Translated out of Latin into English. May 18. 1612.

LONDON Printed by FELIX KYNGSTON, for VVilliam Aspley. 1612.


HOnourable Sir, the importunate curiositie of men hath at length ouercome my purpose, which would not suffer neither this an­swere, nor the Epistle that gaue the occasion of it to keepe priuate with other scroles in the desks of the owners. As for me, how vn­willing I haue been from the beginning and euer since to haue it published, both you well know, and others of worth can witnesse, who haue earnestly requested that of me, yet did not preuaile. But now seeing so great a man forced to yeeld vnto other mens desire, let none marueile that I also haue done the same. And although this Answere was not written to the end that it should be published; yet if they into whose hands it shall come, be equall and moderatly minded, not seruile to affections, there will proue no cause (I trust) that I should repent of publishing it, or they of reading it. It shall be knowne to honest men, and such as be [Page] desirous of publike agreement amongst Christian people, (as I haue obserued the most to be on both sides, that are good men, and intelligent in matters Diuine) that they haue his excellent Maiestie of GREAT BRITAINE, ioy­ning with them in their most holie wish, yea, with most ear­nest desire. Who although he haue iust cause to be perswaded that his words, his writings, & his actions heretofore haue made manifest to the whole Christian world the excellencie of his minde in this behalfe; yet he thought good not to de­spise this occasion happened also of declaring the same. Who is there so void of al sense of piety, which doth not embrace, and admire this affection in so mightie a Prince? Who so sauage and barbarous as otherwaies to interpret it, or to make doubt whether this answere of the King did proceed from a vehement desire of concord? Religious and wise men shall further vnderstand what manner of peace, and concord in the Church this most pious Prince wisheth: and vpon what termes and conditions his Maiestie is readie to make couenant. For this answere is tempered with such moderation, that the zealous endeuour by all good meanes to make vp peace, appeareth not to be inferiour to the Zea­lous endeuour of defending the truth. And this surely is the Kings opinion, this his firme sentence, that it is but vaine for such men to thinke, or talke of the peace of the Church, which are not afraid to separate and disioyne this celestiall chariot, which ought in no wise to be discoupled. That in vaine therefore doe they vaunt of the truth of their opinion, who maliciously interpreting all the sayings of other men, and deducting thence such absurd conse­quences as they list, giuing bad example of such peruerse [...] industrie, doe proue themselues destitute of charitie, which is the mother of vnitie. That in vaine also doe they vsurpe [Page] the golden names of Charitie, and Vnitie, which are not willing to admit of Truth, which is the foundation of pie­tie that is sincere. It was of old excellently spoken by S. Hi­larie: Beautifull is the name of peace (saith he) and faire is the opinion of vnitie; but who may doubt, that that only is the peace of the Church, which is the peace of Christ? The peace of Christ, which alone is taught by this most holy father to bee approued off in the Church, it is that, by which the doctrine of Christ, which he taught his Apostles, and his Apostles taught the primi­tiue Church, doth remaine safe defenced, and vnshaken. Let those to whom it belongeth, who challenge the princi­pall places in the Church, offer vnto his Maiestie such a peace, and straightway the discord is ended. Let them in­geniously and faithfully separate humane matters from di­uine, things superstitious from things religious, nouelties, and late-borne deuices from such matters as be truly an­cient, lastly, the nothing or lesse necessarie, from the neces­sary: and I say againe, and I crie aloud, that all may heare, on his Maiesties part, and for the Church of England, the discord is at an end Now, to come vnto so great a be­nefit, there lieth but one Kings streete, as it were, which from the entrance of the Church hath been beaten by our ancestors, namely the free celebration of a Generall Councell: wherein the complaints of all Nations may be heard, wherein controuersies may be determined, and peace for the time ensuing, by Gods mercie bee esta­blished. For the rooting of bad opinions out of mens mindes, and for the reconciliation of nations diuided by dissention, the Church in all ages knew no other course but this, nor vsed other but this; they vsed not violence nor armes. But seeing by reason of the generall sinnes of vs all, [Page] there appeares no hope of a Generall Councell, yet it would be some ease of this euill, if the great libertie, or rather vn­bridled licence of daily writing and publishing bookes of Diuinitie, were by seuere lawes on both sides restrained. For now what hope can remaine, when throughout all Eu­rope euery where, euer now and then, new writers come abroad, such as be readie to powre oyle into the fire, rather then by casting on water to extinguish the flame. Grego­rie Nazianzen, that admirable Diuine, could not endure in the men of his time, the curiositie in disputing of diuine matters: and in diuers places of his writings hee affirmes that the only cause almost of the euils which that age suffe­red, not vnlike to ours now adaies, was this: because men, void of Gods spirit, commonly and promiscuously did dis­pute of spirituall things, and conuert Theologie into tech­nology, that is, make no other vse of Diuinity but as a mat­ter [...]. of learned, or artificiall discourse, as they talke of other arts and sciences out of humane reason. From this licence, which now almost euery where beareth sway rise so many new tearmes, and such diuersitie of formes of speech, and [...]. sentences which daily more and more breed dissention in the Church of God. Away then with this libertie of pro­phecying, which is so pleasing vnto some of these times, if they vnderstand thereby a licence of broaching new deui­ces, and departing from the doctrine which hath been re­ceiued by consent of all men in the ages of the primitiue Church. What should I tell here of those vnsauourie, and vnlettered writers, which are scarcely perfit in the first ele­ments of Christian religion, which daily come foorth of those places especially, where, without any difference made of good or euill demeanours, without respect of knowledge or ignorance, to the hurt of the common good, rewards are [Page] propounded, vnto any one that being growne impudent can set out a booke against the aduerse part, though it be full of rage, and emptie of all learning. But what good can be hoped for from such, as make the knowledge of Diuini­tie a trade of liuing, a helpe or way to get money? whom neither the glorie of God doth moue to write, nor the loue of truth, nor the edification of the Church, much lesse the desire of godly and holie peace: but reward only, and base hire, or the tickling of vaine glorie? Here it will be good to blaze the impudencie of one amongst many of the scrib­lers [...]. of this garbe, of whom I will let you know what is his Maiesties iudgement. He whom I meane, whom I am ashamed to name, such is the basenesse of this new Do­ctor, is a common vagrant Peltmonger, an idiot, an illi­terate fellow, that neither hath Greeke, nor Latin, without science and without conscience, borne to trouble honest men, and to spend sustenance, and nought else good for. He, because amongst women he is held a petie Master, and well tongu'd in his mother language, hath taken vpon him of late to censure all the writers of both sides. Which he hath vndergone more willingly, because two yeeres agoe be­ing deeply indebted, hauing got a pension of seuen hun­dred Crownes, that he might wipe off the old debt, and haue annuall pay (I speake nothing but truth, and what he himselfe told me) changde sides, and fled vnto the ad­uerse part. So he, which amongst those whom he forsooke, liued in famous for suspition of being an Atheist, hatefull to all honest men that knew him neerely, now, forsooth, must needs approoue the feruour of his new Zeale to those to whom hee hath fled, that is, whom hee hath deceiued. Wherefore Pelt: being now a Doctor of his owne or eating, daily writes, or rather vomites out new bookes. First, two [Page] yeeres since hee laid the rudiments of his new profession, when hee put foorth a booke against the Preface of his ex­cellent Maiestie, that most learned Prince, himselfe being the basest of petifoggers, an vnlettered book-maker, the ve­ry [...] dregges of ignorance: in which booke (if you except a very few things) there is nothing but triuiall stuffe, vtte­red a thousand times before, nothing but what is drawne out of the lees. And as for those few things excepted, there is no learned man in Paris but knowes, and I am certaine from whom hee stole them. For we are not ignorant vn­der whose table he gathers those crummes which furnish out his dishes. This Pelt: hauing some few moneths since assaulted a man of great fame, and nobilitie, vouchsafed me also the honour to be thought worthie of the censure of this new Aristarch, this pillar of wisedome: but by the way, and as it were passing by, lest if hee should haue done otherwaies, some honour (beleeue it) had accrewed vnto my name from the worthinesse of so great an aduersarie. I published not long before an Epistle written to Fronto Ducaeus, a Diuine of the societie of Iesus, wherein was contained a true historicall declaration of some things done in this kingdome by certaine of that Societie. This Epistle Pelt: in his booke aboue mentioned refuteth not, (how could he?) but stabs it with one sharp censure: after that conuerting his speech vnto his Maiestie, requests him not to beleeue any of those things which he beheld with his owne eyes, which the whole kingdome saw, which are laid vp in the publike records, which the vniuersall world now knoweth to be most true. All these things my Pelt: dare call false, and fained through flatterie; yea, and saies it to the King: as if the most gracious and clement Prince were one, whose eares lie open for such information as may de­stroy [Page] the innocent. What halter, or what gallowes are con­digne punishment for this crime? When his excellent Ma­iestie read those things, and shewed me them, who had not seene them before: I saw him heerein detest the strange boldnes and impudence of this Pelt. And whereas hee would haue me thought a cunning flatterer, herein he wrongs egregiously the King, rather then me.

—for sooner downe
Shall the starres fall, and the earth clime vp to the skie,
Then I meete any man with tearmes of flatterie.

Further, Pelt saith that when I wrote that Epistle I was led with a spirit of giddinesse. I wondred then what hee called the spirit of giddinesse: for he which makes a true relation of things done, or rather transcribes them out of publike records, who will say that hee is carried with the spirit of giddinesse, but such a fellow as himselfe, which is possessed with the spirit of errour. But afterwards, some [...]. three daies agoe I light vpon another booke of Pelts, writ­ten against a very learned man, in the end whereof hee hath another blow at me, and saies that I am led with the spirit of reformation. So the spirit of reformation, and the spirit of giddinesse are one, and the same, as this mischiefe would make them. Then all those men of diuers ages past, which haue earnestlie desired the reformation of the Church, and haue left vs many bookes for witnesses of their desire, all were giddie. What? were the Fathers of the Tridentine Councell led with giddinesse, which make so often mention of reformation? In the same booke Pelt: warnes me to take heed of writing any thing that may dis­please [Page] him: otherwaies I shall smart for it, he will runne me thorow. O zealous man for the house of God! which shootes foorth his zeale as farre as things that are not. Happie I; if I may fall by the hand of this great Aeneas. Only this scruple troubles me sore: how will he doe to con­fute my writings, who is not able to vnderstand them? for I write not bookes for the women of France to reade. Well, I will giue Pelt: one aduice, which will free both me and him from this scruple. Let him remember the old precept; Quam quisque norit artem in hac se exer­ceat: Let euery man practise that art, wherein he is skil­full. Therefore, which thing only he hath learned, wherein only he is able, curet cuticulam, let him care for his pelt, and leaue these learned conflicts vnto those that haue lear­ning. Neither let him be so high minded, as to thinke that I will euer make any other account of him then of a bar­king dogge, or a wincing asse. I am not wont to be so pro­digall of good houres, that he may hope I will euer turne the point of my stile vpon him. You see (honourable Sir) what kinde of Diuines spring of late, which like to Mu­shroms grow great in one night, whom therefore the Greek Diuine wittily tearmeth sowne Diuines, and worthilie [...]. debarreth from the handling of sacred things. But I re­turne to this Answere, which hauing found published cor­ruptly in the parts beyond sea, I reutewed it, and corrected it. And this I send to you for a testimonie of my loue, and seruice, which I know will be welcome to you.


THE ANSWERE OF Mr. ISAAC CASAVBON TO THE Epistle of the most illustrious, and most reuerend Cardinall PERON.

MOst illustrious, and most reuerend Lord, I haue learned (as I thinke) by vse, and experience, that there is no euill so great, out of which, or by occasion whereof some good may not arise. And as it is an vsuall speech that honey bree­deth gall; so it may bee said not vnfitly, that somtimes out of pure gall commeth pure honey. Not to seeke any further proofe of this, the lewd book of that debosht cauiller, which gaue me first occasion by his excellent Maiesties commaund, of writing to your illustrious Honour, it was pure gall, and that most virulent. But both your letters, which vpon that occasion you sent me, seasoned with singular courtesie, hu­manitie, and prudence, witnessing the faire ingenuitie of the author, were sweeter to me then any honey. Wherefore I was not afraid to shew them vnto his Maiestie, and his Maiestie, although he approued not of all that was in them, (for that could not be) yet hee refused not, but was willing to reade them both. It delighted him very much, that yet he knew one Diuine of your side, a man of chiefe place, of honorable estimation, and excellent learning, which hand­ling the controuersies of these times, appeared to be of a moderate, and quiet disposition. For, with what spirit the [Page 2] most are led, which now adaies set out bookes of this argu­ment, there needs no more sufficient declaration then out of those writers which hitherto haue oppugned his Maie­sties Apologie. All of them (if you except one or two) filling their vnhappie leaues with lies, reproches, and foule lan­guage. But especially the words in your last letters did de­light his Maiestie, whose minde is enflamed with the zeale of sincere pietie, whereby you seemed to put him in hope that this friendly communication concerning mat­ters of religion was like not to prooue fruitlesse. Which thing as it pleased the King marueilously, who is readie vp­on this condition to vndergoe any paines, so, if there re­maine no hope hereof; neither is there any iust cause why his Maiestie, or your Honour should trouble your selues. Surely I hope, if your Worthinesse will take serious care of it, that with the helpeof almightie God, you may effect, by the authoritie which you haue amongst your owne, and the report of learning, and wit amongst all, that by these mu­tual writings, some good profit may redownd to ye Church of Iesus Christ. As for his most excellent Maiestie of Great Britaine, in whose Court I haue now liued a whole veere and more, I dare promise you, and with all manner of asse­ueration confirme, that he is so affected, and that the course of his whole life hath bin so ordered, that all men may easi­ly vnderstand there is nothing dearer to him then the care­full endeuour for religion. Neither priuate businesse, nor the publike cares of his kingdome doe vsually so affect his Maiestie, as a kinde of vnmeasurable desire by all meanes to promote religion, and (which consideration most be­seemes so great a King) an exceeding affection by all right and honest meanes to procure peace amongst the dissenting members of the Church. And this care so fitting a Chri­stian Prince, the most pious King hath not confined within the bounds of his owne kingdome, though very large, but remembring that he is stiled the Defendour of the faith, he hath thought good, not out of any curiositie, but a vehe­mencie of zeale to extend it beyond the limites of his owne [Page 3] little world: that his Maiesties wisedome and authoritie might be beneficiall also to the Churches of other Coun­tries, if occasion were offered: and that daily it might be more apparant in the sight of God, and men, that his chiefe care is the preseruation of Christian religion. Of late there­fore, and about the time when I shewed you his last letters, his Maiestie gaue this great experiment of this his deuout minde: which, as it is most worthilie approued, and com­mended [...]. here of all good and godly men, so, I hope, most il­lustrious Cardinall, that the knowledge of it will be de­lightfull to you. When the right Honourable and most re­uerend Prelate, the Lord Archbishop of Canterburie his Grace, by letters certified his Maiestie, that there came vnto his hands a booke brought out of some part of Germanie, or the Low Countries, containing doctrine concerning the nature of God, which was new, peruerse, and in some points repugnant to the faith of the Catholike Church; and with­all desired his Maiestie that for the repressing of this mis­chiefe, which was lately sprung vp, hee would shew foorth the zeale of the Defendour of the faith, and intercede with the Magistrates of that place where the author liued, desi­ring of them not to suffer so prodigious doctrine to bee [...]. brought into their Churches, and Vniuersities, and that the inuentor of this prophane noueltie might not passe vnpu­nished: the King, as he came out of coach, after a tedious hunting, as soone as hee had receiued the letters, and the booke, noted, and markt in sundrie places by that most vi­gilant Prelate, without any delay thought it a businesse worthie to be taken notice of. And although at that time his bodie was faint with exercise, and fasting, yet what he had begun, he went through at once, as it were with one continuance and heate of endeuour: neither could hee bee entreated by the Nobilitie which stood about him to haue any respect of himselfe, vntill after a good long consideration of the whole matter, with the right reuerend Bishop of Lichfield and others of the Clergie, and a perfect vnderstanding thereof, hee most accuratly discharged, as [Page 4] much as appertained to him, and as piety commanded. The booke was condemned, and it was determined that all the copies of it should be burnt in London, and in both the Vni­uersities. Which afterwards was performed. Letters were immediatly dispatched (the King himself dictating) vnto his Maiesties Legier there lying, to testifie what was the iudge­ment of the King, and the Church of England concerning this new doctrine. Withall, order was giuen to acquaint the Magistrates with the matter. Let them looke to it, to whom the care of remouing that euill doth belong, what account of their delay they can make vnto the immortall God, if (which wee hope cannot come to passe) neither of their owne accord, nor after so notable example, they vn­dergoe the patronage of the truth with lesse zeale and en­deuour then they ought. His Maiestie at the first receiuing of the newes was so mooued, that hee thought hee should commit a grieuous offence, if hee gaue any indulgence to his bodie, before he had fully performed this office of pie­tie. I doubt not (most illustrious Cardinall) but you will greatly approue of, and praise this deed. I haue made rela­tion to you of what was done, not to the intent I might commend his Maiestie vnto you, but to let you vnderstand how fast he holdeth the ancient faith, and how stout and earnest a Defendour he is of the opinions of the true Ca­tholike Church, whom notwithstanding most of your Ca­tholikes will not haue to bee accounted and called a Ca­tholike, yea many, not a Christian. His Maiestie at the first thought the strife about those names not to be materiall, whilest he held that which was meant by them, which his Maiestie desires to doe, and fullie trusts in the mercie of God that he doth. But because the common sort of men doe thus interpret, that to be depriued of such names, is all one as to bee depriued of the things vnderstood by those names: therefore hee doth not thinke it wisedome to take no notice of this wrong. As concerning the name of Christian, there is no strife, no controuersie be­twixt you and him. For neither of your Epistles doth deny [Page 5] this title to be due vnto him. The question is then concer­ning the title of Catholike. For after that, according vnto your excellent eloquence, in your first Epistle you had sig­nified that you acknowledged in the King of Great Bri­taine the perfect and absolute Idea of the greatest Prince; in the end, you put this exception, if vnto the other gifts of his minde the glorious name of Catholike might bee ad­ded: and when, by his Maiesties commandement, it was answered, that that title could not be denied to him, which acknowledged the three Creeds of the Church Catholike, and the foure first generall Councels: and which beleeued all things that were beleeued as necessarie to saluation in the foure first ages: with this answere in your last accurate and subtile letters you appeared not to be so well satisfied. Those letters perswade your selfe that they were not read hastily, and cursorily, for he read them through, and exami­ned the waight of your reasons with wonderfull equitie, and gentlenes of minde. But, whereas, after the reading of your answere, hee departeth not from his former opinion, and yet neuerthelesse, by the helpe of Gods grace, trusteth he is a true Catholike, his Maiestie would haue you know what reasons he hath for this resolution. Wherefore, most illustrious Cardinall, receiue this short answere to your last letters, which receiuing from his Maiesties owne mouth, I was commanded to comprise in words, and to send vnto you. I will not now request of you, that in the reading of these you would vse such equitie, as hee did in the reading of yours. I know full well your excellent wisedome and moderation worthie of all praise. The whole disputation in your last letters consisteth of two parts. In the former part are brought fiue reasons, which do illustrate and shew the acception of this thesis, in what sense you would haue it taken. This thesis; Catholici appellatio, &c. The name of Ca­tholike can be denied to none which admits of the three, namely, the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds: and of the foure first generall Councels, the Nicene, the Constantino­politane, the Ephesine, and that of Chalcedon: lastly, which be­leeues [Page 6] all those things that were thought necessarie to be belee­ued to saluation in the first foure ages. This thesis, in the Kings answere, hath the place of the maior proposition. The se­cond part of your disputation bringeth in foure instances against the hypothesis, or assumption.


THe name of Catholike doth not simply signifie faith, but al­so a communion with the Catholike Church. Therefore the ancients would not haue them called Catholikes which de­parted from the communion of the Church, albeit they retained the same faith. For they said, there was but one Church Catho­like, out of which a man might haue the faith and Sacraments; but saluation hee could not haue. To this purpose you bring many things out of S. Augustine.


TO beleeue the Catholike Church, and to beleeue the communion of Saints, are set downe in the Apostles Creed distinctly, as two diuers things. And the former of these two articles seemes to be inserted especially, to the end that a difference might bee made betwixt the Iewish Syna­gogue, and the Christian Church. Which was not to bee confined within the bounds of one nation, as that was, but to be scattered farre and wide thorow all the regions of the world. Wherefore there is no manifest reason, why in the beginning of this obseruation the name of Catholike should be said to signifie communion. Indeed these two are very neere ioyned, but they are two diuers things, as I haue shewed. Now his Maiestie beleeues vnfainedlie, that there is but one Church of God, truly, and in name Catho­like, or vniuersall, diffused ouer the whole world, out of which he affirmeth also that no saluation is to be hoped for. Hee condemneth, and detesteth those which either long since, or more lately haue either departed from the faith of [Page 7] the Catholike Church, and so become heretikes, as the Ma­nichies, or from communion, and so haue become schisma­tikes, as the Donatists: against which two sorts of men chiefly al those things were written by S. Augustine, which are brought in this obseruation. Likewise his Maiestie commends the wisedome of those godly Bishops, which in the fourth Councell of Carthage, as is here well obserued, did adde vnto the forme of examination of Bishops, an in­terrogation concerning this point. Neither is the King ig­norant, that ye fathers of the ancient Church did oftentimes many things by way of condescent, pro bono pacis, as they ysed [...]. to say, that is, for desire of maintaining vnitie, and for feare of breaking mutuall communion. Whose example he pro­fesseth himselfe readie also studiously to imitate, and to fol­low in the steps of those that follow after peace, ad aras vs (que) to the altars, that is, as farre as he may (considering the state of the Church in these daies) with the safetie of a good conscience. For hee is as much grieued as any man, for the distraction of the members of the Church, so much ab­horred by the holy Fathers: and as earnestly desireth to communicate, if it were possible, with all that are members of the mysticall bodie of our Lord Iesus Christ. Neuerthe­lesse, his Maiestie thinketh that he hath most iust cause to dissent from those, which simply, without any distinction, or exception, doe perpetually vrge this communion. He ac­knowledgeth it to be very necessarie, and one of the proper notes of the Church: yet doth not account it for the true forme of the Church, and that which the Philosopher calls the essentiall being. His Maiestie hath learned by his rea­ding [...]. of the holie Scriptures (according to the minde of all ancient fathers) that the true and essentiall forme of the Church is this, that the sheepe of Christ heare the voyce of Iohn 10. 3. their shepheard, and that the Sacraments be rightly and lawfully administred, namely as the Apostles haue giuen example, and those which followed neere to the Apostles times. Those Churches which are thus instituted, they must needes be linked together by a manifold communion. [Page 8] They are vnited in Christ their head, who is the fountaine of life, whereby all live, whom the Father hath chosen to be redeemed by his precious blood, and to be rewarded with eternall life. They are vnited in the vnion of faith, and do­ctrine, in such chiefe points as are necessarie to saluation. For there is but one sauing doctrine, there is but one way to heauen. They are vnited in coniunction of mindes in true charitie, and the duties of charitie, especially of mutuall prayers. Lastly, they are vnited in the communion of one hope, and expectation of promised inheritance; knowing, that before the foundations of the world they were prede­stinate (I speake of the elect) to be fellow heires, and of the same bodie, and partakers of the promise of God in Christ through the Gospell, as saith the diuine Apostle. Yet Ephes. 3. 6. [...]. his Maiestie addes further, that the same Church, notwith­standing if any member thereof depart from the rule of faith, will more esteeme of the loue of truth, then the loue of vnitie. He knowes that the supreme lawe in the house of God is the sinceritie of celestiall doctrine: which if any man forsake, he forsakes Christ which is Truth it selfe: hee [...]. 1. Tim. 3. 15 forsakes the Church, which is the pillar and establishment of truth, and by this meanes ceaseth to appertaine vnto the body of Christ. With such Apostates, a true Catholike nei­ther will nor can communicate: for what concent betwixt Christ and Belial? Wherefore the Church will flie from communion with these, and wil say with Greg Nazianzen, 2. Cor. 6. 15 [...]. De Pace. Orat. 1. [...]. In Oratione habita in Concil. Con­stantin. that disagreement for godlinesse is better then ill affected con­cord. Neither will he doubt, if need be, to say with the same blessed father, that there is a holy contention. Now that such a necessarie separation should sometimes be in the Church, both wee are taught in other places of holie Scrip­ture, and that admonition also of the holie Ghost, not with­out cause giuen to the Church, doth openly declare: say­ing, Goe out of Babylon, my people, lest you communicate Apoc. 18. 4. with her sinnes. What that Babylon is, whereout the peo­ple of God are commanded to depart, the King disputes not in this place, nor affirmes hee any thing concerning it: yet [Page 9] thus much the matter it selfe doth plainly shew, that whe­ther some priuate Church be vnderstood in that place by the name of Babylon, or the greater part of the whole, it was before this a true Church, with which the religious might religiously communicate: but after it was more de­praued, the religious are commanded to goe out, and to breake off communion. Whereby it may be easilie vnder­stood, that not all communion with those that be called Christians is to bee desired of the faithfull, but that only which may stand with the integritie of doctrine reuealed from heauen. Now, to come neerer to the purpose, his Ma­iestie denies those places of S. Augustine to belong at all to him. For he affirmes that all those testimonies doe euince this only; that there remaines no token of saluation for them which depart from the faith of the Catholike Church, or from communion with the same Church. Which thing (as I said before) the King willingly grants. But here his Maiestie desires of you (most illustrious Cardinall) that you would call to minde, and perpend, what great difference there is betwixt the times of S. Augustine, and these of ours. How much the Church now called Catholike differs from the ancient; how the face of the Church is changed, and the outward forme, to say nothing of the inward. For then the Church Catholike was like a citie seated vpon an hill, which, as Christ saith, cannot be hid, knowne to all, conspi­cuous Matth. 5. 14 and certaine, whereof no sound minde could make question. Which was not (as the foolish Donatists prated) lying I know not where, in the South, driuen into some cor­ner of the world, but diffused farre and wide thorow the whole earth flourishing vnder the Emperours, whose do­minion extended from the East to the West, and from North to South. You might see the Bishops of the East and West daily communicating, and when need required assisting one another. For that which is written in the Con­stitutions of Clement, that the Catholike Church is the [...]. charge of all the Bishops, and by that meanes that euery one is an Oecumenicall Bishop, we wonder now when we [Page 10] reade it, neither can wee beleeue it, which then daily pra­ctise did shew to be most true, and may easily be demonstra­ted out of historie, by infinit examples. There were then al­so in frequent vse literae formate, that is, demissatie or testi­moniall letters; by commerce whereof, and as it were by tokens, communion was held amongst the members of the Church, although farre remoued by distance of place. Furthermore, when it stood in neede, they had Councels truly Occumenicall, not, as since we haue seene; Occume­nicall in name only, but indeed assembled out of some Pro­uinces of Europe. And in those ancient times this was the fastest bond, whereby all the members of the Catholike Church were knit together in the ioynture of one bodie; which bodie was for that cause very eminent, conspicuous, and in the faire view of all, which no man could chuse but know. There was one faith, one state, one body Catholike, frequent mutuall visitation, wonderfull consent of all the members, a wonderfull sympathie. Was any man lapsed by heresie, or schisme from the communion of any one Church: I speake not of any one of the chiefe, which were the seates of the foure Patriarchs: but of any one much smaller? that man as soone as it was knowne, was held to be excluded from the communion of the whole Catholike Church. For whereas wee meete with some examples ob­serued to the contrarie, that was not right, but vsurpation. Was any man bold to corrupt the truth a little, by being of another opinion? it was easie euen for a child to deprehend [...] him. Wherefore such a steale-truth being once discouered, all the shepheards of the whole world, if need was, were raised, and were neuer quiet vntill they had rooted out this euill, and prouided for the securitie of Christs sheepe. By these signes and markes the Church at that time was con­spicuous: but this happinesse continued not many ages. For, after that the Empire was ouerturned, and the forme of the Common-wealth altered, there sprung vp many new states, differing as well in manners and language, as in or­dinances, and lawes. Then vpon the distraction of the Em­pire [Page 11] followed the distraction of the Catholike Church: and by little and little all those things ceased, which had been before of singular vse for the preseruation of vnion and communion in the outward Catholike bodie of the Church. From that time the Catholike Church hath not ceased to be, for it shall continue euer, neither shall the gates of hell at any time preuaile against it, seeing it is founded vpon Christ the true rock, and vpon the faith of Peter and the rest of the Apostles; but it began to be lesse manifest, being diuided into many parts, which, as touch­ing externall communion, were quite separated from one another. Then (which is chiefly to be lamented) it came to passe by this dissipation, that there was lesse strength in the parts, then before in the whole bodie to resist the enemie of mankind, who is readie at al times, as our Sauiour teacheth, to scatter tares amongst the good seede. And considering, in these times wee see with our eyes that this is come to passe, and it is so grosse that wee may almost grope it with our hands, it is ridiculous, and most absurd to dispute whe­ther this thing could heretofore happen, or hath now hap­pened. Therefore the Church of Rome, the Greek Church, the Church of Antioch, and of Aegypt, the Abyssine, the Moschouite and many others, are members much excelling each other in sinceritie of doctrine, and faith: yet all mem­bers of the Catholike Church, whose ioynture, in regard of the outward forme was long since broken. For which cause his Maiestie doth much wonder, when hee considers how some Churches, which heretofore were but members of the bodie once entire, doe now ingrosse all the right of the whole, and appropriate to themselues the name of Catho­like: excluding from their communion, and affirming boldly, that they belong not to the Catholike Church, whosoeuer doe dissent from them in anything, or refuse the yoke of their bondage. Neither do you only challenge to your selues this right: there are others that do the same. For, (his Maiestie speakes it with griefe) there are at this day many priuate Churches, which beleeue that they onely [Page 12] are the people peculiar, which they call the Church. Giue [...]. them that strength which the Church of Rome hath, and they shall doe the same with her, and pronounce of all o­thers as hardly as she doth. What shall wee say? are there not sundrie sects now adaies, which are certainly perswa­ded that they only haue insight into the Scriptures, and, (as the Poet saith) that they only are wise, that all others walke [...]. [...] like shadowes? It is true, indeed, that in euery age there were conuenticles of sectaries, and dissemblies, which did boast themselues of the Catholike Church, and by this pro­uocation did allure many vnto them: but it is the peculiar and famous calamitie of these latter times, that the Catho­like Church, vnto which of necessitie a man must adhere, either really, and actually, or at the least in will, and vow, is become lesse manifest then it was of old, lesse exposed to the eyes of men, more questionable and doubtfull. For [...]. which cause his excellent Maiestie thinketh that he ought more carefully in such a deluge of variable opinions to be­take himselfe to the mountaines of the sacred Scripture: and as S. Augustine gaue counsell to the Donatists to seeke the Church of Christ in the words of Christ. And so S. Chry­sostome, both elsewhere, and of purpose in his 33. Homilie vpon the Acts of the Apostles, handling the question, How the true Church might be discerned amongst many Societies which challenge to themselues that name: teacheth that there be two meanes of deciding that question: first, the word of God, and secondly, antiquitie of doctrine, not inuented by any new author, but alwaies knowne from the birth, and beginning of the Church. These two trials the King, and [...]. Church of England embracing, doe auouch that they ac­knowledge that doctrine onely for true, and necessarie to saluation, which flowing from the fountaine of sacred Scripture, through the consent of the ancient Church, as it were a conduit hath been deriued vnto these times. Where­fore to make an end of this obseruation, his Maiestie an­sweres, that it is faultie many waies, and cannot stand with the hypothesis propounded. Because (saith he) the Church [Page 13] of England is so farre from forsaking the ancient Catho­like Church, which she doth reuerence, and admire: that she departeth not from the faith of the Church of Rome, in any point wherein that Church agreeth with the ancient Catholike. If you question the succession of persons, be­hold the names of our Bishops, and their continuance from the first without any interruption: if the succession of do­ctrine, come, make triall: let vs haue a free Councell which may not depend vpon the will of one. The Church of Eng­land is readie to render an account of her faith, and by de­monstration to euince, that the authors of the reformation here, had no purpose to erect any new Church, (as the ig­norant and malicious doe cauill) but to repaire the ruines of the old, according to the best forme: and in their iudge­ment that is best which was deliuered by the Apostles to the Primitiue Church, and hath continued in the ages next ensuing. His Maiestie grants, that his Church hath depar­ted from many points of that doctrine, and discipline which the Pope of Rome now stifly defendeth: but they doe not thinke this to be a reuolting from the Catholike Church, but rather a returning to the ancient Catholike faith, which in the Romane Church by new deuices hath been manifoldly, and strangely deformed; and so a conuersion to Christ the sole Master of his Church. Wherefore if any man grounding vpon the doctrine of this obseruation, will inferre from it, that the Church of England, because it re­iects some ordinances of the Romane, hath therefore de­parted from the ancient Catholike Church: his Maiestie will not grant him this, vntill he prooue by sound reasons, that all things taught by them of Rome, especially those which they will haue to be beleeued as necessarie to sal­uation, were allowed of from the beginning, and establish­ed by the ancient Catholike Church. Now, that no man can euer doe this, at least neuer yet hath done it, his Maie­stie, and the reuerend Bishops of the English Church, doe hold it to be as cleere as when the Sunne shineth at mid­day. Lastly, his Maiestie thinketh it a great offence to for­sake [Page 14] the Church, but hee vtterly denieth that hee, or his Church are guiltie of this crime. For, saith his Maiestie, we depart not voluntarily, but we are driuen away. And your Non fugi­mus, sed fu­gamur. Honour well knoweth how many, and how excellently learned and godly men, for these fiue hundred yeeres at the least, haue wished the reformation of the Church, both in the head, and members. What grieuous complaints haue been often heard of worthie Kings and Princes, lamenting the estate of the Church in their times? But what auailed it? for vnto this day we see not any one thing amended of all those which were thought most needfull of reforma­tion. Wherefore the Church of England in this separation feareth not any fellowship with the Donatists, if the matter be debated by ingenuous men. They willingly and with­out cause left the Catholike Church, which at that time the consent of all nations did approue, whose doctrine or discipline they could not blame: but England being en­forced by great necessitie, separated her selfe from that Church, which innumerable Christian people did not grant to be the true Catholike, and vniuersall Church: nay more, which many of your owne writers haue heretofore ingenuously confessed to haue varied much from the an­cient Church in matters of faith, and discipline; to haue patched many new things to the old, and euill to the good: which indeed, is now better knowne to the vniuersall world, then that any man can denie, or be ignorant of it. Furthermore, the Church of England for some ages past had felt the yoke of the Romane seruitude so cruell, being afflicted with their often new vexations, and incredible ex­actions, that if there were no other cause, yet that alone might suffice before equall iudges to free them from the suspition of schisme, and as S. Augustine speakes of the Do­natists, iniquae discissionis, of an vniust rent, or distraction from the Church. For the English did not depart from bro­therly charitie vpon a humour, as the Donatists did, nor, as the tenne tribes of the Iewes, for feare of imminent euill: but after the patience of many ages, after vnspeakable mi­series, [Page 15] at length they withdrew their necks, and shaked off the intollerable burthen, which neither were they able longer, nor would their conscience suffer them to beare. Besides this, the ancient Church, to the end that she might draw the refractarie Donatists to communion, was wont with admirable charitie to prouide for the temporall commodities of the Bishops, and others that were reconci­led: but the Church of Rome (being desirous of amitie with England) what doth she? first, thunders out her Buls, then vseth violence, open, and secret: then receiueth into her bosome, and still cherisheth detestable traytors, euidently condemned of plotting the desolation of their Countrie: lastly, numbreth amongst Martyrs those which suffered for the same crimes, and daily defendeth their innocencie a­gainst all lawes both diuine and humane. Cardinall Bellar­mine [...]. himselfe (I am loth to speake, but I speake the truth) is become a principall patrone of these parricides: who of late also (that he might draw on his Maiestie) hath vsed this argument of wondrous efficacie to perswade; that the kingdome of England belongeth to the Pope, and that his Maiestie of England euen in temporalties is his subiect, and holdeth his kingdome of him. I omit other grieuances of the King and Church of England both ancient and mo­derne, which are not to be rehearsed in this place.


BEsides those that are necessarie to saluation, there are two kind of things, which the ancient Church beleeued: where­of one is, things profitable to saluation, the other, things lawfull, and not repugnant to the same. Therefore if a man will embrace the faith of the ancients, he must also embrace those things, and esteeme them as the ancient Church did.


THose things which were held by the holy Fathers, as not absolutely necessarie to saluation; but only profi­table, [Page 16] or lawfull, they ought to be esteemed little more then indifferent. For the vse of them being as things not simplie necessarie, in the beginning was free. In such things there­fore to deuise any necessitie at all, it seemes vniust: for by and by there will follow a necessitie of vsing them: as wee fee it is come to passe in the Church of Rome: which ob­serues at this day many things as simplie necessarie to the integritie of faith, which the ancient Church scarce knew, much lesse vsed as matters of necessitie. I will alleage foure examples of many. It is manifest that in the primitiue Church confession of sinnes was vsed, but farre otherwaies then now. For, that auricular confession in that manner which you haue it was in vse in the primitiue ages, I think, no man will affirme. His Maiestie grants that the Fathers which did first ordaine it, had their reasons why they thought that such manner of confession would further the easier attaining vnto saluation: but they held it not for a thing necessarie absolutely, much lesse for a Sacrament: or at least not all the Fathers thought so. For as touching S. Chrysostome, it is plaine that hee required not of his people auricular confession. But the matter is now come to that passe, that there is little lesse attributed to this confession, then to the precious blood of Christ, whereby wee are re­deemed: the absolute necessitie thereof is so precisely vr­ged. Whence by little grew vp that doctrine in the Church of Rome, of not disclosing the secret of confession vpon any occasion soeuer. For, because they beleeued that it was impossible without this confession to attaine vnto the ha­uen of saluation, therefore they thought it necessarie to re­moue all impediments that might hinder it. Wherefore in time this doctrine hath proceeded so farre, that now to murther Kings, or suffer them to be murthered, seemes to be no sinne, in comparison of breaking the seale of confes­sion: which many of your Diuines, especially the expoun­ders of the Canon Law haue in their bookes published. Moreouer, Binetus a Iesuite, did auouch as much to me at Paris, in the same tearmes, which I remember yt I told you af­terwards. [Page 17] We know also, neither perhaps is your Honor ig­norant of it, yt there is another Iesuit in France, which of late was bold to say, That if our Lord Iesus Christ were liuing vpon the earth, subiect to death, and some man had told him in confession, that he would kill him, notwithstanding, rather then he would reueale that confession, he would suf­fer (I tremble to speake it) Christ Iesus himselfe to be mur­thered. Which horrible blasphemie you see whence it tooke the originall. In like manner, abstinence from wine, and daintie cheare, set times of fasting, xerophagiae, or, ea­ting drie meates, the ancient Church reckoned amongst such things as were profitable to the easier obtaining of saluation: neither doth his Maiestie denie it, giuing a con­uenient interpretation according to the intention of the primitiue Church: but, by your leaue, he liketh not that the obseruation of these things should be more strictly requi­red, then of such as are expressely contained in holy Writ. Againe, single life in the Ministers of the Church, was in old time commended, but now it is commanded, and exa­cted as a matter of absolute necessitie: whereof you shall heare more hereafter. So, whereas S. Paul saith, that hee doth afflict his bodie, and make it seruiceable, his Maiestie 1. Cor. 9. 27 honours, and calles them blessed that follow this example of the diuine Apostle: but he detesteth those which reckon sackcloth, and Lacedemonian whippings, and such vexa­tions Laconicas [...]. of bodie, or, as they call them, satisfactions, amongst the causes of saluation: or at least so highly prize them, that they make account of slouenrie, and whatsoeuer na­stines, as of sanctimonial perfection. But of al such his Ma­iestie doth especially abhorre them, which after the manner of the priests of Baal, rending their bodies with scourges, would make vs imagine God to be desirous, and thirstie for mans blood, like Bollona the Pagan Goddesse. Only, he commends their wisedom, which hiring others to be whip­ped for them, doe purchase the merit of those punishments which they haue suffered. So, it commeth to passe, that the rich offend, and the poore are punished: that penaltie pur­sueth [Page 18] not the guiloie, but him that is in pouertie and want. Wherefore, his Maiestie, as hee thinketh it vnlawfull to condemne those things which the Fathers of the first age by vnanimitie of consent did hold for things expedient, or lawfull: so he cannot endure to be bound with any per­emptorie necessitie of vsing the same. For he holdeth Ne­cessarie and Indifferent to be of a contrarie nature. But of these more largely in the Obseruation following.


SEeing in the matter of religion there is more then one kinde of necessitie, we must take heed when we speake of things ne­cessarie to saluation, that we be not deceined with the ambigui­tie of the tearme. For there is necessitie absolute, and vpon con­dition: a necessitie of the meane, and of the precept. There is al­so a necessitie of beleeuing, which bindeth all Christians with­out exception and another which doth not generally binde all. Lastly, there is a necessitie of action, and a necessitie of approba­tion.


THe doctrine in this Obseruation, wherein the diuers kinds of necessitie are learnedly, and very accurately declared, his excellent Maiestie is so farre from disliking, that on the contrarie, he thinketh, if these distinctions be taken away, a manifold confusion would follow in matters of religion. For what can be thought more dangerous then that things absolutely necessarie should be held as necessa­rie only vpon condition, or contrariwise? and that other di­stinction which serueth for the right, and orderly disposi­tion of all things in the house of God, is no lesse profitable. Likewise, in your examples, his Maiesty obserueth nothing greatly to be disallowed. But in your explication of things absolutely necessarie, hee commendeth the truth of that speech: that there is no great number of those things which [Page 19] be absolutely necessarie to saluation. Wherefore his Maie­stie thinketh that there is no more compendious way to the making of peace, then that things necessarie should be dili­gently separated from things not necessarie: that all ende­uours might be spent about the agreement in the necessa­rie, and as touching the not necessarie, that a Christian li­bertie might bee granted. Simply necessarie, his Maiestie calleth those things, which the word of God expressely chargeth to bee beleeued, or practised: or which the an­cient Church by necessarie consequence, hath drawne out of the word of God. But such things, which out of the in­stitution of men, although with a religious, & wise intent, yet besides the word of God, were receiued, and vsed of the Church for a time, those he thinketh may be chāged; or re­laxed, or abolished. And as Pope Pius the second said of the single life of the Clergie, that there was good right in times past to ordaine it, but now there is better to disanull it: his Maiestie thinkes that the same speech may be vsed in generall of the most Ecclesiasticall obseruations, which are brought into the Church without any precept of Gods word. If this distinction were vsed for the deciding of the controuersies of these times, and if men would ingenuously make a difference betwixt diuine, and positiue law, it seemes that amongst godly and moderate men, touching things absolutely necessarie, there would bee no long, or bitter cōtention. For both (as I said euen now) they are not many, and they are almost equally allowed of by all which challenge the name of Christian. And his excellent Maie­stie doth hold this distinction to be of such moment for the diminishing of controuersies, which, at this time doe so vexe the Church of God, that he iudgeth it the dutie of all such as bee studious of peace, diligently to explane it, to teach it, to vrge it. Now will we addresse our selues to speak of some examples which are proposed in this Obseruation. Amongst the things absolutely necessarie, yet not simply, but in respect of diuine institution, you reckon the bap­tisme of infants, which wee (say you) doe referre vnto this [Page 20] kinde of necessitie. Afterwards you bring a place out of S. Au­gustine, wherein the possibilitie of saluation of children not baptised is precisely denied. Here, first, his Maiestie profes­seth that himself and the Church of England doe allow the necessitie of baptisme, in respect of diuine institution, as wel as you. The Church of England doth not binde the grace of God to the meanes, which is contrarie euen to the do­ctrine of the better sort of schoolemen: yet because God hath appointed this for the ordinarie way to obtaine remis­sion of sins in his Church, and Christ himselfe denieth the entrance into the kingdom of heauen to those which are Iob. 3. 5. not borne againe of water and the Spirit: therefore it is carefully prouided heere by the Ecclesiasticall lawes, that parents may haue baptisme for their children at any time, or place. Wherefore, that which Tertullian saith of the pri­mitiue Church, that Bishops, Priests, and Deacons did bap­tise: and lastly, that the same was lawfull for lay men also in case of extreame necessitie; the same, as concerning Bi­shops, Priests, and Deacons, is at this day practised in the Church of England, without any rigid or inuiolable ob­seruation of whatsoeuer time or place. But for the baptisme of lay men or women, as by the lawes of the Church it is forbidden to be done; so being done according to the law­full forme, in a manner it is not disallowed, the Church pronouncing it to be baptisme, although not lawfully ad­ministred. But his excellent Maiesty doth so highly esteeme of this Sacrament, that when some Ministers in Scotland, pretending I know not what ordinances of new discipline, refused, vpon the desire of the parents, to baptise infants readie to die, he compelled them to this dutie with feare of punishment, threatning no lesse then death if they diso­beyed. Wherefore the words of S. Augustine, which doe precisely exclude the not baptised from eternall life, if they be vnderstood of the ordinary way thither, and the only way that Christ hath taught vs, his Maiestie hath no­thing to obiect against that opinion: but if it be simply de­nied that almightie God can saue those which die vnbap­tised, [...]. [Page 21] his Maiestie, and the Church of England abhorring the crueltie of that opinion, doe affirme that S. Augustine was an vnnaturall and hard father vnto infants. Vndoub­tedly [...]. his Maiestie thinketh, that both these extreames are with the like care to be eschewed: lest if wee embrace this rigid sentence, we abbreuiate the power of God, and offer wrong to his infinit goodnesse: or, whilest, as some doe, we reckon baptisme amongst such things, the hauing, or for­going whereof is not much materiall, wee should seeme to make light of so precious a Sacrament and holy ordinance of God. S. Augustine was a worthie man, of admirable pie­tie, and learning, yet his priuate opinions his Maiestie al­loweth not as articles of faith, neither doe you allowe them; for example, Saint Augustine beleeued, as did Innocentius the first before him, that the receiuing of the blessed Eu­charist by infants was no lesse necessarie to their saluation then baptisme, and this he auoucheth in many places of his writings: yet you beleeue it not, neither hath the Church of England changed this point of doctrine which she recei­ued from you. Amongst those things which impose necessi­tie of action vpon some persons, you number mariage. Siquis sobolem tollere voluerit: If any man say you desire to haue issue. Againe, soone after, when you declare the neces­sitie of approbation, you reckon the choice of liuing in vir­ginitie or single life: which things when his Maiestie read, he disallowed them not, yet he thought that vnto both ex­amples, something might conueniently be added: for vpon the former it seemes to follow, that there is no other neces­sarie cause of mariage, saue hope of issue. But the Apostle S. Paul doth teach vs in expresse tearmes, that they also are bound to prouide for mariage which want the gift of con­tinence. If they containe not, saith he, let them marrie. This 1. Cor. 7. 9. addition is of no small moment. For who knoweth not what occasion is daily ministred in the Church of Rome, of many and horrible crimes, through the contempt of this Apostolike rule, through the neglect of this necessarie re­medie? Wherefore in continent persons his Maiestie ex­ceedingly [Page 22] commenceth the liuing in the estate of virgini­tie, or single life: and being by the singular mercie of God more familiarly acquainted with the sacred Scripture, then most Princes are, bee knoweth S. Pauls sentence of the whole matter, and the examples extant in both Testaments, and the rewards proposed to them that containe. But wher­as your Diuices doe commonly teach, especially the Do­ctors of the Canon Law, that fornication, whoredome, [...]. and other foule sinnes not to be named, are more tollerable in Ministers of the Church, then lawfull mariage, and the bed vndefiled: that his Maiestie accounteth a most dete­stable crime, and most worthie of the hatred of God, and men. His Maiestie opposeth against all the cauils of Sophi­sters, yea against all humane authoritie whatsoeuer, that oracle, of the holy Spirit, pronounced by the mouth of the Apostle; It is better to marrie then to burne. For as a wise Captaine ought to be more afraid of receiuing ouerthrow, or losse to himself, then of weakning his enemie: so in the election of a mans life, whether he would lead it maried, or single, his Maiestie thinks that godly men ought in the first place to decline the transgression of Gods law, and then on Gods name, if any man haue the power, let him vse that benefit of nature. It is a thredbare cauill, that England is not a lawfull Church, because here wanteth the practise of such vowes. But what can the want of vow hinder, as long as wee are not destitute of that which is vowed? For here are many Bishops, and other Pastors of the Church, who without ostentation of vow do abstaine from mariage, and yet leade their liues chastly, and saintly, without any taint of common sinister report. Moreouer, for the Monasteries themselues, his Maiestie (as he is most earnestly affected vn­to pietie and goodnesse) would not haue dissolued them, or not all of them, (as I haue heard him often protest) if he had found them vncorrupted, and obseruing the Canons of their first institution. But his excellent Maiestie often wisheth that the Tridentine Fathers, which could not bee drawne by the entreaties of great Kings and Princes to [Page 23] prouide for publike honestie on this behalfe, would consi­der with themselues, from what fountaine this doctrine did flow. For whereas at the first, single life was placed amongst profitable orders, and counsels: afterwards vowes were annexed, at length men came to this absolute necessitie, which now raigneth amongst you, the law of God being abandoned, and most vilely disgraced. Now whereas in the end of this obseruation it is added, that they which allow of some, and reiect other of those things which the ancient Church beleeued as necessarie to saluation, although vnder diuers kindes of necessitie, haue no reason to affirme that they retaine the same faith and discipline with the ancient Catholike Church; his Maiestie well enough perceiueth the drift of that speech. He answereth therefore, that he wil not extol his own Church, by comparing it to a glasse with­out spot, or to a face perfectly faire without wrinkle, or ble­mish: he leaueth such Pharasaisme to others. Yet that this he knoweth euidently, that if question be made concerning the essentiall markes of the Church, or if you looke at those things which are plainly necessarie to saluation, or respect order, and decencie in the Church; you shall not finde a Church in the whole world (God be praised for it) more approching to the faith, and fashion of the ancient Catho­like. His Maiestie excepts none, no not the Church of Rome: which by new inuentions deuised for increase of su­perstition, and for the establishing of her dominion ouer Princes, and people, hath manifestly turned, and changed the faith, and discipline of the ancient Catholike, and swar­ued infinitly in many things from the puritie and simplici­tie of the primitiue Church.


WHen question is made touching the faith of the an­cient Church, there be same, which doe limit antiqui­tie within one, or two ages after the Church was founded: but it standeth with equitie for examination of the controuersies of [Page 24] these daies to insist vpon that time, wherein al parties grant that the Church was not only a true Church, but then also most flo­rishing, and possessed of that glory & brightnes, which the oracles of so many Prophets had promised. And that is the time where­in the foure first generall Councels are included, from Con­stantine the Emperour vnto Marcion. And there is the more equitie in this, because there be so few monuments extant of the former ages, but very many of this time wherein the Church florished. So that the faith, and discipline of the ancient Catho­like may easily be knowne out of the writings of the Fathers of that age.


THis condition will seeme vnreasonable to them which would haue the vniuersall historie of the primitiue Church, concluded within the Acts of the Apostles, which is but one little, though most sacred and diuine book. The most equall and prudent King is farre from this opinion: who in his Monitorie Epistle hath ingenuously declared how highly he esteemeth of the Fathers, which liued in the fourth, and fifth age. Neither doth his Maiestie doubt to pronounce with S. August▪ that look what the Church hath duly obserued from her first originall vnto those times, and for any man to offer to reiect that as impious, it is a point of most insolent madnes. For his Maiestie heretofore hath vn­fainedly protested, that hee approoueth of those markes of truth giuen by Vincentius Lirinensis: à principio, vbique & semper: that is, from the beginning, euery where, and euer. Wherefore, the King, and the Church of England, in that they admit of the foure first generall Councels, therein they sufficiently declare that they conclude not the time of the true, and lawfull Church within the compasse of one, or two ages: but that they extend it much further, comprising the time of Marcion the Emperor, vnder whom the Coun­cell of Chalcedon was kept. But whereas in this obseruatiō you more esteeme the times after Constantine, then the [Page 25] times going before, that his Maiestie thinketh somewhat strange, and indeed doth not allow it. He granteth that the Church of the fourth age florished aboue the former in ex­ternall glorie, and splendure, in wealth, and plentie of lear­ned men: but that the Church of the former ages was equal with it, or excelled as touching the orthodoxall rightnesse of faith, and sinceritie of incorrupt discipline, he is perswa­ded that none can make any doubt. We finde euery where in the holy Fathers of the fourth age, Basil, Nazianzen, Ie­rome, Chrysostome, Augustine, and others, most grieuous complaints of the faults and sundrie deprauations of their Churches. Neither can it be doubted, that the further men liued from the first originall, the further also they departed from the originall puritie, and sinceritie. Wherefore when there is a serious purpose to clense, and to sweepe the house of God, why should not an especiall regard bee had to the time of the Apostles, or the times neere the time of the A­postles? It is true indeed, that for the greatest part of that time the godly Christians did liue in obscuritie, in pouertie, and miserie, by reason of perpetuall persecution: yet consi­der well, if in this sense also it be not better to goe into the house of mourning, then into the house of mirth. Pouertie and miserie are called the sisters of good minde: riches, and Eccl. 7. 3. glorie haue not that honourable report. And although ma­ny of the writers of those times be lost, yet some are extant, and those worthie of regard. S. Cyprian, that holy Martyr of Christ, he alone, if there were none else, can better in­forme vs in the gouernment and discipline of the primitiue Church, then many others which liued in the fourth age. Wherefore the summe of his Maiesties answere vnto this obseruation, is: that he is well content there should be ar­guments brought out of the writings of the Fathers of the fourth, and fifth ages; but with this caution, and condition, that those things be allowed for ancient and necessarie to saluation, which had not their beginning then, but which may be cleerely proued to haue been continually obserued from the first originall of the Church vntill those times.


WHen there is question made about the vnanimitie, and consent of Fathers, some will haue it then to bee mani­fest, when the matter controuerted is found in all the Fathers in expresse tearmes: whose opinion being manifestly vniust, it is more equitie for knowledge of consent of Fathers, that these two rules be vsed. First, that the consent of Fathers should then be thought to be sufficiently proued, when the worthiest of euery nation do consent in the auerring of any thing, and that no man accounted orthodoxall doth oppose them. So S. Augustine when he had praised eleuen of the principall writers of former times; and the Fathers of the Ephesine Councell, when they had brought out ten against Nestorius, they all thought that they had giuen sufficient testimonie concerning the consent of the ancient Church. The second rule is this: When the Fathers do not speake as Doctors, nor say that this, or that is thus to be done, or thus to bee beleeued: but when as witnesses of those things which the vniuersall Church of their times beleeued or practised, they affirme this to be the faith or practise of that Ca­tholike Church through the whole world: then they are so much to be honoured, that such an affirmation must be held sufficient to proue the vnanimitie, and consent of the Church.


IT is an equall demaund, that the parties which contend in these times should consent and agree, how they may vse profitably the authoritie of the ancient Fathers. For if the testimonie and authoritie of the primitiue Church bee taken away, his Maiestie freely confesseth, that on mans [...]. part, the controuersies of these times can neuer haue an end, nor by any disputation be determined. Wherefore that it may be agreed vpon what and how much is to bee attri­buted to the Fathers, and how farre their authoritie is to take place, it will not be amisse that certaine rules be com­posed [Page 27] by the mutuall consent of the parties, prescribing the manner hereof. Amongst many other profitable and neces­sarie rules for this purpose, his Maiestie thinketh that these two which you haue noted, may haue their place. But be­cause the controuersies of these daies are not about ceremo­nies, and other matters of lighter moment, but about some articles of faith, and opinions appertaining to saluation: therefore his iudgement is that aboue all there be a gene­rall agreement vpon this rule, that opinions concerning matters of faith, and whatsoeuer should be beleeued as ne­cessarie to saluation, ought to bee taken out of the sacred Scripture alone, neither must they depend vpon the autho­ritie of any mortall man, but vpon the word of God only, wherein hee hath declared his will vnto vs by his holy Spi­rit. Because the Fathers, and the ancient Church had au­thoritie of deducting articles out of the sacred Scriptures, and explaning, but of coyning new articles of their owne they had no authoritie. This foundation being laid, both, the maiestie of the Scriptures inspired by God shal remaine [...]. inuiolated, and that reuerence shall be giuen to the holie Fathers which is due. That this was the minde of all the Doctors of the ancient Church, it may be easily demonstra­ted out of their owne writings. For what words more fre­quent in their workes then these? That the doctrine which is taught in the Church of God, ought to bee taken out of the [...]. [...]. word of God. And these: For controuersies in matters of reli­gion let the Scripture be iudge. Or who knoweth not the gol­den words of S. Basil the Great, in his booke De Fide? It is a manifest fall from faith, and argument of presumption to re­iect any thing of the written word, or to bring in any thing which is not written, seeing it is the speech of our Lord Iesus Christ, My sheepe heare my voyce. And thus much be spoken concerning the obseruations proposed.

Now follow the foure instances. For your illustrious ho­nour [...]. being come to the hypothesis, to the end that you might euince that his excellent Maiestie doth not beleeue those things which the Catholike Church did anciently [Page 28] beleeue, you goe about to demonstrate it by foure argu­ments, drawne from such things as concerne the outward worship of God, or the liturgie and matters of daily pra­ctise in religion: and afterwards you giue this reason, why especially you bring these instances, because if there were agreement concerning these, the rest would bee easily a­greed vpon. His excellent Maiestie (most illustrious Cardi­nall) could wish that this might be hoped for: but conside­ring with himselfe what it is which at this day is vrged by your writers with chiefe care, and eager contention: there appeares no great hope of peace, no not if there were a­greement about these foure heads which you haue propo­sed. For now adaies, there is as eager contention about the Empire of the Bishop of Rome, as for these or any other points of Christian religion. This alone is now made the article of faith whereon all the rest doe depend. Where­fore what hope remaines but in the goodnesse, and mercie of God, to whom onely it belongeth of right to cure the maladies of his Church? in him let vs hope, though against hope, he will effect it. To returne to the purpose, the Instan­ces [...]. which you bring against the Liturgie of the English Church, they be these.

  • 1. They beleeue not the reall presence of Christ in the sacred Eucharist.
  • 2. They reiect the doctrine of the sacrifice of the Christian Church.
  • 3. They pray not for the dead.
  • 4. They condemne the inuocation of Saints which are in heauen.

Vnto these foure his Maiestie answereth in few words.

To the first Instance concerning reall presence.

IF in the sacred mysteries of Christian religion, the faith­full should bee thought to beleeue nothing but that, which they perfitly vnderstand according to the manner, [Page 29] then surely they would be found to be vnbeleeuing in ma­ny things, which now they doubt not but that they do most firmely beleeue. That Christ our Lord is the Sonne of God the Father, begotten of the Father before all worlds: that the same Christ being very God, did assume humane flesh in the wombe of the blessed Virgin: that hee was borne of her without any violation of the virginitie of this mother: that the diuine nature is vnited in the same person with the humane: these things, I say, and the like, all Christians doe make profession to beleeue: of whom notwithstanding if you demaund the manner how they are done, they will an­swere that faith in matters of Theologie is one thing, and humane science is another: and they will religiouslie alleage Galen, who otherwaies is no good Master of reli­gion: whose excellent words in his 15. booke De vsu par­tium, are these: How this was done, if you enquire, you will be taken for one that hath no vnderstanding neither of your owne infirmitie, nor of the power of the Creator. And as for the Fa­thers, [...]. how often they dehort vs from this question of the manner, and from curiositie of explaning the manner in di­uine [...]. mysteries, I should be too long if I should goe about to rehearse. You know the words of Gregorie Nazianzene in his first oration, De Theologia: You heare the generation of the Sonne, be not curious to know the manner. You heare that [...]. the holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, be not busie to en­quire how: and the same author in another place: Let the generation of God be honored with silence: it is much for thee to haue learned that hee was begotten, as for the manner how, wee grant it not to be vnderstood by the Angels, much lesse by thee. Gregorie had to deale with the Arrians, those peruerse heretikes, whose impious curiositie he goeth not about to satisfie with subtiltie of disputation, but forbiddeth them to search into the manner of so great a mysterie, and enioy­neth them silence. Now if his Maiestie, and the Church of England doe vse this godly moderation about the mysterie of the sacred Eucharist, I pray you who ought to enuie it? We reade in the Gospels that our Lord instituting this Sa­crament, [Page 30] tooke the bread, and said, This is my body: but that our Lord did so much as by one word explane how it was his bodie, we doe not reade. The Church of England doth religiously beleeue that which she reades, and with the same religion she is not inquisitiue into that which she reades not. They acknowledge, and teach that this is a great mysterie which cannot be comprehended, much lesse declared by the facultie of mans wit: but concerning the power and efficacie of it, their opinion is with all sacred re­uerence. They command those which come vnto this ho­lie table diligently to search all the secret corners of their consciences: to make confession of their sinnes vnto God, and if need be to the Priest also. They carefully warne the commers that they compose their mindes vnto all humili­tie, and deuotion: they receiue the Communion of the bodie of Christ vpon their knees: and they doe not onely diuide the mysticall bread amongst the faithfull in their publike assemblies, but they giue it also to those which be towards death, pro viatico; that is, for victuals in their iour­ney, as the Fathers of the Nicene Councell, and all antiqui­tie doe call it. Lastly, his Maiestie, although he would haue his to abstaine from all manner of curiositie, yet alloweth also of whatsoeuer the holie Fathers of the first ages haue spoken in the honour of that vnspeakable mysterie. Neither doth he reiect the words of the Fathers, as transmutation, alteration, transelementation, and such like, if they be vnder­stood [...]. and expounded agreeably to their intention. If this doctrine of his Maiestie, and the Church of England doe not giue you satisfaction, then what remaines but that hee yeeld vnto the opinion of Transubstantiation, if he will be friends with you? But that is not piously to beleeue the ve­ritie of the thing, but with importunate curiositie to decree the manner thereof: which the King and his Church will neuer doe, will neuer allow. But his excellent Maiestie wondreth, that whereas your Honour granteth that you require not primarily the beleeuing of Transubstantiation, but that there be no doubt of the truth of the presence, [...]. [Page 31] yet the Church of England hath not satisfied you in this point, which in publike writings hath so often auouched her beleefe hereof. Wherefore that you may certainly know what is beleeued, and what is taught in this Church concerning that matter, I haue heere set downe a whole place out of the right reuerend the Lord Bishop of Ely his booke against Cardinall Bellarmine, which some few mo­neths agoe he published. Thus he saith in the first chapter: Our Sauiour Christ said, this is my bodie, not, after this man­ner is my bodie: whereof the Cardinall is not ignorant vnlesse willingly, and wittingly. We agree with you concerning the ob­iect, all the strife is about the manner. Concerning this is, wee beleeue firmely that it is: concerning after this manner it is, to wit, that the bread is transubstantiate into his bodie, after what manner it is done, whether by, or in, or vnder, or beyond, there is not a word in the Gospell: and because there is no word; therefore we haue reason to banish it from beleefe. We number it per aduenture amongst the decrees of the schoole, but not a­mongst the articles of faith. That which Durandus is repor­ted to haue said, doth not dislike vs: we heare the word, we per­ceiue the sound, we know not the manner: we beleeue the pre­sence, we beleeue, I say, the true presence aswell as you: concer­ning the manner of the presence we doe not vnaduisedly define. Nay more, we doe not scrupulouslie enquire: No more then we doe in Baptisme how the blood of Christ clenseth vs: no more then we doe in the incarnation of Christ how the diuine nature is vnited in one person with the humane. We reckon it amongst the mysteries (and indeed the Eucharist is a mysterie) the re­mainders whereof should be consumed with fire: That is, (as the fathers doe elegantly vnderstand it) which should be adored by faith, not debated by reason. This is the saith of the King, this is the faith of the Church of England. Who (that I may summarily comprise the whole matter) doe beleeue that in the Supper of the Lord they are made really partakers of the bodie and blood of Christ, (as the Greeke Fathers speake, and as Bellarmine himselfe confesseth) spiritually. For by faith they apprehend, and eate Christ: and they be­lecue [Page 32] that there is no other kind of eating profitable to sal­uation, which all your men also haue confessed.

To the second Instance concerning the sacrifice in the Christian Church.

HIs Maiestie is not ignorant, neither doth he denie, that in place of the manifold sacrifices of the Mosaicall law, the ancient Fathers did acknowledge one sacrifice in the Christian religion. But this he auoucheth to be nothing else but the commemoration of that sacrifice which Christ did once offer to his Father vpon the crosse. Therefore S. Chrysostome, which maketh mention of this sacrifice as oft as any, vpon the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the He­brewes, after he hath called it a sacrifice, straightwaies ad­ioyneth by way of explication, or correction, or rather com­memoration of that sacrifice. That tearme, or rather, what [...]. force it hath you know very well. And often hath the Church of England protested, that they would not con­tend about the word, so they might obtaine of you to haue the ancient saith restored. And that these things which you practise contrarie to the custome of the ancient Church, might be abolished. For it is certaine that the celebration of the Eucharist without any communicants, and all that merchandise of priuate Masses, condemned by many of your owne Diuines, tooke their originall from the peruerse doctrine concerning this sacrifice. And whereas for the de­liuering of the soules of the deceased from the flames of Purgatorie, the necessitie of many Masses is vrged, his Ma­iestie doubteth not, but that this is a dotage of idle braines, and such as for their owne gaine doe wickedly abuse the simplicitie of the people. Remoue those, and the like grosse and soule abuses which raigne amongst you, & the Church of England, which in her Liturgie maketh expresse men­tion of a sacrifice, can be well content to rest in the custome of the ancient Church. Wherefore his excellent Maiestie being lately informed that not long agoe, at a famous as­semblie [Page 33] of Dominican Friers, you disputed learnedly con­cerning a double sacrifice, of Expiation and of Commemora­tion, or religion, hath affirmed, in the hearing of many, that he approued that distinction, and commandeth me now to signifie so much vnto you.

To the third Instance of prayer for the dead.

THat it was a very ancient custome in the publike pray­ers of the Church to make commemoration of the de­ceased, and to desire of God rest for their soules, which died in the peace of the Church, few are ignorant, much lesse is it vnknowne vnto his Maiestie. Neither is there any doubt but that this custome sprung from a vehement affection of charitie. Likewise the ancient Church hereby gaue testi­monie of the resurrection to come. This custome, although the Church of England condemneth not in the first ages, yet she thinketh not good to retaine it now for diuers and weightie causes, some whereof I will touch heere. First, be­cause she is verely perswaded that without any precept of Christ, the supreme Lawgiuer of his Church, this custome was introducted, neither could the contrarie hitherto bee demonstrated by any of your Doctors. Wherfore, although his Maiesty doth not take vpon him, as he hath protested in his Monitorie epistle, to condemne an ordinance which is approued by ye practise of the ancient Church, yet he is vn­doubtedly perswaded that his Church is not bound by any necessitie to obserue it. For whatsoeuer the ancient Chri­stian Fathers haue done on this part, all that his Maiestie re­serreth vnto the head of things profitable, or lawfull: of which wee haue spoken in the second obseruation: neither can it be prooued that this custome is to be referred vnto those things which are of absolute necessitie. For whence should this necessitie spring? not from the law of God, for he neuer commanded it: and if it flow not from that foun­taine, it is no necessitie. For wee haue alreadie laid this ground, that nothing ought to be accounted necessarie to saluation, which is not either expressely contained in Gods [Page 34] word, or thence by necessarie consequence deducted. And wee haue declared, that such things as the ancient Church beleeued, or practised without necessitie, the same ought now also to be left with libertie vnto vs. A second reason is, that although his Maiestie acknowledgeth the authors of this custome to haue been very ancient, yet no man hi­therto could proue, that such was the vse in the beginning, and in the Apostolike times, which is the fountaine of all antiquitie in the Church. Besides that, the prayers then vsed doe much differ both in their end, and manner, from these which are now practised, and taught. A third reason is ad­ded by his Maiestie, that when once prayer for the dead tooke place amongst Church rites, not long after a rout of shamefull errours, and doting superstitions did band toge­ther, and breake into the Church. Now let indifferent ar­bitratours iudge to whom the name of Catholike should be denied: whether to the King, and his subiects, which by reason of errours ensuing haue left off, or thinke it not law­full to vse a custome grounded vpon no necessitie: or to your men, which by sophisticall cauillations, and incredible obstinacie had rather maintaine, then reforme all the errors of former ages, though neuer so grosse, and pernicious.

To the fourth Instance concerning the inuo­cation of Saints.

COncerning the inuocation of Saints, his Maiesties an­swere is the same with his former touching prayers for the dead. From a small beginning (as all men know) it grew to such greatnesse, that in former ages (and I wish it were not so now in many places) Christian people haue put more confidence, and hope of present aide in Saints, then (ô hor­rible impietie) in our Sauiour himselfe: who being in the [...]. forme of God, that he might bring saluation vnto vs which were his enemies, did emptie himselfe by taking the forme of a seruant, and humbled himselfe being obedient vnto Philip. 2. 7. death, euen the death of the crosse. And when this blessed [Page 35] Sauiour, according to his neuer enough admired goodnesse and clemencie, doth inuite miserable sinners with these sweete words of his Gospell, Come vnto me all you that are Mat. 11. 28. wearie and heauie laden, and I will refresh you: yet some haue endeuoured by the peruersnes of their wit to frustrate this gracious inuitation: and painting Christ, who is our onely Aduocate to God the Father, alwaies terrible, and vnmer­cifull, they would perswade poore soules that there is no way to Christ but through the mediation of many Saints. Moreouer, some others haue openly taught, that our Sa­uiour Christ hath reserued the seueritie of iustice vnto him­selfe, but indulgence and mercie he hath granted to the bles­sed Virgin. Againe, how haue they distributed offices, and powers of healing amongst the Saints with wonderfull cu­riositie, or rather detestable superstition? And heretofore their suffrages only were desired, that being gracious with God almightie they would make intercession for men: but afterwards, the world was filled with bookes concerning the proper seruice of this, or that Saint, and peculiar formes of prayer to be made vnto them. Wherefore in place of that diuine booke of the Psalter, which the ancient Chri­stians neuer laid out of their hands; which was the solace of men and women, yong and old, rich and poore, learned and vnlearned, there haue succeeded the Houres of our La­die, and Legends; or rather impious, and doting fables (I speake not of the true histories of Martyrs) and such vile stuffe. And yet further, as if it were not iniurie enough to robbe Christians of so necessarie and diuine a booke, one of your men hath turned all the Psalmes to the honour of the blessed Virgin, attributing vnto her (as if there were no difference betwixt the creature and the Creator) whatsoe­uer was prophecied concerning the onely Sonne of God. His excellent Maiestie doth extoll the happinesse of the most glorious virgin mother of our Lord, affirming that she is eleuated vnto the highest degree of honour, which God the Creator could impart to any humane creature: he re­ioyceth also that the Church of England vpon set daies in [Page 36] the yeere doth solemnize the honoured memorie of that most blessed Virgin: but the Sophisters of these times can by no cunning euer perswade him to allow, or endure that Psalter of our Ladie. For as touching Cardinall Bellarmine, which hath lately defended it, his Maiestie is perswaded that he is distasted of your owne, as many as haue but any small sense of pietie. Considering then that the Church of Rome is almost deadly sicke of such inward diseases, his Maiestie wondred (most illustrious Cardinall) when hee read in your epistle that the inuocation of Saints, as your men doe now practise it, is the same which was in vse in the primitiue Church. Wherefore his Maiestie answereth in few words: First, it cannot be proued that in the begin­ning of the primitiue Church, any other but the almightie God was inuoked: secondly, that there is no precept in the word of God for it, no one footstep of any example: God onely was adored, God onely was implored through the intercession of his onely begotten Sonne, the one and only Mediatour betwixt God and man. Afterwards was brought in the vse of praying at the sepulchres of Martyrs: then began the making of apostrophees vnto Saints, be­sides the worship of God: then the making of vowes, and prayers, not primarily to pray them, but that they should pray God. Yet if these new examples had gone no further, his Maiestie would not greatly haue reprooued the custome of those times, at the least not so much condemned it as the abuses which hereupon ensued. For his Maiestie doth honour the blessed Martyrs, and other Saints which now raigne with Christ the head of both Churches, tri­umphant and militant: neither doubteth he of their conti­nuall prayers for the necessities of the Church, beleeuing stedfastly the benefit thereof: but hee confesseth ingenu­ously that hee knoweth no reason whereby any man can promise or warrant vs that they heare our prayers, and that wee should account them as our household gods; and pro­tectors. Wherefore hee exceedingly disliketh that which followed in after-ages. For by degrees it came to that [Page 37] which I haue shewed, which the Church of England affir­meth to be impious in the extreame. And if there bee ex­amples extant in the Fathers of the fourth age for this inuo­cation (as no doubt there are, neither doth the King denie it) yet this is a testimonie of the decay of ancient simplici­tie, and of an euill then growing; but in no respect compa­rable with that which in the Church of Rome at this day is openly practised, tolerated, and defended. Lastly, although the holy Fathers did allow the custom of that time amongst things profitable, or lawfull, yet they neuer accounted of it as a thing necessarie to saluation, which is the present ar­gument of our speech. And thus much concerning the foure obiections against the English Liturgie.

Now his Maiestie commendeth your iudgement, that amongst all the things which you dislike in his religion, you haue made choice especially of those which concerne matters of Church assemblies, and diuine seruice. For the communion of the faithfull consisteth much in the publike exercises of pietie: and this is the chiefe bond of vnion so much desired by good men. Wherefore if Christians could but agree about this, why might not all Europe communi­cate together? only, granting a libertie to schoole-Diuines with moderation to debate other opinions. Which were a thing much to be wished, and that foundation once laid, by the helpe of God, much hope might be conceiued of the rest. For this cause his excellent Maiestie greatly commen­ding your iudgement herein, hath himselfe likewise heere deliuered, what things in your Liturgie he thinketh wor­thie to bee reprooued. But if, for the want of these foure things in the English Liturgie, you think there is iust cause, that they which vse it should neither be accounted, nor cal­led Catholikes: then consider, I pray you, what his Maie­stie may pronounce of the Church of Rome, in whose Li­turgie (for hee passeth other points of your religion) godly men haue obserued so many things manifestly repugnant to the word of God, and the ancient Catholike faith. Which things neuerthelesse the Pope had rather maintaine, [Page 38] then reforme, when the truth now shineth so cleerely. And here although his Maiesty could easily rehearse many grie­uous abuses in the Romane Liturgie; yet it pleaseth him to name only foure, which he opposeth to the other foure na­med by you. The first is the vse of an vnknowne tongue, contrarie to the precept of S. Paul, and the practise of the primitiue Church, to whom in their assemblies nothing was dearer then the good, and edification of the hearers. Wherefore the Fathers prouided the translation of Scrip­ture into all languages: and, as Epiphanius noteth in the end of his third booke, they had their Interpreters, who, if need were, did translate one language into another, in their [...]. readings, as hee speaketh, that is, when the Scriptures were read vnto the people. Surely, that the things read were ge­nerally vnderstood, this alone is sufficient proofe, that in most of the Homilies of the Greeke and Latin Fathers, wee meete with these words, vt audistis legi, or, vt hodie lectum est: as you heard it read, or as it was read to day. Which if your preachers should say, were it not ridiculous? when the poore people vnderstand nothing that is read out of the Scriptures, notwithstanding they haue more need then the people of old time. For the ancient Doctors vrged euery one to reade the Bible diligently in their houses, which now vnder paine of excommunication they are forbidden to touch; vnlesse they obtaine a dispensation. So that the sacred word of God (I tremble to speake it) hath now the first place in the catalogue of bookes prohibited. His Ma­iestie knoweth that amongst you there may be found some Bibles translated into vulgar languages: but the English Priests at Do way, which turned the Scripture into English, haue taught him thus much, that you were constrained a­gainst your willes to make those translations, importunitate haereticorum, by the importunitie of the heretikes, as they of Do way speake. For it is heresie with these men to be de­sirous to reade the word of God with sobrietie, and reue­rence. Neither is his Maiestie ignorant, when Renatus Be­nedictus Priest translated the Bible into French, how the [Page 39] Popes of Rome troubled him for that fact, and how by their letters they commanded the Bishop of Paris to endeuour that all the French translations might be extorted from the people. Which without faile they had effected, if there had been no Protestants in France. His Maiestie hath read of late also in a booke of a certaine English Pontifician Priest, that prayers vttered in an vnknowne tongue haue a kinde of greater efficacie in them, then if they were vnderstood. Which senselesse dotage was an old heathnish conceit, and is not the singular follie of this Priest alone. So the Valen­tinian heretikes did vse Hebrew names in their supersti­tious mysteries, that they might amaze the ignorant mul­titude: and, as Eusebius speaketh in the fourth part of his Historie, the more to astonish those that were initiated in their [...]. superstitions. The second abuse is, the diminishing of the holie Sacrament, contrarie to the institution of Christ, the example of S. Paul, and the practise of the Church, for the space of one thousand yeeres at least, as Cassander a learned man confesseth. In the third place are priuate Masses, where are no communicants. I haue said before that these things had their beginning from that peruerse doctrine concer­ning the sacrifice in the Christian Church. Restore vs the ancient faith, and the ancient practise. In the fourth place his Maiestie obiecteth the present vse and adoration of Images. The Councell of Trent confesseth an abuse, and the Romane Catechisme giueth some profitable admoni­tion on this behalfe. But what are we the better? the abuse remaineth, it is approued, maintained, and encreaseth daily. His Maiestie omitteth the adoration, and inuocation of Saints: which as it is now practised, neither can, nor ought to be excused. He omitteth also the religious adoration of reliques, which at this day is taught and commanded as a thing necessarie, or at least very profitable to saluation. Be­side the intollerable absurditie: as when false or ridiculous reliques are obtruded, as the teares of Christ, and the milke of our Ladie, and such like. Hee omitteth the licentious boldnes of your preachers, when they stray from the word [Page 40] of God; who ought to bee restrained from propounding any doctrine to the people as necessarie to saluation, which is not drawne out of the diuine oracles, and agreeable to the ancient faith. For that is the wholesome doctrine which the Apostle so often commendeth. If there were such a re­straint, many things now practised in the Church of Rome, would fall downe of their owne accord. As the doctrine of Indulgences: as that foppish deuice of the intensiue paines in Purgatorie: by vertue of which intension many thou­sand yeeres are contained in one minute: as those battolo­giae, or idle repetition of heedlesse prayers, vnpleasing to our Sauiour, as he himselfe witnesseth. Then it would no longer be accounted great merit to repeate the Rosarie, or other prayers, and Psalmes twentie, or fiftie, or an hundred times. If these and such like impediments were remoued, religious men should peraduenture finde no iust cause to abstaine from your communion. There is another thing which his Maiestie thought good not to omit, which is written in the end of your Epistle: that you will be silent concerning the Pope of Rome, because it is manifest, to those which haue but meane skill in Ecclesiasticall historie, that the Fathers of the first ages, the Councels, and Chri­stian Emperours in all businesse appertaining to religion and the Church, gaue him the preheminence, and acknow­ledged him the chiefe. That this is all for this point, which your Church requireth to be beleeued as an article of faith, by those whom you receiue into communion. To this his Maiestie maketh answere: and, appealing to your owne vnpartiall minde, he desireth you to consider the actions of Romane Bishops for almost seuen hundred yeeres past. He is loth to stirre the remembrance of things noisome, yet gladly would hee haue you know, that hee is most certaine of this: that the late Bishops of that sea are so vnlike vnto the ancient Popes in sinceritie of faith, in manner of life, and in the whole course and end of their gouernment, that it is altogether vniust, things being in this state, to draw arguments from the former ages, and applic them to this [Page 41] present time. Let the forme of the ancient Church be resto­red, and many new lawes heretofore not heard of be abo­lished. In briefe, let the Bishop of Rome declare euidently by his actions that he seeketh Gods glorie, not his owne; that he hath a care of the peace, and saluation of his people: then his Maiestie, as he hath protested before in his Moni­torie Epistle, will acknowledge his primacie, and be willing to say with Gregorie Nazianzen, that he hath the care of the [...]. whole Church. But at this time what the Church of God, especially Kings and Princes, ought to thinke concerning that sea, his Maiestie dare referre it to your owne iudge­ment to determine. For you know what a number of books come abroad daily from Rome, and almost all the corners of Europe, in defence of the Popes temporall power, or ra­ther omnipotencie, his dominion, and monarchie ouer all the Kings, and people of the whole earth. You know that Cardinall Bellarmine hath of late written concerning that argument, and soone after the death of Henry the Great, hath been bold to publish that, which all honest men of your owne side doe detest. I say, all honest men: for the complices of that conspiracie doe heartily embrace, and to their power defend it as an oracle from the mouth of the Pope, which cannot erre. Wherefore the Iesuits of Ingol­stade in a booke lately published against Master Iohn Gor­don, the Deane of Salisburie, a man nobly borne, and very learned, doe cite testimonies out of this booke of the Car­dinals, as if it were the constant opinion, and consent of all Catholikes. But I desire your Honour to consider whether the ancient Church euer did the like to this, and what will be the issue of this madnesse. Consider into what danger of vtter ruine they bring the Church of Christ, which doe ap­proue, or suffer such things as are now practised, and taught. For, to conclude, as long as matters stand thus with you, and yet you denie that you haue been the cause of the di­uision, it were meere doltishnes, and follie to imagine any reconciliation amongst the diuided mēbers of the Church. The last point in your letters was this: that you are able to [Page 42] demonstrate cleerely what good consent there is betwixt the Church of Rome, and the seas of the other Patriarches in these points which are now in controuersie. But his Ma­iestie thinketh that you may spare that labour. For hee knoweth, and so doe others that are desirous to prie into such matters, that not the West Church alone, but the East also, the Churches in the South and North parts of the world haue degenerated farre from the golden sinceritie of former ages, and peraduenture further then might seeme possible: but that the reuolting from the ancient faith must come to passe of necessitie, being foretold by the oracles of God. He knoweth also how those nations haue daily hea­ped ceremonies vpon ceremonies, and how for more then these thousand yeeres superstitious men haue been too pre­sumptuous in that kinde. But when wee treat of reforming the Church of God, the question is not what the East Church, or the Moscouites Church doe practise, or be­leeue: but this is the question, what the Apostles haue taught from the beginning, and what the Catholike Church hath practised in her times, and in the ages next fol­lowing. That, that, is the paterne which the King doth in­genuously, and from his heart confesse that he would imi­tate without all exception. Neuerthelesse, such as are skil­full in Ecclesiasticall matters, they will not grant you this neither: that the doctrine of the Romane Church doth a­gree in all points with that which is taught in the Churches of other Patriarches. For to omit your worshipping of Ima­ges, your fire of Purgatorie, your precise obseruation of single life, and the infinite power of the Pope, euen aboue Councels: to say nothing of these, and other articles: yet it is manifest that in the celebration of the sacred Eucharist, the Grecians doe much differ from you Romanes. In so much that Marcus the Archbishop of Ephesus speaking of the Romane Masse, doth affirme that in matters of grea­test moment it is contrarie to the word of God, and the an­cient Liturgies. It is manifestly repugnant (saith he) to the axpositions and interpretations which wee haue receiued by [Page 43] tradition, and to the words of our Lord, and to the meaning of those words. And of those which defend the Romane rites concerning this matter, the same Marcus pronounceth, that they deserue to be pitied both in regard of their double ig­norance, and their profound sottishnesse. But thus much is e­nough for this present. Now you haue heard (most Illu­strious Cardinall) the reasons wherefore his excellent Ma­iestie of great Britaine; after the reading of your letters, doth, neuerthelesse trusting in the mercie of God, beleeue, and maintaine that he, and his Church are Catholike. Who if he were not inflamed with an infinit desire of furthering the publique peace, or if he supposed that you were other­waies affected, he would haue spared the labour of this an­swere. Especially, because his Maiestie calling to minde the daily writings and practises of your men, is now (as I said before) stedfastly perswaded that through their dealings there remaine no meanes or hope of reconciliation. For they are resolued to defend all; and not to grow better, or by the serious reformation of things depraued to winne the mindes of the godly. In which resolution as long as they persist, and will not yeeld one iot to antiquitie, and truth, his Maiestie professeth once for all that he regardeth them not, neither will hee euer haue any communion with the Church of Rome. So his Maiestie humbly prayeth to our Lord Iesus Christ, that he would vouchsafe to direct those excellent gifts of minde, which he hath plentifully be­stowed vpon you, to the honour of his name, and the benefit of his Church. And I humbly take my leaue of your Honour.

Faults escaped.

Pag. 4. lin. 14. reade. with no lesse. pag. 9. lin. 14. for token, reade hope.

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