A NEW-YEARES GIFT FOR ENGLISH CATHOLIKES, OR A Briefe and cleare Explication of the New Oath of Allegiance.

By E. I. Student in Diuinitie; For a more full Instruction, and appeasement of the consciences of English Catholikes, con­cerning the said OATH, then hath beene giuen them by I. E. Student in Di­uinitie, who compiled the Trea­tise of the PRELATE and the PRINCE.

1. PET. 2.

Feare God, Honour the King.

I H S.
MATTH. 22.

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars: and the things that are Gods to God.

With licence of Superiours. 1620.

A BRIEFE SVMMARIE of what is contai­ned in this TREA­TISE.

1. FIrst, An Admo­nition to Eng­lish Catholiks, to examin their cōsciences ex­actly concer­ning this New Oath of Allegi­ance: for that by refusing the same if it bee lawfull and mini­stred [Page]by good and full authori­tie, (as this Treatise conuinceth it to bee) they hazard not only their temporall estates, but also their eternall saluation, by diso­beying and resisting lawfull au­thoritie, and the ordinance of Al­mightie God.

2. Secondly, are set downe a Copie of the new Oath of Allegi­ance, The 13. Priests Protestation; Mr. Iohn Colletons Petition where­in hee confirmeth his former Pro­testation: and the Acknowledge­ment of Mr. Thomas Greene, (a Re­ligious Priest of the order of Saint Benedict, and Professour of Diui­nitie) concerning his opinion of the said Oath of Allegiance, with certaine notes and Obseruations added by the Authour to the said Protestation, & Acknowledgement.

3. Thirdly, Certaine generall Obseruations are set downe, to [Page]know first, the nature and condi­tions of euery lawfull Oath. Se­condly, what rules are to be obser­ued for the vnderstanding and in­terpreting of the true sense and meaning of any ambiguous word or sentence contained in any Law, and consequently in this Oath of Allegiance established by a Parliamentall Law. Thirdly, what was the intent and meaning of his Maiestie and the Parliament, in framing and proposing this new and vnwonted Oath of Allegiance, deuised vpon occasion of that vn­wonted Barbarous and Deuillish Conspiracie of the Powder-Tray­tours; to wit, not to make a distin­ction, betwixt Protestants & Catho­likes, but between Catholikes & Ca­tholikes, in point of their loyaltie and ciuill obedience, especially concerning the Popes authority to practise the deposition of Princes, [Page]which was the ground of that dānable Powder-Treason. Fourth­ly, to know vpon what assured grounds the Popes authoritie to depose Princes, or to practise their deposition, may not only be bare­ly denyed, but also abiured as damnable; impious, and hereticall: to wit, for that it is a controuersie among learned Catholikes, whe­ther the Pope hath authoritie to depriue Princes or no: and conse­quently, that it is open iniustice in the Pope; and manifest Treason in the Subiect to attempt the dispos­sessing of any Soueraigne Prince, by vertue of this pretended au­thoritie and clayme, so long as this Controuersie remayneth a foot, and is not decided by a law­full Iudge, and who without all doubt and Controuersie is known so to bee. Fiftly, page 64. it is shewed, that the Pope is no lawfull [Page]Iudge to end and decide this Con­trouersie concerning his own pre­tēded authoritie to depriue Soue­raigne Princes; for that it is a Con­trouersie among Learned Catho­likes, and approued by very many famous Prelates, Cardinals, and Doctours cited by the Authour, that the Pope, without the consent and approbation of a lawfull and vndoubted generall Councell, hath not authoritie to decide, deter­mine, or define any doctrinal que­stion at all, and much lesse in his owne particular cause, as is this Controuersie betwixt Him and Christian Princes: and that there­fore although hee should take vp­on him to decide this question, yet the Controuersie would still re­mayne a foote, and bee vndecided as it was before.

4. Fourthly, In the first eight Chapters it is cleerly shewed, that [Page]there is not any one Clause of the Oath, which wanteth either Veritie, Iustice, or Iudgement: and that therefore English Catholikes not only may lawfully, but also are bound in conscience to take it, when they are vrged thereunto by the Magistrate, whom the Prince and State hath appointed to ten­der the same: otherwise they re­sist lawfull authoritie, and the Or­dinance of God, which whosoeuer resist purchase to themselues dam­nation. Rom. 13.

5. Fiftly, In the ninth and last Chapter are cleerly answered the Popes declaratiue Breues, for­bidding English Catholikes to take the Oath, for that it contay­neth many things, which are mani­festly repugnant to faith and salua­tion; which Breues therefore doe not make, but only suppose the Oath to bee vnlawfull, as contay­ning in it some manifest falshood [Page]or iniustice: and therefore, abstracting from the Popes Breues, some particular clause of the Oath must be proued to be vnlawfull, which this Treatise doth euidently con­uince to bee vntrue. And first in this Chapter it is shewed, that it is no disobedience or irreuerence, not to obey. such declaratiue Breues, seeing that they are groun­ded vpon one of these two (or ra­ther vpon both) false suppositions: to wit, that either the doctrine for the Popes power to depriue Prin­ces is certaine, of Faith, and out of all Controuersie, and the contrarie not approued by learned Catho­likes, which supposition is manifest­ly false: or else that the Popes power to excommunicate, to bind and loose, and to absolue from Oaths in general, and consequent­ly his Spirituall authoritie is de­nyed in the Oath, which also is no [Page]lesse vntrue: and that therefore English Catholikes not only may lawfully and without any disobe­dience or irreuerence, but also are bound in conscience not to obey them, considering that they are so preiudiciall to themselues, so scan­dalous to the Catholike Roman Re­ligion, which they professe, and so iniurious to their Soueraign Prince, who, being in reall possession of his Kingdome, cannot vpon any controuersed Title or Power with out open iniustice bee dispossessed thereof. Secondly, it is shewed, that albeit diuers Popes haue since the time of Pope Gregorie the VII. challenged to themselues authori­tie to depriue Soueraigne Princes, yet they cannot bee truly said, to haue beene for any little time in possession of this their pretended authoritie, right and clayme: for that they haue euer beene resisted [Page]and contradicted by Christian Princes and Subiects in this their pretended right and clayme, wher­as, to possesse authoritie, right, or clayme to any thing, it is necessa­ry, according to the approued do­ctrine of Molina, and Lessius both Iesuites, and of all Diuines and Lawyers, that it bee without resi­stance and contradiction of the ad­uerse part: but one may truly and really possesse corporall things, as Lands, Houses, Kingdomes, al­though hee, that pretendeth to haue right to the same, yea and perchance hath true right there­unto, contradict and resist neuer so much. Thirdly, it is shewed, that howsoeuer any man may vnder pretence of following a probable opinion, thinke himselfe excused in conscience and in the sight of God (wherewith Princes in their Tribunals doe not meddle, but [Page]leaue mens consciences to the iudgement of God, the only sear­cher of all mens hearts) by con­curring with the Pope to the de­posing and dispossessing of his So­ueraigne Prince; yet considering that it is not only probable, but al­so most certaine, that hee is excu­sed in conscience and in the sight of God, by defending his Prince against such damnable, and tray­terous practises, which are groun­ded at the most vpon a probable power, title, and clayme, and also that hee cannot bee excused from formall Treason in the externall Court, both Ecclesiasticall and Secular of his Soueraigne Prince, who is in actuall possession of his Kingdome, & cānot without open iniustice be dispossessed vpon any vncertayne and controuersed power, clayme, or title though it were neuer so probable; it is eui­dent, [Page]that those Subiects might iustly bee accounted worse then mad, that would in such damna­ble and trayterous practises con­curre with the Pope to the dispos­sessing of their Soueraigne Prince, vnder pretence of a power, or ti­tle, which, euen in speculation, and abstracting from practise, can be at the most but probable.

6. Lastly, are set downe, First, the Oath of France, or the first Article of the lower House of Parliament, wherein of two hun­dred Deputies for the third Estates were but six Protestants: Secondly, two Arrests or Decrees of the Par­liament of Paris, forbidding vnder paine of Treason Cardinall Bellar­mines Booke against Barckley, and Suarez Booke against our Kings Maiesties Premonition, and third­ly another Decree of the said Par­liament, ordayning likewise that [Page]no person of what qualitie or con­dition soeuer doe teach the said doctrine of deposing Princes as problematicall or probable. All which Decrees are proued to be a­greeable to truth and iustice, and that Christian Princes, by vertue of their temporall power, haue good and full authoritie, both to forbid the teaching, maintayning, and publishing of all vnnecessarie doctrines & positions, be they ne­uer so probable, as the teaching and publishing of the same ten­deth to the subuersion of States-and to the disturbance of the pub­like peace in the Ciuill Common, wealth, and is dangerous to the Crownes and liues of temporall Princes; and also to punish with temporall punishments the teach­ers, maintayners, and publishers of the same.


1. COnsider with your selues, (Deare Coun­try-men) how greatly this new Oath of Allegiance concerneth you all, not only in your temporall states and libertie, which in conscience you are bound to regard, and not wilfully [Page]to cast away, (and the more if you haue a charge of Wife and Chil­dren, for whom in nature you are obliged to prouide) but chiefly in your soules health, which aboue all temporall things in this World you are bound to preferre. For what doth it profit a man, if hee gaine the whole World, and sustaine the damage of his soule? Mat. 16. Now if this new Oath bee truely an Oath of temporall Allegiance, and mini­stred by lawfull authoritie, (as this Treatise doth conuince it to bee) doubtlesse you incurre the danger of eternall damnation if you re­fuse it, by disobeying and resisting the iust commandement of lawfull authoritie, and the Ordinance of Almightie God, from whom all power and authoritie doth pro­ceed. For he that resisteth power Rom. 13. (or authoritie) resisteth the Ordinance of God; And they that resist pur­chase [Page]to themselues damnation.

2. First therefore, it behoo­ueth you that are Lay-men, to exa­mine diligently this matter, and not to be led hoodwinkd into the pit both of spirituall and tempo­rall miserie, especially by blinde and ignorant guides, who neither vnderstand, nor are desirous to know the true grounds of this im­portant Controuersie, and there­fore can hardly bee drawne for the informing of your consciences to descend with you in particular to the examination of the lawfulnes, or vnlawfulnesse of euery Branch of this Oath, which many of them, (I speak with griefe, and not with­out Booke) haue not so much as euer read, but to cloake their igno­rance vnder colour of Zeale and Deuotion, without any further examining, they only cry out to you in general termes, The Church, [Page]the Pope, the Rocke is that, which good Catholikes ought to cleaue vnto; not knowing themselues, what authoritie is spirituall and due to the Pope or Church, and what authoritie is temporall and due to temporall Princes, and that the Pope is not the Church, but on­ly the chiefe member thereof; and that the Popes opinion, and conse­quently his Declaratiue Breues, when they are grounded either vpon false suppositions, or else on­ly vpon his opinion, are not the Rocke, whereon Catholikes ought to build their eternall saluation; and lastly, not considering, that many times when Popes and Prin­ces haue beene and shall bee in op­position, the Popes both haue bin, may lawfully bee, and also ought to bee resisted. As the resistance, which Philip the Faire made to Pope Boniface the VIII. (who [Page] depriued the said King, & gaue his Kingdome to Genebrard. lib. 4. ad annum 1294. Albertus the Empe­rour, and declared, that he accoun­ted them for Heretikes, who did not beleeue that the said King was sub­iect to him in Spiritualls and Tem­poralls) Vignerius ad annum. and the resistance, which Lewis the XII. made to Pope Iu­lius the II. (by whom he was de­priued, and his Kingdome Genebrard. lib. 4. ad annum 1503. Guicciardin. lib. 11. hist. Richeome in Apoleget. cap. 24 25. See Brerely in the Preface of his Protestants Apologie, &c. Sec. 20. 21. & seq. giuen in pray to any that could take it) is well commended by Lewis Ri­cheome Prouinciall of the Iesuites, and proposed for an example to be imitated; yea and he sheweth, that whensoeuer any Bishop of Rome should offend the King of France, as those Kings were of­fended by those Bishops, the Ie­suites in such an occasion would doe that which good Clergie­men, and good French-men toge­ther with the said King Philip, and Lewis did in those times, [Page]who defended their rights against those Popes, Boniface and Iulius, without any irreuerence to the Sea Apostolike. And there­fore, I beseech you, (Deare Coun­trey-men) to take heed vpon what guides you relye for the directing of your soules in these important affaires, and remember that Admo­nition of our Sauiour, Mat. 15. Blinde they are, and guides of the blinde. And if the blinde be guide to the blinde, both fall into the ditch.

3. Secondly, you that are Priests, and haue taken vpon you to guide others in the way to saluation, and ought to be alwayes readie to satis­fie euery one that asketh you a reason of that faith which is in you, 1. Pet. 3 if you thinke in your consciences the Oath to bee lawfull, and ministred by good and full authoritie, you ought to take great heede, that your soules bee not defiled, nor [Page]your consciences stayned with some worldly respect, and that neither hope of gaine or prefer­ment, nor feare of want or disgrace keepe you backe from giuing war­ning to those, whom you are boūd to guide, direct, and instruct, to be­ware of the danger, which they are like to fall into by resisting the Ordinance of God, if they refuse the Oath, when it is tendred them by lawfull authoritie; lest that you foreseeing their danger, and not crying out to them to take heede, be not only partakers of their spi­rituall harme, but doe also coope­rate to their temporall ruine, and so haue cause to rue your silence, and to cry out your selues when it is too late, Vae mihi quia tacui, Woe is mee because I haue held my peace. Isa. 6. But if perchance any of you, who in your consciences thinke the [Page] Oath to be lawfull, should for some worldly respect, (which God for­bid) cry out against the takers or approouers thereof, this were not only to sin most damnably against your owne consciences, but also in some sort against the Holy Ghost, and to impugne that, which in your soules and consciences you thinke, and acknowledge to bee true, which how hardly it is for­giuen either in this World, or the next, Mat. 12. our Sauiour himselfe doth expresly witnesse.

4. Lastly, those Priests that in their consciences thinke the Oath to be vnlawfull, and thereupon do not only giue warning to those, whom they haue taken vpon them to guide and direct, to take heede, and beware of the spirituall dan­ger, which they thinke will arise by taking the same, but also in [Page]their zeale do cry out against their Catholike Brethren, who either doe take the Oath, or thinke it to be lawfull, as Apostates from the Catholike Faith and Religion, and disobedient children to the Pope and Church, (giuing the like occa­sion to others to cry out against them, as Apostates from their na­turall Allegiance, and disobedient & disloyall Subiects to their tem­porall Prince) it behoueth them most of all to looke to themselues, and, (according to the admoniti­on, which Card. Bellarmine vpon occasion of relating the fearefull death of Pope Innocentius the III. giueth to Prelates and PastoursBellar. de ge [...]i­tu, columbae, lib. 2. cap. 9.) to examine all the secrets of their consciences most exactly, lest per­chance it bee erroneous, albeit to them it seeme to be sound & iust: and that their zeale (albeit to them [Page]selues seeme pure, and accor­ding to knowledge) bee not blind, and grounded vpon wil­full or culpable ignorance, like that, which the Iewes had in cru­cifying our Sauiour, and Saint Paul, (when he was Saul) in per­secuting his Disciples, who thought thereby to doe God great seruice.

5. And truly if their Zeale were hurtfull to none but to them­selues, they would doubtlesse be the more excusable; but conside­ring how preiudiciall it is both to his Maiesties honour, and also to his temporall Soueraigntie, how scandalous it is to Catholicke Re­ligion, and how iniurious it is to their Catholike brethren, not in­feriour to themselues in vertue and learning (whom they seeke to disgrace, and to make odious to all [Page] Catholickes, epecially to their benefactors and friends, and so by taking from them their good names and maintenance, to bring them into extreame want and miserie, and, as much as in them lyeth, into manifest desperation (for which they are one day to render a most strict account) they haue great cause to examine their consciences narrowly, and carefully to consider, vp­on what assured grounds they can excuse themselues at the dreadfull day of Iudge­ment, for taking such scanda­lous, iniurious, and vnchari­table courses, both against their Soueraigne Prince, (whom next vnder God they are bound to honour and o­bey in temporals) and also a­gainst [Page]their Catholicke bre­thren, who not onely are as learned and religious as them­selues, but also haue exami­ned this important controuer­sie, and all the danger both spirituall and temporall that dependeth thereon, as di­ligently, if not farre more, then they themselues haue done.

6. To the end therefore that all of you, (my deare Countrimen) may examine your consciences in this poynt of the Oath, more easily and eactly, and be more fully in­structed therein, then you haue beene by I. E. the Au­thour of the Prelate and the Prince, (who, if the com­mon rumour bee true, will heare shortly with shame e­nough [Page]what goodly Instruct­ions he hath giuen you) I haue out of Roger Widdringtons ex­presse doctrine and grounds col­lected this little Treatise, which for that it was finished this first day of the yeare, I am bould to present it to your Charities for a New-yeares-gift, as a small token of the great desire I haue both of your spirituall and temporall welfare. And my onely re­quest is, that you will bee plea­sed to read it, as I hope you will, it beeing neither so prolixe, but that in some few houres you may mane it ouer, nor so obscure, but that any man of meane ca­pacitie may vnderstand it, and after you haue read it, to iudge thereof accordingly. And if I shall heare, that you haue rea­ped [Page]any benefit thereby, I shall thinke my paines exceeding well bestowed; but howsoeuer, I shall not thinke my labour lost by gi­uing you this euident token of my loue: for that the loue and dutie I owe to my Prince and Countrie, to the Catholicke Religion, and to you my deare Catholick brethren, and aboue all to God Almightie, the Author of all truth, yea truth it selfe, and who will in due time render to euerie man according to his workes, Rom. 2. hath, for the defence of a necessarie truth, moued mee to take this paines. And so with my best wishes, I bid you heartily farewell, hoping that you will bee wise, and not be transported with a blind and intemperate zeale to­wards Prince or Prelate, but that you will bee carefull to feare God, to honour the King, and without [Page]all partialitie, to render to God and Caesar (and consequently to Popes and Princes) that which is their due.

A Copie of the new Oath of Allegiance, deuided into eight Branches as it is in this Treatise explay­ned.

1. I A.B. doe truely and sincerely ac­knowledge, professe, testifie and de­clare in my conscience before God and the World, That our Soue­raigne Lord King Iames, is lawfull and rightfull King of this Realme, and of all other his Maiesties Dominions and Countries.

2. And that the Pope neither of himselfe, nor by any authoritie of the Church, or See of Rome, or by any other meanes which any other hath any Power or Authoritie to depose the King, or to dispose any of his Maiesties Kingdomes, or Dominions, or to authorize any for­raigne Prince to inuade or annoy Him or his Countries, or to discharge any of his Subiects of their Allegiance and O­bedience to his Maiestie, or to giue li­cense or leaue to any of them to beare Armes, rayse Tumults, or to offer any [Page 2]Violence, or hurt to his Maisties Royall Person, State, or Gouernment, or to any of his Maiesties Subiects within his Maiesties Dominions.

3. Also, I doe sweare from my heart, that notwithstanding any Decla­ration, or Sentence of Excommunication, or Depriuation made or granted, or to be made or granted by the Pope or his Suc­cessours, or by any Authoritie deriued or to be deriued from him, or his See against the said King, his Heires or Successours, or any absolution of the said Subiects from their Obedience, I will beare Faith and true Allegiance to his Maiestie, his Heires and Successours, and him and them will defend to the vttermost of my power, against all Conspiracies and At­tempts whatsoeuer, which shall be made against His, or their Persons, their Crown and Dignitie, by reason or colour of any such Sentence or Declaration or other­wise, and will doe my best endeuour to disclose and make knowne vnto his Ma­iestie, his Heires and Successours, all Treasons and Trayterous Conspiracies, which I shall know or heare of to bee a­gainst him or any of them.

[Page 3]4. And I doe further sweare, That I doe from my heart abhorre, detest and abiure, as impious and hereticall, this damnable doctrine, and position, That Princes which bee excommunicated or depriued by the Pope may be deposed or murthered by their Subiects, or any other whatsoeuer.

5. And I doe beleeue, and in consci­ence am resolued, that neither the Pope, nor any person whatsoeuer hath power to absolue mee of this Oath, or any part thereof.

6. Which I acknowledge by good and full authoritie to bee lawfully ministred vnto me, and doe renounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrarie.

7. And all these things I doe plain­ly and sincerely acknowledge and sweare, according to these expresse words by mee spoken, and according to the plaine and common sense and vnderstanding of the same words without any Equiuocation, or mentall euasion, or secret reseruation whatsoeuer.

8. And I doe make this recognition and acknowledgement heartily, willingly and truly vpon the true Faith of a Chri­stian. So helpe me God.

A Copie of the Protestation, which thirteene Reuerend Priests made of their Allegiance to Queene Elizabeth, by a publike Instrument the last day of Ianuary 1602. in the last yeere of her Ma­iesties Reigne.

WHereas it hath pleased our Dread Soueraigne Ladie to take some notice of the Faith, and Loyaltie of vs Her naturall borne Subiects Secular Priests (as it appeareth in the late Pro­clamation) and of her Princelike cle­mencie hath giuen a sufficient earnest of some mercifull fauour towards vs (being all subiect by the Lawes of the Realme to death by our returne into the Countrie after our taking the Order of Priest­hood since the first yeere of Her Maie­sties Reigne) and only demandeth of vs a true profession of our Allegiance, ther­by to bee assured of our fidelitie to Her Maiesties Person, Crowne, Estate and Dignitie, Wee, whose names are vnder­written, in most humble wise prostrate at [Page 5]Her Maiesties feet doe acknowledge our selues infinitely bound vnto Her Maie­stie therefore, and are most willing to giue such assurance and satisfaction in this point, as any Catholike Priests can or ought to giue vnto their Soue­raignes.

First, therefore wee acknowledge, and confesse the Queenes Maiestie to haue as full Authority, Power and Soueraign­tie ouer vs, and ouer all the Subiects of the Realme, as any Her Highnesse Prede­cessours euer had: And further we pro­test, that we are most willing and readie to obey Her in all Cases and Respects as farre forth, as cuer Christian Priests within this Realme, or in any other Chri­stian Countrie were bound by the Law of God and Christian Religion to obey their Temporall Princes; as to pay Tribute, and all other Regall Duties vnto Her Highnesse, and to obey Her Lawes and Magistrates in all Ciuill Causes, to pray vnto God for Her prosperous and peace­able Reigne in this life according to his blessed will and that shee may hereafter attaine euerlasting blisse in the Life to come. And this our acknowledgement [Page 6]wee thinke to bee so grounded vpon the Word of GOD, as that no Authoritie. no Cause, or pretence of Cause can or ought (vpon any occasion) be a sufficient Warrant more vnto vs then to any Pro­testant to disobey Her Maiestie in any Ciuill or Temporall matter.

Secondly, whereas for these many yeeres past diuers Conspiracies against her Maiesties Person and Estate, and sundrie forcible attempts, for inuading and conquering her Dominions, haue bin made vnder we knew not what pretences and intendments of restoring Catholike Religion by the sword (a course most strange in the World, and vndertaken peculiarly and solely against Her Ma­iestie, and Her Kingdomes among other Princes departed from the Religion and Obedience of the See Apostolike (no lesse then she) by reason of which violent Enterprizes, her Maiestie, otherwise of singular clemencie toward Her Subiects, hath beene greatly mooued to ordayne, and execute seuerer Lawes against Ca­tholikes (which by reason of their vnion with the See Apostolike in Faith and Religion, were easily supp [...]sed to fauour [Page 7]these Conspiracies and Inuasions) then perhaps had euer bin enacted or thought vpon, if such Hostilitie and Warres had neuer beene vndertaken; We, to assure Her Maiestie of our faithfull Loyaltie also in this particular cause doe sincerely protest, and by this our publike fact make knowne to all the Christian World, That in these cases of Conspiracies, of practi­zing Her Maiesties death, of Inuasions, and of whatsoeuer forcible Attempts, which hereafter may be made by any for­raigne Prelate, Prince or Potentate, whosoeuer either ioyntly or seuerally for the disturbance or subuersion of Her Maiesties Person, Estate, Realmes, or Dominions, vnder colour, shew, pre­tence or intendment of restoring the Ca­tholike Romane Religion in England, or Ireland, We will defend Her Maiesties Person, Estate, Realmes and Dominions from all such forcible and violent ass [...]ults and iniuries. And moreouer Wee will not only our selues detect and reueale any Conspiracies or Plots which we shall vn­derstand to bee vndertaken by any Pre­late, Prince, or Potentate against Her Maiesties Person or Dominions for any [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8]cause whatsoeuer as is before expressed, and likewise to the vttermost of our power resist them, but also will earnely perswade, as much as in vs lyeth, all Catholikes to doe the same.

Thirdly, if vpon any Excommuni­cation denounced or to bee denounced against Her Maiestie, or vpon any such Conspiracies, Inuasions or forcible At­tempts to be made as are before expressed the Pope should also excommunicate e­uery one borne within Her Maiesties Dominions that would forsake the afore­said defence of Her Maiestie and Her Realmes, and take part with such Con­spirators, or Inuaders in these and all o­ther like Cases, wee in these and all such like Cases doe thinke our selues, and all the Lay-Catholikes borne within Her Maiesties Dominions not bound in con­science to obey this or any such like Cen­sure, but will defend our Prince and Countrie, accounting it our duties so to doe, and that notwithstanding any Au­thoritie, or any Excommunication whatsoeuer either denounced or to bee denounced as is aforesaid, to yeild vnto Her Maiestie all obedience in Temporall Causes.

[Page 9]And because nothing is more certaine, then that whilst we endeuor to assure Her Maiestie of our dutifull Affection and Allegiance by this our Christian and sincere Protestation, there will not want who will condemne and misconstrue our lawfull Fact, yea, and by many finister suggestions and calumnies discredit our doings with the Christian World, but chiefly with the Popes Holinesse to the greatest preiudice and harme of our good names and persons that may be, vnlesse maturely wee preuent their endeuours herein, Wee most humbly beseech Her Maiestie, that in this our recognizing and yeilding Caesars due vnto Her, wee may also by Her Gracious leaue be per­mitted, for auoyding Obloquie and Ca­lumnies, make knowne by like publike Act, that by yeilding Her right vnto Her, wee depart from no bond of that Christian Dutie which we owe vnto our Supreme spirituall Pastour.

And therefore wee acknowledge and confesse the Bishop of Rome to be the Successour of Saint Peter in that See, and to haue as ample and no more Au­thoritie or Iurisdiction ouer vs and other [Page 10]Christians, then had that Apostle by the gift and commission of Christ our Saui­our, and that Wee will obey him so farre forth as we are bound by the Lawes of God to doe, which we doubt not but will stand well with performance of our Duty to our Temporall Prince in such sort as we haue before professed. For as we are most ready to spend our bloud in the de­fence of Her Maiestie and our Country, so we will rather lose our liues then in­fringe the lawfull authoritie of Christs Catholike Church.

  • William Bishop.
  • Iohn Colleton.
  • Iohn Mush.
  • Robert Charnocke.
  • Iohn Bosseuile.
  • Anthonie Hebborne.
  • Roger Cadwallader.
  • Robert Drury.
  • Anthony Champney.
  • Iohn Iackson.
  • Francis Barneby.
  • Oswald Needham.
  • Richard Button.

This Protestation of the thirteene Catholike Priests (to which a great number more would haue subscribed, if the Articles which those Priestes gaue vp to the State, had beene retur­ned them backe, but some few dayes before the end of the time prefixed to them by the Proclamation, to make known to the State their Allegiance) was the ground and foundation from whence the Parliament (as the Lord Archbishop of Canterburie D. Ban­croft told a friend of mine) framed the forme of this new Oath of Allegi­ance, as agreeable to the doctrine, which any Catholike subiect, accor­ding to the grounds of true Catho­like Religion, might lawfully main­taine, to make thereby a true distincti­on not betweene Protestants, and Catho­likes, but betweene ciuilly obedient Ca­tholikes, and in all other things good Sub­iects, and such other Catholikes as in their hearts maintained the like violent bloodie maximes that the Powder-Trai­tours did. See beneath in the third Obseruation. And doubtlesse, whosoe­uer will compare the new Oath, and their Protestation together, and doe [Page 12]withall consider, that Queene Eliza­beth was long before that time depri­ued of all Regall power, authoritie, dig­nitie, and Iurisdiction by the Bull of Pius Quintus, and also obserue vpon what assured grounds and principles those Priests could lawfully acknow­ledge her Maiesty to haue as full Au­thority, Power and Soueraignty ouer them and all the Subiects of this Realme, as any Her Predecessours euer had, and also could lawfully promise, that they would yeild to Her Maiestie all Obedi­ence in Temporall Causes, notwithstan­ding any authority, or any Excommuni­cation whatsoeuer denounced or to be de­nounced against Her Maiestie, or Her Subiects, as is aforesaid; he will cleerly perceiue, that their Protestation is all one in effect and substance with this new Oath of Allegiance, and that the only difference betwixt them is, that in the Oath the Popes authority to de­pose the King, &c. is expresly and in plaine wordes denyed, and in their Protestation the deniall thereof is only couertly, vertually, and by a necessary consequence implyed; notwithstan­ding [Page 13]all the euasions, tergiuersations, turnings, windings, sayings and vn­sayings, which any one of these Priests (if for some worldly respect or other motiue hee should now repent him of what he had done) could to excuse himselfe from Periurie, pos­sibly vse or inuent.

A Copie of Master Iohn Colletons Petition to the Lord Archbishop of Canterburies Grace, wherein hee confirmeth his former Protestation, many yeeres after the new Oath of Allegiance was established.

IF your Grace and the State saw the present affections of my heart, and were pleased to looke on my carria­ges past, neyther trouble some, or vn­respectiue, I hope the fauour I am to desire, albeit it may seeme extraordina­ry, yet the same could not altogether be deemed vnworthily extended. The vo­luntarie and free Recognition I made in the late Queenes Reigne as it then sufficed, and is now extant in print, so [Page 14]doth it still witnesse the readinesse of my professed Allegiance in all Secular and Ciuill affaires. Neither haue I bin, am now, or by Gods grace euer shall be otherwise affected, then in like sort to acknowledge his Maiestie that now gouerneth, for my lawfull Dread So­ueraigne, obey in all Politicall admini­stration, and defend his sacred Person, Crowne, and Dominions to the vtter­most of my power against all enemies of what place and calling soeuer. The commiseration I most humbly beseech your Grace to take of my aged yeeres, accompanied with sundrie infirmities, is, to stand so good Lord vnto me, as to enlarge me vpon sufficient securitie for my appearance before your Honour, at the time your Lordship shall thinke fit to assigne, An euident meane of lengthing my life, beside the easing of the heauy charge my imprisonment im­poseth. I would very gladly haue beene herein my owne Sollicitour in person, but that I hold the boldnesse greater in respect of my disgracefull state, then I durst to aduenture on without your [Page 15] Lordships good liking thereunto first vnderstood.

Your Graces most suppliant Petitioner, IOHN COLLETON.

A Copie of the Declaration and Acknowledgement which Master Iames Houghton, alias Thomas Green, a Religious Priest of the Order of Saint Benedict, and professour of Di­ninitie, made vnder his owne hand writing to the Lord Bishop of Dur­ham, the first of Nouember, 1619. tou­ching his opinion of the Oath of Allegiance.

Iames Houghton, alias, Thomas Green, his opinion touching the Oath of Allegiance.

1 FIrst, I do ingenuously confesse, that his Maiestie had very iust cause, by occasion of that most trecherous plot of the Gunpowder-Treason, to propose to all [Page 16]his Subiects English Catholikes [...] Oath of ciuill fidelitie and obedience due vnto Kings both by the Lawes of God and Nature, and that in most ef­fectuall and peremptory termes, for try­all of their fidelity and loyalty to H [...] Maiestie their true Soueraigne Lord and King.

2. Secondly, it seemeth to me that the Church had done her dutie, if she had shewed her dislike of that odious practice of the Gun-powder-Treason, by some publike declaration in detestati­on thereof, both for his Maiesties sa­tisfaction, and for the confirmation of his Catholike Subiects in their fidelity and allegiance vnto Him.

3. Thirdly, I doe ingenuously con­fesse, that to me it seemeth most true, that the doctrine, which approueth murthering of Kings by their owne Subiects or any else, is both damnable and hereticall, yea, though it be in ca­su Apostasiae a fide aut Infidelitatis, in case of Apostasie from faith, or of Infidelitie.

4. Fourthly, I do ingenuously grant, that it seemeth to mee in my priuate [Page 17]iudgement, that there is nothing in the Oath, but that it may, according to Ro­ger Widdrington his Glosse and Expo­sition, be lawfully taken of English Ca­tholikes His Maiesties Subiects, though some both Learned and Reli­gious hold the contrarie.

Yet I finde three scruples concerning the Oath, which cause mee to entreate some further time of consideration and conference for my better satisfaction.

The first is, concerning the Romane Councell vnder Gregorie the seuenth, and the Councell of Lateran, sub in­nocentio tertio, whether they haue de­fined any thing in this point.

The Second is, whether it bee fit for mee to oppose my priuate iudgement to two Breues of the Pope, that say in the Oath there bee many things contrarie to faith and saluation, though they ex­presse not any thing in particular.

The Third is, whether by taking the Oath I shall not giue scandall to many learned Priests and Catholikes, who refuse it, and for refusall hazard their liues and Estates.

In regard whereof I humbly pray [Page 18]further respite, for better consideration and confererence: And in the meane time I promise and vow to be a true & faithfull Sabiect to His Maiestie & His Successours during my life, and so am fully resolued to continue, notwithstand­ing any Sentence from the Pope what­soeuer of Excommunication, Deposi­tion, or Absolution of his Maiesties Subiects from their naturall obedience to Him, and his Heires, &c. for whom I most affectionately pray God of his infinite mercie, specially to direct and assist in all their actions and procee­dings.

Thomas GREENE.

But as touching the three scruples mentioned in the fourth Article, it is to bee obserued, that all of them are particularly and verie cleerely answe­red by Roger Widdrington. Widdringt. in Discuss. Discuss. part. 3. sec. 2. & in detecti­one calum. D. Schulck. §. 7 nu. 16. & seq.

And first to the Councell of Rome vnder Pope Gregorie the Seuenth, hee sheweth, that in the Canon, Nos San­ctorum, nothing is defined, if wee re­gard the rules, which Cardinall Bel­larmine alleageth to make a true defi­nition,Bell. lib. 2. de Rom. Pont. c. 12. [Page 19]neither is there any mention made in that decree of any consent of the Bishops, who were present; and that albeit any thing mentioned in that degree had beene expresly de­fined, yet considering that it is a pro­bable doctrine, that the Popes defi­nitions in a Prouinciall Councell, as was that Romane Councell, are vncer­taine and fallible, they cannot make the doctrine, which they define, to be certaine, and the contrarie to bee improbable.

Secondly, hee sheweth, that neither from the words of that Canon it can bee gathered, that the Pope hath au­thoritie to depriue Soueraigne Prin­ces, but only inferiour Lords and Ma­gistrates by the consent and authori­tie of those absolute Princes, to whom they are subiect in temporalls: and that therefore that Canon Nos San­ctorum is to bee vnderstood only of those, who are subiect to the Pope in temporalls, and hath force to binde only in his owne Territories, or it was confirmed by the consent and autho­ritie of other absolute Princes, as ma­ny [Page 20]learned Canonists mentioned by Pope Innocentius, Hostiensis, and Ioan­nes Andreas expound the Canon, Ad abolendam de haereticis. In can. Ad abo­lendam. And as con­cerning the Dictatus Papae, which Les­sius vrgeth and attributeth to a Ro­man Councell, wherein it is expresly said,Widdringt. in Disput. Theol. cap. 3. sec. 1. That the Pope hath power to de­pose the Emperour: That he hath power to absolue subiects from their Allegi­ance, Widdrington sheweth that they neither belong to any Romane Coun­cell, nor containe any definition, but only a declaration of the said Pope Gregories opinion, who thought hee had such authoritie, and that hee might lawfully practise it, wherein neuerthelesse, as being a thing neuer heard of before that Age, saith Onu­phrius, Onuphrius lib. 4. de varia creat. Rō. Pont. hee was greatly, and might lawfully be contradicted by true and vertuous Catholikes, as also at this present many other opinions of Popes concerning their Dispensations and Absolutions in other things are con­tradicted by vertuous and learned Catholike Diuines.

To the Councell of Lateran, Wid­drington [Page 21]hath answered at large, both in a peculiar Treatise of the Decree of this Councell against Lessius, and also in his Confutation of Fitz-her­berts Reply, wherein hee sheweth, that, according to the doctrine and exposition of famous and learned Ca­nonists and Diuines, the Decree of this Councell neither was, nor could be vnderstood of Emperours, Kings, and absolute Princes, who in temporall matters, wherein they are supreme and subiect to none but God, are not comprehended vnder any generall names, if the matter be penall and o­dious, and much lesse vnder the ge­nerall name of a Temporall or Prin­cipall Magistrate or Lord, (as nei­ther an Abbot is in penall and odious matters comprehended vnder the ge­nerall name of a Monke, nor a Bishop vnder the generall name of a Priest) but that it is only to be vnderstood of Dukes, Earles, Maiors, Bailiffes, and such other inferiour temporall Lords and Magistrates (as likewise by the names of a Temporall and principall Lord or Magistrate, they are com­prehended [Page 22]in the Emperours Decree, who vseth the verie same generall words;) and that therefore this De­cree of the Lateran Councell had force to bind only in the Popes temporall Dominions, or it was confirmed by the authoritie and consent of Soue­raigne Princes, to whom such inferior Lords and Magistrates were sub­iect.

To the second Scruple concerning the Popes Breues, Widdrington hath fully answered in his Theologicall Dis­putation, and more at large in his An­swere to Fitz-herbert: Cap. 10. sec. 2. part. 3. cap. vlt. and partly in the last Chapter of this Treatise, wherein hee sheweth, that it is no disobedience or irreuerence not to o­bey these declaratiue Breues, being grounded vpon false suppositions, as he conuinceth them to be, and that it is not only fitting, but necessarie for euerie good and vertuous Catholike, not to obey any such Breues, especial­ly when they command a thing which is in preiudice of a third per­son, as is the forbidding of this Oath, which is so preiudiciall not onely to [Page 23]His Maiestie and his subiects, but al­so to the temporall Soueraigntie of all other absolute Princes.

To the third Scruple concerning the scandall, Widdrington hath fully answered, partly in the Preface of his Apologeticall Answere, nu 21. cap. 10. sec. 3. and more fully in his Theologicall Disputation where­in hee hath shewed, that if the Oath be lawfull, and doth not containe any falshood or iniustice, but is an Oath of true temporall Allegiance, and mi­nistred by good and full authoritie, as this Treatise doth make manifest, it is no giuing of scandall to take the Oath, but that those Priests and Ca­tholikes doe giue great scandall by refusing it, and giue iust occasion to all Protestant Princes and subiects to thinke, that true temporall Allegiance due to a temporall Prince cannot, ac­cording to the grounds of the Catho­like Roman Religion, stand with true spirituall obedience due to the Pope and other spirituall Pastours, where­by they mightily wrong all temporall Princes, they greatly scandalize the Catholike Roman Religion, & as much [Page 24]as much as in them lyeth, they seeke to auert all Protestant Princes and subiects from shewing any fauour to the professors of the same.

A Plaine and necessarie Preamble, wherein certaine important Obser­uations are set downe, for the better vnderstanding of this new Oath of Allegiance.

BEfore I come to explaine the particular branches of this new Oath established by Act of Parliament, I thinke it not a­misse to set downe by way of a Pre­amble or Preface certaine general Ob­seruations, which may giue no little light to the better vnderstanding of the same.

The First Ob­seruation.1. First, therefore to know the nature and conditions of an Oath, it is to be obserued, that euerie lawfull Oath must be discreet, iust, and true; according to that of the Prophet Ie­remie, Ierem. 4. And thou shalt sweare in Truth, and in Iustice, and in Iudgement.

Iudgement is required chiefly in [Page 25]regard of the swearer, that hee take not the Name of God in vaine, rash­ly, irreuerently, without iust and vr­gent occasion, and not duly exami­ning the truth of what he sweareth; for the matter or thing which is sworne, may oftentimes bee true and iust, and yet the Name of God may bee taken in vaine, and without iust cause or necessitie to confirme the same.

Iustice is required chiefly in a Pro­missorie Oath, to wit, wherein some­thing is promised for the future time to be done or omitted: and therefore as it is vnlawfull to promise any thing which is vniust, so is it more vnlaw­full to confirme that vniust promise by Oath. Yet Iustice may also some­times bee wanting in an Assertorie Oath, as when one reuealeth a secret, which in Iustice hee is bound to con­ceale, and confirmeth the same by Oath, for then he sweareth truly, but vniustly.

Veritie or Truth is necessarie in all Oaths, for also in a promissorie Oath two kinds of veritie are required; the [Page 26] one is for the pesent time (wherein it resembleth the nature of an Assertorie Oaeth) for hee that promiseth to doe, or not to doe any thing, must haue his words agreeable to his minde, and therefore must for the present haue a minde or intent to performe what hee promiseth; otherwise hee sweareth vntruly; the second veritie is for the future time; for he that promi­seth any thing, calling God for wit­nesse of his promise, and through his owne default doth not performe his promise at the time appointed, is for­sworne, and his promissorie Oath wan­teth veritie: But truth and veritie is chiefly required in Assertorie Oaths, to wit, wherein some thing is affirmed to be true or false. And therefore as it is vnlawfull for one to affirme that to be true, which hee knoweth to bee false, and contrariwise, for this were expresly and formally to lye, or to af­firme that to be true or false, whereof he is vncertaine or doubtfull, for this were to expose himselfe to danger of speaking an vntruth, so also it is much more vnlawfull to confirme the same by Oath.

[Page 27]2. Whereupon Periurie is defined by the Schoole-Diuines to be a lye confirmed by Oath. Magister in 3. dist. 39. S. Thom. And therefore as a lye is deuided into a formall lye, to wit, when one affirmeth any thing to be true or false, and thinketh other­wise in his mind (for to lye, saith Saint Augustine, August. lib de Mendacio. is to speake against that which hee thinketh in his minde,) and into a materiall lye, to wit, when one speaketh as hee thinketh, and yet in very deed it is otherwise; So Periu­rie is deuiued into materiall and for­mall Periurie, for that Periurie is a lye confirmed by Oath, and only ad­deth to a lye the calling of God to witnesse of what hee speaketh. And therefore whatsoeuer may bee affir­med without danger of lying, may be sworne without danger of Periurie: and as the falshood which maketh a formall lye, is not to bee taken from the thing as it is in it selfe or ex parte rei, but as it is conceiued by the spea­ker, for that to lye is to speake against the minde, so the falshood, which maketh formall Periurie, is not to be taken from the thing which is sworn, [Page 28]as it is in it selfe, or ex parte rei, but as it is against the mind and knowledge of the swearer.

3. For the veritie, which is requi­red in an Oath, consisteth in this, saith Gregorius de Valentia & Sayrus, Valentia tom. 3 disp. 6. q. 7. p. 3. Sayrus lib. 5. Thesauri cap. 4. nu. 7. that the thing bee true, at least wise accor­ding to the reasonable iudgement of the swearer. And therefore it is to be ob­serued, that to iudge whether an Oath be true or false, we must not so much regard the thing sworne, as the mind and knowledge of him that sweareth. So that whosoeuer affirmeth a thing by Oath, saith Siluester and Petrus A­ragoua, Siluest. verbo Periurium q. 1. Aragoua, 2. 2. q. 89. art. 3. in that manner as hee knoweth it to be true, is not formally forsworne: as if he sweare his opinion, acknow­ledgement, or perswasion, he must be morally certaine, that he is so perswa­ded, if he sweare it absolutely to bee so, he must bee morally certaine it is so, otherwise he exposeth himselfe to danger of being forsworne, and al­though in very deed it fall out other­wise, then he is morally certain, yet he is excused in the Court of Conscience from the sinne of Periurie, and hee is not formally, but only materially for­sworne.

[Page 29] The Second Obseruation.4. Secondly, to know in what sense the words of euery Law, and conse­quently of this Oath, which is esta­blished by a Parliamentall Law, ought to be taken, it is to bee obser­ued out of the doctrine of Franciscus Suarez a famous Iesuite, Suarez lib. 6. de Legibus cap. 1. that the ‘"words of euery Law are commonly to be vnderstood according to their pro­per and vsuall signification, and that if any wordes haue many proper and vsual significations, that sense is to be taken, wherein the Law-maker doth vnderstand them, because vpon the will and intention of the Law-maker (which is the soule of the Law) the substance and force of the Law, doth chiefly depend. Whereupon if by any meanes the will of the Law-ma­ker can bee knowne, according to it especially wee must interprete the words of the Law, because that is the true interpretation of the Law, by which we follow the meaning and will of the Law-maker. But if by the de­claration of the Law-maker wee can­not gather the meaning of any equi­uocall and ambiguous word or sen­tence [Page 30]contayned in the Law, then we must vse those rules, which in all am­biguous and doubtfull speeches are prudently to be obserued: to wit, that the matter or contents of the Law, with the antecedents, & consequents, and other circumstances be diligently considered, for by them the meaning of the words, and the will of the Law-maker will easily be gathered. And especially we must consider the begin­ning, Preface or Preamble, of the Law, and with it to ioyne the rest that followeth: for to the beginning, if there be no other let, all that followeth is to be applyed; because in the begin­ning, or Preface of euery Law is v­sually contayned the finall end, cause, and reason, which chiefly moueth the Law-maker, and which is morally a sure meanes to finde out his will and meaning, and by which the ambigui­tie of any word or sentence is chiefly to be determined. And finally we must alwaies, if there be no other let, inter­prete the words of the Law, when they are doubtfull, in the more milde and fauourable sense, especially if the [Page 31]matter be odious, and penall, aeccor­ding to those approued rules of the Law, Benignius leges &c. Leg. Benignius ff de legibus. De regulis Iu­ris in Sexin. Laws are to be interpreted in the more fauou­rable sense, &c. And it is meete that odious things be restrayned, and fa­uours bee enlarged. ‘"Yea, and if the words of the Law being taken in their proper signification should argue any iniustice, or like absurditie to bee in the minde of the Law-maker, they must bee drawne to a sense although improper, wherein the Laew may bee iust and reasonable, because this is presumed to bee the will of the Law-maker, as it hath beene declared by many Lawes in ff. tit. de Legibus. Nam in ambigua voce, &c.Leg. in ambi­gua ff. de legi­bus. For in a doubtfull word of the Law, saith the Law, that sense is rather to bee chosen, which is voide of all de­fault, especially seeing that the will also of the Law-maker may here­by be gathered: because it ought not to be persumed, that the Law-maker did intend to command any absurd or inconuenient thing. Thus Suarez. What blame then doe they deserue, [Page 32]who seeke to wrest the wordes of this Oath, to a sense which they ac­count to bee most false and absurd, with so great preiudice to the soules and temporall States of English Ca­tholikes, and with no lesse irreue­rence to his Maiestie and the State whom next vnder God they are bound to honor and obey in all tem­porall affaires, whereas they may ex­pound the words, according to their proper and vsuall signification, in a true, conuenient, and fauorable sense, as the Reader may see beneath?

5. Thirdly, to know the end and reason of this Oath and of the makers thereof, it is to bee obserued, that the Parliamēt in the very beginning of this Act, (to which according to Suarez, we must, if there be no other let, ap­ply all that followeth) did expresly set downe the cause, end, and reason, for which this new Oath was deuised, to wit, to make a better tryall how His Maiesties subiects stand affected in point of their loyaltie, and due obedi­ence. For His Maiestie and the State perceiuing, that the Powder-Traytors. [Page 33]who were all of them Romane Catho­likes, did ground, as it doth appeare by their confessions, their barbarous and deuillish plot chiefly vpon the Popes power to take away the Crownes and liues from temporall Princes in order to spirituall good, and knowing with all, that many o­ther Roman Catholikes did from their hearts detest, and abhorre such tray­terous and diabolicall practises, and the wicked grounds thereof, thought it needfull, for the better discouering and repressing of such bloudie Assasi­nates, and their disciples, to deuise such an Oath, wherein true temporall Allegiance due to all temporall Princes of what Religion soeuer, should bee demanded, and no true spirituall obe­dience due to the Pope, or other spiri­tuall Pastours should be denyed, and yet the wicked principles of that most damnable Conspiracie should bee de­tected and abiured. And the sub­stance of this new Oath they did take from the Protestation of those thir­teene Catholike Priests (as the Lord Archbishop of Canterburie, Doctor [Page 34] Bancroft told a deare friend of mine) only vsing another forme of words, and expressing some things concer­ning the Popes pretended authoritie, which in their Protestation are not expressed, but only supposed, implyed and virtually contayned, for in effect and substance they little differ, as partly you haue seen aboue, and more fully shall perceiue when you haue seene all the branches of the Oath ex­playned. In his Premo­nition pag. 9. & in hir Apologie for the Oath. pag. 2. & pag. 9.

6. And not only the Parliament hath set downe the end and reason of this new Oath, but also His Maiestie Himselfe hath often by publike Wri­tings in expresse words declared, that He intended to exact in this Oath no­thing else of His Subiects, then a pro­fession of that temporall Allegiance and ciuill Obedience, which all subiects (what Religion soeuer they professe) by the Law of God and Nature do owe to their lawfull Prince with a promise to resist and disclose all contrarie vnci­uill violence; and to make a true distin­ction not betwixt Catholikes and Pro­testants, but betwixt ciuilly obedient [Page 35]Catholikes, and such Catholikes as are the Disciples of the Powder-Trea­son. Whereupon hee caused the lower house of Parliament, who at first would haue had the Oath to contayne the de­nyall of the Popes power to excommu­nicate him, to reforme that clause. So carefull was He, that nothing should be contayned in this Oath except the pro­fession of naturall Allegiance, and ciuill and temporall obedience. He said in this Oath; for as the Oath of Su­premacie, saith His Maiestie, was deui­sed for putting a difference betweene Papists, and them of our professions so was this Oath ordayned for making a difference betweene the ciuilly obedient Papists, and the peruerse disciples of the Powder-Treason. And againe, This Oath, saith His Maiestie, was orday­ned only for making a true distinction betweene Papists of quiet disposition, and in all other things good subiects, and such other Papists as in their harts maintayned the like violent bloudie maximes that the Powder-Traytours did. The same also but in more am­ple wordes affirmeth His Maiestie [Page 36]in His Apologie for the Oath.

7. Wherefore we must distinguish betwixt the vnderstanding, beliefe, or perswasion of His Maiestie, and His will, intent, or meaning as Hee is a Law-maker. For albeit His Maiestie should beleeue and be fully perswa­ded, that the Pope is not the Supreme Head of the whole Church, and con­sequently that he hath not by the in­stitution of Christ any power to ex­communicate him, yet his will and meaning is not, that His subiects shal in this Oath professe the same, or re­nounce any spirituall obedience due to the Pope, which euery Catholike, according to the grounds of true Ca­tholike Religion, is bound to ac­knowledge, but only, that they make a profession of that temporall Alle­giance, and ciuill obedience, which all subiects, of what Religion soeuer, do owe to their lawfull Prince. From whence it cleerly followeth, that al­beit there were in this Oath some am­biguous or doubtfull sentence (as there is not) which might be applyed as well to the denying of that spiritu­all [Page 37]obedience, which, according to the grounds of Catholike Religion, is due to the Pope and other spirituall Pastours, as to the professing of that temporall Allegiance, which is due to temporall Princes, we ought to inter­prete the words in that sense, wherein, according to the will, minde, and end of the Law, and declaration of the Law-maker, only temporall Al­legiance is demanded, for that by the end and reason of the Law the ambi­guitie of the words, saith Suarez, Suarez lib. 6. de Legibus cap. 1. nu. 19. is chiefly to be determined, and it is mo­rally a sure meanes to finde out the will and intention of the Law-maker, espe­cially that reason which is expressed in the Law, for then the reason of the Law is in some sort a part thereof, be­cause it is contayned and supposed therein.

8. Fourthly, it is to bee obserued, that albeit English Catholikes might at the first, before they examined par­ticularly the end, reason, matter, and contents of this new Oath, iustly sus­pect it to be vnlawfull, and to con­tayne in it more then temporall Alle­giance; [Page 38]and that His Maiestie and the Parliament vnder pretence of de­manding that temporall Allegiance, which by the Law of God and Na­ture is due to all temporall Princes, did intend to haue couertly at leastwise abiured some spirituall obedience, which by the institution of Christ is due to spirituall Pastours, both for that it is a new, vncouth, and vn­wonted Oath of Allegiance, and ex­presly denyeth the Popes authoritie, to depose wherewith other Christian Princes, in the ordinarie Oaths of Allegiance, which they demand of their subiects, doe not in plaine and expresse termes intermeddle; and also for that it was deuised by those, who are opposite to the Catholike Romane Religion; yet this bare suspicion can bee no sufficient cause, ground, or motiue to condemne it (as likewise no man vpon a bare suspicion is to be condemned) but only to haue it exa­mined, and if after due examination it be found faulty, to reiect it, if other­wise to approue it. But doubtlesse whosoeuer will sincerely, and with a [Page 39]pure desire to find out the truth, and to yeeld without all partialitie as wel to Kings as to Popes that which is their due, examine the occasion, end, matter, and contents of this new and vnwonted Oath, will quickly finde, that it is condemned by some, vpon a bare and naked suspicion and with­out due examination; by others, vpon a blind and inconsiderate zeale to the See Apostolike, not regarding in like manner the dutie which by the Law of God they owe to their temporall Prince; and by all that thinke it vn­lawfull, without sufficient ground.

9. For the occasion of this vnwon­ted Oath, was that vnwonted barba­rous Powder-plot of certaine Catho­likes, who pretended to iustifie their neuer heard of Barbarisme vnder the colour of Religion, and the Popes au­thoritie to dispose of the Crownes and liues of temporall Princes in order to spirituall good; and so no maruell, that to preuent the like vnwonted crueltie was deuised this vnwonted remedie. And albeit the inuenters of this Oath are opposite to the Catho­like [Page 40]Romane Religion and are fully perswaded, that the Pope by the Law of God, hath no authoritie ouer this Kingdome, so much as in spiritualls, yet there meaning was not, as you haue seene aboue, to meddle in this Oath with that spirituall authoritie, which is granted him by all Catho­likes, but only to demand a profession of that temporall Allegiance, which all the Subiects of this Land, of what Religion soeuer they be, doe owe to their temporall Prince, and not to the Pope.

10. And therefore, which is care­fully to bee obserued, this Oath doth not meddle positiuely with the Popes authoritie, for that it doth not belong to temporall Princes to declare what authoritie the Pope hath, but it med­leth positiuely with the Kings tempo­rall Soueraigntie, and negatiuely with the Popes authoritie; and it doth not declare [...] what authoritie the Pope hath, but only what authoritie hee hath not. And what man, I pray you, can bee so blinde as not to see, that whosoeuer expresly affirmeth King [Page 41]Iames to bee his true and rightfull King and Soueraigne in temporalls, and to haue ouer him and his other Subiects all Kingly Power, Authority, and Iurisdiction, doth consequently and vertually deny the same of the Pope? Wherefore if wee well examine the matter and contents of this vn­wonted Oath, wee shall find, that His Maiestie and the State doe herein deny no other authoritie of the Pope expresly and by name, then which not only in the Protestation of those thir­teene Catholike Priests, but also in all other vsuall Oaths of Allegiance, which absolute Princes are wont to demand of their Subiects, is vertual­ly, couertly, and in effect implyed. For whosoeuer sincerely and from his heart acknowlegeth, any Prince to be his only rightfull King and Soueraigne in temporals (which all absolute Prin­ces in their vsuall Oaths of Allegi­ance demand of their Subjects) hee must vertually acknowledge, that the Pope is not his Soueraigne Lord in temporals, and consequently, that he hath no authoritie ouer his Prince or [Page 42]him in temporals, and therefore nei­ther to depose his Prince, or to dispose of His temporall Dominions, for that these are tēporal things for what end, cause, crime, or pretext soeuer, either spirituall or temporall, they be done.

11. Fiftly, to know vpon what assured grounds the Popes authoritie to depose Princes, or to attempt and practise their deposition, is by Ca­tholikes denyed in this Oath, it is to be obserued, that as Leonardus Lessius, a famous Iesuite, noteth very well,Lessius in his Singleton, part. 2. nu. 38. a power which is not altogether certaine but probable, cannot be a sufficient ground or title, whereby immediately any man may bee punished or depri­ued of that right, dominion, or any other thing which he actually possesseth, but such a power or title must bee most certaine, and without all doubt or con­trouersie. Wherefore neither can the Pope, nor any other Prince, without manifest iniustice inuade the King­dome of another Prince, make warre against him, or seeke to depose or dispossesse him vpon a probable, vn­certaine, or controuersed title. For [Page 43]certes, saith the Authour of the Pre­late and the Prince, (and who is knowne to bee a famous Doctor and Professor of Diuinity though masked vnder the name of I. E.)Cap. 11. pag. 235. as it is in­iustice to put one out of his land or house, who hath probable right and and withall possession, because poti [...]r est conditio possidentis, better is the condition of him that is in possession, So were it open iniustice in the Pope to depriue a King of his Crowne and Kingdome, who hath probable right and withall possession. And this also is the receiued doctrine of all Diuines and Lawyers,Victoria in Re­lect de ture bel­li. nu. 29. & seq. Vasquez 1. 2. disp. 64. cap. 3. Gregorius de Valentia 2. 2. and Pope A­drian with ma­ny others cited by Valentia. and grounded in the light of naturall reason, and declared by the approued rules of the Law, that no man can bee iustly inuaded, or be put out of his possession vpon an vn­certaine or controuersed title, because In causa dubia, siue incerta potior est conditio possidentis, In a doubtfull or disputable cause the condition of the possessor is to bee preferred, and Cum sunt iura partium obscura fauendum est reo potius quam Actori. When the rights or titles of the parties that are [Page 44]in suite are obscure, or not cleere, the Defendant is rather to be fauoured then the Plaintiffe. And this is the first as­sured ground and principle, for which the doctrine of deposing Princes by the Popes authoritie may not only be barely and simply denyed, as it is in the second clause of the Oath by force only of the words, but also bee ab­horred, detested and abiured as im­pious, damnable, most cleerly repug­nant to the Word of God, and in that sense hereticall, as it is in the fourth clause. The second manifest principle is, that it is a controuersie among learned Catholikes, and approued by many, and therefore truely probable, that the Pope hath no authority to de­priue Princes of their Regall Power and Authoritie.

12. For the better cleering where­of, it is to be obserued sixtly, that, as Ioannes Azorius a famous Iesuite ex­presly affirmeth,Azor. tom. 2. lib. 11. c. 5. q. 8. it hath euer beene a great controuersie betwixt Emperours and Kings on the one side, and the Bi­shops of Rome on the other, whether in some certaine cases the Pope hath a [Page 45]right and power to depriue Kings of their Kingdome. For some Kings haue oftentimes (yea since the time of the great Lateran Councell) contended with Popes about this matter, saying, that they haue their Kingdome from God, and not from the Pope, and that in those things, which are ciuill and temporall the power of Kings is supreme and absolute, and that herein Kings are not subiect to the Pope, although in sacred, Ecclesiasticall and spirituall things the Pontificall power is supreme, and that herein Kings and Princes are subiect to Popes, as children to their Fathers, and sheepe to their Pastours, &c. And many complayned that Gre­gorie the seuenth did excommunicate Henry the fourth, and depriue him of the administration of his Kingdom. Thus Azor. And it is a controuersie among the Schoolemen, (saith Ioannes Trithe­mius Trithemius in Chron. Hirsaug. ad annum 1106.) and as yet it is not decided by the Iudge, whether the Pope hath power to depose the Emperour or no. And the Ecclesiasticall power (saith Iacobus Almainus Almain. de d [...] ­minio natur. ciu. & Eccles in pro­bat. 2. conclus. a famous Doctor of Paris, and whom Azor relatethAzor. tom. 1. lib. 2. cap. 14. among [Page 46]Classicall Doctors) cannot by the insti­tution of God inflict any ciuill punish­ment, as are death, exile, priuation of goods, much lesse of Kingdomes, &c. Nay nor so much as imprison, vt ple­ris (que) Doctoribus placet, as is the opi­nion of most, or of very many Doctors, but it is extended only to a spirituall pu­nishment, as is Excommunication, and the other punishments, which she vseth, doe proceed from the pure positiue Law, or as Gerson speaketh,Gerson de po­test. Eccles con­siderat. 4. from the grant of Princes. And the libertie of the Church of France, saith Petrus Pi­thaeus Pithaeus in Cod. libert. Eccles. Gallicanae prin­ted at Paris by authoritie of the Parlia­ment, in the yeere 1594. (whom Antonius Posseuinus the Iesuite commendeth for a man truely learned and a diligent searcher of An­tiquitie Posseuinus in verbo Petrus Pithaeus.) is grounded in this principle, which France hath euer held for cer­taine, that the Pope hath not power to depriue the French King of his King­dome, or in any other manner to dispose thereof; And that notwithstanding any whatsoeuer Monitions or Monitories, Excommunications, or Interdicts, which by the Pope can bee made, yet the sub­iects are bound to yeeld obedience due to the King for temporals; neither therein [Page 47]can they be dispenced or absolued by the Pope; Which position is in very deed the whole substance both of our new Oath, and also of the late Oath of France, which the lower house of Parliament would haue had establi­shed for a fundamentall law.

13. And to omit now many other learned Catholikes cited by Wid­drington, Widdrington in his Answere to Fitzherb. part. 1. that it is a controuersie a­mong Catholikes, and approued by many, and therefore truly probable, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depose Princes, it is so manifest, that no learned man, vnlesse hee will bee shamefully impudent, can denie it, and the publike Writings of learned Catholikes on both sides,See beneath in the end of this Treatise, the Oath of Frāce the condem­nation of Sua­rez and Bell. Booke, and a decree of the Parliament of Paris touching the doctrine of the Popes power to de­pose. the procee­dings of the Parliament of Paris a­gainst the Bookes of Cardinall Bellar­mine, of Schulckenius, and of Sua­rez, the propounding of the aforena­med Oath by the lower house of Par­liament, wherein of two hundred Knights and Burgesses there were but fix Protestants, besides the complaint of some Doctors of Paris to the Col­ledge of Sorbon against the Contro­uersia Anglicana of Becanus, and in­finite [Page 48]other testimonies of learned men of our owne Nation, not only of those who haue taken the Oath, or thinke it to be lawfull, but also of ma­ny others, doe most cleerly conuince the same. In so much that Cardinall Peron, Card. Peron. in his speech to the lower house of Par­liament. compelled by so manifest a truth, doth plainly confesse the same; and thereupon acknowledgeth, that the Pope himselfe doth in France tole­rate those Catholikes, that hold a­gainst him in this point, tolerate, I say, not as publike Vsurers, Harlots, or other notorious sinners, are in some Countries permitted, but by admit­ting them to Sacraments, which nei­ther the Pope, nor the Prelates of France could lawfully doe, if for hol­ding that doctrine those Frenchmen were to bee condemned of Heresie, Errour, Temeritie, or any other dam­nable sinne. So that it is most cleere & manifest to any man of iudgment, that it is a great controuersie among learned Catholikes, and that it is ap­proued by many of them, and there­fore truly probable, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depose or depriue [Page 49]Soueraigne Princes. See also the Au­thour of the Potestants Apologie for the Roman Church in his Preface from Sect. 19. to the end, where you may see his dislike of this doctrine for the Popes authoritie to depose Princes, and taxeth them, who ouer­charge the supreme Pastour with in­competent attributes of Authoritie in temporals: and in his owne authen­tical Manuscript he more particular­ly and expresly shewed, that the Pope hath no Authority in temporals, either directly, or indirectly, which last words it pleased those who had commission to print his Booke to leaue out, whereof he greatly com­plained to a friend of mine. And like­wise for the dislike, which this lear­ned Authour shewed in his Preface, of this authoritie of the Pope to dis­pose of temporals, it pleased the Au­thour, who translated his Booke into Latine, to leaue out the Pre­face altogether, which neuerthe­lesse is a chiefe part of his Booke, and it deserued to bee put in Latine as much if not more then any other [Page 50]part thereof. But the Authours of Bookes must now adaies, if they looke not themselues to the transla­ting & publishing of them, speak as it pleaseth the Translators & Censors.

15. Neither is it sufficient for any man, which also is to bee obser­ued, to condemne any doctrine as temerarious or improbable, for that in his iudgement and opinion it is repugnant to Scriptures, ancient Fa­thers, Councels, Canons, practice of the Church and Theologicall reasons, if it bee approued by other learned Catholikes, who haue examined all the arguments on either side; for o­therwise the Thomists might con­demne of temeritie the Scotists, and the Scotists the Thomists in the question of the B. Ʋirgins Concep­tion; The Diuines of Rome might condemne of temeritie the Diuines of Paris, and the Diuines of Paris the Diuines of Rome in the question of the Popes infallibilitie, and supe­rioritie of the Pope and a Generall Councell; and the Iesuites might condemne of temeritie the Domini­cans, [Page 51]and the Dominicans the Iesuits, in the question of the efficacie of Grace: for all of them alledge for their opinion, Scriptures, Fathers, Councels, Canons, & Theologicall rea­sons, & it is vsuall in most Theologi­cal questiōs to bring such arguments on both sides. But true probabilitie and improbabilitie, and whereof not only learned men, but also the vn­learned without any great difficultie or perplexitie of conscience may iudge, is to be taken not from intrin­secall grounds, which are vnknowne to vnlearned men, but from extrin­secall grounds, to wit, the authoritie of learned men who are knowne to approue that doctrine. And therefore Aristotle, Aristotle lib. 1. Top. cap. 8. whome all Philosophers & Diuines do herein follow, did by ex­trinsecall grounds define probable, to be that which is approued by wise, learned, and skilfull men in the Art which they professe: as in a matter of Law that is probable, which is ap­proued by learned and skilfull Law­yers; in a matter of Physicke that is probable, which is approoued by [Page 52]learned and skilfull Physicians, and in a matter of Theologicall learning that is probable, which is approo­ued by learned and skilfull Ca­tholike Diuines: which definiti­on of probable is grounded in the light of naturall reason, for that it is not against prudence, and therefore no temeritie to giue credit to one in a matter wherein he is skilfull, accor­ding to that vulgar maxime, Vnicui­que in sua arte perito credendum est, Credit is to bee giuen to euery man that is skilfull in his Art.

16. These bee the two principall grounds, for which the doctrine of deposing Princes by the Popes autho­ritie may lawfully bee denyed, and also abiured in the manner afore­said; for if it bee certaine, that it is open iniustice to dispossesse any man vpon a probable, vncertaine, and con­trouersed power or title, and it is al­so certaine, that it is a controuersie, and not certaine, whether the Pope hath authoritie to depose Princes or no; it followeth euidently, that it is as lawfull for any man to sweare, that the Pope hath no authoritie to [Page 53] depose Princes, as that hee hath no authoritie to commit open iniustice. But of this probabilitie see more be­neath in the end of this Treatise.

17. The Seuenth and last Ob­seruation is, that wee must carefully consider, what the swearer is bound to acknowledge and sweare in euery branch of this Oath by force and vertue of the expresse words, and ac­cording to the plaine and common vn­derstanding of them, to which by the seuenth branch hee is expresly tyed, and what he may lawfully acknow­ledge and sweare by reason of the matter; for this distinction may no little auaile to the better vnderstan­ding of some clauses of this Oath, seeing that it may often fall out, that in regard of the matter one may lawfully sweare that, which by force of the words hee is not bound or de­manded to sweare. As for example, if one bee commanded to sweare, what his iudgement, opinion, per­swasion or acknowledgement is con­cerning something, whereof not­withstanding he is certaine; by force of the wordes hee is bound only to [Page 54]sweare, that hee thinketh, iudgeth, is perswaded, and acknowledgeth it to bee so, yet by reason of the matter which to him is certaine, hee may lawfully sweare that absolutely and assuredly it is so. Likewise if one bee commanded to abiure as false, and hereticall a conditionall dis­iunctiue proposition, which imply­eth a choice to take which part of the disiunction he please, by force of the wordes hee is bound to abiure but one part of the disiunction as he­reticall, because to make such a dis­iunctiue proposition to bee false and hereticall, it sufficeth that one part only of the disiunction bee false and hereticall, yet somtimes by vertue of the matter, when both parts of the disiunction are heretical, he may law­fully abiure both as heretical, albeit by force of the wordes hee bee not bound thereunto. As these proposi­tions, Any man may lawfully honour, or blaspheme God, The Pope by vertue of his Pastorall power may excommu­nicate or murther any wicked Chri­stian, are false and hereticall, and yet one part of the disiunction is true, and [Page 55]only the other is false and hereticall: but both parts of this proposition, any man may lawfully hate or blasphem God, are false and hereticall, & so by reason of the matter both parts may be abiured as hereticall, although by force of the forme of words, to ab­iure the whole proposition as hereti­cal, it sufficeth to abiure only one part thereof as hereticall, And how this also may bee applyed to the fourth branch of the Oath, wherein a con­ditionall disiunctiue proposition is contayned, and whether the doctrine not only of murthering Princes, which be excommunicated or depriued by the Pope, but also of deposing them, may bee abiured as hereticall, you shall see beneath. These Obser­uations being considered, there will be found little or no difficultie in a­ny part or parcell of the Oath.

The First Chapter. The First Branch of the Oath, and an Explication thereof.

I A.B. doe truely and sincerely ac­knowledge, professe, testifie, and de­clare [Page 56]in my conscience before God and the World, That our Soueraigne Lord King Iames is lawful & rightful King of this Realme, and of all other His Maiesties Dominions and Countries.

1. This Branch (which is the ground and foundation of the whole Oath, and as it were the roote and fountaine, from whence all the other branches, wherein the Popes autho­ritie is any way denyed, doe spring and are deriued) is so cleere and ma­nifest, that no learned and well affe­cted subiect can take any colourable exception against the same. In so much that Fa. Parsons In his Booke entituled, The Iudgement of a Catholike En­glish man, &c. part. 7. nu. 22. pag. 13. & 16. himselfe feareth not to affirme, that there is no man, who sticketh or maketh difficulty to acknowledge our Soueraigne to bee true King and rightfull Lord ouer all his Dominions, for that euery English Catholike will sweare and acknowledge most willingly all those parts and clau­ses of the Oath, that doe any way ap­pertayne to the Ciuill and Temporall Obedience due to His Maiestie whom hee acknowledgeth for his true and lawfull King and Soueraigne ouer all [Page 57]His Domioions. And Martinus Be­canus a famous Iesuite in the first E­dition of his Controuersia Anglicana writeth thus:Becanus in Controuersia An­glic. cap. 3. p. 102 And truly to me it is cer­taine, that all the parts and propositions of the Oath are not false if they bee well declared. For these are true: first, that King Iames is lawfull King of England, Scotland and Ireland: Se­condly, that in the same Kingdomes he is the Supreme or Soueraigne Lord in Temporalls.

2. First therefore, if wee consider the end of this Oath (which is only to make profession of our temporall Allegiance, and to make a true distin­ction not betwixt Catholikes and Pro­testants, &c. the expresse declaration of His Maiestie, and the rules be­fore mentioned in the second and third Obseruation, it is euident, that by those wordes [Soueraigne Lord] is not to be vnderstood the Kings Sup­remacie in Spirituall and Ecclesiasti­call, but only in Temporall and Ci­uill causes.

3. Secondly, it is also euident, that albeit by force of the expresse wordes, [Page 58]and the plaine and common vnderstan­ding of the same, to which the se­uenth branch of this Oath tyeth the swearer, wee are bound only to ac­knowledge that King Iames is lawfull and rightfull King of this Realme, and of all other His Maiesties Domi­nions and Countries, and not that Hee is the Soueraigne Lord of the same, both for that those words [Soueraigne Lord] are put only ex parte subiecti, and not ex parte predicati, and there­fore by vertue of the words are not af­firmed; as likewise he that stileth the Pope most holy and most blessed, doth not affirme him to bee most holy and most blessed vnlesse the words most ho­ly & most blessed be put ex parte predi­cati; & also that if we regard the force and vertue of those words [Soueraigne Lord] they haue not the same sense, which the words [lawfull and right­full King] haue, seeing that one may be a lawfull and rightfull King, and yet not the Soueraigne Lord of His Kingdome, as if the Emperour should make the great Duke of Toscan King of Hetruria, he would be lawfull and [Page 59]rightfull King of that Countrie, and yet not the Soueraigne or Supreme Lord of the same, because hee is as a feudarie subiect to the Emperour. Neuerthelesse because the lawfull and rightfull King of England. is also the Soueraigne Lord of the same, by rea­son and vertue of the matter we may lawfully, and if it bee demanded at our hands, are bound to acknowledge and sweare, that King Iames is not only the lawfull and rightfull King of England & of all other His Maiesties Dominions, but also the Soueraigne or Supreme Lord of the same. And in this sense, both the XIII. Priests, and also M. Greene vnderstood the word Soueraigne in their Protestation and Declaration.

4. Neither is it to the purpose which some obiect, that the King of England is the Popes Ʋassall, and as a feudarie subiect to him in Tempo­rals, and therefore the Pope, and not King Iames is the absolute Soueraigne and supreme Lord in Temporals of this Kingdome. For although wee should absurdly admit, that for the [Page 58] [...] [Page 59] [...] [Page 60]title and clayme of Temporall Soue­raigntie, which the Pope pretendeth to haue ouer this Kingdome by vet­tue of some grant of former Kings, may bee brought some probable proofe, as there cannot, seeing that it is euident, that no King of England hath authoritie to giue away His Kingdome, or make it subiect in Tem­porals to another Prince without the consent of the Kingdome it selfe; and that no colour of any probable proofe can bee brought from any Au­thenticall Instrument to shew, that the Kingdome of England euer con­sented to any such grant, yet conside­ring that no probable title can bee a sufficient ground to depriue any man of that Right, Dominion, or any o­ther thing which he actually possesseth, but such a title must bee most certaine and out of all controuersie, as I shewed aboue in the Fift Obserua­tion, it is manifest, that, notwithstan­ding any such probable title, euery subiect of this Land may lawfully acknowledge by Oath, that King Iames is not only the lawful and right­full [Page 61]King of this Realme, and of all o­ther His Maiesties Dominions and Countries, but also the Soueraigne or supreme temporall Lord of the same.

CHAP. II. The Second Branch of the Oath, and an Explication thereof.

ANd that the Pope neither of him­selfe, nor by any authoritie of the Church, or See of Rome, or by any other meanes which any other hath any Power or Authoritie to depose the King, or to dispose any of his Maiesties Kingdomes, or Dominions, or to authorize any for­raigne Prince to inuade or annoy Him or his Countries, or to discharge any of his Subiects of their Allegiance and O­bedience to his Maiestie, or to giue li­cense or leaue to any of them to beare Armes, rayse Tumults, or to offer any violence or hurt to His Maiesties Royal Person, State, or Gouernment, or to any of His Maiesties subiects within His Maiesties Dominions.

1. This Branch supposing the for­mer Obseruations, hath in it no diffi­cultie [Page 62]at all, although wee should ad­mit, that the immediate obiect there­of, or which is all one, that, which in this Branch by force of the words we are bound immediately to sweare, is not only our sincere acknowledge­ment, and perswasion, but also that absolutely and assuredly the Pope hath not any authoritie to depose the King, &c. For considering that the whole tenour of this Branch tendeth to pra­ctise, namely, to depose, to dispose, to inuade, annoy, beare Armes, rayse Tumults, offer violence or hurt, and to discharge subiects of their Allegiance, and also, that it is a doctrine approo­ued by many learned Catholikes, and who haue examined all the argu­ments on both sides, and consequent­ly, that it is truely probable, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depriue Princes, or to dispose of their Tempo­rals, it is as cleere and manifest, that a­ny man, whether hee bee the Kings subiect or no, what opinion soeuer he followeth in speculation concerning the Popes authoritie to depriue Prin­ces, yet hee may as certainly acknow­ledge [Page 63]and sweare, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depose the King, that is, to practize his deposition, or any other of those things mentioned in this Branch, as it is cleere and mani­fest, that hee may certainly acknow­ledge and sweare that the Pope hath no authoritie to commit open iniu­stice, and that in a doubtfull vncer­taine, and disputable case, the condi­tion of the possessour is to bee preferred.

2. Neither doe temporall Princes, or other priuate men that haue any thing in their possessiō greatly regard, what learned men, who by the sub­tiltie of their wits can easily finde out some probable colour of a broken and pretended title, may speculatiuely dispute in Schooles concerning their titles, so that in practice, notwithstan­ding such disputations and speculati­ons, they bee secured from being put out of that which they really and bo­na fide doe possesse. And doubtlesse most miserable were the state of all men that possesse any thing of worth, and much more of Princes, if vpon a title, which some learned m [...]n may [Page 64]in speculation approoue, it were law­full to inuade their possessions, before a lawfull Iudge, and who is certainly knowne so to bee, hath decided and determined the title or controuersie▪ To preuent which mischiefe all Nati­tions being guided herein by the light of naturall reason haue agreed in this manifest principle, that it is open in­iustice to put any man out of his possession vpon any title which is not most certaine and free from all contro­uersie vntill a lawfull and vndoubted Iudge hath decided the matter. (I said a lawfull and vndoubted Iudge) for if it be doubtfull, vncertaine, and questionable whether he be a lawfull and competent Iudge to determine that cause, his decision cannot be suf­ficient to end the controuersie. For which cause the Pope is not to bee ac­counted a lawfull and competent Iudge to decide this question concer­ning his owne pretended authoritie to depriue Princes, for that it is a con­trouersie among learned Diuines and approued by very many (as Pope A­drian, the Cardinaell of Cambray, the [Page 69] Cardinall Cusanus, the Cardinall Pa­normitan, the Cardinall of Florence Master to Panormitan, Iohn Patriarch of Antioch, Abulensis, Ioannes Pari­siensis, Ioannes Gerson, Iohn Maior, Almaine, and almost all the Vniuer­sitie of Paris cited by Widdrington Widdring. in the discouerie of D. Schulke­uius slanders. §. 7.) that the Pope is not a competent Iudge to decide or define infallibly any do­ctrinall point (and much lesse in his owne cause) without a true and vn­doubted generall Councell, and ther­fore although he should hereafter, (as yet he hath not) attempt to define and decide this question, his decision could not end the controuersie, nor giue sufficient warrant to any man to practize the deposition of Princes, vpon so doubtfull, vncertaine, and questionable power or title.

3. Neuerthelesse it behooueth temporall Princes to be very carefull, that their titles to the Dominions which they lawfuly possesse, be not so much as speculatiuely, or only for Disputation sake disputed pro and con­tra, by learned men, least that some ignorant or turbulent spirits, which [Page 70]either doe not know, or of set pur­pose to colour their practices, vnder a pretence of a probable title, will not take notice of the manifest difference betwixt speculation and practice, may take occasion thereby to disturbe the publike peace, and to molest, annoy, or to offer any violence or hurt to their Royall Persons, States, or Go­uernment. For which cause the Par­liament of Paris hath with great wis­dome and reason oftentimes by pub­like Edicts ordained,See beneath in the end of this Treatise some of these Decrees. that the doctrine of deposing their Kings should not bee so much as taught and maintay­ned to bee probable, or problematike, that occasion be not giuen to seditious spirits (who know not, or will not take notice of the difference betwixt speculation and practice) to attempt, vnder pretence of a probable title any violence against the Crowns or sacred Persons of their Kings. And the rea­son is manifest, for that the temporall Common-wealth hath good and full authoritie to forbid the teaching and publishing of any doctrine which is not necessarie, whereby probable [Page 71]danger to the Crownes and liues of temporall Princes, and perturbations in the Common-wealth may arise.

4. First therefore, by those words of this Branch [nor by any other means with any other] it is euident, that the Parliament, which representeth the whole bodie of the Kingdome or Common-wealth did not intend to meddle with the authoritie which the whole Kingdome or Common-wealth may (according to the opinion of some Doctors) pretend to haue in some cases ouer their soueraign Prince, as Lessius and others (whom the Au­thors of the Prelate and the Prince, doth seeme to follow) doe idly ob­iect. And although the meaning of those words were, to deny, that the whole Kingdome, or Common-wealth hath no authoritie to depose their King, yet considering that it is also a probable doctrine, & approued by many learned Catholike Diuines, and Lawyers cited by Widdrington, Widdr. in Apo­log. nu. 111. and in his Answere to Fitz-herb. part. 3. & cap. 11. nu. 36. 37. that the Common-wealth hath no such authority, it is also lawful for any man (of what opinion soeuer hee bee in [Page 72] speculation concerning this authoritie of the Cōmonweath) to acknowledge and sweare, that the Common-wealth hath no more authoritie to depose the King, that is, to practize his de­position, then she hath to commit o­pen iniustice; But the true meaning of His Maiestie and the Parliament is, as the words themselues doe plainely signifie, only to deny the Popes au­thoritie to depose, &c. to wit, that the Pope neither of himselfe, that is, neither as a sole and totall cause, nor by any authoritie, &c. that is, neither as an Instrument or Minister of the Church or See of Rome, nor by any o­ther meanes with any other, that is, nor as a principall, or true and proper par­tiall cause or Agent, hath any authoritie to depose the King, &c.

5. Neither by those wordes [or to authorize any forraigne Prince to in­uade or annoy Him or His Countries] did His Maiestie and the Parliamen [...] intend to denie the authoritie which temporall Princes may haue in som [...] cases to make warre against their neighbour Princes, and consequently [Page 73]against His Maiestie, if he should giue them iust cause of warre (yet euer ob­seruing, that no probable power, cause, or title can bee a sufficient ground to punish any Prince, or to inuade His Countries) but, as the expresse words do plainly shew, only to deny the Popes authoritie, to authorize any forraigne Prince to inuade or annoy Him or His Countries: because all the authoritie which temporall Princes haue to make warre, or to inuade the Kingdome of an other Prince for what cause, crime, or end so euer it bee, is deriued from their temporall Soueraigntie groun­ded vpon the Law of Nature, or Na­tions, & not from the Popes authoritie. And likewise all the authority, which the temporall Common-wealth may pretend to haue in some cases to rise vp in Armes against their Prince, is not deriued from the Popes warrant, license or authoritie, but (if there be any such power) from the Law of Nature. And therefore with great reason this Clause denyeth in the Pope all power and authoritie to authorize a­ny forraigne Prince to inuade or annoy [Page 74]His Maiestie, or his Countries, or to giue license or leaue to any of his sub­iects to beare Armes, rayse Tumults, or to offer any violence or hurt to His Ma­iestis Royall Person, State, or Gouern­mēt: because although they shuld haue any such authoritie, leaue, or licence, wherewith His Maiestie and the Par­liament would not in this Oath inter­meddle, they haue it not from the Pope, but from the Law of Nations, or Nature.

6. Secondly, in this Branch is not denyed the Popes authoritie to com­mand in temporals in order to spiritu­all good, or to declare, that they who haue authoritie to depose, or to make warre, are bound to vse their tempo­rall authoritie, and to draw forth the temporall Sword, when the necessitie of the Church, and the spirituall good of soules shall require the same; for this authoritie of declare and com­mand doth not exceede the limits of spirituall power, as Widdrington hath shewed at large heretofore:Widdr. in Apol nu. [...]. and in all his other Bookes very often, but e­specially in his Answere to Fitz-herb. But here is only denyed the Popes authoritie to depose temporall Princes, to dispose of [Page 75]their temporals, to vse or draw forth the temporall Sword, or to authorize temporall Princes or subiects to vse or draw forth the same: for whosoe­uer giueth authoritie to another man to vse the temporall Sword, hath au­thoritie to vse it himselfe, although sometimes for want of strength or some other necessarie Instrument hee cannot vse it himselfe, yet still he hath authoritie to vse it.

7. And although a Commander (which I wish the Reader to obserue for the Author of the Prelate and the Prince) is commmonly said to doe that thing which is done by his Comman­dement, (and so hee that counsaileth, consenteth, or any way concurreth al­though per accidens, and not by any proper vertue, or influxe of his owne, is said to doe that thing) as hee that applyeth fire to straw, or comman­deth, counsaileth, yea, or doth not hinder the applying thereof, when hee is bound to hinder it, is said to burne the straw, although hee bee no true and proper efficient cause of the burning thereof, but on­ly [Page 76]a cause per accidens) yet a Comman­der is not said to doe that which hee commandeth, as a true and proper cause, or as hauing authoritie to doe that thing which hee commandeth▪ (whereof this Branch of the Oath doth only speake) but only as a cause per accidens, (which according to the doctrine of all Philosophers, is no true and proper efficient cause) vnlesse by his proper power, vertue, influxe or authoritie hee concurre to the do­ing thereof, and that the person com­manded hath his power, vertue, or au­thoritie to doe that thing deriued from the Commander, or depending on him.

8. For which cause a Painter, who commandeth his Seruant to make a Picture, and giueth him rules and di­rections how to mingle his Colours, and afterwards to apply them, which without the directions of his Ma­ster, hee himselfe could not doe, is the principall cause and agent of ma­king that Picture, and the Seruant is only his Instrument or Minister, for that all the Arte hee hath to [Page 77]make that picture is deriued from the commaundement and directions of the Painter, and depending on him, and yet a King, who hath no skill to paint, and commaun­deth the Painter to make a picture, is no true and proper efficient cause of ma­king that picture, but onely a cause per accidens, by morally applying the Painter that hath skill to vse the same. So likewise a Prince, who com­mandeth his Officers to condemne and put to death an egregious male­factour, is the principall cause of his death, and the Officers are onely his Instruments, Ministers, and Executi­oners, for that all the authoritie, which they haue to condemne and kill that malefactour, is deriued from the Prince, and depending on him, be­cause onely the Prince doth autho­rize, or giue them authoritie to pro­nounce and execute that sentence: And yet the Pope commaunding a Prince to vse his temporall sword, power, or authoritie when the neces­sitie of the Church shall require the same, as to make warre, inuade any [Page 78]Countrey, or to put any egregious malefactor to death, is onely a cause per accidens, of that warre, &c. by ap­plying morally, to wit, by his com­mandement, the person, who hath au­thoritie to make warre, &c. to the ma­king thereof. But the Pope is no true and proper cause of that warre, &c. neither can hee bee said to make that warre, as hauing authoritie to make it, or as authorizing, or giuing authority, leaue, or licence, (whereof onely this branch maketh mention) to the Prince to make that warre, &c. Neyther is the Prince in making that warre, &c. the Popes Instrument, Minister, or Executioner, (as the Author of the Prelate and the the Prince absurdly affirmeth) for that he hath not his au­thoritie to make warre, &c. deriued from the Popes commandement, or de­pending on it, whereas (according to the doctrine of all Philosophers) it is necessary to an Instrument, that it haue all it vertue to worke deriued from the principall Agent, or depending on it; but all the authoritie, which tem­poral Princes, or Common-wealths haue [Page 79]in temporall affaires, is deriued from the law of Nations, or Nature, and not from the Popes authoritie or com­mandement.

9. By which it is apparant, how grosly the said Author of the Prelate and the Prince, in excepting against this Branch, was mistaken, for not considering the difference betweene a Commander, who hath onely autho­ritie to command, but not to execute, or doe that which hee commandeth to be done, and a Commander, who hath authoritie both to commaund, and also to execute or doe that which he commandeth to be done, although perchance he cannot effect it for want of strength or effectuall meanes, but not for want of authoritie, as euerie lawfull Prince hath sufficient authori­tie to subdue his Rebels, and yet hee cannot alwaies effect it, not for want of authority, but for want of strength, force, or effectuall meanes, because his Rebels are more strong and potent then he is.

CHAP. III. The Third Branch of the Oath, and an Explication thereof.

ALso I doe sweare from my heart, that notwithstanding any Decla­ration, or sentence of Excommunication, or Depriuation made or granted, or to be made or granted by the Pope or his Successours, or by any Authoritie deri­ued, or pretended to be deriued from him, or his Sea against the said King, his Heires or Successours, or any absolution of the said subjects from their obedi­ence: I will beare faith and true allegi­ance to his Maiestie, his Heires and Successours, and him and them will de­fend to the vttermost of my power, a­gainst all cōspiracies & attempts what­soeuer, which shall be made against his or their Persons, their Crowne and dig­nitie, by reason or colour of any such sentence or declaration or otherwise, and will doe my best endeuour to dis­close and make knowne vnto his Maie­stie, his Heires & Successors, all Trea­sons, & Traiterous Conspiracies which I shall know or heare of to be against him or any of them.

[Page 81]1. This Branch of the Oath is some­what clearer then the former, because it doth not expressely and in plaine tearmes deny the Popes Authoritie to depriue or depose Princes, but it onely containeth in expresse words a promise, which the Subiect confir­meth by Oath, that if in case the Pope hath denounced, or hereafter should denounce any sentence of Excommu­nication or Depriuation against the King, his Heires, or Successours, or any absolution of the said Subiects from their obedience, yet he wil beare faith and true allegiance to his Maie­stie, his Heires and Successours, and him and them will defend, &c. Neuer­thelesse the lawfulnesse or iustice of this promissorie Oath supposeth for the principall ground thereof, the ve­ritie of the former assertorie Clause, and therefore it implieth, and vertu­ally containeth a deniall of the Popes authoritie to depriue or depose Prin­ces, and to absolue Subiects frō their temporall allegiance: for that who­soeuer doth sweare, that notwith­standing any sentence of depriuation, [Page 82]or absolution of subiects from their obedience made, or hereafter to be made by the Pope or his Successours against his Maiestie, his Heires or Successours, to make this promise iust and lawfull, he must consequently de­ny, that the Pope hath Authoritie to depriue Princes, or to absolue Sub­iects from their obedience, as Suarez examining this Branch of the Oath doth most clearely demonstrate.Suarez in De­fens. lib. 6. cap. 3. See Widdring. against Fitz­herbert part. 1. cap. 5. For if the sentence of depriuation to be made at any time hereafter against the King, his Heires or Successours, for any manifest cause or crime what­soeuer, may be iust, lawfull, and effe­ctuall, it is as vnlawfull to take this clause, as it is vnlawfull for one to sweare, that he will not obey the Popes sentence and commandement, which hereafter he shall impose, be it neuer so inst, and without all errour or default: But if this sentence of depriuation at any time hereafter to be made can neuer be iust, it must needs follow, that the Pope hath no more authoritie to depriue or depose the King, his Heires or Successours, [Page 83]then he hath authoritie to commit open iniustice.

2. Wherefore those thirteene Reue­rend Priests, who solemnly protested to Queene Elizabeth, that notwith­standing any authoritie (which words are farre more generall, then notwith­standing any sentence of depriuati­on) or any Excommunication either denounced, or to be denounced against her Maiestie &c. they would yeeld to her Maiestie all obedience in temporall causes, would then haue made no dif­ficultie to take this Branch of the Oath, and consequently to free them­selues from periurie, they must also deny the Popes Authoritie to depriue and depose Princes, for that the iustice of this Branch implieth & supposeth as a chiefe ground thereof a deniall of the Popes authoritie to depriue and depose, as Suarez doth most plainely conuince.

3. First therefore in this Clause is not denied the Popes power to Ex­communicate, but onely that Excom­munication being a spirituall censure doth not worke this temporall effect, [Page 84]as to make Kings no Kings, or to depriue them of their Royall right and Soueraigntie, and consequently not to absolue Subiects from their natu­rall allegiance, which, according to the doctrine of Card. Bellarmine and Suarez they doe by the law of God and Nature owe to their lawfull Prince.Bell. in Tract. contra Barclai­um cap. 21. pag. 202. Suarez in De­fens. &c. lib. 6. cap. 3. nu. 6. And thus much his Maiestie hath also in expresse words declared. The truth is, saith his Maiestie, The Kings Ma­iestie in his Premonition &c. pag. 9. that the Lower house of Parliament at the first framing of this Oath, made it to containe, that the Pope had no power to Excommunicate mee, which I forced them to reforme onely making it to con­clude, that no Excommunication of the Popes can warrant my Subiects to pra­ctise against my Person or State, deny­ing the deposition of Kings to be in the Popes lawfull power, as indeede I take any such temporall violence to be farre without the limits of such a spirituall censure as Excommunication is, And also that depriuation or deposition from temporall kingdomes is not an effect of Excommunicatiō, Widdring­ton hath shewed at large heretofore, [Page 85]and Becanus and Suarez doe also in expresse words affirme the same.Widdrington in his Apolo­gie nu. 346. in his Answer to Suarez part. 2. sect. 4. and in his Answer to Fitzher. part. 3. cap. 1. Frō hence it is very apparāt saith Becanus, Becanus in quest. de fide haereticis seruan­da ca. 8. nu. 16. and in his Controuersia Anglic. cap. 3. qu. 2. that Heretikes by this precisely that they are excommunicated, are not de­priued of their Dominion or Iurisdicti­on either ouer their subiects, or ouer their temporall goods, but this depriua­tion is a destinct punishment, and infli­cted by a destinct law. And againe, It is one thing, saith he, to excommunicate a King, and another thing to depose him, or depriue him of his Kingdome, neither is the one necessarily connected with the other. Many Kings and Em­perours haue beene excommunicated, and yet not therefore deposed, and con­trariwise many deposed, and yet not therefore excommunicated. See also Suarez cited by Widdrington in his Apologie, Suarez tom. 5. disp. 15. sect. 6. nu. 3. and in his answere to Sua­rez and Fitzherbert.

4. And therefore in very truth I am sorie, and doe in some sort pittie the Author of the Prelate and the Prince (a man whom heretofo [...]e I haue much loued, respected, and honoured) that he should so grosly forget himselfe, as [Page 86]to bewray so palpably such great want of learning, iudgement, and sinceritie, in affirming so boldly, and without any proofe at all, Pag. 298. that depri­uation of Regall authoritie is an effect of excommunicating Kings and Princes, and so in denying the effect, the cause is denyed. For as, saith he, if you should say, A man is not risibilis, that is, hath not power to laugh, you should deny him to be a man, so in denying that the Pope can depriue Princes of their King­domes, you deny in effect that he can ex­communicate. Whereas this Authour knew right well, that Widdrington in that very Chapter which hee citeth, did, by the expresse doctrine of Sua­rez and Becanus, but now related, cleerely prooue against Lessius, (who vrged euen as nakedly and without any proofe at all the same obiection) that depriuation is no effect at all of Excommunication, much lesse pro­prium quarto modo, as risibilis, a power to laugh is to a man, as this Authour most vnlearnedly affirmeth. And yet forsooth he taketh vpon him, as it may appeare by the very Title and Inscrip­tion [Page 87]of his Treatise, to giue a full In­struction and appeasement to the consci­ences of English Catholikes concerning the Oath of Allegiance. But this shall suffice at this present for an imperfect portraying of this Authours want of iudgement and sinceritie in his Expli­cation of the Oath of Allegiance, (e­specially if wee consider his person, the Office hee now beareth, and the doctrine which in former times hee held) for that (as I am told) his per­fect Picture both in this and other points is alreadie drawne, and will be set forth in liuely colours ere it be long.

5. Secondly, it is euident by the former Obseruations, that those wordes [Heires and Successours] doe not signifie Vsurpers, as some would wrest them contrarie to the meaning of the Law, the plaine and common signification of the wordes, and the rules before alleaged: For albeit this word [Successour] may in generall bee taken for euery Successour, who ei­ther vnlawfully or vnlawfull doth succeed, yet particularly and proper­ly [Page 88]when it is placed in a Law, it is v­sually taken only for a lawfull Succes­sour: wherefore according to that rule of the Ciuill Law before mentio­ned in the second Obseruation, that the doubtfull words of euery Law must be taken in that sense, which is with­out default, this word [Successours] must in this Oath established by His Maiesties Law bee limited only to lawfull Successours, and who accor­ding to the Lawes of the Kingdome doe succeed. For as according to Law, Id tantum possumus quod iure possumus: We can only doe that, which wee can doe lawfully or by Law, so according to Law, he only is accoun­ted to succeed, who by lawfull right doth succed. Whereupon the Ciuill Lawyers doe define Inheritance, to be a succeding to all the right of one de­ceased, and an Heire, who succeedeth him in all his right, without adding lawfull succeeding, or lawfully succee­deth, for that it is alwayes so to bee vnderstood, and therefore being ne­cessarily supposed, it is not expressed, but altogether omitted in the defini­tions [Page 89]of an Heire and of Inheritance. And whensoeuer in the Common or Statute Lawes of this Kingdome any mention is made of the King and his Successours, this word [lawfull] is but few times added, although alwayes it ought to be vnderstood.

6, Thirdly, it is also euident by the former Obseruations, that by those words [Treasons and Trayterous Con­spiracies] are only vnderstood true, proper, and naturall Treasons, and which among all Nations, what Reli­gion soeuer they professe, are accoun­ted Treasons, and repugnant to natu­rall Alleagiance and Temporall and Ciuill Obedience, and not such Trea­sons, which in regard chiefly of Reli­gion are by the positiue Lawes of some Nations made Treasons, and ac­counted Treasons onely for that they are punished with the penalties which are due to proper and naturall Trea­sons, as are the comming in of English Priests into this Kingdome made by the Popes authoritie, and all reconcile­ments to the Pope, though in matters that concerne Religion. For as His [Page 90] Maiestie and the Parliament haue de­clared, the only intent of this Oath is to contayn the profession of naturall Al­legiance, and such ciuill and temporall dutie and obedience, which euery true and well-affected subiect ought by the Law of God to beare to their lawfull Prince and Soueraigne with a promise to resist and disclose all contrarie vnciuill violence. For to preuent such hainous attempts and mischiefes, which in time to come might be plotted by the example of the Powder-Traytours, who vnder colour of Religion at­tempted that barbarous and deuillish Conspiracie, this forme of Oath was framed, saith His Maiestie, In his Apolo­gie, pag. 2. nu. 2. to bee ta­ken by all my subiects, whereby they should make cleere profession of their resolution, faithfully to persist in obedi­ence vnto me, acrording to their naturall Allegiance; to the end that I might hereby make a separation, not only be­tweene all my good subiects in generall, and vnfaithfull Traytours that inten­ded to draw themselues from my Obe­dience; but specially to make a separa­tion betweene so many of my subiects, [Page 91]who although they were otherwise Po­pishly affected, yet retayned in their hearts the print of their naturall dutie to their Soueraigne; and those who be­ing carryed away with the like fanati­call zeale, that the Powder-Traytours were, could not contayne themselues within the bounds of their naturall Al­legiance, but thought diuersitie of Re­ligion a safe pretext for all kinde of Treasons and Rebellions against their Soueraigne. Wherby it is apparant, that only such Treasons and Trayte­rous Conspiracies are here vnderstood, which are repugnant and contrarie to naturall Allegiance, and not such Trea­sons which are not naturall Treasons, but only in regard of Religion are by positiue Lawes made Treasons, and to be punished with the ordinary penalties of true proper and naturall Treason. And in this sense also those thirteene Reuerend Priests vnderstood the words Conspiracies, Attempts, and Practises in their Protestation.

CHAP. IIII. The Fourth Branch of the Oath and an Explication thereof.

"ANd I doe further sweare, That I doe from my heart abhorre, detest, and abiure, as impious and he­reticall this damnable doctrine, and position, That Princes which bee ex­communicated or depriued by the Pope, may be deposed or murthered by their subiects, or any other what­soeuer.

1. Although this Branch may at the first sight seeme somewhat suspi­cious in regard of that word hereti­call, yet if it be duly examined, ac­cording to the former Obseruations, it will easily appeare, that it contay­neth no such difficultie, as some im­pugners of the Oath would seeme to imagine, but that if it bee lawfull to abhorre, detest, and abiure the afore­said position, as cleerely false and in­iurious to Princes, which the former Discourse doth plainly conuince, it is [Page 93]also lawfull to abiure it as hereticall: or, which is all one, as contayning in it a falshood, which is repugnant not onely to naturall reason, but also to the Word of God reuealed in the holy Scriptures: For, as euery Doctrine and position, which is agreeable to that truth, which God hath reuealed, is to be accounted of faith: so contra­riwise, euerie Doctrine and position, which contayneth in it a falshood, which is repugnant to the Word of God reuealed in the holy Scriptures, is to be accounted hereticall, and re­pugnant to faith. And in this sence, the word hereticall is not onely by all Protestants, but also by many learned Catholique Diuines commonly and vsually taken, as Widdrington hath shewed at large in his answer to Fitz herbert. Widdrington in his Adioinder to the first and second part.

5. Neyther is it necessarie, that we must take the word hereticall, as like­wise no other ambiguous word con­tayned in this Oath, in that strict and rigorous sense, wherein some Catho­lickes take the word hereticall, to wit, for that doctrine which not onely [Page 94]contayneth a falshood repugnant to the holy Scriptures, but also which by the Church or a generall Councell, which representeth the Church, is ex­presly and particularly declared and defined so to be, but it sufficeth that we take the word, hereticall, in a pro­per and vsuall signification, and wher­in Catholickes doe commonly take it, especially when this common sense is agreeable to the meaning and vnder­standing of the Law-maker: for that, according to the approued rule be­fore set downe in the second obserua­tion, in a penall and odious matter, when the wordes of any Law are doubtfull or ambiguous, and there be many common senses of the same word or sentence, we ought to take them in that common sense, which is more fauourable, especially when it is not against the meaning of the Law-maker.

6. Neither also is it necessarie to make any Doctrine or Position to be hereticall, that the proposition with all particular circumstances therein expressed, must bee contained in the [Page 95]holy Scriptures, but it sufficeth, that it contain a particular falshood, which onely in the generall is expressed in the holy Scriptures, and that no particular word, or circumstance bee added in the particular proposition, which doth make it not to be contayned in the ge­nerall falshood, as a particular in the vniuersall. For which cause, these pro­positions, It is lawfull for one to take from his neighbour his purse, or to mur­ther him with a pistoll, if hee liue a wan­ton or wicked life, are hereticall, and re­pugnant to those words of holy Scripture, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalt not kill, Exod. 20. although those particula­rities of being a wanton or wicked man, or of killing him with a pistoll, are not expresly contained in the holy Scrip­tures, because they doe not giue any warrant to stealing or killing, or make that particular stealing or killing not be included in those generall words, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalt not kill.

7. First therefore, although by rea­son of the matter of this Branch we may truely abiure as hereticall, not onely [Page 96]the Doctrine of murthering, but also of deposing Princes, which are excom­municated or depriued by the Pope, yet if we onely regard the force and vertue of the expresse words, according to the plaine and common sense and vn­derstanding of them, to which the se­uenth clause of the Oath tyeth the swearer, we are not bound to abiure both Doctrines as hereticall, but it sufficeth, by vertue of the words, to ab­iure as hereticall, onely the Doctrine of murthering such Princes, as Wid­drington hath shewed in his Theologi­call Disputation, In his Theo­log. Disp. cap. 5. Sec. 2. and proued more at large in his Answer to Fitzherbert, in the end of the second part. And the reason is, for that to make hereticall a conditionall disiunctiue proposition, which implyeth a free choyce to take eyther part of the disiunction if wee please, it sufficeth that one part of the disiunction be hereticall, although the other part be not hereticall, but per­chance most true and of faith, which contrariwise happeneth in an absolute disiunctiue proposition, which suppo­seth and implyeth no such condition [Page 97]or choyce. As for example, This pro­position, It is lawfull for any man to ho­nour or blaspheme God, if hee will, or, which is all one in sence with this, A­ny man may lawfully honour or blaspheme God, is false and hereticall, and may be abiured as hereticall, although one part only thereof be hereticall, and the other part of faith: For such conditional disiunctiue propositions, for as much as concerneth the truth or falshood of them, doe not follow the nature of an absolute and ordinarie disiunctiue pro­position, but of a copulatiue propositi­on, to the veritie whereof is required, that both parts must be true, and to make it false and hereticall, it sufficeth that onely one part thereof bee false and hereticall, whereas contrariwise to the veritie of an absolute disiunctiue proposition, which implyeth no such choyce or condition, it sufficeth that one part thereof be true, and to make it false and hereticall, both parts ther­of must needes be false and hereticall: for which cause this proposition, God is honoured or blasphemed by good and vertuous men, is true, because one part [Page 98]of the disiunction is true, and this pro­position, God is honoured and blasphe­med by good and vertuous men, is false, because both parts of the proposition are not false, but one of them is true.

8. That this proposition, Subiects may lawfully depose, or murther their Prince, who is excommunicated or depri­ued by the Pope, or which in sence is all one with the Doctrine and positi­on contayned in this Branch of the Oath (seeing that onely the Verbe passiue is changed into the actiue) is such a conditionall disiunctiue proposi­tion, as implyeth a free choyce and condition to take eyther part of the disiunction if wee please, as likewise all such disiunctiue propositions, wherein the Coniunction [or] followeth the Verbe [may] doe imply and suppose, according to the vsuall signification of our English phrase, a free choyse and condition to take eyther part of the disiunction if we please, Widdring­ton proueth by many examples of pro­positions, neyther can there be alled­ged scarce any one proposition, [Page 99]wherein it is not commonly so taken. As for example, You may stay here or depart: You may eat or drinke: you may buy in such a place Wine or Oyle: You may haue in the shambles Beefe or Mut­ton: You may goe to such a place by land or by water: You may buy that land in fee-farme or by lease. The King by ver­tue of an Act of Parliament, may take of conuicted Popish Recusants, twentie pounds for euerie moneth, or the third part of all their lands. The Sherife may presently hang a theefe condemned to die, or delay his death for some small time. If any person hold any lands of any other Lord, then of the King, by Knights ser­uice, he may giue, dispose, or assure by his last Will and Testament, two parts of the said lands holden by Knights seruice, or of as much thereof as shall amount to the full yearely value of two parts. If a man by his last Will and Testament ordayne, that his Executors may bestow twentie pounds vpon the poore, or repayre such a Bridge, it is in the free power of the Executor to chuse whether of those two he please. Finally, in clauses of reuocation, where the words are, That one [Page 100]may by any deed in his life time, or by his last Will and Testament, reuoke the sayd vses, and limit new, it is in his free pow­er and choyce, to doe it by the one or by the other, as he shall thinke good. In these, & infinite such like examples, which may bee brought, the Verbe [may] implyeth a free power to chuse eyther part of the disiunction one plea­seth, neyther can there scarcely bee alledged any one example, wherein the Coniunction disiunctiue [or] im­mediatly following the Verbe [may] is not commonly so taken: and espe­cially when the latter part of the dis­iunction, which is affirmed, is no way lesse certayne, but rather more cer­taine then the former part: which note, I wish the Reader to obserue chiefly for the Doctrine of this pre­sent clause, which doth not affirme, that Princes beeing excommunicated or depriued by the Pope, may be mur­thered or deposed by their subiects, for then some might imagine the sense to be that such Princes may be mur­thered or at least wise deposed, because the deposing of such Princes, is lesser [Page 101]then the murthering of thē, but seeing that it is affirmed, that such Princes may be deposed or murthered, it is ma­nifest, that the Coniunction [or] can not signifie at least wise, because if the Doctrine of deposing such Princes may be abiured as hereticall, much more and not much lesse the Doctrine of murthering them may bee abiured as hereticall.

9. And by this it is apparant, that to abiure as hereticall this Doctrine, & conditionall disiunctiue position, That Princes which be excommunicated or de­priued by the Pope, may be deposed or murthered by their subiects, or any other whatsoeuer; it sufficeth by force and vertue of the words, onely to abiure as hereticall the Doctrine of murthe­ring such Princes, although, by reason of the matter, it be lawfull (as you shal see forthwith) to abiure as hereticall not onely the Doctrine of murthering, but also of deposing such Princes.

10. That the Doctrine of murthe­ring such Princes is hereticall, or, which is all one, contayneth in it a manifest falshood, which is repugnant to the [Page 102] Word of God, it is euident by those two places of holy Scripture cited by Widdrington, Thou shalt not kill, Exod. 20. which words are generall and common to euerie vniust killing, and Kill him not, for who shall extend his hand vpon the Lords annoynted, and bee innocent, 1. Reg. 26. Which wordes are proper and peculiar to the mur­thering of Princes. Neyther doth the excommunicating, or depriuing of Prin­ces by the Pope, which are added in this Doctrine and position, giue suffi­cient warrant to murther such Prin­ces, although wee should admit that the Pope hath authoritie to depriue them; for that Excommunication de­priueth onely of spirituall graces, and depriuation onely of temporall King­domes, but neyther of them of cor­porall life, as Suarez also confesseth.Suarez in de­fens. &c. lib. 6. cap. 4. nu. 10. & seq. Yea we may truely abiure as manifest­ly false, damnable, and repugnant to those words of holy Scriptures, Thou shalt not kill, and consequently as here­ticall, this Doctrine and position, That it is lawfull for euery man to kill a male­factour, who is condemned by the Iudge [Page 103]to dye, for that the sentence of death denounced against him by the Iudge doth not giue leaue, licence, warrant, and commission to euerie man to put him to death, but onely to the She­rife, or others, who are appoyn­ted Executioners of iustice in that case.

11. That the Doctrine also of de­posing such Princes is hereticall, and contayneth a manifest falshood repug­nant to the Word of God, it is eui­dent; for that to take away by force and violence the Crowne and King­dome of a Prince who is in possession thereof, only vpon a probable or con­trouersed title, is open iniustice, as you haue seene before in the fift Ob­seruation; and consequently Theft and Rapine in a most high degree, and therefore repugnant both to that pre­cept of the Decalogue, Thou shalt not steale, and to the third Commaunde­ment, Honour thy Father and Mother, wherein the honour and reuerence, which is due from subiects to their Prince, who is the Father of the Coun­trie, is according to the doctrine of all [Page 104]Diuines included, and it is also speci­ally against that commaundement of our Sauiour, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, which precept inclu­deth also the negatiue, not to take a­way from Caesar that which is his due,Matth. 22. as contrariwise that precept, Thou shalt not steale, includeth also the affir­matiue, to render and restore backe what hath beene wrongfully taken a­way. Wherefore there is no more scruple to be made, to abiure the a­foresaid Doctrine and position as im­pious, damnable, and heretical, then to abiure it as manifestly false and iniuri­ous to Princes, seeing that the mani­fest falshood and iniustice contayned therein, is expresly repugnant to the word and commaundement of God reuealed to vs in the holy Scriptures: and it is also grounded vpon these two manifest principles, and which without manifest impudency cannot be denyed by any man; The one, that it is a contouersie among Catholicks, whether the Pope hath authoritie to depriue Princes, & the other, that it is open iniustice to depose, or to thrust [Page 105]one out of his possession vpon a title, which is not most certaine but in con­trouersie.

12. Lastly, I wish the Reader to consider the third and last exposition of this Branch, which Widdrington brought in his Theologicall Disputati­on, and defendeth at large in, his An­swere to Fitz-herberts Reply against the same, to wit, that albeit in regard of the matter, wee may lawfully ab­iure for heretical, the doctrine not on­ly of murthering, but also of desposing Princes, which bee excommunicated or depriued by the Pope, yet, by force and vertue of the wordes, wee are not bound to abiure either the doctrine of deposing, or also of murthering such Princes, for hereticall, but only as hereticall, that is, for a very false and iniurious doctrine in the highest degree almost of fal­shood and iniustice, and which there­fore in regard of the abhorring, de­testing, and abiuring thereof, hath some resemblance and similitude with hereticall doctrine, although we take the word hereticall in the most [Page 106]strict and rigorous sense that may be. And the reason is, for that the Ad­uerbe [as] being an Aduerbe of simi­litude, doth properly and vsually by force and vertue of the word denote only a similitude, and if at any time it signifie an identitie, equalitie, or realtie, as (sometimes it doth, but most commonly it doth not) it is not by force of the word, but only in re­gard of the matter, to which it is ap­plyed. And this Explication will serue very well to conuince the wil­fulnesse of him, who out of his ha­tred to this Oath, will contrarie to all reason, and the rules before assigned out of Suarez, needes haue the word hereticall to bee taken only for that, which the definition of the Church maketh hereticall, and which before was not hereticall, although it was most euidently false, and repugnant to the holy Scriptures, and the word impious only for that, which is against pietie, which is due to God or car­nall Parents, albeit otherwise it bee neuer so wicked and iniurious to Princes who are the Fathers of the [Page 107]Countrie. For we may verie well an­swere him, that the Aduerbe as being an Aduerbe of similitude, and by force of the word, and, according to the plaine and common sense and vn­derstanding of the same, signifying only a similitude, & not a reality, but in regard of the matter to which it is referred, doth in this Branch denote only a similitude of that strict and ri­gorous Heresie and Impietie, because the matter, to which it is applyed, will not suffer it to signifie a doctrine impious and hereticall in that strict and rigorous manner, but only by way of comparison and similitude: and then the sense and meaning of this Branch is, that I doe abhorre, detest, and ab­iure that doctrine and position as im­pious and hereticall, that is, in a most high degree of horror and detestati­on, and not much vnlike to the dete­sting of that doctrine, which is impi­ous and hereticall, in that ouer­much strict and rigorous manner. Ne­uerthelesse this Explication, as hath beene shewed aboue, is not necessary, but only for such wilfull persons, as do [Page 108]seeke to expound the wordes of the Oath in the most odious sense, con­trarie to the plaine and common vn­derstanding of them, and the true meaning of the Law-maker.

CHAP. V. The Fift Branch of the Oath, and an Explication thereof.

ANd I doe beleeue, and in consci­ence am resolued, that neither the Pope nor any person whatsoeuer hath power to absolue me of this Oath, or any part thereof.

1. This Clause hath in it no more difficultie, then is in the former, see­ing that it implieth, supposeth, and is grounded vpon the iustice and ve­ritie of the Third and Second Branch. First, therefore by those wordes. [And I doe beleeue] is not vnderstood a supernaturall beliefe, but only a morall credulitie, as the next wordes [and in conscience am resolued] which are an explication of the former, doe sufficiently declare: and the sense of them is, that I doe thinke and am [Page 109]perswaded in my conscience, that nei­ther the Pope, &c. For it cannot with any reason be imagined, that the words which are last added, must di­minish, but rather increase, or at least wise more fully declare the truth and veritie of the former wordes: As for example, it were vnaptly spoken to say, that such a one is a man, and also a liuing creature; Princes may be mur­thered, and also deposed by the Pope: I doe most certainly beleeue so, and also I doe thinke or am perswaded so.

2. Secondly, the meaning of this Clause is not to deny the Popes power to absolue, or dispence in Oaths in ge­nerall, but only in this Oath, or any part thereof, as the expresse wordes doe plainly signifie; neither doth it follow, that because the Pope cannot dispence in this Oath, therefore hee cannot in other Oaths, wherein there is not the like reason as of this, or that because hee can dispense in other Oaths, wherein there is not the like reason, therefore hee can dispence in this.

3. Thirdly, neither is it the mea­ning [Page 110]of this Clause, that if perchance any one should offend God by taking this Oath against his conscience, thin­king it to be vnlawfull, the Pope hath not power to absolue him in the Sa­crament of Penance from the guilt of sinne thereby committed, but only the meaning is, that the Pope hath not power to absolue or dispence, with any man in this Oath, or any part thereof, that is, to free, release, and discharge him from performing any of those things, which in this Oath hee hath promised to performe, or, which is all one, to giue him leaue or licence to do against that, which in this Oath hee hath promised to doe, or not to doe. For all the parts and parcels of this Oath are either assertorie, as that Our Soueraigne Lord King Iames is lawfull and rightfull King of this Realme, &c. and that the Pope hath not any power or authoritie to depose him, &c. or to au­thorize any forraigne Prince to inuade or annoy Him or His Countries, or to discharge any of His subiects of their Allegiance, &c. and that from my heart I doe abhorre, detest, and abiure [Page 111]as impious and hereticall, &c. and no assertorie Oaths can bee dispenced withall, neither hath the Pope any power or authoritie, according to the receiued doctrine of all Diuines, to absolue any man from the bond of these kind of Oaths;So S. Thom. 2. 2. q. 89. ar. 9. and all other Di­uines. And the reason is, because the matter of an assertorie Oath being of an act present or past, is now made altogether necessarie and irreuocable, for that as soone as euer the Oath is made, it is either true or false by reason of the truth or fals­hood of the act which now is past. Wherefore seeing that it is impossi­ble, that the act which is past, be not past, so also it is impossible, that the Popes Dispensation or Absolution can alter it or recall it: for it is impossible, that the act of swearing, which is now, or hath beene true, be not now, or hath not beene true: Or else they are promissorie, to wit, wherein some thing is promised for the future time to bee done, or not to be done. And only these kinde of Oathes can bee dispenced withall. For as well saith Saint Thomas, S. Thom. 2. 2. q. 89. ar. 7. with whome all other [Page 112]Diuines doe herein agree, the bond of an Oath is referred to some thing which is to bee performed or omit­ted, wherefore it doth not appertayne to an assertorie Oath which is of a thing present or past, but only to a promissorie Oath.

4. Now in this Oath of Allegiance only three things are promised by the swearer, all which are contained in the third Branch; to wit, that not­withstanding any declaration or sen­tence of Excommunication or depriua­tion made or to bee made against the Kings Maiestie, his Heires or Succes­sors, First, he will beare faith, and true allegiance to his Maiestie, his Heires and Successors: Secondly, hee will de­fend them to the vttermost of his pow­er against all Conspiracies &c. and Thirdly, he wil make known vnto them all Treasons & trayterous Conspiracies, which hee shall know or heare of to bee made against any of them. Wherefore there is no more difficultie in this Clause, then is in the third, whereon this Clause is chiefely grounded. And therefore it is most euident, that the [Page 113] Pope hath no more authoritie to Ab­solue, or dispence in any of these three things, which the swearer promiseth, then hee hath authoritie to depose the King, and to make him no King: for that it is most certaine, as Cardinall Bellarmine him selfe confesseth,Bell. in Tract. contra Barclai. cap. 21. pag. 202. that Subiects are bound by the Law of God to beare faith and true Allegiance (which includeth the resisting and disclosing of all Treasons and Trai­terous Conspiracies) to their lawfull Prince, so long as he remaineth Prince: seeing that it is euident, as well ob­serueth Suarez, Suarez in De­fens. &c. lib. 3. cap. 3 num. 3. that the obligation of obedience in any degree or state whatso­euer doth so long endure in the subiect, as the dignitie, or power and iurisdicti­on doth endure in the Superiour, for these are corelatiues, and the one de­pendeth on the other. Therefore it is manifest, that the Pope hath no more authoritie to absolue, or dispense in this Oath, or any part thereof, to wit, in those three things before mentio­ned, then hee hath to make Kings no Kings, and to depriue them of their Regall dignitie, power, and iurisdicti­on.

[Page 114]5. Fourthly, neither is it the mea­ning of this Clause, that the Pope hath not any power to absolue the swearer from the promise which hee maketh to performe those three things mentioned in the third Branch, only with this reduplication, as it is sworne or confirmed by Oath, or, which is all one, only from the sacred and religious bond of the Oath; but the meaning is, that the Pope hath not authoritie to absolue from this Oath or any part thereof for as much it concer­neth the ciuill and naturall obligation of temporall Allegiance; both for that, when it is said that the Pope hath authoritie to absolue one from an Oath, which he hath made to doe some certaine thing, the meaning is, (according to the plaine and proper signification of the words, the com­mon Doctrine of all Diuines, and the vsuall practices of Popes, who when they absolue from any Oath, they absolue from all obligation whatsoeuer contained thereinSee the Ca­nons Nos San­ctorum, Iuratos, Absolutos.) that the Pope, hath authoritie to release him of that promise, and to giue [Page 115]him leaue to doe otherwise then hee hath promised by Oath to doe: And also for that his Maiestie and the State, according to whose meaning especially the doubtfull words of this Oath are to bee vnderstood and determined, doe little regard this subtile quircke of refined wits, whe­ther the Pope hath power to absolue his Maiesties subiects from the sa­cred and religious bond of their na­turall Allegiance, or, which is all one, only as it is sworne, or confirmed by Oath, so that notwithstanding the releasing of this sacred bond, they may bee assured, that the ciuill and naturall obligation of the subiects temporall Allegiance, to the confir­mation whereof this Oath is superad­ded, doth remaine inuiolable, and indispensable, and by the Popes au­thoritie cannot any way be dissolued or diminished, but that his Subiects, although they might by the Popes authoritie bee absolued from the sa­cred bond of their Allegiance as it is confirmed by Oath, are neuerthelesse by the Law of God and Nature obli­ged [Page 116]to beare faith and true Allegi­ance to his Maiestie, and that there­in the Pope hath no authoritie to dis­pense.

6. And although wee should for Disputation sake admit, that it were the meaning of this Clause, that the Pope hath no authoritie to absolue the swearer so much as from the Sa­cred bond of this Oath, or any part thereof, or, which is all one, from any of these three things promised in the third Branch, only with this re­duplication as they are sworne, or confirmed by Oath (of which nice subtiltie his Maiestie and the Parlia­ment by all likelihood little dreamed) yet any man may with great reason thinke, and in conscience be resolued, that the Pope hath no such authoritie: for that, according to the common doctrine of Diuines, the Pope hath not power to absolue from Oaths, when the absoluing from them tendeth to the temporall preiudice of a third person, vnlesse either directly or in­directly hee hath power to dispose of the temporall goods of that per­son. [Page 117]For hee hath not power, saith Sotus, Aragona, and Sayrus Scotus lib. 8. de Instit. q. 1. art. 9. Aragona 2. 2. q. 89. art. 9. Sayrus lib. 5. Thesauri cap. 8. num. 4. to release an Oath which one hath made to ano­ther man to pay him that debt which he oweth him, because he hath not pow­er to take from another man that which is his owne, and therefore he can not doe him wrong in releasing the Oath which was made vnto him. Wherefore this difference is betweene Vowes and Oaths, that in changing and dispencing of Vowes that only must be regarded which is more pleasing to God, but in releasing of Oaths great caution must be vsed, that no wrong be done to a third person.

7. And this is farre more euident in the doctaine of Saint Thomas, S. Thom. 2. 2. qu. 89. art. 9. whom the greatest part of Diuines doe herein follow, who houldeth, that the Pope cannot dispence in Oaths by releasing directly the sa­cred obligation of the Oath, for that this obligation is de iure naturae, wherein the Pope cannot dispence, but only by declaring, that the thing promised by Oath, which before was a fit thing to bee sworne, and [Page 118]therefore by vertue of the Oath to be performed, so long as it remay­neth so, is now, by reason of some particular accident or circumstance, become vnlawfull, hurtful, or an hin­derance of greater good, and there­fore now no fit matter to be sworne, nor by vertue of the Oath to be now any longer performed. From whence it plainely followeth, that the Pope cannot absolue from this Oath of Al­legiance, vnlesse hee hath power to declare, that temporall Allegiance, which Subiects by the Law of God, and Nature owe to their lawfull Prince so long as he remaineth Prince, be vnlawfull, hurtfull, or an hinde­rance of greater good, which he can­not in any wise declare, vnlesse hee hath power to make a King no King. For consequently hee should also de­clare, that God and Nature comman­ding Subiects to beare true faith and Allegiance to their lawfull Prince, should enioyne them an vnlawfull or hurtfull thing, or which is an hinde­rance of greater good, which is im­possible. And so in this Clause there [Page 109]is no more difficultie concerning this point of the Popes authoritie not to absolue from this Oath of Allegiance, or any part thereof, then is in the for­mer clauses, wherein the Popes autho­ritie to depose Kings, and to absolue Subiects from their naturall allegi­ance, is denyed.

8. Lastly, by those words [nor any person whatsoeuer] is not vnderstood the Kings Maiestie: Both for that in the Lawes of this Realme the Kings Maiestie is not vnderstood by the name of person, or persons, when the matter is odious: & also, as in no penal law the Prince or Law-maker himselfe is included vnder any generall word, because he is not subiect to such laws, according to that principle of the law, Princeps legibus solutus est, The Prince is free from lawes: Leg Princeps. ff. de Legibus. so also when it is said in the Law, that no person what­soeuer hath power to dispence in that law, or to change or alter that Law, the Law-maker himselfe, who is aboue the Law, is not comprehended vnder those generall words; yea and, as well obserueth Salas and Sa, both Ie­suites, [Page 120] In a generall speech the person who speaketh is vnderstood to bee excep­ted. Salas disp. 21. de Legibus sec. 3. regula 22. & Emanuel Sa verbo Interpre­tatio. nu. 14.

9. And although we should admit, that the Kings Maiestie were inclu­ded in those wordes [nor any person whatsoeuer] yet this clause would ne­uerthelesse be very true: And the rea­son is, for that albeit his Maiestie hath power to dispence with his sub­iects, that they shall not take this Oath, which is not the meaning of this Clause, yet he hath not power to absolue them from this Oath, or any part thereof after they haue once ta­ken it, which is the true sense & mea­ning of this Branch. First, for that to dispence or absolue from Oaths (taking those words [to dispence or absolue] according to their proper significati­on, and as they are taken commonly by Diuines) doth belong onely to spirituall and not to temporall pow­er. Wherefore the Diuines make a great difference betweene absoluing or dispencing in Oathes or Vowes, and releasing or annulling the same; and they affirme, that to release or annull [Page 121]an Oath or Vow, a temporall power, yea and sometimes priuate authoritie may suffice, as Parents may release and annull the oathes and vowes of their children; but to absolue or di­spence in an Oath or Vow, a spirituall authoritie and iurisdiction is necessa­rily required. But secondly, and prin­cipally, for that his Maiestie hath not power to release his subiects from their temporall and naturall allegi­ance, vnlesse he will cease to be their Prince, because temporall allegiance is by the law of God and Nature due to him from his Subiects, so long as he remayneth their Prince; and ther­fore he cannot absolue, discharge, or release them from the Obligation of this Oath or any part thereof; or, which is all one, he cannot giue them leaue, not to beare faith and true allegi­ance to his Maiestie, and consequently not to defend him to the vttermost of their power against all Treasons and trayterous conspiracies, which shall be made against his Royall person, Crowne and digni­tie, and not to doe their best endea­uor to disclose, and make them knowne [Page 122]vnto his Maiestie, seeing that to per­forme all these things Subiects are bound by the law of God and Nature, wherein no temporall or spirituall au­thoritie can dispence. And therefore the Authour of the Protestants Apolo­gie for the Roman Church, trac. 3. Sec. 5. doth very well affirme, that all Ca­tholikes are by all Lawes, Diuine and Humane, indissolubly obliged in the highest degree of all earthly Allegiance to his Maiestie that now is, as to their true, vndoubted, lawfull Soueraigne liege Lord and King.

CHAP. VI. The Sixt Branch of the Oath, and an Explication of the same.

WHich Oath I acknowledge by good and full authoritie to bee lawfully ministred vnto mee: and doe re­nounce all pardons and dispensations to the contrarie.

1. This Branch contayneth in it no difficultie at all, if wee consider what [Page 123]hath beene said before; to wit, that in this Oath is onely demanded a sincere profession of true temporall allegi­ance, and that no authoritie or obe­dience, which is due to the Pope, is de­nied therein: And that to treat of the Popes authoritie, not affirmatiuely what power he hath, but affirmatiuely what authoritie in temporalls the Kings Maiestie hath ouer his King­dome and Subiects; and consequent­ly what authoritie in temporalls the Pope hath not ouer the said kingdome and subiects: and also, that to exact of Subiects an Oath not onely of their temporall allegiance in generall, but also of such allegiance in particular, which his Maiestie and the State shall for prudent reasons & motiues thinke to be necessarie for the preseruation of the Kingdome from future Trea­sons, Inuasions, or Perturbations, so that it bee contayned within the bounds of true temporall allegiance, doth no way exceede the limits of temporall authoritie.

2. First therefore by those words [good and full authoritie] is not vnder­stood [Page 124]any authoritie of the Kings Ma­iestie in Ecclesiasticall causes, but onely in temporall matters, as is the mini­string of an Oath of true temporall allegiance. For although his Maiesty be perswaded, that hee hath full and supreme authoritie not onely in tem­porall, but also in Ecclesiastical affaires, for externall gouernement; and that the Pope hath not ouer him or his Subiects within this Realme, any au­thoritie or iurisdiction, nor power to excommunicate his Maiestie, yet his meaning is not to meddle at all in this Oath eyther with his owne, or with the Popes Ecclesiasticall Supremacie, but onely with his owne temporall So­ueraigntie, and consequently with the Popes authoritie not to depose him, or to dispose of his Kingdome, or to au­thorize any forraigne Prince to inuade or annoy him, or to absolue his Sub­iects from their obedience, &c. And therefore, as I obserued before in the third obseruation, wee must distin­guish betwixt his Maiesties vnder­standing or perswasion, and his mea­ning or intention: for his meaning [Page 125]was not to exact in this Oath of His Subiects all which hee is perswaded he might lawfully exact of them, but only to demand of them in this Oath a profession of that temporall Allegi­ance, which all Subiects are bound by the Law of God to giue to their law­full Soueraigne, as it is manifest by the declaration both of His Maiestie and also of the Parliament: and therefore Hee was carefull not to meddle with the Popes authority to excommunicate Him,

3. Secondly, it is certaine, that al­beit Christian Princes haue not au­thoritie to define and determine what position is hereticall, or to punish He­retikes with spirituall punishments (for these are meere spirituall things) yet they haue authoritie to command their subiects to abiure such positions as are alreadie defined, or knowne to bee manifestly false and repugnant to the holy Scriptures, for such: and to punish with temporall punishments the obstinate maintayners of the same, especially as the mayntayning of such positions is hurtfull to the [Page 126]publike temporall peace, whereof the King hath charge: and who there­fore may also by the materiall Sword repell the wrongs and iniuries offered to the temporall Kingdome or Com­mon-wealth by Clergie-men, and al­so the abuses of the spirituall Sword, when they tend to the hurt of the ci­uill Common-wealth, as Franciscus Ʋictoria, Ioannes Parisiensis, and Co­uerruuias doe well obserue.Victoria Relect. 1. de potest. Ec­cles. sec. 7. §. o­ctaua propo­sitio. Parisiensis de potest. Reg. & Pap. cap. 11. ad 37. Couerruu. cap. 35. Practic. question. Where­fore a King, saith Dominicus Bannes, Bannes 2. 2. q. 11. ar. q. 1. doth punish Heretikes as most seditious Enemies to the peace of His Kingdome, which cannot be preserued without vni­tie of Religion. And Marriage, saith Dominicus Sotus, Sotus in 4. dist. 29. q. 1. ar. 4. being a Sacrament in such sort, that it is also a ciuill con­tract, it nothing letteth, but that as in the former respect it belongeth to the Ecclesiasticall Court, so in regard of the later it is subiect also in some sort to the Ciuill. Not that Princes can alter those things which are of the substance of Matrimonie, but that they may pu­nish them, who contract they shall offend a­gainst the publike peace: for against [Page 127]those crimes, whose iudgement doth be­long to the Ecclesiasticall Court, they may also ordayne punishments, as they disturbe the peace of the Common­wealth. Which doctrine of Sotus may in the very like manner bee ap­plyed to Heresie, which being a spiri­rituall offence in such sort, that also it disturbeth the temporall peace of the Common-wealth, it nothing letteth, but that as in the former respect it belongeth to the Ecclesiasticall Court, so in regard of the later it is subiect also in some sort to the Ciuill; not that Princes can determine and define what is Heresie, but that they may punish Heretikes, when by defending hereticall positions, they shall offend against the publike good. For against those crimes, whose iudgement doth belong to the Ecclesia­sticall Court, they may also ordayne pu­nishments, as they disturbe the peace of the Common-wealth. And therefore Christian Princes haue good and full power to compell their Subiects to abiure impious, damnable, and here­ticall positions for such, when it is ne­cessarie to the preseruation of the [Page 128]publike temporall peace, and to dis­couer how their Subiects stand affect­ted in point of their Loyaltie and due Obedience.

4. Thirdly, it is euident, that Clergie-men being truely subiect to temporall Princes, in regard of their naturall birth, and of their liuing in Ciuill Societie with others, and con­sequently bound, according to the common doctrine of Diuines, to ob­serue their iust Lawes not only vira­tionis, but also vi legis, by force of the Law, doe owe true Allegiance to their naturall Prince, no lesse then Lay men, and that therefore hee may lawfully demand of them, as they are Sub­iects, an Oath of their Allegiance, whensoeuer hee shall iustly suspect their fidelitie. And although some Clergie-men should bee so capricious, as to imagine, contrarie to the pra­ctice of the Primitiue Church, the doctrine of the Ancient Fathers, and manifest reason, that they are not sub­iect at all to the authoritie of tempo­rall Princes, and thereupon should make a scruple to take this Oath as [Page 129] lawfully ministred to them by good and full authoritie, yet this could not bee a sufficient proofe, that the Oath is vnlawfull in it selfe, or that Lay-men cannot lawfully take it, and also ac­knowledge, that it is lawfully mini­stred vnto them by good and full au­thoritie.

5. Lastly, in those words [And I doe renounce all Pardons and Dispen­sations to the contrarie] is not implyed a renouncing in generall of the Popes authoritie to giue Pardons and Dis­pensations, but, as the wordes doe plainly signifie, in them is only con­tayned a denyall of the Popes autho­ritie to dispence with the Swearer, or to giue him leaue and license to doe contrarie to that which hee hath pro­mised in this Oath. Wherefore the veritie of these last wordes is chiefly grounded vpon the lawfulnesse of the Fift Branch. For if the Pope hath no power and authoritie to absolue the Swearer from any part of this Oath, because those three things be­fore mentioned, which he promiseth to performe, he is bound by the Law [Page 130]of God and Nature to performe, and that therein no authoritie of Pope or Prince can dispence, it is manifest, that hee may lawfully renounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrarie.

CHAP. VII. The Seuenth Branch of the Oath, and an Explication thereof.

"ANd all these things I do plain­ly and sincerely acknowledge and sweare according to these ex­presse words by me spoken, and accor­ding to the plaine and common sense, & vnderstanding of the same words without any equiuocation, or mentall euasion, or secret reseruasion whatsoe­uer.

1. This Branch is greatly to bee regarded, for that it expresly decla­reth, in what sense the Swearer is bound to take all the parts and par­cels of this Oath. And first, by those first words And all these things I doe plainly and sincerely acknowledge and [Page 131]sweare, &c.] it is manifest, that the immediate obiect of all this Oath and euery part therof, or, which is all one, that which in all the for­mer Branches I doe directly and im­mediatly sweare, is my plaine and sin­cere acknowledgement, to wit, that our Soueraigne Lord King Iames is the lawfull and rightfull King of this Realme, &c. and that the Pope hath not any power or authoritie to depose him, &c. and that I will beare Faith & true Allegiance to His Maiestie, &c. and that from my heart I doe abhorre, de­test and abiure as impious and hereti­call, &c. and that I doe beleeue and in conscience am resolued, &c. and that it is lawfully ministred vnto me by good and full authoritie, and that I doe renounce all Pardons and Dispensati­ons to the contrarie. Whereupon the Oath concludeth thus: And I doe make this recognition and acknowledge­ment heartily, willingly and truly vpon the true faith of a Christian. So that the plaine and proper meaning of this Branch is, that whatsoeuer I doe sweare in this Oath, I doe sweare [Page 132]plainly and sincerely according to these expresse words, &c.

2. Secondly, the meaning of those words [without any equiuocation, &c.] is not, that there is not to be found in this Oath any equiuocall wordes, and which may not haue two proper and vsuall significations, especially if they be taken barely and by themselues a­lone (for if wee consider them as they be ioined with other words and make a full and perfect sentence, and doe al­so duly regard the intention of the Law-maker with the other obserua­tions before set downe, we shall hard­ly find any one sentence in this Oath so equiuocall or ambiguous, that ac­cording to the common vnderstand­ing of men it hath two senses, equal­ly common, which is properly to bee equiuocal.) But the plaine and proper meaning of those words is, that the Swearer must not in this Oath equi­uocate, or vse any equiuocation, men­tal euasion, or secret reseruation what­soeuer, but that he must deale plainly and sincerely according to the minde and intention of the Law-maker. For [Page 133]it is one thing to vse equiuocall words, and an other thing to equiuocate, or to vse equiuocation, because one may vse equiuocal words, and not deceiue or delude the hearer, for that hee v­seth the words in that sense, wherein the hearer vnderstandeth them. But to equiuocate implyeth a fraudulent, deceitfull, and vnsincere dealing by v­sing the words in an other sense, then the hearer vnderstandeth them.

3. Wherefore the plaine meaning of this Branch is, that albeit in this Oath there might bee found diuerse common senses of the same wordes, yet the Swearer must not equiuocate, but hee must take the wordes in that sense, wherin the Law-maker vnder­standeth them, with whome hee is bound, by vertue of this Branch, to deale plainly, sincerely, without any guile, fraude, deceit, euasion, or se­cret reseruation whatsoeuer. But if perchance there should any difficulty arise concerning any ambiguous word, or sentence contayned in this Oath, and the will, meaning, and in­tention of the Law-maker could not [Page 134]bee knowne, then wee must vse those rules, which, according to the appro­ued doctrine of all Diuines and Law­yers, wee haue aboue set downe for the interpreting of doubtfull and am­biguous speeches in any Law. And namely among the rest, that in penall Lawes and odious matters the mil­der and more fauourable sense, and which contayneth in it no absurditie, is to be chosen.

4 Seeing therefore that, according to the doctrine of all Diuines, it is not lawfull to equiuocate, or to vse equi­uocation, but we must answere plain­ly and sincerely according to the mea­ning and intention of the Iudge, when hee proceedeth iuridically, and de­mandeth no vniust and vnlawfull thing, but which hee hath authoritie to demand, it is manifest, that the ve­ritie of this Branch dependeth whol­ly vpon the lawfulnesse of the Oath, and vpon the authoritie of the ma­ker thereof, and that consequently there is no difficultie in this Clause, supposing the lawfulnesse of the for­mer Clauses, and that this Oath is [Page 135] lawfully ministred by good and full au­thoritie.

CHAP. VIII. The Eight and last Branch of the Oath.

"ANd I doe make this recognition and acknowledgement heartily, willingly, and truely, vpon the true faith of a Christian. So helpe mee God.

1. The lawfulnesse of this Branch dependeth wholly vpon the veritie and iustice of the former Clauses, and will cleerely appeare, if wee suppose, as hath beene shewed before, that this Oath of Allegiance contayneth in it no falshood or iniustice, and that it is ministred vnder great penalties by lawfull authoritie, to make a tri­all how his Maiesties subiects stand affected in point of their loyaltie and due obedience. For as Vasquez ob­serueth very well out of Aristotle, Vasquez 1. 2. Disp. 51. cap. 3. & disp. 73. cap. 7. & disp. 86. cap. 5. with whom all Diuines and Philoso­phers do herein agree, to make an act of vertue to bee morally good and [Page 136]vertuous, it is not only required, that it haue a good and vertuous obiect, but also it must bee done directly for the goodnesse and honestie of the vertue it selfe, and not for any other end or motiue. For otherwise if one doe acts of vertue, as of iustice, or temperance, not for iustice or tempe­rance sake, but for some other end, as for lucre, vaine glorie, feare of punishment, or any other motiue whatsoeuer, he sholl doe, saith Aristo­tle, Aristot. 2. E­thic. cap. 4. iust or temperate actions, but hee shall not doe them iustly or temperately, neither shall hee for doing those actions be accounted a iust or temperate man. Seeing therefore that euery iust and vertuous man ought to obserue iust Lawes, not for feare of punishment as the wicked do, but heartily, willingly, and truely, that is, sincerely, and vn­fainedly, for the loue of vertue, it is euident, that euery good and well af­fected subiect may and ought to take this Oath of Allegiance, supposing it to be lawfull and ministred by good and full authoritie, not for feare of punishment, as likewise we ought to [Page 137]obserue God his commandements, not for feare of eternall damnation, but heartily, willingly, and vnfained­ly, for the loue of vertue and obedi­ence. Wherefore it is manifest, that euery good and vertuous Subiect ought to haue a farre greater wil­lingnesse in obseruing iust Lawes, al­though they be imposed vnder paine of death, then hath a Merchant be­ing in danger of drowning, to cast o­uer board his goods for sauing his life: for that a Merchant in that case is only willing to lose his goods, for that otherwise hee cannot escape the danger of his life, but euery vertuous man ought to obserue iust Lawes heartily, willingly, and vnfainedly, for vertue and obedience sake, al­though hee were in no danger of be­ing punished for not obseruing the same.

2. And thus thou seest good Reader, that this new Oath of Allegiance doth not want either Ʋeritie, Iustice or Iudgement, as well in regard of the takers, as of the makers & propoun­ders of the same: That the State, [Page 138]supposing that horrible Powder Trea­son, which was grounded vpon co­lour and pretence of the Popes autho­ritie to take away the Crownes and liues of Princes in order to spirituall good, had iust cause to deuise a new Oath of Allegiance, wherein menti­on should bee made of the aforesaid authoritie, to make a true difference, betwixt ciuilly obedient Subiects, and the peruerse disciples of those Powder Traitors, it is euident by that which hath beene said before in the fourth obseruation: and that therfore the State in deuising and propounding such an Oath did not want Iudge­ment. Also that the Subiect hath iust cause to take the Oath, supposing it to bee lawfull and ministred by good and full authoritie, and that conse­quently in taking it, after he hath ex­amined and seene the lawfulnesse thereof, doth not want Iudgement, it is as euident, as that there is no want of Iudgement to obserue the iust commandement of his Lawfull Supe­riour, when after due examination he findeth the commandement to bee [Page 139]iust. And finally, that no assertorie Clause of the Oath wanteth Veritie, nor any Promissorie Clause wanteth Iustice, or, which is all one, that no falshood or iniustice is to bee found in any part or parcell of the Oath, it is manifest by the former Explicati­on of euery Branch in particular.

CHAP. IX. An Answere to the Popes Breues.

1. THere remaineth only one dif­ficultie to be explained con­cerning the Popes Breues, which for­bid English Catholikes to take this new Oath for that it containeth many things which are plainely against faith and saluation. And although Wid­drington both in his Theologicall Dis­putation, and also more fully in his Answere to Fitz-herberts Reply hath cleared this difficultie,Wriddrington in his Disput. Theolog. cap. 10. sec. 2. and in his Answere to Fitzherb. part. 3. cap. 7. yet I thinke it not amisse briefly to set downe some generall heads of his answere to the said Breues, whereby any iudicious man may haue sufficient grounds to [Page 140]iudge not only how farre the Popes a­foresaid Breues, but also all other of the like kind may without any irre­uerence or disobedience to the Sea Apostolike be contradicted, or not ad­mitted by good and vertuous Catho­likes.

2. First therefore, Widdrington sheweth out of the approued Do­ctrine of Suarez and other Diuines, that there bee two sorts of Lawes or Precepts, the one are called Constitu­tiue, for that they doe not suppose, but make the thing, which they for­bid, to be vnlawfull, which, if that Precept were not, would be lawfull, as the Precept of the Church to fast from Flesh in Lent, to abstaine from seruile works vpon commanded Ho­ly-daies, to receiue the Blessed Sacra­ment at Easter, or the like: And that no Constitutiue Precept of the Church doth binde, when by obseruing it there is danger to incurre some nota­ble corporall or temporall hurt. The other are called Declaratiue, for that they doe not make, but suppose and declare the thing to bee vnlawfull [Page 141]which they forbid, as being forbid­den by some former Law; as the for­bidding of Theft, Murder, Whore­dome, Vsurie, and such like, for that they are before forbidden by the Law of God and Nature: And that the obligation of Declaratiue Precepts doth only depend vpon the reason and former Law, which in the Decla­ratiue Precept is supposed and de­clared: So that if there bee no such former Law or prohibition, as in the Declaratiue Precept is supposed and declared, the Declaratiue Precept hath no force to bind.

3. Secondly, he sheweth, that the Popes Breues forbidding English Ca­tholikes to take the Oath, doe not containe a Constitutiue, but only a Declaratiue Precept, neither do they make, but suppose and declare the Oath to be vnlawfull, for that, say the Breues, it contayneth in it many things, which are manifestly against faith and saluation; and that conse­quently, if in the Oath there bee no­thing against faith or saluation, as the Breues suppose and declare, it is ma­nifest, [Page 142]that the Breues haue no force at all to bind English Catholickes not to take the Oath, for that they are grounded vpon a false reason, sup­position, and declaration.

4. Thirdly, he sheweth that all de­claratiue Breues are eyther definitiue, or grounded vpon some former defi­nition, of Pope or Councell, or else they are onely opinatiue, or grounded vpon the Popes opinatiue iudgement, perswasion, or probable opinion: And that if they bee grounded vpon the Popes opinion, no man is bound to o­bey them, as neyther to follow his o­pinion, whereon they are grounded: but hee may as lawfully contradict them, as he may contradict his opini­on, although the Pope thinke it to bee neuer so probable: And that vpon this ground, cause, and reason, it was law­full for Catholickes to contradict the declaratiue Breue of Pope Nicholas the First, De consecr. dist. 4. can. A quodam Iu­daeo. wherein he declared, that Baptisme ministred in the name of Christ without expressing the three persons of the B. Trinitie was valid and true Bap­tisme: And the declaratiue Breue of [Page 143]Pope Celestine the Third, Which was once extant in the Canon Law, in cap. Laudabilem de controuers. con­iugot. wherein he declared, and, as Alphonsus de Ca­stro saith,Castro lib. 1. de haeres. cap. 4. he defined, that Marriage is so dissolued by heresie, that the partie whose Consort falleth into heresie, may lawfully marry an other, which Do­ctrine is now condemned in the Coun­cell of Trent: Sec. 24. de Reform. can. 5. And the declaratiue Breues or Letters of Pope Iohn the 22. who publiquely taught and declared, that the soules of the Blessed should not see God, before the resurrection, See Castro lib. 3. contra haeres. verbo Beatitudo hae­res. 6. Bellar. lib. 4. de Rom. Pont. c. 14. Hadrianus Papa in quaest. de Confirm. circa finem, and other Hi­stories. where­in hee was contradicted by the Do­ctours of Paris, and caused to recall his Doctrine: And the declaratiue Breue of Pope Boniface the eight, wherein he declared, that Philip the French King was subiect to him in spi­ritualls and temporalls, wherein he was contradicted by the French Nation, and taxed of wonderfull impudency. See Nico­laus Vignerius ad annum 1300.

5. Fourthly, he sheweth, that the Popes declaratiue Breues forbidding Catho­licks to take the oath, for that it contay­neth many things which are manifestly against faith and saluation, are neyther definitiue, for that they are not dire­cted to the whole Church, nor doe [Page 144]contayne any of those rules, which, according to Cardinal Bellarmine and other Diuines, is required to a true and infallible definition of faith (for onely of this kind of definition now wee speake) and that although they were definitiue, yet considering that it is a probable Doctrine, that the Pope hath no authoritie infallibly to define without a generall Councell, no Ca­tholicke is bound to giue more credit to his definition, then to follow his probable Doctrine and opinion: ney­ther are they grounded vpon any for­mer definition of Pope or Councell, and which all Catholickes are bound to admit for a true definition, as Wid­drington hath proued at large by an­swering all the Decrees and Canons of Popes or Councells; which Lessius (masked vnder the name of D. Single­ton) hath scraped together. But they are grounded onely vpon the opina­tiue iudgement of the Pope, and some other Diuines of Rome, who then were of opinion, that many things are contayned in the Oath manifestly [Page 145]repugnant to faith and saluation, for one of these two grounds and reasons, or rather for both: The first, that the Popes power to excommunicate, and consequently his spirituall authoritie is denyed in the Oath: and that the Breues were chiefly grounded vpon this reason, Widdrington conuinceth by the Popes answer to Fa: Parsons; Widdrington a­gainst Fitzh. part 3. chap. 17. by the consult and resolution of the Diuines of Rome; by Cardinall Bellar­mine Bellarmine in his Answer to the Apologie, pag. 9. (who doubtlesse would not in this poynt dissent from the opinion and resolution of the Pope, and the o­ther Diuines of Rome, nor they from him) affirming that in the Oath is plainely or manifestly denyed to the Pope, power to excommunicate euen hereticall Kings, for which he is deseruedly tax­ed by his Maiestie of manifest fal­shood: and lastly, by those wordes of the Breues, that in the Oath are contay­ned many things, quae apertè aduersan­tur fidei, which are plainely or expresly repugnant to faith: But none of our learned Aduersaries dare affirme, that the denyall of the Popes power to de­pose Princes, is plainely and expresly [Page 146]repugnant to faith, but at the most, tacite, and tecte, conertly, and closely, and that by many farre fetcht (and ill deduced) inferences and suppositi­ons:See Suarez lib. 6. cap. 1. de Iu­ramento fide­litatis. and that therefore they suppo­sed with Cardinall Bellarmine, that the Popes power to excommunicate, is de­nyed in the Oath: The second ground or reason is, that the Popes power to depose Princes, to dipose of their tem­poralls, and to absolue subiects from their temporall allegiance, which doubtlesse is denyed in the Oath, is a cleare poynt of faith, and not in con­trouersie among Catholiques, both which grounds and reasons are mani­festly false, as hath beene sufficiently conuinced by the former Discourse: and consequently, that it is no more vnlawful not to obey the Popes decla­ratiue Breues forbidding Catholickes to take the Oath, they being groun­ded vpon the aforesaid reasons & sup­positions, which are manifestly false, then it is vnlawfull not to approue the said false reasons and suppositi­ons, for that a declaratiue precept hath no more force to bind, according to [Page 147]the Doctrine of Suarez, (which is also conforme to manifest reason) then hath the reason & supposition where­on it is grounded.

6. Lastly, he sheweth out of the do­ctrine of Dominicus Sotus, & other di­uines,Sotus de de de­legendo secreto­to memb. 2. nu. 2. See Wid­drington in the Discouery of the 15. colum of D. Schulked. that if a Prelate, or any other Superiour command a thing, which the Subiect doubteth to be vniust, and the thing which is commanded be in preiudice of a third person, who is in possession of his goods and good name, it is no irreurence, or disobe­dience in the Subiect not to obey, propounding to his Superiour with all humilitie and reuerence the rea­sons of his doubt. Seeing therefore that Widdrington hath in the name of English Catholickes propounded to his Holinesse the reasons which mo­ued them to doubt, that his declara­tiue Breues were not iust, as beeing greatly preiudiciall to his Mtiesties temporall Soueraigntie, and namely for that they were grounded vpon the two aforesaid false reasons and suppo­sitions, and that they haue not had as yet any satisfaction concerning those [Page 148]their doubts, it is not onely manifest, that they cannot be iustly taxed of a­ny disobedience or irreuerence to his Holinesse, for not obeying the afore­said Breues, but also it is an euident signe, that his Holinesse could not sa­tisfie their doubts, and that now hee plainly seeth, that he and his Diuines were mistaken, and that his declara­tiue Breues were grounded vpon those false reasons and suppositions which he could not iustifie or make good: Otherwise he would without all doubt, in regard of his Fatherly care, and Pastorall charge, haue sought to haue giuen them all possible satisfa­ction in this poynt, which so neerely concerneth not onely their soules health, and their temporall states and libertie, but which also is so iniurious to his Maiestie, and so scandalous to Catholicke Religion, giuing occasion to all Protestant Princes and subiects to perswade themselues, that the pro­fession of the Catholicke Roman Reli­gion cannot stand with true and con­stant loyaltie, but that it is a Nurcery of vniust Inuasions, Rebellions, and Powder-Treasons.

[Page 179]7. Wherefore, (for the last fare­well) I beseech you again and againe (deare Countrimen) not to forget those two most certaine Principles, where­on is chiefly grounded the Doctrine for the iustifying of the Oath, and for the securing of Princes from all tray­terous Conspiracies, practises, and at­tempts, vnder the colour and pretence of the Popes authoritie to depose them; to wit, that it is a great con­trouersie among learned Catholickes, and therefore not certayne, but true­ly probable, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depriue Soueraigne Princes, and that no power or title, which is not most certayn but in con­trouersie, can bee a lawfull ground, whereby immediately any man may be punished, or depriued of that right, dominion, or any other thing which hee really and bona fide possesseth; both which Principles, are, as you haue seene, so cleare and manifest, that no learned man can from his hart de­ny them, howsoeuer some one or o­ther for some temporall respect, end, or motiue, may speake or write con­trary [Page 180]to his mind and knowledge.

8. But, as Widdrington towards the end of his Answer to Fitzherberts Preface well obserueth out of Moli­na, and Lessius, both famous Iesuites, there is a great difference betwixt the possessing of temporall and corporall goods, as Lands, Houses, Crownes, Kingdomes, and the like, and the pos­sessing of authoritie, Iurisdiction, rights, and claymes, which one may pretend to haue to such temporall goods. For that possession properly is onely of temporall goods; and such goods may properly be possessed, al­though the party, who hath true right to those goods, contradicteth neuer so much; but rights, and claymes are not properly possessed, but they are one­ly said to be, as it were, in some sort, or improperly possessed: and besides, to the possessing of power, authoritie, iurisdi­ction, right; or claime to any tempo­rall thing, in such manner as right, iurisdiction, and claime may be sayd to be possessed, it is necessarie, that the right or claime, which is preten­ded, be without contradiction and re­sistance [Page 181]of the aduerse part. Other­wise if one should challenge any right or authoritie be it good or bad, true or false, and should exercise that pretended right or authoritie, the ad­uerse part contradicting, he might ne­uerthelesse be said to bee in possession of that right or authoritie, which is manifestly false and absurd. For so if a Lay-man should pretend to haue true spirituall iurisdiction ouer Cler­gie men, as power to excommunicate, and should exercise that pretended iurisdiction, hee might be said to be in possession of true spirituall iurisdi­ction, although the Clergie should neuer so much contradict and except against the same. And for this rea­son, albeit some Popes haue for as many hundreds of yeares, as haue beene since the time of Pope Gregorie the Seuenth, challenged a right and authoritie to depriue Kings of their regall Soueraigntie, yet they cannot be said to haue beene for one day or one houre in possession of that their pretended right and authoritie, be­cause Christian Kings and Subiects, [Page 182]from the time of Henrie the Fourth Emperour, who was the first Em­perour that was depriued by Pope Gregorie the Seuenth, vntill the time of Henrie the Fourth most Christian King, who was the last King who was depriued by Pope Sixtus the Fift, haue euer resisted and contradicted this pretended authoritie and clayme of Popes to depriue them of their tem­poralls. And although perchance there should haue beene, or hereafter shall be some or other Christian King, who for some priuate or pub­lique respect and interest, hath not, or shall not resist the Popes sentence of depriuation denounced or to bee de­nounced against him, but rather yeeld thereunto, yet this cannot preiudice his successors, or be a sufficiēt ground, that the Pope may be truely said to be in possession of his pretended right, au­thority, and claime to depriue Kings in general, but at the most to depriue that King in particular, who did not resist or gainsay, but rather acknow­ledged the right and authority, which the Pope claimed to depriue him.

[Page 183]9. Finally, although it may bee obiected, that diuerse Popes haue practized the deposing of Princes, and many learned Diuines haue approued the said practice, therefore the practice being approued by many learned and skilfull men in the Arte which they professe is truly probable, euen accor­ding to Widdringtons grounds, which he taketh from Ʋasquez: Yet this is easily answerd. For those Popes and learned men in approuing that practice for lawfull, did either thinke assured­ly, that the doctrine for the Popes power to depriue Princes was most certaine, vnquestionable, and out of all controuersie, and that the contra­rie doctrine was not at that time, nor could lawfully bee approued by any learned Catholike, which howsoeuer those Doctours might at that time thinke or be perswaded (wherein ne­uerthelesse they were greatly decei­ued, because euen from the first broa­ching of this doctrine and practice by Pope Gregorie the VII. A thing vn­heard of before that Age, saith Onu­phrius, Onuphr. lib. 4. de varia creat. Rom. Pont. it hath euer beene a great con­trouersie, [Page 184]saith Azor the Iesuite,Azor. cited a­boue in the Sixt Obseruat. be­tweene Popes and Emperours) yet now it is so cleere and manifest, that there is at this time a great controuersie a­mong learned Catholikes concerning this authoritie of the Pope. as that all the World both by the publike wri­tings and proceedings in this contro­uersie can giue sufficient testimonie of the same: Or else those Popes and Do­ctours, did not consider and examine the difference betwixt speculation and practice, but without any further ex­amination, thought euery doctrine that was probable and approoued by learned men in speculation, and might speculatiuely and abstracting from practice bee disputed in Schooles pro and contra, might also bee practised, and put in execution, not considering whether it tendeth to the preiudice of a third person, and to the disposses­sing him of that which hee actually and bona fide possesseth, or no, where­as it is most certaine and out of all controuersie, (as hath beene shewed aboue) that it is open iniustice to de­priue vpon a probable or controuer­sed [Page 185]power or title any man of that which hee hath really in his posses­sion.

10. Now it is euident, according to Vasquez doctrine which Widdring­ton followeth, and which stands with manifest reason; that the approbati­on, and authoritie of ancient or mo­derne Doctours is not sufficient to make their doctrine probable to other learned men, if either their doctrine bee grounded vpon some principle, which to those learned men is mani­festly false, or it may bee confuted by some reason, which to those learned men seemeth inuincible and not to be answered, and which reason those Do­ctours haue not seene, considered, and examined; Obseruandum tamen maxi­me est, &c. But it is greatly to bee ob­serued, saith Vasquez, Vasquez 1. 2. disp. 62. cap. 4. nu. 18. cited by Widder. in disp. Theolog c. 10. sec. 2. nu. 16. that it may sometimes fall out, that the ancient Writers, whose opinions are now in con­trouersie, did not consider some Reason, Law, or Decree, which hath great force against their opinion: but contrariwise that the later Doctors being conuinced with that Reason, Law, or Decree, doe [Page 186]now defend the contrarie opinion. If therfore a learned man seeing that Law or Decree, or considering that new rea­son doth defend the opinion of the later Writers against the ancient, hee cannot follow in practice the opinion of the an­cient Writers, against his owne opinion, or which is all one by reason of their authoritie and approbation, because the opinion of the ancient, who haue not seene, or considered that Decree, or Rea­son, ought not now to be accounted pro­bable. And therefore Widdrington de­fining probable to bee that, which is approued by learned and skilfull men, for the better vnderstanding and ex­plication of the last words, he added, who haue seene and examined the diffi­cultie, for if they haue not seene and considered that particular difficultie and controuersie, they cannot bee ac­counted learned and skilfull therein.

11. Now the particular difficulty, and controuersie concerning this point, and which those Popes and Do­ctours mentioned in the obiection did not consider and examine, is, whether, supposing it to bee now a [Page 187]controuersie, and to be apptooued by learned Catholikes, that the Pope hath no authoritie to depriue Princes, it be not open iniustice in the Pope to de­priue Princes of their Kingdomes and Dominions, which they really and bona fide doe possesse. And therefore vnlesse it can bee conuinced, that it is not at this day a controuersie among learned Catholikes, whether the Pope hath authoritie to depriue, which is as hard a matter, as to proue, that the Sunne doth not giue light at noone daies, or else that it is lawfull vpon a doubtfull, vncertaine, controuersed & probable power or title to thrust by violence any man out of that, which heeactually and bona fide possesseth, the practice of deposing Princes, vn­der pretence of the probability of the Popes power to depriue Princes, can­not bee accounted probable to any learned man, so much as to excuse him in conscience, and in the sight of God from formall sinne and iniustice.

12. But to conclude with this Obseruation, which I wish you (Deare Countremen) diligently to consider; [Page 188]That howsoeuer any Subiect concur­ring in practice with the Pope to the deposing of his lawfull Soueraigue Prince, may vnder pretence of some probabilitie of the doctrine to depose Princes by the Popes authoritie, per­swade himselfe, that hee is excused from sinne and formall Treason in his conscience, and before the sight of God, (wherewith Princes not know­ing the secrets of mens hearts, but lea­uing them to the iudgement of God, doe not intermeddle in their Tribu­nals) yet considering these two things: The first, that it is most certayne and out of all controuersie, that hee is excused in conscience, and before the sight of God from all sinne and of­fence in defending his lawfull Prince, who is in possession, and in resisting such inuasions and depositions which are grounded only vpon a probable power and title, whereas hee cannot with any reason assuredly perswade himselfe, that hee is secure in consci­ence by taking part with the Pope a­gainst his Prince, who is in possession of his Crowne: The Second, that it is [Page 189]also most certaine, and out of all con­trouersie, that hee may iustly in taking the Popes part against his Prince being inuaded and depriued vnder pretence of a probable power and title (al­though in very deed the power and title were neuer so probable) bee ac­cused and condemned both in the Se­cular and also Ecclesiasticall Court of the Prince inuaded of open and ma­nifest Treason, and as a manifest Trai­tour be deseruedly put to death: for that it is open iniustice in the Pope (saith the Authour of the Prelate and the Prince) to depriue a Prince of his King­dome to which hee hath probable right, and withall possession, and consequently it is open Treason in the Subiect to take part with the Pope in that case against his rightfull Prince. These two things, I say, being duly considered, I thinke those Subiects to bee starke mad and senslesse, and to haue neither the feare of God nor Man before their eyes, that can be drawne to ap­proue such damnable practices, and consequently neither the doctrine, grounds, and principles thereof: or [Page 190]to concurre with the Pope, to the de­posing, and dispossessing of their So­ueraigne Prince, vnder pretence of a power, title, and clayme, which euen in speculation, and abstracting from practice, can bee at the most but pro­bable. And so recommending to your prudent considerations this my serious and sincere aduertisement I make an end, and request you euer to haue in minde, that which I said in the be­ginning and cannot too often repeate: Feare God, Honour the King: Ren­der to God and Caesar (and con­sequently to Popes and Prin­ces) that which is their due. 1. Pet. 2. Mat. 22.

A Copie of the Oath of Allegi­ance, or the First Article, which the Lower House of Parliament (wherein of 200. Deputies for the Third Estates were but sixe Pro­testants) propounded to the French King, to haue established for a fundamentall Law, in the generall Assembly of the three Estates, hol­den at Paris in the yeere 1614.

The First Article of the Third Estates, taken out of a Booke intituled, Apologie de l'Article primier du Tiers Estat. pag. 4.

THat, to stay the course of that pernitious dostrine which some years since hath been broached, against Kings and Souereigne powers establish­ed by God, by seditious spirits, who attend only to disturbe and subuert the same, Supplication may bee made to the King, that hee will cause to bee decreed in the Assemblie of these Estates for a fundamentall Law of the Realme, That, for as much as hee is acknow­ledged Soueraigne in his Estate, nor [Page 192]houlding his Crowne but from God al­one, There is not any power on Earth whatsoeuer it be. Spirituall or Tempo­rall, which hath any right ouer his Kingdome to depriue the sacred persons of our Kings, nor to dispence or absolue for any cause or pretence whatsoeuer, their Subiects from the Allegiance and obedience which they owe to them: That all the Subiects of what qualitie or condition soeuer they be, shall hould this Law for holy and true, as agreeable to the Word of God, without distinction, equiuocation, or limitation whatsoeuer: Which shall be sworne and signed by all the Deputies of the Estates, and from henceforth by all that haue Benefices or offices in the Kingdome, before they enter into possession of their Benefices, and bee admitted into their Offices: That all Masters, Regents, Doctors, and Preachers shall bee bound to teach and publish, that the contrarie opinion, to wit, that it is lawfull to kill and de­pose our Kings, to rise vp and rebell a­gainst them, to shake of the yoake of their obedience, for any occasion what­soeuer, is impious, detestable, and con­trarie [Page 193]to truth, and against the esta­blishment of the State of France, which dependeth immediatly on none but God: That all Bookes which doe teach that false and peruerse opinion, shall be held for seditious and to bee censured: All Strangers that shall write and publish it, for sworne Enemies of the Crowne: All his Maiesties Subiects, that shall adhere vnto it, of what qualitie or condition soeuer they be, for Rebels, infringers of the fundamentall Lawes of the Kingdome, and guiltie of Trea­son in the higstest degree. And if there be found any booke, or Discourse writ­ten by any Stranger Ecclesiastike, or of any other qualitie, that containeth any proposition contrarie to the said Law directly or indirectly, the Ecclesiastikes of the same Order established in France shall be bound to answere them, to im­pugne and contradict them incessantly, without respect, ambiguitie, or equiuo­cation, vnder paine of being punished with the same punishments as aboue said, as abetters of the enemies of this State.

This Article is in effect and sub­stance all one with our new Oath of Allegiance, and the lawfulnesse there­of is manifest by the former Dis­course; and how greatly Card. Peron was mistaken in impugning the said Article, Widdrington sheweth both in his Answere to Fitz-herbert part. 3. chap. 11. num. 15. & seq. and in his Discussion of the decree of the Late­ran Councell against Lessius part. 2. sec. 9. and part. 3. sec. 9.

A Copie of the Arrest, or Decree of the Parliament of Paris, where­in Card. Bellarmine his booke a­gainst William Barclay is condem­ned.

Taken out of the Records of the Court of Parliament, the 26. of Nouember 1610.

THis present day the Kings Solici­tours, (Lewis Seruin the Kings Attorney making the Declaration, and Lewis Duret the Kings Aduocate subscribing) aduertised the Court, that it was related to them, that some [Page 195]few daies since there hath beene divul­ged in this city of Paris a new booke en­tituled Tractatus de potestate Summi Pontificis in temporalibus aduersus Gulielmum Barclaium, Auctore Ro­berto S. R. E. Cardinale Bellarmino. Romae per Bartholomaeum Zannetti, printed this present yeere; out of which booke diuers persons, some with a good intent, and others with an euill, haue di­vulged many things, which they haue collected from thence. And because this Booke doth containe propositions, which are preiudiciall to the Kings power and authoritie, and to the State of France, of whom the Author speaketh in the same manner as of other Kings, Prin­ces, and Common-wealths, they haue through their care gotten a Copie there­of, which they hauing exactly read and examined, thought it their duties to ad­uertise the Parliament of those things, which are against the Powers esta­blished by God, and especially against this Kingdome. Wherefore they haue obserued, that Cardinall Bellarmine doth in this new Treatise not only teach those propositions, which hee affirmed [Page 196]in his former books, as in that booke which is intituled, De Romani Ponti­ficis Hierarchia written in the time of Pope Sixtus the V. and dedicated to the said Pope, which he hath deuided into fiue books, in the last whereof hee maintaineth, that the Pope hath tem­porall power indirectly; But they also haue obserued, that to this erroneous assertion others no lesse false, and ten­ding further are added in the places by them cited, which the Parliament, if it be so pleased, may behould. And first the very Title is to be obserued, wherein he giueth to the Pope a power in tem­porals. Then hee bringeth diuerse au­thorities from the writings of Italians, French-men, Spaniards, Germans, English & Scots, beginning with Pope Gregorie the VII. who liued in the yeere of our Lord 1073. &c.

Wherefore to the end that fraud and deceit may for the safegard of true French men be preuented, the aforesaid Attorney generall considering, that in regard of Conscience, and the office which hee beareth in being the Kings Attorney, he is bound sincerely to dis­charge his duty, produceth Cardinall [Page 197]Bellarmines booke, which was writ­ten, when our King Henry the Great was liuing (in whose raigne none durst ad­uenture to diuulge the same) but publi­shed forthwith as soone as he was dead, wherein hee hath noted diuers places, which the Parliament may peruse, espe­cially pag. 37, 38. 57. 58. and 76. 77. to which may be added 160. 115. 116. And moreouer, he exhibiteth in written hand the requests, which the Kings At­torneys doe in the Kings name demand; to wit, that by Decree of the Parliament it be enacted, That none of what qua­litie or condition soeuer, shall receiue, haue, keepe, print or vtter this booke of Bellarmine, vnder paine of Treason ordained against those that shal trans­gresse the same, &c.

The matter being examined, The great Chamber, Criminall, and of the Edict being assembled.

THe Court hath decreed and doth decree, that no person of what qua­litie or condition soeuer, vnder payne of Treason ordayned against those that [Page 198]transgresse the same, doe receiue, keepe, communicate, print, vtter, or sell the said Booke, which contayneth that false and detestable proposition, tending to the sub­uersion of supreme Powers established and ordayned by God inciting Subiects to re­bellion, and derogating from the authori­tie of Princes, animating to attempt a­gainst their liues and Crownes, and final­ly to disturbe the publike peace and qui­etnesse.

Those that haue Copies of the saide Booke, or know any that haue, are com­manded forthwith to make it knowne to their Iudges, that, vpon the demand of the Kings Attorneys, Inquisition bee made against the Crime, and those that be guiltie be punished accordingly. It for­biddeth vnder the same punishment Do­ctours, Professours, and others, to treat, dispute, write, teach directly or indirectly in Schooles, Colledges, or other places, the said proposition. The said Court doth or­dayne, that this Decree bee sent, read, published, recorded, and obserued accor­ding to the afore said manner and forme in all the Benches subiect to the Iurisdiction of this Court. The Substitutes to the [Page 129] Kings Attorney are commanded to cause forthwith this Decree to be put in execu­tion, and to aduertise the Court within a moneth of their diligence.

Signed VOISIN.

The decree being made, the Kings At­torneys were sent for, to whom the plea­sure of the Court was signified, and ac­cording to the Decree the said Booke of Bellarmine was deliuered to their hands.

A Decree of the Court of Parliament made the 26. and executed the 27. of Iune 1614.

Against a Booke printed at Collen this present yeare, which is entituled, Francisci Suarez Granatensis Socie­tatis [Page 198] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 200]Iesu doctoris Theologi Defensio fidei Catholicae & Apostolicae aduer­sus Anglicanae sectae errores, contay­ning many maximes and propositions con­trarie to the Soueraigne powers of Kings ordayned and established by God, the safetie of their persons, the peace and qui­etnesse of their States.

By F. Morel and P. Mettayer the Kings ordinarie Printers and Stationers 1614.
With his Maiesties Priuiledge.
Taken out of the Records of the Par­ment.

The Court of the great Chamber, Cri­minall, and of the Edict assembled, ha­uing seene the Booke printed at Collen this present yeare, entituled, Francisci Suarez Granatensis Societatis Iesu Doctoris Theologi Defensio fidei Ca­tholicae & Apostolicae aduersus An­glicanae sectae errores, contayning in the third Booke Chap. 23. p. 376. 79, 80, 82. Chap. 29. p. 410. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Chap. 6. pag. [Page 201]834. Chap. 8. pag. 844. and in other places many propositions contrarie to the Soueraigne powers of Kings ordained and established by God, the peace and quiet­nesse of their States, and that it is lawfull for their subiects and strangers to attempt against their persons: Conclusions of the Kings Attorney generall.

All which beeing considered;

The said Court hath declared and doth declare the propositions and max­imes contayned in the saide Booke to bee scandalous and seditious, tending to the subuersion of States, and to induce the subiects of Kings and soueraign Princes, and others, to attempt against their sa­cred persons: and the discourses, making mention of King Glodoueus and Phi­lip the Faire, to be false and slanderous: Hath ordayned and doth ordayne the said Booke of Suarez to bee burned in the Court of the Palace by the Executioner of high Iustice. Hath made and doth make iniunctions and inhibitions to Sta­tioners and Printers, not to print, sell, or vtter it, and to all persons of what qua­litie [Page 202]or condition soeuer, not to haue, co­pie out, keepe, teach in Schooles nor in o­ther places, nor to dispute the said max­imes and propositions. It doth ordayne, that, according to the Arrest made the 8. of Iune 1610. that the Decree of the Theologicall Facultie made the 4. of Iune the same yeare of renewing the doctri­nall Censure of the said Facultie made in the yeare 1408. confirmed by the Coun­cell of Constance, together with this present Arrest or Decree, as also those of the yeare 1578, and 95. bee read e­very yeare the 4. day of Iune as well in the said Facultie, as in the Colledge of the Priest and Schollers of the Colledge of Claremont, This Colledge of Claremont, is the Iesuites Colledge. and of the foure Mendi­cants. And that at the instance of the Kings Attorney generall informati­ons be taken of the transgressions against the said Arrests: and Inhibitions bee made against the copying out, hauing, and keeping the like bookes.

Signed VOISIN.

Moreouer, it is decreed, that the Fa­thers, [Page 203] Ignace Armand Rectour in this Citie, Cotton, Fronton, and Sirmund, shall be sent for the first day of the Court, and it shall be shewed them, that con­trarie to their declaration, and the De­cree of their Generall, made in the yeare 1610. the Booke of Suarez hath beene printed, and brought into this Citie a­gainst the authoritie of the King, the safetie of his Crowne and State: And it shall be enioyned them to cause their Ge­nerall to renew the said Decree, and that it be published; and that they bring in the Act within sixe moneths; And that they prouide, that no bookes, contay­ning such damnable and pernicious pro­positions, bee hereafter made or published by any of their Societie: And that it bee inioyned them, to perswade the people by their Preachers, the Doctrine contra­rie to the said propositions: Otherwise the Court wil proceed against the transgres­sours, as against Traytors, and perturbers of the publique peace.

The aforesaide Arrest, or Decree, and what hath beene decreed, was pronounced in the presence of the Fathers, Ignace Armand, Charles [Page 204]de la Tour, who came in place of Fa­ther Cotton absent, Fronton du Duc, and Iames Sirmund: And the Arrest was executed before the great Staires of the Pallace, the 27. of Iune, 1614.

A Copie of another Arrest or Decree of the Parliament of Paris, wherein the former doctrine of practizing the deposition of Soue­raigne Princes is condemned, and the former. Decrees, made against the Bookes of Card. Bellarmine, and Suarez, are againe confirmed.
An Arrest or Decree of the Court of Parliament touching the Kings Soueraigntie in Temporals, and against the pernicious doctrine to attempt vpon the sacred persons of Kings.

The place ✚ of the Kings Armes of France and Nauarre.
By F. Morel, P. Mettayer the Kings Ordinarie Printers and Stationers. 1615.
[Page 205]Taken out of the Records of the Parliament.

WHereas the Kings Attourney Generall hath complayned to the Court, all the Chambers thereof being assembled, that albeit by many Arrests or Decrees, heretofore made with great and mature deliberation, the Court hath confirmed the Maximes, which haue at all times beene held in France, and are naturally engrafted to the Crowne, That the King doth not acknowledge any Superiour in Tem­porals of his Kingdome but God a­lone, And that, no power or autho­ritie can rightfully release his Subiect; from the Oath of Allegiance and O­bedience which they owe to Him, nor suspend, depriue, or depose him from his said Kingdome: and much lesse, to attempt, or to cause to at­tempt either by publike or priuate authoritie against the sacred persons of Kings: Neuerthelesse it hath beene aduertized, that by Discourses, as well in priuate as in publike, many persons, doe presume to call in question the said [Page 206]Maximes, to dispute of them, and to hold them for problematike, from whence may arise very many inconue­niences, which of necessitie must be pro­uided against, and that speedily: Hee (the said Attourney) requesteth, that seeing the Court is assembled, all busi­nesses set aside, it will bee pleased to or­daine, that the said Decrees shall be re­newed, and againe published in all the Benches subiect to the Iurisdiction of this Court; to the end that the mindes of all the Kings Subiects, of what quality or condition so euer, may be kept firme and assured concerning the said Maxi­mes, and Rules, and for the safetie of the Kings life, the publike peace and quietnesse: With Inhibitions not to transgresse the same vnder the penal­ties set downe by the said Arrests. And that it be enioyned to all their Substi­tutes to cause the publication thereof to be made, and to certifie the Court with­in a moneth, vnder paine to be depriued of their Offices.

The Court, all the Chambers being assembled, hath ordayned and doth or­dayne, that the Arrests of the 2. De­cemb. [Page 207]1561. the 29. Decemb. 1594, the 7. of Ianuarie, and the 19. of Iuly 1595. the 27. of May, the 8. of Iune, and the 26. of Nouemb. 1610. and the 26. of Iune 1614. shall bee kept, and obserued according to their forme and tenour. Forbidding all persons, of what qualitie or condition soeuer, to transgresse the same. And to this end they shall bee published in the Bayli­wikes, Stewardships, and other Ben­ches subiect to this Court by the care of the Substitutes to the Attourney Ge­nerall, who shall certifie the Court with in a moneth vnder paine to answere it at their perill.

Signed VOISIN.

The lawfulnesse of all these Arrests or Decrees is manifest, partly by that which hath beene said in this Trea­tise, in the Fourth and Fift Obseruati­on, and in the Second, Third, and Fift Chapters, and more particularly by Widdrington in his Discussion of the Decree of the Lateran Councell a­gainst [Page 208] Lessius, part. 2. sect. 9. for that Christian Princes by vertue of their temporall power haue good & full au­thoritie (according to the doctrine of Ioannes Parisiensis, Ioh. Paris. de potest. Reg. & Pap. c. 21. ad 37. Victoria, Victoria Relect. 1. de potest. Ec­cles. sec. 7. §. o­ctaua propo­sitio. Sotus, Sotus in 4. dist. 29. q. 1. ar. 4. Bā ­nes, Bannes 2. 2. q 11. ar. 4. q. 1. in fine. Couerrunias, Couerr. cap. 35. pract. quest. & which is grounded in manifest reason) to forbid the main­tayning, teaching, and publishing, not only of hereticall erroneous, and false propositions, but also of all vnneces­sarie doctrines and positions, be they neuer so probable, as the teaching and publishing of the same is dange­rous to the Crownes and liues of temporall Princes, and tendeth to the subuersion of the State, and to the disturbance of the publike peace in the Ciuill Common-wealth, whereof the Prince hath charge, and to punish with temporall punishments the tea­chers, maintayners, and publishers, of such dangerous and seditious do­ctrines.

Haec omnia Ecclesiae Catholicae indicio subiecta sunto.
8.13.wouldwould not.
35.4.at firstat the first.
87.27.or vnlawfullor lawfully.
187.1.and to beand be.

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