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pastors places, it is manifest that very many of them are very weak and penurious. On the other side, that there was a time when the Church was rather burdened with superfluity, than with lack, that is likewise apparent; but it is long since; so as the fault was in others, the want redoundeth unto us. Again, that it were to be wished that impropriations were returned to the Church as the most proper and natural endowments thereof, is a thing likewise wherein mens judgments will not much vary. Nevertheless, that it is an impossibility to proceed now, either to their resumption or redemption, is as plain on the other side. For men are stated in them by the highest assurance of the kingdom, which is, act of parliament; and the value of them amounteth much above ten subsidies; and the restitution must of necessity pass their hands, in whose hands they are now in possession or interest.
But of these things which are manifestly true, to infer and ground some conclusions. First, in mine own opinion and sense, I must confess, let me speak it with reverence, that all the parliaments since 27 and 31 of Henry VIII. who gave away impropriations from the Church, seem to me to stand in a sort obnoxious, and obliged to God in conscience to do somewhat for the Church, to reduce the patrimony thereof to a competency. For since they have debarred Christ's wife of a great part of her dowry, it were reason they made her a competent jointure. Next. to say, that impropriations should be only charged, that carrieth neither possibility nor reason. Not possibility, for the reasons touched before: not reason, because if it be conceived, that if any other person be charged, it should be a re-charge, or double charge, inasmuch as he payeth tithes already, that is a thing mistaken. For it must be remembered, that
as the realm gave tithes to the Church, so the realm since again hath given tithes away from the Church unto the king, as they may give their eighth sheaf or ninth sheaf. And therefore the first gift being evacuated, it cannot go in defeasance or discharge of that perpetual bond, wherewith men are bound to maintain God's ministers. And so we see in example, that divers godly and well disposed persons, not impropriators, are content to increase their preachers livings; which, though in law it be but a benevolence, yet before God it is a conscience. Farther, that impropriation should not be somewhat more deeply charged than other revenues of like value, methinks, cannot well be denied, both in regard of the ancient claim of the Church, and the intention of the first giver: and again, because they have passed in valuation between man and man somewhat at the less rate, in regard of the said pretence or claim of the Church in conscience before God. But of this point, touching Church-maintenance, I do not think fit to enter into farther particularity, but reserve the same to a fitter time.
Thus have I in all humbleness and sincerity of heart, to the best of my understanding, given your Majesty tribute of my cares and cogitations in this holy business, so highly tending to God's glory, your Majesty's honour, and the peace and welfare of your states : insomuch as I am persuaded that the papists themselves should not need so much the severity of penal laws, if the sword of the Spirit were better edged, by strengthening the authority, and suppress- . ing the abuses in the Church.
To conclude, renewing my most humble submission of all that I have said to your Majesty's most high wisdom, and again, most humbly craving pardon for any errors committed in this writing; which the same weakness of judgment that suffered me to como mit them, would not suffer me to discover them, I end with my devout and fervent prayer to God, that as he hath made your Majesty the corner-stone, in joining your two kingdoms, so you may be also as a corner-stone to unite and knit together these differences in the Church of God; to whose heavenly grace and never-erring direction, I commend your Majesty's sacred person, and all your doings.
RIGHT HONOURABLE FRANCIS LORD VERULAM,
VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
Printed at London, 1025, in Quarto.
TO HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND,
MR. GEORGE HERBERT.
The pains * that it pleased you to take about some of my writings, I cannot forget; which did put me in mind to dedicate to you this poor exercise of my sickness. Besides, it being my manner for dedications, to choose those that I hold most fit for the argument, I thought, that in respect of divinity and poesy met, whereof the one is the matter, the other the stile of this little writing, I could not make better choice: so, with signification of my love and acknowledgment, I ever rest
Your affectionate Friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
* Of translating part of the Advancement of Learning into Latin.
The TRANSLATION of the 1st PSALM.
Who never gave to wicked reed
A yielding and attentive ear; Who never sinners paths did tread,
Nor sat him down in scorner's chair ;
On law of God to meditate;
That man is in a happy state.
He shall be like the fruitful tree,
Planted along a running spring, Which, in due season, constantly
A goodly yield of fruit doth bring : Whose leaves continue always green,
And are no prey to winter's pow'r: So shall that man not once be seen
Surprised with an evil hour.
With wicked men it is not so 3.2903
Their lot is of another kind:
Is toss'd at mercy of the wind.
A casting sentence bide he must :
In the assembly of the just.
For why? the Lord hath special eye
To be the godly's stay at call : And hath given over, righteously,
The wicked man to take his fall.