Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/217

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


The case of the Puritans is entirely different. On opening Parliament, in March, 1604, the King declared his hostility to the Puritans, who were " ever discontented with the present Government, and impatient to suffer any superiority, which maketh their sect unable to be suffered in any well-governed Commonwealth." At the Hampton Court Conference in January they had stated their grievances, but James had not the slightest sympathy with them, and rated them soundly. " If this be all they have to say," were his last words, " I shall make them conform themselves, or I will harry them out of the land, or else do worse." Whereupon we are told that Cecil thanked God for having given the King an under- standing heart. Cecil's views are set forth in a letter to the Archbishop of York, 1 in which he says it was necessary to correct the Puritans " for disobedience to the lawful ceremonies of the Church ; wherein, although many religious men of moderate spirits might be borne with, yet such are the turbulent humours of some that dream of nothing but a new hierarchy, directly opposite to the state of a Monarchy, as the dispensation with such men were the highway to break all the bonds of unity, to nourish schism in the Church and Commonwealth. It is well said of a learned man that there are schisms in habit, as well as in opinion, et non servatur unitas in credendo, nisi adsit in colendo." Unity of belief could not be

1 February, 1605 (Lodge's Illustrations, III. 125).

�� �