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George Browne lived not long after the consecration of this Hugh Corwine ; yet I have, among my manuscripts, a writing of a papist, who would fain have persuaded the world that this George Browne died through joy, having had a bull from the Pope to be restored to his see of Dublin; which must needs be false, upon this account of Sir James Ware's, who writeth these very words of him, in his book entituled De Præsulibus Hibernia, p. 120. 1554. Circa tempus Georgius Browneus (quod conjugatus esset) per Dowdablum Archiepiscopum Armachanum & alias: Delegatos er authoritatus est; otherwise the Pope, if he had granted such a bull, must likewise have dispensed with his marriage, it being contrary to the Romish tenets for bisliops to marry. Having related thus much of George Browne, and of ecclesiastical matters during his life, we shall proceed a little further concerning a short sermon of his, preached unto the people in Christ Church, upon the first Sunday after Easter, Anno 1551, Being a topy' of the same given to Sir James Ware, knight, by Anthony Martin, late Bishop of Meath, who formerly was tutor to the said Sir James Ware, when he was a student in Trinity college, Dublin.
The Text, Psal. 119. Ver. 18. Open mine eyes, that I may see the wonders of thy law. * The wonders, of the Lord God have for a long time been hid from the children of men,, which hath hapned: by Rome's not permitting the common people to read the Holy Scriptures; for to prevent you, that you might not know the comfort of your salvation, but to depend whollyi on the church of Rome, they will not permit it to be in any, tongue bụt in the Latin; saying, that Latin was the Roman tongue: but the wonderful God inspired: thel holy, apostles with the knowledge of all languages, that they, might teach all people in their proper tongue and language, which caused our wise-King Henry, before his death, to have the Holy Scriptures translated into the Engļish tongue, for the good of his subjects, that their Eyes may be opened to behold the wonderbus things of the larus of the Lord. But there are false prophets at this instants and, will be to the end of the world, that shall deceive: you; with false; doctriņes, expounding this texts ori thatsı purposely to confound your understandings, and to leads you captive--into a wilderness of confusion, whom you
shall take as your friends, but they shall be your greatest enemies, speaking against the tenets of Rome, and yet, be set on by Rome; these shall be a rigid people, full of fury and envy.
But, to prevent these things that are to come, observe Christ and his apostles: Let all things be done with decency, with mildness, and in order; fervently crying unto God, Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold the wondrous things out of thy law, then should you rightly keep the law and the prophets. It is the part of a prince to be wise, for he hath a great charge to rule and govern a nation : Your, Jate king, foreseeing Rome and her pope's intentions, how that he intended to inslave his subjects, and to keep them in the state of ignorance, consulted with the learned of his realm, knowing that youth might quickly be wrought on; therefore he prepared before his death a wise and learned sort of counsellors for his son's overseers; not trusting to one or two, but to several, that he might the better rule his people, whose eyes the Lord God Almighty hath opened betimes, to behold his won.. drous works.
Though the words of my text be plainly thus (Open thou mine eyes) the meanest of you that hear me have eyes; but the true meaning of the words is, Endue us with understanding : for a fool hath eyes, and sees men, women, beasts, birds, and other things, but yet wants understanding; so when we say, Open thou our eyes, we desire, the Lord God to instruct and teach us the knowledge of his laws.
When you were lately led in blindness, your eyes beheld the images that then stood in several of the monasteries and churches until they were removed; yet all this while were your understandings blinded, because ye believed in them, and placed your trust in them.
Suppose an artist or workman make an image either of man or woman, and at last a clergyman of Rome give it puch a name, calling it St. Peter, or St. Paul, or St. Mary, or St. Anne; must not that man, though he behold his own handy-work, and knows in his heart that it was his own work, be blind, and void of reason, and understanding of the law of God, and of the wonderous things that are contained in the law of the Lord ? Yes, surely he must be blind, and void of reason, and of the true faith, that would worship the same, . The workman carved the eyes, but these eyes see not;
he likewise carved the ears, but they hear not; the nose, and it smells not; the mouth, and it neither breathes nor speaks; the hands, they feel not; the feet, but they stand stock still.
• How therefore can your prayers be acceptable unto this image, that sees you not approaching towards it, that hears you not when you pray to it, that sinells not the sweet smells, be they of Myrrh or Frankincense, burning before it? How can it absolve you, when the mouth is not able to say, thy sins are forgiven thee? And if you place a certain sum of money in the palm of the hand of that image; come you again to-morrow, the money, it is true, shall find a customer, but the image never the wiser, who took it; and if you desire to have it come unto you, it cannot without help: therefore the work. man that made this image is as blind, as deaf, as dumb, and as void of sense as the image itself; and so be
all that put your trust in them.
Therefore of late, new artifices by springs, have made artificial ones, which for a certain time shall move, and ye shall believe it to be real and certain : but beware, good people, for they be but lying wonders, purposely that ye may break the law of God. And thus hath” the Devil devised a lying wonder, that ye may be deluded to break the law of the Lord; which is, Thou shalt not make unto thyself any Graven Image. O Lord, open thou our eyes, our ears, and our understanding, that we may behold the wondrous things that are in thy law. The law of God is an undefiled law. Oh! why should we be so wicked then as to defile that law, which the Almighty God hath made so pure without blemish. Jesus came to fulfil the law, and not to abolish the law. But there are a new fraternity of late sprung up, who call theinselves Jesuits, which will deceive many, who are much after the Scribes and Pharisees manner amongst the Jews: They shall strive to abolish the truth, and shall come very near to do it; for these sorts will turn themselves into several forms; with the Heathen, an Heathenist; with Atheists, an Atheist; with the Jews, a Jew; and with the Reformers, a Reforinade, purposely to know your intentions, your minds, your hearts, and your inclinations; and thereby bring you at last to be like the fool, that said in his heart, there was no God. These shall spread over the whole world, shall be admitted into the councils of princes, and they never the wiser; charming of them, yea, making your princes
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reveal their hearts, and the secrets therein unto them, and yet they not perceive it: which will happen from falling from the law of God, by neglect of fulfilling of the law of God, and by winking at their sins. Yet in the end, God to justify his law, shall suddenly cut off this society, even by the hands of those who have most succoured them and made use of them ; so that at the end they shall become odious to all nations: they shall be worse than Jews, having no resting-place upon the earth, and then shall a Jew liave more favour thin a Jesnit. Now, to arm you all, good Christians, against these things that are to come, lest ye be led into temptation; cry unto the Lord your God, and heartily pray that he would be so merciful unto you, as to open the eyes of your understanding, that you may behold the wonders and pleasantness that is in his lax. Which God of his mercy grant that you may all do."
Thus concluding with the acts and deeds of this reverend father, we shall end with Queen Mary's designs, how she intended to have persecuted the protestants in Ireland, but was by providence prevented ; as you shall further know by this following relation, being averred by several sufficient persons, as well ecclesiastical as civil.
Queen Mary having dealt severely with the Protestants in England, about the latter end of her reign, signed a commission for to take the same course with them in Ireland : and to execute the same with greater force, she nominates Dr. Cole one of the commissioners, sending the commission by this doctor, who in his journey coming to Chester, the Mayor of that city hearing her Majesty was sending a messenger into Ireland, and he being a Churchman, waited on the doctor, who, in discourse with the Mayor, taketh out of a cloak-bag a leather box, saying unto him, here is a commission that shall lash thé Heretics of Ireland, calling the Protestants by that title. The good woman of the house being well affected to the Protestant religion, and also having a brother named John Edmonds of the same, then a citizen in Dublin, was much troubled at the doctor's words; but watching her convenient time, whilst the Mayor took his leave, and the doctor complimenting him down the stairs, she opens the box and takes the commission out, placing in lieu thereof a sheet of paper with a pack of cards, the Knave of Clubs faced uppermost, wrapt up. The doctor coming up to his chamber, suspecting nothing of what
had been done, put up the box as formerly. The next day, going to the water-side, wind and weather serving him, he sails towards Ireland, and landed on the 7th of October, 1558, at Dublin; then coming to the castle, the Lord Fitz-Walters being Lord Deputy, sent for him to come before him and the Privy Council; who coming in, after he had made a speech, relating upon what account he came over, he presents the box unto the Lord Deputy; who causing it to be opened, that the secretary might read the commission, there was nothing save a pack of cards, with the knave of clubs uppermost; which not only startled the Lord Deputy and Council, but the Doctor, who assured them he had a commission, but knew not how it was gone: then the Lord Deputy made answer, Let us have another commission and we will shuffle the cards in the meanwhile. The Doctor being troubled in his mind, went away and returned into England; and coming to the court, obtained another commission; but staying for a wind at the water-side, news came unto him, that the Queen was dead: and thus God preserved the Protestants in Ireland.
This is a copy of Richard Earl of Cork's memorials, as also of Henry Usher, sometime Lord Primate of Armagh, being also entered amongst Sir James Ware's manuscripts, who bath often heard the late James Usher, Nephew to the said Henry, and also primate of Armagh, aver the same, and wondered that Mr. Fox had not inserted it in his Acts and Monuments; there is yet living a Reverend Father of the Church, Henry now Lord Bishop of Meath, who can affirm this relation from the said James Usher, late Lord Primate of all' Ireland.
Upon the recalling of the Lord Fitz-Walters into Eng. land, Queen Elizabeth, who succeeded her sister, discoursing with the said Lord concerning several passages in Ireland'; amongst other discourses, he related the aloresaid passage that had happened in Ireland : which so delighted the queen, that her Majesty sent for the good woman, named Elizabeth Edmonds, but by her Husband named Mattershead, and gave her a pension of forty pounds durante vita, for saving her Protestant'subjects of Ireland.