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And therefore I cannot imagine how those of that church can quiet their consciences in the possession of those lands. It is plain, by the progress of this matter, that the court of Rome never intended to con. firm the abbey-lands; for all that was done by Pool was only an artifice to still men's fears, and to lay the clamour, which the apprehen. sion of the return of popery was raising, that so it might once enter with the less opposition ; and then it could be easy to carry all lesser matters, when the great point was once gained, as the saddle goes into the bargain for the horse. And indeed though a poor heretick may hope for mercy, notwithstanding his abbey-lands, because it may be supposed to be a sin of ignorance in him, so that he possesses them with a good conscience, and is that which the law calls bonie fidei possessor; yet I see no remedy for such as go over to the church of Rome; for, if there is a sin in the world that is condemned by that church, it is sacrilege; so that they must be malæ fidei possessores, that continue in it, after the enlightening which that church offers them.
A man may as well be a papist, and not believe transubstantiation, por worship the host, as be one, and still enjoy his church-lands. Nor can any confessor, that understands the principles of his own religion, give absolution to such as are involved in that guilt, without restitution: so that it is a vain thing to talk of securing men in the possession of those lands, if popery should ever prevail : for, though the court of Rome would, to facilitate our reconciliation, offer some deceitful confirmation, as was done by Cardinal Pool, yet no man, after he went over to that church, could suffer himself to enjoy them: every fit of sickness, or cross accident, would, by the priest's rheto. rick, look like the beginning of the curse that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. The terrible imprecations, that are in the endowments of monasteries, would be always tingling in his ears; and, if absolution were denied, especially in the hour of death, what haste would the poor man make to get rid of that weight which must sink him into hell? For, as he must not hope for such good quarters as purgatory, so, if he happened to go thither, he would be so scurvily used by the poor souls, which have been kept frying there, for want of the masses which would have been said for them in the abbey.church, if he had not with held the rents, that he would find so little difference be. tween that and hell, that even there he might be tempted to turn Protestant again, and believe that purgatory was no better than hell. If any will object, that, at least, Cardinal Pool's settlement secures, them till it is annulled at Rome: To this, as these papers will of. fer an answer, since his settlement was to have no force, till it was confirmed by the apostolick see, which was never yet done: so if our English Papists go into the opinion that is now generally received and asserted in France, that the pope's power is limited by the ca. nons, and subject to the church; then the confirmation given by car. dinal Pool is vull of itself, though it had been granted exactly accord. ing to the letter of his instructions: since there has been, in several ages of the church, so vast a number of canons made against the alie. nations of church lands, that, if they were all laid together, they
would make a big book; for, in the ages of superstition, as the church-men were mightily set on inriching the church, so they made sure work, and took special care that nothing should be torn from it; that was once consecrated.
But I return from this digression, to give you some account of the other letters, that are in my register. There is a letter of Cardinal Morone's to Pool, of the thirteenth of July, sent also by Ormanet, in which he tells him : that though the emperor had writ very extrava. gantly of him to the pope; yet the pope said, he was sure there was no just occasion given for it. And whereas the emperor pressed that Pool might be recalled; the pope continued firm in his resolu. tion, not to consent to so dishonourable a thing. He adds, that the pope was not yet determined in the business of the church-lands, but had spoken very often very variously concerning that matter. After this, there follows another breve of the tenth of July, by which the pope, upon the consideration of the prince of Spain's being married to the queen of England, enlarges Pool's powers, and authorises him, as his legate, to treat with him : But this is merely a point of form.
Pool sent Ormanet, with an account of this dispatch, that he had received from Rome, to the bishop of Arras, to be presented by him to the emperor. All the answer that he could procure, as appears by Ormanet's letter, was, that the emperor had no news from England since his son's marriage; but that he would send an express thither, to know the state of affairs there; which he thought must be done first, before the legate could go over. And of this the Bishop of Arras writ to Pool, three days after Ormanet came to him; his letter bears date from Bouchain, the third of August, 1554.
By Ormanet's letter it appears, that these last powers gave the em. peror full satisfaction, and were not at all excepted against; only Granvel made some difficulty in one point, Whether the settlement of the church-lands should be granted as a grace of the pope's, by the cardinal's hands, immediately to the possessors; or should be grant. ed to Philip and Mary, and by their means to the possessors ? For it seems, it was thought a surer way to engage the crown, to maintain what was done, if the pope were engaged for it to the crown, with which he would not venture so easily to break, as he might perhaps do with the possessors themselves. But Ormanet gave him full sa. tisfaction in that matter; for the manner of settling, it being referred wholly to the cardinal by his powers, he promised, that he would order it in the way, that should give the nation most content.
The emperor's delays became very uneasy to Cardinal Pool, upon which he wrote to Soto, that was the emperor's confessor, the twelfth of August, and desired to speak with him. By the place, from whence the cardinal dates most of these letters, it appears he was then in a monastery, called Diligam, near Brussels. I will not determine whether it may not be a mistake, that passes so generally, that no wonder you have gone into it, that he was stopped at Dilling, a town upon the Danube, by the emperor's orders, which might have been founded on his being lodged in this monastery; for as he dates: some of his letters, from Diligam, and others from Brussels ; so he
dates one from Diligam abbey, near Brussels. But this is not of any great importance.
After some letters of no great consequence there comes a long one writ by Pool, to the pope, bearing date from Brussels, October the thirteenth, 1554, which I send you. In it, Pool gives him an account of the first conference, that he had with the emperor, on this subject. He told the emperor, that though, as to matters of faith, the pope could slacken nothing, nor shew any manner of indulgence; yet, in the matter of the church-lands, in which the pope was more at liberty, he was resolved to be gentle and indulgent: and, as to all the pains and censures, that the possessors had incurred, and the rents that they enjoyed, which were points of great importance, he was resolved to use all sorts of indulgence towards them, and to forgive all. Nor had he any design of applying any part of these goods, either to himself, or to the apostolick see, of which some were afraid; though he might pretend good reason for it, considering the losses, that that see had sustained, by reason of the schism; buť he would give up all that to the service of God, and the good of the kingdom. And such regard had the pope to the King and Queen of England, that he was resolved to grant, upon their intercession, whatsoever should be thought convenient, to such persons, as they should think worth gratifying, or were capable to assist in the de. sign of settling the religion. To all this, the emperor answered with a new delay: he was expecting to hear very suddenly from England; and it was necessary to have that difficulty concerning the church lands first cleared, which, by his own experience in Germany, he concluded to be the chief obstacle. For, as to the doctrine, he did not believe, they stuck at that; and he thought that they believed neither the one nor the other persuasion, and therefore they would not be much concerned in such points: yet, since these goods were dedicated to God, it was not fit to grant every thing to those that held them; and therefore, though Pool had told him, how far his powers extended, yet it was not fit, that it should be generally known. But, as the emperor was putting in new delays, Pool pressed him vehemently, that the matter might, at last, be brought to a conclusion. The emperor told him, that great regard must be had to the ill dispositions of the parties concerned; since the aver. sion, that the English nation had to the very name of obedience to the church, or to a red hat, or a religious habit, was so universal, that his son had been advised to make the friars, that came over from Spain with him, change their habits: but, though he had done it, yet the danger of tumults deserved to be well considered. Pool replied, that, if he must stay till all impediments were removed, he must never go. Those, that were concerned in the abbey lands, would still endeavour to obstruct his coming, since, by that means, they still continued in possession of all that they had got. In con clusion, it was resolved, that Pool should stay for the return of the messenger, that the emperor had sent to England.
Two things appear from this letter; one is, that Cardinal Pool intended only to grant a general discharge to all the possessors of the
abbey-lands, for what was past; but resolved to give no grants of them, for the future, except only to such as should merit it, and for whom the queen should intercede, and whose zeal, in the matter of religion, might deserve such a favour; and it seems, that even the emperor intended no more, and that he thought that this should be kept a great secret. The other is, that the aversion of the nation to popery was, at that time, very high, so that tumults were much apprehended. Yet the whole work was brought to a final conclusion, within two months, without any opposition, or the least tumult: so inconsiderable are popular discontents, in opposition to a govern. ment well established, and supported by strong alliances.
Pool, being wearied out with these continued delays, of which he saw no end, writ a long and high flown, or, according to the stile of this age, a canting letter to Philip, then King of England. I send it likewise to you, because you may perhaps desire to see every thing of Pool's writing, for whose memory you have expressed a very particular esteem. He tells the king, that he had been knocking at the gates of that court now a year, though he was banished his country, because he would not consent, that she, who now dwelt in it, should be shut out of it; but, in his person, it was St. Peter's successor, or rather St. Peter himself, that knocked ; and so he runs out in a long and laboured allegory, taken from St. Peter's being delivered out of prison, Acts xii
. in the Herodian persecution; and coming to Mary's gate, where after his voice was known, yet he was held long knocking, though Mary was not sure, that it was he himself, &c. Upon all which he runs division, like a man that had practised elo. quence long, and had allowed himself to fly high, with forced rheto. rick. And, to say the truth, this way of enlarging upon an al. legory, from some part of scripture story, had been so long used, and was so early practised, that I do not wonder much to see him dress this out with such pomp, and so many words. I shall be very glad, if these papers give you any considerable light in those matters ; in which you have laboured so successfully: I am, very sincerely,
Sir, your most humble servant,
Cardinal Pool's general Powers for Reconciling England to the
Church of Rome.
JULIUS PAPA III.
DILECTE fili noster, salutem & apostolicam benedictionem : Dudum, cum carissima in Christo Filia nostra Maria, Angliæ tuno princeps regina declarata fuisset, & speraretur regnum Angliæ, quod sæva regnum tyrannide ab unione sanctæ ecclesiæ catholicae separatum fuerat, ad ovile gregis Domini & ejusdem ecclesiæ unionem, ipsa Maria primum regnante, redire posse. Nos te, præstanti virtute, singulari pietate, ac multa doctrina insignem, ad eandem Mariam reginam & universum Angliæ regnum, de fratrum nostrorum consilio & unanimi consensu nostrum & Apostolicæ sedis le. gatum de latere destinavimus : Tibique inter cætera, omnes & sin. gulos utriusque sexus, tam laicas quam ecclesiasticas, seculares & quorumvis ordinum regulares, personas, in quibusvis etiam sacris ordinibus constitutas, cujuscunque status, gradus, conditionis, & qualitatis existerent ac quacunque ecclesiastica, etiam episcopali, ar. chiepiscopali, & patriarchali ; aut mundana, etiam marchionali, ducali; aut regia dignitate præfulgerent, etiamsi capitulum, colle. gium, universitas, seu communitas forent, quarumcunque hæresium, aut novarum sectarum, professores, aut in eis culpabiles, vel sus. pectas, ac credentes, receptatores, & fautores eorum, etiamsi relapsa fuissent, eorum errorem cognoscentes, & de illis dolentes, ac ad orthodoxam fidem recipi humiliter postulantes, cognita in eis vera & non ficta, aut simulata, pænitentia, ab omnibus & singulis per eos perpetratis (hæreses, & ab eadem fide apostasias, blasphemias, & alios quoscunque errores, etiam sub generali sermone non venientes sapientibus) peccatis, criminibus, excessibus, & delictis, nec non excommunicationum, suspensionum, interdictorum, & aliis eccle. siasticis, ac temporalibus etiam corporis afflictivis, & capitalibus sententiis, censuris & pænis in eos præmissorum occasione, a jure vel ab homine latis, vel promulgatis, etiam si in iis viginti & plus annis insorduissent, & eorum absolutio nobis & divinæ sedi, & per
literas in die cænæ Domini legi consuetas, reservata existeret, in utroque, conscientiæ videlicet, & contentioso foro, plenarie absolvendi, & liberandi, ac aliorum Christi fidelium consortio aggregandi: Nec non cum eis super irregularitate per eos præmissorum occasione, etiam quia sic ligati, missas & alia divina officia, etiam contra ritus & cea remonias ab ecclesla eatenus probatas, & usitatas, celebrassent, aut illis alias se miscuissent, contracta; nec non bigama per eosdem ecclesiasticos, seculares, vel regulares, vere aut ficte, seu aliis qualiter. cunque incursa (etiamsi ex eo quod clerici in sacris constituti, cum viduis vel aliis corruptis, matrimonium contraxissent prætenderetur) rejectis & expulsis tamen prius uxoribus, sic de facto copulatis : Quodque bigamia & irregularitate ac aliis præmissis non obstantibus, in eorum ordinibus, dummodo ante eorum lapsum in bæresin hu. jusmodi, rite & legitime promoti vel ordinati fuissent, etiam in altaris ministerio ministrare, ac quæcunque & qualitercunque etiam curata beneficia, secularia vel regularia ut prius, dummodo super eis alteri jus quæsitum non existeret, retinere: Et non promoti, ad omnes etiam sacros & presbyteratus ordines, ab eorum ordinariis, si digni & idonei reperti fuissent, promoveri, ac beneficia ecclesiastica, si jis alias canonice conferentur, recipere & retinere valerent, dispensandi & indulgendi: Ac omnem infamiæ & inhabilitatis maculam sive notam, ex præmissis quomodolibet insurgentem, penitus & omnino abolendi; nec non ad pristinos honores, dignitates, famam, & patriam, & bona etiam confiscata, in pristinumque, & eum, in quo ante præmissa quomodolibet erant, statum restituendi, reponendi, & reintegrandi : Ac eis, dummodo corde contriti, eorum errata & excessus alicui per eos eligendo catholico confessori, sacramentaliter