A CENSVRE ABOVT THE RVLE OF BELEEFE PRACTISED BY THE PROTESTANTS VVritten in Latine by the most Reuerend Father VALERIAN MAGNI OF MILAN of the order of the Minors, of the Seraphical S. Francis, named Capucins.

And translated into English by R. Q. Gentleman.

Mathew cap. 18.

If he heare not the Church as let him be to thee as the heathen and the Publican.

[printer's or publisher's device of Laurence Kellam (?)]

Printed at Doway, By LAVRENCE KELLAM, at the signe of the holie Lambe. 1634.


ALBEIT that all Christians who now inhabite the world beleeue in God, be­leeue in Iesus Christ, beleeue the holy scriptures, yet they be seuered into two parts. The one doubteth not to receiue the sence of the sacred text as the Church doth propound & teach, & heereto they conforme their faith: And these be calde Catholiques. The other part supposing the authoritie of the Church to be falli­ble & obnoxious to errors, teacheth that ech Christian may, yea ought in matter concerning faith censure the doctrine of the whole church by the sacred scriptures, & so either receiue or refuse the same: & these, euer were & are now at this present, branded with the name of he­reticks.

which error in regard that many learned diuines haue clearlie confuted and confounded both by the authori­tie of sacred Scriptures as also by that of councels, fathers & other arguments tending to the purpose; I intend not in such a sence to debate this question, but only to note & sett doune what absurdities doe necessarilie en­sew the said rule of beleefe which misbeleeuing Christiās as Lutherans Protestants Puritans &c. haue forged to them selues in the shopp of their self conceite to found [Page] their faith there-vpon; which howbeit many haue perfor­med before mee, yet (if I be not mistaken) no one, hath on sett purpose treated of the same; Therefore I deeme not my labour ill spent (though otherwise busied in af­faires of imporrance) to imparte tyme to this worke which I will doe in as few words as may be; And this (as all things els) for the honour & glorie of our Sa­uiour Christ & his most holie mother, to whom (not vn­mindfull of their benefitts) I haue vowed, whatsoeuer I sett downe in writinge, though neare someane & small. Fare well freindly reader & recommend mee in thy prayres to God.


TRactatus iste, de regula fidei, scriptus primo Latinè à ve­nerabili viro, P. Valeriano Magni Mediolanensi, Ordinis Sancti, Capucinorum, & in idioma Anglicanum fideliter transla­tus, nihil habet à fide, bonisque moribus dissonum, sed dignissi­mus est qui typis edatur ad institutionem eorum, qui diligunt viam veritatis. Ita saluo semper superiorum iudicio censebam.

F. Leander de S. Martino Sacrae Theologiae Do­ctor, Congregationis Angliae Benedictinorum Pra­ses Generalis, & linguae Sanctae in Academia Duacena Regius Professor.

THE FIRST CHAPTER. The question is propounded about the rule of beleefe.

A RVLE is an instrument according to which those that draw lines doe necessarilie draw thē straighte, which translated to Religion, yt is termed the rule of beleefe, which chri­stians following can not err in Matters of beleefe. And from this controuersie about the rule of beleefe all other controuersies concerning matter of faith, which are be­twene catholiques & not catholiques, seeme to be deriuede, which if it were but once welle agreed vpō, all christians might be recon­ciled togeather, & vnited in one true faith, for all Christians as well catholiques as not Catholiques, though in many pointes they disa­gree frō ech other, yet in some they also agree, euen in this matter it self about the rule of beleefe, which I will by order sett doune.

First, all doe iointly affirme that the written word of God is true & infallible.

2. That who so propoundeth any doctrine contrary to the sa­cred scriptures, is in no wise to be credited, be he man or Angell, S. Paul, or S. Gabriel.

3. That all and ech one, is vndoubtedly to bee beleeued in matter of faith, if his doctrine disagree not from the word of God.

4. That no man (be he who he will) can attaine to the true sence of sacred writt, except he be inwardly enlightned & taught by the holy ghost.

[Page 6]5. No man can disagree from the word of God if he be in­wardly enlightned & taught by the holy Ghost.

Seeing then, that not only Catholiques but also all sortes of Christians of those that be no Catholiques, conspire in the veri­tie of these. 5. propositions, nor is there any one of so self an opi­nion that can call the same in doubt: It resteth we discuss who­me among all these the holy gost doth certainlie & infallibly as­sist, that they err not in the expounding of the true sence of the sacred scripture.

There be two opinions of Christians now adayes that striue about this question.

The one is of those who certainly & without doubt doe be­leeue that the church doth propound vnto the Christian wor­ld the true sence of the sacred scripture: & these that doe thus beleeue, be caled Catholiques. The other is of those sects of Chri­stians ech one of which doth à part & separatly by himself con­sult the holy ghost out of the scriptures, & so censure what doctrine doth in matter of faith consent to the word of God, and what doth dissent from it: & these are and euer were ter­med & held of Catholiques for hereticks, And of these sorts of Christians there are at this present sundry sorts wherof the chie­fe are Lutherans, Caluenists, Protestants, Anabaptists &c. All which be againe subdiuided & minced into many pettie sects whose names for breuitie sake I omitt; But for as much as all these forenamed Christians consent in this opinion that they make it the rule of their faith to consult the holy ghost out of the bible consisting of the old & the new testament wee will here­after to include them all, grace them with the title of Biblists.

The Catholiques distinguish the church into two parts, wher­of the one, conteineth pastors, & the other sheepe, They, be termed Bishops, these, al other faithfull beleeuers.

The iurisdictions of Bishops in the Catholique church, are subordinated, for manie Bishops be vnder one Archbishop, ma­ny Archbishops vnder one patriarch, among whome the Bis­hop of Roome beareth the primacie, & al these may be consi­dered either ech one apart, or altogether as they be lawfully assembled in à generall councell, But à generall councell is con­sidered as confirmed or not confirmed by the Bishop of Roome.

[Page 7]This then is the sentence of al Catholiques, That the Bishop of Roome together with à generall councell, or a generall coun­cell confirmed by the Bishop of Roome, hath two prerogatiues. The first is, that the holy ghost doth infallibly assist the same, in somuch that it is impossible that it dissent from the sacred scri­ptures in deciding & propounding doctrine of beleefe. The other is, that the said generall councell haue receiued à su­preme authoritie from Iesus Christ to teach in his church, & con­sequently to excommunicate & anathematize as hereticks, all and ech of those, who in matters aperteining to faith shall dare to denie or call in doubt any of the decrees of the said gene­rall councell which concerne faith.

But, is it to be noted, that when à generall councell consul­teth the holy ghost about the true sence of sacred scripture, it doth not only cite to the said councell, all Bishops, Archbis­hops, Patriarcks, but also the Embassadores of Christian Princes & many tymes euen kings & Emperors themselues, also they call thertoe the learnedst Diuines that be extant at that tyme in the Christian world: & yf any masters of heresie bee liuing, they haue free permission to come: And When al these be thus as­sembled in the name of Christ, they proclame publique fasts & praires to be held, not only in the generall councell it self, but also throughout all the Christian world, to the end that the whole church ioyntly together may implore the assistance of the holie ghost in a matter so important. Then they begin to propound the difficulties which be in debate about the sence of the sacred text; ech one hath free libertie to speake & dispu­te, not only Bishops but also diuines of inferior qualitie, & not only Catholiques, but also hereticks may propound their opi­nion & freely controuert the same: All which diuersitie of sen­tences be throughly discussed, not in à confused manner, but at leisure & in many sessions, & no smale space of time, while all the whole senate of Christian princes or their legats be pre­sent behoulding all, & consenting to what passeth. Lastly after a long inquisition made when the fathers of the councell & the Bishop of Roome doe vniformely consent & subscribe to such and such articles in matter of faith, the said decrees be pre­sently intimated to the vniuersall church & the whole Chri­stian [Page 8] world; & all & ech of those who dare to denie or call in doubt the same be anathematized, bee they kings or Emperors: which being once done euen those fathers of the councell be obliged vnder the paine of an anatheme to admitt those de­crees concerning faith, neither is it lawfull for any man to call in question the same, no not the pope himself. And this autho­ritie of the church, as it is sett doune, all Catholiques doe cer­tainlie beleeue to be infallible & the true rule of beleefe; when­ce it commeth that this is à common proposition among Ca­tholiques beleeue al that which the holy mother church beleeueth. But now let vs see how Biblists square their rule of beleefe.

They graunt indeed that there were neuer wanting in any age of the church some few among Christians who by the assistance of the holy ghost did gather out of the scriptures the true & sinceare doctrine of Christ, & these made the church, (say they) in euery age, hence they deduce & acknowledg that the true church of Christ cannot err in faith: neuertheles it neuer was or will be, that this true church of the biblists euer made or will make any decree concerning matter of faith, & therfore the church was neuer assembled in any generall councell to which it apperteined to discerne infalliby & decide without error, which is the true doctrine of Christ, which all other Chri­stians are vndoubtedly to hould & profess without any farther inquisition: And vpon this maxime of theirs, they doe most con­stantly auouch that all Christians, whether considered asunder or as assembled in a generall councell, may be forsaken of the holy ghost & disagree from the scripture in doctrine of faith, & so consequently err in faith, yet this withall, they aledg that none can be abandoned of the holy ghost in examining & iudging of doctrines of faith out of their Bible, if he as he ought to doe, deuoutly inuoke the grace of the holy ghost.

Now they (say the Biblists) who be inwardly enlightned & taught by the holy ghost, doe certainly & infallibly gather & know the same, by certaine inward peculiar motions, by which their mindes be stirred vp by the holy ghost, in respect that he witnesseth to their spirit that they be the children of God, whose annointment doth teach them all truth; yet herein the Biblists doe deale somewhat modestlie; in that, though illumi­nate [Page 9] & taught by God they thinke themselues to haue no right nor iurisdiction to oblige other Christians to accept that there doctrine which out of the bible ech one of them iudgeth to be true by inspiration of the holie ghost, albeit in his hart he dam­neth & condemneth al other doctrines which doth disagree from that doctrine of his, which he surmiseth to be only con­forme to holie writt. The reason he assigneth is this; That no man is to be trusted in matter of faith, seing that euery man may err, but if some one chance not to err, this pro­cedeth of an inward assistance of the holie ghost, & is not conspicuous to any one saue to him that hath it, neither can any man certainly affirme this or that man to be inward­ly illuminated & taught by the holie ghost saue he only who receiueth that grace Therfore if à Biblist be demaun­ded wherfore he beleeueth that IHESVS OF NAZARETH is the sonne of God? He will answer. Because that God hath reuealed it; Whence hast thou this? He will answer? out of the bible. How knowest thow that this is the sence of the bible? He will answer. The holy ghost taught me so. How knowest thow that he who taught the, was the holy ghost? He will answer. My conscience witnesseth so much. I know ve­rie wel that the annointmens & illustration which I inwardly perceiue in my mind is à supernaturall operation of the holie ghost. Thus reply those biblists who as yet reteine some glimps & shadow of faith. Yet there be verie many especialy Lutherans & Protestants that dare condemne no beleefe, though they con­stantly beleeue that there is no Purgatorie & that saints be not to be prayed vnto &c. And know the same by the holy ghost witnes­sing it vnto their consciences out of the bible, yet they dare not attach those of error who certainlie affirme that their is a Purgatory & that saints be to be praid vnto &c. These the sounder sort of biblists repute as woodcocks & block-heddish asses, & so I passe them.

The question then which wee are to discuss is in this manner to be propounded, whether the holie ghost doth rather infalli­bly decide the true doctrine of faith from that which is false by generall councells lawfully assembled expounding the scriptures, [Page 10] or els by eche Christian a part, caling vpon & consultinge the holy ghost out of his bible.

THE SECOND CHAPTER. The opinion of the Biblists is propounded and seuered into certaine propositions.

MY meaning is not in this treatise to define this question about the rule of beleefe, but only to deduce certaine con­sequences necessarilie ensewing on the opinion of the Biblists, whose absurditie and insufficiencie being perceiued we may iudg what manner of religion they haue so weakely founded: & to what impossibilities they be bound by the beleefe of their sect, for as touching the Catholique rule of beleefe, I will make no mention of the same, it beeing held of no valuation by the biblists.

But to the end the consequences I am to deduce out of the an­tecedents of the biblists, may be more euident; I will sett downe those antecedents deuided into these subsequent propositions, that it may manifestly appeare to the vew of euery biblists eie, how sincearlie & purely I treate the question.


1. ALl Christians in generall & particular may err in faith.

2. All councells yea the pastors of the whole church of Christ assembled in a generall councell & approued by the bishop of Roome may err in their decrees about faith.

3. Ech Christian if he call vpon the holy ghost as he ought to doe, m [...] examin the doctrine of all men whom soeuer with­out error, confronteing the same with the scriptures, & so cen­sure of himself whether the said doctrine of what soeuer men, euen of generall councells doe agree with the bible or disagre from it, & then accept or reiect the faine.

4. There is no other way to know for certain which is the truth in matter of faith then by the meanes of praire to consult the [Page 11] holie ghost out of the bible.

But in all the subsequent consequences which are to be dedu­ced out of these propositions of the biblists, we require that they graunt vs this one assertion to witt.

5. That Christian faith excludeth all doubts and is certaine & infallible.

But wee are heere to note by the way, that the biblists are wont to moderate the first propositions, for they affirme, that none cann err in faith if he agree with the sacred scripture: also, that none can disagree from the sacred scripture, if the holy ghost doe assist him; they auerr moreouer that none can be forsaken by the holy ghost, if he call vpon him as he ought to doe, but for as much as they auouch that it may fall out, that some one may not cal vpon the holy ghost as he ought to doe, consequently it may follow that all & ech one may be aban­doned of the holy ghost & so also consequently disagree from the bible, & err in faith.

THE THIRD CHAPTER. Necessarie consequences deduced out of the precedent propositions, out of which it is euident what à taske ech biblist is tied vnto.

SEing then that this is a biblist taske to consult the holy ghost out of the scriptures, for censuring of doctrines which apperteine to faith, yt makes much to the purpose to set doune how greate a charge this is which they take vpon them & how farr it extendeth, lest in so waightie a busines as is this of eter­nall saluation, inconsideration plunge them into perdition.

The first consequence.

ALl Christians & generall councels may err in faith. Ther­fore no Christian ought in matter of faith to beleeue any man or councell.


THe consequence I proue thus. Because true & certaine faith ought to leaue it self on an infallible authoritie, but the authoritie of all men & councells is supposed by the biblists to be subiect to errors. Therfore in this case no men ought to be beleeued. Nor doth it cutt the sinewes of the consequence to reply, That men & generalls councel bee to be beleeued so far as their doctrine doth concord to the scriptures, for seing that they may also disagree from the same, the case becommeth doubtfull & then the holy ghost is to be consulted out of the Bible to the ende we may certainlie know, whether they agree to the word of God or disagre from the same; for, that this do­ctrine consenteth to the bible or dissenteth from it, appertei­neth not to the credence of men bur to the holy ghost in­wardly teaching vs out of the bible what wee are to beleeue.

The Second consequence.

THere is no other meanes for certainlie to know which is the truth in matter of faith, then by way of deuout prayres to consult the holy ghost out of the bible. Therfore no Christian can beleeue the articles of faith except by a special praire he first consult the holie ghost out of the bible, whether those articles of faith be conforme to the same or no?


THe consequence is cleere, because the doctrine of all Chri­stians about matters of faith, be they considered seuerall or assembled, can not be iudiged to be either true or false if praire be not first made to consult the holy ghost out of the bible, neither doth the holie ghost otherwise teach Christians the truth, saue out of the bible, & therfore it is to be concluded accor­ding to this biblist rule, that no Christian can beleeue the ar­ticles of faith if he doe not first consult the holy ghost about the same, out of the scripture by à preuiall praire made to that effect.

Nor doth it in ualidate the consequence to reply, that they cre­dit their ministers propounding vnto them the word of God or doctrine glossed out of the bible, for that minister may err in faith, & ther fore he that heareth his doctrine is bound in [Page 13] conscience ere he beleeue the same to consult the holy ghost by praire out of the scripture to know wether it agree with the word of God or not.

The Third consequence.

NO Christian can beleeue the articles of faith, except by à preuial praire he councell the holie ghost out of the scrip­ture. Therfore those Biblists who be vnder age or want leisu­re or meanes to reede the bible, or can not reade at all, or can gett no bible to reede & consult the holie ghost ther out, can not haue anie true faith.


THis consequence can not be improued because a biblist admitteth, no other rule of beleefe saue this of consul­ting the holy ghost out of his bible. Nor is it to the purpose to reply that they haue their parsons whose charge is to ex­pound them the word of God, for these may be deceiued & deceiue; wherfore there doctrine is first to be examined by euere Christian whether it agree to the word of God or not, ere he consent to the same which is to be done in consulting the holy ghost out of the bible by prayres first made as biblists say.

The Fourth consequence.

ALl Christian & generall councells may err in faith (Say the Biblists.) Therfore all Christians & generall coun­cels might also haue erred in there decrees about the Canon of the sacred bookes of the Bible, which graunted it may be doubted whether that the biblist haue the true scrip­tures or no.


THe consequence is aparant, for the decree about the Canon of sacred bookes concerneth matter of faith, yea the waigh­tiest among al the matters of faith. Therfore the church might haue erred when in the yeare of our lord 494. she made à decree in the councell held at Roome of 70 Bishops vnder Pope Gela­sius the first, touching the canon of canonical bookes of both te­staments, & those that the said councell censured for Apocrifa [Page 14] were expelled from the number of the bookes of the bible, the catalogue of which is as followeth.

Bookes censured for Apocrifa in the councel of Roome.
  • THe iourney of S. Petter the Apostle in 8. bookes, said to be written by S. Clement. Apocrifa.
  • The acs of S. Andrew the Apostle. Apocrifa.
  • The acs written in the name of S. Thomas. Apocrifa.
  • The acs written in the name of S. Peeter. Apocrifa.
  • The acs written in the name of S. Philip. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of Taddeus the Apostle. Apoc.
  • The gospel written in the name of S. Peter. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of S Matthias Apocrifa.
  • The gospel writt. in the name of Barnabas. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of Iames the less. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of S. Andrew. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of S. Thomas which the Ma­nicheans vse. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel written in the name of S. Bartholomew the Apo­stle. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel which Lucian falsified. Apocrifa.
  • The infancie of our Sauiour. Apocrifa.
  • The gospel which Hesychius falsified. Apocrifa.
  • The booke entitled Pastor. Apocrifa.
  • The booke of the birth of our Sauiour; of his mother & her midwife. Apocrifa.
  • All those bookes which were sett out by Leucius the disci­ple of the diuell. Apocrifa.
  • The booke caled the foundation; & an other caled the trea­sure, both. Apocrifa.
  • The booke of the Genesis of the daughters of Adam, & an other named the nephew, both. Apocrifa.
  • The centimetrum of Christ compiled of Virgill verses. Apocri.
  • The Booke of Prouerbs written by hereticks & sett out vnder the name of S. Sixtus. Apocrifa.
  • The acs of S. Paul the Apostle & Tecla. Apocrifa.
  • The reuelation named of S. Paul. Apocrifa.
  • [Page 15]An other reuelation vnder the name of S. Thomas, & à third vnder the name of S. Steuen, & à booke named the Assumption of our Ladie, & an other caled the Testament, al. Apocrifa.
  • The booke named the pennance of Adam, & an other caled the pennance of Origin, & a third caled the pennance of S. Cy­prian. Apocrifa.
  • The booke vnder the name ogia the giant, whome the here­tiks faine to haue fought with a dragon after the flood. Apocr.
  • The booke caled the Apostles lotts. Apocrifa.
  • The booke caled the pennance of Iannes & Mambres. Apocri.
  • The booke caled the praise of the Apostles. Apocrifa.

And this decree about the canon of the holy scriptures, was not only receiued by perticular men, but euen all subsequent ge­nerall councells did approue & accept the same, all which if they could err in matter of faith, could also err in this their decree a­bout canonicall scripture, & so it were to be doubted whether they condemned for Apocrifa any ghospel that were sacred, or admitted those that were false for bookes of God; which reason if the biblists did wel weigh they Would find themselues marue­loussie pussed about their rule of faith, & in doubt whether that those scriptures Which they now at this present haue, be true or false, sacred or prophane, canonicall or Apocrifa.

The fift consequence.

THe fathers & councels could err in their decree about cano­nicall scriptures as the biblists will haue it. Therfore no bi­blist can certainlie knoW, whether that those bookes conteined in their bibles be made by the holy ghost or not: except they first consult the holy ghost out of the bible touching this question, & so ech one determine by his priuate spirit, which bookes in the scripture were made by God, and which were not.


BEcause for as much as this question is about the word of God it doth most of all apperteine to faith, & therfore can not be decided, except by à preuial praire the holie ghost be first con­sulted out of the bible about the same; Nor is it enough to ans­were as many bibilsts doe, That some bookes of scripture are held to haue beene dictated by the holy ghost in the opinion of all [Page 16] men, for all men may err as biblists say; besides all christians doe not consent in one opinion about canonicall scriptures; for the catholiques receiue many bookes of scripture for canonicall which the protestans repute for Apocrifa; many also the prote­stants receiue which Luther & his compannions improue, rase & denie to be sacred scripture; the like is of other christians, moreouer the versions & editions of bibles are diuers & haue diffrent senses whereon great difficulties & contentions doe arise euen in matter of faith.

The sixt consequence.

NO Biblists can certainly know whether that those bookes conteined in their bibles be dictated by the holy ghost, ex­cept by a preuiall praire he first consult the holie ghost tou­ching this question, which consulting must be fetched from the bible, wherfore according to their owne rule each biblist is obliged vnder the paine of eternall damnation to determine this greate & difficile question by pray [...]ng & consulting the holy ghost, and not relie on their ministers, or their churches.


FOr they admitting no other rule of beleefe saue this of con­sulting the holy ghost out of the written word of God, seing that faith is necessary to shunn eternall damnation, it most eui­dently followeth that ech biblist is bound vnder paine of eternall damnation to consult the holy ghost out of the bible to know whether those bookes conteined in the same were dictated by the holy ghost or not, els he cannot vnder stand out of the said scrip­tures what he is bound to beleeue, if he doubt whether those bookes conteined in the bible be canonical or not.

The seuenth consequence.

ECh biblist is bound vnder the paine of eternall damnation, to consult the holy ghost out of scripture by à preuiall praire whether all & ech of those bookes conteined in the bible be di­ctated by the holy ghost. Therfore ech biblist is bound vnder pai­ne of eternall damnation to reede ouer all the bookes of the bi­ble & to throughly examin them together with the diuers edi­tions of the said bibles & manifold versions out of the hebrew, greeke, latine, & english, & to conferr them together with great [Page 17] diligence & paines, & after all this to giue sentence their vpon which are canonicall bookes & which are Apocrifa, which ver­sions be true, & which corrupt to the end he may gather there out all the true articles of his faith without error; & he who among the bests of Biblists omitteth to doe all this, is in a continuall state of damnation.


FOr all these be necessary to determine this great question; except the holy ghost doe teach them by some other meanes then out of the bible, in what and how manie bookes the written word of God is conteined, & which versions & editions be true & authenticall, & which not. But we haue already seene that the sentence of the Biblists is, That the holy ghost is so farr forth the iudg of the controuersies of faith, that he doth not iudg of the sa­me nor teach the Biblists otherwise then out of the written word of God, which according to the doctrine of the Biblists, is the sole rule of the iudg of controuersies about faith & religion.

The eight consequence.

NO Biblists can beleeue the articles of faith, except he doe first by praire consult the holy ghost out of the bible. Ther­fore euery protestant is obliged vnder the paine of eternall death, to consult the holy ghost by prair out of the bible concerning all those things, which appertaine to the in integritie of faith.


BEcause Biblists will haue no other rule of beleefe then this. To consult the holie hhost out of the bible: in regard they hould that all men & generall councells may err, wherfore seing that true faith is absolutlie necessarie to obteine eternall life, & shunn eternall death; it euidently followeth, that all Biblists ac­cording to their owne rule are oblidged vnder the paine of eter­nall death, to consult the holy ghost out of the scripture, tou­ching all things which appertein to the integritie of their faith, els they can not be saued.

The Ninth consequence.

EVery Biblists according to his rule of faith, is obliged vnder the paine of eternall damnation to councell the holy ghost out of the bible, touching all those articles which apperteine to the integritie of faith. Therfore ech Biblist is bound vnder the paine of eternall damnation haueing first praied & councelled the holy ghost out of his Bible to decide all controuersies of reli­gion which be in dispute; as touching the notes of the true church, ecclesisticall iurisdiction, The primacie of the Roman Bishop, traditions, the number of sacraments, The possibilitie of Keeping the law, iustification, & innumerable others which were ouer long to reherse.


FOr all these (as is euident) doe apperteine to the integritie of faith. Neither doth it helpe the Biblists cause to say, That they be taught the same by their ministers, or reede them in their Ca­thechismies, or learne them out of the doctrine of their churches, or haue them sett doune in the institutions of Caluin or in the treatises of Luther & his compannions. For Luther, Caluin, do­ctors, ministers, churches, may disagree from the sacred scriptu­res & err in faith, & therfore are not certainlie to be beleeued, but only so farr forth to be credited, as their doctrine agreeth with the scriptures. And therfore ech Biblist, is bound to coun­cell the holy ghost out of the scriptures, to know whether or no such doctrine as they heere to be preached & taught or read in Cathechismies, or is deliuered them by their churches be agreea­ble to the writtē word of God, or disagreable the-reto & so decide the same by their priuate spirit ere they beleeue, els it is impos­sible for à biblist to haue any true faith.

The tenth consequence.

ALl Biblists be bound vnder the paine of eternall damna­tion hauing first praied, to consult the holy ghost out of their bible, about the number, version, & edition of the sacred bookes of both testaments; Also about all controuersies which concerne the integritie of faith. Therfore all in generall, men & weomen, doctors & idiots of what condition soeuer they [Page 19] bee, if they be come to the adg of discretion & haue sufficient sense & reason, are bound (conforme to this Biblists doctrine) vnder the paine of eternall damnation, To consult the holy ghost out of their bible, touching the number, versions, editions, & integritie of the sacred bookes of either testament, as also tou­ching all controuersies, which apperteine to the integritie of faith all which how impossible it is to performe, ech iudicious biblist may perceiue, & by consequenc what an absurd rule they haue chosen for to prooue true faith by.


BEcause both men & woemen of what condition soeuer, if they be come to the yeares of discretion, are bound vnder the paine of eternal damnation to haue true faith, which true faith for to haue, their is no other rule as Biblists say, then by a preuial praire to consult the holy ghost out of the Bible. Nei­ther doth it helpe the Biblists to say, that euery Christian, may conceiue true faith by hearing of a minister preach, or in reeding of their catechisme, for these may err as biblists say, & therfore the holy ghost is to be consulted out of the scripture, to the end they may vndoubtedlie know, whether that the doctrine of their ministers, cathecismies & churches, doe agree to the writ­ten word of God, or disagree from the same.

The eleuenth consequence.

ALl Biblists of What sex and condition soeuer, if they be ari­ued to the vse of discretion, or haue their witts, are bound vnder the paine of eternall damnation, to councell the holy ghost out of the bible, touching the nūber, integritie, version, & edition, of the sacred bookes of both testamēts, as also concerning all con­trouersies which apperteine to the integritie of faith. Therfore all Christians of what sex and condition soeuer they be, if come to the vse of discretion, & are sound in their witts are bound (con­forme to this biblists rule) vnder the paine of eternall damnation to decide no less, a list of controuersies apperteining to religion, then the whole church of Christ, hath decided, in so many gene­rall councels these 1500. yeares, from the Apostes tyme till this age of ours.


FOr it hath hethertoe beene disputed vpon controuer­sies of religion more then these 1500. yeares, & decided in generall councell, which articles were catholike & which here­ticall, what doctrine apperteined to faith & what not, All which, the Biblists auouching that the church can err & generall coun­cels can err, doe manifestly call into doubt, & therfore all & ech of them are oblidged to peruse the said doctrine & conferr it with their bibles, that they may by the consultation of the holy ghost in the scriptures, seuer truth from falsitie, to embrace that and reiect this, as their priuate spirit suggesteth vnto them.

And out of these consequences, ech Biblist may perceaue what à burhen he laieth on his back, & to what impossibilities he win­deth himself, in leauing the authoritie of the church, & reliing on his owne priuat spirit in expounding of the scriptures, though the scripture contrariewise doth tell vs in the epistle of S. Peeter, that no scripture is to be declared by priuate interpretation.

THE FOVRTH CHAPTER. Other consequences be deduced vvhere by it may eui­dently appeare vvhat meanes & helpes ech Bi­blist may haue to ease him of this burthen & dischardge his dueties.

I Will heere omitt to consider what witt, iudgment, learning, laisure, & other humane helpes ech Biblist may haue to dis­chardge this taske taken vpon him of what sex, age, or condition soeuer he may be, without which helpes it is not possible to consult the holy ghost out of the bible, nor decide all those con­trouersies which apperteine to the integritie of faith, which haue beene disputed vpon these 1500. yeares, & decided by the church; Let ech of them iudg a part by himself what witt, iudgment lai­sure, learning, &c. he may haue to fulfill this taske and dis­chardge [Page 21] his dutie, in the meane tyme I will suppose that ech bi­blist hath witt learning leisure & bookes sufficient for this pur­pose: only noW I intend to inquire, what certaine & infallible foundation of faith the Biblists may haue out of this their rule of beleefe.

The first consequence.

NO Biblist hath any other rule of beleefe saue his priuate spirit consultinge the holy ghost out of the scripture what he is bound to beleeue in matter of faith. Therfore the faith of the Biblists leaneth on three foundations, to witt,, on praire, on the holy ghost, & on the sacred text of the bible; In so much that the holie ghost is the iudg of all the controuersies of faith. The bible is the rule with out which that iudg doth not teach vs, in matter of faith; And praire is the condition with out which the holy ghost doth not certainlie instruct vs out of the bible. This consequence needeth no proofe being euident of it self by graunt of the verie Protestants themselues & al other Biblists Lutherans, Puritans, Anabaptists &c.

The Second consequence.

THe rule of beleefe is no other (say the Biblists) then by praire to consult the holie ghost out of the bible. Therfore those supernaturall motions which the holy ghost stirreth vp in the mindes of the Biblists consultinge him by praire out of the scrip­tures, are a sure argument whence they certainlie gather that they be taught by the holie ghost the true sense of the bible.


FOr albeit the certaintie of faith be founded on the authoritie of God reuealing the same, neuerttheles that this bible con­teines the pure word of God, & that this be the pure & true in­terpretation of the said bible no man can certainlie & infallibly know, except that the holy ghost giue testimonie vnto him out of the said bible, concerning the same, which testimonie (as biblists will) is either a supernaturall illumination or some such like di­uine motion of our mindes, by which ech one may certainlie & infallibly know that the holy ghost doth inwardly teach him out of the holie scripture. Neither doth it infringe this consequence, [Page 22] what some Biblists say, That the text is cleere enough of it self, & needeth no gloss nor interpretation, or, that one text doth inter­prett the other; for if this were so, then the presupposed & graun­ted necessitie of an inward annointement of the holy ghost in the mindes of the biblists, which doth necessarilie include a super­naturall & diuine motion in their soules, wherby the spirit of God doth witnes vnto their spirit, that such a sence of the text, which their spirit so conceaueth is most true, certaine, & infallible, is quite taken away & annulled. It is moreouer most ridiculous & senceles to say, the holy scriptures haue a sence so cleere that ech biblist may of himself conceiue & vnderstand the same, when as more then these 1500. yeares the whole world hath beene busied about nothing so much, as in disputing about & debating which is the true sence of the sacred scriptures, & euen yet the same is in dispute among Christians, & will be disputed of, till the day of doome. yea euen amoung the Biblists themselues, there be deepe & deadly debates about the sence of the scripture, which haue minced them into many sects ech contradicting the other that they resemble the foxes of Sampson, who tyed all by the talles of their priuat spirit haue their heades of opinions in matters of faith looking contrary wayes, which Surely could not happen to them, if the text of the bible were so cleere that it needed no in­terpretation, or that the holy ghost taught them out of the scriptu­re, which is the true sence of the same in regard, that the holy ghost is not à spirit of dissention, but of concord & peace; so that this is but a vaine excuse to say, that the scripture is so easie that ech idiott may vnderstand the meaning of it; neither doth it fur­ther the Biblists cause.

The Third consequence.

THat supernaturall motion of the holy ghost, enlightning the mindes of the Biblists consultinge by praire the holie ghost out of the scripture, is an argument, whence they doe cer­tainly & infallibly draw, that the holy ghost doth inwardly teach them the true sence of the sacred scriptures. Therfore those mo­tions ought to be certaine, doubtles, & altogether diuine & so free from error, that ech idiott woman or man may dare, yea is bound in conscience to beleeue, vnder paine of eternall damnation that [Page 23] he is more certainely taught out of sacred writt by the holy ghost to discerne true doctrine from that which is false, then were all the Pastors of the whole church of Christ the space of a 1500. yeares, though gathered together in a generall councell appro­ued by the Bishop of Roome.


BEcause ech Biblist (as I said) of what age sex, or condition soeuer, (saue those that are not come to the vse of discretion or Want iudgment) is bound vnder paine of eternall damnation, to consult the holy ghost out of the bible, whether the decrees of the whole church gathered together in so many generall coun­cels, doe agree to the written word of God, or disagree from the same.

Neither is it enough to answer (as many biblists doe) that à generall councel can not err if it agree with the written word of God; for the Biblists say, that it may also disagree from the same, & therfore ech Christian ought to consult the holy ghost out of the bible, whether that doctrine of councell or church, doth agree therto, or disagree there from, ere he beleeue the same.

Nor maketh it to the purpose that many Biblists approue the first 4. generall councells, though many doe not approue them, as Puritans Anabaptists &c. For the reason why they approue these councells is because they (as they say) haueing consulted the holy ghost out of the bible, censure them not to disagree from the writ­ten word of God, neither is it of less authoritie to approue coun­cells out of the word of God, then to reprooue & reiect the same. For the cause why Biblists approue the first 4. generall councels, is not for any respect which they haue to the said generall coun­cells as if they could not err in faith, but for the testimonie of the holy ghost whose wonder full & diuine motions ech biblist doth so feele in his soule, that he doth infallibly confess himself to be taught by the holy ghost when out of the booke of the bible, he iudgeth that the said 4. generall councells concord with the scriptures.

The Fourth consequence.

THe motion which God maketh in the harts of the biblists consultinge the holie ghost out of the scriptures, is certainlie [Page 24] & vndoubtedly diuine, say they, so that ech biblist is bound vnder paine of eternall damnation to beleeue most constantly that he is more surely & truly taught by the holy ghost, then al the pastors of the whole church assembled together in a generall councell, ap­proued by the Bishop of Roome. Therfore the Biblists doe ouer much presume on the holy ghost.


I Prooue my consequence by a comparison & antithesis which may be made betwene a Biblist & a generall councell, which I suppose to be celebrated in the manner before rehersed by me. When a controuersie is moued amoung Catholiques a­bout any weightie matter concerning faith & that they perilously begin to diuide themselues into sects; forth-with a generall coun­cell is caled of all bishops, archbishops & patriarches of the whole church; princes also doe send thether the most learned diuines that be in all their dominions; & Princes, kings & Emperors, doe either come in person or send their Embassadors, & all these be gathered together in the name of Christ.

Moreouer ech Bishop in his diocess & the Pope throughout the Christian world-doe giue order that publique prayres & suppli­cations together with fasts be made, to the end that the holy ghost thus consulted would assist the fathers thus assembled in a generall councell, that they may certainlie & infallibly decide the truth; The fathers also of the councell doe labour all they cann by pray­res, fasts, & holy conuersation, to obtein the same assistance of the holy ghost. And so did the fathers of the holy Synod of Trente as appeareth in their decree made & to be read in the second section of that councell.

And all that great preparation wherein the whole Christian world was then busied tendes to no other end, then that the Ca­tholique faith might be keept pure, spotles, & sure, & that no er­ror might creepe in about the exposition of any sacred text of scri­pture; & in these examinations of doctrines, the said councel of Trente did not spend an howre a day & so end, but they pro­longed the same manie monthes, & this by most ordinated sessions, disputations, conferences, & continuall inuocation of the holy ghost, by which meanes the fathers of the councell did at length [Page 25] obtaine their wisshed desire, & happilie concluding, ech one sett his hand & subscribed to the decrees made in matter of faith, pronouncing an anatheme against all those who were so bould to gaine say their decrees established by them & confirmed by the authoritie of the Bishop of Roome.

Now then, hauing well considered the manner in which gene­rall councels doe proceede in deciding controuersies of faith, let vs compare a Biblist poring vpon his Bible, to a generall councell of the church, to discerne the difference.

This Biblist is one single man, but the fathers of the councell be manie in number.

This Biblist is a sheepe, that is not a Bishop; the fathers of the councell Bishops & Pastors.

This Biblist prayeth all alone, al that be at the councell, yea the whole Christian world pray for it.

This Biblist prayeth priuatlie; for the fathers of the councell, the whole Christian world make publique prayers, fasts, & sup­plications.

This Biblist may be some idiott, clowne, oysterwife or coster mongers maid, they of the councell are the most learned diuines that be in al the Christian world.

This Biblist turneth ouer his bible & conferreth some one or two texts of scripture together with other text of scripture. These fathers of the councell, after a long exercise in studie of the ho­lie scriptures, after a number of publique and priuate disputatiōs about religion wher in they haue beene busied; after manie ses­sions held concerning matters of faith, after many deuout prayres made to obteyne the grace of the holie ghost, may seeme to haue vsed al diligence possible to obteine the true sence & meaning of the holy ghost in the scripture.

Lastly this biblist doth only decide out of the bible what he ought to beleeue; but the fathers of the councell as iudges pro­nounce an anatheme against all those who beleeue otherwise then they haue decreed.

And this comparison is only made betweene one Biblist & one generall councell but what might be deemed if we should oppo­se one Biblist, to wit a cobler or country fellow (to omitt ministers) to all the generall councells that haue beene celebrated in the [Page 26] church of Christ, or to those only which haue beene held from the yeare 456. after the councell of Calcedon which was the forth oecumenicall councell, & this in behalf of those Biblists that re­ceiued the first 4. councells, when I say we shal haue compared one sillie Biblist to all these councells, who dareth to condemne them all of errors, & auouche withall that the holie ghost hath giuen him more light then to al those multitudes of holy fathers, & that he more truly conceiueth the mind of the holy ghost in the Bible then all those generall councells did, may we not say (to speake most modestlie) that this Biblist is impudent, arrogant & proud & that he doth toe much presume on the assistance of the holy ghost. Nor doth it weaken the conscquence, that not one alone but an innumerable manie of Biblist doe reiect all ge­nerall councells as contrary to the sacred scripture; for no Biblist foundeth his faith on any mans auouchment, They indeed heare what they teach, but beleeue not till they haue consulted the holie ghost out of the scripture whether that doctrine agree with the same or not. And ther fore ech Biblist conforme to his rule of faith, doth not iudg of doctrine for the authotitie & number of his companions, but of the presumption he hath that the holie ghost doth infallibly assist him, & for this reason is moued to con­demne all generall councells held since the yeare of our Lord 456. euen to this day, yea the purer sort of Biblists improoue, reiect, cō ­demne, all councels celebrated in the Catholique church since the Apostles age, & ech of them is not asshamed euery moment to iudg & condemne the whole Christian world in all ages of er­rors in matter of doctrine apperteining to faith, because it squa­reth not, to their fantasie, & can a greater presumption then this be imagined?

To conclude then, wee may perceiue out of these consequen­ces, that the sole fundation wher vpon the Biblists ground the certaintie of their faith: to be certaine motions which they say the holy ghost maketh in their mindes, which causeth them infallibly to beleeue that they be taught by the holy ghost out of the scrip­ture; But what a manner of motion or annointment this is, which the Biblists presume ro proceede of the holie ghost, we may in so­me sort haue coniectured out of the foregoing consequences.

Seing then that ech Biblist hath taken vpon him such a heauie [Page 27] burthen & weightie charge as to be bound vpon paine of eter­nall damnation to decide all controuersies apperteining to the integritie of faith; They haue only two helpes for the dischar­ging of their duties, to witt the Bible & praire, whence they faine to fetch the holy ghost who sitting in ech Biblists mind as on à bench, doth iudg of all doctrines & Bibles whose sentence the Bi­blists doe most certainely & infallibly feele in their soules so clee­rely pronounced, that they had rather beleeue that the holy ghost forsooke al councells, & fathers, all doctors & pastors, yea the whole church for à 1500. yeares then that they be forsaken of the holy ghost in censuring of doctrines. And can à greater arrogancie, or more hautie pride & abominable presumptiō be de­uised or imagined then this? & yet euen heerto the Biblists be amounted, if they pass not the line.

THE FIFTH CHAPTER. Other necessarie consequences deduced, vvhence it may appeare, vvhat manner of church that of Chri­stians is assembled together, if it be compacted as the Biblists rule of beelefe vvould haue it.

NOw it behowueth vs to shew out of the Biblists rule of be­leefe, what a manner of church the church of Christ is, if it obserue the rule of beleefe sett downe by the Biblist, which I will doe by consequences drawen out of their rule of beleefe, that ech one may perceiue the absurditie of the same & Biblists recant theire follie.

The First consequence.

NO Christian (say the Biblists) is bound to credit any man in matters of faith, whether he be considered single or assem­bled in a generall councell, except he hauing first consulted the holy ghost out of the Bible doth well vnderstand, that the said propounded doctrine of faith doth verie well agree with the [Page 28] written word of God. Therfore ech Biblist doth beleeue, that they alone make the true church of Christ; who profess, that do­ctrine of faith, which ech one a part, hauing first consulted the holy ghost out of the Bible, doth iudg to be most conforme to the texts of his Bible.


THe consequence I prooue, for if any mans doctrine afrer that the holy ghost is consulted out of the scripture, be found to disagree from the word of God, his doctrine is necessarilye to be improoued, & he to be condemned for an heretick, who would stubbornly mantaine such a doctrine dissenting from the Bible.

The Second consequence.

ECh Biblist doth beleeue that only those Christians make vp the true church of Christ, who profess that doctrine as do­ctrine of faith,, which ech one after that he hath prayed & con­sulted the holy ghost out of his Bible, doth iudg to be most con­forme to the said Bible. Therfore there must needs be so many pu­tatiue churches of Christ, as there be diuersities of braines amoūg Christians, who after that they haue prayed & consulted the ho­ly ghost, doe gather out of the Bible contradictorie articles of be­leefe euen in doctrine of faith. The consequence is cleere & needeth no proofe, only this is to be supposed, that, that is said to be one church, in which there is one faith.

The Third consequence.

THere be so many putatiue churches of Christ as there be di­uersitie of braines amoūg Christiās, who after that they haue prayed & cōsulted the holy ghost out of ye Bible doe neuertheles fetch frō the said Bible cōtradictorie opinions in doctrine of faith As is euident in the Biblists of these our days, for a Lutheran he praieth & consulteth the holy ghost out of his Bible, and affirmeth that the holy ghost teacheth him that this text of the bible This is my body is ment of the reall presence of the boddie of Christ in the Sacrement, which he termeth the lords supper, which is there present in person (as he saith) ioyntly with the bread. But a pu­ritan prayeth & consult eth the same holy ghost out of his Bible about the true meaning of the rehearsed words This is my bodye. And sweareth against the Lutheran, that Christ is only in the Sa­crament [Page 29] as in a signe, & a figure, & that there is naught els there saue bare bread, & wine, & that the holy ghost taught him so much. A gaine the Anabaptist he consulteth the holy ghost out of the scripture, & after a prolix praire made to that effect, findeth that the holie ghost teacheth him out of the scripture, that Chil­dren be in no wise to be baptised, because they want beleefe & therfore must be rebaptized when they come to yeares of discre­tion; But the protestant contrariewise looketh into his Bible & after praire & consultation made with the holy ghost, protesteth the Anabaptist to be an heretik for the holy ghost telleth him out of the Bible that euen infants may receiue Baptisme & that they thus baptised are neuer to be rebaptised. Therfore according to this rule of the Biblists, there be so many putatiue churches of Christ, as there be diuersities of braines amoung Christians, and that there is no publique signe in all the whole Christian world, by which the only true church of Christ, which is but one, may be discerned from an innumerable companye of others which are falslie thought to be the churches of Christ, when indeed they be but the Synagogs of Sathan, the denns of heresies & babses of confusion.


BEcause no other rule of beleefe is extant amoung the Biblist, saue the priuate and hidden testimonie of the holy ghost in in ech Biblist soule censuring the sence of the Bible where with ech one being annointed, be he Lutheran, Protestant, Puritan, Ar­rian, Anabaptist, Trinitarian &c. doth most certainlie perswade himself that he is taught by the holie ghost.

The Fourth consequence.

NO Christian is bound to beleeue any men in matter of faith be they considered seueraley or assembled in a generall coun­sell, except hauing first prayed and consutled the holy ghost out of the scripture, he vnderstand verie well, that the said doctrine propounded, doth agree with the sacred text. Therfore no Chri­stian nor assembly of Christians is extant in the world (according to this Biblist rule) which hath such a iurisdiction of teaching that all other Christians are oblidged to beleeue what they say & decide in matter of faith. This consequence is so manifest that it [Page 30] needeth no proofe; for it is not to the purpose to answer that they be bound to beleeue those doctors which disagree not from the Bible; for no man is to be beleeued in matters of faith vpon his owne affirmation that his doctrine is true & disagreeth not from the scripture, els Puritans, Anabaptists, Lutherans, Arrians, Trinitarians, Iewes, were to be beleeueed. For as these auouch yea sweare that there doctrine in matters or faith is most confor­me to the Bible, but ech Christian (as the Biblists opinion is) must consult the holy ghost out of the scripture touching that point, & so iudg as he inwardly teacheth, whose doctrine doth agree & whose disagree from the scripture. And therfore there is no Chri­stian nor assembly of Christians in the world, who hath such an absolute iurisdictiō of teaching, that all other Christiās are bound in conscience to yeald beleefe to what they say & decide about matters of faith: perhaps they may be bound to heere others & after examin their doctrine, & so consult the holy ghost out of the Bible, whether it be true or false and that is all.

The Fift consequence.

NO Christian nor companie of Christians is extant in the world (as enseweth on the Biblists proposition) that hath such a iurisdiction to teach matters of faith that all other Chri­stians are bound in conscience to beleeue what they teach & con­forme there faith to their decrees. Therfore there is no ecclesia­sticall iurisdiction at all extant in the world, to witt, iurisdiction of preaching the word of God, of administring Sacraments, of publishing ecclesiasticall lawes, of exercising ecclesiasticall iudg­ments, of inflicting punishments vpō transgressors of ecclesiasti­call lawes ctc. which ech Christian ere he submitt himself to such a iurisdiction is not first bound to pray & consult the holie ghost out of scripture to know, censure, & iudg whether such a iuris­diction be iust or vniust conforme to the word of God or not, & so either submitt himself to the same if he like if, or shake of that yoake as vniustly imposed if his priuate spirit repine & iudg it not to agree to the text of his bible.


BEcause, iurisdiction to preach, to administer Sacraments, to make ecclesiastical lawes &c. doth manifestly concerne faith, & to practise ecclesiasticall iudgments do the suppose that the iudg be [Page 31] not an heretick. But according to the Biblists rule, al questions concerning faith ought to be decided of ech Christian out of his Bible he hauing first prayed & consulted the holy ghost, & con­sequentlie if any one preach, administer Sacraments, enacst eccle­siasticall lawes, or be an ecclesiasticall iudg; ech Biblist is to consult the holy ghost out of the Bible, & so iudg of these mens doctrine, of their Sacraments, of theire lawes, of theire iudgments, & if his priuate spitit find them to disagree from his texts of Bible, then he is bound in conscience not to obey, nor beleeue them, yea rather to burne them, then gyue his consent vnto them.

The Sixt consequence.

THere is no ecclesiasticall iurisdiction extant in the world neither of preaching, administring of Sacraments, making of ecclesiasticall lawes, practising of ecclesiasticall iudgments &c. which ech Christian ere he submitt himself to that iurisdiction is not first bound (hauing consulted the holie ghost out of the bible) to iudg whether it be iust or vniust & so either accept or reiect the same. Therfore (conforme to this maxime of the Biblists) all ec­clesiasticall iurisdiction, yea the whole church of Christ becom­meth subiect to the boysterous & bridles lust & ignorance of all Christians how wicked soeuer they be, who vnder pretence of an inward annointment wherby ech one boasteth himself to be taught by the holy ghost out of the scriptures, haue libertie to sow the world with heresies & distemper all realmes & common wealths with debates, strifes, factions & ciuil warrs.


FIrst, because there is no Biblist in the world, which doth not attach of heresie innumerable other Biblists who varie from him. So one Lutheran auoucheth al Puritās, Hussites, Anobaptists, Arrians, & Protestants, to err in faith: & detesteth them for here­ticks, neither doe the Lutherans consent amoung themselues in matters of faith but these differ frō those, so that there is welnigh as many opiniōs of faith amoung them, as their be braines to con­ceiue them, and yet ech Biblist be he Hussite, Lutheran, Puritan, Anabaptist, Protestant, Arrian &c. doth verilie perswade himself that the is taught by the holie ghost out of the Bible.

Secondlie, because it many tymes faleth out that many of these Biblists who oftē doe call vpon & consult the holy ghost out of the [Page 32] scripture at diuers tymes gather contradictorie articles of faith out of the said scripture & sweare that they were so taught by the holy ghost: How many Biblist ministers haue they, who a yeare before, praying & consulting the holy ghost out of the scripture haue pu­bliquely taught, ād writ, that Bishops were the limms of Antichrist but this yeare hauing a fatt bishop-prick offred them, they praing & consulting the holy ghost out of the scripture, find that the ho­ly ghost inspireth them to accept that dignitie with the reuenewes & that Bishops are conforme to the texts of his bible? Others praying & consulting the holy ghost out of his Bible, haue dared to preach & write, that to weare a syrpliss, were to conforme one selfe to the beast, & put on a remnant of Antichrist, as also to re­ceaue the communion kneeling were to committ idolatry; & this as frō the holy ghost: but some months, or a yeare after, frighted either with the law, or aluted with reward consultinge the said holie ghost out of his Bible, he maketh no scruple both to weare a syrpliss, & receiue the communion kneeling & this by inspira­tion of the holy ghost whome he auowed a while a goe, to haue forbidden the same, as monstrous idolatrie. Therfore he who subiecteth all ecclesiasticall iurisdiction, to this annointment & inspiration of the spirit, wherwith ech Biblist doth boast himself that he is taught by the holy ghost, doth expose the said eeclesia­sticall iurisdiction & also the whole church of Christ, to the boy­sterous lust & ignorance of all leude & miscreant Christians, to staine the same with heresies as they please. The like may be aled­ged of Politicall iurisdiction which by this principal of Biblists doctrine is exposed to all the ieopardie of tumultuous broyles & ciuill warrs.

The Seuenth consequence.

ALl ecclesiasticall iurisdiction, yea the whole church of Christ becommeth subiect to the rageing lust & ignorance of all miscreant Christians, who vnder the pretext of an inward annoint­ment, wherwith ech one boasteth himself to be taught by the holy ghost out of the scripture, may introduce into the church of God, what peruerse heresies & broyles hee pleaseth. Therfore by such a rule of beleefe as the Biblists haue deuised, the whole church of Christ assembled together is necessarilie a confused [Page 33] route of mad bedlame fellowes, amoung whome there is no order at all, but an euerlasting horror inhabiteth.


THe effect prooueth what is said, for that companie of Chri­stians which is only thronged together & compacted into one boddie through this inward annointment of the holy ghost only, which ech B [...]blist presumeth of himself to haue, hath no vnitie of faith, in it self, no constancie of faith in his members, no iurisdi­ction, nor vocation nor succession of ecclesiastical ministers, but only in all & ech of them this inward annointment domineereth by which euery one vaunteth himself to haue the holy ghost for his tutor.

Cōsidere well the true spiritt of all the Biblists & thou will find thē minced into many differente iarring sects of Lutherans, Calui­nists, Anabaptists, &c, ech of which are againe shreded into more sects thē there be dayes in the yeares, yea welnigh they haue amoung them as manie belefes as men, & as the tymes & seasons change so they change their faiths, as if religion were but a sport & pastime. See if they can spie out amoung thē a supreme iurisdi­ction of teaching the word of God, of administring Sacraments of ordering ecclesiasticall ministers, of iudging ecclesiasticall causes, & you will scarse find any shadow there of, but all things amoung them are exposed to this internall annointment of the holy ghost, which ech of them boasteth for to haue. Nor doth it preiudice this consequence, that in manie places we behold the companies of these Biblists verie quiet & in some order amoung themselues, as Lutherans in Saxonie, & Protestants in England, for this pro­ceedeth, because that the promiscuous multitude of Biblists in these places, giue credit to theire ministers, or bee constrained to keepe quarter by the Augustane Confession, or by the statutes of a parliament, which none for feare of punishment dare openly call in doubt, & for this cause, there be verie few, who consulting the holy ghost out of the scripture, haue courage to censure whether the doctrines propounded them to beleeue by ministers, or by the Augustane Confession, or by the statutes of a parlia­ment, doe cohere with the word of God, or disagree from the same, They had rather incurr guiltienes of conscience, then a [Page 34] proemunire. But indeed to bee plaine, while these Biblists, not first consulting the holy ghost out of their Bible, doe out of ne­gligence or feare, giue credit to theire parsons, or to parliament edicts or such like statutes, concerning matters of faithtt is impos­sible for them to haue any true faith, in regard they found their faith vpon them, who may err in faith, for ministers, Bishops Par­liaments, congregations, generall councels all may err in faith all, be deceiued & deceiue according to the Biblists rule, yet in those place, where this inward annointment hath free vttrance, and the priuate spirit domineereth, all things in religion be turned vpside downe all disquieted & quite put out of order, & so much the more as the witts of those Biblists, which consult the holy ghost out of the scripture, are more subtile & eminent, which is so ap­parant by daylie practise, that to god about to prooue the same were to light a candell at mid day.

THE SIXT CHAPTER. Other necessarie consequences be deduced, vvhence vve may gather vvhat a manner of church the church of Christ vvas from the Apostles tymes to our dayes, if it bee censured as the Biblists rule of beleefe doth sett doune.

SVCH (certes as I haue deciplered) must the congre­gation of Christians be, who make one body of a church as the Biblists rule of beleefe doth sett doune. Now it resteth to deduce other consequences out of the same rule of beleefe, werby it may appeare what a fasshioned church (according to their rule) was the church of Christ, from the Apostles age downwards euen to Luthers reuolt, for if following the rule of succession, so many ages euen to our dayes are spred al the world ouer, surely we must be compelled to deduce therout most horrible & fearfull con­sequenees, & such as would fright a man to reade them.

The first consequence.

ALl councells as well generale as nationall, yea approued & confirmed by the Bishop of Roome may err in faith; & ech Christian is bound vnder the paine of eternall damnation before such tyme as he giue credit to any of those generall councels, to consult the holy ghost out of the scriptures & so to iudg whet­her that they doe agree to the word of God or disagree from the same. Therfore all generall councels in what manner soeuer they haue beene celebrated in the church of God, haue vsurped & pra­ctised most detestable tyranie ouer the whole church of Christ contrary to the word of God. Because these generall councels did not only excommunicate, but also by the helpe of secular power did condemne & put to death those Biblists, who consulting the holie ghost out of the scriptures dared to denie or call in doubt the decrees of the said councel which concerned matters of faith; Also they mooued cruell & bloodie wars against those princes, kings, & Emperors, who dared to gaine say the doctrine of those councels in matters of faith. See the cuncell of Nice ann. 325. in which Arrius was condemned, who out of the holie scriptures as hee sayd denied the diuinitie of Christ.

See the councel of Constantinople an. 383 in which Macedo­nius was condemned, who out of the Bible denied the diuinitie of the holy ghost.

See the first councel of Ephesus an. 434. in which Nestorius of Constantinople was condemned, who out of the Bible did af­firme that there was 2. persons in Christ.

See the first councell of Calcedon an. 454. in which Eutyches the Archimandrite, was condemned of heresie, who out of the scriptures sayd that the images of Christ & his Saints, were not to be honored. Neither did they cōdemne one or two, but an innumerable number of Christians, who followed those here­siarchs, nor were they of the vulgar sort, but a manie of them were Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, yea Princes, kings, Empe­rors, all which those fathers of the councel did without any dread condemne for hereticks in the name of Christ, and pronouncing an Anathema vpon them cutt them, quite of from the church of Christ.

Both tyme & leisure would faile mee, if I should goe about to [Page 36] reckne vp, all generall counsels, & to shew yt a perpetuall pra­ctise & rule of the church of Christ, that Generall counsels should decide matters of faith, & declare to all Christians what they were bound to beleeue, & what not to beleeue, condemning all & ech that durst be so bould as to gaine-say them or with stand their decrees.

Now if those fathers of generall counsels had non such right to doe this; first at generall counsels hether to celebrated in the church of Christ erred in faith, then they alwayes practised a most violent & exectable tyrannie euer all the flock of Christ in vsurping an vniust iurisdiction by force & might; & in condem­ning & scoffing at this annointment of the spirit of God, which ech Biblist presumeth for to haue & to be inwardly taught by the said spirit out of the scriptures.

The Second consequence.

ALl generall councels in what manner soeuer they were ce­lebrated in the church of God exercised a detestable tyra­nie ouer all the whole church of God contrary to the Bible (ac­cording to the Biblists rule. Therfore all heresies that euer were condemned by generall councels be heerby caled into doubt whether that they were iustly condemned or not.


BEcause that those generall councels had no right to cōdemne any doctrine, but that office apparteined to ech Christian, as also (consulting the holy ghost out of the bible) to examin euen the decrees of generall councels themselues. And therfore the sentence of those councels which condemned hereticks in this respect, was vniust because it was vtred by those who had no right nor iurisdiction to doe it, for that sentence, did by di­uine right apperteine to the censure of the holy ghost, who resy­ding in the mind of ech Biblists, as a iudg sitting on a bench doth by meanes of the Bible giue sentence out of there mouths about the doctrines of men. But to the end that the Biblists may by some smal coniecture perceiue how many monstrous heresies would reuiue againe in this church if this there rule of beleefe were a­uaylable, I will only mention at this tyme a certaine decree made in the yeare 494. In the first Roman councell vnder Pope Gela­ [...]asius the first.

[Page 37]These & all such like heresies we condemne, which were taught by Symon Magus, Nicolaus, Gerinthus, Marcion, Basilides, Ebion, Paulus Samosatenus, Protinus, Bonosus, with others who infected with such like errors fell frō the church, we also condemne Mon­tanus with his impure followers, Apolinard, Valentinus or Ma­nicheus, Faustus, Africanus, Sabellius, Arrius Macedonius, Euno­minus, Nouatus, Sabbatius, Caelestiꝰ, Donatus, Eustakius, Iouinia­nus, Iulianus, Gelanēsis, Celestinus, Maximꝰ, Priscilianus of Spaine, Nestorius of Constantinople, Lampetius, Dioscorus, Eutyches; Both the Peeters wherof one defiled the church of Antioch with heresies, the other the church of Alexandria, Acatius of Constanti­nople with his consorts, and all other hereticks & there disciples together with scismaticks, with whatsoeuer they haue taught & writt, as also those hereticks whose names be not registred, which we command to be not only reiected but also rased out for euer by euery Catholique Apostolique & Roman church, whom with all their followers we acknowledg to be euerlastingly cōdemned vnder the band of an anatheme neuer to be loosed. Thus Pope Gelasius with the fathers of that councell.

The Third consequence.

NO ecclesiasticall iurisdiction is extant weither of Preaching the word of God, nor of administring Sacraments, which ech Christian (ere he submitt himself to that iurisdiction) is not bound in conscience first to consult the holy ghost out of the scripture, & so iudg whether the said iurisdiction be iust to which they may submitt themselues, or els vniust whose yoacke they may shake of. Therfore euen from the Apostles tymes to our dayes, no true publique worship of God was extant & practised in the church of God.


FOr that worship of God which hath hetherto beene publi­quely practised in the church of God as wel concerning the preaching of the word, as the administration of Sacramēts & other publique ecclesiasticall rites apperteining to religion, or the pietie of the faithfull towards God, was alwayes decided & gouerned by the Bishops & Pastors of the church, but especialy & principaly by the fathers that were assembled in generall cōcels with an vsur­pation of a supreme power ouer all Christian beleeuers, which (if conforme to the rule of the Biblists) it be a most detestable tyrannie contrarie to the word of God, no doubt also but such a manner of [Page 38] worshipp wherwith God was serued was execrable & detestable. Nor is it enough to oppose this consequence, to auerr, that many Biblists liued in euery age who detested that tyrannicall do­minion, for I graunt this; These men I say, were they, whome (as I aboue mentioned) so many generall councells condemned for hereticks, which if the Biblists would haue to apperteine to there church, lett them looke, with what conscience or colour they can approoue theire heresies, when as it is most certaine, that in doctri­ne of faith, they did extreamely disagree from the beleefes which the Biblists that be now a dayes doe hold & profess.

The Fourth consequence.

ALl generall councels in what manner soeuer they were cele­brated in the church of Christ, exercised a tyrannicall domi­niō ouer the whole church of Christ, cōtrary to the word of God, neither was there euer extāt in the world since the Apostles dayes any true publique worship & seruice of God. Therfore the true church of Christ, euen from the Apostles tymes, to these of ours, lay hid, lurking in inuisiblenes being vnknowen both to herself & the world.


FOr that assembly of Christians which from the Apostles dayes downwards to our tyme, was most conspicuous to the world worshiped & serued God (either deceiued or compelled to doe so) with a detestable tyrannye of Bishops that thē ouerswaied the church (as Biblists say) and those only which refused this their ty­rannie were diuided into innumerable sects, dissenting from ech others in essentiall matters of faith, & which by lilte & lilte were reduced to nothing; Therfore lest we be compelled to say. That Chist for so long time had no church at all in the world either wee must be forced to say, that the same was the church of Christ, or els for want of better reason, auouch an absurditie & say, that the church, was all that while vnknowē both to it self & the world, & lay hid lurking in inuisiblenes; as many Biblists doe not stick to auouch & impudently blabber.

THE SEVENTH CHAPTER. The conclusion of the Author.

ANd thus far, (Biblist my freind) I haue goe on to sett doune those absurdities, which spring out of thy rule of be­leefe, & which each one may with ease deduce at leisure; albeit I [Page 39] haue past by many more difficile, but no less true; Now I would haue thee for thy credit & conscience sake, to free this thy rule, frō that frightfull impietie, & phrensie, with which it seemeth to be brāded & this by a more learned aunswer if thou canst, Which I thinke will be no smal paines to doe; & which I doe deeme can be done by no other meanes, then either by a flatt denial of thine owne antecedents, or of my consequences, both which will be fowle enough. But lest thou deteine thy selfe in thine answer, It is not a miss, I admonish thee, that I haue laboured whole 26. yeares about the studie of the bible, & haue euer sought to finde & spie out the truth with a most sinceare & spotles intention of mind, & to this end euen from my childhood forsooke my father, my mother & all the snares, and allurements of my temporall commodities which I might haue enioyed in the world, & loading on my shoul­ders a sore heauie cross haue thus followed Christ; & yet neuer­heles I haue hetherto esteemed & iudged out of holy writt, that the authoritie of the holy church concerning matters of faith is infallible. But now; shoulde I admitt a diffrent rule of beleefe, to witt, that of thine, I perceiue full well, what difficulties Would ensew ther vpon, which are the same mentioned by me, to which I demaund of thee a satisfactorie reply, though I scarse can imagine what meanes thow hast to performe the same, except thow wilt perswade me to turne about like a mil-hors from the spirit, to the Bible, & from the Bible, to the spirit, in a perpetuall circle; for if thou remitt me to praire & the inward annointment of the holy ghost, or to some sacred scriptures, or glosses which thou or thy compannions make vpon the Bibles text; freind Biblist I would haue thee not to forget, that thow beleeuest both thy self, and al thy comarades to be prone to errors in matters of faith, & may flatly err, & therfore in this important busines of faith, I neither ought nor can in conscience giue credit vnto thee or thine; Nor canst thow gather, (if after that I haue examined & cyfted thy sen­tence about matters of faith euer out of the bible) that the eies of my mind bee dimmed & can not see so cleere as thine, because I haue not prayed & implored the assistance of the holy ghost, for I would haue thee know, that for the space of these 26. yeares, the 36. part & more of ech naturall day hath beene by mee, spent in watchings & prayres, seruinge God night & day. But should I giue, [Page 40] which can not be graunted, that the church may faile, & defile it self with errors, & therfore the authoritie of the same were to be renounced: neuertheles I see no reason wherfore I should presently submit to your opinion, & subscribe to that priuat spi­rit by which you boast your selues to be inwardly inspired & taught: yea rather in this case I should doubt whether that the seripture you follow were sacred or not, for hetherto (with S. Augustin) I had not beleeued the scriptures, had not the authori­tie of the church mooued mee. But to faine, that the holy ghost forsooke the whole church of Christ so many ages, & is only as­sistant to me a vile sinner that I only may not stray from the truth where all cuncels & fathers, and Churches erred not rashlie as you surmise, fredne Biblist, but prudently abhorre & denyt, & esteeme it à more then Luciferian arrogāce in à mā, to sou aunt him self yet should I lett this pass as thow wouldest haue it, that is that thy rule of beleefe is both cōsonāt to the scriptured & the inward annoin­men of the spirit, what thinkest thow may bee vrged in this case? This at least, that vnless thow freest the same frō the infamie which it hath incurred for the aboue deduced cōsequences, I must be for­ced to affirme, that the Bible is not sacred but profane, your spirit not holie, but hollow, your Christ not à Sauiour, but à seducer nor any man of à sound iudgement can censure otherwise. Wherfore except you in such sort stint my consequences, that they can not be able to follow the antecedents at the heeles, etther (freind Biblist) you must againe retourne to the authoritie of the Church whence you are departed, or (quod ahsit) quite turne from Christ. Fare you wel, and see wherto this your spirit aimeth with you Con­sult so carefully.


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