[Note: The English usage of
his time is maintained throughout. There are no spelling errors.]
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE, the Lords of Her Majestie's Privy Council:
Whereas I have come out of Germanie and Boëmeland,
being sent by my Superiours, and adventured myself into this noble
Realm, my deare Countrie, for the glorie of God and benefit of souls, I
thought it like enough that, in this busie, watchful, and suspicious
worlde, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of
Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertaine what may become of
me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance, I supposed it
needful to put this writing in a readiness, desiringe your good
Lordships to give it yr reading, for to know my cause. This
doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labour. For that which
otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay
into your hands by plaine confession.
And to ye intent that the whole matter may be conceived in
order, and so the better both understood and remembered, I make thereof
these ix points or articles,
directly, truly, and resolutely opening my full enterprise and purpose.
i. I confesse that I am (albeit unworthie) a priest of ye Catholike
Church, and through ye great mercie of God vowed now
these viii years
into the Religion of the Societie of Jhesus. Hereby I have taken upon
me a special kind of warfare under the banner of obedience, and eke
resigned all my interest or possibilitie of wealth, honour, pleasure,
and other worldlie felicitie.
ii. At the voice of our General Provost----which is to me a warrant
Heaven, and Oracle of Christ----I tooke my voyage from Prage to Rome
(where our said General Father is always resident) and from Rome to
England, as I might and would have done joyously into any part of
Christendome or Heathenesse, had I been thereto assigned.
iii. My charge is, of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the
Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reforme sinners, to confute
errors----in brief, to crie alarme spiritual against foul vice and
ignorance, where- with many my dear Countrymen are abused.
iv. I never had mind, and am strictly forbidden by our Father that sent
me, to deal in any respect with matter of State or Policy of this
realm, as things which appertain not to my vocation, and from which I
do gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts.
v. I do ask, to the glory of God, with all humility, and under your
correction, iii sortes of
indifferent and quiet audiences: the first
before your Honours, wherein I will discourse of religion, so far as it
toucheth the common weale and your nobilities: the second, whereof I
make more account, before the Doctors and Masters and chosen men of
both universities, wherein I undertake to avow the Faith of our
Catholike Church by proofs innumerable, Scriptures, Councils, Fathers,
History, natural and moral reasons: the third before the lawyers,
spiritual and temporal, wherein I will justify the said Faith by the
common wisdom of the laws standing yet in force and practice.
vi. I would be loth to speak anything that might sound of any insolent
brag or challenge, especially being now as a dead man to this world and
willing to put my head under every man's foot, and to kiss the ground
they tread upon. Yet have I such a courage in avouching the Majesty of
Jhesus my King, and such affiance in His gracious favour, and such
assurance in my quarrel, and myevi- dence so impregnable, and because I
know perfectly that no one Protestant, nor all the Protestants living,
nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men down in
pulpits, and overrule us in their kingdom of grammarians and unlearned
ears) can maintain their doctrine in disputation. I am to sue most
humbly and instantly for the combat with all and every of them, and the
most principal that may be found: protesting that in this trial the
better furnished they come, the better welcome they shall be.
vii. Because it hath pleased God to enrich the Queen my Sovereign Ladye
with notable gifts of nature, learning, and princely education, I do
verily trust that----if her Highness would vouchsafe her royal person
good attention to such a conference as, in the ii part of my fifth
article I have motioned, or to a few sermons, which in her or your
hearing I am to utter----such manifest and fair light by good method
plain dealing may be cast upon these controversies, that possibly her
zeal of truth and love of her people shall incline her noble Grace to
disfavour some proceedings hurtful to the Realm, and procure towards
us oppressed more equitie.
viii. Moreover I doubt not but you, her Highness' Council, being of
such wisdom and discreet in cases most important, when you shall have
heard these questions of religion opened faithfully, which many times
by our adversaries are huddled up and confounded, will see upon what
substantial grounds our Catholike Faith is builded, how feeble that
side is which by sway of the time prevaileth against us, and so at
last for your own souls, and for many thousand souls that depend upon
your government, will discountenance error when it is bewrayed, and
hearken to those who would spend the best blood in their bodies for
your salvation. Many innocent hands are lifted up to Heaven for you
daily by those English students, whose posteritie shall never die,
which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the
purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you
Heaven, or to die upon your pikes.
And touching our Societie, be it known to you that we have made a
league----all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude
must overreach all the practices of England----cheerfully to carry the
cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while
we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your
torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the
enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the Faith
was planted: so 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 do you good, shall be rewarded
with rigour, I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine
to Almightie God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us His grace, and
set us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last
be friends in Heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.
Taken from SAINT EDMUND CAMPION, PRIEST AND MARTYR, Evelyn
Waugh, 1937, available from Amazon HERE.