VVhether it be mortall sinne to transgresse ciuil lawes, which be the commaun­dementes of ciuill Magistrates.

The iudgement of Philip Me­lancton in his Epitome of morall Philo­sophie.

The resolution of .D. Hen. Bullin­ger, and D. Rod. Gualter, of .D. Mar­tin Bucer, and .D. Peter Martyr, concernyng thapparrel of Ministers, and other indifferent thinges.

Whether it be mortall sinne to transgresse Ciuil lawes, whiche be the commaundementes of Ci­uill Magistrates?

MOrall vertue requireth not onlye to restraigne outwardly the handes, and to rule externall ac­tions, but also it requi­reth in the minde a deli­beratiō and an intent of counsayle: It also requi­reth a mynde inured to holde in all braydes, & to vse a certayne moderation to deliberate. These two thynges are truely required to vertues, and youth must be trayned vp, to vnderstande the force and nature of eyther of them. Deliberation or aduisement, must seke out and vnderstande the causes and reasons of al actiōs, which (as it were with a bridle) drawe backe the furious mind into the right way, and shewe what is to be done.

But morall is called that facilitie of the mynde, or equabilitie, moderation, and stay, wherwith it can restraigne it self, vntyl that it be well aduised of the matter, to do that [Page 4] whiche is most ryght, with a certayne plea­sure.

Seyng then it is nedeful to vnderstand the causes of honest actions, it is not inough to knowe the lawes, but it is most necessarie to the perfourmance of morall vertue, to know what the aucthoritie of the lawes be, howe farre it is nedefull to obey them. The minde beyng with this doctrine established, shall both thinke more honorablye of the lawes, & also vnderstande howe farre foorth it muste obey. This iudgement of the aucthoritie of lawes parteyneth to morall vertue.

Fyrst I aunswere, that to breake ciui [...] lawes, or the preceptes of ciuill Magistrates is mortall sinne, though there be no matter of offence:Rom. 13. for Paul sayth playnely, that we must needes obey, not for feare of vengeance onlye, but also because of conscience, that is, that we not only feare ciuill punishment, but also know that our conscience is made gilty, yf we do not obey. Nowe it is the part of a good mynd to consyder, how great this band of obedience and common quietnes is, which God also requireth, that we obey lawes and Magistrates.

And yf we obey not, he sayth that he wyll reuenge it. And God truely punisheth both [Page 5] in this lyfe, & also after this life,Exod. 20. as the fourth precept speaketh of punishments in this lyfe. If thou wilt liue long vpon earth. &c. for that precept geueth charge of obedience, that we obey not only our parentes, but also all them to whom our parentes do geue their auctho­ritie, to wit, the magistrates. And therefore many other sentences in the scripture,Prou. 24. speake of the punishmentes that shalbe suffered in this lyfe. Feare God and the kyng, and haue no felowship with the seditious, for their de­struction shal come sodenly. And Christ saith,Mat. 26. He whiche taketh the sworde in hande, shall perishe with the sworde: for to take a sworde in hande, signifieth to take vp the sworde for­bidden by the lawes and the Magistrates, that is, to be seditious, and to disobey the pre­sent Magistrates. And the examples set out in the scriptures, do not only shewe this, but also the histories of all ages, that murderers, theefes, periured persons, vniust iudges, se­ditious and tyrauntes, are for the most part punished by God in this lyfe. This I say vn­to this ende, that we may knowe, howe that God requireth this discipline, to kepe men [...]awe with feare of punishment.

This feare encreaseth reuerence toward [...]he lawes, and causeth some moralitie in our [Page 6] myndes, when as it brydleth as it were our lustes, and inureth them to obedience. And there is no doubt, but that many gre­uous chaunces are punishments of this bar­barous libertie, whiche many take vppon them, and wil not be ruled by the aucthoritie of the superiours. For the law of God erreth not, which saith, Honor thy father & mother, if thou wilt liue lōg vpō earth. Besides that, there is more reuerence in our mindes, when as we beleue, that the breache of the lawes is punished with eternall tormentes after this lyfe, except we do repent. This sentence tou­ching the precepts of magistrates must wise­ly be vnderstand, namely of those preceptes, which byd vs not to do agaynst the cōmaun­dementes of God. We must also consyder, whether it be wantonnes in them which dis­obey, or whether some causes happen, which haue some excuse. The differēce which Ger­son vseth, lyketh me, who discerneth lawes, saying, That some are made for necessitie such as serue for cōmon quietnes, as of theft, murder, mariages, diuiding of inheritaun­ces, tributes, warfare, iudgements, and such like. Some are not made so much for necessi­tie, as for comlynesse, as it is prouided, that a womā marry not, before she haue left mour­ning for her former husband.

This difference liketh me, not only because reason breadeth sundry bondes, but rather, because the mynde of the magistrate is eui­dent, which in the former matters simply re­quireth obedience: in other lighter matters it doth not so exacte it. The mynde of the lawemaker must be consydered, howe farre he wyll binde, & yet in these lyghter thinges there may be no wantonnesse & contempt of aucthoritie, for it is an euyll example. But it is profitable as well for discipline, as the quietnesse of the common wealth, so to accu­stome our myndes, that euen in trifles they may regard the aucthoritie of the lawes. And this we must knowe, that we lyue not to our selues, but to the common wealth. We must therfore take heede, that our examples be no publike hurt. The same doth Plato most gra­uely wryte in his fift booke of lawes, that he is the best and most worthy citizen, which accounteth not triumphes or any victories to be the chiefest renowme in the citie, but to ex­cell others in diligent obeying of the lawes.

But here the question is asked, whether the like iudgemēt be of Ecclesiastical ceremo­nies, which by the aucthoritie of man are or­dayned. I answer, that herein this rule must be obserued, that in case of offence it is sinne [Page 8] to breake them, but no offence beyng geuen, they may be broken without mortall synne. For it is nedefull to kepe this doctrine, that such ceremonies are thynges indifferent, & not necessary for righteousnes before god, as it is indifferent to weare a gowne or a cloke &c. This rule of Paul is profitable both to common peace and the quietnesse of our con­sciences, for it cōserueth publike rites, [...]t bid­deth to beware of offences, cōmon tumultes, and publike disturbing of orders. Agayne it deliuereth the conscience from many supersti­tious opinions, and horrible crueltie: for yf good myndes do thinke that the obseruyng of such orders is necessarie (no cause of offence beyng) it wylbe a harde bondage.

In so great a number of rytes, howe ofte shal our cōsciences fal? sometime in fastings, in rehearsyng of prayers, in kepyng of holy­dayes, or suche like: many thinges happen to them, especially which haue businesse, why they can not alwayes obserue these orders. Therefore this rule contayneth a profitable moderation, whiche forbiddeth publique of­fences, preserueth customes profitable for quietnes, and priuatly deliuereth the consci­ences from daunger.

When the causes of these lawes and tra­ditions [Page 9] are vnderstande, good natures wyll the more embrace thē, then is it fit that these thinges be knowen, namely that these ordi­nances are appoynted by ye Church for good and publique orders sake, & that the Church wyll not priuatly entangle any mans con­science. And most morall it is to loue common quietnesse and order, good men therfore wyl greatly embrace these ordinances, seyng that to quietnesse and order they are auayleable, & in that they are deliuered from superstitious opinions, and knowe that without daunger these ceremonies may be left, no offence be­yng geuen.

But here it is asked, whether Ecclesiasti­call ordinaunces, and the ciuill lawes of ma­gistrates do diuersly bynd. I aunswere. The bonde is vnlyke: and although reasons may be asked, yet the playnest way is to iudge these thinges by the euident & cleare testimo­nies of scripture. First therefore I wyll re­hearse them, then wil I adde the reasons and interpretation, lest any absurditie may be ta­ken by our opinion.

Touching obediēce due to the ciuil lawes, Paul sayth, we must obey,Rom. 13. not only for feare of vengeaunce, but also for conscience sake. This commaundement byndeth vs euen [Page 10] without matter of offence: for we must obey the aucthoritie of God, though no offence be geuen.Coloss. 2. Galat. 5. But touchyng Ecclesiasticall ceremo­nies, Paul sayth, Let no man condemne you for meate or drinke, or a peece of an holy day. And againe, Stand fast in the libertie, wher­with Christ hath made vs free, and wrap not your selues agayne in the yoke of bondage. And Christ sayth,Mat. 15. That whiche entreth into the mouth, defileth not the man, & the apostle excuseth them, whiche breake traditions.

Because it is nedefull that this doctrine be in the Church, that those traditiōs touching meate and such lyke are no worshypping or ryghteousnes,Not of ne­cessitie in them selfe: But for necessitie of obedience. but thinges indifferent: ther­fore the gospel teacheth, that our consciences may not be burdened with the opinion of ne­cessitie. Notwithstandyng, because this lyfe can not lacke ordinaunces & ceremonies, this moderation is needefull, to haue them so obserued, lest the doctrine of true worshyp­pyng and of the benefit of Christe shoulde be darkened. Agayne, lest our cōsciences should be burdened with infinite vexations, which might cause shipwracke of fayth? Therefore the Gospell wyll haue vs vnderstande that these rytes may be left out, without matter of offence be geuen, but for good order, and [Page 11] for auoydyng of offences, they ought to be kept. This libertie beyng lymited by the aucthoritie of the Gospell, can not be taken away by mans aucthoritie.

I haue shewed by the testimonies of scrip­ture, that the bynding is vnlike. This is the playnest aunswere vnto this question, but we wyll shewe the reason.

The firste is taken of the efficient causes, or the ryght of power, and this Gerson folo­weth. The Ciuill magistrate by Gods auc­thoritie, hath ryght to make honest and pro­fitable lawes, in those matters whiche par­teyne to the defence of this corporall life and ciuil societie, as of iudgements, the penalties of offences, contractes, successions, and suche lyke, as Salomon sayth,Pro. 8. By me kinges do raigne, and appoynt iust thinges.

But Ecclesiastical power is limited, so as it hath a commaundement what it ought to teache, and that it inuent no newe worship­pyng, neyther burthen the consciences with traditions of ceremonies. For Peter sayth, Why tempt you God, laying on a yoake. &c.Act. 15. And Paul, Why make you decrees?Colo. 2. touche not, handle not. &c. Seing then that the right of eyther power is vnlyke, the lawes also di­uersly do bynde.

Second reason, of the final causes of lawes. Ciuil lawes, are the bands of common socie­tie, therefore in breakyng them, charitie is alwayes hurt, for because euery one ought to vse his obedience, as a seale, to the defence of common quietnes, also the common tributes and al his trauayle must thereto be applyed: when this thei do not, thei deceaue the rest, & enioy other mēs offices, imploying nothing of their owne vnto it, euen as he whiche to a common banket geueth not his money, be­guileth the gestes.

The example also in breaking it doth hurt, and troubleth common quietnesse: therefore in ciuill lawes, respect of charitie and offence is alwayes of force.Ciuill lawes al­wayes to be obser­ued. Ceremo­niall may sometimes be broken. But most part of ceremo­nies are priuate, & domesticall obseruations, the breach wherof hurteth not others. Then seyng in them is no hazarde of charitie, nor offences chaunce, ye aucthoritie of these lawes is vnlyke▪ [...]or of these also we haue spoken, that then they are necessary, neither can they be broken without sinne, when as the breach breadeth offences, that is, hurteth others mens fayth and maners, or rashly troubleth the quietnesse of others. And although it be profitable to consider these reasons & causes, and to vnderstande the degrees of lawes: yet [Page 13] is it more sure playnelye to geue iudgement out of these sentences of scripture before reci­ted, for the reasons haue many doubtes, & do not sufficiently stablishe the conscience. And wyse men may seeke and inuent many darke matters on both sydes, if that we shall iudge only vpō reasons, & not out of the scriptures. But here young men are to be warned, that although it be needefull to knowe, that these indifferent thynges are no worshippyng of God: yet they must learne, that the case of of­fence is large, and with diligent care they must beware of it: for in the breache of tra­ditions two thynges are hazarded, discipline, and tranquilitie, or the agreement of the cō ­mon wealth. It is fit for vs to vnderstande cheefly the greatnesse and force of eyther of these, beyng occupied in the studies of lea [...] ­nyng and vertues.

Firste for discipline sake, there neede cer­tayne ordinances: for vnskilful persons, must be accustomed to ceremonies and rites, to ho­ly dayes, to certayne readinges, to pr [...]uate and publique exercises, & for that cause Paul calleth the lawe a schoolemaister: for these ceremonies are certayne institution [...]; neces­sarie for young yeres.

And although the Gospell doth bryng a [Page 14] higher doctrine, yet it wyll not haue disci­pline and institution to be abolished, but it commaundeth that men be restraygned, ruled, and taught with suche instructions. What profite this discipline hath, I haue shewed els where: for God is effectual in the whiche are tractable to be taught and resist [...] not his word. Wherfore the example hurteth in the breache of traditions, for the common people, which naturally hateth the bands of lawes, willingly foloweth these examples, and therof taketh contempt of the whole dis­cipline, and of all the lawes. These ordinan­ces beyng abolished, there can be no disci­pline, neyther can youth and the vnlearned people be taught.

Then of necessitie must folowe exceedyng barbarousnes, and destruction, where youth & the common people can not be instructed. Howe great a wickednes and murther is it, to geue suche examples, whereby this deso­lation may arise? And in the other part of of­fence, how much euyll is it, that the quietnes of th [...] Church & common weale is troubled▪

In this corporal lyfe we haue neede of ceremonies for order sake, or for decency, whic [...] for man is most semely. For if this order b [...] disanull [...]d, infinite cōfusion doth folowe. Fo [...] [Page 15] where there is no aucthoritie of teachers, no certayne tymes to teache, no certayne tea­chers, no certayne forme of doctrine: in such confusion, neyther can the Gospell be preser­ued, neyther the Churche instructed.

Finally, as order & consent of publike ordi­nances doth ioyne mē in felowship together: so cōfusion of order doth separate mēs minds breadeth horrible tumultes, & endles warre.

Let vs then thinke, that in breache of tra­ditions, the example commonly and easyly spreadeth abroade amongst others. Let vs consyder, what euil is in an example. Wher­fore lest we burthen our consciences with daunger, lest we hurt others, let vs obserue with greater care the publique ordinaunces whatsoeuer. It is tyrannical to regarde more what delighteth our selues, then what may do good to others: for we are not borne vnto our selues: but our lyfe parteyneth vnto o­thers, especially vnto the Churche, that is, to the glorie of Christ, to the conseruation of the ministerie, and the retayning of disci­pline for the people. These two things whi­che are the greatest, the Churche desyreth cheefly to defende. Herein let vs shewe our obedience, our diligence and endeuour, for the common quietnesse and health of vs all. [Page 16] Plato sayth, we must loue our coūtrey mor [...] then our mother, because our countrey is a certayne heauenly thyng. But the Churche ought to be our true countrey, and this true­ly is heauenly: for it is the Temple of God, and the congregation of the members of Christe. Wherefore this we must loue, and wyllyngly obey it, and yeelde much vnto th [...] profit & tranquilitie therof.Galat. 4. Paul calleth tra­ditions, beggerly elements: which although they be beggerlye, that is, small thynges, transitorie, not eternal, they are no worship­pyng, they are no ryghteousnes, yet they are elementes, that is, ordinaunces, whiche this corporal lyfe can not wante, because of disci­pline and good orders sake. Wherfore thos [...] ordinaunces are not to be disanulled, but Paules counsaile must be consydered, who although he cal them beggerly, yet he calleth them elementes, & so taketh away the prayse of ryghteousnesse, shewing styl that there be ordinaunces, which haue their profite. Great is the for [...]e of discipline, there is no sweeter harmonye, then good order in a common wealth. Therfore these are called elementes▪ that is, ordinaunces, whiche preserue tha [...] harmonie.

Philip Melancton vppon the .xiii. Chapter of Paules Epistle to the Ro­manes.

LET euerye soule be subiect vnto the hy­gher powers: for there is no power but of GOD. The powers that be, are ordained of God. VVhosoeuer ther­fore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: & thei that resist, shall receaue to them selues damna­tion. For rulers are not fearefull to good workes, but to the euyl. VVylt thou not feare the power, do well, & thou shalt haue prayse of the same: for he is the minister of God for thy wealth. But if thou do euil, feare: for he beareth not the sworde in vayne: for he is the minister of God, reuen­ger [Page 18] of wrath on him that doth euyll. VVherefore ye must needes be sub­iecte, not onely for feare of punishe­ment: but also because of conscience &c.

In the ende of this precept standeth th [...] cōclusion, & the proposition repeated againe. (That of necessitie we muste obey) And that certaynely for conscience sake, no [...] onely for the penaltie.

This addition or exaggeration muste b [...] diligently consydered. He that is taken of a theefe, yf he can auoyde hym, escapeth with­out offence. But contrary, yf any man could cast from him such charges as the magistrat [...] commaundeth, yet he cannot reiect them without sinne, without the magistrate a­greeth thereto, for that we be necessarily [...] bounde to the magistrates, and also for con­science.

Some teachers haue holden in disputa­tion, that the preceptes of the magistrate [...] do not bynde to mortall sinne, because [...] mere man cannot inflicte a payne eternall But the errour of these men, is playnly confuted by the testimonie of saint Paul, whic [...] [Page 19] sayth, VVe must be subiect, not onely for penaltie, but also for conscience, that is, lest our conscience shoulde be defi­led with mortall sinne. Ergo, it is mortall sinne, to breake the statutes of the magi­strate, for that God hath made vs subiect to magistrates, and he layeth his punishment vpon suche as contemne the magistrate, be­cause therein also the aucthoritie of God is contemned.

And here may it appeare, that in the Go­spell the aucthoritie of the magistrate is more confirmed and defended, than in any other doctrine: for no other doctrine so earnestly byndeth men to obedience. For the Gospell doth commaunde obedience, not onely for corporall or temporall paynes, but also to escape the wrath of God, an eternall payne, and there is no bonde greater than this bonde of conscience. Therefore Em­peror Iulian, and suche other, dyd great wrong to the Gospell, when they wrote that the doctrine of the Gospell dissolueth pollicie.

And for this cause pay you tri­bute, for thei are Gods ministers, ser­uing for the same purpose. Gyue to [Page 20] euery man therefore his duetie, Tri­bute, to whom tribute is due, Cu­stome, to whom custome, Feare, to whom feare, Honor, to whom honor belongeth.

Before he spake generally of obedience, nowe he addeth the speciall kyndes thereof, in commaundyng to yeelde three thinges, to wit, tribute, feare, and honor. Tribute com­prehendeth all externall burdens whiche b [...] due: as impositions, customes, diligence, marshall exercise, & such lyke seruices eyther of body or of goodes. For why? the common wealth can not be defended, vnlesse the prin­ces receaue ayde of the laboure and charge of the subiectes. Therefore in this place Paul affirmeth tribute & custome to be due, in say­ing, that therfore you do pay tribute, for here­in the ministers of God (namely for their mi­nisterie, which is the preseruatiō of the com­mon wealth) be occupied: but this preserua­tion asketh the helpe both of souldiers and other seruitours, not onely in warre, but also in peace. Although (considering indifferently) we finde that euery magistrate continually do warre, whylest he punisheth runne gates, theeues and pickers. And for so muc [...] [Page 21] as such people as these, can not be suppressed without the helpe of souldiers, and citizens: By duetie we are bound to the maintenance of suche assistaunce, to make contribution, & whē the greatnes of the daunger doth so re­quire, to minister our further helpe to ye magi­strate in that behalfe. And as officers sent to apprehēd runagates, are bound faithfully to do ye same: so souldiers in time of warre, their cities being beseeged, are bound faithfully to defend the holdes committed to their charge to the vttermost that they may. In this kind of duetie, deserueth great commendations my countrie Bruta, situate aboue Spires, in the territorie of the prince Palatine. For it was defended by the citizens, with loyall sayth & great constancie, twise within these fewe yeres. Firste, in the yere of our Lorde 1504. beyng violently assaulted more then a moneth together by a valiaunt armie of the Switzers. After that, of late in the yere of our Lorde. 1525. whan the vplandishe people had stirred vp an horrible commotion, and had moued sedition generallye throughout all Germanie, at what tyme my countreymē re­mayned in their allegeances towardes their princes. And wheras the rebels had assem­bled [Page 22] out of the landes of Spira & Whitenberg, on both sides of the towne, to spoile th [...] marchaundize, whiche were then to be carried from Franckford into Sweuia (becaus [...] that these rebelles had made the passage daungerous) these marchaundizes were left with vs, and committed to the fidelitie & v [...] liantnes of our countreymē. In this daunge [...] the fayth & courage of my countreymen dy [...] most manifestly appeare: for both those fur [...] ous rebelles were repelled by force of arme [...] from the towne, & those goodes (committe [...] to their custodie) were to their great commendation defended agaynst all violence.

Feare and Honor, parteyneth to th [...] mynde.

Feare, signifieth obedience from the hear [...]

Honor, signifieth not onely extern [...] reuerence, but also a reuerence in the consc [...] ence. And here is a difference betwixt Chr [...] stian men, and wicked men. For wicked me [...] do onely feare the ciuill punishmentes, an [...] this feare is soone slypped out of euyll men [...] heartes: but Christian men do truely fear [...] the magistrate, because they feare God, an [...] for that they knowe hym to reuenge all contempt [Page 23] agaynst the magistrate. Wycked [...]en shewe outwardlye the signes of reue­ [...]ence, but inwardlye they thynke very yll [...]f the magistrates, as the Philosophers do [...]estifye in their bookes, holdyng by disputa­ [...]ion, that the publique state of gouernement [...]s but mere tyrannye. But the Christian men do truely geue honor to the magistrate: [...]nd herein standeth honour, to attribute to [...]hem power, liberalitie, wysedome, and iu­ [...]tice. And wheras Christian men be perswa­ [...]ed, that all power is ordeyned of God, and [...]hat it is maintayned from God aboue, they [...]cknowledge that power, and thinke that [...]hey be bounde to geue place, and submit [...]hemselues therunto. And they also acknow­ [...]edge that bounteousnesse, because they see [...]hat mankinde hath hygh corporal benefites [...]y the magistrate, that is to say, peace, de­ [...]ēce of their owne life, of their wiues, of their [...]hyldren, and quietnesse to seeke for their ly­ [...]yng, to learne religion, and other good sci­ [...]nces. These be those great benefites, such as [...]o greater cā be expressed in worldly causes: [...]or these, christian men geue thākes to god, [...]ecause that he graunteth these thinges by [...]he magistrate. And agayne of their partie, [Page 24] [...] [Page 25] [...] [Page 24] they shewe thankfulnesse towarde the magi­strates. And whereas they be perswaded that this power is ruled from God aboue, & that these benefites be geuen from thence, they pray to God for the magistrate, that he woulde vouchsafe to gouerne him, & to con­serue the publique peace: for they know, that not onely wicked men, but also the deuyll himselfe, lay in waight against princes, and that without ceasing, they practise the de­struction of all mankinde. Therefore this is the chiefe honor, whiche the onely christian man attributeth to the magistrate, that is to say, Thankes geuing to our God, and pray­er for the magistrate. As Hieremie geueth speciall precept in this cause, that the Iewes in their exile would pray for the kyng of Ba­bilon, & all his whole kingdome. And Paul biddeth that we shoulde pray for the magi­strate.1. Cor. 2. And verily there is no greater or ve­hementer exercise of fayth amongst so ma­ny publique perils, than prayer for publique peace. And it is our part to vnderstand those peryls, and to iudge them to parteyne to our selfe. Furthermore, the christians attribut [...] to the magistrates, wysedome, and iustice, that is, they do not preferre their priuate [Page 25] iudgementes, before the lawes and decrees of the magistrate: but obey them. Thei quar­rell not with them, they do not disanull the lawes: and this honor is most necessarie to the pulique peace, not to vse cauillation a­gaynst the lawes, nor enuiously to interpret thē. Moreouer, hereto it belōgeth to couer, to excuse, and to mitigate, the ouersightes of the lawes & of the magistrates. This courteous interpretation, as it is necessarie in our pri­uate cōuersation, so much more is it necessa­rie in publike societie towards ye magistrate, as it is written, Loue beareth al things, 1. Cor. 13. and loue is the bonde of perfection, Coloss. 3. to preuent all dissolutions of the common wealth. Agayne,Iames, 5. 1. Pet. 4. Loue co­uereth the multitude of sinnes. A­gaine, Obei your magistrates, 1. Pet. 2. though they be rigorous. Rude and vnskilfull men, are diligētly to be admonished in this, that they quarrel not, nor chaunge the lawes and publique institutions. Father Noe dyd curse his sonne Cham, for that he vncouered hym and scorned hym: and euen so let them be assured whiche depraue the lawes, they which malitiously make the worst of the ma­gistrates [Page 26] ouersightes, that they be cursed o [...] God, and shalbe punished for this offence, for that they geue not due honor to the lawes and magistrates, and this slaunderous re­prehension of lawes, ought the rather to be eschewed, because it bringeth foorth horribl [...] commotions in the common wealth. As Xenophon prudently sayth, Al innoua­tiōs in the cōmon wealth, to be very daungerous. And Plato saith, As a man ought not to vse any violence to his father, beyng in dotage, so lykewyse should there no extremitie be shew­ed to the coūtrey in their weakenes. For it is impossible, that great altera­tions in common wealthes, shoulde be ended without manslaughter. Howbeit, when the magistrate doth com­maunde, that we shoulde our selues do any thyng agaynst the precept of God, obedienc [...] is not to be geuen, but in this case, the rule is to be folowed.Actes. 5. VVe ought to obey god, more than men.

To the reuerende fathers in Christe D. Rob. Horne Bishop of VVinchester. D. Ed. Grindal Bishop of London. D. Ioh. Parcuste B. of Norwiche, his honorable Lordes, and most deare brethren in Englande.

RYght reuerende honorable Lordes and dearely beloued brethren, the Lorde Iesus blesse you, and preserue you from all euyll. We send [...] you here our opinion, con­cerning matters of apparrell, written to our worshipfull frende maister. N. and maister. M. those godly and learned men. And for that cause we sende it vnto you, that you might vnderstande, we deale not with our brethren priuily, without your knowledge, who are the principall and cheefe ministers, and that so muche as in vs lyeth, we seeke the vnitie and concorde of your congregations, in all respectes. And we heartely beseeche almigh­tie God, to haue a speciall regarde of your [Page 28] estate, and to continue you in one consent an [...] vnitie. We earnestly exhort you, ryght honorable and deare brethren, to be carefull fo [...] those faythfull ministers and learned men for they haue commōly their affections. Fo [...] which cause the apostle warneth vs, that on [...] helpe to beare anothers burthen. You ma [...] by your aucthoritie do very muche with th [...] most noble Lady your Queene: bryng it the [...] fore to passe with her Maiestie, that our goo [...] brethren may be reconciled & restored again [...] And we also beseeche that you. D. Horne, ou [...] good lorde, and deare brother, that as soon as these my letters may be deliuered, ye cau [...] them to be sent to the Bishop of Norwiche, to communicate them to. D. Iuel, to. D. Sandes, & to. D. Pilkinton, to whom also I purpose to write at the next mart at Franckfort by gods grace. These I haue writtē in haste aswel in maister Gualters name, as in myn [...] owne, sendyng them to Basile, from thenc [...] to be conueyed to Antwarpe. And we hartily desire you to sende vs word, whether ye hau [...] receaued them or no. Fare ye well ryght reuerende fathers. The Lorde blesse you, and your labours.

H. Bullinger your very frende.

To maister. N. and M.

THE Lorde Iesu blesse you right wor­shipful and welbeloued brethren, and preserue you from all euyll. I haue re­ceaued your letters, in the whiche you [...]. seeme to complayne, that my aunswere [...]nto your question was ouer short and brief. [...]erily my brother, I saw no cause then, ney­ [...]her do I see any yet, why I shoulde haue [...]ritten those letters any larger. For you on­ [...]y required to knowe my iudgemēt, touching [...]he matter of apparrel, for the which ye now [...]ontende in England. Vnto which question [...] thought I should answere in few wordes: [...]or so muche as in fewe wordes I coulde de­ [...]lare my iudgement. And then also I vnder­ [...]toode, that. D. Peter Martyr, of most happie [...]emembraunce, handled the same question at Oxforde, and heare to many tymes at large, whereto I could say no more. And I remem­ber also, that in my letters vnto you, brother M. I made mention of my opinion herein. And that I may nowe speake a worde or twaine what I thinke hereof: Surely, I like not in any wyse, that (yf ye were commaun­ded) ye shoulde say seruice at an aulter, rather burthened, then beautified with the image of [Page 30] a crucifixe in massing apparrell, that is, in [...] albe,Casula. & in a vestment, which hath the pict [...] of Christ crucified hāgyng on the backe. [...] [...]o farre as I cā perceaue by my letters rec [...] ued out of Englande, there is no content [...] now of any such garment. But ye question

VVhether it be lawfull for Mi [...] sters of the Gospel to weare a rou [...] cap or a square, or to put on a wh [...] robe called a surplesse, whereby t [...] Minister may be decerned from t [...] vulgare sort? And whether a Mi [...] ster ought rather to leaue his hol [...] callyng, then to weare such apparre [...]

Touchyng whiche question, I wrote [...] mynde the last mart, vnto the reuerende f [...] ther my lorde. R. Horne B. of Wincheste [...] briefly repeating. D. Martyrs wordes. M felowe minister and welbeloued Kynsma [...] D. Rodolphe Gualter, wrote vnto hym al [...] not long before, a coppie wherof I sende he [...] inclosed vnto you, and to the rest of our br [...] thren. Wherfore, yf ye wyll heare vs, and [...] desirous to know our iudgement concernin [...] this matter of apparrell, as you signified v [...] to me the last mart you were: loe you hau [...] our iudgement in that Epistle, whervnto [Page 31] y [...] wyll not agree, we are heartily sorie: and [...]ng we haue none other counsell, we moste [...]artily and incessantly pray to god, who is [...] all thynges, and at all tymes to be called [...] that he vouchsafe by his holy grace and [...]wer, to comfort and helpe our miserable [...]ate.

You brother. N. proposed a fewe such que­ [...]ons: but our brother. M. heaped together a [...]eat many more of the same argument. Al­ [...]t I, according to my simple skil, did neuer [...]owe to haue matters distracted into so [...]ny questions, and to be entangled with so [...]any doubtes, which otherwyse being more [...]gle by them selues, myght be more easyly [...]solued: yet notwithstanding, I wyl write [...]wne a lytle to euerye one of them, that [...]rein also I may satisfie you my worshipful [...]d deare brethren, as muche as lyeth in my [...]nder vtteraunce, & rather dull, then quicke [...]d sharpened wit. And I beseeche you, that [...]u woulde accept in good part this my do­ [...]g, as of your brother, & one that vnfained­ [...] loueth you, & to iudge therof with a quiet [...]ynde, voyde of all affections. For my part vtterly abhorre all contentions, and de­ [...]re nothyng more humblye of almyghtie [...]od, then that it might please him to remoue [Page 32] all dissention & strife farre from his Chur [...] whiche from the first beginning hath ma [...] ueylously hurt true godlynes, and as it w [...] torne and rent the Churche in peeces, w [...] it neuer so quiet and florishing.

VVhereas it is demaunded, wh [...] ther lawes ought to be enioyned [...] Ecclesiasticall persons for weary [...] apparrell, that thereby they may [...] knowen from the lay people. I au [...] swere, that there is ambiguitie and doubt [...] the worde, ought: for in case it be vnd [...] stoode for that whiche is necessarie, and a [...] parteynyng to euerlastyng lyfe, I supp [...] the lawmakers them selues do not so vnd [...] stande or meane it. But yf it be sayde that may be done for comlynes and decencie, a [...] for dignitie and orders sake, that it should [...] but a ciuill obseruation, or some suche ly [...] thyng, as is that wherein the apostle wy [...] haue the minister or Bishop κόσμιον, that i [...] modest, or comlye, I do not see howe he o [...] fendeth, which weareth suche a garment, [...] is commaunded to weare it.

VVhether the ceremoniall attyr [...] or worshippyng of the Leuitica [...] [Page 33] priesthood, be to be brought agayne into the Church? I aunswere, That yf a cap or a seemely garment, without supersti­tion be commaunded to be worne by a mini­ster, no wyse man wyll saye, that right Iu­daisme is brought in agayne. Moreouer here I repeate the same, that I see Peter Martyr hath aunswered, who when he had shewed how the sacramentes of the olde lawe were quite abolished, which we ought not to bring agayne into the Churche of Christe, hauing nowe Baptisme and the Lordes Supper, in steede of them, thus he sayth. There were notwithstandyng in the Leuiticall lawe cer­tayne actions of that nature, whiche coulde not properly be called sacramentes, for they serued to decencie, order, and some commodi­tie, which as agreeable to ye lyght of nature, and also profitable for our commoditie, I suppose may both be brought in, and also re­teined. Who seeth not, that for mainteining peace, and for that the faythfull myght the better lyue together, the Apostles commaun­ded the Gentiles to absteyne from that is [...]rangled, and from blood. No doubt these were thinges belongyng to the Leuiticall lawe. Furthermore, no man is ignoraunt [...]at tithes are appoynted at this day to su­steyne [Page 34] ministers. It is euident that Psalmes & Hymnes are now songe in holy congrega­tions and meetinges, whiche notwithstan­dyng the Leuites also vsed. And that I le [...] not this passe neither, we haue holy dayes in remembraunce of Christes resurrection, an [...] suche lyke. Shall all those be abolished, because thei are tokens and reliques of the old [...] lawe? You see therfore, al thinges of the Leuitical lawe are not so abrogated, that non [...] of them may be vsed. Thus farre. P. Martyr

VVhether we maye weare suche apparrell, as the papistes do? I aun­swere. We may, so long as it is not proued that the Pope brought in the differences o [...] garments. Nay it is manifest, the differenc [...] of apparrel is more anciēt then the Pope is Neyther do I see any cause, why we may no [...] go as the papistes do in apparrell, whiche is not superstitious, but of pollicie, and for comlynesse sake. If we shoulde haue nothyng common with them, then must we forsake a [...] our Churches, refuse all lyuinges, not minister baptisme, not say the Apostles or Nicen [...] creede, yea and quite caste away the Lorde [...] prayer. Neyther do you borowe any ceremonies of them. The matter of apparrell wa [...] neuer taken away at the beginning of refo [...] mation, [Page 35] & is yet reteyned, not by the Popes lawe, but by the kynges commaundement, as an indifferent thing of meere pollicie. Yea truely, if you weare a cap or a peculiar kynde of apparrell, as a ciuill and politike thing, it smelleth neyther of Iudaisme, nor Mona­chisme: For these wil seeme to separate them selues from the ciuill and common lyfe, and account a meritorious deede in the wearyng of a peculiar garmēt. So Eustachius Bishop of Sebastia, was not simply condemned for wearyng a peculiar kynde of garment: but for that he put religion in his garment. The cannons of the counsell of Gangren, Laodi­cen, and of the .vj. councell, are well knowen. If in case any of ye people be perswaded that these thynges sauour of Papisme, Mona­chisme, or Iudaisme, let them be tolde the cō ­trarie, and perfectly instructed therein. And if so be, through the importunate crying out hereon before the people by some men, many be disquieted in their conscience, let them be­ware whiche so do, that they bring not grea­ter yokes on their owne neckes, & prouoke the Queenes Maiestie, & bryng many fayth­full ministers in suche daunger, as they can not ryd them selues out of agayne.

VVhether these men, whiche hy­therto [Page 36] haue vsed their libertie, maye nowe with safe conscience, bryng them selues and their Churche into bondage, through the commaunde­ment of the prince? I aunswere thus. I thinke thei ought to take heed, lest by odious disputing, exclaymyng, and stryuing for ap­parrell, and by this importunate dealyng, oc­casion be offered to the princes Maiestie, not to leaue the matter any lēger in their choise, who haue hitherto vsed this libertie, & that she being incensed with necessarie clamours, commaunde them eyther to weare that ap­parrel, or to geue ouer their charges. Truely it seemeth very straunge vnto me (be it spo­ken, my worshipful and deare brethren, with out your offence) that you so perswade your selues, that you can by no meanes with a safe conscience submit your selues and your con­gregations to the bondage of apparrell, and do not rather way with your selues, if ye re­fuse to weare a thyng meere politike and in­different, and odiously contende alwayes, vnto what maner of bondage you submit your selues and your churches, who leauyng your charge, expose your Churches to Wol­ues, or at the lest wise to vnfit teachers, who [Page 37] are not so able to edifie the people, as ye your [...]elues are. Do you set your churches at liber­ [...]ie, when you minister occasion to oppresse [...]hem with more and with greater burthens? You knowe wel inough after what a great many seeke, how they are affected towardes [...]he preachyng of the Gospell, and what they woulde proue, if they succeede you, and what we may hope for at their handes.

VVhether the apparrell of the Cleargie, be a thyng indifferent? Surely it seemeth to be an indifferent thing, [...]n so much as it is a mere ciuil thing, appoin­ [...]ed for decency, seemelines, & for order, wher­ [...]n is put no religion. This muche I thought good to answer briefly vnto your questions, [...]ny learned and louing brother. N. Nowe I [...]ome to our brother. M. questions, in dissol­uyng whereof, perchaunce I wyll be more [...]riefe. VVhether a particuler kynde of ap­parrel, differyng frō the lay men, were euer [...]ppoynted for ministers of the Churche? And whether in these dayes, it may be ap­poynted in reformed Churches? I answere. That in the auncient Churche, there was a particuler fashion of apparrell for Priestes. It appeareth in the Ecclesiasticall historie of Theodoret. li. 2. ca. 2. 7. & of Socrat. li. 6. ca. 22. [Page 38] No man is ignorant, which hath but lightl [...] read ouer the monumentes of the auncien [...] fathers,Pallium but that the ministers vsed a cloke i [...] their seruice. And therfore I sa [...]d before, tha [...] the diuersitie of garmentes had not his or [...] ginall of the Pope. Eusebius citeth out o the auncient writers, that S. Iohn the Apole ware on his head a leafe, or thinne plat [...] lyke vnto a Byshoppes miter. And Pontiu [...] Diaconus witnesseth of S. Cyprian the ma [...] tyr, that when he offered his necke to the ex [...] ­cutioner,Birrum. Dalma­tica. he first gaue hym his cap, and th [...] deacon his vpper garment, and so stoode apparreled in white linnen. Moreouer, Chrysostome maketh mention of whyte apparrel of ministers. But it is certayne, that whe [...] the Christians turned from their paganism to the Gospell, in steade of gownes, they pu [...] on clokes:Pallium for the which beyng afterwarde mocked of the infidels, Tertullian wrote very learned booke, De pallio. I could brin [...] more stuffe of this sort, yf this suffised no [...] In deede I had rather no apparrell wer [...] layde vpon the ministers against their wil [...] but that they vsed the custome of the Ap [...] stles. But in so muche as the prince cōmaundeth the cap, and the surplesse, wherein (as [...] haue often saide) she putteth no religion, an [Page 39] sithe the same thing hath ben vsed amongest the olde fathers without superstition, or of­fence, whyle the Churche was as yet in bet­ter estate: I would not wishe good ministers to account the forwardnesse of religion to be cheefly in these thinges, but to yeelde some­what vnto the tyme, & not to braule conten­tiously in matters indifferent, but to iudge with modestie, that these things may be, and that we must go forewarde accordyng to the tyme: for they are nearer the Apostles sim­plicitie, who know of no such distinction, nor do vrge it, but yet in the meane whyle do not refuse discipline in their apparrell.

VVhether the prescribyng of ap­parrell, be agreeable with Christian libertie? I answer. That indifferēt things may sometymes be prescribed, yea, and also constrayned to, as I may terme it, as tou­ching the vse, but not as of necessitie,What is meant by necessitie. that is, that any indifferent thyng of his owne na­ture shoulde be forced to a mans conscience, and thereby a kynde of religion charged to his conscience. The times and places of holy assemblies, are rightly accounted to be indif­ferent: and yet if there be no order prescribed therein, I pray you what confusion and mis­order woulde ryse hereby?

VVhether any new ceremonies may be increased, besides the expresse worde of God? I aunswere. That I like not with increasing of new ceremonies, and yet I wyll not deny, but ye new may be deui­sed, so that there be no worshippyng of Go [...] placed in them, and that they be appoynted for order and discipline. Christe hym selfe ce­lebrated the feast or ceremonie of the dedica­tion,Encoen­nia. & yet we reade not, that the same feast [...] was commaunded by the lawe. To be short, the greater part of those propositions or que­stions touchyng matters of apparrell, do stande on this point. VVhether any lawe [...] ought or may be made in the Churche, tou­ching apparrel? And so ye question is brought to this general propositiō, that is, VVhat is lawful to be decreed cōcerning ceremonies? Vnto these questiōs I briefly answere. That I woulde haue no ceremonies brought into the Churche, but such as are necessarie: yet in the meane season I confesse, that the lawes touchyng these ceremonies, which perchance are not necessarie, & sometyme vnprofitable, may not by and by be condemned of wicked­nesse, so that factions and schismes be stirred vp in the Churche, for so muche as they are without superstition, and thinges of their [Page 41] owne nature meere indifferent.

VVhether it be lawfull to renue the customes of the Iewes, being ab­rogated, and to translate the rytes proper to idolatrous religion from them, to be vsed in reformed Chur­ches? Touching this question, I answered before, when I spake of Leuiticall rites and ceremonies. But I wil not in any wyse haue the ceremonies of Idolaters, not purged from their superstition & errours, translated into reformed Churches. And agayne on the other side, it may be asked, whether the re­ceaued customes, after the superstition is ta­ken away, may be for discipline and orders sake, reteyned without sinne?

VVhether conformitie or agreemēt in ceremonies, be to be required of necessitie? I answer. That the agreement of ceremonies in al Churches, peraduenture is not necessary. In the meane time, if a thing vnnecessarie, whiche yet is not wycked, be commaunded, therefore we may not forsake the Church committed to our charge. There was not the like fashion in ceremonies in all the auncient Churches: and yet those which vsed conformable ceremonies, despised not [Page 42] those whiche were without the same. I eas [...] ly beloue, that wyse & politike men do vrg [...] a conformitie in ceremonies, because th [...] thinke this wyl mainteyne concorde, and b [...] cause the Churche throughout all England is one; wherein if there be no wicked thyn [...] mixt withall, I can not see howe you can e [...] uiously obiect any thing agaynst suche goo [...] orders.

VVhether ceremonies ioyne [...] with open offence, maye be retayned or no? I aunswere. That all offence must be auoyded, but in the meane whyle, w [...] must beware lest we conceale, and cloke ou [...] owne affectiōs vnder the colour of offence You knowe there is one kynde of offence g [...] uen, and an other kinde taken, and wylfull [...] procured. Here I wyll not dispute, whethe [...] you without great offence geuen, can forsak [...] your Churches, for the whiche Christe dyed and that for a matter of indifferencie.

VVhether that any constitution of men, are to be tollerated in th [...] Churche, which albeit they are no [...] wicked of their owne nature, yet do helpe to edification neuer a whit [...] I answere. That yf the constitutions, whic [...] [Page 43] the princes Maiestie woulde enioyne you to, be without impietie, you must rather beare with them, then forsake your Churches. For if edifiyng the Churche, be cheefly to be con­sydered in this behalfe: surely then in lea­uing the Churche, we shall more destroy it, then in wearing apparrell. And where there is no impietie, nor the cōscience is not offen­ded, there ought we not geue ouer our voca­tions, although there be some kynde of serui­tude therby laied vpon vs. And in the meane tyme, it may be a question, whether we may rightly comprehende the matter of apparrell vnder the name of bondage, in respect that it serueth for comlinesse and order?

VVhether the prince maye pre­scribe any thyng touchyng ceremo­nies, without the wyll and free con­sent of the Cleargie? I aunswere. That if the prince shoulde alwayes tarrye for the consent of the Cleargie: perchaunce those most wyse and godly kinges Iosaphat, Eze­chias, Asa, and Iosias, with other good prin­ces, shoulde neuer haue brought the Leuites, and Ministers of the Churche, into good or­der. Albeit I woulde not wishe in any wyse, that Bishops shoulde be excluded from con­sultations [Page 44] concerning matters of the church Neyther woulde I agayne haue them cha­lenge vnto them selues that power, which they vsurped agaynst princes & magistrate in the tyme of poperie. Lykewyse I would not haue Bishops kepe silence, and geue consent to wicked statutes of princes.

The two latter questions touche the ma [...] ter more narrowly.

VVhether it be more conuenien [...] to serue in the Church after this ma­ner, or rather therefore to be depri­ued of Ecclesiasticall function? And agayne.

VVhether good pastours may b [...] iustlye put from the ministerie, for such kynde of ceremonies? I answere. That if there be no superstition in suche cere­monies, nor any vngodlynesse, and yet not­withstandyng they are layed on good pa­stours, which had rather thei were not so lai­ed vpon them, I wyll graunt in deede, & that franckly, that there is a burthen and a bondage layed on them, but yet I will not graū [...] (for very good causes to) that therefore their charge and ministerie is to be forsaken, and their place left vnto wolues, (as I sayde be [...]re) [Page 45] or to other vnmete ministers: especially, the the libertie of preachyng remayneth [...]ee, and that there be heede taken, lest grea­er seruitude be thrust vpon them, with suche ther thinges of this nature.

Thus haue I spoken those thinges which I thought meete, concerning these propoun­ed questions, knowyng right well that o­ [...]her men accordyng to their learning, might [...]aue discussed the matter muche better, and [...]arre more eloquently. But because it was [...]our wylles I shoulde make aunswere, I [...]aue done what I coulde, leauyng the mat­ [...]er free vnto other mens iudgement & wri­ [...]yng. That whiche remayneth, is, that I would not haue any mans conscience vrged, [...]r snared: but I put foorth these thinges to [...]e examined, and I warne al men, that none [...]n this controuersie frame hym selfe a consci­ence, because he wyl contende. And I also ex­hort you al in Christ Iesu our Lorde, sauiour of his Churche, our head & kyng, that euery one of you deepely consider with your selues, by which of these twayne he shall most edifie Christes congregation: whether if for order [...]nd comlynesse sake, he vse the apparrell as [...] thing indifferent, which hytherto hath not [...] litle set forewarde the vnitie and profite of [Page 46] the Church: or els whether for a matter of garmēt, he leaue his Church to be possesse [...] if not of wolues, yet of verye vnmeete an [...] naughtie ministers. The Lorde Iesu grau [...] you grace to see, vnderstande, and folow th [...] whiche tendeth to the settyng foorth of h [...] glorie, and the Churches peace and tranqulitie. Fare ye well in the Lorde, with al oth [...] faythfull ministers. We wyl pray diligent [...] vnto God, that ye may thinke and do the thinges whiche are wholesome and holy. [...] Gualtherus commendeth him most hearti [...] vnto you, and wisheth you all prosperitie, [...] do also the rest of the ministers.

Henrie Bullinger, M [...] nister of the Church at Tigure, in Maiste [...] Gualtherus name an [...] his owne.

Doctissimo viro. D. Mar­tino Bucero, Theologiae in Acade­mia Cantabrigiensi professori Regio, Thomas Cantua­riensis.

AFter my hartie salutations, ryght welbeloued Mai­ster Bucer, I haue read that booke which ye haue sent to Doctour Peter Alexander, concer­nyng the contro­uersie betwixt. M. Hoper and the Bishop of London: in which booke, many thinges are learnedly declared, and largely disputed. Wherfore now I pray you, that ye would send vnto me your iudge­ment of these questions expressed, with as short breuitie of wordes as ye can.

VVhether without the offence of God, it maye be lawfull to the Mini­sters of the Churche of Englande, to [...]se those vestures whiche at these [Page 48] dayes they weare, and so be prescri­bed of the magistrate.

VVhether he that shal affirme that it is vnlawfull, or shal refuse to weare this apparrel, offendeth agaynst god, for that he saieth that thing to be vn­cleane that God hath sanctified: and offende agaynst the magistrate, for that he disturbeth the politike order.

To these questions, yf ye wyll make most briefe aunswere, and sende vnto me your iudgement as soone as ye may possibly, you shall do me great pleasure. God be with you. From Lambeth the seconde of De­cember.

The aunswere of M. Bucer to the foresayde letters.

AFter I had receaued yester­day towarde nyght, the let­ters of your most Reuerende fatherhood, immediatlye I applyed my mynde to aun­swere, bearing in remembrance what I owe vnto your fatherhood, especiallye in suche a matter, as is most agreeing to my ministery. Your fatherhood requireth of me, that I would write my sentence with as much bre­uitie of wordes as I coulde, to the questions proposed vnto me.

I muste needes confesse that I am verye hardely brought to vtter my iudgement to particuler questions in ye restitution of religi­on, specially such as be intricated with great controuersies amongst godly men. For as the holy scriptures and dayly experience tea­cheth, Satan procureth all that he can, to set them together at variaunce with bitter con­tentions in the articles of doctrine and disci­pline of Christe, especially suche men who be godly stirred to receaue, and to restore the kingdome of Christ: whose godly endeuours [Page 50] he laboureth, yf he can not make them quite frustrate, yet by his sleyght to hynder them, whereby they shoulde not attempt a perfit restitution of the Churche, yf they ioyned to­gether with their vttermost power. God re­quireth of vs that we shoulde worshyp hym with all our heart, with all our soule, & with our whole power, & that we shoulde at once take vppon vs the sweete yoke of his sonne. Therfore now he calleth vpon vs by the ter­rour of his iudgement, where he hath sent so great lyght of his trueth, as at this day doth appeare, whatsouer vntowarde wylles men haue, that they can not playnely withdraw [...] them selues from his commaundementes, & vtterly to reiect the yoke of his sonne. Which matter Satan vnderstandeth well inough, & he is not ignoraunt howe fayne we would be gods by our first corrupted natiuitie, and howe we woulde gladly temper all religion to serue our lustes and affections, therevpon he woulde perswade men to go in a certayne meane (where as none can be in dede) that is, that men may refuse and do some thynges at their pleasures to serue their only lord God, which thinges yet he reputeth not so accep­table in them selues, nor man hym selfe thin­keth his affections to be brydled by them: bu [...] [Page 51] in such thinges wherein the whole worship of God doth consiste, & our whole saluation doth stande, our fleshe being the very lumpe of sinne and perdition, is wonderfully cruci­fied, for that he can not make hym selfe God, qualifiyng and moderatyng Gods eternall preceptes. With this craftie sleyght, hath that auncient enemie driuen miserable Ger­manie vnto these present calamities, where­with they be nowe oppressed. God forbidde, Christ Iesus I say our only Saui [...]ur forbid, that he preuayleth agaynst Englande with this craftie sutteltie. But now to the questi­ons according to my duetie.

Concernyng the former, this is my sen­tence, whiche I beleue I haue learned of the holy Scriptures. First, I woulde not impart my aunsweres to any ministers of the Eng­lishe Churches, but to suche as be the true & faythfull dispensours of all the mysteries of God, suche as do labour to deliuer vnto the people, with great fidelitie, the whole gospel of Christ, his whole doctrine and discipline, and labour to instyll it and beate it into their myndes. They that be suche Ministers of the Churches of Englande, maye, as I thynke, we [...]re with Gods pleasure, those vestures which be at this day in vse: and thei I thinke [Page 52] shall do so muche the better after they hau [...] preached the cleare doctrine of Christ our s [...] uiour, with the detection and detestation, a [...] well of the whole Antichriste of Rome, a [...] of any other aduersarie to Christe: Yf the [...] then professe by the wearyng of these ga [...] mentes, to haue no purpose at all to stablish any wicked deuises that Antichriste hath obtruded to the people: Nor that Priestes be [...] them selues more holy, or more able to pacifie God, then other Christian men be: No [...] that they present Christe to the father in th [...] holy communion (as they vse to affirme) o [...] that they can applye his merite at their pleasure, by the vertue of the worke it selfe to any man, more then he doth receaue by his owne proper fayth, of the wordes and sacramente [...] of God. So that also he professeth, that he thereby do not meane Aaronicall rites to be restored againe: but that he doth by his fact, perfourme only his obedience to the Kynges Maiestie, and to suche whom God hath ap­poynted to determine of these externall rites of the Churche, with common consent by th [...] worde of God, to this ende, that all offences of disorder, and breache of publique consent, may be auoyded: And also to protest that eue­ry creature of God is good to Godlye men, [Page 53] yea also for signification. And therefore all true Godly men, may godly vse those rites, whiche wicked men haue abused, howsoeuer vngodly.

And furthermore, to protest that they, nei­ther the Kinges maiestie, nor the great coun­cell of the Realme, meane to retayne or to cherishe any superstition in vsyng these ve­stures. But forasmuche as the vse of these ve­stures, hath ben practised godly of the right holy fathers, before the Pope was Antichrist of Rome, & may at this day serue to ye settyng forth of the holy ministerie, and of the whole Christian profession, to the instruction of the younger and simpler people, so that there be a godly signification ioyned therevnto, and the same also godly taught. And that they declare, that the rulers woulde not remoue these vestures, wherby they myght geue oc­casion to the weaker in the fayth, to despyse or contemne the true ministerie of Christe: or els to geue them any suspition by so doyng, as though thei were led with a certaine irre­ligious leuitie, to ouerthrowe and abolishe al thinges vsed before in religiō, yea of those thinges whiche may serue to some good vse.

And further, they may protest, that the people ought, in beholdyng these vestures, [Page 54] to haue their meditation vpō no other thin [...] but vpon the heauenly puritie & bryghtness [...] and of the apparrelling of all good vertue [...] whiche be bothe set out, and also be exhibit [...] to all true beleuers, by the holy ministerie [...] the Church, and that both they and their mnisters woulde labour withall diligence [...] attayne to that brightnesse and comlyness [...] that al at length may shine in the vestures [...] righteousnes and saluation. And it behoue [...] ministers to vse some garments, not only [...] couer and to defende their bodies, but such as may also haue some signification, an [...] may admonishe them of some thing.

Now therfore, forasmuch as it is thoug [...] good to the Kinges Maiestie, & to the chie [...] councell of the Realme, to reteyne the vse o [...] these vestures for this present, they ought to chaunge the wicked abuse of the papistes, i [...] these good creatures of God in them selues, to some godly vse, both to the glory of God and to the honour of the Kynges Maiestie, [...] so openly to declare, that all thinges to hol [...] and good men, are holy and pure: And tha [...] they be truely sanctified by the worde & pra [...] er, so that neither deuyll nor man can defy [...] any creature of God, but that godly me [...] may vse them godly, & to the glorye of God [Page 55] yea euen for some vse of signification, not on­ly in the fruition of their naturall effectes. For all creatures may admonishe vs many wayes to consider the creatour, both of them, and of our selfe, and of our gratitude toward hym, beside the consyderation of his large liberalitie, in respect of their natural effects: And to these admonitions, they maye and [...]ught publiquely be vsed. Whiche sentence of myne, I myght iustifie with diuers Scrip­tures, besides the example of the Apostles, whiche dyd so long vse Moyses ceremonies, without any impietie.

As concerning the second question, this is my sentēce, gathered, as I beleue, out of holy Scripture. They which do say that it is not lawfull to vse the apparrell that is in que­stion, in any maner, yea in that maner which I haue described: I say, that they be at the least in errour, for that they denie al thinges to be holy to them that be sanctified.

The same do I affirme of suche, which for the same cause wil not weare those vestures, forasmuch as the vse of them is receaued, nei­ther vpon superstitious or lyght cause: but by the publique lawe of the Realme, and by the consent of the Churches. In dede the vse of these vestures maye be forced by suche su­perstition [Page 56] to pleasure the Romane or any [...] ther Antichrist, as it is nowe in Germani [...] that it can not be godly admitted of the go [...] ly ministers of Christe. For I muste need [...] say, that they take frō the godly Magistrate their due honour, which doth deny that the iudgement ought to be folowed in these ma [...] ters. Rom. 14. for that they do declare the v [...] of these garments to be obserued of that co [...] sideration, which I haue a litle before descr [...] bed.

I trust your moste Reuerende fatherhoo [...] wyl beare al these things wel in worth. F [...] to answere to briefly & to grossely, I though [...] it a great offēce, especially for that I see wit [...] what art Satan doth resist, lest that at once the whole religion of Christe shoulde be re­stored amongst vs (as were necessarie) & as all godly Kynges hath done their diligent labour, according to Gods preceptes, and ex­amples whiche he hath declared by Moyses▪ and Christe his sonne, whyles Satan goeth about to stirre vp so many pernitious con­tentions of all the circumstaunces of our re­ligiō, aswel in doctrine, as rites. For surely, except that we remoue so horrible and manyfest sacrileges and dishonoringes of God wherby the whole kingdome of the sonne o [...] [Page 57] God may be receaued, and we lowly submit [...]ur neckes to his good yoke: O howe intol­lerable wrath of god shalbe kindled agaynst this Realme. The Scriptures be full of such [...]xamples, as he doth nowe shewe most terri­ble vnto Germanie. Our Lord Iesus Christ [...]ssist the Kinges Maiestie with his holy spi­ [...]ite, and be present with you the head fa­ [...]hers of the Churches, & al the nobles of this Realme, that ye may both knowledge and embrace duetifully in time the dayes of your holesome visitation, and all other such thinges in the whiche only standes the peace and health of this Realme. God preserue your father­hood.

To M. Martin Bucer, doc­tour in Diuinitie most worthy, his reader and maister most reuerende.

GRace and peace from the Lorde. &c. For what cause I am now in trouble (moste Reuerende) ye shal vnderstand it by this messen­ger, in writyng. I praye you that you would vouchsafe ones to geue it the reading, [...]nd yf that ye shall espye any errour therein, I desyre you to signifie it vnto me by your [...]etters. If anye thyng hath ben vttered to [...]arkly, & with fewer wordes then the cause requireth, I pray you, that you woulde set it out in the margent, with more light and ap­ [...]er wordes. If ye see the cause iust, and meete [...]or a godly minister, subscribe therevnto in [...]he ende I hartily pray you. I sende you also [...]hat I haue written before three yeres ago, [...]pon the .x. preceptes, that your worthynesse [...]ay knowe what my iudgement is in the [Page 60] cause of diuorse, I praye you vouchsafe t [...] reade it, that if I haue erred in this parte [...] humane ouersight, I maye be aduertised your learning and fatherly admonition, an [...] that I may refourme the same. I pray you [...] fatherhood therefore (and I doubt not but [...] shall sone obtayne) that you would helpe t [...] Church in her conflict, by the great and m [...] notable giftes of god vndoubtedly bestow [...] vpon you. I require the same of M. docto [...] Martyr, to whom (after your sentence a [...] prudent iudgement is knowen) this m [...] senger whiche I sende, shall repayre. T [...] Lorde Iesus long preserue your worthyne [...]

Yours in heart an [...] prayer all whole Iohn Hoper.

To the Reuerende and learned father, Iohn Hoper By­shop, his good Lorde. Grace and peace through Iesus Christ our Lorde.

RYght Reuerende, and in Ie­sus Christ most dearely belo­ued, I had purposed to aun­swere before this tyme vnto the letters whiche of late I receaued from you: but I was so let with wayghtie and sundry busi­ [...]esse, that I coulde not before nowe accom­ [...]lishe eyther myne owne will, or your expec­ [...]atiō in this behalfe: wherfore I besech you, [...]ccordyng to your accustomable gentlenesse [...]nd wysedome, to take in good part this my delay. What ye haue written of the contro­uersie whiche is risen betwene you and the [...]ight reuerende Lorde. B. of London, as tou­ [...]hing the apparrell of ministers, I haue both [...]ead it, as your request was, & also consyder [...]t as attentiuely as I coulde for the shortnes [...]f the time. I say shortnesse of time, because I [...]ould not retayne with me your writing but [Page 62] only one night. For the messenger who [...] uered it vnto me, set foorth the next day ea [...] in the mornyng towarde Cambridge, w [...] ther ye wylled me to send it (being once re [...] by him, vnto maister Bucer: Which thin [...] dyd, both diligently, and without all dela [...]

In that litle time that I had to peruse y [...] writing, I cōprehended so al the matter, t [...] euen at the firste I conceaued no small io [...] your singuler & earnest study, in that you [...] your endeuour that Christ his religion [...] be brought agayne vnto a chaste and sin [...] puritie. For what shoulde be more de [...] of all Godly heartes, then that all thing by a litle & litle, should be cleane taken aw [...] and cut of, whiche hath very litle or noth [...] in them that can be referred wholly to ed [...] catiō, but rather be iudged of the godly to superfluous. For to speake of my selfe, I [...] hardly drawne from that simple and pure­stome, whiche ye knowe they of Argent [...] haue vsed euer, frō the time that they refo [...] med their Church, where diuersitie of app [...] rell in Churche ministration was abolis [...] For I haue alwayes alowed that pur [...] sage that originally had imitation of th [...] postles Churche. And I beseeche GOD mortall, that this maner may both ther [...] [Page 63] [...]uer continue, and also that wheresoeuer Christ his Church is refourmed, it may at length be receaued. You sée that in the sub­ [...]taunce and chiefe poynt of the matter I [...]issent not from you, nay I desire with all my hart, that that thyng whiche you goe [...]bout to bryng to passe, may take place. And the most especiall cause why I doe so [...]esire, is, partly for that I would we should [...]ome, as nigh as might be, to the holy Scriptures in rites and ceremonies, and [...]olow the example of the Church, when it [...]as in best case and state: partly for that I [...]erceaue that those that be geuen to papi­ [...]rie, do goe about with these reliques to maynteyne at least a litle spyse of Masse, & [...]o be geuen to them, more then the nature [...]f indifferent thinges do require. Not­withstandyng, yet the cōsideration of these matters do not so farre carry me, nor the reasons alleaged by you so perswade me, [...]at I shoulde affirme the vse of such ve­ [...]ures to be pernitious, or of theyr owne [...]ature contrary to Gods worde: For I do [...]terly thynke it to be a thyng indifferent. [...]nd I am not ignoraunt that such is the [...]ure of indifferent thynges, that at one [...]ure they may be vsed, and at an other [Page 64] time refused. To eate that is strangled, of selfe is an indifferent thyng: yet it is mee [...] somtimes to refraine from the vse therof, somtimes to vse it most freely. And in this respect, though I haue saide this diuersit [...] of church apparel is not to be retained: n [...] uerthelesse, it to be wicked, I neuer so iudged, that I dare therefore condemne any such whom I see vse it. For if I had ben [...] perswaded, I would neuer haue commun [...] cated here in Englande with the Church where such a choyse as yet is reserued. Fo [...] although as I said, I do very litle alow [...] neuerthelesse I see somtimes in these ind [...] ferēt things that some of thē although th [...] be greeuous & burdenous (in that it is n [...] lawfull to do otherwise) must be patiently suffered, lest if men should striue for the [...] more bitterly then it nedeth, that it wou [...] be a let to the aduauncement of the gospe [...] & also that those things which of their own nature be indifferent, through our heate [...] contentiō, should be taught to be meer w [...] ked: Which two things, except I am dece [...] ued, bryng with them great and greeuo [...] discommodities. For if we could be conte [...] to suffer the Gospel first to be spred & dep [...] lye to take roote, without all doubt, m [...] would better & easlier be perswaded to r [...] moue [Page 65] away these external rites. A man, so long as he is sick, or is in his recouery, often­times is muche greeued that certaine smal and tryflyng thynges parteynyng to his meate and drinke, should be debarred from him, which yet afterward when he is fully restored vnto his health, by him self & of his owne accord without any other mans coun­sel, doth renoūce them, as vnmete & vnpro­fitable. Wherfore, let Englande be first di­ligently instructed, & confirmed in the chiefe [...] most necessary poyntes of religion: then afterwarde by my iudgement, the Church shall not be muche offended to haue these thynges, somewhat superfluous, to be re­moued. But nowe where as alteration in the most necessary poyntes of religion, is laboured for, & that with so much difficul­tie: yf nowe we pronounce those thynges to be wicked, that be of themselues indiffe­rent, so much would the most part of mens mindes be alienated frō vs, that from that day they woulde not find in theyr heartes, [...]uer after to heare with a good wyl at our [...]andes sound doctrine, and instructions of [...]ery necessary matter. Surely, Englande [...] much bounde vnto you, in that ye haue [...]boured more then a greate sorte hath, [Page 66] in preaching and teaching. Likewise, in England you alredie haue obteyned much fauour and great aucthoritie, whereby ye shall be able to do much good to the ad­uauncement of Gods glory. Ye must ther­fore take heede, lest ye stand in your own [...] way, contendyng to bitterly, and all out of tyme. Yet woulde I not haue you hereby gather, that my mynde is, that a Minister of Gods worde shoulde neuer contende for the maintenaunce of the truth and princi­ples of Scriptures, I make no such asserti­on, who dayly aswell in publike as in pr [...] uate disputations, in waightie controue [...] sies, do take a part against the aduersaries for true religion. But thys I say, we must take heede, lest these thynges which be of lesse importaunce, through our strife, may be the meanes that those thynges which should be esteemed of greater force and va­lue, eyther can not at all be brought into the Church, eyther if they be once brough [...] in, cā not be established with continuanc [...] Agayne, yf we holde on in disswading t [...] these indifferent thynges, as pernitious, altogether wicked, we condemne with [...] very many Churches which haue receau [...] the Gospell, & blame to bitterly innumer [...] ble, [Page 67] which a great while ago were counted worthy of all prayse. Neyther am I igno­raunt, that the aucthoritie of Churches that be nowe, or hath ben, ought not to beare such a sway, that thereby the auctho­ritie of Gods worde should be trode vnder foote: Which (although the whole world should runne to wrecke) ought to remayne wythout touch of breste sure and vnuiola­ble: yet for all that I iudge we must take heede, lest that for thinges indifferent, ey­ther we condemne such Churches as be now at this day, or thinke not wel of those that haue ben long before our dayes. And for because I perceaue that ye suppose these thyngs not to be indifferent, peraduenture it shall not be amisse nowe for to examine the reasons that so ledde you: and that (as you do) I may do it in fewe wordes, I re­duce ye chiefe matter to two chiefe pointes. First of al, ye say that the Priesthood after the order of Aaron, is not to be restored, wherunto these diuersities of vestures seme to parteine. For seeyng we haue Ghrist to be our Priest, Aarons ceremonies be vt­ [...]erly abrogated, and therfore they cannot [...]e called agayne of those that meane well [...]d godly. The second foundation of your [Page 68] reasons, is, that these diuersities of vestures were inuented of Antichrist: therfore we ought not only to forsake the Pope, but all his inuentions. Beside this, ye would haue all maner of difference of vestures & appa­rel of Ministers to be taken away. Wher­fore, seing these two be the cheefe strength of your argumentes, I wil first entreate of them. Afterwarde, I wyll adde whatsoe­uer it be, if I can cal to my remembraunce any other thyng, brought in of you to con­firme your opinion.

In Moses lawe or Priesthood, after Aarons order, there were sacraments, with the whiche it pleased God to confirme (as I myght say, by putting his seale to them) the promyses made of Christ comming. I knowledge and do graunt, that all these thynges be abrogated, neuer to be brought in agayne: for we beleue that Christ is al­redy come, and not that he will come. And we haue other seales in scripture deliuered to vs of Christ hym selfe in the Gospell, bread, wine, and water: therfore we neede not cal againe signes for this purpose vsed in the olde Testament. There were also in that lawe other signes and actions so o [...] deyned, that they coulde not be properly [Page 69] called Sacraments, and yet they had some respect to comelinesse, to order, and to some commoditie. And these I iudge may be re­stored and retained, as thinges agreeing to the light of nature, & inducing to some pro­fitable vse. Who doth not sée that the Apo­stles, to the intent they that beleued might lyue more peaceably and quietly, did com­maund the Gentiles to abstayne frō blood and strangled: And yet these thyngs, with­out all doubt, were fetched from the order of Aaron, if ye wil comprehende generally all thynges whiche was in the olde lawe. And there is none of vs ignorant, but that the tenthes was fetched frō thence, which now in our dayes be appoynted to find the ministers of the church thorowout Christē ­dome. You cannot well proue by the scrip­tures of the new Testament, that psalmes & hymnes were song in the church at pub­like seruice, which thing yet appeareth most plainly to be done in ye old Testament. I wil here omit that S. Ambrose in his expositiō vpon the .xiiii. Chapter of the firste to the Corinthians sayth moste playnelye: that the maner of prophesiyng which Paul tea­cheth, was deriued out of the Synagoges, [Page 70] into our Churches. To these I could bring forth other thyngs, and that not a fewe in number (if tyme suffered me to consider di­ligently the matter) which our Churche haue borowed out of Moses decrees. And that I may speake onely of holy dayes, which we keepe in memory of our Lord [...] resurrection, byrth and death of Christ, and Pentecost: shoulde we therefore abolishe them, because they be the reliques of the olde law? You see, as I suppose, by al these thynges, how that not all that parteyned to the Priesthood of Aaron, is so abolished, that nothyng of it may be retayned or vsed of vs at these dayes. Nor here ye shall not by and by saye, that thys is nothyng els but to open a windowe to all abuses, as to holy water, sensinges in the Church, and to infinite such other: For the aduersaries wyll strayght shape you thys aunswere. Fyrst of all, that there must be limited a measure in any case, aswell of those that b [...] reserued, as those that shalbe brought a­gayne into the Church. And secondarily▪ that no opinion or vertue of religion is a [...] all to be attributed vnto them, contrar [...] wise to that we sée is done of the Papiste [...] in theyr holy water and sensinges. Last o [...] [Page 71] all, there must good héede be taken, lest our Christian libertie be brought into some daunger, which shoulde be, in case if that such thynges as be reserued or restored, be appoynted necessary meanes for to obtaine saluation. For so are such thynges to be brought in agayne, or to be tollerated, that they be layde away whē they appeare not to be put to good vse. And so it seemeth to me, we must do at thys tyme with thys di­uersitie of apparell, according as I decla­red my mynde before. For I woulde, and now wyshe, that they were layde aside: but forsomuch as yet hytherto it hath not pre­uayled (vntyll better may be) I thynke we ought to beare thē. And if it pleased God, I woulde that the Churches of Germany myght redeeme their libertie with this one inconuenience, although I wyshe by all meanes, that no superfluous thyng should be forced vpon them. But let vs consyder your other argument, that is to say: It is not lawfull to vse these kynde of vestures, because they were inuented of the Popes tyranny. In thys point I do not well per­ceiue how it may be affirmed for a suretie, that we can vse nothyng that perteyned to the Pope, and is vsed in popery. Truely, [Page 72] we muste take good heede that we bryng not the Churche of Christ into suche bon­dage, that it may not vse anye thyng that the Pope vsed. It is very true, that our fore­fathers toke the temples of Idols, & turned them into holy Churches, where Christe shoulde be worshypped: And they toke al­so the salarie and reuenues consecrated to the Idolles of the gentiles, to their wicked shewes and playes, and to theyr holy vota­ries virgins, and transposed it to fynde the Ministers of the Churche: And yet al these thynges dyd not only seruice vnto Anti­christ, but vnto the deuil. Yea the holy Ec­clesiasticall wryters, dyd not stycke to take the Vearses of Poetes, which had ben dedi­cated vnto Muses, & to other diuers gods & goddesses, for to be playde in playes, & spo­ken in shewes, to obtayne the fauour of their gods: I say they did nothing sticke or feare to vse them, when it seemed to them conuenient, imitating Paul the Apostle, who stocke nothing at al to rehearse for his purpose Menander, Aratus, and Epimeny­des, and that he did in intreating the holy [...] scripture, applying prophane wordes, to se [...] forth Gods religion. We reade also howe that Wine was consecrated vnto Bacchus, [Page 73] Bread vnto Ceres, Water vnto Neptune, oile vnto Minerua, letters vnto Mercurie, Song vnto the Musis and vnto Apollo, & many other thyngs Tertullian rehearseth in his booke, entituled, De Corona militis Christiani, where almost he entreateth this selfe same argument. Yet for all that, we sticke not to vse al these thinges freely, aswell in holye, as in prophane vses, al­though at one tyme or other before, they had ben consecrated to Idolles and to de­uils. Howbeit, I wyl not graunt, that these diuersities of vestures haue theyr begyn­nynges of the Pope,Euseb. li. 3 Cap. 31. for so muche as I reade in the Ecclesiasticall Historye, howe that Iohn the Apostle wore at Ephesus, where he dwelled, a Byshoppes apparell, tearmyng it, Petalum, seu lamina Pontifi­calis. As touching Saint Ciprian the holy Martir, Pontius the Deacon writeth, that a litle before he should be beheaded, he gaue vnto hym that was appoynted to behead him, his vesture called Birrus, after he had put it of, and to the Deacons he gaue his other vesture called Dalmatica, and so stoode in linnen. Chrisostome maketh men­tion of the whyte vesture of the ministers [Page 74] of the Churche. Moreouer, the auncient wryters declare vnto vs,In Mat. cap. 26. Hom 83. et ad po. Ant. Ho. 60. that Christians when they came firste vnto Christes religi­on, chaunged theyr apparel, & for a gowne, they dyd put on a cloke, for the whiche cause when they were mocked of the Gen­tiles, Tertullian wrote a very learned trea­tise, De Pallio, that is to say, of a Cloke Neyther, as I take it, you be ignoraunt, that a whyte vesture was wonte to be ge­uen to them that were baptized Wherfore it appeareth that before the Popes ti­rannye ouerwhelmed the Churche, ther [...] was some maner of diuersitie of apparel [...] in the Churche. But be it so, let them be the inuention of the Pope, as you would [...] haue it: yet notwithstandyng, for the re­spect of the papisticall inuention in them, I can not be perswaded so muche impietie to be therin, that whatsoeuer it toucheth, it doth by and by so infect and corrupt, that it can not be lawful for good & godly men to vse it godly. I suppose, ye vnderstande what my iudgement is, either in reseruin [...] or bryngyng in agayne the Moisaicall [...] papisticall rites.

Nowe that I haue breefelye gone o [...] these two cheefe poyntes of your reasons [Page 75] I come vnto that whiche ye also graunt: That al thynges inuented by man, be not forthwith to be reiected & condemned. For what is it els but mans inuention, that we communicate at the Lordes table, ta­ther in the mornyng, then when we haue dyned? It was also deuysed by man, that the value of suche thynges as was to be diuided in the primatiue Churche, were layde at the feete of the Apostles. I graunt with you, that these choyses of apparell do not of it selfe edifie: And yet for all that, other men wyll iudge it expedient that they be tollerated for a tyme, as though paraduenture by that meanes, these con­tentions wyll be auoyded, by whiche it is in hazarde lest greater benefites and more ample commodities be hyndered, and (as we see it falleth out) lest mens mindes be withdrawen from the Gospell. I wyll not here saye, that they whiche stande to the defence of this matter, may pretende some honest and iust signification of the apparell, and that not dissentyng from the worde of God, whiche is this. The Mini­sters of the Churche (as the prophe [...]e Ma­lachie witnesseth) be Angels and Gods messengers: but Angels for the moste part [Page 76] appeared, being clothed in white garmēt [...] I pray you, how shal we debarre the chur­che of this libertie, that it can not signifie some good thing, in setting forth their rites and ceremonies, especiallye being so done, that no maner of Gods honour is attribu­ted vnto them, & that they be in sight come­ly, and in number fewe, and that Christian people be not with them ouer burdened, & matters of greater importance be omitted. Peraduenture you will say to me, Let Mi­nisters of the Churche declare them selues to be angels, & not represent angels by sig­nification. But Paul the apostle might so haue ben aunswered, when he taught the Corinthians that it was meete that a wo­man should haue her head couered, & a man his head vncouered, vrgyng it only in re­spect of signification. For some man of the Church might haue aunswered him, say­ing, Let a man declare him selfe to be head of his wife, & let a wife declare her self to be subiect vnto her husband, not in signes, but in deedes and conuersation. But yet Paul iudged it a meete & a profitable thing, that both of them, aswell the man as the wo­man, should be monished of theyr duetie by such a signe or action. For by such signe [...] [Page 77] and meanes, we be stirred vp to do our of­fice & duetie, for they bring into our mindes that whiche is decent for vs to do. And yf hereby the weakelynges take an occasion of errour, let them be monyshed that they be but indifferent thinges, and let them be taught, that no part of Gods honour and religion is placed in them.

Now, whether the eyes of them that be present, be turned cleane away from thin­king of serious matters, because of the di­uersitie of apparell, peraduenture euerye man wil not graunt it. Firste the aduersa­ries may aunswere, that this shall not fo­low, if such apparel be appointed that hath no gorgeousnesse, but is playne, and vsed before in the Church: For no man mar­uailes at those thynges that be dayly vsed, and of small value. Nay it is more lyke, that men beyng stirred with the reue­rence of them, shall haue theyr cogitati­ons more attentiuely vpon serious things: for the externall partes of the sacraments, seeme to be instituted to this ende, that we euen of the very syght, and of our externe sensis, shoulde be inwardlye moued to haue contemplation of diuine thynges. [Page 78] Neyther suppose I by and by a tyranny to be brought in, yf anye thyng that is in­different shoulde be receaued into the Churche to be done, and that many should constantlye obserue the same. Nowe a dayes we do minister the Lordes supper in the mornyng, so that we wyll not receaue at all after dynner in the publique congre­gation. But who wyll say that this sa­uoureth of anye tyrannye, whiche we all do with one wyll and consent? Truelye it woulde please me rather, (as I haue of­tentymes rehearsed) that we shoulde only do those thynges that Christe dyd, and Paul delyuered: but yf there be some in­different thynges added, I would not now therefore greatly contende, especially foras­much as we see that they by whō the light of the Gospel is much aduaunced in Eng­lande, and dayly may be more aduaunced, do take part agaynst vs. I graunt with you, that al which is not of fayth, is sinne: Neuerthelesse, that which is written of S. Paul to Titus, semeth greatly to serue for to ease and quiet the conscience,Tit. i. d. that is: Al things are clene to the clene. And to Timo­thie:1. Tim. 4. a Euery creature is good. For it is not necessaryly required that we should proue [Page 79] euery particuler thing which we vse, to be ex­pressely mentioned in the Scriptures. It is enough generally to know this fayth: That indifferent things can not corrupt those that be of a pure mynde and sincere conscience in their doynges.

These thynges haue I briefly gathered to­gether, as touching the controuersie whiche ye proposed vnto me, out of the which, I be­seeche God with all my heart, that ye maye shift your handes well of. And I desyre you to take in good part that I haue written: for if I coulde haue aunswered eyther more sub­stantially, or more plainly, I would haue sa­tisfied your request to my power. But for be­cause it is not graūted to euery man to write handsomely and redyly of these matters, you must nedes pardon me. And assure your selfe further of this one poynt, that I am redy nowe and at all tymes to beleue the trueth, when I shall be otherwayes instructed. In the meane season, thynke ye not that this iudgement which here I haue declared vnto you, was but nowe first perswaded vnto me. For euen from the begynnyng, since that I applyed my selfe vnto the Gospel, my minde was, that this difference of vesture should be taken away, but yet so, that I dyd not iudge [Page 80] it of their owne nature either wicked or per­nitious. I beseeche God almyghtie to pre­serue you safe and sounde, with al your householde, through Christe Iesus our Lorde.

Yours both in minde and spi­rite wholy, Pe­ter Martyr.

Amplissimo domino & Co­lendissimo Symmistae Ioanni à Lasco. ¶ The Lorde graunt vnto vs in these troublesome times of the Church, to begin and finishe al thinges, that offences and daungers be not en­creased, Amen.

THe more diligently I weygh & consyder, both what fruite we may gather by this con­trouersie of vestures, and also what Sathan goeth about thereby to worke: I woulde haue wished before the Lorde, that it neuer once had ben spoken of, but rather that all men of our function had agreeablye & stout­ly gone forwarde and continued in teaching true repentaunce, the wholesome vse of all [...]hynges, yea in commendyng and puttyng [...]n the apparrell of saluation. I see not in [...] fewe (alas I saye) I see marueylous di­ligence in abolyshyng Amelech, concer­nyng stones, stockes, vestures, and those thinges that be without vs: when in their [Page 82] deedes & whole lyfe they most stiflye retayne the whole Amelech styll. I knowe also some that helpe foreward this strife, so that in the meane tyme the chiefe and moste necessarie poyntes are lesse regarded and called vpon, that is: of remouyng sacrilegious persons from spoylyng of Churches: of prouydyng fyt ministers for euery parishe: of the resto­ring of discipline againe. As for my part, if I thought those ceremonies and vestures were impure of them selues, I woulde not take vpon me in any wyse the office of a Bishop, vntyll by ordinarie aucthoritie they were ta­ken away. &c. But to the purpose. I thinke it not impartinent vnto this matter, that we all be admonished to take heede of Sathans accustomed sleyghtes, wherby he leadeth vs away from the care of necessarie thinges, to the carefulnesse of those thinges whiche may be well let passe, and from the searchyng out of the true doctrine of Christ, to induce to vs those thinges, wherein fewe can consent a like, and finally, by the which he kindleth in diuers men a zeale to purge those thinges which are without vs, therby to neglect our inwarde deformities. And seyng whatsoeuer we do either in word or deede, both priuately and publikely, we ought to do it in the name [Page 83] of our Lorde Iesu Christ, geuing thankes by him to god the father: Surely it is our duety, no lesse circumspectly to beware that we nei­ther do nor leaue vndone any thyng, wherof we haue not sure or certayne aucthoritie out of Gods worde, touching our actions and matters domesticall and Ecclesiasticall. It is alwaye and in all thinges sinne, whatsoeuer is not of fayth of the certayne worde of God.

But to consyder this question in it selfe, I haue, accordyng to my gyft, weyghed your reasons, and yet I can perceaue no other, but that the vse of all externall thinges, aswel in holy ceremonies, as in priuate matters, ought to be left free to the Churches of God. I call that free vse, wherein godly men vse thinges created of God without any super­stition, & to a certayne edifiyng of their faith in Christe. I veryly (as I haue confessed vnto you, & haue declared in deede vnto our coun­treymen) had rather that no kinde of vesture whiche the papistes vsed, were retayned a­mongst vs, and that both for the more ful de­testation of the Antichristian priesthood, and also for playner aduouchyng of Christian li­bertie: yea and to be short, for the auoydyng of daungerous contentions among the bre­thren, (though notwithstandyng I woulde [Page 84] haue the Ministers of Churches to vse sage vesture, and such whereby they might be dis­cerned from other men) but chiefly I would al the discipline of Christ to be in force amōg vs: Yet I can not be brought by any Scrip­tures (as farre as I see hytherto) to deny that the true Ministers of Christes Church, may vse without superstition, and to a certayn [...] edification of fayth in Christ, any of those ve­stures which the Antichristians abused. For what should let, but that the Churches may vse that white vesture, or more vestures, to monishe vs precisely of that diuine benefit [...] which he by the holy ministerie of the church dealeth vnto vs, the benefite I saye of the light and dignitie of that heauenly doctrine: and by the whiche also the Ministers them selues may be the more myndfull of their of­fice, and had both for it, and by the admonish­ment of that outwarde token, in greater re­uerence of the common people of the church. Whether we wyll or nay, we are compelled to confesse, yt the ensignes of them that beare publique offices, helpe some thinges to re­taine & increase the aucthoritie of Magistra­tes & publique power, yf other thinges want not, by the which the true reuerence is geuen vnto them. For if these things be not ioyned [Page 85] with those ensignes, they induce not a vene­ration, but rather the singuler detestation of them, who vnworthyly vse these notes of vertue. Signes in deede are signes, and not the thinges: yet how muche they are able to admonishe and moue the mind (God geuing the increase) he that obserueth, wyll wonder.

Wherfore, wheras otherwayes the true dignitie of Ministers is euident, and yf any particuler church by publique iudgement do consent vpon the retaynyng of certayne ve­stures, only for the commending vnto vs of the giftes of god, which he geueth by the mi­nisterie of the Church, & for to put the yonger and ruder sort in mynde, without all super­stition: Truely I can not see why such vse of vestures in such a Churche, may not serue to some commendation of the holy ministerie, & so consequentlye to the edification of fayth. For what let is there, but at this day they whiche are indued with the same spirite of fayth, may vse a few signes as godly, as the anciēt holy men haue vsed many? They had (you wyl say) expresse writing cōcerning the vse of their signes. I graūt, & in dede it made much touchyng the true vse of their signes. But in that God dyd commaunde the vse of those and many signes, we certainly learne, yt [Page 86] the vse of those signes may serue (he geuyng grace) to promote true religion, and that it hath none vncleannesse in it selfe, or super­stition: neyther can be by the abuse of the wicked so polluted, that it can not be health­full to godly men vsing it godly. Now when as god by his word hath sanctified al things by our prayers, and hath made all thinges pure to the pure, what cause can we alleage out of the worde of God, to deny that God wyll not blesse such vse of signes (wherof we speake) that it shoulde not be effectuous to that Churche to some commendation of the ministery, and therof also to some edification of faith? For how can it be, but that he which promised to blesse al the workes of our hādes whiche we take in his name, wyll denye his blessyng to these signes, seeyng he hath no where forbidden such a vse of thē as we haue expounded, and hath made vs Lordes of the Sabboth, & all other thinges of this worlde?

But if we graunt that these thinges which I haue spoken concernyng the vse of suche signes, maye be: it is surely the part of bro­therly charitie, commaunded vs by God, to leaue such vse of such signes in such a church, free, to the iudgement and conscience of that congregation, except we see an open abuse, [Page 87] eyther of superstition (as yf these thynges were vsed as conteyning in themselues some part of godly worship of themselues) or of cō ­tention (as if they displeased the greater and better part of the Churche) or of gettyng of good wil of some men, whom in these things we ought not to gratifie, because they therby go about to bring a seruitude, vnworthy for Christian men.

It was euident at saint Paules tyme, by the most cleare Scriptures of God, that the vse of dayes, meates, and all other externe things, was made free, & it was a sure token of infirmitie in faith to doubt thereof: yet the holy ghost pronoūceth, that such weaklings ought to be receaued, not to the troubling of their cogitations, and not to be contemned of the stronger in fayth, & that in these thinges it myght be graunted to euery one to be sure of his owne sense, seyng that the Lorde had receaued these weaklynges.

Nowe if the holy ghost woulde haue men to yeld so much to them which were in a ma­nifest errour, inasmuch as thei depended vpō him in the chiefest & necessarie partes of sin­cere religion: what ought to be graunted to these cōcerning ye free vse of external things, whom we can not conuict of anye errour by [Page 88] Gods worde? For howsoeuer I examine and expende those your two argumentes (that is: They are the imitation of the Aaronicall priesthood, and the markes of Antichristes priesthood, & therefore ought to be eschewed of thē that loue Christ) yet that thyng which you woulde, is not hereby concluded. For to imitate Aarons ceremonies, is not of it selfe vitious: but onely then when men vse them as necessarie to saluation, or to signifie that christ is yet for to come to take flesh vpō him.

For yf by no meanes it be lawfull to vse those thinges which were of Aarons Priest­hood, or of the Gentiles, then is it not lawful for vs to haue Churches, nor holydayes. For there is no expresse commaundemēt by word in the holy Scriptures of these thinges. It is gathered notwithstāding, from the example of the olde people, that they are profitable for vs, to the increase of godlinesse, which thing also experience proueth. For any thing to be a note of Antichriste, is not in the nature of any creature in it self (for to that end nothing was made of god) but it hangeth altogether of consenting to Antichristes religion, & the professing thereof. The which consent & pro­fession beyng chaunged into the consent and profession of Christianitie, there can sticke in [Page 89] the thinges them selues, no note or marke of Antichristes religion. The vse of Belles was a marke of Antichristianitie in our churches, when the people by them were called to Mas­ses, & when they were rong against tēpestes: now they are a token of Christianitie, when the people by them are gathered together to the Gospel of Christ, and other holy actions. Why may it not then be, that the selfe same garment may serue godly with godly men, that was of wicked significatiō with the vn­godly? Truely I know very many ministers of christ, most godly men, who haue vsed god­ly these vestures, & at this day do yet vse thē: So that I dare not for this cause ascribe vnto them any fault at al, much lesse so heynous a fault of communicating with Antichrist, for the which fault we may vtterly refuse to cō ­municate with them in Christ. The Priestes of deuyls dyd celebrate in their sacrifices, the distribution of bread and the cup, as Iustinus Martyr, & Tertullian make mention. What let is there, why we may not vse the same ce­remonies also? You wyl say, we haue a com­maundement of ye lord touching this ceremo­nie. Very wel. And by the selfe same it appea­reth, that same thing to serue amōg the chyl­dren of god to the seruice of Christ, which the [Page 90] wicked abused in the seruice of Deuyls, if the commaundement of Christ be added therto. But it is the commaundement of Christe, that in our holy actions we institute and vse al thinges, so as comlynesse and order be ob­serued, that fayth may be edified.

Nowe yf any Church iudge and haue ex­perience (such as I doubt not there are many this day in Germanie) that the vse of suche vesture bringeth some commendation to the holy ministration, and therby helpeth some­what in the way of comlynesse and order, to the encrease of fayth: what (I pray you) can be brought out of the Scriptures, why that Churche is not to be left to her owne iudge­ment in this matter, neyther therefore to be contemned, or to be called into question for her iudgement sake? That Churche veryly wil kepe in these thinges a meane agreeable to the Crosse of Christe, and wyll diligently attende, that no abuse crepe into it.

If therefore you wyl not admit such liber­tie and vse of vesture to this pure and holye Churche, because they haue no commaunde­ment of the Lorde, nor no example of it: I do not see howe you can graunt to any Church, that it maye celebrate the Lordes supper in the mornyng, and in an open Churche, espe­cially [Page 91] consecrate to the Lord: that the Sacra­mentes may be distributed to men kneeling or standyng, yea, to women aswel as to men. For we haue receaued of these thinges, ney­ther commaundement of the Lorde, nor any example, yea, rather the Lord gaue a contra­rie example. For in the euenyng, and in a priuate house he did make his supper, and di­stributed the Sacramentes, and that to men only, and sittyng at the table. But it wyll be obiected, that in England many vse vestures with manifest superstition, and that they do norishe & confirme in the people superstition. Euen so (it maye be aunswered) very many abuse al this whole Sacramēt, as also Bap­tisme, and all other Ceremonies. Therefore let vs withstande this mischiefe, & vanquishe it vtterly. Wherunto though it may be that the taking away of vestures may helpe som­thyng, yet to driue away all this mischiefe, it wyl not suffice. Nay the Priestes themselues must be first remoued, and in their roomes placed faythfull ministers in the kyngdome of Christe, suche as be learned in deede, and godly affected. To this therefore, to this I say, muste we chiefely endeuour our selues, that the heartes of the people may be purged by fayth, whiche fayth is first begun and in­creased [Page 92] by the hearyng of the worde of God: this hearyng is brought by the preachers of the Gospell. Suche therefore let vs call for, and that there maye be store of them, let vs be earnest for reformation. Let there be a visitation of the vniuersities, whence many fit ministers for Churches maye be gotten. Let vs neuer ceasse to crye out agaynst that Sacrilege, that ye fattest benefices are graun­ted to vnworthye men, in respect of their worldly seruice: that the parishes are so mi­serably vndone through papistical sleyghtes & violence. These, these I say, are certaynely papisticall factes, agaynst these ought we chiefely to bende our force: but to be stout and earnest against stones, stockes, vestures, and such other thinges, which of them selues nei­ther bring gayne, pleasure, nor honour, it is a very easie matter to the hearer and spea­ker, especially those that be discharged from papisticall superstition, for by the shaking of such thinges, great mens stomakes are not offended. But to remoue Churche robbers from the spoyles of Churches, and to do all thinges possible to this ende and purpose, that euery parishe may be prouided of con­uenient ministers, & that Curates may haue sufficiēt for their sustentation, & to ayde them [Page 93] to the full restitution of Christes discipline: This is a thing of great moment: This is a harde thing to all them which are not able to say with saint Paul:Phil. 1. c. For Christe is to me life, & death is to me aduantage. And againe, God forbyd that I shoulde reioyce, sauing in the crosse of our Lorde Iesus Christ, wherin the world is crucified to me, & I to the world. It pleaseth me right wel, that al Antichristes irashe shoulde be remoued away, as farre as might be. I meane not only his ensignes and markes, but all his steppes and shadowes in what thing soeuer they seeme to stand, whe­ther it be in stockes, stones, garmentes, or whatsoeuer other thing els it be. But let vs endeuour our selues to banishe first the body and substaunce of Antichrist, and then after, his ensignes, steppes, and shadowes. The body and substaunce of Antichriste, consisteth in the wycked destroyers and spoylers of Churches, by whose meanes, not only Chri­stes discipline, but also al the whole doctrine, is oppressed and put out of place.

When I consyder these thinges, & againe looke backe (as I ought to do) towarde the preceptes of the Lorde, and his examples: I wyshe with al my hart, that as many of vs as wyll be Christes folowers in deede, that [Page 94] euen so we earnestly go about to restore hi [...] kyngdome, as the Lord himselfe went abou [...] to begyn it, & that we seke it before all othe [...] thinges, and let the preachers in all doctrin [...] and discipline instruct the people, and be su [...] who for our Lorde Christes sake & the preachyng of the Gospel wyl be redy to leaue al: that by these mens ministerie we bryng th [...] people to the kyngdome of Christ, and let v [...] appoynt to euery flocke their owne faythfu [...] shephearde, who may labour no lesse to cal [...] agayne the true notes and markes of Chri [...] stianitie, as to abolishe vtterly the marke [...] & notes of Antichristianitie, which I would wishe so abolished, that there remayned no [...] so much as the memorie of them in any mens heartes. But seeyng that this thing can not be brought to passe, vnlesse Christes kyng­dome be fully receaued, I woulde wishe that all we shoulde to that ende bestowe all our strength, vnto the which worke, for as much as we neede many workefelowes, I would [...] wishe (with all such as truely loue the Lord [...] Iesus) that we set apart all dissention, and ioyne in one perfect concorde, to endeuour our selues to set vpon the cōmon aduersari [...] We see now, being taught by ye experience o [...] so many yeres, that the Lorde graunteth bu [...] [Page 95] to a few, to depart from that sentence whi­che they haue once fastened them selues in, specially if they haue also contended for the same: so that we shalbe enforced either to dissolue christian Communion with many whom the Lorde hath receaued, or els we must geue place one to another, to the in­tent that eyther of them may rest in theyr owne iudgement, though the other dissent. It is a verye harde thyng in deede, yea to most holy men, to denye them selues, and he is seldome founde among men, whiche woulde not be content rather to yeelde in his patrimonie, then in the opinions of his witte. Nowe then wheras we see almygh­tie God to beare this our infirmitie in vs so mercyfully, fye on the hardnesse of our heartes, yf the example of our Lorde & God can not encline and mollifie our heartes, to the like mercy and patience. Wherefore I conclude, that we ought to take great di­ligent heede: fyrst, that we take not vpon vs strayghtway, to determine al questions as they ryse, yea, let vs sturre none at all which throughly tend not to the kingdome of Christ. Let vs acknowledge the weake­nesse of our witte and iudgement. Let vs stand in feare of our naturall arrogancie, [Page 96] and our peuishe selfewyll in our owne inuentions. All thinges necessary to saluation, are set forth vnto vs openly, clearely, and plenteously in the holy scriptures, and in the studye and perfection thereof, euery one of vs wanteth verye muche. Let vs la­bour then to fulfyll, and once to make vp our imperfection with godly studies. Of al other matters, let vs dispute most warel [...] let vs define most slowly, or neuer, let vs ch [...] tende at no tyme. If at any tyme thorowe the craft of Satan, & our owne negligence, variaunce shal ryse in these thynges, let vs betyme leaue of from the same as soone as we can, by whatsoeuer way we may, or els let vs make some truise in them. Seldom [...] is there any victory obtayned: yea neuer holsome victory gotten.

Hereby (most godly sir) you see vndoub­tedly what is best to be done, both in this controuersie of vestures, and also of the li­bertie of other ceremonies. I had rather then much goodes this question had neuer ben moued: but nowe seeyng it is moued, I wyshe it to be geuen ouer, and deferred to some other tymes.

These your two argumentes: It is a peece of Aarons Priesthood, and therfore [Page 97] contumelious toward Christ now exhibited, [...]s then glorious, when he was to be exhi­bited. Secondarilye, These are notes of Antichristianitie, and therefore not to be vsed of men geuen to Christianitie. These reasons (I say) conclude not in my iudge­ment, that whiche you toke in hande. For we borowe many thinges godlye from the orders of Aarons Priesthood, to the glorye of Christ now exhibited. So many things which the Antichristes haue made markes of theyr impietie, may be tokens of the kyngdome of Christ, as the signes of bread and wine, the water of Baptisme, the lay­ing on of handes, preachynges, Churches, Holydayes, and many other thynges. Al­so these places of Scripture are of a great scope. The earth and the fulnes thereof is of the Lord, not of the deuyll, not of Anti­christ, not of the wycked. And agayne, The sonne of man is Lord of the Sabboth,Mat. xii. a. Mar. ii d. Titus .i. d. i. Tim. 4. [...] and the Sabboth is made for man, and not man for the Sabboth: And all thyngs are pure to ye pure: And euery creature of God is good, nor can be defiled to good men, by [...]he abuse of euyll men. The worde of god must be folowed in all respectes, aswell in our priuate actions, as publique. For all [Page 98] thynges are to be done in the name of the Lorde Iesu, and to the glory of God. Then such libertie as we graunt to our selues in our priuate vse of externall thynges, let vs not denye in publique. The true spirite of Christ, goyng about to ouerthrowe Anti­christe, ouerthroweth fyrste those thynges whiche are cheefe and peculier vnto by m [...]. For first the spirite of Christ endeuoryng the restitution of Christes kyngdome, re­storeth fyrst doctrine and discipline, whiche be the cheefe & peculier poyntes of Christes kyngdome.

This colourable craft of Satan also must be taken heede of, by the whiche he bryngeth to passe oftentymes, that eyther we recken those thynges sinnes which are no sinnes, and those that be sinnes in dede, we seme not to regard them in our selues: Or els agaynst those sinnes whiche our conscience define to be sinnes in deede, we vse no suche soueritie as we ought.

The Lorde graunt that you, ryght wor­shypfull frende, may religiouslye weygh these thynges. I knowe you seeke the glo­rye of Christ, & I haue heard of you, wher­in I reioyce, that you are carefull of your iudgement, so that you dare not straight­way [Page 99] recken the same for sure and certaine, though you seeme to folowe playwelye the worde of God, thynkyng with your selfe that you are a man, and that you may slide out of the way.

Therfore I desyre and beseche you by the crosse of the sonne of God, by the salua­tion of the Churches whiche are at this day ouerwhelmed with calamities, by the desired consent that we shoulde seeke to raigne in all Churches, by the peace that is in Christe Iesu: Agayne, I desyre and beseeche you, that you do nothing rash­lye in this question of ceremonies. You haue seene weake members in the Chur­ches of Saxonie, you haue seene also many thinges for the which you geue God than­kes. Let no man therefore, except it be vp­pon great necessitie, caste of those, whom the Lorde hath so notably taken to hym. O would to God the state of the Churches of Fraunce, Italy, Poleland, were brought to this poynt. Let vs in this Realme take most godly heede, that we further not vn­awares the deuils intentes, who throweth in among vs sundry questions and contro­uersies: lest we shoulde take in hande to handle the question of setting forward the [Page 100] doctrine of the Gospell, and restoryng of discipline, & thereby to remoue all Drones from Ecclesiasticall and scholasticall mini­steries. This Sathan, when he can not re­tayne the order of Byshops wholly in ser­uice vnto hym, he goeth about vtterlye to abolyshe this order, and by that occasion so to spoyle the Churches, that whyles due stipendes want, the holy ministerie may be committed to the vilest of the raskall peo­ple. Let vs take heede of these cogitations of Satan, and let vs withstande them as muche as we can, by the power of the Lorde, and by no meanes vnaduisedly to helpe them forwarde. Fewe we are which sincerely professe the Lord Iesus, and none of vs there is, which is not oppressed with much infirmitie: therefore let vs receaue one another, as the Lorde hath receaued vs. Let vs yeeld mutually one to another, as the Lorde hath yeelde to vs, which sin­cere and duetifull loue, if it beare stroke a­mong vs, we shalbe able with one spirite, and one mouth, & with our whole might, to discomfite the body and substaunce of Antichrist. And so afterward without any offence of the good, & with certayne edifica­tion of faith among the children of god, we [Page 101] may bryng to passe the vtter defacing of al the markes, steps, & shadowes of Antichrist.

O Lorde Iesus, thou our onely peace­maker, aswell with the father as betwixt our selu [...] [...]annishe out of our mindes whatsoeuer draweth vs in sunder, what­soeuer darkeneth the clearenesse of iudge­ment among our selues, whatsoeuer by any way hyndereth the absolute concorde in thy ministers in defence of thy king­dome, & in destroying the tyrannie of An­tichrist. Powre into our mindes thy holye ghost, which may leade vs into all trueth, who graunt vs to see and take in hande al one thyng: but firste of all that whiche is cheefest, whereby the strength of thy kyng­dome may be restored vnto vs, and al thin­ges parteyning to Antichrist, may clene be blotted out of all mens heartes & memory. The goodnes & loue of the sonne of God, for his infinite loues sake towardes vs, vouchsafe to geue vs these thinges, to the glorye of his name, to the saluation of his elect, and that the wycked say not styll, Where is theyr Christ? Amen.

Deditissimus tibi in domino Martinus Bucerus.

Imprinted at London in Powles Churchyarde by Richarde Iugge Printer to the Queenes Maiestie.

Cum priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis.

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