Wherein the Romane Religion, and the pregnant policies of the Church of Rome to support the same, are notably displayed: with some other memorable discoueries and memorations,

Never before till now published according to the Authours Originall Copie.

Multùm diuque desideratum.




WHereas not many yeares past, there was published in print, a Treatise entituled, A Relation of Religion of the Westerne parts of the World, printed for one Simon Waterson, 1605. without name of Authour, yet generally and currantly passing vnder the name of the learned and worthy Gen­tleman Sr Edwin Sandys Knight; Know all men by these presents that the same Booke was but a spurious stolne Copie; in part epitomized, in part amplified, and throughout most shamefully falsified & false printed, frō the Authors Origi­nall: In so much, that the asme Knight was infi­nitely wronged thereby: and as soone as it came to his knowledge, that such a thing was printed, [Page] and passed vnder his name, he caused it (though somewhat late, when, it seemes, two Impressions were for the most part vented) to be prohibited by Authoritie; and as I haue heard, as many as could be recouered, to be deseruedly burnt, with power also to punish the Printers: And yet, ne­verthelesse, since that time, there hath beene ano­ther Impression of the same stolne into the world. Now, those so adulterate Copies being scattered abroad, & in the hands of some men, I (whoeuer I am) though liuing here in these Transmarine Batavian Belgique parts, yet studious of the truth, and a louer of my Countrey; and having obtayned by a direct meanes, of a deere friend, a perfect Copie, verbatim trans [...]ribed from the Authours Originall, and legitimate one, of his own hand-writing, haue thought good to publish it vnto the world; first, for the good of the Church; secondly, the glory of our English Nation; third­ly, for the fame of the ingenuous & ingenious and Acute Author, a Gentle-man, who (as I haue beene most credibly informed) hath (here­tofore) deserued right well of his Countrey, in seruice of the Prince of Orange, & the Lords [Page] the States generall, his Maiestie of Englands fa [...]t friends and Allies, yet &c. And lastly, that the world may be no longer depriued of so rare a Iewell, in its owne lustre, nor abused by the other counterfeit-one, before named.

It may bee, I hereby shall incurre some dislike from the learned Author, (if He be yet liuing,) who haply in his modestie, and for some other causes best knowne vnto him selfe, (for some writers loue not to haue their labours published in their life time) hath so long obscured and sup­pressed his pregnan [...] view, from the worlds pub­lique view, farther then now and than by com­municating it vnto his friends, such as impor­tuned him to haue it copied out: And certes; though I professe to honour him with all my heart, yet I thinke it better, he be herein displea­sed, than the world longer wronged, and with­all hoping howeuer, that hee will candidly con­strue it to be but amoris error.

I cannot see how any else should be offended hereat, but such as are sworne slaues to their Lord God the Pope; whose Roman kingdome, and Babylonian tottering tower, hath such a [Page] blow giuen it hereby, as I know but few of such force; and not many such blowes more, will make the same Kingdome and Tower fall downe to the ground, with vtter desolation. As for the Arminians, when this Treatise was written, that sect, was either in the shell, or the cradle, and their mungrell and squint-eyed Diuinitie s [...]arce knowne, or v [...]nted to the world: yet they haply will be offended hereat, because savouring of the Orthodox trueth, and let that sect so bee: But if there chance to bee any other moderate Christian offended hereat, of such I humbly▪ craue pardon.

Reade it therefore, beloued Reader, for thine owne solace, and much good maist thou learne & reape thereby; giuing God the glory, the Au­thour his deserued due praise, and mee thankes (if thou canst afford me any) for my honest endeavour here­in, for thy benefit.

From the HAGH in HOLLAND. Vale in Christo, & fruere.

THE CONTENTS, OR THE seuerall Heads (which may serue in steed of Chapters) contained in this Treatise.

  • THe Preface, containing the scope of all. page 1
  • Of the Romane Religion. p. 3
  • Of the Superstitions & Ceremonies of the Church of Rome. p. ibid.
  • Of their Honour to Saints and Angels, p. 4
  • Of their Liturgies, p. 7
  • Of their Sermons, p. ibid.
  • Of their Penance and Confession, p. 10
  • Of their Life and Conversation, p. 17
  • Of their Lent, p. 20
  • Of their Ecclesiasticall Government, p. 23
  • Of their Head assertions, p. 24
  • Of their Meanes to strengthen them, p. 29
  • Of their Wayes to ravish all affections, and to fit each humour, p. 34
  • Of their particular Projects, Monarchies, and Prin­ces Marriages, p. 37
  • Of their Dispensing with Oathes, p. 42
  • Of the Greatnes of the House of Austria, p. 46
  • Of the Adulterous or rather Incestuous Marriages of Austria and Spaine, p. 49
  • Of the Nobilitie, and their Confession, p. 50
  • Of the Choise of their Cardinals, p. 51
  • Of their Variety of Preferments, p. 53
  • [Page]Of the Clergie and their Prerogatiues, p. 55
  • Of the Multitude of their Religious Orders, p. 57
  • Of their Providing for Children, p. 58
  • Of their Nunneries, p. 59
  • Of their Multitude of Hearts and Hands, Tongues and Pennes, p. 63
  • Of their Readinesse to vndertake, and Resolutenesse to execute, p. 66
  • Of their Very Multitude of Friers ready to bee put in Armes, p. 67
  • Of their Spirituall Fraternities, p. 72
  • Of the Policies of the Papacy against their enemies; and of their persecutions, confiscations, tortures, massacres and hostility, p. 73
  • Of the Reformers o [...] Protestants Preaching, p. 77
  • Of their well Educating of Youth, p. 80
  • Of their Offers of Disputation, p. 85
  • Of their Discouery of Blotts, p. 88
  • Of their Histories and Martyrologies, p. 96
  • Of the Policie of Papall Newes, p. 100
  • Of their vtter Breach, p. 104
  • Of their excluding of all accesse of the Religion, & of their Inquisition, p. 111
  • Of their locking vp the Scriptures, p. 114
  • Of their concealing the Doctrines and Opinions of the Reformation, p. 117
  • Of their notorious Lies of England, and of Gene­va, p. 119
  • Of Papall Purging of Bookes, and of their Indices Expurgatorij, p. 126
  • Of the present state of the Papacie, and their pecu­liar [Page] Dominions, p. 132
  • Of the Popes sucking from Forraine Parts, p. 137
  • Of the Clergie vnder the Papacie, p. 144
  • Of the Pope himselfe and His Election, p. 146
  • Of the Pope present, his race, name, and life, p. 149
  • Of the Nations which adhere vnto the Papacy, especially Italy, p. 156
  • Of the liues of the Italians, p. ibid.
  • Of Spaine, p. 163
  • Of Germanie, p. 169
  • Of the Low-Countries, p. 176
  • Of France, p. ibid.
  • Of Loraine and Savoy, p. 186
  • An Estimate of the strength of the Papacy. p. ibid.
  • What Vnity Christendome may hope for, p. 194
  • Of Vnity of Charity, p. 196
  • Of Vnity of Authority, p. 199
  • Of Necessity pressing to Vnity, p. 206
  • Upon what ground the Pope suffereth Iewes and Graecians in Italy, p. 216
  • Of the Iewes Religion and vsage, p. 222
  • Of their Conversion in Italy, p. 227
  • Of the Greeke Church, and their Religion, p. 233
  • Of their Liturgies, p. 238
  • Of their Gouernment, p. 240
  • Of their Liues, and of the Muscovites, p. 242
  • The Conclusion, touching only the Churches Re­formed, p. 247

THese Heads onely were not collected in the Au­thours Copy, but done for the ease and better benefite of the Reader. And if any neuerthelesse shall find any ambiguity or obscurity in the ensuing Worke, let them know that the Authours originall was not in all places precisely printed with com­ma's, colons, semicolons and periods: & the Trans­scriber followed punctually the Authour. And for Typographicall errata, (as few or no Bookes scape without some) The Publisher hereof hath collected the most materiall to be amended as followeth;



MY singular good Lord. Having finished now almost my enten­ded course of traveil, & drawing withall towards the expitation of the time praefined thereto: comming to cast uppe as it vvere the short accompts of my labours, employed chiefly (as was f [...]ō the first my principall dessein) in viewing the STATE OF RELI­GION in these Westerne parts of the World, and the devided Factions and Profe­ssions thereof; with their differences in matter of Faith, in [...]e Ex [...]rcises of Religion, in Go­vernment eccl [...]siast [...]call, and in Life and conver­sation: what vertues in each kind eminent, what [Page 2] eminent defects, moreover in what termes of opposition or correspondence each stands with other; what probabilities, what policies, what hopes, what jealousies, are found in each part for the adva [...]ncing thereof; and finally, what possibilitie and good meanes of uniting at least­wise the seuerall braunches of the Reformed pro­fessours, if unitie universall bee more to be desi­red than hoped, in such bitterness of minds, and aequalitie of forces, as leaveth on neither side either disposition to yield, or doubt to bee van­quished: In the midst of these thoughts the great place which your Grace holdeth in our Church and Common-wealth next under her Maiestie did advise me in dutie, as great worthinesse joy­ned with favour towards my selfe in particular did presse me in humble and serviceable affecti­on to yield unto your Grace some accompt of those my traveils in that kind; not entending to deliver a full report of all those poincts, which would too much exceed the proportion of any Letter to write, and perhaps of your Graces lea­sure also to read; but restraining my selfe chiefly to such parts and places, as may seeme most ne­cessarie for our Countrie to be knowne, and giue your Grace also in likelyhood most content in recognizing them.

THE Romane Religion, which of all other Christian, I suppose to haue most mani­foldly declined and degenerated from the truth and puritie of that divine Original once so well published and placed amongst them; as having in those middle times when there were none to controll them, light into the hands and hand­ling of such men as made their greatnesse, wealth, and honour, the very rules whereby to square out the Canons of Faith, and then set Clerks on worke to devise arguments to uphold them, seemes notwithstanding at this day not so cor­rupt in the very doctrine, as in Schooles they de­liver it, and publish it in their writings; where manifold opposition doth hold them in awe, and hath caused them to refine it; as it is in the the practise thereof, and in their usage among themselues; wherein they are as grosse in a man­ner as ever: so that sundry whom the reading of their bookes hath allured, the view of their Chur­ches hath averted from their partie.

For to omit the endlesse multitude of Su­perstitions and Leremonies enough to take up a great part of a mans life to gaze on and to per­use; being neither uniforme in all places, as some would pretend, but different in diuers Countries: an huge sort of them are so childish also and un­savory, that as they argue great sillinesse and raw­nesse in their inventours, so can they naturally bring no other than disgrace and contempt to those exercises of Religion wherein they are stir­ring.

[Page 4]And to restraine my selfe in this part especially to Italy, where the Roman Religion doth princi­pally flourish; the communicating Divine Ho­nour to Saints and Angells, by building Churches, erecting Altars, commending Pray­ers, addressing vowes unto them; by worshipping their Images, going in Pilgrimage to their Re­liques, attributing all kind of miracles both to the one and other; hath wrought this generall effect in those parts that men haue more affiance and assume vnto them a greater conceipt of com­fort in the patronage of the Creatures and ser­vants of God, than of God himselfe the Prince and Creatour. And touching the blessed Vir­gin the case is cleere, that howsoeuer their doc­trine in Schooles be otherwise, yet in all kind of outward actions, the Honour which they doe her, is double for the most part unto that which they doe our Sauiour: where one doth professe himselfe a Devoto or peculiar servant of our Lord; whole townes sometimes, as Siena by name, are the Devoti of our Lady.

The stateliest Churches are hers lightly, and in Churches hers the fairest Altars; where one pray­eth before the Crucifix, two before her Image, where one voweth to Christ ten vow unto her; and not so much to her selfe, as to some peculiar Image, which for some select vertue or grace to­gether with greater power of operation of mi­racles they chiefly serue, as the glorious Lady of Loretto, the devout Lady of Rome, the miracu­lous Lady of Provenzano, the Annunciata of Flo­rence; [Page 5] whose Churches are so stuffed with vowed presents and memories, that they are faine to hang their Cloysters also & Church-yards with them. Then as their vowes are, such are their pilgrimages. And to nourish this humour; for one miracle reported to be wrought by the Cru­cifix, not so few perhaps as an hundred are voiced upon those other Images. Yea their Devils in exorcisme are also taught (for who can thinke o­therwise?) to endure the conjuring of them by the name of God and the Trinitie without trouble or motion; but at the naming of our Lady to tosse and torment; as feeling now a new force of an un­resistable power. Neither will I omit this no lesse certaine, though lesse apparent; where one fasts on Friday, which they compt our Lords day in devotion to him; many fast the Saturday; which there they compt our Ladies day; and in devotion to her. In all which the people do but follow their guides, who as in the admeasuring of devotions by tale on beads, they string up ten sa­lutations of our Lady to one of our Lords pray­ers, so themselues also in their Sermons make their entrance with an Ave Marie, yea and the so­lemnest divine honour which I see in those parts, and which being well used were to bee highly re­nowmed and recommended to the imitation of all worthy Christians; namely, that thrice a day, at sun-rise, at noone, and sun-set, upon the ringing of a bell, all men in what place soever they bee, whether, Field, Street, or Market, kneele downe and send up their united devotions to the high [Page 6] Court of the world: This honour is by them en­tended chiefly to our Lady, and the devotion advised is the Aue Marie, and the Bell which rings to it hath also that name. And last­ly their chiefe preachers doe teach in Pulpit, that the Church doth very well whatsoever is found in Scripture spoken of Christ the Sonne of God to apply it to our Lady also, being the daugh­ter of God: that it is the opinion of a learned man and not contrary to the Catholike Faith, that though ADAM had not sinned yet Christ should haue beene incarnate to doe our Ladie honour; that all the Angells and Saincts of Hea­ven are vassals unto them both, and cast downe their crownes at the feete of both, and present mens supplications kneeling unto both; that our bond of dutie and thankfulnesse must needes bee exceeding to her; seeing it may bee said after a sort, that Man is more advanced in her than in in Christ himselfe, seeing in Christ the nature of Man is exalted onely, in our Lady, the very person also, which Christ hath not; Finally, that nothing passeth in Heaven without her expresse consent, that the stile of that Court is Placet Do­min [...]: yea they are taught that matters of Iustice come more properly frō him, and expeditions of Grace from her; and that some rare holy men haue seene in vision, that certaine whom Christ would haue condemned, yet in regard they were her servants by her intercession haue beene absol­ved; so that no man need marveil if this doc­trine and practise haue diverted the principall [Page 7] streames of affiance and loue, from him, who had the onely right unto them; and turned them up­on those, unto whom neither so great honour is due, nor so undue honour can be acceptable.

Their Liturgies being not understood by the people, are not able to hold them with any spi­rituall content. For supply whereof, they con­fine them to the chamming of their beads in the mean season: which being so unsavorie a food as it is (and they vse it accordingly) when they are wearie of it, they entertaine the rest of the time with talke and mirth, (which the Priests al­so themselves at their leasure forbeare not,) not forgetting yet to shew devotion at certaine pauses by Spirits; wherin their outward gestures are decent, reverent, significant. Howbeit I sup­pose in generall I may truely say, that the Ro­mane Catholikes are the most irreverent and wandring at Divine Seruice that a man shall see any where, (the Iewes onely excepted; who are in that kind in all places incredibly intollerable:) though on the other side that honour is to bee yielded the Italian Nation, that he is naturally not undevout were his devotion well guided and duly cherished, and not starved and quenched in the darke myst of a language, where he neither understandeth what is said to him, nor yet what himselfe saith.

The best part of their exercises of Religion are their Sermons: wherein much good matter both of faith and pietie is eloquently delivered, by men surely of wonderfull zeale and spirit, if [Page 8] their interiour fervour be correspondent to their outward vehemence. Howbeit they are some­time mingled with so palpable vanitie, that be­sides other pouerties, as forced allegories and unnaturall interpretations, wherein they are fre­quent, euen those Legends of Saints and tales at which children with us would smile; are there solemnly hystorized in their Cathedrall Pulpits. But certainly what religiousness soever is in the peoples minds may wholy or chiefly be atributed to their Sermons, whereto the better disposed people do very diligently resort: their Seruice be­ing no other than as a lampe put out, which brin­ging no light at all to the understanding, can nei­ther bring any due warmth to the affection, the one being inseparable from the other: and were it not that their musicke, perfumes and rich sights, did hold the outward sences, with their naturall delight; surely it could not be but eyther abandoned for the fruitlesness or only upon feare and constraint frequented.

This one thing I cannot but highly commend in that sort and order; they spare nothing that ei­ther Lost can performe in Enriching, or skill in Adorning the Temples of God, or to set out his service with the greatest pompe and magnifi­cencie that can be devised, wherein notwithstan­ding it were to bee wished that some discreeter men had bin the contrivers and Maisters of their Ceremonies, to haue affected in them more state­linesse, reverence and devotion, and to haue a­voyded that Frierly busie basenesse and childish­nesse [Page 9] which is now in them praedominant. And although I am not ignorant that many men well reputed haue embraced the thriftie opinion of that Disciple, who thought all to be wasted that was bestowed on Christ in that sort, and that it were much better imployed upon him in the poore, yet with an eye perhaps that themselues would be his quarter Almoners: notwithstanding I must confesse it could never sincke into my heart, that in proportion of reason, the allow­ance for the furnishing out of the seruice of God should be measured by the skant and strict rule of meere necessitie, (a proportion so lowe, that na­ture to other most bountifull, in matters of ne­cessitie hath not failed no not the most unnoble Creatures in the world;) and that for our selues no measure of heaping, but the most we can get; no rule of expence, but to the vtmost pomp we list; or that God himselfe had enriched this low­er part of the World with such wonderfull varie­tie of things beautifull and glorious, that they might serue only to the pampering up of mortall man in his pride; and that the service of the high Creatour Lord and Giver, (the outward glorie of whose higher palace may appeare by the very lamps which we see so farre off burning so glori­ously in it,) onely the simpler, baser, cheaper, lesse noble, lesse beautifull, lesse glorious things should be employed: especially seeing euen as in Princes Courts, so in the seruice of God also, this outward state and glorie being well disposed, doth engender, quicken, encrease and nourish, the [Page 10] inward reuerence and respectfull devotion which is due vnto so soveraigne Maiestie and power, which those whom the use thereof cannot per­swade so, would easily by the want of it be forced to confesse. For which cause I must craue to bee excused by them herein, if in zeale of the Honour of the common Lord of all, I choose rather to commend the vertue of an enemie, than to flatter the vice or imbecilitie of a friend.

But to returne to the Church of Rome, and to come to the consideration of their Penance and Confession, out of which so great good is promised to the World, and the want whereof is so much upbraided to their opposites: I must confesse I brought with me this perswasion and expectation, that surely in reason and very course of nature, this must needs bee a very great res­traint to wickednesse, a great meanes to bring men to integritie and perfection; when a man shall as it were dayly survey his actions and af­fections, censure with griefe, confesse with shame, cure by counsell, expiat with punish­ment, extinguish with firme intent neuer to re­turne to the like againe, whatsoever hath defiled or stayned his soule. Neither doubt I but it had this fruict in the first institution and hath also with many at this day; yea and might haue beene perhaps better restored in Reformed Churches to his primitiue sinceritie, than utterly abolished, as in most places it is. Notwithstan­ding, having diligently searched into the mena­ging thereof in those parts, I find that as all [Page 11] things wherof humane imbecillitie hath the Cus­todie and government, in time (decaying by unsensible degrees) fall away from their first per­fection and puritie, and gather much soyle and drosse in using; so this as much as any thing.

For this poinct of their Religion, which in outward shew carieth a face of severitie and dis­cipline, is become of all other most remisse and pleasant, and of greatest content even to the dis­solutest minds the matter beeing growne with the common sort to this open reckoning; what need wee refraine so fearefully from sinne, God having provided so ready a meanes to bee rid of it when wee list again? Yea, and the worser sort will say, when we haue sinned wee must confesse; and when wee haue confessed wee must sin again, that wee may also confesse again, and withall make worke for new Indulgences and Iubilies: making accompt of Confession as professed drunkards of Vomiting: Yea, I haue knowne of those that carie a shew of very devout per­sons, who by their owne report, to excuse their acquaintance in matters criminall, haue witting­ly perjured themselues in judgement, only pre­suming of this present and easie remedy of Con­fession: and other of more than ordinary note among them, who when their time of confessing was at hand, would then venture on those actions which before they trembled at; as presuming to surfeit by reason of neighbourhood with the Phy­sician: which Physician also himselfe is perhaps more often infected by the noysome diseases [Page 12] which his patient discloseth, than the patient a­ny way bettered by the counsell which the Phy­sician giueth; though this should bee the very principall vertue of that act. But this must bee graunted to be the fault of the people▪ yet a gene­rall fault it is, and currant with small controul­ment.

Howbeit neither are the Priests or Pope to be more excused perhaps in their parts. The Priests will tell the penitents that God is merci­full; that what sinne soever a man committeth, so long as hee continueth in the Church, and is not a Lutheran, there is good remedy for him. And for Penance, it consisteth ordinarily, but in Ave-Maries and Pater-Nosters, with some easie almes to them that are able, and some little fasting to such as are willing; yea I haue knowne, when the penance for horrible and often blasphemie, besides much other leudnesse hath been no other than the bare saying of their [...]eads thrice over; a matter of some houres muttering, and which in Italy they dispatch also as they go in the streets, or rid businesse at home; ma­king no other of it, that as it is, two lippes and one fingers worke. But were the penance which the Priests enjoyne never so hard and sharp, the holy Fathers plenarie pardon sweeps all away at a blow. Now of these they haue graunted (and this man especially) so huge a number, that I ween there are few Churches of note in Italy, which haue not purchased or procured a perpetuall plenarie Indulgence; by vertue where­of, [Page 13] whosoever at certein set yearly dayes, being confest, and hauing communicated, (o [...] as in some pardons having intent onely to confesse and communicate in time convenient) powres out his devotions before some altar in that Church, and extends his hands in almes to the behoofe thereof, (which clause in all former graunts was expressed, but is now left out for avoyding of scandall, but still understood and practised ac­cordingly) hath forthwith free remission of all sinne and punishment. Yea if the worst fall out, that a man bee so negligen [...] as to drop into Purgatorie, at the time of his decease, (which but by very supine negligence can hard­ly happen:) Yet few Cities are there wherein there are not one or two Altars priviledged Pro de functis, where for every Masse said a soule is delivered: and so great multitude of Artizans must needs make their ware cheape. I will not here warble long upon this untunable harsh string, neither will mention perhaps the fourtieth part of what I haue seene, much lesse will I now rake up old rustie stuffe out of the dead dust and darkenesse wherein time and shame hath suffered it to rest: Onely for examples sake, and for verifying of what I haue said, I will set downe some of that which is in use at this day, which is printed on their Church-doores and proclaimed in their Pulpits.

In the Eremitane at Padova, their Prea­chers very solemnely publish a graunt of ple­narie▪ [Page 12] Indulgence from Baptisme to the last con­fession, with twentie eight thousand yeeres over for the time ensuing. The pardon of ALEXANDER the Sixt for thirtie thousand yeeres, to whosoe­ver before the Altar of our Lady with Christ and her Mother, shall say a peculiar Ave, importing that our Lady was conceived without sinne, is Printed a new in Italy, and pictured in fairest sort: But these are for short times. At the Se­pulchre of CHRIST in Venice, a stately represen­tation, whereon is written, Hic situm est Corpus Domini nostri IESV CHRISTI, (yet inferring no reall presence thereby, as I take it) with verses annexed of Conditur hoc tumulo; there is hanging in a printed table a prayer of St. AVSTINE, a very good one indeed, with Indulgence for foure­score and two thousand yeares, graunted from BONIFACR the eighth, and confirmed by BENE­DICT the eleventh, to whosoever shall say it, and that for every day toties quoties; which yet is som­what worth, that in a few dayes a man may pro­vide for a whole million of Worlds, if they did last no longer than this hath done [...]ithertoo. In St. FRAVNCIS Church at Padova I heard a Reverend Father preach at large the holy histo­rie of the divine pardon of SISA, Abomni culpâ & p [...]nâ, graunted by Christ in person at our La­dies suit vnto S. FRANCIS, extended to all such such as being confest, and having communicated should pray in St. FRANCIS Church there of Sancta Maria de gloria Angeli; yet sending him for orders sake to his Vicar Pope HO [...]ORIVS that then [Page 13] was to passe it, with many other re-apparitions & delectable strange accidents of great solace and content to the pleasant minded beleeuers: Which Pardon is since in larged by SIXTVS QVARTVS and QVINTVS (who both were Franciscans) to all lay brethren & sisters that weare St. FRANCIS COR­DON in what place soever. But to leaue these Antiquities, but not to enlarge in Moderne graunts; but to restraine to one Pope of renow­med fresh memorie even GREGORIE the thir­teenth and some few of his Graces, he hath gran­ted to the Carmine at Siena for every Masse said there at the Altar of the Crucifix, the deliverie of a soule out of Purgatorie whose they list, the like to many other. To the Carmine at Padova more liberally to euery one that shall say seven Aves and 7. Pater-Nosters before one of their Altars on the anniver [...]ar [...]e Wednesday in Easter weeke, or else kisse the ground before the Altar of the blessed Sacrament with the usuall prayers for exaltation of the Church extirpation of He­sie, and vnitie of Christian Princes, both plena­rie Indulgence for himselfe and the deliverie of what friends soule out of Purgatorie he pleaseth. To the Fraternitie of the Altar of the Concepti­on of our Lady in the Duomo or Cathedrall Church at Padova confessing and communica­ting at their entrie to that societie full remission of their sinnes at the houre of their death, naming Iesus with their mouth, (or if they cannot) with their Heart. The like ordinarilie graunted to o­ther Fraternities. To euery Priest so often as hee [Page 16] [...]hall say, fiue printed lines, importing that hee will off [...]r up the precious body of our Saviour, so many fi [...]ie yeeres pardon. Yet will I mention one also of the graunts of this Pope, among o­ther innumerable, namely to the Friers and lay Fraternitie of both Sexes of the Carmine at Siena; for every time they are present at their solemne Processions, plenarie Indulgenee for all sinnes past, and Seven yeeres and seven Quadragenas or fortie dayes over in store for the time to come, and this for ever: with extent of like Grace to all other that with their presence shall honour those Processions, but to last for them no longer than the yeere of Iubilee. Now besides these and infinite other of this style, there are Indul­gences more free, and lesse restrained eyther for time place or dutie to gain them: By graunt from Pope IOHN the XX.th every inclining of the Head at the naming of IESVS gets XX. yeeres pardon: a matter in Italy no not this day un­practised. And to grace that Ceremonie the more, I haue heard sundry of their renowmed Divines teach in Pulpit; that CHRIST himselfe on the Crosse bowed his head on the right side, to reverence his own Name which was written over it. All Altars of Station (which are in very great number) haue their perpetuall Indulgences indifferent for all times. Sundry Crosses engra­ven on the pauements of their Churches, haue Indulgence annexed for every time they are kist, which is so often by the devouter sex, that the hard marble is worne with it. The third and [Page 17] fourth Masse (as they say) of every Priest, is a preservatiue or ransome of his Parents from Pur­gatorie, yea though they should be song without such intention: which causeth many warie men that would bee sure from Purgatorie, to make some one or other of their sonnes a Priest always.

The saying of their Beads over with a meadall or other trinket of the Popes Benediction ap­pendant, gets plenarie Indulgence, and delivers what soule out of Purgatorie one pleaseth. And it is lawfull for one to substitute any other medall in place of those blessed ones, which shall haue like force with them. A clause of consideration, and which serveth at this day more turnes than one, and theirs especially which passe over Sea with double daunger. All which with many o­ther like helpes considered; I must confesse for my part I am farre from their understanding, who blaze so much the severitie of the Romane Religion; unlesse wee accompt that a streit in­closure, which hath a multitude of posternes continually open, to let false people in and out, day and night at their pleasure: and rather in­cline to a contrary conceipt, that praesupposing the truth of their doctrine as it is practised; for a man that were desirous to saue his Soule at his dying day and yet deny his Body no wicked pleasure in his life time, no such Church as that of Rome, no such Countrey as Italy.

For I must speake also somewhat of their Life and Conversation, but as briefly as may bee; being a theam I take very small delight to handle, [Page 18] neither being of any great profit to bee known. And yet is it knowne sufficiently to all men, and too much to some, who not content to spott themselues with all Italian impurities, proceed on to empoyson their country also at their return thither: that wee need not marveil if those rarer Villanies which our Auncestours never dreamed of, do now grow frequent; and such men whom they would haue swept out of the streets of their Cities, as the noysome disgrace and dishonour of them, and confined to a Dungeon or other desolate habitation, do vaunt them­selues now, and with no meane applause for the onely gallants and worthy spirits of the World.

But to touch so much of their liues in Italy as shall be necessarie for this purpose, and rather indeed the causes than the effects themselues: it is not to be merveiled, if the glorie of their Religion consisting most in outward shewes, and the exquisitenesse in an infinity of intricate dumb Ceremonies; if their devotions being not seazo­ned with understanding requisite, but prized more by tale than by weight of zeale; if as the vertue of their Sacraments, so their acts of Pietie, being placed more in the very massie ma­terialitie of the outward worke, than in the pu­ritie of the heart from which they proceed: It is not, I say, to bee merveiled though the fruicts also of conversation bee like unto those roots; rather such as may yield some reasonable out­ward obedience to Laws than approue the in­ward [Page 19] integritie and sinceritie of that fountain from which they issue.

For although in their civill cariage one to­wards another they haue especiall good vertues well worth the imitating, being a people for the most part of a graue and stayed behaviour, very respectiue and courteous, not curious or medling in other mens matters, besides that auncient frugalitie in dyet and all things not durable, which to their great ease and benefit they still re­taine; and there be also among them as in all other places, some men of excellent and rare perfection: yet can it not bee dissembled; but that generally, the whole Countrey is straungely overflowne and overborne with wickedness, with filthinesse of speech, with beastlinesse of actions, both Governours and Subjects, both Priests and Friers, each striving as it were with other in an impudentnesse therein; even so farre forth, that what elswhere would not bee tolerated, is there in high honour; what in some other places even a loose person would be ashamed to con­fesse, there Priests and Friers refraine not openly to practise. Yea if any man forbeare the like, they find it very straunge and hold integritie for little better than seelinesse or abjectnesse. I can­not here forget the saying of an Italian Gentle­man of very good qualitie but in faction Spanish at my first entry into Italy; namely, that the Ita­lians were excellent men but for three faults they had: In their lusts they were unnaturall; there malice was unappeasable; and they deceived the [Page 20] whole world: whereto as for rare Corollaries in those faculties hee might haue truely added, they spend more vpon other than upon them­selues; they blaspheme oftner than sweare, and murther more than they revile or sclaunder.

Notwithstanding, this testimonie I yield not onely willingly but gladly to them, (for what joy could it be, what griefe ought it not bee, to the heart of any man, to see men fall irrecoverably from the loue and lawes of the Creatour?) that at one time of the yeere, namely, at Lent, they are much reformed; no such blaspheming nor dyrtie speaking as before; their vanities of all sorts layd reasonably aside; their pleasures abandoned; their apparell, their dyet, and all things else composed to austeritie and state of penitence: they haue dayly then their preaching with collections of almes, whereto all men re­sort: and to judge of them by the outward shew, they seeme generally to haue very great remorse of their wickednesse. In so much that I must confesse I seemed vnto my selfe in Italy to haue best learned the right use of Lent; there first to haue discerned the great fruict of it, and the rea­son for which those Sages at first did institute it. Neither can I easily accord to the fancies of such, as because we ought at all times to lead a life worthy of our professiō, think it therfore supersti­tious to haue one time wherin to exact or expect it more than other: but rather do thus conceiue that seeing the corruption of times and wicked­nesse of mans nature is now so exorbitant that an hard matter it is to hold the ordnarie sort of [Page 21] men at all times within the lists of pietie, justice and sobrietie; it is fit therefore there should bee one time at least in the yeere and that of reaso­sonable continuance, wherein the season it selfe, the use of the world and practise of all men, (for even the Iewes and Turkes haue their Lents al­though different,) the commandment of Supe­riours, the provision of fit meanes to assist there­in, and in sum the very outward face and expec­tation as were of all things, should constrein men how wicked and recklesse soever, for that time at least to recall themselues to some more se­vere cogitations and courses; lest sinne hauing no such bridle to checke it at any time, should at length wax head-strong and unconquerable in them: and that on the other side being thus ne­cessarily inured for a while, though but to make a bare shew of walking in the paths of vertue, they might afterwards perhaps more sincerely and willingly persist, (as custome makes hard things pleasant,) or at leastwise returne more rea­dily againe unto them some other time. And verily I haue had sundry times this cogitation in Italy, that in so great loosenesse of life and decay of discipline in those parts, it was the especiall great mercy and grace of God that the severitie of Lent should yet still be preserved, lest other­wise the flouds of sinne growing so strong and outragious, and hauing no where either bound or banke to restraine them might plunge that whole nation in such a gulfe of wickednesse, and bring them to that last extremitie, which should [Page 22] leaue them neither hope of better, nor place for worse. Yea and was so farre from thinking the institution of Lent superfluous, or the retaining of it unprofitable; that I rather enclined to like the custome of the Greeke Church, who besides the great Lent haue three other Lents also at so­lemne times in the yeere; though those other neither so long, neither yet of so strict and gene­rall observation. Two things are farther to bee added in the honour of Italy. Their Nunneries seeme for the most part greatly reformed of that they haue bene, and of that they still are in Fraunce and other places; where their loose­nesse of gouernment and often scandalls en­suing, do breed them a reputation cleane contra­rie to their profession. And the reason why the Monasteries and Convents of Friers are not re­formed there also, is a feare, they say the Pope hath, that over great severitie would cause a great number to disfrier themselues, and to fly to Gene­va in hope of more libertie, which he esteemeth an inconvenience more to bee shunned than the former mischiefe. An other thing very memo­rable and imitable in Italy, is the exceeding good provision of Hospitalls and houses of Pietie, for Old persons enfeebled, for poore folke maymed or diseased, for gentilitie impoverished, for travailers distressed, for lewd women converted, for children abandoned; which the devotion of former times hath founded and enriched, and enriched, and this present age doth very faithfully and discreetly governe. And if it were [Page 23] not for those Houses, in the number whereof, goodlinesse, great revenews, and good order, I suppose Italie exceeds any one Country in the world; although it be incomparably also the ri­chest Nation at this day of all the West, by rea­son of their long peace and their neighbours long warrs: yet considering that the wealth there is so ill digested, and so vnequally divided in the body thereof, (the infinite and ever sucking vaines of their taxes and imposts carying all the bloud to the higher parts, and leaving the lower ready to faint, to starue and wither,) that it may be truely sayd, the rich men of Italy are the richest, and the poore the poorest things that any one Country can yield againe, both which in well policed estate were to be avoided: were it not I say for those Houses alone of Pietie, there would be more miserie to be seene in those parts, (which all that notwithstanding is still great and excessiue) than perhaps, in the poorest peaceable Country of Christendome whatsoever. Besides these Hospitalls, they haue also their Montipij, for free or more easie loane to the poore; seeing Italy as all other places is infected with Vsurie.

But to come now to the view of their Eccle­siasticall Governement, not so much as it is referred to the conduct of soules to their true happinesse, though this be the naturall and pro­per end of that regiment; but rather as it is ad­dressed to the upholding of the worldly power and glorie of their order, to the advauncing of their part, and overthrow of their opposites, [Page 24] which I suppose be the poincts they now chiefly respect: I thinke I may truly say, there was never yet state framed by mans wit in this world more powerfull & forcible to worke those effects; ne­ver any either more wisely contrived and plotted or more constantly and diligently put in practise and execution: in so much that but for the natu­rall weaknesse of untruth and dishonestie, which being rotten at the heart abate the force of what­soever is founded thereon, their outward means were sufficient to subdue a whole world. Now as in every Art and Science there is some one or few first propositions or theoremes on the vertue whereof all the rest depend: so in their Art also they haue certein Head Assertions, which as indemonstrable principles they urge all men to receiue and hold. And those are, That they are the Church of GOD, within which great facili­tie, and without which no possibilitie of Salvati­on: that divine praerogatiue graunted to them aboue all other Societies in the world, doth pre­serue them everlastingly from erring in matter of Faith, and from falling from God: that the Pope Christs Deputie hath the keyes of Heaven in his custodie to admit in by Indulgence, and shut out by Excommunication as hee shall see cause: that the charge of all Soules, being com­mitted to him, hee is thereby made Soveraigne Prince of this world exceeding in power and Matie all other Princes as farre, as the soule in dignitie doth exceed the body, and aeternall things surmount things temporall and seeing [Page 25] that the End is the rule and commaunder of whatsoever doth tend unto it, and all things in this world are to serue but as instruments, and the world it selfe but as a passage to our everlasting habitation; that therefore he that hath the sove­raigne menaging of this high end, and the honor to be the supreame Conductor unto it, hath also power to dispose of all things subordinate, as may best serue to it, to plant, to root out; to establish, to depose; to bind, to loose; to alter, to dispence; as may serue most fit for the ad­vancement of the Church, and for the atchieving of the Soules faelicitie: wherein whosoever op­pose against him, whether by Haeresie or schisme, they are no other than very Rebels or seditious persons; against whom hee hath unlimited and endlesse power to proceed, to the suppressing, ruining and extinguishing of them by all means, that the common-wealth of God may flourish in prosperitie, and the highway to Heaven be kept safe and open for all Gods loyall and obedient people. In these poincts no doubt or question is tolerable: and who so joyne with them in these, shall find great connivence in what other defect and difference soever; this being the very touch­stone at which all men are to be tryed, whether they bee in the Church or out of the Church, whether with them or against them. And by this plot haue their witts erected in the world a Mo­narchie more potent than ever any that hath been before it: a Monarchie which entituling them De jure to all the world, layeth a strong founda­tion [Page 26] thereof in all mens consciences the onely firme ground of obedience in the world; and such a foundation as not onely holdeth fast unto them whatsoever it seazeth on, but workes out­wardly also by engines to weaken and undermine the state of all other Princes how great soever; and that in such sort, as by possessing themselues of the principall places in the hearts of their sub­jects, (as being those from whom they receiue their principall good, even the happinesse of their soules) to incite them vpon very consci­ence against their naturall soveraignes at pleasure and by writ of excommunication to subdue or at the leastwise greetly to shake whom they list, without fighting a blow, without leavying a Souldjer: and lastly a Monarchy which as it was founded by meere wit, so needeth not any thing but meere wit to maintaine it, which enricheth it selfe without toyling, warreth without endan­gering, rewardeth without spending, vsing Col­leges to a great purpose as any other can fortres­ses; and working greater matters, partly by Schol­lars, partly by swarms of Friers, than any else could ever do by great garisons and Armies; and all these maintained at other folkes charges; for to that rare poinct haue they also proceeded as not onely to haue huge rents themselues out of all forrein states, but to maintaine also their in­struments out of other mens devotion; and to advance their favorites under the fairest pretence of providing for Religion, to the very principall praeferments in forrein Princes Dominions. [Page 27] That no man thinke it strange, if finding the re­venew of skill and cunning to bee so great, and her force so mightie, especially where shee worketh upon simplicitie and ignorance; they en­closed heretofore all learning within the walls of their Clergie; setting forth Lady Ignorance for a great Sainct to the Laietie, and shrining her unto them for the true mother of Devotion. And assuredly but for one huge defect in their policie, which was hard in regard of their owne particular ambitions, but otherwise not impossi­ble to be avoyded; that they chuse their Popes lightly very old men, and withall indifferently without any restraint out of all families and nations, whereby they are continually subiect to double change of government; the successor seldome prosecuting his antecessours devises but either crossing them through envieor abandoning them upon new humour; it could not haue bene but they must haue long since beene absolute Lords of all; which defect notwithstanding so strong was their policie by reason of the force of their cordiall foundation, that no Prince or Po­tētate ever opposed against them, but in fine even by his owne subjects they eyther mastered him ut­utterly or brought him to good conformitie by great losse and extremitie; till such time as in this latter age the untruth of the foundation it selfe being stoutly discovered hath given them a sore blow; and chaunging in great part the stare of the question hath driven them to a reenforcement of new inventions and practises.

[Page 28]Howbeit those positions being the ground of their state, and the hope of their glorie, in them they admit no shadow of alteration, but endea­vour still per fas & nefas even by all Meanes in the world to strengthen them; and among their manifold Adversaries hate them most of all other, who haue laboured most in sapping of that foun­dation. And seeing that by reason of this bookish age, they haue not that helpe of ignorance which in times past they had: they cast about gently to soake and settle them in mens perswasions and consciences another way. They tell men that the very grounds whereon we build on our perswasi­on of the truth of Christianitie it selfe are no o­ther than credible; that the proofes of the Scrip­ture to bee the word of God, can be no other at this day than probable onely: it being unpossi­ble for any wit in the world to produce an exact necessarie and infallible demonstration, either that St. PAVL had his calling from aboue, or that those Epistles were of his owne writing; so like­wise in the rest. And that the chiefe proofe wee haue thereof is the testimonie of the Church: a thing which even their adversaries are forced to confesse. Now that this probable perswasion of the truth of Christianitie doth afterwards grow into an assurednesse thereof, this issueth from the inward operation of Gods spirit; the guift wherof is faith: and that faith being a knowledge not of Science but of beliefe; which searcheth not by discourse the particular necessitie of the veritie of the things which are delivered, but [Page 29] relieth in a generall upon the approved wisdome, truth and vertue of him that doth deliver them: Surely whosoever will needs haue necessarie proofe of the seuerall articles of his Religion doth but wittily deceiue himselfe; and by overcurious endevour to change his Faith into science, but lose that which he seekes to perfect. If then with­out faith no possibilitie of salvation, surely needs must this be the highway to perdition. Now seeing that Christianitie is a doctrine of faith, a doctrine whereof all men even children are capable, as being to bee received in grosse, and to be believed in the generall; the high ver­tue whereof is in the humilitie of understanding, and the merit in the readinesse of obedience to embrace it, (for these haue bene alwayes the true honours of faith,) and seeing the outward proofs therof are no other than probable, and of all pro­bable proofs the Churches testimonie is most probable: What madnesse for any man to trie out his soule & to wast away his spirits in tracing out all the thorny paths of the Controversies of these dayes, wherin to erre is a thing no lesse easie than daungerous, what through forgerie abusing him, what through sophistrie beguiling him, what through passion, partialitie, and private in­terest transporting him; and not rather to be take himselfe to the high path of truth, whereunto God and Nature, reason and experience, doe all giue witnes, and that is to associate himselfe unto that Church, whereunto the custodie of this Heavenly and Supernaturall truth, hath beene [Page 30] from Heaven it selfe committed? So that two things onely are to bee performed in this case; to weigh discree [...]ly which is the true Church: and that being found, to receiue faithfully and obediently without doubt or discussion whatso­ever it delivereth.

Now concerning the first poinct, some doubt might be made if there were any Church Chris­tian in the world to be showne, which had conti­nued from CHRISTS time downe to this age without change or interruption, theirs onely excepted.

But if all other haue had eyther their end and decay long since, or their beginning but of late; If theirs being founded by the Prince of the Apostles with promise to him by CHRIST, that Hell-gates should not prevaile against it, but that himselfe would bee assisting to it till the consummation of the world, haue continued on now to the end of Sixteen hundred yeers with an honorable and certein line of neere two hundred and fourtie Popes all successours of St. PETER, both Tyrants and Traytors, both Pagans and Heretikes, in vain wresting, raging; barking and undermining; if all the lawfull generall Councels that ever were in the world, being the venerable Senats of Gods Officers and Ministers, haue from time to time approved, obeyed and honou­red it, if God haue so miraculously blessed it from aboue, as that so many sage Doctors should enrich it with their writings, such armies yea mil­lions of Saincts with their holinesse, of Martyrs [Page 31] with their bloud, of Virgins with their puritie should sanctifie and embellish it; if their Church haue bin a ruine always to them that opposed a­gainst her; a stay, repose and advancement to all her followers; if even at this day in such difficul­ties of unjust rebellions and unnaturall revolts of her neerest childrē, yet she stretches out her arms to the utmost corners of the world, newly embra­sing whole Nations into her bosome; if lastly in all other opposit Churches wheresoever, there be nothing to be found but inward dissention and cōtrariety, but change of opinions, uncertenty of resolutions, with robbing of Churches, rebelling against Governors, confusion of orders, nothing to be attended but mischiefe, subuersion and de­struction (which they haue well deserved & shall assuredly haue) whereas contrariwise in their Church the Vnitie undivided, the obedience un­forced, the unalterable resolutions, the most hea­venly order reaching frō the heighth of all power to the very lowest of all subjection, with admira­ble harmony and undefectiue correspondence, all bending the same way to the effecting of the same worke do promise no other than continu­ance, encrease and victorie: let no man doubt to submit him selfe to this glorious Spouse of God, on whose head is the blessing of God, in whose hand is the power of God, under whose feet are the enemies of God, and to whom round about do service all the Creatures of God. This then being accorded to be the true Church of God, it followeth that shee be reverently obeyed [Page 32] in all things without farther disquisition: hauing the warrant that hee that heareth her, heareth Christ, and whosoever heareth her not hath no better place with God than a Publican or Pagan. And what follie were it to receiue the Scripture upon credit of her aucthoritie, and not to receiue the interpretation of it upon her aucthoritie also and credit? And if God should not protect his Church alwayes from errour, and yet peremp­torily commaund men alwayes to obey her, than had he made but very slender prouision for the salvation of mankind, to whom errour in mat­ter of faith is certein damnation: which con­ceipt of God (whose care of vs even in all things touching this transitorie life is so plaine and e­minent) were ungratefull and impious. And hard were the case, meane had his regard bene of the vulgar people, whose wants and difficulties in this life will not permit, whose capacitie will not suffice to found the deep and hidden myste­ries of divinitie, to search out the truth of these intricate controversies, if there were not other whose authoritie they might rely on. Blessed therefore are they which beleeue and haue not seene: the merit of whose religious humilitie and obedience, doth exceed perhaps in honour and acceptance before God the subtill and profound knowledge of many other. And lastly, if any man either in regard of his vocation or by reason of his leasure list to studie the controversies, take he heed that he come not with a doubtfull mind unto them; for diffidence is as the sinne of Re­bellion: [Page 33] let him bested fast in faith; let him sub­mit his owne reason to the Churches autho­ritie, being the house of God, the pillar and ground of truth; let him be fast and unmoueably built on that foundation; and let his end be only this, to furnish and arme himselfe in such sort as to bee able to with-stand and overthrow those Haeretikes, whom hee shall at any time eyther chuse or chaunce to encounter. This is the main course of their perswading at this day, whereby they seeke to reestablish that former foundation.

In the unfolding whereof I haue been the lon­ger, because tryall hath taught mee, that not by some mens private election, but as it should seeme by common order, direction or consent, they haue relinquished all other courses, and hold them to this as the most effectuall meanes in the way of perswasion to insinuate their desire, and to worke their desein. In considering wher­of there commeth into my mind that diversitie which a wise Philosopher hath intimated in the witts of men, that some are of so sharp, deep, and strong discourse, that they yield not their firme assent to any thing till they haue found out either some proper demonstration for it, or some other certein proof whereon to ground it assuredly: other are by nature so shallow and weake in that facultie, that they feare always errour in working with it, and therefore doe more willingly accord to whatsoever some of account for wisdome do barely affirme, than to any thing that reason alone (which they suspect) enforceth.

[Page 34]Now these later exceeding the other as farre in number as in worthinesse and honour of na­ture they are exceeded by them: The Roma­nists taking a course so fitting to the seeble and fearfull humour of this sort, do greatly sway with them: wheras if they meet with one of the former more tough constitution, that will not be caried away with these plausible declamations, nor yield his assent in grosse, without particular examina­tion, they bestow small cost on him, as having small hope to prevaile. Wherein I hold them wise in the rules of policie; that having found by cer­teine and infallible experience, that the igno­rance of the Laietie was the chiefest and surest si­new of their greatnesse and glorie, they now be­ing not able to keepe them longer in that blind ignorance, doe cunningly endeauour so to lead them out of the former, as to enter them withall into a second kind of ignorance; that being not content to see utterly nothing, at least wise they may bee perswaded to resigne up their owne eysight and to looke through such spectacles as they temper for them.

This being the maine ground-worke of their policie; and the generall meanes to build and e­stablish it in the minds of all men; the particular Ways they hold to Ravish all affections and to fit each humor, (which their jurisdiction and power being but perswasiue and voluntary, they principally regard,) are well-nigh infinite: there being not any thing either sacred or prophane, no vertue nor vice almost, no things of how [Page 35] contrary condition soever; which they make not in some sort to serue that turne; that each fancie may be satisfied, and each appetite find what to feed on. Whatsoever either wealth can sway with the lovers or voluntary povertie with the despisers of the World; what honour with the ambitious; what obedience with the humble; what great imployment with stir­ring and mettald spirit, what perpetuall qui­et with heavie and restiue bodies; what con­tent the pleasane nature can take in pastimes and jolitie, what contrariwise the austere mind in discipline and rigour; what loue either chastitie can raise in the pure, or vo­luptuousnesse in the dissolute; what allure­ments are in knowledge to draw the contem­platiue, or in actions of State to possesse the practick dispositions; what with the hope­full praerogatiue of reward can worke; what errours, doubts, and daungers with the feare­full; what chaunge of vowes with the rash, of estate with the inconstant; what pardons with the faultie, or supplies with the defectiue; what miracles with the credulous what visions with the fantasticall; what gorgeousnesse of shews with the vulgar and simple, what mul­titude of Ceremonies with the superstitious and ignorant; what prayer with the devout, what with the charitable workes of pietie; what rules of higher perfection with eleva­ted affections, what dispensing with breach of all rules with men of lawlesse conditions; [Page 36] in summe what thing soever can prevail with any man, eyther for himselfe to pursue or at least-wise to loue reverence or honor in another; For even therein also mans nature receiveth great satisfac­tion;) the same is found with them, not as in other places of the world, by casualtie blended with out order, and of necessitie; but sorted in great part into severall professions, countenanced with reputation, honoured with prerogatiues, facilitated with provisions and yeerly mainte­nance, and eyther (as the better things) advanced with expectation of reward, or borne with how bad soever with sweet and silent permission. What pomp, what ryot, to that of their Cardi­nalls? what severitie of life comparable to their Heremites and Capuchins? who wealthier than their Praelats? who poorer by vow and profession then their Mendicants? On the one side of the street a Cloyster of Virgins: on the other a stie of Courtizans, with publike toleration: This day all in Masks with all loosenesse and foolerie: to morrow all in Processions whipping them selues till the bloud follow. On one doore an Excom­munication throwing to Hell all transgressours: on an other a Iubilee or full discharge from all transgressions: Who learneder in all kind of Sciences than their Iesuites? What thing more ignorant than their ordinary Masse-Priests? What Prince so able to preferre his servants and followers as the Pope, & in so great multitude? Who able to take deeper or readier revenge on his enemies? what pride equall unto his, making [Page 37] Kings kisse his pantafle? what humilitie greater than his, Shriving him selfe dayly on his knees to an ordinarie Priest? who difficulter in dispatch of causes to the Greatest? who easier in giving audience to the meanest? where greater rigour in the world in exacting the observation of the Church-Lawes? Where lesse care or conscience of the Commandements og GOD? To tast flesh on a Friday where suspition might fasten, were a matter for the Inquisition? whereas on the other side the Sonday is one of their greatest merket­dayes? To conclude, never State, never Go­vernment in the world, so straungely compacted of infinite contrarieties, all tending to entertein the severall humours of all men, and to worke what kind of effects soever they shall desire: where rigour and remisnesse, crueltie and lenitie are so combined, that with neglect of the Church to stirre ought, is a sinne unpardonable; whereas with duty towards the Church, and by intercessi­on for her allowance, with respectiue attendance of her pleasure, no Law almost of God or Na­ture so sacred, which one way or other they find not meanes to dispence with, or at least-wise per­mit the breach off by connivence and without disturbance.

But to proceed to the consideration of their more particular Proiects and more mysticall devises for the perpetuating of their greatnesse. There was never yet State so well built in the world, having his ground as theirs hath in the good-will of others, and not standing by his [Page 38] owne maine strength and power, that could lon­ger uphold it selfe in flourishing reputation and in prosperitie than it could make it selfe necessa­rie to them by whom it subsisted; all callings of men, all degrees in common-wealths, yea parti­cular great personages, then waning in their greatnesse, when they decay in their necessari­nesse to them from whom they haue it. Which the Papacie nothing ignorant of, nor neglecting, hath by secret and rare cunning so deepely en­gaged and interessed from time to time the grea­test Monarchs of Christendome, in the uphol­ding of that state that without the Papacie sun­dry of them haue no hope, and some no title to continue in their owne dominions. For to omit things more apparant & in the Eys of al men, their praetended au [...]thoritie to excommunicate and depose them, to discharge subjects of all oath and bond of obedience, to oblige them under pain of damnation to rise against them, to honour their murtherers, with the title of Martyrs, (for to that degree of eternity haue some of their sect grown;) the effect of which proceeding some great Prin­ces haue felt and more haue feared, and few at this day list to put it to the adventure: the tempering with so unlimited power in Princes Maria­ges, by dispensing with degrees by the Law of God and the World forbidden, by loosing and knitting mariages, by devise at pleasure, by le­gitimating unlawfull and accursed issue, and ther­by aduancing into thrones of Regalitie, often­times, base, sundry times adulterous, yea and [Page 39] sometimes incestuous and perhaps unnaturall off spring; doth not reason foretell, and hath not experience adverred, that both the partners in such marriages, and much more their whole issue are bound in as strong a bond to the upholding of the Popes infinite authoritie and power, as the honour of their byrth, and title of their Crownes are worth? It was a seely conceipt in them who hoped that Queene MARIE would not restore the Popes authoritie in England by reason of her promise, when a greater bond to her than her promise did presse her to it. What man ever in the world stucke faster to his cho­sen friend than the late K. PHILIP of Spaine to the Papacie, (notwithstanding with the Popes themselues his often jealousies and quar­rells:) having ordeined moreover that all his Heirs and successours in the state of the Low-Countries by vertue of his late transport shall for ever in their entry into those Signories take an oath for the maintaining of the Papacie and that Religion? Is not the reason apparent that if the Papacie should quaile his onely son with whoso­ever descend of him are dishonou [...]ed and made uncapable as in way and right of descent of those great States and Kingdomes which now he hol­deth; yea and a fire kindled in his owne house about the title to them? Neither is it to be ad­mitted into any conceipt of reason but that this young King will be as sure to the Papacie as his Father being borne of a Marriage prohibited by God, abhorred hap [...]ly by Nature, disapproued [Page 40] by the World; and onely by Papall authoritie made allowable.

For for my part, I hold that opinion not un­probable, that the mariage of Vncle and Niece (as it was in this case) is contrary to the Law of Na­ture, and not Gods positiue Law only: seeing the Vncle hath a second right and place of a Fa­ther. But howsoever that poinct stand, wherein I dare not affirme ought, it is cleerly contrarie to such a positiue Law of God, as the reason and cause whereof must needs continue till the disso­lution of the world or overthrow of mankind; and therefore in reason and Law no way abroga­ble or dispensable with, but by the same or an higher authoritie than that which first did make it: that the Pope need not thinke they do him apparent wrong, who invest him with the Title of that man of power, who sitting in the Temple of God, exalteth him selfe aboue God. For what may it seeme els, bearing him selfe for Head of the Church, to take upon him to cancell or au­thentically to allow of the breach of Gods Law, without having his expresse and praecise warrant for so doing? Though I am not ignorant, that they haue distinctions for all this: which were a merry matter if Sophistrie were the proper science for Salvation. But by this and some o­ther mariages those straunge relations of alliance haue growne that K. PHILIP the second, were he now aliue, might call the Archduke ALBERT both brother, cousin, nephew, and sonne; for all this was he to him eyther by bloud or affinitie; [Page 41] being Vncle to him selfe, cousin-germain to his his Father, husband to his Sister, and father to his Wife. And to come a step neerer home, the same rule of policie made me strongly conjec­ture till that now God by death hath prevented that mischiefe; howsoever the Pope hitherto what for feare of scandalizing, what for other re­spects, made shew not to be forward to consent to an entended mariage betweene a married King and his Mistresse, much lesse to legitimate the children adulterously begotten, by finding nulli­ties on both sides in the former marriages, (things made on purpose, as he knoweth, to cloke a falshood;) that yet notwithstanding him selfe or his successour would yield to it in the end, if any colour in the world could be layd upon the matter to salue the credite of his not erring sea, and he might see good hope for that race to pre­vaile: yea and it may yet be that in some other match he will guide that streame into the same course: that so deriving the succession also of this other great Kingdom, upon issue, whose title must hold off his legitimation, he may be better assu­red of it than he hath been hitherto; and haue them for ever most firm & irreconcileable adver­saries, to all such whether subjects or neighbours or whosoever, as should oppose against his Sove­raigntie and unstinted power: so searching and penetrant is the cunning of that Sea; to strength­en it selfe more by the vnlawfull marriages of other men, than ever Prince yet could do by any lawfull mariage of his owne.

[Page 42]The Dispensing with Oaths and discharging from them, especially in matters of Treatie be­tween Princes and States; is a thing so repug­nant to all morall honestie, so injurious to the quiet and peace of the world, so odious in it selfe, so scandalous to all men, that it may be they ad­venture not to play vpon that string in this curi­ous age so often as heretofore, for feare of dis­cording all the rest of their harmonie.

Cleare it is that heretofore this made them a necessary helpe for all such Princes, as eyther upon extremitie were driven to enter into hard conditions, or upon falshood and dishonestie desired to take their advantage against their neighbours when it was offered. Which Princes having no means to salue their Credite with the World, but only by justifying the unholinesse of their act, by the Popes holy aucthoritie inter­posed in it; were afterwards tyed firmly to ad­haere vnto him. And this was the case of FRAN­CIS the first: with whom immediately upon his oath given to CHARLES the sift, for performance of the Articles accorded at his delivery, CLEMENT the seventh dispensed; and by probable conjec­ture had promised him to dispense with his Oath before hand, upon hope also whereof he tooke it. The effect was for the Popes behoofe, that ever after there was strict loue & intelligence between them; testified finally to the World by that famous mariage between the Son of the one and the kinswoman of the other. And verily though I hold in generall too much suspiciousnesse, [Page 43] as great a fault and as great an enemie to wise­dome, as too much credulitie; it doing often times hurtfull wrong to friends, as the other doth receiue wrongfull hurt from dissemblers: yet viewing the short continuance of sworne Leagues at this day, the small reckoning that Princes make of Oathes solemnly taken whether to neighbours or subjects, not saith but profit beeing the bond of alliance and amitie, which altering once, the other haue no longer during, it making me thinke not unpossible that the Popes unlimited fingers may bee stirring even at this day more often in secret, in uniting those knotts of the bonds of conscience than the world is ware of, at least­wise that by authoritie and imitation of his example Princes assume unto them selues a like facultie of dispensing with their owne Oathes. whensoever they can perswade them selues it is behooffull unto their kingdomes, as he when to his Church. But howsoever that stands, this is very apparent, that by this doctrine and policie the Popes opposites and enemies especially the States and Princes of the Reformed Religion, are inestimably praeju­diced; beeing reduced hereby to a continuall incerteintie and confusion in all their weigh­tiest actions, counsells and resolutions, there being a warrant dormant for all men to breake league and oath with them, and no need of particular dispensation from his Ho­linesse; their Church long since by her rules, [Page 44] and some of great reckoning among them more lately by their writings, having published and preached to all the world, that Faith given to Hereticks is not to be kept; that leagues with them are more honourable in their breaking than in their making; denying that right unto Princes of Christian profession, which Christians unto Heathen, the Heathen one to an other of how different Religion soever, yea all honourable Princes unto very Traytours and Rebels haue alwayes, kept inviolable. And surely if Father PARSONS at his late cōming to Rome pretending to make peace betweene the English Schollars and the Iesuites, (who were charged with much indirect dealing and large imbeaze­ling) and setting downe certein articles betweene them to that purpose, whereby each part should be bound to desist impugning of the other, did by handling the matter as is said with such sleight and conveiance, (imitating therein a rule of fast on the one side and loose on the other in the ground of their order) as first to sweare the schol­lars to obserue that which was their part, and af­terwards to leaue the Iesuites unsworne to theirs, effect his secret and ambitious intent, and to the great griefe of the schollars make the Iesuits their Governours: what other account can be made of these peaces and leagues betweene those of the Romane and of the Reformed Religion, but that the one side being tied by oath, and the other left free: (for so are they taught;) they shall so farre forth onely haue performance and continu­ance, [Page 45] as shall proue to the advantage in ease or profit of that partie which esteemeth itselfe left at libertie.

The sacred, the soveraigne instrument of ju­stice among men, what is it, what can it bee in this world but an oath, being the strongest bond of Conscience? this the end of strifes particular this the soder of publike peace, and the sole assu­rance of amitie betweene divers Nations: which being made here below, is enrolled in his high Court whose glorious name doth signe it; who hath made no graunt of accesse to his Coelestiall palace, but to such as hauing sworne once, though it redound to their owne damage, yet swarue not from it; that nothing but mischiefe can be prae­saged to the world in this age most wretched, wherein perjurie hath so undermined the very tri­bunals of judgement, that it hath chased true ju­stice out of the world, and left no place for a just man where to stand against the craftie. But what may be said when he that sitteth in the Temple of God, shall so far advance himselfe aboue God, as to dispense with oaths made sacred by the most holy and high name of God? when he that pro­fesseth himselfe the sole Vmpire and Peace-ma­ker of the World should cut in sunder those only sinews that hold peace together: when the Father of Princes and Prince of Religion shall carie him selfe with so wicked partialitie and craft, as in dissoluing oathes by afflicting therein the part he hateth, and making the other perpetu­ally obnoxious to him, to worke his owne cer­teine [Page 46] advantage from both: and lastly by making that auncient bridle of the unjust, to be now an onely snare to entrap the innocent, shall impose that blemish upon the name of Christianitie, which Pagans in their naturall moralitie haue abhorred.

I will not here omit one other great helpe, which casualiie rather than cunning may seeme to haue wrought: it falling out often in the affaires of men, that where wisedome hath fur­nished out sundry aids and instruments, there some also doe frame themselues as it were by chaunce, springing out of the concurrence of divers accidents with the former. As at this day the Greatnesse of the House of Austria, extending it selfe well neere to all Quarters of Europe, and confining with many of the Popes principall adversaries: who having long since upon the rich purchase which they had of the West-Indies devoured in assured hope and conceipe the Monarchy of our Westerne-World. And finding no sitter and more plau­sible meanes ro enlarge their temporall Domi­nion, than by concurring with the Pope in re­storing his spirituall; haue linked themselues most fast with his sea, and investing them selues voluntarily witb an office of their owne erecti­on haue taken upon them to bee the Executio­ners of the Papall Excommunications; that ha­ving title from the Pope who giveth his Enemies states Occupanti, and distracting their subjects from them upon feare of his curse, the rest [Page 47] they may supply out of their owne force and opportunities. And for this purpose hath b [...]ne erected and by them highly cherished that su­per politike and irrefragable order as they compt it of the Iesuites, who couple in their perswasions as one God and one Faith; so one Pope and one King; bearing the world in hand that no other meanes for the Church to stand but by resting upon this pillar; and by uni­ting in this sort all the forces of the Christians, this the onely meanes to vanquish that Arch­enemie of Christianitie, That the Italians may not brag to haue beene the onely men who haue subdued the world unto them by their wit, the Spaniards hauing proved so good schol­lars in their schooles, that though they follow them in their grounds of pretending their advan­cement of Religion, and in their Instruments of religious orders to practise mens minds with▪ yet in this they out-goe them; that they use the Popes weapons, lightnings, thunders, and terrours for instruments of their owne great­nesse; and his hope of re-establishing his spiri­tuall reputation by them to the immoderate en­crease of their secular power by him; that the Pope also himselfe must in the end be constrained to cast himselfe into their armes, and to re­maine at their devotion, acknowledging him thenceforth for his good Lord and Patron, whom heretofore he hath governed and comman ded as his sonne. A poinct which as some of the ministers of Spaine in the huffe of their pride [Page 48] haue not bene able to hold in, but haue braved the assembly of Cardinals to their beards, that they hoped ere long to see the day that their Mr. should tender halfe a douzen to the Pope to bee made Cardinalls at once, whereof he should not dare to refuse any one, and that the Cardinalls them selues should as little dare to choose any other Pope than whom he named: so their im­portunat pressing of the Popes in these latter times to serue all their ambitious and raging turnes, and the long praejudicing of the libertie of the Conclaue in their elections, hath given them good assurance that they speake as they meane, that their braggs are hopes, and these threats are purposes. But howsoever the great jealousie and feare whereof as being not now to learne the Spanish hautinesse and insolence, (who in the pride of their Monarchie are growne also to sweare by the life of their King,) haue extremely perplexed some of the later Popes; and driven them to very extraordinary and des­perate resolutions; which they haue paid for dearly; and in generall haue made it enacted for a rule in that sea, not so much to seeke the repai­ring of their forrein spirituall authoritie, (if it cannot be done but by meanes of so huge incon­venience,) as to strengthen and make themselues great in their temporall estate at home: Yet now seeing France beyond all hope of man reuinited in it selfe, and likely to flourish as in its former prosperitie, whereby they shall be able so to ba­lance these Monarchs as to make that part the [Page 49] heavier, to which they shall propend (an auncient rule and continuail practise of that sea) I should not greatly doubt, but that they will bee content againe▪ henceforward so long as matters stand in termes they do, to enterteine that good correspon­dence with the House of Austria as to serue them with their Excommunications, that they may bee served by them with their Executions. The sweet­nesse whereof as the Spaniard hath long since tasted in effect, having seized on Navarre by that onely pretence; and of later times in high conceipt and hope; trusting to haue embraced both France and England by the same meanes: so doubt [...] not but that other braunch of the House of Austria in Ger­manie, which hath engrossed and in a manner entai­led to their house so many electiue States, the Em­pire, the Kingdomes of Bohemia with his depen­dances, and of Hungarie, and are likely also to draw in the Princedome of Transilvania; whensoe­ver they should attaine quiet and securitie from the Turke, (which hath no great unlikelihood to bee compassed in short time) would take the same course against the Protestants of Germanie; having so many Praelates and other there to assist them, (who by rooting out the Protestants out of all their States haue prepared a good ground for such a future exploit): Howsoever the Pope himselfe doe yet forbeare his thunders, having learned by his losse elsewhere, that it argueth in these actions more cou­rage than wit, to make a noise ere the blow be ready. Now as these are the hopes of the House of Austria, [Page 50] for the enlarging of their estate and molesting of their neighbours: so for the enterteining of perpe­tuall unitie and loue amongst themselues they use the graund praeservatiue and helpe of marriage, the onely sure bond of amitie in the world: in so much that by continuall intermarying among themselues, they remaine still as brethren all of one family, and as armes of the selfe-same body. These take I to be the meanes, whereby the Papacie hath assured so many of the greatest unto it.

To descend from which to those that are next them in degree; the Nobilitie and other persons of worth and qualitie; the Papacie is not disprovided of his instruments to worke upon these also; it hath his baits to allure them, his hookes to retaine them. I will not stand much upon the benifit which their Confession doth herein yield them; whereby pur­ging into the hearts and consciences of all men, they attaine knowledge of the secrets, they [...]ound the dispositions, they discover the humours of all the most respectiue and able persons, of what Con [...]try, or calling, place or qualitie soever. A matter of sin­gular consideration in the menaging of affaires of principall importance for the well-guiding of Counells: the ignorance thereof being cause of error in the wisest deliberations, and of uneer [...]eine successe in the most grounded resolutions. To omit the great wealth which they heape thereby, perswa­ding their penitents especially in that only houre of agony and extremitie; to ransome their sinnes com­mitted against God by consecrating their Goods [Page 51] unto the Church of God: whereby they haue pre­vailed in all places so farre, the Iesuits aboue all o­ther, who are noted and envied by other order of Friers for engrossing the commoditie of being rich mens Confessours where good is to be done; with whom their pranks in that kind haue beene so rare and memorable, that most states at this day haue bene forced by publike order to limit the proporti­on of that kind of purchase. For in that case they can easily extenuate those other helps of Indulgences and of Requiems at their priviledged Altars, and yet without touch of the Popes Omnipotencie.

They compt them but simple folke that cannot use their severall devises without crossing one the o­ther how contrarie soever. They can tell them that it may be for want of contrition in themselues, those soveraigne pardons wanted a fit subject to worke on: and so for the other after helpe; the want of inten­tion in the Priest, may frustrate the Masse of that prae [...]ogatiue of vertue; whereby their soules may perhaps fry in Purgatory: when their friends shall imagine they shine in glorie. That the onely sure way of having good, is by doing good: and what good to be done at death, but the bestowing well of his goods? and where better bestowing them, than upon him that gaue them? and to God they are gi­ven, when they are given to his Ministers.

Neither yet will I other than mention onely the help which the choise of their Cardinals doth yield herein: whom choosing in great part out of the most noble and potent families, that either voluntarily de­sire [Page 52] it, or can be induced to accept it; they both giue good satisfaction to all forrein Nations, but especi­ally hold Italy to them in deepe devotion; and strengthen them selues with the favour and support of those mens kinreds, whom they haue placed in the next step to the top of their glorie: Yea and of­ten times by means of these Cardinalls their assured instruments, they insinuate them selues into the swaying of the government of those States wherein eyther by their Nobilitie or other worth they beare authoritie. A policie of long usage and observed by many. The same also though not in the same high degree they haue wrought and do still work in those Realms which acknowledge theyr Romane Supremacie by the ordinarie Bishops and other Praelats advaunced in them. Who on the one side having sworne obedience to the Pope; on the other side having voice in the high Courts of Parliament (as representing the first of the three estates of the Kingdoms,) and otherwise also employed in weigh­tiest affaires; haue caried them selues with that dou­blenesse in their two fold dutie, as that still the Popes greatnesse hath bene upheld to their utmost power.

For which cause some States, as the Veneti­ans by name, to countermine that foreine poli­cie with an inward provision, whensoever any of their Gentlemen set foot into that course, they dis­misse them thence-forward even from those graund Counsells, whereinto theyr very byrth right and Familie did giue them entrance.

[Page 53]But Iewells are rare, and for few mens wearing. Such are the honours of Cardinals, being made Kings Companions. The multitude and diversi­tie of men of spirit and qualitie requireth store also and Uarietie of competent Preferments to enterteine them with in good content and corre­spondence: a thing in all States very necessarie and chiefe regard. Wherein although the Papacie may seeme at the first blush to haue no furniture extra­ordinary aboue other Princes, saue onely in one kind, for men of Ecclesiasticall calling; (by which he is able to advaunce men of learning incompara­bly aboue any other Prince in the world, as having well-nigh all the Bishopricks and Abbeys in Italy with other Church-livings, almost halfe the benefi­ces in Spain, very many Ecclesiasticall praeferments of all sorts in other Countries at his bestowing:) yet if we looke into the use & practise of these times, it will well appeare that even by Ecclesiasticall Li­vings [...]ee partly accommodateth and partly suffers (as by his Grace) to be accomodated, all professi­ons and ages, though neither fit nor very capable of ecclesiasticall order; what by dispensations or tole­rations to be administrators of Abbeys, Bishopricks and other benefices, as is used in France; what as in Italy & Spain, by assignations of yeerly pensions out of their revenues: which being so great as there they are, they may easily; and having hope of expiring, they may contentedly beare. And most of this out of the dominions and territories of other Princes, and without any charging or impoverishing of his own: [Page 54] A choise and refined piece of high quintessence of witt, which never yet any State could so distill their braines as to aspire to besides the Papacie. To let passe the infinite number of honours and livings, what Ecclesiasticall, what subordinate and ministe­riall to them; and what also in part temporall, as belonging to the knights of the holy orders, which are many: all which although not directly in his owne donation, yet in that they haue their right either grounded upon, or greatly favoured and con­tinued by his Religion, and in the decay of that (as experience hath shewed) were likely also to quaile; are strong props to the upholding of the glorie of the Papacie: arming so many tongues and hands in the defence thereof, as either are or haue hope to be advanced by it, and each drawing his kinred, friends, and followers with him. A sweet enchaun­ter and deceiver of men is the hope of honour and worldly profit, which [...]ulling oft, even in the better sort the Conscience a sleepe, doth awaken withall and sharpen the wit, to find out arguments for the proving of that conclusion which affection before­hand hath framed; and by custome and continuance engendreth in them a perswasion that they haue done well in that, which at the first their owne know­ledge could say was otherwise. How powerfully then may it sway with that other sort of men, whose belly being their God, maketh their appetite their sole Religion? which if the experience of former times haue not sufficiently affirmed; it were to be wished perhaps that more fresh proofe might haue bene gi­ven [Page 55] therof once againe in this Kingdome of France: where some of the wisest and chiefe haue thought, that if the King should accord to the Clergies late supplication, to bestow Church livings upon fit men and onely of Ecclesiasticall calling; those Princes and Peers which now in regard of that particular commoditie which they reap from the Church in termes it standeth, haue unsheathed their swords in defence thereof, would soone turne them ano­ther way, to the utter razing of it, that they might satisfie their greedines with the spouse of that State, whose pay they could no longer haue.

But for the Clergie themselues, who are in all pla­ces under the Papacie great in number and power, they are most firmely assured to that Sea; what by the multitude of exemptions and Prerogatiues a­boue the Temporaltie, which under the Popes pro­tection they securely enjoy; what with expecting of no other than utter saccage and ruine, if the oppo­sites of the Pope should happen to prevaile: so un­discreet and violent hath bene their cariage in most places, where they haue beene able either to bring or pull in also their Reformation. Yea herein also it hath befallen, as in some other things, that not on­ly casuall, but euen meere crosse accidents haue re­dounded to the Popes great advantage & benefit▪ this great part which in this age hath bene raised against him having wrought this effect, to make the rest more firme, more serviceable, and more zealous to­wards him. In so much that whereas in Fraunce in former times he was smally regarded of any, but sto­macked [Page 56] at by the Princes, impeached, abridged, and appealed from by the Praelates, and lastly either des­pised or neglected by the people: the hatred and rancour conceived against his adversaries, (which being first kindled by eagernesse of opposition, is now by long continuance therein most strongly set­tled haue produced effects of cleane contrary na­ture: the Princes and Cities▪ haue joyned in holy league for the vpholding of him; the people with all furie haue raged, haue [...]ought against, haue mur­dered and massacred his opposites in all places; and the Clergie of Fraunce which heretofore hath with­stood him in many better Councels doth now call mainely for his late Councell of Trent rejected o­ver all the world saving Spaine and Italy, to be ad­mitted and established over all that Kingdome. A Councell of all other most servile and partiall to him, and caried by him with such infinite guile and craft, without any sincerity upright dealing or truth as that themselues will even smile in the triumph of their owne witts, when they heare it but mentioned, as at a Master stratagem. Yea so strongly hath this opposition fastned his Clergie to him, that the name of a generall Councell is now the most plau­sible, which in former times was the most fearefull thing to him in the world; and whereunto hee was never brought with any better good-will than an old bitten Beare is drawne to the stake to be bayted by his enemies who dare tug him in Companie, at whom in single they scarce durst bake: so powerfull is the nature of all opposition to encrease despi [...]e [Page 57] and hatred against the enemy; and to make friends especially those that are interessed in the same cause, to cleaue more close together. Yea rather so wise is the ever admirable Creator even in all his works of what nature soever, as to temper the very accidents of the life of man with such proportion & counter­poise, that no prosperitie without his inconveni­ence, no adversitie without his comfort, to chase out of mans life Securitie and Despaire, the onely enemies of all vertuous and honourable courses.

To each thing hath the goodnesse of that wise Architect imparted a peculiar badge of honour, that nothing should be despiceable in the Eyes of other. The Prince in Majestie and soveraigntie of power; the Nobilitie in wisdome and dominatiue vertue, together with the instruments thereof, as Riches, Reputation, Allies and followers, and the people in their multitude are respectable and ho­nourable. Which Multitude being of so great consequence in matter of State; the policie of the Papacie hath in no wise neglected; but provided both reasonable enterteinment for them, and fit means also to practise and worke upon them. Here come in those heaps of theyr Religious Orders, that multitude of Friers, which abound in all pla­ces, but wherewith Italy aboue all doth swarme. A race of people in former times Honourable in their holinesse; now for the most part contemptible in their wickednesse and miserie; always praying, but with seldom signe of devotion; vowing obedience, and still contentious; chastitie, but yet most luxu­rious; povertie, yet every where scraping and co­vetous: [Page 58] Which I speake not of them all, there be­ing many among them of singular pietie and devo­tion in their way: but of the farre greater part as they are generally reputed where-ever I haue bene. But to returne to the ayd which the Papacie doth reap from them. The onely contentfull care that the ordinary sort of men entertein in this World, is in Providing for their Children, to leaue them in good estate, and not inferiour but rather aboue their auncestours: which those that haue many being not able to performe for all; it is a great ease to them, (and such an ease as even Princes and great Peeres them selues some times disdaine not but are rather glad of,) to discharge their hands of some of them, especially of such as by disgrace or defect of nature, are eyther more backward, or lesse louely than other, at an easie and small rate, and yet with honourable pretence, namely by consecrating them wholly to the service of the Creatour, and providing an higher place for them in his coelestiall Kingdome. For such is their opinion of these orders of religious and Angelicall perfection, as they usuall style them; the Friers also them selues hauing names given them by their Governours, each according to his meritts importing no lesse; and as they encrease in their holinesse, so procee­ding in their titles, from Padre Benedetto to Padre Angelo, then Archangelo, Cerubino, and lastly Seraphino, which is the top of perfec­tion. But for their owne high conceipt of their perfection and meritts, this example may serue. I haue heard one of their most reverend Capuchins [Page 59] for zeale, sanctitie, and learning, preaching in prin­cipall place before the Bishop, in sharpe reproof of the forsaken crew of blasphemo [...]s Gamesters, pray solemnly to God (though acknowledging him selfe first in humilitie a great sinner,) by his meritts and discipline, by the teares which his Eys had often shed, by the chastisement which with his cord hee had often given him selfe, by those many sharp voyages which for the loue of God hee had made, because they did grieue Animam pauperis, which was him selfe, that if there were any which should still notwithstanding his admonitions per­sist in that wicked gamestrie, hee would strike them ere that day twelue-moneth with some markable punishment: The same man another time in an extasie of Charitie, (calling God, all his Angels and Saincts to witnesse it,) to strip him selfe of all his meritts (though few hee acknowledged) before the little Crucifix there, embracing and kissing it; and to pray it to reward them upon his dearly beloved Auditorie; for whose sakes hee was content also to be reputed the grea­test sinner of all the assemblie.

Such being their perfection then, the desiring it must needs issue from an honourable affection. Now although the Italian, being a thriftie menager, doe in his heart greatly repine at a Custome of theyr Nunneries haue of late brought uppe (being indeed constrained to it by the excessiue multitude which in the former respect are thrust upon them;) which is not to receiue any gentleman or merchants daughter without a dowrie [Page 60] of two hundred Crownes, and fifteene or twentie Crownes yeerly pension during her life, and tenne Crownes yeerly rent to theyr house for ever; ney­ther admitt they of any mean mans daughter with­out some Crowns also in name of a dowrie at theyr Spirituall mariage to GOD, and those shall be but serving-Nunnes to the former: yet finding of two charges this farre the easier, they are content to swallow down that, which by champing-on they cannot remedie. But the orders of religious men bring them an other ease also. It disburdeneth their Country of an infinit number of discontented humors and despayring passions: Whosoever in his dearest loues hath prooved unfortunate; who­soever cannot prosper in some other profession which hee hath been set to; whomsoever any nota­ble disgrace or other crosse in his estate hath berea­ved of all hope of ever rising in this world; whoso­ever by his miscariage hath purchased so many enemies, as that nothing but his bloud can giue satisfaction to theyr malice: all these and many o­ther reduced to like anguish of mind and distresse, or otherwise howsoever out of tast with the world haue this haven of content always open and at hand [...]o flee to; when they can find no other place of repose to stand-on▪ then resolue they to go Friers as they phrase it. Yea whosoever by his monstrous Blasphemie or other like villanie hath deserved all the tortures and deaths in the world; if before the hand of Iustice lay hold upon him, hee voluntarily professe him selfe a Capuchine or Hermite, or of such like strict Order: the Pope doth forbid any [Page 61] further pursuit, as thinking his voluntary perpetuall penance sufficient: and of this sort is the greatest part of their gentlemen Capuchins: for so are the most of that order by byrth. Neither is this religi­ous life (saue in some very few orders) so severed from the world and the commodities thereof, but that it enjoyeth as many contents as a moderate mind need wish; and immoderate affections can find means also to satisfie them selues at pleasure: in summe they are rather discharged of the toyles and cares, then debarred of the comforts and sola­ces of this life. Neither is there almost so meane a Frier among them, that hath not some hope to be Prior of his Convent; and then perhaps Provinci­all of that resort or Province; and lastly, not un­possible that his good fortune may so accompanie, or his merits so commend him, as to attaine to bee Generall of all his order. The Generalls are as fit to be made Cardinals as any men: and finally sun­dry of them within the memorie of man, haue been advaunced from the eminence of Cardinall digni­tie, to the soveraigntie of Papall glorie▪

Hope is a sweet and firme companion of man, it is the last thing that leaveth him, and the highest things it promiseth him: it maketh all toyles sup­portable, all difficulties conquerable. Now the multitude of these Orders and good provision for them being so great an ease to all sorts of men in their private estates, as they generally accompt it: it must needs be a great bond of their affection to the Papacie, under which they enjoy it, as by whom alone those orders are protected, and whom his [Page 62] Adversaries do seeke utterly to exterminate & ruine. That I speake little of the particular persons who enter those orders, who draw thereby their whole race the more to favour that way which in so infi­nite a number of them must needs be of great mo­ment. And although against this might be objec­ted with great reason, the inestimable damage which the publike doth thereby receiue; as in Italy for ex­ample, perhaps halfe the Land in many places thereof, and generally a full third, besides their o­ther availes, being appropriated to this sort of people and other persons Ecclesiasticall; yea and of the people themselues, perhaps a quarter of a Million at least in that one Nation having with­drawne hereby from all service of Prince or people, Common-wealth or Country, and confined themselues to the Cloyster-life in Beads and O­raisons, living wholy vpon the hony which the toy­ling Bee doth gather; which perhaps with an o­ther quarter million of an other sect, (I may erre in both numbers, but I aime as neere the truth as by conjecture I can, proportioning the places where I haue not beene with those where I haue) who haue abandoned themselues to an other trade, as idle but more wicked, devouring with mens goods their bodyes and soules at once; may be the cause that that Country though as populous as it can well beare, yet comes ma­nifold parts short of that strength which in former times it hath had, either for defence of it selfe, or offence of his neighbours, yet not­withstanding these are theorems which few list [Page 63] to speculate; the whole World running mainely to things sensible and perfect, and to that which profits them in their owne particular, though it bring with it a certeine hurt and finall ruine of the publike; without the safetie whereof to them that judge things rightly neither any particular e­state can prosper.

But the benefit which the Papacie doth draw from these Friers consisteth least in this poinct in the accommodating and yielding content to other: it stands in the Multitude of Hearts and Handes, of Tongues and Pennes, dis­persing in all Countries, but united in his seruice, of men of most fierie and furious zeale, who with uncessant industrie and resolutenesse in­credible, giue over no travaile, leaue no ex­ploit so difficult and dangerous unattempted, for the upholding of the Papacie, and advan­cing of that Religion, on which all their com­fort and credit in this life, all their hope of praerogatiue in the life to come dependeth, be­ing of the other side esteemed for the most lou­sie companions, the most unprofitable drones, the most devouring▪ Locusts, the most Repro­bate Ignoble Ignominious and wicked race, that ever the world was yet pestered with, in summe more vile than the very mire that they tread­on.

There was neuer yet state so well plotted in this World, or furnished with such store of instruments to imploy in the service thereof as to be able to practise and perswade with the multitude otherwise [Page 64] than in their publike assemblings or other meetings, the Papacie onely excepted: who by reason of the infinity of these religious people, all made out of other folkes stuffe, and mainteined at other mens charge, is able and doth deale in particular and private, as occasion requireth, with men women and children of how mean estate soever, instruc­ting, exhorting, confirming, adjuring, kindling them in such sort, as makes fittest for their dri [...]t and for the end they haue proposed.

The difference in force and effectualnesse of ope­ration between which privat perswasions, and those publike preachings, where the hearers accor­ding to the use of mans nature neglect that in par­ticular which is commended to their regard in common; though easie to conceiue; Yet they on­ly can sufficiently perhaps esteeme, who haue seene a Frier an abandoner of the world, a man wholly wrap [...] with divine affections and extasies, his appa­rail denouncing contempt of all earthly vanitie, his countenance preaching severitie, penance and discipline, breathing nothing but sighes for the ha­tred of sinne, his Eyes lifted upwards as fixed on his joyes, his head bowed on the one side with tender­nesse of loue and humilitie, extending his ready hand to lay hold on mens soules, to snatch them out of the fierie jawes of that gaping black Dragon, and to place them in the path that conducts to Pa­radise; when such a man I say shall addresse him­selfe to a woman, whose sex hath been famous ever for devotion and credulousnesse, or to any other vulgar person of what sort soever▪ perswading, be­seeching [Page 65] with all plausible motions of reason, yea with sighes of feare, and teares of loue, instanting and importuning no other thing at their hands than only this, to be content to suffer God to saue their soules and to crowne them with everlasting happi­nesse: which they shall certeinly attaine by raun­ging them selues with the heavenly Armie of God, that is by adjoyning them selues to the Church of CHRIST and his Vicar; and this againe and a­gaine at sundry times iterated and pursued with shew of incredible care of theyr good, without seeking other meed or commoditie to himselfe, saue only of being the instrument of a soules salvation: is it to be mervailed though such a man be received as an Angell of God, sent expresly for their salva­tion to whom hee comes: though he prevaile and possesse them in such forcible sort, that no accesse remaine for any contrary perswasion; that nothing so violent which they will not attempt, nothing so deare which they will not bestow for the advaunce­ment of that Church, by which them selues hope finally to be so highly exalted? And although all Friers being of so divers mettall are not able to play their parts so naturally and with such perfection as some that I haue seene: yet being trayned up in the same schoole they all hold one course; and cer­teinly by theyr dealing thus with men at single hand in privat and particularly applied perswasions (which though they use not continually, yet neg­lect they not whensoever opportunitie doth re­quire,) they prevaile as experience doth daily shew exceedingly.

[Page 66]What may I now say of theyr Readinesse to Undertake and their Resolutenesse to Execute, what act how dangerous and desperate soever, that may tend to the advauncement of theyr side or Order? I need not seeke farre back, nor farre off for examples. The late HENRY of Fraunce slaine by a Iacobine, and this man wounded by a Schollar of the Iesuites, the one for want of Zeale only in theyr violent courses; the other as misdoubted of sinceritie in his Conversion; may shew what mea­sure theyr profest enemies were to attend, if they could obteine as open and ready accesse unto them. At this present this King hath gone in daunger of his life a long while from a Capuchine, having at the instigation as is sayd of certein Iesuites of Lorraine undertaken to dispatch him: whose Picture being brought hither by the MARQVIS DV PONT, caused search for him over all Paris, and at length hee is taken, and lastly also executed, together with an other Iacobine convicted of the same Crime. And what may it not be thought these men would do, being commanded by their Gene­ralls whom they haue vowed to obey, and in the Popes necessary service, and with his expresse de­sire; who are caried with so desperate rage and furie, against whatsoever impediment theyr bare conceipts without warrant of higher Authoritie present unto them? And as in violent attempts to be executed by them selues they are men resolved and hardy; as having no posteritie to be oppressed by theyr ruine, which of all other things doth conteine men most in dutie; so in exciting the [Page 67] multitude to Sedition and tumult in favour of theyr cause and of theyr Catholike Religion, they are as sedulous and secret; using the opportu­nitie of Confession to practise the vulgar, with annexing of such conditions to the absolution they giue them, as the turne which they intend to serue requires: a poinct very remarkable in weighing of the manifold fruicts which at this day that Sa­crament doth beare the Papacie.

Of late here at Paris it hath bene discouered, that certein Confessors having taken a solemne pro­mise of theyr penitents that they would liue and die in the Catholike religion, yea and die for it also if need should require: haue enjoyned them there-upon to oppose by all means against the ve­rifying of the Kings Edict for the Protestants. Soone after ensued a generall rumour and terrour of new Massacres, though uppon no other great ground for ought I can learne.

But among many other poincts to be regarded in these Friers, Their very Multitude seemeth to me to bee one not of least consideration; if the Papacie being reduced to any termes of extremitie should resolue to put them marmes for his finall refuge and succor. The Franciscans alone in the time of SIXTVS QVINTVS their fellow and Father, are sayd to haue been found by survey to be XXX. thousand. The Capuchins a late branch of them do vaunt to be VIII. thousand at this present. The Do­minicans striue in competencie with the Francis­cans in all things. The Iesuites great Statists are withal exceeding rich, mighty, & many: but for their [Page 68] greedinesse of wealth and rare practises to get it, infamous in all places. The Carmelitans and Augustines haue their hiues in every garden, and every-where swarme. The other Orders of Friers and Monks being exceeding many, complain not of paucitie in theyr severall professions. In summe, other Countries are sowne but Italy thicke strawed with this kind of people: whose number perhaps in the whole may passe a Million of men: of which the one halfe at the least eyther are or would easily grow to be of lustie able bodies, not unfit to be soone employed in any warlike service. If the Pope having plaid away the rest of his policies, were brought to this last hand to set uppe his rest upon these men, what should hinder him from rai­sing huge armies of them in all places? Their course of life perhaps, their vowes and profession? whereof him selfe hath the Key to lock and open at pleasure. Their unwillingnesse of mind or back­wardnesse to such actions? which cannot be ima­gined by them that know their eagernesse of spirit, and consider withall their standing onely with his State, and falling with his ruine. Their unaptnesse then and indisposition of body? which fasting, watching, lying on the ground, enduring cold, exact keeping of orders, obedience to theyr com­manders, ought rather to make fit to all militarie discipline. The difficultie then of assembling them in such case together? Here needs must I celebrate the excellencie and exactnesse of theyr order and government, being such as needeth not yield to any I know for that purpose. Each order hath his [Page 69] generall residing at Rome for the most part, to ad­vize with the Pope and receiue direction from him: who being men of great reputation and power, are chosen though in shew indifferently by all the Masters, that is Doctours, of their order wheresoever; yet in an election so finely and cun­ningly contrived, that the voyces of Italy are farre praedominant: even as in the election of the Pope, the Italian Cardinalls and in their moderne Gene­rall Councells the Italian Bishops, do farre exceed all the rest of Christendome; that so the safetie of the Papall Sea and the greatnesse of Rome may rest assured. These Generalls haue under them their Provincialls as Lieutenants in every Province or State of Christendome: and the Provincialls haue under them the seuerall Priors of Convents: and these their companies. A commaundment dispat­ched away once from the Generall passeth roundly by the Prouincialls to the Priors with all speed. Being received by the inferiours, they addresse them selues to performance: yea though it com­maund them a voyage to China or Peru, without dispute or delay they readily set forward.

To argue or debate their Superiours mandates, were presumption; proud curiositie, to search their reasons and secrets; to detract or disobey them, breach of vow equall to Sacriledge: so that as in a well disciplined Armie, the Generall guiding, the Souldiers follow; hee commaunding, they obey without farther question or doubt; so these haue no other care than to performe with dexteritie, what mandate soever their Generall in the plenitude of [Page 70] his authoritie shall addresse unto them. This order, this diligence, this secretie, this obedience in a people that may wander without suspition in all places, and find good reliefe and aide in their pas­sage, will answer both the former and many other objections: to which being added the good grace, wherein they are generally with the vulgar, the meanes which they haue to prouide them selues of all things necessarie; what with their repositories of reliques and silver Images, what with Church­plate and Treasure: wherein some of them are ex­ceeding rich, and daily encrease: vnlesse the world should with generall consent bend against them, it may bee if the times should enforce such employ­ment, they would be able being associated with such favourers as they should find, to make a very strong part for the Pope in all places; especially conside­ring that these forces should bee then raised out of his enemies Countrey, and so weaken them, as bloud drawne out of the veines of their owne bodies. And that no man may deceine himselfe with that errour, that in these professours of peace, there is no humor of war, that minds wholly possest with sweet con­templation can embrace no thoughts of so bloudie resolution; let him view but a little into the late French troubles, hee shall find that the militarie Companies of the Leaguers, were often times euen stuffed with Priests and Fryers, tall men and re­solute. Hee shall find that of these people there haue served what in Field what in Garrison at one time, suffcient to haue made a great Ar­mie of themselues onely. Hee shall finde that [Page 71] at Orleans, a Capuchine being expresly sent to that purpose by his Prior, went up and down the streets with a great wooden Crosse, crying, ‘Comeforth good Christian, destroy the enemies of the Crosse of thy Saviour,’ and therewith put to the Sword at sundry times six-score of the Religion, till hee left none remaining.

Lastly he may understand if hee please, that very lately in Paris some of them in their Ser­mons haue incited not obscurely to a new Mas­sacre, complaining that the bodie of this Realme is sorely diseased, beeing over-charged with corrupt humours, as not having bene let bloud these fiue and twentie yeeres as it ought. To conclude, I conceiue this force of Friers to bee so great, what in regard of their very multitude, what by reason of their deadly rage against their opposites; that it would be hard for any State to bring in the Reformed Religion, without discharg­ing it selfe first of this difficultie and burthen.

In Germanie the first reformers of Religion in this age were Friers them selues; who being men of great mark and reckoning amongst theyr owne drew theyr Convents and other troups of theyr orders with them; and thereby set the rest in such an amazement and stand, that the Pope grew in a general great jealousie of them all, as doubting their universall revolt from his obedience. In England they were with great policie and practise dissolved before any innovation in Religion was mentioned; whereas to haue done both together, had bene per­haps impossible: but first cleane preventing them [Page 72] of pretence of Religion, and after finding their reli­gion cleane stripped of that succour, both they were quietly ruined, and of this more quietly reformed.

In Fraunce this King upon that out rage against his person smoked the Iesuits out of theyr nests in most parts of his Kingdome. If hee had done the like also at the same time to the Dominicans, (a most potent and flourishing order in Spaine aboue all other,) in revenge of the murther of the King his predecssour: or if hee would and could do it now to them and to the Capuchins, (who at this day next the Iesuites are of greatest renowme,) in punishment of these last practises so fortunatly dis­covered; and so chastise the schooles also when he tooke theyr schollars in so enormous faults, there were great hope for the Reformed Religion in time to prevaile: which is now so prejudiced and per­secuted by these Friers, that hardly can it keep foot on the ground it hath. Thus much of the strength which these religious Orders doe yield to the Papacie.

Whereto I must add the like invention of Spi­rituall fraternities and Companies, perhaps equalling yea exceeding in number the orders of Friers: in which under the protection and in ho­nour of some Sainct, or of any other holy name or religious mysterie, and often times annexing them selues to some of the orders of Friers, the lay people of all sorts, both men and women, both sin­gle and maried, do enroll them selues into one or more of these Societies; approaching so much neerer to the state of the Clergie, unto which [Page 73] sundry of them are no other than meere appurte­nances. Whereby as they tie themselues to the Orders of them, consisting in certeine extrordi­narie devotions and processions, bearing also at certeine times some badge of theyr Company: so are they made partakers of all such spirituall praero­gatiues, whether partnership in the Churches me­ritts, or interest in sundry Indulgences, some halfe plenarie, some whole, some for the time past, some before-hand for sundry yeeres to come, and chiefly the avoyding or speedy dispatch out of Purgatorie; as the Pope and his antecessours for the encouragement and comfort of Christian peo­ple in theyr devotion haue thought good in theyr Charitie to graunt unto them. These Fraternities are not yet growne into any great request in other places: Howbeit in Italy they haue so multiplied, that few especially of the vulgar and middle sort of men, who either are or affect any reputation of devotion, but haue entred into some one of them, and sundry into many. The assurance of whom to the Papacie must needs be doubled; sith loue groweth according to the proportion of hope.

Now come I to the last ranke of Romane Poli­cies arraigned against their professed and feared Enemies, by vertue whereof they both seeke to re-enter where they haue in this latter Age beene disseised; and practise as well for the wasting away of their opposites where they are; as for the shut­ting of them and their doctrine out where yet they haue not beene. I will not heere enlarge uppon [Page 74] things manifest and ordinarie, being high wayes so plaine that a guide were needlesse. Their persecu­tions, their confiscations, their tortures, their burnings, their secret murthers, their generall massacres, theyr exciting of inward sedition and outward hostilitie against theyr adversaries; theyr oppressing and abasing them where them selues are the stronger, are things whereof they were none of the inventours: though perhaps the commen­dation of exact refining them, of straining them to their highest note of sedulitie and perseverance in putting them in execution, may bee more due and proper unto them than any other. Nei­ther yet will I meddle greatly with theyr art of sclaundering theyr opposites, of disgracing theyr persons; misreporting theyr actions, falsi­fying theyr doctrine and positions; things where­with theyr Pulpits doe daily sound and theyr wri­tings swell againe. But they are not the first neyther that haue runne this blacke course, no more than the former red: other haue done it before them: yea the buying of mens conscien­ces, by proposing reward to such as shall relin­quish the Protestants Religion, and turne to theyrs; as in Auspurgh, where they say there is a knowne price for it, of ten Florens a yeare; in Fraunce where the Clergie haue made con­tributions for the mainteinance of renegate Mi­nisters past and to come; is a devise also not fresh and of casie conceipt. I will rather insist upon theyr inventions lesse triviall, and more worthie to bee marked. A wonderfull thing it [Page 75] is to consider the great diversitie of humours or tempers of mind, shall I terme them, which this age hath produced in this one poinct wee speake of, touching the meanes of growing onward up­on the adversarie part. A sort of men there liues in the world at this day whose leaders, whether upon extremitie of hatred of the Church of Rome, or partly also upon some spice of selfe-liking and singularitie to valew theyr owne witts and peculiar devises, did cut out in such sort theyr reformation of religion, as not onely in all out­ward religious seruices and ceremonies in go­vernment and Church discipline; to striue to bee as unlike to the Papacie as was possible, but e­ven in very lawfull policies for the advantaging and advauncing of their part, to disdaine to seeme to any to bee imitators of theyr wisdome, whose wickednesse they so much abhorred: much like to a stout-hearted and stiff-witted Captaine, who scornes to imitate any stratageme before used by the enemie, though the putting it in exploit might giue him assured victorie. Neither doe those mens schollars as yet a whit degenerate: yea per­haps that disease, (if with leaue I may so censure it) hath tainted in some degree all the protestant partie, who never could find the meanes in all this age to assemble a generall Councell of all theyr side, for the composing of theyr differences, and setting order in their proceedings; for want I must con­fesse of some opportunities, but of a great deale of zeale also in their Governours, as to me it seemeth. Neither yet haue they in any one of all theyr [Page 76] dominions, erected any Colledge of meere com­templatiue persons, to confront and oppose a­gainst the lesuites: but haue left this weightie bur­then of clearing the controversies, of perfecting the sciences, of answering the adversaries writings of exceeding huge travaile, either upon their ordi­narie ministers, to be performed at times of leysure from their office of preaching, (and they performe it accordingly:) or upon such as in Vniversities ha­ving some larger scope shall willingly and of their owne accord undertake it for some time according to their abode.

Whereas on the contrarie side the Papacie seems unto me very diligently and attentiuely to haue considered and weighed, by what meanes chiefly their adverse part hath growne so fast, be­yond either their owne expectation, or the feare of their enemies; as in lesse than an age to haue won perhaps a moietie of their Empire from them; and those very means them selues to haue resolved thence-forward to apply in strong practise on their side also; that so as by a countermine they may ei­ther blow uppe the mines of their adversaries, or at least-wise giue them stop from any farther procee­ding: like a politike Generall, who holdeth it the greatest wisdome, to out-go his enemie in his owne devises; and the greatest valu [...]e, to beat him at his owne weapons. I will not here presume to presse in with my determination upon this great diffe­rence and question; although it seeming to me to be no other than a plain quarrell between stomacke and discretion, a small deal [...] of wisdome me thinks [Page 77] might decide it; especially considering that all good things are from God, though they be found in his very enemie; and whatsoever is not unjust, being used in a good course is good.

The first and chiefe means whereby the Refor­mers of Religion did prevail in all places, was their singular assiduitie and dexteritie in Prea­ching, especially in great Cities and Palaces of Princes; (a trade at that time growne cleane in a maner out of use and request;) whereby the people being ravished with the admiration and loue of that light which so brightly shined unto them, as men with the Sunne who are newly drawne from a dungeon; did readily follow those who caried so faire a Lamp before them. Hereto may be added their publishing of Treatises of Vertue and Pietie, of spirituall ex▪ercises aud devotion; which ingen­dred a firme perswasion in the minds of men, that the soile must needs be pure sound and good, from whence so sweet, so holesome, and so heavenly frui [...]ts had proceeded. Now though the opinions of the Papacie and of a great part of the Reformed Religion be as opposite herein well-nigh as heat and cold, as light and darknesse; the one appro­ving no devotions severed from understanding to be a means often rather to divert or dazle the devo­tion than to direct and cherish it: and for Prea­ching in like sort the French Protestants making it an essentiall and chiefe part of the service of God; whereas the Romanists make the Masse only a work of dutie, and the going to a Sermon but a matter of convenience, and such as is left free to mens [Page 78] pleasures and opportunities without imputation or sinne: yet in regard of the great sway which they haue learned by their losse that these carie in the drawing of mens minds and affections, they haue endeavoured in all places in both these kinds to ae­quall yea and surmount their adversaries. For al­though in multitude of Preachers they greatly come short, being an exercise wherein the secular Priests list not distemper their braines much, but com­mend it in a manner wholly to the Regulars and Fryers: and these thinking the Country capacities too blockish, or otherwise not worth the bestow­ing of so great cost on, doe employ them selues wholly in Cities and other places of greater re­sort; all which they haue great care to haue com­petently furnished: yet in the choyse of them whom they send out to preach, in the diligence and paines which they take in theyr Sermons, in the ornaments of eloquence, and grace of action, in their shew of pietie and reuerence towards God, of zeale towards his truth, of loue towards his people: which even with theyr teares they can of­ten testifie; they match their adversaries in theyr best, and in the rest doe farre exceed them. But heerein the Iesuites doe carry the Bell from all other; having attained the commendation and working the effect, of as perfect Oratours as these times doe yield. And of these beside certeyne drawne yeerely by lot to goe preach abroad among Infidels and Hereticks, and besides other times of the yeere wherein they preach to theyr Catho­liks at Lent in especiall, by order from theyr Gene­rall [Page 79] residing at Rome, theyr choise Preachers are sent out, one to each Citie in Italie, with yeer­ly change. And the custome of Italy is for the same man to preach every day in Lent without in­termission, if their strength will serue them; where­of six dayes in the weeke to preach on the Gospells apportioned, and the Saturday in honour and praise of our Lady. So in theyr yeerely change, there is the delight of varietie; and in theyr dayly continuing of the same, the admiration of indus­trie. Some such like course it is to bee thought that the Iesuites hold also in other Countreys; theyr projects being certeine, and exactly pursued. But wonderfull is the reputation which redounds there­by to theyr order, and exceeding the advantage which to theyr side it giveth.

For Bookes of Prayers and Pietie, all Countries are full of them at this day in theyr owne language: both to stop in part the out-cry of theyr adversaries against them for emprisoning the people wholly in those darke devotions; and specially to win the loue of the world unto them by this more inward and liuely shew of true sanctitie and godlinesse. Yea herein they conceiue to haue so surpassed theyr op­posites that they forbear not to reproach unto them theyr povertie, weaknesse, and coldnesse in that kind as being forced to take the Catholicks books to sup­ply therein. Which as on this side it cannot be al­together denyed to be true; so on the other side it had greatly beene to bee wished, that those bookes of Christian Resolution and exercise had beene the fruits of the Consciences rather than of the wi [...]ts of [Page 80] those that made them; (which in some of them, as PARSONS by name, to haue bene otherwise be­sides the rest of his actions unsutable to those Reso­lutions, some of the more zealous also in their way haue not forborne to confesse:) that by perfour­ming of so good works with a good mind, to a good end, and conforming their owne liues and demeanours accordingly they might haue prepared mens minds to an hope of a thorough reconciliati­on; whereas now by using holinesse it selfe for a meere instrument of practises, and to win men to their partie, they cannot but driue the world into such a labyrinth of perplexities and jealousies, as to suspect always their policies and despaire of their honesties.

A second thing whereby the Protestant part hath so greatly enlarged, hath been their well Educa­ting of Youth, especially in the Principles of Chri­stian Religion and pietie: wherein their care and continuance is even at this day in many places very worthy to be commended of all, and imitated by them who haue hither to bene more remisse in that kind than were requisite; the education of youth and sowing in those pure minds the seeds of vertue and truth, before the weeds of the world do canker and change the soyle, being by the consent of the most renowmed wise men in the World, a poinct of incomparable force and moment for the well ordering and governing of all kinds of States, and for the making of Common-wealths ever-flourish­ing and happie.

And as good education is the preservation of a [Page 81] good state; so all kind of education conforming to the Lawes and Customes in being, upholdeth states in the tearmes wherein they are: the first sea­soning with opinions and accustomances whatsoe­ver, being of double force to any second perswasi­ons and usages: not comprising herein those nimble and quick silverd braines which itch after change, li­king in theyr opinions as in their garments to bee noted to be followers of outlandish fashions, as be­ing of a more refined and sublimited remper than that theyr Country conceipts can satisfie. Herein then the Papacie being taken short by the Prote­stants (even as in the former,) and mightily over­run ere they were aware thereof: notwithstanding as difficulties doe rather kindle than daunt the gene­rous spirits, and adde that to theyr diligence which was wanting in their timelinesse; so these men haue bestirred themselues so well therein, to follow the trace which theyr adversaries had led them, that in fine they haue in some sorts outgrowne them in it, and quoted them in all, one onely excepted, that they respect not much the instruction of the chil­dren of the meaner sort; as being likely to sway title; whereas the Protestants seeme in religious in­struction indifferent to both. But for the rest, what is it they haue omitted? what Colleges for theyr owne, what Seminaries for strangers, to support and perpetuate theyr factions and practises in theyr ene­mies dominions, haue they not instituted almost in all parts of Christendome, and mainteine still at theyr owne and favourites charge? Is it a small brag which some of their side doe make that theyr Eng­lish [Page 82] Seminaries abroad send forth more Priests than our two Vniversities at home doe Ministers? Be­hold also the Iesuits, the great Clerks, Politicians and Oratours of the World, who vaunt that the Church is the soule of the World, the Clergie of the Church, and they of the Clergie, doe stoupe al­so to this burthen, and require it to bee charged wholly upon their necks and shoulders. In all pla­ces where-ever they can plant theyr nests: they o­pen free Schooles for all studyes of humanitie. To these flocke the best witts and principall mens sons, in so great abundance, that wherever they settle, o­ther Colleges become desolate, or frequented one­ly by the baser sort and of heavyer mettall, And in truth such is their diligence and dexteritie in instruc­ting, that even the Protestants in some places send theyr sonnes unto theyr Schooles, upon desire to haue them proue excellent in those arts they teach. Besides which, being in truth but a bait and allure­ment whereto to fasten theyr principall and finall hooke; they plant in their schollars with great exact­nesse and skill the rootes of theyr Religion, and nou­rish them with an extreame hatred and detestation of the adverse partie. And to make them for ever intractible of any contrary perswasion, they worke into them by great cunning and obstinacie of mind, and sturdie eagernesse of spirit, to affect victorie with all violence of wit in all theyr concertations. Than which no greater enemie to the finding of truth: which being pure and single in his owne na­ture and author, appeareth not but to a cleare and sincere understanding, whom neither the fumes [Page 83] of fierie passions doe misten, nor sinister respects or praejudices sway downe on eyther side from the pitch of just integritie. Neither thinke I any unfit­ter sort of men in the world to bee employed in the contemplation and search of truth, than these hote men and headie, who being sodaine in theyr actions, rise lightly on that which commeth first to hand, and beeing stiffe in their resolutions are transported with every praejudicate conceipt from one errour into another; having neither the patience they should, to weigh all points dili­gently; nor the humilitie to yield up theyr owne fancies to reason; neyther yet that high honou­rable wisedome, as to know that truth being the marke they professe to striue at, in the overthrow of their errours they attaine the summe of their desires, and remaine Conquerours, by beeing con­quered. Yea sundry times haue I seene two ea­ger disputers loose the truth and let it fall to the ground betweene them, which a calme-minded hearer hath taken up and possessed. But these Iesuites praesuming perhaps of the truth before­hand, and labouring for no other thing than the advauncing of theyr partie, endeavour, as I said, by all meanes to imbreed that fiercenesse and obstinacie in theyr schollars, as to make them hote prosecutors of theyr owne opinions, impa­tient and intractable of any contrary considera­tions; as having theyr eyes fixt upon nothing saue onely victorie in arguing. For which cause to strengthen in them those passions by exercise. I haue seene them in their bare Grammaticall dispu­tations [Page 84] enflame theyr schollars with such earnest­nesse and fiercenesse as to seeme to bee at the poinct of flying each in th'others faces, to the amazement of those straungers which had never seene the like before, but to theyr owne great content and glorie as appeared. Over and aboue all this, they haue instituted in their Schooles a speciall fraternitie or congregation of our Lady, with certeine select exercises and devotions: in­to which it being a reputation to bee admitted, it must cause in congruitie the forwardest of theyr schollars to fashion them selues by all meanes as to content theyr humours: and so to bee received in shew into a degree of more honourable estima­mation, but in truth into no other than a double bond of assurance. I shall not need here to insert their singular diligence and cunning in entising, not seldome the most noble of their schollars, and oftentimes the most adorned with the graces of nature and industrie: especially, if they haue likelihood of any wealthie succession, to abandon their friends and to professe theyr Order; (a thing daily practised by them in all places:) yea wher-ever they espie any youth of rarer spirit, they will bee tempering with him, though he bee the onely sonne and solace of his Father.

Whereby though they draw on them much cla­mor and stomacke, yet do they greatly enhaunce the renowme of theyr societie, by furnishing it with so many persons of excellent qualitie or no­bilitie; whom afterwards they employ with great judgement as they finde each fittest. Neither yet [Page 85] doe they here make an end with this part; this order hath also theyr solemne Catechizing in theyr Churches on Sondayes and Holydayes, for all youth that will come or can be drawne unto it; that in no poinct the diligence of theyr adversaries may upbraid them.

But this poinct of theyr Schooles and instruc­ting youth: is thought of such moment by men of wisedome and judgement, being taught so by very experience and tryall thereof; that the plan­ting of a good College of Iesuites in any place is esteemed the onely sure way to replant that Reli­gion, and in time to eate out the contrarie. This course hold they in all Germanie, in Savoy, and other places: and the excluding it from Fraunce is infinitely regretted, and that which makes them uncerteine what will become of that Kingdome.

A third course that much advantaged the Pro­testants proceedings, was their Offers of disputa­tion to theyr adversaries in all places; theyr itera­ted and importuned suits for publike audience and judgement: a thing which greatly assured the multitude of theyr soundnesse, whom they saw so confident in abiding the hazard of tryall, being that whereof the want is the onely prejudice of truth, and the plentie the onely discoverie and ruine of false­hood; they standing in like tearmes as a substanti­all just man and a facing shifter, whereof the ones credit is greatest there where he is best knowne, and the others where hee is least. And by reason that the Romanists were not so cunning then in [Page 86] the questions, nor so ready in their evasions and distinctions as they are now growne: the effect of these disputations whether received or refused, was in most places such, as to draw with them an imme­diate alteration of Religion.

Hereunto may be added those admirable pains which those first Reformers undertooke and perfor­med, in translating the Scriptures forth-with into all languages, in illustrating all parts thereof with ample comments, in addressing institutions of Christian Religion, in deducing large histories of the Church from the foundation to their present times, in furnishing all common places of Divi­nitie with abundance of matter, in exact discussing of all controversed questions, & lastly in speedy reply to all contrary writings: the greatest part of these labours tending to the justifying o [...] their own doc­trine, and to the discoverie of the Corruption and rottennesse of the other; that they might overbeare those with the streames of the evidence of reason, by the strength of whose power they complained to be over-borne. There is not scarce any one of these kinds of writings (saue the translating of the Bible into vulgar languages,) wherin the Romanists haue not already, or are not like very shortly, eyther to aequall or to exceed theyr adversaries: in multitude of works, as being more of them that apply those studies; in diligence, as having much more op­portunities of helps and leysure; in exactnesse, as comming after them and reaping the fruicts of theyr travails; though in truth, they come short; and in ingenuitie, being truths companion. But as [Page 87] for the Controversies them selues, the main matter of all other, therein theyr industrie is at this day incomparable: having so altered the tenures of them, refined the states, subtilized the distinctions, sharpned theyr owne proufs, devised certein and resolved on eyther answers or evasions for all theyr aduersaries arguments, allegations and replics; (yea, they haue differences to divert theyr strongest oppositions, interpretations to elude the plainest texts in the world, circumstances and considerati­ons to enforce theyr owne seeliest conjectures, yea reasons to put life into theyr deadest absurdities; as in particular, a very faire case in schoole-learning & proportions, to justifie theyr Popes graunts of ma­ny score thousand yeeres pardon;) that in affiance of this furniture, and of theyr promptnesse of speech and witt, which by continuall exercise they aspire to perfect, they dare enter into combate even with the best of theyr oppugners, and will not doubt but eyther to entangle him so in the snares of their own quirks, or at least-wise so to avoyd and put off his blowes with the manifold wards of theyr multi­plied distinctions, that an ordinary auditor shall never conceiue them to be vanquished, and a fa­vourable shall report them vanquishers.

Whereupon they now to be quit with theyr ad­versaries, and by the very same art to draw away the multitude, cry mainly in all places for tryall by dis­putations. This CAMPIAN the Iesuite did many yeares since with us: this as I passed through Zurick did the Cardinall ANDREA of Constance and his Iesuites with theyr Ministers, being by auncient [Page 88] [...]ight within his diocesse. Not long before, the same was done at Geneva, and very lately the Ca­puchins renewed the challenge. In which parts I observed this discreet valour on both sides; that as the Romanists offer to dispute in the adversaries own Cities, which they know theyr Magistrates will ne­ver accord, so the Ministers in supply thereof, offer to goe to them to theyr Cities, and that now is as much disliked on th'other part; each side beeing content that the fire should be kindled rather in his enemies house than in his owne. Yea there are not wanting some temperers among them, that haue bene talking a long while (whether out of they [...] owne dreames, or out of the desires of some greater persons, which I halfe conjecture,) o [...] a Generall solemne Conference to bee sought and procured of the choyse and chiefe every way of both the sides; under pretence of drawing matters to some tolle­rable composition; but in truth, as I conceiue, ra­ther to overbeare and disgrace the contrarie cause, with theyr varietie of engines, and strength of wit to wield them at all assayes at pleasure, than upon synceritie of affection, or probabilitie of any uni­tie or peace to ensue. So great is theyr hope of ha­ving cure by that very weapon from whence hereto­fore they haue had theyr wounds.

The fourth way that mightily afflicted the Papa­cie and consequently advanced the Reformation in her proceedings; was a course in my opinion sure­ly more excusable where it cannot, than commen­dable, where it can be spared: and that is the Dis­coverie of the private blotts of an enemie, farther [Page 89] than the question in hand constraineth. Howsoe­ver, the Protestants, at leastwise sundry of them, by example of those ancient renowmed Oratours, ripped up to the quicke the liues of theyr adversa­ries in theyr particular actions, especially of the Popes and of theyr Praelates, as also of theyr Vota­ries of all sorts and sexes.

Wherein the store of matter was so huge; the qualitie of it so enormous loathsome and ougly, matchable in all kind of v [...]llanie to the veriest mon­sters of the Heathen; the persons defiled with it of so eminent place in the steering and upholding of theyr Church; and lastly the truth thereof so un­doubted and certeine, being drawne for the times past out of theyr owne stories and authors printed and approved among them selues to be true, for that present being of things done ordinarily for the most part and openly in the fight of all men at Rome and in Italy, (even as they continue perhaps not much better in many things at this very day): that the publishing and presenting it to the prepared minds of the world, besides an extreame horror and detes­tation which it brought, did worke in them this perswasion also, that it could not be but Hell-gates had prevailed against that Sea, whose Governours, whose Praelates, whose Priests, whose Virgins, had lived most of them so long time in the very jawes of the Prince of Hell; neyther that it was probable they had beene carefull in preserving the doctrine of Christianitie, who had beene so carelesse of all parts of Christian life and honestie. And as in their liues so in theyr writings also of doctrine and devo­tion, [Page 90] and in their actions concerning them: theyr deifying of the Pope with most impious flatterie; theyr abusing of the Scriptures with all irreverence and prophanitie; theyr jugling in theyr Images to make them weepe, sweat and bleed, to rayse in the people a devotion towards them of Heathe­nish Idolatrie; theyr forging of miracles in exor­cismes, in cures, in apparition of soules, for theyr Lucre and advantage; theyr graunting of pardons to some Prayers before Images for XXX, thousand long yeeres; theyr pardons for sinnes to come be­fore they bee committed; their shamelesse and ri­diculous tales of our Saviour and theyr Saincts, making marriages here vpon earth betweene him and some of theyr women-Saincts, with infinite childish vanitie and sottish absurditie, as to theyr adversaries it seemed; (though themselues I must confesse conceiue otherwise of them, some of theyr graver Doctors both preaching them still in Pulpit, and publishing them newly in ample and elabo­rate hystories;) their promising to the use of cer­teine devotions to our Lady to haue a sight of her some time before theyr dying-dayes; adding to this and much more theyr falsifying and forgerie in all matters of antiquitie, thrusting in, cutting out, suppressing true, suborning feyned writings, as theyr turnes did require: all which though beeing in this sort unto them: they had eyther theyr alle­gations of good intents to defend; or at leastwise theyr commiserations of humane infirmitie to excuse them: yet were they not so washed away from the minds of the people, who could not [Page 91] conceiue this house to haue beene guided by the spirit of God, wherein they saw so many foule spi­rits of Pride and Hypocrisie, of lying and decei­ving, to haue borne so great office so long and without controllment. These things being per­ceived by the favourites of the Papacie to haue made so deepe impression in the hearts of all men, and to haue greatly praejudiced them in theyr more plausible allegations, mens hearts beeing aheady taken up and fraught with detesting them; they haue cast about for revenge and redresse in the same kind; not as the plaine blunt Protestant, who fin­ding all his matter made ready to his hands; be­stowed no other cost but the collecting and setting it in some order together; but like a supernaturall artisan, who in the sublimitie of his refined and refining wit, disdaines to bring onely meere art to his worke, unlesse hee make also in some sort the very matter it selfe; so these men in blacking the liues and actions of the Reformers, haue partly devised matter of so notorious vntruth, that in the better sort of theyr owne wryters it happens to bee chec­ked; partly suborned other postmen to com­pose theyr Legends, that afterwards they might cite them in proofe to the world as approued authors and hystories; as is evident in the liues of CALVIN and BEZA, written by theyr sworne enemie BOLSACK, the twice banished and thrice renegate Fryer and Physitian, for those names his often changes and hard chaunces haue given him.

[Page 92]This man being requested by theyr side to write thus, is now in all theyr writings alleaged as classicall and Canonicall. But in this kind surely me thinks the conditions of these parties are too too unequall. For the Protestant whatsoever he say eyther in impeaching his adversarie, or clearing his owne actions, unlesse he can directly proue it out of the adversaries owne writings, it is with them as nothing, and no better than are Testes do­mestici in the Law: whereas the Romanist, what­soever he sclaunderously surmiseth, unles the other partie be able by direct prouf to disproue it, (which being to justifie the negatiue is always very difficult, and for the most part impossible;) hee triumphs as in a matter of truth not to be gain-said; and howsoever makes his accompt, that in these kinds of blowes, even where the wound is cured, the skar lightly continueth. At this present they giue out that they haue a booke in hand of the liues of the Ministers of England▪ amongst whom it were to be wished, that some who by their examples in dissolutenesse and corruption haue gi­ven occasion of offence against the Order it selfe, might by theyr exemplarie punishment withall ex­piate the reproach.

Though at these mens hands, who in disgrace of our Praelats haue cited MARPRELATE in theyr late books for a graue Author and witnesse, and others of like and lesse indifferencie and honestie▪ the innocent and culpable are to expect perhaps like measure. Then for the writings and doctrine of the Protestants, the books of some of our owne [Page 93] Country-men besides many other are famous; who haue taken a toyle, how meritorious God knowes, surely very laborious, out of infinite huge volumes which that part hath written to pick out whatsoe­ver, especially severed from the rest, may seem to be either absurdly, or falsly, or fondly, or scanda­lously, or dishonestly; or passionatly, or sluttishly; conceived or written; for even in that kind hauing the advantage of the homely phrase of one Country, and namely in those times, they haue not spared: and these with theyr crossings and contradictings one of an other set cunningly together, they pre­sent to the vieu of the world; and demaund whe­ther it be likely that these men should haue bene chosen extraordinarily by God to be the Reformers of the Church, and restorers of his truth, who be­sides theyr vicious liues and hatefull conditions, in their more sober thoughts and very doctrine it selfe, were possessed with so phantasticall, so wild, so con­trarie, so furious, so maledicent, and so slovenly spirits. Wherein as they do in some sort imitate theyr adversaries; so yet with this difference, that the one hath objected that, which eyther as being the approved doctrine of theyr Church was with publike authoritie delivered unto the people; or else which was so usuall amongst their Canon [...]sts and Clergie; as might plead uncontrolled custome to shew it lawfull. Whereas the other part finding belike small store of that nature, haue run for supply to every particular mans writings: wherein in [...] huge a multitude of authors and works as in this o­ver-ranke age mens fingers over-itching haue pro­duced; [Page 94] it had bene surely a great Miracle, if they should not haue found matter enough, eyther wor­thy to be blamed or easie to be depraved in theyr enemies writings▪ one of the most renowmed sages and Fathers of the auncient, having found so much to condemne and retract in his owne. And if the Protestants should list to requite them in that kind, they might perhaps find stuffe enough, I will not say as one doth to load an Argosie; but to over-lade any mans witt in the world to reply to. But verily these courses are base and beggerly, even when sin­glenesse of mind & truth doth concurre with them, and farre unworthy of an ingenuous and noble spi­rit, which soreth up to the highest and purest paths of veritie, disdaining to stand raking in these pud­dles of obscaenitie: unworthy of that charitable and vertuous mind, which striveth by doing good to all to attain the high honour of being an imitator of God; which is sory of those very thoughts that infect his enemie, and discloseth them no farther than is necessarie eyther for defence of impugned truth, or for warning unto the world to avoid the contagion of the disease or seducement by the dan­gerously and unapparently diseased. But if to this basenesse of discoveries other injustice be also ad­ded; if m [...]lice preferre them, if sleight encrease them, if falshood and sclaunder taint them: then do they not only abase men from the dignitie of theyr nature, but even associate them with the soule enemie and calumniator thereof, whose name is the sclaunderous accuser of his brethren. I suppose there was never man so patient in [Page 95] the world, that pattern of all perfection our blessed Savior excepted,) but if a man should heap together all the cholerick speeches, all the way-ward actions, that ever scaped from him in his life, and present them in one view all continuate together, (as is the fashion of some men;) it would represent him for a furious and raving bedlam; whom display­ing all his life in the same tenor it was led, the whole world might well admire for his courtesie, staydnesse, moderation and magnaminitie. They that obserue nothing in wise men but theyr over­sights and follies, nothing in men of vertue but theyr faults and imperfections, from which ney­ther the wisest nor the perfectest haue bene free: what doe they but propose them as matter of scorne and abhorring, whom God having endued with principall grace hath marked out for very pat­terns of honor to imitate. Yea this age hath brought out those curst and thrice accursed witts, who by culling out the errours and shewes of errours, by formalizing the contrarieties; mis-interpreting the ambiguitie, intangling more the obscurities, which in the most renowmed authors for humane wisdome that were ever in the world theyr envious and mali­ciously fine braines could search; (imitating him therein who by his labours of the very same nature, though with lesse and no ground at all,) against the sacred Bible purchased the infamous name of the e­nemie of Christianitie haue done that hure unto the studyes of learning, which nothing but utter ex­tinguishing of theyr unlearned workes can expiate. But of this matter sufficient.

[Page 96]The last meanes I will here speake of that were u­sed in setting forward the Reformation of Religion, was the diligent compiling of the Histories of those times and actions, and especially the Mar­tyrologies of such as rendred by theyr deaths a te­stimonie to that truth which was persecuted in them. These memories and stories presenting ge­nerally to the world, the singlenesse and innocencie of the one part, the integritie of theyr liues, the simplicitie of theyr devises, the zeale of theyr de­sires, theyr constancies in temptations, theyr tolle­rancie in torments, theyr magnaminious and coe­lestially inspired courage and comfort in theyr very agonies and deaths, yielding theyr bodyes with all patience to the furious flames and theyr soules, with all joy into the hands of him that made them: on the other side representing a serpentine generation, wholly made of fraud, of policies and practises, men lovers of the world, and haters of truth and godlinesse; fighters against the light, protec­tors of darkenesse; persecutors of marriage, and pa­trons of brothels, abrogators and dispensers against the Lawes of God, but tyrannous importuners and Exacters of theyr owne; men false in theyr promi­ses, treacherous in theyr pretences, barbarous in theyr executions, breathing nothing but crueltie, but fire and sword against men that had not offen­ded them saue in theyr desire to amend them, which could not endure; (and much of this set out in sun­dry places with pictures also, to imprint thereby a more liuely sence of commiseration of the one part, and detestation of the other): did breed in mens [Page 97] minds a very strong conceipt, that on the one side truth and innocence was persecuted, on the other side violence and deceipt did persecute; that the one part contrarie to all humane probabilitie, being nourished with the onely dew of divine benedic­tion, did flourish in the flames, and like Cama­mil, spread abroad by being trod under foote; the other notwithstanding all humaine and infernall succours and devises yet being cursed from aboue, did fade and would come to ruine. The Papacie being netled extreamely by these proceedings, hath rel [...]oved first to giue over the kindling any more of those unfortunate fires, (saue in places se­cure to keepe that law in usage,) the ashes of which they haue perceived to haue beene the seed of theyr adversaries: but rather by secret makings of men a­way in theyr Inquisitions (for which purpose as some of theyr owne friends in Italy haue reported, whe­ther truely or falsely I am not able affirme,) they haue theyr trap-doores or pit-falls in darke melan­choly chambers or such other devises perhaps, and chiefly by generall massacres to extinguish them. Then to affront them in the same kind of Marty­rologies and Hystories, they haue first caused sun­dry new Fryerly stories to be written also in theyr favour: making in them a representation of authori­tie and justice proceeding by politike execution of law in the necessarie defence of Gods Church and Priests, and of Catholike states and Princes, against a companie of ba [...]e Rebels and vow-breaking Friers, of Church-robbing Politicians and Church-razing Souldiers; of infected and infecting both Schisma­ticks [Page 98] and Haereticks, innovators of orders, under­miners of governement, troublers of states, over­turners of Christendome: against whom if they haue not hitherto sufficiently prevailed, it is to be attri­buted onely to the force of popular furie, and not to any strength and goodnesse of theyr cause, much lesse to any Coelestiall and divine protection. Next for Martyrologies, they haue England for theyr field, to triumph in: the proceedings wherein a­gainst theyr later Priests and complices they aggra­vate to the height of NEROES and DIOCLESIANS per­secutions, and the sufferers of theyr side, in merits of cause, in extremity of tormenes, and in constancie and patience, to the renowmed Martyrs of that he­roicall Church-age. Whereof besides sundry other treatises and pamphlets, they haue published a great volume lately to the world in Italian, compiled with great industrie, approved by authoritie, (yea some of their books or passages illustrated also with picturs:) in sum wanting nothing saue only truth & sincerity.

An easie thing it is without growing to the ex­treame impudencie of palpable lying, by leaving out the bad on the one side, and the good on the other; by enforcing and flourishing all circumstances and accidents which are in our favour, and by elevating and disgracing of all the contrarie; by sprinkling the tearmes of Honour wholly on the one part, of hatred and ignominie on the other; to make the tale turne which way shall please the teller. But writers of Hi­stories should know, that there is a difference be­tween theyr profession and the practise of advocates, pleading contrarie at a bar, where the wisedome [Page 99] of the Iudge picketh the truth out on both sides, which is entire perhaps in neyther. And verily in this kind both the Protestants and Papists seeme ge­nerally in the greatest part of theyr stories, both too blame, though both not equally, having by theyr passionate reports much wronged the truth, abused this present age, and praejudiced posteritie: in so much that the onely remedie now seeming to remaine, is to read indifferently the stories on both parts, to compt them as advocates and to play the Iudge betweene them. But partialitie seemes to haue bene the chiefe fault of the Protestant, loue and dis­like some time dazeling his eyes, and drawing him from an Historiographers into an Oratours profes­sion: though some of them haue carried them selues therein with commendable sinceritie; even as some also of the other part haue discharged them selues nobly. But surely the Priests and Friers which haue medled in that kind haue straungely behaved them­selues, and disclosed how smal reckoning they make of truth, in any thing; theyr devising, theyr forging, theyr facing, theyr piecing, theyr adding, theyr pa­ring, having brought not onely their modestie, but their wits also in question, whether they forgot not what it was which they undertooke to write; a work of storie, or of poetry rather; which Arts though like yet ought they to know are different.

And for these Martyrologies, to speak of England as they do, (let the truth of Religion lye indifferent on whether side;) unlesse difference be made between men who suffer for theyr Consciences onely, theyr very adversaries having no other crime to ob [...]ct [Page 100] against them; and those who eyther in theyr owne particular persons, or at leastwise in theyr direc­tors whom they haue chosen to follow, and vowed to obey, are convinced to haue attempted against the Prince and State, and to haue practised the al­teration and ruine of both; if no difference be to bee made betweene those mens sufferings; let all like, let the persecuting of sheepe and hunting of wolues be one. But enough and too much perhaps of these comparisons and imitations.

I will adde onely hereto theyr policie of News, for some kind of resemblance it hath with the for­mer. I must confesse it could not settle in my con­ceipt of a long time, that men of theyr wisedome, so well furnished with better meanes, should de­scend to that base and vaine devise of inventing and spreading of false Newes in theyr favour; being an odious kind of abusing the world, and such also as in the end comming to be checked with the truth redounds to the deepe disgrace and discredit of the Authors; being accompted no other than the tricke of a bankrupt.

Howbeit finding by experience that this, frequent among them in other places, at Rome aboue all o­ther was a most ordinary practise; from whence du­ring the time of my abode in Italy, beside other lesse memorable, there came first solemne News, that the Patriark of Alexandria with all the Greeke Church of Africa had by theyr Ambassadours sub­mitted and reconciled themselues to the Pope, and recorded from his Holynesse absolution and bene­diction; there being no such matter as I learned af­terward [Page 101] of a Greeke Bishop, who hath particular acquaintance and intelligence with that Patriarch:) An other time that the King of Scotts amongst ma­ny acts worthy of a Christian Prince, had chased a­way the Ministers, yea and executed two of them, confiscating theyr goods and bestowing them up­on the Catholikes: which newes was soone after recalled from the same place: Not long after, that BEZA the Arch-heretike, CALVINS successour, drawing towards his death, had in full Senate at Geneva recanted his Religion, exhorting them if they had care to saue theyr soules to seeke recon­ciliation with the Catholike-Church, and to send for the Iesuites to instruct them, whereupon both himselfe by speciall order from the Pope was ab­solved by the Byshop of Geneva, ere he dyed, and the Citie had sent to Rome an Ambassage of sub­mission: a beginning of which newes it was my chaunce to heare, (as being whispered among the Iesuites,) two moneths ere it brake out; but when it was once advertised so solemnely from Rome, it ran over all Christendome, and in Italy was so verily believed to be true, that there were, as is said, who rode on very purpose to see those Ambassadors of Geneva, yet invisible: And to make up the full measure of that noble policie, I being afterwards at Lyons, and understanding that the Post of Rome there then passing for Spaine, gaue confidently out that he left the Queene of Englands Ambassadours at Rome making great instance for agreement and with his Holynesse, and to haue her re-catholized and absolved; (newes as to me then seemed cut out [Page 102] purposely for Spain, and to consolate theyr favou­rers and afflicted adhaerents:) Finding also by the observation and judgement of some wise men, that the Iesuites are the Masters of that worthy Mint, and that all these Chymicall Coynes are of theyr stamp: yea and that theyr glorious newes of the miraculous proceedings of the Fathers of their So­cietie in converting the Indies are not thought much truer: And lastly perceiving that the doc­trine of all that side in their cases of Conscience, ma­king it lawfull for them to aequivocate with theyr adversaries in their answeres, though given upon theyr oathes whensoever their liues or liberties are touched; yet the Iesuites are noted by some of their owne friends, to be too hardie aequivocators, and their aequivocations too hard: (whereof they giue example, of a Iesuite who instructed a maid-servant in England; that if she were examined whether she knew of any Priest resorting to her Masters-house, shee should sweare if she were put to it, that she knew not of any; which she might do lawfully with this secret entent, that she knew not of any, viz. with purpose to disclose them; though other defend this as a point of allowable wisdome.

All these things considered, it hath made me to mitigate my former imagination, and to deem it not unpossible, that this over-politick & too wise Order may reach a note higher than our grosse conceipts, who thinke honestie the best policie, and truth the only durable armour of proufe; and may find by their refined observations of experience, that newes make their impression upon their first reporting, and [Page 103] that then if they be good, they greatly raise up the spirits, and confirme the minds, especially of the vul­gar, who easily belieue all that their betters tell them; that afterwards when they happen to be con­trolled, mens spirits being cold are not so sensible as before, and either little regard it, or impute it to common error and uncerteintie of things; yea and that the good newes commeth to many mens eares, who never heare of the check it hath. And at least­wise it may serue their turn for some present exploit, as Merchants do by their newes, (whether imita­tours or imitated of these men I know not,) who finding some difficultie in accomodating their af­faires, haue in use to forge letters or otherwise to raise bruits either of some prosperous successe in their Princes actions, (as our men they say at Con­stantinople,) or of some great alteration in some kind of merchandise, (as certein not long since haue done at Paris,) which may serue for that present in­stant to expedite theyr businesse.

Yet surely me thinks these learned Fathers should consider, that though lying be held for a necessarie fault in Merchants, (if any fault be necessarie, which for my part I hold not:) yet can it not be admitted an allowable policie for Divines, being the off­spring of that Arch-enemie of the Deitie and Di­vinitie. And if as a dead Flie doth vitiate a whole boxe of sweet oyntment; so a little folly may blemish greatly a very wise-man, and some false­hood discredit withall the deliverie of much truth: then verily will I be bold to craue leaue at theyr hands, if admiring them in the rest [Page 104] of theyr super-subtill inventions, I arrange this a­mong the poore policies of the Hospitall of the Desperari.

Now these being the weapons wherewith they fight against theyr adversaries, they whetten them by framing an Utter Breach or separation in all religious duties between theyr partie and theyr opposites: not only in such poincts as wherein they dissent, (which is the part of all men that list not to wound theyr owne consciences:) neither yet of all ecclesiasticall duties alone; (which sundry o­ther Churches auncient and moderne haue done and still do, as thinking that the good things which Haereticks retaine, are vitiated by those bad where­with either theyr faiths or functions are stained; though perhaps there be a dram more of Zeale than Charitie in the ingredients of that Canon, unlesse the Haeresie be capitall, and directly opposite to the glorie of God or honour of our Saviour:) but the Church of Rome at this day in theyr more u­suall practise hath so strained that string, as to stretch it out even to all divine duties whatsoever though not Ecclesiasticall, but performed by pri­vate persons and in severall as occasion serues; nei­ther to such onely as the Faith hath revealed unto us Christians; but even those which the light of Nature hath taught all men in the world, yea Pa­gans and Barbarians, as yielding glorie to God, imploring his ayd and favour, rendring him thanks for his benefits; in none of which actions do they willingly joyne with the Protestants; being so though not publikely and universally commanded [Page 105] by the soveraigne Lord and Law of theyr Church, yet counselled (as the effect doth shew) in private by their particular instructors, directors, and Con­fessours. If a Protestant begin to settle him selfe to pray with that prayer which the lips of our Saviour haue sanctified and taught, it is now so polluted by passing thorough his lipps that a Roman Catholike will hardly stay in the roome. If he use that voice which all the creatures of God in theyr severall lan­guages do dayly sound forth and say God be prai­sed, or Glorie to the highest, the Romanist alone is silent, and will not joyne his assent. If at meat he yield thanks unto God for his blessings, be it but with Deo gratias, which was ever in St. AVGVSTINES mouth; though this chase not the Catholike away from his dinner (which were to his losse,) neither make they it simply unlawfull to add his Amen; yet commonly and more willingly he doth for­beare it, where he may securely do so without far­ther offence.

On the contrarie side a Romane Catholike will not easily say Grace, though it be at his owne ta­ble, when a Protestant is present; thinking better to leaue God unserved, than that a Protestant joyne in serving him. Though the custome of giving God thanks at meales is generally among those Catholikes growne clean out of use both in France and Italy for ought I could see; as not know­ing that a Popes pardon is gayned by the use of Grace cupps.

In summe, they are more averse to joyne with the Protestant in doing honour to God, than with [Page 106] the very bruit beasts; if beasts by proper speech could sound forth Gods praise, as the Legends of theyr Saincts in theyr favour doe fancie. Wherein how religiously they haue proceeded for the ampli­fying and advauncing of Gods service, that God doth know: how charitably towards theyr neigh­bours, that themselues doe know: how politikely for the strengthening of theyr owne partie among theyr enemies, that the world may know by these few considerations.

First by this course, they keepe theyr lay-follow­ers in a perpetuall darke ignorance of the Protes­tants faith and religion; having made it an high de­gree of deadly sinne, eyther to read theyr books, or to heare theyr sermons; or to be present at theyr ser­vice, or almost any way to communicate with them in religious duties whatsoever. Wherby what­soever theyr lay-multitude conceiveth of the Refor­med Religiō or of the poincts of doctrin which ther­in are taught, is that onely which the enemies there­of do tell them: who report it according to the dis­tast of theyr owne stomacks, and as may represent it in most odious and hideous forme to the hearers: so that now no more merveile (which experience doth teach) that seldome or never a lay-Roman-Catholike can be found that conceiveth rightly of any almost of the Protestants positions: sith seldom or never was Romane-Priest yet to be shewen, that hath not falsifyed and depraved them utterly in re­porting them. Whereas if those lay-Catholikes should once open theyr eares to know the Protes­tants opinions from them selues that hold them, [Page 107] (which was the use of the old world in theyr ingenu­ous simplicitie and singlenesse of proceeding:) they would not be found eyther so absurd perhaps, but that a reasonable; or so wicked, but that a religious mind might embrace them.

Then secondly, by this meanes they do knit their owne faction more fast together, and unite them more firmely to the head thereof the Pope; sith no service of God but in his communion, and with him no conjunction without utter separation and estran­ging from his enemies. Wheras if his partie should but joyne with the Protestants in such services of God as are allowed by both; this concurring with them in some actions, might abate that utter dis­like which they haue now of theyr whole way: yea and haply taking a liking of them in some things they might be drawne still on by degrees to other, and so finally slip away, or grow cold in theyr first affections. For factions as by disparitie of minds they are raized, so by straungenesse they are conti­nued and grow immortall: whereas contrariwise they are asslaked and made calme by entercourse, by parlie they are reconciled, by familiaritie they are extinguished. A memorable example of the ver­tue of this policie, our owne Country in these lat­ter times hath yielded: where in the first Reforma­tion under King EDVVARD, the Praelates and Cler­gie having before under King HENRY discarded the Pope, did easilie joyne with the Protestants, though not in theyr opinions, yet in the publike ser­vice of God in the Churches, being indifferently composed and offensiue to neither part. And but [Page 108] that the Pope soone after upon extraordinarie cause was restored to his former authoritie by Queene MARY; that faction had in likelihood bene long since ended. But after that the Pope was once a­gaine admitted, and had libertie to temper with his partie at pleasure; in the second Reformation by her Majestie, not a Bishop of his could be perswa­ded to come to our Churches but choosing rather losse of living, and the greatest part also impri­sonment, they layd thereby the foundation of that faction of Recusants, which hath since bene continued by theyr followers unto this day, not­withstanding our service be lesse offensiue to them than in King EDVVARDS time, and in no part opposite to any poinct of theyr beliefe. But so hath it seemed good to theyr politike Governours, by this utter breach and alienation to preserue and perpetuate the remaines of theyr partie; and that in the midst of theyr much more potent adver­saries, though armed with Lawes, quickened with suspicions, yea and exasperated by theyr often dan­gerous practises against them. Now in that they proceed also yet one step farther, and not onely inhibite theyr partie the reading of Protestant­books, and repaire to theyr Churches, but dis­counsell also all joyning with them in any service of God, by whomsoever and how lawfull sort soe­ver performed: thereby doe they engender in them (according to theyr desire) an extreame hatred and bitter detestation of theyr opposites. For if the Protestants by reason of theyr enmitie with the Pope and swarving from his way, doe stand [Page 109] in tearmes of so deepe disfavour with God that theyr Prayer it selfe doth turne into sinne; that theyr humble thanksgivings are abominable prae­sumptions; that to joyne with them in praysing the Creatour of the world is no better than dis-ser­vice to his Majestie, then surely woe worth the houre wherein they were borne, and blessed bee that hand which shall worke their bane and ruine; then no stay or doubt, but what the Pope direc­teth, that boldly to be executed against the enemies of God. And this haue they set up as a Crowne and accomplishment to the rest of theyr practises against theyr adversaries. For now is theyr fac­tion not onely kept on foote and continually maintained without decay: but inflamed also with such hatred of theyr enemies, that they are rea­dy to any violence that opportunitie can aduise.

For as diversities of judgements doth grow into dislikes, and dislikes by opposition doe issue into factions: so hatred in factions, doth breake out into seditions, and attendeth onely advantage to use force against those they hate. Whereas on the contrary side the Protestant being not armed nor quickened up with such stings of hatred as his adversarie, is more cold and carelesse in his opposite desires, and exceedingly inferiour in all strong attempts and practises. But certeinely howsoever in this craftie kind of policie, which hath too much bewitched the witts of this age, and doth too much tyrannize over that auncient true wisedome wherewith the world in fore-times was more happilie governed, [Page 110] these courses may seeme very fine and effectuall for the atchieving of that end whereto they are framed: yet I suppose it would proue very hard to be shewn, how they can stand with the principles and rules of that Religion, whose roote is Truth; whose braun­ches are Charitie; whose fruits are good deeds ex­tending and even offering them selues with cheere­fulnesse unto all men, to the encouraging of friends, and reclayming of enemies, to the mending of the worse, and accomplishing of the better. For if a magnanimous & noble mind in the high vertuous­nesse thereof doe carrie it selfe in all actions with such moderation and measure, as that it neyther hate his enemie so much in regard of his wickednesse, but that it loue whatsoever in him hath resemblance of vertue; neyther yet feare him so much for his mischieuous desirs, as to rage and grow fierce up­on him in his weakenesse; but contenteth itselfe so far forth only to repress him, as may disable him thence forward from doing hurt unto others: how much more may it seeme reasonable, that the heavenly af­fectiō of a Christian, rejoyce for whatsoever goodnes appeares in any man, as finding there some linea­ments of his Creatours Image, detest nothing but impietie and wickednesse, the worlds dishonour; and lastly in the true and serious worshipping of God, do joyne when occasion offers with whatso­ever of his Creatures, with united affections to cheare up his service, where scandall by shew of ap­prouing that which is evill in them doth not hinder? But this world in the basenesse of his mettal, now the last and worst, and in the weakenesse of his old and [Page 111] decayed yeares, laying the ground of all his policie in Feare and Iealousie, issuing from a certeine con­sciousnesse of his owne worthlesnesse and want of vertue; holdeth those courses for the best, which worke with the greatest and most secret advantage against such as eyther are, or in time may become concurrents or enemies; letting passe with some tearmes of formall commendation those auncient more noble wayes, which being derived from the high Governor of both the Worlds, & having their ground on the unmovable principles of true wise­dome and vertue, must needs bee of greater force, both for the upholding of those that hold them, and for the effecting of all theyr worthy and honourable desires, were there a firme mind to pursue them, and a strong arme to wield them; both which to this weake world are wanting. But of these matters sufficient.

It is now time that I come to the view of those meanes which are used by the Papacie for the Ex­cluding of all accesse and sound of the Religion, in those places where theyr power remaineth yet un­abridged. Wherein as in other like cases before I will lightly passe over that which is apparent to all eyes: and that is what service theyr Inquisition doth therein: being in truth the principle and most forcible engine in accomplishing that worke: and such as wheresoever it and the Councell of Trent can be thoroughly planted and established, as in Spaine, and all Italy now saue onely some part per­haps of the Kingdome of Naples, where the tyran­nie of Spaine may be Inquisition sufficient, (as the [Page 112] Inquisition of Spain is also of the two the crueller;) doth rid them of feare and their adversaries of hope, of letting in the Reformation; unlesse perhaps in so me universall deluge of war, when the execution of Lawes and such serches shall be forced to cease. For this Inquisition, as a soveraigne preservatiue, and defectiue of no vertue saue Iustice and Mercy, being committed lightly to the most zealous, in­dustrious, and rigorous Friers that can be found in all places, who leaue no one rule thereof unprac­tised; taking hold of men for the least suspition of Haeresie or of affinitie or connivence with haeresie that may be, as the bare reproving sometimes the liues of theyr Clergie, or the having of any booke or edition prohibited (though yet with some re­gard of the nature and qualitie of persons, seeing many a man makes those actions suspicious, which otherwise would not make the man;) discovering men by the pressing of all mens Consciences, whom they charge under an high degree of mortall sinne and damnation, (being a case reserved, and wherein not any under an Arch-Bishop or Bishop can ab­solue them, as I haue seene in theyr printed instruc­tions at Siena,) to appeach even theyr neerest and dearest friends if they know or but suspect them to be culpable therein: proceeding against the de­tected with such secrecie and severitie, as that first they shall never haue notice of theyr accusers, but shall be urged to reveale theyr very thoughts and affections; Secondly if by long enquirie they bee taken tardy in any one thing delivered in theyr ex­aminations, or can be convicted thereof by any [Page 113] two witnesses of how base or in different qualitie so­ever, without farther reply they are cast and gone; thirdly if nothing fall out to be proued against them yet will they hold them in theyr Holy house diuers yeeres sometimes, in great anguish and misery, for a terrour to other, and for theyr exacter triall; and lastly, besides all theyr tortures and scornes if one be touched the second time, nothing but death with­out remission: this being the diligence, this the violence of theyr Inquisition, it doth so sweepe all quarters and corners where it walketh that as a shee­ring wind it kills all in the bud, no wit nor provisi­on being possible to avoid it. Yea it is such a bridle to the very freedome of mind and libertie of speech, which they of theyr owne way would otherwise use; and is converted in some places to such an instru­ment no lesse of civill than Ecclesiasticall tyrannie: that as Naples and Millane did a while vehemently withstand it and Spaine would with the deerest things they haue redeeme it; so most of theyr most zealous Catholikes elsewhere which would dye per­haps if need so were for theyr Religion, yet abhor the very name & mention of the Inquisition, as be­ing the greatest slavery that ever yet the world hath tasted. And the Venetians themselues could never yet be brought to admit it in other sort, than with cer­tein very favourable exceptiōs for strangers (who are generally also in Italy litle searched into for theyr consciences, by reason of the gain which comes by their repaire, but may passe well enough if they giue no scandall,) and with retaining the soveraigne sway therof in theyr owne hands at all times.

[Page 114]But to let this racke of mens soules thus rest, as an invention fitter for the Religion of ANTIOCHVS and DOMITIAN, or for Mahomets Alcoran, than for the clemencie of his Gospell who was Prince of mildnesse and mercie: It is a wonderfull thing to see what curious order and diligence they use, to suffer nothing to be done or spring up among them selues, which may any way giue sooting to the Re­ligion which they so much hate. And first for the Scriptures; for as much as the Reformation seemes grounded upon them, the Reformers having striven to square it out wholly and onely by that rule, as farre forth as theyr understanding and witts could wade; and for as much as it is a thing which the Romanists deny not, that a great part of their Reli­gion hath other foundation, and would seeme in many poincts to swerue much, yea and plainely to crosse the Scriptures, as an ordinarie reader by his meere naturall wit, not fashioned by their di­stinctions nor directed by their glosses, would ex­pound it: for this cause though heretofore to stop theyr adversaries mouthes, alwayes yolping and crying with hatefull sounds, that they would not let the poore people heare their Creatour speake to them, that they starved and murdred their soules in ignorance robbing them of the bread of life, the voice of Christ, and cramming and choaking them with their emptie superstitions, their poysoned Ido­latry; that the Scriptures would shew them that theyr worshipping of blind Images was a thing de­tested, and even with threats prohibited in the Law of God; theyr praying in unknowne language [Page 115] and by tale plainly reproved; their invocating and vowing to Saincts a matter there never heard of; that their Ceremonies were vanities, their traffike for soules very Sacrilege, their miracles delusions, their Indulgences blasphemies; that it would disco­ver their Church to be a body strangely infected and polluted with all foule and pestilent diseases; and finally that their not-erring and not-controlla­ble Lord of Rome was no other than that impe­rious bewitching Lady of Babilon: though I say as well to beat backe these irksome out-cries of their adversaries, as also to giue some content and satis­faction to their own, that they might not thinke them so terribly afraid of the Bible, they were con­tent to let it be translated by some of their favourers into the vulgar, as also some number of Copies to be saleable a while at the beginning: yet since ha­ving hushed that former clamour, and made better provision for the establishing of their kingdome, they haue called all vulgar Bibles streightly in a­gaine, (yea the very Psalms of DAVID which their famous preacher Bishop PANIGAROLA transla­ted) as doubting else the unavoidablenesse of those former inconveniences.

To let passe those hard conceipts which they breed in the multitude, as touching the inextrica­ble obscuritie of the Scripture, the easinesse to mistake it, the daungerousnesse to erre by it: having raised in some places such base and blasphemous prouerbes concerning it, as for my part I had rather them selues would ex­tinguish them, than that I list to giue them [Page 116] giue them life by recording them in this place. Neyther yet in theyr very sermons, though they preach alwayes in a manner on the Gospell of the day, do they read or any other wayes recite the text; but discourse onely on such poincts of it as they thinke fittest, without more solemnitie; that no sound of Scripture may possesse the people: although the use in Fraunce bee otherwise for that matter: yea some parts of Scripture, as S. PAVLS Epistles, they are so jealous of, and thinke so dangerous, that by report of divers, (for my selfe did not heare it,) some of theyr Iesuites of late in Italy in solemne sermon, and other theyr favorites elsewhere in pri­vate communication, commending betweene them St. PETER for a worthy Spirit, haue censured St. PAVL for a hote headed person, who was transpor­ted so with his pangs of zeale and eagernesse beyond all compasse in sundry his disputes, that there was no great reckoning to bee made of his assertions; yea he was dangerous to read as savouring of haere­sie in some places, and better he had not written of those matters at all. Agreeable to which I haue heard other of theyr Catholikes deliver, that it hath beene heretofore very seriously consulted among them, to haue censured by some meanes and refor­med the writings of St. PAVL: though for my owne part I must professe I can hardly belieue this, as being an attempt too too abominable and blasphe­mous, and for these times also too desperate a scan­dall. But howsoever, he of all other is least behol­den to them: whom of mine owne knowledge and hearing some of them teach in Pulpit not to haue [Page 117] beene secure of his preaching but by conference with St. PETER and other of the Apostles; nor that he durst publish his Epistles till they had al­lowed them. These orders haue they taken to a­void daunger from the written word: advauncing in stead thereof the amplitude; the sufficiencie, and the unfallible certeintie of Gods Oracles and word not written, but delivered to the custodie of his holy Church by speech onely: which Church hath now fully also delivered her mind in the late Councell of Trent; whereto all that are solemnely doctored in Italy must subscribe.

And as in the foundation of the Reformation which is the Scripture, so much more in the aedi­fice it selfe the Doctrine and Opinions, they beat away all sound and Eccho of them: being not lawfull there to alleage them, no not to glaunce at them; not to argue and dispute of them, no not to refute them. In ordinary communication to talke of matter of religion, is odious and suspicious: but to enter into any reasoning though but for argu­ment-sake without other scandall is prohibited and dangerous. Yea it was once my fortune to be halfe threatned for no other faul [...] [...]han for deba­ting with a Iew and upholding the truth of Chri­stianitie against him: so unlawfull are all dis­putes of Religion what soever. And their Friers even in Fraunce in their endeavors to convert others, will say it is lawfull to perswade them, but not so to dis­pute with them. But in Italy this is much more exactly observed: where in theyr Divinitie disputations in theyr Vniversities or Colleges, (as [Page 118] some such disputations they haue, but very sleight and unfrequent;) I could not perceiue that they e­ver debated any question at this day controuersed, otherwise than (as ever) among them selues and between theyr Schoole-men. And which was more straunge to me till I sounded the reason, in no place of Italy where ever I came, could I heare any of theyr Preachers treat of any poinct in question be­tween them and the Protestants, saue only at Padova; where, in respect there are alwayes divers hundreds of straungers of the adverse partie, it is otherwise practised, and I ween advised.

But in all other places for ought I could per­ceiue, eyther they mention now no adversaries; or if they do, which is very seldome, yet do they not unfold theyr opinions and arguments, but ey­ther frame other Chimaera's of their owne in steed of them, and so flourish about or two in canvassing theyr own shadowes, as is usuall in Fraunce also; or else dispatch them away with certein generall reproaches, and then (as I haue heard some of them) will formally conclude; but what do I name Haeretikes in an assembly of Catholikes? Howbeit they are not so forgetfull and care­lesse of theyr good crosse neighbours, as this course might seeme at the first blush to import: but those offices they do, they do them to the best purpose; teaching the people some times in pul­pit, but much more in private conferences and in theyr confessions, that the Lutherans and Cal­venists are blaspemers of God and all his Saincts, [Page 119] and aboue all other that they despise and vilifie our Lady, saying plainly she was no better than one of theyr owne wiues; that they abolish the Church-Sacraments, the only meanes of salvation; that where-ever they come, they eyther raze or rob Churches, and make stables of them; that there is no kind of villany which is not currant among them; that in England they haue neyther Chur­ches nor form of Religion, nor serue God any way; that the English-Nation since theyr falling away from the Church is growne so barbarous that theyr souldiers are very Canniballs, and eat young children. But that aboue all other places Geneva is a very professed Sanctuarie of roguerie, giving harbour to all the runnagates, traitors, rebels, and wicked persons of all other Countries. By which speach very generally in Italy spred and believed, some memorable accidents haue at some times happened. Sundry of theyr prigging and loose Friers, hearing of Geneva to be such an only place of good fellowship, and thinking the lewder pranks they playd with theyr own ere they came thither, to find the better welcome at theyr com­ming; haue robbed their Convents of theyr Church-plate and Repositories, and brought away the bootie in triumph to Geneva, under the chaungeable colours of reformed Religion: where theyr advauncement hath bene streight to the Gibet for theyr labour: a reward much unex­pected; and such as caused them to complaine pitifully of theyr wrong information; For such is the extraordinarie severitie of that Citie [Page 120] as to punish crimes committed without their state, with no whit lesse rigour than as if they had bene done within it. And not many yeares since it was the lott of a Spanish gallant, who stood upon his state and caried a mint about him, to repaire thi­ther to haue stamps made him for the coyning of Pistolets. His defence was that he understood their Citie was free, and gaue receipt to all offenders. It was told him that it was true, that they received all offenders, but withall when they were come, they punished theyr offences. A distinction which the good Gentleman had never before studied; and the learning of it then cost him no lesse than his head-piece.

And as by these kind of sclaunders, so also the more to harden mens minds against them, they will tell of straunge miracles that haue befallen them. A Poinct wherewith the Pulpits of Fraunce also do ring dayly: where in the siege of Paris they were growne to that audaciousnesse, as to perswade the people there, who generally believed it, that the thunder of the Popes excommunications had so blasted the Haeretiks, that theyr faces were growne black and ougly as Divels, theyr Eys and looks ghastly, their breaths noysome and pestilent. Much like to one of the Servi di Madonna at Bolonia, whom I heard in Pulpit among a multitude of mo­derne miracles, which had fallen out to their punish­ment who were excommunicated, (the continuing wherin a yeere, without seeking absolution, incurre suspition of Haeresie;) tell this also of an haereticall gentleman of Polonia: who talking at a solemne [Page 121] dinner against the Pope, the bread on his trencher grew black as inke, and upon his repentance and conversion returned to his former whitenesse. A thing happ'ned but lately and reported by the Po­lonish Ambassadour to a Cardinall, by the Cardi­nall to a Bishop, by the Bishop to this Frier: An imitation perhaps of that renowmed miracle of ea­ting tables for hunger, threatned by that winged Prophetesse, with like deduction of credit;

Quae Phoebo pater omnipotens, mihi Phoebus Apollo.
Praedixit, vobis Furiarum ego maxima pando.

And these things are in steed of refuting the Protes­tants Religion: which are not in vaine.

For the vulgar sort, who belieue, as they say, in God and the Pope thinke all to be Gospell that their Friers tell them. And I haue heard some con­jecture at others to be Lutherans, onely by reason they were so monstrous blasphemers as they were. But all are not of that stamp: those gentlemen and other who haue travailed abroad; and those also at home that are not passionatly blind, but discreet and inquisitiue of the truth of all things; howsoever dissenting from them, yet haue no such hard con­ceipt of the Protestants opinions or actions. But the most straunge thing as to me it seemed of all other, is that those principall writers who haue employed themselues wholly in refuting frō point to point the Protestants doctrine & argumēts, are so rare in Italy as by ordinary enquirie, I belieue not to be found.

The Controversies of Cardinall BELLARMINE I sought for in Venice in all places. Neither that nor GREGORIE of Valenza, nor any of such qua­litie [Page 122] could I ever in any shop of Italy set eye on: but in steed of them an infinite of meere invectiues and declamations. Which made me entertein this suspicious conjecture, that it might be their care that no part of the Protestants positions and allega­tions should be knowne they were so exact, as to make diseurrent in some sort even those very books, which were constreined to recite them, that they might refute them, in such wise as not to suffer them to be commonly salable, but only to such or in such places as the superiours should thinke meet. But the truth of this conjecture I leaue to farther enquirie.

The conclusion is this: no sound of the refor­med Religion, eyther stirring in Italy, or by any hu­maine wit now possible to bee raised. For to bring in from forrein places any haereticall writing, though it were without malice, were two yeers streight imprisonment as they say, if he so escaped. So farre are they from their aduersaries, either sim­plicitie, if their cause be bad; or honestie if good: who not onely in most of their replies print both together, to giue meanes of indifferencie in judge­ing to the reader; but euen permit their aduersaries yet unanswered disputes to runne current among them, so they be in the latine, and not purposely written, as some are, to misdraw the multitude. It remaineth now to restraine the Italians from going abroad to forreine Country's, where those conta­gious sounds and sights might infect them. Herein the nature of the Italian doth supply: who wonders at us Englishmen that come traueiling so far thither▪ [Page 123] him selfe hauing no humour to stir one foot abroad; and indeed little needing, considering how all Na­tions of Christendome do flock to him. But not so for Merchants: these flye abroad in exceeding abundance to all places, and in wealth where-ever they come over-top all other; such is theyr skill, theyr witt, theyr industrie, theyr parsimonie. Be­hold then this Popes late exploit also for that poinct. He hath by his printed Bull under paine of excommunication forbidden them all repaire for traffike to haereticall countries: Whereupon some as I heare are retired from England, and other in other places are said to haue importuned and obtei­ned some out-Chappell to haue their Masse in. Thus hath every gap his bush, each suspition his prevention.

One thing only remaineth as a garland to all the rest. It were an hard state and a tyrannicall, where the Superiours should assume to them selues all li­cence of doing, and not permit to the inferiours at least-wise libertie of speaking: which is but a slen­der revenge. For so great a wrong as ill govern­ment; yet such as by giving vent to the boyling fumes of hatred, doth evaporate and asslake that heat, which otherwise would flame out into furic and mischiefe. For which cause the wisest men haue bene always best pleased, that loosers should haue their words▪ and they who haue endevoured to bridle mens tongues by sharp laws, whom they ra­ther should haue charmed, and held in tune by their own integritie, haue learned that things violent are seldome permanent, and that the enjoyning of too [Page 124] much patience makes men breake into madnesse. Yea I haue heard men of great experience and judg­ment say, that the best way to reconcile the Coun­try enmities is to let the good men chide a while hartily together; and their stomacks being once dis­gorged a peaceable motion wil find good audience: so necessarie are these evaporations to the minds of the multitude▪ which may serue for some justifica­tion of the wisdome of the Papacie in those former free times, when they did, and other said, what each humour advized. But little was it then feared which since hath followed. Little was it imagined, that the time should come, when the world awake­ned by the cries of a Frier, should looke about so broadly, and search so narrowly all the plaits and hidden corners of the Papacie, what their doctrine had bene, what their liues, what their scopes, and what their practises. Not so many of the conse­crated divine Patrons of the Romane state, with thousands of prayers and vowes daily adored; nor so many of theyr enshrined and miracle-working Images, to whom such store of lampes and pure candles were dayly burning; so much incense per­fumed, so long and toylsome Pilgrimages perfor­med, such abundance of gifts and glad offe­rings presented; on whom lastly so many, so devout, so humble both bowed knees, and hung-downe heads, and beaten breasts, and life uppe eyes attended; did ever fore-tell so notable a calamitie.

It was not then thought that there would arise a generation, who would alleage in good ernest, [Page 125] that divers hundred of yeeres since, as also more freshly, sundry of theyr owne Authours and [...]ol­lowers had in bitter detestation of theyr own mon­strous abominations described out the Pope for the Antichrist fore-prophecied; called Rome the Uery Babylon and temple of Heresies, the corrupter of the World, the hate of Heaven, and in effect the high-way and very gate of Hell: that the liues of theyr Praelates, Priests, Friers, and Nunnes, not for some particular of­fences, which will always befall, but for their ordi­nary tenour and course of conversation, had bene so reported by men of theyr owne Religion, that an honest adversarie can not read them without sorrow, nor a modest without shame and blushing: that the iniquity of their chiefe Sea hath beene so exorbitant, as to haue raised amidst them selues this proverbe or saying among many other con­cerning it, recorded in theyr owne bookes, that the worst Christians of Italy are the Ro­manes, of the Romanes the Priests are wickedest, the lewdest Priests are pre­ferred to be Cardinalls, and the baddest man among the Cardinalls is chosen to be Pope. Neyther was it the [...] fore-s [...]ene, that the world entring into these considerations, would thinke that they had reason which called for a Reformation; and that it was not a fatall calamitie of this age, but a supernaturall bles­sing of God from aboue, after the kindling of many precursorie lights of knowledge and furnishing other instruments to doe seruice therein, [Page 126] to direct a meere accident of scandall on their part, namely the undiscreet proclaiming and sale of their pardons, as the wisest and worthiest of their owne Historiographers reporteth it, to the provoking of certe in men of more zeale and courage, than poli­cie or skill, in conducting their actions; who with­out any such praemeditated intent, yea and drawne into the lists, and held in them against their will, by the violent pressing and insulting of their adver­saries; having bene forced to sift thoroughly the Romish doctrine and practise, haue discovered therein those er [...]ours and abuses, which it was high time to be purged and swept out of the Church: and that the establishing of this Reformation how unperfect soever, to be done by so weake and sim­ple means, yea by casuall and crosse means, against the force of so puissant and politike an adversarie, is that miracle which in these times wee are to look for; wherein it pleaseth God, whose goodnesse all times do speake out; to renowm his high wisdome in guiding this untoward world by ordinary cour­ses; as in fore-times his power, by admiring therin his often extraordinarie wonders. But the Papacie at this day taught by wofull experience, what dam­mage this licence of writing among them selues hath done them; and that their speeches are not only weapons in the hands of their adversaries, but ey sores and stumbling blocks also to their remai­ning friends: under shew of Purging the world from the infection of all wicked and corrupt Bookes and passages which are either against Re­ligion or against honestie and good manners, for [Page 127] which two purposes they haue their severall offi­cers, who indeed do blot out much impiousnesse and filth, and therein will deserue both to be com­mended and imitated, (whereto the Venetians add also a third, to let nothing passe that may be justly offensiue to Princes;) haue in truth withall pared and lopt of whatsoever in a manner their watchfull eys could obserue eyther free in disclosing their a­buses and corruptions, or sawcie in construing their drifts and practises, or dishonourable to the Cler­gie, or undutifull to the Papacie. These editions only authorized, all other are disallowed, called-in, consumed; with threats to whomsoever shall pre­sume to keep them: that no speech, no writing, no evidence of times past, no discourse of things pre­sent, in sum nothing whatsoever may sound ought but holinesse, honour, puritie, integritie to the un­spotted spouse of CHRIST, and to his un-erring Vicar; to the Meistresse of Churches, to the Father of Princes. But as it falleth out now and then, that wisdome and good Fortune are to the ruine of them that too much follow them; by drawing men some­time, upon a praesumption of theyr wit and cunning in contriuements, and of their good successe withall in one attempt, to adventure upon an other still, of yet more subtill invention, and more dangerous ex­ecution; which doth breake in the end with the very finenesse it selfe, and over-whelme them with the difficulties: So it is to be thought, that their prosperous successe in pruning and pluming those latter writers, effected with good ease and no very great clamour, as having some reason, and doing [Page 128] really some good; was it that did breed in them an higher conceipt, that it was possible to worke the like conclusion in writers of elder times, yea in the Fathers them selues, and in all other monuments of reverend Antiquitie: and the opinion of possibilitie redoubling their desire, brought forth in fine those Indices expurgatorij, whereof I suppose they are now not a little ashamed, they having by misfor­tune light into theyr adversaries hands, from whom they desired by all meanes to conceale them, where they remaine as a monument to the judgement of the world of their everlasting reproach and ignomi­nie. These purging Indices are of divers sorts: some worke not aboue eight hundred yeers up­ward: other venture much higher even to the prime of the Church▪ the effect is that for-as-much-as there were so many passages in the Fathers and other auncient Ecclesiasticall writers, which theyr adversaries producing in averment of their opini­ons, they were not able but by tricks and shifts of witt to reply to; to ease them selues hence-forth in great part of that wit-labour; (a qualitie indeed perhaps more commendable in some other trade, than in Di [...]initie where veritie should only sway, where the loue of the truth should subject or extin­guish wholly all other passions, and the eye of the mind fixed attentiuely upon that object should dis­turne from the regarding of other motiues whatso­ever:) some assemblies of their Divines, with con­sent no doubt of their redoubted Superiours and Soveraignes, haue delivered expresse order, that in the impressions of those Authours which hereafter [Page 129] should be made, the scandalous places there named should be cleane left out: which perhaps though in this present age would haue smally preuailed to the reclaiming of theyr adversaries yet would haue bene great assurance for the retaining of their owne, to whom no other bookes must haue beene graunted. Yea and perhaps time and industrie, which eate even thorough marbles, extinguishing or getting into their hands all former editions, and for any new to be set out by their adversaries there is no great feare; whose bookes beeing discurrent in all Catholike Countries, their want of meanes requisite to utter an impression; would disharten them from the charge: the mouth also antiquity should be thoroughly shut up from uttering any syllable or sound against them. Then lastly by adding words where opportunity & pretence might serue, and by drawing in the margi­nall notes and glosses of their Friers into the text of the Fathers, as in some of them they haue already ve­ry handsomly begun, the mouth of Antiquity should be also opened for them. There remained then only the rectifying of St. PAVL, (whose turne in all likely­hood if ever should be the next,) and other places of Scripture, whose authoritie beeing set beneath the Churches already, it were no such great matter to submit it also to her gentle and moderate Censures; especially for so good an intent as the weeding out of Haeresies and the preserving of the Faith-Catho­like in her puritie and glorie. But aboue all o­ther the second Commandement, (as the Protes­tants, Graecians and Iewes reckon it,) were like to abide it: which already in their vulgar Catechisms [Page 130] is discarded as words superfluous, or at least wise as unfit or unnecessary for these times. And then with­out an Angell sent downe from Heaven, no means to controll or gain-say them in any thing. But these are but the dreams perhaps of some over-passionate desires, at least wise not likely to take place in our times. But what is it which the opinions of the not possibilitie of erring, of the necessary assistance of Gods Spirit in their Consistories, of authoritie un­limited, of power both to dispense with Gods Law in this world, and to alter his arrests and judgements in the other, (for thereunto do theyr pardons to them in Purgatorie extend:) what is it which these so high and so fertill opinions are not able to engen­der, and do not powerfully enforce to execute? carrying men away head-long with this raging con­ceipt that whatsoever they do by the Popes they do by Gods owne commaundment, whose Lieutenant hee is on Earth by a Commission of his owne pen­ning, that is to say with absolute and unrestrained jurisdiction; that whatsoever they do for advance­ment of his Sea and Scepter, they do it for the up­holding of the Church of CHRIST, and for the salvation of mens Soules, which out of his obedi­ence do undoubtedly perish. And verily it seemes no ca [...]sl [...]sse doubt or feare, that these humours and faces, so forward, so adventurous, to alter and chastise with palpable partialitie, the works of for­mer times in an age which hath so many jealous eyes on theyr fingers, so many mouths open to publish theyr shame, such store of Copies to restore and repaire whatsoever they should pre­sume [Page 131] to maime or depraue: that in former a­ges, when there were few Copies, small difficul­ties, no enemies; as it is found by certein and irrefragable arguments, that many bastard-wri­tings were forged in theyr favour, and fathered on honest men who never begat them; So also they might beside other their choppings and changings, puttings in and puttings out, suppresse many good and auncient evidences, which they perceived were not greatly for theyr purpose to be extant. But of all other in reforming and purifying of authours, the care and diligence of this Pope doth farre ex­ceed: who not content with that which hath bene done in that kind before him, nor thinking things yet so bright as they should be, causeth much to be pervsed and scoured over a-new: yea and it is thought will cashiere some worthy authours, who as yet though with cutts and gashes hold ranke a­mong them. And for a farther terrour not to retein books prohibited; I haue seene in theyr printed in­structions for Confession, the having or reading of books forbidden set in ranke amongst the sinnes a­gainst the first Commaundment. And for farther provision, The Iewes (who haue generally not any other trades than friperie and usurie, loane of money and old stuffe,) are inhibited in many places the medling any more with bookes, for feare least through errour or desire of lucre they might do them praejudice. Neither is it lawfull in Italy to carrie bookes about from one place to an other, without allowance of them from the Inquisitours or search by theyr authorities. [Page 132] Wherein as I confesse they haue neglected no­thing, which the wit of man in this kind could possibly devise: so yet may it be doubted, that as too much wiping doth in the end draw blood with it; and soile more then before; so this too rigorous cutting of all Authors tongu's lea­ving nothing which may favour any freedome of spirit, or giue any satisfaction for understanding times past; may raise such a longing for the right Authors in the minds of all men, as may encou­rage the Protestants to reprint them in theyr first [...]nti [...]enesse, hauing hope given to vent them al­though in secret. These haue I observed for the complotts and practises of the Roman-Church and Papacie, not doubting but they may haue ma­ny more and much finer than I can dreame of: and yet in the surveying of these altogether, me thinke they are such and so essentiall in theyr proofe that it causeth me in generality of good desire so to wish, that eyther the cause which they striue to maintein were better, or theyr policies whereby they main­teine it were not so good.

Now to take a briefe view of the Present State of the Papacy or rather of some poincts therein more requisite to bee knowne: first to consider it in his owne proper and Peculiar Dominions, namely in the Signories and Territories which the Pope holds in Italy; for as for Avignon with his Countie Ueni [...]ll [...]ne in France, by reason of the ill neighbourhood of the Protestants of O­range, it hath yielded him I weene in these latter times no great matter; yea rather it hath beene [Page 133] an over-charge unto him; for which cause they like well to bee under the Pope, as bringing more in to them, than hee taketh from them:) I take it at this day, of the foure great States of Italy, by reason of the accesse of the Dukedome of Fer­rara escheted to him of late, to bee clearely the third at least and to surmount the great Dukes, which it hath well-nigh surrounded also. Yea question might be made concerning the second place. For although the Venetians in amplitude of Terriitorie farre, and in greatnesse of revenew not a little ex­ceed it: Yet beside other difficulties and charges of necessitie to which they are more subject; in mi­litarie force they greatly come short; the Popes men retaining still the braue hearts of theyr aun­cestours, and breeding among them plentie of able leaders, (whereof at this present both the great Duke and the Venetians do serue themselues;) whereas the Lombards, wherein is the flower of the State of Venice are as heavy and unwarlike, as theyr soile is diepe and fat; insomuch that the Ve­netians are driven to seeke abroad and especially to the Grisons, from whom they are [...]o haue at all times ten thousand at call. But on the contrary side being to be alleaged, that the Venetians are by sea puissant, where the Pope can do nothing; I suppose they may stil hold the second place of greatnes: the first even in Italy without other respect, being incompa [...]ably due unto the Spanish mightinesse. And this in possessiō. Besides which all Italy holding partly of the Pope & partly of the Empire, (saue the Sign: of Venice, who acknowledge no Lord,) of the Pope, the kingdomes [Page 134] of Naples and Sci [...]ily with theyr dependants, the Dukedomes of Parma and Placentia, and Vrbin, besides other lesse quillets of these the Duchie of Vrbin (no great thing, but full of stout men, and of some hundred thousand crownes revenew,) is in great possibilitie to devolue to the Church ere long; the Duke being in yeeres and without heyres; though as now vnmarried, by his old wiues de­cease of late? but the Iesuites labour hard that hee so remaine perswading him that Biganne is not so acceptable an estate to God. There is also possi­bilitie of the escheting of Parma and Placentia, there being but the young Duke▪ (who remaineth still unmarried, being withstood, as is thought, in his long loue at Florence, both by Spaine of old, and now by the Pope also, besides the great Dukes not hastinesse to forge his Neeces portion;) and the Cardinall FARNESI his Brother, who in that case I belieue should find as difficult a suit at Rome for dispensation to marry; as the Duke of Ferrara did before him for a transport of his tenure. Of Naples I can say nothing eyther of probabilitie or possibilitie, as things now stand. Onely it is apparent that the Popes haue a very great desire unto it, and opinion of good title also even in pre­sent. But the unfortunate successe and fearefull example of Pope SIXTVS QVINTVS hath given a fresh stop and great checke both to theyr desire and title. This SIXTVS QVINTVS hauing of a simple Frier beene advanced to the Papacie by the [...]avour of Spaine onely, which of long he had ser­ved; fore-seeing very plainely in his changed dis­courses [Page 135] the inevitable bondage, which together with all Italy the very Apostolike Sea and Lady-Church of the world was in short time to fall into, if the greatnesse of his preferrour did grow as it began; whose irreligious enchroachments upon the Church-rights, whose tyrannous importuning them to serue his turnes and humours, whose bra­vadoes, threats, insolencies, and lording over them his eyes did see dayly and could not remedie; constrained by these eminent daungers and present indignities, adventured to reviue and harbour in his mind the afflicted and forsaken thoughts of PAVLVS QVARTVS his praedecessor, and to em­brace a desseigne of chasing the Spaniards out of Italy, and especially of recovering the Realme of Naples to the Church, which hath now but a quit rent of foure thousand Crownes out of it, (sent to them vpon an Hackney) being [...] the richest platts that is in the world. For [...]ffec­ting of which purpose by inha [...]sing [...]s all commodities after the example o [...] [...] Prin­ces and States and his neighbours [...]y other devises together with good m [...]n [...]g [...]n [...], in short time he raysed fiue Millions of Tre [...]ure, a good ground of warre, and moreover after the example of the same PAVLVS QVARTVS, who brought into very Rome it selfe two thousand Alman Lu­therans to oppose against the Duke of A [...]a King PHILIPS Generall in Italy, yea and was content to endure quietly those abuses and despi [...]es which they dayly offered to his Images and Sacrament and sun [...]y other devotions, as remaineth in a re­port [Page 136] of credit not to except against; so this SIX­TVS began couertly to seeke strength from the Pro­testants propending more to favour this French Kings labours, yea and desiring to enterteine good correspondence with England also, as was strong­ly suspected, commending her Majesties governe­ment aboue all Princes in the world. By which meanes and endeavours he drew upon him so great feare and hatred of the Spanish partie, and espe­cially of the Iesuites, (from whom also as being too rich for vowers of povertie he tooke away at one clap aboue tenne thousand Crownes rent, and be­stowed on St. PETER, as I haue heard reported;) that they styled him a Navarrist, a Schismaticke, and Haereticke, an Allie of the Divels, yea and protested they would farther proceed against him: and at this day they ordinarily giue out in Italy, that the Divell with whom hee had intelligence came and fetcht him away, being in truth one of the [...]thiest Popes this age hath seene, and of a [...]ind most possessed with high and honou­rable enterprises. But the unprosperous event as I said of this project for the uniting of Naples againe to the Papacie, and his precipitated ruine who da­red to advance it; having beene poysoned by Spa­nish practise, as the wisest there say; (and while my selfe was in Italy, a Priest one of the Popes subjects reported in secret, that there was lately a supplication put up to his Holinesse by a person unknowne, craving absolution at his hands for making away of a Pope, which was thought could bee no other than this SIXTVS) doth deter them [Page 137] that come after from embarking them selues in the like, and from imitating his actions whose end they haue cause to tremble at.

So Naples remaineth in his view that hath most right to it; but in his hands and armes that is stron­gest to hold it: And is like so to continue till some stout Pope assisted with greater aydes and oppor­tunities, shall adventure to send backe that Spa­nish Hackney with a great Horse after him, as the Frier advised. And this for the Popes temporall State: which may yield him perhaps two millions of yearly revenew, by reason of the great encrease Ferrar [...] hath brought; and be able to make at home for their owne defence some hundred thousand figh­ting men or thereabout if need were.

Besides which rent arising from the Popes patri­monie and state at home, that which hee sucketh from Forain parts is not small even at this day; though nothing perhaps in comparison of those for­mer [...]ch times, when money came in dayly so flush from all quarters, that their temporall, of which now they make theyr principall, was then but an accessorie additament to theyr greatnesse. For among many other blowes which LVTHER with his long pen hath given that Sea, it hath compel­led them besides the entire losse in Countries revol­ted; even in those which stick to them, to draw more moderatly than before, for feare of offending. Yea they haue bene driven also in these latter times, to share or yield up into the hands of great Princes (of Fraunce namely and Spaine,) for the better as­suring them, a great part of those Fleeces which [Page 139] them selues wont to sheere from the Clergie here­tofore without any such partners. Howbeit in I­taly and some other few places, theyr Annates and tenths doe still runne current; besides the Spo­glie as they tearme them or strippings of Clergie­men at theyr deaths, unlesse in theyr life-time by yeerely pension they list to redeeme them:) and a­mount no doubt unto a good round summe. His gaine out of Spaine is thought matchable very neere to that of Italy: which the Kings thereof doe and will more contentedly endure for the better assuring of the Papacie to them; which otherwise were like­ly to runne mainely with Fraunce. I would not re­port it but that I haue it from good place that PI­VS QVINTVS under pretences after the Councell of Trent for visiting and reforming of theyr Cler­gie, with other Papall affaires was complained of to the Councell of Spaine to haue drawne four­teene millions from them out of that Kingdome. What gaine theyr pardons bring I cannot well e­stimate; they beeing not sold now to particular persons after theyr former usage saue in Spaine and those out-appurtenances; where also the late King himselfe was said to haue the greatest share, and in regard thereof to haue enterposed his Regall au­thoritie in pressing theyr sale upon all his people. It is to be presumed that such a multitude of gene­rall perpetuall and plenarie indulgences, for all times persons and offences, besides other more li­mited, as are graunted to the greatest part of the religious houses, and to some other Churches of I­taly, and to sundry in Fraunce also; yield somewhat [Page 138] to the holy-Father in way of thankefull acknowledg­ment, considering their gaine by them is not no­thing.

The Cordeliers at Orleans at the publishing of one Indulgence, picked up as they say there foure thousand Crownes at a blow▪ But howsoever the mysterie of that secret stand, this is plaine and apparent, that the Papacie is content to use these Re­ligious houses, as very spunges to drinke what juyce they can from the people, that afterwards hee may w [...]ing them out one by one in his owne Convents. The Convents haue from him these indulgences of grace to remit sinnes and free soules from the flames of Purgatorie; at the anniversarie publishing where­of in theyr Churches, there stands in eminent place the box of devotion, with some poore begging Crucifix lightly before it, and two tapers on each side to see the chinke to put money in. What man can bee so vnthankefull, so stony and dry hearted, as to giue nothing to them who haue forgiuen them so much: especially there ne­ver wanting some holy pretence to encourage nor many a deere eye to obserue theyr good doings▪ Be­sides this the Pilgrimages to theyr miraculous ima­ges; (which draw great commoditie to the Cities also and States, wherein the people not ignorant thereof helpe to set them a working; a consideration that bringeth contentment therewith no lesse to the Princes, so sweet is the tast of gaine from whatsoever:) the visiting of theyr holy Reliques; both which haue theyr offrings: the purchasing of Masses both auxiliatorie and expiatorie: theyr [Page 140] rewards for praying, theyr collections for prea­ching, besides sundry other duties; among which theyr Obits; which are so beneficiall, that theyr ac­compt is from a rich man to draw Vijs & Modis some hundred crownes at his funerall, or else it goes hard. Yea this is so certeine and so good a rent un­to them, that if any man of sort should be buried without theyr solemnities, and some of theyr or­ders to accompany his course; he should be thought a very Haeretike, and bee sure to haue some odde bruit set abroach concerning him. As fell out not long since to a wealthy Citizen of Lucca: who willing by his Testament to bee buried in the night without theyr attending, tapering, censing or sin­ging: had a rumour of him soone spread by the belly-devout Friers, whom hunger and losse of hope had made wickedly irefull, that hee was haunted and infested with blacke ratts on his death-bed. A matter of like truth to the Cordeli­ers spirit at Orleans. These meanes extraordina­rie, besides theyr ordinarie revenew, increasing often by inheritances descending upon them, which happ'ning to any of theyr brotherhood goe to the Convent for ever, (such is the Law of Italy;) be­ing graunted or permitted by the Pope to the Fri­ers and all to enrich them; the Law of thankeful­nesse requires, reason and aequitie allowes, and theyr vow of povertie adviseth, that when they grow too rich, his Holinesse should let them blood in theyr overfull-veynes for his owne necessarie susteinance, as did SIXTVS QVINTVS; who pared away the superfluities of sundry rich Con­vents, [Page 141] as fitter for his high State and honourable desseines than for them who had povertie in recom­mendation. This Pope dealeth more gently by way of loanes: which may perhaps in the end come all to one [...]: Besides which when warre against Turkes or Haeretikes, or any other ene­mies of the Church or any other great affaire re­quires employment of the Church-treasure: there are taxes and subsi [...]ies imposed or requested to a certeine proportion, upon the revenew of all Ab­beys and other religious Convents in Italy, besides the rest of the Clergie, which can be no small mat­ter: as was done these last yeeres for the service of Hungarie. I might adde hereto the roll of his for­reine Commodities, the fees of dispensations, chiefly in prohibited degrees for marriage: There beeing few royall families at this day in Christen­dome, which by reason of theyr often alliances and neerenesse in bloud, are able by his Canons to enter-mary without his Licence. Which fashion of restraining of things lawfull upon shew of vertue, that afterwards by dispensing even with unlawfull things they may raise theyr benefit, is the base brood of the mixture of hypocrisie and coveteous­nesse, borne to the common calamitie and pressure of them, for whose ease and [...]c [...]ie all g [...] ­ment was instituted. But by those and [...] other dispensations and expedi [...]ions, his Papa [...] Authoritie doth accomodate and is accomodated [...]lly of all Nations; the particularities whereof I [...] not farther insist upon, this being sufficient to v [...]fie this assertion, that even at this day those out-incomes are [Page 142] good helps for an extraordinarie od-chare, when need is. And yet all this notwithstanding the trea­sure of the Church is small. SIXTVS QVINTVS left fiue Millions by his great racking and husbandrie. His successor GREGORIE the Xiiij.th wasted foure of them in ten moneths and lesse, (aboue his ordi­nary revenew,) in pomp and ryot. This man is very charie over that one remaining, and distilleth all o­ther devises rather than set finger to that string; which yet his late prowesses haue caused him to assay. But were the Church rent and gain how huge soever, two assi [...]uall horse- [...]eeches which never lin sucking it, will never suffer it to swell over-greatly in treasure. The first is the high place of honour which he takes farre aboue all other Princes and Monarchs in the world: which draweth him to an inaestima­ble charge in all places, to carie it with countenance and comlinesse requisite; being forced thereby in his owne traine; in the enterteinment he giues Prin­ces; in the allowance to his Legats, Nun [...]io's and other Ministers, which according to his owne great­nesse are sent into all Countries; and lastly in furni­shing out to the multitude of his actions and prac­tises over the world; to raise his charge for the most part according to the proportion of his high state. For honour and frugalitie are the unfittest companions that can be. It is liberalitie and ex­pence which both breeds and mainteins honour. Neyther can a judiciall man perhaps wish worse to his enemie than to haue an honourable cal­ling and a poore living.

An other thing which keepes the Papacie al­wayes [Page 143] so bare, yea and makes their temporall state the worse governed in Italy, for so it is compted; is in their often change of Popes by reason of their yeeres, the infinit desire each hath to advance his kinred; his Children first if he haue any, as PAVLVS tertius, who left his base issue no lesse than Dukes of Placentia and Parma; and GREGORIE the Xiij.th more lately, who made his base sonne Duke of Sora and Castellan of St. Angelo: and if they haue no Children, or list not be knowne of them, then theyr Nephewes and other kinsmen which is common to them all. Yea it often falls out, that those Popes who haue not any known children of theyr own; by extending their loue larger to a grea­ter multitude of Nephews, yet desiring for theyr owne renowme and perpetuating of theyr name to raise them to as great State and wealth as they can possibly; do consume more the goods and treasure of the Church, than those other who haue theyr loues, though stronger, yet to fewer: as was appar [...]nt in the two GREGORIES, the Xiij.th with his few Sonnes, and the Xiij.th with the multitude of his Nephews and kinsmen. And these m [...]n being raised often from the bot­tome of basenesse to the heighth of pride and power; having no hold in theyr hands nor scantling of theyr fortunes, as having never beene in the middle state, which is the mea­sure of both extreames, doe fall into ryot a­ble to ruine any Prince; and rage and ravine in theyr Offices and governments, as they that knowing theyr time short meane to use it [Page 144] to the full proofe, the examples whereof are both many and fresh, which for theyr foulnesse and base­nesse I list not to repeat. For which cause it was a good helpe for SIXTVS QVINTVS to bee Pope, that hee had small kinred: though that ground is moueable; seeing Pedegrees change for the most part together with mens fortunes; which as a con­scionable A [...]bitratour, neyther annoyes the poore ever with multitude of kin [...]men, nor discomforts the rich with pa [...]citie.

For the [...] of the rest of the Clergie under the Pa [...], it [...] as the Countries. In Spaine the [...] are exceeding rich in revenew: the Are [...] of Tol [...]edo not inferiour to some Kingdo [...]. In Italy the livings of the Praelates are comp [...], considering the excessi [...]e multi­tude: Yet with so great diversitie, that some meere Bishop [...]icks, are aboue twenty thousand Crownes rent, & other some under one thousand. But the cus­tome of Italy which avoydeth yea & blameth multi­tude of servants and great house-keeping in all sorts and degrees, makes a small matter sufficient, and a great superfluous. Besides, there to haue many li­vings, is a matter of credit, not of profit onely; though as wise men as they, haue thought other­wise of it, to bee a private great burthen, and a publike great mischiefe. The Pa [...]sh Priests in I­taly, who haue not the tenths, (which in a Coun­try whose soyle yields three harvests in sundry pla­ces all in a yeere would amount to an huge matter, and considering the great rents and exactions would be insupportable,) but haue in stead of them [Page 145] certeine farmes as gleabland▪ appropriate, and some certeine quantitie out of the encrease of their neighbours; are so provided for, that the meanest lightly which are theyr Curati, haue an hundred Crownes a yeare, and the Piovani, which are the Priests of Mother Churches from two hundred to fiue hundred, and upward sometimes; which they helpe out with Masses as occasion serues; which are still in Italy as cheape as a groat. In Ger­many the Praelates are likely great Princes, and great Nobilitie required to haue those places. In Fraunce the Clergie hath beene in fore-times most flourishing: theyr revenew amounting, when land and all things were cheapest, to six Millions in the whole; besides theyr great place and autho­ritie in theyr State, and theyr ample jurisdiction in theyr severall praecincts.

At this day they are fall'n generally; especially the inferiour part, into great miserie and begge­rie, accompanied with all base and vile conditions; whereby the Country people is growne also ut­terly without knowledge of God or sence of Reli­gion; being fall'n into those tearmes that plentie which should make men thankefull, makes them but wanton; and affliction which should make men repentant, makes them desperate; and no­thing can better them. The whole Realme in summe hath bene scourged with a three stringed whip, Warre, Ill-governement, and Injustice particular: whereof the two lattet are like to last still, whilst on the one side the places of Iustice are sold as by the Drumme; on the other side the [Page 146] Church Praelacies and other governments of soules, are made the fees and charges of meere Courtiers and Souldiers, who [...]e merits would haue rewards, but suiting to theyr qualitie: which in a Realme so abounding with meanes could not bee wanting but by too much want of indifferencie and measure, heaping all upon a few, and most where are least deserts: whereas these so unfit and ill-suited recompences, distemper that harmonie which should be in a flourishing state, and over­whelme the Land with all kind of corruption and confusion.

But to returne to the Papacie, or rather now to the Pope himselfe; and first to His Election: the right whereof having bene of Old in the Clergie and people, and from thence transferred to the Emperours nomination, is now wholly remitted to the College of Cardinalls: so that two third parts of theyr voices that are present are requisite to him, that eyther by adoration or in Scrutinie shall winne that glorie. Which double porporti­on of voyces to agree, makes this Election of grea­ter difficultie and giues occasion of rarer stratagems and devises in it than I suppose are to be found in any other in the world. I haue heard that in these latter times a Cardinall of Sicilie, whose Holy­nesse and learning advanced him to that dignitie, (for of some such alwayes there is care to make choise for divers considerations,) entring the Con­claue to an Election, and expecting that by inces­sant prayer as in times of old some divine inspirati­on should haue poincted out Christs Uicar; but [Page 147] finding when he was there nothing but practisi [...] and canvasing, promising and terrifying, banding and combining; setting of some up for stales on­ly to ease passage for other, who were reserved till the last cast, when former hopes and angers beeing spent and evaporated had abated the prime edge and strength of opposition; in summe being him selfe also assaulted by all meanes yea tugged and haled now by one part now by another, the good man agast as in a matter so cleane contrary to his fore-framed expectation, Ad hunc modum, quoth he, fiunt Pontifices Romani? & there withall so soone as that Conclaue was broken, retired to his Country, and would never see Rome againe. But the matter of greatest marke herein at this day is the power of the K. of Spaine in swaying those Electi­ons: who by pensions, by preferments, by hopes of the highest, having assured a great third part of the Cardinalls to him, & to bee alwayes at his devotion in all elections; whereby having the Exclusiue as they terme it; no Pope can be made but with his liking: hee proceeds on by his Ambassadours to name also some fiue▪ or six unto them, whereof please they to choose any he shall rest wel satisfied. Which course though it mightily distast the rest of the Car­dinalls who are hereby for ever debarred from their chiefe desire; yea and inwardly much afflict the great States of Italy, who are loth to haue theyr Pope of a Spanish edition: yet is there no remedy one of those in fine they needs must choose: the discretion they can haue is onely this, to choose such of them as is likely to proue least to [Page 148] his purpose. A memorable example heereof in the election of the last GREGORIE: where a greater part of the Cardinalls enflamed against the King, and banding against him; yet in conclusi­on after two Moneths imprisonment in the Con­claue were foreed to relent and to choose one of his nominates, or otherwise a cleare case no electi­on at all. Which whether there were or no made no matter to Spaine: who stood upon the surer ground in his exclusiue obstinatenesse; The necessi­tie of the Church, the State of the Papacie, theyr owne present condition, the disorders of the Citie of Rome and of all theyr Territorie, which in want of a Pope, and in this locking up of the Cardi­nalls, as it were, into a celler do swarme exceeding­ly, did mainely cry out to haue some Pope or o­ther: which at last they yielded to by consenting upon a favourite, yea and subject of Spaine also; for such was that GREGORIE. Howbeit the maine matter runnes not with him so clearely: they being not the same men that are chosen, and that are Pop [...]s: but chaunging with theyr estate both name and nature also. Yea sometimes not easie to find two divers men of humour more different, then is the same man in his Cardinalship and in his Papali­tie. Where of no man better witnesse than SIX­TVS QVINTVS: the most crouching humble Cardinall that was ever lodged in an Oven, and the most stoute resolute Pope that ever ware Crowne: in his Cardinalship a meere slaue and vassall of Spaine, in his Papacie the daungeroust enemie Spaine had in the world: in summe who [Page 149] in his Cardinalship was scorned as a base Frier, in his Papacie was redoubted as a Prince of great worth and spirit.

Neyther is there any mervaile to bee made of this difference; seeing the hope of obtaining and of maintaining the Papall honour are so cleane con­trary: seeing in the one state they fashion them selues to all other mens humours; in the other they looke that all men should accomodate themselues to theyr honours; and lastly seeing those Princes whose favour is the onely meanes to compasse the place, theyr power is the onely terrour of quel­ling downe the estate. For which cause as in gene­rall the Cardinalls doe in theyr hearts favour Fraunce aboue Spaine, both as beeing the wea­ker part and the farther neighbour, and the onely hope to maintaine counterpoise against the others greatnesse: so let the King of Spaine make what choyse among them of a Pope hee can, hee shall find that as long as those reasons continue; whoso­ever sits in the seat will respect more his owne saferie than the service of his pre [...]errour; even as doth this very Pope who for that cause is concei­ved to haue made some alteration of inward firme friendships, though holdi [...]g in good tearmes of loue and loyaltie with both. But this uncer­teintie and mutabilitie of the new Popes affec­tions, doth cause both the Ki [...]g of Spaine and other Princes of Italy, aboue all things to ayme at a man of a ca [...]me nature, and not stir [...]ng mettall: that if they cannot make any great accompt of his friendship; yet this naturall [Page 150] disposition and temper may assure them, that hee will not be a raiser of new stirrs in Italy; as divers of them to scamble somewhat for theyr owne haue beene: as on the other side an especiall good in­ducement to the Cardinalls, is his age and sickli­nesse, that the place may be soone voyde againe; for the gaining whereof there is alwayes practi­sing and plotting a new immediately vpon the Election.

And thus is the Pope made: who hath his Coun­sell of Cardinalls to attend and advise him; hee chosen by them, and they created by him: Whose number may amount they say, to Seuentie two: but many p [...]ces are kept voyd still to serue for desperate pushes: and of those that are, some twenty lightly are the younger sonnes of Dukes and Princes, who in case theyr auncesters states should descend upon them, with dispensation from the Pope would resigne uppe theyr Hatts Among the Cardinalls for theyr owne honour, and for the gratifying of the world, are sorted out and diuided all the orders of Religions, and all the Nations of Christendome; whereof they are appoinc­ted the particular protectours in the Court of Rome: as the Protectour of England now is Cardinal Gaetane, a stout man, of spa­nish faction; who hath beene Legate in­to France, and more lately into Poland; but is now returned. Among this Coun­sell also, being compacted of many Persona­ges of very eminent sufficiencie, what for theyr learning, what for theyr experience: [Page 151] and weightie employments are parted is by way of severall Congregations, according to the use of the severall Counsels in Spain, all the important af­faires, as well standing, as by dayly new occasions arising, of the Church and Papacie, by which means they both disburden the Pope of much lighter bu­sinesse, and the greater causes by long and exact discussion are ripened and made fit for his decissi [...]n. Such is the Congregation for propagation of Christian-Faith; the Congregation of the Inqui­sition; the Congregation for England; the Con­greation of Bishops; for all Controversies which happen betweene them and theyr Subjects; a Congregation for any diversitie of opinion in matter of Religion betweene Schoole men or Friers; with sundry such other. A course lately there begun, but of good importance, and well wor­thy to be imitated.

Now for This Pope, who by race and name a Florentine, but his Father having beene chased thence upon a Conspiracie against Duke CO­SIMO, by byrth became a kind of Romane; I haue little more to say than that which I haue before touched. Hee is reputed to bee a man of a good calme disposition, and not too craftie; yet close and suspicious, and thereby secured to hold his owne well enough; kind to his friends and denout in his way, and thinks without doubt that he is in the right. He will weep very often; (some conceiue upon a weaknesse and tender­nesse of mind, habituated therin by custome; o­thers say upon pietie and godly compassion:) At [Page 152] his Masses, in his Processions, at the fixing uppe his Iubilees, his Eys are still watering some times streaming with teares; in so much that for weeping he seemes an other HERACLITVS, to ballance with the last GREGORIR an other DEMOCRITVS for laughing: Touching his secret life, the Italians speake somewhat diversly, especially for his younger yeeres. But mens tongues are alwayes prone to at­taint theyr Governours; and the worst men speake worst, as hoping them selues to lurke under the ble­mishes of theyr betters. For my part hearing no ex­traordinarie bad matter against him, but onely by suspicion, I judge the best; and howsoever had ra­ther preserue the credit of an ill man, than staine or impaire it in a good. For his yeeres he doth little exceed Three seore and three: but is troubled with the dropsie, and that caused some say or accom­panied with a thirstie infirmitie.

For a Praelat hee hath good commendation a favourer of learning, and advauncer of them whose studies haue bene to the advauncement of his Sea: an enemie to the licentious life of Friers, yea to the Pomp also and Secular bravery of Cardinals; how­beit more desiring reformation in both, than daring attempt it in eyther, for ought that yet appeares: very magnificall and ceremoniall in his outward comportment; in his private, austere and humble, as his friends say: in menaging the Church tempo­rall goods rather thriftie than liberall; but of theyr spirituall treasure of Supererogatorie works in In­dulgences and Pardons, (which he useth not only as charitable reliefes of the needie, but as honourable [Page 153] gifts also to reward Princes that haue presented him,) in these I should thinke him very exceeding wastfull, but that where the treasure is infinite there the spender in ordinarie accompt cannot be Prodi­gall. For a Prince hee hath beene thought somwhat defectiue heretofore, as being neyther of deepe re­solution nor of great spirit. But fortunate-men are wise, and conquerours valiant. And surely this mans projects and attempts haue so well prospered, what in reduction of the French King by prosecu­ting him to extremitie; what in the matter of Fer­rara; what in working the great peace; (the ho­nour whereof by the most is wholly attributed to the Pope, though other say he was importuned to deale in it by the Spaniard, being so tyred and wa­sted out with troubling his neighbours, that in fine no desire no hope but in peace onely;) that it hath purchased him the opinion not onely of a for­tunate and wise Pope, but of one who doth sincere­ly affect the quiet of Christendome and thinks no­thing remaining to the height of his glorie but to be the author of an universall league and warre against the Turke, against whom hee hath sundry times given ayde already. For which end it is con­ceived notwithstanding his abilitie and opportuni­tie extraordinarie, what by his excommunicati­ons, and what by his ready army, to haue righted himselfe; that yet he hath layd by his owne particu­lar pretences as well against the great Duke of Tuscanie, for Borgo di San Sepulchro which belongs to the Church; as also and more principally against the Venetians, for Rovigo and the Posesine, [Page 154] which they haue rent by warre and reteine from Fer­rara; (not to mention that auncient quarrell tou­ching the Patriarchship of Aquileia, whose Ter­ritorie even all Friuli theyr State is said to haue usurped:) that no private temporall commoditie of his Church and Sea, might giue impediment to the publike most necessarie good, in withstan­ding and repressing the graund enemie of Chri­stendome. These thoughts surely are honourable; neyther unnecessary for his owne future safety, considering how neere a neighbour the Turke is to him, and how often his State hath beene af­flicted by him, and sometimes enhazarded. But now for his neere neighbours the great Duke and the Venetians, as theyr States so theyr loues and his are but neighbourly: they thinking his growing to bee theyr stop and endaungering. But the Venetians perhaps feare him, and the great Duke hates him more: the Venetians as ha­ving still even painted in theyr great palace and dayly before theyr eyes, the extremitie to which former Popes excommunications haue brought them; (having theyr State as ill seated in regard of potent neighbours, who all gape after them upon any advantage, as any that I know againe in the world; the Turke confining and bordering with them on the East, the King of Spaine on the West, the Emperour on the North; the Pope on the South; who can never want pretence, they holding that which they list not yield; be­sides some jealousies and discurtesies passed late­ly betweene them and the Pope and his Cardi­nalls: [Page 155] the great Duke not onely for that hae­reditarie enmitie first, and that personall discour­tesie since, at what time affecting the Title of the King of Tuscanie, (whereof his wife is written Queene by some already,) and having got as is said the Emperours liking, the Pope denyed him, putting him off with a distinction, that hee was content hee should bee King in Tuscanie, but not King of Tuscany, which scholasticall subtili­ties plaine suiters doe not loue; but much more for that correspondence of Conference and fa­vour which is thought to bee betweene the Pope, and those popular Florentines, who distasted with theyr home government once free, now almost servile, liue both else-where abroad and at Rome in exceeding store; especially seeing not onely this Pope in the faction of his particular familie, but all Popes in the affection which the Papacie it selfe doth engender, doe naturally more de­sire that theyr neighbours States should bee popular; as having the ground of theyr great­nesse in swaying the multitude. But general­ly the Dukes of Tuscanie will bee alwayes re­gardfull to hold the best correspondence with the Popes that may bee: as having theyr State more open to assault on that side, the rest bee­ing surrounded by the Apennine and the Sea. To conclude this Pope, where there is no privat cause of disfavouring his person, or disallowing his place, carrieth the name of a good Pope: and they which do subtilize the points of goodnes more curiously, will say that PIVS QVINTVS was a good [Page 156] Praelat, but no good Prince; that SIXTVS QVIN­TVS, a good Prince, but no good Praelat; GRE­GORIE the Xiijth a good Praelat, a good Prince, but no good man; this Pope both good Man, good Praelat, and good Prince.

And so I leaue him; wishing his dayly encrease in all parts of true goodnesse; whereof his Church hath too little I ween, and himselfe haply as other good men nothing too-much; and returne now to the Papacie.

The next poinct wherein which commeth to be considered, is what power it is of at this day in the world by reason of those Nations which eyther in whole or great part still adhere unto it, which are Italy with his Ilands; Spaine with his Indies, Germanie with his Skirts, (which I accompt the seventeene Provinces of the Low-Countries on one side, the thirteen Cantons of Swisse & three leagues of Grisons on an other, & Bohemia with Moravia and Slesia on a third:) and lastly the great uni­ted, well seated, fruitfull, populous Kingdome of France, with his neighbours of Loraine and Savoy; (whom though Princes of the Empire whensoever them selues list and find it for their pro­fit, yet in regard [...]f theyr greater affinitie to Fraunce both in language and fashions, which consociate also affections, I annex unto it:) of all which some briefe view seemes necessarie to bee taken. For as for Poland and Transcilvania with Ualachia and the remaines of Hungarie; by reason of theyr neere and daungerous confining with the Great Turke together with the multitude of Religions [Page 157] which are swarming in them, in Poland especially, (of which it is said by way of by word, that if a man haue lost his religion, let him goe secke it in Poland, and he shall be sure to find it, or else make accompt it is vanished out of the world:) there is no great reckoning to be made of theyr force eyther way. Then England with the more Northerne Kingdomes, Scotland, Denmarke and Swe­den: (whose King notwitstanding is of the Roman saith now, but hath few there that follow him:) they are accompted wholly to haue cast of the Papacie. For albeit they make reckoning of many favourers in them as of fourtie thousand sure Catholikes in England alone, with foure hundred English Roman Priests to mainteine that Militia, (who upon quar­rell with the Iesuites, affectors of superioritie, and disgracers of all that refuse to depend upon them, haue instantly of late demaunded a Bishop of the Pope, to bee chosen by them, and to bee resident a­mong them, but are crost in that desire by the coun­termine of an Arch-priest, obtru [...]ed upon them by the practise of the Iesuites:) yet this is so small a proportion being compared with the whole, as not to be esteemed: especially seeing in Italy compted wholy theirs, there are full fourty thousand professed Protestants that haue exercise of theyr Religion al­so, in the Valleys of Piemont and S [...]l [...]zz [...], besides sundry Gentlemen in Piemont who liue abroad and resort unto them. In Lucca also a great part are thought favourers of the Reformation: and some of that sort there are scattered in all places: especially in the State of Venice. But theyr paucitie and ob­seuritie [Page 158] shall enclose them in a cipher. So that for Italy wee will accompt it wholly to stand for the Papacie. True it is that the Princes and other free states of Italy little fauour the Popes enlarging in his temporall dominion at home; beeing already of a large size in pro­portion with theirs; and especially for those pre­tences which his sea neuer wanteth, and those ex­traordinarie advantages which the concurrence of his spirituall supremacie by interdictions, ex­communications, discharging oaths of obedi­ence, doth giue him aboue all other Princes in the world. Which they also aboue all o­ther men in the world haue greatest cause to feare; both in regard of the huge multitude of Priests, Praelates, and Friers, wherewith hee hath fortified him selfe exceedingly in all other states, and in theirs aboue all excessiuely; as also for that discontent which theyr cruell and crying extortions and oppressions, by monopo­lies and taxes, by impositions upon mens per­sons, upon theyr lands and goods, upon theyr viands and markets, upon theyr trades and la­bours, upon theyr successions upon theyr maria­ges, in summe upon all beneficiall or easefull acti­ons, haue bred in theyr owne miserable and con­sumed subjects; who wish rather that all Italy were reduced into the hands of some one natu­rall Potentate, whose greedinesse how great so­euer they were able to satisfie; and of the Popes aboue all mens, who promiseth some more leni­tie by his late example at Ferrara, where hee re­mitted [Page 159] many imposts which theyr late Dukes had raysed; than to bee thus dayly racked, fleyed and devoured, by so many petie tyrants as it were with theyr prolling Gabelliers: whose ambitions and emulations, whose prides and pleasures, thirteene millions of yeerely revenew which Italy now yieldeth them is not able to exsatiate. Howbeit though as I said for these important causes, the Princes and States of Italy no way favour the Popes strength in his temporall at home; (considering withall what swelling and turbulent spirits mount sometimes in­to that chaire, who haue purposely set Italy on a flaming fire, that in the sacking of many them selues might get somewhat, for the advauncing of such as nature and bloud did cause them to loue best:) yet on the contrary side for his spirituall power and soveraigntie abroad, they wish it upheld and resto­red if it were possible; both for the honour of theyr nation, which is thereby the tryumphant Queene of of the world; and much more for the commoditie which by vicinitie they and theyrs reape thence in more aboundance than all other together, what by sharing as occasion serues in his booties abroad, what by beeing alwayes in sight to receiue fa­vours at home, what by that which necessarily sticks to them in very passing through theyr territories. Then to exclude any innovation, theyr owne safetie and not quiet alone per­swades them, it beeing daungerous in a bo­dy so full of diseased and discontented humours, to chaunge or stirre any thing, seeing all [Page 160] alteration set humours on working: and one hu­mour on foote quickneth up all other, what allured by sympathy what by antipathy provoked: the end whereof is eyther the dissolving of nature by length of conflicts, or the disburdening of nature by expel­ling that which before opp [...]est it. For this cause no audience to be given to the Reformation, as e­nemie to theyr peace, which is the nurse of theyr riches and sole anchor of theyr [...]atetie. For it were but simplicitie to thinke that conscience and loue of truth did sway this deliberation: the world ha­ving in most places done Religion that honour, as to remoue it out of those secret darke Cabinets of the heart, where the jealousie of some devout dreamers of the gardens of Paradise had imprisoned it; and advanced it, to the fairest sight and shew of the world, even to make a very maske or vi [...]ard of it with eyes and mouth fairely painted and proportio­ned to all pretences and purposes. And other of yet more gallant free spirit haue giuen it a generall passe to goe whether it selfe list, so it come not neere them. It doth grieue me to speake, yea the thought of it must needs bring horrour and detestation, what a multitnde of Atheists doe braue it in all places, there most where the Papacie is most in his prime; what renouncers of God, blasphemers of his sonne, villanizers of his Saincts: and scorners of his ser­vice: who thinke it a glorious grace to adore the King of a Country, but to name or thinke reve­rently of the Creatour of the World to proceed from a timorous very base mindednes & abjectnes: of so deepe reach and judgement are these pedlers [Page 161] in theyr proportions, who know no other Magis­trates but those of theyr parishes. These men are favourable alike to all Religions: but can best en­dure that wherein they are least checkt, and may raunge with most impunitie. But for the Souldia­rie of this age; (a profession and exercise in old time reputed for an only Schoole of vertue, but now infamed with all vice and villanie; in old time such that the wisest Philosopher thought it reason suffici­ent why the Lacedaemonians were generally more vertuous than other Nations, because they followed the warres more, at this day a cause in all places of cleane contrary effect:) these desperate Atheismes, these Spanish renouncings, and Italian blasphea­mings haue now so prevailed in our Christian Camps, that if any refraine them hee shall be up­braided as no Souldier or gallant-minded man; that the very Turks haue the Christians blaspheaming of CHRIST in execration, and will punish theyr prisoners sorely when through impatience or despe­ratnesse they burst into them; yea the Iewes in their Speculations of the causes of the straunge successes of the affaires of the world, assigne the reason of the Turks prevailing so against the Christians, to be theyr blasphemies and blaspheamous Oaths, which wound the eares of the very Heavens, and cry to the high throane of Iustice for speedie vengeance. As for great persons and Princes of whom it was said by the Spanish Frier, that few went to Hell, and the reason, because they were few: it is a t [...]re thing and happie where ever it falls out that any of them hath any true and affecting sence of those first [Page 162] and undoubted grounds of Religion, to what sort or sect soever it prop [...]nd. Theyr examples, I speake of many of them, which were able to be the sove­raigne restorers of vertue, and re-establishers of an happie world, with the endlesse blisse of many millions now perishing through theyr great default; are at this day the only ruine and despaire of good­nesse: having forgotten whose Lieutenants they are in the world, for what end they are placed, for what cause they are honoured; and most of all what a great accompt they haue to passe at the last Auditt, when theyr favorites and fancy-feeding flatterers shall all shrinke from them, and nothing but their owne deeds and deserts accompanie them. But all these whether Atheists in opinion or in conversation, (betweene whom small choise,) being reckoned or let passe to make uppe the num­ber: yet hold I that from Italy more wishes than other helpe to mainteine the Papacie abroad, by reason of the partition of it into such a multitude of States: where the greater do nothing but lim­bick theyr braines in the Arts of Alchymie and Ballancing; to enrich them selues by the one, drawing gold out of all things; and by the o­ther to peise theyr neighbours and keep them of aequall weight, there adding some helpe of theyr hand where the Scales are lighter: and the lesser States flee most to the protection of the Chiefe, as the Cities of Genova and Lucca, the Duke of Urbine, the Signor of Diam­bino, with certein other, who all recognize the King of Spaine for theyr Patron; as casting [Page 163] by him to bee sufficiently secured from the en­croachments of those other three; and compting that from him the united consent of all the rest will still preserue them, to whom his greatnesse is feare­full, and his growing would be pernitious. There haue bene of them also, as the last Duke of Ferrara, who haue apparantly enterteined both amitie and streight intelligence with sundry of the Protestant Princes of Germany, on purpose to hold theyr neighbours, and especially the Pope, in aw of cal­ling the Protestants in to their succour, if they should eyther assaile or otherwise provoke them. And thus much for Italy.

The next is Spaine, reputed wholly the Popes also; as having bene a long time governed by the most devoted King, and longer curbed in by the most cruell Inquisition, that ever the world had for the upholding of that way. Howbeit the state of Spain is not to be passed so lightly over: where­in though my selfe haue never beene, yet by mani­fold enquirie and information from some of theyr owne, and from others who haue bene in it, men of knowledge and credit; thus much do I conceiue touching the state of theyr Religion. That as of a Nation which aimeth so apparently at the Monar­chie of the whole West, it is at this day none of the most puissant to atchieue the same; their Country being so generally exhaust of men, what eaten uppe by long warre, what transplanted into theyr huge number of Indian Colonies, that theyr Cities remaine now wholly peopled, [Page 164] with women, having some old men among them, and many young children, whereof the graue at­tends the one, and forreign service the other, (a fit State for an Amazonian Empire to be revived in:) so likewise for a Kingdome that hath the surname of Catholike, none in greater daunger in the world, either wholly or in great part to cast off Christianitie; unlesse grace from aboue and better wisdome do stay the encrease of those pestilent can­kers of Mahometisme and Iudaisme, which threaten the finall decay and eating out of Chri­stianisme. And to carry this matter with an indif­ferent course of report, neither aggravating it so much as some do in theyr doubt and jealousie, nor yet extenuating it so much as other some in theyr confidence and jolitie, seeing feare casts beyond, and hope short of the very daunger: there is in Spaine a sort of people of the Marrani as they terme them, who are baptized Iews and Moores, and many of them in secret with all circumcized Christians; who are spred over the whole Land, but swarme most in the South parts confining with Africa; and are in such store, that in many places as some say they exceed the true Christians by no small proportion. They which say least and speake favourably for the honour of Spain, will say there are of them an hundred thousand Families; in which at the least an hundred thousand men able to beare armes.

All which though conforming themselues in some sort of outward shew unto the Christian Religion; yet are thought in hart to be utterly adverse from it, [Page 165] and to reteine an inward desire to returne to that superstition, from which theyr auncestours by rigor and terror were driven. And the Iewes will say in Italy, that there come divers Spaniards to them to be circumcised there, and so away to Constantino­ple to plant in the East. The State of Spain is in often feare of these men rebelling, and especial­ly that they would joyne with any enemies that should invade them. For although they are forbid­den to haue any armes, and yeerely search bee made for it over all the Kingdome, in an unknowne and least suspected instant, yet is there no doubt but ar­med they are, and haue theyr secret caves and devi­ses to conceale them. This sort continually grow­ing by living quietly at home: and the other part decaying dayly by forrayne employment: what the issew may bee, though reason may probably conjec­ture, yee time onely and proofe can giue assurance. That famous and fearefull Inquisition of Spaine was i [...]stituted fi [...]st on purpose against these Mon­grell-Chri [...]tians, some hundred yeeres since: at what time when King FERDINAND by chasing the I [...]wes, Moores, and Arabians out of his domi­nions merited the name of King Catholike, great numbers of them choosing ra [...]her to make change of they▪ religion in shew, than or theyr Country in deed, consented to receiue baptisme: which in se­cret they soone polluted or renounced by circum­cision and other superstitions, wherein the Arabi­ans and Moores concurred with the I [...]wes; and so continued with a false face and double hart, and haue transmitted both the one and the other to [Page 166] theyr off spring to this very day. But this Inquisi­tion, being first as I said brought in to chastise those miscreants; (besides that in Arragon, a freer State than the rest, being received only for terme of Eightie yeeres, it is in right long since expired, and holdeth only by Title of the Kings pleasure and possession; and the Portugals also haue lately re­newed theyr old suit, together with theyr old offer of an huge summe of money, to buy out at least­wise the rigour and unjustice of it, in theyr coun­tries and for theyr persons, which it is thought this young King hath meaning to accept, if the sweet­nesse of Tyrannie, which by Courts of so volun­tarie and lawlesse proceeding is principally suppor­ted, do giue no hinderance:) the Eye and edge of it hath beene so wholly of latter times converted to the rooting out of the Reformed religion in all places, that the other sort by neglecting them haue growne in strength, and by theyr strength now be­gin to despise their chastizers; whom feare, they say, enforceth often to winke at many things, which no eye open but needs must see. Thus fareth it with gar­dens, wherein greater care is taken to pull up the sus­pected herbs than to keep down the apparent weeds: what farther hopes this Sect may haue I know not. This is cleare, that a great part of the Spanish No­bilitie is mixed at this day with Iewish bloud, by marying of theyr younger brethren for wealths­sake with the Iewes; upon whom in time, the el­der sayling, the honour and house hath descended. But to leaue these Marrani: An other pestilent Sect there was not long since of the Illuminati [Page 167] in Aragon; whose founders were an hypocriticall crew of theyr Priests; who affecting in them selues and followers a certein Angelicall puritie, fell sodainly to the very counterpoinct of justifying bestialitie. But these men and theyr light are quen­ched some while since. The last and obscurest sort are the poore persecuted Protestants, against whom all Lawes, all witts, all tortures are strongly bent. All which notwithstanding, there are thought to be no fewer than twentie thousand in Sevil it selfe, who in hart are that way: amongst whom certein books of the Religion being secretly dispersed, the Inqui­sitours for theyr number-sake who were to be tou­ched, were required to forbeare, and to provide some other way.

In summe, I haue heard it acknowledged by some of theyr owne Country and religion, that among other things the scandalls of theyr Clergic and Friers, especially in forging miracles in their Spirits and Images, do draw the people to a loathing and suspition of theyr way: and were it not for the In­quisition, hee thought generally they would fall a­way and turne Protestants in short time. They haue in Spain as he told me a Crucifix, whose haire and nayles fall a growing now in his old age, as in a dead man executed; the rest not stirring: at which the devouter men of the Clergie jerk up their eyes, and the wiser of the Laitie wag their heads. The ho­ly Nun of Portugal, of whom the Spaniards taken prisoners in Eighty eight made so much vaunting; who had the fiue wounds bleeding on her, and the print of the Crucifix in the skin of her brest; to whom [Page 168] that Invincible Army repaired for Benediction to set forward theyr Victorie; is lately deprehended and condemned for a So [...]ceresse, upon a generall information of the whole Sister-hood against her; who hating h [...] for her a [...]rogancie and watching her fingers, in fine discovered that the one was no other than a forced rawnesse of the flesh procured by fretting herbs and waters when shee meant to shew her s [...]l [...]e; and the other came by continuall binding of a little graven Crucifix to the part so printed. The famous Lady of Guadalupa, who transporteth thorough the ayre such prisoners in Africa as vow them selues unto her, is said by some other to haue her credit empaired, by occasion of a Fugitiue servant, who being runne from his Mas­ter was suborned by the Friers to play that fleeing part, complaining that our Lady for the wicked­nesse of this age did restrain those graces, but yet that it was a godly act to maint [...]in men in theyr de­votions. In fine, he was disclosed and ceased on by his Master. But this is more certaine and of more generall report, that for the weeping and swea [...]ing of theyr Images, they haue had a trick in all places to bore holes behind them, and put into them the new-cut spriggs of a Vine; which being of a blee­ding nature, and dropping easily thorough the thin plaister remaining unpierced, make shew of teares or sweat as they list. Yea some of theyr Italian Friers haue confessed with all that theyr fashion is when theyr gimmalls are all in tune for a Miracle, to enjoyne some seely old woman, in her confession, to say her devotions before the Altar where the [Page 169] Image prepared to play a miracle is se [...]ted: abu­sing the weaknesse of her sex and age to report that confidently, which her pronesse to thinke our Lady might extraordinarily loue her, made her easily belieue. Wise gentlemen who haue bene present at theyr exorcising of Spirits haue observed plaine arguments of intelligence between the parties, as in the actors of an enterlude. Though that this should be always so were hard to avouch; the multitude of Indemoninati (whereof most are women) be­ing so huge in Italy, (even as of witches in Savoy:) of which some are daily cured in shew by theyr ex­orcismes; but for one that is holpen almost twentie are eyther past theyr Curing, or otherwise (as in counterfeits) unwilling to be cured. But in summe, the falshoods in all these kinds are grown so ordina­rie and palpable to them selues, that some of theyr better Praelates haue removed and with drawne an image of our Lady, upon the broaching of a report that it discovered it selfe for a Wonder-worker. So unsavorie is the food of fooles to the tast of wise men: and such is Gods curse upon all forgerie and falshood, as in the end to over-throw that which chooseth it for his foundation: as hath hap­ned already in some places, and may with time in other.

Touching Germanie, I haue seene an old aesti­mate of it by such as favoured the Papacie, that in the beginning of the Empire of FERDINAND, there was not past one twelfth part remaining Catholike: which now in my understanding must needs bee otherwise. For comprehending [Page 170] in it Bohemia with his appurtenances, I should thinke that neere a sixt part were devoted that way: theyr number being encreased, and perhaps dou­bled since that time, by the Sedulitie of many of the Praelats, and one other great Prince the Duke of Bavaria; who using the advantage of the In­terun on theyr part, haue forced those Protestants which were in theyr States to quit eyther Religion or goods or Countrey. The same hath beene at­tempted by the Arch-Dukes of Austria, and in some places as in theyr County of T [...]roll effected. But in Austria it selfe not so; wherein the number of Protestants exceeds and is fearefull to theyr op­posites: though the exercise of the Reformed reli­gion is there no where allowed, and in some chiefe Cities, as Uienna wholly restrained. But the most part of the Country-people are of it; so are halfe the Nobilitie. The Duke of Cleves a third Prince affected the same way, hath shewed him­selfe a little more moderate than some other, so ad­vised by neighbourhood. The Free-Cities, which are of very great number and strength, haue all saue some very few, enfreed them selues from the Pope eyther in whole or in theyr greater part. And thus stands the State of the Empire for that poin [...]t: conteyning in it a very huge Circuit of Territorie, full of mightie Princes and well-fortified Cities: that if it were more strictly united under one Mo­narch, and not so rent into factions with diversitie of Religions, breeding endlesse jealousies, hart­burnings and hatreds, it needed no other help to affront the great-Turke, and to repulse all [Page 171] his forces [...] the securitie of Christendome.

But [...]s so unaequall proportion of adhaerents to the Papacie, two things there are which giue them hope of better, if prosperous successe shall second theyr well contrived projects. The one is the creating of the Emperours alwayes of theyr partie: whereof they assure them selues by these considerations. First, there is no House in Germa­nie at this day of such greatnesse as is requisit to with-stand the Turke in his encroachments the House of Austria set aside: who by their alliance or rather meere entirenesse with Spain, and by sun­dry electiue Kingdomes, which runne necessarily upon them, shall be alwayes able to make head a­gainst any power in the world; and by their owne state confining so immediatly with the Turks, shal­be necessarily enforced, laying other thoughts aside, to employ the utmost drop of their bloud to keepe off. Next whensoever the matter groweth to elec­tion of a new Emperour, they shall alwayes haue the casting Voyce with them or rather in them; having entangled the States of Bohemia in such bonds and promises, (besides there is no other to make good choise of) that they accompt of this Kingdome as of a State halfe haereditarie. And lastly theyr late policie, now strengthened by usage, of declaring a King of Romans in the Emperours life-time, whilst his presence and power may go­vern the action, assures them that it shall always passe with them roundly and quietly. The other ground of theyr hope, is the division of the Protestants in­to theyr factions of Lutherans and Calvinists [Page 172] as they stile them: wherein the Ministers on each side haue so bestirred themselues, that the cole which a wise man with a little moisture of his mouth would soone haue quenched, they with the wind of theyrs haue contrariwise so enflamed, that it threatneth a great ruine and calamitie to both sides. And though the Princes and heads of the weaker side in those parts, both Paltsgraue and Lants­graue, haue with great judgement and wisedome, to asslake those flames, imposed silence in that poinct to the Ministers of theyr partie, hoping the charitie and discretion of the other sort would haue done the like; yet falls it out otherwise, both the Lutheran Preachers rage as bitterly against them in theyr Pulpits as euer, & theyr Princes and people haue them in as great detestation, not forbea­ring to professe openly they will returne to the Pa­pacie, rather than ever admit that Sacramenta­rie and Predestionarie pestilence; for these two poincts are the ground of the quarrell, and the latter more scandalous at this day than the former. And some one of theyr Princes, namely the Administra­tour of S [...]xonie, is strongly mi [...]doubted to practise with the Emperour for the joyning the Catholike and Lutheran forces in one, and by warre to roote out and extinguish the Calvinists; the plausiblest motion to the Emperour that ever could happen. Neither is there any great doubt, but if any stay or agreement could bee taken with the Turke, all Ger­many were in daunger to bee in uprore within it selfe by intestine dissention. Howbeit all the Luthe­rans are not earied with this sterne humour, but [Page 173] they onely which are called the Lutherani rigidi: the greater part perhaps, which are the molles Lutherani, are quiet enough, neyther accompt o­therwise of Calvinists than of er [...]ing brethren; whom the R [...]g [...]di haue (as is said) partly threaten to excommunicate as Schismatikes and Haeretikes. To this lamentable extremitie hath the headinesse of theyr Ministers on both sides brought it; while in the peremptorinesse of theyr poore learning they cannot endure any supposed error in their brethren, whereof themselues even the best of them perhaps if they were sifted would bee found to bee full e­nough, (such take I to be the condition of all men in this world;) and in theyr ignorance of all acti­ons saue of theyr Schooles and Bookes, make more accomp [...] of some emptie ill-shaped [...]yllogisme, than of the peace of the Church and happinesse of the world: the [...]nd whereof will bee that theyr ene­mies shall laugh, when themselues shall haue cause to weepe; unlesse the graciousnesse of God stirre up some worthy P [...]inces of renow [...]e and reputati­on with both the sides, to in [...]erpose theyr w [...]sdome, industrie and authoritie, for the uniting these facti­ons, or at leastwise for reconciling and composing those differences in some tollerable sort: a worke of immortall fame and desert, and worthy of [...]one but them of whom this wicked base world is not worthy. But hereof I shall haue occasion to speake in his due place. For this place it sufficeth that these i [...]trincicall quarrels are that which maketh theyr common enemies hold up t [...]eyr heads; which quickneth theyr hopes to see the blades of these Re­formers [Page 174] drawne one against another; that them selues beeing called in to the beating downe of the one part, may afterward in good time assaile also the other; in the meane season planting in all pla­ces theyr Colleges of Iesuites, as the onely corro­siue medicine to fret out theyr adversaries. Now on the other partie the hopes are also not few; besides theyr over-topping them so much in mul­titude and power. First the Germane bearing a naturall stiffe hate to the Italian for his winding and subtill wit, which despiseth and would ra [...]sacke him, but that hee opposeth a proud stoutnesse and intractible obstinacie, which serueth alwayes as a wall of defence to simplicitie, will hardly what tem­pering soever the Princes make, be brought ever in heart to re-affect the Papacie; whose sleights and devises they are thoroughly acquainted with, and haue in more detestation than any Nation whatso­ever. And for theyr owne inward diss [...]ions it is to bee hoped that though no course were taken to compound them, yet never will they bee so mad as to decide them by a generall open warre on both sides, having Turke, Pope, and Emperour, to joyne them in friendship. For although the con­tentions of brethren bee [...]itter [...]st, yet a common strong enemie alwayes makes them friends againe. And as for the Administratour so much suspected, who prolls as some say in these practises for his owne greatnesse, his authoritie is but short, and to expire within three yeeres. Then for the having of an Emperour of some more indifferent Family, though theyr desire bee in that poinct of all other [Page 175] greatest, yet theyr hope I suppose is least. And that which is seemes to bee grounded upon the E­lector [...] Colen, eyther if the old Elector GE­BARDVS TRVCHESIVS should liue so long, whom in that case they might by force restore to his place, from which he stands now by force ejec­ted, yet retaines his claime still and style of Elec­tor: or if some other of that sea might be induced to follow the steps of two of theyr antecessours, who haue turned Protestants; (of which course that place will bee alwayes in daunger by reason of such vicinitie and intermixing of theyr State with Protestant Princes, besides that in Colen it selfe the Religion hath already [...]ooting;) or at least­wise might bee drawne to that civill indifferencie, as in regard of preserving theyr freedome of Elec­tion, to chaunge once in an age that Familie of Austria, wherein the Empire having continued these seven descents may in time bee established as by praescription. And lastly for the Iesuites, theyr great Patron and planter the old Duke of Bava­ria, hauing now as is said retired him selfe into their College, and resigned his state to his son MAXI­MILIAN, who it is thought doth disfavour them as much as his Father doted on them; this and o­ther such chaunges may giue stay to theyr procee­dings. But to leaue these hopefull speculations on both sides, and to take matters in [...]earmes they stand now, and may so continue; the benefit which the Papacie may expect from the Empire is rather to keepe matters in that stay they are than a­ny way to restore it where it hath bene dispossessed. [Page 176] For although these Turkish warres should cease, which is not unlikely, considering the calme na­ture of both the Emperours, who take more de­light in Chambers than Fields: yet shall our Christian Emperour be inforced still, in fortifying and mainteining gariso [...], all along his frontiers, con­fining sundry hundred long leagues with the Turke, so to exhaust his owne treasure▪ and employ his people, as that he will not be able to do els-where any extraordinarie matter, without help extraor­dinarie, which is never too ready. And time which may produce many accidents in his favour, may also produce in his dis [...]avour as many; and so many more, as the ground out of which in those parts they may grow, is manifoldly larger against him than for him.

Now for the Low-Countries, the Papacie hath two thirds with it; and of the Swissers and Grisons, two thirds against it: of [...]e Swissers also the Protestants are lightly the wealthier, and the Papists the more war-like; which may suffice for those parts.

Of Fraunce, how much the better it is knowne unto us at home, so much the lesse shall I need to speake much in his place. Neither is it very easie to proportion the parti [...], [...]son they of the Re­ligion are so scattered in [...]s. Yet in Poieton they haue a most all; in [...] an halfe; in Languedoc, [...]. and other West-mari­ [...]i [...] Provinces, a [...] strong part; as like­wise in sundry medi [...]e [...]an, of which Delfinat the chiefe. But whatsoever be the proportion of theyr [Page 177] number to theyr opposites, which is manifoldly in­feriour, not one to twentie; theyr strength is such as theyr warres haue witnessed; and especially that at this day, after such massacring them, so generall a rising of the whole Realme against them, by the utmost extremitie of fire and sword to exterminate them; they are esteemed to bee stronger than at any time heretofore; in summe so strong that nei­ther haue theyr adversaries, I [...]ow, any great hope, and themselues no feare to bee borne downe by warre. That the practises of peace by partiali­tie and injustice in theyr suits l [...]igious, (which hath already sorely bitten and afflicted theyr estates; by depriving them of place of Office and Honour in the Realme, by confining the exercise of theyr Re­ligion into chambers or remote corners; did not impoverish, abase, and disharten theyr partie, and so withdraw those from them, which would other­wise sticke to them; this is that which they haue misdoubted, and which by the Edict now passed and verified they haue sought to remedie. But loo­king a little more attentiuely into this partie I find, that as conscience in what Religion soeuer, doth even in the mists of errour breed an honestnesse of mind, and integritie of life and actions, in whom it settleth, (of so divine and pure vertue is the loue of the Creatour, which is the ground of all that merit the name of religious:) so also that in them which affect the greatest singlenesse, and in a manner a very carelesse simplicitie in theyr Religi­on, as contenting them selues with the possession of the rich treasure of truth, and for the preserving [Page 178] of it or them selues recommending those cares to God onely, yet tract of affliction, much miserie, often over-reaching by subtiltie of adversaries, doth finally purge out those grosse-witted humours, and engender a very curious and advantageous wa­rinesse in all theyr proceedings; having learned by experience the wisedome of that Aphorisme, that a small errour in the foundation and beginning of all things, doth proue in the proceeding and end of them a great mischiefe. As hath fallen out in these men: who doe as farre here out-goe their opposites in all civill pollicies, as in other places they of theyr religion are lightly out-gone by them. Which next unto divine blessing, which accompanieth good causes, where wickednesse or wilfull witlessenesse doth not barre against it; I ac­compt the chiefe reason of theyr present strength and assurance. By theyr providence in theyr capi­tulations, by theyr resolutenesse in theyr executi­ons, by theyr industrie and dexteritie in all occa­sions presented, they haue possessed them selues of an exceeding great number of strong Townes and places: there is scant any office or estate can fall void but they lay in by all meanes to get into it; they haue their Synodes for theyr Church-affaires their Conventions and Councells for their Civill: theyr people is warlike & so will they continue thē. Theyr onely want is of a Prince of the Bloud to grace them. For as for Leaders, a matter of so main impor­tance they are still aboue theyr adversaries: having besides those three of principall and knowne name, sundry other in Gascoignie of lesse place and de­gree, [Page 179] but in skill and prowesse not inferiour to the best. In fine, they haue learned the wisedome of Spes sibi quisque, and [...]; the contrary whereof before brought them so neere to theyr ruine. But now touching the weakenesse of them of the Romane Religion, in comparison of that strength which theyr multitude should pro­mise much more may bee said. First one great part of them are in heart of the Reformed Religi­on, though for worldly respects they hold in with the other: which also will begin to disclose them selues dayly, those things beeing now settled in reasonable good sort, which haue hitherto beene but in motion. Secondly they are not all Papists that hold with the Masse. But the Catholikes are here divided into as different opinions, and in as principall matters of theyr Religion as they esteeme them, as the Protestants in any place that ever I heard of: although theyr discretion and moderation is such as not to interrupt the common Concord with private opinionatiuenesse. The ground of which disagreement in opinion (as I take it) is the auncient diversitie betweene the Romane Church and the Gallicane; which as in many of theyr Ceremonies it differs much from the Romane, (as to omit sundry other in the Priests Lotions at Masse, and in theyr wal­king hymns at solemne Matins and Uespers;) and in some of them rather runs with the usage of the Greeke Church, (as in theyr Holy-bread on Sondayes for them that doe not communicate:) [Page 180] so also in the very head-poinct of theyr Ecclesiasti­call Hierarchie, it holdeth the Generall Councell to bee aboue the Pope; which opinion is at this day very current and strong, even among such Ca­tholikes as favour the Papacie. Which I reckon for the first difference touching the State of theyr Church: which calleth into question in whom the very soveraigntie and supremacie thereof is placed. An other sort are there which hold theyr Church for the true Church, (although they acknowledge sundry errours and abuses of lesse importance both in doctrine and practise:) but for the Pope they hold resolutely that hee is that Antichrist, which sitting in the Temple, that is in the true Church of God, (for even by his very being Antichrist some proue they are the true Church;) doth ad­vance himselfe aboue God; as they thinke appa­rent by dispensing with the Law of God; by mer­chandizing of soules in his purgatory pardons, re­leasing them in an other world whom divine sen­tence hath bound, as also by his indulgences for sinnes in this world; and not least of all by his ar­rogating the not possibilitie of erring, being a sa­cred propertie peculiar unto God, and not com­municated but onely at times to his extraordinarie Prophets, as all Churches in the world besides the Romane acknowledge. This sect spreads farre, and as them selues will say, of the learned sort three parts of [...]oure consent in this opinion. And they which are most devoted to the Pope, and in that respect doe hate this crew aboue all other, confesse [Page 181] that the Lawyers are greatly infected with it: in which regard they also tearme these as in way of disgrace the Parliament Catholikes. These o­pinions thus prevayling amongst the Catholikes of Fraunce, it is not to bee merveiled, that the Realme was so ready upon the Popes refusall to reblesse the King upon his sodain reconversion, to withdraw them selues utterly from the obedience of his sea, and to erect a new Patriarch over all the French Church, the now Archbishop of Burges; who was ready to accept it: and but that the Pope in feare thereof upon a second deliberation did hasten his Benediction, it had beene effected to his utter disgrace and decay; as the very proffer and proba­bilitie of it will always hold him in awe, and in good temper of cariage towards this wavering Kingdom, and content to beare indifferent sway with them in any thing. As on the contrarie side his great doubt of the French unsoundnesse to him at the heart, will cause him the lesse to favor any of their footings in Italy. Now these men though they dislike also of the Reformed Religion, as having brought in an extreame innovation of all things, in steed of a moderate reformation of what was justly blame­able: yet will carrie them selues alwayes of likely­hood in an indifferent neutralitie, rather than by extinguishing the one extreame, to over-strengthen the other. A third part of this side wee may make the Royalists; who asmuch as they dislike the at­tempts of the Protestants in alteration of Religion; so much and more doe they hate those mischievous [Page 182] courses taken against them by theyr adversaries; which haue threatned so neere a ruine to the whole state of the Kingdome, that it may seeme halfe a mi­racle, that it hath ever recovered, being so long a time at the very poinct either of shivering in pieces, (as hath happ'ned heretofore to other Countries in like case,) or of rendring it selfe into the seruitude of the hatefull name of theyr neighbours. This part having by experience learned the wisdome to know, that the quarrell of Religion is but the cloke of am­bition for the great ones at this day; that many traiterous intents passe under Catholike pretences; that the Protestant will be alwayes a sure enemie to the Spaniard, and to all his Favorites, partizans, and pensionaries; that whilst he may be suffered to en­joy libertie of Conscience, without any disabling or disgrace in the State, he will be in all occasions rea­dy to serue the King to his utmost, and forward by deserts to maintein his favour; that it is no so easie a matter to extirpate them as some think, ha­ving taken so deepe root in the Realme as they haue, besides the favour of great Princes their neighbours abroad; who are engaged and embarked in the very same cause; and that although it were to be wished for the happinesse of the Kingdome, which during this diversitie and dissention in Religion, shall breed greater securitie to their neighbours than to them­selues, that if it were possible some course were taken for a finall reuniting of all in one profession; yet this being not to be hoped for in this exasperation of minds on both sides, must be commended to time, [Page 183] which works out many things; to occasion, which effects even wonders on a sodaine; and finally to some generall good way to be undertaken by the joynt consent of wise and worthy Princes, for effec­ting like unitie over all Christendome if it may be: In these considerations, this part which with his ap­purtenances is now the greatest, will never advise the King to become head of a partie againe, so long as hee may be absolute commaunder of the whole; having found that siding course in such strength of both parts to be a false ground and ruinous to them that take it. To these may be annexed those morall men, as they call them, who thinke not these diver­sities of opinions of any such moment, as that they ought to dis-joyne them who in the loue of God, in the beliefe of the fundamentall Articles of Christi­an Faith, in integritie of life and honestie of conver­sation, (which are the greatest bonds,) remaine united; much lesse that they ought to enrage mens minds so farre, as to cause them to take armes to decide the quarrell; which are not those instruments wherwith either error should be razed, or truth pro­ved, or Religion planted. And finally to this partie may be added all those who affect a quiet world and peace aboue glorious troubles: which is the desire of those lightly, who in a midle degree of condition, possesse also a moderate temper of affections; which is ordinarily the greatest part in all well-ordred Cōmon-wealths; and withall the farre surest and fir­mest to the State. None of those will be easily drawn to enter into any violent course against those of the [Page 184] Religion, so long as they haue the discretion by no jealousie to provoke them. The last part is indeed of their vowed and sworn enemies, the Leaguers and Zelez as some name them; once the greatest and most favoured part of the Realme, at this day not so; theyr plausible pretences being now dismasked, and the disasterous success of theyr disordred actions, which hath brought things to the very counter­poinct of that they aymed, and left nothing but a memorie of much trouble and misery, of the was­ting of the people, the sacking of Cities, the har­rowing and desolating of the Countrey, together with the imminent daunger of the utter ouerthrow of the Realme for ever, making them hatefull and despised in those very same minds, wherein they were erst-whiles enshrined with all devotion, which reasons haue so abated also the hawtinesse of theyr hopelesse heads, who lately breathed nothing but Crownes and scepters, but glory to theyr followers, but vengeance to theyr enemies: that now they are content to raunge with theyr fellows, and haue tur­ned their song of soveraignty into a more peaceable and calme tune, of nec veterum memini latorve ma­lorum. Howbeit the righ Zelez, men of the basest sort lightly, and possessed with Friers, who fill them with very furies against the Religion, are as malicious and ragefull against the Protestants as e­ver; and thirst after nothing so much as to embrew them selues once againe in theyr bloud; they sticke not to professe and indeed had they heads and op­portunities to acccomplish. The number of these [Page 185] is exceeding great and desperate; but impuissant, base and broken. With these joyne in heart in a manner all the Clergie; who compt the Religion and Reformation theyr bane, and the very calami­tie of theyr estate for ever. A great errour among other, as was observed by the worthy Chancellour MONSIEVR DEL' HOSPITAL, in the plots and proceedings of the first Protestants of Fraunce, to alienate so respected and so potent a part of the Realme, by leaving them no hope of any tollerable condition under theyr reformed estate; whom, by following the wiser courses of theyr moderate neighbours they might haue gained to them in grea­test part as others did.

Now this part which are the onely assured ene­mies of the Protestants, and of whom they may make accompt, that they will not faile them at a need, doth come short of them perhaps in strength, though in multitude farre exceed them. Wherein this is also not to bee left unconsidered, that as in the body of man the humours draw still to the sore: so in a state all averse and discontented doe associ­ate them selues lightly to the part grieved and per­secuted.

This take I to bee the present estate of the facti­ons in Fraunce for matter of Religion: submitting my opinion, as in all other things, to bee censu­red and reformed by whosoever with more experi­ence and deeper judgement shall haue waded in and weighed these actions and considerations. But to make my farre reach of conjecture for [Page 186] the time to come that will I not bee so sawcie as to doe in French affaires; whose mines are so full of Quicksilver that theyr nimble witts would take it perhaps in dudgen, that any should imagine they would plod on in any one tenour, with that dull constancie which theyr heavyer mettald neighbours doe use; being able even in freshest experience to boast, that theyr lightnesse of spirit; and mutabi­litie of resolutions, hath sodainly recovered them from those tearmes of extremitie, which in the hands of any constant Nation in the world, had beene a very long cure, if not desperate and cure­lesse. But verily this diversitie and dissention in Religion, is still a very great weakenesse and dis­ease in theyr state, and such as wilbe alwayes a mat­ter of jealousie among them selues, of assurance for theyr neighbours, of joy to theyr enemies.

For Lorain, and Savoy, with the Uallesi who confine on Savoy, they runne wholly with the streame of the Papacie: though in both parts there are store of Protestants, and that of men of the better sort but without any publike exercise of theyr Religion, saue onely in some few out-skirts of Savoy neere Berna and Geneva. What Madam the Kings sister may affect in Loraine, or what contrariwise her selfe may suffer, time onely by tri­all is able to ascertein.

These particulars thus admitted, it will bee no great difficultie to make some comparatiue Esti­mate of the whole strength of the Papacie, in respect of the Protestants, being the part now one­ly [Page 187] on foot against them. For as for the Greeke-Church, the case is evident, that though in num­ber it bee graunted that they exceed any other; yet are they so oppressed under Turkish tyrannie, or removed so farre off, as the Muscovites and some others, that they come not into any accompt in the survey of the strength which wee now speake of.

But for the Western or Latine Church, in the generall division into the part Reformed and part Papall, admitting them in number and circuit of Territorie to be neere aequall, (as considering the huge compasse of Germanie and that Empire pos­sessed so wholly in a manner by the Protestants, I can make no other proportion:) in other poincts wee shall finde great odds and advantages for strength in different kinds on both sides. First the Kingdomes and States of the Romish part, lying neerer the Sunne, are not onely in riches, both naturall of theyr soyle, and accessorie by greater opportunitie of traffike to all parts of the World, by manifold degrees superiour to theyr Northren adversaries, but also in a finenesse and subtiltie of wit; which having that other instrument of wealth to work by, doth farre passe in all ordinarie and orderly actions, that robustnesse of body, and pu­issance of person, which is the onely fruict of strength that those colder climes doe yield. Though some times extraordinarily it is knowne and to bee graunted, that those septentrional inundations; by theyr very violence and multitude, as in people more generatiue, haue so wildly deliviated over [Page 188] all the South; that as a raging tempest they haue ravaged and ruined those powerfull and flouri­shing Empires in the sodainnesse of an instant, which had bene many ages in rearing and spreading over the world.

But these haue bene no other than as torrents or brooks of passage; soone up▪ soon downe; soone come, soon over gone. Neither haue the Northern people ever yet for all theyr multitude and strength, had the honour of being founders or possessours of any great Empire, so unaequall is the combate be­tween force and witt, in all matters of durable and grounded establishment. An other poinct of great advantage in the selfe-same side is the uniting of theyr forces into fewer heads and mightier: which uniting is a very redoubling of strength in all things. They haue on theyr part first and principally the Pope himselfe, seated royally and pontifically in the midst and chiefest, regarding the rich Sunne in his glorious rising, and the Moone in the heigth of her beautifull walke: on his left hand, the Emperour, the auncient remaines of honour; on his right, the King of Spain, the new planet of the West; at his backe, the French King, the eldest Sonne of the Church; all mightie Monarchs, opposed as brasen Walls against his enemies on all fides: round a­bout him are the lesser Princes and States of Italy, as matter rather of solace and honour than other­wise, and to exercise him selfe upon, as his humours of favour or displeasure shall advise. Whereas on the contrary part the only puissant Prince in any [Page 189] comparison with those other, is Her Maiestie of England: whose State is yet so divided from all the rest of the world, that it is the lesse fit in that respect for the rest to make head at. Againe the other haue the Pope, as a common Father, advizer, and con­ductor to them all; to reconcile theyr enmities, to appease theyr displeasures, to decide theyr differen­ces, and finally to unite theyr endeavours in one course, to instance, to presse them, to remoue stops, to adde encouragement, by ayd from him selfe; and aboue all things to draw theyr religion by consent of Councells to an unitie or likenesse and conformi­tie in all places; a principall pillar of stay to the unlearned multitude, of glory to them selues, of upbraiding to theyr enemies. Whereas on the con­trary side, the Protestants are as severed or rather scattered troups, each drawing a divers way; with­out any meanes to pacifie theyr quarrels, to take up theyr Controversies, without any bond to knit them, theyr forces or courses in one. No Prince with any praeeminence of jurisdiction aboue the rest: no Patriarch one or more to haue a common Superintendence and care of theyr Churches, to be sollicitours of Princes for correspondence and uni­tie: no ordinary way to assemble a generall Coun­cell of theyr part, the only hope remaining ever to asswage their contentions, and the onely desire of the wisest and best minds among them. Every Church almost of theyrs hath his severall forme and frame of government; his severall Liturgie and fashion of service; and lastly some severall opinion [Page 190] from the rest; which though bee in them selues matters of no great moment, being no differences essentiall or in any capitall poinct; yea and some of them might serue perhaps to the Churches great benefit: yet haue they beene are and wilbe, so long as they continue in theyr present tearmes, causes of dislikes, of jealousies, of quarrels and daungers. In summe, what unitie soever is among them proceeds onely from the meere force and vertue of veritie; which all parts seeke for, which though it bee incomparably the best and blessed­dest, and that which alone doth unite the soule with God; yet for order in the world, for quiet in the Church, for avoyding of scandall, for pro­pagating and encrease of what great power that o­ther unitie is which proceeds from authoritie, the Papacie which stands by it alone, may teach us: in fine, both concurring attaine the prayse of per­fection. These then are the advantages on the part of the Papacie. But now one disadvantage (such is the nature of all things) impeacheth and directeth all other theyr forces; and that is theyr vicinitie with theyr graund-Enemie the Turk; who by Land and Sea presseth hard upon them, both Emperour, & Pope, & Monarch of Spain; & driveth them often times to such extasies and devisies, that Spain hath no other shift to cleare him selfe than by diverting him upon his owne deere brethren of Austria, and causing him to fall foule upon his friend the Emperour, wherein hee is driven yet to a two-fold charge, both in bribing [Page 191] the Basha's to draw theyr Lord to Germany, and in supplying then the Emperour with money to withstand him. The Emperour on the other side calleth for ayde of the Protestants, without which the whole Empire were in daunger of wrac­king. The Pope, who aboue all other is in deepest feare, though not yet in the neerest; know­ing that the finall marke which the Turk shootes at is Italy, as thinking that to bee the lover now onely remaining to bee set up for the accomplish­ment and perfection of his Empire; and that his Warres with the Emperour are but to open that Land-passage, for asmuch as by Sea hee hath euer proved the weaker: bestirrs himselfe on all hands, in the best sort hee is able, both in sen­ding such ayde as his proportion will beare, and especially in soliciting the Princes of his part to enter into a common League and warre against him; giving over-ture of like desire for the Protestants also. But the Protestants would know what securitie of quiet they shall haue from him selfe first, theyr neere and sterne and unap­peaseable enemy; before they wast out them selues in giving ayde unto him, against a common ene­mie indeed, but one who is farthest off from them of all other, who as now is desirous enough to entertein theyr friendship, and who at the worst hand carieth no more eruell hatred against them and theyr profession, neyther condemneth theyr religion more then the Pope theyr fellow▪Chris­tian.

[Page 192]Then for his Catholikes the Polakers, they clearly slip collar; both for the naturall hatred which as neighbours they beare the Germans; and for that they are in peace and amitie with the Turke, paying him a certein tribute; and although his neere neighbours also, yet not in his way; which is not to the North, but to the Sunne and South parts and mainly and plainly to the conquests of Italy. The Venetians are content also to liue rather as free tributaries to the Turk as they now are, than as slaues to Spaine; who in joyning with them heretofore in league against the Turk with Pope PIVS QVINTVS, did contrarie to his oath and bond forsake them, and suffer them to bee beaten, being left alone to the Turks furie; and all this to the end that having theyr state utterly maymed and bro­ken by the Turk, they might bee constrained whol­ly to cast themselues, theyr Signorie and Citie in­to the armes and embracements of Spaine for safeguard. With this unchristian treacherie haue they charged him heeretofore; though now all bee­ing quiet, they are content to put an un-acceptable motion to silence, by demaund of impossible condi­tions of securitie.

Then for Fraunce it is farre off, and lookes that the neerer bee as they ought most forward first; and requires also with reason some breathing time to reviue himselfe, after his wearinesse by his late pangs. Lastly, Spaine hath so much to doe with England and the revolted Provinces, that hee thinks the time gained that the Turke forbeares him. So that the [Page 193] end is, the whole burthen must rest on the Emperor, with that small helpe which Italy and some other yield him. And were it not his good fortune or rather Gods good providence that the very same plagues, which haue ruined the glory and grace of Christendome, should now also infect the graund-Enemie thereof, namely Effeminatnesse and Ava­rice; whereof the one is the corruption of all sound deliberations, and the other the quailer of all man­ly executions; which prevailing in his state as they doe at this day, giue hope that his tyrannie draw­eth towards his period: and for this present pro­vide so, that a weake defendant may shift better having but a cowardly assailant: the matter would haue growne to that extremitie by this time, as would haue called the King of Spain with all his forces to some more honourable enterprises than hee hath hitherto undertaken. And this is the bridle which holds in the Papacie with all his followers, from any universall proceeding by force against the Protestants: who herein are greatly advantaged a­boue them, in that eyther theyr opposites lye be­tweene them and the Turke, or theyr Countries costing so much as they doe towards the North are out of his way, and no part of his present ayme. But these advantages and disadvantages of the Pa­pacie aequally weighed I suppose this disadvantage more mischievous for the present as proceeding from outward force in the hands of an enemie; and the other advantages more stable for continuance, as springing from the inward strength of theyr [Page 194] owne wealth and order.

This then beeing so, and that all things consi­dered, there falls out if not such an indifferencie and aequalitie, yet at leastwise such a proportion of strength on both sides, as bereaveth the other of hope ever by warre to subdue them; (seeing as the Proverbe is, a dead woman will haue foure to cary her forth, much lesse will able men bee bea­ten easily out of theyr homes,) and since there is no appearaunce of ever forcing an Vnitie, unlesse Time which eates all things, should bring in great alterations: it remaineth to bee considered, What other kinde of Unitie poore Christendome may hope for, whether Vnitie of Veritie, or Vnitie of Charitie, or Vnitie of Perswasion, or Vnitie of Authoritie; or Vnitie of Necessitie; there beeing so many other kinds and causes of concord. A kind of men there is whom a man shall meet withall in all Countryes, not many in number, but sundry of them of singular learning and pietie; whose godly longings to see Christendome reunited in the loue of the Author of theyr name aboue all things, and next in brotherly correspondence and amitie, as beseemeth those who under the chiefe service of one Lord, in profession of one ground and foundation of faith, doe expect the same fi­nall reward of glorie, which proceeding from the Father and Prince of peace, rejecteth all spirits of contention from attaining it, haue entred into a meditation whether it were not possible, that by the travaile and mediation of some calmer minds [Page 195] than at this day doe usually write or deale on ey­ther side, these flames of controversies might bee extinguished or asslaked, and some godly or tol­lerable peace re-established in the Church againe. The earnestnesse of theyr vertuous desires to see it so, hath bred in them an opinion of possibilitie that it might bee wrought; considering first that besides infinite other poincts not controversed, there is an agreement in the generall foun­dation of Religion, in those Articles which the twelue Apostles delivered unto the Church, per­haps not as an abridgement onely of the Faith, but as a touch-stone also of the faithfull for ever: that whilest there was an entire consent in them, no discent in other opinions onely should breake peace and communion: and secondly, con­sidering also there are in great multitude on both sides, (for so are they undoubtedly) men vertuous and learned, fraught with the loue of God and of his truth aboue all things, men of memorable integritie of hart and affections, whose liues are not deare unto thē, much lesse their labors, to be spent for the good of Gods Church and people; by whose joinct-endea­vors, and single and sincere proceedings in common conference for search of truth, that honorable Vnity of Verity might be established. But if the multitude of crooked & side respects, which are the only clouds that eclipse the truth from shining now brightly on the face of the world, & the only prickles that so en­froward mens affections as not to consider the best, do cause that this chiefe Vnity find small acceptatiō, [Page 196] as is to bee feared, at least-wise that the endlesse and ill frui [...]ts of these contentions, which tend mainly to the encrease of Atheisme within, of Mahometisme abroad; which in obstinate the Iew, shake the faith of the Christian; taint the better minds with acerbitie, and load the worse with poyson, which breake so out into theyr actions which themselues thinke holiest, namely the de­fence of Gods truth which each side challengeth, that in thinking they offer up a pleasing sacrifice to Gods, they giue cause of wicked joy unto his and theyr enemie; that these wofull effects, with very tediousnesse and wearinesse may draw both parts in fine to some tollerable reconciliation, to some U­nitie of Charitie, at leastwise to some such as may be least to eythers praejudice. Let the one giue o­ver theyr worshipping of Images, theyr adoring and offering supplications to Saincts, theyr offen­siue Ceremonies, theyr arbitrary Indulgences, theyr using of a language not understood in theyr devotions; all which themselues will confesse not to bee necessary, to bee orders of the Church▪ and such [...]s at pleasure shee may dispence with; yea Pope CLEMENT the vijth. gaue some hope to the French King that hee would not be stiffe in things of this qualitie, and that respect of time might justifie the alteration; and some of the latter Popes condiscend to them of Bavaria the Cup in the Sacrament, hoping that would content them, which since they or theyr successours haue againe inhibited; on the other side, let the Protestants, [Page 197] such at leastwise as think so purge out that negatiue and contradictory humour, of thinking they are then rightest, when they are unlikest the Papacie; then neerest to God when farthest from Rome; let them looke with the Eye of Charitie upon them as well as of severitie, and they shall find in them some excellent orders for governement, some sin­gular helpes for an encrease of godlinesse and devo­tion, for the conquering of sinne, for the perfec­ting of vertue; and contrariwise in them selues looking with a more single and lesse indulgent Eye than they doe, they shall find that there is no such absolute or unreproueable perfection in theyr doctrine and Reformation, as some dreamers in the pleasing view of theyr owne actions doe fan­cie. Neyther ought they to thinke it straunge, they should bee amisse in any thing; but rather a very miracle, if they were not so in many. For if those auncient Fathers and Sages of the Church, with greater helpes, beeing nearer the times of puritie; with aequall industrie, so spending theyr whole liues with lesse cause of unsinceritie, having nothing to seduce them; notwithstanding were not able in the weaknesse and blindnesse of humane-na­ture in this world, to sore up so high alwayes in the search of truth, as to finde out her [...]ight seat in the heigh [...]h of the Heavens; but some times tooke Errour dwelling neerer them in steed thereof; how­lesse likely that our age, more entangled with the world; farther remoued from the usage of those faultlesse institutions, and so bitterly exasperated [Page 198] with mutuall controversies and conflicts, should at­taine to that excellencie and perfection of know­ledge; which it may be God hath removed from mans reach in this world, to humble and encrease his longing desire towards another world? And as the present time doth discover sundry errours in the former, so no doubt will the future in that which is now present▪ So that ignorance and errour, which seldome goe severed, being no other than unsepara­ble companions of man, so long as he continueth in this terrestriall Pilgrimage: it can be no blemish in them to revise theyr doctrine, and to abate the rigor of certein speculatiue opinions, especially touching the aeternall decrees of God, the qualitie of mans nature, the use of his works; wherein some of theyr chiefe Authours haue run to such an utter oppositi­on to the Romish doctrine, as to haue exceedingly scandalized all other Churches withall, yea and ma­ny of their owne to rest very ill satisfied. The seat of Truth is aloft, of Vertue in the midst; both places of Honour: but neither truth nor vertue draw to an utter extremitie. And as in some poincts of doc­trine, so much more in theyr practise; in order of government, and Ecclesiasticall degrees; in so­lemnities and statelinesse in the service of God; in some exercises of pietie, devotion, and humilitie, especially in set fastings accompanied with due con­trition of heart and prayer; besides many other Ce­remonies; they might easily without any offence of conscience at all, frame to draw somewhat neerer to theyr opposites than now they are. [Page 199] Which yielded on both sides, a generall and indifferent Confession and summe of Faith; an uniforme Liturgie, or not repugnant if divers; a like or at least-wise not incorrespondent forme of Church-government, to bee made out of the poincts which both agreed in, and to bee established so universally in all Christian do­minions, that this all Christians should necessa­rily hold, this onely theyr Divines in pulpit should teach, and this theyr people in Churches should exercise; which doing the Vnitie of Com­munion should remain unviolated. For all other questions, it should bee lawfull for each man so to belieue as hee found cause; not condemning other with such peremptorinesse as in the guise of some men of over-weening conceipts: and the handling of all Controversies for theyr finall compounding, to be confined to the Schooles, to Councells, and to the learned languages, which are the proper places to try them, and fittest tongues to treat them in.

And all this to bee done by some generall Councell, assembled and composed indifferent­ly out of both the sides; mens minds being be­fore-hand prepared and directed to this issue and conclusion. But now if eyther the obstinat­nesse of the Popes ambition, or the wilfulnesse or scrupulositie of any opinionatiue Mini­sters, should oppose against and impeach this Vnitie of Charitie; then the Unitie of Authoritie to bee interposed to assist it; [Page 200] that is the Princes of Christendome to presse this agreement, to constraine the Pope to content him selfe with that temporall state, which the skill of his Antecessors hath got and left him; and for his spirituall to bee such as the auncient Councells had limited: and for all other gain-sayers, to silence or punish them. Now for the Princes with joinct­ly consent to do this, how many, how weightie motiues doe induce them? the service of Christ, the honour of Christian Religion, and the peace of Christendome, the strengthening of Christi­ans, and the repulsing and overthrow of all Turks and jnfidels. And these in generall. In particular, the assuring of theyr owne liues and persons, which so many under pretence of Religion dayly conspire against; the quiet and secure enioying of theyr rich states and kingdomes; the transmitting of them to theyr posteritie without question or op­position; and lastly the delivery of theyr miserable subjects, (which should bee deare unto them as children,) from those extreame vexations of spi­rit and body, and those in estimable calamities in theyr estates and conditions, wherewith these dis­sentions in religion and effects thereof doe now af­flict them. And this is in generall the summe of the discourse of that kind of people: which doth shew them as they are for the most part to bee Protestants, though perhaps not running jump with theyr side in every thing although many of the other part are caried also with the same good zeale and af­fection to the like desire and invention; but these are [Page 201] of the more moderate sort of the Catholikes, and not of theyr Clergie, and such lightly as haue but an indifferent conceipt of the Popes claime and proceedings, of which sort among the wiser part of the Laitie there are very many. But now in exac­ter consideration of this motion, there appeare for the effecting of it sundry difficulties so great, that they draw to bee next neighbours to so many impossibilities, whereof I will mention onely two of the chiefe. For as for the thing it selfe, I must confesse for my owne part, the greatest desire I haue in this world, is to see Christendome recon­ciled in the badge of theyr profession, (seeing V­nitie is consecrated to Veritie, and both to God;) and that without the ruine and subversion of eyther part, which cannot bee done but to the unexpres­sable mischiefe and miserie of both sides, and with the utter enhazarding of both Christendome and Christianitie; and thinke any kind of peace were better than these strifes, which did not prejudice that higher peace betweene God and mens consci­ences. Then for the way they purpose, it seemeth for the generalitie of it, there is no other now left; seeing the opposition of extreames is no way de­feazable, but by extinguishing the one, or draw­ing both to some temper and mildnesse of state. But in this case two things doe cleane disharten this hope. The first is the untractablenesse of the Papa­cie to this course, who in so many conferences as they haue had in this age, haue alwayes ere they departed very plainly discovered that they came [Page 202] not with such intentas to yield any thing for peace, much lesse for truths-sake, but onely to assay eyther by manifold perswasion and entreatie to reduce, or otherwise by wit to entrap and disgrace theyr ad­versaries, and if some one of them haue shewed him selfe more flexible at any time, it hath beene his utter discredit with his owne partie ever after. Which sterne proceeding of theyrs admitting the fundamentall positions whereon the Papacie is built, is good and necessary. For if divine Autho­ritie doe concurre with them in all theyr ordinan­ces, Gods spirit assist them in all theyr decisions, all possibilitie of erring be exempted from theyr Pope and Church: what remaines there but onely that they teach we belieue; they command, and the world obey? Indeed in humane governments, where reason is shut out theyr tyrannie thrusts in; but where God commands to aske reason is pre­sumption, to oppose reason flat rebellion. To this miserable necessitie haue those assertions tyed them, which they haue layd for theyr foundation; miserable to them selues and miserable to the whole world. For what can bee more miserable to any ingenuous and good mind than to haue entangled himselfe in such a labyrinth of perplexitie and mis­chiefe, as to haue lost no place of acknowledging his errour, without ruining his estate; when as er­rour is onely purged by due acknowledging, and doubled by denying it, and to what a miserable push haue they driven the World, eyther in theyr pleading against them with such force of evidence [Page 203] or in theyr learning of them and joyning with them, as to stop the mouth of the one, and hang the faith of the other, on this unnaturall paradox; I and my Church cannot possiblie erre, and this must you take upon our owne words to bee true. For as for theyr conjecturall evidence out of the Scrip­ture, there seemes to bee as much or more for the King of Spains not erring, as there is for the Popes: it being said by the wisest, that the heart of the King is in the hands of God, a divine sentence is in his lipps, and his mouth shall not transgresse in judgement.

But now as by this meanes they haue debarred themselues from acknowledging and consequently from controlling any errour in faith and doctrine: so on the other side to reforme any great matter in practise were to open the eyes and mouthes of all men against them; who now in the obedience of theyr blindnesse sticke fast unto them. Let them suspend from hence-forward the worshipping of Images, the fleeing to the patronage of Angells and Saincts by vowes and prayers: besides the great losse which it would bring unto the traine in daily offerings to theyr Saincts and Images; what a jealousie would it breed in the heads of their owne that they had led the world all this while on the blind side, and that other things perhaps were in­troduced for gaine, and corruptly contrived, as well as these. Then for theyr adversaries, theyr owne saying is, yield one thing to them, and yield all; sith all hangs upon the same pin, and by the [Page 204] same string that any one doth. So that it seemeth not to haue beene unwisely conceived by him, who said, that to perswade the Pope to any such reforma­tion, was to perswade him to yield up his Keys and Crowne, and to returne into the order of his Pre­decessours and other Patriarchs: which to do as yet hee sheweth no intention.

And although some one Pope should happen to be better affected, yet would it not prevaile unto any great proufe, being sure that his neerest both Counsellours & Officers, his Cardinalls and Cour­tiers, yea his Church and whole State would oppose against him. Then to hope that though the Pope and his Sea should withstand it, yet the learned of his side might be induced in other places to accept and to apply them selues to some treatie of accord; I dare avouch they know them not which haue that conceipt of them. For although it were perhaps not untruly said by a great Clerke of their owne, that the Popes not erring was but an opinion of Policie, and not of Theologie; to giue stay to the Laitie, not stop to the Divines; of whom in such infinite controver­sies and jarrings, about interpretations of texts, and conclusions of science, wherein many haue spent a large part of their liues, never any yet went neither at this day doth go to be resolved by the Pope; as knowing it to be true which theyr owne Law deli­vereth, that in holinesse any old woman, in know­ledge many a Frier might out-goe the Pope, but in power and authoritie the whole World was un­der him: yet at this day they do so generally all [Page 205] cling unto him and draw by his line, (as having no hope either of standing against theyr opposites, but only by him; or of unitie amongst them selues, but only in him;) that touch him, and touch them; yea they thinke at least-wise some of them, that rejected name of Papist, to bee as good a name and more necessarie at this day than that of Catholike; the one shewing theyr Vnitie only with the body, and the other with the head of the Church, which is now more needfull. It remaines that Princes take the matter in hand, and constrein the Pope and others to yield to some such accord. Indeed this were an only right way to effect it. For reason is a good Oratour, when it hath force to back it. But where are these Princes? They dreame of an old world, and of the heroicall times, who imagine that Princes will break their sleeps for such purposes. If there were at this day a DAVID in Spain, a IOSIAS in France, an EZECHIAS in Italy, a CONSTANTINE in Germany; the matter were ended in very short time. But take men as they are, and as they are like to bee; being brought uppe in the midst of theyr factions and flatterers, where they seldome heare truth, and if a good motion by mischaunce be set on foot by one part, it is sure to be streight crossed thorough the watchfull and in­dustrious envie of the other: the world may hold it selfe reasonably happie and content, if the Civill state be upheld in any tollerable termes, and not think that they should care greatly for reforming the Church, and much lesse for the uniting of the [Page 206] State Ecclesiasticall, the dissentions whereof haue and dayly serue so many mens turnes.

And although it is to be acknowledged and thank­fully commemorated, that this age hath not beene so utterly barren of good Princes, but that some haue deserved to be enrolled among those Wor­thies: yet the ambition and encroaching humours of certein, and want of correspondence requisite in other, haue stopped perhaps those honourable thoughts and desseins, which might haue else be employed for the universall good of Christendome. In summe, there is small hope remaining on this part; the world having extinguished the care of the publike good, by an over-care of theyr private; and each projecting to passe his owne time smoothly over in pleasure, and recommending posteritie to the Starres and destinie. These reasons together with the long continuance of this division, whereby both parts are formalized and setled in theyr oppo­sitions; in so much that at this day they are but very few in comparison of former times that are gained eyther way; do make me greatly despaire of any successe by that course: and so esteem of that plot, as an honested harted desire, but no proba­ble dessein; and as a cabinet discourse of specula­tiue consideration, which practise in the world and experience doth need to rectifie.

The next poinct is, whether Necessitie, which over-rules all frowardnesse, and commaunds all sturdinesse of humours and passions, may not presse to some Unitie; if the Turke still growing as hi­therto [Page 207] hee hath done, leaue no hope for Christen­dome to subsist but in theyr inward Concord. It is true that a forreigne enemie is a reconciler of bre­thren, and that common danger holds them, toge­ther, so long as it lasteth, who else would flee a sun­der upon every light occasion. But herein me thinks it commeth first to be considered, whether the Turk be so▪ fearefull a Monarch as is commonly concei­ved, especially since his late so huge enlargement to­wards the East. That which most men estoeme in him the grand cause of errour, seemeth to mee a chiefe argument of the contrary, at this present: and that is the very hugenesse of the Empires. For Empires are not then alwayes at theyr strongest, when at theyr biggest; there beeing a certeine due proportion in all things, which they breaking that exceede, as well as they that come short of; may bee compted to bee huge and vast, not great; since that is great properly, which is great in his actions, which are as often impeached by unwildinesse in the big, as by weakenesse in the little. But if to this bee adjoyned, as it sometimes falls out, that there bee but a little soule to mone this vast body, (which maketh some of the biggest men to bee neyther the wisest nor valiantest;) and that is, that the govern­ment, which is the soule of a state, bee scant and feeble: not able to embrace nor to order so huge affairs: then is there no other greater praesage of ruine, than very massinesse it selfe, which everie strong push or justle makes reele and totter, for want of that inward strength which were requisite [Page 208] to hold it stedie. And this take I to bee the State of the Turkish Empire at this day: which beeing a meere tyrannie, as ayming onely at the mighti­nesse and securitie of theyr great Lord, the sole absolute commander, without any respect to the benefit of the people under him, saue only so farre forth as may serue to beare up his greatnesse; and for that cause hee in his jealousie and distrust of his owne, keeping his Territories halfe desolate, wast, and unhabited, his subjects without heads of Nobilitie to lead them, without hearts to en­courage them to seeke deliverie, abasing them by all kind of bestial education, and oppressing them by all sorts of extortion and outrage, giving the Lands where hee conquereth to his Souldiers and Ti­marri: which scattered over all parts of his ample Empire, are the onely contented people and one­ly strength in effect hee hath, as beeing bound by theyr tenures to serue in his warre, whethersoever hee calls them: and without his charge: this bee­ing his state, it is cleare, that the wildnesse and ly­ing wast of his Country; is to the great dimini­shing of his owne wealth and revenew: which is lesse than some one of our Christian Princes at this day, though his Empire much larger than all theyrs together: the unpopulousnesse together with the basenesse and feeblenesse of such as are, makes that no one Country is defence for it selfe but must haue the concurse of many of the rest to assist it; and lastly the huge circuit of his soyle and con­fines, embracing as is esteemed eight thousand mile [Page 209] of Land, and of Sea as many, is cause that his Ti­marri cannot assemble together but in very long time, wherin opportunities are oftē lost, besides the tiring both of themselues and theyr horses, ere they arriue. And the truth heereof is assured by fresh experience, hee having done no great matter in all this warre of Hungary, though none to speake of but Germanie, with some small helpe of Italy, haue opposed against him. But if wee far­ther consider the effiminatenesse of the education of theyr Great Lords in these times; a thing which they are advised and constreined unto, even con­trary often-times to the manlinesse of theyr owne natures, (and all to keepe the Father from jealousie of his owne sonne, whose brauenesse of mind and warlinesse is still suspected;) and use having soa­ked once into theyr bones in youth, doth for ever after lose the sinnes of theyr manly dispositions, and subject them to the softnesse and basenesse of pleasures: considering also the avarice and corrup­tion which raignes there; all peaces and warres, all friendships and enmities▪ all fauours and wrongs, all Counsells and informations, being growne to bee saleable: if these bee as they are the signes of a diseased, and prognosticates of a dying Monar­chy, much more of a tyrannie; then surely haue wee not now so great cause to dread him, as to blame our selues and our wranglings and vilitie, who choose thus in practising to exterminate each other, to trace out an unhonourable and fruitlesse life, at the end finding our selues in the very same or worse tearmes than when wee began; rather [Page 210] then establishing first a firme accord at home, to attempt with united loue zeale and forces, so just, so christian, so honourable, so rich a warre. And verily if but our Princes confining upon him, though agreeing among themselues for the most in Religion, were not so strangely infected with emulations, and home-ambitions, as to condis­cend to pay tribute to the Turke in severall, for so doe they as a redemption each of theyr peace, (which yet hath no longer assurance than his plea­sure, which with double as much under-hand bribes and presents must be daily sweetned;) and which is yet worse, when his list comes to invade any one of them, (as hee doth for his very exer­cise and avoyding tumults at home;) the rest to hold off from giving succour to theyr neighbours, for feare of drawing a revenge upon themselues some other time; which is the case of the Polo­nians and Venetians at this present, who scarcely dare so much as pray against him in theyr devoti­ons, otherwise than in theyr hares, which I ween they do duly: were it not I say that theyr private ambitions, feares and miscasts did driue them to make so abject and unchristian a choice, rather than zealously and violently to joyne and pursue one certeine course for the rooting of him and his tyrannie out of this part of the world: it were not to bee so much doubted but the feare now on this side would soone turne to the other; seeing that one good blow to a body so ill built and full of distempers, were able to put the whole in daunger of ruine and shivering. These rea­sons [Page 211] induce mee not to thinke that the daun­ger from the Turke should bee so great, as to enforce the Christians to runne mainly into an accord. And though it should, yet without o­ther sounder working, by perfect composing of all inward di [...]cention, this would be but a civill ac­cord, and only for the time; which the feare once past, would dissolue of it selfe, and the former con­tentions reviue as fresh as ever. For the bond of common feare, is the strongest indeed of all other, but the shortest withall; which nothing during the daunger is able to breake, and the daunger once passed falls in sunder of his owne un­soundnesse. Howbeit if the Turke should set foot in Italy, and abate the Popes strength by possessing his state; then would I not doubt much, but that both him selfe would be content, and all other Prin­ces forward, that some such unitie as is before spoken of might be established. But that is a case as unlikely in short time▪ as in tract of time not impos­sible to happen, if some manly stout Turk should succeed these womanish.

There remaineth then the Unitie by perswasion only, which both sides now seeme to rest on; each practising and hoping in processe of time to eat out the strength of the other by his industrie, in drawing away by perswasion his followers and ad [...]aerents. Wherein the Protestant counteth his advantage so much the greater, in that the Vnitie of Veritie is it which himself perswaded of the perswadeth to others. And truth being so infinit degrees stronger than un­truth, having God to blesse it, Heaven and Earth and [Page 212] all the Creatures of God to witnesse it, and even falshood it selfe (which is always his owne cut­throat) by his crossing and contrarietie to yield con­fession unto it: unlesse the fault be exceedingly in the handler and pleader, must needs in the end, (maugre the malice of all enemies, and craft of all inventions,) prevaile and haue victorie: although the utter abolishment of the Kingdome of Anti­christ, they referre with the Prophecie to the ap­pearance of our Saviour in judgement and triumph now shortly approaching. On the other side the Papists hope, that theyr perswasion being seconded by so great Princes authoritie, insinuated and far­thered by so many collaterall aids of motiues and practises, leaving nothing unaffaied which may pre­judice, afflict, or annoy theyr opposites, and provi­ding as they do a perpetuall succession of instru­ments, to be employed in each kind over all parts of Christendome; they shall in the end tire, eat out, and utterly consume the strength and stomack of theyr unpolitike and divided adversaries. In the number whereof, though they score up all religions especially Christian, that acknowledge not the Pope, and the three-fold plenitude of his supernall, terrestriall, and infernall power; extending to Hea­ven in canonizing Saincts; to the lower parts of the world in freeing from Purgatorie; over the Earth in being the univarsall guide and Pastor of all men: yet are they not affected to all theyr opposites in like sort, speaking of such as with whom they liue and dayly converse. For to omit the Iew whom they mocke with his Messias. so long in comming; as [Page 213] also the Graecians, whom they pitie with theyr Patriarchs under Turkish slaverie: theyr hatred is to the Lutheran, the Author of theyr calamitie; but hatred and feare both of the Calvinist onely, whom they accompt the onely growing enemie and daungerous to theyr state. For as for the Lu­theran, hee was long since at his highest: and if he itch and inch forward one way for an ell hee looseth an other, it is onely by a kind of boysterous force and violence against the Calvinist; as in Stras­bourg of late. The reason whereof besides the absurditie of their Ubiquitarie Chimera, hath perhaps beene in part also, for that theyr o­pinion tooke up his seat in Germanie, a stiffe people but an heavie; which cannot hold theyr own well, but gaine little upon other men: where­as the other falling upon a liuelier mettall, of the French especially, who are alwayes stirring and practising upon theyr neighbours, and more vehe­ment for the while in whatsoever they affect; hath had a verie huge encrease in latter time, notwith­standing those Massacres which haue bene used to extinguish them, and is still growing forward in all places where once it taketh; and overtoppeth them now from whose root at first it sprang. This there­fore by all meanes they seeke to represse, giving some blind hope to the Lutheran of quiet and tol­leration, so hee will joyne against these, the fret­ters out of both. But of all places theyr desires and attempts to recover England, haue bene always and still are the strongest: which although in theyr more sober moods sundry of them will acknowledge, to [Page 214] haue bene the only Nation that tooke the right way of justifiall Reformation, in comparison of other who haue runne headlong rather to a tumultuous in­novation, (so they conceiue it:) whereas that al­teration which hath beene in England, was brought in with peaceable and orderly proceeding, by ge­nerall consent of the Prince and whole Realme re­presentatiuely assembled in solemne Parliament, a great part of their owne Clergie according and con­forming themselues unto it; no LVTHER no CAL­VIN the square of theyr Faith; what publike discus­sing and long deliberation did perswade them to bee faultie; that taken away; the succession of Bi­shops and vocation of Ministers continued; the dignitie and state of the Clergie preserved; the ho­nour and solemnitie of the service of God not aba­sed; the more auncient usages of the Church not cancelled; in summe, no humour of affecting con­trarietie, but a charitable endeavour rather of con­formitie with the Church of Rome, in whatsoever they thought not gain▪saying to the expresse Law of God, which is the onely approvable way in all meere Reformations; yet notwithstanding in regard of the power and renowme of the Prince, and of theyr exemplarie policie in government of the state in regard that they concurring entire­ly with neyther side; yet reverenced with both, are the fitter and abler to worke Vnitie betweene them, and to bee an umpire also director and swayer of all, whensoever there should bee oc­casion of assembling theyr Counsells, or of con­joyning theyr forces for theyr common defence; [Page 215] and especially for that it is the onely Nation of the Protestant partie, able to encounter and af­front theyr King-Catholikes proceedings for the rooting out of Haeresie, as theyr actions both by Sea and Land haue manifested: of all places in the world they desire most to recover it, making full accompt that the rest would then soone follow, and apply to them of theyr owne accord one after an other. But to as high a tide as they are risen in theyr desires thereof, to as low an ebbe are they sallne in theyr hopes, being lesse now for ought I perceiue than ever, having seene her Majestie so of­ten and almost miraculously preserved; their treasons discovered; their excommunications vanished; their Armies defeated; their cartalls and books answered; their chiefe Champions discouraged, wasted, de­ceased, those that remaine, though many, yet few of abilitie; in so much but for some small remnant of hope of alteration, which time and trouble as they imagine may yet bring, theyr founders were likely to with draw from them ere long theyr stipends, which get them but a vaine name of fruitlesse liberalitie. And this is all I can say for any hope or meanes of this ge­nerall Vnitie, and so must I leaue and recom­mend it to God: as beeing both our best and now remaining onely policie, to addresse our united and generall supplications to his divine power and Majestie: that it may please him by that ever sprin­ging fountaine of his goodnesse and gracious mer­cie, even beyond all humane hope, if it may so stand with his blessed will: and by such meanes as to [Page 216] his divine wisdome are ever in readinesse to effect those things which to mans witt may seeme impossi­ble, to extend his compassionable and helping hand over his miserable, defiled, disgraced Church; per­secuted abroad and persecuting it selfe at home; confined by Tyrants into a corner of the world, and therein raging and renting it selfe in fitters; to purge out of mens minds that ambition and vanitie, which so bewitcheth them with the loue of the pomps and glories of this perishing and ending world, which in the breathing of a breath they will loath and de­spise as nothing; and to ingraft in them a pure and single Eye, to behold that eternall truth, which seene breeds loue, and loved conducts to happi­nesse; to root out all gall and acerbitie on both sides, and to bend theyr harts to Charitie: that being re­united in the Pilgrimage of this life, this country of our terrestriall bodies; wee may after our seruice and course therein accomplished, ascend under the conduct of our Saviour before ascended, to our ever­lasting rest in the countrie of our coelestiall soules; there in Societie and unitie of Saincts and Angells, to enjoy the happie Vision of the all-glorious Deitie, and to sing his prayse for ever.

I should here make an end concerning the Church of Rome, but that a question incident to the matter which was last spoken of, being mo­ved by many, and diversly answered, doth summon mee to deliver up my conjecture also: and that is Upon what ground of Equitie or policie, the Pope should suffer both the Iewes and Greci­ans to haue publike exercise of theyr Religion [Page 217] in Italy, yea in Rome it selfe under his Holinesse nose: and onely the poore Protestant must bee ex­cluded or besieged yea persecuted and chased if it bee possible out of the world, no view of his Reli­gion to other, no exercise of it to himselfe permit­ted. For as for the Graecians, they haue a Church at Venice, with an Archbishop of Philadelphia, a Bishop of Cerigo, and sundry other inferiour Priests to governe it: and the Italians also doe often repayre to theyr Masse. They haue theyr Masse al­so in Greeke, with leavened bread and other schis­maticall Ceremonies, at Rome it selfe, and in Naples they say theyr Priests reteine theyr wines still, by permission from the Pope; in regard that in those places they acknowledge in some sort the Popes praeeminencie and power: which at Venice they doe not, but a meere primacie of order, which the auncient Councells haue thought good to giue him. No more doe the Graecians in Apulia and Calabria, about Otronto and at Catlana, nor in Corfu and other Ilands adjoyning to that cost, bee­ing the old remaines of the Occidentall Graecians, and who haue alwayes and doe still follow the Greeke Church in all things: though those in Ca­labria and Apulia be subjects to the King of Spain, and in his power to root out whensoever him­selfe listeth. And yet even in Italy it selfe doth he suffer them and theyr Religion: who never could bee induced to tolerate the Protestant in any the remotest corner of his huge scattered Monarchy: though the Graecians are condemned Haereticks even in matter of the Trinitie, and perpetuall op­pugners [Page 218] of the Papall right and authoritie. Then for the Iews they even swarme in most of the chiefe parts of Italy: at Rome especially; where the least number I could ever yet heare them esteemed at, is ten thousand and upward, though other say twise as many. They haue their faire or at leastwise fine Synagogues both there and els-where; theyr cir­cumcision, theyr Liturgies, theyr Sermons in publike; and all that lift may resort unto them.

Yea in meanes of enriching them selues they are so much favoured, that in all places they are permitted to streine up theyr V [...]urie to eighteene in the hundred upon the Christian (for among them selues they no where use it;) whereas halfe that summe in a Christian is not tolerated: which causeth many greedie and consciencelesse Chri­stians to use these Iewes for theyr Brokers under hand in improving theyr unlawfull rents to the utmost proportion. They haue also in some places, and it may be in all a peculiar Magistrate, to decide any controversie between Christians and them, with particular direction to favour them in theyr trades. And lastly whereas France hath banished that race: in Avignon onely the Popes Citie they are harbou­red and rete [...]ned. Some answere to this demand in defence of the Pope, that the Church hath no au­thoritie to chastice the Iews, who never were within the Church, but are as enemies in even tearmes: whereas the Protestants are eyther unnaturall and rebellious Children, who haue flung out of the Church, or the issue of such; against whom her authoritie is endlesse and unrestreined, to tak [...] all [Page 219] courses possible to reclaime them for ever. This an­swer seemes faultie: both as short of the question, seeing it extendeth not to the Graecians, who are in the very same roll of Haeretickes and Schismatickes, flingers out of the Church: and for that there is difference between exercising jurisdiction in punish­ing an enemie, and not harbouring and cherishing him, with his unlawfull and scandalous religion per­petually in our very bosomes; as is done in Italy, who haue called the Iewes in thither, yea and still do entice them, whom, Fraunce and England and Spain haue banished from them long since.

Other leaving these quirks of justice, hold by the texts of Charitie that it is a Christian act to harbour a harmlesse enemie, and especially that it is of all o­ther most befitting the Church, who hath hereby also better meanes to reduce them to the Faith; and so in fine to saue theyr soules, which is the summe of her endeavours. And in fortifying this answer there is to be alleaged for the first poinct, that the Iewes haue theyr service in hebrew, and the Graecians in greeke, which Italy understandeth not; yea and that they haue purged the Hebrew Liturgie from all poincts wherein they did impugne or scandalize Christianitie: and for the second poinct, that the Iews are bound to repair at some times to the Chris­tian sermons, by which means some few of thē haue bene converted, and more may bee when God shall please so. But neither seemes this answer so perfect as were requisit. For the Iews make their sermons or ex­positions of the Law in the Italian language; though the texts of Scripture they cite in the originall: [Page 220] and although they haue purged theyr Liturgies as they say: yet leaving them Circumcision, they to­lerate that which is now intolerable. And as for their gaining of any soules among them; if they gain­ed not more Crowns, that reason would not stand. For if any credit may bee given to the Hebrewes them selues, as many Friers become Iews as Iews become Friers: of both sorts some; but few of ey­ther. But of the good provision they haue taken to convert them, and of the fruits thereof, I shall speak hereafter. In the mean time this I aske; would they suffer the English Protestants to haue an English Church there, none understanding their Language neither in Service nor Sermons; yea and purging their Liturgie of whatsoever may seeme to impugne or deface their Religion, if there be any thing in it of that offensiue quality? as for my part I know nothing but think rather with great judgement it was pur­posely so framed out of the grounds of Religion wherein both sides doe agree that their very Catho­likes might resort to it without scruple or scandall, if faction more then reason did not sway. Then for repairing to their sermons, they know by experience they will not be backward; especially hauing the opi­nion of great Divines (is some say) that it is not un­lawfull. And lastly, what reason why they should not be as hopefull to g [...]ne English mens soules, as Iews? yes theyr hope is greater: else would they not bee at such cost upon the one abroad, and be­stow so little labour upon the other at home. To this question they would answer first that there were more danger of flocking away theyr people, if▪ they [Page 221] should haue but a bare view of our Reformed Chur­ches, as being more infectious; and therefore no policie: and secondly to what purpose the making of any such motion; what need unto us, and to them what profit? This answere deduced from policie and profit I take to be the right answere also to the first principall question; and neither of the former drawne from Iustice or Charitie. For there is no cause of any feare at all, either of the oppressed Grae­cian, or of the obstinate Iew, bearing a marke of ig­nominie and reproach in all places. Yea they re­maine rather as examples & spectacles among them of contempt and mi [...]crie, the one for his ungratefull refusall of CHRIST himselfe; the other for his se­dition against Christs Vicar, as they inferre against him. Whereas to giue the Protestants any foot a­mong them were the next way to leaue them selues no foot to stand on.

On the other side by extending pitie towards the afflicted and dismayed Graecian▪ whom the hand of God hath layd as low as the very dust wee tread on, they sow some hope of ranging him selfe againe un­der theyr subjection: which were to them a reputa­tion and strength inaestimable, and such as cun­ningly by [...]alse bruits they cause the world dayly to feed on.

Then [...]or the Iew, the profit by him is exceeding great, and greater in proportion of number than by the very Courtizans; and that as well to the Pope, as to other Princes of Italy; to whom they pay a yearly rent for the very heads they weare, besides o­ther meanes to [...]acke and wracke them in theyr pur­ses [Page 222] at pleasure. Which gaine, as it is a piece of the cause why the beastly trade of the one, so is it the entire reason why the trade of the other is per­mitted: they beeing used as the Friers to sucke from the meaner, and to bee sucked by the greater: in so much that the Pope besides theyr certein tri­bute, doth some times as is said impose on them a subsedie of ten thousand Crowns extraordinary, for some service of State.

Now to consider a little what probabilitie of theyr conversion in those parts, and by the way to touch somwhat of Theyr Religion and usage, thus stands theyr case. They haue a Religion though somwhat strange to our conceipts, as being framed not onely out of the Law of the old Bible, but also out of sundry the straunger opinions of the auncien­ter Philosophers, together with certein capriccious fancies and fables of the Rabbins; yet so handsomly pieced and glewed together, that one part seemes to hang to the other not absurdly. And that which they hold they are so perfit in, that they will giue both a profitable accompt thereof out of a certein morall Philosophy and reason, wherein they are well seen; as also make some shew for it out of the Bible it selfe: wherein they are the skilfullest men I be­lieue in the World: and needs must be so, setting theyr Children to the Hebrew language at three yeers old, and following no other studie saue of the Bible and writings upon it all theyr life long, ex­cept certeine few that betake themselues to Phisick. Touching God and his nature, their opinions are for the most very honourable and holy, saue that [Page 223] they deny the Trinity touching Angells, but weake, and soyled with much poetrie: touching the nature and condition of man very exquisite and for the most part drawing neere unto truth. But for the three States of the soule of man they runne some more straunge courses; holding the creation of them all together before the bodies, with sundry of the auncient both Divines and Philosophers the [...] of PITHAGORAS, (though not to different species;) and PLATO [...]S Purgatorie. Of ver­tue and Vice and mans course in both they think not much amiss [...]; saue that to the expiation of sinne they hold nothing necessarie: but the repentance of the sinner, and the mercie of the forgiver, which in that case is always ready. For reward it commeth wholly from the bounty of God, without desert: yet diffe­rent in degree according to the works of each man. That the generall Law of all men is the Law of Na­ture onely, which who so keeps, it shall lead him to blisse in what Religion soever; though the Hebrew unto whom MOSES Law was peculiarly given by ob­serving it shall haue a greater praerogatiue of glory. They prefer the civill life before the solitarie, and mariage before Virginitie: as being to nature more agreeable, to mankind more profitable, and conse­quently to God more acceptable. Their beliefe of the end of the world, and of the finall judgement, of the restoring of mens bodies, and of their happinesse everlasting in the heighth of the Heavens; is good in the generall. But as they think it a bad opinion, which some of great name haue seemed to hold, that God in his everlasting and absolute pleasure [Page 224] should affect the extreame miserie of any of his Creatures, for the shewing of his Iustice and severity in tormenting them; or that the calamitie, casting away, and damnation of some, should absolutely and necessarily redound more to his glorie, than the felicitie of them all; considering that his nature is meere goodnesse and happinesse, and hath no affi­nitie with rigour or mi [...]erie: so contrariwise they thinke with ORIGEN, that Hell in the end shall be utterly abolished, and that the Divells them selues, after a long course of bitter repentance and punishment, shall find mercie at his hands that did create them; that the world may entirely be re­stored to that puritie, wherein God at the first did make it; and to that perfection and happinesse, whereto each part of it in his severall degree, was d [...]stined by him, from whom nothing but goodn [...]s and blisfulnesse could proceed. Their Liturgie in the kind of it is not different from ours; consisting of Psalmes and Prayers, with sundry shorter Hymns and responds; of lessons, one out of the Law, and read by some chiefe person; and an other out of the Prophets, correspondent to the former in argu­ment, but read by some boy or meaner companion.

For they in no sort alow that degree of Honour, weither attribute they that authoritie, to any other part of the Bible, that they do to their Law: which they carie about their Synagogue at the end of ser­vice in procession, with many rich ornaments of Crowns and Scepters, the children kissing it as it passeth by them; and sometimes make proclamation who will giue most to their treasure to haue the ho­nour [Page 225] for that time for taking out the Law. But for the manner of performing theyr service, and theyr behavior thereat, it is different from all other that ever I saw. They chaunt it in a strong wide hallow­ing tune; with imitation some times of trumpets one ecchoing to the other, and winding up by de­grees from a soft or silent whispering, to the highest and lowdest note that theyr voices will beare; with continuall great wagging of theyr bodies and exul­tation, as it were in some savage or raging solemni­tie; sometimes all springing up lightly from the ground, and with as much varietie as wild worke will receiue. They were certein ornaments of em­brodered linnen cast mantle-wise about theyr shoul­ders, which are theyr Phylasters edged with knotted fringe according to the number of the Commande­ments, and serving as Locall memories of the Law. The reverence they shew is in standing up at times, and theyr gesture of adoration is bowing for­ward of their bodies, for kneeling, they use none, no more than the Graecians, neither stirre they their bo­nets in theyr Synagogue to any man, but remaine still covered. They come to it with washed hands; and in it they burne Lamps to the honour of God. But for any shew of devotion or elevation in spirit, that yet in a Iew could I never discerne: but they are as reverent in theyr Synagogues as Grammar-boys in their schooles when their Master is absent: in sum, theyr holinesse is the very outward worke it selfe be­ing a brainlesse head & a soule-lesse body: For circū ­cision, they use it to the dead as well as to the living: yet no way think it necessarie for the infants salvati­on. [Page 226] They are a subtile and advantagious people and wonderfully eager of gaine: in so much that who so deales with them needs let his witt goe with his beliefe, or else his findings shall come short of his expectings. As earnest to make Proselytes, as e­ver theyr auncestours: and as obstinate against CHRIST, as the Priests that condemned him. In other poincts they are perhaps rather to be com­mended than otherwise. Theyr care of avoyding Fornication is such that they marry their sonnes at Eighteen lightly. But Adulterie they would punish according to the Law with death, if they had such libertie. When they breake the Law they come vo­luntarily as penitents to theyr Rabbi for punish­ment: yet without any particular disclosing of their fault. They keep theyr Fasts and solemne Feasts ve­ry duly: but as the Christians fast the night, so they the noone alwayes. They are charitable among them selues, leaving no poore unrelieved, no Priso­ner unransomed; which makes them good prize up­pon every pretence. And although for theyr Vsurie and guilefull dealing, they are generally hated there and handled as very dogs: yet some of them I haue knowne, men of singular vertue and integritie of mind, seeming to want no grace but the faith of a Christian. Each Synagogue hath his Rabbi, to ex­pound their Law; to instruct their children; to de­cide their differences.

For their Messias, they say now, seeing he stayes so long, he shall bee a fore-runner of the end of the World: and shall gather by his power all Nations into one fold, and so resigne them up into the hands [Page 227] of that aeternall Pastour. But it seemeth they expect him out of the East, whether the Spanish Iewes fled, and haue exceedingly multiplied. For those do they hold to be of the Tribe of IVDA; and these other in Germanie and Italie of the Tribe of BENIAMIN; who in honour of the more noble Tribe and to cor­respond with them the better, do learne the Spanish tongue, which those still reteine.

But now to come to the poinct which I principally entended, which is, what probabilitie of their Con­version in Italie; three great impediments besides their naturall & inrooted obstinacie, I suppose there are which hinder it: the scandalls of the Christians; the want of means to instruct them; and the punish­ment or losse which by their conversion they incurre, A scandall it is to see mans law directly preferred be­fore Gods: to see so great a matter made of eating flesh on a Friday, and that Adulterie should passe for so ordinary a pastime. A scandall are those Blasphe­mies darted uppe with hellish mouths against God and our Saviour, so ordinarily and openly, that some of them are become very interjections of speech to the vulgar, & other some meere phrases of galantrie to the braver. A scandall is that forging and packing in miracles: wherein the Friers and Iews concur in ae­quall diligence; the one in contriving, the other in discovering them. And surely this is an exceeding great scandall unto them; seeing truth is of so pure and victorious a nature, that it refuseth to be in league with any falshood in the world, much more disdaineth to bee assisted by it: neither can there be a greater wrong done to a true con­clusion, than to endeuour to proue it by an [Page 228] untrue allegation. A scandall are the alterations which they are forced by the Inquisitours to make in theyr Authors and monuments of Antiquitie: thinking that these devises are our best evidences. But of all those alterations they keepe a note for a freer time. A scandall is the vowing and praying to Angells and Saincts: which they hold to bee duties peculiar unto God onely, and so hath it bene estee­med among them in all ages. Yea and they note that the Christians pray more oft and more willing­ly to Christs mother, than unto Christ him selfe or unto God. But the greatest scandall of all other, is theyr worshipping of Images; for which both Iews and Turks call them the Idolatrous Christians. Now this is so much the greater and of more indignitie, for that they generally conceiue it to bee a thing which Christ himselfe expresly commanded; and that in the Gospell of Christ written by the Evange­lists them selues, the Decalogue should bee recited with omission of the second praecept; as one of their greatest Rabbins contested with me, being induced into that errour by some Catechismes of the Chri­stians which he had seene with that fault. Now when they come to conference with the Priests and Friers, (as sometimes they doe,) and upbraid this as a peremptory exception against Christ those good men deny it not, for feare of scandalizing their own, but letting it passe for current, that Christ whom the Iews call a Carpenter, was also an Image-maker or howsoever an Author of the worshipping of them; seeke to salue up the gash which they haue made in the plain words of that Law which was [Page 229] written by the finger of God, with their speculatiue playsters of distinguishing betweene the Images of the true God, and the Idolls of false Gods; of [...] and [...]; of intention instrumentall and fi­nall in worship.

All which are the unsavourest druggs to the Iew in the world: who saith there was never Nation yet so blockish under the sunne, as to worship a stock and stone as a finall object; but onely as a represen­tation of some absent divinitie: and that the Hea­then them selues call them every where the Effigi­es and Simulachra of other; yet such Effigies as that the divine power by his vertue did somtime in­habite and worke miracles by, even as our Lady doth in her Images, in infinite places of Christen­dome: whereby if the poore Idiot were deceived a­mong the Pagans to think some-times that very I­mage some divine matter or person: as cleere is it that the like befalls infinite simple Christians, see­ing theyr Images eyther to grow, or to weepe and bleed, as they do often, and so infinite cures wrought by viewing or touching them. And for theyr de­grees of worship betweene Gods Images and the Saincts, they cannot perceiue them, they kneele to them alike; they pray to them alike; they vow to them alike; they incense thē alike; they burn candles to thm alike; they cloth thē alike; they offer gifts to thē alike; the difference if it be any is in their mentall affections: which whether the blunt & undistingui­shing witts of the vulgar do obserue, they suppose a small measure of discretion may conjecture. In like sort for theyr distinction betweene the Images of [Page 230] the true God and of false Gods; they tell them that in other cases that might haue this use but none in this Law; it being expounded in other places, as prohibiting this base sensuall and seducing kind of worshipping even God himselfe by an Image, if any Image of God were possible to bee made: that thus the Law it selfe doth plainely deliver; thus they which received the Law understood it; thus all theyr holy Auncestours and learned Doc­tours haue still interpreted; and thus hath their Na­tion in all ages believed. And therefore they say for theyr comming to the Christian Sermons, that as long as they shall see the Preacher direct his speech and prayer to that little wooden Crucifix which stands on the Pulpit by him, to call it his Lord and Saviour, to kneele downe to it, to embrace and kisse it, to weepe upon it; (as is the fashion of Ita­ly;) this is preaching sufficient for them, and per­swades them more with the very sight of it to hate Christian Religion, than any reason that the world can alleage to loue it. And these bee the scandalls, which as I haue heard them selues alleage, they take on that side; besides their Transubstantiation which they can at no hand disgest. The particular scandall from the Protestants, is their mutuall dissen­tion which they hold to proceed from the want of the Vnitie of truth in theyr foundation: otherwise saue for their generall exceptions against Christiani­tie, they hold their Religion very conformable to the Law of Nature, which they accompt the princi­pall. But were all the unneedfull scandals in those parts removed, yet is there no good meanes there of [Page 231] the Iews conversion. They complaine first, that the New Testament being the ground of our Religion, they cannot see it. That Italian translation which they had is called-in and taken from them. It is prin­ted in Hebrew letters, but not in Hebrew language; at leastwise not such as they can understand. With Greeke and Latine their Nation never medled. Be­sides which the Inquisitours haue inhibited and ta­ken from them all Bookes that were published in that theame on eyther side, as well those that haue beene written in defence of Christian Religion, as the contrarie against it; alleaging they will haue no disputing in matter of Religion eyther way: much like to an Edict set up at Dola in the Franch County, where the Iesuites reside; for­bidding any talke of God eyther in good sort or bad. Then lastly for those few Sermons they are bound to repaire-to, seldome where I haue beene are they directed to the Iews or to the poincts they stick on, but hold on their usuall tenour, as respecting more the Christians. The last encouragement to men especially of their mettall, is that at their conversi­on to Christianitie they must quit theyr goods to the Christians. And the reason is for that in Baptisme they renounce the devill and all his works; part wher­of are the Iews goods, being gotten eyther by them selues or by their Auncestors with Vsurie. Now this is such a cold comfort to a man set on the world as that Nation is wonderfully: that for my part I haue not heard of any converted in those parts, saue some few Physicians with some of theyr chil­dren; who by friendship from the Pope haue obtei­ned [Page 232] dispensation to reteine theyr goods still, in as much as they were gotten by theyr honourable pro­fession. But if on the contrary side the Christians would againe in theyr Charitie giue somewhat for the competent enterteinment of such as for Gods sake did giue up theyr owne; I could not but well commend that rigour of Iustice, which the bounti­fulnesse of this Mercie did intigate and assweeten. But being no such matter there remains nothing fof a Iew converted, but to bee Friered; a trade which of all other they least can fancie, as being contrary, as they alleage, to nature it selfe, which hath made man sociable, and each helpefull unto other in all civill duties; a trade never commanded or commen­ded by God; never practised or counselled by their renowmed Ancestors, who received cōtinual instruc­tion & inspiration from aboue, which none of their Patriarchs or Prophets haue given example of; on­ly in three or foure thousand yeers ELIAS and some one other haue bene found upon very extraordina­ry cause to haue taken also an extraordinary course of life; though of other nature, and to other pur­pose, than the Votaries of our times. And these are the tearmes that the Iews stand in in those parts; and so must I leaue them to the mercifull cure of God: an unblessed and forsaken people; obstinate with in and scandalized with-out; indefatigable in theyr expectation, untractable in perswasion; worldly, yet wre [...]ched; received of theyr enemies, but des­pised and hated; scattered over all Countries, but no where planted; dayly multiplying in number, but to the encrease of their servitude & not of their [Page 233] power; in summe, a long continued and marked ex­ample of Gods just seueritie; to abate theyr pride that glorie even as they, in theyr Auncestours and Foun­ders, Gods Temple and Oracles, many promises and praerogatiues, long continuance in honourable estate and glorie: (which things were they sufficient to pre­serue any sea in the world, even their seat had bene pre­serued by them:) & to proclaim to the whole world that there is no assurance of the favour, protection, and assi­stance of God, (without which all falls to ruine,) but by belieuing in his Son, and in keeping his Comman­dements. And this also may seem touching the Church of Rome sufficient.

Next followeth the Greeke Church, enthralled all in a manner saue the Muscovites and the Candians, with some few other of no great name and number, under the Turkish-tyrannie. Of which Church, as their farre distance from us requireth not to speake much, so their uniformitie in miserie yieldeth not much to be spoken. For theyr Religion, except onely theyr auncient errour touching the proceeding of the holy spirit from the Fa­ther alone, wherin they haue long dissented from all the Latin or West. Church; in other poincts they seeme to stand in some middle tearmes, of opinion betweene the Romanists and Protestants, yet so that in the more, they approach to the Church of Rome: and to the Pro­testants in the more weighty, or at leastwise more domi­natiue. With Rome they concurre in the opinion of Transubstantiation, and generally in the sacrifice and and whole body of the Masse; in praying to Saincts: in auricular confession: in offering of sacrifice and pray­er for the dead: and in these without any or no materiall [Page 234] difference. They hold Purgatorie also and the worship­ping of Pictures. But for Images they will not so much as endure them in theyr Churches; as well for that proclivitie they haue to traine away the ignorant into crime of Pagan-errour; as also to avoyd that simi­litude betweene theyr Churches and the Heathenish Temples of Idolls, which imagrie doth cause. And for theyr Pictures, they kneele to two onely of Christ and our Lady: the rest they passe over with an ordi­nary reverence. For Purgatorie, they hold none in Hell or in the skirts thereof, or by any outward tor­ment: but that the soules of the faithfull are not recei­ved into glory, till by an extreame compunction and anguish of mind, they haue worne out those staines, with which sinne and the pleasures thereof in this life defile them. In summe, those opinions which grew into the Church before that separation betweene the Greeks and the Latins, and all those Ceremonies which were common unto both, they still reteine; as theyr crossings, and tapers, with certeine other. But for those superstitions which haue crept in in fresher me­morie, or which were if as auncient, yet not so current; and in generall all those Canons of the Romish faith, which haue bene thrust on them in these latter times, by the unaccomptable power and pride of the Papacie, tending to the advancement of theyr owne sea, and to the exempting of theyr Church and doctrine from try­all; by those Anabaptisticall fancies of the spirit that moues them, and protects them from error in their con­sultations and resolutions touching matter of faith, ex­tenuating the sufficiency and authoritie of the Scrip­ture in comparison of theyr spirit or Church guided by [Page 235] it; all these things they abhorre no lesse than the Pro­testant. They hold understanding requisite to concur with affection for the accomplishment of devotion in praying to God: and although theyr Liturgies are the same that in the old time, namely St. BASILS, St. CHRI­SOSTOMES, and St. GREGORIES translated, without any bending of them to that change of Language which theyr tongue hath also suffered: yet do they say that al­teration is not so great but that theyr people with small accustoming understand the Liturgies well enough. But for praying by tale with St DOMINICKS round compters, they esteeme of it no better than those Hea­thenish repetitions and unnaturall lip-labours which our Saviour censureth. Neyther can they belieue that the Apostle St. IAMES the lesser, who is painted under the Papacie with his great beads at his girdle, (even as MARY MAGDALEN lightly praying before a Cruci­fix,) was St. DOMINICKS disciple; but a wiser mans farre, and one that introduced a better fashion of praying of the world could haue beene content to haue followed his prescript. In like sort for the holy-water so much used under the Papacie; they belieue no such feare that the Devill should haue of it, nor such force in it to purge sinne, as theyr neighbours doe teach. They repute it a very vaine opinion that the Church cannot erre, both in the whole and every part thereof, and con­sequently that their neighbours of Rome had bestow­ed that paines better, which they haue spent in pro­ving and perswading that they cannot erre, in providing and caring more not to haue erred. They acknowledge that there is sufficient doctrine in Scripture for salvation: though to the auncient [Page 236] usages of the Church, and writings of ancient Fathers, they yield due reverence. Three things in the Pope they cōdemne especially; his pride, his cruelty, & his presump­tiō most of all: his pride, in arrogating so exorbitant a ju­risdiction over all the Church, contrarie to the decrees of auncient Councells, and upon no shadow of right or good foundation; but chiefly in usurping that tem­porall tyrannie over Princes and theyr States, in de po­sing of the one, and disposing of the other, at his abso­lute pleasure: his crueltie in persecuting other Christi­ans with such extremitie for theyr different opinions: his praesumption in mounting up into the seat of God, by dispensing with the Lawes of God, and graunting pardons for sinne, and Liberaties out of Purgatorie; which they accompt to bee of those royall praerogatiues incident to God onely. For as for the doctrinall foun­dation of those Indulgences, the over-plus of me­rits and satisfaction in some, being more than they needed or than were to bee requited with any joyes of Heaven in theyr particular persons, and consequently remaine as a perpetuall treasure to the Church, to bee conferred by the Pope on his weaker and lesse deserving or rather lesse satisfying children, (for so is their opini­on:) so farre are they from prizing merits at such an in­aestimable valew, that contrariwise they concurre in as­sertion with the Protestants, that it is unpossible for any creature to merit as by way of right the least dram of reward at his Creatours hands; the service of ten thou­sand millions of Worlds, beeing not able to adde a­ny shadow of perfection to him, who is Perfection it selfe, having whatsoever is good or desirable within himselfe, even from all aeternitie, in infinite of degree, [Page 237] and with impossibilitie of any the least addition. But whatsoever reward is bestowed on the creature▪ floweth forth from the meere bountie and graciousnesse of the Creatour: who as in goodnesse alone and meere grace did make him, so in goodnesse and meere grace also doth advaunce him unto that higher happinesse.

That service intermediall which he requires at his hand, is a gracious disposition of sweetest harmonie from the unexplicable wisdome of a Lord and Father, still abounding and still enlarging his hands, in all boun­tie and goodnesse towards his sonnes and servants; and destined to no other than to the creatures behoole, to his benefit and advauncement only: that by his requi­site endeavours in those honourable wayes, of wisdome and vertue, of loue and thankfulnesse, and of imitating his maker in doing good in the world; hee may grow being assisted with divine grace and vertue, to an high­er degree of goodnesse, still perfiting more and more all the faculties and parts of his unperfit soule and na­ture; whereunto also an higher degree of glorie is pro­posed, & reserved by the great Rewarder in the heighth of the Heavens, as a full and finall accomplishment of his whole desires, and as the Crowne of his coelestiall blessednesse. Now as in this opinion they agree in ge­nerall with the Protestants; so do they mightily dissent from that doctrine touching the aeternall Counsells of God; which CALVIN as some conceiue first fully re­vealed, or rather introduced into the Christian world; and since some of his friends and followers haue secon­ded; as thinking it very injurious to the goodnesse of God, and directly and immediatly opposite to his very nature. In regard whereof one of theyr Bishops hath [Page 238] written a booke against it, which hath bene sent to Ge­neva, and there received. Thus much of theyr doctrine; which though I know it may bee better and fullier had in theyr books, yet haue I not thought it unconveni­ent to deliver thus in briefe, how I haue found them al­so in speach and conse [...]ence effected.

Theyr Liturgies for the substance are those three I haue named: all which they use for varieties sake, in the severall times and feasts allotted for them. For the forme and caeremonies they resemble much the Latins, though of the two the French Masse more thā the Italiā; not only in theyr holy-bread▪ but especially in theyr Altar, which with great mysterie as is said they both enclose from the people, that the Arcana of those theyr ineffable cros­sings and convertings may not bee prostituted and pol­luted by unsanctifyed view; whereas the Romans fin­ding no such vertue in that mysterie, lye faire and o­pen on all sides to all eyes. In theyr host they use Le­ven, which the Latins avoid: and they elevate it for­ward; which the Latins doe backward: and neere the body of the Church; which the other doe at the Al­tar. In theyr crossings they are very plentifull: but herein swarving from the Latins, that the Greeke (who is more nimble therein) begins his crosse-barre on the right side, and the Latin on the left, each with his se­verall mysterie. They haue also a mysterie in shifting and reshifting in one and the same Masse from one Altar to an other; which the Latins haue not: who contrariwise in one Church haue a dousen Masses sometimes all going at once to severall Altars; which the Graecians use not for ought I could see. They haue much adoe with theyr lights, in putting them out and [Page 239] in againe at severall times and parts of theyr service. And theyr Liturgie is intermedled much with sin­ging; performed in a tune, neyther very artificiall, nor altogether neglected; but graue, alternated, and braunched with divers parts.

At the Creed, the Priest commeth forth at the doore of the Chancell, and holds up a little embroidered pic­ture of Christ on the Crosse: towards which they doe reverence and pronounce theyr beliefe. Theyr gestures of reverence, are the very same with the Iews; standing up and bowing forward theyr bodies at times. For kneeling they use none, saue onely as they say one day in the yeere. At theyr comming in, they bow them selues thrice towards the Altar, and three times crosse them selues. At theyr departure, having taken theyr holy-bread, with kissing the Prae­lats hand from whom they receiue it, they finally salute the Pictures of Christ and our Lady, kissing also theyr hands, which are plated over with mettall because of wearing. But the Graecians Pictures of Christ and our Lady are nothing like to the Latins; but as different as any ordinarie two faces that a man shall see. The most uniformitie therein that I haue seene, is with us in England. For in Italy there is little, especially of our Lady: whose very pictures which they say St. LVKE him selfe, partly did draw, and partly began, and Angells did finish, may argue perhaps devotion towards her in the drawers, but small acquaintance: unlesse her face were very variable, or very sclender their skill: some where as at Loretto shee is painted like a black­moore. In summe, they haue so little knowledge of her countenance and favour, that in some places [Page 240] they will assemble divers of theyr fairest Courtizans, (as I haue heard it there reported,) to draw the modest beautie of a Virgin out of the flagrancie of Harlots.

But to returne to the Graecians, and to come now to theyr Government; which is as the world knowes, that auncient, by Patriachs, Archbishops, and Bishops, with other Orders inferiour. Vnto whom the people carrie exceeding respect and reverence as it were to the publike Fathers and Heads of theyr Nation, notwith­standing that calamitie wherein the Tyrannie of the Turk hath plunged them. They haue also a religi­ous Order amongst them of St. BASILL, the great founder of the East Monks; as Sainct BENEDICT of the West. These onely haue theyr vowes of Chastitie and austeritie and may not marrie; which to the rest of the Clergie is not prohited. They haue also their proper habit: but shaven they are not, for ought I could discerne; no more are theyr Priests, being a Ceremonie so bald, that the very Priests in Fraunce are ashamed of the marke, and few of them haue it that can handsomly avoid it. But as in the mul­titude of theyr Religions, they differ much from the West Church, the Graecians having but this onely one order of St. BASIL, and the Latins having multiplyed therein to greater store and varietie, than there are pro­fessions in a common-wealth, or trades in a Citie; so al­so in their use and course of life. For the Roman-Monks, by the with-drawing them selues from the societie of other men, and living and dying within their solitarie Cloisters; do bereaue the world of that benefit of dutie and service wherein each man is bound to the behoofe of other; alleaging in place thereof the blessings which [Page 241] their assiduitie and fervor in prayer, not interrupted nor cured by secular conversements draw downe upon the world, as may bee godlily believed without farther proofe: where as the Greeke-Monks seeme to continue that auncienter and more approved institution of them, by spirituall meditations and exercises, and by severitie to make themselues fitter to serue in the Church of God in Ecclesiasticall calling with exemplarie holinesse; and accordingly their Praelats & other principall Priests, are chosen in most places out of their order in greatest part. These guides of their Church haue a wonderfull care, continually pricked with the acerbitie of much feare and griefe of Hart, least their persecuted flock, gasping as it were in the helplesse and comfortlesse extremitie of all kinds and degrees of miserie, having famine of soule and great blindnesse within; for want of plasters and means to maintein them; without seeing nothing but triumphs over Christ and scornes of his Religion; in­solencies and violences against their persons, oppressi­ons and extortions upon theyr goods, rapins and mur­derings of the very soules of theyr children, (a case to be bewailed with teares of bloud by all Christian harts that know it;) hearing the onely Anchor and flay of their soules, which is their expectation of the comming of Christ and of future salvation, dayly derided and blaspheamed by the pride of the mightie; and finally, seeing no shadow of any hope of deliverie from this long calamitie, under the burthen whereof they grone and are consumed: should in the end fall away and re­volt to Turcisme; inviting them unto it with all the baits of ease, of wealth, of pleasures, of freedome, pros­peritie and worldly glory: in which fearefulnesse of [Page 242] mind, the onely remedie remaining, is the vertuousnesse of their owne example in constancie and patience, and the avoyding of all scandall to their people. Which is the cause that they wil not hear of reforming any thing; not I suppose upō any presumptiō or obstinacy of mind, as disdaining reformation; but as trembling at alteration which must needs accompany it; lest their people percei­ving so they had bin amisse in some things might suspect the possibilitie of like errour in the whole; and so fall mainly whither the force of power and worldly prospe­ritie, a chiefe argument to the ignorant & vulgar minds, should sway them. As on the other side their doubt of farther inaspererating the Turk in his Crueltie against them, considering that in Greece and all those parts of Europe the Christians under the Turk do very many­foldly exceed in number the Mahometans them selues: may be a cause why in their generall they hold so small intelligence & correspondence with the West-Church of one side or other; and are like to continue so, whilst their thraldome and cause of that feare shall last: though in their particular they will declare a brotherly affection to both, and desire of the unitie of all in one truth. But for the Turk him selfe he maketh full accompt that whē ­soever the West-Christians should stoutly invade him; the East-Christians under him would run to theyr aid, if they saw any likelihood that they should prevaile. And this hath bene seene already more than once by ex­ample; and he provides accordingly.

The Muscovites are a great Church, a free and pu­issant; not schismatikes from the Graecians, as some in disgrace of both deliver, though perhaps not fully con­curring in all poincts. Neyther yet is it true which o­ther [Page 243] of a contrarie conceipt haue rumoured, that the Patriarch of Constantinople hath remoued his Seat to Mosco, whether he went only to erect that Sea into an Archbishoprick, which before it was not, and so retur­ned. But the Turk to keepe the Muscovites from stir­ring against him; doth cause the Tartarians to make often incursions and roads into theyr Countrie; that so being always in inward awe from an other side, they may haue lesse leysure and with all lesse stomacke, to embrace any outward thoughts or desseines of en­terprizing or combining with other Christians against him. It were needlesse now to enter into any view of their Li [...]es: neither could it serue eyther way, to the honour or reproach of theyr Religion or governe­ment; being maymed, interrupted and stopped in his operations of what qualitie soever, though his tyran­nie who striveth by all meanes to plant barbarousnesse amongst them; as knowing that neyther Civilitie did found his Empire, nor with civilitie could it long continue. But the case is generall and experience sheweth it in all places, that although a sweet mind and pure conversation bee the naturall fruicts of a sound beliefe and perswasion; yet the afflicted in all Re­ligions grounded upon truth, how contrary soever otherwise, are in their farre greatest part men of consci­ence and honestie; saue onely where hopes draw other humours to them. For it cannot proceed from lesse than a vertuous affection to prefer the sinceritie of consci­ence before worldly glory; howsoever it may be stai­ned with other erronious opinions. As on the con­trarie side even the purest Religion in prosperi­tie, draweth to it an infinite of good com­panions [Page 244] and time-se [...]vers, who being trained up in the exactnesse of kitchin and cup▪discipline, make theyr Rendez-vows always where the best Cheere is stirring; and follow Christ upon a sharpe devotion, but to his bread not to his doctrine. In which regard the fruicts of life in divers Religions and governments, are not to bee compared but where their prosperitie or ad­versitie are aequall. And even so doth it fall out in this particular we now speake of; where the Graecian, who is compted by the corruption of his Country to be natu­rally a false and craftie merchant, a seditious and stirring person in all kinds of governement; is now become humble, obedient, graue and peaceable, and surely at di­vine service giveth more shew of devotion than the Ro­manists in any place for ought I haue yet seene. But the lamentable calamitie of this afflicted and distressed Church, once flourishing in all worldly prosperitie and glory, now such as it hath pleased the rage of the wild bore to leaue it, able to melt and dissolue even a marble heart into streames of mournefull teares, doth cause me in due sense of campassion of their miserie to presse with the humble petition of a mind pierced with griefe to the just Iudge of the world, the Redeemer of mankind, and the Saviour of his erring people; to cast downe his gracious and pittifull Eys upon them; to behold on the one side his triumphant fierce enemie persecuting with­out end or measure, on the other side his poore servants troden downe and persecuted without helpe or hope or comfort; to breake and dissolue the pride and power of the one, and to comfort the astonished and wasting weakenesse of the other with some hope of succour and finall deliverie, to inspre the [...] Christian Princes [Page 245] their neighbours, compounding or laying aside theyr endlesse and fruictlesse, contentions to revenge theyr quarrell against the unjust oppressour: to deliver now at length the Church of that bane, the world of that ig­nominie, mankind of that Monster of Turkish tyrannie, which hath too long ravaged and laid desolate the earth. A small thing were it, if his revenew and treasure were only supplyed and maintained out of their goods and labours; or if their bodies and liues were onely wa­sted and worne out in his works and slaveries, it might be suffered. For goods are transitorie and death is the end of all worldly miseries. But to be forced to pay a tribute also of soules to his Mahomet; to haue their for­wardest and deerest children snatcht out of their bosoms to be brought up in his impious and bestiall abomina­tions, and to be employed in the murdering of them that begat them; and in the rooting out of that Faith wherein they were borne and baptized, and which only were able to bring their soules to happinesse: this sure­ly is an anguish and calamitie insupportable, and which cryeth unto God in the Heavens for release. How long shall the hatefull name of that cursed Seducer, upbraid the glorious and louely name of our Saviour? How long shall his falshood insult over our faith? how long shall his barbarisme oppresse civility, and his tyrannie affront the true honour of all lawfull governement? But how long soever; this stands most sure for ever, that the judg­ments of God are just, and directed ever in his sharpest and most rigorous chastisements to the benefit of the world, and instruction of men; and sound to us besides other things, this admonishment a lowd, that if in those people among which our Saviour himselfe conversed, [Page 246] at what time his beautifull steps honoured the world; i [...] in those Churches which his Apostles so industriously planted, so carefully visited: so tenderly cherished; in­structed and confirmed by so many peculiar Epistles & for whom they sent up so many servent prayers, yea unto whom are remaining those particular letters which the spirit of the highest endited in the very Heavens, and sent downe unto them for a fore-warning and preven­ting of that plague which is since through their great neglect befalln them, if besides these spirituall praero­gatiues and graces, the puissance and glorie of the great Empire of the world, the Christian Empire of Rome, being translated unto them, and seated in their lapps, with promise of perpetuitie to their present prosperitie, such then was the strength thereof: notwithstanding when they fell away from the first Zeale and Charitie; when knowledge the right mother of Humilitie, made them swell, when they envied each others graces, which they ought to haue loved; when abundance of all things bred wantonnesse in steed of thankefulnesse; in fine, when they forgot the author of all their blisse, and fell one to snarling and biting at an other, in steed of putting up and forgiving offences, if not for the reconciling name of brother-hood. yet for his sake who was father and ae­quall Lord of both: it pleased God to suffer that a base thiefe and a wicked, with a traine of desperate and forsa­ken Vagabonds, to the eternall reproach of all their wis­dome and policie should advance him selfe so by his in­dustrie and their securitie, and grow to such an heighth in his successours and followers, as to be a terrour and amazement to all the world, to them selues in inexpli­cable and unsuccourable calamitie to strip them of all [Page 247] those graces and blessings, which ungratefulnesse would not acknowledge, pride and wantonnesse did abuse; and to heap on them as much miserie, as the furie of a barba­rous and mercilesse tyrant can inflict upon such as haue no meanes to appease him saue theyr calamitie alone, nor to with-stand him besides their patience; then surely we, who come short of them so farre in pledges of fa­vour, and aequall them in our faults; and they who haue had in particular the like threatning caveats of cutting off and not sparing, notwithstanding all the vertues of their honourable Auncestours; may thinke it high time to enter into a more serious cogitation of our ways; to turne all our policies and contentions against others, into an humble and sincere examination of our selues; that repentance and amendment may prevent those pu­nishments which wickednesse hath deserued, and obsti­nacie now highly doth provoke.

It remaines that I should proceed to the Chur­ches Reformed: of which there are many things also to bee said. But the feare of having over-wea­ried your Grace with my length in the former, drawne on by multitude and varietie of matter, still freshly presenting it selfe contrarie to my opini­on and first intention doth cause mee to deferre the rest till some other occasion. In the meane while I praesume to offer this to your Graces good acceptance, as a testimonie of that dutie and thankefulnesse which I beare and owe: so doe I gladly also submit it, to bee censured and controlled by your Graces judgement and wisedome. For however, I haue waded herein with that uprightnes [Page 248] of mind I trust, which becommeth a lover and searcher of truth; and haue also to my best avoyded that rashnes and lightnesse in beliefe, to which they that are subject swallow downe much, which fills them with wind in steed of nourishment: yet viewing on the other side in such a multitude at this day, who perhaps with like in­tegritie, aequall warinesse, more diligence, and many­foldly more meanes of certeine information, haue deli­vered eyther hystories or other particular Relations, how few haue not stumbled upon many an errour, where they thought was nothing but plaine ground and truth: I cannot haue that affiance or presumption of my good fortune, as to hope to be the man alone that should hit truth in all things. But rather as fore-seeing almost an impossibilitie of not often erring in matter of this large and scattered qualitie, depending also so much upon conjectures and reports: I do willingly subject whatsoe­ver I haue said, to be gain-said by the better information of any other; and shalbe always ready to make honou­rable amends to truth, by recalling and defacing what­soever may seeme in any wise repugnant to it: as profes­sing the truth onely, which I haue sincerely and unparti­ally endeavored to deliver, to be the fruict of my desire; and the errors which I haue incurred to be the weeds of my ignorance. So take I with all dutie, most humble leaue of your Grace.

Copied out by the Authors originall, and finished, 2. Octob. An. M. DC. XVIII.


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