Saturday, 12 December 2015

Facts Illustrative of the times of Elizabeth Queen Of England. Part 19.

Jesuits In Conflict: Or Historic Facts Illustrative of the labours of the English Mission and Province Of The Society Of Jesus. In the times of Queen Elizabeth and her successors. By a member Of The Society Of Jesus.


THOMAS POUNDE, OF BELMONT, S.J. Part XIV.

"IV. I never had minde, and am strictlye forbidden by our Fathers that sente me, to deale in anie respectes with matters of State or policye of this realme, and those things which appertaine not to my vocation, and from which I doe gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts.

"V. I aske, to the glorie of God, with all humilitie and under your correction iij. sorts of indifferent and quiet audiences: the first before your Honours, wherein I will discourse of religion so far as it toucheth the commonweal and your nobilities: the seconde whereof I make more accompt before the doctors, the masters and chosen men of both Universities; wherein I undertake to avow the faith of our Catholic Church, by proofs invincible, Scriptures, Councils, Fathers, histories, naturall and morall reasons: the third before the lawyers spirituall and temporall; wherein I will justifie the sayde faith by the common wisdom of the lawes standing yet in force and practice.

"VI. I would be loathe to speake anie thing that might sounde of anie insolent bragg, or challenge, especially being now as a dead man to this worlde, and willing to cast my head under everie man's foote, and to kiss the ground they treade upon. Yet have I such a courage in advancing the majestie of Jesus my Kinge, and such affiance in His gracious favour, and such assurance in my quarrel!, and my evidence so impregnable, that because I know perfectly that none of the Protestants, not all the

Protestants livinge, nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men downe in pulpits, and over-rule as in their kingdom of grammarians, and of unlearned ears) can maintaine their doctrine in disputation. I am to sue most humblie and instantlie for the combat with all and everie of them, and the most principall that may be founde; protesting that in this triall, the better furnished they come, the better they shall be to me.

"VII. And because it hath pleased God to enrich the Queen, my Sovereign Ladye, with noble gifts of nature, learninge, and princely education, I doe verilie trust that if Her Highness woulde vouchsafe her royall person, and good attention to such conference, as in the ij. part of my fifth article I have mentioned and requested, or to a few sermons which in her or your hearinge I am to utter, such manifest and fair lights, by good methode and plain dealinge, may be cast uppon those controversies, that possibly her zeal of truth, and love of her people shall incline her noble grace to disfavor some proceedings hurtfull to the realme, and procure towards us oppressed more equity.

"VIII. Moreover, I doubt not but you, her honorable council, beinge of such wisdome, and drift in cases most important, when you shall have heard these questions of religion opened faithfully, which many times by our adversaries are huddled upp, and confounded, will see uppon what substantial grounds our Catholic faith is builded, and how feeble that side is which by sway of the time prevaileth against us; and soe at last for your own soules r and manie thousand soules that depende uppon your government, will discountenance error where it is bewrayed and hearken to those that wolde spend the best blood in their bodies for your salvation. Many innocent handes are lifted vpp to Heaven for you dailie, and hourlie, by those English students whose posteritie shall never die, which, beyond the seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you to Heaven, or to die uppon your pikes. And touchinge our Societie, be it known vnto you, that we have made a league—all the Jesuites in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practices of Englande—cheerfully to carry the cross that God shall lay vppon us, and never to dispaire your recoverie, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tiborne, or to be racked with your torments, or to be consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. Soe it was first planted, soe it must be restored.

"IX. If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to doe you good, shall be rewarded with rigour; I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the searcher out of hearts, Who send us of His grace, and set us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at the last be friends in Heaven, where all injuries [ ? miseries] shall be forgotten." 1

Father Campion wrote this paper in haste, as we have seen, and gave a copy of it to Pounde, keeping the original himself. He desired that it might not be published till there was necessity for so doing; but he forgot to seal it as had been proposed, and as the more cautious Father Parsons took care to do. Pounde, therefore, went back to prison and read it, and was so excited by it that, though he had no intention of imparting it to his friends, still less of giving them, or allowing them to take copies of it, he was resolved not to hide its light

The Marshalsea, in Southwark, one of the chief prisons for recusant Catholics, already mentioned in the first part of this notice, was at that time infested by two Puritan ministers, Mr. Tripp and Mr. Crowley, our old friends (Vide p. 54, &c, ante), who, under the protection of the authorities, visited the poorer prisoners in their cells, and urged them to "abide some conference" with them, " offering, like vain men in angles, to the uncharitable vexation of the poor prisoners," that disputation which they obstinately refused to abide in public. Pounde then, bursting with the secret of Father Campion's challenge, which he carried in his bosom, was inspired by it himself to make his public challenge to Tripp and Crowley (as related in the first part, page 54, &c, ante), and to back it up on the 8th of September, 1580, with petitions to the Council and the Bishop of London. Much of which it will be seen closely follows the eighth article of Father Campion's paper.

1 Reference is made to this famous protest or challenge in the letters of Fathers Campion and Parsons, given in the Life of George Gilbert, which forms the second part of this volume.