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VII. Neither the Pope, nor the Bishops of England, are simoniacs upon this account, that they receive their bishoprics from the Pope by provision, and pay first-fruits or annates for their bishoprics.
5. Any one sees, at first sight, that this sermon was the effect of the Bishop's studying the dispute betwixt the Church and Dissenters, and that, in particular, these propositions were maintained in defence of the Bishops
and Clergy, from the censures that were passed upon them Gascoigne, by the Lollards. Accordingly, it is said, that the Bishop
should thus speak to one Master Chapman, “ That the
consequence of his opinion would be, that no one here“ after would speak ill of the Bishops, or murmur about “ them; since by him it was made evident, that Bishops “ are not obliged to preach, nor to do the other works “ of a cure of souls, as children and the common people “think; but it is their office and business to superintend
or oversee those who have cures.” But notwithstanding this, exception was, it seems, taken at this sermon of the Bishop's, insomuch that, after he had ended it, he by indentures, written in English, delivered these Conclusions to several persons his particular friends, viz. Walter Hart or Lyhert, Bishop of Norwich, who is styled his fautor or patron; Adam Molens, Bishop of Chichester and Lord Privy Seal; and Dr. Vincent Clement, who is called the i unwonted Doctor, because he took his degree of Doctor of Divinity when he was only in Deacon's or Subdeacon's Orders, and was admitted to it by virtue of the King's mandamus; being the Pope's collector of his tenths, &c.
i Magistro Vincentio Clementi doctori insolenti, qui Oxoniæ in theologia incepit in ordine diaconatus existens, gradu suo obtento minis et promissis, et diversis literis regiis, et brevibus regiis missis contra eos, qui in magna congregatione regentium in Oxonia gratiam suam petitam, ex sua conscientia negaverunt. Gasc. Dict. Theol. This the translator of the History and Antiquities of Oxford thus represents: Vincentio Clementi, doctori Oxoniensi arrogantissimo, &c. Hist. et Antiq. Univ. Oxon. lib. i. p. 221.
Romanus quidam, Vincentius Clemens, Papæ subdiaconus, atque quæstor. Parkeri Antiq. p. 434. But by the constitution of the University, one in no Orders at all may take this degree of Doctor of Divinity.
6. Of this sermon of our Bishop's, complaint seems like- CHAP. wise to have been made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as if it was on a needless or unnecessary subject; that the Conclusions maintained in it could not be defended; and that they savoured more of curiosity than of usefulness. To answer this complaint, very probably, our Bishop was cited to give his Grace an account of the reason why he thus preached. Since we have a short defence of these Conclusions, supposed to be made by our Bishop to his Reginaldi
Pecock alleGrace, in which having repeated the seven Conclusions
gatio de which were objected against, he exhibits or declares the Conclusioreasons of his drawing them up, holding and publishing ad Arch. them. The first of these is, that “ the opposite or direct Cantuari, “ contrary of these Conclusions, had been for some time “ since the opinion of a great many men, and often “preached by them in the pulpits : that the Bishops who, “ for reasonable k causes, were absent from their dioceses,
were by this means subject to very frequent detractions “ of the common people, and made vile and contemptible “ to their subjects, by whom they ought to be reverenced;
nay, that they were rendered so much the more unable “to correct, command and order their subjects, since they
were so much injured in their reputation by being thus “ reproached; that no wise man will deny that this is an “ evil very deserving to be remedied, since we ought to do 6 what we can to remove the reproach of even unworthy
persons, or which is undeservedly cast on them, much “ more the unjust reproach which is attempted to be fixed
on Bishops.” A second reason given by the Bishop for his preaching thus, is, that “ in many Bishops scruples of “ conscience were raised on this account, viz. their being
k The reasonable causes of Priests being absent from their cures, Bernardus de Parentinis assigns as follows: 1. The affairs of the Church. 2. Being mortally hated by their subjects or parishioners. 3. If by the Pope's commandment they waited at Court, or served any Bishop. 4. If they studied Divinity at the University, provided they did not stay there above five years. Lilium Misse. fol. 22. a coll. 1.
CHAP. “ under the strictest obligations to preach themselves to II.
“ the people of their dioceses, and constantly to reside in “ them, when in truth they were not obliged so to do; “ which was of very ill consequence to them, especially to “ such of them as were at the point of death.” A third reason given by the Bishop for his maintaining these Conclusions is, “ that the laity also in judging so rashly and “ untowardly of the Bishops, and becoming disaffected to “ them, or however in taking off their affections from them, “ have very often defiled their souls, and involved them“ selves in sins. From hence he inferred, that it was very “plain, it was necessary, that all these recited mischiefs, “ and a great many others, should not only be prevented, “ but extirpated by the publication of the above-mentioned “ Conclusions, which no one was able to disprove. For “ these reasons, he said, he put them into form, stated,
held, and published them, which reasons he thought no “ wise and discreet man would deny, that they were ra“tional, sound, and fitly advising, that the said Conclu“ sions should be stated, preached, and published; espe
cially since no prejudice, no impediment, no lessening of “ the office of preaching is occasioned by them; but on “ the contrary, on account of these Conclusions, sermons “ delivered to the people are more frequented, the delivery “ of them is truer, and more admired, and people are more “ edified by them; as he promised the Archbishop should
appear plain enough in a book of preaching, which he “ intended to write on the Conclusions themselves. These “ things, he said, he set forth and alleged at present before « his Grace, reserving to himself the power to do, prose“ cute, and otherwise defend himself before him, either in “ his court of laudience, or elsewhere, as it shall be thought
| Audience-court is a court belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the Archbishop heard many causes extrajudicially at home in his own palace; in which, before he would finally determine any thing, he did usually commit the causes to be discussed by certain learned men in the civil and cam non laws, whom thereupon he termed his auditors. Cowel's Law Dictionary.
“ meet, by way of remedy against the grievances laid to CHAP.
7. In this manner did our Bishop defend these Conclu-
all that were preachers, because of a few heretics, who were
m Pope Gregory IX. A. D. 1227, under pretence of extirpating heresy, granted to the Preaching Friars his bull, whereby be allowed them the unheard of privilege, as it is called by the historian, of preaching wherever they would, and of hearing the confessions of whomsoever they pleased. This was so much to the damage and prejudice of the several Ordinaries, whom the Friars treated with all possible contempt, as both insufficient in learning, and wanting in their duty, that, instead of obeying the Pope's bull, (by which they were commanded kindly to admit the Friars to this office of preaching, to which they were deputed, and diligently to admonish the people committed to their care, devoutly to hear them, and confess themselves to them, they gave them all the trouble they could, and did what they were able to hinder them from using this their new obtained privilege, of which the Friars complained to Pope Innocent IV. who confirmed to them the grant of this privilege. Matth. Paris Hist. p. 693, &c. ed. Watts.
c. 16. MS.
CHAP. then suspended from preaching. As a punishment of which
wickedness, Gascoigne tells us, that “ soon after his makDict. Theol.“ ing that constitution, concerning binding the word of
“God, he had a stoppage in his throat, so that he could “ neither well speak, nor swallow, and so n died; and, that
men at that time believed, that God had tied his tongue, “ because he had tied the tongues of, as it were, all
“ preachers.” The same complaint was made by the Wicof Prelates, lifists; “ That if Prysts wolen seye their mass, and techen
“ the Gospel in a Bishop's diocese, anoon he shal be for“ boden, * but if he have leave of that Bishop, and he shall
pay commonly for that leave much money, or else swear “ that he shall not speke against great sins of Bishops and “ other Priests, and their falsnes.”—They the Prelates “ wollen not suffren true men to teche freely Christ's Gos“pel withouten their leave and letters, for they wolden “ have money for their letters, and swearing, that men not
preche against their sins.-They geven leave to Sathanas
prechers, the Friers, for to preche fables and flatteringe “ and lesings, and to deceive the people in faith and good
8. As to the Bishops themselves, Gascoigne complains of them, as so notoriously negligent and careless in discharging this office of preaching, that the common people
in the open streets clamoured and murmured against them Hist. et An-to this effect:
“Wo to you Bishops who are so rich, who tiq. Univ.
“ love to be called lords, and to be served by others on p. 222. c. 1.“ their knees, who ride attended with so many and pompous
“ horses, and will do nothing for the salvation of souls, by
preaching the word; for either they know not how to
Ox. vol. i.
» This constitution was made 1408, and the Archbishop died Feb. 19, 1413, five years after. A modern writer thus represents this Archbishop's death: “ Arundel, the Archbishop of Canterbury,” says he, “in a little time after he “ had read the sentence which condemned the Lord Cobham for a heretic, was “ seized with a distemper in his tongue, which swelled it so excessively, that it “ quite deprived him of his speech, and quickly put an end to his life." Goodwin's History of the Reign of K. Henry V. p. 32. See Gascoigne, Dict. Theol. MS.