O prodigious licentiousness, and hellish misorder, worthy to be drowned in the lake of Lethe! But what, then, is the part of the prince, after that the church hath given judgment? Surely, whensoever need is, he ought, by the private judgment of Christian discretion, to try and examine whether this discipline be rightly executed or not.
It passeth far the orators and muses all to shew the order of the nobles, and how cruel they entreateth the poor common people. What danger it is to the king against God to suffer his land, whereof he bears the charge and the cure temporal, to be in the said misorder so long without remedy.
Whence it followeth, that even as when some bodily sickness spreadeth, a prince’s part is not to prescribe a cure, but to command the physicians to do it; just so, when any abuse, misorder, confusion, or scandal in the church, requireth or maketh it necessary that a mutation be made of some rite or order in the same, and that wholesome laws be enacted, which may serve for the order, decency, and edification of the church, a prince may not do this by himself, but may only command the pastors and guides of the church, who watch for the souls of men as they who must give account, to see to the exigency of the present state of matters ecclesiastical, and to provide such laws as they, being met together in the name of the Lord, shall, after due and free deliberation, find to be convenient, and which, being once prescribed by them, he shall by his royal authority confirm, establish, and press.