The Castle of Christi­anitie, detecting the long erring estate, asvvell of the Romaine Church, as of the Byshop of Rome: toge­ther with the defence of the Catholique Faith: Set forth, by Lewys Euans.

Eccle. 21.
Be not ashamed to confesse thine errour: for he that is wise will remem­ber himselfe.
Hieron. ad Paulam. &c.
Let men first reade, least they seeme, not through iudgement, but through the presumption of hatred, to blame that, which they know not.

Imprinted at London by Henry Denham.

Peter .2. c.‘Deum timete, Regem honorate.’Cic: [...]

¶Est piger ad poenas princeps, ad premia velox.

Cui (que) dolet, quoties, cogitur esse ferox.


Viuat deo, sibi, reip: longum, aeternum (que) valcat: regnet latissimè, diu, fortunatissimè: regat se, nos, & regnum, long a in pace, splendidissima huius im­perij regnatrix, Elizabetha: Amen.

TO THE MOST gracious, and mightie Prin­cesse, Elyzabeth by the grace of God, Queene of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande; defender of the faith. &c.

Your Maiesties most humble, and obedient subiect Lewys Euans, faythfully wisheth here on earth long reigne, all honor, much heith, and continuall prosperitie, and in heauen euerlasting ioye, and blysse eternall.

THE INCLINA­tion of Mankind (most graciouse, and my so­uereigne good Ladye) is diuers, and straunge: some are giuen to pro­uide for their priuate gaine and desires: some for high roome, estimation and honor: some for the safegard of their consciences: and some wholye to profite the common welth. Yea, and besides these, an infinit sort of others there are, who be diuersly caried (a thing not vnmete to be thought vp­ony [Page] some liuing at ease, and in prodiga­litie: some wyth payne vsing their in­dustrie: some delighting in one thing, some in an other: euery one following, as his disposition is, the vaine marchan­dise of this brickle worlde. Hence it is, that the moste famouse Philosopher Pythagoras, compared the lyfe of man vn­to a marte, or fayre, as in the which some are busie, some ydle, some byers, some sellers, some lookers & gazers on. But of the former sortes, as I can not ynough commende those, who are all carefull for their soules, seeking rather wyth losse of lyfe to winne heauen, then by rest here and ioy, in the ende to de­serue sorowe, and hell: so must I praise such, which employe their continuall care, to the profite, enlargement, and conseruatiō of the common welth. For, vnto these, there is (as Cicero saith) a pre­scribed place in heauen, wherein they shall lyue in blysse for euer: vnto the others, remayneth (saith Christ) the saluation of theire Soules, and they [Page] are those (O moste happie men!) that shall haue our sauiour to be their aduo­cate and Patrone, he it is, that before his father will acknowledge, receiue, and rewarde them. Yet all are not (O right sacred Queene) to be accounted for re­ligious, which talke of religion, and in whose mouthes onely and lyppes the name of the Lorde is, all are not true confessours which can and doe abyde long imprisonment, all are not godlye Martyrs which suffer death, yea though they dye vnder colour, and in pretence of defending the true fayth. For, many there are, whome the aduersarye har­deneth, as the Arrianes, the Anabap­tistes, wyth others, many there be that dye in blindnesse, that are seduced, and that defend in a maner meere heathines. Of these it is, that S. Augustine sayth: Quae est ista dementia, vt cum male viuitis, lo­tronum facta faciatis, & cum iure punimim, glo­riam Martyrum requiratis? What madnesse is this, when you leade an euill lyfe, when you com­mit theft, and robberies, and when you are iustlye [Page] punished, then to require the glorye of Martyrs? It is not (most benigne Souereigne) all that saye: we be Catholiques, wee be Christians, we haue Abraham to our fa­ther, whom the Lorde our Sauiour will embrace, and defende. For, there be some, I woulde there were not many, who vnder the name of deuocion doe vpholde superstition, and by the colour of godlinesse and pietie, do pamper vp blindenesse and Idolatrie. The proofe whereof (to the inwarde sorowe of any christiā hart) we may in these our dayes beholde, and see. For, to defende the pryde of one man, to maintayne the pompe of one prelate, (Lorde) what per­sons, and how many be moued, and set on? how many be egged against Christ and his gospell? howe many be styrred vp against their Prince, their friendes, and their countrey? how many are bent against the lawes of God, of man, and of nature? neyther yet is this, so much to be maruayled at. For, vice and vertue may not agree, light muste varye from [Page] darknesse, good dealings will differ from deceyt, holynesse doth hate vngodly­nesse, true pietie shall euer detest blinde Idolatrie, to be briefe, heauen is enemie vnto hell. Hence it is that all this hur­lye burlie and tumults doe aryse, hence it is that within one Realme, within one Citie, yea, and within one house suche dissensions doe growe, suche stryfe doth breede, suche hatred doth happen. And yet, this is not, I saye, straunge, seing that our Sauiour hym­selfe, hath before hande tolde, and she­wed vnto vs of the same. Thinke not (sayeth Christ) that I am come to sende peace into the earth. I came not to sende peace but the sworde. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against hir mother, and the daughter in lawe against hir mo­ther in lawe: and a mans foes shalbe they of hys owne housholde. What playner wordes can be then these? shewe they not, as in a glasse, our tyme? and further, fully to expresse our calling, You shall (sayth he) be hated of all men for my sake. But how the [Page] professours of the Gospell are hated▪ what whispering there is against them, what toyes are wrought, what trauaile some take, what tryfling newes be deui­sed, what gadding, what dreaming, what inuenting, what hoping, what ymagi­ning there is, as I am loth to vtter, (for let God confounde all foolishe deuises) so am I right sorowfull to thinke. I my selfe haue once drunke (before your Maiesties great clemencie I confesse) of the puddell of ignorancy, of the mudde of Idolatrie, of the ponde of superstiti­on, of the lake of self will, blindenesse, disobedience, and obstinacie. This did I, this doe all they, which fondlye flee this your realme, which grudge (& yet know not why) at your highnesse lawes, which (alas) resist the truth, and haue (as the Apostle sayth) a feruent minde to God warde, but not according vnto knowledge. O here how may your sub­iects be glad? How may your highnesse reioyce, when vnto transgressours there is such clemencie founde in your grace, [Page] as inuiteth them thus boldly to renoūce their folly, and as offereth, as vnto the prodigall childe, moste gladly, fauour, forgiuenesse, and pardon? these things (most gracious Ladie) considered, let o­thers esteeme their vaine credite as they list: for mine owne part I protest before God, and your highnesse, during life to the best of my power, to preferre the deuine Scriptures, before the Chaos of mans doctrine, to embrace your most godly proceedings, and to performe in all things towardes God, your Maiestie and my countrie, the part and dutie of a true subiect. In token, & pledge wher­of, I haue aduentured in moste humble wise, to dedicate these fewe leafes vnto your highnesse most imperiall pro­tection, beseeching of God, to saue, keepe, and defend your Maiestie.

Your Maiesties most humble Orator Lewys Euans.
Romanes. 1.
I am not ashamed of the Gospell of Christ, for vnto all such as beleue, it is the power of God vnto saluation.
Ephes. 6.
Put on the armour of [...]od, that you maye stande stedfast against the craftie assaults of the deuill. For we wrestle not agaynst fleshe and bloude, but against rule, agaynst power, and against world­ly rulers, of the darknesse of this world, agaynst spirituall wickednesse, for hea­uenly things.
1. Coloss. 2.
Beware least any man come and spoile you through philosophy, and deceitful vanitie, through the traditions of men, and ordinaunces after the worlde, and not after Christ.

To his louing Friendes wheresoeuer, Lewys Euans wisheth as vn­ to himselfe.

WHen Jweygh, that frendship is nothing else, (louing frien­des) but an es­peciall agremēt with good wil, and loue, betwene mankinde, as well in matters diuine, as humane: I do then somewhat doubt, whether I were best to publish this smal booke, or not. [Page] The thing that seemeth to let me, is the familiaritie, friend­ship, and amitie, which hath bene and now yet is betweene vs. For I cannot but feare (so loth am I to lose olde friends) least by this mine alteration in iudgement, you also (though you haue no such cause) will alter your loue, and so with­draw your good willes. In dede you your selues doe well know, that I was neuer chargeable vnto you, that I neuer sought [Page] friendship for gaine, and that at no time I fawned vpon any for prayse, estimation, or pro­fite. Onelye did I accept the faithfull harts of my friends, and I greatlye esteemed the gentle willing mindes, and af­fability of mine acquaintance. And this is it that maketh me the more sorowful, whē I feare to lose their good willes, whose friendship I delighted in, but of whose wealth and goodes I neyther had, nor desired. On [Page] the other side, my duetie to­wardes God, mine obedience due vnto the Queenes high­nesse, and the vnfeyned good will that I beare towardes my countrie, these do in dede now cōpell me to professe the truth that I see, to renounce obsti­nacie, to knowledge the right way, and to bid defiance vnto Idolatrie. I haue therefore in this treatise, though not elo­quently, yet faithfully brought forth, reason, authoritie and [Page] Scripture, and that to defende the Catholike fayth, and to chase away the smoke of hell, the mist of Antichrist, and the false long mayntayned mer­chandise of Satan. I treade herein, I trust, the path of our perfite forefathers, I defende the Church, I giue a foyle to pride, I commende prayers, pe­nance, and fasting, I cut down peruerse hypocrisie, deceite, and blind iugling. I extoll ho­norable mariage and chastity, I [Page] the cause, that I labour indif­ferently: you shal plainly per­ceiue that I speake nothing a­gainst holinesse, but that I en­deuour to doe what I can, to further deuotion and godly­nesse. Why then shoulde our friendship cease? why should it not (these thinges consi­dered) increase? yet some I know there are, whose breasts be stopped with such pelting disdaine and ignorancie, that hauing a sounde of the Catho­like [Page] fayth in their mouthes, they neyther know what faith nor fidelitie meaneth. Some o­thers there are, who thoughe they be worldly wise and lear­ned, yet they so leane vnto self will and estimation, that they leane not in a maner, but alto­gither besides their profession. These be not father Adams children, they are made, as they thinke, of a finer moulde, they carie such a toye in their heads (and yet know not they [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] what) whereby they suppose themselues to passe all other men. Alas, is it not knowen what they are? bee they not terrigeni fratres? bee they not of an earthlye moulde? is not the trade ouer earthly that they leade? yea, and to vtter them further: touching man­ners, be they not intollerable? and concerning religion, are not their errors in a manner palpable? they will haue no man to be like vnto them, they [Page] thinke that in comparison of them, there is none worthie to be looked vpon, none meete to be hearkened vnto: they ad­iudge their owne persons, their owne dreames and fantasies to excel, surmount, & to passe all. Who can away with such Pryde? who can suffer suche selfe will, such disdayne, suche arrogancie? But to omitte these: I shall craue of you (deare friendes) if for no­thing else, yet for olde famili­aritie, [Page] that you will reade ouer these fewe leaues, before you doe infringe our amitie, and that you will reade as friends, and then iudge indifferently. And for my part this promise I make, though we disagree in Religion, and that but for a time, vntill you receyue the grace that God offereth you, the light which shineth before you, and the Gospell which is preached vnto you, yet in friendship Orestes shall find [Page] me Pylades, Damon shall trie me to be Pythias, The­seus shall not misse Peritho­us, Patroclus shall not want hys Achilles, Nisus shall not lacke Eurialus, Lelius shall be assured of his friende Scipio, Dauid shall trie me to be Ionathas. This seing I speake from the heart, and faithfully, shew your good na­tures, performe the part of friends vnfeynedly. And thus taking you al to be my friends, [Page] whose friendshippes though I can not deserue, yet will J during life desire, I bid you vnfeinedly well all to fare. From London, the iiij. of No­uember.


¶ A plaine demonstration of the erring estate of the Romaine Church.

LEWYS DVKE Aeneas Sylae. lib. 3. &c. of Bauiere (Christi­an Reader) is for his constancie, and that not wtout good cause, had euer sithence in memorie. For being prisoner, and requi­red to graunt some great matter, he vtterlye denying it: Albert then Marques of Bran­denburgh, in whose handes he at that time was, threatned to deliuer him ouer into the handes of a Prince which was very cruell, and the Dukes most enimie. But the vali­ant courage of so noble a man coulde there­with be nothing moued, in so much that he thus aunswered: aske (sayth he) that thingNote. at my hands now being thy prisoner, which thou shouldest demaunde of me if I were at libertie: else though my bodye bée in thral­dome, yet shall my minde haue still his frée­dome, it shall serue and obey me, and not [Page] thée. This is a great and a right worthy ex­ample of much constancie, it was the saying of a valiant hart, and the courage of a mind vnconquered. Hereby we be admonished, that we consent vnto no vnlawfull thing, through feare, for liuing, for libertie, or for life: but remembring the office of our bo­dies, what they are, and wherevnto they serue: that we kéepe our mindes free from all vnhonest subiection, that we doe things lawfull with consent of conscience and vo­luntarily, that we resist wrong, and falshood with fortitude and constancie, and that wée yéelde vnto the truth, not through force or friendship, but willinglye. And what canAn ob­iection. (will some say) this example make for your purpose, séeing that you nowe write, other­wise than you haue written? how maye it defende you, which now say otherwise than youhaue sayde? or how shall it excuse you, who nowe thinke otherwise than you haue thought? what constancie (will such say) is this? howe can your alteration so soone in mynde, in iudgement, be aunswered? you haue either (say they) adiudged amisse here­tofore, or else you now doe: so that whether it be the one or the other, offended you haue, [Page 2] you are to be blamed. Alas, what arrogan­tieThe an­swere. were it, yea, what lewdenesse, eyther to affirme that we haue at no time trespassed, or not to acknowledge that wee haue offen­ded, when the offence was euident, euident, I say, vnto others, although not (such is the blindenesse of sinners) vnto vs? Is there a­ny eyther of such impudencie, or else of such puritie, that he will or maye in such sort ob­iect? For be it by writing, by some other déede, by wordes or thought, who is voydeAug. lib. 20. de ciui­tate dei. of offence? what mankinde, what humaine nature (our Sauiour Christ only excepted) is borne frée from the bondage of sinne? If we saye that we haue no sinne, and that we1. Iohn. 1. haue not done euill, the truth is not in vs, and we deceiue our selues. Whereas, if we confesse our sinnes, the Lorde is iust, he is faithful to forgiue them, he is ready to clense vs frō all iniquitie. What then? shal shame let vs from knowledging our faultes? shal foolish estimation hinder vs from confessing our sinnes? shal our friends, shal the world, shall the deuill perswade vs from detecting our trespasses? GOD forbid. There is a shame, and there is a disorder, which brin­gethEcclesi. 4. sinne: that is (as Augustine sayeth)Aug. [Page] when one is ashamed to renounce his wic­ked opinion, eyther least he shoulde so séeme vnconstant, or else appeare, and that by his owne confession, of a long time to haue er­red. There is also a shame that bringethEcclesi. 4. grace & aduauncement, as when one know­ledgeth with repentaunce his misdéedes, when he lamenteth and confesseth that hée hath erred. For thereby winneth he Gods fauour againe, thereby he entreth into esti­mation with all good men and godly. Whe­ther is it then a greater rebuke, a morePhilip. 12. shame, to confesse our selues guiltie with all men of sinne, or else to continue with the wicked, with the reprobate therein? Cuius­uis Cicero. est hominis errare, nullius nisi insipientis, per­seuerare in errore, it is the propertie of all men (sayth Cicero) to erre: but it is the propertie onely of a foole, to perseuere in his error. Had not the prodigall child re­turned vnto his father, acknowledging and confessing his fault, full miserably in hun­ger and filthinesse, had he ended his life. O how oft, and how earnestly doe the Scrip­tures erhort and perswade vs to repētance! Let vs looke well vpon our owne wayes Ieremie. 3. (saith Ieremie) and remember our selues, [Page 3] and turne againe vnto the Lord. And as for the losse of our estimation and friendes, (which is the greatest block that men stum­ble at) if we lose them for Christ his sake, and his Gospell, we are promised the receiteMarc. 10. of an hundreth folde, we shall doubtlesse re­ceiue life euerlasting. Concerning constan­cy, is a man defending errors though stout­ly, maintaining vntruthes though earnest­ly, or suffering tormentes in the defence of falshode, though (as they tearme it) paci­entlye, to be accounted for one constant, or yet pacient? Constancie is (sayth Aristotle)Eth. lib. 7. in things which be good and laudable. Let none therefore adiudge them to be constant, which eyther doe lie in prison to maintayne blyndenesse, or doe suffer death to defende wickednesse. Else maye you tearme the Ar­rians, the Eutychians, the Marcionistes, Ebionites, and such like, to be men as con­stant, pacient and vertuous as anye other. For these of their owne imprisonments doe séeme to reioyce, of their punishments they are thought to be glad, of their death they do triumph, & for the truth it is (say they) that they suffer. What shall we therefore say of them, and not of them only, but of the like? [Page] forsooth, Miranda est eorum duritia, neganda pa­tientia, Lib. de pa­tientia. Their hardnesse (sayth Augustine) is to be maruailed at, but that they are pacient is to be denied, that they are con­stant is not to be graūted. If that then, there is no constancie vsed or to bee tearmed in blindnesse, in error, in sinne, but rather stiff­nesse in opinion and obstinacie, which howe daungerous a disease it is, S. Augustine inAugustin. plaine wise doth testifie: For as constancie (sayth he) suffereth not a man to bee de­praued, so stubbornesse suffereth him not to be amended. If also it is no incon­stancie to embrace vertue, and to eschewe vice, to leaue the darknesse, and to leane vn­to the light, if it be no pacience to suffer any punishment in the defence of error, dreames and deceiueable opinions, if to continue in sinne, to be couered still ouer with clowdes, with mistes, and darknesse in a maner pal­pable, if to erre, to be deceiued, and to dote, is euill, if to be sorte for our misdéedes, and to call for grace, is a thing profitable for vs, commaunded of God, and demaunded by scriptures, if we and our forefathers, euen from our youth haue sinned, and that vntill this daye against the Lorde, if (to be briefe) [Page 4] it was no reproche for S. Paule, of a Pha­risey to become a follower of Christ, of a learned lawyer at Hierusalem to become a learner of the Gospell, of a doctor to become a disciple, of a persecutour to be persecuted: why alas, why linger we to turne vnto the Lorde? why gadde we after gloses? why follow we not the Gospell? Let vs, of loue vnto all I saye, let vs at the length nowe heare the voyce of God, it is louing, merci­full, and full of comfort, by his holye Pro­phete he pronounceth it: why will you die Ezechiel. 18 (sayth he) O ye house of Israell? I haue no pleasure in the death of him that di­eth, turne you therefore, and you shall liue. Turne so shall there no sinne doe you harme. Here notwithstanding our treason, we are offered frée pardon, for the times past God offreth forgiuenesse, our be­ginnings shall not be thought vpon, all our former faultes are released, if nowe we a­mende, if our ending be good. We stande a number in one case, to striue against our Prince is not commendable, to contende a­gainst our Creator, against Christ is not profitable. Fie on the worlde, fie on the de­uill, they, they woulde haue vs to delight in [Page] this vaine glorie, of them commeth all this obstinacie. Alas, what auayleth vs in Hieronym. name to be accounted good, if in deede we be euill? awaye with our friendes, nay away with our foes, away with all such by whose meanes wée delight in our owne wayes. And shall we séeke the praise of men (with a sorowfull hart I speake it) to our owne confusion, to hurt our brethren, to displease God? Beware (sayth Christ) least Math. 6. ye iustifie your selues before men to bee praysed of them. For else you lose the rewarde at your father his handes. If in the defending of dreames, in maintayning mans doctrine, and in shadowing the truth, we did so deale, as we might seeme in mans sight to deserue great praise, yet weying our owne workes to be weake, séeing how fond it is that we defende, howe hollowe is the grounde, and how soone it maye be shaken, what shoulde we abuse learning anye lon­ger? why séeke we to defend with eloquence, with wit, with subtiltie, the suburbes of ini­quitie, the houses of harlots, the shoppes of trumperie, the pallaice of vanitie? it is no rebuke, no slaunder, to turn vnto the Lord, it is for our profite to get our fathers fauor [Page 5] againe, for in steade of Acornes, he offereth to féede vs with most deintie dishes, in stead of cloutes and ragges, he hath for vs newe clothes. I say againe, let vs not be ashamed, S. Paule began euill, yet ended he well, of a persecutor, he became ye seruant of God, he professed, he embraced, he preached Christ, he died in the defence of the faith. God graūt that all we, renouncing foolish dreames and light legendes, retracting fonde assertions, and rightlye adiudging of mens doinges, may so doe.

Well, to the intent it maye euidently ap­peare, whether I am thus nowe mooued to write through feare, or by a frée motion, whether I am perswaded thervnto through the desire of gaine, of frendship, of fauor, or rather in hope of a rewarde at Gods hands, to be receiued with others, for the know­ledging and setting foorth (according vnto my small talent) of the truth, I thinke it not amisse here this much to protest: That were my iudgement at hande, the place of execution appointed, the maner of death de­termined, were I already condemned, yea, were I warned to prepare my selfe, yet shoulde feare make mee graunt no further, [Page] than I would doe of frée minde, no torment should enforce me to write against my faith, against the thing I vndoubtedly beléeued. It is true that I meaned before, as I wrote, I followed alwayes my conscience, I hated flatterie, I loued to vtter what I thought, & that fréely, I folowed as néere as nede were my former example, I woulde not graunt, nor did, to any thing being a prisoner, wher­vnto I would not agree, or doe not, and that willingly being at liberty. Let no man ther­fore reprehende mée in that I haue written before in one manner, and now in another, yea, though the one be contrarie vnto the o­ther. For therein (the matter being rightlye weyed) is no inconstancie, there is no euill meaning in neither, a zeale there is in the one, although not according to knowledge, and a zeale there is in the other, confirmed by authorities, by conscience, by Scripture. Touching the offence in the one, thoughe I might remoue the fault, and laye the same in others, yet to haue offēded I knowledge, I confesse, I graunt. Neyther yet ought any to obiect it vnto my reproche, the déede was not so haynous, as the repentaunce for the same may be gracious. What sayth Cypri­an [Page 6] herein? what sayth S. Paule? ignosci po­test Cyprian. simpliciter erranti, sicut de seipso Paulus Apo­stolus 1. Tim. 1. dicit: qui primus fui blasphemus, & perse­cutor, & iniuriosus, sed misericordiam merui, quia ignorans seci: He that sinneth, not hauing an euill meaning, may be the rather for­giuen▪ [...]s the Apostle S. Paule speaketh of himself: when before I was a blasphe­mer, a persecutour, and one that did wrong, but I obtained mercy, bicause I did it through ignorance. No man ther­fore (that I may vse S. Augustines words) except he be rash, will finde fault and re­prehend Aug. lib. retract▪ me, bicause I rebuke and blame mine owne faults. What? should I be so arrogant, as to confesse that I was neuer ignorant? or shoulde I in well doing, bée a­shamed to do that which Augustine and o­thers haue done. Let him (sayth he) that Ibidem. might not attaine vnto the chiefe and first point of wisedome, endeuor to ob­taine though the seconde part of mode­stie, that hauing spoken some thinges to be repented, he may be sorie, and know­ledge that such things ought not to haue bene sayde. S. Augustine was not asha­med so to doe, and shoulde I? if all the Pro­phetes, [Page] if all the Apostles, if all the Doctors haue so done, were it not a thing insolent, yea, a thing impudent for vs so not to doe? Let others estéeme their credite as they sée cause, I will saye what I thinke, by the meanes of man I will neuer bee smothered in ignorancie, I will fréelye speake my con­science, no terror, no threatnings, no death shal let me. Were I enclosed vp with Pan­taleon, or shot into ye hart with Praxaspis sonne, yet dreames shall be dreames, truth shall be truth, a spade shall be a spade, I can giue it none other name. I neuer laboured for gaine, I neuer looked for glorie, what I did, was done fréely, it was and it is done of a good meaning, and voluntarily. For mine owne part, I beare euill will to none, I wish well to all, and that faithfully, vnfey­nedly. Though I think otherwise than they doe, if I thinke the truth, and if good causes doe moue me therevnto, why shoulde anye blame mée? why shoulde they rebuke him, which yeeldeth vnto truth, and giueth place to reason, authorities, and holye scripture? But what was the cause and how came toAn ob­iection▪ passe (wil some say) this sodeine conuersion, obiections I know, will be deuised, flowts [Page 7] will be framed, iestes, & toyes (for ydle wal­kers, idle dreamers, there are inough) will be inuented. The conuersion, sir, is not so so­dain,An an­swere. as of such, who say Masse in ye one day, & subscribe to the contrary, in the other. And yet I speake it not to reprehend them, for S. Paule, I knowe, was conuerted in a mo­ment,Act. 9. c. sodainelye going by the way to Da­masco. Whether they be likewise cōuerted in déede, or no, betwene God, and them I leaue it, I will be no iudge. But what I coulde hereof saye, and what I knowe, for some causes I will omitte. What made me to alter my mynd, and how it happened, you shall briefely heare. Heare me then, I pray you, without parciallitie. Hauing al­wayes from my childhood detested this way, which to doe well, we must tearme the re­formation, and cleansing of Christianitye, from vnprofitable cloddes, from wéedes and bryars, wherewith the house of God was in a maner ouergrowne, hauing oft heare in talke (as to many can witnesse) resisted the same, hauing passed ouer the Seas, moued with a vayne zeale, to chunne it, and ha­uing at the length by translations, & toyes wrytten against it, I returned priuilie (as [Page] occasion serued me) into Englande againe of that minde to depart hence as soone, and as secretly as I coulde. In the meane tyme I was aprehended, and so committed to pri­son. Being then there, and looking for some extreme kinde of dealing, which yet I so lit­tle feared, as were the punishment neuer so harde, were it neuer so great, I was conten­ted, yea, verye willing felt I my selfe to a­bide it. But in steade of extremity, (it is best to confesse the troth) I founde much clemen­cie, I founde in those, whome before I lytle regarded, great wisedome, good learning, much grauitie. Which thing, as I did at the first in a maner vnwillinglie (so rooted was the disease) consider, so in time, how I know not, I began somewhat better to lyke it. So that oftentimes weying the iudgement of the learned men that talked with mée, to be short, waying all, and indifferentlye wyth my selfe, I was diuerselye minded, a mar­uaile it was, that one mynde, in one bodie shoulde be so wauering, my thought was mooued, my hart was in a maner amazed, it made me to thinke vpon the estate of Au­gustine, who forsaking the Manichees stoodLi. confes. 6. at a stay, somewhat doubting which way to [Page 8] take. Here what shoulde I doe? I desired méekelie that God woulde strength me in the true fayth, that he woulde vouchsafe of his great mercie to open the knowledge vn­to me of the right way. And what folowed? anone I was minded to examine better, and with good héede to consider (which thing hi­thervnto I might not away with) the wri­tings of such as before, I mislyked, detested, abhorred. Mée thought also that in reading of mans workes (the Scripture onely excep­ted) men might by good reason, vse the gift that God gaue them, their discretion, & their owne iudgement, specially, in things disso­nant from holy scripture. Yea, were he Au­gustine, Ambrose, Hierome, or any other, were he of neuer so great antiquitie, neuer so learned, had he written neuer so great vo­lumes, yet lawfull I sawe it was, that we might say, as Papias the scholer of S. Iohn Eccl. hist▪ lib. 3. the Euangelist did say: Non multa dicentibus, sed vera tradentibus auscultandum est: we must hearken, and obey those, which set forth the truth, & not that say or write much. Wherevnto S. Augustine himselfe did also in these wordes, much further me: Ney­ther Fortun. Ep. shoulde we so esteeme the writinges [Page] of men, although they bee Catholique, and good, as the Canonicall scriptures, and as though it were not lawfull for vs, (sauing the reuerence due vnto such) to reproue some things in their writinges, and to refuse it, if we fortune to fynde that they haue thought otherwyse than the truth doeth allowe, and the same through the deuine helpe, beeing better vnderstanded by other, or by vs. Againe concerning the reading of bookes, or talke to be had with the contrarie side, for all is one: Ye coulde (sayeth he) at no time allowe a­nye Aug. ex­hort. thing in vs, your Byshoppes with whome wee talked, would neuer peacea­blye reason with vs, flying as it were to talke, with sinners. Who can away wyth this pride? as though the Apostle Saint Paule talked not with sinners, yea, and wyth men passing euill. Touching also the wryting and decrées of any Byshop, yea the Byshop of Rome is not here excepted, thus he sayth: We may argue, and doubt Lib. 2. de vnico bap­tisme. of the writings of any byshop whosoeuer he be: but we may not so doe of the holy scripture. By any thing therefore hither-vnto done, (iudge gentle reader indifferent­lie) [Page 9] may I for alteracion in minde, of rebuke and reproch, be worthily thought guiltie? I follow not mine owne phantasie, I wauer not with the wynde, the waight of reason, of authoritie doth moue me. So it followeth that when I was ridde from that superstiti­ous scrupulositie, wherein with others I was before ouer fast bounde, when I felt my selfe at liberty to read with iudgement, and to iudge the things I read with the holy scriptures, the very touchstone of truth, whē I perceyued it lawfull to pervse ouer the do­ings of eyther side: then felt I loe my minde much eased, and my conscience from that lumpish burthen, wherewith it was before much cumbred, nowe in a maner released: Then (so can the right hande of the most highest chaunge all) felt I my studie toPsal. 77. prosper, the blacke cloudes to vanish away, and the light of the bright Sunne to shine and appeare. I will not speake much of fond gloses, howe vnsauerie they began nowe to seme, how the one contraried the other, how few or none went faithfullye to worke. Of fables, of dreames, of spirites, and spitefull deuises, of iugling miracles, of feyned fiers, of peruerse prophecies, of christianitie, and [Page] godlinesse, most vngodly prophaned, what should I say? truely if we deale indifferent­ly, hauing a regard vnto the blyndnesse that raigned, and vnto the enormities wherwith the world was ouerwhelmed, we may well saye, non est veritas, non est misericordia, non est Osee. scientia dei in terra, there is no truth, there is no mercye, there is none that knoweth God vpon earth. For was there any truth when toyes, when stones, when stickes, when earth, when ashes were adoured? where was mercy when threatnings, when force, and when tyrannie preuayled? who knew God, when Gods worde was obscu­red, and God himselfe scarcelye remembred, when blockes were blessed, when mothes, and wormes, when rust and canker was re­uerenced? Wo vnto him that sayth vnto aAbac. 2. péece of wood, arise: & vnto a dumbe stone, stande vp: For what instruction can such giue? go we then vnto the former time, let truth be sayde, what finde we there? su­perstition, Idolatrie, murther, disobedience, pride, blindnesse, deceit, enuye, hate, whore­dome, and a verye heape of iniquitie. This I speake, not of heate, but out of histories. I report me also to the indifferent consciences [Page 10] of good people, whether in the seruing of God there was any abuse, yea, whether any thing was almost in his right vse. I report me to the whole worlde, whether the church of Christ hath bene of a long time assaulted with diuerse and great offences, or no: whe­ther she hath bene, and that almost from the beginning, besieged with auarice, hypocri­sie, with lust, and intollerable impietie, to ye losse, alas, of many a christen soule or no. Some there were alwaies, though in num­ber fewe, and though their workes were, throughe the malicious pollicies of the ad­uersaries, spoyled, burnt, and defaced, that spake and wrote against wickednesse, a­gainst sinne, against abuses, and against (if I may vse the tearme honestly) the beastlye life of the Clergie, all ought to haue so done, if any therefore nowe doe it, shoulde he be misliked? ought he to be reprehendeded? is it reason that with Phocion he feele so much iniurie? The Gospell was preached here in Englande, euen when the foggie myst of ydolatrie was thickest, which thing thoughe it appéere not so playne vnto vs, why should we maruaile? for were not the bookes by the aduersaries spoyled? were not [Page] translations forbidden? incurred not he the penaltie of the greatest excommunication,Const. prou. Oxon. who translated anye booke, chapiter, or sen­tence of the holye scripture into the englishe tongue? and yet for all their burnings, spoi­lings, forbiddings, and excommunicating, we haue testimonies inough, that the truth was here preached, that there were prea­chers that spake against the lewdnesse of the Cleargie, against the Pope, and other abuses, they treated de fide, de sacramentis eccle­siae, Statut. Henrici. 4. & de authoritate eiusdem, of the faith, of the sacraments of the Chuch, and of the authoritie of the same. Yea, with such a zeale preached they then, that though they were excommunicated, yet ceassed they not, they trauailed from one Diocesse vnto ano­ther, vntil at length they were hindered and letted (so were the Apostles of Christ) by the extremitie and rigour of mans lawes. InCypri­an. &c. elder time also we must graunt, there were learned fathers who bewailed much the ini­quitie of their times, and from the hart la­mented the estate of the Priestes, saying: that there was no good religion, no holynes, no faith, no charitie amongst them. This was a good while agone, it was aboue a [Page 11] thousand yeres past, the time was then wic­ked, let vs therefore well weigh what wée receiue at their handes. But afterwardes what followed? forsooth iniquitie still get­ting the vpper hand, sinne ouerflowing the whole worlde, euery one followed his owne way, (of the Prelacie I speake) fornication being defended, vices maintained, no impie­tie in a maner rebuked, the Religion was nothing regarded. Yea, Quidam sacerdotes Io. Peckham Cant. Archiep. Baal potius quam domini saluatoris. &c. occiden­tes animas Christi sanguine redemptas, euertentes ecclesiasticam disciplinam: there were of the priests (O heauen! O earth!) the priests rather of Baal than of our sauiour. &c. murthering the soules redemed with the bloud of Christ, abusing and ouerthrow­ing the discipline of the Church. AndGreg. Maur Aug. what sayth Gregorie of his time? humilium sumus doctores, superbiae duces, we be the tea­chers of them that are humble, but we our selues are the ringleaders of pride. Sa­cerdotes Ibidem. nominamur, non sumus, wee are called priestes (sayth he) but we are not. WoeGregorie was chosen. Anno do­mini▪ 591. be therfore vnto such priests, through whose peruerse behauiour, and vile licencious life, the Gospell of Christ hath bene so hindered, [Page] the sense of holy scripture so peruerted. Cul­pa Gregor. vestra hostium gladios exacuit, your hay­nous crime hath sharpened the swordes of the aduersaries, your lewdnesse hath al­lured the horrible Turkes to take such en­terprices, to inuade Christendome, to con­quere the lande, to slea the innocents, and to bring into moste damnable subiection, our poore brethren, sometimes the seruantes of Christ. What were your prayers? abhomi­nable. One of your owne Bishops so tear­meth them. Quae execrationes potius dicerentur. Archiep. Cant. Io. Peckham. You name them the celebrations of Mas­ses, but they ought rather (sayeth he) to be called cursings, a taking and aban­doning of your selues to the deuill. Doe they then amisse (al things, christian reader, considered) which labour to purge Christen­dome from so deadlye an infection and poy­son? what? shall the reprehenders of vices therfore be called vicious? shall such as séeke with true doctrine, with their owne death to doe good vnto their countrie, be tearmed spoilers of the faith, despisers of the church? shall good thinges bée named euill? is the world so euill? Peccatores procul dubio tacendo Gregor. Ve­nantio. &c. pastor occidit, the shepehearde without [Page 12] doubt by holding his peace, murthereth sinners. Woulde you then haue the Prea­chers nowe, the bishops to hold their peace, to sée sinne, to suffer it, to murther soules? the Sée they sawe the bishop of Rome his house, the verye pallace to peruert soules, and shall they not once saye agaynst it? shall not we, shall not Bernarde bewrayeDe consid. ad Eug. the iniquitie thereof? thy Court, thy pal­lace (sayth he) receyueth in good men, but (O lamentable thing!) it maketh none: naughty persons (O horrible house!) thriue there: and the good (O vngodlye palace!) appayre and decaye. Doth it not now by this appeare, vnto any heart not o­uer parciall, how profitable, how necessarie it is, that wée examine our wayes, that wée call for grace, that we returne vnto ye Lord? I commit my credite into the handes of any honest conscience, let him iudge whether I am in fault bicause I flie from so foule a profession, from so vnperfite a teaching. But is this all? No, you shall yet sée the Gospell of Christ better defended, the Citie of God stronglier fortified, you shall sée Rome to be Rome, the vsurped power easilye put downe, the smoke of Idolatrie let out, and [Page] the ministers there of misrule, of mischiefe, eyther by times to repent, or to sustaine e­uerlasting reproch. If they henceforth proue good, their former vngodlynesse shall not hurt them, if they waxe sorie for their offen­ces, the truth will not shame them. I craue of thē that they will beare with me, though I blot out their paintinges, and bewraye their bugges, their deceiueable Lanternes, their Lemures, with all their abuses: and that bicause the law of nature, of good men, and of God is against them. Neither will I write so vehemently as the estate of the time present would require. For the right hande of God is large, he maye turne the great Turke, and he maye conuert Cane of Ca­thay, he will (it is not to be doubted) deli­uer our friendes here out of blindenesse. So that it were better to sée some blames déepe­ly buried, than eyther in any thing to discre­dite those, whom God maye yet call, or then to trouble christian eares with the rehersall of some offences, peraduenture ouer hey­nous. I will therefore reasonably, friendly, charitably, and with modestie proceede.

Let vs then begin with the verie bulwarkSupremacy. and strongest holde of the contrarie side, [Page 13] which if wée accordingly doe batter downe, yéelde then they must, it is then for them to knowledge their obstinacie, the rest they can in no wise defende. And what is their chie­fest fortresse? the vsurped title of a supreme head, their feyned Popedome, their false pri­macie. Under this banner, a sinful man bea­reth in hand, that he may curse, blesse, aban­done the soules of men to the deuill, vnder this title he taketh vpon him to rule in hell, to raigne in heauen, to cōmaund the whole world, and to be king ouer all. Can man do any more to imitate Antichrist than this? but (to omit suche intollerable pryde and blasphemie) shall wée indifferentlye exa­mine whether the bishop of Rome (for this is the question) hath any authoritie by rea­son, by good authoritie, by scripture so to do? In dede many he hath well séene in the La­tine, Gréeke, and Hebrue, that holde with him: but howe euill such are séene in that, which is the ende of good studies, that is in the knowledge of GOD, euerye good man must graunt. Are they then vtterlye igno­rant? No. For they can make smoke where no fier is, in darke places they can proue most light, in light they will prooue darke­nesse, [Page] in deceit truth, in diuelish men they can make good meaning, and in good men most sinne. They can proue the snow to be blacke, the fire to be colde, the blacke cole to be white, the Wheate to be Rie, the Rie to be Rushes, such toyes they can doe, declare they not themselues to be learned? If to de­fende harlottes, who can doe it fyner? if to maintaine the slewes, who kéepeth a more sturre? if to fauor fornication, they haue no fellowes. Good Orators (I warrant you) they are. But in the defence of the Pope, what is their reasons? Marrie (say they) as in a Citie ought to bee one chiefe Mayor or Magistrate, as in a shippe ought to bée one Maister, as ouer a houshold ought to be one husbande, and as in a Realme ought to be one ruler or Prince: so in the Church a­mongst Christians ought to be (saye they) one head Uicar, one Uicegerent or Regent vnder Christ. Consider (gentle Reader) in­differently the strength of the example, wey it with thine owne conscience vprightly. Is it reason bicause a Prince, without the as­sistance vnder God of others, as of his coun­saylers and officers, can not rule well and orderlye his realme, that therefore Christ, [Page 14] without the ayde and helpe of man, may not guide and rightly order his Church? shall Gods infinite power bée so pinched, and brought into that straightnesse, as to bee compared with the miserable estate and im­potencie of man? shall the argument bée good, bicause man maye not, therefore God can not? What shoulde we speake of theSalomon. mutabilitie of mans hart, or else of the sted­fastnesse of the Lords counsell? Fie vppon that man, and fie vpon that spirituall man, which woulde chalenge to rule the whole earth, and that woulde abuse the name, au­thoritie and power of GOD, to maintaine such pride. Fie vpon that tyrannicall tryple crowne, chaire, diademe, scepter, and the ca­rying of vpon mens shoulders. Fie in déede (with dolor of hart I speake) vpon all such popish pompe and pompeous poperie. If I be earnest, beare with me, the cause requi­reth it. What reason is it, as though GOD were vtterly absent, as though he could not be euery where present, for a sinfull man to vsurp the maistrie, and such a supreme mai­strie ouer all, ouer Princes, Kinges, and Emperors? but we shall sée, euen with our eyes this pride soone to decaye. For the 1. Pet. 4. [Page] prowde is resisted of GOD, and to the humble he graunteth his grace. He put­teth Luc. 1. downe the mighty from their seats, and exalteth them of low degree. Who­soeuer Luc. 14. exalteth himselfe shalbe brought lowe. The bishop of Rome exalteth him­selfe: what then followeth? therfore he must nedes be brought low. And that hée doth ex­alt himselfe, you shall sée that most euident­lye proued. Christ woulde not haue neither his Apostles nor disciples to be called kings or Lords. For know ye not (sayth he) that Marc. 10. they which seeme to beare rule among the Gentiles, doe raigne as Lordes ouer them, and they which bee great among them, exercise authoritie ouer them: So shall it not be among you. &c. If that then the bishop of Rome doth contrarie vn­to this, contrarie vnto Christ, contrarie vn­to the Apostles, doth he not exalt himselfe? he doth not onely chalenge to be supreme in causes Ecclesiasticall, but also to haue roy­altie ouer the Christen people. He will bée called Lorde of Lordes, King of Kings, yea, the Pope hath (saith his defender) a kingly power ouer his subiectes, euen in tem­porall things. Where is Iames and Iohn [Page 15] the sonnes of Zebede? where is your mo­ther? why come you not and craue to sit the one on the right hand of the Pope, the other on the left, in his glorie? good God that the eyes of Christen people were once opened, that they might equally discerne, what it is for one and the selfe same man to be called the seruaunt (O hypocrisie!) of the ser­uants of God, and contrarie vnto that, to vse a temporall power, a kinglye maiestie ouer all, to haue his sworde, his scepter, to haue his guilt sturrops (fye) to put in his holy féete, and in all defyance of humilitie, to haue kings and Emperors to be his foote­men. What reason is this? Pride (sayeth Ambrose) hath caused angels to become Ambrose▪ deuils. Pride (sayeth all the worlde) hath caused the Byshop of Rome to be called Pope, and of a Pope to procéede further in all the degrées of Antichrist. Let neither Cardinall, Councell, nor Doctor say: who is like vnto the Pope? who is like vnto the Apoc. 13. beast? who is able to warre with him? For as sure as God liueth, Babilon that great Citie must fall, the walles of Hieru­salem will be raised vp, falshoode must flie, truth will ouercome, darknesse must down, [Page] the light beginneth to shine, the deuil mau­gre his head, must yeeld, God will haue the field. Let vs therfore neuer abuse eloquence to defende pryde, to maintaine the Pope. For who toucheth Pitch shall bee filed Ecclesi. 13. withall: and he that will communicate with the prowde, shall cloth himselfe with pride. Neuer felt our cuntriemen, neuer felt learned men greater reprofe, than when by shewe of skill they haue sought to defende shadowes, to defende dreames, and to defende the filthie abhominable abuses of Rome. Oh it was not without good cause, that the Christian Poet then thus spake of Rome, of the Prelacy, I say, vnder ye name of the Citie.

Si quid Roma dabit, nugas dabit, accipit aurum, Mantuan. Verba dat, heu Romae nunc sola pecunia regnat. If we haue anye thing from Rome, they be trifles. It receyueth our gold, and de­ceiueth vs. Alas onely mony nowe there raigneth. And what is further sayd there­of? little praise I warraunt you, and lesse it deserueth.

Quo magis appropias, tanto magis omnia sordent. Ibidem. The neerer you come to Rome the worse you will like it, the more you loke on it, [Page 16] the filthier it shall appeere. What should I speake of their briberie, ambicion, poyso­ning, fornication, and euil liuing? lothsome is the life if all were disclosed of their chiefe pastor, the thing can not bée denyed, his déedes be detestable. Shall we graunt then by reason, shall we be so vnreasonable, that such a monster should be a maister, and that ouer Gods annointed, ouer Kinges andProu. 20. 1. Pet▪ 2. 1. Tim. 2. 1. Reg. 12. Princes? how reuerently doth the scripture speake of Emperours and rulers? how vn­reuerentlye doth the bishop of Rome abuse and abase them? and yet shall we followe the Pope? Papam imitari debemus: such is the24. q. 1. haec est fides. &c &. 35. q. 9. veniam. reason that they vse. Gregorie in reprouing the pride of the Bishop of Constantinople, vseth this reason. There were (sayth he) of the Bishops of Constantinople, some that were great heretikes, therefore if the bishop there should be called the vniuersall Patri­arch, the estate of Christes Church shoulde decaye. Here if this reason be good, we maye frame the like, if it be not, it is Gregorie and not I that framed it. There were of the Bishops of Rome, some which were great heretikes and verie lewde men, therefore if the Bishop there should be the chiefe, then [Page] the estate of Christ his Church shoulde de­caye. This is the Popes owne reason, let him sée vnto it. Aske of them what Anasta­sius, Sisinnius, and Iohn the twelfth of that name were. They were Popes of Rome, the one was an heretike, the seconde was a wicked man, and the thirde was a monster and a very Epicure. Liberius likewise was an horible heretike, an Arrian, & yet B. of Rome. I report of them as I finde it in the bookes written by the Popes owne friends. Thus for my parte, touching reason, they finde me so reasonable, that I answere, and yet vse their owne reason.

But shall we nowe sée what authoritie they haue, for reason (wée perceyue) they haue none, and who the chiefest champions be that defende this primacie? you may not thinke but that there are many of them, yet what they are, that is to be considered. They be no Apostles, nor yet disciples of Christ, they bée the Popes of Rome themselues, their Cardinals, their Bishops, their Doc­tors, their dearlings, their hirelings, they be those whose necks were vnder the yoke, either therevnto allured through gifts, faire promises and flatterie, or forced throughe [Page 17] feare, or through ouermuch simplicitie blin­ded and seduced, who so drewe forth and vp­helde the pompous chariot of iniquitie. And that I sée me not to vtter vntruth, that the thing may appeare, they were Stephanus, Iulius, Pelagius, Symmachus, with such like, all being bishops of the Sée of Rome. The case in controuersie is their owne, they maye not bee their owne iudges, in that their owne lawe is against them. For I am sure (indifferent Reader) that in a contro­uersie betweene thée & an other, thou woul­dest not willingly be tried by the defendant thine aduersarie. And could the Pope except he were his owne iudge, maintaine his pri­macie? No. And therefore being better adui­sed, they make this law, that the Bishop of Rome may iudge all, but he may be adiud­ged of none. And who made it? Innocētius, Antherius, Gelasius. And what were they? Bishops of Rome. If therefore they proui­ded for their owne preferment, coulde you blame them? Naye, you may in no wise blame them, though they carie (these béeEx dictis Bonifaci [...]. their owne wordes) an innumerable sort of people with them by heaps into hell. And why? bicause they doe iudge al, but Ibidem. [Page] none maye iudge them. I vse (Christen reader) no deceit, they be their owne words, wey thē with indifferencie, I aske no more, it shall doe thée good so to doe. Doubtlesse it is both a pleasure, and also a great griefe vnto him that hath eies and vnderstanding, to sée their lawes, to beholde their authori­ties: a pleasure it is, for that he seeth their fonde iuglinges, being himselfe free from their filthie bondage and trumperie: A great griefe it is, to see men, and those men which be our brethren, and are called Christians, to be so much giuen to blindenesse, addicted to follye, and so further such subiectes vnto the seruitude of so intollerable a wicked­nesse. Wel consider we more of their lawes, and let vs consider them indifferentlye. For at the first beginning of their pontificall prowde kingdome, they thought good to or­deine lawes, that so vnto vs at this time, their aunswere for lacke of reason and scrip­ture, might yet be: Nos legem habemus. &c. We haue a law▪ and by this law we defend our doings and fréedome, by this we rule, by this we raign. And what be their lawes? ouer vile, to abhominable, I warrant you. They be these. The Pope be he neuer so Ex decret. [Page 18] euill, yet must you coniecture and ghesse him to be good. Though we know him to be lewd, yet lo, we must ghesse that he is not so. O execrable blindnesse! The Pope graū ­teth Ibidem. the authoritie of the sword, that is, of a Princely gouernement. Is not this a passing pride? The Pope is not only in Ibidem. spirituall causes the chiefe, but also in temporall. O mightie ioly Monarch! The Ibidem. Pope hath all lawes (O hollow place, and not holie!) conteyned within his breast. No man maye hate him. Take héede ofIbidem. that, you may not mislike him. He may dis­pense Ibidem. in things contrarie vnto the Apo­stles. No maruaile, for that is the right pro­pertie of Antichrist. All questions concer­ning Ibidem. faith, he must determine. And must he be the very touchstone? shall holye scrip­ture be so excluded? His mynde is to bee Ibidem. preferred before all the bishops. In déede that is the next waye to reigne. Of man­slaughter, Ibidem. or adulterie, he may in no wise be accused. No, though he be neuer such a whoremonger, though he murther neuer so many. Yea, and that we should go into hell in déede, there to beare him companie, their law is, that we must follow him, we must [Page] kill, if he kill, we must do as he doth. Et spe­rent te tartararegem? Must wée serue him in hell? He may not looke for Rhadamanthus place, he is no such Executor of iustice. Let him take heede, that he come not vnder Ti­siphones handes. With the rest of their lawes, what shoulde I trouble thée? they are, if it maye be, than these, a great deale worse. I will not much scan vppon their im­pietie, there is no person that can reade (the thing vprightlye considered) but will, and may regarde them accordingly. Onely thus much I say, if pride, if couetousnesse, if desire alone, and onelye to raigne, hath bene the grounde, and was the verie cause, why such lewd lawes were made, if Sathan was the subtile secretary therin, why trouble we our selues? why torment we our consciences? why care we ought for them? we see his au­thoritie, let his pardons alone, haue not to doe with his dispensations. Papa quando (que) ni­mium papaliter dispensat: The Pope (thusBarthol. Brixiensis. saieth his owne Lawyer) doth sometimes too popishly dispense. What authorities the bishop of Rome hath, specially to main­tain his estate you haue heard: Now what authorities be against him, let his friendes [Page 19] be contented to heare. I will be briefe, I wil not be partiall. To begin I néede not with the primitiue estate of Christ his Churche, wherein we can finde no such primacie, no superiority amongst the Apostles, who then all hauing receyued the holye ghost alike did preache the Gospell, and so faithfully did set forth the truth, without pride, without cha­lence of the highest roome, or once mention of any supreme heade to be had or exercised among them. Let the Popes owne autho­rities preuayle, let his euidences be seene, are not the wordes thereof these? Although Peter, Iames, and Iohn were preferred byClomens. our Sauiour in a maner aboue the rest, yet claymed not they any glorie, or title of pri­macie: and shal then the Pope claime that, which Peter neyther would nor could not? In the time first of Cyprian we reade, that certaine lewde Priests being worthily con­demned by the Bishops of Aphrica, ranne to Rome, that by the Bishop there, they might haue the matter farther discussed. Ci­prian findeth great fault with the hearing of them, and writeth thereof vnto Lucius then bishop of Rome, saying that vnto eue­ry bishop a portion of Christes flock is com­mitted, [Page] who shall render accordingly an ac­count for the same, and that therefore these men ought to be tried, as in dede they were in Aphrica, and that by and vnder their owne bishops: he writeth likewise at large concerning the same, and much reprehen­ding it vnto Cornelius. Now what autho­ritie, or what grounde of supremacie, a fewe disobedient and conuict Priestes coulde pur­chase vnto the Sée of Rome, iudging vp­rightly, I sée not. But if they be either s ig­norant, or s arrogant, as to frame vppon these runnagates, their right, and vsurped title, let them then, and wyth good indiffe­rencie consider, how Dioscorus their Pope of Rome being excommunicated, and yet touching no matter of faith, did appeale (for so they thēselues name him) vnto the Pope, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Here we finde another Pope, and vnto whome their Pope of Rome hath appealed. Tou­ching the time of Constantine, it was he, & not Siluester, it was the Emperour, and not the bishop of Rome, that made lawes in defence of the Christians, it was the Em­peror that condemned the writings of Ar­rius, it was he that called from banishment [Page 20] Porphyrius, and it was onely he that then made an edict against heretikes. But if they will haue it that Constantine did ordeine ye bishop of Rome to be the chiefe, then let them goe forward in their historie, wherein they shall finde, how at that time this voyce was hearde, hodie venenum ecclesiae est immis­sum, nowe doth poyson enter into the Church. And that this voyce was true, you shall well proue, if you examine throughlye the whole doings of Siluesters successours. For (O Lord) what crueltie was amongst them! what ambition! what symonie! what disobedience! what heresie was amongst them! Come wée then vnto the Emperour Iustinianus his time. For concerning Mar­cellus and Anacletus, if the decrées in their names set forth, be theirs, (as in déede they seme not to be) they were bishops of Rome, and therefore is their authoritie contrarie vnto the scripture, in aduauncing themsel­ues, nothing worthie of anye reasonable man, or of anye indifferent Christian to bée estéemen. And before we speake of Iustinia­nus, you must vnderstande that there were in his time, and vnder him, among others, fiue especiall Cities, that is Rome in Italy, [Page] Constātinople in Thrace, Alexandria in Aegipt, Antioch in Siria, & Hierusalem in Iudaea▪ Of these fiue, there were fiue chiefe fathers or Patriarches, euery one hauing a [...] and a seuerall authoritie in causes spi­ritual, such I meane, as Archbishops should haue, euery one within his owne and pro­per Prouince. Neither did anye one Patri­arch either intermedle with the iurisdiction of the other, or clayme a Primacie the one a­boue the other. They were seuerall Cities, seuerall Prouinces, seueral Patriarches, se­uerall in authority, & equall in dignity. And that this is most true, the wordes of Iusti­nian himselfe shall testifie, who hauing next vnder Christ, a kinde of supreme au­thoritie, made certaine Ecclesiasticall lawes to gouerne and rule them all. So that some lawes being made concerning the Clergie, for the due execution of the same, he sendeth his especiall commaundement vnto the sayd fiue Patriarches in these wordes: Iubemus igitur beatissimos Archiepiscopos, & patriarchas, Imperator, Petro glo­rios prep. hoc est, senioris Romae, & Constantinopoleos, & A­lexandrinae, & Theopoleos, & Hierosolymorū. &c. we wil therfore that the most holy arch­bishops and Patriarches, that is to say of [Page 23] old Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Ierusalem &c. He writeth not to one alone, least that one shoulde cha­lenge a superioritie. Where was then ther­fore of Rome the supremacie? certaine bis­shops he had vnder him, so had the rest, this was all his authoritie. Iustinian his style vnto the bishop of Rome was this: Ioanni Iustin. Io­anni vi­ro. &c. viro beatissimo, ac sanc̄tissimo Archiepiscopo, & Patriarchae veteris Romae: To Iohn the most blessed man, and most holy Archbishop & Patriarch of old Rome. And here least any may gather any thing by these wordes, most blessed & most holy, you shall heare in what order he writeth vnto the Bishop of Constantinople, weygh both the styles, and you shall sée Constantinople to haue the greater reuerence, his wordes vnto him be these: To the most holy Epiphanius, and most blessed Archbishop of this ho­ly royall Citie, and vniuersall Patriarch. Yea, Iustinian in playne words sayth, that Constantinople (Est sanctissimamaior eccle­sia) Iustin. An [...] thenio san­ctiss. &c. is the most holy & worthier Church. Iustinian, no man can well denie it, was then vnder Christ in earth (if they will terme it so) the supreme heade, he then, and [Page] none other made lawes, and the same aswel spirituall as temporall. Unto the Clergie these were his words: we commaund: we will not suffer: we ordeine: we streight­lye prohibite: we appoint: we will: we bidde: These be wordes of greater autho­ritie than the bishop of Rome ought to vse, they be wordes by authoritie commaunding him. And that the Pope ought not to vse them, Gregorie in manifest words bearethGregorius Eulogio e­piscopo A­lexandrino witnesse: for writing vnto the Bishop of A­lexandria, thus sayth he: Which word of bidding I woulde to bee farre from my hearing, for I know who I am, and who you are. In calling, you are my brethren, in maners, my fathers: therfore I badde not, but endeuored to shew what things seemed profitable. Princes maye vse these words bidding. &c. in them they be tolera­ble, and therefore the same Gregorie wri­tingIdem Mau­ritio Au­gusto. vnto the Emperor, sayth: Quantum ad me attinet, serenissimis iussionibus obedientiam praebeo, In that which appertayneth vnto me, I yelde, & render due obediēce vnto your maiesties most roial biddings & cō ­maundements. I would to God, in hart I wishe it, that as the Pope did here vnto the [Page 22] Emperor, so al we would do vnto our most gracious souereigne and most royall Prin­cesse the Queenes Maiestie, and so vnto hir successors. You see that there is no cause but we shoulde doe it, there is no reason, no au­thoritie to the contrarie. Let any indifferent man reade the Chronicles, yea let him reade their owne writings, and it shal be euident, that the Bishops of Rome had not the title of any such Primacie, vntill at length tho­row pride and ambicion, contrarie vnto all custome and good order, they vsurped that authoritie. Symmachus and Laurentius, being both at one time chosen Bishops of Rome (tantaest discordia fratrum) after much strife and controuersie, were faine to go vn­to Rauenna, there to abide the iudgement, (as in déede they did) of Theodoricus the king. Pelagius the second, how was he cho­sen? abs (que) decreto Principis, contra consuctudinem, Nauclerus. without the decree of the Prince agaynst all custome. Here they see that it was con­trarie vnto all former example, that the by­shop of Rome shoulde be chosen against the decrée and will of the Prince. Bonifacius the third did will, that the election of the B. of Rome shoulde consist and be determined [Page] by the iudgement of the Prince, of the Cler­gie, and of the Laitie, & that for good causes. But Phocas (they saye, marke well whenAnno do­mini. 604. their kingdom began) cōmaunded at the re­quest of the B. of Rome, that all Churches should be obedient vnto ye Romain church. And yet was the authoritie of ye bishop not­withstanding so smal, yt he should be suffred to do nothing without ye commaūdement of ye Emperor. For Bonifaciꝰ the fourth was glad to aske leaue of Phocas that he might transpose the temple Pantheon, to be the Church of our Ladie, and of all Sainctes. Bonifacius the fift, coulde not without the licence of Heraclius the Emperour, not so much as be suffered to take the tiles from Romulus temple, to couer S. Peter his Church. Neither was this in the time when the Church was persecuted, it was six hun­dreth and twentie yeres after Christ, it was when all Christendome (as they say) obeyed the Bishop of Rome. But what obedience was giuen him, by his obedience vnto the Emperour, it maye appeare. For if it were not lawful for him without ye Emperours leaue, to medle with the tiles or temporall goods of one Church, then it was lesse law­full [Page 25] for him to haue to doe, as he now clay­meth with ye whole temporalities of all the Churches in Christendom. If he might not doe so litle a thing without the consent of the Emperour, much lesse might hée doe greater thinges, much lesse lawfull it was for him to depose Christian Princes, and to tread vnder his féete Kings and Emperors. Let here indifferencie take place, if wée be wise, we wil wey these things without par­tialitie. Neyther may I here omit Paschalis which was chosen to the Bishopricke of Rome in the yeare of our Lorde. 817. Who for that he was not elected by the authoritie of the Emperour, was faine to sende vnto Lewys named for his clemencie Pius, then being Emperour, to declare in whome the fault was, and that it was long of the peo­ple and the Clergie that he was so elected, adding further that he was chosen against his will. With this satisfaction Lewys was pleased, and therevppon he wrote vnto the people and Clergie that they shoulde kéepe the institutions and decrées of their aunces­tours, and that they shoulde not offende the imperiall Maiestie againe. This is so ma­nifest that what should we néede any more? [Page] and yet séeing I am entred into the historye, I will alledge what Gregorie the fourth did, in acknowledging his duetie vnto the Emperor. He being chose bishop of Rome, by the consent of the people and the Clergy, would in no wise take vpon him that digni­nitie, vntill the sayd Lewys had confirmed his election. Hath then the Emperour no­thing to doe with the chosing of the Bishop of Rome? who is so fonde as to defend such absurditie? is not this playne? is not this true? is not this in their owne historie? was not Benedictus the thirde, confirmed Bishop by Lewys the second? was not Ni­cholas the first, confirmed by the same Em­peror? & that it should be so, was it not the order alwayes, the lawe, and the custome? Concerning their Counsels, in speaking of one, we shall easily bewray the weakenesse of the others, and that if specially we touche any of their chiefe. Their Councell holden at Chalcedon in Asia, they do in althings so reuerence, receiue, and so beleue, as they doe the foure holye Gospels of our Sauiour Christ. If then we can prooue errors there­in, of necessity must they acknowledge their Counsell to be erronious, and themselues [Page 24] to bée blasphemous. Let them nowe take héede, for if this go forwarde, their craking of Counsels, their authoritie of fathers, shal henceforth not helpe them a farthing. But how shall we proue it? Euen by the Bishop of Rome himself, I think his friends will be glad of such a iudge. If he procede against them, let them blame none but him, whose blames they seeke to defende. To be briefe, thus shall we proue it:

All such as haue offered vnto anye man a prophane name, a name of rashenesse, of pride, and of blasphemie, were erronious and wicked.

But the Counsell holden at Chalcedon hath offered vnto the Bishop of Rome a prophane name, a name of rashnesse, of pride, and of blasphemie.

Therefore the Counsell holden at Chal­cedon was erronious and wicked.

Here the Proposition at large is vndoub­tedly true, the lesse is prooued out of Grego­rie Bishop of Rome, in his Epistles vnto Eulogius Bishop of Alexandria, vnto Iohn Bishop of Constantinople, & vnto Anastasius Bishop of Antioch. The Con­clusion can in no wise be denied. Note now [Page] then in what estate, in what strength is their Euangelicall Counsell, vnderstande how soone they are disproued, and how easie it is to detect their pryde, their vsurpation, their blasphemies, & ambicion. I sée a great deale more, which I might haue saide, tou­ching reason and authoritie, but to any rea­sonable man, to any not drowned in the ve­rie pit of darkenesse, thys much may suffice. Wherefore, forget not that Gregorie cal­leth this name of a supreme head, of a gene­ralitie, of an vniuersall Patriarch, of a su­preme Bishop (for all is one) the name of pride, of rashnesse, of blasphemie, an vngod­ly, a wicked and a prophane name, and that he further sayth: None of my predecessors, Greg. Eulo­gio & A­nastasio. no Bishop of Rome, hath at any time a­greed to vse so vngodlye a title. Let not such also forget, who take vpō them so rash­ly, & so vnlearnedly to maintain the bishop of Rome, what Gregorie herein further sayth, his wordes be these, for that they are manifest, I may not omitte them. Who is therefore (sayeth he) in so corrupt, and Greg. Ioan­ni episcopo Constanti. naughtie a name, set, except he, before vs to be folowed, which despising the le­gions of aungels, appointed with him in [Page 25] equall fellowship, hath leapte out into the highest poynt of singularitie, to the intent he might obey none, but rule all? who also said: I will clyme vp into hea­uen, Esay. 14. and make my seate aboue the starres of the skye, I will sit vppon the glorious mount towards the North, I will clyme vp aboue the Clowdes, and will be lyke the most highest. Let those which are in blindnesse, if they haue eyes, sée, if they haue eares, let them heare, if they haue reason, let them iudge, if they haue learning, let them discusse, whether these woordes be so plaine, as the Pope in no wise, except he renounce his pardones and pride, can auoyde them. Well, shal we haue a vew of the scriptures? shal we see what in them ye bishop of Rome hath, to mayntayne his papacie? One thing (Christen Reader) before I beginne, I dare faithfully promise thée, that thou shalt finde throughout ye whole testament, neither Pa­pa, Papatus, Primas, nor Primatus, to be graūted vnto any of the Apostles of Christ, then much lesse vnto the Byshop of Rome. Marry we must confesse, and we will doe it freely, that there was a foolish contention a­mongst the Apostles, euen in Christ hisLuc. 2 [...]. [Page] time, before he suffred, which of them shouldMarc. 10. Math. 20. be the greater. But our Sauiour did muche reprehende them therefore as we reade at large thereof in the Scriptures, where hée sayth that amongst the Princes of the Gen­tiles such worldly power, such dominion is vsed: Non ita erit inter vos, it shall not be so amongst you. And yet notwithstanding all this, the Bishop of Rome will néedes haue Peter (God knoweth little for Peters sake) to haue the preheminencie, the maio­ritie, the superioritie ouer all the rest. Christ alloweth it not, the Pope will, belike it shall be as he will. That I speake no worse of him, a wilfull part he playeth thus in a­busing holye Scripture, in peruerting the sense, by his insensible reasons, to serue his turne and desire. But deale he as he list, yet dare I lay, that he shall be brought down Esay. 14. to the depth of hell. And as for his arro­gant & al ignorant arguments, they shal bée here layde out, their weakenesse shall be dis­closed to their shame that still will defende him, and to their praise that in time forsake him. I craue of thée (good Reader) in hys name, before whom we al must be iudged, yt thou wilt for thine owne sake, sée vnto these [Page 26] arguments, consider their absurdities, and wey them with indifferencie. Their first fonde argument is this: Christ sayd, thouMath. 16. Behold how this place is abused. art Peter, and vpon this rocke I will builde my Church. Therefore the Bishop of Rome is the supreme heade. O Lorde what a wise reason is this / where was Logique, and that I speake not of the rest, where was cō ­mon sense when this was framed? vppon what will he builde his Church? shake off blindenesse, confesse the truth, super hanc pe­tram, Ambrose. id est, super hanc fidem, vpon this rock, that is to say, vpon this fayth. Vpon him which rightly confesseth that Christ is the sonne of the liuing God, shall the Church be builded. And did none euer confesse that but Peter? yes, all the rest of the Apostles, Iu­das I scariotes excepted. Therefore vppon them all, vpon any, whosoeuer that confes­seth Christ to be the sonne of ye liuing God, is the Church builded. For what is the buil­ding of Christ his Church? is it any thing else, than the increase of faithfull people, confessing and acknowledging the faith of Christ? what dreame they than, vpon Tues Petrus, & super hanc petram? perceiue they not how that place of scripture is most playne? [Page] or is it vnto them that the holy ghost, by the Prophete Esay doth thus speake? you shal Esay. 6. heare, but you shall not vnderstand, you shall see, and yet not perceyue. Oh, re­pent, Marc. 1. and beleue the Gospell. For this ar­gument they themselues sée, doth neyther proue in Peter any superioritie, nor yet that their Pope ought to haue anye primacie. Procede we then to their other arguments. Christ sayde vnto Peter, féede my lambes,Ioan. 21. Note how this place is peruerted. féede my shéepe, féede my shéepe: therefore Peter is the heade of the Apostles. I wéene this be to headie an argument, in the iudge­ment of any reasonable man, to be graūted. Of Logique I will no more speake, for as all men may sée, they eyther vtterly lacke it, or else they want good matter therein to vt­ter it, or both. Shall it follow, bicause Christ bade Peter féede his sheepe, that therefore he is the heade of the Apostles? what is it to féede Christ his shéepe? is it anye thing else than to preach the Gospel, and so to instruct men in the faith? sayde he not then asmuch vnto the rest? hos numero. 12. emisit Iesus, ChristMath. 10. sent forth euerie of the twelue to preache, ad oues perditas, to call home the strayed shéepe, to féede them. He gaue no one iote of autho­ritie [Page 27] vnto Peter, which he gaue not vnto all the rest, he sent them all to preache the Gospell, to féede his shepe. But why would the Bishop of Rome haue Peter, so plain­ly against the scriptures to be the principal or chiefe among the Apostles? latet anguis in herba, there is a pad in the strawe: it is not be ye assured, to further Peter, it is nothing for Peters sake: it is to the intent that he himselfe (O prowde man!) might chalenge a superioritie ouer all. This is the cause that these blinde arguments came forth, that the scriptures be so wrested, abused, and belyed. Againe, they thus reason. Christ sayth vntoMath. 17. Wey howe this place is wrested. Peter, thou shalt finde in the fish his mouth a péece of coyne of foure drammes, paye that for me and thée: therefore Peter hath a pri­macie ouer all the Apostles. A perfite argu­ment I warraunt you, if it be throughlye weyed: there was neuer such absurd toyes, neuer such boyish brawling, I dare saye, de­uised. Doth, I pray you, Christ, bicause hée then payed tribute, chalenge vnto himselfe, therefore anye power, did not as manye as were at Capernaum pay the tribute of two drammes? did anye one of them thereby claime an authoritie? how shall Peter then [Page] hereby haue any superioritie? is it bicause Christ payd for him two grotes? good God, a great manye, yea all, (they must needes graunt) payd at Capernaum, for their ser­uants the like tribute, and yet did they not therfore attribute vnto their men any chiefe dignitie. The truth is mightie, and theDem. ex o­rat. de fal. legat. contrarie is weake: the truth hereof is, Pe­ter had neuer a pennie, and therfore Christ with that one coyne, least he shoulde be an offence vnto them, payd for him. This is the right sense, there is no more in it to séeke. What can be plainer than this? what can be more peruerse, than to shadow with lies, with lewdnesse so manifest a truth? But O the great strength of veritie, which a­gainstCicer: pro M. Caelio. the deuilish craft and subtilty of men, and agaynst all the false guiles of any who­soeuer, of hir owne force doth defende hir selfe! an other of their argumentes is this. Christ sayd vnto Peter, Simon, Simon be­holdeLuc. 22. Se howe this place is misvsed. Satan hath desired to sifte you, as it were Wheate: but I haue prayed for thee, that thy faith faile not: therefore Peter hath a maioritie ouer al the Apostles, and is their superiour. Suppose here (Christen reader) what these men would doe, if others framed [Page 28] against them such foolish and self will argu­ments. Neuer saye that they are learned, ex­cept they haue some better learning. But I maruayle not so much at their blindnesse, I haue bene in it, I know therof the effects. If I wondered at any thing, it shoulde be at this, that there are amongst so many men, not so much as one eye. Neyther speake I of corporall eyes, but of those rather which Aungels haue, the eyes of vnderstanding, the eyes wherewith God is séene, where­with his holy worde is vnderstanded. Now touching this place of Scripture, whereas Christ sayd vnto Peter, that Satan desired to sift them, as it were Wheate, the ryght meaning (marke well indifferent Reader) thereof is, that our Sauiour Christ percey­uing the time of his passion to approche, and vnderstanding the frailtie, temptation and feare that his Apostles should then be in, he sayd: all you shall bee offended through Marc. 14. me this night, for it is written: I will smite the shepherde, and the sheepe shall be scattered▪ Sée here howe plainly the E­uangelist S. Marke setteth forth that place of S. Luke. The shepehearde is Christ, the shéepe are the Apostles, at his taking they [Page] scattered: relicto illo, omnes fugerunt, they leftIbidem. him in the handes of his aduersaries, and fled awaye. This is it that Satan desired to sift thē. What followeth? but I haue praiedLuc. 22. for thée (vnto Peter he sayth) that thy faith fayle not. And what gather wee of these wordes: forsooth, that Christ séeing, consi­dering, yea, vttering the estate to come of Peter, that is, how in that day he should de­nie him thrise, and that before the Cocke crewe, he thought it necessarie also, as néed­full it was, that Simon by name should re­ceyue some words of comfort, that he should vnderstand, though through feare he denied him, that yet his faith shoulde not so fayle, but that in hart still he would acknowledge him to be the sonne of the liuing God, and though that through frayltie he did fall, yet should he through due repentance be raysed vp againe, and so should not his faith fayle. There followeth also in the same place: and when thou art cōuerted, make more Ibidem. constant thy brethren. That is, after thou hast denied me, after thou hast bitterly wept and repented, call then togither thy brethrē, call those that are fled, confirme them, tell them that you all haue done euil, will them [Page 29] nowe with thée to repent and to be sorie. Such is the sense of that text, it soundeth (you sée) in no wise to any superioritie. And touching the authoritie of binding and lo­sing, as it was giuen vnto Peter, so was it vnto all the rest, and that without anye ex­ception. For our Sauiour speaking vnto them al (as S. Iohn witnesseth) saith thus:Ioan. whose sinnes soeuer yee remit, they are remitted vnto them, and whose sinnes so euer yee retain, they are retayned. Saint Mathew recordeth the same, his wordes bee plaine, the sense is euident, the meaning is manifest, what would you more? S. Paule himselfe (a thing to bee marked) being ac­cused before. Festus, there and then appea­led not vnto Peter, but vnto Caesar, shew­ing thereby vnto vs, that in causes, accusa­tions and controuersies, it is not vnto the Pope, but vnto the Prince that we ought to appeale. Wherefore these thinges with an vpright iudgement, with an honest consci­ence considered, how, by what meanes, shall the Popes primacie be defended? the foun­dation thereof is pride, the fruite is poyson, it can not be praysed. Reason is wholye a­gainst it, good authorities do earnestly with­stand [Page] it, and holye scripture doth altogither denie it. If good reason therefore maye take place, if right authorities can preuayle, if sa­cred Scripture shall ouercome, who is he now, where is any that will maintaine, de­fend, vphold, or assist either the Pope, or his feyned, painted, hollow Popedome? I will therfore conclude, yea, the kings of the earth (as sayeth the Prophet Esay) doe one after another conclude and say: How happeneth Esay. 14. it, that the oppressor leaueth off? is the golden tribute come to an end? art thou wounded also, as wee? art thou become like vnto vs? thy pompe and thy pride is gone downe to hell. Mothes shall bee layd vnder thee, and wormes shall be thy couering. The Cockatrice which came out of the Serpents roote, we sée now rooted out, God graunt that it neuer take roote, so ra­gingly to rebell against heauen againe.

Here séeing then that the chiefest bulwark of vnbeliefe is battered downe, séeing the gate of Babilon is broken, séeing that the very seate of Lucifer is defaced, séeing hys prowde pallace is ouerthrowen, wée maye briefly speake of the braunches, which, sayd we nothing, the roote being destroyd, would [Page 30] else of themselues in verie short time fayle, die, wither, and decaye. For if the Pope bée put downe, how can dreaming Purgatorie stande? how can his Bulles liue? how can his Pedlars, and his Pardons preuayle? of these things, and of such others, I meane as briefly, so in plaine wise, and indifferent­ly to speake. Yet first I sée it needefull, that we aunswere vnto certaine obiections now bellowing in the throtes of the aduersaries, that so their vaine dartes and foolish reasons throughly weied, they acknowledging their disease, maye with a more moderation of mynde with vs consider, what things they be, whence they came, and wherevnto they tende, whereof we haue to treate. Shall weAn ob­iection. (saye they) mislike the fayth which our fa­thers professed when we were borne? if the common people which knowe not the lawe, and are accursed, doe follow this newe doc.Ioan. 7. trine, shall we be also seduced? doth any of ye chiefe Rulers, of the Lords, of the Lawyers, or of the learned beleeue it? Oh, sicut patres An an­swere. Actes. 7. vestri it a & vos? as your fathers the Phari­sies haue obiected, wil you also obiect? if S. Paule had still followed the Pharisaicall law, which his father embraced, and wher­in [Page] he was borne, he had not bene worthie to haue the name of an Apostle of Christ: if Peter, if Barnabas, if the rest had not forsa­ken the rites and lawes then vsed whē they were borne, and which their forefathers helde and kept, they had neuer bene accoun­ted the Disciples and followers of Iesus. Touching the common people, you knowe how the Pharisies foolishlye obiected by the same wordes, the selfe same thing against our sauiour. And as you saye: these Protes­tants be mad, they haue no learning, so sayd they: turba haec non nouit legem, execrabiles sunt, Ioan. 7. these foolish people know not the lawe, they are accurst. But let the Pharisies, let their followers speake what them list, wée must saye: nunquam sic loquutus est homo sicut hic homo, there is no preaching like vnto the Gospell, there was neuer man that set forth such doctrine, there is none that may be com­pared vnto this. S. Augustine before his conuersion vnderstanding that the poore Christians did preuaile and now somewhat better liking their doctrine, sayth: Quid pa­timur? what suffer wee? surgunt indocti, & rapiunt coelum, & nos cum nostris scientijs dimer­gimur in profundum, the vnlearned doe rise [Page 31] vp, and they get heauen: but we with all our knowledgesse are drowned in darke­nesse. Let none therefore alleadge that wee are vnlearned, for were wée so, indocti rapi­unt coelum, these vnlearned, these foolish pro­testants doe get heauen. It is they which by persecution be encreased, and by suffering of fire, water, and sworde are so multiplied, that they may well say: magna est veritas, & praeualet, mightie is the truth, and shee o­uercommeth. And concerning the chiefe rulers (right great praise be therefore vnto God.) They were not of a long time so de­sirous to heare the truth, nor so willinglye to embrace it as nowe. If some be yet clog­ged, if their eyes be not opened, what mar­uaile? When the Prophet Ieremie percei­ued that the people would not repent, what sayd he? for sit an pauperes sunt, peraduentureIeremi. 5. they are foolish and simple, they vnderstand not the Lordes way: ibo igitur ad optimates, I will goe therefore vnto their heades, and rulers, vnto the chiefe, & ecce magis hi simul confregerunt iugum, ruperunt vincula, but loe, these in like maner haue rather broken the yoke, and burst the bandes in sunder, these are worse than ye other. How say you now? [Page] what speake you of the chiefe and Rulers? as for the learned, I will confesse the truth, there are in the ministerie men verie simple and of small vnderstanding, I knowe of thē a number, I wil not denie it, the thing may in time be remedied: but to speake indiffe­rentlye, if we examine the ministerie with the former prelacy, they are as learned now, yea, better learned than euer they were. For in times past, what say you vnto Priestes, what say you vnto Bishops that coulde not speake anye true Latine? Let none thinke that I slaunder them, they were such, and therfore to excuse themselues, thus they say: If the Bishops or Preistes doe speake a­misse, Dist. 38. &c through ignorance in Grammer, they maye not bee therefore despised of schollers (no marrie) bicause the faultes are rather to bee aduoyded in maners, than in wordes: A proper matter, and an arche argument be ye assured. The faultes in a mans life are to be rather aduoyded, therefore such Bishops or Priestes as can not speake true Latine, are not to be disprai­sed. I pray thee of felowship, christen reader, findest thou herewith anye fault? if a poore Minister had made any such, shoulde he not [Page 32] haue bene flowted? is this their learning? O learned fathers! Fie vpon such an igno­rant time, it was to darke, it was intollera­ble. Non est deponendus aliquis propter imperiti­am, X. q. 1. pla­cuit. no spirituall man (say they) should be depriued for ignorancie. Why speak they then of the learned, they themselues being not only ignorant, but also the defenders of ignorancie? what talke they of learning? the effect of their whole glosaicall studie is this: Beholde the deceitfull pen of the Ierem. 8. Scribes hath set foorth lyes. What lear­ning, what wisdome then can be amongst thē? An other obiection is this: we sée (sayAn ob­iection. they) the iniquitye of the time, this doctrine cannot be good, there is such vngodlinesse e­uery where. In dede we cōfesse that ye worldThe an­swere. Isidor. is naught, yea, and that we are naught, we neither wil nor may iustify our selues, silētio culpa crescit, we hide not our faults, we con­fesse thē vnto God, of him we craue mercie. And what is ye cause of this mischief? let vs be indifferent, let vs tell troth. Satan for­sooth of a long time hauing the world vnder his clawes, was quiet, without care, he was negligent. Then loe, though most horrible vices raigned, yet had they eyther the title of [Page] vertues, or else had the people no eies to dis­cerne them, so that Satan was animi securi homo, one that feared nothing, he néeded not to be busie, a better trade than he had, coulde he neuer haue. For Superstition had put on the name of Religion, hawtinesse was ter­med holynesse, tyrannie was called a zeale vnto iustice, whoredome was named chasti­tie, and (as Gregorie sayth) vitia virtutes se esse mentiuntur, vile vices reported thēselues to be vertues, suche was the wretchednesse (O miserie / ) of the time. But in these days Satan being pinched, mens eyes opened, darkenesse remoued, vices defected, and the deuill in a maner naked, howe on euery side besturreth he himselfe? he bloweth abrode his poyson, he scattereth euerye where hys newes, he calleth vnto him his mates, it standeth him vpon, he maketh all the trou­bles that may be. And what of all this? is it a thing straunge? or is not a thing always séene, that when the Gospell is preached, then Satan is most moued. For the deuill Chrysost. hearing that the sonne of god descended into this world, hearing the fayth of Christ preached, he made great haste against him to shut vp mens harts in sinne and infi­delitie, [Page 33] thinking that he coulde destroye as much, as Christ was able to saue. For example therof, what should I speake of the persecution in the primatiue Church? it shal suffice, if I set before you but a péece of the wickednesse, and of the lamentable estate of ye Romaine Empire beginning anon after Marcus. Commodus the Emperour (youHerodian. Anno do­mini. 194. know) caused most cruelly, all his good fa­thers friends to be slaine, he liued in moste detestable whoredome, and murther, he him selfe was in thende, after other great daun­gers, poysoned, and strangled. Next him succeded Pertinax a verye good man, yet was he slaine and murthered of his owne souldiors. What shoulde I speake onely of murther: what wickednesse raigned not? These cut throte souldiours, after the death of Pertinax solde the Empire vnto a coue­tous Carle, one Iulianus. But what came thereof? the whole estate of ye Empire was troubled, thrée at one time claymed the au­thoritie, Iulianus, Niger, and Seuerus. A­gaine of the death of Antoninus, and of Iu­lia his mother, what should I saye? go tho­row the whole historie, and you shall finde almost nothing but méere impietie. And yet [Page] at this time the Gospell was preached, wée may not say that the doctrine was not ther­fore good, bicause the time ouer flowed with iniquitie. Consider this, Christen Reader, wey it with thine owne conscience, and thenAn ob­iection. iudge vprightly. They obiect also, that ye life of the Ministers is naught, that they be vici­ous, lewde, and I knowe not what. Their lewdenesse I will not defende, if they be e­uill,The an­swere. God amende them. I knowe hereof, more thā for some causes I will yet write, I know there be within ye Ministerie, a num­ber of the Popes friendes in Protestantes skins, I know their trades, I know them. If in the Church now there be some lewde men, I maruaile not. So was amongst and of the twelue a Iudas, there was one naughtie person amongst eight within the arke of Noe, in the house of Abraham, in the house of I saac, of Iacob, of Dauid, there were offenders, and men altogither vn­faithfull, in the heauen it selfe many of the Aungels were faultie. What then thoughe some, yea, euen of the Preachers be per­uerse? There are some which be lewde, I wil graūt it. Were they not so in S. Paules Philip. 2. time? I haue no man (sayeth he) which [Page 34] with a like affection, will care for your matters with me, for all doe seeke that is their owne, and not that is Iesus Christ. What saye you to this? how saye you vnto that time? Touching the Pope and his Prelacie, who can accuse them? for though they be neuer so lewd of themselues, though they offende in most detestable filthinesse, though the Pope doe not one good déede, yetSymma­chus papa. the vertues of his Predecessors maye suffice him. These be their owne words, wey them (I aske) with indifferencie. In this their owne Doctor, their owne Pope is against them, I meane Gregorie. Grace (sayth he)Gregorie. and not the place doth saue the soule. Surelye had I here time to set forth their lewde and fonde Canons, had I leysure cō ­uenient to lay out before you their foule for­nication, their naughtinesse and abhomina­tion, you woulde doubtlesse abhorre them, we should altogither defie them. But would you thinke (vnto their friendes I speake) that they defended whoredome? would you beleue that these were their wordes? One hauing no wife, & that hath a concubine Concil. To letan. may not be put from the Communion, so that he be contented with one woman [Page] be she wife or harlot. O how horrible a­mong Christians is this decrée! Such stuffe they haue, such holynesse they vse, such men they be. Loth I am to defile any further my pen, either in their most lothsome lawe, or in their vile and lawlesse lust. Nowe to the braunches whereof I spake, and first of the chiefe, which is Purgatorie. This is a placePurgatory. (as they appoint it) wherein onely small of­fences be remitted in the next life. If you aske them where this place is, they can not agree, you appose them, so that quod non in­uenit vsquam, esse putat nusquam. They haue sought heauen, they haue sought hell, itum est in viscera terrae, they haue sought euen the verie bowels of the earth, and yet can not feyned Purgatorie be founde, there is none before the time of darknesse, that euer heard of such an Inne. But is there trowe ye, any such place at al? If there be none, then hath it no place of being, for quod non est, nusquam Arist. est: That which is not, is no where. The name of Purgatorie in holye scripture was neuer read, in sense also, there is therein no­thing founde, in anye wise to confirme the same: except you will haue the wresting of places to be proofes, and the abusing of Gods [Page 35] word to be made a warde, a couering, and a bolstering of iniquitie. Did the Apostles of Christ euer heare of any such place? heard they once of the name of Purgatorie? no, for it was long after (will the defenders thereof saye) before it was borne and chris­tened. Our forefathers (saye they) more Allen in the defence of Purga­torie. than a thousande yeares since called it Purgatorie. In déede they had néede at the length to name it, béeing of so long a tyme before namelesse, but who was Godfather? ye Pope himself. Well, it was time to hatch it, for it was one of the profitablest monsters that euer was whelped within the Popes house. But (beléeue me) let them garnishe it neuer so much with gold, feyned dreames and with other delusions, yet shall it down, the straw stuffing must be séene, the pain­ted lymmes must be looked vppon, and the breathlesse babe must throughly now be rip­ped vp, and be tried. And what gaue oc­casion to our forefathers (I will vse their owne wordes) of the name of Purgatorie? Marrie (say they) the thirde Chapiter of the Prophet Malachie, and the first Epistle to the Corinthians. These be their twoo espe­ciall places, vpon the which, you shall nowe [Page] sée, how foolishly they builde. The words in Malachie be these: Beholde he commeth Malach. 3. (sayth the Lord of hostes) and who may abide the day of his comming? who can stande and endure his sight? for he is like melting and casting fire, and as the was­shers herbe. And he shall sit, casting, and trying out siluer, and shal purge the chil­dren of Leui, and clense them as gold, or siluer. Here we find a maner of purgation, and what is it? forsooth we will vse plaine dealing, the matter néedes no shift. In thys place and in the whole chapiter, these things be only conteyned, the comming of S. Iohn the Baptist, the deliuerance of the faithfull, through Gods great mercie and grace, from their sinnes, the iudgement of Christ a­gainst the wicked, of their blasphemies a­gainst God, and of Gods most benigne care toward the godlye. See then whether your priuate Purgatorie, maye haue hence anye place, any pretence of being, any defence or bolstring, or not. I néeded not to tell you, oh I woulde it were not néedefull to tell, that we are onely saued by Christ his death, that we are clensed by his bloud shed, and that we are redemed by his passion, it is our Sa­uiour [Page 36] Iesus Christ, which gaue himself forTitus. 2. vs, to redéeme vs from all vnrighteousnes, and to purge vs a peculiar people vnto him selfe, we feruentlye being giuen vnto good workes. Weigh then, what it is to purge the children of Leui, and sée whether it be a­ny thing else, then that they should be rege­nerated and renewed by the spirite of God, yea, and that sinne shoulde not be imputed vnto them for the loue of Christ. Consider this, it is a more holesome doctrine, than to hunt we know not where, after a hatefull, phantasticall and foolish pretenced Purga­torie. Thus by the wordes of the Prophet, séeing they may not preuaile, seeing that the same is altogither against them, let vs like­wise▪ sée what ye Apostle sayth. He alledgeth that the foundation is already layde, which is Iesus Christ, & then he procedeth in these wordes: If anye man builde vppon this 1. Cor. 3. foundation, golde, siluer, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble, euery mans worke shall appeare. For the daye of the Lorde will declare it, and it shall bee shewed in fire, and the fire shall trie euerye mannes worke what it is. If any mans worke that he hath builte vpon, doe abide, he shall [Page] receyue a rewarde. If anye mans worke burn, he shal suffer losse, but yet he him­selfe shall be safe neuerthelesse yet, as it were through fire. These be S. Paules wordes▪ Now as men not giuen to conten­tion and fonde strife, as men desirous of the right vnderstanding of holye scripture, as men all free from partialitie and part ta­king, let vs weigh vprightlye the meaning of the text. Here the Apostle would haue vs to be feruent in good workes, and earnest to doe well, hée wisheth vs to bee occupied in that labour, which, when the iudge of all shall come, may in his sight be acceptable, may to vs ward be commendable. And that we should well beware, what workes we builde vppon our foundation, he plainlye sheweth, that at the last day all our doings shalbe opened, and that then the same shall be so tried, as the Goldsmith in fining hys mettals, trieth out the drosse and base mat­ter, from the pure, perfite, and fine. The day (sayth he) of our Lorde shall declare it, Ibidem. bicause it shall appeare in fire. The daye of our Lorde is the daye of iudgement, the thing is so plaine, as no man, though he be very peruerse, may denie it. But when shall [Page 37] it appere in fire? euen then, at the generall iudgement, so is the text. Where is therfore in ye meane time, their place of Purgatorie? Well, will you sée in fewe wordes, what by the whole text is ment? Here this onelye is spoken of those, which shall be saued, of such as builde vppon Iesus Christ, vppon which foundation, as all can not builde golde, precious stones and siluer, as all can not be perfite, neyther by martyrdome bée crowned, nor yet by good learning shine like the starres ofheauen: so thereon building, be it but Wood or Haye, be it but verie stub­ble, though ye work it selfe be in the end bur­ned, though he himselfe receiue no such re­ward, as the others, yet shal he be saued, and how? as it were through fire. Not throughIbidem. fire, but through the great feare, wherin he then shall stande, of the iust iustice & iudge­ment of God. O how comfortable is this doctrine? how farre passeth it al their pain­ted fires and feyned flames of Purgatorie? You sée now that the Scripture admitteth no such place, you see the right meaning as­well of the Prophet, as also of the Apostle, You sée that their two chiefe and onely pla­ces, doe serue so to their purpose, that they [Page] stand plainely and altogither against them. Howe shall then poore Purgatorie stande? how shall the Pope mayntayne his chiefe Farme? Howe shall therein his might, his gaine be befended? to what purpose shoulde we cloke the matter anye lenger? his eui­dences be all naught, his writings be coun­terfeyte, his lease is antedated, his witnes­ses be prooued partiall, and periured, his Lawyers haue lost their credite, his interest is not good, it is the Lord of hostes that sueth him, the iudgement (se iudice) must passe a­gainst him. But we see (say the Purgatori­ans) the name of Purgatorie often set forth by auncient writers. And what I praye you of that? what gathered they, what meaned they by that name? forsooth, so farre were they from confessing anye such Purgatorie fire, which now men so foolishly séeke to de­fende, that some sayde the tribulation of Allen. &c. this life, and world, must trie mens faith and works: some said the griefe of mind in loosing that which they ouermuch lo­ued, was the burning fire of mans affec­tions: some woulde haue the grieuous vexation of departure out of this life to be a Purgatorie paines: some construed [Page 38] the text, of the fire of conflagration, that shall purge the workes of many in the latter daye. Here who is so blind, who is so senselesse, but maye vnderstande, that the scope of their Pargatorie was in thys present life, and that it did nothing concerne in any one point, any payne in the world to come? what should I wade herein any fur­ther? what should I vse any more wordes? with one especiall place of S. Augustine I will ende. For the soules (sayth he) of the Lib. de ci­uit. dei. 13. cap. 8. godlye being separated from the bodye, be in rest: but the soules of the wicked, doe suffer paynes: vntill the bodies of the one may be reuiued vnto euerlasting life, and of the other, vnto eternal death which is called the seconde. By this, he maketh but two estates of the soules depar­ted, the one now in paines, who at the daye of iudgement shalbe damned, and the other now in rest, who then shall be saued. So is their Idea, & Idiot dreamings of Purgatory, by authorities, by scripture disproued. The next thing wherof we mean to treate, is theThe supper of our Lord. sacramēt, the holy remembrance of the body and bloud of our sauiour Christ, which how it hath bene abused, of how long a time, and [Page] by whom, we meane here by the assistance of God, whose cause especiallye it is, to ex­presse, set forth and declare. Wherein if any Cyprian. of our elders, eyther simply or ignorant­lye haue not helde and obserued, that which our Lord and sauiour hath taught vs, the Lords pardon may extende vnto their simplicitie: but we which are nowe warned by our Sauiour, and instructed, may not loke for forgiuenesse, If we wil­fully will refuse the knowledge of the truth, and the right vnderstanding of Gods holye mysteries. Manifolde were the errors, wher­with men haue bene blinded, touching the holy supper of our Lorde, touching the Cō ­munion of his bodie and bloud But bicause I haue purposed to be brief, I wil rather la­bor to shew the light, & right sense therin of holy scripture, than to ouerthrow (which is very soone done) the foolish opinion of some grosse and carnall Cauphernaites. Neyther yet may I altogither omit, as occasion ser­ueth, to speake of the fonde iudgement of such, who cannot be contented to enioye the benefites of Christ his bodie and bloude, ex­cept they further (O wicked follie!) maye teare him with their teeth, and more than [Page 39] deuour him with their mouthes. Vnto these doth S. Augustine speake: To what pur­pose August. preparest thou thy teeth and thy bellie? beleue, and thou hast eaten. Nei­ther yet let any here suppose, that I adiudge it not néedfull to eate those holye signes, as things instituted by our Sauiour, for vs to take and receiue in his remembrance. But that the aduersaries maye throughlye be sa­tisfied, that the indifferent and welwilling maye rightly be instructed, shall we sée in what wise S. Paule receiued this instituti­on at our Lords hands? That which I de­liuered you, the same I receiued (sayethI. Cer. II. he) of the Lord. For the Lorde Iesus the same night in which hee was betrayed, tooke Bread, gaue thanks, and brake it, saying: take, and eate, this is my bodye, which shalbe giuen for you, this do ye in the remembrance of me. After the same maner he tooke the Cuppe when supper was done, and sayd: this Cup is the new testament in my bloud, this doe as oft as you shall drinke it, in the remembrance of me. For as often as you shall eate this Breade, and drinke this Cup, you shall shewe the Lordes death vntill he come. [Page] Therfore whosoeuer shal eate the Bread, and drinke the Cuppe of our Lord vn­worthily, he shall be guiltie of the bodie and bloud of our Lord. Wherefore let a man examine himselfe, and so let him eate of that Breade, and drinke of that Cuppe. Thus farre speaketh S. Paule, and that verie plainly. Nowe come we then to the search of the text. And first, let those who will acknowledge there no breade, way but indifferently the words as they stand. Christ tooke Breade, he gaue thanks, and brake it. What brake he? Breade. Who will denie it? He sayde that it was his bodie. That is true: but howe? not fleshly but spiritually. It is (sayth Christ) the spirit that quicke­neth, Ioan. 6. the fleshe profiteth nothing, the wordes that I spake vnto you, are spirite and life. Lo, how euidently he aunswereth the cogitations of such, as thought that they should haue eaten him carnally. Hence it is that S. Augustine thus saith: The first he­resie Aug. in exposition. Psalm. 8. sprang amongest the Disciples of Christ, as it were through the hardnesse of hys words. For when he sayd, except one will eate my fleshe, and drinke my bloud, he can not haue lyfe euerlasting. [Page 40] They here not vnderstanding, sayde one vnto another, this is a hard saying, who can eate him? and whiles they thus said, they separated themselues from him, and he remayned with twoo disciples, whom, when the other were gone, he in­structed. It is the spirite (sayth he) which giueth life, the flesh profiteth nothing. The wordes that I spake vnto you, are spirite and life. You haue vnderstoode spiritually, so they are spirite and lyfe: You haue vnderstoode carnallye, so yet are they spirite and lyfe. But vnto thee they are not spirite and life, which vn­derstandest them not spiritually. Vnder­stande yee spiritually the wordes that I spake vnto you. You shall not eate thys bodie which you see, neyther shall you drinke the bloud, which those that cru­cifie me shall shed. I haue cōmended vn­to you a kinde of sacrament, which be­ing spiritually vnderstanded, doth quic­ken you, but the flesh profiteth nothing. But as they vnderstode, so they aunswe­red. For they vnderstoode fleshe, as that which is solde and broken in the sham­bles. But Christ perceyuing this, sayde: [Page] This offendeth you, bicause I sayde: I giue you my fleshe to eate, and my bloud to drinke. If therefore you shall see the sonne of man ascende thither where hee before was, what is this? Here lo hath he plainly declared that, which before had moued them, here he opened, whence they were offended, here in deede and plainly if they had vnderstoode it. But they thought that he would giue his bo­die vnto them. He sayd, that he would ascend into heauen, and that all whole. When you shall see the sonne of man to ascende where he was before, truly then shall you specially see that he giueth not his bodie in such maner as you thinke: or then you shall vnderstande, that hys grace is not consumed with mouthes. Vntill the ending of the world, the Lord is aboue, but yet here is notwithstanding with vs the grace of the Lorde, for the bodie wherein he rose, can be but in one place, yet his grace, his Godhead, his di­uinitie is spreade euerye where. O howe plaine, howe full, howe manifest be these wordes! the naturall bodye of Christ that was borne of the virgin Marie, is, and [Page 41] must be in one place, and that in heauen, vntill the ending of the world: therefore his naturall bodie can not be here also in earth, it can not be in the material Church, on the altar, in ye Priests hands. Concerning their consecration & transubstantiation, I aske of them what they do consecrate, whether it be bread, or ye Lords body? if it be bread, then isThe body of Christ is not conse­crated, nor yet the bread. Aske them then, what is consecra­ted? it not ye bodye of Christ, if it be his body, can they make it holyer at one time, than at an other? is his bodie at anye time vnholye? Herevnto they may neuer well aunswere, their in instanti may stand nothing to their purpose. I am loth here to heape the innu­merable heresies wherein they are, which would defend this carnall eating. Their in­constancie, their disagréementes, their er­rors be maruailous. For example, and that I séeme not to belye them, I will betray one of their absurdities. It is in question a­mongst them (so carnall they be, such Cau­phernaites they are) whether the bodie of Christ may be receiued with his deitie and soule or not? H: sayth that neither the soule nor deitie is there receiued: others, as B: do saye, that in receiuing the body, they receiue also the deitie and soule. O Lorde what in­tollerable, [Page] what horrible controuersies what hainous absurdities be these? It were hartilye to be wished of euerie honest hart, that these would giue ouer, thus carnallye to grinde vpon Christ his soule, vppon his bodie and deitie. And if they cannot be qui­et, without altercation in the true faith, then it is rather to bée suffered, that they wrangle (as a number of them do and haue done) about sum, es, fui: hic, haec, hoc: qui quae quod &c. For by the one, they set forth much and outragious impietie: by the other they bewray but their iangling nature and great follie. For is it not méere childishnesse, for them to deale, as one of them doth in this matter? With it (sayeth he) agreeth hoc, Sand: this: with it, quod, the which: it commeth after the verbe est, is: and goeth before the verbe datur, is giuen. Good God what a doe is this, how is a Doctor here troubled in finding out, in one little sentence, the nowne substantiue? Oh, it is easie to make great volumes, they maye soone make such bookes, they may stuffe them without study, with Gēders, Cases, Articles, Pronounes, Verbes, Participles, with construing, with parsing, with iffes, with andes, with asking [Page 42] and aunswering, with trifling and linge­ring, with light questions, common talke, and controlling. Well, Christ (saye they) said, this is my body: why shall not we then beleue him? forsooth, that you would beleue him, we verilye doe wishe: and that you woulde take heede of that herefie, which August. happened, as it were through the harde­nesse of his wordes, amongst his owne dis­ciples, we earnestlye admonishe, perswade and exhort you. It is vndoubtedly true, that the holye Communion doth consist of twoo things, of the visible kinde of Elementes, of breade and wine, and of the inuisible grace. Of which twoo things, the spirituall body of Christ consisting, is receyued of the worthie receyuer, to his comfort and salua­tion. Neyther yet may you here thinke, that his spirituall bodie consisteth of breade, but that by the receyuing of breade, we be made to vnderstande of the receit of his spirituall fleshe, and by the receiuing of wine, we are certified to receaue (and all for our instruc­tion) his spirituall bloude: or if you will haue it brieflier, to receyue his bodye and bloud spiritually. And that this is the Ca­tholike faith, S. Hierome shall beare me [Page] witnesse: Two wayes is the flesh of Christ In Epist. ad Ephesios. and his bloud vnderstanded: either that spirituall and diuine, whereof he sayth: my flesh is meate in deede, and my bloud is drinke in deede, and except you will eate my flesh, and drinke my bloud, you shall not haue lyfe euerlastyng: or else that fleshe which was crucified, and that bloud which was shed with the speare of the souldier. What words can be playner than these? who is so simple, but may now sée, of what fleshe and of what bloude Christ ment, when he sayde, My fleshe is meate in deede? here further to aunswere such, who thinke it to be his carnall bodye, bicause he sayde, this is my bodie, I thinke there is no reasonable bodye, that will sup­pose it néedefull. Yet to auoyde all that the aduersaries maye alledge, whereas he cal­leth it once his body, he many times nameth it bread, so doe the Apostles, so doe the Doc­tors. His body it is, in respect of his spiritual flesh and bloud, which then the faithfull doe receiue: but bread and wine it is, in respect of the Elementes, which we eate, taste off, and digest. Also whereas the Doctors doe somtimes not speake of the bread and wine, [Page 43] but of the verie bodie of Christ, quod in ipsae Augustin. veritate spiritualiter manducatur & bibitur, which in deede is spirituallye eaten and dronke: that do they yt rather to moue men to lift vp their hartes, & to stirre them from the thinking on those signes, to think vpon the thing signified, to remember that it is not in the bread fixed, which must féede vs, but that by faith we be fed from aboue, from heauen, whence we receiue of the Lord, the Cup of the newe Testament, whence wée receiue verilye Christ his bodie, by whome we liue, and are made flesh of his fleshe. So haue you here sufficiently shewed vnto you, the right meaning of the Lordes supper, you haue in fewe wordes the effect of the same, and the testimonie therein, aswell of Scrip­ture, as of the Doctors. Doe ye therefore the partes of Christians, acknowledge ye truth that you sée, embrace true and playne doc­trine, detest falshood, abhorre foolish wrang­ling and wicked wresting of Scriptures.

Hither vnto haue we spoken of the abuses of the Church of Rome, of the vsurped su­premacie, of their painted vaine Purgato­rie, and of their carnall vnderstanding of Christ his wordes spoken at his last supper: [Page] But nowe wee will brieflye treate, of the translation of holy Scripture into the vul­gare tongue, of singing of Psalmes, and of such like things, as they shal occurre, which now are by Satan reprooued, by his mini­sters repugned, and by his chiefe defenders resisted. And herein that I maye be indiffe­rent, I will vse such authorities as (let Sa­tan doe his worst) must néedes be allowed.

Much a do many now make, bicause theyOf the tran­slation of holy scrip­ture into the vulgar tongue. sée the holy Scriptures to be in the English tongue, and that to the comfort and salua­tion of many a thousande. But what (trow yée) is the cause that they finde themselues therein so much grieued? Oh, therein lieth the verie whole matter, therein hangeth all the marring and making of their market. For if the people once perceiue what super­stition is, will they (thinke you) be supersti­tious? if they perceyue what Hipocrisie is, will they be Hipocrites? if they sée how hai­nous Idolatrie is, wil they then succor Ido­lators? if they beholde what blindenesse is, will they delight in darkenesse? if they doe vnderstand the ignoraunt abuses of times past, will they perseuer still in ignorancie? if they were deceyued, blinded, and moste [Page 44] shamefully abused, will they then any lon­ger followe dreames, or delight in the coue­tous deuises of men? when holy scripture is heard, reade & vnderstanded, then are errors afraid, lewd men amazed & the deuil himself astonied. This moued our forfathers to take great paines, that ye scripture might be tran­slated out of one tongue into another, that so the more might vnderstand them, that so the more might haue & reade thē. And touching any fault in our English translations, if in some, some thing be amisse, who will mar­uel? was not the truest & auncient transla­tion in the Latine, corrupted and violated? Doth not S. Hierome himself so say? but IHieron. will answere such, as pretende faults in our translation, reade in the Church: and except he defende himselfe well, he is like to feele (and yet I shall deale with him friendly) of hys owne blowes. And first I demaunde of him, whether in a translation he would ob­serue the true sense, or else séeke for ye Noune substantiue, for Genders and Cases, as hée hath done? in the iudgement of all learned,Hieron. in praefat. in lib. Iudith. and good men, the meaning of the author is to be folowed, & the hunting after words, is not to be liked. But what blameth he in our [Page] translation? forsooth, we haue not rightlye translated (sayth he) this verbe [...]. It should (sayth he) be englished in the sixt of Iohn, to worke, as [...],Ioan. 6. worke the meate. Oh sir, and why not labour for the meate? what I praye you is, [...]? is it not victum quaerere, to labour for ones liuing? you see herein your ignorance, your wylfulnes, the one, or both, you sée our true dealing, vnder­standing & plainesse. To the rest. Qui mandu­cat me, & ipse viuet propter me. How englisheth he this? Marrie, he that eateth me, he al­so shall liue for mee. And what Englishe giue we vnto it? he that eateth me, shall liue by the meanes of mee. I praye thée (Christen Reader) consider this, and sée who goeth néerest vnto the text, yea, who hath the right meaning, he or we. Doe not we liue by the meanes of Christ? what? liue we for him? and is not he liuing? fie, why erre ye so much by the meanes of the Pre­position [...]? why speake ye here so much of the Accusatiue case? hath it not the selfe same signification sometimes in the Geni­tiue? Againe. Qui manducat hunc panem, hee that eateth (saye we) of this bread. Hee [Page 45] that eateth (sayth he) this Bread. What difference, I pray you, is here? what fault is in our trāslation? yea, it is true (sayth he himselfe) to saye: he that eateth of thys Breade. Is it true? why iarre you then? why séeke you a fault where none is? Also Cum accepisset Iesus panem, & gratias egisset, fre­git, & dedit discipulis, & ait: Iesus (sayth he) hauing taken Bread, & giuen thanks, or blessed, brake, and gaue to the Disciples, & sayd. Sée (so to speak it) how vnsauery, how without sense he translateth. Iesus (say we) tooke Bread, and when he had giuen thankes, he brake it, and gaue it to the Disciples, and sayd. How sayest thou (in­different Reader) who hath here the plaine sense of Christ his words plainly vttered, he, or we? but he findeth fault with this worde it: and why? bicause it is Christ his mea­ning, and so it ouerthroweth all his wri­ting. Let him, for he hath had to doe with his Pronounes and Rules, as late as I, (though yet I teach) let him, I say, aske this question, whom, or what, and he shall find that it answereth vnto this question. But he is accurst, which moueth such childishe iangling, specially treating of the mysteries [Page] of God. Further. Hoc facite, make (sayth he) this thing. This (saye we) doe ye. Doest thou (gentle Reader) vnderstande the La­tine? if thou doest, without anye doubt thou must néedes detest his quarelling. But will he compell me to doe as he doth, to fall a construing? facite, doe ye, hoc, this. What blame finde you in this? what? shall no shame moue you? shall reason condemne you? shall no honestie worke in you? well what followeth? in meam commemorationem, for (sayth he) the remembrance of me. In (saye wée) the remembrance of mee. O Lorde, howe playne this is! be not these the English phrases? for a mans sake: in a mans remembrance: and not, in a mans sake, for a mans remembraunce. Who then giueth the truest English, we or you? Let vs go forwarde. Communicatio sanguinis Christi, communicatio corporis. Why maymeth he the sentence? why? bicause the Cup and the Breade may not like him. The sentence is this: Calix benedictionis, cui benedicimus: nonne c [...]mmunicatio sanguinis Christi est? & pa­nis, quem frangimus, nonne participatio corporis do­mini est? The Cup of blessing, which wee blesse: is it not the partaking of the [Page 46] bloud of Christ, and the Breade which we breake, is it not the partaking of the body of Christ? What fault woulde he finde here? Marrie, that we Englishe it partaking: and haue not they themselues translated [...], to be participatio? is it not so in the old translation? what then can they make of participatio, but partaking? what remayneth? wee being manye, are one Breade. Of (sayth he) the one Bread: And what sayeth their owne translation? v [...]us panis, one Breade. Good God! is it not a shame for one that would teach, to be bla­med in the thing, which he himself blameth? I know ye children would here say, turpe est doctori. &c. Be these ye notes that you would haue remembred? I assure you, the remem­brance of them is to you no praise, to others no profit, to your friends no pleasure. Alas, what profit is it, eyther vnto the hearer Hieron. or reader, for vs to sweate in labouring, & for others to labour in reprehending? Omit, oh omit foolish wrangling, forsake selfe will and liking, endeuour to doe good vnto your Countrie, to please God, giue o­uer vnprofitable questions, haue regard vn­to honestie, consider the truth, take Christ [Page] his part, be profitable vnto your selues, set forth the Lordes name, and labour for the meate which perisheth not. So shall you doe, if your writings tend to edefie, and not to ignominie: to conuert, not to peruert: to perswade vnto holinesse, not to disswade from godlinesse: to reprehende blindenesse, not to reproch righteousnesse: to augment deuotion, not to impugne Religion: to re­dresse things being amisse, not to carpe that, that true is: to doe well, and not to maine­taine euill. This much concerning their notes to be remembred. Now maye not wée note & reioyce to sée our trāslation so perfite, as the aduersaries with all their weapons, may not peerce into, as they may not in any worde (if they deale iustlye) reproue? The Hieron in Pentateu­chū Moysi. Latine copies (sayth S. Hierome) are bet­ter than the Greeke, and the Greeke bet­ter than the Hebrue. So if we saye, that the English copie is better than all three, why should we be reprehended? if we terme it as perfite as any of these thrée, should we not therin be allowed? verum haec contra inui­dos. Ibidem. This I speake against those which doe enuie vnto vs the Gospell of Christ, and which are inwardlye grieued, that men so [Page 47] gréedily desire ye knowledge of Gods word. If they translated the Scriptures, which thing they will not doe, then woulde they haue their doings receyued: but that wée should doe it, that can they in no wise abide: as though vertue and vice were not in Ibidem. the things, but altered with the author. Haue they not reade the aduise of Chilo, whose counsayle is, that they egge no man vnto contention, and that they vtter not al­wayes their pleasure, least they happen to heare, that may displease them. They saye that we haue very many translations. Not so many (say we) as they haue: maximè cum Ibidem. apud Latinos, tot sint exemplaria, quot codices, spe­cially seeing the Latines haue so manye copies, as they haue bookes. Well, that the Scriptures be translated, it is necessarie it is profitable, it is comfortable. Whoso­euer shall call vppon the name of the Rom. 10. Lorde, (sayeth S. Paule) he shall be safe. And how can they rightlye call vppon his name, if they vnderstande not what they speake, nor vppon whome they call? is the meaning of the heart inough? No. He that gaue thée a heart, gaue thée also a mouth, vse both. The beliefe of the heart iustifi­eth, [Page] but to knowledge with the mouth, maketh a man safe. And how shall he ac­knowledge with the mouth, who in steede of one worde vttereth another? who pro­nounceth such prayers, as in dede are none, such wordes as haue no significations, and such sentences as be altogither senselesse? I see the grosse ignoraunce of times past, it might be seene, it might be felt, the worlde beareth me witnesse, it was palpable. And herein I appele vnto ye conscience of any in­different Christian, whether the simple peo­ple had anye vnderstanding in that which was read in the Churches heretofore? yea, whether the Priest himselfe, whether one of them amongst twentie, could english you a sentence of that which they did pronounce? Alas for pittie, alas, our forefathers which might haue séene, were depriued of their sightes, they were led by blind guides into Orcus, into ye darknesse of hel, they were kept from true knowledge, and nouseled in blind­nesse. Fie for shame, painted Satannicall pardons were procured them, Gods mercye and remission were reiected, popishe papers were bought and soulde, deuises to re­lease out of Purgatorie were practised, no [Page 48] meanes was left vnsought to withdrawe men from God. Of muddy vnholesome wa­ter then men dranke, and yet golde and sil­uer, great summes of monye payde they for the same. Vnto such, doth the Prophet Esay speake: Wherefore doe ye laye out your Esay. 55. monye for the thing which feedeth not, and spend your labour about the thyng that satisfieth not? come to the waters all ye that bee thirstie. Come buy wyne and milke without any monie or monye worth. Why then spende we our monie a­bout Popish pardons? why about Pelte, Parchment, and paultrie? let vs repent vnfeynedly, and then will our heauenly fa­ther forgiue vs, fréelye will hée pardon vs. Who is more to be blamed, the people, or the pastors, who wéene that Gods gift will be obtained with monye? to proffer monye.Act. 8. is the peruerse part of Simon Magus, and to receyue the same, is not the profession of Peter. But Lord the people were ignorant, and the Priestes were couetous, and arro­gant. Well, to procéede, how cōmeth fayth? by hearing. What absolutelye? Nay. By hearing the worde of God, and vnderstan­ding the same. And how shal the vnlearned [Page] vnderstande the worde of God, séeing it is locked from them, and vttered in Latine? why shall they not haue it in their owne tongue, that so they may heare and vnder­stande, that they maye receyuc faith? why shall they not praye in their owne speach? will God heare sooner (trow ye) the Latin, than he will doe the Irish, Welsh, or Eng­lish? There is neither speaches nor lan­guages, Psal. 18. but that the voyces of them bee hearde. The Irish is aswell hearde of him as the Latine, the Welshe as the Greeke, the Englishe as the Hebrue. Why then woulde they barre vs from praying in the English tongue, in the Welsh, in ye Irish? why blame they translations? why hinder they the increase of knowledge, of grace, of godlinesse? why? bicause the Ministers of darkenesse, will euer by all meanes endeuor to shadowe the truth, to set vp falshoode, to cast a mist before men, so to further their merchandise. This made vile Mahomete to establish a law, by the which he incurred the paines of death, that woulde reason or argue aboute his procedings. This caused the Romaine Prelacie to commaunde vn­der the paine of excommunication, that no [Page 49] laye man, were he neuer so learned, shoulde reason, speake or talke aboute the faith of Christ. This moued them to appoint the seruices to be had and vsed in straunge tongues, and so straungely, that the people in stéede of syncere doctrine, had but doltishe signes, subtile silences, lewde mummings, fond meanings, amazed gestures, and méere trumperie. And hereof, I pray you what fo­lowed? the falling downe vnto stockes and stones, the creping and knéeling vnto them, the kissing and adouring of them. Neyther can here their fayned difference betwéene [...] and [...] excuse them, for theValla. signification of both, the meaning and vn­derstanding is all one. Euery parish had his peculiar God. Against the holy Sainctes, I will not speake, the Sainctes were abused. Were it in taking of a iourney, in perill and daunger, I put it vnto your owne con­sciences, who were called vpon? was not God in a maner forgotten? and al this hap­pened through ignorance, through the want aswell of Gods word truely preached, as of the Scriptures to be read in euerye mans language, and receyued. Let all therefore pray and speake in the speach that is vnder­standed. [Page] For else when thou blessest with 1. Corin. 14. the spirite, how shall he that occupieth the rome of the vnlearned say, Amen, at thy thankesgiuing? he vnderstandeth not what thou sayest, hee is not edi­fied. They further reproue vs for singing of Psalmes, and to speak the thing plainly, they reprehende vs for praising of God. O Turkish blindenesse! O Iewish heathen­nesse! O hellish peruersenesse! Did not Debora and Barak, after the victorie, sing the same daye, and praise the Lorde? Heare Kings, Lords, I will sing and giue prayse Iudg. 5. vnto the Lord God of Israell. Who euer blamed them for this? I will sing (sayth S. Paule) with the spirite, and I will sing with the minde also. Why then will they1. Corin. 14. reprehende our singing▪ Be yee (sayeth he) fulfilled with the spirite, speaking a­mongst Ephes. 5. Coloss. 3. your selues in Psalmes, Hymnes and spirituall songs, singing and making melodie vnto the Lorde in your hearts. You heare what the Apostle of Christ wil­leth vs to doe. My songs (sayth the ProphetPsalm. 9. Dauid) will I make of thy name, O thou most highest. Whosoeuer therefore rebu­keth vs for singing of Psalmes, the same [Page 50] doth withstande the Scriptures and holye ghost. But if they themselues do allow their owne singings, why then disalowe they ours? It is an vniust thing (sayth S. Au­gustine) Ad paren­tiam comit. Arrian. Concil. To­letan. that one should iudge another, and not to be willing to be iudged him­selfe. Yea, they themselues thus write: Concerning the singing of Hymnes, we haue the example of our Sauiour, and of the Apostles. Be not therefore any longer obstinate, the Psalmes of Dauid we sing, neuer go about to carpe our singing. Many other things there be, which in vs they doe blame. I will touch ouer as manye of them as I remember, and be briefe. I will not be partiall, my penne shall defend no vntroth, it shall cloke no wickednesse. Let Eurybia­das shake his staffe, let as manye as thinke it their pleasure, reprehende me, so they bée willing to heare mée. The truth I knowe must purchase hatred: That made Gemini­us to be hated of Cleopatra, Praxaspis of the King Cambyses, Pantaleon of Lysi­machus, Phocion of the people of Athens, Aristippus of Dionysius. Why were the Apostles of Christ persecuted? why were they hated? bicause they preached the truth. [Page] Why were a number put to death in the regions of Aphrica? in Antioch and A­lexandria? bicause they professed the truth. Truly, it is hard to finde one without eni­mies, who is vnto vice & vntruth a professed enimie. If all then be not my friendes, if all deale not friendly, I force not. The faithful, I trust, will weygh with indifferencie my worke, they will first reade and then iudge. Much contention (sayth the aduersaries)An ob­iection. is amongst our selues, much varietic in o­pinion, and great diuersitie in Religion. Some will weare (say they) a cornerd cap, some will not. What vnitie is amongst these men? This may soone be aunswered.The an­swere. For what is a greater vnitie than altogi­ther (as we doe) to hate blindenesse, to for­sake superstition, to renounce Antichrist, and to embrace true Christianitie? wée all with one minde, doe meane to labour forIohn. 6. the meate which perisheth not, our intent is to set forth the doctrine of Christ, the same which the Apostles preached, which he him­selfe pronounced: where can be a greater or a godlier vnitie than this? there is amongst vs but one fayth, one baptisme, and oneEphes. 4. God. What vnitie then, is to be compared [Page 51] vnto this: What if one if two or thrée, doe not so well like the wearing of a Cap, shall therefore for a Cap, the Gospell of Christ be thus carped? Will they not vnderstande that Theodorus and S. Hierome were not in all things of one minde? Know they not that S. Augustine and S. Hierome did once contende? yea, and that Hierome ac­cused Augustine with these termes, ostenta­re doctrinam, lacessere, pueriliter certare, with such others? was this no discorde? maye it please them to pervse their owne doinges, and they shall hardly finde any one point, wherin they do not disagrée. Some of them sayth, that Christ did eate himselfe, some o­therwise: some write one thing, some ano­ther: some alledgeth this, some that, some say they cannot tell what. Is not this a pre­tie vnitie? and will they néedes condemne vs for a Cap? let them consider howe a­mongst the verye Apostles there was some dissension, yea, and such as amongst two of them one was in an error. Quia & Petrus qui Aug. lib. de baptism. peruul. circuncidebat, cessit Paulo veritatem predicanti, for Peter who defended Circumcision, yelded vnto Paule preaching the truth. Came not certaine from Iurie, and taught [Page] the brethren, saying: Except you be cir­cumcised Act. 15. after the maner of Moyses, ye cannot be saued. Great dissension, contro­uersie, and disputing was amongst them, and yet was the Gospell of Christ not with­standing perfite and good. What? was there not betwene Paule and Barnabas suchIbidem. sharpe dissension, that they parted a sunder, one from another? you sée that amongst the chosen, amongst the verie twelue, trifling dissension sometime did happen. Howe then may they require a greater perfection in vs, than in the primatiue Church, than in the Apostles of Christ? they saye further thatAn ob­jection. our Ministers (which I somewhat haue touched before) bée lewde, and that they come into the Church for liuing, and not for loue or zeale vnto Religion. Let themThe an­swere. speake this particularlye of some and wée confesse it. If they say it vniuersally of all, we denie it. But is their owne profession so pure, their monasteries so perfite, that there are none peruerse therein? be not these their owne wordes? Some came to the holye Sand. order of Priesthoode, not for deuotion, but for welth. And some went into Mo­nasteries, rather for ease, than for intent [Page 52] to serue God. What further were they? negligent in their offyce, dissolute in Ibidem. their behauiour, ignorant in good lear­ning, ambitious, riche, and couetous. Howe, with what forheades, with what fa­ces can they blame vs, when these blames be in themselues? For our partes we will doe as Philip the father of Alexander was wont to doe. We thanke them for their re­prehension, we shall endeuor thereby to re­dresse that is amisse. Yet what so euer they alledge against vs, let them neuer speake of ignorancie. For none were so ignoraunt as they. What was a greater ignorancie, than to vse such Argumentes as these? God is Ex decret. my witnesse, whom I serue. &c. therfore the first See or seate is in the Romaine Church. This is no ignorancie. I speake it in earnest, I dare boldly auouch, that the veriest childe in Englande woulde not vse such reasoning. Againe. Putrified fleshe is Ex de­cret. &c. cut with iron: therfore, Peter was chiefe of all the Apostles. Here is no putrified argument. Also. Constantine sat in a litle Hard. lowe Chaire in the middest, at the first councell of Nice▪ therefore he was not the supreme head. And why? what is the [Page] reason? Thinke you that the supreme Ibidem. head of the Church, shoulde haue come in last, and haue sitten beneath his sub­iectes? Here is good stuffe, if it were pray­sed. Doth his comming in last barre him from a superioritie? Cōmeth not the Lorde chiefe Iustice into Westminster Hall af­ter a hundreth of his inferiors? Commeth not the Prince into the Parliament, after a number of his subiectes? he sate (say you) beneath his subiectes. With a regarde vnto your estimation I speak it, you say vntroth: he sate in the middest, which is the highest roome, and place of most dignitie. As for the lowe Chaire, it was for his ease, it was his woont. That did rather encrease and con­firme, than abase and diminish his authori­tie. Let them therfore neuer brag their lear­ning, neuer boast of their knowledge. Their skill is ignorancie, their vnderstanding is méere folly, they sée no further than another man, for any thing that they can doe, they maye be matched. Let them beware, least it be of them that Gnatho sayth: Est genus ho­minum In Eunuch. qui esse primos se omnium rerum volunt, nec sunt tamen, there is a kinde of men, which thinke themselues the very chief, [Page 53] and yet they be not so. There be, I know, who thinke their owne hoodes, to passe all the heads in Christendome, some are so pre­cise, that they will come at no Common prayer, some are so simple, that you shall scarcely at any time finde them without S. Iohns head in their pockets, some are such blinde Prophetes, that they goe about the towne, poasing and prating in their cor­ners, vpon the Apocalipse. I am sorie (when I thinke vpon all) to sée them in such foolish blindenesse. And yet these be the men, that thinke they haue no fellowes, these be they that carie the whole worlde (it is a world to thinke vpon them) in their heades, these are they which haue and chalenge the name of learning, but (alas) they are but meanlye learned, their knowledge is small, their iudgement is nothing. Neyther may I here omit to speake somewhat of Augustine which came into England, and whose life, learning and godlinesse they do so much ex­toll. Of him thus writeth Gregorie vnto Aldibertus then King of Englande, Reue­rendissimus Aldiberto regi An­glorum. frater noster Augustinus, in Mona­sterio regulariter doctus, sacrae scripturae scientia repletus. Our most reuerende brother Au­gustine [Page] the Bishop, being regularlye taught in the Monasterie, a man right skilfull in holy scriptues. If this may be credited, he was a man verie learned, if this can not be denied, he is to be credited. Wée will deale vprightlye, let vs consider his learning▪ Had he such knowledge in holye Scriptures? had he euer reade the first E­pist of S. Paule vnto Timothe? It appea­reth no. And yet he was regulariter doctus: then regulariter, was not rightly. And that it may be manifest, how he was ignoraunt in the scriptures, you must note that he was a Bishop, and yet knew he not what of right appertained vnto the office and dutie of a Bishop: he knewe not (O ignorancie!) how to vse his Cleargie. That this was so, you shall see it by his owne wordes vnto Gregorie. Quaero (pater beatissime) de Episco­pis, Aug. in­terrog. ad Gregor. qualiter cum suis Clericis conuersentur, I de­sire to learne (O most blessed father) how Bishops should vse themselues towardes their Clergie. What is a greater ignoran­cie, then for a Bishop to be ignorant in hys calling and profession? no Bishop was skilfull in holye scriptures, that was igno­rant of his dutie: but Augustine was ig­norant [Page 54] of his duetie: therefore he was not skilfull in holy Scriptures. What part of this argument could Gregorie nowe aun­swere? what part can anye Gregorian dis­proue? Againe he sayth: opto doceri, an Cleri­ci continere non valentes, possint contrahere, I de­sire to be taught whether that the Cler­gie which cannot liue chast, may marry. This might he haue learned in the Scrip­tures, if he had before read them. For better it is (sayth S. Paule) to marrie, than to1. Cor. 7. burne. But hereof I shal speake more anon, of Augustine I will this much saye, that either he had not read the Scriptures, or else he had not read and vnderstanded them: so that whether it be the one or the other, he was ignorant, such was their ignorancie. I could rehearse vp here a number of such like questions, that he hath, which, bicause they be ouer foolish, I will let passe. O what a heape could I here bring out of their Ca­non lawes! O what mountaines of absur­dities could I alledge out of their Legends, out of their owne inuentions and imagina­tions! But let them passe, I trust to haue more time hereafter. What doe they further condemne in vs? Marrie we contemne (sayAn ob­iection. [Page] they) fasting, prayers, penance and almes déedes, we haue no regarde (so rashly doe they iudge of vs) vnto any good workes. IfThe an­swere. this were true, it were pitie of our liues. If it be false, it is pitie of theirs. Let them re­member what Cicero sayth: if they haue taken any pleasure by speaking euill of o­thers,in Salust. they maye yet lose it by hearing their owne euils. As for vs, we be in this of An­tisthenes Laert. li. 6. minde. Let them rayle, slaunder, backbite and reproch, séeing we be not guil­tie, we wey not. First touching fasting, IFasting. will prooue that we obserue it better than euer they haue or doe. The name of fasting is not to be considered, the maner and order is diligentlye to be weyed. In Armenia which is a region in Asia, the people fast so streightly, that therein they passe the Pope and all his Prelacse. And yet is all their fas­ting not worth one farthing. The Turkes also, they fast, and that most straightly, one moneth in euery yeare, and a wéeke. But is it thinke you, true fasting? doth it to their soules warde anye thing preuayle? No. I dare boldly affirme it. The maner of fasting in times paste was peruerse, it was not right. For what auayleth mée to fast from [Page 55] flesh, if I eate excesse of fishe, or to fast from fish, if I abounde with daintie and delicate foode? If I only fast vpon ye Friday, hauing no regard therevnto on the Thursday, is it to be thought that I do well? if I fast in the Lent, & feast at all times else, what helpeth it? if I abstain from all kind of meates, if I weare on sackcloth, if I wallow in ashes, if I would be séene therein vnto the worlde, I am but an Hipocrite. When you fast (saythEsay. 58. the holy Prophet Esay) your lust remay­neth still. Ye fast to strife and debate. Ye fast not, that your voice might be heard aboue. Thinke ye that this fast pleaseth me? In the reast of this Chapiter, doth the lord set forth what kind of fasting we should vse. Togither with our fasting, we must re­lease the prisoner, breake the othe of wicked bargains, succour the oppressed, and relieue the poore. This fasting is so acceptable vn­to God, that then if thou callest, the Lord Ibidem. shall answere thee: if thou criest, he shall say: here I am. It were to be wished that we would fast, as Daniel did: and that wee would vnfeynedly saye: We haue sinned, Daniel. [...]. we haue offended, we haue bene disobe­dient and gone backe: yea, we haue de­parted [Page] from all thy precepts and iudge­ments. But the Armenians, the Turkes, the Pope, with all his adherents will none of this. The dayes wherein they fast, must be knowen vnto the worlde, from what they fast must be proclaimed, what holinesse they be of, must be euerie where published, their time of sadnesse must bée promulgated. What sayth our Sauiour herevnto? when Math. 6. ye fast (sayth he) be not sad, as the Hipo­crites are. They will disfigure their faces, brag of their abstinence, and boast of their fastinges. Of these it is that Christ sayth: Verily I saye vnto you, they haue their Ibidem. rewarde. But what kinde of fasting set we forth? we shewe how the flesh doth rebell against the spirite: we admonish therefore all men to consider their owne estates, and as some men be weake of nature, some sick, some strong, so we wish accordingly to kepe vnder and subdue the lewde appetites and sinfull desires of the flesh. We will them in their fasting, to shunne the rite and trade of Hipocrites. We exhort them to ioyne vnto their fasting, prayer, and almes déedes. And whereas the Popes adherent sayth: nihil reputatur ieiunasse, qui vnum diem non ieiunat; he Ex [...]ecret. [Page 56] is in deede accounted not to fast at all, which fasteth not one whole day. Wee say: nihil reputatur iciunasse, qui omnes vitae di­es non ieiunat, he is in deede accounted not to fast, which fasteth not all the dayes of his life. They require abstinence for one daye, we during the whole life. Of this fast S. Hierome thus speaketh: sint tibi ieiunia Hieron. pura & moderata. And what is that? quotidie esurire, & quotidie prandere, daily to hunger, and daily to dine. This is not on Thurs­day to feast, and vppon the Fridaye to fast. We saye that we ought not to eate, except hunger therevnto mooue vs, and that we ought to rise from our meat, yet being hun­grie. Neither doe we for ciuill policies, ad­iudge it not necessarie that we abstayne on certaine dayes, and from certaine thinges. But to take it for a Religion, is a mere er­ror, and a verie superstition. Nowe iudge (gentle Reader) whose fast is purer, whose fast is perfiter, ours or theirs. For prayers,Prayers. I can see nothing wherin I may commend them. They prayed they knewe not vnto whom, and in their prayers was conteyned they could not tell what. Alas, if I pray in a1. Cor. 14. tongue that I vnderstande not, though my [Page] spirite prayeth, is not yet my mind without fruite? How falleth it then out, that they will maintaine a prayer for the vnlearned in Latine, for a people that vnderstandes it not? doe they not by this one thing, bewray their trumperie and deceit? deuises they had to keepe men in blindenesse, meanes they had to holde men in darknesse. They mum­bled vp a number of wordes, which by their pronunciation, had neyther sense nor signi­fication. They deuided abrode their prayers, some to a stocke, some to a stone, some vnto this, some vnto that, ye least some was left vnto God. If with their lippes they prayed Morning & Euening, though ye prayer was altogither vnperfite, yet they thought it inough. What shall I speake of the Sara­sens? they pray fiue times in euery day, and yet is their prayer wicked and peruerse. So that we sée, it is not inough to pray, but we muste specially consider vnto whome, and how we should pray. What auayleth (saithAugustin. S. Augustine) the noyse of thy lippes, if thy heart be dumbe. If thou vnderstan­dest not thy prayer, if thou prayest not a­right, what auayleth it? to praye vnto the Sainctes (the remembrance of whom I es­teme) [Page 57] what helpeth it. They heare not, they vnderstande not our prayers, to what pur­pose then should we praye vnto them? The Ex con­stitut. Saincts (sayth the Popes friends) doe not vnderstand our prayers, except god shew it them. O great absurditie / God must go gather togither our prayers, made vnto o­tuers, he must carie and shewe them vnto the saincts, so to be intreated at their hands. O vaine, O mischieuous, O monstruous teaching / neuer say that you pray vnto the Sainctes, that they should offer your pray­ers vnto God, they must first come vnto him by your owne confession. I neede not to say that they prayed to be séene, for ye whole world did sée them. It were follie to shewe further of their foule errors and abuses in prayer. Therefore I will shewe how we shoulde praye, and then we may examine therwith our prayers. That they should be in a tongue which we vnderstand, by sainct Paule I haue before proued. Well. When you pray (saith Christ) you shall not bee Math. 6. as the Hipocrites are. For they loue to stande and praye in the Synagoges, and in the corners of the stretes. And why? bicause they would be seene of men. Ve­rilye [Page] I say vnto you they haue their re­ward. How should we then praye? Marrie, when thou prayest, enter into thy cham­ber and shut thy doore to the, and praye to thy father which is in secrete, and thy father which is in secrete, shall rewarde thee openly. Lo here is shewed vnto whō we should pray, it is not vnto the Apostles, Prophets or Martyrs, it is vnto our father, it is he that will rewarde vs. If we followe therefore the wordes of Christ, if we direct vnto him our prayers, who can reprehende vs? if others pray vnto anye other, why may not we blame them? when you pray (sayth our Sauiour) bable not much, as Ibidem. the Heathen doe, for they thinke that they shall be heard for their much bab­ling. Be ye not like vnto them. How like vnto them were those, who prayed they knew not what, though they prayed neuer so long? Howe vnlike vnto them be we (I speake it to defende the truth) which praye in a speach which we knowe, and that vnto Christ▪ Alas for pittie, an infinite number were in times past, who had a greater re­garde vnto their Beades than vnto their Breastes, vnto the number of prayers, than [Page 58] vnto any ende or purpose, vnto the knéeling and knocking, than vnto the knowledging of their sinnes, and vnto the vse & custome, than vnto true confession & praier. I wil not trouble thée herein (indifferent Reader) any longer, God hath endued thée with reason, vse his gift, iudge vprightly. ConcerningPenance. penance or repentance, which they apply ra­ther to the bodie, than to the mynde, howe ignorantlye they therein deale, it is mani­fest. Their barefoote abuses were great, their gadding vnto pilgrimages was horrible, their hearing and bewraying of secretes, their presumption in pardoning of offences, was intollerable. So farre were they from true repentance, that they had pointed it in wordes onelye, outwarde meanes, and in dayes. For did not a thousand thinke, if they had gadded to this or that Pilgrimage, that then they were perfite? if they fasted certain dayes, thought they not their sinnes to bée forgiuen? if they had confessed their faults vnto the Priest, thought they not thēselues wholy discharged? yea, and which is most abhominable, bought they not repentaunce with money? was it not solde them? had they it not for twentie pence, for ten pence, [Page] for twoo pence? some receiued twentie dayes pardon, some thirtie, some fortie. O filthye merchandise! Well. What was further taught by ignoraunt and vnlearned men, touching penance, I neede not to say. Onely this I dare auouch, that therein the Pope himselfe was deceyued, and that he decey­ued others, or deceitfully abused them. The confession (sayth Leo) which is first of­fered Leo. vnto god, and then vnto the Priest, is sufficient vnto a repenter. What? the only confession, the bare wordes, and no compunction? O how childish, how foolish, howe false is this doctrine! is it inough with our lips to confesse our sinnes? is it sufficient to tell them vnto the Priest? is not repentance, to be sorie for our sinnes Ambros. in serm. quae­drages. past, and afterwards to commit none to be sorie for? Here is no telling vnto the Priest, no secret whispering, no auricular confession. Poenitentia vera, est dolor, & ama­ritudo animae, pro malis, quae quis (que) commisit, vel Ibidem. consensit. True repentaunce is the griefe of the hart, and bitternesse of the soule, for such euilles, as one hath eyther commit­ted or consented vnto. This is (sayth Ambrose) the true repentance, we sée what [Page 59] it is truly to repent, and that we maye the better sée it, we shall herein consider what S. Augustine sayth. He speaketh of thréeAug. ad Felicianū. kindes of repentaunce, the one in them, which before being heathens, haue a mynde to be baptised. The second is after baptisme, the whole life of one led in prayers, charity, humilitie and such like vertuous & laudable déedes: the thirde is, the repenting for those sinnes, which through mās frailty we haue howsoeuer committed, as the breaking of a­ny of al the commaundements. We sée here our whole life set forth, and how we should at all times repent. But let vs come vnto the holy Scriptures, vnto whome confessed the Prophete Dauid his sinnes? I will Psalm. 32. knowledge (sayth he) mine offence, and accuse my selfe vnto the Lord. If we béePsalm. 34. contrite in hart, then is the Lord nye vnto vs, if we be humble in spirite, he will helpe vs. Repent (sayeth our Sauiour) for the Math. 3. 4. kingdome of God is at hande. And can we not repent, except we shewe it vnto the Priest? was not auricular confession con­demned, was it not abolished, and that for good causes, more than twelue hundred yeres past? did not Nectarius the Bishop, [Page] reprehend & put it down? what? Unto whō I pray you shewed Daniel his grief? I tur­ned Daniel. 9. me (sayth he) vnto God the Lorde, I prayed before the Lord my God. What shoulde any moue vs therefore with media­tors, can we haue any more than one? doe the Scriptures allow any more? There is (sayth S. Paule) one God, and one medi­tour 1▪ Tim. 2. betwene God and man, which is the man Christ Iesus, who gaue himselfe a raunsome for all men. S. Paule sayth, there is but one mediatour: the Pope sayth, there are more: whome we shoulde credit, I referre that (Christian reader) vn­to thine owne conscience. All herevnto that they can obiect, is this: there are of the Doc­tors (saye they) that defende auricular con­fession. What is this else, I pray you, than to say, there are men, there are of their own companie that defende it? with a good mea­ning I speake it, I woulde to God that wée weyed the writings of men as they be, and that wée woulde preferre none before the Prophetes and Apostles of Christ. I would to God that men would consider what men were, and what they haue written. Else re­ligion shall be hindered, great absurdities [Page 60] shall growe. S. Hierome I knowe was a good man, yet if they will stand in all things vnto his iudgement, then will I manifestly proue, that ye Pope that now is, is not of theHieron. church of Christ. No man (sayth Hierome) that is spotted with any vncleannesse, is of the Church of Christ. But the Pope is spotted with some vnclennesse: therefore he is not of the Church of Christ. Here is a heauie thing, they must eyther denie Hie­rome, or deface the Pope. You sée what it is, to stande so much vppon the Doctors. What néedeth manye wordes? the repen­tance that is allowed by Scripture, the pe­nance that is approued by the Apostles, the same that is set forth by the Propetes, and by Christ, the same allow we, the same we embrace and followe. This if they (as they doe) will reprehende, then carpe they not vs, but the Scriptures of God: Go we thenAlmes. further to sée their almes. Wherein what they gaue, is to be considered, and also howe they gaue it, is to be noted. Neyther may we omit, howe they came by the money which they gaue. They came by their riches not rightly, they got it by the meanes of Purga­torie. If then the foundation bée naught, [Page] nullius boni operis est supereaeficium, no good Gregor. Antiochen. episcopo. worke can be builded thereon. Yea, it is not to bee accounted (sayth Gregorie) almes deedes, if we giue vnto the poore, Idem Sya­grio epis. of that which is vnlawfully gotten. You sée it then playne, that if they defende not Purgatorye, their almes was no almes, their deedes did nothing auayle them. Why will some say, haue they not builded houses of religion, Colleges and Hospitalles? and what of that? I will not aunswere with mine owne wordes, but with the authoritie of Gregorie. Gregorie disprouing the al­mes giuen of goods vnlawfully gotten, saith thus: vnde etiam certum est, quia & si monaste­ria Ibidem. vel xenodochia, vel aliquid aliud, ex pecunia quae pro sacris ordinibus datur, construatur, non proficit mercedi, whence it may euidentlye appeare, that though Monasteries, hos­pitalles, or any such like thing be buil­ded with mony giuen for holye orders: such yet doth nothing auayle. But per­aduenture Augustin. one will thinke and say: there are many Christians which are rich nig­gardes, and couetous: I shall not sinne, if I take from them, and giue vnto the poore, such thought (sayeth Augustine) [Page 61] commeth through the suggestion of the deuill. For be it that he woulde giue all vnto the poore which he had taken, yet doth he rather encrease his sinne, than diminish it. If then the Priestes tooke mo­nye for Dirges, Trentals, Prayers, Par­dons and Masses, which euen by their owne law is vnlawfull, and by Gods law is wic­ked, how maye they saye, that they gaue al­mes, or had (if we iudge indifferently) anye deuotion? but if they list, we will leaue the Doctors, and they shall haue their fained al­mes condemned by Scriptures. Unto Abel Gen. 4. they know God looked, his offering he recey­ued: But vnto Cain and his offering, he had no regarde. He looketh not vpon the al­mes, sacrifices, and burnt offeringes of the wicked, the Lorde abhorreth them. He that Eccle 34. giueth an offering of vnrighteous good, his offering is refused. But who doubteth whether the goodes of the Priest were vn­righteous, séeing they got them by polling the poore, by abusing Gods worde, by drea­mes, by subtile deuises, by selling absoluti­ons, by deceitfull whisperinges, by hypocri­sie, by heresie? then what followeth, they themselues may sée. What should I alledge [Page] more examples? the Lord abhorreth the sa­crifice Prouerb. 15. of the vngodly, but the prayer of the righteous is acceptable vnto him. Reade the whole Scriptures, and you shall not finde one sentence to defende such as thinke they giue almes of goods vnlawfully gotten. Let this suffice of their counterfaite almes. We for our partes doe set forth and teache, that we ought to sell of our owneLuc. 12. goodes, and giue vnto the poore, that wée ought of our owne substance to impart vn­to the needie. Howe oft doe our Preachers speake hereof vnto the people? how oft doe they ring these words of S. Paule into their cares? while wee haue time, let vs doe AdGal. 6. good vnto all men, and speciallye vnto them which are of the houshold of faith. We further exhort men, that they forgiue those who haue offended them. For that is a spirituall kinde of almes. Wee perswade all to get their liuings truly, we admonishe the poore, that he labour to his power, wée counsell the rich, that he aide and succor the néedie, we teach all, that they giue their al­mes not to be séene of men, but in secrete. Such is our doctrine: howe can they dis­praise it? let good Christians iudge, who [Page 62] followeth therein the Scriptures, we or they: Who set forth true prayers, who com­mende due fasting, who allowe perfite re­pentance, who best thinketh of almes déedes, we or they. This considered, let the worlde iudge. They saye also that we denie one ofAn ob­iection. the articles of our Crede, vpon which slaun­der they builde sharpe and rigorous wordes against vs, and all to bring Gods worde in contempt, and to procure vnto the professors thereof the hatred of the people. Let as ma­nyThe an­swere. as can read, pervse but with indifferen­cie the bookes which wée haue set abroade, and if they find not in the Crede, the twelue articles fullie and truly translated, then let them blame vs and condemne our doings. Likewise, if they there finde them, then let them discredite our aduersaries, reprooue their malice, and reprehend their falshoode. What if we proue that it is they, who haue abused the Crede, and that it is the verye Pope which hath denied that Article? AskePeckham Cantuar. of them, who in our faith, of twelue articles, haue made fourtene? Who sayth that there be seuen articles which concerne the myste­rie of the Trinitie, and seuen which belong vnto Christ his humanitie? who take vpon [Page] them to correct the Apostles, they or wée? who sayth that the Bishops be not boundeLindewode. to aunswere vnto the articles of their faith, without deliberation? is not this a moste heynous ignorancie? this is so grosse, that it can neuer excuse them (to vse their owne wordes) à tanto, nec à toto. Pervse the Crede made by Gregorie, of that name, the first Pope of Rome, and you shall finde that it is he, who hath left out one of the articles of our Crede, the discension into hell. Why then blame they vs without cause? why ac­cuse they not him that is guiltie? you sée their equitie, their iustice, their indifferen­cie. We doe further (saye they) contemneAn ob­iection. good workes, maintaine bare words, defend naked faith, and so teach a doctrine that is licencious, lewde and naught. What theyThe an­swere. should say, we knowe, but what they dare say, all the world maye sée. Were they not ouer foolish, they woulde herein holde their peace. For I pray you, what faith is it, that we teach? preach wée not the verie same which S. Paule doth in this wise define? Faith (sayth he) is a sure confidence of Heb. 11. thinges, which are hoped for, and a cer­taintie of thinges which are not seene. [Page 63] How say they then, is this to be blamed? as for our workes, what be they, but witnes­ses that we are righteous? was it not so inIbidem. Abel? And touching iustification, the estate of the question betwéene the Pope and vs,Iustifica­tion. is this: he sayth, that man is made iust, not onely by faith, but also through the ob­seruation of the lawe. We say that we are iustified by fayth alone, by no merites of ours, by no workes. We say that a iust man maketh the workes good, and not that the good workes doe make a man iust. And as by faith alone without workes we be iusti­fied, so by grace alone without our desertes we be saued. And what sayth S. Paule here­vntoRom. 3. we suppose (sayth he) that a man is iustified by fayth without the deedes of the law. Lo, what can be plainer than this? Let them which haue eyes see, the wordes be euident, let such as haue heartes vnder­stande. If you (vnto the Pope, not I, but Paule sayth) be iustified by deedes, then Rom. 4. haue you wherein to reioyce, but not with God. Goeth not this text verie plain­lye to worke? but haue I no power (will one saye) to doe any good déede? of thy selfe not at all, neyther one. Wilt thou knowe [Page] what is in thy power? it is in thy power, not to doe some deede that is euill, and yet is it not in thée to doe that which is good. How so (will one say) doe not I that which is good, if I doe not the thing which is euill? No. And therefore marke it. For were it so, then did the Heathens, and Ethnickes good déedes, which thing, who is he that will graunt? shall we saye, that the heathens were iust men? or that they were vertuous? God forbid. And why? bicause they wanted this faith which maketh the worke good,Augustin. which iustifieth a man. For the whole lyfe of the vnfaythfull (sayeth Augustine) is sinne. And therefore though we may saye that one hauing faith, hath, doth, or if hée haue time, would doe good workes, yet can not we say, that all which seeme in our eyes to doe well, haue faith. For manye Hipo­crites there be, a mans faith we know not, his hart is secret, his déedes we see. No man Ad Iren. (sayth Ambrose) shall be iustified by his workes Some man (sayth the Pope) shall be iustified by his workes. The first pro­position is true: therfore this last, being the contradictorie is false. Here they will obiect against vs the wordes of S. Iames. But I [Page 64] would to God that they vnderstoode them. S. Iames moued with many, who bragged in their fruitelesse fayth, is enforced in the prayse of workes, to say thus: as the bodie Iam. 2 without life is deade, so is faith without works. What is this else to say, than if one haue true faith, it is impossible but he (ha­uing time) should haue good works? What doth he else here, but exhort them to shewe their fayth by their workes, to shewe that they haue true fayth? I will be briefe, and so bring them herin to knowledge the truth. Whatsoeuer purifieth the heart, by that aAct. 15. man is iustified: but fayth purifieth ye hart: therefore by fayth a man is iustified. Howe commeth a man to be iustified? Marrie, as S. Augustine sayth) non per suas vires, ne (que)per De spirit▪ & litera. literam ipsius legis, quod fieri non potest, sed per fi­dem, not through his owne strength, not through the letter of the law, which can not be but by faith. What further testimonies thē nede we? why should any arrogāt­ly arrogate vnto himself any supererogatiō? We knowe (sayth S. Paule) that a man is Gala. 2. not iustified by the dedes of the law, but by the faith of Iesus Christ. And therfore we haue beleued on Iesus Christ, that wée [Page] might be iustified by the saith of Christ, and not by the dedes of the law, for by the dedes of the lawe, no fleshe can be iustified. These authorities bee so full agaynst the aduersa­ries, the places bée so playne, that will they, nill they, they must yéelde, and therefore in these wordes they subscribe: These witnes­ses Alfons. Virues. Hispanus. doe not onely moue, but also so farre further, that we must confesse, that wee haue the remission of our sinnes, and ius­tification through faith by Christ. Yea, and that before faith, there was in vs no good workes, whereby we should deserue that faith, which is the free gift of God. Now we here sée that in this they confesse ye truth, and that they knowledge the Scrip­tures, if thē they afterwards deny it, be that to their own daunger, not to our deluding, be it to their owne perill, not to our poyso­ning: if they to shewe their follye, or to vtter their arrogancie doe passe this scope, séeking by wresting the scriptures, by shifts, and subtilties to shadowe the truth, let that redounde to their false dealing, not to di­minishe out faith, to their iugling not to our vndoing. Let this be vnto thée (Christen Reader) a watch worde, wander not wyth [Page 65] them into the wyldernesse, ▪staye with the Scriptures at the standarde of truth, let Paule perswade thée, let not the Pope allure thee, let an Apostle of Christ▪ instruct thee, let not an Apostata deceiue thée. This much of iustification. The next thing and the last which we nowe will defende, is mariage,Mariage. wherein (sayth S. Augustine) if puritie De bono vid. bee kept, damnation is not to be fea­red. Deus masculum & foeminam, propagandi ge­neris causa, nuptiali castitate coniunxit, GOD Idem contra aduers. le­gum & prophet. (sayeth he) coupled man and woman to­gither, for the increase of mankynde, in chast wedlock. But what (will one saye) néede you to write in ye defence of mariage? is there anye man that maye, or meanes to impugne it? yes. Else had not the holye ghost spoken in Paule, that in the latter1. Tim. 4. times some shoulde giue héede vnto the spi­rite of errour, and deuilish doctrine of them, which speake false through hypocrisie, and haue their consciences marked with an hote yron, forbidding to marrie. We wil ther­fore bring forth ye testimonies of holy scrip­ture, and that from the first institution of mariage, against this deuilishe doctrine, a­gainst these spirites of error, against such as [Page] forbid to marrie. After that Heauen and Earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, were made, after the creation likewise of man, the Lord God cast a slumber on Adam and of one of his ribbes he made a woman, and then he sayde: For this cause shall a man leaue his father and mother, and Gen. 2. cleaue vnto his wyfe, and they shall bee one flesh. Such was the first estate of ma­riage, it was instituted in Paradyse. Here is no exception of anye man, no excluding of any woman, no cause is here shewed, no prohibition is made, but that all men maye marrie. This holye institution was so al­lowed of all, and euery where with such sin­ceritie receiued, that if a man should be foūd lying with a woman that had a weddedDeut. 52. husbande, then they both shoulde be put to death. The Prophet Malachie doth bitter­ly reproue him that putteth awaye or despi­sethMalach. 6. his wife. Neither in Moyses nor yet in Malachie can we finde anye one worde to prohibite matrimonie. Reade from the first of the Genesis vnto the last of the Apoca­lipse, reade the first, reade the last, you shall finde in no place mariage prohibited, or any kinde of person, of what calling so euer, ex­cluded. [Page 66] O how godly is the state of mariage set forth, and howe to marrie, in Tobias! Tob. 6. O that aswel the maried, as the vnmaried, woulde reade and well weigh it! Consider chaste Sara, who though she kept not com­panyeIbidem. with those that passe their time in sport, yet an husband consented she to take, not for hir pleasure, but in Gods feare. TheHebr. 13. Chamber vndefiled is commendable, the es­tate of mariage is honorable. But amongst whom? amongst a sort, a certaine, a fewe? No. Inter omnes, amongst all. This is spo­kenIbidem. vniuersallye, not particularlye. If a­mongst all, then why forbiddeth the Pope to marie? why defendeth he that deuilishe doctrine? why maintaineth he in any, ra­ther fornication, than lawfull coniunction? with what face can he set forth, that it is lawfull for one to haue, (loco vxoris (si con­iux Isidor: de dist: nou: & vet: te­stamen. d [...]est) concubinam) in the steade of a wife (and if he haue no wife) a harlote? If the Reader be indifferent, then will hee deale indifferently. For my part, I promise before hand, I will not be partiall. I like the vnmaried, I mislike not the maried, I com­mend both, if they follow their calling. But yet be he Priest or anye other person, the1. Cor. 7. [Page] flesh is frayle, if he cannot abstaine, let him marrie. For it is better to marrie, than to burne, it is better to haue an honest wife, than a wicked harlot, it is better to liue in holinesse than in whoredome. If one marrie onelye to aduoyde fornication, non tamen ideo Hieron. nuptiae malae iudicantur, yet is not mariage therefore counted euill. Well, when be­gan this deuilish doctrine, through which men are prohibited to marrie? had it anye place within ye compasse of holy scriptures? No. And that the Pope knoweth well y­nough. The question was moued in theTripart. hist. Councell of Nice, there they laboured that Priestes mariages shoulde not be lawfull. But at that time stoode vp Panutius the confessor, he there expressed the Scriptures, he perswaded the whole Councell, he cau­sed them to reuoke their opinion, so was it left in euery mans will, mariage was still lawfull. What? was not this a decrée ofConcil. Gangren. their owne? If anye doe this thinke of a maried Priest: that he ought not by the meanes of his mariage to minister the Communion, and so doth therfore mis­like his ministring: let him be accurst. Here is the proposition at large framed, if [Page 67] we procéede, I thinke we shall proue aswel the Pope, as those which ouer popishly doe take his part, to be accurst. The argument is made, if we saye: that the Pope and his adherentes doe so thinke, and for that cause mislike his ministering: therefore they bée accurst. Such is the conclusion. In this ar­gument, if they denie any thing, it must bée their owne Proposition, which was made at a generall Councell, by the aduise of so manye fathers. Gregorie the Pope and theAnno do­mini. 1073. seauenth of that name, who vsurped vnto himselfe (as some doe write) the authoritie, kept a great sturre, and laboured earnestly to forbid the mariage of Priestes. But the whole Clergie resisted him, in so much that the Popes deputie in that behalfe, the Bis­shop of Mentz, had great a doe, much trou­ble, and no small perill in dealing therein. So odious vnto all was the prohibition of matrimony, so vsurped, yea, so wicked then, séemed that deuilish doctrine. But what? whose sonnes were O sius, Bonifacius, A­gapitus, Damas. Hieron. Theodorus, Siluerius, Deusde­dit, Felix, Gelasius, with a number more, who were Popes of Rome? were they not all Priests children? how then can they ex­cuse, [Page] but that either their fathers were ma­ried, or else that they were filthie fornica­tors, and verie lesude liuers? Concerning the Apostles, specially such as were maried, is it to be thought, thinke you, that they ne­uer came where their wiues were? the Popes friends say, they came not. And how prooue they it? forsooth, bicause there is no mention thereof made in the Scriptures. A proper proofe. Bicause we reade onelye byMath. 8. name, of Peters mother in law, which laye sicke in his house, therefore shall we thinke that she lay succourlesse? that her daughter was gone? that there was none in the house but she? Came not Peters wife, came not his daughter Petronella with him into Rome? hereof I report me vnto their owne histories. S. Paule, when he wrote vnto the Corinthians, was unmaried, but what if afterwards he had a wife? and that I come not with bare iffes, I will alledge mine au­thoritie: it is Leo the Pope of Rome him­selfe,Leo. 9. con­tra episto­lam Nicet. Abbatis. that so sayth. They must eyther blame his holinesse, or else knowledge Paule to haue bene a maried man. This is a harde choyse. What shall I speake of the deuilish diuorcementes, and most vngodly separati­ons, [Page 68] vsed in these later dayes, euen in lesse than sixtene yeares past? why were at that time the maried Priestes separated from their wiues? bicause (sayth the Pope) their mariage was no mariage, bicause they were adulterers. What? bicause of their former vowes? O Augustine, were thou now liuing, thou wouldest laye this heresie vowne. But though he be dead, doe not his writings yet liue? wrote he not against this before he died? yes. And these are hisDe bono coniug. ad Iul. wordes. Quidam nubentes post votum asserunt adulteros esse, ego autem dico vobis, quod grauiter peccant, qui tales diuidunt: There are some which say that those which marrie after their vow, be adulterers, But I tell you that they offende grieuouslye which se­parate such. Nowe if they be adulterers, how doe they offende that separate them? But if they do amisse which separate them, then be they no adulterers. Whosoeuer (sayeth Augustine) will separate such, hée doth grieuously offende: but Calixtus the Pope doth separate such: therefore he doth grieuously offende. I dare boldlye saye that they haue nothing herevnto to aunswere, I am playne, the argument is good, it cannot [Page] be denyed. Montanus est qui docuit nupti­as Nauclerus. solui, it is Montanus the heretike, who first taught that mariage shoulde be dissol­ued, they are Montani, they are of his sect, they are heretikes that doe it. What other authorities néede we? the thing is playne, what would we more? in the ende let thys one authoritie suffice. Si quis docuerit sacerdo­tem Canon A­postolorum. sub obtent u religionis propriam contemnere vx­orem, anathema sit: if any shall teach, that a Priest vnder the pretence of Religion, may in any wise contemne his own wife, let him be accurst. What? is not this a decrée of their owne sinode? Non in perpetu­um, sed tempore oblationis, à complexu suarum vx­orum sacerdotes abstineant. Their Latine is so embracing, as let them english it that like it. We will (sayth that sinode) that hence­forth Syn. 6. the mariage of spirituall men shall be in force and good. Thus haue I passed ouer, first the miserable estate of such as bée in blindenesse, then haue I disproued the v­surped primacie of Rome, I haue battered downe the rotten walles of Purgatorie, I haue defended the right vse of the Lordes supper, I haue proued that there are no faultes in our translation, I haue shewed [Page 69] that the seruice and prayer ought to bee in the Englishe tongue, I haue declared the true vse of fasting, prayers, repentance, and almes deedes: I haue set forth the right doc­trine of iustification, I haue defended the honorable estate of matrimonie, I haue also (as occasion serued) without partialitie an­swered all the obiections of the aduersaries. All which things as they are briefly done, so wish I the reader to consider of them in­differently. I wish that odious termes may cease, I desire that charitie in vs all maye increase, It is not inough to terme men he­retikes. Remember what Gregorie sayth: Theotist. patrit. there are many euen of the faythfull, which are puffed vp with an ignoraunt zeale: and manye times while they hate others as heretikes: they are the cause of heresies themselues. Awaye with your ex­communications, renounce your cursings, leaue off your threatnings, your weapon is naught, your authoritie is nothing. Haue in memory what S. Hierome saith: If any be Hieron. in Leuit. put out and sent forth not through the right iudgement of such as rule in the Church, if he before went not out, that is, if he did nothing whereby he deserued [Page] to go foorth, it is not hurtfull vnto him at all, though hee seeme to be throwen out by the vnright iudgement of men, and so it happeneth oftentimes, that he which is cast foorth, is within: and he that seemeth to be within, is without. Weigh this well, and you shall esteeme the bannings of Rome, as they be, you shall if you haue eyes, sée, that you were abused, and holden vnder the heauie yoke of a most bitter bondage. Shake off therfore selfe wil, cast away selfe loue, away with estimation, care not for a vaine credite, consider your estate, helpe to redresse that is amisse, wee séeke but the putting awaye of shadowes, vanities, errors, blindenesse, superstition, arrogancie, and abuses. That this may bée done, ioyne handes, helpe forwarde the buil­ding of Gods house, deserue well of your countrie: whervnto God exhorteth you, our Princes your moste gracious Quéene pray­eth you, your friendes doe desire you, your countriemen doe beséeche you, your natiue soyle, your countrye it selfe, this florishing realme of Englande, doe togither, and most earnestly entreate you.


¶ A briefe vewe of the er­ring estate of the Bishops of Rome.

IF the gates of Hell itMath. 16. selfe, if all the power and force of Satan shall not preuayle, as in déede they can not, against the Church of Christ: howe then, and with what face, may ye bishop of Rome, in whose person sinne hath triumphed, and in whose religion hell hath reioyced, how may he chalenge himselfe to be the head, supreme and chiefe of that Church, whome the holye ghost ruleth and ordereth, whom he directeth vntill the consummation of the worlde, in the waye of all perfection and truth? if the Bishop of Rome be the head, in what estate (O Lord) are the limmes, what a monstru­ous bodie would that be? And not to speak of the first heretike Nouatus, qui à quibus­dam 1 Nauclerus. sibi adherentibus sactus est Papa, who by certain of his adherents was made Pope: did not Marcellinus being bishop of Rome [Page] offer sacrifice vnto the Idols? did not 2 Sil­uester (which is a great fault, for a hyre­ling flieth, when he seeth the Woolfe Ioan. 10. come, and forsaketh his shepe) Did he not for feare of Maxentius, flie vnto the hil So­racte, which is .xx. myles from Rome? did he not with a few of his Clergie, neither he, nor yet they, regarding their poore shéepe, there in a maner hide themselues? was not 3 Liberius banished, 4 and Foelix chosen Bishop? was not Foelix displaced, and Li­berius againe receyued? subscribed he not vnto the heresie of Arrius? betwéene 5 Da­masus which was accused of adulterie, and 6 Vrsicinus, much slaughter there was, whiles both of them laboured with force and armes, to enter into the Bishopricke. Did not 7 Victor offende in cutting (as they say) from the vnitie of the Churche, so great, and so manye Churches? doth not Ireneus reprehende him therfore? the strife was great betweene 8 Bonifacius and 9 Eulalius, they at one time both being cho­sen bishops of Rome. To let passe 10 Six­tus which was accused by Passus, did not 11 Anastasius fauor the heretike Achatius? died he not in his error, and miserably? did [Page 71] not the Clergie withdraw themselues from him? 12 Simmachus and 13 Laurenti­us were both chosen to be Bishops, great contention was amongst them. The lyke sturre was betwéene 14 Bonifacius and 15 Dioscorus. Yea, did not Bonifacius contrarie vnto all order choose 16 Vigilius to be his successor? was not 17 Siluerius chosen by simonie? was not 18 Pelagius elected contrarye vnto all former custome? what broyle was there in the choosing of 19 Sergius? what wickednes was wrought betwéene 20 Sisinius and 21 Dioscorus? 22 Constantinus came to be bishop through ambition. 23 Sabinianus was a very lewd man. As for Pope 24 Ioane, an honest woman she was. What was 25 Stepha­nus? an example of much mischiefe. What crueltie vsed he towards the deade bodie of 26 Formosus? what a wolf was 27 Chri­stophorus? what crueltie was in 28 Ser­gius? it is horrible to heare what wicked­nesse was committed in a maner by twentie & eyght Byshops of Rome. Did not eyght Bishops raigne within the space of twelue yeares, who had togither forsaken the steps of S. Peter? What was 29 Iohn? a ve­rie [Page] monster: he was slaine (they say) in his filthie adulterie. What adoe was betwéene 30 Leo, and 31 Benedictus? Was not 32 Bonifacius a murtherer? Was not 33 Iohn the .xv. a lowd man? as for 34 Iohn the .xvij. his wickeducsse is horrible. What was 35 Siluester the second? a Coniurer. In 36 Benedictus (if his friendes write truly) there was great fault. What? were not 37 Benedictus the .ix. 38 Siluester the .iij. and 39 Gregorie the .vi. at one time Bishops of Rome? led they not yll lyues? the one played the Bishop at S. Peters, the second at S. Maries, the third at S. Iohns. 40 Damasus (if they write the thing as it was) intruded himselfe into the Bishoprick with méere force. I will not speake of the warrier 41 Leo, as he was a lewde Ca­pitaine, so had he euill lucke. Betwéene 42 Benedictus, and 43 Nicholas, what sturr [...], what a doe was kept? the like was betwéene 44 Alexander, and 45 Ca­dolus. Touching 46 Gregorie, he was excommunicated by the Bishops of Italie? and why? for simonie, manslaughter, and adulterie. How great was the dissension be­tweene 47 Guibertus, and 48 Paschal? [Page 72] 49 Gelasius offended. 50 Honorius be­came Bishop through ambition. 51 In­nosentius, and 52 Anacletus contended for the dignitie. 53 Eugenius forsooke his flocke. So did 54 Pascall. 55 Adrianus was to blame. Lorde, what debate was be­twéene prowde 56 Alexander, & 57 Vic­tor? what should I shewe howe one Pope cursed another? 58 Innocentius dydde lewdly. 59 Calistus was a verie theefe. I will omit dreaming 60 Iohn, who promi­sing vnto himselfe a long life, was sodenlye slain with the fall of a chamber. What was 61 Nicholas, and 62 Bonifacius? the one was vnthankful and cruell. They both pre­ferred rather their friends, than such as fea­red God. 63 Clemens was chosen by si­monie. What dissension was betwéene him and 64 Vrbanus? 65 Bonifaci­us was yong and vnlearned. With him did 66 Alexander contende. What? were not 67 Innocentius, 68 Bene­dictus, and 69 Gregorie, all three at one time, clayming and chalencing the digni­tie? Was not 70 Iohn a verie foole? did not 71 Martinus, and 72 Clemens contend at one time? Did not 73 Euge­nius [Page] forsake his flocke? was not 74 Foe­lix a wicked and an ambicious man? was not 75 Paulus lewde? was not 76 Xys­tus vnprofitable? I recken not vp one name twise, if I haue declared that many of one name were lewde, they were so, they were sundrie men, and sundrie Bishops. Well, is here all that were wicked bishops of Rome? No. For a great number besides there were, but touching these, they are tried in a maner without study by their owne au­thorities to be such. And shall these be the head of Christ his Church? O Christ, I commit the iudgement thereof to such as doe knowledge thée, to such as in déede be Christians, to such as vse some indifferency.

Vae misero mihi, mea nunc facinora
Aperiuntur, clam quae speraui fore.
My hidden faults be vttered now, a wretch, alas, I am:
By Pride and fonde desire to raigne, to passing shame I cam.
Psalm. 1.
Beatus est vir, qui non abijt in concilio impiorum:

Happie is the man that followeth not the way of the wicked.

To the Reader.

YOV haue seene here what a number of lewde men, were Bishops of Rome. And yet some peraduen­ture will saye, that their liues and wickednesse can stand in no force, to barre them of their dignitie, of their vsurped title of prima­cie. No can? Can any bee a member of Christ his Church, who is so voyde of the holye Ghost, that hee hath in him dwelling the right riches of Satan, simo­nie, I meane, ambition, pride, murther, and crueltie? if such then maye not bee called a member, howe shall wee tearme him, how shall he claime to be the chief, the head, the supreme? Iudge indiffe­rentlye, for so you shall profite your selues, and easily be eased from the clog of bondage, wherewith▪agaynst all rea­son, good authoritie, and Scripture, you haue bene tyed. Farewell, and iudge of me as these my writings deserue.

Examini, & iudicio verae ecclesiae, quae fidelium, sanctorum, & electorum societas est, & com­munio, constans fide, spe, dilectione, ac spiritu Christi, hoc ego opusculum humiliter ac demissè subijcio:

I doe with humilitie, and lowlinesse sub­mit this small worke, to the iudgement and examination of the true Church, which is the society, and communion of the faithfull, holy, and elected, the same being knowen, and agreeing in fayth, hope, charitie, and the spirite of Christ.

Good men vse fewe wordes: neyther
Stobaeus serm. 34.
needeth the truth much babling.

A Copie of a Letter, sent by the Emperor vnto the Pope

¶ Fredericke by the grace of God, theNauclerus. Romaine Emperour, alwayes impe­riall,
vnto Adrian bishop of the ca­tholike Church, sendeth greeting, willing him to stand vnto all those things, which Christ began to doe, and to teache.

THe law of Iustice, doth restore vnto e­uery mā, that vvhich is his ovvne, neyther doe vvee anye iniurie vnto our parentes, vnto vvhome vvithin this our Realme, vve doe exhi­bite due honor, and from vvhō as our progenitors, vve haue re­ceiued [Page] the dignity of our realm and crovvne. Is it founde that Siluester Byshop of Rome in the time of Constantine the Emperor, had any Kingly pos­session, or authoritie? for tho­rovv the permission of the Em­perors godlye affection, the li­berty of the church vvas graun­ted, peace vvas restored, & what Princelye thing soeuer, your popedome is knovvne to haue, the same you do hold through the liberalitie of Princes. Ther­fore vvhen vve vvrite vnto the Bishop of Rome, by good right and of olde, vve doe vvrite first our ovvne name, and that he so [Page] doe, as the rule of iustice is, vvri­ting vnto vs, vve graunt. Pervse the chronicles, and if you haue neglected the thing you reade, that vvhich vvee alledge, you shall finde it there. But of those vvhich belong vnto God by a­doption, and doe holde anye Kingly thing of vs, vvhy maye not vve demaund homage, and othe due vnto a prince? seeing the appointer of vs, and of you, receyuing nothing of a man that is a king, but yeelding eue­rie good thing vnto al, payd for himselfe and for Peter, the tri­bute due vnto Caesar, giuing therby vnto you example to do [Page] the like, and so he teacheth you saying: learne of mee, for I am meeke, and humble in heart. VVherefore let such eyther re­store vnto vs our princelye pos­sessions, or if they adiudge these things profitable, let them pay vnto God that vvhich is Gods, and vnto Caesar that vvhich is his. Also vnto your Cardinals, the Churches be shut, the cities are not open, and that bicause vvee see them not to bee prea­chers, but spoylers, not peace­makers, but mony catchers, not the redressers of the vvorld, but the vnsatiable scrapers of gold. Yet vvhen vvee shall perceyue [Page] them to be such as the churche requireth, vvhen they proue to be peacemakers, vvhē they vvill giue light vnto their countrie, and vvhen they vvill assist the cause of the humble in equitie, then loe shall vvee ayde them vvith necessary stypendes, and safecōducts. But you haue not a little offended agaynst humi­lity, vvhich ought to be the ke­per of your vertues & meeknes, vvhen you set forth vnto secu­lar persons such questions as are very small furtherance vnto re­ligion. VVherefore, let your fa­therhoode foresee, vvhiles you moue thinges vvhich vvee ad­iudge [Page] vnvvorthy, least you bee an offence vnto those, vvho as vnto a latevvard shoure, are de­sirous to yeelde their eares vnto your mouth. For vve can not, but aunsvvere the things vvee heare, vvhen vvee see the detes­table beast of Pryde, to haue crept, euen vnto the seate of Pe­ter. And in thus doing vve doe alvvaies vvel prouide for the peace of the Church. Fare you alvvays vvell.


Seene and allowed according to the order appointed. Anno. 1568.

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