22 July 1589
Note: There are no page numbers in the original.
| Theses | Epilogue |
Conclusions, set down and collected (as it
should seem) by that famous and renowned
Clerk, the reverend Martin Marprelate the
great: serving as a manifest and sufficient
consultation of all that ever the College of
Catercaps with their whole band of Clergy-
priests, have, or can bring for the defence of
their ambitious and Antichristian Prelacy.
PUBLISHED AND SET FORTH
as an after-birth of the noble Gentleman himself,
by a pretty stripling of his, MARTIN JUNIOR, and
dedicated by him to his good name and nuncka,
Master John Kankerbury: How the young man
came by them, the Reader shall understand suff-
iciently in the Epilogue. In the meantime, whoso-
ever can bring me acquainted with my father,
I'll be bound he shall not loose his labour.
Printed by the assigns of Martin Junior, without any pri-
viledge of the Cater-
Martin Junior son unto the re-nowned and worthy Martin Marprelate
the Great, to the Reader.
You shall receive (good Reader) before I set
down unto you anything of my own, certain
of those things of my father's doing which I
found among his imperfect papers. I have not
changed anything in them, detracted anything
from them, nor added unto them aught of my
own; but as I found them, so I have delivered
them unto you. My own meaning you shall
understand at the latter end in my Epilogue
to my nunckle Canterbury. This small thing
that follows before his Theses is also his own.
I have set down the speech as I found it, tho-
ugh imperfect. One thing I am sorry for, that
the speech pretends the old man to be
something discouraged in his
| Title page | Epilogue |
I see my doings and my course misliked of many, both the good and the bad, though also I have favourers of both sorts. The bishops and their train, though they stumble at the cause, yet especially mislike my manner of writing. Those whom foolishly men call Puritans, like of the matter I have handled but the form they cannot brook. So that herein I have them both for my adversaries. But now what if I should take the course ... in certain Theses or conclusions, without inveighing against either person or cause? Might I not then hope my doings would be altogether approved of the one, and not so greatly scorned at by the other? Surely, otherwise they should do me great injury, and shew that they are those who delight neither in heat nor cold, and so make me as weary in seeking how to fit them as the Bishops are in labouring how to find me. The bishops, I fear, are past my cure, and it may be I was unwise in taking that charge upon me. If that which I have already done can do them any good, or any wise further the cause which I love, I shall be glad, if not, what hope is there of amending them this way? The best is, I know how to mend myself. For good leave have I to give over my desperate cure, and with this my farewell unto them. I wish them a better surgeon. Yet ere I leave them, I do here offer unto the view of the world, some part of their monstrous corruptions, in defence whereof, for their lives dare not they in any learned meeting or assembly dispute with me, or attempt to overthrow my assertions by modest writings handled anything  scholar-like, that is, by good and sound syllogisms, which have both their major and minor1 confirmed by the word. I would once see them enter into either of these courses, for as yet they have been far from both. Fire and faggot, bands and blows, railing and reviling, are and have been hitherto their common weapons. As for slandering and lying, it is the greatest piece of their holy profession. And these with their bare assertions and their wretched cleaving to popish absurdities, are in a manner the only proofs and tried maxims they offer unto the church in this age. And so if a man would be confuted, I must needs say, my Lord of Winchester has long ago sufficiently and dexterously performed it. I am not of opinion, (says he) that, una semper debet esse úconomia Ecclesie, that the government of the Church should always, and in all places, be one and the same, especially by a company of elders. Lo! Sir, what say you to this? Here is enough, I trow2, for any man's satisfaction, that bishop Cooper is not of opinion. Yea, but our Saviour Christ his apostles and holy martyrs are of opinion, that the government of the church should always, and in all places, be one, especially by a company of elders. As for my Lord of Winchester's opinion, we have little or nothing to do with that, nor no great matter which side it lean to, whether with or against the truth. For if his bishopric and unruly jurisdiction were no more noisome and hurtful to the church of God, than his learning and opinion is hurtful to the cause of discipline, he might sit long enough undistempered in his chair for us. The good old man might cough his fill, and be quiet, having his  faithful promise and book-oath (as we have also John a Bridges' and Bancroft's) that by arguments he will never hurt us. For they must think that it is not such dry blows as this, I am not of opinion etc. that will satisfy the learned, and answer the demonstrations that are brought on the contrary side. If then, they have indeed any purpose at all to quiet the contentions of our church, let them bring unto us, not these babbles of their own, We are not of opinion, etc. but some sound warrant from the word, that Christ and his apostles were not of opinion with us in the points wherein we truly charge them to have erred, otherwise their 812. their 1401.
The unanswerable Conclusions of MARTIN, wherein are plainly set down many strange and unknown things (if hereafter they may be proved) against the bishops.
Compiled by Martin the Great: found and published by Martin Junior, for the benefit of posterity, if his father should be slain.
1 That all the officers of a true and lawful church government, in regard of their offices, are members of the visible body of Christ, which is the church. Rom. 12:4,5, etc. I Cor. 12:8,28.
2 That none but Christ alone is to ordain the members of his body, to wit, of the Church:  Because
3 That the Lord in his word has left the church perfect in all her members, which he should not have done if he had not ordained all the officers, namely, the members thereof, and so he should leave the building of his church imperfect, and so it must continue, for who will presume to finish that which he has left undone in the building of his church.
4 That to ordain a perfect and an unchangeable government of the church is a part of Christ's prerogative royal, and therefore cannot, without the great derogation of the Son of God, be claimed by any Church or man.
5 That if Christ did not ordain a church government, which at the pleasure of man cannot be changed, then he is inferior unto Moses, for the government placed by him might no man to alter, and thereto might no man add anything. Heb. 3:2,3.
6 That the Lord in the New Testament did appoint as perfect and unchangeable a form of church government in the offices and officers thereof, as Moses did in the old.
7 That the Lord never placed any offices in the New Testament, but the offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, doctors, elders, and deacons.
8 That unto the end of the world there were no other offices to be placed in the church, but only these.
9 That none of these were, and so no offices of a lawful church government are to be removed out of the church by any but by the Lord Christ  himself, who placed them, because they are the members of his body. In the placing or displacing whereof, man has no skill, nor yet commission to deal.
10 That the Lord, for the causes seeming good to his own wisdom (whereof any further than he has set down in his word, man is not to enquire) has removed out of the church the offices of apostles, prophets, and evangelists.
11 That the want of these can be no maim unto the church, seeing the Lord by removing them thence, shews that the body can have no use of them.
12 That the church is now, unto the world's end, to have none other offices in it, but of pastors, doctors, elders, and deacons.
13 That the displacing, or the want of these, is a maim unto the church. And therefore:
14 That the churches of God in Denmark, Saxony, Tygurium, etc., wanting this government by these offices, are to be accounted maimed and imperfect.
15 That it is as good reason, yea and a far better, to say that learned men, and valiant captains must have their eyes put out because Homer and Zisca were blind, as to avouch3 that the church of England may not be governed by pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, because other good churches want this regiment.
16 That to place others in the stead of these is both a maiming and a deforming of the church.
17 That no magistrate may lawfully maim or deform the body of Christ, which is the church. And therefore:
 18 That no lawful church government is changeable at the pleasure of the magistrate.
19 That the platform of government by pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, was not devised by man, but by our Saviour Christ himself, the only head, and alone universal Bishop of his church; as it is set down, Rom. 12:4,5, Ephes. 4:12, and I Cor. 12:8,28,. God has ordained, says the Apostle.
20 That no inconvenience can possibly come unto any state, by receiving this government.
21 That the true stability of all christian states and commonwealths consists in the sound execution of this church government, by pastors, doctors, elders and deacons.
22 That of necessity all christian magistrates are bound to receive this government by pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, and to abolish all other church governments.
23 That a church government, being the ordinance of the magistrate, or of the church, is an unlawful church government.
24 That it is merely and utterly unlawful for any man, church, or state, to ordain any church government, or any church officer, save that government and those officers, before named. Because:
25 That a church government consisting of any other officers but pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, is a government of maimed and misshapen members. Therefore:
26 That our church government in England, by lord archbishops and bishops, is a government of maimed, unnatural, and deformed members,  serving for no use in the church of God. Therefore also:
27 That no lord bishop is to be maintained in any christian commonwealth.
28 That those kingdoms and states, who defend any church government, save this of pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, are in danger of utter destruction, inasmuch as they defend the maim and deformity of the church. And therefore:
29 That our lord archbishops and bishops, in defending this their ungodly government, are not only traitors to God and his church, but utter enemies unto her Majesty and the State, inasmuch as they force the Lord by these their sins, to draw the sword against us to our utter ruin.
30 That our lord archbishops and bishops hold it lawful for our magistrates to maim or deform the church.
31 That they hold Jesus Christ to have left behind him an imperfect and a maimed church, wanting some of her members.
32 That they hold it lawful for the magistrate to abolish the true and natural members of the body, and to attempt the making of new by his own invention.
33 That they, to wit, archbishops and bishops, are the maim of our church, and like to be the destruction of our commonwealth.
34 That the warrant that the archbishops and bishops have for their places can be no better than the warrant which the maintenance of the open and most monstrous whoredom in the stews4 had in times past amongst us. For by the word  they are condemned to be the maim or deformity of the church, or both. And as for the laws that maintain them, being the wound and sore of the church, they are no more to be accounted of than the laws maintaining the stews.
35 That the places of lord bishops are neither warranted by the word of God, nor by any lawful human constitutions.
36 That the government of the church of England by lord archbishops and bishops, is not a church government set down in the word, or which can be defended to be Gods ordinance.
37 That the government of lord archbishops and bishops is unlawful, notwithstanding it be maintained and in force by human laws and ordinances.
38 That the human laws maintaining them are wicked and ungodly, and to be abrogated of all christian magistrates.
39 That to be a lord bishop then is simply unlawful in itself, that is, in respect of the office, though the man sustaining the same should not abuse it as our prelates do.
40 To be a lord bishop in itself simply, besides the abuse, consists of two monstrous parts, whereof neither ought to be in him that professes himself a minister.
41 The first is to bear an unequal and a lordly superiority over his brethren in the ministry and the rest of the church of God under his jurisdiction.
42 The second is the joining of the civil magistracy unto the ministry.
That both these parts are condemned by the  written word of God. Luke 22:25,. 1.Pet. 5:1,2, Matt. 20:25, Mark 10:42, 1.Cor. 8:10, Luke 12:14, 2.Tim. 2:4, and John 18:36, compared with, Matt. 10:25, Luke 16:13.
43 That the hierarchy of bishops, in their superiority over their brethren and their civil offices has been gainsaid and withstood by the visible church of God successively, and without intermission for these almost 500 years last past.
44 That this cause of overthrowing the state of lord bishops and bringing in the equality of ministers, is no new cause, but that which has been many years ago held and maintained, even in the fire, by the holy martyrs of Christ Jesus.
45 That this wicked government of bishops was an especial point, gainsaid by the servants of God, in the time of King Henry the eighth, and Queen Mary, and in the withstanding whereof they died, the holy martyrs of Christ Jesus.
46 That none ever defended this hierarchy of bishops to be lawful, but Papists, or such as were infected with popish errors.
47 That we have not expelled and banished every part of popery, as long as we maintain lord bishops and their seats.
48 That the offices of lord archbishop and bishops, together with other their corruptions, are condemned by the doctrine of the church of England.
49 That the doctrine of the church of England condemning the places of lord bishops, is approved by the statutes of this kingdom, and her Majesty's royal prerogative.
50 That to be a lord bishop is directly against  the statute 13. Elizab. rightly understood, and flatly condemned by her Majesty's royal privilege.
51 That all her Majesty's loving subjects, ministers especially, are bound by statute (and have the allowance of the doctrine of the church of England published with her Majesty's prerogative) not to acknowledge, yea, to disavow and withstand the places and callings of lord bishops.
52 That the doctrine of the church of England in the days of Henry the eighth was the doctrine which the blessed martyrs of Christ Jesus, Mr5.Tyndale Mr. Dr. Barnes, and Mr. Frith taught them and delivered unto us.
53 That this doctrine of theirs is now to be accounted the doctrine of the church of England, inasmuch as (being the doctrine of Christ and his apostles) it is published in print by Master Foxe, and that by her Majesty's privilege.
54 That this their doctrine is maintained by statute, under the name of the doctrine of the faith and sacraments.
55 That the doctrine which according to the word is published by Master Foxe in the Book of Martyrs, seeing it is cum privilegio, is also to be accounted the doctrine of faith and sacraments in the church of England, and so is approved by statute.
56 That upon these former grounds we may safely hold these conclusions following, and are thereby allowed by statute and her Majesty's prerogative.
57 That by the doctrine of the church of England, it is not possible that naturally there can be  any good lord bishop; Master Tyndale's Practice of Prelates, page 374.
58 That by the doctrine of the church of England a bishopric is a superfluous honour and a lewd liberty, ibid.
59 That by the doctrine of the church of England, our bishops are none of the Lord's anointing, but servants of the beast.
60 That by the doctrine of the church of England, our lord bishops are none of Christ's bishops, but the ministers of Antichrist.
61 That by the doctrine of the church of England, our bishops and their government are no part of Christ's kingdom, but are of the kingdom of this world.
62 That by the doctrine of the church of England, lord bishops are a part of that body whereof Antichrist is the head.
63 That by the doctrine of the church of England, the places of archbishops and bishops are the seats of Antichrist.
64 That by the doctrine of the church of England, a bishop can have no other lawful authority, but only to preach the word.
65 That by the doctrine of the church of England, the desire of a bishopric, or any other honour in a minister, is a note of a false prophet.
66 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, all our bishops and their chaplains are false prophets.
67 That the doctrine of the church of England concerning the civil offices of our prelates, is that all civil rule and dominion is by the word of God flatly forbidden unto the clergy.
 68 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, the minister and the magistracy cannot by the ordinance of God be both in one person.
69 That by the doctrine of the church of England, the joining together of the ministry in one person, does put every kingdom out of order.
70 That for a lord bishop to be of the privy council in a kingdom, according to the doctrine of the church of England, is as profitable unto the Realm, as the wolf is to the lambs.
71 That the bishops ought to have no prisons wherein to punish transgressors.
Mark this (good reader): 72 That according to the church of England, all ministers be of equal authority.
73 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, those Doctors who are daily alleged by our bishops in the defence of their superiority over their brethren, to wit, Cyprian, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, knew of no authority that one bishop should have above another, neither thought or once dreamed that ever any such thing should be.
74 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, a bishop and an elder, or a minister, note out in the word of God the one and the selfsame person and church officer, the contrary whereof is popery.
75 That by the doctrine of the church of England, it is popery to translate the word presbyteros into priest, and so to call the ministers of the Gospel priests.
76 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, Dr. Bancroft in his Sermon at  Paul's6 the 28 of January 1588, maintained a popish error in avouching that in the days of Cyprian there was a difference between a bishop and a priest or minister.
77 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, John Cant. is a maintainer of a popish error, in terming the ministers of the Gospel by the name of priests.
78 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, our prelates have no authority to make ministers, or to proceed to any ecclesiastical censure.
79 That by the doctrine of the church of England, to have a bishop's licence to preach is the very mark of the beast, Antichrist.
80 That by the doctrine of the church of England, the godly ministers ought to ordain those that would enter into that function, without any leave of the prelates, and not so much as once to suffer them to take any approbation of the prelates.
81 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, there ought to be no other manner of ecclesiastical censure, but that which is noted, Matt. 18:15,17, which is to proceed from a private admonition to one or two witnesses, and thence to the church; that is, not to one, but unto the governors of the church, together with the whole congregation.
82 That according to the doctrine of our church, the citations, processes, excommunications, etc. of the prelates, are neither to be obeyed nor regarded.
83 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, men ought not to appear in  their courts, seeing their proceedings are so directly against the truth, as now they are manifested to be, seeing the doctrine of the church warrants them no such calling.
84 That according to the doctrine of the church of England, that a man being excommunicated by them, ought not to seek any absolution at their hands.
85 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, every minister is bound to preach the Gospel, notwithstanding the inhibition of the bishops.
86 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, a man being once made a minister, is not to be kept back from preaching by the inhibition of any creature.
87 That according unto the doctrine of our church, our prelates notably profane the censure of the church by sending them out against those who are not offenders against God, for money matters, and other trifles, etc.
88 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, it is great tyranny in them to summon and cite poor men, as they do, to come before them for hearing the word or speaking against their hierarchy.
89 That it is tyranny by the doctrine of the church of England, and the badge of Antichrist's disciples, for our prelates to break up into men's consciences to compel them by oaths to testify against themselves.
90 That by the doctrine of the church of England, our prelates learned this abomination of Pilate, Matt. 26:93.
 91 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, none ought to be in the ministry but such as are able to preach.
92 That according unto the doctrine of the church of England, nonresidents, and pluralities of benefices are most intolerable in the sight of God and man.
93 That all true subjects have better warrant to deny the superiority of bishops than the bishops have to impose themselves upon the church.
94 That her Majesty's true subjects in oppugning the state of Lord bishops have the warrant of the word of God, the warrant of our laws and statutes, the doctrine of the church of England, the consent of the church of God for the space of above 400 years, and her Majesty's privilege.
95 That the bishops have nothing for their defence but the corruption received into our church contrary unto the word, contrary unto our statutes, contrary unto her Majesty's privilege, contrary unto the doctrine of our church.
96 That our bishops in this controversy for their hierarchy, have not me, poor man, for their only adversary, but our saviour Christ, his Apostles, and holy martyrs, our laws and statutes, her Majesty's privileges, and the doctrine of our church has long ago condemned them for traitors unto God, unto his word, his church, and unto our laws and privileges.
97 That Master Thomas Cartwright, together with all those learned men, and myself also, that have written against the state of the clergy, could do no less than we have done, except we would betray the truth of God, the laws of this land,  and the doctrine of our church.
98 That our magistrates in maintaining both the doctrine of our church, and also the hierarchy of our bishops, maintain two contrary factions under their government, which their wisdoms know to be dangerous.
99 That this faction is likely to continue until either of the parties give over.
100 That those who defend the doctrine of our church in oppugning of our bishops, neither can nor will give over the cause, inasmuch as it is confirmed by the word professed in our church, allowed by our statutes, and maintained by her Majesty's privilege.
101 That the bishops will not give over, in any likelihood to die for it, as long as the state will maintain them.
102 That the continuance of these contrary factions is likely in a while to become very dangerous unto our state, as their wisdoms, who are magistrates, do well know and perceive.
103 That their wisdoms then are bound, even for the quieting of our outward state, to put down either the doctrine of our church, or the corruption, viz. our bishops and their proceedings.
104 That they cannot, without the endangering of themselves under the wrath of God, and the odious and most monstrous sin of inevitable apostasy from the truth, put down and abolish the doctrine of our church.
105 That they cannot any longer maintain the corruptions of our church, namely archbishops and bishops, without the shameful  contradiction of our doctrine, and the discontentedness of their subjects.
106 That all ministers are bound by subscription, by virtue of the statute that requires their subscription unto the doctrine of faith and sacraments in the church of England, to disavow the hierarchy of bishops.
107 That it were well that all these ministers who are urged to subscribe, would require a resolution in this point, before they yield their subscription.
108 That Doctor Bancroft in affirming her Majesty to be a petty pope in his sermon preached at Paul's the ninth of February 1588, preached treason against her Majesty's royal crown and dignity. (Pag. 68, lin. 19)
109 That the said Bancroft is a traitor, in affirming her Majesty to usurp that authority within her dominions, in causes ecclesiastical, which the pope usurped in times past.
110 That our bishops, in suffering the said sermon to be published in print, containing the former points of treason, are accessary unto Bancroft's treason.
That our prelates. ... ... Here the father left his writings imperfect, and thus perfectly begins the son.
| Theses | End |
Martin Junior's Epilogue.
To the worshipful his very goodname, Master John Can-
After my hearty commendations unto your Worship, (go-
od nunckle Canterbury) trusting that you, with the rest
of the Catercaps are as near your overthrow, as I your
poor nephew am from wishing the prosperity of your
Antichristian callings. The cause of my writing unto you
this instant, is to let you understand, first, that I was
somewhat merry at the making hereof, being indeed sorry,
together with others of my brethren, that we cannot hear
from our good father, Master Martin Marprelate, that
good and learned discoursing brother of yours, but espec-
ially grieved that we see not the utter subversion of that
unhappy and pestilent government of Lord Bishops, at the
helm whereof you sit like a Pilate, or a Caiphas rather.
Moreover, I do you to weete7, that you shall receive by this
bearer, certain imperfect writings of my father's,
praying your prelacy, if you can send me,
or any of my brethren, any word of him,
that you would return us an
MARTIN JUNIOR'S EPILOGUE.
Many flim flam tales go abroad of him, but of certainty nothing can be heard, inasmuch as he keeps himself secret from all his sons. Some think that he is even now employed in your business, and I think so too, my reason is, quoth Robert Some, because it was for your sakes and good, that he first fell a studying the art of 'Pistle8 making: Others give out that in the service of his country, and her Majesty's, he died, or was in great danger at the Groine9. And those others (ka my uncka Bridges) have seen motives inducing them to be of this mind. Some there are also, who fear that you have him in your hands. Howsoever it be, somewhat is not well that he is silent all this while. We his sons must needs be disquieted, seeing we can neither know where our father is, nor yet hear from him. If we could but hear by some 'Pistle, though it were but of 20 sheets of paper, that he is well, we would not then be so inquisitive of him. But now that he has been so long time tongue-tied these four or five months, we must needs enquire of the matter. Speak then, good nuncles, have you closely murdered the gentleman in some of your prisons? Have you strangled him? Have you given him an Italian fig? Or, what have you done unto him? Have you choked him with a fat prebend or two? What? I trow my father will swallow down no such pills. And he do, I can tell he will soon purge away all the conscience he has and prove a mad hind ere he die. But tell me, I pray you, what you mean to do unto him if you have him in hold? Do you mean to have the keeping of him, lest he should not be otherwise well looked unto? Why, what need  [th]at? I am sure he has 500 sons in the land, of good credit and ability, with whom he might have other gates welcome, than with any Catercap o' them all. And I pray you, nunckles, never trouble yourselves with the keeping of him. I trust he shall do well, though he never come near any of you all. And I think in reason it were more meet his sons than his brethren should be charged with him; if it so came to pass that he were forced to lean unto others. This I know full well, that my father would be sorry from his heart to put you to any such cost as you intend to be at with him. A meaner house, and of less strength than the Tower, the Fleet, Newgate, or the Gatehouse10 is, would serve him well enough. He is not of that ambitious vein that many of his brethren the bishops are, in seeking for more costly houses than ever his father built for him. And therefore, good sweet names now, if you have him, let him be dispatched out of your hands, with honesty and credit. My father is of a kingly nature, I perceive by him he would do good unto you, but he would not be recompensed for it again. He will none of your courtesies, unless it be for your own sakes, that you will give over your bishopdoms. That is the greatest benefit he accounts of from you, other recompense he seeks none.
If you demand of me where I found this, the truth is it was taken up (together with certain other papers) besides a bush, where it had dropped from somebody passing by that way. I hope my father's worship will not be offended with me for publishing of it, being not so perfect as  question-less he would have had it. He, and you, cannot but commend my good dealing, in setting it out; for I chose rather to leave the sentences imperfect than to add anything more than I found legible. The arithmetical numbers in the end of his preamble shew that when he had written so far, he had something more in his head than all men do conceive, which made him leave in the midst of a period. I myself do perceive some tautologies in the conclusions as being the first draught, but I would not presume to mend them. That I refer to himself, if he be yet living; if dead, yet posterity may have his after-birth to be altogether his own. And let them take this as his cygneam cantionem11, viz. his farewell to book-making. But that would I be sorry of. For who can be able to prove the points which he has set down here, concerning the doctrine of our church, maintained by statute and her Majesty's privilege, so soundly and so worthily, as he himself would perform it. A thirty or forty of the first conclusions are already shewn in 'Hay any work for the Cooper',12 and therefore they need no further proof than the reading over that worthy Treatise, whence they seem to have been collected. The rest I hope shall be shewn in 'More work for the Cooper'.
And father, if you can prove these things out of the doctrine of our church, then certainly you deserve to be chronicled for ever. Then John Canterbury, come down with your popery, ka Mr. Martin Junior: for now are you let out in your colours, to be an adversary not only of Christ and his apostles, which all men might know, but even  also an utter enemy unto the doctrine of the church of England, sowed here by the holy martyrs and sealed with their blood, yea, allowed by statute and published with her Majesty's royal privilege, which is a point which the most have not considered of. And who is he now that dares persuade Martin to give over his course, unless the same also will shew himself an enemy to the doctrine of the church of England. For Martin in his writings, is not so much an enemy unto the bishops as a defender of the doctrine of our Church. And therefore you Puritans that mislike of him, take heed that you be not found amongst posterity to be the betrayers of this doctrine (for your ease and quietness sake) which you are bound to deliver unto your children, without corruption or mangling, though it cost you your lives a thousand times. For to tell you the truth, if you do but read over the writings of Mr. Tyndale, Mr. Frith, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Knox, Mr. Lambert, etc. which were the first planters of the Gospel among us, you shall find yourselves in faithfulness, courage and zeal, yea, even the best of you, far behind them; which I speak not but to your great shame, with a desire of your amendment. And therefore I tell you true, I think it a great blessing of God that has raised up this Martin, whom you can hardly brook, to hold tackling with the bishops, that you may have some time of breathing, or rather a time to gather courage and zeal, joined with knowledge, to set upon these enemies of the doctrine of our church, even the doctrine of God, I mean, maintained in our church. For that as  hitherto you have done, you be so loth (for the disturbing of our state forsooth, and the offending of her Majesty) not only to speak against, but even utterly to reject this hierarchy of our bishops, even to have no more to do with it than with the seat of the beast. You shall declare unto our children that God raised up but a company of white-livered soldiers to teach the Gospel in sincerity under her Majesty, and take heed lest our forenamed fathers rise up in judgement against you. As for her Majesty, or the state, I think she has little cause to thank you for your wisdom in seeking the quietness of this commonwealth by winking at the sin of the pompous ministry. And methinks you are bound unto her, and her people, to make so much at the least known, as she maintains publicly in books, by her statutes and privileges, to be the doctrine of this our church under her government. Therefore, look unto these things, for certainly if ever the Lord shall make the proceedings of our wicked bishops known unto her Majesty, to be so contrary to word of God, the profession of holy martyrs, and the doctrine of our church maintained, both by our statutes and privileges, as in these Theses they are set down. Assure yourself that she will then enquire whether she had not any faithful preachers in her kingdom that would stand to the defence of the truth until she saw further into it.
As for the bishops, they may herein see, to their woe, what wicked caitiffs they are in maintaining themselves and their thrice cursed popedom,  against such clear light. But the beasts, I fear, were born to no other end than to be the Lord's scourge, to chastise his church and then to be burnt in hell. And out upon them, they are as unlike Christ, his apostles and holy martyrs, which were the planters of our church, as the wretches are like unto themselves. A man would have thought, if they had not been desperate in their wickedness, that by the warning which Martin gave them, they would have been restrained from their villainy in some sort. But as though their very reason had been clean gone, the more they are threatened to have their proceedings displayed, the more wicked do they manifest themselves. As if they would declare unto the world that they will not be made known unto posterity, but upon the condition that they may be the most wicked that ever were in the church of God. They will be so many Judases, so many Diotrepheses, so many Simon Maguses, as now they are wicked bishops of England, or else they think not themselves well dealt with. Wherefore, reverend father, if you be as yet on your feet, and have escaped out of the danger of gunshot, begin again to play the man. Fear none of these beasts, these pursuivants13, these Mar-Martins, these stage players, these prelates, these popes, these devils, and all they can do. Quit yourself but as like a man as you have done in 'Hai any work ...', and I doubt not but you will make these roguish priests lie in the kennel. The report abroad goes that you are drawn dry and can say no more. They are fools that so think, I say.  Let these conclusions be judge, whereby I tell you true, I hope you shall be able to empty every bishopric in England, if weight of truth can do it. There be that affirm the rhymers and stage-players to have clean put you out of countenance, that you dare not again shew your face. Alas poor hagglers, their fathers are too young to outface the least of your sons. And I do think that, lay aside their tyranny, all the bishops of England are too weak to deal with a scarecrow that has but the name of reverend Martin written upon it. And therefore I persuade myself that they their selves are thoroughly so persuaded, ka my nuncka Bridges, that you contemn14 such kennel rakers, and scullions, as to their shame, in the time of your silence have sold themselves for pence a piece, to be derided of come who so will, to see a company of disguised asses.
Concerning Mar-martin, if he be a Londoner, or an university man, ten to one but you shall see him one of these odd days, carted out of the town for his honesty of life. Why, that time of his shews that he had no other bringing up than in a brothel-house. And herein I would crave pardon of the universities and the famous city of London, if they should be thought to give out that such a ribaulder as this is, were there maintained. To speak what I do think of the youth, I cannot be induced to think that he has had his bringing up at any other trade than in carrying long Meg of Westminster's hand-basket and in attending upon some other of his aunts, at her appointment, while she lived.  After her death, it may be he has been promoted unto the service of some laundress in a bishop's house, where, in hope to be preferred by his good lords, he has undertaken to mar-rhymes, in publishing bawdry15 and filthiness, for the defence of these honest bishops.
The stage players, poor, silly, hunger-starved wretches, they have not so much as an honest calling to live in the commonwealth. And they, poor varlets16, are so base-minded as at the pleasure of the veriest17 rogue in England, for one poor penny they will be glad on open stage to play the ignominious fool for an hour or two together. And therefore, poor rogues, they are not so much to be blamed if being stage players, that is, plain rogues (save only for their liveries) they in the action of dealing against Master Martin have gotten them many thousand eyewitnesses of their witless and pitiful conceits. And indeed, they are marvellous fit upholders of Lambeth Palace and the crown of Canterbury. And therefore, men should not think of all other things that they should anyways make Master Martin, or his sons, to alter their course. And hereof, good Master Canterbury, assure yourself. Well, to grow to a point with you, if you have any of your side, either in the universities or in your cathedral churches, or anywhere within the compass of all the bishopdoms you have, that dare write or dispute against any of these points set down by my father, here I do by these my writings, cast you down the glove in my fathers name, and the names of the rest  of his sons. If my father be gone, and none else of my brethren will uphold the controversy against you, I myself will do it. And take my challenge if you dare. By writing you may do it, and be sure to be answered. By disputations, if you will appoint the place, with promise that you will not deal vi et armis18, you shall be taken also by me, if I think I may trust you. Otherwise, the Puritans will, I doubt not, maintain the challenge against you.
But here by the way, John Canterbury, take an odd advice of your poor nephew, and that is this: First, in regard of yourself, play not the tyrant, as you do in God's church; if you go on forward in this course the end will be a woeful reckoning. You have been raised up out of the dust, and even from the very dunghill, to be president of her Majesty's council, being of yourself a man altogether unmeet for any such preeminence, as neither endued with any excellent natural wit, nor yet with any great portion of learning. The Lord has passed by many thousands in this land far meeter for the place than is poor John Whitgift. Well then, what if you, having received so great blessings at the Lord's hand (being of all others in no comparison anything near the fittest for it, or the likeliest to obtain it) shall now shew yourself ungrateful unto your merciful Lord God, or become a cruel persecutor and a tyrant in his church, a cruel oppressor of his children? Shall not all that you have received be turned unto a curse unto you, even into your own bosom? Yea verily! For  the Lord in one day is able to bring more shame upon you, and that in this life, than he has heaped blessings upon you now for the space of thirty years and upward. But when I do consider your preeminence and promotion, I do sensibly acknowledge it to be joined with a rare curse of God, even such a curse as very few (I will not say none) in God's church do sustain. And that is thy wicked and antichristian prelacy. The consideration of which popedom of yours makes me think that your other place in the civil magistracy, being in itself a godly and a lawful calling, is so become infectious that it will be your bane, both in this life and in the life to come. And I am almost fully persuaded that, that archbishopric of yours, together with your practises therein, shew verily that the Lord has no part nor portion in that miserable and desperate caitiff, wicked John Whitgift, the Pope of Lambeth. Leave, therefore, both your popedom and your ungodly proceedings, or look for a fearful end.
My second and last advice is this: in a word, suffer no more of these haggling and profane pamphlets to be published against Martin, and in defence of your hierarchy. Otherwise you shall but commend your folly and ignorance unto the world to be notorious. Mar-Martin, Leonard Wright, Freguevile, Dick Bancroft, Tom Blan. o' Bedford, Kemp, Underhill, serve you for no other use but to work your ruin, and to bewray19 their own shame, and miserable ignorance. Thus far of these matters.
And methinks you see, nunckle Canterbury, that though I be but young, yet I begin  pretty well to follow my father's steps. For I promise you, I am deceived unless I have a pretty smattering gift in this 'Pistle-making, and I fear in a while I shall take pride in it. I pray you, if you can, now I have shewed you my mind, that you would be a means that my father, or my brethren, be not offended with me for my presuming this of my own head. I did all of a good meaning, to save my father's papers, and it would have pitied your heart to see how the poor papers were rain and weather-beaten, even truly in such a sort, as they could scant be read to be printed. There was never a dry thread in them. These sea-journeys are pitiful I perceive. One thing methinks my father should like in me, and that is my modesty. For I have not
presumed, to publish mine in as large a print or volume as my father does his.
Nay, I think it well if I can dribble out a 'Pistle on octavo now
and then. Farewell, good nunckle, and pay this
bearer for the carriage. July 22, 1589.
With as great speed
as I might.
Your worship's nephew
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1. ie major and minor premisses of a syllogism. (ed.)
2. I trow: I believe. (ed.)
3. avouch: to affirm or declare. (ed.)
4. stews: brothels (ed.)
5. Master, as in 'master of arts'. (ed.)
6. St. Paul's Cross, London. (ed.)
7. weete: to know - an archaism even in the XVI cent! (ed.)
8. ie: Epistle. (ed.)
9. the Groine: Groningen, in the Netherlands (poss. Corunna, NW Spain) (ed.)
10. A list of London prisons. (ed.)
11. Latin, 'swan song'. (ed.)
12. Tract 3, above. (ed.)
13. pursuivants: pursuers, police. (ed.)
14. contemn: scorn. (ed.)
15. bawdry: lewdness or obscenity. (ed.)
16. varlets: rascals, hooligans. (ed.)
17. Veriest, adj, superl. of 'very'. (ed.)
18. Latin: 'by force of arms'. (ed.)
19. bewray: betray. (ed.)
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This HTML edition and modernised spellings © John D. Lewis, 2000.