hands from bishop to bishop; notwithstanding they knew that this derivation passed through the hands of popes and bishops whose authority they had cast off. For though they were content that the divine right, which the Pope pretended to in England, should be denied him, yet they thought it not so fit to be taken from the Church of England, whom they now supposed themselves to represent. It seems they did not think it reasonable that a woman, or a child, or a man that could not construe the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin Bible, nor knew perhaps the declensions and conjugations of Greek or Latin nouns and verbs, should take upon him to govern so many learned doctors in matters of religion; meaning matters of divinity: for religion has been for a long time, and is now by most people, taken for the same thing with divinity, to the great advantage of the clergy.
B. And especially now amongst the Presbyterians. For I see few that are by them esteemed very good Christians, besides such as can repeat their sermons, and wrangle for them about the interpretation of the Scripture, and fight for them also with their bodies or purses, when they shall be required. To believe in Christ is nothing with them, unless you believe as they bid you. Charity is nothing with them, unless it be charity and liberality to them, and partaking with them in faction. How we can have peace while this is our religion, I cannot tell. Hæret lateri lethalis arundo. The seditious doctrine of the Presbyterians has been stuck so hard into the people’s heads and memories (I cannot say into their hearts; for they understand nothing in it, but that they may lawfully rebel), that I fear the commonwealth will never be cured.
A. The two great virtues, that were severally in Henry VII. and Henry VIII., when they shall be jointly in one King, will easily cure it. That of Henry VII. was, without much noise of the people to fill his coffers; that of Henry VIII. was an early severity; but this without the former cannot be exercised.
B. This that you say looks (methinks) like an advice to