¶ The waie home to Christ and truth leadinge from Antichrist and errour, made and set furth in the La­tine tongue, by that famous and great clearke Vincent, Frenche man borne, a­boue .xi. hundred yeres paste, for the comforte of all true Christian men, a­gainst the most pernitious and detesta­ble crafte of heretikes, whiche in his tyme by all subtell wayes, deuised to obscure and deface the doctrine and religion of the vniuersall churche. And now the same worke is englished, and by the Ouenes highnes authorised to be sette furthe for the reliefe of diuers Englishe menne, whiche yet stande in doubte, whether they maye goe to heauen in the peace and vnitte of Christes vniuersal churche, or to hell in the dissenti­on and confusion of heretikes.

AR 1693

W. Bect. 1856

¶ To the most excellent and moste vertuous ladye and our moste gracious soueraigne, Marie by the grace of God Quene of Eng­lande, Fraunce, Naples, Hierusalem and Irelande, Defendour of the faith, princesse of Spaigne & Sicilie, Arche­duchesse of Austria, Duchesse of Mil­laine, Burgundie and Braband, Loū ­tesse of Haspurge, Flaunders & Ty­role. Your Maiesties moste faithfull, louinge and obedient subiecte Iohn Proctor, wissheth all grace, longe peace, quiet raygue, from God the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghost.

WE haue with our gret harmes longe tried, no­thing to be more perilous thē wicked follye armed with princely authoritee, Blessed be the heauenly God, moost gracious [Page]Mary, we nowe sauour what inesti­mable good thinge is godly wisedome, coupled with power imperiall. The first nedeth not proffe, for all haue felt, and none can denay: I hother is nowe in vre, that wordes were vaine to de­clare, where deedes are present plentu­ouslye to shewe. What glorie hereof riseth vnto youre maiestie, I neither can expresse as I would, nor yet wil as I may, hauing experience of your gra­ces nature, delighted to do the beest in all, and least of al to heare of it againe. Sparing therfore to praise, whō none but the wicked cā dispraise, I yet with other can not but reioyce, that so high wisedome, so heauenlye inclination is nowe (by Gods prouidence) matched with semblable authoritie of highe go­uernaunce: that what Godlye wayes for the maintenaūce of Gods honour, and the wealth of this realme, youre grace of heauenlie inclination hath to­fore wished, whē ye could not require, of high wisdome hath thought right to be done, when ye lacked might to doo: the same hensfurthe your maiestie (of [Page]right) may will, and of authoritie com­maunde: that where as heretofore vn­der men of courage more stoute to doo their wyll, then godlye deuoute to doo thinges wel, the trueth of Gods word, and the zeale of good workes haue de­taied: so hereafter, vnder Mary a lady of he auenly simplicitie, ye liuely sparke of godly loue may eftsones kindle that was extinct: the bright sterre of Euan­gelike lighte maye shine, that was ob­scured: the righte vaine of heauenlye doctrine maye appere, that was stop­ped vp. If all could that woulde, your highnes shoulde lacke no helping han­des to further youre maiesties godlye purposes. Amongest them that haue muche good wyll, and litle power, I haue alwayes claimed to be one, and nowe for maintenaūce of that claime, I do moost humbly beseche your high­nes to accepte this litle worke, whiche presently I present vnto your grace, that beinge accepted and authorised by your highnes, it mighte finde fauoure with other, that can not but like what your wisedome hath not mislyked.

Wherein I haue expressed bothe my humble and loyall hart towardes your maiestie, & also my vehement affection towardes my naturall countreemen, and most earnest desire of their happie retourne home to trueth, that haue so long straied from home in errour. And for asmuche as many seme to stray, be­cause they knowe not their home, nor the waye thither: I haue deuised for them a perfect table, wherin our home is lyuelye set furth, and the waye also thither. Our home I cal the catholike church, the true spousesse of Christ, our most louinge mother. The way to this home is to folowe her ordinaunces and lawes. This haue I done, howe euer the dede be liked with other, if youre maiestie allowe the intent of the doer, I haue a great portion of my desire. The grace and blessing of God be with your highnes euer and euer. Amen.

Your highnesse true and faiethfull oratour Iohn Proctor.

THE PROLOGVE TO HIS DEER brethren, and naturall countree men of Englande.

IN this newe and mi­raculous raign of mercifull Mary our newe and mooste lawefull Quene & gouernesse, wherin we see so many good olde orders newely restored, and so many new erronious nouelties an­tiquated and made olde, I haue had a vehement desire (dere brethren) to exhibite vnto you some newe gifte and to­ken, therby to witnesse the great glad­nes newly engendred in my harte of so many newe occasions. And emongest all other giftes that myght commende the gyuer, and aduauntage the recey­uer, I finde none either fitter for me to geue, or better for you to receiue, or more agreable for thys presente tyme, then if I should renewe some old trea­sure, and present you with some aunci­ent Iewel, the vse wherof might bothe increase knowledge in you to discerne [Page]the worthye value of olde and aūcient Iewelles of late daies not regarded, and expell also from you blind & grosse ignoraunce, to the vtter defacinge of suche newe fantasticall pelfrie & coun­terfaite trashe, as latelye haue been es­temed. I am muche deceiued, but I haue founde suche a Iewell for you, as for the findinge I myght haue prayse, and you pleasure in hauinge: for the gyuinge I might deserue commenda­tion, & you receaue consolation in the vsinge of it. For what pleasure with­out Christ, what consolation canne be had without the trueth of his heauen­lye worde? There is one onely waye to Thriste, one onely meane to the trueth of his word. This way who euer hath trased, neuer missed Christe. Thys meane who euer hathe obserued was neuer seduced by falshode. This waie to Christ, this meane to trueth, is the gifte, whiche I purpose in this newe face of so newe and happye worlde to gyue you. It is a Iewell soo muche worth, as your soules health is worth. It is a treasure of so muche value and [Page]efficacie, as wherwith God is pleased, and heauen wōne. It is a talet of such speciall propertie, as neither time can diminishe, nor violence deface, nor vse weare it. Thys waye to Christe, this meane to trueth, is by a generall name called, Ecclesia catholica, the catholyke Churche: whiche is our mother, & we her children. Without this mother, as there is no waye to heauen where Christ is (Porta emm coeli est, Gene xxviii. for she is the gate of heauen, wherby we must entre to Christe) so is there no trueth,i. Cimo .iii. but what she alloweth. Columna enim & fir­mamentu veritatis est. For she is the piller and foundation of trueth. None canne sucke the sweete mylke of Christe his comfortable word, but frō her pappes.August. in er­positione epi­stole Ioannis apostoli. q̄ ca­ [...]atu .iii. Mater enim est, cuius vbera sunt duo testamen­ta. For she is our mother, whose twoo brestes are the .ii. testamentes of God. Wherfore to knowe her, is to knowe Christe and trueth. Betwene whiche there is no more difference, then is be­twixte the head and the bodye, the spouse and the spousesse: which as they are by a necessarie band of vnitie knitte [Page]together, so Christ, trueth, & the church are inseparatly conioyned. For neither canne Christe be without trueth, nor trueth without the churche, with whom God the holy ghost doeth com­municate al truth. Wherfore to thend you shal not hensforth misse of Christ, [...]e mistake his trueth, I haue geuen you a worthy worke in your naturall language of famous Vincent, priect som­time of Lyryn, which he penned aboue a .xi. T. yeres agone in the Latin tōge: wherein you shall finde the true and liuely image of this churche, and also most certayne & vnfallible rules, wherby to discerne all cloked falshode from the simple trueth: diabolike sophistrie from Euangelike doctrine. I haue ge­uen you this Iewell of a great zeale and affection: doe not you receaue it vnthankefully. How be it I grate not thankes for the geuinge, but onely ac­ceptation of the gifte. And howe wor­thye it is to be accepted, howe necessa­rie to be had, you shall soner vnder­stande by the vse therof, than I by words can expresse. Accept it therfore, [Page]for it is worthy, and follow the coun­sell thereof, for it is necessarye. What more necessary can be geuen the siche, then soueraigne medicine, whereby he maye be recouered? What more neces­sary can be geuen the worldling, being in daunger to perishe, then to directe him in the wat to heauen, wher he may be saued? What more necessarye for the drowned in sinne, whiche bringeth bondage, then to trace him to grace, that might sette him free? What more necessary can be geuen him, whom the fleshe ruleth, the cause of corruption, then to acquaint him with the heauen­ly spirite, the cause of sanctification? What more necessary canne be geuen him that is nouseled in ignoraunce, whiche made him blinde, then to in­structe him with knowledge, whereby he may see? What more necessarye to be geuen him that is smolthered in he­resye, which hilleth, then to shew him the true religion, wherby he may reui­ue? Al these malavies, grieffes, soores, and discases in you, Vincent, yea rather God that heauenlye Phisition by the [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]ministerie of this holy Vincent shal re­medie and cure, whilesthe shal eftsones settle you in the sure lappe of our mo­ther the catholike churche, the comfor­table leche of all infirmities, the ne­cessary nourse of al weakelynges, the most surest hauen for all stormebeaten to ariue vnto. O dere brethren & fren­des it muche pitieth me, and I trust it nowe repeuteth you also, to consider how euyl you haue ben of late taught, howe vnnaturally you have been in­treated, synce ye lefte this good and louing mother: howe manye diseases and infirmities haue growen vpō you synce your departing frō this comfor­table leche: howe owgle & carren leaue ye are to see, synce you chaunged this necessary nourse: with how great tem­pestuous stormes you haue ben beaten, synce you first did loose frō this faith­full hauen. Wo worth that false har­let that hathe deceaued you, I meane that malignaūt and cursed church. It is she, that by her flatteringe meanes and deceatefull allurementes hath in­tised [Page]you to come from so swete & ami­able mothers lappe, into her whorishe armes: frō church to church, I graūt, but not from like to like. Frō an hea­uenly church, to a malignaunt church, from a louinge mother to a flatteryng harlote. From the condition of grace, to the state of perdition. From the vnitie of christians, to diuision of Nereli­kes. Frō the light of pure knowledge, to the darkenes of foule ignoraunce.

From the trueth of antiquitie, to the falshode of nouelties. From faythfull beleuyng, to carnall reasonyng. From sauing Christ, to deceyuing Antichrist. Thus they agree together, that in all thinges they be vtterlye vulike. The one is of God, and ledeth to Christ and trueth. Thother is of the deuyll, and leadeth to Antichrist and heresie. The one grounded in fay the subdueth rea­son, thother ledde by reason confoun­deth faith. The one beleueth reuerent­lye what reason can not comprehende, thother impudently alledgeth reason faith to reprehende. Betwene thē ther is no amitie, no semblaunce, no agre­ment, [Page]no felow ship: but continual war one against another. Nowbeit for as­much as no vntrueth can deceaue, but by colour of trueth: no hereticall poi­son can beguyle, but when it is geuen in fourme of medicine, therefore thys whorish churche laboureth by al mea­nes to resemble in vtter shewe and countenaunce thother good churche: the rather to seduce the improuident, when her falshode is cloked: the soner to catche the simple, when her hooke is couered. And this is the matter, why diuers haue been so greatlye deceaued of late, and diuers againe wilbe here­after, if vpon this warning thei watch not, and by other menues harmes they beware not. For although this harlot, this deuillishe Syuagege, purposeth nothinge els, but to incororate you to the deuyll Antichrist, yet hath she euer more in her mouthe Christe, Christe. Though she only laboreth to tumble you headlong into hell both body and soule, yet doth the continually babble of heauen: though she teacheth nothing but heresy to ouerthrow the ghospel, [Page]yet her tongue runneth stil of the ghos­pell, as thoughe shee hated heresye. Thoughe she be whollye of the deuyll and nothing of Christ, yet she preten­deth great familiaritie to Christ oulie, as thoughe she knewe not the deuyll. Thoughe shee lacke no crafte to sub­uert trueth, yet trueth, trueth, is euer her word, as though she lacked crafte. O malicious harlot. O deceauable feinde. O cruel stepdame. Come home come home, gentle brethren, to youre louing and tender mothers lay, whiche hath fostered you from your youthe, and leaue the armes of that cruelstep­mother, whiche will not leaue, if you leaue not, till she hath strangled you. Come home to this leache, that shee maye heale you of your foule leprie, wherwith this feinde hath ifected you. Come home to this swete nourse, that you maye sucke from her brestes the holsome foode of your soules healthe, and comforte: and leaue the stinkinge carren wherewith this whore feedeth you. Come home, I say, to thys calme and quiet port, where you shall finde [Page]reste and tranquillitie of conscience, whiche the deuyll coutinually tosseth and tumbleth in restles paynes with the tempestuous stormes of hereticall nouelties. Who is our mother? Wher is our home? No doubt the vniuersall church is our mother, her lappe is our home. If you be not ther at home, you can not be at home with God. If you acknowledge not her to be your mo­ther, you may not acknowledge God to be your father. To this mother, Mary the mother of her countrye cal­leth you. To thys home Vincent wyll leade you euen by the hande as it were. If you be not at home with this mother, there can be no health in you, but all diseases: there can bee no knowledge in you, but al ignoraunce: there can be no hoope of lyfe lefte in you, but assurednes of deathe. Yea, ye can not be of God, but of the deuyl. Qui matrem ecclesiam relinquit, August. in sym bolo ad Cate­chumenod. Li­bro. mi. cap. r. quomodo est in Christo, qui in membris eius nō est? Quomode est in Christo, qni in corpore Christi non est?

Ne that leaueth his mother ye church (sayeth S. Austen) howe may he be of [Page]Christ, whiche is not of his membres? Nowe maye he be in Christ, whiche is not in the bodie of Christ? The bodie of Christ is the churche. If you wilbe healthfull, come home and haue it: If you couet knowledge, come home and sucke it at your mothers brestes, in forme and maner, as it shall please her and not you. If you wil haue life, come home & bide at home with our louinge mother, where deathe ne hell can pre­uail against you. If you wilbe of god, come home and be incorporate into the bodie of God and man Iesus Christe: and then the deuil shall haue no power ouer you. Do thus and you shall be as­sured to inherite heauen, where that wicked harlot and her hareheades shal neuer come. you shal doubtlesse possesse the celestiall Paradise, which that wic­ked maistres and her minstrelles can neuer entre. You shall receiue eternite, which that hereticall churche and her chyckines shall neuer haue. Their dis­obedience and false beleife shal tomble them together into hel: your true obe­dience and faieth shall mounte you to [Page]heauen. They as vnfaithfull rebelles shalbe destitute of all heauenlie grace, you as obedient and faithfull children shalbe supported with the maiestie of Angels. For them euerlasting tormen­tes are appointed, for you heauenlye ioyes preparedeuer to ēdure. Thei shal perishe wicked with the wicked, you shall raigne sanctified with saintes. I feare not but you that are at home wiltarie at home, for feare of so many daū ­gers: and I mistrust not but you that are from home wyll make hast home­ward, allured with so many benefites: There is no doubte, if cloked crafte begile you not, if flattering fawninge of that deceiteful auoutresse hold you not, but that you wyll make spede (as I said) to come home againe that haue straied from home so longe. But as at home with our mother there is no lacke of trueth, so that harlot our cru­ell stepmother lacketh no crafte to en­trap and entangle you, no falshood, no flatteringe to allure and intice you. Come vnto me (saith she) for here is Christ, here is health, here is saluaciō. [Page]Thus the Ape can ruffle in purple: thus the Asse can strowt in the Lyons skynne, thus the iarringe Iaye canne counterfeicte the pleasaunt note of the nightingale. But beware brethren, be not deceaued. It is and euer hath been the practise of the deuill and his mini­sters by coulor of trueth to perswade falshood, vnder the cloke of good to bringe in al euil. Our true mother the true church is but one, & in all respec­tes but one only: one in one vniforme vse of one Baptisme & sacramētes, one faith, one spirite. This mother, is not a mother of a fewe, but of many: her power is not particular, but vniuer­sall: as she is extended through all the foure partes of the earth, & her glorie diffused in the whole world. For of her it is saied: Dabo tibi gentes haereditatem tuā, & possessionem tuam terminos terrae. I wyll giue the nations thine inheritaunce and the extremities of the earthe shal­be thy possession. This our mother the true churche hateth not light, lo­ueth not to lurke in corners, where she maye not be seene: but as her power [Page]hath euer more been vniuersall, so vni­uersally she hath been at all tymes a­perte, plaine, and manifest. For how can she be obscure and hidden (saith fainte Austē) Quae obtinuit omnes gentes, & is that citie of whiche it is spoken: Non potest abscondi ciuitas super montem constituta. The citie cannot be hid which is set vppon a mountaine. Our lorde hath set hys tabernacle in ye sōne, saith ye propher: his tabernacle is our mother, ye catho­like church saith S. Austē, which is set in the bright sonne & not in the darke shade: whiche walketh openly by daye, and not preuilye by night. Whose ad­uersarie the hereticall churche, is of a contrary nature. For she neither is v­niuersall, nor at all tymes, but at some certaine time, and in some one certaine place. And againe she goeth and com­meth preuilie, and in her doinges there is no vnitie, no certeintie at all. Her ministers are diuided, now they dreme one thinge, & nowe an other: this daye they like, to morowe they mislike: one is against an other of them, euen in the highest mysteries of Christ his religi­on, Who list to cōsidre their writinges [Page]shall proue true that I saie. Howe be it experience of their doinges, without readinge of their bookes, mighte per­swade vs of Englande what thei were, and wherehence they be, that yeres past haue been preachers and teachers here amongest vs: that haue persecu­ted our true mother the vniuersall churche of Christ: and haue set vp their lorde Antichriste, and his hereticall churche. What orders, what forme of religion haue they set furth sins their firste raigne, that shortly after they altered not? Whiche three of them a­mougest them all, that agreed toge­ther in their matters? No marueill, for the deuill is their chiefe head, whō they serue: and he is full of lyes, vari­aunce, diuision, and discorde. And vn­der him their scholemaisters were, Hus, Luther, Zuinglius, Decolampa­dius, Bucer, Melanethon, Tindall, Frythe, whiche in their doctrine agree not one with an other. Such maisters, suche scholers come of them. And this diuision, this vncōstancie of doctrine, was a manifest token that they were [Page]not the children of oure true mother the catholike churche, nor ministers of Christ, but the children of the deuill and ministers of Antichrist: yea very Autichristes. For who soeuer saith S. Austen is gone from the vnitie of the catholike churche, he is become Anti­christ. Those Antichristes haue borne a great stroke here nowe to longe time in Englande, in whom was no constā ­cie, no staye, no stedfastues of religion and doctrine. Howebeit thei al agreed wel in some thinges. They all woulde be as proude, as headdy, as false and suttle, as the deuill their father, wher­hence they came. They al would haue wyues, longe berdes, and finally no olde trueth, or fashions: but all newe knackes and fansies, as their schole­maisters lyked, Bucer. &c. of whō they were taught. Yet woulde they bere vs in haud ye they wer catholike christiās. But howe can ye be catholike christi­aus (saith sainte Austen in his treatise vpon sainte Iohn his Epistle) that do not communicate and agre to the vni­tie of doctrine and faith, whiche is re­ceiued [Page]and vsed through all christiani­tie? They woulde be counted true prea­chers of the Gospell, Prophetes, and Apostles: yet none of them can saye as Paule the Apostle saied. Our exhor­tacion was not to bringe you to error, nor to vncieanes, neither was it with gyle: our conuersation was not at any time with flatteringe wordes, neither in cloked couetousnes, neither sought we praise of mē. Ye are witnes and so is God, howe holy and iustly and vn­blameable we haue behaued our sel­ues emouge you. This said S. Paule. What can our new Apostles say? Out of all doubte the verie contrarie, as truly as euer S. Paule said the other. But for feare of Hypocrisie they dyd all their good workes in corners, that mē might not se them. Yet Christ said: Let your lyght shine before men, that they may se your good workes. But thoughe they were not men of manye good workes, yet had they many pretie Aualities, though I saie it. For I may lykē them well to the beast called Ca­melopacdus: chiche being but one, re­sembleth [Page]yet many beastes, as by hys necke, the horse: by his feete, the oxe: by his head, the Camell: by his spottes in his skinne, the Tygre. So these late preachers in their stoute countenaūce, they seemed warriers: in their lighte apparell, courtiers: in their familiar talke, rybawdes: in their gesture, wan­tons: in their liuinge, ryotous: in the pulpyt, lying preachers: in their bokes, spiteful railers. If they haue not been suche as I report them, then showe me what they were, and howe muche ye that haue been their disciples and scho­ters haue profited vnder them, and by their example in godlynes of lyfe, in honestie of behauiour, in charitie to­wardes your neighbours, sins ye first wēt frō your mother the church, & left the auncient orders and customes of religion, and became gaye Gospellers after the gyse of your newe teachers? Beholde your selues in the glasse of your owne cōsciences, & tel me trueth. Ye say, that they were godly teachers, and that through them ye haue attay­ned to a great knowledge of Goddes [Page]word. The more knowledge ye haue ye more godly ye ware of lyfe. For wher the true knowledge of Gods worde is, ther is the true spirite of God, which euermore sterreth & moueth mā to liue wel, according to his knowledge, & the pleasure of God, whose knowledge he doth professe. But in Englande I am perfecte & none of you cā sai nay, & saie truth: but yt ye haue growen in al wic­kednes, as ye haue growē in this newe religion, in somuche that there was neuer suche vnthriftines in seruaūtes, suche vnnaturalnes in children, suche vnrulines in subiectes, suche feircenes in enemies, suche vnfaithfulnes in frendes, againe suche beastlynes of myndes, such disdainfulnes in hartes, finally such falshood in promises, such deceitfulnes in bargaines, suche gredy extortiō, such insatiable couetousnes, such itollerable pride, as therfore ye are becōe a fable amōgest al natiōs. How saye ye, is not this true? whiche of you can denaie it? And be these the fruites of true knowledge? yea, do not these behauiours and vngodlye maners of [Page]you, declare manifestlie that ye haue of late yeres geuen your selues rather to errors, then to trueth: rather to haue forsaken the catholike and pure faieth of our mother the true churche, and folowed the fonde fansies of a fewe vn­godly and false teachers, to the highe displeasure of God? Will God thinke ye reforme his churche if they were in error, or call his people to knowledge if they had been in ignoraunce, by the ministers of the deuil, by the preachers of Antichrist? Or can ye sai that thei be the ministers of God, that liue so vn­godlye: that they be the preachers of righteousnes, whose dedes are so full of vnrighteousnes: that in comparison of them, other whom ye called papistes might be saintes for the honestie of their liuinge, and sobre behauiours, as ye your selues haue saied many times euen in my hearing? Be not these wor­thie Prelates, to be folowed? haue ye done a noble fete trowe ye, to forsake the vniuersall vnitie of all christiani­tie, to be at defiaunce with your louing mother the catholike churche, whiche [Page]hath fostred you from your infancie, and without whose help, furtheraūce, and succour, ye cannot be saued: for to folow suche blinde guides, suche grosse maisters, as whose doctrine hathe brought you in errors, to the high dis­pleasure of God: whose example of vnclene lyuinge hathe ledde you into all wickednes, to your great ignominie, shame and rebuke with all godly peo­ple? what good haue they done in this realme, either by their preachinge in wordes: or with their teaching by ex­ample? Haue thei not brokē many good and godlye ordinaunces, and set vppe none? Haue they not caused for greate concorde and vnitie, great tumult and rebellious sedition? for godly fastinge, ryotous feasting? for deuout praiyng, peuishe prating? for due obedience, vn­lawfull libertie? for peace, Gods plen­tie, and inough: warre, dearth & famine more then inough? I write and wepe in my harte to considre, what maye be writen of the wretched condition and state that our countrie hath been in of late yeres. Which of you al, yea which [Page]of your preachers, (whose light should shine that the worlde shoulde see it) which of them I saie, hath not been as redye as the worst disposed of you all, to eate vpon good friday or any other vigill daye, as soone the Pigge as the Pikerel, the Capon, as the Carpe: the Chykin as the Cheuen? Notwithstan­ding the Magistrates of this realme cōmaunded, the wisedome of the whole worlde thought necessarie, the vniuer­sall consent of Christ his churche pre­scribed the contrary. What seruaunt for the most parte hath any of you all, that loketh not to haue his brekefast, his dyner, and his supper, as well vpō Christmas eue, as any other daye, or els ye must prouide a newe seruaunt? Who can blame them? Are thei not as they haue been vsed? Rather then ye would obserue the ordre of fasting pre­scribed by the churche, ye woulde not stick at the beginning to giue your seruauntes one meale more on the fasting daye, then ye woulde on any other day. And where ye would other dayes feede them with milke, butter & cheese only, [Page]on the fasting daie, they should be sure to haue fleshe. Yea and thought it a glorie whē ye had so done, that ye had so well reformed your householde, frō that popishe fast: calling all thinges popishe that was godly. But what haue ye gotten hereby? Surely ye had neuer so lytle good seruice, and yet ye neuer paide more for it then nowe. Ye had neuer such disobedient seruantes, and yet ye neuer cherished them better then nowe. Why so? Before they were better taught then fedde, and of late they haue been full fed and ill taught: Then were they obedient, trustie and diligent, as thei were taught: and now be they disobedient, slouthful, and vn­trustie, as thei be fedde: then were thei well taught workers, and nowe ill fed porkers: then had ye diligent laborers, and now ye haue negligent loyterers. I speake as I heare your selues saye that haue them. Well, will ye haue a remedy? Thē begin where ye left: teach them better and feede them lesse. And for praying, how it hath decaied, which of you cannot beare witnesse? Finallye [Page]what kinde of wickednes is there that ye haue not aboue other, and what one vertue is there, that ye haue not lesse then other, that professe the contrarie religion to you? One demaunded of kinge Agesilans what fruit and bene­fite the lawes that Lycurgus made had brought vnto the Citie of Spart: marie quod he, Contemptum vitiorum, that is, the contempte of vices. But whoo shoulde require of me what fruit the innouatiō of religion hath brought in­to this realme of Englande, I muste nedes saye as I knowe, Contemptum vir­tutum, the contempte of vertues and al godly liuing. If it be true knowledge, that ye bragge your selues to haue of Gods worde: came ye not to it by the spirite of God? And doth the spirite of God increase knowledge in you, and decrease godlines that shoulde be in you according to your knowledge? Is godlie zeale, is the feare of God, is ho­lynes of life, is charitee towardes your neighbours wrought in your hartes without the knowledge of Christe his true religion, or els with the know­ledge [Page]therof? If it be in the right know­ledge of worshippinge God, then of ne­cessitie must ye cōfesse that before this innouation you were in better state of knowledge, because your liues were then more agreable to knowledge: and that sins, ye haue been erroniouslye taught and deuillishelye seduced, be­cause your dedes & doinges haue euer sins been more and more vngodly and deuillishe. For God did neuer begin to plante a doctrine vnknowen tofore, or renewe a doctrine afore neglected, and forgotten: but by suche as were godly and vnspotted, as in dede expressed the strength and vertue of their doctrine, in their life and behauiours. For as S. Ambrose saith, the wordes of teaching do vehementlie moue the hartes of the hearers, when the life of the teacher is not dissonant. Thē is the authoritie of the preacher firme, sure, & alewable, when he clencheth his sayinges in the mindes of the hearers with the effica­tie of godly workes. For the iuste man in his worde and dede is alowed in his sayinges, this is required in all prea­chers [Page]and teachers commonlie, howe much more is it requisite in them that will preache and teache a newe vn­knowen doctrine? and woulde repell and olde knowen and well grounded religion, to plant some newe fangled inuētion? If thei were moued by God, then no doubte God woulde also in­spire them to doo it orderlie, that is, accordinge as him selfe did, and requi­red other to doe. He him selfe (as is re­ported of him) Caepit faeere & docere. Be­gan first to doe, and then to teach. And he instructing his preachers: said who soeuer breaketh one of these least cō ­maundementes, and so teacheth other, he shalbe called the least in the king­dome of heauen: but whosoeuer obserueth & teacheth the same shalbe called great in the kingdome of God. And S. Paule the worthie preacher of Christe his trueth, dothe testifie of him selfe. I doe chasten my bodie (saith he) and bringe it into subiection, least perad­uenture while I preache to other, I my selfe be made a reprobate. Surely if God woulde innouate or alter the re­ligion [Page]so longe receiued, by reprobate men: then is he not the same that he was, nor one with his promise. For when he first began to plant the doc­trine of his sonne Christ, he chose such ministers and preachers therof, as for integritie of life, and also for diuers miracles (effectuall persuasions of anye thinge that they shoulde teache) were notable through all the worlde. But our holy preachers beginning to plant a newe religion, or (as they saye) renewe an olde doctrine this .xv. C. yeres neglected, lacke both. Thei haue neither good conditions to authorise, ne miracles to cōfirme their sayinges. O, you will say vnto me, though they liued not accordinglye, yet was their teachinge good. I saie they taughte naughtie & false doctrine. How proue I that? because it is contrarie to the faith receiued and taught by our mo­ther the vniuersall churche. But they brought the scriptures for them ye wil fai. Yea so did the deuil, so did Arreus, Donate, Sabellius, and as many here­tikes as euer were, to maintaine their [Page]doctrine, yet was their doctrine here­ticall, and blasphemous: and the scrip­ture true and moost true. But thei al­leged the Doctours, and Fathers vp­pon the scriptures. They did in dede, but in like sort and maner as diuers were noted to allege Homers verses. [...] hedles, & end­les, for whatsoeuer they founde in a­ny of the fathers workes, that mighte in any respecte seeme in apparaunce to mainteine their errors: the same wolde thei continuallie chat and charme on, allthoughe in dede it made either a­gainst them and their errouious doc­trine: or at least, nothinge with them, if they had well waied their workes throughlye as they did not. But they were snatchers and patchers only, and only snatched here and there a piece to patche vp a botching mater. I mighte well liken them to Apes for diuers qualities that were in them, for as the Ape being neither apt to kepe yt house, as doth the mastie cur, nor fitte to bere burthen, as can the hors: nor meete to turne and till the grounde, as can the [Page]Oxe: she only flattereth, she only mo­ueth vs to laughter and pleasure, and with her folishe mockes and mowes maketh vs pleasaunt and merie. So these newe fangled preachers, for as much as thei had not the grace neither to kepe home wt their mother, the vni­uersall churche: and with her to watch and kepe the wardes that her enemies assaulte her not, neither to turne & till the groūde of mans soule, that it might be apt to receiue yt good feéde of whete, whiche their mother woulde haue so­wen: neither yet paciontlie to bere the burthen and loode of her motherlie cor­rection, by fastinge and praiyng, and to suffre the crosse of her spouse Christe, which she would haue leide vpon their showlders: being vnfitte (I saye) and vnprofitable membres to these good purposes and vses. they became mini­sters of pleasure, libertie, lyeence and ease, and they thēselues knowrle dope in them all. Whose onlie purpose was as Trasmus well noteth in his epistle to Bylibaldus, Census, & vxor, thryuing and wyuing. ergo in this point they be [Page]apishe. Againe when so euer they toke vpon them the handlinge of any good and weightie matter, their handling of it was apishelie: for either thei woulde rent and teare it into peices, and make it nought worth, orels by wrasting and wrething of it, they woulde force the same to mainteine their principall in­tente (wyuinge and thriuynge) and this is apishe. Further as of euill commeth good many times, so of thē came some good also. For we reade that the wan­tonnes, plaie, and pastime that the Ape maketh, driueth away the Agew from the Lyon. In like sort the foly, the ly­ceutious libertie of these new fangled preachers haue driuen awaie the care­lesse securitie from the catholike sort, and haue been occasion that they haue giuen them selues more earnestlie to watche and warde for their mothers right, whiche tofore liued as careles without feare of enemies: and here in thei were as profitable to ye catholike, as Apes to the Lyon. Thus thoughe they woulde not abide to be papishe, yet were thei stil apishe. Thei haue lost [Page]but one letter of the name, but they lacke an hundreth good conditions of them, that be so named. They will say here vnto me, now ye talke at pleasure of vs: but all this while why haue not you amongest you confuted by argu­ment and learning our doctrine, if it were so euill? I saie vnto them, what nede any of vs to cōfute your doctrine by argument, whiche the vniuersall church of Christ by consent, hath long ago cōdempued for heresie? Tushe they will say againe, you could say nothing against it. How know ye yt, that when we speake you will not vnderstand vs, or els your selues haue so many wor­des, that ye will neither vouchesafe vs time to speake, nor your selues leisure to here. Ye are so ful of wordes that ye cannot abide vs to speake, and soo full of malice, that ye will not sauer of it, if it sounde contrarie to your opinion. Ye are made like Porticus ī Olympia, which was called Septiuoca, hauing seuen voy­ces or seuen soundes, because for one voice it woulde giue many. Soo, you were made Septiuoci for one worde you [Page]will haue the tellinge of seuen score or els the sprite woulde fume and be in a greate heate: howe be it, manye times and often we haue confuted your doc­trine, although you hetherto were not coufuted, which coulde not be, for two causes: the one was because you were become heretikes, which will neuer be perswaded against their conceiued opi­nion, as Lucifer the heretike confessed of his disciples to S. Hierom. Vnum ribi confiteor quia mores meorum apprime nom, facilius cos vinci posso quàm persuaderi. I cō ­fesse this one thing to the, for asmuche as I do so well knowe the nature of my disciples, that to dye for, they will not be perswaded, rather will they by violent cōpulsion be vāquished. Next because ye are apishe as I say. For as the Ape whippeth here and there, and neuer staiethe in one place, lykewise pour custome and maner is, so to sterte and whippe from place to place, from matter to matter, from texte to texte, that it is not possible to preuaile a­gainst you in resoninge. It is an olde saying & some what to true, Frensie, [Page]Heresie & Gelosie after that they haue ones crepte into man, they will neuer lightlie out of him againe. Blame me not if I be some what quicke. Youre quicke spede heretofore requireth no lesse hast, Yet am I not so quicke to touch you for your euil doinges, which deserue no fauor, as ye haue been ouer hastie here afore to depraue vs for such matters as were worthye praise and commendation. If ye haue taken plea­sure in deprauing vs, that offended not take not nowe displeasure, to be re­proued, for that ye haue offended: ye haue many times spoke what ye ought not, and nowe nomaruell, if ye heare what ye woulde not. Who hath not bothe sene and hard in booke, balet and plaie your spurning and kycking, your croing and cryinge, your barkinge and bitinge against the faiethfull beliuers and catholike preachers? and why? for­sothe for two causes. Let Diogenes tell the first and I will not sticke to tel the nexte, One asked Diogenes what was the cause, that some men woulde rather giue their almes to the creplte and [Page]lazar then to a Philosopher, marye quod he, because they hope soner to be a creple or lazar then to be a Philoso­pher, that is, a louer of wisedome & truethe. Nowe why haue ye so vehe­mētly inueighed against the true prea­chers of Christ, and the trueth of hys spousesse our mother the churche, and haue extolled the false ministers of Antichrist and the ministrie of his harlot the malignant churche? Speake Dio­genes, speake. It is, because they soner hoope to be still the false ministers of Antichriste, then at any time the faith­full preachers of Christ: soner to go to dwell in hell with the deuill for here­sye: then to raigne in heauen with god, for true religion. Wel saide Diogenes, and by promise I must tell the nexte cause. I haue readde of an vnskilfull Painter, who hauinge painted on a time in a table home lie and verie euill fauoredly, a companie of croinge coc­kes, and beinge preuie of his owne ig­noraunce, he commaunded his hoye to driue out al the pultry out of the house and that in no wise any liuelye Cocke [Page]shoulde come night the place, where ye table with his painted cockes stode, least the beholder or byer by compari­son and collation of them together, might esely deprehende the grosse and rude ignoraunce of the Painter, and so hinder the vttraunce of his ware. So, beware saide our preachers beware of these papistes, beware of their So­phistrie, harken not to them. Kepe not companie with them. Trie, fye on thē and let them go. Wherfore? The pain­ter hath told the cause. They were pri­uie of their owne wicked ignoraunce. For they feared, & I am out of doubte, that if ye had truely conferred their doctrine and liues with the doctrine and liues of the other good and godlye teachers, whiche they called papistes: if ye had quietly and diligently with in­differencie of minde wayed well what they haue either saied in pulpit or wri­ten in bookes: ye had longe agone per­ceiued the blinde and grosse ignorance of your guydes, Ye had eslie found out their treacherie, crafte and falshood: ye had soone tried that al their gaie pain­ted [Page]wart, was but bumling and fum­bling peltrie, and not (as they made you beleue) faithfull religion, but deceitful delusion, not wittie writing, but wy­ly wresting of well written trueth, not truethfull preching, but rutheful bre­kinge of all christian ordres, not right reformacion of thinges amisse, but de­nellishe deformation of thinges that were well, & to be short not repairing, but impairing of the catholike fayth. Alas most deere countremen that euer ye should be somuch bewitched by that deuelishe harlot that for her whigge & whay ye should thus leaue the nouri­shinge milke of your louinge mothers brestes, for the durtie poudle of her vn­cleane pittes whiche bringeth death, ye shoulde forsake the cleane fountaine and well of your mother, where he [...]s springeth the water of lyfe. O alas dere frendes ye haue greatly hasarded the wealth of your soules, ye haue hea­ped the burninge coles of vengeaunce vpon your owne headdes: ye haue vt­terly cast your selues awaye for euer, to be tormented body & soule amongest the foule deuelles of hell in fire euer­lasting, [Page]if vpon this callinge ye repent not, and make hast homewarde into the bosome of your louinge mother. Ye haue ben often called, and fewe of you haue regarded. What pituous plages, what meruelous miseries, haue not you sene and moost of you felt, sins ye left the vnitie of the vniuersal church? And were they not all as Prophetes sent amongest you to put you in remē ­braunce that ye were from home, that ye were out of the fauor of god? What desperation hathe there been amonge you? howe manye of you nowe of late yeres, haue died desperate of Goddes mercie? howe many haue caste awaye themselues with their owne violente handes? And was not all this suffered to let you vnderstand, that ye were be­come disobediēt children to your good mother? that ye were no longer mem­bres of that liuely bodie? can the childe despaire of the fathers mercie, as longe as he is obedient to the mother? Can he despaire to be saued by Christ, that is a membre of his bodie? no, no. Thus mercifullye by diuers meanes GOD [Page]bouchesafed to call you home againe into his dere spousesse lappe, into your tender mothers armes. But it hath not moued your stonie and stouborne hartes. Nowe againe of his mesureles mercy he calleth you. And out of doubt this is the laste call, this is the laste sounde of the trumpet. If ye come not nowe home at this call, it is to be fea­red, least he will exclude you out for e­uer, and you that would not come vp­on so many callinges, shalbe bidden goe at one commaundement Maledicti in ignem aternum, accursed into fire euer­lasting. Ye haue been called diuersly by diuers and maruelous plages, and yet ye come not. Nowe last of all he cal­leth you by a more gentle meane, by his true elect Marye our most noble and godly Quene. Whom his inscru­table prouidence hathe preserued of a speciall purpose no doubte, that by her he might restore his true churche, of late yeres miserably vexed. And by her last of all, call you home into the folde, that haue longe straied as loost sheepe. She remembringe therfore whose mi­nistresse [Page]she is, doeth not slacke to exe­cute her office. Clamat virgo, Angli, surgite, sponsus adest. The faithful and heauenlie virgin crieth earnestlye vnto you, O my louinge subictes of Englande, O dere beloued people, arise arise, come & accompany the spousesse of Christ our louing mother, for the spouse cōmeth. If ye be not of her traine, if ye be not of her familie, the Spouse will not knowe you: the Spouse Christe will not admit you where he hath to doe. If ye be not one with the spousesse, the spouse & you must nedes be two. The spouse and the spousesse shalbe one in heauen, you and the deuil shalde one in hell. Wherfore arise, arise I sai. Come home come home. ytare so louingly cal­led. Who calleth you? god calleth you. Whose vengeaunce you cannot escape, if you come not, if this last call bringe you not home. Your creatour calleth you, whose wilis to saue what he hath made. The lord of mercie calleth you, who by so many waies letteth not to seeke the lost shepe, in whose recouerie he more reioyseth, then in the hauitige [Page]of ninetie and nyne.

Thus God, the creatour, and lorde of mercie most gently and louingly cal­leth you. By whom? by many messen­gers, and nowe last of all by a famous Mary, whose merites and mercie to­wardes you all, might moue you all to come: by an heauenly maide, whose in­tegritie of life and constancie of faithe, ought to perswade you al to come wil­lingly: by a mightie Quene, whose au­thoritie might compel you all, to come with syede. whether to come? home, in to your mothers lappe, where lacketh no comfort, no cōsolation, no heauenly pleasure. With her, ye shal haue al, be­inge ones made mēbres of him that is al ī al. At home with her, you shal haue assuraunce of life, that caunot dye: of inheritaunce, that shall not quaile: of blisse that cannot ende: eternally to cō ­tinue in heauen with God. If ye tarie stil from home, what shall you haue? out of al doubte, ye shalbe assured of bitter deathe, of perpetual seruitude, of vnspekeable tormentes euerlastinge to endure in hell amongest deuilles. [Page]Tan niether so great benefites per­swade you to come home, neither soo great displesures wery you to wādre from home? were ye so lightly caried from home by the deuil your enemie, that ye might be lost: and are ye nowe so hardly perswated to turn, whē god your redeiner calleth you, by so many louinge waies that ye might be saued? Shal I cal you mē that wilfully rūne into confusion, whiche the vntesona­ble beastes would not? Shal I cal you christians that so ofte and so louingly called, choose rather to folowe Anti­christ to hel, then christ to heauen? shal I cal you Englishe subiectes, that soo litle regarde the trumpet of your so­ueraigne Ladie? Is it so harde to per­swade men, (whiche shoulde haue rea­son,) to choose rather life then deathe, rather pleasure then paine? Is it soo hard to perswade christians to folowe rather God then the deuill, rather to raigne in heauen then to suffer in hell? Is it so harde to pecswade Englishe hartes, to obey so noble a Quene, soo godly a Mary, so heauenlye a virgin, [Page]calling you home in such louing wife, where ye maye haue rest and quietnes, that haue been tossed with so many mi­series? where ye maie haue remedie of so many pestilent sores, and vlceres, wherewith your soules are infected? Come, come, louinge countree men. For the passion of Christ make hast and come. Be not slacke in comming, that made so great hast in goinge. Beholde your louinge mothers armes are open to receiue you, her bosome vnlased▪ her brestes bare to feede you with the swete milke of true knowledge, al­thoughe ye haue vngentlie delte with her in forsakinge her. Yet come I saie and humbly submit your selues vnto her, and she wil louingly receiue you. She wil forget and forgeue al vnkind­nes past, and she wil deliuer you from so many euilles, perilles, and daūgers, that ye are in. She can and will, and without her, there is no other to bee loked for, but vtter confusion. If ye will not beleue the trueth vttered in wordes, yet credit the effecte expressed by example. When the raging waters [Page]had ouerwhelmed the whole earthe, and drowned man & beast and all that was, who then was saued, but Noe & seuen with him? What did the Arke prefigure vnto vs? No doubte the ca­tholike churche of Christ, whiche doth regenerate you to God, and deliuereth all that abide in her from the peril and daunger of hell & the deuill. Ad quam confugiunt omnes in omni pressura & in omni tribulatione sua. Vnto the Arke of which catholike churche saith saint Austen al doe resort for succour in all persecuti­on, miserie and trouble. Ye cannot con­ceiue dere frendes the great comforte, consolatiō, and safegarde, that is with in this churche, because your headdes are so heuie with newe fantassticall er­rours. Ye are so drousie and so blinde in the dead slepe of ignoraunce. But if ye would awake out of that dead slepe and see the trueth, then no doubte but ye woulde thinke with me & saie with waking Iacob. Verè hic est domus dci, & porta coeli. id est. In dede this is the house of God, and the gate of heauen. For be out of doubt, if ye he not of this house. [Page]ye cannot entre into heauen, where God raigneth. If ye kepe not your sel­ues within the Arke of this vniuersall churche, ye cannot auoide destruction: Ye must nedes perishe bodie and soule, Wherefore louinge frendes, if you de­sire to be saued, & to raign with Christ, be at home with his spousesse. If ye louge to inherite as the children of our heauenly father, despice not the doc­trine of oure mother the catholike churche. If ye longe to drinke the liue­ly water that springeth into euerlas­tinge life, resorte home to the cleare fountaines of your kinde mother the churche, and abandon the company of heretikes. Leaue their broken and vn­cleane cesterues, whiche can holde no water, but poudle & miere. For briefe, if ye desire to worshippe God rightly, and to walke in this true religion accordinge to his most holy will & plea­sure, then stagger not to embrace and folowe the olde religion, newlye reco­uered and set furthe by our heauenlye and vertuous maiden Quene. For bee out of doubt there is nothinge in this [Page]religion, but what the scriptures of God haue occasioned, the heauenlye spirite hath suggested, our true mo­ther the catholike church hath autho­rised, the holye & learned fathers of all Christendome haue set furth, the con­sent of many generall counselles hath confirmed, the longe succession and cō ­tinuaunce hath approued to be moost true syncere and perfect. O moost dere beloued frendes be not ashamed to re­pent, wherein the Angelles of heauen will reioyce. Be not ashamed to arise that haue so shamefully fallen. Be not ashamed to come home to your mother the churche, sith she is not ashamed to receiue you. Thinke it not vilenesse to forsake the society of heretikes, that ye maie bee made the children of God. Thinke it no folye to twyne your sel­ues out of the armes of an harlot, whiche will gripe you to deathe, that ye maye sit in the lappe of so tender a mother, whiche will cherishe you into life euerlastinge. Well it is time I see to breake of, for I haue exceded the iust measure of a Preface. And yet am I [Page]loth to leaue. Blame me not though I cannot obserue measure in my talke to you, towardes whom my loue & hartie affectiō knoweth no mean. And though I am in doubte how you shall lyke my doinges, yet be ye out of all doubte I haue done the same of a great zeale, and most frendlye affection towardes you all. And I protest before God I onlye seeke therby your soules health. Neither haue I written this to shame you, but as my dere beloued bretherne I warne you and call you into the fe­loweship of the soonne of God Iesus Christe our lorde. Wherein if I ought preuaile, wel is it with me, but muche better with you. Here I will leaue & gyue place to holy Vincent. Too whom I beseche you hartely giue atten­tiue eare, and willinge harte to vnderstand his counselles, and no doubt but ye shalbe glad ther­of. The bles­sed God in perfite Trinitie direct your hertes & waies.

The booke

THE Scrip­ture saiing and admonishinge: Demaūde of thy fathers, Deu .xxxi and they wil tel the: En­quire of thyne aūcetours, and they wil shew the: Lykewise, Applie thine eares un to the wordes of the wyse: Prouer .iii Agayne, My sōne forget not my sayinges, let thy harte kepe my wordes: It semeth vnto me that am of al the seruauntes of God the verye basest Pilgrime, a matter wel worth the trauel, and lyke throughe Gods grace to profite verie much, if I shuld [Page]comprise together in wrytynge all such godly, comfortable, and holsome preceptes and coūsels, as I haue faithfullye receiued of the fathers, concerninge the true and catholyke faieth. A worke no doubte ryghte neces­sarye for mine owne infirmitie, hauinge thereby prompte and redye, that might through day­ly reading, repaire and help the wekenes of my memory. Vnto whiche enterprice, not the fruit onely of the selfe worke hathe moued me, but also the iust con­sideration of tyme, and oportu­nitie of place, haue and doo ve­hementlye encourage me to at­tempte the same.Tyme. Tyme I saye, for time we see passeth awaye irreuocablye, suatching with it man and all humaine & worldly [Page]thinges. Wherefore sittinge it is, that we of tyme catche also somewhat, that might in tyme aduantage vs into lyfe lastinge beyonde tyme. And at this time especially, when both a certaine terrible expectation of Goddes fearefull iudgement, nowe im­minent and approchinge verye nigh at hande, exactethe in vs a more feruente studie towardes his religion: and also the subtel­tie and crafte of newe fangled heretikes nedeth nowe greate care, watche, and diligence.

The place I saye,Place. because se­questratinge and deuidynge me from the frequencie and haunt of Cities and Townes, I haue bestowed my self in an out smal village, and in a Monasterie where, without greate let or [Page]hinderaunce, that maye be ac­complished whiche the Psalme speaketh of: Vacate & uidete quoni­am ego sum deus.

Moreouer the consideration of my purpose agrieth hereto well. For whereas ones I was tossed with diuers and boyste­ous waues of the secular traf­fyque, at length Christe beynge my helper, I arriued vnto the porte of religion, a moost sure hauen for all menne: that there pullyng downe the combe of pryde and vanitie, and apply­ing my selfe to please God with the sacrifice of Christian humi­litie, I mighte happelye auoyde not onely the wrekes and trou­bles of this present lyfe, but the inquencheable flames alsoo of the worlde hereafter.

But now I shall in the name our lorde, sette vpon the matter purposed. That is, to describe and set furth such good lessons, as by tradition are diriued, by writtinge are lefte vnto vs frō our auncetours & forefathers: desirynge to be accepted rather as reporter thereof, then presu­minge to seeme authour of the same. And further, I shall ob­serue this ordre in writting: not all, but of all the moost neces­sarie matters to gather and re­herse, and that not in fyne and pyked phrase, but in facile and cōmon speche: so that the moost part may seeme rather signifi­ed, thē explicated: rather sleight lye touched, then exactly discus­sed. I leaue the florishinge, cu­rious, and painted maner of en­dicting [Page]to other, whiche either vpon confidence of their wit­tes, or respect of dutie or office, attempt the lyke enterprise. As for me, I intende nothinge els, but to prouide vnto my selfe, and for mine own singular vse, a byll of remembraunce, as it were, agaiust obliuion: wherby memorie moughte be holpen, whiche I feele nowe to decaye in me. And yet I shal endeuour with Goddes helpe to amende, and daylye enlarge the same: as my leysure and oportunitie shal serue, to recognise and recompt suche thinges as I haue lear­ned. And this to this end I say, that if thꝭ my treatise (which I make for my selfe onely) escape my handes, and happe to lyght into the handes of other: that [Page]then they carpe not, or rashelye disproue any thing therein con­teined, whereof is promised a reformation and amendement. Nowe therefore to come to the matter it selfe) I haue with greate studie and earnest dili­gence, manye times sought, and that of verie many godlye and learned men, howe and by what certaine and generall rule I mighte trye and throughly dis­cerne the veritie of the catholike faithe, from the falshood of wicked heresye, the true preacher of Christe, from the false minister of Antichriste. And I haue re­ceiued of them all, at all tymes thys one onlye aunswere: that whether I,A rule. or anye other man woulde perfitely knowe, and perceiue the trecherie, falshood, [...]

Wherfore it is verie necessa­rie for the auoydinge so greate daungers of diuers errours & doubtes, that the lyne of the Propheticall and Apostolicall scripture, be drawen and direc­ted along, according to the rule and exposition of the catholike churche. Lykewise in the catho­lyke churche we oughte serious­ly to regard and take hede, that we faythfully hold that, whiche is euery where, alwaies, and of algenerally receiued, obserued, and beliued: for that is properly catholike:Catholike. as by the Etimologie of the terme (catholike) doth appeare, whiche comprehendethe all vniuersally. And this shall we doo,Vniuersa­litie. Auncientie. Consent. if we ensue and folowe the vniuersalitie, the auncien­tie, & the consent of the churche. [Page]These thre pointes, he must fir­mely holde that wilbe counted catholike, and desireth to con­tinue in the faieth of the catho­like churche, with out whiche there is no saluation. Of these three pointes I shall teache as I haue learned. And touchinge the firste, we shall not misse to folowe the vniuersalitie, if we hartely confesse & acknowledge that faieth to be the true chris­tian faieth, whiche the vniuer­sall Churche throughoute the whole world dothe confesse and acknowledge. Touchinge the seconde, we shall assuredlye fo­lowe the auncientie, if we stray not from the censures and iud­gementes of the auncient, holy, and catholike fathers. Tou­ching the third, we shal rightlye [Page]folowe the consent and vnitie, if in that antiquitie we admit, imbrace and allowe the difiniti­ons, iudgementes, and censu­res, of all or the moost parte of the saied holie fathers. Nowe what shall the catholike Chris­tian man doo, if any one parti­cle of the churche, hathe deuidid if selfe from the communion of the vniuersall faith? What els shoulde he doo, but preferre the helth & safetie of ye whole body, before the corrupte and pestife­rous membre? What if some new contagion inuade the chur­che, and laboureth to cōmacu­late and corrupte, not a parcell onely, but a whole congregati­on? Then let him cleue to anti­quitie: whiche cannot be sedu­ced by anye crafte of noueltie. [Page]What if in the selfe same anti­quitie, we shall trye that twoo or thre, yea whole cities and pro uinces haue erred? Then in any wise, he ought to prefer before the rashenes, temeritie & igno­raūce of a few, yt decrees & determinations of an vniuersal coū ­sell. What if no suche decrees of any vniuersall counsell can bee founde in some case, as some suche may befall? Then shall he diligently conferre, searche, and considre the bookes and monu­mentes of the auncient fathers of the churche, and receiue their iudgementes. Whiche, although they were neither of one place, neither of one tyme, yet are one in the communion and faieth of one catholike church. And what soeuer these sages wyth one [Page]consent, manifestlie haue defen­ded, written, and taughte, the same ought he beleue without all doubt. For the better vnder­standing of that whiche I haue said, I wyll set furthe the same one after an other by examples, and declare thē more at large, least whiles I study to be short, I slēderly passe ouer the weight of the matter. In the tyme of Donate that heretike,Donate. of whom suche as maintaine his heresies be called Donatistes, what time a great part of Affricke had tom­bled them selues headlong into the goulfe of the pernitious er­rors of the said Donate: and for­gettinge their religion and pro­fession, preferred the cursed and blasphemous temeritie of one vayne man, before the vnitie of [Page]the churche: then (throughe Af­fricke) suche as detested that prophane scisme, & adhered fast to the vniforme consente of Christes vniuersal church, they only of them all mought be said vnto their posteritie leauinge a speciall fourme howe hereafter the wisedome of al vniuersally, ought more to be estemed then the madnes of a fewe singular persons, in anye weightie mat­ter concerning our faieth.

Likewise what time the pes­tilent poyson of the Arrians, Arrians. had infected, not one portion, but almost the whole worlde: in so­muche that in maner all the by­shoppes of the Latine churche, partlye by force, partly by craft circumuented, were wōderous­lie perplexed and amased, what [Page]were best to be done & folowed in so great confusiō of matters: Then whosoeuer was the true worshipper and louer of God, the same was not infected with the skorfe of that fylthye conta­gion: but preferred the auncient faith, and vnitie of Christes v­niuersall church, before the new forged trecherie and falshood of certaine singular newe fangled harebraines. And what cala­mitie, howe great miserie dothe ensue innouation of religion, & the bringing in of suche newe­fanglenes, contrarie to the vni­tie of the catholike churche: it is moost cleare and verie euident, by that whiche folowed in the time of these Arrians. For then all kinde of thinges both great and small went to wracke: affi­nities, [Page]cognations, amities, houses, and families were deuided, yea whole cities, peoples, pro­uinces, nations: And finally the whole Empire of Rome was merueilouslye distourbed. For when that prophane noueltie of the Arrians, as it were some Bellona or infernall furie (the Emperour himselfe being firste bewitched withall) had ones brought all the heades and no­bles of the courte in subiection vnto that newe lawe: sessed not after to disturbe, vexe, and con­founde all maner of thinges, bothe priuate and publique, ho­lye and prophane: without dis­crepaunce of good and badde, to disquiet and hurte whome she listed, and howe she liked. Then were wiues violated, widowes [Page]desolated, virgins defloured, monasteries suppressed, clearks persecuted, deacons buffeted, priestes hated, thē were gayles, prisons, & dongeons stuffed full of good and godly men, of whō some were banished from cities and townes, and compelled a­mong wilde beastes, caues, and rockes, in desertes, in greate neede, famine, and thirst to end their miserable lyfe. Suche mi­serie dothe certainely ensue and folowe, whensoeuer for the heauenlye doctryne, humaine superstitions are broughte in: when well gounded antiquitie, is vn­dermined throughe wicked no­ueltie: when the orders and institutions of our elders, are violated: the decrees of the fa­thers [Page]broken: the definitions of our auncetours neglected: whē the pernitious desire of newe­fangled curiositie, kepeth not it selfe within the commendable limites of the sacred and incorrupte antiquitie. Some per­chaūce wil thinke that I speake this of affectiō and hatred, that I beare to innouations. Who­soeuer thinketh soo, let him at lest wise geue credite to s. Am­brose in this behalf,S. Ambrose who in his seconde booke vnto Thempe­roure Gratian, deploringe and lamentinge the cruell bitternes of that tyme writeth, in thys wyse.

O almightie god we haue now sufficientlie purged and cleansed the slaughter of thy confessours, the murder of thy ministers, the [Page]wickednes of soo great impietie, with our bloude and with oure destruction. Thou hast now suffi­ciently declared, that they cannot be saued, whiche haue uiolated & broken thy catholike faith. Like­wise in the thirde booke of the same worke. Let us obserue ther­fore (saith S. Ambrose) the pre­ceptes of thelders, let us beware through presūptuous temeritie, to uiolate the seales of oure inheri­taunce. The fast sealed booke of the prophet, nor thi seniours, nor the powers, nor the Angelles, ne Archaungelles durste unseale. To Christ onely was the prerogatiue reserued to open the same. The boke of Apostolike fathers, who of us dare open, being sealed by so many confessours, and halowed with the bloud of so many godlie [Page]martyrs? They were holie confes­sours and martyrs, howe maie we dense their faithe, whose uictorie we commende? Yea playnelye (holye S. Ambrose) we com­mende and greatlye alowe thē. For who is so mad, who so euyl disposed, that wisheth not to trace and folowe their steppes, (all if he cannot ouertake them) whom no violence, no crueltie, no kinde of death coulde terri­fie: whome no allurementes of worldlie felicitie, no hope of life, no desire of libertie, no flatterie of frendshippe coulde withhold from the defense of the faieth whiche their auncetours had? Whom I say our heauenly lord for their cōstancie in the aūcient faieth, iudged worthie, by whō his diuine maiestie mighte re­store [Page]his churches, beinge gre­uouslie mangled: reuiue and quicken vp the spirites of well disposed people, merueilouslye discomforted: set vp and restore againe the holye ordre of hys priesthood, beinge trode vnder foote: and by whom finally his inscrutable prouidence mought with the bloude of so innocente martyrs, cleanse the people be­ing pitiouslye defiled with the stinkinge frothe of daungerous heresies. And with the plenti­full teares of so godlye by shop­pes, washe cleane awaye and vtterly deface suche newefan­gled, not properly writīges, but rather wrestinges of well writ­ten verities. And so reuoke al­moost the whole worlde frome pestilent heresies, vnto the most [Page]certaine trueth of hys worde: from altering noueltie, vnto the sounde and constante aunci­entie: from newetangled fan­tasies, vnto the approued iudg­ment of his catholike Churche. But in this heauenly constācie, this is to be noted and earnest­lie to be considered of vs, that in the auncientie of the Church, they defēded nat any one singu­lar part, but the catholyke, that is to witte, the vniuersal faith vniuersallie receiued. Neither is it leefull to thinke, that suche and so many sage and learned fathers would with suche con­stauncie affirme, maintaine and defende the dreaines of one or two persones,A rule. or would for the fantasticall conspiracie, as it were, of one smale prouince cō ­tende [Page]euen to deathe. But they imbracinge and faithfullye en­suing the decrees, censures, and definitions of all the ministers of the holye Churche, and of the apostolike veritie, had rather to deliuer their bodies vnto moost cruell tourmentes, then to be deliuered from the auncient be­liefe: rather to be ouerthrowen by their enemies to death, thē to geue ouer their catholike faith: whereby they shoulde lose the hope of life at Goddes handes. Thus losing al to wyn Christ, suffering themselues willingly to be ouercome of al, that truth might ouercome by them: they haue pourchaced vnto theire name suche inestunable glorie, that they be moost rightlye re­puted and accompted, not onlye [Page]confessors, but the princes and cheife heades of all other con­fessors and Martyrs.

Wherefore this diuine and hea­uēly example of these blessed fa­thers, ought to be a special pre­sident vnto all & singular Ca­tholike mē, worthie in cōtinual meditation to be recorded, who in maner of the seuenfolde can­delsticke, braushing wc the seuē ­fold light of the heauenly spirit, haue foreshowen vnto all their posteritee, a verye manifest and cleare forme, howe hereafter in al vprores of vaine errours, the vnaduised temeritie of fantasti­call innouation ought to be re­pressed & vtterly to be suppres­sed by the authoritie of holy An tiquitie, and by the force of the vniuersal consent of Christ his [Page]churche. This hath not been straunge amonges the fathers of the Churche. For euermore the holyer, the better disposed any haue been, the more ernest, prompt and ready he hath been alwayes to withstand newe in­uentions. Examples hereof are plentie. But to auoide tedious­nes I wyll passe ouer many, & only recite one, whereby it may be euident vnto all, with howe great care, studie, and conten­tion the blessed succession of the Apostles haue at all tymes de­fended the integritie of ye reli­gion once allowed & receyued, by the consent of the vniuersall Churche.Agrippinus So it was therefore that Agrippinus bishop of Car­thage first of all other thought good to be rebaptised, contrary [Page]to the canon and rule lefte by the Apostles, contrarye to the custome or order of the elders, contrary to the general consent of the Clergie. Which presum­ption of his, raysed vp so much mischiefe, that therby was ge­uen not onelye matter of facti­ous sacrylege to Heretikes, but also to certayne catholikes occasion of errour.

Howe be it on euerye syde eche good man withstod it ear­nestly.Stephen. But Stephen of honourable memorie then byshoppe of Rome, with certayne other godlye men most vehementlye of all other did resist that fan­tasye of Agrippinus. And in an Epistle sent vnto Affrike vpon that occasion, he ordeyned that nothinge ought to be altred or [Page]renewed, but all thinges to be obserued and kept as thei were by tradition left. For that holy and prudent father well percey­ued, that ther was not the true religion, where all thinges are not receyued in lyke faythe of the children, as they were lefte of the fathers: where we be not led by religion, but we lede religion whether we like. And this is the propertie of chri­sten sobrutie, and grauitie not to deuise new sectes and fashi­ons for his posteritie, but with all his power to obserue the old and holsome lawes receyued of antiquitie. What was then the ende of that busines raysed by Agrippinus? Forsoth the vsuall and tofore obserued, the aunci­ent custome was reteyned: the [Page]newe deuise vtterly refused.

But ye wyll say perchaunce,Note. that suche men lacke power and learninge to defende theyr new deuised opinions. Yea they were so excellent in wit, so sto­wing in eloquence, and so ma­ny in numbre: agayne they had so greate likelyhode of trueth, and brought so many sentences of the scriptures for their pur­pose (but wrongfully vnder­standed) that assuredlye they coulde by no meanes haue been ouermated, had not their mat­ters quailed in them selues, as moost vntrue and contrarye to the will of God.

To be shorte, what shall I saye of the decrees passed in the counsell kepte by certain in Af­frica. Howe did God fauour the [Page]same? Were not all thynges therein done, accōpted as drea­mes, abolyshed as fables, abro­gated and vtterlye refused as vntrue and contrarie to the ca­tholike faith? And O wōderful turne and merueilous conuer­sion. The first authours of the same opinion are reputed catho like: and the folowers of the same are iudged heretikes.

The maisters be absolued, and the disciples be condempned. The writers of the bokes, out of whiche they falselye forged their opinion, are made the chil­dren of the heauenly kingdome: and the auouchers burne in hel. For who is so mad that doub­teth, but that so blessed lyght of al holy martyrs and byshoppes S. Cyprian, S. Cyprian and his felowship, do [Page]raigne-euerlastinglye with Ie­sus Christe in heauen? Agayne who is so deuellishe and wicked to denaye, that the Donatistes, and other lyke heretikes, that brag that they were led by the coun­sell and authoritie of the saied S. Cyprian to rebaptize, burne with their graundesyre the de­uill euerlastinglye in hell? And surely it semeth vnto me that, that counsell in Affrike was promulgate and setfurthe euen by the prouidence and will of God: thereby to detect and dis­close the shamfull crafte of such hellyshe heretikes, whose wic­ked fashion is (when they en­tende to patche vp an heresie in an other mannes name) to in­duce the bookes of suche aunci­ent writers (in that point dark­ly [Page]penned and leafte vnto vs) whiche for the obscuritie and darknes thereof, might serue as it were for the maintenaūce of their trecherie, falshoode and heresie. And so they might seme not to be the first, nor the onely authors of such opinion. Whose wickednes in this poīt. I iudge worthie double hatred.

Firste because they feare not to quaffe the poison of heresie, & to open the gappe of damnable error vnto other. Secondelye for that they slaunderouslye renewe the memorie of holye men in suche matter, and as it were with their prophane hande, do fanne abrode into the ayre the ashes, whiche were well raked vp, reuiuinge that (not without diffamation) whiche were bet­ter [Page]to be buried in perpetuall silence. Herein they leappe not one inch from their graundsyre Cham. Cham. who not only vouchesafed not to couer the naked membres of his naturall father Noe, Noe. but also showed other of it to laughe at. Wherein he somuche transgressed the reuerence due to the pa­rentes, and somuch thereby dis­pleased God, that he and hys posteritie were cursed for hys faulte. And his bretherne bles­sed by the mouthe of God, who would neither see the nakednes of their reuerend father, neither permit other to se it. For turnig their backes towardes him (as it is written) they couered him. Whiche their facte dothe let vs tunderstande, that they did nei­ther allowe, ne yet be wraie the [Page]faulte of the holye man their fa­ther. And therfore they and their posteritie were rewarded with the blessed benediction of God. But nowe let vs returne to our purpose. We ought ther­fore I saye greatlye to feare, and to dreade the daunger and punishemente of alteringe the faieth, and violating the aunci­ent religion. From whiche te­merous enterpryse, as well the doctrine of ecclesiasticall consti­tution dothe feare vs, as the censure of Apostolike authoritie dothe terrifie vs. It is well knowen, howe greatlye, howe seuerely, and with what vehe­mencie blessed saint Paule doth inuaighe against suche, as with marueilous lightnes were al­lured from him, by whom they [Page]were called into the grace of Christe and his true Ghospell: and had heaped vnto them a numbre of maisters accordinge to their desyre and lust: turning awaye their care from the ve­ritie, geuinge themselfes vp to fables, hauinge dampnation.

What were they that wente from their firste professed faith? Such as those deceiued, of whō the same Apostle writeth vn­to hys bretherne at Rome, say­inge.Ro. xvi. I beseche you bretherne marke well them, which sowe di­uision and geue occasions of euill, contrarie to the doctrine whiche ye haue learned, and auoide them. For suche serue not Christe our lorde, but their owne bellies: and with swete preaching and flatte­ringe wordes, they deceyue and [Page]seduce the hartes of the innocent people: ii. Ty. iii. whiche enter into houses and bringe into bondage women laden with sinne: whiche women be led with dyuers lustes, euer learninge and neuer able to come to the knowledge of the trueth. Thei are men full of vaine talke and de­ceiuers, whiche subuert all houses, and teache for lucre sake, suche kinde of doctrine, as they oughte not to teache. They be men of corrupt mindes & lewde corcerning the faith, proud harted, & ignorāt: yet do they busy them selues in questions and contenciōs of wordes. [...] Ty. iiii. They are destitute of the truth, iudginge gaines to be holinesse. Also thei as idle persons doe learne to cōpasse about houses. They be not onely idle, but also full of wordes, and very curious, speaking suche [Page]thinges as they ought not. whiche repelling a good conscience, haue erred concerning the faith. whose prophane and vaine talke auaileth much to impietie, & their speche crepeth furth as the canker. But it is well that is written of them al­so in the scripture. But they shall preuaile no lenger, ii. Tim. iii. for their mad­nes shalbe made manifest vnto all men, as theirs also was.

When therfore the like wanderinge from prouince to pro­uince, from towne to towne, and cariyng with them sale er­rours about, had come also to the Galathians: and when the Galathians after that they had heard of them, beinge nowe as it wer glutted & weried with ye trueth, remouing from thē the comfortable foode of the Apo­stolike [Page]and Catholike doctrine, delited them selues with the dragges and fylthes of that he­reticall noueltie: S. Paule did so execute his Apostolical autho­ritie, that with great seueritie he thus decreed. Although (say­eth he) eyther we, or an Angell from heauen, preacheth vnto you any other ghospell then we haue preached, accursed be he. What is that, whiche he sayeth (although we)? Why doeth he not say ra­ther although I? It is to say, although Peter, Andrew or Iohn also, & finally although the hole company of ye Apostles preache vnto you any other Ghospell, thē we haue preached vnto you accursed be he or they. This is a fearefull sentence, that for the affirming and stablishynge [Page]of the first fayth, he neyther fa­uoureth hym selfe nor anye o­ther of thapostles. But this is a smale matter. He sayeth fur­ther. Although an Angell from heauen preache any other ghos­pell thē we haue preached vnto you, accursed be he. It sufficed not blessed S. Paul, for the re­tētion of the faith once taught & preached, to remēbre the nature of mans condicion, vnlesse he had comprehended therein also the Angelical excellēcie. Foral­thouh we (sayeth he) or an An­gell from heauen. &c. Not be­cause the holye and heauenlye angels can now syn. But this is his meanynge. Yf it maye be (sayeth he) that which can not be. Whosoeuer he be that shall attempte to chaunge and alter [Page]the faythe once taught and re­ceyued accursed be he. But S. Paule maye seeme to some perchaunce, rather to haue said this of some humane affection, then of anye godlye counsayle and consideration to hane de­creed it. God forbyd that we shoulde so thinke of S. Paule. For it foloweth, and the same he eftsones doeth inculcate ve­rye earnestlye with this iterati­on. As I haue said tofore (sayeth he) I saye nowe agayne, if any shal preache any other Ghospell vnto you, then that whiche ye haue re­ceiued, accursed be he. He sayde not yf any shal teach other doc­trine thē such as ye haue recei­ued blessed be he, let him be al­lowed & receyued, but let hi be (sayth he) Anathema, that is to say [Page]let him be seperated, segregated & excluded as one accursed, lest the daūgerous inffection of one corrupt shepe, maye poyson and infect, ye sound flocke of Christ with his venemous permixtion & company. But some may say, that these S. Paules preceptes wer only geuē to ye Galathians, and to none other. Then also it shuld folow that other thinges set furth in ye same epistle, were commaunded vnto the Gala­thians onely and to none other. As that. Si uiuimus spiritu, spíritu ambus lemus. &c. that is: if we liue by the spirite, let vs walke in the spirite. Let vs not be made desierous of vayne glory, prouoking one an o­ther, enuiyng one an other. And so furth, as foloweth. But if this be absurde to graūt, & if al [Page]thinges ther expressed by sainct Paule, were commaunded vn­to all indifferentlye, then aswel the counseil & warning concer­ning fayth, as those preceptes of maners in like sort perteyne vnto al. And as it is not law­full for anye person to prouoke or enuye one an other, so it maye not be lawfull for any to allowe and folowe anye other doctrine then suche as the Ca­tholike churche doth vniuersal­lye preache: And yf that, which then was commaunded (as, if anye teache you other doctrine then suche as hath been taughte you, let him be accursed) be not now commaunded, which ther he sayeth in like sorte. Dico au­tem, spiritu ambulate, et desiderium car­nis non perficietis. I saye walke in [Page]the spirite, and fulfill not the luste and desire of the fleashe.} But yf it be wycked and also pernici­ous so to beleue, then necessare­ly it foloweth, that as these ru­les touchinge maners ought to be obserued of all ages, euen so the other preceptes concerning the holye fay the are commaun­ded vnto all men of all ages: as that nothyuge ought to be in­nouated or altered. Wherfore neither hath it ben lawful, nei­ther is it lawful at any time, to teache other doctrine vnto ye catholike christians, then hath already been allowed & receyued. Shal it thē be lawful or no, to accurse them which presume to inayntayne or teache any other doctrine, then that which hath been receyued, taughte, and be­leued? [Page]Verely it hath been euer lawfull, it is alwayes lawfull, it shall euermore be necessarye and lawfull. Then for asmuche as it is so, is there any of suche boldnes, that dare teache any contrary doctrine to that, which the vniuersall Churche hathe taught? Is there anye of suche lightnes, that is so madde to receyue any other then that, whi­che the churche hath receyued? Yea, although S. Paule crye and crye agayne. Although (I sai) that blessed vessel of electiō, that heauenly maister of genti­les, that soundinge trompet of apostles, that noble crier of the earthe, and skylfull of the hea­uens: althoughe, I saye, he do crye to al at all tymes, and eue­rie where, neuer somuch, neuer [Page]so oft, neuer so vehementlye, ac­cursed be he, that teacheth anye newe opinion, yet beholde howe these frogges, these wretched gnattes, the Pelagians, Anabap­tistes, and other like heretikes reclame stil to the contrarie, and that to the catholikes, sayinge. We being your authours, leaders, and teachers, condemne that whi­che ye haue allowed, and allowe that, which ye haue condemned. Away with your olde faith, with your elders institutions, your aun­cetours decrees, awaye with them all: and for them receiue and im­brace (wotte ye what)? Verelye suche gere, as not only may not be auouched, but neither yet al­so refelled or named weout daū ­ger. Me thike I here some say. Sir if no innouations maye be ad­mitted, [Page]howe is it that many times many excellent persones constitu­ted and appointed in the churche, are permitted by the wil of God, to setfurth newe matters vnto the people? This is a good questiō, and worthye with muche dili­gence, and at large to be considered. Wherunto I shal not shape anye aunswere of myne owne witte, but vse the authoritie of the heauenly scripture, & cleaue to the counsel and censure of the holy church. Let vs heare ther­fore godly Moyses, let hym de­clare vnto vs, why learned men & suche as for the gift of know­ledge were called Prophetes by the Apostle, are permitted now and then, to bringe furth newe opinions and sectes, whiche the olde testament calleth vnder al­legorie: [Page]straunge Gods, because suche newe sectes are no other­wyse obserued and fauoured of heretikes, thē the Gentiles did obserue and fauor their Gods. This blessed Moyses therfore, writeth in the Deuteronomie in this wise.Moyses Yf a Prophet shal rise among you, or any shal saye, that he hath sene a dreme, that is to wit, a maister constitute in the chur­che, whom the hearers beleue to teach by some reuelation: what then? And shall (saieth Moyses) foresaie asigne, or portent, and it shall happen as he hath spoken: This is meaned no doubt by a maister of so great knowledge, as might seeme to his disciples and hearers, not onely to fore­know mean & humain thinges, but also suche matters as are [Page]aboue man, much lyke were (as their disciples bragge of them) Valentinus, Donatus, Apollinaris, and o­ther of the same heere. It folo­weth in Moyses. And shall saye vnto you: go we and let vs folowe straunge Goddes, whiche you knowe not and let vs serue them. what be these straunge Gods, but onely straunge errours, Whiche thou knowest not: that are newe, not hearde of afore? Let vs serue them. What is that? Let vs beleue and folow them. What then? Thou shalt not heare (saieth Moyses) The wordes of that Prophet or dreamer. And wherefore I praye you? Is not that forbidden to be taughte, which is forbidden to be heard? May not the hearing therof be suffered, the teachinge whereof [Page]is not forbidden? Because (saieth Moyses) the lorde your GOD tempteth you, that it maye be ma­nifest whether ye loue him or not, with all your harte, and with all your soule. It is manifest and cleare as the daye to what ende the prouidēce of God doth some times permit certaine maisters and cēsors of his chucrh to erre, and in their erringe to imagine and teache freshe ware, newe toyes contrarie to the auncient custome of the catholike church. It is (saieth Moyses) that there­by the Lorde youre GOD maye tempte you. And doubtlesse this is a greate temptation: when he whom thou iudgest a Pro­phet, whom thou estemest a disciple of Prophetes, whom thou thinkest a true and faiethfull [Page]teacher of veritie, whom thou doest imbrace with all reue­rence, dothe sodeinlye slippe in­to daungerous errour, and pri­uily teacheth falshood, whiche thou canst not easelye depre­hende, that arte ledde with the foreiudgemente of the aunci­ent censure: and hardlye maiest thou condempne them, in whom affection hathe blinded the.

Heare perchaunce some requi­reth, that I explane these thin­ges auouched in the woordes of holye Moyses, by some ecclesi­astical examples. It is a iust re­quest, and vnworthie to be neg­lected. What temptation was that, trowe ye, when that vn­happie Nestorius sodainlye of a shepe beinge made a woulfe, [...]estorius. began to rent & teare the flocke [Page]of Christe? Yea when euen they, whose bloude he sucked, yet be­leued him to be a shepe, where­by they were the redier pray vn­to him. For whoe woulde not hardlye beleue, that he were in error, whom they sawe elec­ted and chosen with soo greate iudgemente of the temporall Empyre, so greatlye fauoured and reuerenced of the spirituall clergie: who with muche com­mendation of holye men, with great fauour of the people, was daily celebrated, and did openly preache and teache the holye scriptures, and so earnestly con­futed the daungerous and pes­tilent errors of the Iewes and Gentiles? Whoe woulde not thinke but this were a ryghte felowe, and that he taughte, [Page]preached and thought ryghtlye in all pointes? For to thende he mighte make awaye for his he­resie to take place, he inueighed earnestly againste the blasphe­mies of all other heresies. But this is it that Moyses sayed. The lorde your GOD tempteth you, if you loue him or nor. And to let passe Nestorius in whom alwayes moore admiration was, thē profitte: greater fame then experience: whome in the conceite of the multitude rather the fauor and fancie of men had made great, thē ye grace of god, let vs recite other, which being of greate knowledge and dili­gence, were therefore no small temptation vnto the catholyke folke. As amōgest the Hungarians was one Photinus, Photinus. that tēpted the [Page]cōgregation of Syrma. Who af­terwarde that he was admit­ted into the holy order of priest­hoode, and had there ministred a while, as a true catholike mā: sodaynly (as that false prophet or Dreamer whome Moyses speaketh of) he beganne to per­swade the people of God com­mitted vnto hym, to folowe straunge Goddes. That is to saye straunge opinions, whiche they knewe not before. And as that is common, so is this very pernicious, when to the settyng furth of such straunge errours, ther lacke no colour of scholes, no apparell of Rhetoricke, no helpe of knowledge, as thys Photinus lacked not. For he was a manne by witte able to doe as­muche as anye: in all kynde of [Page]knowledge excellent: for plea­saunt and swete pronuntiation inferiour to none. Who copious­ly and weyghtely disputed and wrote in bothe tongues, as is manifest by his bookes, whiche he made and penned as well in the Greke tongue as also the laten tongue. But happely the flocke of Christ committed vn­to him, being very vigilant and warye, for and concernynge the catholicke faythe, remembred quickely the watche worde ge­uen tofore by Moyses: and al­though they wondred at the e­loquence of theyr Prophet, and Pastour: yet wer they well wa­rye of the tēptacion. For whom they afore folowed as the bel­weather of their flocke: nowe they auoyde and flie from hym [Page]as a rauenyng wolfe.

Likewise the example not of Photinus onelye,Photinus. Apollinaris but of Apollinaris also, maye well teache vs what great peryll ensueth of the ec­clesiasticall temptacion: and so warne and prouoke vs, with the more earnest diligence to ob­serue, holde, and folowe the ca­tholycke faythe vniuersallye taughte and receyued. For this Apollinaris had with such fetches so intangled his hearers, with suche insoluble argumentes, and so combred theyr wyttes: that thauthoritie of the churche leading them one waye, the cu­stome and practise of theyr preacher drawynge them another waye, they were al amased and in doubt what thei might stand to, and whiche waye thei might [Page]take, and folow. Neyther was Appollinaris suche one, as mighte easlye be contempned. Yea, he was so worthye a man, and of suche estimation, as in moste thinges mought very quickely be credited. For who was more excellent in finesse of witte then he? Who worthie either for dili­gence or knowledge to be con­ferred with him? Howe manye heresies in howe manye volu­mes he hath expressed, how manye errours contrary and iniu­tious to the fayth he hath con­futed, I nede not declare. That most noble worke contayninge thirtie bookes in numbre, maye suffice for the declaration ther­of, wherin he confoūdeth migh­telye the frantike brablinges & fonde cauillatiōs of Porphyrie, [Page]with a great heape of proffes. It were a tedious busines to recite all the workes that he made: wherein he shewed hym selfe to be so excellent a clerke, as might worthelye be thought equall to the chiefe builders of Christ his churche: had he not through prophane lust of here­ticall noueltie, ymagined that new fangled errour, wherwith as with the poison of a running Leprie, so defiled he the rest of his doinges, wt from thēcefurth his doctrine was thought and accompted rather to be ecclesi­asticall temptation, then spiri­tuall edification. Here it maye be required at my handes, that I declare theyr heresies, whom I haue aboue remembred for heretikes, that is: the heresies [Page]of Nestorius, Apollinaris, & Pho­tinus. Howe be it this appertai­neth not to the purpose, which nowe is in hande. For my pur­pose is not to recite all their er­rours, but to produce the exam­ples of a fewe, whereby that maye be euidently and clearely demonstrated vnto you, whiche Moyses sayeth: that yf at anye time any maister of the Clergie, yea, and he euen a Prophet in ex­poundinge the mysteries of the Prophetes, attempteth to bringe any new opinion into the church, ye maye knowe that the proui­dence of God, then suffered you to be tempted. I shall not let, notwithstandinge, in discurse briefly to disclose the errors of the afore saied men. And I wil first beginne wt Photinus. Whose [Page]sect is this.Photinus. He sayeth that God is but a single and solitarye per­sone, and that he muste be confes­sed after the maner of the Iewes. He denaieth the Trinitie and thin­keth to be no person either of the son or of the holy ghost. He affir­meth Christ to be only mā, & that he toke his beginning of Marye. And this he teacheth vehemēt­lye, that we oughte to confesse the onelye personne of God the father, and wurshyppe Christ as man onelye. This was the heresie that Photinus mayntained.

Apollinaris braggeth, that in the vnitie of the Trinitie he doeth consent with vs,Apollinaris heresie. and yet the same he blasphemeth with his erronious profession touchynge the incarnation of Christ. For he sayth, that in the fles he of our [Page]Sauiour, eyther the soule of man was not at all, or at leastwise such one as lacked vnderstanding and reason. Moreouer he say de that Christ receyued not fleshe of the blessed virgin Mary, but that he came from heauen into the vir­gin. And being wauerynge and doubtfull what he might cer­taynlye at all tymes auowche, he some tymes affirmed, the fleshe of Christe to be coeternall with God the worde, some times to be made of the diuinite of the worde. For he would neuer con­fesse two substaunces to be in Christ, one diuine another hu­maine: the one receiued of God his father, the other of Mary his mother. But he supposed that the nature of the worde was deuided: as though a part [Page]therof remained still in God, & a part also was turned into flesh. Insomuche that where as the veritie saith, one Christ to be of two natures, he being aduersa­rie to trueth, affirmeth two substaunces to be made of one diui­nitie of Christe. And this was the error of Apollinaris.

Nestorius contrarie to Apo­linaris, whiles he feineth to di­stincte two natures in Christe, Sodainly doth introduce two persons, and so deuillishlye imagineth to be twoo Sonnes of God, twoo Christes, the one God, the other man, the one begottē of the father, the other begottē of the mother. And for this cause he affirmeth that holye Marye ought not to be called the mother of God, but the mother of Christ. For because of [Page]her was borne, not that Christe which is god, but he yt was mā. And if any man thinke that in his bokes he writeth one Christ and preacheth one persone of Christ, let him not lyghtly cre­dit hym. For he doeth it vpon purpose to deceiue, that by good he may perswade euil, as Thap­postle saieth. Per bonum mihi operatus est mortem, That is to say. By that which was good he hath wroght vnto me deathe. Vndoubtedlye this was his opiniō, that Christ was borne veray man, and not yet sociated in the vnitie of per­son vnto the word: but that af­terward the person of the word descended into him. And al­though Christ now be assūpted, & sitteth in the glorie of god, yet saith he, betwene him and other [Page]mē was no differēce. For mā he was only, & so now remaineth. These be the blasphemies that Nestorius, Apollinaris, & Photinus as mad dogges haue barked a­gainste the catholike faieth, taught and receiued in the vni­uersall Churche. Whiche truely and syncerely iudginge of God the father and our sauiour the sonne, blasphemeth not, either in the mysterie of the trinitie, ei­ther in the incarnatiō of Christ. For she honoreth bothe one di­uinitie in the fulnesse of a Tri­nitie, & the equalitie of the Tri­nitie in one and the same maie­stie. She also confesseth one Iesus Christ, not two: & the same one Christ, to be both God and man. Againe in that one Christ to be one person and twoo sub­stāces [Page]or natures: two natures or substaūces, because the word of God is not mutable, that it in parte or in all mighte be con­uerted into fleshe, neyther twoo persons but one person. Least in professinge twoo sonnes, she mighte seeme to worshyppe a quaternitie and not a Trinitie. But it shalbe good to declare & enucleate the same somewhat more expresselye and distinctly. Vnderstande therfore, that in God is one only substaunce and three persones: in Christe are two natures and one onely per­son. In the Trinitie are mo persons, but not mo natures: in our sauiour mo natures but not mo persons. Why so? Because in the Trinite there is one person of the Father, another person [Page]of the Sonne, an other of the holye Ghost: and yet of the Fa­ther, of the Sonne, & of the ho­ly Ghost, there is one only and the same nature and no mo. E­uen so in oure sauioure Christe there be mo natures, as one of the diuinitie, an other of the hu­manitie: yet not two persones. For the deitie is not one person, and the humanitie an other person: but bothe is one onely and the same Christe, one onely and the same sonne of God. And of one onely and the same Christe, and the sonne of God, one only and the same person is, and no mo. As in man the fleshe is one thinge, and the soule an other thinge: yet is it but one and the same man, the fleshe & the soule. [Page]In Peter or Paule the soule is one thinge & the fleshe an other thinge: yet are there not twoo Peters the soule and the fleshe, or the soule one Paule and the fleshe and other Paule, but one and the same Peter, one & the same Paule subsisting of ii. son­dry natures: the one of ye soule, the other of ye body. In lyke maner in one and the same Christe be two natures, but the one di­uine, and the other humaine: the one of God the Father, the o­ther of Marye virgine the mo­ther: the one coequall & coeterne vnto the father, thother tempo­rall and lesse then the Father: thone consubstauntiall to the Father, thother consubstantial to the mother. Yet is but one [Page]and the same Christ in both substaunces: & not one Christ God, an other Christ man: not one in­create, an other create: not one impassible, an other passible: not one equall to the father, an o­ther lesse then the Father: not one of the father, an other of the mother: but one onely and the same Christe is God and man: the same bothe create and in­create, the same incommutable and impassible, the same was also commutable and passible, the same equall and inferior to the father: the same begotten of the Father before all worldes, the same borne in the worlde of his mother, perfite God & per­fite man: being God he is in ful diuinitie: being man he is in ful humanitie. Hauinge perfecte [Page]soule, and perfect fleshe, perfect minde and perfecte vnderstan­dinge. There are in Christ ther­fore the word, soule, and fleshe: but all thre one Christ, one sōne of God, one sauiour, one our re­demer, one not in corruptible confusion of the deitie and hu­manitie together, but in a most perfect, miraculous & singular vnitie of persone. Neither doth that coniunction conuerte and chaung them one into an other, as the Arrians dreame: but ra­ther in one Christ both natures are placed, that the singularitie of one and the same person still remaininge in Christe, the pro­prietie also of eche nature abi­deth for euer, that at any tyme god neither beginneth to be the [Page]bodie, neither ceaseth to be the body To the better vnderstan­ding hereof, the iuste considera­tion of mannes state shall ease­lye induce vs. For we knowe that not in this present worlde onely, but also in the worlde to come, euery man shall consist of bodye and soule. Yet shall not the bodye at anye time be con­uerted into the soule, or ye soule into the bodye, but eche manne made to liue without ende: in man necessarelye the difference of bothe substaunces shall re­mayne without ende for euer.

Euen so in Christ the propertie of bothe natures remayne for euer, and yet in one vnitie of personne. But wher as I name often times the personne, and saye that God the persone is [Page]made man, it is to be feared, least some mistake vs to saye that GOD the worde hathe taken vpon him our nature and substaunce, by onelye imitaci­on of the action: and that he was here conuersaunt, not as man in dede, but as a counter­fayte personne of man. As in stage playes we see, where one man resembleth sodaynlye di­uers personnes, and yet is he none of them all. For as ofte as we woulde expresse the imita­tion of another mans trade or office, in doing therof we so vse the diligence of other, that they not withstandinge whiche re­semble and represent, are not those that are resembled & re­presēted. As for example: when the stage Player playeth the [Page]Priest or King, it foloweth not that he is eyther priest or King. Therfore, for the acte or parte ceasyng, the personne also cea­seth, whiche he did vsurpe. God forbyd we Christians shoulde vse any suche abhominable and pestilent mockerye in the incar­nation of his sonne Christ god and man. Let this madnes and fantasie be left vnto the Mani­cheis the preachers of dreames.Manicheis The catholike fayth confesseth the worde of God so to be made man, that he receyueth truelye and manifestlye all that ours is, not deceyuably and coulera­blye. And that he executeth all thynges that were humayne, not as thoughe he imitated a straunge parte, but rather as properlye his owne, he verelye [Page]and truely being the selfe same whose personne he dyd repre­sent. As we our selues also in that we speake, we vnderstand, we lyue, we be: we do not here­in imitate men, but we are men in dede. Neyther were Peter and Iohn (to name them chief­lye aboue all other) menne by imitation, but by being. In like sort God the worde in ta­kynge and hauynge fleashe, in speaking, doyng, and sufferyng in the fleashe without corrup­tion, not withstanding his na­ture, vouchesafed to do and per fourme all this, not to thende that he might imitate, counter­fayte, or resemble a perfecte mā, but because he was in dede and verelye subsisted perfecte man. Therefore as the soule [Page]knit vnto the fleshe, neyther yet tourned into the fleshe, doth not imitate man, but is man: and man not by simulation, but by substaunce, so the worde God without any conuersion of any parte of hym, in comminge and confoundyng him selfe to man, is made man, not by imitation but by subsistynge. He therfore that will be of God must con­fesse the ineffable word of God, in the incarnation of his sonne Christe, and acknowledge one and the same Christ to be vere­lye and perfectlye God, verelye and perfectlye man in one vni­tie of one personne, whiche vni­tie of personne was compacte and perfected not after the vir­gin was deliuered, but euen in the wōbe of the virgin. And we [Page]ought diligētly to be ware that we imagine not, Christe to be two, because of his two natu­res: whom we must cōfesse to be one only, & euer one. One in his conception, & one after. One in his birth, & one after. One in the time of his baptisme, & one euer after, Vnto whō being but one, (and yet both God and man, by reason of that vnitie of person) both the properties of God are attributed to man, & the properties of man ascribed to God.

And therefore it is written in the scriptures,Iohn. vi. that the sonne of man came downe from heauen, and the Lord of Maiestie was crucified in earth. In consideration of this vnitie of personne, the Churche sayeth and bele­ueth very catholikely, that God [Page]the worde was borne of the virgine. The deniall wherof is detestable, impious, & wicked. Then for asmuche as it is so, god defend that any mā should go about to defraude the blessed virgin Marie of the priuileges of the heauenly grace, as from her special honor. For sheis by a certen singular gyft of our lord & God, most truly & most wor­thely to be confessed, [...], that is to say: the mother of god. Howe be it, she is not so ye mo­ther of God as that impious heresy doth surmise, which affirmeth yt she must be said the mo­ther of god by only appellation, because she brought furth hym a man, which afterwarde was made God. As we vse to saye a Priestes mother, or a Byshops [Page]mother: not in bringynge furth a Priest or a Byshoppe, but be­tyng him a man, whiche after­warde is made Priest or By­shoppe. But holy Mary I saye is not called the mother of God after that sorte, but rather (as afore I sayde) because in the blessed wombe that holy myste­rye was wrought. And by reason of a certayne singular and one onely vnitie of person, as the worde is fleshe in fleshe, so man is God. But now let vs retourne home, and briefely re­compte suche thynges as we haue sayde touchynge the here­sies tofore remembred: to thend that by the iteration therof, the memorie maye be holpen, & the matters more fullye perceyued and better borne awaye.

Accursed therefore be Photinus not receiuing the fulnesse of the Trinitie, and preaching Christ to be a solitarie and onely man. Accursed be Apollinaris affir­ming in Christe the corruption of diuinitie conuerted, and de­niynge the proprietie of perfecte humanitie. Accursed be Nesto­rius denayinge God to be borne of the virgine, affirming twoo Christes, & perswading to be a quaternitie cōtrary to the faith and beliefe of the Trinitie. And blessed is the catholike churche whiche dothe honor one God in fulnesse of Trinitie,Catholike Churche. and also e­qualitie of Trinitie in one diui­nitie: that neither the singularitie of substaunce confoundethe the proprietie of persons, neither the distinction of the Trinitie, [Page]dothe separate the vnitie of the deitie. Blessed (I saye) is the churche, whiche beleueth that in Christe be two true and perfect natures, and but one person, that neither the diuision of na­tures diuideth the vnitie of hys person, nor the vnitie of the per­son cōfoūdeth the difference of the natures. Blessed (I saye) is the Churche, whiche humbly confesseth, that Christe manne was not vnited to God after his natiuitie, but in the chaste wombe of his mother: to thende she might acknowledge hym to be nowe, and euer more to haue been. Blessed is the Churche, whiche vnderstandeth God to be made man, not by conuersiō of nature, but by consideration of person, and such person as is [Page]subsisting, and euer permanent. Blessed is the Churche, whiche teacheth this vnitie of person to haue suche force, vertue, and mighte, that by that vnitie shee ascribeth in wonderfull and in­effable mysterie, as wel the pro­prieties vnto manne, as the hu­maine qualities to God. For in respecte of that vnite of person, she denieth not, but that mā, as concerninge GOD, descended from heauen, and beleueth that God, as concerninge man, was made in the earth, suffered, and was crucified. In respecte of that vnitie she confesseth that man is the sonne of God, & God the sonne of Marye the virgin. Thus muche of this matter: the weighte whereof requireth an exact treatise But in this present [Page]place, it is sufficiēt to touch by the waye brieflye, whiche by Goddes leaue I purpose here­after moore plentuouslye to discusse at an other time. Nowe let vs procede as we beganne. I saied before and nowe I say againe, that in the Churche of God, the temptation of the people, is the error of the maister or teacher. And somuch greater is the temptation, the greater knowlege of him is that erreth. As we declared, first by thau­thoritie of the scriptures, nexte by ecclesiasticall examples, in the rehersal & allegation of such as at the beginninge were este med catholike in faieth, and sound in doctrine: at length not withstandynge either fell into some other sect, or diuised some [Page]newe of their owne braines. Verely it is a great matter profitable to be knowen, verie ne­cessarie to be often recorded, & worthye by dyuers examples continually to be illustrated, and dryuen into euery mannes harte: howe that all catholike men at all times, haue thought themselues bounde to receiue the teachers within the church, and not forsake the faith of the Churche with the teachers be­inge in errour.

But where as I am able to bryng furth many in thys kind of tēpting, yet I suppose none to be compared with Origenes teptacion,Origenes. in whom were so ma­ny excellent, singular, and mer­ueilous giftes, that he was as it were a marke for euery man [Page]to gase and wonder at. Whose sentence, iudgemēt, and opinion in all matters, all men iudged moost worthie to be embraced. And no merueill. For if the lyfe geueth any authoritie to man, no doubte he did leade a verye perfect, holy, and continent life, in much pacience, and suffering. Yf the stocke & parentage: who more noble then he, which was sprong of that honorable house, that firste was bewtified with blessed Martyrdome? Who af­terwarde for Christe his sake not onely forsakinge his natu­rall father, but leauyng also all hys goodes and substaunce, so­muche proffeted amongest the harde straightes of holy pouer­tie, that many times and oft he was sharpely handled, for cōfes [Page]synge the name of oure Lorde. Adde therto, that so great was his knowledge in all kinde of literature, matched with suche finenes of wit, powdered with such pleasaūt deliueraūce of his wordes, that he was thoughte pierelesse without felowe. The highe magnificence of whose absolute knowledge was suche, that few or none were thought to approche. His pronunciatiō and vtteraunce so swete, that from his lyppes not wordes, but hony might haue semed to flowe. What matters seminge neuer so hard, hath not he with force of disputatiō made smoth, & cleere? What thinges seminge veray hard to be done, hath not he made to appeare easie by his owne example? But some wyll [Page]thinke that he perswaded hys assertions by subteltie of argu­mente onely. Yea there was not one of the Churche that v­sed mo examples out of the holy scriptures, then he did in anye worke that he made, as he made veray many. And that no thing might be lacking in him that ei­ther coulde encrease his know­ledge, or inlarge his estimation, he atteined the full perfection of age. And in his time he had so many disciples, whom effec­tually bothe by continuall in­struction of doctrine, and effec­tuall example of maners he had soo framed that of hym, and as it were out of his bosome issued innumerable Doctours, Ministers, Confessours, and Martyrs.

Finally in howe great admi­ration, glorye, and fauour, he was with all men, who can ex­presse? vnto whom diuers god­lye men from all partes swar­med, whome the Christians ho­noured, as a Prophete. The Philosophers reuerenced as a maister. Whome for the wor­thines of his heauenly wisdom, not onely men of priuate condi­tion, but also themperiall state honoured. Recorde of histories, whiche report that the mother of Alexander the Emperour, sent for hym to learne at hys mouth heauenly wisdom, wher of he had a speciall grace, & she a burnyng desire. The same hi­stories also reporte vnto vs the testimonye of an epistle, whiche he endicted with the maiestie of [Page]christian prelacie, and sent it vnto Philippe themperour,Philippe. who first was made christian of the Romayne Princes. Touching the incredible knowledge ex­pressed in that epistle, yf any ac­cept not the christian testimo­nye at my reporte, at least wise let him receyue the gentle con­fession vpon the testimonye of prophane Philosophers.

For that impious and wicked man Porphyrius doeth confesse,Porphyri­us. that by the sounde of his fame, he was styred to trauel as far as Alexandria, being in maner yet but a boye: and that he there sawe Origines, well stept in age: but such one, of such ma­iestie, as who had buylded in him selfe a towre of all know­ledge. No doubt he was a man [Page]ful of worthines. Al whos most worthye qualities I coulde not rehearse in a daye: no not the least part of them. And they all do pertayne not onelye vnto the glorye of religion, but also vnto the greatnes of the temptatiō. For who woulde eyther suspect such a mā, of so excellēt wit, so great knowledge, & of so won­derfull grace? Or woulde not rather vse that sentence, that I had leuer erre with Origent, hen to thinke trueth with other?

What nedes many wordes? It came to this passe, that ye moste daūgerous tēptation of so notable a person, so great a mayster, so hiegh a prophet, allured very many from ye integrite of their faythe. Wherfore the same Ori­gen, whilest he more insolentlye [Page]abuseth ye grace of God, whilest he ouermuche trusteth to hys owne witte and iudgement, & slenderlye regardeth the aunci­ent simplicitie, and presumyng to be more wise then other, do­eth contemne the traditions of the churche and the preceptes of thelders. He at length taketh vpon him to interpretate & ex­pound certen partes of the scriptures after a new guyse. Wher­by he hath also deserued, that of him it shoulde be sayde: Si sura rexerit in medio tui Propheta non audi­as verba illius prophetae, quia tent at uos dominus deus uester, vtrum díligatís eum an non. That is to say: If there a­ryse amonge you a Prophet, thou shalte not heare the voyce of that Prophet, because the Lorde your God tempteth you whether you [Page]loue him or not. Doubtlesse it is not onelye a temptacion, but a very great temptacion, when he on whome the congregation of Christ doth wholly stai, vnto whō the churche leneth, allured by the admiration of his witte, knowledge, eloquence, conuer­sation, and grace (whiche were all wonderfull in him) doeth so­daynlye traduce the same (no­thing fearinge or suspectynge) from the auncient religion into newe prophanities. But some man wyll saye, that the bookes of Origen are corrupted. I doe not withstande that. Yea, I would that Origens bokes wer corrupt rather then Origen him selfe. And that his bookes are corrupted, diuers aswell of the catholykes, as heretikes haue [Page]firmed. How be it this it is that we ought now to attend, that if not Origen him selfe, yet the bo­kes put furth in his name were a great temptaciō. Which scat­terynge full of foule blasphe­mies, were read and receyued for his, and not for anye other mans. In so muche that al be it in conceyuynge anye errour, it was not the minde of Origen: yet to the persuasion of errour, the authoritie of Origen maye seeme muche to preuayle.

The like may be spoken of Ter­tullian, Tertullian a man no lesse notable and famous amongest the La­tines, then was Origen amon­gest the Greekes. For what coulde be more excellent then this man? Who more exercised in the holy scriptures, and in all [Page]other humayne letters then he? Whose breste was farced vp with a most plenteous varietie of all maner of knowledge.

There was no sect of Philoso­phers, no part of theyr studies, whiche he had not sought, and faithfully placed in ye treasurye of remembraunce. He so far ex­celled in grauitie and vehemen­cie of witte, that he hath not at anye time almoste purposed to withstande or ouerthrow anye controuersie, which either by fi­nesse of witte or by wayghte of argumentes he archiued not.

The prayse of whose oration who can expresse? Whiche was interlased wyth so greate ne­cessitie of reason, that it did im­pell and inforce to his opinion, such as otherwyse he could not [Page]induce and perswade. In which almost howe manye wordes, so manye sentences be. And howe many sentences, so many victo­ries. A great many can recorde this, and speciallye Marciones, Apelles, Praxee, Hermogenes, the Iewes, the Gentiles, & the dete­stable heretikes called Gnostici. Whose blasphemies he hath in great & large volumes defaced, and as it were with the violent stroke of percinge lightninge, clene ouerthrowen. And yet euē this Tertulliā after al these god­ly practises, not stedfastlye cle­uing vnto ye faithful shore of the catholik trueth, ye vniuersal and auncient faith, beinge more elo­quēt, then happy, more pregnāt in wit, then cōstant in faith, for­getting as it wer him self & his [Page]former profession, did at length (as the blessed confessor Hillary in a certaine place dothe wryte of him (saiyng) Tertulliā tracing and folowing error, hath pluckte awaie authoritie from his proba­ble writinges. And he also hathe ben in the Churche a greate tempracion. But I shall spare to speake any more of this man. Onely thys shall I remembre, that forasmuche as he maintei­ned the newfangled furies of Montanus, beinge raysed in the Churche contrarie to Moyses precepte, & affirmed those mad dreames of newe doctrine deui­sed by worse then mad women, to be true prophesies: he there­fore hath deserued, that of him and his writynges it shoulde be said. If a Prophet shal rise among [Page]you, you shal not herkē to the wordes of that prophet. Wherefore? Because, saieth Moyses, the lorde your god tēpteth you, whether you loue him or not. By these & other the lyke so many and so greate examples, we maye euidentlye perceiue, and by the lawes of Deuteronomie more clearly see and vnderstande, that if at any tyme any ecclesiasticall prelate orlearned man shall erre from the catholike faith in any point, that then the heauenlye proui­dence dothe suffre the same to tempte and proue vs thereby, whether, we loue God or not in all our harte, and in all our soule. Wherfore seyng it is so, he then is a true and perfecte catholike man, whiche loueth the trueth of god, which loueth the church [Page]the mysticall bodye of Christe, whiche estemeth no singular mans authoritie, witte, or iud­gemēt, knowlege, or eloquence, aboue the true religiō of Christ: whiche preferreth not the affec­tion, loue, or frendeship of anye singular person, before the vni­uersall and catholike faith. But despising all those thinges, doth abide permanent, and stable in faith, and resolueth with him selfe to receiue, hold, and beleue which he knoweth the catholike Churche vniuersally and conti­nually to haue receiued, holdē & beliued. And what euer new doctrine at any time after, he shall perceiue to be brought in by a­ny one, either besides, or aboue, or contrarie and repugnant to that whiche the catholike fa­thers [Page]haue in consente agreid vpon, he adiudgeth the same to pertaine, not to religion, but vnto temptation onely: accordinge to the holesome doctrine of blessed S. Paule, expressed in the firste epistle vnto the Corrinthi­ans. Oportet hęreses esse, ut probatimani­festi fíant in uobis, That is to saie. Heresies must be, to thende, that the proued may be made mani­fest amonge you. As if he had saied, the authors of heresies be not by & by rooted oute, but permitted for the time by God, that euery man beinge proued, maye be made manifest, and euident­lye to appeare howe stedfaste, faithful, and sure louer he is, of the catholike faith. And in dede as oft as any noueltie riseth vp, thē esely is the good corne tried [Page]by his weighte, and the chaffe by his lightnes. Then the good corn abideth within the floore, notwithstandinge any puffe of noueltie. And the chaffe is ther­with lightly pufte out, hauinge not the substaūce of good corne to keepe it within the floore of the catholike vnitie. For thē we see howe some take their leaue, & shake handes for euer: some other hange houerynge in the ayre, and kepe them aloufe, both fearing to depart, and ashamed to retourne, beynge wounded & halfe dead, and half aliue. For why? They haue receiued suche quantitie of the poyson, as nei­ther killeth, ne can be digested: neither forceth to dye, ne suffe­reth to lyue. Ah moost wretched and miserable condition. In [Page]what restles cares are their hartes broyled trowe ye? Now thei will, nowe they nil: one whyle they are violently plucked, with the raised error, where the wind of noueltie dryueth: another while reuersed vpon them sel­ues as contrarie waues, they do relide and beate against the walles of theire owne consci­ence. Nowe with foule hardie presūption, they approue that, whiche semeth vncertaine: now throughe causelesse feare, they dreade and feare to cōfesse such thinges as are moost certaine: being al vncertaine which way to god or come, what to desire and what to auoide, what to hold, or what to let passe. Which affliction of so doubtfull & wa­uering hart, is no doubt, the re­medie [Page]and medicine of Goddes mercie towardes them, if they be wise. For beinge without the moost surest porte of the catho­like faieth, they are shaken, bea­ten, and almost slayne with the violente stormes of sondrye thoughtes: to thende, that they put downe the sayles of proude minde, whiche they had hoyssed alofte, and vnaduisedlye had spreed to the windes of nouel­tie: and that they ariue againe home warde, into the quiet and calme hauen of their good and peaceable mother the churche, where they myghte drinke the streemes of lyuelye and sprin­ging waters: that thei vnlearne well, whiche they learned not well: and to prouoke them to forget with speede, that whiche [Page]they receiued in ouer great hast. And of the whole doctrine of the churche, what can be com­prehended in their vnderstan­dynge, and reason to vnder­stand the same, and learne it by reason: and what is aboue their capacitee of reason, that same firmelye to beleue. Thys be­inge thus, reuoluynge and ma­ny times recordynge the same with my selfe, I cannot suffi­cientlye wondre at the greate madnes of certayne menne, the greate impietie of blinded min­des, and finallye the greate luste and desyre to erre, that some haue: that they cannot be contented with the auncient beleife taughte and receyued vniuersally in the churche, but muste seke daylye newe gere.

Euermore couetynge to alter and innouate the religion, ey­ther by adding some thing that is newe, or by pullinge awaye parte of that whiche was olde. As thoughe the religion of the churche were not an heauenlye decree, but an earthly instituci­on, whiche otherwise can not be perfect, without dayly emendation, yea rather reprehēsion of the same: the diuine Oracles criyng to the contrarye. Ne trans­feras terminos quos posuerunt patres tui. that is to sai: beware thou go not beyonde the bondes, whiche thy auncetours haue set. Agayne. Super iudicātem ne iudices. That is to say: Iudge not thou of, or vpō him that hath iudged. Likwise. Scindentēse­pem mordebít eū serpēs. Whiche is in our tonge. The serpent wil stinge [Page]him that breaketh or cutteth the hedge. Whereby is ment that ye deuyl which is figured by ye ser­pent in ye scripture, wil poison & stinge him to deathe, that pre­sumeth to breake the hedge of the catholike faythe, and con­temneth the vnitie of Christ his vniuersall churche. Hereto belongeth the worthye counsail of S. Paul, wherwith as with a certayne spirituall sworde all detestable nouelties of cursed heresies are, and at all times haue been cut of, and shalbe to the worldes ende. O Timothe (sayeth he) kepe that doctrine whiche was lefte vnto thee, and auoyde all prophane nouelties of wordes and termes. Beware of oppositions and obiectiōs of false named science, whiche certayne [Page]promisyng haue erred cōcerning the faith. What can be more ve­hemētly spoken against new in­nouations, contrary to ye aunci­ent order of ye vniuersall church thē this? yet behold the indurate hartes, the shamelesse impudē ­cie, the stiffe & outragious pertinacie, of diuers, whom neyther the great weight of so manifest scriptures can moue to yelde, nor the weyghtie importaunce of so highe authorities canne force to retyre, ne yet so terrible threatenynges of high venge­aunce can persuade to repent.

O Timothe (sayeth S. Paule) auoyde prophane nouelties of wordes and voyces. He sayth not antiquities and auncienties. But therby sheweth what on the o­ther syde he shoulde folowe. For [Page]he sayeth not, Auoide the olde auncient & receiued termes, phrases, and sentences: but newfan­gled gere, and prophane nouelti­es. Then if noueltie is to be a­uoyded, antiquitie oughte to be admitted: if noueltie be propha­ne, then is auncientie holye and diuine. Auoide also (sayeth he) and resist oppositions, and obiecti­ons of knowledge falselye so cal­led. That is obiections made by heretikes, agaynst the receyued order of the catholike churche, vpon knowledge (as they wold lyghtlye perswade). But it is not so, sayeth S. Paule. It is falsely called knowledge. The knowledge of Heretikes is grosse ignoraunce, their bright­nesse is mere dymnesse. Theyr light, is hellishe darkenesse. Yet [Page]woulde they so disgyse and co­lour them, that in apparaunce they might seeme the selfe same thinges. whiche promisyng say­eth S. Paule, they haue fallen from the faithe. What haue they promised? Surelye I wote not what newe and vnknowen doc­trine. For ye shall here some say vnto you.The verie fourme of wordesth heretikes vse. O ye fooles and selye poore soules, whiche commonly are called catholike, come ye vn­to vs saye they, and learne of vs the true faythe, which none kno­weth besides vs, whiche hath ben hidden from you this many hun­dred yeres: and is nowe of late re­ueled and shewen vnto a fewe of vs. But learne it of vs priuelye and secretlye, and you shall finde great pleasure therin. And whē ye haue learned it at our handes, teache it [Page]other also, but priuelye in corners, that the worlde heare it not, and that the Churche knowe it not.

For thei can not beare it, because it is geuen but to a fewe to vnder­stande, and receiue the secrete of so great mysterie. I praye you be not theise the very wordes of that abhominable and deceyte­full harlot, spoken of in the pronerbes of Salomon? Which doth allure to come vnto her, suche as passe by the waye goynge in theyr iourneye, sayinge: He that is vnwisest of you al, let him come to me? And the simple she inti­seth also, saying: Panes occultos li­benter attingite, et aquam dulcemfurtim bi­bite. That is to saye: Come and eate gladlye the loues whiche are hidden, and drinke priuely a swete pleasaunt water. These are the [Page]flattering and deceyuable wor­des of that false & wicked har­lot the churche of Antichrist.

But it is worthe the labour to trauerse more at large the wor­des of S. Paule. O Timothe, saith he, kepe that which is left vnto the, auoyding prophane nouel­ties of wordes. O, is an exclamation aswell of prescience, as al­so of charitie. For he aforesawe the errours to come, and afore hande was careful howe to a­uoyde them. He speaketh vnto Timothe. Who is now Timothe? But eyther ye vniuersal churche generally, or the whole bodye of the rulers speciallye. For bothe them selues oughte to haue the sounde and perfect knowledge of Gods religion, and also to teache the same to other. What [Page]is meaned by that. Deposita custodi. Kepe that whiche is lefte vnto the. Kepe, sayeth saynct Paule, because of fylchynge theues, and enuyous aduersaries.

Least thei when men be at rest, shoulde sowe theyr zizan and Cocle vpon that good seede of Wheate, whiche the sonne of man hadde sowen before in his feelde. Kepe that whiche was lefte vnto thee, sayeth the Apo­stle. What was that? Forsothe that whiche was credited and committed vnto thee, and not that whyche was deuised by thee. The religion whiche thou haste receyued, and not whi­che thou of thy selfe haste ima­gined: a matter not of wyt, but of doctrine: not of priuate vsur­pation, but of publike traditiō, [Page]brought vnto the from thyne auncetours, not brought fnrthe by the for thy successors. Wher­of thou oughtest not to be an authour, but keper: not an insti­tutour, but folower. Hold assu­redly, saieth S. Paule, saue & kepe the inuiolate and pure talent of the catholike faieth, committed vnto the. Exchaunge not, but what thou hast receiued, holde that still and delyuer that same vnto other. Thou hast receiued golde, yeld golde againe. I will not that thou rendre either im­pudentlye leade, or craftely co­per for good golde: restore in value and substaunce gold in deed, and not that whiche glistereth and hath a showe lyke to golde and yet is none. O Timothe, O thou priest, thou doctour, prea­cher, [Page]or expoūder of scriptures, if the gift of God hath made the a fitte instrument thereunto in witte, doctrine, and exercise, bee thou Beselehel the workeman of the spirituall tabernacle. Cut and graue workemanly the pretious Gemmes of the heauenly doctrine. Coapt, set, and applye them faithfully. Adorne, decke & set thē furth wisely. Adde with the vttermost of thy power shy­ning, grace, & bewtie. Through the, and thyne expositions, let it be perceiued more clearelye, whiche before was darke, and yet beleued faithfully. Through the and thy frauel, let the poste­ritie reioyce in the vnderstan­dinge of that, whiche tofore the antiquitie did worship, and not vnderstande. But yet teach the [Page]same thinges, whiche thou hast learned, and none other: that, when thou speakest newely, yet thou speake not newe matters. Here some wil saye. What, shal there be no increase had of reli­gion in the churche of Christe-Yes, what els? Who is so iniuri­ous bothe to God and man, that would not so? But increase I would should be, & not decrease: a confirmation, not alteration: renouatiō of religiō, not innouation. For ech thing receiueth in­crease, & is properly increased, which is amplified & enlarged, in it selfe remayning one thinge notwithstanding, and the same still. But vnto permutation, al­teration, or innouation it belongeth that somethinge in sub­staunce be altered & conuerted [Page]from one into an other. Where­fore I gladlie admit and allow the increase of religion, that is: I will and I thinke meete that the churche do increase, growe, and prospere in all ages and at all times, verie muche in know­ledge, vnderstanding and wyse­dome. But in one onely kynde, sense, and vnderstandinge. Let the religion of soules imitate the consideration of the bodies. For although the bodyes in processe of yeres are inlarged in their membres, yet doe they re­maine the same bodies, that thei were. There is much difference betwene the flower of youthe, and the ripenes of age. Yet be they made, olde, whiche were before young. That, all if of one and the same man the stature [Page]and habit dothe alter and varie as time tunneth, yet the same nature, substaunce, and person is stil. Tender and smale are the membres of younge infantes: stronge and greate are the lim­mes of growē men. Yet al one in euerie of them, & as many. The infante hathe as many partes, as hath the man. And if there be any thinge that showeth not it selfe, but in the ripe time of age: the same notwithstanding was in the consideration or dis­sposition of the sede, so that no newe thinge afterward appea­reth in mā, being stept in yeres, whiche fofore was not hidden in him being but a childe. Wher­fore there is no doubte but thys is the laweful and right rule of proffeting: this is the most per­fecte [Page]and goodliest ordre of gro­wing and increasing, if the num bre of yeres, the course of age, the processe of time, do resemble and alwayes showe the same partes, and formes in the aged. which the wisedome of the crea­tour had tofore formed in them being litle ones. Nowe if the shape or forme of man, be after­warde turned and altered into any other figure vnlyke it selfe: or if the iust numbre of the par­tes and membres be either di­minished, or increased, then of necessitie the bodie must either perishe, or become mōstruous, or at leest wise be greatly weke­ned. Euen so sitting and meete it is, that the Christian riligion be increased, and dilated accor­ding to the lyke ordre & maner. [Page]That is to wit: religion oughte to be strengthened in yeres, di­lated in times, auaūced in age: but soo, that it remaine euer­more one, and the same, vncor­rupted, vnaltered in the mea­sures of all her partes: and as it were in all her propre mem­bres, senses, and qualities, full, sounde and perfitte: neither ad­mitting any permutatiō in the substaunce, ne suffering any dā ­mage in the proprieties, nor al­lowing any varietie in the sette diffinitions, sentences, or censures. As for example. Our forefathers haue sowen in thys ecclesiasticall agricolation, the cleane seede of whetie faieth. It were surely very vnsitting, and vniuste, if we theire posteritie shoulde chuse cockle for whete, [Page]and admit the counterfeit and deceitefull error of the one, for the germaine and naturall ve­ritie of the other. Rather righte and consequent it is, to thende no discrepance or contrarietie be founde betwene the first and the last, that of the encrease of whetie institution, we reape the croppe of whety doctrine. That when anye parte of these good seedes sowen by oure aunce­tours, shall by accesse of tyme springe and blade vp, the same by vs bee cherished, maintei­ned, and defended vnto the most desired haruest: not altring or chaūging any parte thereof, ei­ther in qualitie or in substaūce: although we adde bewtie, fame & distictiō therto. For god defed, that ye rosy plātes of their catho [Page]lyke determination, shoulde be cōuerted into branbles & thor­nes. God defend that in the spi­ritual Paradise of the pleasaūt graftes of Cyunamome, viti­ous raye or darnel shuld spring: of the wholsome slyppes of bal­samum, pernitious wolbane should issue. Whatsoeuer ther­fore the aunciēt fathers, ye faith full laborours in thys Agri­colation & husbandrie of Christ hys churche, haue sowed and plāted, mete it is that the same by vs thyr children and succes­sours be diligentlye and fayth­fullye tylled, garnished, and ob­serued: that the same doe pros­per, increase and augment: the same doe styll floure, and sede, and atteyne to perfect ripenes. For decent and fitte it is, that [Page]the auncient preceptes, rules, and lessons, concernynge the christian religion, in processe of time be fyned, polished, and confirmed. But a curssed and a destetable dede it is, to de­truncate, mangle, or violate them, or anye parte of them. It is lawefull that throughe our diligence, industrie, and labour, ye auncient presidēces of our fa­thers doe receyue euidencie, light, distinction. But it is also necessary, that they styl retaine their auncient fulnesse, inte­gritie, and proprietie. For yf this licentious libertie of impi­ous fraude, shalbe permitted to alter and chaunge the auncient censures of the vniuersal chur­che: I am afrayde to saye, how great daunger shoulde ensue of [Page]breaking and abolishyng the a­miable concorde of Christ hys vniforme religion, within short tyme. For anye one parte of the catholike institution, beynge once broken and abdicate, the Leprisie wil so crepe from part to parte, that at length the whole wyll be the least parte, and vtterlye refused. Agayne if they beginne to myngie newe tryckes, with olde and aunci­ent lawes: straunge & forayne deuises, with accustomed and familiar preceptes: prophane fantasies, with sacred and ho­lye ceremonies: no doubt it will grow to suche a custome in the whole, that euer after it wyll be the practise of euerye lyght brayne, to alter and put downe olde religion, and to set vp new [Page]fangled toyes, deuised by theyr owne witte. In so muche that nothing shalbe left in the chur­che vnspotted, vntouched, vn­defiled: but where the churche heretofore hathe been estemed and accompted the precious ve­sture of chaste and vncorrupte veritie: from hencefurth it may be rekened the sincke of impi­ous and foule errours. But God of hys mefureles mercye forbyd any suche detestable en­terprise to entre into the myn­des of hys people. But let it be, as it hath been alwayes, and stil is, the furious and peuish prac­tise of the wicked, impious, and cursed. Let the church of Christ euermore be as it hathe been e­uer, and shalbe for euer, the dili­gent, warye, and faythfull ke­per [Page]of suche determinations, decrees, and ordinaunces as haue been lefte by our aunce­tours, and vniuersallye recey­ued in consent and vnitie. This true and faythfull churche per­mitteth nothinge, diminisheth nothyng, addeth nothynge, cut­teth not away necessaries, and supplieth superfluities: omit­teth not her own, and vsurpeth that whiche pertayneth not vn­to her. But with all diligence studieth to preserue, maintayne and continewe suche doctrine, as hathe descended vnto her from the auncient fathers by general cōsent. And what hath been lefte vnto her only begon, and not settled: the same she endeuoreth to publishe, fine, & stablishe. What hath ben fully [Page]expressed, and throughly resol­ued: the same to cōsolidate, con­firme, and assure. What hathe been confirmed, and ratified: the same faythfullye to kepe, folowe, and beleue. For what hath the churche purposed at a­nye time, by the decrees of ge­neral counsailles, but that such thynges shoulde afterwarde more diligentlye be obserued, whiche afore were simply bele­ued? And that, whiche tofore was but slackly taught, should afterwarde be preached more in stantlye? This I say at al tymes and nothing els, the chur­che being vexed with the furi­ous nouelties of wicked here­likes, hathe purposed to doe in the decrees of her counseylles, that suche doctrine as was re­ceyued [Page]by tradition onely from the auncetours, might be assig­ned & sealed hensforth vnto the posteritie by scripture, cōprising in litle writyng a great weight of matters. And manye times for the better vnderstanding of them, vttereth & expresseth the olde sense and meaning of our faith, in new termes newly de­uised, for the playne opening of suche matters, as might other­wise apeare obscure But let vs returne to ye apostle S. Paule. He sayeth: Depositum custodi. Kepe that whiche was left vnto the, a­uoidynge prophane nouelties of words. auoide saith he, & hate as a viper, as a scorpiō, as a vene­mous cockatrice, least they hurt thee, not onelye with their tou­ching, but also with their sight, [Page]and pestilent brethe. What is it, to auoide? Forsothe not once to eate or drinke with thē Auoide, sayth S. Paule. What? Yf anye sayth he, cōmeth vnto you, and bringeth not with him this do­ctrine. What doctrine? The ca­tholycke and vniuersall doc­trine, which hath remained one and the same by all succession of ages, through incorrupt tra­dition of verite, & shall remayne to the worldes end, whosoeuer saye naye. What then? Doe not receyue him, sayeth S. Paule, into thy house, neither shalte thou saye vnto hym, aue God spede. For he that sayeth vnto him, God spede, or all hayle, he doeth communicate with hys wickednes. He sayth prophane nonelties of wordes. [Page]What is prophane? Verely that whiche is neither God! ye nor goodly: all whory, and nothing holy: that whiche straieth with­out the borders and boundes of the catholyke Churche, whiche is the temple of God. He saith, Prophane nouelties of wordes or voices. What is that? No doubt nouelties of wordes, opinions, censures, sectes, contrarie to antiquitie, repugnaunte to the auncient faieth of the vniuersal churche. For if suche nouelties be receiued, suche innouations admitted, thē of necessitie must the faieth of the holy fathers be greatlye stayned: then must all faiethfull of all ages, all holye and chast fathers, all contment and godly virgins, all clerkes, leuites, and priestes: theu must [Page]so many thowsande of confes­sours, so greate hostes of mar­tyrs, so innumerable multitude of cities, of peoples, of Islādes, and prouinces, so many thow­sande kinges, and nations. Fi­nally in maner the whole world being incorporate vnto our heed Christ throughe the catholyke faieth, must of necessitie (I say) be indged all this while so ma­ny hundreth yeres, to haue been ignoraunt, to haue erred, and blasphemed God: & not to haue knowen what they shoulde be­leue. Prophane nouelties of wor­des (saieth Paule) auoide. Whye auoyde? Because it was neuer the custome and propertie of catholyke men, but onely of here­tikes, to receiue and folowe thē. And in dede what heresie hathe [Page]there been, that spronge not vp vnder a singular, and certaine name, in a singular, and certaine bothe time and place? Who euer forged any heresies, but that he first diuided him selfe from the consent of the vniuersalitie, and aunciētie of ye catholike church? Whoo euer presumed so greate force of frewill, that he thought it sufficiente to worke all good actions without the helpe of Goddes grace, before that pro­phane heretike Pelagius? Whoo euer denaied all mankinde to be boūde in the offēse of Adam his preuaricatiō before Celestius the prodigious disciple of that monstruous maister Pelagius.

Who euer durst either to di­uide the vnitie of the blessed tri­nitie, before that cursed Arrius? [Page]or confound the Trinitie of the ineffable vnitie before wicked Sabellius?

Who euer saied, before that mooste cruell Nouatianus, that GOD woulde rather haue the deathe of a sinner, then that hee shoulde returne and liue?

Who euer before Symon Ma­gus (of whome that olde goulfe of filthes euen vnto Priscillianus by continuall and priuie succes­sion haue issued) dursie saye God our creatour to be the au­thour of euell: that is, of oure wicked, impious, & abhomina­ble dedes? For he affirmeth that God hath created such a nature in man, that by a certaine pro­pre motion and impulse of necessarie wyll, he neither can ne wil any thinge els, but sinne: for be­ing [Page]exagitate, & in flamed with the furies of al vices, he is pluct and pulled throughe insatiable desyre, into al kinde of iniquitie. There be inumerable examples of this sorte, whiche I omit for breuities sake: by whiche it is clerely and manifestly declared, that this hath been, as it were, a solemne vowe euer moore a­monges heretikes, to set vp prophane nouelties, & to neglecte the orders of auncietie. And by oppositions of doctrine falselye termed, to hasarde the catho­lyke faith. Of thother side, this euermore hathe ben the proper­tie of the catholikes, to kepe, maintaine, & saue all suche god­ly orders and constitutions de­liuered and left of the holye fa­thers, & to condempne vtterly [Page]all prophane nouelties accor­ding to the counsel of S. Paul. Who earnestly warneth, if any shal preache vnto you any other doctrine, thē ye haue receiued, accurse him. Here perchaūce some wyll saye vnto me: do not suche as ye call heretikes vse the scriptures? And can the scriptures lye? Surely the scriptures lye not. Yet lyinge heretikes abuse the testimony of the scriptures, yea and veray vehementlie. For ye shall se them flye throughe e­uerie volume and parte therof, throughe all the bokes of Moy ses, of the kynges, throughe all the Psalmes, the Apostles, gos­pelles, and Prophetes. Where­soeuer, and with whomsoeuer they talke, beinge at home or a brode: whether they preache, or [Page]write: be they at feast, or in the stretes, scripture droppeth out of their mouthes as thicke as hayle from heauen. They bring not one iote of their owne, but the same is shadowed with scripture termes. Reade who list the workes of Paulus, Samosatenus, or Priscillianus, Eunomius, Iouini­anus, & all other heretikes, that euer haue ben, or hereafter shal­be. And ye shall finde an infinite heape of examples: yea ye shall se not one leafe in all their boo­kes almoost, but it is painted & set as thicke with quotations & notes in the margente, of sen­tences as well of tholde as the newe testamente, as possybly the margente canne holde.

Yet are they detestable here­tikes. Of whome we oughte [Page]so muche the more to beware, and feare: the more priuely they lurk vnder ye bowers of diuine scriptures. For they know well, that their trecherie, and filthes & ill stenches, coulde not quick­ly please, if they were nakedlye and simply brethed furth. And therefore they all besprincle thē with the swet spices, as it were, of the heauenlye doctrine, that he whiche coulde quickly de­prehende the humaine errour, myghte not yet sodeinlye con­tempne the diuine testimonies. And therefore they practise, as they dooe, whiche wyllynge too gyue vnto chyldren some bytter drynke, dooe fyrste a­noynte the lippe or brimme of the cuppe with hony or some o­ther pleasaunt thinge, that the [Page]simple and vnwarie age should not feare the bitternes, hauing afore tasted the swetenes.

Euen so doe these Heretikes, whiche doe colour and paynte before hand their euil sedes and pestilent syruppes with the ter­mes and titles of singular me­dicines: to the ende that none shoulde suspecte poyson, when he hath readde afore wrytren remedye or medicine. Of these heretikes our Sauiour war­neth vs to take hede. Attendite á falsis prophetis. Beware from false Prophetes, which come vnto you in shepes clothynge, but within they be rauenyng wolues. What is ment by shepes apparell or clothinge, but the sentences of the Prophetes and Apostles?

Who be the rauenyng wolues, [Page]but madde and furious hereti­kes, whiche alwayes vexe and inuade the foldes of the church, and to the vttermoste of their might, rent and deuour the in­nocent flocke of Christ? But to the ende they maye more craf­telye stele vpon the vnwarye shepe, they putte of the counte­naunce and vesture of wolues, and shroude them selues all in phrases and sentences of the scriptures, as with flices of wolle: inwardlye notwithstanding they continewe most cruel and rauening wolues. They do thus, that the simple sheepe might not feare the cruell dent of their bloudie teethe, when they shal afore feele and see the soft & wollye flice. But what sayeth our Sauiour. Exfructibus [Page]corum cognoscetis eos. Ye shall knowe them by their workes. That is: when they beginne to expound and interpretate the sentences and textes of holye scripture, whiche tofore they broughte: then that bitternesse, that fyl­thy stenche sauoreth: then that rauening woddenes is felt: thē that new poisō droppeth furth: then doe these prophane nouel­ties shew thē selues: then mayst thou see the hedge broken, the boundes and limites of the fa­thers ouerrun, then mayst thou see the catholike faythe man­gled, and cutte, the ecclesiasti­call doctrine rent and torne.

These be they whiche the Apo­stle Paule speaketh of in the se­conde to ye Corinthians saying. Nam eiusmodi Pseudoapostoli operarij suh­doli [Page]transfigurant se in apostolos Chri­sti. For suche false Apostles (say­eth S. Paule) subtel and craftye workers, doe transsigure them selues into the Apostles of Christ. What dyd S. Paule meane thereby? Nothinges els, but as the. Apostles of Christe dyd bring furthe the testimonies of holye scripture, euen so do these false Apostles. And as they al­leged the authorities of the Psalmes, the same doe these allege: as they vsed the senten­ces of the Prophetes, so doe these false Apostles. There is no part of Gods scripture, but these false Apostles doe allege and brynge furthe, euen as the true Apostles of Christ dyd.

And in thys sorte they transfi­gure them selues into the Apo­stles [Page]of Christ. But when they come vnto the diuers and vn­like expositions of these senten­ces, whiche they alyke brynge furth and allege, then is it ma­nifest whiche be the true Apo­stles, and whiche be the false Apostles. Then doeth it appere who be the simple, and who be the craftye: who be the godlye, and who be the wycked. Then are the true Prophetes discer­ned from the false Prophetes.

And no meruayle (sayeth the Apostle) for the Deuyll him selfe doeth transforme him selfe into an angell of light. No great mat­ter is it then, yf hys ministers be transfourmed lyke the mi­nisters of ryghteousnes.

Therefore accordynge to S. Paule hys doctrine, as often as [Page]eyther false Apostles, or false Prophetes, or false teachers do brynge the sentences of diuine lawe, therewith falselye vnder­standed, to mayntayne theyr errors: there is no doubte but that they folow the craftye and subtil wayes of their head Sa­tan. For he knoweth that there is no way to that. As when he would stablish an errour, to present the same wyth thauthori­tie of holye Scripture. O, but some wyl saye. Howe canne ye proue, that the Deuyll is wont to vse the testimonies of holye scriptures? It is proued suf­ficientlye to hym that readeth the Ghospell, where it is wri­ten. Then the Deuyll toke our Lorde, our Sauiour, and sette hym vpon the pinnacle of the temple, [Page]and sayde vnto hym. If thou be the sonne of God, caste thy selfe downe from thys pinnacle. For it is written: that he hathe geuen in commaundement to his Angelles of the, that they kepe thee in all thy wayes: they shall beare the vp in their handes, that thy foote tryppe not at anye stone. What woulde he stycke to doe to o­ther selye poore creatures, that thus assaulted the Creatour hym selfe, the Lorde of Maie­stie, with the testimonies of the scripture? If thou be the sonne of God (sayeth he) tumble thy selfe downe, for it is written. &c.

O surelye the doctrine of thys place is diligentlye to be noted and be marked of vs, which let­teth vs to vnderstande, that as often as we shall see anye to al­lege [Page]and produce the testimo­nies of the scriptures agaynste the fayth and religion beleued and receyued in the vniuersall Churche, that then we neede not doubt, but that the Deuyll by them worketh his olde feite. For as the head spake to the head, so nowe the membres speake vnto the membres: that is, the membres of the Deuyll, to the membres of GOD, the wycked to the godlye, the false periured to the faythfull, the heretikes to the catholike. But what sayeth the Deuyll? If thou be the sonne of GOD, tumble thy selfe downe. That is to say. Wilt thou be the chylde of God? Wylte thou possesse the inheri­taunce of the kyngdome of god? Then tumble thy selfe downe. [Page]that is, dispatche the from the tradition and doctrine of thys hyghe set churche: tumble thy selfe headlong downe from the pinnacle of the vniuersall faith. And if ye aske any of the here­tikes thus perswadinge, howe he proueth, by what authoritie he teacheth, that ye oughte to tumble your selues from the v­niuersall and auncient faieth of the catholike Churche, scriptum est enim, for it is writen, saith he, and by & by ye shal heare him power out a thowsande testimonies, examples, & authorities embe­seled out of the lawe, psalmes, Apostles and Prophetes, by whiche authorities after a new and wicked maner expounded, the sely soule is tumbled head­longe from the towre of catho [Page]like trueth, downe into the dungeon of blasphemous heresie. And hereto all heretikes adde wonderfull promises, whereby they intrap the simple and vn­wary after a merueious fashi­on. For they dare promisse and teache, that in theire Churche, that is, in the cōuenticle of their cōmunion, a great and speciall, yea plainely, a certaine parciall grace of God is: in somuch that as manye as be of their congregation, do flowe with all neces­saries, and are plentuously prouided for, by the onely dispensation of God, although they seke not, knocke not, and aske not for it. And that they be borne vp by the Angelles of heauen that theire foote ones stumble not againste any stone: that is [Page]to say, that they cannot offende or go amisse though they wold. But some wyll saye, if the testimonies, sentences, & promises of the scripture are vsed of the deuill & his ministers, of whom some be false Prophetes, some false Apostles, some be false teachers, and they all heretikes: what then shall the catholike men & the childrē of our mother the Church doe? By what mean shall they discerne the veritie in the holye scriptures, from the falshood of suche heretikes? No doubte they must doe, as at the beginning I admonished. They must doe as other godlye & learned mē haue done before them, and as they haue taughte vs to doe that followe them. What is that? They must interpretate, [Page]vnderstande and expounde the scriptures of God accordynge to the traditions orders & rules of the catholike Church: wher­in they must also necessarilye obserue & followe the vniuersali­tie, antiquitie, and cōsent of the catholike & apostolike churche. And when so euer a parte a­gainst the vniuersalitie, nouel­tie againste auncientie, the dis­sention of a fewe shall rebell a­gainste the vniuersall consente of all or the most parte of christians: then preferre and esteme the integritie of the vniuersali­tie, before the corruption of a parte. And in the same vniuersalitie, the religion of antiqui­tie, before the prophane nouel­tie: againe in that antiquitie, before the temeritie of one or a [Page]fewe, preferre chieflye the generall decrees of an vniuersall coū sell: and if none suche bee, then followe the consent and censure of suche as haue tofore taughte and ruled in the churche of god. Whiche if we diligently, soberly and faiethfully obserue, it shal­be easy inoughe for vs to dis­cerne or deprehende from tyme to time all pestilent errors, of al sortes of heretikes. Here nowe consequent it is, that I by ex­ample, doe demonstrate howe and in what wise, the prophane nouelties of heretikes maye be bothe deprehended and also condempned by the censures and sentences of the aunciente fa­thers, concordinge and agreing together. How be it we oughte to inuestigate and followe the [Page]aunciente consente of the holye fathers, not in euery small que­stion of the scriptures, but only and chiefely in the rule of faith: neither at all times all kinde of heresies are this wayes to bee impugned, but only newe and freshe heresies, as sone as they put vp their heades. That be­fore they haue falsyfied the pre­sidences of the auncient faieth, they maye be put of their pur­pose, by the straightnes of the time, and before they may haue leasure to goo about to corrupt and viciate the workes of oure elders with theire venime cre­ping moore at large. But olde and inueterate heresyes cannot be ouerthrowen after this sort, because in longe tracte of times they haue gotten better occasiō [Page]to incroche vpon trueth. Wher­fore suche olde heresies must be euer conuinced by the onely au­thoritie of the scripture, or els auoided, and detested, beinge alredy tofore conuinced and con­dempned by vniuersall counsell of the catholike writers. Wher­fore as sone as any newe pro­phane error beginneth to pepe vp, and the authour therof im­beseleth for the defense of the same certain sentēces out of the scripture, whiche he falsely and craftely dothe expoūde, by & by must ye gather together ye exposition of the fathers vpon those places, whiche were produced for the defense of the erroure. Wherby, that newe prophane errour maye be with out longe circumstaūce bewraied & with­out [Page]anye delaye condempned. But the exposition of suche fa­thers onely are to be conferred whiche lyuing, teaching, and a­bidinge holily, wisely, and con­stantly in the faieth and catho­lyke communion, haue merited either to dye in Christe faieth­fullye, either for Christe to be slayne happely. Vnto whome notwithstandinge we ought so farre furthe to geue credit, as they consente and agree toge­ther. And whatsoeuer they to­gether haue manifestlye firme­lye and fayethfullye receyued, taught and deliuered vnto vs: the same maye we receyue, be­leue and folowe, as moste cer­taine true and perfect doctrine. And whatsoeuer anye man, be he Byshoppe or Prelate, be he [Page]Confessor or Martyr, be he ne­uer so holye, neuer so well lear­ned, shall presume to mayn­tayne and teache anye thynge, contrarye to the consent, opini­on and censure of these fathers, we ought to accompt the same heresie & amongest the priuie & priuate sectes which are deui­ded from the authoritie of the cōmon, publique & general sen­tence. Let vs not with highe daunger of euerlastynge salua­tion after the curssed custome of hellishe heretikes, forsake the auncient verite of the vni­uersall doctrine, and folow the newe errours of one or a fewe. The holye and catholike con­sent of whiche godlye fathers, least anye shoulde temerouslye iudge to be neglected, harke [Page]what S. Paule sayth vnto the Corinthians.ii. Cor .xij. God (sayeth he) hathe constitute cettayne in the church, first apostles, of whom he was one: nexte Prophetes, what one we reade in the Actes that Agabus was: thirdlye teachers, whyche we call Tractatores, Treaters or Writers, whiche Paule him selfe calleth also prophetes somtyme, because by them & throughe their diligence the mysteries of the Prophetes are opened vnto the people:

Those therfore thus dispensed and constitute by the prouidēce of God by tymes and places, whosoeuer shall despice, or con­temne, agreynge and consen­tynge together in anye matter of Christ his catholike religion, let him knowe that he contem­neth [Page]not man but God. And that no man should deuide him selfe from the southsaying vni­tie of these fathers, S. Paule earnestlye desyreth, saying: I be­seche you brethren, that ye all speake one thinge and the same, and that there be amongest you no dissention. Be ye perfect and knit together in one and the same sense, in one and the same sen­tence. And yf anye shall de­uide hym selfe from the com­munion of the Catholicke sen­tence, he shall heare that of S. Paule. He is not God of dissenti­on, but of peace. That is to saye, he is not the God of hym which shrinketh from the vnite of consent, but of suche as abyde con­staunt in the peace of consent with other As I teach you (sayth [Page]he) in al congregatiōs of the sain­ctes. That is, of the Catholike, which therefore are called sain­ctes, because they persist con­siaunte in the communion of fayth. And yf any one would so muche arrogate vnto him selfe, as thoughe he onelye were to be hearde, and credited before all other, S. Paule to hys re­profe sayeth thus: Came the worde of God from you, or came it into you onely? But least this shoulde seeme to be spoken vp­on smale consideration, he ad­deth further. If any man semeth to be a Prophete or spirituall, let him knowe those thinges which I do write vnto you: because they are the commaundementes of the Lorde. Whiche commaunde­mentes, he that is counted a [Page]Prophet or spirituall, that is to saye: a maister of spirituall matters, doth not with earnest studye of equalitie and vnitie obserue: that eyther preferreth his owne opinion before others or in any poynt goeth from the iudgement of the vniuersall consent. The commaundement hereof who knoweth not (sayeth S. Paule) shall not be knowen. That is to saye: whosoeuer ey­ther doeth not learne whyche he knoweth not, or beyng kno­wen doeth contemne: the same man shal not be knowen. That is, he shalbe counted vnworthy on whome amongest other vni­ted in fay the and knitte in chri­stian humilitie, the heauenlye mercye maye be extended. And what thynge worsse? What e­uyll [Page]more bytter canne be de­uysed then thys? And yet ac­cordynge to thys Apostolycke commination we see the same hathe chaunced vnto Iulian Pe­lagian, who eyther neglected to incorporate hym selfe to the mynde and sentence of other fathers, or presumed to excor­porate hym selfe, that tofore was one of them.

But nowe time it is, that accordinge to my promise, I declare by example when and how the sentences of ye holy fathers may be gathered together, that by them the rule of Ecclesiasticall faythe myghte be assured and confirmed, accordynge as by decree and authoritie of coun­sayle is sette furthe.

And to doe thys, fytte and [Page]necessarye it is, that I doe eft­soones reuoke, what tofore was sayde. I sayde at the be­gynnynge, that thys euermore was, and styl is the custome of Catholike and true beleuers, to approue the true faythe by two wayes. First by the au­thoritie of diuine Scripture.

Secondlye by tradition of the catholyke Churche. Not be­cause the Scripture sufficeth not, or plentuously contayneth not all thinges necessarye: but because euery man expounding the same accordynge to theyr owne fantasies, do often times conceyue dyuers errours, and straunge opinions, centrary to the intent of ye holy scriptures. And therefore it is necessarye that ye intelligence & vnderstan­dinge [Page]of the heaueuly scripture, be directed according to one v­niforme rule of the ecclesiastical iudgement, especiallye in those questions on whiche the foun­dacion of the whole catholike doctrine doeth staye. We sayde moreouer, that we ought to consider in the churche the consent aswel of the vniuersalitie as al­so of antiquitie. Least we be broken of from the integritie of v­nitie, into some prophane error: or least we be tumbled from the religion of auncientie headlong into nouelties of vnknowen he­resie. I haue sayde also, that in the same antiquitie of the chur­che we ought vehementlye and studiously to obserue two thin­ges, vnto which eche man must cleue fast, yt will not be an here­tike. [Page]The first is, if any thinge in the antiquitie of the churche hathe been decreed by all catholike teachers and holy fathers, and hathe been setfurth by authori­tie of vniuersall counsell. Next, if there hap to arise any newe question, whiche is not decided by generall counsell, that then euery good man ought to haue recourse vnto the auncient wri­ters, which are knowē to haue stedfastly perseuered in the vni­tie of the catholike communion and faieth. And whatsoeuer they in one minde and consente haue receyued and taught, the same we ought to iudge and accept, as moost syncere, pure, and catholike doctrine. And that this myght not seeme to be spo­ken rather of my owne head, [Page]then by authoritie ecclesiastical, I haue drawen to example the godly counsell kepte in Afia at Ephesus, Bassus and Antiochus, two noble persones then beinge consulles. In which counsell, a motion beinge made for orders and rules to be deuised for the stablishinge of the faieth, it se­med vnto all the fathers there assembled, whiche were aboute C C. in numbre, a thinge ve­rye catholike, right faiethfull, and moste beest to be done, lest any prophane noueltie shoulde by chaunce crepe in, contrarye to their godly purpose, as to fore in the counsell kepte at Arimine in Italy, to bringe furthe the sentences, censures, & opinions of the holye fathers, of whiche some were Martyrs, some wer [Page]Confessors: and al were & con­stātly remained catholike prie­stes, true & faiethful teachers. And according to their minde, consente, and decree well and deuoutly considered, the religion of christian faieth might be con­firmed, and the blasphemie of prophan noueltie condempned. This thus done, of righte that wicked Nestorius was condempned as an heretike, iniurious to the catholike auncientye, and blessed Cyrillus was pronoūced catholike, consenting and agreable vnto the holye antiquitie. And for the better warrant of the matter, I learned the names of the same fathers, although I haue forgotten their order, ac­cordinge to whose censure and iudgement, both suche sentences [Page]as then were cōtrouerted, were expounded, and also the rule of the diuine doctrine stablished. Whiche fathers here to reherse by name, I thinke it not super­fluous. For thereby shal my me­morie be confirmed. Wherefore these were they, whose wry­tinges are recited, beinge either iudges, or witnesses in that coū sell. S. Peter Byshop of Alexan­dria, a verie excellente teacher, & mooste blessed Martyr. Holy Athanasius, highe prelate of the same citie, a right faithful prea­cher, and moost worthie confes­sor. Holy Theophilus, Byshoppe also of the same citie, a man for his faieth, lyfe, and knowledge very famous. Whom succeded Cyrill, a father of muche reue­rence. To these holy fathers and [Page]godlye Byshoppes of our Citie and prouince adde those shining beames of Cappadocia, as saint Gregorie, Byshoppe and confes­sor of Nazianse. S. Basil, Byshop & cōfessor of Caesarea, Cappadocia & other. S. Gregorie also byshop of Nice, a man for his faith, con­uersation, integritie, and wise­dome most worthie to be, as he was, brother to holye Basill. All these were Greekes. Amongest the Latines also were manye, that by their iudgemēt allowed the matters passed in that counsel: as S. Felix martyr, and S. Iulie Byshoppes of Rome.

Lykewise blessed S. Cypri­an Byshop of Carthage & mar­tyr. Holye sainte Ambrose By­shop of Mediolanū. These were they, whiche were in the coun­sell [Page]of Ephesus, as iudges, wit­nesses, Maisters, and Counsel­lers: whose doctrine that blessed Synode faiethfullye imbraced: and folowinge theire counsell, beleuinge their testimonie, obe­inge their iudgement, haue syn­cerely, truely, and faiethfullye pronounced of matters concer­ning faieth. These fathers were but tenne in numbre. A greater numbre mought haue been cal­led thereto, but there was noo necessitie: because as the tyme serued, the matters consisted not in the multitude of witnes­ses: and noman doubted, but all other catholike men thoughte and beleued as these tenne did. After all these thinges, I also added S. Cyrill his sentence. Whiche is conteined in the eccle [Page]siasticall gestes. For what tyme the Epistle of holye Capreolus, Byshoppe of Carthage was rea­den, who intended and desired nothinge els, but that the holye antiquitie mought be defēded, and wicked noueltie anulled, and vtterlye refused, then S. Cyrill pronounced & defined in fourme as followeth. And this Epistle (saied he) of the reuerend and most godly father Capreolus Bisshop of Carthage, shalbe rege­stred in the boke of our gestes and decrees, concerninge the faieth, whose sentence is so playne. For he will that the sentences, and de­crees of the auncient faieth be confirmed, and stablished: and that newe founde fansies and inuenti­ons be reproued and condēpned, as bothe superfluous and wicked. [Page]Hereto all the Byshoppes gaue their consent, al wholly agreed therupon, all together with one voyce wished the same. Wherto gaue they their consent? What was it, that they in one voyce together wished? Verely, that suche doctrine, as was of olde taught and receyued, shoulde be euermore allowed and imbra­ced: and what of late dayes was newely deuised, should for euer be refused. After whiche thinges, I was for my parte brought into a very greate ad­miration of their doinges, and coulde not sufficientlye, as me thought, cōmend the wonderful humilitie and godly deuotion of so great clerkes and holy men. For although they were suche and so many, indued with suche [Page]excellent knowledge, with such inestimable iudgement, that eche and euery of them mought haue frelye questioned in anye matter of the auncient faythe: and againe, theyr assembly and congregation together mighte seeme to incourage, and imbol­den the same newe matters of theyr owne heades deuised to decree and set furthe: yet would they innouate nothinge: but by al maner meanes cared, that no doctrine should be deliuered vn to theyr posteritie, but such as they had receyued of the forefa­thers. Thus dyd these fathers not onelye for the good disosi­tion of thynges at that present tune, but also to leaue example to suche as should folow them, what they shoulde doe in lyke [Page]case. That they ought with all their studie to honour the aun­cient faith, and not deuise new: to mayntayne suche religion, as they had receyued, and not to set furth what of their owne braynes was deuised.

I inueighed also agayust the most wicked and pestilent pre­sumption of deuillishe Nestori­us, who bragged of hym selfe, that he first and onelye of all o­ther vnderstode the scriptures rightlye, and that all other be­fore his time wandred in igno­raunce and errour, as many as ener had taught or written vp­on the scriptures: as all Prie­stes, Bishoppes, Matyrs Eon­fessours, that eyther haue ex­pounded the scriptures, or geuē credit to others expositions vp­on [Page]the same. And who finallye affirmed, the whole church euen nowe to be in blindnes and er­rour, and euer to haue been, whiche nowe folowed, and at all tymes had folowed, as it seemed vnto hym ignoraunt, blinde, and erronious doctours and teachers. And although to haue sayde thus muche, might seeme sufficient to ouerthrowe and vtterlye to deface all pro­phane nouelties, yet for the bet­ter furnishynge vp of the mat­ter, I haue adiected two authorities of the Apostolike See.

The one of Xistus Byshoppe of Rome. The other of his prede­cessour S. Celestine, whiche here I shall recount. Holye Xistus in the epistle whiche he wrote vn­to the Byshoppe of Antioche, [Page]concernynge Nestorius matter, sayeth thus. For asmuche as ther is but one fayth accordynge to the Apostle, whiche nowe most eui­dently hath obteined what ought to be taught: let vs beleue that, and lette vs firmelye holde what we ought to beleue. Nowe what that is that ought to be taught and beleued, he in his progresse doeth after declare. Let no no­ueltie be receiued (sayeth he) and no credit be geuen vnto it hens­furth. Because nothinge ought to be added vnto auncientie. The manifest and well knowen faieth and credulitie of our elders, be it troubled with no permixtion of myer. Thus wrote Xistus and verye Apostolike: commending the faythe of our auncetours with the termes of perspicuite, [Page]and describynge prophane no­uelties by permirtion of mier. Holye Celestine in maner and sentence like, confirmed the same in the Epistle whiche he sent vnto the priestes and prea­chers in Fraūce, blaming them for their silence, whereby they semed to geue ouer the aunci­ent faith, and suffered prophane nouelties to arise, and saieth. Merito nos causa respicit, si silentio fo­ueamus errorem &c. The matter tou­cheth vs} (sayeth he) if we by si­lence doe norishe and vpholde an errour. Let such therfore be puni­shed, neither let it be lawfull for suche to speake what they lyst.

Here some man may perhap­pes doubt, who be they whiche he forbiddeth to talke at plea­sure, and to speake what they [Page]lyst. Whether it be ment by the preachers of the auncient doc­trine, or by the deuisers of fan­tastical nouelties. Let holy Ce­lestine hym selfe saye, and dis­solue this doubte, in whome it foloweth, desinat si ita res est. If the matter be so (saieth he) that is to witte, if it be so, as diuers haue blamed your prouinces and cities, for that ye through your daunge­rous dissimulynge, and hurtfull si­lence, cause them to consent vnto certaine nouelties: If it be so (sayth he) let noueltie cesse to vexe and disturbe holy anncientie.

This was the sentence of bles­sed Celestine, which tended not to distroye the auncient religi­on, but to extirpe and banishe al newe inuentions contrarye to the catholike and old tradition [Page]of our forefathers. Wherfore suche as contemne and wyth­stande the religion taught & set furth by the apostolike & catho­like decrees, what els doe they, but preferre theyr owne fonde fansy & iumlyng iudgement be­fore the iuste sentence & sounde iudgement of so manye godlye fathers and holy martyrs? First thei herken not to S. Celestine, who decreed, vt desmeret nouítas incessere vetustatem. That is that no­ueltie shoulde cesse to vexe and di­sturbe the auncientie. They also laugh to skorne the wise counsel of holye Xistus, who decreed in this wise. Nihil vltra liceat nouitatí quia nihil addi conuenit vetustati. They neg­lecte likewyse the statutes of blessed Cyril, who honorablye allowed, and commended the [Page]godlye zeale of reuerent Capre­olus, for that he, by hys Epistle desyred the aunciente lessons and decrees concernyng religi­on, to be confirmed, and al new contrarye inuentions to be con­dempned. They doe in lyke sorte treade vnder foote all the decrees, lawes, & statutes made and agreed vpō in the Synode kept at Ephesus: wherunto all the holy Byshoppes of the East part assembled, and there with one voyce, consent, and mynde authorised, and confirmed all suche doctrine, as by the elders was deliuered: and condemned Nestorius as an heretike, for that he impugned the auncient beliefe, & woulde haue brought in newe nouelties.

The consent of whiche fathers in that counsell, and so in other generall counselles, the consent of other also, stablishing the ca­tholike religion, who euer neg­lecteth: whom els dothe he neg­lecte and despise, but the holye ghost by whose inspiration their hartes were ruled, and the true catholike Churche, whiche they maintened, and the maisters of the same, the Prophetes and Apostles, whom they followed? And expreslye he speaketh a­gainst S. Paule his doctrine, who saieth. O Timothee depositum cus­todi &c. That is, O Timothe kepe that whiche was lefte vnto the, auoidinge prophane nouelties of wordes. And in an other place: he saith to the same sense. If any shall shewe vnto you any other [Page]doctrine than that ye haue recea­ued, accursed be he. Nowe if the apostolike counselles, and the ecclesiasticall decrees, by which in holy consent of vniuersalitie and auncientie all heretikes hetherunto haue ben condemp­ned, and the catholike religion mainteyned, are in no wise to be cōtemned and despised: then shall it be necessarie for all suche as desire to be coumpted the le­gitimate children of our mother the catholike Churche, firmely to cleue, adhere, and sticke sure to the vnspotted faieth of oure holy auncetours: and vtterlye derest, abhorre, and persecute al wicked nouelties of prophane men, that in any point resist the vniuersal religion receiued.


Imprynted at London by Robert Caly within the precincte of the late dissolued house of the graye Freers, nowe conuerted to an Hospitall, called Christes Hos­pitall ⁂

The .xxij. daye of De­tober ⁂


Cum priuilegio ad imprimen­dum solum.

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