or anſwere in defence of the
Churche of Englande,
with a briefe and plaine
declaration of the true
and uſed in
To the right honorable learned and vertuous Ladie A.B.Anne Bacon, M.C. wiſheth from God grace, honoure, and felicitie.
Madame, according to your requeſt I have peruſed your ſtudious labour of trāanſlatiōon profitably imploied in a right cōommendable work. Whereof for that it liked you to make me a Judge, and for that the thinge it ſelfe hath ſingularly pleaſed my judgement, and delighted my mind in reading it, I have right heartely to thanke your Ladiſhip, both for youre owne well thinking of me, and for the comforte that it hathe wrought me. But far above theſe private reſpectes, I am by greater cauſes enforced, not onely to ſhewe my rejoyſe of this your doinge, but alſo to teſtify the ſame by this my writing prefixed before the work, to the commoditie of others, and good incouragement of your ſelfe. You have uſed your accuſtomed modeſtie in ſubmittinge it to judgement, but therin is your prayſe vii π3v prayſe doubled, ſith it hath paſſed judgemēent without reproche. And whereas bothe the chiefe author of the Latine worke and I, ſeverallye peruſinge and conferringe youre whole tranſlation, have without alteration allowed of it, I muſt bothe deſire youre Ladiship, and advertiſe the readers, to thinke that wee have not therein given any thinge to any diſſemblinge affection towards you, as beinge contented to winke at faultes to pleaſe you, or to make you without cauſe to pleaſe your ſelfe: for there be ſundry reſpectes to drawe us from ſo doinge, althoughe we were ſo evil minded, as there is no cauſe why we ſhould be ſo thought of. Your own judgement in diſcerning flatterie, your modeſtie in miſlikinge it, the layenge open of oure opinion to the world, the truth of our friendiſhip towardes you, the unwillingneſſe of us bothe (in reſpecte of our vocations) to have this publike worke not truely and wel tranſlated, are good cauſes to perſwade, that our allowance is of ſincere truth and underſtanding: By which your travail (Madame) you have expreſſed an acceptable dutye to the glorye of God, deſerved well of this Churche viii π4r Churche of Chriſte, honourablie defended the good fame and eſtimation of your owne native tongue, ſhewing it ſo able to contend with a worke originally written in the moſt praiſed ſpeache: and beſides the honour ye have done to the kinde of women and to the degree of Ladies, ye have done pleaſure to the Author of the Latine boke, in deliveringe him by your cleare tranſlation from the perrils of ambiguous and doubtful conſtructions: and in makinge his good woorke more publikely beneficiall: wherby ye have rayſed up great comforte to your friendes, and have furniſhed your owne conſcience joyfully with the fruit of your labour, in ſo occupienge your time: whiche muſt needes redounde to the encoragemente of noble youth in their good educatiōon, and to ſpend their time and knowledge in godly exerciſe, havinge delivered them by you ſo ſingular a preſident. Whiche youre doinge good Madame, as God (I am ſure) doth accept and will bleſſe with increaſe, ſo youre and ours moſte vertuous and learned ſoveraigne Ladie and Maſtres ſhal ſee good cauſe to commende: and all noble gentlewomen ſhall (I ix π4v (I truſt) hereby be alured from vain delights to doinges of more perfect glory. And I for my part (as occaſion may ſerve) ſhal exhort other to take profit by your worke, and followe your example: whoſe ſucceſſe I beſeche our heavenly father to bleſſe and proſpere. And now to thende bothe to acknowledge my good approbatiōon, and to ſpread the benefit more largely, where your Ladishippe hathe ſent me your boke writen, I have with moſt hearty thankes returned it to you (as you ſee) printed: knowing that I have therin done the beſte, and in this poynte uſed a reaſonable pollicye: that is, to prevent ſuche excuſes as your modeſtie woulde have made in ſtaye of publiſhinge it. And thus at this time I leave furder to trouble youre good Ladishippe.
M.#ornamentC.Mathew Parker, abp. of Canterburyx π5r other xi π5v other
An Apologie or aunſwere in defence of the Church of England, with a briefe and plaine declaration of the true Religion profeſſed and uſed in the ſame.
It hath been an olde complaint, even from the firſt time of the Patriarks ; Prophetes, and confirmed Tertull.Tertullian in Apologetico. by the writinges and teſtimonies of every age, that the Truth wandereth here and there as a ſtraunger in the world, ; doth redily fynde enemies and flaunderers amongſt thoſe that knowe her not. Albeit perchaunce this may ſeeme unto ſome a thinge harde to bee beleeved, I meane to ſuche as have ſcante well and narowly taken heed thereunto, ſpecially ſeing all mankind of natures very motion without a teacher doth coveite the truth of their owne accorde: and ſeinge oure Savioure Chriſte hym ſelfe, when A.i. he 2 A1v he was on earthe woulde bee called the Truthe, as by a name moſte fytte to expreſſe all hys divine power: yet wee, whiche have been exerciſed in the holie ſcriptures, and which have bothe redde ; ſeene what hath happened to all godly menne commonly at all tymes, what to the Prophets, to the Apoſtles, to the holie Martyres, and what to Chriſte hym ſelfe, with what rebukes, revilings and diſpightes they were continually vexed whyles they heere lyved, and that onely for the truthes ſake: wee (I ſaye) do ſee, that this is not onely no newe thinge or harde to be beleved, but that it is a thing already receaved and commonlye uſed from age to age. Nay truly, this might ſeeme muche rather a mervayle and beyonde all beleife, yf the Divell, John.8. who is the father of lyes and ennemye to all truthe, woulde nowe uppon a ſodaine chaunge his nature, and hope that truthe might otherwyſe be ſuppreſſed, then by belyenge yt: Or that he would beginne 3 A2r beginne to eſtabliſhe his owne kingdom by uſing now any other practiſes, then the ſame whiche he hathe ever uſed from the beginning, for ſince any mans remembraunce, wee canne ſkante finde one time, either when Religion did firſt growe, or when it was ſetled, or when it did a freſhe ſpringe up againe, wherin truth and innocencye were not by all unworthy meanes and moſt diſpitfully intreated. Doubtleſſe the Dyvell well ſeeth, that ſo longe as truth is in good ſavety, hym ſelfe cannot be ſafe, nor yet maintaine his owne eſtate.
For lettinge paſſe the auncient patriarkes and Prophetes, who, as we ſayd had no parte of their lyfe free from contumelies and ſlaunders. Wee knowe there were certaine in tymes paſt, whiche ſaid ; commonly preached, that the old aūuncient Jewes (of whom we make no doubt but thei wer the worſhippers of the onely and true God) did worſhipp A.ii. either 4 A2v Cornel.Cornelius Tacitus. eyther a ſowe or an aſſe in Gods ſteede, and that all the ſame Religion was nothinge els, but a ſacriledge and a plaine contempt of all godlynes. We know alſo that the ſonne of God, our Savioure Mar. 11. Jeſu Chriſte, when hee taughte the truthe, was coumpted a Jugler and an enchanter, a Samaritan, Belzebub, a deceiver of the people, a dronkard, and a Glutton. Againe, who wotteth not what woordes were ſpoken agaynſte Sainct Paule the moſt earneſt and vehement preacher and maintainour of the truth. Sometime that he was a ſeditious and buſy man, a raiſer of tumultes, a cauſer of rebellion: ſometime againe that he was an heretique, ſomtime that he was mad: Somtime that onely uppon ſtrife and ſtomacke he was bothe a blaſphemer of Gods lawe, and a deſpiſer of the Fathers ordinances. Further who knoweth not howe Sainct Stephan after he had throughly ; ſincerely embraced the truth, and beganne franklyely 5 A3r lye and ſtoutly to preache and ſet forthe the ſame as he ought to do, was immediatlye called to aunſwere for his life, as one that had wickedly utered diſdainful and haynous wordes againſt the lawe, againſt Moyſes, againſt the Temple, and againſt God? Or who is ignorant that in tymes paſt there werre ſome which reproved the holye Scriptures of falſehood, ſaying they conteined thinges both contrary and quite one againſt Marcion ex Tertul. Aelius e` Lactantio. an other: and howe that the Apoſtles of Chriſte did ſeverallye diſagree betwixt them ſelves, and that S.Saint Paule did vary from them all? And not to make rehearſal of al, for that were an endles labour: who knoweth not after what forte our Fathers were raiſed upon in times paſt, which firſt began to acknowledge and Euſeb.Eusebius li. 5. cap.capitle 11. Tertull.Tertullian in Apologe.Apologetico 3. Idem.1.2. 3. ;7.8.9. profeſſe the name of Chriſte, howe they made privat conſpiracies, deviſed ſecrete councels againſt the common welth, ; to that end made earelie and privie meetinges in the darke, kylled yonge babes, A.iii. fedde 6 A3v fedd themſelves with mens fleſhe, and lyke ſavage and brute beaſtes, didde drinke their bloude? In concluſion, howe that after they had put out the candels, they committed adulterye betweene themſelves, and without regarde wrought inceſt one with an other, that Brethren laie with their ſiſters, ſonnes with their Mothers, without any reverence of nature or kynne, without ſhame, without difference: and that thei wer wicked men without all care of Religion, and without anye opinion of God, being the very ennemies of mankinde, unworthy to be ſuffered in the worlde, and unworthie of lyfe?
All theſe thinges wer ſpoken in thoſe daies againſt the people of God, againſt Chriſt Jeſu, againſt Paul, againſt Stephan, and againſt all them whoſoever they were, which at the firſt beginninge imbraced the truthe of the Goſpell, and were contented to be called by the name of Chriſtians; which was then an hatefullfull 7 A4r full name amonge the common people. And although the thinges whiche they Tertull.Tertullian in Apolo.Apologetico cap. 3. ſaid, wer not true, yet the Divel thought it ſhoulde be ſufficient for him, yf at the leaſt he coulde bringe it ſo to paſſe, as they might bee beleeved for true: and that the Chriſtians might bee brought into a commōon hatred of every body, and have their death and deſtruction ſought of all ſortes. Hereupon Kings and Princes beinge ledde then by ſuche perſwaſions, killed all the Prophetes of God lettinge none eſcape: Eſai with a ſawe, Jeremy with ſtones, Daniell with Lyons, Amos with an yron barre, Paule with the ſword, ; Chriſt upon the croſſe and condemned all Chriſtians to impriſonmentes, to tormentes, to the pikes, to be thrwone doune headlong from rocks ; Suetoni in Tranquill. in Nerone. ſtepe places, to be caſte to wild beaſtes and to be burnt, ; made great fyres of their quicke bodies, for the only purpose to give light by the night, ; for a very ſcorne ; mockinge ſtocke: and didde compt them A.iiii. no 8 A4v no better then the vileſt fylth, thofſcouringes and laughing games of the whole worlde. Thus (as ye ſee) have the Authors and profeſſours of the trueth ever ben entreated.
Wherefore wee oughte to beare yt the more quyetlye, which have taken uppon us to profeſſe the Goſpell of Chriſt, yf we for the ſame cauſe be handled after the ſame ſorte: and yf wee, as our forefathers weare longe a go, bee lykewyſe at thys day tormented ; bayted with raylings, with ſpitefull dealinges and with lyes, and that for no deſert of our owne, but onely bicauſe we teach and acknowledge the truthe.
They crye out upon us at thys preſent every wheare, that we are all heretiques, and have forſaken the fayth, and have with newe perſwaſions and wicked learninge utterly dyſſolved the concorde of the Churche, that we renew, ; as it weare, fetche againe from hell, the olde and many a daye condempned hereſyes:reſyes: 9 A5r reſyes: that we ſow abroade newe ſects, and ſuche broyles as never yearſt weare hearde of: alſo that we are already devided into contrarye partes and opinions, and coulde yet by no meanes agree well amonge oure ſelves: that wee be curſed creatures, ; lyke the Gyauntes do warre againſte God him ſelfe, and lyve cleane without any regarde or worſhippinge of God: that we deſpiſe all good deedes: that we uſe noe discipline of vertue, no lawes, no cuſtomes: that we eſteeme neither righte, nor order, nor equitie, nor juſtice: that we geve the brydell to al naughtines, and provoke the people to all lycenciouſnes and luſt: that we labour ; ſeke to overthrowe the ſtate of Monarchies and Kyngdomes, and to bringe al thinges under the rule of the raſhe incōonſtante people and unlearned multitude: that wee have ſeditiouſly fallen from the Catholique Churche, and by a wycked ſchiſme and diviſion have ſhaken the whole worlde, and trobled the common A.v. peace 10 A5v peace and universal quiet of the church: and that as Dathan and Abyron conſpired in times paſt againſt Moiſes and Aaron, even ſo wee at this day have renounced the Byſhop of Rome without anye cauſe reſonable: that we ſet nought by the aucthoritie of thauncient fathers and Councels of oulde time: that wee have raſhly and preſumptuouſly diſanulled the olde cerimonies, which have ben well alowed by oure fathers and forefathers manye hundreth yeare paſt, bothe by good cuſtomes and alſo in ages of more puritie: and that wee have by our owne private head, without the aucthoritie of any ſacred and general Councell brought new traditions into the Church, and have don all theſe thinges not for Religions ſake, but only uppon a deſyre of contention and ſtryfe.
But that they for theyr parte have chaunged no maner of thinge, but have helde and kepte ſtill ſuche a nomber of yeares to this verye day all thinges as they 11 A6r they were delivered from the Apoſtles, and well approved by the moſt auncient Fathers.
And that thys matter ſhoulde not ſeeme to be don but uppon privie ſlaunder, and to be toſſed to and fro in a corner, onely to ſpyte us, there have ben beſides wylely procured by the Byſſhop of Rome, certaine parſons of eloquince yenough, and not unlearned neyther, whiche ſhoulde put theyre helpe to thys cauſe now almoſt deſpaired of, ; ſhould polyſhe and ſet furth the ſame, both in bookes and with long tales, to the end, that when the matter was trymlye and eloquently handled, ignorant and unſkilfull perſons mighte ſuſpecte there was ſom great thing in it. In deede they perceived that their owne cauſe did everye where go to wracke, that their Neightes were nowe eſpyed and leſſe eſteemed, ; that their helpes did dayly fayle them ; that their matter ſtoode altogether with great neede of a conninge ſpokeſman. Now 12 A6v Now as for thoſe things which by thēem have been layed againſt us, in part they be manifeſtly falſe ; condempned ſo by their owne judgementes whiche ſpake thēen, partly again, though thei be as falſe to in deede, yet beare thei a certain ſhew and colour of truth, ſo as the Reader (if he take not good hede) may eaſily be tripped and brought into errour by them, ſpecially when their fine and cunninge tale is added thereunto: and part of them be of ſuche ſorte, as wee oughte not to ſhunne them as crimes or faultes, but to acknowledg ; profeſſe them as thinges well done, and upon very good reaſon.
For shortely to ſay the truth, theſe folke falſely accuſe and ſlaunder all oure doinges: yea the ſame thinges whiche they themſelves can not deny but to be rightly and orderly don, and for malice do ſo miſconſtre and deprave al our ſayinges and doinges, as though it were impoſſible, that any thinge could be rightlyly 13 A7r ly ſpokēen or don by us. They ſhould more plainly ; ſincerely have gon to worke if thei would have dealt truely, but now they neither truelye nor ſincerelye: nor yet Chriſtianly, but darklye and craftely charge and batter us with lyes, and doe abuſe the blindenes ; fondenes of the people, together with the ignoraunce of Princes, to cauſe us to be hated, and the truth to be ſuppreſſed.
This, lo ye, is the power of darkenes, and of men which leane more to the amaſed wondering of the rude multitude and to darknes, then they doe to the truth and light: and as S.Saint Hierome ſaieth, which doe openly gainſay the truth, cloſing up their eyes, and wil not ſe for the nonce. But wee give thankes to the moſt good ; mighty God, tthat ſuch is our cauſe, wher againſt (whēen they woulde fayneſt) they were able to utter no diſpite, but the ſame which might aſwell bee wreſted againſte the holye Fathers, againſt the Prophetes, againſt the Apoſtles, ſtles 14 A7v ſtles, againſt Peter, againſt Paule, and againſt Chriſt himſelfe.
Nowe therefore, if it be leefull for theſe folkes to be eloquent and fine tonged in ſpeaking evil, ſurely it becōommeth not us in our cauſe, being ſo very good, to be dumme in anſwering truelye. For men to be careleſſe what ys ſpoken by them and their own matter, bee it never ſo falſelye and ſlaunderouſelye ſpoken, (eſpeciallie when it is ſuche, that the Majeſtie of God and the cauſe of religiōon may therby be dammaged) is the part doubtles of diſſolute and retcheles perſons, ; of them which wickedlye winke at the injuries don unto the name of God. For although other wrōonges, yea oftentimes great, may be borne and diſſembled of a milde ; Chriſtiāan man, yet hee that goeth ſmothelye awaye and diſſembleth the mater when he is noted of hereſy, Ruffinus was wont to deny that man to be a Chriſtian. We therefore will do the ſamethinge which all lawes, which naturestures 15 A8r tures owne voyce dothe command to be don, and whiche Chriſte him ſelfe did in like caſe when he was checked and temted, to the intent we may put of from us theſe mens ſlaunderous accuſations, and may defend ſoberly and truely our own cauſe and innocencie.
For Chriſt verelye when the Pharyſies charged him with forcery as one that had ſome familiar Spirites, ; wrought many thinges by their helpe. I saide he, have not the Dyvell, but done glorifie my father: but it is you, that have diſhonored me, and put me to rebuke and shame. And S.Saint Paul when Feſtus the Lieutenaūunt ſcorned him as a mad man: I (saide he) moſte deere Feſtus, am not madde as thou thinkeſt, but I ſpeake the wordes of truth and ſobrenes. And the auncient Chriſtians when they wer ſlaundered to the people for mankillers, for adulterors, for committers of inceſt for diſturbers of common weales, and did perceave that by ſuche ſlaunderous accuſations the Religion which they profeſſed,feſſed 16 A8v feſſed, might be brought in queſtion, namely if they should ſeeme to hold their peace, and in māanner to confeſſe the fault: leſt this might hinder the free courſe of the Goſpell, they made Orations, they put up ſupplications, and made meanes to Emperors and Princes, that they might defend them ſelves and theyr fellowes in open audience.
But we trulye, ſeeing that ſo many thowſandes of our brethren in theſe laſt twenty yeares have borne witnes unto the truth, in the middeſt of moſt painfull tormēents that could be deviſed: and when Princes deſirous to reſtraine the Goſpel ſought many wayes but prevayled nothinge, and that now almoſt the whole worlde dothe begynne to open theyre eyes to behold the light: we take it that our cauſe hath already ben ſufficiently declared and defended, and thinke it not needfull to make many wordes, ſince the very matter faith inough for yt ſelfe. For yf the Popes woulde, or els if they could weigh 17 B1r weigh with their own ſelves the whole matter, and alſo the beginning and procedinges of our Religion, how in a māanner al their travail hath com to nought, no body driving it forwarde, and without any wordely helpe: and howe on the other side, our cauſe, againſte the will of Emperoures, from the beginning againſt the willes of ſo many Kynges, in ſpite of the Popes, and almoſte maugre the head of al men, hath taken encreaſe, and by little and little ſpredde over into all countries, and is com at length even into Kings courtes and Palaices. Theſe same thinges me thinketh might bee tokens greate ynough to them, that God him ſelf doth ſtrongly fight in our quarrel, and doth from heaven laugh at their enterpriſes: ; that the force of the truth is ſuche, as neither mans power, nor yet hell gates are able to roote it oute. For they be not all mad at this day, ſo many free Cities, ſo manye Kynges, ſo manye Princes which have fallen away from B.i. the 18 B1v the Seate of Roome, and have rather toyned themſelves to the Goſpell of Chriſte.
And although the Popes had never hetherunto leaſour to conſider diligentely and earneſtly of theſe matters, or thoughe ſome other cares do nowe lett them and dyverſe wayes pull them, or though they coūumpt theſe to be but cōommon and trieflinge ſtudies, and nothinge to appertain to the Popes worthines, this maketh not why oure matter oughte to ſeeme the worſe. Or yf they perchaunce will not ſee that whiche they ſe in deede, but rather will withſtande the knowen truth, ought wee therefore by and by to be coumpted heretikes, bycauſe we obay not their will and pleaſure. Yf ſo be that Pope Pius were the man (we ſay not which he would ſo gladly be called) but if he were in deede a man that eyther woulde accoumpte us for his brethrene, or at leaſt woulde take us to be men, he woulde firſte diligently have examinedamined 19 B2r amined our reaſons, and woulde have ſene what might be ſaied with us, what againſte us, and woulde not in his Bull whereby he lately pretended a Coūuncel, ſo raſhely have condēemned ſo great a part of the worlde, ſo many learned and godly men, ſo manye common wealthes, ſo many kyngs, and ſo many Prynces, only uppon his owne blynd prejudices and foredeterminations, and that without hearing of them ſpeak, or without ſhewing cauſe whye.
But bycauſe he hath alredy ſo noted us openlye, leaſt by holdynge oure peace we ſhould ſeme to graunt a fault, and ſpecially bycauſe we can by no meane have audience in the publik aſſembly of the general Councel, wherein he would no creature ſhould have power to geve his voice or declare his opinion, excepte he were ſworne and ſtraightly bounde to maintaine his aucthoritie.
For wee have had good experience hereof in his laſt conference at the councelB.ii. cell 20 B2v cel at Trident, where the embaſſadours ; divines of the Princes of Germany and of the free Cities were quite ſhutte out from their company: nother can we yet forget, how Julius the third, above ten yeares paſt, provided warely by his writt, that none of our ſorte ſhoulde bee ſuffered to ſpeake in the Councell (except there were ſom paradventure that wolde recante and chaunge his opinion). For this cauſe chieflye we thoughte it good to yelde up an accoumpte of oure faith in writing, ; truely and openly to make aunſwere to thoſe things wherwith wee have ben openly charged, to thende the worlde may ſee the partes and foundacions of that doctrine, in the behalfe whereof ſo many good men have litle regarded their oune lyves. And that al men may underſtand what manner of people they be, and what opinion they have of God and of Religion, whome the Byſſhop of Rome before they were called to tell theire tale, hath condemned for heretikes,retikes, 21 B3r retikes, without any good conſideratiōon, without any exaumple, ; utterly without lawe or righte, onelye bycauſe he hearde tell that they did diſſente from hym and his in ſom pointe of Religion.
And although S.Saint Hierome would have no bodie to be patient when he is ſuſpected of hereſy, yet we wil deal herein nether bitterly nor brablingly, nor yet be caried away with angre ; heate, though he ought to be reckned neither bitter nor brabler that speaketh the truth. We willingly leave thys kynde of eloquence to oure adverſaries, who whatſoever they ſay againſt us, be it never ſo ſhrewdly or dispitefully ſayde, yet thinke it is ſayd modeſtely and comely ynough, and care nothing whether it be trew or falſe. Wee neede none of theſe ſhyftes which do maintaine the truthe.
Further, yf wee do ſhewe it plaine that Gods holie Goſpell, the aunciente Byſhops and primative Churche do make on our ſyde, and that wee have B.iii. not 22 B3v not without juſt cauſe left theſe men, and rather have retourned to the Apoſtles and oulde catholique Fathers. And yf wee shall be founde to doe the ſame not coulorably or craftely, but in good faith, before God, truly, honeſtly, cleerely and plainly: and yf they thēemſelves which flye our doctrine and woulde be called Catholiks, shall manifeſtly ſee how al thoſe titles of antiquitie whereof they boſte ſo much, ar quite ſhaken out of their hāands, and that there is more pith in this oure cauſe then they thoughte for, wee then hope and truſt that none of them wil be ſo negligent and careles of his own ſalvation, but he will at length ſtudye and bethinke him ſelfe, to whether parte hee were beſt to joyne him. Undoubtedlye, excepte one will altogether harden his hearte and refuſe to heare, he ſhal not repent him to geve good heede to this our defence and to mark well what wee ſay ; how truly and juſtly it agreeth with Chriſtian Religion.
For where they call us Heretikes, it 23 B4r it is a crime ſo haynous, that onles it may be ſeene, unles it may be felt, ; in māanner may be holdēen with hands and fingers, it ought not lightly to be judged or beleved when it is laide to the charge of any Chriſtian man. For hereſy is a forſaking of ſalvatiōon, a renouncing of Gods grace, a departing from the body and ſpirite of Chriſte. But this was ever an olde and ſolempne propretye with them and theire forefathers, yf any did complaine of their errours and faultes, and deſired to have true Religion reſtored, ſtreighte waye to cōondemne ſuch one for heretikes, as men new fangled ; factious. Chriſte for no nother cauſe was called a Samaritan, but onely for that he was thoughte to have fallen to a certaine newe Religion, and to be the Aucthor of a newe ſect. And Paul thapoſtle of Chriſte was called before the Judges to make aunſwere to a matter of hereſy, and therfore A.I.24. hee ſaied: Acordinge to this way whiche they call Hereſye, I doo worſhippe the God of my Fathers, beleevinge B.iiii. all 24 B4v all thinges which be written in the law and in the Prophets.
Shortely to ſpeake. This univerſal Tertull in Apologetico. Religion whiche Chriſten men profeſſe at this day, was called firſte of the heathen people a Sect ; Hereſy. With theſe termes did they alwaies fil prīinces eares, to thintent when they had once hated us with a fordetermined opinion, and had coumpted all that wee ſayed to bee faction and hereſy, they might be ſo ledd away from the truth ; right underſtāanding of the cauſe; But the more ſore and outragious a crime hereſye is, the more it ought to be proved by plaine and ſtrong argumentes, eſpecially in this time, whēen men begin to geve leſſe credite to theyre words, ; to make more diligent ſearche of theyr doctrine then they were wont to do. For the people of God ar otherwyſe inſtructed now then they were in times paſt, when all the Byſhopps of Romes ſayenges were allowed for Goſpell, ; when all Religion did depende only uponon 25 B5r on their aucthoritie. Nowe a daies the holie ſcripture is abroad, the writinges of the Apoſtles ; Prophets ar in printe, whereby all truth and Catholyke doctrine may be proved, and all hereſie may be diſproved and confuted.
Sithens then they bring furth none of theſe for them ſelves, and call us nevertheles Heretiques, which have nether fallen from Chriſt nor from the Apoſtles, nor yet from the Prophets, this ys an injurious and a very ſpitefull dealinge. With this ſword did Chriſte put of the Dyvel when he was tempted of him: with theſe weapons oughte all preſumption which doth avaūunce it ſelfe againſt God, to be overthrowen and cōonquered. For al 2.Tim.3. Scripture, ſayeth S.Saint Paule, that commeth by the inſpiration of God, is profitable to teach, to confute, to inſtruct, and to reprove, that the man of God may be perfect and throughly framed to every good work. Thus did the holy Fathers alway fight agaynſt the heretikes with B.v. none 26 B5v none other force then with the holy ſcriptures. De Vnitate Eccle. cap. 3. Et contra Maximinūum Arrianorum epiſcop. li. 3. Cap. 14. S.SaintAuguſtin when he diſputed againſt Petilian an heritike of the Donatiſtes: Let not theſe woordes, quod he, be heard betwene us: I ſay, or, you ſay: let us rather ſpeake in this wiſe: Thus ſayeth the Lorde: there let us ſeeke the Church, ther let us boult out our cauſe. In primum. capus Agga Lykewiſe S.SaintHierome: All thoſe things (ſayth he) which without the teſtimonie of the ſcriptures are holden as delivered from the Apoſtles, be throughly ſmitten down by the ſword of Gods worde. S.Saint Ambroſe alſo to Gratianus the Emperour: Let the ſcripture (ſayeth he) bee aſked the queſtion, let the Apoſtles be aſked, let the Prophets be asked, ; let Chriſt be asked. For at that time made the Catholik Fathers and Byſſhops no doubt, but that our Religion mighte be proved out of the holy ſcriptures. Neither were they ever ſo hardy to take any for an heritike, whoſe error they coulde not evidently ; apparently reprove by the ſelfe ſame 27 B6r ſame ſcripturs. And we verely to make aunſwere on this wiſe as S.SaintPaul did: According to this way which they cal hereſie, we do worſhip God and the father of our Lorde Jeſus Chriſt, ; do allowe all thinges which have ben written either in the Law or in the Prophets, or in the Apoſtles workes.
Wherefore yf we be heretikes, and they (as they woulde faine be called) bee Catholikes, why do they not, as they ſee the fathers which were Catholike men, have alwaies don? why do they not convince and maiſter us by the divine ſcriptures? why do they not call us agayn to be tryed by them? why do they not lay before us howe wee have gon away frōom Chriſt, from the Prophets, from the Apoſtels, and from the holy fathers? why ſtick they to do it? why are they afraide of it? It is Gods cauſe: whye are they doubtful to commit it to the trial of gods worde; yf wee be heretikes which referre all our controverſies unto the the holy ſcriptures,tures 28 B6v tures, ; report us to the ſelfe ſame words, which wee knowe were ſealed by God him ſelf, and in compariſon of them ſet little by all other thinges whatſoever may be deviſed by men, howe ſhall wee ſay to theſe folke I pray you, what māanner of men be they, ; howe is it meete to call them, which feare the judgement of the holy ſcriptures, that is to ſay, the judgement of God hym ſelf, and do preferre before them theyr owne Dreames, and full colde Inventions: and to maintaine their owne traditions, have defaced and corrupted now theſe many hundred yeares the ordinances of Chriſte and of the Apoſtles?
Men ſay that Sophocles the tragicall Poet, when in his oulde dayes he was by his own ſonnes accuſed before the Judges for a dotinge and ſottiſhe man, as one that fondelye waſted hys owne ſubſtaunce, and ſeemed to neede a Governour to ſee unto him: to thintent he might cleere him ſelfe of the faulte, he came 29 B7r came into the place of Judgemente, and when he had rehearſed before them his Tragedye called Oedipus Coloneus, which he had written at the verye tyme of his accuſation, marvelous exactly and conningly, did of him ſelfe aſke the Judges, whether they thought any ſottiſh or doting man could do the like peece of worke.
In like manner, bycauſe theſe men take us to be mad, and appeache us for heretikes, as men which have nothing to do neyther with Chriſt, nor with the Churche of God, wee have judged yt ſhoulde be to good purpoſe and not unprofitable, yf wee doe openlye and frankely ſet furth our faith wherein we ſtande, and ſhew al that confidence which wee have in Chriſte Jhesu, to the intent al men may ſe what is oure judgement of every parte of Chriſtian religion, and may reſolve with them ſelves, whether the faith which they ſhall ſee cōonfirmed by the words of Chriſt, by the writinges of 30 B7v of the Apoſtles, by the teſtimonies of the catholique Fathers, and by the exaumples of many ages, be but a certain rage of furious and mad men, and a conſpiracie of heretikes. This therefore is oure Belieffe.
We beleeve that there is one certaine nature and divine power, whiche wee call God: and that the ſame is divided into three equall perſons, into the Father, into the Sonn, and into the holy Ghoſte, and that they all be of owne power, of one Majeſtie, of one eternitie, of one Godhed, and of one ſubſtāance. And although theſe three perſons be ſo divided, that neither the Father is the ſonne, nor the ſonn is the holy Ghoſt or the Father, yet nevertheles wee beleeve the there is but one very God. And that the ſame one God hath created heavēen and earth, and al thinges contained under heaven.
Wee beleeve that Jesus Chriſte the onely Sonne of the eternall Father (as long before it was determined before all beginn- 31 B8r beginninges) when the fullnes of tyme was com, did take of that bleſſed ; pure Virgin, bothe fleſhe ; all the nature of man, that he might declare to the world the ſecret ; hid will of his father: which will had ben laide up from before all ages and generatiōons. And that he might full finiſhe in his humaine bodie the miſterie of our redēemption, ; might faſten to the croſſe our ſinnes, and alſo that handwritinge which was made againſte us.
We beleve that for our ſake he dyed, and was buried, deſcendyd into hell, the third day by the power of his Godhed retorned to lyfe and roſe again, and that the fourtyth day after his reſurrectiōon, whiles his Diſciples behelde and loked uppon him, he aſcendid into heaven, to fulfill all thinges, and did place in majeſtie and glory the ſelfe ſame body wherewith Auguſtin.Augustinum tracta. 50. in Iohan he was borne, wherin he lived on earth, wherin he was teſted at, wherein he had ſuffred moſt painful torments ; cruell kinde of death, wherein he roſe againe 32 B8v againe, and wherein he aſcendid to the right hand of the Father, above all rule, above all power, all force, all Dominiōon, and above every name which is named not onely in this worlde, but alſo in the Actor. 3. world to com. And that there he now ſitteth, and ſhall ſyt, till all thinges be full perfetted. And althoughe the Majeſtie In Epiſt. ad Dardanum. and Godhed of Chriſt be every wheare habundauntly diſperſed, yet wee beleeve that his body, as S.Saint Auguſtine ſaieth, muſt needes be ſtill in one place: ; that Chriſt hath geven majeſty unto his bodye, but yet hath not takēen away from it the nature of a body: and that wee muſt not ſo affirme flawed-reproductionthree words Chriſt to be God, that wee deny hym to be man: and, as the Martyr Vigilius ſayth, that Chriſt hath left us as touching his humaine nature, but hath not left us as touchinge his divine nature. Fulgent. ad Tonaſia mundum. And that the ſame Chriſt, though he bee abſent from us concerning his māanhood, yet is ever preſent with us concerning his Godhed.From 33 C1r
From that place alſo wee beleeve that Chriſt ſhall com againe to execute that general judgemēent, aſwel of them whom he ſhall then fynde alive in the bodye, as of them that be already dead.
Wee beleeve that the holy Ghoſte, who is the third perſon in the holie Trinitie, is very God: not made, not creat, not begotten, but proceding from both the Father and the Sonne, by a certain meane unknowen unto men ; unſpeakable, and that it is his propretie to mollifie and ſoften the hardnes of mans heart, when he is once received thereunto, eyther by the holſom preaching of the Goſpell, or by any other way: that he dothe geve men light, and guide them unto the knowledge of God, to al waye of truth, to newnes of the whole liefe, and to everlaſtinge hope of ſalvation.
Wee beleeve that there is one Church of God, and that the ſame is not ſhutte up (as in times paſt amonge the Jewes) into ſome one corner or kyngdome, but C.i. that 34 C1v that it is catholique and univerſall, and diſperſed throughout the whole worlde. So that there is now no nation which can truly complaine that they bee ſhutt furth, ; maye not be one of the Church ; people of God: And that this Churche is the kingedome, the bodye and the ſpouſe of Chriſte: and that Chriſt alone is the Prince of thys kyngedome, that Chriſt alone is the heade of this bodye, and that Christ alone is the brydgrome of this ſpouſe.
Furthermore that there be dyverſe degrees of miniſters in the church, wher of ſome be deacons, ſome preeſtes, ſome Byſhops, to whom is committed the office to inſtruct the people, and the whole charge and ſettinge furth of Religion: yet not withſtanding we ſay that there neither is nor can be any one māan, which may have the whole ſuperioritie in this univerſall ſtate, for that Chriſte is ever preſent to aſſiſt his Church, and nedeth not any man to ſupply his roome, as his onely 35 C2r onely heyre to all his ſubſtaunce: and that there can bee noe one mortall creature, which is able to comprehēend or conceave in his minde the univerſall Churche, tthat is to witte, all the partes of the worlde, muche les able to put them in ordre and to governe them rightly and duely. For De Simpli. prælat. all the Apoſtles, as Cyprian ſayeth, were of lyke power among themſelves, and the reſt were the ſame that Peter was, and that it was ſayed indifferently to them al, Feed ye: indifferentlye to them all, Goe Ad Eillegibleapproximately 5 letters into the whole world: indifferently to thēem al, Teache ye the goſpell: And as Hierom ſaithe, all Byſhoppes whereſoever they be, be they at Rome, be they at Eugubium, be they at Conſtantinople, be they De Simpli. prælatorum. at Rhegium, be all of lyke preeminence, and of like preeſthood. And as Cyprian ſaith, there is but one Byſhoprike, and that a peece therof is perfitely ; wholy holdēen of every particular Byſhop: ; according to the judgement of the Nicene Counſel wee ſay that the Byſhop of Rome hath C.ii. nomore 36 C2v nomore juriſdiction over the churche of God, then the reſt of the Patriarkes either of Alexandria or Antiochia have. And as for the Byſhop of Rome, who nowe calleth all matters before him ſelfe alone, except he do his deuty as he ought to do, except he adminiſter the ſacraments, excepte he inſtructe the people, excepte he warne them and teache them, wee ſay that he ought not of right once to bee called a Byſſhop, or ſo much as an elder. For a Byſhop, as ſaithe Auguſtine, is a name of labour and not of honour: bycauſe he would have that māan to underſtand him ſelfe to be no Byſhop, which wil ſeke to have preeminence, and not to profyt others: And that neither the Pope nor any other wordly creature, can nomore be head of the whole Church or a Byſhop over all, then he can be the brydegrome, the lighte, the salvation, and lyfe of the Church. For theſe privileges and names belong onely to Chriſte, and be proprely ; onely fyt for hym alone. And that no Byſſhop 37 C3r Byſſhop of Rome did ever ſuffer hymſelfe to be called by ſuch a proude name and title before Phocas themperoures time, who as wee know, by killing hys owne ſoverain Morice the Emperour, did by a traiterous vyllanie aſpire to Thempire. which was about the ſixt hūundreth ; thirtenth year after Chriſt was Ca. 47 borne. Alſo the Councell of Charthage did circumſpectly provide, that no Byſſhop ſhould bee called either the higheſt Byſhop or chiefe preeſte. And therefore ſithens the Byſſhop of Rome wil now a daies ſo be called, ; chalēengeth unto him ſelf an aucthoritie, that is none of his: beſides that he doth plainly contrary to the aūunci ēent Coūuncels ; cōontrary to the old Fathers. We beleve that he doth give unto himſelfe, Gregor. epiſtola. li. 4. epiſt. 76. 78.80. Et lib. 7 epiſt.6.6. as it is written by his owne companyon Gregory, a preſūumptuous, a prophane, a ſacrilegious and Antichriſtian name: that he is alſo the kinge of pryde, that he is Lucifer, which preferreth himſelfe before his bretherne ; that he hathe: C.iii. forſaken 38 C3v forſaken the faith, and is the foreronner of Antichriſte.
Further wee ſaye, that the Miniſter ought laufully, duely, and orderly to be preferred to that Office of the church of God, and that no māan hath power to wreſt himſelf into ethe holy miniſtery at his own pleaſure ; liſt. Wherefore theſe perſons do us the greater wrong, which have nothing ſo common in their mouthe, as that wee do nothing ordrely and comely, but al thinges troubleſomly and without ordre: and that wee alow every man to be a preeſt, to be a teacher, and to be an Interpretour of the Scriptures.
Moreover we ſay, tthat Chriſt hath gevēen to his miniſters power to bind, to looſe, to open, to ſhutt, and that the office of looſing conſiſteth in this point, that the Miniſter ſhould either offer by the preaching of the goſpel the merits of Chriſte ; full pardōon, to ſuche as have lowly ; contrite hearts, and do unfainedly repent the prono ūuncing unto ſame a ſure ; undoubted forgiuenes 39 C4r forgevenes of their ſins, ; hope of everlaſting ſalvation. Or els that the miniſter, when any have offended their brothers mindes with a greate offence, ; with a notable ; open fault, wherby they have as it were bannyſhed and made themſelves ſtraungers from the common fellowſhip, and from the bodye of Chriſte, then after perfitte amendement of ſuche perſons, doth reconcile them, and bringe them home againe, and reſtore them to the company and unitie of the faithfull. We ſay alſo that the miniſter dothe execute the aucthoritie of binding and ſhutting, as often as he ſhutteth up the gate of the kingedome of heaven againſt the unbeleeving and ſtubborne perſons, denouncing unto them Gods vengaunce and everlaſtinge puniſhmente. Or else when he doth quite ſhut them out from the boſome of the Churche by open excommunicati ōon. Out of doubt, what ſentence ſo ever the Miniſter of God ſhall give in this ſorte, God him ſelfe doth ſo C.iiii. well 40 C4v well alowe of it, that what ſoever here in yearth by their meanes is looſed and bounde, God him ſelfe will looſe ; binde, and confirme the ſame in heaven.
And touchinge the kayes wherewith they maye either ſhut or open the kyngdome of heaven, wee with Chryſoſtom ſaye, they be the knowledge of the Scriptures: with Tertullian we ſay, they be the interpretation of the lawe: and with Euſebius we call thēen the worde of God.
Moreover that Chriſtes Diſciples did receive this aucthoritie, not that they ſhoulde heare private confeſſions of the people, and lyſten to their whiſperinges, as the cōommen Maſſing preeſtes do every where nowe a dayes, and do it ſo, as though in that one poinct laye all the vertue and uſe of the kayes: but to thend they ſhould goo, they ſhould teache, they ſhould publiſhe abrode the Goſpell, and be unto the beleving a ſwete ſavour of lyfe unto life, and unto the unbeleving and unfaithfull, a ſavour of death unto death. 41 C5r death: and that the mindes of godly perſons being brought low by the remorce of their former lyfe and errours, after they once begonne to looke up unto the light of the Goſpel, and beleve in Chriſt, might be opened with the worde of God, evēen as a dore is opened with a keye. Cōontrariewiſe, that the wicked and wilfull folke, and ſuche as woulde not beleve nor retorne into the right waye, ſhould be lefte ſtill as faſt locked and ſhut up, 2.Tim.3. and as S.SaintPaul ſayeth, ware worſe and worſe. This take we to be the meaning of the keyes: and that after this faſhion mens conſciences eyther to be opened or ſhut. We ſaye that the preiſt in deede is De pœnitenti. diſt. 1. cap. Verbum Dei. Judge in this caſe, but yet hath no maner of right to chalenge an auctoritie or power, as ſaith Ambroſe. And therfore our Saviour Jeſu Chriſt to reprove the negligence of the Scribes and Phariſeis in teaching, dyd with theſe wordes: Luk.11. Math. 13. rebuke them ſayng: wo unto you Scribes and Phariſies, whiche have takēen awayeC.v. waye 42 C5v waye the keyes of knowledge, and have ſhut up the kyngdome of heaven before men. Seing then the keye whereby the waye and entery to the kingdom of God is opened unto us, is the worde of the Goſpell and thexpounding of the Lawe and Scriptures, we ſay plainely, where the ſame woorde is not, there is not the keye. And ſeyng one maner of worde is geven to al, and one only keye belongeth to al, we ſay there is but one only power of all miniſters, as concerning opening and ſhutting. And as touching the Byſſhop of Rome, for all his Paraſites flateringlie ſinge in his eares thoſe wordes, To the will I geve the keyes of the kingdome of heaven, (as though thoſe keyes were fyt for hym alone and for no body els) except he go ſo to woorke as mens conſciences maye be made pliaunte, and be ſubdued to the worde of God, we denye that he doth either open or shut, or hath the keyes at all. And although he tought and inſtructed the people (as woulde to God 43 C6r God he might once truely do, and perſwade him ſelfe it were at the leaſte ſome peece of his duety) yet we thinke his keye to be never a whit better or of greater force then other mens. For who hath ſevered hym frō the reſt? who hath taught him more cōonningly to open, or better to abſolve then his bretherne?
We ſay that matrimonie is holy and honorable in al ſorts ; ſtates of perſones, in the patriarches, in the prophetes, in the apoſtles, Chryſtoſt. in epiſt. ad Titum Hom. 11. in holy martyrs, in the miniſters of the Churche, and in Byſhopps, and that it is an honeſt and laufull thinge (as Chryſoſtome ſaith) for a man living in matrimonie, to take upon hym therewith the Euſeb. lib. 10. Cap.5. Nazianzen. in monodia de Baſilie. dignitie of a Byſſhop. And as Sozomenus ſaith of Spiridion: and as Nazianzen ſaith of his owne father, that a good and diligent Byſſhopp doth ſerve in the miniſterie never the worſe for that he is maried, but rather the better, and with more ablenes to do good. Further we ſaye, that the ſame lawe whiche by conſtrainteſtraincte 44 C6v ſtrainte taketh awaye this libertie from men, and compelleth them againſt their willes to live ſingle, is the doctrine of 2. Tim. 4. Dyvells, as Paule saith: and that ever ſince the tyme of this lawe, a wonderful uncleanes of lyfe and maners in goddes miniſters, and ſundrie horrible enormities have folowed, as the Byſſhop of Auguſta, as Faber, as Abbas Panormitanus, as Laromus, as the Tripartite worke whiche is annexed to the ſeconde Toine of the Councelles, and other chāampions of the Popes band, yea and as the matter it ſelfe and al hiſtories do cōonfeſſe. Platina in vita PI Secundi. For it was rightly ſayd by Pius the ſecond a Byſſhop of Rome, that he ſawe many cauſes why wives ſhould be takēen awaye from Preiſtes, but that he ſawe many moe, and more weightye cauſes whye they ought to be reſtored them againe.
We receyve and embrace all the Canonicall Scriptures, both of the oulde and new Teſtament, geving thanks to our 45 C7r our God, who hath raiſed up unto us that light whiche we might ever have before our eyes, leaſte eyther by the ſutteltie of man, or by the ſnares of the Dyvell we ſhoulde be caried awaye to errours and lyes. Alſo that theſe be the heavenly voices, wherby God hath opened unto us his will, and that onely in them mans hearte can have ſetled reſte: that in them be habundantly and fullye comprehended all thinges what ſoever be nedefull for our ſalvatiōon, as Origene, Auguſtine, Chryſoſtom ; Cyrillus have taught: That they be the very might and ſtrength of God to attaine to ſalvation: That they be the foūundations of the Prophetes and Apoſtles, whereupon is buylte the Churche of God: That they be the very ſure and infallible rule, wherbe may be tryed whether the Churche doth ſtagger or erre, and wherunto all eccleſiaſticall Doctrine ought to be called to accompte: and that againſt theſe ſcriptures neyther lawe nor ordinaunce, nor any 46 C7v any cuſtom ought to be hard, no though Paule his owne ſelfe or an Aungell frōom heaven ſhoulde come and teache the contrarie.
Moreover we alow the ſacramēentes of the Churche, that is to ſaye certaine holy ſignes ; ceremonies whiche Chriſt woulde wee ſhould uſe, that by them he might ſet before our eyes the myſteries of our ſalvation, and might more ſtrongely confirme our faith which we have in his bloud, and might ſeale his grace in our heartes. And thoſe ſacramentes togither with Tertullian, Origene, Ambroſe, Auguſtin, Hierome, Chryſoſtome, Baſill, Dionyſius, and other Catholique Fathers do we call figures, ſignes, markes or badges, printes, copies, formes, ſeales, ſignettes, ſimilitudes, patterns, repreſentations, remembraunces, and memories. And we make no doubt togither with the ſame Doctours to ſay, that thoſe be certaine viſible: wordes, ſeales of righteouſnes, tokens of grace: and 47 C8r and do expreſly pronounce, that in the Lords ſupper, there is truelye gevēen unto the beleving, the body and bloud of the Lord, the fleſſhe of the ſonne of God, whiche quickeneth our ſoules, the meate that cometh from above, the foode of inmortalitie, grace, truth, and lyfe. And that ſupper to be the cōommunion of the body and bloud of Chriſt, by the partaking whereof wee be revived, wee be ſtrengthened, and be fed unto immortalitie, ; wherby we are joyned, united, ; incorporate unto Chriſt, that we may abide in him and he in us.
Beſides wee acknowledge there be two ſacramentes, which wee judge proprely ought to be called by this name, that is to ſaye Baptiſme, and the ſacrame ēentes of thankes giving. For thus many we ſee were delivered and ſanctified by Chriſt, and well allowed of the oulde fathers Ambroſe and Auguſtine. We ſay that Baptiſme is a ſacrament of the remiſſiōon of ſinnes, and of that waſhing which we haue 48 C8v have in the blood of Chriſte, and that no perſōon which wil profeſſ Chriſtes name, ought to bee reſtraigned or kepte backe therefrom: no not the very babes of Chriſtiāans, forſomuche as they be borne in ſinne, and do pertaine unto the people of God. We ſay that Euchariſtia, the ſupper of the lorde, is a ſacramente, that is to wytte, an evident token of the body and blood of Chriſte: wherein is ſet as it were before our eyes, the death of Chriſt and his reſurrectiōon, and what act ſo ever he did whileſt he was in his mortall body, to thende we may give hym thankes for his deathe, and for our deliveraunce. And tthat by the often receavinge of this ſacramente, wee may daily renewe the remembraunce of that matter, to thintent we being fedd with the body and blood of Chriſt, may be brought into the hope of the reſurrectiōon and of everlaſting life, and may moſte aſſuredly beleve, that the bodye and blood of Chriſte dothe in like manner feede our ſoules, as breade and wine 49 D1r wine doth feede our bodies. To this bāankett wee thinke the people of God oughe to be earneſtly bidden, that they may all communicate amonge them ſelves, and openly declare and teſtifie both the godly ſocietie whiche is amonge them, and alſo the hope which they have in Chriſt Jheſu. For this cauſe yf there had ben any which would be but a looker on, and abſtaine from the holy Cōommunion, him Chryſoſt. ad Ephe. hum. did the old fathers ; Byſhops of Rome in the primative Church, before Private maſſe came up, excōommunicate as a wicked perſōon and as a Pagan. Neither was there any Chriſtian at that tyme which dyd communicat alone whyls other looked Dis. 2. Ca. Seculares. on. For ſo did Calixtus in times paſt decree, that after the conſecration was finiſhed, all ſhould communicate, excepte they had rather ſtande without De Conſec. diſt. 2.cap., Peraſta. the Churche doores: bycauſe thus (ſaith he) did the Apoſtles apoincte, and the ſame the holye Churche of Rome keepeth ſtill.D.i. More- 50 D1v
Moreover when the people commeth to the holy communion, the Sacrament ought to be given them in both kindes, for ſo both Chriſte hath commaunded, and the apoſtles in every place have ordayned, and all the auncient Fathers and Catholique Byſſhops have folowed flawed-reproductiontwo lettersConſe. illegibleapproximately 4 letters 2.Ca. illegibleapproximately 2 lettersmperi. the ſame. And whoſo doth contrary to this, he (as Gelaſius ſayth) committeth ſacriledge. And therefore wee ſaye, that oure Adverſaries at this daye, who havinge violentlye thruſte out and quite forbidden the holye Communion, dooe without the woorde of God, without the aucthoritie of any auncient Councell, without any catholique Father, without any example of the primative Church, yea and without reaſon alſo, defend and maintaine their private Maſſes and the manglinge of the Sacramentes, and do this not onely againſt the plaine expreſſe commandement and bidding of Chriſte, but alſo againſt al antiquitie do wickedly therin, and are very Church robbers.Wee 51 D2r
We affirme that breade and wine are holy and heavenly myſteries of the bodie ; bloud of Chriſt, ; that by them Chriſt himſelfe being the tru bread of eternal life, as ſo preſently given unto us, as that by faith we verely receave his body and his bloud. Yet ſay we not this ſo, as though we thought that the nature of bread and wine is clearly changed and goeth to nothing, as many have dreamed in these later times, which yet could never agree among themſelf of this their dreame. For that was not Chriſtes meaning that the wheaten bread ſhould laye apart his owne nature, ; receave a certain new divinitie, but tthat he might rather chaunge us (; to uſe Iohan. cap. 6. Theophilactus woordes) might tranſforme us into his bodie. For what can De Sacra. lib. 4.cap. 4. be ſaid more plainly then that whiche Ambroſe ſaith, Bread ; wine remain ſtil the ſame thei were before, ; yet are changed into an other thing: or that which Gelaſius ſaith, the ſubſtance of the bread, or the nature of the wine, ceaſeth not ſo to be: or that which D.ii. Theodorete 52 D2v Theodorete ſaith, After the conſecratiōon, In Dialogis illegible1 word. ; 2. the myſticall ſignes do not caſt of their owne propre nature: for they remaine ſtil in their former ſubſtaunce, forme and In ſermone illegibleapproximately 1 letterd infantes. De conſecrat. diſt. 2.Cap. Qui mandu. kynde. Or that whiche Auguſtine ſaith, That whiche ye ſee is the bread and Cuppe, and ſo our eyes tell us, but that which your faith requireth to be taught is this, The bread is the body of Chriſt, ; the Cuppe ys his bloud. Or that whiche Origene in Mat. Hom. 15. Origene ſaith: Bread which is ſanctified by the word of God, as touching the material ſubſtaūunce therof, goeth into the belly and is caſt out into the privey. Or that which Chriſt him ſelfe ſaid, not only after the bleſſing of the cup, but after he had miniſtred the Comunion: I will drinke nomore of this frute of the vyne. It is well knowen that the fruit of the vyne ys wine, and not bloud.
And in ſpaeeakyng thus, we meane not to abaſe the Lordes ſupper, or to teache that yt is but a could ceremonie onely, ; nothing to be wrought therin: (as many falſely 53 D3r falſely ſlaunder us we theache). For wee affirme that Chriſt doth truely and preſently give his owne ſelfe in his Sacramentes: In baptiſme, that wee may put him on: and in his ſupper, that we may eate him by faith ; ſpirit, and may have everlaſting lyfe by his croſſe and bloud. And we ſay not this is done ſlightly and couldely, but effectually and truely. For although we do not touche the body of Chriſt with teethe and mouth, yet wee hold him faſt and eate him by faith, by underſtanding, and by the ſpirit. And this is no vaine faith which doth comprehend Chriſt: and that is not received with coulde devotion, whiche is received with underſtanding, with faith, ; with ſpirit. For Chriſt him ſelfe altogither is ſo offered ; given us in theſe myſteries, that we may certainly know we be fleſh of his fleſhe, and bone of his bones: and that Chriſt continueth in us, and wee in him. And therefore in celebrating theſe myſteries, the people are to good purpoſe D.iii. exhorted 54 D3v illegibleapproximately 1 lettercon. diſt. I. illegibleapproximately 1 lettera Quando. exhorted before they come to receave the holy communion, to lift up their hearts, ; to direct their mindes to heavenward, bicauſe he is there, by whom we muſt be Ad Obiecti Theodoreti. full fedde and live. Cyrill ſaith, when we come to receave theſe myſteries, al groſſe ymaginations muſt quite be banniſhed; The councell of Nice, as is alleadged by ſome in greeke, plainly forbiddeth us to be baſely affectioned, or bent toward the bread and wine which are ſet before us. Chryſoſt. in 10 illegibleapproximately 1 letterd Corinth. And as Chryſoſtome very aptly wryteth: We ſay that the body of Chriſte is the dead carcas, and we our ſelves muſt be the Egles. mMeaning thereby, that we muſt flie hye if wee will come unto the body of Chriſte. For this table as Chryſoſtome De Cœna Domini. ſaith, is a table of Egles and not of Jeyes. Cyprian alſo, This bread ſaith he, is the foode of the ſoule, and not the In Iohan. Tract. 50. meate of the belly. And Auguſtine, How ſhall I holde him, ſaith he, which is abſent; how ſhall I reache my hand up to heaven to laye holde upon him that ſittethteth 55 D4r teth there? He aunſwereth, Reache thyther thy faythe, and then thou haſt layde holde on him.
We can not alſo away in our churches with the ſhewes ; ſales, ; byeng ; ſelling of Maſſes, nor the carrieng about ; worſhipping of bread, nor ſuch other ydolatrous and blaſphemous fondnes, whiche none of them can prove that Chriſte or his Apoſtles did ever ordaine, or left unto us: and we juſtly blame the Biſhops of Rome, who without the word of God, without the authoritie of the holy fathers, without any example of antiquitie, after a newe guiſe do not onely ſet before the people the ſacram ēental bread to be worſhiped as God, but In libro de Cermoniis Romanæ Eccleſiae. doe alſo cary the ſame about upon an ambling horſe, whyther ſoever themſelves jorney, as in old time the Perſiāans fier ; the reliques of the goddeſſe Iſis were ſolemly caried about in proceſſiōon, ; have brought the ſacraments of Chriſt to be uſed nowe as a ſtage play, ; a ſolemne ſight, to the end that mens eyes ſhould be fedde with D.iiii. nothing 56 D4v nothing els but with mad gaſinges and fooliſhe gaudes, in the ſelfe ſame matter wherein the death of Chriſt ought diligently to be beaten into our heartes, and wherein alſo the myſteries of our redēemption ought with all holines and reverence to be executed.
Beſides, where they ſay and ſomtime doe perſwade fooles, that they are able by their Maſſes to diſtribute and applie unto mens commoditie al the merites of Chriſtes death, yea although many tymes the parties thinck nothing of the matter, and underſtand ful litle what is don, this is a mockery, a Hethenyſhe fanſie, and a very toye. For it is our faith that applieth the death and croſſe of Chriſte to our benefite, and not the Acte of the Maſſing preeſt. Faith had in the Sacramentes (ſaith Auguſtine) doth juſtifie, ; not the ſacramentes. And Origene ſaith: Origen. ad illegibleapproximately 1 letterm.i. cap. 3. Chriſt is the preeſt, the propitiation and ſacrifice, which propitiatiōon cōommeth to everie one by meane of faith. So that by this 57 D5r this reconing we ſaye, that the ſacramēentes of Chriſt without faith, doe not once profite thoſe that be alyve, a great deale leſſe doe they profite thoſe that be dead.
And as for their bragges they are wōont to make of their Purgatory, though we know it is not a thing ſo very late riſen amongeſt them, yet is it no better then a blockyſhe and an olde wyves deviſe, Auguſtin. in pſal.psalm 85. In Enchirid. cap. 67. De Ciuita. li 21. Cap. 26. Hypognoſt.5. Auguſtine in deed ſomtime ſaith there is ſuche a certaine place: ſometime he demeth not but there maye be ſuche a one: ſometime he doubteth, ſometime againe he uttrely denieth it to be, and thinketh that menne are therin deceived by a certaine naturall good wil they beare their frendes departed. But yet of this one errour hath there growen up ſuche a harveſt of theſe Maſſemongers, the Maſſes being ſould abrod comonly in every corner, the Temples of God became ſhoppes to get money, and ſelie ſoules were perſwaded that nothing was more neceſſarie to be bought. In ded there was D.v. nothing 58 D5v nothyng more gainefull for theſe men to ſelle.
As touching the multitude of vaine and ſuperfluous ceremonies, wee know Ad Iillegibleapproximately 4 letters illegible1 letterpiſtola 119. that Auguſtin did grevouſly complain of thēem in his owne time: and therfore have wee cut of a great numbre of them, bycauſe we know that mens conſciences were cumbred about thēem, and the Churches of God overladen with them. Nevertheleſſe we kepe ſtill and eſteeme not onely thoſe ceremonies whiche wee are ſure were delivered us from the Apoſtls, but ſome others too beſides, whiche we thought myght be ſuffred without hurt to the churche of God, becauſe we had a deſire that all thinges in the holy congregation might (as Paul cōomandeth) be don with comelines and in good order: but as for all thoſe thinges whiche we ſawe were eyther very ſuperſtitious or unprofitable, or noyſome, or mockeries, or contrarie to the holy Scriptures, or els unſemelie for honeſt or diſcrete folkes, 59 D6r folkes, as there be an infinite numbre now a dayes where Papiſtery is uſed, theſe I ſaye wee have uterly refuſed without all maner exception, bycauſe wee would not have the right worſhypping of God any lenger defiled with ſuch folies.
We make our prayers in that tonge whiche all our people, as meete is, may underſtand, to thend they may (as Paul counſeleth us) take commōon commoditie by common prayer: even as all the holy Fathers and catholique Byſhops bothe in the ould and new Teſtament did uſe to pray them ſelves, ; taught the people to praye to, leaſte as Auguſtin ſaith, like parrottes and ouſells, wee ſhoulde ſeme to ſpeake that we underſtand not.
Neither have we any other Mediatour and Interceſſour, by whome wee may have acceſſe to God the Father, thēen Jeſu Chriſt, in whoſe onely name all things are obteined at his Fathers hāand. But it is a ſhamefull parte and full of infidelitie 60 D6v infidelitie that we ſee every where uſed in the Churches of our adverſaries, not onely in that they will have innumerable ſortes of mediatours, and that uterly without the auctoritie of Goddes word. illegibleapproximately 1 letteriere.ca. 2 11. So that, as Jeremie ſaith, the Saintes be nowe as many in numbre, or rather above the numbre of the Cities: ; poore men cannot tel to which Sainct it were beſt to turne thēen firſt. And though there be ſo many as they cannot be tolde, yet every one of thēem hath his peculiar deuty and office aſſigned unto him of theſe folkes, what thīing they ought to aſke, what to give, and what to bring to paſſe: but beſides this alſo, in that they do not only wickedly, but alſo ſhameleſly cal upon illegibleapproximately 1 letter ardus. the bleſſed virgine Chriſtes mother, to have her remember that ſhe is a mother, and to commaunde her ſonne, and to uſe a mothers auctoritie over him.
We ſaye alſo, that every perſon is borne in ſinne, and leadeth his lyfe in ſinne: that no body is able truely to ſaye, his 61 D7r his hearte is cleane. That the moſt rightuous perſone is but an unprofitable ſervaunte: That the law of God is perfite, and requireth of us perfit and full obedience: That we are able by no meanes to fulfill that lawe in this worldly lyfe: That there is no one mortall creature whiche can be juſtified by his owne deſertes in goddes ſight, and therfore that our only ſuccour and refuge is to flye to the mercy of our Father by Jeſu Chriſt, and aſſuredly to perſwade our myndes, that he is the obtayner of forgivenes for our ſinnes. And that by his bloud al our ſpottes of ſinne be waſhed cleane: That he hath pacified and ſet at one all thinges by the bloud of his Croſſe: That he by the ſame one onely Sacrifice whiche he once offered uppon the Croſſe, hath brought to effect and fulfilled al things, and that for that cauſe he ſayd when he gave up the Ghoſte, It is finished. as though he woulde ſignifie that the price and ranſome was nowe full payde for the 62 D7v the ſinne of all mankind. Yf there be any then that thinke this ſacrifice not ſufficient, let them go in Gods name and ſeke an other that is better. We verely, bicauſe we knowe this to be the onely ſacrifice, are well contente with it alone, and loke for none other: and foraſmuche as it was to be offered but once, wee commaund it not to be renewed againe. And bicauſe it was full ; perfite in all points and partes, wee doe not ordaine in place thereof anye continuall ſucceſſion of offeringes.
Beſides, though wee ſaye we have no meede at all by oure owne woorkes and deedes, but apoint all the meane of oure ſalvation to be in Chriſte alone, yet ſay we not that for this cauſe men ought to live looſlie and diſſolutely: nor that it is ynough for a Chriſtian to be Baptized onely and to believe, as though there were nothing els required at his hande, for true faith is lively, and can in nowiſe be idell. Thus therefore teache wee the people 63 D8r people, that God hath called us not to folowe ryot and wantonnes, but as Paul ſaithe, unto good woorkes, to walke in them. That God hath plucked us oute from the power of darkenes to ſerve the livinge God: to cutte away all the remnauntes of ſinne, and to worke oure ſalvation in feare and tremblinge, that it may apere how that the Spirit of ſāanctification is in oure bodies, and that Chriſt himſelfe doth dwell in our heartes.
To conclude, we beleve that this our ſelfe ſame fleſh wherin we live, although it dye and come to duſt, yet at the laſt day it ſhall retourne againe to lyfe by the meanes of Chriſtes ſpirite which dweleth in us, and that then verely whatſoever we ſuffer heere in the meane whyle for his ſake, Chriſt wil wipe from of our eies all teares ; lamentation, ; that we through him ſhall enjoy everlaſting life, and ſhall for ever be with him in glory. So be it.
Beholde theſe are the horrible hereſies for 64 D8v for the which a good parte of the world is at this day condemned by the Byſhop of Rome, and yet were never hearde to pleade their cauſe. He ſhould have commenced his ſute rather againſt Chriſte, againſt the Apoſtles, and againſt the holy fathers. For theſe thinges did not only procede from them, but were alſo apointed by them: except perhaps theſe menne will ſay (as I thinke they will in deede) that Chriſte hath not inſtituted the holy Communion to be divided amongeſt the faithfull: Or that Chriſtes apoſtles and the auncient fathers have ſaide Private maſſes in every corner of the Temples, nowe tenne, now twenty togithers in one day: Or that Chriſt and hys Apoſtls banniſhed all the common people from the Sacrament of his bloud: or that the thing whiche them ſelves do at this day every wheare, and do it ſo as they condemne him for an heritike whiche dothe otherwiſe, ys not called of Gelaſius their owne doctour plaine ſacriledge: or that 65 E1r that theſe be not the very words of Ambroſe, Auguſtine, Gelaſius, Theodorete, Chryſoſtome, ; Origene, The bread and wine in the Sacramentes remaine ſtill the ſame they were before: The thing which is ſeene upon the holye table, is breade: there ceaſeth not to be ſtill the ſubſtaunce of breade and nature of wyne: the ſubſtance and nature of bread are not changed: the ſelfe ſame breade as touchinge the materiall ſubſtaunce, goeth into the bellie, and is caſt out into the pryvei: Or that Chriſte, the Apoſtles, and holy fathers prayed not in that tongue whiche the people might underſtande: Or that Chriſte hath not performed all thinges by that one offering which he once offered: or that the ſame Sacrifice was imperfect, and ſo now we have neede of an other. All theſe thinges muſt they of neceſſitie ſay, onleſſe perchance thei had rather ſay thus, that all lawe and right is locked up in the treaſurie of the Popes breaſte, and that as once one of his ſouthingeE.i. thing 66 E1v thinge pages and clawbackes did not ſticke to ſay, the Pope is able to diſpence againſt the Apoſtles, againſt a councell, ; Diſt. 36, lect. in Gloſa. againſt the Canōons ; rules of the Apoſtls, and tthat he is not bound to ſtand neither to Diſtinct. 82. Presbyter. the examples, nor to the ordinūunaces, nor to the lawes of Chriſt. We for our parts have learned theſe thinges of Chriſte, of the Apoſtles, of the devout fathers, and dooe ſincerely and with good faith teache the people of God the ſame. Whiche thinge is the onely cauſe whye wee at this daye ar called heretikes of the chiefe prelates (no doubt) of Religiōon. O immortal God, hath Chriſt him ſelfe then, the Apoſtles ; ſo many Fathers, al at once gon a ſtray? were then Origene, Ambroſe Auguſtin, Chryſoſtome, Gelaſius, Theodoret, forſakers of the catholique faith? was ſo notable a conſent of ſo manye auncient Byſhoppes and learned menne nothing els, but a conſpiracye of heretiques; Or is that nowe condemned in us, whiche was then commended in them? Or is the 67 E2r the thyng nowe by alteration onely of mens affection ſodenly becōomme ſhiſmatique, whiche in them was compted catholique; Or ſhall that whiche in times paſt was true, nowe by and by, bycauſe it liketh not theſe men, be judged falſe? Let them then bring furth another Goſpell, and let them ſhew the cauſes why theſe thinges which ſo long have openly ben obſerved, and well alowed in the Churche of God, ought nowe in thend be called in againe. Wee knowe well ynoughe, that the ſame worde whiche was opened by Chriſt, ; ſpred abrode by the Apoſtles is ſufficient, both our ſalvacion and al trueth to up holde ; mayntein, and alſo to confounde all maner of hereſie. By that Word only do we condemne al ſortes of the olde heretiques, whom theſe men ſay we have called out of hell againe. As for the Arrians, the Eutychians, the Marcionites, the Ebionites, the Valentinians, the Carpocratians, the Tatians, the Nonatians, and E.ii. ſhortelie 68 E2v ſhortelie all them which have had a wicked opinion eyther of God the Father or of Chriſt, or of the holy Ghoſte, or of any other poinct of Chriſtian Religion, for ſomuche as they be confuted by the Goſpell of Chriſt, we plainly pronunce them for deteſtable and caſt awaye perſonnes, and defye them even unto the dyvell. Neyther do wee leave them ſo, but we alſo ſeverely and ſtraitely hold them in by lawful and politick puniſhemēentes, yf they fortune to breake out any where and bewraye themſelves.
In deede we graunt that certain new and very ſtraunge ſectes, as the Anabaptiſtes, Libertines, Menoniāans, ; Zuenkfeldians have ben ſtirring in the worlde everſence the Goſpel did firſt ſpring. But the worlde ſeeth now right wel, thankes be given to our God, that wee neyther have bredd nor taught, nor kept up theſe Monſtres. In good fellowſhip I pray the whoſoever thou be, read our bokes, they are to be ſould in every place: What hath 69 E3r hath there ever ben written by any of our cōompany, which might plainely beare with the madnes of any of thoſe heretiques? Nay I ſaye unto you, there is no countrie at this daye ſo free from their peſtilent infections, as they be wherein the goſpel is freely and cōommonly taught. So that yf they wey the very matter with earneſt and upright adviſement, this thing is a great argumēent, tthat this ſame is the very truth of the Goſpell whiche we do teache. For lightly neyther is cockell wont to growe without the wheat, nor yet the chaffe without the corne. For frōom the very Apoſtles times, who knoweth not how many hereſies did riſe up even togeather, ſo ſoone as the Goſpell was firſt ſpred abrode? Who ever had heard tel of Simon, Menander, Saturninus, Baſilides, Carpocrates, Cherinthus, Ebion, Valentinus, Secundus, Marcoſſus, Colorbaſius, Heracleo, Lucianus, and Severus, before the Apoſtles were ſent abrode? But whye ſtande wee E.iii. reckeninge 70 E3v reackoninge up theſe? Epiphanius rehearſeth up foure ſcore ſundrie hereſies, and Auguſtine many moe, whiche dyd ſpring up even togeather with the Goſpell. What then? was the Goſpell therfore not the Goſpell, bycauſe hereſies ſprang up withall? or was Chriſt therefore not Chriſt? And yet as we ſaid, doth not this great crop and heape of hereſies grow up amongeſt us, which do openly a broade and frankely teache the Goſpel? Theſe poyſones take their begininges, their encreaſinges and ſtrengh emongeſt our Adverſaries, in blindenes and in darkenes, emongeſt whom trueth is with tyrannie and cruelty kept under, and cāannot be hearde but in corners and ſecrete meetinges. But let them make a proofe, let them give the Goſpell free paſſage, let the truth of Jeſu Chriſte give his cleare light and ſtretche forth his bright beames into all partes, and then ſhall they furthwith ſee howe all theſe ſhadowes ſtreight will vanyſhe and paſſe away 71 E4r away at the light of the Goſpel, even as the thick myſte of the night conſumith at the ſight of the ſunne. For whileſt theſe men ſit ſtill and make mery, and doe nothing, we continually repreſſe and put backe all thoſe hereſies, whiche they falſelye charge us to noryſhe and mainteine.
Where they ſay that we have fallen into ſundrie ſectes, and woulde be called ſome of us Lutherians, ſome of us Zuingliāans, and cannot yet well agre among our ſelfes touching the whole ſubſtaunce of doctrine, what woulde theſe menne have ſaid, yf they had bene in the firſt times of the Apoſtles and holy Fathers, when one ſaid: I holde of Paul, an other I holde of Cephas, an other I holde of Apollo: when Paule dyd ſo ſharpelye rebucke Peter: when uppon a falling out Barnabas departed from Paul: when as Origene mentioneth, the Chriſtians were devided into ſo many factions, as that they kept nomore but E.iiii. the 72 E4v the name of Chriſtians in cōommon emōong them, beyng in no maner of thyng els like to Chriſtians when as Socrates ſaith, for their diſſenſions and ſundrye ſectes they were laughed and jeſted at openly of the people in the cōommon gameplayes, when as Conſtantine the Emperour affirmeth, there were ſuche a nūumber of variaunces and braulinges in the church, that it might juſtely ſeme a miſerie farre paſſynge all the former miſeries? when alſo Theophilus, Epiphanius, Chryſoſtome, Auguſtine, Rufine, Hierome, being all Chriſtians, being all Fathers, being all catholiques, did ſtrive one againſt an other, with moſte bytter and remediles contentions without end; When as ſaith Nazianzene, the partes of one body wer conſumed and waſted one of an other; when the Eaſt part was devided from the Weſt, onely for levened bread, and only for keping of Eaſter day, whiche were in dyd no great matters to be ſtrived for? And when in al Councels new 73 E5r new Credes and new decrees cōontinually were deviſed? what woulde theſe men (trow ye) have ſaid in thoſe days? which ſide would they ſpecially thēen have taken, and whiche would they then have forſaken? whiche Goſpel woulde they have beleved? whome woulde they have accoumpted for heretiques, and whom for Catholiques? and yet what a ſtirre and revell kepe they at this time upon two poore names onely Luther and Zwinglius, bicauſe theſe two men do not yet fully agree upon ſome one poinct, therfore woulde they nedes have us thinke, that both of them were deceived, that neyther of them had the Goſpell, ; that neyther of thēem taught the trueth aright. But good God, what maner of felowes be theſe, which blame us for diſagreing, and do all they themſelves, weene you, agree wel together? Is every one of thēem fully reſolved what to folow? hath there ben no ſtrifes, no debates amongeſt thēem at no time; why then do the Scotiſtes E.v. and 74 E5v and Thomiſtes about that they call meritum congrui, ; meritūum condigni, no better agree togeather? Why agree they no better amonge themſelves concernyng original ſin in the bleſſed virgin: cōoncerning a ſolemne vowe, and a ſingle vowe? Whye ſaye the Canoniſtes that auricular confeſſion is appoincted by the poſitive lawe of man, aund the Scholemen contrarie wyſe, that it is appoincted by the lawe of God? Whye doth Albertus Pius diſſente from Caietanus? why doth Thomas diſſent from Lombardus, Scotus from Thomas, Occanus from Scotus, Alliemacr;enſis from Occanus: And whye do the Nominalls diſagree from the Realles? And yet ſaye I nothing of ſo many diverſities of fryers and monkes, howe ſome of them put a great holynes in eatying of Fyſhe, and ſome in eating of hearbes: ſome in wearing of ſhewes, and ſome in wearing of Sandalles: ſome in going in a lynnen garment, and ſome in a wollen: ſome of thēem called whit, ſome blacke: ſome being ſhauen 75 E6r ſhaven broade, and ſome narowe: ſome ſtalkinge abroade uppon patens, ſome barefooted: ſome girte, and ſom ungert? They ought I wys to remembre howe there be ſome of their owne companie whiche ſay, that the body of Chriſt is in Stepha. Gard. in Diabolica Sophiſtica. Richardus Smith. his ſupper naturallie: Contrarie other ſome of the ſelfe ſame companie denye it to be ſo: Againe that there be other of them which ſaye, the bodye of Chriſt in De conſecra. Recāant. Bering. Scholæ, ; Gloſe. Cui mundus. the holy Communion is rent and torne with our teache, and ſome againe that deny the ſame. Some alſo of them there be, whiche write that the body of Chriſt is quantum in Euchariſtia, That is to ſay, hath his perfite quantitie in the Sacrament: Some other againe ſaye naye. That there be others of them whiche ſaye, Chriſt did conſecrate with a certain Thomas Aquinas. divine power, ſome that he did the ſame with his bleſſing, ſome againe that ſay hee didde it with utteringe five ſolemne choſēen words, and ſome with rehearſing the ſame woordes afterwarde againe. Some 76 E6v Some wil have it that when Chriſt did ſpeake thoſe five woordes, the materiall wheaten bread was pointed by this demonſtrative Stephanus Gardiner Pronoune, hoc: Som had rather have that a certaine vagum indiuiduum, as they terme yt, was ment ther by. Againe, others there bee that ſay, De conſe. diſt. illegibleapproximately 1 letterSpe. Gloſa. dogges and myce may truely and in very deede eate the body of Chriſte: and others Magiſt. Sent. illegibleapproximately 1 letter Schola. againe ther be that ſtedfaſtly denie it. There be others whiche ſaye, that the very accidentes of bread and wine maye nuryſhe: others againe there bee whiche ſay, how that the ſubſtance of the breade doth retourne againe. What neede I ſay more? yt were over longe and tedious to recken up all thinges, ſo very uncertaine and full of controverſies is yet the whole form of theſe mēens religiōon and doctrin, evēen amōongeſt thēemſelves, frōom whence it did firſt ſpringe and beginne. For hardly at any time do they well agree betweene themſelves, excepte it be peradventur as in times paſt the Phariſies and Saduceescees 77 E7r cees: or as Herod and Pylate did accorde againſt Chriſt. They were beſt therfore to go and ſette peace at home rather amonge theeir owne ſelves. Of a truthe, unitie and concorde dothe beſt become Religion, yet is not unitie the ſure and certaine marke whereby to knowe the Church of God. For there was the greateſt conſente that might bee amongeſt them that worſhipped the Golden calfe, and among them whiche with one voice joyntly cryed againſt our Saviour Jeſu Chriſte, Crucifie him. Nother bicauſe the Corinthians were unquieted with private diſſenſions, or bicauſe Paule did ſquare with Peter, or Barnabas with Paule: or bicauſe the Chriſtians upon the very beginning of the Goſpell were at mutuall diſcorde, touchinge ſome one matter, may we therefore thinke there was no church of God amongeſt them? And as for thoſe perſonnes whom they upon ſpite cal Zwinglians and Lutherians, in very deede of bothe ſydes be 78 E7v be Chriſtians, good friendes ; brethern: They vary not betwixt thēemſelves upon the principles and foundacions of oure religiōon, nor as touching God nor Chriſt nor the holy Ghoſte, nor of the meanes to juſtification, nor yet everlaſting life but upon one onely queſtion, whiche is neither weightie nor great: neither miſtruſt we or make doubte at all, but they will ſhortely be agreed. And if there bee any of them whiche have other opinion than is meete, we doubt not but or it bee longe, they will put apart all affections and names of parties, and that God wil reveale it unto them: ſo that by better conſidering ; ſearching out of the matter, as once it cam to paſſe in the Councel of Calcedone, al cauſes ; ſeedes of diſſenſion ſhall bee throughly pluct up by the roote, and be buried and quite forgotten for ever. wWhiche God graunt.
But this is the moſte grevous and hevye caſe thet they call us wicked and ungodly men, and ſay we have throwne awaye 79 E8r away all care of religion. Though this ought not to trouble us muche, whiles thei themſelves that thus have charged us, knowe ful well how ſpitefull and falſe a ſayinge it is: for Juſtine the martyr is Euſebi. lib.4. a witness how that all Chriſtians were called αθεος, that is Godleſſe, aſſone as the Goſpell firſte beganne to bee publiſhed, and the name of Chriſte to be openly declared. And when Polycarpus ſtood to be judged, the people ſtirred up the Preſident to ſleye and murder all them whiche profeſſed the Goſpell, with theſe wordes, αιρε τους αθέους, That is to ſaye, Ridde out of the waye theſe wicked and Godles creatures. And this was not bicauſe it was true that the Chriſtians were Godleſſe, but bicauſe they woulde not worſhip ſtones and ſtockes, whiche were then honored as God. The whole worlde ſeeth plainelye ynough already, what we and ours have endured at theſe mens handes for religion and our onely Goddes cauſe. They have thrown us into 80 E8v into priſon, into water, into fyer, ; have embrued themſelves in oure bloude, not bycauſe wee were eyther adulterers or robbers, or murtherers, but only for that we confeſſed the Goſpell of Jeſu Chriſt, and put oure confidence in the livinge God. And for that wee complained to juſtly and truely (Lorde thou knoweſt) that they did breake the lawe of God for their owne moſte vaine traditions: And that our Adverſaries were the very foes to the Gſoospel, and ennemies to Chriſtes croſſe, who ſo wittingly and willingly did obſtinately diſpiſe Gods commaundementes. Wherefore when theſe menne ſawe they could not rightly finde faulte with oure doctrine, they woulde needes picke a quarel, and invey ; raile againſt our manners, ſurmiſinge how that we do condemne all well doinges, how wee ſette open the doore to all licenciouſnes and luſt, and lead away the people from all love of vertue. And in very deede the lyfe of all men, even of the devouteſt and moſte 81 F1r moſte Chriſtian, bothe is and evermore hath been ſuche, as one maye alwayes find ſome lacke, even in the very beſt and pureſt converſation. And ſuch ys the inclination of all creatures unto evell, and the readines of al men to ſuſpect, that the thinges whiche neither have been done, nor once ment to be done, yet maye bee eaſely bothe heard and credited for true. And like as a ſmall ſpotte is ſoone ſpyed in the neateſt and whyteſt garment, even ſo the leaſt ſtaine of diſhoneſtie is eaſelye founde out in the pureſt ; ſincereſt lyfe. Neither take we all them whyche have at this day imbraced the doctrine of the Goſpell to be Angels, and to live clerely without anye mote or wrinkle: nor yet thinke we theſe men either ſo blind, that yf any thing may be noted in us, they ar not able to perceave the ſame even through the leaſt crevie, nor ſo friendly that they will conſtrue ought to the beſt: nor yet ſo honeſt of nature nor curreous, that they will looke backe upon themſelves, and F.i. weye 82 F1v wey our faſhions by their owne. Yf ſo be we liſt to ſearch this matter from the bottome: we knowe in the very Apoſtls times there were Chriſtians, throughe whome the name of the Lord was blaſphemed and evell ſpoken of amonge the Gentiles. Conſtantius the Emperoure bewaileth, as it is writēen in Soſomenus, how that many waxed worſe after thei had fallen to the religion of Chriſte. And Cyprian de Lapſis. Cyprian in a lamentable Oration ſetteth out the corrupt maners in his time: The holſome diſcipline, ſaith he, whiche the Apoſtles left unto us, hathe idleneſſe and long reſt now utterly marred, every one ſtudied to encreaſe his livelyhode, and cleane forgettinge either what they had done before, whiles they were under the Apoſtles, or what they ought continually to doe having receaved the fayth: they earneſtly laboured to make greate their owne welth with an unſatiable deſire of covetouſnes. There is no devout religion, ſaithe hee, in Preeſtes, no ſounde faith 83 F2r faith in miniſters, no charitie ſhewed in good workes, no forme of Godlineſſe in their conditions, men are become effeminate, and womens bewty is counterfeited. And before his daies, ſaid Tertullian, O how wreatched be we which are called Chriſtians at this time? For wee live as Heathens, under the name of Chriſte. And without reciting of manye mo wryters, Gregory Nazianzene ſpeaketh this of the pitifull ſtate of his owne time: We ſaith he, are in hatred amōong the Heathen for our own vyces ſake, we are alſo becomme nowe a wonder not alone to Aungels and menne, but even to all the ungodlye. In this caſe was the Churche of Godd when the Goſpell firſte beganne to ſhyne, and when the fury of Tyrauntes was not as yet cooled, nor the ſword taken of from the Chriſtians neckes. Surelie it is no new thinge that menne bee butte menne, althoughe they bee called by the name of Chriſtians.F.ii. But 84 F2v
But will theſe menne I praye you thinke nothing at all of thēem ſelves, whiles they accuſe us ſo maliciouſly? ; whiles they have leaſure to beholde ſo farre of, and ſee both what is done in Germanye and in England? Have they eyther forgotten, or can they not ſee what is done at Rome? Or be they our accuſers, whoſe lyfe is ſuche, as no man is able to make mention thereof but with ſhame and uncomelines? Our purpoſe here is not to take in hande at this preſent to bryng to lyght and open to the worlde thoſe thinges whiche were meete rather to be hyd and buryed with the workers of them, It beſemyth neyther our Religion, nor our modeſtie, nor our ſhamefaſtenes. But yet he which giveth commaundement that he ſhoulde be called the vicar of Chriſt and the head of the Churche, who alſo hearith that ſuche things be don at Rome, who ſeeth them, who ſuffereth them (for we will go no further) he can eaſily conſider with him ſelfe 85 F3r ſelfe what maner of things they be. Let him on Gods name call to mynde, let him remembre that they be of his owne Canoniſtes, which have taught the people Iohan. de magiſt. De temperāantia. that fornication betwen ſingle folke is not ſinne (as though they had fet that doctrine frome Mitio in Terence) whoſe wordes be: It is no ſinne (beleve me) for a yonge man to haunte harlottes. Let hym remēembre they be of his own which have decreed, that a preiſte oughte not to be 3.4.7. late Extra. de bigamis Quia circa. put out of his cure for fornication. Let him remēembre alſo how Cardinall Campegius, Albertus Pighius and others many more of his owne, have taughte that the preiſt whiche keepeth a Concubine, doth live more holily and chaſtelye, then he which hath a wyfe in matrimonie. I truſt he hath not yet forgoten, that there be many thouſands of common harlottes in Rome: and that hym ſelfe doth gather yearely of the ſame harlottes upōon a thirty thouſāande Duckettes by the way of an annuall penſion. Neyther can he F.iii. forgett 86 F3v forgette how himſelfe doth maintein openly brothels houſes, and by a moſte filthye lucre doth filthelye and lewdelye ſerve his owne luſt. Were all thinges then pure and holy in Rome, when Johane a womāan rather of parfeit age thēen of parfect lyfe, was Pope there, ; bare her ſelfe as the head of the Church? And after The image of this woman Pope lienge in travel, ys yet to be ſeene in Rome. that for two whole yeares in that holye Sea, ſhe had plaide the naughtie Packe, at laſt going in proceſſion about the Citie, in the ſight of al the Cardinals and Byſhopps, fell in travaile openly in the ſtretes?
But what neede one rehearſe Concubines and Bawds, as for that is now an ordinarie, and a gainefull ſinne at Rome. For harlottes ſyt there now a Gen.38 days, not as they did in times paſt, without the Citie walles, and with their faces hid and covered, but they dwel in palaces and fayre houſes: they ſtrey about In concilio. delect. Card. illegibleapproximately 5 letters in Courte and market, and that wyth bare and open face: as who ſaye they may 87 F4r may not onely laufully do it, but ought alſo to be prayſed for ſo doing. What ſhould we ſay any more of this? their vitious and abhominable lyfe is now thoroughlye knowen to the whole world. De cōonſid. ad Eugni Bernarde writeth roundely and truely of the Byſhop of Romes houſe, yea and of the Byſhop of Rome him ſelfe. Thy Palaice, ſayethe he, taketh in good men, but it maketh none: naughtye perſones thrive there, and the good appayre and decaye. And who ſoever he were which wrote the Tripartite worke annexed to the Councel Lateranenſe, ſaith thus, So exceſſive at this daye is the ryote aswel in the Prelates and Byſhoppes, as in the Clerkes and Preiſtes, that it is horrible to be told. But theſe thinges be not onely growen in urse and ſo by cuſtome and continuall tyme well alowed, as all the reſt of their doinges in maner bee, but they are now waren old and rotten ripe. For who hath not hearde what a haynous act Peter Aloiſius, Pope Paul F.iiii. the 88 F4v the thirdes ſonne cōommitted againſt Eeſmus Cherius the Byſhopp of Favenſe: what John Caſus Archebiſhop of Beneventanus the Popes Legate at Venyce wrote in the commendation of a moſte abhominable fylthynes, and how he ſet furth with moſt lotheſom words ; wicked eloquence, the mater which ought not once to procede out of any bodys mouth. To whoſe eares hath it not come, that N. Diaſius a Spaniard, being purpoſely ſent from Rome into Germanie, did ſhamefulie and diviliſhlie murther his own brother John Diaſius, a moſt innocent and a moſt godly man, onely bycauſe he had embraced the Goſpel of Jeſu Chriſt, and wolde not retorne again to Rome?
But it may chaunce, to this they will say: Theſe thinges may ſomtime happen in the beſt governed common welth, yea and againſt the Magiſtrates willes: and beſides, there be good lawes made to punyſhe ſuche. I graunt it be ſo: but by what good lawes (I would know) have theſe 89 F5r theſe greate myſcheves benne punyſhed emongeſt them? Petrus Motſius after he hadde don that notorius Acte that I ſpake of, was alwayes cheriſhed in his fathers boſome Pope Paule the third, and made his very derling. Diaſius after he had murthered his owne brother, was delivered by the Popes meanes, to thend he might not be punyſhed by good lawes. John Caſus Archiepūuns Beneventanus is yet alyve, yea and lyveth at Rome, even in the eyes and ſyght of the moſt holye Father. They have putte to death infinite numbres of our bretherne, only bycauſe they beleved truely and ſincerelie in Jeſu Chriſt. But of that great and foule numbre of harlottes, fornicatours, Adulterers, what one have they at any time (I say not killed) but eyther excommunicat, or once attached? Why? volupteouſneſſe, adulterie, rybaudrie, whoredome, murthering of kinn, inceſt, and others more abhominable partes, are not theſe coumpted ſynne at Rome? F.v. Or 90 F5v Or yf they be ſynne, ought Chriſtes vycar, Peters ſucceſſour, the moſt holye Father, ſo lightly and ſlytely beare them as though they were no ſynne, and that in the Citie of Rome, and in that principall tower of all holynes?
O holy Scribes and Phariſes, which knew not this kind of holines. O what holynes, what a Catholike faith is this? Peter did not this teach at Rome, Paul did not ſo live at Rome: they did not practiſe brothelry which theſe do opēenly: they made not a yearely revenewe and profite of harlottes: they ſuffered no common Adulterours and wicked Murtherers to go unpunyſhed. They did not receive them into their intier familiaritie, into their Councell, into their houſe houlde, nor yet into the cōompany of Chriſten men. Theſe menne ought not therfore ſo unreſonablie to triumphe againſt our lyving. It had ben more wyſedom for thēem, eyther firſte to have proved good their owne lyfe before the worlde, or at leaſte to 91 F6r to have cloked it a litle more conningly. For we do uſe ſtil the ould and auncient lawes (and aſmuche as men maye do in the maners uſed at theſe dayes, when al thinges are ſo wholy corrupte) wee diligently and earneſtlye put in execution theccleſiaſticall diſcipline: wee have not commen brothell houſes of ſtrumpettes, nor yet flockes of Concubynes, nor heardes of harlot haunters. Neyther do we preferr adulterie before matrimony, neither do we exerciſe beaſtly ſenſualitie. Neyther do we gather ordinarie rentes and ſtipendes of ſtewes, nor do ſuffer to eſcape unpunyſhed inceſt and abhominable naughtines, nor yet ſuch manquellers as the Aloiſians, Caſiāans, and Diaſi āans were. For yf theſe thinges woulde have pleaſed us, wee neded not to have departed from theſe mennes felowſhip amongeſt whom ſuche enormities be in their chiefe pride and pryce. Nother neded we for leaving them to ronne into the hatred of menne, and into moſt willfull daungers 92 F6v daungers. Paule the fourthe not many monethes ſince, hadde at Rome in priſon certaine Auguſtine fryers, manye Byſſhops, and a greate numbre of other devout men, for Religion ſake, hee racked them and tormented them: to make them confeſſe, hee lefte no meanes unaſſayed. But in thend how many brothels, how many whoremōongers, how many adulterers, how many inceſtuous perſōons could he find of all thoſe? Our God be thāanked, although we be not the mēen we ought ; profeſſe to be, yet whoſoever we be, cōompare us with theſe men, ; evēen oure own life ; innocencie wil ſone prove untrue, ; condemn their malicious ſurmiſes. For we exhorte the people to all vertue and well doinge, not onelye by bokes and preachinges, but alſo with oure examples and behaviour. We alſo teache that the Goſpell is not a boaſting or bragging of knowledg, but illegibleapproximately 2 letters Apoll ca. 45 that it is the law of life, ; that a Chriſtian man (as Tertulliāan ſaith) ought not to ſpeak honorably, but ought to live honorably: nor that 93 F7r that they be the hearers of the lawe, but the doers of the lawe, which are juſtified before God.
Beſides all theſe matters where with they charge us, they are wōont alſo to add this one thinge, which they enlarge with all kinde of ſpitefulnes: that is, that we be men of trouble, that wee plucke the ſword and Scepter out of Kinges handes: that we arme the people, that we overthrowe judgemente places, deſtroy the lawes, make havocke of poſſeſſiōons, ſeke to make the people Princes, turne all things upſyde downe: and to be ſhort, that we would have nothinge in good frame in a common welth. Good lorde, how often have they ſette on fyre Princes heartes with theſe words, to thend they might quēenche Tertul.Tertullianillegibleapproximately 2 letters Apollog ca. 1.2.3. the light of the Goſpell in the very firſte appearinge of it, and might begin to hate the ſame or ever they were able to know it, and to the end that every magiſtrate might thinke he ſaw his deadly ennemy, as often as he ſaw any of us. Surely, ſo ſhoulde 94 F7v ſhould excedingly greeve us to be ſo malitiouſlie accuſed of moſte hainous treaſon, onleſſe we knewe that Chriſte himſelfe, the Apoſtles, and a numbre of good and Chriſtian men were in time paſt blamed and envied in manner for the ſame faultes. For although Chriſt taught, thei ſhould give unto Ceſar that which was Ceſars, yet was he charged with ſedition in that he was accuſed to deviſe ſome conſpiracie and to covete the kingdome. And here upon they cryed out with open mouth againſt him in the place of judgement, ſayeng: Yf thou let this man ſcape, thou arte not Ceſars friend.
And though the Apoſtles did likewiſe evermore ; ſtedfaſtly teach, the Magiſtrats ought to be obeyed, that every ſoule ought to be ſubject to the higher powers, not onely for feare of wrath ; puniſhment, but even for conſcience ſake, yet bear thei the name to diſquiet the people, and to ſtirre up the multitude to rebel. After this ſorte did Haman ſpecially bring the nationtion 95 F8r In the booke of Hillegibleapproximately 5 letters tion of the Jewes into the hatred of the kinge Aſſuerus, bicauſe, ſaide hee, they were a rebellious ; ſtubborn people, ; diſpiſed the ordinaunces and commaundementes of princes. Wicked king Achab 3.Reg. 18 ſaide to Elie the Prophet of God, It is thou that troubleſt Iſraell. Amaſias the prieſt at Bethell laid a conſpiracie to the prophete Amos charge before kinge Jeroboam Amos illegibleapproximately 2 letters ſayeng, See, Amos hath made a conſpiracie againſt thee in the middeſt of the houſe of Iſraell. To bee breefe: In ApologApologetica cap. 37. Tertullian ſaithe, this was the generall accuſation of all Chriſtians whiles he lived, that they were traytours, they were rebelles, and the ennemies of mankinde. Wherefore if now a dayes the truthe be likewiſe evell ſpoken of, and beinge the ſame truth it was then, yf it be now like diſpitefully uſed as it was in times paſt, though it be a grevous and unkind dealinge, yet can it not ſeeme, unto us a new or an unwonted matter. Forty yeares agone and upward, was it an eaſy thing for 96 F8v for them to deviſe aginſt us theſe accurſed ſpeaches ; other ſorer thēen theſe, when in the middeſt of the darkeneſſe of that age firſte beganne to ſpringe and to give ſhine, ſome one glimmeringe beame of truthe unknowen at that time and unhearde of, when alſo Martin Luther ; Hulderike Zwinglius beinge moſte excellent menne, even ſent of God to give light to the whole world, firſte came unto the knowledge and preachinge of the Goſpell, wheras yet the thinge was but newe, and the ſucceſſe thereof uncertain: and when mens mindes ſtoode doubtful and amaſed, and their eares open to all ſlaunderous tales: and when there could bee imagined againſt us no fact ſo deteſtable, but the people then woulde ſoone beleeve it for the novelty and ſtrangenes of the matter. For ſo did Symmachus, ſo did Celſus, ſo didde Julianus, ſo did Porphirius the olde foes to the Goſpell attempt in times paſt to accuſe all Chriſtians of ſedition and treaſon, before that 97 G1r eyther Prynce or People were able to know who thoſe Chriſtians were, what thei profeſſed, what thei beleved, or what was their meaning.
But now ſithens our very ennemies do ſee and cannot deny, but we ever in al our wordes and writinges have diligēentlie put the people in mynde of their dewtie, to obey their Princes and Magiſtrates, ye though they be wicked: For this doth very trial and experience ſufficientlie teache, and all mennes eyes, whoſoever and whereſoever they be, do well ynough ſee and wytnes for us, yt was a foule parte of them to charge us with theſe thinges: and ſeing they could fynde no new and late faults, therfore to ſeke to procure us envye only with ſtale and out worne lyes. We geve our lorde God thanks, whoſe only cauſe this is, there hath yet at no tyme been any ſuche example in all the Realmes, Dominions and common weales whiche have received the Goſpell. For we have overthrowenG.i. wen 98 G1v wen no kingedome, we have decayed no mans power or right, wee have diſordered no commōon welth. There continue in thir owne accuſtomed ſtate and auncient dignitie the Kinges of oure countrie of Englande, the Kinges of Denmarke, the Kings of Suetia, the Dukes of Saxonie, the Counties Palatine, the Marqueſies of Brandeburgh, the Lanſgraves of Heſſia, the common wealthes of the Helvetians and Rhetians, and the free cities, as Argentine, Baſil, Frankforde, Ulme, Auguſt and Norrenberge, doe all I ſaye abide in the ſame authoritie and eſtate wherein they have beene heeretofore, or rather in a muche better, for that by meanes of the Goſpell they have their people more obedient unto them. Lette them go I praye you into thoſe places where at this preſente through Goddes goodnes the Goſpell is taught, where is there more majeſtie? where is there leſſe arrogancie and tirrannye? where is the Prince more honoured?nored 99 G2r noured? where be the people leſſe unrulye? where hathe there at anye time the common wealthe or the Churche beene in more quyet? Perhappes ye will ſay, from the firſte beginninge of this doctrine, the common ſorte everye wheare beganne to rage and to ryſe throughout Germany. Alowe it were ſo, yet Martin Luther the publiſher and ſetter forwarde of this doctrine, didde write marvelous vehementlye and ſharpely againſt them, and reclamed them home to peace and obedience.
But whereas it is wont ſometime to be objected, by perſonnes wantinge ſkil, touchinge the Helvetians chaunge of ſtate and killinge of Leopoldus the duke of Auſtria, and reſtoringe by force their Countrie to libertie, that was donne as appeereth playnelye by all ſtories, for twooe hundreth and threeſcore yeares paſt or above, under Boniface the eight, when the authoritie of the Byſhop of Rome was in greateſt jolitie, about two G.ii. hundereth 100 G2v hundreth yeres before Hulderike Zuinglius eyther beganne to teache the Goſpell, or yet was borne. And ever ſence that tyme, they have hadde all thinges ſtill and quiet, not onelye from forreine ennemies, but alſo from civell diſſenſion. And yf it were a ſinne in the Helvetians to deliver their owne countrie from foreine governemente, ſpeciallye when they were ſo proudelye and tyrannouſlye oppreſſed, yet to burthen us with other mennes faultes, or them with the faultes of their forefathers, is againſt all right and reaſone.
But O immortall God, and will the Byſſhoppe of Rome accuſe us of treaſon? will hee teache the people to obeye and folowe their Magiſtrates? or hath hee anye regarde at all of the Majeſtie of Princes? whye doothe hee then as none of the olde Byſſhoppes of Rome Auguſt. Steuthus Antonius illegible2 words heretofore ever didde, ſuffre hym ſelfe to bee called of his flaterers, Lorde of Lordes, as though hee woulde have all kinges 101 G3r Kynges and Princes, whoe and what ſo ever they are, to bee his underlinges? whye doothe hee vaunte hym ſelfe to bee kyng of kynges, and to have kyngelye Royaltie over his Subjectes? why compelleth he al emperors ; princes to ſwere to him fealtie and true obedience? Whye De Maioillegibleapproximatley 2 letters ; obediillegibleapproximately 2 letters Solite. doth he boaſte that the Emperours mageſtie is a thowſandfould inferiour to hym? and for this reaſon, ſpeciallye bycauſe De maiorillegibleapproximately 2 letters ; obedienillegibleapproximately 2 letters Unam ſāanctillegibleapproximately 2 letters God hath made two lyghtes in the heaven, and bycauſe heaven and yearthe were created not at two beginninges, but at on. Why hath he and hys complices (like Anabaptiſtes and Libertines, to thende they myght ronne on more licenciouſlye and careleſlye) ſhakēen of the yoke, and exempted themſelves from being under all civell power? why hath he his Legates (aſmuche to ſaye as moſt ſutle ſpyes) lieng in wayte in all kynges Courtes, Councells, and privey chambres? whye doth he, when he lyſt, ſette Chriſtian Princes one againſt an G.iii. other 102 G3v other, and at his owne pleaſure trouble the whole worlde with debate and diſcorde? why dothe hee excommunicate and commaund to be taken as a heathen and a Pagan any Chriſtian prince that renounceth his authoritie? and why promiſeth he his Indulgences ; his pardōons largely to any that will (what way ſoever it be) kil any of his ennemies? Doth hee maintaine Empires and kingdomes? Or dothe hee once deſire that common quiete ſhould be provided for? You muſt pardonne us good Reader, though wee ſeeme to utter theſe thinges more bitterlye and bitingly then it becommeth Divines to doe. For bothe the ſhamefulnes of the matter, and the deſire of rule in the Byſſhoppe of Rome is ſo exceeding and outragious, that it could not well be uttered with other words, or more mildly. illegibleapproximately 3 lettersment. 5. illegibleapproximately 2 lettersConcilio. illegibleapproximately 2 lettersunenſi. For he is not aſhamed to ſay in open aſſemblie, that all juriſdiction of al kinges dothe depend upon himſelfe. And to feed illegibleapproximately 1 letterspapa. his ambitiōon ; greedines of rule, hath he pulled in peeces the Empire of Rome, and 103 G4r and vexed and rent whole Chriſtendom aſunder: falſely and traiterouſlie alſo did he releaſe the Romains, the Italians, ; him ſelfe to, of the othe wherby they and hee were ſtraightly bound to bee true to the Emperour of Grecia, and ſtirred up the Emperours ſubjects to forſake him, and calling Carolus Martellus out of Frāance into Italie, made him Emperour: ſuch a Zacharia papa. thing as never was ſeene before. He put Chilpericus the Frenche king, being no evel prince, beſide his realm, only becauſe he fanſied him not, and wrongfullie placed Pipin in his roume. Againe, after he had caſt out king Philip, if he could have brought it ſo to paſſe, he had determined ; apointed the kingdom of Fraunce to Albertus king of Romaines. He utterly deſtroied Clemens papa.7. the ſtate of the moſt floriſhing cyty ; cōommōon weale of Florēence his own native coūuntrie, ; brought it out of a free ; peaſable ſtate, to be governed at the pleaſure Idēem Clem. of on māan: He brought to paſſe by his procurement the whole Savoy on the one ſide was miſerably ſpoyled by Themperour G.iiii. Charles 104 G4v Charles the fifth, and on the other ſyde by the Frenche kinge, ſo as the unfortunate duke had ſcant one Citie left him to hyde his head in. Wee are cloyed with exaumples in this behalfe, and it ſhoulde bee very tedious to recken up all the notorious deedes of the Byſhops of Rome. Of which ſide were they, I beſeche you, whiche poyſoned Henry Themperour, even in the receavinge of the ſacrament? whiche poyſoned Victor the Pope, even in the receaving of the Chalice? which poyſoned our king John kinge of England in a drinkinge cuppe? whoſoever at leaſt they were, and of what ſect ſoever, I am ſure they were neither Lutherians, nor Zwinglians. What is hee at this daye, whiche alloweth the mightieſt Kinges and Monarches of the worlde to kiſſe his bleſſed feete? What is hee that commaundeth the Emperour to goe by him at his horſe bridell, and the Frenche king to holde his ſtirrop? Who hurled under his table Fraunces Dandalus the duke of 105 G5r Sabellieus of Venice Kinge of Creta and Cypres, faſt bound with chaines, to feed of bones amonge his dogges? Who ſet the Emperiall crowne upon the Emperour Henry the ſixthys head, not with his hand but Coleſtinus papa. with his foote, and with the ſame foote againe caſt the ſame crowne of, ſayinge withall: hee had power to make Emperours, and to unmake them againe at his pleaſure? Who put in armes Henry Hildebrand papa. the ſonne againſt Themperour his father Henry the fourth, and wrought ſo that the Father was taken priſoner of his owne ſonne, and beinge ſhorne and ſhamfullye handeled, was thruſte into a monaſterie, where with hunger ; ſorow he pined away to death? Who ſo ilfavoredlye Innocenzia papa.3. and monſtrouſlye put the Emperour Frederikes necke under his feet, and as though that were not ſufficient, added further this texte out of the Pſalmes: Thou ſhalt go upon the Adder and cockatrice, and ſhalt treade the Lyon and Dragon under thy feete? Suche an exampleG.v. ample 106 G5v ample of ſcorninge and contemninge a Princes majeſtie, as never before this was heard tell of in any remembruance, except I weene, either of Tamerlanes the kinge of Scithia a wilde and barbarous creature, or els of Sapor king of the Perſians. All theſe not withſtandinge were Popes, all Peters ſucceſſours, all moſt holy fathers, whoſe ſeveral wordes wee muſt take to be as good as ſeverall Goſpels. Yf we be compted traytours whiche do honour oure Princes, whiche give them all obedience as muche as is due to them by Godds word, and which doo praye for them, what kinde of men then bee theſe, whiche have not onely done all the thinges before ſaide, but alſo alowe the ſame for ſpeciallye well don? Do they then either this way inſtruct ethe people as we do, to reverēence their magiſtrate: or can they with honeſty appeache us as ſeditious perſonnes, breakers of the common quiete, and deſpiſers or princes majeſtie?Truely 107 G6r
Truely we neither putte of the yoke of obedience from us, neyther doe wee diſorder realmes, neither doe we ſette up or pull downe Kinges, nor tranſlate governementes, nor give oure Kinges poyſonne to drinke, nor yet holde to them oure feete to be kiſſed, nor opprobriouſly triumphinge over them, leape into their neckes with oure feete. This rather is oure profeſſion, this is our doctrine, that everye ſoule of what callinge ſoever he be, be he Monke, bee he preacher, bee Chryſoſt.Chrysostome in 13.cap. ad Romanos. he prophet, be he Apoſtle, ought to be ſubject to kings ; magiſtrates: yea and that the Byſhop of Rome himſelfe, onleſſe he will ſeeme greater then the Evangeliſts, then the Prophetes, or the Apoſtles, ought bothe to acknowledge and to call the Emperour his Lorde and maiſter: Gregorius papa ſæpe in epiſt. which the old biſhops of Rome, who lived in times of more grace, ever did. Our cōomm ōon teachīing alſo is, that we ought ſo to obey princes as mēen ſent of God, ; that whoſo withſt āandeth thēem, withſtandeth Gods ordinance, This 108 G6v This is oure ſcholinge, and this is well to be ſeene bothe in oure bookes and in our preachinges, and alſo in the maners and modeſt behaviour of oure people.
But where they ſaye, we have gon awaye from the unitie of the catholique Churche, this is not onelye a matter of malice, but beſides, though it bee moſte untrue, yet hath it ſome ſhew and apparance of trouth. For the common people and ignoraunt multitude give not credit alone to thinges true and of certaintie, butte even to ſuche thinges alſo, yf anye chaunce, which may ſeeme to have but a reſemblaunce of trouth. Therfore we ſee that ſubtle and craftie perſones, when they had no truth on their ſide, have ever contēended and hotely argued with things likely to be true, to the intent they which were not able to eſpie the very grounde of the matter, might be caried awaye at leaſt with ſome pretenſe and probabilitie thereof. In times paſt where the firſte Chriſtians, oure forefathers, in makinge their 109 G7r their prayers to God, didd tourne themſelves towardes the Eaſte, there were Tertull.Tertullian in Apol.Apologetico ca. 16. that ſayde, they worſhipped the ſunn, and reckened it as God. Againe, where oure forefathers ſaide, that as touchinge immortall and everlaſting life, thei lived by no other meanes but by the fleſh and bloud of that lambe who was without ſpott, that is to ſay, of oure ſaviour Jeſus Chriſt, ethe envious creatures and foes of Chriſtes Croſſe, whoſe only care was to bringe Chriſtian religion into ſlaunder by al māanner of wayes, made people beleeve, that they were wicked perſons, Tertull.Tertullian in Apologet.Apologetico ca. 7.8.9. that they ſacrificed mens fleſhe, and dronke mennes bloud. Alſo where oure forefathers ſaide, that before God there is neither man nor woman, nor for atteininge to the true righteouſnes there is no diſtinction at all of perſonnes, and that they didde call one an other indifferentlye by the name of Siſters and Brothers, there wanted not menne whiche forged falſe tales upon the ſame, ſayng, 110 G7v ſayenge that the Chriſtians made noe Tertull.Tertullian in Apologet.Apologetico ca. 3 9. difference amonge them ſelves, eyther of age or of kinde, but like brute beaſtes without regarde had to do one with an other. And where for to pray ; heare the Goſpell, they mette often together in ſecret and byeplaces, becauſe Rebelles ſomtime were wonte to do the like. Rumors were every where ſpredd abroade howe they made privie confederacies, and counſeled together either to kill the magiſtrates, or to ſubvert the common wealth. And where in celebratinge the holye myſteries, after Chriſtes inſtitution, they tooke breade and wyne, they were thought of many not to worſhippe Auguſtinus. Chriſte, but Bacchus and Ceres, forſomuche as thoſe vaine Goddes were woorſhipped of the Heathen in like ſort, after a prophane ſuperſtition, with bread and wyne. Theſe thinges were beleved of manye, not bicauſe they were true in deed (for what coulde be more untrue?) but bicauſe they were lyke to bee true, and 111 G8r and through a certain ſhadow of truth myghte the more eaſilye deceive the ſimple. On this faſhion likewiſe dooe theſe menne ſlaunder us as Heretiques, and ſaye that wee have lefte the Church and felowſhippe of Chriſte: not bicauſe they thinke it is true, for they dooe not muche force of that, but bicauſe to ignorannte folke it myght perhappes ſomwaye appeere true. Wee have in deede putt oure ſelves aparte, not as heretikes are woonte, from the Churche of Chriſt, but as all good menne oughte to doo, from the infection of naughtye perſons and hypocrites.
Nevertheleſſe in this poynte they triumphe marvelouſlye that they bee the Churrche, that theyre Churche ys Chriſtes ſpowſe, the piller of truthe, the arke of Noe, and that without it there is no hope of ſalvation. Contrary wiſe, they ſaye that wee bee ronnegates, that we have torne Chriſtes ſeat: that wee are plucked quyte of from the body 112 G8v body of Chriſte, and have forſaken the catholique faithe. And when they leave nothinge unſpoken that may never ſo falſelie and malitioſlie be ſaide againſt us, yet this one thynge are they never hable truely to ſaye, that we have ſwarved eyther from the worde of God, or from the Apoſtles of Chriſt, or from the primative Churche. Surelye wee have ever judged the primative Churche of Chriſtes tyme, of the Appoſtles, and of the holie Fathers to be the catholique Churche: neyther make we doubt to name it Noes arke, Chriſtes ſpouſe, the piller and upholder of al trueth: nor yet to fixe therin the whole meane of oure ſalvation. It is doubtles an odiouſe mater for one to leave the fellowſhipp whereunto he hath ben accuſtomed, and ſpecially of thoſe men, who though they be not, yet at leaſte ſeme and be called Chriſtians. And to ſay truely, we do not diſpiſe the Churche of theſe men (howe ſoever it be ordered by thēem now a dayes partely 113 H1r partely for the name ſake yt ſelfe, ; partely for that the Goſpell of Jeſu Chriſt hath once ben therin truely and purelye ſet furth. Neyther had we departed therfrom, but of very neceſſitie, and much againſt our wils. But I put caſe, an Idol be ſet up in the Churche of God, and the ſame deſolation which Chriſt prophecied to comme, ſtoude openly in the holy place? what yf ſom theefe or pirat invade and poſſeſſe Noes arke? Theſe folkes as often as they tell us of the Churche, meane therby themſelves alone, and attribute all theſe titles to their owne ſelves, boaſting as they did in tymes paſt whiche cryed The temple of the Lorde, The temple of the lorde: or as the Phariſeis and Scribes dyd, whiche craked they were Abrahams children. Thus with a gay and jolie ſhewe deceive they the ſimple, and ſeke to choke us with the very name of the church. Muche like as yf a theefe, when he hath gotten into an other mans houſe, and by violence eytherH.i. ther 114 H1v ther hath thruſt out or ſlayne the owner, ſhould afterwarde aſſigne the ſame houſe to hym ſelfe, caſting furthe of poſſeſſion the right inheritour: Or yf Antichriſt after he hath once entred into the Temple of God, ſhould afterward ſaye, This houſe is myne own, ; Chriſt hath nothinge to do withall. For theſe menne nowe after they have left nothyng remaining in the churche of God that hath any liknes of this Church, yet will they ſeeme the Patrones and the valiaunte maynteners of the Churche, very like as Grachus amongeſt the Romaynes ſtoode in defence of the treaſury, not withſtanding with his prodigalitie and fond expences he had utterlye waſted the whole ſtocke of the treaſurie. And yet was there never any thing ſo wicked or ſo far out of reaſon, but lightelye yt might be covered ; defended by the name of the church. For the waſpes alſo make honyecombes as well as Bees, ; wicked men have companyes lyke to the Churche of God, yet for all that they be not ſtreight wey the 115 H2r the people of God which ar called the people of God: neither be they al Iſraelits aſmany as ar com of Iſraell the father: The Arrians not withſtanding thei were heretiques, yet bragged they that they alone were Catholiques, calling all the Auguſtinu.Augustinus in epiſt.epistle 48 ad vincent. reſt now Ambroſiāans, now Athanaſiāans, now Johannites. And Neſtorius, as ſaith Theodorete, for all he was an Heretique, yet covered he hym ſelfe τησ ορθοδοζίασ προδχήματι, that is to weete, with a certaine cloke and colour of the true ; right faith. Ebion though he agreed in opinion with the Samaritanes, yet as ſaith Epiphanius, he woulde be called a Chriſtian. The Mahomytes at this day, for al that al hiſtories make plaine mention, and themſelves alſo cannot denye, but they toke their firſt begynning of Agar the bonde woman, yet for the very name and ſtockes ſake, chuſe they rather to be caled Saracenes, as though they came of Sara the free woman and Abrahams wyfe. So likewiſe the falſe H.ii. Prophetes 116 H2v Prophetes of all ages whiche ſtode up againſt the Prophetes of God, whiche reſiſted Eſayas, Jeremye, Chriſt, and the Apoſtles, at no tyme craked of any thing ſomuche, as they dyd of the name of the Churche. And for no nother cauſe did they ſo fearcely vexe them and cal thēem Ronneawayes and Apoſtatas, then for that they forſoke their fellowſhipp, and kepte not thordinaunces of the Elders: wherfore yf we would folow the judgementes of thoſe men only, who then governed the Churche, and would reſpecte nothing els neyther God nor his word, yt muſte nedes bee confeſſed, that the Apoſtles were rightlie and by juſt lawe condemned of thēem to deathe, bycauſe they fell from the Byſhops and preiſtes, that is you muſt thīinke, from the Catholique Churche: and bycauſe they made many new alterations in Religion contrarie to the Byſhops and Preiſtes willes, yea and for all their ſpurninge ſo erneſtlye againſt it: wherfore like as it is written that 117 H3r that Hercules in olde time was forced in ſtriving with Anteus that huge giaunt, to lyfte him quite up from the earth that was his Mother ere he could conqueere him, even ſo muſt our Adverſaries be heaved from their Mother, that is from this vaine colour ; ſhadow of the church, wherewith they ſo diſguiſe and defende themſelves, otherwyſe they cannot be brought to yelde unto the word of God. And therefore ſaith Jeremye the Prophete, Make not ſuche great boaſte that the Temple of the Lorde is with you, this is but a vaine confidence, for theſe are lyes. The Aungell alſo ſaith in the Apocalyps, They ſay they be Jewes but they be ethe Synagoge of Sathan. And Chriſt ſayd to the Phariſies when they vaunted them ſelfe of the kynred ; bloud Iohan.Iohanus 8. of Abraham: ye are of your father the Devel, for you reſemble not your father Abraham. aſmuche to ſaye, ye are not the men ye woulde ſo faine be called, ye begile the people with vaine titles, and H.iii. abuſe 118 H3v abuſe the name of the Churche, to the overthrowing of the Churche.
So that theſe mens parte had ben firſt to have clearely and truely proved that the Romiſhe churche is the true and right inſtructed Churche of God, ; that the ſame, as they do order it at this day, dothe agre with the primative church of Chriſt, of the Apoſtles, and of the holye Fathers, whiche we doubt not but was in dede the true catholique Church. For our partes yf we could have judged ignoraunce, errour ſuperſtition, Idolatrie, mennes Inventions, and the ſame cōommōonlie diſagreinge with the holy Scriptures, eyther pleaſed God, or to be ſufficient for thobtainige everlaſtyng ſalvation, or yf we could aſſertaine our ſelves that the worde of God was written but for a time only, and afterwarde againe ought to be abrogated and put awaye, or els that the ſayinges and commaundementes of God ought to be ſubjecte to mans will, that whatſoever God ſayeth and 119 H4r and commaundeth, except the Byſhopp of Rome willeth and commaundeth the ſame, it muſt be taken as void and unſpoken. Yf we coulde have brought our ſelves to beleve theſe thinges, we graunt there had ben no cauſe at all why wee ſhould have lefte theſe mennes cōpanie. As touching that we have now don, to departe from that Churche, whoſe errours were proved ; made manifeſt to the world, which Church alſo had alredy evid ēently departed from Gods worde, ; yet not to departe ſomuche from it ſelfe, as from therrours therof, ; not to do this diſorderlye or wickedly, but quietlie and ſobrelye, we have don nothing herein againſt the doctrine eyther of Chriſt or of his Apoſtles. For neyther is the Church of God ſuche as it may not be duſked with ſome ſpot, or aſketh not ſometime reparation: els what nedith there ſo many aſſembles and Councelles, without the which, as ſaith Egidius, the Chriſtian faith is not hable to ſtand? For loke ſaith he 120 H4v In Concil. Lateranēenſe ſub Iulio.2. he, howe often Councelles are diſcontinued, ſo often is the Church deſtitute of Chriſt. Or yf there be no peryle that harme maye come to the church, what nede is there to reteyne to no purpoſe the names of Byſhops, as is now commenlye uſed amonge them? For yf there be no ſhepe that may ſtrey, whye be they called ſhepardes? yf there be no Citie that may be betraied, why be they called watchemen? yf there be nothing that may ronne to ruyne, why be thei called Pillers? Anone after the firſt creation of the worlde the churche of God began to ſpreade abrode, and the ſame was inſtructed wyth the heavenly word, whiche God hym ſelfe pronounced with his owne mouth. It was alſo furniſhed with divine ceremonies. It was taught by the ſpirit of God, by the Patriarches and Prophetes, and continued ſo even till the tyme that Chriſte ſhewed himſelfe to us in the fleſh. This not withſtāanding, how often o good God, in the meane whyle, and how horribly was 121 H5r was the ſame Churche darkened and decayed? where was that Churche then, when all fleſhe upon earth had defyled their owne waye? where was it when amōongeſt the nombre of the whole world there were only eyght perſones (; they neither all chaſt and good) whom Gods will was ſhoulde be ſaved alive from that univerſall deſtruction and mortalitie? When Ely the Prophete ſo lamentablie 3.Regum. illegibleapproximately 2 letters and byterly made mone, that onelye himſelfe was left of all the whole world whiche dyd truely and dewly worſhipp Eſai.1. God? and when Eſay ſaid, The ſilver of Goddes people (that is of the Churche) was become Droſſe: and that the ſame Citie which a foretime had ben faithful, was now become an harlot, and that in the ſame was no part found thoroughout the whol body frome the head to the fote? Or els when Chriſt him ſelfe ſayde, that the houſe of God was made by the Phariſies Math.Matthew illegibleapproximately 2 letters and Preiſtes a Denne of theves? Of a trouth, the Church even as a cornefyldH.v. nefield 122 H5v nefyld except it be ared, manured, tilled ; trimmed, in ſtede of wheate, it wil bring furthe thyſtles, darnell and nettilles. For this cauſe did God ſend ever among both Prophettes ; Apoſtles, ; laſt of al his own Son, who might bring home the people into the right waye, and repayre a new, the tottering Church after ſhe had erred.
But leaſt ſome manne ſhould ſay that the forſaid thinges happened in the tyme of the law onely, of ſhadowes, and of infancie, when truth laye hid under figures and ceremonies, whēen nothing as yet was brought to perfection, when the law was not gravēen in mennes heartes but in ſtone (and yet is that but a fooliſhe ſaying,) for even at thoſe dayes was there the very ſame God that is now, the ſame ſpirite, the ſame Chriſte, the ſame faith, the ſame doctrine, the ſame hope, the ſame inheritaunce, the ſame league, and the ſame efficacie and illegibleapproximately 9 letters vertue of Goddes worde. Euſebius alſo ſaith 123 H6r ſaith, all the faithfull even from Adam until Chriſt, were in very dede Chriſtiāans, though they were not ſo termed. But as I ſaid, leaſte men ſhould thus ſpeake ſtill Paul the apoſtle found the like faultes and falles even then in the prime and chiefe of the Goſpel, in chiefe perfection, and in lighte, ſo that he was compelled to write in this ſorte to the Galatians, whom he had wel before that inſtructed: I feare me (quod he) leaſte I have laboured emongeſt you in vayne, and leaſte ye have heard the Goſpel in vaine. O my litle Children, of whom I travaile a new, til Chriſt be faſhioned againe in you: And as for the Churche of the Corinthians, how fouly it was defiled, is nothing needeful to rehearce. Now tel me, might the Churches of the Galathians and Corinthians goe amiſſe, and the churche of Rome alone may it not fayle ner goe amyſſe? Surely Chriſt prophecyed long before of his churche, that the time ſhould come, when deſſolation ſhould ſtande in the 124 H6v illegible1 letterTeſſ.Thessalonians 2. the holy place. And Paul ſaith, that Antichriſt ſhould once ſet up his owne tabernacle and ſtately feath in the temple 2.Tim.4 of God: and that the time ſhuld be, whēen men ſhould not awaye with holeſome doctrin, but be turned back unto fables ; lies, and that wythin the very Church, illegible1 letter Petri. 2. Peter likewiſe tellyth, how there ſhould be teachers of lyes in the church of Chriſt: Daniel 8. Daniell the Prophete ſpeaking of the later times of Antichriſt, Truthe, ſayth he, in that ſeaſone ſhalbe throwen under foote, and troden uppon in the worlde. Math. 24. And Chriſt ſayeth, how the calamitie ; confuſion of thinges ſhalbe ſo exceding great, that even the choſen, yf it were poſſible, ſhalbe brought into errour: and how all theſe thinges ſhal come to paſſe not amōongeſt Gentiles and Turkes, but that they ſhould be in the holye place, in the Temple of God, in the churche, and in the companie and felowſhip of thoſe whiche profeſſe the name of Chriſt.
Albeit theſe ſame warnynges alone maye 125 H7r may ſuffice a wyſeman to take heede he do not ſuffer hym ſelfe raſhelye to be deceived with the name of the Churche, ; not to ſtaye to make further inquiſition therof by Gods worde, yet byſyde al this, many Fathers alſo, manye learned and godly men, have often and carefully complained, how all theſe thinges have chaunced in their lyfe time. For evēen in the middeſt of that thick myſt of darknes, God would yet ther ſhould be ſom, whoe thoughe they gave not a cleare ; bright light, yet ſhuld they kyndle, were it but ſome ſparke, which menne might eſpye being in the darkenes.
Contra Aurenttium. tium. Hylarius, when thinges as yet were almoſte uncorrupt, and in good caſe to, Ye are yll deceyved, ſaith he, with the love of walles, ye do ill worſhip the Church, in that ye worſhip it in houſes and buildinges: ye do yll bryng in the name of peace under roofes. Is there anye doubt but Antichriſt will have his ſeate under the ſame? I rather recken hilles, wodes, pooles, 126 H7v pools, maryſhes, priſons, ; quavemires, to be places of more ſafetie: for in theſe the Prophetes either abiding of their accorde, or drowned by violence, didde prophecie by the ſpirite of God.
In Regiſtro. illegible1 letter.4.epiſt.epistle, illegible2 letters ad Mauri. Gregorie, as one which perceaved and forſaw in his mind the wrack of al things wrote thus to John Byſſhop of Conſtantinople, who was the firſte of all others that commaunded himſelfe to bee called by this newe name, the univerſall Biſhop of whole Chriſtes Church. Yf the Churche ſaith he, ſhall depend upon one manne, it will at once fall downe to the grownd. Who is he that ſeeth not how this is come to paſſe longe ſince? for longe a gone hathe the Byſſhop of Rome willed to have the whole Churche depende upon himſelfe alone. Wherefore it is no mervail, though it be clean fallen downe longe agone.
illegible1 word, 1 number Bernard the Abbot above foure hundred yeares paſt writeth thus: Nothinge is nowe of ſinceritie and purenes emongeſt the 127 H8r the Cleargie, wherfore it reſteth that the man of ſin ſhould be revealed. The ſame Bernarde in his worke of the converſion of Paul, It semeth now ſaith he, that perſecution hath ceaſed: no no, perſecution ſeemeth but nowe to beginne, even from them whiche have chiefe preeminence in the Churche. Thy friendes and neighbours have drawen neere, ; ſtoode up againſt thee: from the ſole of thy foot to the crowne of thy heade, there is no part whole. Iniquitie is proceeded from the Elders, the Judges and deputies which pretende to rule thy people. Wee cannot ſaye nowe, Loke how the people be, ſo is the prieſt. For the people be not ſo ill as the prieſt is. Alas, alas o Lorde God, the ſelfe ſame perſons be the chiefe in perſecutinge thee, which ſeeme to love the higheſt place, and beare moſte rule in thy church. The ſame Bernard again upon the Canticles writeth thus. All they are thy friendes, yet are they all thy foes, all thy kinſefolke, yet are they all thy aduerſaries, 128 H8v adverſaries, being Chriſts ſervants, thei ſerve Antichriſt, Beholde in my reſt, my bitternes is moſte bitter.
In libello de illegible1 word illegible3 lettersnarum. Roger Bacon alſo a man of great fame, after he had in a vehement Oration touched to the quicke the wofull ſtate of his owne time, Theſe ſo many errours ſaith he, require ; loke for Antichriſt. Gerſōon cōomplaineth how in his daies al the ſubſtāance ; efficacie of ſacred divinitie was brought into a glorious contention ; oſtēentatiōon of wits, ; to very ſophiſtrie. The Friers of Lions, mēen as touchīing the maner of their life, not to be miſliked, wer wōont boldly to affirm, that the Romiſh church (frōom whence alone al couſel ; ordres was thēen ſought) was the very ſame harlot of Babylon, ; rowt of Divels, wherof is propheſied ſo plainely in the Apocalyps. I know wel enough the authoritie of the forſaid perſōons is but lightly regarded amōongeſt theſe men. How thēen if I cal furth thoſe for witneſſes illegible1 word whōom themſelves have uſed to honor? what if I ſay that Adryan the Byſſhop of Rome 129 I1r Rome did franklye confeſſe, that all theſe miſchieves braſt out firſt from the highe throne of the Pope? Pighius acknowlegeth herein to be a fault, that many abuſes are brought in, even into the verye Maſſe, which Maſſe otherwiſe he wold have ſeeme to be a reverend matter. Gerſon ſaithe, that through the number of moſte fonde ceremonies, all the vertue of the holye Ghoſte, whiche ought to have full operation in us, ; all true Godlines is utterlye quenched and deade. Whole Grecia and Aſia complaine howe the Byſſhoppes of Rome with the martes of their Purgatories ; Pardons, have both tormented mennes conſciences, and picked their purſes.
As touching the tyranny of the Byſhops of Rome and their barbarous Perſian- like pride, to leave out others whom percha ūunce thei reckēen for enemes, bicausſe thei freely ; liberally find fault with their vices, the ſelfe ſame men whiche have ledd their lyfe at Rome in the holye Citie, I.i. in 130 I1v in the face of the moſte holye Father, whoe alſo were able to ſee all their ſecretes, and at no tyme departed from the Catholike faith: As for example Laurentius Valla, Marſilius Patavinus, Fraunces Petrarke, Hierome Savanorola, Abbott Joakim, Baptiſt of Mantua, and before all theſe, Bernarde the Abbotte, have manye a tyme and muche complayned of yt, gevinge the worlde alſo ſometyme to underſtande, that the Byſſhoppe of Rome hymſelfe (by youre leave) is verye Antichriſte. Whether they ſpake yt truelye or falſelye, lette that goe: ſure I am they ſpake it plainelye. Neyther canne anye manne alledge that thoſe authors were Luthers or Zwinlius ſchollers, for they were not onelye certaine yeares, but alſo certaine ages or ever Luther or Zwinglius names were hearde of. They well ſawe that even in their dayes errours had crept into the Churche, and wiſhed earneſtly they might be amended.And 131 I2r
And what marvaile yf the Churche were then caryed awaye with errours in that time, ſpecially when neither the Byſhop of Rome who thēen only ruled the roſte, nor almoſte any other, either didde his dewtie, or once underſtoode what was his duetie. For it is harde to be beleeved, whyles they were ydle and faſt a ſleepe, that the Divell alſo all that whyle either fell a ſleepe, or els continually lay ydle. For how they were occupied in the meane time, and with what faithfulneſſe they tooke care of Goddes houſe, though wee holde oure peace, yet I praye you lette them heare Bernarde Bernarde ad Eugnium. their owne friend. The Byſſhops (ſaith he) who now have the charge of Gods churche, are not teachers but deceavers, they are not feeders butte begylers, they are not Prelates butte Pylates. Theſe woordes ſpake Bernarde of that Byſſhoppe, who named himſelfe the higheſt Byſſhoppe of all, and of the other Byſſhoppes likewyſe whiche then hadde the I.ii. place 132 I2v place of governement. Bernard was no Lutherian, Bernard was no heretike, he had not forſaken the Catholike churche, yet nevertheles he didde not lette to call the Biſhoppes that then were, deceivers, begilers, and Pylates. Nowe when the people was openly deceived, and Chriſtian mennes eyes were craftely bleared, and when Pilat ſatte in judgement place and condemned Chriſt ; Chriſtes members to the ſwoorde and fyer, Oh good Lord, in what caſe was Chriſtes church then? But yet tell me, of ſo manye and groſſe errours, what one have theſe men at anye time refourmed, or what faulte have they once acknowleged ; cōonfeſſed?
But forſomuche as theſe men avouche univerſall poſſeſſion of the catholike Churche to bee their owne, and call us Heretiques, bicaucauſe wee agree not in judgemente with them, let us knowe I beſeeche you, what propre marke and badge hathe that Churche of theyrs, whereby it maye bee knowen to bee the Churche 133 I3r Church of God. Iwys it is not ſo hard a matter to finde out Goddes Churche, yf a manne will ſeeke it earneſtlye and diligentlye. For the Churche of Godde is ſette upon a highe and gliſteringe place in the toppe of an hill, and buylte upon the foundacion of the Apoſtles Auguſt, de Unitare Eccle. cap. 3. and prophettes: There, ſaith Auguſtine, lette us ſeeke the Church, there lette us trye oure matter. And as he ſaith againe Idem. ca. 4. in an other place, The Churche muſt be ſhewed out of the holy and canonicall ſcriptures: and that whiche can not bee ſhewed out of them, is not the Churche. Yet for all this I wote not howe, whether it be for feare or for conſcience, or deſpearing of victory, theſe mēen alway abhor and flie the woorde of God, even as the theefe fleethe the gallowes. And no wonder truely, for lyke as men ſaye the Cantharus by and by periſheth and dyeth, asſone as it is laide in balme, notwithſtandinge balme be otherwiſe a moſt ſweete ſmellynge ointment: even ſo theſe men I.iii. well 134 I3v well ſee their owne matter is dampped and deſtroyed in the woorde of God, as if it were in poyſon. Therefore the holy ſcriptures which oure Savioure Jeſu Chriſte didd not onely uſe for authoritie in all his ſpeache, butte didde alſo at laſt ſeale up the ſame with his owne bloude: theſe menne to the entent they myghte with leſſe buſines drive the people from the ſame, as from a thinge daungerous and deadlye, have uſed to call theim A bare letter, uncertaine, unprofitable, domme, killing, and dead: which ſeemeth to us all one, as yf they ſhoulde ſay, The ſcriptures are to no purpoſe or as good as none. Hereunto they adde alſo a ſimilitude not very agreeable, howe the ſcriptures be like to a noſe of war, or a ſhipmans hoſe: how they may be faſhioned Albertus Pighius in Hierar and plyed al manner of waies, and ſerve al mennes turnes. Wotteth not the Byſſhop of Rome that theſe thinges are ſpoken by his owne minions: or underſtandeth he not, he hath ſuche champions to fight 135 I4r fight for him? Let him harken then how holilye ; how godlye one Hoſius writeth of this matter, a Byſhop in Polonia as he teſtifieth of himſelfe: a man doubtleſſe wel ſpokēen ; not unlerned, ; a very ſharp and ſtout mainteinour of that ſyde. One will marvaile I ſuppoſe, howe a good manne coulde either conceave ſo wickedlye, or wryte ſo diſpytefullye of thoſe woordes whiche hee knewe proceeded from Goddes mouthe, and ſpeciallye in ſuche ſorte, as hee woulde not have it ſeeme his owne private opinion alone, butte the common opinion of all that band. He diſſembleth I graunt you in deede, and hydeth what hee is, and ſetteth fourth the matter ſo, as though it were not bee and his ſyde, butte the Zwenkfeldian heretiques that ſo didd Hoſius de expreſſo verbo Dei. ſpeake. Wee, ſaythe hee, will bidde awaye with the ſame ſcriptures, whereof wee ſee brought not onelye diverſe, butte alſo contrarye interpretations: and wee will heare God ſpeake, rather then 136 I4v then wee will reſorte to theſe naked elementes, and appoynt oure ſalvation to reſte in them. It behoveth not a manne to bee experte in the lawe and ſcripture, butte to bee taught of God. It is butte loſte labour that a manne beſtoweth in the ſcriptures, for the ſcripture is a creature, and a certaine bare letter. This is Hoſius ſayeng, uttered altogether with the ſame ſpirit and the ſame mind, wherwith in times paſt Montane and Martion were moved, whoe as men reporte, uſed to ſaye when with a contempt they rejected the holye ſcriptures, that themſelves knew many mo and better things then eyther Chriſte of the Apoſtles ever knewe.
What thenne ſhall I ſaye heere, O ye principall poſtes of Religion, O ye Archegovernours of Christes Churche, is this that youre reverence which ye geve to Goddes woorde? The holye Scriptures whiche S.SaintPaule ſaith came by the inſpiration of Godde, whiche 137 I5r whiche God dyd commende by ſo many miracles, wherin are the moſte perfit printes of Chriſtes owne ſteppes, which all the holy Fathers, Apoſtles, and Aungeles, whiche Chriſt hym ſelfe the ſonne of God, as often as was nedefull dyd alleadge for teſtimonie and proufe: will ye, as though they were unworthie for you to heare, did them Avaūunt away? that is, wil ye injoyne God to kepe ſilence, who ſpeakith to you moſt clearely by his own mouth in the Scriptures? Or that word, wherby alone, as Paul ſaith, we are reconciled to God, and whiche the Prophet David ſaith, ys holye and pure and ſhall laſt forever, will ye call that but a bare and dead lettre? Or wil ye ſay that all our labour is loſt, whiche is beſtoued in that thinge which Chriſt hath commaūunded us diligently to ſearche and to have evermore before our eyes? And wil ye ſaye that Chriſt and the Apoſtls ment with ſubtelty to deceive the people, when they exhorted them to reade the holieI.v. lie 138 I5v lie Scriptures, that therby they might flow in al wiſedom and knowledge? No marvaile at al, though theſe men diſpiſe us and all our doinges, which ſet ſo litle by God himſelfe ; his infallible ſaiengs. Yet was it but want of witt in them, to thintent they might hurt us, to do ſo extreme injury to the word of God.
But Hoſius will here make exclamation ſaieng, we do him wrong, and that theſe be not his owne wordes, but the words of the heretique Zwenkfeldius. But how than, yf Zwenkfeldius make exclamation on the other ſyde, and ſaye that the ſame very wordes be not his but Hoſius owne wordes? For tell me where hath Zwenkfeldius ever writtēen thēem? or yf he have writtēen them, ; Hoſius have judged the ſame to be wicked, why hath not Hoſius ſpoken ſomuch as one worde to confute them? Howſoever the mater goeth, although Hoſius paradvēenture wil not allowe of thoſe wordes, yet he doth not diſallow the meaning of the wordes 139 I6r wordes. For wel nere in all controverſies, and namely touching the uſe of the holy communion under both kindes, although the wordes of Chriſt be plaine and evident, yet doth Hoſius diſdainefully reject them, as no better then colde and dead elementes: and commaundeth to give faith to certaine new leſſons apointed by the Church, ; to I wot not what revelations of the holye Ghoſte. And Pighius ſaieth, men ought not to beleve, no not the moſt cleare and manifeſt wordes of the ſcriptures, onles the ſame be allowed for good by the interpretatiōon and auctoritie of the churche.
And yet as though this were to litle, they alſo burne the holye ſcriptures, as in times paſte wicked kyng Aza dyd, or as Antiochus, or Maximinus did, and are wont to name thēem Heretiques boks. And out of doubt to ſee to, they woulde faine do as Herode in oulde time dyd in Euſebius Jewrie, that hee myghte with more ſurety kepe ſtill his dominiōon. Why being an 140 I6v an Idumean borne, and a ſtraunger to the ſtocke and kinred of the Jewes, and yet coveting much to be takēen for a Jew, to thende he might eſtabliſh to him and his poſteritie the kyngdom of that countrey which he had gotten of Auguſtus Ceſar, he commaunded all the Genealogies and Petigrees to be burnte ; made out of the waye, ſo as there ſhoulde remaine no recorde, wherby he might be knowen to them that came after, that he was an Aliaunt in bloud: wheras even from Abrahams time theſe monumēentes had been ſafelye kepte amongeſte the Jewes and layde up in theire threſury, bicauſe in them it might eaſely ; moſte aſſuredly be found of what linage every one did deſcende. So (in good faith) doe theſe menne when they woulde have all their owne doinges in eſtimation, as though they had ben delivered to us evēen from the Apoſtles or from Chriſte hymſelfe, to thende there might be founde no where any thinge able to convince ſuch their 141 I7r their dreames and lies, either they burne the holie Scriptures, or els they craftely conveye them from the people ſurely.
Chryſoſt.Chrysostomeillegible2 letters opera illegible1 word Very rightlye and aptly doth Chryſoſtome writte againſt theſe menne Heretiques, ſaith he, ſhutt up the doores againſt the trueth: for they know ful wel, yf the doore were open, the Churche ſhuld be none of theirs. Theophylact alſo: Gods worde ſaith he, is the Candle whereby the theefe is eſpyed: and Tertullian ſaith, the holy Scripture manifeſtlye findeth out the fraude and theafte of Heretiques. For why do they hyde, why do they kepe under the Goſpell, whiche Chriſt would have preched alowde from the houſe top? Why whealme they that light under a Buſhell, whiche ought to ſtande on a Candleſtick? why truſt they more to the blyndenes of the unfaitfull multitude and to ignoraunce, then to the goodnes of their cauſe? thinke they their flightes are not alredy perceived, and that they cāan walke now uneſpied, as though they 142 I7v they had Giges ryng to go inviſible by, upon theyre finger? No no: all men ſee nowe well and well agayne, what good ſtuffe is in the Cheſt of the Byſſhop of Romes boſome. This thinge alone of it ſelfe maye be an argumente ſufficiente, that they worke not uprightly and truely. Worthely ought that mater ſeme ſuſpicious which fleeth trial, and is afrayde of the light: for he that doth evill, as Chriſt ſaith, ſeekith darkeneſſe, ; hateth light. A conſcience that knowith it ſelfe cleere, cōometh willingly into open ſhew, that the workes whiche procede of God may be ſeen. Neither be they ſo very blind, but they ſe this wel ynogh howe their owne kyngedome ſtrayght way is at a pointe, yf the ſcripture once have the upper hande: and that lyke as men ſay, the Idolles of divells in times paſt, of whom menne in doubtfull matters were then wont to receive aūunſwers, were ſodenly ſtriken domme at the ſight of Chriſt, when he was borne and came into 143 I8r into the world: even ſo they ſee that now al their ſuttle practiſes wil ſone fal down hedlong upon the ſight of the Goſpell. For Antichriſt is not overthrowen but with the brightnes of Chriſtes cōoming.
As for us, we runne not for ſuccour to the fyer as theſe mennes guyſe is, but we runne to the ſcriptures: neyther doe we reaſon with the ſworde, but with the worde of God: and therewith as ſaythe Tertullian, do we feed our fayth: by it do we ſtyr up our hope, and ſtrengthen our confidence. For wee knowe that the Goſpell of Jesu Christ is the power of God unto ſalvation, and that therein conſiſteth eternall lyfe. And as Paule warneth us, wee do not heare, no not an Aungel of God coming from heaven, yf he go about to pull us from any parte of this doctrine. Yea more then this, as the holy martyr Juſtine ſpekith of hym ſelfe, we would give no credence to God him ſelfe, yf he ſhould teache us any other Goſpell.For 144 I8v
For where theſe menne byd the holie Scriptures away, as domme and frutles, and procure us to come to God him ſelfe rather, who ſpeaketh in the Church and in Councelles: whiche is to ſaye, to beleve their fanſies and opinions. This waye of fynding out the truth is verye uncertaine and exceding daungerous, ; in māanner a Fantaſtical ; a mad way, and by no meanes allowed of the holye Fathers. Chryſoſtom ſaith, there be many oftentymes whiche boaſt themſelves of the holye Ghoſte: but truelye who ſo ſpeake of their owne head, doe falſelye boaſt they have the ſpirite of God. For like as, ſaith he, Chriſt denied he ſpake of him ſelfe when he ſpake out of the lawe and Prophets, even ſo now, yf any thing be preaſſed upon us in the name of the holy Ghoſte ſave the Goſpell, we ought not to beleve it. For as Chriſt is the fulfilling of the lawe and the Prophetes, ſo is the holye Ghoſte the fulfyllinge of the Goſpell. Thus farre goeth Chryſoſtomeſtom 145 K1r ſtome.
But here I looke thei wil ſay, though they have not the Scriptures, yet maye chaunce they have the Auncient Doctours, and the holy Fathers with them. For this is a high bragge they have ever made, how that al antiquity and a continuall conſent of all ages dothe make on their ſide: and that all our caſes be but new ; yeſter dayes worke, ; untill theſe fewe laſte yeares never heard of. Queſtionleſſe there can nothing be more ſpitfully ſpoken againſt the religion of God thēen to acuſe it of noveltie, as a new comēen up matter. For as ther can be no chaūunge in God him ſelfe, no more ought there to be in his religion.
Yet nevertheles we wote not by what meanes, but we have ever ſeene it come ſo to paſſe from the firſt beginning of al, that as often as God did give but ſome light, and did open his truth unto men, though the truth wer not only of greateſt antiquitie, but alſo from everlaſting, yet K.i. of 146 K1v of wicked men ; of the adverſaries was it called Newfāangled and of late deviſed. That ungracious and bloud thriſti Haman, when he ſought to procure the king Aſſueruſes diſpleaſure againſt the Jewes, this was his accuſation to him: Thou haſt here, (ſaith he) a kinde of people that uſeth certaine new lawes of their owne, but ſtifnecked ; rebellious againſt al thy lawes. When Paule alſo began firſt to preach ; expoūund the Goſpel at Athenes, he was called A tidinges bringer of newe Gods: as muche to ſaye, as of new religion. for (said the Athenians) maye wee not knowe of thee what newe doctrine this is? Celſus likewiſe when he of ſet purpoſe wrote againſt Chriſt, to thende he might more ſcornefully ſcoffe out the Goſpel by the name of noveltye, What, ſaith he, hath God after ſo many ages nowe at laſt, and ſo late bethought himſelfe? Euſebius alſo wryteth, that Chriſtian religion from the beginning for very ſpite was called Νέα και ζέυη, that is to ſay 147 K2r ſay New ; ſtrange. After like ſorte, theſe men cōondemne all our matters as ſtrange ; newe, but they will have their owne, whatſoever thei are to be praiſed as thinges of long cōontinuāance. Doing much like to the enchaūunters ; ſorcerers now a daies, which working with divels uſe, to ſay, thei have their bokes and al their holy ; hidd myſteries from Athanaſius, Cyprian, Moſes, Abell, Adam, ; from the Archaungell Raphael, becauſe that their connīing comming from ſuche patrones ; founders, might be judged the more high and holy. After the ſame faſſhion theſe men, bicauſe they would have their owne religion whiche they themſelves, and that not longe ſince, have brought forth into the world to be the eaſilier and rather accepted of fooliſhe perſons, or of ſuche as caſte little whereabouts thei or other do go, thei are wont to ſay, they had it from Auguſtine, Hierome, Chryſoſtome, frōom the Apoſtles, and from Chriſte himſelfe. Ful wel knowe thei, that nothinge is more K.ii. in 148 K2v in the peoples favour, or better liketh the common ſorte then theſe names.
But how if the thinges whiche theſe men are ſo deſirous to have ſeeme newe, be found of greateſt antiquitie? Contrariwiſe, howe if all the thinges well nye, whiche they ſo greatly ſet out with the name of antiquitie, having been wel and throughly examined, be at length founde to be but new, and deviſed of verye late? Southly to ſay, no man that had a true and right cōonſideracion, would think the Jewes lawes and cerimonies to be new for all Hammans accuſation: for they were graven in very auncient Tables of moſt antiquitie. And although many did take Chriſt to have ſwarved from Abraham ; the old fathers, ; to have brought in a certaine newe religion in his owne name, yet aunſwered hee them directly: Yf ye beleeved Moyſes, ye woulde beleeve mee alſo, for my doctrine is not ſo new as you make yt. For Moſes an author of greateſt antiquitie, and one to whome 149 K3r whome ye geve al honor, hath ſpoken of me. Paule likewiſe, though the Goſpell of Jeſus Chriſte be of many counted to be but new, yet hath it (ſaith he) the teſtimonie moſt old, both of the law and prophetes. As for our doctrine whiche wee may rightlier cal Chriſtes catholik doctrine, it is ſo farre of from newe, that God who is above all moſt auncient, ; the father of our Lorde Jeſus Chriſte, hath left the ſame unto us in the Goſpel, in the prophets ; Apoſtles woorkes, beinge monuments of greateſt age. So that no man can nowe thinke oure doctrine to be newe, onleſſe the ſame thinke either the prophetes faithe, or the Goſpell, or els Chriſte himſelfe to be newe.
And as for their religion, if it be of ſo longe continuance as thei woulde have men weene it is, why doe they not prove it ſo by the exaumples of the Primative Churche, and by the Fathers and Councells of olde tymes? Whye lyeth ſo auncient a cauſe thus longe in the duſte, K.iii. deſtitute 150 K3v deſtitute of an Advocate? Fyer and ſworde they have had alwayes ready at hande, but as for the olde Councels ; the fathers, al Mum, not a word. They did ſurely againſt all reaſon to beginne firſt with theſe ſo bloudy and extreme means if thei could have found other more eaſy and gentle wayes. And yf they truſte ſo fully to antiquitie, and uſe no diſſimulation, why didde John Clement a countrye manne of owres, but fewe yeares paſt, in the preſence of certaine honeſt menne and of good credite, teare and caſt into the fyer certaine leaves of Theodorete the moſte aunciente Father and a greeke Byſſhoppe, wherein he plainelye and evidentlye taughte, that the nature of breade in the Communion was not chāanged, aboliſhed or brought to nothing And this didde he of purpoſe, bicauſe he illegibleapproximately 1 letteriſtinct.27 Quidam. thought ther was no other copy thereof to be foūund. Why ſaith Albertus Pighius that the auncient father Auguſtine had a wronge opinion of originall ſinne? And that 151 K4r Auguſt.Augustinus de bono vidu. cap. 10.27, 4.1 illegibleapproximately 3 letters Nuptiarum bonum. that he erred and lyed, and uſed falſe logique as touching the caſe of matrimonie, concluded after a vow made whiche Auguſtin affirmeth to be perfect matrimony in dede, and cannot be undone again. Alſo when they did of late put in printe the auncient father Origenes worke upon the Goſpell of John, why left they Liber hodie extat ; circumfertur inutilus quyte out the whole ſixth Capitre, wherin it is likely, yea rather of verye ſuerty, that the ſayd Origene had written many thinges concerning the Sacrament of the holye Communion, contrarie to theſe mennes myndes, and woulde put furthe that booke mangled rather then ful and perfit, for feare it ſhould reprove them ; their parteners of their errour. Call ye thys truſting to antiquitie, whēen ye rente in peces, kepe back, mayme and burne the aunciēent Fathers workes?
It is a worlde to ſee, how wel favouredlye and howe towardlye, touchinge Religion, theſe men agree with the Fathers, of whom they uſe to vaunte that they 152 K4v they be their own good. The old Councel Eliberine made a decree, that nothing that is honored of the people, ſhoulde be painted in the Churches. The olde father Epiphanius ſaith, it is an horrible wickednes, and a ſinne not to be ſuffered for any man, to ſet up any picture in the Churches of the Chriſtians, yea though it were the picture of Chriſte himſelfe. Yet theſe menne ſtore all their temples and eche corner of them with paynted and carved ymages, as though without them, religion were nothinge worth.
Origen.Origene in Levit, ca. 16. Chryſoſ.Chrysostome in Mattha. 1. Hom. 2. Idem in Johan.Iohanus3illegible1 letter. The olde fathers Origene and Chryſoſtome exhorte the people to reade the ſcriptures, to buy them bokes, to reaſon at home betwixte themſelves of divine matters: wives with their huſbāands, and parentes with their children: Theſe men condemne the ſcriptures as dead elemēents Cypri.epiſtepistle illegibleapproximately 2 letters. lib..illegible1 letter Epipha. cōontra Apostolicos, illegibleapproximately 2 words ſi.6illegible1 letter, and aſmuche as ever thei maye barre the people from them. The Auncient fathers Cyprian, Epiphanius ; Hierome ſay, it is better for one whoe perchaunce hathe made 153 K5r Hieronym.Hieronymus ad Demetoriillegible1 letter dem. made a vowe to leade a ſole lyfe, and afterwarde lyveth unchaſtely, and cannot quenche the flames of luſte, to marye a wyfe, and to lyve honeſtlye in wedlocke. And the ould Father Auguſtine judgeth the ſelfe ſame mariage to be good and perfit, and ought not to be brokēen again: Theſe menne yf a man have once bound hym ſelfe by a vowe, though afterward he burne, kepe queanes, and defile hym ſelfe with never ſo ſinfull and deſperate a lyfe, yet they ſuffer not that perſone to marye a wyfe: or yf he chaunce to mary, they alow it not for mariage. And they comonlye, teache it is muche better and more godlye to kepe a Concubine and and harlot, then to live in that kynde of mariage.
Ad Januarium. The ould Father Auguſtine complained of the multitude of vayne ceremonies, wherewith he evēen thēen ſawe mēens mindes and conſciences overcharged: Theſe men as though God regarded nothyng els but their ceremonies, have ſo out of K.v. meaſure 154 K5v meaſure increaſed them, that there is now almoſte none other thinge left in theire Churches and places of prayer.
Auguſt.Augustinus de opere illegible1 word verborum Again, that old father Auguſtin denieth it to be leefull for a Monke to ſpende his tyme ſlouthfully and ydleye, and under a pretenſed and counterfeite holines to live all upon others. And who ſo thus lyveth, an olde father Apollonius likeneth hym to a theefe. Theſe men have (I wote not whither to name them) droves or heardes of monkes) who for all they do nothīing, nor yet once intend beare any ſhew of holines, yet lyve they not onelye uppon others, but alſo ryot lavyſhly of other folkes labours.
Cōoncil. Rom. cap. 3. The olde Councell at Rome decreed, that no man ſhould come to the ſervice ſayd by a Preiſt well knowen to keepe a Concubine. Theſe menne let to fearme Concubines to their preiſtes, and yet cōonſtreigne men by force againſt their will to heare their curſed paltrie ſervice.
Canon 8. The oulde Canons of the Appoſtles commande 155 K6r commaunde, that Byſhop to be removed from his Office, whiche will both ſupplie the place of a civill Magiſtrate, and alſo of an eccleſiaſtical perſōon: Thesſe menne for all that, both do and will needes ſerve both places. Nay rather the one Office which they ought chiefly to execute, they once touch not, and yet no body commaundeth them to be diſplaced.
The olde Councell Gangrenſe commaundeth, that none ſhould make ſuche difference betwen an unmaried Preiſt ; a maried preiſt, as he ought to think the one more holye then the other for ſingle lyfe ſake. Theſe menne put ſuche a difference betwene them, that they ſtreight waye thinke al their holie ſervice to be defiled, yf it be done by a good and honeſt man that hath a wyfe.
In Noillegibleapproximately 2 lettersel. Cōontitu. 113. ;.146. The aūuncient Emperour Juſtinian commaunded, that in the holy adminiſtratiōon all thinges ſhould be pronounced with a cleare, lowde, and tretable voyce, that the people might receive ſome fruite therby. Theſe 156 K6v Theſe menn leaſt the people ſhoulde underſtande them, mumble up all their ſervice, not onlye with a drowned and hollowe voice, but alſo in a ſtraūunge and Barbarous tonge.
Concil. Cart. 3.cap. 47. The ould Councell at Carthage cōommaunded nothing to be read in Chriſtes congregation, but the canonicall Scriptures: Theſe menne read ſuche thinges in their Churches as themſelves knowe for a trouthe to be ſtarke lyes, and fonde fables.
But yf there be any that thinke, that theſe above reherſed auctorities be but weake and ſlender, bycauſe they were decreed by Emperours, and certein petie Byſhopps, and not by ſo full and perfit Councelles, taking pleaſure rather in the De Cōonſ. diſt. illegible1 number, approximately 1 word illegible1 word, auctoritie and name of the Pope: let ſuche a one know, that Pope Julius doth evidently forbid, that a prieſt in miniſtring the Communion, ſhoulde dippe the bread in the Cuppe. Theſe menne contrarie to Pope Julius decree, divide the bread, and dip 157 K7r dip it in the wyne.
Pope Clement ſaith, it is not laufull for a Byſhop to deale with both ſwords: for yf thou wilt have both ſaith he, thou ſhalt deceive both thy ſelfe, and thoſe that obey the. Now a dayes the Pope chalengeth to hym ſelfe both ſwordes, and uſeth both, wherefore it ought to ſeeme leſſe marvaile, yf that have folowed whiche Clement ſaith, that is, that he hath deceived both his own ſelfe, ; thoſe which have given eare unto him.
Pope Leo ſaith, upon one daye it is laufull to ſay but one maſſe in one Churche: Theſe men ſay daily in one Church cōommonly tenne Maſſes, twenty, thirty, yea often tymes moe. So that the poore gaſer on, can ſcant tell which waye he were beſt to turn hym.
Pope Gelaſius ſayth, it is a wicked deed and ſibb to ſacriledge in any man to divide the Communiōon, and when he received one kinde, to abſteine from the other. Theſe menne contrarie to Goddes worde 158 K7v worde and contrarie to Pope Gelaſius commaunde that one kinde onely of the holy Communiōon be given to the people, ; by ſo doing, they make their preiſtes gilty of ſacriledge.
But yf they will ſaye that all theſe thinges are worne now out of ure, and nye dead, and pertaine nothing to theſe preſent tymes, yet to thend all folke may underſtande what faith is to be geven to theſe men, and upon what hope they call togithers their generall Councelles, let us ſee in few wordes what good heed they take to the ſelfe ſame things, which they them ſelves theſe very laſt yeres (; the remembraunce thereof ys yet new ; freſhe) in their owne generall Councell that they had by order called, decreed and commaunded to be devoutely kepte. In the laſt Councell at Trident, ſcant fourtene yeares paſte, it was ordeined by the common conſent of all degrees, that one man ſhoulde not have two benefices at one time. What is become now of that ordinaunce 159 K8r ordinaūunce? is the ſame to ſo ſone worne out of mynde and cleane conſumed? For theſe men ye ſe give to one man not two benefices onely, but ſundry Abbaies many times, ſometime alſo two Biſhoprykes, ſometime three, ſometime foure, and that not onely to an unlearned man, but often times evēen to a man of warre.
In the ſayde Councell a decree was made, that all Byſhops ſhould preach the Goſpell. Theſe menne neyther preache nor once go up into the Pulpet, neyther thinke they it any parte of their Office. What great pompe ; crake then ys this they make of antiquitie? Why bragge they ſo of the names of the auncient Fathers, and of the new and olde Councelles? Whye will they ſeme to truſt to their auctoritie, whome when they lyft, they deſpiſe at their owne pleaſure?
But I have a ſpecial fanſy to cōommon a worde or two rather with the Popes good holineſſe, and to ſaye theſe thinges to his own face. Tell us I praye you good 160 K8v good holy Father, ſeyng ye do crake ſo muche of all antiquitie, and boaſt your ſelfe that all menne are bounde to you alone, which of all the Fathers have at any time called you by the name of the higheſt Prelate, the univerſall Byſhop, De Maior ; obedientia Unamillegibleapproximately 1 word illegibleapproximately one word or the head of the Churche? Whiche of them ever ſaid, that both the ſwords were commited to you? whiche of them ever ſaid, that you have auctoritie and a right to call Councelles? whiche of them ever ſaide, that the whole worlde is but your illegible1 word dioceſſe? which of them, that al Biſhops have received of your fulnes? whiche of them, that al power ys gyven to you as well in heaven as in yearth? whiche of Concilium. Lateranenſe ſub Iulio. 2. Diſtinct. 9. illegible1 word. them, that neyther kyngs nor the whole Clergie, nor yet all people togyther, are able to be judges over you? whiche of them, that kynges ; Emperours by Chriſtes commaundement and wil, do receive aucthoritie at your hand? which of them with ſo precyſe and mathematicall limitacion hath ſurveied and determined you to 161 L1r De Maior et obedien Solitè to be ſeventy ; ſeven times greater then the mightieſt Kinges? Whiche of them, that more ample authoritie is geven to you, then to the reſidew of the Patriarkes? Extrv. Ioan. 22.Cū inter In gloſa. in edillegible1 lettertione imperſſa pariſiis, et Legdum. Which of thēem, that you are the Lord God? or that you are not a meere naturall man, but a certaine ſubſtaunce made and growen together of God and man? Whiche of them, that you are the onelye headeſpringe of all lawe? Whiche of them, that you have power over purgatories? Which of them that you are able to commaunde the Aungels of God as you liſt Antonius de Roſellis. your ſelfe? Which of them that ever ſaid that you are Lord of Lordes, and the Kinge of Kinges? Wee canne alſo go further with you in like ſorte. What one amongeſt the whole nnumbre of the olde Byſſhops and fathers, ever taught you either to ſay private Maſſe whyles the people ſtared on, or to lyfte up the ſacrament over your heade, in whyche point conſiſteth nowe all your religion? or els to mangle Chriſtes ſacraments, ; L.i. to 162 L1v to bereave the people of the one parte, contrarye to Chriſtes inſtitution and plaine expreſſed wordes. But that wee may once come to an ende: What one is there of all the Fathers, whiche hathe taught you to diſtribute Chriſtes bloud and the holy martyrs merites, and to ſell openly as marchandizes your pardons, and all the roomes and lodginges of purgatorie? Theſe men are wont to ſpeake muche of a certaine ſecreat doctrine of theires, and manifolde and ſundrye readings. Then let them bring furthe ſomwhat now if thei can, that it may apeare thei have at leaſt reade or do knowe ſomwhat. They have often ſtoutly noyſed in all corners where they went, how all the partes of their religiōon be very old, ; have been approved not only by the multitude, but alſo by the conſēent ; continual obſervation of al nations and times: let them therfore once in their life ſhew this their antiquitie: let them make appeere at eye, that the thinges wherof they make ſuch a doe 163 L2r a dooe, have taken ſo longe and large encreaſe: let them declare that all Chriſtiſtian nations have agreed by conſent to this their religion.
Nay nay, they tourne their backes, as we have ſaid alreadye, and flee from their owne decrees, and have cut of and aboliſhed againe within a ſhorte ſpace, the ſame thinges which but a few years before themſelves had eſtabliſhed, for evermore forſoothe to continewe. Howe ſhoulde one then truſt them in the Fathers, in the olde Councels, ; in the words ſpokēen by God? Thei have not good Lord thei have not (I ſay) thoſe things which they boaſt they have: they have not that antiquitie, they have not that univerſalitie, they have not that conſent of all places, nor of all times. And though thei have a deſire rather to diſſemble, yet thei themſelves are not ignoraūunt herof: ye ; ſomtime alſo they let not to cōonfeſſe it openly. And for this cauſe they ſay, that the ordina ūunces of the old Councels and Fathers L.ii. be 164 L2v be ſuch as may now and then be altered, and that ſūundry and divers Decrees ſerve for ſundry ; divers times of the church. Thus lurke they under the name of the Church, and begile ſeely creatures with their vaine gloſinge. Yt is to be mervailed, that either men be ſo blynde as they canne not ſee this, or if they ſee it, to bee ſo pacient, as they canne ſo lightly and quietly beare it.
But where as they have commaunded that thoſe Decrees ſhoulde be voyde as things now waxen to olde, ; that have loſte their grace, perhappes they have provided in their ſteede certaine other better thinges, and more profitable for the people. For it is a common ſayenge with them, that if Chriſte himſelfe or the Apoſtles were alive againe, they coulde not better nor godlyer governe Goddes Churche, then it is at this preſente governed by them. They have put in their ſteede in deede, butte it is chaffe in ſteede of wheate, as Hieremie ſaith, 165 L3r ſaithe, and ſuche thinges as accordinge to Eſayes words, God never required at their handes. Thei have ſtopped up faith he, al the vaines of cleere ſpringing water, and have digged up for the people deceivable and puddlelike pyttes full of myre and filth, whiche neither have nor are able to hold pure water. They have plucked away from the people the holie Communion, the worde of God, fromwhence all comforte ſhoulde bee taken, the true worſhippinge of God alſo, and the right uſe of ſacramentes and prayer, and have geven us of their owne to play withall in the meane whyle, ſalt, water, oyle boxes, ſpittle, palmes, bulles, jubilies, pardons, croſſes, ſenſinges, and an endeleſſe rabble of ceremonies (and as a man might tearm with Plautus) pretie games to make ſporte withall. In theſe things have they ſet al their religiōon, teachinge the people that by theſe God may be duely pacified, ſpirits be driven away and mens conſciences well quieted. For L.iii. theſe 166L3v theſe to, be the orient colours and precious favours of Chriſtian religion: theſe thinges doth God looke upon, ; accepteth them thankfully: theſe muſt come in place to be honored and put quite away, the inſtitutiōons of Christ and of his Apoſtls. And like as in times paſt when wicked kinge Jeroboam had takēen from the people the right ſerving of God, ; brought them to worſhip golden calves, leaſt percha ūunce they might afterwards chaunge their minde and ſlippe awaye, gettinge them again to Jeruſalem to the Temple of God there, hee exhorted them with a long tale to be ſtedfaſt, ſaying thus unto them: O Iſraell, theſe Calves be thy Gods. In this ſorte commaunded your God you ſhould worſhippe him. For it ſhoulde be weariſome and troublous for you to take upōon you a torney ſo farre of, and yearly to go up to Jeruſalem, there to ſerve and honour your God. Even after the ſame ſorte every whit, when theſe men had once made the lawe of God of none 167 L4r none effect through their owne traditions, fearing that the people ſhould afterwarde open their eyes and fall an other way, and ſhoulde ſomwhence els ſeeke a ſurer meane of their ſalvation, Jeſu, how oftēen have thei cried out: This is the ſame worſhippinge that pleaſeth God, and whiche hee ſtraitly requireth of us, and wherwith he wil be tourned from his wrath, that by theſe thinges is conſerved the unitie of the Church, by theſe al ſinnes clenſed and conſciences quieted: and who ſo departeth from theſe, hath left unto himſelfe no hope of everlaſting ſalvation. For it were weariſome and troublous (ſaye they) for the people to reſorte to Chriſt, to the Apoſtles, and to the auncient fathers, and to obſerve continually what their wil and commaundement ſhould be. This ye may ſe, is to withdraw the people of God frōom the weake elements of the worlde, frōom the leaven of the Scribes ; Phariſies, and from the traditions of mēen. It were reaſōon no doubt that L.iiii. Chriſte 168 L4v Chriſtes commaundements and the Apoſtls were removed, that theſe their deviſes might come in place. O juſte cauſe I promiſe you, why that auncient and ſo longe alowed doctrine ſhould be now aboliſhed, and a newe forme of religion be brought into the Churche of God.
And yet whatſoever it be, theſe menne crye ſtil that nothing ought to be changed, that mens mindes are well ſatiſfied here withal, that the Churche of Rome the church which cannot erre, hath decreed theſe thinges. For Silveſter Prierias ſaith that the Romiſh churche is the ſquyer ; rule of truth, and that the holy ſcripture hath received from thence bothe authoritie and credite. The doctrine ſaith he, of the Romiſh church, is the rule of moſte infallible faith, from the whiche the holy ſcripture taketh his force. And Indulgences and pardons (ſaith he) are not made knowēen to us by the authoritie of the ſcriptures, but they are knowēen to us by the authoritie of the Romyſhe Church, an 169 L5r and of the Byſhops of Rome, whiche is greater. Pighius alſo letteth not to ſay, that without the licence of the Romyſhe Church, we ought not to beleve the very plaine ſcriptures: much like as yf any of thoſe that cāannot ſpeake pure ; cleane Latin, and yet can bable out quickely ; redily a litle ſome ſuch law Latin as ſervith the Courte, would needes hold that all others ought alſo to ſpeake after the ſame way which Mametrectus ; Catholic ōon ſpake many yeare ago, ; which them ſelves doe yet uſe in pleadyng in Courte, for ſo may it be underſtand ſufficiently what is ſaid, and mennes deſires be ſatifſfyed, and that it is a fondenes now in the later end to trouble the worlde with a new kind of ſpeaking, and to cal againe the old fyneſſe and eloquence that Cicero and Ceſar uſed in their dayes in the Latin tonge. Somuch ar theſe men beholden to the follie and darknes of the former tymes. Manye thynges as one writeth, are had in eſtimation often tymes,L.v. mes, 170 L5v mes, bycauſe they have ben once dedicate to the temples of the Heathen goddes: even ſo ſee wee at this daye many thinges alowed and highlye ſett by of theſe menne, not bycauſe they judge them ſomuch worth, but only bycauſe they have ben receyved into a cuſtome, and after a ſorte dedicate to the Temple of God.
Our Churche ſaye they cannot erre: they ſpeake that (I thinke) as the Laccademonians longe ſynce uſed to ſay, that yt was not poſſible to fynde any Adulterer in all their common welth: wheras in dede they were rather all Adulterers, and had no certeintie in their mariages, but had their wyves common amongeſt them all. Or as the Canoniſtes at this day, for theire bellies ſake uſe to ſaye of the Pope, that forſomuche as he is Lord of all benefices, though he ſell for money Byſhoprickes, monaſteries, preiſte hod, ſpirituall promotions, and partith with illegible1 word Angelica dictione papa. nothing freely, yet bicauſe he counteth al his owne he cannot committ Simony, though 171 L6r though he woulde never ſo faine. But Theodoricus de Schiſmata. how ſtronglye and agreablye to reaſon theſe things be ſpoken, we are not as yet able to perceve, except perchaūunce theſe mēen Plutarchus have plucked of the wynges from the truth, as the Romaines in olde tyme did proine and pinion their goddeſſe Victorie, after they had once gottēen her home, to thende that with the ſame wynges ſhe ſhoulde never more be able to flee awaye from them againe. But what yf Jeremye tell them, as is afore reherſed, that theſe be lyes? what yf the ſame Prophete ſaye in an other place, that the ſelfe ſame menne who ought to be kepers of the vineyarde, have brought to naught and deſtroyed the Lordes vynearde? How yf Chriſt ſaye, that the ſame perſones who chiefely ought to have a care over the Temple, have made of the Lords Temple a denne of Theves? Yf it be ſo that the Churche of Rome cannot erre, it muſt nedes folowe, that the good lucke therof is farre greater then al theſe mennes policie. For ſuche is their lyfe, their 172 L6v their doctrine and their diligence, that for all them the Churche may not onely erre, but alſo utterly be ſpoyled and peryſhe. No doubt, yf that Churche maye erre whiche hath departed from Godds worde, from Chriſtes commaundementes, from the Apoſtls ordinaunces, from the primative Churches examples, from the old Fathers and Councelles orders, and from their own Decrees, and which wil be bound with in the the compaſſe of none neither oulde nor new, nor their owne, nor other folkes, nor mannes lawe, nor Goddes law, then yt is out of all queſtion, that the Romyſhe Churche hath not onely had power to erre, but that it hath ſhamefully and moſt wickedly erred in very deed.
But ſay they, ye have ben once of our felowſhip, but now ye are become forſakers of your profeſſion, and have departed from us. It is trew we have departed from them, and for ſo doing we both give thankes to almightie God, ; greatlyelye 173 L7r lye rejoyce on our owne behalfe. But yet for all this, from the primative Church, from the Apoſtles, and from Chriſt wee have not departed, true it is. We were brought up with theſe menne in darkenes, and in the lack of knowledge of God, as Moſes was taught up in the learning and the boſome of the Egyptians. We have ben of youre company ſaith Tertullian, I confeſſe it, and no marvaile at all, for ſaith he, menne be made and not borne Chriſtians. But wherefore I pray you have they them ſelfe, the citizens and dwellers of Rome removed, and come downe from thoſe ſeaven hilles, wherupon Rome ſometime ſtood, to dwell rather in the plaine called Mars his field? They wil ſay peradventure, by cauſe the conductes of water, wher without menne cannot commodiouſlye live have now failed and ar dried up in thoſe hilles. Well then, lett them give us lyke leave in ſeeking the water of eternal lyfe that they give them ſelfes in ſeekyng the water 174 L7v water of the well, for the water verely fayled amongeſt them. Thelders of the Jewes ſayth Jeremye, ſent their litle ones to the waterings, and they finding no water, beyng in a miſerable caſe and utterly marred for thurſt, brought home againe their veſſells emptie. The nedye ; poore folke ſaith Eſaye, ſought about for water, but no wheare founde they any, their tonge was evēen withered with thirſt. Even ſo theſe menne have broken in peeces al the pypes and cōonduits, they have ſtopped up al the ſprings, ; choked up the fountaine of livyng water with durte and myre. And as Caligula many yeres paſt locked faſt up al the ſtorehouſes of corne in Rome, ; thereby brought a generall derth and famyne amongeſt the people, evēen ſo theſe men by damming up all the fountaines of Goddes word, have brought the people into a peetiful thirſt. They have brought into the world as ſaith the Prophete Amos, a hungre and a thurſt, not the hunger of breade, nor 175 L8r nor the thurſt of water, but of hearing the worde of God. With greate diſtreſſe went they ſcattering about, ſeeking ſome ſparke of heavenly light to refreſh their conſciences withall, but that light was alredy thoroughly quenched out, ſo that they could finde none. This was a rueful ſtate. This was a lamentable forme of Goddes Churche. It was a miſerie to live therin without the Goſpel, without light, and without all comfort.
Wherfore though our departing wer a trouble to them, yet ought they to conſider withall, how juſt cauſe wee had of our departure. For yf they wil ſaye, it is in nowiſe lawfull for one to leave the felowſhip wherin he hath bēen brought up, they maye aswell in our names or upon our heades condemne both the Prophetes, the Apoſtles, and Chriſt him ſelfe. For whye complayne they not alſo of this, that Lot went quitte his way out of Sodome, Abraham out of Calde, the Iſraelites out of Egypte, Chriſt frōom the Iewes, 176 L8v Jewes, and Paule from the Phariſees? For except it be poſſible there maye be a lawful cauſe of departing, we ſee no reaſone whye Lot, Abraham, the Iſraelites, Chriſt and Paule may not be accuſed of ſectes and ſeditiōon, aſ wel as others. And yfi theſe men wilt needes condemne us for Heretiques, bycauſe we do not all thinges at their commaūundement, whom (in gods name) or what kynde of menne ought they them ſelves to be taken for, whiche deſpiſe the commaundement of Chriſt, ; of the Apoſtles? If we be ſciſmatiques bycauſe we have lefte them, by what name ſhall they be called themſelves which have forſaken the Grekes, frōom whom they firſt received their faith, forſaken the primative Church, forſaken Chriſt hymſelfe and the Apoſtls, even as Children ſhould forſake their parentes? For though thoſe Grekes, who at this daye profeſſe religion and Chriſtes name, have many thinges corrupted amōongeſt them, yet houlde they ſtill a greate numbre 177 M1r numbre of thoſe thinges whiche they received from the Apoſtles. They have neyther private Maſſes, nor mangled Sacramentes, nor Purgatories, nor Pardons. And as for the titles of hygh Byſhops, ; thoſe glorious names, they eſtime them ſo, as whoſoever he were that woulde take upon hym the ſame, ; woulde be called eyther Univerſall byſſhop, or the Hed of the univerſal church they make no doubt to call ſuche a one, both a paſſing proude man, a man that worketh deſpite againſt all the other Byſſhoppes his bretherne, and a plaine Heretique.
Now then ſynce it is manifeſt and out of all peradventure, that theſe men are fallen from the Grekes, of whom they received the Goſpell, of whome they received the faith, the true Religion and the Church, what is the mater why they will not now be called home again to the ſame men, as it were to their originals ; firſt founders? And whye be they afraide to M.i. take 178 M1v take a paterne of the Apoſtles and olde Fathers tymes, as though they all had ben voyde of underſtanding? Do theſe menne, wene ye, ſee more or ſet more by the Church of God, then they dede who firſte delivered us theſe thinges?
We truely have renounced that church wherin we could neyther have the worde of God ſincerely taught, nor the Sacraments rightlye adminiſtred, nor the name of God dewly called uppon, whyche Churche alſo themſelves confeſſe to be faulty in many poinctes: And wherein was nothing able to ſtay any wiſe māan, or one that hath conſideration of his owne ſavetie. To conclud, wee have forſaken the Church as it is now, not as it was in olde time, and have ſo gon from it, as Daniell went out ot the Lyons denne, and the three Children out of the furneſſe: and to ſay trouth, we have ben caſt out by theſe menn (beyng curſed of them, as they uſe to ſaye, with boke, bel, and candell) rather then have gon awaye from them 179 M2r them of our ſelves.
And wee are come to that Churche wherein they themſelves cannot denye (if thei wil ſay truely and as thei thinke in their owne conſcience) but all thinges be governed purely and reverently, and aſmuch as we poſſibly could, very neere to the order uſed in the olde time.
Let them compare our Churches and theirs togither, and they ſhall ſee that themſelves have moſte ſhamefully gon from the Apoſtles, and we moſte juſtely have gon from them. For we folowinge the exaumple of Chriſt, of the Apoſtles, and the holy fathers, give the people the holye Communion whole and perfite: But theſe men contrary to all the fathers, to all the Apoſtles, and contrarye to Chriſt himſelf, do ſever the ſacraments, and plucke away the one parte from the people, and that with moſte notorious ſacriledge, as Gelaſius termeth yt.
Wee have broughte againe the Lords ſupper unto Chriſtes inſtitution, M.ii. and 180 M2v and will have it to be a Communion in very deede, common and indifferent to a great number, accordinge to the name. But theſe men have chaunged al things contrarie to Chriſtes inſtitution, ; have made a private Maſſe of the holy Communion: and ſo it commeth to paſſe, that we give the Lordes ſupper unto the people, and they give them a vaine pagent to gaſe on.
We affirme togither with the auncient fathers, that the body of Chriſte is not eaten but of the good and faithfull, and of thoſe that are endued with the ſpirit of Chriſte. Their doctrine is, that Chriſtes very bodie effectually, ; as they ſpeake, really and ſubſtantially, may not only be eaten of the wicked and unfaithful men, but alſo (which is monſtrous to be ſpoken) of myſe and dogges.
Wee uſe to praye in Churches after that faſhion, as accordinge to Paules illegible1 word.Corint. 14. leſſon, the people maye knowe what wee pray, and may anſwere Amen, with a generalnerall 181 M3r neral conſent. Theſe men like ſoundinge mettall, yelle out in the churches unknowen and ſtraunge wordes without underſtanding, without knowledge, and without devotiōon, yea ; doe it of purpoſe, bicauſe the people ſhould underſtand nothing at all.
But not to tarry about rehearſing all poyntes wherein we and thei differ, for they have wel nye no end, we tourne the ſcriptures into al tongues, they ſcant ſuffer them to be had abroad in any tongue: we allure the people to reade and to heare Gods word, thei drive the people frōom it. We deſire to have our cauſe knowen to al the world, they flee to come to any trial. We leane unto knowledge, they unto ignoraunce: We truſt unto light, thei unto darkenes: We reverence as it becōommeth us, the writings of the Apoſtles and Prophetes, ; they burne them. Finally, wee in Gods cauſe deſire to ſtand to Goddes onely judgement, they wil ſtand only to their owne. Wherfore if they wil waye all theſe thinges with a quiet mind, and M.iii. fully 182 M3v fully bente to heare and to learne, they wil not only alow this determinatiō of oures who have forſaken errours, and folowed Chriſte and his Apoſtles, butte themſelves alſo will forſake their owne ſelves, and joyne of their owne accorde to oure ſide.
But peradventure they will ſaye, it was treaſon to attempt theſe matters without a ſacred generall Councell: for in that conſiſteth the whole force of the Churche: there Chriſte hath promiſed he will ever bee a preſent aſſiſtant. Yet they themſelves without tarrienge for anye generall Councell, have broken the commaundementes of Godde, and the decrees of the Apoſtles: and as wee ſayde a little above, they have ſpoyled and diſanulled almoſte all, not onelye ordinaunces, but even the doctrine of the primative Churche. And where they ſaye it is not laufull to make a chaunge without a Councell, what was he that made us theſe lawes, or from whence hadde 183 M4r hadde they this Injunction?
Plutarillegible1 letter chus. Kinge Ageſilaus, truelye, didde butte fondelye, whoe when hee hadde a determinate aunſwere made him of the opinion and will of myghtye Jupiter, woulde afterwarde bringe the whole matter before Apollo, to knowe whether hee alowed thereof as his father Jupiter didde or no: But yet ſhoulde wee dooe muche more fondelye, when wee maye heare Godde him ſelfe plainelye ſpeake to us in the moſte holye ſcriptures, and maye underſtande by them his will and meaninge, yf wee woulde afterwarde (as thoughe this were of none effecte) bringe oure whole cauſe to be tryed by a Councell, which were nothinge els but to aſke whether menne would allowe as God did, ; whether mēen would confirme Gods commaundement by their authority. Why I beſech you, except a Councell wil ; cōommaund, ſhal not truth be truth, or God be God? Yf Chriſt had ment to do ſo from the beginning, as M.iiii. that 184 M4v that he would preache or teache nothing without the Byſſhops conſent, but refer all his doctrine over to Annas and Caiphas, where ſhould nowe have been the chriſtian faith? or who at any time ſhould have hearde the Goſpell taught? Peter verily, whome the Pope hath oftener in his mouth and more reverently uſeth to ſpeake of, then he dothe of Jeſu Chriſt, did boldly ſtand againſt the holy Councel, ſaieng, It is better to obey God, then men. And after Paule had once intirely embraced the Goſpel, and had received it not frōom men, nor by man, but by the only will of God, he did not take adviſe therin of fleſhe and bloud, nor brought the caſe before his kinſemen ; brethren, but went furth with into Arabia to preache Gods divine myſteries, by Goddes onelye authoritie.
Yet truely wee doe not deſpiſe Councelles, aſſemblies, ; conferences of Byſſhops and learned men: neyther have we done that wee have done altogether without Byſſhops 185 M5r Byſhops or without a Councell. The matter hath ben treated in open Parliament, with long conſultation, and before a notable Synode and Convocation.
But touchyng this Councell whiche is now ſōommoned by the Pope Pius, wherin men ſo lightly are condemned whiche have ben neither called, hearde, nor ſeene, yt is eaſie to geſſe what we maye looke for, or hope of yt. In times paſte when Nazianzene ſawe in his daies how men in ſuche aſſemblies were ſo blynde and wilfull, that they were caried with affections, and laboured more to get the victory then the trueth, he pronounced openly, that he never had ſene a good ende of any Councell: what woulde he ſay now yf he were a live at this daye, and under ſtode the heaving and ſhoving of theſe men? For at that time, though the matter were laboured on all ſydes, yet the controverſies were wel heard, and open errours were put cleane awaye by the generall voice of all partes: But theſe men M.v. will 186 M5v wil neyther have the caſe to be freely diſputed, nor yet how many errours ſoever there be, ſuffer they any to be chaunged. For it is a cōommon cuſtome of theirs, often and ſhameleſlye to boaſt that their Churche cannot erre, that in it there is no faulte, and that they muſte give place to us in nothynge. Or yf there be anye faulte, yet muſt it be tried by Byſhopes and Abbottes, only bycauſe they be the directers ; Rulers of matters, and they be the Church of God. Ariſtotle ſaith, that a Citie cannot conſiſt of Baſtardes: but whether the Churche of God may conſiſte of theſe men, let their owne ſelves conſider. For doubtles neither be the Abbottes legitimat Abbottes, nor the Byſhopes naturall right Byſhoppes. But graunt they be the Churche: let them be heard ſpeak in Councelles: let thēem alone have auctoritie to gyve conſent: yet in olde tyme when the Churche of God (yf ye will compare it with their Churche) was very well governed, both Elders and 187 M6r and Deacons as ſaith Cyprian, and certeine alſo of the cōommen people were called ther unto, and made acquainted with eccleſiaſticall matters.
But I put caſe theſe Abbottes and Byſhopes have no knowledge: what yf they underſtande nothing what Religiōon is, nor how we ought to thinke of God? I put caſe the pronouncyng and miniſtringe of the lawe be decayed in preiſts, and good counſell faile in the Elders, and as the Prophete Micheas ſaith, the night be unto them in ſtede of a viſion, and darkenes in ſted of propheiſieng. Or as Eſaias ſaith, what yf al the watchemēen of the city are become blind? what yf the ſalt have loſt his propre ſtrength and ſaverines, and as Chriſte ſaith, be good for no uſe, ſcant woorthe the caſtyng on the doungehyl?
Wel yet then, they wil bring al matters before the Pope, who cannot erre. To this I ſay, firſte it is a madnes to thynke that the holy Ghoſte taketh his flight 188 M6v flight from a generall Councell to run to Rome, to thende yf he doubt or ſticke in any matter, and cannot expound it of himſelfe, he maye take counſell of ſome other ſpirite, I wote not what, that is better learned then him ſelfe. For yf this be true, what neded ſo many Byſhopps, with ſo great charges and ſo farre jorneyes, have aſſembled their Convocatiōon at this preſent at Trident? Yt hadde ben more wiſedom and better, at leaſt it had ben a moche nearer way and handſommer to have brought all thinges rather before the Pope, and to have come ſtreght furth, and have aſked counſell at his divine breaſt. Secōondly, it is alſo an unlaufull dealing to toſſe our matter from ſo many Byſhoppes and Abbottes, and to bryng it at laſte to the trial of one onely man, ſpecially of hym who him ſelfe ys appeached by us of hainous and foule enormities, and hath not yet put in hys aunſwere: who hath alſo afore hand cōondempned us without judgement by orterder 189 M7r ter pronounced, and or ever we were tatled to be judged.
Now ſaye ye, do wee deviſe theſe tales? Is not this the courſe of the Councelles in theſe dayes? are not all thynges removed from the whole holy Councell and brought before the Pope alone? that as though nothing had ben don to purpoſe by the judgementes and conſentes of ſuche a numbre, he alone maye adde, alter, diminiſhe, diſanull, alow, remytt and qualifie what ſoever he lyſt ? whoſe wordes be theſe then? and whye have the Byſhoppes and Abbottes in the laſt Councell at Trident but of late concluded with ſayng thus in thende, Saving alwyes the auctoritie of the ſea Apoſtolique in all thynges? Or whye doth Pope Paſcall write ſo proudelie of him ſelfe as though ſaith he, there were any De Electioillegibleapproximately 2 letters ; Electi poteſtateillegibleapproximately 2 letters significasillegibleapproximately 1 letter general Councell able to preſcribe a law to the Church of Rome, wheras al coūuncelles both have ben made and have receved their force ; ſtrength by the Church of 190 M7v of Romes auctoritie? and in ordinaunces made by Councelles, is ever plainely excepted the auctoritie of the Byſhop of Rome. Yf they will have theſe thynges alowed for good, why be Councels called? but yf they commaunde them to be voyd, why are they left in their bokes as thinges alowable?
But be it ſo, Let the Byſhop of Rome alone be above all Coūuncelles, that is to ſay, lette ſome one parte be greater then the whole, let hym be of greater power, let hym be of more wyſedome then all his and in ſpite of Hieromes head, let the aucthoritie Hieron.Hieronymus ad Evagrium. of one Citie be greater then the aucthoritie of the whole worlde. Howe then if the Pope have ſene none of theſe things, ; have never read either the ſcriptures or the olde Fathers, or yet his owne coūuncelles? How if he favour the Arriāans, as once Pope Liberius did? or have a wicked and a deteſtable opinion of the lyfe to come, and of the immortalitie of the ſoule, as Pope John had but few yeres ſynce? 191 M8r ſynce? or to encreaſe nowe his owne dignitie, do corrupt other Councelles, as Pope Zoſimus corrupted the Councell holden at Nice in times paſt, and do ſay that thoſe thinges were deviſed and appoincted by the holy Fathers, which never once came into their thought, and to have the ful ſway of auctoritie, do wreſt the Scriptures, as Camotenſis ſaith, is an uſual cuſtome with the Popes? How yf he have renounced the faith in Chriſt, and become an Apoſtata, as Liranus ſayth many Popes have bene? And yet for all this, ſhall the holye Ghoſte with turning of a hand, knock at his breaſt, ; evēen wheter he will or no, yea, ; wholy againſt hys will, kindle hym a lyght ſo as he maye not erre? ſhall he ſtreght waye be the head ſpring of al right, and ſhal al treaſure of wiſdome and underſtanding be founde in him, as it were laide up in ſtore? Or yf theſe thinges be not in him, can he give a right and apte judgement of ſo weightie matters? Or yf he be not able 192 M8v able to judge, wold he have that al thoſe matters ſhould be brought before hym alone?
What will ye ſay, yf the Popes Advocates, Abbottes and Byſhops diſſemble not the matter, but ſhew them ſelves open enemies to the Goſpell, ; though they ſee, yet they will not ſee, but wrye the Scriptures and wyttingly ; knowingly corrupt and counterfeite the word of God, and fouly and wickedlye applye to the Pope al the ſame thinges whiche evidently and proprely be ſpoken of the perſon of Chriſt only, nor by no meanes can be applied to any other? And what Hoſtien. cap. Quanto. thoughe they ſaye, the Pope is all and above all? Or, that he can do aſmuch as illegible1 word bas Pano. de Electicaillegible1 word Venerabilis, Chriſt can: and that one judgemēent place and one Councel houſe ſerve for the Pope and for Chriſt both together? Or that Cornelius Epiſcopus in Concil Tridēentino the Pope is the ſame light which ſhould come into the worlde? whiche wordes Chriſt ſpake of hym ſelfe alone: and that who ſo is an evil doer, hateth and flieth from 193 N1r from that light? Or that all the other Durandus. Byſſhoppes have receaved of the Popes fulnes? Shortly, what though thei make Decrees expreſlye againſt Gods worde, and that not in huckermucker or covertly, but openly ; in the face of the worlde: muſte it needes yet be Goſpell ſtraighte whatſover theſe men ſay? ſhall theſe be Gods holy army? or will Chriſte bee at hande amonge them there? ſhall the holy ghoſt flow in their tongues, or can they with truth ſay, We and the holy Ghoſte have thought ſo? In dede Peter Aſotus Hoſius cōont. Brentium, Lib. 2. and his companion Hoſius ſticke not to affirme, that the ſame Councell wherein our ſaviour Jeſu Chriſte was condemned to dye, had both the ſpirit of propheſieng, and the holy Ghoſt and the ſpirite of truth in it: and that it was neither a falſe nor a trifflinge ſaieng, when thoſe Byſhoppes ſayde, We have a lawe, and by our law he ought to dye, and that thei ſo ſayenge did light upon the very trouthe of judgement: for ſo be Hoſius wordes N.i. And 194 N1v and that the ſame plainelye was a juſte decree, whereby they pronounced that Chriſt was worthy to die. This me thinketh is ſtraunge, that theſe men are not able to ſpeake for themſelves and defend their owne cauſe, but thei muſt alſo take parte with Annas and Caiphas. For yf they will call that a laufull and a good Councell, wherein the Sonne of God was moſte ſhamfully condemned to dye, what Councell, will they then alowe for falſe and naught? And (yet as all their Councels, to ſay the truth, commōonly be) neceſſitie compelled them to pronoūunce theſe thinges of the Councell holden by Annas and Caiphas.
But wil theſe men (I ſay) refourme us the churche, beinge themſelves both the perſons guilty and the Judges to? Will they abate their own ambitiōon and pride? Wil they overthrow their owne matter, and give ſentence againſt them ſelves, that they muſt leave of to be unlearned Byſhoppes, ſlowbellies, heapers togetherther 195 N2r ther of benefices, takers upon them as princes and men of warre? will the Abbottes the Popes deere darlinges judge that monke for a theefe, which laboureth not for his living? and that it is againſt all lawe, to ſuffer ſuche a one to live and to be found either in citie or in countrie, or yet of other mennes charges? Or els that a monke ought to lye on the groūund, to live hardly with hearbes and peaſon, to ſtudy earneſtly, to argue, to praye, to worke with hande, and fully to bend him ſelfe to come to the miniſtery of the church? In faith, aſſone will the Phariſies and Scribes repaire againe the Temple of God, and reſtore it unto us a houſe of prayer, in ſteede of a theeviſh denne.
Ther have ben, I know, certain of their own ſelves which have foūund fault, with many errours in the church, as Pope Adrian, Eneas ſilvius, Cardinal Poole, Pighius ; others, as is afore ſaide, thei held afterwards their Councel at Trident in the ſelf ſame place where it is now appointed. N.ii. There 196 N2v There aſſembled many Byſhoppes and Abbottes and others whom it behoved. For that matter they were alone by themſelves, whatſoever they did no body gaineſaid it: for they had quite ſhut out and barred oure ſyde from all manner of aſſemblies, and there they ſat ſixe yeares ſeedinge folkes with a mervelous expectation of their doings. The firſt ſixe moneths, as though it were greatly nedeful, they made many determinations of the holy Trinitie, of the Father, of the Son, and of the holy Ghoſt, which were godly thinges in deede, but not ſo neceſſarye for that time. Let us ſee in all that while of ſo many, ſo manifeſt, ſo often confeſſed by them ; ſo evident errours, what one errour have they amended? from what kinde of idolatrie have they reclaimed the people? What ſuperſtition have they taken away? What peece of their tyranny and pompe have they diminiſhed? as though all the worlde may not nowe ſee, that this is a Conſpiracie and not 197 N3r not a Councell, and that theſe Byſhopes whom the Pope hath now called to gether, be wholy ſworne ; become bounde to beare him their faithfull allegiaunce, and wil do no manner of thing, but that they perceive pleaſeth him, and helpeth to advaunce his power, and as hee will have it. Or that they reckon not of the number of mennes voyces, rather then have weight and conſideracion of the ſame: Or that myght doth not often times overcome the right.
And therefore we knowe that divers times many good men and Catholique Byſſhops did tarry at home, and would not come when ſuch Councels were called, wherein men ſo apparauntly laboured to ſerve factions and to take partes, bicauſe they knewe they ſhould but loſe their travaile and dooe no good, ſeeinge where unto their enemies mindes were ſo wholye bent. Athanaſius denyed to come when hee was called by the Emperour to his Councell at Ceſares perceivingeN.iii. ceiuinge 198 N3v ceivinge plaine he ſhoulde butte come amonge his ennemies whiche deadly hated hym. The ſame Athanaſius when he came afterwarde to the Councell at Sirmium, and foreſaw what would be the ende by reaſone of the outrage and malyce of his ennimies, hee packed up his carriage, and went away immediately. Tripartita Hiſt. lib. 10 cap. 13. John Chryſoſtome, although the Emperour Conſtantius commaunded hym by four ſundry lettres to come to the Arrians Councel, yet kept he hym ſelfe at Euſeb lib 1. illegible1 letterap.17. home ſtill. When Maximus the Byſhop of Hieruſalem ſate in the Councell at Paleſtine, the olde Father Paphnutius toke him by the hande and ledde hym out at the doores ſayenge: It is not leeful for us to conferre of theſe matters with wicked menne. The Byſſhopes of the Eaſte woulde not comme to the Zoſomeo illegibleapproximately 4 letterslib. 5. cap.1. Syrmian Councell, after they knewe Athanaſius had gotten hymſelfe thence againe. Cyrill called menne backe by letters from the Councell of them, which were 199 N4r were named Patropaſſians. Paulinus Byſſhoppe of Tryer, and manye others moe, refuſed to comme to the Councell at Millaine, whenne they underſtoode what a ſtyrre and rule Auxentius kepte there: for they ſawe yt was in vaine to go thither, where not reaſone but faction ſhoulde prevayle, and where folke cōontended not for the truth and right judgement of the matter, butte for partialitie and favour.
And yet for all thoſe fathers hadde ſuche malitious and ſtiffe necked ennemies, yet if they hadde come, they ſhould have hadde free ſpeache at leaſt in the Councelles. Butte nowe ſithens none of us maye bee ſuffered ſo muche as to ſitte, or once to bee ſeene in theſe mennes meetinges, muche leſſe ſuffered to ſpeake freelye oure minde, and ſeinge the Popes Legates, Patriarches, Archebyſhops, Byſſhoppes, and Abbottes, all beinge conſpyred togeather, all linked together, N.iiii. in 200 N4v in one kinde of fault, and all bounde by one othe, ſit alone by themſelves, ; have power alone to give their conſent, and at laſt when they have all done, as though thei had done nothing, bringe all their opinions to be judged at the wil ; plaſure of the Pope, being but one man, to thend he may pronoūunce his own sēentēence of himſelfe, who ought rather to have aunſwered to his complaint, ſithens alſo the ſame auncient ; Chriſtian libertie which of alright ſhoulde ſpeciallye bee in Chriſtian Councelles, is now utterly taken away from the Councel: for theſe cauſes I ſay wiſe and good men ought not to marvaile at this day, though we doe the like now, that thei ſee was don in times paſt in like caſe of ſo many Fathers and Catholike Byſhops, which as though we chuſe rather to ſit at home and leave our whole cauſe to Gode, then to jorney thither, whereas wee neyther ſhall have place, nor bee able to dooe anye good: whereas wee can obtaine no audience, whereas 201 N5r whereas Princes Embaſſadours be but uſed as mockyng ſtockes, and whereas alſo all wee be condemned alredy before trial, as though the matter were a forhāand diſpatched and agreed upon
Nevertheles we can beare pacientlye ; quyetely our owne private wronges: but wherfore do they ſhut out Chriſtian kynges, and good Princes from their Convocation? why do they ſo uncourteouſly, or with ſuch ſpite leave the out, ; as though they were not either Chriſten menne, or els could not judge, will not have them made acquaynted with the cauſe of Chriſtian Religion, nor underſtand the ſtate of their own Churches? Or yf the ſayd kynges ; Princes happen to entermedly in ſuche matters, and take upon them to do that they may do, that they be commaunded to doe, and ought of duty to do, ; the ſame thinges that we know both David and Salomon and other good Princes have don, that is, yf they whiles the Pope and his N.v. Prelates 202 N5v Prelates ſlugge and ſleepe, or els miſchevouſlye withſtande them, doe bridle the Preiſtes ſenſualitie, and drive them to do their dewty, and kepe them ſtill to yt: yf they do overthrow Idols, yf they take away ſuperſtition, and ſet up again the true worſhiping of God, whye do they by and by make an out crye upon them, that ſuche Princes trouble all, and preſſe by violence into an other bodyes office, and do therby wickedly and malepartly. What ſcripture hath at any time forbidden a Chriſtiāan Prince to be made privey to ſuch cauſes? Who but themſelves alone made ever any ſuche lawe?
They will ſaye to this, I geſſe, Civell Princes have learned to governe a common welth, and to ordre matters of warre, but they underſtande not the ſecret myſteries of Religion. Yf that be ſo, what is the Pope I praye you, as this day, other thēen a Monarche or a Prince? or what be the Cardinals, who muſt be no nother now a days but Princes and kynges 203 N6r kyngs ſonnes? What els be the Patriarches, and for the moſt part the Archebyſſhops, the Byſhops, the Abbots? what be they els at this preſent in the Popes kingdome, but worlikely Princes, but Dukes and Earles, gorgiouſly accompanied with bandes of men whither ſoever they go? Oftentimes alſo gaylye arayed wyth cheynes ; collers of golde. They have at times to, certeine ornamēentes by them ſelfes, a 3 Croſſes, pillers, hattes, mirers and Palles, which pompe the auncient Byſſhops Chryſoſtome, Auguſtine and Ambroſe never had. Setting theſe thinges aſide, what teache they? what ſay they? what doe they? how lyve they? I ſaye not, as maye become a Byſhopp, but as may become even a Chriſtian man. Is it ſo great a mater to have a vaine title, and by chaunging a garment onely to have the name of a Byſhop?
Surely to have the principall ſtaye ; effecte of all maters commited wholy to theſe mennes hands, who neyther know nor 204 N6v nor will know theſe thinges, nor yet ſet a fote by any poinct of Religion, ſave that which concernes their belly and Ryot, ; to have them alone ſit as Judges, and to be ſet up as overſeers in the watch to wer being no better then blynd ſpyes: of the other ſide, to have a Chriſtian Prince of good underſtanding and of a right judgement, to ſtande ſtill like a blocke or a ſtake, not to be ſuffred: nother to give his voice, nor to ſhewe his judgement, but onely to wayt what theſe men ſhall will and commaund, as one whiche had neyther cares nor eyes nor wytt, nor hearte, and whatſoever they give in charge, to alowe it without exception, blindly fulfilling their commaundementes, be they never ſo blaſphemous and wicked, yea although they commaunde him quite to deſtroye all Religion, ; to crucifie again Chriſt him ſelfe. This ſurely beſides that it is proud and ſpitefull, ys alſo beyond all right and reaſon and not to be endured of Chriſtiāan and wyſe Princes. Why I 205 N7r I praye you, may Cayphas and Annas underſtand theſe matters, and may not David and Ezechias do the ſame? Is it laufull for a Cardinall being a man of warre and delightius in bloud, to have place in a Councell, ; is it not lauful for a Chriſtian Emperour or a kynge? wee truely graunt no further libertie to our Magiſtrates, then that we know hath both ben given thēem by the word of God, and alſo confirmed by the exāamples of the very beſt governed cōommon welthes. For beſids that a Chriſtian Prince hath the charge of both Tables cōommited to him by God, to thende he maye underſtande that not temporall matters only, but alſo Religious ; eccleſiaſticall cauſes pertaine to his Office. Beſides alſo that God by his Prophettes often and earneſtly cōommaundeth the king to cut down the groves, to breake downe the Images and aultres of Idoles, and to write out the boke of the law for him ſelfe: and beſides that the prophet Eſaias ſaith, a king 206 N7v kyng ought to be a patrone and nurſe of the Churche: I ſaye beſides all theſe thinges, we ſe by hiſtories and by examples of the beſt times, that good Princes ever tooke thadminiſtration of eccleſiaſtical Exod 32. matters to partain to their duety. Moſes a Civile Magiſtrat ; chief guide of the people, both received from God, ; delivered to the People al the order for religion and Sacrifices, and gave Aaron the Byſhop a vehemēent and ſoare rebuke for making the golden calfe, and for ſuffering Joſua ca.1. the corruption of Religion. Joſua alſo, though he were no nother then a Civil Magiſtrat, yet aſſone as he was choſen by God, and ſet as a Ruler over the people, he received cōommaundements, ſpecially touching Religion and the ſervice illegible1 letterParal.illegible1 letter3 of God. Kynge David, when the whole religiōon was altogethers brought out of frame by wycked kyng Saul, brought home againe the Arke of God, that is to ſay, he reſtored Religiōon again, and was not onely amongeſt them him ſelfe 207 N8r ſelfe as a counſeller and furtherer of the worke, but be appoincted alſo hymnes and Pſalmes, put in order the companies, and was the only doer in ſetting furth that whole ſolemne ſhewe, and in 2.Paral.illegibleapproximately 2 letters effect ruled the preiſtes, Kyng Salomōon builte unto the Lord the Temple, which his Father David had but purpoſed in his minde to do: ; after the finiſhing ther of, he made a goodly oration to the people, concerning Religion and the ſervice of God, he afterward diſplaced Abiathar the Preiſt, and ſet Sadock in his place, 3.Regum. illegible1 letter After this, when the Tēemple of God was in ſhameful wyſe polluted thorough the naughtines and negligēence of the preiſts, 2.Parel. 2illegible2 letters Kyng Ezechias commaunded the ſame to be clenſed from the ruble and filthe, the preiſtes to light up candelles, to burne Incenſe, and to do their divine ſervice, according to the olde allowed cuſtome. The ſame kyng alſo commaunded the braſen Serpent, whiche then the people 4.Regum. illegible1 letter wickedly worſhipped, to be taken down and 208 N8v illegible1 word or numberParall. 17. and beatēen to pouder. Kyng Jehoſaphat overthrew and utterly made awaye the hil aultres and Groves, wherby he ſaw Goddes honoure hindered, and the people holden backe with a private ſuperſtition from the ordinarie Tēemple whiche was at Jeruſalem, wherto they ſhould by ordre have reſorted yearely from every illegible1 numberRegum. 23. part of the Realme. Kynge Joſias with great diligence put the Preiſts and Byſhops in myde of their duety: Kyng Johas 4. Regum. 12. bridled the Ryot and arrogancie of illegible1 number Regum. 10. the preiſtes. Jehu put to death the wicked Prophetes.
And to rehearſe nomore exampls out of the old law, let us rather cōonſider ſince the birthe of Chriſt, howe the Churche hath ben governed in the Goſpels time. The Chriſtian Emperours in old time, appoincted the Councelles of the Byſſhops. Conſtantiune called the Councell at Nice, Theodotius the first, called the Councell at Conſtāantinople. Theodotius the second, the councel at Epheſus, Martiantian 209 O1r tian the Councell at Chalecedone: and when Rufine the heretike had alleadged for authoritie, a Councell whiche as hee thought, ſhoulde make for him: Hierom his adverrſarie to confute him, Tell us (quod hee) what Emperour commaunded that Councell to be called? The ſame Hierome againe in his Epitaphe upon Paula, maketh mention of the Emperours letters, whiche gave commaundement to call the Byſſhoppes of Italie and Grecia to Rome to a Councel. Continuallye for the ſpace of five hundreth yeares, Themperoure alone appointed theccleſiaſticall aſſemblies, and called the Councelles of the Byſſhops togither.
We nowe therefore marvail the more at the unreaſonable dealinge of the Byſſhoppe of Rome, who knowinge what was the Emperoures right when the Churche was well ordered, knowinge alſo that it is nowe a common right to all princes, for ſo muche as Kinges are now fully poſſeſſed in the ſeverall partes O.i. of 210 O1v of the whole Empire, dothe ſo without conſideration aſſigne that office alone to himſelfe, and taketh it ſufficient in Ita pius 4. in bulla ſua ad Imperat. Ferdinandūum. ſummoning a general Councel, to make a man that is prince of the whole world no otherwiſe partaker thereof then hee woulde make his owne ſervaunte. And although the modeſtie and mildenes of the Emperour Ferdinando be ſo greate that hee canne beare this wronge, bycauſe peradventure hee underſtandeth not well the Popes packinge, yet ought not the Pope of his holines to offer him that wronge, nor to claime as his owne an other mans right.
But hereto ſome will replye: the Emperour in deede called Councelles at that Hiſt. Eccli lib 1 cap 5. tyme ye ſpeake of, bycauſe the Byſſhop of Rome was not yet growen ſo greate as hee is nowe, but yet the Emperour didde not then ſitte togeather with the Byſſhoppes in Councell, or once bare any ſtroke with his authoritie in their conſultation. I aunſwere nay, that it is 211 O2r is not ſo, for as witneſſeth Theodorete, Themperour Conſtantine ſate not only together with them in the Councell at Nice, butte gave alſo advice to the Byſſhoppes howe it was beſt to trye out the matter by the Apoſtles and Prophettes writinges, as apeereth by theſe his own woordes. In diſputation (ſaithe hee) of matters of divinitie, wee have ſette before us to followe the doctrine of the holye Ghoſte. For the Evangeliſtes and the Apoſtles woorkes, and the Prophettes ſayinges ſhewe us ſufficientlye whar opinion wee ought to have of the will of God. The Emperour Theodotius Socrat.Socratuslib. 1. cap. 5, (as ſayeth Socrates) didde not onely ſitte amongeſt the Byſhoppes, but alſo ordered the whole arguinge of the cauſe, and tare in peeces the Heretiques bookes, and allowed for good the judgemente of the Catholiques. In the Coūuncell at Chalcidone a Civile magiſtrate condemned for heretikes by the ſentence Socrat.Socratuslib. 5. cap. 10. of hys owne mouthe, the Byſſhoppes O.ii. Dioſcorus, 212 O2v Dioſeorus, Juvenall, and Thalaſius, and gave judgement to put them down from that promotion in the Churche. In the third Councell at Conſtantinople, Actione.2. Conſtantine, a civile Magiſtrate, dyd not only ſit amongeſt the Byſhops, but dyd alſo ſubſcribe with them: For, ſaith he, we have both read and ſubſcribed. In the ſecond Councell called Arauſicanum, the Princes Embaſſadours being noble menne borne, not only ſpake their minde touching Religion, but ſet to their handes alſo, aſwel as the Byſhops. For thus is it writen in the later end of that Coūuncel, Petrus, Marcellinus, Felix and Liberius, being moſt noble menne, and the famous Lieutenauntes and Capitaines of Fraunce, ; alſo Peeres of the Realm, have given their conſent, and ſet to their handes. Further, Syagrius, Opilio, Pantagattus, Deodatus, Cariattho and Marcellus, menne of very great honour have ſubſcribed. Yf it be ſo then, that Lieutenauntes, chyefe Capitaines and Peeres 213 O3r Peeres have had authoritie to ſubſcribe in Councell, have not Emperours and Kinges the like authoritie?
Truely there hadde been no neede to handle ſo plaine a matter as this is, with ſo many wordes and ſo at length, if wee hadde not to doe with thoſe menne who for a deſire they have to ſtrive and to winne the maſtery, uſe of courſe to deny all thinges be thei never ſo cleere, yea the very ſame which they preſentlye ſee and beholde with their owne eyes. The Emperour Juſtinian made a law to correct the behaviour of the Cleargie, and to cutt ſhorte the inſolencie of the prieſtes. And albeit hee were a Chriſtian and a Catholique prince, yet putte hee downe from their Papall Throne, twooe Popes, Syſuerius and Vigilius, not withſtandinge they were Peters ſucceſſours, and Chriſtes vicars.
Lette us ſee then, ſuche men as have authoritie over the Byſſhoppes, ſuche menne as receave from God commaundementesO.iii. dements 214 O3v dementes concerning Religion, ſuche as brynge home againe the Arke of God, make holy hymnes, over ſee the preiſtes, builde the Temple, make Orations touching divine ſervice, clenſe the Temples, deſtroye the hil Aultres, burne the Idolles groves, teache the preiſtes their dewtie, write them out Preceptes how they ſhould lyve, kill the wicked Prophetes, diſplace the high Preiſtes, call togyther the Councelles of Byſhops, ſit togither with the Byſhoppes, inſtructing them what they ought to doe, condemne and punyſh an Hereticall Byſhop, be made acquaynted with matters of Religion, whiche ſubſcribe and give ſentence, and do al theſe things, not by an other mans Commiſſiōon, but in their own name, and that both uprightly and godly. Shall we ſay it perteineth not to ſuche men to have to do with Religion? or ſhall wee ſaye, a Chriſtian Magiſtrate whyche dealith amongeſt others in theſe maters doth either naughtelie, or preſumpteouſlye,lye, 215 O4r lye, or wickedlye? The moſte aunciente and Chriſtian Emperours and kinges that ever were, didde buſy themſelvs with theſe matters, and yet were they never for this cauſe noted eyther of wickedneſſe or of preſumption. And what is hee that canne finde oute either more catholique princes or more notable exaumples?
Wherefore yf it were lawfull for them to dooe thus beinge but Civile Magiſtrates, and havinge the chiefe rule of common weales, what offence have oure Princes at thys daye made, whiche maye not have leave to dooe the lyke, beinge in the like degree? Or what eſpeciall gifte of learninge or of judgemente, or of holynes, have theſe menne nowe, that contrarye to the cuſtome of all the aunciente and Catholique Byſſhoppes, who uſed to conferre with princes and peeres concerning religi ōon, thei do now thus reject and caſt of O.iiii. Chriſtian 216 O4v Chriſtian Princes from knowing of the cauſe, and from their meetinges?
Well thus doinge, they wiſelye and warelye provide for them ſelves and for their kingedome, whiche otherwiſe they ſee is like ſhortly to come to naught. For if ſo be, they whom God hath placed in greateſt dignitie, didde ſee and perceive theſe mennes practiſes, howe Chriſtes commaundementes be deſpiſed by them, how the light of the Goſpell is darkened and quenched out by them, ; how themſelves alſo be ſubtilly begiled and mocked and unwares be deluded by them, ; the way to the kingedom of heavēen ſtopped up before them, no doubt they would never ſo quietlye ſuffer them ſelves neyther to be diſdaigned after ſuche a prowde ſorte nor ſo diſpitefully to be ſcorned and abuſed by them. But nowe through their own lacke of underſtanding, ; through their owne blyndeneſſe, theſe menne have them faſt yoked and in their daunger.Wee 217 O5r
We truely for our parts, as we have ſayd, have don nothing in altering Religion, either upon raſhenes or arrogancie, nor nothing but with good leaſure and great conſideration. Neyther had we ever intended to do it, except both the manifeſte and moſt aſſured will of God opened to us in his holy ſcriptures, and the regarde of our owne ſalvation had even conſtreyned us thereunto. For though wee have departed from that Churche which theſe menne call catholique, and by that meanes gett us envy amongeſt them that want ſkill to judge, yet is this ynough for us, and it ought to be ynough for every wiſe and good man, and one that maketh accoumpte of everlaſting lyfe, that we have gon from that Church whiche had power to erre, whiche Chriſt, who cannot erre, tolde ſo long before it ſhould erre, and which we our ſelves did evidently ſee with our eyes to have gon both from the holy Fathers and from the Apoſtles, and from Chriſt O.v. his 218 O5v his own ſelfe ; from the primative ; catholique churche: and wee are come as nere as we poſſibly could to the Church of the Apoſtles and of the old catholique Byſhops and Fathers, whiche Churche we knowe hath hetherunto ben ſounde and perfite, and as Tertullian termeth it, a pure virgine ſpotted as yet with no Idolatrie, nor with any foule or ſhamefull faulte: and have directed according to their cuſtomes and ordinaunces not onely our doctrine, but alſo the Sacraments ; the fourme of common prayer.
And as we knowe both Chriſte hym ſelfe and all good men here to fore have don, we have called home againe to the originall and firſt foundation that Religion which hath ben fowly forſlowed ; utterly corrupted by theſe men. For wee thought it mete thence to take the paterne of reforminge Religion from whence the ground of Religion was firſt taken, Bycauſe this one reaſone, as ſaythe the moſt auncient Father Tertullian, hath great 219 O6r great force againſte all Hereſies. Looke what ſoever was firſt, that is trew: and what ſoever is latter, that is corrupt. Ireneus oftentimes appealed to the oldeſt Churchs, which had ben nereſt to Chriſtes time, and which it was hard to beleve had erred. But whye at this daye is not the ſame reſpect and conſideratiōon had? Whye returne wee not to the paterne of the ould Churches? Whye maye not we heare at this time amongſt us the ſame ſaiing which was opēenly pronounced in times paſt in the Councel at Nice by ſo many Byſhopes and Catholique Fathers, and nobody once ſpeakyng againſte it εθη αρχαια κρατείτυ: that is to ſaye, hould ſtill the old cuſtomes. When Eldras went about to repayre the ruynes of the Temple of God, he ſent not to Epheſus, although the moſte beautifull and gorgious Temple of Diana was there, and when he purpoſed to reſtore the Sacrifices and ceremonies of God, he ſent not to Rome, although peradventureture 220 O6v ture he had hearde in that place were the ſolemne Sacrifices called Hecatombæ, and other called Solitaurilia, lectiſternia, and Supplicatiōons, and Numa Pompilius ceremoniall bokes, he thought it ynough for hym to ſet before his eyes, ; to folow the paterne of the old Temple which Salomon at the beginning builded, accordyng as God had appoincted hym, and alſo thoſe olde cuſtomes and Ceremonies whiche God hymſelfe had writen out by ſpecial words for Moſes.
The Prophet Aggeus, after the Tēemple was repaired againe by Eſdras, and the people mighte thinke they had a very juſte cauſe to rejoyce on their own behalfe, for ſo great a benefit received of almightie God, yet made he them al burſt out in teares, bycauſe that they whyche were yet alive, and had ſene the former building of the Temples before the Babylonians deſtroyed it, called to mynde howfar of it was yet from that beautie and excellencie whiche it had in the olde tymes 221 O7r times paſt before. For thēen in deed woulde they have thought the Temple worthely repaired, yf it had aunſwered to the auncient paterne, and to the majeſtie of the firſt Temple. Paul bycauſe he wold amende the abuſe of the Lordes ſupper which the Corinthians even then begonne to corrupte, he ſett before them Chriſtes inſtitution to folow, ſayng: I have delivered unto you that which I firſte received of the Lord. And when Chriſt dyd confute the errour of the Phariſees, Ye muſt, ſaith he, retorne to the firſt beginning, for frōom the beginning yt was not thus. And when he founde great faulte with the preiſts for their uncleanes of lyfe and covetouſnes, and woulde clenſe the Temple from al evil abuſes, This houſe ſaith he, at the firſt beginning was a houſe of praier, wherin all the people myght devoutely and ſincerely praye together, and ſo were your partes to uſe it nowe alſo at this daye. For it was not builded to thende it ſhould be a denne of theves. Likwiſe 222 O7v Likewiſe al the good and commendable Princes mentioned of in the Scriptures, were praiſed, ſpecially by thoſe wordes that they had walked in the wayes of their Father David. That is bycauſe they had retorned to the firſt and orginall foundation, and had reſtored Religion even to the perfection wherin David left it. And therfore whēen we likewiſe ſawe all thinges were quite trodden under foote of theſe men, and that nothing remained in the Temple of God but piteful ſpoyles and decayes, we reckened it the wiſeſt and the ſafeſt waye to ſett before our eyes thoſe Churches which we knew for a ſuerty that they never had erred, nor never had private Maſſe, nor prayers in ſtraynge and Barbarous language, nor this corrupting of Sacramentes and other toyes.
And forſomuche as our deſire was to have the Temple of the Lord reſtored a new, we would ſeke no other foundatiōon, then the ſame which we knew was long agone 223 O8r agone layde by the Apoſtles, that is to wyte, our ſaviour Jeſu Chriſt. And forſomuch as we heard God hym ſelfe ſpeaking unto us in his word, and ſawe alſo the notable Examples of the oulde and primative Churche: againe how uncertaine a mater it was to wait for a generall Concell, and that the ſucceſſe therof woulde be muche more uncertaine, but ſpecially for ſomuche as we were moſte aſcerteined of Goddes will, and counted it a wickednes to be to careful and overcumbred about the judgementes of mortall menne, we could no longer ſtand takyng adviſe with fleſhe and bloud, but rather thought good to do the ſame thing that both might rightlye be don, ; hath alſo many a time ben don aſwel of good men as on many catholique Byſhopes: that is to remedie our own Churches by a Provinciall Synode. For thus know we the ould Fathers uſed to putt in experience before they came to the publique univerſal Coūuncel. There remaine yet 224 O8v yet at this daye Canons writen in Coūuncelles of free Cities, as of Carthage under Cypriāan, as of Ancyra, of Neoceſaria and of Gangra, alſo whiche is in Paphlagonia as ſome thinke, before that the name of the generall Councel at Nice was ever heard of. After this faſhion in olde time did they ſpedely meet with, and cut ſhort thoſe Heretiques the Pelagians ; the Donatiſtes at home with private diſputation, without any general Councell. Thus alſo when the Emperour Conſtantius evidēently and earneſtly toke part with Aurentius the Byſhop of the Arrians faction, Ambroſe the Byſhopp of the Chriſtians appealed not unto a generall Councel, where he ſave no good could be don, by reaſon of the Emperours might and great labour, but appealed to his owne Cleargie and people, that is to ſay, to a Provinciall Synode. And thus it was decreed in the Councell at Nice, that the Byſhops ſhould aſſemble twiſe every yeare. And in the Councel at Carthagethage 225 P1r thage it was decreed, that the Byſſhops ſhoulde meete togeather in eche of their provinces, at leaſt once in the year, which was done as ſaith the Councel at Chalcedone, of purpoſe, that if any erroure and abuſes had happened to ſpringe up any where, they might immediatelye at the firſt enterie be deſtroyed where they firſte begonne. So like wiſe when Secundus and Palladius rejected the Coūuncell at Aquila, bicauſe it was not a generall and a common Councell, Ambroſe Byſſhoppe of Millaine made aunſwere, that no man ought to take it for a newe or ſtraunge matter that the Byſſhops of the weſte parte of the worlde didde call togeather Synodes, and make private aſſemblies in their Provinces, for that it was a thing before then uſed by the weſt Byſſhoppes no fewe times, and by the Byſſhoppes of Grecia uſed oftentymes and cōommonly to be done. And ſo Charles the great being Emperour, held a provinciall Councell in Germanie, for puttinge P.i. away 226 P1v awaye Images, contrary to the ſeconde Councell at Nice. Neither pardy even amongeſt us is this ſo very a ſtraunge and newe a trade? For wee have hadde or nowe in Englande provinciall Synods, and governed oure Churches by home made lawes. What ſhoulde one ſaye more? of a truthe even thoſe greateſt Councelles, and where moſte aſſemblie of people ever was (wherof theſe menne uſe to make ſuche an exceedinge reckeninge) compare them with all the Churches whiche throughout the worlde acknowledge and profeſſe the name of Chriſte, and what els I praye you can they ſeeme to bee, butte certaine private Councelles of Byſſhoppes, and provinciall Synodes? For admitte peradventure, Italie, Fraunce, Spaine, England, Germanie, Denmarke, and Scotlande meete to githers, yf there want Aſia, Grecia, Armenia, Perſia, Media, Meſopotamia, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Mauritania, in all whiche places there 227 P2r there bee bothe manye Chriſtian menne and alſo Byſſhoppes, howe canne anye man, beinge in his right mynde, thinke ſuche a Councel to bee a gernerall Councell? or where ſo manye partes of the worlde doe lacke, howe canne they truelye ſaye, they have the conſente of the whole worlde? Or what manner of Councell, weene you, was the ſame laſt at Trident? Or howe might it bee tearmed a generall Councell, when out of all Chriſtian kyngedomes and Nations, there came unto it butte onelye fourtye Byſſhoppes, and of thoſe ſome ſo cunninge, that they might be thought meete to bee ſente home again to learne their Grammar, and ſo well learned, that thei had never ſtudied Divinitie?
What ſo ever it bee, the truthe of the Goſpell of Jesus Christ dependeth not upon Councelles, nor as S.SaintPawle ſaithe, upon mortall creatures judgementes. And if they whiche ought to be carefull for Gods Churche, P.ii. will 228 P2v will not be wyſe but ſlacke their duety, and harden their heartes againſt Godde and his Chriſte, goinge on ſtill to pervert the right wayes of the Lorde, God will ſtirre up the very ſtones, and make children and babes cunninge, whereby there may ever be ſome to confute theſe mennes lyes. For God is able (not onely without Councelles, butt alſo will the Councelles nill the Councelles) to maintaine and avaunce his owne kingedom. Full manye bee the thoughtes of mans heart (ſaith Salomon) but the counſell of the Lorde abydeth ſtedfaſt. There is no wiſedome, there is no knowledge, there is no counſell againſt the Lorde. Thinges endure not, ſaithe Hilarius, that be ſet up with mennes workemanſhip: By an other manner of meanes muſt the Churche of God be builded and preſerved, for that Churche is grounded upon the foundacion of the Apoſtles and Prophets, and is holden faſt togeather by one corner ſtone, which is Chriſt Ieſu. 229 P3r Jeſu.
But merveilous notable and to very good purpoſe for theſe dayes bee Hieromes wordes: Whoſoever (ſayth hee) HieronHieronymus in Naum. cap. 3. the Divell hathe deceived and enticed to fall a ſleepe as it were with the ſweete ; deathly enchaūuntments of the marmaids the Sirenes, thoſe perſones doth Gods worde awake up, ſayinge unto them: Ariſe thou that ſleepeſt, lifte up thy ſelfe, and Chriſt ſhall give you the light. Therfore at the comminge of Chriſte, of Goddes worde, of the eccleſiaſticall doctrine, and of the full deſtruction of Ninive, and of that moſte bewtifull harlot, then ſhall the people whiche heretofore hadde been caſt in a traunce under their maiſters, bee rayſed up, and ſhall make haſte to go to the Mountaines of the Scripture, and there ſhall they finde hilles, Moſes, verely and Joſua the ſonne of Nun: other hilles alſo which ar the Prophetes: and hilles of the newe teſtament, whiche are the Apoſtles and the Evangeliſtes: P.iii. And 230 P3v And when the people ſhall flee for ſuccour to ſuche hilles, and ſhall bee exerciſed in the reading of thoſe kind of mountaynes, though they finde not one to teache them (for the harveſt ſhall bee greate, butte the labourers fewe) yet ſhall the good deſire of the people bee well accepted, in that they have gotten them to ſuche hilles, and the neglygence of their maiſters ſhall bee openly reproved. Theſe bee Hieromes ſayenges, and that ſo playne, as there needeth no Interpretour. For they agree ſo juſte with the thinges wee nowe ſee wyth oure eyes have already come to paſſe, that wee maye verelye thinke hee mente to foretell, as it were by the ſpirite of propheſie, and to paincte before oure face the univerſall ſtate of oure tyme, the fall of the moſte gorgeous harlotte Babylon, the repairinge againe of Goddes Churche, the blyndeneſſe and ſlewthe of the Byſſhoppes, and the good will and forewardeneſſe of the people. For who 231 P4r who is ſo blinde that hee ſeeth not theſe menne bee the maiſters, by whome the people, as ſaythe Hierome, hathe been ledde into errour, and lulled a ſleepe? Or who ſeeth not Rome, that is their Ninive, whiche ſometime was paincted with faireſt colours, but now her vizer being pulled of, is both better ſeen and leſſe ſette by? Or who ſeeth not that good menne beinge a waked as it were out of their deade ſleepe, at the lighte of the Goſpell, and at the voyce of God, have reſorted to the hilles of the Scriptures, waiting not at all for the Councelles of ſuche maiſters?
Butte by your favoure, ſome will ſaye, Theſe thinges ought not to have been attempted without the Byſſhoppe of Romes commaundement, forſomuche as hee onely is the knotte and bande of Chriſtian ſocietie: he onely is that prieſt of Levies order, whom God ſignified in the Deuteronomy, from whom counſell P.iii. in 232 P4v in matters of weight and true judgemēent ought to be fetched, and who ſo obeyeth not his judgement, the ſame man ought to bee killed in the ſight of his brethren: and that no mortall creature hathe authoritie to bee judge over him whatſoever hee dooe: that Chriſte reigneth in heaven and hee in earthe: that hee alone canne dooe as muche as Chriſte, or God hym ſelfe canne dooe, bicauſe Chriſt and hee have but one Councell houſe: That without him is no faythe, no hope, no churche, and who ſo goeth from him, quite caſteth awaye and renounceth his owne ſalvation. Suche talke have the Canoniſtes, the Popes paraſites ſurely but with ſmall diſcretion or ſobreneſſe? for they coulde ſcant ſaye more, at leaſte they coulde not ſpeake more highlye of Chriſte him ſelfe.
As for us truely, we have fallen from the Byſhoppe of Rome upon no maner of worldlye reſpect or commoditie, and woulde to Chriſte hee ſo behaved himſelfeſelfe 233 P5r ſelfe as this falling away neded not: but ſo the caſe ſtoode, that wiles we left him, wee could not come to Chriſt. Neyther will he now make any other league with us, then ſuche a one as Nahas the kyng of the Ammonites would have made in 1. Regum. 11. tymes paſt with thēem of the citie of Jabes, whiche was to put out the right eye of eche one of the Inhabitantes. Even ſo will the Pope pluck from us the holye Scripture, the Goſpell of our ſalvation and all the confidence which we have in Chriſt Jeſu. And upon other condition can he not agree upon ye are with us.
For wheras ſom uſe to make ſo great a vaunte, that the Pope is onely Peters Succeſſour, as though therby he carried the holy Ghoſt in his boſome ; cannot erre, this is but a matter of nothing and a very trieflyng tale. Gods grace is promiſed to a good mynde, and to one that fearith God, not unto Sees and Succeſſi ōons. Riches ſaith Jerome, may make a Byſhop to be of more might then the P.v. reſt, 234 P5v reſt: but all the Byſhoppes whoſoever they be, are the Succeſſours of the Apoſtles. Yf ſo be, the place and conſecrating onely be ſufficient (why then) Manaſſes ſucceded David, and Caiphas ſucceded Aaron. And it hath ben often ſeene, that an Idoll hath ſtand in the Temple of God. In old tyme Archidamus the Lacedemonian boaſted muche of hym ſelfe, how he came of the bloud of Hercules, but one Nicoſtratus in thys wiſe abated his pryde: Nay, quod he, that ſemeſt not to deſcende from Hercules, for Hercules deſtroied yll men, but thou makeſt good men evill. And when the Phariſes bragged of their image how they wereof the kynred and bloud of Abraham, Ye ſaith Chriſt, ſeeke to kyll me, a manne whiche have toulde you the trouth as I heard it from God: thus Abraham never did. Ye are of your Father the dyvel, and wil nedes obey his will.
Yet notwithſtandyng, bycauſe wee will graunt ſome what to ſucceſſion, tell vs, 235 P6r us, hath the Pope alone ſucceded Peter? and wherin I praye you, in what Religion, in what Office? in what peece of his lyfe hath he ſucceded hym? What one thing (tel me) had Peter ever like unto the Pope? or the hPope lyke unto Peter? excepte paradventure they will ſaye thus: that Peter when he was at Rome, never taught the Goſpell, never fedde the flock, toke away the keyes of the kingedom of haeeavēen, hyd the treaſures of his Lorde, ſatte him downe onely in his Caſtle in S.SaintJohn Laterane, ; poincted out with his finger al the places of Purgatorie, and kyndes of punyſhementes, cōommittyng ſome poore ſoules to be tormented, and other ſome againe ſodenlye releaſing thence at his owne pleaſure, taking money for ſo doing: or that he gave order to ſay private Maſſes in every corner: or that he mumbled up the holy ſervice with a lowe voice and in an unknowen language, or that he hāanged up the Sacrament in every Tēemple and on everie Aulter, and caryed the ſame about beforefore 236 P6v fore hym whether ſoever he went, upon an ambling Jennett, with lightes and belles: or that he conſecrated with hys holy breath, oyle, wax, wulle, belles, chalices, churches ; aultres: or that he ſolde Jubilees, graces, liberties, advouſons, preventions, firſt fruits, Palles, the wearing of Palles, bulles, Indulgences and pardons: or that he called hym ſelf by the name of the head of the Churche, The higheſt Byſhop, Byſhop of Byſhopps, alone Moſt holy: or that by uſurping he tooke upon hym ſelfe the right and aucthoritie over other folkes Churches: or that he exempted him ſelfe frōom the power of anye civille governement: or that he mainteined warrs, ſet Princes together at variaunce: or that he ſytting in his Chaire with his triple Crowne full of labelles, with ſumptuous ; Perſianlike gorgiouſnes, with his Royall ſcepter, with his Diademe of goulde and glittering with ſtones, was caried about not upon Paalfraie, but upon the ſhoulders of 237 P7r of noble menne. Theſe things no doubt did Peter at Rome in times paſt, and left them in charge to his Succeſſours as you would ſay, from hand to hande: for theſe thinges be now a dayes donne at Rome by the Popes, and be ſo done, as though nothing els ought to be don.
Or contrariewiſe paradventure they had rather ſaye thus, that the Pope doth now all the ſame thinges whyche wee knowe Peter did many a daye a goe: that is, that he rounneth up and downe into everye Countreye to Preache the Goſpell, not onelye openlye abroad, but alſo privatelye from houſe to houſe: that hee is diligente, and applyeth that buſines in ſeaſone and out of ſeaſone, in dewe tyme, out of dew time: that he doth the part of an Evangeliſt, that he fulfilleth the worke and miniſterie of Chriſt, that he is the watcheman of the houſe of Iſrael: receaveth anſweares and wordes at Goddes mouth: and even as he receiveth them, ſo delivereth them over to 238 P7v to the people: That he is the ſalte of the earth: That he ys the light of the world, that he doth not feed his owne ſelfe but his flock, that he doth not entangle him ſelfe with the worldlie cares of this lyfe, that he doth not uſe a ſoveraintye over the Lordes people, that he ſeeketh not to have other menne miniſter to hym, but him ſelfe rather to miniſter unto others, that he taketh al Biſhops as his felows and equals: that he is ſubject to Princes as to perſonnes ſent from God, that he giveth to Ceſar that whiche is Ceſars: and that he as the old Biſhops of Rome dyd (without any queſtion) calleth the Emperour his Lord: Onles therfore the Popes do the like now a dayes, and Peter did the thinges a foreſayd, there is no cauſe at all why they ſhould glorye ſo of Peters name and of his ſucceſſion.
Muche leſſe cauſe have they to complaine of our departing, and to call us againe to be felowes and frendes with them, and to beleve as they beleve. Men ſay 239 P8r ſaye that one Cobilon a Lacedemonian when he was ſent Embaſſadour to the kyng of the Perſians to treate of a legue, and founde by chaunce them of the court playng at dyce, he returned ſtreight waye home againe, leaving his meſſage undone. And wheēen he was aſked why he did ſlacke to doe the thinges whiche he had received by publique commiſſion to do, he made aunſwere, he thought it ſhould be a great reproche to his cōommon welthe, to make a legue with Dicers.
But yf we ſhould content our ſelves to retorne to the Pope and his popyſhe errours, and to make a covenaunte not only with dicers, but alſo with men farre more ungracious and wicked then any dycers be: Beſides that this ſhould be a great blot to our good name, it ſhoulde alſo be a very daungerous matter both to kindle Goddes wrath againſt us, and to clogge and condemne our owne ſoules forever. For of very trouthe we have departed from hym whome we ſaw had blinded 240 P8v blinded the whole worlde this many an hundred yeare. From hym who to farre preſumpteouſlye was wont to ſaye, he coulde not erre, and whatſover he dyd no mortal man had power to condemne hym, neyther Kynges nor Emperours, nor the whole Clergie, nor yet all the people in the worlde togyther, no and though he ſhould carrie away with him to Hell a thouſande ſoules. From hym who toke upon him power to cōommaund not only menne but even Goddes Aungels, to go, to returne, to leade ſoules into Purgatorie, and to bring them back againe when he lyſte him ſelfe: whome Gregory ſaid, with out all doubt is the very foreronner and ſtanderd bearer of Antichriſt, and hath utterly forſaken the catholique faith: From whome alſo thoſe ringeleaders of owers, who now with might and maine reſiſt the Goſpel, ; the trouth whiche they knowe to be the truth, have or this departed every one of their owne accorde and good will, and would 241 Q1r woulde even now alſo gladly depart frōom hym, yf the note of inconſtancie ; ſhame, and their owne eſtimacion amonge the people were not a let unto them. In concluſion, wee have departed from hym to whom we wer not bound, and who had nothyng to laye for hym ſelfe, but onely I know not what vertue or power of the place where he dweleth, and a continuaunce of ſucceſſion.
And as for us, we of all others moſte juſtely have left him. For our Kynges, yea even they whiche with greateſt reverence dyd folow and obey the aucthoritie and faith of the Byſhops of Rome, have long ſynce founde and felte well ynough the yoke ; tyrannye of the Popes kingdome. For the Byſhops of Rome toke the Crowne of from the head of our Kynge Henrye the ſecond, and compelled him to put a ſide all majeſtie, and lyke a meere private man to come unto their Legate with great ſubmiſſion and humilitie, ſo as all his ſubjectes might Q.i. laugh 242 Q1v laugh him to ſcorne. More thēen this, they cauſed Byſhops and Monkes and ſome parte of the nobilitie to be in the feelde a gainſt our Kynge John, and ſett all the people at libertie from their othe wherby they ought allegeaunce to their king: and at laſt, wickedly and moſt abhominablie they bereaved the kyng not onely of his kyngdome but alſo of his lyfe.
Beſides this, they excommunicated and curſed Kyng Henry theight, the moſt famous Prince, ; ſtirred up againſt him ſometime the Emperour, ſometime the Frenche Kyng, ; as muche as in them was, putte in adventure our Realme to have ben a very praye and ſpoyle. Yet were they but foules and mad, to thinke that eyther ſo mighty a Prince could be ſcared with bugges and rattles: or els that ſo noble and great a kyngdome myght ſo eaſily, even at one morſel be devoured and ſwalowed up.
And yet as though all this were to litle, they would nedes make all the Realmealme 243 Q2r alme tributarie to them, ; exacted there yearely moſt unjuſt and wrongfull teares. And deere coſt us the freendeſhyp of the Citie of Rome. Wherefore yf they have gotten theſe thinges of us by extortion thorough their fraude and ſubtle ſleightes, we ſee no reaſon why we may not plucke awaye the ſame from them againe by laufull wayes ; juſt means. And yf our kynges in that darknes and blindenes of former tymes gave them theſe thinges of their owne accorde and liberalitie for Religion ſake, being moved with a certaine opinion of their fained holines, now when ignoraunce ; errour is ſpied out, may the kinges their ſucceſſours take them awaye againe, ſeing they have the ſame auctoritie, the kinges their aunceſtours had before.
For the gyft is voide, except it be alowed by the will of the giver and that cannot ſeme a perfit will, which is dymmed and hindered by errour.
Thus ye ſee good Chriſtian Reader, Q.ii. how 244 Q2v how it is no new thing, though at this day the religion of Chriſt be enterteined with diſpites and checkes, being but lately reſtored, and as it were comming up againe a new, for ſomuche as the lyke faith chaunted both to Chriſt hym ſelfe and to his Apoſtles: yet nevertheleſſe for ſcare ye maye ſuffer your ſelfe to be led amiſſe, and ſeduced with thoſe exclamations of our Adverſaries, we have declared at large unto you thevery whole māanner of our Religion, what our opinion is of God the Father, of his onely ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, of the holy Ghoſt, of the Church, of the Sacramentes, of the miniſtery, of the Scriptures, of ceremonies, and of every parts of Chriſtian beleve.
Wee have ſayde that wee abandon and deteſt as plagues and poyſons all thoſe olde Hereſies, whiche eyther the ſacred Scriptures or the auncient Councelles have utterly condemned: that wee call home againe aſmuche as ever wee can, the right Discipline of the Church, which our 245 Q3r our Adverſaries quite brought into a poore ; weake caſe: That wee puniſhe all licentiouſnes of lyfe and unrulynes of maners by the olde and long continued laws, and with aſmuch ſharpenes as is convenient and lyeth in our power: That we mainteine ſtill the ſtate of kingdomes, in the ſame condition and plight wherin we have found thēem, without any diminiſhing or alteration, reſervinge unto our Princes their majeſtie and worldly preeminence ſafe and without empayring, to our poſſible power: That we have ſo gottēen our ſelves away from that Chruch which they had made a denne of Theeves, and wherein nothing was in good frame or once like to the Churche of God, and whiche them ſelfes cōonfeſſed had erred many waies, evēen as Lott in times paſte gat hym out of Sodom, or Abraham out of Caldie, not upōon a deſire of contention, but by the warninge of God him ſelfe: And that we have ſearched out of the holy Bible, whiche we are ſure cannot deceive, one ſure fourme Q.iii. of 246 Q3v of Religion, and have retorned againe unto the Primative Churche of the auncient Fathers and Apoſtles, that is to ſay, to the firſt ground and beginning of thinges, as unto the very foundations ; head ſpringes of Chriſtes church. And in very troth we have not carried for in this matter the auctoritie or conſent of the Trident Councell, wherein we ſawe nothing don uprightly nor by good ordre: where alſo every body was ſworne to the maintenaunce of one man: where our Princes Embaſſadours were condemned: where not one of our divines could be heard, and where partes taking and ambition was openly and earneſtlye procured and wrought, but as the holy Fathers in former time, and as our predeceſſours have commonly don, wee have reſtored our Churches by a Provinciall Convocation, and have cleane ſhaken of as our dewtie was, the yoke and tyrannye of the Byſhop of Rome, to whome we were not bounde, who alſo had 247 Q4r had no manner of thyng lyke neyther to Chriſt nor to Peter, nor to an Apoſtle, nor yet like to any Byſhopp at all. Finally, we ſaye that wee agree amongeſt our ſelves, touching the whole judgemēent and chiefe ſubſtaunce of Chriſtian Religion, and with one mouth and with one ſpirite do woorſhipp God and the Father of our Lord Jeſu Chriſt.
Wherefore O Chriſtian and godlye Reader, forſomuche as thow ſeeſt the reaſons and cauſes both whye wee have reſtored Religion, and whye wee have forſaken theſe men, thou oughteſt not to marvaile, though wee have choſen to obeye our Maiſter Chriſte rather then menne. Paule hath given us warning how we ſhoulde not ſuffer our ſelves to be carried away with ſuche ſundry learninges, and to fly their companies, in eſpeciall whiche woulde ſowe debate and variaunces, cleane contrarie to the Doctrine whiche they had received of Chriſt and the Apoſtls. Longe ſynce have theſe mennes 248 Q4v mennes craftes and treacheries decaied and vaniſhed and fled away at the ſight and light of the Goſpell, even as the owle doth at the ſunne ryſing. And albeit their trumperye be builte up, and reared as highe as the Skye, yet even in a momēent and as yt were of the owne ſelve, fallyth yt downe againe to the ground, and cōommeth to naught. For you muſt not think that al theſe things have com to paſſe raſhly or at advēenture: It hath ben gods pleaſure that againſt al mennes willes wel nye, the Goſpell of Jeſu Chriſte ſhoulde be ſpread abroad thorough out the whole worlde, at theſe dayes. And therfore men folowing godds biddings, have of their owne free will reſorted unto the Doctrine of Jeſus Chriſt. And for our parts truely wee have ſought hereby neyther glorie nor welthe, or pleaſure nor eaſe: For there is plentie of all theſe thinges with our adverſaryes. And when wee wer of their ſide, we enjoyed ſuch worldlye commodyties muche more liberallie and 249 Q5r and bountefully, then wee doe nowe. Neyther doe wee eſchew concorde and peace, but to have peace with man, wee will not be at warre with God. The name of peace is a ſwete and pleaſaunte thinge, ſaith Hilarius, but yet beware, ſayth he, peace is one thinge, and boundage is an other. For yf it ſhoulde ſo be as they ſeeke to have it, that Chriſte ſhoulde be commaunded to keepe ſilence, that the truth of the Goſpell ſhould be betraied, that horrible errours ſhould be cloked, that Chriſtian mennes eyes ſhold be bleared, ; that they might be ſuffred to conſpire openlye againſt God, this were not a peace, but a moſte ungodlye covenaunt of ſervitude. There is a peace ſaith Nazianzene, that is unprofitable: againe there is a diſcorde ſaith he that is profitable. For we muſte conditionallye deſire peace, ſo farre as is laufull before God, ; ſo farre as we may conveniēently: For otherwiſe Chriſt him ſelf broughte not peace into the worlde, but a ſworde. Q.v. Wherfore 250 Q5v Wherefore yf the Pope will have us reconciled to hym, his dewty is firſt to be reconciled to God: for from thence ſaith Cyprian, ſpring ſchyſmes and ſectes, bycauſe menne ſeeke not the head, and have not their recourſe to the Fountaine of the Scriptures, and kepe not the Rules gyven by the heavenly teacher: for ſaith he, that is not peace but warre: neyther is he joyned unto the Churche which is ſevered from the Goſpel. As for theſe men they uſe to make a marchaundize of the name of peace. For that peace whiche they ſo faine would have, is onely a reſt of idle bellies. They and we might eaſily be brought to atonement touchyng all theſe matters, were it not that ambitiōon, glutony and exceſſe did let it: Hence commeth their whyenyng, their hearte is on their Halfepennye. Out of doubt their claymours and ſtyrres be to none other ende, but to maynteine more ſhamefully and naughtely yll gotten thinges.
Nowe a dayes the Pardoners complaineplaine 251 Q6r plaine of us, the Datavies, the Popes Collectours, the Bawdes, and others which take Gayne to be godlyneſſe, and ſerve not Jeſu Chriſt but their owne bellyes. Many a day a go and in the old worlde, a wonderfull great advantage grew hereby to theſe kinde of people, but now they recken all is loſſe unto them that Chriſt gaigneth. The Pope hym ſelfe maketh greate complaynete at this preſent, that Charitie in people is waxen coulde. And why ſo trow ye? Forſooth becauſe his profittes decaye more and more. And for this cauſe doth he hale us into hatred all that ever he maye, laieng lode upon us with diſpitetfull raylings and condemning us for Heretiques, to thende they that underſtande not the matter, maye thinke there be no woorſe menne upon earth then we be. Notwithſtanding we in the meane ſeaſon are never the more aſhamed for all this: neyther ought we to be aſhamed of the Goſpell: for wee ſett more by the glorie of God 252 Q6v God then wee doe by the eſtimation of menne. We are ſuere all is true that we teach, and we may not either go againſt our owne conſcience, or beare any witnes againſt God. For yf we denye any part of the Goſpel of Jeſu Chriſt before menne, he on the other ſide wil denye us before his Fathers. And yf there be anye that will ſtill be offended and cannot endure Chriſtes doctrine, ſuche ſaye wee, be blynd, ; leaders of the blynde: the truth nevertheles muſt be preached and preferred above all: and wee muſte with patience wayte for Goddes judgement.
Lett theſe folke in the meane tyme take good heed what they do, and let them be well adviſed of their owne Salvation, and ceaſe to hate and perſecute the Goſpell of the ſonne of God, for feare leaſt they feele hym once a redreſſer and revēenger of his owne cauſe. God will not ſuffer himſelf to be made a mocking ſtock. The world eſpyeth a good whyle a gon what there ys a doyng abroade. This flame 253 Q7r flame the more it is kepte downe, ſomuch the more with greater force and ſtrengh doth it break out and flye abroade. Their unfaithfulnes ſhall not diſapoincte goddes faithfull promyſe. And yf they ſhall refuſe to laye awaye this their hardenes of heart and to receive the Goſpel of Chriſt, then ſhall Publicanes and ſynners go before them into the kingedome of Heaven.
God and the Father of oure Lorde Jesus Christ open the eyes of them all, that they maye be able to ſee that bleſſed hope whereunto they have ben called, ſo as wee maye altogither in one, glorifie hym alone, who is the true God: and alſo that ſame Jeſus Chriſt whome he ſent downe to us from Heaven: unto whome with the Father and the holy Ghoſt be given all honour and glorie everlaſtinglye. So be it.
The ende of the Apologie of the Churche of Englande.
The manner how the Churche of Englande is adminiſtred ; governed.
The Churche of Englāand is divided into two Provinces,
- Canterbury, and
The Province of Canterbury hath Tharchebyſhop of the ſame, who is Primate of all Englande and Metropolitane.
The Byſhop of London. The Byſhop of
- Coventrie and Lichefield.
- Bathe and Welles.
- S.Sainte Davies.
The 256 Q8v The Byſhop of
- Gloceſter, and
The Province of Yorke hath Tharchbyſhop of the ſame, who is alſo Primate of England and Metropolitane. The Byſhop of
- Carliell, and
Amongeſt us heere in Englande no man is called or preferred to bee a Byſſhop, except he have firſt ben inſtituted a Prieſt or Miniſter, and be well hable to inſtruct the people in the holy ſcriptures.
Every one of the Archebyſhops and Byſhops have their ſeverall Cathedrall churches, wherein the Deanes beare chiefe rule, being men ſpecially choſen both for their learninge and godlines, as neere as may bee.theſe 257 R1r
Theſe Cathedrall Churches have alſo other dignities and Canōonries, wherunto bee aſſigned not ydle or unprofitable perſones, but ſuche as eyther bee Preachers, or profeſſours of the Sciences of good learninge.
In the ſaide Cathedrall Churches, upon Sondayes and feſtivall dayes, the Canons make ordinarilye ſpecial Sermons, whereunto duely reſorte the head Officers of the Cities and the Citizens: and upon the workendayes thryſe in the weeke, one of the Canons doth read and expound ſome peece of holy Scripture.
Alſo the ſaide Archebyſhops and Byſſhops have under them their Archedeacons, ſome two, ſome foure, ſome ſixe, accordinge to the largenes of the dioces, the whiche Archedeacons keepe yearly twoo viſitations, wherein they make diligent inquiſition, and ſearche both of the doctrine and behavior as well of the miniſters as of the people. They puniſheR.i. niſhe 258 R1v niſhe thoffendors: and if any errours in religion and hereſies fortune to ſpringe, thei bring thoſe and other weighty matters before the Byſhops themſelves.
There is nothing read in oure Churches but the canonical ſcriptures, which is done in ſuche ordre, as that the Pſalter is read over every moneth, the new Teſtament foure times in the yeare, and the olde Testament once every yeare. And if the Curate be judged of the Byſhop to be ſufficiently ſeene in the holy ſcripturs, he dothe withal make ſome expoſition and exhortacion unto godlines.
And for ſomuch as our Churches and Univerſities have ben wōonderfully marred, and ſo fouly brought out of al faſhion in time of papiſtrie, as there can not be had learned paſtors for every paryſh, there bee preſcribed unto the Curates of meaner underſtandinge, certaine Homelies deviſed by learned men, whiche doe comprehende the principall poinctes of Chriſtian 259 R2r Chriſtian doctrine: as of Originall ſin, of Juſtification, of Faith, of Charitie, ; ſuche like, for to bee read by them unto the people.
As for Common prayer, The leſſons taken out of the Scriptures, thadminiſtringe of the ſacramentes, and the reſidue of ſervice done in the Churches, are every whitt done in the vulgare tongue whiche all may underſtande.
Touchinge the univerſities. Moreover, this Realme of England hathe twoo Univerſities,
- Cambridge and
And the manner is not to live in theſe within houſes that be Innes or a receipt for common geaſtes, as is the cuſtome of ſome univerſities, but they live in colledges under moſte grave and ſevere diſcipline, even ſuche as the famous learned man Eraſmus of Roterodame, beinge heere amongeſt us about fourtie yeares R.ii. paſt 260 R2v paſt, was bolde to preferre before the very rules of the Monkes.
In Cambridge bee xiiii Colledges, theſe by name that folowe.
- Trinitie Colledge founded by kinge Henrie the eight.
- The kinges Colledge.
- S.SainteJohns Colledge.
- Chriſtes Colledge.
- The Quenes Colledge.
- Jheſus Colledge.
- Bennet Colledge.
- Pembroke Colledge, or Pembroke halle.
- Peter Colledge, or Peter houſe.
- Gunwell and Caius colledge, or halle.
- One other Trinitie Colledge, or Trinitie halle.
- Clare colledge, or Clare halle.
- S.Sainte Katherins colledge, or Katherin halle.
- Magdalene colledge.
In Oxford likwiſe there be Colledges ſome greater ſome ſmaler, to the number of foure and twentye, the names whereof be as followeth.The 261 R3r
- The Cathedrall Churche of Chriſte, wherein alſo is a great company of ſtudentes.
- Magdalene colledge.
- Newe colledge.
- Marten colledge.
- All ſowles colledge.
- Corpus Chriſti colledge.
- Lincolne colledge.
- Auriell colledge.
- The Quenes colledge.
- Baylie colledge, or Bailioll colledge.
- S.SaintJohns colledge.
- Trinitie colledge.
- Excetor colledge.
- Braſen noſe colledge.
- Thuniverſitie colledge.
- Glocetor colledge.
- Brodegate halle.
- Hearte halle.
- Magdalene hall.
- Alborne halle.
- S.Saint Marie halle.
- Whyte halle.
- Newe Inne.
- Edmonde halle.
R.iii. And 262 R3v
And beſides theſe Colledges that be in the Univerſities, this Realme hath alſo certein collegiate churches, as Weſtmynſter, Windeſour, Eaton, and Wyncheſter. The two laſt whereof do bring up and fynde a greate number of yong Scholers, the whiche after they be once parfect in the rules of Grammer and of verſifieng, and well entred in the principles of the Greeke tong and of Rhetorike, are ſent from thence unto the univerſities: as thus. Out of Eaton colledge they be ſent unto the Kynges colledge at Cambrydge, ; out of Wyncheſter, unto the New colledge at Oxford.
The Colledges of both the Univerſities be not only very fayre and goodly builte thorough thexceding liberalitie of the kynges in olde time ; of late dayes, of Byſhopps and of noble men, but they be alſo endowed with marveylous large livinges and revenewes.
In Trinitie colledge at Cambrydge, and 263 R4r and in Chriſtes colledge at Oxford, both whiche were founded by Kyng Henry theight of moſt famous memorie, are at the leaſt founde foure hundreth Shollers: and the like number wel neere is to be ſeene in certen other Colledges, as in the Kynges Colledge ; S.SaintJohns Colledge at Cambrydge: in Magdalene colledge and New colledge of Oxford: beſides the reſt which we now paſſe over.
Every one of the Colleges have their Profeſſours of the tonges and of the liberal Sciences (as they cal them) which do trade up youth privatly within their Halles, to thend they may afterward be able to go furth thence into the common ſcholes as to open diſputatiōon, as it were into plain battail, there to try themſelfe.
In the cōommon Scholes of both the Univerſities, there are found at the Kinges charge, and that very largely, fyve Professours ; Readers, that is to ſaye, R.iiii. The 264 R4v
- The Reader of Divinitie.
- The Reader of the Civill lawe.
- The Reader of Phyſike.
- The Reader of the Hebrewe tongue. and
- The Reader of the Greeke tongue.
And for the other Profeſſours, as of Phyloſophie, of Logique, of Rethorike, and of the Mathematicalles, the Univerſities themſelves doe allowe ſtipendes unto them. And theſe Profeſſours have the ruling of the Diſputaciōons and other ſchole exerciſes whiche be dayly uſed in the common Scholes: Amongeſt whome, they that by the ſame Diſputations ; exerciſes are thought to be come to any ripenes in knowledge, are wont according to the uſe in other univerſities, ſolemply to take degrees, every one in the ſame ſcience and facultie which he profeſſeth.
Wee thought good to annexe theſe thinges, to thende wee might confute ; confounde 265 R5r confounde thoſe that ſpread abroad rumours, how that with us nothinge is don in order ; as ought to be don: that there is no Religiōon at al, no Eccleſiaſtical Diſcipline obſerved, no regard had of the ſalvacion of mennes ſoules, but that all is don quite out of ordre and ſeditiouſlye, that all antiquitie is deſpiſed, that libertie is given to all ſenſualitie and lewde luſtes of folkes, that the livings of the Church be converted to prophane and worldlye uſes, wheras in very trouth we ſeke nothing els but that, that God above all moſte good, may have ſtill his honoure truely and purely reſerved unto hym, that the rule and waye to everlaſtinge Salvation maye be taken from out of his very word, and not from mens fantaſies, that the Sacramentes maye be miniſtred not like a Maſkary or a ſtage playe, but religiouſly and reverently according to the rule preſcribed unto us by Chriſt, and after the example of the holy Fathers whiche floriſhed in the primativeR.v. tiue 266 R5v tive Churche: that that moſt holye and godly fourme of diſcipline, whiche was commonly uſed amongeſt them, may be called home againe: that the goodes of the Churche may not be laūunched out amōongeſt worldlinges ; ydel perſōons, but may be beſtowed upon the godlye Miniſters and Paſtours which take paine both in Preaching and teaching: that there may from tyme to tyme ariſe up out of the Univerſities learned ; good miniſters ; others meete to ſerve the cōommon welth: And finally, that all uncleane and wicked lyfe may be utterly abandoned and banyſhed, as unworthy for the name of any Chriſtian. And albeit we are not as yet able to obteine this that we have ſaid, fully ; perfitlie, (for this ſame Stable, as one may rightly call it, of the Romiſh Augias, cannot ſo ſoone be thoroughlye cleanſed and ridd from the long growen filth and mucke) nevertheleſſe this is it whereunto we have regarde: hether doe wee tende: to this marke do wee direct oure 267 R6r our paine and travaile, and that hitherto (thorough God his gracious favour) not without good ſucceſſe and plenteous encreaſe: whiche thing may eaſily appeere to every body, yf either we be cōompared with our own ſelves in what maner of caſe wee have ben but few yeares ſynce, or els be compared with our falſe accuſers, or rather our malicious ſlaunderours.
The Lorde defende his Churche, governe it with his holy Spirite, ; bleſſe the ſame with all proſperous felicitie.
Amen. Imprinted at London in Paules churche yard, at the ſigne of the Braſen ſerpent, by Reginalde Wolfe. 1564Anno Domini, M.D.L XIIII.
Faultes eſcaped in the printinge.
Leafe. Faultes. Corrections