A TREATISE OF THE GROVNDES OF THE OLD AND NEWE RELI­GION.

DEVIDED INTO TWO PARTS, ¶ Whereunto is added an Appendix, containing a briefe con­futation of WILLIAM CRASHAW his first Tome of Romish forgeries and falsifications.

MATH. 7. VERS. 24.

¶ A wise man buildeth his house vpon a rocke: a foolish man vpon the sand.

ANNO DOMINI M.D.C.VIII.

THE PRINTER TO THE READER.

I Desire thy fauourable censure and pardon, CVRTEOV [...] READER; in regard that diuers faults haue escaped in prin­ting this Treatise, of which, I may justly excuse and free my selfe from those of greatest moment, for that the Authour (through most earnest occasions contrary to his expectation) could not be neare at hand, whereby to haue had such due perusal thereof as was most meete and requisite, before it passed through my handes. More­ouer, concerning the Preface in particular, I am to aduertise thee, that it is with his direction made more briefe then it was first penned, and that there­by (through the messengers fault in forgetfulnesse) the said Preface per­formeth not that which is mentioned in the third point of the argument be­fore it; which should haue beene left out. As thy experience wil (I doubt not) moue thee to consider with what difficulties our writers, as also our selues put any thing to the presse; so I hope hereafter their endeauours, and mine also, shal be in such thinges amended. In the meane space referring thee to the Errata, I humbly request thee againe, not to blame vs altogither, but pray for vs.

Your poore Catholike Coun­triman. THOM. R.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER.

In which the occasions of the penning and publishing this Treatise, as also the argument of the same are briefly deliuered. Moreouer, to free the Protestant readers minde before hand from obstinacy, three points are proued euen out of writers of the newe religion: first, that more of the said religion condemne euery particular persons beliefe of that profes­sion, then approue it; secondly, that manifest truthes are denied and falshoods mainetained by the chiefe sectaries; lastly, that according to the confession of the same Authours, our religion and faith is true, theirs false.

IF justly he be judged by our Lord and Sauiour vvor­thy of reproach (CHRISTIAN READER,) vvho minding to build a towre, Luke [...]e [...]. 28. &c. doth not first sit downe and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he haue to finish it, but after that he hath laid the foundation, for want of a­bility is constrained to leaue his worke imperfect; I knowe not howe diuers of this our vnhappy time can be excused from blame, vvho spend al the daies of their liues in laying the foundation of a towre, and neuer come so far as to place one stone there-vpon. Our principal endeauour in this vvorld ought to be, to erect in our soules a towre or spiritual edifice of vertue, the ground of vvhich edifice is faith; and such is the misery of these our daies,1. Corinth. 3. vers. 12. that diuers persons are so farre from building vpon this foundation gold, siluer, or pretious stones, that they doe nothing else but alwaies busie themselues about the said foundation: my mea­ning is, that they so occupy or rather vexe themselues continu­ally in discussing matters concerning their beliefe, that they ei­ther [Page 2] remaine alwaies wauering without any sure ground of faith, or at the least if not altogether, verily for the most part wholy neg­lect their spiritual progresse in vertues of higher perfection. In which their manner of proceeding I say, they cannot be censured lesse faulty then he, who consumeth the whole course of his life in laying the foundation of a house or sumptuous pallace, and neuer goeth or seeketh to goe so farre as to build the walles or any other part of the same. Nay, the first must needs be deemed much more faulty then this fond builder, because their edifice is of greater importance, then the setting vp of any such material house or pal­lace.

I intend not hereto shew by the authority of the holy Scripture, and the testimonies of the auncient Fathers (both which yeeld me most plentiful proofes in this matter) that faith is only the founda­tion, and not the whole cause of our justification; neither is there any great neede in this place of entering into any such discourse. For besides that no man according to the rules of reason, can e­steeme him a perfect Christian, vvho doth only beleeue rightly without proceeding any further (because certaine it is that faith of it selfe doth only perfect the vnderstanding and not the vvil, and that a right vnderstanding profiteth litle except the wil be confor­mable it is euen as apparant;) moreouer, this assertion as far forth as it conduceth to my purpose, seemeth to be granted euen by our aduersaries the followers of the newe religion. For they distin­guish especially two sorts of faith,See part 2. of this Treatise chap. 2. the one they cal a faith histori­cal, the other a faith justifying: the first they confound vvith that which we hold being joyned with hope and charity to justifie vs, and this they deny not to be the ground, not the vvhole cause of our justification (for this effect and prerogatiue they attribute to the second of vvhich hereafter:) vvherefore, euen according to their doctrine the truth of that vvhich I haue auerred must be ad­mitted.

Notwithstanding, it may be objected against it, that the misteries and articles of our faith are diuers, & aboue the reach of our natural reason; and therefore that a great time is requisite to this, that the truth of euery one of them be throughly searched, & a certaine re­solution concerning euery point setled. I answere, that this in very deede (if al be true which is taught by the said followers of the new [Page 3] religion) cannot be denied: for they making the bare letter of ho­ly Scripture, the only rule and guide of their faith, must conse­quently in like sort affirme, that no man can euer come to a certaine knowledge what is to be beleeued touching the articles of religi­on, except by diligent discussion he plainely and infallibly drawe the truth from the said letter of holy Scripture; which if he could by any meanes compasse, yet he cannot doe, vnlesse among other thinges he reade ouer the whole Bible, conferre one place vvith another, &c. and so in this study consume almost al the daies of his life.

But according to the truth, God who is goodnesse it selfe, hath farre otherwise and better prouided for those that are desirous to serue him, and more richly to adorne their soules with vertue. For he hath ordained a visible guide indued vvith life and reason, and therefore apt to instruct and judge, vvhose doctrine and judge­ment he hath warranted from errour and falsehood; of whome e­uery person vvith diuine assurance of truth, in a very short time may perfectly be taught what he is to beleeue. For the better ef­fecting of this, he hath also left in her sacred bosome other more particuler but diuine and infallible grounds, besides his holy writ­ten word, whereby we are to be directed in faith. And this guide is our holy mother the Catholike Church, the sacred spouse of Christ and his mistical body.

Now therefore to proceed in mine intended discourse, because it behoueth euery man (as appeareth by that which hath bin alrea­dy said) with al speed to order that his beliefe be right, and likewise because this may soone be learned of the Catholike Church; hence it proceedeth, that no treatises touching controuersies of religion are commonly more necessary, then such as declare what congre­gation or company of Christians are the said one, holy, Catholike and Apostolike Church, proue her diuine authority, or shew what particuler groundes are found in her, by which euery person is to be guided in his beliefe. The reason of this is plaine, because who­soeuer recurreth to this Church and these groundes, may soone and with great ease be resolued concerning al articles vvhatsoeuer to him seeming doubtful; whereas if neglecting these he betake him to the study of particular controuersies, as of justification, free wil, merit of good workes, the real presence, &c. he may spend [Page 4] many daies and nights, and be nothing the nearer to a setled and sure resolution. Nay, some of these and other points are so high and difficult, that without recourse to some general groundes, and the authority of the Church directing al Christians, it is impossi­ble that by other meanes, a man should euer assure himselfe that he is in the truth.

Neither is this the opinion only of Catholikes, but also of some learned Protestants. And among others M. Field, esteemed by some one of the greatest schollars of their company,Richard Field in the beginning of his Epistle Dedicatory before his fiue bookes of the Church. writeth thus: The consideration of the vnhappy diuisions of the Christian world, and the infi­nite distractions of mens mindes, not knowing in so great variety of opinions, what to thinke, or to whome to joine themselues (euery faction boasting of the pure and sincere profession of heauenly truth, challenging to it selfe alone the name of the Church, and fastning vpon al that dissent, or are otherwise minded, the hateful note of schisme and heresie) hath made me euer thinke, that there is no part of heauenly knowledge more necessary, then that which concerneth the Church. For seing that controuersies of religion in our time are growen in number so many, and in nature so intricate, that few haue time and leasure, fewer strength and vnderstanding to examine them; what remaineth for men desirous of satisfaction in thinges of such conse­quence, but diligently to search out, which amongst al the societies of men in the world, is that blessed company of holy ones, that house-hold of faith, that spouse of Christ, and Church of the liuing God, which is the pillar and ground of truth? that so they may embrace her communion, followe her di­rections, and rest in her judgement. Hence it commeth that al wise and ju­dicious men, doe more esteeme bookes of doctrinal principles, then those that are written of any other argument; and that there was neuer any treasure holden more rich and pretious by al them that knewe howe to price and va­lue thinges aright, thou bookes of prescriptions against Heretikes: for that thereby, men that are not willing or not able to examine the infinite diffe­rences that arise among men concerning the faith, haue general directions what to followe, and what to auoide: Hitherto are M. Fields vvordes. And like as this Protestant Doctor yeeldeth this reason among o­thers, for the publication of his bookes of the Church: so in very truth, the same motiue hath partly moued me to publish some of my labours to the viewe of the world. We Catholikes haue a long time wished and endeauoured, to bring the controuersies of these times to certaine general groundes and doctrinal principles, and haue [Page 5] fought by al meanes to drawe our aduersaries to this issue to which M. Fields vvordes seeme to tend: I meane, to perswade them to ac­knowledge a judicial & infallible authority in the Catholike church, which euery Christian may securely followe and is bound to obey; and then by most sure notes of the same Church deliuered by God in the holy Scripture (which be so pregnant in the old testament it selfe,August. in psalm. 30. Conc. 2. that S. Augustine feareth not to affirme that the Prophets haue spoken more plainely of the Church, then of Christ) to search forth whe­ther ours, or any other congregation of them be the Catholike Church: but those of our side could neuer hitherto obtaine so much at their handes. And although this man doth so gloriously here extol the judgement of the Church, as it seemeth touching al controuersies which may arise, in so much as he telleth vs that men desirous of satisfaction may followe her directions and rest in her judgement (vvhich they could not safely and securely doe if her direction and judgement could be erroneous) yet in his fourth booke following, he bereaueth her of almost al such prerogatiues, (for he saith that general Councels which be the highest courts of the Church,Field booke 4 chap. 5. §. thus touching may erre in matters of greatest consequence) and freeth the Church her selfe from errour,Ibid. and cha. 2. before. only in certaine principal articles of Christian reli­gion: But of these matters more hereafter. Only this nowe suffi­ceth for my purpose, that according to his testimony; al wise and juditious men, doe more esteeme bookes of doctrinal principles, then those that are written of any other argument: vvhich if it be true, I hope the argument both of this my Treatise following, and also of an other which I haue lying by me, wil not be vngrateful, but pleasing and acceptable to al vvise and juditious persons. Moreouer, an other writer of the English Church auoucheth, that in this our last age, Parkes in the Preface to the reader before his Apologie of three testi­monies of scripture, &c. printed anno 1607. He­resie and Infidelity joining their desperate forces together, labour mightily to subuert and ouerthrowe al the groundes of Christian religion: vvhich if it be likewise truly affirmed, a discourse discouering the fountaine of this euil, and establishing such groundes as Heretikes and Infidels seeke to impugne, cannot be thought vnprofitable.

Only my rashnesse in vndertaking such great matters, and my want of wit and learning shewed in performing them, may seeme worthy of blame. But pardon me gentle Reader it was (as I may say) by chance, both that I entered into discussing such thinges, and al­so that my writings euer came to light. Some fewe yeares since a [Page 6] Catholike gentleman being entred into some communication with a Protestant minister, requested me to set him downe some briefe reasons for the Catholike part, vpon vvhich he might stand: I did so, and I comprehended some twelue reasons in some three sheets of paper, vvhich al vvere drawne from general groundes and do­ctrinal principles. Not very long after, I giuing my selfe alwaies to the study of controuersies, and hauing no learned friend at hand with whome I might conferre, the more to perfect my selfe in such kinde of arguments (vvhich vvithout conference or vvriting can hardly be done) it came into my minde to enlarge my selfe much more vpon the said reasons. And truly, so much matter occurred vnto me being busied in these exercises, that I thought it meete to deuide my twelue reasons into two treatises: of vvhich, the one I called a treatise of the groundes of the old and newe religion, the other a treatise of the definition and notes of the Church. Hauing finished the first, I communicated it to some one or two of my fa­miliar friends, who were desirous to see it; and so by some meanes it came to the sight of some persons esteemed learned and judici­ous, who thought it might profit many if it were more common, and therefore were desirous to haue it printed. This was the be­ginning of my writing in this kinde, and thus the one of these trea­tises besides my first intention or expectation, is nowe passed the print; I trust without any rash presumption or boldnes in me, seing that I rather haue yeelded to the desire and aduise of men thought to be of mature judgement, discretion, and learning, then for any other respect haue followed my owne fancy or inclination.

Nowe, to giue my reader here a certaine taste of the contents of that which I intend here to publish, as also of my manner of pro­ceeeding, I thinke it meete to aduertise him, that in it I haue prin­cipally by apparant arguments proued two thinges: the one, that we Catholikes ground our faith and religion vpon the diuine autho­rity of God, the other that our aduersaries (I meane the newe se­ctaries) build their faith and religion (I take these vvordes in an ample signification) vpon their owne judgments. The first is per­formed in the first part, in which I haue shewed such groundes as the Catholikes build on, to be of diuine authority: The second in like sort is conuinced to be true in the second part, vvhere I haue declared euen to the eie, that the followers of the newe religion [Page 7] reject al other such groundes besides the holy Scripture: vvhich also I haue proued them to reject and receiue, translate and ex­pound not according to any diuine ground, but as it liketh their owne fancies; & consequently I haue demonstrated, that in summe they haue no other foundation whereon they build, but this, that their beliefes seeme true to their owne natural reason.

It may be demanded what proofes I vse in these my discourses. I answere in fewe vvordes, that I bring forth proofes out of the holy Scripture, I alleage the auncient Fathers and vvriters, such as liued and wrote within the first sixe hundred yeares after Christ, which some Protestants challenge to haue beene of their faith and religion, and therefore allowe of their testimonies: I cite moreo­uer the sentences of diuers Sectaries of these our daies, vvho con­fesse that to be true which I endeauour to proue, not the testimo­nies of Anabaptists, Libertines, Tritheists, Trinitarians, or of any others commonly by Protestants censured to be Heretikes; but of such as are vsually by al sorts accknowledged to be writers of their Protestant family, and members (as they say) of their reformed Churches. In alleaging of which sentences of our aduersaries, for the benefit of those that vnderstand not the Latin tongue, I haue obserued this as much as I could, that I haue taken them out of bookes either written in English, or translated into English, that so euery person might easily turne vnto them. Neither ought the te­stimony of such sectaries to be thought by any man a weake argu­ment: for what proofe almost, being not diuine, can be of greater force then the confession of an aduersary or enemy, touching the truth of that which is censured false by his doctors, and the inno­cency of him whome he hateth and impugneth; or the falsehood of his owne chiefemasters doctrine, and the guiltinesse of himselfe, or such as he loueth, or are of his owne brotherhood? And hence it is, that M. Whitakers a Protestant of no meane fame,Whitaker de Eccles. con­trouers. 2. cap. 14. pag. 366. graunteth that argument to be strong, which is drawne from the confession of aduersaries. Finally, sometimes I bring forth some natural reasons and congruences, prouing the conueniency of that which is auou­ched. For we may wel assure our selues (so if I doe not forget my selfe saith S. Augustine) that God hath done vvhatsoeuer in right reason vve shal finde to be best. These be the proofes of mine as­sertions, and others then these I seldome or neuer vse.

[Page 8]But the better to declare my sincere dealing herein, and also to shew the force of such testimonies of auncient Authors as I alleage, I haue added before this treatise a table of al such Councels extant as I finde celebrated within the said first sixe ages; as likewise of al the writers of those times, which I finde to haue left any workes commonly alleaged in schooles to their posterity. I haue moreo­uer noted out of good and approued authors, the yeare in vvhich such Councels were celebrated, and in which such writers either flourished or departed out of this world. Al these things I haue per­formed with as great sincerity as the want of bookes hath suffered me. And in very deede I may truly protest, that willingly and wit­tingly I haue wronged no one writer in misalleaging his wordes or meaning, be he Catholike, or be he Protestant; be he Auncient, or be he Moderne. It may be some faults haue escaped me, but against my wil. Neither doth our Catholike cause neede any such jugling or false dealing, the truth is so manifest on our side, and the proofes of the same so many and pregnant.

But before my reader enter into the viewing of these my discour­ses, that he may reape the greater profit of his labour, I must ear­nestly craue one thing at his handes, to wit: that if he be of an other religion then is here defended, before hand he doe not harden his hart, and vvith obstinacy determine not to change his opinion or practise, whatsoeuer he heare, reade, or vnderstand said against it, or in proofe of an other way. It behoueth euery Christian to be of a right hart and a good wil. Much is said in the holy Scripture, both in commendation of the one and of the other. The Prophet Dauid in the Psalmes, often commendeth them that are recti corde, right in hart, and in particular inuiteth them to the praise of almighty God. The Angels at the birth of our Lord did sing this Hymne:Luke 2. v. 14. Gloria in altissimis Deo, & in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis: Glory in the highest to God, and in earth peace to men of good wil. And who hath a right hart and is of good wil? Verily, he that doth not obdurate him­selfe against God, but is desirous and by al meanes seeketh to con­forme his wil to Gods wil, vvhich is the right and straite rule, by vvhich al our thoughts and actions are to be squared and tried. Of my reader therefore if he be a Protestant I desire no more, but that he bring his hart and wil to this disposition, if it be not so disposed already; that he be desirous to serue God in his true Church, and [Page 9] casting off al obstinacy he be indifferent either to this or that, so that he might be throughly informed of the truth. Lastly, that he humbly craue of God, that if his beliefe be not right, he wil merci­fully vouchsafe to giue him grace and meanes vvhereby he may finde out the truth.

And because I esteeme this disposition in that Protestant vvhich intendeth to reade this Treatise, to be a matter of great moment to­wardes his conuersion, I thinke it conuenient briefly here to touch among diuers others which occurre, some two motiues, which in my judgement are very sufficient to drawe any man from obstina­cy in the newe religion, yea be he of what sect soeuer, to make him doubtful of the sincerity of that faith and religion which he profes­seth. Of these the first shal be, that as many (I may say more) and as vertuous, and as learned euen of the Protestant side, condemne his said faith and religion as erroneous, as there doe approue it as true. For if he be a Zwinglian, a Caluinist, or an English Protestant, although his temporal Magistrates and his learned Masters tel him that he is of a sound beliefe, and a true member of Christs Church, yet Luther and al the Lutherans affirme in plaine tearmes and that vvith great vehemency, neuerthelesse deliberately and aduisedly, that he is an Heretike; and consequently, is guilty of that crime which theApologie of the Church of Englād part. 1. pa. 28. 29. Apologie of the Church of England auoucheth to be a forsaking of saluation, a renouncing of Gods grace, a departing from the body and spirit of Christ. This not only the workes of Luther and the Lutherans, but also of diuers Sacramentaries (so the Zwinglians, Cal­uinists, and English Protestants are commonly called) testifie to the whole world. Luther in one place writeth thus:Luther thes. 21. cont. Lo­uaniens. & to. 7. in defīs. ver borum coenae. We seriously judge the Zwinglians and al Sacramentaries to be Heretikes and aliens from the Church of God. In an other booke of the same sectaries he hath these wordes.Idem. tom. 7 in defens. ver­borum coenae. fol. 383. Touching the soule and matters spiritual, we wil auoide them as long as we haue a day to liue, we wil reproue and condemne them for Idolaters, corrupters of Gods wordes, blaspheamers, and deceiuers; and of them as of enemies of the Gospel, we wil sustaine persecution and spoile of our goodes, whatsoeuer they shal doe vnto vs, so long as God wil permit: Thus Luther. Hence also the Zwinglians of Zuricke com­plaine, that Luther Cōfessio Or­thodoxa Ec­cles. Tigurinae in praefat. fol. 3. 4. inueigheth against them, as against obstinate He­retikes, and such as are guilty to themselues of al impiety, as against pro­phaners of the Sacraments, and the most vile and pestilent men that goe on [Page 10] the ground. By hisIbid. tract. 3. fol. 108. last confession by them likewise recorded, it appeareth that he continued in this minde euen to his dying day. And who among al the Professors of the newe religion, is general­ly preferred by the followers of al sects before Luther? The Sacra­mentaries themselues, vvhome he damned to the pit of hel, most highly commend him: The Apologie of the Church of England a booke written by M. Iewel and approued by the best English Protestants, yea muchMartir ep. ad Iuellū prae fixa Apolog. Eccles. Angl. praised by Peter Martir, and other forraine followers of Zwinglius and Caluin, tearmeth himApologie of the Church of Englād part. 4. pag. 124. printed anno 1600. a most excellent man euen sent of God to giue light to the world. Whitakers affirmeth,Whitakers in his answer to Campians 3. reason. pag. 85. his name is writ­ten in the booke of life, and that his memory shal euer be sacred among al good men. And he addeth,Idem in his answer to the 8. reason. pag. 259. that they reuerence him as Father. Field a Doctor of the English Church nowe liuing auerreth,Ficl. booke 3 of the Church ch. 42. p. 170. See also Whe­tenhal a Pu­ritā in his discourse of the abuses, &c. printed anno 1606. pag. 64. 65. he was a most worthy diuine, as the world had any in those times wherein he liued, or in many ages before: whose happy memory (saith he) for the clearing of sundry points of greatest moment in our Christian religion, al succeeding ages shal be bound to honour. Seing then that this most excellent man sent by God to giue light to the world, whose name is written in the booke of life, and whose memory shal euer be sacred among al good men, sendeth forth these glistering beames of light vnto vs, that the Sacramenta­ries are damned Heretikes, Idolaters, blaspheamers, corrupters of the word of God, deceiuers, and enemies of the Gospel: Seing this most wor­thy diuine, reuerenced by our English Protestants as a father, pronoun­ced this so hard a censure against his children; vvhat Sacramentary being thus censured, if he wil proceede according to the rules of reason, can doe otherwise then mistrust the truth of his beliefe? vvhich of the Sacramentaries hath deserued or obtained such com­mendations of the Lutherans, as Luther hath here of the Sacramenta­ries? Verily Caluin himselfe, whose doctrine of the Sacrament our English Church and most Sacramentaries doe nowe embrace, is most bitterly reuiled and condemned by them al. Nay one of them wri­teth, thatConradus Schlussel. in Theolog. Cal­uinist. lib. 2. fol. 72. God also in this world shewed his judgement against Caluin, whome he visited (saith he) in the [...]odde of his anger, and horribly punished before the dreadful houre of his vnhappy death. For God with his potent hand (I vse his vvordes) so strooke this Heretike, that hauing despaired of his saluation, hauing called vpon Diuels, swearing, cursing, and bla­spheaming most miserably, be yeelded vp his wicked ghost: but Caluin died of the lousie disease, wormes so increasing in an impostume or most [Page 11] stinking vlcer about his priuy members, that none of the standers by could any longer indure the stinke: Thus Conradus Schlusselburge a Lutheran reporteth Caluins death, as he auoucheth out of publike writings, of which he sawe no sound refutation. What Sacramentary then can justly cōpare any one of his learned masters with Luther, or thinke that Luther erred & some one of them attained to the light of truth: seing that Luther had and read the same Scriptures, out of vvhich his masters affirme they haue drawne their doctrine, and vsed in e­uery respect as good meanes to come to the true sense and interpre­tation of them, as his said masters could vse or prescribe? Vnto which I may adde, that Luther (as it seemeth) receiued some light from aboue, if it be true which is affirmed in the Apologie of the Church of England, that God sent him to giue light to the world. But if no Sacramentary can compare any one of his learned masters vvith Luther, much lesse can he preferre himselfe before him: vvhich ne­uerthelesse he must needes doe, if he be obstinate in his Sacramenta­ry doctrine, and as judge pronounce Luthers beliefe to be false and erroneous. And thus much of Luthers censure against the Sacra­mentaries.

The Lutherans also men very learned, whome the English Prote­stants (if Whitakers say truly)Whitakers in his answer to Cāpians 8. reason, p. 259 embrace as their deare bretheren in Christ, pronounce the same sentence against these Sectaries. And in parti­cular Conradus Schlusselburge euen nowe alleaged, being a Lutheran superintendent of great name and authority,Conradus Schlusselb. in Catalog. Hae­reticorum no­stri temporis, lib. 1. pa. 1. & 2. & lib. 3. placeth them in the Catalogue of the Heretikes of these our daies. Luke Osiander vvhose Encheridion against vs, some English Protestant hath of late corrupt­ly translated into our tongue, in the conclusion of the like booke made against the Caluinists, hauing recited sixteene of their asserti­ons which he condemneth, afterward writeth thus:Lucas Osiā ­der in Enchi­rid. cōt. Caluinianos in cō ­clus. pa. 267. printed anno 1607. publi­shed by him, anno 1603. Let any godly or friendly reader whatsoeuer, thinke what deadly poison Satan doth powre vnto men vnder the Caluinian doctrine, by which al Christianisme almost is ouerthrowne. Most of the rest proceede after the same manner, but I cannot stand to recite their wordes. Of al which I conclude, that the faith and religion of euery Sacramentary, is judged false and heretical, by Luther and al the Lutherans. Vnto vvhich I adde, that if he be an English Protestant, the Puritans esteeme him litle better then an Infidel, as appeareth by their sundry admonitions to the Par­liament, and the booke of dangerous positions written by a Prote­stant. [Page 12] If he be a Puritan, the Protestants censure him to bePowel in his consideratiōs. See a Christiā & modest of­fer, pag. 9. The Suruay of the preten­ded holy di­scipline, &c. pag. 311. a notori­ous and manifest Schismatike, and a member cut off from the Church of God. Nay, whether he be English Protestant or Puritan, Zwinglius a most excellent man as wel as Luther (as the Apologie of the Church of England auoucheth,Apologie of the Church of Englād part. 4. pag. 124. sent of God to giue light to the world; Whetenhal calleth himWhetēhal in his discourse of the abuses, &c. pag. 75. the first light set vp by God among al the golden candlesticks of Heluetia) with al his Zwinglians telleth him,See Zwingl. to. 2. epist. ad quandā Ger­maniae ciuitatem, fol. 196. & in cōmen­taris de vera & falsa relig. c. de Sacram. & lib. de Ba­ptis. fol. 63. that he erreth in his faith touching the Sacraments. If he be a Zwinglian, Caluini lib. de coena Do­mini, edit. an. 1540. Gallice & Latine an. 1545. & l. 4. Institut. cap. 15. §. 1. &c. Caluin with al his Caluinists, English Protestants and Puritans tel him the like. So that be he of what Sacramentary sect soeuer he please, his faith and religion receiueth a three-fold censure that it is false, and that from his owne bretheren. For first it is condemned by the Lutherans, then by the Zwinglians and English Protestants if he be a Puritan, or Caluinist; or by the Zwinglians and Puritans or Caluinists if he be an English Protestant; or finally by the English Protestants and Caluinists (among vvhome I number the Puritans) if he be a Zwinglian. And what wise man wil be obstinate in the defence of such a faith? But what if he be a Lutheran doth he auoide this inconuenience? Truly he is in the very like case: for first he is judged to be of a wrong be­liefe by al the Sacramentaries; then if he be a strict or rigid Lutheran, he is condemned by the milde or soft Lutherans; if he be a milde or soft Lutheran, he is deemed an Heretike by the strict or rigid. NayConradus Schlusselbur. in Catalog. Haereticorum nostri temporis in principio lib. 1. &c. Conradus Schlusselburge placeth six sects of his owne Lutherans in the Catalogue of Heretikes, of vvhich the one condemneth the o­ther; and he giueth the same sentence against them al. But because fewe or no Lutherans as is probable, wil euer come to the reading of this Treatise, I wil not stand to discusse and proue these thinges at large and in particular: And therefore concerning this motiue let this suffice.

A second reason or motiue, which is sufficient to exclude obsti­nacy from the hart of any one of the followers of the newe religion, is; that al the learned and principal sectaries as Luther, Zwinglius, Caluin & others, haue notoriously and grosly erred in some points or other touching religious matters. The short limits of a pre­face wil not suffer me to declare the truth of this in them al, where­fore I wil exemplifie only in the three named, which be the heades of the rest. And to beginne with Luther; did not this great Patri­arke [Page 13] and father of al Protestants teach and obstinately hold, that Christ suffered on the crosse and died according to his diuinity? thus he writeth:Luth. in cō ­fess. majori de coena Domini & lib. de con­cilijs. part. 2. If I beleeue that only the humane nature of Christ suf­fered for me, Christ is a base Sauiour, not of any great price, or value, yea be himselfe needeth a Sauiour. Hence Zwinglius exclaimeth:Zwingl. to. 2. in respons. ad Lutheri cō fess. fol. 458. 469. 470. & in respons. ad Luther. lib. de Sacra. f. 411. 401. 337. &c. This can by no reasons be explaned or excused. For Luther clearely and ma­nifestly confesseth that he wil not acknowledge Christ to be his Sauiour, if only his humanity had suffered. He calleth him also Marcion, and saith he is guilty of most high blaspheamy against the nature and essence of God, &c. Did not the same Luther also defendSee Luth. l. de captiuitat. Babilon. c. de Baptis. & lib. cont. Cocblaeū anno 1523. that in­fants in baptisme actually beleeue? Verily, although M. Field en­deauour to vvrest his wordesField book 3 ch. 44. p. 179. to habitual faith, which he saith is in infants; yet Luthers discourses admit not that sense, as wil easily ap­peare to the reader. Of which also the doctrine of his disciples (who euen at this presentKēnitius in examin. cōcil Trident. can. 13. de Baptis. sess. 7. Zucas Osiād. in En­chirid. cōt. A­nabapt. print. anno 1607. c. 2. quaest. 2. affirme that infants whiles they are ba­ptised actually beleeue) is a manifest token; and moreouer that this was Luthers opinion, it may be gathered out ofCaluin. In­stit. c. 16. § 19 Caluin andWhitaker. in his answ. to Campians 8. reason p. 243. Whit­akers. Besides this he holdeth, that the soules departed out of this vvorld sleepe, and are without sense or feeling, neither in heauen nor in hel, and so shal remaine vntil the day of judgement. But of this point of his doctrine see more in the second part of my treatise following. I cannot likewise omit hisLuther in serm. de Sacram. coenae to. 2. f. 112. &c. opinion, concerning the presence of Christs humane nature in euery place together vvith his diuinity: of vvhich proceed these vvordes of Zwinglius vnto him;Zwingl. in respōs. ad Luther. l. de Sacra. f. 401. If thou shalt contumaciously goe on in this sentence, that the hu­manity of Christ IESVS is essentially and corporally present, wheresoe­uer is his diuinity, God willing we wil bring thee to those straights, that either thou shalt be forced to deny the whole Scripture of the new testament, or to acknowledge Marcions heresie. This I say, in good faith we promise we wil doe: thus Zwinglius. And by this heresie defended by the Lu­therans of his time, Caluin Caluin Instit. booke 4. ch. 17. §. 16. &c. Zwing l. tom. 2. ep. ad quā ­dam Germa­niae ciuitatē, fol. 196. lib. de Baptis. fol. 63. &c. auoucheth that Marcion is raised vp out of hel. The Geneuian diuines in the preface to the Harmony of confes­sions, published in the name of the Churches of France and Belgia, tearme it that vnhappy monster of vbiquity, which if it be admitted (say they) wil quite ouerthrowe the true doctrine of Christs person and natures: But of Luther enough.

[Page 14] Zwinglius doctrine concerning the Sacraments vvas most pro­phane; for he made them only external signes, and denied them any inward effect in the soule: wherefore as I haue before noted, it is worthily condemned and rejected, not only by Luther and his fol­lowers, but also in wordes byCaluin lib. de coena, & l. 4. Instit. cap. 15. §. 1. Caluin. Moreouer,Zwingl. in exposit. fidei Chrstianae art. 12. Zwinglius also placeth Hercules, Theseus, Socrates, Numa, Camillus, the Catoes, Scipions and other Pagans and Idolaters, with the holy Patriarks and Apostles in heauen. Of which his assertion Luther discourseth thus;Luther. ad c. 47. Genes. Zwinglius of late hath written that Numa Pompilius, Hector, Scipio, Hercules enjoy eternal blisse in heauen with Peter, Paul & other Saints, which is no other thing then openly to confesse that he thinketh there is no faith, no Christianisme, &c. He addeth much more against him, and of this inferreth, that Zwinglius is of that minde that a man doing his best may be saued in any religion whatsoeuer; vvhich in very deede is expresly by him taught inZwingl. to. 2. in declarat. de peccato O­riginal. f. 118 another place: Neuerthelesse this doctrine of Zwinglius touching the saluation of Infidels is main­tained byRodolph. Gualterus in A­polog. pro li­bris Zwinglij Rodolphus Gualterus, Bullinger in Germani. cō ­fess. Eccles. Figurinae. Bullenger,Simlerus in vita Bullin­geri, &c. Simlerus, Daniel Tos­sanus, and other Sacramentaries.

But no opinion of Zwinglius is more impious and sacrilegious, then that by which he maketh God the author and cause of sinne: In vpholding which blaspheamous impiety Iohn Caluin joineth hands with him. If it were not that I should exceed the breuity of a pre­face, I vvould manifestly conuince them guilty of this crime by their owne printed workes, published to the viewe of the whole vvorld: but I vvil here put off this manner of proofe to another place, and nowe only confirme the truth of mine accusation by the testimony of some learned Protestants. Albertus Grawerus, re­ctor of the Lutheran vniuersity of Eislebium in Germany, about the yeare of our Lord 1597. published a booke vvith this title: The warre of Iohn Caluin, and of IESVS Christ God and man, that is: An antithesis or opposition of the doctrine of the Caluinists and of Christ, in which the most horrible blaspheamies of the Caluinists especially concer­ning foure articles, the person of Christ, the supper of the Lord, baptisme and predestination, are faithfully shewed from the eie to the eie out of their owne proper writings and bookes, and are briefly and soundly refelled out of the word of God: thus hath the title. And this booke hath beene printed three times among the Lutherans; for I haue seene the third edition printed at Magdeburge in the yeare 1605. so plausible is it to [Page 15] the Lutheran churches. Neuerthelesse it being oppugned and an­swered by some Caluinists, the same author replied vvith an other booke vnto which he gaue this title; Absurda, absurdorum absurdissi­ma, Caluinistica absurda, &c. The absurde, the most absurde of absurde, Caluinistical absurde thinges, that is, an inuincible demonstration, logical, philosophical, theological, of some horrible paradoxes of the Caluinian doctrine in the article of the person of Christ, the supper of the Lord, bap­tisme, and predestination of the children of God, written by M. Albert Grawere Rector of the famous Vniuersity of Eislebium of the Earles of Mansfeld, in defence of his Caluinian warre, &c. Cum gratia & priui­legio at Magdeburge an. 1605. hitherto are the vvordes of the title. That vvhich maketh in these bookes for my present purpose, is that which he deliuereth concerning the opinion of Caluin and the Caluinists touching the predestination of the children of God; for in the fore-front of the last treatise, after the title of the booke this Lutheran placeth this sillogisme: Quodcunque dogma, &c. What opini­on soeuer maketh God the author of sinne, is not of God: The Caluinian opinion maketh God the author of sinne: therefore it is not of God. For proofe of the minor or second proposition, which is; that the Cal­uinian doctrine maketh God the author of sinne, he referreth his reader to the fift chapter of his booke following; in vvhich in very deede he manifestly proueth it by diuers sentences alleaged out of Caluin, Beza, and other Sacramentaries. Perhaps some man wil demaund what is this to Zwinglius? I answere, although Zwinglius in very deede be properly no Caluinist, for he vvas before Caluin; yet be­cause nowe the Caluinists beare al the sway and haue almost eaten vp the Zwinglians, as also because the differences betweene Zwin­glius and Caluin vvere not great and notorious, it pleaseth the Lu­therans to number Zwinglius among the Caluinists; yea to cal al the Sacramentaries Caluinists. Hence Grawerus among other Caluinists making God the authour of sinne, often alleageth Zwinglius, and proueth him guilty of the same impiety. They are likewise accu­sed of making of God the author of sinne by Luke Osiander another Lutheran, who hauing related and confuted certaine their asserti­ons touching Christ, thus beginneth the seauenth chapter of his booke.Lucas Osiā ­der in Enchi­rid. cont. Cal­uimanos cap. 7. pag. 198. But here gentle reader, beyond and aboue those blaspheamous thinges which in the discourses before we heard against the Sonne of God, out of the opinions of our aduersaries (the Caluinists:) Pandit se vorago & [Page 16] barathrum Caluinianae doctrinae; a gulfe or whirlepoole and a bel of Cal­uinian doctrine openeth it self. In which (if thou dilligently weigh the mat­ter) God is said to be the author of sinne: & it is so taught by our aduersaries concerning election to saluation, that who shal embrace this their doctrine (tentation assaulting him) must needs either be cast into despaire, or fal into Epicurisme; and hence must of necessity arise in the harts of men manifest blasphemy against God: thus Lucas Osiander, whom an English sectary in his booke against vs trāslated, maketh to speake like a very good Caluinist. If any man be desirous to see a briefe summe of the Calui­nian and Zwinglian beliefe, touching this and other such like arti­cles, he shal find it gathered together in the same place by the same authour, as also by Grawerus in the preface to his second booke ci­ted. Heshusius a third Lutheran vvriter, esteemed among the lear­nedst of that sect,Cōrad. Schlusselburg. lib. 2. Theolog. Cal­uinist. pag. 6. See Clebetius in victoria veritatis & rui­na Papatus Saxonici, arg 15. Conradus Schluss. loco cit. lib. 1. c. 6. pag. 25. 26. Beza in Ab­sters. calumni arū Heshusij. & much commended by Conradus Schlusselburge, for this cause exclaimeth against the Caluinists that they transforme God into the Deuil. But Caluin is not only accused of this impiety by the Lutherans, but also by Castalio a Sacramentary, who disputing of Caluins opinion touching this point, maketh a distinction or dif­ference betweene the true God and the God of Caluin: these are his vvordes.Castal. in l. ad Caluin. de praedest. The false God (that is Caluins God by him described) is slowe to mercy, prone to anger, who hath created the greatest part of the world to destruction, and hath predestinated them not only to damnation, but also to the cause of damnation. Therefore he hath decreed from al eterni­ty, and be wil haue it so, and be doth bring it to passe that they necessarily sinne, so that neither thefts, nor murders, nor adulteries are committed but by his constraint and impulsion. For be suggesteth vnto men euil and dishonest affections, not only by permission, sed efficaciter but effectually (that is by forcing such affections vpon them) and doth harden them in such sort that when they doe euil, they doe rather the worke of God then their owne, he maketh the Deuil a liar, so that nowe not the Deuil but the God of Caluin is the father of lies. But that God which the holy Scriptures teach, is altogether contrary to this God of Caluin, &c. And soone af­ter: For the true God came to destroy that worke of that Caluinian God: And these two Gods as they are by nature contrary to one another, so they beget and bring forth children of contrary dispositions, (to wit) that God of Caluin, children without mercy, proude, &c. hitherto Castalio a man highly commended byHumfred. de rat. inter­pret. lib. 1. p. 26. Gesnerus in Bibliothe­ca. D. Humfrey and Gesnerus, likewise learned scholars of the Sacramentary sect. But note that in this his discourse, he [Page 17] vvel declareth the truth of that vvhich before I related, as said by Heshusius, to wit: that Caluin and his schollars by making God the author of sinne, and ascribing vnto him other such like actions, transforme him into the Deuil, or rather as Castalio saith make the De­uil their God. If any man be desirous to see this more fully and exactly handled, let him reade Grawerus in the booke and chapter before cited.

Nowe touching Caluin in particular, what Christian doth not abhorre and detest that his intollerable blaspheamy, by which he affirmeth our Lord during the time of his passion, to haue feared e­ternal damnation, to haue beene forsaken of God, to haue suffe­red in soule the torments of hel. Let vs heare him in his owne wordes declare his owne opinion; These are some of his sentences. Christ was put in steede of wicked doers as surety and pledge, Caluin Instit. booke 2. ch. 16. §. 10. Idē. in Math. 26. vers. 39. yea and as the very guilty person himselfe, to abide and suffer al the punishments that should haue beene laid vpon them: this one thing excepted, that he could not be holden stil of the sorrowes of death (or hel.) His praier in the gar­den was an abrupt desire: he was stroken with feare, and straited with anxiety in such sort, that among violent fluddes oftentation he was forced as it were to stagger or wauer, nowe with one, and then with another desire: he corrected and recalled, that desire vpon the suddaine passed from him: he refused as much as lay in him and sought to put off the office of a Mediator: the vehemency of griefe tooke from him the present memory of the heauenly decree. Christes death had beene to no effect, Caluin Instit. booke 2. ch. 16. §. 10. Ibid. §. 12. Idē. ad c. 26. Math. v. 39. if he had suffered only a cor­poral death: but it behoued also that he should feele the rigour of Gods ven­geance, and that he should as it were hand to hand wrastle with the armies of the hels, and the horror of eternal death: He had a more cruel and harder battaile then with common death? he sawe the anger of God set before him; in as much as be burdened with the sinnes of the whole world presented him selfe before the tribunal seate of God, he could not but horribly feare pro­fundam mortis abyssum, the bottomlesse depth of death or eternal dam­nation:Caluin Instit. booke 2. ch. 16. §. 10. he suffered in his soule the terrible torments of a damned and for­saken man. Idē in c. 27. Math. v. 46. When the image or shewe of the tentation was laide before Christ, as though God being his enemy he were nowe destined to destruction (or damnation) he was stroken with horror: Instit. booke 2. chap. 16. he was feareful for the saluation of his soule. He fought hand to hand with the power of the De­uil, with the horror of death (or damnation,) with the paines of hel: Hitherto are some of Caluins blaspheamous assertions against our [Page 18] Lord and Sauiour. I neede not alleage any Protestant authours ac­cusing him of this impiety, for his wordes be plaine, and his bookes are in euery mans handes. Nay which is worse, some principal En­glish Sectaries followe these his blaspheamous courses, and vphold his doctrine as Euangelical: Such are Fulke, Whitakers, Willet, and others. But listen a litle what a conclusion may be drawne out of one proposition taken from Caluin, and an other from the greater part of our English Protestants. Although diuers notable reasons are assigned by the auncient Fathers and by the Diuines of al ages, why Christ permitted himself to dread so much the corporal death vvhich he was to suffer; yet Caluin auoucheth, that he was a very dastard and a coward, if he feared not eternal damnation. Let this then be the first proposition made of Caluins vvordes: If Christ feared not the curse and wrath of God he was more tender and more feare­ful then the most part of the rascal sort of men: for theeues and other euil doers doe obstinately hast to death, many doe with haughty courage despise it, some other doe mildly suffer it; whereas Christ was astonished and in manner stroken dead with feare of it. Howe shameful a tendernesse should this haue beene (saith Caluin) to be so farre tormented for feare of a com­mon death, as to melt in bloudie sweate, and not to be able to be comforted, but by sight of Angels? Thus Caluin. The second proposition taken from the English Protestants is as followeth; But Christ feared not the curse and wrath of God, he neuer dreaded eternal damnation nor suffered the paines of hel: Nowe the conclusion followeth; There­fore Christ was more feareful then the most part of the rascal sort of men; then theeues and other euil doers; his tendernesse was shameful, &c. The first proposition as I haue said is almost vvholy made of Caluins owne vvordes: that the second is held true by the greater part of English Protestants, Sutcliffe in his answer to Kellison, ch. 5. pag. 56. See Parkes also in the preface to his rejoineder to Lymbomastix I proue by the testimony of M. Sutcliffe, vvho telleth vs that they mislike Caluins particular opinion cōcerning Christs suffering the paines of hel. So that the conclusion if both Caluin and the English Protestants say true, cannot be auoided. And thus I thinke it nowe sufficiently proued, that Luther, Zwinglius, and Cal­uin haue fallen into some grosse and notorious errours, which they haue mainetained as true and holy doctrine.

I could if it were needful and conuenient in this place, shewe the like concerning al their disciples, I meane that they grosly haue er­red and erre in some one point or other concerning faith & religi­on: [Page 19] but first the followers of euery sect wil & doe grant this concer­ning al others, but those of their owne beliefe. For this the Luthe­rans confesse true of al the Sacramentaries; the Sacramentaries of al the Lutherans; the English Protestants of the Puritans; and the Pu­ritans of the English Protestants, &c. vvhich is the cause and foun­taine of their bitter inuectiues and bookes vvritten one against the other: so that (as I say) if a man wil beleeue them al, they al hold some one or more absurde and erroneous opinions. Secondly, it is vvel knowne to any one although but meanely read in matters of controuersie, and I haue partly declared already before, that most sects doe as yet followe the false doctrine of their Sect-master, as the Lutherans of Luther; the Zwinglians of Zwinglius; the Caluinists of Caluin: Wherefore, seing that I must also be mindful that I write a Preface and not a volume, letting others passe I vvil only say a vvord or two in particular touching the English Sectaries, vvho a­mong al other members of the newe religion, are only like to come to the sight and reading of this my Preface.

And is it not easily proued, that the principal writers and vphol­ders of the English Church haue notoriously fallen into error? who of this company whiles they liued were comparable to Iewel, Fulke and Whitakers? And doe not al theseIewel agaīst Harding art. 17. diuisiō 14 Fulke against Martin p. 64 65. in fine. Whitakers in his answer to Duraeus pag. 559. added by Stocke to his answer of Campians 8. reason p. 211. hold that Christ was a Priest, and offered sacrifice according to his diuinity and God-head? But vvhat followeth of this, but that (as Arius affirmed) according to his God-head he is inferiour to his Father, for no one offereth sacri­fice to his equal. Vnto this I adde, thatFulke vpon the Rhemes testam. Math 27. v. 3. Act. 3 vers. 11. Fulke andWhitakers in his answer to Cāpians 8. reason, pag. 211. 210. Whitakers o­penly and stoutly maintaine Caluins doctrine concerning Christes dreading euerlasting damnation: yea although they goe not so far as Caluin in making him if this was not so, more feareful then the most part of the rascal sort of men, yet the first of them auouceth, that if the feare of bodily paine and death only had caused that agony in the garden, he had beene of greater infirmity then many of his seruants: the other hath almost the like sentence. But aboue al othersWillet in his Synopsis printed an. 1600. cōtrouers. 20. Willet passeth in de­fending Caluins blaspheamies, in so much as a man may vvel mar­uaile that his booke is suffered to be read among Christians.

But what shal we say of the English Sectaries in general? wil any man endeauour to free them from al errour? Verily if none of them haue fallen into errour, it followeth first, that our Church is the true Church of Christ, and theirs a Schismatical Synagogue. This I [Page 20] proue after this sort: The Puritans in their Christian and modest offer (so they tearme it) of a most indifferent conference tendered not long since to the Protestant Arch-bishops, Bishops, and al their adherents, plainely affirme; that if their Puritan propositions be denied, and the Protestants haue the truth on their side, the Roman Church is the true Church of Christ. For hauing set downe such propositions as they offer to mainetaine against the Protestants, among other just consi­derations (as they pretend) mouing them to make this offer in the sixt place they assigne this for one.A Christian and modest of fer, &c. pag. 11. published anno 1606. Diuers of the aforesaid propositions are such (say they) that if the Ministers should not constantly hold and maine­taine the same against al men, they cannot see howe possibly (by the rules of diuinity) the seperation of our Churches from the Church of Rome, and from the Pope the supreame head thereof; can be justified. And againe in the eight consideration, hauing yeelded an other reason, where­fore they cannot but make opposition to the Prelates, in approuing the pro­positions aboue specified, Ibid. pag. 16. they adde: wherein if they (the Puritan Mini­sters who make this offer) be in errour, and the Prelates on the contrary haue the truth, they protest to al the world, that the Pope and the Church of Rome (and in them God and Christ IESVS himselfe) haue great wrong and indignity offered vnto them, in that they are rejected, and that al the Protestant Churches are Schismatical in forsaking vnity and communion with them: Hitherto are the Puritans vvordes. Hence (vvhich is a point vvorthy to be noted) they promise their reconciliation vnto vs, if we can proue the falshood of their assertions, which promise they make not to the English Protestants. For thus they goe on in the first place alleaged: And therefore for as much as in these controuer­sies, the Papists and the Prelates goe hand in hand, the said Ministers doe in like manner make the like offer to the Priestes and Iesuites, promising their reconcilement vnto that See (of Rome) if they can either by argu­ments pul them from the aforesaid propositions, or can answere such argu­ments, as they shal propound in the defence of them, in manner and forme be­fore specified in the offer. And therefore it both stands the Ministers vpon to make the aforesaid offer, and the Prelates (except they wil haue al the world to judge them to be friendes in hart to Popery) to accept of the same: Thus the Puritan Ministers, and no such offer that I finde through the whole booke is made to the Protestants. This then is affirmed by these men, that if the Protestant doctrine mainetained against them be true, and their assertions be false, the separation of the newe Se­ctaries [Page 21] Churches from ours, cannot be justified; yea they auouch that if this be so, that their said Churches are schismatical. Vnto which if we adde, that in very deede the propositions which the Pu­ritans offer to mainetaine against the Prelates, are false and erroneous (the truth of which assertion is confessed & with great vehemency defended by al the English Protestants, and further concerning some of the said propositions very vvel proued by Hooker, Whitgift, Bilson, Couel, and others of their company) we shal haue our desi­red conclusion, that according to the doctrine of the English Se­ctaries the Puritans and the Protestants, our aduersaries Churches are Schismatical, and that ours is the true Spouse of Christ.

But I must not here omitte by the way to aduertise my reader, that in the judgement of any wise and judicious person, this argu­ment yeelded vs by our aduersaries, cannot but also be a very strong proofe of the truth of our Catholike cause. For vvhosoeuer maturely considereth the matter, shal finde that the Protestants in rejecting the Puritan propositions, followe the prescript and rule of holy Scriptures, the decrees of Councels, and the tradition of the Church and Fathers. He shal also perceiue, that the Puritans in a­uouching that which I haue related, build vpon very good reasons flowing out of the very nature of the Protestant religion, and taken from the proceedings of the vpholders of the same in defending it: because out of the doctrine and practise defended by the Prote­stants against the Puritans, as also out of the proofes and reasons al­leaged for themselues, very strong arguments may be drawne to confirme the truth of our whole Catholike religion, as wil sometimes appeare in my treatise following. And to giue here one instance, the Protestants for the authority of Arch-bishops bring diuers rea­sons, and among others this one, that peace and vnity can other­wise hardly be maintained in the Church. But vvhat faith Cart­wright? Suruay of the pretended ho­ly discipline, chap. 8. pag. 125. Truly he affirmeth as is reported by the author of the Sur­uay of the pretended holy discipline, that the Popes authority is more ne­cessary ouer al Churches, then the authority of an Arch-bishop ouer a pro­uince. And this his assertion is grounded vpon very good reason, as I shal more at large declare hereafter.

Nowe to prosecute mine intended discourse vvhich is to proue some errours in the English sectaries, here occurreth another argu­ment like vnto the former, not vnfit for my purpose. For like as [Page 22] I haue already demonstrated, that if they al say true our Church is the true Church of Christ: so it is also euident, that if it be so that they al say true, it is also needful there be one supreame head of the vvhole Church militant;Suruay, &c. chap. 29. pag. 372. for thus I argue. Cartwright a principal Puritan, esteemed by those of his owne sect (as the aforesaid author noteth) one of the only worthies of the world, telleth vs that the Popes authority is more necessary ouer al Churches, then the au­thority of an Arch-bishop ouer a prouince: but the authority of an Arch-bishop as al our Protestants defend, is necessary ouer a pro­uince; therefore the Popes authority is necessary ouer al Churches.

It may be objected, that these arguments are taken from persons of sundry sectes, of which the one confesseth the other to erre. I grant it, but this notwithstanding they proue, that either some En­glish sectaries erre, or otherwise that our religion by them rejected is true, which sufficeth my purpose. Neuerthelesse, the Protestants themselues doe afford vs no such reasons? Truly, if I were not here restrained to the vvriting only of a preface, I could assigne diuers: one I wil set downe for an example.Field booke 3 chap. 39. pag. 158. 156. 157. 159. M. Field in his third booke of the Church plainly confesseth, that in sundry Churches of the world (being of the newe religion) diuers worthy Ministers of God were ordained by Presbiters (or Priestes sometime of our Church) and had no ordi­nation from any Bishop. Nay he seemeth apparantly to graunt, that none but Presbiters did impose handes in ordaining Ministers or Su­perintendents, in many of the pretended reformed Churches; as namely in those of France and others, Morton in Apolog. Ca­thol. part. 1. lib. 1. cap. 21. which is also insinuated by D. Morton. And therefore both these Doctors teach, that in time of necessity a Priest or Minister may impose handes and consecrate a Priest, and conse­quently also a Bishop or a Superintēdent Out of this their doctrine I frame this argument: seing that diuers Superintendents and Mi­nisters of the newe religion, I may say al at the least of some Coun­tries (for Field himselfe excepteth only those of England & Denmarke and of some other places, which places he nameth not) haue had their ordination or orders only from Priests, it followeth, that if Priests haue no power of ordination, that is of giuing orders, that such Ministers and Superintendents are no true Ministers and Super­intendents: But Priests according to the assertion of a principal English Protestant, haue no power of ordination, and can giue no orders; therefore such Superintendents and Ministers are no true [Page 23] Superintendents and Ministers. Of which I also inferre, that such Churches are no true Churches, for they want a true ministery and clergy, without which asField ibid. pag. 154. and booke 2. chap. 6. pag. 51. Field confesseth there can be no Church. And this English Protestant isWilliam L. Bishop of Ro­chester in his sermon cōcer­ning the anti­quity & supe­riority of Bi­shops, preached before the King at Hampton-Court, Sep. 21. 1606 William L. B. of Rochester, who in his sermon not long since preached before the Kinges Majesty, and after­ward printed by his Majesties expresse commandement as the same Bi­shopIn the epist. to the King prīted before the sermon. auoucheth, affirmeth and proueth out of holy Scripture first, that the Apostles kept to themselues ordination (or authority to giue holy orders) til they appointed Bishops vnto whome they conueied it. Secondly, that the Church of Christ succeeding, would not admit any other but Bishops to that businesse, as not justifiable for the Presbiters (I vse his wordes) either by reason, example, or scripture. And hauing pro­ued it concerning reason, touching example he telleth vs; thatC. 3. not one is to be shewed through the whole story Ecclesiastical, that any besides a Bishop did it; and that if some of the inferiour ranke presumed to doe it, his act was reuersed by the Church for vnlawful, which he proued by an ex­ample. As for scripture he auoucheth there is none either of holy men, or of the holy Ghost, which doth giue such authority to Presbiters: for al the fathers (saith he) with one consent doe contradict it. And among others he alleageth S. Ambrose, affirming that it is consonant neither with Gods nor mans lawe, that any besides a Bishop should doe it. Of the scriptures he writeth thus: No scripture of the holy Ghost, either anago­gically by consequent, or directly by precept doth justifie it. For analogie, none but the Apostles did it, or might doe it (as before you heard) not direct­ly; for to what Presbiter was the authority committed as a Presbiter, &c. Thus the Bishop of Rochester plainely contradicteth the other two English Protestant doctors. And hence it manifestly appeareth, that either the said Bishop erreth in denying this power to Priests, or that the said Doctors are false in yeelding it vnto them: and conse­quently it is plaine, that some English sectaries fal into error. More­ouer, seeing that the Bishop conuinceth by such good proofes the truth of his assertion, and the said two Doctors confesse some of their Churches to haue no other Pastors, but such as were ordered by Priests or Presbiters, it is euen as apparant, that such their Chur­ches are in very truth no true Church.

But it is nowe high time that I end my discourse touching this point, yea that I conclude this my preface. Being therefore the truth of mine accusation that the learned sectaries, as Luther, Zwin­glius, [Page 24] Caluin, and others haue notoriously and grosly erred, is so e­uidently demonstrated by a fewe instances which I haue related a­mong diuers others which I haue omitted; let me nowe demand of my christian reader, what reason he hath to ground the euerlasting estate of his soule, either vpon the judgment of his learned masters, or vpon his owne? And first concerning his learned masters he can not deny, but they haue al erred in some point or other; and doth not an errour in one thing proue a possibilitie of erring in others of like sort? But haue his captaines any further vvarrant concerning one article, then touching an other? They haue not vvithout al doubt. Howe doth he then knowe that they haue not erred in al points in which they dissent from the ancient beliefe of al Christi­ans their predecessours? He vvil perhaps answere, that he know­eth wel they erre not touching this and that, although their opini­ons be neuer so erroneous touching other points. Loe nowe he re­ferreth al to his owne judgement; I joine therefore here with him, and first I aske vvhat more strong vvarrant he hath that he cannot erre, then had his learned masters? Is he comparable to them either in wit, learning, piety, or dignity of vocation? If he be not, then he is much more subject to errour then they, vvho notwithstan­ding haue grosly and palpably erred. I adde also, that he taketh vpon him ouer-much in judging of such high matters, and in cen­suring his learned Doctors when they say true and when they erre. Moreouer, I thinke there is no man liuing which hath not in some thinges or others, altered his judgement and varied from him­selfe; insomuch as he hath deemed false some thinges vvhich once seemed to him true, and judged others true which once he thought false; vvhich if it be so, vvhat wiseman in matters of so great mo­ment as are his faith and religion, vvil trust his owne judgement? For vvherefore may not he erre in one point as vvel as in an other? Nowe if he doe erre in matters pertaining to faith and religion, vvhat wil be come of his soule euerlastingly if he doth not alter his course? But howsoeuer it be, euery follower of the newe religion for the reasons assigned, hath just cause to mistrust the truth of his owne beliefe, or vvhich is yet lesse, not to be so peremptory and obstinate in his faith, that he vvil not vvith indifferency heare or reade any thing that maketh against it; which is as much as I nowe craue of my curteous Reader.

A CATALOGVE OF THE PRINCIPAL COVNCELS WHICH WERE CE­LEBRATED WITHIN THE FIRST SIX HVN­DRED YEARES AFTER THE BIRTH OF OVR LORD, as also of the holy Fathers and most famous Ecclesiasti­cal vvriters, vvho flourished vvithin the said tearme of yeares; gathered out of the workes of Cardinal BARONIVS, and other ap­proued Authours.

A
  • AFricanum Concilium, celebrated anno 403.
  • Agathense Concilium, celebrated anno 506.
  • Agathias Hystoricus, flourished anno 566.
  • Alexander 1. Papa, suffered anno 131.
  • Ambrosius Episcopus Mediolan. died an. 397.
  • Amphylochius Iconij Episcopus, flourished an. 394.
  • Ancyranum Concilium, celebrated an. 314.
  • Andegauense Concilium, celebrated an. 453.
  • Antiochenum Conciliabulum, celebrated an. 341.
  • Antisidiorense Concilium, celebrated an. 590.
  • Antonius Abbas, died an. 358.
  • Aquileiense Concilium, celebrated an. 381.
  • Arator Subdiaconus, flourished an. 544.
  • Aransicanum Concilium 1. celebrated an. 441.
  • Aransicanum Concilium 2. celebrated an. 463.
  • Arelatense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 314.
  • Arelatense Concilium 2. celebrated about the yeare 330.
  • Arelatense Concilium 3. celebrated an. 453.
  • Arnobius Rhetor, flourished an. 302.
  • Athanasius Episcopus, died an. 372.
  • Aruernense Concilium, celebrated an. 541.
  • Augustinus Episcopus Doctor, died an. 430.
  • [Page 26]Auitus Viennensis, died about the yeare 516.
  • Aurelianense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 507.
  • Aurelianense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 536.
  • Aurelianense Concilium 3. celebrated an. 540.
  • Aurelianense Concilium 4. celebrated about the yeare 545.
  • Aurelianense Concilium 5. celebrated an. 552.
B
  • BArcionense Concilium, celebrated an. 599.
  • Basilius Episcopus Doctor, died an. 378.
  • Benedictus Abbas, died an. 543.
  • Boaetius Senator, died an. 526.
  • Bracharense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 563.
  • Bracharense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 572.
  • Brennacense Concilium, celebrated an. 583.
  • Bicharensis Abbas, flourished an. 590.
  • Byacenum Concilium, celebrated an. 541.
C
  • CAbilonense Concilium, celebrated an. 582.
  • Caesarius Gregorij Frater, died about the yeare 368.
  • Caesarius Arelatensis, died an. 544.
  • Caesar augustanum Concilium 1. celebrated an. 381.
  • Caesar augustanum Concilium 2. celebrated an. 592.
  • Carpetoradense Concilium, celebrated about the yeare 463.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 348.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 435.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 3. celebrated an. 397.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 4. celebrated an. 398.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 5. celebrated an. 398.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 6. celebrated an. 401.
  • Carthaginense Concilium 7. celebrated about the yeare 416:
  • Carthaginense aliud, celebrated about the yeare 418.
  • Cassianus Monachus, flourished an. 433.
  • Cassiodorus Senator, flourished an. 562.
  • Chalcedonense Concilium 4. generale, celebrated an. 451.
  • Chromatius Aquileiensis, flourished about the yeare 410.
  • Chrysostomus Episcopus Doctor, died an. 407.
  • Claudianus Mamertus, flourished an. 490.
  • Clemens 1. Papa, suffered an. 102.
  • [Page 27]Clemens Alexandrinus, flourished an. 196.
  • Climachus Abbas, flourished about the yeare 565.
  • Canstantinopolitanum Concilium 1. secundum generale, celebrated an. 381.
  • Canstantinopolitanum Concilium 2. tertium generale, celebrated an. 553.
  • Constantinopolitanum Concilium 3. prouinciale, celebrated an. 459.
  • Constantinopolitanum Concil. 4 prouin. sub Iustino Imp. celebrated an. 518.
  • Constantinopolitanum Concil. 5. prouinciale sub Mena, celebrated an. 536.
  • Cyprianus Episcopus Martir, suffered an. 261.
  • Cyrillus Hierosolymitan. flourished an. 386.
  • Cyrillus Alexandrinus, flourished an. 444.
D
  • DAmasus Papa, died an. 384.
  • Didymus Alexandrinus, flourished an. 372.
  • Dionysius Alexandrinus, died an. 266.
  • Dionysius Areopagita, died about the yeare 120.
  • Dionysius Exiguus, flourished an. 527.
  • Diospolitana Synodus, celebrated an. 415.
E
  • EGesippus, flourished an. 167.
  • Egesippus alter, flourished an. 330.
  • Elibertinum Concilium seu Eliberinum, celebrated an. 305.
  • Ennodius Ticinensis Episcopus, flourished an. 517.
  • Epannense Concilium, celebrated an. 509.
  • Ephrem Diaconus, died an. 378.
  • Ephesinum Concilium 3. generale, celebrated an. 431.
  • Epiphanius Episcopus, died about the yeare 402.
  • Epiphanius Scholasticus, flourished an. 466.
  • Euagrius Epiphamensis Hyst. flourished an. 594.
  • Euagrius Ponticus Monachus, flourished an. 389.
  • Eucherius Lugdunensis Episcopus, flourished an. 441.
  • Eugipius, flourished an. 496.
  • Eulogius Episcopus Alexandrin. flourished an. 596.
  • Euodius Vzali Episcopus. flourished about the yeare 420.
  • Eusebius Caesariensis, died an. 340.
  • Eusebius Emissenus, flourished an. 341.
  • Eusebius Vercellensis, died an. 371.
F
  • FAebadius, flourished an. 388.
  • [Page 28]Facundus Hermanensis Episcopus, flourished an. 548.
  • Faustus Regiensis, flourished an. 520.
  • Ferrandus Diaconus Carthagin. flourished an. 546.
  • Fortunatus Pictauiensis, flourished an. 566.
  • Fulgentius Episcopus, died an. 529.
G
  • GAngrense Concilium, celebrated about the yeare 325.
  • Gaudentius Brixiensis, flourished about the yeare 390.
  • Gelasius 1. Papa, died an. 496.
  • Gennadius Constantinopolit. died an. 471.
  • Gennadius Presbiter, flourished an. 490.
  • Gerundense Concilium, celebrated an. 517.
  • Gildas Sapiens, flourished an. 500.
  • Gregorius Baeticus, flourished an. 388.
  • Gregorius Magnus Papa Doctor, flourished an. 600.
  • Gregorius Nazianzen. died an. 389.
  • Gregorius Nyssenus, flourished an. 390.
  • Gregorius Turonensis, flourished an. 596.
  • Gregorius Thaumaturgus, flourished an. 260.
H
  • HEsychius Hierosolimitan. flourished an. 400.
  • Hieronimus Presbiter Doctor, died an. 420.
  • Hierosolymitanum Concilium, celebrated an. 51.
  • Hierosolymitanum Concilium sub Iuuenali, celebrated an. 454.
  • Hilarius Arelatensis, flourished an. 460.
  • Hilarius Pictauiensis, flourished an. 369.
  • Hilarius Papa, died an. 467.
  • Hyppolitus Portuensis, flourished an. 229.
  • Hispalense Concilium, celebrated an. 590.
I
  • IDacius Clarus, flourished an. 381.
  • Ignatius Mart. Antiochen. suffered an. 110.
  • Innocentius 1. Papa, died an. 417.
  • Iornandus siue Iordanus Histor. flourished an. 550.
  • Iosephus Iudaeus, flourished an. 96.
  • Irinaeus Lugdunensis, suffered an. 205.
  • Isidorus Cordubensis, flourished an. 420.
  • Isidorus Pelusiota, flourished an. 420.
  • [Page 29]Iulianus Toletanus Episcopus, flourished an. 686.
  • Iulius Firnicus Maternus, flourished an. 337.
  • Iuuilius Presbiter, flourished an. 430.
  • Iustinianus Imperator, died an. 565.
  • Iustinus Martir, suffered an. 165.
  • Iuuencus Presbiter, flourished an. 330.
  • Iustinianus Valent. Episcopus, flourished an. 548.
  • Iustus Orgelitanus, flourished an. 548.
L
  • LActantius Firmianus, flourished an. 316.
  • Laodicaenum Concilium, celebrated an. 318.
  • Leander Episcopus Hispalensis, flourished an. 590.
  • Leo 1. Papa, died an. 461.
  • Liberatus Diaconus Carthagin. flourished an. 548.
  • Lucianus Presbiter, flourished an. 415.
  • Lucense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 569.
  • Lucense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 572.
  • Lucifer Calaritanus, died an. 371.
  • Lugdunense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 570.
  • Lugdunense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 587.
M
  • MArcellinus Comes Histor. flourished an. 534.
  • Maximus Taurinensis, flourished an. 465.
  • Martialis Episcopus, died an. 74.
  • Matisconense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 582.
  • Matisconense Concilium 2. sub Guntheranne, celebrated an. 588.
  • Mediolanense Concilium, celebrated an. 451.
  • Melitus Sardensis, flourished an. 172.
  • Methodius Tyri Episcopus, flourished an. 303.
  • Milleuitanum Concilium, celebrated an. 402.
  • Milleuitanum aliud, celebrated an. 416.
  • Mimitius Foelix, flourished an. 211.
N
  • NArbonense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 589.
  • Narbonense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 598.
  • Neocaesariense Concilium, celebrated an. 314.
  • Nicenum Concilium 1. primum generale. celebrated an. 325.
O
  • OPtatus Millenitanus, flourished an. 368.
  • Origenes, died an. 256.
  • Orosius Presbiter, flourished an. 414.
  • Oscense Concilium, celebrated an. 598.
  • Osius Cordubensis, flourished an. 325.
P
  • PAcianus Barilonensis, flourished an. 388.
  • Palaestinum Concilium, celebrated an. 198.
  • Palladius Gallata, flourished an. 388.
  • Papias, flourished an. 118.
  • Parisiense Concilium 1. positum 2. loco, celebrated about the yeare 559.
  • Parisiense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 580.
  • Paschasius Diaconus, flourished an. 496.
  • Paulinus Nolanus, died an. 431.
  • Paulinus Aquitanus, flourished an. 412.
  • Petrus Chrysologus, flourished an. 502.
  • Philastrius Brixiensis, flourished an. 381.
  • Philo Iudaeus, flourished an. 42.
  • Pontius Diaconus, flourished an. 260.
  • Possessor Africanus Episcopus, flourished an. 520.
  • Possidonius Calamensis, flourished an. 430.
  • Primasius Episcopus Adrumetinus dictus Vticensis, flourished an. 551.
  • Proclus Constantinopol. Episcopus, died an. 446.
  • Procopius Gazaeus, flourished an. 553.
  • Prosper Regiensis, flourished an. 466.
  • Prudentius, flourished an. 389.
R
  • RAdegundis Regina, died an. 590.
  • Regiense Concilium, celebrated an. 439.
  • Remigius Episcopus Rhemensis, flourished an. 535.
  • Romanum Concilium sub Siluestro, celebrated an. 325.
    • Sub Iulio 1. celebrated an. 337.
    • Sub Damaso, celebrated an. 373. 382.
    • Sub Siricio, celebrated an. 386.
    • Sub Caelestino, celebrated an. 430. 431.
    • Sub Leone 1. celebrated an. 449.
    • Sub Hilario, celebrated an. 465.
    • [Page 31]Sub Faelice 3. celebrated an. 483.
    • Sub Gelasio, celebrated an. 494.
    • Sub Symmacho, celebrated an. 502. 503. 504.
    • Sub Gregorio Magno, celebrated an. 595.
  • Ruffinus Aquileiensis, died an. 410.
  • Rusticus Diaconus, flourished an. 548.
S
  • SAlonius Viennensis, flourished an. 470.
  • Saluianus Massiliensis, flourished an. 412.
  • Santonense Concilium, celebrated an. 566.
  • Sardicense Concilium, celebrated an. 347.
  • Sedulius Presbiter, flourished an 420.
  • Simeon Stelita Iunior, flourished an. 574.
  • Sacrates Historicus, flourished an. 439.
  • Sozomenus Histor. flourished an. 439.
  • Sulpitius Seuerus, flourished an. 402.
  • Sydomus Apollinaris, died about the yeare 484.
  • Synesius Episcopus, flourished an. 411.
T
  • TAraconense Concilium, celebrated an. 516.
  • Taurinense Concilium, celebrated an. 397.
  • Tertullianus, flourished an. 210.
  • Theodoretus Cyri Episcopus, flourished an. 450.
  • Theophilus Alexander, died an. 390.
  • Toletanum Concilium 1. celebrated about the yeare 40.
  • Toletanum Concilium 2. celebrated an. 531.
  • Toletanum Concilium 3. celebrated an. 589.
  • Toletanum Concilium 4. sub Recaredo, celebrated an. 597.
  • Turonense Concilium 1. celebrated an. 482.
  • Turonense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 570.
V
  • VAsense Concilium 1. celebrated about the yeare 440.
  • Vasense Concilium 2. celebrated an. 442.
  • Vasense Concilium 3. celebrated an. 463.
  • Valentinum Concilium 1. celebrated an. 374.
  • Valentinum Concilium 2. celebrated an. 589.
  • Venantius Fortunatus, flourished an. 566.
  • Victor Capuanus, flourished an. 545.
  • [Page 32]Victor Vticensis, flourished an. 487.
  • Victor Tunniensis seu Tunnensis, flourished an. 566.
  • Victorinus Pictaniensis, flourished about the yeare 297.
  • Vigilius Tridentinus, flourished an. 480.
  • Vincentius Lyrinensis, flourished an. 434.
Z
  • ZEno Veronensis Martir. flourished about the yeare 258.
  • Zeno alius, flourished about the yeare 390.

THE FIRST PART. OF THE GROVNDES OF THE OLD RELIGION.

Chap. the first. Of the first ground of Catholike religion, to wit: that there is a God, and that God by his prouidence, gouerneth al thinges.

BEFORE I come to intreate of the particuler groundes of Catholike religion, which are rejected by our aduersa­ries; I thinke it not amisse, briefly to discourse of cer­taine general groundes of the same: which although I confesse to be admitted by diuers newe sectaries; yet in very deede by some are denied, and after some sort (as I wil proue hereafter) impugned and ouerthrowne by the common doctrine of them al.

The Apostle S. Paul, praerequireth the beleefe of two thinges prin­cipally, in him that is to come to the seruice of almighty God: first, that he beleeue that there is a God: secondly, that he likewise beleeue that the said God wil rewarde those that serue him:Hebr. 11. vers. 6. He that commeth to God (saith he) must beleeue that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seeke him. Wherefore, grounding vpon this sentence of the Apostle, I place the beleefe of one God, and of his diuine prouidence, for the first ground of our religion. For a second, I wil assigne that we ought to beleeue God to be a rewarder of our actions in the world to come, of which re­ward the Apostle here principally speaketh. For the declaration of which, I purpose to proue the soule of man to be immortal, and that most certainly according to the deserts thereof, it shal either be rewar­ded euerlastingly in heauen, or punished euerlastingly in hel.

SECTION THE FIRST. That there is a God.

THE auncient Philosophers, ledde only by the force of natural reason, to conuince this truth reasoned after this sorte: we per­ceiue (said they) diuers motions of natural bodies in the world, but e­specially of the heauens; which motions of necessity proceede from some cause & mouer, which mouer either in essence or vertue motiue, dependeth of some other mouer, or no. If he dependeth not, then he is God; If he depend of some other, it is likewise demanded of that other, whether he be independent or dependent: If the first, then we must needes acknowledge him to be God, who only in his essence and ver­tue motiue is independent of al others: if the second, then of him the same question may be moued, and so of al others, vntil we come to some one that is independent, and of whome al the rest doe depend, which we must of necessity affirme to be God.

The same also is proued by the diuers sortes & degrees of creatures, as are first the foure elements, fire, aire, water, and earth: secondly, thinges mixt imperfect, as snowe, raine, haile, &c. Thirdly, thinges mixt perfect, as stones, and diuers sortes of mettals: Fourthly, thinges which haue life vegetatiue only, as trees, hearbes, &c. Fiftly, thinges which haue life vegetatiue, and sensitiue, as all sortes of beastes, foules, and fishes: Sixtly, a thing hauing besides life vegetatiue and sensitiue, also reason, as man, aboue whome we place the Angels. Wherefore ei­ther in this ascent of the perfections of thinges, we shal neuer make an end, (which is most absurd) or else we shal proceede and come to some one thing most perfect, which of necessity we must confesse to be God.

Moreouer the natural inclination of man, to the acknowledging and worshipping of God proueth the same: for no nation vnder the Sunne hath euer beene found (although neuer so barbarous) which hath not acknowledged and worshipped either the true God, or else some other thing, by it so esteemed: yea euery man naturally in his distresses and miseries, flieth vnto God, and craueth helpe and succour of his diuine Majestie.

But seing that I write this treatise for the vnlearned sort of people, omitting to discourse at large of these reasons (although most forcible, [Page 3] yea inuincible) I wil vse especially this argument following, which e­uery man (although very simple) may for the most part apprehend and conceiue, taken from the admirable constitution, order, harmony, beauty, and greatnesse of the world. And first let euery man lift vp his eies to the heauens, and behold those incorruptible bodies: Let him consider, not only the wonderful beauty, light, and variety, of those celestial orbes: but also their strange order and motions, and aboue al their constancy in their said motions, that in so many thousandes of yeares, as haue passed since their first being, they haue not missed or er­red so much as one minute of an houre, of their assigned & accustomed time: From which it proceedeth, that Astronomers can so longe be­fore most certainely and infallibly foretel Ecclipses, conjunctions, and such other accidents of the Planets.

Among al the ornaments of the heauens, the Sunne is the most prin­cipal. The body or orbe of this Planet by Astronomers, is proued to be an hundred, sixty and six times greater, then the globe of the earth and water: wherefore if the compasse of the earth and sea, be demon­strated to be about twenty and one thousand six hundred miles, what shal we imagine of the greatnesse of the Sunne? If we likewise consi­der what a smal time, the Sunne is in rising and setting, we shal also perceiue the motion of this Planet to be most swift; for the whole body of it although so huge and great, commeth wholy to our sight, and go­eth from the same in a very short time, so that it must needes moue di­uers miles euery minute of an houre, although the motion of it, by vs be hardly perceiued. The Sunne is the fountaine of light, and impar­teth it to the Moone and Starres: By the variety of his motions we di­stinguish times, as daies, nights, monethes, and yeares. The approch­ing and going away of it from vs, maketh the spring, sommer, autumne, and winter. The Sunne with his presence in the spring, as it were reui­ueth beastes and plants, which seemed before almost dead through his absence: and yealdeth them a fit season for generation, multiplication, and bringing forth their seedes. Finally, the Sunne principally draw­eth vp vapors from the sea and land, which cause raine, by which the earth is strangely watered, to make it fruitful. Next vnto the Sunne, the Moone vnto our sight seemeth beautiful, which giueth light vnto the nights, when the Sunne is absent. And although she be variable; yet she is most constant in her inconstancy and alterations. She hath a most strange dominion ouer the sea, which she draweth and altereth as [Page 4] it were with herselfe: for when the moone ascendeth, the sea increaseth; contrariwise, when she descendeth it decreaseth, in so much that she causeth (as it is probable) the flux and reflux, or ebbing and flowing of the sea, by which the water is preserued from putrefaction, and o­ther necessary effects are wrought.

But who can explicate the variety, number, beauty, and strange ef­fects of the starres? Surely their number is so great, that the Prophet Dauid in the Psalmes,Psa. 146. vers. 4. doth attribute it vnto God to number the multitude of the starres: and I doubt not, but euery man in a cleare night, beholding the heauens, and remembring what hath already beene said, wil crie out with the same Prophet,Ps. 18. v. 1 and say. The heauens shewe forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the workes of his handes.

Let vs descend something lower, and come to the foure elements, the fire, the ayre, the water, and the earth: and first admire their won­derful constitution. For they are so tempered and placed in such or­der, that although they be indued with contrary qualities, and there be continual combates betweene them; yet the one neuer altogither ouer­commeth or ouerthroweth the other: yea, euery one of them although it hath one quality, contrary to that which is next vnto it; yet it agreeth with it in the other, & two altogither opposite in qualities, are not joy­ned togither. For example, the fire is hotte and drie: the ayre next vn­to it, is hotte and moist: the water next vnto the ayre is moist & cold: and the earth next vnto the water, cold and drie. Besides this, that ele­ment, which is most actiue, hath least force to resist the action of others; contrariwise that which hath most force to resist, is least actiue; as is apparant in the fire and the earth. I adde moreouer, that al these ele­ments haue a natural inclination to their proper places: For the earth coueteth to be vnder the water: the water to be aboue the earth, and vnder the ayre: the ayre to be aboue the water, and vnder the fire: the fire aboue all the rest. And to this scituation (if they be displaced) they moue with greatspeede and violence, as we see by daylie experience.

This notwithstanding, to the end that food, place of aboade, increase, growing, and dwelling may be giuen to other creatures, the water is seperated from some part of the earth, and certaine boundes are ap­pointed vnto it, which it cannot passe.

The ayre serueth man and beast for breath: the lower region of it, by the reflexion of the beames of the Sunne, is preserued from that cold constitution which it would otherwise haue, by reason of the water and [Page 5] earth adjoyning, and so made a fit habitation for them to liue in: as al­so fit for the growing of plants, hearbes, trees, and such like senselesse creatures. The midle region by vapors drawne vp from the earth and water, is made colder, and in it the said vapors, through the coldnesse of the place, are resolued into raine, and showe, by which the earth is most artificially moistened and made fruitful. The windes which be drie exhalations, tosse the cloudes from place to place, that al partes of the earth may receiue this benefit: they serue also for passing from nation to nation on the sea; they purge the ayre, &c.

Concerning the sea, we may wel admire the vastenesse and motion thereof; the certaine limites, within which it is restrained; the infinite number togither with the huge and strange formes of fishes, and their wonderful increase. The riuers are as it were the veines of the earth: for like as in our bodies, by the veines, bloud, and moisture is con­ueyed to euery part: so is the earth moistened by the riuers & springes.

The earth it selfe is deuided into hils, dales, and plaine ground, that it may bring forth diuersity of fruite for man, and al sortes of cattel, and yeeld them fit places of aboade, according to their natures: In it are diuers pretious stones, and sundry sortes of mettals, which serue for the vse of man. It is adorned with variety of flowres, trees, fruits, and hearbes, farre surpassing al humaine arte and inuention; which it con­tinually nourisheth, and receiuing seede from such ornaments, like vn­to a fertil mother, it daylie bringeth forth with great increase, newe fruite; and yeeldeth both man and beast at al times sufficient foode: it is also apt for their pleasure and recreation.

Here I could make a long discourse of the bodies, & nature of bruite beastes and fishes, but I should be ouerlonge; and therefore at this pre­sent it shal be sufficient to wish euery man to consider: First, that al sortes of such liuing creatures, finde sufficient foode agreable to their diuers natures: then, that euery one of them hath fit members, and con­uenient meanes to come by their said foode: Thirdly, that al naturally knowe their enemies, and haue conuenient meanes to auoide them: Fourthly, if they be sicke, by the instinct of nature, they knowe their phisicke: Fiftly, the same nature giueth them knowledge, howe to feede, and bring vp their yonge ones, which especially is perceiued in birdes, who at the fittest season, and in the fittest places breede, and most artificially make their nests: I adde further, that they haue al suf­ficient vestures to couer their nakednesse, and to defend themselues [Page 6] from the extremity of cold: Finally, the bodies of al such creatures are most aptly formed according to their natures; as of fishes to swimme, of foules to flie, &c.

But what shal we say of man, for whome al these thinges were crea­ted, and who is the King and most principal of al these inferior crea­tures? Surely he yeeldeth vs diuers points most worthy of considera­tion. And first let vs note, that although our soule, be a simple and spi­ritual substance: yet it hath three powers most noble and excellent, which by Philosophers are called the soules vegetatiue, sensitiue, and reasonable: to the first it appertaineth to nourish our bodies, and to make them growe to conuenient stature and greatnesse: The second, by the vse of our fiue senses, maketh vs vnderstand and feele thinges corporal and particuler: By the third we vnderstand thinges spiritual and vniuersal. The first is common also to trees and hearbes: the se­cond to brute beastes: by the third we are like vnto Angels. I wil not stand to discourse of our fiue senses, our imagination, vnderstanding, memory and wil, because these thinges be something difficult, and re­quire longe treatises.

Concerning the body of man: consider first, howe strangely it is for­med in the mothers wombe, in which vnto euery member is giuen his due proportion. Consider also that in it there are aboue three hundred bones, litle and great, which are so artificially and firmely joyned to­gither, and with such admirable proportion, that no artificer in the world is able to make the like. Neither are the sinewes and veines, by which the joyntes are joyned, and nourishment is conueied to al parts of the body, and the equal correspondence of the partes of one side of the body, to the partes of the other side, togither with the aptnesse of euery member to his place, and to the end for which it was ordained, lesse admirable. Howe wonderful strange is the composition of euery particuler member, as of the head, eies, handes, feete, &c.? Verily an exact description of euery such part, would make this section bigger, then the whole treatise which I intend. I wil adde only a word or two, of the manner of the nourishing of our bodies. To make the foode which we receiue fit for our stomacke, we haue in our mouthes two sortes of teeth, some sharpe to deuide it, others something flatte or plaine to grinde it: with the tongue we remoue it from place to place, when it is sufficiently chawed: through the throate it is conueied into the stomacke, where as in a pot or caldron by the heate of the hart and [Page 7] liuer it is boiled, and brought al to one kinde of substance: from thence the purest and best part thereof, by subtil and smal passages, is con­ueied to the liuer; the grossest part, which is not fit for nutriment, is cast out at the fundament. The liuer hauing receiued the said substance, boileth it againe and turneth it into bloud, that which is superfluous it sendeth it to other places, as to the spleene and gal: the rest it dis­perseth by the vaines throughout the whole body, which is partly turned into flesh and bones; a part of it is sent to the hart, which being there purified, is turned into vital spirits; some is sent to the braine, and turned into other spirits, which we cal animales.

These considerations are sufficient to perswade euery man, that there is one supreame God, of infinite power and wisedome, who hath crea­ted, and most wisely and sweetely disposed al thinges. Hence the Pro­phet Dauid cried out unto God in the Psalme:Psal. 103. ver. 24. Howe high (or wonder­ful) O Lord, are thy workes, thou hast made al thinges in wisdome: the earth is filled with thy possession or riches. Surely, if we looke into the nature and condition of any one creature whatsoeuer, we shal not only see,Eccles. 3. ver. 14. Galen. lib. 3. de vsu partium: & lib. 5. Psal. 99. vers. 3. that (as the wiseman saith) we cannot adde to, or take anythinge from the crea­tures of God: and that God (as Gallen the prince of al phisitions, although a Pagan confesseth) hath adorned and beautified the creatures of this world, better then by any arte possible it could haue beene imagined; but also if we demande of each creature who made it, it wil seeme to make answere: God made me, and I made not my selfe: according as the Psalme saith of vs men: He made vs, and we made not our selues. Some Atheist perhaps wil say, that al creatures are thus framed and ordered, not by any supreame gouernor, hauing vnderstanding and power to effect such matters, but by chance. I reply, that like as it is impossible, that a number of letters or charecters cast togither, without any order of sillables, wordes, or sentences, should make a perfect booke, con­taining most wise, learned, and methodical discourses: so it is impos­sible that the world should be so exquisitely ordered, and thinges so ordained one to another by chance, without the wisdome and dispo­sition of almighty God: And this confutation of this fond assertion, was vsed longe since by Cicero an Ethnicke. Wherefore,Cicero lib. 3. de natu­ra Deo­rum. like as euery man would worthely account him a foole, that should say that a booke, containing wise, and orderly discourses, was made by chance, by the casting togither of diuers charecters or letters; or that a house, most curiously and artificially built, was made without the handy worke of [Page 8] any artificer, by the accidentary concourse of stones, morter, timber, and other such like stuffe: so we may wel esteeme him a foole, and voide of al reason and vnderstanding, who denyeth that the world was created and ordered by almighty God. Hence the Psalme saith: The foole said in his hart, Ps. 13. v. 1 there is no God. And note: it is not said, he said with his mouth, but in his hart; to signifie that this assertion is so ab­surde, ridiculous, and blasphemous, that a foole, although he thinke it true in his hart; yet may be ashamed to vtter it with his mouth.

To the arguments already brought for the proofe of this matter, I adde, that this truth is manifestly deliuered vnto vs, in the holy Scrip­tures; in which is contained the history of the creation of the world by God, and diuers other euident proofes, are found of the being of his di­uine Majesty: This no Atheist wil or can denie. But al of them answere, that the Scriptures containe but fables, and are of no authority. I re­ply, that it may easily be shewed, that the authority of these diuine bookes, ought to be great in any wisemans judgement in the world. It is proued by diuers learned authors: first, by their antiquity; for no volumes in the world are so auncient as the bookes of Moyses: and con­sequently we may inferre, that Moyses himselfe the first writer, recei­ued the true history of those thinges which were done before his owne dayes, by succession and tradition from his predecessors; for which it maketh, that Abraham the father of the Iewes, might wel haue seene Sem the sonne of Noe: Of other thinges he was an eie witnesse himselfe. Secondly, it is proued by the verity of diuers prophesies, contained in the holy Scriptures, which were fulfilled longe after that the bookes themselues were written; which is a manifest demonstration, that such thinges were foretold by God, who only knoweth and can certainely fortel thinges contingent and depending of mans free wil: of which it followeth, that such prophesies and the bookes in which they are found, were written by diuine inspiration. Thirdly, it is declared by the wonderful consent of al these bookes: for although they were penned by diuers men, in diuers places, vpon diuers occasions, and at sundry times; yet no one of them containeth any one thinge contrary to the other:Gre. prae­fat. in Iob. Of which S. Gregory wel inferreth; that the writers handes were the pennes of the holy Ghost. The same is likewise demonstrated by the test mony of diuers miracles, which haue beene wrought alwayes in the world, for the confirmation of the doctrine, which is taught vs in these bookes; by the miraculous preseruation of them, throughout [Page 9] al ages; by the admirable consent of the seauenty two Interpreters, which were appointed by Ptólomie King of Aegipt to translate them, and sundrie other reasons, which I cannot stand to relate.

Neither doe the miracles and prophesies aboue said, and al other such like effects and actions, only confirme the authority of the holy Scriptures; but also euidently proue, that there is a God, who only is omnipotent, and can worke effects surpassing the power and vertue of natural and created agents. Such miracles and prophesies cannot be denied to haue beene found in the world in al ages, of which we haue any large recordes; except we wil obstinately reject the authority and testimony of al men. I may joyne to this, that although God be but one in essence; yet he is three in persons: for although the diuine essence be but one most pure and simple substance, not deuided; yet the selfe same is in three distinct persons, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, who are equal and consubstantial one to the other, and in euery place by their essence, presence, and power. This is proued by Diuines, because God must needes vnderstand and loue himselfe: of his vnderstanding the Sonne is begotten; of his wil, of which is loue, proceedeth the holy Ghost. And although during the lawe of Moyses, and in al former ages, this high mistery for some respects (especially for feare, least that men in those weake daies of the Trinity of persons, should inferre three Gods) was something concealed from the vulgar sort of people; yet it was knowne and beleeued by the learned, and is manifestly expressed in the old Testament it selfe: see Genes. 1. vers. 26. where God speaketh in the plural number. Let vs make man, &c. Genes. 18. ve. 2. where Abraham sawe our Lord as three, and adored and spoke vnto one in the singular number: Psal. 32. vers. 6. where the heauens are said, to haue beene made firme by the worde of our Lord, and al their power by the spirit of his mouth. Isa. 6. vers. 3. where the Scraphins are said to haue cried vnto God, holy, holy, holy; vsing the word holy thrice. The like testimonies are, Isa. 34. vers. 16. chap. 48. vers. 16. chap. 61. vers. 1. and in diuers other places: wherefore this was acknowledged by the lear­nedRabbi. Ib ba. in ca. 6 De [...]ter. Rabbi. Ab­bi. in Thr. Rabb. Ha cadas in c. 9. Isai. Pa­raphras. cald. in ca. 45. Isai: Rab. Abi. Nuzielin Psal. 2. Rabbines of the Iewes, before the comming of Christ. TheSibil. a­pud Lact. li 4 diuin. instit. cap. 6. Mercur Tres. Dia­log. Prin. Plat: Pló­tinus, li. de tribus hi­postas. Sibils likewise made mention of it; and some of the auncient Heathen Phi­losophers: And thus much of this matter.

SECTION THE SECOND. Almighty God hath care of worldly affaires, and ruleth al thinges by his diuine prouidence.

OTHER Atheists there be, who although they confesse that there is a God; yet they bereaue him of his diuine prouidence, and make him altogither carelesse of worldly affaires, and consequently attribute the successe of al matters, to fortune and policie. These also are easilie confuted by diuers arguments, conuincinge them of false­hood and blasphemie. And first thus I argue; If God hath no pro­uidence and care of worldly matters, either it is because he is not able to discharge that office, or else because he refuseth and wil not vnder­take the same; for no other cause can be assigned: but either of these assertions ouerthroweth his diuine nature, as is manifest: therefore we must needes confesse that by his prouidence he gouerneth the world. That the first is contrary to the nature of God, it is apparant; because God is present in euery place, his power also, and his wisedome and knowledge is infinite: and consequently, by reason of his presence, he is absent from no creature; by reason of his infinite power, he is able to doe al thinges, and cannot be wearied; by reason of his infinite wise­dome, he knoweth howe al thinges are to be done, and he cannot be ouercharged with the multitude of businesses; by reason of his infi­nite knowledge, he knoweth the nature and necessities of al creatures, and whosoeuer affirmeth the contrary denieth God to be God. It ap­peareth likewise that he is able to vndertake this gouernement, by the discourse of the first Section. For who wil denie, but he that created al thinges in such admirable order is able also to gouerne, and haue prouidence ouer the same? Hence are these wordes of the Prophet Isay.Isa. 40. vers. 28. God the euerlasting Lord, who created the boundes of the earth, wil not fainte nor labour; neither is there any meane to search out, or comprehend his wisdome: thus the Prophet. The second likewise is repugnant to the nature of God, who is infinitely good: for if it be the part of a Prince, if he obtaine or institute a Kingdome or common wealth, to gouerne the same, and the neglect of this doth impeach his credit in euery honest or moral mans judgement: howe can we say that God, who is goodnes itselfe, refuseth to haue any prouidence or care ouer the world by him created? doth it not appertaine to a creator, to [Page 11] preserue and gouerne his worke? what workeman neglecteth the ex­cellent workemanship of his handes? Hence S. Ambrose affirmeth,Ambr. lib. 1. offic. ca. 13. that it were great inclemency (or cruelty) in God, not to haue care ouer those thinges, which he hath made. And of this reason I inferre, that it is euen as absurd and blasphemous, to denie the prouidence of almighty God; as to denie his being: for whosoeuer denieth the first, impugneth the second; because if the denial of this prouidence, be prejudicial either to the power or goodnesse of God, it is manifest, that it is also preju­dicial to his nature, which must needes be of infinite power and good­nesse.

This prouidence may likewise be proued by the first creation and constitution of the world: for seing that God then, out of his infinite wisedome and goodnes (as I haue before declared) ordained one thing to another, and prouided sufficiently for the necessities of al sortes of creatures; seing also that his nature remaineth the same, it may wel be inferred and supposed, that he continueth alwaies the same care. But like as among other creatures, he had an especial regard of man, in the creation of the world: for besides that he prouided necessaries for his foode and apparel, for him also he produced the beauty and sweete smelles of flowres; the pretious stones, muske, diuers sortes of spices; hearbes and rootes medecinable; yron, lead, tinne, siluer, gold, and o­ther sortes of mettals; sugar-canes which yeeld vs sugar; silke-wormes, &c. For man also he gaue the loadstone that quality that the needle, which it toucheth turneth alwaies to the North poole: So likewise it is euident, that the eie of Gods prouidence doth principally behold him. Moreouer the sodaine change and alteration of worldly estates, as the sodaine ruine of most potent empires, kingdomes, cōmon wealthes, cities, and the ouerthrowe of armies, in the opinion of men inuincible: which empires, kingdomes, common wealthes, cities, and armies, ha­uing bin miraculously conquered by a few, farre inferior to themselues in strength, are most firme arguments of the prouidence of God. So likewise is the strange punishment of wicked men and tyrants, and the reward of the good not seldome in this world, recorded in al histories; but especially in the old Testament, which the greatest Atheist in the world cannot denie to be of great authority: for there we may read, that the Iewes, as long as they serued God, enjoyed prosperity; and contrariewise, when they forsooke him, fel into aduersity & a thousand calamities. The same may be confirmed by diuers prophesies both of [Page 12] holy Scripture, the Sibils and others, foretelling such thinges vnto men, as could not be foreseene in natural causes. The like argument may be taken from miracles. For why should God either foretel such thinges, or worke such extraordinary effects, if he had no care of worldly crea­tures? Finally al nations be they neuer so barbarous, haue euer ac­knowledged the prouidence of God; which is a manifest proofe, that the acknowledging of this, proceedeth from the instinct of nature it selfe.Eccles. 5. vers. 5. Wherefore I conclude with this sentence of the wiseman: Doe not giue thy mouth, that thou make thy flesh to sinne: That is to say: Be not thou blasphemous in thy wordes, against the prouidence of almighty God, to the end that thou maiest sinne more freely, and say not before an Angel, who is the minister and executor of Gods prouidence, there is no proui­dence: least that God perhaps being angry against thy speaches, ouerthrowe al the workes of thy handes. Hitherto Salomon in the booke of Ecclesiastes. And this shal suffice for the proofe of the first ground of true religion, to wit, that there is a God; and that this God by his diuine prouidence gouerneth the world, out of which ariseth the first band, that man hath to serue, obey, feare, loue, and praise God aboue al thinges. For reason requireth that we yeeld him these duties, who is the chiefest good thing, and the fountaine of al goodnesse, who is the Lord, maker, and gouernor both of vs, and al other creatures.

Chapter 2. Of the second ground of our religion, to wit: that the soule of man is immortal, and that it shal either be rewarded euerlastingly in heauen, or punished euerlastingly in hel.

THE immortality of the soule of man, which I assigned for the second general ground of religion, may briefly be proued by these forcible reasons. First thus I argue: A thing spiritual, and independent of al corporal substance, which hath no original cause of decay in it selfe, cannot be corrupted or destroied by any cor­poral agent, or any intrinsecal quality contained in it selfe: But the soule of man is spiritual, and independent of al corporal substance, and hath no original cause of decay in it selfe: Therefore it cannot be corrupted or destroied by any corporal agent; or any intrinsecal quality contei­ned [Page 13] in it selfe. The truth of the first proposition appeareth by this, that al corruption must of necessity proceede, either of some intrinsecal or extrinsecal cause. And that a thing spiritual, and in his being indepen­dent of al corporal substance, (especially of that which by the Philoso­phers is called materia prima; which is the fountaine and cause of cor­ruption in the foure elements, and al other thinges of them compoun­ded) and hauing in it selfe no intrinsecal quality, that can bring it to de­struction, cannot possibly perish through any intrinsecal cause; it is most manifest. And what extrinsecal cause can destroy a thing spiri­tual, besides the omnipotent power of God? The second likewise may easily be proued: For first (besides that the nature of the soule it selfe hath no contrary oppugning it) it is euident that the principal powers of the same (I meane the vnderstanding, wil, and memory,) depend not in their operations, of any certaine corporal organ or part of the body, as our corporal senses doe: of which it followeth that they may be seperated from the said body, & retaine notwithstanding after such seperation, their operations; and consequently that they be spiritual: which prerogatiue if it be granted to the powers of the soule, it cannot be denied to the soule it selfe.

Moreouer, although the vnderstanding in diuers first operations, craueth aide of the senses, and the sensual imagination; yet it is mani­fest, that his principal operations are independent of them. For the vnderstanding discourseth of it selfe; reflecteth vpon his owne opera­tions, and knoweth it selfe to knowe; apprehendeth thinges vniuersal; inferreth one thing of an other; by thinges sensible and corporal, it cometh to the knowledge of thinges spiritual, yea of God himselfe; contemplateth vertue, and judgeth that for the loue of it, corporal mi­series are patiently to be suffered; correcteth the errors of the senses; knoweth vice, &c. Al which operations are spiritual independent of the body, and aboue the object of our corporal senses. And seing that the soule hath such operations, it necessarily requireth a manner of be­ing, answerable vnto them; that it may not only remaine perfect, and incorruptible, after the corruption of the body, and the seperation of it selfe from the same: but also then exercise such operations. The soule likewise coueteth eternity, loueth vertue, and hateth vice, and is ador­ned with freewil; which be manifest proofes of a spiritual and immor­tal substance.

Further, God hath ordained euery creature to some end; Neither is [Page 14] any one to be tearmed perfectlie happy and contented, vntil it attaine to the said end, and in it as fully satiated, resteth. And seing that the end and perfect felicity of man, cannot be obtained in this life. For no worldlie thing, which man in this life can comprehend or possesse, is able to satisfie his vnderstanding and wil: wherefore, seing also that euery thing is so created, that at some time or other it may enjoy his end and felicity, the final and chiefest happinesse of man, must needes consist in some thing, which he may attaine vnto after his death, and in the world to come; and consequently his soule is immor­tal. Some Epicure perhaps wil contend, that the final end and su­preame happinesse of man, doth consist in the enjoying of worldly pleasures: but this cannot be; both because these neuer satiate man. For the soule is neuer fully contented with the worldly pleasures, with which she is delighted; yea (not seldome) in a smal time loatheth that which before she most desired: and also, because if this were true, and the soule were mortal, we must needes condemne God of injustice, who not seldome suffereth the wicked to liue in such pleasures, and be­reaueth the just of the same; and moreouer suffereth them to fal into a thousand miseries and calamities, which he could not in justice doe, if the true felicity of man did consist in the enjoying of worldlie plea­sures.

The same may be confirmed by the consent of most of the auncient Philosophers, and generally of al nations; which doth manifestly de­clare, that natural reason it selfe is sufficient to perswade any man this truth. I adde further, that if any credit be to be giuen to holie Scrip­tures or authentical histories, diuers soules of men dead, haue appea­red vnto men liuing. Finally, this appertained to the manifestation, both of the omnipotencie of the power of God, and also to the beau­ty of the world, and variety of creatures; that like as God created some creatures altogither spiritual, as are the Angels: and others alto­gither corporal, as are al earthly creatures besides man: so he should create one creature partlie spiritual and partlie corporal, in which de­gree we place only man. And hence it proceedeth that in the booke of Genesis, in the history of the creation of the world we read, that al other liuing corporal creatures, being produced and framed of cor­poral substance; as fish and foule of the water, and beastes of the earth;Genes. 2. vers. 7. God inspired or breathed into the face of man the breath of life: by which is signified, that the soule of man only, among al such creatures, [Page 15] was created by God, and not produced of any earthly substance; and consequently, that it only is immortal. And this is also signified vnto vs by those wordes of God:Genes. 1. v. 26.27. Let vs make man according to our Image and likenes. For he is like vnto God: First, because his vnderstanding is apt to conceiue al thinges, and therefore may in some sort, be said to be of an infinite capacitie: secondly, because his wil cannot be fully satiated with any thing, but almightie God, who is an infinite good thing, and therefore also is after a sort infinite: thirdly, because the wil hath free liberty, and is not bound to this or that: lastly, because the soule hath a certaine natural inclination and desire to immortality. Al which inclinations and properties of the vnderstanding and wil, proue the soule it selfe to be immortal.

For the proof of the other part of the title of this Chapter: viz. that the soule of man most certainely shal be either rewarded in hea­uen or punished in hel, after this life euerlastingly; I must presup­pose two thinges, as true. First, that among the actions of man some be vertuous, others vitious. This is taught vs by the lawe of nature it selfe; from whence it proceedeth, that al nations haue euer estee­med blasphemie, perjurie, murther, theft, adulterie, and such like actions, vicious; and contrariewise, they haue judged justice, cha­stitie, fortitude, and other such like laudable dispositions, to be ver­tues.

Secondly, I must presuppose that man hath free wil: which I am not in this place to prooue out of holy Scripture against Here­tikes: but to shewe by natural reason against Atheistes. And there­fore I prooue it first, because al nations by the instinct of nature, haue euer punished vice, which they could not haue done, had not man free wil to auoide it. For no man can justlie be punished for a fault, which he cannot choose but commit. Hence also proceed Coun­cels of estate in al kingdomes and common wealthes, and consulta­tions and deliberations concerning peace, warre, and other matters; what course is to be taken; howe this and that may be composed; howe imminent dangers may be auoided &c. which were al in vaine, if it were not in mans power to doe this; or that. Finally, euery one findeth it true in himselfe by experience, that it is in his owne power to doe or leaue vndone, any action that he vndertaketh, and that no­thing doth inforce him to doe that, which he doth, but that he doth it of his owne free choise and election.

[Page 16]Out of these two assertions presupposed I inferre, that Gods justice hath ordained a heauen and a hel after this life. For it was necessary that man both by promise of reward, should be allured to vertue, and that by the feare of hel he should be withdrawne from vice: and also that they, which out of their owne free wil with the helpe of Gods grace, embraced vertue, should haue some reward for the same: con­trariewise that they which followed vice, should receiue their just pu­nishment. And seing that this retribution is seldome seene to be made in this world (for the just and vertuous are diuers times afflicted euen to death; and the wicked contrariewise euen to their end enjoy prospe­rity.) It is certaine that these thinges are reserued for the world to come. Further, because the soule is then seperated from the world and the flesh, and consequently freed from al combates betweene vice and ver­tue, we may wel inferre, that the soule shal remaine for euer in such state, as it is found at the houre of death. And this might also be proued by holy Scriptures, of whose authority euen against Atheists before: by diuers apparitions recorded in authentical Authors, which no man can in wisdome and reason reject as false and forged: and the consent of al nations. Out of this discourse I gather an other motiue or band, that man hath to serue God and liue vertuously. For seing that his soule is to remaine for euer, either in perpetual joy in heauen, or in perpetual paine in hel, according to his deserts, it behoueth euery one with al his endeauour to embrace vertue, and eschewe vice; because eternal joy, is to be preferred before any transitory pleasure, and any temporal paine whatsoeuer is to be indured, rather then the euerlasting. For to vse our Sauiours wordes:Math. 16. vers. 26. What doth it profite a man if he gaine the whole world, and sustaine the damage of his soule?

Chapter 3. Of a third principal ground of our faih, to wit: that Christian religion only is the true worship of God.

I HAVE already proued that there is a God, who by his omni­potent power hath created al thinges, and by his diuine wise­dome and prouidence gouerneth the same. I haue also decla­red, that the soule of man is immortal, and to be rewarded or punished euerlastingly in heauen or hel, according to his merits or de­merits, [Page 17] during this temporal life. Out of which most true assertions, I haue gathered, that man oweth God al dutie, both in respect of the ex­cellencie of his diuine Majestie, and also for the benefits receiued at his most bountiful handes. I haue likewise inferred of this, that the eternal estate of our soule, dependeth of the wel or euil spending of the mo­ment of this transitory life: that we ought to haue a special care to liue wel and vertuously.

Nowe, because the ground of all dutie vnto God, and the fountaine of al true vertue, is true religion, which is defined by Diuines to be a vertue, by which man doth giue to God worship and reuerence: Let vs goe on and shewe, where this supreame vertue is to be found, and what sort of people can lay just claime to so noble and pretious a trea­sure. And seing that man is not only taught and bound by the lawe of nature it selfe, to be religious, (from whence it proceedeth that al nati­ons vnder the heauens, haue alwaies adored some God, true or false:) but also cannot possible without this vertue, attaine to the final end (I meane the euerlasting saluation of his soule) I may wel affirme that reli­gion is both a vertue principally to be regarded by mortal men, and that the exercise thereof, is (as it were) the end wherefore a certaine time is alotted them to liue in this pilgrimage; and also that God al­mighty (supposing that he wil be dulie honored, and serued by them in this world, and giue euery man sufficient meanes to attaine to his chiefest happinesse in heauen) cannot suffer at any time true religion, cleane to perish or altogither to decay on earth. For if this may be, or could euer haue beene, God may be, or could haue beene altogither depriued of his due honour from men: and men likewise voide of al meanes of obtaining their final end. True it is, that man by original sinne, committed by his first parents in Paradise, straied from this final end, and deserued euerlasting damnation; but the goodnesse and mer­cy of his maker through the merits of our Sauiour IESVS Christ, and by faith in him, restored him againe although not altogither to his for­mer felicity, yet to possibility of saluation; and consequently through his grace gaue him power to serue God in this world, and to enjoy him through al eternity in the next. Of which it followeth, that being so that God hath alwaies required honour and seruice from man, and left him sufficient meanes to attaine to eternal blisse, that he hath alwaies in like manner in some place or other, beene dulie serued; and in some place or other hath preserued true religion.

[Page 18]This therefore being presupposed, I thinke that no man wil, or can denie, but true religion from the daies of Abraham vntil the comming of Christ, was to be found among the Iewes; yea during some ages im­mediately before his birth, only among them, & such as followed their lawe and institutions. This is manifest, because God (as I haue shewed) hath euer beene religiously worshipped by some people or other; but no other people can be named, that can make any just challenge to re­ligion, during some ages before Christ, besides the Iewes: it followeth therefore that the Iewes had true religion, which may likewise be con­firmed by the testimony of holy Scripture, of whose authority before; by diuers miracles in them recorded, and sundry prophesies in them contained, nowe verified; and other arguments. And hence I bring my first reason for the proofe of the truth of Christian religion, which I af­firme to be the true worship of God. For if it be granted that true reli­gion was in those daies among the Iewes, it must needes also be confes­sed, that it is now among the Christians. The sequel is euident, because al the Scriptures, ceremonies, figures, and prophesies of the Iewes ma­nifestly proue, that Christ was the true Messias, promised to their holy Patriarkes and Prophetes: and consequently, that in his Church only, God is truly honoured and religiously worshipped: and to omitte the mistical signification of their ceremonies & figures, the prophesies on­ly contained in the Scriptures, among them euen in those daies authen­tical, wil sufficiently declare this truth. I wil runne ouer some of them briefly, because I neede not be long in this matter, seing it is so excel­lently wel handled, by the authour of the Christian directory or reso­lution, and others of our nation.

First therefore, Christ was promised by God vnto Adam, presently after his fal,Genes. 31. vers. 15. when he said to the Serpent or Diuel: The seede of the woman shal crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in waite to hurt his seede. Which pro­phesie was fulfilled, when Christ by his bitter passion conquered the Diuel. Secondly, God promised vnto Abraham & Isaac at sundry times, that al nations on the earth should be blessed in their seede: Genes. 12. v. 18.22. that is, that al nati­tions should come to be blessed through Christ, who according to his humanity came from those holy Patriarks. The time likewise in which our Sauiour was borne, was that, which was foretold for the birth of the true Messias: for then the gouernement was taken from the tribe of Iu­das, Genes. 49. vers. 10. and giuen vnto Herod a stranger. Wherefore in those daies accor­ding to the prophesie of Iacob, who foretold that the scepter should not [Page 19] be taken from the house of Iuda, vntil the comming of the Messias, euen the Iewes themselues (as I could easily proue) expected their Messias. In like sort, Christ came before the destruction of the second temple of Hierusalem, as was foretold by the Prophet Aggeus. Agg. 2. He suffered after sixty twoDan. 9, 26. Hebdomadas or weekes of yeares expired, from the buil­ding of the said temple, as was foretold by the Prophet Daniel. He was borne ofIsa. 7. v. 14. a Virgin according to the prophesie of Isay: And that inMich. 5. v. 1 Bethelem according as it was foretold by the Prophet Micheas. Ier. 31. v. 15 In­fants were murthered there about, as it was prophesied by Ieremie. It was moreouer foretold in the booke of Numbers, that aNum. 20, 17 starre should appeare at the birth of the Messias. In the Psalmes, and by the Pro­phet Isaie, thatPsal. 71, 10. Isa. 60. v. 6. Kinges should offer vp vnto him gold & other giftes. By the Prophet Malachie, that he should beMalac. 3, 1. presented in the temple. By the Prophet Osee, that he should flieOsee 11. v. 2. into Aegipt, and be recalled againe: by the Prophet Isaie and Malachie, that a voice of one preach­ing in the desert, anIsa. 40. v. 3. Malac. 3. v. 1 Angel or fore-runner should prepare his way. By the same Isaie, that the Messias shouldIsa. 29, 8. c. 35, 5. c. 61, 1. ca. 53. ver. 4. worke strange miracl [...]s, & that he shouldDan. 9. v. 24. & 26. die for the sinnes of the world: which was foretold by the Prophet Daniel by Dauid in the Psalmes, that he should bePs. 40, 10. Psal. 54, 14. Psal. 108, 8. betraied by his owne disciple. By Zachary that he shouldZach. 9, 9. ride into Hierusalem vpon an Asse, and that he should be sold for thirtyca. 11. v. 12. peeces of siluer. By Isaie that he should beIsa. 50, v. 6. beaten, buffeted, and spit on. By Dauid and the same Isaie, that his body should bePs. 37. v. 18. torne with whips. Moreouer by Isaie that he should beIsa. 53, vers. 2. & 12. put to death among theeues and malefa­ctors. By Dauid thatPs. 68. v. 22. vinegre should be giuen him to drinke, his ap­parel21. & 19. deuided, & lots cast for his vpper garment. Al which prophe­sies and diuers others concerning almost euery particuler act and cir­cumstāce of any importance, which was to passe in the life of the true Messias, were fulfilled in Christ, as the Euangelists recorde. But con­cerning his passion I cannot omit the prophecie of the Patriarke Ia­cob, who foretold that the Messias should wash his Gen. 49, 11. stole in wine, and his cloke in the bloud of grapes, which our redeemer did when he washed his humane nature, with which his diuinity was cloaked, in his owne bloud; which he therefore called the bloud of grapes, because it was to be veiled vnder the forme of wine in the dreadful Sacramēt & sacri­fice of the Altar, whichDeu. 32.14. is called in the Scripture the bloud of grapes. In like sort thePs. 106. & 15. vers. 10. Zac. 9. v. 11. descent of Christ into hel, was foretold by the Prophet Dauid in the Psalmes, the Prophet Zachary, & others. His resurrection [Page 20] Psal. 15. vers. 9. Ose. 6. v. 3 the third day by Dauid and Osee: HisPsal. 103. & 67. ascention & sitting on the right hand by the same Dauid: theIsa. 44. vers. 3. Ioel: 2. vers. 28. comming of the holy Ghost, by Dauid, and also by the Prophet Isay, and Ioel. Finally theGen. 49. v. 10. Ps. 2 v. 8. Ps. 21 67. 71. &c Isa. 2. v. 2. c. 19. v. 25 27. &c. Osc: 2. v. 1. 24. Ioel: 2. v. 28. Mal 1. vers. 11. Zach. 2. v. 11. ca. 8. v. 20. cap. 9. v. 10. &c. Gentiles were called to his religion, as the Patriarke Iacob, Dauid, Isay, Osee, Ioel, Malachie, Zacharie, and al the rest of the holy Prophets had long before signified. I omit the promisses of the Messias in general, which be infinite through the old Testament; he that wil see some of them, may turne to these places: Deut. 18. v. 18. Psal. 2.88.71. Iere. 23. v. 5. & 33. Ezech. 34. v. 22.23. Isa. 2. v. 2. ca. 4. v. 2. ca. 9. v. 6. ca. 11. v. 1. ca. 35. v. 5. Dan. 9. v. 23. Agg. 2. v. 4. &c. I cannot stand to recite the predictions, that he should be both God and man, which is most euidently deliuered vnto vs; Psal. 109. v. 1. 3. where he is bidde sit on the right hand of God, and said to be begotten before Lucifer was created. Isa. 53. v. 8. where it is said, that no man can tel or recount his generation. Isa. 9. v. 6. where the Prophet telleth vs, that his name shal be God. Iere. 23. v. 6. & cap. 33. v. 16. where he is called Iehouah, a name in Scripture only attributed vnto God, and in diuers other places. And this was necessarie for the fulpaiment of the ransome of our redemption: for euery man naturally descending from Adam, being a sinner and the enemy of God, & there­fore not in case to appease his anger; his actions likewise being finite, proceeding from a creature, and therefore not answerable to mans in­finite offence against God, it was needeful that he who was to redeeme man, should be the friend of God, and both God & man: that through his friendship with God, he might be in case to merit reward, and sa­tisfie for our sinnes; through his humane nature in case to suffer death and other afflictions; and through his diuine, his actions might be of infinite price and value. But for the proofe of Christian religion, out of the authentical Scriptures and prophesies of the Iewes, this shal suffice. For a second proofe, I alleage the prophesies of theSee Lact. l. 1. diuin. insti. c. 5. l. 4. ca. 6. & 15. Aug. lib. 18. de ciuitate Dei ca 23. Sibils, which li­uing before Christ, by the prouidence of almighty God, foretold his comming to the Gentiles, and many particuler circumstances, belong­ing vnto the worke of our redemption: as that our Sauiour should be God; that he should be borne of a Virgin; that he should cure al infir­mities; raise the dead; walke vpon the Sea; suffer for our sinnes, &c.

The processe and increase of Christian religion, yeeldeth vs a third argument for the proofe of this truth. For our Sauiour Christ confir­med his doctrine with supernatural miracles, as is recorded by al the foure Euangelistes: yeaIosephus lib. 18. de antiquit. c. 4. Euseb li. 1. histor. cap. 11. Iosephus himselfe a Iewe is a witnesse of the [Page 21] same, as also of his resurrection. His Apostles and Disciples after his ascention, wrought the like miracles; and this gift (according as he fore told) hath alwaies remained with their successors: yea, al the prophe­sies of Christ concerning thinges to come, haue hitherto beene fulfil­led. The Church by him founded, hath miraculously dilated, and spred it selfe throughout the whole world, not by force of armes, nor by rhetorical perswasions, but by Gods mighty protection and assi­stance; She hath beene persecuted (as he foretold) but could neuer be ouercome, she hath alwaies had the victory ouer the gates of hel, and continued glorious to this day in despite of Emperors, Kinges, Iewes Pagans, Heretikes, and other enemies, which haue sought her ouer­throwe. And here occurreth another argument, approuing the same: to wit, that extreame miseries, and calamities by the just judgement of God, haue commonly fallen vpon the enemies & persecutors of Christ and Christian religion. Let vs behold some of them in particuler. He­rod Iosephus lib. 17. an­tiq. ca. 10. & lib. 1. de bel. Iudai­co: ca. 21. Ascolonita, who persecuted Christ in his infancy (as Iosephus a Iew recordeth) after great miserie indured, went about to murther himselfe and had effected it, had not his hand beene staied, by some neare about him. Herod Ioseph. l. 18. antiq. c. 9. & lib. 2. de bello Iud. ca. 8. Antipas, who beheaded S. Iohn Baptist, and scorned our Sa­uiour a litle before that he was crucified, was first deposed by Caius the Emperor, then banished to Lions in France, and afterwardes to the inha­bitable places of Spaine, where abandoned by al men, he ended his life. Herod Act. 12. Ioseph. li. 19. antiq. cap. 7. Agrippa, who put to death S. Iames the brother of S. Iohn the E­uangelist, and imprisoned S. Peter, was soone after in a publike assem­bly strooken from heauen with a most horrible disease, and died eaten vp with lice: yea according to the testimony of Iosephus, the wholeIoseph. i­bid. li. 18. cap. 7. stock of Herod although then most ample, within seauenty yeares was rooted out. Pilate, Eutrop. l. 7. histor. Eus. lib. 2. cap. 7. hist. after great disgrace receiued from the Emperor, murthered himselfe, as we read in Eutropius and Eusebius. The Iewes themselues, fel into mostPhilo: in lib. de le­gat. sua ad Cajum. Io­seph. in li. de bel. Iud. extreame miseries, in al places by them in­habited, throughout the whole Romane Empire, as Philo and Iosephus their country-men being eie witnesses aboundantly testifie. Before that the city of Hierusalem was besieged by Titus, sonne of Vespasian the Emperor,Ios. li. 2. de bel. Iu­daic. c. 17. lib. 6. c. 1.12.8.9.7. an hundred thousand were slaine, and almost fourty thou­sand sold. After the siege of the city beganne, Titus crucified euery day fiue hundred of those that fled out of the city for famine. During the time of the whole warre,Ios. lib. 7. de bel. Iu­daic. cap. 28.11.17.20. ninety and seauen thousand, were taken cap­tiues, and eleuen hundred thousand by one meanes or other lost their [Page 22] liues. Finally their temple and citie was burnt, and ouerthrowne. The like punishment hath fallen vpon the Roman Emperors, who haue bene Christes enemies. Nero, who first beganne the tragedie, beingSueton. c. 23. Dio. in Nerone. cast downe into great distresse, murdered himselfe. Domitian, hated of al men for his crueltie, wasSuet. ca. 17. Dio. in Domitian. slaine by a priuate man. Hadrian before that he died fel into such miserie, through diuers diseases, that hePhilost. lib. 8. wish­ed for one that would kil him. Seuerus being often put in danger of his life, by his owne sonne Antoninus, who as he thought intended also to murther his other sonne Geta, taking thought & griefe came to his end.Lampri­dius. Alexander was murthered in Germany. Trebelli­us. Maximinus, Gallus, Volusianus, and Gallienus, receiued their deaths from their owne souldiers.Euseb. in hist. lib. 7. cap. 1. Decius not hauing raigned two yeares, lost his life in warre against the Gothes. Eus. l. 7. ca. 9. Tre­bel. & alij Constāti­us in orat. ad sancto. coetū c. 24 see Eu­seb. in vi­ta Const. li. 4. c. 11. Valerianus by treason was deliuered into the handes of his enemie the King of Persia, who for a time vsed him for a foote-stoole to goe to his horse, afterward he fleaed him aliue, and poudered him with salt. Au­relianus strooken from heauen with thunder, soone after was murthered by his owne company.Vopisous. Dioclesianus, and Maximianus Herculeus, because they could not, according to their endeauours preuaile against the Church of Christ, and roote out al Christianitie, gaue ouer the rule of the Empire. Of them thePanegir. 4. victor. first liued so long as a priuate man, vntil he saw Christian religion flourish vnder Constantine the great, then he died miserably according to Eusebius, but Victor saith that he was reported to haue poisoned himself;Euseb. li. 8. ca. 18. & 29. Maximianus afterwardes either was hanged or hanged himselfe. Gallerius Maximianus being strooken by God with a most horrible disease, was forced before his death to recal his owne & other edictes, made against Christians. Maximinus likewise being ouer­come by Licinius, recalled such edictes in the East: and taken moreouer with a most strange disease, his eies falling out of his head, died misera­bly, confessing that such calamities fel vpon him for his cruelty vsed a­gainst Christians. Licinius was put to death by Constantine the great. Iulian the Apostata in battel against the Persians, strooken from heauen with a dart, blaspheming Christ as authour of his death, yeelded vp the ghost. And these were the principal Heathen Emperors that haue per­secuted our religion: to whome I adde two Arrian Emperors, Cōstantius, and Valens, who impugned the diuinity of Christ, and persecuted Catho­likes for professing him to be equal and consubstantial to his Father;Hier. ep. ad Helio­dor. Victor Amianus, & others. Of them the first died miserably in a country village, marching against Iulian the Apostata:Hie. Ruf & others. The other hauing receiued the ouerthrowe from the Gothes, was burned by them aliue in a country house.

[Page 23]These calamities & miseries, as euery man must needes confesse were extra­ordinary, and fel vpon these men for some sinne or misdemeanour of theirs. And seing that commonly they fel vpon al the persecutors of Christian reli­gion, and commonly vpon no others, it is euident that their persecution of the Church of Christ, was the cause of their said miseries and calamities. I could adde diuers other reasons, conuincing Christian religion to be the true wor­ship of God; as that most wise men, and most profound and deepe Schollers, most expert in al sciences, and most perfect in those languages, which seeme most needful to attaine to the knowledge of true religion, haue approued and embraced Christian doctrine. I could also bring another argument, taken from the purity and sanctity of the said religion, and generally of al the true professors of the same: others taken from the absurdity of al those, that can make any challenge to this prerogatiue, from the testimony of the professors of diuers other sectes, &c. But I should be ouerlong, only I wil adde against the Iewes, who had the truth among them before the comming of Christ, that presently after the promulgation of our religion, they fel into most grosse and fantastical opinions: yea held and taught most execrable blasphemies, concerning God himselfe, & other matters of faith: as that God doth weepe, bewaile, shed teares, and knocke his breast for sorrowe; that he hath so pu­nished them, that he praieth vpon his knees; that he sinned in taking vnjust­ly light from the Sunne, and giuing it to the Moone; that he hath beene de­ceiued by some Rabbines; that he studieth the lawe of Moises; that soules passe from one body to another; and much other such like damnable do­ctrine, which euery man may see approued in their Talmud, Se Andrae­as Masius in c. 5. Io­sue. v. 10. Eugubi­nus in Exo. c. 12. a booke as highly esteemed by them al, as the old Testament it selfe, for they pro­fesse in the title of the said booke, that whosoeuer denieth it, denieth God himselfe. Nay, I adde further against them, that in this their Tal­mud it selfe, it is deliuered as an auncient & famous tradition, that their Messias was to restore them to liberty, on the same moneth and day of the yeare, on which they were deliuered from the bondage of Aegipt; which tradition most aptly agreeth to the time on which our Lord suf­fered, as euery Christian knoweth. And of this matter, this shall suffice.

Out of the discourse of this chapter, I likewise inferre, that no other religi­on in the world besides the Christian is true, or doth truly worship God, which is manifest, both because no other followeth the preceptes and do­ctrine of Christ the redeemer of mankinde: and also because our Sauiour abolished al former lawes, except the lawe of nature; yea he abrogated euen the lawe of Moises it selfe, which was receiued from God; and according to the predictions of the holy Prophet, instituted one only lawe, and through [Page 24] the merits of his bitter passion, established one only Church, which on­ly possesseth true religion, and prescribeth according to his institution the true worshippe of God: And this I thinke no man that beleeueth Christian religion to be true, wil denie.

Chapter 4. That among Christians, they only that professe and embrace the Catholike faith and religion, are in state of saluation, and doe truly worship God.

IN the chapter next before, I haue declared that the true wor­shippe of God, and true religion, is only to be found among Christians: nowe I goe further, and affirme that al Christians cannot truly challenge to themselues these inestimable trea­sures; but that they are due only to vs Catholikes. Before this I haue disputed against Atheistes, Infidels, Iewes, and other external enemies of Christ, and therefore I vsed not any arguments taken out of the newe Testament, which they with one consent reject: nowe I am to deale with Heretikes, who pretend themselues to be Christians, but haue de­parted out of Christs fold, yet admit of the authority of sundry bookes, not only of the old, but also of the newe Testament; and therefore a­gainst these, I wil alleage as occasion shall serue diuers sentences out of the said bookes by them admitted. And to proceede orderly in this matter, I wil bring my whole discourse to certaine principal conclusi­ons, of which although some be partly already proued against external Infidels; yet I wil briefly proue them againe out of the newe Testa­ment, against Heretikes.

First therefore, that Christ is the redeemer of al mankinde, and that by his bitter passion and paineful death, he hath satisfied for al our sins, if we please to apply his merits to our soules,1. Io. 2, 2. 1. Io. 1, 7. 1. Cor. 6. vers. 20. Eph. 2, 13. Col. 1, 14. Heb. 9, 11. euery Christian must needes confesse: for this is most plainely affirmed in the holy Scripture, in which it is said, that Christ is the propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world: that his bloud doth cleanse vs from al sinnes: and that we are bought and redeemed with his pretious bloud. It must likewise be granted by al Christians, that Christ by his infinite merits purchased to himselfe a Church on earth: that is to say, established a newe religion, and a newe [Page 25] law among men; ordained Apostles, Pastors, Gouernours of his flocke; instituted newe Sacraments, by which his faithful people through his merits were to receiue forgiuenes of sinnes, and his grace in this world, and euerlasting glory if they deserued it, in the next. This likewise e­uen in as plaine wordes is deliuered vnto vs in the said word of God: in which we read, that Christ purchased his Church with his bloud; Act. 20. vers. 28. Ephes. 5, 25, & 26. that he loued her, and deliuered himselfe to death for her to sanctifie her, cleansing her with the lauer of water in the word of life, that he might present to himselfe a glorious Church not hauing spot or wrinckle. And al this is also manifest by reason: for what other cause can be assigned, of the incarnation & pas­sion of Christ, but the redemption of man, & the erecting of a Church and religion, which may guide him to euerlasting saluation?

Out of these two assertions I gather a third, to wit: that there is but one true Chruch of Christ, in which true religion is only to be found among Christians; and consequently that they only, who are mem­bers of this Church, truly worship God, and are in state of grace in this world, and in the right way to eternal blisse in the next. And first, that Christ hath but one true Church on earth, it is euident; because he ac­cording to his owne assertion, is the way, and the veritie, and the life. Ioh. 13. vers. 6. Wherefore like as there is but one life Christ, who by his bitter passion redeemed al mankind from euerlasting death, and giueth man true life in heauen: so this one life ordained one only way and truth, whereby to attaine to the said life and saluation, erecting one only Church, vnto which the fruit & merit of his passion should be deriued. Like as there­fore, God made first but one man Adam and one woman Eue, who were the corporal or carnal father and mother of the transitory life of al man­kind: so he hath constituted but one spiritual father Christ, and one spiritual mother, which is his only Spouse the Church, who are the spi­ritual parents of the spiritual life of his true children. Moreouer, like as God hath giuen one only corporal body, although adorned with va­riety of members, to one head to be gouerned: so he hath framed one only mistical body, for one mistical head which is Christ, which he on­ly as supreame head directeth and gouerneth.Cant. 2. vers. 6. Ephes. 4. vers. 2. Hence we are told by Salomon in the Canticles, that the Doue of Christ is one perfect, and chosen to her mother. The Apostle likewise telleth vs, that there is one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptisme; and consequently one Church. Finally, who­soeuer affirmeth that Christ hath erected more Churches then one, im­pugneth al sense and reason, seing that vnitie is to be preferred before [Page 26] diuision and discord; and no cause can be assigned, why two Churches should be founded. Of this it also followeth, that out of the one Church of Christ there is no saluation. For if our blessed Sauiour by his death established one only Church, it is euident that they only are partakers of his holy merits, who are members of that Church, and that they on­ly are in the true way to saluation, who imbrace that doctrine and reli­gion, which is taught and prescribed in the said Church. Hence pro­ceedeth that famous sentence of S. Ciprian, Cipr. de v­nitate Ec­clesiae. c. 5. who affirmeth that he that is not a member of Christ his Church, notwithstanding al his good workes and endeauours otherwise, shal neuer come to enjoy the pro­mised rewardes of Christ in heauen: He is an alien, he is prophane, he is an enemy (saith he) he cannot haue God for his Father, who hath not the Church for his Mother. The same sentence is pronounced almost in the selfe same wordes by S. Augustine, Aug. tom. 9. de Sim­bol. lib. 4. cap. 10. Aug. de v­nitat. Ec­cles. c. 19. who auoucheth that he shal not haue God his Fa­ther, who refuseth to haue the Church for his Mother. And this in an other place he proueth, because no man commeth to saluation, and life euer­lasting, but he that hath Christ his head: and no man can haue Christ his head, but he that is in his body the Church, ofEphes. 5. vers. 23. which according to the Apostle he is Sauiour. This also moued Lactantius to discourse after this sort of the excellency and prerogatiues of the Church: his wordes are these.Lact. lib. 4. diuin. Inst. c. vlt. It is the Catholike Church only (so he tearmeth the Church of Christ) that keepeth the true worship of God, this is the fountaine of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God: Into which whosoeuer doth not enter, or out of which whosoeuer doth depart, he is an alien & stranger from the hope of euerlasting life and saluation. No man must by obstinate contention flatter himselfe, for it standeth vpon life and saluation: Thus farre Lactantius. And this was long since figured by the arke of Noe, which only saued the men in it contained from the general deluge; wherefore in S. Ciprian we find this sentence.Cipr. de v­nitat. Ec­cles. ca. 5. If any man could escape that was without the arke of Noe: he also may escape that is out of the Church. These and such like con­siderations induce al those that professe themselues Christians, of what religion or sect soeuer they be, to challenge to themselues the true Church of Christ. This challenge is made by them, that professe the Roman faith; it is made by the Lutherans; it is made by the Zwinglians; it is made by the English Protestantes, by the Caluinists or Puritans, by the Anabaptists, by the Libertines; it is made finally by al newe Secta­ries, and hath euer beene made by al Heretikes, since the beginning of Christian religion. And although the multitude of challengers, with [Page 27] their false and painted reasons, make some doubtful who of al these haue right and a just title, to the thing challenged: yet certaine it is, and most easilie to be proued, that the first challengers only (who through the whole vvorld are tearmed Catholikes) haue justice and right on their side.

The proofe of this would aske a long discourse, of the definition and notes of the Church; but in this present treatise, I purpose only to declare, that we Catholikes only haue true faith, and build our said faith and religion vpon most sure and firme groundes: Contrariewise that al sectaries are bereaued of this supernatural gift, and build their whole beleefe and religion vpon their owne fancies. Hereafter (if it please God) shal followe a more ample discourse of the definition and notes of the true Church.

One reason which moued me to take this course is, that the princi­pal controuersie betweene vs and our aduersaries, is concerning mat­ters of faith; which is manifest, because we condemne them of here­sie, which proceedeth of mis-beleefe in faith: for he that erreth not in faith may be a Schismatike, but he cannot be an Heretike; where­fore if I proue that we Catholikes haue true faith, and that our aduer­saries haue no faith, the controuersie betweene vs and them, is after some sort decided. An other reason is, because faith doth especially incorporate vs in the Church, and make vs members of the same: It is the lincke and glewe, yea the sinnewe which vniteth and bindeth vs to this body: It is the roote and foundation of al true religion and ju­stification.Ioh. 3, 18 Marc. 16. vers. 16. He that beleeueth not, according to the verdict of our Sa­uiour, is already judged, and shal be condemned and damned; Hebr. 11. vers. 6. without faith (saith the Apostle) it is impossible to please God. Wherefore by S. Iohn Chrisostome, Chrisost. in serm. de Fide, Spe & Charit. faith is called the of-spring of justice, the head of sanctity, the beginning of deuotion, and the ground of religion. By S. Ciril Bishoppe of Hierusalem, Ciril ca­tech. 5. and eie lighting euery conscience, and causing vnderstanding. By the other Ciril Bishop of Alexandria, Ciril l. 4. in Ioā. c. 9. the doore and way to life, also a certaine leading or bringing home againe from corruption to immortalitie. With the like titles it is honouredAug. ser. 38. de Tē ­pore. by S. Augustine and o­ther holie Fathers. Like as therefore, no material house or Castle can be erected vvithout a foundation first laid, vpon vvhich al the bur­then of the vvorke may rest: so no spiritual edifice can be built in the soule of man vvithout faith, the ground of al spiritual vvorkes. Hence S. Athanasius that great piller of Christes Church beginneth his [Page 28] Creede, which is receiued by the whole Church, with this notable and famous sentence. Whosoeuer wil be saued before al thinges, it is necessary that he hold the Catholike faith, which except euery man shal keepe wholy and not corrupted, without doubt he shal perish euerlastingly. This is the censure of that holy Father. The reason of this is, because we cannot attaine to a certaine knowledge of the first groundes and principles of Christian religion (they being supernatural) by the force of our natu­ral and weake vnderstanding; wherefore a supernatural knowledge of them being requisite, it is necessary that this be done by supernatural faith, which giueth vs power, and lifting vp our vnderstanding, ma­keth vs able to beleeue them, because they are reuealed by God; and of this necessity & excellency of faith it followeth, that without it there can be no true Church or religion: for how can the true Church or true religion be, without the ground and foundation of al true vertue and Christianity? Contrariwise, where true faith is found, there is the prin­cipal ground of true religion; of which I inferre, that if I proue the new sectaries to haue no faith, I likewise proue them to haue no church nor religion: but on the other side, if I proue our faith to be true, I proue also that the ground of al religion is among vs, and consequently, that if we build hope and charity vpon this foundation, we are members of the true Church, trulie religious, and in the sure way to euerlasting sal­uation. Let vs therefore briefly behold both our groundes and theirs, and according to the strength or weakenesse of them, decide the whole controuersie betweene vs. But to proceede the more plainely and distinctly, I wil first adde a word or two, of the nature and conditions of true faith.

Chapter 5. Of the definition and conditions of true faith.

SECTION THE FIRST.

FAITH is a vertue infused by God into our vnderstanding, by the helpe and force of which, we giue a most firme assent vnto al those thinges, which are reuealed by God to the Church; because they are so reuealed. Wherefore, although a Christian should beleeue neuer so firmely, any article of his faith vpon any other [Page 29] ground, then the authority of almighty God who hath reuealed it: yet he should not haue faith, because faith biddeth vs beleeue such ar­ticles, not because reason or any other such motiue, perswadeth vs that they are true; but because God (who being the first verity and truth it selfe cannot deceiue) hath so said and reuealed.

But for the better declaration of this definition or description, & the nature it selfe of faith, let vs treate of it a litle more at large; and first shewe, that the act of faith is a most firme, and certaine assent of the vn­derstanding: secondly, that it is of thinges surpassing the reach of na­tural reason, and consequently obscure: Thirdly, that by it we beleeue such misteries, as haue bin reuealed vnto the Church by God: Fourth­ly, that it must needes be built vpon diuine authority: Lastly., that it is necessary that the articles of our faith be propounded vnto vs by some infallible authority; and that the propounder of them is the holy Ca­tholike Church.

SECTION THE SECOND. That faith is a most firme assent of the vnderstanding.

TO beginne therefore with the first, that the act of faith is a most firme assent of the vnderstanding to the thing beleeued, without any doubt or feare of falshood or staggering, the Apostle himselfe te­stifieth in this his description of faith:Hebr. 11. vers. 1. Faith (saith he) is the substance of thinges to be hoped for, the argument of thinges not appearing. That is to say, faith is the substance or ground of hope, a certaine argument or conui­ction, and most firme perswasion of the vnderstanding, through the authority of God, of things not appearing to our senses, or not knowne by natural reason. Verily, that the word argument in this place, doth not signifie euery kind of argument, but an argument certaine and in­fallible, the greeke word it selfe which is here vsed, declareth. Where­foreAug. tom. 9. tract. 89 in Ioā. tom. 7. de pec­cat. merit. & remiss. l. 2. ca. 31. 2. Pet. 1. vers. 19. S. Augustine in place of the word argument, vseth the word conui­ction; affirming faith to be a most firme proofe and demonstration of thinges not appearing. Hence S. Peter hauing declared, that he sawe with his eies the glory of Christ in his transfiguration, and heard with his eares the voice of God the Father, addeth these wordes: And we haue the prophetical word more sure. By which he doth insinuate vnto vs, [Page 30] that the knowledge of holie misteries by faith in the Scripture, is more certaine then the knowledge which we receiue by the benefit of our senses:Basil. in ps 115. & in moral. reg. 80. ca. 21. which (perhaps) moued S. Basil to affirme, that no knowledge in vs is so firme and certaine as faith. And the reason of this is, because (as I wil proue in the fift section) faith is built vpon the infallible au­thority of God.

SECTION THE THIRD. Faith is of thinges incomprehensible by natural reason, and consequently obscure.

THE Diuines most trulie affirme, that the object or subject of our supernatural faith, is God as God; because al thinges which by it are knowne and beleeued, tend to this, that by supernatural and reuea­led groundes, we attaine to as ful a knowledge of him, as can by vs be had in this life. Wherefore I may wel say, that by faith we beleeue mi­steries aboue our reason, although none cōtrary to our reason: for faith only leadeth reason further then of it selfe it can reach, and maketh it stoope, and submit it selfe to the most certaine reuelation of God, not­withstanding that he doth manifest vnto it misteries, which in some sort seeme to resist our sense and reason. This is signified vnto vs in the description of faith, euen nowe alleaged out of the Apostle, by those wordes (of thinges not appearing) for like asRom. 8. vers. 24. hope (according to the same Apostle) that is seene, is no hope. For that which man seeth (saith he) where­fore doth he hope? So faith of thinges seene and most certainely knowne by natural reason, is not faith. For that which a man seeth & knoweth, howe can he beleeue? Neither doe those wordes of ourIoh. 20. vers. 29. Sauiour to S. Thomas the Apostle (because thou hast seene me, Thomas thou hast beleeued) make against this. For S. Thomas Greg. ho. 26. in E­uang. (as S. Gregory noteth) sawe one thing and beleeued an other; he sawe Christes humanity and beleeued his di­uinity. For this cause further the Apostle aboue cited telleth vs,Rom. 10. vers. 17. Hebr. 11. vers. 3. that faith is by hearing, and that by faith we vnderstand that the worldes were fra­med by the word of God, &c. S. Augustine also auoucheth, thatAug. tra. 79. in Ioā. the praise of faith standeth in this, that the thing be not seene which is beleeued.Aug. tra. 43. in Ioā. For what a great thing is it (saith he) if that be beleeued which is seene? Againe, faith is to beleeue, that which thou seest not; truth, to see that which thou hast [Page 31] beleeued: yea S. Athanasius plainely telleth vs,Athanas. tract. de aduent. cont. Apol. 1. Cor. 13. vers. 12. that faith conceiued of an e­uident matter, cannot be called faith. Hence it proceedeth that faith is ob­scure, and cannot be found in heauen, where al thinges are seene most clearely. We see (saith the Apostle) nowe by a glasse in darke sort, but then face to face; nowe I knowe in part, but then I shal knowe, as also I am knowne. And this obscurity of faith, proceedeth aswell from the height, and sublimitie of the misteries themselues reuealed, which are without the compasse of our natural reason: as also from the feeblenes and weake­nesse of our vnderstanding, which in this life being tied to our corpo­ral senses, cannot clearely apprehend thinges spiritual; but only after a dimme sort by thinges visible, commeth to some smal apprehension of thinges inuisible. God likewise would haue it so, not only to mani­fest vnto vs his owne Majestie, and that he wil be beleeued at his word: but also for mans greater humiliation and merit.

But although the object of faith so farre surpasse our reason, and by this meanes cause obscurity in our vnderstanding; yet certaine it is, that God (if he would) might haue so declared and apparantly proued the misteries of our faith, that the truth of them might haue bin farre more manifest then it is: yea he might haue made it so apparant, that no man of sense could haue denied them. As for example: Christ might (if it had pleased him) haue appeared after his resurrection to the whole Ci­tie of Hierusalem: yea to the whole world; and by force of miracles, per­swasions, and other such like motiues, haue presently made Christian faith seeme euidently true, to euery mans eie. So likewise at this present it is in his power, to doe for the manifestation of the truth of Catholike religion; wherefore then did he not in old time, and doth he not nowe proceed after this manner? wherefore leaueth he the object of faith (in this sense also) inuironed with some obscurity? I answere, that most certaine it is, that euery man hath or may haue if he please, sufficient motiues and reasons, to perswade him to imbrace the true religion, and beleeue the whole summe of christian doctrine. For God requireth on­ly at our handes (as the Apostle tearmeth it) a reasonable obsequie or obe­dience. Neuerthelesse he hath not vsed,Rom. 11. nor doth vse al meanes possible to manifest the truth, that man may merit the more by cōcurring by his free wil, aided with Gods grace to the beleef of such misteries, sufficiēt­ly (although not so fully as was possible) proued to be reuealed by God himselfe. For the more reason and proof that the wil hath to perswade her, the lesse thankes she deserueth for obeying; and so much the lesse [Page 32] reward shal be reaped by man in heauen, by howe much the stronger arguments he hath to moue his vnderstanding to beleeue; because one only argument infalliblie prouing any article to be reuealed by God, is sufficient to make it the object of faith, although the matter seeme ne­uer so obscure; yea, although it seeme (in some sort) repugnant to the ordinary course and nature of sensible creatures: and thus much of the second point.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. By true Christian faith we beleeue such misteries, as God hath reuealed to his Church.

THIRDLY I am to proue, that by faith we beleeue such misteries, as it hath pleased the diuine Majestie of God to reueale vnto his Church; and this likewise is easily proued out of the foresaid descrip­tion of faith, deliuered vnto vs by the Apostle. For what other thinges are those, which not appearing to our senses and vnderstanding, faith causeth vs to beleeue, but the articles of our faith? and what doe these containe, but such misteries as God hath reuealed to his Church? yet least the peruerse humour of any man, might otherwise vnderstand his wordes, he hath added soone after, that by the faith by him described, we vnderstand that the worldes were framed by the word of God: that by this faith Noe built the arke, &c. which effectes cannot be attributed to any other faith, then to that by which we beleeue the articles of Christian religion.

But because our aduersaries seeme so much to impugne this doctrine, let vs proue the same out of other places of the newe Testament: and first out of these wordes of our Sauiour to his Apostles,Mar. 16. v. 15.16. going into the whole world preach the Gospel to al creatures. He that beleeueth and is bapti­zed shal be saued; but he that beleeueth not, shal be condemned: In which (as we see) commission is giuen to the Apostles to preach the Gospel. And what Gospel? truly no other, but the whole summe of Christian do­ctrine, touching the incarnation, life, passion, resurrection, ascension, & other articles of Christian beleefe. This Gospel the Apostles preach­ed, and (as it was then foretold by Christ in the wordes immediately following) confirmed with miracles. And whosoeuer beleeueth this [Page 33] Gospel and is baptised (if to his faith his actions be agreable) shal be saued; contrariewise who beleeueth it not shal be damned: wherefore, this faith concurreth to our justification, and consequentlie is that faith which is required in al Christians. This faith our Lord and redeemer highly commended and rewarded in the holie Apostle S. Peter, Math. 16. vers. 16.17. &c. when as for confessing him to be Christ the sonne of the liuing God, he pronoun­ced him blessed, and promised to build the Church vpon him, and to giue him the keyes of the kingedome of heauen. This faith and no other was in S. Martha, when to our Sauiour saying: I am the resurrection and the life, Ioh. 11. vers. 25. he that beleeueth in me although he be dead shal liue, & euery one that liueth, & beleeueth in me shall not die for euer, beleeuest thou this? she said to him; yea Lord I haue beleeued that thou art Christ the sonne of God that art come into this world. And consequentlie, this is the faith which maketh vs liue for e­uer, and preserueth vs from eternal death. This faith was in S. Thomas the Apostle, when touching the woundes of our Sauiour after his resur­rection, he cried out my Lord, and my God. Of which I inferre,Ioh. 20. v. 28. &c. that they are pronounced by Christ blessed, that are indued with this faith: when he replied to his said Apostle. Blessed are they that haue not seene, and haue beleeued. Act. 2. v. 4.10.13.17. This faith and no other S. Peter and S. Paul preached to the people, as appeareth in their sermons recorded in the acts of the Apo­stles. This faith S. Phillip before baptisme required in the Eunuch, saying: Loe water, who doth let me to be baptised? S. Phillip answered: Act. 8. vers. 36. If thou beleeue with al thy hart, thou maiest, and the Eunuch replied: I beleeue that Iesus Christ is the sonne of God, vpon which confession he re­ceaued that holie Sacrament.Rom. 4. vers. 22. Ibid. v. 19. By this faith Abraham (as the Apostle testifieth) was justified, for it was reputed him to justice, that he beleeued God promising him, that he should be the father of many nations, and that not considering (to vse the Apostles wordes) his owne bodie nowe quite dead, and the dead matrice of Sara, he staggered not by distrust, but according to the promise of God, expected a sonne. This word of faith, the same Apo­stle (according to his owne testimonie) preached to the world,Rom. 10. vers. 8.9. 1. Cor. 15. ver. 3. &c. 1. Ioh. 5. v. 1.4. & 5. Ioh. 3. ver. 36. that who confesseth with his mouth our Lord Iesus Christ, and in his hart beleeueth that God hath raised him vp from the dead, shal be saued. This Gospel he de­liuered, that Christ died for our sinnes, that he was buried, and that he rose a­gaine the third day &c. Whosoeuer (saith S. Iohn) beleueth that Iesus is Christ, is borne of God: againe, this is the victorie which ouercommeth the world, our faith; who is he that ouercommeth the world, but he that beleeueth that Iesus is the sonne of God? Hitherto S. Iohn the Euangelist. And this is to beleeue [Page 34] in the sonne of God, which who doth (according vnto Christes wordes) hath life euerlasting. Ioh. 20. vlt. Finally, to cause in our soules this faith, S. Iohn (as he witnesseth himselfe, and consequently also the other three Euan­gelistes) wrote his Gospel. These thinges (saith he) are written, that you may beleeue that Iesus is Christ the sonne of God, and that beleeuing you may haue life in his name. Al which sentences of holy Scripture, and diuers others which I could produce, most euidently demonstrate, that the diuinity, incarnation, passion, and resurrection of Christ, and other such articles reuealed by God vnto the Church, are the object of that faith which concurreth to our justification, and is the roote and foun­dation of al justice, and true religion. Hence in the Creede of the Apostles, (which asAug. ser. 115. de tempore. S. Augustine censureth it) is a plaine, briefe, and ful comprehension of our faith; we professe our selues to beleeue these articles. Of which Creed, mention is not only in the saidAug. ibi. & ser. 181 S. Augustine; but also inAmb. ep. 81. ad Si­ricium. S. Ambrose, Hier. ep. ad Pama. aduersus Ioan. Hie­roso. S. Hierome, Leo epi. 13. ad Pul­theriam, & ser. 11. de Pass. S. Leo and diuers others.

If I should endeauour to recite al the testimonies of the ancient Fa­thers to the same effect, I should neuer make an end: for al of them discourse of no other object of faith then this, and require only in Christians, the beleefe of the articles of our faith mentioned. See Ireneus lib. 1. ca. 2. 3. & 4. aduersus haereses. Tertul. lib. aduersus Praxeam. S. Basil. in orat. de confes. fidei, where he telleth vs, that the faith necessa­ry to saluation and justification, is that, by which we beleeue those thinges which God hath reuealed. The same is taught by S. Ciril Bi­shoppe of Hierusalem: Cateches. 5. & 18. By S. Leo serm. 4. de Epi­phania.. This faith and no other is explicated as necessary to saluati­on, by S. Gregory Nazianzene, orat. in sanctum lauacrum extrema, & in tract. de fide Nicena: By S. Chrisostome, in duabus homilijs de simbolo: By S. Augustine, lib. de fide & simbolo, in lib. de Genes. imperfecto, cap. 1. & in Enchirid. per multa capita, and diuers others: but of this mat­ter enough.

SECTION THE FIFT. That true faith is built vpon diuine authority.

I NEEDE not vse many wordes for the proofe of the fourth point: to vvit, that true faith ought to be built vpon diuine authority, [Page 35] because this is easilie gathered out of that which hath beene already said: for if faith be a most firme and certaine assent of the vnderstan­ding to thinges aboue the reach of reason, and the object of it be the misteries of our beleefe; it must needes follow, that the authority of al­mighty God (whose knowledge and wisdome are infinite, and whose sayinges are of infallible truth) must cause vs to beleeue the said miste­ries. If any wil denie this, I wil demand of him, howe we can possibly attaine to a certaine knowledge of so high misteries, but by the reuela­tion of God? and this is that which al Christians commonly professe, when as being demanded why they beleeue this and that; they ans­were, because God hath reuealed such doctrine.

I confesse, that men are commonly first induced to faith by cer­taine reasons, which the Diuines cal arguments of credibility: such are miracles, vvhich proceeding from God, can giue no testimony to falshood; the authority, wisedome, learning, and consent of the professors of our religion in al ages since it beganne; the strange man­ner of the propagation of our said religion being so strict, through­out the vvhole vvorld by a fewe fisher-men; the miraculous preserua­tion of our Church, oppugned by so diuers and mighty enemies; the constancy of our Martirs; the great change to the better, vvhich our religion causeth in those that embrace it; the purity of doctrine and sanctity of life shining in the Prelates and Children of our Church; the conformity of our faith vvith natural reason, in not being con­trary to it, although aboue it, and other motiues, which I haue re­lated in the third Chapter of this treatise, which make the object of faith (in the judgement of any prudent man) credible, and of which, either one, some, or al, induce men first to beleeue. But al these ar­guments are only inducements to the true act of supernatural faith, by vvhich the misteries of our beleefe are afterwardes beleeued; not for any such reasons, but only because they are reuealed by God. This moued Saint Basil to describe faith after this sort:Basilius in ser. de fi­dei cōfess. siue de ve­ra & pia fide in As­ceticis. Faith (saith he) is an assenting approbation of those thinges, which through the bene­fit of God haue beene preached: thus Saint Basil. Hence I inferre, that although faith and also other arguments, haue the same effect in our vnderstanding; vvhich is, to make it giue a firme assent to some veri­ty, which is done by sundry arguments, especially by such as are cal­led demonstrations: yet, there is this difference betweene such argu­ments and faith, that they doe this through euidence of the matter: [Page 36] faith doth it through the authority of the reuealer, leauing stil the mat­ter obscure. And this doctrine is consonant to that of Diuines, who hold the first and supreame verity of God, to be the formal object of our faith: the sence of which their assertion is, that the chiefe reason or cause, on which (as on a foundation) the habit of our faith relieth and resteth, and into which, both it and the assent of it proceeding, is lastly resolued, is the diuine and infallible reuelation of God, or (which is al one) God infallibly reuealing some truth by some Canonical writer, or other lawful definer of faith; of which it followeth, that faith of his owne nature doth assent to no proposition, which is not propounded by diuine reuelation.

SECTION THE SIXT. Besides the reuelation of God, some infallible propounder of the articles of our faith is necessary: and that they are propounded vnto vs by the Catholike Church.

IN the precedent sections of this Chapter I haue declared, that faith is a most firme assent of the vnderstanding, to such misteries as God hath reuealed to al Christians to be beleeued. Nowe I must further lay this most certaine and vndoubted ground to this, that (according to the ordinary proceedings of God, besides the reuelation by him heretofore made of the misteries of Christian beleefe) by the habit of faith we giue assent to the articles reuealed: it is also necessary, that the said articles be propounded vnto vs by some infallible authority, assuring vs that they are so deliuered. This reason it selfe teacheth vs: for seing that Christ hath with-drawne his visible presence from vs, and he himselfe immediately after a sensible manner instructeth no man, but al by some common rule or meanes: seing also that the reue­lation of such misteries is obscure, and no man by the strength and force of natural reason can assure himselfe, that such and such articles haue beene reuealed; it was necessary that God should ordaine some infallible authority to be the Mistris of faith, which might infallibly teach the truth in al such matters doubtful: neither had he otherwise sufficiently prouided vs meanes necessary for our euerlasting saluati­on. I adde also, that although it were so that we were certaine at the [Page 37] beginning of our beleefe, of such a reuelation: yet, that the weakenesse & inconstancy of our vnderstanding is such, that without a sure guide and directour, it easily erreth and straieth from the truth receiued. This notwithstanding, we make not this proposition or propounding of such verities as are reuealed by God, any essential part of the for­mal object of faith; of which I haue spoken before; for we affirme such misteries in themselues, before any such proposition, to be cre­dible and worthy of beleefe: but because this is vnknowne to vs, we require such a proposition only as a necessary condition to this, that we infallibly knowe that they are so reuealed; which must of necessity be knowne, before that we can actually assent vnto them by superna­tural faith.

What infallible authority then haue we (without al feare and doubt of falshood) assuring vs that al the articles of our faith haue beene thus reuealed by God? Verily no other, but the Spouse of Christ our Mother the Church, vvhome our Lord hath made our Mistris and guide in such matters.

And trulie, that we are to learne our beleefe of the Prelates and Pa­stors of the Church, we are aboundantly taught by the sacred word of God. For first, the Apostle S. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans discoursing of this point, vseth these wordes:Rom. 10. vers. 14. Howe shal they beleeue whome they haue not heard? and howe shal they heare without a preacher? as though he should say: No man can attaine to the knowledge and beleefe of the articles of faith, except by some preacher they be pro­pounded vnto him. And that these preachers are the Prelates and Pastors of the Church, it is manifest; because they are the true suc­cessors of the Apostles, who in the beginning of Christianity, from Christ receiued authority & commandement,Mar. 16. vers. 15. Iere. 3. vers. 15. to teach al nations through out the whole world. For the proofe likewise of this truth it maketh, that in the old Testament God promised, that in the newe he would giue vs Pastors according to his owne hart, vvho should feed vs in knowledge and doctrine. Moreouer, like as in the old lawe he pronounced this sen­tence of the sonnes of Aaron. Malac. 2. vers. 7. The lippes of the Priest shal keepe know­ledge, and they shal require the lawe of his mouth: so of the Bishops and Priestes of the newe, who are to enjoy as great (if not a greater) pre­rogatiue, the Apostle telleth vs,Ephes. 4. vers. 11. that our Lord hath giuen (and euer wil giue, as long as the world shal stand) some Pastors and Doctors in his Church to direct vs, that we be not carried away with euery winde [Page 38] of doctrine. And hence proceedeth this notable sentence of the holy Father S. Ireneus, vvho for Christian religion suffered Martirdome about the yeare of Christ two hundred and fiue:Iren. li. 3. cap. 4. We ought not (saith he) to seeke among others the truth, which we may easilie take and receaue from the Church; seing that the Apostles haue most fully laid vp in her (as into a rich treasure house, or place where the Depositum of the Church is kept: of which hereafter) al thinges which are of truth; that euery man that wil, may take out of her the drinke of life. For this is the entrance of life, but al the rest are theeues and robbers: for which cause they are verily to be auoided. But those thinges which are of the Church, are with great diligence to be loued, and the tradition of truth is to be receaued: Hitherto S. Ireneus. We say therefore, that by the Church we learne as certainely, what mi­steries haue beene reuealed by Christ; as we should doe by our Lord himselfe if he were conuersant with vs on earth: and the truth of this wil be made most apparant, by the discourse of the next Chapter fol­lowing.

Chapter 6. Of the supreame and infallible authority of the Catholike Church.

SECTION THE FIRST.

MY principall intent in this treatise, is (as I haue before de­clared) to proue, that vve Catholikes only haue true faith, and that al Sectaries are bereaued of this supernatural ver­tue: vvherefore hauing set downe and made euident, in the Chapter next before, the nature and conditions of true faith, it remaineth that I now beginne in particuler to discourse of these points. And seing that it is of the essence of faith, that it be most assuredly built vpon diuine authority: let vs first behold the groundes of the Catho­like Roman beleefe, and see whether they are able to make a sufficient foundation for such a faith, in the followers of that religion; then let vs doe the like concerning the groundes of the newe Sectaries. But first I must note, that although (as I haue proued before) we must trulie say, that we knowe infallibly the misteries of our faith to be re­uealed [Page 39] by God; because we are so taught by the Church: yet, that her authority is not limited to the decision of this matter only, for it extendeth it selfe also to the definition of al particuler matters of faith, and may haue for her object the verities themselues reuealed. It also condemneth heresies and prescribeth general preceptes of manners touching good and il: wherefore the ancient Catholike buildeth vpon her authority, not only his faith touching the point mentioned; but also (in some sort) his whole beleefe, and consequently al his internal vertues grounded vpon the same. He relieth likewise on her doctrine for his externall carriage, concerning vertue and vice; and finally ac­cepteth al her faith as infallibly reuealed by God himselfe, who hath made her supreame judge of al controuersies touching matters of reli­gion, and assured vs that her judgement is not only certaine and infalli­ble; but also (through the perpetual assistance and direction of the ho­ly Ghost) diuine: so that God directeth her in al truth, and by her as a sensible guide, he bestoweth the same benefit vpon vs in al thinges ne­cessary to saluation: wherefore our whole beleefe and religion in such sort dependeth of her infallible authority, that if this be proued, it con­uinceth that to be true, sincere, and diuine.

For no man can denie, but in building vpon the tradition, decision, or definition of the Church, we ground our faith and religion vpon di­uine authority, if her decrees be Gods, and her doctrine warranted to be his. Let vs therefore endeauour to shewe this, that so with fewe wordes we may decide the whole question: and to auoide confusion, let vs diuide the whole discourse of this Chapter, into the proofe of some three or foure assertions.

SECTION THE SECOND. The whole summe of Christian doctrine (by word of mouth, not by writing) was committed by Christ to his Apostles.

FIRST therefore I affirme, that Christ cōmitted the whole summe of Christian doctrine by word of mouth, not by writing to his Apo­stles: & ordained that they should deliuer the same to their successors, the Bishops and Pastors of the Church. This is manifest, both because [Page 40] diuers points of Christian doctrine, which the Apostles receaued from Christ, are not recorded by the Euangelists in their Gospels: and also because S. Luke witnesseth,Act. 1. v. 3. that Christ after his passion and resurrecti­on, shewed himselfe aliue to his Apostles in many arguments, for fortie dayes appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdome of God: of which his speach litle or nothing is recorded. I adde moreouer, that not long before his ascention, he gaue his Apostles this commission: Going (said he) teach ye al nations, Mat. 28. v. 19.20. baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost, teaching them to obserue al thinges whatsoeuer I haue comman­ded you. These places (I say) manifestly proue, that Christ by word of mouth instructed his Apostles concerning the misteries and articles of Christian religion, and according to his instruction, commanded them to teach the whole world. Neither is there any record extant, that Christ gaue them these instructions in writing, or that he commanded them to set them downe and publish them after that sort: yea if we wil not say, that the Apostles transgressed Christes commandement, we must absolutely say, that he neuer bid them doe any such thing, because neuer any one of them (as I wil declare hereafter) set downe in writing the whole summe of Christian doctrine.

No man likewise wil or can deny, but that it was the ordination of Christ, that the Apostles should deliuer this whole summe of Christian doctrine to their successors: for otherwise Christ should haue institu­ted a Church only for the Apostles daies, not to continue to the end of the world, according to the predictions of the Prophets. And hence this summe of Christian doctrine by the Apostle S. Paul was most ear­nestly commended to Timothie. 1. Tim. vlt vers. 20. O Timothie (saith he) keepe the deposi­tum (that is, the pledge or pawne left with thee) auoiding the prophane no­uelties of voices, and oppositions of falsly called knowledge. He calleth it de­positum, or a pledge or pawne, because it is (as it were) a thing laid into the Apostles and Bishops handes, and committed vnto them to keepe, which euery one of them with great care and diligence (without any al­teration or deprauation) was and is to deliuer to his successors vntil the end of the world.Vinc. Lir. lib. contra prophanas hoeresum nouitates cap. 7. This is most learnedly explicated by Vincentius Li­rinensis, who florished in the Church very neere twelue hundred yeares since. For this learned Father, hauing demanded what the depositum was which the Apostle left with Timothie, answered thus. This pawne or pledge (saith he) is a thing committed to thy charge, not inuented by thee: that which thou hast receiued, not that which thou hast deuised. A matter not [Page 41] of wit, but of doctrine; not of priuate vsurpation, but of publike tradition: a thing brought downe vnto thee, not brought forth first by thee, of which thou must not be authour, but keeper only; not the founder, but the follower; not a leader, but one which is led: Hitherto Vincentius Lirinensis. Of this Deposi­tum likewise are these wordes of the Apostle in the same Chapter.1. Timoth. vlt. ver. 13 I com­mand thee before God who quickneth al thinges, and Christ Iesus who gaue testimonie vnder Pontius Pilate a good confession: that thou keepe the com­mandement without spot blamelesse, vntil the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. And so these places are expounded by Tertullian and the rest of the Fa­thers: for they are according to their exposition,Tertul. de praescrip­tionibus. Iren. lib. 3. cap. 4. most earnest exhor­tations to Timothie, to keepe vnspotted the doctrine receaued, and to admit no newe thing inuented by mans fancie. This moued S. Ireneus to affirme, that the Apostles haue laid vp in the Church, as in a rich treasure house, al truth. Moreouer, this summe of Christian doctrine for the same reason is likewise called, the doctrine of the Apostles: Act. 2.24. They were (saith S. Luke speaking of the first Christians) perseuering in the doctrine of the Apostles, that is to say: in the doctrine which by Christ was deliuered to the Apostles, and by them preached and published to the vvorld. Finally, because according vnto it, euery man is to direct his beleefe, it is called by S. Paul the rule of faith, and the forme of doctrine: Gal. 6, 16. Whoso­euer shal followe this rule (saith he) peace vpon them and mercy. Againe; let vs continue in the same rule. And in the Epistle to the Romans: Phil. 3, 16 Rom. 6, 17 2. Cor. 10. vers. 15. you haue obeyed from the hart vnto the forme of doctrine, into the which you haue beene deliuered: The like sentences he hath in other places. Hence Tertullian auoucheth, that theTertul. de praescr. ca. 13. 22. 27. &c. Apostles receaued from Christ the ful­nesse of the preaching of the Gospel, and that they deliuered vnto al Chri­stians, al the order of the rule of beleefe: He telleth vs also that Cap. 14. faith is placed in rule: he biddeth Heretikes be Tertul. de praescr. cap. 22. silent, and not prate against this rule, and wisheth Catholikes (if they wil doubt or aske questions con­cerning matters of religion) to inquire of those which are of their owne com­pany; and concerning such matters as may be called in question without the breach of the rule of faith. Lastly he addeth, thatCap. 14. this rule instituted by Christ, hath no doubtes or questions among vs, but such as Heretikes doe bring in, or doe make Heretikes: Thus farre Tertullian. The same rule S. Igna­tius the Disciple of S. Iohn the Apostle, affirmeth himselfe to haue ob­serued. Doe you (saith he in his Epistle to the Phillippians) say and teach the selfe same, and be of one judgement: for by this I haue obserued the rules of faith.

[Page 42]Wherefore I conclude, that Christ deliuered a rule of faith, or forme of doctrine to his Apostles, which they confirmed by miracles, and de­liuered to their successors; and that the said rule containeth the vvhole summe or corps of Christian doctrine.

SECTION THE THIRD. The Church cannot stray from the rule of faith receaued, nor erre in matters of faith or general precepts of manners, which is pro­ued first, because the holy Ghost directeth her in al truth.

THIS being proued I must nowe declare, that the Church hath ne­uer erred, nor can erre from this rule of faith receiued, and that her judgement concerning matters of religion, is of diuine and infalli­ble authority. The most principal reason vsually brought for the proofe of this, is: that God himselfe (to wit, the holy Ghost the third person of the most blessed Trinity, who is subject to no errour or false­hood) is the guide and director of the Church in al such affaires. And this we are taught by Christ, who likewise being God the second per­son of the most blessed Trinity, cannot deceaue vs. For this promise he made to his Apostles immediately after his last supper, these vvere his wordes:Ioh. 14. vers. 16. Ioh. 16. vers. 13. I wil aske the father, and he wil giue you another Paraclete (that is to say, an other comforter or aduocat) that he may abide with you for euer: the spirit of truth. Againe, yet many thinges I haue to say vnto you, but you cannot beare them nowe: but when he, the spirit of truth commeth, he shal teach you al truth. This was the promise of our Sauiour, and who wil say that he hath not beene so good as his word? Surely if this promise vvas not brought to effect, the breach of it either proceeded of vvant of power, or of vvant of vvil in Christ: but vvhat Chri­stian can imagine, that either of these was wanting in the Sonne of God? Hence I gather, that although our Sauiour (during the time of his being on earth) both before and after his passion, gaue to his Apo­stles diuers instructions touching Christian religion; yet, that he left the ful and perfect instruction of them to the holie Ghost, vvho vvas to reduce al thinges to memorie, and to establish them perfectly in faith; and whome his Father was to send by his mediation, to be the [Page 43] cheefest instructor and guide of his Church in al truth, to the vvorldes end. And this vvas done on the day of Pentecost, vvhen the holie Ghost in the likenesse of firie tongues, Act. 2. v. 4 descended vpon the Apostles and Disciples: since vvhich time (according to the promise of Christ) he hath neuer departed from the Church, but remained in her and taught her al truth; which euery man must needes confesse, that vvil not accuse Christ of breach of his promise. Wherefore, like as Christ is tearmed the head and husband of the Church (as I vvil euen nowe de­clare) so the holie Ghost is aptly tearmed by S. Augustine, her soule. Aug. tom, 10. serm. 186. de tempore. For like as the soule of man directeth and gouerneth his body: so doth the holie Ghost the Church. Some man perhaps vvil answere, that Christ made this promise of the assistance of the holie Ghost to the Apostles only, and not to their successors: but this assertion is most absurd, and contrary to the vvordes themselues of holie Scripture. For Christ (as I haue noted before) erected not a Church for the daies of the Apostles only: but to continue vntil the end of the vvorld, as vvas foretold by the Prophets, that men in al ages to come might haue a meane to attaine to saluation; vvherefore those thinges vvhich he spoke to his Apostles and Disciples, he spoke also to al their succes­sors.Ephes. 4. vers. 11. For (as vve are taught by the Apostle) he hath giuen some Apo­stles, some Prophets, and other some Euangelists, and others some Pastors and Doctors, vntil the day of judgement. In this sense he promised his Apostles (as we read in S. Mathewes Gospel) that he would be with them al daies, euen to the consummation of the world, that is to say:Math. 28. vers. vlt. vvith them and those vvhich should succeede in their place. Wherefore Saint Hierome expounding that sentence, vseth these vvordes:Hier. lib. 4. in Mat. He who promiseth that hee wil bee with his Disciples, vntil the consummation of the world, both sheweth that they shal alwaies liue: and also that he wil neuer depart from the faithful. Saint Augustine likevvise affirmeth,Aug. in ps. 101. cōc. 2. that he spoke to the Apostles, and signified vs. To the same effectCipr. lib. 4. epist. Saint Ciprian, andBasi. con­sti. monast. cap. 23. Saint Basil tel vs, that these vvordes of Christ;Luc. 10. vers. 16. He that heareth you, heareth me, vvere spoken not only to the A­postles: but also to their successors. Finally, the vvordes them­selues of Christ aboue cited, are plaine: for howe can the holie Ghost remaine here on earth, vvith those Apostles vnto vvhome Christ spake, for euer; seing that they liued in the vvorld but for a short time? Wherefore he remaineth vvith their successors, the Bishoppes and Prelates of the Church, vvho haue succeeded the first Apostles, as [Page 44] children their parents; and with these he shal remaine as long as the world shal endure.

For the confirmation of this truth I adde, that this assistance of the holy Ghost in the Church, was long since foretold by the Prophet Isaie. These wordes he vseth, speaking in the person of God, of the state of the Church in the lawe of grace.Isa. 59. My spirit which is in thee, and my wordes which I haue put in thy mouth, shal not depart from thy mouth, and from the mouth of thy seede, and of thy seedes seede saith our Lord from hence forward and for euer. Hitherto the Prophet Isaie; and what could be said more plaine then this? Surely the promise is so euident, that Caluin him selfe in his Commentarie vpon them, graunteth as much as we haue af­firmed. Thus he discourseth, expounding the said wordes: He pro­miseth (saith he) that the Church shal neuer be depriued of this inestimable good: Caluinus in Isai. cap. 59. but that it shal alwaies be gouerned by the holy Ghost, and supported with heauenly doctrine. And soone after: The promise is such, that the Lord wil so assist the Church, and haue such care of her, that he wil neuer suffer her to be depriued of true doctrine: Thus farre Caluin. Finally, Beza his Scholler confesseth,Beza de haereticis a ciuili Magistra­tu punien­dis. pa. 69. Ire. li. 1. c. 3. li. 3. c. 4. that the promise of our Sauiour of the assistance of the ho­ly Ghost, was not made only to the Apostles, but rather to the whole Church. Let this therefore be the conclusion of this argument, that the Church of Christ is directed by the holy Ghost, in matters concer­ning faith and religion; in such sort, that she neither hath fallen, nor can fal into any errours. And this was long since affirmed by S. Ireneus who telleth vs, that the Church keepeth with most sincere diligence; the Apo­stles faith, & that which they preached; and moreouer that those Churches in which succession from the Apostles is found, conserue and keepe our faith.Cipr. epist. 55. ad Cor nelium. See him likewise epist. 69. ad Florea­tium. The same we are taught by S. Ciprian who auoucheth, that the Church alwaies holdeth that which she first knewe.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. The same is proued by other arguments.

AN other argument, prouing the judgement of the Church to be of infallible truth, vve may take from the loue and affection, vvhich Christ beareth to the said Church. For in the Scripture vve find, that Christ is theCant. 4. Ephes. 1. v. 22. &c. husband and head of the Church, & the Church [Page 45] his Spouse and body: August. in psal. 126. For (if we beleeue S. Augustine) he formed her out of his owne side vpon the Crosse, as Eue our first father Adams spouse, was made of his ribbe; and this long since he promised to doe by the Prophet Osee, in these wordes: I wil espouse thee vnto mee for euer: Osee 2. vers. 19. and I wil espouse thee vnto mee in justice and judgement, and mercy, and mi­serations. He also redeemed, purchased, and vvashed her vvith his owne most pretious bloud, and made her his spiritual body: wherefore he is present with her (according to his promise) al daies, Math. 28. vers. vlt. euen to the con­summation of the world; and no man wil denie, but he loueth, cherisheth, and gouerneth her as his Spouse and body. Out of which fauours and prerogatiues I may very wel inferre, that he being truth it selfe, and hating al falshood, preserueth her from errour; this also being a dowry, and priuiledge so necessary to her dignity. These considerations mo­ued S. Ciprian to discourse after this sort of this matter:Cipr. li. de vnitat. Ecclesiae. the Spouse of Christ (saith he) cannot be defiled with adultery; she is incorrupt, pure, and chaste; she knoweth one only house, she keepeth with a chaste shamefastnesse, the sanctity of one chamber: Thus S. Ciprian. To the same allude these wordes of S. Augustine, spoken of the Church. This is the true mother: Aug. tom. 6. conc. ad cath. c. 22. a mother pious and chaste, adorned inwardly with the dignity of her husband; not outwardly, shamefully, and dishonestly, painted deceitfully with a decea­uing lie. The promiseS of Christ vnto his Church of not erring and the prerogatiues, which he hath bestowed vpon the same, yeeld vs a third argument. For listen a litle, what a notable and worthy promise he hath made to vs, that his Church built vpon S. Peter, or (as I may say) his whole Church vnited to the supreame Vicar and cheefe head of the same vnder himselfe, shal not faile or erre. These are the wordes which he vttered to the said Apostle.Math. 16. vers. 18. Thou art Peter (or a rocke) and vpon this rocke wil I build my Church, and the gates of hel shal not preuaile against it. What could he haue said more, for the certainety of the con­tinuance of the Church, and for her infallible judgement? For is it not euident, that hel gates doe preuaile against the Church, if either she de­cay, or teach false doctrine? who then can say, that either the hath pe­rished, or erred; except he wil accuse Christ of falshood in not perfor­ming his promise, and make him a liar? VerilyChrisost. hom. 4. de verbis I­saiae vidi Dominum Epiph. in Ancorato. S. Iohn Chrisostome affir­meth, that heauen and earth shal faile before those wordes of Christ; thou art Peter and vpon this rocke I wil build my Church. S. Epiphanius al­so, alluding to this promise telleth vs, that our Lord appointed Peter the first or cheefest Apostle, a firme rocke, vpon which the Church of God was [Page 46] built; and the gates of hel (saith he) shal not preuaile against it: for the gates of hel are Heretikes and Arch-heretikes, &c. the like sentences I could alleage out of the rest of the ancient Fathers. And vnto this testimonie of our Sauiour I could likewise adde, that he hath warranted the faith of S. Peter, and in him the faith of his successor the Bishop of Rome, who is ministerial head of Christes Church on earth,Luc. 22. vers. 31. that it shal not faile; and consequently that the body ruled by the head, shal enjoy the same prerogatiue: but of this hereafter.

Moreouer, our Sauiour made his Church the supreame judge on earth, of al controuersies touching matters of religion: for it is mani­fest that from her judgement he graunteth no appeale; and that he vvil haue her definitiue sentence so firme and inuiolable among Chri­stians, that he vvil not haue him accounted one of that number, who shal preuaricate or despise the same. This is signified vnto vs in these his wordes:Math. 18. vers. 17. If he wil not heare the Church: let him be to thee as the Hea­then, and the Publican. In which sentence he biddeth vs, esteeme no more of our brother or neighbour, that contemneth or disobeieth the censure of the Church, then of a Heathen and Publican: of which I gather, that the Church in her censure cannot erre. For if this might be, then vve being bound to condemne, whome she condemneth, or to condemne him that vvil not listen and obey her counsaile and pre­cepts, might together with the Church condemne a man without just cause, and that according to Christes commandement. It appeareth likewise out of the said vvordes of our Sauiour, that he vvil haue the sentence of the Church obeied; wherefore he ought in reason to pro­uide, that the said sentence be not erroneous.

But for the truth of these wordes of our Lord; and also for the con­stant verity of the censure of the Church, it maketh first, that diuers falshoodes, which before her said censure might in times past haue bin beleeued and defended: yea, were defended & beleeued by the mem­bers of the true Church, without incurring the crime of heresie, after­wardes could not be so beleeued and defended: as I could exemplifie in the Milinary heresie, the opinion of such as held the baptisme of He­retikes to be of no force; of others that denied the authority of some Ca­nonical bookes, and such like. Secondly, it maketh also for these her prerogatiues, that al such as haue obstinately maintained any opinions condemned by the Church for heresies, and consequently haue dis­obeied her authority & decrees, and beene by her adjudged Heretikes; [Page 47] haue euer by al antiquity beene so accounted,August. in Enchirid. ad Laurēt cap. 5. Tertul. de pudicitia item li. de praescript. Math. 5. v. 13.15. Luc. 10. vers. 16. and therefore haue not beene numbred by the ancient Fathers among Christians: whose opi­nions notvvithstanding (if vve reject her infallible judgement, by vvhich they were condemned, and make it subject to errour) may be reuiued and called againe in question, either as wrongfully and injust­ly censured, or at the least as condemned by a judge, whose judgement is subject to errour and falshood. The priuileges and prerogatiues graunted by our Sauiour to his Apostles and Disciples, confirme the same: for they are by him called the salt of the earth, and the light of the world: and being sent to preach, they receaued from him this commis­sion and approbation of their doctrine; He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that dispiseth you, dispiseth me. Which wordes argue an infallible truth, although not in the doctrine of euery particuler Bishop and Pre­late of the Church: yet in them altogether, when they represent the whole Church in a Councel; or in the whole number of them, although diuided & seperated in place. For in these, like as in Christes Apostles and Disciples (as I haue aboue declared) the wordes alleaged must be verified, which cannot be done, if they al in euery sense may erre. For how can they then truly be tearmed the salt of the earth, and the light of the world? and how can it be true, that he that heareth them, heareth Christ? But if we had no other testimony of holy Scripture for this matter, fiue or six wordes of the Apostle, vsed by him to Timothie in his first epistle,1. Tim. 3. v. 15. &c. vvere sufficient to conuince our vnderstanding, and make vs yeeld to this truth. For in his said Epistle, he tearmeth the Church the piller and ground of truth. These thinges I write to thee (saith he) hoping that I shal come to thee quickly: but if I tarie long, that thou maist knowe howe thou ough­test to conuerse in the house of God, which is the Church of the liuing God, the piller and ground of truth. What could he haue said more euident for the infallible authority of the Church? the Church (saith he) is the pil­ler and ground of truth; that is to say, the very foundation and establish­ment of al verity, vpon vvhich as vpon a sure foundation, and an inuiolable piller, a man may securely build the edifice of his faith and religion: vvho then vvil say that the Church is subject to errour? These considerations moued S. Augustine, Aug. lib. 1. cont. Cres­conium. disputing against Cresco­nius concerning the baptisme of Heretikes, to vse this discourse: these are his vvordes. Although of this (that the baptisme of Heretikes is true baptisme) there be no certaine example brought forth out of the canonical Scri­ptures: yet also in this we keepe the truth of the said Scriptures, when as we doe [Page 48] that which now hath pleased the whole Church, which the authority of the Scri­ptures themselues doth commend. That because the Scripture cannot deceaue, whosoeuer doth feare least that he be deceaued through the obscurity of this que­stion, may aske counsaile touching it of the Church, whome without any doubt the Scripture it selfe doth shewe: Hitherto S. Augustine. Out of which dis­course of his, we may gather this notable rule, that in al thinges doubt­ful, and in al obscure questions concerning faith and religion, we ought to enquire and search forth the doctrine and beleefe of the Catholike Church, and imbrace the same, seeking no further warrant of security; because the Scriptures demonstrate her, and manifestly declare that her doctrine is true, and may securely be followed without any dan­ger of errour. Vnto these arguments brought out of the word of God, reason it selfe assenteth: for seing that for diuers respects, it was conue­nient that Christ our Lord should not alwaies conuerse on earth among vs, and in his owne person manage the affaires of the Church, it was necessary that he should leaue among Christians some certaine rule & guide, whereby they might direct their faith, and some judge for the deciding of daylie controuersies, which might arise touching matters of religion; whose judgement they might securely followe without al danger of being deceaued. Neither can we imagine that Gods infinit wisedome foreseing al thinges and times to come, or his vnspeakable goodnes and loue to his Church, could order thinges otherwise. And this infallible guide and supreame judge is the Church, including the Pope, and other her Bishops and Prelates. It was also needfull, seing that the Church of Christ was to endure for euer (I meane on earth vn­til the end of the world) and to be to al persons, a perfect guide in al a­ges to saluation, that it should be preserued from false doctrine and ruine; otherwise it could not at al times haue performed these offices. Our aduersaries wil answere, that the Church through false doctrine and superstition hath already perished; and not appeared in the world for diuers hundreds of yeares: but this I shal refute at largeCap. 5. in my trea­tise of the definition and notes of the true Church. For this present vn­to that which hath beene already said in this Chapter, concerning the continuall assistance of the holy Ghost in the Church, and other argu­ments prouing that she cannot erre; I adde only, that according to the censure of S. Augustine: Aug. l. de vnita. Ec­cles. c. 6. 7 12. & 13. see him al­so li. 20. de ciuit. c. 8. & in psal. 85. & de vtilit. cre­dendi. c. 8. Whosoeuer affirmeth the Church to haue beene ouerthrowne, doth robbe Christ of his glory and inheritance bought with his most pretious bloud: yea, S. Hierome goeth further and auerreth, that [Page 49] he that so saith, doth make God subject to the Deuil and a poore miserable Christ. Hier. cōt. Lucifer. cap. 6. The reason is, because this assertion doth (after a sort) bereaue the whole incarnation, life, and passion of our Sauiour, of their effect and end, which was principally to found a Church and Kingdome in this world, which should endure vntil the day of judgement, and direct men in al truth to saluation. Wherefore, vvhosoeuer affirmeth the Church to haue perished, taketh away this effect and prerogatiue from his incarnation, life, and passion, and auoucheth that at sometimes, man had no meanes left to attaine to euerlasting blisse; which is also re­pugnant to the mercy and goodnes of God. He also maketh God sub­ject to the Diuel, in making the Diuel stronger then Christ, and affir­ming him to haue ouerthrowne Christes Church & Kingdome, which our Lord promised should neuer be conquered, as I haue aboue decla­red. I could adde an other reason, conuincing the Church not to haue erred, taken out of Tertullian, Tertul. lib. de praescr. cap. 28. who proueth it because errour common­ly bringeth forth diuision: for it were a very strange matter, that diuers nations farre distant from one an other; erring from the truth, should al fal into the selfe same errour; wherefore, seing that the Catholike faith and religion in al places is one and the same, it is like that it doth pro­ceede of tradition not of errour: but this matter is already sufficiently proued.

I wil therefore conclude, that the Church of Christ is not subject to errour, touching matters of faith and religion; and consequently, that euery man may securely followe concerning such matters, her sentence and judgement. And this is that high beaten and plaine way to salua­tion, which was long since foretold by the Prophet Isaias, who pro­phecying of the Kingdome of Christ, vseth these wordes.Isa. 35. vers. 8. And there shal be a path and way, and it shal be called the holy way: and it shal be so direct that fooles shal not be able to erre therein: For no such way can be shewed if this be denied. Hence S. Hierome telleth vs,Hieron. in dialog. cōt Lucifer. cap. 6. that we ought to remaine in that Church, which being founded by the Apostles con­tinueth til this day.

This also is that, which we are taught to beleeue in the Creede of the Apostles, vvhen as vve professe our selues to beleeue the Catholike Church. For in these wordes we doe not only acknowledge, that vve beleeue that Christ hath a Catholike Church on earth: but also affirme, that we beleeue, heare, and obey the same: wherefore in al doubts and controuersies touching religion, let vs listen and giue eare to this our [Page 52] [...] [Page 53] [...] [Page 50] holy Mother, and obey her sentence, although it seeme neuer so re­pugnant to our sense and reason. For she is the rocke, ground, and piller of truth, let vs beleeue her, and euer remaine in her sacred bosome. And although vve receaue our faith, and are instructed in religion by some particuler men: yet, let vs not doubt, but that we are taught by this vniuersal Church. For they who instruct vs, and deliuer our faith vn­to vs, doe this as the officers and members of this Church, and by her order and appointment: neither doe they deliuer the said doctrine vn­to vs, as their owne; but as the doctrine of the Church, and as such we receaue it, and haue sufficient motiues to perswade vs that this is true. Wherefore, like as the action of a member of a mans body, is attributed to the vvhole (for although the hand strike: yet, man is said to strike, &c.) so although we be instructed, & taught by some particuler mem­ber of the Church; yet, vve may vvel say that this is done by the said Catholike and vniuersal Church.

These considerations vvere so forcible euen in Luthers vnderstan­ding, for a long time after his fal from vs, that he found his conscience often troubled for his disobedience to the Church. In one place thus he writeth:Luther tom. 2. l. de seru. arbit. During more then tenne yeares, I was so moued by authority, conscience, multitude of Martirs, of Bishops, of Popes, of Councels, of Vniuersities, that it was incredible that this Troy remaining so long in so many conflicts inuincible, could neuer be conquered. And in another place:Luther tom. 1. in propos. suis de viribus hominis. When I had (saith he) ouercome al arguments by the Scriptures, this one, (that the Church is to be heard) at length with most great difficulty, and perplexitie or anguish (by Christes assistance) I hardly ouercame: Thus Luther. I adde also, that ourSee Hoo­ker in his 3. booke of Eccl. poli­cy §. 2 7. 9 Bel in his treatise of the regi­ment of the Church. pag. 200. Whitgift & others. English Protestants themselues dispu­ting against the Puritans, are forced to acknowledge, that the Church hath authority to prescribe orders for her gouernement, vvhich euery one is bound to obey. Yea, Field, Hutton, and Gabriel Powel, seeme to make the constitutions of the Church, equal vvith those of the Apostles. For the first of them auoucheth, that both thinges which Field booke 4. chap. 20. § that the Apostles. the Apostles themselues deliuered by tradition, and also such thinges, as were deliuered by their next after-commers, are dispensable by the autho­rity of the Church. And howe so, if the Church hath not Apostolike authority? surely his reason assigned, is: because the Apostles and Apo­stolike men did not deliuer them, as reporting the immediate preceptes of Christ himselfe, but by vertue of their Pastoral power and office; of vvhich it seemeth plainely to followe, that he yeelding the Church autho­rity [Page 51] to dispense in them, giueth her equal Apostolike power.Hutton in his answ. to a trea­tise of the Crosse in baptisme. pag. 3. and 59. see also pag. 9. Hutton affirmeth, Ecclesiastical constitutions made by the Church of Christ, not to be meerely humane, but in part diuine: And the reason is (saith he) because the Church is ruled by the spirit of Christ, who is the truth. Againe: if you make your comparison betweene that which God hath com­manded, and that which the Church of God hath ordained, the difference is not so great as you would haue it. Let Gods commandement haue wor­thily the first place and preheminence in al thinges, as is meete; but let the ordinances of the Church be immediately subordinate vnto Gods commande­ment, and ranged in a second place: not only, because the Church of God heareth his voice: but also, because she is ruled by his spirit, and by the great and pretious promises of God, is made partaker of the diuine nature; which (no doubt) doth assist them euen in the lawes also and constitutions, which are made for order and decency in the Church. Hitherto are Hut­tons vvordes.

Powels wordes are these. Those Adiophora or thinges indifferent, Gabriel Powellus in the sibus de Adia­phoris. ca. 2. §. 7. & 8 which are wel and lawfully instituted and approued by the Church, are after such sort humane, as they are also diuine; and therefore they haue authority more then only humane: yea, they haue authority altogether diuine. The reason is, be­cause the Church is gouerned by the spirit of Christ who is truth. Againe:Ibid. cap. 3. §. 6. & 7 God left it in the power and wil of the Chruch, to dispose and ordaine for her owne conseruation, profit, comlinesse, order and discipline, al thinges indif­ferent, ceremonies and external rites; which manifestly appeareth out of the holy Scriptures themselues, to haue beene true of the primatiue Church in the Apostles daies; neither can any man denie it to be true of the present Church. For seing that it is the same spirit gouerning the Church of al times, why may it not likewise be lawful for the Church to institute lawes concerning external rites, in times ensuing? Thus Powel. And out of these assertions of our aduersaries, I thinke a prudent man wil wel inferre, that our doctrine concerning the infallible judgement of the Church in matters of faith (euen according to their proceedinges) is very reasonable, and con­sonant to holy Scripture. For seing that vnitie and consent in faith, is farre more necessary then vnity and consent in ceremonies, and posi­tiue ordinances for gouernement; vve may truly affirme, that Christ vvas more careful for the preseruation of the first, then of the second. Seing further, that the reasons and authorities of holy Scripture by them brought, and generally al the promises of our Lord concerning the direction of the Church, make as much (nay commonly more) [Page 52] for the first then for the second (for they are principally concerning di­rection in truth) we doe followe reason and the holy Scripture in main­taining the first, if they are not to be blamed for their maintenance of the second. Seing moreouer, that Field and Powel giue the present Church in al ages, as great authority as it had the Apostles yet liuing, and they vvere then not only ordainers of positiue lawes and orders; but also infallible propounders of true doctrine, and directors in mat­ters of beleefe, we haue no reason according to their ground, to denie this prerogatiue to the same Church in al future times. Seing finally, that the Puritans denie the collection or deduction of either of these prerogatiues out of the Scripture, and the Protestants auerre the plaine deduction of one, and for this the Puritans condemne the Protestants; we may wel imagine that the Puritans may erre in denying both, and that the Protestants are to graunt the one as wel as the other, and conse­quently, that the Catholike truth should be imbraced by al.

SECTION THE FIFT. That the testimonies of holy Scripture, and other proofes brought for the infallible and diuine authority of the Church, cannot be applied to the Church, considered as it comprehendeth al faithful Chri­stians, that are and haue beene since Christes ascension, or since the Apostles daies: but vnto the present Church of al ages.

BEFORE I end this chapter, I thinke it not amisse to confute two or three opinions of our aduersaries, of which al seeme (in some sort) to derogate from the truth of those thinges which I haue here auerred, and to weaken their principal proofes.Booke 4. chap. 1. 2. 3. 5. & 13. The one is of M. Field, who tel­leth vs that we may speake of the Church three manner of waies. First, as it comprehendeth al the faithful that are and haue beene since Christ ap­peared in flesh, including also the Apostles. Secondly, as it comprehen­deth al that are and haue beene since the Apostles time. Lastly, as it compre­hendeth those only that are liuing at one present time in the world. In the first signification, he freeth it from ignorance and errour concer­ning matters of faith; in the second, from errour only; and in the third, not from errour in al articles of beleefe, but in such only as euery man [Page 53] is bound expresly to knowe and beleeue: wherefore,Chap. 5. he applieth that promise of Christ aboue mentioned, that the holy Ghost should teach the Church al truth, to the Church in the first and second signification.

Another assertion is, that the present Church may be said at al times to be the piller of truth and not to erre, because it retaineth alwaies (as Field speaketh) a sauing profession of heauenly truth: that is,Chap. 4. §. the Church. Field booke 3. chap. 4. and 3. true doctrine concerning al such principal pointes as are the substance of faith, and needful to be knowne & beleeued expresly by euery man. Hence they assigne some such principal points and articles, which they binde euery person to knowe and beleeue, vnder peril of eternal damnation, and deny asmuch as the virtual beleefe of others to be necessary, which I place as a third absurd opinion. To confute these assertions, and to cleere the truth before proued, from al cloudes of falsehood, which may seeme to obscure it, I thinke it not amisse in this place, to proue these three propositions. First, that no testimonies or reasons before brought, can be applied to the Church in those two first acceptions of the Church expressed by Field: secondly, that the same testimonies and reasons, proue an infallible judgement of the Church, concerning euery article of faith in general, not touching some principal only: last­ly that to saluation it is necessary, to beleeue either expresly or virtual­ly the whole summe of Christian doctrine. And to performe this, con­cerning the first in the first place, I demand whether there be or no, any such Churches nowe extant in the world, of which the one inclu­deth al faithful Christians that are and haue beene since the ascension of Christ: the other, al those that are and haue beene since the Apostles daies? if there be not, then the promises of Christ cannot be verified of them: if there be, then I aske further, vvhere they are to be found? Is the Church now in the world that hath beene in former ages? Are they that in times past flourished, nowe members of the Church militant? They are not vvithout doubt. Wherefore, although these two diuers considerations of the Church, may be in our vnderstanding: yet, there is no real object of them, nowe hauing any real being in the world, nor euer vvas at any one time: and seing that it is euident that the promises of Christ, are concerning the prerogatiues of some real body or com­mon wealth, hauing real being in the vvorld, and not only in our con­ceit; it is also manifest, that they were not spoken of the Church in any one of those two acceptions. Besides this, howe shal vve seuer or di­stinguish these three considerations of the Church, really from one an­other? [Page 54] doth not the Church in the first acception comprehend the same Church, as it is taken in the second and third signification? doth it not (as Field saith) comprehend al that are and euer haue beene since Christ appea­red in the flesh? if so, then without doubt also, that Church which hath bin in al particuler ages, and at al particuler times and instances, and is euen at this present. We must imagine (if I be not deceaued) the better to vnderstand M. Field his meaning,Vincent. Liren. ad­uersus hae­res. ca. 28. 29. as Vincentius Lirenensis seemeth to insinuate, that the beginning and progresse of the Church since her first planting, hath beene not much vnlike to the augmentation or growing of a child, from his first birth to his perfect state or old age. And who can make any question, but in the time of a mans being, from his birth vntil his old age, that time also is included, which was from the day in which he was weaned from his nurses milke, vntil his said old age? but if we admit this, howe can we choose but confesse, that the Church in the first acception, includeth also the same in the second and third? and so I say, that the last is comprehended in the second: howe then can he make the Church in the first signification, free from errour and ig­norance, and not in the second and third? or howe can he make it in the second signification free from errour, and not in the third? and to make the matter a litle more euident: I demand of M. Field, whether a man might truly haue said, at al times since the Apostles daies, the Church in the first and second signification, is absolutely free from al errour in diuine thinges? if he might not, then nothing more is attributed to the Church in these acceptions, then to the same in the last: if he might, then was the present Church in euery instant free from such errours & ignorance. For to insist in the similitude already made, to this that a man be said to be sound and in health, it is not sufficient that in his child­hood or at some other time, he was so affected: but it is also necessary that he be sound at that very time, when the sentence is pronounced; and if the sentence be pronounced of al his whole life, it cannot be true if once he were sicke. In like sort, to this that the Church as it includeth al times, since the Ascention of Christ, or from the Apostles, be said to be free from al errour: it is not sufficient that in the first yeares, or at some time or other it was so: but it is also requisite that she be so nowe, and euer haue beene so; otherwise, if she haue beene infected vvith errour at some one time, the said errour maketh the proposition false. And in very deed I cannot see, first, for what other reason he freeth the Church in the first signification from ignorance and errour; but [Page 55] in respect of the Apostles daies, when it enjoied only (as he saith) such priueledges: in like sort, I can see no other reason why he freeth it in the second acception from errour, but this; that at some time or o­ther, in some place or other, true doctrine hath beene or is taught in her, concerning euery article of faith. For he maketh the present Church, at al times subject to errour, and consequently, he wil not giue this priueledge to the present Church of al times. And this he semeth to confesse in those his vvords of the eleauenth chapter, where he saith, that the Church in the second acception is infallibly true. Not in respect of the condition of the men of whome it consisteth, Booke 4. chap. 11. §. that the authority. or the man­ner of the guiding of the spirit, (each particuler man being subject to errour) but in respect of the generality, and vniuersality of it, in euery part wherof in euery time no errour could possibly be found: that is (if I wel vnderstand him,) that some part or other, at some time or other, was free from euery errour, not al; nor perhappes any part from al errours at the same time. Marke well, what a proper prerogatiue is finally giuen to the Church in those acceptions, in vvhich he doth so highly ex­alt it, to vvit; that it vvas free from errour and ignorance in the A­postles daies, and free from errour in respect of the generality and vniuersality of it, because no errour could possibly be found in it in euery part, in euery time. What improper kinde of speeches be these? can a sicke man be said to be sound, because he vvas found in his childe-hood? or can he be saide to haue beene euer sound, if once he vvere sicke? or can he be called a sound man, that hath had at one time his head sound, at another time his armes, and at other times other members, although he neuer had his vvhole bo­dy at one time sound together? Besides, vvhat vveake priueledges are here giuen to the Church? are they ansvverable to the promises of Christ, and other testimonies and reasons aboue recited, for her infallible and diuine authority? hath he bestovved no greater prerogatiues vpon his spiritual Body and Spouse? but perhaps these prerogatiues redound greatly to the good and benefite of the mem­bers and children of the Church. Neither this can be auerred true: for vvhat are poore Christians the nearer for it? howe can such a Church be the director of their faith? howe shal they knowe vvhat faith vvas preached by the Apostles? and vvhat part taught true doctrine, and vvhen and vvhich erred in subsequent ages? howe shal vve vnderstand her judicial sentence, vvhen controuersies arise and [Page 56] are to be decided? surely they that are past, and are departed out of this world, can performe these thinges by no other meanes, but by their writinges left behind them: wherefore, we can take no other direction, and receiue no other judicial sentence from the Church in the first and second acception, but by such monuments and bookes, as we haue re­ceiued from the Apostles, Euangelistes, the ancient Fathers and Do­ctors, and other our predecessours. And vvhat is this? but to reduce al to the letter of holy Scripture, and to the workes of antiquity, which (as I wil prooue hereafter, setting aside the authority of the present Church) yeelde vs no certaine and diuine argument; and to giue no­thing at al to the Church it selfe, contrary to al the argumentes before made for her infallible authority. Finally, some of the places of Scrip­ture before aleadged, are expresly spoken of the present Church, as that: tel the Church; If he shal not heare the Church, let him he to thee as the Heathen or Publican, &c.

SECTION THE SIXT. That the same testimonies and proofes, conuince an infallible judgement of the Church concerning euery article of faith, not only con­cerning certaine of the principal.

SECONDLY, that the testimonies of holy Scriptures and Fathers, with the reasons brought in this Chapter, proue the judgement & authority of the Church, to be of diuine and infallible truth in al points of faith, it is euen as easily shewed. For are not the vvordes general? Is it not said that the holy Ghost shal teach the Church al truth, and that she being the house of God is the piller and ground of truth, &c.? And howe can these promises be verified, if in some thinges she be subject to errour?Field booke 4. chap. 4. Some say, these last vvordes of the Apostle are vnderstood of the particuler Church of the Ephesians: but first, it is not like that God bestowed such an extraordinary priuiledge vpon that Church, as to make it the piller and ground of truth: Secondly, the Apostle calleth that Church, vnto which he here giueth these prerogatiues, the house of God; by which wordesCipr. l. 1. epist. 6. S. Ciprian, Aug. l. 7. de baptis. cōt. Donat. ca. 49. 50. 51. Item in psalm. 25. enarrat. 2. S. Augustine and al the Fathers commonly vnderstand the whole militant Church: yea, S. Augustine alluding to this sentence, and vsing the very vvordes of the Apostle, [Page 57] calleth the whole Church2. Tim. 2. vers. 20. columnam & firmamentum veritatis: the piller and ground of truth; and in the Scripture it selfe, the vvhole militant Church is called a great house, asField booke 1. chap. 11. Field himselfe cōfesseth. And because euery particuler Diocesse is a part of this Church, the Apostle might ve­ry wel vse this kinde of speach vnto Timothie. I write to thee, that thou maist knowe howe thou oughtest to conuerse in the house of God: although the said Timothie was Bishop only of Ephesus.

Moreouer, are vve not absolutely vnder peril of being accounted Heathens and Publicans, bound to obey the Church? and what reason had our Lord so to binde vs, if in some thinges her judgement may be erroneous? for howe shal we discerne which those articles be, in which she cannot erre, and in which she may erre? Further, vvhat profit (if this vvere so) shal vve receaue from her for the preseruation of vnitie, and ending of al controuersies? verily, this assertion is euen as preju­ditial to the good of vnitie, as that which affirmeth the Church to haue no warrant of truth at al. For what dissention and diuision would arise of this? might not euery man contradict the rule of faith in any matter whatsoeuer, and affirme his contradiction to be in a matter of smal mo­ment? who shal judge which matters be of great, and which of smal importance? For example, diuers sectaries tel vs,See Couel in defence of Hooker artic. 11. Fox pag. 942. &c. that the question concerning the real presence of Christ in the blessed Sacrament, whe­ther he be there really and substantially by transubstantiation, as the Catholikes affirme; or together with bread as the Lutherans say; or only figuratiuely as is affirmed by the Sacramentaries, is a question of smal importance, not any essential point belonging to the substance of Chri­stian religion. But howe wil these men refute Castalio, who addeth (if Beza say true) that the controuersies touching the blessed Trinity, the estate and office of Christ, and howe he is one with his father, are concerning no essential points of Christian religion; certainely they cannot wel ouerthrowe his opinion. And this is that which was in old time, and is at this present affirmed by some,See Theo­doretus lib 2. hist. cap. 18. 19. 21. Trip. hist. lib. 5. cap. 21. & 33. that so that Christ be be­leeued to be God, it skilleth not whether he be beleeued to be equal or not equal, consubstantial or not consubstantial to his father. Where­fore this assertion of our aduersaries, that the rule of faith may in some points be denied: first, openeth the gappe to al dissention, then to al impiety and ouerthrowe of Christianity: which thinges be sufficient to perswade euery Christian to abhorre and detest it.

SECTION THE SEAVENTH. That to saluation it is necessary to beleeue the whole Catholike faith, and euery article thereof.

CONCERNING the third point vvhich I intended to proue; I af­firme, that it is necessary to saluation to beleeue and hold, either expresly or virtually, euery article of faith which is propounded by the Church to her children to be beleeued: I adde those wordes (ex­presly or virtually) because I say not, that euery man is bound expresly to knowe al the articles of Christian religion. For it is held by vs suffi­cient if the ruder sort knowe expresly certaine of the principal: as are they that concerne the Trinity, and the incarnation, passion, resurre­ction, and ascension of Christ, &c. if they virtually beleeue al the rest, that is; if they beleeue (concerning al such points as they are not bound expresly to know) whatsoeuer according to the doctrine of the church ought to be beleeued; and be of contrary beleefe in no one point pro­pounded vnto them, and knowne to be propounded as an article of faith. We differ therefore from our aduersaries in this, that some of them hold a man is not bound to belieue any such articles not necessari­ly to be knowne by al; others say a man may erre in them, so long as he seeth not apparantly his errour condemned by Scripture, or plainely proued false by euident deduction out of those articles, which are ex­presly to be knowne and beleeued. But the truth of this mine assertion, is gathered out of that which hath beene already proued. For if the Church be the ground and piller of truth, and cannot erre in faith, it is ma­nifest, that al her beleefe may safely without danger of errour, be recei­ued. And moreouer, because God hath reuealed such articles to the Church for no other end, then that her children by the beleefe of them may attaine to euerlasting blisse, it is also euident, that euery one is bound to beleeue whatsoeuer she teacheth. I adde also, that whosoeuer beleeueth not al, hath no faith: and that he who thinketh it to be suffi­cient to saluation, to beleeue certaine principal articles of Christian re­ligion, although the rest be denied, must needes accuse the Church of errour; and so according to his owne opinion, cleane ouerthrowe her. The first is easily proued, because he that beleeueth not God and his Church in one point, certainely beleeueth them in none. For howe is [Page 59] it possible that he can reject them in any, if he beleeue their authority to be infallible? Wherefore, by rejecting their judgement and sentence concerning one article, he plainely declareth that he beleeueth not the rest, because they are propounded vnto him by the Church and reuea­led by God; but because they please his owne fancy, and in his owne judgement he thinketh them true and credible: of which it followeth, that he hath no faith, which (as I haue aboue declared) maketh vs be­leeue the misteries of our beleefe, because they are reuealed by God. And this we may gather out of those wordes of S. Iames the Apostle: He that offendeth in one, is made guilty of al. Iames 2. vers. 10. For if by committing one mortal sinne, we be said to be made guilty of al, either because by brea­king one commandement, we shewe our selues not to regard the rest; or else because one mortal sinne, is as sufficiēt to bereaue vs of the grace of God, as a thousand: we may likewise wel inferre of this, that a man refusing to beleeue one article of faith, sheweth himselfe not to esteeme of the rest, and by this only is bereaued of true faith, that in very deede he beleeueth none, and is guilty of infidelity touching al; and conse­quently, is no member of the Church of Christ, whose members by faith principally, are vnited and lincked together.

Further, that whosoeuer thinketh it sufficient to saluation, to be­leeue certaine principal articles of Christian religion, although the rest be denied, accuseth the Church of errour, thus I declare.Galat. 5. vers. 21. Tit. 3. vers. 10. The Apostle teacheth vs, that they that followe and embrace sectes or heresies, shal not possesse the Kingdome of heauen: Wherefore, either the Church erreth, both in defining such articles (as some thinke not necessary to be beleeued) to belong to the object of faith; and also in condemning for heresies, such opinions as they thinke may safely be defended: or else such as despise her censure, and embrace the said opinions, are in state of damnation; the first (as I haue already proued) ouerthroweth the Church, the second is that which I intend to proue.

But let vs declare the truth of my first assertion, out of the holy Scripture. And first it cannot be denied, but our Sauiour absolutely, and that vnder paine of being censured as Etnickes and Publicans, and consequently vnder paine of damnation, commandeth vs to heare and obey the Church:Math. 18. vers. 17. if he wil not heare the Church (saith he) let him bee to thee as the Heathen and Publican. And note, that he biddeth vs not beleeue her onelie in principall matters, but in all; making no limitation or distinction. In like sort, in general [Page 60] tearmes he telleth vs, that he that heareth his Apostles & disciples (which must be likewise verified in their successors) heareth him, and he that de­spiseth them despiseth him. Finally, he commanded his disciples to preach his Gospel, and added that he that beleeueth it not, shal be condemned: which wordes cannot be vnderstood only of the principal articles of Catho­like religion; for his Gospel included the whole summe of Christian faith, as I haue proued aboue.

Hence, diuers in the first ages of the Church haue beene condem­ned and accursed as Heretikes, for few errours in faith; yea, some time for one only; and that in no principal point of beleef, as I could ex­emplifie in the quarto decimani, Epiphan. haeres. 50. who were so censured for keeping Ea­ster day on the fourteenth day of the moone, and others: yea, I may wel say, that almost al Heretikes that euer haue risen, haue beleeued certaine principal articles of Christian religion; wherefore, whosoe­uer thinketh it sufficient to beleeue such articles, openeth heauen al­most to al Heretikes. Moreouer, howe shal we know which are these principal articles? certainely euery man wil affirme (if this liberty be giuen) that the articles by him denied, pertaine not to that number. Lastly, this errour is condemned by al the ancient Fathers. S. Athana­sius in his Creed receiued by the whole Church, affirmeth, that whosoe­uer keepeth not entirely & wholy without any corruption the Catholike faith, without al doubt shal perish euerlastingly. Theodor. li. 4. c. 17. Hooker. booke. 5. of ecclesiastical policy. §. 42. pag. 88. Greg. Na­zian. tract de fide. Aug. lib. de haeres. in fine. S. Basil, being requested by the Prefect of Valens an Arrian Emperour, to yeeld a litle to the time, an­swered: that they which are instructed in diuine doctrine, doe not suffer one sillable of the diuine decrees to be corrupted or depraued: but for the defence of it, (if it be needful and required) embrace likewise of death. Hooker also a Protestant telleth vs, that the same S. Basil for changing some one or two sillables in the verse, Glory be to the Father, and to the Sonne, and to the holy Ghost, was forced to write apologies and whole volumes in his owne defence. S. Gregory Nazianzene hath this notable sentence: No­thing can be more dangerous then these Heretikes, who when they run sound­ly through al, yet with one word (as with a droppe of poison) corrupt or staine that true and sincere faith of our Lord; and of Apostolike tradition. S. Augu­stine likewise hauing reckoned vp eightie distinct Heresies, addeth that there may chance to lurke many other petty heresies vnknowne to him, of which heresies (saith he) whosoeuer shal hold any one, shal not be a Ca­tholike Christian. Finally,Hier. li. 3. Apolog. contr. Ruf. S. Hierome witnesseth, that for one word or two, contrary to the Catholike faith; many heresies haue beene [Page 61] cast out of the Church. This is the opinion of the ancient Fathers. Wherefore, seing that one only heresie be it neuer so smal, bereaueth vs of faith, and seperateth vs from the body of Christ his Church, which is quickned with his holy spirit; it must needes followe, that vvhoso­euer is infected with any one such heresie, is void of al spiritual life and in state of damnation, and can haue no more life then a mans arme cut off from his body, or a bough cut from a tree. But of this matter I shal entreate more at large,Chap. 1. Sect. 4. in my treatise of the definition and notes of the true Church; vvhere I shal proue, that the members of Christes Church, are lincked together by the profession of the same vvhole summe of Christian doctrine: and therefore for this present this shal suffice. And lesse (I thinke) would haue satisfied any reasonable man: for seing that there is but one true rule of beleefe,Ephes. 4. vers. 4. and one faith (accor­ding as vve are taught by the Apostle) among Christians; and this faith is so necessary to saluation as I haue proued before: no wise-man wil prescribe himselfe a rule of faith according to his owne erroneous fancy, and neglect the judgement of the Church, whome truth it selfe hath warranted, that she shal not erre from truth.

Chapter 7. Of the holy Scripture, which is the first particuler ground of faith in the Catholike Church.

SECTION THE FIRST. Howe the Scripture is knowne to be Canonical.

THE supreame authority and infallible judgement of the Church, being thus established and proued, it may wel in this place be demanded vvhat particuler groundes, decrees, or principles the Church doth deliuer vnto vs, or we finde in the Church, whereupon we may securely build our faith?

For the resolution of this question, I haue affirmed in the title of this Chapter, that the first such particuler ground, is the holy Scripture: And although there be no controuersie betweene vs and our aduersa­ries, concerning the authority of diuers bookes of the said holy Scrip­ture [Page 62] (for most of them by vs al are confessed to be Canonical) yet, much difference there is betweene vs, concerning the meanes by vvhich vve knowe the holie Scripture, and euery parcel thereof to be the true vvord of God, and vvho is to be judge of the true sence of these diuine volumes: vvherefore, these points are briefly to be hand­led and discussed. Howe then doe vve knowe, that the old and newe Testament are Canonical? howe can vve certainely assure our selues, that the Apostles and Disciples vvrote the newe? vvhat proofe like­vvise haue vve to perswade vs, that no part of the holie Scripture hath beene in times past corrupted or depraued? I answere in fewe vvordes, that al this is infallibly knowne vnto vs, by the authority and judgement of the Catholike Church, vvho hath adjudged al such bookes to be Canonical, and as Canonical receiued them, and deli­uered them to her children. I denie not, but the Scriptures before the definition and censure of the Church, vvere true, and contained the certaine and sincere vvord of God: but this only I say, that this truth and authority, was first infallibly knowne vnto vs by the Church, vvho adjudged and censured them to be as they are, and as such commanded al Christians to esteeme and reuerence them. Neither is this any waies prejudicial to the dignity and authority of the holie Scripture: for this notwithstanding vve confesse, that the said Scripture is of farre greater authority, then the Church or her definitions be; vvhich is manifest, because although the holie Ghost assist and direct, both the vvriters of holie Scripture and the Church: yet certaine it is, that hee hath assisted and directed the first, after a farre more excellent manner then he doth the second, because his assistance and direction in penning those sacred bookes vvas such, that euery sentence in them contained, is of most certaine verity; but his assistance vnto the Church, vvhether it be in a general Councel, or otherwise in the de­crees of the Bishop of Rome, maketh only that vvhich the said Coun­cel or Bishop intend to define, of such an infallible truth. Wherefore then doe vve proue the Scripture to be Canonical by the authority of the Church? Surely for no other reason, then because the Church is better knowne vnto vs then the Scripture: For the Church hath al­waies beene (as I vvil proue hereafter) most visible and apparant to the vvhole vvorld; euery man also, before that the newe Testament vvas written, & before that it vvas generally receiued by the Church, might haue knowne the Church (for she vvas before any part of it was [Page 63] penned) and consequently by her infallible judgement, euery one might with farre more ease and certainety, haue come to the know­ledge of such bookes, then by any other meanes or industry. Where­fore to conclude, although the Church maketh not Scripture; yet, of her we learne most certainely which is Scripture. And this is no more disgrace vnto Scripture, then it was vnto Christ that the Apostles gaue testimony of him, because they were better knowne then he. I adde al­so that euery one of them, who aboue al others reprehend this our asser­tion, taketh vpon himselfe as great authority ouer Scriptures, as vve giue to the whole Church.See part second chap. 5. Sect. 1. For euery newe sectarie out of his owne fancy judgeth this to be Scripture, that to be none, &c. vvhich must needes be in euery mans judgement farre more absurd.

This assertion being thus explicated, let vs nowe briefly proue the same: And first, because vve can assigne no other meanes by vvhich vve may say, that vve certainely knowe the Scripture to be Canonical, but the authority of the Church. And as concerning the old Testament, although vve graunt that the authority thereof, vvas first partly approued by miracles, partly by the testimony of Pro­phets, and partly by the authority of the Church in those daies: yet, howe doe vve nowe infallibly knowe that it vvas so approued, and that it is the selfe same nowe that vvas then approued, but by the relation, tradition, and censure of the Church?

But let vs come to the newe Testament, and demand vvho hath receiued it into the Canon of holie Scripture? vvhat miracles haue beene vvrought to proue it Canonical? who doth assure vs, that it vvas penned by the Apostles and Disciples of Christ? and that since their daies it hath not beene corrupted? Verily, the Church only resolueth vs of al these questions, and telleth vs vvith assurance of truth, that the said newe Testament vvas vvritten by the said sacred authours, inspired and directed by the holy Ghost: and that euer since their daies, it hath beene preserued in her sacred bosome vvith­out corruption. And no other answere hauing any probability of truth, and sufficient to satisfie a reasonable mans vnderstanding, can be made. This may also be confirmed by the continual practise of the Church: For no man can deny but it vvas her doing, that the foure Gospels of S. Mathewe, Marke, Luke, and Iohn, See part 2 chap. 5. Sect. 2. were receiued, and the Gospel called of Nicodemus, with others rejected. She hath likwise now recei­ued as Canonical, diuers bookes in times past of doubtful authority: [Page 64] For it is recorded by Ecclesiastical vvriters, and also confessed by our aduersaries, that there hath beene controuersie and doubt in the Church, concerning the authority of theEuseb. li. 3. hist. ca. 3. 25. 28. Hier. de viris illust. in Paulo, Petro &c. Hāmer in his notes vpon Eusebius lib. 2. cap. 23. epistle of S. Paul to the He­brues, the epistles of S. Iames, S. Iude, the second of S. Peter, and the se­cond of S. Iohn. Howe doubtful the authority of theEuse. l. 3. cap. 28. Hier. epist 129. ad Dardarā. Apocalipse was among many, euery man may see in S. Hierome and Eusebius, and in the Councel of Laodicea, which numbred it not among other Canoni­cal bookes. And who hath taken vp and ended these controuersies by declaring these parcels of Scripture to be Canonical, but our holy mo­ther the Church? Verily this is so true and euident, that it is confessed euen by some of ourObseruations vpon the Har­monie of cōfessions, vppon the 1. Section. aduersaries themselues. Thus she receiued in the first general councel of Nice, the booke of Iudith, about the yeare of our Lord 325. if we beleeueHier. praefat. in Iud. Idē in pro­lo. Galeato & in prol. Prouer. & in praefat. in Iudith. S. Hierome, who before he heard of this decree of the said Councel, rejected the said booke; but vnderstan­ding of it, admitted it forthwith as Canonical.

Let vs confirme al this with the testimony of S. Augustine, whomeCaluin li. 4. Instit. c. 14. sess. 25 Caluin acknowledgeth to be the most faithful witnes of al antiquity,Beza in cap. 3. ad Rom. v. 12. Beza calleth him the prince of al ancient Diuines both Greeke and La­tin, as concerning dogmatical pointes of religion.Gomarus in speculo verae Ecclesiae. pag. 96. Gomarus saith that according to the common opinion he is accounted most pure. This then is one of his notable sentences touching this matter:Aug. contra epistol. Mani­chaei quam vocant fundamentum. cap. 5. I would not beleeue the Gospel (saith he) except the authority of the Catholike Church did moue me thereunto. Those therefore whome I obeied, saying: Beleeue ye the Gospel: why shal I not obey them, saying vnto me: Beleeue thou not Ma­nichaeus? Choose which thou wilt. If thou shalt say, beleeue the Catholikes, they admonish me that I beleeue not you: If thou shalt say beleeue not the Ca­tholikes, thou shalt not doe wel to constraine me by the Gospel to beleeue Ma­nichaeus, because I haue beleeued the Gospel it selfe, through the preaching of the Catholikes: Thus S. Augustine. But hereField booke 4. chap. 4. M. Field in his fourth booke of the Church occurreth and saith, that the sense and meaning of S. Augustine in those his wordes. I would not beleeue the Gospel except the authority of the Church did moue me thereunto: is, that he had neuer belee­ued the Gospel if the authority of the Church had not beene an introduction vnto him. I reply, that he vvresteth this holy Fathers vvordes to a vvrong sense: yea, to such a sense as his discourse it selfe wil not beare; and for proofe of this, I desire no more of my reader, but to marke the force of [Page 65] the reason vsed by S. Augustine, which is this. Manichaeus in the begin­ning of his epistle, which this most learned Doctor confuteth, called himselfe an Apostle of Iesus Christ. S. Augustine requireth a proofe of his Apostleship; and vrgeth (if perhaps he alleage some authority out of the Gospel) what he would doe to him that should deny the Gospel: where­unto he adjoineth the wordes rehearsed. I trulie would not beleeue the Gospel &c. if the authority of the Church did not moue me thereunto. And out of this that the Gospel is beleeued by the authoritie of the Church, he proueth that Manichaeus is not to be beleeued, because the same au­thoritie which commaundeth to doe the one, forbiddeth to doe the o­ther: Of which it followeth, that if it erre in the last, it may also erre in the first; and so no firme argument can be brought out of it, for the proofe of the Apostleship of Manichaeus. Hence S. Augustine doth not say, I had not beleued the Gospel, except the authority of the Church had moued me thereunto, as he should haue said if he had meant as Field pretendeth; but I would not beleeue the Gospel, &c. taking his argu­ment from the motiue of his present beliefe of the Gospel: and in this sence his reason is of great force, and not otherwise. But that which I say, is yet more confirmed by that which followeth: For S. Augustine addeth. But if peraduenture thou canst finde something in the Gospel, most apparant for the Apostleship of Manichaeus, thou shalt weaken vnto me the au­thority of the Catholikes, who commaund me that I shal not beleeue thee; which being weakned, now neither can I beleeue the Gospel because through them I beleeued it. So whatsoeuer thou shalt bring me from thence, shalbe with me of no force: wherefore, if nothing manifest be found in the Gospel for the Apostleship of Manichaeus, I wil beleeue the Catholikes rather then thee. But if thou bring any thing from thence manifest for the Apostleship of Mani­chaeus, I wil neither beleeue them nor thee: not them, because they haue lied to me concerning thee; not thee also, because thou bringest me forth that Scri­pture which I beleeued through them, whome I haue found liars. But God forbid that I should not beleeue the Gospel. Hitherto are S. Augustines words; by which (I thinke) euerie man may perceiue, how greatly M. Field doth wrong him. For we see plainly, that he confesseth the authority of the Church, to haue beene the cause of his present beliefe of Scri­pture; yet not the formal cause, but the conditional, as is declared before. And al that I haue here related out of this holy Father,Aug. tom. 6. li. cont. Epist. quā vocāt fundamenti cap. 5. may be as wel vrged against any Sectarie whatsoeuer of our time, as against Manichaeus: for whosoeuer affirmeth the Church to haue erred in con­demning [Page 66] any one of their Heresies, by weakning and ouerthrowing her authoritie, weakeneth also and ouerthroweth the authoritie of the whole Bible. Neither doth that which he alleageth out of Waldensis make any waies for him: for as this learned man plainely in that very place declareth, he vnderstandeth S. Augustine as I haue deliuered: These are his wordes.Waldensis lib. 2. do­ctrinalis fidei artic. 2. ca. 21. Without the authority of the vniuersal Church, no scripture can be read or bad for certaine: And this S. Augustine vnderstood when he said. I would not beleeue the Gospel, did not the authority of the Church moue me thereunto: Thus Waldensis. The point which Field tou­cheth, is in his discourse following, but it maketh nothing against vs; for he only saith that which I haue before deliuered, to wit: that by the proposition of the Church, we first come to a certaine and super­natural knowledge of such bookes as are Canonical, and then beleeue the verities in them contained, because they are reuealed by God: like as the Samaritans first beleeued through the relation of the woman with whom our Sauiour talked,Iob. ca. 4. ver. 39. &c. as the propounder of such things as she had heard of our Lord; afterward through the diuine speeches which he v­sed to them himself. That which Field saith before, that S. Augustine (ac­cording to the opinion of some Diuines) speaketh here of the church, taken for the whole number of beleeuers that are and haue beene, since Christ appeared in the flesh, so including the Apostles, is friuolous: both because S. Augustine neuer vsed the wordes Catholike Church, after this sort in that sense; and also because the argument had beene of no force;See S. Au­gust. in li. 23. cōtra Faustum cap. 9. vnto which I adde further, that S. Augustine speaketh of that Church, which commaunded him then not to beleeue Manichaeus, which was the presēt Church as appeareth. Neither can he (as I think) alleage any Diuine that euer so interpreted it. For that which he ci­teth in the margent out of Occam is very impertinent: and thus much of this testimony of S. Augustine.

Hieron. in simbolo ad Damasum S. Hierome likewise, auoucheth himselfe to receiue the old and new Te­stament in that number of books, which the authority of the holie Catholike Church doth deliuer. And this reason so infallibly proueth, that these di­uine bookes containe the true word of God, that euery one may most assuredly beleeue it. For her censure and declaration cannot be false, who by God himselfe is warranted from errour.

Finally, vnto this principal and inuincible argument, I might also adde the tradition of the Church, and one consent of holy Fathers, who haue deliuered to their successors, and confirmed by their testi­mony, [Page 67] that these holy bookes were penned by the instinct of the ho­ly Ghost; which argument of tradition for the proofe of Canonical bookes, was vsed by Serapion, Clemens Alexandrinus and Origenes, as Eusebius recordeth.Eusebius li. 6. hist. cap. 10. 11. 18. But this argument is almost the same with the for­mer: for the certainty of the tradition of the Church, and of the testi­mony of the ancient fathers, dependeth of this, that the Church can­not erre. For if we make her judgement subject to errour, her tradi­tion and the whole consent of fathers, may likewise be erroneous: but supposing the Church cannot erre, this argument is of as great force, but almost the same with the first. And hence I inferre against our ad­uersaries, that no bookes of the old and newe Testament receiued by the Church as canonical, are to be rejected; for seing that the same au­thority hath approued them al, they are al with like reason to be ad­mitted: neither hath any man more reason to reject one, then ano­ther. And thus much of the letter of holy Scripture.

SECTION THE SECOND. Concerning the sense or exposition of holy Scriptures; and first that the Scriptures are hard, and receiue diuers interpretations.

BVT a farre greater controuersie there is, betweene vs and the new Sectaries, concerning the true sence and interpretation of holie Scripture, vvho is the judge thereof, and of vvhome vve are to re­ceiue it. For the decision of vvhich difficultie, before I deliuer the Catholike opinion, I must briefly proue two or three conclusions, a­uerred also by vs Catholikes.

And first, that the Scriptures are hard, and admit diuers interpreta­tions. This is insinuated vnto vs in sundry places of the sacred bookes: but for breuities sake,2. Pet. 3. vers. 16. Aug tom. 2. epistola 119. ad Ia nu. ca. vlt. I wil content my selfe with one testimony of S. Peter, who telleth vs that in S. Paules epistles, There are certaine thinges hard to be vnderstood: which the vnlearned (saith he) and vnstable depraue, as also the rest of the Scriptures, to their owne perdition. The holy Fathers plainly affirme the same. Among the rest S. Augustine (although a man of rare wit and great learning) affirmed, that there were far more things [Page 68] in the Scriptures of which he was ignorant, then there were that he knewe.Idem tom. 3. li. 2. de doctrina Christia­na cap. 6. Idē epist. 3. see him also epist. 1. ad Volu­sium. He telleth vs also, that they that read the Scriptures rashly, are deceiued through many and diuers obscurities and doubtes. That through the prouidence of God the Scripture is hard, to tame with la­bour our pride, and to recal our vnderstanding from irksomnes, vnto which those thinges which are easily found our, seeme base and of no moment. He affirmeth moreouer in an other place, that the depth and profundity of wisedome contained not only in the words of holy Scri­pture, but also in the matter and sense is so wonderful; that liue a man neuer so long, be he neuer of so great wit, neuer so studious, and neuer so feruent and desirous to attaine to the knowledge thereof; yet that when he endeth, he shal confesse that he doth but beginne. This mo­ued him in the books of his confessions, to crie out vnto God after this sort.Aug. lib. 12. confes. cap. 14. O wonderful profoundnesse of thy wordes! wonderful profoundnesse my God, wonderful profoundnes! it maketh a man quake to looke on it; to quake for reuerence, and tremble for the loue thereof: Hitherto S. Augustine. S. Hierome likewise, a man most expert in those tongues (the know­ledge of which, maketh most for the vnderstanding of these sacred bookes) and experienced in the translation and interpretation of them aboue others,Hieron. in cap. 5. ad Galatas witnesseth; that the fruite of the spirit is found in the holy Scripture by much labour and industrie: and in another place he saith that the Apocalipse of S. Iohn, containeth as many misteries as wordes. The like sentences are found in the rest of the Fathers.

And this obscurity of holy Scripture is a thing so euident, that di­uers, euen of our aduersaries themselues (although others wil haue them easie) are forced in expresse and plaine termes to confesse it. A­mong the rest the translator or corrector of the English bible, publi­shed in the yeare one thousand six hundred, in his preface auoucheth, that it is a very hard thing to vnderstand the holy Scriptures, and that diuers errours, sects, and heresies growe daily for lacke of the true knowledge there­of. Diuers others haue the like sentences, some of which I shal recite in the second part of this Treatise:See part. 2. cap. 5. sect. 4. yea, almost al the newe sectaries by their proceedinges, seeme to acknowledge this truth: for otherwise, what meane they to write such great and huge volumes or commenta­ries vpon the holy Scripture? But whence ariseth this difficulty and obscurity? surelie of diuers causes. First, because sundrie wordes of Scriptures, admit many senses, and the very phrase it selfe is obscure and doubtful. Secondly, many sentences in it are prophetical, many pa­rabolical, [Page 69] many metaphorical, which commonlie are ful of obscuritie. Thirdly, it is proper to Scripture to haue many senses vnder one letter, as the literal sense, which is that which the holy writer first intended: and this sense sometimes is signified by proper words; sometimes by wordes metaphorical and improper, yea sometimes the literal sense of the same wordes is diuers. It hath also a spiritual sense, which is that which is signified by the thinges vnder the letter. And this sense is ei­ther moral, which is called also tropological, when it tendeth to man­ners: or allegorical, when it tendeth to faith, or the Church; or anago­gical, when it tendeth to heauen or life euerlasting. For example, this vvord Hierusalem literally signifieth the Cittie so called, morally the soule of man, allegorically the Church militant, and anagogically the Church triumphant. Al these senses the wordes of Scripture beare; and diuers of them not seldome, were intended by the holy Ghost in the same sentence. And what a difficult matter is it, to discerne them? I adde finally, that sundrie misteries deliuered vnto vs in holy writ, are high and aboue the reach of our natural reason: Wherefore it is no meruaile if the sentences in which they are disclosed, be hard and ob­scure. Hence the prophet Dauid desired of God vnderstanding, Psal. 118. Iohn. 5. verse 39. Luke 24. vers. 45. that he might search his lawe. Our Sauiour also willed the Iewes to search the Scriptures, opened his Apostles and disciples vnderstanding, that they might vnderstand the Scriptures, &c: which places plainly conuince the Scriptures to be hard.

SECTION THE THIRD. The Scriptures may be falsly vnderstood: and that euery priuate man may erre in the vnderstanding of them.

IN the second place I must proue, that the Scriptures may be falsely vnderstood, and that euery priuate man may erre in the translati­on or interpretation of the same. This followeth of that which hath beene already said touching their obscuritie: for if the Scripture be so obscure (as I haue shewed) these things must needs ensue. And verily, that the wordes of Scripture may receiue false interpretations,2. Pet. 3. verse 16. S. Peter aboue cited plainly auoucheth, affirming that the vnlearned and vnstable [Page 70] (euen in his daies) depraued the epistles of S. Paul and other Scriptures, to their owne perdition. And it is a thing so manifest, that it needeth no proofe: for it is euident, that al Heretikes heretofore haue alleaged Scriptures falsly expounded, to confirme their heresies, and this I wil declare more at large hereafter.See part 2. cap. 8. sect. 8. It is apparant also that in these our daies some in the world; either Catholikes, Lutherans, Zuinglians, Ana­baptists, or Libertines, doe not giue the true sense of holy Scripture, because it is impossible that more then one of these can haue the truth, their expositions in diuers points be so diuers and contrary;August. tract. 18. in Iohan. Aug. tom. 3. de Gen. ad litterā li. 7. ca. 9. Vincent. Lirin. lib. cōtr. pro­pha. haeres nouitates cap. 2. Barlow in his relatiō of the said conferēce pag. 61. Se part. 2. c. 5. sect. 1. yea S. Augustine affirmeth, that heresies haue no other ofspring or roote, then that good Scriptures are badly vnderstood. In another place to the same effect he telleth vs, that al Heretikes read Catholike Scriptures: neither (saith he) are they for any other cause Heretikes, then for that not vnderstanding them truly, they defend obstinately their false opinions against the truth of them. The same is declared by Vincentius Lirinensis in these wordes: Al (saith he) take not the Scripture in one and the same sense, because of the deepnes thereof: but the speeches of it some interprete one way, and some another way; so that there may almost as many senses be picked out of it, as there be men. For Nouatus doth expounde it one way, and Sabellius another way: o­therwise Donatus; otherwise Arrius, Eunomius, Macedonius; other­wise Iouinian, Pelagius, Celestius; lastly, otherwise Nestorius: Hither­to Vincentius Lirinensis. Hence our King in the conference held at Ham­pton Court betweene the Protestants and Puritans, most discreetly af­firmed, that he would not wish al Canonical bookes to be read in the Church, vnlesse there were one to interprete them.

Moreouer, that the judgement of euery priuate man (as before) is subject vnto errour and falshood in his translation, or interpretation of holy Scripture, it is graunted by some of our aduersaries, and like­wise easily proued: First, because he Scripture it selfe warranteth no priuate mans judgement from errour. Nay S. Peter in expresse termes telleth vs:2. Pet. 1. verse 20. Se sect. 5. following 1. Ioh. 4. verse 1. That no prophecie of Scripture is made by priuate interpretati­on; that is to say, that no Scripture ought to be expounded according to any priuate mans opinion: for the vvord Prophecie signifieth the interpretation or exposition of holie Scripture, as shal hereafter be proued. The Apostle Saint Iohn teacheth vs the same lesson, vvil­ling vs not to beleeue euery spirit, but to proue the spirittes, if they be of God. And howe are vve to proue the spirittes? vvithout al doubt not by our ovvne judgement, vvhich is subject to errour; but by [Page 71] considering vvhether they be consonant, or no, to the doctrine of the Catholike Church, or the rule of faith, receiued by tradition from the Apostles. This appeareth by the discourse of the said Apostle following: In vvhich (to confute Cerinthus, Ebion, Basilides, and o­ther Heretikes vvho denied the diuinitie, humanitie, or vnion of two natures in Christ, and to proue their spirits not to be from God) he setteth downe the doctrine of the Church concerning those pointes; and addeth these vvordes. He that knoweth God, heareth vs, that is to say, he that hath the knowledge of God by true supernaturall faith, heareth and obeieth the Church,

But vvhat doe I vse many wordes in a matter so euident, gathered out of our aduersaries owne proceedinges? For the holy Ghost tea­cheth men but one truth: seing therefore, that there are among the newe Sectaries now in the vvorld, so great dissentions and differen­ces in opinions, concerning the exposition of the selfe same wordes of Scripture; it necessarily followeth, that some of them expound the Scriptures falslie: and seing that one of them hath no better war­rant for his direction in truth, then another; vve may vvel affirme them al to be subject to errour and falsehood. I adde also, that e­uerie Sectarie must needes confesse, euerie one of his Captaines (I meane Luther, Zuinglius, Caluin, and the rest) to haue erred in some point or other, touching the true sense of Scripture; for almost no one Sectarie followeth any one of these in al pointes, and approueth al his interpretations: but if vve graunt them al to haue erred in some pointes, vve may vvel inferre that they are subject to errour in al, because their vvarrant is equal for al.

Finally, if we admit euery priuate mans spirit as a judge in such matters, vve take away al order in the Church and open the gappe to al Heretikes. Some say, that euerie man by conference of one place of Scripture vvith another,See part. 2. cap. 5. sect. 4. may attaine to the knowledge of the true sense: I replie, that euery mans discourse in such pointes, may be false and erroneous. And it is wel knowne, that diuers of our aduersaries haue conferred the same places and haue gathered out of them different senses, vvhich cannot al be true: Yea the same man (not seldome) at distinst times, out of the same places conferred, inferreth distinct conclusions, and altereth his beliefe touching some article or other; vvhich is a manifest proofe, that this conference is no infallible rule: I adde also that experience teacheth vs that such a [Page 72] conference sometimes encreaseth the difficulty,See part. 2. cap. 1. sect. 4. & maketh some shewe of contradiction which before appeared not, as I wil declare here­after. Others say that by praier euery man may obtaine of God the direction of the holy Ghost, for the finding out of the true sense: But where hath God promised this? Moreouer, our praier is of no force, except we pray as we ought: And what is more vncertaine then this? How then can we certainly knowe when God inspireth vs? and much lesse, how can we possibly assure others that we haue such a diuine in­spiration? Further, diuers haue vsed likewise this meane, and yet haue falne into errour, yea after their praiers, they haue had different in­spirations: and one hath affirmed himselfe to haue beene inspired by God thus, and another thus, &c. Finally, al Heretikes may challenge to themselues these shiftes, for the proofe of their owne priuate and false expositions: wherefore, we must needes finde out some other rule more certaine.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. That the letter of holy Scripture falsly interpreted, is not the word of God.

THIRDLY, I am to proue, that a false or wrong exposition erro­neously gathered out of the letter of holy Scripture, or made vp­on the same; is not the word of God, but the word of man: yea, some­times the word of the deuil; and consequently, that the said letter of Scripture so vnderstood, is subject to the same censure. This is ap­parant, because the Scripture is the true word of God in that sense on­ly; which was intended at the penning of it by the holy Ghost. For example, like as no Catholike Christian wil deny, but those wordes of Christ:Ioh. 14. verse 28. The father is greater then I, if we vnderstand them in this sense, that God the father is greater then Christ according to his humanity, containe the true word of God: so euery Catholike Christian, if they be vnderstood as Arius expounded them; that Christ according to his diuinity, is inferior to his father, wil affirme them to be the word of the deuil. Hence proceed diuers notable sentences of the auncient Fa­thers,Tertul. de praescript. ca. 17. see him also cap. 9. Hillar. li. 2. de Tri­uitat. ad Constan­tium. Ambros. lib. 2. ad Gratianū. cap. 1. Vincē. Li­rin. li. ad­uers. pro­pha. haeres nouitates cap. 37. Math. 4. verse 6, Hieron. in dial. cōtra Lucifer. See Math 10. Luke 10. Hieron. in cap. 1. ad Galat. among the rest Tertullian telleth vs; that the sense of holy Scri­pture [Page 73] adultered, doth impugne the truth at much as the stile corrupted. S. Hillarie affirmeth; that heresie ariseth of the vnderstanding, not of the Scri­pture; that the fault is in the sense, not in the word; that there is not one of the Heretikes, that doth not lie and say that he preacheth those thinges in which he blasphemeth, according to the Scriptures. For hence (saith he) Marcel­lus, when he readeth the word of God, knoweth it not; hence Photinus &c. they all speake Scriptures with out sense, they al pretend faith, without faith: for the Scriptures are not in the reading, but in the vnderstanding, &c. These and other like discourses hath S. Hillary. S. Ambrose is of the same o­pinion: for he saith, that although the text or letter haue no error; yet the Arrian interpretation hath errour. Vincentius Lirinensis comparing the Heretikes alleaging Scripture against Catholikes, with the deuils al­leaging the same to Christ, discourseth after this sort: And if any man aske any Heretike perswading him such thinges (that is, to forsake the do­ctrine and tradition of the Church) how prouest thou? how declarest thou, that I ought to forsake the vniuersal and ancient faith? presently he; for it is written: and forthwith he alleageth out of the lawe, the psalmes, the Apo­stles, the Prophets, a thousand testimonies, a thousand examples, a thousand authorities, by which being interpreted after a new and naughty manner, the vnhappy soule may be cast downe head-long from the Catholike tower: Thus farre Vincentius Lirinensis. But let vs heare the opinion of S. Hierome in this matter, who aboue al the rest was conuersant in the holy Scri­pture: these are his wordes. The Scriptures consist not in the reading, but in the vnderstanding, otherwise if we follow the letter, we also may frame vnto our selues a new opinion, and affirme that they who weare shoes or haue two coates, are not to be receiued into the Church: He addeth in another place. Marcion and Basillides and the other heretical plagues, haue not the Gospel of God, because they haue not the holy Ghost, without which the Gospel which is taught, is made humane or of men. He telleth vs also, that whosoeuer interpreteth the Gospel, with another spirit and minde then it was written, troubleth the faithful and turneth the Gospel of Christ vpside-downe; that we must not thinke that the Gospel is in the wordes of the Scripture. It is not (saith he) in the wordes but in the sense; not in the superficies or out-side, but in the marrow; not in the leaues of the speaches or wordes, but in the roote of reason. Hence he concludeth with these wordes: It is a very dangerous matter to speake or teach in the Church, least that by peruerse interpretation, the Gospel of Christ be made the Gospel of man; or that which is worse, the Gospel of the deuil: Thus farre [Page 74] S. Hierome. And this is that which the Apostle himselfe instructeth vs of, when he affirmeth that the letter killeth, but the spirit quickneth: for the vertue and substance of Scriptures, consisteth in their mea­ning and interpretation; and so it is, that the bare vvordes thereof are no more Scripture vvithout the spirit (that is to say, vvithout that sense which vvas intended by the holy Ghost, when they were vvritten) then the body of man is a man, vvithout the soule: yea, if they be vvrested to a contrary or vvrong sense, they kil and become poison; vvhereas rightly vnderstood, they containe diuine and hea­uenly doctrine. And so this sentence of the Apostle is expounded by S. Augustine, in diuers places of his vvorkes; but in one place a­mong the rest thus he discourseth.Aug. de spiritu & litera c. 4. & 5. & li. 1. retract. cap. 4. Aug. li. 1. ad Simpli. cianū c. 1. The lawe of God being read onlie, & not vnderstood or not fulfilled, doth kil: for then it is called the letter by the Apostle. S. Hierome likewise approueth the same interpretation, and to the same effect in the place aboue cited, he hath these vvordes:Hier. in c. 1. ad Galat. Epist. ad Nepot. & in li. 3. Reg. c. 1. Then the Scripture is profitable to the bearers, when it is not expounded without Christ (that is to say, not contrary to the rule of faith deliuered by Christ to his Church) when it is not spoken without the Father; when he that preacheth, doth not insinuate it without the spirit: otherwise (saith he) the deuil which alleageth Scriptures, and al Heretikes (according to Eze­chiel) of Scriptures make cushions, which they may put vnder the elbow of men of al ages: Thus much S. Hierome. Finally S. Augustine writeth thus:Aug. e­pist. 222. Loue exceedingly the vnderstanding, because the Scriptures themselues (except they be rightly vnderstood) cannot be profitable vnto thee. And the reason of this is that which I haue already touched, to wit: that a false sense or inrerpretation of the letter of the holy Scriptures, which was neuer intended by the holy Ghost, but erroneously gathered out of the wordes, by a mans priuate discourse or deduction, putteth (as it were) another life or soule vpon the said letter, and turneth it cleane another vvay; vvherefore so vnderstood, it is his vvord that so ex­poundeth it, not the word of God who intended altogether another sense.Rai. in his conferēce with Har. pag. 68. And hence it is, that M. Rainolds a Protestant affirmeth, that it is not the shewe but the sense of the wordes of Scripture, that must decide controuersies.

SECTION THE FIFT. The true sense of the holy Scriptures, is to be learned of the Catho­like Church, who is the true judge thereof.

NOVVE, seing that the Scripture of it selfe is hard, and euerie particuler man may erre in the exposition of it: seing also that the false vnderstanding of it is so dangerous, and the true sense so so­ueraigne, let vs see whether we can finde out any certaine and infal­lible guide, whose judgement we may follow securely, and without al feare of errour in this matter.

I affirme therefore, that like as we receiue the letter of the holy Scri­pture, from the Catholike Church, and by her censure infallibly knowe it to be Canonical: so likewise we are to receiue the sense and exposi­tion of the said letter, from the same our holy mother; and receiuing and following the sense by her approued, we cannot possibly erre: wherefore, vpon it we may securely build our faith and saluation. This may be inferred out of those thinges which haue beene already proued: for if the letter it selfe be not properly Scripture without the true sense, which is (as it were) the life and soule of the said letter; and the letter be knowne vnto vs by the declaration of the Church, it must needes followe, that we ought also to receiue the sense from the same Church: But let vs proue it out of the holy Scripture. First therefore, we gather out of the Apostle, that Scripture ought to be interpreted according to the rule of faith generally receiued in the Church: his wordes are these.Rom. 12. verse 6. Hauing giftes according to the grace of God that is giuen vs, different; either prophecy according to the rule of faith, or mi­nistry; or he that teacheth in doctrine: &c. Out of which vve gather, the prophecie according to the rule, proportion, or a­nalogie of faith, is one of the gifts vvhich God bestoweth vpon his Church. And what is meant by the word prophecy? surely nothing else but the interpretation or exposition of the vvord of God: this cannot be denied. And it is confessed by our aduersaries themselues, who in their English newe Testament printed in the yeare 1592. and 1600. in their note vpon those wordes of the Apostle (Followe charitie, [Page 76] earnestly pursue spiritual things, 1. Corin. 14. ve. 1. but rather that you may prophecy,) tel vs that the word prophecy, signifieth the exposition of the word of God to the edification of the Church. And although in the said English Bible they wil haue the vvord prophecy in the place cited out of the Epistle to the Romans to signifie preaching and teaching: yet because al preaching & teaching (according to their doctrine) ought principally to be out of the word of God, it al cōmeth to the sel same sense. Hence M. Rai­nolds in the conference held at Hamptō Court betweene Protestants & Pu­ritans, Barlow in his relatiō of the said conferēce pag. 78. requested; that at certaine times there might be prophecying in ru­ral Deanaries. But how shal we vnderstand those words according to the Analogie or rule of faith? Truly, the meaning of them is already explicated: for by them we are taught, that the exposition of holie Scriptures, ought to be conformable to that rule of faith, which was deliuered by Christ to his Church, and by the assistance and direction of the holy Ghost, hath remained in the same euer since, vvithout corruption, and shal so remaine vntil the end of the world. And al this may be confirmed by that sentence of S. Peter before alleaged:2. Pet. 1. vers. 20. No pro­phecy of Scripture is made by priuate intepretation: that is to say, no ex­position of Scripture, ought to be made acording to any mans priuate fancie, but according to the doctrine & sense of the Church. And by this rule (as I haue before noted) S. Iohn the Apostle and Euangelist,1. Iohn 4. verse 1. Luk. 24. vers. 45. biddeth vs try our spirits, whether they be of God or no. Moreouer, S. Luke the Euāgelist recordeth that our Sauiour opened his Apostles vnderstanding, that they might vnderstand the Scriptures. Neither did he only giue them the gift of vnderstanding such diuiue bookes; but also deliuered vnto them, the true sense and meaning of the same, I meane of the old Te­stament, which only before the Ascension of Christ was penned. And this gift of vnderstanding the Scriptures, was perfected in them on the feast of Pentecost: Act. 2. When the holy Ghost taught them all truth: which gift also the said holy Ghost imparted, and they deliuered to their succes­sors, and so by succession and tradition the same remaineth alwaies in the Church.Iren. li. 4. cap. 45. Tertul. de praescrip. cap. 19. Hence S. Ireneus telleth vs, that they conserue our faith and expound the Scripture vnto vs without danger, with whome the succession of Bishops which is from the Apostles, remaineth. Tertullian likewise, refu­sing to argue against Heretikes by only Scripture, willeth vs first to search out who haue the true faith it selfe; whose the Scriptures are; from whom and by whom, and when and to whom the discipline by which men are made Christians, was deliuered. For wheresoeuer (saith [Page 77] he) it shal appeare, that the truth of Christian discipline and faith is; there we shal finde also the truth of Scriptures, & expositions & al Christian traditions. Vnto these authorities I adde, that the obscuritie of the holy Scri­ptures, & the danger of misinterpreting them being presupposed, it vvas necessarie that God almightie should prescribe some certaine rule, which euery man might follow without danger of error in vn­derstanding them: otherwise, dissension might haue risen concerning their true sense, and consequently, concerning diuers articles of Chri­stian religion; and euery man might & would haue expounded them, according to his owne fancie, although neuer so false and erroneous. And what judge can we imagine him to haue appointed, but the Ca­tholike Church? whom (as I haue proued aboue) he hath warranted from errour, whose authority he hath made the rule of our beliefe, who hath the custody of holy Scriptures, and from whom we receiue them, and infallibly know them to containe the true word of God. This finally, the practise it selfe of the Church hath confirmed: for whensoeuer any controuersy hath risen touching the true sense of holy Scriptures, she (according to the rule of faith in her preserued, and the sense of Scripture vnto her deliuered, together with the letter) hath defined the truth and decided the same, as it appeareth by the con­demnation (al Heretikes, together with their false translations, and erroneous expositions of the said Scriptures. And whosoeuer forsa­keth this rule, falleth presently into a laborinth & vast Sea of difficul­ties, and is alwaies perplexed and inconstant in his beliefe: Contrari­wise, whosoeuer embraceth this rule buildeth vpon a firme rocke; wherefore I say with the Apostle: Whosoeuer shall followe this rule, Galat. 6. vers. 16. peace vpon them and mercy,

Now let vs in the last place, confirme the truth of our principal as­sertions, concerning the letter and interpretation of holy Scripture; yea, concerning the whole sūme of christian doctrine, by vnwriten tra­ditiō preserued in the Church, by the confession of our Lutheran aduer­saries of Wittenberg. For they doe not only confesse,Harm. of cōfes. sect. 10. pag. 332. 333. Confession Wittenb. artic. 32. The Church to haue authority to beare witnesse of the holy Scripture, and to interprete the same: but also affirme, that she hath receiued from her husband Christ, a certaine rule (to wit, the Prophetical and Apostolical preaching) confirmed by mi­racles from heauen, according vnto the which she is bound to interprete those places of Scripture, which seeme to be obscure; and to judge of doctrines. This may be seene in the Harmony of confessions.

[Page 78] Field book 4. ca. 19. & 20. §. The secōd. Field also acknowledgeth in the Church, A rule of faith descending by tradition from the Apostles, according vnto which, he wil haue the Scriptures expounded. I conclude therefore, that thus the holy Scri­pture is a most sure and infallible ground of faith: for by this meanes (I meane by the diuine censure and approbation of the Church) vve are assured, that both the letter and sense are of diuine autho­ritie; vvhereas the particuler or priuate approbation of the letter, or interpretation or it made by any priuate man, being subject to errour, cannot possiblie yeeld vs any such assurance.

SECTION THE SIXT. An objection against the premises is answered, and the que­stion concerning the last resolution of our faith is discussed.

BVT here occurreth a difficulty of no smal moment to be resol­ued: For in this chapter I haue affirmed, the Canonical Scri­ptures, and their true interpretation, to he knowne by the infallible authoritie of the Church, whereas before I proued the authority of the Church to be infallible, by the testimonie of holie Scripture: vvherefore,Field book 4. cap. 7. it may seeme that I haue made a circle, or (as M. Field calleth it) a circulation.

The ful solution of this objection, dependeth of the resolution of a question, vvhich to some appeareth very intricate and hard, to wit: vnto what vve lastlie resolue our faith, vvhether to the authority of the Church, or of the Scripture, or to some humane motiues? and therefore this must first be discussed, before the other can be answe­red. And in verie deede, although al Catholike Diuines be of one consent, and hold that the cause of our beliefe is the authority of God, which hath reuealed such misteries as we beleeue: yet concerning the last resolution of our faith, which is a schoole question, and not a mat­ter of faith, I finde among them two opinions. The followers of the first declare the matter thus.

Fiist (say they) euery man is induced to beleeue Christian religion, and to accept of it as true, by certaine humane and prudent motiues [Page 79] or reasons which perswade him, that such doctrine as is taught in the Church according to the rules of wisedome, is credible and worthie of beliefe. Such motiues among others, are these which followe.

First, that almost al Nations, and in them an infinite number of men of greatest authority, principal wit, excellent vertue, and profound learning haue so beleeeued. Secondly, that innumerable multitudes of people of al sortes, sexes and ages, vvho vvere most desirous to please God and knowe true religion, and vvere exemplars or pat­terns of probity and sanctitie, haue so earnestlie embraced it, that they doubted not to preferre the profession of it, before goodes, li­berty, fame, and life it selfe: yea, that they chose rather to loose al these, and endure vvithal most cruel torments, then to depart from it. Thirdly, that it doth (as it vvere) miraculouslie and by some di­uine meanes, change men (although habituated in vice) vpon the sodaine to be vertuous. Fourthly, that the propagation of it hath beene by diuine power: which appeareth by this, that a fewe vn­learned and vveake fisher-men, teaching such thinges as are contra­rie to flesh and bloud, and aboue al reason; haue ouercome, not by force of armes, but by preaching and suffering, the vvisest, most e­loquent, most noble, and most potent men of the vvorld. Finally, that this religion hath beene confirmed by an infinite multitude of diuine miracles, recorded by famous authors of al ages, of vvhich if one only be confessed true, Christian religion cannot be false. By these, and other such like reasons and argumentes, which I haue re­hearsed before, according to the Psalme: The testimonies of our Lord are first made (vnto wel disposed people) ouer or exceeding credible.

But although these of themselues, may vvel make vs accept and beleeue the truth of Christian religion, by a natural and humane kinde of beliefe, such as the Deuil himselfe hath, and is also in Heretikes concerning such articles which they truly beleeue: yet can they not alone, cause in vs an act of supernatural faith. For this (as I haue pro­ued before) being supernatural, can not proceed from a natural cause, without some supernatural helpe. And vvhat then is done after this perswasion? Verily God almighty yeeld eth vs his supernatural helpe, and imparteth vnto our soule a diuine light of faith, by which our vn­derstanding is made more capable of things so high, then before; and by which our mindes are so diuinely lifted vp and affected (as it were) by a diuine testimonie, that through it, farre more strongly then by [Page 80] any humane motiues, we are inclined to beleeue, and made most firm­ly to rest in the diuine reuelation: and so by this assistance of God, to­gether with the concourse of our vnderstanding, an act of superna­tural faith is produced, by which we firmely beleeue the articles of Christian faith, taught and propounded by the Catholike Church; not for such and such motiues as before proued them credible, but for that they are reuealed by almighty God. And because one of these articles is, that the Church in propounding particuler misteries of our faith, cannot erre; this also is beleeued among the rest: vpon which as a common rule and guide, we ground our beliefe, as vpon a sure propounder of such thinges as we are bound to beleeue, touching e­uerie other particuler article. Hence ariseth a great difference be­tweene vs and some of the most learned of our aduersaries, touching the decision of this question: for although we both seeme to admit some supernatural aide, light, or habite to this, that our vnderstan­ding produce an act of supernatural faith: yet, we differ much con­cerning the object of this act; as also in the motiues or arguments of credibility, which first induce vs to accept of the same. For where­as we include in the first act of faith, into which we are induced by the said motiues, the beliefe of an infallible guide touching al parti­culer pointes: they include no such matter; but for their ground and guide in this act beleeued, acknowledge only the letter of holy Scri­pture: which verilie, although we also in our aforesaid act include; yet we giue it no such sole preheminence, as is before declared. And of this followeth a farre greater difference, couching the arguments and proofes of our propounder and ground: for whereas althe argu­mentes of credibility, perswading vs that Christian religion is cre­dible, perswade vs also, that the authority of the propounder of our faith (I meane of the Catholike Church) according to prudence, may be beleeued infalliblie: the said arguments are not sufficient in a wise mans judgement (setting aside the said authoritie of the Church) to make it credible vnto vs, that euerie booke and parcel of holy Scri­pture commonly admitted, is canonicall and diuine; much lesse, that euerie particuler exposition of Scripture by euerie priuate man ac­cepted, is diuine & true. And of this it proceedeth, that they alleage no such forcible arguments of credibility, for the proofe of this and that booke of Scripture; nor for the truth of their interpretation of this and that sentence, but for the first, vsually flie to diuine illumi­nation [Page 81] only, joyned with the majestie of the letter, or some such thing, vvhich be no such arguments of credibility as I wil proue hereafter:Part. 2. Chap. 5. and for the last, some of them assigne certaine rules to be obserued, vvhich (in verie deede) are insufficient, as shal likewise hereafter be proued. Hence they assigne no prudent motiues,Ibid. c. 8. which perswade them to concurre with the supernatural helpe of God, to a superna­tural act of faith:2. Cor. 10. verse 5. Rom. 12. verse 1. Whereas God (although he require of men an hum­ble obsequie or obedience to faith) yet propoundeth nothing to be beleeued, which in the judgement of wise men is not credible; and therefore also requireth a reasonable obsequie. Verily if there were no other reason to perswade a man the truth of our doctrine, this on­ly would suffice, that God doth vsually teach al by some common rule or meane, which draweth men to vnity and humility; not euerie one by priuate illumination or inspiration, which is commonlie a motiue to pride and a fountaine of discord.

But Field vrgeth,Field book 4. cap. 7. that by this doctrine we lastly resolue our faith to humane motiues and inducements. I answere, that concerning this matter two questions may be demaunded, very much diuers. First, what moueth men to accept of the beliefe of such obscure articles, as are those of Christian religion? vnto which I make this answere, that vnto this they are moued by such prudential or humane motiues, as I haue assigned before. Secondly, it may be asked concerning the for­mal cause of faith it selfe, why men now actually beleeue such obscure misteries? And vnto this I say, that the cause of their present beliefe, is the reuelation of God, or (vvhich is al one) the authority of God re­uealing. And because they are not sufficient of themselues, superna­turally to beleeue such articles as so reuealed, their vnderstanding is aided and inclined to this, by the diuine gift of supernatural faith, like as their wil by charity, is aided and inclined to any act of supernatural loue; which gift of faith together with their vnderstanding (as I haue said) produceth a supernatural act of beliefe: wherfore, we assigne not humane inducements as the formal cause, but as the cause of the first acceptaunce of our faith; and as into the formal cause, we lastly re­solue our faith into diuine reuelation: And so I thinke this opinion sufficiently explicated. But before I passe any further,Field ibid. § Surely. Stapheton in his Tri­plic. con­tra Whi­taker pag. 188. I cannot there but aduertise my reader, that Field discoursing of this point, wrong­eth D. Stapleton very much. For whereas he accuseth him, as though in his Triplication against Whitaker he should affirme, Other matters to [Page 82] be beleeued, because contained in the Scripture; and the Scripture, because it is the word of God; and that it is the word of God because the Church deli­uereth it so to be; and the Church, because it is led by the spirit; and that it is led by the spirit, because it is so contained in the Scripture and the Creed. Stapleton (in verie deed) in this last place hath no mention of the Scri­pture, but of the Creed only. True it is that he proueth against Whi­taker out of the Scriprture, a certaine internal motion of God, by which we are moued to assent to this first proposition (as he saith) of our faith: I beleeue the Catholike Church is infallibly gouerned by the holy Ghost, and that she is to be heard, and her voice obeyed: but this is not to say, that we beleeue the Church to be led by the spirit, because it is so con­tained in the Scripture.

I come now to the second opinion: Others therefore besides this diuine affection or inclination, proceeding from the peculiar assistance of God in the act of faith, being desirous also to assigne some other diuine and infallible reason, mouing vs to beleeue; affirme, both that we beleeue the authority of the Church to be infallible, because it is so reuealed in holy Scripture; and also, that we infalliblie knowe the Scriptures to be canonical, because as canonical they are propoun­ded vnto vs by the Church. Neither doe they (as they say) in this kinde of proceeding, commit anie absurd or vitious circle: because these two thinges are not motiues or reasons of the beliefe of one a­nother, after the selfe same manner, but in two sundrie respects; be­ing so, that we yeeld the reason why the Church cannot erre, by the Scriptures (as by a diuine reuelation) approuing it. For although we formally beleeue this, because it is reuealed by God; yet, this reue­lation vve proue by other reuelations contained in holy Scripture: but that the Scripture is canonical, although we formallie beleeue be­cause God hath so reuealed; yet, this reuelation we proue not by any other reuelation, but by the authority of the Church, as a condition only requisite, propounding it infallibly vnto vs.

To make this assertion a little more plaine, we must presuppose the truth of two propositions, commonly held certaine in Philosophy: the one is, that two causes may for diuers respects, be causes of one a­nother; so say the Philosophers: the efficient cause is the cause of the being or existence the final cause; and the final cause of the causali­ty of the efficient. For example, when a Phisition doth administer phi­sicke to one that is sicke, the final cause or end why he administreth [Page 83] phisicke, is the health of the patient; and the administring of the phi­sicke, is the efficient cause of the sicke-mans health. In like sort, when the winde openeth a window, it openeth it by entring in, and ente­reth in by opening it, so that the efficient cause of the opening the window, is the motion of the entrance of the winde, and the materi­al cause and meane by which the winde entreth, is the opening of the window, because vnlesse the window be opened, the winde cannot enter in. Secondly, it is also certaine that a meere condition necessa­rily requisite, is no cause: for example, wood cannot be burned ex­cept it be put neare, or in the fire; and yet this approximation (as I may cal it) is not the cause to speake properly, why the wood is burnt but a condition necessarie. In like sort, a lawe doth not binde except it be promulgated; and yet the promulgation is not the cause why the law doth binde, but a condition &c. Now to come to the matter: If two causes (in some sort) may be causes of one another; wherefore may not we proue two propositions for diuers respects, by one another?

That these respects be diuers in the proofe of the infallible authori­ty of the Church by Scripture, and of Scripture by the infallible au­thority of the Church, it is manifest; because the infallible authority of the Church is proued by Scripture, as by a diuine reuelation; the Scripture by the infallible authority of the church, as by a condition requisite: and that a cause and a condition be different I haue shewed. We say therefore, that Christ departing out of this vvorld, left the whole summe of Christian doctrine with his holy spouse the Church, and made her the infallible propounder of the same. And being so that among other articles left, this was one, that she should not erre in exe­cuting her office: this also she was to propound, and her children by the diuine precept of God were bound to beleeue it: Wherefore, if in those daies, before any Scripture of the new Testament was written, a man had asked a Christian why he beleeued the misteries of Christian religion? he might truly haue answered, because they were reuealed by God. If he had beene further demaunded, how he knew such and such articles to be reuealed? he might haue answered, because the Church propounded them to be beleeued: so that the cause why he beleeued such misteries, was the reuelation of God: the meane where­by he knew them infallibly to be reuealed, was the propounding of the Church. If he had bin vrged further, why he beleeued that the Church in propounding such matters could not erre? Surely he might [Page 84] haue said, that this was before included in the beliefe of the misteries of Christian religion in general; and consequently was beleeue because God so reuealed: but let vs come to the succeeding ages. The Apo­stles & disciples of Christ whiles they liued, wrote the holy Scriptures of the new Testament, and left them to the Church; in which among other misteries, they confirmed vnto vs the authority of the Church: and the Church propounded the said Scriptures vnto her children as Canonical. Now then, wherefore beleeue we, or how doe we proue the Church cannot erre? I answere, by the reuelation of God, contai­ned in holy Scripture. If it be demaunded further, howe vve knowe such a reuelation to be diuine? I answere, not by any other diuine re­uelation; because this is the last, and beleeued for it selfe: but by the proposition or propounding of the Church, which is only a conditi­on requisite for the beliefe of it; and yet a diuine proofe. So that the reason or cause why we beleeue the Church cannot erre, is the reue­lation of God contained in holy Scripture: the cause vvhy vve be­leeue such a reuelation, is no other reuelation but it selfe: the meane whereby vve come to knowe that this reuelation is from God, is the proposition of the Church: wherefore, the respects are diuers, and al­so the objects of these assertions. The respects, because when we as­signe the diuine reuelations contained in holy Scripture, as the reason of our beliefe concerning the infallible authority of the Church; we as­signe a reason (as it were) by the cause of our said beliefe, which is diui­ne reuelation: But when assigne the propounding of the Church, as that which moueth vs to beleeue the Scripture; we assigne not a rea­son by the cause of this our beliefe, which is diuine reuelation: but by a conditon infallibly guiding vs, as is aforesaide. The objects also of these two reasons yeelded of our beliefe, are diuers: For the object of the diuine reuelations contained in holy Scripture assigned as the reason of our beliefe of the Church, are the verities, or thinges them­selues reuealed and beleeued; but the object of the propounding or proposition of the Church, requisite for our beliefe of Scripture, are the reuelations themselues contained in the saide Scripture: For by it we are taught that the Scripture containeth diuine reuelations, and is the true word of God. And thus much of the second opinion, con­cerning the solution of the question propounded, which in truth gi­ueth vs a very good method how to answere the cauils our aduersa­ries; and rather addeth something to the former, then is otherwise dif­ferent [Page 85] from it. For the authors following this opinion, to this that we beleeue or accept of Christian faith as true, require also the aforesaide inducements or arguments of credibility; but moreouer they assigne a diuine proofe or reason built vpon diuine authority, which moueth vs to the saide act of beliefe. For as I haue declared, they affirme that the infallible authority of the Church, which is the general propoun­der of al particuler articles of faith, is knowne and proued by holy Scripture, as by a diuine reuelation: they adde also, that the truth of holy Scripture is, as certainly knowne & proued by the authority of the Church, as by a diuine propounder. Neither doe I imagine, that the followers or maintainers of this opinion, doe intend to affirme, that in euery processe of beliefe touching any article, it is necessarie that we resolue it lastly to the holy Scripture: for I thinke, that not­withstanding that which hath beene said, if we be asked why we be­leeue the whole summe of Christian doctrine, or any point thereof? we may wel answere, because it is reuealed by God: And if further we be demaunded how infallibly and diuinely we knowe it to be so re­uealed? we may answere; because it is propounded by the Church. Neuerthelesse, the first opinion of it selfe is sufficient, although this may seeme more exact, especially in Schooles. Neither doe I or a­ny Catholike affirme, the knowledge of these pointes to be neccessary to euery faithful Christian; for it is sufficient, that they beleeue al such things as are propounded by the Church, because they are reue­led by God, which is done by the helpe of supernatural faith. Nay I doe not think it is needful that they expresly knowe this infallible au­thority of the Church, as propounder of such verities, or al such pru­dential motiues, as are before mentioned: But I deeme it sufficient, that they beleeue such reuealed verities, as they are bound to knowe expresly; and others virtually, moued thereunto by the authority of their predecessors, or the asseueration of other faithful people; for this is sufficieint in them, either for the obtaining, or preseruing the gift of supernatural faith. Let vs now see in few words, what solutions may be giuen to the objection made in the beginning of this Section.

First therfore, according to the doctrine of the first opinion, touch­ing the last resolution of our faith; I answere, that in very deed the ca­nonical Scriptures and their true sense, are knowne by the infallible authority of the Church, as by the propounder of such particuler mat­ters belonging to our faith and religion, as we are bound to beleeue: [Page 86] Neuerthelesse, it is lawful to proue the authority of the Church out of holy Scripture, against such aduersaries of the truth, as admit the said authority of holy Scripture; but deny the authority of the Church. So did S. Augustine against the Manichees, Aug. cont. epist. Mā. quā vocāt Fundam. ca. 4. et 5. Id. de vni­tate Eccle. cap. 19. et tract. 13. in Ioānem. Field book 4. cap. 7. § There is no questiō. who approued the authority of miracles, and denied the authority of Scriptures, proue by mi­racles the Church, and by the Church the Scriptures. Contrariwise, against the Donatists who allowed the Scriptures, and boasting of their visions rejected miracles; by Scriptures he proued the Church, and by the Church the truth of miracles: but that this manner of procee­ding is lawful, it is granted by Field, & therfore I need say no more.

Secondly, I answere according to the other opinion, that the cano­nical Scriptures and their true interpretation, are infallibly proued & knowne by the authority of the Church, as by a condition necessarie propōuding them vnto vs: but the authority of the Church is proued & knowne to be infallible, by the testimony of holy Scriptures as by diuine reuelations approuing the said authority. And to affirme this (as I haue shewed) is no more absurd, then to say that two causes may be causes of one another. Neither doe I think this manner of proofe more to be blamed, then the proofe of a cause by the effect, and of the effect by the cause: as of fire by smoke, and of smoke by fire; of the bignesse & proportion of a mans foote by his steppe in dust or sand, and of this againe by that. Thus also the Philosophers proue a man reasonable, because he is risible or hath power to laugh; and againe demonstrate that he hath power to laugh, because he is reasonable: which kind of argumentation is not called circulation, but a demonstratiue regresse.

Chapter 8. Concerning the second particuler ground of Catholike reli­gion, to wit, Apostolike Traditions.

SECTION THE FIRST. Of Apostolike Tradition in general.

THAT I may the better declare the authority and dignity of Apostolike vnwritten Traditions, of which I am principal­lie to intreate in this chapter, I thinke it not amisse to say a worde or two of Apostolike Tradition in general: and al­though [Page 87] though I shal repeate some things which haue been already said; yet I hope, my reader wil pardon me, seing that a just occasion of so doing is offered me. I haue aboue affirmed,Cap. 6. sect. 2. that the whole summe or corps of Christian religion, was deliuered by Christ to his Apostles, not in writing, but by word of mouth: and that the principal meane for the entire preseruation of it in the Church, without corruption or depra­uation, ordained by God almighty; is the continual assistance and di­rection of the holy Ghost, who alwaies remaineth in the Church, and directeth her in al truth. Of which I now gather, that although neuer any scripture of the newe Testament had been written; yet, that the doctrine of Christ by Tradition had stil remained the selfe same, en­tire and whole in the Church, to the end of the world. This is so ma­nifest out of that vvhich hath been already said, that it needeth no proofe in this place: yet, I wil repeate a word or two of that, and adde a litle more to make it the more apparant. I proue it therefore, because our blessed Sauiour neuer penned the summe of his doctrine himselfe: neither is it recorded, that euer he comaunded any one of his Apo­stles or Disciples in expresse tearmes to write, but only to preach and teach according to his owne, and the holy Ghost instructions. And hence it is, that none of the said Apostles or Disciples wrote any par­cel of the newe Testament, presently after the ascension of Christ; and consequently, that the whole summe of Christian doctrine was publi­shed some time, before any such scripture was penned, and that the Church of Christ was some yeares without it. S. Mathew the first E­uangelist,Euseb. in Chronic. anno 41. published his Gospel (as Eusebius recordeth) some six yeres after our Sauiours ascension. Hence also it proceeded, that neuer a­ny one of the Apostles or Disciples, vndertooke the setting downe in writing of the whole sūme of Christian doctrine: this is manifest, be­cause the three first Euangelists deliuered vnto vs very litle, touching the diuinity of Christ, one of the chiefe and highest misteries of Chri­stian religion. Neither had the fourth which was S. Iohn the Apostle, any intention to set downe al that the other three had omitted: for he wrote his Gospel directly against certaine Heretikes, who denied the diuinity of Christ; and that not by the commandement of Christ, but by the intreaty of the bishops of Asia, asAtha. in sinopsi. S. Athanasius S. Hipolitus bi­shop and martir,Epipha. haeres. 51. S. Epiphanius andHieron. praefat. in Mat. et in li. de scri­ptor. Eccl. in Ioan. S. Hierome testifie. And that al is not by him recorded it is manifest, because those speeches which our Sauiour had with his Apostles, during the fourty daies betweene his [Page 88] resurection and ascension, are almost altogether omitted. Neither did he write this Gospel at the beginning of the Church, but many yeares after, to wit: about threescore and six yeares after our Sauiours ascension. And like as S. Iohn, so did the rest of the Apostles and Di­sciples, leaue vnto vs such parcels of scripture, as vve haue receiued from them, some extraordinary occasions mouing them thereunto, as I could easily declare and proue,See. Euse. hist. li. 3. Chrisost. hom. 1. in Mat. Epi­pha. haeres 51. Baro­nius to. 1. au. 45. et 58. out of Eusebius, Saint Hierome and others.

I know thatField booke 4. cap. 20. § For first. Field maketh shewe, as though it were a plaine matter that the Euangelists in their Gospels, S. Luke in the acts of the Apo­stles, and S. Iohn in the Apocalipse, Meant to deliuer a perfect summe of Christian doctrine, and direction of Christian faith: but vvhat reason he bringeth for it of any moment I cannot see. And besides it is certaine, that no one of them intended to set downe al, because no one of them hath so done: wherfore, if they haue set downe al, (as he affirmeth) ei­ther it hath proceeded from some common deliberation or consultati­on had among themselues, in which they determined what euery one should rehearse; or else from the disposition and direction of the holy Ghost who inspired them to write. Not the first, because no man e­uer made mention of such a deliberation or consultation, and moreo­uer they wrote vpon diuers occasions, in diuers Countries, and at diuers times, as Ecclesiastical histories testifie. Not the second, be­cause Field himselfe graunteth, that something is vvanting in these bookes which the Church beleeueth, which would not haue beene, if the holy Ghost had intended that al should haue beene set downe: for he addeth, that The epistles of the Apostles were occasionallie written; yet so (saith he:) as by the prouidence of God, al such thinges as the Church beleeueth, not being found in the other parts scripture purposedly written, are most clearly and at large deliuered in these epistles. Marke wel (gentle reader) this doctrine: he told vs before that the Apostles and Euange­lists in the Gospels, acts of the Apostles and the Apocalipse, meant to deliuer a perfect summe of Christian doctrine, & direction of Christian faith: nowe he telleth vs, that the Church beleeueth some things which are deliuered in the Apostolical epistles, not being found in the other parts of scripture purposedly written. Of which I inferre, both that the holy Ghost intended not, that the penners of the Gospels, of the actes of the Apostles, and the Apocalipse, should deliuer a perfect summe of Christian doctrine; and also, that he thinketh the writers of [Page 89] these books to haue missed of their intended purpose: verily this last pointe seemeth to me no very sound doctrine. And besides, how wil M. Field proue that the Apostles in their epistles supplied al this want? especially seing that the Apostles and Euangelists in the other books, although intending to write al: yet in his opinion omitted something, and the authours of the epistles intended no such matter, but vvrote them (as he saith) occasionally: wherefore, there is farre greater likeli­hood that these omitted something, then they. Further, one Aposto­lical epistle (at the least to the Laodicians) hath perished,Coloss. 4.16. see 1. Cor. 5, 9. Chrisost. hom. 9. in Math. et homil. 7. in 1. Cor. of which is mention in the epistle of S. Paul to the Colossians. And who can abso­lutely say, that nothing necessary was contained in it, which is not in any other part of the newe Testament? Finally, Field himselfe confes­seth some vnwritten Traditions, as I will declare in the next Section.

What then did the Apostles and Disciples expresly set downe in those their monuments, which are contained in the newe Testament? a part only (without al doubt) of the whole summe of Christian be­liefe, in which part they ratified and confirmed the supreame and in­fallible authority of the Church, of whome the rest was to be learned, and to whose custody they committed their said monuments: so that the whole summe or depositum, hath beene kept and preserued in the Church, not al & only in expres termes in the holy scripture, but the whole by Tradition; & a part of that whole also by writing, another part by only Tradition, by which likewise, the said scripture it selfe came to our hands. And after this sort the whole corps of Christian re­ligion, without any alteration descended vnto vs. This may be proued by that which hath been already said, concerning the true sense & ex­position of holy scripture:Chap. 7. sect. 5. for (as I haue shewed) the scripture ought to be interpreted according to the Analogie or rule of faith, that is to say; according to that beliefe which the Church by Tradition hath receiued from Christ and his Apostles: wherefore the letter of the holy scripture, is not the whole direction of the faith of the Church; but the faith of the Church, the perfect and ful direction of the said letter of holy scripture: of which it followeth, that the faith of the ho­ly Church might haue remained sound and entire by Tradition, al­though no such letter had beene published. But let vs confirme this by the testimony of the ancient Fathers.Irenae. lib. 3. cap. 4. Among the rest S. Irenaeus discourseth thus: What (saith he) if neither the Apostles had left vs scri­ptures? ought we not to follow the order of Tradition, which they deliuered [Page 90] vnto those whome they committed Churches? vnto which order many barba­rous nations beleeuing in Christ assent, without letter or incke (that is, with­out any written word of God) hauing saluation written in their hearts by the holy Ghost, and diligently keeping the ancient Tradition: Hitherto S. Irenaeus. And note wel that he affirmeth, some to haue beene Christians without any scripture, guided only by the Tradition of the Church. He telleth vs moreouer, that by this order of Tradition from the Apo­stles, al Heretikes are conuinced in such sort, that Catholiks shut vp their eares, assoone as they heare them vtter any thing repugnant to the said order. Finally he addeth, that al that are desirous to heare the truth, may see in the Church, the Tradition of the Apostles made manifest through the whole world. And we can number those (saith he) who are instituted Bishops in Churches, by the Apostles and their successors euen vnto vs, who taught no such thing as these men (Heretikes) dreame of. Thus farre S. Irenaeus, Tertul. de praescrip. cap. 19. 20. 21, who suffered martirdome in the yeare of our Lord 205. Ter­tullian also affirmeth, that by this rule of Tradition or prescription of Catholike doctrine, Heretikes are to be conuinced. And hence it pro­ceedeth, that the Apostle vvith such vehemencie accuseth him that preacheth other doctrine, then that which was before receiued in the Church:Gal. 1, 9. If any man (saith he) euangelize to you, besides that which you haue receiued, be he Anathema or cursed: to vvhich sentence alludeth Vincentius Lirinensis in these wordes.Vincent. Lir. c. 14. To preach vnto Christian Catho­likes other doctrine then that which they haue already receiued, no where is lawful, and neuer shalbe lawful: and to accurse as Heretikes those which preach other doctrine then that which before hath beene accepted, it was ne­uer vnlawful, it is in no place vnlawful, and neuer wil be vnlawful: Hither­to Vincentius Lirinensis. Contrariwise, for keeping vndefiled this rule or Tradition, the same Apostle highly commendeth the Corinthians, saying:1. Corin. 11, 2. I praise you brethren, that in al things you be mindful of me: and as I haue deliuered vnto you, you keepe my precepts, (or according to the Greeke vvord) my Traditions. And because the Church (and aboue al others the Romans) most carefully kept these Traditions,Iren. lib. 3. cap. 4. S. Irenaeus called it the rich treasure-house of Apostolike Traditions: wherefore, vvhosoeuer is desirous to discerne a true Christian from a faithles Heretike, must behold the doctrine of them both, and pronounce him to be the true disciple of Christ, who by succession and Tradition, hath receiued his beliefe from him and his Apostles. For like as a nobleman, or gentle­man of antiquity, is knowne by his pedigree: so a true Christian is [Page 91] knowne by the succession and descent of his Prelates, and faith from them that first receiued it from our Lord. Neither doth this our do­ctrine any waies diminish the authority of holy scripture: for this not­vvithstanding we affirme, that the wonderful prouidence of almigh­ty God most wisely ordained, that the scriptures of the newe Testa­ment should be written, that he moued the penners thereof thereun­to, and directed them by his diuine inspiration: and this both for the cōfirmation and preseruation of the faith & Tradition of the Church; and also that the said Tradition might with more ease come to euery ones knowledg, and that euery one by such monuments, might learne to discerne the true Church, of vvhich he vvas to be instructed con­cerning al matters of faith and religion. But of our estimation of the holie scripture see more aboue.Chap. 7.

SECTION THE SECOND. Of vnwritten Traditions in particular.

THis discourse beeing premised, concerning the Traditions of the Church in general, I come nowe to discourse of that part of the said Traditions vvhich are concerning matters, of vvhich there is no expresse mention in the word of God, and therefore are called vnwritten Traditions.

And first, that both such Traditions are found in the Church, and that the vvhole summe of Christian doctrine, is not expresly contai­ned in the vvritten vvord of God, I haue already declared;Section 1. because none of the Apostles or Disciples, euer intended to set downe in any parcel of scripture, the said whole summe of Christian doctrine: and also proued it out of those words of S. Luke in the Actes of the Apo­stles, in which he telleth vs,Acts 1, verse 3. that Christ after his Passion shewed him­selfe aliue in many argumentes, for forty daies appearing to his Apostles, and speaking of the kingdome of God. For by this relation it seemeth euident, that our Sauiour during the time betweene his resurrection and ascention, gaue to his Apostles diuers instructions which are not set downe in particuler in any parte of the newe Testament: for no [Page 92] Apostle or Euangelist relateth in particular these discourses of Christ. And they vvere (without al doubt) concerning the sacraments, their administration, the gouernment of the Church, and other such like affaires belonging to Christian religion, which for the most part the Apostles left to their successors; only by word of mouth and secret Tradition.

This in plaine termes is auouched byEpiph. haeres. 61. Apostolico rum. S. Epiphanius, whose words be these: We must vse Tradition; for the scripture hath not al things. And therefore the Apostles deliuered certaine thinges in writing, certaine by Tradition. The same truth is affirmed byBasil. de spiri. sācto cap. 27. S. Basil and the rest of the Fathers: yea, this we are taught by the Apostle himselfe, who in his epistle to the Thessalonians, not only commendeth most earnestly to the Church written Traditions: but also vnwritten.2. Thess. 2, 15. Brethren (saith he) stand; and hold the Traditions which you haue learned, whether it be by word or by our epistle: Out of which place it is euident, that some Tra­ditions by the Apostle, were deliuered to the Thessalonians by word. And that here he speaketh of such Traditions as we treat of, we are taught by al the ancient Fathers. Among the rest S. Iohn Chrisostome gathereth out of them this conclusion: Hence it is manifest, (saith he) that they (videlicet the Apostles) deliuered not al thinges by Epistle, but many thinges also vnwritten, and those thinges likewise are to be beleeued: Chrisost hom. 4. in 2. Thessa. It is a Tradition, seeke thou no further: thus S. Chrisostome. But that the Fathers admit vnwritten Traditions, it is graunted byWhitak. de sacra scrip. pag. 678. 668. 681. 683. 685. 690. 695. 696. 670. Whitaker, Rain. in his conclusions ānexed to his conferēce 1. conclu. pag. 689. Rainolds, Cart. in Whitg. de­fēce p. 103 Cartwrite, Kemnis. in exam. part. 1. pa. 87 89. 90 Kemnisius, Fulk a­gainst pur pag. 362. 303. 397. Against Marshal pag. 170. 178. Against Brist. motiues pag. 35. 36. Fulke and other Protestants: where­fore, I neede not alleage any more of their testimonies. And this is the reason wherefore we haue no precept in the newe Testament, to beleeue or obserue those thinges only, which are expresly contained in the said volume. Neither doe we finde, that euer the Apostles or their followers, commended and deliuered to any Church or people the said newe Testament, as a booke comprehending in expresse termes, the whole summe of Christian doctrine. Nay, it is certaine, that for diuers yeares before the said booke was written, the Apostles deliuered al by Tradition and word of mouth.

Further, that the estimation of vnwritten Traditions hath euer beene exceeding great in the Church, it appeareth not only by this, that diuers of the ancient Fathers (as I haue shewed in theSection 1. chapter next before) by Tradition haue proued what scripture is Canonical [Page 93] and pleaded the authority of them against diuers heresies: but also by this, that diuers heresies haue been by the testimony of them only con­demned & ouerthrowne. In the first general Councel of Nice (asSozom. lib. 1. cap. 16. et 18. So­zomenus reporteth) the Fathers especially endeauoured, that nothing should be decreed, but that vvhich they had receiued by Tradition from their forefathers: S. Ciprian with most of the Bishops of Affrica, & Diosinius the Patriark of Alexandria (men of great estimation in their daies) with diuers other Bishops in sundry prouincial Councels de­creed, the baptisme of Heretiks to be of no force, & therefore to be re­iterated. They confirmed this their definition or sentence, with many testimonies of holy scripture, seeming at the first sight of no smal force and moment for their purpose: but al these their decrees were ouer­throwne. And how? surely by the contrary Tradition of the Church: forsee Vinc. Lir. ca. 9. Cipr. ab e­pist. 70. ad 77. Aug de bapt. cont. Donat. et cōt. Cresc. Hierō. cō ­tra Lucif. S. Steuen Pope of Rome, pleading Tradition against them, con­demned their doctrine as heretical, and pronounced this renowmed sentence: Let no newe thing be brought into the Church; let nothing be done but that which was deliuered vnto vs: thinking it altogether vnlawful to transgresse the rule of faith, by succession and Tradition receiued from the Apostles. This is recorded by diuers authors of great fame and antiquity.

By Tradition the Pelagian heresie vvas confuted, as is affirmed by S. Caelesti. epist. 8. Caelestinus Pope, and S. Augustine. By Tradition only, the sameAug. de bapt. li. 2. cap 7. S. Augustine and others, condemned Heluidius the heretike for denying the perpetual virginity of our blessed Ladie. Yea,Basil. de spir. sācto ca. 27. See Aug. epist 118. ad Iā. Leo ser. 2. de jeiunio. S. Basil telleth vs, that if we reject Tradition, we shal endomage the whole principal parts of our faith, and without it bring the preaching of the Gospel to a naked name. I could bring forth diuers other such like examples and testimonies, were it not that I should be ouer long.

But how shal we come to the knowledge of these Traditions, S. Augustine giueth vs this most certaine rule.Aug. to. 7. de bapt. cōt. Dona. l. 4. c. 24. see ibi. c. 6 That (saith he) which the whole Church holdeth, and hath not beene instituted by any Councel, but alwaies hath beene obserued, is most truly beleeued to haue beene deliuered by no other, but Apostolike authority. Such a Tradition saith the sameAug, de Genes. ad lit. c. 23. et con. Dona. l. 4. c. 24. Orig. in c. 6. ad Rom. S. Augustine and Origenes, is the baptisme of infants: Such Traditions (according toBa. de spi. sāct. c. 27. S. Basil) are the signe of the Crosse, praying towards the East, the words spoken at the eleuation of the Eucharist, with di­uers ceremonies vsed before and after consecration: the hallowing of the font before baptisme, the blessing of the oile or chrisme, the an­nointing [Page 94] of the baptized with the said oile, the three immersions into the font, the words of abrenuntiation and exorcismes of the partie which is to be baptized, &c. What scripture (saith he) taught these and such like thinges? none truly, al comming of secrete and hidden Tradition, wherewith our fore-fathers thought it meete to couer such misteries: Hi­therto S. Basil. It is an Apostolical Tradition as we are taught byDionis. de Eccles. hierarc. cap. 7. S. Dionisius of Areopagus, Tertul. in exhort. ad castita tem c. 11. et de coro­na militis cap. 3. Tertullian, Chrisos. homi. 69. ad popu­lum. S. Iohn Chrisostome and S. Augu­stine, to pray and make a memory of the soules departed in the Masse. It is an Apostolical Tradition saithHieron. epist. 54. ad Marc. S. Hierome andEpiphā. haeres. 75. Aerij. S. Epiphanius, to keepe certaine appointed fasting-daies, especially the Lent: the same is affirmed byAug. epi. 118. ad Ia nu. cap. 1. S. Augustine concerning the obseruation of certaine holy-daies, and byDamas. li. 4. de or­tho. fide c. 17. et l. de Imagini. See Ter. de coron. mil. S. Iohn Damascene concerning the adoration of Images.

These and diuers other such like Apostolike Traditions, are sette downe by the auncient Fathers, and are to be found in the Church of Christ. And vpon these, if they bee of matters of faith (seeing that they haue diuine authority both from Christ and the Apostles, vvho deliuered them to the Church, and from the Church it selfe, which being the piller of truth hath accepted and approued them) euerie Christian may securelie build his faith and beliefe. If they be concerning preceptes of moral actions, vve are bound to obey them, and may doe it with like security: wherefore,Origen tract. 29. in Math. Origen giueth vs this learned counsaile. As often (saith he) as Heretiks alleage Ca­nonical scriptures in which al Christians consent and beleeue, they seeme to say: Mat 24. verse 26. Behold in houses is the word of truth; but we ought not to beleeue them, nor to goe forth from the first Ecclesiastical Tradition; nor beleeue otherwise, but as the Church of God by succession hath deliuered vnto vs. Thus farre Origen, wishing euery one in the interpretation and sense of holy scripture, to follow the Tradition of the Church, as also in the beliefe of al such matters as are called in question by Heretikes. Vnto these proofes I adde, thatBarlow B. of Rochester in his sermon preached at Hampton Court Sept. 21. 1606. Barlowe and Field (two famous En­glish Protestants) admit of certaine Apostolike Traditions.Field booke 4. cap. 20. § Much contention. Field tel­leth vs that they reject not al vnwritten Traditions: yea, he alloweth of the rule ofChap. 21. S. Augustine before mentioned, for decerning Apostoli­cal Traditions from others, as also dothWhitgift in his defence pag. 351. 352. Whitgift: But Field addeth moreouer this other; that whatsoeuer al, or the most famous and renowmed [Page 95] in al ages, or at the least in diuers ages, haue constantly deliuered, as recei­ued from them that went before them, no man contradicting or doubting of it, may be thought to be an Apostolical Tradition: thus Field. I confesse that (this notwithstanding) he affirmeth,Ibid. cap. 20. § Out of this. No matter of faith to be de­liuered by bare and onlie Tradition. But why not such as wel as those which concerne the manners & conuersation of men, and are by him allowed? as for example: Why may we not as assuredly receiue by Tradition, our beliefe concerning some article of faith, as (to vse his owne words) concerning the obseruation of the Lordes day? Ibid. That the Apo­stles. Field book 4. ca. 20. § Much confession. Ibidem § The secōd kinde. Doth not the allowance of these also (according to their common doctrine) preju­dice the sufficiencie of holy scripture? But he graunteth further, that They receiue the number, names of the Authours, and integrity of the parts of bookes diuine and Canonical, as deliuered by Tradition. He admitteth as a second Tradition, That summary comprehension of the chiefe heads of Christian doctrine, contained in the Creed of the Apostles, which was de­liuered to the Church as a rule of her faith. For a third Tradition he ac­knowledgeth, That forme of Christian doctrine and explication of the seue­ral parts thereof, which the first Christians receiuing from the same Apostles that deliuered to them the scriptures, commended to posterities. Vnto which I adde that which he hath in the fourteenth chapter of the same booke; that without the Creed of the Apostles named here in the second place, we cannot knowe the scripture to be of God: that without the forme of Christi­an doctrine which is his third Tradition, and the Analogie of faith, we haue no forme of Christian doctrine, by the direction whereof to judge of par­ticular doubts and questions, Yea in another place, of the said forme of Christian doctrine he hath these wordes:Ibidem cap. 19. We confesse that neither con­ference of places nor consideration of the antedentia & consequentia, nor looking into the originals, are of any force in the interpretation of scripture, vnlesse we finde the thinges, which we conceiue to be vnderstood and meant in the places interpreted, to be consonant to the rule of faith: This is M. Fields doctrine. Out of vvhich I inferre contrarie to his owne asserti­ons, that according to his owne groundes, Tradition is the very foun­dation of his faith. And this is euident: For doth it not follow of this, that we receiue the number, names of the authors, and the integritie of bookes diuine by Tradition; that without Tradition, we cannot knowe such diuine bookes: and moreouer, that if Tradition may be false, that we also concerning such bookes may be deceiued? Can it likewise be denied (if it be so, that vvithout the knoweledge of the [Page 96] creed we cannot know the scripture to be of God, & the creed also be an Apostolike Tradition) that without an Apostolike Tradition vve cannot knowe the scriptures? Moreouer, although that should be ad­mitted as true, which he auoucheth and hardly agreeth with this, to wit:Chap. 20. § Much contētion. See more of this matter part. 2. chapter 5. sect. 1. and chapter 8. section 4. that The scriptures winne credit of themselues, and yeeld satisfaction to al men of their diuine truth, which in very deed is false: yet, seing that the true interpretation of them cannot be knowne (as Field saith) with­out the knowledge of this rule of faith, it followeth also apparantly, that this rule must first infallibly be knowne by Tradition, before that we can certainly gather any article of beliefe out of scripture. Neither are these things only granted by Field; but moreouer, he confesseth the baptisme of Infants to be a Tradition: and addeth,Field booke 4. chap. 20. § the fourth That it is not expresly deliuered in scripture, that the Apostles did baptize Infants: and that there is not any expres precept there found that they should so doe. And yet (I hope) that M. Field wil grant, that it is a matter of faith that Infants are to be baptized, lest that he be censured to be an Anabaptist: which if he doe, he must needs confesse that some matters of faith are deliuered vnto vs by Tradition. And whereas he saith, This is not receiued by bare and naked Tradition, but that we find the scripture to deliuer vnto vs the grounds of it: It is verie certaine, that the scripture is so obscure touching this point,August. de Genes. ad litteram l. 10. c. 23 that S. Augustine affirmeth, that this custome of the Church in bap­tizing Infants, were not at al to be beleeued, were it not an Apostolike Tra­dition. And this obscurity of Scripture is much increased, if vvee confesse vvith our aduersaries that Infants may be saued vvithout Baptisme.

Chap. 20. But they.But he doth object against vs, that we proue many thinges which vve wil haue to be Apostolical Traditions, by the testimony of holy scripture: I cannot deny it; yet I say, it is one thing probably to de­duce an article of faith out of the scripture, another thing to be ex­presly and plainely contained in it. We only by probable conjectures proue some Traditions out of holy scripture, especially against He­retikes which deny Traditions, and approue the scripture: Neuer­thelesse, by supernatural faith vve beleeue them, because they are such Traditions.Booke 4. cap. 20. § For this. That vvhich he saith, that vve make Traditions Ecclesiastical equal with the vvritten vvord of God, is one of his ordinary vntruthes.

Besides this, it is also generally vrged against vs by our aduersa­ries, that diuers such thinges as are affirmed by vs to be Apostolike [Page 97] Traditions, are institutions of men; and they name the time vvhen such things were instituted, and the author that commanded them to be obserued. I answere, that although touching certaine obseruations and ceremonies, vvhich vve affirme to be Apostolike, there be some decrees of Councels and Popes; yet, that the said Councels or Popes instituted not such obseruations and ceremonies, but either ratified and confirmed them by their decrees, or else caused them to be ob­serued vniuersally; whereas before, the vse of them was not general: or finally, prescribed to al faithful people, a certaine and vniforme manner of obseruing them; whereas before, although the obserua­tion of them was general, yet they were not generally obserued af­ter the same manner in al places. The truth of this answere appea­reth by this, that vve can proue by sufficient testimonies, such ob­seruations and ceremonies to be more ancient, then our aduersaries vvil haue their institution. I adde also, that al the definitions and decrees of Councels and Popes concerning matters of faith, are but more perspicuous explications of that rule of faith, which by Tardi­tion hath descended from the Apostles, as I wil declare in the next chapter: wherefore, it is no absurdity to affirme the like of such consti­tutions, concerning some obseruations and ceremonies; for that some haue beene instituted and ordained by the Church, we confesse. Nei­ther hath she in this exceeded her authoritie, because Christ hath gi­uen her such power, to the end that al thinges might be done vnifor­mallie vvith decencie, and (as the Apostle saith) according to order. 1. Corint. 14, 40. And that she hath such Apostilike authority, it is confessed by most English Protestants, see chap. 6. before section 4. pag. 50. as I haue aboue declared.

Chapter 9. Of general Councels, which make the third particuler ground of Catholike religion.

IN the next place I affirme, that euery man may securely build his faith and religion, vpon the decrees of a lawful and authen­tical general Councel, concerning that or those matters which the Councel intendeth to define.

[Page 98]One principal reason conuincing the truth of this, may be gathe­red out of that, which hath beene already said of the infallible autho­rity of the Church: for I haue proued before; not only, that it vvas necessary for the preseruation of peace and vnity, that Christ should ordaine in his Church some visible, supreame and infallible meane, to decide controuersies touching matters of religion: but also, that this prerogatiue was bestowed by him, vpon his holy spouse our mother the Church. Nowe, what Court in the world representeth the whole Church, if not a general Councel; in which her visible head either in person, or by his Legates, with a great part of her chiefe Pastors and Prelates (who represent not only al the particuler Churches of which they haue charge, but also the whole body) are assembled? What as­sembly is aboue this? What decree is so firme and of such eminent au­thority, as is the definition of such a Councel? Verily, seeing that the authority of the Church is infallible, and shee doth in no superiour Court pronounce her sentence; it is manifest that this is the Court, in which al controuersies touching matters of faith, with warrant of in­fallible and diuine truth, are finally decided and ended.

Furthermore, if Christs Vicar on earth cannot erre in matters of faith, or general precepts of manners, when he teacheth the whole Church, as shalbe proued in the next chapter: when (if not in a ge­neral Councel) doth he enjoy this priueledge? If hel-gates cannot preuaile against the Church, vvhen (if not in a general Councel) shal vve thinke her so inuincible? If the Prelates of the Church are to be obeyed as Christ: When (if not in a general Councel) shal vve hear­ken vnto them,Math. 18. verse 20. See before chap. 6. section 2. and yeelde them such obedience? If vvhen two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, he is in the midst of them, according to his owne promise; how shal we thinke him absent from a general Councel? If the holie Ghost doth teach the Church al truth; vvhen (if not in a general Councel) doth he so instruct and di­rect her? Finally, if the Bishops & Prelates of the Church in a gene­ral Councel may erre themselues, how can they (as vve are taught by the Apostle they should) according to the ordination of Christ,Ephes. 4. vers. 11. &c. keepe al the whole Church from wauering and errour in faith?

Hence the decision of a general Councel, hath euer had three prin­cipal prerogatiues giuen it, by al allowed monuments of antiquity; which may also manifestly be deduced out of holy scripture it selfe. First, that it is (as is aforesaid) the supreame and last judicial sentence [Page 99] of the Church, from which there can be no appeale, and vvhich by no meanes can be made void or recalled. This we gather out ofAthā. e­pist. ad E­pictetum. S. A­thanasius, the greatest scholler, and the most principal champion of his age against the Arians, who in an epistle recited also byEpiphā. haeres. 77. See also Hierō. e­pist. 57. ad Damasunt S. Epiphani­us, wondred how certaine durst moue any question concerning things defined in the Nicene Councel: Much more would he haue wondred, if in his daies any man had writen as Field now hath done, thatField booke 4. c. 12. and 5. after the decrees of a Councel hath passed, a man may stil doubt and refuse to beleeue without Heretical pertinacy; yea he auoucheth, that Councels may erre in matters of greatest consequence. But the same holy Father addeth this reason vvhy he thus meruailed, to wit: because the decrees of such Councels cannot be altered without error. S. Augustine saith,Aug. e­pist. 162. A ge­neral Councel is the last judgement of the Church. Leo epi­sto. 50. ad Martianū S. Leo requesteth of Martianus the Emperour, that those thinges which are defined in ge­neral Councels, may not be reuersed or recalled: which also the saidL. Nemo. cap. de sū. Trinit. et fide catho. Martianus ratefied by his Imperial constitution. The same is de­creed in the general Councels ofConciliū Ephesinū circa finē. Ephesus andConciliū Chalcedō. act 5. can. vlt. Chalcedon.

Secondly, those are censured by the Fathers and Councels to be Heretiks, who disobey the decrees of such Councels. And first, al generall Councels denounce Anathema to them, and accurse those that shal contradict their definitions; which they could not doe with­out errour vpon a meere perswation, without infallible assurance of diuine truth in their said definitions.

That the Fathers of the Councel of Nice did so, it is recorded byAthanas. epistol. ad Episcopos Affricae. S. Athanasius, and the actes of other such Councels, euidentlie proue the same proceedings in them. The judgment ofLeo epi. 78. ad Le­onem Imp. see bī also ī epist 77. ad Anatho. S. Leo was, that they could not be numbred among Catholikes that resisted the Coun­cels of Nice and Chalcedon. Basil epist. 87. S. Basil willed Catholikes to propound the decrees of the Councel of Nice, to those that vvere suspected of he­resie, because by this it vvould haue appeared, whether they vvere Heretikes or Catholikes. August. de baptismo cap. 18. S. Augustine excuseth S. Ciprian from he­resie only for this reason, that his opinion touching the baptisme of Heretikes, vvas not condemned by any general Councel.Greg. lib. 1. epist. 24. S. Grego­rie denounceth Anathema to those that receiue not the fiue general Councles, which only vvere celebrated before his daies.

Vnto this I adde, that al Christian Catholike Emperors by their con­stitutions, adjudged such as Heretikes; and made them subject to the [Page 100] punishment of such miscreants, that opposed themselues against the definitions of general Councels. He is wicked and sacralegeous (sayMartiā. et Valē. in edicto ad Paladium praefectū. praetorio edicto quod extat act. 3. sinodi Chalced. Martianus and Valentinianus) who after the sentence of so many bishops doth say any thing according to his owne opinion: yea, at al times such as were condemned by such Councels as Heretikes, haue beene so estee­med by al sorts, although not so censured before: and not only in that age in which they were so condemned; but in al ages following. And both these assertions may be proued by that sentence of our Lord:Math. 10, 7. He that shal not heare the Church, let him be to thee as the Heathen and the publican. For he that disobeyeth the Church assembled in this su­preame Court, is no longer to be thought a Christian, or to be admit­ted to any other trial, but to be esteemed an Heretike, and an Infidel.

Thirdly, by the same Councels and Fathers, the decrees of gene­ral Councels are said to be diuine, and from the holy Ghost; of which it followeth, that they are of infallible truth and not subject to errour. The Fathers assembled in the most auncient Councels, auouch the said Councels to be gathered together by the holy Ghost.Epist. ad Ecclesiam apud Eu­sebium li. 3. de vita Constātini. Constantine the great calleth the decrees of the Councel of Nice, heauenly precepts. Athā. e­pistola ad episcopos Affricae. S. Athanasius writeth, that the word of our Lord by the general Councel of Nice, remaineth for euer. Naziā. orat. in A­thanas. S. Gregory Nazianzene telleth vs; that in it, the Bishops were assembled by the holy Ghost. Ciril. lib. de trinita. et dialog. cum Her­mia, et epi. ad Anasta. S. Ciril of Alexan­dria termeth the decree of the same Councel a diuine and most holy oracle; also the strong and inuincible foundation of our faith, and a faith defined by diuine instinct. Leo epi­stol. 53. ad Anatho. et 54. ad Martian. et 78 ad Leonem Aug. S. Leo affirmeth, that the canons of that Councel, and of the Councel of Chalcedon, were ordained by the holy Ghost. Constan. epist. ad Ecclesiā de habita Nicaenae sinod. Receiue (saith Constantine the great, of the canons of the Councel of Nice) with willing mindes this decree, as the gift of God, and a precept in very deede sent from heauen. For whatsoeuer is decreed in the Councels of the Saints, must be attributed to the diuine wil. Gregor. li. 1. epist. 24. et lib. 2. indict. 11 epist. 10. S. Gregorie said, He honoured the foure first general Councels as the foure Gospels; Iustin. authent. collat. 9. de Ecclesiasticis titu­lis cap. 1. see Ruffinus in hist. lib. 1. cap. 5. We receiue their decrees of faith (saith Iustinian the Emperour, more auncient then he) as the holy scri­ptures. Caelestinus epist. ad sinod. Ephesinam. Caelestinus the Pope affirmeth, that he beleeued the holy Ghost to be present in the Councel of Ephesus. And this prerogatiue of the spouse of Christ, is also gathered out of those testimonies of the holy scriptures aboue rehearsed, prouing that the Church is directed in al [Page 101] truth by the holy Ghost: vnto which I joine this taken out of the Acts of the Apostles, to wit: that the Apostles and auncients assembled to­gether in the first Councel held at Hierusalem, in their decision of the matter then in controuersie, vsed this stile:Act. 15. verse 28. It hath seemed good to the ho­ly Ghost and vs, &c. giuing vs to vnderstand, that in holy Councels the resolution of controuersies and other decrees, proceede jointely from the holy Ghost, and the Fathers assembled; and that he toge­ther vvith them, propoundeth vnto vs such thinges as are decreed. And because al general Councels euer since, haue had the same dire­ction and assistance of the holy Ghost; they haue likewise euer vsed the same kind of stile.

Of the authority of the decrees of the said first Councel, held by the Apostles at Hierusalem, we are sufficiently informed in the said hi­story of the Actes of the Apostles: In which S. Luke recordeth,Act. 15, 41. chap. 16, 4. that when S. Paul and Silas passed through the Citties, they deliuered vnto the faithful, the precepts of the Apostles & the ancients that were decreed at Hie­rusalem; and commaunded them to keepe them. And like as al faithful Christians embraced those precepts: so euer since al Catholikes haue embraced the Creedes and Decrees of general Councels; building therein, not vpon the authority of men subject to errour, but vpon the authority of men directed by the holy Ghost; and (as I may say) vpon the authority of the holy Ghost and men: For the holy Ghost is chiefe president in al such general Councels. Wherefore, although euerie particuler man assembled in the Councel (except the Bishop of Rome) may erre in his priuate opinion; yet, certaine it is, that in such a Councel confirmed by the Pope, they haue not erred; and v­pon this euery Christian may securely build his faith and saluation.

Hence the Fathers teach, that we ought rather to die, then to de­part from the decrees of general Councels:Ambros. epist. 32. I followe (saith S. Am­brose) the decree of the Nicene Councel, from which neither death nor sword shal separate me. Hieron. cont. Lu­cif. Hilla. in fine lib. de sinodis. S. Athanasius, S. Hillarie, and S. Eusebius endured ba­nishment, rather then they would contrary the faith of the same Coun­cel:Victor in li. de Van­dalica per secutione. Victor Affricanus relateth the martirdome of diuers, who suffe­red for the same cause.

Moreouer, if we make the decrees of a general Councel subject to falsehood, vve must needes condemne al such Councels, euen the most ancient and best, of an intollerable errour in this, that they pro­pounded thinges to be beleeued as articles of faith, of vvhich it is [Page 102] not certaine whether they were true or false; and made newe Creeds or formes of faith, or (at the least) added some sentences to the old, which they commanded al Christians to embrace, as part of their be­liefe. For how could they doe this, if they could haue erred and haue propounded falshood? Vnto vvhich I may also adde, that if vve be­reaue such definitions of diuine truth, the condemnation of al heresies condemned in auncient times, may be called in question; and doubt may be made, vvhether they were lawfully and justly condemned or no: and so we shal not only open the way to al dissention, and deui­sion in the Church; but also bereaue our selues of a principal meane, for the condemnation of such newe Trinitarians, See Zau­chius in the epistle before his confession. Beza volumine 3. pa. 190. 195. Hooker booke 5. § 42. Arians, Nestorians, and Eutichians, as haue in this last age sprung vp, out of our aduersa­ries Euangellical or rather Pseudo-euangellical doctrine.

This forced Beza disputing against such Heretiks, to pleade the au­thority of the Councels of Nice, Ephesus and Chalcedon, Beza e­pist. The­ [...]log. 81 p. 334. 335. Zauchius in his epi­stle before his confes­sion pag. 12. 13. Then which (saith he) the Sunne neuer beheld any thing more holy and excellent, from the Apostles daies. He addeth, that Although al vse of newe wordes be diligently to be auoided; yet (saith he) I so define, that the difference be­tweene the essence and hipostasis being taken awaye, what wordes soeuer thou vse; and the word consubstantial being abrogated (which vvords were established in the said Councels) the deceits and errours of these Arians and Trinitarians, can hardly or not at al be discouered, or their errors so clearely confuted. I denie also, that the words nature, propri­ety, hipostatical vnion, &c. being taken away, that the blasphemies of Ne­storius and Eutiches can wel be refelled: hitherto Beza. Hence also Zanchius a Protestant of no smal fame, vvriteth thus: And because He­retikes when they durst not simply deny these foundations, were euer wont to wrest, and yet doe wrest and wring the same for the most part, by false interpretations, to their owne heresies: Therefore, that the true Churches may be discerned from the conuenticles of Heretikes, we must vnderstand and expound those principles and chiefe points of doctrine, in no other sense, then as the ancient Church (agreeably to the scriptures by common consent, specially in the best approued Councels) expounded them. For what (to say something for example sake) can be more firme, certaine, and manifestlie spoken for the article in the Creed of the person of Christ, then those things which were determined out of the scriptures, in the Councel at Nice, at E­phesus, Constantinople, Chalcedon? adde also, the fift and sixt by the god­lie Fathers, against Arius, Samosatenus, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutiches, [Page 103] the Monotholites. Whosoeuer therefore teacheth concerning Christs person, against the determinations of those Councels, certainelie they doe not rightly hold this principal foundation of Christian religion: These are the discour­ses of Zauchius. The like he hath in another place,Zauchius in his ob­seruations vpon his confession vpon the 25. chap. pag. 330 where he expresly saith, that The decrees of such Councels come from the holy Ghost, and that he cannot disproue them with a good conscience. Further, if we weaken the authority of such Councels, we must needs also make weake the authority of some books of holy scripture, as of theSee part. 1. chap. 7. sect. 1. part 2. chap. 5. sect. 2. epistle to the Hebrewes, the Apocalipse, and other such parcels of the written word of God, of which there was some doubt in the Church, whether they were Canonical or no, vntil the matter was defined by general Coun­cel. Finally, let vs confirme al that I haue here said, by the testimony ofHooker in the pre­face to his book of ec­clesiastical policy pa. 24. 25. 26. 27. Hooker, whom our English sectaries commonly esteeme as highly as any other. He then first telleth vs, that there are but two certaine waies of peaceable conclusion: the one, a sentence of judicial decision giuen among our selues; the other, the like kinde of sentence giuen by a more vniuersal au­thority, and he meaneth by Councels. The former of which two waies (saith he) God in the law prescribeth: and his spirit it was, which directed the very first Christian Churches to vse the second. This he proueth by the proceedings of the Church, touching the controuersie about the necessity of circumcision, mentioned in theAct. 15. Acts of the Apostles, vvhich after great contention vvas ended by a Councel: and he de­maundeth of the Puritans, whether they are able to alleage any just cause, wherefore they should not condescend absolutely in the matter con­trouersed, to haue their judgements ouer-ruled by some such definitiue sen­tence, whether it fal out with them or against them? that so (saith he) these tedious contentions may cease: He addeth, that without some definitiue sentence it is almost impossible, that either confusion should be avoided, or hope be had to attaine to peace. Againe, To smal purpose had the Councel of Hierusalem beene assembled, if once their determination being set downe, men might afterwards haue defended their former opinions: when therefore they had giuen their definitiue sentence, al controuersies was at end, thinges were disputed before they came to be determined, men afterwards were not to di­spute any longer, but to obey: the sentence of judgement finished their strife, which their disputers before judgement could not doe. This was ground sufficiēt for any reasonable mans conscience, to build the duty of obedience vpon, what­soeuer his owne opinion were, as touching the matter before in question. So ful of wilfulnes & selfe-liking is our nature, that without some defititiue sentence, [Page 104] which being giuen may stand, and a necessity of silence on both sides afterwards imposed; smal hope there is, that strifes thus farre prosecuted, wil in short time quietly end: thus he. And to make this his discourse the stronger, he likewise alleageth the authority of Beza, Beza prae­fat. tract. de excom. et presbit. who (saith he) in his last booke saue one written about these matters, professeth himselfe to be nowe weary of such combats and encounters, whether by word or writing, in as­much as he findeth that controuersies thereby are made brawles: and therefore he wisheth, that in some common lawful assembly of Churches, al these strifes may at once be decided: Hitherto Hooker. To the same effect he might also,Luther li. cōt. Zuīg. et Oecolā. haue alleaged the testimonie of Luther, vvho considering the wonderful multitude of dissentions about religion, among his secta­ries themselues, auouched; that for the ending of them (if the world long indure) he saw no other meanes, but that they should be forced to haue recourse to general Councels. I could alleage the like sentences out of Couel, Couel in his defēce of Hooker See before chap. 6. section 4. 50. 51. who wisheth that some general Councel might be assembled for the final end of al controuersies. And hither also tend the discour­ses of those Protestants, who (as I haue aboue related) make the con­stitutions of the Church diuine.

But it may (perhaps) be answered by some man, to these testimo­nies of our aduersaries; that notwithstanding al these their assertions, they make general Councels absolutely subject to errour. I answere and confesse, that in very deede they doe so; yet I affirme, that any wise and discreete man, may wel gather out of their sayinges alleaged, not only that general Councels are needful in the Church, and that al their deuision and dissention, proceedeth of their denial of the autho­rity of such Councels: But also that it was requisite and necessary, that Christ who is neuer wanting to his Church in thinges needful, should make the authority of general Councels concerning matters of faith, infallible. For otherwise, if they were subject to errour, what reason hath man to obey them in matters of such consequence? especially considering, that diuers such assemblies vnlaweful, consisting of a greater multitude of Bishoppes, then some lawful general Councels, haue erred and straied from the truth. Finally they confesse, that the first such Councels assembled in the first ages of Christianity, erred not: And thus much for the proofe of this matter.

It may (perhaps) be here further demaunded, what conditions we require to a lawful and authentical general Councel? I answere brie­fly; first, that such a Councel must either be called expresly, by the [Page 105] ministerial head of the Church, or (at the least) with his assent. Secōd­ly, the summon must be general, of al Bishops throughout the world. Thirdly, although it be not needeful that al be personallie and reallie present: yet, a competent number must appeare, that is to say; some (at the least) out of the greater part of Christian Catholike prouinces: yet, if it be assembled in the East, a smal number of the West sent to supply the place of al the rest, are judged to suffice: Contrariwise, if in the West, a smal number in such sort is sufficient out of the East. Fourthly, the ministerial head or vicegerent of Christ, must either be present in person, or by his Legates. And finally, the decrees of the said Councel, must be by him confirmed: and this, both because the head is chiefe ruler of the body; and consequently, the body is to doe nothing without the assent of the head; and also, because he hath singuler priuileges granted him by Christ of not erring, as shal be declared in the next chapter. Hence it proceedeth, that no gene­ral Councel hath euer in the Church beene held Canonical, without his approbation, although the number of Bishoppes vvere neuer so great, as appeareth by that of Ephesus vnder Theodosius the younger: by that of Constantinople vnder Leo Isaurus, and diuers others. And out of this discourse I gather, that this authority of general Councels if we had no other argument, were sufficient to perswade vs, to detest and abhorre the condemned doctrine of the new Sectaries. For the same Church which in the first general Councel of Nice, condem­ned A [...]ius and the Arians: the same, which in the second such Coun­cel held at Constantinople, condemned Macedonius and the Macedoni­ans; vvhich in the third held at Ephesus, condemned Nestorius & the Nestorians; vvhich in the fourth held at Chalcedon, condemned Euti­ches and the Eutichians; vvhich finally, in other general Councels, hath condemned other Heretiks and heresies: The selfe same Church (I say) directed in al truth by the holy Ghost, hath condemned and accursed Luther and the Lutherans, Zuinglius and the Zuinglians, vvith al their followers togeather vvith their doctrine, in the last general Councel held at Trent.

But they say that this Councel vvas not laweful, nor the judges in­different. I reply, first; that this hath beene an old cauil of al con­demned Heretiks: wherefore, it may lawefully be suspected in these. Moreouer, it is sufficiently proued by Catholike authors, and the mat­ter is euident in it selfe, that nothing necessarie to a laweful general [Page 106] Councel, vvas vvanting in this: vvherefore, it is receiued by the vvhole Church, as Canonical; and therefore no vvise man (seing that saluation and damnation vpon this depend) vvil reject it vpon these mens reportes.

They affirme further, that the Church hath no authority in a ge­neral Councel, to make any newe article of faith. To this likewise I answere, that the Church properly maketh no newe article of faith: for euerie decree by her made concerning such matters, is either in expresse tearmes contained in the holie scriptures: or gathered out of them by infallible deduction, through the direction of the holie Ghost; or expresly or virtually approued by the vnwritten Traditi­on of the Church: wherefore, the Church neither hath euer taught or shal euer teach any truth so newe, that it vvas vnknowne to the A­postles. For that which by her is defined and propounded, was true before; and an article of faith, although sometimes not certainelie nor generally knowne before, to be of such authority or dignity. And that this is our doctrine it is graunted by Field, vvhose vvords are these:Field book 4. cap. 12. § Our ad­uersaries. Our aduersaries confesse, that the approbation and determination of the Church, can not make that a truth which was not; nor that a diuine or Catholike truth which was not so before: thus Field. Hence the Catholike diuines affirme, that Christian faith neuer since Christs ascention hath increased, or beene altered in substance, but only in explanation or explication; because the Church hath euer since, only more plaine­lie and expresly declared her beliefe: and authority to doe this vvas needful in her,Vinc. Lir. cap. 28. 29. et 30. for preseruing of peace, and ending of al controuer­sies. This Vincentius Lirinensis most elegantly declareth, by a simili­tude taken from the body of man, vvhich hath the same members in his infancie, youth, vvhen he is at mans estate, and in his old age: and although for the diuersitie of time, they are lesse and greater, vveaker and stronger; yet the body it selfe is not chaunged, but aug­mented: so (saith he) it falleth out in our faith, &c.

They object also, the authority of some Fathers, but principally those vvordes of S. Gregorie Nazianzene, vvho saith (as he is allea­ged by Whitaker) Whit. in his ans. to Camp. 4. reasō. Ab­bot in his answere to Hils 9 reasō. Nazi­anz. epist. 55. or 42. alias 102. ad Procop. Hist. tri. part. li 9. cap. 9. That he had deliberated with himselfe, and fully re­solued, to auoid Episcopal conuocations, because he had neuer seene a good issue of anie Sinode. I answere, that this holy father doth not deny the authority of lawful general Councels, as appeareth by his testimo­nie before cited, and also by this, that he vvas a most earnest defen­der [Page 107] of the Nicene Councel, as is testified by Ecclesiastical histories, and was himselfe present, and subscribed to the second general Coun­cel held at Constantinople. He therefore only speaketh of such Sinods, as was celebrated in those daies when he wrote that epistle, of which fewe were lawful, and none had good successe, as appeareth by that of Seleucia, Ariminum, Millan, Tirus, Sirmium, Bilson in his booke of the per­petual go­uernment of Christs Church. Chap. 16. pag. 396. Athan. li. de sinod. et ad Affri­can. see also S. Am­brose e­pist. 32. &c. of vvhich in verie deed he neuer sawe good issue, and for that cause he refused to be pre­sent to any of them: and this solution is approued by M. Bilson a lear­ned Protestant, who expresly saith, that this Father in these words con­demneth not al Councels. They bring likewise against vs, certaine words of S. Augustine in his booke against Maximinus, where he wri­teth thus (as Abbot translateth him) But nowe neither should I produce the Nicene Councel, nor thou that of Ariminum, as meaning to extol it: nei­ther am I held with the authority of the one, nor thou with the other. I an­swere first, that although S. Augustine might haue proued out of S. A­thanasius, and diuers other authentical authors, that the lawful Coun­cel of Ariminum most notably confirmed the Nicene faith; and that the Councel alleaged by this Heretike vvas but the supscription of the Bishops to a certaine forme of faith, by threatning, feare and afflicti­on, extorted by Taurus the Emperors officer, after that the Councel vvas finished: yet, in the dispute which he had with Maximinus, the said Maximinus opposing the Councel of Ariminum aganst the Coun­cel of Nice, he vvould not enter into the proofe of the authority of the one, and confutation of the other; but hauing most pregnant te­stimonies of holy scripture, he voluntarily in that disputation, cea­sed to vrge the authority of the Councel of Nice: and so those his vvordes Neither am I held &c. are vnderstood; for the sense of them is, I vvil not that nowe thou be bound to the one, or I to the other. Verely, that he esteemed highly of the authoritie of general Coun­cels, al his workes and proceedings testifie: yea, his discourse before the vvords alleaged doth proue it, as wil appeare to the reader. For he saith, that in the Councel of Nice, the word consubstantial was by the Catholike fathers established by the authority of truth, and by the truth of authority. And in another place he telleth vs,Tom. 7. de baptismo contr. Do­nat. li. 7. cap. 53. that we may securely auerre that, which is confirmed and roborated by the consent of the vniuersal Church.

Chapter 10. Of the decrees of the supreame visible Pastour of the Church, which make a fourth particuler ground of our faith, and of other grounds hence proceeding.

IN the three precedent Chapters, I haue treated of three prin­cipal groundes, on which with al security we may build our faith and religion: I wil now adde vnto them certaine others, commonly by al Catholikes esteemed also to be of infallible authority. And in the first place, I assigne the decrees and definitions of the supreame visible Pastour of the Church millitant: but for a ful explication and plaine proofe of this ground, I wil deuide this chap­ter into certaine sections.

SECTION THE FIRST. Containing a briefe explication or rehearsal of the Catholike doctrine, concerning the Popes supremacie.

BECAVSE our beliefe concerning the primacie of the Bishop of Rome, is diuersly slaundered by our aduersaries; I thinke it not a­misse before I come to the proofe of it, briefly to explicate what our doctrine is: For true it is, that our assertion being explicated to them that are misinformed, is halfe proued. We hold therefore, that the supreame power which our Sauiour Christ euen according to his hu­mane nature, receiued of his Father before his ascention ouer al his Church (of which are these his wordes.Mat. 28. verse 18. Ephes. 1, 22. 1 Pet. 5, 4. Heb. 5.6. Al power is giuen to me in hea­uen and in earth) vvas neuer resigned or giuen by him to any mortal creature; Wherefore, as yet he remaineth supreame head of his Church, prince of Pastours, and Priest according to the order of Melchisedech. Ne­uerthelesse, because he vvas to withdrawe his visible corporal pre­sence from the Church millitant, and therefore could not himselfe de­cree, [Page 109] and giues sentence or aduise in matters doubtful: like as Kinges or Princes not being resident in their dominions, for the good and peaceable gouernment of their subjects, appoint Viceroies or Vice­gerents:Luke 19. vers. 12. so he departing from his Church (as the scripture saith) into a farre Countrie, like as he appointed diuers vicars for the administra­tion of the sacraments: so he ordained one for the gouernment of the whole Church (to wit) S. Peter, who immediately receiued such juris­diction and authority from him; and therefore during his mortal life, was his Vicegerent on earth, ministerial head of his Church, and chiefe gouernour, Pastour, and Prelate of the same. And hence pro­ceedeth the first difference betweene Christ and S. Peter, touching the supremacie ouer the Church. For although they be both termed supreame heads of the same; yet the last of them, is subordinate & de­pendeth of the first: and the first only is the supreame independent, the last was the supreame visible, ministerial & dependent head. Of which it appeareth, that the authority and jurisdiction of the second, was no­thing prejudicial to that of the first: for they may stand very wel toge­ther, seing that the one was subordinate to the other. Neither doe Christ and his vicar properly make two heads of the Church, but one: like as a King and his viceroy make not properly two Kings, but one. For like as the King notwithstanding his viceroy, is the one chiefe prince, gouernour, and head of his country: so is Christ the chiefe Prelate and head of his Church. S. Peter vvas his vicar and vicege­rent: and so is at this present his successour the Bishop of Rome. For the proofe of the truth of this doctrine it maketh, that like as Christ in the holy scripture is called Head of the Church: so he is likewise cal­ledApoc. 17, 14. ca. 19, 16. King, Lord, 1. Pet. 2, 25. Bishop, Pastour, Heb. 3, 1. cap. 5. vers. 6. Apostle and Priect. Wherefore, like as this notwithstanding, others may be Kinges, Lords, Bishops, Pastors, Apostles and Priests: so another may be, although not abso­lute; yet subordinate and ministerial head of the Church. After this sort also our Sauiour and S. Peter are both rocks: for although Christ be the chiefe rock and stone on which the Church was built; yet S. Pe­ter was the ministerial or secondary rock, made by Christ a rocke and the principal stone next vnto himselfe, in the edifice of his Church: In vvhich sense by S. Paul and S. Iohn, Eph. 2, 20 Apoc. 21. verse 14. Basil hom. de poenitē. quae est vl­tima inter varias ho­milias. Math. 5. verse 14. Leo serm. 3. āniuer­sario As­sumptio­nis suae. although Christ be the princi­pal foundation of his Church; yet the Apostles are likewise termed the foundation of the same. This which I haue said, is most learnedly and euidently declared by the holy father S. Basil in these his wordes. Al­though [Page 112] [...] [Page 113] [...] [Page 110] S. Peter (saith he) be a rocke, yet he is not a rocke as Christ is: for Christ is the true immoueable rocke of himselfe: Peter is immoueable through Christ the rocke. For Iesus doth impart and communicate his dignities, not voiding himselfe of them: but holding them to himselfe, he bestoweth them also vpon others. He is the light, and yet you (saith he) are the light. He is the Priest, and yet he maketh Priests. He is a Rocke, and yet be maketh a Rocke: thus farre S. Basil. The like discourse vve finde in S. Leo: for expounding those vvordes of our Sauiour, Thou art Peter; thus he speaketh in the person of Christ to the said Apostle. Whereas I am an inuiolable Rocke; I the corner stone, who make both one; I the founda­tion besides which no man can lay another: yet thou also art a rocke, because by my power thou art made firme and strong, to the end that those thinges which are proper to me by power, be made common to thee by participation: hitherto S. Leo. And thus much of the first difference betweene Christ and S. Peter, touching their superiority ouer the Church.

An other difference betweene them is, that the authority of Christ vvas euer absolute; of S. Peter limited: for our Sauiour deriued not vnto him al his authoritie, but a part onlie of the same. Hence it proceedeth, that although Christ instituted sacraments, forgaue sins vvithout the vse of anie sacraments, &c. yet, neither S. Peter nor a­ny of his successours, euer had anie such power or authority: The reason is, because euery man but Christ, hath alwaies beene bound to vse the meanes by him instituted, and left vnto his Church. Of vvhich it appeareth, howe false their slaunder is, vvho affirme the Pope to pardon sinnes by his Indulgences or Pardons: for certaine it is, that by such indulgences no sinnes are forgiuen, but men are onlie released of such temporal paine, as is due vnto them. It is al­so confessed by al Catholikes, that no man (as long as he is guilty of mortal sinne, and out of the state of grace) can receiue anie benefite from any such pardon.

A third difference is, that our Sauiour being the way, the truth, and life; yea, the sonne of God himselfe, could neither erre in judge­ment, nor in manners, that is: he could neither haue any false or erro­neous opinion, in his vnderstanding; nor sinne or erre from reason and right, in his wil and actions: Contrariewise, his vicar (although as I vvil proue hereafter) vvhen he teacheth the whole Church as su­preame Pastor, cannot erre in matters of faith or precepts of manners, vvhich he prescribeth to al faithful Christians and concerne thinges [Page 111] necessary to saluation; or in those things which are of themselues good or euil (for he cannot so commaund anie vice, or forbid any vertue) yet, as a priuate man or particuler doctour, he may erre in his judge­ment or opinion: he may also offend God most deepely and be dam­ned in hel-fire.Mat. 24. verse 48. For if that seruant whome his Lord hath appointed ouer his family, (these are our Sauiours words) shal say in his hart my Lord is long a comming, and shal beginne to strike his fellowe seruantes, and eateth and drinketh with drunckards; the Lord of that seruant shal come in a day that he hopeth not, and an houre that he knoweth not, and shal diuide him, and appoint his portion with the hipocrites: there shalbe weeping and gnashing of teeth: Thus our Sauiour Christ. But although S. Peter in authority and diuers other prerogatiues, was farre inferiour to Christ, euen as man: yet, he vvas superiour to al the rest of the Apostles. For al­though al the Apostles receiued of Christ, orders and power to vse the keies of the kingedome of heauen (that is, to forgiue sinnes) and also to preach the Gospel throughout the whole world: yet S. Peter only aboue the rest receiued supreame power, authority, and jurisdicti­on. The authority of the other Apostles was giuen them with a cer­taine kinde of subjection to Peter: they were also Christes legates or embassadours sent to the whole world; but they being only Apostles were equal among themselues, and no one superiour ouer the other. Neither were they ordinary Bishops or Pastours of the whole world; for of it S. Peter vvas only the ordinary Pastour. Wherefore, like as a legate or embassadour, cannot of himselfe communicate or delegate his authority to another, or leaue it by inheritance to his successour: so the other Apostles left not al their authority in so ample sort as they receiued it, to the Bishoppes vvho succeeded them: contrariwise, S. Peter as absolute prince, hauing absolute and ordinarie jurisdicti­on vnder Christ, left the same to his successour or heire the Bishoppe of Rome.

This doctrine vve receiue from the holie father and martir S. Ci­prian, vvho of this point discourseth thus.Cipr. lib. de vnitate Ecclesiae cap. 3. To Peter our Lord after his resurrection saith; feede my sheepe, and buildeth his Church vpon him a­lone: and to him be gaue the charge of feeding his sheepe. And although after his resurrection he gaue his power alike to al, saying: As my father sent me, so send I you; take the holie Ghost; if you remitte to any their sinnes they shal be remitted, &c. Yet, to manifest vnitie, he constituted one Chaire, and disposed by his authoritie, the origen or fountaine of the [Page 112] same beginning of one. The rest of the Apostles were that Peter was, in e­qual felloweshippe of honour and power: but the beginning commeth of vnity. The primacy is giuen to Peter, that the Church of Christ may be shewed to be one, and one chaire: thus farre S. Ciprian. In which words he plain­ly auoucheth, that S. Peter had supreame and ordinary authority: the other Apostles although they had equal and like Apostolike power; yet they were not equal to him in al prerogatiues: this their authority (as I haue said) was not ordinary nor so absolute, but depending & ha­uing his beginning of that of Peter. Ibid. ca 4. Hence the same S. Ciprian in the selfe same book, affirmeth the Church to be one: like as al the beams of the sunne are termed one light, because they issue from one sunne; and many litle brooks one water, because they proceed from one spring; and many boughes one tree, because they haue the selfe same roote. And this sunne, fountaine, and roote, in other places he acknowledg­eth to be the chaire of S. Peter, which is therefore by him calledCipr. l. 1. epist. 3. ad Cornel. li. 4. epist 8. ad Cornel. epi. ad Iu­baianum. the principal Church from which Priestlie vnitie hath his beginning, and the ma­trice or mother, roote and head of the Catholike Church. It is also by him affirmed, that the one Church by the voice of our Lord was built v­pon one, who receiued the keies, &c. I could recite other such like testimonies, but these in this place shal suffice. And although S. Peter had so ample, and eminent authority, and for this cause his succes­sours were sometimes honoured with the title of vniuersal Bishoppe, as appeareth in the general Councel ofConcil. Chal. act. 3. et 6. Chalcedon yet, they seldome or neuer called themselues so, but rather following the commandement of Christ (who bid; thatMath. 20. v. 26. whosoeuer would be greater among his Apostles, should be their seruant or minister) called themselues the seruant of the seruants of God. Hence are these words of S. Gregory the great, who is highly commended byHumfre. in Iesuitif. part. 2. rat 5. p. 624. D. Humfrey and by anotherTheodor. Bibli. in o­rat. ad prī ­cipes Ger­ma. See al­so Godwin in his ca­talogue of Bishops in Augustine pag. 3. Protestant (al­though he terme al his successours Antechrists) called a very holy fa­ther, and most excellent Pastor; he discourseth thus:Greg. l. 4. epist. 32.76. It is plaine to al men that euer read the Gospel, that by our Lordes mouth the charge of the whole Church was committed to S. Peter prince of the Apostles; for to him it was said: Feed my sheepe. For him was the praier made, that his faith should not faile: to him were the keies of heauen giuen, and authoritie to binde and loose: to him the cure of the Church, and principallity was deliue­red; and yet he was not called the vniuersal Apostle. This title indeed was of­fered for the honour of Peter prince of the Apostles, to the Pope of Rome, by the holy Councel of Chalcedon, but none of that See did euer vse it, nor [Page 113] consent to take it. This is a part of the discourse of S. Gregorie, writing against Iohn the Bishop of Constantinople, vsurping the title of vniuersal Bishop: vvhich although some of his predecessours (after some sort and in some sense) vsed, when they called themselues Bishops of the vniuersal Church; yet he therfore disliked,Sixtus 1. epis. 2. Vi­ctor 1. epi. 1. Pontiā. epist. 2. Stephā 1. epi. 2. Leo epist. 54. 62. et 65. because it seemed to af­firme, that he who should vse it, was himselfe the only Bishop of the whole world, and al other Bishops his vicars not his brethren: wher­as euery Bishop is head & Bishop of his particuler Church, although subject to the vicar of Christ, and the ministerial head of his whole flock, the successour of S. Peter. Verely, that S. Gregories words haue no other sense, it is auerred byAndraeas Fricius de Eccles. li. 2. cap. 10. pag. 570. Andraeas Fricius a learned Protestant of Polonia. And that he held himselfe to be supreame Pastour of the Church, al hisSee l. 12. epi. 32. de priuiligio cōcessomo nasterio S. Medardi In psal. 5. epist. 38. indict. 13. bookes and actions aboundantly testifie: and of the Church of Constantinople in particuler thus he vvriteth.Lib. 7. e­pist. 63. ad Ioan. Sira cusanum. Of the seat of Constantinople who can doubt, but it is subject to the Apostolike See? which both my Lord the most holy Emperour, and my brother Eusebius Bishop of the same citty of Constantinople, professe. And this is the common Ca­tholike doctrine touching the supreamacie of S. Peter and the Bishop of Rome.

SECTION THE SECOND. The aforesaid doctrine is proued.

IF I should endeauour to bring forth al the arguments which occurre, and are commonly vsed by Catholike authors, con­uincing the truth of that which hath beene here said, this treatise would rise to a great volume, vvhich is contrarie to mine intent; wherefore, I wil only touch the principal, and those very briefly. In the holy scripture we first find, that our Sauiour at the first sight of S. Peter, chaunged his name from Simon, to Cephas or Peter. For this holy Apostle being brought by S. Andrew his brother vnto Christ, He looking vpon him (saith S. Iohn the Euangelist) said; Ioh. 1, 42. Hier. in c. 2. epist. ad Galatas. thou art Simon the sonne of Iona: thou shalt be called Cephas; which word in the Siriack tongue (as we are taught by S. Hierom) as also Peter in the Greek, signifieth a rocke, wherefore then did Christ change this Apostles [Page 114] name, more then the names of al the rest? for although he called S. Iames and S. Iohn Boanerges; Mark. 3. yet he altered not their former names, but gaue them a kind of sir-name: and therefore by the holie Euange­lists, & the whole Church, they are alwaies called by their first names, Iames & Iohn. But S. Peter is commonly called both by the Euangelists, S. Paul, Galat. 2. Chrisost. in 1. cap. Ioan. and the whole Church Peter & Cephas, or a rock; which (as S. Iohn Chrisostome very wel noteth) argueth, that some great priuiledge was graunted to S. Peter aboue others: for so God for some extraordi­narie and great cause, changed the name of Abram into Abraham, and of Iacob into Israel. But what was this priuiledge? Verily the name it selfe imposed vpon S. Peter, giueth vs notice what it was, for seing that Christ communicated vnto him, one of his owne names (to wit) the name of a rock or stone, which is often times attributed vnto himselfe in holie write;Isa. 8. et 28. Dani­el 2. psal. 117. Mat. 21. Rom. 9. 1. Cor. 10. Ephe. 2.1. Peter 2. &c. he also gaue vs to vnderstand, that he was to commu­nicate vnto him the highest office vnder himselfe: and that like as he himselfe was the principal rock and foundation of the Church; so this holy Apostle was to be by participation, a secondarie stone, placed next vnto himselfe in the building of the same, and through his prai­er and warrant, to be made a piller of truth, not to be shaken with a­nie falshood, nor ouerthrowne by al the powers of hel. This is the doctrine of S. Basil and S. Leo, as we haue seene aboue.

But that the force of this place of scripture against the newe secta­ries, may the better be perceiued, let vs joine another vnto it, more strongelie confirming the same truth, and plainely opening the sense of the former. For after that this blessed Apostle had confessed our Sauiour to be Christ, the sonne of the liuing God; our Redeemer reply­ing vnto him,Mat. 16. v. 18.19. vsed these wordes: And I say to thee, that thou art Peter (or a rocke) and vpon this rocke, wil I build my Church; and the gates of hel shal not preuaile against it. And I wil giue to thee the keies of the kinge­dome of heauen: and whatsoeuer thou shalt bind vpon earth, it shalbe also bound in the heauens: and whatsoeuer thou shalt loose in the earth, it shalbe loosed also in the heauens. Loe, a plaine promise made vnto S. Peter, both that on him the Church should be built, and consequently, that he should be made the principal foundation of the same next vnto Christ; and also, that as the vicar of Christ and chiefe pastour of his flocke, he should receiue the keies of the kingdome of heauen. And hence proceed those vvordes of S. Hierome concerning the first pre­rogatiue:Hieron. lib. 1. con­tra Pelag. Cipriā. e­pistol. ad Quirinū. Peter was the prince of the Apostles, vpon whome the Church [Page 115] of our Lord was strongly, and firmely founded; which is neither shaken by the furie of any flood, nor by any tempest. Saint Ciprian that holy Mar­tir, more auncient then Saint Hierome, telleth vs; that our Lord did choose Peter the chiefest, and vpon him built his Church. Which words of his are alleadged and approued by Saint Augustine, in his second booke de Baptismo cap. 1.

To these I adde S. Basil, and S. Epiphanius, of vvhome the first a­uouchethBasil. li. 2. in Eu­nom. et homilia 19. quae est vlti. de poe­nitentia. that Saint Peter for the excellencie of his faith, receiued vpon him the edifice of the Church: vvherefore, in another place he calleth him the rocke and foundation of the Church. The other vvriteth,Epiphā. in Ancor: that our Lord appointed Peter, the first or chiefe of his Apostles, a firme rocke on which the Church was built. The like sentences are found inLeo ser. 2. in Ani­uers. assū ­ptio. suae. S. Leo, Naziā [...] de moder. seruād. in disputat. S. Gregory Nazianzene, Chrisost. homil. 55. in Math. S. Chrisostome, Ambros. serm. 47. S. Ambrose and others: yea, that the Fathers gathered this out of the said words of our Lord, it is gran­ted byCalu. li. 4. instit. ca. 6. § 6. Caluin andDan. in respōs. ad Bellar. di­sput. part. 1. p. 277. Danaeus. That he also had a second prerogatiue promised him in the same wordes, of receiuing the keies of the king­dome of heauen, as ministerial head of the Church aboue the rest of the Apostles, who receiued them with a certaine kind of subjection to Peter, the Fathers in like sort, euen as confidently testifie: And first this is affirmed by S. Ciprian in these words.Ciprian. epist. 73. To Peter first of al, vpon whom our Sauiour built his Church, and from whom he instituted and shewed the beginning of vnity, did he giue this power, that that should be loosed in the heauens, which he had loosed on earth. Hill. in Math. 16. S. Hillarie in like sort crieth out: O blessed porter of heauen, vnto whose wil and arbitriment, the keies of the eternal entry are deliuered! Lastly,Chriso­stome homil. 55. in Mathaeum. S. Iohn Chrisostome andGregor. lib. 5. epist 32. S. Gre­gorie, of the deliuerie of the keies of heauen to S. Peter, inferre; that vnto his charge the vvhole vvorld was committed, and that he vvas made Pastour and head of the whole Church.

But vvhen did Christ performe these promises? Verilie no man (I thinke) vvil be so vvicked and blaspheamous as to saie, that our Redeemer vvas not so good as his vvord: vvhen then vvere these promises performed? In verie truth after our Lordes resurrection; when as he made this blessed Apostle general Pastor ouer al his flock, exempting none, no not the other Apostles themselues, from his ju­risdiction; but committing al both sheepe, and lambs to his charge: for he said to him,Iohn 21. verse 16.17.18. Feed my lambes, feed my sheepe. And verilie it is apparant that by these vvordes, supreame authoritie vnder Christ, [Page 116] was giuen to this Apostle, ouer al the flocke and Church of Christ. For vvhat other meaning can they admit? Euerie man vvil confesse that it is the part of him that feedeth sheepe, to prouide them foode, which belongeth to a superior & gouernor. What other thing is it to feede, guide, defend, rule, correct, then to be superior ouer his flocke? And this also the Greek word vsed by the Euangelist in this place, con­uinceth; vvhich signifieth to feede, by ruling and being superiour. Moreouer, who can deny but those wordes (My lambs, and my sheepe) comprehend al Christians? For the Lambes are the laie sort of people, and such as are not spiritual Pastors ouer other; the Sheepe are the Bi­shoppes and Pastours of the Church, who bring forth vnto Christ lambs. Adde also, that al the lambs and sheepe of Christ, without any limitation or restriction, vvere here committed to S. Peters charge: wherefore, no man could exempt himselfe from his jurisdiction, ex­cept he would deny himselfe to be a sheepe or lambe of Christ. And this may be confirmed by those wordes of our Redeemer: I knowe my sheepe; Ioh. 1, 14. my sheepe heare my voice; I yeeld my life for my sheepe. For like as in these places, the word (sheepe) signifieth al Christians; so it must needs doe in those words; feed my lambes, feed my sheepe. I conclude therefore, that in these words, al the members or children of Christs Church, were committed to S. Peters charge; and that he was made Pastour of the whole fold and flocke of Christ.

But let vs confirme al this by the testimony of the auncient Fathers: S. Leo of this matter discourseth thus.Leo serm. 3. de As­sūpt. sua. Of the whole world one Peter is chosen, that he may be preferred and made superiour ouer the vocation of al Nations, ouer al the Apostles, and al the fathers of the Church: to the end that although among the people of God there be many Priests, and many Pa­stours, yet Peter might properlie rule them al, whome principally also Christ doth gouerne: Epiph. in Anc orat. Chrisost. lib. de Sa­cerdotio. Hitherto Saint Leo. The same doctrine is taught vs also by S. Epiphanius, who speaketh thus of S. Peter. This is he who heard, feede my sheepe, to whome the folde of Christ was committed: S. Chriso­stome likewise is of the same opinion, for he telleth vs; That our Lord did shed his bloud to redeeme those sheepe, the care of which be committed to S. Peter, and also to his successours: That Christ would haue Peter to be farre aboue al his other Apostles: That be appointed him Pastour of his fu­ture Church: That he committed to him the care of his bretheren, and the charge of the whole world. He also calleth his office then receiued Prae­fecturam (that is) a Lieutenant shippe, or office committed vnto him to [Page 117] judge and gouerne;Ambros. in cap. vlt. Lucae. Cētur. 4. col. 556. 1704. and explicateth it by that place of scripture Ma­thew 24. v. 45. Who thinkest thou is a faithful & wise seruant, whom his Lord hath appointed ouer his family. S. Ambrose affirmeth that by these words feed my sheepe, he left Peter vnto vs, as the vicar of his loue, and that he was therefore preferred before al, because he only professed such loue. Fi­nally, our aduersaries confesse, that some of the Fathers honoured S. Peter with these titles, Head of the Apostles, and Bishop of Bishops.

Another argument also out of the holy scripture for confirmation of the same, may be gathered of this; that S. Peter in the said scripture, is not onlie called the first of the Apostles: but also among the rest when they are named, obtaineth the first place. He is called the first byMath. 10, 2. S. Mathew, according as we read in al Greeke and Latin copies. The wordes of the Euangelist are these: And the names of the twelue Apostles be these, the first, Simon who is called Peter. He is likewise na­med first commonly in diuers places, as no man can deny.

Moreouer, it is a thing most certaine and confessed by al Christians, that the old testament was a figure of the newe, and that the Church of Christ succeedeth in the true seruice of God, the sinagogue of the Iewes: now, that in the old lawe there was alwaies one high priest, no man reading the old testament can denie, and it is confessed by our aduersaries themselues, especially by theMagde. centur. 1. lib. 1. c. 7. col. 157. Magdeburgenses, and Caluin: of whome the first write thus. In the Church of the people of the Iewes, there was one only high or chiefe priest by the diuine law, whom al were forced to acknowledge & obey. Calu. li. 4. Insti. c. 6. § 2. &c. Caluins words are these: There he appointed one Prelate aboue the rest, whom al should respect or obey, that by this means they might the better be kept in vnity: hitherto our aduersaries. Like as therfore in the old testament there was one superior, of whom are those words of God:Deutro. 17. v. 20. He that shal be proud refusing to obey the commandement of the priest, who at that time doth ministrate to the Lord thy God, and the sentence of the judge: that man shal die (to wit, a corporal death) which wordes ourRain. in his confer. pag. 251. Whitak. de sacr. scri­ptura pa. 466. 470. Bilson in his treatise of the per­petual go­uernement of the Church p. 20. Hook. in his pre­face pag. 26. 27. 28. aduersaries vnderstand of his supreame authority, both in causes temporal and spiritual, without appeale to any higher: So in the new lawe it vvas conuenient, that Christ should appoint one high Priest his vicar ouer al the Church, whose sentence whosoeuer despised, he should die spiritually in his soule, and be accounted no child of the Church. Hence proceed these words ofCiprian de vnitate ecclesiae. S. Ciprian: He that withstan­deth and resisteth the Church; he that forsaketh Peters Chaire, vpon which the Church was built, doth he trust that he is in the Church? Further, like [Page 118] as the true Church being among the Iewes, the high Priest by the commandement of God, had his seate and principal residence in Hie­rusalem their chiefe citty: so the truth being taken away from the Iewes and deliuered to the Gentils, it was conuenient that the See of the high Priest, should be placed in Rome, the principal cittie of the Gentiles.

Reason also proueth, that there ought to be one supreame visible gouernour in the Church. For seing that nothing almost is more ne­cessarie, for the preseruation and good gouernement of a common-wealth, then a meane and prouision to keepe vnity in the same; no­thing more hurtful,Math. 12. verse 25. Marke 3. verse 24. Luke 11. verse 18. then rebellion, sedition, and discord: For euerie kingdome (as truth it selfe affirmeth) deuided against it selfe shal be made desolate; and euery cittie or house deuided against it selfe shal not stand: It is certaine that our Redeemer, the wisest and most prudent law-maker that euer liued in the world, in establishing his Church or kingdome, which was to be peaceable, glorious, and euerlasting; and which is also his spiritual bodie (and therefore in that respect likewise to be v­nited in one) had a principal regard, that the members of his com­mon-wealth and bodie, should be lincked together in peace and con­cord, and not rent a sunder by schisme, diuision, or diuersity of faiths. Out of which ground I frame this argument: Christ without al doubt ordained a meane for the preseruation of vnity in his Church; but v­nity cannot be preserued in it without one visible head hauing juris­diction ouer it al: therefore, Christ ordained one such visible head. And this one head was during the time of his life, the blessed Apostle S. Peter, who was (as I haue proued before) furnished with al necessa­rie qualities, for the execution and performance of this high office and dignity: and al the children of the Church of what condition what­soeuer, were bound in matters of faith and precepts of manners con­cerning good and euil, to obey him. This reason (as we haue heard Caluin before confesse) was that which moued God in the old lawe to appoint one Prelate aboue the rest: And for the superiority of one in the newe law, it was long since assigned byHieron. aduersus Iouinianū. Hierō. ad­uer. Luci­ferianos. S. Hierome, who concerning this matter, vseth these vvordes: For this cause one is chosen among the twelue, that a head being appointed, occasion of schisme be taken away. And in another place: The health of the Church dependeth of the dignity of the highest Priest, vnto whom, if some certaine power exors. et ab homini. eminens. Cipriā e­pist. 55. ad Corneliū. peerles and aboue men, be not giuen, there wil be as many schismes in Churches, as priests. But long before him the same was noted by S. Ciprian, who affirmeth that here­sies [Page 119] and schismes rise in the Church of no other cause, then that the Priest of God is not obeyed, and that one Priest and judg in Christes place is not ac­knowledged. In another epistle he hath this sentence:Cip. epi. 4. see him also de vnita. Eccles. God is one, and Christ is one; and the Church is one, and the Chaire is one, by our Lords voice founded on Peter. There can no other altare be erected, or newe Priesthood be made, besides the one altare and one Priesthood: whosoeuer doth els-where gather, doth disperse. And is it not apparant (except there be some one superiour that may keepe vnitie and vniformitie, whome al the rest ought to obey) that scisme, diuision, and rebellion wil present­ly ensue? wil not euery one beleeue, doe, and change as he pleaseth? wil one conforme himselfe to another? certainly he wil not: of which vvil followe as many distinct faithes and religions, as there be heads and fancies. And of this we see most manifest proofs among our ad­uersaries, who for want of one head ouer them al, are diuided into al­most an infinite number of sects, wthout any hope or meane of recon­ciliation,Treatise of the de­finition & nots of the Church Chap. 3. as in another place I wil declare at large. But let vs exem­plifie a litle in this matter, It is wel knowne, that in this kingdome the Puritans haue a long time by al meanes endeauoured, to conforme our Protestant Church to their Geneuian platforme of discipline: but what answere maketh a learned Protestant vnto them? Verely he demaun­deth of them,Whitgif. in his ans. to the ad­monit. pa. 138. § 1. And in the defence of his said an swe. tract. 20. p. 702 and tract. 9. c. 1. pa. 481. c. 2. § 6. p. 491 Vnto which reformed Church, they would haue the English Church framed, and why other reformed Churches should not as wel frame themselues vnto the forme of the English Church? For (saith he) we are as wel assured of our doctrine, and haue as good groundes and reasons for our do­ings, as they haue. He addeth: I tel you againe, that there is no cause why this Church of England, either for truth of doctrine, sincerity of publique di­uine seruice and other pollicy, should giue place to any Church in Christen­dome: and sure I am, that we are as neere joyned with the Lord our God, as the members are to the body, and the body to the head: Such is the answere of this Protestant to the Puritans: The like may the Puritans make vn- the Protestants and Lutherans, Zuinglians and other Sectaries to them both. And this maketh them (as I haue said) to remaine in deadlie discentions: vvhich euil if they would acknowledg one head, would easily be remedied and remoued. This reason among others, moued the auncientIustī. in ora. exhor. Cip. tract. de idol. va nit. Atha- aduer. ido. nas. orati. Philo l. de cōfus. līgu. Plat. in polit. Arist. l. 8. ethni. c. 10. l. 12. philos. &c Fathers (yea the Heathen philosophers themselues) to affirme, that Monarchia (that is to say the gouernment by one chiefe head) is the best and chiefest.

Moreouer, this preseruation of vnity in general, is vsed as a speci­al [Page 120] argument of great force and moment, by some of ourSuruey of the pre­tended ho­ly disciplī. cap. 8. English Pro­testants against the Puritans, in the defence of their Primats, Archbi­shops, and Bishops. For they affirme such officers to be necessary in the Church of Christ, that vnity and peace in it be preserued:Field booke 3. c. 39. § thus then Be­cause the vnity and peace of each particuler Church of God (saith Field) and flock of his sheepe, dependeth of the vnity of the Pastour &c. Therefore, though there be many presbiters, yet there is one Bishop among the rest, to whome an eminent and peerlesse power is giuen, for the auoiding of scismes and factions: thus Field. Will. in his Sinop­sis contro­uer. 5. qu. 3. part 2. in the ap­pēdix pag 237. edit. 1600. Willets words to the same effect are these. The distinction of Bishops and Priests, is very necessary for the pollicy of the Church, to auoid scismes and to preserue it in vnity. And he proueth this out of the text of the Apostle Corin. 14. God is not the author of confusion or disorder: but (saith he) to haue a populer equallity among ministers, were the next way to bring in confusion, if none should be ruled or directed. Where­fore, he addeth in another place, that In the calling of Bishops somewhat is diuine; and that it is a diuine ordinance, that among the ministers of the Church there should be a superioritie. For the proofe likewise of the same, they bring the testimony of someIbid. controuer. 16. quest. 2. p. 726. edit. an 1600. other learned Sectaries, e­specially ofIacob Andraeas in epistola contra mi­nist. Heil derberg. Iacobus Andraeas. But who seeth not, that if a Bishop be necessary ouer Priests, and an Archbishop ouer Bishops, and a Pri­mate ouer Archbishops, for the preseruing of vnity in certaine prouin­ces, nations, or kingdomes? that ouer sundrie Primates one supreame Primate or head is also needful, for the preseruation of the said vni­tie through al nations and kingdomes.Suruey of the pre­tended ho­ly discipl. If it be true as Field affirmeth, that the vnity of each particuler Church dependeth of the vnity of the Pastour, howe much more doth the vnity of the vniuersal Catholike Church, depend on the vnitie of one vniuersal Pastour ouer al? Yea of these thinges we may wel infer, that God who is neuer wanting to his Church in thinges necessary, hath ordained some such Prelate. For much ea­sier it is, to preserue vnitie and vniformity in one kingdome, vvith­out a Primate; or in one prouince, without an Archbishop; or in one diocesse, vvithout a Bishop: then it is to preserue the same in al parts of the vvorld, vvithout one head ouer al; seeing that those of one kingdome, prouince, or diocesse, liue vnder the same lawes, haue the same temporal prince, and by reason of neighbour-hood may be joyned together in amity and friendship; and so one may vnderstand the faith and beliefe of another, and confer together concerning such matters: vvhich occasions of vnity are wanting to those, vvho are of [Page 121] seueral kingdomes or common vvealths. Wherefore, for the soue­raignty of one chiefe Pastour, vve haue an expresse warrant of holy scripture; whereas there is but litle so expresly vttered for the proofe of the authority of Bishoppes, nothing almost for the jurisdiction of Primates and Archbishoppes. Neither can this vnity be sufficiently preserued by the letter of holy scripture, as it appeareth by the daily dissentions of our aduersaries, and I vvil at large declare hereafter. Some of the Sectaries seeme to allowe of the authority of a general Councel, and to acknowledg it to be a fit meane to end al controuer­sies; asHooker in the pre­face to his book of ec­clesiasti­cal policie p. 24. &c. Hooker, Couel in his defēce of Hooker Couel, Zauchi­us in his e­pistle be­fore his cō fessions p. 12.13. Zauchius, Sutcliffe in his an­swere to Kellisons Suruey chapter 1. pag. 42. Sutcliffe and others. But these may likewise easily be confuted: for it is euident euen by the confes­sion of Protestants, that no good can be done by such a Councel, ex­cept one head and superiour in the same be granted. About the yeare of our Lord 1585. Henry nowe the French king and a Catholike, then king of Nauar and a Caluinist, sent his letters to certaine Electours and princes of the Roman Empire, being Lutheran Protestants of Ger­many, desiring a concord and reconciliation, betweene the Lutherans and Sacramentaries, and wishing (as it should seeme by the answere) that some Councel might be assembled of the learned men of both sortes, to that purpose. The said Protestants of Germany returned an­swere, that in those daies thinges standing as they did, they thought it not necessary that such a course should be taken touching a Coun­cel: and vvhy so? Verily, these reasons are by them alleaged. This principally (say they) seemeth worthy of our consideration, whether now be­tweene the diuines of other Churches and ours, any Sinode can be called and assembled. For who of vs wil arrogate to himselfe, to appoint the place, to name the day, to cal the diuines of diuers nations? Which (as histories testifie) was the proper office of the Romane Emperours, before the Papal tirannie increased. Nowe moreouer, who shal haue rule or be superior in authority in the Sinode it selfe? There can no other haue this office, but either one of our side or of our aduersaries: but neither we wil suffer a president or chiefe ruler of the aduerse part, to the prejudice of ours: so neither wil they (with­out doubt) endure, that one of ours should haue that place. But if of both sides some be appointed, then each one wil vndertake the patronage of his owne part, and so there wil arise dissention betweene the Presidents. Further, who shalbe judge ouer those that varie or contend? but let vs put the case, or ra­ther faine and imagine that the Sinod is now called; that it is sufficiently argu­ed on both sides; that the Presidents haue pronounced their sentence; that the [Page 122] pertinacious and fanatical are condemned and accursed, by the common con­sent and suffrage of al: Who then shal bridle and restraine the clamours of the condemned? their complaints? their accusations? by which they wil exclaime that the proceedings against them haue been vnjust; that they were not rightly heard; that judgement was giuen rather according to affection, then accor­ding to the word of God. Hence wil arise newe swarmes of contentions, and the Sinode being ended, the Church wil enjoy no more quietnes, tranquillity and peace, then was before. Thus the aforesaid Princes of Germany in their letter penned (without al doubt, or at the least viewed and ap­proued) by their best diuines. The Elector of Saxony, the Elector of Brandeburg, the Administrator of Magdeburge, Philip Lewes Palatine of Rhene, Iulius Duke of Brunswich and Luneberg, Vdalricus Duke of Me­chelburg, and Lewes Duke of Wittenberge subscribed vnto it. And the letter together with the subscriptions is published in print by Conra­dus Schusselburg a famous Lutheran diuine, at the end of his thirteenth booke of the catologue of Heretikes. How then can any person say, that controuersies may alwaies be sufficiently decided and ended by a Councel, without one head? Are not these reasons most true and ap­parant? Nay, hath not experience taught vs the truth of these things? What successe had the colloquies or conferences, held for the recon­ciliation or vnion of Lutherans & Sacramentaries, betweene their chiefe doctors at Malbrun in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred threescore and foure,See collo­quiū Mōt pelgartēse published by Prote­stants. Dauid Chitrae. in chron. Sa­xo. part 3. ā. 1568. p. 440. 441. Iohan. Pe­traeus ad­monit. quae docet vi­tādos esse Flaccian. or at Montpelgar in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred fourescore and sixe? was any vnity or concord made betweene them? nothing lesse. Neither was the euent of particuler assemblies of Lu­therans only concerning some difference found among themselues, a­ny better. In the yeare one thousand fiue hundred threescore & eight, as Chitraeus (himselfe a famous writer of this sect) recordeth; was that famous assemblie of Lutherans held at Altenberg, concerning the ne­cessity of good workes, and free wil: which (as he telleth vs) was dis­solued without any hope of concord: and (saith he) the actes were set out on both sides; and not only the diuines did contend with publike inuectiues, but also most bitter hatred was raised betweene the Princes themselues, who cau­sed this assembly. Yea, another Lutheran of the same meeting writeth thus: This whole conference was not only dissolued without fruite: but also the estate of the whole cause became worse. The like hath happened in o­ther of their Sinodes: For I finde it not recorded, that euer hitherto two nations or different Churches of these sectaries, were vnited to­gether [Page 123] by any councel held among them. But vnto the Lutherans a­boue cited, I adde also the authority of Whitakers; who graunteth,Whitaker li. de con­silijs p. 56. that without authority no Councel can be assembled: And seeing that no one (according to Protestants) hath authority ouer the whole world, it fol­loweth; that in their judgement no Councel can be assembled of al the Prelates of the world. And out of this doctrine of our aduersa­ries, joined vnto that maintained by diuers of them, concerning the necessity of general Councels, vvhich is likewise strongly by me pro­ued before, I inferre; that it was necessarie that God should appoint some one general visible head ouer his Church: which illation is very euident: For if general Councels be necessary, and they cannot be had without a head, it must needs followe; that Christ who is not wanting to his Church in thinges necessarie, ordained some such head.Andraeas Fricius de Ecclesia l. 2. cap. 10. pag. 570. Hence An­draeas Fricius although a Protestant, and a man bearing deadlie hatred to the Bishoppe of Rome, yet thought it needful, that one head should be appointed ouer al the euangellical Churches, to keepe them in v­nity, which he deemed otherwise would neuer be: and handling that matter, he also truly answereth that common objection of Protestants touching the title of vniuersal Bishoppe, out of S. Gregorie; of which before. But the Lutherans (as vve haue seene) auerre, that it vvas in times past the proper office of the Roman Emperours, to cal general Councels. I reply; first, it is euident that Christ bequeathed not this office to the Emperor, both because the office being necessarie in the Church, Christ (if he had so done) should haue taken order, that euer there should haue bin some one Emperor ouer the whole world, to dis­charge the same; which (as is euident) he did not: And also, because many of the Emperors haue beene Infidels, some Heretiks, and there­fore in al reason not capable of any such preheminence in the Church. Secondly, it is very wel proued by Catholike authors, that there neuer hath beene any one lawful general Councel assembled in the Church, by the Emperour alone, without the consent and authority of the Bi­shoppe of Rome: which I confirme only in this place, by an Ecclesia­stical canon alleaged by Socrates; which (as he saith) forbiddeth, Socrates lib. 2. cap. 13. that de­crees be made in the Church without the consent of the Bishoppe of Rome. And seing that this canon was not made by any Councel, it is appa­rant, that it descended from the Apostles themselues: But of this point enough.

Some of our aduersaries deny the Pope to be the successor of S. Pe­ter, [Page 124] because (say they) S. Peter was neuer at Rome. I reply, that nothing (not most plainely expressed in the word of God, or not knowne by diuine reuelation) can be more certaine, then that S. Peter liued in Rome, and was Bishoppe of Rome: for this is affirmed by al auncient and mo­derne writers,Luther in colloquijs mensali­bus cap. de Antichri­sto. Peter 5. verse 13. See Caluī l. 4. Instit. ca. 6. § 15. and Bilson in his treatise of the perpetual gouerne­mēt of the Church cap. 13. Psal. 47. besides a fewe newe sectaries. Hence are these words of Luther: Al histories testifie, that Peter was the first Bishoppe of Rome, but they are meere fables. And why doe our aduersaries deny so mani­fest a truth? truly for no other cause, but to prejudice and weaken the Popes authority, by which they are condemned. Neither is there a­ny auncient authour, that euer called the matter in question as doubt­ful, and the monuments themselues of Rome most euidently conuince our assertion to be true: yea, it is gathered out of S. Peters owne words in his first epistle, and confessed by the best learned of our aduersaries. Others say, that the priuiledge of S. Peter mentioned, perished toge­ther with him, and was not deriued to his successours. But certaine it is, that the vertue of Christs promise made to this blessed Apostle, together with his office descended to al the Bishoppes of Rome his suc­cessours. This I haue partly proued in the second section of the sixt chapter before, vvhere I haue declared, that the promises made by Christ to his Apostles, concerning the assistance of the holy Ghost in the Church, &c. were to be verified in the Bishoppes of the Church, during al ages ensuing. In this place I wil only repeate, that no man of sense wil imagine, that Christ building his Church for euer, proui­ded Pastours and Apostolike officers onlie for it, during the life of S. Peter and the Apostles: For certaine it is, that like as the same Church, so the same gouernours (though not in person, yet in power) are al­waies extant in the world.Euseb. lib. 5. cap. 22. 24. 25. Athā. l. de sent. Dio­nisij Ale­xandrini. Cipr. l. 3. epist. 13. Athan. A­polog. 2. et in epist. ad [...]olitarios. Socrates l. 2. cap 11. Hence the Bishoppe of Rome hath alwaies exercised his authoritie, throughout al Countries and Nations in the world. Pope Victor without any note or censure of passing the bounds of his authority, about the yere one hundred fourescore & eighteene, excommunicated the Churches of Asia. S. Dionisius Bishoppe of Ale­xandria, was accused not long after before Pope Dionisius, as S. Athana­sius telleth vs: And neither did the Pope (although himselfe also a Saint) refuse the office of a judge, or the Bishopp accused his judge­ment. S. Ciprian requested Pope Steuen to de pose Martianus Bishop of Arles in Fraunce, and to ordaine another in his place. S. Athanasius reporteth, that he himselfe being condemned and depriued of his Bi­shopricke of Alexandria, in the yeare three hundred thirty and sixe, [Page 125] by a false Sinode held at Tirus, and hauing receiued the same censure of condemnation, by such another Sinode assembled at Antioch, in the yeare 341. was absolued by Pope Iulius, and restored againe to his Bi­shoprick, notwithstāding these former sentences pronounced against him. The same Pope (if we beleeue Socrates) restored Paul Bishop of Constantinople, and Asclepas Bishop of Gaza in like sort to their Chur­ches: who being wrongfully depriued, appealed to his supreme autho­rity. S. Damasus the Pope about the yere three hundre seauenty seauen, restored in like sort Peter Patriarcke of Alexandria to his seate, from which he was likewise vnjustly expelled by the Arians, as witnesses are Zozomenus andSocrates li. 4 c. 30. Socrates.

Chrisos. ep. ad Inno. Theodorus Rom. diac. apud Pal­lad. ī dial. Inno. Papa ī literis ad Archad. a­pud Gena. Nicepho. et Glica. S. Iohn Chrisostome Bishop of Constantinople in the yeare foure hun­dred and foure, being by Theophilus Patriarke of Alexandria and other Bishops in a Councel deposed, appealed to S. Innocentius Pope; who not only made voide the sentence pronounced against him: but also excommunicated and deposed the said Theophilus. Calest. epi. ad Ne­stor. et ad Ciril ep. 3. Pope Caelestinus not long after in a Councel held at Rome, first of al condemned the Ne­storian heresie, allotting Nestorius him selfe then Bishop of Constanti­nople only ten daies, within which if he did not repent, he should re­ceiue the same censure from S. Ciril Bishop of Alexandria, his Legate.Libera­tus ca. 12. S. Flauianus Bishop of Constantinople condemned in the Pseudosinod of Ephesus, by Dioscorus Patriarke of Alexandria and others, appealed to S. Leo the great Bishop of Rome: So did alsoTheodor. epist. 113. Theodoretus Bishop of Cirus at the same time. And diuers other such like examples might be alleaged.

The testimonies of the auncient Fathers approuing the same supe­riority of the Pope, are almost infinite; but I can not stand to recite them: only this I note, that almost the same titles of primacie and dignity, vvere giuen in auncient ages to S. Peter and the Bishop of Rome. For like as S. Peter byEuseb in Chronic. an. 44. et lib. 2. hist. cap. 14. Eusebius, is called The first Bishoppe of the Christians, the greatest of the Apostles, the prince and captaine of the chiefest, and the master of the warfare of God; byOrig. ho­mil. 2. in diuersos Euangel. Origenes, The top of the Apostles; byEpiphā. haeres. 51. S. Epiphanius, Captaine of Christes disciples; byCir. hie­rosol. ca­tech. 2. S. Ciril Bishop of Hierusalem, Most excellent prince of the Apostles; byCiril Alex. l. 12. in Ioā. S. Ciril Bishop of Alexandria, Prince and head of the rest; byChrisos. in 1. Cor. 15. et hom. 11. in Mat. S. Crisostome Prince of the Apostles, pastor and head of the Church; byCipr. l. de vnit. Eccles. S. Ciprian, The head, fountaine, and roote of the whole Church &c. So the Bishop of Rome [Page 126] bySee Cip. epi. 46. ad Cornel. et li. de vnit. Eccle. l. 1. epist. 3. ad Corn. et ep. 8. ad plebē et l. 2. epi. 10. ad eun dē Corne. S. Ciprian is tearmed, Bishoppe of the most holie Catholike Church; byAmb. in c. 3. 1. Tim. et epi. 81. ad Siriciū S. Ambrose, Rector of the Church of God; bySteph. e­pisco. Car­thag. epist. ad Dama. Steuen Bishop of Car­thage, Father of Fathers and chiefe or highest priest; byHieron. praefat. E­uangel. ad Damasum. S. Hierome, high­est or chiefest priest; by the general Councel ofConciliū Chalced. epi. ad Leō. Chalcedon, head of the Bishops of the Church, and the keeper of our Lords vineyard; and byAug. e­pist. 157. S. Au­gustine, Bishop of the Apostolike See &c. Finally, our aduersaries them­selues seeme to grant, that al antiquity acknowledge this superiority. Bucer writeth thus:Bucerus in praepa­ratorijs ad Cōcilium. We plainly confesse, that among the ancient Fathers of the Church, the Roman Church obtained the primacie aboue others, as that which hath the Chaire of S. Peter, and whose Bishops almost alwaies, haue beene accounted the successors of Peter.Cētur. 2. c. 4. col. 63. Cēt. 3. c. 4. col. 8. Cent. 5. c. 4. col. 512. 520. The Centurie writers, who are commonly accounted the most diligent and learned Protestant histori­ans, censure S. Irenaeus, S. Ignatius, Tertullian, S. Ciprian, Origenes, S. Leo and S. Ciril, as maintainers of this supreamacie.Cent. 4. c. 10. col. 1010. 1249. 1074. 1100. They note S. E­phrem and S. Hierome, for affirming the Church to be built vpon S. Pe­ter; Cēt. 5. c. 6. col. 728. Arnobius, for calling S. Peter the Bishop of Bishops; Optatus, for extolling ouermuch the chaire of Peter; Gelasius the Pope, for excom­municating the Bishops of Alexandria and Constantinople &c. Besides this, diuers of the Sectaries and among the restBeza cited in the suruey of the pretēded holy disci. c. 27. p. 343. Beza Cartw. l. 2. p. 507. 508. l. 1. p. 97. Cartwrighte andFulk against Saūd. Rock p. 248. 271. vpō the Rhems test. in 2. Thes. 2, 9. See also Dan. in respō. ad Bell. disp. part 1. p. 275. 276. Fulk confesse, that the Fathers in the first Councel of Nice began the foundation of the Popes primacy: yea, some of them say it was begun long before. Their discord concerning the time of the beginning of this superioritie doth also testifie this, as I could easile shewe, if it were not that I haue already beene ouer-long in this section. Lastly I adde, that neitherWicl. in ep. ad Vrbā. 6. Wickclif norLuth. in resollut. priorū disput. ad Leon. 10. in declarat quorūd. artic. Luther (who in sundry ages vvere the first raisers of rebellion against the See of Rome) denied the Popes superio­rity, before that he condemned their doctrine. For the vvorkes of them both are yet extant, written after their fal to preach nouelties: in which they most apparantly and plainely, submit themselues and their doctrine to his censure, and acknowledge his primacy. Of Lu­ther diuersSleid. l. 1. fol. 10. Fox act. & mon. p. 404. Osiander in epist. Cent. 16. p. 61. 62. 68. Cowper in his Chronic. fol. 278. Protestants testifie the same: and this is a manifest signe, that they opposed themselues against him for no other cause, then that he condemned their opinions and proceedings.

SECTION THE THIRD. That the decrees of the Bishop of Rome, when he teacheth the Church as su­preame Pastour, are of diuine and infallible authority; and of some other groundes of faith, flowing out of these.

HAVING already proued, that the Bishop of Rome is the true suc­cessour of S. Peter, and ministerial head of Christs Church; it remaineth that now we see, what authority and credit is to be giuen to his decrees. I affirme therefore, that the Pope when (teaching the vvhole Church as ministerial head of the same) he defineth anie mat­ter concerning faith, and general preceptes of vice or vertue, cannot erre: I adde those vvords, when teaching the whole Church as ministerial head &c. because vve confesse that the Pope may sinne and erre in per­son, vnderstanding, and priuate doctrine; and we defend only, that his judicial sentence pronounced as he is Pope, concerning matters of faith and precepts of manners, cannot be false or erronious. And this is euident, first by the testimony of Christ himselfe, who vnto S. Pe­ter the Apostle vsed these words: Simon Simon,Luke. 22. v. 31.32. behold Satan required to haue you to sift as wheate, but I haue praied for thee that thy faith faile not, and thou once conuerted, confirme thy brethren. Marke vvel those words: Satan hath required to haue you, but I haue praied for thee, which argue a singuler priuiledge in S. Peter, of not erring in faith, aboue the rest of the Apostles. For sathan required to sift them al, and our Lord praied for Peter only, that his faith might not be ouerthrowne by anie subtil deceits, open assaults or other practises of the diuel. The like is insinuated by those words following: And thou once conuer­ted, confirme thy bretheren: which both proue, that the first part of the sentence was proper to S. Peter only (I meane that his faith should not faile) and also declare, that the rest of the Apostles, were by him to be confirmed and strengthened in their beliefe. Hence proceedeth this sentence of S. Leo: The danger was common to al the Apostles, Leo serm. 3. de assūp sua. but our Lord took special care of Peter, that the state of al the rest might be more sure, if the head were inuincible: God so disposing the aide of his grace, that the assu­rance and strength which Christ gaue to Peter, might redound by Peter to the [Page 128] rest of the Apostles: Hitherto S. Leo.

To signifie this priuiledg of S. Peter to vs, our Sauiour chaunged (as I haue before declared) his name from Simon to Cephas or Peter, both vvhich wordes signifie a rock: Thou art Simon (said he) the sonne of Iona, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter or a rock. For howe wel doe these two sentences answere one another; Thy faith shal not faile, and Thou art a rock. And vpon this rock afterwards he built his Church, vvarranting it from euer being ouercome by the deuil or his ministers,Mat. 16. verse 18. Iohn 21. v. 17.18. Ambrose in himnis. August. li. 1. retrac. cap. 21. which he promised to doe (as I haue aboue no­ted) in these his wordes to this B. Apostle: Thou art Peter or a rock, and vpon this rock I wil build my Church, and the gates of hel shal not pre­uaile against it; and performed in those: Feed my lambes: feed my sheepe. Hence by S. Ambrose (as S. Augustine recordeth) S. Peter is called the Rock of the Church, that is: the very strength and foundation of it next vnto Christ. Neither did our Sauiour without just cause, grant this extraordinary priuiledg vnto him: for he (as I haue also before shew­ed) for the preseruation of vnity, and better direction of his spouse, vvas appointed by him Pastour of the whole Church, sheepheard of his whole flock, his chiefe vicar and ministerial head of his body. Vn­to his charge he committed both his sheep and lambs, exempting no Christians from his jurisdiction: wherefore it was necessary, that he should be so directed concerning matters of faith and religion, seing that the members are to obey the head, and sheepe to followe and to be guided by their Shepheard, that he should not drawe them into er­rors, or propound vnto them any bad pasture of false doctrine.

Like as therefore God alwaies in the old lawe, preserued the truth in the Chaire of Moises, wherefore (as I haue shewed before) al men vvere bound vnder paine of death, to obey the high Priest; and our Sauiour said:Math. 23. vers. 2. vpon the Chaire of Moises haue sitten the scribes & pharisies; al things therefore whatsoeuer they shal say vnto you, obserue ye and doe ye: so acording to the assertion of S. Augustine, God preserueth the truth of Christian religion in the See of Rome, which is in the new Testament an­swerable to the Chaire of Moises; although the Bishops of that citty vvere neuer so wicked men.

I adde also, that this vvas necessary for the condemnation of here­sies; because, although the sentence of a general Councel pronounced against any heresie, cannot be erronious; yet euery man wil graunt, that such a Councel sometimes by reason of persecution or other ac­cidents, [Page 129] can not be assembled: yea euery man must needes confesse, that at no time such a Councel can be so soone gathered, as it is necessary that an heresie springing vp should be condemned.2. Timoth. 2. ver. 17. Hieron. in cap. 5. ad Galatas. For the A­postle very wel compareth heresie to a canker: and S. Hierome, both to a canker, and also to a spark of fire, a peece of leauen, and a scabbed sheep; and concludeth, that like as a canker (if we wil not haue it eate ouer al the bodie) is presently to be killed, and a spark of fire in a daungerous place forth-with to be put out, and a pecce of leauen (if we wil not haue the vvhole past leauened) is to be taken away out of hand from the same; and a scabbed sheep, is forthwith to be remoued out of the flock, lest that it infect the rest: so an Heretike is presently so soone as he ap­peareth, to be cut off from the body of the Church, and to be cast out of Christs fold, lest that by infection he corrupt others, which (as I haue said) cannot be so soone effected by a general Councel, as is ex­pedient; although the times be neuer so calme: yea, sometimes there is no meanes to assemble such a Councel: And therefore not without cause God almighty hath warranted in such cases, the Popes sentence from error, that al his whole flock, vnderstanding any newe doctrine to be condemned by his censure, may presentlie both auoide it, and the authours and followers of the same.

Finallie, in a general Councel it selfe, it is not onlie needeful that there be one supreame judge: but also that the sentence of this judge at the least, joined with the censure and approbation of a part of the Councel, be of an infallible truth and of diuine authority. The first part of this assertion is proued before, and is euident; because other­wise we must needs confesse, that no certaine meane is ordained in the Church to end controuersies: For the Prelates assembled in a Coun­cel being diuided, either part might refuse to stand to the others judg­ment. The second also is euen as apparant, because otherwise we haue no certaine rule, whereby in such a diuision to know which part hath the truth. We finde it true by experience, that the greater part (which neuerthelesse according to ordinary courses, should be of greater au­thority then the lesser) may erre: for so it fel out in the false Sinod held at Ephesus, about the yere of our Lord foure hundred forty and nine. Wherefore, if we should yeeld this preheminence to the greater part, that it must be obeied; heresies and false doctrine might be established in a Councel, without any meanes left vs to knowe, when it doth erre, and when it defineth a truth; to which I likewise adde, that it may fal [Page 130] out that both parts be equal: And lastlie, that we haue no warrant in holie scripture, that the one part shal haue infallible directions by Gods spirit, more then the other. And seing that we haue the most manifest authority of the said scripture, warranting vs that the suc­cessuor of S. Peter cannot erre, neither reason nor scripture wil suffer vs, to denie him this prerogatiue. But like as I haue declared before, the truth of the first part of this reason, by the doctrine & examples of forraine sectaries: so I think it not amis in this place, to shew the truth of the last, by the positions and proceedinges of some neerer home. There came to my handes of late, a litle pamphlet bearing this title. A Christian and modest offer of a most indifferent conference or disputation a­bout the many and principal controuersies betwixt the Prelates, Printed an. 1660. and the late silenced and depriued ministers in England, tendred by some of the said mini­sters to the Archbishoppes and Bishoppes and al their adherents. At the end of this pamphlet, among other objections which these Puritan mini­sters as making against this conference, endeauour to solue, this is one: That they (the said Puritans) when they haue beene heard to oppose and an­swere what they can, page 40. name no judge, and wil not stand to any mans definitiue sentence, but wil continue obstinate stil. Vnto vvhich objection they plainly answere, that they doe not think it lawful in any matter of religion, to setle their consciences vpon the definitiue sentence of any person absolutely: yea (say they) If both sides rest vnsatisfied, page 41. and continue perswaded stil, that the truth is on their side, it were impious for either side in such a case, to commit the absolute determination therof, vnto the wil and pleasure of any man or men whatsoeuer. They adde; that it were vnjust for either side, to require judges either incompetent, or not indifferent. And their reason is; because as the prelates (except they would wilfully betray their owne cause) might just­ly refuse such to be judges, as haue in any degree inclined more to the mini­sters then to them; so may the ministers in like manner as justly refuse, to stand to the judgement and determination of such, as incline more to the Prelates then to them: thus they. How then wil they haue controuersies ended? Surely they tel vs,p. 40. 41. that in desiring (as they doe before) that the whole carriage of this intended conference may be published, they make al the world to be judges therof: that it should content any Christianly affected man, that the ministers are content to offer their defence of these pointes, to the view of al, to scanne and to weigh them, and so farre forth to judge thereof, as (if their reasons doe not satisfie them) to giue them leaue to cendemne them of er­rour; which wil be (say they) a judgment heauy enough to them, if notwith­standing [Page 131] they shal stil persist in their former opinions: pa. 41. 42. and that it is needles to name judges, because his Majestie, the ciuil Majestrates vnder him, and the high court of Parliament (though the ministers should appeale from them) would in this case judge them and their cause; whose judgment if it goe against the ministers, and it appeare to be righteous; the more they shal neglect the same, and refuse to submit themselues vnto it, the more grosse and refractarie they shal shew themselues to be, &c. This is the substance of their answere to the aforesaid objection. And vvhat prudent man reading these thinges, wil not first judge, that this course is no sufficient meane to decide matters in question; then, that one supreame judge whose sen­tence is of infallible truth, is necessary for the final ending of such con­tentions? Who wil not likewise inferre, that Christ who is not wanting to his Church in thinges necessarie, hath ordained some such supreame judge? And like as the Puritanes proceed after this sort, so might ei­ther side of the Bishops, if it should happen they should be diuided among them selues, touching any point of religion. But although these thinges be so; yet we hold not the Bishop of Rome can rashly de­fine what he please, for he is bound to proceed maturely, and to vse such inquisition, arguments, aduise of learned men and other meanes, as are necessary for the finding out of the truth of the matter, which he is to define. Neither can he institute any sacrament, or make any new article of faith, vnknowne altogither to the Apostles, or not deliuered by them to the Church, as I haue said before of a general Councel.Chap. 9. Only touching these points, he hath power more plainly and expre­slie to explicate to the faithful those verities, which the said Apostles either knew or deliuered, and to bring them (as it were) from darke­nesse to light.

Some men perhaps wil admit, that S. Peter had a prerogatiue of not erring in faith, but wil deny that it was euer deriued to his successors. This euasion is fullie aboue confuted: yet here I adde further,Chap. 6. sect. 2. that this vvarrant from errour in faith, was more necessarie after S. Peters de­parture out of the world in his successours, then before in himselfe; both because the chiefest planters and rulers of the Church the holie Apostles and Disciples, were then likewise, or soone after deceased; and also because persecution daily increased, and new heresies in grea­ter abundance began to impugne the rule of faith receiued. Moreo­uer, our Sauiour building his Church vpon S. Peter, built it especial­lie vpon his faith (not vpon his flesh, as some of the auncient Fathers [Page 132] say) neither so vpon his faith, that he built it vpon faith separated from S. Peter, or being in any other person: but vpon faith as being in S. Peter the ministerial head of the Church. Wherefore, although the flesh of S. Peter be consumed, yet seing that his office and dignity is in his successours, his faith also through the warrant of Christ stil remai­neth in them, vvhich is the foundation of the Church, and the firme rocke, against which Hel-gates shal not preuaile. And this may be con­firmed, because Christ vvhen he praied for the faith of S. Peter, ob­tained and imparted this prerogatiue vnto him, as his supreame vicar, or by reason of his office: Wherefore, seing that the office continueth alwaies in the Church, the priuiledg likewise must alwaies remaine in the same. And this is the doctrine of the auncient Fathers, and their exposition of the places of scripture alleaged. Hence in the third ge­neralConcil. Ephes. to. 2. cap. 16. Councel, the Bishop of Rome is called the ordinary successour and vicar of S. Peter, prince of the Apostles: And the like is affirmed in theConcil. Chalcedon act. 2. et 3. fourth. This also moued S. Hierome in his epistle to S. Damasus the Pope, to vse these wordes:Hieron. to. 2. epist. 7. ad Da­masum. I following no chiefe or principal but Christ, joine my selfe to the communion of Peters Chaire: vpon this rocke, I knowe the Church was built. The same may be proued by this sentence of S. Augustine, Aug. to. 7. psal. cō ­tra partē Donati. Count the priests (saith he) from the very See of Peter, and in that order of Fathers consider, who to whom hath succeeded, that same is the rocke which the proud gates of hel doe not ouercome. Finally, by the chaire of Peter, manifestly shewed by the succession of the Romane Bishops,Aug. contra epist. Manich. ca. 4. et e­pist. 105. he seuereth Catholikes from Heretikes.

Our aduersaries barking against this, accuse diuers Popes of sun­dry errours, but they are al very wel answered by diuers Catholikes, and the Popes manifestly cleared from their false slaunders.

I must further note in this place, that although the decrees of the Pope (as is before declared) of themselues, be of an infallible truth, touching the matter which he intendeth to define: yet, that some fur­ther authority (if it be possible) is added vnto them, when they are ac­cepted and approued by the whole Church; for if they so accepted could be false, the whole Church might erre, contrary to that which hath beene proued before.

I must also adde here two groundes more, flowing out of this war­rant of the Popes judgment from error: In the first place are prouinci­al Councels confirmed by the Pope, for by such only, diuers heresies haue beene condemned, as that of the Pelagians, Priscillianists, of Io­uinian [Page 133] and others. The second such ground is the faith of the Church of Rome, including the Pope, his Clergie and people; for vnto this Church (as we were long since told byS. Cipr. l. 1. epi. 3. et 55. Nū. 6. S. Ciprian) infidelity or false belief cannot haue accesse. Hierō. e­pist. 16. c. 3. itē li. 3. Apol. cōtr. Ruffinum. S. Hierome calleth it The most safe hauen of commu­nion: and likewise auoucheth, that The Roman faith commended by the Apostles mouth, wil admit no deceits of Heretiks: and that it cannot possi­bly be chaunged. Ambr. in ora. de obi­tu Satiri circa me­dium. Am­bros. ibid. S. Ambrose affimeth, that he doth agree with the Ca­tholike Bishops, who accord with the Roman Church. And hence it pro­ceedeth that not onlie he but alsoCipr. epi. 52. Num. 1. ad Antonianum. S. Ciprian andHierō. a­pol. 1. ad­uers. Ruf­finū cap. 1. S. Hierome anerre, that it is al one to say the Roman and the Catholike faith.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. The opinion of some sectaries that the Pope is Antechrist, is brief­lie confuted: and two objections against the pre­mises are answered.

OVRCaluī ad c. 2. poster. ad Thess. l. 4. Instit. ca. 7. § 24. Aduersaries by diuers meanes endeauour to ouerthrowe the Catholike doctrine, deliuered and proued by me in this cha­pter. Nay the malice of some of them (especially of ourBullēger Willet in his Sinop. cōtrouers. 2. quest. 5. par. 2. &c. Puritan bre­thren) extendeth it selfe so far, that they are not ashamed stoutly to a­uer, that the Pope is the very Antechrist, foretold by Christ and the Apostles in the newe Testament. But this assertion is so absurd and opposite to the word of God, and al shewe of truth; that diuers lear­ned Protestants not ouer-mastred by their passions, reject it as false; and among the restCouel in his defēce of Hooker artic. 11. M. Couel confesseth, the Pope to be a member of the Church militant of Christ.Hooker in his third book of Ecclesiastical policy, § 1. pag. 128. edit. anno 1604. Hooker also himselfe in vvhose de­fence he vvriteth, of the Church of Rome vseth these wordes: With Rome we dare not communicate concerning her sundry grosse and grieuous abhominations: yet touching those maine parts of Christian truth, wherein they constantly stil persist, we gladly acknowledge them to be of the family of Iesus Christ: Thus Hooker. But a litlepag. 127. before he discourseth thus: In S. Pauls time the integrity of Rome was famous; Corinth many waies repro­ued, they of Galatia much more out of square. In S. Iohns time Ephesus and Smirna in farre better state, then Thiatira and Pergamus were. We [Page 134] hope therfore, that to reforme our selues (if at any time we haue done amisse) is not to seuer our selues from the Church we were of before: In the Church we were, and we are so stil. Hitherto are Hookers wordes; in which he seemeth to me, plainely to affirme, both that the Church of Rome is a true Church, and also that it is no diuers Church from that of the Pro­testants of England: vvhich I think this learned man vvould not haue said, if he had imagined the Pope to be Antechrist. But this confessi­on of our aduersaries notwithstanding, brieflie I thus confute the a­fore-said vntrue and absurd opinion of others.

In the scripture we find that Antechrist shal deny Iesus to be Christ; who is a liar (saith S. Iohn) but he who denieth that Iesus is Christ? 1. Iohn 2. verse 22. this is Antechrist which denieth the Father and the Sonne. He shal also affirme himselfe to be Christ, and the Iewes shal receiue him for their true Mes­sias as we gather our of these words of our Sauiour vnto the said Iewes: If an other come in his owne name, Iohn 5. Iren. li. 5. Ciril ca­tech. 15. Ambros. in c. 21. Luc. 2. Thessal. 2. vers. 4. him you wil receiue. That he shal affirme himselfe to be Christ vve are taught by S. Irenaeus, S. Ciril Bishop of Hierusalem, S. Ambrose and others. That the Iewes shal receiue him as Christ, it is auouched by al the Fathers. Moreouer, Antechrist shal publikely name himselfe to be God, and couet to be worshiped as the only God: this is manifest out of these words of the Apostle; He shalbe extolled aboue al that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God shewing himselfe as though he were God. These be some of the properties of Antechrist set downe in the vvord of God: but none of these agree vnto the Pope; for he neither denieth Christ, nor affirmeth himself to be Christ, or is accepted as Christ by the Iewes; finally, he is not worshiped as God, but worshipeth God: therefore he is not Antechrist. Adde also, that Antechrist shal be but one man, he shal come immediatly before the day of judgment, he shal raigne but three yeares and an halfe, and that at Hierusalem, as is euidently gathe­red out of the same holy scripture, and al the holy Fathers: by vvhich likewise appeareth the falshood of our aduersaries assertion.

But to impugne and ouerthrowe the primacy of the Pope, they al make diuers objections: and although it were a very easie matter here to shewe the vveaknes of them al, yet I should exceed mine intended breuity. I wil therefore answer only two, the one commonly vsed by them al, and (as they thinke) of greatest force, the other much vrged by M. Field. Galath. 2. verse 11. The first is taken out of that place of S. Paul, vvhere he affirmeth that he resisted S. Peter in face, because he was reprehensible: the [Page 135] second out of a decree (as Field saith) of the Councel of Chalcedon: I wil answere (I say) briefly these, that by the vveaknes of them, the reader may judge of the strength of others, vvhich are of lesse force then these. And to begin with the first; as in other places so in this,Bibl. anno 1592. our English Puritane Geneuians falsifie the text of holie scripture, to make it seeme the better for them. For vvhereas the Apostle saith, that he resisted S. Peter in face, that is: publikelie in presence of al,Bibl. anno 1592. or (as they say in their marginal note) before al men, they contrary­ing their owne exposition and Bezaes also, in the text make S. Paul saie, that he withstood S. Peter to his face, imagining thereby the more to disgrace the superiority of S. Peter: for euerie man knoweth, that it is not al one to reprehend or resist a man publikely, and to resist him to his face. This being noted, let vs nowe first see what the aun­cient Fathers write,Ciprian e­pist. 71. ad Quintum Numb. 2. August. li. 2. de Bap­tism. ca. 1. concerning this controuersie betweene these ho­ly Apostles. S. Cipran (whose sentence is also alleaged by S. Augustine) discoursing of the said reprehension, vseth these words: Neither Pe­ter whome our Lord did choose the first, and vpon whome he built his Church, when Paul disputed with him of circumcision, challenged insolently, or arro­gantly took any thing to himselfe, saying; that he had the primacie, and there­fore that the later disciples ought rather to obey him &c. This and more S. Ciprian: out of which his wordes we may gather, that the action of S. Paul was nothing prejudicial in his opinion, to the primacy of S. Peter. Aug. li. 2. de Baptis. cap. 1. But vvas S. Peter in this case vvorthie of blame? S. Augustine thought him faulty; for thus in one place he discourseth: we haue learned in the holie scriptures that Peter the Apostle, in whome the primacie of the Apostles by excellent grace is so praeeminent, when he did otherwise concerning circum­cision then the truth required, was corrected by Paul the later Apostle: Tertul. de praescript. cap. 23. thus S. Augustine. And this opinion long before him was taught by Tertullian, who telleth vs, that the Heretikes of his daies (whose disciples the new sectaries seeme to be) alleaged this reprehension of S. Peter, to proue the Apostles ignoraunce: but he answereth, that the errour or faulte was of conuersation, and not of preaching or doctrine. Neither doth this proue any thing against S. Peters primacie,Ciril li. 9. in Ioan. Hieron. in proaemio Comment. epistola ad Galatas. for we deny not but the Pope of Rome may erre in conuersation, & be consequently admo­nished, by his inferiors. S. Ciril recordeth, that Iulian the Apostata ob­jected the same reprehension against Christians. S. Hierom first telleth vs, that wicked Porphiry an Apostata, charged S. Paul of enuie & male­pert boldnes, and S. Peter of error. Secondly he teacheth vs, that there [Page 136] vvas neither fault in S. Peter nor in S. Paul, vvhich opinion is at large most learnedly explicated and defended by Cardinal Baronius, in the first tome of his ecclesiastical annuals. And briefly with him I answere, that although S. Peter was reprehensible in this sense, that of his action a thing might followe vvorthie of reprehension; yet in verie truth it is certaine, that neither S. Peter nor S. Paul did amisse. For first vve must suppose,Actes 15. v. 23. &c. that although in the Councel of Hierusalem celebrated before that time (of vvhich in the actes of the Apostles) it was decre­ed, that the Gentiles conuerted to Christ, were not bound to obserue the old law of the Iewes; yet nothing was there decreed for the freeing of the Iewes from the same: yea, although they vvere in very deed by the law of grace, released of that burden; yet for auoiding of scandal, and that the said old law might be buried with honour, they for some time obserued them very religiously. Hence after the aforesaid Coun­cel, the Apostles themselues obserued diuers ceremonies of the old lawe:Act. 16.3. for example, S. Paul himselfe circumcised Timothee; yea after this altercation with S. Peter, he following the aduise of S. Iames, and the priests assembled at Hierusalem, Actes 21. verse 26. 1. Corint. 9. v. 20. according to the law of Moises, purified himselfe in the temple of Hierusalem. Thence proceed these his words: I became a Iewe to the Iewes, that I might gaine the Iewes. As it was therefore lawful for the Iewes to forsake the old lawe, and liue as the conuerted Gentiles did; so also it was lawful for a time vnto them (ac­cording as time and place required, especially for auoiding of scandal) to vse the said ceremonies of the old lawe. This moued S. Peter liuing at Antioch with S. Paul, although being the Apostle, vnto whome the rest of the Apostles had committed the especial patronage of the Iewes, to liue with the rest as a conuerted Gentile, and so to transgresse the law of Moises. But certaine Iewes comming from Hierusalem, where the Christian Iewes yet obserued the said lawe, that being their patron he might not giue any scandal, he retired himselfe from the rest, and be­gan to liue as the strangers did. This action of his, diuers of the rest of the Iewes of Antioch followed: yea, S. Barnabas himselfe being S. Pauls companion, tooke this course among the rest, which S. Paul being the patron of the Gentiles beholding, he reprehended S. Peter for his Iu­daical conuersation, affirming that by his example, he drew al to ob­serue the lawe of Moises. This is brieflie the history of this matter, as it is plainelie gathered out of the place of S. Paul alleaged. Hence it appeareth that not only S. Peters action, but also S. Pauls reprehension [Page 137] vvas laweful, and necessarie: for S. Peter by his action, remoued al scandal from the Iewes: S. Paul also by his reprehension, remoued the like from the Gentiles. And thus much of the first objection.

Field discoursing of the Patriarcke of Constantinople, Booke 3. chapter 1. vseth these wordes: In the second general Councel holden at Constantinople, he was preferred before the other Patriarks of Alexandria and Antioch, and set in degree of honour next vnto the Bishoppe of Rome. In the great Councel of Chalcedon, he was made equal with him, and to haue al equal rites, priui­ledges and prerogatiues, because he was Bishop of newe Rome, as the other of old: thus Field. And vpon this ground in the next chapter,Chap. 2. he en­tereth into a railing and scoffing discourse against the Pope. But (in verie deed) I cannot doe otherwise then meruaile, that a man of his place and learning, doth not blush to committe such a notorious vn­truth, to the print and view of the world: For not to speake of the fal­shood of the first part of his assertion, because it is in some sort imper­tinent, that which he saith of the Councel of Chalcedon is most vntrue, repugnant to al antiquity, and not only contrarie to al proceedinges, and the historie of the said Councel; but also to the wordes of the Ca­non by him alleaged. For in it is decreed onlie, that the cittie of new Rome or Constantinople, shal haue majestie (like as old Rome) in Ecclesiasti­cal affaires, et secundam post illam existere, that is, shalbe the second or next after it, and enjoy certaine priuiledges for the ordination of some Me­trapolitans: these are the contents of the Canon. And what more tou­ching this matter, did the Bishops assembled in that Councel, in their Sinodical epistle desire S. Leo the great then bishoppe of Rome to con­firme, then this?Concilium Chalcedō. sessio 12. alias actio­ne 16. An. Christi 451. Concilium Nice. ses­sio vltim. Cōci. Chal. actione 1. Actione 3. We haue confirmed (say they) the rule of the seauenscore and ten holy Fathers, which were gathered together at Constantinople vn­der Theodosius of happie memorie, which commanded that the See of Con­stantinople (which is ordained the second) haue second honour after your most holie and Apostolike See, trusting that the Apostolical sunne-beame shi­ning with you, &c. But how can it be the second and next after, and al­so the equal with it, as Field affirmeth? Besides this, in the Councel it selfe those words of the Canon of the Councel of Nice, that the Church of Rome euer had the primacie, were allowed; and the Legates of Pope Leo vvithout reprehension or exception taken, said: We haue here at hand, the commandements of the most blessed and Apostolike man the Pope of the cittie of Rome, which is head of al Churches, by which his Apostleship hath vouchsafed to commaund &c. Againe, one of them first subscribed [Page 138] (as he said) in the place of the most blessed and Apostolike vniuersal Pope of the citty of Rome, &c. And in the epistle, al the Fathers write vnto him thus: We craue therefore, that you wil honour our decrees with your judgement, and like as we desirous, haue consented in those things which are good: sic et summitas tua: so thy chiefedome (or preheminence aboue al) wil (as it is meete) accomplish them to his children: hitherto are their wordes. And vvhat could be said more apparant for the Popes supreamacie? Doe not they acknowledge him to be their chiefe, and themselues his sonnes and children?Gregor. li 4. epi. 32. 36. 38. li. 7. epi. 30. See before in the first section of this chap­ter. I could adde to this the authoritie of S. Gre­gorie the great, who liued not long after this Councel; who against the ambition of Iohn bishoppe of Constantinople in diuers letters confi­dentlie affirmeth, that the title of vniuersal Bishop by this Councel, was offered to Pope Leo.

But Field wil vrge, that it is gathered out of some Greeke copies of this Councel, that by this Canon the Bishop of Constantinople was so made second after the Bishoppe of Rome, that equal priuiledges were giuen him. I answere, that these priuiledges vvere only concerning jurisdiction, to order certaine Metrapolitans of the east Church, as the Bishoppe of Rome had the like in the west. But now suppose I should graunt M. Field, that in this Canon the Bishop of Constantinople, vvas made in euerie respect equal to the Pope: what would he get by this? In truth nothing. For of what authority is this Canon? Surely of none, for it vvas cunninglie made by the Grecian bishops after the Councel was risen, and the Legates of Pope Leo departed, vvho also when it came to their knowledge the next day, resisted them in the next Ses­sion: yea, this was neuer confirmed by the Pope, without whose con­firmation the decrees of general Councels haue neuer had force; but vvas by Pope Leo forthwith ouerthrowne and annulled.Leo epist. 55. 53. 54. 61. We cancel or make voide (saith he speaking of that Canon and others then enacted) the consent of Bishops repugnant to the Nicene Canons: and by the authority of blessed S. Peter the Apostle, by a general definition we make them altoge­ther of no force. And this his decree was so highly esteemed in the East it selfe,Marcian. l. 12. c. de sacrosācta Ecclesia. that it was confirmed presentlie by an Imperial constitution, euen by the Emperour of Constantinople: and Anatolius the Patriarcke through vvhose ambition and instigation the said Canon vvas made, was constrained to ceasse from such proceedinges, to relinquish that dignity vvhich ambitioussie he couered, and to take place euen after the other Patriarkes; for neither was the constitution of the Councel [Page 139] of Constantinople, which preferred him before those of Alexandria and Antioch, authentical.Iustin. no­uel. 131. cap. 2. Field book 3. cap. 1. Yea Iustinian the Emperor after this (euen when Rome vvas most in disgrace and Constantinople flourished, long before the daies of Phocas, from whome Field would deriue the beginning of the Popes superiority) confirmed the primacy to the Bishop of Rome: and thus we may see, vpon how vveake grounds Field doth venture to passe the bounds of modesty.

Concerning the point it selfe of the Popes infallible judgment, he accuseth vs of contrary doctrine, to wit: that we al hold at this day, Field book 3. cap. 45. the infallibility of the Popes judgment, to be the rock on which the Church is builded, and therefore build our faith vpon the same: whereas the same men (sath he) that hold this, say also it is no matter of faith to acknowledge or not acknowledge the infallibity of the Popes judgment. I answere, that the infallibility of the Popes judgment without the assent of a general Councel, is not the most sure & receiued rock, on which the Church was built: for this is the Popes judgment confirming the decrees of a general Councel, or (as I may say) the definition of a general Coun­cel, in which the head confirmeth the verdict of the body, and both together infallibly define a truth. And in this sense no Catholike nowe affirmeth, that it is no matter of faith to acknowledge or not acknowledge, the infallibility of the Popes judgment: for it is held absolutely to be a mat­ter of faith; and consequently, our doctrine touching these points is not contrary. True it is,Bell. li. 4. de Roman. pontif. ca. 2. in fine. Stapleton in Relect. scholast. princi. controuers. 3, quest. 4. that some Catholike doctors (as Bellarmine and Stapleton) thinke not that opinion properly heretical, which holdeth that the Pope as Pope may be an Heretike and teach heresie, if he de­fine vvithout a general Councel (so farre are vve from making al the Popes wordes diuine oracles, as some Protestants falslie pretend:) but neuerthelesse they deeme this opinion to be erronious, and most neere vnto heresie. Neither doth this their assertion, contradict that com­monly auerred; that the decrees of the Pope without a general Coun­cel in the sense aboue mentioned, are a rock or ground of faith: for although the vvhole Church hath not yet authentically defined, that the Pope after this sort cannot erre? yet the scriptures and other argu­ments brought in this behalfe, are so plaine and forcible, and the con­sent of al learned & pious men (except some fewe) is so consonant and strong for this point, that euery man may wel admit his definitions, as a ground of supernatural faith. And so vve maie truly say, both it is no matter of faith, to acknoweledge or not acknowledge in this sort, [Page 140] the infallibility of the Popes judgment in this sense, that the whole Church hath not as yet defined either part to be a diuine truth; and yet hold the infallibilitie of the Popes judgement to be a Rocke of faith in this sense, that euerie man for the authorities and reasons alleaged, may prudently build vpon it an act of supernatural faith. And thus much of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, and his decrees. I haue beene the longer in this discourse,Vergerius dialago 1. contra Hosium. because some Protestants affirme the denial of this supremacy or superiority, to be not only the foundation of their newe religion; but also a good part of the edifice built thereupon.

Chapter 11. Of the consent of the auncient Fathers, and the general doctrine of the Catholike Church in al ages.

CONCERNING the testimonie of antiquitie touching matters of faith and religion, found in the works of such ancient do­ctors, as from the Apostles daies haue flourished through al ages in Christs church, and haue been & are esteemed by her, as fathers & masters of christian faith; learned men giue vs these rules. First those things which they say (as it were by the way, and treating of another thing) are to be distinguished from such sentences, as they pronounce of such matters as they purposlie handle: for their sayings of the first kinde are of smal, those of the other of greater authority. Secondlie, that vvhich is said by anie one of them but once, is not so much to be credited, as that which is often and constantlie repeated. But principally we must make a difference, between that which they say in disputation or contention with their aduersaries, and that which is affirmed positiuelie as a true conclusion, according to the argument of vvhich they treate: for an authority of the first sort is litle to be e­steemed, of the latter greatlie. Touching their assertions in general, this is to be obserued: First, when the opinion of any father touching matters of faith, is singuler and contradicted by al, or most of the rest, it is rather to be thought an errour then a truth. Secondlie, when one or two only affirme a thing of that subject, and the rest make no men­tion of it, their testimonies make a probable, not a certaine argument. Thirdly, what doctrine soeuer concerning any point of Christian re­ligion, [Page 141] is commonly found in al the auncient Fathers workes, where mention is of that point, and is held by them as an article of the said re­ligion, and contradicted by none of the rest vvithout the note of sin­gularity, errour, or heresie imposed vpon them by others; such do­ctrine may wel be thought to pertaine to the rule of faith, descending by Tradition from the Apostles, and is to be embraced as an article of our beliefe. The truth of this last rule vvhich toucheth most my pur­pose, is gathered out of that which hath beene already said; for I haue declared, that neither the Church can erre, nor the tradition of Chri­stian faith in it preserued be ouerthrowne or altered: but if we admit a possibility of error in al such Fathers workes touching matters of such consequence, both of these assertions may be proued false. For an er­rour in faith found in most of the Fathers without contradiction of a­ny other, argueth an error in al beleeuers, not only of the ages in which those Fathers flourished, but also in al times ensuing; because that do­ctrine which is deliuered by most as an article of faith, without any op­position of others, may wel be demed to be the doctrine of al the faith­ful, who oppose not themselues against it, & consequently of the whole Church. Wherefore, if that be proued erroneous, of it we may inferre an error in al sorts of christians, & consequently a change of the rule of faith receiued by tradition. Moreouer, although we should set aside the warrant of the Church and tradition, from errour; who wil think it possible that the Fathers should after this sort depart from the truth, and conspire in errour without any, or (at the least) without any great contradiction? Is not nouelty commonly discouered and oppugned? And of this I gather, that their agrement semeth an infallible argument of the truth of their doctrine: yea, that they al held sincerelie the tradi­tion deliuered them by their predecessors. And this moued the holie fathers assembled in general Councels (as appeareth by the acts of the said councels) to make great search into the works of their forefathers, and of the ancient doctors, as also to vse them as a principal meane to finde out the rule of faith, by the said tradition preserued in the church. Finally, by their testimonies to direct very much their definitions and decrees in particuler; S. Athanasius recordeth,Athanas. epist. ad Afros. that the Bishoppes who were present in the first Councel of Nice, followed the testimonies of the ancient Fathers: and that the same was done in those of Ephesus and Chalcedon, the bishops themselues assembled also testify; who affirme in their definitions yet extant, that in them they follow the holy Fathers.

[Page 142] Ephes. 4. v. 11. &c.Further, we are taught by the Apostle, that Christ gaue some Apo­stles (I vse S. Paules vvords) and some Prophets, and other some Euange­listes, and other some Pastors and Doctors, to the consummation of the Saints vnto the worke of the ministry, vnto the edifying of the body of Christ, vntil we meete al into the vnity of faith and knowledge of the Sonne of God, into a perfect man, into the measure of the age of the fulnesse of Christ: that nowe we be not children wauering, and caried about with euerie winde of doctrine in the wickednesse of men, in craftines to the circumuention of errour: Hi­therto the Apostle. In vvhich his discourse in plaine tearmes he tel­leth vs, that Christ appointed Apostles and other such like officers in his Church vntil the day of judgement, for the instruction of his peo­ple, and to keepe them from wauering in faith and errours in religi­on. Of which I inferre, that not only the Apostles, Prophets, Euan­gelists, Pastours and Doctors, who planted, ruled, and instructed the Church presently after Christs Ascention, are to beleeued and obei­ed: but also, that the like credit is to be giuen to their successors, who in al ages following haue supplied, and shal euer vntil the day of judg­ment supply their places; and consequently, that they also haue beene and are directed in al truth, otherwise they might haue wauered and erred themselues, and so haue drawne the vvhole Church to such in­conueniences. Seing therefore, that the fathers of the Church in their ages haue supplied such places, it must needs followe, that they haue enjoyed the like priuiledges and prerogatiues. Moreouer, the Iewes were bound to heare and obey the Scribes & Pharisees of the old law, as we are taught by these wordes of Christ:Math. 23. v. 2. & 3. Vpon the chaire of Moises haue sitten the Scribes and Pharisees; al things therefore whatsoeuer they shal say to you, obserue ye, and doe ye. Who then wil be so impudent as to say, that Christians are not bound to heare and obey the prelates of the Church?Luke 10. see also Math. 10. & Ioh. 13. Iren. li. 4. cap. 4. especially seing that of them Christ hath said, He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me: which wordes ar­gue as great truth in their doctrine, as there is in the doctrine of Christ, who is truth it selfe. Hence S. Irenaeus telleth vs, that we ought to obey those who haue succession from the Apostles, who together with the succession of their Bishopriks, haue receiued the gifts or priuiledges of truth. And al­though these sentences, are principallie verified in the prelates of the Church assembled in a general Councel: yet, they must needs also be confessed true in the whole body of them, in al ages dispersed through the vvhole world; and in euerie one of them, vvhen he teacheth and [Page 143] deliuereth vs the doctrine of the vniuersal Church.

Finally, the ancient Fathers are most pregnant and faithful witnes­ses of that Depositum or summe of Chistian doctrine, which they recei­ued from their predecessors, and deliuered to their successours. They are also most indifferent judges of al controuersies after their daies a­rising in the Church, because they liued before euer any such contro­uersie was moued; and therefore are partial of no side.Aug. cont. Iulianuni li. 2. c. 10. Hence are these vvords of S. Augustine to the Pelagians concerning this matter: They (he speaketh of the Fathers that liued before him) were angry neither with you nor with vs; they fauoured neither you nor vs: That which they found in the Church they held fast, that which they learned they taught, that which they receiued of their Fathers they deliuered to their children: Hi­therto S. Augustine. This moued the same holie Father and diuers o­thers, to appeale so often to the judgment of their predecessours, and to cite their testimonies. And these arguments in like manner proue, that the truth of faith and religion alwaies and in al ages, remaineth a­mong the true Bishops and Pastors of the Church: and consequent­lie that at al times (euen at this present) a man may securelie followe their beliefe and doctrine. This I say the authorities alleaged testifie: for the Church must neuer erre, her prelates are alwaies to stay vs from wauering in faith &c. 1. Cor. 11. verse 16. August. e­pist. 118. cap. 5. Idē epist. 86. ad Casulā. And it is moreouer insinuated vnto vs by the A­postle, in these words: But if a man seeme contentious, we haue no such cu­stome, nor the Church of God; for as we see, in them he pleadeth the cu­stome of the Church against the contentious. And this moued S. Au­gustine to tearme it most insolent madnes, to dispute against that which the whole church holdeth: he telleth vs also, that the custom of the people of God, or the ordināces of our ancestors are to be held as a law in those things, in which the diuine scripture prescribeth nothing certaine. S. Hierome is of the same opinion: for in his dialogue against the Luciferians, he bringeth in the Heretike affirming, that the consent of the whole world hath the force of a lawe, although it be in a matter not to be proued by scripture; Epiphani. haeres. 75. and maketh the Catholike assent to his assertion. The like hath S. Epiphanius, who disputing against Aerius in defence of certaine fasting-daies obserued in the Church, vseth this argument: The Church receiued them, and the whole world in it consented before Aerius was, and they which of him are cal­led Aerians: the same is affirmed by the rest of the Fathers.

In the last place for a ground of our faith I must adde such propo­sitions, as are deduced out of these most certaine grounds, by an eui­dent [Page 144] and infallible argument. For although it is commonly held, that in a sillogisme of one proposition of faith, and another knowne onlie by the light of natural reason, the conclusion is not properly of faith, but Theological, that is a conclusion in diuinity held most true: yet, certaine it is,See Greg. de Valētia in secūda secūdae di­sput. 1. qu. 1. pūcto 2. that a conclusion following in a silogisme of two proposi­tions of faith, is indirectly (and as the diuines say) immediatelie de fide or of faith: as also that proposition is, which is inferred by good and euident consequence of a proposition of faith; because whosoeuer de­nieth the proposition inferred, wil be constrained to deny the propo­sition or propositions, of which it is inferred. But concerning such propositions, the vnlearned if occasion be offered, must craue instru­ctions of the learned.

Chapter 12. Containing the conclusion of the first part.

THESE be the immoueable and most firme grounds which we finde in the Church of Christ, whereon vve build our faith and religion. Vpon these sure foundations as vpon a firme rock, euery Catholike buildeth his beliefe and saluation. And although the articles deliuered vnto vs by the Church, be not appa­rant to our senses, nor for the most part comprehensible by reason; yet in al such matters (according to the saying of the Apostle) We make our reason and vnderstanding captiue vnto the obedience of Christ, 2. Corint. 10. vers. 5. 1. Corint. 2. vers. 5. and ac­knowledge with the same Apostle, that our faith is not in the wisedome of men, but in the power of God: And therefore, that in such misteries a­boue reason we cannot shew our selues more reasonable, then to leaue off reasoning.Genes. 18. vers. 14. Luk. 1, 37. Math. 19, 26. Mat. 16, 17. Verily, we are taught by the scripture, that nothing is hard (much lesse impossible) vnto God; yea, that al things are possible with him, although with men impossible. And if scripture had not taught vs this, reason it selfe would easily perswade vs to assent vnto it, because by nature he is omnipotent. We know also, that it is not flesh and bloud that hath reuealed such things vnto vs, but God himselfe, who being eternal wisdome & truth, can neither be deceiued nor deceiue: where­fore, although the misteries be obscure, let vs alwaies be mindeful by [Page 145] whom we are informed of their truth, and not make the depth of our owne capacity, the rule and measure of Gods power, and of our faith; but beleeue them. When either the diuel or his instruments object a­ny thing against our beliefe, let vs say with S. Augustine. Aug. serm. 147. de tempore. Ambrose in cap. 5. Lucae. Ambr. de Abraham cap. 3. Why doe we wonder? why doe we not beleeue? it was God that did it: and with S. Am­brose; If we beleeue not God whom wil we beleeue? If a grau [...] [...]onourable personage (I vse the same holy Doctors comparison) in this life (espe­cially if he be of high degree and our better) would scorne to be asked of vs a proofe for that which he affirmeth, how much more ought God to be credited without proofe of humane reason, when he propoun­deth vnto vs a matter aboue mans reason and capacity: thus in effect S. Ambrose.

And howe weake and feeble our reason and vnderstanding is, vve may easilie perceiue by this, that it is not able to comprehend the na­ture or causes of diuers thinges, vvhich we daily behold with our eies. Hence arise so many intricate difficulties in natural philosophy, which the deepest wits and most learned philosophers could neuer hitherto vnfold. For example, what philosopher hath euer hitherto yeelded a certaine cause without any contradiction, of the ebbing and flowing of the Sea? Yea, howe manie thinges are there in mans bodie it selfe, vvhich moue no smal difficulties to philosophers? as the forming of it in the mothers vvombe, the concoction and distribution of nourish­ment, the growing of it to a due proportion and stature, &c. What shal we say of the fiue senses, by which our vnderstanding cometh to the knowledg of external and corporal thinges? howe strange is their operation? vvhat great and huge bodies are together truely represen­ted in the litle compasse of the aple of the eie? But I can not stand to discourse of them in particuler. If we looke vp to the heauens, howe can we conceiue the huge bodies of the planets, seeming to our senses so smal, their certaine and swift motion, and their nature it selfe most admirable? And if we cannot without great difficulty and discourse, comprehend these ordinarie matters, how dare we by our weake wit, measure the omnipotent power of God, and think him able to doe no more then we can conceiue?

Moreouer, if God had not made al thinges of nothing by his onlie word, we should hardly imagine such a creation to be possible; seing that it is a rule among natural agēts, that of nothing nothing is made. If God himselfe had not reuealed vnto vs, that in the most blessed Tri­nitie [Page 146] the same simple essence or substance is in three persons, vvhich therefore make but one God, we should hardly haue beleeued it; se­ing that among vs euery person hath a distinct substance or essence. If faith did not teach vs, that in Christ two natures the one of God the o­ther of man make one person, it would seeme incredible; seing that a­mong vs e [...]ie nature maketh a distinct person. Come a litle lower, if our Sauiour had not told vs,Mat. 19. verse 26. Iohn 20, 19. & 26. that a camel by the power of God may be made to passe through the eie of an needle, who would haue belee­ued it? If Christ had not entred into his disciples the dores being shut, vvho would haue thought it possible? If then our vnderstanding can not naturally comprehend these misteries, which neuerthelesse euery Christian must confesse to be true, we may very wel thinke vvith our selues, that other such like which Heretiks deny, may likewise be euen as certaine, although our vnderstanding can not reach to the appre­hension of them; seing that they are no more repugnant to reason then the former, but like as they aboue reason, and proceed from the same omnipotent power of God. Certainly, The workes of God (as we are taught by S. Gregory) if they were comprehensible by reason, Gregor. hom. 26. in Euan. were not ad­mirable: neither hath faith (saith he) any merit, when humane reason yeel­deth an experiment, or maketh the thing euident; for the lesse euidence that our reason hath in matters of faith, so that the things be propoun­ded vnto vs vvith sufficient prudential motiues prouing diuine reue­lation, the more we merit in beleeuing, according to those wordes of our Sauiour:Iohn 20. verse 29. Blessed are they who haue not seene and haue beleeued.

And therefore concerning those workes of God principally, which by faith vve are bound to beleeue,Chrisost. homil. 21. in Genes. let vs followe the learned aduise of S. Iohn Chrisostome, contained in these his words following. When God doth any thing (saith he) doe not thou examine those thinges which are done by human reason, for they exceed our vnderstanding: and mans thought or imagination can not reach and comprehend the reason of those thinges, which are made and done by God. Wherefore it is meet, that we hea­ring what God commaunded, obey and beleeue those thinges which are said by him, for seing that he is the founder of nature, he doth order and transforme al thinges as he thinketh good: hi­therto Saint Iohn Chrisostome.

FINIS.

THE SECOND PART OF THIS TREATISE, SHEWING THE GROVNDES OF the newe religion. In which is proued, that the newe Sectaries build their faith vpon no di­uine authority, but that the ground of al their beliefe and religi­on is their owne judgement; and consequentlie, that they haue neither true faith, nor religion.

Chapter 1. That by their doctrine they deny or at the least weaken, the three princi­pal and general groundes of Christian religion, set downe in the three first chapters of the first part.

SECTION THE FIRST. The number of Atheists among them is great, and of the causes by them giuen of this impiety.

IN the three first chapters of the first part of this trea­tise, I haue proued three principal grounds of our re­ligion, to wit: the being of God and his diuine proui­dence, the immortallity of the soule of Man, and the truth of Christianity. Now, perhaps the title of this chapter to some may seeme verie strange, and my accusation of our aduersaries; that by their doctrine they denie or vveaken these grounds, verie slanderous and injurious: but I desire no more cre­dit [Page 2] in this matter, then the reasons I shal bring wil yeeld, which if I obtaine of my reader, I doubt not but I shal free my selfe of al su­spition of offering them any wrong.

But first I must declare, that in this section I intend not to ac­cuse al the newe Sectaries of Atheisme; for I know very wel that they teach & commonly beleeue there is a God: neither doe I in­tend to affirme, that the same man can properly be termed a newe sectarie and Atheist; but mine assertion onlie is, that a great num­ber of such as are in outward shewe professours of the newe religi­on, are (in verie deed) inwardlie prophane Atheists, and that the said new religion is a very fountaine of Atheisme. And in proofe of the first part of this assertion, I need not vse manie words or long discourses: for so it is, that diuers principal professours and follo­wers of this newe beliefe, confesse and acknowledge a great num­ber of such impious and irreligious persons,Zauchius in his epistle be­fore his con­fession. pa. 7. to be in their congre­gations. Of forraine sectaries Zauchius affirmeth, that among other monsters Atheisme hath been fetched out of hel, by the ministers of sathan, in some of the reformed Churches. Of our owne countrimenWhitg. ī his defence tract. 3. cap. 6. pag. 278. See also Hooker ī his 5. book of ec­clesiast. poli­cy § 2. Mor­nay ī his trea­tise of the proof of chri­stian religiō. Whit­gift complaineth, that the Church of England is replenished with Atheists. The same complaints haue Hedio, Powel, Parks, & others, as wil appeare by some of their sentences which I shal relate here­after. To come therefore to the second part: seing that this impi­ety raigneth nowe more among our aduersaries, then it hath done in former ages among Christians, in vvhich such monsters vvere not so vsuallie found and commonlie seene, it is like that it hath some roote and ofspring in these daies among them, which appea­red not in the religion of our forefathers and predecessours. And vvhat is this roote? surelie it is not one, but diuers. And for the first cause of this blasphemie, I assigne their dissention and incon­stancy concerning matters of faith and religion, without any cer­taine ground vvhereon to build their beliefe, or meane of ending and deciding such controuersies as arise. That their doctrine is subject to these inconueniences, it shal at larg be proued hereafter. That such dissention, inconstancie, vvant of firme grounde and meane to end controuersies, may truly be said to be roots & foun­taines of Atheisme, it is apparant; because of these things may wel be inferred an vncertainty of truth (which is alwaies one and con­stant to her selfe) and no diuine foundation of the religion profes­sed, [Page 3] or reuelations of the truthes preached, because thinges pro­ceeding from God (whose wisedome and prouidence are infinite) cannot be subject to such absurdities. Hence diuers being first, by the false calumnies & vnjust slanders of their ring-leaders, cleane a­uerted from our religion, in which onlie a sure ground, an immo­uable rocke of faith, and a firme piller of truth are found; then in their new profession, being tossed hither and thither concerning the articles of their faith, and finding no certaine authority where­on to rest, or firme foundation whereon to build a firme and vn­doubted resolution, are brought finallie to this, that they think al articles to be of an vncertaine truth, and consequentlie imagine re­ligion to be but a politicke inuention of man, and so become A­theists. S. Hillarie euen in his daies complained,Hillar. lib. ad Constantium Augustum. that the Arian he­retikes by these meanes, of Christians made Atheists: these are his words. Perilous and miserable it is, that there are now so many faiths as wils, and so many doctrines as maners: whiles either faiths are so written as we wil, or as we wil are so vnderstood. And wheras according to one God, & one Lord, & one baptisme, there is also one faith, they fal away from that which is the only faith, and whiles no faiths are made, they begin to come to this, that there is none at al: hitherto S. Hillarie. But let vs heare certaine Protestants declare vnto vs the truth of that, which hath beene here said touching this ofspring of this impiety in their con­gregations.Relatiō of the state of religion vsed in the western parts of the world. § 45. printed at London anno 1605. And first a Protestant relator of the state of religion vsed in the westerne parts of the world, discourseth thus: The diuision of Pro­testants into their factions of Lutherans and Caluinists, threateneth a great ruine and calamity of both sides. And soone after hauing shewed how the Lutheran preachers rage in their pulpets against the others, he addeth: The Romanes haue the Pope as a common father, aduiser and conductor to them al, to reconcile their jarres, to appease their displeasures, to decide their difference, and finally to vnite their endeauors in one course &c. to drawe their religious by consent of Councels to an vnity or likenes and conformity, &c. Whereas on the contrarie side, the Protestants are as seuered bands, or rather scattered troupes, each drawing aduerse way, without any meanes to pacifie their quarrels, to take vp their controuersies, without any bond to knit their forces or courses in one. No Prince, with any preheminence of jurisdiction aboue the rest, no Patriark, one or more, to haue a common superintendance or care ouer their Churches for corre­spondencie and vnity: no ordinarie way to assemble a general Councel of [Page 4] their part, the onlie hope remaining euer to asswage their contentions, and the onlie desire of the wisest and best mindes among them. Euerie church almost of theirs, hath his seueral forme and frame of gouernment, his se­ueral liturgie and fashion of seruice, and lastlie some seueral opinion from the rest, which though in themselues they be matters of no great moment, being no differences essential, or any part capital; yet haue they beene, are, and wil be as long as they continue, causes of dislike, of jelosies, of quar­rels and daunger. These contentions tend mainely to the encrease of A­theisme within, of Mahometisme abroade: hitherto are the Relators wordes. But before him Bullenger a principal doctor among the Sacramentaries, noted the same effect of these contentions euen in the beginning of this newe religion:Bullenger in Firmamento firmo contra Brentiū ca. 1. Maior ī orat. de cofus. dog­matum. Hed. in epist. ad Melanct. for he vvriteth that diuers in his daies, were so moued with that vehement and implacable dissenti­on between the Lutherans and Zuinglians concerning the Eucharist, that as it were dispairing & being cleane out of hope, they said they would beleeue no more then they pleased. Major in like sort, a Lutheran of no lesse same confesseth, that diuers were so moued with their scandals and dissentions, that they doubted whether there were any true Church of God extant in the world, or no. Vnto these I adde Hedio a third se­ctary, who hauing complained that there are almost one hundred twenty and eight errours among the professors of the Gospel, and that they fal to Atheisme & neglect of religion, affirmeth that they assigne their dissention to be the cause of these euils. But concer­ning their Atheisme he also afterwardes vseth these vvordes: The Popedome is rejected, and names are not giuen to Christ: The youth hath almost nothing of God. And vvhat shal vve say of our Church of England? hath not the dissention among Protestants and Puritanes brought men to the same passe?Parkes in the epistle dedicatorie before his Apologie of three testi­monies of ho­lie scripture, &c. Hillar. l. ad­uersus Con­stantium. Verilie Parkes a Protestant writer, hauing discoursed of such contention here at home affirmeth, that by it setled mindes are distracted, the parts of the same bodie dismembred, and religion it selfe brought to be a matter of meere dispute and altercation, not without feare (saith he) that it befal vnto vs, as it did to the builders of Babel, or to the bretheren of Cadmus. He hath also these wordes: These contentions are no smal preparatiues to Atheisme, in that we may now say as Hillarie said of his time; that there are so many faiths, as wil [...], & so many doctrins as maners of men, whils either we write them as we list, or vnderstand them as we please: in so much that many are brought euen to their wits end, not knowing what to doe. Amidst al which miseries and [Page 5] mischiefs the Papists insult & triumph, to se those that professe themselues brethren, to be at such deadly fewd among themselues: thus Parks. To the same effect writeth Powel, who auoucheth; that through this dissention together vvith other inconueniences from it flowing by him recited, Many for want of knowledg are wrapped in ignorance, doe not cal vppon God, but fly God. Many fal into an Epicurian contempt of religion, and are oppressed with dispaire. And thus much of the first roote of Atheisme among our aduersaries.

A second reason of the multitude of atheists among them, I deem to be the liberty which they giue to euery person, to examine sun­dry of the high misteries of Christian religion, by the rule & mea­sure of their owne feble vnderstāding; & according to their owne fancies to frame interpretations of scripture. For this liberty the principal Sectaries hauing taken to themselues, they haue conse­quētly (as Tertullian long since noted in Heretiks) both by example and otherwise giuen the same to euery one of their followers.Tert. de prae­script. c. 42. Caluin lib. 4. Instit. cap. 17. § 20. For example, Caluin telleth the defenders of the real presence, that how­soeuer they cry out that they be touched with reuerence of the wordes of Christ, whereby they doe not figuratiuely vnderstand those thinges that were plainely spoken: yet, that this is not a pretence rightful enough, why they should so refuse al the reasons which they object to the contrary. And what reasons bringeth he & others against it? Their common arguments are: that the same body cannot be at the same instant in sundry places; that so great a corporal body cannot be in so smal a roome; that the accidents of bread and wine cannot be without a subject; that it repugneth to the nature of a body to be wholy in al, and wholy in euery part of the Host. But vvho seeth not that by this manner of proceeding and arguing, they giue occasion to A­theists to impugne the truth of the B. Trinity, the presence of God in al places, the incarnation of Christ, the resurrection of our bo­dies, the immortallity of our soules, and other such like articles? For like as they affirme the real presence to be impossible, because the same bodie cannot be at the same instant in sundry places: so may an Atheist argue, that it repugneth that the selfe same nature without any distinction should be in three distinct persons, or that the selfe same bodies beeing once corrupted should rise againe. Nay it is certaine, that some of our late aduersaries haue in very deede, pleaded this argument of impossibility against the B. Tri­nity. [Page 6] Moreouer,Theodosius Schimberg. epist. praefixa scriptis Ioan. Sōmeri. The­dorus Dorchius li. Germa­nico quo defē dit dogmata Francis. Da­uidis. like as they impugne the real presence, because so great a body cannot be in so smal a place, nor the accidents of bread and wine vvithout a subject, nor the body of Christ wholy in the whole, and wholy in euery part of the Host &c. So may an Atheist dispute against the incarnation, that it is repugnant that two natures should be vnited in one person, because no substance can be without a proper subsistence, which is euen as natural vnto it, as inherence is to an accident; against the presence of God in euerie place, and the spiritual nature of the soule, because neither God can be wholie in the whole, and wholie in euerie part of the vvorld, as they may falslie imagine; nor the soule of man wholie in the whole, and wholie in euery part of his bodie. And although these arguments (in verie deed) ouerthrowe not the truth of these misteries and articles of our beliefe, yet are they euen as hard to an­swere, as any of those which our aduersaries bring against the real presence. Wherefore, like as for the aforesaid reasons they reject the one as false: so doe they giue occasion to Atheists for the like reasons to reject the others. And vpon this ground of measuring al thinges by their feeble vnderstanding, built those sectaries in Germanie, Iacobus Curio in rebus chro­nolog. anno 1566. p. 151 impress. Basil. vvho as Iacobus Curio a Protestant reporteth, laughed Moises to scorne, for giuing Adam and his progenie an age which exceedeth the measure and vvarrantize of nature; and this is the next steppe to Atheisme. And because the Sacramentaries much more then the Lutherans, relie vpon natural reason in matters of faith, hence perhaps it proceeded, that Brentius a Lutheran (whom Iewel calleth a most graue and learned man) foretold,Iewel in the defence of the Apol. part 4. c. 19.20. § 1. Brentius in recognit. &c. in fide, et in Bullengeri Coron. de an­no 1564. that it would in short time come to passe, that by the Zuinglians the heresie of Nestori­us would be brought againe into the Church, and nothing more would remaine of the articles of our religion, but Paganisme, Tal­mudisme or Iudaisme; and Mahometisme would be brought into the Church.

Thirdlie, sinne (which nowe through these sectaries licentious doctrine aboundeth among them, as I wil declare in my treatise of the notes of the Church) bringeth them also to Atheisme: for be­sides that continual carnal pleasures dul and darken the vnderstan­ding, and make it vnapt to conceaue the articles of our faith; cu­stome and delight in sinne, breed also a desire of sinning without restraint or scruple of conscience, vvhich desire maketh them vn­willing [Page 7] to think of spiritual matters, and moueth them to accept of any perswasions whatsoeuer, be they neuer so absurd, dispro­uing those articles of our faith, which vsuallie moue men to feare of punishment due to sinful actions.

In the fourth place I adde their blasphemous doctrine against God, by which they make him a tirant, in commanding vs to doe things which are not in our power, (for theyThat this is their doctrine I wil proue at large in my treatise of the definition & notes of the Church. hold his commaun­dementes to be impossible) and damning vs euerlastinglie for not performing that, vvhich he knoweth vs not able to doe. They make him likwise (as I may say) a diuel, in being the cause of our sinne and wickednesse; of which crime Caluin is accused by diuersHeshusius l. cui titulus est Aliquot erro­res Caluini. Petr. Verme­lius a zuing­lian in lib. 2. Reg. cap. 6. Grawerus in bello Ioānis Caluini et Ie­su Christi. prī ted an. 1605. et lib. qui in­scribitur Ab­surda, absur­dorum, absurdissima, Cal­uinistica ab­surda. prīted also an. 1605 Protestants of great fame. And this last assertion made one appre­hended at Mets in Fraunce, an Atheist (asDuraeus cō ­tra Whitak. ī confut. respō. ad 10. ratio. pag. 432. Duraeus recordeth) vvho being brought before the Magistrats, and demanded how he came to be of that blaspheamous opinion? answered, that he learned it out of Caluins Institutions. For (said he) reading there that God is the authour of sinne, I thought it better to denie that there is a God, then to acknowledge a God so vvicked: thus he. And (in verie deed)Basil in bo­mil. Quod de­us non est auctor malorum. S. Basil telleth vs, that it is the same madnesse to deny God and to make him the author of sinne. An other of our aduersaries namedHistoria Dauidis Georgij printed at Antwerpe anno 1560. published by the Protestants of Basil. Dauid George affirmed himself to be Christ, and oppugned our Sa­uiour and his Church with this argument: If the doctrine of Christ (said he) and his Apostles had beene true and perfect, certainelie the Church by them planted could not haue perished; for Iesus said, that hel gates should not preuaile against it. But it is mani­fest and knowne to al men, that the Church hath perished, and that Antechrist hath nowe for manie ages raigned ouer the vvhole world: vvherefore, the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles vvas false and imperfect. This he argued against his owne brethren the newe sectaries, vvho affirme that the Church of Christ was ouer­throwne.

And although the same assertion brought not Sebastian Castalio (a man much commended by someHumfred de rat. interpret. lib. 1. pag. 62. 63. Zuingerus in Theatro. Gesnerus and others. Protestants) so farre; yet eue­ry man may see by his owne writing, that it made him very doubt­ful, wauering, and perplexed in faith: in so much as he plainelie [Page 8] professed,Sebastian Castalio. ī his praeface of the great lat ī Bible dedica­ted to K. Ed­ward the 6. that he could not see how the oracles or prophecies of the old Testament concerning the glorie and continuance of the Church, haue beene hitherto fulfilled in the newe: and in verie deed it is euident, that they haue not beene verified if our religion be condemned as false.

SECTION THE SECOND. Of our aduersaries doctrine concerning the immortallity of the soule, heauen and hel.

BVT farre greater is the number of those among the newe Se­ctaries, who deny the soule of man to be immortal. And first Luther himselfe may not only be truly accused of laying a certaine foundation or ground of this damnable error, but also (if we take his vvordes as they sound) to be a maintainer of the same: for vvhereas it is commonly held by al Christians, that the soule of man is created by almighty God, vvhen the body in the mothers vvombe is apt to receiue it, Luther fauoureth that erronious opini­on of Tertullian very much, and seemeth to approue it, which de­fendeth the soule of man to haue his being from his Parents, and consequently,Luther in di­sput. Theolo. habita Wit­tenbergae āno 1545. Thessi 31. denieth it to be created of God: his words are these. They (saith he) who deemed the soule to be extraduce, that is, by ge­neration produced, seeme not altogether do haue dissented from scri­pture; yea, these wil more easily defend the propagation of original sinne then they who thinke otherwise: vt nihil sit quod dicitur, so that it is no­thing vvhich is said: the intellectual soule creando infunditur, in the creation of it is infused, et in fundendo creatur, and in the infusion of it is created: who proued this or who wil proue, that the like may be said of euery other soule? what difficulty can hinder God from producing the intellectual soule, both of nothing and also of corrupt seede? thus Lu­ther. Cētur. 5. c. 4. Dress. de par­tibus humani corporis &c. cap. de origi­ne animae. And in this he is followed by the Century writers, who note the denial of this in S. Augustine as an errour: and of the same opi­nion is Dresserus also. But what is this, but to make no difference betweene the soule of man and the soules of brute beasts? doth not Luther make the generation of al these alike? nay what other thing [Page 9] is this, but (according to the common receiued opinion of phi­losophers) to make the soule mortal? Surely it is vsually held in schooles, that whatsoeuer is produced by natural generation, is mortal and corruptible: And no doubt but if the generation of man and beast be graunted to be alike, occasion is offered to infer also like corruption of them both. Besides this, hither tendeth the opinion of Luther touching the state of soules departed, during the time betweene their departure out of this vvorld, and the day of judgement: for what happinesse or action doth he attribute vnto them before the general doome? none certainly, for he auoucheth that they sleepe; and howe? his wordes shal declare, vvhich are these.To. 4. Luth. ad c. 9. Eccle­si. v. 5. et 10. Luth. enar. in Genes. c. 25. fol. 351. et in cap. 26. fol. 392. 393. Ibid. in cap. 49. vers. 22. The dead sleepe and vnderstand nothing of our affaires &c. they feele nothing, they lie there dead neither numbering daies or yeares: but being waked they shal seeme to themselues to haue slept but for a moment. Againe, The sleepe of the soule in the next life is more profound or sound, then in this. Moreouer, The Saints are in peace and rest, not in the kingdome; they sleepe and knowe not what is done: thus Luther. And for the place vvhere the soules so sleepe, he seemeth to assigne the graue; for he addeth in another place. It is a strang thing truly, that God maketh vs like vnto beasts by sleeping, waking, eating: for the soule of man sleepeth al the senses being buried; and our bedde is as it were our graue, in which neuerthelesse is nothing paineful or troblesome: so the place of the dead hath no torments, but as it is said they rest in peace. in c. 25. Gen. He addeth in the same place, that the sleepe of the soule is so pleasant with­out passion of desire, that it hopeth, feareth, or feeleth nothing. In a­nother place aboue cited, he doubteth whether the soules of the wicked goe presently after death to hel or else sleepe: hitherto are Luthers wordes. And by this assertion,Sleidā lib. 9. Sleidan affirmeth him cleane to haue ouerthrowne our doctrine concerning praier to Saints and Purgatorie: yea,Caluī in pre­fat. li. de psi­chopamichia. Calu. īstrust. or cōtr libert. ca. 11. et 22. Articles of the familie of loue prīted Lō don an. 1579. he himselfe by his owne wordes in the places ci­ted, seemeth to haue embraced it to no other end. Caluin likewise insinuateth, that this opinion pleased diuers good men of his sect vpon the same motiue. And hence proceed both the Libertines, who (as Caluin reporteth) deny altogether the immortallity of the soule, & deride the hope of resurrection: & also the Familists, who make the soules of al mortal, those of their owne sect only exem­pted. But what difference is there betweene Luthers opinion, and that of the Libertines? certainlie very litle: and in this matter I wil [Page 10] admit Caluin for a judge,Caluin in Psichopami­chia pa. 536. who discourseth thus: They who confesse the soule doth liue, and together bereaue it of al sense, doe truly faine a soule which hath nothing of a soule, or pul the soule it selfe from it selfe, seing that the nature of it, without which it can by no meanes haue being, is to moue, to feele, to be quicke, and to vnderstand, and (as Tertullian saith) the life or soule of the soule, is sense: hitherto Caluin, who tru­lie saith that Luthers sleeping of the soule, doth impugne and ouer­throwe the very nature of the soule. But let vs moreouer behold Luthers owne words, in which be may he thought in plaine tearms to denie the immortallity of the soule:Luth. tom. 2. operā impres. Wittenbergae an. 1546. in assert. art. 27. I permit neuertheles (saith he) that the Pope make articles of his faith: and to those that are his faithful: such as are bread and wine to be transubstantiated in the sacrament; the es­sence of God neither to beget nor to be begotten; the soule to be a substantial forme of the bodie of man; himselfe to be the Emperour of the world, and the king of heauen and an earthlie God; the soule to be immortal, and al those infinite monsters contained in the Romane dunghil of decrees, that like as his faith is, such his gospel be and such his faithful: thus Luther. And these vvordes I haue translated vvord for vvord, as they are found in his booke here cited in the margent, and although none of his scholers in their publike writings that I haue seene, absolute­lie and plainelie make the soule of man mortal; yet, that this do­ctrine is thought true by diuers of their company, it is auouched by Brentius, who himselfe being a famous Lutheran of this point writeth thus:Brentius ad c. 10. Lucae. Although there be no publike profession among vs, that the soule doth die together with the bodie, and that there is no resurrection of the dead; yet, that most impure and most vaine life which the greatest part of men doth lead plainly sheweth, that they doe not thinke there is any life after this: such wordes also are let fal by some, aswel by those that are drunck among their pots, as by those that are sober in familiar conferences: thus Brentius. Hither also tendeth the doctrine of Illiricus and his followers, commonlie called Substantialistes or Flaccians, concer­ning original sinne. For they affirme this sinne to be the very sub­stance of man, and say; that the said substance and soule of man by the fal of Adam was transformed, changed, and corrupted. This, diuers sentences gathered out of the workes of the same Illiricus by Conradus Schlusselburge himselfe a Lutheran, manifestlie declare, of which some are as followeth:Conradus Schussels. in catalago hae­reticorum lib 2. pa. 207. ex lib. Illirici de occas. vitand. errorem &c. The Diuel transformed mentem et rati­onem, the mind or soule and the reason, into another forme. The Diuel [Page 11] turned vp-side downe the very essential forme it selfe of the soule, tooke away the first essential forme most good, and put another in place of it most bad. Death by sinne changed the substance of man; man lost his essential forme &c. These and other such like assertions (I say) tend to the ouerthrow of our beliefe concerning the immortallity of the soule: because, if these be true it must needes followe, that the soule of man is corruptible, and consequently, of it selfe mortal.Beza epist. 5. pag. 55. Hence Beza against this Protestant writeth thus: That Ismael Illiricus hath published a booke of original sinne, a booke not only foolish and ridiculous but also execrable, to wit: which manifestly laieth the foundation of the doctrine of the mortallity of the soule. For if the essence of the soule can be corrupted (as is auouched by Illiricus) truly it may die and perish: and who can indure this assertion? thus Beza. Nowe if that be true which M. Field auerreth, shalbe justified against the proudest Papist of vs al, that none of the differences betweene Melancton and Illiricus (except a­bout certaine ceremonies) were real: if Beza doth not wrong Illiricus we may also censure Melancton to be guilty of the same crime. But I think M. Field wil hardly be so good as his word.

And like as this hidden and secret denial of the immortallity of the soule, is plainly by him confessed to raigne in their sinagogues: so a man out of their principles, proceedings, and behauiour, may likewise gather the same secret denial of the being of God, and of his diuine prouidence, of which before. But what say these secta­ries touching heauen & hel? Luther verily writeth thus:Luther ad ca. 9. Ionae. What hel is before the last day of judgment I doe not yet certainly know, for I esteeme it as nothing or false, that there is a certaine place in which the soules of the damned nowe are, as the painters expresse, and those which serue their bellie preach: The deuils are not in hel. Againe,Idem ad cap. 25. Genes. The Papists say the first place of hel is that of the damned, which is a punishment of euerla­sting fire: but whether the soules of the wicked are punished presently af­ter death, I cannot affirme. It appeareth that they sleepe and rest, but I affirme nothing. He addeth in another place, that the hel in which the rich mans soule was buried Luke 16. was nothing els,Idem in serm. in Euangel. de Diuite et Lazaro. but a re­morse of the conscience it selfe, which (remorse) wanteth faith and the word of God, in which (conscience) the soule is kept, buried, and shut vp vntil the last day, after which man both in body and soule, shalbe cast head-long downe into the places of hel. In like sort he auerreth the bo­some of Abraham or heauen, before the day of judgment to be no­thing [Page 12] else but the word of God, in which (saith he) the faithful rest, sleep, & are kept vntil that time. Caluin expounding the word Topheth which is read in the thirtith chapter of Isaias, Caluin in Isa. 30. vers. 33. hath this discourse: By Topheth (without doubt) be vnderstandeth hel, not that we ought to dreame of any place in which the wicked are included, but be signifieth their miserable condition, and extreame tortures and torments: for the Papists (so he tearmeth the schoole Diuines) are foolish and ridiculous, who subtillie dispute of the nature and quality of that fire, and in explicating it diuersly, vex themselues. These grosse imaginations are to be hissed out, seing that we vnderstand the Prophet to speake figuratiuelie: hitherto are Caluins words. And thus we see that Luther denieth any soules to be in hel or heauen, before the day of judgment: and that Caluin denieth both the place and fire of hel: but of this point enough.

SECNION THE THIRD. Of our aduersaries impious assertions concerning Christ, and Christian religion.

I Come nowe to the third principal ground, to wit: the truth of Christian religion. And first I affirme, that generally al the secta­ries of our time, weaken this ground by that their common princi­ple, by which they auouch the holy scripture to be the only rule of faith among Christians: for hence principally proceede Anabap­tisme, Zauchius in his epistle be­fore his cōfes. Beza volumi ne 3. 190. et 255. Hipor. Method. p. 5. Bez. l. de be­ret, a ciuili magistr. puniēd. see hī also in ep. theolo. 81. p. 334. Libertinisme, Arianisme, Samosatenisme, Marcionisme, Eu­tichionisme, Nestorianisme, which as Zauchius a Protestant repor­teth, haue beene fetched out of hel by the ministers of Sathan in some of the reformed Churches. Yea Beza himselfe confesseth, that most foule and impudent errors of auncient Archeretiks being renued and polished, are in these our daies by fanatical men recalled from Hel. Vpon this ground they build, who reject the wordes Trinity, Consubstantial and the like, vvithout which (as Beza confesseth) the truth of the highest misteries of Christian religion cannot be explicated, nor the aforesaid heresies soundly confuted. And to discourse of these matters a litle more in particuler: haue not diuers newe Sectaries in plaine tearmes oppugned the truth of Christianity? It cannot [Page 13] be denied. And to omit that which is credibly reported of Bucer, Posseuinus in biblio. selecta part 1. l. 8. c 8. that dying he professed the Messias vvas not yet borne, I wil onlie report thinges knowne to the whole world. And first, what shal we say of Franciscus Dauid, Ederus ibid. c. 16. Frācis. Daui. ī Thess. 69. Posseui. ib. c. 14. et 16. who of a Catholik became first a Luthe­ran, afterwardes a Caluinist, lastly a publike denier of the blessed Trinitie; made Christ a pure man, willed al to burie the Gospel, and to returne to Moises, the lawe, and circumcision; affirmed, that the truth of the wordes of Christ and the Apostles, was to be tried by the lawe of Moises, and by other books of the Prophets of that lawe, which only (said he)In dispu. Al­bana Act. 3. di ei. In defensi. negotij de non inuocād. Christo fol. 21. ought to be vnto vs the rule of man­ners, life, and diuine worshippe. The same man being wished by some of his friends, at the least to confes Christ to be our Sauiour, answered; What shal I confesse him a Sauiour who could not doe so much as saue himselfe? Neither did this blasphemie die vvith the author, for hisCōfutat. in­dicij Poloni­carū Eccles. disciples succeeding him mette as Iewes on the saturdaies, and rejecting the Gospels, read the prophecies of the old Testa­ment. The diuinity of Christ was likewise denied before bySeruet. lib. 1. de trinitat. fol. 7. et 47. Mi­chael Seruetus, first also a Lutheran, then as some say a Caluinist; and at the same time and afterwards, byGeorg. Blā ­drata in disp. Albana act. diei 6. Ochi­mus in dial. 2. de trinit [...] Sō ­mer. aduersus Petrū. Carolū l. 1. c. 4. de fi­lio &c. Aelia­nus li. Germ. Math. Ia. Georgius Blandrata, Lelius So­zinus, Bernardinus Ochinus, Ioannes Sommerius, Nathaniel Elia­nus, Christianus Francus, and other such like blaspheamous com­panions, who were professors of the newe religion: vnto whome I also adde, theArticles of the family of loue art. 24. brethren of the familie of loue.

But a farre greater number of the new gospellers, denied Christ to be equal and consubstantial to his Father; the captaine of whom wasValēt. Gen­til. in protessibus. Calu. aduers. Gentil. Beza in prefat. ad dictūli. Caluini. Valentinus Gentilis, a disciple of Caluin, whom followed Ma­theus Gribaldus, Franciscus Lismanius, and an infinite number of others, especiallie in Polonia: yea some, and that not without cause, joine vnto these Melancton and Caluin himselfe, of whomMelāct. in lo­cis an. 1535. Wittēb. et Basil. an. 1541. the first affirmeth, something of the diuinè nature, or some diuine nature to be in Christ, and auerred him according to his deity, to haue been made inferior to his Father. TheSee Calu. ad c. 14. Gen. in Harmo. Euang. ad c. 22. Mat. v. 44. et ad c. 26. Mat. v. 64. Lib. aduers. Valēt. Gētil. refut. 10. ep. 2. ad Polonos &c. second affirmed also this last; and be­sides, made Christ a Priest according to his diuinity, placed him in the second or next degree to his Father as his vicar; auouched the the name of God by excellency only to pertaine to the Father, him [Page 14] only and properly to be the creator of heauen and earth; made the Sonne subject to his Father, and inferiour to him according to his diuinity,Stancarus contra Caluī. K. 4. see him also li. de tri­nitat. &c. And al this is justified by Stancarus himselfe a Prote­stant, who vnto Caluin writeth thus: What diuel (O Caluin) hath se­duced thee to speake with Arius against the Sonne of God, that thou migh­test shewe him to be depriued of his glorie, and nowe to aske to haue it gi­uen him, as though he had not alwaies had it? That Antechrist of the North whom thou doest impudently adore, Melanchton the Gramarian hath done this. And he concludeth: Be ware (O Christian reader, and especially al you ministers) beware of the bookes of Caluin, and principal­ly in the articles of the Trinity, Incarnation, Mediator, the Sacrament of baptisme, and predestination, for they containe wicked doctrine and A­rian blasphemies: insomuch as the spirit or soule of Seruetus burnt, ac­cording to the Platonist, may seeme to haue entred into Caluin. Againe, Al the Churches, Stancarus de trinitat. K. 8. See Simlerus in praefat. lib. de aeterno dei verbo. which those men cal reformed by the Gospel and the Sonne of God, and hold the faith of Geneua and Zurick concerning Christ, are Arian; neither can this be denied which I haue aboue demonstrated: thus Stancarus. Ioannes Modestus another Protestant wrote a book in the German tongue vvith this title; A demonstration out of the holy scri­ptures, that the Sacramentaries are no Christians, but baptized Iewes and Turks, Tubingae anno 1587. in quarto.

About the same time another booke was published by Phillipus Nicholaus a minister, with this title; A detection of the ground of the Caluinian sect, common with the auncient Arians and Nestorians, in which is demonstrated, that no Christian can joine himselfe to the Calui­nists, except be together vndertake the defence of Arianisme and Nesto­rianisme:Ioān. Schuts in l. 50. causa rū causa 48. Cōrad. Schlus selb. in prefa. theolo. Calui­nist. impsess. Francof. an. 1592. and 1594. Ibid. l. 1. art. 2. fo. 9. et 10. Fol. 9. Tubingae anno 1586.

A fourth calleth Mahometisme or Turcisme, Arianisme and Calui­nisme, three brothers and sisters, three paire of hose of the same cloth.

A fift man, more famous for learning then al the rest, and in dig­nity a Superintendent, who as he protesteth had read ouer & ouer the Sacramentaries works, in the feare of the Lord, for the space of three and twenty yeares, auoucheth; that the Caluinists doe nourish Arian and Turkish impiety in their hearts, which doth not seldome at fit times openly disclose it selfe. And that the Caluinists doe open the win­dow and dore to Arianisme and Mahometisme, as (saith he) our diuines by their publike bookes haue shewed: And this he proueth by the ex­ample and testimonie of one Adamus Neuserus a minister, who of [Page 15] an Arian became a Turke, and wrote a letter from Constantinople to one of his acquaintance in Germany, anno 1574. Iulij 2. In which he vsed these wordes: No man that I haue knowne in these our daies, be­came an Arian which was not before a Caluinist, Seruetus, Blandrata, Alciatus, Franciscus Dauid, Gentilis, Gribaldus, Siluanus and others. Wherefore, he that feareth lest that he falinto Arianisme, let him beware of Caluinisme: thus he.

Grawerus a sixt Lutheran, being a writer of these our daies, in the preface to his book by him called: The absurd, the most absurd of ab­surd Caluinistical absurdities, &c. pronounceth the like censure a­gainst Caluin and his schollers. For hauing discoursed of this mat­ter, at the length he vseth these wordes to his aduersarie.Grawer. prae­fat. Apologet. ī Absurda ab­surdorū absur dissima &c. printed anno 1605. § quar ta Spongia. Goe thy waies now and say that Arians come not forth of the Caluinists schoole. And for proofe of this, he also reporteth the same example of A­damus Neuserus, which also (saith he) Adam Neuserus in time past a Caluinist and a diuine of Heidelberge confessed, that he knewe not one in his time made an Arian, who was not first a Caluinist, as Franciscus Dauid, Blandrata, Siluanus, Gribaldus and others.

A seauēth man as greatly renouned for learning as any already na­med, discouereth another foundation of Arianisme, or rather of Iu­daisme: his book is intituled as followeth; Caluinus Iadaizans, Cal­uin Iudaizing or playing the Iewe, that is (saith he) the Iewish glosses and deprauations, by which Iohn Caluin hath not abhorred after a dete­stable manner, to corrupt the most famous or excellent places and testimo­nies of holy scripture, concerning the glorious Trinity, the deity or god­head of Christ, and the holy Ghost; but especially the prophecies af the Pro­phets of the comming of the Messias, his natiuity, passion, resurrection, See h [...] also in praefat. tra­ctat. de trinit. ascention into heauen and his sitting at the right hand of God. There is al­so added a confutation of the deprauations, by Eugidius Hunnius doctor of diuinity, and professor in the vniuersity of Wittenberg, Wittenber­gae anno 1593. and againe 1604. In his epistle dedicatorie he accu­seth Caluin, that by his foule deprauations he hath wrested the scri­ptures horribly, from their true sense another way, to the ouerthrowe of himselfe and others. And he addeth: To make this more fullie knowne I wil adjoyne diuers testimonies, which that Caluin by his wilie deceits hath weakned and made vnprofitable, to represse the Iewish perfidie, and the Arian infidelity. I thinke it good also (saith he) to adde moreouer those deprauations, by which he wrappeth or couereth the most noble pro­phecies [Page 16] of the Prophets touching the Messias, with Iewish corruptions; and hath not only most highly despised and laughed to scorne, that holy in­terpetations of Ecclesiastical writers both auncient and moderne: But in many sentences hath not feared, wickedly to mock or shift the holy expli­cations of the Euangelists and Apostles themselues: which if I doe not de­monstrate to the eie, especiallie when I shal come to those prophecies of the Prophets, let me neuer hereafter be credited in any thing whatsoeuer: hi­therto are his wordes. In his booke he discouereth this manner of proceeding of Caluin in his Commentaries vpon the scripture, tou­ching these places among others. In the first chapter, Gen. 1. vers. 1. Gen. 19. v. 24. Psal. 2. v. 7. (alleaged by S. Paul Acts 13. v. 33. and Hebr. 1. v. 5. cap. 5. v. 5.) Psal. 33. alias 32. v. 6. (concerning which see him also in the first booke of his Institutions chap. 13. § 15.) psal. 44. alias 45. v. 7. &c. (cited by the Apostle Hebr. 1. v. 8.) psal. 68. v. 19. (alleaged by the same Apostle Ephes. 4. v. 8.) Michae 5. v. 3. (see Math. 2. v. 6.) Isai 6. v. 3. &c. In the second chapter he reciteth his horrible Commentaries vpon these places; Genesis 13. v. 15. and concerning the natiuity of the Messias; Hieremy 31. v. 22. Aggeus 2. v. 8. touching S. Iohn Baptist Isai 40. v. 3. (alleaged, Math. 3. v. 3. Mark. 1. v. 3. Luc. 1. v. 4. Iohn 1. v. 23.) of Christs preaching, Deutr. 18. v. 15. (cited Acts the third, 21. 22. Act. 7. v. 37.) Isai 61. v. 1. (al­leaged by Christ himselfe, Luc, 4. v. 18.) of his comming to Hieru­salem, Zach. 9. v. 9. (cited Mat. 21. v. 5. Iohn. 12. v. 15.) of his Passi­on, Gen. 3. v. 15. Zach. 13. v. 7. (alleaged by Christ, Mat. 26. v. 32. Mark. 14. v. 27.) Zach. 11. v. 12. (cited by S. Mat. 27. v. 9.) Isa. 50. v. 5. et 6. psal. 8. v. 6. (see the first to the Corinthians, 15. v. 27. Hebr. 2. v. 7.) psal. 22. (alleaged by S. Math. 27. Ioh. 19. v. 23. Heb. 2. v. 12.) Isa. 63. v. 1. (see Apocal. 19. v. 13.) of Christs resurrection, psal. 16. v. 8. (cited by S. Peter, Act. 2. v. 25.) Ibid. v. 10. (alleaged, Act. 2. v. 31. cap. 13. v. 33.) Osee 13. v. 14. (cited, 1. Corint. 5. v. 54. Hebr. 2. v. 14. (touching his ascension, Zachary 14. v. 4. and his sitting on the right hand, psal. 110. v. 1. (cited diuers times by Christ and his A­postles.) These and other such like places Caluin (as this Protestant doctor plainely sheweth) hath peruerted and weakened with his blaspheamous and Iewish glosses, of which places diuers were by our Sauiour &c his Apostles themeselues expounded, as prophecies of Christ and his religion, but not so wel and litterallie (if we vvil beleeue Caluin.) And this his abhominable fault is likewise noted [Page 17] by Conradus and Grawer [...] before named.Conrad. in theolog. Cal­uinist. l. 2. c. 6. fol. 38. Grawerus in praefat. Apol. in absurda ab surdorū &c.

I could adde the like discourse touching some plaine proofes of the diuinity of Christ, contained in the new testament, but I should be ouer long; yet one for an exāple of therest I wil not omit, which is touching those words of our Lord,Iohn 10. In disp. Albā. act. 2. di [...]i. I and the Father are one: vp­on which Caluin putteth this blasphemous glosse. The ancient wri­ters or Fathers abused this place, to proue Christ consubstantial to the Father: for neither doth Christ dispute of vnity of substance, but of the consent which he hath with the Father: thus Caluin. And this his glosse was alleaged by the newe Arians or Trinitarians in defence of them­selues, in a disputation had between them and other Sectaries.

The aforesaid Hunnius answereth also very wel, two objections which may be made in defence of the said Caluin; the one, that he approueth sometimes the Euangelical and Christian sense of such testimonies; the other, that he impugneth in his workes very ear­nestly, the Trinitarians and enemies of Christes diuinity. To the first he saith,Caluin Iudai­zans cap. 2. p. 112. 113. anno 1604. that Caluin obserueth this order in expounding such prophecies; first by his Iewish glosses, he weakneth & bereaueth them of vvhat force he can, and shaketh the very foundation: and this done, he addeth something concerning the sense assigned by the Euangelists and Apostles; yet so (saith he) that he wil haue the first be thought the principal, and the other (as it were) besides the mat­ter. And although in his answere to the second, he doth not plain­ly say that Caluin nourished Arian impiety in his hart, and that ne­uerthelesse he impugned it sometimes in outward shewe, that he might the better and with lesse appearance of infidelity, sow the seeds of the same heresie, vvhich euery man would haue abhorred if they had proceeded from an open enemy of Christ: yet he af­firmeth al those enemies of Christ before mentioned, to haue issu­ed out of caluins schooles, and vseth these words.Pag. 172. Away also with that brag touching Seruetus, Gentilis, and the companions of their wic­ked acts Alciatus, Blandrata &c. sharply repressed by Caluin; for it is likewise long since knowne to the Christian world, out of what schooles and Churches those cruel monsters issued: neither is it obscure, that this kind of mocking and shifting the scriptures which is vsed by Caluin, is a grateful and wished helpe to the deuil, by which the force of one testimony after another, is shaken in the hartes of men vntil he bring them (thin­king nothing lesse) to the butte of Arian heresie: thus Hunnius. And [Page 18] hence also it is,Iacob. Andrae. ī praefa. refut. Apol. Danaei. that Iacobus Andraeas a [...] [...]heran of no lesse fame af­firmeth: that it is not to be marueiled, that very many Caluinists in Po­lonia, Transiluania, Hungaria & other places, fel to Arianisme, some also to Turcisme; vnto whose impietie (saith he) this Caluinian do­ctrine prepareth the way. I wil adde a vvord or two for the confir­mation of this whole discourse out of Hooker, vvho discoursing a­gainst our English Puritans for their dislike of the Creed of S. Atha­nasius, and the verse Glory be to the Father, and to the Sonne &c. and hauing affirmed that the weeder of heresie growne ripe, doe often in the very cutting downe scatter such seedes, as for a while lie vnseene and bu­ried in the earth: but afterwards freshly spring vp againe, no lesse perni­cious then at the first, Hook. book. 5. of Ecclesiastical policie § 42. pag. 89. vseth these wordes. Which thing they very wel knowe, and I doubt not wil easily confesse, who liue to their great both toile and greife, where the blaspheamies of Arians, Samosatenians, Tri­theits, Eutichians, and Macedonians are renewed: renewed by them, who to hatch their heresie, haue chosen those Churches as fittest neasts where Athanasius Creed is not heard. By them I say renewed, who fol­lowing the course of extreme reformation, were wont in the pride of their owne proceedinges to glory, that whereas Luther did but blowe away the roofe, and Zuinglius batter but the walles of Popish superstition, the last and hardest worke of al remained; which was, to raze vp the verie ground and foundation of Popery, that doctrine concerning the deity of Christ, which Satanasius (for so it pleased those impious forsaken mis­creants to speake) hath in this memorable Creed explaned: hitherto Hoo­ker. And marke vvel those vvords (who following the course of ex­treame reformation, and haue chosen those Churches as fittest neasts &c.) for by these he plainely seemeth to taxe the Caluinists or Puritans, who so extreamly seeke reformation, and besides dispersed them­selues into Polonia and Transiluania, where they raised some, if not al, and maintained other of these Heresies. But of Caluin and some Caluinists according to the judgement of learned Protestants I need not say more. Only I adde this as a thing most certaine that Cal­uin wrote farre more plainely of these pointes in his epistles to his disciples of Polonia then he did in other his vvorkes. In one of them he saith:Caluī epist. ad Polonos pag. 946. In epist. 2. si­ue īaamonit. ad Polonos. One God that is the Trinitie; you beleeue in God, that is in the Trinity: that they may knowe thee one God, that is the Trinitie. We reject this, not only as vnsauourie, but also as prophane. Againe, Although by the auncient Fathers this sentence of our Lord: The Father [Page 19] is greater then I; was restrained to the humane nature of Christ, yet I doubt not to extend it to the whole complexum, or person of God and man. And thus much of our aduersaries doctrine touching Christ and Christianisme.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. That in like sort they weaken the principal proofes of the said three groundes.

BESIDES this, the Sectaries by their doctrine diminish and shake the credit of the most forcible reasons, which are allea­ged for the proofe of the aforesaid groundes. And first I haue al­ready shewed, howe Caluin by his wicked glosses endeauoreth to ouerthrowe the force, euen of those prophecies of the old Testa­ment, which are alleaged by Christ & his Apostles for the proofe of Christianity; to which I adde, that they nor only bereaue the Church of al infallible meanes to proue the scriptures to be Cano­nical, as I wil declare hereafter: but also,Cap. 5. sect. 1. by their rejecting of cer­taine books receiued by vs into the Canon, partly vnder pretence that they haue been sometimes among christian Catholiks of doubt­ful authority, partly because (as they imagine) they containe con­tradictions; they seeme to giue others licence vpon the same pre­tences, to pronounce the same censure against other books which they admit: but of their rejecting bookes because their Canonical truth vvas sometimes doubted of,Cap. 1. sect. 2. I shal else-where in a more con­uenient place discourse. Let vs therefore here only declare by a fewe examples, vvhat may followe of their alleaging of contradi­ction, vvhich is the second pretence. And first it is wel knowne, that theyFulke vpon the Rhems testamet Luke Libr. 1. Ma­chab. cap. 6. li. 2. c. 1. et 9. item l. 1. c. 4. lib. 2. ca [...] impugne the authoritie of the books of the Machabees, because (as they say) they finde in them contractiōs concerning the death of Autiochus Illustris, the purgation of the temple made by Iudas Machabeus &c. The like arguments they bring against the books of Tobie, Iudith, and others: which if we admit, where­fore may not some person of an Atheistical humour by the same manner of arguing, deny and reject most of the Canonical books [Page 20] contained in the Bible? As for example, the booke of Genesis, be­cause in the first chapter of it vve reade,Gen. 1. v. 14. that the sunne and moone by which daies, nights, and yeares, are also there said to be distin­guished, were made on the fourth day, vvhich seemeth to implie contradiction; because, if it be so that daies and nightes are diui­ded by these planets, as it is there affirmed, and we see by daily experience;2. Reg. 23, 11. 1. Par. 11, 13. according to the new sect. Samuel 2. Chronic. 1.3. Reg. or 1. of Kings 7, 15. 2. Par. 3, 15. howe could there be three daies and nightes before these planets were made? also the second booke of the Kinges or the first of Paralippomenon, because that feeld which in the one is said to haue beene ful of lentiles, in the other is said to haue beene ful of barley. Moreouer, the third booke of the Kinges or the se­cond of Paralippomenon; because in the first we made, that the two great brazen pillers made by Salomon, were of thirty eight cubits in length: but in the second of Paralippomenon the length of them is said to haue beene thirty fiue cubits; yea, betweene the newe Te­tament and the old, and betweene the Euangelistes themselues in the new, such contradictions in outward shew may be espied: For S. Mathew telleth vs,Math. 1, 8.4. Reg. 8, 24. cap. 11, 1. et 2. ca. 12, 21. cap. 14, 21. that Ioram begat Ozias, whereas in the fourth booke of the kings which our aduersaries cal the second, it is writ­ten that Ioram was father to Ochozias, Ochozias to Ioas, Ioas to Ama­sias and Amasias (not Ioram) to Ozias otherwise called Azarias. Luc. 3. v. 36. it is said that Arphaxad was father to Cainan, and Cainan to Sale; but Genesis 10. vers. 34. Arphaxad is said to haue begotten Sale. Mathew 1. verse 16. the father of Ioseph our blessed Ladies husband is called Iacob; Luke 3.23. Mat. 10, 10. Mark. 6, 8. Mat. 26, 34. Luke 22, 34. Mat. 26, 74. Luke 22, 60. Iohn 18, 27. Marke 14, 30.68. et 71. Mark 15, 25. Iohn 19, 14. whereas S. Luke nameth him Heli. The same Saint Mathew reporteth that our Sauiour sending his Apostles to preach, forbad them to beare a rod or staffe in their hands; whereas S. Mark writeth, that he bad them take only a rod or staffe. Our Sauiour (if we beleeue S. Mathew and S. Luke) told S. Peter that before the cocke did crowe, he should deny him thrice, and so it vvas done according to the same Euangelists and S. Iohn. But S. Mark reporteth the words of our Sauiour to haue been, Before the cock shal crow twice thou shalt thrice deny me; and writteh that the cocke did first crowe presently after his first denial, and againe after his third. The same S. Mark affirmeth that Christ vvas crucified at the third howre; but S. Iohn telleth vs, that it was about the sixt howre before he was condemned by Pilate, Mathew 27. verse 19. Ieremias the prophet is named for Zacharias. Adde also, that our Sauiour himselfe foretold (as S. Ma­thew [Page 21] writeth) that he vvas to be in the hart of the earth three daies and three nights; Mat. 12, 40. yet euerie man knoweth, that he yeelded vp his sacred soule into the hands of his Father, about three howres after noone on the friday, and rose againe on the sonday morning verie earlie: wherefore, although we graunt that his soule was in the hart of the earth, and his bodie in the graue during part of three daies, yet we shal very hardlie finde out three nights.Acts 9, 7. Neither is S. Luke in the acts of the Apostles, altogether free from this shewe of contradi­ction: for albeit in the historie of the conuersion of S. Paul he say, that the men that went in company with him to Damascus, Act. 20, 10. heard the voice of Christ speaking vnto him, yet in another place he relateth the wordes of the same Apostle affirming, that they heard it not. Fi­nally the Apostle S. Paul himselfe whose epistles our aduersaries so highly esteeme, seemeth to contradict some parts of the old testa­ment: For example, he affirmeth (Galat. 3. vers. 17.) that betweene the time of a certaine promise made by God to Abraham (Genes. 12.13. or 22.) and the lawe giuen to Moises, there passed foure hundred and thirty yeares; whereas it is plainely gathered out of the historie of Genesis, that between the time of the said promise and the going of Iacob vvithal his family into Egipt, there passed at the least one hundred and threescore, of which Iacob (not then borne) liued about one hundred and thirty (Genes. 47. vers. 9.) vnto which if we adde foure hundred and thirty, during which the children of Israel remained in Egipt, as the expresse word of Exodus (chap. 12. vers. 40.) tel vs, and is insinuated (Genes. 15. vers. 23.) betweene the aforesaid pro­mise & the lawe giuen, we shal finde at the least fiue hundred nine­tie yeares, not only foure hundred and thirty,Hebr. 9, 4. as S. Paul recko­neth. In like sort, the same Apostle in his epistle to the Hebrewes, seemeth to contradict the third booke of the Kinges (vvhich our aduersaries cal the first) and the second of Paralippomenon; for he affirmeth, that in the arke of the old testament was a golden pot ha­uing Manna, & the rod of Aaron that had blossomed, 3. Reg. 8, 9. & the tables of the testament: But in the books of the old testament alleaged we read, that no other thing was in the arke, but the tables of the Testament. 2. Paral. 5. verse 10.

Diuers other such like sentences, in words seeming to containe contradictions, may be found in these and other bookes of holie scripture, which as I haue said, may moue Atheists vvith as great reason to impugne the authority of the said bookes, as our aduer­saries [Page 22] doe by the like arguments the books of Tobie, Iudith, the Ma­chabees, and other by vs receiued and by them rejected. Perhaps they wil answere, that the seeming cōtradictions which I haue assi­gned, are in very deed no contradictions, and that the places in appearance contrarie may verie vvel be reconciled. I replie and confesse, that in verie truth so it is; for al those places by our in­terpreters, are verie wel saued from contrariety and contradiction. And it is manifest, that the same holy Ghost vvho inspired al the writers of holy scripture, cannot contradict himselfe: and these difficulties of holy scriprure are onlie to tame our vnderstanding, and increase our merit. But like as these places are brought to ac­cord: so likewise are those and euen with as great case, which they alleage to disproue the authority of those bookes vvhich they re­ject and vve receiue. Neither can an Atheist desirous to impugne both, discerne any difference: wherefore I conclude, that by this manner of proceeding they vveaken the authoritie of the vvhole Bible, and offer an occasion to Atheists of rejecting the whole.

Vnto this I may adjoine, that Beza rejecteth, or (at the least) doubteth of the truth of the whole historie of the adulterous wo­man, recorded in the eight chapter of S. Iohns Gospel. And why so?Beza in cap. 8. Ioan. he yeeldeth these reasons. The great variety of reading, maketh me doubt of the whole matter. To speake opinion, I doe not dissemble that to be by me worthily suspected, which those auncient writers with so great a consent, either rejected or were ignorant off. Furthermore, that the storie reporteth that Iesus alone was left in the temple with the woman, I know not how probable it is, and that it writeth that Iesus wrote with his finger in the ground, seemeth to me nouum et insolitum a thing strange and not accustome, neither can I conjecture howe it can fitly be ex­plicated: thus Beza. But if these reasons be sound and sufficient, the same may justlie be pleaded against diuers other parcels of holie scripture, and consequently Beza by this his manner of arguing, weakneth the authority of the same.

Secondly, they laugh and scoffe at the ceremonies vsed in the Catholike Church, by which they induce their followers to think euen as basely, of diuers ceremonies prescribed by God in the old lawe.Leuit. 16. vers. 21. &c. As of that for example, that the high Priest should put both his hands vpon the head of a liue goate, and confesse ouer him the sinnes of the childeren of Israel, and then should send away the said goate [Page 23] into the desert, bearing vpon him al their iniquities. The like may be said of the water of aspertion, vvith vvhich the vncleane vvere sprinckled, which was made of running water; Numer. 19. the ashes of a red cow burned, scarlet, cedar, and bishop, and a thousand other ceremonies far more reprehensible in an Atheists judgement, then those which in our Church they cal Idolatrous and superstitious. I adde also that by the same rule, they giue an Atheist licence to scoffe at di­uers actions of the old Prophets: as of that of Ahias Selonites, 3. Reg. 11. verse 29. 1. of Kings who to signifie to Ieroboam that he should be king of ten Tribes of the twelue, Cut a newe cloake which he wore into twelue pieces, and de­liuered him ten of them: yea, by the same rule he may also laugh at diuers precepts of God himselfe to the said Prophets: As for example, at that of God to Ezechiel, Ezech. 4. when he had him take a bricke and drawe in it the figure of the citty of Ierusalem: he commaunded him likewise to sleep on his left side three hundred and ninety daies, and and in the meane time, to eate daylie a certaine quantitie of bread made of diuers sorts of graine, and baked in the dung of buls: then to take a rasor and shaue off al the haire of his head and beard,Ezech. 5. and by weight to deuide it into three parts; of which, the first part he willed him to burne in the middest of the citty; the second he willed him to choppe with a knife; and the last he willed him to scatter in the winde. And truly I see no reason in the things themselues, why an Atheist should thinke himselfe more vvorthie of reprehension for scoffing at these actions, then our aduersaries for running the like course against our ceremonies. Nay I adde further, that by their scoffing at our ceremonies, they offer euil persons an occasion to scoffe at certaine ceremonies, vsed euen by our Lord himselfe, and recorded by the Euangelistes; I wil exemplifie in one particular. Caluin calleth our ceremonie of touching vvith spitle the nostrils and eares of one that is to be baptised, before baptisme,Caluī de Ec­cle. reformat. Willet in his āswere to the Apolog. epist. sect. p. 106. Mark 7, 33. Iohn 9, 6. absurd and ridiculous, and Willet calleth it an interpretiue toy: But who doth not see that this may be a motiue to others, to pronounce the same cen­sure against certaine like actions of Christ? as that, when healing a man deafe and dumbe spitting he touched his tongue: or that when gi­uing sight to a blinde man, He spit on the ground & made clay of spitle, and spred the clay vpon his eies. I could produce other such examples.

Thirdly, I haue declared aboue, that miracles proceeding from God himselfe vvho can neither deceaue nor be deceaued, are a [Page 24] principal motiue to induce vs to beleeue the supernatural misteries of our faith. But the authority of these also is weakned by our ad­uersaries: for although they cānot deny, but thatIob. 14.12. Mark. 16, 17 Christ bestowed vpon his Apostles, & their successors the gift of working miracles; yet, because such miracles in euery age since the first beginning of christianity, haue bin done by those of our church as testimonies of their doctrine, & sanctity of life; they eitherSee Abbot ī his ans. co D. Hils sixt rea­son. Fulk vpō the Rhems te­stam. 2. Thes. 2.9 Willet in his Sinop. controu. 2. qu. 3. deny that such mira­cles were euer wrought (notwithstāding that they are recorded by al historians, yea euen by eie witnesses of the same of great credit) or else they attribute the working of thē to the deuil, or to natural cau­ses. The first two shifts are vsed by theCeturiat. in singulis fere Centurijs. Cent. 5. c. 10. col. 1393. Ceturiators, who among the rest of S. Martins miracles written by S. Sulpitius Seuerus an author of great credit & renoune, & a disciple of the same S. Martin whiles he liued, giue this cēsure; that either they were false, or els that S. Mar­tin was a conjurer. The same deuises are approued byCalu. in prae fat. Inst. Fox p. 204. col. 2. Num. 7. Ha­stīgs in his Apolog. agaīst the Waraw. encoūt. 2. See also Sutcl. in his ans. to Kellisons Suruey cap. 11. p. 99. Caluin, Fox & others. The third is added by Sir Francis Hastings. But euerie man may easily perceaue, that the same shifts may be vsed by an Atheist for the ouerthrow of al miracles whatsoeuer, although expressed in the scripture it selfe, & wrote by Christ & his Apostles. for exāple, in the life of S. Martin mētioned writtē by Sulpitius Seuerus, we read that S. Martin raised 3. dead men to life, cast deuils out of men pos­sessed, that a woman was cured of an issue of bloud by touching of his garment &c. These things say the new sectaries are either fables deuised by the said author, or done by the power of the deuil or by some natural causes: wherfore may not then Atheists say, that either it is a fable thatIohn 11. Act. 9. Math. 9. v. 20. &c. Christ raised Lazarus & others, or S. Peter Tabitha, or that our sauiour cast out deuils, or that a woman was healed of an issue of bloud by touching the hem of his garmēt; or else that these things were done (as the Iewes said) by the power of Belzebub prīce of the deuils, or by the application of some natural causes? Surely, he wil haue as litle regard of scriptures as they haue of the works of Sulpitius Seuerus, and therefore if they grant it of the miracles of S. Martin, and others, he wil affirme it of al the rest although mentio­ned in the said scriptures. In like sortAugust. lib. 22. de ciuit. cap. 8. S. Augustine in his books de ciuitate Dei (which no man wil denie to be of as great authoritie as any other of his vvorks)Sermo de diuersis 31. 32. 33. epist. 103. and else where, relateth diuers miracles vvrought by the reliques of S. Steeuen the first Martir: as that by touching them a blinde vvoman receaued her sight, that a Bishop [Page 25] by carying them in procession was cured of a fistula, and that two by praying in the place where they were reserued, were cured of a palsie. And both S. Ambrose and S. Augustine doe the like,Ambr. serm. 5. de Sāct. et l. 7 ep. 53. 54. eau. Romanae. Aug. l. 9. con­fess. c. et l. 22. de ciu. c. 8 &c. Lib. 4. or 2. Reg. cap. 13. Act. 19. v. 12. con­cerning the reliques of S. Geruasius and Protasius martirs; as that a blind man was cured by touching of the beire or coffin wheron the reliques were caried: vvhich miracles with the same answere are rejected by our aduersaries. But who seeth not that an Atheist may with the like reason, reject the miracle which was done by the re­liques or dead body of Elisaeus? by the touching of which (as we reade in the bookes of the Kinges) a dead man was raised to life; and others wrought by napkins and handkerchers which had tou­ched the body of S. Paul, which are said to haue done miracles in the acts of Apostles. The like discourse might be made concer­ning the cure of Naaman Sirus, by washing himselfe seauen times in the riuer of Iordan at the commandment of Elizeus the prophet:4. Reg. 6. the said Prophets making of the iron of an hatchet to swimme vp­on the vvater of the said riuer, and diuers other miracles recorded both by holy writ, & the monuments of ecclesiastical writers of al ages: against al which, our aduersaries offer an occasion to Atheists to pronounce the selfe same censure. Moreouer, whereas the ap­paritions of soules departed (according to the judgement of al the learned both auncient and moderne) yeeldeth a most strong proofe of our soules immortallitie, these Sectaries deny that euer there haue beene any such apparitions; and consequently, seeke to bereaue vs of this important argumēt: their words are so plaine that this cannot be denied. Luther himselfe writeth thus:Luth. in ex­plicat. Euan­gelij de Diui­te et Lazaro. Idem in Euā. dominicae 24. a Trinitate. No mans soule euer since the beginning of the world hath appeared, for neither doth God permit it. Againe, There is no doubt but it is wholy the Deuils worke or doing, Quic quid vspiam est spirituum apparentium, whatsoe­uer is any where of soules or spirits appearing. Zuinglius is of the same mind: for these words he hath in his answere to one Valentinus. zuing. resp. ad Valentinū comparem. Those things which thou babblest of the apparitions of soules, are vaine and idle: for the soules which are seperated from their bodies, are in hea­uen or in hel. Those which dwel in heauen neuer come downe, those which are in hel cannot be deliuered: the like hathBullīger de­cad. 4. ser. 10. Bullinger and others.

Finally, their denial of freewil & the merit of good works, doe weaken the proofe of the immortallity of the soule, the doctrine of the Apostle that god is a rewarder of our actions, & consequētly of [Page 26] the proofe also of heauen & hel, as euery man wil confes: & there­fore I cōclude the whole discourse of this chapter, that these Secta­ries Church is a seminarie of Atheisme, and that by their doctrine they shake and euen ouerthrowe the verie groundes of al religion: vvhich their assertions being supposed as true, they can neither proue nor defend, against Atheists and enemies of Christianitie.

Chapter 2. The newe Sectaries debase the true Christian faith, and in place of it, extol a presumptuous faith by themselues inuented.

OVR aduersaries doe not only (as I haue nowe shewed) o­uerthrowe or at the least weaken, the principal grounds of al religion; but also in some sort destroy the verie na­ture of faith it selfe, by which we first come to a superna­tural knowledge of God.Chap. 5. For wheras in the first part of this treatise I haue proued, that faith which concurreth to our justification and saluation, and is the ground of religion, and the foundation of spi­ritual life in this world, to be a vertue infused by God into our vn­derstanding, by the helpe and force of which we giue a most firme assent vnto al those thinges, vvhich are reuealed by God to his Church, because they are so reuealed: the followers of the newe religion (I thinke partlie because, as I haue noted in the chapter next before, they haue weakned the authority of miracles, which is the principal supernatural proofe of such misteries) debase and as it were despise this faith, and in place of it magnifie a newe in­uention of man, a Chimerical kinde of faith, ful of presumption, which hath neither ground in holy scripture, nor in any approued author; but is repugnant both to the vvord of God, and the au­thoritie of al antiquity.

For they distinguish two especial kindes of faith: the one (say they) is historical,See Caluī In­stitut. booke 3: § 9. & 10. Calu. l. 3. In­stit. c. 2. § 7. by vvhich we beleeue the blessed Trinity, the incarnation, passion, death, resurrection and ascention of Christ, and other articles of the Creed; the other is a justifying faith, vvhich Caluin defineth to be a stedfast and assured knowledg of Gods kindnesse [Page 27] or beneuolence towards vs, which being grounded vpon the truth of the free promise in Christ, is both reuealed to our minds & sealed in our harts by the holy ghost. Caluī ibid. § 16. see Luth. ī serm. domī. 2. quadrages. In explicating this more at large the same Caluin affirmeth that there is none truly faithful but he, who being perswaded with a sound assurednes that God is his merciful and louing father, doth promise himselfe al things vpon trust of Gods goodnesse; but he who leaning vpon the assu­rednesse of his owne saluation, doth confidently triumph vpon the deuil and death. Hence proceede these vvordes of Luther: Luth. in c. 2. ad Galatas. See certaine quest. & ans. touching the doctr. of pre­dest. printed betweene the newe and old testam. of the yeares 1593. and 1601. Beleeue that Christ wil be thy saluation & mercy, and so it wil be vndoubtedly. Our aduersaries workes are ful of such sentences. And that they pre­fer this second kind of faith before the first; yea that they attribute vnto it our whole justication, it is apparant in alLuc. Osiād. ī Enchirid. cō tra Anabap­tistas cap. 2. their discourses of this matter. OurNotes vpon the Eng. test. prīt. an. 1592 and 1600 in 1. Cor. 13, 2. Willet cōtro. 19. pag. 877 English sectaries cal the first an historical faith and make it common to deuils: but Caluin discourseth after this sort.Calu. lib. 3. Institut. cap. 2.9. and 10. Ibi. l. 39. &c. Many indeed (saith he) beleeue that there is a God, and that the history of the Gospel or other parts of scripture are true &c. but this i­mage or shadow of faith as it is of no value: so it is not worthy of the name of faith. Wherefore according to Caluin, although we beleeue the Trinity and al other articles of our faith neuer so firmely; yet if we beleeue not that vndoubtedly God is our friend, and that we shal most certainly be saued, it profiteth vs nothing: d Yea (saith he) who impugne this doctrine slanderously speake: against the spirit of God, horri­bly rob God, foully stumble in the first principles of religion, faine a Chri­stianity that needeth not the spirit of Christ, and shewe a token of mise­rable blindnesse: hitherto Caluin. But if we beleeue this without a­ny other thing, we are secure of our saluation: wherefore, Luther hath this exclamation.Lut. de cap tiu. Babi. c. de bapt. et ī ser. sic deus dile­xit mundum Thou seest how rich a Christian man is, who although he wil be cannot by neuer so great sinnes loose his saluation, ex­cept he refuse to beleeue: for of this beliefe he speaketh. I intend not here to confute the asurd assertion of our aduersaries, that faith on­ly doth justifie, which they vnderstand of this their presumptuous faith; for this controuersie belongeth not to this place: only I wil adde a word or two in disproofe of their said faith, and so make an end of this chapter. First therefore it is apparant, that this faith vvas neuer heard of in the vvorld before Luthers daies: for there is no description or mention of it in the holy scripture, nor in any authour more ancient then himselfe, as I could easily demonstrate by yeelding the true sense of al those testimonies, vvhich are by [Page 28] them brought forth for the confirmation of this their doctrine. Yea Melanchton himself Luthers scholler seemeth to confesse, that it was an inuention of that age;Melanchton in praefat. in 2. tom. Luth. for he telleth vs, that Luther learned his opnion of an old Frier of his owne order, when as yet he liued in his cloister, vvho alleaged for it a certaine sentence of S. Bernard nothing (indeede) to the purpose: wherefore it is very probable, that this old Frier gathered his opinion out of certaine wordes of S. Bernard by himselfe falsly vnderstood, which Luther vpon dis­contentment taking from him, began to confirme by the authority of holy scriptures by himselfe falsified and corrupted, or else wre­sted to a newe and strang sense.

Secondly, it is also manifest that this faith altogether destroieth hope, for howe can hope be together vvith an assurance and cer­tainty of saluation? It also taketh away al feare of sinne, damnati­on, or losse of the fauour of God which is so highly commended in his holy vvord;Phil. 2. v. 12. insomuch as the Apostle himselfe biddeth vs worke our saluation with feare and trembling. Nay farther, vvhoso­euer is indued with this faith cannot say our Lords praier: for he that is assured that his sinnes are forgiuen, and thinketh this assu­rance necessarie to his justification, cannot in conscience pray for the forgiuenesse of his trespasses or offences, as Christ himselfe taught vs to doe. Moreouer, this faith is a lying and false faith, which I proue after this sort: The power of justifying which is in this faith according to Caluin and the rest of his bretheren, con­sisteth not in the worthinesse of the worke which is to beleeue, as before hath beene signified:See Willet in Sinopsis con­trouers. 19. part. 2. pag. 827. neither doth it justifie as our worke, for so they confesse it to be a sinne; but when this worke of faith is in vs, then God of his only mercy through the merits of Christ doth justifie vs, and Christes justice is made ours: so that faith in their opinion, is only the instrument by vvhich vve apprehend Christes justice, and his justice is made ours. Now thus I argue: Either before they beleeue themselues to be just and Christes ju­stice to be theirs, they are just in very deede and Christ justice is theirs, or no? If these thinges be true before, then they are not justified by this faith: If they be not, then their faith is false. For they beleeue that which is not true; because it must needs be gran­ted, that this faith being as it were the instrument by vvhich their justification is vvrought, is before their justification; and conse­quently, [Page 29] they beleeue themselues [...]st before they are just. More­ouer, howe doth this doctrine stand with other their positions? for doe not they hold, that euery one of the elect being predestinate from al eternity is the friend of God, & just as soone as he hath his being in his mother wombe? Doe not they auerre, that the chil­dren of the faithful are sanctified for diuers generatiōs? If they doe not maintaine these propositions as true, vvhy deny they the ne­cessity of baptisme, affirming that infants may be saued without it? Why doe they make it only a seale of justice, not the instrument or cause of justification or sanctification? Is it not also a cōmon prin­ciple among Protestants, that God doth neuer hate whom once he loued, or loue whom once he hated? these thinges truly be so ap­parant that they cannot be denied. But if they be granted it must needs also be confessed, that euery one of the elect (who only can according to their doctrine haue justice) were euer just, and neuer can be wicked. Of which it consequently followeth that they are just before they can haue actual faith, and consequently that by faith they are not justified.

I adde also, that according to their owne ground nothing is to be beleeued, but that which is expresly contained in the scripture, or manifestlie gathered out of the same: And vvhere doth euery man finde in the Bible that most assuredly he is just, elect and shal­be saued? verilie no such thing is found? wherefore they doe con­trarie to their owne rule in beleeuing it. Finally, I haue declared aboue, that faith to be a true Christian faith and to concurre to our justification, by vvhich vve beleeue the articles and misteries of Christian religion; vvherefore, seeing that there is but one such faith, this faith of our aduersaries cannot haue that prerogatiue.

And hence I inferre, that these Sectaries by disgracing and neg­lecting the true Christian faith, and esteeming so highly of a for­ged deuise of Luthers or of his masters an old Frier, ouerthrowe in effect al Christian faith and religion, or at the least giue their fol­lowers a just occasion of contemning the beliefe of such misteries, as euerie Christian is bound to beleeue. Some man (perhaps) wil seeke to free our English Protestants from this doctrine, because in their publique administration of baptisme, they cause the minister to demaund only of the childe, whether he beleeue the article of the Creed, and make no mention of Luthers and Caluins strange ju­stifying [Page 32] [...] [Page 33] [...] [Page 30] faith, vvhich (as it is like) they vvould not haue omit­ted, if they had thought the justification of the child wholie on it to depend. I answere, that in very truth for the reason alleaged, they may seeme to be of that opinion.See the que­stions & an­swers concer­ning predesti­nation, prīted in those Bi­bles before the new test. Neuerthelesse, if the Bible printed with notes in the yeare 1589. 1592. and 1600. be by them allowed and approued, euerie man may see that they agree with o­ther sectaries in this matter. I adde also, that is they hold justificati­on to be wrought by any other faith then this newly deuised, they disagree from their principal captains and al theirAbbot in his answere to Hil reason 3. pag. 96 Perkins in his re­formed Catholike, touchīg justification of a sinner. brethren, tou­ching the article of justification; which (as they say) is the verie ground of Christian religion. But our aduersaries say, that accor­ding to S. Iames the deuils beleeue and tremble. I grant it, but the faith of deuils is a natural and a kinde of historical faith, grounded vpon natural reason and discourse, much like vnto the beliefe of Heretikes: Our habitual faith is a supernatural gift or habit infused into our soules, by which our vnderstanding it lightened, lifted vp, and made able and apt to beleeue thinges reuealed by God: our actual faith is an acte of our vnderstanding, proceeding also from the said habite or light by which such things are actually be­leeued because they are for reuealed. Moreouer, their faith is with despaire and hatred; ours may be joyned with hope and charitie: wherefore, there is a great difference between our faith and theirs; and our Sectaries doe very euil in making no distinction betweene them.

Chapter 3. That our aduersaries deny the infallible authority of the Church, and affirme it to haue erred and perished.

IN the sixt chapter of the first part of this treatise, I haue affirmed and proued the church of Christ to be the chiefe piller and ground of truth, in which is preserued entirelie and sincerely that corps, summe, or depositum of Christian doctrine, which vvas by Christ deliuered to his Apostles, and by them to their successours; and that through the perpetual assistance [Page 31] of the holie Ghost she cannot erre or perish: and consequently, that of her we ought & may securely learne, not only what articles of faith haue beene reuealed by God to his Church; but also what concerning euery particuler point we are to beleeue, and what to auoid: and that in following her doctrine and judgement vve can­not be deceiued. But because the professors of the newe religion cānot shew a continual succession of their faith, religion, & church in any one corner of the world, since the Apostles daies: yea, be­cause they cannot name one for euery hundred yeares that was of their Church and beliefe, they are forced to say that the Church erred for some ages, and was for a time cleane ouerthrowne.

Luth. in Co­mitijs Wor­mat. an. 1522. Luther first affirmed this to haue fallen out, during the time be­tweene the Councel of Constance and the first preaching by him of his newe doctrine, to vvit, for the space of some hundred yeares. Soone after,Authores repetit. confess. Augustanae. some of his followers affirmed the Church to haue erred three hundred yeares before Luther. And of this opinion see­methFox in his protestatiō to the Church of England. Iohn Fox, who telleth vs; that al was turned vp side downe, al order broken, true doctrine defaced, and Christian faith extinguished in the time of Pope Gregory the seauenth, about the yeare 1080. and of Innocentius the third about the yeare 1215. After this,Luth. to. 7. l. cōtr. Papa­tum. Idem in captiu. Babil. et in suppu­tat. mundi. Luther attributed six hundred yeares to the Apostasie of the Church, and last of al one thousand: of which opinion is alsoCaluī ep. ad Sadoletū et in prophetas mi nores passim. Caluin. But al of them agree, that for some ages the visibie Church altogether er­red; and that for a certaine time, there vvas in the world no true preaching of the word of God, or lawful administration of the Sacraments.

Hence we read in theApol. of the Church of Englād par. 4. p. 124. Apologie of the Church of England, that truth vnknowne and vnheared off, at that time began to giue shine in the world, when Luther and Zuinglius sent of God beganne in preach the Gospel: the like sentences are found in the works ofCalu. ī resp. ad Sado. p. 185. 176. l. 4. Inst. c. 18. § 1. et 2. c. 1. § 11. c. 17 § 12. et 3. Caluin, Bez. in praef. test. no­ui ad principē Condens. Beza, Melāch. ī locis comun. 1. edit. Melanchton, Wil. in sinops. cōtrou. 2. qu. 2. p. 61. edit. ā. 1600. Willet and others. And although some of them as­signe an inuisible church, which (as they say) flourished in al ages: yet this they cannot proue, because a thing inuisible & vnknowne cannot be proued; and besides it is nothing to the purpose, be­cause we treate of the infallible authority and continuance of the Church visible. And certainly although we should confesse, that such an inuisible Church was in the world, and preserued in itselfe alwaies the truth (which is most false, and shalbe confuted in my [Page 32] treastise of the definition and notes of the church:) yet it must needs be graunted, that it vvas done inuisiblie; and consequently, this Church could not direct the whole world in al truth.

But that they accuse the whole Church of errour, it wil suffici­ently appeare in the next chapter; where I wil declare, that they attribute errours in faith to general Councels, vvhich be the su­preame assembles and highest courts of the said Church. And it is sufficiently purpose at this present, if they graunt the Church to haue erred in any one point: for a possibility of errour in one ar­ticle of faith, proueth a possibility of errour in al; and consequent­lie, taketh from her al infallible authority, and maketh her a fal­lible and vncertaine ground.

Chapter 4. They reject al particuler groundes of faith aboue assigned, and proued to be found in the Church of Christ, be­sides the holie Scriptures.

LET vs now descend to the particuler groundes of faith, which we haue aboue proued to be found in the Church of Christ. And although our aduersaries denial of the infallible authority of the Church, and her assistance by the holy ghost, on which the certainty of al such particuler groūds dependeth (as I haue shewed before) be a sufficient proofe, not on­lie that they reject them but also that (according to their doctrine) they haue no infallible meane to know what articles haue beene by God reuealed to his Church; yet, let vs declare the matter more in particuler and at large.

But concerning vnwritten traditions, the decrees of the Pope, the doctrine of the Romane Church, yea of the whole Church of Christ, I need say nothing; because they al with one consent and voice exclaime against these groundes as superstitious, friuolous, and of no moment. The difficulty therefore is onlie concerning holie Scriptures, general and prouincial Councels, and the vni­forme consent of Fathers; of vvhich, the first is challendged by [Page 33] them al, the other two by some of them only: I wil beginne with the two last.

And concerning general Councels,Luther lib. de Concilijs. Luther doth not only repre­hend the first councel held by the Apostles at Hierusalem, of which we read in theAct. 15. acts of the Apostles, and affirme that the decrees thereof bound no man in conscience: but also calleth the Fathers (which afterwards assembled themselues in Councels) sicophants and flatterers of the Pope. In particuler, he calleth the Canons of the first general Councel of Nice, celebrated in the daies of Constantine the great Emperour (whom ourBarlow in his relatiō of the conferēce held at Hāpt. Court p. 69. King by no meanes wil haue ap­preached of Poperie) bay, straw, wood, stuble; and demandeth whe­ther the holy Ghost hath nothing else to doe in Councels, but to binde and burden his ministers with impossible, daungerous, and vnnecessarie lawes: such (according to him) were decreed in that Councel; I think he meaneth concerning the chaste and single life of Bishops and mi­nisters. The like censure he pronounceth against al other general Councels; and concludeth his discourse in that place, that more light is brought to Christian doctrine by that Catechisme which children learne, then by al the Councels. In another place he addeth: thatLuth. in prologo li. contra statuta Ec­clesiae. he wil not haue his doctrine judged by any, neither by Bishops nor by al the Angels, but that be wil by his doctrine judge the Angels. Caluin giueth leaue to euerie priuate man, to examine the decrees of Councels by the exact rule of holie scripture.Caluin book 4. Instit. cap. 9. § 8. & 11. see also § 9. Let no names (saith he) or au­thorities of Councels, Pastours, Bishops, hinder vs, but that we may ex­amine the spirits of al men by the rule of the word of God. He likewise calleth the Fathers of the first general Councel of Nice, Idem lib. de vera ecclesiae reformatione opuscul. pag. 480. see him also booke 4. of his Instit. chap. 9. § 10. Phana­tices (that is) men phanatical or deluded by the devil:Bez. in praefat. noui test. anno 1565. Beza tel­leth vs that in the best times, such was partlie the ambition of Bi­shops, partlie their foolishnes and ignorance, that the verie blinde may perceiue sathan verilie to haue beene President of their assem­blies: the like censure is pronounced by Musculus, Vrbā. Regi. 1. part. operū de eccl. fo. 51. Vrbanus Regius and others: The ministers of the church of Scotland in the confes­sion of their faith write thus:Cōfess. of the faith of Scotl. prīt. at the ēd of the harm. of cōfess. p. 19. See the said Harmonie of cōfessiōs sect. 1. pag. 14. Without just examinatin we doe not re­ceiue whatsoeuer is obtruded vnto men vnder the name of a general Coun­cel; for plaine it is, that as the men assembled were men, so haue some of them manifestlie erred, and that in matters of great weight & importance. So farre then as the Councel proueth the determination and commandement that in giueth, by the plaine word of God, so soone doe we reuerence and [Page 34] embraces the same: hitherto the confession of Scotland. Out of which their vvordes as also out of the like assertions of others, I gather; that our aduersaries commonlie giue no more creditte to general Councels, and consequently to the whole church of Christ, which they represent, then is to be giuen to the worst, and meanest man liuing; yea, then may be giuen to the deuil himselfe. For these may also be beleeued, if they proue that true which they affirme by the authority of holy scripture, which they al require as necessary be­fore the decree of councel be beleeued. Secondly I gather, that ac­cording to their assertions we may likewise lawfully examine these their sentences or decrees, whether they be according to the rule of scripture or no, (for they were also men subject to errour:) and moreouer, because vve finde them not so (as appeareth by that which hath beene already said) we may also reject them as repug­nant to the said scripture. The like leaue they giue in like sort to those of their owne company; yea, to euerie priuate man whatsoe­uer concerning al their canons and constitutions: wherefore, their followers or subjects are not to be reprehended according to these opinions and decrees, if they examine their sentences and canons by the word of God; and reject them, if in their conscience accor­ding to their owne judgement, they finde them not conformable to the same.

But what an absurd thing is it, that a fewe ministers should pre­sume to pronounce so seuere a censure against such auncient, vene­rable, and learned assemblies, highly of esteemed by al true Christi­ans in al ages euen since the beginning of Christianity? whence wil they haue these errours to haue proceeded? Certainly, they must needs attribute them either to ignorance, or malice of the Bishops and Prelates assembled. But are they either for number, learning, or piety to be compared with them? They are not without doubt, as wil easily appeare vnto any learned man, that shal with any dif­ference read the Ecclesiastical histories, and viewe the vvorkes of both sides. Neither haue ministers being combred for the most part with wiues, children and such other impediments, that op­portunity of giuing themselues to studie and deuotion as the aun­cient Bishops had, who liued a chast and single life, and gaue them selues altogether to spiritual affaires, and vvere commonly verie holy men: Wherefore, seing that they also liued nearer to the A­postles [Page 35] daies, it is verie probable, yea certaine, that they better vn­derstood and knewe the true sence of the word of God, then these newe Sectaries doe: and seing that their sanctity was so great, ma­lice could no vvaies blinde them. Verilie any indifferent man, if the matter were put to his censure (although those ancient Fathers had enjoyed no farther warrant of the assistance of the holie Ghost then these newe Gospellers doe) would rather imagine truth to be with them, then with these: But our aduersaries alleage for them­selues, that euery particuler man assembled in a general Councel may erre. I answere, that true it is that euery particuler man (the Bishoppe of Rome being excepted) is subject to errour: but seing that the Popes judgement joyned vvith the assent of the vvhole Church in a general Councel, is infallible, and in such a case can­not be erroneous; and no general Councel is of supreame force without his confirmation: it followeth, that the decrees of a lawe­ful general Councel cannot be false. The reason vvherefore the confirmation of al Councels dependeth so much of the Popes au­thority, is, because he is ministerial head of the Church of Christ, and consequently the bodie must needs haue his assent and confir­mation, before the constitutions by it made be of force, and cer­tainely knowne to be free from errour and falshood. Finallie, our Protestants of England concerning general Councels haue decreed as followeth:Articles of faith agreed vppon in the Conuocations of the years 1562. and 1604. art. 21. See Fulk vp­pon the Rhēs testamēt Mathew 8, 14. Whitakers in his answer to Campions 4. reason in En­glish pa. 110. Field book 4. of the church chapt. 6. pag. 228. General Councels (for as much as they be an assembly of men, whereof al be not gouerned with the spirit, and word of God) may erre, and sometimes haue erred, euen in thinges pertaining vnto God: wherefore, thinges ordained by them as necessary to saluation, haue neither strength nor authority, vnlesse it may be declared that they be taken out of holy scriptures: The like censure is pronounced by their principal diuines. And M. Field telleth vs, that Bishops assembled in a general Councel may interpret the scripture, and by their authority suppresse al them that shal gainsay such interpretations, and subject euery man that shal disobey such determinations they consent vpon; to excommunication and censures of the like nature. Out of which his assertion it is euident, that according to the prouidence and wisedome of almighty god, general Councels should not be subject to errour in such matters; for otherwise men might be forced and that according to his ordi­nances, to obey such general Councels erring and propounding false doctrine. But this notwithstanding, the same Field in another [Page 36] place concludeth,Lib. 4. cap. 5. pag. 204. Luther tome 2. lib. contra regem Angli­ae fol. 342. that Councels may erre in matters of greatest con­sequence.

Of the testimonie of the auncient Fathers thus writeth Luther: in his booke against king Henrie the eight of England. In the last place Henry bringeth in for the sacrifice of the Masse the saying of the Fa­thers. Here say I, that by this my sentence is confirmed: for this is it which I said, that the Thomistical asses haue nothing that they can bring forth, but a multitude of men and the auncient vse. But I as against the sayings of the Fathers, of men, of Angels, of deuils, oppose not the auncient consent, not a multitude of men, but the Gospel, the word of the one eternal maje­sty: Here I stand, here I sit, here I remaine, here I boast, here I triumph, here I insult, ouer the sayings of men be they neuer so holy: insomuch that I passe not if a thousand Augustines, a thousand Tertullians did stand a­gainst me. Tome 5 The like sentence he hath in his famous commentarie v­pon the epistle to the Galathians, his wordes are these. Some wil say vnto me, the Church during so many ages hath so thought and taught, al the primitive Churches and doctors most holy men, much greater, and more learned then thou art: Who art thou that darest dissent from al these, and obtrude vnto vs a diuers doctrine? When Sathan thus vrgeth and conspi­reth with flesh and reason, the conscience it terrified and despaireth, vn­lesse constantly thou returne to thy selfe, and say; whether Ciprian, Am­brose, Augustine, or Peter, Paul, and Iohn, yea an Angel from heauen teach otherwise, yet this I know for certaine, that I counsaile not men hu­mane but diuine things. Againe, No other doctrine ought to be deliuered or heard in the Church, but the pure word of God, (that is) the holy scri­pture: let other doctours or hearers together their doctrine be accur­sed. Hitherto Luther confessing (as vve see) the vvhole primitiue Church and al the ancient Fathers, to contrarie his doctrine; and yet rejecting their authority, and obstinately persisting and ob­durating himselfe in his heretical opinions.

Zuinglius to. 1. ī explanat. artic. 64. fol. 107.The same course runneth Zuinglius who discourseth thus: The Papists say, who shal discusse the controuersies and dissentions which are at this present in the Church? Who shal judge of them? Who shal pro­nounce sentence? I answere the word of God; neither wil we allowe of a­ny other judge. They affirme, we denie the Masse is a sacrifice: who shal be judge of the controuersie? I say the one and only word of God. But pre­sently, thou beginnest to cry out, the Fathers, the Fathers, for the Fathers haue so delivered and writ thus. But I relate to thee neither fathers nor [Page 37] mothers, but require the word; by this only it ought to haue beene proued that the Masse is a sacrifice: thus Zuinglius. The opinion of Caluin is consonant to these;Calu. in prae­fat. Instit. ad regem Galiae. Item booke 3. Instit. chapt. 4. § 38. Al things (saith he discoursing of the works of the ancient Fathers) are ours to serue vs not to ouer-rule vs. Againe, Those things which every foot occur in the works of the old writers or Fa­thers touching satisfaction, moue me but litle: for I see that diuers of them (I wil say simply as it is) almost al whose works are extant, either haue er­red in this matter, or haue spoken ouer crabbedly and hardly. Our En­glish Protestants haue sufficiently declared their opinion touching the authority of the auncient Fathers, by pronouncing so hard a censure against general Councels, as we haue heard.Whitak. con­tra Sander. pag. 92. Hence Whi­taker one of their principal Champions vseth this discourse: If you argue (saith he) from the testimonies of men be they neuer so learned and auncient, we yeeld no more to their words in cause of religion, then we perceiue to be agreeable to Scripture: neither thinke your selfe to haue proued any thing, though you bring against vs the whole swarme of Fa­thers, except that which they say be justified not by the voice of men, but by God himselfe: this is Whitakers doctrine.Whitakers in his answer to Campians 2. reason p. 70. see him also in his answer to the 6. reason pag. 159. In another place he discourseth thus: We are not the seruants of the Fathers, but the sonnes. When they prescribe vs any thing out of the lawe and diuine authority, we obey them as our parents: If they enjoyne anything against the voice of the heauenly truth, we haue learned not to hearken to them, but to God. You as vassals and base seruants receiue whatsoeuer the Fathers say, without judgement or reason, being afraid (as I thinke) either of the whip, or the halter, if euerie thing they speake be not Gospel with you: thus Whitakers defendeth his rejecting the ancient Fathers, and vpbraideth vs for our high estimation of the same. But concerning the fathers opini­ons of particuler points, he telleth vs,Ibidem in his answer to the 5. reason pag. 129. that Ciprian wrote something of repentance verie vnseasonably and vndiscreetly; and not be alone, but al the holie Fathers of that time (saith he) were tainted with that errour: That is, al the Fathers of the third age after Christ; for S. Ciprian suffered martirdome in the yeare two hundred threescore and one. Of praier to Saints he hath these wordes: Prudentius I graunt, Ibidem. pag. 140. 141. as a poet sometimes called vpon the Martirs, whose actes he describeth in verse; and the supertitious custome of praying to Saintes had nowe taken deepe roote in the Church, which as a tirant haled sometimes the holie Fathers into the same errour: thus he of the beginning of the fift age, when Prudentius flourished. Lastly,Ibid. p. 132. he defendeth the first sentence of [Page 38] Luther before alleaged.Abbot in his answ. to Hil reason 10. p. 371. Horat. lib. 1. epist. 1. see also Morton in Apolo­gia Catholica part 1. lib. 1. cap. 8. With Whitakers agreeth Abbot, who tou­ching the Fathers thus deliuereth his opinion vnto vs: Where there is just cause, we as men Nullius addicti jurare in verba magistri, bound to stand to the opinion of none, but of the holy Ghost, we declining­wise doe leaue them: But where they subscribe to the authority of God, there we subscribe to them, defend them, and refuse not to be tried by them, so far as we may by any holy and learned men, of which sort we hold them, but yet stil knowe them to be men: hitherto George Abbot. And note, that these men pretending that they follow the auncient Fathers as farre forth as they followe the lawe, or diuine authority or the au­thority of God, endeauour to make shew of an opposition or con­trariety, betweene the written word of God and the Fathers, in al points in which they forsake them; whereas (in very deed) the Fathers vnderstood and followed the scriptures better then they doe, and the opposition is not betweene the scriptures and the Fa­thers, but betweeene the Fathers and the Scriptures expounded by these Sectaries; vvhich scriptures so expounded, they make a rule vvhereby to knowe vvhen the Fathers are to be followed, when to be forsaken.

Our Puritans in this point (at the least in wordes) got farre be­yond our Protestants. He who is desirous to vnderstand their opi­nion, may read the seauen and twentith chapter of the Suruay of their pretended holy discipline, written by aPrinted an­no 1693. Protestant; in which he shal finde it set downe at large. And among others, Cartwright is there accused the places of his bookes being cited, for tearming the seeking into the Fathers writings, Pag. 331. 337. See also chap. 4. p. 64. a raking of ditches, and the bring­ing in of their authorities, the mouing and summoning of hel. Parks in his preface to his ans. of Limbo mastix prīted anno 1607. Henrie Iacob treatise p. 1. 3. 54. 81. 68. cited by him in the margēt see also saith he Bilsons sermons pa. 323. and the an­swere to M. Broughtons letters p. 17. Parks al­so a later writer telleth vs, that If you alleage the auncient Fathers a­gainst them, they wil tel you roundly, that their opinions are nothing else but the corrupt fancies and vaine imaginations of men, toyish fables, fond, absurd, without sense and reason; and some (saith he) sticke not to cal the Fathers of the latine Church, the plague of diuinitie.

Vnto al these proofes I adde likewise, that our aduersaries con­fesse al the auncient Fathers to haue beene of our beliefe, touching euery article nowe controuersed betweene vs and them (as I vvil proue in my treatise of the definition and notes of the Church) and yet reject their doctrine as erroneous and repugnant to the word of God: vvherefore, they must needes confesse al the Fathers to [Page 39] haue erred, and so reject their authority. Finally, none of them wil graunt that any consent of Fathers whatsoeuer, be it neuer so general touching any point, is of it selfe a sufficient ground of faith without the testimonie of holy scripture, which is enough for my purpose. But it may be objected by some, that diuers of these se­ctaries alleage in their vvorkes the holie Councels and Fathers a­bundantly, not only against vs, but also against their owne bre­thren dissenting from them in faith or thinges belonging to religi­on, I answere that true it is that they so doe alleage the holy Coun­cels and Fathers: But doe they make their testimonie an infallible ground? they doe not certainelie. For although they approue their doctrine in some points, yet in others they presentlie reject them. The Centuriatores being Lutherans, Centuriat. 4. pag. 242. In euery Cen­turie, cap. 4. alleage the Fathers a­gainst the Sacramentaries for proofe of the real presence: but they reject their testimonie when they affirme this sacrament to be a Sa­crifice. In like sort, our Protestants against our Puritans alleage the authority of S. Epiphanius and S. Augustine, condemning Aerius for an Heretike, because he acknowledged no distinction betweene a Bishoppe and a Priest:See the Sur­uey of the pretēded holie discipline. Whit gift in his de­fence, and o­thers. but they reject the authority of the same Fathers in the selfe same places, condemning the same Aerius as an Heretike for denying sacrifice and masse for the dead: wherefore it is manifest, that they onlie (as Caluin saith) vse the Councels and Fathers to serue their owne turnes, not to be ouer-ruled by them.

In defence of our English Protestants in particular, it may first be said, that M. Iewel in his challendge, doth challendge to their reli­gion, al the Councels and Fathers of the first sixe hundred yeares, alloweth of their authoritie and offereth to be tried by their cen­sure. I answere first, that this challendge made by M. Iewel is not general, touching al points controuersed betweene vs, but concer­ning a fewe only and those not of greatest moment. Secondly I say, that M. Iewel did this only to make a shew among the common people, as though his religion had beene auncient, not that he in­tended to doe as he promised (to wit to subscribe to our religion) if this challendge could be shewed false. This appeareth to be true, both because he maintained his vaine challendge vvith so manie thousand lies and vntruthes, set downe by Catholike authors to the view of the whole world (as for example, doctorHarding in his Rejoinder to M. Iewels reply touchīg priuate masse printed anno 1566. Harding anou­cheth that the number of his lies in fiue of the six and twenty arti­cles [Page 40] of his replie, to the said doctor Hardings answere to his Apo­logie,In his epistle to the reader. discouered by himselfe and others, amounteth to a thousand and odde) and also because the falshood of his said challenge being shewed by diuers learned of our side, he neuer was so good as his word.Humfred. in vita Iuelli. Hence is this complaint of doctour Humfreis: Iewel hath graunted you (he speaketh to the Catholikes) ouer much, and was to sore an enemy to himselfe, that rejecting the meane by which he might more firmly & easily haue vpholden his cause, he spoiled himselfe & the Church; for what haue we to doe with the Fathers, with flesh and bloud? Or what doth it appertaine vnto vs what the false sinode of Bishops (so he tearmeth the ancient Councels) doe ordaine or decree? thus much D. Humfrey.

Secondly it may also be alleaged, that Field a late Protestant wri­ter alloweth of diuers other rules or directions of our faith, besides the holie scripture;Field book. 3. chap. 33. § 1. and of the Fathers in particuler he affirmeth, that they reuerence and honour them much more then vve doe. I answere, that (in very deede) Field maketh a great shew of allow­ance of the testimonie of antiquity, and may perhaps seeme to one that looketh not wel into his wordes, to approue the authority of of the auncient Fathers as farre forth as any Catholike, whereas (in very truth) there is no such thing. And to make this matter mani­fest let vs briefly behold his rules assigned, whereby (as he saith) we are to judge of particuler things contained within the compasse of Christian faith,Field book 4. chapt. 14. which are as followeth. First, the summary compre­hension of such principal articles, as are the principles whence al other things are concluded and inferred; these are contained in the Creed of the Apostles. Secondly, al such thinges as euery Christian is bound expresly to beleeue, which are rightly said to be the rule of faith. Thirdly, the A­nologie, due proportion and correspondence, that one thing in this diuine knowledge hath with another. Fourthly, whatsoeuer books were deliue­red vnto vs a written by them, to whome the first and immediate reuela­tion of diuine truth was made. Fiftly, whatsoeuer haue beene deliuered by al the Saints with one consent, which haue left their judgment and opi­nion in writing, book 4. cap. 5. because (saith he in another place) it is not possible that they should al haue written of any thing, but such as touche the very life of Christian faith generally receiued in al their times. Sixtly, what­soeuer the most famous haue constantly and vniformly deliuered, as a mat­ter of faith no man contradicting, though many other Ecclesiastical writers be silent and say nothing of it. Seueanthly, that which the most and most [Page 41] famous in euery age constantly deliuered as matter of faith, and as recei­ued from them that went before them, in such sort that the contradictors and gaine-saiers were in their beginnings noted for singularity, noueltie, and diuision; Ibid. cap. 7. and afterwards in processe of time (if they persisted in such contradiction) charged with heresie. He addeth else where, that this consent of the most famous must be touching the substance of Chri­stian faith: And vnto these his three last rules I adde, that vvhich he hath in the second chapter before in these vvordes.Booke 4. c. 2. Though al whose writings remaine, haue not written of a thing; yet if al that mention it doe constantly consent in it, and their consent be strengthned by vniuer­sal practise, we dare not charge them with errour: yea though their con­sent be not strengthned by such practise, if it be concerning thinges ex­pressed in the word of truth, or by necessary and euident deduction to be de­monstrated from thence, we thinke that no errour can be found ill al them that speake of thinges of that nature, (that is of matters of substance, as in the fift chapter) if in euery age of the Church some be found to haue written of them. But in thinges that cannot be clearly deduced from the rule of faith, and word of diuine and heauenly truth, we thinke it posible that al that haue written might erre and be deceiued: hitherto Field. And these are the rules which he prescribeth to be followed in our judgment, concerning truth & falshood in matters of our beleife: but that none of these besides the holy scripture (of which hereaf­ter) according to his owne doctrine, are sufficient in al matters of faith to make an infallible or prudential ground of beleife, it is ea­sily proued. And to begin with his three first: how wil he proue that they be infallible? how can he shewe them to be of diuine au­thority, if the present church in al ages (as he saith) may erre, and it be true which he affirmeth,Field book 4. chapter 20. § Thus hauing. Ibidem § The second kinde. Caluin booke 2. Instit cap. 16 § 18. Hūn. ī theseb. de coloq. cum pōtis. ineūdo thes. 54. that it is not safe in things concerning faith to rely vpon traditions? are not the two first rules at the least, receiued by tradition? surely he confesseth it himself. Further, doe not some of his brethren cal the creed of the Apostles in question, and make it a doubtful matter whether it were deliuered to the Church by the said Apostles, or no? he that knoweth not this let him reade Caluin and Hunnius. Is it in like sort agreed vpon among our ad­uersaties, what articles euery Christian is bound expresly to be­leeue, and which are contained in the rule of faith? It is not with­out doubt: and I verily thinke, that scarse any one learned Prote­stant wil admit that euery point, vvhich is assigned by M. Field [Page 42] in the fourth chapter of his third booke. Moreouer, how obscure is the Analogie or proportion, which one thing in matters of faith hath with another? and generally, what man wil admit these three rules or any one of them, as sufficient to make an end of al contro­uersies in the Church? In very deede, although they were al ad­mitted by al sorts as true; yet, very fewe articles can be gathered out of them by such euident deduction, as is able to conuince the vnderstanding of al men; and consequently, they are no general and sufficient directions for al points of our faith.

Neither are the three last rules of themselues (at the least as they are deliuered by Field) of any greater force or sufficiency. First, because Field doth not only make the present Church in al ages subject to errour (for he freeth it only from damnable and pertina­cious errour:Field book 4. chap. 13. and book 1. c. 10.) but also affirmeth, that a right judgment of men by their power of jurisdiction maintaining truth and suppressing errour, may be wanting in the Church; and that sometimes almost al may conspire against the truth, or consent to betray the sincerity of the Christian profession: yea, that most part of those that hold great places of office and dignity in the Church, falling into errour or heresie, may depart from the soundnesse of the Christian faiths; so that truth be maintained by some few, and they molested, persecuted, and traduced as turbulent and seditious men, ene­mies to the common peace of the Christian world: thus Field. Which doctrine if we admit as true, what authority shal we leaue to the Fathers workes? wil not a possibility of errour followe in them al? it cannot be denied: but I need not dispute any longer of this mat­ter, for Field himselfe of these his three rules of beliefe vvriteth thus.Field book 4. cap. 14. These three latter rules of our faith (saith he) we admit not, be­cause they are equal with the former, and originally in themselues con­taine the direction of faith; but because nothing can be deliuered with such and so ful consent of the people of God as in them is expressed, but it must needes he from those authours and founders of our Christian profession. Hitherto Field: in which words he expresly graunteth, that these rules originally in themselues are no directions of faith. And tru­ly, although we could not ouerthrowe them by his owne sayings, this only vvould suffice (according to the Protestant groundes) to proue them to haue no diuine or infallible authority, that he brin­geth no one sentence of scripture, or other proofe for their truth, but only this bare reason; that nothing can be delivered with such [Page 43] ful consent, but it must needs be from the founders of Christianity. For if that be thought or affirmed possible vvhich he deemeth impossi­ble, vvhat force or strength wil be left to his rules? but euerie man may also perceiue, that if we admit his assertions euen nowe rela­ted, concerning the error of the Church and her Prelats; we must needes also graunt, that it may be al the Fathers haue conspired in errour. For if al the Fathers of the present Church at any time, yea although assembled in a general Councel, may and that in mat­ters of greatest consequence (as he saith) erre: Field book 4. chap. 5. and 12. who seeth not that it is a thing possible, that in al ages they haue al erred? This notwith­standing, let vs nowe looke a litle into the vvordes themselues of these three last rules, and behold concerning what articles of be­liefe they are: as also, what conditions are required in them as ne­cessary to this; that out of the Fathers workes (according to Fields opinion) vve may gather any article of faith. The first of them, which is the fift in order as the words themselues tel vs, requireth that the matter belong to the substāce of our faith: by which words he doth abridge and limit the authority of the Fathers, to be of force (according to this rule) onlie concerning certaine principal articles by him set downe, vvhich euery man (as he saith) is bound expresly to knowe and beleeue. He prescribeth also in this rule, that the consent be general, that is: not only of al that haue writ­ten of that matter; but of al that haue left any monuments of lear­ning to their posterity, that al make expresse mention of it and without contradiction of any other; and that this is his minde he plainly declareth, in the second and fift chapter before.

But what errour or heresie is there, which contentious persons either wil not deny to pertaine to the substance of our faith, or that al the monuments of antiquity doe positiuely contradict, or which Heretikes cannot confirme by some, or at the least by one sentence of some auncient writer? Verilie, if they drawe and pul the holie scriptures in such sort to their priuate fantasies, that no sect wil be perswaded but that they fauor the false opinions in it maintained: much more may they deale so with the writings of their predeces­sors which be farre more in number, and not also penned as the scriptures are by diuine inspiration.

The second rule of the three last (if M. Field wil not haue it to contradict that which I haue added at the end of them, out of the [Page 44] second chapter before) must he vnderstood according to it; and then how vncertaine it is I wil euen nowe declare: but if vve take it as the wordes sound it cannot be vniuersal for the decisions of al points, at the least in the judgment of al men; for al matters are not deliuered as matters of faith, constantly & vniformly by the most famous Christian writers, and that without contradiction: yea a man of a peruerse humour although in very deede it were so, yet by wresting and false vnderstanding of ssuch authors, would make appearance of the contrary. The last may be confuted as insuffi­cient of it selfe for the same reasons: for it requireth that the point be of the substance of faith, &c. The addition out of the second chapter requireth vniuersal practise, and necessarie and euident deduction out of the scripture, or the rule of faith; and (as it see­meth) that it be a matter of substance, that in euerie age some be found to haue written of it, &c. which be things intricate & not ea­sily to be proued in euery matter cōtrouersed. But to make al these rules more obscure, he addeth in the fift chapter; that the writings of the ancient may be much corrupted, so that the consent of antiquity can­not alwaies easily be knowne: Field book 4. cap. 5. Vincent Liri­uens. cap. 39. yet (saith he) there wil be euer some meanes to finde out and descry the errours and frauds of the corrupters. And so he affirmeth himselfe to vnderstand that of Vincentius Lirinensis, that the judgment of antiquity is to be sought out at the very first rising of here­sies, & not afterwards when they are growne inueterate; for that then they wil corrupt the monuments of antiquity. Finallie, these three rules are not sufficient to direct any man whatsoeuer whether learned or vn­learned, to an infallible truth in al articles of faith: for seing that euerie priuate man, yea the whole visible present Church is sub­ject to errour, and al her greatest Prelates to heresie, according to the doctrine of M. Field, one man cannot build his faith vpon an­others judgement, no not vpon the judgement of the whole pre­sent visible Church: wherefore, if we proceed according to M. Fields rules, it is not sufficient to cause true faith in vs, that others tel vs that the Fathers and writers of former ages say this and that, but we must our selues read ouer the workes of al such Fathers and authors. And how can the vnlearned doe this? Yea, if a man be neuer so learned he cannot doe it, although he doe nothing else but read al the daies of his life, and when he hath done al, he is almost neuer the nearer; for he cannot deny but he may be deceiued in his [Page 45] judgment, and consequently his faith is but an opinion. And thus we see, that although Field make a great shewe of yeelding great authority to the Fathers; yet (in very deed) he bereaueth them al­most of al, partly by rejecting their testimonies concerning al o­ther matters but certaine principal and substantial points; partlie by requiring such a general consent, as can hardly be proued con­cerning the principal articles themselues; partlie by his doctrine concerning the errour of the whole Church, and partlie by other meanes.

Let vs therefore Conclude, that al our aduersaries reject al par­ticular groundes of faith, which are found in the church of Christ, besides the holy scripture, and make them al subject to error and falshood. And this is almost in flat tearmes confessed by our En­glish Protestants, who in the Apologie of the Church affirme;Apologie of the church of England part 2. pag. 58. that In the scriptures only mans hart can haue setled rest, and that in them be abundantly and fully comprehended al things whatsoeuer be needful for our health. The same doctrine vvas established in their conuocations held at London in the yeares 1562. and 1604. vvhere vve finde these wordes: Holy scripture containeth althinges necessary for saluation, Article 6. so that whatsoeuer is not read therin nor proued thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be beleeued as an article of the faith, or be thought necessarily requisite to saluation. HenceWill. in his Sinops. p. 38. Willet affirmeth, that the scri­pture is not one of the meanes, but the sole, whole and only meanes to worke faith: And this is the common doctrine of them al as wil appeare in the next chapter. But in it as in other points, the Sectaries of our daies follow the steps of the auncient Heretikes: for they in like sort (as it is recorded by auncientIren. l. 3. c. 2. Tertull. de praesript. Ci­prianus de v­nit. Ecclesiae. August. l. 32. cōtra Faustū, et lib. 2. cōtra Maximinū. Hooker ī the praeface to his book of Eccle­siastical poli­cie prīted an 1604. p. 36. authors) rejected the authority of Traditions, Councels, and Fathers, and in matters of contro­uersy appealed to the scriptures only: Yea, in this they conforme themselues to the Anabaptists, whome they censure to be Heretikes of this age: for they also (as Hooker a Protestant recordeth) admit no other disputation against their opinions, then onlie by allega­tion of scripture.

But they object that euerie one of the Fathers was subject to er­ror. I confesse it; but yet God according to his promise (as I haue aboue declared) was so to direct & gouerne them, that they should not al erre: wherefore, they vvere not men guided altogether by their owne judgements and hauing no surer rule; but men directed [Page 46] by the holie Ghost, of which their consent in one true doctrine is a most manifest token. And whiles these professors of the new re­ligion contemne and reject these mens authoritie, what greater au­thority doe they bring vs? Surelie none so great; for they bring vs only their owne opinions, and perhaps the testimony of their chief ring-leaders, who were and are men directed only by their owne judgments and fantasies, of vvhich their dissention and diuersitie of doctrine is euen as an apparant proof. They say that they bring vs the authoritie of the worde of God: but the Fathers embraced and reuerenced the word of God more then they doe. Neither is the controuersie between the word of God and the Fathers, for these two were neuer repugnant the one to the other, as the newe Sectaries vvould haue it; but betweene the newe Sectaries them­selues and the Fathers, who of them expound the vvord of God more trulie, as it vvil appeare by my discourse ensuing: Where­fore, seing that none of them are to be compared with the Fathers, neither for learning, sanctity of life, nor any other good and ver­tuous condition, but are in euerie wise-mans judgement, farre more subject to errour then they of whome they make themselues judges; we are not to be blamed, if we preferre the translation and interpre­tation of holie scriptures, left vnto vs by the said aun­cient fathers, before theirs.

Chapter 5. They build not vpon the holy Scripture, and first, that the bare let­ter of holy Scripture only, is not a sufficient ground of Christian faith and religion.

SEGTION SHE FIRST. In which this is proued, because by Scripture the Scripture it selfe can­not be proued Canonical. It is also argued, that according to the sectaries groundes there is no Canonical Scripture, and some principal reasons (especially inspiration of the spirit) which they alleage for the proofe of such Scripture, are refelled.

OVR aduersaries (as I haue shewed) haue alreadie berea­ued themselues of al Catholike grounder of religion, ex­cept the holie Scripture. And this ground their Cap­taines euen now cited, not only chalenge to themselues as vvholy and properlie theirs, but also seeme to make the onlie foundation and piller of their newe beliefe and doctrine. But se­ing that they vvillingly depriue themselues of al other groundes, we must of necessity depriue them against their wils of this: for it is a thing most manifest and easily to be proued, that they build not vpon the Scripture, but vpon their owne fancies and judge­ment. And first I must here presuppose as certaine, that they de­ny the Church to haue any extraordinarie authority, for the true translation or interpretation of holy Scripture, and that they ad­mitte of no Tradition of the true sense thereof, preserued alwaies in the same Church together with the letter. This is apparant, by their making the church subject to error; by their denying her au­thority; by their rejecting al vnwritten traditions, among which we number the true exposition of the word of God; by their dai­ly inuenting of new and strange interpretations, in former ages vn­heard off; by their rejecting the testimonies and expositions of the [Page 48] auncient Fathers; and by their alleaging no other authoritie for their owne expositions, but their owne judgements. Hence it is affirmed,Harmony of confes. sect. 1. in the confession of Heluetia, that the interpretation of Scri­pture is to be taken only from her selfe, and that her selfe may be the inter­preter of her selfe, the rule of charity and faith being her guide. And in the confession of Wittenberge, that the true meaning of Scripture is to be sought in the Scripture it selfe, and among those that being raised vp by the spirit of God expound Scripture by Scripture. I adde also, that their expositions being diuers and opposite, they cannot al descend by Tradition from the Apostles, and seing that one of them hath no more reason to challenge this tradition then another, vve may in like sort deny it to them al: wherefore, that which they make the only ground of their faith and religion, is the bare word of holie Scripture interpreted by themselues; and of this their ground be­cause the matter is of great importaunce, I purpose to discourse something at large. And first I wil shewe in this chapter, that the bare and naked letter onlie of holie Scripture, is not a sufficient ground of Christian faith and religion. Then in the chapters fol­lowing I wil proue, that although we should grant the letter to be a sufficiēt ground: yet, that their bibles containe not the true letter. Thirdly, that although this were also granted, yet that they build not vpon the letter contained in their owne Bibles. Lastly, that in translating and expounding the holie Scriptures they followe their owne fancies and judgement, and that they haue no other certaine and infallible ground:Caluin de ve ra Eccles. re­form. ratione pag. 473. A­pologie of the Church of Englād pag. 58. Articles of faith agrreed vpō the cōuocations of the yeares 1562. 1604. I come to the first.

It is a common maxime or principle among al newe Sectaries, that the scriptures only containe al thinges necessary to our salua­tion; and that nothing is to be beleeued or necessarily to be obser­ued, vvhich is not expresly taught, commaunded, or allowed in the same; or (as some of them adde) manifestlie gathered out of them.Harmony of confes. sect. 1. In controuersies of religion (saith the confession of Heluetia) or matters of faith, we cannot admit any other judge then God himselfe, pro­nouncing by the holy scriptures what is true, what false: what is to be followed, or what auoided. Al thinges ought to be tried by the rule and square of holy scripture, saith the French confession. Al things which are needful to be knowne to saluation, are contained in the Prophets and Apostles writings, saith that of Wittenberg. And out of this ground they argue against vnwritten traditiōs, ceremonies, positiue lawes [Page 49] of the Church, &c. But that this doctrine is false euen according to their owne proceedings (supposing that to be true vvhich they affirme concerning the infallible authority of the Church, to wit: that it is not expressed in the said scripture nor out of it deduced) it is an easie matter to demonstrate to euerie mans eie: for first this authority of the Church being set aside, by vvhat Scripture can they proue the Scripture it selfe to be Canonical. And seing that I am to discourse of this argument, and their assertions be intricate; I wil not only proue, that according to this ground they haue no ca­nonical Scripture: but also absolutely, that by no other means they giue it any infallible or diuine authority. First therefore, I may very wel frame this argument against the whole Bible, out of their aforesaid ground: Nothing is to be beleeued but that which is ex­presly taught in the written word of god, or manifestly gathered out of the same: but that the Bible is canonical Scripture it is neither taught in the written word of God, nor manifestly gathered out of the same; therfore it is not to be beleeued that the bible is canonical Scripture. The major or first proposition containeth their afore­said ground: the minor or second is approued by Hooker, who wri­teth thus: Of things necessary the very chiefest is, to know what books we are bound to esteeme holy; which point is confessed impossible for the Scri­pture it selfe to teach. And this afterwards he confirmeth with this reason: For (saith he) if any one book of scripture did giue testimony to al; yet stil that Scripture which giueth credit to the rest, would require ano­ther Scripture to giue credit vnto it: neither could we euer come into any pause whereon to rest our assurance this way; so that vnlesse besides Scri­pture there were something which might assure vs that we doe wel, we could not thinke we doe wel, no not in being assured that Scripture is a sacred and holy rule of wel-doing: thus Hooker. And this argument is of such force, that it hath constrained some of them, and among the rest the saidHooker in his treatis. of lawes of ecclesiastical poli­cy, booke 1. p. 84. book 2. § 4. p. 100. 102 Zauch. in his confessiō c. 1. Brent. in pro­log. Kemn. in exam. Concil. Tridentini. Hooker, Zauchius, Brentius, and Kemnitius, to flie from Scriptures vnto tradition for the proofe of this matter: yea, Hook. book 3. § 8. p. 146. See Whitak. contr. Staple. l. 2. c. 4. pag. 298. 300. some of them affirme, that this only tradition concerning canoni­cal Scripture, is to be rejected.Obseruati­ons vpon the Harmonie of confessiōs pu­blished by those of Geneua fol. 593. Others, and among them the Ge­neuian doctors affirme, that some books (of which there was here­tofore some doubt among the ancient doctors of the church) were receiued as Canonical by the common consent of the whole Catholike Church, and therefore that they are not to be refused. But who seeth [Page 50] not; First, that these men bewray the weaknes of the aforesaid ge­neral ground, concerning the sufficiency of holy Scripture alone: then that if the tradition of the Church, yea the Church it selfe in her judicial sentence (as they al affirme) may erre in one point, that it may also erre in al others of the same quality; and consequently, that the authority or tradition of the Church, cannot infallibly ar­gue the Scriptures to be of diuine authority?Caluin instit. book 1. cap. 7. § 1.2.4. et 5. Caluin answereth, that the holy books of Scripture by them that haue the spirit, are easily discerned from others by themselues, as light from darknesse, and sweetnes from sowrenes or bitternes. And this his opinion is em­braced by diuers, and among the rest by Whitakers, Thomas Rogers, and Field, and therefore is with some diligence to be refelled. But before I enter into the confutation of it, I must affirme as certaine, that al these authors require in euery man to this, that assuredly he beleeue the holy scriptures to be from God, a supernatural inspira­tion of the holy ghost. That Caluin doth so, his sentences hereafter alleaged plainly declare.Whit. ī his answ. to Campians first reason, pag. 47. Whitakers hauing affirmed, That it is euen as euidēt the scriptures be from god, as that the sunne is the sun, or that god is God; and also said, that there are in the books themselues proofs inough to demonstrate it: yet finally concludeth, that the inward & hidden te­stimony of the spirit must be bad, that men may firmly rest in the scriptures. Againe; Then only doe we attaine a certaine & sauing ful assurance, when the same spirit which writ & published them, doth perswade our harts of the credit of them. Rogers writeth thus:Rogers ī his discourse vpō the articles of faith agreed vpon in the conuocations of the years 1562. 1604. art. 6. p. 31. 32. printed anno 1607. We judg these books before men­tioned Canonical, not somuch because learned and godly men in the Church, so haue, and doe receiue and allow of them; as for that the holy spirit in our harts doth testifie that they are from God, they cary a sacred and diuine au­thority with them, and they doe also agree in al points with the other books of god in the old testament: hitherto are his words.Field booke 3. cap. 44. §. The errour. Field (if I doe not mistake him) differeth only from others in this, that whereas most of them reject al supernatural habits in our soules, and attribute our beleeuing to supenatural inspiratiōs of the spirit: he acknow­ledgeth a supernatural habit of faith, which he calleth also a poten­tial ability, Book 4. c. 13. § This judg­ment. the light of diuine vnderstanding. Book 4. c. 8. § Thus then and the light of grace. And moreouer, he doth explicate himselfe a litle more in particu­ler then others: for he distinguisheth two sorts of thinges belee­ued,Book 4. c. 8. § The schoole men. whereof some (saith he) are such as are beleeued and neuer knowne, as al the matters of fact that are reported in the Scripture, which we can [Page 51] neuer know by the immediate euidence of the things themselues; but medi­atly, in that we knowe they are deliuered vnto vs by him that cannot lie: Others are first beleeued, Ibidem § Thus then. and afterwards the vnderstanding being enlight­ned and the heart clensed, they are discerned of vs to be true. And he concludeth, that in thinges of the first sort the formal reason of our faith or inducing vs to beleeue, is the authoritie of God himselfe, whome we doe most certainelie discerne to speake in the word of faith, which is preached vnto vs. But in thinges of the second kinde, he vvil haue the said formal reason to be the euidence of the things appearing vnto vs, being enlightened by the light of grace: this is the opinion of Field. But in which of these two sortes of thinges he placeth the knowledge of the authority of holie Scripture, I cannot so plainelie as I vvould discerne by his words: this onlie I gather as certaine out of his discourse,Book 4. c. 7. § Thus then first that the principal cause of our knowledge and beliefe concerning the Canonical bookes procee­deth from the habite or light of faith? For this al his assertions in­sinuate, and principally these. The spirit induceth, moueth and per­swadeth vs to beleeue. By the light of diuine vnderstanding, Chapt. 13. § This judge­ment. Chap. 7. § Thus then. Chapt. 8. § Thus then. Chapt. 8. Caluī book 1. of Institut. chap. 7. § 4. we judge of al thinges &c. Secondlie he affirmeth in plaine vvordes, that be­sides the habit of faith or light of diuine grace, are required some reasons or motiues, or some reason or motiue, by force whereof the spi­rit setleth the minde in the perswasion of the truth of thinges, vvhich were formerly doubted of. And this reason (as we haue heard him say before) in some thinges is the euidence of the thinges appea­ring vnto vs, in others the authority of God. He explicateth him­selfe more plainely by these sentences of Caluin. If we bring pure eies and perfect senses, the majesty of God presently presenteth it selfe vn­to vs in the diuine Scripture; and beating downe al thoughts of contradi­cting or doubting of thinges so heauenly, forceth vs to obey. Againe, Af­ter we are enlightned by the spirit, we doe no longer trust either our owne judgement or the judgement of other men, that the Scriptures are of God: But aboue al certainty of humane judgment we most certainly resolue, as if in them we saw the majesty & glory of God; as Moises saw in the mount, that by the ministery of men they came vnto vs from Gods owne most sacred mouth. Thirdlie, We finde a greater light of vnderstanding shining vnto vs in this doctrine of faith, then is found within the compasse of nature, (a I finde not these wordes following in Caluin. satisfaction touching manie thinges, which humane reason could not satisfie vs in, a joy and exultation of the heart, such and so great as [Page 52] groweth not out of nature:) hitherto Field out of Caluin. He addeth, that this maketh vs assure our selues the doctrine which so affecteth vs, is reuealed from God: That they are the only people of God and haue the means of happinesse, where this treasure of heauenly wisdome is found; that these books are the richest jewel that the world posesseth, and ought to be the Canon of our faith; which this people deliuereth vs, as recei­ued from them, to whome these thinges were first of al made knowne and reuealed: thus Field. And this is the common doctrine of diuers of our Sectaries.

To ouerthrow this opinion I must first lay this ground: To moue vs to beleeue any article of Christian religion ordinarily, besides the habite of faith or some supernatural illumination of the spirit, some other reasons or motiues must of necessity concurre, by force of which our vnderstanding may be perswaded, that the thinge propounded is credible, and according to prudence may be belee­ued. This may be proued by authoritie of Scriptures; for if no such motiues are necessary, to what end did our Lord during the time of his being here on earth, work such strange miracles? Sure­ly of them he saith:Iohn 5, 36. Iohn 10, 25. Iohn 15, 24. The very works themselues which I doe, giue testi­mony of me that the Father hath sent me. Againe, The works that I doe in the name of my Father, they giue testimony of me. Finally, If I had not done among them workes that no other man hath done, they should not haue sinne: Out of which places I may wel infer, both that our Sauiour propounded his doctrine with sufficient arguments of cre­dibility; and also that if he had not so done, the Iews generally had not offended God in refusing to beleeue it, which is expresly affir­med by S. August. tract. 91. in Ioānē. Augustine. I adde generally, because vnto the learned sort it was otherwise sufficiently proued, & therefore they had sin­ned although Christ had done no miracles; yet not so grieuously. This caused him likewise,Mark 3, 15. Luk 9 & 10. Mark 16. v 20. See also v. 17. & 18. to giue his Apostles & disciples power to doe miracles: and they (as S. Mark reporteth) after his ascētion-going forth preached euery where, our Lord working withal, & confirming the word with signes that followed. Moreouer, commonly al that are said in the Gospels to haue beleeued, beleeued vpon some credi­ble motiue: as the Centurion Luke 23. the Lord whose sonne was cu­red at Caphernaum, Iohn 4. verse 46.53. and diuers others. And so those wordes of S. Rom. 10.14. Paul are vnderstood: Howe shal they beleeue him whom they neuer heard, and howe shal they heare without a preacher? [Page 53] that is: without one both expounding the rule of faith vnto them and also propounding such reasons as are sufficient to moue them to beleeue.

This also al the Apostles practised, as appeareth by their ser­mons recorded in the acts of the Apostles. Nay further in the old Testament, as it is euident by holy Scriptures and granted by our Melācht. in corpo. doctri. Germa. et in examine ordi nand. cap. de definit. &c. Oecolampad. in Isa. 23, 21. Aug. lib. 1. ad Simplicianū, quest. 2. Lib. de spirit. et litt. c. 34. Freder. Sta­phil. l. de cō ­cord disci. Luther, Petrus Paladius l. de heres. Caluin in Inst. contr. Liberti. c. 9. aduersaries, the Prophets that were extraodinarily sent, confir­med their mission by miracles; and why so, if not to yeeld men suf­ficient prudent motiues to beleeue them? Hence are these vvords of S. Augustine: It is commaunded that we beleeue to this, that hauing receiued the gift of the holy Ghost, we may be able to worke wel by loue: but who can beleeue except he be touched by some vocation, that is: by some testification or testimony of thinges. Againe, A reasonable soule cannot beleeue by her freewil, if there be no vocation or perswation vnto which it may beleeue: hitherto Saint Augustine. Finally, the truth of this appeareth by the ordinarie manner of proceeding of God with mortal men, vvhich is not altogether by internal illuminati­ons, as the Swencfeldians, Libertines, and some Anabaptists dreame; but by some common and external rule: and seing that according to the Apostle he requireth of vs onlyRom. 12, 1. Field booke 4. chapt. 7. § Thus then. a reasonable obsequy, seruice, or obedience; it can not be said, that he commaundeth vs to be­leeue any thing which is not propounded vnto vs, and made cre­dible by prudential motiues. In this sense I take Field, who telleth vs (as I haue partly set downe before) that three thinges concurre to make vs beleeue that, whereof we are doubtful: the light of diuine vnder­standing, as that whereby we apprehend the things of God: the spirit, as the authour of this illumination; and the reasons and motiues by force whereof the spirit induceth, moueth, and perswadeth vs. And in particular he affirmeth, that it is not sufficient for Stapleton to say that he belee­ueth the Church to be guided by the spirit, because the spirit moueth him so to beleeue: but saith it is moreouer necessary, that he declare those reasons or motiues by force whereof, the spirit setleth his minde in the perswasion of the truth of those thinges he formerly doubted of.

Some man perhaps wil object, that no miracles (or at the least very fewe) are nowe wrought in the vvorld; vvherevpon it may seeme to followe according to this discourse, that Christian Ca­tholike religion is not nowe sufficiently propounded as credible. I answere, that although God doth alwaies cause his true religion to [Page 54] be sufficiently propounded in such sort, that any vvise man may prudently embrace it, and beleeue it true: yet (as is aboue insinu­ated) he doth not in euerie respect make it so credible as is in his power to doe, and that for our greater merit & humiliation. And from this it proceedeth, that among Christians miracles are not nowe so frequent, as they were in the primatiue Church; because they haue nowe not only other sufficient motiues, which may per­swade al men of the truth of their religion; but also sufficient pru­dential reasons and marks, by which they may discerne the true Church from al false sinagogues, as I haue partly declared before, and wil declare at large in my treatise of the definition and notes of the Church.

This then being thus proued, let vs behold what prudential ar­guments our aduersaries bring to proue the Scriptures to be cano­nical, by force of vvhich the spirit, induceth, moueth, and perswa­deth them to beleeue them. Field (as I euen nowe related) assigneth two motiues of our beliefe, vvhich are causes of it in two distinct sorts of things: the one, the euidence of the things appearing vn­to vs; the other, the authoritie of God himselfe, vvhome we doe most certainly discerne to speake in the vvord of faith vvhich is preached vnto vs. Caluin seemeth to assigne the majesty of God, which presenteth it selfe vnto vs in the diuine Scriptures. Rogers saith: The Scriptures cary a diuine and sacred authority with them, and agree in al points with other bookes of the old Testament. But that none of these motiues are sufficiēt to perswade a prudent man, that these books are according to the rules of wisedome, most certainely to be accounted diuine and canonical, it is easily proued. For first if they were so, it vvould followe that euerie prudent man reading these books, by this only according to prudence should be moued to giue euery one of them this prerogatiue; but this experience a­mong our aduersaries themselues (vvho are at variance touching some books whether they be canonical or no) proueth false: there­fore these motiues are not sufficient.

Field booke 4. chapt. 7. § There is.Moreouer, No man (as Field telleth vs) proueth a thing doubtful by that which is as much doubted of, as it selfe: For this (saith he) is, as if one taking vpon him to be a law-giuer whose authority is doubted of, should first make a law and publish his proclamation, and by vertue there­of giue himselfe power to make lawes, his authority of making the first [Page 55] lawe being as much doubted of as the second. Wel then this being sup­posed true, let vs see whether the truth of al such motiues as are as­signed by our aduersaries, mouing them (as they say) to beleeue the holy scripture, be not as obscure as the diuine truth of the Scri­pture it selfe. And first this appeareth in those which are brought by Rogers: for it is euen as obscure a matter and as hardly to be pro­ued, that generally al the bookes of Scripture and euery sentence of them, cary an extraordinary or diuine authority with them a­boue al others, as it is that they are Canonical; so is likewise their agreement with the books of the old testament: wherefore letting them passe, let vs behold whether this be not also true in such for­mal reasons of our faith, as (according to Caluin and Field) moue vs to beleeue. And first, vvhence proceedeth that euidence vvhich Field vvil haue in some thinges beleeued to appeare vnto vs? Are the articles of our faith euident in them selues? this he denieth of some: for,Field book 4. Chapter 8. § The opinion. We confesse (saith he) that faith may rightly be said to be a firme assent, without euidence of many of the things beleeued in themselues; but the medium by force whereof we are to beleeue, must be euident vn­to vs, as Durandus doth rightly demonstrate: thus Field. But can he make it good, that any such articles are in themselues euident vn­to vs, as they are the object of our faith? It is plaine that most of them, yea almost al considered howsoeuer, haue not so much of themselues in respect of our vnderstanding, as euidence and cer­tainety of credibility, that is: they appeare not so certaine and credible vnto vs, as a prudent man would beleeue them, setting aside the medium or meane supernatural, by vvhich they are pro­pounded. But if vve consider them precisely as they are the ob­ject of our faith, they al haue no other euidence then diuine reue­lation, as is proued before; which is alwaies obscure. What then is this medium or meane according to Field? Is it any humane con­jecture, motiue, or probability? This cannot be according to his owne doctrine, as appeareth in the same place and the chapter be­fore. Nay in another place he telleth vs,Book 4. chap. 20. § Much contention. that the books of Scripture winne credite of themselues, and yeeld sufficient satisfaction to al men of their diuine truth: and therefore he seemeth to exclude al external proofe. Is it then any thing contained in the things themselues? Neither can this be said: for euery thing contained in the thinges themselues & belonging to their essence, is as obscure as the things [Page 56] themselues be; and consequently, no such thing contained in the things themselues, can be such a meane to manifest themselues vn­to vs. And vvhat accident he vvil assigne in the articles of our faith, making them manifest vnto vs, I cannot imagine. Second­ly, I cannot see how this assertion of Field doth agree with that his common principle,Field book 4. chap. 13.8. book 3. chap. 42. auouching that the Scripture is the Canon and ground of their beliefe, and that they rest in the determination of the word of God, as in the rule of their faith: For how can this be, if the e­uidence of the things appearing vnto vs, be sometimes the formal reason of our faith, as is in like sort by him auerred. But to make this discourse a litle more manifest, let vs demaund a question or two in particuler of M. Field, and see howe he vvil resolue them according to his doctrine deliuered. I aske therefore of him, why he beleeueth there be three persons and one God, two natures in Christ and one person, and the resurrection of our bodies? Wil he answere that the euidence of the thinges appearing vnto him, is the formal cause of his faith, or inducing him to beleeue these mi­steries? If he doe not, he contradicteth his own doctrine: If he doe, he contradicteth both al sense and reason, and also himselfe ma­king the Scripture the ground of faith; except he affirme these mi­steries to be euident not in themselues, but in the medium or meane, by force whereof they are beleeued: For which medium if he wil be constant to himselfe he must assigne the holie Scripture; vvhich Scripture, he must say is beleeued through the authority of God himselfe, whome vve doe most certainly discerne to speake in the word of faith, which is another cause of beliefe assigned by him, for such thinges as we beleeue and doe not knowe: so that this au­thority of God is the last motiue, not the holy Scripture; and what other processe he wil make I cannot perceiue. But what doth he and Caluin vnderstand by that other reason, which he tearmeth The authority of God himselfe, whome we doe certainly discerne to speake in the word of faith which is preached vnto vs; and Caluin, The maje­sty of God which doth present it selfe vnto vs? What is this authority and majesty of God? and how doe we so certainly discerne it. Ve­rily for my part, I am so farre from knowing how to discerne it, as I cannot vvel imagine vvhat they meane by it; yet, if I be not de­ceiued they affirme, that the authority of God or his majestie is seene in the letter of holie Scripture, vvhich moueth vs by a super­natural [Page 57] and most infallible assent, to acknowledge it to be his ho­ly word. But first this is said gratis, and vvithout any ground or reason: for what authority or majesty can a man discerne in such bookes as our aduersaries receiue as Canonical, more then in those which they reject? For example, what appeareth to vs more di­uine in the bookes of Ecclesiastes, then in the bookes of Ecclesiasti­cus? surely nothing; much lesse, so much as may be an infallible and knowne meane to moue vs to beleeue the one as diuine, and to reject the other as Apocriphal.

Moreouer, howe doe vve knowe that this representation of di­uine majestie, or this diuine authoritie, vvhich as vve conceaue doth represent it selfe vnto vs, is not either some illusion of the Deuil, or some strong imagination of our owne proceeding on­lie from some affection, which vpon some other motiues we beare to such and such bookes of Scripture? Trulie we haue great cause to feare that it may proceed from some such affection, seeing that Luther, and most of al his Lutherans confesse, al the Sacramenta­ries generallie to be deceaued in such their apprehensions, con­cerning the epistle to the Hebrewes, the epistle of Saint Iames, the Apocalipse of S. Iohn, and other parcels of Scripture. And why not concerning others as vvel as these? Vnto vvhich I adde, that they commonly make their doctrine a rule whereby to try which is Scripture and vvhich is not, as I vvil demonstrate hereafter, and appeareth by the causes assigned by Luther, vvhich moued him to reject the epistle of Saint Iames. It may also be objected a­gainst this their doctrine, that of it it seemeth to followe, that no man can be assured of the diuine authority of any other bookes of Scripture, then of those which he hath read himselfe, or heard others read: For first no man can possibly proue to another that in reading such and such books, he did discerne in then the authority of God himselfe speaking, or that the diuine majesty did in them present it selfe vnto him: vvherefore vnto this, that a man may judg of holy Scripture, he must himselfe read, or heare the words and sentences read, and this he must doe before he can haue any faith. For seeing that they make the Scripture the rule and ground of their beliefe, the Scripture must first be knowne before they can beleeue: and seeing that no one booke containeth al things ne­cessary to be beleeued, but such things are dispersed through al, it [Page 58] is necessarie that he know the whole Canon of Scripture; and con­sequentlie, that he reade or heare it al rehearsed sentence by sen­tence. And what a Laborinth is this? how can the vnlearned that cannot reade, doe it? Nay how many Protestants in the world haue euer performed it? Wherefore I conclude, that this rule or meane how to know holy Scripture, is neither easie, plaine, certaine, nOr vniuersal. Perhaps it may be thought by some, that Field assigneth the euidence of the thinges appearing vnto vs in holy Scriptures, as the formal cause of our beleefe concerning their authority: but this cannot be, both because our beleefe concerning their Cano­nical authority, seemeth to be concerning a matter of fact, to wit: vvhether they vvere penned by the instinct of the holie Ghost or no; as also because a great part of them rehearseth matters of fact, which Field denieth to be knowne by the authority of God himselfe, whome we doe certainly discerne to speake in the word of faith.Field book 4. chapt. 15. Adde likewise that by his confession they are obscure, which obscurity partlie (as he saith) ariseth through the high and excellent nature of the thinges in them contained, which if we ad­mit, the thinges contained in the Scripture, be no good meane for vs to come to the knowledge of Scripture. And moreouer, cer­taine it is that the euidence of thinges contained in the Scripture, is no more manifest vnto vs, then the Scriptures themselues: and therefore for this reason also, it cannot be any good Medium to proue these Canonical. Field and al his fellowes, to al these rea­sons objected against them seeme to answere, that in very deede these motiues of themselues are not sufficient, to perswade euerie man of the diuine truth of these bookes: yet, that they are fullie sufficient to perswade him that is endued with the habite of faith, or hath a diuine illumination or inspiration of the spirit, and com­meth to reade the Scriptures vvith pure eies and perfect senses; yea Caluin in his whole discourse touching the knowledge of ca­nonical Scripture, seemeth altogether to flie to diuine inspirati­on, whence proceed these his sentences.Caluin Ins [...]it. book 1. chap. 7. § 4. and 5. The manner of perswasion (touching the diuine truth of Scriptures) must be fetched euen from the secret testimonie of the holy Ghost: They doe disorderly, that by di­sputation trauaile to establish the perfect credite of the Scripture. The word of God shal neuer finde credit in the hearts of men, vntil it be sealed vp with the inward witnesse of the holy Ghost. They whom the holy Ghost [Page 59] hath inwardly taught, doe wholie rest vpon the Scripture: Though by the only majesty of it self it procureth reuerence to be giuen to it; if then only it throughly pearceth our affections, when it is sealed in our hearts by the ho­ly Ghost: hitherto are Caluins wordes.

I reply, first that this taketh not away the necessity of reading, or hearing read euery sentence of these diuine bookes, before we can knowe them to be Canonical, or discerne what we are bound to beleeue. Secondly of this it followeth, that before a man can discerne whether any booke be Canonical or no, he must not only haue faith or a supernatural light of the holy Ghost: but must also, most assuredly and infallibly knowe himselfe to haue such a faith, or such an illumination. And how wil they make vs beleeue this, and also perswade vs that the Scripture is the ground and rule of our beliefe, which likewise they euen as earnestly teach? can pure eies, perfect senses, and the light of faith be had without knowe­ledge of that, which is the verie ground and rule of faith? Must not the ground be knowne and had, before vve can attaine vnto that which is built vpon the said ground? If it must, and the whole Canon of Scripture be the ground of our faith as they say; then must the whole Canon of Scripture be infalliblie knowne, before vve can haue such faith; and consequently, the light of faith can­not be a meane, whereby we are to come to the knowledge of the said Canon of Scripture, or any parcel thereof. But because al Sectaries vsually both in this and other pointes, seeme most to re­lie vpon the inspiration and illumination of the spirit; by which (as they say) al matters are made euident vnto them, and they are assured of the diuine truth of them, although to others not enligh­tened the same matters seeme doubtful, from vvhence it procee­deth that Field affirmeth themselues to rest in the light of diuine vn­derstanding, Field booke 4. chapt. 13. § This judge­ment. as in that whereby they judge of al things: Let vs con­fute the certainety of this illumination or inspiration, concerning such particuler pointes, especially touching the knowledge of di­uine Scripture, a litle more at large. And first thus I argue: If there be such a certaine illumination or inspiration, either God by this illumination or inspiration, doth so teach and direct euerie man concerning euery article of faith, that they cannot erre; or some men only, and those only touching some articles. That he doth not so direct al concerning al articles, it is euident and confessed by [Page 60] our aduersaries; who acknowledg some to be Heretiks, as the Ana­baptists and Swencfeldians; others to erre, as diuers of sundry sects &c. That he doth not likewise direct some concerning al points, it is euident; for there is no one Sectary can be named but hath er­red in some point or other, especially if we admit the judgment of other of his brethren to be true: yea Caluin himselfe confesseth that euery man is subject to errour, Calu. ī 1. Cor. 2. v. 15. See and no man is exempted from it. But e­uery one (saith he) as he is regenerated according to the measure of grace giuen him, doth judg truly and certainely but no further: thus Caluin, of the same opinion are others.Lubbertus de prīcipijs christian. dog. p. 563. Hierō. Zauchius de script. pag. 411. 412. If some only be so infallibly dire­cted, & those only concerning some articles; first it followeth, that god hath not sufficientlie prouided for the direction of men in mat­ters of beliefe, for he hath prescribed and giuen no certaine guide in al points, or certaine meane to know when their direction is in­fallible concerning any, and when it is not. Of vvhich it may se­condly be inferred, that no man can assure himselfe that he is at any time concerning any point infallibly inspired: which vncertainty is also increased not only by this, that the deuil doth oftentimes (as the Apostle saith) transfigure himselfe into an Angel of light; 2. Corinth. 11. vers. 14. but also, by the experience of the fal and error of diuers of their owne com­pany, and that by their owne confession concerning some, when they thought thēselues to be inspired by the spirit; as it falleth out in the Anabaptists and diuers others. Nay in al the Lutherans if we beleeue the Sacramentaries, and in al the Sacramentaries if we may giue credit to the Lutherans; but certainly in one side or other of these, because their opinions or illuminations be opposite: but we may vvel say on both, because one bringeth no stronger proofe for his illumination then the other. What wise man then wil or can build his faith, vpon such an illumination or direction? Be­sides this,Part. 1. chap. 7. Sect. 3. I haue shewed in the first part of this treatise, that no priuate person or Prelate of the Church, is ordinarilie so dire­cted by the holy Ghost that he cannot erre; of vvhich it follow­eth, that no man ordinarily hath such a diuine inspiration. I adde also, that God doth ordinarily proceed in the gouernment and di­rection of men, by common rules & directions not by priuate and particuler, and not without cause: for the first causeth charity, v­nity, order and humility; of the other springeth enmity, diuision, confusion and pride; which reason is touched by Hooker a wise and [Page 61] learned Protestant, Hooker book 5. of Ecclesi­astical policy § 10. who rejecteth such priuate inspirations of the spirit. And hence it is that the Prophet Ezechiel saith:Ezechielis 13. verse 3. August. tract. 45. in Ioan. Woe to the foolish Prophets, who followe their owne spirit, and see nothing. Final­ly, the auncient Heretikes (as S. Augustine doth testifie) boasted of such illuminations: There are innumerable (saith he) who doe not only boast that they are videntes or Prophets, but wil seeme to be illuminated or enlightened by Christ: but are Heretikes. And thus much against the infallible truth of illuminations in general.

Let vs nowe apply some of these general reasons, to the know­ledg of Scripture by illumination in particuler, and also vrge them a litle further. First therefore I demaund, whether this illumina­tion concerning the authority of Scriptures, be common to al, or particuler to some? If common to al, it consequentlie followeth that al men reading the Scriptures, are thus infalliblie and super-naturally inspired of their truth: but that al men are not thus ge­nerally and infallibly led to the knowledge of such diuine bookes, it is apparant by our aduersaries dissention, not only from the aun­cient fathers; but also among themselues touching this very point. For did none of the Fathers judge such bookes Canonical, as al Protestants commonly reject? it cannot be denied but they did: for it is euident,Field book 4. chap. 23. concil. Carthag. 3. canon. sess. 47. See also S. Aug. de prae­dest. cap. 14. Cap. 8. sect. 1. and plainely gathered out of Field himselfe that the third councel of Carthage in which (as he truly saith) S. Augustine was present, numbred the bookes of Tobias, Iudith, Wisedome, Ec­clesiasticus, and of the Machabees in the Canon. Doe they also a­mong themselues al admitte and reject the same bookes? nothing lesse. Luther and his Lutherans reject some, which Caluin, our En­glish Protestants and others, auouch to be Canonical: and this shal at large be proued hereafter. But they vvil say this inspiration is particular only to some, that are enlightened by the spirit, or as Caluin insinuateth, only to the elect:Caluī Instit. book 1. chap. 7. § 5. and this seemeth to be their common opinion. Against which I oppose; first that of this would followe, that there is no certaine rule in the Church, whereby al men may come to a certaine knowledge of Gods word: which as­sertion is verie absurd, especially if the written vvord of God be the only rule of faith as they contend. Secondly, the Scripture yeeldeth vs no warrant for a diuine assurance of any such inspira­tion, that there is any such in the Church. They wil say that di­uers sentences of the vvord of God plainely approue it, but the [Page 62] contrary is already shewed: and besides this is to fal into a circle, by prouing the truth of Scriptures by diuine inspirations, or illu­minations; and the truth of this againe by Scripture. Thirdly, it cannot be proued by Scripture, that this inspiration (if there be a­ny such) is particular to some, and not common to al. Fourthly, although we should grant this to some, yet no man can by any war­rant of Scripture or prudential ground, assuredlie knowe that he hath such an inspiration; especially considering first, that diuers se­ctaries haue beene deceiued & falsly pretended such inspirations, as appeareth by their contrariety. Nay I may further adde, that ei­ther al Protestants are now deceiued in their judgement concerning certaine bookes, or els that S. Augustine with the whole Councel of Carthage erred touching them in times past, as appeareth by that which is said a litle before; and no man wil deny but an error in ei­ther of these, giueth a man just cause to mistrust his owne illumi­nation. For certaine it is, that S. Augustine was guided by the spi­rit, as farre forth as any Sectarie. Secondly, his judgement may also growe doubtful out of this, that the same man may haue (as they say) a diuine inspiration touching one booke, and be decei­ued touching another;Stocke and Whitakers in the answer to Duraeus, the first reason. pag. 48. for so saith Stocke out of Whitakers, who telleth vs, that Al thinges are not reuealed to al alike, and that al haue not the same measure of the spiritte: Out of vvhich he draweth an excuse of the Lutherans, if they beleeued vvel of some, and re­jected not vvel other bookes of Scripture; and this likewise see­meth to be gathered out of Caluin aboue cited. Fiftlie, others haue no meanes to knowe vvho receiueth such an inspiration; and consequently, it only profiteth the man himselfe who hath it, and no other person: this cannot be denied; for Luther boasted of the spiritte as farre forth as Caluin, yet they disagreed concerning the Canonical books, and were of different faiths. And what reason haue we, either to graunt or deny this inspiration more to the one then to the other? or vvhat arguments can be brought by the one which cannot be vsed by the other? yea of this I infer further, that neither of them had any such diuine inspiration; for seeing that both were not inspired with the holy Ghost, and one of them had no stronger proofes for his inspiration then the other, we ought to giue no more credit to the one then to the other: and seing that we cannot beleeue them both, vve cannot according to reason credit [Page 63] either of them. And in very deed, neither of them is able to bring any certaine reason or authority, able to perswade any other that he hath a supernatural inspiration, shewing that this and that is ho­ly scripture. Finally, of this whole opinion follow two other great inconueniences or absurdities: first, it giueth euery man licence to reject and admit books of holy Scripture, out or into the Canon at his pleasure according to his fancy; for there is no Sectary but may alleage the maiesty of the letter, the euidence of thinges contained in it, pure eies, and perfect senses, the light of grace or internal in­spiration, for the proof of his owne particuler opinion concerning canonical Scripture, & that with as great probability as any other Sectary be he Lutheran, Sacramentary, or of what other sect soeuer: Neither can this refel him, vnlesse they refute themselues. In like sort if he deny these proofes to any book whatsoeuer, no man can conuince him of error: and of this may follow without any certain­ty, almost as many opinions of this matter, as there be heads. Se­condly, by this allowance of an inspiration, for the proofe of the letter of canonical Scripture, the way is opened to the allowance of priuate inspiration also, for the knowledg of the true sense and exposition of the same; vvhich is denied by Field, Field booke 4. chap. 16. and is in very deed a very fountaine of discord and confusion. But what proofs can they bring for the one, which cannot be applied to, yea not as­wel proue the other? And these reasons (as I imagine) moued the authors before named, to flie from this priuate inspiration to Tra­dition and the authority of the Church. Vnto whome in my judg­ment, I may adde the whole Protestant Church of England, who in their sixt article agreed vpon in their conuocations of the yeares 1562. and 1604. affirme, that in the name of holy Scripture, they vn­derstand those Canonical books of the old and newe Testament, of whose authority was neuer any doubt in the Church: for they seeme to make the authoritie and Tradition of the Church, the meane and rule vvhereby to knowe the diuine Scriptures.Field booke 4. chap. 14. Yea Field himselfe in another place telleth vs; that we cannot knowe the Scriptures to be of God, without the knowledge of such principal articles as are contai­ned im the Creed of the Apostles: Of vvhich it may seeme laweful to conclude against him, that some other thing is necessarie be­sides diuine inspiration, and other motiues aboue by him assig­ned. The Lutherans of Wittenberg confesse the Church to haue au­thority [Page 64] to judge of doctrines, Harmonie of confess. sect. 10. p. 332. Author of the treatise of the scripture and the church, c. 15. p. 72. see also c. 19. p. 74. 75. Bullē ­ger in the praeface before that booke. according to that; Try the spirittes whether they be of God. Another Protestant (in a treatise of the Scripture and the Church, highly commended by Bullenger) plainely telleth vs, that we could not beleeue the Gospel, were it not that the Church taught vs, and witnessed that this doctrine vvas deliuered by the Apostle: and thus much against this opinion.

But it may be here objected against vs, that we also according to the second opinion deliuered in the first part of this treatise, concerning the last resolution of our faith, allowe a supernatural gift or light; by the concourse and help of vvhich vve firmely as­sent to Christian beliefe as reuealed by God; and that therefore there is no cause, wherefore we should so earnestly impugne the like assertion in others. I answere, that there is great difference be­tweene vs and our aduersaries concerning this point: for whereas I haue shewed, that they require a particular illumination and im­mediate instruction from God himselfe, concerning euerie parti­culer booke and sentence of holy Scripture; yea, touching the ex­position of euerie sentence as I vvil declare hereafter; and by no prudential groundes or arguments of credibility, are ordinarilie induced to this perswasion: But seing that diuers of their owne company, and those of the principal, thinking themselues to be inspired, haue erred, haue rather according to prudence just cause not to stand vpon such illuminations. We assigne the the light of faith for the beliefe of a common guide and general directour and so require not a particuler instruction for the beliefe of this and that particuler matter; but hauing beleeued the said general guide, of it receiue infallible and diuine instructions, what particulerlie is to be beleeued. Neither doe vve this vvithout any prudential motiue, or credible reason, but induced thereunto by most strong arguments of credibility;R [...]chardus de S. Victore l. 1. de Trinit. cap. 2. insomuch as vve may wel say with Ri­chardus de sansto Victore, that If we be deceiued God hath deceiued vs. Neither are vve by this perswaded arrogantlie to followe a priuate rule, which is a fountaine of dissention, and contrarie to the vsu­al proceedings of God; but humblie to submit our selues and our vnderstanding to the authority of a general guide, which is a pre­seruatiue of vnity, and according to the common courses of that heauenlie King.

But before I passe from this matter, I must needes haue a word [Page 65] or two with M. Field in particuler, vvho requireth more then hu­mane inducements or motiues, as reasons, by force whereof we are perswaded first to beleeue:Field book 4. chap. 7. & 8. and seemeth to require a diuine rea­son or testimonie, conuincing that which is beleeued to be of di­uine authoritie, and so to impugne the first opinion of Catholikes concerning the last resolution of faith,Part 1. chap. 7. sect. 6. deliuered in the first part of this treatise. For vvhereas the followers of that opinion, assigne humane motiues as the first inducements to our beliefe, or as cau­ses vvhy we first accept of the same, and bring no other external proofe that the misteries of our faith are reuealed by God:book 4. chap. 8. § The opi­nion he ex­acteth of vs a diuine proofe of this, these are his words: The opini­on of the ordinary Papists is, that the things pertaining to our faith are beleeued, because God reuealeth and deliuereth them to be so, as we are required to beleeue, but that we know not that God hath reuealed any such thing but by humane conjecture and probabilities: so weake doe they make our faith to be grounded: thus Field. Concerning which his impu­tation, I must first request my reader if he be any thing moued by these his words, to turne to the explication and proofe of the Ca­tholike opinion set downe before in the first part of this treatise,Chapt. 7. sect. 6. be­cause I thinke it needlesse to repeate one thing twice. Secondly, I cannot but wish him also to note, howe diuersly Field reporteth our opinions: for although he plainly here affirme, that our ordi­nary opnion is, that the articles of our faith are beleeued, because God reuealeth and deliuereth them to be so, yet in another place he writeth thus. Our aduersaries fal into two dangerous errors; the first, Booke 4. c. 6. that the authority of the Church is Regula fidei et ratio credendi, the rule of our faith and the reason why we beleeue: The second is, that the Church may make newe articles of faith. And like as he himselfe in the words euen now alleaged, freeth vs from the first of these dan­gerous errours:Book 4. chap. 12. § Our ad­uersaries. so likewise in another place he freeth vs from the second. But as concerning my present purpose, out of his afore­said wordes I gather; that if he wil not fal into the same fault for vvhich he blameth vs, he must not only assigne such a diuine for­mal cause of his beliefe concerning euery point, as we teach the reuelation of God to be: but also adde some diuine proofe, pro­uing this formal reason to be diuine, and not only humane proba­bilities. And vvhat such diuine proofe doth he assigne? surelie none that I can finde; he telleth vs in deed, that in some things the [Page 66] euidence of the thinges appearing vnto vs, Book 4. chap. 8. § thus thē. and in others the authority of God discerned to speake in the word of faith, is the formal cause of their faith, or inducing them to beleeue. But I finde no diuine proofe, no not so much as a wise reason; I adde moreouer not so much as a foolish reason, brought neither for the one nor for the other: nay he expresly telleth vs,Book 4. chap. 20. § Much cōtention. see also chapt. 7. § Thus then. Book 4. chap. 7. § Surely. See hī also § There is &c. that The bookes of Scripture winne credit of themselues, and yeeld sufficient satisfaction to al men of their diuine truth; wherefore he seemeth, contrary to that which he had said before, to require no other reason by force whereof the spirit moueth him to beleeue the Scripture, but the Scripture. Neither should he only bring a diuine proofe for these matters, but also to shewe the certaintie of his supernatural illumination, of vvhich al these de­pend. And howe wil he doe this? vvil he proue it by Scripture? This cannot be done, least that he fal into a circle, and according as he maketh the Psalme say of the vvicked, Runne round til he be giddie, and be at the end where he was when he beganne: for by this il­lumination he is come to the knowledg of Scripture, and conse­quently it must not be proued out of Scripture; and vvhat other diuine proofe he wil assigne, for my part I cannot imagine. Nei­ther can he say, that this illumination is beleeued for it selfe: for then he both graunteth that something must be beleeued without diuine proofe; and also, that al thinges are not beleeued because they are contained in the Scripture, and consequently, that the Scripture is not the onlie ground of our faith. Many places of Scripture are alleaged out of the vvritten vvord of God by our aduersaries, to proue the certainty of priuate illuminations: and seing that I can not stand to giue the true sense of them, I desire my reader only to consider in general, that such sentences as they alleage (if they proue any thing for them, and are to be vnder­stood as they pretend) proue the judgement of euerie Christian man, or at the least of euery spiritual man to be infallible: vvhich being false, as appeareth both in the auncient Fathers, and al­so in themselues; vve may vvel inferre that they haue some other sense.

Field affirmeth, that Saint Augustine in a certaine place doth ful­ly agree vnto his opinion, shewing that the authority of the Church, is but an introduction to the spiritual discerning of thinges diuine. I an­swere, that Saint Augustine in the chapter by him cited only af­firmeth, [Page 67] that because al men are not capable at the first, to vnder­stand the sincere wisedome and truth taught in the Church, God hath ordained in it two motiues vvhich may first moue them to seeke it, to wit: miracles, and multitude of beleeuers.Aug. de vtilitate credendi cap. 16. Authori­tas (saith he) praesto est, quam partim miraculis, partim multitudine valere, nemo ambigit: The authority of the Church is at hand which no man doubteth, partly through miracles, partly through multitude to be of force viz. to moue men.

Field to make this sentence seeme the better for his purpose,Booke 4. c. 8. translateth the vvord (valere) standeth vpon: and maketh Saint Augustine say, that the authority of the Church standeth vpon two thinges &c. but howe truly euerie grammer scholler may discerne. That vvhich he alleageth out of Hugo de sancto Victore, is as litle to the purpose, but (as I thinke) farre more falsly translated: for if in the English immediately following the Latin in the same dif­ferent letter, he doth intend a translation of the Latin going be­fore (as euerie man vvil judge he doth) he dealeth in it most cor­ruptly and vntruely, and so I leaue him for this present.

SECTION THE SECOND. In which the same argument is prosecuted, and two thinges principallie are proued. First, that the newe Testament receiueth smal authority (if we beleeue our aduersaries) by this that it was written by the A­postles and Disciples, because they accuse them of er­rour. Secondlie because they confesse the text of Scripture to be corrupted.

HAVING euidentlie confuted in the section next be­fore, the chiefest and most common reasons, by which the Sectaries of our daies endeuour to proue the diuine authority of holie Scripture, let vs now behold such other reasons as may be brought accor­ding to their principles, and together insinuate some other their assertiōs which diminish the credit of these holy books. [Page 68] And to passe ouer (as a thing manifest) that the authority of [...] newe Testament cannot sufficientlie and infalliblie be proued [...] ­uine, by the testimony of the old; some perhaps wil say, that the authority of the old is confirmed and ratified by the newe. But how is the newe it selfe proued to be Canonical? which preroga­tiue if we deny it, the old wil receiue but litle credit from it. Per­aduenture they wil answere, that they knowe the newe to be Ca­nonical, because it vvas vvritten by the Apostles and Disciples of Christ inspired by the holy Ghost. I reply and demaund, first, how they can proue this to be true by canonical Scripture? What canonical Scripture for example (if we deny the said Gospel to be Canonical) telleth vs that S. Mathew the Apostle wrote that Go­spel, which vve terme S. Mathewes Gospel? Secondly, although we suppose it to be true, that the Apostles and Disciples were the authours of the newe Testament, yet howe can they proue that in penning it they haue not erred? What canonical Scripture haue they for this? Certainely our aduersaries make al their successours subject to errour; wherefore it seemeth, that they wil not be very scrupulous to graunt it of the Apostles and Disciples themselues.

Luther tom. 5. in c. 1. ad Galath. fol. 290. Act. 7. v. 14. Luther in cap 46. Genes.But doe they not moreouer in expresse tearms, condemne them of errour? Who can deny this? Luther himselfe (after that he had affirmed that he would not submitte his doctrine to the censure of the Fathers, no not to the censure of S. Peter nor S. Paul, nor of a­ny Angel from heauen) addeth in defence of this his action, that S. Peter did liue and teach besides the word of God. In another place, in plaine tearmes he accuseth S. Steuen of errour in following the 70. Interpreters, vvho as he saith, erred concerning the number of those that went downe into Egipt. Nay moreouer, discoursing of extreame vnction,Luth. de cap­tiuita. Babil. c. de extrema vnctione. Luther ī Isai 64. Martir in 1. Corinth. 2. fol. 46. Centur. 1 lib. 2 c. 10. Col. 1600. 180. he telleth vs; that Although the epistle said to be of S. Iames, were in deed and truly his; yet he vvould say, that it was not lawful for an Apostle of his owne authority to institute a Sacra­ment: By which he seemeth plainly to confesse; that the Apostles in their Apostolike writings were subject to such faults: finally he telleth vs, that S. Paul 1. Corinth. 2. vers. 9. doth finely wreth or wrest a certaine sentence of the Prophet Isay; but Peter Martir auoucheth, that he mistooke the Hebrewe word. Hence the Centuriatores his schollers, note certaine Naeui or lapsus (so they tearme them) that is, freckles or moles and falles of S. Peter, S. Paul, and S. Iames A­postles; [Page 69] as that of S. Peter at Antioch for vvhich he vvas repre­hended by S. Paul, of which alsoCalu. in ca. 2. ad Galat. et in Mat. 26. Caluin; that of S. Iames at Hie­rusalem, in perswading S. Paul to purifie himselfe according to the lawe of Moises in theSee also the same Caluin touching S. Paulin 2. Cor cap. 1. & S. Iames in cap. 21. Act. Act. 21. v. 15. &c. temple; and lastly they accuse S. Paul of er­rour, in yeelding to the perswasion of S. Iames. The same is af­firmed by Brentius & diuers others, concerning S. Peter and Iames, and the whole Church of Hierusalem: Brent. in A­polog. cōfess. Wittenberg. c. de cōcilijs. Both S. Peter Prince of the Apostles (saith he) and Barnabas also after the holy Ghost receiued, and together with them the whole Church of Hierusalem erred, Galat. 2. of the same opinion are other sectaries.Bullēger in Apocalip. 19. & 22. Bullenger hath the like stuffe touching S. Iohn. Doe not also Beza and our English Protestants themselues seeme to confesse, thatLuc. 3. v. 36 S. Luke in his Gospel erred, in making Arphaxad the father of Cainan, and Cainan of Sale; where­as in the booke of Genesis, Arphaxad is said to haue beene the father of Sale? For if S. Luke did not erre, vvhy doeBeza in his translat. our Protestāts in their Bible printed, anno 1595. autho­rized to bee read in Chur. they (notwith­standing that al copies both Latin and Greeke in this accord) thrust out of the text these wordes, who was of Cainan; and make S. Luke say that Arphaxad was the father of Sale. Adde vnto this thatMusculus in locis com­munibus cap. de Iustificat. num. 5. Mus­culus no meane Sectary, to the Catholikes objecting the authority of S. Iames against justification by faith only, maketh this answere: that he whosoeuer he was, although the brother of Christ and a piller among the Apostles, and a great Apostle aboue measure (asGal. 2. v. 9. 2. Cor. 12, 12. S. Paul saith) can­not prejudice the truth of only faith. Molinae. in vnione quat. Euāg. par. 64 Another of them testifieth, that certaine of his learned brethren limit and restraine those wordes of Christ: He that heareth you heareth me, that Christ only is to be heard, that is to say: that his word only is to be preached; that the Apostles were subject to errour in going beyond their com­mission, and therefore that they are not to be heard, but when they relate vnto vs the very wordes of Christ. Thus he vvriteth vpon the said sentence; These wordes (he that heareth you, heareth me) limit that Christ only be heard, that is: that his word only be preached, as most learned Philip Melancthon expoundeth, &c. For so expoundeth Iohn Brentius, saying: That Christ when he saith: He that heareth you, heareth me, speaketh not of al wordes of the Apostles whatsoeuer, but of the prescribed cōmandement of their embassage. Thus Carolus Molinaeus. From this opinionCal. l. 4. Inst. c. 8. § 4. & 7. Caluin himselfe seemeth not much to dissent, vvhose wordes are these: The Apostles in their very name shewe howe much is permitted them in their office, that is: if they be Apostles that [Page 70] they should not babble what they please, but should deliuer truly his com­maundements by whome they were sent: and soone after he plainely insinuateth,Modrenius lib. 2. de Ec­cles. cap. 2. that he would haue Christ only heard. Further, one Fricius a very learned Protestant telleth vs, that although he should graunt that S. Iames gaue the communion vnder one kinde only, yet that his authority is not to be admitted seing that Christ said: Eate and drinke. Clebetius in victoria veri­tatis et ruina papatus Sax­oni. argumē ­to 5. Clebetius one of the chiefe ministers of the County Palatine of Rhene, graunteth to his aduersary; that S. Mathewe and S. Marke in their gospels contradict S. Luke: but saith that he hath two against one, and that S. Luke was not present at the last sup­per (concerning the history of vvhich, the controuersie was be­tweene him & his aduersary) as S. Mathew was, and therefore that he deserued lesse credit. Finally, Zuinglius being impugned for de­nying praier for the dead, & pressed with the authority of Fathers (especially of S. Chrisostome & S. Augustine, who deriue this custome from the Apostles) answered thus.Zuing. tom. 1. Epicherae. de can. Mis­sae fol. 186. See him also tom. 2. in E­leuch. cōt. A­nabap. fo. 10. If it be so as Augustine & Chri­sostome report, I thinke that the Apostles suffered certaine to pray for the dead, for no other cause then to condiscend to their infirmity: hither­to Zuinglius; in which words he confesseth that the Apostles wil­fully suffered some to erre, vvhich could not be done without er­rour in themselues. And out of al these assertions of our aduersa­ries, in which they either accuse the vvriters of holy Scripture of errour, or make them subject thereunto, I inferre; that the newe Testament may containe errours, although we should graunt it to be written by the Apostles and Disciples of Christ.

But let vs also adde, that although we should graunt them that the Apostles and Disciples could not erre in penning these sacred bookes: yet that it is a hard matter for them to proue, that the new Testament since their daies, hath not either through negligence or malice beene corrupted. For had not the Catholiks their enemies, by their owne confession the keeping of it for the space of diuers hundreds of yeares? how know they then that the said Catholikes to serue their owne turnes, haue not corrupted it? Surely they con­fesse their owne bretheren to haue falsified it vvithin fewe yeares, in diuers places: wherefore, one sect rejecteth the translation of a­nother. Doe they then thinke vs and our predecessors, more sin­cere then they are themselues? Perhaps some ignorant man wil say, that it hath beene alwaies in the custody of those of their reli­gion; [Page 71] but it is certaine; that they cannot possibly assigne any suc­cession of men of their profession, that could alwaies keepe it. I demaund also (if any man wil needes say that there were such men, although invisible in the vvorld, and mentioned off by no Au­thour of anie one age since the Apostles dayes) vvhether they were Lutherans, Zuinglians or Caluinists, or of vvhat other sect? If they were Lutherans, howe doe the Zuinglians, Caluinists, and o­ther Sectaries knowe that they kept it sincerely and truly? if they were Zuinglians, howe doe the Lutherans knowe the same? The like question I demaund concerning other Sectaries, and none of them I thinke wil be so absurd, as to say that al these sects haue e­uer beene in the world.

But let vs see whether they doe not plainely confesse, that the text of Scripture it selfe hath beene corrupted.Beza in prae­fat. noui Test. anno. 1556. et Annota. in 1. Luc. v. 1. Although Beza pre­ferre the vulgar Latin edition which we vse, before al other trans­lations, and confesseth that the old Interpreter translated very re­ligiously; yet both he and al the professours of the newe religion, prefer the Hebrew of the old Testament and the Greeke of the new, farre before it. And as concerning the Greeke translation of the old by the 70. Interpreters,Luther in ca. 40. Genesis. Mūst. in bibl. Hebraicis. Act. 7. v. 14. Caluī in An­tid. Sinodus Trident. sess. 4. pag. 372. Luther and Munster plainely condemne it of errour; and the first of them in particuler affirmeth, the text allea­ged of it by S. Steuen in the seauenth chapter of the acts of the A­postles (as he citeth it) to be erroneous, our Latin bibles are also censured by Caluin to be most corrupt: vvherefore, they alwaies where they can translate the Hebrew of the old and the Greek of the new; rejecting as it were, the Greek of the old and the Latin of the newe: but that both the Hebrewe of the old and Greeke of the newe be corrupted, it is manifest by their owne confession. And first it cannot be denied, but that they some times correct both the He­brewe and Greeke text: as for example, in the Hebrewe psalme 22. vvhereas the Hebrewe word for word ought thus to be translated, As a lion my hands & my feete; they translate according to the Greek and vulgar Latin thus: They haue peirced my hands and feete. The examples of the Greeke in the newe which principally pertaineth vnto Christians, are almost infinite: I wil only set downe a fewe out of Beza and our English translatours. If then the Greeke text be not corrupted, wherefore doe these translatours (whereas He­brewes 9. verse 1. the Greeke text hath the first tabernacle) reade the [Page 72] first couenant? Againe, Rom. 11. ver. 21. they translate not according to the Greeke text, eruing the time; but according to our vulgare Latin, seruing our Lord. Apoc. 11. vers. 2. their translation is not ac­cording to the Greeke, The court which is within the temple; but ac­cording to the Latin, The court which is without the temple. 2. Tim. 1. vers. 14. they adde the word (but) out of the Latin. Iames 5. vers. 12. they forsake the Greeke and follow our Latin, reading, Least you fal into condemnation. In these and other places they correct the Greeke text, and consequently confesse it to be corrupted. But as touching Beza in particular I should make a long discourse, if I should recite al such places as in the Greeke he accuseth of corru­ption. Act. 13. vers. 20. He calleth it a manifest errour, that in the Greeke we reade foure hundred yeares (as he saith) for three hundred. Act. 7. vers. 18. He maketh a whole Catalogue of corruptions. In S. Matthewes Gospel (as he confesseth in his Preface to the newe Testament) he corrected diuers errours; and sundry other such testimonies he giueth of the corruption of the Greeke text of the new Testament. But doth not he moreouer besides these his gene­ral corruptions (vvhich he thinketh perhaps not done of malice) also suspect, that we haue euen of malice willingly and wittingly falsified the Scriptures? verily he doth. And to bring fourth three or foure examples to proue this his assertion.Beza in an­notat. noui Testament. an. 1556. Math. 10. vers. 2. the Greeke text hath: The first Simon who is called Peter. But what saith Beza? he telleth vs, that he thinketh the word (first) to haue beene added to the text, by some that sought to establish Peters primacy. Againe, Luke 22. vers. 20. according to the Greeke text we read; This is the Chalice, the new Testament in my bloud, which shal be shedde for you. In which sentence the Relatiue (which) accor­ding to the Greeke, is not gouerned by the Noune (bloud) but by the word (Chalice) to signifie vnto vs, that the bloud of Christ, as the contents of the Chalice, or as in the Chalice was shedde for vs. But what saith Beza? he affirmeth it to be most probable, that the vvordes (which is shedde for you) being sometime but a marginal note, came by corruption out of the margent into the text. Act. 7. vers. 43. the Greeke hath; Figures which you made to adore them: It may be suspected saith Beza, that these wordes (to adore them) as many others, haue crept by corruption out of the margent into the Text. 1. Cor. 15. vers. 57. He thinketh that the Apostle said not [Page 73] Victorie, as it is in al Greeke copies, but Contention: And thus much concerning the corruption of the text of holy Scripture.

And out of this discourse it is euident, first that our aduersaries cannot proue by Canonical Scripture, that the Scripture it selfe is Canonical; secondly, that they cannot proue that the newe Testa­ment was written by the Apostles and Disciples of Christ; thirdly, that although this be admitted, yet that they cannot proue that the said Apostles and Disciples in penning it did not erre; lastly, that they cannot proue the Scriptures to remaine sincere and not corru­pted: yea I haue declared, that they confesse that the Apostles and Disciples were subject to errour, and that the Hebrewe and Greeke text which they esteeme aboue al others, is corrupted. Out of al vvhich positions so manifestly proued, I conclude; that the bare vvordes of Scriptures are not a sufficient ground of Christian faith and religion. And although this argument concerning the vvhole Bible, and in particular touching the new Testament, be inuincible and insoluble; yet, a farre greater difficulty there is according to their ground mentioned, that nothing is to be beleeued, but that which is expresly contained in the Scripture, or gathered out of the same concerning those bookes of Scripture, which haue long after the Apostles daies beene in the Church of doubtfull authority (of which before) and yet are now receiued by our aduersaries into the Canon. For vvhat one sentence of the vvord of God remouing al doubt, declared their authority to be diuine? Surely after the doubt had of them, there was no Scripture written; and before, the mat­ter in the said Scripture was not decided: wherefore, if we allowe the Scriptures only to be a sufficient judge of such controuersies, our aduersaries themselues contrary to their owne proceedings, must of necessity be forced to confesse such parcels of Scripture, to be as yet of doubtful authority. And this is not only graunted by Brentius in confess. Wit­tenberg. cap. de sacra Scri­ptura, anno. 1552. Brentius and certaine other Lutherans, who acknowledge those bookes of Scripture only to be Canonical, of whose authority there was neuer any doubt made in the Church: but also may seeme to be confessed by our countriman M. Whitaker, vvho touching the E­pistle of S. Iames receiued telleth vs, that he dothWhitaker a­gainst Cam­pian, reason the first, p. 28. not enquire howe justly that might be receiued in a succeeding age, which once was rejected; yea, our vvhole Church ofConuocat. Lon. an. 1562. & 1604. ar. 6 England alloweth of the position of Brentius in Apolog. con­fess. Wittenb. Brentius, euen nowe mentioned. Wherefore, these sectaries [Page 74] must reject out of the Canon (if they vvil be constant to them­selues) not only the Epistle of S. Geneuain ob­seruat. vpon harmony of cōfess. sect. 1. Paul to the Hebrewes, the Epistles of S. Iames and S. Iude, the second of S. Peter, and the second and third of S. Iohn, togither with the Apocalipse, whose authority (as is confessed by the Doctors of Geneua, by Brentius, and al the Lu­therans, yea as it is recorded by diuers Fathers as I haue shewed be­fore, nay further as it is graunted by Thomas Rogers an English Pro­testant, Thomas Ro­gers vpon the 6. Artic. Pro­pos. 4. pa. 31. See also Whitaker before cited, and the disputat. had in the Tower with F. Cam­pian in the 4. daies cōferen. in his discourse vpon the Articles of Religion of the yeare 1562. and before him by Whitakers and others) hath beene some­times doubtful; but also certaine other parcels of Scripture by them likewise receiued, as I could declare out of diuers approued Authors. The Doctors of Geneua to proue the bookes named to be Canonical, flie to the authority of the Church; for they wil haue them admitted as such, because they were receiued and acknow­ledged as Canonical, by the consent of the whole Catholike Church; although some doubt were made of them sometimes by the auncient Do­ctors: but this according to their owne ground, is to giue them no diuine authority, as I haue already noted.

And before I end this section I cannot but adde, that I vvould wish M. Rogers (whome I euen now named) to looke a little better into his bookes, if hereafter he chaunce to publish any with such approbations, as he doth pretend in the beginning of this: For I cannot see but writing in defence of the sixt Article, he ouerthrow­eth the same, by graunting that which I haue alleaged him confes­sing. To make this a little seene vnto him, thus I argue: In the name of the holy Scripture, we doe vnderstand those Canonical bookes of the old and new Testament, of whose authority was neuer doubt in the Church; (These are the wordes of the Article):Page 26. but of some bookes of the new Testament, there hath beene doubt in the Church as appea­reth by those M. Rogers wordes (Some of the auncient Fathers and Doctors accepted not al the bookes, Pag. 31. pro­pos. 4. contained within the volume of the new Testament for Canonical) therefore al the bookes contained in the volume of the new Testament, are not vnderstood in the name of holy Scripture. This conclusion necessarily followeth of the pre­misses graunted, as euery man seeth; and yet is directly contrary to the last wordes of the same Article,Page 26. Pag. 31. pro­pos. 4. in which they professe them­selues to receiue and account as Canonical, al the bookes of the new Testament, as Rogers himselfe affirmeth.

SECTION THE THIRD. The same is proued, because euery Christian is bound to admit and beleeue certaine propositions, neither expresly contained, nor (according to some mens judgements) so euidently gathered out of the holy Scripture.

SECONDLY it is apparant, that the bare letter of holy Scripture, and conclusions out of it manifestly deduced by euery priuate man, setting a side the authority of the Church (as aboue) are not a sufficient ground or rule of Christian beliefe and religion; be­cause euery true Christian is bound to admit and beleeue, certaine propositions concerning the misteries and articles of our faith, which are not expresly contained in the letter, nor (as some of them thinke) so euidently deduced out of the same, especially if we al­low of our aduersaries Commentaries. The first is easily proued; for where doe we finde in the vvhole Bible the wordes, Trinity, person, and consubstantial? and yet most of the Professors of the new religion vvil not denie, but that euery Christian vnder paine of damnation, is bound to beleeue and admit in expresse tearmes these propositions following: There is a Trinity, there be three persons in the blessed Trinity; the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost are consubstantial the one to the other, and such like: yea Beza himselfe confesseth, that without the vse of these wordes,Beza lib. de hereticis a ci­uili magistra­tu puniendis, pag. 51. also in Ep. Theol. 81. pag. 334. 335. See part 1. chap. 9. the truth of those misteries cannot be explicated, nor the deniers of them confuted; And it is manifest, that whosoeuer rejecteth these wordes doth open the gappe to Iudaisme, Arianisme, and Turcisme. But some of them flie to deduction out of Scriptures; and ans­were, that although the wordes are not expresly found in the Bi­ble, yet that the misteries themselues are expresly in it contained and deliuered; and conseqnently, that the wordes aptly signifying the said misteries, and deduced out of the word of God it selfe, may very wel and conueniently be vsed. I reply that this is not sufficient: for euery priuate mans deduction is subject to errour, except it be by an infallible argument, and euery proposition be most euidently true, in that sense in which it is alleaged: where­fore, [Page 76] such deductions as our aduersaries commonly vse, make no articles of faith: Secondly, the collections themselues of these high misteries, (by reason of the obscurity and diuersity of senses of the holy Scripture) are not seldome obscure; and therefore those col­lections vvhich to some seeme euident, by others are judged false. Hence the collection of those very misteries which I haue named, by diuers of our aduersaries is denied; as by Valentinus Gentilis and his followers,Valent. Gen­tilis in cōfess. apud Caluin, pag. 930. & in Prothes. Pastor. Bre­mēsis, in hist. Valēt. Gentil. who affirme the three persons to haue three distinct natures or essences, and the Father to haue beene before the Sonne, and the Sonne before the holy Ghost; Who make also the one in­feriour to the other, &c. The same collection is likewise denied by Seruetus and his disciples,Seruetus li. de erroribus Trinitatis. who acknowledged no distinction of persons in God, made Christ a pure man, and denied him to haue beene before his incarnation. Finally, by Georgius Blandrata, Paulus Alciatus, and other Schollers of these men, whoGreg. Paul. apud Hosium in judicio & cēsura de ad­oranda Trini­tate. See Hooker booke 5. of eccles. policy, §. 42. affirmed that Lu­ther beganne to pul downe the roofe, they raised: the foundations of Popery; who condemned al the auncient Councels and Fathers reuerenced by al Christians, ofBeza epist. Theolog. 81. tritheisme or making of three Gods; tearmed S. Athanasius, Sathanasius; auouched the blessed Trinity (vvhich most blasphemously they called Cerberus and the tripartited God) to be an inuention of his; and called the Fathers of the first Nicene Councel, blinde Sophists, Ministers of the Beast, slaues of Antechrist, bewitched with his illusions, &c. yea, some of these newe sectaries vvent so farre in this matter, that they for­sooke Christ altogither, and became Turkes: among vvhome were Simlerus in praefat. lib. de aeterno Dei fi­lio. Gregor. Paulus lib. de Trinitat. Vo­lanus in para­uesi ex epist. Blandratae in cōfut. judicij Polonicarum ecclesiarū. Of Neuser. this is testified by C [...]nr. Schluss. in Catal. hae­ret. lib. 11. de Seruetianis. Bernardinus Ochinus, Alamannus, Georgius Blandrata, Adamus Neu­serus, Iohannes Siluanus, Gregorius Paulus, and Andreas Volanus, al Ministers of great name and fame. Franciscus Dauid denied Christ, and willed al men to returne to the law of Moises and circumcision, and so to become Iewes. And doe not al the newe sectaries by their common doctrine, offer an occasion of al these blasphemies and apostasies? Surely they doe; both by leauing no euident, certaine, and sufficient rule by vvhich such men may be confuted, and attri­buting ouer much to the sufficiency of the bare letter of holy Scri­pture, and also by rejecting certaine wordes and propositions of ours, as manifestly gathered out of the holy Scripture: as the wordes Trinity, person, and consubstantial, and the propositions by them declared. For out of these groundes some of the preciser [Page 77] sort of them argue, that we ought not to admit into our beliefe, or vse in the explication of out faith, any wordes not contained and expressed in the word of God. For (say they) the Scripture being so sufficient, vvherefore should vve vse any vvordes inuented by man? what neede haue we of any strange deductions, or any other thing? If these wordes be admitted, we may euen aswel admit the word, transubstantiation, & other new inuentions of the Papists, &c. thus the preciser sort and the enemies of the blessed Trinity di­spute. And to discourse a little more at large of the word, transub­stantiation; Aske an English Protestant what reason he hath to reject it? He wil answere, both because it is not found in the Scripture, and also because the thing by it signified (to wit, the changing of bread and wine into the body and bloud Of Christ) is not collected out of the same. Demand likewise of an Arian vvhy he admitteth not the vvord consubstantial? He wil answere, because neither the vvord it selfe is vsed in holy writ, nor the thing signified thereby, (to vvit: that the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost are of the same substance) truly gathered out of the same. Behold the ans­were of both is one, and certainely the reason yeelded serueth both alike; for like as the vvord transubstantiation, so the word consub­stantial is not found in the Scripture, but both these vvordes haue beene appropriated by the Church, to signifie more distinctly and plainely misteries expressed truly in the word of God, but not so plainely: vvherefore, if one of them be rejected, the other cannot be receiued. They say, that the thing signified by the word tran­substantiation, is not in expresse tearmes to be found in the Scri­pture. I reply, that like as the real presence by the confession of their owne bretheren the Lutherans, is so plainely deliuered vnto vs by the Euangelists, that it cannot be denied (which neuerthelesse by them is vtterly rejected:) so likewise is transubstantiation. And like as if we admit of their translations, and interpretations of holy Scripture, neither the real presence, nor transubstantiation is out of them gathered: so in like sort, neither is the mistery signified by the vvord consubstantial gathered out of the said Scripture, if vve admit the translations and interpretations of the Arians. Yea I dare boldly affirme, that if vve allowe but of Caluins Commentaries vpon the Scriptures (which some of ourHooker in the preface to his booke of eccles. pollicy pag. 9. Couel in his defence of Hooker. English Protestants so highly esteeme) that neither of these misteries are expresly contai­ned [Page 78] in the word of God. For like as vvith our Sacramentaries he ex­poundeth it against the real presence: so vvith the Arians he ex­poundeth it against the diuinity of Christ.Part. 2. chap. 1. sect. 3. And this (as I haue no­ted before) is very vvel declared by diuers Protestants, especially by Aegidius Hunnius in a booke vvhich he set forth with this title: Caluin playing the Iewe, that is to say; the Iewish glosses and cor­ruptions by vvhich Iohn Caluin abhorred not after a detestable manner, to corrupt the most noble and famous places of holy Scri­pture, and testimonies of the glorious Trinity, the Deity of Christ, and the holy Ghost, &c. printed at Wittenberge anno 1593. Also by Conradus Schlussenbergius, in his second booke of the diui­nity of the Caluinists, and diuers others. But if vve reject al hereti­cal interpretations, both these misteries are expresly contained in the Scripture; and therefore our aduersaries haue no more reason to refuse the vvord transubstantiation, then they haue to refuse the vvord consubstantial: and by rejecting the first they giue occasion to the Arians to reject the second, because they haue no greater proofes for this then vve haue for that. And hence it appeareth, howe vveake a ground the naked letter of Scripture is, and vvhat smal force deductions out of it, commonly made by euery priuate mans discourse, haue; and consequently, vvhat a feeble founda­tion they build their saluation vpon, vvho haue no other ground.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. The insufficiency of the bare letter of holy Scripture is proued by other arguments, especially by this; that the true interpretation cannot be infallibly gathered out of the letter.

LET vs adde vnto these reasons, that although we should grant to our aduersaries, that the bare letter of holy Scripture is suf­ficiently proued true by the Scripture it selfe (which assertion not­withstanding I haue demonstrated to be false) yet, that an other argument for the proofe of the insufficiency of the said letter, may be taken from the doubtfull, obscure, and diuers senses of the [Page 79] same.Part. 1. chap. 7. sect. 2. For (as I haue proued before in the first part of this treatise) the Scriptures are hard and admit diuers translations and inter­pretations, and there may be gathered out of them both hony and poison, both true and false doctrine. I knowe that Luther affirmeth,Luth. praefat. in assert. art. a Leone 10. damnatorum. the Scripture to be of it selfe a most certaine, most easie, and most manifest interpreter of it selfe, prouing, judging, and enlightning al thinges. I doe not also denie butBrentius in Prol. cont. Pe­trum de Soto. Brentius seemeth to be of the same opinion; but against these I opposeField, booke 4. chap. 15. M. Field, vvho of this point vvriteth thus: There is no question but there are manifold diffi­culties in the Scripture, proceeding partly from the high and excellent nature of the thinges therein contained, which are without the compasse of natural vnderstanding, and so are wholy hidden from natural men, and not knowne of them that are spiritual without much trauaile and studious meditation; partly out of the ignorance of tongues, and of the nature of such thinges, by the comparison whereof the matters of diune know­ledge are manifested vnto vs: Hitherto Field. Chap. 18. §. betweene §. The reason, §. Thus hauing. He further alleageth and approueth that of Sixtus Senensis, affirming the litteral exposi­tion of Scripture, to be in deede the hardest of al other. And this notwithstanding, vpon it he vvil haue the allegorical, tropological, and anagogical senses founded, of vvhich a man may inferre great obscurity of them al. This also may be proued out ofIlliric. in his clauis scrip­tur. de causis difficul. script & remedijs remed. 2. Illiricus a fa­mous Lutheran, who (asField, booke 4. chap. 19. Field testifieth) discoursing of the diffi­culties that are found in Scriptures, and howe they may be cleared, sheweth; that nothing is more necessary for the vnderstanding of Scripture, then to be rightly taught the general principles and axiomes of diuinity, out of which flow and on which doe depend, whatsoeuer thinges are contained in the Scripture.Kemnit. in examin. Cōc. Trid. sess. 4. Kemnitius an other Lutheran, acknowledgeth in the Church such a gift of inter­preting the Scripture, as is the gift of doing miracles, not common to al but peculiar to some. TheCentur. 1. lib. 2. cap. 4. col. 52. Century writers auouch, that the Apostles thought the Scriptures could not be vnderstood without the holy Ghost, and an interpreter: yea,Luth. in col­loq. conuiual. titu. de verbo Dei: see him also l. de Con­cil. & praefat. in psalm. Luther himselfe seemeth to haue recanted his former opinion before his death; for two daies before he died (as his disciples record) he pronounced this sen­tence. No man can vnderstand the Bucolica of Virgil, except he be fiue yeares a shepherd: no man can vnderstand the Georgica of Virgil, except he be fiue yeares a husband-man: no man can vnderstand the Epistles of Ci­cero, except he haue liued in some famous common wealth for 20. yeares. [Page 80] Let euery man knowe that he hath not sufficiently tasted the holy Scri­ptures, except he haue gouerned in the Church for an hundred yeares, with the Prophets; as with Elias, Elizeus, Iohn Baptist, Christ and the Apostles. Thus Luther, and the like he hath in other places. And al this may be confirmed by this,Chap. 8. Sect. 7. that al Heretikes haue euer alleaged Scriptures for proofe of their heretical assertions, as I wil hereafter declare. Yea Osiander a professour of the newe religion telleth vs,Osiander in cōfut. scripti Melancthon. contra ipsum editi, & l. cot. Nicticoracē. that among the Confessionists only (so he tearmeth those that followe the confession of Auspurge) there are twenty different opinions concerning the formal cause of justification, and that euery one is affirmed to be deduced and proued out of the word of God. I argue there­fore thus: The rule and ground of Catholike faith ought to be one (that is not diuers) certaine, and manifest: but the bare vvordes of Scripture alone cannot be such a rule, because the Scriptures are obscure, may be falsly and erroneously interpreted, &c. vvhere­fore the sense of them is not one, certaine, and manifest: therefore, the bare vvordes of Scripture are not the only rule and ground of Catholike faith.

Math. 26. vers. 26. See chap. 8. Sect. 3.Let vs declare this by an example: The Catholike vnderstandeth those vvordes of our Sauiour; This is my body, one way: the Luthe­rans an other way: the Zwinglians a third way; and the Caluinists a fourth vvay as I vvil shewe hereafter. I demaund nowe of our ad­uersaries, howe in this sentence and a thousand other such like, the bare wordes of Scripture are a plaine, and certaine rule, whereby the truth of any one of their interpretations may infallibly be knowne? Can the wordes speake and interpret themselues, or doe they sufficient­y decide the controuersie? This they wil not grant, because they are plaine for the Catholike part. Yea Caluin himselfe confesseth, that Christs wordes are so plaine, (although to make his wordes accord with his doctrine, he flieth to certaine chimerical conceits) that except a man wil make God a deceauer, Caluin lib. 4. Instit. cap. 17 §. 10. 11. he can neuer be so bold as to say, that he setteth before vs a naked signe: vvherefore accor­ding to their judgement if we wil allowe of any one of their inter­pretations, we must find out some other judge, or else affirme; that Christ hath ordained no sufficient judge or rule in his Church to decide controuersies, and to discerne the true interpretations of holy Scripture, from the false. And because our aduersaries ac­knowledge no other judge but the bare letter, and euery mans [Page 81] owne fancy; Hence proceede so many sects and dissensions among them, which were so diuers and implacable euen in Luthers daies (who beganne this Tragedie,) concerning the true sense of Scri­pture it selfe, that the said Luther plainely confessed; that if the world vvere longe to endure they should be forced to haue recourse againe to trial of Councels, and that otherwise they should neuer agree. Luther con­tra Zwingli­um & Oeco­lampadium.

Further, seing that the Scriptures admit senses so diuers, and in­terpret not themselues, and the false sense is so dangerous; howe can any man be assured by the bare vvordes, that he hath attained to the true sense? For example,Bible, 1592. Hieron. in Catal. verbo Marcus. Eu­sebius, lib. 2. hist. cap. 14. our newe Sectaries affirme that the vvord Babilon, in the first Epistle of S. Peter (although S. Hierome and Eusebius say the contrary) signifieth the great City called Ba­bilon in Caldea or Assyria, not Rome; because otherwise it vvould followe, that S. Peter was at Rome: contrariwise they tel vs, that in theApocal. 17. & 18. Apocalipse the same word signifieth the City of Rome, because there much is said against Babilon, which they are desirous to apply to the City of Rome. But howe knowe they by the bare vvordes of Scripture, that this their double interpretation of the selfe same vvord, is true? Adde also, that the diuers and large Commentaries vpon the Scriptures, and the great study of al sorts concerning the exposition of them, are euident arguments, that the bare vvordes of Scripture may receiue diuers and false interpretations: yea eue­ry man must of necessity graunt, that some of our learned aduersa­ries themselues expound them falsly, seing that their expositions be repugnant and contrary. Of vvhich I inferre, that it is a matter impossible that euery man out of the vvordes themselues only, should gather infallibly the right sense; vvhich if it be true in the learned, much more true it is in the vnlearned.

The common answere of our aduersaries to this argument is,See before part. 2. chap. 5. sect. 1. in the beginning that one place of Scripture expoundeth another; and therefore if the vvordes of any place be of doubtful sense, they bid vs conferre them vvith other such like sentences: but this answere may be easi­ly refelled. For like as the place in controuersie or doubtful, recei­ueth diuers interpretations; so doe also those other places vvith vvhich they vvould haue it conferred: vvherefore, by this confe­rence diuers times vve are neuer the neare for attaining to the true sense; yea not seldome, by such conference the difficulty is increa­sed, as appeareth by those places before alleaged,Part. 2. chap. 1. sect. 4. which seeme to [Page 82] contrary one another. Hence our newe sectaries themselues being diuided into diuers sects, and hauing conferred a longe time such places together as are controuersed among them, cannot as yet a­gree about the true sense of the said places, but remaine stil at mor­tal jarres. And al this which I haue here said may be confirmed by the authority of Field, Field booke 3 chap. 42. who affirmeth the ground of their faith to be the vvritten vvord of God, interpreted according to the rule of faith, the practize of the Saints from the beginning, the confe­rence of places and al light of direction, that either the knowledge of tongues or any parts of good learning may yeeld: Thus Field. In an other place he prescribeth seauen rules,Booke 4. chap. 19. vvhich he thinketh vve are to followe in the interpretation of Scripture, that we may attaine to the certainty of the true sense of it, of which diuers are extrinsecal, and concerne not the letter it selfe of Scripture. Lastly, against the sufficiency of conference of places alone, he addeth these vvordes.Ibidem. We confesse that neither conference of places, nor consi­deration of the antecedentia and consequentia; nor looking into the originals are of any force, vnlesse we finde the thinges which we conceiue to be vnderstood and meant in the places interpreted, to be consonant to the rule of faith: but of Fields rules for the expounding of Scripture more hereafter.Harmony of Confess. sect. 10. pag. 33. Confess. Wit­tenb. art. 32. The Lutherans of Wittenberge (as I haue before no­ted) acknowledge in the Church a rule of faith, according to which she is bound (as they say) to interpret the obscure places of Scri­pture; by which their assertion they acknowledge also for the ex­position of Scripture, an other necessary guide besides the letter. Let vs therefore conclude, that the true sense of the Scripture is not sufficiently gathered out of the bare vvordes; and consequent­ly, let vs not admit the bare vvordes to be a sufficient ground of Christian religion. And hence I gather, that our aduersaries haue no certainty of faith and religion; which is apparent, because they make the naked letter of holy Scripture the only ground of their beliefe, the true sense of vvhich vnto them is alwaies very vncer­taine: for either the assurance vvhich euery one of them hath pro­ceedeth from his owne reading and judgement, or from the credit of some other Minister or Ministers, vvho interpret the Scriptures in that sense vvhich he embraceth; both vvhich meanes be most vncertaine. For they depend vpon the judgement of priuate men, vvho haue no assurance from the holy Ghost of not erring; [Page 83] vvherefore they are subject to errour; and consequently, none of them haue any further assurance of the truth of their religion, then humane judgement.

Vnto the reasons already brought for the proofe of the title of this Chapter, I adde these that followe, partly gathered out of that vvhich hath beene already said in this Treatise: first, that the rule of Christian faith ought to be general and sufficient for al sorts of people, vvhich cannot appertaine to the bare letter of holy Scripture, because diuers persons cannot reade; and consequent­ly, to knowe the contents of the Bible, they must vse the helpe of some of the learned, and vpon their report (vvhich may be false and erroneous) build their beliefe. It is also manifest, that Chri­stians had some other rule of faith, before the Scriptures of the newe Testament vvere vvritten. Finally I haue already proued, that together vvith the letter we ought to receiue that sense and in­terpretation, vvhich hath by tradition and succession descended from the Apostles: And thus much concerning this matter.

Chapter 6. The newe Sectaries Bibles containe not the true word of God.

SECTION THE FIRST. In which this is first proued concerning al their Bibles in general.

IN the Chapter next before, I haue demonstrated the bare letter of holy Scripture on vvhich our aduersaries build, not to be a sufficient ground of Christian faith and religion: in this present Chapter to make their weake foundation the more manifest, I in­tend to proue; that although we should yeeld the bare letter to be sufficient, yet that in very truth their Bibles containe not truly the said bare letter. And first, I proue this concerning al their new tran­slated Bibles in general, and that by their owne confession;Lauatherus in histor. Sa­cramēt. fo. 32 for Lu­ther & the Lutherans condemne the translation of Zwinglius and the [Page 84] Zwinglians, Zwing. tom. 2. in respons. ad Luther. li. de Sacramēt. and of al others besides those which are proper to their owne sect: Zwinglius and the Zwinglians pronounce the same cen­sure against the translation of Luther and the Lutherans. And in like sort proceedeBeza in an­not. noui test. passim. Castalio in defens. suae translat. Beza and Castalio against one another, and al other sectaries; for euery particular sect hath his particular Bible, which it embraceth rejecting al others: vvherefore, if we may beleeue al these Professours of the newe religion, they haue not among them one true translation of the Bible. Moreouer, there is but one truth, and one true word of God, penned by the instinct of the holy Ghost, who teacheth not contrary doctrine. But our aduersaries translated Bibles be diuers and different one from another, and in­sinuate contrary doctrine (wherefore euery Bible is not admitted by euery sectary, but that only which fauoureth his owne sect, as I haue euen nowe declared:) It is therefore impossible that they should al containe the true word of God, and be penned by the in­stinct of the holy Ghost. And being so that the translator of the one, was euen as much subject to errour as the translator of the o­ther, and had no surer ground for his translation, with like proba­bility and reason they may be al rejected; because they haue al re­ceiued the same censure from the Church.Whitak. con­trou. 1. quest. 2. cap. 7. arg. 3. & cap. 9. arg. 4. See also his repre­hension of the Rhemes Testament, pa. 15. Finally, Whitaker see­meth to acknowledge the Scriptures only in those tongues, in vvhich they vvere first spoken by God, or penned by the holy Ghost, to be the true word of God; vvherefore he seemeth to ex­clude from this truth, al the translations of Scripture in the world.

SECTION THE SECOND. That Luther, Zwinglius, Caluin, and Beza, in particular haue corruptly translated the Scriptures.

BVT let vs descend to the particular Bibles of some principal sects, and for the better declaration of this matter, note some corruptions of the principal sectaries, and speake a word or two of the corruptions of those translations of the word of God, which be most approued and receiued in their congregations: And let vs not now stand vpon the truth of the Latin vulgar edition, but proue that they forsake and falsifie the true sense of the very Hebrewe and [Page 85] Greeke text, which they professe to translate. So shal I not only proue, that the vnlearned professours of the newe religion, build their faith vpon a false ground (to vvit, the vvord of men or the vvord of God corrupted:) but also, make that more manifest which I principally intend to proue, I meane that the learned sort haue erred in their translations, and that the ground of their faith also is not the vvord of God.

S. Augustine longe since obserued in Heretikes, August. tom. 6. contra Faustum, lib. 32, cap. 29. that they make not their faith subject to the Scriptures, but the Scriptures (as a man may say) subject to their faith: giuing vs thereby to vnder­stand, that al Heretikes either out of some one place of Scripture falsly vnderstood; or out of their owne peruerse and licentious hu­mor; or out of the vveakenesse of their natural reason, not able to comprehend the high misteries of our faith; or finally, out of some other false and erroneous ground, frame to themselues one or more false opinions, and afterwards by corrupting the text or wresting the sense, make the Scripture seeme to confirme the same. And like as this hath beene found true in al Heretikes, vvho in former ages haue oppugned the Church: so most true it is in the Professours of the newe religion of our daies, as euery man skilful in the tongues may easily perceiue, in their translated Bibles and other of their vvorkes.

If I should runne ouer al their corruptions and falsifications, I should scarce euer make an end, they are so many and diuers.See Staphi­lus in Apolog part. 2. Em­ser. in praefat Annot. in no­uum Testam. Lutheri. Lin­danus in Du­bitantio, pag. 84. 85. &c. Erasmus in Epist. ad fra­tres inferio­ris Germa­niae. Some note a thousand foure hundred in the newe Testament only, tran­slated by Luther, Caluin: and Bezaes corruptions are to be seene in diuers vvorthy Authours; wherefore, I wil only gather fiue or six notable falsifications out of the translations of these principal Se­ctaries, and afterwardes discourse more at large of our English Bibles.

To beginne therefore with the first Captaine Luther; before his Apostacy from the Catholike Church, he read with vs and al anti­quity according to the Greeke text: 1. Cor. 9. vers. 5. after this sort: Haue not we power to leade about a woman a sister as also the rest of the Apostles? But hauing chaunged his profession, and contrary to his vowe coupled himselfe to Catharine Bore (vvhome he tearmed his vvife) he chaunged also his translation of this sentence, and read: Haue not we power to leade about a sister, a wife as the rest of the Apostles? [Page 86] S. Paul to giue vs to vndertstand that faith doth justify vs, as the foundation and roote of our justification, or else comprehending vnder the word faith, also the workes of faith, vseth these wordes: We account a man to be justified by faith. Rom. 3, 28. Moreouer, to exclude from our justification the workes done before our conuersion or faith, he addeth; without the workes of the lawe. But howe doth Luther translate this place of Scripture?Luther to. 2. edit. Witten­berg. anno. 1551. fo. 405. We account (saith he) a man to be justified by faith onlie, without the workes of the lawe: this is his tran­slation.

And what a manifest corruption is this? where doth he finde in the Greeke text or any other approued edition, the vvord only? verilie, it is added by himselfe, and not to be found in the text. But perhaps although S. Paul hath it not expresly in this place ci­ted, yet it is necessarily vnderstood. I reply and demaund howe Luther knewe this? I adde further, that although it vvere so, yet he hath no authority to adde to the word of God: neither is it like­ly that if the said vvord had beene necessary, the holy Ghost gui­ding the Apostles penne, vvould haue omitted it. And that Lu­ther giueth not the true sense of the sentence of the Apostle, I proue out of these wordes following of S. Augustine: August. de gratia et lib. [...]rbitrio ca. 7. Men (saith he) not vnderstanding that which the Apostle saith (we account a man to be justifi­ed by faith without the workes of the lawe) did thinke him to haue affirmed, that faith would suffice a man, though he liued il, and had no good workes; which God forbid, the vessel of election should thinke, who in a certaine place after that he had said: Galat. 5, 6. In Christ Iesus neither circumcision or prepuce auaileth any whit, he straight added; but faith which worketh by loue: this is the opinion of S. Augustine. Hence the same Apostle in o­ther places,Galat. 6, 15. hath these and such like sentences: In Christ Iesus nei­ther circumcision auaileth ought, nor prepuce, but a newe creature. A­gaine: Circumcision is nothing, 1. Cor. 7, 19. and prepuce is nothing but the obserua­tion of the commaundements of God. In vvhich he giueth vs to vn­derstand, that in the place corrupted by Luther, vnder the name of faith he comprehendeth the whole reformation of our soules, and our newe creation in good vvorkes; vvhich may further be proued, because taking faith precisely as it is a vertue distinct from hope and charity,1. Cor. 13. v. 2. and 13. he telleth vs; that Although a man hath a [...] faith so that he should remoue mountaines, and hath not charity, he is nothing: And concludeth, that charitie is a greater vertue then either faith [Page 87] or hope; with vvhome accordeth S. Iames, vvho directly contra­dicteth Luther and auoucheth,Iames 2, 24. that by workes a man is justified and not by faith only.

Perhaps some Lutheran in the defence of Luther vvil say, that this corruption vvas not vvilful. But I reply, that the contrarie is manifest: for Luther by letter being kindlie admonished by his friend, that this by some vvas reprehended as a fault, answered his said friend very sharply, calling the reprehender Asse and Pa­pist, and gaue this reason in his owne defence:Luther to. 5. Germ. f. 141. epist adf ami­cum. Doctor Martin Lu­ther wil haue it so. And like as in this text he added to serue his purpose, so in another he omitted. For whereas the Apostle S. Pe­ter writeth, 2. Peter. 1. verse 10. Wherefore bretheren labour the more, that by good workes you make sure your vocation and election, he left out the wordes, by good workes.

These and other such like corruptions of Scripture, vvhich are to be found in the Bible and other vvorkes of Luther, gaue Zwin­glius vvriting against him, just occasion to condemne him of this fault. Thou dost (saith he) corrupt and adulterate the word of God, Zuīg. in resp. ad Luth. l. de sacram. to. 2. fol. 412. 413. imita­ting surely in this the disciples of Marcion and Arius. Againe, See howe thy case standeth Luther, that in the eies of al men thou art seene a mani­fest and common corrupter and peruerter of the holy Scripture, which thing thou canst neuer deny before any creature. How much are we ashamed of thee, who hitherto haue esteemed thee beyond al measure, and nowe trie thee to be such a false fellowe? Bucer telleth vs,Bucer Dial. cōt, Melāch. that in translating the Scriptures his errours are manifest, and not fewe. But is not Zwingli­us himselfe (although he so confidentlie reprehend Luther) to be found guiltie of the same crime? Certainelie to establish his do­ctrine against the Real presence, he corrupted those vvordes of our Sauiour; This is my bodie, by translating them thus:Mat. 26, 26. Conr. Schluss in Theolog. Caluinist. l. 2. cap. 6. fol. 43. 44. l. 2. art. 1. Luther. tom. 7. in defens. verborum coenae. This si­gnifieth my bodie. Of this Conradus a Lutheran is a sufficient vvit­nesse, vvho affirmeth, that he sawe those vvordes so translated in a Zwinglian Bible at Mundera, in the yeare of our Lord one thou­sand fiue hundred and threescore: and therefore he pronounceth this sentence against him, that he was stroken with the spirit of gid­dinesse, and blindnesse, as al Heretikes are, daring to corrupt the Te­stament of our Lord. Hence Luther also to requite Zwinglius, cal­led him and al his followers corrupters of the worde of God. Cal­uin to proue his blaspheamous Doctrine that Christ despaired, [Page 88] and suffered on the Crosse the very torments of the damned in hel, whereas the Apostle saith, Hebr. 5. vers. 7. that Christ was heard for his reuerence, Caluin in Ca­techis. & lib. 2. Instit. cap. 16. §. 11. 12. maketh him say that Christ was heard from his owne feare: vvhich translation is not only newe, (for Caluin, as Beza con­fesseth in his Annotations vpon this place, vvas the first Authour of it;) but also contrary to the true signification of the Greeke word, as Beza likewise graunteth, and it is apparently to be seene, Act. 8. vers. 2. vvhere the adjectiue of the same Greeke word is vsed to si­gnifie deuout men, Caluin lib. 4. Instit. ca. 14. §. 23. 1. Cor. 10. v. 3 such as religiously reuerenced God. In like sort, the same Caluin to proue no difference betweene the Sacraments of the old and newe lawe, affirmeth; that the Apostle teacheth that our Fathers of the old lawe did eate the same spiritual meate which we eate: vvhereas the said Apostle saith only, that the Iewes among them­selues did eate the same meate.

Beza annot. in Math. 3. v. 2. Marc. 1. v. 4. Luc. 3, 8 Beza annot. in Rom. 5. Beza of set purpose (as he himselfe confesseth) in his translation auoideth the word penance, and this sentence, doe penance. Where­fore Act. 26. vers. 20. whereas the Greeke saith doing workes worthy of penance, he readeth: doing the fruits meete for them that amend their liues. Also he graunteth, that he added to the text of Scripture and altered the same, to ouerthrowe (as he tearmeth it) the execrable errour of inherent justice. Further, those vvordes (Act. 2. vers. 27.) thou wilt not leaue my soule in hel: He wittingly and willingly accor­ding to his owne confession,Beza annot. in Act. 2. ver. 27. & 24. & in 1. Petr. 1. vers. 19. to improue Limbus Patrum, Purga­tory, and Christs descent into hel (vvhich he tearmeth foule errours) translated in his edition of the new Testament of the yeare 1556. thus: thou shalt not leaue my carcas in the graue. And this not only a­gainst al Greeke copies in the world, but also against the proper si­gnification of the Hebrewe wordes in the 15. Psalme ver. 10. whence this sentence is taken. For the Hebrewe word which Beza transla­teth carcas signifieth only a soule, and the other which he translateth graue, vsually signifieth hel. Hence in his latter edition he corre­cted somewhat the former, and read, thou shalt not leaue my soule in the graue: but of this his corruption more hereafter. Finally, be­cause these vvordes of our Lord spoken of the Chalice and recor­ded by S. Luke (which is shedde for you) as they are in the Greeke text,Beza in Luc, 22. vers. 20. containe a manifest proofe of the real presence: for (as he saith) according to their plaine construction, and that in al his aun­cient bookes, they appertaine of necessity not to the bloud, but to [Page 89] the cuppe of the Chalice; this Geneuian Doctor altered the text, and made an other sense of the said wordes in this translation. And why so? but because they cannot (as he affirmeth) be vnderstood of the cuppe, and that according to his beliefe. Our English Secta­ries cannot deny this fault in Beza: for they in some places dare not be so bould as to followe him, but thinke it best to forsake and re­ject him. For example, Iames 2. vers. 22. whereas Beza readeth,Bible printed anno, 1592. 1595. Faith was a helper of his workes; they reade with the Greeke, Faith wrought with his deedes. Againe, whereas Beza readeth 1. Cor. 12. vers. 30. in his newe Testament of the yeare 1556. Behold moreouer also I shewe you a way most diligently, and in the editions of the yeare, 1562. And besides I shewe you a way to excellency, Bible, 1595. vers. 31. against the dignity of charitie aboue faith. Our English sectaries according to the Greeke reade: And yet shewe I vnto you a more excellent way. Yea, al­though in the newe Testament printed in the yeare, 1580. they vndertake and professe to followe him, yet in some places they re­ject him; as for example, Act. 1. vers. 14. Beza readeth,Bible, 1595. Bible, 1600. they put the worde wiues in the margēt Carolus Mo­linaeus in trā ­slat. Test. no­ui. part. 11. fol. 110. Idem part. 26 30. 40. 64. 65. 66. 67. 74. 99. Humfred. de ratione inter­pret and i. lib. 1. pag. 62. 63. 189. Al these were perseuering with one minde in praier with their wiues; to the end to proue that the Apostles were married: they read according to the Greeke, with the women.

But I neede not labour to proue Caluin and Beza guiltie of this crime, seing that one of their owne bretheren confesseth, that Cal­uin made the text of holy Scripture leape vp and downe at his pleasure, that he offered violence to the same, and added of his owne to the very sa­cred letter it selfe, to the end he might drawe it to his purpose. He crieth likewise out against Beza, and telleth vs; that he actually al­tereth the text, that he actually changeth the text, retained by al Doctors: and the like censure is pronounced against his translati­on by Selneccerus, by the Vniuersity of Zena, by Castalio, and diuers other Protestants. But the last of these named although a Sacramen­tary, and a man much commended by Doctor Humfrey, Gesnerus in Bibliotheca. and Gesne­rus, is more vehement then the rest. For hauing noted certaine er­rors committed by Beza in his translation, only of the first tenne Chapters of S. Mathewes Gospel, thus he concludeth:Casta. in def. pa. 182. 183. I trust I haue shewed sufficiently by these tenne Chapters of S. Mathewe (in which notwithstanding I haue omitted very many thinges, which justly I might haue reprehended) what a long register of his errors I could gather out of his whole worke. For this is true, that oftentimes he erreth not only in [Page 90] wordes (which is not so dangerous, and might be tollerated;) but also in thinges, and the same most waighty: and often times be enforceth by wre­sting, not the sentences only, but also the wordes of the holy writers to serue his error. So Iohn the 1. vers. 12. he corrupteth a most notable place and of greatest moment touching free wil, &c. Thus Castalio. Before this he affirmeth, that to note al Bezaes errors in translating the newe Testament,Ibid. pa. 170. would require a volume ouer great. Contrariwise, Beza to requite Castalio, condemneth his translation of holy Scripture (which is very highly praised by D. Humfrey and Gesnerus, euen nowe alleaged) not only as false, Beza in Te­stament. anno 1556. in Praefat. & in Marc. cap. 3. 1. Cor. 1. Math. 4. Luc. 1. Act. 8. & 10. corrupt, and peruerse, but also as pe­stilent, sacrilegious, Ethnical, and Turkish: he auoucheth it to be such a translation, as containeth the very seede, and laieth open the high way to manifest Apostasie from Christ. The like censure he pronounceth a­gainst the newe Testament set forth by Oecolampadius (as is suppo­sed) and the other Diuines of Basil; for he auoucheth it to be in ma­ny placesBeza in re­spons. ad de­fens. & respōs. Castalionis. vvicked, and altogither disagreeing from the minde of the holy Ghost: But of these forraigne sectaries enough.

SECTION THE THIRD. Our English Sectaries also, haue falsly and corruptly translated the Scriptures.

BVT doe our English sectaries, although they followe not (as I haue shewed) some corruptions of Beza; yet commit no wil­ful errors and falsifie nothing themselues? Truly they are farre from this sincerity.Carlile in his booke that Christ went not downe in­to hel, printed anno 1582. fol. 116. 144 &c. Carlile an English Sectarie hauing discouered many faults in the English Bible, of them inferreth; that our English Protestants in many places detort the Scriptures from the right sense, and shewe themselues to loue darknesse, more then light, and falshood, more then truth: he saith, they haue corrupted and depraued the sense, obscured the truth, deceiued the ignorant, supplanted the simple, &c. M. Broughton, one of the greatest Linguists of our English precisians, wrote not many yeares since an Epistle to the Honourable Lordes of the Councel (which is yet extant) desiring them to procure speedily a newe translation of the Scripture, because (said he) that vvhich is nowe in vse in England is ful of errors. The same request was made [Page 91] of late by Doctor Reynolds in the conference held at Hampton-Court betweene the Protestants and the Puritans; yea,Barlow in his relatiō of cōferēce held at Hampton-Court, pag. 45. 46. Lindanus in Dubitantio. Fox, pa. 981. the King himselfe (as it is recorded by M. Barlowe) auouched that he could neuer yet see a Bible wel translated in English, but the worst of al he affirmed to be that of Geneua: vvherefore, by his Majesties order another translation (as is said) is nowe in hand. And this may very vvel be beleeued: For Bishop Tonstal as it is recorded by Lindanus, noted no lesse then two thousand corruptions in Tindals translation only of the newe Testament, vvhich assertion of his may be confirmed by the authoritie of a statute, made by the first head of our English Church, King Henry the eight. For notwithstanding that Fox tear­meth Tindal not only the true seruant, and martir of God, but the Apostle also of England in our later age,Idem, pa. 732 and painteth the said King with the Gospel in his lappe, and his sword in his right hand, lifted vp for defence of the same: yet certaine it is, that King Henry in the 34. or 35. yeare of his raigne, not long before his death, togither vvith the vvhole Court of Parliament,An. 34. & 35 Henri. 8. c. 1. by statute condemned the translation of Tindal, as a craftie, false, and an vntrue translation; and also commanded it to be vtterly abolished, and extinguished; and forbadde it to be kept or vsed within any of his Dominions: These thinges are to be seene in the statute it selfe yet extant. Fi­nally, that the English Bible it selfe set forth vnder King Henry the eight was corrupt, it is confessed by D. Humfrey. And no doubt,Humfred. de ratione inter­pret. lib. 3. pag. 523. but although many of the said corruptions be amended in the lat­ter editions, yet the multitude of them through the whole Bible, is al most infinite. For besides those vvhich are reprehended by M. Broughton and D. Reynolds, which (as I suppose) were none wil­fully committed in prejudice of our religion, and in defence of their owne against vs (because they being of our preciser sort of e­nemies, vvould not as I imagine acknowledge any such errors): M. Gregory Martin a learned man of our side, hath also made a whole booke concerning such corruptions as haue beene made in their English Bibles, of set purpose to drawe the text from the true sense, to impugne vs and fauour their newe opinions.

I cannot stand to repeate them al, vvherefore referring my rea­der to the said booke of M. Gregory Martin, entituled a discouery of the false translations, &c. I vvil only note a fewe; yet in such or­der, that euery man may see that this hath beene done of malice, [Page 92] concerning euery article betweene vs in controuersie. Neither doe I speake of their forsaking and corrupting of the true sense of the Latin vulgare edition, but of the Hebrewe and Greeke text it selfe, which they professe to followe.

But before I come to this matter, I must forewarne my reader that although our English sectaries haue set forth diuers Bibles in their vulgar tongue; yet I intend especially to speake of three of the principal: of which the first vvas authorised by Cranmer called Arch-bishop of Canterbury, and read during al King Edwards raigne in their Churches, and (as it seemeth by the newe printing of it in the yeare 1562.) during a great part also of the raigne of Queene Elizabeth; The second vvas printed in the yeare 1577. and againe as I thinke, in the yeare 1595. and is authorised likewise to be read in their Churches at this present. The third is that which was lately printed in the yeare 1600. vvhich as I imagine is the selfe same vvith that vvhich vvas printed not long before in the yeare 1589. and 1592. let vs nowe come to see a fewe of their corruptions.

SECTION THE FOVRTH. Containing false translations against the authority of the Church, Traditions, honour of Images, Purga­tory, and the honour of Saints.

FIRST, to improue the supreme authority of the Church, they ba­nished the vvord Church cleane out of their Bible printed in the yeare 1562. and in place of it vsed the vvord congregation; but in the later editions, since that they began to haue a certaine forme of a Church, this fault is amended.

Secondly, to make weake the authority of Traditions, vvhereso­euer in the Scripture speach is of euill Traditions, they translate the Greeke vvord truly, Traditions; but when mention is of Aposto­like Traditions, they cannot endure this vvord, but force the same Greeke vvord to signifie ordinances, instructions, preachings, or institu­tions: yea they translate Tradition in il part vvhere it is not found in the Greeke. For example, the Apostle saith: Colos. 2. vers. 20. according to the Greeke. Why doe you yet decree? They translate: [Page 93] Why are you yet ledde with traditions? and in an other edition.Bible, 1600. 1595. Why are you yet burthened with traditions?

Thirdly, against the honour of Images, they translate the Greeke vvord vvhich signifieth Idolatrie and an Idolater, worshipping of images, and a worshipper of Images: 2. Cor. 6, 16. Coloss. 3. v. 5. & Ephes. 5, 5. Bible, 1577. 1. Cor. 10. Bible, 1562. thus they make the Apostle say; Howe agreeth the Temple of God with Images, couetousnesse is worshipping of Images, bee not worshippers of Images, &c. I adde also, that sometimes vvhen neither the vvord Idol nor Image is to be found in the text, they thrust it in by force, as Rom. 11. vers. 4. in steede of Baal, they translate Baals Image: also 2. Paral. 36. ver. 8. they adde these wordes (carued Images which were laid to their charge) to the text. But al these faults are amended in the later editions,Bible, 1595. Gen. 1. v. 27. Exod. 25.3. Reg. 6. &c. and not vvithout cause; for if euery Image be an Idol, and euery Idol an Image, we may say that God created man according to his Idol; we may cal such Images as were vsed in the old lawe, Idols; and finally tearme the Image or Picture of a man the Idol of a man, vvhich kinde of speach is not tollerable.

Fourthly, against Purgatory, Limbus Patrum, and the descent of Christ into hel, they make the Hebrewe and Greeke vvordes vvhich signifie hel, signifie graue: as for example, vvith Beza they read Act. 2. vers. 27. Thou shalt not leaue my soule in the graue; Psal. 15. v. 10 Bible, 1600. Bible, 1595. 1600. See Parkes in his Apologie, concerning Christs descēt into hel, & in his ans. to Lim bomast. prin­ted, an. 1607 According to their ac­count. Psal. 86.49. & 89 this like­wise is corrected in the Bible of the yeare 1595. Also Gen. 37. v. 35. they make the Patriarke Iacob say; I wil goe downe into the graue to my Sonne mourning: vvhereas in like sort the Hebrewe and Greeke vvord signifieth hel; and it is manifest that he could not thinke it possible that he should goe downe into the graue to his Sonne, be­cause he thought him deuoured of vvilde beastes, not buried. The same corruption is sound in diuers other places, as Psalm. 86. v. 13. vvhere they reade.Bible, 1579. 1600. corrected in the Bible of the yeare, 1595. Thou hast deliuered my soule from the lowest graue. Psal. 48. vers. 15. vvhere they reade, thou shalt deliuer my soule from the power of the graue. Osee 13. vers. 14. where they reade, O graue I wil be thy destruction, and in sundrie other places: this notwith­standing inSee other such cor­ruptions as these are, recited and sharply reprehended by Carlile a man of the English Church, in his booke that Christ went not downe into hel, fol. 144. other places, as Prouerb. 15. ver. 24. &c. vvhere speach is of the hel of the damned, they translate the same vvord, hel.

Fiftly, to bereaue the Saints of their honour, vvhich from mortal [Page 94] men is due vnto them, they falsly translate the 17. verse of the 138. Psalm. For vvhereas we reade, Thy friendes, O God, are become ex­ceeding honourable; their Princedome is exceedingly strengthned: They turne it thus,Bible 1595. Psal. 138. Howe deare therefore are thy Councels vnto me O God; O howe great is the summe of them. But the Hebrewe maketh for our translation, as euery man that vnderstandeth that tongue may see, especially by the last vvordes, vvhich vvord for vvord are thus to be translated: Howe are the heades or Princedomes of them strengthned. Againe, Hebr. 11. vers. 21. according to the Greeke vve reade, by faith Iacob dying blessed euery one of the Sonnes of Ioseph, and adored the toppe of his rodde: Bible 1600. some thing better in the Bible 1595. Luke 1. v. 28. Bible 1600. 1595. They translate the last vvordes thus, and leaning on the end of his staffe worshipped God: In which translation they adde two vvordes to the text (leaning and God) and turne the sense vpsi-downe. I adde also their translation of those vvordes, Haile ful of grace; for vvhich they reade: Haile thou that art freely beloued; and Haile thou that art in high fauour.

SECTION THE FIFT. Of their corruptions against inherent Iustice, Iustification by good workes, Merit of good workes, and keeping the Com­mandements, and in defence of their special Faith, vaine Security, &c. and against Freewil, and Merits.

TO proue their imputatiue justice, against inherent justice, first vvhereas the Apostle saith, Rom. 5. vers. 18. Therefore as the offence of one, vnto al men to condemnation, so also by the justice of one vn­to al men to justification of life: Bible 1595. worse in the Bible 1600. they reade thus; Likewise then as by the sinne of one, sinne came on al men to condemnation: euen so by the righ­teousnesse of one, good came vpon al men to the righteousnesse of life. In vvhich their translation, they adde foure vvordes to the text of the Apostle, to make him seeme to say, that al men be truly sinners; and none truly just, but so reputed. Ephes. 1. vers. 6. for gratified, they reade;Bible 1600. made accepted. Luke 1. vers. 28. for ful of grace, they translate, freely beloued and in high fauour. Dan. 6. vers. 22. vvhereas Daniel ac­cording to the Chaldee, Greeke, and Latin said; Iustice was found in [Page 95] me: they make him say,Bible 1600. 1595. my justice (or vnguiltinesse according to an other translation) was found out before him: The like corruption may be seene, 2. Cor. 5. vers. 21.

To proue that good workes done in state of grace, concurre not to our justification, and that vve reape no grace by obseruing of the Com­mandements: vvhereas the Scripture to signifie the Commande­ments of God, vseth in diuers places the vvord justifications, and justices; because the keeping of the Commandements is justifica­tion, and justice, and the Greeke vvord is alwaies correspondent to the same: they neuerthelesse in al such places, suppresse the very name of justification, and vse the vvordes ordinances or statutes, Bible 1595. 1600. as may be seene in the Psalm. 118. in diuers verses: Luke 1. vers. 6. Rom. 2. vers. 26. &c. To this end also they auoide in their translati­ons the vvord just: and cal a just man a righteous man. Math. 1. v. 19.Bible 1577. 1595. corre­cted in the text of the Bible 1600. Luke 1. vers. 6. except the vvord just be joyned vvith faith, for then, they translate the same vvord, just: as Rom. 1. vers. 17.

For proofe of their special faith, vaine security, and only faith they vvrest first the vvordes of S. Paul, Hebr. 10. vers. 22. for vvhereas he saith: Let vs approach with a true hart in fulnesse of faith: they make him say; Let vs drawe neare with a true hart in assurance of faith. Rom. Bible 1595. 1600. 8. ver. 38. the same Apostle saith according to the Greeke. I am pro­bably perswaded: They in their Bible of the yeare 1595. reade; I am sure, but this is corrected in the Bible of they yeare 1600. Further, in diuers places of the Gospel vvhere our Sauiour said. Thy faith hath healed thee, or made thee whole (to wit of thy corporal infirmity) they translate; Thy faith hath saued thee; as Marke 10. vers. 52.Bible 1595. Luke 18. v. 42. &c. The like corruptions vnto these may be seene, Sapient. 3. vers. 14. Eccles. 5. vers. 5. Ephes. 3. vers. 12.

To impugne freewil, vvhereas Christ speaking of continency or chastity, saith; Math. 19. vers. 11. Not al take this word: Bible 1595. 1600. they tran­slate, Al men cannot receiue this saying. God said vnto Cain, Gen. 4. vers. 7. that he should receaue according as he did vvel or euil, be­cause sinne vvas subject vnto him, and he had the rule and domini­on thereof: They make him say thus.1600. If thou dost wel shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou dost not wel, sinne lieth at the dore and also vnto thee his desire shal be subject, and thou shalt rule ouer him. In vvhich translation they put the relatiue in the masculine gender, reading (his and him) as though these last vvordes vvere referred to Abel: [Page 96] vvhereas they should be referred to sinne, and most absurdly and contrary to S. Augustine lib. 15. de ciuitate. cap. 7. vvherefore in the Bible 1595. they translate it otherwise. The Apostle saith, Rom. 5. vers. Bible 1600. amēded in the Bible 1595. 6. Christ when we were yet weake died for vs: They reade, when we were of no strength: againe, vvhereas the same Apostle, 1. Cor. 15. vers. 10. vseth these wordes: I haue laboured more aboundantly then al they: yet not I but the grace of God with me, that is to say, which labou­reth vvith me:Bible 1595. they turne the last part of this sentence thus; Yet not I but the grace of God which is with me. Finally, S. Iohn in his first E­pistle cap. 3. vers. 3. telleth vs, that the Commandements are not heauy: they say,Bible 1595. not grieuous, but falsly; because through patience they may not be grieuous, although heauy and impossible.

Against merits or meritorious workes and their reward, they also corrupt diuers places: as Rom. 8. vers. 18. vvhere the Apostle affir­meth, that the passions of this time are not condigne, equal, correspon­dant, or comparable to the glory to come, Bible 1595. as Beza himself translateth: they make him affirme, that they are not worthy. The same Apostle saith, Hebr. 10. vers. 29. Howe much more doth he deserue worse punish­ment, &c. Bible 1562. corrected in the Bible 1595. 1600. They leaue out the word deserue, and reade, howe much sorer shal he be punished. Sometimes they vvil haue for their aduan­tage the selfe same Greeke vvord signifie worthy, as Math. 3. vers. 11. cap. 8. vers. 8. &c. other timesBible 1600. See Beza in his newe Te­stament of the yeare 1556. Annot. in Math. 3. meete, as Colos. 1. vers. 12. 1. Cor. 15. vers. 9. moreouer in the Psalme. 118. vers. 112. King Dauid saith. I haue inclined my hart to keepe thy justifications alwaies for reward. They forsaking the seauenty Interpreters in Greeke, and S. Hierome, and al the Latin Fathers, contrarying also theirBible 1600. Psal. 19. Bi­ble 1595. Psal. 119. owne translation of the 18. Psalm. vers. 11. or 12. translate that verse thus. I haue applied my hart to fulfil thy statutes alwaies euen to the end: The like corrupti­ons may be seene. 2. Cor. 4. vers. 17. Wisdom. 3. vers. 5.

SECTION THE SIXT. Of their false translations against the Real presence, Priest-hood, election of Bishops, single life of Priests, Penance, and sa­tisfaction for Sinne; the Sacrament of Matri­mony, and some other points.

BVT haue they nothing to peruert or corrupt, in defence of their Sacramentary Heresie against the Real presence? They [Page 97] haue verily: S. Mathewe telleth vs according to the Greeke text,Math. 26, 26 that our Sauiour instituting the blessed Sacrament tooke bread, and blessed and brake it, &c. and taking the Chalice gaue thankes, &c. They vse not the vvord (blessed) but in place of it reade in the first place also (gaue thankes,) to derogate from the vertue of our Sauiours be­nediction. But if euery blessing vvere a thanks-giuing vve might reade, Genes. 1. and 9. that God gaue thankes to Adam, Eue, Bible 1595. and Noe, and his children; for there it is said that he blessed them. What sense also should we make of those vvordes of S. Paul, 1. Cor. 10. vers. 16. The Chalice of benediction which we doe blesse? Againe, Act. 3. vers. 21. vve reade according to the Greeke, whome heauen truly must receiue vntil the restitution of al thinges: They translate; whome heauen must containe vntil the times that al thinges be restored; Bible 1600. Whitaker ad rat. Campian. pag. 43. fasly englished by Stock, pa. 63. corrected in the Bible 1595. and Beza, and Whitaker vvorse, who must be contained in heauen. By vvhich translation they intend to proue, that Christ is alwaies in heauen, and neuer forsaketh the right hand of his Father; of which they inferre, that he is not really in the Eucharist: but although vve grant the first, yet vve deny the sequel; because Christ can be in more p