A TREATISE OF THE Perpetuall Visibilitie, AND Succession of the True CHVRCH. in all AGES.



KIng Salomon, the Mir­ror of wisdome, who dig­ged deepest into the ri­chest Mines of diuine and humane knowledge, ex­horts others to search af­ter that which himself had found in such abundance: and he sets an edge vpon our desires, by promising, If thou seekest af­ter her as for siluer, and searchest for her as for hid treasure, then shalt thou finde the knowledge of God, &c. Of so pretious a Talent when wee haue found [Page] any parcell, wee ought not to hide it in a napkin, much lesse to bury it in the bowels of the earth, by concealment or suppressi­on: for, Veritatem celare, est aurum se­pelire; L. 12. confess. c. 25. To conceale the Truth, is to burie gold, and therby to depriue not only others, but our selues also, of the benefit and vse thereof. Wherefore Saint Austen sharply censureth such as would challenge a pecu­liar interest and propriety in this, which is the true common treasure of Gods Church, saying, Veritas nec mea, nec tua, nec illius est, sed omnium nostrum, quos ad eius communionem publicè vocas; admonens nos, vt nolimus eam habe­re priuatam, ne priuemur ea: The truth is neither mine, nor thine, nor his, but all ours in common, whom thou (O Lord) cal­lest publikely to the communion thereof; dreadfully admonishing vs, not to desire to haue it priuate, lest we be depriued of it. Now, of all truth this day in controuersie, there is none more sought after by some, than the visibility of the true Church, which retained the purity of the Apostles [Page] doctrine, vnmixed with dregs of errour and superstition, especially in the gloomy and dark Ages before Luther. As for higher times, and neerer the Apostles, such was the clarity and splendour of the pure Church, that in a manner it obscured the Sun. But, in succeeding and degenerating times, after the number of the name of the Beast, 666, it began much to be obscured and clouded with ignorance and supersti­tion: and in the thousandth yeer, in which, Satan was let loose, and much more after, euen till the happy reformation in these la­ter Ages, it was so eclipsed, especially in the Western Parts of the world, that some confidently affirm, it was quite extinct. The Woman, clothed with the Sun, hauing the Moon vnder her feet, was now fled in­to the Wildernesse, and had but a fewe Stars to discouer her. By the conduct and lustre wherof, yet many Wise-men follow'd her obscure track, and found her. Among whom, the most reuerend, religious, lear­ned, and painfull Authour of this enfuing Treatise, concerning The Visibility and [Page] Succession of the true Church, deser­ueth to bee named in the first rank; who hath more particularly and perspicuously trauelled in this Argument, than any in our English Tongue. It was the manner of the Heathen Race-runners,Erasm. Ad. after they had finished their course,Pers. Sat. Nunc in decur­su lampada tra­do, &c. to deliuer a Lamp or Taper to the next Runner. Semblably whereto, this Christian Antiquary shewes vnto thee,Lucret. Et quasi currentes vita­lem lampada tradunt. how the noble Worthies of the Christian world, and Fore-runners of our faith, after they had finished their course, deliuered the Lamp of their doctrine from one to another: [...]. as (to omit other former-bearers of this Light) Bertram, to Be­rengarius; Berengarious, to Petrus Bruis; Petrus Bruis, to Waldo; Wal­do, to Dulcinus; Dulcinus, to Gan­dune and Marsilius; they, to Wicklef; Wicklef, to Hus and Ierome of Prague; and their scholars, the Taborites, to Lu­ther. This Treasure of Antiquitie fal­ling into my hands, and finding it hard to come-by, I thought fit to publish it, and make it more common; that so, all that loue [Page] the truth, might cleerly see in it the perfect Image of their Mother, the true Prote­stant Church, partly blubbered with tears, partly smeared with bloud, by the cruelty of the Man of sinne, and his Complices, in former Ages. About which dolefull Image, we may fitly write these words of the Pro­phet Micah, Micah 7. 8. for a Motto: Reioyce not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall rise: when I sit in darknes, the Lord shall be a Light vnto mee. Such a Light hee hath been Before, and In our daies, and Henceforth will bee, according to his promise; til he shall dispell all dark­nes, and consume the Man of sin with the Spirit of his mouth,2 Thes. 2. and destroy him with the brightnes of his Comming. Euen so come, Lord Iesu; come quickly.

A TREATISE OF the perpetuall Visibilitie and Succession of the true CHVRCH.

WEE teach,Sect. 1. that as from the beginning long before the In­carnation of Christ, God euer had his Church, yet some­times more visible and glorious, and sometimes more contracted, and obscured: so since the appearance of our Sauiour, at all times infallibly and without excepti­on, there haue been chosen children of God, who haue retained his faith, [Page 2] and calling vpon his name haue stu­died to expresse their knowledge in their life, by retyring themselues both from the loose conuersation of Li­bertines, and the profanation of Ido­latrous persons. Neither euer was there any of our profession, which did teach or write the contrary. But wheras the Synagogue of Rome layes it downe for a fundamentall Rule, that this Church hath been and must bee in all ages, a visible and conspi­cuous Congregation at the least, con­sisting of an apparant Hierarchy, so that at all times a man may poynt it out, and may repaire thither, as to a matter eminent; yea, and in a sort pompous too; or to say as Stapleton speaketh when he doth most extenu­ate it,In Antid. Matt. 24. It is euermore visible in respect of her Gouernours and Sheepheards, but most of all for the Pope, or cheife Pastor thereof. To which Pope,De Rom. Pontif. 4. 4. Bellarmine assigneth that he cannot erre in iudg­ment, [Page 3] and to the people and Cleargie of Rome (where this sensible Church must principally be) that they cannot erre with a personall errour; so that all altogether erre; we therein doe dissent from them, and maintaine, that al­though when the godly are most dri­uen to extremities by Heresies or per­secutions, they bee visible each to o­ther, and acquainted with some other brethren, who are in like case with themselues, yet they are not so appa­rant to other men, as that at all times they know where to find Assemblies, and Congregations of them. But that the Bishop of Rome, and his Pontifi­call Clergie, should haue the face of the Church tyed, and inseperably ioy­ned vnto them, wee can in no sort yeeld, but doe disclaime it as a flatte­ring tale, suggested to that Bishop by such parasites as are about him, and from time to time doe depend vpon him.

[Page 4]And that it may bee seene what reason we haue of this our assertion,Sect. 2. wee first shew, that the estate of the faithfull was frequently so, before the comming of Christ. For when it lay as hid in some fewe persons, within the single Families of the old Patri­arks, before and after the Floud, what great boast could there bee made of it? Nay, when the Commonwealth of the lewes was much setled, into what straight was it brought, when Dauid complained,Psalm 12. 1. Helpe Lord, for there is not one godly man left: for the faith­full are fayled from among the children of men? This being spoken, as it is most probable, in the dayes of Saul, aster the dayes of Samuel, and the1 Sam. 22. 18 slaugh­ter of the Priests, how was it euen in Iudah and Ierusalem, when Esay cried out, thatEsay 1. 5, 6. the whole head is sicke, and the whole heart is heauy, from the sole of the foot vnto the head, there is nothing whole therin? The estate of the Church [Page 5] being then most miserable, and all de­praued, not onely in manners, but in Religion, Idolatry being plentifull, as is manifest by the wordes in the same vision,Esay 1. 29. For they shall be [...] confounded for the Okes which you haue desired, and yee shall bee ashamed for the G [...]rdens you haue chosen: which intendeth the trees and pleasant places where they vsed their superstitions. Call to mind the dayes of Ieremie, when hee sayd, Ierem. 5. 1. Runne to and fro by the streetes of Ieru­salem, and behold now, and know, and in­quire in the open places thereof, if yee can finde a man, or if there bee any that execu­teth Iudgement, and seeketh the Truth, and I will spare it. And those of Ezech [...]l, testifying in this sort:Ezek. 22. 30. I sought for a man among them that should make vp the hedge, and stand in the gap before mee for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. These things were spo­ken of Iudah and Ierusalem, where a­lone at that time was that Church [Page 6] which was; the Israelites for their grieuous sins, being long before caried away into captiuitie. You may adde to this, if you will, the complaint of Micah,Mich. 7. 1. Woe is mee for I am as the Sum­mer gatherings, and as the Grapes of the vintage: there is no cluster to eate: my soule desireth the first ripe fruites. The good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none righteous among men: they all lie in wait for blood: euery man hunteth his brother with a net. If the Priests & peo­ple had not almost generally gone a­stray, and the whole face of the visi­ble Church had not seemed to bee de­faced, would these Prophets thus haue particularized, that one godly man was not left, and that one was not to bee found, who had not declined from truth?

Wee doubt not but in those times the Lord had many faithfull ones in secret,Sect. 3. as hee had seuen thousand in Is­rael when1 King 19. 18 Rom. 11. 4. Elias liued, of whom nei­ther [Page 7] the enemies of the trueth, nor scant that Prophet, did take any no­tice. Ezek. 9. 4. Apoc 7. 3. The marke in the forehead is sometime knowne to few, but onely to him that imprinted it there; yet this is a good holde for the Elect,2 Tim. 2. 19 The Lord knoweth who are his. But vpon what might those, who were Gods secret chosen outwardly build, when diuers times the Princes and people had corrupted their wayes, and the Temple it selfe was polluted, and made a sinke of Idolatrie? For wee finde that things stood vpon those termes in the dayes of Manasse, when in the House of the Lord, euen that house, whereof the Lord had said,2 Kin. 21. 4, 5 In Ierusalem will I put my Name, hee built prophane altars: and in the two Courts of the House of the Lord hee built Altars for all the hoste of Heauen. Iudge where in those dayes was the glorie of the visible Church, or where it was a prettie while before that, when the [Page 8] Priest2 Kings 16. 11. Vriah was as ready to set vp in the Temple an Altar after the fashion of that which was in Damascus, as the King Ahaz was ready to com­maund it. And then the Prince and Priests conspiring, there was scant any kinde of grosse Idolatry, which was not plentifully committed, Ahaz him­selfe making his sonne toVerse [...]. goe through the fire after the abominations of the Hea­then. And least it should bee thought, that the people at least, did amend somewhat which was amisse, in the very next chapter it is witnessed in generall,2 Kings 17. 29. Yet Iudah kept not the Com­maundements of the Lord their God, but walked according to the fashion of Israel, which they vsed. And by most proba­bilitie, this outrage vnderEsay 1. 1. Ahaz was the time, against which Esay so in­ueighed in the Vision before remem­bred. These things are so plaine, that the greatest pillars of the Papacie can­not deny them; and therefore they are [Page 9] forced to another shift, as the Rhemists when they say,Rom. 11. 4. That there is a great difference betweene the Christian Church, and the Iewes, ours resting vpon better promises then theirs; which is a very poore euasion, in as much as euery Di­uine may know, that there be as large and many promises, that the Church of the Iewes should last vntill Christes appearance in the flesh, as there bee that the Congregation of Gods Saints shall continue among the Gentiles vntill the day of Iudgement. And [...]a­uing onely for the time of the Baby­lonish captiuitie, there was one set ex­ternall place of Gods eminent seruice, that is, the Temple at Ierusalem, sup­ported with such words,Psal. 13 [...]. 14 This is my rest for euer, heere will I dwell, [...] and 2 Chro. 33. 4. In Ierusalem shall my name [...] euer: the like whereof through [...] all the continuance of the New Testament, is not warrantable o [...] of the Word for any one place wh [...]euer. Now it [Page 10] cannot bee so much as superficially maintained out of the Scripture, that Rome it selfe hath any such promise, but rather out of the Reuelation of St. Iohn, there are many substantiall mat­ters which make to the contrary.

But because by the strong shot of Trueth they bee beaten from the Bul­warke of the Iewish Synagogue,Sect. 4. and flye to the next hold of the later Te­stament; let vs follow them thither. VVhen our Sauiour Christ was borne, and for the most part afterward, till he was baptized, where shall we con­ceiue was the visible Church? The Scribes and Pharisees possessed all the shew, and they were no better then Math. 23. 24. 2 Mach. 4. 8. 24. c. 11. 3. blinde leaders of the blinde. The Priesthood was long before and after bought and sold;Ioseph de Bell. lud. 4. 5. & lib. 5. 9. and in Christs owne time it is euident out of the Scripture, that the highest spirituall dignitie go­ingIohn 11. 51. by yeares, Annas and Caiphas, and other vnworthy men of that rabble [Page 11] did enioy it. Vpon the birth of Iesus, they were not glad, who should haue most reioyced in it: but allMath. 2. [...]. Ierufalem was troubled at it. And how they persisted afterward till Christ did ma­nifest himselfe fully, may bee guessed by diuers circumstances, which the E­uangelists do mention after his birth. But when hee came first into the world, of whom doe we find speech made, but of some Shepheards in the field, of Simeon an old man, of Anna a most aged woman, both ready to goe into their graues, of Ioseph and Marie, Zacharias and Elizabeth, and very few others? and of these some might bee soone dead, others might liue out of the way at Bethlehem, or Nazareth, or in Aegypt, and the Shepheards were in the fieldes about their Trades: but where there was the appearance of a visible Congregation can hardly bee imagined. When our Sauiour had se­lected out his Apostles, they then were [Page 12] termed by the name of a Flocke; but yet by their Master they were called but aLuke 12. 22 Rhem [...]Annot, ibidem. little flocke, where the Rhemists do confesse, that in the beginning it was little indeed. At the death of Christ, when his body hanged on the crosse for our sakes, and his Disciples were allMath 26. 56. fled, no man daring to shew him­selfe. Iohn 19. 25. Nich. de Clem. de Mater. Concil. Mary and Iohn, and a fewe wo­men were all the faithfull that now appeared vpon earth: and afterward while the Apostles & their followers walked very priuately, or were assem­bledActs 1. 13. in a chamber, the Priestes, and Scribes, and Pharisees were they who ruffled it in the streetes, and bore the sway in the Temple; so that if a weak body had enquired for the Church, he might rather haue been directed to them, who had the Law, and the Al­tars, and all sacred things in their cu­stody,Actes 8. 2. then to any other. When Steuen had been stoned, and for feare of the persecution which was at Ierusalem, [Page 13] the Disciples were all scattered; be­sides the Apostles, it may well be pre­sumed, that for a time they which re­mained in the citie where Steuen had lost his life, did not walke very open­ly. Truth it is, that after these things the Church was better setled, and the truth was more spread; but yet neuer was there any such priuiledge be­stowed vpon it, but that in the dayes of persecution, or some grieuous apo­stacy, the faithfull might bee brought to a small visibilitie.

Our Sauiours wordes intend so much,Sect. 5. when alluding to the time of his second appearance, to iudge the quicke and the dead, he asketh,Luke 18. 8 Ne­uerthelesse, when the Sonne of man com­meth, shall he find faith on earth? as mea­ning, that very little should then bee found, in comparison of the Floodes and Ocean of iniquitie which euery where should abound. But God, to the end that he might not haue vs ig­norant [Page 14] but warned before hand into what straights the Church should bee brought, informeth vs by Saint2 Thes. 2. 3. Paul, that the Lord shall not come, except there first bee an apostacie, or reuolt, or falling away, wherein Antichrist with great pride and disdaine should shew himselfe. This is solemnly spo­ken of by the Apostle, and by all both old and new, intreating of it, is obser­ued to some matter of great note, that is to say, some maine declining from somwhat. Many of our Papists fearing to touch this sore, which can in no case turne them to good, would haue that interpreted, to note nothing else but the slipping of diuers regions & coun­tries from their subiection to the Ro­mane Empire. But Gregory Martin, and the other Rhemistes being ouercome with the euidence of truth, are heere a little more honest then ordinary, and speake to other purpose. Indeed they cannot tell how it will be taken at o­ther [Page 15] Papists hands, that contrary to the custome of their fellowes, in a matter of such moment, they should giue way vnto vs; and therefore they doe vse these words in vvay of excuse, [...] Rhemes. in 2. Thess. 2. [...]. Be it spoken vnder the correction of Gods Church, and all learned Catholiques. But to the poynt concerning the Aposta­cie, they deliuer this: It is very like, that this great defection and reuolt shall not bee onely from the Romane Empire, but especially from the Romane Church, and withall from most poynts of Christian Re­ligion, (in the Margent it is, and from most Articles of the Catholique Faith.) Heere they would haue vs take the Romish beleefe for the Christian Re­ligion, and Catholique faith: but that deserueth a long pause: we rather ob­serue out of them, that this reuolt is in matter of faith, and not onely from the Empire; then which Glosse, no­thing can be truer. Well then, if there must bee so egregious an Apostacie, it [Page 16] will follow, that Antichrist so domi­neering, as by the Apostle he is descri­bed, will not bee negligent so to re­presse the publike seruice of God, that it shall not carry any liuely head, or countenance, where hee hath to doe. So that certainely our Rhemistes yeel­ding to this Exposition, doe in sub­stance confesse so much, as that the ap­parancy of Gods Congregation, in the time of the great defection, must bee mightily ecclipsed. Now the Lord, to the end hee might establish his faith­full, and arme them to expect this pau­citie of beleeuers, and inconspicuous­nes of his Church, and yet not be dis­couraged for that which should bee past, present, or to come. And againe, that there might bee no doubt in a matter of this moment, letteth vs fur­ther know, that theAp [...]c. 12▪ 6. woman fled into the wildernesse, where shee hath a place prepared of God. It is not doubted of betweene the Romanists and vs, but [Page 17] this Woman doeth represent the Church, concerning whom, being in the wildernesse, it doth manifestly follow, that for the time of her abode there, which the Almightie had de­creed, she should not be discerned; that is, by her enemies, who did & would chase her: notwithstanding, it is not to be doubted, but shee knew where her selfe was. If the Romanist there­fore, and persecuting aduersary, did not euer see the Professors of the Go­spell, it was no wonder: the woman was to remaine in the Wildernesse a part, and hidde from them. The eui­dence of which matter is such, that as In Prefat. super Apocal. Master Fox obserueth, for feare of diuers things in the Reuelation of Saint Iohn, (whereof this may worthily be one scant any Popish Writer for ma­ny yeares together, durst aduenture to comment any thing vpon the Apoca­lyps, vntill our Rhemistes being desi­rous to shame the Pope, and them­selues, [Page 18] with all who are wise, and ad­ventured to set pen to paper. Hauing then a purpose to set forth and corrupt the New Testament, partly by their Translation, but most of all by their Annotations, they could not choose but say somewhat of the Reuelation, although they professe, that it is as In Argument. Apocal & in Apoc. I. 1. sparingly as may be, and as briefly; which is not for that the Volume of the Rhemish Testament groweth great, as they would colour it, but for feare least they should too much lay open their owne weakenesse, which while that Booke is in the Bible, will neuer bee concealed. Howsoeuer therefore, through their Volume, in many maine matters, they bee very si­lent where they should most speake, as of the Question of imputed righ­teousnesse, where theRom. 4. 6. Apostle doeth most handle it, (a sore argument of their owne conscience distrusting their cause, and euen sinking vnder the [Page 19] waight of that chapter) yet here God ouer-ruling them, to say the truth, as hee didIoh [...] 11. 15. Caiaphas, they interpret the woman to be theApoc. 12. 6. Church, flying from the great persecution, which shall be in the time of Antichrist. Indeed, to keepe peace with their Lord and Mastes the Pope, they will not haue this flight to bee but in the very ending of the world; and so they would fetch it with a backe Racket, that the woman should continue so in secret, but three yeares and a halfe, which (to keepe all vpright) they assigne to be the time of Antichrists raigne, and then the Iudgement must come; which is a most fond evasion, seeing by that meanes men liuing at the appearance of Antichrist, should be able precise­ly to tell when the day should be, to wit, three yeares and a halfe after An­tichrists entring.Mark. 13. 22. But of that day and houre knoweth no man, no not the Angells which are in Heauen, neither the Sonne [Page 20] himselfe, saue the Father onely. It can neuer be made good, that theApoc. 11. 2, 3. & 12▪ 6. & 13. 5. & Dan. 7. 25 time, times, and halfe a time, the two and fortie moneths, and the thousand, two hundred and sixtie dayes, are so literally to bee taken, as that they should containe exactly three ordina­ry yeares and a halfe. Your Romane Bishop in his declination, hath alrea­dy been in the world much longer, and he is the greatest Antichrist that euer yet was manifested among men, and on whom many things in the Scripture signified, touching Anti­christ, doe directly and vnauoydably light.

Well,Sect. 6. this reuolt taking place, and the woman, the Church being in the wildernesse, it is not to be doubted, but here and there be diuers, which serue God aright, the very gatesMath. 16. 18. of Hell not being able to preuaile a­gainst them. And as these in generall wheresoeuer dispersed, doe make vp [Page 21] the vniuersall militant Church: so where any few of them, euen in the smallest number, are assembled toge­ther, they may be said to be a particu­lar Congregation, or Church. Where three are, saithTertull, ex­hort, ad chastit. Tertullian, there is a Church, although they bee Lay persons. It is likely, that he alludeth to that say­ing of our Sauiour,Math. 18. 20 Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the middest of them. He is with them as with members of his Church, to guide them and heare them, to blesse them, and preserue them. And that such little assemblies are not vnworthy the name of the Church, is plaine by S. Pauls words to Philemon, where he sendeth gree­ting, not only to Philemon, and Appias, and Archippus, butPhil. 2. [...] to the Church in Philemons house: for so the Rhemistes themselues translate it. In dangerous and Apostatating times, such petty as­semblies doe make vp the generall, [Page 22] and they belong vnto the same mysti­call body, although they not onely be not knowne to their persecutors, but many of them haue no acquaintance with other. They haue the same Head, the same Faith, the same Chari­tie, the same Spirit, the same Holy Ghost is giuen to all Saints, ioyned one to the other in loue, whether they know each o­ther corporally, or doe not knowe them, saithDe Baptism. contra Donatist. 6. 4. idem spiritus [...] ea dimit tit (i. peccata) quod datus est [...] sanctis, &c. Saint Austen. The want then of Acquaintance each with other, may keepe the godly asunder, as well as the rage of their persecutors; both which are to be found in the case of Elias. But directly to follow further this Argument of the Ecclipse of the Churches glorie, may it not bee thought to be brought to a low ebbe, when it is said of the second Beast, ThatApoc. 13. 16. he causeth all both small and great, rich and poore, free and bond, that he should giue them a marke in the right hand, or in their foreheads, and that no man might [Page 23] buy or sell, saue hee that had the marke, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. And what else is signified, when soCap. 17. 2. & 21. many are mentioned to haue commerce with the Whore of Babylon; yea,Cap. 8. 3. all Nations are repor­ted to haue drunken of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. The ancient Fathers were not ignorant, that such times these might bee, when they so oft compared the Church to the Moone, as SaintS. Ambr. Epist. lib. 5. 31. Ambrose. The Moone it selfe, whereby in the Oracles of the Pro­phets, the countenance of the Church is fi­gured; when at the first rising againe, shee is renewed into the ages of the Moneth, she is hidden by the darknesse of the night, and by little and little filling her hornes, or right ouer against the Sunne ending them, doth shine with the light of cleare bright­nes. S. August. in Psal. 101. S. Austen in one place doth for di­uers respects liken the church vnto the moone, and expoundeth the moone to signifie it.Serm. 134. de Temp [...]re. In another place he hath [Page 24] the Sun is Christ, the Moon the Church; which as one the one side it doth inti­mate vnto vs, that the Moone hath no light but from the Sun; and the Church no light nor beauty, but from God: so on the other side it doth most liuely put vs in mind, that as the Moon con­tinueth at the same stay, but increaseth and decreaseth, waxeth and waneth, is ecclipsed by the interposition of the earth between her selfe and the Sunne, and somtimes in the change cannot be seene, although it is neuer to be doub­ted but there is a Moon: so the church of Christ, whilest this troublesome world doth last, is now glorious, then shadowed; in one age in beauty, in an other age kept vnder; vnder some Princes in peace, vnder others in perse­cution; yea, sometimes so pressed with the extremity of the malicious, as that she is glad to remaine retyred into se­cret places, & not to appeare openly to the malignant, albeit shee neuer is nor [Page 25] can be extinguished, but hath a conti­nuall being. Vnto which it may bee added, that since faith doth much con­sist ofHebr. 11. 1. things which are not seene; and we beleeue the holy Catholike church as an Article of our faith, it may fol­low, that it need not euer be eminent­ly visible, and apparantly sensible vn­to vs.

For the better exemplification of this verity,Sect. 7. it may be remembred what hauock was made by the Heathen Ro­mane Emperors, and their deputies, a­gainst the flock of Christ, in the ten first persecutions: that in the Roman domi­nion, there was scant any to be heard of, who professed Christianity, but he was soone cut off by the sword, or o­therwise. Did they in those times suf­fer any potent visibilitie of true Pro­fessors, or whē they once knew where they were, did they not forthwith la­bour to extirpate them? But in the dayes of Constantius, when the Arrian [Page 26] Heresie had once gotten the head, where in the world did there appeare any sencible Congregation, maintai­ning the Orthodox beliefe? Hieroms testimony of those dayes was,Hiero aduersus Luciferi [...]nos. The whole world did sigh, and wondred that it selfe was Arrian. The words are but few, but they are to the purpose. So said Saint Gregorius Presbyter, writing the life of Gregory Nazianzen, The Sect of the Arrians had almost possessed all the coasts of the world, the power and impietie of the Emperour ministring vnto it. The words of Constantius himselfe inTheod. Histor. Eccles. l. 2. 16. Theo­doret, do giue testimony vnto this. Nei­ther doth Liberius the Roman Bishop say ought to the contrary. The spee­ches of the Arrian Emperour against him and Athanasius are these; The whole world doth thinke that this is well. The whole world hath giuen sentence of his im­pietie. Thou alone doest embrace the friend­ship of that wicked man. And a little before that: Doeth so great a part of the [Page 27] world reside in thee Liberius, that thou a­lone doest dare to come in ayd to that wic­ked man, and disturbe the peace of the vniuersall world? Whereunto Liberius did not take exception, saying, that the visible Church stood for him, and A­thanasius, but rather giueth another reason, to make good his being alone; Be it that I am alone; notwithstanding for that the cause of the faith is not the worse: for a great while ago [...]e, there were three onely found, who would resist the Kings commandement. Heere the Church for any external shew, was low brought: for if any body held it vp, it was A­thanasius, who then played least in sight, and durst not appeare. For this Liberius, who did for a time second him, did afterward shrinke. He went at first into banishment in defence of the truth: but after that, he was solici­ted, and laid at by Fontunatianus, that he relented and condiscended to sub­scribe to the Arrian heresie, asIn Catalog. Scripter. Eccles. Hierom [Page 28] witnesseth, who liued in that age, and was long conuersant in Rome, and therefore could better report what was the issue of Liberius his constancie, then some others who doe relate it o­therwise. What can be said for him, Bellarmine hath: but yet inforced by Bellar. de Pont. Rom. 4. 9. the euident testimony of Athanasius, Hillary, and Hierome, he confesseth so much as I haue here set down; but co­uer it he would, that he only consented to the externall act of subscribing, but remained in heart Othodox. Why should it then bee a maruell, if in processe of time, Antichrist growing to greater strength, the Church should bee in co­uert? It is no more then often fell out vnder the Iewish Synagogue, & hath bin exemplified to haue been since a­mong the Christians, and was so eui­dently foretold before. In so much that by the example of theApoc. 12. 6. woman, it can not bee the true Church, vnlesse it should be hidden in the wildernesse. [Page 29] Which while our Popish teachers de­ny to agree to their Romish Church, but professe that it hath euer been in sight, they themselues doe by a conse­quent proclaime, that they are not the pure and vndefiled flying woman, but another painted harlot and strumpet. The true Church is for a time out of sight in the wildernes; but so say they, was their Church neuer: and there­fore will they, nill they, their Church is not the true Church.

And here,Sect. 8. to the end that the slaun­derous calumniation of our aduersa­ries may the more be manifested to all those, who wil not wilfully close their eyes against truth, I will a little shew the vanity, & yet maliciousnes of their obiection, when they say there was neuer any of our faith before the daies ofCamp. Ref. 10. quint. Euange­ly Pr [...]sessores. Luther, who in the yeare 1517, began for his part to display the king­dome of Antichrist. Where, I pray the Reader to consider, that the most part [Page 30] of those whom I shall cite, are Popish Writers, and no way partially affected towards vs. We say then, that Martine Luther was not the first brocher of those points which he taught again't papistry; but as he did originally deduce them from the Scriptures, & out of the works of the ancient Fathers; so he did derine them also hereditarily from o­ther, who immediatly before him had taught the same doctrine, & left it both in books, & the hearts of men recom­mended vnto him; as principal parties herein I name Iohn Hus, & Hierome of Prage, and all such as were their schol­lers, in or about Bohemia; who before Luthers time oppugned the beliefe of the church of Rome, & their profession was not extinguished vntill his dayes, howsoeuer it before had bin mainly assaulted. If we could learne this no where els, yetHistor. l. 13. Fr. Guicciardine, an Ita­lian, & Florentin Historiographer, would informe vs of it, who writing of the [Page 31] yeare 1520, saith plainly, that Luther did set abroad the Heresies (as he tear­meth them) of the Bohemians; and hee nameth there Hus and Hierome as for­mer diuulgers of the same: andIn vita VVen­ceslai. Pe­trus Messias a Spaniard therein agreeth with him, who mentioning the opini­ons of Hus and the Bohemians, saith, they were the seed of those errours, which were afterward in Germany, al­luding to the doctrine of Luther. There is no man whose testimony in this be­halfe may be of more worth then Ioh. Histor. Cochlei de Hussitis. Cochleus; First, because he wrote a large story of purpose concerning the Hus­sites, & therfore by his long search, rea­ding, and writing, in that argument may be persumed to know as much as any. Secondly, because it may be well imagined, that he would fain nothing to do Luther good, in as much as he al­so wrote a volume purposely against that worthy seruant of God, Histor. de actis & scriptis Mar. Luther. intending to rip vp his whole life from yeare to [Page 32] yeare, and to censure all his works; yet this enemy of his, in the Story of the Hussites, doth plentifully satisfie vs a­bout the matter now in question. One where he telleth vs,L. 2. that Hus did slay soules for an hundred yeares together; neither yet doth he cease to slay them by the second death. Within an hundred yeares after him came in Luther, according as the said Iohn Hus didIobannes Fox. in Hist. Eccles. prophecie not long before his death. And when it is added, that yet he doth not cease to slay; it is manifest, that his Doctrine remai­ned till the dayes of Cochleus. Cochleus. l. 2. In an­other place he relateth, that Luther did stirre vp seditions in Germanie, by the Books of the Hussites. Afterward he calleth those, who were in Germany in his time, New Ibidem. Hussites. And againe, Hus did so rent the vnitie of the Church, that vnto this day there remaineth a piti­full diuision in Bohemia. He proceedeth in the same matter elsewhere,L. 3. saying, That the people of Germanie are now by [Page 33] Luther partakers of the Heresies of Hus, and Hierome. One sort of the follow­ers of this Iohn Hus, did call them­selues Thaborites; and these were they, who most dissented of all from the Doctrine of Rome: Of these he spea­keth thus:Cochl. lib. 8. Vnto this day remaineth the Sect of the Thaborites, in many places of Bohemia, and Morauia, vnder the name of Picards and Waldenses. Lastly, the sameL. 12. Cochleus, in the yeare 1534. doth wish that hee may see the remain­ders or leauings of the Hussites to re­turne to the Church, and the Germanes to cast out all new Sectes. VVhat can bee more euident, then that the Doctrine of Iohn Hus was sensibly and appa­rantly continued somewhere, euen till the dayes of Martin Luther? Vnto which may bee added, that whereas Luther began to shew himselfe but in the yeare 1517, that very yeere, was Centur. 16. l. 1. 20. ended the Councell of Laterane held at Rome, and finished by Pope Leo [Page 34] the tenth. And there consultation was had of reforming the manners of the Church, and of recalling the Bohemians to the vnity of the Church of Rome.

And as these Testimonies doe con­uince,Sect. 9. that the Christian Confession of Hus was not extinguished at the comming of Martin Luther: so may there be good reason assigned, why it did so long continue, in as much as it was imbraced by many, and earnest­ly maintained euen vnto the death. When Hus began first to preach the people which vsedCochleus l. 1. handy craftes did with great desire heare his sermons, & did read the scriptures, being turned by him into their mother tongue, so that they could dispute with the Priestes; which the very women were able to doe;lbide [...]. yea, and one woman did make a Booke. Not long after three of the schollers of this Preacher did affirme, that the Pope thē liuing was Antichrist; who had proclaimed a Croisado against [Page 35] a Christian King; that was Ladislaus, King of Naples, then infesting the lands of the Church of Rome. These three persons were martyred for this speech, and tooke their death patient­ly. In small processe of time, this Do­ctrine so multiplied, that asIn Tabulo Concilii ante Platine Hist. Onuphrius hath, the Councell of Constance was called principally for two things; the one was against the Hussites, the other to take away the Schisme between the Popes. These of liklihood grew great, that now a generall Councell was cal­led against them. Neither did the peo­ple only agree in faith with Iohn Hus, but the Nobles of Bohemia stood appa­rantly for him; in so much that they sent twoIoh. Fox. in Concil Constant. Histor. seuerall and solemne suppli­cations to the Councell of Constance in his behalfe. And when these their re­quest were neglected, and Iohn Hus, and Hierom of Prage (contrary to the Cochl. l. 4. Emperors safe conduct giuen to the former of them) were burnt, the No­bles [Page 36] of Bohemia did mightily mur­mure against the Fathers of the Coun­cell; in so much that Sigismund the Emperour, to giue them satisfaction on his behalfe, did write vnto them, excusing himselfe touching the death of these men, and laying the fault vp­on the Councell. But this gaue not contentment vnto the Bohemians, now robbed of their principall Pastor, but being mooued at the perfidiousnesse of those at Constance, they assembled themselues together,Ibidem. to the number of thirtie thousand; and in the fields vpon three hundred Tables erected for that purpose, they receiued the Eu­charist in both kindes. Afterward, they rushing into the Churches and Monasteries,Zisca ad locum quem cruci [...] ap­pellant profectus est, ibi supra qua­dragint a millia vnorum ex [...]e­re [...] icis conuenere. did breake downe the Images there. It was not long af­ter, but that vnderCochleus l. 5. & Pe [...]us Mes­sias in Sigis­mundo. Iohannes Zisca, a Noble and victorious Warriour, these Hussites grew to bee of Souldiers for­tie thousand in one armie, who got [Page 37] into their hands the Castle of Prage, the chiefe Citie of Bohemia. Then not long after did Pope Martin the fift publish a Croysado against these, whom hee called Heretiques, pro­mising remission of their sinnes to such as could destroy them. Notwith­standing, these hated persons did still prosper, getting many Victories vn­der Procopius, and other Captaines, but especially vnder Zisca, who was of that dexteritie, and felicitie in his Warres, as thatL. 5. vix vlla Graeco [...] um, He­breo [...] (que). aut Latin [...]ou [...] Histo­ria talem ref ducem qua [...]s Zisca fui [...]. Cochleus almost ama­zed at his strange successe, sayeth, That scant any Historie of the Greekes, or He­brewes, or Latines doeth mention such a Generall as Zisca was. Hee built a new Citie, as a refuge for his men, and called it Thabor, whereof diuers embracing the Doctrine of Hus, were afterward called Thaborites. A L. 6. second time did Pope Martine pro­claime a Croysado against them, graun­ting remission of sinnes to all who [Page 38] did either fight, or contribute money against them. Vpon which, there were at one timeIbid. quis pu­tasset quadragin­ta millia aequi­tum Germanicae nationis tam le­uiter compelli posse &c. nolo hic temere iudi­care sciens iudi­cia Dei esse oc. culta, &c. fortie thousand Germane Horse men gathered to de­stroy them: but such was the terror of their name, that vpon the approa­ching to them, the Horsemen of their owne accord turned their backes and fled. The Popish Authour saith, that there was in this some secret Iudge­ment of God, but hee thinketh the cause of their ill successe, was, that they had Bishops and Priests to their Leaders and Captaines. By this time came on the Councell of Basil, which asIn Tahul. ante Platin. Onuphrius saith, was held against the Hussites. This sheweth that there were many, which may also appeare, in that the Fathers at Basil, did by an Indulgence graunt to the Bohemians this dispensation, That contrary to the Act of the Councell ofSess. 13. Constance, they might receiue the Eucharist both in Bread and Wine.Lib. 4. Chronog. Genebrard, who [Page 39] was euer a true seruant to the Pope, confesseth so much: but addeth with­all, that the Cup was permitted vnto them, because that alwaies before had beene their custome so to communi­cate: yet saith he, all was on that con­dition, That they should not finde fault with the contrary vse, nor seuer themselues from the Catholique Church in other Rites and Doctrines. L. 7. Cochleus nameth no such condition. Nay, to shew that sim­ply and directly it was yeelded vnto them, hee reporteth, that the Legates of the Councell of Basil, did thus ex­pound that which was concluded in the Bohemians behalfe. The L. 8. Councell doeth permit the Eucharist vnder both kindes; not tollerating it onely as a thing euill, as to the Iewes was permitted a Bill of Diuorce; but so, that by the authoritie of Christ and his Church, it is lawfull and profitable to the worthy Receiuers. Where is it likely, that vnlesse the Bohemians now after Husses death had beene a [Page 40] strong partie, the Antichristian rabble would haue yeelded to their impor­tunitie, so directly against the Canon of the next precedent Councell? In­deed theIbidem. Emperour Sigismund did af­terward take a course to lessen their number, when he sent many of them into Hungaria against the Turkes, that there they might either conquering winne to him victories, or being con­quered themselues, so be destroied and perish. He who list to see more con­cerning the multitude of these Profes­sors, Histor. Bohem. c. 35. & 50. [...]. 130. let him but looke on diuers pla­ces in the workes of Aeneas Syluius, who was afterward Pope, by the name of Pius the second, and hee shall finde him reporting of his owne knowledge, as trauailing himselfe in­to Bohemia, that they were many, and very earnest also in their Religion.

If heere it should bee replyed, that these perhaps were base people, and of the vulgar, who thus followed Iohn [Page 41] Hus; but men of learning and know­ledge, or persons of authoritie, they had none to ioyne with them; the course of the Story will easily cleare the same, and shew that they had both learned Pastors, and great Magistrates, who beleeued as they beleeued, and stood wholly with them. Of what literature Hus himselfe was, is euident by his workes yet remaining, and by his personall withstanding the whole Councell of Constance. And what lear­ning, what eloquence, what memory, all admirable were in Hierom of Prage, as also with what singular patience he tooke his death, is most significant­ly deliuered in an Epistle ofAd Leonard [...] Aretinum. Poggius, who as an eye witnes beheld him, and seemed to be much affected with the singular parts of the man. Which no­ble testimony of that worthy Poggius, is acknowledged byMortē ala [...]ri vultu vt ait Poggius, non so [...] perpeti, sed etiam appetiuisse visus est. C [...]cb. lib. 3. Cochleus. Whilst these two liued, there were diuers L. 2. Priests, andL. 1. Preachers, which agreed [Page 42] in their doctrine; and in their Sermons reproued the Popish Clergy for their Simony, keeping of Concubines, auarice, ry­ot, and Secular-like pride. But after the death of those two famous seruants of God, theirL. 4. Nacti E­piscopum Archi [...]episcopi Pragen­sis Suff aganeū ordinouerum per eum clericos, &c followers got to them a Bishop, who was a Suffragane to the Archbishop of Prage, and by him they put into holy Orders, as many Clerkes as they would. Which the Archbishop tooke so ill, that he suspended his Suf­fragan. But it was not long after, that Coch. lib. 5. Concil, Pragens. Hussitarum ita incipit, In nomi­ne Dom. Amen. Incipit sancta Syn [...]dus hibita & rite celebrata anno 1421. sub Conrad. &c. Conradus Ar­chiep. Pragensis cum Zisca & Hussitis scribit [...]d principē, &c. Conradus the Archbishop himselfe became a Hussite also, as the Authour calleth him. Vnder this Conradus, as President of the assembly, these Hus­sites held a Councell at Prage, in the yeare 1421, and there they compiled a Confession of their faith. This cause did the said Archbishop, and many Ba­rons of Bohemia, afterward stiffely maintaine, & complained against the Emperor Sigismund, for offring wrong to those of their Religion.Ibidem. Alexander [Page 43] also the Duke of Lituania, did giue these Hussites ayd, which moued Pope Martin the fifth to write vnto him in this sort: Know, that thou couldest not giue thy faith to Heretikes, which are the violaters of the holy faith, and that thou doest sinne deadly if thou shalt keepe it, because there cannot be any fellowship of a Beleeuer with an Infidell. Thus did the vertuous Pope write.L 8. Scholare die caesis Pragens. vtri▪ tam sub vna quam sub [...] tra (que) communi [...]ca [...] es specie ha­bilitate &c. pr [...] ­supposita ad s [...] cros crdine [...] pso­moueantar & ordine [...]tur. In processe of time there grew a parley betweene Sigismund the Emperour, and the Bo­hemians. There among the Compacts, this was one, That the Bishop should promote to holy Orders the Bohemians, e­uen the Hussites, which were of the Vni­uersitie of Prage. And they might well deserue to be reputed Vniuersity men: for Cochleus himselfe witnesseth, that the Priests of the Thaborites were skilled in arguing, and exercised in the holy Scrip­ture. L. 10. Kakizana, one of them did vn­dertake to dispute with Capistranus, a great and learned Papist. By that [Page 44] time that the yeare 1453. was come, Aeneas: Syluius doth complaine, that L. 11. the kingdom of Bohemia was whol­ly gouerned by Heretikes. Now all the Nobilitie, all the Comminaltie is subiect to an Heretike. That was one George of Gyrziko, Gouernour of the king­dome of Bohemia, vnder King Ladi­slaus. But when Ladislaus was dead, thisL. 2. Georgius Girziko de Cun­stat, & Podiebrat quem Acneas Poggi siratium v [...]re solebat, vnctus est in Re­gem Bohemis, &c. post, [...] vna defi [...]sset labes Hussititae sect [...], in [...]er optimo [...] re­ges haud imme­ritò commemorari possit. George himselfe was by the No­bles, and people chosen King of that Countrey: And continuing the an­cient profession of his Religion, a­bout the yeare 1458. those of Vra­tislauia and Silesia doe refuse to obey him, as being an Heretike. Notwith­standing Pope Pius the second then intending warres against the Turke, did by all meanes perswade them, that they should yeeld obedience vn­to him. This George, saith the Au­thour, was borne and brought vp in the heresie of the Hussites. Now when Pope Pius did interpose himselfe as a [Page 45] Mediator betweene the King and his subiects, George did require of the Pope, that hee might keepe the Com­pacts agreed vpon at Basil, in behalfe of the Bohemians. And whenIbidem. Pius would not yeeld thereunto, the King calleth together the Estates of his kingdome, and protesteth that hee would liue & die in those Compacts, and so did also the nobles which were Hussites. This was done at Prage in the yeare 1462. This resolutenesse of his caused that Pope to tolerate many things in him. But Paul 2, who suc­ceeded in that See of Rome, did excom­municate that King, & set vp a Croisado against him. Also he gaue to Matthias the King of Hungary, the title of King of Bohemia. Apud Plat. Onuphrius in the life of Paul the 2. saith, that the Pope did ex­communicate him, and depriue him of his kingdome. Indeed for seuen yeares this George & Matthias did war for it, and Matthias got from him Mo­rauia, [Page 46] and Silesia, & a good part of the kingdom of Bohemia: Vratislauia also, and some other Prouinces and Cities did put themselues in subiection to Mathias. Yet did not George deale hard­ly with the Papistes which were in Prage; but in his greatest extremity did vse both the aduise and aid of many Nobles of the popish belief. At length, after the continuance of warre for se­uen yeares, Mathias concludeth a peace with king George, both against the wil ofCochl. l. 12. the Pope, and the Emperour. And then this King was content to aske of the Pope an absolution from the Ex­communication, some Princes being mediators for him in that respect. But before the Agents could returne from Rome, the King died, in the yeare of our Lord, 1471. By this Story it is manifest, that both noble and learned of high account, were of that Christi­an Beliefe which Iohn Hus taught, and were contented to aduenture al things [Page 47] which they had in the world for the maintenance of the same.

Perhaps here it may bee asked;Sect. II. but how shal we know that Iohn Hus and his followers did imbrace that Reli­gion which is now professed in Eng­land? We find in Aeneas Syluius, some opinions of theirs, which peraduen­ture will scant be reputed currant a­mong all English Protestants. Hee re­hearseth these foure of theirs:Hist. Bohem. c. 50. That they would receiue the Sacraments in both kinds; that ciuill dominion is inhibited to Clergie men; that Preaching of the Word was permitted to al men; that publik crimes are in no sort to be tolerated. I answer, that truth it is, that hee there mentioneth onely those; and whether he relateth them truly or no, it may be doubted, as anon I shall shew, by laying open the custom of the enemies of the Gospell, in misreporting their doctrine. But Ep. 130. elsewhere he deliuereth other opini­ons of theirs, as against the Supremacy of [Page 48] the Pope against Purgatory, against Inuo­cation of Saints, and such like matters. If we returne to Cochleus, who was best acquainted with their matters, we shal find much more. As thus,Coch. Hist. lib. 1. Hus transla­ted all the Books of Canonicall Scrip­ture into the Bohemian tongue, and the people did most diligently read them. They would haue the holy Scriptures to be the onely Iudge in Controuersies. They held, that all Bishops and Priestes are the Successors of the Apostles; that, not the Pope, but Christ is the head of the Church, neither are the Cardinals the body, but all that beleeue in Christ; that, that the Pope is not a member of the Church, but of the Deuill, and his Synagogue; that one Pope was a woman: yea, Hus did preach, that the Pope is an abomination, and Antichrist. Also he calleth theL. 2. generall Councell at Constance, The Synagogue of Sathan. Another of his articles was,L. 3. The Pope is the Beast in the Apocalyps. His Schol­lers after his death,L. 4. brake downe the [Page 49] Images in Churches and Monasteries: yea,L. 5. Zisca vno impetu [...] insignes [...]asilicas, & am pla monastéria quae in bonorem beat [...] Maria, &c dedicata erant, disiecit tanquom non sit fas alteri, quam soli Deo basilicas, a [...]t templa conse­crare. Zisca did cast down all the chur­ches, which were dedicated to the vir­gin Mary, or to any Saint; as if it were lawfull onely to build a Church to Al­mighty God. In his time the professors began to be distinguished in two com­panies; the one of thē did not so much dissent from the Pope as the other: Those which in fewer matters diffred from the Bishop of Rome, retained still the name of Hussites; they which disa­greed in more, were called Thaborites, of Thabor, the citie which Zisca built for them. And these were the greater number, and the stronger. There is in Cochleus a confession of faith made by one Iohann. Pezibram, a Bohemian, who was but a Hussite, and not wel affected to the Thaborites, because he accounted them as a kinde of Precisians, or Puri­tans in comparison of himselfe; yet this more mild man doth wish and beg of God, to see a reformation of the Church, [Page 50] thatArtic. 57. there might be redressed Symonies throughout all the world, most detestable, most wicked, setting to sale of al Sacramēts, most insatiable auarice, most impudent for­nications, most putrified vncleannesses, rot­tennesses most abominable, Concubines kee­ping most polluted, manners most dissolute, most corrupt gestures and behauiors, harlo­try euery where too too much multiplied in the Clergy, wherwith alas the whole world lieth corruptly filthy. Also the Lucifer-like pride of the Clergie is exalted aboue God, their dainty & daily banquets, their abun­dant riches, and rich abundance, their dis­quietnes most litigious being the chiefe root of the quarels of the world, their curiositie most vaine, their most vnseemely pompe of apparell, their conuersation most Secular­like, their most open transgression of all the Commandements of God, their most remisse care of soules, their most negligent regard of the word of God. This he saith for him­selfe: but concerning the Thaborites, who indeed came neerer to the purity [Page 51] of the Gospel, he witnesseth of them, that they held,Artic. 55. that materiall bread doth remaine in the Sacrament; that the Saints now triumphant are not to be called vpon; that there is no purgatory; that no suffrages or prayers are to be made for the dead. Also they allow not of the holy dayes almost of all the Saints, nor of Eue or Vigils that goe be­fore them; nor the consecrations of visible things, as salt, oyle, holy water, Bels, and such like. They haue a schismaticall cele­bration of their Masses, that is, a seuerall sort of Church-seruice, and refuse the most celebrious seruice of the Church, and the rites and administrations of almost all the Sacraments. Let our Papists now speak, whether they & we do not agree in the same doctrine altogether. For I doubt not but they who had receiued so much grace frō God, as to see al these things, were also partakers of farther knowledg in the misteries of saluatiō.

While I haue spokē thus largely con­cerningSect. 12. these good Christians in Bohe­mia, [Page 52] let not any man imagin that Christs faithfull flocke was restrained within the compasse of that countrey, so that godly men were else no where to be found. For certaine it is, that betweene the times of Io. Hus, who was burnt in the yeare 1415, and the first standing vp of M. Luther, Anno 1517. were very many other who in that darknes did see what be­longed vnto the light of the Gospel. A­mong these may be reckoned as very memorable the Waldenses; who about the yeare 1508, do make anRespons. ad Doctor [...]m August. answer in defence of themselues; and therin as they testifie that then they had Priests of their owne: so they speake against Purgatory, and most openly against Transubstantiation. The same touching Transubstantiation they doe in a Con­fession ofVValdensium confessio in fasci­culo rerum expe­tend. & fugiend. theirs, where also they im­pugne Adoration of the Eucharist. There also they name the Prelates Vnsauor [...] Salt, and auouch that the execrabl [...] naughtinesse, which was in them by the [Page 53] instinct of the Deuill, did driue them a­way from the Sea of Rome. For the Papists in their Sermons did call one another Schismaticks, Hereticks, Sacri­legious false Prophets, rauening VVolues, the Beast and Whore in the Reuelation, Seiden. li. 16. of these there were many in one part of France, who time out of mind had re­fused to beare the yoake of the Pope, and therefore in the dayes of Frauncis 1. King of France, by a bloudy decree of that King, but by the execution of one Minerius a most cruell person; Me­rindol & Cabriers, with some other vil­lages about them, were sacked and de­stroyed, men, women, & children, be­ing slaine; yea, diuers of them being stripped starke naked first, and then murthered, and fortie poore women being burned in a Ba [...]ne. I may adde vnto these many worthy men here & there dispersed, whereof all cryed out against the Church of Rome, and desi­red a reformation, and many of them [Page 54] apprehended, and deliuered to other the true meanes of Iustification, which is the nearest point of saluation. The Luea [...] Os [...]an­der. lib. 1. c. 8. Author of the 16 Century nameth a­bout the yeare 1500, and somewhat after (but yet before Luther) Baptista Mantuanus, & Franciseus Picus, Earle of Mirandula, both which much inueigh­ed agaiust the Clergy and their whole practise. Also one Doctor Keiserspergius; another called Iohn: Hilton; a third na­med Doctor Andreas Proles, and Sauano­rola, all groning vnder the burthen of those times. TheOratio ad Le­o [...] decimum. Oration of Picus in the Coūcel of Later an is extant; where besides his most bitter taxing of the filthy behauiour of the Clergie, he v­seth these words: Pietie is almost sunke into superstition. How Mantuan doth e­uery where pay the Romanists, may ap­peare to those who read his workes. Calamitatum. 3 But one place of him I will name;

—Petrique domus polluta fluente
Marcessit Luxu, (nulla hic arcana reuelo
[Page 55]Nonignota loquor, liceat vulgata referre:
Sic Vrbes populique ferunt, ea fama per omnem
I am vetus Europam) mores extirpat honestos:
Sanctus ager scurris, venerabilis ara cynaedis
Seruit, honorandae Divum Ganymedibus aedes.
Quid miramur opes, recidiua (que) surgere tecta?
Thuris odorati globulos & cinnama vendit
Mollis Arabs, Tyr [...] vestes, venalia nobis
Templa, Sacerdotes, Altaria, Sacra, Coronae
Ignis, Thura, Preces, Coelum est venale Deus (que).

Some of them I English thus.

Priests land now Iesters vile doth serue,
the Altars Bawds maintaine;
Of holy Churches of the Gods,
lewd Ganymeds make their gaine.
Why doe we wonder that their wealth,
and houses falne doe rise,
Sweet Frankincense and Cinnamon
are the onely Marchandise
Of the Arabians; and but Clothes
the Tyrians vse to sell:
But with vs Churches, Altars,
Priests, yeeld money well.
Things hallowed, crowns, fire, frankincense,
the Prayers which we make;
Yea Heauen, yea God, are saleable,
if money wee may take.

The opinions of Sauanorola against Popery are many;Guicciar [...]. lib. 3. and for them (how­soeuer [Page 56] it be otherwise coloured) he was burnt. In the matter of freeIn Ps. 52. Iustifica­tion he is cleare. And the same is writ­ten also ofCatalog. testi [...] veritatu, lib. 19. Trithemius, another learned man, who liued at that time. How in England Christ had in all these times Professors of the truth, I shall haue oc­casion to shew anon, when I come to speake of Iohn Wiclefe.

In the meane while I shal not do a­misse to mētion some other whowere between the daies of Io. Hus, & M. Lu­ther. Sect. 13. A special oppugner of the Papacy was the learned Laurentius Valla, a Ro­mane Patritian, and Canon of S. Iohn of Later an there. He wrote aCo [...] em [...] ­titam donationē Const. Treatise of purpose against the forged donation of Cōstantine. He prouounceth of his own experience, That the Pope himselfe doth make war against peaceable people, & sow­eth discord between Cities & Princes. The Pope doth both thirst after mens riches, and swalloweth vp his owne. He maketh gain of not only the Common wealth, but the Estate [Page 57] Ecclesiasticall, and the holy Ghost. The lat­ter Popes do seeme to labour this, that looke how much the ancient Popes were wise, and holy, so much they will be wicked and foo­lish. He liued about the yeare 1420, and for the freenesse of his speech and pen, was by the Pope driuen into ex­ile. About the same time liued Arch­deacon De ann [...]tis non soluendis. Nicholaus Clemang [...]is, who re­buked many things in the Ecclesiasti­call state, and spake excellently in the matter of generall Councels, and their circumstances, as hereafter may be de­clared.De Reform. Eccles. Petrus de Aliaco, Cardinall of Cambray, gaue a Tract to the Councell of Constance, touching the reformation of the Church. There doth he reproue many notable abuses of the Romanists, & giueth aduise how to represse them; cap. 3. There should not be multiplied, saith he, such varietie of Images and pictures in the Churches; there should not be so many holy dayes; there should not be so many new Sts canonized; Apocryphal writings should not [Page 58] be read in the churches on holy dayes;c. 4.such numerosity & variety of religious persons not expedient; there are so many Orders of begging Friers, that their state is burtheu­some to men, hurtfull to hospitals, and to the poore; few doe now study diuinity, for the abuse of the Church of Rome, who hath de­spised Diuines; all now turne to the law, & artes of gaine. He saith, that it was then a prouerbe, The Church is come to that e­state, that it is not worthy to be ruled, but by reprobates. He hath very much more, and in thec. 6. end concludeth, That as there were 7000, who had not bowed to Baal: so it is to bee hoped there bee some, which desire the reformation of the Church. Imagine whether this Cardinall, if he had found company to haue ioyned with him, would not haue sayd much more.In Hypocritas libellus. About that time liued Leonardus Aretinus, whose little book against Hy­pocrites is worth the reading.Oratio od clerū Coloniensem. So is the oration of Antonius Cornelius Eynni [...]ha­nus, laying open the lewd lubric [...]e of [Page 59] Priests in his dayes. So doth he detect many abuses and errours, who wrote The ten grieuances of Germany; Decem grauami. na Germaniae. but those who compiled the hundred grieuan­ces of the German nation, doe discouer many more. Finally, he who list to see further, that God euen in those dead dayes, had diuers seruants, who by more then a glimpse did see the truth, and desired yet to be more plentifully instructed in religion, let him read the Catologus testium veritatis, L. 19. lately set out, and there he shall find diuers, whom I haue not named.

By this time I trust it is manifest howSect. 14. fals a slander that of the Papists is, that before the daies of M. Luther, there was neuer any man of our religion. Til the time of the Councell of Constance, this case is cleared. And beyond that, it is as easie to shew, that I. Hus, & Hierom of Prage had their imediat antecessors in witnessing the faith of Christ For they were instructed & much helped by the [Page 60] Books of Io. Wiclif an English man; and therefore saith Platina, as spectators of Wiclife, In Iohn 24. they were condemned in the Councell of Constance. AEneas Syluius sheweth the meanes how those Bohe­mians came to know the doctrine of Wiclife, Histor. Bohem. c. 35. he saith thus, He who first raised vp the opinion of the Hussites, had them frō Oxford, carying thence into Bohemia Wic­lefs books de Realibus Vniuersalib', Coeh­leus, who by his good will would bee taken for a great defender of Popery, giueth yet a larger testimony; for he saith,Hist. de Huss [...]tis, lib. 1. That as a Bohemian brought first in­to Bohemia Wiclefs books de Realibus V­niuer salibus; so there was afterward one Peter Paine, a Scholler of Wiclefs, who af­ter the death of his Master came also into Scripsit mihi quidā ex Anglia Epis [...] opus esse sibi ad [...]uc bodie duo maxima volum [...]a VVit­lefi quae mol [...] sua videantur [...]qua­ri opera beati, August. Bohemia, and brought with him Wiclef bookes, which were in quantity as great as S. Austins works: many of these books did Hus afterward translate into their mother tongue. In plaine termes, after this the Author deliuereth it, That the Hussites & Thaborites were branches of [Page 61] Wiclefe. L. 1. Hus forni ca [...]us est spiritu aliter cum ali enigenis plurimis cum VViclefistis cum Dulcinistis, &c. L 2. And in the same book Hus did commit spiritual fornication with ma­ny strangers, with Wiclefist the Dulcimist, &c. And in the next he auoucheth, that L. 3. Hus & Hierom tooke their heresies frō Wiclef. And once againe he termeth the Protestant Germās L. 6. new Wiclefists. What an opinion of this man I. Hus had, may be fully seen by that wish of his, wher­in he praied,L. 2. that he might there be where the soul of Wiclef was. Miser Hus opta­uit animam suā fore ihi est anima VViclefi. Now what Wiclef did teach, may be easily gathered, if by nothing else, yet by the deadly hatred which the Romanistes did carrie to­wards him.S [...]ss. 8. The Councell of Constance did define him to be an Heretike long after his death, & commanded that his bones should be taken vp & burnt. Also Pope Iohn 23.L. 2. in a general Councell at Rome, did before that time condemne him for an heretike; which the Hussites did but laugh at: but no man had a har­der conceit of him then Cochl. who stic­keth not to affirme, that he thinketh that [Page 62] Multa g [...]autora [...]diderim esse VViclefi tbrme­ta, quā [...]uit apud infero [...] vel scele ratissim [...]rum hominum, Iudae prod [...] o [...]s Chri­sti & Neronus [...]ir­stianorum perse­cu. [...]is, &c. L. 2. the torments of Wiclefe are greater in hell, then those of Iudas, or Nero. If God almigh­tie had no better opinion of him, the man were in an ill case. But the best is, this cholerick Criticke is not the Iudge of all the world. He was angry belike, in behalfe of Transubstantiation, concer­ning which he citeth this article of Wic­lefe: There was neuer a greater heresie, then that which putteth the Accident without a Subiect in the Eucharist. But hee might haue named more points, wherein that holy man did differ from the Church of Rome. Sess. 8. The Councel of Constāce picketh out 45. articles of his Positions, which the learned Reader may find there. Yet doubtles many of them are falsly repor­ted, which is a matter common with enemies of the truth, to peruert & mis­conster, that so they may more freely defame. There was one Wilh. Wideford, Respons ad 18. Artic. VViclefi in f [...]cic rerum expe [...]end. who tooke on him to answer 18. arti­cles said to bee Wiclefs, whence a man may gathersome of his doctrine. But that all things there said against him [Page 63] were not true, may wel be obserud out of the same answere, declaring that he had many things concerning Wiclef; but only by aIn fine Ar­tic. 10. V [...]rg. Aen [...]ad. fame and report, and that is not the most certaine relater. What positions indeed he held, may be seen in M. Fox, reporting his life and actions, as also in Catalogo testium veritatis. L. 18. And those who be not learned, may esteem of thē by the doctrine of Io Hu [...] before rehearsed, who by the testimony of the Papists themselues, as I haue shewed, maintained the opinions of Wiclef.

Now that this worthy ChampionSect. 15. & Preacher of the Gospel of Iesus Christ went not alone, but had many English men and women, who in his life time, & after his death beleeued as he belee­ued, and professed as he professed, is in the next place to be shewed. Among the chiefe of his fautours, were Iohn of Gant, Apolog▪ Hicra [...]c. c. 1. (as Parsons the Iesuite confesseth) and Lord Henry Percy; the one of them Duke of Lancaster, the other Marshall [Page 64] of England. M. Fox citeth out a Register of the Archb. of Canterbury, Ex Regist. G. Courtney. a Mandate that the Conclusions of Wiclefe were preached in diuers and sundry places of the Archbishops Prouince, generally, common­ly, and publikely. The same also is mani­fested by a letter of the Archbishop to the Bishop of Lōdon; and in a Monition directed to Oxford, Ad Cancell. Ox. where it is said, that certain Conclusions hereticall and erronious were generally and commonly preached and published in diuers places of the Prouince of Canterbury. There be extant also Letters of king Richard 2.Ad Arthiepi [...]c Cant. & Cancell. Ox. directly signifying so much. But there is nothing which may more amply testifie the spreading of his doctrine, then an Act of Parliament in the beginning almost of that young Kings dayes,Anno. 5. Rich. 2. c. 5. where it is related, that there were diuers Preaching dayly, not onely in Churches and Church-yardes, but also in markets, faires, & other open places, where as great congregation of people is, di­uers Sermons containing heresies, and noto­rious errours.

[Page 65]This putteth me in minde of a writ­ten book which once I saw,In manu ma­gistri Wirley. being a Chronicle compiled by a Monk of Leicester Abby; who, writing of the time of the said King, reporteth at large, that the people in faires and markets, and riding by the way, and almost euery where, would talke of the Scripture, and reprooue the cus­tomes of that time, as also the Priests; to the exceeding great trouble and of­fence of the Clergie. This they might the rather do out of the Word of God, because the Scriptures were then tran­slated into English, as may bee seene by diuerse Copies written and re­maining vnto this day, supposed to be so turned by Wicklef. And it is ve­ry probable, that in Leicester shire there were many of those of whom the Monk Leicestrensis spake, since, at Lutterworth a Towne in that County, Iohn Wicklef was beneficed. But the greatest part of this learned mans abode was at the first in the Vniuer­sitie [Page 66] of Oxford, where hee was both a Doctor and Reader in Diuinity; and therefore is to bee conceiued to haue many learned men partaking with him in his opinions. Master Fox saith (out of the Chronicle of S. Albanes),In fine R. Ri­chard [...] 3. that hee had a Benefice in Oxford; of which he was depriued by Simon Sud­bury, Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. It may bee, this was nothing else but the Mastership or chiefe Gouernors place in Bailioll Colledge; which I am per­swaded that hee had, since there are yet two antient Writings in the treasu­ry of that Colledge (which I haue seene),In Arch uis Coll [...]dg. Bali [...]l. which were made in the name of Iohn Wicklef, Master of that house, and that in the daies of King Richard the Second. But while he liued, he had so many fauourers in that Vniuersi­ty, as that Master Robert Rigges Vice­Chancelor,Vid. 10. Fox. in vit [...] Wicklef. and the two Proctors, took part with him; as also Nicholas Herford, Philip Repington and Iohn Ashton, Preachers and Batchelors of [Page 67] Diuinity, and grew into great questi­on for his cause: where Repington in the end beeing Doctor, did slippe from him. Yea, so farre was his doc­trine there spred,A [...]. Ri­chara [...] 2. that Pope Gregorie the Eleuenth, in the yeere 1378, did direct his B [...]ll to the Vniuersity of Oxford against the Doctrine and Arti­cles of that learned man, euen Rome it selfe ringing of his opinions in that Vniuersity. Neither did his Followers dye when he himselfe died. But long after that,Sub rege Hen. 4. Pope Gregory the twelfth did direct downe another Bull to Ox­ford against Wicklef; in which he vsed the same words which his Predeces­sors had, that is to say, that Wicklef did follow the doctrine of Marsilius of Pa­dua, and of Iohn of Gandune of vnwor­thy memory: Which speech is worth the marking; to shew, that this man also had his Predecessors. The Copie of this latter Bull is to bee seene in theL. 2. in literis Reg. Henrici 4. Booke which that worthy louer of Antiquities, Master Hare, gaue to our [Page 68] Vniuersity: where also is to bee seene in the Constitution of a Prouinciall Councell, celebrated at Oxford, a sharp Inquisition decreed by Thomas Arun­del Archbishop of Canterbury, against all, euen the heads of Colledges and Halles, and others suspected of Lollar­dy and Wicleuisme. They might well suppose, that the Students of that place were entertainers of such doctrine, since about that very time a testimo­niall was giuen in their Congregation house vnder seale, in fauour of Iohn Wicklef: where these words are a­mong other;Anno 1406. Octobr. 5. In operib. I. Hus. God forbid, that our Pre­lates should haue condemned a man of such honesty for an Heretick. And yet in the Councell of Constance hee was con­demned for such a one, forty yeeres af­ter that he was dead and buried. But all would not serue to extirpate his Bookes or memory out of our Vni­uersity: but euen in the daies of King Edward the Fourth,Anno 1476. there were new letters directed to the Gouernors of [Page 69] that place, by the King himselfe, to make search for his Bookes, and to burne them. I haue in my custody a faire antient Record of that Vniuersi­ty: which, by meanes of a good friend, I haue gained back to this place. And therein is a solemne Let­ter directed from the Conuocation of Doctors and Masters, to the King; te [...] ­tifying, that according to their Soue­raigns Commandement, they had with accurate diligence searched out the Bookes and Tracts of Wicklef himselfe, and of Reginald Pecock, and had burnt them. So much adoe was it, and that in so long a space, to sup­presse the head whereunto Wicklefs doctrine was growne in the famous Vniuersity of Oxford.

How elsewhere in this Kingdome,Sect. 16. his positions were spred, may be easi­ly collected out of Geffry Chaucer: who, dying about the yeere 1400, may rightly be supposed to haue liued while Ioh. Wicklef liued. This Chaucer, [Page 70] who wanted neither wit nor lear­ning, did atin a Plough­mans tale. large paint-out the pride, lasciuious, vicious, and intolerable be­hauior of the Pope, Cardinals and Clergy, euen applying the name of Antichrist diuers times vnto the Ro­mane Bishop, and saying, that There were many in those daies of the spea­kers minde; yea, finding fault with their faith, aswell as with their man­ners. The whole tale is wel worth the reading: but I will cite onely a few verses.

Peter was neuer so great a foole,
The Apostle.
To leaue his
which Pa­pists say, he hath of hea­uen gate.
Key with such a
as the Pope.
Or take such cursed such a toole,
He was aduised nothing well:
I trow they haue the key of hell:
Their master is of that place Marshall:
For there they dressen hem to dwell,
And with false Lucifer there to fall:
They beene as proud as Lucifer,
As angry, and as enuious:
From good faith they beene full farre,
In couetize they beene curious.
[Page 71]To catch cattaile, as couetous
As hound, that for hunger will yall:
Vngodly and vngracious
And needily such falshod shall fool fall.

This and a hundred times as much, he expresseth in a simple plough mans person; as euidently inferring, that the husbandman & meanest country body of that time, by the reading and hearing of the Word of God, could tell what was right and religious, and what otherwise; yea, and complaine of the blindnesse, and impiety of the Romanists in that age. But if wee would be aduertised, what euen Lay­men in those times could doe, let vs looke into the Declarations of Walter Bruite, who was in question for his opinion, before the Bishop of Here­ford, in the yeere 1393, and gaue vp a a little booke, containing those t [...]ngs which he maintained. The true co­py of that treatise is yet extant,Ex registro E­piscops Herefor [...] and de­serueth to bee read. There wee may finde these and the like positions: [Page 72] that Bread remaineth in the Sacra­ments after Consecration; that The Pope is Antichrist; that Nothing is to be beleeued, but what may bee confirmed out of the Scriptures; that The Pope is the Idoll of desolation, sitting in the Temple of God; that Antichrist is not to come of the Tribe of Dan, neither onely to raigne three yeeres and a halfe: that The Citie Apoc. 17, is Rome; that Our Iustifica­tion is freely by faith alone; that The doc­trine of the Pope differeth from that of Christ; that Miracles are no assurance of truth; that Men are not rashly to bee re­puted Saints; that The Pope hath not power beyond other Bishops, neither is the Head of the Church; that Papists mistake the keys of binding & loosing; that Infants dying before Baptisme, are not therefore damned; that Auricular Confession is not prescribed in the Scripture; that The Canon Lawe is ill grounded; that The Pope deceiueth men in his pardons; that Absolution is to be sought at the hands of God onely; that The Priests vse vaine [Page 73] prayers in the Masses; that Exorcismes and holy water are vnlawfull; that Priests doe sinne, who bargaine to sing for the soules of men departed; that Religious men and women are deuourers of widowes houses; that Selling of orders and dirges is naught; that The Pope is the beast with the two hornes like the Lamb, while he challengeth the double sword; that He seeketh to bee worshipped as God; that Dux Cleri doth make vp the number 666; that Worshipping of Images is ido­latry; that Temporall goods may be taken from the Clergie offending. There was a great Papist, one William Wideford, whom before I mentioned, who gi­ueth testimony to this Treatise of Bruite, whom hee calleth Waltherus Britta in Latine; Contra 18. ar­ticul. Wicklef. In articul. 11. & 12. and writing against Wicklef, maketh twise mention of a booke of his owne, sent to the Bishop of Hereford (Dominum Erfordensem he calleth him) in confutation of the book of Walter Bruite.

While I write these things,Sect. 17. I cannot [Page 74] but think vpon the audacious absurd­nes of an ignorāt popish Doctor; who blusheth not to vtter, that it is most manifest, that All in England were Pa­pists, without exception, from the first christening thereof, vntill this age of King Henry the Eight. He is doubtless an honest man, and worthie to bee trusted on his word. It is not onely manifest, but most manifest, not that the greatest part, but all; yea, and be­cause it shall not be scanted, all without exception, were Papists, &c. Were Iohn Wicklefs bones burnt, because he was a Papist? And were the Bulls of the pope denounced against him for that cause? And were the Arch-bishop Arundels constitutions against his Followers so seuere, because they were Papists? The man is to be pitied for his simpli­city. A man may know by the Lawes, Proclamations, Letters and Procee­dings by the State, against some as a­gainst Hereticks, as also by the records of Bishops yet extant; and by the ma­nifold [Page 75] executions and burnings after­ward, that euen in that deepe time of ignorance, England did giue most no­ble testimony of Christs truth against Popery; euen so farre, as to the fiery triall. If the Christian Reader peruse the Ecclesiasticall History of Master Fox, hee shall finde,A [...]. 1400. sub Reg. He [...]. 4. how before the Councel, William Sawtree a Priest was burnt, & after him Iohn Badby; & that because they were Wickleuists or Lol­lards (as they then called them), and not because they were Papists. There are the reasons also and asseuerations of Puruey and Thorpe against Poperie, with diuers other matters. And is it not to be thought,Sub reg. Henrie. 5. that the Hereticks increased, when a Synod was assem­bled in S. Paul's Church at London, into the which came twelue Inquisi­tors, who in a former Synod were ap­pointed to sift and scan the writings of Wicklef, wherein they found 246. Conclusions; all which they supposed to be heresie? But it is plaine, that in [Page 76] the first yeere of King Henry the Fift, diuers were put to death as Lollards. Afterward the Lord Cobham was han­ged, for a shew, as if hee had beene a kinde of Traytor: but hee was then also burnt as a reputed Heretick. So was one Iohn Claydon, for his Consci­ence, consumed to ashes. Not long after the comming of Henry the Sixt to the Kingdome,Sub. Hen. 6. besides diuers which were questioned and much troubled about religion, Taylor and White, two Priests, and Houeden a Ci­tizen of London, were burnt: and some other followed afterward. Nei­ther did the daies of King Edward the Fourth, and of King Henry the Se­uenth, escape without the Martyr­dome of sundry English, yeelding vp their liues for Iesus Christ his sake, and for the profession of the truth: The particular Stories of whom may bee found in the Author aboue-named. The Clergy of those times did beare much sway with their Princes, and [Page 77] left no meanes vnsought, no stone vn­turned, to keepe vp the dignity and preeminence of their romish Hie­rarchy, and the superstitious Idolatry which then was in vse. Now, if in the Raigne of all these Princes, so many were slaughtered for the testimony of a good conscience, how many weake brethren were there, who made not open profession of their faith? & how many did there lie hid, diuers of them in probability hauing confederates, and some of them beeing Priests, and therfore not vnlikely to haue learning both to confirme themselues in the truth, and such others as heard them? Thus haue I both in England and else-where brought vp the doctrine of the Gospell, vntill the time of Iohn Wicklef, who flourished in the yeere 1371.

Heer it may please the Reader toSect. 18. remember, that the iudgement (before cited) of two Popes, was, that Wicklef taught the doctrine of Marsilius of Pa­dua, [Page 78] & of Iohn of G [...]dune. Greg. 11. Of the later Greg. 12. of these there yet appeareth no monu­ment written;Catal. testium [...]esitatis.. l. 18. but he ioined in opi­nion with the former. But as for Marsilius Patauinus, our Aduersaries cannot but acknowledge him to be a very learned man, after the measure of the age wherein he liued, which was in the yeere 1324. He wrote a Book against the vsurped power of the Bi­shop of Rome; Defensor pacis. which argument he en­tred into, in behalfe of the Emperour Lewes of Bauiere, who was mightily layd-at by three Popes successiuely. There the Authour auoweth, as right and iust, the supreme authoritie of the Emperour, displaying the iniqui­ty of the Popes vsurpation ouer Chri­stian Princes, and generall Councels: The book is worth the reading, to see Whether all in times past did allow of the Popes doctrine and proceedings; or not: his opinions are these; I that The Pope is not superiour to other Bishops, and much lesse to the Emperour and ciuill [Page 79] Magistrates; 2 that Things are to be deci­ded by the Scripture; 3 that Learned men of the Laity haue voices in Councels; 4 that The Clergie and Pope himself are to be subiect to Magistrates; 5 that The Church is the whole company of the faith­full; 6 that Christ is the foundation and Head of the Church; and appointed no one to be his Vicar; 7 that priests may be mari­ed; 8 that Saint Peter was neuer at Rome; 9 that The Popish Synagogue is a denne of theeues; 10 that The Doctrine of the Pope is not to be followed, because it leads to e­uerlasting destruction. In the time of this Marsilius, liued the noble Poet [...]ente, who wrote also a booke against the pope, concerning the Monarchy of the Emperour:Petrus Messias in Ludo [...]co. but, for taking part with Lewes Bauiere, he was condemned for an Heretike, and his book as hereticall. Then also wrote Occam directly to the same purpose:Catalogus [...]e­stium verit [...]. l. 18. but for his labour therein, and his large reproofe of the Papacie in other points, hee was ex­communicated by the Romane Bi­shop: [Page 80] which he so much contemned, that hee not vnwillingly dyed vnder that Sentence. About that time were heer and there dispersed sundry godly men, who saw more than the com­mon sort touching religion;Ibid. ex. Hen. de Erford. as Hayaba­lus a Minorite, who frequently said in his Sermons, that The Church of Rome was the whore of Babylon, and that the Pope and his Cardinals were meere Antichrists: which propositi­ons were held somewhat before also by Gerhardus and Dulcinus, two lear­ned men. This Dulcinus may bee thought to haue many followers, since Cochleus could say,Histor. Hussit. l. 2. that Iohn Hus com­mitted spirituall fornication with the Wickleuists and with the Dulcinists. The same opinions concerning the Pope and Rome, did that rare man, Franciscus Petrarcha, Epis. 20. et in poe [...]i italic [...]. seeme fully to embrace, as may appeare to any who will reade his workes, howsoeuer Cardinall Bellarmine labour to make the world beleeue otherwise,In appendice ad libros de Rom. pontifice. c. 20. beeing [Page 81] desirous to haue vs thinke, that Pe­trarch spake not against the Pope, but some abuses in the Court of Rome. And to make it plaine, that it was not a slight conceipt, or onely in a few, that The Pope was Antichrist, and Rome was Babylon, Apo. 17. God stird vp yet more in that age, who proclaimed the same matter;Genebrard, Chron. l. 4. Anno 1327. as, Petrus Iohannes Biraensis, or Piranensis, who was a Minorite; and for teaching so, was digged vp af­ter that he was dead; and his body, af­ter the Sentence of Clement the Sixt, was burnt. A few yeeres after him,Catal. [...]estium veritatis. l. 18. did Iohannes de Rupe-sciss [...], a Monk, teach the same doctrine; which, as euery man may ghesse, doth ruinate the Papacy in euery respect.Academ. les. Christ. Clas. 15 Iohannes Gerson came not so farre, but saw in his age many horrible abuses of the Church of Rome, and in his writing spake liberally of it. And it did bite deepe, when hee disputed, that the Pope might bee taken away safely from the Church,De auseribilita­te Pap [...] ab ec­clesia. and yet no danger [Page 82] follow of it. But let vs now goe a little higher.

I mentioned before,Sect. 19. how Cochleus saith, that Iohn. H [...]s took his doctrine from the Wickleuists and the Dulci­nists. Heare, I pray you, what he saith: Hus did commit spirituall fornication with many aliens; with the Wickleuists, the Dulcinists, with the Leonists, the Wal­denses, the Albingenses, and other of that sort, enemies of the Church of Rome. These Leonists or poor-men of Lyons, and Waldenses, and Albingenses, were the same men, but diuersly, on diuers occasiōs, tearmed by the Roman Syna­gogue which hated them. Their opini­on then did Hus maintain.Hist. Bohem. c. 35. AEneas Syl­uius doth also witnesse the same; affir­ming, that the Hussites did embrace the opinions of the Waldenses. There you may see, that their doctrine was a­gainst the Primacy of the Pope, Pur­gatory, and such like matters. Gene­brard, Chron. l. 4. who saith, that these Waldenses began, Anno 1170. or, as some other [Page 83] will, 1218. rehearseth out of Syluius these opinions of theirs; that Prayers for the dead, and Purgatory fire, are an in­uention of the Priests couetousnesse; that Holy Images are to be defaced; that Con­firmation and Extreme Vnction are no Sacraments; that Auricular Confession is a trifling thing. Hee who list, may see a great many more of their positions agreeing with the doctrine which we teach: which may well also be gathe­red from the Iesuites themselues.Catal. testium veritatis. l. 15. In Pr [...]sat. ge­neral. Contro­uers. For, that is the cause that Bellarmine ioy­neth these together as Hereticks; the Berengarians, the Petrobrusians, the Waldenses, the Albingenses, the Wickle­uists, the Hussites, the Lutherans, &c. And Lewes Richcome, another of that Society,L. 1. c. 19. in his defence of the Masse a­gainst the Lord Plessis, saith, that The Ministers, for the confirming of their figuratiue sense in This is my body, haue none for their Doctors, for their Anti­ents, for their Fathers, but Berengarius, Zuinglius, Caluin, Carolastadius, Wick­lef, [Page 84] the Albingenses, the Waldenses. These Waldenses then and Albingen­ses are ours, by the confession of our Aduersaries; and of these long agone there were no small company. For, as Du Haillan, Hist. l. 12. in the life of Philip the Third, King of France, speaketh; being driuen from Lyons in France, they withdrew themselues into Lombardy: where they so multiplied, that their doctrine began to spread through Ita­ly, and came as farre as Sicily. As the same Author writeth,L. 9. Philippus Au­gustus came to his Kingdome, Anno 1180. which is now more then foure hundred yeeres since: and in his time it was, that the Albingenses did so in­crease in France, that the Pope and Princes adioyning were afraid of their number. Hee who readeth the Story of them, shall see that they are reported to haue held many grosse, wicked, and absurd opinions mingled with their true Doctrine. But Du Haillan the best and iudicious Chroni­cler [Page 85] of France, and no partiall witnesse in our behalfe (since his profession touching Religion, was such, that hee was imployed to write that Story by King Henry the third), had not so little wit, but that he perceiued those impu­tations to bee laid on them in odium, and of purpose to procure their defa­mation. See how wisely hee speaketh truth and his conscience; and yet so coucheth it, that his fellowes might not bee iustly offended at his words. Although, saith hee,L. 10. these Albingenses had euill opinions, yet so it is, that these did not stir vp the hate of the Pope and of great Princes against them so much, as their liberty of speech did, wherewith they vsed to blame the vices and dissolutenesse of the said Princes and of the Clergie, yea, to tax the vices and actions of the Popes. This was the principall point which brought them into vniuersall hatred, and which charged them with more euil opini­ons then they had. Now first, that they were not men infamous, either for [Page 86] their vile opinions or filthy conuersa­tion; and secondly, that they were not onely base and poore people, it is eui­dent by this, that so many noble and worthy men took part with them, yea, to the aduenturing of their liues in their company, and for their be­halfe; as the Counts or Earles of Tholouse, Ibid. of Coninges, of Bigorr, of Car­main, yea, the King of Arragon. And when Raymund, the Earle of Tholouse, was for his beliefe excommunicated by the Pope, and a Croisado was pro­claimed against him and the Albin­genses, as if they had beene Saracens or Infidels, not onely the Counties of Foix and Coninges came with all their strength to assist Raymund, but Alphon­sus, the King of Arragon, came in his owne person to his succour, as beeing his kinsman and his friend. And when all these were met together; the report is, saith Du Haillan, that the Armie of these Hereticks did consist of about the number of one hundred thousand fighting [Page 88] men. These things beeing thus disco­uered by men of your owne part; bee ashamed, you Papists, and blush to spread among your simple and credu­lous Followers, that neuer men did as we doo, nor beleeued as wee beleeue, before Luther's time; but that all Christendome formerly liked of the papisticall doctrine and proceedings. But because you shall heare one testi­mony further touching these Albin­genses and Waldenses, how honest and truely religious they were, I will cite what one Reinerius, a man who did hate them, and was (as it is suppo­sed) an Inquisitor against them, repor­ted concerning them, now 300 yeers ago, or thereabout. Thus then, among much other matter, he saith of them: There were many Sects of Hereticks long ago: among all which Sects that are or were, there is not one more pernicious to the Church of God, than that of the poore men of Lyons, for three causes. First, be­cause it is of longer continuance: some say, [Page 88] that it hath endured from the time of Syl­uester: others say, that from the time of the Apostles. The second is, because it is more generall: for, there is almost no Land into which this Sect doth not creep. The third, that whereas all other, by the imma­nity of their blasphemies against God, doo make men abhorre them; this of the Lyo­nists, hauing a great shew of godlinesse, because they doo liue iustly before men, and doo beleeue all things well of God, and all the Articles which are contained in the Creed, onely the Church of Rome they doo blaspheme and hate: which the multi­tude is easie to beleeue. And as Samp­son's Foxes had their faces seueral waies, but their tails tied one to another: so He­reticks are diuerse in Sects among them­selues, but in the impugning of the Church they are vnited. There can hardly be found a more honourable testimony out of the mouth or penne of a bitter and bloudy Aduersary as he was, who wrote this & much more concerning those good seruants of God. We shall [Page 89] not need to ascend any higher, since hee giueth witnes of the antiquity of their profession long before his time: which otherwise to make plain, is as easie, as to deliuer that which hitherto I haue spoken. And it is not to bee conceiued,Mat. Paris i [...] Guliel. cōquaest. that Petrus Waldo (of whom the Waldenses tooke their name at Lyons) had his doctrine from no body, but that of himselfe he attai­ned to his owne knowledge, since he was not deeply learned. Berengarius indeed was onely called in question for denying Transubstantiation in the Sacrament; but it may well bee thought, that in something else he dis­sented from the Church of Rome: and albeit by his owne weaknes, and the importunity of the Clergie,Contin. hist. de gestis Anglor. lib. 3. cap. 7. he yeelded once or twice to recant and abiure the true doctrine which hee held, yet hee had many scholars, who by his exam­ple would not bee driuen from the right beleef which they had appre­hended. These scholars were in France [Page 90] in great numbers,Malmis. l. 3. and in diuerse other lands: and Genebrard cannot conceal it, but that about the yeer of our Lord 1088,Chron. l. 4. Basilius the Monk did set on foot again the errour of Berengarius. And might not the doctrine of both these bee sucked from Bertram, who wrote so learnedly and so directly out of the Scriptures and Fathers against the reall presence and Transubstantia­tion, Index in Ber­tram resp. ad Dan. Til [...]s. fol. 158. that the Index expurgatorius can­not tel what to make of him? But the Bishop of Eureux, vnder the name of Henry Constable, tearmeth him The great fore-runner of all the Sacramen­taries: La. sainct. Mess [...] de clar. l. 2. and Richcome the Iesuit disclai­meth him plainly as a Sacramentarie Heretick. Then Caluin and Zuinglius were not the first who gain-said tran­substantiation. Before our ascending thus high, we might tell you of Saint Bernard: whom although it is likely, at the first dash, you will challenge as your owne; yet, when you haue well aduised on him, you may let him goe [Page 91] again: for, albeit hee had his errours, which he suckt from the age wherein he liued, and we may not in all things subscribe to his iudgement, but say of him, as commonly it is spoken, Ber­nardus non vidit omnia; yet wee finde in him saniorem partem, a liberall pro­fession of many good & sound points agreeable to the Gospell. Hee, for a fashion,De consider. ad Eug [...]n. l. 2. 8. acknowledgeth many mat­ters to be in the Pope, and giueth him greater titles than any Papist can iusti­fie; but it is, by such insinuation, to win him more attention frō Eugenius: and then, hauing procured liberty, or rather taken it to himself, he schooleth and lessoneth the Pope plainly; shew­ing, that he liked not of their ordinary courses, neither did hee repute him to haue that preeminence or prerogatiue which his Parasites did allow him. But, touching the matter of merit by good works,Ser. 61. in Cant. ep. 190. de grat. & lib. arbitrio. Ser. 1. de septem misericordi [...]s. for iustification alone by Christ, of free-will, for certain as­surance of saluation in the death and [Page 92] by the strength of our Sauiour, and for disliking then the vile life of the Cler­gie, how cleer, how learned, how co­pious is hee! These things wee teach together with him; and, notwith­standing his other slips, we doubt not but his soule doth rest with the Lord, God pardoning vnto him his errours and his ignorances; which hee, being carried with the stream of that Time; did neuer discusse, but took them as they were deliuered to him, without scanning or examining. And to this good hope we are firmly induced by that Saying of Saint Paul; 1 Cor. 3. 11 Other Foun­dation can no man lay, but that which is laid, which is Iesus Christ: and if any man build on this Foundation, gold, siluer, precious stones, timber, hay or stubble, e­uery mans work shall bee made manifest: for, the day shall declare it, because it shall be reuealed by fire; and the fire shall try euery mans work of what sort it is. If any mans work that he hath built-vpon, abide, he shall receiue wages: if any mans work­burn, [Page 93] he shall lose, but he shall be safe him­self. He held the Foundation of iusti­fication onely by faith in Christ;Degrat. & li­bero arbit [...]io. and that our best deeds are but via Regni, non causa regnandi; the way to the King­dome, not the cause of raigning: and for that cause, we doubt not but his soule is safe, though his hay and stubble of praying to Saints, and such other stuffe as cannot endure the fire of the holy Ghost's triall, doo burn and consume. And this is our iudgement touching many other both before and after the time of Saint Bernard; that, holding Christ the Foundation aright, and groning vnder the heauy burden of humane traditions, satisfaction, and other popish trash, they, by a generall repentance from their errors and lap­ses knowne and vnknowne, and by an assured faith in their Sauiour, did finde fauour with the Lord. Such as these were we hold to be God's good seruants, to bee of the number of the Elect; and, propter sanioren et meliorem [Page 94] partem, for their sounder and better part, to bee of that Church, whereof we are to be members; of that body, whereof (by the grace of Christ) we are a portion.

And in this respect our settled andSect. 21. resolued iudgement is, that when it is asked, Where our Church in former Ages was; we may, besides that which we haue formerly answered, truly say, that it was in England, in France, in Spaine, Iohn [...]. 8. in Italy, yea, in Rome it selfe: Spiritus vbi vult spirat, the holy Ghost breatheth where it pleaseth: for who cannot conceiue by the writings of many in former Ages, or by such touches as others doe giue concerning them, that diuers, who liued neerest the Whore of Babylon, did most detest her abomination; and, finding that the weaknes and impurity of her doc­trine could not truely satisfie the hun­gry and thirsty soule, did, according to that knowledge which Christ out of his Word reuealed vnto them, seek [Page 95] some means which was not ordinari­ly professed in that Time? And if it be asked, Who they were, and how they could lie hid from the world? It may truly be answered, that their case was like the case of them in the daies of Elias, who were not knowne to that State which would haue persecuted1 Kings 19. 18 them. Now, why should not wee think, but as God had his secret and inuisible company at that time, in that most idolatrous Countrey: so, in the time of the deepest darknesse, hee had those which saw light; his Chri­stian Children, among Antichrists Brood; such as embraced true Reli­gion; among the superstitious? So that Italy, and Rome, and these Westerne parts, had some of Gods Saints in all Ages, who, like Sea-fish, most fresh in the salt water, and beeing remoued in their affections, though not in their persons,2. Pet. 2. 8. did with Lot vex their righte­ous soules in the middest of a spiritual Sodom, Iam. 1. 27. and kept themselues vnspotted [Page 96] of the world. And yet it is not to bee taken, that wee coarctate the Church within those Prouinces onely which looked towards the See of Rome; but know, that God had thousands of his Elect elsewhere. Christians haue bin in India, Os [...]rius l. 3. degestis Eman [...]el. Li. 9. Dam▪ à Goes. de mori [...]. Ae [...]i [...]um. euen by perpetuall descent, from the daies of the Apostles; and so in Africa among the Abissines, in in­finite and huge companies; besides such as haue continued in Armenia, Asia the lesser, Aegypt, but especially in the Greeke Church, which was neuer so much as in shew extingui­shed; and from whom the Russians and Muscouites had their Faith. Our Popish Lads would gladly shut all these out of Christs Fold, because they acknowledge not the Bishop of Rome for their Vniuersall Pastor: but wee should doe wrong to Almighty God, to pinne his iudgement vpon the Popes sleeue, and to offer to pull from him so many ample Churches; whereas charity and common sense [Page 97] might put vs in minde, that he might there haue thousands throughout all Ages. Looke to these places, ye Pa­pists, and imagine, that if there had beene none but these; yet the words of the Scripture, which in generality speake of a Spouse, had beene true: and Christ had there had his body on earth, and the Church had not beene vtterly extinguished, if neither we nor the Synagogue of Rome had beene ex­tant.

But in as much as it cannot be de­nied,Sect. 22. but that the prophesies concer­ning Antichrist, doe most touch the Westerne world, Rome beeing by the holy Ghost euidently designed to bee the seat of the Whore of Babylon, Apoc. 17. 18. as al­so because our Romish Standard-bea­rers are more willing to talke of those parts then of any other, I will once re­turne againe to the Countreys neere adioyning. Then, in some parts of Christendome, how many men were there in all ages, who loathed both [Page 98] the See of Rome, and the whole cour­ses of it, as the Israelites did loath the Aegyptians bondage?In Hen. 3. Mathew Paris alone giueth as many notable experi­ments that way, as relating the Acts of the Emperour Frederick, who put out diuers declarations in detestation of the Pope; and adding elsewhere, further of his owne,Ibidem. that Pope Gregory did absolue from the oath of fealty, all who were bound vnto the Emperor; perswading them, that they should be faithfull in vn­faithfulnesse, obedient in disobedience. But so much deserued the Romane Chur­ches lewdnesse, which is to be execrated of all men, that the Popes authority did me­rit to bee harkened vnto by few or none. He reporteth also of a certain Carthu­sian Monk at Cambridge,Ibidem. who cryed out against the Pope, and said, that Hee was an Heretick, and that the Churches were profaned; and of Robert Grosthead, Bishop of Lincolne, who was a man both holy and lear­ned in his time. This Lincolniensis, [Page 99] while he liued, had many combates with the Bishop of Rome, and openly resisted his barbarous tyranny in do­mineering so farre in England, as to enioyne prouision of the best Benefi­ces to be taken vp for Italian Boyes; which for a Prebend in his Church of Lincolne, hee would not yeeld vnto; and for that cause was by the Pope ex­communicated.Lincoln. Epist. But when hee was dying,Math [...] Paris in H. [...]. 3. hee most bitterly inueighed a­gainst the Romane Bishop and the Ec­clesiasticall persons, as the most wic­ked men that did liue. In the same Author you may also finde the conceit which the most reuerend Arch-bi­shop of York, Sewaldus, Ibidem. had of them and their proceedings. What should I mention Ioachim, Houede [...] in par­te 2. who said, that in his time Antichrist was already born, and was in the City of Rome? or that Bishop of Florence, who liued about the yeer 1100,Pla [...]in. in Pas­chael. 1. and did vse to say, that Antichrist was then in the world? Which moued Pope Paschalis so [Page 100] much, as that hee thought fit to en­quire of him in a Councell, and did there castigate him for it. Notable in this kinde are the Contentions of Philippus Pulcher▪ the King of France, Pap. Mas. on in Bo [...]. 2. and his whole Clergy, against Boniface the Eightth. I might adde to these, Pe­trus de Brus, and many other learned men, who laid the Axe to the very Root of Popery, and some in set Treatises oppugned one of their do­cuments, and some assaulted other; but that the Writer of the Catalogus te­stium veritatis, as it is lately enlarged, and Master Fox, and Master Bale, and diuers other, haue largely handled this▪ to the reading of whose Bookes,In Histo [...]. Eccle. sias. in catal. script. Brit. L [...]ur. Humsr. I [...]suit [...]sm. part. I doe referre them who in particular desire to bee more aduertised in this behalfe. Now, if these things doe appeare much by their own witnesse, and by the confession of Papists themselues, as also by such few Re­cords, as (by Gods prouidence so dis­posing) doe yet remaine; how many [Page 101] illustrious arguments might there haue beene of the Confession of our faith, if the Clergy and Magistracy of those darke times had not burned and suppressed all things which made against them, as I shewed before, touching the Bookes of Iohn Wickles & Reinald Pecock in Oxford? The Cler­gy in those dayes did almost rule all: and they had the custody of all Libra­ries, to ransack at their pleasure, or to put in and pull out: and they had power to search poore mens houses, and to destroy what was thought fit by them to bee destroyed. But God, who would not haue his truth vtter­ly burned or buried in ashes, suffred a remnant to remaine, yea, and that in England; albeit Potydor Virgil, with an Italian trick of his owne, did heer consume and destroy many worthy and antient Monuments.

By this time,Sect. 23. I may wel suppose, that some vehement Papist is euen ready to swell, with his belly full of excepti­ons [Page 102] against these things heer said. And first he will begin & say, that we rake together, as the Ancestors and fore­runners of our faith, such as were no­torious Hereticks; as Wicklef, or Hus, or the Waldenses, men condemned by Popes or generall Councels: and Hereticks,R [...]ion. 10. as Campian telleth vs, are the dregges, and the bellows, and the fewell of hell. These, as our Papists commonly say, are already fire-brands of hell, and frying there in flames. It is no rare matter with the Synagogue of Rome, to pronounce such Sentences as these are. Our Rhemists, by their Con­sistoriall or Imperiall Decree, haue de­fined, that Caluin and Verone are not onely Hereticks, but Reprobates, for writing so as they haue done, touch­ing the Article of Predestination:In Rom. 11. 33. Yea, they call Master Beza, a Reprobare al­so, although hee were then aliue, and long after too; how [...]oeuer the Iesuites some few yeeres since,Ann [...] 159 [...]. did, by a most ridiculous pamphlet or other newes, [Page 103] spread it in France and Italy, Vid. Epist. Beza ad Stuckium. that hee was then dead, and that dying had re­canted his Religion, and was returned to the Romish faith; which also Ge­neua did by his example. It is no newes with Iesuites to lie, and therefore Ma­ster Beza must beare with them; and so had he neede to doe with the Rhe­mists also, who got hastily into Gods Chaire, and there concluded him to bee a Reprobate. But indeed these good Christians before-named, of whom many lost their liues for the maintenance of Gods truth, were He­reticks in such a manner, as Christ was said to bee a blasphemer; who indeed was both called so,Mat. 26. 65. and condemned to bee such a one, by the counsell of the high Priests, Scribes and Rulers of the Synagogue. We doe not beleeue, that a [...]l those are Hereticks, whom your Papists will so call or account: for, you giue vs that name, which, maugre your malice, you shall neuer bee able to proue against vs. They are [Page 104] truely orthodox and right Catho­liques, who teach nothing but that whereof they haue euident warrant out of the Word of God. And this wee haue, as hath beene oft shew­ed by men of our side, and in that que­stion wee are ready at all times to iump with you, for any part or all the Doctrine wee professe. With Saint Paul therefore wee say,Acts 24. 14▪ that, After the way that you call heresie, so worship wee the God of our Fathers. The same which you maliciously and pres [...]mp­tuously tearm schisme and heresie, is that, whereupon, vnder our blessed Sauiour, wee rest our soules; and by the Confession thereof, wee hope to bee saued in the day of the generall Iudgement. Do not you therfore take that for granted, which is so highly questioned betwixt vs and you; but rather, if you can prooue our Prof [...]ssi­on to bee hereticall, by Gods grace we shall not shrink at any of your big­gest obiections.

[Page 105]Yea, but say you further,Sect. 24. The Wri­ters which make mention of these your Predecessors, doo brand them with the holding of some most grosse and damnable doctrine, which you your selues will not auouch. My an­swer is, that wee our selues doo easily beleeue so much: for, did malice, I pray you,Acts 16. 20. and 17. 7. 2 Cor. 12. 16 Eus. [...]ccl [...]. hist. l. 4. 7. euer say well? The Apostles were at more times, and in more pla­ces than one, charged with many ac­cusations; which yet, in truth, were but calumniations: The old Christi­ans in the Primitiue Church were slandered, to vse incestuous company each with other, like Oedipus, and to eat vp mans flesh at the banquet of Thyestes; yea, their owneL. 5. 1. seruants for fear were induced to lay such matters to their charge.Socrat. 1. 20. Theod. eccl. hist. l. 1. 30. Athanasius was accu­sed to haue cut off ones hand: and a harlot to his face would haue calum­niated him to haue committed forni­cation with her. This practice was neuer more liberally frequented, than [Page 106] by the enemies of the Gospell in the late daies of Popery. You may re­member what I cited before out of Du Haillan, concerning matters falsely obiected to the Albingenses. There is extant an excursitory Oration of the Waldenses;Infasciculo rer [...] expetend. wherein they say, that, for that their faith which they were ready to iustifie, they were condemned, iud­ged, captiuated, and afflicted; and af­terward that they were called Here­ticks: but in their Confession they haue it directly;Conses. Walden. Of these criminations whereof we are blamed of tentimes, we are nothing at all guilty. The Pope and his Chaplains were fell & furious against them, because they did bite so neer: and therefore, to disgrace them both in present and to posterity, they held it fit, that by speech, preaching and wri­ting, it should be divulgated, that they taught monstrous blasphemies; that by that meanes the credulous people might be preiudicate; and so not one­ly frighted from hearkning to them, [Page 107] but bee much the readier to ioyne in the prosecution of them to prison and to death. But what they indeed held, is declared before. When Iohn Hus was at the Councell of Constance, hee did openly call God to witnes, that Hee did neither preach nor teach those Cocleus histor. Hussit. l. 2. Cum articulos istos nunquam tenuerim quos falsi te [...]es c [...]ra me [...], se [...]ont aria tenuer [...]m, [...]oc [...] ­erim, [...] ­rimque, [...] prae­dicau [...]rim, &c. things which his Aduersaries did obiect against him, neither that they euer came into his minde. Neither is it to be mar­uelled, that they did load his scholars with the like false accusations, when their malice was such towards them, as that they burnt many thousands of them in Barnes: which was done by the treachery of one Mainardus. L. 8. In o­ther places the Romanists haue still held the same course of slandering: which caused the Protestants to pro­fesse in the Diet at Augusta, Sl [...]idencom­ment. l. 8. that Diuers opinions were falsely reported vp and down, which wrongfully were fathered on them; and that those were not only estran­ged from the holy Scriptures, but that they were abhorrent euen from common sense. [Page 108] And is it not probable, that long since, when much darknesse did couer the face of the earth, that few had grace to perceiue their dooings, and fewer had authority to question their doctrine, the Pope-holy Clergie, which hated the true gospellers with all their harts, would pay them with vile & odious reports; when in this Age, wherein God hath affoorded more plentifull meanes to discouer their false-hoods, they doo dare, not onely in their Ser­mons, or in their secreter whisperings, but in their printed books, to pro­claim abroad concerning vs, most false and vngodly calumniations and im­putations; as, that wee doo teach all loosenesse of life and libertinisme by this our new Gospell; that we main­tain, that All sinnes are equall; that we hold it as a Maxime, that God is the Author of sinne; and whatsoeuer it pleaseth Master Campian and his Fel­lowes to inuent and deuise touching vs: whereas we vtterly disclaim these [Page 109] and the like positions, as execrable and vngodly; yea, that Mounti-bank, which once before I mentioned, hath not blushed to asseuere, that we so teach, as that by our doctrine the Protestants Certain Arti­cles or forci­ble rea [...]ons at Antwerp, 1600 are bound in conscience, neuer to ask God forgiuenesse of their sinnes; and that They are bound in conscience to auoid all good works; as also, that We make God the on­ly cause of sinnes; and hold, that God is worse than the diuell. So shamelesse was this fellow growne, that hee nei­ther knoweth nor careth what hee saith: and yet many a poor Papist, a­bused and gulled by the diuels decei­uing instruments, doth swallow such Gudgeons, and runneth away with these things; beeing as verily perswa­ded of them, as that the gospel is true. Such a hand the seminary Priests haue ouer their disciples, that they may not read our Books, to see whether these obiections be true or no; neither may they hear ought to the contrary. Now, if they thus vse vs, who can speak for [Page 110] our selues; will any man maruell, that those who professed the Verity two or three hundred yeers since, doo taste of the malignant aspersions of those Times?

The Romanists,Sect. 25. notwithstanding all this which hath been said, doo not yet so leaue vs; but once more further adde, that none of all those which hi­therto haue been named, or can be na­med, but in some knowne, consessed, and vndoubted opinions, did vary from you: and therefore they and you may not bee said to bee all of one Church. Our Masters of Rhemes doo think, that this lieth hardly vpon vs: and therefore thus vauntingly they vrge;In Rom 11. 4. that They will not put the Prote­stants to prooue, that there were 7000 of their Sect, when their new Elias Luther began: but let them proue, that there were seuen, or any one, either then, or in all ages before him, that was in all points of his be­lief. What the old Fathers taught, we may haue time heerafter to shew: but [Page 111] for other of later time, it is most easie to manifest, that all those whom be­fore I haue named, did generally, for all main matters, teach the same that we now doo teach. There is no Pa­pist, who can truely, and without ca­lumniating them, or faining things vpon them, demonstrate, that in cau­ses which touch the substance of faith, or the foundation of Christian Religi­on, they did dissent from vs. Hee that will try this, let him look on the De­claration of Walther Bruite, In Fox eccles. Story. which I before mentioned; and let him read it set down by himself, and not reported by other. And what did that learned Lay-man deliuer there, which was not the belief of Wicklef, and the rest of the English, professing the Gospell in those Times? But if there bee, in some petty matters, yea, questions of some reasonable moment, difference of opinion between them and vs, shal wee not therefore bee of the same Church with them, or they with vs? [Page 112] Yes verily: for, otherwise many of the antient Fathers should not bee of the Communion of Saints, or Catholick Congregation, with those who came after them, and amended their errors: for,Diuin. [...]istitut. l. 7. c. 14. Aug. Ep [...]st. 48. was not Lactantius spotted with the Millenary infection? and Cyprian with the matter of re-baptizing? Had not Austen an opinion of the necessity of the Eucharist to bee administred to children;Ep. 106. & 28 and that infants, being dead without Baptism, were not onely de­priued of the fruition of heauenly ioies, but were damned to the pit of hell, and to euerlasting torments? And what man, religiously affected, will suspect,Con [...]. Carth. in Cyp. oper. but that although S. Cyprian and the other African Bishops, assem­bled in a Councell, did, concerning the new baptizing of those who were already baptized by Hereticks, deter­mine clean contrary to Cornelius and the rest of the Italian Bishops, yet they should not bee of the same faith in ge­nerall, and of the same holy Church [Page] [Page] [Page 113] whereof Cornelius was? Saint Austen can thus write concerning Cyprian: Whereas that holy man Cyprian (thin­king De bapt. cont. Donatis. otherwise of Baptisme then the mat­ter was which was afterward handled, L. 1. & with most diligent consideration establi­shed) did remain in the Catholique Vnity; both by the plentifulnesse of his charity, a recompence was made; and by the sickle of his suffering, L. 2. there was a purging. In an­other place hee saith, The authority of Cyprian doth not terrifie me, but the hu­mility of Cyprian doth refresh mee. He meaneth, that if that worthy man had liued to haue seene more light in that argument, or to behold what the suc­ceeding time had reuealed and con­cluded in that behalfe, hee would, in great humility and meeknes of heart, haue conformed himself, and yeelded vnto it: which may iustly seeme for a true defense of the Waldenses, Io. Wick­lef, Iohn Hus, or any other seruant of God, who might seeme, in matters of small moment, to vary from vs.

[Page 114]And thus I trust,Sect. 26. that by this time it appeareth to euery one who will not wilfully cloze his eies, and stop his eares against an apparant truth, that God hath at all times had his Children holding the verity of Christian Reli­gion, and not approouing of the filthy Superstitions and sacrilegious Idola­tries of the abominable Antichrist of Rome: So that it is a most fond col­lection, that either the Popish Conuo­cation or Confusion are the right and vndoubted Spouse of Iesus Christ; or else, that for one thousand yeeres to­gether there was no Church in the world. They doat much vpon them­selues, and on the opinion of their beauty, who, in such intolerable de­formities, doe predicate and magnifie their Synagogue, as the vnspotted wife & mysticall body of our most blessed Sauiour. Truth it is, that, intending to blinde the ignorant, and to abuse the simple, they labored, by all exter­nall pomp and shew, to giue to their [Page 115] hypocrisie & outward formality a set­tled opinion of pietie & sanctitie: and for that cause, there was no corner of the braine of man, or rather of men, in many Ages succeeding together, vn­sought, to procure glory to that which in it selfe was very vnglorious. Their care therefore was, to conuert the eies of all persons on their externall hue, which was maruellously adorned and garnished to the sense with their Crosses set vp or carried before somePrefat. catal. testium veritat. Prelates, with the triple Crowne of their Popes, in the red Hats of their Cardinals, the precious attire of some in their Churches, their prodigious ap­parel abroad, the diuers color'd Couls of their Monks, such singing & chan­ting with Organes, such ringing of Bells, such trimming of Images, and many more such sensible matters, as that neither the Iewes nor the Gen­tiles had the like. And among al this, if true Religion in diuers were present, it is not to be maruelled at, if shee were [Page 116] scant seene, or if no notice were taken of her for her poore, and vntrimmed, or vngarnished hue, for her naked sim­plicity, and vnpainted integrity. It was the commendation giuen to Salomons Beloued, by whom the Church is re­presented,Psal. 45. 13. that the Kings daughter is all glorious within; her beauty consisting of purity in faith, verity in doctrine, se­uereness in behauiour, innocency, pa­tience, and such like spirituall comple­ments. And these are as much contem­ned in others, by the Antichristian Rabble, as they are neglected in them­selues: whereas their externall pomp, on the contrary side, is as much despi­sed by the Lord, as it is magnified in their fleshly and carnall imaginations. The Lord direct vs in his own waies, and call home such as wilfully, or by ignorance, haue gone astray; that at length they may bee reduced to the sheepfold of Christ Iesus: to whom, with his Father and the blessed Spirit, be praise for euermore. Amen.


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