❧Ane answer made the fourth day of septembre a thousand fyue hundreth syxtie & one, by maister Theodore de Besza minister of the holie Euangile, in the presence of the Quene mother, the King and Quene of Nauarre, the Princes of the blood roy­all, and of the priuie counseil, vnto that whiche the Cardinall of Lorraine had replied against that whiche was propo­unded in the first iourney of their talking together, by the said de Besza in the name of the reformed Churches.

Together with an other short answer made by the said de Besza the 26 day of the said moneth vnto certein articles of replie set forth by the said Cardinall.

Imprinted at Edinburgh, by Robert Lekprewik.

Cum priuilegio. 1562.

Iohn Baron to the reader. w [...]he [...] grace mercie and peace &c.

WHen as thies two ora­tions of that great lea­rned and right godlie minister of gods worde Theoder De Besza were broght vnto me, to be trāslated out of frenche into englishe, gētle, Reader for that of certen yeres before I knew ye man to be of so great knowledge and specially so greatly fearing God, I was driuen with a great desyre to reade them, and after that I had redde them, with a more feruent desyre, was I rapt (whatsoeuer other busynes I had to do being layd asyde) to trāslate them. Not onely for that they flowed from suche a notable instrum­ent of God, but also specially be­cause that in the name and by ad­uise [Page] and assent of so many excel­lent, and godlie learned ministe­res, they were pronounced, and that in suche a famouse and moste honorable audience. The matters conteined in the same orations, be maters of oure religion & suche as at this present be in contro­uersie, and therefore moste nede­full to be knowen vnto the faith­full of oure cuntrie, the faithfull I mean that be but of simple knowledge & yet be desyrous to lear­ne. Aswell because thereby they may by vertue of gods word establish their consciences in the tre­uth of these maters, as also for that they may there summarelie haue in a redynes, oute of ye holie Scriptures, good and sufficient auctorities, to defend them selues in the same, against the malicious [Page] soldiors of Satan the Papistes and lykewise to confounde them with all their sophisticall and vn­reasonable reasons: whiche haue not onely of a long season moste craftely seduced many, but also moste crewelly suppressed and de­stroied many of the faithfull with the name and auctoritie of the Churche whiche they moste wrongfully and iniuriously arroga­ted to them selues, when as in ve­ry dede they were, and be no thing els but the horrible and filthie Synagoge of ye deuill, as by their stinking and detestable maners and theire blasphemous and moste pestilent doctrine (whiche be their frutes) may moste eui­dently appere vnto all them whiche haue any knowledge in ye worde of God. For without any [Page] lawfull calling, by diuerse vnle­full meanes boeth against Gods law and mans law, haue they intruded them selues, into the Churche of God, and in stede of the liuely worde of God they haue taught their owne doctrine and dreames: and the holy Sacram­entes, with their away taking, that whiche the Lorde Iesus in­stituted, and commanded, and with their to putting, many things whiche the Lorde Iesus ne­uer commanded, they haue alto­gether altered and contamined. So that in stede to haue God ho­nored, and the people of God ed­ified taught strengthened and cō ­forted, they haue dishonored and blasphemed the Maiestie of God and to their vtermoste discoura­ged and destroyed his people. [Page] But the chief maters herein con­tened, be thies. The Churche and what it is, the marcks of the true Churche, what aucthoritie it haeth, & whether it may erre. If it please thee gentle Reader with iudgement of a sincere heart to consider thies orations, thou shalt finde the same boeth godlie and learnedly declared to the praise of God, and edefieng of his faithfull people.

An answer made the twentie four day of Septembre a thousand fyue hundreth sixtie and one

Being arriued at Poissy twelue ministers of the worde of God ī an hall, where were pre­sent, the Quene mo­ther, the King and Quene of Na­uarre, the princes of the blood ro­yall and all the Lordes of Counsell, and other Lordes, of the one parte: and on the other parte, fyue Car­dinalles with many busshops and Theologues of all sortes.

The Lorde Cardinall of Lorrane declared in few wordes, that this assemblie was made, to heare, what [Page] that we had to say vnto that, which he had propounded, eight day­es before, whervnto Theodore de Besza rising vp, in the name of the said 12 ministers, for all the frenche Churches reformed, answered as followeth, hauing an verie good audience and attention of all the assemblie.

Madame, first calling vpon the name of oure Lorde God, [...] that it may please him to assist vs with his especiall grace in an mater of so great consequence, that we may be vtterly voyde of all particuler opi­nions and passions, and that their might be planted in to oure heartes in stede thereof a right knowledge of his veritie with an earnest desire to set it forth to the honnor of his holie name, and to the auancement of youre maiestie and to the quietnes of [Page] all Christendome, and namelie of this realme, we shall brieflie an­swer vnto that, whiche it haeth ple­sed the Lorde Cardinall to declare vnto vs, vpon two pointes onelie of our confession, which haeth bene three tymes presented vnto youre maiestie: to wit, [...] vpon that whiche concerneth the Churche, and the aucthoritie thereof, and vpon the holy supper of oure Lorde Iesus Christe.

Trew it is, that if we might haue had the fauore to haue made an­swer immediatlie when as we had a freshe remembrance of that, that we had heard, or els that we might haue had in oure handes, the said oration to consider it, we might haue answered more destinctly po­int by point, and perhappes more properly. But how soeuer it be, we [Page] shall speak thereof, that wc God will giue vnto vs, so that men may vn­derstād wherein, we may alredie be accorded, and likwyse the pointes, wherein as yet we vary and be di­fferent, whereof we humblie pray oure God, that according to his great mercies, it may please him to aggree vs.

[...]So now as touching ye first point of the Churche, we shall treat it in thre partes. The first, what is the Churche. The seconde, what be the markes of it. The third what is the authoritie thereof.

[...]It is moste certen that this name of the Churche is taken and drawen oute of a greke worde, whiche sig­nifieth as muche, [...] as to call frome one place to an other. But we find in the Scripture, that there is two maner of callinges, the one is [Page] [...]oyned with the efficacie of the holy Spririt, of the whiche is spoken in ye right chapitre of the Epistle to the Romains, where it is said,Rom▪ 30 that God [...]ustifieth them, that he calleth: [...] the other, althogh it be the self same out­wardlie, as the first is, yet is it of no value vnto saluation, not that the faute thereof commeth of God, but of the men that wil be deaf, follow­ing yt whiche is cōmonlie said, that there is none deafer,Mat [...] 20. [...] 22. then he yt will not vnderstand.

And of this calling haeth the Lord spoken, when he said, [...] there be many called and few chosen.

Beholde therefore consequently it behoueth that this name of the Churche signifieng the company of them that are gathered together, by the voyce of God, whiche haeth called them, is taken two wayes.

[Page]For being taken generally for al [...] them whiche make outwarde profe­ssion to answer vnto God, whiche calleth them, there is no dout bu [...] there be many hypocrites and repro­bat comprehended therein.

And for oure part my Lorde Car­dinall, neuer (God be praysed) haue we spoken nor written otherwayes, seing it is a thing whereof we neuer had debate, because it is moste cler­elie expressed in the Scriptures and confirmed by a continuall experience.

But yf nede be to take this name of the Churche more properly, and more streitlie, as often tymes it must nedes be taken, then say we, that it doth not comprehend any, but the as­semblie of the elect and predestinate of God.

And to the intent that ye may vn­derstand, yt we haue not forged this [Page] maner of speaking, and yet les this [...]inde of doctrine, seing it is said that [...]he Churche is the body of the Lord [...]one of his bones & flesh of his flesh [...]ea specially to attribute vnto it the proper name of Christe,1. Co [...] 12.27 Ehes. [...]. in ioyning [...]ogether the head and the membres [...]s doeth ye Apostle writing vnto the Corinthians:Cor. 12. how then be the repro [...]ate comprehended in this nom­ [...]re, seing they be ye membres of the Deuill? For it is a thing vnpossible [...]o be of the membres of Christe & of [...]he Deuill at ones. This is it whiche S. Augustine wonderfully well haeth noted ī his seconde booke [...]he 12 chaptre against Cresconius. The same distinction of ye name of [...] Churche the self same authour vsed writing vpon 64 Psalme, where [...]e sayeth yt the Churche, whiche [...] signified by Ierusalem begonne [Page] at Abell, and Babilon by Cain. And yet this notwithstanding in h [...] first booke of Baptisme against th [...] Donatistes, the 16 chaptre taking th [...] Churche in a more generall significa [...]tion, he sayeth that the same, which did engendre Abell, Enoch. Noe Ab [...]raham & the Prophetes, haeth als [...] engendred Cain, Ismaell and other [...] lyke. For conclusion therefor w [...] will take that whiche the same S [...] Agustine haeth written thereof in [...] same treatise in the 17 booke 57 cha [...]ptre: the whiche is also rehearsed in the 24 question the first chaptre omnibus considerates. &c.

where is said that there be two ma [...]ner of men touching the Churche.

[...]For he saieth the one be membres of Christ, and the right Churche, [...] so of the house of God, that they be ye self same house.

[Page]The other are truely in the ho­use of God, and yet be they none of the same:The r [...]proba [...] be ofte [...] in the house [...] God yet be they none o [...] the ho [...]se. for they be as the chaffe with the wheat, vntill yt they go oute.

Now by this meanes groweth there a question, to wit whether the Churche be inuisible, the wc semeth that so it must be conclu­ded, seing yt God onelie may know his elect and predestinate: & also that we say, yt we beleue the holie Churche, and that whiche is be­leued, is not sene.That whiche is bele­ued is not sen

But hereof there followeth a greate inconuinient, if simply and barely we speak so of it. For if it be so, vnto what company may a man ioyn him self, & what mea­nes shall we vse to haue saluation if we knowe not ye Churche wh­ereunto we may ioyn oure selfes [Page] considering that vpon the Chur­che onely, Iesus Christe powreth oute his vertue and force, to saue mankinde?

Trew it is (my Lorde Cardi­nall) if I remembre well, that ye alledged yet an other inconue­nient, whereof we be not satisfied to wit, [...] that if the Churche were inuisible, that then we should not somuche as knowe oure King: yt whiche thing we could not, vn­derstand.

For the Scripture teacheth vs to know oure superiours, and to obey them in all thinges (sauing ye honnor that we owe vnto God onely) yea althogh they be infide­les in dede. [...]om. 13 5▪ 6. But let this be spo­ken as by the way. I returne to my purpose. We say therefore yt althogh the true Churche be in­uisible [Page] in respect of that, that we haue said: neuertheles when there is question vnto what company we oght to associat, & ioyn oure selues, we haue certen markes,The certen marcke of the true Church to wit, the pure word of God, and the sincere administration of his Sacramentes, the whiche mar­kes be euident and perceiuable in suche sorte, yt where they be we oght not to doubt, that there is the true Churche of God.

And we must according to the ruell of charitie, holde all for faith­full, that make profession of ye pu­re religion, except that God dis­couer theire dissimulation & feyn­ednes. And of this saint Paule giueth vs a good example, where he calleth the Corinthiens & Gala­thiens, saintes, and faithfull, and doeth attribute vnto them ye name [Page] of the Churche, althogh there was amongest them greate fautes as­well in the ignorance of doctrine, as in theire liuing.

This is it whiche also he haeth declared, in an other place, that all they wc kepe ye foundation buyld not alwayes thereon gold, siluer, or pre­cious stones, but also hay & chaffe.

Se now how we speake of the Churche, without making thereof an imagined & a fantasticall thing, and without giuing occasion as I suppose, [...] to compt vs among ye nom­bre of suche frensi [...]k persons as here­tofore were the Cathariēs & Donatistes, and as again now in oure tyme be these furious Anabaptistes against whom this mater haeth so often bene debated, by them that are of oure part.

[Page]I come nowe vnto the marckes & witnessinges of the Churche, the whiche is very nedefull to be mar­cked and marcked again, seing that withoute the same, there is no sal­uation,Ther [...] is no [...] witho [...] the Churc [...] and that there is no thing yt Satan oure ancient enemye, more enforceth him self to dissaguyse.

I haue said that it haeth two certen infallible marckes that is to say the preaching of the worde of God and the sincere administra­tion of the Sacramentes. Some ioyne thereunto the discip­line of the Churche and ye frutes of the preaching of the Euangile, as of a trueth it behoueth that euery assemblie,Oure sinnes be the cause that d [...]cipline [...] and [...] the [...] the [...]. 8. for to maintene them sel­ues, haue a policie vnder some su­periour, whom they must obey.

But forsomuche as our sinnes be often tymes the cause that thies [Page] two pointes in no wyse appere vn­to men: therefore we will content oure selues with the two first.

As touching the worde that it is a sure marcke of the Churche it appereth by this that the same worde is cōpared vnto a sede bothe by Iesus Christ & by saint Peter.

[...]etr. [...] 25.By reason whereof also saint Paule haeth said, yt he haeth be­gotten the Corinthiens in ye Lorde to wit by the preaching of ye worde. [...]. 4.15.

And for this cause in so many places is it named food & nooriture according to that whiche ye Lorde haeth said, yt his shepe will heare his voyce & not the voyce of a stranger. [...]. 10. I adde the Sacramentes, for asmuche as the Lorde haeth not willed vs, [...] not onely to be taught by oure eares, but also by oure eyes and other senses of oure bodyes & [Page] therefore haeth he willed that the Sacramentes shoulde be sure & visible witnesses and sealles of the vnion or knitting together of his children, first with him self, and then after amongest them selues. Ye may see now why it was said in the olde lawe,Why c [...]cumcisi [...]on is c [...]mande [...] so strai [...]lie. Genes▪ 17.14 yt the vncyrcum­cised shoulde be destroyed from among the people of God. And for this cause also it behoued that all the heades of euery familly shoulde compere thre tymes a yere at least in Ierusalem,Deut. 16. for to wit­nesse by the same sacrifices their vnitie of faith and religion.

And afterwardes when the wall betwene the two was broken, the Gentiles and the Israelites were broght into one bodye, not onely by the preaching, but also by Bap­tisme, and by the holy Sacrament [Page] of the body & blood of oure Lorde according to that whiche Iesus Christe said, [...]ath. [...].19. vnto his Apostles. Go and teache all nations, bap­tising them in the Name of the Father, the Sonne and of the holy Spirit: whereunto we must ioyn that whiche Saint Paule sayeth,Cor. 23. that he hath giuen touching the Supper, [...] yt whiche he had recey­ued of the Lorde.

This is also that whiche in an other place he sayeth that the Churche is founded vpon the foun­dation of the Prophetes & Apostles that is to say vpon Iesus Christe whiche is the substance of the doc­trine of the Prophetes & Apostles. [...]phes. 2 [...] [...]

Lykewyse must we vnderstād an other place of the same Apostle wherein he sayeth yt the Churche is the prop & piller of the veritie, [...]imo­ [...]e. 3.15 [Page] that is to say, that ye worde of God, whiche is the veritie, as it is writ­ten in S. Iohn,Ioh 17. susteyneth & vp­holdeth the Churche, or els is pla­ced in the Churche as in a sure hie place, forasmuche as ī it, God shew­eth his puissance vnto saluation to all beleuers, as S. Paule decla­reth vnto the Romains in the first chaptre.Rom 16. Beholde therefore the right and visible marckes of the Churche whiche is called for this cause, the mother of the faithfull,Gala [...] 4.2 [...] be­gotten & noorished in the same with the true and incorruptible foode.

Now if there be preaching of ye worde and administration of the Sacramentes,Ther [...] must [...] docto [...] and p [...]acher [...] in the Chur [...] it must of force be concluded that there be pastors and doctors, vnto whome this charge must be cōmitted, according to that whiche the Scripture thereof wit­nesseth [Page] euery where, & namelie in yt wc is writtē vnto the Corinthiēs & to ye Ephesiens. [...]. 12 Therefore may ye se why ye some putt to ye thirde marcke that is to say ye ordinarie succession from ye tyme of the Apostles: [...]. 4. [...] where­vnto we answer yt suche a successi­on is greatly to be praised, prouided alwayes that it be well considered & applied as some haue often tymes therewith strengthened them selues against the newnes of heretikes, as appereth in Tertullian, Irenee, & S. Augustine against the Mani­cheens and Donatistes.

But forasmuche as there is a buck­ler hereof made against vs, as if we were inuenters of new thinges, or that we pretended thereby to haue help, [...] it is more then nedefull, that it should be knowen, what estima­tion we haue of this succession we [Page] say that there is a succession of doc­trine, and a succession of persons.

As touching the succession of doc­trin we auowe it, as an infallible marcke of the true Churche, accor­ding to ye whiche we haue already spoken. For notwithstanding that the doctrine af the Euangile is more then credible, without ha­uing authoritie of ancientie, & that it commeth often to passe through oure iniquities, and by the iust ven­geance of God, that it is as new vn­to men, as that it oght to be vnto them familiare and accustumed: yet this notwithstanding the witnes of an ancient and continuall successi­on serueth much vnto men, to make them the more inexcusable.

And as touching the succession of persones we auowe it also, but vn­der condition and prouided that it [Page] be conioyned with the succession of the doctrine of the Prophetes and Apostles, [...] at the least in the pointes of the substance and grounde there­of, and none otherwyse.

And marck if it please you my Lordes, that I speake notablie of ye doctrine and not of maners, for al­thogh it be requesit for a good and true pastor to be perfyte in doctrine and in lyuing: yet because of igno­rance or for some diuersitie of opini­ons of the doctrine, whiche be not of the substance & ground thereof, & also for his manners, we will not stik to suffer him being a pastor to be still a pastor prouided alwayes yt he kepe the foundation of the doc­trine, we be taught thus to speake by the wordes of oure Lord Iesus Christe, [...]. [...]3. [...].3. yt whiche saied: forasmuche as ye Scribes and Pharisies were [Page] set in Moisis chair, yt it behoued to doo as they taught, and not that whiche they did.Of [...] in [...] chair who [...] oght [...] be vn [...]stand

The whiche place S. Augustine writing on S. Iohn in his 46 treatise declareth that it oght to be vnder­stand of hyrelingis whiche faill not to haue this doctrine, & not of fals Prophetes, of whom Christe haeth contrarywyse spoken.

Be ye ware of the leuain of the Pharisies.Mat [...] 6▪ 11· Being saith S. Augustine set in ye Chair of Moises they teache the law of God, and therefore God teacheth by them.

But if they wil teache their owne doctrines, nether heare ye them nor do ye those thinges that they speake. The whiche thing ye same authoure expoundeth yet more at large in his 49 Sermon. De verbis domini. So therefore my Lordes to retou­rne [Page] again to the point, because tha [...] the fals Prophetes may succede vn­to the trow, [...] and w [...]es vnto the ryght shepherdes, behold a [...] peremptorie for the wc we esteme a personall succession nor onely to be receiued, but altogether to be cōde­mned as giuing occassion [...]nto fal­set, except that the succession of the doctrine be ioyned thereunto for the foundation.

Furthermore if this personall suc­cession were simply holden for an infallible marcke of the Churche, it behoued then to shew vs some pro­mise of God by wc he haeth [...] and bound his grace vnto certen sea­tes or regions, yt whiche thing we suppose can not be found in the new Testament.

But ryght well know we that there is alwayes a Catholicke Churche, [Page] that is an vniuersall Churche, [...]orasmuche as the particuler mem­bres thereof be scattered here & there,Of [...] Catho [...]que Churc [...] and of their d [...]persio [...] ī diue [...] partes throughout the hole worlde, accor­ding, as it pleaseth God to exercise his iudgementes vpon some of them that he haeth ether altogether cut of, or els that he haeth chastened for a tyme, and his mercies vpon other some of them yt he interteyneth from good to better, or that he calleth of new vnto his knowledge. For in some pointes the Lorde vsing his iust vengeance, he semeth alto­gether to root vp till yt he leaue not one trase of ye Churche, as it is come to pas in ye contrie of the Barbariens & in the orient. And in other cuntries he haeth left as yet some trace of ye Churche as we see in the Churches of Grecia, and yet more nerer vnto vs. On the other part the [Page] Lorde betwene handes some tyme [...] out of this personall succession of pa [...]tours, as it chanced in Antioche, i [...] the tyme of Samosatenus, and in Alexandrie the tyme of the banishe [...]ment of Athanasius, & in many othe [...] Churches in the tyme that heresyes had there furious rage, & specially without seking thinges any furde [...] at this tyme there haeth bene inter­ruption in the personalle succession of the Romishe seat at least in ye tyme that Honorius the first held the seat aboute the yere syx hundreth thre & twentie, [...] was condemned for the execrable heresie of Eut [...]ches aboute the yere syx hundreth & foure score. And in the tyme of Pope Iohn the twentie and two was condem­ned for an heretike aboute the yere a thousand thre hundreth thirtie & two.

[Page]Except they wold say, that nota­ble heretiques were the heades of the Churche, besides this wc happe­ned in the tyme of the she pope Iohā aboute the yere eight hundreth fiftie and foure, and during so many schis­mes of contrary popes as be redde in histories.

By these reasons I conclude, yt with out stayeng at any personall succes­sion, for to know the Churche well, we must alweyes come to the pu­rite of the doctrine,No [...] with the [...] preac [...] of Go [...] word [...] the [...] ad [...]nister [...] of [...] and to the sin­cere administration of the Sacra­mentes. In suche sort that they whiche oght to be compted the ry­ght successors of the Apostles, the whiche being lawfully called, build vpon their foūdatiō, whether there be a [...]ontinuall succession of persons, or that, that succession some tymes [Page] be interrupted, yea euen of them ye first preached the Euangile in any place..

Lyke as contrarywyse, they that preache not at all: or that in stead of the doctrine of the Apostles preache their owne doctrine althogh they alledge a thousand predecessors fol­lowing one an other, they oght not to be hearde as pastors, but to be fled from, as wolues, by the expres cō ­mandement of Iesus Christe, [...]. 7. and of his Apostles.

But some may say, is this said because yt it is lefull, to euery body to preache the Euangile, and to mi­nister the Sacramentes?

[...]No surely for it behoueth yt euery thing be done by good ordre in the house of God, as the Apostle sayeth, Who be then the right pastors? [...]or. 14 [...]. They whiche be lawfully called. [Page] There resteth then to knowe what is lawfull vocation and to vnder­stand this point we say, that there is a maner of ordinarie vocation & an other extraordinarie. [...] That is the ordinarie vocatiō in the whiche the ordre is kept that God haeth esta­blished in the Churche. And in this ordre first of all there is exami­nation of the doctrine & of the lyfe, then after there is lawfull election & finaly there is imposition of hādes. [...]

These may ye see in many places of the Scripture to be put and con­ioyned together, as in the election of Saint Matthias and of the vij deacons in the Actes of the Apostles and also in that whiche is written in S. Paules Epistles vnto Timo­thee and to Tite.Act. 5.6.

This now is the ordanarie voca­tion, whereby it may be easely cō ­sidered [Page] what is the extraordinarie vocation: [...] in the whiche notwith­standing yt one of these two thinges or two of them, yea or all the three be wanting, yet is it laufull by the authoritie of God. That oure Lorde haeth often tymes vsed suche extraordinarie vocations, it appe­reth through out the Scriptures. [...] For who laied hādes vpon Moses that he might consecrate Aaron? And who anointed in the degre of a Prophete Isaie, Daniel, Amos, and many others? And whē came that to passe? Then as they that had the ordre in their handes abused the same, [...] then say I, it beho­ued that God should extraordina­rely put hand to his work, not for to bring cōfusion into his house but to correct them whiche vnder the shaddowe of ordinarie successiō had [Page] had ouerturned and peruerted all.

And that it is so, I referre me to the writinges of the Prophetes wc specially speake against the priestes.

But if herein it be replied yt suche persons neuertheles haue had mira­culously & frome heauē an outward witnessing of their calling:Answe [...] to a lye I answer that this is very trew in some, but not in all: except that ye will deui­ne that to be whiche in no wyse is euident by any witnes, yea I can not well tell if there be many of the trew Prophetes of the rase of Aaron who haue hadde the impo­sition or laying on of handes after the ordinarie maner. But if they will alledge that the fore said Pro­phetes were content to rebuke and to reproue without hauīg any thing to do with the sacrifices. First of all I answer that, that is [Page] not true euery where: [...] for Samuell wc was not of the rase of Aaron, but onely of Chore, did sacrifice ī Mispa as it is written in the first booke of Samuell in the vij chaptre. [...]. 1 And Elie the Galaadite did sacrifice in Carmell as it is written in the first booke of kinges ye eightene chaptre.

Secondly it is no meruell if the Prophetes ī that tyme stretched not oute their comissiōn extraordinarie so farre as to circumcise & sacrifice, seing that this charge was appoin­ted heretably vnto the rase of Leuy, the whiche thing at this day haeth no place.

Consider now my Lordes, what we call the Churche and what we esteme of the marckes of it, & of the vocatiō of pastors, of whiche things if ye will make applicatiō vnto oure Churches or vnto oure selues, we [Page] hope with the help of God to shew so good tokens, that none shall haue iust occasion to doubte thereof fol­lowing the worde of God, and that whiche thereof is truely written, as we think in a treatise that is found amōgest ye workes of S. Augustine intituled, a dialogue of 66 questions in the last question.

Now let vs come to speake of the authoritie of ye Churche.The [...] of the [...] It appe­reth by these thinges that we haue afore spoken, that we do not dero­gate in any point the preciouse and hye titles the whiche the holy Goste attributeth vnto it.

But we say that it is so the body of oure Lorde that in a part it is in their pilgrimage,Wha [...] [...] faith giue the [...] awaiting for the full enioyeng of their head: it is the house of God, but that whiche is yet a buylding and groweth day [Page] by day, and that it is gouerned by the Spirit of God, [...]. 5. but as yet figh­ting against the fleshe: it is purified, but in suche sorte as to be broght by litle and litle vnto this perfection of beawtie, [...]. 13 where there shall be ney­ther spot nor wrinckle: it knoweth God, [...] but it is in a parte. When I speake thus, I beleue yt ye know the Apostles owne wordes. For to be brief I confesse that without ye Churche there is no saluatiō: because there is no lyfe but in Iesus Christe, & Iesus Christe imployeth not his liuelie vertue no where els, but a­mongest his membres, [...] the vnion and assemblie whereof, is called the Churche.

But the question is to know whe­ther that in this world the Churche may erre, [...] and whether it be aboue the Scripture or els altogether sub­iect [Page] vnto the same?

Hereunto, do I answer that it is a thing without all doubte that the particuler membres of the Churche may erre, and do erre daylie bothe in doctrine and maners, according vnto that, whiche S. Paule sayeth that we knowe in a parte,1. Co [...] 9. 1. Io [...] 18. and S. Iohn that if we say yt we haue no sinne we deceiue oure selues. But if any body will except out of this nombre the ancient doctors, he shall perdonne vs if we beleue him not. [...] of the ancie [...] docto [...] be [...] witho [...] faute [...]

For it were easie for vs to gather many witnesses of fautes, yt be foūd in the greatest and moste ancient of them: let this be spoken, sauing the reuerence due vnto their god­lines and learning.

But we will not stay oure selues so muche here, for the honnor that we heare vnto them (and yt not with­out [Page] good cause) as also because if I haue well vnderstand the sayeng of my Lorde Cardinall that he is no more of that mynde then we to deceiue them without exception.

This is it, that we vnderstand of the membres of the Churche, in par­ticularitie, the imperfection where­of doeth not stoppe but yt the Chur­che is formed and made thereof.

For by litle and litle do they go forwarde aswell in the knowledge of God, as in the amendment of life. But if the membres of the Churche be generally considered, as it is destributed in diuers diocess and prouinces shall we say that it may [...]rre? Again if I remembre well my Lorde Cardinall was lately of that [...] specially the particuler It is [...] & [...] ha [...] often erred.Churches & prouinciall Councelles [Page] may erre: and haue often erred, and surely that is ratified by so long an experience that no man of iudgemēt as I suppose can doubte thereof.

There resteth therefore to cōsider the hole Churche in an vniuersalitie but in what sorte? For cōside­ring it in the estimation of an vni­uersall Councell, first of all there is no greate apperance to iudge that all the vertue that the holy Goste, employeth vpon ye Churche is restre­yned to an certen nombre of Prela­ts the whiche be not alweys ye most learned nor ye best, yea althogh they represent the hole multitude that sē ­deth them. For how often tymes will it come to passe that a simple man, shall haue more vnderstanding at an instant then the moste wyse of an hole company? And therefore was it said by Gerson yt more cre­dit [Page] oght to be giuen to one priuate, faithfull man, then to an hole Coū ­cell and to the Pope, [...] if he haue bet­ter authoritie or reason. And namely in ye great Councell of Nece by whome was it stopped that the law of single lyfe, whiche afterwar­de, haeth broght so great filthynes into the Churche, was not then established? By one Paphnutius onely, as sayeth the historie. And moreouer, whē was there euer assembled a Councell so generall but that a greate parte, not onely of the moste wyse and moste holie men, but also of the Prelates haue remayned be hinde. And who may than assure, but that they that were ab­sent some tymes, had greater reue­lation then they that were present.

And besydes all this my Lordes, how long is it a go, that there reig­ned [Page] so horrible a cōfusiō in ye Churche and principally in the great estates & dignities of Prelates, in such sorte that the greatest desolation of the house of God is in that parte where it oght to be moste entier and best decked. At the least it is a long tyme past that the exemples hereof haue appered & that ye good Busshops haue sobbed & sighed so grieuously therefore,Go [...] Bussh [...]pes [...] sobbed [...] sighed see th [...] wick [...] [...] be in the prela [...] of the Chur [...] & so euidently that we heare them at this day.

And that whiche S. Barnard wryteth of this mater in his book of consideration, and in the 33 ser­mon on the Canticles, and also in the sermon of the conuersion of S. Paule, is noles notoriouse thē true: Allas Lorde sayeth he, they whche be sene to loue the first and chief places ī thy Churche and their to haue ye superioritie be first in a redynes to [Page] persecute thee. They haue take [...] the Ark of Sion, they haue vio [...]lently possessed the Castell, and by power, haue set fyre on th [...] hole Citie. Let this be spoken m [...] Lordes, not to iniurie any body bi [...] to shew that the chief vocations i [...] the Churche being of so long a tym [...] so confused and misreuled, that it i [...] impossible to conclude in any wys [...] that the vniuersall Councelles tha [...] haue bene now of a long tyme ga [...]thered together of a multitude so e [...] qualified, haue bene so guyded by [...] holy Spirit that they coulde no [...] erre.

An ancient Priest of whome I wolde make no mention in this cō ­pany, if it were not, that they alledg [...] his example in this mater, [...]. 11. did pro­phesie well althogh he was no thing worth. But we reade none other­wyse [Page] but he erred yea both yt he & his company in condemning Iesus Christ, for it was the holy Goste yt propheseid in this behalf, and not he whiche knew not what he said nor what he spoke, being moued wt a Spirit very contrarious, that is to say a deuilish Spirit because of malice he concluded, to sic a Iesus Christe the Sonne of God. [...] And further if a generall Councell haeth receiued this priuiledge that they can not erre in ye rewle of their doctrine nor in ye forme of their ma­ners: we demand what tyme was this priuiledge dated. For there was neuer but one God, one Faith, [...] and one Churche. Now that there was error in the Churche in the tyme of the olde Testamēt the Pro­phetes openlye beare witnes, and ye histories shew good proof thereof. [...]

[Page] [...]ai. 56.All ye wache men sayeth Esay 56▪ chaptre, be blind, they know no thing they are all domme dogges▪ And Ierem 6 chaptre. [...]rem. [...] Frome the Prophet to the priest they work all vntrueth.

And to the intēt yt this might not be restreyned vnto the life of particuler persons, it is said in the 14 chaptre of the same Prophet: [...]rem. [...].14. they prophesie fals thinges, and a lieng vision. And in Isay the 29 chaptre. The wisdome of the wyse shall perishe & the vnderstāding of ye prudent shall vanishe away. [...]ai. 29. God shall shut vp the eyes of the Prophetes and of ye principalles. And in Ezechiell the 7 chaptre. [...]ech. 7 The law shall perishe frome the Priest. And to say the trueth, who condemned ye Prophe­tes, as Ieremias, Micheas, yea & the Sonne of God him self, and af­ter [Page] him the Apostles, but the assem­blies of the Prelates of Israell? If hereunto it be answered, that these thinges happened in the tyme of the olde Testament. I answer that it is not ynough spoken nor de­rectly answered. For the conclusion will alweys be ferme and sure that the assemblie of Prelats of the Churche how generall soeuer that it was, haue oftē tymes bene gouerned by the Spirit of error rather then by the holy Goste.

Secondly if we come to the new Testament, S. Paule haeth not he expresly warned the Ephesiens in ye name of all the Churche,Act. 29. that there shoulde wolues come oute frome a­mongest the mids of the Pastors & that the sonne of perdition shoulde sit in the temple of God?2. [...] 2.4▪ And in very dede in conferring the Coun­celles [Page] one with an other, there will appere so many contrarieties amo­ngest them selues, [...] that of very force ye must confesse that the holy Goste haeth not alweys there had audiēce, but that Satan for a long tyme past haeth transfigured him self into the lyght of generall Councelles for to disguise and hyde his falshode.

There is a place in S. Augustine yt expresseth this in his second booke of Baptisme, agaīst the Donatistes 3 chaptre the whiche I haue alled­ged in the first oration and now for a cause will alledge it again, there it is expresly said, that the Epistles of the particuler Busshops be corr­ected by the prouinciall Councelles, and the prouinciall Councelles, by the generall Councelles, & the first generall Councelles adnulled by the last, when as by experiēce of things [Page] that whiche was close is opened & that whiche was hidde is made euident.

Unto this my Lorde Cardinall ans­wered ī his oration yt this was to be vnderstand of exterior or outward things whiche might & oght to vary according as nede requireth. But considering the hole mater nerer it is found that this worde Emendari presupposeth that there was a faute cōmitted and after corrected, also if this answer shoulde be receiued, ye must say lykewyse of the particuler Epistles of the busshops and prouin­ciall Councelles the whiche is dire­ctly against the intention of Saint Augustine, whiche reasoneth there of this point and not of any exterior policie, but of one point of doc­trine, to wit of the opinion of Saint Cyprian, and of the Councell of Af­fricke [Page] touching rebaptisation. If there be also alledged an other ar­gument whiche they vse, to wit, if oure Lorde haeth promised to be in ye myddes of two or three gathered to gether in his name, [...] now by greater reason wil he be in an assemblie vni­uersall: we grant that so it may be presumed, but there is a difference betuene a presumption and a neces­sarie conclusion. For ye malice of man cōmeth often tymes vnto this point to abuse the name of God, [...] to esta­blishe their lesings that suche may haue God in theire mouth whiche haue his enemy in their hart. The weaknes of man is so great yt there is comonlie in him an infinite nom­bre of dissordinate affections whiche blind oure eyes, so that we say that he whiche haeth none other founda­tion then the aduyse of men and the [Page] outward apperance of a Coūcell, is rather in danger to be deceiued thē otherwys. What then? Wold we yt the doctrine of ye Churche should be vncertain seing it may erre? No thing les. For we confesse that as yet, we know in a parte,1. [...] 9. as Saint Paule saieth, & in this respect there is alweys error mingled with the veritie, & yet neuertheles God suf­fereth not that the veritie in ye sub­stanciall pointes of oure saluatiō be euer so buried in all his Churche, yt there is not alweys some nombre now more now lesse yt vnderstādeth yt whiche they oght to vnderstād, & do follow that whiche they oght to follow. Thus we see that it came passe in Israell in the tyme of Elias and in the tyme of the captiuitie of Babilon & in the tyme of the cūm­ing of Iesus Christe, when as scar­sely [Page] was there found a Zacharie an Elizabeth, a Ioseph, a Uirgin Marie, a Simeon, and an Anna the Prophetesse, [...] whiche had a vn­derstanding of the fulfilling of the Prophetes, amongest so great cor­ruptions of Scrybes, Pharises and Sadduces. Suche interruptions therefore in the Churche of God ꝓ­ceding and cōming of the iniquitie of men, be as a storme or cloudy we­ther, whiche afterwardes he cau­seth to vanishe away with ye bright­nes of his worde as it pleaseth him, and according as he distributeth the secretes of his iudgementes and of mercies. Are we willing lykewyse thus to condemne the ancient Coun­celles? God forbid. For as ye your selues know ryght well yt if it were in question to be reuled by them ye should change mo thinges then we: [Page] ye haue trauelled therein these day­es past, but we require yt the Scrip­ture be the touche stone for to exa­myn all that is done and said in the Churche. If this seme strange I pray you my Lordes to cōsider this moste renouned place of Saint Au­gustine writing vnto Maximin Arian in the seconde booke. chaptre 14 Is there any generall Coūcell more authorised then the first, called the Councell of Nece? [...] And what is ye Councell of Arimin? A Councell reiected and cōdemned & that wor­thely. And whereof disputeth S. Augustine? Euen of a principall ar­ticle of the beleif, yt which had bene before that often tymes fully resol­ued, to wit of the Cōsubstancialitie of the Sonne of God. in this me­an season ye may see that S. Au­gustine witnesseth that for his part [Page] he is not astricted nether to ye Coū ­cell of Nece nor yet to the Coūcell of Arimin: [...] but that he will fight wt the Scriptures, whiche be, saieth he, cōmon witnesses vnto bothe parties. If any body will against this alledge the obscuritie of the Scrip­tures, we must nedes confesse that whiche S. Paule saieth: that ye na­turall man knoweth not those thīges that be of God, [...]or. 2 and that whiche Saint Peter sayeth: yt the Scrip­tures be not of any priuate interpre­tation. [...]et. 1 Well then, if this obscuri­tie be so great, that the Scriptures can not be exponded by them selues whence cometh this that Christe sē ­deth vs no where els, when he say­eth searche the Scriptures? [...]. 5. [...]. 16 [...]1. And how cōmeth it to pas yt Abraham being required by the vnhappy riche man to send some of the other world [Page] to admonishe them of this worlde, they haue sayeth he, Moses and the Prophetes, if they beleue not them no more will they beleue when any shall ryse again from the dead. And moreouer in what case had they bene in then that had no thing but ye scriptures of the Apostles, before yt euer there was any cōmentaries written by the Ancients? And yet further I remembre my Lorde Cardinall yt in youre oration, youre aduyse was to receiue for sure interpretation and Apostolycall tradition, that whiche haeth bene alweys receiued in the Churche euerywhere, & of all men. [...] But who may assure vs of these thre pointes? Certenly no mā as I sup­pose. For the diuersitie is infinite yt is founde in the bookes of the An­cients, yea and that in the articles of the faith.

[Page]Furthermore if we must come vn­to these wordes, alwayes and of all, at what tyme shall we begin except at the Apostolicall Churche? And who shalbe the first in ye coūte but the Apostles of whom ye historie was faythfully written by Saint Luke & that whiche may be know­en by theire owne writinges. So therefore my Lordes to conclude, forasmuche as all trueth cōmeth of God, who haeth taken for his tru­shmen in that, that concerneth oure saluation, the Prophetes and Apost­les, we returne alwayes vnto this foundation of the Scriptures, and yet will we receiue the aduise of coū celles and of fathers, but that shall be so farre as they cōfirme their say­inges by the euident witnessinges of the Scriptures, the whiche as treulie sayeth Saint Augustine in [Page] his bookes of Christian doctrine, be so tempered with the holy Spirit, yt that whiche is darkly spoken in one place is moste clearelie spoken in an other place, with diuers other mea­nes to vnderstand well the Scrip­ture, whiche be conteined in ye said bookes of Saint Augustine and of otheres whiche haue entreated of this mater.

And there remayneth as yet one difficultie to be resolued, [...] whiche ly­eth in this that many haue thoght that the will of God touching all yt is requisit vnto oure saluation was not fully written by the Euangeli­stes & Apostles. But if this might take place, I pray you my Lordes, what a doore should there be ope­ned to set forth all maner of dreames and rauinges, that men list? And in very dede we see that this haeth [Page] bene the passage by whiche Satā haeth entered in, to waste the vine yarde of the Lorde, and yet denye we not, [...] but yt before Moses tyme, God gouerned his Churche, by vi­sions and reuelations, and that the Apostles first planted the Churches with a liuelie voice before that their doctrine was written. But where fore is it yt whiles, [...] men grew grea­ter in malice and mo in nombre, & contrarie wyse their lyues growing shorter, that the Lorde haeth wil­led that this doctrine should be en­registred in a cōmon language to be vnderstand of all? Haeth this bene to encountre them that decore and deck their rauinges and drea­mes with ye tytle of traditions, re­uelations or of custome? Now if this doctrine be not written but in part, wherefore should this remedie [Page] serue then?Iohn 31. Surely Saint Iohn speaketh not so of the Scriptures, where he sayeth that the thinges yt he haeth written be written to the end, that in beleuing that Iesus is the Christe, the Sonne of God, ye might haue lyfe, the whiche thing should be fals, if there should be left out any doctrine necessarie vnto sal­uation. Saint Paule also declarīg the vse of the Scripture, where he wold teache all the ministers of the Churche of God, in the personne of his faithfull disciple Timothee,2. [...] 3.1 [...] had not said that it maketh the man of God, that is to say the ministers of the worde of God, or in especiall if ye list, euery faithfull man to be in all pointes perfyte, if it had bene, nedefull to haue added any thing that as yet was not written. And yet we doubt not but alweys there [Page] might haue bene of the Apostles traditions vnwritten. But what were they? Perteining vnto ordre and to policie. But because this name haeth bene abused a long tyme, it be­houeth to shew whiche be ye Apost­olicall traditions, the wc will not be hard to be done, if two pointes be propounded whereby they may be iudged, [...] that is to say if they be cō ­formable to the doctrine, and mete to edification, for it is a thing moste assured that the Apostles neuer ap­pointed any maner of doing, that might be directly or vndirectly cō ­trarie to the doctrine, whiche they taught, nor also that myght turne away men how litle soeuer it be, frōe the spirituall seruice, seing all their writinges beare witnes thereof. When therefore, this ruell shalbe kept, then shall it be easie to discerne [Page] the doctrine frome the tradicions, and the fals tradicions from ye right traditions. And to this may be added that, that whiche the Apo­stles them selues haue done, in this behalf, is not alweys perpetuall. Not but that they are witnes wtout reproche, but for this cause, that ac­cording to the reule of charitie did they beare some thing with the in­firmitie of the Iewes,Act. 29. and so muste be iudged of that whiche they orde­yned of thinges strangled & to eat no blood. And of that whiche S. Paule haeth taught and practised in Timothee and on his personne, the wc thinges now might haue no place, except in following ye gene­rall reule to cōmodate oure selues to oure neighboures in thinges in­different, [...] & suche thinges may also be gathered of other maner of doīges [Page] whiche they haue appropried vn­to their tymes, as where it is spo­ken of kissing & to haue their head vncouered or bare in signe of au­thoritie, [...] Cor. 11 the whiche at this day be contrarie maner of doinges or fashi­ons amongest many nations, amōgest whome it should be founde very strange yt men should kisse one an other or that one man should kysse an other mans wyfe, as also at this tyme, to speake beare headed, is a signe of inferrior or low condition.

All these thinges therefore oght to be considered before yt we should grounde a doctrine as Apostolicall for to abuse the authoritie or custom of ye Apostles, to trooble the Church­es with, lyke as we see that it haeth come to passe shortly after the tyme of the Apostles: for the feast of Eas­ter, & specially in their tyme touch­ing [Page] them whiche abused the autho­ritie of the Churche of Ierusalem, for to mingle the Iudaisme with the Christianisme accordīg as it is written in the historie of the Actes of the Apostles. [...] 29. There was it orde­yned that no mans cōscience should he charged with any yoke. [...] How thē may we esteme that ye Apostles haue inuented so many and so many ceremōes (vnto whiche afterwardes haeth bene attributed bothe re­mission of sinnes and merites) seing yt they haue made suche an expresse protestation to the contrarie, yea & wolde not giue place vnto the Mosaicall ceremonies, of whiche God him self was author? It is a long tyme since that Saint Augustīe cō playned hereof, when he wrote to Ianuarius, but there is no doubte if he had bene in the lyke tyme as [Page] ours is, he wold haue bene more astonied at them. In a somme therefor, we do require that the Scripture, whiche is cleare in this behalf, may discerne betuixt the traditions that be good & thē yt be euill, betuixt them that be holie and them that be pro­faine, betuixt them that be profitable and them that be noysome, and be­tuixt them that be nedefull & them that are superfluouse.

These pointes being resolued, it is easie to decyde this question, if the Churche be aboue the Scripture, the whiche semeth to me to be so fo­olish a question as if one asked whe­ther the infant or childe were aboue his father, [...] the woman, aboue her husband, yea the man aboue God. And in very dede the trew Churche will neuer striue against God in su­che a quarrell nor none other, but [Page] will escaip condemnation. And it serueth to no purpose to say that the Churche was before the Scripture. For althogh that so it be, yet it is so that this worde that afterwardes haeth bene written is alweys more ancient seinge that by the same the Churche hath bene conceiued, [...] ingendred, and nourished, as it haeth bene said. The saying of S. Au­gustine is alledged in this behalf, I wold not beleue the Scripture if ye authoritie of the Churche moued me not thereunto. But here must ye cōsider that Saint Augustine spea­keth of him self as a Manicheen. [...] When therefore two parties will debate or stryue for the treuth of an instrument, vnto whome shall they haue recourse but vnto nota [...]ies wc kepe the registre thereof? And yet notwithstanding it can not be said [Page] that the register is founded vpone ye witnessinges of notaries the whiche should not faill to be trew althogh no man liuing bare witnes thereof. Euen so muche hereof must we an­swer vnto them that think that the authoritie of the canonicall bookes is not founded vpon that whiche the Churche haeth determined the­reof, as if it were so, that there were found determinations of Councel­les altogether diuers in this pointe yt whiche may be more at large de­clared in a mutuall conference. It shall suffice me to alledge besides yt whiche I haue before spoken, one onely reason accompanyed with the authoritie of some of the ancientes that be well approued.

The reason is this that Iesus Christ him self haeth so muche ho­nored ye doctrine of the Prophetes, [...] [Page] that he ratified and proued his doc­trine by ye witnessing of them. S. Paule suffered that they of Tessa­lonique should do the lyke, as it is written in the 17 chaptre of ye Actes. [...]wors [...] 11. [...] 2. [...] 2. Saint Petre haeth expresly allow­ed this maner of doing. Then must not they, that say that they be the vicares of Iesus Christe and successors of Saint Petre and S. Paule refuse the lyke condition.

And further consider what S. Ierome sayeth in the 9 chaptre of his second booke vpone Ieromie, [...] yt men must nether follow the error of their fathers nor of their ancitors but the authoritie of the Scriptures. And Saint Chrisostome vpone the 24 of Saint Mathew in the 49 homelie. The same man, sayeth he, that wold knowe whiche is ye trew Churche of Iesus Christe, how shall [Page] he know it in so great a confusion of suche semblance or liknes: also why is it that in ye tyme then, [...] all the Christians oght to retire and draw them selues to the Scriptures? Forasmu­che as that after that tyme, that he­resie had obteined and occupyed the Churches, there might be no certē probation had of the trew Christia­nitie nor other refuge vnto Christi­ans willing to know the treuth of the faith but the holie Scriptures. Lykewyse oure Lorde knowing so great confusion to come in the lat­ter dayes, cōmādeth that the Christians whiche be in the Christianitie wc wold haue a trew and firme fayth, should haue none other refuge but to ye Scriptures: or els if they regarded other thinges they should be of­fended and perishe, not knowinge what were the trew Churche, and [Page] by that meanes they should fall in to the abhomination of desolation yt whiche is set in the holy place of the Churche.

Saint Basill also in his moralles the 12 chaptre of the 9 somme, writeth thus, if all thing that is with­out faith is sinne, as the Apostle sai­eth and faith is by hearing,Ro [...] 23. Ro [...] 17. and he­aring is of the worde of God, all that is without the Scripture whiche is inspired of God, is sinne, Lyke­wyse the same author in his sermon of the confession of the faith. [...] If the Lorde be faythful in all his wordes and all his cōmandementes be sure for euer, done in veritie and righte­ousnes: It is manifestly to turne frō the faith and a cryme of pride to re­iecte any thing of that, that is writ­ten, or to introduce any thing more that haeth not bene written, seing [Page] that oure Lorde Iesus Christ haeth said, my shepe heare my voice & fol­low not a stranger but flie frō him because they knowe not his word. [...] 10.

Hitherto Madame I haue an­swered according to the measure of the knowledge that God haeth ge­uen vs, vnto ye first point of the last oration of my Lordes the Prelates concerning the estate and authoritie of ye Churche of oure Lorde. Where of as yet we are redy to vnderstād all that shalbe shewed vnto vs, by the pure worde of God. There res­teth the article of the Supper the wc I will leaf of, if it please youre Maiestie, aswell because ye are to long holden and all the present as­sistance, as also because of the desire that we haue that this conference should be begonne after a better or­dre: because all that in speaking sō ­marelie [Page] of a mater yt hitherto haeth bene wrapped vp in so greate obscu­ritie, it should be very hard, but that many wordes shoulde escape, how trew soeuer they were that shoulde offend the heartes of them that sho­uld heare them. Neuerthelesse if it pleaseth youre Maiestie that we go forwarde, we are redy to speak therof that whiche the Lorde will giue vs to vnderstand. Submitting al­weys oure selues vnto that whiche shalbe shewed by the holy Scrip­tures. And make humble supplica­tion vnto youre maiestie to be per­suaded that next to ye glorie of God, there is no thing that we seke with so greate desyre as the rest and qui­etnes of youre Maiestie & of all this Realme.

❧Ane answer the xxvj day of septembre, the yere a thousand fyue hundreth sixtie and one▪

Being arriued at Poyssy twelue ministers of the worde of God, with twelue deputies of Churches in an hall, [...] where was the Quene mother, the King & Quene of Na­uarre, the princes of the blood roy­all and all the Lordes of Councell and other Lordes of the one syde: & of the other part 5 Cardinalles wt many bus [...]hops and Theologiens of all sortes.

[...]he lord [...]ardin­ [...]My Lorde Cardinall of Lorrain declared in few wordes that this assemble [Page] was made to heare what ye said ministers had to say vnto that, whiche he had proponded two dayes befor, whereat Theodore rase vp in the name of the said xij ministers for all the Churches of France that be reformed and answered as follow­eth.

Madame the last tyme yt it pleased you to giue vs audience we made declaratiō according to ye grace, that oure Lord gaue vs, of the article yt was propoūded touching the Chur­che, the marckes, and authoritie of the same. Wherein we haue so follo­wed ye worde of God that euery one as we iudge had occasion to be cō ­tented with oure answer. But in stede to approue that whiche was spoken by vs, we haue bene demāded by what power we minister ye word of God and the holie Sacramētes, [Page] and besydes all that there was no thing spared that might make oure cause more odiouse. [...] We can not tell for what purpose this was set for­ward. For first of all we came not hither to minister the worde of God nor the Sacramentes. Wherefore there was no nede to ask vs by what authoritie we wold do it. If it should be said that it is to cause vs rend­re a reason of that whiche we haue done heretofore. [...] Ye must consider that oure company is of two maner of people, the one serue for ministers without this realme, ī places where their vocation is receiued, of them it may not be demanded why they be ministers. There is others that preache within this realme whome ye haue not called, to cause them gi­ue an accompt of that wc is past, as touching their vocation, but onelie [Page] to conferre with their doctrine: or els it should be a beginning to make proces against them, the whiche thīg Madame we are sure that ye haue not mynded. If it be after a sorte, to conferre vnder correction, there should be therein no great purpose and yt could not serue but to cause vs entre into this matter, out of the wc we could not depart without offen­ding and angring my Lordes ye Prelates. The whiche we haue not mynded, nether will we giue occa­sion vnto any body to interrupt this holy work that is begonne. And that it may be knowen yt we speake not without great cause:A simi [...]tude. alweys as two parties mete to entre into conference: if the one aske the other by what vertue do you this? The o­ther will demande the lyke: and so it wilbe very hard but of these re­ciproque [Page] demandes there will arise some dissention. Therefore now leauing a part my Lordes the Prelates of this realme whome we will not offend, let vs imagin vnto vs a busshop that demandeth of vs by what tytle preache ye, and minister ye the Sacramente? We will de­mande of him if he him self was chosen by the ancientes or elders of the Churche vnto the whiche he is ap­pointed to be busshop, [...] if he was re­quyred by the people, if there was informatiō before that, taken of his lyfe and doctrine, he wold say yea. But the contrarie is well knowen, and we remitte oureselues vnto the conscience of them that heare vs, wc knowe how this goeth. And if he wold say vnto vs, ye are not minis­ters because ye haue not the imposi­tion of handes, we might answer [Page] him ye are no minister because that in youre institutiō or ordeinīg were omitted the substanciall pointes and that cōmanded by Gods lawe,The P [...]pistes want [...] of th [...] vocati [...] the whiche may not be dispensed with. And if ye disputatiō grew more hote we should go further & may vse such wordes, ye haue but one of the three pointes requisit in the institution or ordeyning whiche is the imposition of handes, if the wanting of that as ye esteme doeth depriue vs that we can not be ministers, for want of the other two muche lesse ye shall be ministers then we. The Councell of Calcidome,The [...] whiche is one of the 4 generall Coūcelles ordeyned that that the institution of a priest should be voyde, whiche haeth not bene de­puted spicially vnto ye seruice of sōe Churche, irrita sayeth he, in iniuriam ordinantis. With more strong rea­son [Page] may we say the same to the Busshop yt should dispute with vs, when he wāteth ye two substāciall poī [...]es cōtrary to the ordināce of ye Apostle. [...]ite. 2. Yet se an other point whiche greueth vs greatly to speake, and yet neuer­theles be we constreyned thereunto that we may shew to all this com­pany that if this disputation of the vocatiō were ones opened it should be greatly dangerouse if we should ask him who gaue him this imposi­tion of handes he wold say that it was the Busshops by the authori­tie yt was giuen vnto them. [...] And if we should ask him, for how muche he boght that authoritie, he will say that he haeth not boght it, but that he haeth giuē so many thousād crounes, that is to say I haue not boght the bread but the corne. So that if ye were willīg to decide this question [Page] by the Councelles or canons of the Churche, there shoulde an infi­nite nombre of Busshoppes and cu­rates haue red faces. [...] And therefore Madame we are not willīg to ētre therein, for feare to offēd any body, nor to make any reuenge, but onely to shew you Madame yt if we should briefly answer, this is the desire that we haue, not to offend any body. And as touchīg the article of ye holy Supper of oure Lorde, we wold not of late speak any further of it, but hauing a respect to many of this cō ­pany, whiche haue not bene accus­tomed, to heare speak thereof any thing so forwardly, but yt they wilbe easily offēded, when they heare any thing that semeth new vnto them. And therefore we had rather that they should heare the sayings of the an [...]ient doctors of the Churche, th [...] [Page] ours: considering yt my Lorde Car­dinall of Lorrain haeth bound him self by his promes openly to īstruct vs in this article with the wordes of the doctors, [...] that wrote the firste fyve hundreth yeres, so yt we were prepared to receiue the light, if it had bene shewed vnto vs that whiche hitherto haeth bene hidde frome vs. Now to saitisfie vs and also a great part of Christendome in that, that we desyred & looked for, there was propounded to vs the article of the holie Sacrament cut of, and ming­led, [...] i [...] the principale and moste ne­cessarie pointes, & therewith it was said vnto vs, signe this, if not, we will go no further. And if we were presented prisoners vnto you to be accused, yet should ye not say, signe this, if not, I condemne you, youre estate bindeth you to speake other­wayes, [Page] and cōmandeth you to shew vs, oure errors, if we had any, and willeth that ye should be sufficient to exhort in holsome doctrine, them that haue nede of doctrine, and that be redy to rendre a reasone of their faith by the Scriptures. And al­thogh the manner to condemne vs is new, yet the means whiche haue bene therein vsed be more strange as I shall shortly shew.

Madame we are here present for two prīcipale endes, [...] the one is to rē dre a reasone to God, and to you, & to all the worlde of oure faith, the other is to do seruice to God and to the King, and to you in all possible meanes to appese and mittigate the troobles that be risen in the cause of religion. If ye send vs away agaī without giuing vs some, with wh [...] ̄e we might charitably conferre there [Page] shalbe no thing donne vnto vs, wc shall not be published & made knowen throughout all Christendome. This will not be the meanes to ap­pease ye troobles whiche they know well ynough, that are the makers thereof. If ye had no more a do, but with vs, that be here present, there should be no great danger as touch­ing the world, to do with vs euen as ye wolde. But if it please you, we be here but a part of a thousād thousandes of persons, whiche be in this realme, Suysse, in Polonia, in Al­mayne, in England, & Scotland, wc altogether looke for some good resolution of this assemblie: and they shall vnderstād that in stede to con­ferre as it was promised, [...] there was giuen vnto vs ye tenth part of an ar­ticle & there was said vnto vs signe this, or els we will go no further. [Page] And if we should haue signed, what shoulde ye gaine or winne thereby? They that sent vs hither wold haue knowledge, whither we were con­streyned therunto by force and vio­lence: or els vainquished by good & certen argumentes. Wherefore we make humble request vnto you Madame that ye wold not īterrupt this good worke, but yt ye wold giue vs some yt wold make no cōscience to cō conferre wt vs. Or els ye may iudge youre self, how muche sclander this kinde of ꝓceding yt is now vsed shall bring. And yet neuertheles, because yt ye should not remain wihout an­swer, vnto that whiche was ꝓpoū ­ded vnto vs, [...] we declare that we approue all that was spoken by Moū ­sieure Despence in the booke which he gaue vnto vs without any other consideration thereof.

And as touching the article that [Page] [...] Cardinall haeth giuen vs [...] that it is no thing but an [...] of ye confessiō of Ausbourgh. [...] be many thinges to be cō ­ [...]dered to wit, ye hole cōfession must be communicated vnto vs. For it should be vnreasonable to present vnto vs a line of an article and to leaue out all the rest. [...] Further it must be knowen if my Lorde Cardinall of him self (the whiche neuertheles we will not presume, but desyre that we may haue witnessing thereof) or els of the authoritie of my Lordes the Prelates, haeth propounded here ye confession of Ausburgh, & to giue vs thereof suche assurāce that we may frely conferre together. [...] For thereby at least, we might giue heartie thā ­kes to God for that my Lorde Car­dinall and the others, shoulde con­demne transsubstantiation the wc [Page] is reiected, by the cōmoun accorde of all the reformed Curches aswell in Almaigne as els where. And if they will that we signe any thing it is reason Madame that my Lorde Cardinall signe also that whiche h [...] in the name of his company presen­teth vnto vs, that oure Churches whiche haue sent vs hither may see and knowe, yt here we conferre not in the ayer that is in vain. And if my Lorde Cardiāll cōtinue ī this minde to approche and come nere vnto the confession of the Almains in all pointes, I hope that God will make vs come nerer & ioyne vs in suche a sorte together, that ye shalbe well cōtent therof, and that his name shalbe glorified thereby throughoute the hole world.

And in the mean season, Madame, we say vnto you yt oure Lorde Iesus [Page] Christe is in ye vse of the holie Sup­per in the whiche he presenteth, [...] gi­ueth and exhibiteth verely vnto vs his body and his blood by the operation of his holy Spirit, & that we receiue and eat spiritually, and by faith his owne body wc dyed for vs, for to be bones of his bones & fleshe of his fleshe that we may therby be quickened & receiue all that whiche is necessarie for oure saluation. And if this do not content you Madame, and that there be nede of an greater declaration (as surely it is a dangerous & a hard thing to speake of so great a mysterie in few words) if it please my Lorde Cardiāll to hold yt whiche he haeth promised, whiche is to visit altogither the holie Scripture and the ancient doctors of the Churche so farre as they shalbe con­formable vnto the same. And if it [...]

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.