff. to have done the bishops hurt 15 is their going about to bring men to a blind obedience, imposing things upon them (though perhaps small and well enough), without preparing them, and insinuating into their reasons and fancies. Every man loves to know his commander. I wear those gloves; but perhaps if an alderman should command me, I should think much to do it: What has he to do with me? Or if he has, peradventure I do not know it. This jumping upon things at first dash will destroy all. To keep up friendship, there must be little addresses i.e. (as explained at length by Bacon in the Adv. of Learning) 'the observing carefully a man's manners and customs, with the intention to understand him sufficiently whereby not to give him offence.' Lord Bacon's Works (Ellis and Spedding), vol. iii. 279. and applications; whereas bluntness spoils it quickly: To keep up the hierarchy, there must be little applications made to men, they must be brought on by little and little; so in the primitive times the power was gained, and so it must be continued. Scaliger said The nearest I can find to this is a passage in J. J. Scaliger's Table Talk. Erasmus perspicacissimo vir ingenio, se ipso haud dubie futurus major (quod scribit Paulus Jovius) si Latinae linguae conditores imitari, quam petulanti linguae indulgere maluisset. Prima Scaligerana, sub voce Erasmus. of Erasmus: Si minor esse voluerit, major fuisset. [grb] If he would try to be less, he had done more. So we may say of the bishops, Si minores esse voluerint, majores fuissent. If they would try to be less, they had done more.16
6. The bishops were too hasty, else with a discreet slowness they might have had what they aimed at. The old story of the fellow that told the gentleman he might get to such a place if he did not ride too fast, would have fitted their turn.
7. For a bishop to cite an old canon This was done in the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, put out in 1640 by the Synods of the two Provinces. See Canon v. 'Against Sectaries' and Canon ix on the summary or collection of visitatory articles which the Synod had caused to be made out of the rubric and the canons and warrantable rules of the Church. Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 548 and 550. to strengthen his new articles, is as if a lawyer should plead an old statute that has been repealed God knows how long.
VII. Bishops in the Parliament.
Bishops have the same right to sit in Parliament
The various objections, here
stated and answered, to the
right of bishops to sit in Parliament, to the
nature of their seat by office
and not by blood, and to the policy of
allowing them to meddle with temporal
affairs, were raised from time
to time in the long series of
discussions which led finally to the
abolition of their right and then of their office.
See, especially, the reasons offered by the Commons in reply to the reasons offered by the Lords in favour of the bishops, June, 1641. They cover most of the points raised in this chapter of the Table Talk.
(1) The Commons do conceive that bishops ought not to have votes in Parliament. First, because it is a very great hindrance to the exercise of their ministerial function.
(2) Because they do vow and undertake at their ordination, when they enter into Holy Orders, that they will give themselves wholly to that vocation.
(5) Because they are but for their lives, and therefore are not fit to have legislative power over the honours, inheritances, persons, and liberties of others.
(6) Because of bishops' dependency and expectation of translation to places of greater profit. Nalson, Collections, ii. 260. as the best earls and barons: that is, those that were made 17 by writ. [grb] All lords of Parliament sat by writ of summons: "...every lord of parliament, either spirituall, as archbishops, and bishops, or temporall, as dukes, marquisses, earls, viscounts, and barons; peers of the realm, and lords of parliament ought to have severall writs of summons." Coke, Institutes, Part 4, Cap. 1 If you ask one of them (Arundel, Oxford, Northumberland) why they sit in the House, they can only say their father sat there before them, and their grandfather before him, &c. And so say the bishops; he that was a bishop of this place before me sat in the House, and he that was a bishop before him, &c. Indeed, your later earls and barons have it expressed in their patents that they shall be called to the Parliament.
Objection: But the lords sit there by blood, the bishops not.
Answer: 'Tis true, they sit not there both the same way, yet that takes not away the bishops' right. If I am a parson of a parish, I have as much right to my glebe and tithe as you have to your land which your ancestors have had in that parish eight hundred years.
The bishops were not barons,
What Selden here denies was
among the statements made by Mr. Bagshaw, Reader of the Middle
Temple, in his speech in Hall (1639)
on the thesis Whether it be a
good Act of Parliament that is
made without the assent of the Lords
Spiritual. He argues that it is good,
because inter alia 'they do not sit
in Parliament as bishops, but by
reason of the baronies annexed to
their bishopricks, which was done
5 W. I, and all of them have baronies
except the Bishop of Man, and he is not called to Parliament.'
Whitelock, Memorials, p. 33.
Selden explains his point more fully in his Titles of Honour, part ii. ch. 5, vol. iii. pp. 659, 724, 727. He shows that in the Saxon times the lay claim to be included in the Witenagemot was the holding of land of the king in chief by knight's service. Those who so held were, after the Normans, parliamentary barons, and their tainlands only were the parliamentary baronies. But in Saxon times, the bishops did not hold by this tenure, yet they were none the less summoned regularly to the Witenagemot, and had voice and place as bishops. And thus their freedom from that tenure .... continued it seems till the fourth year of King William I, when he made the bishopricks and abbeys subject to knight's service in chief, by creation of new tenures, and so first turned their possessions into baronies, and thereby made them barons of the kingdom by tenure. because they 18 had baronies annexed to their bishoprics; for few of them had so, unless the old ones, Canterbury, Winchester, Durham, &c.; the new erected we are sure had none, as These were among the six bishoprics founded by Henry VIII out of part of the spoils of the monasteries. On the nature of their endowment see the king's grant to the bishopric of Gloucester: 'Damus .... habenda et tenenda omnia et singula praedicta, Aulas, Cubicula .... domos aedificia et caetera omnia et singula praemissa praefato episcopo Gloucestriae et successoribus suis imperpetuum, tenenda de nobis haeredibus et successoribus nostris in puram et perpetuam eleemosinam.' Rymer, Foedera, xiv. 727 (1712 fol.).
' So, too, in the case of Peterborough, the king (1542) grants to the bishop and his successors, various manors and rents (valued at £368 11s. 6d.) in puram et perpetuam eleemosynam, and subject to deductions only for tenths and first-fruits.' Willis, Survey of Cathedrals, iii. 493 (London, 1742, 3 vols.). Gloucester, Peterborough, &c.; besides, few of the temporal lords had any baronies. But they are barons, because they are called by writ [grb] It seems settled law that a writ of summons issued to a man who was not a peer, created a barony. This did not happen often, and for the last time probably in the reign of Henry VIII. See, for example, Cruise's Real Property (American Edition, New York: 1823) vol. 3, p. 158. Peerages were normally created by patent. to the Parliament, and bishops were in the Parliament ever since there was any mention or sign of a Parliament in England.
3. Bishops may be judged by the Peers, Selden, in his treatise on the privileges of the baronage, lays it down as a rule of the common law that bishops, although unquestionably peers of the realm, were to be tried by common juries and were in fact so tried; no regard being paid to their claim as churchmen to be free from lay jurisdiction. He gives several instances in which this claim was made and disallowed, and the trial had by a common jury. Works, iii. 1538 ff. though in time of Popery it never happened, because they pretended they were not obnoxious to a secular court; but their way was to cry Ego sum Frater Domini Papæ, I am brother to my lord the Pope, and therefore take not myself to be judged by you: in this case they empanelled a Middlesex jury, and despatched the business.
Whether may bishops be present in cases of blood?
This question became
prominent and was hotly disputed
at the trial of the Earl of Strafford.
The bishops were denied all meddling even in the commission of
preparatory examinations concerning
the Earl of Strafford, as causa
sanguinis, and they as men
of mercy, not to deal in the condemnation
of any person. Fuller, Church History, bk. xi. sec. 9, 10.
That bishops were forbidden by the canons to pronounce sentence of condemnation at trials on a capital charge, is clear. See e.g. Wilkins, Concilia, vol. i. 112, 365 and 474.
On the authority of the canons, as law, it is laid down by 25 Henry VIII, chap. 19, that the canons are not to be pleaded or used if contrary to the king's prerogative or to the customs, laws and statutes of the kingdom canons, not thus contrary, to be in force, as Selden states.
In the case referred to in Richard II's time, the exclusion of the bishops was a concession granted to them at their own request. The whole subject is discussed exhaustively in the opinion delivered by the Bishop of Lincoln (Williams) as to the right of the bishops to be present at Strafford's trial. Hacket, Life of Williams, part ii. p. 153 ff. 19 Answer: That they had a right to give votes appears by this, always when they did go out they left a proxy; and in the time of the abbots, one man had 10, 30, or 30 voices. In Richard the 2d's time there was a protestation against the canons, by which they were forbidden to be present in case of blood. The Statute of 25th of Henry the 8th may go a great way in this business. The clergy were forbidden to use or cite any canon, &c., but in the latter end of the Statute there was a clause, that such canons that were in usage in this kingdom should be in force till the thirty-two commissioners appointed should make others, provided they were not contrary to the king's supremacy. Now the question will be, whether these canons for blood were in use in this kingdom or no? The contrary whereof may appear by many precedents in Richard 3 and Henry 7, and the beginning of Henry 8 in which there were more attainted than since, or scarce before. The canons of irregularity of blood were never received in England, but upon pleasure. If a lay-lord was attainted, the bishops assented to 20 his condemning, and were always present at the passing of the Bill of Attainder: But if a spiritual lord, they went out, as if they cared not whose head was cut off, so none of their own. In those days, the bishops, being of great houses, were often entangled with the lords in matters of treason. But when do you hear of a bishop a traitor now?
You would not have bishops meddle
So in 1641, a bill was introduced
for the second time to forbid bishops
having votes in Parliament or holding any temporal office, 'the
greatest argument being that their intermeddling with temporal
affairs was inconsistent with, and
destructive to, the exercise of their
spiritual function.' Clarendon, i. 470.
The same argument was used by Lord Say and Sele (June 1641), who based it on the Scriptural rule that 'No man that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of the world.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 268.
Early in 1641, a committee of the House of Commons, appointed to consider a remonstrance of some ministers, and the London petition for the better government of the Church, voted, inter alia, that Article 6, complaining that bishops were encumbered with temporal power and state affairs, was material and fit to be considered by the House. Sir R. Verney's Notes of Proceedings in the Long Parliament, pp. 4-14.
Most of the questions treated in the Table Talk, were raised in the course of this inquiry.
See, too,—'It is not possible for one man to discharge two functions, whereof either is sufficient to employ the whole man, especially that of the ministry, so great that they ought not to entangle themselves with the affairs of this world.' Speech of Nathaniel Fiennes, Feb. 1640-41. Nalson, Collections, i. 757.
Instances to the same effect will be found passim in the debates and speeches of the time. with temporal affairs. Think who you are that say it. If a Papist, they do in your Church; if an English Protestant, they do among you; if a Presbyterian, where you have no bishops, you mean your Presbyterian lay-elders should meddle with temporal affairs as well as spiritual. Besides, all jurisdiction is temporal; and in no Church but they have some jurisdiction or other. The question then will be reduced to magis and minus; [grb] More and less. they meddle more in one Church than in another.
Bishops give not their votes by blood
This was one of the
stock arguments against the bishops. See, e.g.
'If they may remove bishops, they may as well next time remove barons and earls.
'Answer. The reason is not the same, the one sitting by an honour invested in their blood and hereditary, which though it be in the king to grant alone yet being once granted he cannot take away. The other sitting by a barony depending upon an office, which may be taken away; for if they be deprived of their office they sit not.' Speech of Lord Say and Sele, June, 1641. Nalson, Collections, ii. 268. in Parliament, but by an office annexed to them; which being taken away, they cease to vote; therefore there is not the same reason for them as for temporal lords.
Answer: We do not pretend they have that power the same way; but they have a right: He that has an office in Westminster-hall for his life, the office is as much his as his land is his that hath land by inheritance.
7. Whether had the inferior clergy ever anything
to do in the Parliament?
Answer: No, no otherwise than thus: There were certain of the clergy that used to assemble near the Parliament, with whom the bishops, upon occasion, might consult (but there were none of the convocation, as 'twas afterwards settled), In or about 1283, a canon was framed which may be regarded as settling historically the representation of the clergy in the convocation of the province of Canterbury. The rule laid down is 'ut in proxima congregatione .... praeter personas episcoporum et procuratores absentium, veniant duo aut unus a clero episcopatuum singulorum.' The Archbishop's full writ, of which the canon is a copy, summons the attendance of bishops, abbots, priors, deans, and archdeacons throughout the province of Canterbury. Also 'de qualibet diocesi duo procuratores nomine cleri, et de singulis capitulis ecclesiarum cathedralium et collegiatarum singuli procuratores.' Stubbs, Documents illustrative of English History, pp. 452 and 456. viz., the dean, the archdeacon, one for the 22 chapter, and two for the diocese, but it happened by continuance of time (to save charges and trouble), their voices and the consent of the whole clergy were involved in the bishops, and at this day the bishops' writs run, to bring all these to the Parliament, but the bishops themselves stand for all.
8. Bishops were formerly one of these two conditions; either men bred canonists [grb] Before the English reformation, canonists were lawyers brought up in the ecclesiastical courts, dealing with the internal laws and regulations of the Church. Because these laws could deal with social issues (adultery, for example), canonists sometimes argued civil matters. and civilians, [grb] After Henry VIII, new practicers in the ecclesiastical courts were exclusively Doctors of Civil law, and enrolled in the Doctors Commons. They were then referred to as civilians. sent up and down ambassadors to Rome and other parts, and so by their merit came to that greatness; or else great noblemen's sons, brothers, and nephews, and so born to govern the state. Now they are of a low condition, their education nothing of that way: he gets a living, and then a greater living, [grb] That is, he is elected to a parish, leaves it for a more wealthy, trades up for that parish, and so on. and then a greater than that, and so comes to govern.
9. Bishops are now unfit to govern, because of their learning: they are bred up in another law: they run to the text for something done amongst the Jews, that nothing concerns England. 'Tis just as if a man would have a kettle, and he would not go to our brazier to have it made, as they make kettles; but he would have it made as Hiram made his brass-work, [grb] 1 Kings 7: 45-46: "And the pots, and the shovels, and the basons: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass. In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan." who wrought in Solomon's temple.
To take away bishops' votes is but the beginning
This was borne out by the
event. 'In 1646, by ordinance of
Parliament, the name, title, style,
and dignity of archbishop and bishop were wholly taken away, from
and after September 5, and all
and every person was disabled to hold
the place, function, or stile of
archbishop or bishop.' Rushworth,
Hist. Collections, vol. vi. 373.
That they will 'always go for the king, as he will have them' was, in effect, one of the arguments used against them in 1641. 'The Commons do conceive that bishops ought not to have votes in Parliament, because .... of bishops' dependency and expectation of translation to places of greater profit.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 261.
So, too, Lord Say and Sele, in the course of a debate in the same year, urges that bishops 'have such an absolute dependency upon the king that they sit not here as freemen .... For their fears, they cannot lay them down, since their places and seats in Parliament are not invested in them by blood, and so hereditary, but by annexation of a barony to their office; and depending upon that office and thereby of their places, at the king's pleasure they .... sit .... but at will and pleasure.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 268. 23 to take them away; for then they can be no longer use to the king or state. 'Tis but like the little wimble, to let in the greater auger.
Objection: But they are but for their life, and that makes them always go for the king as he will have them.
Answer: This is against a double charity; for you must always suppose a bad king and bad bishops. Then, again, whether will a man be sooner content, himself should be made a slave, or his son after him? When we talk of our children, we mean ourselves. Besides, they that have posterity are more obliged to the king than they that are only for themselves, in all the reason in the world.
11. How shall the clergy be in the Parliament,
if the bishops are taken away?
Answer: By the laity; because the bishops, in whom the rest of the clergy are included, assent to the taking away their own votes, by being involved in the major part of the House. This follows naturally.
12. The bishops being put out of the House, This was done in 1642, when the king was at length induced to give his consent to the Bill excluding them. Clarendon, i. 668. whom will they lay the fault upon now? When the dog is beat out of the room, where will they lay the stink?
VIII. Bishops out of the Parliament.
1. In the beginning,
bishops and presbyters were alike,
The question raised in the first three
sections as to the identity of bishops and
presbyters was one of the stock
subjects of dispute in Selden's day.
After the triumph of the Presbyterian
party, it was answered by the
legislature in the affirmative:
'Whereas the word Presbyter, that is to say Elder, and the word Bishop, do in the Scripture intend and signify one and the same function, although the title of Bishop hath been by corrupt custom appropriated to one, &c.
1 Nov. 8, 1645.'
Ordinance of Lords and Commons. Rushworth, Collections, vi. 212.
Selden's view agrees with, and was not improbably based upon, that of Archbishop Usher, to whom he was in the habit of referring, and for whose judgment he had a great and merited respect. Usher, his biographer Parr writes, was charged 'That he ever declared his opinion to be, that. Episcopus et Presbyter gradu tantum differunt non ordine—which opinion,' says Parr, 'I cannot deny to have been my Lord Primate's since I find the same written almost verbatim with his own hand, dated Nov. 26, 1655. And that the Lord Primate was always of this opinion I find by another note of his own hand, written in another book many years before this.' Parr adds some limitations and cautions; but subject to these, confirms the opinion from other writers. 'So that you see,' he adds, 'that as learned men, and as stout asserters of episcopacy as any the Church of England hath had, have been of the Lord Primate's judgment in this matter, though without any design to lessen the order of bishops or to take away their use in the Church.' Life of Usher, Appendix, pp. 5-7. like the gentlemen in the country, whereof one is made 24 deputy-lieutenant, and another justice of peace; so one is made a bishop, another a dean; and that kind of government by archbishops and bishops no doubt came in, in imitation of the temporal government, not jure divino. In time of the Roman Empire, Bingham, Christian Antiquities, bk. ix. goes minutely into this, and shows in detail that the Church, in setting up metropolitan, patriarchal, and episcopal sees, commonly took the model from the civil divisions of the state. where they had a legatus, there they placed an archbishop; where they had a rector, there a bishop; that every one might be instructed in Christianity, which now they had received into the empire.
2. They that speak ingenuously of bishops and 25 presbyters say that a bishop is a greater presbyter, and during the time of his being bishop, above a presbyter; as your president of the College of Physicians is above the rest, yet he himself no more than a doctor of physic.
3. The words (bishop and presbyter) are promiscuously used; that is confessed by all: and though the word bishop be in Timothy and Titus, yet that will not prove the bishops ought to have a jurisdiction over the presbyters, though Timothy or Titus had by the order that was given them. Somebody must take care of the rest; and that jurisdiction was but to excommunicate, and that was but to tell them they should come no more into their company. Or grant they did make canons one for another, before they came to be in the state; does it follow they must do so when the state has received them into it? What if Timothy had power in Ephesus, and Titus in Crete over the presbyters? Does it follow therefore our bishops must have the same in England? Must we be governed like Ephesus and Crete?
4. However, some of the bishops
pretend to be jure divino,
This was and has
ever been the claim of the High Church party. We find it e.g.
asserted by Andrewes, and approved by Laud, and in express terms
asserted by Laud himself. See
'Die Mercurii, ostendi rationes regi
cur chartae Episcopi Winton. defuncti,
de episcopis quod sint jure
divino, praelo tradendae sint, &c.'
Laud's Diary, Jan. 17, 1626;
Works, iii. 199.
'We maintain that our calling of bishops is jure divino, by divine right... This I will say and abide by it, that the calling of bishops is jure divino, by divine right, though not all adjuncts to their calling.' Speech at the censure of Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne ; Works, vi. pt. i. p. 43.
Selden's argument to the contrary seems to be based on the legal control exercised over bishops in the discharge of their functions, most notably in the matter of excommunications. See 'Excommunication.' yet the practice of the kingdom had ever been otherwise; for whatever bishops do otherwise 26 than the law permits, Westminster Hall can control, or send them to absolve, &c.
5. He that goes about to prove bishops to be Jure Divino does as a man that, having a sword, shall strike it against an anvil; if he strike it awhile there, he may peradventure loosen it, though it be never so well riveted, it will serve to strike another sword, or cut flesh, but not against an anvil.
6. If you should say, you hold your land by Moses' or God's Law, and would try it by that, you may perhaps lose, but by the law of the kingdom you are sure of it. So may the bishops by this plea of jure divino lose all. The Pope had as good a title by the law of England as could be had, had he not left that, and claimed by power from God.
7. There is no government enjoined by example, but by precept; it does not follow we must have bishops still because we have had them so long. They are equally mad who say bishops are so jure divino that they must be continued, and they who say they are so anti-christian that they must be put away. All is as the state likes.
8. To have no ministers but presbyters, 'tis as if in the temporal state they should have no officers but constables. Bishops do best stand with monarchy; that as amongst the laity, you have dukes, lords-lieutenants, judges, &c., to send down the king's pleasure to his subjects, so you have bishops to govern the inferior clergy. These upon occasion may address themselves to the king, otherwise every parson of the parish must come and run up to the court.
9. The Protestants have no bishops in France, Probably suggested by Usher, who is quoted by his biographer Parr, as excusing or palliating the absence of bishops in the Churches of France on the ground that they are 'living under a popish power and cannot do what they would.' Parr's Life, Appendix, pp. 5 and 6. because 27 they live in a Catholic country, and they will not have Catholic bishops; therefore they must govern themselves as well as they may.
10. What is that to the purpose, to what end were bishops' lands given to them at first? We must look to the law and custom of the place. What is that to any temporal lord's estate, how lands were first divided, or how in William the Conqueror's days? And if men at first were juggled out of their estates, yet they are rightly their successors'. If my father cheat a man, and he consent to it, the inheritance is rightly mine.
11. If there be no bishops, there must be something else which has the power of bishops, though it be in many; and then had you not as good keep them? If you will have no half-crowns, but only single pence, yet thirty single pence are half a crown; and then had you not as good keep both? But the bishops have done ill. 'Twas the men, not the function. As if you should say, you would have no more half-crowns, because they were stolen, when the truth is, they were not stolen because they were half-crowns, but because they were money, and light in a thief's hand.
12. They that would pull down the bishops and erect a new way of government, do as he that pulls down an old house, and builds another of another fashion. There's a great deal ado, and a great deal of trouble: the old rubbish must be carried away,and new materials must be brought: workmen must be provided, and perhaps the old one would have served as well.
If the prelatical and Presbyterian party
should dispute, who should be judge? Indeed, in
the beginning of Queen Elizabeth,
there was such a difference
Strype, in the
Annals of the Reformation, vol. i.
chap. 5, gives a lengthy account
of this 'conference between some
popish bishops and other learned
men of that communion, and certain
protestant divines, held in the
month of March, 1559, by order of
the Queen's privy council, to be
performed in their presence, eight
on one side and eight on the other.'
The Queen orders it to be conducted in writing and the papists to
begin. The first day passed off
quietly. On the second day, difficulties
were raised as to the course of the proceedings and the papists
refused to go on, as it had been arranged that they should. The
conference thereupon broke up, after some ominous words from the
Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon. 'For that ye would not that we
should hear you, perhaps you may shortly hear of us.' And so they
did, for, as a punishment for their
contempt, the Bishops of Winchester
and Lincoln were committed to the Tower, and the others, except
the Abbot of Westminster, were bound
to make their personal appearance before
the Council and not to depart the cities of London and
Westminster until ordered. They were afterwards compelled to
dance attendance every day at the Council from April 5 to May 12,
until at length their fines for contempt
were settled; 'and so they were
discharged, recognizances for their good
abearing being first taken of
In the Editor's Preface to the second volume of Laud's Works, numerous instances are given of oral and of written controversies and disputations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, some of them between protestants and papists, others between the champions of different protestant sects. between the 28 Protestants and Papists, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Chancellor, was appointed to be judge; but the conclusion was, the stronger party carried it. For so religion was brought into kingdoms, so it has been continued, and so it may be cast out, when the state pleases.
14. 'Twill be great discouragement to scholars,
that bishops should be put down. For now the
father can say to his son, and the tutor to his
pupil, Study hard, and you shall have
vocem et sedem in Parliamento;
A voice and seat in Parliament.
then it must be, Study
hard, and you shall have a hundred a year, if you
please your parish.
Objection: But they that enter into the ministry for preferment are like Judas that looked after the bag. Answer: It may be so, if they turn scholars at Judas's age; but what arguments will they use to persuade them to follow their books while they are young?
IX. Books, Authors.
1. The giving a bookseller his price for his books. has this advantage: he that will do it, shall have the refusal of whatsoever comes to his hands, and so by that means get many things, which otherwise he never should have seen. So 'tis in giving a bawd her price.
2. In buying books or other commodities, it is not always the best rule to bid half so much as the seller asks. Witness the country fellow, that went to buy two shove-groat shillings; Shove-groat was one of the names of a game played by driving a smooth coin with a smart stroke of the hand along a table, at the further end of which nine partitions had been marked off, with a number inscribed on each of them. The score was reckoned according to the number on the partition in which the coin rested. See Strutt, Sports and Pastimes, bk. iv. sec. 19. Nares (Glossary, sub voce 'shove-groat ') adds that the shove-groat shilling, the coin with which the game was played, was sometimes a smooth shilling, sometimes a smooth groat, sometimes a smooth half-penny; and that any flat piece of metal would have answered the purpose, and would have passed, therefore, as a shove-groat shilling. they asked him three shillings, and he bade them eighteen pence.
3. They counted the price of the books (Acts xix. 19), and found fifty thousand pieces of silver: that is so many sestertii, or so many three-halfpence of our money—about three hundred pounds sterling.
By 3 James I, ch. 5, sec. 25 the importation
is forbidden of popish primers, ladies' psalters, manuals,
rosaries, popish catechisms,
missals, breviaries, portals, legends and
lives of saints containing superstitious
matter, and the books themselves
are ordered to be seized and burned.
It was one of the charges against Laud that he had connived at the importation of popish books, and had restored them to their owners when they had been seized by the searchers. His answer to the charge is that great numbers of them had been burnt, and that if any of them had been re-delivered to their owners it was by order not from himself, but from the High Commission. Laud's Works, vol. iv. p. 347.
Whatever Laud may have done, or omitted to do, while he was in power, the Act against popish books was strictly enforced afterwards. See Nalson's Collections, vol. ii. p. 690, Dec. i, 1641. This day the Bishop of Exon reported to the Lords' House, 'That the Committee formerly appointed by their House, have perused those books which were seized on coming from beyond the seas...and finds them to be of three several sorts.
Such as are fit to be delivered to their owners and to be sold.
The Holy Table, name and thing.
Mr. Walker's Treaty of the Sabbath, &c.
A second sort, fit to be sold to choice persons.
Thomas de Kempis, Of the following of Christ, &c.
A third sort of superstitious tablets and books, which are fit to be burnt, as
Missals, Primers, and Offices of Our Lady, &c....
Ordered...the second sort to be delivered over to safe hands, to be sold to Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Scholars, but not to women.
That the third sort be burned by the Sheriffs of London in Smithfield forthwith.
Selden's remark was probably made about the date at which this more strict rule was put in force. teach and inform; what we 30 know, we know much out of them. The fathers, church story, school-men, all may pass for popish books; and if you take away them, what learning will you leave? Besides, who must be judge? The customer A collector and farmer of the customs. Conf. Hakluyt's Voyages, i. 189-191 (ed. of 1809, 410). 'In the ancient state of Rome, the tenants of the empire paid for rent the tenth of their corn, whence the publicans that hired it, as the customers do here the king's custom, were called decumani.' Selden, Works, iii. 1098. or the waiter? This probably means the tide-waiter, one of the officers of the customs, whose duty it was to watch the landing of goods arriving from abroad. If he disallows a book, it must not be brought into the kingdom; then Lord have mercy upon all scholars! These puritan preachers, So the London Petition against bishops, &c., complains of 'the Liturgy for the most part framed out of the Romish Breviary, Ritualium, Mass Book, also the book of Ordination, framed out of the Roman Pontifical.' Nalson, Collections, i. 663. if they have anything good, they have it out of popish books, though they will not acknowledge it, for fear 31 of displeasing the people. He is a poor divine that cannot sever the good from the bad.
5. It is good to have translations, because they serve as a comment, so far as the judgment of the man goes.
6. In answering a book, 'tis best to be short; otherwise he that I write against will suspect I intend to weary him, not to satisfy him. Besides in being long I shall give my adversary a huge advantage; somewhere or other he will pick a hole.
7. In quoting of books, quote such authors as are usually read; others you may read for your own satisfaction, but not name them.
8. Quoting of authors is most for matter of fact; and then I cite them as I would produce a witness; sometimes for a free expression, and then I give the author his due, and gain myself praise by reading him.
9. To quote a modern Dutchman where I may use a classic author, is as if I were to justify my reputation, and I neglect all persons of note and quality that know me, and bring the testimonial of the scullion in the kitchen.
X. Canon Law.
If I would study the canon law, as it is used in England, I must study the heads here in use, then go to the practisers in those courts where that law is practised, and know their customs. So for all the study in the world.
1. Ceremony keeps up all things: 'tis like a penny glass to a rich spirit, or some excellent water; without it the water were spilt, the spirit lost.32
2. Of all people, ladies have no reason to cry down ceremony, for they take themselves extremely slighted without it. And they were not used with ceremony, with compliments and addresses, with legs, The 'leg' is an old-fashioned bow or courtesy, in which the leg is drawn back. The word occurs again in 'Poetry' sec. 4 and in 'Thanksgiving.' Conf. 'I think it much more passable to put off the hat and make a leg like an honest country gentleman, than like an ill-fashioned dancing master.' Locke, Some Thoughts concerning Education, 196. and kissing of hands, they were the pitifullest creatures in the world. But yet (methinks) to kiss their hands after their lips, as some do, is like little boys, that after they eat the apple, fall to the paring, out of a love they have to the apple.
1. The bishop is
not to sit with a chancellor
This seems aimed at Canon xi.
of the Constitutions and Canons
of 1640, which ordains 'that hereafter
no bishop shall grant any patent
to any chancellor ... otherwise than
with express reservation to himself
and his successors of the power
to execute the said place, either
alone or with the chancellor, if the
bishop shall please to do the same.'
Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 551.
The next clause in the Table Talk must have been spoken before this Canon had been put out. The Canon clearly gives the bishop a 'sole jurisdiction,' as often as he chooses to claim it. in his court, as being a thing either beneath him or beside him, no more than the king is to sit in the King's Bench, when he has made a lord-chief-justice.
2. The chancellor governed in the church, who was a layman: and therefore 'tis false which they charge the bishops with, that they challenge sole jurisdiction; for the bishop can no more put out the chancellor than the 33 chancellor the bishop. They were many of them made chancellors for their lives; Singer suggests that 'for their learning' would give a better sense here, but there is no authority for the change. and he is the fittest man to govern, because divinity so overwhelms all other things.
XIII. Changing Sides.
1. 'Tis the trial of a man to see if he will change his side; and if he be so weak as to change once, he will change again. Your country fellows have a way to try if a man be weak in the hams, by coming behind him and giving him a blow unawares; if he bend once, he will bend again.
2. The lords that fall from the king after they have got estates by base flattery at court, and now pretend conscience, do as a vintner, that when he first sets up, you may bring your wench to his house, and do your things there; but when he grows rich, he turns conscientious, and will sell no wine upon the sabbath-day.
Goring, in 1641, gave evidence
in Parliament about a real or
alleged plot of the King for bringing up
the army to London to surprise the Tower and overawe the
Parliament. His disclosures were thought so important that he
received public thanks 'for preserving
the kingdom and the liberties
In 1642 we hear of him as Governor of Portsmouth, 'having found means to make good impressions again in their Majesties of his fidelity.'
In the course of the same year, having come under the suspicion of the Parliament, and having been called to account by them, he contrived so to clear himself that 'they desired him to repair to his government, and to finish those works which were necessary for the safety of the place.' They supplied him with money for the purpose, and gave him a lieutenant-general's commission in the Parliamentary army. On his return to Portsmouth he declared for the King.
His next act was to surrender Portsmouth to the Parliament, treacherously according to Clarendon, but certainly not without having made strenuous efforts for its defence.
In 1643 he was appointed to a command in the King's army at York 'by the Queen's favour notwithstanding all former failings,' and from this date onwards he continued to serve the King. Clarendon sketches his character and conduct in terms of great bitterness, very unlike Selden's easy-going remark. See Hist. of Rebellion, i. 414-417, 651, 1114-1119; ii. 27, 212, 830 ff. serving first the one side and then 34 the other, did like a good miller that knows how to grind which way soever the wind sits.
After Luther had made a combustion
The story of the
offers made to Luther by the Pope's
legate, and of Luther's reply to
them, rests on the authority of
Father Paul Sarpi. But Selden does
not tell it quite fairly to Luther.
What Sarpi says is that in 1535
the legate, Vergerio, had a special
commission to treat with Luther
and with other prominent persons
among the reformers, and to make
all sorts of promises to them,
if only he could bring them to terms.
Vergerio, accordingly, arranged a
meeting with Luther at Wittemburg,
and threw out some very clear hints of what the Pope, Paul III,
would do to reward him if he would but cease from troubling the
Church and the world. Luther's answer was that the offers had
come too late, for he had been
driven by the harshness with which
he had been formerly treated, to make a more exact enquiry into
the errors and abuses of the papacy, and knowing what he now
knew he could not in conscience
refrain from telling it out to the
world. See Istoria del Concilio Tridentino,
lib. i. sec. 53 (edition of
1835, in 7 vols.). Luther speaks of
this interview in a letter to Jonas,
written in the same year, but he says only that he met the Pope's
legate by invitation, 'sed quos
sermones habuerim non licet homini
scribere.' (De Wette, Luther's Briefe,
iv. 648.) Sarpi's story must be
taken for what it is worth. His
authority is not by any means
unimpeachable, and Pallavicino
(iii. c. 18) ridicules the tale as a romance.
I am indebted to the Bishop of Peterborough for all the above references. in Germany about religion, he was sent to by the pope, to be taken off, and offered any preferment in the Church that he would make choice of: Luther answered, if he had 35 offered half as much at first, he would have accepted it; but now he had gone so far, he could not come back. In truth, he had made himself a greater thing than they could make him; the German princes courted him, he was become the author of a sect ever after to be called Lutherans. So have our preachers done that are against the bishops; they have made themselves greater with the people than they can be made the other way; and, therefore, there is the less probability of bringing them off. Charity to strangers is enjoined in the text. By strangers is there understood, those that are not of your own kin, strangers to your blood, not those you cannot tell whence they come; that is, be charitable to your neighbours whom you know to be honest poor people.
1. In the church of Jerusalem, the Christians were but another sect of Jews, On the identification of Jews and Christians, and on the reasons for it, Selden speaks in several places. What he says in effect is that, since Christianity had its origin in Judæa, since the early Christians were in great part Jews by race, and worshipped the same supreme God as the Jews, and since they preserved for some time the civil rites and ceremonies of their nation, it was quite natural that the alien peoples, among whom they lived and from whose worship they both alike kept markedly aloof, should have seen no difference between them, and that in point of fact they habitually included them both under the common name of Jews. See Selden, Works, i. 59. II. Prolegomena, p. 10. II. 405 and 657. that did believe the Messias was come. To be called was nothing else but to become a Christian, to have the name of a Christian, it being their own language; for among the Jews, when they made a doctor of law, 'twas said he was called.
2. The Turks tell their people of a heaven where there is sensible pleasure, but of a hell where they shall suffer they don't know what. The Christians quite invert this order; they tell us of a hell where we shall feel sensible pain, but of a heaven where we shall enjoy we can't tell what.
Why did the heathen object
The fiction about the ass's head was, Bochart says, started by
Apion, an Egyptian grammarian of
the first half of the first century,
and he adds proof of the very
wide credence which it received, about
the Jews first, and about the
Christians afterwards. The origin of
the story he explains in several ways, but not very happily. See
Hierozoicon, pt. i, bk. ii. ch. xviii.
Morinus criticises Bochart and the authorities which Bochart quotes, and then with some hesitation tries his own hand on the problem. One of his conjectures is that the Hebrew words for a pot (sc. of manna) and for an ass are so nearly alike as hardly to be distinguished, and that the pot of manna, with its two handles or ears, preserved in the holy place, might itself be taken as an image of an ass's head.
Conf. Dissertationes Octo (Geneva, 1683), p. 157, on the question, 'Unde potuit venire in mentem gentium caput asininum esse Christianorum Deum?'
The story, as told by Apion, takes two forms, viz. that the head of an ass in gold, an object of worship among the Jews, was found in the holy place of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes; and again that a man named Zabidus, in the course of a war between the Jews and the Idumæeans, managed to make his way into the Temple, and there found and carried away the golden head. See Josephus against Apion, bk. ii. ch. 7 and 10.
But if the calumny originated with Apion, and if the later versions of it can, as Bochart says, be traced to him as their source, it seems hardly worth while to enquire about it any further. Apion, it must be remembered, was notorious as a hater of the Jews. He not only wrote against them, but he was sent to Rome, on a special mission, as the most fit person to plead before the Emperor Caligula on behalf of the Alexandrian Greeks, in their quarrel with the Alexandrian Jews, and he did his work so effectively that the Emperor refused even to hear his opponent, Philo. The ass's head story, however started, and with whatever accessories it was adorned, would have gained ready credence at Rome about a people of whom they knew little, and for whom they had no love. It was told first about the Jews, and the identification of Jews and Christians explains sufficiently how it came to be told about the Christians afterwards. to the Christians, that 36 they worship an ass's head? You must know, that to a heathen, a Jew and a Christian were all one, that they 37 regarded him not, so he was not one of them. Now that of the ass's head might proceed from such a mistake as this. By the Jewish law, all the firstlings of cattle were to be offered to God, except a young ass, which was to be redeemed; a heathen being present, and seeing young calves, and young lambs killed at their sacrifices, only young asses redeemed, might very well think they had that silly beast in some high estimation, and thence might imagine they worshipped it as a God.
1. Christmas succeeds the Saturnalia, the same time, the same number of holy days; then the master waited upon the servant, just like the lord of misrule. Strutt gives a full account of this 'mock prince,' or 'master of merry disports,' of the manner of his appointment, of the length of his reign, and of the nature and privileges of his office. He refers to and endorses Selden's opinion that all these whimsical transpositions of dignity are derived from the ancient Saturnalia, or feasts of Saturn, when the masters waited upon their servants, who were honoured with mock titles and permitted to assume the state and deportment of their lords. Sports and Pastimes, bk. iv. chap. 3, sec. 1-8.
2. Our meats and our sports (much of them)
have relation to church-work. The coffin of our
Christmas pies, in shape long, is in imitation of
An old English word for rack or manger. Fr.
creche. It is frequently used for the manger in which Christ was
laid. Conf. 'And sche bare hir first
borun sone, and wlappide hym in
clothis, and leide hym in a cratche.'
Luke ii. 7 ; Wycliffe's Trans.
second version, as printed by Forshall and Madden.
kings and queens on twelfth-night,
has reference to the three kings. So likewise
our eating of fritters, whipping of tops,
roasting of herrings,
jack of lents,
Explained in Johnson's Dictionary as a puppet
formerly thrown at in Lent, like shrove-cocks. Conf.:
'Thou, that when last thou wert put out of service,
Travell'dst to Hamstead-heath, on an Ash Wednesday,
Where thou didst stand six weeks the Jack o' Lent,
For boys to hurl three throws a penny at thee.'
Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, Act iv. sc. 2. &c. they were all in imitation of church-work, emblems of martyrdom. Our tansies 'Tansy, a herb: also a sort of pancake or pudding made with it.' Bailey, Old English Dictionary. at Easter have reference to the bitter herbs; though at the same time it was always the fashion, for a man to have in his house a gammon of bacon, to show himself to be no Jew.
1. Heretofore the kingdom let the Church alone, let them do what they would, because they had something else to think of, viz., wars; but now in time of peace, we begin to examine all things, will have nothing but what we like, grow dainty and wanton; just as in a family when the heir uses to go a hunting; he never considers how his meal is dressed; takes a bit, and away; but when he stays within, then he grows curious, he does not like this, nor he does not like that, he will have his meat dressed his own way, or peradventure he will dress it himself.
2. It hath ever been the gain of the Church I am not sure that this is the correct reading. The MSS. give gaine, which may quite possibly have been a mistake for game, a word better suited to the sense here. So, in Bacon's Essay 'Of Usury,' the unquestionably correct reading, 'at the end of the game,' appears in some copies of the edition of 1625 as 'at the end of the gaine.' So, too, in the Table Talk (Power, State, end of sec. 7) the Harleian MS. 1315 reads, quite distinctly, 'comine,' instead of 'comme.' when the 39 king will let the church have no power, to cry down the king and cry up the Church. But when the Church can make use of the king's power, then to bring all under the king's prerogative. The Catholics of England go one way, and the court clergy another.
3. A glorious church is like a magnificent feast. There is all the variety that may be, but every one chooses out a dish or two that he likes, and lets the rest alone. How glorious soever the Church is, every one chooses out of it his own religion, by which he governs himself, and lets the rest alone.
4. The laws of the church are most favourable to the Church, because they were the church's own making: as the heralds are the best gentlemen, because they make their own pedigree.
5. There is a question about that article, The words in question—'The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith,' or, as they appear in the original Latin, 'Habet Ecclesia ritus statuendi jus, et in fidei controversiis auctoritatem '—were certainly part of the Latin text as printed in 1563, with the approval of the Queen. They were not in Archbishop Parker's preparatory draft of the articles, but they certainly were in the copy finally signed by the archbishop, the bishops and the clergy of the Lower House, at the convocation on January 29, 1562 (1563). Their subsequent history is not equally clear. They were not in the English MS. signed by the bishops in the convocation of 1571. They were in the Latin articles signed by the Lower House in the same year. It appears, too, that in 1571 there were copies of the articles printed in Latin and in English with the above words, and other copies, certainly in English, without the words. The whole question is discussed, and a summary of the arguments pro and con given, in Hardwick's History of the Thirty-nine Articles, p. 141. See also Laud's Works, vol. iv. 30, and vol. vi. 64 ff. A charge that the bishops had forged the clause and had foisted it into the articles, is dealt with at length in Laud's speech at the censure of Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne. Strype, in his Life of Archbishop Parker, bk. iv. chap. 5, says that a Latin copy of the articles, printed in 1563, and containing the disputed clause, 'is still extant in the Bodleian Library among Mr. Selden's books ...; being found in Archbishop Laud's library, from whence Mr. Selden immediately had it.' He adds, further, that there were three editions of the Thirty-nine Articles in English, printed in 1571 by Jugg and Cawood, all which have this clause; 'which three editions, with the said clause, I myself saw, as well as other inquisitive persons, at Mr. Wilkins's, a bookseller in St. Paul's Church-yard.' ' So that at length an edition that appeared abroad in the same year, printed by John Day, wanting the clause, hath been judged (and that upon good grounds) to be spurious.' concerning 40 the power of the Church, whether these words (of having power in controversies of faith) were not stolen in; but 'tis most certain they were in the Book of Articles that was confirmed, though in some editions they have been left out: but the article before tells you who the Church is; not the clergy, but coetus fidelium. [grb] A congregation of the faithful.
XVII. Church of Rome.
1. Before a juggler's tricks are discovered we admire him, and give him money, but afterwards we care not for them; so 'twas before the discovery of the juggling of the church of Rome.
2. Catholics say, we out of our charity believe they of the church of Rome may be saved: but they do not believe so of us; therefore their Church is better according to our own selves. First, some of them, no doubt, believe as well of us as we do of them; but they must not say so. Besides, is that an argument Dr. Prideaux makes this point in the course of a series of lectures to which Selden refers elsewhere. See note on 'Predestination,' sec. 3. their Church is better than ours because it has less charity?41
3. One of the Church of Rome will not come to our prayers; does that argue he does not like them? I would fain see a Catholic leave his dinner because a nobleman's chaplain says grace. Nor haply would he leave the prayers of the Church if going to church were not made a mark of distinction between a Protestant and a Papist.
The way of coming into
After the narthex (ante-temple) followed
that part which was properly called
ναος, the temple, and navis, the
nave or body of the church....
The entrance into it from the narthex
was by the gates, which the modern rituals and Greek writers call
the ' beautiful and royal gates.' Here their
kings were wont to lay down their crowns before they proceeded
further into the Church. Bingham, Christian Antiquities, bk. viii.
ch. 5, sec. i.
These royal gates were usually at the west, since the churches were usually built east and west, with the altar at the east end, but the rule was not always observed. See Christian Antiquities, bk. viii. ch. 3, sec. 2.
Bingham gives, in this chapter, the ground-plan of an ancient church, showing the royal gates at the west, with the altar and all the church in full view in front of them, and the other gates or posterns at the sides. See also Selden's letter to Usher of March 24, 1621 (22), asking 'whether we find that any churches in the elder times of Christianity were with the doors or fronts eastward ' (Works, ii. 1707), and Usher's reply of April 16, showing that ancient churches were built in a variety of ways, some 'with the doors or fronts eastward,' some standing north and south; but that for the most part they had the entrance at the west and the altar at the east end. R. Parr's Life of Usher. Letters, p. 81. Letter 49. our great churches was anciently at the west door, that men might see the altar and all the church before them; the other doors were but posterns.
1. What makes a city? whether a bishopric or anything of that nature?
Answer: 'Tis according to the first charter which made them a corporation. If they are incorporated by name of Civitas, they are a city: if by the name of Burgum, then they are a borough.
2. The lord mayor of London, The first notice of the presentment of the lord mayor to the King occurs in the fifth charter, granted by King John, 1215. It grants to the barons of the city of London that they may choose every year a mayor, 'so as, when he shall be chosen, to be presented to us or our justice, if we shall not be present.' By the sixth charter of Henry III, the mayor when chosen is to be 'presented to the Barons of the Exchequer, we not being at Westminster, so notwithstanding at the next coming of us or our heirs to Westminster or London, he be presented to us or our heirs, and so admitted mayor.' Edward I fixes the first presentation to be to the 'Constable of our Tower of London, but to us at our next coming to London.' See Noorthouck, Hist. of London, pp. 778, 782, 784. This rule is not varied in any later charters. For the practice, as it had afterwards been settled, see Maitland's Hist. of London, p. 1193 (fol. 1756). 'The Lord Mayor elect,' Maitland says, 'is presented first to the Lord Chancellor, and afterwards to the Barons of the Exchequer, when he has been sworn into his office.' by their first charter, was to be presented to the king; in his absence, to the lord chief justiciary of England, afterwards to the lord chancellor, now to the barons of the exchequer; but still there was a reservation, that for their honour they should come once a year to the king, as they do still.43
1. Though a clergyman have no faults of his own, yet the faults of the whole tribe shall be laid upon him, so that he shall be sure not to lack.
2. The clergy would have us believe them against our own reason; as the woman would have had her husband This seems to refer either to the story told in the first of the Adolphi Fabulæ (quoted in the Aldine ed. of Chaucer, vol. i. 232, Introductory Remarks), or to Chaucer's adaptation of the story in the 'Merchant's Tale,' of January and May. against his own eyes, when he took her with another man, which she stoutly denied: What! will you believe your own eyes before your own sweet wife?
3. The condition of the clergy towards the prince and the condition of the physician is all one: the physicians tell the prince they have agaric [grb] Probably Fomitopsis officinalis, a tree fungus. and rhubarb, good for him and good for his subjects' bodies; upon this, he gives them leave to use it; but if it prove naught, then away with it, they shall use it no more. So the clergy tell the prince they have physic good for his soul, and good for the souls of his people; upon that he admits them: but when he finds by experience they both trouble him and his people, then away with them, he will have no more to do with them. What is that to them, or anybody else, if a king will not go to heaven?
4. A clergyman does not go a dram further than this: You ought to obey your prince in general. If he does, he is lost: how to obey him, you must be informed by those, whose profession it is to tell you. The parson of the Tower (a good discreet man) told Dr. Mosely (who was sent to me, and the rest of the gentlemen committed the 3d Caroli, to persuade us to submit to the king) that he found no 44 such words, as parliament, habeas corpus, return, Tower, &c., neither in the fathers, nor the schoolmen, nor in the text; and therefore, for his part, he believed he understood nothing of the business. A satire upon all those clergymen that meddle with matters they do not understand.
5. All confess there never was a more learned clergy. No man taxes them with ignorance. But to talk of that, is like the fellow that was a great wencher; he wished God would forgive him his lechery, and lay usury to his charge. The clergy have worse faults.
6. The clergy and treaty This is the clear reading of the three MSS. which I have examined. The printed editions have 'the clergy and laity,' which gives an easier sense for the line, but does not suit so well with the general drift of the section. Selden seems to be referring to some attempted arrangement between two parties, in which the interference of the clergy, on the one side and on the other, was likely in his judgment to do harm by mixing up matters which had better have been left out. There were several attempted arrangements of which this might have been said. There was, e.g., the attempted treaty for peace between the King and the Parliament in 1643, in which one of the proposals was 'that religion might be settled with the advice of a synod of divines in such a manner as his Majesty, with the consent of both Houses of Parliament, should appoint' (Clarendon, History, ii. 477). Again, there was the abortive treaty of Newport, discussed in September, 1648, between the King, with some divines among his advisers, and the Parliamentary commissioners, attended by a body of their divines. In the course of this, questions about the church came prominently forward, and it was mainly on these that the negotiations finally broke down (Clarendon, History, vol. iii. 324, 327, 338-9). The remark in the text, in whichever form it stands, must clearly be limited to some such instance as the above. It is not to be taken as condemning in every case the joint action of clergy and laity. In 'Synod Assembly,' sec. 3, Selden distinctly approves this, and indeed insists upon it as necessary. He was himself a lay member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, a mixed lay and clerical body, for which religious matters were the appointed business: so that 'the apothecary' was in place there, and his rhubarb and agaric were the proper ingredients of the sauce. The reading, therefore, 'the clergy and treaty' though an awkward collocation of words, seems to give a sense best suited to the whole passage, and most in agreement with Selden's judgment elsewhere. 45 together are never like to do well; 'tis as if a man were to make an excellent feast, and should have his apothecary and his physician should come into the kitchen; the cooks if they were let alone would make excellent meat; but then comes the apothecary, and he puts rhubarb into one sauce, and agaric into another sauce and so spoils all. Chain up the clergy on both sides.
XXI. High Commission.
Men cry out upon the High Commission
as if only clergymen
The Commissioners present in the
High Commission Court on e. g. Nov. 17, 1631, were six clerics and
four laymen; on Nov. 24 there were seven clerics and five laymen;
on Jan. 26, 1631/2, six clerics and
four laymen; on Feb. 9 there were
three clerics and eight laymen. See High Commission Cases
(Camden Society), pp. 239, 245, 261, 264.
On the popular dislike of the
High Commission Court, and on the very good reasons for it, see
Clarendon, Hist., vol. i. p. 439.
His statement is, in effect, that it had
come to meddle with things which did not properly concern it; that
it had extended its sentences and judgments, in matters tryable
before it, beyond that degree which was justifiable, and had not only
neglected prohibitions from the supreme
courts of law, but had reprehended the
judges for doing their duty in granting them. The
growth of these abuses he ascribes to 'the great power of some
bishops at court.'
had to do in it; when I believe
there are more laymen in commission there, than
clergymen; if the laymen will not come, whose
fault is that? So of the star-chamber,
the people think the bishops only
They were tried, Clarendon
says, 'in as full a court as ever I saw in that place.'
The bishops present were' only the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of
London.' Hist. i. 310.
The bishop who spoke was Laud,
the archbishop. His speech is given at
length in Laud's Works, vol. vi.
p. 41 ff. The sentence was brutal, and it was carried out with brutal
and unusual severity. 'The report thereof,' says Rushworth, 'flew
quickly into Scotland, and the discourse among the Scots were, that
the bishops of England were the cause
thereof. 'Historical Collections, ii. 385.
So Prynne, speaking from the pillory, ascribes the
whole business to the vexation of the bishops as the subjects of the
libels for which he and the others had been sentenced. Cobbett,
State Trials, p. 747. His statement is
borne out by Whitelock's account
of the case.
'The King and Queen did nothing direct against him (Prynne) till Laud set Dr. Heylin (who bore a great malice to Prynne for confuting some of his doctrines) to peruse Prynne's book, &c. The archbishop went with these notes to Mr. Attorney Noy, and charged him to prosecute Prynne, which Noy afterwards did rigorously enough in the Star Chamber, and in the meantime the Bishops and Lords in the Star Chamber sent Prynne close prisoner to the Tower.' Whitelock, Memorials, p. 18.
The trial in the Star Chamber was in 1637. That court and the High Commission Court were abolished in 1640. Selden's remarks must therefore have been made at some time between the two dates. censured Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, when there were but two there, and one spoke not in his own cause.
XXII. House of Commons.
1. There be but two erroneous opinions in the
House of Commons;
that the Lords sit only
'If they (sc. the bishops) vote for
the clergy, then they are to be elected
by the clergy, as the members
of the Commons House now are;
but your Lordships, voting only for
yourselves, need no electors.'
Solicitor St. John's speech at a
conference of the two Houses, 1641.
Nalson's Collections, ii. 501.
So, too, in Baillie's Letters and Journals, we find it stated that the Lords represent none but themselves. Vol. i. 369. for themselves; when the truth is they sit as well for the commonwealth. The knights and burgesses sit for themselves and others, some for more, some for fewer; and what is the reason? Because the room will not hold all; the Lords being few, they all come; and imagine the room able to hold all the Commons of England, then the Knights and burgesses would sit no otherwise than the Lords do. The second error That a money bill must originate with the House of Commons is admitted on all hands. But whether the opinion, that if the Lords dissent the Commons can give no money, is, as Selden terms it, an error, is more than doubtful. 'It is true that the Bill of Subsidy is offered by the Commons only; but before that stage is reached, it is sent up to the Lords, is thrice read by them, and is then sent back to the Commons, and there it remaineth to be carried by the Speaker, when he shall present it' See Orders and Proceedings of the Commons, ch. xv. Harleian MS. v. 266.
Sir Erskine May says expressly that 'A grant from the Commons is not effectual, in law, without the ultimate assent of the Queen and of the House of Lords.' Law, &c., of Parliament, p. 638 (9th ed.).
Indeed, that the Commons in Selden's day had a less independent control over grants than they have gained since, appears from the fact that although their right to originate grants was unquestionable, yet bills of supply were, until 1671, liable to be amended by the Lords. Ibid. p. 641. is, 47 that the House of Commons are to begin to give subsidies, yet if the Lords dissent they can give no money.
2. The House of Commons is called the Lower House in twenty Acts of Parliament; but what are twenty Acts of Parliament amongst friends?
The form of a charge
See, Message to the Lords re
Strafford, delivered by Mr. Pym
at the command of the House: 'My
Lords .... I do here in the name of the Commons now assembled
in Parliament, and in the name of
all the Commons of England, accuse
Thomas, Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, of High
Treason.' Nalson, Collections, vol. ii. p. 7.
There are other instances given at p. 796, and passim. runs thus: I accuse in the name of all the Commons of England. How then can any man be as a witness, when every man is made the accuser?
That which is a competency for one man, is not enough for another; no more than that which will keep one man warm will keep another man warm: one man can go in 48 doublet and hose, when another man cannot be without a cloak, and yet have no more clothes than is necessary for him.
1. In time of Parliament it used to be one of the first things the House did, to petition the king that his confessor might be removed; as fearing either his power with the king, or else, lest he should reveal to the Pope what the House was in doing, as no doubt he did when the Catholic cause was concerned.
2. The difference between us and the Papists is, we both allow contrition, but the Papists make confession a part of contrition; they say, a man is not sufficiently contrite, unless he confess his sins to a priest.
3. Why should I think a priest will not reveal confession? I am sure he will do anything that is forbidden him, haply not so often as I. The utmost punishment is deprivation. And how can it be proved, that ever any man revealed confession, when there is no witness? And no man can be witness in his own cause. A mere gullery. [grb] Trick or deception. There was a time when 'twas public in the church, [grb] Public confession was practiced in the early Eastern church, though it was inconvenient in that third parties might be implicated. The practice seems to have been dropped before about 400 A.D. See the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (1990), p. 708, art. 'Penance'. and that is much against their auricular confession.
XXV. Great Conjunction.
The greatest conjunction
'Conjonction en Astronomie se
dit de la rencontre apparente de deux
astres ou de deux planètes dans
le même point des cieux, ou
plutôt dans le même degré du zodiaque.'
The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, placed by astronomers among the grand conjunctions, happens once in every twenty years. A less frequent conjunction, placed among the very grand, is that of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, which happens once in every five hundred years. See Diderot and D'Alembert, Encyclopedie, under heading Conjonction.
If Selden is writing of astrological conjunctions (as it would appear he is, from the remarks which follow) see, on the whole passage,—Planetarum prima diversitas est in virtutibus propriis. Nam Saturnus est frigidus et siccus, et omnis pigritiae et mortificationis et destructionis rerum causativus per egressum siccitatis et frigoris. Mars vero est corruptivus propter egressum caliditatis et siccitatis et isti duo planetae nunquam faciunt bonum nisi per accidens; sicut aliquando venenum est bonum per accidens....
Habent autem planetae virtutes alias a signis .... et iterum penes aspectus, qui sunt conjunctio, oppositio, etc. Conjuncti dicuntur planetae, quando sunt in eodem signo oppositi, quando unus est in septimo ab alio .... Quando vero malus opponitur aut conjungitur malo, tune magnum malum est, &c. R. Bacon, Opus Majus, p. 237-8. of Saturn and Jupiter happens but once in eight hundred years, and therefore 49 astrologers can make no experiments of it, nor foretell what it means; not but that the stars may mean something; but we cannot tell what, because we cannot come at them. Suppose a planet were a simple or a herb, how could a physician tell the virtue of that simple, unless he could come at it, to apply it?
1. He that hath a scrupulous conscience is like a
horse that is not
Explained in Bailey's Etymological English Dict.
'to way a horse is to teach him to travel in the way.'
'Way'd Horse (with horsemen) is one who is already backed, suppled and broken and shows a disposition to the manage.' he starts at every bird that flies out of the hedge.
2. A knowing man will do that which a 50 tender conscienced [grb] Contrast Proverbs 28:14, "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief." A man of tender conscience was and is one who "feareth alway" to misinterpret or fail to act on the word of God. The term was used as a euphemism for puritans, Quakers and other dissenters. man dares not do, by reason of his ignorance; the other knows there is no hurt: as a child is afraid to go into the dark, when a man is not, because he knows there's no danger.
3. If we once come to leave that out-loose, [grb] Here used in the sense of a way out of a situation. as to pretend conscience against law, who knows what inconvenience may follow? For thus, suppose an Anabaptist comes and takes my horse; I sue him, he tells me he did according to his conscience; his conscience tells him all things are common amongst the saints, what is mine is his; therefore you do ill to make such a law, If any man takes another's horse he shall be hanged. What can I say to this man? He does according to his conscience. Why is not he as honest a man, as he that pretends a ceremony established by law is against his conscience? Generally to pretend conscience against law is dangerous; in some cases haply we may. [grb] Those of tender conscience often objected to taking oaths. Several sects, including Quakers, objected to oaths on biblical grounds and many, including George Fox (10 years after Selden's death), suffered for their opinion (Fox's Autobiography (ed. Jones), Philadelphia: 1904, p. 419 and elsewhere).
4. Some men make it a case of conscience
whether a man may have a pigeon-house because
his pigeons eat other folks' corn. But there is no
such thing as conscience in the business.
The matter is,
whether he be a man of such quality,
The law seems to have been
that—A lord of a manor might
build a dove-cote upon his land, parcel
of his manor,
and this he might do by virtue of his right as lord
thereof. It appears also from the obiter
dicta in a case before the
King's Bench, that the parson had a
like right. But the tenant of a
manor could not do it without licence,
the reason assigned being that
he can have no right to any privilege that may be prejudicial to
In every case, however, in which pigeons came upon a man's land, he might lawfully kill them, the quality of their owner notwithstanding. See Croke's Reports of cases in the reign of James I, pp. 382, 490, and Salkeld's Reports of cases in the reign of William and Mary, vol. iii. p. 248, sub voce 'Nuisance.' that the State allows him to have a dove-house; if so, there's an end of the business; his pigeons have a right to eat where they please themselves.
XXVII. Consecrated Places.
1. The Jews had a peculiar way of consecrating [grb] The pentateuch has many examples of consecration ceremonies. Perhaps Selden is referring here to the annointing of temple furniture to consecrate it (Exodus 30:23 et seq.). things to God, which we have not.
2. Under the law, God, who was master of all, made choice of a temple to worship in, where He was more especially present; just as the master of the house, who owns all the house, makes choice of one chamber to lie in, which is called the master's chamber; but under the gospel there was no such thing; temples and churches are set apart for the conveniency of men to worship in; they cannot meet upon the point of a needle, but God Himself makes no choice.
3. All things are God's already, we can give Him no right by consecrating any that he had not before, only we set it apart to his service. Just as a gardener brings his lord and master a basket of apricocks, and presents them; his lord thanks him for them, perhaps gives him something for his pains, and yet the apricocks were as much his lord's before as now.
What is consecrated See note on 'Tithes',' sec. 5. is given to some particular man to do God service; not given to God, but given to man to serve God. And there's not anything. lands, or goods, but some men or other have it in their power to dispose of as they please. The saying things consecrated cannot be taken away, makes men afraid of consecration.
5. Yet consecration has this power, when a man has consecrated anything to God, he cannot of himself take it away.52
1. If our fathers have lost their liberty, why may
not we labour to regain it?
Answer. We must look to the contract; if that be rightly made, we must stand to it. If we once grant we may recede from contracts upon any inconveniency that may afterwards happen, we shall have no bargain kept. If I sell you a horse and do not like my bargain, I will have my horse again.
2. Keep your contracts. So far a divine goes, but how to make our contracts is left to ourselves; and as we agree upon the conveying of this house, or that land, so it must be. If you offer me a hundred pounds for my glove, I tell you what my glove is, a plain glove, pretend no virtue in it, the glove is my own, I profess not to sell gloves, and we agree for a hundred pounds; I do not know why I may not with a safe conscience take it. The want of that common obvious distinction of jus præceptivum and jus permissivum [grb] The law that requires and the law that permits. does much trouble men.
3. Lady Kent articled This probably means that Lady Kent retained, or sought to retain, Sir Edward Herbert, an eminent lawyer of the time, at a yearly salary, to do her legal work. Such arrangements were not uncommon. See Aikin, Life of Selden, p. 154, note. with Sir Edward Herbert that he should come to her when she sent for him, and stay with her as long as she would have him; to which he set his hand: then he articled with her that he should go away when he pleased, and stay away as long as he pleased; to which she set her hand. This is the epitome of all the contracts in the world betwixt man and man, betwixt prince and subject; they keep them as long as they like them, and no longer.53
1. When the king sends his writ for a parliament, he sends for two knights for a shire, and two burgesses for a corporation; but when he sends for two archbishops for a convocation, he commands them to assemble the whole clergy; but they, out of custom amongst themselves, See note on 'Bishops in Parliament,' sec. 7. send to the bishops of their provinces, to will them to bring two clerks for a diocese, the dean, one for the chapter, and the archdeacons; but to the king every clergyman is there present.
2. We have nothing so nearly expresses the power of a convocation, in respect of a parliament, as a court-leet, [grb] A court-leet was a manorial court with jurisdiction over criminal matters within a barony. It was often held in conjunction with the court baron, which dealt with non-criminal issues. where they have a power to make bye-laws, as they call them; as, that a man shall put so many cows or sheep in the common; but they can make nothing that is contrary to the laws of the kingdom.
They [grb] Anabaptists. talk (but blasphemously enough) that the Holy Ghost is president of their general councils; when the truth is, the odd man is still the Holy Ghost.
Selden jests. The text of the Athanisian Creed as
translated in the Book of Common Prayer is over 600 words.
is the shortest, take away the
preface and the force and the conclusion, which
are not part of the
In the Nicene creed
In the original Nicene creed
the words do not occur. They were
introduced in 381 at the Council
On the distinction, to which Selden refers, between 'I believe in' and 'I believe,' Bishop Pearson shows that 'Credo sanctam Ecclesiam, I believe there is an holy church; or Credo in sanctam Ecclesiam is the same; nor does the particle in added or subtracted make any difference.' See Pearson on the Creed, vol. i. pp. 28, 504, and vol. ii. p. 421. it is εις εκκλυσιαν, I believe in the Church; but now, as our common prayer has it, I believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church. They [grb] Probably Selden is referring to the anti-ecclesiastical parties in general. like not creeds, because they would have no forms of faith, as they have none of prayer, though there be more reason for the one than for the other.
1. If the physician sees you eat anything that is not good for your body, to keep you from it he cries, 'tis poison. If the divine sees you do anything that is hurtful for your soul, to keep you from it he cries you are damned.
2. To preach long, loud, and damnation, is the way to be cried up. We love a man that damns us, and we run after him again to save us. If a man had a sore leg, and he should go to an honest, judicious surgeon, and he should only bid him keep it warm, and anoint with such an oil (an oil well known) that would do the cure, haply he would not much regard him, because he knows the medicine before hand an ordinary medicine. But if he should go to a surgeon that should tell him, your leg will gangrene within three days, and it must be cut off, and you will die unless 55 you do something that I could tell you, what listening there would be to this man! "Oh, for the Lord's sake tell me what this is! I will give you any content for your pains."
'Tis much the doctrine of the times that men should not please themselves, but deny themselves everything they take delight in; not look upon beauty, wear no good clothes, eat no good meat, &c.; which seems the greatest accusation that can be upon the Maker of all good things. If they be not to be used, why did God make them? The truth is, they that preach against them, cannot make use of them themselves, and then again, they get esteem by seeming to condemn them. But yet, mark it while you live, if they do not please themselves as much as they can; and we live more by example than precept.
1. Why have we none possessed with devils in England?
The old answer is, the protestants the devil hath
already, and the papists are so holy, he dares not
meddle with them.
Why, then, beyond seas
The argument seems to be that the
alleged holiness of the papists
is no sufficient safe-guard to prevent
the devil from daring to meddle
with them, and that the hunting of
huguenots out of church is a proof
of enmity between the devil and
his alleged friends or allies.
In the sixteenth and early in the seventeenth century, there were several outbursts of demoniacal possession. In 1609 the Basque country was the scene, and it was shifted, in the same year, to the Ursuline convent at Aix. In 1613 the nuns of St. Brigitte, at Lille, were tormented a second time by demons. They had suffered in the same way about half a century before. But the most notorious of all these attacks was the possession of the mother superior and some of the nuns at the Ursuline convent at Loudun in 1632-4. The history of this remarkable affair is given at length by Figuier. It appears to have been the combined result of wild nymphomania and conscious fraud on the part of the possessed nuns, probably aided by some suggestive trickery on the part of other persons. It had, as it was intended it should have, a tragical ending for the cure of Loudun, Urbain Grandier, who was burnt alive in 1634, on a maliciously contrived charge that he had introduced the devils into the bodies of the nuns. For the full details of this awful story, see Figuier, Histoire du Merveilleux, vol. i. pp. 81-257, and Bayle, Dictionnaire, under the heading 'Grandier.'
I find no mention anywhere of the possessed nuns hunting a huguenot out of the church. The nearest approach to it is in the account of the possession in 1552 of the nuns of the convent of Kintorp near Strasbourg, in the course of which 'Elles ne gouvernaient plus leur volonté. Une fureur irrésistible les portait à se mordre, a frapper et à mordre leurs compagnes, à se précipiter sur les étrangers pour leur faire du mal.' Introduction to the Histoire du Merveilleux, p. 47. when 56 a nun is possessed, when a huguenot comes into the church, does the devil hunt them out? The priest teaches him; you never saw the devil throw up a nun's coats; mark that; the priest will not suffer it, for then the people will spit at him.
Casting out devils is mere juggling; they
never cast out any but what they first cast in.
They do it where, for reverence, no man shall dare
to examine it. They do it in a corner, in a mortice-hole,
not in the market-place. They do nothing
but what may be done by art. They make
the devil fly out of the window in the likeness
of a bat, or a rat. Why do they not hold him?
Why in the likeness of a bat, or a rat, or some
creature?—that is, why not in some shape we paint
him in, with claws and horns? By this trick they
gain much, gain upon men's fancies, and so are
reverenced; and certainly if the priest can deliver me
from him that is my greatest enemy, I have
all the reason in the world to reverence him.
Objection: But if this be juggling, why do they punish impostures?
Answer: For great reason, because they do not play their part well, and for fear others should discover them, and so think all of them to be of the same trade.
3. A person of quality came to my chamber in the Temple, and told me he had two devils in his head; [I wondered what he meant], and just at that time, one of them bid him kill me [with that I began to be afraid, and thought he was mad]. He said he knew I could cure him, and therefore entreated me to give him something, for he was resolved he would go to nobody else. I perceiving what an opinion he had of me, and that 'twas only melancholy that troubled him, took him in hand, and warranted him, if he would follow my directions, to cure him in a short time. I desired him to let me be alone about an hour, and then to come again, which he was very willing to do. In the mean time I got a card, and wrapped it up handsome in a piece of taffeta, [grb] Plain-woven silk. and put strings to the taffeta, and when he came, gave it him to hang about his neck, and withal charged him that he should not disorder himself neither with eating nor drinking, but eat very little of supper, and say his prayers duly when he went to bed, and I made no question but he would be well in three or four days. Within that time I went to dinner to his house and asked him how he did. He said he was much better, but not perfectly well, or, in truth, he had not dealt clearly with me. He had four devils in his head, and he perceived two of them were gone with that which I had given him, but the other two troubled him still. Well, said I, I am glad two of them are gone; I make no doubt but to get away the other two likewise. So I 58 gave him another thing to hang about his neck. Three days after he came to me to my chamber and professed he was now as well as ever he was in his life, and did extremely thank me for the great care I had taken with him. I, fearing lest he might relapse into the like distemper, told him that there was none but myself and one physician more, in the whole town that could cure devils in the head, and that was Dr. Harvey [grb] William Harvey (1578-1657), who demonstrated the circulation of blood in the human body, was chief physician of St Bartholomew's Hospital and a royal physician (Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 25, pp. 94-99). (whom I had prepared) and wished him, if ever he found himself ill in my absence, to go to him, for he could cure his disease as well as myself. The gentleman lived many years, and was never troubled after.
A duel may still be granted
See Selden, Analecta Anglo-Britannica, Works, ii. p. 949.
But he adds that there is hardly an instance to be found in which this form of trial has been actually used in civil cases, and very few instances in which it has been used in criminal cases.
Blackstone mentions it as still in force in his day.
'The next species of trial is of great antiquity, but much disused ; though still in force if the parties chose to abide by it; I mean the trial by wager of battle .... a trial which the tenant or defendant in a writ of right, has it in his election at this day to demand.' Blackstone, Commentaries, bk. iii. ch. 22, sec. 5. So too in criminal trials bk. iv. ch. 27, sec. 3.
These forms of trial, in civil and criminal cases, were done away with by 59 George III, ch. 56. in some cases by the law of England, and only there. That the church allowed it anciently Ducange, Glossary, sub voce 'Campiones ' (champions), mentions the 'Campionum oblationes, in Chartâ Manassis Episc. Lingonensis, ann. 1185, quas ii, prius quam in arenam descenderent, Ecclesiis offerebant, quo in duellis Deum sibi propitium conciliarent.'
Also, sub voce 'Duellum,' he shows that—'sacramenta quae in his occasionibus de more fiebant super sanctam crucem, sanctas reliquias, aut sancta Evangelia, proferebantur coram sacerdotibus vel Ecclesiae ministris.'
Canciani, in his Lex Costumaria Normannica, gives examples of the oaths administered to the combatants that they are using no help from sorcery or magical arts. Leges Barbarorum, vol. ii. p. 395, note.
Muratori shows that judicial combats were held anciently under the full sanction of the Church, and that the clergy were sometimes parties to them, either in person or more often by a champion chosen to defend their cause. Antiq. Italicae, iii. p. 638, Dissert. 39.
Also, on p. 637, 'Tanta autem fuit divini patrocinii spes in abominandis hisce certaminibus ut (Johanne Sarisberiensi in Epistol. 169, aliisque testibus) certaturi noctem praecedentem ducerent insomnem in Templo ad tumulum alicujus sancti, ut eum in agone propitium experirentur.' That they were again and again disapproved by the Church and forbidden under heavy ecclesiastical penalties, hardly needs proof. The proofs occur passim. 59 appears by this. In their public liturgies there were prayers appointed for the duellists to say; the judge used to bid them go to such a church and pray, &c. But whether is this lawful? If you grant any war lawful, I make no doubt but to convince it. War is lawful, because God is the only judge between two that are supreme. Now if a difference happen between two subjects, and it cannot be decided by human testimony, why may they not put it to God to judge between them by the permission of the prince? Nay, what if we should bring it down, for argument's sake, to the sword-men? One gives me the lie; 'tis a great disgrace to take it; the law has made no provision to give remedy for the injury (if you can suppose anything an injury for which the law gives no remedy); why am not I in this case supreme, and may therefore right myself?
2. A duke ought to fight with a gentleman. The reason is this; the gentleman will say to the duke, 'Tis true you hold a higher place in the state than I; there's a great distance between you and me; but your dignity does not 60 privilege you to do me an injury; as soon as ever you do me an injury, you make yourself my equal; and as you are my equal I challenge you; and in sense the duke is bound i. e. in reality; in point of fact. Selden uses this phrase elsewhere, see 'Preaching,' sec. 3 and 'Vows.' to answer him. This will give you some light to understand the quarrel betwixt a prince and his subjects. Though there be a vast distance between him and them, and they are to obey him according to their contract; yet he has no power to do them an injury: then they think themselves as much bound to vindicate their right, as they are to obey his lawful commands; nor is there any other measure of justice left upon earth but arms.
An epitaph must be made fit for the person for whom it is made. For a man to say all the excellent things that can be said upon one, and call that his epitaph, 'tis as if a painter should make the handsomest piece he can possibly make, and say 'twas my picture. It holds in a funeral sermon. [grb] Selden's own funeral sermon, spoken by Archbishop Ussher, appears lost. It is not in Usher's collected works, and all references to it seem to be based on an 1686 biography by Ussher's chaplain, Richard Parr.
1. Equity in law is the same that the spirit is in religion, what every one pleases to make it. Sometimes they go according to conscience, sometimes according to law, sometimes according to the rule of court.61
2. Equity is a roguish thing. This has ceased to be true, as equity has come gradually to be administered under settled rules. On the conflict between law and equity in Selden's day, and on the general complaint about the aggressive and exorbitant authority of the Court of Chancery, see e. g. Chamberlain's letter to Carleton, November 14, 1616. 'On Tuesday, one Bertram, an aged gentleman, killed Sir John Tyndall, a master of the Chancery, with a pistol charged with three bullets, pretending he had wronged him in the report of a cause, to his utter undoing, as indeed he was not held for integerrimus.... Mine author, Ned Wymarke, cited Sir William Walter for saying that the fellow mistook his mark, and should have shot hailshot at the whole court, which indeed grows great, and engrosses all manner of cases, and breeds general complaint for a decree passed there this term, subscribed by all the king's learned counsel, whereby that court may receive and call in question what judgments soever pass at the common law, whereby the jurisdiction of that court is enlarged out of measure, and so suits may become as it were immortal. This success is come of my Lord Coke and some of the judges oppugning the Chancery so weakly and unreasonably that, instead of overthrowing that exorbitant authority, they have more established and confirmed it' Court and Times of James I, vol. i. 439 (2 vols. 1848). For law we have a measure, know what to trust to; equity is according to the conscience of him that is chancellor, and as that is larger or narrower, so is equity. 'Tis all one as if they should make the standard for the measure we call a foot, a chancellor's foot. What an uncertain measure would this be. One chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot; 'tis the same thing in the chancellor's conscience.
3. That saying, Do as you would be done to, is often misunderstood; for 'tis not thus meant, that I, a private man, should do to you, a private man, as I would have you do to me, but do, as we have agreed to do one to another by public agreement. If the prisoner should ask the judge whether he would be content to be hanged were he in his case, he would answer, No. Then says the prisoner, Do 62 as you would be done to. Neither of them must do as private men, but the judge must do by him as they have publicly agreed: that is, both judge and prisoner have consented to a law that if either of them steal they shall be hanged.
1. He that speaks ill of another, commonly, before he is aware, makes himself such a one as he speaks against; for if he had civility or breeding, he would forbear such kind of language.
2. A gallant man is above ill words. An example
we have in the old lord of Salisbury, who was a
great wise man.
Doran (Court Fools, p. 196) says that this
remark is all that we know of Stone.
It seems to have been suggested
by the unseemly passages of arms between Archbishop Laud and
Archibald Armstrong, the Court Fool
of the time (1637). Their enmities
had been of long standing. The Fool had on several occasions
offered public affronts to the
Archbishop, with the result (according to
Francis Osborn) that Laud
'managed a quarrel with Archie the King's
fool, and by endeavouring to explode
him the court rendered him at
last so considerable ... as the
fellow was not only able to continue
the dispute for divers years,
but received such encouragement from
bystanders as he hath oft, in
my hearing, belched in his face such
miscarriages as he was really guilty of,
and might, but for this foul-mouthed Scot,
have been forgotten; adding such other reproaches of
his own as the dignity of his calling
and greatness of his parts could
not in reason or manners admit.' Osborn goes on to speak of the
Archbishop as 'hoodwinked with
passion' and as led by his too low-placed
anger into no less an absurdity than an endeavour to bring the
fool into the Star Chamber, and
as having at last through the mediation
of the Queen got him discharged the
Court. Rushworth says, further,
that when news had come from Scotland
that there had been tumults
about the new service-book, introduced
at Laud's suggestion, ' Archibald, the King's fool,
said to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury,
as he was going to the Council Table,
'Whea's feule now? doth not
your Grace hear the news from
Striveling about the Liturgy?' with
other words of reflection. This
was presently complained of to the
Council, and it produced an order
from the King and the assembled
Lords that 'Archibald Armestrong,
the King's fool, for certain scandalous
words of a high nature, spoken by him
against the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury,
his Grace, and proved to be uttered by him by
two witnesses, shall have his coat
pulled over his head and be discharged
the King's service and banished the Court.' Rushworth,
Collections, ii. 470.
It may be questioned whether Rushworth is correct in thus limiting the occasion of Archie's disgrace. 'Archye,' writes Mr. Gerrard to Lord Strafford (Strafford Papers, vol. ii.), 'is fallen into a great misfortune; a fool he would be, but a foul-mouthed knave he hath proved himself; being at a tavern in Westminster, drunk as he saith himself, he was speaking of the Scottish business, he fell a railing of my Lord of Canterbury, said he was a monk, a rogue, and a traitor. Of this, his Grace complained at Council, and the King being present, it was ordered he should be carried to the Porter's Lodge, his coat pulled over his ears, and kicked out of the Court,' &c.
We have also the well-known story of the fool's grace at dinner—'Great praise be given to God, and little Laud to the devil.' See Doran, Court Fools, 205-207. had called some lord about court, "fool", the 63 lord complains and has Stone whipped; Stone cries, "I might have called my Lord of Salisbury 'fool' often enough before he would have had me whipped."
3. Speak not ill of a great enemy, but rather give him good words, that he may use you the better, if you chance to fall into his hands. The Spaniard did this when he was dying; his confessor told him (to work him to repentance), how the devil tormented the wicked that went to hell: the Spaniard, replying, called the devil my lord; I hope my lord the devil is not so cruel: his confessor reproved him. Excuse me, for calling him so, says the Don; I know not into what hands I may fall, and if I happen into his, I hope he will use me the better for giving him good words.64
That place they bring
Stanley, in his notes on the
Epistles to the Corinthians,
remarks on this verse
is the usual formula for punishment on great crimes. See
Deut. xiii. 5, xvii. 7, xxiv. 7,
&c., also 2 Kings xxiii. 24. He adds,
however, that Theodoret and Augustine read
interpret it 'put away evil from amongst you.'
[grb] 'That place' refers to the place in the bible: 1 Cor 5:13. for excommunication, put away from among yourselves that wicked person, 1 Cor. v. 13, is corrupted in the Greek. For it should be το πονηρον put away that evil from among you, not τον πονηρον that evil person. Besides, ο πονηος, is the devil in Scripture, and it may be so taken there; and there is a new edition of Theodoret come out that has it right, το πονηρον. 'Tis true the Christians, before the civil State became Christian, did by covenant and agreement set down how they should live; and he that did not observe what they agreed upon should come no more amongst them; that is, be excommunicated. Such men are spoken of by the Apostle, Romans i, 31, whom he calls ασυνθιτους και ασπονδους, the Vulgar has it, [grb] Probably a mistake for Vulgate: "insipientes inconpositos sine affectione absque foedere sine misericordia.". The KJV translates it as "Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." incompositos, et sine foedere: the last word is pretty well, but the first not at all. Origen in his book ουτω δη και χριστιανοι ... συνθηκας ποιουνται παρα τα νενομισμενα τω διαβολω κατα τον διαβολου Contra Celsum, bk. i. ch. i. The word συνθηκη occurs several times in this chapter, and in the sense which Selden gives to it. against Celsus speaks of the Christians' συνθηκη: the translation renders it conventus, as [if] it signifies a meeting, when it is plain it signifies a covenant, and the English Bible turned the other word well, covenant-breakers. Pliny tells us, He reports it, in a letter to Trajan, as a statement made to him by certain persons who had been brought before him charged with being Christians, and who had ceased so to be. 'Adfirmabant autem, hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire; carmenque Christo, quasi Deo, dicere secum invicem, seque Sacramento non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, ne fidem fallerent, ne depositum appellati abnegarent.' Epistles, bk. x. 97. the Christians took an oath amongst themselves to live thus and thus.
The other place,
Selden, in interpreting this
place, is following Erastus in
his Explicatio gravissimae questionis
c. (1589) where he discusses it at great length.
Conf. e.g. 'Clarior
evadet tractatio si quae et qualis
fuerit ilia Ecclesia, cui jussit dicere,
consideretur. In cujus rei declaratione
hoc pro initio et fundamento
pono ... Christum scilicet de Ecclesia loqui quae turn esset.'
'Die ecclesiae, id est, Die synedrio ... Ego enim verba haec Die ecclesiae idem significare assero, quod ista significant, Die magistratui tuo, si non est impiae religionis defensor.' Confirmatio Thesium, p. 322. See also Thesis 45 and 56. dic Ecclesiæ tell the Church (Matt., xviii, 17), is but a weak ground to raise excommunication upon, especially from the Sacrament, the lesser excommunication; There were two forms of excommunication the lesser, involving mainly exclusion from the eucharist, and the greater involving also exclusion from all intercourse with the rest of the Christian body. See Erastus, Explicatio gravissimae questionis, &c., Thesis 7; and Selden's De Synedriis veterum Ebraeorum, i. ch. 9. Works, vol. i. p. 918. since, when that was spoken, the Sacrament was not instituted. The Jews' ecclesia was their Sanhedrim, their court; so that the meaning is, if after once or twice admonition this brother will not be reclaimed, bring him thither.
3. The first excommunication This is not clearly and probably not correctly reported. The excommunication in 180 A. D. and that by Victor are distinct. Victor's, too, was much more than what Selden is here made to term it. It was a wide sweeping sentence, cutting off the whole of the Asiatic churches from communion with the rest of the Church Catholic; and though not the first absolutely, was, in this respect, the first of its kind. See Selden, De Synedriis veterum Ebraeorum, bk. i. ch. 9. Works, i. 916. But that there were excommunications earlier than this and earlier than 180 A. D. is clear from p. 920 and from the chapter passim. was 180 years after 66 Christ, and that by Victor, Bishop of Rome; but that was no more than this: that they should communicate and receive the Sacrament amongst themselves, not with those of the other opinion: the controversy (as I take it) being about the feast of Easter. Men do not care See e.g. Nathaniel Fiennes' speech in Parliament (1640): 'Were it not for the civil restraints and penalties that follow upon it (sc. Excommunication) no man will purchase an absolution though he may have it for a half-penny. And I have heard of some that have thanked the Ordinaries for abating or remitting the fees of the Courts, but I never heard of any that thanked them for reclaiming their souls to repentance by their excommunications.' Nalson, Collections, i. 760. for excommunication because they are shut out of the Church or delivered up to Satan, but because the law of the kingdom takes hold of them. After so many days a man cannot sue, no, not for his wife, if you take her from him. And there may be as much reason to grant it This is the argument of the bishops in their answer to a book of articles in 1584. They urge that they do not excommunicate for two-penny causes, 'though indeed there be as much in 2d. as in £100,' but for disobedience to the order, decree, and sentence of the judge. So, in a temporal cause of 2d, a man is outlawed if he appear not or obey not; but he is not outlawed for 2d, but for his disobedience in a two-penny matter. Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 311. for a small fault, if there be contumacy, as for a great one. In Westminster Hall you may outlaw a man for forty shillings, which is their excommunication, and you can do no more for £40,000..
When Constantine became Christian,
The evidence for
this is found in a rescript,
purporting to be addressed by Constantine
to the Prefect Ablavius. For the contents of this document,
and for the discussions which have been raised about it, see
fell in love with the clergy that he let them be
judges of all things; but that continued not
above three or four years, by reason they were to
be judges of matters they understood
not; and then
they were allowed to meddle with nothing but
religion. All jurisdiction belonged to him, and he
scantled them out
i.e. simply he measured them out.
The word involves no notion of a scanty measure, as the reading
in the printed editions ' scanted ' does.
as much as he pleased; and so
things have since continued. They excommunicate
for three or four things. matters concerning
adultery, tithes, wills, &c. which is the civil
punishment the State allows for such faults.
If a bishop excommunicate a man
Selden, in his De Synedriis
veterum Ebraeorum, bk. i. ch. 10, gives numerous examples in
support of his assertion that in this
country, as in other Christian
states, the power of excommunication
was fixed and strictly limited
by the law of the land. He shows that a sentence, illegally
pronounced, was liable to be annulled
by the King's order ; that punishment
was threatened or inflicted on clerics who refused to obey the
order ; and that satisfaction in money was granted to the person
injured. This he traces from William I to his own day. Works,
vol. i. 977-990. See also note on Power, State, sec. 7.
for what he
ought not, the judge has power to absolve, and
punish the bishop. If they had that jurisdiction
from God, why does not the Church excommunicate
for murder, for theft? If the civil power might
take away all but three things, why may they not
take them away too? If this excommunication
were taken away, the presbyters would be quiet;
'tis that they have a mind to,
The Westminster assembly
of divines claimed for the Presbytery
the uncontrolled right, jure
divino, to suspend from the sacrament such persons as they should
judge to be ignorant, or profane,
or of scandalous lives. This they
first settled by a majority vote among themselves, Selden and his
friends dissenting, and then again
and again pressed upon Parliament
to admit and ratify their claim. This,
however, the Parliament refused
to do. After some delay it granted
them the power they sought, but
added a provision that if any person
suspended from the Lord's Supper
found himself aggrieved by the
proceedings of the local Presbytery,
he should have the right to appeal
to the Assemblies, and thence, in
the last instance, to Parliament.
See Whitelock, Memorials, pp. 129, 135, 164, 165, 169, 170;
Neal's History of the Puritans, iii. 242, 246.
The exact words of the Parliamentary
resolution are given in Rushworth,
Collections, part iv. vol. i. 212. Selden's speech in the
debate, covering the same ground as
his remarks in the Table Talk,
is given by Whitelock, p. 169.
For the sequel of the dispute, see
'Presbytery,' sec. 4.
'tis that they would
fain be at.
Like the wench that was to be married; she asked her mother when 'twas done, if she should go to bed presently? No, says her mother you must dine first; And then to bed mother? No, you must dance after dinner; And then to bed mother? No, you must go to supper; And then to bed mother? &c.
1. What the Church debars us one day, she gives us leave to take out in another. First we fast, and then we feast. first there is a carnival, and then a Lent.
2. Whether do human laws bind the conscience?
If they do, 'tis a way to ensnare; if we say they
do not, we open the door to disobedience.
Answer. In this case we must look to the justice of the law and intention of the law-giver. If there be not justice in the law, 'tis not to be obeyed; if the intention of the law-giver be absolute, our obedience must be so too. If the intention of the law-giver enjoin a penalty as a compensation for the breach of the law, I sin not if I submit to the penalty; if it enjoin a penalty as, a further enforcement of obedience to the law, then ought I to observe it, which may be known by the often repetition of the law. The way of fasting is enjoined unto them who yet do not observe it. The law enjoins a penalty as an enforcement to obedience, which intention appears See Gibson, Codex, tit. x. ch. 6, p. 254, where the successive statutes on fasting, with the penalties for disobeying them and the provisions made for dispensations in case of need, are set out at length. by the often calling upon 69 us to keep that law by the king, and the dispensation of the Church to such as are not able to keep it, as young children, old folks, diseased men, &c.
XLI. Fathers and Sons.
It hath ever been the way for fathers to bind
their sons. To strengthen this by the law of the
land, every one, at twelve years of age is to take
the oath of allegiance in
'The court-leet ... is a court
of record, held once in the year,
within a particular hundred, lordship
or manor, before the steward of the leet;
being the king's court granted
by charter to the lords of those hundreds or manors....
It was also
anciently the custom to summon all
the king's subjects as they respectively
grew to years of discretion and strength to come to the court-leet,
and there take the oath of allegiance to the king.' Blackstone,
Comment., bk. iv. ch. 19, sec. 10.
That twelve was the age of discretion appears from the fact that persons under that age were excused attendance at the court-leet. whereby he swears obedience to the king.
XLII. Faith and Works.
'Twas an unhappy division that has been made betwixt faith and works; though in my intellect I may divide them, just as in the candle, I know there is both heat and light; but yet, put out the candle, and they are both gone: one remains not without the other, So 'tis betwixt faith and works. Nay, in a right conception fides est opus; [grb] Faith is work. if I believe a thing because I am commanded, that is opus.70
The old law was, that when a man was fined,
he was to be fined salvo contenemento, so as his
countenance might be safe, taking countenance in
the same sense as your countryman does when he
says, if you will come unto my house, I will show
you the best countenance I can, that is, not the
best face, but the best entertainment. The meaning
of the law was, that so much should be taken
from a man, such a gobbet sliced off, that yet notwithstanding
he might live in the same rank and
condition he lived in before.
But now they fine men
It was one of the grievances urged
against the High Commission Court that 'they imposed great fines
upon those who were culpable before them; sometimes above the
degree of the offence .... which course of fining was much more
frequent and the fines heavier after the King had granted all that
revenue to be employed for the reparation of St. Paul's Church.'
Clarendon, Hist., i. 439. So, too, in the Star Chamber, part of the
sentence on Burton, Bastwick and Prynne was that they were fined
£5000. Bishop Williams, for having received and divulged some
libellous letters, was fined £8000.
It was not paid, and could not have
been, owing to what the bishop termed 'the vacuity of his purse.'
Fuller, Church Hist., bk. xi. sec. 8, 4.
Again, in 1641, when the High Commission Court and Star Chamber had been swept away, and when judges and accused had changed places, the fines were as heavy as before. Archbishop Laud, e.g. for his part in framing and putting out the Canons of 1640, was sentenced by Parliament to pay a fine of £20,000; Bishop Juxon of London, and Bishop Wren of Ely to pay £10,000 each; the rest of the offending bishops to pay £5000. Rushworth, Collections, iv. 235.
A fine of £20,000 was imposed on Judge Berkley for his opinion in favour of ship-money, and £10,000 was actually paid by him and by his fellow-culprit Baron Trevor. Clarendon, Hist. ii. 566. ten times more than they are worth.
The Puritans, who will allow no free-will at all, but God does all, yet will allow the subject his liberty to do or not to do, notwithstanding the king, the god upon earth. The Arminians, who hold we have free-will, yet say, when we come to the king, there must be all obedience, and no liberty must be stood for.
Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.
1. The friars say they possess nothing: whose, then, are the lands they hold? Not their superior's, he hath vowed poverty as well as they. Whose, then? To answer this 'twas decreed they should say they were the pope's. And why must the friars be more perfect than the Pope himself?
2. If there had been no friars, Christendom
might have continued quiet and things remained
at a stay.
If there had been no lecturers See note on 'Lecturers,' sec. 1. (which succeed the friars in their way) the Church of England might have stood and flourished at this day.
XLVII. Genealogy of Christ.
1. They that say the reason why Joseph's pedigree is set down, and not Mary's, is because the descent from the mother is lost and swallowed up, say something, for so it was; but yet if a Jewish woman married with a Gentile, they only took notice of the mother, not of the father. But they that say This is a little obscure. It means, apparently, that whether Joseph and Mary had been of the same tribe, or of different tribes (as they might lawfully have been), the descent from the mother would equally have been 'lost and swallowed up.' An assertion, therefore, that the pedigree was set down on the father's side because they were both of a tribe would miss the real point. they were both of a tribe, say nothing; for the tribes might marry one with another, and the law against it Numbers xxxvi. 8, 9. was only temporary, in the time while Joshua was in dividing the land, lest the being so long about it, there might be a confusion.
2. That Christ was the son of Joseph is most exactly true. For though he was the Son of God, yet with the Jews if any man kept a child, and brought him up, and called him son, he was taken for his son; and his land (if he had any) was to descend upon him; and therefore the genealogy of Joseph is justly set down.
1. What a gentleman is, 'tis hard with us to define. In other countries he is known by his privileges; in Westminster Hall he is one that is reputed one; in the Court of Honour, he that hath arms. The king cannot make a 73 gentleman of blood; (what have you said?) nor God Almighty: but He can make a gentleman by creation. If you ask which is the better of these two; civilly the gentleman of blood, morally the gentleman by creation may be the better; for the other may be a debauched man, this a person of worth.
2. Gentlemen have ever been more temperate in their religion than the common people, as having more reason, the others running in a hurry. In the beginning of Christianity the fathers wrote contra gentes and contra gentiles, they were all one; but after all were Christians, the better sort of people still retained the name of Gentiles, throughout the four provinces of the Roman empire (as gentil-homme in French, gentil-huomo in Italian, gentil-huombre in Spanish, and gentle-man in English), and they, no question, being persons of quality, kept up those feasts which we borrow from the Gentiles; as Christmas, Candlemas, May-day, &c.), continuing what was not directly against Christianity, which the common people would never have endured.
There are two reasons
The second reason given here is
not what Selden gives elsewhere. After mentioning the alchemical
reason for the inscription, he adds 'alii opinati sunt ... amulcri
vicem obtinuisse, et caedi et vulneribus averruncandis. Certe verba
ilia in iis quibus tortorum quaestioni
subjecti interdum, dolori allevando
abigendoque, utuntur locum habere ex jurisconsultis aliquot
scimus.' Works, vol. ii. p. 1386.
Camden mentions the story told by the alchemists; but, with a disregard of dates, he gives Raymond Lully as the successful projector in the Tower. He adds that others say that the text on the coins was only an amulet used in that credulous warfaring age to escape dangers in battle. See Camden, Remains, sub tit. 'Money,' p. 242 (ed. 7, London, 1674).
We learn, too, that the rose nobles of other nations, as well as of ours, had these words stamped upon them. They were used in England first by Edward III, and were copied on the coins of several later reigns. Sometimes another passage of Scripture was used instead of them; as e.g. 'A domino factum est istud, et est mirabile in oculis nostris;' or 'per crucem tuam salva nos Christe redemptor .' See Archbishop Sharpe, Dissertation on the Golden Coins of England, sees. 4 and 6. why these words, Jesus autem transiens per medium eorum ibat, [grb] But Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went his way. were about our old 74 gold: the one is because Ripley the alchemist, when he made gold in the Tower, the first time he found it, he spoke these words, per medium eorum (that is, per medium ignis et sulphuris); the other, because these words were thought to be a charm, and that they did bind whatsoever they were written upon, so that a man could not take it away. To this reason I rather incline.
The hall was the place
See e.g. Household Statutes
(first half of thirteenth century),
framed for Bishop Grossetest. 'Make
ye your own household to sit in the hall, as much as ye may... And
sit ye ever in the middle of the high
borde (table) that your face and
cheer be shown to all men. And all so much as ye may, without
peril of sickness and weariness, eat ye in the hall before your men.
For that shall be to you profit and worship.' Manners and Meals in
Olden Time, Part I, p. 329, 331 (Early English Text Society).
The Eltham Ordinances for the government of the royal household under Henry VIII are framed in view of the King's dining in Hall, and they give special permission for private meals when the King does not dine in the Hall. See chs. 44, 45, and 52, pp. 151, 153.
But that the custom was ceasing to be observed appears from ch. 77, p. 160, which gives rules which had become necessary 'by reason of the seldom keeping of the King's Hall.'
The above are printed in A Collection of Ordinances for the Government of the Royal Household (1790, 4to). where the great lord used to eat (wherefore else were the halls made so big?), where he 75 saw all his servants and tenants about him. He ate not in private, except in time of sickness: when once he became a thing cooped up all his greatness was spoiled. Nay, the king himself used to eat in the hall, and his lords sat with him, and then he understood men.
There are two texts
This is incorrect. There are other
texts which have been, rightly or wrongly,
interpreted to prove the
descent. Conf. Ephesians iv. 9:
'Now that he ascended, what is it
but that he also descended first
into the lower parts of the earth?'
and i Peter iii. 19: 'By which also he went and preached unto
the spirits in prison.'
In the Forty-two Articles of 1552, the descent
into hell is explained and
confirmed by a reference to this passage:
'Quemadmodum Christus pro nobis mortuus est et sepultus,
ita est etiam credendus ad inferos descendisse. Nam corpus usque
ad resurrectionem in sepulchre
jacuit; spiritus ab eo emissus, cum
spiritibus qui in carcere sive in
inferno detinebantur fuit, illisque
praedicavit, quemadmodum testatur Petri locus.'
In the Thirty-nine
Articles of 1562, the Article
on the descent ends with the words 'ad
inferos descendisse,' and omits all
reference to the preaching to the
spirits in prison. At this date the
authorised version of the Bible
was Cranmer's, or the great Bible (1539),
in which (as in Tyndale's
earlier version) the reading in Acts ii. 27 is
'thou wilt not leave my
soul in hell.' The Thirty-nine Articles
were confirmed or recognised
by Parliament in 1571, at which date,
and up to 1611, the authorised
version was the 'Bishops' Bible' (1568). In this version the text
remains unchanged 'because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell';
and in the corresponding passage
in Psalm xvi. 10 the word 'hell '
is marginally explained as 'in the
state that souls be after this life.'
The text is changed in the Geneva Bible (1557) which reads 'grave ' for hell. This version was in common private use, and was most favoured by the Puritan party, but it was not authorised or appointed to be read in church. It does not appear, therefore, that the Church of England at any time 'altered the Bible,' as Selden incorrectly says. for Christ's descending into hell: the one Psalms xvi. [grb] Verses 10 and 11: "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." the other Acts ii., [grb] Verse 27: "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
Also verse 31, referring to the words of King David in Psalm 16: "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." where the Bible, that 76 was in use when the Thirty-nine Articles were made has it "hell;" but the Bible that was in Queen Elizabeth's time, when the Articles were confirmed, reads it "grave;" and so it continued till the new translation in King James's time, and then 'tis "hell" again. But by this we may gather the Church of England declined, as much as they could, the descent; otherwise they never would have altered the Bible.
2. He descended into hell. This may be the
interpretation of it. He may be dead and buried,
then his soul ascended into heaven; afterwards
he descended again into hell, that is, into the
grave, to fetch his body and to rise again. The
ground of this interpretation is taken from
the Platonic learning,
That a metempsychosis was a Platonic
doctrine is certain. It appears in
the story of Er, the son of Arminius,
in Rep. x. and in the Phaedrus 248, 249, where,
in one passage, the
soul which is to take a new body
is said to fall to the earth. So
among the later Platonists, Porphyry
(De Antro Nympharum, sec. 10), and again in his
But that these views affected the language of the early Christians, and that they understood the descent into hell in Selden's sense of the words, there is nothing to show, and there is abundant evidence to the contrary. On this subject the Greek and Latin fathers speak with one voice. They understand Christ's descent into hell as a fact distinct from his burial and resurrection. It is a literal visit to the lower regions where the souls of the dead were detained, and from which the souls of the old prophets and saints were liberated at Christ's coming. Pearson, in his long and learned discussion on the descent, puts the question, thus far, beyond all reasonable doubt. Archbishop Usher, writing on the descent, shows out of Plato and other philosophers and poets, that the word Hades is used to signify a general invisible future state of the soul after it is separated from the body, and he interprets the descent accordingly. Conf. Parr's Life of Usher, Appendix 27. Selden's interpretation appears to be entirely his own. I can find no other authority for it. 77 who held a metempsychosis, and when the soul did descend from heaven to take another body, they called it καταβασιν εις αδυν, taking αδδυν for the lower world, the state of mortality. Now the first Christians, many of them, were Platonic philosophers, and no question, spoke such language as then was understood amongst them. To understand by hell, the grave, is no tautology, because the Creed first tells what Christ suffered, He was crucified, dead, and buried; then it tells us what He did, He descended into hell, the third day He rose again, He ascended, &c.
LII. Holy Days.
They say the Church imposes holy-days. There's no such thing, though the number of holy-days is set down in some of our Common-prayer Books. Yet that has relation to an act of parliament, This is the 5 and 6 of Edward VI, ch. 3, which enacts: 'that all the days hereafter mentioned shall be kept and commanded to be kept holy-days, and none other ... and that none other day shall be kept and commanded to be kept holy-day, or to abstain from lawful bodily labour.' The list given corresponds with that now in the Book of Common Prayer. Selden's remark must have been made at some date before June 8, 1647, when an Ordinance was put out by Parliament that festivals called holy-days were no longer to be observed, any law, statute, custom or canon to the contrary notwithstanding. Rushworth, Collections, vol. vi. p. 548. which forbids the keeping of any holy-days. The ground thereof was the multitude of holy-days in time of Popery. But those that are 78 kept, are kept by the custom of the country; and I hope you will not say the Church imposes that.
1. Humility is a virtue all preach, none practise, and yet every body is content to hear. The master thinks it good doctrine for his servant, the laity for the clergy, and the clergy for the laity.
2. There is humilitas quædam in vitio. [grb] Humility that is a fault, or character flaw. If a man does not take notice of that excellency and perfection that is in himself, how can he be thankful to God, who is the author of all excellency and perfection? Nay, if a man hath too mean an opinion of himself, 'twill render him unserviceable both to God and man.
3. Pride may be allowed to this or that degree, else a man cannot keep up his dignity. In gluttony there must be eating, in drunkenness there must be drinking; 'tis not the eating, nor 'tis not the drinking that is to be blamed, but the excess. So in pride.
Idolatry is in a man's own thought, not in the opinion of another. Put case I bow to the altar, This practice had been attacked as idolatrous by Burton, in his Sermon for God and the King (p. 105), and had been described by Prynne, in his Histrio-mastix (p. 236), as 'our late crouching and ducking unto newly erected altars, a ceremony much in use with idolatrous Papists heretofore, and derived by them from pagan practices.' Laud, in his speech at the censure of Burton, Bastwick and Prynne, justifies it at great length, and substantially for the same reasons as Selden. See Laud's Works, vol. vi. p. 55 ff. But he does not use Selden's phrase of bowing to the altar. What he defends is carefully guarded as bowing towards the altar. why am I guilty of 79 idolatry? because a stander-by thinks so? I am sure I do not believe the altar to be God, and the God I worship may be bowed to in all places and at all times.
1. God at the first gave laws to all mankind, but afterwards he gave peculiar laws to the Jews, which they were only to observe. Just as we have the common law for all England, and yet you have some corporations that. besides that, have peculiar laws and privileges to themselves.
2. Talk what you will of the Jews, that they are cursed, they thrive where'er they come; they are able to oblige the prince of their country by lending him money; none of them beg; they keep together; and for their being hated, my life for yours, Christians hate one another as much.
LVI. Invincible Ignorance.
'Tis all one to me if I am told of Christ, or some mystery of Christianity, if I am not capable of understanding it, as if I am not told at all, my ignorance is as invincible; and therefore 'tis vain to call their ignorance only invincible, who never were told of Christ. The trick of it is to advance the priest, whilst the Church of Rome says a man must be told of Christ by one thus and thus ordained.80
1. The papists taking away the second commandment The papists do not do this in terms. They read the second Commandment continuously with the first, and as forming part of the first. The first Commandment they take as—'Thou shalt have none other Gods before me, i.e. in my presence,' and they interpret the second as enlarging upon and explaining this. See e.g. the Douay Version—'Thou shalt not have strange Gods before me' (Latin Vulgate, coram me)—explained in the notes to Haydocke's edition of the version as =='in my presence. I shall not be content to be adored with idols.' is not haply so horrid a thing, nor so unreasonable amongst Christians as we make it. For the Jews, they could make no figure of God but they must commit idolatry, because he had taken no shape; but since the assumption of our flesh, we know what shape to picture God in. Nor do I know why we may not make his image, provided we be sure what it is: as we say St. Luke took the picture of the Virgin Mary, and St. Veronica of our Saviour. Otherwise it would be no honour to the king, to make a picture and call it the king's picture, when 'tis nothing like him.
2. Though the learned Papists pray not to images, yet 'tis to be feared the ignorant do; as appears by that story of St. Nicholas [grb] St. Nicholas of Myra (270-343), an early Greek bishop of Myra in Asia Minor. in Spain. A countryman used to offer daily to St. Nicholas's image; at length by mischance the image was broken, and a new one made of his own plum-tree; after that the man forebore. Being complained of to his Ordinary, he answered, 'tis true he used to offer to the old image, but to the new he could not find it in his heart because he knew 'twas a piece of his own plum-tree. You see what opinion this man had of the image; and to this tended the bowing of their images, the twinkling of their eyes, the Virgin's milk, &c. Had they only meant representations, a picture would have done it without these 81 tricks. It may be with us in England they do not worship images, because, living amongst protestants they are either laughed out of it, or beaten out of it by shock of argument.
3. 'Tis a discreet way concerning pictures in churches, to set up no new, nor to pull down no old.
LVIII. Imperial Constitution.
They say imperial constitutions did only confirm the canons of the Church, but that is not so, for they inflicted punishment, which the Canons never did. Viz. If a man converted Conf. e.g. 'Judaeus servum Christianum nec comparare debebit nec largitatis titulo consequi ... Verum ceteros, quos rectae religionis participes constitutes in suo censu nefanda superstitio jam videtur esse sortita ... sub hac lege possideat, ut eos, nec invitos, nec volentes, caeno propriae sectae confundat: ita ut, si haec forma fuerit violata, sceleris tanti auctores capitali poena, prescriptione comitante, plectantur.' Codex Theodosianus, lib. 16, tit. 9, sec. 4. a Christian to be a Jew, he was to forfeit his estate, and lose his life. In Valentinian's novels See the novels of Valentinian the Third, tit. 34. 'tis said, Constat episcopos forum legibus non habere, et judicant tantum de religione. [grb] The bishops do not operate under our laws and they govern all of religion.82
Sir Kenelm Digby was several times taken and let
go again, at last imprisoned in Winchester House.
I can compare him to nothing but
a great fish
comparison seems to refer to Sir Kenelm Digby's bodily size and
bearing. 'He was a man of very extraordinary person and presence,
which drew the eyes of all men upon him, which were the more fixed
by a wonderful graceful behaviour, a flowing courtesy and civility,
and such a volubility of language as surprised and delighted; and
though in another man it might have appeared to have somewhat of
affectation, it was marvellous graceful in him, and seemed natural to
his size and mould of his person, to the gravity of his motion, and
the tune of his voice and delivery.' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 38.
(Oxford 1827.) 'His person,' says Anthony à Wood, 'was
handsome and gigantic, and nothing was wanting to make him a complete
chevalier.' Athenae, iii. 689.
In 1638 Sir Kenelm Digby had been induced by Queen Henrietta Maria to write a circular letter to the Roman Catholics of the country, urging them to contribute liberally to the King's expenses in the matter of the war with the Scotch. Rushworth, Collections, iii. 1327. In January, 1640 (1641), he was called to account for this by the Parliament, and a Committee was appointed to prepare questions about what he and others had done. Commons Journals, ii. 74. In March, the two Houses presented a joint petition, praying that he and certain others be removed from the Court, as popish recusants, ii. 106. In May, 1641, six members were appointed with power to call before them Sir Kenelm Digby and others, and to offer them the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and if they refuse to take them, to give orders that they shall be proceeded against according to law, ii. 158. In June, 1641, a peremptory order was made for Sir Kenelm Digby to attend the Committee for Recusants Convict, ii. 182. That he was, at length, committed to Winchester House, appears by a letter, read in Parliament from the Lord Mayor of London, concerning his committal, and enclosing his petition for release. This petition the House refused to grant. Journals, ii. 978. His release was due to the intercession of the Queen Regent of France, as appears by a letter from the two Houses. 'We are commanded to make known to your Majesty that, although the religion, the past behaviour, and the abilities of this gentleman might give just umbrage of his practising to the prejudice of the constitutions of this realm, yet nevertheless, having so great regard to the recommendation of your Majesty, they have ordered him to be discharged. Biographia Britannica, vol. iii. p. 1706, note f.
I find no more distinct references to what Wood terms his 'activity for the King's cause at the beginning of the civil wars,' or, as Selden puts it, 'his coming again and again to the bait.' that we catch and 83 let go again, but still he will come to the bait; at last therefore we put him into some great pond for store.
LX. Incendiaries. See Excursus B.
Fancy to yourself a man sets the city on fire at Cripplegate, and that fire continues by means of others, till it come to Whitefriars, and then he that began it would fain quench it; does not he deserve to be punished most that first set the town on fire? So 'tis with the incendiaries of the State. They that first set it on fire, (by monopolies, forest business, imprisoning [grb] These were just some of the grievances brought to the parliament of 1640. All were measures of the government to raise money or protect the royal prerogative. Monopolies had been objected to in every Parliament of the 17th century but still were granted, even for commodities like soap. "Forest business" was the levying of fines for encroachments on the royal forests many of which were anciently authorized in one form or another, but now lacked the documents required for proof. The arrested members of parliament, of which Selden was one of eight, were accused for words spoken in Parliament (although that was not included in the official charges), an especially incendiary provocation. of the parliament-men 3d Caroli, &c.) are now become regenerate, and would fain quench the fire. Certainly they deserve most to be punished, for being the first authors of our distractions.
1. Independency is in use at Amsterdam, where forty churches or congregations have nothing to do one with another. And 'tis, no question, agreeable to the primitive times, before the emperor became Christian. For either we must say every Church governed itself, or else we must 84 fall upon that old foolish rock, that St. Peter and his successors governed all. But when the civil State became Christian they appointed who should govern them; before, they governed by agreement and consent: if you will not do this, you shall come no more amongst us. But both the Independent man and the Presbyterian man do equally exclude the civil power, though after a different manner.
2. The Independents may as well plead they should not be subject to temporal things, not come before a constable, or a justice of peace, as they plead they should not be subject in spiritual things, because St. Paul says, Is it so, that there is not a wise man amongst you? [grb] 1 Corinthians 6:5
3. The Pope challenges all Churches to be under
him. The king and the two archbishops challenge
all the Church of England to be under them.
The Presbyterian man divides the kingdom
This is an
incomplete account. See the form of Presbyterial Church
Government agreed upon by the Westminster Assembly of Divines in
'Of Synodical Assemblies, the Scripture doth hold out another sort of assemblies, for the government of the Church, besides classical and congregational, all of which we call synodical. Synodical assemblies may lawfully be of several sorts, as provincial, national, and oecumenical.
'It is lawful and agreeable to the word of God that there be a subordination of congregational, classical, provincial, and national assemblies for the government of the Church.' Neal, Hist. of Puritans, vol. v. app. ix. into as many Churches as there be Presbyteries. And your independent The view of the Independents as stated by themselves was that 'Every particular congregation of Christians has an entire and complete power and jurisdiction over its members, to be exercised by the elders thereof within itself. Apologetical Narrative of Independents (1643), quoted by Neal, Hist. of Puritans, vol. iii. p. 118.
Their main platform, says Fuller (Church History, bk. xi.), was that churches should not be subordinate, parochial to provincial, provincial to national (as daughter to mother, mother to grandmother), but co-ordinate, without superiority, except seniority of sisters, containing no powerful influence therein. would have every congregation a Church by itself.
LXII. Things Indifferent
In time of a parliament, when things are under debate, they are indifferent; but in a church or state settled, there's nothing left indifferent.
LXIII. Public Interest.
All might go well in the commonwealth if every one in the parliament would lay down his own interest, and aim at the general good. If a man were sick, and the whole college of physicians should come to him, and administer severally, haply so long as they observed the rules of art, he might recover; but if one of them had a great deal of scamony [grb] A black resinous substance obtained from the juices of a species of bindwood. by him, he must put off that, therefore he prescribes scamony; another had a great deal of rhubarb, and he must put off that, and therefore he prescribes rhubarb, &c. they would certainly kill the man. We destroy the commonwealth, while we preserve our own private interest, and neglect the public.
LXIV. Human Invention.
1. You say there must be no human invention in the
church, nothing but the pure word.
86 Answer. If I give any exposition, but what is expressed in the text, that is my invention: if you give another exposition, that is your invention, and both are human. For example, suppose the word "egg" were in the text: I say, tis meant an hen-egg, you say, a goose-egg; neither of these are expressed, therefore they are human invention; and I am sure the newer the invention the worse; old inventions are best.
2. If we must admit nothing but what we read in the Bible, what will become of the Parliament? for we do not read of that there.
LXV. God's Judgments.
We cannot tell what is a judgment Suggested, possibly, by a book, published in 1636, under the title of 'A divine tragedie lately acted,' or 'A collection of sundry memorable examples of God's judgments upon Sabbath-breakers and other like libertines in their unlawfull sports.' It gives fifty-five examples of some misfortune to Sabbath-breakers in the course of two years, and it appeals confidently to these as proof of direct divine interposition. It ends with an account of the death of Mr. William Noy, closely following the execution of the Star Chamber censure on the 'well deserving gentleman, Mr. Prynne.' The book has been ascribed to Prynne, but it does not bear his name or signature. It is entered as Prynne's in the British Museum catalogue, and is so lettered on the cover. of God: 'tis presumption to take upon us to know. In time of plague we know we want health, and therefore we pray to God to give us health: in time of war we know we want peace, and therefore we pray to God to give us peace. Commonly we say a judgment falls upon a man for something in him we cannot abide. An example we have in King James, 87 concerning the death of Henry the IVth of France: one said he was killed for turning his religion, No, says King James (who could not abide fighting), he was killed for permitting duels in his kingdom.
1. We see the pageants in Cheapside, the lions and the elephants, but we do not see the men that carry them. We see the judges look big, look like lions, but we do not see who moves them.
2. Little things do great works, when the great things will not. If I should take a pin from the ground, a little pair of tongs will do it, when a great pair will not. Go to a judge to do a business for you; by no means, he will not hear of it. But go to some small servant about him, and he will despatch it according to your heart's desire.
3. There could be no mischief See note on 'The King,' sec. 6. in the commonwealth without a judge. Though there be false dice brought in at the groom-porter's, 'An officer of the royal household, whose business is to see the king's lodging furnished with tables, chairs, stools and firing: as also to provide cards, dice, &c., and to decide disputes arising at cards, dice, bowling, &c.' Quoted by Nares (Glossary, sub voce) from Chamb. Dict. Nares adds that 'formerly he was allowed to keep an open gambling table at Christmas.... He is said to have succeeded to the office of the master of the revels, then disused.' and cheating offered, yet unless he allow the cheating, and judge the dice to be good, there may be hopes of fair play.88
'Tis not juggling [grb] Used in the sense of "deliberate deception". that is to be blamed, but much juggling, for the world cannot be governed without it. All your rhetorick, and all your elenchs [grb] There is a formal and an informal use of "elench". Selden seems to intend the latter. Formally, it is that part of an argument on which its conclusiveness depends; that which convinces of refutes an antagonist; a refutation. Informally is is a specious but fallacious argument; a sophism. in logic, come within the compass of juggling.
1. There's no such thing as spiritual jurisdiction; all is civil, the church's is the same with the lord mayor's. Suppose a Christian came into a pagan country, how can you fancy he shall have any power there? He finds fault with the gods of the country; well, they will put him to death for it. Then he is a martyr; what follows? Does that argue he has any spiritual jurisdiction? If the clergy say the Church ought to be governed thus, and thus, by the Word of God, that is doctrine all, that is not discipline.
2. The Pope he challenges jurisdiction over all; the bishops, they pretend to it as well as he; the presbyterians they would have it to themselves; but over whom is all this? The poor laymen.
LXIX. Jus Divinum.
1. All things are held by jus divinum [grb] Divine law. either immediately or mediately.
2. Nothing has lost the pope so much in his supremacy as not acknowledging what princes gave him. 'Tis a scorn 89 upon the civil power and an unthankfulness in the priest. But the Church runs to jus divinum, lest if they should acknowledge what they have, they have by positive law, it might be as well taken from them, as given to them.
1. A king is a thing men have made for their own sakes, for quietness' sake; just as in a family one man is appointed to buy the meat. If every man should buy, or if there were many buyers, they would never agree; one would buy what the other liked not, or what the other had bought before, so there would be a confusion. But that charge being committed to one, he according to his discretion pleases all; if they have not what they would have one day, they shall have it the next, or something as good.
The word king directs our eyes.
This seems to mean, the word catches our
eyes and suggests the notion that it bears everywhere the same
This and the next clause seem directed against the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical of 1640, framed by the Convocations of Canterbury and of York, in which the most high and sacred order of Kings is said to be 'of divine right, being the ordinance of God himself, founded in the prime laws of nature, and clearly established by express texts both of the Old and New Testaments.' Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 545. Suppose it had been consul or dictator. To think all kings alike is the same folly, as if a consul of Aleppo or Smyrna, should claim to himself the same power that a consul at Rome had. What? am not I a consul? Or a duke of England should think himself like the duke of Florence. Nor can it be imagined that the word βασιλευς [grb] Transliteration: Basileus. The word had a variety of meanings even in Greek. It could be used to describe the first among any group of people or objects. Kings of Persia and Roman emperors were so designated. did signify a king 90 the same in Greek as the Hebrew word [judge] did with the Jews. Besides, let the divines in their pulpits See, e.g., Dr. Manwaring's two Sermons on the King's prerogative, in which he insists that the King's power is not bounded by law; that it is the duty of his subjects to obey his illegal commands; and that if they are deprived of property in their goods they have no choice but to submit. Fuller, Church History, century xvii, bk. xi. secs. 61, 62, 63, in ann. 1628. say what they will, they in their practice deny that all is the king's. They sue him, and so does all the nation, whereof they are a part. What matter is it, then, what they preach or teach in the schools?
3. Kings are all individual, this or that king; there is no species of kings.
4. A king that claims privileges in his own kingdom, because they have them in another, is just as a cook, that claims fees in one lord's house because they are allowed in another. If the master of the house will yield them, well and good.
5. The text "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" [grb] Matthew 22:21. makes as much against kings as for them, for it says plainly that some things are not Caesar's. But divines make choice of it, first in flattery, and then because of the other part adjoined to it, "Render unto God the things that are God's," where they bring in the Church.
6. A king outed of his country, that takes as much upon him as he did at home, in his own court, is as if a man and I being upon different ground, I used to lift up my voice to him, that he might hear me, at length should come down to me and then expect I should speak as loud to him as I did before.91
LXXI. King of England.
1. The king can do no wrong: Explained by Blackstone as meaning only 'that in the first place, whatever may be amiss in the conduct of public affairs is not chargeable personally on the king; nor is he, but his ministers, accountable for it to the people: and secondly, that the prerogative of the Crown extends not to do any injury. 1 Commentaries, bk. iii. ch. 17, sec. i. Selden's remark deals only with one incident of the maxim, and guards, in the last clause, against one possible misinterpretation of it. that is, no process can be granted against him, you can have no remedy against him. What must be done, then? Petition him, and the king writes upon the petition Soit droit fait, [grb] Norman French: "Let right be done." It is also the formula used when the king gives royal assent to a bill in Parliament, there in the sense "let the law be made". and sends it to the chancery, and then the business is heard. His confessor will not tell him he can do no wrong.
There's a great deal of difference
By 26 Henry VIII, cap. i.
it is declared and enacted that
the King's Majesty is the only supreme
head in erthe of the Church of England. This Act was confirmed,
with penalties, by 1 Edward VI, cap. 12.
In 'our Canons,' i.e. in the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical of 1640, sec. i, Concerning the Regal Power, the words used are 'The most high and sacred order of Kings is of divine right.... A supreme power is given to this most excellent order by God himself in the Scriptures, which is that kings should rule and command in their several dominions all persons of what rank and estate soever, whether ecclesiastical or civil....
'The care of God's church is so committed to Kings in the scripture that they are commended when the church keeps the right way, and taxed when it runs amiss, and therefore her government belongs in chief unto Kings.' Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 545.
The difference of which Selden speaks is that the King, as head of the Church, is the fountain or original of all spiritual authority in his dominions, in the full sense in which he is the fountain of honour and the fountain of law; while the words of the Canon mean no more than that the Church and its ecclesiastical rulers are subject to the civil power. This latter is all that was claimed by Elizabeth, and all that was expressed in Article 37. On the other hand, every Bishop in his Oath of Homage, taken when he obtains the temporalities of his see, acknowledges 'that I hold the said Bishopric, as well the spiritualities as the temporalities thereof, only of your Majesty.' This appears to be a survival of the earlier view. between head of 92 the Church, and supreme governor, as our Canons call the king. Conceive it thus: there is in the kingdom of England a College of Physicians; the king is supreme governor of those, but not head of them, nor president of the college, nor the best physician.
3. After the dissolution of abbeys, they did not much advance the king's supremacy, for they only cared to exclude the Pope: hence have we had several translations of the Bible put upon us. But now we must look to it, otherwise the king may put upon us what religion he pleases.
4. 'Twas the old way, On the King's Chapel Establishment see Excursus C. when the King of England had his house, there were canons to sing service in his chapel: so at Westminster in St. Stephen's Chapel (where the House of Commons sits) from which canons the street called Canon Row has its name, because they lived there; and he had also the abbot and his monks, and all these the king's house.
The three estates
Who formed the three estates was one
of the disputed questions of the time.
See, e.g., a speech by Bagshaw
(Feb. 9, 1640): '(It was said)
that episcopacy was a third estate
in Parliament, and therefore the
King and Parliament could not be without
them; this I utterly deny, for
there are three estates without them, as
namely the King, who is the first estate;
the Lords Temporal is the
second; and the Commons the third. Nalson, Collections, i. 762.
Nalson quotes, on the other hand, from the Parliamentary Roll, i Richard III, 'at the request and by the assent of the three estates of the realm, that is to say the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons of this land assembled in this present Parliament,' &c., i. 764. See, also, a proclamation by Queen Elizabeth (1588) which speaks of 'the estate of the prelacy, being one of the three ancient estates of this realm under her Highness.' Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 340.
Nalson, in his remarks on Lord Say and Seal's speech (1641) against Bishops, points out, as Selden does, the censequence which would follow from counting the King as one of the three estates. The opinion, he says, that the Bishops are not one of the three estates, in Parliament, has been deservedly exploded by all persons of sense and honour 'except such as would therefore have the King to be the third estate, that so by bringing in a co-ordinancy of power, they may the better accomplish their anti-monarchical designs, or at least reduce the ancient and imperial Crown of these realms to the condition of a Venetian seigniory.' Collections, ii. 269. are the lords temporal, the bishops 93 are the clergy, and the commons, The king is not one of the three estates, as some would have it. Take heed of that, for then if two agree, the third is involved; but he is king of the three estates.
6. The king hath a seal in every court; and though the great seal be called sigillum Angliae, the great seal of England, yet 'tis not because 'tis the kingdom's seal, and not the king's, but to distinguish it from sigillum Hiberniae, sigillum Scotiae.
7. The court of England is much altered. At a
solemn dancing, first you had the grave measures,
A coranto (Italian courante) was a slow-paced dance variously
described as "grave", "serious" and
"majestic". It was probably considered
old-fashioned even in the reign of James I.
The galliard was another old dance, but a more energetic
one. It involved a leap or hop every measure.
and all this is
kept up with ceremony; at length to
A kind of lively dance, in triple time, to which
it was usual to dance in a rough and boisterous manner. Nares,
The reading in the MSS. is ' Frenchmore,' but there is no dance so named, while ' Trenchmore,' the reading in the early printed editions, is, as Nares shows, a name in common use. and the cushion dance, 'A dance of a rather free character, used chiefly, it would appear, at weddings.' Its character is distinctly shown by a passage which Nares quotes from Taylor (1630) : ' There are many pretty provocatory dances, as the kissing dance, the cushion dance, the shaking of the sheets, and such like.' Nares, Glossary. and then all the company dance, lord and groom, lady and kitchen-maid, no distinction. So in our court, in Queen Elizabeth's time, gravity and state were kept up; in King James's time things were pretty well; 94 but in King Charles's time, there has been nothing but Trench-more and the cushion-dance, omnium gatherum [grb] Faux Latin facetiously describing an assortment or hodge-podge. tolly-polly, [grb] Selden may have coined this term, at least in its derisive sense. It is said to be the name of an old dance, but the first instance of the term in print appears to have been Selden's Table-Talk. hoite come toite. [grb] Frivolous or silly.
LXXII. The King.
1. 'Tis hard to make an accommodation betwixt the king and the Parliament. If you and I fell out about money, you said I owed you twenty pounds, I said I owed you but ten pounds, it may be a third party, allowing me twenty marks, might make us friends. But if I said I owed you twenty pounds in silver, and you said I owed you twenty pounds of diamonds, which is a sum innumerable, 'tis impossible we should ever agree; this is the case.
2. The king using the House of Commons, as he did Mr. Pym and his company; [grb] Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Arthur Haselrig and William Strode, all members of the House of Commons, were indicted for treason in January 1642, during the sitting of Parliament. The formal charges were inciting the Scots to invade England and conspiring to turn the London apprentices against the King. In an unprecedented move, King Charles entered the House with an armed party to seize the members; this was one of the events that led to the first Civil War. See Forster's Arrest of the Five Members, London, 1860. that is, charging them with treason because they charged my Lord of Canterbury [grb] About a year before the Five Members were charged, the Parliament impeached the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, and the former Lord Deputy of Ireland, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. King Charles correctly understood Laud's arrest as a proxy attack on himself and the crown. See Lawson's Life and Times of Archbishop Laud (London, 1829), vol. 2, pp. 373 ff. and Sir George Ratcliff, [grb] Radcliffe was a friend and lieutenant to Lord Strafford in his government of Ireland. He was indicted along with Strafford but was not important enough to prosecute. Selden mentions him here, instead of Strafford, because there was actual evidence, however doubtful some of it may have been, against the Lord Deputy. The charge against Radcliffe, on the other hand, was more obviously an indirect attack on the crown (Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 47, pp. 123-126). it was just with as much logic as the boy that would have lain with his grandmother, used to his father: You lay with my mother, why should not I lie with yours?
3. There is not the same reason for the king's accusing men of treason, and carrying them away, as there is for the Houses themselves, because they accuse one of themselves. For every one that is accused, is either a peer or a commoner; and he that is accused has his consent going along with them; but if the king accuses, there is nothing of this in it.
4. The king is equally abused now as before; then they flattered him, and made him do ill things, now they would force him against his conscience. If a physician should tell me everything I had a mind to was good for 95 me, though in truth 'twas poison, he abused me; and he abuses me as much, that would force me to take something whether I will or no.
5. The king, so long as he is our king, may do with his officers what he pleases; as the master of the house may turn away all his servants, and take whom he please.
6. The king's oath is not security enough for
our property, for he swears to govern according to
law; now the judges they interpret the law, and
what judges can be made to do
Selden had good
reason to know this. He was one of
the members committed to prison
after Charles' third Parliament, having been refused bail by the
judges unless he would find sureties
for his future good behaviour.
This he and the others rightly and
manfully refused to do, and were
remanded to the Tower. Whitelock, Memorials, pp. 13, 14.
Again, in 1635 the King was advised by the Lord Chief Justice Finch and others to require the opinion of his judges (on ship-money), which he did, stating the case in a letter to them.
'After much solicitation by the Chief Justice Finch, promising preferment to some, and highly threatening others whom he found doubting (as themselves reported to me) he got from them in answer to the King's letter and case, their opinion ... that when ... the whole kingdom is in danger, your Majesty may by writ command all your subjects to furnish ships with men, victuals and ammunition, and may compel the doing thereof. And that in such case your Majesty is the sole judge both of the dangers and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided. This opinion was signed by twelve judges.' Whitelock, Memorials, p. 25.
Clarendon remarks on this that 'The damage and mischief cannot be expressed that the Crown and State sustained by the deserved reproach and infamy that attended the judges, by being made use of in this and other like acts of power.' Men heard the payment of ship-money 'demanded in a court of law as a right, and found it, by sworn judges of the law, adjudged so upon such grounds and reasons as every stander-by was able to swear was not law.' He traces the disregard of law afterwards as due very largely 'to the irreverence and scorn the judges were justly in.' History, pp. 108, 109.
But the day of reckoning was at hand. In 1640, Judge Berkley, one of the twelve, was impeached by the Commons for his opinion in favour of ship-money, and was taken from his seat to prison by black-rod 'which,' says Whitelock, 'struck a great terror in the rest of his brethren.' Memorials, p. 40. Their turn came next, p. 47. we know.
7. The king and the parliament now falling out, are just as when there is foul play offered amongst gamesters; one snatches the other's stake, they seize what they can of one another's. 'Tis not to be asked whether it belongs not to the king to do this or that: before, when there was fair play, it did, but now they will do what is most convenient for their own safety. If two fall to scuffling, one tears the other's band, [grb] Bands were decorative neckwear, used instead of ruffs in Selden's time. In the 18th century they were worn primarily by clergy and lawyers. Almost every surviving picture of the New England cleric Cotton Mather shows him in bands. the other tears his; when they were friends they were quiet, and did no such thing; they let one another's bands alone.
The king calling his friends
In 1643 the King ...
summoned all the members of both Houses of Parliament (except
only such as, having command in His
Majesty's armies, could not be
absent from their charges) to attend upon His Majesty at Oxford,
upon a day fixed in January next. Clarendon, Hist. ii. 622.
Thither, accordingly, the King's friends went, and a Parliament at Oxford was opened in due form. Meanwhile work of a different kind was in progress elsewhere; so that the Earl of Essex, in reply to a long letter from the absentees, written in the interest of peace and assuring him of the King's gracious purposes and general good-will to his subjects, was able to enclose with his curt answer a copy of 'a national covenant solemnly entered into by both the kingdoms of England and Scotland, and a declaration passed by them both together with another declaration by the kingdom of Scotland.' Clarendon, Hist ii. 666.
These documents, the effect of which was to bind the signatories to keep firm in their armed resistance to the King, are given by Clarendon the first at full length, the others (passed and published about the very time that the overture for peace came from Oxford) in substance ; pp. 560, 667, ff.
So true did Selden's words prove, that 'when his friends are absent, the King will be lost.' from the parliament, because he had use of them at Oxford, is as if a man should have use of a little piece of wood, and he runs down into 97 the cellar and takes the spiggot, in the meantime all the beer runs about the house. When his friends are absent, the king will be lost.
LXXIII. Knights' Service.
Knights' service [grb] Knight's service seems a strange topic for Selden, except as an antiquarian curiosity. The practice of knight's service came into being after the Conquest. Manors were in many cases subdivided into fiefs, or knight's fees; a common basis for granting such a fief to a knight was that the knight agree annually to serve 40 days in the service of the manor-holder (usually a baron). But a payment was soon substituted for actual service, and as early as the reign of Edward I, knight's service in practice had disappeared. Although land could (until 1660) be held by knight's service, actual service had not been expected for hundreds of years. See Joseph Fisher, A History of Landholding in England (2004). in earnest means nothing, for the lords are bound to wait upon the king when he goes to war with a foreign enemy with, it may be, one man and one horse; and he that does not, is to be rated so much as shall seem good to the next parliament. And what will that be? So 'tis for a private man that holds of a gentleman.
1. When men did let their land under foot, i.e. for less than their value. See Bacon, Essay 41, Of Usury: 'they would be forced to sell their means, be it lands or goods, far under foot' the tenants would fight for their landlords, so that way they had their retribution: but now they will do nothing for them; nay, be the first, if but a constable bid them, that shall lay the landlord by the heels; and therefore 'tis vanity and folly not to take the full value.
2. Allodium is a law word, contrary to feudum. and it signifies land that holds of nobody. So regna allodiata are kingdoms that are not held in fee to any body. We have no such lands in England. 'Tis a true proposition: all the land in England is held, either immediately or mediately of the king.98
1. To a living tongue new words may be added, but not to a dead tongue, as Latin, Greek, Hebrew, &c.
2. Latimer sometimes spelt Latiner or Latinier, has the different senses of interpreter, herald, and secretary, all based on the original sense one who knows several languages, and who is thus qualified to act in any one of the above three capacities. See Warton, Hist. of English Poetry, vol. i. p. 65, text and note (ed. 1840, in 3 vols.), where numerous instances are given of its use by early English and French writers. is the corruption of latiner; it signifies he that interprets Latin; and though he interpreted French, Spanish, or Italian, he was called the king's latiner, that is, the king's interpreter.
3. If you look upon the language spoken in the Saxon time. and the language spoken now, you will find the difference to be just as if a man had a cloak that he wore plain in queen Elizabeth's days, and since has put in here a piece of red, and there a piece of blue, here a piece of green and there a piece of orange-tawny. We borrow words from the French, Italian, Latin, as every pedantic man pleases.
4. We have more words than notions; half-a-dozen
words for the same thing. Sometimes we
put a new signification to an old word, as when
we call a piece a gun.
The word gun was
'Theo othre into the wallis stygh (climb)
And the kynges men with gonnes sleygh.'
King Alisaunder, pt. i. chap. 12, 1. 3268.
The date of this poem is very early in the fourteenth century and therefore before gunpowder was in use. See Warton, Hist. of English Poetry, sec. 6. Weber's note on the passage is:—
'As to the word gonne, we have here perhaps the earliest use of it that can now be adduced, and it certainly signifies a machine for expelling balls of some kind.... A gun might have originally been a machine of the catapult kind; and on the adoption of powder, having changed its form, might still retain its name.' Metrical Romances, vol. iii. p. 306 (Edinburgh, 1810).
See also Chaucer, in his description of a battle between Antony and Augustus:
'With grisly soune out gooth the grete gonne,
And hertely they hurtelen al attones,
And fro the toppe downe cometh the grete stones.'
Legend of Good Women. Legenda Cleopatrie, 1. 58.
This may, of course, be an anachronism, as the use of gunpowder was known to Chaucer and is referred to by him elsewhere. But the general drift of the passage makes for the earlier sense of the word. That after the invention of gunpowder the word soon passed to the sense which it now bears, appears from a passage in Grafton's Chronicle in ann. 1380 : 'In this time, as saith Polidore in his boke De Inventoribus rerum, gonnes were first in use, which were invented by one of Germany. But, saith he, lest he should be cursed for ever that was the author of this invention, therefore his name is hidden and not known.' Chronicle, p. 429 (London, 1809). in use in England for an engine to cast a thing 99 from a man, long before there was any gunpowder found out.
5. Words must be fitted to a man's mouth. 'Twas well said of the fellow that was to make a speech for my lord mayor, he desired to take measure of his lordship's mouth.
1. A man may plead not guilty, and yet tell no lie; for by the law no man is bound to accuse himself; so that when I say, Not guilty, the meaning is, as if I should say by way of paraphrase, I am not so guilty as to tell you; if you will bring me to a trial, and have me punished for this you lay to my charge, prove it against me.
2. Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.
3. The King of Spain was outlawed [grb] See the notes on "De Haver v. the Queen of Portugal" and "Wadsworth v. the Queen of Spain", in The Law Library, v. 88, p. 415 ff., where the opinion of Chief Justice Campbell includes this: 'Such an extract from an amusing book of anecdotes cannot be considered any authority for the position that a Sovereign Prince may be sued as such in our municipal Courts, and that property belonging to him in his public capacity may be seized to compel an appearance. The statement is in no way authenticated by Selden himself, and is merely a loose report of what is supposed to have fallen from him in conversation. It cannot be accurate, as the outlawry is, first, supposed to have been for non-payment of costs; and, secondly, for not appearing; and, according to the usual practice, it could not have been in Westminster-hall. We have caused search to be made for the record, but it is not forthcoming. There may, de facto, be judgment of outlawry against any Sovereign Prince who does not appear after being proclaimed the requisite number of times at the County Court or Court of Hustings, no inquiry being made whether the defendant be an alien or a nativeborn Englishman, an emperor or a peasant; but this proceeding is clearly irregular, and all concerned in it would be liable to punishment.' in Westminster Hall, 100 I being of council against him. A merchant had recovered costs against him in a suit, which because it could not get, we advised to have him outlawed for not appearing, and so he was. As soon as Gondomar heard that, he presently sent the money; by reason if his master had been outlawed he could not have the benefit of the law; which would have been very prejudicial, there being then many suits depending betwixt the king of Spain and our English merchants.
4. Every law is a contract between the king and
the people, and therefore to be kept. A hundred
men may owe me a hundred pounds, as well as
one man; and shall they not pay me because they
are stronger than I?
Objection: Oh! but they lose all if they keep that law.
Answer: Let them look to the making of their bargains. If I sell my lands, and when I have done, one comes and tells me I have nothing else to keep me, I and my wife and children must starve, if I part with my land; must I not therefore let them have my land that have bought it, and paid for it?
5. The Parliament may declare law, as well as
any other inferior court may, viz., the king's
bench. In that or this particular case the king s
bench will declare unto you what the law is, but
that binds nobody but whom the case concerns:
so the highest court, the Parliament, may do,
but not declare law,
In a Declaration or Remonstrance
of the Lords and Commons (May, 1642), an uncontrolled power of
declaring law as they please is claimed
for the Parliament in direct
terms. See, 'If the question be, whether that be law which the
Lords and Commons have once declared to be so, who shall be the
Judge? Not his Majesty; for the
King judgeth not of matters of law
but by his courts, and his courts,
though sitting by his authority,
expect not his assent in matters of
law. Nor any other courts, for
they cannot judge in that case
because they are inferior, no appeal
lying to them from Parliament,
the judgment whereof is, in the eye of
the law, the King's judgment in his
highest court, though the King in
his person be neither present nor assenting thereto.' Rushworth,
Collections, iv. 698.
This can hardly be distinguished from a claim to do what Selden terms 'make law that was never heard of before.' Selden's restriction applies, of course, to Parliament sitting in its judicial, not in its legislative capacity. See 'Power, State,' sec. 8, where he lays it down that 'the Parliament of England has no arbitrary power in point of Judicature, but in point of making law.' [that is] make law that was never heard of before
LXVII. Law of Nature.
I cannot fancy to myself
This is Selden's position in
De Jure Naturali, &c., apud Ebraeos.
He there treats the
Law of Nature as identical with certain precepts handed down by
Noah to his descendants. These precepts were of Divine origin,
communicated by God to Adam, and by Adam to Noah. The same theory
will be found in Gratian's work on the Canon Law (written about 1150)
known as the Decretum Gratiani, and long an accepted authority for
the subject of which it treats. But it
appears there in a different form
and without the laboured proofs which Selden accumulates from
Jewish traditional sources. See ' Humanum genus duobus regitur,
naturali videlicet jure et moribus.
Jus naturae est, quod in lege et
evangelio continetur, quo quisque
jubetur alii facere quod sibi vult
fieri, et prohibetur alii inferre
quod sibi nolit fieri. Unde Christus
in Evangelio: "Omnia quaecunque vultis ut faciant vobis homines,
et vos, eadem facite illis. Haec est enim lex et prophetae."
' Hinc Isodorus in V libro Etymologiarum [c. 2] ait Omnes leges aut divinae sunt aut humanae. Divinae natura, humanae moribus constant.' Corpus Juris Canonici. Friedberg, vol. i. p. i (ed. 2, 1879). what the law of nature means, but the law of God. How should I know I ought not to steal, I ought not to commit adultery, unless somebody had told me so? Surely 'tis because I have been told so. 'Tis not because I think I ought not to do them, nor because you think I ought not; if so, our minds might change: whence, then, comes the restraint? From a higher Power; nothing else can bind. I cannot bind myself, for I may untie myself again; nor an equal cannot bind me, for we may untie one another. It must be a superior, even God Almighty. If two of us make a bargain, why should either 102 of us stand to it? What need you care what you say, or what need I care what I say? Certainly because there is something about me that tells me fides est servanda, [grb] Contracts are to be kept. and if we after alter our minds and make a new bargain, there is fides servanda there, too.
1. No man is the wiser for his learning; it may administer matter to work in, or objects to work upon, but wit and wisdom are born with a man.
2. Most men's learning is nothing but history duly taken up. If I quote Thomas Aquinas for some tenet, and believe it because the schoolmen say so, that is but history. Few men make themselves masters of the things they write or speak.
3. The Jesuits and the lawyers of France, and the Low Country men, have engrossed all learning. The rest of the world make nothing but homilies. [grb] Commentary.
4. 'Tis observable that in Athens where the arts flourished, they were governed by a democracy: learning made them think themselves as wise as anybody, and they would govern as well as others; and they spake, as it were by way of contempt, that in the east and in the north they had kings. And why? Because the most part of them followed their business; and if some one man had made himself wiser than the rest, he governed them, and they willingly submitted themselves to him. Aristotle makes the observation. And as 103 in Athens, the philosophers made the people knowing, and therefore they thought themselves wise enough to govern, so does preaching with us, and that makes us affect a democracy; for upon these two grounds we all would be governors; either because we think ourselves as wise as the best, or because we think ourselves the elect and have the Spirit, and the rest a company of reprobates that belong to the devil.
Lecturers do in a parish
In the early part of
Charles's reign, the lecturers were
under the control of the bishops,
and we have frequent proof of the
trouble which they caused, and of
the pains taken by Laud and by other bishops to keep a tight hand
upon them, and to see that they
did not abuse the somewhat anomalous
position which they occupied as licensed
trespassers on another man's
ground. By the parliamentary
party they were regarded with great
favour, and were, so to say,
established by an Order of the House
(Sept. 6, 1641) 'that it shall
be lawful for the Parishioners of any Parish
in the Kingdom of England or
Dominion of Wales, to set up a lecture,
and to maintain an orthodox
minister at their own charge, to preach
every Lord's day where there is
no preaching, and to preach one day
in every week where there is no weekly lecture.'
'Thus (says Nalson) did they set up a spiritual Militia of those lecturers who were to marshall their troops ... neither parsons, vicars, nor curates, but like the order of the Friers Predicants among the Papists, who run about tickling the people's ears with stories of legends and miracles, in the meantime picking their pockets, which were the very faculties of these men.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 447, 8. church what the friars did heretofore; get away not only the affections, but the bounty that should be bestowed upon the minister.
2. Lecturers get a great deal of money, because
they preach the people tame
(as a man watches a hawk)
i.e. forces it to watch; keeps it
without sleep. For this obsolete use of the word, conf.:
'Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come and know her keeper's call,
That is to watch her, as we watch these kites
That bate and beat and will not be obedient...
Last night she slept not, nor to-night she shall not,' &c.
Taming of the Shrew, iv. sc. i.
'my lord shall never rest,
I'll watch him tame.' Othello, iii. sc. 3.
This is still a known method by which wild hawks are tamed: see 'I have trained haggards or wild hawks perfectly in three weeks. This is done by keeping them awake at night and during the day, until tame.' Corballis, Forty-five Years of Sport. Falconry, p. 463. and then they do what they list with them.
The lecture in Blackfriars,
By 1647, after a good deal
of alarm had been caused to the
Presbyterian party by the growing
influence of the Independents, and after several efforts had been
made to put down their unlicensed
preaching in the army and elsewhere,
'liberty of conscience was now become the great charter; and
men who were inspired, preached and prayed when and where they
would. Cromwell himself was the greatest
preacher; and most of the
officers of the army, and many
common soldiers, shewed their gifts
that way.' Clarendon, Hist. iii. 175.
Walker, in his History of Independency, gives a specimen of a common soldier's sermon, preached in 1649; and tells how, on the Sunday after Easter day, six preachers militant at Whitehall tired the patience of their hearers, until at last the Spirit of the Lord called up Oliver Cromwell, who spent an hour in prayer and an hour and a half in a sermon. Part ii. pp. 152, 153 (ed. of 1660). performed by officers of the army, tradesmen, and ministers, is as if a great lord should make a feast, and he would have his cook dress one dish, and his coachman another, his porter a third, &c.
Though some make slight of libels, [grb] Libels were short pamphlets, usually a single sheet printed in broadside (text on one side only) or broadsheet (text on both sides), posted as libelous attacks on persons. yet you may see by them how the wind sits. As take a straw and throw it up into the air, you shall see by that which way the wind is, which you shall not do by casting up a stone. More solid things do not show the complexion of the times so well as ballads and libels.
1. There is no church without a liturgy, nor indeed can there be conveniently, as there is no school without a grammar. One scholar may be taught otherwise upon the stock of his acumen, but not a whole school. One or two that are piously disposed may serve themselves their own way, but hardly a whole nation.
2. To know what was generally believed in all ages, the way is to consult the liturgies, not any private man's writing. As if you would know how the Church of England serves God, go to the Common prayer book, consult not this, or that man. Besides, liturgies never compliment, nor use high expressions; the Fathers ofttimes speak oratoriously.
LXXXII. Lords before the Parliament.
1. Great lords, by reason of their flatterers, are the first that know their own virtues, and the last that know their 106 own vices. Some of them are ashamed upwards, because their ancestors were too great. Others are ashamed downwards, because they were too mean.
2. The prior of St. John of Jerusalem See Excursus D. is said to be primus baro Angliæ, the first baron of England, because, being last of the spiritual barons, he chose to be first of the temporal. He was a kind of an otter, a knight half spiritual, and half temporal. [grb] As an otter is half a land animal, half aquatic.
3. Question.: Whether is every baron a baron of
Answer.: 'Tis according to his patent. See Selden's Titles of Honour, Part ii. ch. 5, sec. 28, where the whole subject is discussed at length, and illustrations are given of the earlier and later forms of patents of nobility. Works, iii. 774. Of late years they have been made baron of some place, but anciently not, called only by their sirname, or the sirname of some family into which they have been married.
4. The making of new lords lessens all the rest. 'Tis in the business of lords, as it was with St. Nicholas's image: [grb] See LVII. Images, section 2. the countryman, you know, could not find in his heart to adore the new image, made of his own plum-tree, though he had formerly worshipped the old one. The lords that are ancient we honour, because we know not whence they were; but the new ones we slight, because we know their beginning.
For the Irish lords here
In 1626 a petition was addressed
to the King, complaining that
Scotch and Irish Lords, presuming on
a precedence which had been granted
them by courtesy, 'do by reason
of some late created dignities in those kingdoms of Scotland and
Ireland, claim precedency of the peers of this realm, which tends
both to the disservice of your Majesty
and these realms, and to the
great disparagement of the English nobility....
'We therefore humbly beseech your Majesty that ... some course may be taken ... so as the inconvenience to your Majesty may be prevented, and the prejudice and disparagement of the Peers and nobility of this kingdom be redressed.' Rushworth, Collections, i. 233.
Among the reasons given in support of the petition is a statement that these Scotch and Irish Lords, whatever titles they bear, are ' in the eye of the Law no more than mere Plebeians.' to take upon them in England 107 is as if the cook in the friars After the death of the Earl of Kent, Selden lived with the Countess Dowager, generally at her house in Whitefriars. The obtrusive 'cook in the Friars' may be understood therefore as the cook from some neighbour's house. The var. lec. 'fair' or 'fairs ' seems to have been put in by some one who did not bear in mind where Selden had been domiciled. should come to my Lady Kent's kitchen, and take upon him to roast the meat there because he is a cook in another place.
LXXXIII. Lords in the Parliament.
The lords' giving protections
The effect of a protection was
that the person holding it could
not be arrested for debt. It was rightfully given to a
servant of a member of either House, and was sought
and obtained and used by many
persons who had no rightful claim to it,
and who used it to evade payment of their just debts.
In 1641 a petition was delivered to the Commons by divers citizens of London, against the abuses of Parliamentary protections, alleging that if there were not some speedy order for the calling in or regulating the same, they would occasion the undoing of many families. Rushworth, Collections, iv. 279.
It appears from the Lords' Journals that this petition was addressed to both Houses, and was considered by both. A few days afterwards a Committee of the House sat, and concluded that divers protections should be annulled, some being surreptitiously obtained, others procured by persons of ability, on purpose to defeat their creditors, iv. 282. This abuse of protections was felt by London tradesmen as a greater grievance than ship-money, iv. 396. is a scorn upon them. A protection means nothing actively, but passively. He 108 that is a servant to a Parliament man is thereby protected. What a scorn it is to a person of honour to put his hand to two lies at once, that such a man is my servant and employed by me; when haply he never saw the man in his life, nor before never heard of him!
The lords protesting
The first formal protest of the
Lords was on Sept. 9, 1641, against a resolution of the House for
printing and publishing a former order concerning Divine Service,
while a question was pending as to a conference between the two
Houses on the subject. Six lords protested,
and their protest of disassent
to the vote was entered on the Journals of the House. Rogers,
Protests of the Lords, vol. i. p. 7.
There were two more protests in that year, and several in the year following. Rogers defends the practice as being, at that time, a courageous avowal of sympathy with the Parliamentary party. He remarks, further, that under the old rules of the House of Lords, the division lists were entered on the Journals, but that in 1641 this had ceased to be done, so that a formal protest of dissent was then the only method by which an adverse vote could be recorded.
is foolish. To protest is properly to save to a man's self some right. But to protest, as the lords protest, when they themselves are involved, 'tis no more than if I should go into Smithfield and sell my horse and take the money; and yet when I have your money, and you my horse, I should protest this horse is mine, because I love the horse, or I do not know why I do protest, because my opinion is contrary to the rest. Ridiculous! when they say This perhaps refers to a speech which had been made by Hyde (better known as Lord Clarendon) in defence of Geoffrey Palmer. After the vote of the Commons in favour of the Remonstrance of 1641, and when the motion before the House was that the Remonstrance should be printed, Palmer, one of the minority, had, with others, claimed a right to protest, in the event of the motion being carried. He was called to account for this as a breach of privilege, and in the course of the debate on the matter Hyde said: 'He was not old enough to know the ancient customs of that House; but that he well knew it was a very ancient custom in the House of Peers, and leave was never there denied to any man who asked that he might protest, and enter his dissent against any judgment of the House to which he would not be understood to have given his consent.' Clarendon, Hist. vol. i. 489. the bishops anciently did protest, 109 it was only dissenting, and that in the case of the Pope.
1. Of all actions of a man's life, his marriage does least concern other people; yet of all actions of our life, 'tis most meddled with by other people.
2. Marriage is nothing but a civil contract. 'Tis true, 'tis an ordinance of God; so is every other contract; God commands me to keep it, when I have made it.
3. Marriage is a desperate thing. The frogs in Æsop were extremely wise; they had a great mind to some water, but they would not leap into the well, because they could not get out again.
4. We single out particulars, and apply God's providence to them. Thus when two are married and have undone one another, they cry it was God's providence we should come together, when God's providence does equally concur to everything.
LXXXV. Marriage of Cousin-Germans.
Some men forbear to marry cousin-germans [grb] First cousins. out of this kind of scruple of conscience, because it was 110 unlawful before the Reformation, The more ancient prohibition of the Canon Law was to the seventh generation: 'De affinitate consanguinitatis pergradus cognationis, placuit usque ad septimam generationem observari. And the same was the law of the Church of England ... But in the 4th Council of Lateran, which was held in the year of our Lord 1215, the prohibition was reduced to the fourth degree ... which limitation was also the rule of the Church of England; as appears, not only by this Statute (i.e. by 32 Henry VIII, cap. 38, declaring as a new rule that all marriages are lawful if beyond the Levitical degrees) but also by the frequent dispensations for the fourth degree, and no further, which we meet with in our ecclesiastical records, as granted here by special authority from the see of Rome.' Gibson, Codex, p. 411. and is still in the Church of Rome. And so by reason their grandfather or their great-grandfather did not do it, upon that old score they think they ought not to do it; as some men forbear flesh upon Friday, not reflecting upon the statute, which with us makes it unlawful, but out of an old score, because the Church of Rome forbids it, and their forefathers always forbore flesh upon that day. Others forbear it out of a natural consideration; because it is observed, for example, in beasts if two couple of a near kin, the breed proves not so good. The same observation they make in plants and trees, which degenerate being grafted upon the same stock. And 'tis also further observed, those matches between cousin-germans seldom prove fortunate. But, for the lawfulness, there is no colour but cousin-germans in England may marry both by the law of God and man; for with us we have reduced all the degrees of marriage to those in the Levitical law, and 'tis plain there's nothing against it. As for that that is said, cousin-germans once removed may not marry, [grb] Part of the confusion was doubtless the way in which consanguinity was computed in civil, as opposed to canon law. The biblical injunction is implied by the prohibitions in Leviticus 18:6-30 and 20:11-21. Roman law generalized the rule as "to the fourth degree" of consanguinity, although rules of affinity (non-blood relationships) came into play. The difference in calculation of degrees of consanguinity involved how you count back to the common ancestor. By the Canon law, first cousins, having a common grandparent, are at the second degree of consanguinity and may not marry. By the civil law, the degrees of each partner are summed, so they are at the fourth degree, and therefore may marry. Likewise, first cousins once removed have a degree of 3 under the canon rule, but 5 under the civil law. and therefore, seeing a further degree may not, 'tis presumed a nearer should not, no man can tell what it means.
LXXXVI. Measure of Things,
1. We measure from ourselves; and as things are for our use and purpose, so we approve them. Bring a pear to 111 the table that is rotten, we cry it down, 'tis naught; but bring a medlar [grb] Medlar is the fruit of small tree found in Asia Minor. Like the persimmon (to which it is not related) medlars can be eaten only when over-ripe; otherwise they have a muddy and astringent taste. that is rotten, and 'tis a fine thing; and yet I'll warrant you the pear thinks as well of itself as the medlar does.
2. We measure the excellency of other men, by some excellency we conceive to be in ourselves. Nash, [grb] Perhaps Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), an acquantence of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Blank verse was employed in the plays of the time. There is a biography of Nashe by Charles Nicholl in the 1993 supplement to the Dictionary of National Biography. Nicholl also wrote a full biography: A Cup of News: The Life of Thomas Nashe (1984). a poet, poor enough (as poets used to be), seeing an alderman with his gold chain, upon his great horse, by way of scorn said to one of his companions, Do you see yon fellow, how goodly, how big he looks? Why, that fellow cannot make a blank verse.
3. Nay, we measure the goodness of God from ourselves; we measure his goodness, his justice his wisdom, by something we call just, good, or wise in ourselves; and in so doing we judge proportionably to the country-fellow in the play, who said if he were a king he would live like a lord, and have peas and bacon every day, and a whip that cried slash.
LXXXVII. Difference of Men.
The difference of men is very great. You would scarce think them to be of the same species, and yet it consists more in the affection than in the intellect. For as in the strength of body, two men shall be of an equal strength, yet one shall appear stronger than the other, because he exercises, and puts out his strength; the other will not stir nor strain himself. So 'tis in the strength of the brain: the one endeavours, and strains, and labours, and studies; the other sits still, and is idle, and takes no pains, and therefore he appears so much the inferior.112
LXXXVIII. Minister Divine.
1. The imposition of hands upon the minister, when
all is done, will be nothing but a designation of a
person to this or that office or employment in the
church. 'Tis a ridiculous phrase, that of the
This is the phrase used by Aquinas
passim. Conf. e.g. Summa Theolog.
Supplem. pt. iii. quaest. 34,
[grb] Literally, "confer orders". In a hierarchical church, a new priest or deacon is given a place in the hierarchy. 'Tis cooptare aliquem in ordinem, [grb] Receive someone into the body. to make a man one of us, one of our number, one of our order. So Cicero would understand what I said, it being a phrase borrowed from the Latins, and to be understood proportionably to what was amongst them.
2. Those words you now use in making a
minister, Receive the Holy Ghost, were
used among the Jews
This seems to have been
somewhat loosely reported. Selden, in his In Eutychii Origines
Commentarius, treats at length of the
process by which judges, and
elders, and chief doctors of the law,
were appointed among the Jews.
' Quisquis in potestatem judiciariam
seu causarum rite cognoscendarum
facultatem evehendus erat, is per manuum impositionem, verbis
insuper de creatione conceptis,
dignitatem earn regulariter adipiscebatur;
adeo ut dein dignus seu idoneus haberetur qui in synedria,
sive vigintitriumviralia sive
septuagintauniusvirale cooptari legitime
posset, ibique judiciis præesse.' Works, vol. ii. p. 436.
He does not say that the words 'receive the Holy Ghost' were any part of the ceremony, but only that it was believed that the Holy Spirit rested on those who had been thus duly appointed.' Internus ordinationis effectus habebatur eis ejusmodi, ut Spiritus Sanctus ...; super ordinatos quiesceret. De LXX Senioribus Mosi ejusmodi ordinatione adscitis, et de eis qui seculis sequentibus rite ordinabantur, aiunt Et quievit super eos Majestas divina, quam et Spiritum Sanctum vocitant.' p. 438.
Alting, like Selden, traces the custom from very early days, from the appointment by Moses of the seventy elders, and from the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor. Conf. 'Tertius (ritus) est mantis impositio ...; unde tota promotionis solennitas ...; χειροθεσια appellari consuevit.' Historia promotionum Academicarum apud Hebraeos (1652), p. 108.
In an earlier part of the treatise, speaking of Joshua's appointment per impositionem manus, he adds 'Atque hie notandum venit Symbolum secundum in Magistrorum promotionibus adhibitum, χειροθεσια ritus, a Deo ipso, si non usurpatus in Mosis inauguratione, saltern huic praescriptus.' p. 82.
But there is no mention by Alting of the use of the words, 'receive the Holy Ghost,' fully and particularly as he describes every detail of the ceremony in use. Nor do the words in the text, 'in making of a lawyer,' adequately express the rank and authority conferred. That the imposition of hands was copied by the Christians from the old Jewish rite Selden does say, and this is probably what he ought here to have been reported as saying. Works, ii. p. 439. in 113 making of a lawyer; from thence we have them; which is a villainous key to something; as if you would have some other kind of prefecture, than a mayoralty, and yet keep the same ceremony that was used in making the mayor.
3. A priest has no such thing as an
Aquinas insists on the indelible character
of orders of all ranks, of the minor not
less than of the priestly.
Summa Theolog. Supplem. pt. iii. quaest. 35, art. 2.
'If anyone saith that in the three Sacraments, Baptism to wit, Confirmation, and Order, there is not imprinted in the soul a character, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible sign ...; let him be anathema.' Session vii. Of the Sacraments, Canon ix. Canons, &c., of the Council of Trent.
'Forasmuch as in the Sacrament of Order, a character is imprinted which can neither be effaced nor taken away; the holy Synod condemns the opinion of those who assert that those who have once been rightly ordained can again become Laymen.' Session xxiii. ch. 4.
On the other hand, Bingham, a very safe authority, quotes Calvin as saying that the indelibility of orders' was a fable, first invented in the schools of the ignorant monks, and that the ancients were altogether strangers to it: and that it had more of the nature of a magical enchantment than of the sound doctrine of the Gospel in it,' &c. Bingham himself concludes against it as a Romish superstition. The whole subject is gone into very fully in Part ii. of his Discussion on lay-baptism. Bingham, Works, vol. ix. p. 150 ff. What difference do you find betwixt him and another man after ordination? Only he is made a priest, as I said, by designation; as a lawyer is called to the bar, then made a 114 serjeant. All men that would get power over others, make themselves as unlike them as they can; upon the same ground the priests made themselves unlike the laity.
4. A minister, when he is made, is materia prima, [grb] Unformed matter. In alchemy, it was the primitive, formless mass of which all else was made. apt for any form the State will put upon him, but of himself he can do nothing. Like a doctor of law in the university, he has a great deal of law in him, but cannot use it till he be made somebody's chancellor; or like a physician, before he be received into a house, he can give nobody physic; indeed, after the master of the house hath given him charge of his servants, then he may. Or like a suffragan, that could do nothing but give orders, and yet he was a bishop. The reading in the MSS. and in the early printed editions is 'he was no Bishop.' This spoils the argument and is untrue in fact. See 'Bishops before the Parliament,' sec. 1.
5. A minister should preach according to the articles of religion established in the church where he is. To be a civil lawyer, let a man read Justinian, and the body of the law, to conform his brain to that way; but when he comes to practise, he must make use of it so far as it concerns the law received in his own country. To be a physician, let a man read Galen and Hippocrates: but when he practises, he must apply his medicines according to the temper of those men's bodies with whom he lives, and have respect to the heat and cold of the climate; otherwise that which in Pergamus [grb] A Greek city in Asia Minor, north of Smyrna and south of Adramyttium. (where Galen lived) was physic, in our cold climate may be poison. So to be a divine, let him read the whole body of divinity, the fathers and the schoolmen; but when he comes to practise, he must use it and apply it according to those grounds and articles of religion that are established in the church, and this with sense.
6. There be four things a minister should be at; the 115 conscionary part, ecclesiastical story, school divinity, and the casuists.
(1) In the conscionary part he must read all the chief Fathers, [grb] This brief list hardly constitutes the "chief fathers" in Latin and Greek. Origen and Athanasius, for example would have been considered essential in Selden's time. Likely the names listed here were the ones familiar enough for Milward to remember. The Christian Platonism of Clemens of Alexandria; the lawyerly rigor of Tertullian; and the iconoclasty of Epiphanius of Salamis were probably among the ideas which recommended themselves to Selden. both Latin and Greek wholly: St. Austin, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, both the Gregories, and Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Epiphanius, which last have more learning in them than all the rest, and write freely.
(2) For ecclesiastical story let him read Baronius, [grb] Cesare Baronio (1536-1607) was a cardinal and a church historian. His massive 'Ecclesiastical Annals' is the work Selden recommends. See Cyriac Pullapilly's Caesar Baronius, Notre Dame Press, 1975. with the Magdeburgenses, [grb] The 'Centuriae Magdeburgenses' is a methodical church history by Matthias Flacius Illyricus, a Croatian Lutheran (1520-1575) (The New Westminster History of Church History, ed. Benedetto, 2008. vol. 1, p. 249). and be his own judge; the one being extremely for the papists, the other extremely for the protestants.
(3) For school divinity [grb] Scholasticism was a system of dialectical reasoning that attacked logical problem by inference. Its main application was to theological questions. The list of pioneer scholasticists, or "schoolmen", included William of Ockham, St Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus and Duns Scotus. let him get Cavellus's edition of Scotus The reading of the MSS. and of the early editions is 'Javellus' and 'Mayco,' which (as Mr. Singer has pointed out) must be incorrect. Some of Duns Scotus' writings were edited in 1620 by Hugo Cavellus (i.e. Mac Caghwell) a Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh. In 1639 there was a complete edition of Duns Scotus published with variorum notes, in which H. Cavellus is one of several commentators cited.
Mayro, or Franciscus de Mayronis, a voluminous ecclesiastical writer, belongs to the first half of the fourteenth century. He was a disciple of Duns Scotus, and was known among the Franciscans as Doctor Illuminatus. A complete list of his writings will be found in Wadding's Scriptores Ordinis Minorum. or Mayro, where there be quotations that direct you to every schoolman, where such and such questions are handled. Without school divinity a divine knows nothing logically, nor will be able to satisfy a rational man out of the pulpit.
(4) The study of the casuists [grb] Casuistry is the application of principles established in particular cases or circumstances to new cases. It can be thought of as "case-based reasoning". If the details of a new case bear enough significant similaries to a settled case, then the rules established in the settled case also apply to the new one. Selden's point is that casuists need a deep grounding in the reasoning that led to the precedents they extend; and that therefore they should first study the methods of the schoolmen. must follow the study of the schoolmen, because the division of their cases is according to their divinity; otherwise he that begins with them will know little, as he that begins with the study of the reports 116 and cases in the common law, will thereby know little of the law. Casuists may be of admirable use, if discreetly dealt with, though among them you shall have many leaves together very impertinent. A case well decided would stick by a man; they would remember it, whether they will or no: whereas a quaint [grb] This is a sense of the word no longer in use. Selden means that a case based merely on elaborate and skilful, but perhaps specious, argument is unlikely to become a precedent. position dies in the birth. The main thing is to know where to search; for talk what they will of vast memories, no man will presume upon his own memory for anything he means to write or speak in public.
7. Go and teach all nations. [grb] Matthew 28:19. This was said to all Christians that then were, before the distinction of clergy and laity; there have been since men designed to preach only by the state, as some men are designed to study the law, others to study physic. When the Lord's Supper was instituted, there were none present but the disciples. Shall none then but ministers receive?
8. There is all the reason you should believe your minister, unless you have studied divinity as well as he, or more than he.
9. 'Tis a foolish thing to say a minister must not meddle with secular matters, because his own profession will take up the whole man. May he not eat, or drink, or walk, or learn to sing? The meaning of that is, he must seriously intend i.e. give his mind to. his calling.
10. Ministers with the Papists (that is, their
priests) have much respect; with the puritans they
have much, and that upon the same ground, they
pretend to come both of them immediately from
Christ; but with the protestants they have very
little; the reason whereof is,—in the beginning of
the Reformation they were glad to get such to take
livings as they could procure by any invitations,
things of pitiful condition.
Archbishop Parker, in a letter to
the Bishop of London, written circa 1560, says that owing to the
great want of ministers, the bishops had
'heretofore admitted into the
ministry sundry artificers and others
not traded and brought up in
learning; and as it happened in a
multitude some that were of base
These men are termed 'very offensive to the people; yea, and to the wise of this realm; they were thought to do a great deal more hurt than good; the Gospel thereby sustaining slander.' Strype, Life of Parker, bk. ii. ch. iv.
Even in Selden's day, the clergy were a mixed multitude, some of them (according to Sir Edward Deering) 'so poor that they cannot attend their ministry but are fain to keep schools, nay alehouses some of them.' Nalson, Collections, vol. i. 760. 117 The nobility and gentry would not suffer their sons or kindred to meddle with the Church, and therefore at this day, when they see a parson, they think him to be such a thing still, and there they will keep him, and use him accordingly; if he be a gentleman born, that is singled out, and he is used the more respectfully.
11. That the protestant minister is least regarded,
appears by the old story of the keeper of
The clink, according to Stow, was a prison,
adjoining the Bishop of Winchester's
House in Southwark, used in
old time for such as should brabble,
fray, or break the peace. Survey
of London, bk. iv. p. 8 (ed. of 1720, 2 vols. folio).
For the use to which it was put afterwards, see Foxe (Acts and Monuments), who says that Bishops Hooper and Rogers, after being questioned by the Bishop of Winchester, were 'carried to the Clink, a prison not far from the Bishop of Winchester's house.' Vol. vi. p. 650, and again, p. 691 (8 vols. 1849). He had priests of several sorts sent unto him: as they came in he asked them who they were; Who are you? to the first. I am a priest of the Church of Rome. You are welcome, quoth the keeper; there are those will take care of you. And who are you? A silenced minister. [grb] In the 1630s there was an effort by the Church (especially in Archbishop Laud's province) to enforce uniformity by ejecting lecturers who held puritan views. The prisoner was one of those. You are welcome, too; I shall fare the better for you. And who are you? A minister of the Church of England. O God help me (quoth the keeper) I shall get nothing by you, I am sure you may lie and starve, and rot, before anybody will look after you.
12. Methinks 'tis an ignorant thing for a Churchman to call himself the minister of Christ, because St. Paul, or the Apostles called themselves so. If one of them had a voice from heaven, as St. Paul had, I will grant he is a minister of Christ, and I will call him so, too. Must they take upon them as the Apostles did? Can they do as the Apostles could? The Apostles had a mark to be known by, spoke tongues, cured diseases, trod upon serpents, &c. Can they do this? If a gentleman tells me he will send his man to me, and I did not know his man, but he gave me this mark to know him by, he should bring in his hand a rich jewel; if a fellow came to me with a pebble-stone, had I any reason to believe he was the gentleman's man?
1. Money makes a man laugh. A blind fiddler playing to a company, and playing but scurvily, the company laughed at him; his boy that led him, perceiving it, cried, Father, let us be gone; they do nothing but laugh at you. Hold thy peace, boy, says the fiddler, we shall have their money presently, and then we will laugh at them.
Euclid was beaten in Boccaline
See Boccalini, I Ragguagli di
Parnasso (Advertisements from Parnassus), Century II. Advert. 3;
p. 201 in the Earl of Monmouth's translation.
The book is a curious medley. The scene is laid at Apollo's court on Parnassus a great central Academy, at which news arrives, from time to time, of all dates, and from all quarters of the world (as e. g. in the text), and where various characters, ancient and modern, poets, philosophers, politicians, and historians, come up to be judged and have their proper rank assigned to them. It is a court of universal reference, open perpetually to hear complaints and to settle literary disputes. Sentence is given sometimes by Apollo in person, sometimes by his deputies. See also 'War,' sec. 11 and note. for teaching his 119 scholars a mathematical figure in his schools, whereby he showed that all the lives both of princes and private men tended to one centre, con gentilezza, [grb] Kindly. handsomely to get money out of other men's pockets, and put it into their own.
3. The Pope used heretofore to send the princes of Christendom to fight against the Turk; but prince and pope finely juggled together; the moneys were raised, and some men went out to the holy war, but commonly after they had got the money, the Turk was pretty quiet, and the prince and the pope shared it between them.
4. In all times the princes in England have done something illegally, to get money. But then came a Parliament, and all was well; the people and the prince kissed and were friends, and so things were quiet for a while. Afterwards there was another trick found out to get money, and after they had got it, another Parliament was called to set all right, &c., but now they have so outrun the constable—— [grb] That is, the government has become so mired in debt that money is collected in every way possible. Likely this refers to the high rate of taxes collected by both sides in the civil wars. See Subsidies (p. 173), paragraph 1.
XC. Moral Honesty.
They that cry down moral honesty, cry down that which is a great part of religion, my duty towards God and my duty towards man. What care I to see a man run after a sermon, if he cozen and cheat as soon as he comes home? On the other side, morality must not be without religion, for if so, it may change, as I see convenience. Religion must govern it. He that has not religion to govern his morality, is not a dram better than my mastiff-dog; so long as you stroke him, and please him, and do not pinch him, he will play with you as finely as may be, he's a very good moral mastiff; but if you hurt him, he will fly in your face, and tear out your throat.120
In case I receive a £1000, and mortgage
as much land as is worth £2000 to
you, if I do not pay the money at such a day. I
fail; whether you may take my land and keep it
in point of conscience?
Answer: If you had my land as security only for your money, then you are not to keep it; but if we bargained so, that if I did not repay your £1,000 my land should go for it, be it what it will, no doubt you may with a safe conscience keep it; for in these things all the obligation is, servare fidem. [grb] To keep the contract.
All those mysterious things they observe in numbers, come to nothing upon this very ground; because number in itself is nothing, Numbering, Hobbes says, is an act of the mind; and by division of space or of time 'I do not mean the severing or pulling asunder of one space or time from another (for does any man think that one hemisphere may be separated from the other hemisphere, or the first hour from the second?), but diversity of consideration.' Hobbes, Computation or Logic, pt. ii. ch. 7, secs. 3 and 5. has nothing to do with nature, but is merely of human imposition, a mere sound. For example, when I cry one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock, that is but man's division of time; the time itself goes on, and it had been all one in nature, if those hours had been called 9, 10, and 11. So when they say the seventh son is fortunate, it means nothing; for 121 if you count from the seventh backward, then the first is the seventh; why is not he likewise fortunate?
1. Swearing was another thing with the Jews than with us, because they might not pronounce the name of the Lord Jehovah.
2. There is no oath scarcely, but we swear to things we are ignorant of; for example, the oath of supremacy; [grb] The oath of supremacy (although it varied by a few words over the years) ran, "I A. B. do utterly testifie amd declare in my Conscience, that the Kings Highnesse is the onely Supreame Governour of this Realme, and all other his Highnesse Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spirituall or Ecclesiasticall things or causes, as Temporall: And that no forraine Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate, hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction, Power, Superiorities, Preeminence or Authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme. And therefore, I do utterly renounce and forsake all Jurisdictions, Powers, Superiorities, or Authorities; and do promise that from henchforth I shall beare faith and true Allegiance to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires and lawfull Successors: and to my power shall assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Priviledges, Preheminences and Authorities granted or belonging to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires and Successors or united and annexed to the Imperial Crowne of the Realme: so helpe me God: and by the Contents of this Booke." (The Prayer-book Dictionary, ed. Harford and Stevenson, New York, 1912, p. 671.) how many know how the king is king? what are his right and prerogative? So how many know what are the privileges of the parliament, and the liberty of the subject, when they take the protestation? The form of oath agreed upon, and taken by the members of the House of Commons, was as follows: 'I, A. B., do, in the Presence of Almighty God, promise, vow, and protest, to maintain and defend .... the Power and Privileges of Parliament, the lawful rights and liberties of the Subject, and every person that maketh this protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful pursuance of the same' (May 3, 1641). Commons Journals, ii. 132. But the meaning is, they will defend them when they know them. As if I should swear I would take part with all that wear red ribbons in their hats; it may be I do not know which colour is red; but when I do know, and see a red ribbon in a man's hat, then will I take his part.
3. I cannot conceive how an oath is imposed, where there is a parity, viz., in the House of Commons; they are all pares inter se; [grb] Equal among themselves. only one brings a paper, and shows it the rest, they look upon it, and in their own sense take it. Now they are but pares to me, who am one of the house, for I do not acknowledge myself their subject; if I did, then no question I was bound by an oath of their imposing. 'Tis to me but reading a paper in my own sense.
4. There is a great difference between an assertory oath
and a promissory oath. An
assertory oath is made to a man before God, and I
must swear so as a man may know what I mean:
promissory oath is made to God only,
There seems no
reason for this limitation, nor does
it agree with what Selden says
elsewhere. See 'All oaths are either promissory or assentatory
(assertatory?); the first being that
which binds to a future performance of trust;
the second that which is taken for the discovery of a
past or present truth. The first kind
they .... used in taking the
oath of all the Barons for the
maintenance of the great charter,' &c.
&c. Works, iii. p. 1533.
The statement in the text must be understood, therefore, as part and parcel of the argument in sec. 3, which, so helped out, seems to run thus—that since the oaths imposed by Parliament are promissory oaths, and since only a superior can rightfully impose such oaths or can give his own sense to them, it follows that any member of Parliament taking a Parliamentary promissory oath, takes it to God only, and in any non-natural sense which he himself chooses mentally to put upon it. and I am sure He knows my meaning. So in the new oath it runs, whereas I believe in my conscience &c., I will assist thus and thus; that whereas gives me an outloose; for if I do not believe so, for aught I know, I swear not at all.
5. In a promissory oath, the mind I am in is a good interpretation; for if there be enough happened to change my mind, I do not know why I should not. If I promise to go to Oxford tomorrow, and mean it when I say it, and afterwards it appears to me that 'twill be my undoing, will you say I have broken my promise if I stay at home? Certainly I must not go.
6. The Jews had this way with them concerning a promissory oath or vow: if one of them had vowed a vow, which afterwards appeared to him to be very prejudicial, by reason of something he either did not foresee, or did not think of, when he made his vow: if he made it known to three of his countrymen, they had power to absolve him, though he could not absolve himself; and that they picked out of some words in the text. Perjury hath only to do 123 with an assertory oath; and no man was punished for perjury This was by 5 Eliz. ch. 9, sec. 2. Earlier statutes had dealt only with the suborning of false witnesses, and had left the false witnesses themselves untouched. by man's law till Queen Elizabeth's time; 'twas left to God, as a sin against him; the reason was, because 'twas so hard a thing to prove a man perjured; I might misunderstand him, and he swears as he thought.
7. When men ask me whether they may take an oath in their own sense, 'tis to me, as if they should ask whether they may go to such a place upon their own legs. I would fain know how they can go otherwise.
8. If the ministers that are in sequestered livings [grb] During the civil war, many establishment ministers fled or were harried out of their parishes. They were replaced, for the most part, by ministers with presbyterian sympathies. The parishes without their originally-appointed minister were referred to as "sequestered livings". The ousted ministers appealed to be restored after the first civil war. One of their petitions to the generals began... "whereas for divers years they had been outed of their livings, contrary to the fundamental laws of the land, by the arbitrary power of committees, whose proceedings have usually been by no rule of law, but by their own wills; most of them having been turned out for refusing the covenant, or adhering to the king, and the religion established, and of those, divers never called to answer, and scarce one had articles proved by oath, or other legal process; by which means your petitioners are reduced to extreme want and misery; and whereas those who are put into our places labour to stir up the people to involve the kingdom in a new war, and are generally men ignorant and unable to instruct the people; and many of them scandalous in their practices, if impartially examined, and divers of them hold three or four of the best benefices, whilst divers other churches are void, and without any constant preacher. And forasmuch as the main profit of our benefices consists in the harvest which is now at hand, which many of the present possessors, if they could receive, would presently be gone, whereby the burden of the cure will lie upon your petitioners, having nothing to live upon the next year...." (Neal's History of the Puritans (1837), vol. 2, p. 460.) will not take the engagement, [grb] The Engagement Oath, required in the years 1649-1654 of all male subjects of 18 years or more, ran "I Do declare and promise, That I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now Established, without a King or House of Lords." Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum ed. Firth (1911), vol. 2, p. 20.) Some presbyterians in sequestered livings refused this oath. threaten to turn them out and put in the old ones, and then I'll warrant you they will quietly take it. A gentleman having been rambling two or three days, at length came home, and being abed with his wife, would fain have been at something that she was unwilling to, and instead of complying, fell to chiding him for his being abroad so long: Well, says he, if you will not, call up Sue (his wife's chambermaid); upon that she yielded presently.
9. Now oaths are so frequent, they should be taken like pills, swallowed whole; if you chew them you will find them bitter; if you think what you swear 'twill hardly go down.
Oracles ceased presently after Christ, as soon as nobody believed them. Just as we have no fortune-tellers, nor 124 wise-men, when nobody cares for them. Sometimes you have a season for them, when people believe them; and neither of these, I conceive, wrought by the devil.
1. Opinion and affection extremely differ. I may affect a woman best, but it does not follow I must think her the handsomest woman in the world. I love apples best of any fruit, but it does not follow I must think apples to be the best fruit. Opinion is something wherein I go about to give reason why all the world should think as I think. Affection is a thing wherein I look after the pleasing of myself.
2. 'Twas a good fancy of an old Platonic: This bears some resemblance to a passage in the Phaedrus (p. 247-249), in which the Gods are described as borne aloft by winged horses of pure and noble breed, and as thus keeping steadily in their course and in the possession of true knowledge. Other souls, whose horses are unequally yoked, one noble and the other ignoble, cannot easily follow the upward movement of the Gods, but are troubled and confused by the wild tricks of the ignoble horse; and if they are thrown out of their course, and fall to earth, they suffer many disadvantages and are fed with opinion (τροφυ δοξαστυ χρονται) in the place of true knowledge. If Selden's reference is to some later Platonist, this must have been the original which he had in mind. It is one out of many variations on the regular Platonic theme of the distinction between real and phenomenal existence and between the faculties by which they are severally known. the gods which are above men had something whereof man did partake, an intellect, knowledge, and the gods kept on their course quietly. The beasts, which are below man, had something whereof man did partake, sense and growth, and the beasts lived quietly in their way; but man had something in him whereof neither gods nor beasts did partake, which 125 gave him all the trouble, and made all the confusion in the world; and that is opinion.
3. 'Tis a foolish thing for me to be brought off
from an opinion in a thing neither of us know,
but are led only by some cobweb-stuff; as in such
a case as this,
Utrum Angeli in vicem colloquantur?
Whether angels speak to each other.
Reynolds's note: This is a point which Aquinas discusses at length, and on which he concludes in the affirmative. Summa Theolog. pt. i. quaest. 107, art. i and 2. If I forsake my side in such a case, I shew myself wonderful light, or infinitely complying, flattering the other party. But if I be in a business of nature, and hold an opinion one way, and some man's experience has found out the contrary, I may with a safe reputation give up my side.
4. 'Tis a vain thing to talk of a heretic, for a man for his heart can think no otherwise than he does think. In the primitive times there were several opinions; nothing scarce but some or other held: one of these opinions being embraced by some prince, and received into his kingdom, the rest were condemned as heresies; and his religion, which was but one of the several opinions first, is said to be orthodox and to have continued ever since the apostles.
This is the juggling trick of parity; A term, in general use, for a form of Church government by a body of Presbyters or elders and lay assessors all equal in power, as opposed to Church government by bishops. It is so explained, e.g. by Laud, in his sermon before Charles' second Parliament: 'I know there are some that think the Church is not yet far enough beside the cushion; that their seats are too easy yet and too high too. A parity they would have; no bishop, no governor, but a parochial consistory, and that should be lay enough too. Well, first, this parity was never left to the Church by Christ. He left Apostles, and disciples under them. No parity. It was never in use with the Church since Christ; no Church ever, anywhere, till this last age, without a bishop. ... And there is not a man that is for parity--all fellows in the Church--but he is not for monarchy in the State.' Laud's Works, vol. i. pp. 82, 83. they would have nobody above them, but they do not tell you they would have nobody under them.126
1. All are involved in a parliament. There was a
time when all men had their voice in choosing
knights. About Henry the Sixth they found
the inconvenience; so
one Parliament made a law,
The Act 8 Henry VI, ch. 7,
recites that elections of knights of
shires have been made by large and
excessive numbers of persons of small
substance, and that riots and
disturbances are likely thence to arise.
It enacts, accordingly, that
knights of shires to come to Parliament
be chosen by residents in the
shire having free land or tenement worth
at least a clear forty shillings
by the year.
By 10 Henry VI, ch. 2, it is further expressly said that the qualifying estate must be a freehold. that only he that had forty shillings per annum should give his voice, they under should be excluded. They made the law who had the voice of all, as well under forty shillings as above; and thus it continues at this day. All consent civilly in a Parliament; women are involved in the men, children in those of perfect age, those that are under forty shillings a year, in those that have forty shillings a year, those of forty shillings in the knights.
2. All things are brought to the Parliament, little to the courts of justice; just as in a room where there is a banquet presented, if there be persons of quality there, the people must expect, and stay till the great ones have done.127
3. The Parliament flying upon several men, and then letting them alone, does as a hawk that flies a covey of partridges, and when she has flown them a great way, grows weary and takes a tree; then the falconer lures her down, and takes her to his fist; on they go again, hei ret; up springs another covey; away goes the hawk, and as she did before, takes another tree, &c.
4. Dissentions in Parliament may at length come to a good end, though at first there be a great deal of do, and a great deal of noise, which mad wild folks make: just as in brewing of wrest-beer, there's a great deal of business in grinding the malt, and that spoils any man's clothes that comes near it: then it must be mashed, then comes a fellow in and drinks off the wort, i. e. drinks some from the wort. and he's drunk; then they keep a huge quarter i. e. they make a great noise or disturbance. See Halliwell, Glossary of Archaic Words; sub voce 'Quarter.' when they carry it into the cellar, and a twelvemonth after 'tis delicate fine beer.
5. It must necessarily be that our distempers are worse than they were in the beginning of the parliament. If a physician comes to a sick man he lets him blood, it may be scarifies him, cups him, puts him into a great disorder, before he makes him well; and if he be sent for to cure an ague, and he finds his patient has many diseases, a dropsy, and a palsy, he applies remedies to them all, which makes the cure the longer, and the dearer: this is the case.
6. The Parliament men are as great princes as any in the world, when whatsoever they please is privilege of Parliament; no man must know the number of their privileges, and whatsoever they dislike is breach of privilege. Clarendon remarks, with instances, on the extent to which this claim was made, and condemns, as Selden does, the notion 'that their being judges of their privileges should qualify them to make new privileges, or that their judgment should create them such.' This he terms 'a doctrine never before now (i. e. before 1641) heard of.' Hist. vol. i. 618-620. The 128 Duke of Venice is no more than Speaker of the house of commons; but the senate at Venice are not so much as our parliament-men, nor have they that power over the people, who yet exercise the greatest tyranny that is anywhere. In plain truth, breach of privilege is only the actual taking away of a member of the house; the rest are offences against the House. For example, to take out process against a Parliament-man, or the like.
7. The Parliament party,
if the law be for them,
This seems to refer to the proceedings
at the trial of the Earl of Strafford. As Clarendon tells the
story, his accusers began in due form of law, and when there were
difficulties in the way of obtaining
a conviction, they then resolved to
proceed by attainder. Later, when the Bill of Attainder had been
sent up to the Lords, and his accusers
had promised 'to give their
Lordships satisfaction in the matter
of law,' Mr. Solicitor St. John,
speaking on behalf of the Commons, urged
inter alia, 'That, in that
way of bill, private satisfaction to
each man's conscience was sufficient,
although no evidence had been given
in at all, and as to pressing the
law, he said, it was true we give law
to hares and deer because they
are beasts of chase, but it was
never accounted either cruelty or foul
play to knock foxes and wolves on the head as they can be found,
because they are beasts of prey.' Clarendon, Hist. i. 337 ff.
St. John's speech, as Nalson relates it, points no less clearly to a 'Parliamentary way' of overriding the law: 'My Lords, in judgment of greatest moment, there are but two ways for satisfying those that are to give them, either the lex lata, the law already established, or else the use of the same power for making new laws, whereby the old at first received life.... The same law gives power to the Parliament to make new laws, that enables the inferior court to judge according to the old.... What hath been said is, because that this proceeding of the Commons by way of Bill implies the use of the meer legislative power, in respect new laws are for the most part passed by Bill.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 162. they call for the law; if it be against them, they will go to a Parliamentary way; if law be for them, then for law again: like him 129 that first called for sack to heat him; then small drink to cool his sack; then sack again to heat his small drink.
8. The Parliament party do not play fair play, in sitting up till two of the clock in the morning, This was done in the debate on the Remonstrance (1641). The Remonstrance was carried shortly after midnight by 159 to 148 votes. Then came a new debate whether the Remonstrance should be printed, and it was finally resolved that it was not to be printed without the particular order of the House. The attempt to introduce a further restriction that it was not to be 'printed or published' did not succeed, the adverse votes being 124 to 101, The House rose at two in the morning. See Cobbett's Parliamentary History, and Forster's Grand Remonstrance, 17 and 18. The Commons Journals, ii. 322, record the debates and their result, but say nothing about the hour at which a division was taken or at which the House rose. Clarendon's account is exact as to the hours. Hist. i. 485. to vote something they have a mind to. 'Tis like a crafty gamester, that makes the company drunk and then cheats them of their money. Young men and infirm men go away. Besides, a man is not there to persuade other men to be of his mind, but to speak his own heart, and if it be liked,—so; if not, there's an end.
1. Though we write "parson" differently, yet
'tis but "person";
'Those words universae personae regni, I
interpret all Abbots, Conventual
Priors, and the like ... which yet time
and use with us hath long since
confined only to the Rectors of Parish-churches.'
Selden, Titles of Honour, ii. 5, sec. 20; Works, iii. 732.
that is, the individual person set apart for
the service of such a church. and 'tis in Latin
personatus is a parsonage.
'Personatus et dignitas vere supponunt pro eodem;
licet in aliquibus locis rectores ecclesiarum
vocantur Personae et sic habent personatum non tamen dignitatem.'
Ducange, Glossary, Personatus ; and see Selden, iii. 732.
That parson and person were once used indifferently, appears from e.g. 'An Acte that no parson or parsons shall susteyne any prejudice by means of the attaynder of the Lord Cardinal.' 21 Henry VIII, cap. 95. So, too, in i Edward VI, cap. 12, sec. 5. Indeed with the canon-lawyers, personatus is any dignity or preferment in the Church.
2. There never was a merry world since the fairies left dancing, and the parson left conjuring. The opinion of the latter kept thieves in awe, and did as much good in a country as a justice of peace.
Patience is the chiefest fruit of study. A man by striving to make himself a different thing from other men by much reading, gains this chiefest good, that in all fortunes he hath something to entertain and comfort himself withal.
1. King James was pictured going gently down a pair of stairs, and upon every step there was written peace, peace, peace.; the wisest way for men in these times is to say nothing.
2. When a country wench cannot get her butter to come, she says the witch is in her churn. We have been churning for peace a great while, and 'twill not come; surely the witch is in it.
3. Though we had peace, yet 'twill be a great while ere things be settled: though the wind lie, yet after a storm the sea will work a great while.131
Penance is only the punishment inflicted, not penitence, which is the right word: This probably refers to the English version of Article 33, in which the original Latin 'donec per poenitentiam publice reconciliatus fuerit,' is wrongly rendered by 'until he be openly reconciled by penance.' Penitence would clearly be 'the right word' here. a man comes not to do penance, because he repents him of his sin, but because he is compelled to it; he curses him, and could kill him that sends him thither. The old canons wisely enjoined three years penance, sometimes more; because in that time a man got a habit of virtue, and so committed that sin no more, for which he did penance.
1. There is not anything in the world more abused
than this sentence,
Salus populi suprema lex esto;
The welfare of the people should be the highest law.
for we apply it, as if we ought to forsake the
known law, when it may be most for the advantage
of the people, when it means no such thing.
For first, 'tis not Salus populi suprema lex est, but
esto, it being one of the laws of
the twelve tables;
The words, as
Selden states them, occur in Cicero
de Leg. iii. 3, sec. 8; but, like the
other laws in the treatise, they
are said not to be quoted from the
twelve tables; ii. 7, sec. 18.
[grb] The Twelve Tables were a codification and refinement of Roman traditional law, describing, among other things, the relationship between patricians and plebians and the rights and duties of each, drawn up around 450 B.C.E. The tablets upon which they were written were destroyed around 390 B.C.E., and the laws are known only by fragments from various authors. and after divers laws made, some for punishment, some for reward, then follows this, Salus populi suprema lex esto; that is, in all the laws you make, have a special eye to the good of the people; and then what does this concern the way they now go?
2. Objection. He that makes one, is greater than
he that is made; the people make the king;
Answer. This does not hold. For if I have £1,000 per annum, and give it you, and leave myself ne'er a penny, I made you; but when you have my land, you are greater than I. The parish makes the constable, and when the constable is made, he governs the parish. The answer to all these doubts is, Have you agreed so? if you have, then it must remain till you have altered it.
When men comfort themselves with philosophy, 'tis not because they have got [grb] In the sense of "memorized". two or three sentences, but because they have digested those sentences and made them their own. So upon the matter, i.e. in strict fact, really. See 'Subsidies,' sec. i, and: 'It was upon the matter an appeal to the people, and to infuse jealousies into their minds.' Clarendon, Hist. i. 485. 'So that upon the matter, in a great wit, deformity is an advantage to rising.' Bacon, Essay 44, Of Deformity. philosophy is nothing but discretion.
1. Pleasure is nothing else This agrees with one of the accounts of pleasure which Aristotle criticises in the 7th Book of the Nicomachean Ethics, and which he proves to be incomplete by showing that there are some kinds of pleasure to which it does not apply. but the intermission of pain, the enjoying of something I am in great trouble for till I have it.133
2. 'Tis a wrong way to proportion other men's pleasures to ourselves. 'Tis like a child's using a little bird (O poor bird, thou shalt sleep with me) so lays it in his bosom, and stifles it with his hot breath: the bird had rather be in the cold air: and yet too 'tis most pleasing flattery, to like what others like.
3. 'Tis most undoubtedly true, that all men are equally given to their pleasure; only thus, one man's pleasure lies one way, and another's another. Pleasures are all alike simply considered in themselves. He that hunts, or he that governs the Commonwealth, they both please themselves alike, only we commend that, whereby we ourselves receive some benefit; as if a man place his delight in things that tend to the common good. He that takes pleasure to hear sermons, enjoys himself as much as he that hears plays; and could he that loves plays endeavour to love sermons, possibly he might bring himself to it as well as to any other pleasure. At first it may seem harsh and tedious, but afterwards 'twould be pleasing and delightful. So it falls out in that which is the great pleasure of some men, tobacco; at first they could not abide it, and now they cannot be without it.
4. While you are upon earth, enjoy the good things that are here (to that end were they given), and be not melancholy, and wish yourself in heaven. If a king should give you the keeping of a castle, with all things belonging to it, orchards, gardens, &c. and bid you use 134 them; withal promise you that, after twenty years to remove you to the court, and to make you a privy councillor; [grb] The Privy Council was the board of advisors closest to the king. They debated (in secret, as the name implies) all the major issues of the day and had the power, in many cases, to order arrests and to take other actions by the king's government. To be made a privy councillor was to be recognized as a wise and trustworthy advisor. It was also a place of profit because of the influence the small number of councillors had on matters of policy. if you should neglect your castle, and refuse to eat of those fruits, and sit down, and whine, and wish I was a privy councillor, do you think that king would be pleased with you?
5. Pleasures of meat, drink, clothes, &c. are forbidden those that know not how to use them; just as nurses cry, pah! when they see a knife in a child's hand; they will never say anything to a man.
1. Ovid [grb] Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C.E - c. 17 C.E.), a Roman poet, best known for his Metamorphoses, Amores and Ars Amatoria. was not only a fine poet, but, as a man may speak, a great canon lawyer, as appears in his Fasti, [grb] Fasti, a word usually translated "calendar", is the title of the last work Ovid wrote before being exiled from Rome. It describes, sometimes in the form of interviews with gods, the origins and celebration of Roman religious festivals. It is organized by month, and it seems only the first 6 months were ever circulated. There is some internal evidence in Ovid's other writings that the rest of the year was completed, but no trace of that part has been found. where we have more of the festivals of the old Romans than any where else: 'tis pity the rest are lost.
2. There is no reason plays should be in verse, either in blank or rhyme; only the poet has to say for himself, that he makes something like that which somebody made before him. The old poets had no other reason but this, their verse was sung to music, [grb] There is evidence that this was true in ancient Greek plays where the lines of the chorus were sung, or perhaps chanted to music. otherwise it had been a senseless thing to have fettered up themselves.
3. I never converted but two, the one was Mr. Crashaw, [grb[ Perhaps William Crashaw, a virulant anti-Romanist divine, who was father to Richard Crashaw, the metaphysical poet. from writing against plays, by telling him a way how to understand that place, of putting on woman's apparel, Deuteron. xxii. 5. This text is explained by Selden, after Moses Maimonides, as intended to forbid certain magical or idolatrous rites, in the course of which females appeared in male dress, males in female dress, and as having no reference, therefore, to the representation on the stage of female characters by male actors. See Works, ii. p. 365, De Venere Syriaca; and p. 1690, where Selden discusses it at length in a letter to Ben Jonson. The text was used by Tertullian (e. g. De Spectaculis, cap. 23) and by Cyprian (Epist. 61, sec. i) in the sense which Selden disallows; and Prynne, in his Histrio-mastix, quotes and endorses both these authorities, and adds reasons of his own against the practice which they and he condemn. See, especially, p. 208 ff. (in the small 4to. ed. of 1633). It is clear that the objections to the practice do not depend only on what the text in question may or may not mean. which 135 has nothing to do in the business, as neither has it, The objections urged against stage-plays by the fathers were on account of their indecency even more than of their idolatry, and were continued as forcibly as ever at a time when the idolatry had ceased. See Bingham, Christian Antiquities, bk. XI. ch. v. 6 and 9; and, especially, bk. XVI. ch. xi. 12. Prynne, in his Histrio-mastix, quotes numerous passages from the fathers in condemnation of stage-plays, some of which are clearly open to Selden's remark, while others are not. that the fathers speak against plays in their time, with reason enough, for they had real idolatries mixed with their plays, having three altars perpetually upon the stage. The other was a doctor of divinity, from preaching against painting, which simply in itself is no more hurtful than putting on my clothes, or doing anything to make myself like other folks, that I may not be odious nor offensive to the company. Indeed if I do it with an ill attention it alters the case. So, if I put on my gloves with an intention to do a mischief, I am a villain.
4. 'Tis a fine thing for children to learn to make verse, but when they come to be men they must speak like other men, or else they will be laughed at. 'Tis ridiculous to speak, or write, or preach in verse. As 'tis good to learn to dance, a man may learn his leg, learn to go handsomely; but 'tis ridiculous for him to dance when he should go.
5. 'Tis ridiculous for a lord to print verses; 'tis well enough to make them to please himself, but to make them public is foolish. If a man in a private chamber twirls his bandstring, or plays with a rush to please himself, 'tis well 136 enough; but if he should go into Fleet-Street, and sit upon a stall, and twirl a bandstring or play with a rush, then all the boys in the street would laugh at him.
6. Verse proves nothing but the quantity of syllables; they are not meant for logic.
1. A Pope's bull and a Pope's brief differ very much; as with us the great seal and the privy seal, the bull being the highest authority the Pope can give; the brief is of less. The bull has a leaden seal upon silk, hanging upon the instrument; the brief has sub annulo piscatoris [grb] Under the Ring of the Fisherman. Papal briefs were sealed in red wax with the Annulus piscatoris, or fisherman's ring, part of the Pope's regalia (Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Vol. 13, art. Rings.) upon the side.
2. He was a wise Pope, that when one that used to be merry with him, before he was advanced to the popedom, refrained afterwards to come at him (presuming he was busy in governing the Christian world), the pope sends for him, bids him come again, And, says he, we will be merry as we were before; for thou little thinkest what a little foolery governs the whole world.
3. The Pope in sending relics to princes, does as wenches do by their wassails at New-year's tide; they present you with a cup, and you must drink of a slabby stuff: [grb] The wassail bowl, at least in the south and west of England, often contained spiced mulled ale, thickened with pulped apples. See William Sandys Christmas Carols (1833), p. liii. but the meaning is, you must give them moneys, ten times more than it is worth.
4. The Pope is infallible where he hath power to command; that is, where he must be obeyed; so is every supreme power and prince. They that stretch his infallibility further, do but they know not what.
When a protestant and a papist dispute, they talk like two madmen, because they do not agree upon their principles. The only way is to destroy the pope's power; for 137 if he hath power to command me, 'tis not my alleging reasons to the contrary can keep me from obeying: for example, if a constable command me to wear a green suit tomorrow, and has power to make me, 'tis not my alleging a hundred reasons of the foolery of it, can excuse me from doing it.
6. There was a time when the pope had power here in England, and there was excellent use made of it; for 'twas only to serve turns, as might be manifested out of the records of the kingdom, which divines know little of. If the king did not like what the pope would have, he would forbid his legate to land upon his grounds. So that the power was truly then in the king, though suffered in the pope. But now the temporal and the spirtual power (spiritual so called, because ordained to a spiritual end) spring both from one fountain; they are like two twists that— We may perhaps add here 'are spun out of the same stuff.' If the metaphor of the one fountain is to be continued, some other words must be used. The early printed editions read 'they are like to twist that,' an unmeaning remark here.
7.The Protestants in France bear office in the state, because though their religion be different, yet they acknowledge no other king but the king of France. The papists in England they must have a king of their own, a pope, that must do something in our king's kingdom; therefore there is no reason they should enjoy the same privileges.
8. Amsterdam admits of all religions but papists, and 'tis upon the same account. The papists where'er they live, have another king at Rome; all other religions are subject to the present state, and have no prince elsewhere.
9. The papists call our religion a parliamentary
religion; but there was once, I am sure, a parliamentary
pope. Pope Urban was made Pope in
England by act of parliament, against pope
Clement. The act is
not in the book of statutes,
It is given in the folio
edition of the Statutes (1816),
in the original Norman French, and
translated. A few words in the following
extract have been changed
where the translation does not
quite agree with the original text:
'Because our Sovereign Lord the King hath perceived, as well by Letters Patent newly come from certain Cardinals, rebels against our Holy Father Urban now Pope, as otherwise by common fame, that division and discord was betwixt our said Holy Father and the said Cardinals, which afforced them with all their power to depose our said Holy Father from the state papal, .... our Sovereign Lord the King caused the said letters to be showed to the Prelates, Lords, and other great men of the realm being at the said Parliament .... and it was pronounced and published by the said Prelates, by great and notable reasons there showed in the full Parliament, .... that the said Urban was duly chosen Pope, and that so he is and ought to be true Pope, and ought to be accepted and obeyed as Pope and chief of Holy Church. And this to be done all the Prelates, Lords and Commons in the said Parliament do accord.' 2 Richard II, stat. i, ch. 7.
It appears from Walsingham's History that the interference of the English Parliament had been expressly sought by both parties to the dispute.
'Ad idem Parliamentum venerunt solemnes ex Italia papales nuntii .... declarantes injurias et damna quae idem dominus Papa pertulit insolentia apostatarum cardinalium, qui nitebantur eundem cum universa Ecclesia subvertere et infirmare. Venerunt et nuntii eorumdem cardinalium .... allegantes fortiter pro iisdem. Sed Domino Deo avente, qui cuncta juste disponit, repulsi sunt apostatici, et admissi Papales, promissumque subsidium Domino Papae.' Thomas Walsingham, Hist. Angl. p. 216, as printed in Camden's Anglica, Normannica, &c., Script. (Francfort, 1603). 138 either because he that compiled the book, would not have the name of the pope there, or else he would not let it appear that they meddled with any such thing, but 'tis upon the rolls.
10. When our clergy preach against the pope and the Church of Rome, they preach against themselves; and crying down their pride, their power, and their riches, have made themselves poor and contemptible enough; they did it at first to please their prince, not considering what would follow. Just as if a man were to go a journey, 139 and seeing at his first setting out the way clean, ventures forth in his slippers, not considering the dirt and the sloughs are a little further off, or how suddenly the weather may change.
1. The demanding a noble [grb] A noble was a gold coin worth 1/3-pound sterling, or 6s. 8d. for a dead body passing through a town, came from hence. In time of popery, they carried the dead body into the church, where the priest said dirges; and twenty dirges at fourpence apiece, come to a noble; but now 'tis forbidden That it continued or was revived after Selden's day appears from the register of St. Clement's parish, Oxford: 'The Earl of Conway being carried through the parish in a hearse, and the minister of St. Clement's appearing in his surplice to offer burial, he received for the same 6s. 8d. The same he received for Sir Lionel (Leoline?) Jenkins, whose corpse was brought through the parish, and interred in Jesus College Chapel.' See Peshall's Wood's City of Oxford, p. 284 (1773, 4to). The first and only Earl of Conway died without issue in 1683. Sir Leoline Jenkins died in 1685, and was buried in Jesus College Chapel. I am indebted to Mr. C. H. O. Daniel for the above reference. by an order from my lord marshal, the heralds carry his warrant about them.
2. We charge the prelatical clergy with popery to make them odious, though we know they are guilty of no such thing: just as heretofore they called images mammets, and the adoration of images mammetry, that is, Mahomet and Mahometry, odious names; when all the world knows the Turks are forbidden images by their religion.140
CVIII. Power, State
1. There is no stretching of power. It is a good rule, eat within your stomach, act within your commission.
2. They that govern most, make least noise. You see when they row in a barge, they that do drudgery work, slash, and puff, and sweat; but he that governs, sits quietly at the stern, and scarce is seen to stir.
3. Syllables govern the world. Conf. 'Considerare debemus quod verba habent maximam potestatem; et omnia miracula facta a principio mundi fere facta sunt per verba. Et opus animae rationalis precipuum est verbum.' R. Bacon, Opus Tertium, cap. 26 (p. 96, Brewer's ed.).
4. All power is of God, means no more than Fides est servanda. When St. Paul said this, the people had made Nero Emperor. They agree, he to command, they to obey. Then God comes in, and casts a hook upon them, keep your faith; then comes in, all power is of God. Never king dropped out of the clouds. God did not make a new emperor, as the king makes a justice of peace.
5. Christ himself was a great observer of the civil power, and did many things only justifiable because the State required it, which were things merely temporary for the time that State stood; but divines make use of them to gain power to themselves; as for example that of Dic Ecclesiæ, Tell the Church; [grb] Matthew 18:15-17:-- "if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother./But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established./And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." there was then a Sanhedrim, a court to tell it to, and therefore they would have it so now.
6.Divines ought to do no more than what the state permits. Before the State became Christian, they made their own laws, and those that did not observe them, they excommunicated, (naughty men), they suffered them to 141 come no more amongst them. But if they would come amongst them, how could they hinder them? By what law? By what power? they were still subject unto the state, which was heathen. Nothing better expresses the condition of Christians in those times, than one of the meetings you have in London, of men of the same country, of Sussex-men, of Bedfordshire-men; they appoint their meeting, and they agree, and make laws amongst themselves, (He that is not there shall pay double, &c.), and if any one mis-behave himself, they shut him out of their company: but can they recover a forfeiture made concerning their meeting by any law? Have they any power to compel one to pay? But afterwards when the state became Christian, all the power was in them, and they gave the Church as much, or as little, as they pleased; and took away when they pleased; and added what they pleased.
7. The Church is not only subject to the civil
power with us that are protestants, but
also in Spain:
Selden, in his treatise De Synedriis
veterum Ebraeorum, offers full proof
of the supremacy of the Civil
Power in France and Spain as well as in England. See Works, L
975 ff. In the Preuves des Libertez de 1'Eglise Gallicane, a
work to which Selden refers as a leading authority,
there are numerous instances given
in which French excommunications, illegally
pronounced, have been annulled by the
civil power, or in which their
authors have been forced to revoke them. See ch. vi. p. 92 ff.,
and the Traitez des droits et
libertez de 1'Eglise Gallicane (a companion volume to the
Preuves), in which the subject is discussed
at length by several writers.
if the church does excommunicate a man
for what it should not, the civil power will take
him out of their hands. So in France, the
Bishop of Anglers
This was in 1602. See 'Arrest
de la Cour donne en 1'audience,
sur 1'appel comme d'abus du changement
du Breviaire d'Anjou, ordonne par 1'Evesque d'Angers en
1'Eglise de la Trinite audit Angers,
de 1'injonction par luy faite d'user
de celui du Concile de Trente.'
The case was heard on complaint by the Canons and Chaplains of the Church, and the decree of the Court, as entered on the Registres de Parlement, was 'La Cour .... ordonne que le service divin ordinaire en 1'eglise de la Trinite soit continue; et a fait et fait inhibitions et defenses audit Evesque d'innover aucune chose en 1'exercise et celebration du service divin aux eglises de son diocese sans 1'authorite du Roi.' Preuves des Libertez de 1'Eglise Gallicane, ch. xxxi. p. 842.
The chapter is headed 'Que le changement des Missels et Breviaires des Eglises particulieres de France, ne se peut faire sans ordre et permission du Roy.' It gives several instances in which an attempted change had been annulled. altered something in the 142 Breviary; they complained to the Parliament at Paris, that made him alter it again, with a comme d'abus. The appeal from the spiritual to the temporal power is known as l'appel comme d'abus: the person pleading it is described as appellant comme d'abus. Preuves des Libertez, p. 104 and passim.
8. The Parliament of England has no arbitrary power in point of judicature, but in point of making law only.
9. If the prince be servus natura of a servile base spirit, and the subjects liberi, free and ingenuous, often-times they depose their prince, and govern themselves. On the contrary, if the people be servi natura, and some one amongst them of a free and ingenuous spirit, he makes himself king of the rest; and this is the cause of all changes in state: commonwealths into monarchies, and monarchies into commonwealths.
10. In a troubled state we must do as in foul weather upon the Thames, not think to cut directly through; so the boat may be quickly full of water, but rise and fall as the waves do, give as much as conveniently we can.143
1. If I were a minister, I should think myself most in my office, [grb] In the sense of "best fulfilling my responsibilities". reading of prayers, and dispensing the sacraments; and 'tis ill done to put one to officiate in the Church whose person is contemptible out of it. Should a great lady that was invited to be a gossip, in her place send her kitchen-maid, 'twould be ill taken; yet she is a woman as well as she; let her send her gentle-woman at least.
2. You shall pray, [grb] Matthew 6:9 -- "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...." is the right way, because according as the Church is settled, no man may make a prayer in public of his own head.
3. 'Tis not the original Common-prayer Book. Why, shew me an original Bible, or an original Magna Charta.
4. Admit the preacher prays by the spirit, yet that very prayer is common prayer to the people; they are tied as much to his words, as in saying Almighty and most merciful Father. [grb] The beginning of the Prayer of Confession said by the congregation at the start of morning and evening prayers. See the 1768 Book of Common Prayer. Is it then unlawful in the minister, but not unlawful in the people?
5. There were some mathematicians, that could with one fetch of their pen make an exact circle, and with the next touch, point out the centre; is it therefore reasonable to banish all use of the compasses? Set forms are a pair of compasses.
6. God hath given gifts unto men. [grb] Perhaps referring to 1 Cor. 12:7 -- "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." General texts prove nothing: let him show me John, William, or Thomas in the text, and then I will believe him. If a man hath a voluble tongue, we say, he hath the gift of prayer. His gift is to pray long, that I see; but does he pray better?
7. We take care what we speak to men, but to God we may say anything.
8. The people must not think a thought towards God, 144 but as their pastors will put it into their mouths. They will make right sheep of us.
9. The English priests would do that in English, which the Romish do in Latin, keep the people in ignorance; but some of the people outdo them at their own game.
10. Prayer should be short, without giving God Almighty reasons why he should grant this, or that; he knows best what is good for us. If your boy [grb] Servant. should ask you a suit of clothes, and give you reasons, (otherwise he cannot wait upon you, he cannot go abroad but he will discredit you,) would you endure it? You know it better than he; let him ask a suit of clothes.
11. If a servant that has been fed with good beef, goes into that part of England where salmon is plenty, at first he is pleased with his salmon, and despises his beef, but after he has been there a while, he grows weary of his salmon, and wishes for his good beef again. We have a while been much taken with this praying by the spirit; but in time we may grow weary of it, and wish for our Common-prayer.
12. 'Tis hoped we may be cured of our extemporary prayers, the same way the grocer's boy is cured of his eating plums, when we have had our bellyful of them.
CX. Preaching. There are frequent instances of a demand for 'preaching ministers,' and of complaints that ministers do not preach often enough, and that some, bishops especially, do not preach at all. See, e. g. a formal complaint in the House of Commons that there was a deficiency of preaching ministers, a matter which was thought so important and so pressing that a Committee of the House was appointed to enquire about and to find a remedy for it. Commons Journals, ii. p. 54. See also note on 'Lecturers,' p. 103.
1. Nothing is more mistaken than that speech, Preach the Gospel; [grb] Christ resurrected spoke these words to the 11 disciples (Mark 16:15). "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. " for 'tis not to make long harangues, as they do now-a-days, but to tell the news of Christ's coming into the 145 world; and when that is done, or where 'tis known already, the preacher's work is done.
2. Preaching, in the first sense of the word, ceased as soon as ever the gospels were written.
3. When the preacher says, this is the meaning of the Holy Ghost in such a place, in sense he can mean no more than this; that is, I by studying of the place, by comparing one place with another, by weighing what goes before, and what comes after, think this is the meaning of the Holy Ghost; and for shortness of expression, I say, the Holy Ghost says thus, or this is the meaning of the Spirit of God. So the judge speaks of the king's proclamation, this is the intention of the king; not that the king has any other way declared his intention to the judge, but the judge examining the contents of the proclamation, gathers by the purport of the words the king's intention; and then for shortness of expression says, this is the king's intention.
4. Nothing is text but what was spoken in the Bible, and meant there for person and place; the rest is application, which a discreet man may do well; but 'tis his scripture, not the Holy Ghost's.
5. Preaching by the spirit, as they call it, is most esteemed by the common people, because they cannot abide art or learning, which they have not been bred up in. Just as in the business of fencing; if one country fellow amongst the rest has been at the school, the rest will undervalue his skill, or tell him he wants valour (You come with your school-tricks: there's Dick Butcher has ten times more mettle in him). So they say to the preachers, You come with your school-learning: there's such a one has the spirit.146
6. The tone in preaching does much in working upon the people's affections. If a man should make love in an ordinary tone, his mistress would not regard him: and therefore he must whine. If a man should cry fire, or murder, in an ordinary voice, nobody would come out to help him.
7. Preachers will bring anything into the text. The young masters of arts preached against non-residency [grb] A non-resident minister held the living of a parish but did not reside there, usually paying a curate to do the duties of the place. in the university; whereupon the heads made an order, that no man should meddle with anything but what was in the text. The next day one preached upon these words, Abraham begat Isaac; when he had gone a good way, at last he observed, that Abraham was resident, for if he had been non-resident, he could never have begot Isaac; and so fell foul upon the nonresidents.
8. I could never tell what often preaching meant, after a church is settled, and we know what is to be done: 'tis just as if a husbandman should once tell his servants what they are to do, when to sow, when to reap, and afterwards one should come and tell them twice or thrice a day what they know already; You must sow your wheat in October, you must reap your wheat in August, &c.
9. The main argument why they would have two sermons a day, is, because they have two meals a day; the soul must be fed as well as the body. But I may as well argue, I ought to have two noses because I have two eyes, or two mouths because I have two ears. What have meals and sermons to do one with another?
10. The things between God and man are but a few, and those, forsooth, we must be told often of; but things between man and man are many; those I hear of not above twice a year, at the assizes, or once a quarter at the sessions; but few come then, nor does the minister ever exhort the people to go at these times to learn their duty towards their neighbour. Often 147 preaching is sure to keep the minister in countenance, that he may have something to do.
11. In preaching, they say more to raise men to love virtue than men can possibly perform, to make them do their best: as if you would teach a man to throw the bar; to make him put out his strength, you bid him throw further than 'tis possible for him, or any man else: throw over yonder house.
12. In preaching, they do by men as writers of romances do by their chief knights, bring them into many dangers, but still fetch them off; so they put men in fear of hell, but at last bring them to heaven.
13. Preachers say, Do as I say, not as I do. But if the physician had the same disease upon him that I have, and he should bid me do one thing, and he do quite another, could I believe him?
14. Preaching the same sermon to all sorts of
people, is as if a schoolmaster should read the
same lesson to his several forms: if he reads, Amo,
amas, amavi, the highest forms laugh at him; the
younger boys admire him. So it is in preaching to
a mixed auditory.
Question. But it cannot be otherwise; the parish cannot be divided into several forms: what must the preacher then do in discretion?
Answer. Why then let him use some expressions by which this or that condition of people may know such doctrine does more especially concern them; it being so delivered that the wisest may be content to hear. For if he delivers it altogether, and leaves it to them to single out what belongs to themselves (which is the usual way) 'tis as if a man would bestow gifts upon children of several ages, two years old, four years old, ten years old, &c., and there he brings tops, pins, points, ribands, and casts them all in a heap together upon a table before them; though the boy of ten years old knows how to choose his top, yet 148 the child of two years old, that should have a riband, takes a pin, and the pin ere he be aware pricks his fingers, and then all's out of order, &c. Preaching for the most part, is the glory of the preacher, to shew himself a fine man. Catechising would be more beneficial.
15. Use the best arguments to persuade, though but few understand; for the ignorant will sooner believe the judicious of the parish, than the preacher himself; and they teach when they dissipate what he has said, and believe it the sooner, confirmed by men of their own side; for betwixt the laity and the clergy there is, as it were, a continual driving of a bargain; something the clergy would still have us be at, and therefore many things are heard from the preacher with suspicion (they are afraid of some ends) which are easily assented to, when they have it from some of themselves. 'Tis with a sermon as 'tis with a play; many come to see it, which do not understand it; and yet hearing it cried up by one, whose judgment they cast themselves upon, and of power with them, they swear and will die in it, that 'tis a very good play, which they would not have done if the priest himself had told them so. As in a great school, 'tis not the master that teaches all; the monitor does a great deal of work; it may be the boys are afraid to see the master: so in a parish, it is not the minister does all; the greater neighbour teaches the lesser, the master of the house teaches his servant, &c.
16. First in your sermons use your logic, and then your rhetoric. Rhetoric without logic is like a tree with leaves and blossoms, but no root; yet I confess more are taken with rhetoric than logic, because they are catched with a free expression, when they understand not reason. Logic must be natural, or 'tis not at all: your rhetoric figures may be learned. That rhetoric is best which is most seasonable and most catching. An instance 149 we have in that old blunt commander at Cadiz, who showed himself a good orator, being to say something to his soldiers (which he was not used to do) he made them a speech to this purpose: What a shame will it be, you Englishmen, that feed upon good beef and brewess, to let those rascally Spaniards beat you, that eat nothing but oranges and lemons; and so put more courage into his men than he could have done with a more learned oration. Rhetoric is either very good, or stark naught: there's no medium in rhetoric. If I am not fully persuaded, I laugh at the orator.
17. 'Tis good to preach the same thing again, for that's the way to have it learned. You see a bird, by often whistling to, learns a tune, and a month after records to herself.
18. 'Tis a hard case a minister should be turned out of his living for something they inform he should say in his pulpit. We can no more know what a minister said in his sermon by two or three words picked out of it, than we can tell what tune a musician played last upon the lute by two or three single notes.
1. Is a point inaccessible, out of our reach; we can make no notion of it, 'tis so full of intricacy, so full of contradiction; 'tis in good earnest, as we state it, half a dozen bulls one upon another.
2. They that talk nothing but predestination, and will not proceed in the way of heaven till they be satisfied in that point, do as a man that would not come to London, unless 150 at his first step he might set his foot upon the top of Paul's.
John Prideaux (1578-1650)
was for 26 years Regius Professor of Divinity at
Oxford University. He was consecrated Bishop of Worcester in 1641
(Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 46,
in his lectures, several days
used arguments to prove predestination; at last
tells his auditory
This is not quite so. Dr.
Prideaux gave a series of nine lectures on Romans ix. 10, 11, 12.
The first three treat of predestination,
and several of the others touch
upon it. In none of these does he tell his auditory that they are
damned that do not believe it.
But in the last lecture of the series,
against the Roman Catholics, he is
provoked by their assertion that
he himself, as a Protestant, must be damned,
and he retorts accordingly, with
some warmth of expression, that the fate in question is
much more likely to be theirs.
His imaginary opponent has been arguing (Dr. Prideaux, it will be seen, conducts both sides of the dispute) as a point in favour of the Roman Catholic Church, 'Fatentur Protestantes sub Papismo quam plurimos salutem consequi. At Papistae damnatos pronuntiant omnes Protestantes.' Dr. Prideaux rejoins, 'Respondeo. Hoc ipsum arguit Protestantes non tantum Religionis puritate, sed charitate etiam esse adversariis superiores, qui distinguunt tamen inter seductores et seductos, et inter seductos rursus in simplicitate cordium, ante Lutheri reformationem, et obstinatos sequentis seculi, qui moniti ad obortam lucem claudunt oculos. Nam ut de istis dictat charitas ut speremus optima; ita de hisce nihil possumus praeter horrenda polliceri, quamdiu characterem Bestiae in frontibus aut dextris praeferunt. Inter sordes autem istas, ista quae summo cum periculo expectetur salus, non ipsorum additamentis sed iis quae nobis habent communia fundamentis, est attribuenda.' Lectures by John Prideaux (Bishop of Worcester), p. 143 (ed. 3, 1648).
It seems probable from 'Church of Rome,' sec. 2, that Selden may have had this passage in his mind.
Prideaux's first lecture on predestination ends, not with damnatory threats, but with a defence of the doctrine of reprobation, attacking no one in particular, and proceeding somewhat after the fashion of Rabbi Busy with the puppet. 'Si cui haec sententia de absoluta reprobatione videatur asperior, possem respondere cum Augustino. .... Hoc scio, neminem contra istam praedestinationem, quam secundiim Scripturas sanctas defendimus, nisi errando disputare posse.' p. 14. But he does not press this, and it cannot be the passage to which Selden is referring. they are damned that do not believe it; doing herein just like schoolboys; when one of them has got an apple, 151 or something the rest have a mind to, they use all the arguments they can to get some of it from him (I gave you some the other day; you shall have some with me another time); when they cannot prevail, they tell him he is a jackanapes, a rogue, and a rascal.
1. When you would have a child go to such a place, and you find him unwilling, you tell him he shall ride a cock-horse, and then he will go presently: so do those that govern the state deal by men, to work them to their ends; they tell them they shall be advanced to such or such a place, and then they will do any thing they will have them.
2. A great place strangely qualifies. John Read was in the right (groom of the chamber to my Lord of Kent). [grb] Henry Grey (1583-1639), became 8th Earl of Kent in 1623. (There is confusion in the numbering of the earls of this creation; this earl is sometimes numbered 7th). Noy's death was in August, 1634. Attorney Noy [grb] William Noy (1577-1634) was Attorney-general from 1631. He had the reputation of a learned, but not brilliant, lawyer. See Dictionary of National Biography (1904), Vol. 41, pp. 253-255. being dead, some were saying, how would the king do for a fit man? Why, any man, says John Read, may execute the place. I warrant (says my Lord) thou thinkest thou understandest enough to perform it. Yes, quoth John, let the king make me Attorney, and I would fain see that man that durst tell me there's anything I understand not.
3. When the pageants are a-coming there's a great thrusting and a riding upon one another's backs, to look out at the window: stay a little and they will come just to you, you may see them quietly. So 'tis when a new statesman or officer is chosen; there's great expectation and listening who it should be; stay but awhile, and you shall know quietly.
4. Missing preferment makes the presbyters fall foul 152 upon the bishops. Men that are in hopes and in the way of rising, keep in the channel, but they that have none, seek new ways. 'Tis so amongst the lawyers; he that hath the judge's ear will be very observant of the way of the court; but he that hath no regard will be flying out.
My Lord Digby
Lord Digby, who had been one of the
accusers of the Earl of Strafford,
afterwards, just before the final
vote, spoke strongly in his favour,
declaring that he did, with a clear
conscience, wash his hands of that
man's blood, and protesting: 'that
my vote goes not to the taking of
the Earl of Strafford's life.'
Exception was taken to this speech
at the time when it was made (April,
1641): the speech afterwards, by
order of the House, was burnt by
the hand of the common hangman. Nalson, Collections, ii. 160.
Clarendon adds that when Lord Digby was questioned in the House about his speech, he defended himself so well, and so much to the disadvantage of those who were concerned, that from that time they prosecuted him with an implacable rage and uncharitableness upon all occasions. Hist. i. 359.
Clarendon's further account of his call to the Upper House and of the reasons for it, will throw some light on this. He had made private and secret offers of his service to the King, and the King being satisfied both in the discoveries he had made of what had passed, and in his professions for the future, called him by writ to the House of Peers, from which time forward he did visibly advance the King's service, i. 534, 535.
Forster thinks that Selden's image, of the ape who has done some waggery, may have been suggested by the apish tricks of Lord Digby's younger brother, member for Milborn Port. This young gentleman had perched himself upon a ladder in the House of Commons, and was called to by the Speaker and ordered to come down and not sit on the ladder as if he were going to be hanged. This happened on the day when his brother would have been expelled the House, if the King's letters patent had not issued the night before calling him to the Lords. Forster, The Grand Remonstrance, p. 279. having spoken something in the House of Commons, for which they would have questioned him, was presently called to the upper house. He did by the Parliament as an ape when he has done some waggery; his master spies him, and he looks for his whip, but before he can come at him, whip says he to the top of the house.
6. Some of the Parliament were discontented that they wanted places at court which others had got; but when they had them once, then they were quiet. Just as at a christening, some that get no sugar-plums, when the rest have, mutter and grumble; presently the wench comes again with her basket of sugar-plums, and then they catch and scramble, and when they have got them, you hear no more of them.
There can be no præmunire. This statement, as reported, is wider than the facts warrant; and as the rest of the chapter shows, is wider than Selden meant it to be. He is probably arguing against Coke's opinion that a suitor in an ecclesiastical court might still incur the penalties of a praemunire. The first Statute of Praemunire, that of 27 Edward III (A. D. 1353), headed 'Statutum contra adnullatores judiciorum curiae Regis,' enacts that all subjects suing in a foreign court for matters cognizable in the King's court, or questioning elsewhere the judgments of the King's court, shall have warning to answer for such contempt, and on non-appearance shall be outlawed, forfeit their land and goods and be imprisoned. This Act was repeated in more stringent form by 38 Edward III (1363-4), but the offence against which the two Acts were directed was substantially the same, and it was one which, as Selden points out, had become impossible in his time. But a praemunire there still was, for several other named offences, to which the old penalties of a praemunire had been attached in express words. See Blackstone's Comm. Bk. IV. ch. viii. A præmunire (so called from the word præmunire facias) [grb] When a person was accused of seeking alien intervention in a matter of English law, a writ of summons was issued instructing the sheriff to warn the accused to appear before the judges. "Give warning" is the sense of the words "praemunire facias", which appear in the writ (Wharton's Law Lexicon (Philadelphia, 1860), p. 600). was when a man laid an action in an ecclesiastical court, for which he could have no remedy in any of the king's courts; that is in the courts of common law; by reason the ecclesiastical courts before Henry the 8th were subordinate to the pope, and so it was 154 contra coronam et dignitatem regis; [grb] Against the crown and office of the king. but now the ecclesiastical courts are equally subordinate to the king. Therefore it cannot be contra coronam et dignitatem regis, and so no præmunire.
1. Prerogative is something that can be told what it is, not something that has no name. Just as you see the archbishop has his prerogative court, but we know what is done in that court. So the king's prerogative is not his will, or what divines make it, a power to do what he lists.
2. The king's prerogative; that is, the king's
law. For example, if you ask whether a patron
may present to a living after six months by law?
I answer, No. If you ask
whether the king may?
In a case decided
2 James I, it was held that the King, as to the advowson, hath no
greater privilege than another person. This judgment was reversed
two years afterwards on the ground
that the King had special privilege.
Croke, Reports, vol. ii. pp. 54, 123.
This later decision seems to be based on the general principle that 'in the King can be no negligence or laches, and therefore no delay will bar his right. Nullum tempus occurrit regi has been the standing maxim upon all occasions.' Blackstone, Comm. Bk. I. ch. vii. I answer, he may by his prerogative; that is, by the law that concerns him in that case.
1. They that would bring in a new government, would
very fain persuade us, they meet it in antiquity;
interpret presbyters, when they meet the
word in the fathers. Other professions likewise
pretend to antiquity. The alchemist will find his
art in Virgil's
Aeneid, vi. 136-148.
Robertus Vallensis, in his De Veritate et Antiquitate Artis Chemicae (Paris, 1561, the book is not paged), quotes this passage, together with some others from Virgil, as if it proved or illustrated something in his alchemical art, but he gives no precise interpretation to it.
Borrichius, writing a little before Selden's day, says of the lines: 'Haec de materia chemici magisterii fudisse cumaeam vatem opinio est variorum, quos inter Robertus Vallensis, Glauberus, aliique; nec inficiendum sub illo fabulae involucre arcanum sensum delitescere, forsan Virgilio ipsi, qui ex alio haec mutuatus est, incognitum.' The golden bough reminds him of a passage in Acosta (Hist. Nat. lib. iv. cap. i), in which the veins of metal are compared to the boughs of plants, in their form and in the manner of their growth. De Ortu et Progressu Chemicae, p. 101.
Wedel, a later writer, mentions and approves the alchemical interpretation of the lines: 'Majori fide et applausu ad se nos vocant chimicorum filii, qui suum faciunt hunc locum. Hos inter praecipuus Robertus Wallensis .... quern secuti hinc non pauci alii. Instar omnium sit Borrichius, chimicae decus summum.' See Georgii Wolffgangi Wedelii propempticum inaugurate de aureo ramo Virgilii. and he that delights in optics will find them in Tacitus. When Cæsar came into England See 'Possunt sic figurari perspicua ut longissime posita appareant propinquissima .... Sic enim aestimatur Julius Caesar super littus maris in Galliis, deprehendisse per ingentia specula dispositionem et situm castrorum et civitatum Britanniae majoris.' R. Bacon, Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae, cap. 5, Brewer's edition of Bacon's Opera inedita. And again: 'Sic enim Julius Caesar, quando voluit Angliam expugnare, repertur maxima specula erexisse, ut a Gallicano littore dispositionem civitatum et castrorum Angliae praevideret.' R. Bacon, Opus Majus, pars v. p. 357. they would persuade us they had perspective glasses, by which he could discover what they were doing upon the land; because it is said, positis speculis: There is some difficulty about these words. As the text stands, Selden quotes them as having been misinterpreted by Roger Bacon, or by some other writer, and he then adds what he considers to be their true sense. But the words do not occur in any history of Caesar's invasion that I have seen, and I have searched for them with some care. Nor do they seem to admit of the sense which Selden is reported as putting upon them. I think it likely that there has been some error in the report, and that the words in question are a free rendering of what Roger Bacon himself says, and that the rest of the clause ought to appear as Selden's own statement of the real facts of the case, not as his interpretation of what 'positis speculis' means. the meaning is, His watch or his sentinel discovered this and this unto him. 156
2. Presbyters have the greatest power of any clergy in the world, and gull the laity most: for example, admit there be twelve laymen to six presbyters, the six shall govern the rest as they please. First, because they are constant, and the others come in like churchwardens in their turns, which is a huge advantage. Men will give way to them who have been in place before them. Next, the laymen have other professions to follow; the presbyters make it their sole business; and besides too, they learn and study the art of persuading: some of Geneva have confessed as much.
3. The presbyter, with his elders about him, is like a young tree fenced about with three or four stakes; the stakes defend it, and hold it up; but the tree only prospers and flourishes; it may be some willow-stake may bear a leaf or two, but it comes to nothing. Lay-elders are stakes, the presbyter the tree that flourishes.
4. When the queries were sent The power of the Presbytery to pass sentence of excommunication had been limited by the final appeal which the Parliament allowed to a body of lay commissioners of its own appointment. The Westminster Assembly of Divines petitioned against this appeal, and claimed jure divino a right to uncontrolled spiritual jurisdiction. The Parliament in reply sent them a number of very searching queries, drawn up by a Committee of the House, touching the point of jus divinum, and demanding exact scriptural proofs for it (see Excursus E). The Assembly, however, had no scriptural proofs ready, and they were in a great fright to know what to do. They held a consultation, they proclaimed a fast, and appointed committees of their own body to prepare an answer. When the questions came before the committees, first the Independents withdrew, then the Erastians entered their dissent from the answer proposed to question 1, and at length a form of words was agreed upon by a majority vote. The rest of the questions were discussed from May till late in July, but the answers, if any, were never sent to Parliament, and the matter practically dropped, as far as the Assembly had to do with it. Neal, Hist. of Puritans, iii. 253 and 278. See Appendix, Excursus E. to the Assembly 157 concerning the jus divinum of presbytery, their asking time to answer them, was a satire upon themselves. For if it were to be seen in the text, they might quickly turn to the place and shew us it. Their delaying to answer makes us think there's no such thing there. They do just as you have seen a fellow do at a tavern reckoning, when he should come to pay his share; he puts his hands into his pockets, and keeps a grabling and a fumbling and shaking, at last tells you he has left his money at home; when all the company knew at first he had no money there; for every man can quickly find his own money.
CXVI. Priests of Rome.
1. The reason of the statute against priests was this; in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth The statutes, of which Selden speaks, strengthen and grow precise as they proceed. By 1 Elizabeth, ch. 1, sec. 27, penalties are fixed on those who maintain or depend or endeavour to advance any foreign authority in the Queen's dominions. To do this is made high treason on the third offence. Then, 5 Elizabeth, ch. 1, sec. 2 enacts more particularly that any person maintaining the authority of the Bishop of Rome, in any part of the Queen's dominions, shall come under the pains, &c., of the statute of provisions and præmunire ; and shall on the second offence (secs. 10 and 11) be guilty of high treason. Next, 13 Elizabeth, ch. 2 declares that, notwithstanding the above statute, divers seditious and very evil-disposed people have procured bulls and writings from the Bishop of Rome to absolve all those that will be content to forsake their due obedience to the Queen; and enacts that such people shall be deemed and adjudged high traitors to the Queen and the realm and shall be punished by death and forfeiture, Then, 23 Elizabeth, ch. 1 makes it treason for any one to withdraw any or to be himself withdrawn to the Romish religion. Lastly, 27 Elizabeth, ch. 2 declares that divers Jesuits, seminary priests and other priests have come to this country for the purpose of withdrawing men from their due obedience to her Majesty; and enacts that all such persons are to leave the country, and that if being natural born subjects of the Queen, they are found here or come here, they shall suffer the penalties of high treason. there was a statute 158 made, that he that drew men from their civil obedience was a traitor. It happened this was done in privacies and confessions, when there could be no proof; therefore they made another act, that for a priest to be in England was treason, because they presumed that it was his business here, to fetch men off from their allegiance.
2. When Queen Elizabeth died, and King James
came in, an Irish priest does thus express it:
Elizabethâ in orcum detrusâ, successit Jacobus, alter hæreticus.
Queen Elizabeth having been thrust into hell, King James,
another heretic, succeeded to the throne.
You will ask why they did use such language in their Church.
Answer: Why does the nurse tell the child of raw-head and bloody-bones? [grb] Creatures in horror stories told to young children, as Selden says, to scare them into behaving. See Brand's Popular Antiquities, ed. Hazlitt (1905), vol. 2, p. 508. To keep it in awe.
Queen Mother and count Rosset
i. e. Mary de Medici,
the French Queen-mother, who had sought a refuge at the English
Court. In May 1641 the Commons resolved to suggest to the
King 'That her Majesty be moved to depart this kingdom, the
rather for the quieting of those
jealousies in the hearts of his Majesty's
well-affected subjects, occasioned
by some ill instruments about the
Queen's person, by the flowing of
priests and papists to her house,'
&c., &c. House of Commons' Journals, ii. 149.
Hobbes, in the Behemoth (pt. ii. beginning), after speaking of the belief, encouraged by the Parliamentary party, that it was the King's purpose to introduce popery, goes on to say that 'the colour they had for this slander was, first that there was one Rosetti, resident, at and a little before that time, from the Pope, with the Queen .... Also the resort of English Catholics to the Queen's chapel, gave them colour to blame the Queen herself, not only for that, but also for all the favours that had been shown to the Catholics.'
See also a letter from Secretary Windebank to the King (Sep. 7, 1640). 'I most humbly beseech your Majesty to give me leave to propose your writing to the Queen that Rosetti may be advised to retire into France, or some other foreign part, for awhile, and that the Capuchins may likewise disperse,' &c. Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. p. 113. are to the priests and Jesuits like the honey-pot to the flies.
4.The priests of Rome aim but at two things, to get power from the king, and money from the subject.
5. When the priests come into a family, they do as a man that would set fire on a house: he does not put fire to the brick-wall, but thrusts it into the thatch. They work upon the women and let the men alone.
6. For a priest to turn a man when he lies a dying, is just like one that hath a long time solicited a woman, and cannot obtain his end; at length makes her drunk, and so lies with her.
Dreams and prophecies do thus much good; they make a man go on with boldness and courage, upon a danger or a mistress; if he obtain, he attributes much to them; if he miscarries, he thinks no more of them, or is no more thought of himself.
The proverbs of several nations were much studied by bishop Andrews; [grb] Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was considered the best preacher among the learned clergy of his time. His published sermons are sprinkled with folk-sayings. For his life, see Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol. 1, pp. 401-405. and the reason he gave was, because by 160 them he knew the minds of several nations, which is a brave thing; as we count him a wise man that knows the minds and insides of men, which is done by knowing what is habitual to them. Proverbs are habitual to a nation being transmitted from father to son.
When a doubt is propounded, you must learn to distinguish, and show wherein a thing holds, and wherein it doth not hold. Ay, or no, never answered any question. The not distinguishing where things should be distinguished, and the not confounding, where things should be confounded, is the cause of all the mistakes in the world.
1. In giving reasons, men commonly do with us as the woman does with her child; when she goes to market about her business she tells it she goes to buy it a fine thing, to buy it a cake, or some plums. They give us such reasons as they think we will be catched withal, but never let us know the truth.
2. When the school-men talk of Recta Ratio Selden follows here the same line of thought as when he says that the Law of Nature means only the Law of God (p. 101). He urges, in effect, that moral rules must be based on positive law, human or divine, and that without this they have no sanction or meaning. in morals, 161 either they understand reason, as 'tis governed by a command from above; or else they say no more than a woman, when she says a thing is so, because it is so; that is, her reason persuades her it is so. The other acception has sense in it. As take a law of the land, I must not depopulate; my reason tells me so. Why? Because if I do, I incur the detriment.
3. The reason of a thing is not to be inquired after, till you are sure the thing itself be so. We commonly are at What's the reason of it? before we are sure of the thing. It was an excellent question of my Lady Cotton, when Sir Robert Cotton [grb] Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631) was a friend and mentor to Selden. Both men were members of the Society of Antiquaries and the early Parliaments of Charles I. Each was considered the greatest English antiquarian of his generation. Selden made extensive use of Cotton's library -- the best in England in its time. For Cotton's life, see Dictionary of National Biography (1904), vol 12, pp. 308-315, was magnifying of a shoe, which was Moses's or Noah's, and wondering at the strange shape and fashion of it: But, Mr. Cotton, says she, are you sure it is a shoe?
1. King James said to the fly, Have I three kingdoms, and thou must needs fly into my eye? Is there not enough to meddle withal upon the stage, or in love, or at the table, but religion?
2. Religion amongst men appears to me like the learning they got at school. Some men forget all, others spend upon the stock, and some improve it. So some men forget all the religion that was taught them when they were young, others spend upon that stock, and some improve it.
3. Religion is like the fashion: one man wears his doublet slashed, [grb] A jacket-like outer garment, the doublet, was still worn but was going out of style, in Selden's time. The sleeves were often decorated, sometimes with cuts or 'slashes' that showed the shirt beneath. See the Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Costume (2011) by Doreen Yarwood, p. 133. another laced, another plain; but every man has a doublet: so every man has his religion. We differ about the trimming.
4. Men say they are of the same religion for quietness' sake; but if the matter were well examined, you would 162 scarce find three anywhere of the same religion in all points.
5. Every religion is a getting religion; for though I myself get nothing, I am subordinate to those that do. So you may find a lawyer in the Temple that gets little for the present; but he is fitting himself to be in time one of those great ones that do get.
6. Alteration of religion is dangerous, because we know not where it will stay: it is like a millstone that lies upon the top of a pair of stairs; 'tis hard to remove it, but if once it be thrust off the first stair, it never stays till it comes to the bottom.
7. Question. Whether is the church or the scripture
judge of religion?
Answer. In truth, neither, but the state. I am troubled with a boil; I call a company of surgeons about me; one prescribes one thing, another another; I single out something I like, and ask you that stand by, and are no surgeon, what think you of it: you like it too; you and I are the judges of the plaister, and we bid them prepare it, and there's an end. Thus 'tis in religion: the protestants say they will be judged by the scripture; the papists say so too; but that cannot speak. A judge is no judge, except he can both speak and command execution: but the truth is, they never intend to agree. No doubt the Pope, where he is supreme, is to be judge; if he say we in England ought to be subject to him, then he must draw his sword and make it good.
8. By the law was
The Manual was one of the many service-books in use before
the Reformation. See e.g. a
decree of a synod at Exeter (1287), giving
a list of books with which every church was to be furnished, viz.
missale bonum, gradale, troparium,
manuale bonum, legenda, antiphonale,
psalteria, ordinale, venitare ympnare, collectare. Wilkins,
Concilia, ii. 139.
The manual contained the offices and rites and ceremonies which a parish priest in the discharge of his ordinary duties would be called upon to perform, and a variety of other offices less frequently needed. Maskell, in the preface to his Monumenta Ritualia, ch. v, gives a copy of the table of contents of the manual according to the Salisbury use. They were not quite the same as those in use elsewhere, but the claim and belief of Roman Catholic writers is that together with the other devotional books in public use, they represent, substantially and very closely, the forms which Augustine received from Pope Gregory, when he set out on his English mission.
Selden appears to use the word 'manual' here as equivalent to service-book of every kind. received into the church 163 before the Reformation. Not by the civil law, that had nothing to do in it; nor by the canon law, for that Manual that was here, was not in France, nor in Spain; but by custom, which is the common law of England; and custom is but the elder brother to a parliament; and so it will fall out to be nothing that the papists say; that ours is a parliamentary religion, by reason the service-book was established by act of parliament, and never any service-book was so before. That will be nothing that the pope sent the Manual. 'Twas ours, because the state received it. The state still makes the religion, and receives into it, what will best agree with it. Why are the Venetians Roman Catholics? because the State likes the religion. All the world knows they care not three-pence for the pope. The Council of Trent is not at this day admitted in France.
9. Papist. Where was your religion before
Luther, a hundred years ago?
Protestant. Where was America a hundred or six score years ago? our religion was where the rest of the Christian Church was.
Papist. Our religion continued ever since the Apostles, and therefore 'tis better.
Protestant. So did ours. That there was an interruption in it, will fall out to be nothing; no more than if another earl should tell one of the Earl of Kent; He is a better earl than he, because there was one or two of the family of 164 Kent did not take the title upon them; yet all that while they were really earls; and afterwards so in MSS. and early editions. Some later editions read ' as great a prince.' a great prince declared them to be earls of Kent, as he that made the other family an earl.
10. Disputes in religion will never be ended, because there wants a measure by which the business should be decided. The Puritan would be judged by the Word of God: if he would speak clearly he means himself, but that he is ashamed to say so; and he would have me believe him before a whole church, that has read the Word of God as well as he. One says one thing, and another another; and there is, I say, no measure to end the controversy. 'Tis just as if two men were at bowls, and both judged by the eye. One says 'tis his cast, the other says, 'tis my cast; and having no measure, the difference is eternal. Bon Jonson satirically expressed the vain disputes of divines, by Rabbi Busy disputing The dispute referred to is between Rabbi Busy and a puppet belonging to Lanthorn Leatherhead, see Barthol. Fair, Act v. sc. 3. There are various readings of the text of the Table Talk. The Harleian MS. 690, gives 'Inigo Lanthorne disputing with a puppet in Bartholomew Fair.' The Sloane MS. 2513 reads, 'in his Bartholomew Fair,' but otherwise agrees with Harleian 690. The early printed editions read 'Inigo Lanthorne disputing with his puppet in a Bartholomew Fair.' The reading which I have followed that of Harleian MS. 1315 is the only one which is not obviously incorrect. I am inclined to think that the original reading may have been 'Rabbi Busy disputing with Inigo Lanthorne his puppet, in his (sc. Ben Jonson's) Bartholomew Fair,' and that this has been cut down and changed into the various forms given above. Inigo Lanthorne is of course a half-way name between Lanthorne Leatherhead and Inigo Jones, who is assumed to have been satirized by Jonson under the name of Lanthorne Leatherhead. Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones were for many years fellow-workers for the stage, Jonson contributing the words of the masque or play, and Jones undertaking the scenery and stage-properties. This unequal partnership lasted for more than ten years after Bartholomew Fair was brought out (1614). How sharply they quarrelled afterwards, and what a mean opinion Ben Jonson had of his old partner, may be seen from inter alia his 'Expostulation with Inigo Jones ' and his verses 'To Inigo Marquis-would-be,' in which Inigo Jones is held up to ridicule as a mere stage-property-man and puppet-play presenter and would-be poet, very much as Lanthorn Leatherhead is shown in Bartholomew Fair. The resemblance between the two, as Ben Jonson has drawn them, is certain; their intended identification is almost certain. Selden knew Ben Jonson intimately, and if the words 'Inigo Lanthorne' ever came from Selden's mouth, the proof may be regarded as complete. with his puppet in his Bartholomew 165 fair. It is so: it is not so: it is so: it is not so; crying thus one to another a quarter of an hour together.
11. In matters of religion to be ruled by one that writes against his adversary, and throws all the dirt he can in his face, is as if in point of good manners a man should be governed by one whom he sees at cuffs with another, and thereupon thinks himself bound to give the next man he meets a box on the ear.
12. 'Tis to no purpose to labour to reconcile religions when the interest of princes will not suffer it. Tis well if they could be reconciled so far, that they should not cut one another's throats.
13. There's all the reason in the world divines should not be suffered to go a hair beyond their bounds, for fear of breeding confusion, since there now be so many religions on foot. The matter was not so narrowly to be looked after when there was but one religion in Christendom: the rest would cry him down for a heretic, and there was nobody to side with him.
14. We look after religion as the butcher did after his knife, when he had it in his mouth.
15. Religion is made a juggler's paper; now 'tis a horse, now 'tis a lanthorn, now 'tis a boat, now 'tis a man. To serve ends, religion is turned into all shapes.
16. Some men's pretending religion, is
like the roaring boys'
In Overbury's Characters, 'A roaring
Boy' is represented as a bullying cheating fellow.
'He sends challenges by word of mouth;
for he protests (as he is a gentleman and
brother of the sword) he can neither read nor write.... Soldier
he is none, for he cannot distinguish
between onion-seed and gunpowder:
if he has worn it in his hollow tooth for the tooth-ache, and
so come to the knowledge of it, that's all.'
Overbury, Miscell. Works,
p. 173 (ed. 1756).
In the old play, Amends for Ladies, Act iii. sc. 4, Whorebang, Bots, Tearchaps, and Spillblood appear as 'Roarers,' i. e. as noisy, cowardly bullies. Hazlitt's Old English Plays, vol. xi.
In the Dramatis Personae of Bartholomew Fair, Val. Cutting is described as a Roarer or Bully.
His honour, his reputation, are words frequently in Bobadil's mouth (Every man in his Humour). way of challenges: (their reputation is dear, it cannot 166 stand with the honour of a gentleman:) when, God knows, they have neither reputation nor honour about them.
17. Pretending religion and the law of God, is to set all things loose. When a man has no mind to do something he ought to do by his contract with man, then he gets a text, and interprets it as he pleases, and so thinks to get loose.
18. We talk much of settling religion. Religion is well enough settled already, if we would let it alone. Methinks we might look after, &c.
19. If men should say A care for religion was a chief reason alleged in the Declaration of the Kingdom of Scotland to justify their expedition into England in 1643. They said 'It was most necessary that every one, against all doubting, should be persuaded in his mind .... of the goodness of the cause maintained by him; which they said was no other than the good of religion in England, and the deliverance of their brethren out of the depths of affliction; the preservation of their own religion, and of themselves from the extremity of misery.' They trusted, therefore, 'that the Lord would save them from the curse of Meroz, who came not to help the Lord against the mighty.' There is much more to the same effect in this Declaration, and in a joint Declaration put out at the same time in the name of both kingdoms, England and Scotland. 'Their confidence was in God Almighty, the Lord of Hosts ... It was his own truth and cause which they maintained against the heresy, superstition, and tyranny of Anti-Christ: the glory of his name, the exaltation of the kingdom of his Son, and the preservation of his church, was their aim, and the end which they had before their eyes.' Clarendon, Hist. ii. 667 ff. they took arms for anything 167 but religion they might be beaten out of it by reason: out of that they never can, for they will not believe you whatever you say.
20. The very arcanum 'The great pretences (in an alleged design against episcopacy and monarchy) were liberty, property and religion; for, as Mr. Hambden, one of the principal grandees of the faction, told a private friend, without that they could not draw the people to assist them.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 234. of pretending religion in all wars is, that something may be found out in which all men may have interest. In this the groom has as much interest as the lord. Were it for land, one has one thousand acres, and the other but one; he would not venture so far, as he that has a thousand. But religion is equal to both. Had all men land alike, by a lex agraria, then all men would say they fought for land.
1. The people thought they had a great victory over the clergy, when in Henry 8th's time they got their bill passed, that a clergyman should have but two livings; The Act against pluralities (21 Henry VIII, ch. 13) enacts that if a clerk, holding a living worth £8 a year, takes another cure, his original living becomes ipso facto void. But there are numerous exceptions to this rule. Vested rights are respected in the case of actual holders of not more than four cures; and certain named classes and orders are allowed for the future to hold, some three, some two cures. before, a man might have twenty or thirty; 'twas but getting a dispensation from the pope's limitor, or gatherer of the Peter-pence, 168 which was as easily got as now you may have a license to eat flesh.
2. As soon as a minister is made, See 'Minister Divine,' sec. 4. he hath power to preach all over the world; but the civil power restrains him; he cannot preach in this parish, or in that; there is one already appointed. Now, if the state allows him two livings, then he hath two places where he may exercise his function, and so has the more power to do his office, which he might do every where if he were not restrained.
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That does not mean that if I put out another man's eye, therefore I must lose one of my own, (for what is he the better for that?) though this be commonly received; but it means I shall give him what satisfaction an eye shall be judged to be worth.
'Tis sometimes unreasonable to look after respect and reverence, either from a man's own servants, or from other inferiors. A great lord and a gentleman talking together, there came a boy by, leading a calf with both his hands; says the lord to the gentleman, You shall see me make the boy let go his calf; with that he came towards him, thinking 169 the boy would have put off his hat, but the boy took no notice of him. The lord seeing that, Sirrah, says he, do you not know me that you use no reverence? Yes, says the boy, if your lordship will hold my calf, I will put off my hat.
Why should I think The right way of keeping Sunday was among the standing points of dispute between High and Low Church, between the Anglican party and the Puritans. Selden, who belonged to neither side, follows his usual rule — περι παντος την ελευθεριαν — and pronounces against strict Sabbath observances. The controversy had become marked towards the latter part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when Sunday, which used to be the regular day for games, dances and sports, began to be kept more precisely. The governing clergy exclaimed against the change. Archbishop Whitgift and Chief Justice Popham did what they could to put down current Sabbatarian writings, and declared that the Sabbath doctrine agreed neither with the teaching of the Church nor with the laws and orders of the kingdom. In 1618, James put out his declaration concerning lawful sports to be used on Sundays after divine service; and in 1635 it was ratified and republished by Charles, at Laud's instigation, and encouragement was given to May Games, Whitsun Ales, and the like. But with the rise of the Presbyterian party, all this was changed. On March 5, 1641, Dr. Bray was sent for to the bar of the House of Lords for having licensed Dr. Pocklington's books, called Sunday no Sabbath and Altare Christianum, and he acknowledged his offence and expressed regret for it. The obnoxious books were ordered to be publicly burned. On May 5, 1643, it was ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament that the book, concerning the enjoining and tolerating sports on the Lord's day, be forthwith burned by the hand of the common hangman in Cheapside and other usual places. That this was in agreement with the popular sentiment of the day is clear from Baxter's statement, that the publication of this book by the Bishops was one of the reasons why 'serious godly people had been alienated from them, and had thought that they concurred with the profane.' Laud's share in publishing this book and in punishing ministers for not reading it in church, was among the charges brought against him at his trial. See Rushworth, Collections, ii. 193, iv. 207, v. 317. Fuller, Hist. of Church, xvii. xi. 32. Baxter's Life, p. 33. Laud's Works, iv. 251-3. all the fourth commandment [grb] Exodus 20:8 et seq.. -- "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work...." belongs to me, when all the fifth [grb] Exodus 20:12 -- "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." does not? What land will 170 the Lord give me for honouring my father? It was spoken to the Jews with reference to the land of Canaan; but the meaning is, if I honour my parents, God will also bless me. We read the commandments in the Church-service, as we do David's Psalms; not that all there concerns us, but a great deal of them does.
1. Christ suffered Judas to take the Communion. Those ministers that keep their parishioners from it, because they will not do as they will have them, revenge, rather than reform.
2. No man can tell whether I am fit to receive the sacrament; for though I were fit the day before, when he examined me, at least appeared so to him, yet how can he tell what sin I have committed that night, or the next morning, or what impious, atheistical thoughts I may have about me, when I am approaching to the very table?
We may best understand the meaning of σωτηρια, salvation, from the Jews, to whom the Saviour was promised. They held that themselves should have the chief place of happiness in the other world; but the gentiles that were 171 good men should likewise have their portion of bliss there too. Now by Christ the partition-wall is broken down, and the gentiles that believe in him, are admitted to the same place of bliss with the Jews. And why then should not that portion of happiness still remain to them who do not believe in Christ, so they be morally good? This is a charitable opinion.
Mr. Noy brought in ship-money
'The King required a loan of money
and sent to London and the port
towns to furnish ships for guard of
the sea. Noy, his attorney, a
great antiquary, had much to do in this
business of ship-money.' Whitelock's
Memorials, p. 7, in ann. 1626.
Next, 'by advice of his privy council and council learned, the King requires ship-money. The writ for it was at first but to maritime towns and counties; but that not sufficing, other writs were issued out to all counties to levy ship-money.' Ib., p. 22, in ann. 1634. first for maritime towns; but that was like putting in a little auger, that afterwards you may put in a greater. He that pulls down the first brick does the main work, afterwards 'tis easy to pull down the wall.
2. They that at first would not pay ship-money till it was decided, did like brave men, though perhaps they did no good by the trial; but they that stand out since, and suffer themselves to be distrained, never questioning those that do it, do pitifully; for so they only pay twice as much as they should.
The name of simony [grb] In canon law, simony was the sale of anything spiritual -- prayers, blessings, sacrements, church offices.... The focus in English law was on the last. Sale of a benefice (church living) or of a promotion in the church hierarchy were simonical. See Cunningham's The Law of Simony (1784). was begot in the canon law: the 172 first statute against it This was 31 Elizabeth, ch. 6, sees. 4 and 5, which declares void all simoniacal presentations to benefices: and enacts, further, that in case of simony, the presentation devolves to the crown, and that both parties to the transaction incur a fine of double the yearly value of the benefice. was in Queen Elizabeth's time. Since the reformation simony has been frequent: one reason why That the Pope used to present to benefices in this country appears by, e. g., the Statutes passed to forbid it. The Statute of Provisors, 25 Edward III, enacts that if the Pope tries to appoint, the King shall present, and counterclaimants to the King's presentment are made liable to fine and imprisonment. So in 16 Richard II, the Pope is said to have proposed inter alia to translate prelates out of the realm, or from one living to another. All procuring such translations are put out of the King's protection, forfeit lands and goods, and are brought to answer for it under former statutes. it was not practised in time of popery was the pope's provision; no man was sure to bestow his own benefice.
In a troubled state save as much for your own as you can. A dog had been at market to buy a shoulder of mutton; coming home he met two dogs by the way, that quarrelled with him; he laid down his shoulder of mutton, and fell to fighting with one of them; in the meantime the other dog fell to eating his mutton; he seeing that, left the dog he was fighting with, and fell upon him that was eating; then the other dog fell to eat; when he perceived there was no remedy, but which of them soever he fought withal, his mutton was in danger, he thought he would have as much of it as he could; and thereupon gave over fighting, and fell to eating himself.173
1. Heretofore the Parliament was wary what subsidies they gave to the king, because they had no accounts; but now they care not how much they give of the subjects' money, because they give it with one hand and receive it with the other; and so upon the matter give it themselves. In the meantime what a case the subjects of England are in! If the men they have sent to the parliament misbehave themselves, they cannot help it, because the parliament is eternal.
2. A subsidy was counted
the fifth part of a man's estate,
And yet the value of a subsidy is alleged by some writers
(David Hume is one) to have
fallen steadily from the reign of Elizabeth to that of Charles.
Hallem (Constitutional History) disagrees, but even the
figures he proposes do not suggest a constant rate of assessment
over time. Hallam notes that during the long reign of Queen
Elizabeth, parliaments granted the equivalent of about 31
subsidies. Using Selden's rate, that would mean that 6 times
the wealth of the kingdom circulated through the treasury
over those 46 years, an unlikely figure.
There probably is not enough surviving information
to support general conclusions about how the rating of
subsidies changed over time.
There were two components of a subsidy rating: land income and value of moveable goods. According to Dowell (A History of Taxation and Taxes in England, 2nd ed., 1888), probably quoting Lord Coke, a subsidy in the 17th century brought in about £70,000. This suggests that assessors worked backwards from a fixed contribution from each town and county, rather than applying a 20% rate to new valuations for each subsidy. and so fifty subsidies is five and forty times more than a man is worth.
1. They that are against superstition oftentimes run 174 into it of the wrong side. If I will wear all colours but black, then am I superstitious in not wearing black.
2. They pretend not to abide the cross, because
'tis superstitious; for my part I will believe them
see them throw away their money
'The Parliament's gold coins are just
like their silver ones, viz. on one side two
shields with the cross and harp.'
Abp. Sharpe, Dissertation on the
Golden Coins of England, sec. 6.
The cross was a common impress on earlier English coins. out of their pockets, and not till then.
3. If there be any superstition truly and properly so called, 'tis their observing the sabbath See 'Sabbath' and note. after the Jewish manner.
CXXXIII. Synod. Assembly.
We have had no national synod
The London ministers,
in their petitions in 1641, prayed the Houses of Parliament to be
mediators to his Majesty for a free Synod.
Neal, Hist. of Puritans,
iii. 43. The Commons accordingly included this among the requests
in the grand Remonstrance of December i, 1641: 'We desire that
there may be a general synod of the most
grave, pious, learned, and
judicious divines of this island,
assisted with some from foreign parts
professing the same religion with us,
who may consider of all things
necessary for the peace and good government of the church.'
Rushworth, iv. 450.
Selden's objections to the calling so many divines together, and to the forming of a Synod to do work which could be done by the existing Convocation, seem to have been directed against this request. It was not granted by the King; but the Commons finally took the matter into their own hands, and summoned, in 1643, the Westminster Assembly of Divines to advise with Parliament on the points for which a general Synod had been prayed for. But it was not summoned under the name of a Synod, indeed it was expressly claimed for it that it was not a national Synod or representative body of the clergy, but only a body to deliberate on matters submitted to it by the House. Neal, Hist. of Puritans, iii. 43, 44, 49.
On the claim of the Presbyterian clergy of this body 'to be jure divino, and so above the civil power,' see note on 'Presbytery,' sec. 4. since the kingdom hath been settled as now it is, only provincial; and there 175 will be this inconveniency to call so many divines together; it will be to put power in their hands, who are too apt to usurp it, as if the laity were bound by their determinations. No; let the laity consult with divines on all sides, hear what they say, and make themselves masters of their reasons, as they do by any other profession, when they have a difference before them. For example, goldsmiths; they inquire of them if such a jewel be of such a value, and such a stone of such a value; hear them, and then, being rational men, judge themselves.
2. Why should you have a synod, when you have a convocation already, which is a synod? Would you have a superfetation of another synod? The clergy of England, when they cast off the Pope, submitted themselves to the civil power, and so have continued; but these challenge to be jure divino, and so to be above the civil power; these challenge power to call before their presbyteries all persons for all sins directly against the law of God, as proved to be sins by necessary consequence. If you would buy gloves, send for a glover or two, not Glovers' Hall: consult with some divines, not send for a body.
3. There must be some laymen in the synod, This takes us to a time, at or about 1643, when the constitution of the Assembly of Divines had not been finally settled, and when its name had not yet been fixed. The next section shows that the point insisted upon in sec. 3 had been so determined when the Assembly actually met. The Ordinance (June, 1643) is termed: 'an ordinance for the calling of an assembly of learned and godly divines and others'; but in the ordinance itself the assembly is said to be: 'of learned, godly, and judicious divines.' Selden, who was a member of the assembly, must have been a little amused to find himself included in the description. Rushworth, v- 337. to overlook 176 the clergy, lest they spoil the civil work. Just as when the good woman puts a cat into the milk-house to kill a mouse, she sends her maid to look after the cat, lest the cat should eat up the cream.
4. In the ordinance for the assembly the lords and commons go under the names of learned, godly,and judicious divines; there is no difference put betwixt them and the ministers in the context.
5. It is not unusual in the assembly to revoke their votes, by reason they make so much haste, but 'tis that will make them scorned. You never heard of a council revoked an act of its own making. They have been wary in that, to keep up their infallibility; if they did anything they took away the whole council; and yet we would be thought infallible as any body. It is not enough to say, the House of Commons revoke their votes, for theirs are but civil truths, which they by agreement create, and uncreate, as they please; but the truths the synod deals in are divine; and when they have voted a thing, if it be then true, 'twas true before, not true because they voted it; nor does it cease to be true, because they voted otherwise.
6. Subscribing in a synod, or to the articles of a synod, is no such terrible thing as they make it; because, if I am of a synod, 'tis agreed, either tacitly or expressly, that which the major part determines, the rest are involved in; and therefore I subscribe, though my own private opinion be otherwise; and upon the same ground I may without scruple subscribe to what those have determined, whom I sent, though my private opinion be otherwise; having respect to that which is the ground of all assemblies, The major part carries it.177
At first we gave thanks for every victory as soon as e'er 'twas obtained; but since we have had many, now we can stay a good while. We are just like a child: give him a plum, he makes his leg; give him a second plum, he makes another leg; at last when his belly is full, he forgets what he ought to do; then his nurse, or somebody else that stands by him, puts him in mind of his duty, Where's your leg?
1. Tithes are more paid in kind in England, than in
all Italy and France. In France they have had
The impropriation of tithes became common England after the
dissolution of the monasteries. Monastic tithes became
the property of the crown and could be granted to laymen along
with the parsonage to which they belonged. See
the Oxford History of the Laws of England, vol. 6, p. 715.
a long time;
we had none in England
They were, Selden shows, not
common in England till Henry VIII, but he mentions them as
occasionally found. Conf.
'Although in other states these infeodations or
conveyances of the perpetual right of tythes to laymen be very
ancient and frequent also, yet
no such certain and obvious testimony
of their antiquity is in the monuments of England as can enough
assure us that they were before the
statute of dissolutions in any
common use here. But some were, and, for ought appears in the
practice of the time, many more might equally have been.... In
sum then we may affirm that some such ancient infeodations have
been in England as in other states.' Works, iii. 1274 ff.
'Neither hath the canon law wrought otherwise in Italy, but that there also particular customs, as well of non decimando as in the modus, are frequent. Multis Italiae locis, says Cajetan, contingit ex consuetudine that nothing at all is paid. And so is the practice there for the most part at this day, the parish priests being sufficiently maintained by manse and glebe, and the revenues that are in some places paid as according to a modus.' iii. 1174.
'In that state (sc. France), against the whole course of the canon law in this kind, they have, what by reason of ancient infeodations still continuing, what through customs, allowed divers lands to be not at all subject to any tythes payable to the Church. For their infeodations ... are to this day remaining, and are conveyed and descend as other lay inheritances.... Those infeodations of tythes are there very frequent, and in very many parishes the tythes are taken only by laymen.' iii. 1169.
' J'oseray encor mettre entre les privileges, mais non Ecclesiastiques, le droict de tenir dixmes en fief par gens pur laics. Ce qu'on ne peut nier avoir prins son origine d'une licence et abuz commence soubs Charles Martel, Maire du Palais, et continue principalement soubs les Rois de sa race.' Pithou, printed in Libertez de l'Eglise Gallicane, vol. i. p. 19. till Henry the 8th.
2. To make an impropriation there was to be
the consent of the incumbent, the patron, and the
then 'twas confirmed by the pope:
The consent of the provincial primate
was anciently needed for the alienation of Church
property. See 'Placuit etiam ut rem
ecclesiae nemo vendat, Quod si
aliqua necessitas cogit, hanc
insinuendam esse primati provinciae
ipsius, ut cum statuto numero
episcoporum, utrum faciendum sit
Canon of the 5th Council of Carthage, quoted by Bingham,
Christian Antiquities, Bk. V. ch. vi. sec. 7.
In pre-Reformation days, when the Pope had an admitted primacy in the Western Church, this right of final judgment naturally devolved on him. That he could not move in the matter by his own mere will was effectually settled in this country by the Statutes of Provisors. without all this the Pope could make no impropriation.
3. Or what if the Pope gave the tithes to any man, must they therefore be taken away? If the Pope gives me a jewel, will you therefore take it from me?
4. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. [grb] Hebrews 7:1-28. What then? 'Twas very well done of him; it does not follow therefore that I must pay tithes, no more than I am bound to imitate any other action of Abraham's.
5. 'Tis ridiculous to say Selden's view is not that of the sacerdotal champions of the Romish or of the English Church. See e.g. Decrees of Pope Boniface I, sec. 3: 'Nulli liceat ignorare quod omne quod domino consecratur ... ad jus pertinet sacerdotum.' Labbe, Conciliorum Collectio, vol. iv. p. 397; and Laud's argument to prove that the payment of tithes to the ministers under the Gospel is due jure divino. Laud, Works, vi. 159. the tithes are God's part, and 179 therefore the clergy must have them. Why, so they are if the laymen has them. 'Tis as if one of my Lady Kent's maids should be sweeping this room, and another of them should come and take away the broom, and tell for a reason why she should part with it: 'Tis my lady's broom: as if it were not my lady's broom, which of them soever had it.
They consulted in Oxford where they might
find the best argument for their tithes, setting
aside the jus divinum;
they were advised
They were apparently advised by Gerard
Langbaine, Provost of Queen's, who
wrote to Selden (22 Aug. 1653):
'Upon occasion of the businesse of Tythes
now under consideration, some
whom it more nearly concerns, have been pleased to
enquire of me what might be said
as to the civil right of them; to
whom I was not able to give any better direction than by sending
them to yowr History. Happily it may seem strange to them; yet
I am not out of hopes but that work (like Pelias hasta) which was
lookt upon as a piece that struck
deepest against the divine, will
afford the strongest arguments
for the civil right: and if that be made
the issue, I do not despair of the cause....
History of Tithes, a book so
much cried down by them formerly;
History of Tythes was published in 1617, and roused the anger of
the whole clerical party, mainly by
its treatment of the tithe as a
matter of variable civil right,
and not as due to the clergy jure divino.
So strong was the feeling against
Selden that he found it necessary,
in order to escape being called
before the Court of High Commission--if
indeed he did escape, which Dr. Tillesley denies--to express in
writing his sense of the error which
he had committed in publishing
his History, and his grief that
he had thereby incurred the King's
displeasure and that of the bishops and lay officials to whom his
'retractation' was addressed. The History was vehemently attacked
in print by champions of the
jure divino right, a right which Selden
had ignored but had not denied,
his end and purpose being 'to leave
that question of divine right to divines, to whom
it properly pertains.'
These numerous attacks Selden was for the time forced to suffer in silence, for King James had told him that he would put him in prison if he or any of his friends made any answer to them. But as he insists, when he was at length able to reply to Dr. Tillesley's 'Animadversions,' he had been careful in making his submission to retract nothing. 'I was and am,' he says, 'sorry that I published it, and that I so gave occasion to others to abuse my history, by their false application of some arguments.' A full account of the whole matter will be found in Works, vol. i. Vita Authoris, p. v-viii. See also vol. iii. pp. 1370, 1394 and 1452 ff. in which, I dare boldly say, 180 there are more arguments for them than are extant together anywhere): upon this, one writ me word that my history of tithes was now become like Pelias hasta, Ovid, Remedium Amoris, 47: 'Vulnus in Herculeo quae quondam fecerat hoste,/ Vulneris auxilium Pelias hasta tulit.' to wound and to heal. I told him in my answer I thought I could fit him with a better instance. See 'Ante annos scilicet ccclx, aut circiter ... prorsus damnati sunt ejusdem libri illi (sc. Aristotelis physices et metaphysices libri) ut Christianismo nimis dissoni; quod a Rogero Bachone Franciscano, qui paulo post id tempus floruit philosophus et mathematicus summus, didici.... Theologi, inquit, Parisiis, et episcopus, et omnes sapientes jam ab annis circiter quadraginta damnaverunt et excommunicaverunt libros naturales et metaphysicae Aristotelis, qui nunc ab omnibus recipiuntur. Et alibi idem Scimus enim quod temporibus nostris Parisiis diu fuit contradictum philosophiae naturali et metaphysicae Aristotelis per Avicennam et Averroym expositis, et ob densam ignorantiam fuere libri eorum excommunicati, et utentes eis, per tempora satis longa.' De Jure Naturali et Gentium, lib. i. cap. 2; Works, i. pp. 98 and 947.
The former of these passages occurs in Roger Bacon's Opus Tertium, p. 28 (Brewer's ed. 1859), the latter in the Opus Majus, cap. 9, p. 14. The Opus Tertium was written in 1267, as Bacon expressly states (p. 278). The sentence of excommunication, therefore, must have been about 1227, and could not have been pronounced by ' Stephen, Bishop of Paris,' who did not become bishop until 1268, i.e. a year after the Opus Tertium was written, and some forty years after the sentence. See Ecclesia Parisiensis, in Sainte Marthe's Gallia Christiana, vol. vii. p. 108.
Bishop Stephen's name must have been introduced through some confusion on the part of Selden's reporter, Milward. The controversy in which Stephen figures had to do with the nature and origin of the higher form of intelligence, Roger Bacon's intellectus agens. The authority of Aristotle and of his Arabian commentators, Avicenna, Averroes, and others, had been used, not unfairly, to support the theory that this intelligence was no constituent part of each human mind, but that it was of a divine nature, infused into the mind, and the same in all minds, being a pre-existent entity distinct from the human faculties properly so called, and quickening them to the discovery of truth. This, which had long been the accepted view, began to be called in question in the thirteenth century, and was publicly condemned at Paris by Bishop Stephen in 1270. The objections made to it, and the terms of compromise by which the dispute was finally adjusted, are very fully set down in Selden's De Jure Naturali et Gentium, lib. i. cap. 9 (Works, i. 154-157).
It is clear, from Langbaine's letter, that the discourse reported in the text must have been towards the close of 1653 or in 1654, the year of Selden's death. 'Twas possible it might undergo 181 the same fate that Aristotle, Avicen, and Averroes did in France, some five hundred years ago, which were excommunicated by Stephen, Bishop of Paris (by that very name, excommunicated), because that kind of learning puzzled and troubled their divinity: but finding themselves at a loss, some forty years after (which is much about the time since I writ my history), they were called in again, and so have continued ever since.
1. There is no prince in Christendom but is directly a tradesman, though in another way than an ordinary tradesman. For the purpose I have a man; I bid him lay out twenty shillings in such a commodity; but I tell 182 him for every shilling he lays out I will have a penny: I trade as well as he. This every prince does in his customs.
2. That which a man is bred up in, he thinks no cheating; as your tradesman thinks not so of his profession, but calls it a mystery. Whereas if you would teach a mercer some other way to make his silks heavy than what he has been used to, he would peradventure think that to be cheating.
3. Every tradesman professes to cheat me, that asks for his commodity twice as much as it is worth.
Say what you will against tradition, we know the signification of words by nothing but tradition. You will say the Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit; but do you understand that language 'twas written in? No. Then for example, take these words, In principio erat verbum. How do you know those words signify, In the beginning was the Word, but by tradition, because somebody has told you so?
1. The fathers using to speak rhetorically, brought up transubstantiation: as if because 'tis commonly said, amicus est alter idem, [grb] A friend is another self. one should go about to prove a man and his friend are all one. That opinion is only rhetoric turned into logic.
2. There is no greater argument (though not used) against transubstantiation, than the Apostles, at their first council, 183 forbidding blood and suffocation. [grb] Acts 15:19-20 -- "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood." Would they forbid blood, and yet enjoin the eating of blood too?
3. The best way for a pious man is to address himself to the sacrament with that reverence and devotion, as if Christ were really there present.
'Tis not seasonable to call a man traitor, who has an army at his heels. One with an army is a gallant man. My Lady Cotton was in the right when she laughed at the Duchess of Richmond [grb] Probably Frances Howard (1578-1639). She married Ludovic Stewart, cousin of King James, in 1621; Stewart was created Duke of Richmond in 1623 and died the next year. Mrs. Cotton survived her husband by 27 years, dying in 1658. for taking such state upon her, when she could command no forces. She a duchess! there is in Flanders a duchess indeed; meaning the arch-duchess. [grb] Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566-1633), daughter of King Philip II of Spain, ruled the Spanish Netherlands together with her husband the Archduke Albert of Austria from 1601. After Albert's death in 1621 she ruled alone as Governor.
1. Trials are by one of these three ways; by confession; or by demurrer, that is, confessing the fact, but denying it to be that wherewith a man is charged; for example, denying it to be treason if a man be charged with treason: or by a jury.
Ordalium was a trial;
There were several forms of the
ordeal. In the aquae frigidae
judicium—una ex purgationibus
vulgaribus quas judicia Dei
appellabant—the suspected or accused
person was plunged into deep water;
if he swam he was held guilty,
if he sank innocent. In the
aquae ferventis judicium, the accused had
to plunge his bare hand and arm into boiling water. Of the same
kind was the judgment by hot iron, to which Selden here refers.
See Ducange, Gloss., under Aquae and Ferrum Candens.
Muratori adds, under 'Judicium ferri candentis,' the passing blindfold over hot ploughshares, and a further form known as the judicium crucis, in which the accused had to stand with his arms held out in the form of a cross, while a chapter in the Bible or some of the Psalms were read. If he could maintain the posture he was pronounced innocent, if he gave way he was guilty. See Muratori, Antiq. Ital. Dissert. 38, p. 611 ff. and was either by going over 184 nine red hot plough shares (as in the case of Queen Emma, The account of Queen Emma's trial is given, as in the text, in Fabyan's Chronicle, pp. 224-5 (Ellis's ed. 1811). The ordeal, as might be assumed, was under the management of her episcopal friends. The Archbishop, Robert, who had declared against her, was not present. accused for lying with the Bishop of Winchester, over which she being led blindfold, and having passed all her irons, asked when she should come to her trial); or 'twas by taking a red-hot coulter in a man's hand, and carrying it so many steps, and then casting it from him. As soon as this was done, the hands or the feet were to be bound up, and certain charms to be said, and a day or two after to be opened; if the parts were whole, the party was judged to be innocent; and so on the contrary.
3. The rack is used nowhere as in England. In
other countries 'tis used in judicature, when there
is a semiplena probatio, a half-proof against a man;
then to see if they can make it full, they rack him
if he will not confess. But here in England
they take a man and rack him,
The infliction of
torture was certainly against the English common law and against
the Magna Charta, but it was no less
certainly of regular and frequent
occurrence. As to its illegality,
we have, e.g., the statement of Chief
Justice Fortescue, quoted and endorsed by Coke, and we have the
declared opinion of the judges in Felton's case (November, 1628):
'That he ought not by the law to be tortured by the rack, for no
such punishment is known or allowed by our law.' 'And yet' (says
Jardine, in his Reading on the use
of torture in England) 'it is an
historical fact that, anterior to the Commonwealth, torture was
always used, as a matter of
course, in all grave accusations, at the
mere discretion of the King and
the Privy Council, and uncontrolled
by any law besides the prerogative
of the sovereign.' He traces the
practice from Henry VIII's reign down to May 1640, Archer's case,
which is (he says) 'the last recorded
instance of the infliction of
torture in England, and as far as I
have been able to discover the last
instance of its occurrence.' Jardine
holds that, though not lawful by
the common law, it was lawful as an act of prerogative, a power
superior to the laws and able to suspend the laws; but it may be
fairly questioned whether this strain
of prerogative over law can be
allowed to have been lawful in any
sense. See 'Prerogative,' sec. i.
It is curious to find Grotius and other foreign jurists praising the law of England for its singular humanity in conducting criminal proceedings without the use of torture, and devising ingenious reasons to account for it; while Selden, well acquainted with the facts, compares English practice disadvantageously with that of other countries an opinion which Jardine confirms by contrasting in detail the arbitrary and uncontrolled licence of the English method with the limitations and definite rules which prevailed in countries whose code was based on the Roman law. Reading, &c., p. 67. I do not 185 know why, nor when; not in time of judicature, but when somebody bids.
4. Some men before they come to their trial, are cozened to confess upon examination, upon this trick. They are made to believe somebody has confessed before them; and then they think it a piece of honour to be clear and ingenuous, and that destroys them.
The Second Person is made of a piece of bread by the Papist, the Third Person is made of his own frenzy, malice, ignorance, and folly, by the Roundhead. To all these the spirit is intituled. One the baker makes, the other the cobbler; and betwixt those two I think the First Person is sufficiently abused.186
1. The Aristotelians say, all truth is contained in
Aristotle, in one place or another.
Galileo makes Simplicius say so,
The passage occurs in
the second of a series of imaginary conversations on mathematical
and physical science, between Salviati and Sagredo, the spokesmen
for modern science, and Simplicius, the Aristotelian commentator.
Simplicius asserts that, with the
aid of the syllogistic method, the
man who can make a proper use
of Aristotle's writings 'saprà cavar
da' suoi libri le dimostrazioni
di ogni scibile, perchè in essi è ogni
Sagredo replies, banteringly, 'Ma, Signor Simplicio mio ... questo che voi, e gli altri filosofi bravi, farete con i testi d'Aristotile, farò io con i versi di Virgilio, o di Ovidio.... Ma che dico io di Virgilio, o di altro poeta? io ho un libretto assai piú breve di Aristotile e d'Ovidio, nel quale si contengono tutte le scienze ... e questo è l'alfabeto; e non è dubbio che quello, che saprà ben accoppiare e ordinare questa e quella vocale con quelle consonanti o con quell' altre, ne caverá le risposte verissime a tutti i dubbj, e ne trarrà gli insegnamenti di tutte le scienze e di tutte le arti.' Opere di Galilei, vol. xi. p. 266 (Classici Italiani, Milan, 1808-1811, in 13 vols.). but shews the absurdity of that speech, by answering all truth is contained in a lesser compass, viz., in the alphabet. Aristotle is not blamed for mistaking sometimes, but Aristotelians for maintaining those mistakes. They should acknowledge the good they have from him, and leave him when he is in the wrong. There never breathed that person to whom mankind was more beholden.
2. The way to find out the truth is by others' mistakings; for if I was to go to such a place, and one had gone before me on the right-hand, and he was out; another had gone on the left-hand, and he was out; this would direct me to keep the middle way, that peradventure would bring me to the place I intended to go.187
3. In troubled water you can scarce see your face; or see it very little, till the water be quiet and stand still. So in troubled times you can see little truth. When times are quiet and settled, then truth appears.
1. The best argument why Oxford should have precedence This question of precedence was raised in the House of Commons in January, 1640-1, when 'the Bill of four subsidies for the relief of the King's army and the northern counties having been drawn by a Committee, Cambridge was placed before Oxford in the same.' This gave rise to a hot and prolonged debate. Sir Simonds D'Ewes spoke at length in favour of giving Cambridge the precedence, on the ground that Cambridge was a renowned city before Oxford, and a nursery of learning before Oxford, so that Cambridge was in all respects the elder sister. So sharp was the contention that on that day 'the House came not to a final determination in the reading of the Bill.' See, Two Speeches by Sir S. D'Ewes (printed in 1642), and Nalson, Collections, i. 703. of Cambridge is the act of parliament This is 13 Elizabeth, ch. 29, 'An Act concerning the incorporations of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,' in which Oxford is named before Cambridge in several places. Once only, towards the end of the Act, we have 'the said Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.' by which Oxford is made a body; made what it is; and Cambridge is made what it is; and in the act it takes place. Besides, Oxford has the best monuments to show.
2. It was well said of one, hearing of a history lecture to be founded in the University; Would to God, says he, they would direct a lecture of discretion there, this would do more good an hundred times.
3. He that comes from the University to govern the state, 188 before he is acquainted with the men and manners of the place, does just as if he should come into the presence all dirty, with his boots on, his riding coat, and his hat all daubed. They may serve him well enough in the way, but when he comes to court, he must conform to the place.
Question. Suppose a man find by his own inclination he has
no mind to marry, may he not then vow chastity?
Answer. If he does, what a fine thing hath he done? 'Tis as if a man did not love cheese; and then he would vow to God Almighty never to eat cheese. He that vows can mean no more in sense than this; to do his utmost endeavour to keep his vow.
1. The Jews were forbidden to take use one of another, but they were not forbidden to take it of other nations. That being so, I see no reason why I may not as well take use for my money as rent for my house. 'Tis a vain thing to say, money begets not money; for that no doubt it does.
2. Would it not look oddly to a stranger that should 189 come into this land, and hear in our pulpits usury preached against, and yet the law allow it? Many men use it, perhaps some churchmen themselves. No bishop or ecclesiastical judge, that pretends power to punish other faults, dares punish, or at least does punish, any man for doing it.
CXLVI. Pious Uses.
The ground of the
Ordinary -- in the English Church, a diocesan bishop.
taking part of a
man's estate, who died without a will, to pious
uses was this; to give it somebody to pray that
his soul might be delivered out of purgatory. Now
the pious uses come into his own pocket.
'Twas well expressed
The same incident occurs in the
following, which is probably the passage which Selden had in
'Malheureux (pinioned and led out to execution):
My endless peace is made; and to the poor—
My purse, my purse!'
Cocledemoy (who has just picked Malheureux' pocket):
Ay, sir; and it shall please you, the poor has your purse already.'
Marston, Dutch Courtezan, Act v. sc. 3 (vol ii. p. 98 in Bullen's ed. of Marston's works).
I am indebted to Mr. P. A. Daniel for this reference. by John o' Powls in the play, who acted the priest; one that was to be hanged, being brought to the ladder, would fain have given something to the poor; he feels for his purse (which John o' Powls had picked out of his pocket before) missing it, cries out. he had lost his purse now he intended to have given something to the poor: John o' Powls bid him be pacified, for the poor had it already.
1. Do not undervalue an enemy by whom you have been worsted. When our countrymen came home from fighting with the Saracens, and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the sign of the Saracen's head is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credits.
2. Martial law in general means nothing but the
martial law of this or that place; with us 'tis to be
used in fervore belli, in the face of the enemy,
not in time of peace;
The billeting of
great companies of soldiers and mariners, and the appointment of
special commissioners to deal summarily,
'as is agreeable to martial
law,' with them or with other dissolute
persons joining with them to
commit murder, robbery, felony,
mutiny, or other outrage or misdemeanour,
are among the grievances set down in the 'Petition of
Right ' of 1628. The result of them
is said to have been the illegal
execution of some persons by the
commissioners, and the escape of
'sundry grievous offenders,'
against whom the judges refused to
proceed 'upon pretence that the
said offenders were punishable only
by martial law,' &c.
Somers, Historical Tracts, vol. iv. pp. 118, 119.
There are several speeches of Selden's on this matter, in which he argues and brings proof that in time of peace there can be no martial law; that wherever the sheriff in the county can execute the king's writs, there it is time of peace, though in other parts there be war; that in time of peace, so defined, soldiers are under the common law; and that martial law, where it legitimately exists, is not the abrogation of law but proceeds by settled rules. Works, iii. 1986 ff.
The subject was fully discussed in Parliament by several other speakers, and the proclamation of martial law in time of peace was condemned as unconstitutional and illegal. Rushworth, Collections, vol. iii. Appendix, p. 76. then they can take away neither limb nor life. The commanders need not complain for want of it, because our ancestors have done gallant things without it.
Whether may subjects take up arms
The right of subjects to take up
arms against their Prince was a natural subject of discussion in
Selden's day. The clergy pronounced against it. The new Canons
of 1640, put out by the two Synods
and accepted and endorsed by the
King, speak very decidedly about it. 'For subjects to bear arms
against their Kings, offensive or defensive,
upon any pretence whatsoever, is at
least to resist the powers which are ordained of God;
and though they do not invade, but only
resist, St. Paul tells them
plainly, they shall receive to
themselves damnation.' Constitutions
and Canons Ecclesiastical, sec. i. Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 545.
It was one of the charges against Archbishop Laud that he had ordered the clergy to preach in the above sense four times in the year. This order appears in the preface to the first Canon, and the doctrine thus approved is defended at length in Laud's own history of his troubles and trial. Conf. Laud's Works, vol. iii. pp. 366-370. against their prince?
Answer. Conceive it thus; here lies a shilling betwixt you and me; ten pence of the shilling is yours, two pence is mine by agreement: I am as much king of my twopence as you of your tenpence: if you therefore go about to take away my twopence, I will defend it; for there you and I are equal, both princes.
4. Or thus, two supreme powers meet; one says to the other, Give me your land; if you will not, I will take it from you: the other, because he thinks himself too weak to resist him, tells him, Of nine parts, I will give you three, so I may quietly enjoy the rest, and I will become your tributary. Afterwards the prince comes to exact six parts, and leaves but three; the contract then is broken, and they are in parity again.
5. To know what obedience is due to the prince, you must look into the contract betwixt him and his people; as if you would know what rent is due from the tenant to the landlord, you must look into the lease. When the contract is broken, and there is no third person to judge, then the decision is by arms. And this is the case between the prince and the subject.192
6. Question. What law is there to take up
arms against the prince in case he break his
Answer. Though there be no written law for it, yet there is custom, which is the best law of the kingdom; for in England they have always done it. There is nothing expressed between the king of England and the king of France that if either invades the other's territory, the other shall take up arms against him; and yet they do it upon such an occasion.
7. 'Tis all one to be plundered by a troop of horse, or to have a man's goods taken from him by an order from the Council-table. To him that dies, 'tis all one whether it be by a penny halter, or a silk garter; yet I confess the silk garter pleases more; and like trouts, we love to be tickled to death. [grb] There is a long folk tradition that trout, exhausted from moving upstream, can be hand-caught in pools by stroking or tickling their bellies. I've seen it tried without success: touching the fish inevitably spooks it. Salmon and Trout (Macmillan, 1904) p. 314 describes a technique of passing the hand between fish and bottom that may work.
8. The soldiers say they fight for honour; when the truth is they have their honour in their pocket. And they mean the same thing that pretend to fight for religion. Just as a parson goes to law with his parishioners, he says, for the good of his successors, that the Church may not lose its right; when the meaning is to get the tithe into his own pocket.
9. We govern this war as an unskilful man does a casting-net: if he has not the right trick to cast the net off his shoulder, the leads will pull him into the river. I am afraid we shall pull ourselves into destruction.
10. We look after the particulars of a battle, because we live in the very time of the war. Whereas of battles past, we hear nothing but the number slain. Just so for the death of a man: when he is sick, we talk how he slept this night, and that night; what he ate, and what he drank; but when he is dead we only say, he died of a fever, or name his disease; and there's an end.
11. Boccaline has this passage This is not quite correct. The passage is as follows: 'The precedency between Arms and Learning is still obstinately disputed on both sides, between the Literati and Military men in Parnassus. And it was resolved in the last Ruota that the question should be argued if at least the name of Science and Discipline might be attributed to the exercise of war. ... The business was very subtilly canvassed and argued, and the Court seemed wholly to incline to the Literati; but the Princes used such forcible arguments, as it was resolved that military men in their exercise of war might use the honourable names of science and discipline. The Literati were much displeased at this decision ... when unexpectedly all the Butchers of the world were seen to appear in Parnassus; ... all besmeared with blood, with hatchets and long knives in their hands.... Apollo, that he might know what they meant, sent some Deputies to them. To whom those butchers stoutly said, that hearing that the Court had decided that the art of sacking and firing of cities, of cutting their inhabitants in pieces ... and of calling with sword in hand, mine thine, should be termed a science and discipline, they also, who did not profess the killing of men ... but the killing of calves and muttons to feed men withal, demanded that their art might be honoured by the same illustrious names.... The same Signori Auditori di ruota, when they saw the butchers appear in the Palace, and heard their demand, they were aware of the injustice which but a little before they had done to all the Virtuosi by their decision; wherefore they again propounded the same question, and unanimously agreed, that the mysterie of War, though it were sometimes necessary, was notwithstanding so cruel and so inhumane, as it was impossible to honest it with civil terms.' Boccalini, Advertisements from Parnassus, Century i. Advert. 75. Trans. by Henry, Earl of Monmouth, p. 143. of soldiers; 193 they came to Apollo to have their profession made the eighth liberal science, which he granted. As soon as it was noised up and down, in came the butchers, and they desired their profession might be made the ninth: for say they, the soldiers have this honour for the killing of men; now we kill as well as they; but we kill beasts for the preserving of men, and why should not we have honour likewise done us? Apollo could not answer their reasons, so he reversed his sentence, and made the soldier's trade a mystery, as the butcher's is.194
1. He that hath a handsome wife, by other men is thought happy; 'tis a pleasure to look upon her, and be in her company; but the husband is cloyed with her. We are never content with what we have.
2. You shall see a monkey sometime that has been playing up and down the garden, at length leap up to the top of the wall, but his clog [grb] A fetter consisting of a block of wood attached to a chain or rope. hangs a great way below on this side: the bishop's wife is like that monkey's clog; himself is got up very high, takes place of the temporal barons; but his wife comes a great way behind.
3. 'Tis reason a man that will have a wife should be at the charge of her trinkets, and pay all the scores she sets on him. He that will keep a monkey 'tis fit he should pay for the glasses she breaks.
1. A wise man should never resolve upon anything, at least never let the world know his resolution; for if he cannot arrive at that, he is ashamed. How many things did the king resolve in his declaration concerning Scotland, [grb] Perhaps the Long Declaration Concerning the Late Tumults (1639), ghost-written under the King's name by Walter Balcanquhal, Dean of Durham. never to do, and yet did them all? A man must do according to accidents and emergencies.
2. Never tell your resolution before-hand; but when the cast is thrown, play it as well as you can to win the game you are at. 'Tis but folly to study how to play size-ace [grb] As at backgammon. when you know not whether you shall throw it or no.
3. Wise men say nothing in dangerous times. The lion, 195 you know, called the sheep, to ask her if his breath smelt; she said, Aye; he bit off her head for a fool. He called the wolf, and asked him; he said No; he tore him in pieces for a flatterer. At last he called the fox, and asked him; Truly he had got a cold and could not smell. King James was pictured, [grb] See Peace above. &c.
The law against witches does not prove that there be any; but it punishes the malice of those people that use such means to take away men's lives. If one should profess that by turning his hat thrice, and crying buz, he could take away a man's life, (though in truth he could do nothing), yet this were a just law [grb] Surely this is misreported by Milward. The assertion is absurd; even if laws based on popular superstition may be in some sense "just", laws based on a private delusion could never be. made by the state, that whosoever should turn his hat thrice, and cry buz, with an intention to take away a man's life, shall be put to death.
1. Wit and wisdom differ; wit is upon the sudden turn, wisdom is in bringing about ends.
2. Nature must be the ground-work of wit and art; otherwise whatever is done will prove but jack-pudding's [grb] Brewer (Dictionary of Phrase and Fable):-- "A buffoon who performs pudding tricks, such as swallowing a certain number of yards of black-pudding. S. Bishop observes that each country names its stage buffoon from its favourite viands: The Dutchman calls him Pickel-herringë; the Germans, Hans Wurst (John Sausage); the Frenchman, Jean Potage; the Italian, Macaro’ni; and the English, Jack Pudding." work.
3. Wit must grow like fingers; if it be taken from others 'tis like plums stuck upon blackthorn; [grb] Blackthorn is related to plum. The fruit of the blackthorn, sloe plum, looks like the sweeter fruit when first set, but ripens to a different thing entirely. there they are for a while, but they come to nothing.
4. He that will give himself to all manner of ways to get 196 money may be rich; so he that lets fly all he knows or thinks, may by chance be satirically witty. Honesty sometimes keeps a man from being rich; and civility from being witty.
5. Women ought not to know their own wit, because they will still be showing it, and so spoil it; like a child that will continually be showing its fine new coat, till at length it all bedaubs it with its pah [grb] In the sense of 'disgusting'. hands.
6. Fine wits destroy themselves with their own plots, in meddling with great affairs of state. They commonly do as the ape that saw the gunner put bullets in the cannon, and was pleased with it, and he would be doing so too; at last he puts himself into the piece, and so both ape and bullet were shot away together.
1. Let the woman have power on her head,
because of the angels.
1 Corinthians 11:10 --
"For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head
because of the angels."
The usual interpretation of 'power' here is a head covering -- a symbol of men's authority over women. The reason of the words, because of the angels, is this; the Greek Church held an opinion that the angels fell in love with women; an opinion grounded upon that in Genesis vi, The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair. This fancy St. Paul discreetly catches, and uses it as an argument to persuade them to modesty.
2. The grant of a place is not good by the canon law before a man be dead: upon this ground, that some mischief might be plotted against him in present possession, by poisoning, or some other way. Upon the same reason a contract made with a woman during her husband's life, was not valid.197
3. Men are not troubled to hear a man dispraised, because they know, though he be naught, there's worth in others. But women are mightily troubled to hear any of them spoken against, as if the sex itself were guilty of some unworthiness.
4. Women and princes must both trust somebody; and they are happy or unhappy, according to the desert of those under whose hands they fall. If a man knows how to manage the favour of a lady, her honour is safe; and so is a prince.
1. It was the manner of the Jews (if the year did not
fall out right, but that it was dirty for the people
to come up to Jerusalem at the passover,
or that their corn was not ripe for their first
fruits), to intercalate a month, and so to have, as
it were, two Februaries; thrusting up the year
still higher, March into April's place, April into
May's place, &c.
Whereupon it is impossible for
us to know
when our Saviour was born,
Selden, in his review
of the 4th ch. of his book on Tithes, says:
'The learned know that
until about cccc years after Christ ...
that day (sc. Dec. 25, as the day
of the Nativity) was not settled,
but variously observed in the Eastern
Church.... And S. Chrysostom then learned the time of the 25th of
December (which yet most think not to be the exact time) from the
Western or Latin Church.' Works, iii. 1314.
This passage gave great offence to King James; and Selden, after several interviews with the King, wrote at his command a further tract on the subject. In this, after discussing the authorities at length, he concludes on a balance of evidence, 'It rests that we resolve on it (sc. on the 25th of December being the correct day) upon as certain and clear a truth of tradition, as by rational inference, by express testimony of the ancients, by common and continual practice of several churches, and by accurate inquiry, may be discovered.' Works, iii. 1450.
The remark in the Table Talk shows that this forced retractation was not seriously made. or when he died.
2. The year is either the year of the moon, or the year of the sun; there's not above eleven days' difference. Our movable feasts are according to the year of the moon; else they should be fixed.
3. Though they reckon
ten days sooner beyond sea,
After its introduction in 1582, most of Roman Catholic Europe adopted
the Gregorian calendar, which took into account the small fraction
the solar year lacks of 365-1/4 days. The Gregorian solution was
to reduce the number of leap years in 400 years from 100 to 97. By
custom, the leap years skipped are those ending in '00' and the one of
those retained is that evenly divisible by 400.
By the mid-17th century, the Gregorian calendar used in Europe and the Julian calendar in England had diverged by 10 days. By the time England switched to the continental calendar in 1750, the difference was 11 days. yet it does not follow their spring is sooner than ours: we keep the same time in natural things, and their ten days sooner, and our ten days later in those things, mean the self same time; just as twelve sous in French, are ten pence in English.
4. The lengthening of days The sense of this passage is not clear. Selden's meaning perhaps is that in winter so small a part of the sun's orbit is visible above the horizon, that the sun appears to the eye to be travelling in a right line. In the much larger summer orbit, the curvature is distinctly seen. But that the lengthening of the days is on this account suddenly perceived, does not seem to follow. It is likely enough that the passage has been incorrectly reported. is not suddenly perceived, till they are grown a pretty deal longer; because the sun, though it be in a circle, yet it seems for a while to go in a right line. For take a segment of a great circle especially, and you shall doubt whether it be straight or no. But when the sun is got past that line, then you presently perceive the days are lengthened. Thus it is in the winter and summer solstice; which is indeed the true reason of them.
5. The eclipse of the sun is, when it is new moon; the eclipse of the moon when it is full. They say Dionysius The story is found in a letter written as from Dionysius the Areopagite to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. It says that he and the Sophist Apollophanes were together at Heliopolis at the time of the Crucifixion, and that they then and there observed the moon pass in an unaccountable way over the face of the sun, and so remain from the sixth hour until the evening. Apollophanes, he remarks, must know that such an event as this, happening out of the ordinary course of nature, must have been due to direct divine interposition. Indeed, Apollophanes himself had admitted this, for at the time of the eclipse he said to Dionysius that what they saw must be the consequence of matters which concerned the Gods (θειων αμοιβαι πραγματον). The actual conversion of Dionysius is ascribed to the preaching of St. Paul at Athens, Acts xvii. 34. The unseasonable eclipse is referred to by Dionysius in his letter as supplying an argument which Polycarp is to press on the scoffing sophist Apollophanes. The result is said to have been that Apollophanes too became a Christian. See S. Dionysii Epistola 7, in vol. iii. of Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, and Epistola ii, extant only in Latin and marked by Migne as spurious—as indeed the rest of the writings ascribed to Dionysius commonly are. 199 was converted by the eclipse that happened at our Saviour's death, because it was neither of these, and so could not be natural.
One would wonder Christ should whip the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, and nobody offer to resist Him, considering what opinion they had of him; but the reason was, they had a law, Selden, in his De Jure Naturali, refers at length to this law, and to its enforcement by the Zealots. He gives, among instances of its being put in force, the well-known case of Phineas, and the case of Mattathias who, inflamed with zeal, slew a Jew who was about, in the sight of all, to offer sacrifice on a pagan altar (i Maccabees, ch. ii. 23-26). The stoning of Stephen, and the oath taken against Paul's life, are other instances in point. See Works, i. 456 ff. that whosoever did profane sanctitatem Dei, aut Templi, the holiness of God or the temple, before ten persons, it was lawful for any of them to kill him, or to do anything this side killing him, as whipping him, or the like. And hence it was, that when one struck our Saviour before the judge, (where it was not lawful to strike, 200 (as it is not with us at this day), he only replied, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me? He says nothing against their smiting him, in case He had been guilty of speaking evil, that is blasphemy, and they could have proved it against him. They that put this law into execution were called zealots; but afterwards they committed many villainies. See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, bk. iv. chs. 4, 5, 6, 7, for an account of the wholesale murders and robberies which they committed during the great war with the Romans.
Constantine in this rescript states it as law, that in every cause the judgment pronounced by bishops is to hold good absolutely and without appeal, that either of two disputants may carry the case to the bishop's court, whether his opponent wishes it or not; and further, that the evidence of any one bishop is to be accepted as final, and that when a bishop has given his testimony, no other witness is to be heard.
That there is fraud or error attaching to this rescript seems certain, for it is found inserted in the later Codex Theodosianus, which contains laws wholly inconsistent with it. These show that if it was written by Constantine—and this is a disputed point—the law which it recites must have been abrogated some fifty years before the Codex Theodosianus was compiled. Sirmondi, however, includes it in his Appendix Codicis Theodosiani. Selden, here and in his treatise De Synedriis Veterum Ebraeorum (Works, i. 956), accepts it as Constantine's, but he insists that it was fraudulently inserted in the Codex Theodosianus, of which it could not possibly have formed part. See Works, ii. 830 and 1067. Godefroy, in his edition of the Codex, prints it under the heading, Extravagans seu subdititius titulus de Episcopali Judicio, and he gives reasons (endorsed by Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. xx. sec. 4, note) for rejecting it as an entire forgery, vol. vi. 303-308 (ed. 1665 fol.). Haenel does not include it in his edition of the Codex, but he prints it at the end of his volume as forming part of Sirmondi's 202 Appendix, and he prefaces the Appendix with a discussion of his own, concluding in favour of the rescript as the genuine work of Constantine, but rejecting it from the Theodosian Code. He adds also a list of the various authorities who may be consulted on the above points.
The rescript runs thus: 'Sanximus namque, sicut edicti nostri forma declarat, sententias episcoporum, quolibet genere latas, ... inviolatas semper incorruptasque servari, scilicet ut pro sanctis semper ac venerabilibus habeatur quicquid episcoporum fuerit sententia terminatum.... Quicunque itaque litem habens, sive possessor sive petitor erit, ... judicium eligit sacrosanctae legis antistitis, illico sine aliqua dubitatione, etiamsi alia pars refragatur, ad episcopum cum sermone litigantium dirigatur.... Omnes itaque causae, quae vel praetorio jure vel civili tractantur, episcoporum sententiis terminatae, perpetuo stabilitatis jure firmentur, nee liceat ulterius retractari negotium, quod episcoporum sententia deciderit. Testimonium etiam, ab uno licet episcopo perhibitum, omnes judices indubitanter accipiant, nee alius audiatur cum testimonium episcopi a qualibet parte fuerit repromissum.' Constitutiones Sirmondi, Appendix, cap. i. On the other hand, conf. e.g. a law of Arcadius and Honorius, which was certainly part of the Codex: 'Quoties de religione agitur, episcopos convenit agitare; ceteras vero causas, quae ad ordinaries cognitores, vel ad usum publici juris pertinent, legibus oportet audiri.' Codex, lib. xvi, tit. xi. sec. i.
The Novels of Valentinian III, of later date than the Codex, are not less conclusive. 'Constat episcopos forum legibus non habere, nee de aliis causis (secundum Arcadii et Honorii divalia constituta) praeter religionem posse judicare.' Tit. xxxiv.
The King's chief advisers in the matters which brought about the conflict with the Parliamentary party were, or were assumed to have been, the Duke of Buckingham, the High Treasurer, Sir Richard Weston, the Earl of Strafford, and Archbishop Laud. It is 203 not clear to what time Selden is referring, when he says that they had now 'become regenerate'; it is perhaps to the early part of the second Parliament of 1640, when the punishment of Strafford and Laud had already been taken in hand, and when it was clear that the Commons were in no temper to be trifled with. The Duke of Buckingham and Sir Richard Weston were both dead—unregenerate in Selden's sense of the word. On the death of the High Treasurer, Laud had been made one of the Commissioners of the Treasury and Revenue, which (says Clarendon) he had reason to be sorry for, because it engaged him in civil business and matters of state, wherein he had little experience and which he had hitherto avoided. Hist. vol. i. 152.
It appears, however, from Whitelock's Memorials, that he had long before this been credited with interfering in matters of state. On the imprisonment of the members (3 Caroli), 'the people were discontented. Libels were cast abroad especially against Bishop Laud, and Weston the Treasurer.... My father (i. e. Justice Whitelock) said that if Bishop Laud went on in his way, he would kindle a flame in the nation', p. 13. The charge of being an incendiary is urged again in 1640, by the same authority, on general and on special grounds. 'He (Laud) was more busy in temporal affairs and matters of state than his predecessors of later times had been. My father, who was anciently and thoroughly acquainted with him and knew his disposition, would say, "He was too full of fire, though a just and good man; and that his want of experience in state matters, and his too much zeal for the Church, and heat, would set this nation on fire."
'By his council chiefly (as it was fathered upon him) the Parliament being dissolved,' &c. Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 34.
Curiously, too, in the same year, we find the term 'incendiary ' used about him by the Scotch Commissioners, and a charge brought by them in the Upper House in proof of it. Laud's Works, iii. 238.
How numerous these monopolies had been will appear from the King's proclamation (April 15, 1639) revoking some of them. See also Sir John Culpeper's speech in the Parliament which met on November 3, 1640 : 'I have but one grievance more to offer unto you, but this one comprizeth 204 many. It is a nest of wasps or swarm of vermin which have overcrept the land. I mean the monopolies and polers of the people; these, like the frogs of Egypt, have gotten possession of our dwellings, and we have scarce a room free from them. They sup in our cup. They dip in our dish. They sit by our fire. We find them in the Dye-fat, Wash-bowl, and Powdring-tub. They share with the butler in his box. They have marked and sealed us from head to foot. Mr. Speaker, they will not bate us a pin. We may not buy our own cloaths without their brokage. These are the leeches that have sucked the commonwealth so hard that it is almost become hectical,' &c. Rushworth, Collections, ii. 915-917.
Clarendon, like Selden, traces the troubles of his day to the arbitrary and unwise proceedings in the early years of Charles's reign. 'And here I cannot but let myself loose to say that no man can shew me a source from whence those waters of bitterness we now taste have more probably flowed, than from these unreasonable, unskilful, and precipitate dissolutions of Parliaments... And whoever considers the acts of power and injustice of some of the ministers in those intervals of parliament, will not be much scandalized at the warmth and vivacity of those meetings.' Clarendon, Hist. vol. i. p. 6.
These points, with many others, are referred to in the 'Remonstrance' of 1641. They reproached his Majesty ... 'with the enlargements of forests, and compositions thereupon; the ingrossing gunpowder and suffering none to buy it without licence; with all the most odious monopolies of soap, wine, salt, leather, sea-coal and the rest.' They remembered 'the dissolution of the Parliament in the fourth year of his reign... the imprisoning divers members of that Parliament after the dissolution, and detaining them close prisoners for words spoken in Parliament; sentencing and fining them for those words.' Clarendon, Hist. i. 492, 493.
This was the extortion in 1630 and subsequent years of large sums of money on account of alleged encroachments on the royal forests, although the lands thus reclaimed for the King had been held without dispute under an adverse title dating back for three or four centuries. In 1630, Clarendon says, 'the old laws of the forest were revived, by which not only great fines were imposed, but great annual rents 205 intended and like to be settled by way of contract, which burden lighted most upon persons of quality and honour, who thought themselves above ordinary oppressions, and were therefore likely to remember it with more sharpness.' Clarendon, Hist. i. 105.
This grievance was finally put an end to by the Act of 1640, 'that from henceforth the Meets, Meers, Limits, and Bounds of all and every the Forests shall be adjudged and taken to extend no further respectively than the Meets, Meers, Limits, and Bounds in the several counties respectively, wherein the said Forests were commonly known, reputed, used, or taken, in the 20th year of the reign of the late king James and not beyond, &c.' Rushworth, Collections, iii. 1386.
Whitelocke in his Memorials for this year speaks of 'Warrants of the Council issued for Hollis, Selden, Hobert, Elliot, and other Parliament men to appear before them; Hollis, Curriton, Elliot, and Valentine appeared, and refusing to answer out of Parliament, they were committed close prisoners to the Tower, and a Proclamation for apprehending others went out, and some of their studies were sealed up. All the judges were contented that the prisoners should be bailed, but they must also find sureties for their good behaviour. This, at Selden's instance, they refuse to do, and are remanded to the Tower.' Memorials, pp. 13 and 14.
In the Ordinances for the Government of the Royal Household (1790, 4o), there are frequent references to the King's Chapel establishment. In the household of Henry VI it consisted of 1 dean, 20 chaplains and clerks, and 7 children, p. 17. In the Liber Niger Domûs Regis Edw. IV, the duties, &c. of the dean, chaplains, yeomen and children of the chapel are set out, pp. 49, 50. The whole subject is treated at length in the Ordinances made at Eltham in 1526. 'The King's pleasure is that at all times when his Highness shall lie in his castle of Windsor, his Manors of Bewlye, 206 Richmond, and Hampton Court, Greenwich, Eltham or Woodstock, his hall shall be ordinarily kept and continued, and at all such times of keeping the said hall, the King's noble chapel to be kept in the same place. Nevertheless, forasmuch as ... it would not only be a great annoyance, but also excessive labour, travell, charge and pain, to have the King's whole chapel continually attendant upon his person ... specially in riding journeys and progresses it is ... ordained that the master of the children, and six men with some officers of the vestry, shall give their continual attendance in the King's court ... for which purpose no great carriage either of vestments or books shall be required,' p. 160. See, too, Jebb, Choral Service of the Church (1843), pp. 147, 148.
On the 6th of August, 1348, 22 Edward III, that King, by his royal charter recited, 'that a spacious chapel, situate within the palace of Westminster, in honour of St. Stephen, protomartyr, had been nobly begun by his progenitors and had been completed at his own expense which he appointed to be collegiate; and that there should be established therein a dean, twelve secular canons, with the same number of vicars and other sufficient ministers, to celebrate divine service for the King, his progenitors and successors for ever.' A statement follows of the endowments successively granted to the above-named dean, canons, and college. 'Canon Row, since by corruption called Channel Row, belonged also to the said dean and canons, where they had sometimes lodged.' This college was suppressed and surrendered in i Edward VI. The chapel was soon afterwards fitted up for the meeting of the House of Commons, which had before usually assembled in the Chapter House of the Abbey of Westminster. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 1348-49. The chapel was burnt in the fire of 1835.
'The Lord Prior here' (i.e. of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem near Clerkenwell) 207 'had precedence of all the lay barons in Parliament, and chief power over all the Preceptories and lesser Houses of this order throughout England.' Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 799.
In Camden's Britannia (Cough's trans.), the list of abbots who were barons of Parliament ends with 'the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, commonly called Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, and claiming to be the first baron of England.' Introduction, cap. on Orders in England.
In the sixteenth century, this claim had certainly been admitted. In the Journals of the House of Lords, giving a list of the Lords present at each Parliament in the reign of Henry VIII, the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem appears always among the temporal peers, immediately after the Earls and higher nobles, and above the Barons. This order is invariably observed down to 1536, the date at which the Priory was suppressed, after which the Prior's name disappears from the lists. In 1556 (4 & 5 Phil, and Mary) it reappears in its old place, the Priory having been restored by the Queen, and it finally disappears in the course of 1558 after the accession of Elizabeth. Conf. Journals of the House of Lords, vol. i.
At an earlier date, the Prior's position is not thus fixed. In the Parliamentary Roll of 13 Edward III his name comes last but one in the list of spiritual peers; the Abbot of Westminster is below him. Conf. Rotuli Parliamentorum, printed by order of the Lords. In the writ of summons to Parliament of 23 Edward I it is clear that the Prior was then included among the spiritual peers. Conf. Dugdale: A perfect copy of all the summonses of the nobility, p. 8 (ed. 1685). In 13 and 49 Henry VI, he is the last of the spiritual barons, and he is addressed as they are in the summons to Parliament—in fide et dilectione quibus nobis tenemini; the form for the temporal barons being in fide et homagio, p. 161. But, as the head of a military order, his office must at all times have been lay rather than clerical. 'The Templars and Hospitalers,' says Selden, 'were devout soldiers only.... Their prayers or devotions in private were not the services expected from them in the Church, but their swords and valour only gave the desert.' Hist. of Tythes, vol. iii. p. 1140.208
The questions sent (April 1646) were as follows:—
'The House of Commons desires to be satisfied by the Assembly of Divines in the questions following:
- 'Whether the Parochial and Congregational Elderships, appointed by ordinance of Parliament, or any other Congregational or Presbyterial Elderships are jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ? and whether any particular Church Government be jure divino? and what that government is?
- 'Whether all the members of the said Elderships, as members thereof, or which of them, are jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
- 'Whether the superior Assemblies or Elderships, viz. the Classical, Provincial, and National, whether all, or any of them, and which of them are jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
- 'Whether the appeals from Congregational Elderships to the Classical, Provincial, and National assemblies, or any of them, and to which of them are jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
- 'Whether Œcumenical assemblies are jure divino? and whether there be appeals from any of the former assemblies to the said Œcumenical, jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
- 'Whether by the Word of God the power of judging and declaring what are such notorious and scandalous offences, for which persons guilty thereof are to be kept from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and of conventing before them, trying, and actual suspending from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper such offenders accordingly, is either in the Congregational Eldership or Presbytery, or in any other Eldership, Congregation, or persons; and whether such powers are in them only, or any of them, and in which of them, jure divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
- 'Whether there be any certain and particular rules expressed 209 in the Word of God to direct the Elderships or Presbyteries, Congregations, or persons, or any of them, in the exercise and execution of the powers aforesaid, and what are those rules?
- 'Is there anything contained in the Word of God that the supreme magistracy in a Christian State may not judge and determine what are the aforesaid notorious and scandalous offences, and the manner of suspension for the same; and in what particulars concerning the premisses is the said supreme magistracy by the Word of God excluded?
- 'Whether the provision of Commissioners to judge of scandals not enumerated (as they are authorized by the ordinance of Parliament) be contrary to that way of government which Christ has appointed in his Church, and wherein are they so contrary?
'In answer to these particulars, the House of Commons desires of the Assembly of Divines their proofs from Scripture, and to set down the several texts of Scripture in the express words of the same: and there were orders added that every Minister present at the debate of any of these questions, shall put his Christian name to the answer, in the affirmative or negative; and that those who dissent from the major part shall set down their positive opinions, with express texts in proof of them.' Rushworth, Collections, vi. 260.
Selden, who had had a hand in framing these queries, was well aware that search as they would, they would never find answers to them in the text of Scripture.
I append some instances of obvious blunders in former texts, which have been corrected in this edition on the authority of the Harleian MSS. In 'Holy-Days,' for example, the old reading is: 'Yet that has relation to an Act of Parliament which forbids the keeping of any Holy-days in time of popery.' There is no such Act, and the alleged prohibition is, on the face of it, absurd. The reading, as restored from the MS., is: 'Yet that has relation to an Act of Parliament which forbids the keeping of any other Holy-days. The ground thereof was the 210 multitude of Holy-days in time of popery. This makes sense, and is in agreement with the language of the Act. Again, in 'King of England,' sec. 5, the old editions of 1689 read: 'The three estates are the Lords Temporal, the Bishops are the clergy, and the Commons, as some would have it [take heed of that] for then if two agree the third is involved, but he is king of the three estates.' This jumble of nonsense is cured in the MS. by the insertion of a full stop after 'Commons.' Then follows : 'The King is not one of the three estates, as some would have it [take heed of that] for then,' &c., &c. In sec. 3 of the same discourse, the reading 'they did not much advance the king's supremacy' makes the statement at once incorrect and irrelevant. Again in 'Bishops out of the Parliament' sec. 13, we have: 'If the Parliament and Presbyterian party should dispute, who should be the judge?' a question which Selden would certainly never have asked, and which was answered effectively more than once when such a dispute did happen. The reading should be: 'If the Prelatical and Presbyterian party' &c., for, as Selden says (Religion, sec. 10), 'Disputes in religion will never be ended, because there wants a measure by which the business should be decided.... One says one thing, and one another: and there is, I say, no measure to end the controversy/
In 'Learning,' sec. 2, the old reading is: ' Most men's learning is nothing but history duly taken up. It should be 'dully taken up.'
In 'Oaths' sec. 3. ''Tis to me but reading a paper in their own sense' corrected to 'in my own sense,' as the argument clearly requires.
In 'Devils,' sec. 2 'and so all of them ought to be of the same trade,' an absolutely unmeaning remark, is corrected in the Harleian MS. 1315 to 'thought to be of the same trade.' But the reading of MS. 690, 'and so think all of them to be of the same trade,' seems preferable here.
In several places a faulty punctuation has marred the sense, as e.g. in 'Devils,' sec. 2 'Why in the likeness of a bat or a rat or some creature? That is, why not in some shape we paint him in', &c. This should be 'Why in the likeness of a bat, or a rat, or some creature that is?' i. e. some creature that exists and that could therefore be more easily produced on occasion than a real live Devil with claws and horns.211
So, too, in 'Bible,' sec. 3, we have: 'There is no book so translated as the Bible for the purpose.' Here the full stop should come after 'the Bible,' and 'For the purpose,' a regular Seldenian phrase == 'for example,' should begin the next clause. Again, in 'Preaching,' sec. 15, we have: 'many things are heard from the preacher with suspicion. They are afraid of some ends, which are easily assented to when they have it from some of themselves.' This piece of nonsense is cured in the MS., which puts a comma after 'suspicion,' brackets off the words [they are afraid of some ends] and thus makes the things easily assented to not 'some ends,' but the things which had been heard from the preacher with suspicion.
There are other changes introduced in the present text, but most of them are wholly unimportant, and adopted only because the MSS. so read. One or two are doubtful, as e.g. 'Treaty' for 'Laity' in ' Clergy,' sec. 6.
Dr. Wilkins, in the preface to his edition of Selden's Works, and in his life of the author, has collected proofs of the high esteem in which Selden was held, not only by his own countrymen, but by the learned of all countries.
The following are among the notices which he quotes: 'Grotius eum honorem Britanniae appellat. Conringius vocat virum stupendae lectionis. Boeclerus ita—Equidem Seldeni opera laudare velle, nihil aliud esset quam Soli testimonium splendoris meditari. In Lexico Historico Universali Germanico, quod a J. F. Buddeo appellari solet, dicitur communiter appellatus magnus dictator doctrinae gentis Anglorum.' Other testimonies follow. See Works, vol. i. Præfatio, pp. i & 11, and Vita authoris, p. xlix.
If I have ventured in my Introduction to speak disparagingly of Selden's style and method, I have good warrant for what I have said. Clarendon, e.g., writes, 'His style in all his writings seems harsh and sometimes obscure: which is not wholly to be imputed to the abstruse subjects of which he commonly treated, out of the paths trod by other men; but to a little undervaluing 212 the beauty of a style, and too much propensity to the language of antiquity.' Clarendon, Life, i. p. 35.
Le Clerc writes more severely—'Selden, un des plus savans que l'Angleterre ait eus, est l'un de ceux qui gar doit le mains ce que l'on a dit touchant l'ordre, ce qui fait que ses écrits, quoique savans et utiles, sont lus par peu de gens d'un bout à l'autre': and again—'Quoique je ne voulusse pas imiter la methode confuse, ni le stile de Selden.... les bonnes choses qu'il dit, et l'erudition qu'il fait paroitre par tout, surpassent de beaucoup en utilité ce qu'il y a d'ailleurs defectueux dans ses ouvrages.' Most severe of all is the judgment in the Ars Critica—'Apparet eum ita studia sua perturbasse, ut eodem tempore de rebus toto genere diversis cogitaret; digressiones enim captat adeo remotas, et interdum tarn longas, ut nisi ita studia instituisset, non potuisset tantam ordinis et rerum perturbationem ferre. Ac sane dum ordinem et perspicuitatem negligit, non parum taedii lectoribus creat.' And Le Clerc goes on to complain that where Selden errs, as he is said to do in some parts of the De Synedriis Veterum Ebraeorum, it is hardly possible to trace out how he has got wrong, since 'confusio, digressiones, testimonia aliena, et immensa ilia eruditionis congesta farrago, facile fucum faciunt, et perspicaces etiam obruunt.' Quoted in Works, vol. i. Prefatio, p. 2.