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been diverted from his regular practice by a desire of healing the disorders which, in his opinion, afflicted the church. Regarding the extravagant assumptions of the bishops to be the principal of these disorders, he examined their claims in a Latin treatise, entitled "Apologeticus ad Prasules Anglicanos in Curiâ Celsa Commissionis;" in which he attempted to prove that bishops did not derive their authority from Divine right. At the same time he appears to have taken the precaution to except from his animadversions such prelates as might acknowledge that they derived their spiritual and temporal power from the civil institutions of their respective countries. But in the estimation of Laud, it was an offence of the greatest atrocity to deny the jure divino right of himself and his brethren, He therefore caused the unfortunate disciple of Galen to be arrested by a pursuivant, and had him duly brought up before the court of high commission. In vain Bastwick pleaded that "his book was only written against the pope, and Italian bishops, and such as vindicated authority over all kings and princes, and ecclesiastics jure divino." This plea was treated, as we remember that of a luckless cobler was treated in the year 1792, who, being accused before a magistrate of damning the king in a pot-house, acknowledged the fact, but protested that he meant the King of France. The Apologeticus was declared a scandalous libel; its author was condemned to pay a fine of one thousand pounds, besides the costs of the prosecution, and to be imprisoned in the Gate-house till he should recant his errors”— "a goodly censure," says he, in his dedication of his "Letany" to Lady Walgrave," of which I may say as a poor silly old countryman spoke, coming once to London in the time of a great plague, and seeing a superscription over a door, not being acquainted with such things in the country, and reading it, it was Lord have mercy upon us.* I promise you,' saith he, 'a good and a godly saying, I would every house in the town had as much on it,' meaning no ill, poor man; so I say, their sentence was a good and a godly sentence, I would every prelate in England were under the same."
It is a trite remark, but no less true than it is trite, that pains and penalties are of no efficacy in the correction of opinion. Bastwick took up his lodgings in prison with a dogged resolution, that if the archbishop waited for his recantation, he should wait, as he himself expresses it "till doom's-day in the afternoon." He cared not for the loss of fortune or of friends; he was not alarmed by the impairing of his health; nor did the
* Houses, which were shut up, on account of the inhabitants being infected, bore this inscription, along with a large cross in red.
sufferings of his wife and family cause him to give way. In his seclusion he brooded over his wrongs, and studied the subject of church discipline, till his feelings were exasperated to the highest degree, and he was determined to persist in disseminating his opinions, whatever might be the consequences.
"If Father William, of Canterbury," says he, in a letter to the keeper of the Gate-house, "think that I am afraid of him, he is metropolitically mistaken; for I neither fear him, nor love him; neither is there any affection or passion in me so contemptible, that I deem him, or any prelate in England, worthy to be an object of it. For I know they are enemies of God and the King, and of all goodness. I fear not the face of man, neither do I tremble at the foul fiends of Acheron. Can the prelates tell me of any thing worse than hell and death? If they cannot, it not dreadful to me; for the Devil hath no power over me; and Death is my loving friend and kind neighbour. I am a physician, and have been bred in the tents of mortality, and have had Death by the hand every day. He is solamen miseriarum ; neither have the prelates any more power over me than the Devil had over Job." Having thus screwed up his spirits to the sticking point, he declares that he is "resolved to put a few nettles under Antichrist's tayle, and to make him frisk a little before he dies;" and that as "the Prelates have taken away his practice among men, he is willing to try if he can heal beasts, and, among others, that scarlet whore, and all those that commit fornication with her."
In this spirit of defiance, Bastwick proceeded to compose, and to publish his Letany, which was printed "by special procurement," (i. e. surreptitiously)" and for the special use of our English Prelates, in the year of Remembrance, 1637." This work is introduced by a dedication from John, the Physician, to the vertuous and elect lady, the Lady Walgrave, at her house in Wormingford, in Essex, who had been one of his patients, and whose sympathy in his puritanical opinions led her to commiserate his sufferings in the cause of their common faith. Next follows a short address to the courteous reader, and next a letter to Meester Aquila Weekes, keeper of the Gatehouse. These prolegomena form an introduction to the Letany itself, in which the incarcerated author poured forth his wrath against the reverend bench, and the whole system of the church established by law.
For this important work, John, the Physician, prepared himself by a course of meditation, by which he seems to have worked himself up to no ordinary pitch of enthusiasm. For thus he commences his letter to his honourable patroness:
"Madam,-In these times of great danger, being every way environed with the contagious sickness of the plague, and seeing all possibility taken away (without a miraculous kind of deliverance) of ever
escaping the common calamity of mortality-having set my cottage in order, which was quickly done, (little, I thank my good friends, being left unto me,) and having bequeathed my wife and children, and all my stock and substance, to the benediction of the grand Creator and sovereign Preserver of all things, and my spirit into the hands of my blessed Redeemer, nothing solicitous for my body, (now none of mine own,) and being most assured of a happy meeting and sweet conjunction, though we have tasted here of much bitterness, and forced to a violent separation-having, I say, thus ordered all things, I gave up myself, being then full of devotion, to the meditation of the vanity of all things here beneath, and to the contemplation of celestial blessedness; in the comparing of which two things together, I found such a surpassing excellency and transcending beauty in the one, as the other seemed nothing but mere deformity to it. I began then exceedingly to rejoice at mine own condition, and to think it none of the smallest beatitudes in this life to meet with adversities, and to be confined to solitude in the midst of peril. For it was as tinder and fuel, for the kindling and cherishing of all good motions, and a most excellent means of the soul's retiration from the love of these sublunary things, the desire of which makes men restlessly miserable. To speak the truth, in this privacy of mine, in the apparitions of my heart, methought I was in the suburbs of the empyrean paradise, enjoying the beatifical vision. But reflecting my eye from this surpassing beauty and excellency, and looking again into the glass of the creature, I saw the perpetual revolution of all things, and the inevitable inconstancy of the same; by which my affections began more to abhor them, and more inflamedlier to love the place of permanent and glorious immortality. Withal, I came there to discover which were the best creatures, which were the worst, which were the most subject to their Maker, which were most disloyal, which were the most useful, which were the most noisome, which were the most to be beloved, and which were most to be abominated."
The heavenly musings of enthusiasts are very liable to be tinctured by the notions and the passions which they have imbibed in their intercourse with the present world. The lusty Mahomet, in his visions of celestial bliss, was delighted by the charms of his houris; and our Danish ancestors gratified their intemperate, their warlike and revengeful, dispositions, in fondly imagining that, after death, their prowess would be rewarded by copious draughts of ale, drained from the sculls of their enemies. On the same principle, the peep which Bastwick took into the empyrean kingdom seems to have exacerbated his spirit against the priestly domination under which he was suffering, and to have confirmed him in his opinion, that of all noisome animals with which the earth was infested, Bishops were the most abominable. In his contempt of their assumptions, he assailed them with a notable pun, "They, forsooth," saith he, "must be recorded among the nobles, and called Mag
nates Eoclesia; and the verity of the matter is, they are magna nates Ecclesia.” He declared that they were " God's rebels and enemies, both by the law of God and the land, to God and the king, and, like the giants of old, engaged in warfare against the clouds." He affirmed that," so far from being the pillars, they were the caterpillars of the church, inasmuch as they devoured the church of God, and eat up his people like bread." In opening upon them what he is pleased to call his "cataracts of Greek and Roman oratory," he thus described their worldly pomp and magnificence, which he, of course, held to be incompatible with that primitive simplicity of dress and equipage which became the ministers of the gospel.
"I pray, good Madam, again consider their magnificent and stately palaces and buildings, their great revenues, their retinue, the delicacy, variety, and deliciousness of their fare; the pomp and state they wallow in by the mere goodness of the king, surpassing the eminency of the greatest of the most ancient nobility; and take notice of the sumptuosity of their service at their meals, their dishes being ushered in with no less reverence than the king, their lord and master's; their server and servants going before, and crying out, Gentlemen, be uncovered, my lord's meat is coming up,' -so that all are forced to stand bare to his platters, and no more state can there be in a king's house. Yea, nobody, without penalty, may within the compass of their yards and courts; and if any chance so to do, he is constrained either to pay for it, or else he is hailed and drawn into the porter's lodge as a prisoner, and tormented with those knaves, as a delinquent; and this daily experience can witness. So that in the court itself, and king's family, there is no such grandeur and state, nor in none of the king's houses; and yet they cry out, the poor despised church and clergy.
"To say nothing of the Bishop of London, that was put into his office with such supreme dignity and incomparable majesty, as he seemed a great king, or mighty emperor, to be inaugurated and installed in some superlative monarchy; rather than a priest, having all the nobility and the glory of the kingdom waiting upon him, all which proceeded from the overflowing bounty and debonerity of a most excellent and clement prince, and for his mere favour and gracious donation. But see the Prelate of Canterbury in his ordinary garb, riding from Croydon to Bagshot, with forty or fifty gentlemen, well mounted, attending upon him; two or three coaches, with four or six horses apiece in them, all empty, waiting on him; two or three dainty steeds of pleasure, most rich in trappings and furniture, likewise led by him; and wherever he comes his gentlemen ushers and servants crying out, room! room for my lord's grace! Gentlemen! be uncovered, my lord's grace is coming! Now what, I pray, could be done more to the king's majesty, or queen, or the prince of Wales, or to the royal blood.
"Behold him, I beseech you again, not only in his journies, but in his hourly passing from Lambeth to the court; and look upon his
attendance and train, and the reverence the king's household, and all men, give unto him; and listen to the crying out of his waiters to the people, for the making of his way, and to be uncovered, and you would think it were the king himself, if you saw not the priest."
"Again, if you should meet him coming daily from the Starchamber, and see what pomp, grandeur, and magnificence he goeth in, the whole multitude standing bare wherever he passeth, having also a great number of gentlemen and other servants waiting on him, all uncovered, some of them carrying up his tail, others going before him and calling to the folk before them to put off their hats, and to give place, crying, 'room! room! my lord's grace is coming;' tumbling down and thrusting aside the little children a playing there; flinging and tossing the poor costermongers, and souce wives' fruit and puddings, baskets and all, into the Thames, (though they hindered not their passage,) to shew the greatness of his state, and the promptitude of their service, to the utter undoing and perishing of those already indigent creatures. I say you would think, seeing and hearing all this, and also the speed and haste they make, that it were some mighty proud Nimrod, or some furious Jehu, running and marching for a kingdom, rather than a meek, humble, and grave priest; which spectacle, though in itself merciless, yet one can scarce keep from laughter to see the drollery of it; and considering the whole passages of the business with the variety of the actions, hearing on the one side, the noise of the gentlemen, crying room!' and, on the other side, seeing the wailing, mourning, and lamentation the women make, crying out, save my puddings,' save my codlings, for the Lord's sake;' the poor tripes and apples, in the mean time, swimming like frogs about the Thames, making way for his grace to go home again; on the other side, hearing the diversity of all men's discourse, concerning the pride, arrogancy, barbarousness, and cruelty of the prelate; it would, I say, move laughter to men, though disposed otherwise to seriosity. Most certain it is, his most excellent majesty goeth not in greater state, neither doth he suffer such insolency to be done to his poor subjects, wherever he cometh. And this, I say, is the ordinary deportment of the prelate.
"But how magnificent and glorious will this man be, think you, good madam, when he goeth in state and great power to Cambridge and Oxford, in his metropolitical rogation and perambulation, and with a rod in his hand, in the schools, to whip those naughty scholars that will not well learn their lesson of conformity, and those lewd and wicked boys that will not be reverend at devised service, nor will not cringe to the altar, nor turn their faces to the east, nor worship the communion table, nor cap and crouch at the naming of the letters and syllables of Jesus, and do all other ecclesiastical and tumultuous drudgeries I am persuaded there will be mighty state, and crying out, room for my lord's grace! gentlemen and scholars, be uncoveredput off your hats and caps, and be hanged; my lord's grace is coming -my lord's grace sees you.'”
Having thus held up the bishops as objects of public scorn