A CHRISTIAN CONFESSION of the late moste noble and mightie Prince, Friderich of that name the third, Count Palatine by ye Rhein, one of the Electours of the holy Empire, and Duke in Bauire: wherein constantlie and meekelie he de­parted out of this world the 26. of October in the yere of our Lord God 1576. Taken word for word out of his last will and testament.

Whereunto is added the Lantgraue his answere to the French King.

1. Petri. 3.

Be alwayes readie to giue answere to euerie man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.

Roman. 10.

If a man beleue Christ Iesus with his heart, he shalbe righte­ous: If a man confesse him with his mouth, he shalbe saued.

Matth. 10.

Whosoeuer shall confesse me before men, him will I acknow­ledge before my Father which is in heauen: But whosoeuer shal denie me before men, him also will I denie before my Father which is in heauen.

Imprinted at London by Christopher Barkar. ANNO. 1577.

Iohn Casimire by the grace of God Count Palatine by the Rhein, Duke in Bauire &c. and appointed Lieutenant Generall of the said Palatinate be­sides the Rhein, sendeth greeting.

ALthough the highe and mightie prince, & our entire­lie beloued Lorde and father, Friderich late Paltzgraue by the Rhein, and Elector of the holie empire, of worthie memorie, in the whole time of his gouernement, and espe­cially in the yere of our lord god 1566 at the time of the diet holden at Augusta, where he was present about the confession of his christian faith: and also in the Cathe­chisme and booke of the reformation and orders of the churches in his dominions heretofore published, hath sufficiently de­clared & witnessed to the whole world, that neither he him selfe held or mainteined, nor in his landes and dominions had suffered to be set forth and published, anie other kinde of religion then that which was in all partes agreeable vnto the doctrine of the holy pro­phetical and apostolical scriptures, & besides [Page] conformable with the confession of Augusta and apologie thereof, as the same was allo­wed of by the Princes & Estates assembled at Nawmburg: yet sithe the time of the departure of our said lord and father out of this vale of miserie, we haue partly our selues with our own eares heard, and partly vnder­stoode from other places to our great grief, that it hath bene giuen out by some (al­though vntruelie) that our said father before his death should haue bene remoued from his former confession, as though aforetimes he had proceeded to farre in such matters. And albeit wee for our owne part, sith the time that by the grace of God we were cal­led out of Poperie, haue alwayes taken and founde his said Confession to be no other­wise, then Christian, & groūded in the infal­lible word of God, and especially at the time of the said dyet of Augusta, where we atten­ded vpon our said father, and by his com­mandemēt exhibited the bookes of the ho­lie Bible and Confession of Augusta before the Electours and other Princes of the Em­pire then present, and the Commissioners & Ambassadours of those which were absent. Out of which in our said fathers behalf we desired, that an other and better confession [Page] might bee shewed and taught vnto him: where seeing none of them brought any thing at al against our said fathers confessiō, wee were at that time the more confirmed therein: And since according to the same haue not onely with heart and mouth pro­fessed, but also being accompanied with di­uers noble men, & other vertuous & honest persones fearing God, haue at two seueral times sufficiently in the face of the whole worlde witnessed our zeale therein. And yet in like sort (as we haue bene enformed) it hath bene imputed vnto vs, that if we were not wholy departed & remoued from our fathers said Cōfession yet at the lest we were become somewhat lesse earnest then before.

For which cause seeing our said Lord and father in the absence of the noble & migh­tie Prince, Ludouick Palzgraue by the Rhein, now Electour of the holie Empire, our wel­beloued Lord and brother, about the space of one moneth before his departure called and sent for vs in this place vnto him, where we remained with him still vntill his ende, in which time we vnderstoode from himselfe that not onely the aboue mentioned Con­fession heretofore published was with his owne hands made, but also that he had cau­sed [Page] the same to be written and inserted in his last will and testament. And further are witnesses that we haue both heard & seene, that vntil his last breath he with good remē ­brance and great constancie cōtinued in the profession of the same, and so blessedly de­parted in our Lord Christ Iesus. And where as afterwards our said welbeloued brother comming hither, and with common cōsent opening the said will and testament, which in the meane time remained not onely vn­touched by anie person, but also kept vnder the handes and seales of good and sufficient witnesses, and further was in euerie leafe sub­scribed with our said fathers owne hande: we not onely founde therein contained his a­boue mentioned Confession, but also that we his children appointed executours of his said last will, vpon paine of the auoiding of Gods displeasure, anger and curse, and eter­nall and worldly punishment, by vertue and power of Gods immutable precept of obe­dience due vnto him, were commanded and enioyned both to mainteine our said fathers confession, and also to do our endeuours for the planting and spreading of it further. For which cause with a good conscience (as we trust) and also without any discredit or pre­iudice [Page] to our fathers said will, and for diuers other weightie and necessarie causes, wee could not any lōger forbeare for knowledge of the truth, & answering of such reportes as haue bene vntruely bruted and spred abroad to the contrarie, openly to giue herewith a true testimonie of the saide matter, causing the said Confession as it was word for word written and inserted in our fathers said te­stament, to be published and printed: To the intent that the duetiful accomplishment and fulfilling of his said last and deare will, which is not onely committed to the charge of the Electour our said lord & brother (al­though to him chiefly) but also to his sub­iectes, Counsellours, officers, and especially to the vniuersitie here, the Schole, and mini­sters, & also to the whole posteritie, & euery man in particular (as is expressely conteined in the said testament) might be knowen vn­to them and they thereby vnderstande their duetie what they haue to do: and further e­uerie person whatsoeuer, be thereby assured­lie perswaded in his conscience, that our sayd lord and father, in no other confession nor in any erronious condemned opinion, but in a most Christian confession and acknow­ledging of the infallible and inuincible truth [Page] of our common true and auncient Christian faith, departed most godlie out of this vale of miserie into euerlasting ioye and quietnes. By which confession as grounded vpon the right rocke Christ Iesus our Lord and Saui­our, and his most godlie worde, the right touchestone, we also through the helpe and assistance of almightie God, minde to perse­uere and continue vnto our last ende: and beseche the almightie that he will not onely gratiously preserue vs and all our fellowe members in Christ Iesus, from all contrarie errours and deprauations, which by vnquiet and contentious persons and members are moued in matters of religion and brought into the Church, but also mainteine & keepe in vs his knowen veritie, cōfort & strengthen vs in all troubles and tentations, and of his goodnes once in these latter daies open the eyes and hearts of all Christian people, that we may haue a regarde not vnto traditions of men or priuate affections, but only to his most godly worde as the truest and infalli­blest line & direction of our consciences and faithes, and graunt vnto vs all grace, that brotherlie, Chri­stian and due charitie may take place and dwell among vs.

These sentences & words following were distinctly spoken by the said prince Electour, being of good vn­derstanding & memorie, not long before his death, after he had declared that hee persisted constant in his said confession which followeth.

First the saying of S. Paul, 1. Timoth. 1.

This is a most true and assured saying, and wor­thy by all meanes to be embraced, that Christ Iesus came into the world to saue sinners, of whom I am the chiefest.

The second saying to them which stoode by.

I haue liued lōg inough for you, I must also once liue for my selfe.

The third.

The gracious Lorde call me when it shall please him. I haue a ioyfull & free conscience in the Lord Iesus, whome I haue serued with all my heart, and render thankes vnto him that I haue liued so long, that in the churches and schooles vnder my domi­nion and charge, the people haue bene directed & taught from traditions of men to beleeue in him alone.

The fourth. 2. Timoth. 4.

I haue fought a good fight I haue finished my course, I haue kept the faith: from henceforth is layed vp for me the crowne of righteousnes.

Here foloweth the said chri­stian confession.
❧In the name of the holie & vn­diuided Trinity of God the Fa­ther, the Sonne, & the holy Ghost

WE Friderich by ye grace of God Count Palatine by ye Rhein, one of the E­lectours of ye holy Romaine Em­pire, Duke in Bauaria &c. con­fesse and make knowē to all per­sons by these our letters. &c.

¶First whereas we haue bene before all thinges Christianlie taught and resolued out of gods worde, that both euerlasting and perpetuall, and also the worldlie and temporall prosperitie, peace, quietnes, concorde, and good e­state of all gouernements, prin­cipalities, countryes, & people, & aswell of such persons as are or­dained heades & magistrates, as [Page] other inferiour members & sub­iects: haue their beginning, in­crease, and enriching, and are most assuredly mainteined and preserued by this onely meanes when they shall set before their eyes and seeke to aduance god & his holie worde, and according to the same, directe all their af­faires and causes in this life, as by a most true and infallible line: which thing also the very hea­then, although they had no true vnderstanding of god, yet by the light of nature ingraffed in them sawe and confessed after a sorte: and from thence at the first these declarations and making of last wils (which men commonly call testamentes) tooke their begin­nings: But especially among ye olde fathers, patriarkes & other religious persons, they seeme to haue bene chiefliest made to this [Page] ende, for that they woulde leaue after them vnto their children, heires and successours, a certaine token and witnesse, whereby not only their said successours might assuredly vnderstand what reli­gion and faith their forefathers were of, which they had receiued out of gods worde by open testi­monies, and wherin they had li­ued holilye and vprightely, and were gratiously mainteined, de­fended, and protected by almigh­tie god, and in the ende so died: but also yt their successors might haue more cause to be moued wt like bondes and duetie to folowe the christian footsteppes of their predecessoures, and to imitate their examples, and according to the same, to rule and mainetaine the people and countreys com­mitted to their charge, (if they did looke for and desired to enioye [Page] such euerlasting and worldelie blessinges of almightie God, as had bene bestowed vpon their fathers: which thing appeareth by the last wordes vsed by some of the patriarches & good King Dauid him selfe where he spea­keth to his sonne Salomon af­ter this sorte:

1. Reg. 2. Be of good comforte and shewe thy selfe a man: And attende or take heede vnto the charge of the Lorde thy God, that thou walke before him in his wayes, and keepe his precepts, commaundements, iudgements, and testimonies, as it is written in the lawe of Moyses, that thou maist prosper in all that thou doest, and whereunto soeuer thou turnest thy selfe, that the Lord may confirme his word that he hath spoken ouer me and said: If thy children shal take heede to their wayes, that they walke before me in trueth, and with all their hearts, and with all their soules, there shall not at anie time a man be wanting from my bodie to sit vpon the throne of Israel.

So also in like sort as a chri­stian prince, fearing and louing god, and hauing in the making of our last wilmore regard in our [Page] heart to euerlasting and immor­tal things, then to worldly and temporall matters, which perish and folowe & depende of the for­mer, we haue thought good for ye honor of almighty god, discharge and comforte of our conscience, and for an vnfeined declaration to our louing and deare sonnes, heyres and successoures, & whole posteritie, and also of all our true and faithful subiectes, and eue­rie other whatsoeuer, to whom it may appertaine: in this our fa­therlie disposition, testament and last will, to make an open & true declaration of our faith, that eue­ry one may haue certaine know­ledge thereof, whereto we haue bene the rather induced for yt in these latter dayes diuers & sun­drie errours and debates in mat­ters of religion haue bene mo­ued by vnquiet and contentious [Page] persons, wherewith both wee & others in the time of our gouern­ment haue bene much troubled, and some sectes & factions haue bene raised in the church by cer­tain persons going about to per­suade simple men, as though wee were priuie and consenting to their erronious opinions. And to the intent that it do not onely appeare that the same our confes­sion is only grounded & built vpō the true rocke Christ Iesus our Lord & sauiour, & his only word: but also yt therewith our deare children may be ye more cōforted to persist stedfastly in such our christiā confession, & for no tēptaciō or troublesome storme what­soeuer yt might happen to ye con­trarie (wherof god be thāked hi­therto by his almighty help & as­sistance in ye time of our gouern­mēt we haue both felt and ouer­come [Page] many) turned backe or made faynte hearted, fearefull or negligent in their callings, and setting forth of the said trew and christian religion: Euen as wee for our own persō (as heretofore) so notwtstanding minde to con­tinue by the said knowen and cō ­fessed trueth, through the grace of the most highest, vntill our last ende.

And so first and in generall wee confesse with an vnfained & assured heart, that we stedfastly beleeue whatsoeuer is reuealed, contained, taught, witnessed, and grounded in the holye pro­pheticall and apostolicall scrip­ture and doctrine in the righte, trewe, christian and vncorrup­ted vnderstanding, and mea­ning of the same: in such sorte as the churche in the time of the Apostles did comprehende the [Page] principall poyntes of christian doctrine in our christian creede commonly called Symbolum apo­stolorum, and as afterwarde in the confession of the counsel of Nice and Athanasius, the for­mer apostolicall faithe was tru­ly expounded and declared.

This is the chiefe foundation, wherevpon we and all other true beleeuers in Christe, which eyther haue bene before vs, pre­sently are, or shall come hereaf­ter, ought to build our faith. And through this we also hope to bee saued according to the saying of Athanasius in his Symbolo: who­soeuer wilbe saued, must before al things holde the true christian faith.

And seeing the confession and declaration of the christian faith which in our time and namely in the yeere of our lorde god 1530. [Page] was openly presented at Augu­sta to the Emperour Charles of that name the fifte, with the a­pologie thereto annexed, was gathered out of the saide prophe­ticall and apostolicall doctrine & aboue named creedes or confessi­ons, as a summarie of them (as the time then suffred) and there­vpon grounded thēselues as vpō the chiefest and vnfalliblest foun­dation, the onely, certaine, and stedfaste line, whereby they ought to bee directed: For this cause wee also syth the time that wee came to the knowledge of Gods trueth, haue receiued and allow­ed the same, & wt other Electors and Princes beeing addicted thereto, wee also for the maine­tenaunce of Christian vnitye and peace, in the righte and true vnderstanding and mea­ning of the same, and with this [Page] declaration, did set our hande & Seale thereto:

And according to this com­maunded the preachers and tea­chers to instructe in our landes and dominions, as wee yet also confesse and acknowledge the same both of the saide confession, and of al other writings that are agreeing and conformable with the godlie, prophetical & aposto­lical scriptures:

As wee especially take the ca­thechisme which wee heretofore haue caused to bee printed and published, and also the booke of the reformation and orders of our churches, wherein all the questions of christian doctrine are distinctlye, orderlye and in­telligiblye conteyned and also in some parte more amplye ex­planed.

But for the more declaration [Page] of our minde and meaning, and to the intent our deare children, the whole posteritye and euerye particular personne maye (as it were in a briefe summe or col­lection) vnderstande what wee particularlye beleeue and holde in all and euerye of the articles of the christian faithe, and no man after our deathe maye de­fame vs with anye erronious opinions and sectes, as it is the custome and propertye of manie vnquiet persons, in these dayes of the euill worlde, and for the satisfying of them which vnderstande and interprete the said confession of Augusta and the Apologye thereof in some poyntes after another sense and meaning, then the letter and true vnderstanding can beare, follo­wing the direction of Goddes worde whereto it referreth it [Page] self as to the chiefest foundation: wee beleeue, holde and confesse from the bottome of our heart, the articles of our olde trew and knowen Christiā faith in maner as foloweth.

I Beleeue in God the father almightie maker of heauen and earth: and in Iesu Christ his onely Sonne our lord: who was conceiued by the holye Ghost, borne of the virgin Marye: suffred passion vnder Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, buried, and descended into hell. He rose againe the third daye from death: he ascended into heauen, and sitteth on the right hande of God the father al­mightie. from thence hee will come to iudge the quicke and the dead. I beleeue in the holie Ghost: the holy church vniuersall, the communion of Saints, the forgiuenes of sinnes: the rising againe of the bodies: and life euerlasting.

That is:

We beleeue and confesse, that the eternal father of our lord Ie­sus Christ made heauen and earth and all that therein is of nothing, and also yet conserueth and gouerneth the same by his [Page] eternall wisedome and proui­dence. And that not for our own desertes or worthinesse, but of meere grace and mercie and ac­cording to his godly prouidence, for his onely begotten and deare sonne Christ Iesus sake: he also is our God and Father, vppon whome we haue so set and repo­sed our confidence, that we dout not but that he will prouide for vs all thinges necessarie for our bodies and soules hereafter, euē as he hath done heretofore. And as hitherto he hath turned to our best and profite, all such euils as the deuil and the world haue at­tempted against vs, euen so here­after he wilbe no lesse gracious and mercifull vnto vs, seeing hee is able to do it as an almightie God, & wil also doe it as a louing Father.

[Page]Secondlye wee beleeue and confesse, that Iesus Christe the sonne of the almightie God, from the beginning begotten of the Father, is one and the same GOD with the Father and the holye Ghost, and at the time appointed (as it was determi­ned in the eternall wisedome of God) was conceaued by the ho­lie Ghoste, in the wombe of the most pure and alwayes virgin Marye: tooke vppon him our fleshe, was borne into the world, To this ende, that hee beeing our King and highe Prieste (for which cause he is called Christ) might be our Mediatour and brother, receiue vs to grace, and as a true Iesus and Sauiour, reconcile vs to his heauenlye Father. We also beleeue that for that cause hee suffered a moste shamefull deathe vnder [Page] Pontius Pilate the Iudge, to the intent he might redeeme and deliuer vs from euerlastinge death wherin we otherwise were and must haue perpetually re­mained: and to deliuer and loss vs from the curse which by the sinne and fall of our first fathers Adam and Eue, was rooted in all mankinde.

We beleeue also and confesse yt this Lorde Iesus Christe being made an offering vppon the crosse is so puissant and strong, that by the power and strength of the same through the working of the holy Ghost, our olde man is with him crucified, dead & bu­ried, so as the euill concupiscen­ses of the flesh ought not anye more beare rule in vs, but rather we should offer vp our selues vn­to him, as a sweete sacrifice of thankesgiuing.

[Page]We beleeue also, that hee was buried and therefore vndoubted­ly dead, yea also that he descended into hell, to the intent that in our greatest tentations we might as­sure our selues that our Lorde Iesus Christ, by his vnspeakea­ble sorowes, pangues and hor­rours which he also suffered in his soule both vpon the crosse and before, hath deliuered vs from ye sorowes and paine of hell. So that from henceforth neither hell nor the deuill shal hinder or hurte vs in our saluatiō. We beleue also with our heart, that the third day he rose again from the dead. And we are certainly persuaded, first that by his resurrection hee hath ouercome death, to the intent hee might make vs partakers of the righteousnes, which he hath pur­chased for vs by his bitter passion and death. And secondly, that we [Page] also now by his power should bee resuscitated & quickened to new­nes of life. And thirdly, that the resurrection of Christe is a most certaine assurance vnto vs, that as he is first risen vp againe from death, so wee also at the last daye shalbe raysed vp againe to life e­uerlasting.

And further, wee also beleeue that Christ our Lorde truely and visiblie with his manifested man­hoode which he had takē on him, is ascēded vp into heauen, & there sitteth on the right hande of his heauenly Father, that is to saye, with heauēly and godly maiestie he sheweth him selfe vnto all the holy Angels and mē, to be a head of his whole Church: and from thence also truely and visiblie (as he ascended vp) hee shall againe come downe in the cloudes in the dominion and maiestie of his Fa­ther, [Page] to iudge the liuing and the dead. And yet notwithstanding wee confesse and acknowledge, that albeit our Lord IESUS Christ true God and man, accor­ding to his humane nature is now no more in earth, but in hea­uen, yet according to his God­head, maiestie, grace and spirite, hee neuer departeth from vs. And wee litle esteeme that which is sayde by some, that both the natures were so vnited and con­founded in Christe, as though his humane nature were in all places as the diuine is. For see­ing the diuine nature is incom­prehensible, and alwayes to bee found in all places, it followeth necessarilie, that it is both with­out ye humane nature, which was assumed, & also personallie vnited to the same: euen as the diuine [Page] nature neuer left heauen when Christ was cōceaued in the wōbe of the blessed virgin. And all this which our Lord Christ hath suf­fered and done, we beleue and cō ­fesse that it hath bene done for the behoofe and benefit of vs, & that he thereby hath giuē him self vn­to vs as our owne. And besides the rest, this comforteth vs most that we are assured that our flesh is alreadie in heauen, & that our Sauiour Christ Iesus sendeth down vnto vs frō thēce his holy ghost as a pledge. By the inspira­tion & power of whom, we seeke ye thinges which are aboue where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God his Father, and not things here vpon earth.

Thirdly, wee beleue and con­fesse, that ye holy Ghost with God the Father and God the sonne, is a true, only, and eternall God: & [Page] secondly, that he is giuē vnto vs to make vs partakers through a true faith in Christ, of al his good giftes and benefites, and further that he is our comforter, and is with vs, and will remaine with vs vntill the ende.

As touching the vniuersall Christian Church, we beleue that the sonne of God hath out of all kinreds and generations of men, chosen a congregation vnto him selfe for euerlasting life, by the ho­lie Ghost, & his godly word in the vnitie of true faith: which frō the beginning of ye world he hath ga­thered, & yet gathereth together, preserueth & defēdeth, & beleue al­so yt we are a liuely member ther­of and so shall remaine eternally.

Of the communion of Saints we beleue and confesse that wee with al and euerie true beleuers, as members of our Lord Jesus [Page] Christ, haue a communion and societie in all his treasures and giftes, and therefore we acknow­ledge that wee are debters of all such giftes, as he hath imparted vnto vs, to bestowe thē willingly and ioyfully to the profit & helpe of others our commembers.

Wee beleeue and confesse also, that God the Father for the satis­faction and ful paiment of Christ Iesus hath forgiuen, and neuer will call to remembrance our sinnes or sinful inclinations and affections, wherewith wee haue to fight all the dayes of our life, but rather will giue and impute vnto vs ye righteousnes of Christ Iesus. So that wee neede not to bee afraid of the iudgement of God.

Of the resurrection of the flesh we beleeue and confesse, that not onely our soules, when they shall [Page] be departed out of our bodies by temporall death, are in the same instant takē vp and receiued vn­to Christ their head, but also that our flesh shalbe in the last day vni­ted againe with our soules, and made conformable vnto the glo­rious bodie of Christ Iesus.

Of life euerlasting, we beleue and confesse, that euen as now we feele in our hearts the beginning of an euerlasting ioy, so after this life wee shall possesse an eternall blessednes, which neither eie hath seene, nor eare heard, nor any mās heart can conceiue. God bee al­wayes thāked & praised therfore, and thereto helpe vs God the Fa­ther, Sonne, and holie Ghost, one true and euerlasting God. Amen.

And for asmuch as wtout cause we haue bene suspected of many, as though we helde & beleued not in such sort of the holy and blessed [Page] Sacraments, as became good Christians, wee haue thought good immediatly after ye former Confessiō of our faith to set down also in writing our plaine Con­fession of those pointes.

We therfore beleue and cōfesse both with our mouth, hearte and penne, that all Sacramentes as­well of the olde as newe Testa­ment, were appointed and ordai­ned by God him selfe, to this end, that they all should signifie and pointe as with a finger vnto the bloudie offering of Christ Iesus once accōplished vpon the crosse, as vndoubtedly all the patriar­ches and faithfull fathers in the olde Testament herewith onely comforted them selues in faith, when they killed their lambes & other beastes, that after the same sorte the seede of the woman, the Lord Iesus should be slaine, and [Page] make a full satisfaction and pai­ment for the sinnes of the whole worlde. And therefore the holie Sacraments (as many hundred yeres hitherto in the scholes hath bene taught to youth and yet is) are onely Sacrae rei symbola, & in­uisibilis gratiae visibilia signa: that is to say, visible signes or seales of a holy thing, namely of the grace of God in Christ Iesus, whereby we are assured and made certain of that which otherwise in Gods worde by God him selfe and his holy Prophets & Apostles hath bene promised vnto vs. And we beleue and holde stedfastly, that the Lorde God thought chieftiest vpon the weaknes and infirmitie of mans nature, and (as the only knower and searcher of heartes) vnderstoode how hard it was for the nature of man to beleue the naked worde of God which is [Page] preached and declared in the holy Gospel. And therefore he would also represent and set before our eyes such things which we daily vse, and are most knowen vnto vs, to quicken, stirre vp, & streng­then our faith, to the intent that thereby wee might giue the soo­ner credit to the worde preached. As the same may appeare by this similitude taken from worldly things, namely when wee receiue frō an Emperour, King, or other great Prince, a letter or writing, although the same be subscribed with the Princes owne hande, yet wee are not satisfied there­with, if the seale bee not annexed also to it. And in case the Seale be put thereto, then it contenteth vs, and then we may saye, I haue from that Emperour, King, &c. a letter & seale, wherein this or yt is written and signified vnto me.

But to speake of the vse of the [Page] Sacraments, we beleue and cō ­fesse that the holy Sacraments of the new Testamēt, as the holy Baptisme and Supper of the Lorde, were ordeined of Christe himselfe, to that ende that Chri­stians should vse them, holde thē in great reuerēce, and not despise them. For that they are not onely markes whereby we are knowen to be Christians, & of the opē pro­fession before God & mā of the co­uenant & grace of God, but also e­specially & principally are true & assured tokēs & witnesses of gods grace towardes vs: For which cause whē we shal haue yōg chil­dren borne into this worlde, wee should not as some do suffer thē to be 8. 9. or 10. yeres old, till they be of some reasonable discretiō, and then first baptise them: But ra­ther much more cōfort our selues with that which our Lord Christ [Page] sayd to his disciples Mark. 10. Let litle children come vnto mee: for of such is the kingdome of hea­uen. If then the kingdome of heauen belong vnto yong chil­dren (as it is vndoubtedly true) why should we then doubt that they are not also comprehended and concluded in the couenant which God made with Abraham and the beleuing fathers hereto­fore? And for that cause wee ought not by any meanes seclude or forclose them from the holie baptisme.

Of the efficacie and working of the holie Baptisme, we beleue, that our children, seeing (as is before declared) they be compre­hended in the couenant, when they shalbe baptised according to the article of our true, olde and vniuersall faith, and also be af­terwardes brought vp in the [Page] same, they are also made parta­kers of the bloudie death of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christ, and all his benefites which hee hath purchased vnto vs by his said death, in such sorte that they not onely receiue the outwarde seale of the holie Sacrament, which is the elemētall water vp­on their outward bodies, but like wise inwardlie are baptised in their soules by Christe him selfe with his bloud which was shed, and also through the working of the holie Ghost regenerated and borne again to be new creatures. For as the elementall water of the holie Sacramēt in baptisme is not Christes bloud, nor the ho­ly Ghost it selfe, so also the holie Ghost or bloud of Christ is not in the Sacrament of the elemental water. And although the elemē ­tall water according to his pro­pertie [Page] and nature can do no more then outwardly clense the bodie, and reacheth not so farre as vnto the soule, yet the bloud of Christ clenseth the soule inwardly to e­uerlasting life. And as the mi­nister doth the one, so doth Christ the other, as saint Iohn the Bap­tist witnesseth in the third chap­ter of saint Matthewes Gospel: I baptise you with water to repen­tance or amendement of life, but he that commeth after me is strō ­ger then I am, whose shoes I am not worthie to carie, he shall bap­tise you with the holie Ghost and with fyre. And like vnto this is the saying of Saint Paule in the tenth Chapiter of his first e­pistle to the Corinthians, that after the same sort the Israelites were baptised with the cloudes and sea, as also they were fedde with Manna, and dronke the water [Page] which proceaded out of ye rock. &c.

And to speake of the holy & most worthy Supper of our Lord Ie­sus Christ, we beleue and confesse willingly, wt al other Christians, that our Lord Iesus Christ first instituted ye said Supper, which he him selfe kept with his disci­ples. And therefore it ought not to be despised of Christiās but ra­ther to be holdē in great estimatiō & reuerence. For the Lord Iesus for this cause ordeined this par­ticipation and fruition of bread and wine,1. Cor. 11. that thereby we should remember him and declare his death vntill his comming: and after wee haue bene instructed & assured thereof, both before God and man, acknowledge & praise this his great benefit, that the bo­die of Christ hath bene deliuered vp to death for vs, and his bloud shed for ye forgiuenes of our sins: [Page] which if wee shall apprehende and take vnto vs with true faith, it wilbe a true & spirituall foode and drinke to eternall life, as the visible bread and wine is foode for the nourishing of the corporal bodie: seeing we are in Christ mē ­bers of him the head, branches of him the vine tree, incorporated into him by his spirit, and so for his sake and through him shall obteine forgiuenes of our sinnes, iustification and life euerlasting. Wee beleue also that wee at this daye haue no other Supper or Communion then as our Lorde Iesus Christe at his last supper ordeined and held it with his dis­ciples, and that wee ought not to haue any other, & much lesse vse any other, vnles wee would con­temptuously offende against the commandement and institution of Christ.

[Page]Now it can not be denied but must be confessed of all (that ob­stinatelie & malitiously seeke not to contende) that our Lorde Ie­sus Christ did not deliuer vnto his disciples his naturall & then present bodye as it was sitting at the table, & not yet crucified, to be eaten with their corporall mouthes, & much lesse gaue or cō ­manded his blood to be drunkē, which was yet in his bodie, and not shed (as at these dayes some haue caused a great diuision in the Church of God teaching that men must beleeue, that they must eate and drinke in the communi­on the bodie and blood of Christ with their corporal mouthes, as it was then naturall and present at his last supper: and whosoe­uer will not beleeue and confesse this, which without great preiu­dice of their consciences they can [Page] not beleeue, they are called despi­sers of the Sacramentes and great blasphemers of god) But rather he commanded vs to eate his bodie which was the day fol­lowing nailed to the crosse, and drinke his blood which shoulde be shortely shed, euen as the very wordes of Christ him selfe suffi­cientlye giue vs to vnderstande. And wee doubte not but that his disciples before at Capernaum were sufficiently instructed & per­suaded what was the meaning and maner of the eating of his bodie and drinking of his blood, so that they had not anye occasi­on or cause to make the least dout therein: As also Peter himselfe notablie confesseth,Ioh. 6. saying: Lord whither should we go, thou hast the words of euerlasting life, and we haue beleeued and confessed that thou art Christ the sonne of [Page] the liuing god.

Out of which confessiō of Pe­ter which he made not alone for him selfe, but in the name of all the twelue Apostles, it appea­reth that hee had vnderstoode and receiued such sufficient in­struction out of this sermon at Capernaum, that neither he nor the other eleuen had any cause to aske what the lord Iesus meant by such his said institution.

And therefore wee beleeue and confesse that in the holye supper of our Lord IESUS CHRIST, where it shalbe kept accordynge to his owne institution, to the faythfull (for whome this Supper or Com­munion is onelye ordeyned, e­uen as for his disciples at the firste) the trewe offered and cru­cified bodye of Christe with [Page] al his heauenly treasures and be­nefits which he hath purchased by his death for his people, shalbe giuen and deliuered by Christ him selfe vnto our hungrie soules for foode, & his blood which he hath shed for the forgiuenes of sinnes for our drinke. And so litle did the distance or espace of the time hinder his disciples at that pre­sent, namely, that although his body was not yet offred and cru­cified, nor his blood yet shed, yet his said disciples did eate his ve­ry naturall and humane bodye which was borne of the imma­culate virgin Marie, & should be shortely after deliuered vp for them, & did drinke his true blood which shortly should be shed for them, as though it had bene de­liuered vp and shed alreadie: So also the distance of the place hin­dreth not vs and other faithfull [Page] beleeuers, that is, that wee also with the holy apostles according to the Lordes institution do eate the same body of Christ & drinke his bloud, although the Lord Ie­sus with that his naturall body be now no more vpon earth, but sitteth in heauen on the right hād of god his heauenly father, from whence he shal come to iudge the liuing and the dead, as the arti­cle of our Christian faithe tea­cheth & declareth vnto vs. And therfore we haue no need of this question, whether with his selfe same naturall bodie sensible vp­pon earth, (as he was at the last supper with his disciples) he can be presēt with vs in our commu­nions: But it is inough that we vnderstand out of his word, that he with his said bodie wilbe nei­ther visible nor inuisible neither comprehensible nor incomprehē ­sible [Page] vpon earth. And neuerthe­les he is as the almightie sonne of God at all times and in al pla­ces with his grace, and holie spi­rit with his, and chieflye in his holye supper where hee is bothe our hoste and foode. And as the minister doth distribute the pre­cious Sacramentes, seales, and tokens, that is the blessed bread and cuppe of the Lorde, so doeth the Lord therewith impart vnto the faithfull him selfe for breade and drinke, (not of the worldlie bodie, as the signes of wine and bread are otherwise trew meate and drinke vnto men) but rather a meat and drinke vnto euerla­sting life for their hungrie and thirstye soules, beaten downe and dismayed by the knowe­ledge and consideration of their sinnes, and of the wrathe of God.

[Page]Now therefore if this question be made, how Christ the Lorde seeing he is with his bodie aboue in heauen, and wee here vppon earth, can feede vs with his saide bodie: we answere with S. Am­brose that albeit we be here with our feet vppon earth, yet are we with our head aboue in heauen. And with S. Paul, 1. Cor. 12. We are al bap­tised by one spirit into one bodie, and wee are all made to drinke one spirite. And in this our con­fession wee referre and remitte our selues to the holie and god­lye Scriptures of the olde and newe Testaments and confesse herewith frankelye and freelye before the sighte of Almyghtye God, whome no man can abuse or deceaue, that we vndoubtedly thinke, that if wee did beleeue or holde otherwise of the sayde holye Sacramentes, wee then [Page] should as much as in vs laye, o­uerthrow the articles of our old, trew and christian faith, and so should not be able to stand before the iudgement seat of Christ Ie­sus in the last day. For when as in the articles of our vndoubted christian faith wee confesse that there is but one only euerlasting, almightie & incōprehensible god­head in three persōs, which both made, gouerneth & cōserueth all things: then must it needes bee (not as some haue giuē out) that the humane nature of our lord Iesus, but the man Christ by his godlie nature, is almightie and in all places working and presēt at once. Also the onely begotten sonne of god through ye working of the holye Ghost tooke vppon him and retaineth for euer to the great comforte and assurance of our saluation, a true and vnfai­ned [Page] humane nature like vnto ours in all properties of nature (sinne only excepted.) And so vn­doutedly after & before his resur­rection, assension, & glorie at the right hand of his father, accor­ding to his said humane nature is and was visible, comprehensi­ble, and at all times in one place presēt, according to his good will and pleasure, as he witnesseth of himselfe in the 24 Chapter of the Gospell after S. Luke: This Lord Iesus Christ is our onelye Sauiour, mediatour, hie Priest, King, and Prophet, Lorde and head of his congregation. And therfore the ministers of ye church cannot baptise vs with the spirit and blood of christ, but only with the outwarde elemental water, nor feede and drinke vs with the bodie and blood of Christ, but wt the visible bread and wine. And [Page] of his spirit bodie & blood, Christ him self onely maketh vs parta­kers by faith to the forgiuenes of our sinnes and life euerlasting.

Yf he truly suffred for vs, if he in verye deed were crucified and dead, then in the time of his passi­on, his manhood was not in om­nipotencie & glory like vnto his godhead in all places, in heauen and earth, but suffred & died, not wtout infirmite: If also his dead corpes was truely laide into the graue, thē was it not before there nor after his burial was it in all places but there for ye time onely.

If it be true that for our bene­fite hee descended into hell, then was hee not at that time, as yet set at the right hand of GOD his Father in his heauenly glory and maiestie.

If it bee trewe that out of the graue he rose vp from death, then [Page] was the soule before not in the body, & so the said body was not before out of the graue, & also af­terwards remained not therein.

If it be true that hee ascended vp into heauen & sitteth there as perfect man on the right hand of his Father, then according to his humanitie he was not already a­boue before, and also after his as­cension he remained not inuisible belowe, or in al places present, & incomprehensible: but sheweth himself there visibly and compre­hensibly in the heauenly habita­tion before the faces and sight of his holye angels and men. And therefore hee cannot be without horrible idolatry said, to be in the bread of the communion, or in a­ny one place els, thē at this presēt sought by our prayers aboue in heauē, & honored & inuocated as only present and bodily there.

[Page]If it be true that as hee ascen­ded vp, he shal come down again from heauen in the cloudes, then is hee not alreadie & before inui­sible belowe. And he shall not bee in al places visible and inuisible, but visible in one place, with his humane nature, that is, in the cloudes where he shall shew him selfe as a iudge of the liuing and of the dead.

He sendeth also his holy Spi­rit into the heartes of his electe to assemble and gather together vnto him amongest the genera­tions of men, frō the beginning of the worlde vnto the ende, an vniuersall church or congregati­on, which hath the verye same and like fellowshippe with their head Christ, to whome he parti­cipateth all his heauēly benefits: And this fellowshippe or com­muniō of ye saints is not wrought [Page] by a visible or inuisible entrance of the bodie of Christ into our bo­dies, but by the dwelling and working of the spirit of Christ in them and in vs. We also which come vnto the Supper of the Lorde, shall not nor can not haue anye other participation or habitation of CHRIST in vs, then such as all the faithfull had, which from the beginning of the worlde haue bene saued, or such as they which cannot come vnto the communion, now haue and shall retaine euerlastinglye. Yea Christ in his holye supper wil impart & giue vnto vs ye fru­ition of himself no otherwise thē so farre & in such sorte, that he ac­cording to the vse of the said sup­per not onely in this life, but in the life to come, will euerlasting­lye dwell and remaine with vs. And seeing it is assured and cer­taine, [Page] that hee giueth the fruition of him self vnto vs, it is not to be thought that he wil againe incō ­tinently departe from vs, as to the great dishonour of the Sōne of God hath bene forged by the papistes, but will remaine in and with vs euerlastingly.

If he hath purchased vnto vs the forgiuenes of all our sinnes, through his bitter passiō & death vpon the crosse, in case we shal re­ceaue, take, applie and make the same proper vnto vs by true faith as ye ful satisfactiō & ransō for our sinnes, then had he not a nature deified presēt in euery place, but a very true humane, visible, & cō ­prehēsible bodie, & also at ye time subiect to death, which was (sin excepted) in al thinges like vnto ours. for otherwise we could not be saued fromour sinnes by him. Hebrewes. 2.

[Page]If our fleshe shall rise againe from death, & be made partaking of euerlasting life through Christ then must our head Christ Iesus haue bene conuersant here in his trew humane nature, and not a­lone in his godlie, spirituall and inuisible nature, present in euery place: but retaine for euer the liknes and vnitie of his humane nature, which it had and hath with our nature, so that we may for euer bee his brethren and members of him, planted and graffed in him, as the braunches in the vine tree, and so be and re­maine alwaies his fleshe and his bones.

And lastlye if the communi­on of CHRIST and of all his giftes and benefites righ­teousnesse and lyfe euerlasting, was not otherwyse purchased [Page] vnto vs, then by his death vpon the crosse, and otherwise cannot be obteined of vs, but through trewe faith, which the holy ghost worketh in our hearts, then it is certaine that neither the vse of ye holy Sacraments, nor yet any other inward or outward worke ex opere operato, yt is, by vertue of a worke done: can make vs par­takers of Christe or his benefits. But the holye Sacramentes are godlye tokens and seales, by which our faithe is strengthe­ned: and they doe directe and leade vs to the onelye offering of Christe which hath bene once made vpon the crosse for vs. And there cannot come vnto vs anye such communion & fellowshippe with Christ when we only heare outwardely the visible worde or promise of the Sacraments, as whē inwardly we beleue ye word [Page] of the Gospel, which shalbe heard and preached vnto vs. And ther­fore although the visible signes may be abused by the vngodly & wicked to their condēnation, yet the inuisible and heauenly giftes and benefits which we apprehēd onely by our faith, must onely be and remaine proper to the faith­full.

And in this cōfession and pro­fession of our Christian and true faith, both nowe and at al times, we bequeath our soule when it shalbe separated from our mortal bodie, to the holie and vndiuided Trinitie, God ye Father our ma­ker, God the sonne our redeemer, mediatour, and onely Sauiour, Christ Iesus, God ye holy Ghost our true comforte: humblie bese­ching from the bottome of our heart our onely redeemer and sa­uiour Christ Iesus, yt hee would [Page] vouchsafe to holde his gratious, mercifull and sauing hand ouer vs, encrease our faith and graunt vnto vs a Christiā and good ende in perfect sense and memorie: and when wee shalbe separated from this earthlie bodie & wofull vale of miserie, that it would please him to carie and receiue vs vp in­to euerlasting rest, peace, and bles­sednes, in his fathers kingdome, which he hath promised, purcha­sed and prepared for vs and all the faithfull, by his bitter death and shedding of his most preti­ous bloud to remaine there in the companie of his Sainctes and all true beleeuers in Christe Ie­sus.

And as we thinke to bee saued by this our former Christian con­fession, and to appeare with a ioy­ful coūtenance before the iudge­ment seate of Christ Iesus: So [Page] we admonish, warne and praye our deare childrē, heires and suc­cessours in most friendly sort, as a true father, & also gratiouslie re­quire such our subiects as by Gods ordināce haue bene cōmit­ted vnto vs, our coūsellours, offi­cers, and especiallie our Vniuer­sitie, schoole & ministers, of what dignitie, state or degree soeuer they be & their successours: we al­so ordaine, cōmāde, & enioyne vn­to thē & euerie of thē, by vertue of the immutable cōmandemēt of ye almightie God of Abraham, who said, I know he will giue charge vnto his children & his house af­ter him, that they may keepe the wayes of the Lorde, and doe that which is good and right in his sight, to the intent the Lord maye bring vpon Abraham that which hee promysed vnto hym. And therefore wee will and com­mande [Page] with the greatest earnest­nes, charge, & zeale that we can, that they not onely for their own persons persist cōstant vnto their end by this acknowleged, confes­sed and blessed truth of the holie Gospel, and former Christian cō ­fession, wherby the horrible dark­nes of Poperie in our dayes through the vnspeakeable good­nes and mercie of almightie God hath bene confounded & throwen downe: And besides ioyfully and frankely confesse the same before God and the worlde, & neuer aba­lienate or withdraw them selues from the same, to the intent that with vs (as wee heartily desire) they may bee partakers of euer­lasting saluation: But chiefly & principally wee desire them, as Christian and godlie Princes & magistrates, to whom ye defence and propagatiō of Gods knowē [Page] veritie, is by almightie God him selfe verie earnestly imposed and commanded as their chiefest and highest office, that they would wt all diligence haue a due regarde, that the holy and blessed Gospell and ye onely trueth of God (which is infallible and shal not passe a­way but remaine for euer) may be preached and taught vnto all their subiectes & others apper­taining vnto them, according to the contentes of the Prophetical and Apostolical scriptures, pure­ly and vnfalsified: that through the blessing of almightie God the same may be stil planted, inhe­rited and professed by their suc­cessours and posteritie, to the in­tēt they may be partakers of the rich and gratious promise of our Lorde and Sauiour IESUS Christ, saying, Seeke first ye king­dome of God and the righteous­nes [Page] therof & the rest shall fall or be giuen vnto you: truely & assuredly confirming & strengthening them selues with the commandemēt & comfort of almightie God, which he gaue to his louing & true ser­uant Iosua in these wordes: Be strong and of a most valiant cou­rage, that thou maiest obserue & do all things according to ye law, which Moyses my seruant hath commaunded thee. Turne not from it neither to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou maiest prosper and proceade wisely in all that thou hast to do. And let ye booke of the Lawe neuer depart frō thy mouth, but meditate vpō it day & night, that thou maiest do and obserue al thinges according as it is written therein.

Secondlie, for as much as both nowe and alwayes it hath so come to passe, that when Gods worde and holie Sacramentes [Page] haue bene in any place taught & administred purelie, clerely and without darkenes or falsehoode, and almightie God by his blessed worde hath gathered vnto him a Churche, that then immediatlie and forthwith ye enemie of Chri­stian faith, ye raging deuil, partlie soweth his weedes amōg it, and partly opposeth him self & assaul­teth it wt his whole forces & might & goeth about by al meanes he can not only to ouerthrow & quench it with his outward power, but al­so by stirring vp of diuers diuisi­ons, cōtentions, false & erronious opinions, which also in ye time of our gouernmēt (as is wel knowē vnto all men) not without some daūger haue also happened vnto vs, & especially in ye some vnquiet and contentious persons of mere ambition & setled hatred, where­as they could not publish a better [Page] booke of their owne, went about and verie earnestly laboured to slaunder & cauill the Cathechisme and booke of the orders and re­formation of our Church, which we caused to be published, and to bring the same into suspicion by sondrie simple and well meaning people. All which notwithstan­ding by the helpe and grace of al­mightie God, whilest we suffered our selues not to be caried away frō the right line of Gods worde, nor to be made afraide by any re­spect of outward power, but tru­ly and cōstantly follewed our of­fice and calling, in the end won­derfully contrarie to all mens ex­pectation, with great and appa­rant benefit both worldly & eter­nall, and many other blessings & commodities which happened to our people, which did at length submitte them selues obediently [Page] vnto the manifest trueth, we out­stoode & ouercame them all: and out of Gods worde haue stopped the mouthes of such as so oppo­sed and set them selues against our said Christian Cathechisme & booke of orders, so as to our great comfort, the eyes of many haue bene thereby opened, and brought to the right vnderstanding of our true Christian religion and con­fession of pure doctrine.

We therefore praye, admonish and warne our deare childrē, also our Counsellours, officers, mini­sters & subiectes, & especially our Vniuersitie and Church at Hey­delberg, that seeing the malice, de­ceipt and subtiltie of the diuell, and so the daūgers of true faith­full Christians, are like euerie daye more and more to encrease and waxe greater: They would in consideratiō of such imminent [Page] perils haue a more true, diligent and earnest regarde thereto, not onely to set forwarde this good worke, as they minde to auoyde the heauie anger and displeasure of almightie GOD, and his e­uerlasting and worldlie punish­ment vpon them, and tender the saluation of them selues and their posteritie, but also not suf­fer them selues to bee feared, tur­ned awaye or seduced from this knowen and confessed trothe, for any contentions alreadie entered into the Churche, feare of offen­ding, respectes of persones, de­ceiptes and other subtilties of this vayne worlde, but rather open their eyes, awake, take heede, & do their best endeuours, that in such places of our domi­nions as gods trothe hath alrea­die bene taught and receiued, may there still and constantly be retai­ned, [Page] kept, and increased. And in case the same hitherto through any empechementes of the wic­ked diuell, and other defaultes, shall not haue bene perfectly in al places established, knowen and rooted in our said subiectes, that then in such place or places by ye grace and meanes of almightie God & Christ Iesus, they would procure yt the same may be broght in, taught & planted, to the euer­lasting and temporall profit and benefit of our said subiectes.

Especially & for the third point, we will & pray our deare sonnes, to beware & take heede of all con­tentious & vnquiet ministers in churches & scholes, which in these times go about to stirre vp in matters of faith & religion, sondrie e­uill cōtentions, and strifes about words, vsing vnprofitable condē ­nations & censures against other [Page] Christian Churches & Scholes, which neuertheles agree in the principall foundation and chiefe articles of the Christian faith, and repose the saluation of their soules vpon the onely Sauiour and redeemer Christ Iesus: go­ing about by ambition and per­uerse zeale, to bring in and erect a pretended iurisdiction of a holy Ghost, and euē as in time of blas­phemous Poperie, seeking both to rule and haue dominion ouer the consciences of magistrates and subiectes, and to constitute a newe supremacie: whereby not onely diuisions and bitternes of mindes both in temporall and spirituall gouernementes haue followed, to the ouerthrowe and ruine of them: But also there­by occasion hath bene giuen to the Pope and his followers, to persecute our true and Christian [Page] religion with fyre and sworde, banishmentes and other paines and punishments: and thereby to establish and confirme his own tyrannie the more. As (the more is the pitie) manie examples partly already heretofore happe­ned euen in our dayes in some E­lectours and Princes houses, & among other straunge nations our neighbours, where the holie Gospell a long time hath had a swaye, and partly of late tyme sprong vp, might be produced to declare sufficiently, what misera­ble diuisiōs, calamities and mis­fortunes haue happened thereby, where unto also al Christian ma­gistrates, Churches and scholes, ought to beholde and looke vnto as in a glasse. And therefore we would haue them as much as in them shall lie, to beware of such daungerous & vnquiet persones, [Page] enemies of peace and quietnes, and neither suffer them selues or anie other vnder them to be per­suaded or exasperated by their meanes or diuided among them selues: But rather to eschew and auoide them, and also whereas no amendemēt can be looked for, to suppresse them: to the intent that they be not partakers of the detestable and horrible persecu­tions and shedding of innocent bloud, which both in the Empire of Dutchland and other outlan­dishe nations haue followed by such vnchristian condemnation and censures: Euen as we for the most part haue in like maner for the aboue rehersed and other Christian and weightie causes, agreed, consented and vnited our selues with other Electours and Princes. And hereby notwith­standing it is not meant to take [Page] from true and godly ministers such punishmentes and censures as appertaine vnto them for the reforming of blasphemies, and confuting of errours that may happen, according to the word of GOD, with Christian decencie, which is to be established & vsed not to the ouerthrowing, but for ye edifying of ye Church of Christe Ie­sus. &c.

THE ANSWERE OF the most famous and excellent Prince William Lantgraue of Hessen, sent to the Frenche King, by the Lord of Ville­quier Ambassadour from his Maiestie to his ex­cellencie.

THE most famous and no­ble Prince, William Lantgraue of Hessen, hauing receiued ye mes­sage sent him from the Frenche King by the Lord of Villequier his Highnes Ambassadour, rendreth his Maiestie most hartie thākes for the good will it pleaseth him to continue towards him: promi­sing that for his part, his High­nes shal alwayes finde his excel­lencie forward and readie, to an­swere him with the like: as his Maiestie may cleerly see and vn­derstand by all his former actiōs tending to no other marke, but to the maintenance of that good a­mitie and intelligēce which hath [Page] of long time bene betweene the crowne of France and the house of Hesse.

As for the chiefest matter which the said Sir of Villequier had to cōmunicate with the said Prince the Lantgraue, in ye King his ma­sters name, to wit, that the King had, at the sute and request of the states assembled in his towne of Bloys, graunted them, yt he would from thēce forward, suffer no ex­ercise of any other religion in his Realme, saue of the Catholique, Apostolique and Romish, his ex­cellencie is of opinion and thin­keth yt in truthe there is nothing more greatlie to be desired in this world, then that it would please our good God of his infinite boū ­tie and mercie, that the same true Religion, which was once publi­shed and taught at Rome by the Apostle Paul, might through his [Page] mercifull sufferance, be not onely planted, take roote, and be main­teined in the kingdome of Frāce, but also, as purely kept and pre­serued in all partes of the world, as it was in ye beginning taught and plāted in Rome, as we finde the said Apostle Paul hath left witnessed in his epistle written to the Romaines.

But it is a matter verie well knowen both to the King himself and to many other good men, euē that are professors of the self same Romishe religion, that (after the Apostles time, when the authori­tie of the Bishop of Rome became so swollen and puffed vp, that it would needes be a topgallant a­boue Emperours, Kings, and all other Monarches of the world) that Religion which the Apostle had planted at Rome, and wher­fore he so highlie cōmended their [Page] faith, became through many ab­uses, mens tradicions, errours and Idolatries, altogether defa­ced & falsified. A matter greately complained of, by many good mē both of hie calling & others, not onely at this day, but long since, and many yeres ago, desiring no thing so much as to see ye church of Christ well reformed. But it preuailed not as we maye appa­rantly see by al histories. Which thing caused our Auncestoures and predecessoures of moste wor­thye memorye, and other good men in other countries, for the quieting of their consciences, and because GOD did so ex­pressely commaunde them to flie from Idolatry, to withdraw thē selues from the obedience of the Pope of Rome, & of thēselues to make a reformatiō according to ye writings of the holy Apostles [Page] and Prophets, because they had no other meanes whereby to ob­taine it, and being perswaded as the trueth is, that it is better to obey God then man.

And it is wel knowen that af­ter these lōg and manifold trou­bles, wherwith the kingdome of France hath bene pitifully wa­sted & brought to a very low ebbe, there could be no better way pos­sibly deuised vpō, to appease for­mer troubles & to make an end of those grieuous calamities which haue through so long continuāce brought the whole kingdome to great extremitie, & almost appa­rant ruyne, then to suffer them which haue wtdrawen thēselues from the obedience of the Pope for the reasons before mētioned, to liue with freedome of their cō ­sciences vnder the free exercise of the reformed Religion, according [Page] to that confession which they pre­sented to ye King his brother that dead is. Accordingly as was in fine accorded, agreed, graunted & by othe promised, by his Maie­stie, and his Counsaile, by the Queene his mother, the Princes of his blood, and officers of his crowne, and other noblemen and gentlemen of his priuie counsell, by a perpetual and irreuocable Edict, promising that he woulde mainetayne and keepe through­lie and in all poyntes the peace last made & published in al parts of his Realme, In witnes wher­of, and of his good intent & mea­ning therein, he also sent the same to ye said Princes excellencie, & to many other Princes & noblemen of the Empire, by letters & Am­bassages vsing these termes fol­lowing, That he would keepe this edicte of pacification inuiolably for [Page] euer, as the first earnest penny and pledge of his word giuen to his sub­iects, which, he said, he had a care to keepe truly and faithfully.

But his excellēcy seing his ma­iestie presētly so sodeinly chāged, clean contrary to al yt he had pro­mised before, & to suffer him selfe to be so easely caryed away with a fewe of the states assembled at Bloys, whose billes were not an­swerable to the charge that was cōmitted vnto them, but as men easie to be wōne suffred thēselues to be framed to the fantasie of the aduerse partie, contrarie to all right and reason, as they of the reformed religion doe complaine and laye forthe their griefes a­gainst them, to reuoke yt which hee had before so aduisedly, and vpō so good ground and counsell solēnely protested, to wit, that he would suffer ye free exercise of the [Page] reformed religiō for euer, Wher­by his maiestie hath renewed ye former troubles and disorders of his realme, which were hardly & with great difficultie quenched & appeased, coulde not but be grie­ued at these news, not only in re­spect of his maiesties honor and reputation, & likewise his state, which entred very deeply into his excellency, cōsidering what occa­siō was offred hereby to all Prin­ces christiā, to conceiue of his actiōs otherwise then could wel soūd to his honor & credit, but also for ye regard & desire he had to ye wel­fare, safety & preseruation of all his subiectes in generall. For though diuers & strāge news had bene brought to his excellēcie be­fore, yet notwithstāding he could neuer be persuaded to credit thē, being of opiniō, that ye rumor had ben opēly deuised vpō some grief cōceiued against his maiesty vpō [Page] some pretēded purpose, to defame his maiesty amongst the common people.

For which cause the message which his maiestie sent by ye said Lord of Villequier grieued his ex­cellencie verye much, because it agreed wholy with that rumor & report which he had heard before which before that time hee could not in any wise perswade him selfe to be true.

And although his maiestie bee not bounde to make his excellen­cie an accompt of his doings and actions, and though his said excellencie desire nothing more, then that the Kinges dealinges may be such as might be iustifia­ble to euery priuat person, for the great good will and affection hee beareth to his maiestie: yet not­withstanding, his excellencie be­ing giuen to vnderstand by the [Page] said lorde of Villequier what his will and intent is, his said excel­lencie for the zeale he beareth to ye preseruation of ye King his maie­sties honor can do no lesse but lay forth plainely before him what he thinketh, & in singlenes of hearte shewe vnto his maiesty wt no lesse plainenes & vprightnes then he vseth in al his doings what he is persuaded is most cōuenient not only for his honor & ye safety of his persō, but generally for his whole state, desiring his maiesty to take it in no worse part then hee doeth meane it.

And first his excellēcy can not think, & much lesse cā he be persuaded to beleue, yt any mā whatsoe­uer hee bee either of honour or of good iudgemēt yt desireth ye wel­fare & honor of his maiestie, & pre­seruation of his crowne, would e­uer counsel him to breake ye edict [Page] of pacification yt was last made, and disanul that which he had so solemnely sworne & protested to keepe for euer inuiolably & with­out breach in any point & article whatsoeuer.

For first of al in so doing he ha­zardeth al his honor & reputatiō, & al hope he might haue to grow greater hereafter, in so much as there is no ornamēt so pretious & wel beseeming either kings, princes, or other noble mē & gentlemē of what degree & qualitie soeuer thei be, as to keep their faith & promes inuiolably. As on ye otherside there is nothing ye soūdeth more to their discredite & dishonor, or yt which draweth ye good willes & peoples hearts frō them, or is so preiudicious & hurtefull to their greatnes, as to speak one thīg in worde, & to doe an other thing in deede. All historyes both ecclesi­asticall and prophane, all exam­ples [Page] aswell ancient as moderne teach vs and witnesse vnto vs, not onely how shameful a faulte this is in the sight of men, but al­so howe displeasing it is to God himself, who hath in former time poured out his iust iudgemēt vp­on them that haue faulted in the same. To which purpose his ex­cellency cannot but lay before his maiestie amongst an infinite nō ­ber of others, the example of La­dislaus King of Hungarie, Boheme and Polonie, that dead is, who because he suffred him selfe to bee perswaded by the Pope & Cardi­nals vpō a wicked & folish colour yt he should be easily absolued af­terwards, to breake his promisse which he had giuen, not to one yt made profession of Christianity, but to Amurates Emperor of the turkes & enemy to ye christiās, did by ye occasion not onely leese his kingdō but also his life & what els [Page] soeuer he had in ye world, & more­ouer & besides yt, his head was, to ye great dishonour & shame of all christēdom, caryed throughout al ye townes of Asia. As his excellē ­cy hath declared more at large this pitiful history & certein other to ye same effect, to ye said L. of Vil­lequier, being moued wt ye desire he hath to preuente the mischiefe which is like to ensue, for the syn­cere affection which hee beareth to the weale of France, & only of purpose, yt they might serue for a looking glasse & exāple of others, not yt he desireth in any wise that any such inconuenience shoulde befall to his maiestie, which is a thing farthest from his thought, as the said lord of Villequier can informe him and is well able for the sufficiencye that is in him to giue his maiestye a vewe there­of.

[Page]Who hath moreouer to wey & consider diligentlye in him selfe what troubles & incōueniences, yea what bloodshedde hee is to looke for in his kingdome, and what calamities are like to ensue thereof, as also what yssue maye bee hoped for of those kinde of dealings: for moreouer and be­sides that it wil bee a very harde matter for his maiestie, to roote out, not only those that are next of his bloode, but also so manye thousand persons which are all his owne subiectes. And desire nothing more then to employe both their life & goods & whatso­euer els they might haue in this world for the seruice of his maie­stie, it is also greatly to be feared, yt the same men perceiuing nowe what his intent and purpose is, & being cleane out of hope for e­uer to come to any reconciliation [Page] or to purchase the fauour of their Prince and naturall Lord: And seeing them selues clean shut out of all hope of quietnes hereafter, be not in fine constrained for the preseruation of their liues and goods, to resort to the last & ex­treme remedie, which may be ve­ry preiudicious both to his maie­stie, and also to the whole crown of France.

And also it wil bee very harde and a matter of great difficultye for his maiestie to kicke against the pricke, and to plucke out of the heartes of his subiectes by force a knowen and perswaded trueth, and to stoppe the course of ye holy Gospel which the Lorde will haue spredde abroade euery day more and more, yea, though it were so yt his maiestye were a­ble (as happely many men desire) to root out al his subiects which [Page] make profession of the same refor­med religion, what shoulde his maiestie do otherwise therin, but to the great hurte and decaye of his kingdome, dismember one of his armes, yea the best arme hee hath, and so weakē him self more and more, and bereue and spoile him selfe of his owne forces.

And though some persuade his maiestie that to haue two diuers Religions in his kingdom is the cause of those troubles & dissesi­ons which fall out there, and in case he suffer thē both, he shal not be able to keepe his subiectes vn­der that obediēce which they owe to their superioures, for proofe whereof, they alleage ye Prin­ces & Electors of Germany, who wil not suffer wtin their territo­ries ye exercise of any religiō, saue of yt which they professe thēselues yet notwtstanding his excellēcie [Page] doubteth not, but yt his maiestie knoweth right wel, yt by the agre­ment made in the Empire for the matter of religion, there is with in the same, free exercise of them both permitted, and he knoweth that the same order is obserued in the kingdome of Polonie. In like sort did the Emperour that dead is, of most famous memory, and so doeth his sonne the Em­perour that now is, suffer with­in his territories and in manye townes, yea, euen in his court at Vienna, free exercise of two religions: by meanes whereof was maineteyned in al respectes as it is also at this daye, verye good peace and concorde in Ger­many. And so in like sort ye king­dome of France consisting of ma­ny & diuers prouinces, is in no respect to be cōpared to any one prince or elector of Germany, not [Page] only because there is no propor­cion comparable, but also because the said Princes and Electours did neuer make any such solemne promisse to their subiects, as his Maiestie hath done to thē whom God hath committed to his go­uernement.

And therefore, his excellencie praieth his Maiestie againe, that he would not suffer him self to be caried away with this persuasiō that the sufferance of the exercise of the reformed religion should be the cause of those troubles & dis­sensions, which haue continued to this day in France, for it is no new thing for the Christians and professors of true religiō, to be ac­cused and blamed as authours & causes of rebellion and sedition: for so it fared not onely with the holie Prophetes and Apostles, but also with Iesus Christ him [Page] self, although both hee and they were wrongfully charged there­with and against all truth. But that it would please his Maiestie to beleue and assure him selfe ra­ther that the stay and hinderance which some go about to make a­gainst the free course of Christian Religion, is the onely cause of all the calamities and miseries that haue fallen out heretofore, & may hereafter in ye kingdom of Frāce.

And therefore his excellencie prayeth & coūselleth his Maiest. as earnestly as he can, yt he would haue regarde of his honor, of his faith & promes, & of his reputatiō, to keepe thē safe & vnattainted, & also to wey aduisedly how much the matter importeth him, howe many and great inconueniences depende theron, and neuer suffer himself to be persuaded to haue a minde to follow a coūsaile which [Page] can neuer be put in execution, but it wilbe the vtter vndoing of the same, the shedding of an infinite deale of bloud, & is also directlie contrarie to his faith, promise & word of a Prince which his Ma­iestie hath giuen to his subiectes, but rather that hee would main­teine and confirme the edict of pa­cificatiō that was last published, in all the pointes and articles of the same. And in case his Maiest. were desirous to make some good accorde in the matter of Religiō, which surely were a Princely act and worthy a Christian, he were best for the accomplishing of the same, to vse not the edge of the sworde, but according to the ex­ample of his predecessours of worthie memorie, Constantine the great, Theodocius, and others, the sharpe sworde of the worde of God, by the meanes of a free and [Page] nationall counsel: for it hath bene proper euē from the beginning & at all times for the Churche, and so shall it continue to the end, that seeing the foundatiō thereof hath bene laide by bloud, it shall neuer be rooted out by sheddīg of bloud, but the more it is watered with bloud, the more it shall increase, & stretche more large abroade.

As for ye other part of ye charge cōmitted to ye said L. of Villequier, wherein his Maiestie requesteth his excellēcie that he would haue nothing to do with them of the religion, nor minister them any aide or fauour against him in case he should be required to the same, his excellencie would that his Maiestie should witte and vn­derstand, that hitherunto he hath medled with other mēs matters as litle as he might, and especial­ly neuer gaue occasion either by [Page] waye of counsell or otherwise to his subiectes to rise against him, and his excellencie hopeth that he shall haue occasion euer hereaf­ter (so that it may stande with the safenes of his conscience) to con­tinue in this good affection and singular amitie which he beareth to his Maiestie.

Whom hee prayeth most hum­blie in this behalf to take in good part all that he hath said before, as proceading from a heart that beareth a true affectiō vnto him, and respecteth nothing els but his honour and estimation, ioy­ned with his prosperous & quiet state, and to shewe him selfe here­in as becōmeth a King that hath a care to mainteine his honour & reputation with all men, as his excellencie trusteth God wil giue him the grace to do, which shall not only tende to the aduancing [Page] of Gods glory, but also generally to the whole estate and preserua­tion both of his persone and all his subiectes, and of his whole Realme.

And this is all that his excel­lencie could answere to yt which the said Lord of Villequier had in charge to deliuer vnto him from his Maiestie.

Signed beneath. William Lantgraue of Hessen.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.