Edward Deering, B. D.—This learned and distinguished puritan was descended from a very ancient and worthy family at Surrenden-Dering, in Kent; and having been carefully brought up in religion, and the rudiments of sound learning, completed his education in Christ's college, Cambridge. Here he made amazing progress in valuable knowledge, and became an eminently popular preacher. He was fellow of the house, was chosen proctor in 1566, and Lady Margaret's preacher the year following. ^ This, indeed, was not sufficient to protect him from the fury and persecution of the prelates.
. In the year 1571, being cited before Archbishop Parker and other commissioners, he was charged with certain assertions, which, it is said, he maintained and subscribed before them. These assertions were the following: " That breaking the laws of civil government is, in its own nature, no sin, but only on account of scandal.—That Christ's descent into hell relates only to the force and efficacy of his passion; but that neither his body, nor his soul, went to that place.—That it is lawful to take oaths, when the forms are written or printed, to determine the sense of the imposer; but to make use of the book, as a circumstance of solemnity, is a sacrilegious addition.—That the clerical garments, which are derived from popery, are full of offence, and appear to me directly against the truth."|| It does not appear, however, what punishment was inflicted upon him for these assertions.
Mr. Deering was domestic chaplain to the unfortunate Duke of Norfolk, (who, in the above year, lost his head on Tower-hill,) and was tutor to his children. In this situation, he conducted himself with great propriety, and much to the satisfaction of his noble patron.* When the dnke was imprisoned for his treasonable connections with the Queen of Scots, Mr. Deering thus addressed him: " You once earnestly professed the gospel; but now dissimulation, ambition, and hypocrisy hath bewitched you. You know how many times I dissuaded you from your wicked servants, your popish friends, and your adulterous woman. Alas! my lord, your high calling hath so bridled my words, that I could not speak to you as I would : my words were too soft to heal so. old adisease."+
In the year 1572, he became lecturer at St. Paul's, London; where, on account of his great learning, ready utterance, and uncommon boldness, he was amazingly followed. This being grievous to certain ecclesiastical persons, it was deemed most proper to silence him. This was accordingly done the very next year. Our historian intimates, that he was a great enemy to the order of bishops. This was, indeed, the case with most of the puritans. They generally looked upon the episcopal office, as appointed in the church, to be equally a popish invention, and contrary to its original design, according to the New Testament. He further informs us, that Mr. Deering was intimately acquainted with the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, with whom he often interceded, in behalf of the suffering nonconformists-}
While he was lecturer of St. Paul's, he was charged with having spoken certain things, which, by interpretation, were said to reflect upon the magistrate, and tend to break the peace of the church. Therefore, by an order from the council, his lecture was put down. Persons were appointed to watch him continually, to take advantage of what he delivered; and when he was brought under examination for delivering certain things offensive to the ruling powers, he utterly denied that he had said any such thing, and declared that the charges were mere slanders. Indeed, upon his appearance before the attorney-general and the bishop of London, the bishop frankly acknowledged that he could not accuse him.f, What a pity then was it, that so excellent a preacher as he is denominated, who had so large a
• Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. ISO.
+ MS. Chronology, vol. i. Ji. 2B2. (2.) •
t Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 190. § Ibid. p. 269.
congregation, and when such preachers were jauch wanted, should be put to silence I ->
In September this year, he wrote to the treasurer, requesting that he might no more appear before the council, but be judged by the bishops themselves, at any time and place they should appoint. In order to the restoration of his lecture, he requested that judgment might not be deferred ; that be might be charged with some impropriety, either in his words or actions; apd that upon the knowledge of which, his honour might himself be able to judge what be deserved. He beseeched his lordship to inquire into his character, and examine his actions, till he could find only two persons who had heard him speak evil: but if such evidence of his ill behaviour could not be obtained, he intreated him to become his friend, He urged further, that his lordship would either believe his own judgment, having himself sometimes heard him, or the report of multitudes, who were his constant hearers. And if his lecture might not be restored, as he was persuaded it was his duty to seek the good of souk, he earnestly prayed that he might have liberty to preach in some other place.
Though the treasurer was undoubtedly willing and desirous to serve him, he obtained no redress; but was cited to appear before the court of the star-chamber, when several articles were exhibited against him. But before his appearance to answer these articles, he wrote a long letter to Burleigh, dated November 1, 1573, in which he addressed him with great spirit and freedom, concerning his own case, and several important points of controversy. This letter was as follows:
" Grace and peace from God the Father, &c.
*' Bear with me, I beseech your honour, though I trouble u you; and let the cause of my grief be the discharge of my " boldness. It behoveth me to discharge myself from " slander, lest the gospel should be reproached in me. And " it behoveth you to obey this commandment, Receive no " accusation against a preacher without good and sufficient u witness. I know, my lord, you will not do it. i have <* good evidence of your equity in this behalf. Yet I am " bold to put you in mind of the word of Christ, which you " cannot possibly too often remember. I ask no more than " what is due to me, even from her majesty's seat of gpvern" meat and justice. If I have done evil, let we be punished: " if not, let me be eased of undeserved blame. I crave no ** partiality, but seek to answer, and to make you (including tu the other lords of the council) judges of my cause; before " whose presence I ought to fear, and the steps of whose feet I humbly reverence. If, before your honours, I " should be convinced of these pretended crimes, with what " shame should I hide my face all the days of my life! " Where were the rejoicing that I have in God, in all things -u that he hath wrought by me ? Where were their comfort, " who have so desirously heard me ? Where were the good " opinion of many, and all the good-will you have shewed
:" me f I am not so ignorant, that I see not this. Therefore " persuade yourself, that I am on sure ground. Trial shall M teach your eyes and ears the truth. And to persuade your " heart, 1 give unto you my faith, I cannot accuse myself " of any thought of my mind, in which I have not honoured " the magistrate, or word of my mouth, in which I have not " regarded the peace of the church. And I thank God, " who of his unspeakable mercy, hath kept for me this con" science against the day of trouble.
" If you muse now, how these slanders have risen, you u may easily know, that the malice of satan is great against "the ministry of the gospel. I know I have given no cause, more than I have confessed; and with what words " I have spoken, I desire to be judged by the hearers. And u so much the more bold I now speak to you, because my " lord of London, of late told me, before Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor, that he could not accuse m& of any " such thing. As I was glad to hear this discharge, so 1 u should have been much more glad, if, upon so free a con" fession, he would favourably have restored me to my " lecture. Though it be somewhat strange to punish a " man before he offend, lest hereafter he should offend; yet " I am contented with it, and leave it unto them, who " should be as much grieved as myself to see so great a con" gregation dispersed."
Mr. Deering next proceeds to prove the lordship and civil government of bishops to be unlawful, and contrary to scripture. " The lordship and civil government of bishops," says he, " is utterly unlawful. The kingdom of Christ is
'" a spiritual government only. But the government of the church is a part of the kingdom of Christ. Therefore, the government of the church is only a spiritual govern
•" ment. What the kingdom of Christ is, and what " government he hath established in it, learn not of me, but
"* of God himself. What can be plainer than the words of
i' ChristMy kingdom is not of this world? How plainly
•' doth St. Paul say, The weapons of our warfare are not "carpal? Let him, therefore, who is the King of kings, " have the pre-eminence of government. And let him, " whose dominion is the kingdom of heaven, have the sword " and the sceptre that is not fleshly. Let not a vile pope, in " the name of Christ, erect a new kingdom, which Christ " never knew: a kingdom of this world, which, in the 11 ministry of the gospel, he hath condemned. This kind of " rule hath set all out of order, and in confusion, mingled " heaven and earth together.—As the minister hath nothing " to do with the temporal sword, so it much less becometh " him to be called lord. The reason is plain from scripture. " Ministers are called fishers of men, labourers in the harvest, " callers to the marriage, servants of the people, workmen, *f stewards, builders, planters, &c. In all of which, they are " removed from a lordship over the people. And again, i( they are called fellow-elders, fellow-helpers, fellow" workmen, fellow-soldiers, fellow-servants, fellow-travel" lers, &c. In which names, they are forbidden lordship " over their brethren. And, surely, it must be great rashness u to refuse so many names, which God hath given us, and " take another, which importeth dominion over others. Can " we doubt then in the question of lordship ? We appeal to " Christ, and the words of his mouth, to decide the contro" versy. The disciples had this contention, as well as " ourselves. They strove much, who should be highest; " against which strife, our Saviour Christ pronounceth this " sentence, He that is greatest among you, let him be as the f least. And whosoever of you will be the chief, shall be " servant of all. This is a brief account of the superiority " in the ministry. And this shall for ever determine the ** controversy, though all the wisdom in the world reply to " the contrary. If a lord bishop find his titles given him " here, let him rejoice in his portion. If he have them not " hence, he shall not have them from us: we will not so " dishonour him who hath given the sentence."
Afterwards, speaking of bishops in the primitive church, and those in modern times, he makes the following distinctions : " The bishops and ministers then, were one in degree: " now they are divers.—There were many bishops in one " town: now there is but one in a whole country.—No " bishop's authority was more than in one city : now it is in u many shires.—:The bishops then used no bodily punish" ments: now they imprison, fine, &c.—Those bishops " could not excommunicate, nor absolve, of their own " Authority: now they may.—Then, without Consent, they *' could make no ministers: now they do.—They could " confirm no children in other parishes: they do now in " many shires.—Then they had no living of the church, but " only in one congregation: now they have.—Then they " had neither officials, nor commissaries, nor chancellors, " under them.—Then they dealt in no civil government, by " any established authority.—Then they had no right ill « alienating any parsonage, to give it in lease.—Then they t' had the church where they served the cure, even as those " whom we now call parish ministers."—This bold and excellent letter contains many other interesting particulars, too numerous for our insertion.* Upon the appearance of Mr. Deering in the star-chamber, the following charges were brought against him : " That he had spoken against godfathers and godmothers.—That he had asserted that the statute of providing for the poor was not competent to the Object.—That he had said, he could provide for them in a better way, by committing them to be kept by the rich.— That, at a public dinner, he took off his cap, and said, ' Now I will prophesy, Matthew Parker is the last archbishop that shall ever sit in that seat;' and that Mr. Cartwright said, Accipio omen."
To acquit himself of these charges, he presented an address, November 28th, to the lords of the council, who constituted the above court. In this address, he proves his innocence, and establishes his own reputation. He says here, " Against godfathers and godmothers, save only the name, I spake nothing.—That I said the statute of provision For the poor was not competent to the object, or any such words, I utterly deny : I commended the statute.—That I said I could provide for the poor, I utterly deny, as Words which I never spake, and thoughts which were never yet in my heart. And if I had spoken any such thing, I had spoken wickedly, and accordingly deserved punishment. And thus much I profess and protest, before the seat of justice, where I dare not lie.—In the last place, I am charged With taking off my cap, and saying, ' Now I Will prophesy, Matthew Parker is the last archbishop that shall ever sit in that seat: and that Mr. Cartwright said, Accipio omen.* To this I answer, that I have confessed what I said; and here I tend it, witnessed by the hands of those Who heard ft. I put off no cap, nor spake of any prophesy."*
• Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 270—279. + Ibid. Appendix, p. 53—58
However before Mr. Oeering could be restored to his beloved ministerial work* the bishop or the archbishop required him to acknowledge and subscribe to the four following articles:—" 1.1 acknowledge the Book of Articles, agreed upon by the clergy in the Synod of 1563, and confirmed by the queen's majesty, to be sound, and according to the word of God."
In reply to this, he excepted against the article of the consecration of bishops and archbishops, as contained in the said book. " To what purpose," says he, " is this article put in ? What reason is there to make all subscribe unto it ? Who dare make so bold an addition to the word of God, as to warrant these consecrations to be tied unto it ? Let him allow of it, who hath the profit of it: and he that liketh it not, let him have no bishopric. I would, therefore, gladly make this exception. Also, the article touching homilies, to which, because they are made by man, I dare not give my absolute warrant, that they are, in all things, according to the word of God. And when I set my hand unto it, I must needs avow that which I know not. I would, therefore, make this addition, As far as I know."
u 2. That the queen's majesty is the chief governor, next under Christ, of the church of England, as well in ecclesiastical, as civil causes."—" The second article," says he, " I freely acknowledge."
" 3. That in the Book of Common Prayer, there is nothing evil, or repugnant to the word of God; but that it may be well used in this our church of England."
To this he excepts, " That in the book, there are many phrases and hard speeches, which require a favourable exposition. There are many things, though well meant, when first appointed, which were certainly ill devised, being first used by papists. And, therefore, being still kept in the Prayer Book, they are offensive.—That day in which there is no communion, certain prayers are to be said after the offertory. What this offertory is, and what it meaneth, I cannot tell. And to account our prayers as off rtories, I dare not warrant that it is according to the word of God.— In this book, we are commonly called by the name of priests; which name, besides importing a popish sacrificer, and so is sacrilegious, cannot possibly be given to us, and to our Saviour also.—On Christinas-day, we say, ' Thou hast given us thy Son this day, to be born of a virgin.' The .same words we use all the week after, as if Christ had been bom anew every day in the week. If it be said, this is but a trifle, the more loath I am to subscribe, that il is according to the word of God.—In one of the prayers, we 6ay, ' Grant us that, which, for our unworthiness, we dare not ask.' These words cannot be excused. They fight directly against our faith. We must come boldly to the throne of grace, and doubt not of obtaining mercy, in whatever God has promised. These and such other things, thus standing in the prayer book, make many fearful- of subscribing, that every part of it is according to the word of God."
" 4. That, as the public preaching of the word, in the church of England, is sound and sincere; so the public order, in the ministration of the sacraments, is consonant to the word of God."
Upon this he observes^" How can I tell, that all preaching in England is sound and sincere, when I hear not all preachers ? And sometimes those whom I do hear, preach neither soundly, nor sincerely : but this is the fault of man. —And that the public order, in the ministration of the sacraments, is according to God's word, I cannot simply confess. There is an order how women may baptize. AH reformed churches have condemned this, and how can I allow it? All learned men write against the questions and crossings in baptism; and why should I, with my hand, condemn all their doings ? The wafer cake in many churches, is thought intolerable ; and our own act of parliament for avoiding superstition, hath appointed other bread: what then if I should dislike it ?
" Another reason why I cannot subscribe both to this article and the first, is the one contradicting the other. In the first I must subscribe to all the homilies: in this, to all the ceremonies; and yet our homilies condemn many of our ceremonies. In the homilies it is said, ' That the costly and manifold furniture of vestments lately used in the church, is Jewish, and in a kef h us the more willingly, in such apparel to become Jewish.' If I subscribe to this, how can J subscribe to the ceremonies used in cathedral churches, where the priests, deacon, and subdeacon, are in copes and vestments ? In the homilies, it is said, ' That piping, singing, chanting, playing on organs, &c. greatly displease God, and filthily defile his holy tanple.' If 1 must subscribe to this, then I must not subscribe to the contrary, even that all our ceremonies are good, and acording to the word of God. -How can I say, that our doctrine, our, sacraments, our prayers, our ceremonies, our orders, even that all is according to the word of God ? A person having a conscience, or no conscience, must needs be tried here: and blessed is he that is not offended. See, I beseech you, what wrong I sustain, if I be urged to this subscription. While any law bound me to, wear the cap and surplice, I wore both. When I was at liberty, surely I would not wear them for devotion. I never persuaded any to refuse them, nor am I charged with ever preaching against them. Thus, according to my promise, I have set down how far I would yield in these articles which your worship sent me. If I seem curious, or to stand upon little points, .conscience, it should be remembered, is very tender, and will not yield contrary to its persuasion of the truth. I have sent you these articles, subscribed with mine own hand, and sealed with my heart, even in the presence of God ; whom I humbly beseech, for Christ's sake, to give peace unto his church, that her ministers may rejoice, and her subjects be glad. I conclude, desiring God to make you rich in all grace, to his honour and glory. December 16, 1573."* Here we see the evil of requiring subscription to articles and creeds of human composition. To yield in such a case as this, would rack the conscience of every honest man. .
Twenty other articles were, about the same time, presented to Mr. Drering in the star-chamber; to each of which, he gave a particular answer. These articles were designed, says Mr. Strype, to make exact inquiry into his principles and opinions, concerning the church, its usages, practices, and clergy, and the queen's authority; and he might, with truth, have added, that it assumed all the appearance of a tyrannical and cruel inquisition. Mr. Deering, in the preface to his answers to these articles, thus expressed himself :—" I most humbly beseech your honours, to remember my former protestation, that I have never spoken against the book of prayers; and in my book in print, I have spoken openly for the allowance of it. I resort to common prayers ; and sometimes, being requested, 1 say the prayers as prescribed. If I be now urged to speak what I think, as before an inquisition, there being no law of God requiring me to accuse myself, I beseech your honours, let my answer witness my humble duty and obedience, rather than be prejudicial and hurtful to me. This I most humbly crave; and under the persuasion of your favour, I will answer boldly, as I am required." These articles, which so
« Parte of a Register, p. 81—85.
much discover the spirit of the times, and the answers which Mr. Deering presented to the court, though at some length, we here present to the curious and inquisitive reader. They were the following: ■
Article 1. Is the book entitled u The Book of Common Service," allowed by public authority in this realm, to be allowed in the church of God, by God's word, or not ?
Answer. The similitude of this book, to that form of prayer used by the papists, leads me to think it declineth from those laws, Deut. vii. 25., xii. SO., xviii. 9. Also, its great inconvenience in encouraging unlearned and indolent ministers to conclude, that the mere reading of the service is sufficient. These are some of the reasons why I cannot subscribe, that all the book is allowable by the word of God. Some other things, the bishops themselves confess to be faulty.
2. Are the articles set down by the clergy in Synod, and allowed by public authority, according to God's word, or not ?
I confess, as I am persuaded, that the articles of faith are good. I think the same of the articles about traditions, an oath before a judge, the civil magistrate, the doctrine of the homilies, &c. But that which relates to the consecration of archbishops and bishops, I can by no means confess as godly, and according to the word of God.
3. Are we tied in all things, by God's word, to the order and usage of the apostles and primitive church, or not ?
No doubt we are bonnd to whatsoever was the usual order of the apostles. When St. Paul had said to Timothy, " Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose," &c. &c. he adds, continue in the things which thou hast learned. And he chargeth the PhiTippians, Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, do.
4. Is there any right ministry, or ecclesiastical government, at this time, in the church of England, or not I
If, by right, you mean such a calling as the word of God Tequireth: as, I Tim. iii. 2., Acts i. 23., xiv. 23,. 1 Tim. iv. 14., I am sure you will confess it is not right. If you mean a right ministration of the doctrine and sacraments, I humbly confess, that no man ought to separate himself 'from the church. Concerning government, see the seventh article.
5. May nothing be in the church, either concerning cere* Atonies, or government, but that only which the Lord hi
his word, commandeth ?
Such ceremonies as do not necessarily appertain to the gospel of Christ, may be changed; observing always that which St. Paul hath commanded, Phil. iv. 8., 1 Cor. xiv. 26.
6. Ought every particular church or parish in England, of necessity, and by the order of God's word, to have its own pastor, elder, and deacons, chosen by the people of that parish; and they only to have the whole government of that particular church, in matters ecclesiastical ?
"Wherever this government hath been, the choice hath been by certain persons, with the allowance of the people, so far as I ever read. But what is most requisite at the present time, I leave to those whom God hath set in authority.
7. Should there be an equality among all the ministers of this realm, as well in government and jurisdiction, as in the ministration of the word and sacraments ?
That all ministers are called to the preaching of the word, arid the ministration of the sacraments, no man, I think, will deny. Touching government or governors, the Holy Ghost calleth them fellow-ministers, fellow-elders, fellow-officers, fellow-soldiers, fellow-labourers, fellow-servants : and St. Peter expressly forbids them being lords over God's heritage. St. John evidently condemneth the lordly dominion of Diotrephes, in commanding and excommumcaling by his own authority. Our Lord himself, refused to exercise any lordly dominion; and when his disciples strove for superiority, he expressly forbad them, and reproved them for aspiring after it. Though ministers are worthy of double honour, singular love, great reverence, and all humble duty, I dare, by no means, make them lords in the ministry, nor give to any one of them authority above the rest.
8. Are the patrimonies of the church, such as bishops* lands, the lands belonging to cathedral churches, the glebe lands, and tithes, by right, and God's word, to be taken from them ?
Render unto Caesar, the things which are Ctestfr's ,• and unto God, the things that are God's, is a rule always •binding. Every prince who feareth the King of kings, must make sufficient provision for the ministry, then for "the poor, then for schools and the uersities, in such a degree as may supply the wants of the ministry; without which the spoil of the church is most unnaturar sacrilege.
9. Are the ministers of this realm, of whatsoever calling, now in place, lawful ministers; and their administration,4 and ecclesiastical actions, lawful and effectual ? , This article, so far as I can see, is the same as the fourth.
. 10. Is it not convenient at a marriage, to have the communion, and the newly married persons to communicate; and, at a funeral, to have a sermon ?
I would have communions at such times as the church appoints. On those days, if there be a marriage, it is' meet that the parties communicate. As to the funeral sermons, they may be used. Yet, if there be any inconvenience, by hurting or offending the church, they ought to be omitted. . .
11. Is it lawful for any man to preach, besides he who is a pastor; and may a pastor preach out of his own flock without a license ?
None may preach but a pastor, and he, on just occasion, being requested, may preach out of his own flock. But, surely, if he have no license to preach, he hath no license to be a pastor.
12. Is it better and more agreeable to God's word, and more for the profit of God's church, that a prescribed order of common prayer be used, or that every minister pray publicly, as his own spirit shall direct him ? i
An ordinary prayer is very necessary, that it may be familiar to the people: but, as every parish will have its occasions and necessities, so it is necessary, that the minister be able to pray in the congregation, according to the necessities of the people.
13. Are the children of" parents, who are perfect papists,
and have they faith ?
If parents are obstinate, and perfect papists, wanting nothing of the spiritual wickedness of antichrist, and are so accounted by the church, their children are not to be admitted to this sacrament, though we exclude them not from the election of God : but if the parents be not cast out of the church, we may admit the children; yet riot as having that faith which cometh by hearing, but as being
within the covenant: i" am their God, and the God of their children.
to be baptized ?
14. May any ecclesiastical persons have more ecclesiastical livings than one?*
For one man to have many parsonages, where he cannot possibly reside, is great wickedness. And seeing Christ hath purchased his church with his own blood, whosoever enjoys several livings, considers very little the words of St. Paul: Take heed unto all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God. I, therefore, humbly beseech your honours, to have this carefully reformed.
15. May one be a minister, who has no particular flock assigned him ? And may an ecclesiastical person be exercised, also, in a civil function ?
- A minister can no more be without a charge, than a king .without a kingdom. No man that warretk entangleth himself with the affairs of this life. And I am sure whatsoever person seeketh after civil offices, wanteth that love which should most abound. Our Saviour refused to be judge in the division of lands. Yet 1 judge not him, who, on special occasions, seeketh to do good to others.
16. Are all the commandments of God needful for salvation ?
All the commandments are necessary for all men in all places, and are ever to be observed. And as Christ was minister, not of earthly things, but heavenly; so the observance of all his commandments is necessary to salvation; and the breach of the least of them, if imputed to ,us, hath the just recompence of eternal death.
17. Has the Queen of England authority over the ecclesiastical state, and in ecclesiastical matters, as well as .civil?
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, whether he be an apostle, or evangelist, or prophet, or whatsoever he be. This subjection is not against his calling. Princes have full authority over all ecclesiastical and civil persons, and equally over both, to punish offenders, and to praise well-doers. Only this is the difference in the sovereignty over both. The commonwealth cannot be without the . .magistrate; but if all magistrates fall from the church, we must still hold this article, " I believe in the catholic church." For Christ, and. not the christian magistrate, is the.life and head of the church. In the commonwealth,
* What could the commissioner! design by proposing this question ? Did they imagine it was a crime to speak against pluralities, the great plague of the christian church, and at which even papists blush?
the prince maketh and repealed! laws, as appears most for the safety of the state, and the benefit of the people; but ia the church, there is only One Lawgiver, even Jesus Christ.
18. Is the Queen of England the chief governor under Christ, over the whole church and state ecclesiastical in this realm, or but a member of it ? And may the church of England be established without the magistrate ?
This is answered under the seventeenth article.
19. Is the Queen of England bound to observe the judicial laws of Moses, in the punishment and pardon of criminal offences ?
We are sure that the law of Moses, was, to the people of Israel, an absolute and a most perfect rule of justice; so that all laws ought to be made according to its equity. Yet, to decide on all particular cases, dare I not. It belongeth to the Lord to say, I will pardon, or I will destroy.
SO. May the Queen of England, of herself, and by her own authority, assign and appoint civil officers i
I never knew a man who doubted this article. And sure I am, that her majesty, in her wisdom, may do as she thinketh best.*
These were the articles proposed to Mr. Deering in the star-chamber, and this was the substance of those answers which he presented to the court in writing. In these answers, says Mr. Strype, he made very ill reflections upon the reformation and religion of the established church.* Whether this remark be consistent with christian liberality, or even common justice, every reader will easilyjudge. What could be the design of the commissioners in proposing such inquiries ? Some of them relating wholly to matters of state, seem designed to ensnare him. Others were evidently intended to draw him either to approve, or to censure, the corruptions of the church. And in general, it is extremely manifest, that they were put to him, to rack his conscience, and to get something out of him; to make him an offender by his own confession. " For my part," Bays Mr. Peircc, " when I consider the abominable tyranny of all such proceedings, and the barbarous wickedness of sifting the secrets of mens' hearts, about those matters, of which perhaps they never spoke any thing in their lives; I heartily bless my God that he did not cast my lot in those days, but reserve*' me for times of greater equity and freedom. J
• Parte of • Register, p. T|-~#0.—Strype'* Aoaafe, vol. ii. p. fM, 9M. + Strype's Parker, p. 4M. | Palace's Vioajcatiaa, pari i. p. a*.
During Mr. Deering's suspension, the Bishop of London, oat of good nature, it is said, interceded with the treasurer, to procure the consent of the council for his liberty to preach again at St. Paul's; upon these conditions, that he taught sound doctrine, exhorted to virtue, dissuaded from vice, and meddled not with matters of order and policy, but left them to the magistrate : and, he said, he believed Mr. Oeering would be brought so to do. He thought these gentle dealings the best, for the present, and would quiet the minds of the people. He thought a soft plaster, in such a case, much better than a corrosive. But the treasurer, we are informed, disliked the advice, and sharply reproved the bishop for
fiving it. At length, however, he prevailed; got Mr. ►eering's suspension taken off, and, notwithstanding his puritanical answers to the above articles, procured his restoration to his lecture.*
The lords of the council having restored him to his beloved work of preaching, the archbishop and several of the bishops were much offended. Dr. Cox, bishop of Ely, wrote a warm letter to the treasurer, signifying his great disapprobation of the conduct of the council in restoring him, even as a man sound in the faith, and by their owa authority, without consulting spiritual men, whose business it was to determine in such cases: and that they ought not to have determined a matter relating to religion without the assistance of those who belonged to the ecclesiastical function. Mr. Deering was, indeed, restored in consequence of the answers he gave to the articles, which articles, it seems, were collected out of Mr. Cartwright's book against Whitgift. Though Bishop Cox said his answers were fond and untrue, the lords of the council thought otherwise, and were satisfied with them. The bishop urged, that in these matters they ought to have consulted the judgment of learned divines, adding, " In all godly assemblies, priests have usually been called, as in parliaments and privy councils." And in the warmth of his zeal, he seemed inclined to move the queen's majesty to oppose and recall the decree of the council: but he trusted that the treasurer would, in his wisdom and godly zeal, undertake to do it himself, t Our author further adds, that when Mr. Deering and three of his brethren were first cited into the star-chamber, the Bishop of London remained silent, for which the queen afterwards bitterly rebuked him.t
• Strype's Parker, p. 488. t Ibid. p. 426, 497.
% Queen Elizabeth was a lady of a proud and imperious spirit» and
Although Mr. Deering was again allowed to preach, his troubles were not ended. The Bishop of London, by whose influence he had been restored, appeared soon to repent of what he had done. When he wailed upon the bishop, informing him that the council, by their letters, had restored him to his lecture, his grace said he would see the letters, or he should not preach, and added, " That unless he preached more soberly and discreetly than before, he would silence him again." Mr. Deering replied, " If you do forbid me, I think I shall obey." His obedience was, indeed, soon brought to the test; for the bishop silenced him presently after. He brought complaints against him in the star-chamber, and urged the treasurer to procure an order from the queen to put down his lecture. He wrote also to the Earl of Leicester, signifying how much he disliked Mr. Deering's continuance. This was going the right way to work, and he was sure of success. Accordingly, the business was brought before her majesty, who commanded him to be silenced ; and a warrant being sent to the bishop for this purpose, he was again suspended.*
In the year 1574, the famous Dr. Thomas Sampson being laden with old age and infirmities, was desirous of Mr. Deering succeeding him in his lecture at Whittingtoncollege, London, for which there was a stipend of ten pounds a year. The company of cloth-workers had the power of nomination, and the archbishop had the allowance. Dr. Sampson had no doubt of the company's approbation, but doubted the favour of the archbishop. And, indeed, his doubfs were not without foundation; for his grace being moved to allow of Mr. Deering, in case he should be nominated by the company, he utterly refused. Dr. Sampson, however, wrote to Burleigh, the treasurer, earnestly intreating him, in this case, to use his influence with the archbishop. In this letter, he observed, that though the archbishop did not himself like to take pains in the congregation, he should
usually carried things with a very high hand, expecting all to bow to,her will and pleasure. This arbitrary temper she exercised over her own clergy, as well as others. Dr. Nowell, dean of St. Paul's, and one of the
- queen's chaplains, hat ing spoken less reverently of the sign of the cross, in a sermon preached before her majesty, she called aloud to him from ber
. closet window, commanding him to retire from that ungodly digression, and return to bis text.—On another occasion, Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex
toot exactly agreeing in a point of political prudence, this sovereign lady was so exceedingly provoked, that she gave him a box on the ear, and bid him "go and be hanged."—Hcylin's Hist, of Refbr. p. 124. Edit. 1670.— Rapin's Hist. vol.. ii. p. 149.
i, » Strype's Parker, p. 428, _ :
not hinder or forbid others, who were both able and willing. He could say of Mr. Deering, that his grace of Canterbury could find no fault with him, either in his doctrine or his life. Also, that it was no great promotion, but a place in which, by the labours of Mr. Deering, he doubted not that her majesty's subjects would be much profited. It was all to no purpose. The archbishop remembered his former nonconformity, but especially his puritanical answers to the articles in the star-chamber; and, therefore, remained inflexible, and would not admit him.*
At length, Mr. Deering being worn out by hard labours and manifold troubles, fell sick; and perceiving his dissolution to approach, he said to his friends, " The good Lord pardon my great negligence, that, while I had time, I used not his precious gifts more for the advancement of his glory, as I might have done: yet I bless God, that I have not abused those gifts to ambition and vain studies. When I am dead, my enemies will be reconciled to me; excepting such as knew me not, or such as have in them, no sense of the truth. I have faithfully, and with a good conscience, served the Lord my God, and my prince." A brother minister standing by him, said, ** It is a great blessing to you, that you shall depart in peace, and be taken from many troubles, which your brethren shall behold and suffer." To whom he replied, " If the Lord hath appointed that his saints shall sup together in heaven, why do I not go to them ? But if there be any doubt or hesitation resting on> my spirit, the Lord reveal the truth unto me." Having for some time lain still, a friend who attended him, said, that he hoped his mind had been employed in holy meditation; to whom he thus replied: " A poor wretch and a miserable man that I am, the least of all saints, the chief of all sinners! yet I trust in Christ my Saviour. Yet a little while, and we shall see our hope. The end of the world is coming upon us; and we shall quickly receive the end of our hope, which we have so much looked for. Afflictions, diseases, sickness, and grief, are only parts of that portion which God hath allotted us in this world. It is not enough to continue some time in his ways; we must persevere in the fear of the Lord to the end of our days. For in a moment we shall be taken away. Take heed, therefore, that you do not make sport of the word of God, nor lightly esteem so great a treasure.
• Strype't Parker, p. 409, 470.
Blessed are they whoj while they have tongues, use -them to God's glory."
As the hour of his dissolution approached, being raised up in bed, his friends desired him to say something to their edification and comfort. The sun shining in his face, he thus addressed them: " As there is only one sun in the •world, so there is only one righteousness, and one communion of saints. If I were the most excellent creature in the world, equal in righteousness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet would I confess myself to be a sinner, and that I expected salvation in the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone: for we all stand in need of the grace of God. As for my death, I bless God, I find and feel so much comfort and joy in my soul, that if I were put to my choice, whether to die or live, I would a thousand times rather choose death than life, if it was the holy will of God." He died soon after, June 26, 1576.*
Fuller denominates Mr. Deering a pious man, a painful preacher, and an eminent divine; but disaffected to bishops and ceremonies.t Mr. Strype says, he was disliked by the bishops, and some other great personages, as a man vain and full of fancies, because he would tell them of their common swearing and covetousness. He would not associate with persecutors; and was much grieved when the benefice of a great parish was given to an unpreaching minister. Yet, says he, it was Mr. Deering's common fault to tell lies.t Does not this look like a slander ? What did the excellent Dr. Sampson say of him, as already noticed, who knew him well ? Surely, if this had been his common fault, having so many enemies constantly and narrowly watching him, his sin would have found him out. Granger gives a very different account of him. " The happy death," says he, tl of this truly religious man, was suitable to the purity and integrity of his life.'% He is classed with the other learned writers and fellows of Christ's college, Cambridge.||
Mr. Deering was a man of great learning, and a fine orator; but in his sermon before the queen,TPebruary 25, 1569, he had the boldness to say, " If you have sometimes said (meaning in the days of her sister Mary,) tanquam ovis, as a sheep appointed to be slain; take heed you hear not
. • Account annexed to Mr. Deering'. Lects. on Heb.—Fuller'* Abel Redivivus, p. 341,342.
t Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 109. J Strype's Parker, p. 381,429.
S Granger's Biog. Hist, vol. i. p. 218. j| Fuller's Hut. of Cam. p. 92.
now of the prophet, tanquam indomica juvenca, as an untamed and unruly heifer."* For this, he was forbidden preaching any more at court; and surely, says Fuller, the queen still retained much of her former disposition, at a sheep, in not inflicting a greater punishment, for so public a reproof, t
Mr. Clark relates the following anecdote, shewing the amiableness of his truly christian spirit. Mr. Deering being once at a public dinner, a gallant young man sat on the opposite side the table, who, besides other vain discourse, broke out into profane swearing; for which Mr. Deering gravely and sharply reproved him. The young man taking this as an affront, immediately threw a glass of beer in his face. Mr- Deering took no notice of the insult, but wiped his face, and continued eating as before. The young
Sentleman presently renewed his profane conversation; and Ir. Deering reproved him as before; upon which, but with more rage and violence, he flung another glass of beer in his face. Mr. Deering continued unmoved, still shewing his zeal for the glory of God, by bearing the insult with christian meekness and humble silence. This so astonished the young gentleman, that he rose from the table, fell on his knees, and asked Mr. Deering's pardon; and declared, that if any of the company offered him similar insults, he would stab them with his sword.J Here was practically verified, the New Testament maxim, " Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
His Works.—f. A Sermon at the Tower of London, 1569.—2. A sparing Restraint of many lavish Untruths, which Master D. Harding doth challenge in the first Article of my L. of Salisburies Reply, 1569. —3. Certaiuc godly and comfortable Letters, full of Christian Consolation, 1571.—i. Twenty-seven Lectures, or Readings, upon part of the Epistle to the Hebreucs, 1576.—5. A Sermon preached before tho Queen's Majesty, the 25th day of February, 1569. from Psalm Ixxviii. 70.,'1584.—6. Abriefeand necessarie Catechisme, or Instruction very needful to be known to all Householders.—All these were collected < and published in one volume, in 4to., 1597.