DV VERGERS HVMBLE REFLECTIONS VPON SOME PASSA­ges of the right Honorable the Lady Marchionesse of Nevvcastles OLIO. OR AN APPEALE FROM her mes-informed, to her ovvne better informed iudgement.




Your delicious and ex­quisite OLIO which you haue generously exposed to regale, and feast a whole world of people, by the fauour of a noble friend, happend in­to my way, who am not accustomed to feede of such dainties, so delicatly dres­sed, seasoned, sett out with all that see­mes rich in nature, especially where a hand so noble, so illustriously skillfull, [Page] had daigned to be the cooke. And howeuer my ordinarie poore fare vses not to pas­se some one single dishe, yet where I ob­serued a kind of vnbounded magnifi­cence, and bountie, had bene at the char­ges to make a common banket for all, I could not conceiue my selfe excluded, how euer homely. M A D A M E, I must ingenuously confesse that at the first onsett, my sharpe appetite greedily tooke downe those vnaccustomed cates, and that with much satisfaction, and delight (eying in it the honour of our nation, and sexe, wherin we haue had but few arguments of such abilitie) till I had past a great part of that which first offered it selfe. But w en I came so farre into your OLIO, that Monasti­call life discouerd it selfe, I must not lye to you, I mett with mortels so wal­lowish and vnsound, that I may not say, wholy corrupted, that my stomacke be­gan to ryse, and loathe, what formerly [Page] it so much liked. And albeit euen those partes too relished, in some degree, the delightes of your skilfull hand, yet I could not but suspect, what I found true, that you had mett with fraudulent Caterers, (in whom you were but too confident) who abused your credulitie, and goodnes, and spoyled your feaste, by stealing their ftale, and corrupt in­gredientes vpon your Honour, to the dishonour of what was otherwise excel­lent. MADAME, I will make it my busines, with your Honours leaue, to make them, and their stuffe appeare to your Lasp. And all the world, such as indeede it is, stale, vnsound, corrupted. And this, to pay a dutie to truth, with all the submission, and respect to your Honour imaginable.

THE OLIO. Pag. 28.

1. SOme dispraise a Monastical life 2. and say they are the droanes in a Common­wealth; to suck out that honey they neuer took pains to gather, 3. and that they are an idle, lazie, and vnprofitable people, for say they, 4. they go not to wars to aduenture their liues, or haz and their liues, hut liue free, and secure not troubled with the noise of the bat­tles, onely listen to hear the successe, where­in they may giue their opinions, and censures, then that they neuer cultiuate, or manure the lands for increase, but eat of the plenty, pre­tending beggery, but ingrosse all the wealth; 5. and for the women, there are as many kept barren as would populate whole nations.

But they in their owne defence, say, that they cast off all pleasures of the world, lye cold, and hard, eat sparingly, watch and pray, and not onely to pray for dhemselues, or for the dead; but for those that are incumbred in wordly cares; besides say they, it is profitable to the Common-wealth, for men that haue small estates, and many children, not being able to maintain them according to their qua­lities, and degrees, may run into many er­rours; for want of means, which may disturb [Page 2] not only families, but whole states, where a Monastical life, a small portion, and a lit­tle will serue the turn, onely to keep soul and body together, in which their liues are peace­able, and ful of deuotion; but the Laytie an­swers, that the third part of the wealth of Christendom goeth to the maintenance of the Church, only in consideration of younger chil­dren, that vvill be content, and some are forced in; yet after that rate there will be little for the eldest, which remaine without, nor will be, if they go on to lay such burthens vpon mens consciences, and such sums vpon those burthens to buy them out; neither is there any sort of men more busie in disturbing the Common-wealth; for those that haue not actiue imployement, either in the ordinary affaires of the world, or extraordinary affaires in the Common-wealth, their thoughts corrupt being not exercised in action, they grow factious, which causetb distractions; for there is more war amongst the Christians about their opi­nions then vpon any cause else. This saith the one side, 6. but their enemies say that they are not only the couetous, but the greatest cheaters in the world, and all vnder the name, for Gods sake; for say they, 7. they bring in ceremony for gaines, in that 8. they set all the mercies [Page 3] of God to sale, for what sins cannot be bought for money; as adulterery incest, murther, blas­phemy, and sins past, and present; 9. as for whores they permit them to liue loosly with­ont punishment, and allot therein streets and houses, to increase their sins, in which 10. they do authorise sin for a sum, for they pay tribute to the Church, and not onely sins past and present, but to come: 11. as witnesse the yeares of jubile; besides the head takes vpon them, the power of damnation, and salva­tion, as witnesse the excommunications, and if not out, and in of hell; yet out and in of Purgatory, vvhich Purgatory is a great re­venue to them; yet they haue a countenance for their coueteousnesse, which is 12. that the offendant must haue a true contrition, or their sum of money vvill do them no good, no more then vvill a true contrition vvithout the sum; 13. but surely Monasticall liues, are very pro­fitable to the Common-vvealth, vvhatsoeuer it bee for the soul, for it keeps peace and makes plenty, and begets, a habit of sobriety vvhich giues a good example, and many times drawes their ovvn mindes, though naturally other­wise disposed, to follow the outward carriage, for the custome of the one, may alter the na­ture of the other, and in that they keep peace, [Page 4] is, because they live single liues, not for the quarels of marriage, but in not oppressing the Kingdom in ouer-populating it; for those king­doms that are very full of people, grovv mu­tinous, and run into ciuil vvars, vvhere many states are forced to war vpon their neig­bours; for no other end but to discharge the stomack of the Common-wealth; for feare it should breed incurable diseases. Besides, a Common-wealth may be ouer slockt, like grounds which causeth great dearth and plagues, in a Common-wealth, so that those states which haue more traffic then men, are rich, where those that haue more men, then trade, are poor; and Ciuil wars proceed not so much out of plenty, as out of proud pouerty: the next cause for plenty, they are of a spare diet, and most of what they eat or should eat, by their order, is Fish, Roots, and the like; but if they do get a good bit, one may say, much good may it ao them, for they get it by stealth, and eat it in fear, at least not openly to auoid scandal; but if they do not spare in the matter of meat, yet they spare in the manner, which cuts off all prodigal superfluities of the feasting, or open house-keeping, wherein is spoiled more then eaten, neither doth it relieue the hungry, by the Almes-basket; so much as it ouer­gorges [Page 5] the full: and Ceremonies keeps the Church in order, and giue it magnificency: besides it is beneficial to the State, for it Amu­ses the Common people and busies their mindes, and it is, as it were a recreation and pastime to them, as Saints dayes and the like; nay they take pleasure, and make a recreation to haue fasting dayes, so as they haue much to think on, and imploy their time in, as fasting­dayes, Processions of Saints, Confessions, Pe­nance, Absolutions, and the like, as Masse and Musick, and shewes, as at Christmas, Easter, our Lady day, and on many dayes of the yeere, and these not affording one and the same, but varieties in all; besides, euery Saint hauing power to grant seueral requests; it wil take vp some time to know what to ask of them, and all these one would think, were sufficient, to keep out murmur and discontent, which is got by idlenesse, which is the cause of rebelli­on. Thus the Church busies the people, and keeps their minds in peace, so that these Mo­nastical men, which are the Church, is the nurse to quiet the people, or the Masters to set them on, wherein they neuer do, vnlesse it be in the deffence of Christian Religion, in which all good men ought to follow; and surely it is beneficial to the Common-wealth, whatsoeuer [Page 6] it be for the soul, and for their souls, 14. al­though rationally one would think that God should not take delight in shauen heads; or bare and dirty feet, or cold backs, or hungry stomacks, in any outward habit, but in an humble heart and low desires, a thankfull minde, for what they haue sorrowfull sighs, and repenting tears, fears of offending, ad­miration of wisedom, and pure loue of his good nesse, and mercy, thanks for his fauours, and grace, obedience, charity, and honest wordly industry, and to take as much pleasure, as honest and vertuous moderation will permit; 15. for we might thinke that God did not in­tend man more misery, or lesse of this world then beasts; but alas, all mankind is apt to run into extreames which beasts are not, ei­ther to bar themselues quite of the lawfall vse of the world, or to run riot, which of the two, the last is to be shunned, and auoided, where­in this kind of life is most secure, neither must we follow our reason in Religion, but Faith, which is the guide of our conscience.

The places reflected vpon are 15. marked by so many figures: and are to be found as fol­lovves.

Reflection. 1. pag. 7. R. 2. p. 75. R. 3. p. 77. R. 4. p. 78. R. 5. p. 80. R. 6. p. 89. R. 7 p. 94. R. 8. p. 104. R. 9. p, 112. R. 10. p. 113. R. 11, p. 119. R. 12. p. 131. R. 13. p. 145. R. 14. p. 147. R. 15. p. 151.


SOME [begins your Honour] disprayse a Monasticall life.Pag.1[?] of our OLIO. And this, Madame, is one of the stale dishes they haue ob­truded into your daintie Olio. Stale, I may well say, for it was serued vp 12. or 13. hundred yeares agoe, to S. Hierosme; S. Basile, S. Iohn Chrystome, and Sainte Augustine: who, when it was euen fresh, and new, reiected it with horrour, as we shall afterwards see. The same hath bene serued in againe by wiclife &c. and others of his followers. And Luther too, who is better knowen to the world by his facri­legious loue to Monasticall liuers, then [Page 8] Menasticall life, serued it vp againe in his cupps to the loose appetites of this last age. And certaynly Madame this cibus bis terque coctus which is loathsome to all ap­petites, had euen in that name [had it bene reflected vpon] bene secluded from your rare Olio, which, I dare well say, aymed at nothing but what was fresh, and new, [if not in matter, and substance, at least in the dresse] beseeming so noble a person.

Madame had you but looked backe, this chaste, and graue matrone, would haue discouered herselfe vnto you with such a religious countenance of venera­ble antiquitie; guarded with such troupes of ancient Fathers encomions, loaden with such ripe fruites of sanctitie, and learning: so fenced on euery side by com­mon sense, and reason, that you would neuer haue permitted your noble, and harmelesse hand, haue bene made an in­strument to haue throwen others corrup­tions vpon her.


Of the antiquitie of Monasticall life in generall.


MADAME the skilfull pensils of best tymes represent her to your view, no lesse ancient then the new bor­ne sonne of the old of yeares to say no­thing of a higher or gine she is made by some to draw from the Prophete Elias, Eliseus, the Nazareans, and others of the Prophetes, ho were separated from the vulgar, liued without wiues, without wi­ne, with shauen heades, and that by vow too [for a space at least] which I the ra­ther aduance, becaus I know what rates, such noble soules as yours, putts vpon antiquitie of bloud, though farre from being of so long a standing; and indeede deseruedly, that being a thing that be­speakes I know not what kind of venera­tion, and respect; and fayles not to find it in all well borne harts. Nor is it any won­der that that is giuen to the antiquitie of bloud, which is not denyed to the anti­quitie [Page 10] of brasse, or marble, framed into the shapes of men onely by some ancient and skilfull hand; which we see passes with more approbation among men, then all that after ages, which may seeme to be tymes declining estate, are able to pro­duce.


THIS religious Lady [Monasticall life] may say with truth, of her pro­fession, what the great S. Paule some ty­mes said of the Apostle shippe he exerci­sed; to wit that he had it Not of men, nei­ther by man, but by Iefus Christ: for from that sourse of liuing water it was indeede, that this heauenly profession originally flowed, and conueyed it selfe through the vaynes of all the following genera­tions, euen till this day. It was I say by Iesus Christ, the Sonne of the Liuing God, that the world was first taught this holy profession; who being asked by the good young man, saying: Good Master, Mat­thew 19.21. what good shall I doe that I may haue life euer­lasting? he answered: if thou wilt enter into life, keepe the Commandements: who answe­ring [Page 11] that all those he had kept from his youth: Iesus said vnto him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell the thinges that thou hast, and giue to the poore, and thou shalt haue treasure in heanen, and come follow me. Behold one thinge is here commanded; another counselled. If thou wilt enter intolife euer­lasting, keepe the Commandements. And it is an absolute commande to all men. But if thou wilt be perfect, or obserue the same commandements more perfectly, and more securely: if thou wilt not onely ha­ue life, but haue it more aboundantly, goe, and sell all that thou hast &c. And it is a free counsell. That, is commanded vn­der paine of eternall damnation: this, counselled vnder hope of an hundred­fold in this life, and life euerlasting in the next, That is extended by way of commā ­de to all, this is proposed, and counselled to such generous soules, as by Gods gra­ce, and their own free cooperation, vn­der, and in vertue of the same grace, render themselues capable of it: which yet certainly would neuer haue bene counselled by wisdome it selfe, had it neuer bene to be followed by man: nor would Truth it selfe haué said: there are [Page 12] some that geld themselues for the kingdome of heauen, if neuer any such were to haue be [...] Or he that can take it, let him take it, if none[?] could euer take, none vndertake it, [...] [...] [...]capable of it, in fine, if it were impossible, as diuers sectaries would per­swade vs.


IT is not then, Madame, as you see, a will worshippe, or a humaine inuen­tion taken vp vpon fancie, [to which noe great credit were due] but a dictamen of the holy Ghost, a counsell of heauenly wisdome, deliuered from the mouth of truth it selfe. And was that seede of hea­uen to meete with noe good earth, with­in all the lardge extent of Christs posses­sions? Was this word of God fruitlessely to fall to the ground, & to passe ouer, with­out any effect, of which it is said: heauen, and earth shall passe, but my word shall not passe? So would it appeare indeede by those bablers, who as they hate our Ca­tholike Mother, so they blaspheame her pious practises: none of them giueing obedience to the Words of her Spouse: [Page 13] none leauing all to follow Christ in po­uertie: none pretending a virginall state of life: none euen endeuouring to proue eunukes for the kingdome of Heauen: none presseing to emulate these better giftes: none among them disputing vs these titles of pietie, but willingly leau­eing them, branded with as much infa­mie as malice can inuent, to the children of the Catholike Virgine Mother alone, confirming that ancient truth, that none but a Virgine Mother, is the Mother of Virgi­nes. None but the Catholike Church euer ayming at a virginall state. As though our Sauiour had dropped downe an vn­profitable counsell which could neuer be performed by any And thence S. Atha­nasius, who hued in the fourth Age, putts this practise of a virginall life for a proofe of the truth of our religion, when speak­ing of virginitie, he saith: this is a great argument that true religion is with vs. In his Apologie to Constantius.


BVT farre be it from Christian harts, to thinke that the words of wisdome [Page 14] mett with none but deafe eares, or that his sacred counsells found noe heroïcall hartes in earth who were readie to imbra­ce them. Noe noe, we may heare S. Pe­ter presently giue the lye to such vnwor­thy thoughtes Behold, saith he, we, [he speakes for all the Apostles] haue left all, and followed thee. We, who? we Apo­stles haue left all. Who saith all excludes nothing we haue left all. All we possesse, all our hopes of possessing. All; yes all, I say, their poore fortunes, such as they were, their aymes, inclinations, wayes, their wills, yea their wiues. as saith S. Hierome.

And that too vnder vowe, as they had learnt by our B. Ladyes leading practise S. Augustine confirmes it of them both. Of our Blessed Lady: speaking of that passage of S. Luke: Because i know not man L. 17. of the Citie of God. c. 4. which certainly, saith he, she had not said, had she not formerly vowed to remayne a Vir­gine. And of the Apostles; saying: for tho­se mightie ones had said; behold we haue left all, and followed thee, this vowe had those Mighties vowed: but whence had they this vo­we but from him who giueth vowes vnto those that vowe: for none can vow any setled [Page 15] thinge to God, but he must haue it from God. And by their holy example all the young Christian Church at Hierusalem which was yet as it were in her cradle, con­spired into one great congregation, to witt the multitude of Beleeuers had but one hart, and one soule, neither did any say that ought was his owne of those thinges which he pos­sessed, but all thinges were common vnto them, &c. neither was there any needie amongst them. Whence S. Augustine inferres, say­ing: therfor they [to witt the Apostles &c.] first heard that of the Psalmist, Loe how good and pleasant a thing it is for brothers to li­ue togeither. They were the first indeede, but they were not alone. For this loue, and brotherly vnion descended not onely downe vpon them: but that exultation of Charitie, and vow to God, came downe to posteritie &c. Yes the­se younge vine-branches which newly sprouted out of the true vine whose wine begetts Virgines, fruitfully branched and spredd themselues out all the world ouer, beginning first at Hierusalem, thence to Alexandria in Egipte, where those fuit­full. Desertes were turned into Paradises, and were peopled with humane Angells, [Page 16] or Angelicall men: thence into greece wittnesse S. Denys of Arcopage, who ma­kes the description of them as you shall heare in the next reflection: finally all the habitable world ouer, as Phylo one of the most learned of the Iewes, tearming them Therapeutarum genus, worshipers or Physi­tions of soules. And this is so well, and solidly auerred by ancient Authours, that there lyes no way open to any specious contradiction.

In the first place let the said Philo be heard, who speaking of those worshippers or Physitians of soules, saith: this kind of people is spredd all the world ouer (to witt Greece and euen barbarous nations too were to pertake in this perfect Good) but the greatest multitudes of them are in Egipt, especially about Alexandria; as may be further seene by what S. Hiero­me relates out of the same Authour.

Adde to him S. Hierome, who speaking of S. Marke, saith, Marke went into Alexan­dria, taking with him the Gospell which he him­selfe had written, and established a Church there with so much doctrine and continencie of life, that he euen compelled all Christs followers to imitate his example &c. And then speak­ing [Page 17] of Philo the Iewe, he adds: I therfore place Philo the Iew natiue of Alexandria among the Ecclesiesticall writers, because he writing a booke of the first Church established by Marke the Euangelist at Alexandria, speakes in the commendations of our men, not mentioning those that were there onely but euen many other places also, tearming their habitations Monasteries: whence it appeares that their Church who first beleeued in Christ, was such as Monkes now endeuour, and desire to be: so as that none hath any thinge of his owne proper: none among them is riche, none poore, their pa­trimonies are diuided among the poore, their imployment is praying, and singing Psalmes, learning and continence, such as Luke repre­sents the first Beleeuers of Hierusalem.

The same is frequently asserted by other holy Fathers, as S. In the [...]. c. of his Mo­nasticall Institu­tion. Basile, speaking of Monkes, these, saith he, remayne the true and perfect followers of the Institutions, of our Redeemour, and of his life when he was conuersant amongst vs: for as he haue'ng called his Apostle toge­ther into one societie made all thinges, and euen himselfe common among them: so these also (who at this day rightly obserue the prescripts of his life) obeying their Prelate, imitate the A­postles, and our Sauiours manner of liueing.

[Page 18] T [...] 11 Hom. vpon the Ac­tes. S. Chrysostome, Monkes liue after the sa­me manner that all the Christians of the Fri­mitiue Churchliued at Hierusalem. And agai­ne in the 3. booke he writing against those that dispraysed Monkes, affirmes that the Monkes in his dayes performed the same thinges which the Apostles had performed.

Possidonius affirmes in plane tearmes that In the life of S. Aug. S. Augustine begun to liue according to that Rule, and forme which the Apostles themsel­ues had instituted.

Madame did I not feare to proue tooSponde iu has Epitome of Baro­nius. teadious to your Ladyshipe, I could, with a wett finger, bring euen multitudes of like testimonies, which are to be seene in the french abridgement of Baronius, asGualte­rus in his chre, Earbosa collec. tit. 35. also in Gualterius a French Iesuite. And what is said of Monkes or religious men, is also verified of religious women, or Nuns; according to the learned Pennot­tus,Tambu rinus dist. 4. quest. 4. n. 4. putting it dow­ne as an vndoub­ted truth saying: that in the verie same manner that the Institution of the Canon Regulars pro­ceeded from the Apostles, so also the institution of the religious Canonesses sprung from the ve­rie prime birth of the Church, as well vnder S. Marke at Alexandria; as vnder S. Iames at Hierusalem. Where that most religious Emperesse our Countrie woman S. Hel­len, [Page 19] that greatest glorie of our Land, and happie Mother of that greatest Empe­rour of the world, Constantine the GREAT, did not onely serue the nunsSo Dai­berlus Patriar­che of Hieru­salem. at table with her owne hands, 1300. yea­res a goe, but euen consecrated herselfe to God among them, dyed, and was bu­ried in their holy habit, that is the verie same which the Canonesse all ouer the world vse till this day, Pennottus prou­inge that the Religious of the holy sepul­cher both are now, and euer were, one, and the same order, as well with the other Canon Regulars, as with those ve­rie Canons, which were restored by S. Augustine, but instituted by the Apostles themselues.


Of the high encomions which Iesus Christ, and the Ancient Fathers gaue to Monasticall life.


WHENCE can we either more solidly, or more fitly, begin the commenda­tions of Monasticall life, then in his [Page 20] words, from whose mouth, and exam­ple (as we haue alreadie seene) it tooke its origine? And to what end can emo­re iustly, and fruitfully doe it, then that the good giuer of it, and all good giftes, who is worthy of all prayse, may be pray­sed by all thinges, and in all thinges, sin­ce it is not indeede by our owne witt, worth, or merite, but by his gift, that we are, what soeuer we are laudably.

Iesus Christ, then, the wisdome of his heauenly Father, who was the first coun­seller of this blessed life; putt also the first & most effectuall commēdations vpon it, when he said: Amen I say to you, you who ha­ue followed me, in the regeneration, when the son of man shall sit in the seate of his maiestie, you also shall sit vpon twelue seates iudging the twelue tribes of I sraël: and euery one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or Mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my names sake, shall receiue an hundredfold, and shall possesse like euerlasting. If then we iudge of the greatnesse of the worke by the greatnesse of the reward; and measure the profession by the promises, what grea­ter commendations could be putt vpon Monasticall life? All the right of iudica­ture [Page 21] was giuen by the father to the sonne, and yet the sonne will not exercise it alo­ne, but will haue those to share in it, who shared with him in abandoning the world Tis an absolutly iust retribution, cryes out S. Bernard, that they who here below contemned the glorie of humane greatnesse for Christs sake, Of this sense is s- Aug also and S. Gre­gorie S. Tho. saith that this sit­ting in iudge­ment was pro­mised to Evan­gelicall pouertie n his [...] te ag­anst th se­th [...] ­ [...] fr [...] [...] lig c 6. and 7. should there sit togeither with Christ, being sin gularly glorified with the qualitie of iudge; &c. And we must know, saith he, that not onely the Apostles, but euen all those that for Christs sake, by the Apostles blessed example, left all and followed him, shall become iudges with him. O singular familiaritie! ô highth of honour! ó priuiledge of confidence! ó prerogatiue of perfect securitie. O diuine­ly happie state which renders men so se­cure, yea euen so glorious in that Won­derfull clashing of the elements, in that dreadfull discussion of merites; and that most doubtfull, and daunting expectation of iudgement. This securitie is the pecu liar rewarde of those Eunukes which geld themselues [that is, to speake with S. Augustine, of those who vo e chastitie] for the Kingdome of Heauen: of those poore of Christ, who follow poore Christ: of those obedient sheepe who know, and fol­low [Page 22] the voyce of their pastour, and that too not in point of his commands onely, but euen in his councells. Finally, saithIn his booke of Virgini t e in the [...] S. Augustine, let vs heare our Lord [Christ Iesus] pronouncing a most eui­dent sentence in this behalfe for when he had spoken diuinely, and terribly of not separa­ting man & wife, saue onely f r fornication, his Disciples said vnto him: if the case of a man with his Wife be so, it is not expe­dient to marie. To whom he replyed, not all take this word, but they to whom it is giuen: For there are Eunukes who were borne so from their Mothers wombe: and there are Eunukes which were madeby men: and there are Eunukes which haue gelded themselues for the kingdome of heauen. He that can take, let him take. What could haue bene said fuller of truth, and light? Its Christ that sayes, truth that sayes, the power and wisdome of God that sayes, that they who out of a pious resolution conteyne themselues from marriage, geld themselues for the kingdome of heauen, And on the contra­rie side, humane vanitie by an impious rash. nesse contends, that they who doe so, doe onely eschew the present necessitie, and troubles, wh­ich accompanie a maried life, but shall not haue [Page 23] any whitt more then others. And yet, I pray, of what other Eunukes doth our Lord speake by Isaye the Prophete, [to whom he promi­seth to giue a peculiar place [locum nomi­natum] in his house, and in his walls, farre better then that of Sonns, and daughters] but of those that geld themselues for the kingdo­me of heauen? Christ, goes he on, prayses those that geld themselues, not for this world, but for the kingdome of heauen: and shall a Christian contradict him, affirming that [to witt such gelding] it is onely profitable in this life, but not in the next. Nor hath [saith he] the holy Ghost bene silent vpon this sub­iect, but hath deliuered something both eui­dent, and stronge enough against those impu­dent, and franticke wranglers, and withall powerfull enough by impregnable Fortresses to repulse their barbarous attempts against his flocke for wheras speaking of Eunukes he had said, I will giue them a peculiar place in my house, and in my walls, much better then that of the sonns, and daughtes, least any should haue conceiued that some temporall thinge was to be hoped for, he immediately ad­ded: I will giue them an eternall name, nor shall it euer fayle: as though he had said why dost thou wrangle impious blindnesse why [Page 24] dost thou wrangle? v hy dost thou obscure the light of truth with the clouds of peruersi­tie? why dost thou in the midst ofthe great light of the Scriptures, seeke darknesse wherin to deceiue? why dost thou promesse a temporall, rea ard onely, to continent Saintes? I will gi­ue them an eternall name.

Let that diuine Denys of Areopage, S.The [...] Age. In the Hierarchie of the Ch­urch c. 6. Paules Scholler, speake for the first Age after Christ, and deliuer as well the truth, as the manner, and excellencie of the thinge, according as he is made speake by Gualterus the 1. Age, and 8. Truth. The preist after some prayers, turnes towards him who is readie to forsake the world: askes whether he renounce all terreane, and transi­torie thinges: declares to him the perfection of that kinde of life, and hauing heard his pro­messe [of renouncing the world] e signes him with the signe of the Crosse, and cutts of his haire, inuokes the holy Trinitie, turnes of his old, and putts on a new habit: salutes him with a kisse, [as the assistantes also doe] and makes him partaker of the diuine myste­ries. A little before he saith. The highest In the same chap order of those that are to be perfected, is that of Monkes, which is adorned with all vertue, puritie, holy conuersation, and heauenly con­templation.

[Page 25]Let S. Ignatius who liued in the same age succeede him. O Virgines possesse Iesus Christ in incorruption, not so as to esteeme ma­riage ill; but to imbrace a better thinge, not to blame a maried life, but to meditate the law of God. And in another place: Honour Vir­gines as being consecrated to Iesus Christ. Con­serue them as pretious levels of Iesus Christ.

Heare Tertulian. What agreat preroga­tiue, For the &. Age. The 9. chap. of leyling of Vir­gines. saith he, doth she merite farre aboue her condition, who being a Virgine resolues to con­secrate her body to God? Therfore hath she permission to receiue the vayle, that she may be illustrious, and renowned in the Church, and shew the honour of her sanctitie, or puritie, by her veyled, and priuiledged heade.

Againe adde the examples of our sisters whose names are in the booke of life, who pre­ferre puritie before husbands, [to witt they chuse rather to be maried to God] being nei­ther induced to it by want of beantie, nor other­wise by their age. They are beautifull to God, they are handmayes to God: They liue with him, they have conference with him, he is the subiect of their discourse both daye, and night Ther booke to his wife the 4.6. They consigne their prayers to their Lord, and Spouse, as their dowries, and in conterchange they obteyne fauours of him, as presentes from [Page 26] a Spouse, whensoeuer they desire them.

S. Cyprian writing to certaine NunesThe 3. Age. In his bookes of the Habit of Virgines of his Age, giues them these prerogati­ues. Now let me speake to virgines, of whom my care is greater, as their glorie is higher, They are the flowre of the Church her flowish­ing branches, the honour, and ornament of Spirituall grace: they are sincerely cheerefull, a perfect and vncorrupted worke of honour and prayse: the image of God, representing the puritie of our Lord: the most glorious, and illus­trious portion of the flocke of Christ. By them it is that she reioyceth; in them it is, that the glorious fecunditie of our Mother the Church doth plentifully flourish: and still as fruitfull virginitie increaseth in number, so doth the ioy of our Mother Church receiue greater, and greater increase.

Make good, O Virgines, make good what you haue begun to be, and haue an eye to what you are about to be. Great is the reward which attends you, great is the recompence of your vertue; great the gift of chastitie &c. You are equall to the Angells, as being the children of the Resurrection; you passe through the world without being infected with the worlds conta­gion: while you perseuere in chastitie, and virginitie, you are equall to the Angells.

[Page 27] Eusebius in Constantines life, The Em­perour, The 4. Age. In Con­stain­tins life. saith he, [to witt Constantine] did great honour to those that had dedicated their liues to heauenly Philosophie (so was mo­nasticall life first called) and ther vpon he did constantly reuerence the most holy compaignie of perpetuall virgines: because he beleeued that God, to whom they were consecrated, did dwell in their harts.

Great is the vertue of continencie, great is S. Atha­nasius in his booke of Virgi­nitie. the glorie of puritie, great is the Virgines pray­se. O Virginitie draynelesse riches! O Virgini­tie thou crowne which fadest not! O Virgini­tie thou temple of God and Mansion of the ho­ly Ghost! O Virginitie which art a pretious pearle, which vulgare eyes discouers not! and are found but by few! O continencie loued by God, and preached by the Saintes! O conti­nencie odious to many, but respected by such as are worthy of it! O continencie which conquers death and Hell, and art possessed by immorta­l tie! O continencie ioy of the Prophetes, and glorie of the Apostles! O continencie life of the Angells, and crowne of the Saintes! Happie is he that keepes thee, happie he that hardens himselfe to the sufferance of thy labour, becau­se after a shorte labour, he shall receiue great content by thee.

The same Age.

Saincte Basile in a sermon which heSermon 10. touch ing Mo naflicall life. made to his monkes vpon these words of the Gospell (come vnto me all you that labour and are loaden &c.) saith: these words are the words of God, which whether they be vn­derstoode of the refection of this life, or they signifie the refection of the next, it is manifest that we are exhorted therby to imbrace mona­sticall life, and to carie the Crosse, hauing first, on the oneside, forsaken and distributed the loade of superfluous riches to the poore, and one the other side, caste of the almost innume­rable multitude of our sinnes (by almes deedes, and Confession) which the desire we haue to heape vp riches drawes vpon vs.

S. Basile. I terme that Communion of life most perfect, from which all priuate possession of anie thing is excluded and banished: as also all dissension, all perturbation, all contention and brawles. Nay contrarily, where all thin­ges are common, hartes, soules, bodies, and all the things which are in anie wise requisite, or belonging to our liuelyhood. One common God, one common commerce of pietie, common saluation, common conflicts, common labours, common rewards and crownes of gained victo­ries; where manie are one, and where one is [Page 29] not alone but with manie. What, I praye, is found comparable to this profession of life? what can be expressed more blessed? what can be de­uised more agreeable then this coniunction, vni­tie, and dearenesse? What can be imagined more delightfull then this mutuall temper of hartes and manners? That people coming out of so manie nations and regions, should haue melted, as it were, so absolutly into one, by an exact similitude of life and discipline, that the­re appeares but now, one soule in manie bodies, and many bodies appeare but the instruments of one minde. He that suffers any bodily infermi­tie, hath the hartes of manie sharres in his infir­mitie. And he that is sicke and afflicted in minde, hath continually manie present with him, to encourage him, and cure his greife: being by an equall right one anothers seruants and maisters; and while they enioy an absolute libertie, they exercise a most exact seruitude to one another, by the tye of Charitie, which makes them of free-men mutuall subiects. Such people, are indeede true and perfect imitatours of the life, and institutions of our Redeemour, while he was conuersant amongst vs. For as he hauing gathered together a companie of the A­postles, made all thinges, and euen himselfe common to them: so these too, obeying their [Page 30] Prelate, and duely complying with their voca­tion, doe imitate the life of the Apostles and Icsus Christ himselfe.

These, I saye, if they diligently obserue the communitie in which they liue, doe emulate the life of the Angells. There is noe strife, noe contention, noe controuersie among the An­gells: but whereas euerie one hath the thinges which all possesse, yet euerie one conserues his owne riches intirely to himselfe.

My aime is not to exagerate, I feare rather to lessen thinges truly great in themselues; but only to endeauour, according to my weaknesse, to prosecute and demonstrate the dignitie, and excellencie, of so glorious a profession, which of itselfe excites to vertue. For what, I praie, can we compare to it, which in an equall iud­gement, will not fall farre short of it. For whe­re there is but one father, who striues to imitate the heauenly Father; and manie children, who mutually striue to out-strippe one another, in the greatest testimonies of singular loue and beneuolence towards the same father: children I say, who are lincked in the closest bands of concord and vnitie, and by the most laudable exercises of vertue, as it were by so manie ar­mes stretched out, receiue that common Fa­ther into their bosome, and solace him thereby: [Page 31] Nor doe they ascribe the cause of that dearenes­se to nature, but taking reason, which is stron­ger then Nature for the guide and conseruer of that coniunction, they chayne themselues to each other by the band of the holy Ghost. What sufficiently fitt similitude are we able to finde in earth, to expresse the excellencie of this their blessed imployment. None certainly, the earth hath none, heauen can only furnish vs &c.

S. Cyrille of Ierusalem. As to tempe­rance In his 4. Cate­chisme. obserue principally what is said of it by their order who make profession of a solitarie life, and by the Virgines who leade a life equall to that of the Angells. Great is the crowne which is reserued for you brethren. Sell not away a great dignitie for a short carnall plea­sure. Giue eare to what the Apostle saith. Is there any among you vncleane, as was Esau, who sold his inheritance for a messe of potage? And thou who art inrolled in the Euangelicall bookes by thyne Institution of continencie, be warie thou be not blotted out by luxurie.

Saint Ambrose makes noe difficultieIn the same Age. to compare religious Virgines to the An­gells, and will haue none to wonder at it neither. Let none admire, saith he, that they are compared to Angells, who are mar­ried to the God of Angells.

[Page 32] S. Hierome. The Martyrs purely prayse our Lord in the land of the liueing: Vpon the psal ms. so also the Monkes which singe Gods prayse day and night ought to haue the same as Martyres haue, seeing euen they are Martyrs 100: for what the Angells doe in heauen, the Monkes doe in earth.

In verie deede, saith he againe, the Quires of Monkes and virgines or Nunns, are certaine flowres, and most pretious stones among the or­namentes of the Church.

In the [...]. Age. S. Iohn Chrysostome speaking to the professours of Monasticall life saith. Vir­ginitie is a good thinge: I confesse it. Nay it is better then mariages I grant that too. And I will adde withall, if you please, that it out­stripps mariage further then the heauens doe the earth, and Angells, men. Yea, if I might dare to say it, and more too.

Againe. Mankind being naturally inferiour to those blessed Spirits, striues with all it force, and affection to ouertake them, as farre as pos­sibly may be. And how this? The Angells nei­ther marie nor take wiues Nor doth the Virgi­ne? They are alwayes present to God, and doe In his booke of virgini­tie c. 11 12. him seruice. So also doth the Virgine &c. Doe you obserue the excellencie of Virginitie? It consistes in this that it makes earthly in habi­tants [Page 33] exercise the same functions with those of heauen: equalises those that haue garmenss of flesh and bloud, to incorporall Spirits, and ma­kes men emulatours of the affections of the An­gells.

That the solitude (of a monasticall life) hau­ing In his bookes against the dis­praisers of Mo­nasticall life first heaped many blessings vpon the iust in this life, conductes them at the end of the sa­me full of ioy, and iubilie to the Tribunal of God our Sauiour, at which tyme especially it is, that we see a great part of those that ruled in high place, tormented with huge paines for the sinnes they committed in this life.

If there be question of examining what tyme In the [...], booke &c. of night it may be, we shall find the Monke who is excellent in seruing of, and praying to God, singing long before the coke crowe, hau­ing the Angells for his conuictours, parling with God, and inioying celestiall blessinges.

They (to witt Monkes) haue made choyce of a life and conuersation wholy celestiall. They stand noe otherwise disposed them the Angells. For as the Angells are subiect to noe inequali­ties, while some of them neither extolling nor glorifying themselues in their good successe and happinesse, nor others of them grone vnder ex­treame vexations and diffi ulties, but contra­rily all of them vnanimously retoyce in the same [Page 34] felicitie and repose in that souueraigne and hea­uenly glorie, so also will you find it fares in Mo­nasteries. There, none is more splendide in ri­ches then his fellow. Myne and thyne, which is the absolute ouerthrow of all thinges, is quite banished thence: for all is common with them, their table, their house, their clothes. And which is yet more admirable, they haue but all one harte. They are all noble with the same no-bilitie; all seruantes in the same seruitude [...] and free with the same libertie. All inioy the same riches which are the true ones, and the same glorie which is true glorie. To witt their for­tunes consiste not in names, but in the thinges themselues. There is but one and the same de­light, one onely pleasure.

If any will goe at this houre into the solitudes [...]. 8. vpon S. Matthew[?]. of Egipt, he will finde all that Heremitage more excellent then any Paradice; and meete with assemblies of Angells without number shi­ning in mortall bodyes &c. the Armies of Ie­sus Christ are spread all that region ouer, and those admirable Royall troupes, as also a hea­uenly conuersation illustrating the earth. A bringht splendour which is not seene in men one­ly but euen in women also &c. The heauens sparkle not with so many different starrs, as Egipt is distinguished with inn merable habi­tations [Page 35] of Monkes and religious Virgines &c.

Haue patience, I beseech you, till I disclose vnto you, and sett before your eyes to the life, the liues of Monkes and crucified persons, which you doe ordinarily iudge the most irke some and disagreable while it is indeede farre more plea­sant and delightfull, then that which is estee­med the most delicate, soft, and delicious. And I will take noe other then your selues to nit­nesse, who sometymes in your dangers wish for death, least you should fall into calamities and miseries, truly and from your hartes tearming themhappie who reside in mountaines and den­nes, who leade single liues, and are not inga­ged in affaires &c. They flying publike places, townes and tumultes, chused rather to passe their tyme, in mountaines, where they haue nothing common with those secular affaires; where they haue noe trouble with any humane thinge, noe sorowe, noe greife, noe anxious ca­res, noe perills, noe ambushes, noe enuie, noe dishonest loue, nor any of those miseries, but meditate alreadie, and aforehand, what be­longes to the kingdome to come.

The same Age. S. Augustine. Who kno­wes not that the multitudes of Christian people, who keepe an extreame continencie, doe dayly more and more spread themselues all ouer the [Page 36] world, but principally in the easte, and in Egipt, which is a thinge which you cannot be ignorant of? I will say nothing of those whom I haue mentioned a little aboue, who being who­ly sequestred from the sight of men, inhabite most desart places, contenting themselues with breade alone, which is brought them at certaine tymes, and water; where they inioy heauenly conferences with God, to whom they wholy ad­heare with puritie of hart, being most happie in the contemplation of his beautie, which can onely be seene by the purified myndes of Saintes. I will not, I say, speake of those, because some are of opinion, that they haue but too much abandonned humane affaires, while they vn­derstand not, how much their mynds, may ad­vantage vs by their prayers, as their liues also by their example. If those others seeme to passe our abilities, who will not admire preach and prayse those who hauing contemned and cast of the allurementes of the world, and being gathe­red together in a most chaste and holy common life, passe their yeares together in prayer and reading, being neither puffed vp with pride, nor waxe tu bulent by stuborne adhearance to their owne sense, nor eaten vp with enuie, but are modest, bashfull, peaceable, offering to God (by whose mercy they merited to obteyne [Page 37] all these vertues) a life full of concorde, and wholy attentiue to his seruice, which is a most gratefull present to his diuine Maiestie.

And this is the life of women too, who serue God with solicitude and chastitie, and liuing at a distance from men, as farre as decencie re­quires, they are onely vnited to them, by cha­ritie, and the imitation of their vertue. Noe young people come neere them, nor euen aged persons neither, of what grauitie and approued life soeuer they be, saue onely to the out-gate to bring them their necessaries.

They that vowe Virginitie to God, how euer they are in a higher degree of honour and san­ctitie in the Church of God, are not for all that depriued of mariage, since they togeither with the whole Church, belonge to the maria­ge where Iesus Christ is the Bridegrome.

Run on therfor, O you Saintes of God, young men vnd maydes, men and women, batchelour and vnmarried people, hold out perseuerantly to the end. Prayse our Lord more sweetly, whom you thinke of more frequently; hope in him mo­re happily, whom you serue more instantly; lo­ue him more ardently, whom you please more attentiuely. Expect our Lord coming from the mariages with girt loynes, and burning lam­pes. You shall bring with you a new Canticle to [Page 38] the mariage of the lambe, which you shall singe n ith your Harpes. Not such an one as the who­le earth sings, to which is said, let all the earth singe a Canticle to our Lord but such an one as none but your selues shall be able to singe. For so was it seene in the Apocalips by one that was beloued of the lambe, by speciall priuiledge, aboue the rest, who was accusto­med to repose in his bosome, aud thence drunke, and deliuered, heauenly wonders of the word of God. He saw you one hundred fortie foure thou­sand holy Harpers, all of an vuspotted Virgini­tie in body, and of an tuuiolable truth in hart. And because you follow the lambe wheresoeuer he goes, he wrote of you. Whither doe we thinke this Lambe goes? Into what pastures and me­dowes? where I beleeue the grasse is heauenly delightes, not the vane delightes of this world, which are franticke lyes: nor such delightes nei­ther, as others which are not virgines shall in­ioy, euen in the kingdome of heauen, but deligh­tes formally distinguished from all those others, delights of the Virgines of Christ, in Christ, with Christ, after Christ, by Christ, for Christ, in a word, the proper and peculiar delightes of the Virgines of Christ. And not those of sich as are not Virgines, though otherwise of Christ. For others haue other ioyes, but none haue the [Page 39] like. Springe on into those ioyes, follow the lam­be, for his flesh too was Virgine flesh.

S. Gregorie the great, speaking of Mo­nasticallIn the 6 Age. persons, adornes them with the great prerogatiue of sitting iudges of the world with Christ, saying: There are others which are not iudged, but raigne, who also by the perfections of their vertues, out-run the commandementes of the Law: who are not one ly content to complie with what the Law commands to all in generalt, but spurred on wit a more generous desire, striue to performe mor­then they had heard by the generall commande­ments. To such it is said by the mouth of Christ, you that haue for saken all thinges, and followed me, when the sonne of man shall be s [...]tt in the seate of his Maiestie, you, I say, shall also be seated vpon twelue Thrones; to iudge the twel­ue Tribes of Israel; It is of them too, that the Prophete saith: our Lord will come to Iudge­ment with the Ancients of his people. And Sa­lomon speaking of the spouse of the holy Church, Her husband is honored in the Gates, when he is set with the Senatours of the earth. Wherfore it is they who are not iudged at the last iudge­ment, but raigne, because they too come in qualitie of Iudges togeither with their Crea­tour. And the reason is, because for saking all [Page 40] thinges, they executed more by a prompt deuo­tion, then they heard commanded in generall. Aud in verie deede, it was by a speciall com­mande, that that was said to a small number of the more perfect; & not generally to all, which the rich youmg man heard, goe and sell the thinges, which thou hast, giue ro the poore, and thou shalt haue a treasure in heauen, come, and follow me.


Of the fruites of Monasticall life.


MADAME, Beleeue the workes, was the maxime of a wise man: and that other of wisdome itselfe ex fructibus eorum cognoscet is eos, comes home to the same thinge. To this sure tryall I am here to inuite your prudence. Let not your more impartiall iudgement be so much swayed by what they say, or euen what we say, but by what our Lord saith: you shall know them by their fruites. What they say (to witt our enemyes, as your Honour has the good­nes to tell vs) we shall hereafter, with iu­stice protest against, as fowle calumnies: [Page 41] & howeuer we can scarse hope, that what we say, should passe for payment; yet su­re we are, that what our workes say, ought to be the wise mans satisfaction. Please then to know monasticall life, and liuers, by their fruites.

And may not we say to that effect with­out fearing to meete with any specious contradiction, that Monafteries haue pro­duced such multitudes of ripe fruites, frui­tes I say of pietie, of learning, of conuer­sions of nations, that had not our prodi­gall slaunderers loued emptie huskes bet­ter then the pure, & solide bread of their fathers house from which they fled, they had found delightfull varietie enough to haue fed their thoughtes vpon. But as S. Augustine could tell the world 12. hun­dred yeares agoe. It is noe wonder that they hate the name Monke or vnitie, who haue cutt themselues from the vnitie of the Church. And that the name of Monke, stands in their way, since they will not liue together with their brethren, but by following Donatus &c. quitt Iesus Christ.

What a large field would a learned pen haue to labour in, and what pen so learned as would not euen be oppressed, should it [Page 42] vndertake to point out the fruites of pic­tie which haue sprung from the Alumnu­ses of Monasticall life? Sure I am it is a work so farre out speakinge my smale abilitie, that I ch [...]fe rather tymely to stri­ke sayle, then to giue into so uaste an O­cean. I will therfor say nothing of those huge fires of deuotion, which our Basiles, Hieromes, Augustines, Benets, Grego­ries, and thousands more of their disci­ples (euen to this day well knowen to the whole world) left behind them to infla­me Christian hartes.

Nor will I aduenture to relate what great lightes and ornaments Monasticall life brought out in later ages, as Aquina­ses, Bonauentures, Albertus Magnuses, Bernards, & multitudes more whose lear­ned monuments the whole world vene­rates, and admires, till this day. Nor fi­nally attempt the particularising of those Monasticall persons who haue either be­ne blessed authours, or instruments, of the conuersion of a great part of this kno­wen world, & euen of allmost all the new (which none can question) to the faith of Christ. I will onely confine my discour­se, to our owne little world, togeither with [Page 43] some neere neighbouring nations.

Madame, What doe we owne of Chri­stian religion, which we must not origi­nally ascribe vnto them? What of pietie, wherin their sacred cells had not a great part? What of learning diuine and humai­ne, wherof their Schooles may not iustly chalenge the deepest share? What of an­cient historie wherof they were not the cheife and almost onely authours? Was the light of Christ his benignitie and hu­manitie to shine to those that sat in darknesse and in the shadowe of death, euen to vs shutt out from the world? Gods prouidēce makes vse of one of tho­se for the worke, who in the Actes 4. had but one hart and one soule, to plant at once in the hart of our Land, as well Christia­nitie, as fraternitie, and to teach vs how good and pleasant a thinge it is for bro­thers to liue in vnitie and communitie, I meane that famous Decurio S. Ioseph of Arimathea, who had the honnour, and happinesse to burie our Blessed Sauiour accompaigned with cleauen other Sain­tes, begun that renowned Abbey of Glos­tenburie, that Mother of Monasteries, and Saintes.

Was that tymely light obscu­red [Page 44] or extinguished? two monasticall per­sons, to witt Phaganus and Deruuianus, Monkes, are sent from Rome to re-kin­dle and restore it, at king Lucius instance to Pope Elutherius.

Doth religion in England for a second or third tyme fall into decay? Rome, in S. Gregorie the Great his person, comes in to our ayde: and Religious persons are made the instruments of our Happinesse, to witt S. Augustine and his companions.

And was not scolland and Ireland ma­de happie by the like meanes. Rome sent, and Monkes were the men, and by those holy workmen, Patrike, Palladius &c. the blessed worke of the conuersion of those two Nations was accomplished.

Noe lesse can be ascribed to them, in point of deuotion and pietie. For who euer so largely contributed to it, and ma­de themselues so manifestly knowen by their fruites? Witnesse S. Anselmes trea­tises of pietie, Hiltons Scala perfectionis, that vnparelled peece, Tauleres, Har­pius, Susos, Ruisbrochius, and Thomas a Kempis, all their admirable workes. All Monasticall persons, or Monkes (for I take the word in its latitude as it is exten­ded [Page 45] to all religious persons) and our nee­re neighbours, in or about the skirts of Germanie. What is more diuinely inflam­ing then those of S. Anselmes? What more solidly and Christianly perfect then that and many other peeces of Hilton? what more sublimely mysticall then tho­se of Taulere, Harphius, Suso, Ruisbro­ke. What more full then that of Maubor­nus? What more heauenly simple and more aduantagiously coming home to euery ones vse, then Kempis his workes? They afforde honie and milke to the least children, and yet proue solide foode to the most manly appetite. As many lines, as many pious sentences; & as many sen­tences as many firie darts to peirce the most hardened harte. Should I endeuour highly to commend them, I should not much feare to offend any, since the worlds iudgmenthath long agoe past vpon them, and giuen them to be the best of spirituall bookes; and withall, being in euery ones hands, they speake the language of hea­uen more profitably for themselues, by their effects. Thus much in short, accor­ding to my purpose, to giue a smale taste of the delicious fruites of monasticall pie­tie, [Page 46] which would yet haue bene much better proued by their liues then by their lynes, could they haue bene of so large extent, and perpetuitie. Now to frui­tes of Monastikes learning; which, as I humbly confesse to your Lasp passes my abilities, as being shutt vp in Latine, wher­in my knowledge it but slender, and ther­for I had recouse to an honest friend, who tooke the paines to bestowe vpon vs what followes.

Mr Howeuer I must cōfesse you haue ma­de noe happie choyce, in addressing your selfe to a man who hath spent the least parte of his tyme in histories, and who, when he is taken at the best, passes for no­thing among men of learning: yet being called vpon by Mrs du Vergers, who is knowen to be a louer of learning, and a verie vertuoso in antiquities, beyond the rate of a woman: and that too, in order to a noble person whose abilities belyes her sexe, to furnish her with better cha­racters of Monastical life, then it seemes she had formerly mett with, I should iud­ge it a cryme to suffer the truth of a fact lye a bleeding, for want of contributing some few howres of my tyme to make [Page 47] Iome of our Latine Authours speake en­glish in that behalfe. And indeede what is not offered to one in that kind by our English historians, both friends and ene­mys vt inimici eorum, sintiudices, to make ourverie enemys our Iudges. And what is not willingly acknowledged by forraigne nations, who haue fedd, and to this day doe feede of the fruites of it with singular approbation. Certainly if I sparingly pay any expectation in this behalse, it is plentie that makes me poore, the­re being noe nation vnder heauen (I thinke I may confidently affirme it) that more flourished in this behalfe, or affor­ded a more ample subject of prayse? whe­re Monasteries were not so much free schooles of some, as Vniuersities of all kind of learning. Where monkes were noe lesse Angells in their Celles, then Masters and Apostles at home and abrode when Charitie called.

To begin then to complie with your re­ligious desires: was it not a thing worthy of admiration, that one Monke (venera­ble Bede I meane) borne, and brought vp, in the verie skirts, and remotest cor­ner, of this litle world of ours, shutt out [Page 48] from the greater world, should haue co­me to such a highth of all kind of know­ledge, that Sixtus Senensis, and Posseui­ne should leaue this famous testimonie of him, saying: he was excellent in all kind of discipline, being skilfull in the greeke and lati­nc tongues; being a Poete, a Rhetoritian, Hi­striographer, Astromomer, Arithmetician, Chroniologer, Cosmographer, Philosopher, Di­uine, and that so admirable an one, in that ty­me, that it grew into a prouerbe among the mo­re knowing of that Age, that a man borne in the remotest corner of the world, out stript the whole world besides in witt &c.

And Baleus, who is knowen to be noe great friend to Monasticall life, adds yet to the former testimonie, and saith: he was esteemed by many to excelle Gregorie the Great, by reason of his exact knowledge in the greeke and latine tongues. Thereis nothing in all antiquitie worth the reading, which we meete not with in him, in their due places. Had he liued in Hieromes, Augustines, and Chrysostomes Age, I am confident he might haue entered into comparison with them. He putt out many workes replenished with all kind of learning.

The like testimonies might be brought from Baronius, Bellarmine, the Magde­burgians, [Page 49] Foxe, Camden, Cooper and many others, were it not to abuse the rea­ders patience. Wherfor leauing these te­stimonies of words, I will rather passe ouer to his owne workes which giue yet a better testimonie for him, and for the singular fruites of Monasticall life. This great and venerable light then, did not onely illustrate his owne Monasterie, and all that vtmost corner of the world, but euen all England, with his admirable lear­ning and pietie. Nor were yet those glo­rious talents of his, buried within the too narrow compasse of that Iland, but euen passed the Sea, and were distributed to France and Italie. For he made and sent out his learned schoollers to instruct them both. Witnesse that most famous Vniuer­sitie (Paris I meane) of the whole world, which drew its Origine from them. And the Vniuersitie of Pauie in Italie, which acknowledgeth the same Authours. To witt Charles the Great, at the instance of his delicious Master Alcuine, one of S. Bedes schollers (as that most renowned Emperour was wont to style him) pleased to erect the Vniuersitie of Paris vnder his [Page 50] direction. Whervpon he sent into En­gland for some of his chiefe schollers, by name, Iohn Scot, Glaude, and Clement, whom he constituted the first Masters there, to instruct the children of the gen­trie, and prime Nobilitie of all France, & to season them in pietie, faith, religion, good manners, & euerie best kind of lite­rature. So that whatsoeuer the French ha­ue subtile in Philosophie; of gentile and ciuile in their comportement; and solide in diuinitie, and matter of faith, they owe it to the English, and particularly to this delicious Master of one of the greatest Emperours that euer the world knew, Alcuine, togeither with his fore­named companions, and Disciples.

Further what glorie did not redound to Monasticall life, and to all our nation, in the person of Alexander Hallensis, who had the honour to be master, to two of the greatest Masters (and they Monkes two) that euer the Church of God had in schoole diuinitie, to witt Thomas Aqui­nas, that Angell of the Schoole, and S. Bonauenture.

And who doth not heare the names of [Page 51] those other great heroes of learning and pietie, & vnparelled ornaments of Mona­sticall discipline with a kind of astonish­mēt. I meane Aldelmus, Scotus, Occham, Holcot, Bacon, Weldensis, Bridlingtonus, Capgrauius, Richardus Victorinus, Ealre­dus, with whole troopes of illustrious wri­ters to the number of 700. and odde, out of each of their orders, to witt Augustiniā Benedictian, Carmelite, Cistercian, Do­minicane and Franciscan. Wherof some were continually imployed in writing & teaching, and became the admired or­naments of both vniuersities, as the learned monuments they haue left behind them, are to this day the richest gemmes of their Libraries, and the cheife or onely rarities which delight­fully draw strangers out of other nations to behold them with veneration. Where doubtlesse they [...]onder to find more commentaries vpon diuinitie (and for the most part by Monasticall persons) of the same nation in this litle world of ours, then happly they find in all the world be­sides: one hundred and Sixtie famous schoole men (as Pits is my warrant) hau­ing written vpon the Summe of Diui­Others, [Page 52] (the light of whose singular lear­ning and the odour of whose vertuous life could not be conteyned within the walls of a Monasterie) were called by Charitie and sent out of their Celles by obedience, and placed vpon the Candle sticke that they might giue light to the whole house of God. Hence the forenamed Pitts giues vs a Catalogue of 220. Archbishopps and Bishops famous for learning and sancti­tie, wherof the greatest number were Monasticall persons, togeither with such as had drunke wisdome from their reli­gious fountaines. This is a truth which needs noe proofe, it being auouched by all our English Historians, as well by ad­uersaries as friends. Howbeit those holy Monkes were not so much inuited to lea­ue their celles as to change them: nor to forsake their Monasteries, which Were re­moued from the world, as called to more famous ones, Cathedrall Monasteries, to serue the world and charitably to com­municate to it the blessed store which they had treasured vp in their solitude, following the order which S. Gregorie gaue to Candidus Bishope, willing him in the tyme of want of parish Preists, to [Page 53] visite the Monasteries in his Diocese, and take such Monkes as were worthy to be made Preists out of their orders and Mo­nasteries, and make them Parish Preists. And that of S. Hierome so liue in the Mo­nasterie that thou mayst deserue to be a Priest: learne a long tyme that thou mayst teach after­wards &c. since according to S. Augusti­ne, a good Monke doth scarce at length proue a good clergie man. So high a rate putts he vpon that state of life, which ought not onely to endeuour each ones saluation in particular, but that of others, the gayning of soules being truly, and properly an Apostolicall imployment, which issued immediately from Christ; as he himselfe issuing from his heauenly father, was sent for noe other end. As my liuing father sent me so I send you: and therefore going out into the vniuersall world, preach the Gospell to all creatures &c.

But our famous, fruitfull, and holy Monasticall seminaries, had not onely well ordered troopes enough to people our Bishopes seas, & to fight against vice in our owne Land, which Berinus perfe­cted at home with huge successe; and Eg­bertus in Scolland, but afforded also plen­tifull [Page 54] reserues, to make heade against pa­ganisme & to plant the faith of Christ in forraine Nations. There are yet Wilfre­des. Willibrords, Suibertes and Bonifa­ciuses with many holy companions left at home, to be sent abrode in Apostolicall mission, to conuert externe and adiacent neighbours. To these doe a great part of Germanie, Holland, Zeland, Saxonie, friseland and others, owe the happie be­ginings of their Christianitie.

In Germanie Boniface laboured for the space of 30. yeares so successefully, that, witnesse Gregorie the third, he baptised one hundred thousand of them, conuer­ting withall, Franconia, Noricum, Baua­ria, Turingia, Hassia, some part of Sa­xonie, Dacia, Slauonia, and Fresia. And thece deseruedly had the title of the Apostle of Germanie.

S. Suibert preached the word of God to all the Couutrie round about Mastric­ke, to Holland, Loraine, Denmarke, Westphalia, Saxonie, and in a more pecu­liar manner purchaced the Apostle ship­pe therof. And this not without huge la­bours, and prodigious miracles, which were crowned with admirable successe, [Page 55] and a happie accomplishment.

Wilfride wonne the other Saxons from Idolatrie, and instructed and bapti­sed many thousands of them leauing the worke to be compleated by willebrord &c.

And finally by the labours of S. Willi­brord, Frise, the neerer Saxonie, Wes­phalia, Guelderland, Cliuia, Iuliers, Hol­land, Zelande, were all conuerted to the faith of Christ. By these christian and Apostolicall fruites, let Monasticall life be knowen, and liue in eternall memorie.

But while these great thinges were hap­pily performed abrode, by 4. holy Mon­kes of S. Benets order, what was done at home? Marrie while these were conuer­ting infidells to the faith, the holy Bis­hops with their holy Monkes at home, are labouring to improue the faithfull. While these feede their tender Catecu­mens with mylke, they, (the Bishops &c.) confirme the stronger sorte with more solide foode. Finally while these re­concile sinners, they make and Canoni­se Saintes. (as We shall see hereafter) so that to speake with Venerable Bede. In those dayes, the whole solicitude that those Do­tours [Page 56] had, was to serue God, not the world: their onely care, to nourrish the soule, not the bellie. Hence it was that the habite of religion was as had in great veneration at that tyme. In so much that whersocuer any clergie man or Monke chanced to come, he was receiued by all with much ioy, as a seruant of God; yea if they happened to meete him going abrode, the peo­ple flocked to him, and bowing downe their heads, they were ouerioyed either to receiue the signe of the Crosse from his hand, or a Bene­diction from his mouth.

Would you rather haue the assurance of their good imployment from a mouth lesse subiect to suspition. Take it then frō Spelman, who is as faithfull in relating antiquitie, as litle studious of Catholike aduantages in it. The Clergie, saith he, was In his [...] at Epist.[?] to the Coun­cells & c pious and diligent in frequent fastes, prayers and diuine worshippe (according to their man­ner) but in almes deedes, and workes of chari­tie, and in the aduancement of the Church of God, it was in verie decde wonderfully illu­strious.

Truly, goes he on, a litle after, all the Clergie was in a igh esteeme of honour both with the common people, the nobilitie, and the English Saxon kinges themselues, which too, they in­ioyed [Page 57] not vpon a title at preasure, but it was euen confirmed vpon them by the Lawes The Preist that celebrated at the Altar was equall to the Lord of the Village, held in the same te­neur with him, and had the like honour done to him. The Abbot, or cheife Gouernour of the Monasterie, was principall among the Barons: as the Bishope was also amōgst the cheife Coun­tes, who inioyed a whole Countie, and the com­mittements therto belonging. The Archbis­hope was aboue a Duke, or Peere, or Gouernour of a most ample Prouince, which conteyned many counties &c. To witt the kinges hartily loued, and looked vpon, the whole Clergie with a gracious countenance, and alwayes chused out of it the first of his priuie Councell, and the cheife Minister of state for in those Ages the keyes of learning and knowledge was onely in their hands, and so it come to passe, that the Preists mouth was the peoples oracle; and the mouth of the Bishope, the Oracle of the kinge, and common wealth. The Bishope therfor satt in the first place in all the assises, sessions, and Courts of the kingdome: in the kinges Pallace with the Peeres of the Land: in the Counties, togeither with the Counte and iustice of peace of the Countie. In the Vicountie, with the Vi­counte: in the hundred with the Lord of the Hun [Page 58] dred: in such sort that the one sword mutually helped the other in promoting instice, and no­thing was done without the Preists aduise, who was, as it were, the balance to the shippe.

To these let vs adde the noble testimo­nie of the great Baronius, saying with a kind of astonishment: so great was the fer­uent zeale of the primitiue Church of England to holy religion, that by the multitudes of Mon­kes, who applyed themselues to the studie of di­uine Phylosophie, the whole Iland was reple­nished with Monasteries, wherin the verie kinges (who had shewen themselues Lions in warres) became presently most mylde Lambes, inclosed with in the walls of a sacred solitude; whence we may gather from the iudgement of those kinges, that what was auerred of old, by most holy, religious, and prudent persons, was most true, to witt, that Monasticall life ought to be preferred before the life of a kinge, since many of them, as is euident by our best histo­rians, being exceedingly renowned for their great prudence; illustriously glorious in the world, and flowing with riches, did yet out of the esteeme they had, that Monasticall life was a greater good, vnderualuing all those in compa­rison of this, they quite abandoned those, and made choyce of this by preference.

[Page 59]Heare Spelman againe, howeuer an aduersarie, in this behalfe. If we descend to kinges of following Ages, who will not stand amaysed at the admirable pietie, the incredible feruour, the incomparable Almes-deedes, the multitudes of their workes of mercy, their ex­cessiue bountie and liberalitie heaped vpon the Ministers of God, and their stupendious and magnificent profusion, in building, adorning and inriching Churches. They count vpon about 30. kinges and Queenes, within the spa­ce of two hundred yeares, who casting of the the pompe and splendourof an earthly kingdome to take the kingdome of heauen by a holy vio­lence, betooke themselues to a religious solitude, to witt 15. kinges (or more) became Monkes, or pilgrimes to Rome: 14. Queenes Nunns: and twelue kinges suffered Martyrdome by infidells, and ten more canonised for their wonderfull sanctitie. So that one saith: It was a wonder in those dayes to see a kinge who was not a Sain­te: and another in his Cronicle affirmes, that he found more kinges Saintes in Ingland, then in any other Prouince of the whole world, how populous soeuer. I passe ouer the greate multi­tude of the Royall issue to speake of kinges alone.

Yet what he passes ouer, who was tyed [Page 60] to the lawes of an Epistle, others make it their busines to prosecute at large, and to putt downe their names & number; theirF. Wat­thewes in his Marty rologe. professions, liues, and sanctitie, numbe­ring vp 25. (besides 14. or 15. more of the bloud royall) who of sonns and daughters of Kinges, became humble Monks and Nunns, & the most of them famous Sain­tes. Adding withall to his number of Re­ligious Queenes, seauen more to make vp 21. Might not then Baronius affirme of the Church of England in those dayes, that it was, a Paradice of our Lord abounding with the lilies of holy Virgines, and the violets of the multitudes of holy Monkes?

Thus to complie with the breuitie you prescribe me, haue I rather heaped toge­ther, then exposed the glories of our Na­tion sprung from our English Monaste­ries, those blessed and and fruictfull nur­series of Gods Church. I haue reduced, I saie, great things (were they sett out to shew) into a little Mappe, which as it brings the aduantage of making many & vast obiects, obuious to be discouered with one cast of an eye: so brings it this disad­uantage, that they appeare not in their true light, luster, and bulke, but incom­parablie [Page 61] lesse then nature, lesse then what indeed they are, whereas particulars (had they not been too long for this de­signe) were fitter to strike the senses mo­re liuely, and to feede the eyes and hart with farr more delight and satis faction. For the rest, my knowing friend, if the little I haue said fall short of your expe­ctation, I assure you, you may well par­don me, since I euen starued my selfe, to please you, out of a friendly feare I con­ceiued, that the too much I might haue said, should haue passed your desire, and oppressed you with plentie; Otherwise, what glorious particulars might not haue been easily produced? what prodigies might not haue been said of that Land of God: that first Land of Saintes in En­gland; that beginning and fountaine of all Re­ligion in England: that tombe of Saintes, that mother of Saintes: whereby England is rightly stiled the parent or Mother Monasterie of all Europe. As the Theater of greater Britaine stiles [...].

Thus farre goes my friend, Madame, in the behalfe of the singular fruits of Monasticall life, where your honour will obserue, his greatest paine was rather to [Page 62] crude vp a most plentifull haruest into a little space, then to expose it to a full and satisfactorie view. And yet, happily, ta­ken euen at that disaduantage, it appea­res more then anie equall proportion of all the Christian world besides is able to paralelle. And now, Madame, laying by, as it were, the aduantages which Monasti­call life iustly drawes from Antiquitie, Authoritie of fathers, and the ripe fruites it brings forth, lets trye whether reason alone may not proue preualent enough to make it appeare superlatiuely lauda­ble, and free it from the preiudices it is made lye vnder.


The excellencie of Monasticall life made good by Reason.

MADAME, If in what state of lif soeuer we liue, this transitori life, is only lent vs by following the waie of truth, to attaine to essentiall and per manent life, or life euerlasting; by follow ing the waies of truth, which is the end c [Page 63] mans creation, and euerie thing is per­fected by attayning to its last end, which none can attaine to but by the guidance of Truth, and walking in the waies which it chiefly points out. Certainely it seemes consequent enough to me, to giue prehe­minence of excellencie, to that course of life, be it which it will, which of its owne nature, stickes closest to the waies which Truth markes out, or, which is the same thing, that makes best vse of life to arriue at the end for which it was giuen.

Now whereas all the Rules that Truth euer deliuered, euen all the lawe and the Prophets, are by that truth reduced to one, according to that of the Apostle, the fullnesse of the law is loue, it followes euidently, that that kind of life is most excellent, which most conduceth to loue, and putts loue and charitie into a most ab­solute and soueraigne raigne, since that alone comprises all the Rules or waies which Truth euer taught.

And indeed, Charities blessed and sweete raigne, would be alwaies peacea­ble, setled, and soueraigne, did not cu­piditie, her corriuall to mans hart, distur­be her peace, and take off from her soue­raigntie. [Page 64] That life then which of its owne nature, and by her holy practises most curbes and takes off from cupiditie, adds most to Charitie; and consequently, is the best and most excellent kind of life, as being most happily imployed by ad­uancing the raigne of Charitie, to arriue at the end for which life was lent.

But whereas it is not by one single Cu­piditie that Charities raigne is laid at, but by innumerable multitudes which make their assaults vnder three colours, concu­piscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life, that kind of life must nee­des be most excellent, which makes it its whole businesse, to studie and endeauour the totall ruine of Cupiditie; which Were it once entirely subdued, Charitie would soe soueraignly raigne in mans hart, that he would be restored to a neere resem­blance of that happie state wherein man was created.

Now what life is it, if not mo­nasticall life, which of its owne na­ture, most absolutely followes the waies deliuered by truth, wholy to adheare to God, which is done by Charitie but Monasticall life? What life doth most [Page 65] remoue the impediments by which the groth and raigne of Charitie is hindred and disturbed, but Monasticall life? what life doth so totaly sacrifice itselfe vp to God, as Monasticall life? Lets examine the truth of each particular. What were the waies which Truth marked out by his owne example, but abiection, humiliation pouertie, chastitie, and obedience? To which also he continually exhorted by his word, saying: He that hateth not his Father, and Mother, and wife, and chil­dren, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his owne life besides, he cannot be my disciple, &c. Againe, he that doth not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be my Disciple. And what life doth so for­mallie and absolutely leade to, and ex­presse this example and doctrine, as Mo­nasticall life, which is indeede noe other thinge, then a state and profession, of sub­iection and obedience, with a kind of pro­fessed hatred against all that is deare in nature, an open warre against flesh and blood, and a perfect dispossession and abandonment of all things.

I know what I haue been alwaies taught that it is but the common obligation of [Page 66] all Christians to loue God aboue all thin­ges: yea, and for his sake, in some cir­cumstances to leaue all things, together with life itselfe, since Truth itselfe assu­res vs, that he who loues life better then him, is not worthie of him. I know it was not said to religious persons alone, by our sweete Sauiour, but to all the world: He that doth not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my Disciple: I know what the great Apostle deliuered generally to all men: That they that haue wiues, should be as though they had them not, and they that wee­pe,Cor. 1.7.29.as though they wept not: and they that re­ioyce, as though they reioyced not: and they that buy as though they possessed not: and they that vse this world, as though they vsed it not. Yet are all these passages to be vnder­stood with a graine of salt, not in an ab­solute rigour, as words intimating and exhorting to a decent moderation to be vsed in them without to much ingage­ment, not putting an iniunction of an in­tire forsaking & abandonement of them: a renountiation in the resolution & pre­paration of the mind, not in act: in affectiō not in effect; saue onely in such coniun­ctures, as either they or God is to be left. [Page 67] Whereas monasticall life actually and in­deede forsakes all, not leauing her pro­fessours anie thing at all in proprietie, at anie time, in any coniuncture. How farre are her Alumnuses from the inordinate vse or abuseof wiues, when the lawfull vse of them, or euen the power to haue them is quite taken from them; they remay­ning like to the Angells of God &c.

And how truly doe they vse the world as though they vsed it not, who flye from it, and shutts it out from them? To witt, they haue heard from S. Iohn, and giuen credit to him, that all that the world can bragge of, is but the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life: pleasures, riches honours, and all those they knowe to be the trea­cherous Rebells which Cupiditie im­ployes to raise vp the cittie of Babilon, euen to the contempt of God. And against these they proclaime and vowe a holy warre, which is to laste as longe as life lasteth. Not that onlie which all Chri­stians are boūd to fight; by fasting, to sub­due the concupiscence of the flesh, or carnall pleasures: By Almes deedes to quench the inordinate thirst of riches: [Page 68] and by praier to vanquish the swelling desires of honours and pride of life. But by a more admirable and resolute one turning themselues quite naked, that the enemie may haue noe hints to catch hold of. Doth (may they seeme to saie) con­cupiscence of the flesh attempt vpon the loue I owe to my Lord, by diuiding the bedd of my hart, which is but too too narrowe for him alone, vpon the diuersi­aie of louely obiectes, which may indee­de allure and illude, but neuer sociate it? But this is an iniurie to my Spouse, a dis­loyaltie to the Lord I resolue to loue alo­ne: I will not onely then chastise that wanton, (which may be subiect to loue, or to be loued, where I like not) & bring it into seruitude following the Apostles pra­ctise; but according to his counsell too, I will cutt of all pretention to any com­merce in that kind, by the vowe of Cha­stitie.

Doth the ioue of base lucre, striue to steale away my hart to the insatiable pur­sute of those staruing riches, which neuer mount to so greate heapes but that my in­censed desires rise to greater, waxing still lesse happie, by how much I possesse mo­re [Page 69] of that which I esteeme my felicitie? voluntarie pouertie shall quench that vn­naturall thirst, which plentie could not; in want will I find that satisfaction, which aboundance could neuer afford. I will not onely by the helpe of almes deedes endeuour from tyme to tyme to allay those hydropicall humours, but by relin­quishing all at once, that I either haue, or may hope for, I will drye vp the sour­se of those afflicting desires, which make me equally want that which I haue, and that which I haue not: so that hauing no­thing, with the world, I may possesse all, with the richly poore Apostle.

Finally doth the restlesse prosecution of the emptie fumes of honour, that con­sumption of the brains, to find still more and more accesse to new dignities; that gaping after, and graspingat, and leaning vpon the vanishing winds of other mens mouthes, which blow both hote and cold in a moment, hinder me from paying the tribute of all honour, and glorie, to my Lord, to Whom it is wholy due? To tread downe that emptie vanitie, I will not one­ly send vpp the incense of my prayers to God, but by obedience cast my selfe downe [Page 70] at the feete of another, to whom I other­wise I owe it not, to liue at his disposition, and discretion, vpon free choyce: to haue the actions of my life directed by his im­partiall hand, not misled by selfe flatte­rie; and to haue the restlesse sallies of my mynd kept in by his care, and prudence, from galding abrode after vanities, delu­ding lyes, and afflictions of Spirit.

In a word, all that I haue, (and it is as much as euer man stoode possessed of) is goodes of fortune, goods of body, and goods of mynde; all which I freely offer vp in Holocaust to the good Donor, with­out reserue, or clause of redemption, to liue euer after as one deade to the world.

All this, Madame, is noe more then the prescript of Monasticall life; this is that she inioynes, and imposes vpon all her forter-children indifferently. If any perish because they follow it not, let them not father the fault vpon the good phisitian who prescribed life; nor putt as­persions vpon the Soueraigne receipts, which neuer fayle of wished effects, whe­re it finds obedient patients. Her gene­rous renouncing of all, to follow naked Christ naked, is truly Euangelicall. Her [Page 71] humble obedience is worthily preferred before a sacryfice. Her communitie of purses, and vnitie of hartes, is euidently Apostolicall. Her continuall praying & singing Psalmes before the Throne of God, and puritie[?] of body and mynde, is noelesse, according to the ancient Fathers phrayse, then Angelicall, or, in a cor­ruptible body, a worke of incorruption. Ought all these faire ornamentes and ad­uantages to be besmeered by the perso­nall crymes of some few transgressours? Must a litle chaffe preiudicate the plen­tifull store of pure wheate layd vp in Christs grenaries? This is but, as S. Au­gustine obserued in his tyme, to sit, and spie vpon other mens liues, yea to catch and carpe at what is most deformed ther­in; and if some B shope, or clergie man monke or Nun chance to fayle, to make it their busines to insult, and tryumph, earnestly endeauouring to haue all the rest be conceiued to be persons of the sa­me alloye. While yet euen they, neither reiect their wiues, nor accuse their Mo­ther, though some maried woman should happen to be ouertaken in adultrie.

Madame, if this were all that our ad­uersaries [Page 72] aymed at, to find some Mona­sticall persons as blacke as their neigh­bours: should you haue discourse with so­me of the most religious Monkes, they would haue humilitie enough to giue mo­re, then such aduersaries could easily proue.

That how holy soeuer their profession is, they meete with many profane and vnsanctified subiects.

That notwithstanding they are seque­stred from the world, and haue the most of their conuersation in heauen, yet they beare mortall bodies about with them, which waigh downe the soule.

That though they haue put in, and ryde in the safest harbour that this mali­gnant world can afford, yet find they not themselues secure, since many haue suf­fered shipwrake, euen in the hauen.

That, happily, they humbly confesse with S. Augustine, that as they neuer found any better then such as profit and make progresse in Monasteries, so neuer found they any worse then such as liue not according to their holy profession, the corruption of the best prouing al­wayes the worst.

[Page 73] Noe, Madame, there is none among vs so impudently proude, as to sanctifie all our Cellites. None striues so to blanch them, as to leaue noe spot in them? who dares affirme he is not a sinner, will not fayle to be found a lyer. But we rather all, humbly; that is truly; that is Christianly, confesse with S. Augustine, that how watchfull soeuer the discipline of his hou­se may be, yet he is a man, and liued among men, nor dare he arrogate to himselfe that his house is better the Noes arch, where amongst eight persons one was found a reprobate. Or better then Abrahams familie, where it was said, cast out the handmayde, and her sonne. Or better then the house of Isaac, to whom it was said touching his twinns: I haue loued Iacob, but haue hated Esau. Or better then the house of the said lacob, where the sonne incestuously defiled his fathers bedd. Or better then Dauids ow­ne familie, whose sonne committed in­cest with his owne sister: and where his other sonne proued a rebelle against his fathers so great and holy graciousnesse to him. Or better then Paules cohabita­tion, who, had they bene all good among whom he liued, had neuer said: warres [Page 74] abrode, and feares at home: nor Would he speaking of Timothies sanctitie and faith haue said: I haue none that hath a bro­therly care of you: because euery one seekes thir owne, not what belonges to Iesus-Christ. Or better then Iesus-Christs owne socie­tie, wherin eleauen that were good, to­lerated the perfidous theife Iudas. Or bet­ter, finally, then heauen, whence the Angells fell. For in simplicitie of harte I confesse vnto your charitie, in the presen­ce of our Lord God, who is the witnesse of my harte, that since I first began to be the seruant of God, as in my experience, I haue hardly met with any better, then they that made progresse in Monasteries, so haue I not experienced Worse then such as fell in Monasteries. So that I haue conceiued that of the Apocalips (let the iust waxe more iust, and the filthie more fil thie) related to this. For the rest, though we are contristated by the corruption and filth of some few: yet are we comforted in many who are great ornaments. Doe not then, in regarde of the lees, `which offende your eyes, deteste the Presse, whence our Lords sellars are replenished with the fruitfull store of oyle which af­fords a most cleare and pure light.

A SHORT REPLY TO the Obiections.


Like drones they sucke vp the honey, they neuer tooke the paines to gather.


MADAME, if you haue plea sed to take the paines to per­vse the premises, you will haue seene these light obie­ctions vanish away, as dark­nesse disappeares vpon the approche of light; and apprehend tyme mispent that might be imployed in the particular re­futation therof. For what indeede are tho­se barkers, but scritchowles compared to those eagles. And what are their obie­ctions, but such as might be equally cast vpon the idle Minister, as well as the idle Monke. (Must he, his wife and children [Page 76] be forced to perish, because howeuer he preaches and prayes, yet he takes not the paines to gather what he and they eate?)

Nay euen vpon the Apostles themsel­ues and Apostolicall practises of the pri­mitiue tymes, at whose feete the primi­tiue Christians put downe the prices of their possessions without their labour. Must they too be tearmed drones because they sucked vp that honie which they neuer tooke the paines to gather? Or rather must not the Apostolicall Oracle be found proofe ag­ainst these vngrounded allegations. Know you not that they which worke in the holy place eate the thinges which are of the holy place: and they that serue the Altar participate with the Altar? so also our Lord ordayned for them that preach the Gospell, to liue of the Gospell. So true it is, that they that neither set, nor sow, nor reape, may haue a good title to a liuoly hoode. Or els not onely the Lord Abbot, and Abbesse; but euen the Lord Count, and Countesse, were either to pra­ctise a lesson they neuer learnt, to steale, or to starue.


They are an idle lazie, and vnprofitable people.


MADAME, were this as absolutly proued by those Calumniatours, as it is absolutly denyed by those that are concerned, as being rashly throw en out, not accompanied with any proofe or truth, yet what iust censure could that fasten vpon a profession so ancient, so ho­ly, so innocent, as you haue seene Mona­sticall life described; of which yet your honour vndertooke to speake, not of Mo­nasticall liuers? Ought the idlenesse of Christians to stayne the holynesse of Chistianitie? Must faith suffer because the faithfull proue loyterers and truands? Must the Gospell be sandaled because its professours practise it not? I dare well ap­peale and stand to your honours iudge­ment in this behalfe. You are too know­ing not to see the iniustice of such a pro­ceeding: Too noble, and good, and iust not to pronounce accordingly. But, Ma­dame, [Page 78] the assertion is rash and impu­dent, and conteynes noe truth in it, as to those Monasticall liuers, who liue accor­ding to the prescript of Monasticall life who euer were since Christ, and are still till this day, in great multitudes. Let not then the mixture of some chaffe make vs miskenne, or vnderualue the good whea­to. And please for a full solution to looke backe into the 4. Reflection.


They goe not to warrs to aduen­ture their liues.


THIS obiection comes on with so marciall a face, that it might seeme absolutly to beare downe all the poore Monkes before it. Whence we cannot sus­pect that it comes, with many others, out of Luthers or Caluines tents, who were as willing to sleepe in a whole skinne, as any the most fearefull Monke or Nun of them all. This must certainly be the exception: of some gallant who iudged nothing wor­thy of men, but being inrolled vnder [Page 79] Mars his coulours, leauing noe place for feminne merit; and vpon that score spent so much of his tyme in the field, that he neuer tooke leasure to looke home, and see what was behoofefull there. Where he should haue found the graue Senatours in their gownes, not vnnecessarily im­ployed in ordering his marches, motions, and attempts; and concluding that the sword ought to giue place to the gowne, Cedant arma togis: and that warrs proue fruitlesse abrode, if they be not guided by counsell taken at home. How, Mada­me, must the Priest needs now, as of old, imbrue his hands in a bloudie sacryfiee to passe without censure? Must the poore fryer needs sell his frocke to buy a sword, or els passe for a coward, or an vnprofita­ble seruant? Must men of all professions run to the warrs, or haue warre made against their possessiō? Well dare I pawne my credit vpon it, this neuer got into your Olio with any great approbation from your better iudgement.


And as for the women there are as many kept barren as would populate whole nations.


AS the last ingredient was too new and vnmortified, so is this, too sta­le to doe any grace to your dish. This is indeede as ancient as the old heretike Vi­gilantius and Iouinian, who seemed af­frayd in their tyme that mankind might haue fayled, forsouth, and yet thus mnay Ages after him, the world neither wants Virgines, nor wiues. What S. Augustine replyed to them then, may now serue for our answer to the present obiection, who spoke thus to Virgines of his tyme: con­tinue your course, run perseuerantly that you may comprehend, and forciblely draw all that you can with you into the same course, as well by the good example of your life, as by your pious exhortations: and permitt not your selues to be diuerted from that earnest endeuour, (wherby you excite many to follow your foot­stepps) by the clamours of vane fooles, who [Page 81] say, how should mankind subsiste, if all were continent? as though, forsooth, this world were retarded for any other end then that the num­ber of the elect might be accomplished, which being once accomplished, certes the world will presently haue an end. And how happie we­re it if it might so end? Heare this holy Sainte speake againe, in an Epis. which he wrote to Proba and Iuliana, two no­ble windowes congratulating with them at Demetriadis her receiuing the holy veyle of Virginitie. With confusion to those sons of the earth whose thoughtes are so wholy buried therin, that they dreame of nothing but plantations and populations: who is able to expresse in words, saith he, who can worthily sett out, how in­comparablie much more fruitfull and glorious it is that Christ hath had women, who were Virgines of your bloud, then men who were Consuls. For if it be found noble and illustrious, to haue their Monumets in after tymes marked with the dignitie of your names; how much greater, and more famous a thinge is it, to out­stripe those prayses by the puritie of body and soule? Let therfor that mayde who is noble by birth, but more noble by sanctitie, much more reioyce that by her marriage with her heauenly [Page 82] spouse she shall attayne to a more illustrious pla­ce in heauen, then by marriage with a man to bring forth an illustrious child. For the Ani­cian posteritie hath made a more glorious choy­ce, to blesse that illustrious familie of theirs by not knowing marriage, then to multiplie it by bringing forth children; and remayning in flesh to imitate the life of the Angells, then of their flesh still to be increasing the number of mi serable mortalls. It is a more fruitfull and hap­pie fertilitie, to haue a great soule, then a great bellie: to haue a white harte, then a while milkie breaste: to bring out heauen by prayers, then earth out of our bowells. Inioy in her, ô my most worthily honored Lady daughters, what you want in your selues: may she the while perseuer to the end, by adhearing to that mar­riage which hath noe end. Let many maydes imitate this Lady Mistresse, being but of a mea­ne condition follow this noble soule, being but ab­iectly high, this illustrious abiect: let the vir­gines that ayme at the Anician splendour and renowne, espouse their sanctitie. Whether they euer attayne to that, though they prosecute it neuer so greedily, it is doubtfull: but this, they presently haue, if they fully desire it.

Heare S. Ambrose, ho before him spo­ke to the same effect. If any conceinethar [Page 83] mankind is deminished by the Consecration of Virgines, let them considere that where there are few Virgines, there are fewer men, and where there is greater presse after Virginitie, there also men are in greater number. Obserue what a number of Virgines the Church of Ale­xandria, Africa, and all the East, doth yea­rely consecrate. There are not so many men borne here, as there are Virgines consecrated there. The 3. booke of Virg. Obserue, Mada­me, how these great seruants of God, and faithfull stewardes differr from your de­ceiptfull pourueyours. They appeare car­nall; these wholy spirituall. They haue their eyes wholy turned vpon the earth, these ayme specially at Gods interest: They are busie about peopleing the earth, these to people heauen. They dehorte, these earnestly exhorte to Virginitie, that angelicall ornament of Monasticall life. If any be so blind as not to discerne which of the two ought rather to be fol­lowed, I commend him to Gods mercy, and leaue him to his plantations: for cer­tainly (to speake but sparingly) he is more fit to people earth thē heauen. I lea­ue the deade to burie the deade. While I take the boldnesse to looke a litle farther into your Olio.

Calumnies obiected.

But their enemyes say they are not onely the Couetous, but the greatest cheaters in the world: and all vnder the name for Gods sake. For say they, they bring in ceremonie for gaine; in that they sett all the mercies of God to sale; for what sinns cannot be bought for money; as adulte­rie, incest, murther, blasphemie, and sinns past and present. As for whores they permitt them to liue loosely without punishment, and allot them streetes and houses to increase their sins; in which they doe authorise sinne for a somme, for they pay tribute to the Church; and not onely sinns past, and present, but to come: as witnesse the yeares of Iubilie. Besides the heads take vpon them the power of damnation and saluation, as witnesse the excommunica­tions and absolutions. And if not out and in of Hell, yet out and in of purgatorie, which pur­gatorie is a great reuenue to them: yet they ha­ue a countenance for their couetousnesse, which is, that the offendant must haue a true contritiō or their somme of money will doe them noe good noe more then a true contrition without the somme.



HERE, Madame, prouisions are brought so thicke in vpon you, that you haue not leasure left to reuew them, but all goes in topsie turuie, hand ouer heade (They say, they are couetous, cheaters, sellers of ceremonies, Marchands of Gods mer­cies, brokers of adulterie, incest, murther, blas­phemie, past presēt to come, streets established to increase sin, & make money of it) And all this certainlie without either electiō or appro­bation of yours. For here not Monasticall life onely enters, of which you vnderta­ke to speake, but Catholike religion in generall; not onely the Monke, but the Bishoppe also is got into the potage, and they smell high, and change your daintie Olio into a confused Hodgpog, that I may not say, death is in the pot, with the Pro­phete, mors est in olla.

You please to tell vs you had these cor­rupt prouisions from our enemyes, and We easily beleeue it without an oath, that [Page 86] they were enemyes to vs, and truth, and noe friends to your Lad. to furnish you with such a rable of stinking stuffe, who­se noble designe was to haue giuen a wholsome and gratefull entertaynement to all the world. They seeme to throw stones about them, like mad blind men, hit where they will. They hurle calum­nies about our eares as thicke as hale, fol­lowing, it should seeme, that pernicious maxime. Calumniare fortiter, semper aliquid adhaerebit. Calumniate boldly somewhat will alwayes sticke: and indeede it is hard enough to claw of the dints of bold lyes, cloked in generalities, and conueyed from enemyes tongues to enemyes eares which lye but too open to the whisperings of such serpents. Marrie were those bold Assertours, putt to the law of Talion, ei­ther to proue the imposed cryme, or be lyable to the punishment due to it, as all iustice would haue it, which presumes euery one to be good, vnlesse they be (not suspe­cted, or accused, or slaundered to be badd) conuinced to be badd, we should neede noe apologie at all, which I ingenuou­sly confesse in this case is a hard taske, where we are to deale with negatiues, [Page 87] which noe man is bound, as indeede hard­ly any man is able (saue in some cases onely) to make good.


AND how hard it is, Madame, I appeale to your owne iudgement. We will suppose some base fowle mouthed fellow, had gale enough to degorge vpon all womenkind in generall, these impu­dent and false aspersions; that they were all nought, that they desyled their hus­bands bedds, putt their honours to sale, that their seeming deuotion were clokes of hypocricie, that they farmed out their daughters sinnes &c. Or that he should cast as much durt vpon the reputation of the consort or wife of some King, or Lord in particular, as here is cast vpon the im­maculate Spouse of the Lord and king of heauen, and that merely vpon suspitions coniectures, rash iudgements, because happly some among them is noe better then were to be wished. What meanes is left for this single Queene, or Lady, to purge her selfe? She behaues herselfe fai­rely to the eyes of the world: her com­portments [Page 88] are modest, her gate graue, her eyes soberly cast downe to the grownd, she hath the good reportes of her neighbours, and seruants, the appro­bation of her husband. I but for all this (goes the calumniatour on) she is repor­ted to be a whore, and who knowes &c. If she fayled not at one tyme, she might at another. Why, but she prayes much, fares poorely, lyes hard, flyes not onely naughtie, or suspected, but euen almost all compagnie. Nay to auoid, not onely danger, but suspition too, she shutts her­selfe vp within foure walls, and liues vn­der the shelter of many graue and vigi­lant eyes. All this matters not, forsooth, she is said to be a whore. Madame, if our honour were thus at stake, and at the mer­cy of an impudent vilaine, how should we possibly purge ourselues? And yet, Madame, the inuentours; and renewers of these reports putts the venerable state of Monasticall life, and euen the chaste Spouse of Christ, into the like straites, not with standing they haue as much, or more to say for themselues, as the suppo­sed Queene or Lady produced.


BVT, Madame, though as I intima­ted before, the burden of the proo­fe, by all iustice, equitie, and reason, ought to lye vpon the affirmer; and that by the same lawes the defendant is as ab­solutly freed from that burthen, as clea­red of all cryme, vnlesse conuincing proofe be made against him, yet relying vpon the assistance of a good cause, I will aduenture to trye what satisfaction my weaknesse may afford, in the behalfe of my Catholike Mother, and her best chil­dren, who stand accused without any proofe at all.


Their enemyes say they are not onely the co­uetous, but the greatest cheaters in the world.


MADAME, in the first place, plea­se to esteeme I speake to those that haue abused your honour and vs, not to your selfe.


THEY, (to wit Monasticall persons) are not onely couetous &c. This is said with as much facilitie, as hardly proued: and God be thanked, it is as easily denied as affirmed. What grownd in reason then hath the Calumniatour got hereby but the marke of a bold follow, who is as forward in aduanceing as slow in prou­ing.


THEY are not onely the couetous. They. Which they, I pray? it is a word of so large an extēt that I beleeue you neuer meant to make it good. If they extend to all of that profession, you haue taken a huge worke in hand. They are dispersed all the world ouer. Asia wants them not. Affrica is not vnacquainted with them. Europe is full of them, in euery Kingdo­me, in euery Prouince, in each good toWne, all the countrie ouer. I pray you haue you had commerce with them all to discrye their couetousnesse?


THEY haue further penetrated into the other world: they are spred all ouer it: and by good right, since by their labours, and danger, and bloud, and death they conuerted it to the Catholike faith, and found wiues enough to people a great part of it (without the helpe of nuns in the way of your counsell?) haue you tra­uelled thither too? I suppose not; for I guesse by your language of what tribe you are. I conceiue you are of that litle flocke which keepes at home in a corner; and neuer haue occasion to bragge of the na­tions you haue conuerted into Christs fold, or doe in your next suggestion to my L. New castle, declare which they were. Honour your profession by naming them. If not, wele take it for granted that you cannot; & conclude you Calum­niatours.


WAS it happly by report that you heard this bad newes of your neigh­bour, whom you neuer saw nor knew? Its [Page 92] probable you tooke them vp too lightly, and he that easily beleeues is held light of faith. Charitie would haue taught you rather to haue suppressed such bad re­ports, which tend to your Christian bro­thers preiudice, and rather to haue be­leeued the best till you had knowen the worst. Its easie you know to mistake, mis­report, and lie at a distance; and trauel­lours are held subiect to that desease.

Had you limited this vaste word They to some one or a few persons, or at least fastened it vpon some one, or a few or­ders, or countries, you might haue gay­ned some credit with such as haue credu­litie enough to take your bare word for good payment, and perhapps we should not haue disputed a thing which might haue bene incidēt among so many: but to strike at all at once, without bringing the least euidence against any one at all, is a thinge certainly which sober persons will take for such as it is, a meere calumnie.

But to goe to the ground of things, in all probabilitie this aspersion can haue but litle truth in it: for this supposed co­uetousnesse must either be verified of Su­periours, or subiects. If of subiects, there [Page 93] is truly but litle appearence of it, they hauing nothing that they can either dis­pose of, at their owne pleasure, or euen tearme their owne: what better meanes, could euen wisdome deuise to banish all couetousnesse? And what reason is there then to induce them so earnestly to thirst after riches? If of superiours, me thinkes, it might be more charitably tearmed a iust care to prouide for, and conserue those great families of the poore of Christ who are intrusted in their hands, then couetousnesse &c. since according to S. Pau­le, he that hath not care of his owne, and especially of his domestikes, he hath denyed the faith, and is worse then an infidel. Indeede had they had wife and children to proui­de for, and the free power to dispose of what by their couetousnesse they could procure, as your Ministers haue, one might haue had better grounds to haue suspected them, according to the great Bacon, in his Essaies. But Monasticall persons, who by solemne vowes haue abandoned all that they either haue, or might hope for: they that haue noe such clogges vpon them, as haue your Mini­sters: they that can haue nothing in pro­prietie [Page 94] without hauing at the same tyme the Churches excommunications & cur­ses vpon them, as is euident in her ancient Canons: That they, I say, should be so eager after riches, is a paradoxe, which such are onely capable of, as haue least reason, and most malice for their guides.


They bring in ceremonie for gaine.


THEY &c. which they againe? Doth this they referre to some one order, or to all orders? & that ouer all the world vniuersally; or in some part of the world onely? Or els are all the professours of the Catholike faith meant by that short word they? Againe they bring in ceremonie? Which, where, when, how? not a word of all this. To witt calumniatours loue to trade in generalities, wherin lyes are not so easily discouered. Should they point out any one order in particular, which hath generall approbation in the Catho­like Church, they would find the youn­gest of them to be older then their [Page 95] Church: and thence it is, that they nei­ther name the thinge, the time, nor the place. That so they may be sure not to be caught, but where the calumnie falls the­re it should lye without possible controle And putt case some ceremonies were anciently brought in (nor doe we con­tend they were all from the begining) might not a more modest interpretation haue bene putt vpon them by a Christian then an ayme of lucre; Might they not haue bene esteemed vsefull to sett of Gods ser­uice with more decencie and Maiestie? Thinges that are of homely, common, & vulgar vse, are also but of a vulgar estee­me, and quickly run into contempt with the people. Saint Augustine could make a better construction of the Ceremonies of his tyme, to Wit, that they were a certai­ne mute eloquence, deliuering wholsome doc­trine, suted to moue the affections of the vn­learned, conueying their hartes from thinges visible to inuisible, from corporall to spirituall, from temporall to eternal thinges. And saith excellently in another place: that those that pray, fitt the partes of their body to a pos­ture beseeming a suppliant, as when they kneele vpon their knees, spread out their armes, or cast [Page 96] themselues prostrate vpon the ground (ceremo­nies or pious practises which Monasticall per­sons & the Catholike Church is well acquainted with) or any action which they performe visi­bly, howeuer their hart is otherwise knowen to God, who needes not those externall actions to haue their myndes ly open to him, but man rather needs them to excite himselfe therby to pray and grone with more humilitie and fer­uour. And I know not how it comes to passe, that wheras those corporall motions are noe otherwise caused then by the preceedant motion and order of the mynd, yet they being visibly performed, the interiour inuisible motion which caused them, is reciprocally increased, and ther­by the affectien of the hart, which preceeded to cause those effects, because they are perfor­med, is augmented. Here you may obserue a better vse of ceremonies, a spirituall gaine apparently aymed at. And how, I pray, came they so well acquainted with the consciences of Monasticall persons as to know their harees intention? I durst be sworne they were neuer at confession with any such profane Preists, as take it for their taske to decrie their liues and ceremonies.


MADAME, I beleeue there is but too much said to people that speake in the ayre, without any limitation at all neither particularising the ceremonies, nor persons which vse them. If they mea­ne of the ceremonies of the Catholike Church in generall, I shall owne that glo­rious cryme and as willingly grant they are vsed, and that in great number, as absolutly deney, and reiect as a calumnie that they haue either bene brought in of late, or vsed for gaine; but contrariwise most decently and religioussy, to serue that great Maiestie in the comliest way we are able, and to keepe vp the memo­rie of the life and passion of our blessed Sauiour, (they being a continuall ex­pression therof exposed to the eyes of the people) we confesse we are louers of or­der, as being the beautie of the vniuerse. We know that what comes from God co­mes with order and decencie. And ther­for we professe that we hate that anarchie and confusion, which old Tertullian sett out to the life, saying.

[Page 98] I will not omitt to describe the manner of proceeding amongst heretikes, how babling and vndecent, how lowe and earthly, and how sa­uering of flesh and bloud it is: without graui­tie, without authoritie, without order or dis­cipline, as being sutable in verie deede to their beleife. In the first place, it appeares not among them, who is a Catecumene, and who one of the faithfull: they goe pell mel togeither, and heare the same seruice; and say the same prayers. Nay should euen a pagan chance to come, they will throw holy thinges to dogges, and gemmes (though otherwayes false ones) to swine. They tearme simplicitie an ouerthrow of discipline: and our desire to conserue it, an affected allurement. They communicate pro­miscuously with all sortes of people. For though they be of diuers opinions; it matters not, so they conspire all togeither to the ouerthrow of truth. They are all swelled vp with pride: all of them promesse knowledge. They are perfect Catecumenes before they be instructed. How malepart are the verie hereticall women, hau­ing the boldnesse, to teache, to dispute, to exorcise, to promise cures, yea happly to baptise in publike. Their manner of giuing orders is light, rashe, inconstant. Sometymes they preferre Neophites, sometymes secular per­sons [Page 99] and sometymes againe our verie Aposta­tes, that they might oblidge them at least by glorie, whom they cannot by Truth. A man neuer meetes with preferment with more faci­litie then in the tents of Rebel's, where their ve­rie being there, posses for worth and merite. Hence one is Bishope to day, and to morowe another: today a Deacon, to morowe a Lector. Today a Preist, to morow a Layman. For they impose Preistly functions vpon lay-people.


MADAME, this excellent descrip­tion of an Heretike was Tertul­lians who liued and putt it downe 1400. yeares a goe, while he could neither be suspected of thinking of aduantageing ourcause, nor preiudiceing yours. Yet had we not named the Author of it, who would not haue thought it had bene diui­sed to point out the miserable tymes wherin we liue, so absolutly doth it come home to what we dayly see among the sectaries? Is there any thinge more abiect, earthly, and fleshily, then the beggerly way wherin God is serued among them; while they make a iest of our graue, gra­cefull, [Page 100] and ancient ceremonies? Their practises are accompaigned with noe gra­uitie, noe authoritie, noe discipline: so that any honest gentleman is serued with more state in his priuate house, then God there publikly in his temple. Doth not the Preist appeare iust such as the people? mounting into the pulpet noe otherwise accoutred then though he were to walke abrode about some ordinarie affaire, with his cloke, his hatt, and his gloues on; vnlesse you would say he is differenced from his flocke by his inbrodded night­cappe and veluet cussion, and so is fitted rather for an after noones nappe, then a good instruction. Doe they not all run promiscuously to the same Church, and the same seruice (vnlesse their zeale leade them rather; into some tubb, or chimney corner to bable) as well the Cal­uinist, as the Lutheran; as well the Qua­ker, the seeker, and the expecter, as the Brownist, the adamite, and the familist of loue, with all the rest of the confused tribes, without any visible meanes to dis­cerne them, or to discouer what they hold, or what they practise. May not the Iew, and gentile, & cuen the Turke him­selfe [Page 101] steppe in amongst them, and fall to such fare as he finds vpon the table with­out euer being questioned who he is, or whence he came? (they saith Tertullian communicate indifferently with all sortes of people) see how bountifull they are while we are the Couetous, and what an open house is kept, where all enter, eate, drinke, and welcome, without paying a pennie. We, say they at least, sell our ce­remonies, and they, (grant we with Ter­tullian,) giue away, or cast away, their verie Sacraments, gratis they cast their ho­ly thinges to dogges. We, forsooth, make money of all: while they throw gemmes euen to swinne.


THEY laugh at our simplicitie, as being destructiue of discipline. And their wisdome ought surely to be magni­fied, who keepe it vp so gloriously, as you haue alreadie heard. They laugh, I say, at the simplicitie of the poore, blind, cre­dulous, mislead Catholike, (they quali­fie them as they please) because they be leeue what they vnderstand not, though [Page 102] they were longe since taught by S. Augu­stine, that not the viuacitie of vnder standing but the simplicitie of beleiuing, is the peoples greatest securitie. They laugh at the sillie Catholike, I say.

Because they captiuate their vnder­standing to the obedience of faith by S. Paules counsell.

Because they sticke to authoritie, to which they owe their beleife, howeuer S. Augustine assures them; that they owe their beleefe to authoritie.

Because they walke in the footstepps of their fore fathers, conseruing the same Doctrine, sacrifice, Sacraments, and ce­remonie, which ancient tradition deli­uered into their hands. O happie and gloriours errours!

They, the while, with their proud pro­mises of knowledge, haue indeede taught the people witt enough, not to giue cre­dit, euen to themselues, who are but men and may lye; and so hauing broken dow­ne the hedge, and inlarged the Fathers bounds, they haue exposed the doctrine, and discipline of the Church, to be tor­ne in peeces by the people, who deli­ciously feaste themselues with their owne [Page 103] inuentions, while they interprete all that they read in Scriptures, and that those new masters haue taught them, to their owne fancies, as those new masters also deliuered to them what they had inuen­ted, and composed after their owne fan­cies. If Luther and Caluine tooke to themselues the Priuiledge to forge new opinions, why should not the Lutheran, and Caluinisticall Ministers inherite that prerogatiue? And if they inioy that li­bertie of coyning, why should not a part of the power descend vpon the flocke, that the improuement of the doctrine may sinypathise with the sourse whence it tooke its origine? In the interim they haue brought their hogges to a faire mar­ket. But we must not laught at them; nay rather ought we to lament, and commi­serate their miserie.


They sett all Gods mercyes to sale: for what sinnes cannot be bought for money, as adulterie, inceft, murther, blasphe­mie, sins past and present.


HERE enters more lyes then lynes: fiue manye slaunders vented with one breath. Youle pardon me, friends, I cannot beleeue you. Especially when you deliuer your selues in such vaste genera­lities: that all Gods mercyes should be set to sale, all without exception: had it bene but some few of them, and by some few, we might haue looked vpon it with some feare, that there might be yet some Iudas amongst vs, who would not onely sell Christ mercies, but euen Christ him­selfe: or some Symon, that would haue bought or sold the gift of the holy Ghost for money; but that the practise of the whole Catholike Church, should be to sell all, or any, of Gods mercies, I can­not beleeue you. I my selfe haue bene a Catholike these many yeares, and yet I [Page 105] was neuer taught it. We haue store of Ser­mons at Paris, and yet I neuer heard it. We haue Catechismes, in great number, & yet I neuer read it. We haue the Coun­cell of Trent which delluers many thin­ges that are not much aggreeable to your daintie palates, and yet you cannot point it out there neither. But contrarily, had you had as much mynd to discouer tru­thes, as to publish falfities, you might haue there met vith as much care as men assisted by the holy Ghost might easily haue put downe, to haue preuented, or at least, punished, all couetousnesse, and base trading in holy thinges, as appeares by the 21. sess. the 1. cap. Wheras Ecclesia­sticall persons ought to be free from all suspition (not onely for the thinge) of couetousnesse: Let neither Bishops, and others who haue power to conferre orders, nor their seruants vnder what pretext socuer, take anythinge for the confer­ring of any orders what soeuer, though but the first tonsure. Nor yet for their dim ssorie let­ters, testimonialls, the seale, or any other cau­se what soeuer, yea though it were euen freely of­fered. Marrie the Notaries (in those places one­ly where the laudable custome of taking no­thing is not in vigour) may receiue for euery [Page 106] Dimissorie or testimoniall letter, the tenth part of a crowne and noe more, so that they haue noe sett stipend for executing their office, nor any emolument accrue to the Bishope out of the No­taries profits, by reason of the collation of those orders, either directly or indirectly. For in case they haue any stipend, the Councell doth decree that the Notarie is bound to giue his paines wholy gratis; forbidding and disannulling all other taxes, statutes, and customes, though of tyme out of mynde, of what places soeuer, which ought rather to be tearmed abuses, and corru­ptions which sauour of simoniacall wickednesse. And let them that doe contrarie to this, as well the giuers as the receiuers, incurre de facto, besides the diuine wroth, the punishment in­flicted by the Law.

What more exact care, or euen a kind of pious solicitude, could be expressed in words, especially by men who stand here indibted to be marchāts of Gods mercies. Certainely wife and modest men will iudge, that this was the way rather to shut vp the shope for euer, then to inuite cu­stomers, where they were like to spend their money not in buying Gods mercy, but in drawing his curse vpon their heades.

In the 24. sess. 18. Chap. You might haue [Page 107] read (and haue profited by it) what care is vsed by the Church of God in the choyce of good Pa­stours, and what prouision is made to preuent base trading as well in them, as in those that are deputed to examine them, which are to be Masters, Doctours, or Licenciates &c. who sweare vpon the holy Gospell, that they will faithfully discharge their dutie therin without any humane affection or respect. Let them be warie, saith the Councell, to take any thin­ge in respect of this examination either before or after. Otherwise let them, as well the taker as the giuer incurre, or be held guiltie of, the cry­me of Simonie, from which they cannot be ab­solued, till they dismisse those benefices, which they had obteyned before in any way whatsoe­uer, and they shall become vncapable to ob­teyne any benefice for euer after. Aud be they oblidged to render an accompt of all these pri­mises, not onely in the presence of God, but al­so in the Prouinciall Synode if neede require.

Here one would thinke, that hands, and purses, and consciences were so ab­solutly tyed vp, that none that preten­ded either to religion, or publicke ho­nour, or euen his owne aduantage, should be giuen to such base, irreligious and gainelesse tradinge, where he runs an eui­dent [Page 108] hazard to loose more then he can probably gayne, and his soule to boote. So farre, in all probabilitie, are Catho­likes aboue all others, from being lyable to the base slaunders which are put vpon them of setting all Gods mercies to sale. Wher­of were they otherwise, some of them, guiltic, yet were the Church free from cryme, which vsed all possible meanes to preuent, and punish the same.

In the 22. sess. in the Decree de Missa you might haue found more endeuour vsed to shut vp all passages by which base trading might be suspected to creepe in. The holy Synode (saith the Councell) doth decree that the Bishops who are Ordinaries of the pla­ces, should vse all possible endeuour, as we oblid­ge them, to prohibite, and absolutly take away all those thinges, which either couetousnesse, seruice of Idoles, irreuerence, which falls not farre shert of impietie, or superstition, that fal­se imitatrice of true pietie, hath brought in. And to comprehend many thinges in a few words: to begin, in the first place with couetous­nesse, let them absolutly prohibit all conditions, pacts and bargaines of what kind of reward soeuer, and what euer is payd for saying new Masses: as also all importune and vnbeseeming [Page 109] [...] base exactions of almes, rather then humble requests for the same, and other thinges of the like nature, which doe not much differre from the stayne of Simonie, or at the least from for­dide lucre.

What, I pray, can be added to this care? or what more should be said, to make you see; (if malice shut not both your eyes & vnderstanding at the same tyme) you ha­ue said amisse of those that deserue it not, and haue sett the sadle vpon the wrong horse. Auarice is quite banished from our Mansions. Whether it may not raigne in your smale Conuenticles, where the Mi­nister is oblidged (according to my Lord Bacon that great light of England his ob­seruation intimated aboue) to water mo­re holes then one at once, (to wit to pro­uide for his wife and children) looke you tot, I loue not to recriminate.

But if you will needs turne a deafe eare to all this, and goe on with your slaunders by way of interrogatorie what sinns cannot be bought for money, as adulterie &c. [as though it were so visible as none could but see it; and so demonstratiuely eui­dent, as none could deny it, while you bring not one word or peece of a word, or [Page 110] euen a specious lye to make good the greatest calumnies that can be cast vpon an innocent] What place of defence is left vs, but appeale to the world, whether the­re be anie safetie for Innocencie, if bare accusations passe for proofes? and to the right which Iustice deneys none, that while noe proofe is made of an imposed aspersion, the accused may legally purge himselfe, by protesting an iniurie is done him, as all the Catholike Church pro­testes. Where, in the name of God [for I haue still a curiositie to heare what mali­ce, being put to it, can inuent] where was it that this supposed adulterie, incest, mur­ther blasphemie, should haue bene bought and sould? speake out, men, or hold your peace for euer; the cryme is too great, the world too iust to take your bare word fort: can you not, at least, hyre some knight of the post to sweare it? That passes for lawfull among some of your Saintes, as I haue heard, and yet we are not so vn­iust as to cast the buying and selling of periurie, much lesse all other sinnes, vpon your whole Church, as you doe vpon ours. You are told you lye; because you make my innocent mother, a huckester [Page 111] of sinne, a chaferer in adulterie, incest, murther: a bawde in blasphemie. I would not vse that offensiue word did not the world see I am concerned in honour and dutie, and that indeede there is noe fence against a bare affirmation, but as bare a negation.

Speake at least being prouoked, play the men, & defend yourselues; or all honest men will take notice, that you cannot, & because you cannot, you are calūniatours. In what part of the world was this infamous trading driuen? In what market, was this vile marchandise exposed to sale? who were the sellers, and who the chapmen, and vpon what price did they agree? and for what quantitie of this corrupted stuffe dealt they? Were the buyers, and sellers, and market place, and all inuisible? then happly you may say, they lay inuisibly skulking in the bosome of our Church, as yours was said sometymes to haue done, and so were inuisible indeede, but yet were, as well as your Church truly was, when none could find it by looking be­hind Luther. Credat Iudeus Apella: But for my part, beleeue me, though we Ca­tholikes passe for the most credulous, yet [Page 112] haue not I weaknes of credulitie enough to fall into such a fancie, as to beleeue, that you (though you haue an impotent power of seeing what none els can see; that yet you, I say, haue eyes to see what is inuisible; that is, to see what cannot be seene; that is, to see, what is not. If you haue any eyes, you will see the truth of what I say; & if you haue any shame left, youle hold your peace.


As for whores, they permitt them to liue loo­sely without punishment, and allot them streetes and houses to increase sinne.


HERE, Madame, comes in a med­lie of mixt marchandise, paucheto de l'vn, & paucetto de lautro; some sound, some corrupt, so vnhappily iumbled togeither, that there needed noe more to spoyle the whole, and to make the assertion a ca­lumnie. As for whores they permitt, or tole­rate, them to liue loosely: thus farre, as for me, it should haue past for granted: [Page 113] because I haue often heard it reported, howeuer at the first blush it seemes to ha­ue noe good face: But when they add, without punishment, I smell a ratt, and crye corruption. They allot them streetes (or a streete at least) to increase sinne, This agai­ne I am forced to crye against, as the naughtie leauen, which spoyles the whole lumpe or batch.

Here, Madame, they may seeme to leaue the body and ayme at the head: knowing well that their malice will be de­riued vpon them both. They strike at my father, hoping to wound both father, and mother, and children with the same blow. We haue heard of a dume child restored to speech, vpon an apprehended danger toward his father. And should I be struck dumme, contrarily, vpon this assacinate, where both fathers & Mothers, and myne owne destruction, are equally aymed at? I confesse a womans words, especially so inconsiderable as I am, are but a poore defence; yet where I was not able to spea­ke a perfect defence, in a matter of fact which I knew not perfectly, I found I was able enough to crye for ayde. The truth is, I had recourse to a friend, verie intel­ligent, [Page 114] and honest beyond all exception, who had diuers tymes bene an eye, and eare witnesse of that fact &c. and he had the goodnes presently to take his pen, and putt downe, what I found full satis­faction; and I hope, such will your ho­nour, and all louers of truth, find it. And certainly it will afford light enough, to lead you out of that mist, wherin many haue stumbled at a molehill and strayed: and discouer how ill you haue bene dealt withall herein. Please then, Madame, to heare my noble friend, who (hauing be­ne three seuerall tymes for a good space togeither at Rome) deliuers the fact as followeth.


MISTRESSE, I cannot but smyle all alone in my countrie chamber, at this sodden surprise, where, while I inioye the de­lightes of a high peace, you call me to warrs, in the defence of our common father, where an equall dutie oblidgesme to an equall readinesse. You seeme to be in some litle disorder; But feare not woman, it is but a false Alarme, there will be noe hurt done. Rome stands at a great distan­ce [Page 115] farre enough beyond their Canon shott, what need we to feare their squibbes and slinges then? Its a strong towne, and well guarded The Pope is a good man, and frequent reports giue him to be a Saint: be consident his holinesse and innocē ­cie of life, will be found proofe against their ma­lice; the reportes of the whores, if they be rightly reported, will be able to fasten noe staynes vpon him, or vpon the chaire which he doth il­lustrate. But lets laugh a while in our slee­ue togeither, before we begin. What? Is our aduersaries furie run out to so low an ebbe, that it can beare nothinge of waight or bulke? Haue they spent all their shott vpon our impregnable Fortresses; and now fall they to smale play rather then sitt out, by fireing on our out workes with flashes of powder onely; which giues cra­kes, but hurtes not; serues to terrifie chil­dren, but makes men laugh, to obserue, that their pride and splenne is great in­deede, but their hornes short. Et vana si­ne viribus ira? So that hauing in vane spent their powder and shot, they fall to childs play. They lay downe their swords, and muskets, & pikes, and fall a throwing the durt of other mens vices vpon vs; that at least, they may besmeere their clothes. [Page 116] whose bodyes they are not able to wound. Well let them vanely went the rest of their coller, while we deliuer the truth of the fact to such noble soules, as would hold it a cryme to detayne Truth priso­ner in mistakes. And so lets to the great busines, vpon which, you would say, the fortunes of Greece depends.


MISTRESSE, The Protestants [or who els they may be who will needs stumble at something which their imagination giues them, lyes in the way] are mistaken in the fact: for it is most cer­taine, that the Pope takes neither fine, nor taxe, nor rent, nor yearely tribute, to permitt, or tolerate sinne, much lesse to authorise, or increase it for a somme, which is falsely reported. So that while they affirme, and yet proue nothinge, one short Nego, is all that is due to them for an answere. He giues no leaue [I confi­dently auerre it] nor approbation, nor countenance to that filthie commerce of the whores. But contrarily, discounte­nanceth, dehorts, punisheth them, and [Page 117] hinders their increase with great care, watchfullnesse, and cost. All that know Rome know this to be most true, if they be owners of any braynes to haue made obseruation, and honour, to speake the truth. I appeale to their ingenuitie, whe­ther those naughtie women, be not dis­countenanced, curbd, and kept short, by what care ciuile gouerment can sug­gest For.

First, they are prohibited to come to any publike meetings, or assemblies, where women of hononr meete, as at the Course and other places.

2. They are prohibited to goe in coac­hes, or stirre out of dores on the night.

3. They are prohibited to liue in com­mon one with another, least they might encourage one another in their wicked­nesse: and are forced to liue separate and alone, left single to the melancholie hor­ror of such a solitude, as is onely accom­paigned with a bad conscience (a home bred punishment) which a wise Poëte will haue to passe the huge torments of Busyris his burning brasen Bull. Hauing much leasure to heare God speake to their harts, many of them enter into [Page 118] themselues, and change their abomina­ble, and euen painefull liues; confessing with the Wiseman, that they are worne out in the Wayes of iniquitie.

4. They are prohibited to vse any al­lurement by words or signes: that is, ei­ther by calling in passingers, or making any vnciuil or tempting signes with hand or head.

5. In holy tymes, as Lent &c. they are forced to goe to sermons, where greatest diligence is vsed to dehort, and deterre them from that damnable course of life, by thundering Preachers placing death, iudgement, heauen and Hell fire, before their eyes, with the greatest force and li­fe that pious eloquence is able to set them out, as being the most powerfull ar­guments to strike such rebellious hartes with feare, the begining of wisdome; and consequently, the most effectuall mea­nes to reclaime them.

6. They are not onely, dehorted dis­countenanced &c. but they are also pu­nished both corporally and spiritually: both in soule, body, and fortunes. In their life, they are forbidden all the Sacra­ments, or excommunicated &c. At their death, vnlesse they be changed from their [Page 119] badd life, they are not permitted to make their last will and Testament, but all their goods are confiscated. Stay — not to the Popes coffers (which our antipopes were gaping after) but to the Hospitalls: and their bodyes are refused Christian buriall, being throwen into a place neere the walls of the Citie, hard by the Porta del populo, Where, in detestation and punish­ment of their sinne, they haue noe other then the Asses buriall.

And that the said restraintes might not be proiected onely, but punctually execu­ted: there are publicke officers who haue continually a watchfull eye ouer them, and other malefactours, that they might not transgresse against the former prohi­bitions, or otherwise. And to performe their office more effectually, they take a liste of all the whores names, that they might know who they are, and where; and be able to force them to the Sermons appointed, should they at any tyme be found negligent.

4. The Pope doth not onely discoun­tenance, dehorte, punish, and put a strict watch ouer them, to see all the premises obserued. But, yet further, his Holinesse [Page 120] endeuours to hinder the increase of them by his owne great care and cost: for first he causeth young girles, not yet mar­rigable, to be taken (at ten yeare old, or there about) from their poore parēts, least they might be tempted by pouertie (quoe cogit ad turpia) to prostitute those inno­cents: and these girles he causes to be ca­refully brought vp in a cortaine hospital purpose y designed for that pious worke. And when they come to be of riper yea­res, they are prouided with sufficient portions, either to espouse God or man, that is, either to chuse Monasteries, or Mariage.

For this purpose there is a most solem­ne and deuoute procession made euery yeare to the Dominicans Church, by three or foure hundred of these young girles, all clad in white (and those that will be Nuns, haue litle crownes vpon their heades, and white waxe candles in their hands) to the Dominicans Church, where his Holynesse expects them in per­son, and giues euery one of those poore girles a purse full of money, to inable them either to become Nuns or Wiues.

Is this, Madame, as they basely obtru­de [Page 121] vpon you, and falsely impose vpon the Pope, to permitt whores to line loosely without punishment? Is this, to allot them streetes and houses to increase sinne? Is this, to authorise sinne for a somme? Is this, to pay Tribute to the Church? Or rather is it not one of the fowlest and falsest imputations, that euer can be cast vpon a Souueraigne Prince, and heade of the Church? And one of the most base, vnworthie, and vnchristian actions imaginable, to make vse of the ignorance of a fact, at a great distance (wherin few are able, and fewer willinge to take the paynes to disabuse themsel­ues) to beget badd impressions in all tho­se [wherof the world is but too full] who eatily lend open eares to such scandalous reports, to the preiudice of their Chri­stian brethren whom they are bound to loue? Is this, I say to permitt them to line loosely without punishment? since in verie deede they are punished in the ciuile li­bertie which other women inioye; in their reputation, being marked out, and knowen to all the world for such as they are: in their consciences, being depriued of the Sacraments. In their purse, not hauing power to dispose of that Mam­mon [Page 122] of iniquitie which by their infamous commerce, or otherwise, they might ha­ue gayned. Finally in their body or deade corps, it being denyed Christian buriall. Is this to allot streetes and houses, to increa­se sinne, to withdraw the young grouth [the poore girles] wherby they might haue probably bene recruted? Is this to authorise sinne for a somme, to imploy large sommes for the conuersion of those that are already vnfortunatly fallen into that abominable tradinge, and to hinder others to follow their wicked example? So farre is it from truth that the Church receiues any tribute by them, that it im­ployes the vigour of good gouernment, much care, and cost, to reclayme them.

So that we may iustly conclude, that the whores at Rome are not permitted without punishment: Which yet our enemies affir­med; and we put it downe for the first CALVMNIE.

That they haue not streetes allotted to in­crease their sinne; which our enemies auer­red: and it is their seconde CALVM­NIE.

That sinne is not authorised for a somme; which our enemies asserted; and it is their [Page 13] third CALVMNIE.

That they pay not tribute to the Church: as they falsely imposed, and it is their fourth CALVMNIE.

Deale fairely with vs; put downe all these in capitale letters for Calumnies; and let them be fixed vpon the Calumnia­tours foreheades, and we will more cheerefully goe on to the ensuinge charges.


They authorise sinne for a somme &c. and not onely sins past, and present, but to come. Witnesse the yeares of Iubilie.


THAT there is noe sinne at all autho­rised by the Pope, or the Catholike Church, either past, present, or to come, as to the whores, hath bene alreadie proued, and the contrarie is marked downe for a calumnie, if right be done vs. But wheras that which they bring for a proofe of it (to wit witnesses the yeares of Iubilie) seemes not to relate to the whores alone, but is euen [Page 124] extended though most vniustly, to the whole body of the Catholikes, it ought not to passe without giuing some better accompt of it selfe, nor shall it.


MADAME, had the yeare of Iubi­lie indeed, this strange vnheard of, boundlesse power, of not onely pardo­ning sins past and present, but withall of authorising sinne to come for a somme, I must needes confesse, it were a great Iu­bilie indeede, and we should neuer neede more then one, vnlesse we were madd not to make so comfortable a prouision, when so faire an occasion is offered. But since the Catholike Church doth not onely disowne, but euen detest, and pro­test against it as a most abominable Ca­lumnie.

I scarce know here whether I should rather vish to be Democritus or Heracli­tus. Democritus, to laugh at their blind ignorance to aduenture to speake of thin­ges they are so litle versed in: Or Hera­clitus, to weepe at their intolerable ma­lice to speake point blanke against their [Page 125] knowledge and conscience: and to force in a witnesse by head and shoulders, to stand vp in a cause which he neuer either saw, or heard, or euen dreamed of: wit­nesse, say they, the yeares of Iubilie. This is the highth of basenesse. Yet hold on, doe your worst, we defye you; vse what vio­lence you can, you shall neuer be able to wrest a word out of our Iubilies to your aduantage which publisheth iustice and peace indeede to the repentant sinner. But makes noe Outcrye, or open sale of authoritie to sinne for a somme. Speake for your selues if you haue any reliques of worth, or wit, or euen impudencie left you, which you haue not alreadie degor­ged. Your honours are at stake, & should you bring noe apparent proofes at least, after such prouocations your owne verie friends would leaue you for impostours. In what Councell of ours, in what Cate­chisme, doe you find it out? Reade it out of some of our Diuines, or controuerti­stes, who haue written large volumes of the power &c. of Indulgences: Reade, I say, that sinns past; present and to come, are authorised for a somme in the yeares of Iubilie. And the world will see you lyed not gra­tis, [Page 126] and Wele all put a curse vpon that Rocke of Scandall, vpon which you stum­bled. Looke backe to former tymes, if you list, and read it out of some of our sworne enemies, and euen that will pleade a part of an excuse. Run backe to the Walden­sians those blindbeggers of Lions, the first visible opposers of Indulgences and beg­ge some poore ayde from them. Indulgen­ces, say they, which the Pope grantes, are no­thing at all worth. But this falls farre short. Run to Wicklife that homebred Monster Its a fond thinge, saith he, to giue credit to the Popes and Bishopps Indulgences. This doth partly out-vie these others, yet co­mes not home. Run to Luther, heire ap­parent to those illustrious ancesters, and best improuer of that noble inheritance, Who was as fowle mouthed an Apostle, as one would wish, if we beleeue S. Tho­mas Moore who leaues him cacantem ca­uatumque. Which words as any one may easily guesse by the affinitie they haue With the french, marke him out for a beastly fellow.


INDVLGENCES are the most impious deceipts, of most wicked Popes wherby they cheate, and loose the goods and soules of the faith­full. This is to speake out, in my conceipt, and yet we heare not of authorising sinne past, present, and to come, for a somme. So that this testimonie is most due to you, and you shall not want it, that through you be but younger brothers, you haue yet outstript all that euer went before you in a lawlesse impudencie.

But what you cannot find in our au­thours or Church (should you euen burst for it) to wit sins past, present, and to come, authorised for a somme in the yeares of Iubilie: What if I should find in yours, and cost you nothing, noe somme at all. Looke towards Luther, hes a good fellow, and will deale more liberally with you. Loo­ke vpon him, I say, & you shall not onely find a Plenarie Indulgence, farre more ample then euer Pope durst grant it, for sinnes past present and to come, but euen an absolute sauegard from all danger to boo­te, saue onely infidelitie. A Christian, or [Page 128] baptised person, saith he, is so rich, that, al­though he would he cannot loose his saluation by any sinne, how great soeuer, vnlesse he will not beleeue. Or if you liue neerer France goe to Caluine, and there too you may haue the Pardon of the Iubilie yeares for sinns past present and to come, without pay­ing a pennie. At what tyme soeuer, saith he, we be baptised, we are at once washed and cleansed for all our life. In baptisme is obtayned perpetuall and continuall forgiuenesse of sinns euen vnto death. These are gallant men, Madame, and find ways to saue their fol­lowers (in a manner will they nill they) without all the paines, and care, and cost, which we Catholikes are wont to be put to, as your Ho will please to heare; for now I am resolued to leaue those Calum­niatours, and deliuer to your La in all sin­ceritie what I haue bene alwayes taught by my Catholike Mother in this be­halfe.


PLEASE then to know, Madame, & be it knowen to all those that may haue receiued bad impressions by the [Page 129] foresaid slaunders, that the Catholike Religion teacheth not that sinns past, present, and to come can be pardoned, much lesse authorised for a somme, either by Iubiles or otherwise but protests against it as a Calumnie.

2. That our Iubilie yeares, and our Indulgences, neither puts a pennie into the Popes purse, nor takes a pennie out of ours, but such as we freely and without constainte giue charitably to the poore, or bestowe in other pious vses: And this I affirme absolutly vpon myne owne knowledge, neuer in fiftie yeares space hauing mette with any iniunction or pra­ctise to the contrarie.

3. That noe sinns at all are pardoned, nor pretended to be pardoned in our Iu­bilies, independently of the Sacramen­tall absolutions we receiue in the Courts of Pennance, to which the sinner is re­mitted to haue pardon for his sinnes, as they were remitted by our Sauiour Christ, and his forerunner Sainte Iohn: Doe euery one of you pennance: and againe: vnlesse you doe pennance, you shall perish all togeither.

4. That sinnes are neither remitted [Page 130] in the Court of Conscience, nor by our Iubilies, saue onely by the Sacrament of Pennance, consisting of Contrition, Con­fession, and Satisfaction that is, by so­rowe to haue offended so diuine a Maie­stie; by an humble and sinceere confes­sion of our faultes in the eares of a Preist approued, and satisfaction according to his iniunction, or the measure of our cri­mes. This is our faith, this is our common and approued practise. Which is indeede so rationall and so satisfactorie, euen to common sense, that I cannot dreame what the most criticall braine can haue to say to it. A person of honour is offen­ded by iniurious wordes, or actions &c. The offender conceiues hartie sorowe for it; he expresses that sorowe by a sincere, and humble Confession of his fault, he testifies himselfe readie to giue what sa­tisfaction may be iudged competent, to the worthy person offended. What more can be desired by any man. And yet, Madame, if the Catholike practise be pretended to goe at any lesse, it is either taken vp vpon credit, or gathered from some particular Authours within the lar­ge compasse of the Catholike Church, [Page 131] whose single and loose practises, are nei­ther beleeued nor approued by the same Church, and consequently are vnwor­thily imposed vpon her, and her duti­full children.


NOR is this, Madame, (as they falsely say) to haue a countenance, forsooth, for couetousnesse. But to haue a second and sure table after the shipwrake of sinne, which is bought by noe other somme but the repentant teares, of a con­trite and an humbled hart, which being stamped by Gods grace, are by all Catho­likes held to be current money in the sight of God, without the addition of any other somme, as is basely asserred, and imposed vpon Catholikes, without all ground of truth, saying: (as it were in the person of a Catholike) That the offendants must haue a true Contrition, or their somme of Money will doe them noe good, noe more then will a true Contrition without the somme. Let those slaunderers produce at least one Ca­tholike Authour, who holds this abom­nable [Page 132] opinion, (& the Catholike Church will anathematise him) to free their cre­dit: or it will be taken for granted, that it is more then they can doe, & noe lesse in­deede then an absolute Calumnie, vnlesse it be a somme that ought to be restored to the right owner, before the sinne can be absolued, according to that ancient Ma­xime; non absoluit [...]r peccarum nisi restitua­tur ablatum, Such is the Iustice of Gods Church, of hich there is noe practise among those that liue without, as your Honour well knowes, and noe protestan­te can deney.

Thus farre haue I deliuered what is not taught by, but falsely imposed vpon, the Catholike Church, to remoue all such causelesse Calumnies. Now, Madame, with your permission, will I passe on to put downe what I haue bene alwayes taught in the same Church. That you may clearely see from what sourse that power of Indulgences is deriued, and how ancient they are. And with what ef­fects and fruites they are practised amongst vs.

And wherasnow, while I writeth ese [Page 133] thinges, it hath pleased God to send vs a Iubilie, which all Paris is endeuouring to gayne, I haue iudged it not out of the way of our present discourse, to bring you acquainted with the forme and teneur of it, word for word as it lyes in the Popes Bull; which being, in some passages, at­tended with short obseruations, may hap­pily proue more satisfactorie, then any other thinge could be said vpon that subiect.

The Vniuersall Iubilie granted by our holy Father Pope Alexander, by the diuine pro­uidence the seauenth of that name, to im­plore Gods grace and assistance in the present necessitie of the Church.

ALEXANDER Pope the seauenth to all faithfull Christians to whom these presentes shall come, health and Apostolicall Benediction. Casting the eyes of our soule, from the most eminent Sea of the Church, vpon all the partes of the world; and attentiuely consi­dering the continuall calamities which afflict the flocke wherwith we are intrusted from abo­ue, we are not able to represse the frequent sobbs which burst out from the become of our harte, [Page 134] nor the teares which flow from our eyes in abun­dance. For what hart of iron would not be sen­sibly touched, with the present miseries which ouerflow the Christian world? Warre is sett on foo [...]e, and growes euery day more and more ob­stinate among Catholike Princes, and to appease it, all the inuentions of humane pruden­ce, haue hitherto proued vnprofitalle. In the East, the countries which were subiect to the power of a most pious common wealth, are in­fested by the turkish warrs of ten yeares conti­nuance. In the North, a parte of the kingdome of a most Catholike kinge, is inuaded by hereti­call armes: and the frontiers of the rest, is not safe from their malice and power. In the south partes, a cruell plague is begun, which depopu­la es the neighbouring nations; and horribly th eatens this capitall Citie of the true Religion.

All is full of the terrour, and iust apprebensions of the miseries which inuirone vs. So that now more then euer, we resent the hand of God to lye heauie vpon vs, because our crymes prouoke his wroth: to appease which, though we cease not to imploye our owne sacryfices in particu­lar, and those of others, togeither with the o­blations of prayers it out intermission, yet we iudge that we shall more promptly re­ceiue the effects which we hope from Gods mer­cy, [Page 135] if the Prayers of all faithfull Christians we­re ioyned with ours, their soules being first pur­ged of the sinns which defile them, by the hol­some remedic of sinceere Pennance: for our good God is myld, and mercifull, and pardons all that inuoke him in sinceritie of harte.


MADAME, you will obserue, that we meete with nothing yet that seemes any thinge to Sauour of that base trading, which our enemyes would im­pose vpon vs, nor will there any other ap­peare in all the Bull. Marie this appeares, and is made visible and intelligible to all that haue eyes to see, and eares to heare. That ehaue a good Pastour who sleepes not, but is vigilant ouer all his vniuersall flocke. That he wants not care to consi­der, nor bowells of mercy to commisera­te his childrens calamities, which by com­passion he makes his owne. He knowes that his sheepe which he calls, are spred all the world ouer, and they heare his call to the furdest corners of the earth, and know him, and acknowledge him by their prompt obedience He calls them not to [Page 136] inrich himselfe with the fleese, but to inrich them with the blessings of remis­sion and pardon, the fruites of Christs Passion, intrusted in his hands. He calls them to fasting, praying, pennance, wor­kes of mercy, vse of Sacramentes &c. and his order is hardly distinguished from the execution therof: they all run: the Em­perour, Kinge, Prelate, Prince, Preist and people, with vnanimous hartes, and ioynt endeuours, to make violence against heauen; and force, as it were, ne­cessarie blessings from the hands of Mercy.

The Pope goes on. Now that all these thinges may be done with more fruite and pro­fit, and accompaigned with more feruour of Spirit, we haue thought good, following the ancient custome of the Romane Church, the Mother and Mistresse of all the rest, to open, communicate, and distribute the treasures of the same Church, wherof we are made the Dispen­sers by the grace and authoritie of our Sauiour Iesus-Christ. And to this effect, on the behal­fe of Almightie God, Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost, by Apostolicall authoritie, withall fa­therly affection, we request, admonish, and exhorte in our Lord Iesus all faithfull Chri­stians [Page 137] in generall of both sexes, as well those of this our holy Citie, as those that are out of it, in what place soeuer, that they would deuoutly sett vpon and accomplish the thinges following, and that they would beseech God our Sauiour, by the bowells of his mercy to vouchsafe to pro­tect the Catholike faith, and defend it, against the attempes and ambushes of her enemyes: to extirpate heresie: to grant peace to Christian Princes, togeither with a true and profound tranquillitie: to deliuer such as are alreadie in­fected with the plague, and preserue the rest: and to succour the Church in the present neces­sities which she grones vnder.


WHAT appeares yet but good and ver­tuous, and well beseeming that com­mon Father? He neither speakes of sel­ling, or euen giueing, out of any store of his owne, but out of the common stocke of the Catholike Church. Or by any other authoritie but that which was left by Iesus Christ to the Church, and deri­ued vpon his person by lawfull succession euen from the Chaire of Peter, erected by Christ Iesus. Nor doth he make vse of [Page 138] this authoritie vpon a slight occasion, but in a generall and crying calamitie Nor yet doth he imploye this common trea­sure for any sordide lucre, or otherwise badd end, or by such indulgence to make Christians lesse carefull to performe good workes &c. But for a most laudable and Christian one, to thend, saith he, that their fastes, prayers and penitentiall practises, to which he exhortes them, may be done with more fruite, & feruour of Spirit. Therfordoth he open, communicate, & distribute the treasu­re of the same Church on the behalfe of Almigh tie God, Father, onne, and H. G. Nor doth he take vpon him to begin a new thing neuer before heard of in the Church of God: but proceedes according to the ancient custome of the Romane and Mother Church. Which is deliuered in the Councell of Trent as followes.

Wheras the power of granting Indulgences was conferred vpon the Church by Christ; and that she vsed this kind of power, deliuered vnto her by the diuine prouidence, in the most an­ceent tymes; the holy Synode doth teach, and commande, that the vse of Indulgences, which is verie profitable to all Christians, and [Page 139] made good by the authoritie of holy Councells, should be retayned in the Church, and doth anathematise or curse all such, as either affir­me that they are vnprofitable, or denye that the Church hath power to grant them. Howbeit the Councell desires that moderation be vsed in granting them, according to the ancient and approued custome of the Church; least otherwi­se Ecclesisticall discipline might be shaken by too much facilitie. And desiring that the abu­ses which were vpon haue creptin, wherby the fomous name of indulgences is blaspheamed by the heretikes, should be corrected and amen­ded, it orders in generall by this present Decree that all base lucre for the gayning of them, which hath bene a great cause of many abuses among the Christian people, should be vtterly abolished.


HENCE you may see, Madame, that the Pope goes not along without Counsell & authoritie: nor did the Coun­cell of Trent begin any neW thinge, but continued an old: runing still secure in the foote stepps of Ancesters, and ancient Councells. But wheras neither Pope, [Page 140] (proceede he neuer so fairely, fatherly, and Christianly) nor ancient Fathers. nor Councells, will find any great cre­dit with our Souueraigne Aduersaries, who may seeme to say with those arro­gant persons described in the 11. PsalmeThe [...] [...]se of our Indul­gences, is, that power, of loo­sing and binding, left by our Sa­uiour to the Chuch Math. 16. a d Iohn 20 The pra­ctise of them Corinth 1. and 5 and 2. Cor. 2. chap. Tertul­lian ad Mar. c. 1. S. Cyp l. 3. Epist 15. or [...]1. in some Editions Nicene Coun. Canon or 12. with many later ones. (We will magnifie our tongue: our lipps are our owne, who is our Lord) and vpon that proud accompt, will be their owne, and the worlds great iudges, I will onely out of respect to your Honour, and other louers of truth, point at the authorities in the margent, taking vp with one passage out of S. Paule, which me thinkes should sa­tisfie all men, and giue them occasion to reflect, that the Churches and Popes pro­ceeding, in point of Indulgences, was drawen vpon that Originall.

This holy Apostle then, Corinthians 1. and 5. planely exercises the power which Christ S. Matthe the 16. conferred vpon his Apostles, and in them to his Church as to the first parte of it, to witt, to retayne sinne &c. vpon the incestuous Corinthian. I indeede absent in body, saith he, but present in Spirit, haue alreadie iudged in Spirit, him that hath so done, in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ &c. to deliuer such an [Page 141] one to Sathan for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may be saued in the day of our Lord Iesus-Christ. Behold the offender ex­communicated, or cutt of, from the Communion of his Christian brethren, & kept in pennance for his cryme. But as to the seconde parte of remitting or loosing &c. in the 2. to the Corinthians 2. being moued to compassiō by Tymothie, Titus, &c. he grantes him an Indulgence or par­don, and remits the rest of his pennance. For my selfe also that which I pardoned, if I pardoned any thinge, for you, in the person of Christ, that we be not circumuented by Satan. Nor is the Popes Indulgence any other thinge then a remitting, or pardoning, part of Penance or satisfaction inioyned for, or otherwise due to sinne; and that too in the name, person, or by the autho­ritie of Christ, the guilt therof being al­readie pardoned.

The Bull againe. Wherfor we confiding in the mercy of Almightie God, and in the au­thoritie of his blessed Apostles S. Peter and S. Paule, in vertue of that verie power which we haue receiued of our Lord Iesus Christ without any merite of ours, to tye and vntie, doe grant and giue by the tenure of the presentes most ple­narie Indulgences, and remission of all the [Page 142] sinns (as it is wont to be granted in the Iubilie yeare &c.) to all faithfull Christians that are in our said holie citie, who within the space of a month after the dare hereof, shall faste one of the frydayes of the said month; and hauing first confessed their sinnes, shall reuerently receiue the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. And (least by the great concurse of people, should they visite Churches after the ordinarie man­ner, the infection might be increased) deuou­tely say their the Rosarie of the Blessea Virgine Marie, or the seauen Penitentiall I salmes, with the Litanies and prayers following, at ho­me in their owne particular; and prayed for the foresaid purposes, and giuen almes to the poore as their owne charitie may suggest to each one in particular. As also to all others in what pla­ces soeuer without our said citie, who are in pla­ces where there is noe suspicion of the plague (which we leaue to the iudgements of the ordi­naries of the respectiue places) shall visite the Churches appointed by the said Ordinaries, their Vicaires, Officialls, or by their order; or in want of them, by such as haue charge of soules in those places, presently after these presentes are come to their knowledge &c. The rest of the Bull I omit, as contayning onely the style of the Court, togeither with the [Page 143] Priuiledges granted to all Preists appro­ued by lawfull authoritie, to absolue all reserued cases: irregulariries, Censures, changing vowes &c. and permission for all Penitents to make free choyce of any Preist so approued.


AND, I beseech you, good Mada­me, hat can malice meete with in all this, I doe not say, iustly lyable to so blacke calumntes, but euen not worthy of highest commendations. A generall care in a common father to excite his children to Pennance, and the practise of workes of pietie, and Christian chari­tie. A generall obedience and concur­rence in the children, vpon their fathers call, to complie with the said workes, therby to amend their liues, and appease Gods wroth. He is moued by a most iust cause, the common calamitie, wherby he conceiues the diuine Maiestie highly of­fended. He suggests the best meanes to remoue it, euen that which he learnt of our Sauiour Iesus Christ and S. Iohn, Pe­nance, and the actes therof, fasting, praying, [Page 144] and almes deedes, which extinguish sinne, as water doth fire. And all this, in the name, authoritie, and person of Iesus-Christ, as S. Paule did. And they (howeuer they are confident of his authoritie) hopeing for nothing by the Popes concessions, vnles­se, first, by their owne endeuours, and good dispositions, with the helpe of the Sacraments, they be in the state of grace. In which state, and noe otherwise, they are hopefull, in Gods mercy, to receiue the effects, or fruites of the Popes par­dons; to wit, full remission of the paines, or satisfactions, due to their sinns. And yet in the name of God, what a bugge beare is this made to deterre the ignorant from pope and papist; as they please to qualifie vs Catholike? As though, forsooth, he vndertooke to saue and damme, and sell mer­cy to whom he pleased: while notice is not ta­ken the while, that the least Minister (greater then all the popes putt togei­ther) arrogantly takes vpon him, to preach plenarie pardons from both the guilt and paines of sinne to all offendants, be their crymes neuer so ennormious (at least if not publicke) without resetue, without satisfaction, without restitution, [Page 145] onely vpon a bare repentance, which is but one part of the popes iniunctions, & that onely to remitt the paine due to sin­ne. O what a vaste, blind, prodigious bountie is this? which renders Christians so rich, that they cannot euen perish if they would, vnlesse they leaue of, to be­leeue: as the teneur of pope Luthers vaste Indulgences beare.

And now, Madame, in some measure, agreeable to my weaknes, hauing purged my Catholike Mother, in point of the fowle Calumnies cast vpon her, & vnhan­somely foisted into your feast by our enemyes, me thinkes I am recouered out of a fowle passage, and restored to a faire plane, where I meete with a more gentle aire, and delightfully doe I walke too and fro on it. For surely, say you, Monasticall liues are profitable to the common wealth: because it keepes peace, and makes plentie, and begetts a habit of sobrietie which giues a good example, and many tymes drawes their owne mynds, though naturally otherwise disposed, to follow the outward carriage: for the custome of the one may alter the nature of the other &c. The next cause for plenty, they are of a spare diet, and most of what they eate or should care by [Page 146] their order, is fish, rootes. &c. and the like.

Madame, Though by this discourse, your gentlenesse giues vs enough to ap­peare glorious in the eyes of the world: and makes vs fit subiects to find more fa­uour in protestant common wealthes then we could euer hitherto meete with (since we alone practise a profession, which keepes peace: makes plentie: begetts a habit of sobrietie: we vse ceremonies which kee­pes the Church in order, and giues it magnifi­cence. Besides it keepes out murmure, discon­tent, and idlenesse, which are the causes of re­bellion) yet, vnder fauour wheras, in con­clusion, you seeme to doubt whether it may be any aduantage to the soule &c. we must not sitt downe content with these halfe paye­mentes, (and the worse, halfes too) we must not take vp with driblets for consi­deration, with losse of the principall. The cheife ayme and end of Monasticall life is the ornament, beautie, and felicitie of the soule; or to say all in one word, the perfection of charitie, so farre forth as it can be attaynd to in this life. Those other temporall benedictions which acrue to the world and themselues (intimated by your La.) from that holy profession, are [Page 147] but partes of the hundredfold promised by our heauenly Master in this life, to those that abandonne all for loue, life euerlasting being reserued to the next, for the soule. As I hope your Honour will haue found conuinced by reason in the fourth Chapter aboue; as well as by au­thoritie in the first, seconde, and third, where it is made appeare a tymely pro­duction of Primitiue Christianitie in the first. In the seconde, it is graced with an­gelicall prerogatiues by the holy Fathers vnanimous votes. And in the third, loa­den with admirable fruites of Spirit, by the vndenyable testimonies of ancient Histories. How comes your Honour then to goe on as followes, saying.

Although rationally, one would, thinke that God should not take delight in shauen hea­des, or bare and dirtie feete, cold backes, hungrie stomacks, or any outward habit.


MADAME, I cannot but looke vpon this passage as aremnant of [Page 148] the old leauen, noe production of your better seasoned soule. This is certainly some fume belched vp from the too full bellie of some fat Epicure in the middst of his deuoute prayers and pious resolu­tions, of lets eate and drinke, because to mor­row we shall dye. For this strikes not onely at the bare backe, and hungrie stomac­kes, and durtie feete of the poore Monke or fryer onely; but at all the penall actions and satisfactorie workes for finne, so highly praysed, and frequently practised, by all the ancient fathers, Martyrs, and Confessours of the primitiue tymes. That I may not say it hath a lash too euen at Christ his sacred and torne shoulders, at his laborious and paynefull actions and passion. I am not ignorant that those li­bertines doctrine, and pleasures is, that his sufferance sufficed for all, and freed vs from further sufferance: but as they are not taught this euen by faith it selfe, which is not now the question; so, much lesse are they able to perswade it by reason, which is the thinge in present agitation: for rationally one would thinke that God should not be delighted in his sonns bare shoulders, his ignominious humiliations, [Page 149] & publicke abandonment. And thence it passed for a scandall with the lewes, and a follie with the gentils, though it were indeede the loue, and mercy, and wisdo­me of God.

Why should we then, Madame, ouer­matche ourselues in struing to discouer by the twye-light of reason what God may be delighted in and what not, and by that meanes put rockes of scandal in the way for licentious soules, which per­ceiue not what belongs to Spirit, to stum­ble at, while we haue better starrs to wal­ke by? wheras there is nothinge more wholsome and secure in Christianitie then that the authoritie of Scripture should preceede and conduct reason, as your La. also concluds when you leaue your selfe purely to the guidance of your owne second and better thoughtes, con­cluding, neither must we follow our ow­ne reason in religion but faith, which is the guide of our conscience. Whether then reason lead vs to it or not, God may be delighted in bare shoulders &c. if faith guideys to it; which yet can neuer be with­out reason, howeuer it may be without the reach of it. And as for the reach of my [Page 150] reason, I ingenuously acknowledge it to be of so smale an extent, that I should not be able so farre to looke into that hid­den God his counsells, as to discouer whether he may be pleased or displeased with any of our actions at all: since I should not thinke that Eagles stowped to the flight of flyes: that tapers could adde light to the sunne beames: that lesse then a droppe could swell the Ocean: that no­thing compared to All could appeare so­mething: that that inconsiderable and vanishing vapour, Man, could afforde delight to the diuine Maiestie. Noe con­trarily I should apprehend pleasure to be a kind of addition, by the attaynement and fruition of some good. Which we be­gin a new to possesse and displeasure to be a withdrawing and priuation of the same. Wheras, God, as he is his owne beeing, so is he his owne happie beeing from all eter­nitie, his owne contēt, his owne Souerai­gne and superadmirable delight, and fe­licitie. Being neither subiect to addition, nor diminution. And thence it should seeme the Royall Psalmists reason mo­ued him to conclude God to be his God, be­cause he needed nothing that was his, to make [Page 151] some new accession of delight or happi­nesse. And Lucretius, though, otherwise an Epicure, said of God, that he abounding in his owne riches, stands in neede of none of ours. So that, happly, should we consult reason alone, we should hardly find out how he could be delighted (not onely in bare backes &c.) but euen in those better thinges wherin you place his de­lightes (nor doe we deny it) as in an hum­ble harte, and lowe desires, a thankfull mynd, sorowfull thoughtes, repentant teares &c. And so by the waight of flesh be borne downe vpō that other vnworthy thought which you presently after expresse, but approue not, saying, for we might thinke that God did not intend man more miserie, or lesse of this world then beasts, Madame, had not this production of rationalitie bene better stifled in the Conception, then brought out to light, since there are but too many that doe not onely thinke it, but practise it also, without any other in­uitation, then impecauted reason, or cor­rupt nature bowed downe to bestialitie? for man when he was placed in honour, vn­derstood it not, and so n as compared to brute beastes, and was made like to them. Hence [Page 152] such as measured their actions by this crooked rule, said: come therfor let vs inioy the good thinges that are, and let vs quicklie vse the creature as in youth, let vs fill our sel­ues with pretious wine and oyntements; and let not the flowre of the tyme asse vs. Let vs crow­ne our selues with roses before they wither. Let there be noe medowe which our riote shall not passe through. Let none of vs be exempted from our riotousnesse: euery where let vs leaue signes of ioy: because this is our portion, and this our lot.

See, Madame, into what precipices man rushes downe, when quitting the royall way prescribed by faith, he adhea­res to his owne braine absorpt in sensuali­tie. And when Spirituall and holy thin­ges are waighed in deceiptfull ballances, not with the sanctuarie waightes. Gods Prouidence and mercy hath graciously furnished vs with better rules, surer war­ranties, which according to S. Peters Counsell, we should doe well to attend to, as to a candle shining in a darke place, vntill the day dawne, and the day starre arise in our hartes And in the interim, according to S. Paules, not to be wiser then we ought to be, but to be wise to sobrictie.

[Page 153] Taking then faith, or the word of God for our guide, we cannot doubt but God is delighted in man, the masterpeece of all his diuine workman shippe here below. Since he hath left it put downe by the pen of the holy Gost, that his delightcs are to be with the Sonnes of men. And what doth he cheifly desire in man, but his hart, which he seemes to sue for, sonne giue me thy hart? And what doth he ayme at in his hart but his loue, whose seate it is? All then, Ma­dame, that is loue, for loue, or condu­ceing to the seruice and aduancement of loue, is agreeable, or delightfull, in the sight of the diuine Maiestic; since that is the fulnesse and end of the law and prophetes.

So that, Madame, aske Hilarion why his backe and whole body is naked, and he pointes you out the Gospell, that Di­uine Robber, for the Authour of that blessed cryme, saying it was that booke which stript me.


ASKE the poore Frier why his feete are bare and dirtie, and he presently answers, it is for the loue of his Lord and [Page 154] Master. Aske him againe, whether of the two he preferrs, a cold backe, or an hum­ble hart; and he replyes with smiling, that you quite mistake him, if you concei­ue he places perfection in shauen hcades, dirtie feete, cold backes, hungry stomackes, and course and simple habits, which did they not proceede from loue, and lead to loue, he would value at nothing, as apprehending those exteriour thinges alone, litle gra­tefull in the eyes of heauen. But since we are made sure by faith, that God is a Phy­lantropos, and a heauenly Pigmalion, who falls in loue with the peeces of his owne hand, and loues mans mutuall loue, as being the end of his law, his labours, and passions, reason easily leades vs to infer­re, that rationally too he must needes lo­ue the meanes to the same end, (as euery rationall man vses to doe, and that so much the more effectually, by how much he desires the end more ardently) such as we conceiue these in part to be, if not immediately, at least mediately by re­mouing thinges opposite to it. For (goes the Frier on) we haue heard from S. Au­gustine, that two loues haue built two cities: selfe loue, in contempt of God, an earthly one [...] [Page 155] the loue of God, in contempt of ones selfe, a hea­uenly In the Citie of God en­glished by Cras­haw. one. The first seeketh the glorie of men, but the latter desires God onely as the testimo­nie of the conscience, the greatest glorie. That glories in it selfe, this in God &c. That boa­steth of the ambitious conquerour led by the lust of Souueraignetie. In this euery one serueth other in charitie, both the rulers in counselling, and the subiects in obeying. The wisemen of that follow either the goods of the body or mynd, or both, liuing according to the flesh. But in this other, the heauenly Citie, there is noe wis­dome but the pietie that serueth the true God, and expecteth a reward in the societie of the holy Angells and men, that God may become all in all. That first loue must be subdued, that this may gett grouth: the decrease of that being indeede the increase of this, as the vtter ruine of that, is the perfection and raigne of this.

And (vrges the Monke or Frier) is this like to be done without labour, whe­re we all experience in our selues, what we heard from S. Paule, a continuall ci­uile warre in this mortall body of ours, where the rebellious flesh makes head against the Spirit? Is it enough to talke of humbled hartes, lowly desires, thanke­full myndes, sorrowfull sighes, repenting [Page 156] teares, and feare of offending, without vseing any effectuall meanes to procure them? Or can we be so desparatly left by common sense, as to conceiue, that pow­dered heades, and paumpered feete, dain­tily couered backes, and cramd bellies, should be a more conducing meanes, then those others which we imbrace, whi­lest they are looked vpon by you with contempt and scorne, as thinges irratio­nall?


IT was not thus that the Prophete Io­nas, who was sent from our Lord, prea­ched to the Niniuites. It was not thus that the Kinge and people vnderstoode him; who, besides that they beleeued in God, pro­clamed with all a fast, and were clothed in sack­cloth from the greater to the lesser. And when the word came to the Kinge he rose out of his Throne, and cast away his garment from him, and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes: some Courtier might haue thought that this lowe bodily posture was not su­table to Maiestie, and that God ratio­nally should not be delighted in his sack­cloth [Page 157] and ashes, but in the humilitie and lowlynesse of his hart &c. yet it pleased God to testifie he was pleased in it, since the holy texte saith, that God sawe (not their hartes onely) but their workes, that they were conuerted from their euill way, and had mercy &c.

The good Iob too reprehends himsel­fe,Cap. 42.6. and doth Penance in imbers and ashes making vse of an abiect posture of body, together with an humbled harte, what euer mistaken reason might haue sugge­sted to the contrarie.

The kingly Prophete also went on in the same way, put on cloth of haire, and humbled his soule in fasting, imploying good meanes to procure better effectes.

If examples out of the new law doe bet­ter please, looke after S. Iohn Baptist in the wildernesse: where you shall find him practising and preaching penance, in a rugh garment of Camels haire (not wo­ueninto fine chamlet at Bucerus blusheth not to putt it) with a girdle of a skinne about his loynes, whose foode was locu­stes and wildehonie; making himselfe the Prince and president of dirtie feere, cold backes, and hungry stomackes. I meane [Page 158] a blessed patrone of a solitarie and austere life and profession. Of whom our Sauiour said to those, who went out to see him, that they went not out to see a man clothed in soft garmentes &c.


OR if you had rather looke vpon him, who came after him, but was made before him, the lachet of whose shoe he was not worthy to vntye; that onely begotten sonne in whom his hea­uenly father was well pleased, saying: heare him. Let at least his sacred words be layd vp in our, harts, and let his example be putt downe for a sure Rule. Vnlesse, faith he, you doe pennance you shall all like­wise perishe. But what pennance must this be? Certainly that which his wisdome taught vs, not that which our iniquitie feyned to it selfe. That which his painfull examples pointed vs out: not that which our owne licenciousnesse pleaseth to ad­mit of. Because he suffered for vs, leauing vs an example that we might follow his steps. And saith he, woe be to thee, Coro­saim, woe be to thee Bethsaida; for if in Tyre [Page 159] and Sidon, had bene wrought the miracles that haue bene wrought in you, they had done pen­nance in haire cloth and ashes long agoe. See what kind of pennance he points at, not humble hartes, and sorrowfull thoughtes alone; but such as inuolues the ioynt endeuours both of body and mynde: humiliations, abiections, chastisements, and mortifi­cations of our owne members, that we may beare about with vs a sound and pu­re soule, in a sound body, that is, to thend we may become holy both in body and in Spirit, according to S. Paule.

And if this were his preaching, his pra­ctise swarued not from it. For he confes­ses of himselfe that he was in labours from his youth. He liued in the wilder­nesse, watched, fasted, prayed whole nightes longe, while he had neither sinns of his owne to satisfie for, nor iudgement to dread, but onely for our crymes, and our example. I haue left you an example, faith he, and how, an example which I would haue you to follow: because, who followes me walkes not in darknesse, but shall haue the light of life. Which while we haue, by his grace, let vs confidently walke in it, least being left to run at randome, and [Page 160] grope out our way by the fallible light of reason, darknesse so ouertake vs, that we shall not know whither we goe, and so va­nish in our owne knowledge.

It was not thus that the great S. Paule followed him, who came not to vs in lof­tinesse of speach, or of wisdome, but in the simplicitie and ignominie of the Cros­se of Christ, iudging not himselfe to know any thinge among vs, but Iesus Christ, and him crucified; that is, suffe­ring the greatest corporall paines, the greatest pouertie and nakednesse, and the greatest abiection and confusion imagi­nable: thence teaching vs by bodily mor­tifications and paines, to vanquish the flesh: by pouertie and nakednesse, to conquer the concupiscence of the eyes; and by confusion and ignominie, to sub­due the pride of life. This was the humble knowledge that the great Apostle affe­cted, Iesus Christ, and him Crucified wherin he placed all his glorie. Thus to liue who­ly to God, he was nailed with Christ to the Crosse, and liued he, now not he, but Iesus Christ liued in him.


FINALLY to putt this busines in its true light, let vs looke into the cir­cumstances of that admirable Apostle. Neuer had any the vertues which your La. speakes of, in a greater measure. Ne­uer did any putt a greater rate vpon pure loue and charitie then he; who should he haue spoken with the tongues of men and An­gells: should he haue had all Prophecie, know­ledge of all mysteries, all faith euen to the re­mouing of mountaines: should he haue bestowed all his substance vpon the poore; and euen deli­uered his body to burne, and yet haue wanted charitie, he esteemed himselfe nothing, nor conceiued any aduantage to acrue to him by all those other thinges.

Neuer had any humilitie of hart, & lowe desires, in a greater degree then he: who pronounced himselfe the least of the Apo­stles, and one not worthy the name of an Apo­stle. As reputing himselfe te first or grea­test of sinners.

Neuer did any more admire Gods wis­dome then he, who leauing reason, be­takes himselfe to highest admiration, [Page 162] crying out. O the highnesse of the wisdome, and knowledge of God: how incomprehensible are his iudgementes, and how inscrutable are his wayes.

Neuer did any breast harbour more sorrowfull sighes then his; who testifies of himselfe, that he had great sadnesse, and continuall sorrow in his hart, wishing himselfe to be an Anathema from Christ for his bre­thren.

Neuer did any more vnderualue him­selfe, & magnifie the mercyes and grace of Christ then he, who assured the world that what euer he was, he was by Gods grace: who wrought in his hart both the will and per­formance: and that of himselfe, as of himselfe, he was not able to thinke one good thought; but that all his sufficiencie was from God.


AND yet he, Madame, he I say, who was so diuinly charitable; so incom­parably humble; so great an admirer of Gods wisdome; so dauntingly sorrowfull cuen for brethren crymes. So excellent a magnifier of Gods mercyes, and vnder­ualuer of his owne abilities; was not con­tent [Page 163] with all these heauenly endowmen­tes alone, nor thought himselfe in safe­tie therby, vnlesse he added his owne en­deuours to them by corporall and penall aydes. I chastise my body, saith he, and bring it into seruitude, least perhapps when I haue preached to others, my selfe become reprobate.

Ah, Madame, where cedars are not proofe against the blast of Gods wroth, where should quiuering reedes shrude themselues? How should we Lambes tremble, & what penalties should not we vndertake, to helpe to secure our poore soules; while the guide of the flocke, the Doctour of the Gentiles; that sacred ves­sell of Election, as he was published by the mouth of Truth it selfe, must so la­bour, and punish himselfe, least preach­ing to others he himselfe might become reprobate?

He was not ignorant the while, that Christ dyed for him, since he assures vs he dyed for all men; and since he himselfe saith in particular: he loued me, and deliuered him­selfe vp for me.

He was not ignorant, that he had layd downe a treasure which was able to dis­charge a greater debt then we were able to contract.

[Page 164] He was not ignorant, that he had plen­tifully powred out pretious streames suf­ficient to washe and purifie, euen thou­sands of durtie worlds.

He knew well, and taught vs, that that Lambe of God who was slayne for vs, had with his sacred bloud wiped out the hand­writing of the Decree that was made against vs, and fastned it to the Crosse. All this he knew, and yet he ceased not to worke with his hands, to watch, to preach, to pray, to chastise his body, and to bring it into seruitude. All this he knew, and yet he fea­res not to tell the Colossians, that he reioy­ced to suffer for them, and to accomplish the thinges which want of the Passions of Christ in his flesh, for Christs bodie which is the Church. Was there some want of Christs Passions then? Noe, Madame, none in the worth and value of the price of a plentifull re­demption, putt downe in his owne pre­tious bloud: none in point of sufficiencie; none as though they were to borrow so­mething of our pouertie to accomplish them. Finally none on Christs side, but on the parte of vs Christians, who ought to share in his sufferances, that we may haue a part in his glorie: who ought to ex­presse [Page 165] his blessed life and Passion by our liues and passions, or compassions, as it becomes members to be conformed to their heade, not leauing him disloyally to treade the wine-presse alone, & leade, the while, delicate and licentious liues, deuoyde of all paine and sufferance. Noe, Madame, the Passion of Christ was not all to end vpon the Mount Caluarie, but was euen to last till the end of the world: for as he it is that is honored in his Sain­tes, when they are honored as they ought to be honored: and loued in his Saintes, when they are loued by vs, as they ought to be loued: as he also is fedd in the poore, and clothed in the naked, so doth he suf­fer in all those that suffer for iustice: and thence it is, that while Paule persecutes his members onely, he cryes out from heauen, that he is persecuted. Saule Saule why dost thou persecute me? To witt, Mada­me, the heade, Christ, and his misticall body, the Church, make but one intire mysticall body, one whole Christ; and so the Passions of the heade, and the suffe­rances of the members, make but one complete bulke of Passions, all which are said to be Christs; and from him, and his [Page 166] blessed Passion vpon the Crosse, all our humiliations, mortifications and suffe­rances, haue all the vertue, value and for­cethey haue to become meritorious, and satisfactorie for sinne. And albeit there is noe insufficiencie in the actions and Passions of Christ the head, yet his wis­dome, will, and iustice requires and or­daines, that we his members should be fellowes of his Passions, as we hope to be sharers in his glorie; and that by such suf­fering with him, and according to his example, we should applie to our selues and others, the generall and soueraigne Medicine of Christ his merites and satis­factions: nor ought this to appeare stran­ge to any Protestant, or be otherwise esteemed by them derogatorie or iniu­rious to his plentifull redemption vpon the Crosse, sith they, as Well as we, hold it necessarie to applie that great price by the Sacrament of Baptisme, for exam­ple &c.

For this, Madame, (I meane, to make this application of the merites of Christs actions and Passions to our soules: or ex­presse his blessed life, as farre forth as possibly we may be inabled by his grace, [Page 167] by ours: and by the ioynt sufferances of the head and members, to make vp the plenitude of his passion) all the austerities, watchings, fastings, prayers, Sacraments and Sacrifices, which are vsed in the Church, are imployed.

For this, the Priests and Monkes sha­uen heades: for this the Nuns vowes, so­litude and silence: for this the Heremi­tes wildernesle: for this, the poore fryers bare and dirtie feete: for this, all the peo­ples hungrie stomackes: all which, as we humbly acknowledge, were of noe worth or merite, did they not issue from, and were they not sanctified in, that sourse of all merite, so would they proue of noe effect neither to the atrayning of eternall felicitie, were they not referred, as all our blessed Sauiours sufferances were, & in vertue of the same, to his eternall fa­thers honour and glorie, as to their last end who as he is the begining without begining, so is he the end without end, or the endlesse felicitie of vs all, and of all thinges which he created of nothinge. And yet we (who out of the abundance of his free mercyes, are taken into the communication and participation of the [Page 168] infinite merites of his actions and Pas­nons) by imitation, may truly say, (yet with all humilitie, and due acknowledg­ment, not glorying in our selues, but in our Lord, the Authour of all our good) All is ours: but we are Christs; and Christ Gods, that God may be all in all.



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