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By these powers it is plain, that the pope only forgave what teal past, but stood to the right of the church, as to the restitution of the lands themselves: and that clause (if that shall seem to you <-\pedient) belongs only to the order and point of time, so that the discharging what was past might have been done by Cardinal Pool, before or after restitution, as he pleased: but restitution was still to be made; and he had, by these powers, no authority to confirm the alienations that had been made by King Henry the Eighth, for the time to come.
But these limitations were so distasteful, both in England and the emperor's court, that Pool found it necessary to send his secretary Ormanet to Rome, for new instructions, and fuller powers: he addressed him to Cardinal de Monte for procuring them. Ormanet was dispatched from Rome, in the end of June, 1554, and came to Pool in the end of July, as appears by the date of Pool's letters to the Cardinal de Monte, which is the twenty-ninth of July, upon the receipt of the two breves that Ormanet brought him, bearing date the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth of June. The first of these is only matter of form, impowering him to act as a legate, either about the emperor or the King of France, in as ample manner as former legates had done. The second relates alw most wholly to the business of abbey-lands; in it the pope sets forth, that whereas he had formerly impowered him to transact with the possessors of church-lands, and to discharge them for the rents unjustly received, or the moveable goods that were consumed by them; yet, since the perfecting of the reduction of England would become so much the easier, as the pope gave the greater hopes of gentleness and favour in that matter, he therefore, not being willing to let any worldly respects lie in the way of so great a work, as was the recovery of so many souls, and in imitation of the tender-hearted father, that went out to meet the prodigal child, impowers the cardinal, according to the trust and confidence he had in him, to transact and agree with such of the possessors of them, by the pope's autho* rity, for whom the queen should intercede, and to dispense with them for enjoying them in all time coming. But the salvo, that comes in the end, seems to take all this off; for he reserves all to the pope's confirmation and good pleasure, in all those things that wore ef such importance, that the holy see ought firstto be consulted by Pool. By these powers, all that Pool could do was only provisional, and could not bind the pope; so that he might disclaim and disown him, when he pleased: and the agreements, that he made afterwards with the parliament, wereof no force, till they were confirmed by the pope. And as the pope that succeeded Julius the Third, who granted these breves (but died before the execution of them was brought to him for his confirmation) would never confirm them; so this whole transac tion was a publick cheat put on the nation, or at least on the posses* sors of the abbey-tends; nor did it grant them either a good title inlaw (I mean the canon law) or give any security to their consciences, in enjoying that which, according to the doctrine of the cbureu rf Rome, is plain sacrilege.
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 confirm 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 apprehension 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 bonw .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 mtdwjidei 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, nor 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 between 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 offer 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 canons, and subject to the church; then the confirmation given by cardinal Pool is null of itself, though it had been granted exactly according 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 alienations of church lands, that, if they were all laid together, thejr
V.OL. ix. L
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 extravagantly 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 resolution, 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 emperor 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 granted 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 satisfaction 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.
Theemperor'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; but 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 design 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 aversion, 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. elusion, 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 th« 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 government 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 eloquence long, and had allowed himself to fly high, with forced rhetorick. And, to say the truth, this way of enlarging upon an allegory, 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 (he Church of Rome.
JULIUS PAPA III.
DILECTE fill noster, ^alutem & apostolicam benedictionem: Dudum, cum carissima in Christo Filia nostra Maria, Anglia e tuna princeps regina dcclarata fuisset, & speraretur regnum Angliae, quod saeva regnum tyrannide ab unione sanctae ecclesiae catholica e separatum fuerat, ad ovile gregis Domini & ejusdem ecclesiae unionem, ipsa Maria primum regnante, redire posse. Nos te, praestanti tirtute, singulari pietate, ac multa doctiina insignem, ad eandem