The true subiect to the rebell, or, The hurt of sedition, how greivous it is to a common-wealth written by Sir Iohn Cheeke ... ; whereunto is newly added by way of preface a briefe discourse of those times, as they may relate to the present, with the authors life.
Cheke, John, Sir, 1514-1557., Langbaine, Gerard, 1609-1658.
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THE PREFACE.

THis Discourse of the Hurt of Sedition, was not intended by the Author as a Prophecy for any fu∣ture times, but meerely occasioned by the sad story of those present distractions, wherein he had no part but as a Spectator. If it be now thought any way lyable to an application, that must be imputed to the com∣mon fate of humane affaires, quibus inest quidam velut orbis: & quemadmodum temporum vices, ita morum vertuntur. For upon this common Stage of the world, though the Actors change daily, & have their last Exits after which they return no more; yet there is a continuall recurrence of the same Page∣ants, parts and humours to be represented by other persons, Vitia erunt donec homines. Covetousnesse and ambition, and such active vices are seldome off the Theatre, though they doe as seldome appeare there in their own faces, but with the bor∣rowed masks of publique good, the honour or peace of the State, the propagation or reformation of Religion. Privatae causae pi∣etatis aguntur obtentu, & cupiditatum quis{que} suarum religi∣onem veluti pedissequam habet. The meanest capacities are not unskilled in these ordinary artifices: consult the storie of those times under EDWARD the VI. and you shall meet with insolent demands from some rebellious subjects against the forme of religion then established by Act of Parliament: Page  [unnumbered] others you shall finde sitting under their Oake of Reformation upon the life and death of all civility and learning. Against both which our Author directs his reasons. This contagion was so spreading, that I finde twelve severall Shieres infected with it, and almost forty thousand persons, a great number, but yet no army. They had all the advantages which they could de∣sire except a good cause, and an able Leader. They met with a young Prince, in the beginning of his reigne; with a late and great alteration in religion, which was never observed to goe alone; with a many secret jealousies and envyings in the Nobi∣litle, which after burst out into open defiance; with a generall aptnesse to mutinie in the vulgar, who had been formerly Te∣nants to religious houses, and complained now as well of new Lords as now Lawes; with an universall stupor & lethargy in most men of the long Robe, which were lately frighted out of a great part of their wits as well as their meanes: many of them so unable to instruct others, that it seemes they had scarce ordi∣nary discretion to governe themselves. The very Universities, which had been the glory, were now become the scorne or pitty of the Kingdome; their Libraries robbed and spoiled either by pretended authority, or connivence; their liberties and privi∣ledges invaded and borne downe by the prevailing parties, the Townes-men of Oxford and Cambridge. Much of their pre∣sent maintenance, and the maine hopes of their future prefer∣ment taken from them: at least in their opinion, when they saw most or all the revenues of their Colledges given to the King; some Bishopricks actually dissolved, & the whole jurisdiction enclining to a ruine. This did strike them with such a Panick feare as did justly deterre parents from bestowing upon their children that ingenuous education which was attended with so great charges and so small hopes. And such as were already entred upon that way, were forced to quit their professions & betake themselves to another kinde of life. Insomuch that I find one house of learning in Cambridge pitifully complaining, that the great dearth of things, and the litle charitie of men had driven away more good wits from that one Colledge Page  [unnumbered] then were left in the whole Vniversitie. The words are part of a Letter from St Iohns Colledge to the Duke of Somerset Lord Protector. In which there are so many other things con∣siderable, that I cannot forbeare to trespasse so farre upon the Readers patience, as to exhibit some what more to the same purpose. Having represented to his honour two other dome∣stique calamities peculiar to that House, they descende to a third, of which they say, Diu nos pressit, in miram angustiam compegit, & in extremam conditionem non nos solùm sed reliquos omnes studiosos detrusit. Quae illa est? Durissima caritas omnium rerum vendibilium. Augetur pretium om∣nium, pecunia nostra non augetur. Quomodo olim duode∣cim denarris, nunc non licet vivere viginti. Qui authores sunt tantae miseriae? Dicemus, & domino monente ac de∣monstrante dicemus. Suntilli qui domum ad domum con∣jungunt, qui rapinas pauperum congerunt, qui fructum eo∣rum rarissimè comedunt. Haec dicit Dominus per Esaiam Prophetam, nos apertiùs loquemur. Sunt illi, qui hodie pas∣sim in Anglia praedia Monasteriorum gravissimis annuis redi∣tibus auxerunt. Hinc omnium rerum exauctum pretium: hi homines expilant totam Rempublicam. Villici & coloni u∣niversi laborant, parcunt, corradunt, ut istis satisfaciant: hinc singuli coguntur singulis imponere, & universa Respub. gravissime premitur. Hinc tot Familiae dissipatae, tot Domus collapsae, tot communes mensae aut jam nullae aut in angu∣los & latebras conclusae. Hinc (quod omnium miserrimum est) nobile illud decus & robur Angliae, nomen inquam Yomannorum Anglorum fractum & collisum est. Et haec etiam miseria maximè redundat in authores ejusdem. Quo∣tusquis{que} enim est Mercatorum Londinensium, (hi homines hanc miseriam mirificè concitârunt) qui non angustiùs, tenu∣iùs, & pressiùs his temporibus vivit, quàm cùm passi sunt alios homines vivere? In nullam partem Reipub: majori impetu invasit hoc malum quàm in rem literariam: reliqui homines ita liberi sunt ut possint quaerere sibi vitam; studiosi non quaerunt, sed quaesitam recipiunt: quae si augetur, hoc fit Page  [unnumbered] non operâ illorum, sed bonitate aliorum. Postremò, debet pecunia nostra, aut major esle, quod cupimus; aut caritas rerū minor esle, quod per Te fore speramus; aut fructus stu∣diorum minimus erit, quod maximè omnium metuimus. Haec tanta caritas rerum & haec nulla Charitas hominum in∣tra hos paucos annos expulit ex hoc uno Collegio plura op∣tima ingenia, quàm nunc sunt perfectè docti viri in tota A∣cademia: nec solùm expellit praesentes, sed aufert unà eti∣am universam absentium spem. This & much more to this purpose, from that learned Colledge. And the whole Vniverfity in their many publique letters to most of the Nobility then in Parliament doe runne much upon this straine. I shall give a tast of one or two. First to the Lord Marquesse of Northam∣pton, whom they desire to be a means that learning may bere∣stored to her ancient honour, and good wits allured to it by some new hopes. And proceed thus, In hoc Parliamēto (nisi val∣de fallimur) veram Religionem restituetis. Divinum profe∣ctò consilium, & nosunà Deum rogamus omnes, ut ne ve∣stigium quidem Papisticae faecis in ulla parte Religionis, quae∣cunque illa fuerit, ampliùs resideat. Sed ignorantia quid? tol∣letur ex omni populo. Quorum industriâ? doctorum. At ubi sunt? in Academiis. At quot requiruntur ad ignorantiam ex Anglia relegandam polliceri quidem nos non audemus. At plures quotidiè illuc confluent. Quâ spe? honore artium? nullus fere est. Expectatione praemiorum? sed illa & rara sunt & exigua sunt. Nomine & honestate literarum? Quo lo∣co nunc jacent literae vel ignari omnium literarum facilè a∣nimadvertunt. Et qui posthac docti erunt? pauperes? At hic non diù manent propter inopiam. Sed divitum filij? at hi minùs, vel propter alterius vitae expectationem, vel litera∣rum his temporibus obscuram conditionem. Sed parentes ut filij sui instituantur literis semper curabunt. Ast hi spe lucri magis, quae jam sublata est, quàm doctrinae cupiditate, quae in illis nulla est, hoc fecerant. Ast boni viri inopiam studiosorū levabunt. Hoc olim factum est. Sed nunc prioris seculi felici∣tatem potiùs admirari, quàm hac spe studiosorum vitam alere Page  [unnumbered] & sustentare possumus. Quorsum tot Scholae in Anglia, siad Academias paucisese conferunt? I mo aut paucae sunt, aut re∣lictae & contemptae sunt: & parentes hodiè cuivis rei potiùs quàm literis liberos suos addicunt. Sed Respub: huic rei re∣medium adferet. Digna certèrea in qua totum occupetur Parliamentum: nisi enim haec semina doctrinae teneris ani∣mis tempestivè sparsa fuerint, quaenam in Repub: vel exori∣atur spes, vel a dolescat virtus, vel efflorescat pura Religio & vera felicitas, prudentia Tua intelligit. Multa ad hunc mo∣dum verissimè dici possint de labenti jam & admodum pro∣clivi ad occasum literarum dignitate (Nobiliss. Marchio:) quae res quantum in se veri habet tantum adjumēti à Te re∣quirit ad maturum illi adferendum remedium. Hoc dabis Religioni & Reipublicae: hoc dabis multorum parentum sol∣licitae spei, multorum ingeniorum praeclarae indoli: dabis hoc etiam saluti posterorum temporum, in quibus nullus doctri∣nae fructus exoriri potest, cujus sementis superioribus tem∣poribus facta non fuerit. Dabis his omnibus quantum vis, vis certè tantum quantum literis, hoc est, summis & verae Re∣ligionis praesidiis, & florentis Reipublicae ornamentis dari debere prudentia Tua judicabit. In another of their letters to St Anthony Denny, one of the privy Councell, where they plead the same cause with as much eloquence as earnestnesse, they desire him to consider that it is not their own particular, but the common cause of all posterity, & the whole State; and that he and all others in authoritie, would be carefull to distin∣guish betwixt some obuoxious persons, & the whole Common∣wealth of learning, ne ea ratio quae ignorantiam malorum Sacerdotum justissimè puniat, optimorum etiam ingenio∣rum spem à studiis literarum unà auferat. Hoc remedium non malos ad sanitatem adduceret, sed bonos ad desperatio∣nem adigeret. Thus much for the miseries or feares of the Vniversitie of Cambridge in those times. Nor was that of Ox∣ford in any better condition. I finde an ample commission gran∣ted to the Earle of Warwick, and eight more, any seven, six, five, foure, three, two, or one of them, to visit in capite & membris the whole Diocese, but especially the VniverfityPage  [unnumbered]of Oxford. What other effects that Visitation had, does not well appeare, but (tis said) Richard Coxe, who was one of them, did so clearely purge the Vniversitie-Librarie of all Monu∣ments of superstition, that he left not one booke in it of all those goodly Manuscripts, of which by the munificence of severall Benefactors, that place was very amply furnished: Especially by Richard Aungervyle Bishop of Durham, Thomas Cobham Bishop of Worcester, Humphrey the good Duke of Gloce∣ster, Iohn Whethamsted Abbot of S. Albans, Iohn Tipetoft Earle of Worcester, and divers others. Such errours or rather impieties were committed by some in this kinde, that Iohn Bale, a man sufficiently averse from the least shadow of Popery, and one that hated all Monkery with a perfect hatred, yet could not but complaine to King EDWARD the sixt, & dolorously lament so great an oversight in the most lawfull overthrow of Abbies and Frieries. Covetousnesse was at that time so busie about private commodity that publique wealth in that most necessary and godly respect was not a∣ny where regarded. A great number of them which purcha∣sed those superstitious mansions, reserved of those Library books, some to serve their jakes, some to scoure their Can∣dlesticks, and some to rub their Boots, some they sold to the Grociers and Sope-sellers: and some they sent over Sea to the Book-binders, not in small number, but at times whole Ships full. Yea the Vniversities of this Realme are not all cleare in this detestable fact. But cursed is that belly which seeketh to be fed with such ungodly gaines, and so deeply shameth his naturall countrey. I know a merchant man (which shall at this time be namelesse) that bought the Contents of two noble Libraries for forty shillings price, a shame it is to be spoken. This stuffe hath he occupied in steed of gray paper by the space of more then these ten yeares: and yet he hath store enough for as many yeares to come. A prodigious example is this, and to be abhorred of all men which love their nation as they should doe. Yea, what may bring our Realme to more shame & rebuke, then Page  [unnumbered] to have it noysed abroad that we are despisers of Learning? I judge this to be true, and utter it with heavinesse, that nei∣ther the Brittaines under the Romans & Saxons, not yet the English people under the Danes and Normans had ever such damage of their learned Monuments as we have seene in our time. Our posterity may wele curse this wicked fact of our age, this unreasonable spoile of Englands most noble an∣tiquities. The Anabaptists in our time, an unquietous kind of men, arrogant without measure, captious and unlearned, doe leave none old workes unbrent, that they may easily come by; as appeared by the Libraries at Munster in the land of Westphalia, whom they most furiously destroyed. An able witnesse of this their wicked custome, is Petrus Plate∣anus, among many others, in his Treatise against their dog∣ged doings. Libros omnes exurunt (inquit) indignantes se ab alio quàm ab ipso suo spiritu doctos videri. Miserum est cer∣nere Bibliothecas non ignobiles ab execranda Secta hoc modo aboleri. They think scorne of any other Spirit to seem lear∣ned, then of their own fanaticall braines. Antonius Corvi∣nus saith also in his book against them, Anabaptistarum furor optimos quos{que} authores, ac vetustissima venerandae antiquita∣tis exemplaria absumpserunt in Bibliotheca Osnaburgensi. I could bring out a great number of like testimonies from Oe∣colampadius, Zuinglius, Bullinger, Calvin, and Philip Me∣lancthon, with other of the most notable writers of our age, concerning this ungracious violence of these chimney Prea∣chers, and bench-Bablers: but let these two rehearsed at this time suffice. Thus far Iohn Bale (in his declarations upon Le∣lands iournall) to King EDWARD the VI. 1549.

But to returne. I conceive the very sight of these barbarous insolencies committed upon those Treasuries of good Letters, Books and Libraries, could not but impresse in serious appre∣hensions a deep contemplation of the approaching funeralls of most kindes of Learning, & make them take their long leaves of the Universitie. And so they did: insomuch that at Oxford their publique Schooles were converted into a private garden∣piot; Page  [unnumbered]their publique Treasurie robbed; their monies and muni∣ments embesel'd & wasted, as does more largely appeare by the preface to a royall Grant of & MARIES to that Vniversity in the first of her Raigne. Regina omnibus ad quos praesentes li∣terae pervenerint salutem. Gravissimorum hominum testi∣moniis ad aures nostras perlatum est, ac certissimis quibus∣dam rationibus nobis quasi ob oculos positum, nostram illam Academiam quae Oxonii sita est, alterum totius regni lumen, olim bonarum literarum omnium celeberrimum emporium, sic & temporum injuriâ afflictam esse, ut penè inculta jace∣at, & inopiâ harum retum quibus dignitas omnis sustinetur adeo oppressam esse, ut extincta jam penè & quodam quasi squallore contabuisse videatur. Publicas enim illius Scho∣las, in quibus olim fiebat statis quibusdam & solennibus die∣bus frequens discentium concursio, vastatas & in privaros hortos conversas: Publicum the saurum direptum: ornamen∣ta publica ablata, & publica vectigalia it a tenuia, imò it a fe∣rè nulla esse accepimus, ut ne{que} publicis usibus aliquâ expar∣ta sufficiant, ne{que} publicarum causarum defensioni & injuriis propulsand is respondeant. Nos igitur Academiam illam, quâ contemptâ & desertâ nec orthodoxa fides defendi, nec in rebus controversis veritas erui, nec certè in Repub: justitia administrari potest, penè oppressam & jacentem erigere at∣que excitare, illius{que} squallorem depellere, & inopiam no∣strâ munificentiâ sublevare ad regium munus nostrum per∣rinere existimantes, ut posthac habeat quo & suas Scholas e∣rigat, erectas teneat perpetuis ut speramus futuris tem pori∣bus, & se sua{que} privilegia adversus quarumcun{que} injuriarum procellas defendat, &c. And though this might perswade with some that to be a Schollar was none of the greatest curses; yet I doe not see that the people were hearty friends with lear∣ning all Q. MARIES daies, nor in the beginning of Queene ELIZABETH. What a learned ministery shall we thinke * they had under Queen MARY, when many were made Priests being children, and otherwise utterly unlearned, so they could read to say Mattens and Masse? And how can weePage  [unnumbered]expect it should be much bettur in the first of Q. ELIZA∣BETH, when some Ministers (because they were but meane Readers) are injoyned to peruse over before once or twice * the Chapters and Homilies, to the intent they might read to the better understanding of the people? And what esti∣mate shall we make of their discretion, when it was thought * very necessary that no priest or Deacon should take to his wife any manner of woman without the advice and allow∣ance first had, upon good examination, by the Bishop of the Diocesse, & two Iustices of the Peace? What rare Preachers shall we imagine they had in the Vniversitie at that time, when M Tavernour of Water-Eaton high Sheriffe of Oxford∣shiere, came in pure charitie, not ostentation, and gave the Schollars a Sermon in St Maryes, with his gold chaine about his neck, and his sword by his side; beginning with these words, Arriving at the Mount of Saint Maries, in the stony Stage where I now stand, I have brought you some fine Biskets, baked in the oven of Charitie, and carefully conserved for the Chickens of the Church, the Sparrowes of the Spirit, & the sweet Swallowes of Salvation. By this we may guesse what a dearth of learning there was till it pleased God & good Queen ELIZABETH to redeeme it from poverty & con∣tempt by granting new and ample Charters to the Vniversity of Cambridge, and passing severall Statutes in Parliament, That of Provision and others, very beneficiall for the mainte∣nance of Schollars, and reducing the Clergy of this Kingdome to that lustre which they had in the daies of her royall Father, when that high and Honourable Court of Parliament gave them this testimony, that the body Spirituall, now being u∣sually * called the English Church, alwaies hath been reputed and also found of that sort, that both for knowledge, integri∣tie and sufficiencie of number, it hath been alwaies thought, and is also at this houre, sufficient and meet of it selfe, with∣out the intermedling of any exteriour person or persons, to declare and determine all causes of the Law Divine, or of spirituall learning; and to administer all such offices and du∣ties Page  [unnumbered] as to their roomes Spirituall doth appertaine. For the due administration whereof, and to keep them from corrup∣tion, and sinister affection, the Kings most noble Progenitors, and the Ancestors of the Nobles of this Realme, have suffi∣ciently endowed the said Church both with Honour and Possessions. Indeed nothing more certaine, then that this one Kingdome of England has in all ages produced as many, nay more learned men in all Professions, then any other Nation in the world besides: witnesse the severall Catalogues of our an∣cient*Authors, & their works. No better reason for it then the liberall maintenance of Schollars in the Universities, and the faire preferments in the Church. Take away these, and what can be expected but the whole Nation will be quickly over-run with beggery and barbarisme? Then, that definition of a Schol∣lar will prove too Catholique, a silly fellow in black. So true has that of the Historian ever been, nihil à quoquam expeti nisi cujus fructus antè providerit. And sublatis studiorum pretiis etiam studia peritura ut minùs decora. By all the Lawes of God may not a man as freely dispose of his estate io the endowment of a Church or Colledge, as to any lay person or Corporation? The donations of Kings and other pious Foun∣ders and Benefactors made to them, are they not as good and strong by the Lawes of this Land as any other private convey∣ance? Have not the Clergy as true a propriety in their free∣holds as the rest of his Majesties Subjects? Are they not the first words of those fundamentall Lawes of England comprised in the Great Charter; We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed for us and our heires for evermore, that the Church of England shall be free, & shall have all her whole rights and liberties inviolable? Does not every King at his Coronation take a solemne Oath for the pre∣servation of them? Are there not many hideous and direfull imprecations of their Founders laid upon all such as dare to violate their intentions? And has not common experience taught us that Church-chapmen, though they had the cheapest penyworths, had not ever the best bar gaines? Not but that thePage  [unnumbered]Meanes as well as the Ministers of the Church, as they are ly∣able to abuses, so must they submit to a Reformation. And the Government it selfe so farre as it shall appeare to the wisdome of the State to be notoriously inconvenient, no good man but will desire to see it altered. But for those which knowe least, to take upon them most; not only to instruct and direct the Law∣givers, but even to iudge and condemne the Lawes themselues; to cry out against them as tyrannicall, and made in times of Po∣pery; to reiect the Common-prayer-book as a piece of Jdolatry, and brand that for superstition which is yet legall conformity, to call the very Office of Episcopacy Antichristian & Diaboli∣call, which all Antiquity counted sacred, & our publique Acts of Parliament acknowledge to be one of the greatest States of * this Realme; to give out that if all arguments fayle, they will dispute it with the sword, what are these but rudiments of Se∣dition scattered among the common people too much distempe∣red with those two vulgar diseases, Ignorance, and desire of Innovation? whence it is, they can only say they would not have this Government, but cannot say what they would have. Yea may it not be feared that an Anabaptisticall parity as well in State as Church sounds too plausibly in the eares of the multi∣tude? Consult our Chronicles, see what were the aymes and ends of those rude companies under Iack Straw and Wat Ty∣ler in RICHARD the seconds daies. Look upon Kets de∣mands, and Ombles Prophecy under EDWARD VI. Doe not they all amount to this Summe, they would have no Noble men, no Gentlemen, no Lawyers, no Iustices, as well as no Bishops? This you will finde to be the occasion why this wor∣thy Author Sr Iohn Cheeke first writ this Discourse. Which indeed was printed againe by order of Queen ELIZABETH 1569. and then too not without cause, for there was at that time a Rebellion in the North, & those that were parties to it, pretending a restauration of Religion, tore and trampled under foot the Common-prayer-Bookes which they found in the Churches of Durham. To prevent all such disorders in the gid∣die multitude of these succeeding times, in quibus magis alii Page  [unnumbered]homines quàm alii mores, I have thought it might in part con∣duee to the publike peace & good of this Kingdome, if they were once more presented with this short, but considerable Tract, Of the Hurt of Sedition, which may with more ease be kept out of a Commonwealth then expelled: sooner suppressed then mo∣derated. The Author himselfe lived as peaceably as he writes: whiles he was in his Colledge he was a president of love and amity: and after his departure an earnest mediator to compose the Societie a litle distracted by domestique factions. He that desires to knowe more of him, let him peruse the succeeding im∣perfect story of his life, collected for the most part out of such as were contemporary with him, and somewheres spelled and put together out of the severall letters of himselfe and others.