CATECHISTICAL DISCOVRSES IN VVHICH

  • FIRST, An easy and efficacious way is proposed for instruction of the ignorant, by a breife Summe of the Christan Doctrine here deliuered, and declared.
  • SECONDLY, The verity of the Romane Catho­like Faith is demonstrated by induction from all other religions that are in the world.
  • THIRDLY, The methode of the Romane Cate­chisme, which the Councell of Trent caused to be made, is commended to practise, of instructing in doctrine, confirming in Faith, and inciting to good life by Catechisticall Sermons. By A. E.

Attende to thy selfe, and to doctrine: be earnest in them, For this doing, thou shalt saue both thy selfe, and those that heare thee. Tim. 1.4.

To the wise and vnwise I am debter. Rom. 1.

At PARIS, By P. TARGA, ordinary Printer to the Archbishoprick of Paris, Sworne by the Vniuersity. In the streete of S. Victor, at the Golden Sunne. 1654. With Approbation of Paris, and of England.

I desire the Reader to reade vvith attention the Praeface to him.

A DEDICATORY PRAYER TO IESVS-CHRIST.

DREAD Soueraigne LORD, King of all Kings, and of all creatures both in Heauen and Earth. My Maker, my Re­deemer, my Conseruer, my Eternall and Omnipotent God. Whom my soule by nature doth feare and reuerence, and in whom is all my hope and confidence. Behold mee thy sinnefull creature trem­bling for feare before thee, astonished with the power of my Creatour. But, O my sweet Redeemer, thou dost recreate mee with thy sacred bloodshed, and giu­est mee a new being full of ioy and loue towards thee. This feare, and loue hath brought mee to thy feete, to offer my selfe, and my worke first to thee. I pre­sent and dedicate it to thy infinite Ma­jesty: an vnworthy present, if thou make [Page]it not worthy. Giue life I beseech thee and vigour for the fruit of it. Thou hast the harts of all in thy hands, the good spirit is giuen to none but by thee. Open then my God the harts of those that shall reade this booke, and expell the spirit of stupidity, infidelity, and all kind of sinne out of them; that thy holy inspiration taking place, they may receiue due in­struction in thy doctrine; reiect all illusi­ons of faith, and may bring that increase in holinesse of life, which I pray and la­bour for in them. Grant sweet Iesus that this booke, though neuer soe bitter in it selfe, may become like hony in those that shall vse it, to produce in them true cha­rity towards thee, and their neighbour; and towards mee in particular, to pray, that in all afflictions and temptations that shall befall mee, I may willingly, pleasant­ly, and constantly obey and honour thee, comforted by thy merits, and by thy sweet and comfortable name called v­pon. Liue sweet Iesus, King of eternall glory. Liue, liue and reigne in our soules, here and in Heauen for euer and euer. Amen.

A DEDICATORY EPISTLE TO THE HIGH and MOST GRACIOV [...] PRINCESSE HENRIETTA MARIA DAVGHTER OF ENGLAND.

HAVING offered my labours first to Iesus-Christ, and sollicit­ed the fauour of his Sacred Ma­ [...]esty, in the next place I bring them to you for yours: and I-beseech your Highnesse with all the earnest­nesse, and humility I can, that you will be pleased to accept as fauourably, as I hope he hath done of them. It is the Doctrine of Iesus Christ that desireth your protection. A subiect too sublime to be handled by my insufficiency, or to neede to be protected by any; but that [Page]the present state of England required this la­bour of mee, and it to be more acceptable stoode neede of your protection. This I inge­genuously confesse to be the true and onely motiue why next vnto God I dedicate my worke to your Highnesse. Because setting forth this methode of doctrine, which the Councell of Trent hath soe earnestly com­mended, and which is practised with soe much profit in some places, and not yet de­liuered in the English tongue, I haue done il soe, as I thought was sittest for England; yet not soe but that I know a powerfull Pro­tectour to be both seasonable and necessary to make it more acceptable. And therefore as I was carefull that it should haue a more then ordinary approbation before it entred the presse; soe now comming forth in publicke, I desire it should goe vnder your name, be­cause I thinke none soe powerfull to com­mende it to the vse and profit of others, as your Highnesse.

You are the Highest of all English Ca­tholickes. You are sette in our Crowne as a gemme of singular lustre, and our eyes and harts are filled with the expectation of you; the wisdome of your Father, which the world in due time shall admire, and the piety of [Page]your Mother, whom the most turbulent of times could neuer taxe, meeting both toge­ther first in you. For you are the first of the Royall stocke of England that now for many yeares, and for some descents hath professed the Catholike Faith, brought vp by speciall prouidence in the bosome of the Catholike Church, that we may say of you as of Iacob, Gen. 48. God hath fed you from your youth vn­till this present day, as though designed to some eminent happinesse. To whom then shall the Catholike Doctrine in English ad­dresse it selfe, but vnto you? Where shall it finde a Patrone, if you should reiect it? A prudent hart shall possesse knowledge, Prou. 18. and the eare of the wise doth seeke do­ctrine. This is the doctrine which your eare hath harkened vnto, which you possesse in your hart; and your Diuine Spouse doth require that you outwardly professe what your hart possesseth, and putte him as a seale both vp­on your hart, and vpon your arme.

The afflicted Catholikes of England will reuiue with ioy, to see this Doctrine publik­ly in your hands, and will take it as a pledge of greater felicity, which from your neerest Progenitour they, may well expect. I will speake here the truth which I haue spoken [Page]vnto many; that when I read in S. Bede the conuersion of the English, and saw S. Au­gustine graciously receiued by King Ethelbert well disposed to his doctrine by hauing mar­ried à Catholike, who was daughter of France, it made then such impression in mee, and gaue such liuely hopes of the like benefit a­gaine, that a small knowledge in history re­presented presently some other such marriages to mee, by which I beganne to conceiue it as a blessing vpon France, that the Flower de Luces should send forth the odour of Christ vnto other nations, the Catholike Doctrine comming from thence for their conuersion. The first-fruits of these hopes we haue all­ready in you, and by this they will grow, and increase in vs.

Besides this booke beeing soe directed to Catholikes, as by the way to giue satisfacti­on to all other Religions that shall meete with it: I was to seeke for such a Patrone as with­out offense to any might ingratiate it to all: and for this there was none soe proper as your selfe, who as yet in the candour of your Chry­some, are gratefull to all Christians, and by your vnspotted innocency to all the world. Grant then (most Gracious Princesse) your desired Patronage, which is soe proper [Page]and necessary to this worke, that I neither will, nor can in reason looke for any other. What Englishmans hart (tender by nature) will not so farre resent your condition and his owne, as at least to receiue and reade that which commeth commended by you for the good of his soule? It vill goe for pure gold when you haue accepted of it: vnder your Name and character all will receiue and reade it, and with Gods assistance shall profit by it. This is the cause why I dedicate it first to God, and then to you; desiring no other re­ward for my selfe, but your gracious acceptance for the good of others. Because for a booke to doe much good, I consider it as necessarie, to procure that it be currently accepted of, and much read, as it is to contriue, and compose it good in it selfe. And hauing now prouided as well as I can for both, I haue done all, and will rest,

Your Highnesses, Most humble seruant, and deuoted Oratour to pray for you. A. E.

APPROBATIO.

NOs infra scripti in Sacra Theologiae Facultate Parisiensi Doctores per­legimus librum. Anglicano idiomate scri­ptum, cui titulus est CATECHISTICAL DISCOVRSES, in which first an easy, and efficacious way is proposed, &c. In quo nihil inuenimus à Catholica Fide alienum, aut bonis moribus auersum. Quinimo iudica­mus Discursuum horum institutum ad Christianam doctrinam elucidandam, Ca­tholicam fidem confirmandam, veram (que) pietatem promouendam, non minus stu­diose pertractari, quam religiose, & pro Catholicorum Angliae praesenti conditio­ne, vtiliter susceptum esse. Quapropter librum hunc non approbamus modo, prae­loque dignum censemus, verum etiam quantum possunt vota nostra omnium vsui commendamus. Quod nostris testa­mur signaturis.

  • HENRICVS HOLDEN.
  • P. O. LONERGAN.

WE the vnder written Doctours of Diuinity in the Faculty of Paris, haue perused an English booke intituled CATECHISTICALL DISCOVRSES in which first an easy and effi [...]acious way is proposed, &c. In which we finde nothing dissonant from the Ca­tholike Faith, or good manners. But we rather iudge the institute of these Dis­courses for declaring of the Christian Doctrine, confirming of the Catholike Faith, and promoting of true piety to be noe lesse studiously prosecuted, then re­ligiously, and for the present condition of England, profitably vndertaken where for we not only approoue of it as worthy of the presse; but also commende it as much as lyeth in vs to be vsed by all:

  • HENRICVS HOLDEN.
  • P. O. LONERGAN.

APPROBATIO.

LEctis testimoniis quatuor Doctissi­morum in Anglia Sacerdotum, quo­rum examini liber cui titulus CATE­CHISTICALL DISCOVRSES, &c. commissus est, quique illum non modo in doctrina & moribus sanum testati sunt, sed & communi sententia laudauerunt, ma­gnumque ex eo fructum sperauerunt, meum erat eorum sententiis assentiri, & quantum per me licet efficere, vt spera­tus inde fructus in medium proferretur, & fidelibus communicaretur. Quare li­brum hunc & approbo, & summo desi­derio omnibus commendo.

LANCASTER. Theologiae Professor, & in Anglia Librorum Censor.

HAuing read the testimonys of fower of the most learned Priests of Eng­land, to whom the examining of this booke intituled CATECHISTICALL DISCOVRSES, &c. was committed; who did not onely declare it to be sound in doctrine and manners, but also vnani­mously praysed it, and hoped for much fruit by it; it was my part to assent vnto their sentences, and with all my power to further their hopes of the publike be­nefit. Wherfor I approoue of this booke and earnestly commende it vnto all.

LANCASTER. Professour of Diuinity, and Censurer of bookes in England.

The cheife Errours in printing.

Page 2 there, their. p. 17. witht he, with the. 20. authoritority, authority 24. some anes, some mea­nes 44. declace, declare 45, wich which 57. pao­fesse, professe 57. lin. 22 not, nor. 58 hy, by 60. voon vpon 60 af, alse, a false 68 oue, our. 64. eratederect 64. fi [...]d, fixed. 64. anotheri, another. 82. life, like. 85. life, like. 137. condemning, contemning. 153. the eues, theeues. 165. Danid, Dauid. 183. there in is, there is in. 301. ef, of. 301. lsgacy, legacy, 310. lin 23. by, dy. lin. 31. consecrate, consecrated 313. lin. 24. then, thee. 316. kinden, kindes. 3 [...]8. ba­rished, vanished 343 absently, absolutly, 358. he­drew, Hebrew. 384. fathers hould, father should. 426. atheiued, atcheiued. 433. liues on, liue on. 439. whorty, worthy, 481. thinigs, things. 483 put­ting darknesses, darkenesse, fulnesses, fulnesse. 494. and en, an end. 499. be try, he try. 532. sometihing, something. 5 [...]3. departing, departed. 557. by glad, be glad. 559. Glory into the ihghest God, Glory in the highest to God. 565. sixty tens, six tens 589, is patrone, his patrone. 600. outwards, outward. 602. whit a long, with a long 618. but to mutuall, but to exhort them to mutuall. 625. lin. 1. spiritu­ally, supernaturally 626. he will; but, he will but. 630. laaine, latine, 639. theit, their. 645. consist, subsist. 684. seruants of, seruant of. 685. in in­tentions, in intension. 703. fly grom, fly from. 704. is in worse, are in worse.

THE DISCOVRSES conteined in this Booke.

  • The first Discourse. Of the education of chil­dren, and of the obligation which all haue to learne the Christian dostrine.
  • The Second Of Faith.
  • The Third Of the signe of the Crosse.
  • The Fourth Of the Creede.
  • The Fifth Of the Sacraments.
  • The Sixt Of the Commandements.
  • The Seauenth Of the Pater Noster.
  • The Eighth Of the Haile Mary.
  • The Ninth Of the Rosary.
  • The Tenth Of the Masse.
  • The Eleauenth, Of the Praecepts of the Church.
  • The Twelfth Of Sinne.

A PREFACE to the Reader.

THE great want of instruction which I saw in many mouing mee to apply my selfe more seriously to the practise of catechizing, I tooke into my hands that Catechisme which the Councell of Trent caused to be made, and was settforth by com­mande of Pius Quintus Pope, and is commonly called the ROMANE CATECHISME. Which as it hath the authority not of some one authour onely, but was made by expresse comman­de of an intire, and that soe flourishing a Generall Councell, it may iustly take place of all other Ca­techismes, and is of all others the most worthy to be followed. And it added not a litle to the estee­me which I had of that booke to vnderstande af­terwards that it came cheifly by the care and pai­nes of that blessed man, and late mirrour of pas­tors S. Charles Borromaeus.

The first thinge which I obserued in it was an earnest desire, and almost continuall exhorting of pastors to the catechizing of their people. This it commendeth not onely once of purpose in the beginning, but all ouer in euery cheife subiect: which it treateth, and almost in euery thinge which it mentioneth it repeateth, and inculcateth [Page]ouer againe the necessity of instruction also in that particular point: that it is a thinge very remarke­able to see the great zeale of this holy Councell, in soe often commending, and recommending to Pastors the instruction of their people. In the ex­plication of the Sacraments beginning to speake of Baptisme, it sayth that Pastors should neuer thinke that they had said enough in declaration of that Sacrament; and exhorteth them that not onely on the Eues of Easter and whitsunday, when it is administred with greater solemnity, but also at other times that they take occasion when they see a good number of people together at the baptizing of any, to say something if not of all the cheife parts of it, at least of some one or other point of it, as opportunity shall permitte. And in another place (as I remember) it exhort­eth them to haue certaine commune places in their memory for the explicating of any part of the Christian doctrine, as neede shall requite. This was the first thinge which I could not but ob­serue in the Romane Catechisme, and which ought to be a great incitement, especially to the Pastoral Clergy to whom it was directed, and who haue by office the charge of soules, to attende earnestly to doctrine. And indeede he that before God hath vndertaken this charge, and consider­eth on one side the dignity, and necessity of the Christian Doctrine in it selfe; and on the other side the ignorance of many, and the stupid ne­glect of their soules which is caused by it, will easily see what obligation he hath to vse his vt­most endeauours by all methods and wayes possi­ble [Page]to attende to it; but especially in that, which by the sanctity, wisdome, and autority of a Gene­rall Councell is commended.

I will not here omitte to propose the Clergy of France for an example, and especially those about Paris, in all Ecclesiasticall perfections the glory of Christendome; who considering the Chris­tian Doctrine to be the first ground of spiritua­lity, haue sett themselues soe earnestly to instruct in it, as though the words of the Apostle were allwais in their eares Attende to thy selfe and to doctrine: be earnest in them &c. Tim. 1.4. And the sentence of God menacing, Ezec. 34. Woe to the pastors of Israel which fedd themselues &c. But my flocke you fedd not. How many seuerall institutions haue of late yeares bene there erected for this purpose? How many congregations of Priests are now establish­ed in the Parish Churches of the citty for educa­tion of the Pastoral Clergy, and with speciall care to the Christian doctrine? What methods haue they deuised? what a number of books haue they settforth? How many litle papers haue they dis­persed amongst the people? and what extreme and continuall paines doe they take, to inculcate that by word of mouth, which they deliuer in writing. It is an admirable thinge, and full of aedification to see the sweat and toile, which I haue seene in those graue and excellent men. Nay that nothing might be left vnessayed by them, they haue caused the cheife points of the Christian doctrine to be put into verse for the easyer learning of it without booke. But that which is yet of more moment, and most worthy [Page]to be practised all ouer the Catholike Church, is an exercise confirmed by authority as I perceiue all ouer France, which they call the Prone or Pronaum, as being deliuered in the Naue or open of the Church; in which euery Sunday at High Masse the Creede being ended, the Cele­brant or some other for him ascendeth the pulpit, and ioyning prayer with the people for the ne­cessitys of the Catholike Church, for the Popes Holinesse, the soules in Purgatory, and particu­lar affaires that occurre; the Christian doctrine is then read to them, and a speech or Sermon is commonly made vpon some part of it. Is not this a zeale worthy of Catholike Priests, of the soules of Christians, which they must answere for, of the dignity of that doctrine which they pro­fesse? Why doe not all then imitate this zeale in them? That which they doe in this Prone is but in prosecution of the Councell of Trents desire, and that which I here labour for. For what is my Summe of the Christian doctrine, but the Creede, Sacraments, Praecepts of the Church, and the other most necessary points which first they reade, and what my Discourses, but as theirs vpon some of them▪ Truely it was noe small satisfaction to mee, when comming into France, I saw that which for some yeares I had practised in priuate, to be see publikely, and generally there professed, all­though vnknowne to mee. And besides the profit which I had experienced in it, and the authority of the Romane Catechisme, their example did not a litle encourage mee to publish it, and to commende the like practise to our countrey, [Page]which standeth much more neede of it then they. And yet for all this care, and paines which they take, I haue heard them sometimes complaine to their people, that many of them were ignorant euen in the first principles, and most necessary points of doctrine: and I know by some expe­rience that it was not alltogether without cause. But if in France, and about Paris, where such care is taken, and where the common people ge­nerally are to be thought more knowing then in any place of the Christian world, there was reason to complaine; what shall we say of other places where that care is wanting, and where those me­thods of Catechizing are not soe much as thought of? By all which we may see the dignity and ne­cessity of Catechizing in the iudgment of the wise, and how great a falt it is in some of the weaker sort of Christians, who sleight it as a thinge for children onely, and when themselues perhaps re­maine in damnable ignorance.

The Christian doctrine is the ground and foundation of religion, and the Catholike Church continueth allwais in the world by con­tinuall instructing in it. Christ the Sonne of God laid that foundation, the Apostles after him build­ded vpon it, the Fathers and Doctors of the Ca­tholike Church from time to time haue raised vp the structure, and by their preachings and writings mainteined it: and for all that they haue said and written, there will still remaine for others to write, vntill it come to that perfection to which God hath ordained it in this world. This is that doctrine which plane humble and outwardly des­picable, [Page]but grounded vpon the promises of Iesus-Christ, auncient Philosophy could not withstande it. This doctrine deliuereth the prin­ciples of diuinity, it hath beaten downe infidelity, dispersed haeresys like smoke, it abolisheth sinne, and inflameth vnto vertue the harts of those that faithfully imbrace it. Finally this is the knowledge of saluation in which the Orient from on high hath visi­ted vs. And it should suffize to say that it is the knowledge of saluation. What esteeme then ought all to haue of it? with what dilligēce to study it, and to be perfect in it? And therefor the Councell of Trent after the decision of controuersys in faith, and declaratiō of the diuine truth, in the next place would prouide for Catechizing, that the true doc­trine declared might be deliuered to the people. And for this end they caused the Romane Catechis­me to be made; and that not to incite Pastors how­soeuer to instruct, but to propose such a manner of instuction, as was most propper for times of here­sy: as it declareth of purpose in the Preface, where speaking of the suttelty of haeretiks in insinuating of their new and poysonsome doctrines, it hath these words; Wherefore to apply some remedy to these pernicious euills, the Fathers of the Oecumenicall Councell of Trent haue thought it not sufficient onely to determine the cheife points of the Catholike doc­trine against the haeresys of these times; but haue also deemed it necessary to setiforth a certaine forme, and manner of instructing of Christian people, which in all Churches should be followed by those who haue the office of a lawfull Pastour and teacher.

Now for the forme and manner of instructing [Page]which it deliuereth, it is by Discourses, Speeches or Sermons made vpon seuerall parts of the Christian doctrine; such as the auncient fathers of the Church haue left of the same subiect, and haue called Homilys, which in Greeke also is the same as to say Discourses, or Sermons. And for the methode which it hath obserued in those Dis­courses, it is such, that a more profitable can not be deuised: for by it Catholiks are soe taught in doctrine, that they are also confirmed in faith, and piously excited to holinesse of life. Three principall thinges then are intended in the Ro­mane Catechismes Discourses. The first is Instruc­tion of the ignorant, the second is Confirmation of the Catholike faith, the third Aedification to good life. As for instruction it performeth it very abun­dantly, and more at large in those subiects which it treateth of, then other Catechismes commonly doe. As for the second it confirmeth the Catholike doctrine, especially against moderne heresys, soe as in that breuity is very sufficient for the sa­tisfaction of any that would haue a care of his soule. As for the third which is Aedification to good life, it sometimes threateneth with such zeale the iudgments of God, to make vs to feare him, and againe, when the subiect requireth, it layeth open soe efficaciously the bowels of his loue and mercy, to draw vs to loue him, that we haue in it not onely a Catechisme for instruction; but also soe many Sermons and exhortations to ver­tue; and Pastors by following of that methode in these three things, may well be said to pay the debt which they owe both to the wise and vnwise.

The same methode of discourse I desire to obser­ue, and the same three things I will labour to imi­tate with that spirit that it shall please God to giue mee. For the first which is instruction, considering that in the opinion of authors some expresse, and explicite knowledge of the mysterys of faith is ab­solutly necessary for euery one to haue; so [...] necessary, that to those that are come to the vse of reason there can be noe saluation without it; I haue therefor collected a short and easy Summe or abbreuiation of the Christian doctrine con­teined in the answeres to a few questions, which moe doubt but compriseth as much, as is absolut­ly necessary for Lay people to know, and more then authors in rigour exact of them. The learn­ing then and indifferent vnderstanding of that Summe shall satisfy the obligation which all haue to learne the Christian doctrine, and shall excuse them from the sinne of ignorance which they might incurre. In which answeres I doe not intende the rigorous definitions of those things which are there asked; but onely to declare soe much as is necessary for the vnderstanding, and in breife for the remembring of that point. This I of­ten explicate to the people, and procure that they haue it with them to get without booke: for I finde by experience that neither explication onely with­our getting somethinge without booke, nor the getting without booke onely, without explication is sufficient for the people to learne the christian doctrine. I haue explicated the same things ouer and ouer againe many times, and vntill I gaue them somethinge in breife for their memory, I per­ceiued [Page]that my labour was in a manner lost, es­pecially with the yong and ruder sort, who when I came to examine againe were as farre to seeke, as at first. And on the other side I haue knowne some children who through their parents care, haue knowne all Cardinal Bellarmins litle Cate­chisme without booke; yet for want of explication haue bene litle, or nothing better for it Wherfor to bring the people both to vnderstande, and to remember the christian doctrine, I was forced to vse these meanes, to giue them that Summe to gett without booke for their memory and to ex­pounde it to them, as they doe in their [...]rones in France: onely with this difference, that where as there the people haue onely the cheife parts of the Christian doctrine read to them before the ex­plication, I require that they say it themselues, answering all together alowde to the questions of the Summe; for by this meanes the most rude and ignorant hearing others answere, and answer­ing with them, come in time to learne the answeres whether they will or noe; and that much more easily in their owne language then those who gett without booke whole psalmes in Latine by onely hearing, and singing them with others in the Church. As for explication I sometimes expounde all the Summe in breife for the ignorant, and sometimes for the good of all I make a discourse after the manner of some of the following Dis­courses; either of Faith, or of the Signe of the Cros, or of some article of the Creede, or other part, as occasion shall serue, and as is most agree­able to that dayes solemnity.

The second thinge which I labour for is to con­firme in the Catholike faith by such proofs of the Catholike doctrine as may suffize for that purpo­se. And that you may better vnderstande how I proceede in this, I desire you to take good notice in the Creede. (For in the other Discourses there is noe difficulty.) For the vnderstanding of which you are to minde well the methode which the A­postles haue obserued in composing of it, which they carried with them in their liues, and left be­hinde them at their deaths, as a rule of diuine faith. First against Atheists who would perswade themselues that there is noe God, they laid this ground I beleeue in God. Secondly against Pagans, who on the contrary beleeue in many Gods, they professe their beleefe in one onely God the maker of heauen and earth. Thirdly against Iewes and Turks, and all such as they foresaw might belee­ue in one God, yet deny Christ, they professe their beleefe in Iesus Christ the onely Sonne of God. Yet all this was not sufficient finally to resolue in point of faith For being that there might be seuerall sorts of Christians all of them beleeuing in Iesus Christ, yet all could not haue the true faith of Christ, as being opposite in doctrine, and disobedient to each others Churches; therefor it was further necessary that the Apostles should declare which of all Christian Churches that were then, or might be afterwards, was the true Church of Christ. This they did in the ninth article, when hauing professed the cheife things that concerned the B. Trinity, and the mystery of the Incarnation, in the next place they added I beleeue the Catholi­ke [Page]Church. Here noy all controuersys of faith should haue an end, we being allwais bounde to beleeue the Church, and in all points to refer­re our selues with obedience to it. And if this ar­ticle had bene allwais truely obserued, there neuer could haue bene any haeresys, nor false Churches of Christians in the world. For if all Christians had allwais kept themselues constant to the doc­trine of the Church, and continued obedient, submitting allwais to it, noe false Churches of Christians could at first haue risen, all of them first rising in the breach of this atticle; for that they will not beleeue the Catholike Church, which is then and must be at all times extant, for the gouernment of the world in the true worship of God; but will follow the conceipts of some pri­uate men, and beginne new Churches which then are not in any place. And if we rightly consider this article we shall finde it sufficient to destin­guish amongst all Christian people that now are, which of them is for the present the true Church of Christ. For as at first the true Church of Christ was planted Catholike, that is to say a people all ouer and vniuersally agreeing in the same faith and doctrine; and those that beganne false Chur­ches of Christians were first of it, and went forth to beginne a new Church in disobedience to it; soe if amongst all the Churches of Christians that are now in the world we finde one out of which they haue all gone forth; all the rest that haue gone forth of it are false Churches, and that out of which they haue all gone forth must haue the true faith of Christ, and be that first Church which the [Page]Apostles planted, and called The Catholike Church. This argument of the Apostles take to prosecu­te, and to prooue more at large that which they in the Creede haue but briefly professed First in the first article against atheists that there is a God. Secondly in the same article against Pagans that there is but one God. Thirdly in the second arti­cle against Iewes and Turks and all that deny Christ I prooue the Christian faith. Fourthly in the ninth article I shew, how that amongst all the Christian Churches that are in the world, there is none but the Romane (which is commonly cal­led Catholike) that is indeede the true Catho­like Church; for that all other Christian Chur­ches that are in the world went first out of it, and beganne at some time in disobedience to that Church. (And to shew this I willingly vse the Popes autority, that the enemys of the Catholike Church may see the truth, and lay a side their auersion from that holy seate which to the ruine of their soules they labour to disgrace) This man­ner of inducing the verity of the Romane Ca­tholike faith is as you see both according to the Apostles method, and by it the verity of all, and euery particular point of that faith is inferred. For that being once prooued to be the true Church, there needeth noe further proofe of any particular point which it teacheth, the true Church not being subiect to teach falsehood in particular doctrines; but all whatsoeuer is taught by it is to be receiued for the authority of God soe speaking, and we are allwais to say I beleeue the Catholike Church. Yet in the [Page]other parts of the Christian doctrine when any points of controuersy in religion occurre, I giue satisfaction briefly in them also, as the Romane Catechisme doth; but that which I desire most to satisfy in is the authority of the Romane Catho­like Church prooued out of the first, second and ninth article of the Creede, and which may be vnderstoode by reading the ninth onely.

The third thinge which I labour for in Catechi­zing is edificatiō to good life, Esa. 27. for this is the end and fruite of all, to take away sinne We lay the foun­dation when we instruct in the Christian doctrine, and we build vpon it when we exhort to good life, this being the hight and perfection of our labors. Wherefor that you may not onely know specula­tiuely what to beleeue; but also how to apply practically that knowledge to the honour of God, and your aduancement in his grace, I haue an­nexed many things both out of the Romane Ca­techisme, and other authors, as also some exam­ples of my owne certaine knowledge, which tende onely to deuotion. Thus I follow that methode which the Councell of Trent hath giuen vs to fol­low in the Discourses of the Romane Catechisme; adding onely the Haile Mary in the beginning of euery Discourse, as a pious deuotion to implore the assistance of our B. Lady before any good exercise.

But because the Discourses of the Romane Catechisme were but few, as treating onely of fower subiects (besides the praeamble which it hath of faith) to wit of the Creede, of the Sa­craments, of the Commandements, and of the [Page]Pater Noster: and those also somethinge obscu­re, as not being intended by the Councell of Trent, as a Catechisme immediatly to the peo­ple, but to pastors, to giue them examples how to Catechize; and were therefor deliuered as in­tire speeches without titles, vntill Andreas Fa­britius for more cleernesse added titles vnto them: therefor I haue treated of more subiects; as first of the Obligation which all haue to learne the Christian Doctrine, of the Signe of the Cros, of the Masse, of the Aue Maria, of the Rosary, of the Praecepts of the Church, and of Sinne. And I haue destinguished the points which are treated in them by titles sufficiently connecting the former sense with that which followeth; soe that I hope you will haue here the substance of the Romane Catechisme with that cleernes which Fabritius added vnto it, and also some other sub­iects in the same manner handled; soe requisite for all to know, that this will appeare not onely a good, but a necessary booke.

As for the stile of Catechizing if it be plane and easy, it is propper and as it ought to be: and for this I haue laboured all that I could euen to the repearing of the same words often ouer of pur­pose for more cleernesse. That which I feare most is a weake and cold spirit which will appeare in many places of this booke; but this must be sup­plyed by your more feruerous desire, and endea­uour of profiting your selfe by it; yet the iudicious will cōsider that tendernes of deuotion is not much obe expected where instruction is deliuered, much [...]sse where controuersys and arguments in reli­gion [Page]occurre. Yet these by the method of the Ro­mane Catechisme could not be quite omitted, and the publike necessity of England did require that they should come forth more at large then was necessary onely for Catholike assemblys. Therfor for this booke to be more beneficiall, euery thinge is to be sought for in its propper place and nature; Instruction and Exhortation where, and as intended, to wit, onely for Catho­liks: and as for confirming the Catholike faith, he into whose hands it shall come, of whatsoeuer reli­gion he be, if he desire indeede to serue God, and will pray to him, I hope he shall haue suffi­cient satisfaction.

Thus much for your direction in this worke, which at first I beganne without the least thought of publishing any thinge, but onely to discharge my obligation, which vntill then I had not soe well reflected vpon; but beginning to obscrue a great ignorance in some, and obseruing it still more and more, and considering with my selfe how pertinent the words of the Apostle are, How shall they beleeue him whom they haue not heard? Rom. 10 and how shall they heare without a preacher? I con­ceiued this the best, and most profitable manner of preaching, and applyed my selfe most to the practise of it. And hauing vsed it for some yeares I founde it soe efficacious to that which I desired, that some of their owne accorde acknowledged to mee the benefit which they had receiued by it, and desiring mee to publish somethinge of it which they might haue to reade, I brought this booke to the perfection which it hath, and was [Page]many wayes encouraged to grant their desires, especially by the aduice of a graue and learned Prelate who first to approoue of my designe, told mee that if he himselfe were in England he would apply himselfe most to Catechizing: and hau­ing afterwards pervsed a great part of the Discour­ses, gaue mee most satisfaction in it. Finally for the right vnderstanding of all. I declare here that it is not my intention to giue examples vnto others how to Catechize. For that the Romane Catechis­me hath done allready: neither would I vnder­take soe much (although for my Summe of the Christian doctrine I would willingly commende the vse of such an one gotten without booke and expounded as a foresaid) My first intention is to instruct the ignorant, and for that I made choice of that forme which the Councell of Trent hath deliuered, and which was the sole scope, and marke which it aimed at by the Romane Catechisme: to wit, that Pastors should vse such Catechisticall sermons, as might be both a Catechizing for in­struction, an exhortation to vertue, and in times of heresys might confute them, and confirme the Catholike faith. Which if it were practised as fre­quently as the holy Councell desired, and as other preachings are (which are much lesse necessary for the people) exceeding great profit, and a ge­nerall good might be expected by it.

That Catholike is very carelesse of himselfe, who with all this labour doth not learne and know that which is fitting, or at least necessary to be knowne. And that Catholike who knowe [...]h his duety to God, and hath it thus beaten into his minde, yet [Page]liueth as it were contemning of God, and of all remedys for his soule, that hauing sinned doth not endeauour to rise againe, and to aime at a new and vertuous life, but will continue in sinne, and resolue still to sinne, he deserueth not at all the name of a Catholike. And that Christian that professeth himselfe to beleeue in God, and to worship him in that faith and religion which Christ left to his Apostles, and was allwais accord­ing to the ninth article of the Creede to be in the Catholike Church; yet will beginne a religion contrary to all the Christian Churches in the world, or beleeue in a religion which soe beganne, he deserueth not the name of a Christian. And that man that being sufficiently satisfyed of the true religion (and Marke that I say sufficiently satisfyed: for euidence of reason is not to be re­lyed vpon in any religion) yet will not professe it for temporall respects; but goeth on with a guil­ty conscience in the profession of a false reli­gion, or rather liueth like an Atheist, or beast without any religion at all, that man I know not how to call him. A miserable wretch he is, and of all creatures out of hell the most miserable, who to feede vpon the dung of the earth, sinneth a­gainst the Holy Ghost, hardening his hart will­fully against all heauenly inspirations. For A­theists, and all false religions I haue said enough in the Creede: but for him that is neither in pro­fession an Atheist, nor yet hath indeede any re­ligion, I know what to say; but to wish him to consider with himselfe of the power and goodnes of God, and of the euills of sinne that depriueth [Page]vs of him; and let him reade the last Discourse where I treate somethinge of that subiect. If God of his mercy visit these men with some heauy Crosses, and great afflictions necessary to draw them to his seruice, it is indeede a singular mercy by which sometimes they are brought to repen­tance. But in the meane time I warne these hard harted men that they praesume not too farre, but that they thinke of their soules, and of death which in the end shall surprise them. And I will tell them one thinge which they thinke not of; that is that they are in danger of suddaine death: not onely as all men are, but in particular more then others; and that God hath shewed this by many examples in which such kind of men haue bene so punished. The example of Pharao and of thousands of the Aegyptians were enough to prooue this; who hau­ing hardened their harts against the manifest light of God, were suddainly ouerwhelmed in the sea, and miserably perished. The like examples we haue in our Kingdome (but ouer many) of the sud­daine deaths of those who against their conscien­ces haue professed a false religion. I mention one­ly two which happened lately in two neere neigh­bors to the place where I haue liued for dinerse yeares. They had both bene Catholiks, and for plane loosnesse and liberty of life had forsaken the Catholike Church, and gone to the Protestant Churches, manifesting by many expressions the guilt of their owne consciences to their intimate freinds; but continuing still dissembling in reli­gion, the one of them as he was hunting fell from his horse, and died presently; the other who had [Page]engaged himselfe further against the Catholike Church, and would take noe warning by his neighbors example, within a few yeares after hauing bene drinking about three or fower miles from home, in his returne was suddainly strucke with the paines of death, fell downe, and was car­ried away dead. It is ill dallying with God. Know thou and see, Hier. 2. that it is an euill and bitter thinge for thee to haue forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my feare is not with thee, saith the Lord of hosts. And in another place. Slacke not to be conuerted to our Lord, and differre not from day to day. Eccl. 5. For his wrath shall come suddainly, and in the time of ven­geance he will destroy thee. Let bold praesumptuous men remember these words, and learne to feare God.

Deere Reader whosoeuer thou art, as thou hast a soule which must last for euer, apply this booke to the good of thy soule so as shall most concerne it for a happy eternity. I excuse noe falts, my goodwill shall mende all: God can and I hope will honour himselfe euen in my falts. Combine thou with mee, that we may honour him for euer, and euer. Amen.

I submitte all that is conteined in this booke, and all whatsoeuer I shall sa [...]r thinke as long as I liue, to the authority of the Holy Catholike Church.

A SVMME OF THE CHRISTIAN Doctrine expounded in the follovving Discourses.

QVAESTION. What obligation haue Christi­ans to learn [...] the Christian Doctrine?

Answer. Euery Christian is bounde vnder a mortal sinne to know the cheife points of the Christian faith. 7.

Q. What is faith?

A. Faith is a supernaturall light and gift of God, by which we beleeue, and firmely adhare to the Doctrine of the Church. 11.

Q. Make the Signe of the Cros.

A. In the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy G [...]ost. Amen. 49.

Q. What is the Signe of the Cros?

A. The Signe of the Cr [...] is a profession of the Christian faith. 51.

Q. How is the Signe of the Cros a profession of the Christian faith? 51

A. Because in the Signe of the Cros we professe the mystery of the blessed Trinity, and of the Incar­na [...]i [...]n; which are the two cheife mysterys of the Ch [...]stian faith. 51

Q. What is the B. Trinity?

A. The B. Trinity is God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the Holy Ghost: One and the same God in three distinct Persons. 51

Q. What meane you by the mystery of the Incar­nation?

A. We meane that the Sonne of God was incar­nated, that is became man to redeeme vs. 52

Q. Say the Creede.

A. I beleeue in God the Father Allmighty Maker of heauen and earth. And in Iesus Christ his onely Sonne our Lord Who was conceiued by the Holy Ghost, borne of the Virgin Mary. Suffered vnder Pontius Pilate, was crucifyed, dead, and buried. He des [...]en [...]ed into hell, the third day he arose againe from death. He ascended into heauen; sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father allmighty. From thence he shall come to iudge vs all; both the quicke and the dead. I beleeue in the Holy Ghost The holy Catholike Curch, the Com­munion of Saints. The forgiuenesse of sinnes. The Resurrection of the flesh. Life euerlasting. Amen 76.

Q Who is Christ?

A. Christ is the Sonne of God, incarnated, true God, and true Man: Our Redeemer, Iudge and Glorifyer. 109.

Q. What doe we gett by Christ redeeming vs?

A. We gett the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, and the acceptance of our good works by the merits of Christs passion applyed vnto vs in the Catholike Church. 156.

Q. What is the Chatholike Church?

A. The Catholike Church is the Congregation of [Page]all faithfull people and Pastors vnited together, as a body with its head. 176.

Q. Giue mee a difference betwixt the true, and all false Churches?

A. The true Church keepeth allwais in vnion, and obedience to its Head and Pastors: all false Churches beginne in dissentions, and disobedience to the Head, and Pastors of the Church. 214.

Q. Say the seauen Sacraments?

A. Baptisme, Confirmation, Eucharist, Pennan­ce, Extreme Vnction, Holy Orders, Matrimony. 281.

Q What is a Sacrament?

A. A Sacrament is an outward signe which causeth grace in vs. 266.

Q. What is Grace?

A Grace is a supernaturall gift, which maketh vs gratefull and acceptable to God. 268.

Q. What is the Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist.

A. The Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist is the true body, and blood of our Lord vnder the signes of bread and wine. 298.

Q. It shere any bread or wine in the Eucharist?

A. Noe! it seems but soe. The bread and wine are conuerted at the words of consecration into the true body and blood of our Lord. 305.

Q. What is the Sacrament of Pennance?

A. The Sacrament of Pennance is that by which we receiue the forgiuenesse of sinnes in Con­fession. 322.

Q. Say the tenn Commandements?

A. Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vaine. [Page]Remember thou keepe holy the Sabaoth day. Ho­nour thy Father and Mother. Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not beare false witnesse against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not desire thy neighbors wife. Thou shalt not couet thy neighbors goods. 378

Q. Say the Pater Noster?

A. Our Father which art in heauen, Hallowed b [...] thy name. Thy Kingdome come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen. Giue vs this day our daily bread. And forgiue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue them their trespasses against vs. And lead vs not into temptation. But deliuer vs from euill Amen. 449.

Q. Say the Haile Mary.

A. Haile Mary full of grace, our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among woemen. Blessed is the fruit of thy wombe Iesus. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for vs sinners now, and in the hower of of our death. Amen. 509.

Q. What is the Masse?

A. The Masse is the continuall Sacrifice of the Law of Christ, in which his true body, and blood is offered vnder the signes of bread and wine. 576.

Q. Say the fiue cheife Precepts of the church.

A. To fast fasting dayes. To keepe holy dayes. To confesse our sinnes to our ordinary Pastour, or to another with his leaue at least once a yeare. To receiue the Eucharist at Easter time. To pay tithes. 640.

Q. How doe the Precepts of the church oblige?

A. The Praecepts of the church oblige vnder a Mor­tal sinne. 641.

Q. What is sinne?

A. Sinne is that by which we depart from the diuine Law, and are separated from God. 673.

Q. Ho many kindes of sinne are there?

A. There are two kindes of sinne: Original and Actual sinne. 715.

Q. What is the difference betwixt Original, and Actuall sinne?

A. Original sinne is that which we are borne in, Actuall sinne is that which [...]e committe. 615.

Q. How many kinds of sinne doe we committe?

A. We committee two kindes of sinnes: Mortal sinne, and venial sinne. 717

Q. What is the difference betwixt Mortal, and venial sinne?

A. Mortal sinne quite depriueth vs of Gods grace: venial sinne onely lesseneth and deminisheth the feruour of the loue of God in vs. 717.

THE FIRST DISCOVRSE. Of the education and instruction of chil­dren, and of the obligation which all haue to learne the christian doctrine.

I INTENDE now to speake of two thinges. First vnto all those who haue charge ouer children, and especially to parents to com­mende vnto them the care which they ought to haue of their good education and instruction. Secondly to declare vnto all the obligation which they haue to learne the christian doctrine. And that I may speake to the honour of God, and that all may receiue that benefit which I wish them, we will say the Haile Mary for our blessed Ladyes intercession. Haile Mary, &c.

The Holy Ghost hauing to describe the life of Iob à man fearing God and departing from euill, Education of children. and to propose him as it were vpon a stage, as à [Page 2]true example for all laymen and married folkes to behold, and to learne at the many vertues with which he was endowed, he would beginne his commendations with the care which he had of his children; and therefor he first bringeth him forth rising vp early in the morning to sanctify them, and to offer holocausts for euery one of them speaking these words, Iob 1. least perhaps my son­nes haue sinned and blessed God in there harts. This was the first thing which the holy ghost would commende in Iob, and which may well be the first commendation of a married man that hath children. For as marriage was first instituted for the orderly propagation of mankind, and this propagation finally ordained to the multiplying of soules in the seruice of God; soe the first and cheife end which married folkes ought to haue in marriage is to haue children to serue God; and there prime commendation is to see that their children be brought vp in the feare of him, and know how to worship and serue him as they ought.

This obligation of the education and instru­ction of children is not onely natural in christian parents; but it is also accessory vnto them by the Sacrament of Baptisme: for the Apostles as the general Pastors of the world being bounde to prouide sufficiently for the instruction of all; and being themselues more necessarily imployed in planting of the ghospell of Christ and conuerting of soules, placed others as their substitutes who should vndertake that charge and performe it for them: and therefor they instituted this order [Page 3]in the Church, that Godfathers should be chozen at the baptizing of all christians to supply the place of Pastors, who as spiritual parents were to see them instructed in those thinges which were necessary for them to know, that none might want sufficient instruction. S. Dion. Eccl. Hierar. c. 7. par. 11. Denis who liued in the Apostles times speaking of the institution of Godfathers saith that as masters they were to in­struct in diuine thinges. Now these Godfathers hauing many times noe conuenience themselues to performe in this their obligation ouer chil­dren; and being sometimes farre distant in place, and perhaps dead when the child groweth capa­ble of instruction, they commende and as it were remitte their charge to the parents of the children as hauing better meanes to performe it: and then there rests à double obligation vpon them, both as they are natural, and also spiritual parents in the Godfathers place. It is then à great shame and as it were à double sinne in them to be negligent in their childrens education and instruction.

S. Iohn Chrysostome lib. 3. Aduersus vitupe­ratores vitae monasticae, hath much to this pur­pose; where reproouing the negligence of parents in it, he calleth it the spring and fountaine of all euills amongst men, that children are not well taught and brought vp: and on the contrary commending of holy Abraham for his care of his children, he maketh it the cause and meanes of soe many and great blessings as he obtained. Gen. 18. For I know (saith holy scripture) that he will commande his children, and house after him that they keepe the way of the Lord. And hauing produced some [Page 4]other examples of this, a litle after he relateth as large à passage which I will breifly rehearse. There was saith he in the city à youth richly appointed to study the Greeke and Latine tongues, and had à tutour who as I perceiued had followed a monasti­cal institute. I meeting one day by chance with him, asked him the cause why he would change the plea­sure and quietnesse of that course of life for the vn­quietnesse and trouble of à tutors place. He beganne then to tell mee how that the father of that youth being à man addicted to the glory of the world had intended his sonne for à souldiers life, but his mother à pious woman disliking of that course sent (said he) for mee to conferre with her: and when I came she taking her sonne by the right hand offered him to mee. I knowing nothing of her minde meruailed at first what she meant to doe. My onely care (said she) is for this child and I feare much the euill com­pany which he is like to fall into, if you assist mee not; but if you will be pleased to take the charge of him and carry him away with you, I shall be out of feare of him and would perswade my husband that nothing should be wanting for his allowance and good education. I desire you therefor to take him to your charge and I referre him wholly to be directed by you. But if you deny mee this request then I call God to witnesse that I haue done my part, and I cleere my selfe from the blood of my child which shal be required at your hands. And this she said with soe many teares that I could not deny to vndertake the charge ouer him. Which was (saith S. Iohn Chry­sostome,) to good effect in the youth, his life afterwards proouing answerable to his education. [Page 5]This would the holy Doctour insert into his works to propose this carefull mother as an exam­ple to parents. O that her example were followed now à dayes, when there neuer was soe much neede of it! what would this mother haue done if she had liued in these times of ours, in this kingdome, in these varietys of manners and of religion? what would she not haue done for his good instruction and to haue secured his education in the Catho­like faith?

When Dunaam à Iew reigned in Arabia about eleauen hundred yeares since, Sur. to. 5.14. Octob. it was then à time of persecution of the Catholike Church there, as it is now here, and we haue in Surius an example of those times which may serue for our Catholiks of England to teach them to beginne by times to in­struct their children and especially in places of persecution to grounde and confirme them well in the Catholike faith. A christian woman was then apprehended and commanded to be burnt for hauing sprinkled herselfe and her child with the blood of martyrs. When she was tyed to the stake, her child (which was but fiue yeares old) ranne vp and downe asking for his mother, and came pittifully lamenting to the place where the king sate to behold her execution. The king tooke him to him, and told him that he would be better then his mother to him, and that he should stay with him: but the child still cryed for his mo­ther, and desired to be with her. The king perswa­ded him by faire meanes offering him giftes to in­tice him; but all was in vaine; he told him that his mother had vsed to exhort him to martyrdome, [Page 6]and that he would be with her. The king asked him what it was to be à martyr. The child answe­red (marke this answere) that to be à martyr was to suffer death for Iesus Christ and to liue for euer after. The king asked him who Christ was? He told him that he might see Christ in the Church: meaning as à child the pictures and Crucifixes of Christ which were then to be seene in Catholike Churches: and looking downe and getting à sight of his mother as she was tyed to the stake, he cryed out let mee goe, let mee goe to my mo­ther; and when the king hindered him he told him he thought he was à Iew, and bate him by the thigh to gette away from him: at which the king in a fury pushed him away commanding one of his senators to take him to bring vp in the Iewish sect. But as he was carried away he gotte from him, and running into the fireto his mother, he had his desire which was to dy à martyr. This child if he were not capable of much of the chri­stian doctrine at that age; yet his good mother had à care to ingraft in him at least such à zeale and soe much knowledge of the faith of Christ that it was admirable to heare à child of siue yea­res old to giue such an answer to the question of martyrdome, in which he publikely professed the faith of Iesus Christ and the assurance of eternall life by suffering death for it. Our children are as this was, then an innocent by baptisme. But our parents are not as the mother of this child, soe careful to instruct their children; and therefor are there soe many weake and feeble Catholikes amongst vs; because we want instruction in our [Page 7]youth: and we want it soe much, that many who are past children know not the cheife principles of the christian faith, nor thinke that they haue any obligation to learne them: which is the ground and cause of all their ignorance. The first thing therefor and most necessary for euery chri­stian to know is the obligation which he hath to learne the christian doctrine. Tell mee then.

Question. What obligation haue christians to learne the christian doctrine? Answer. Euery chri­stian is bound vnder a mortal sinne to know the cheife points of the christian faith.

This is an obligation vnder à mortal sinne: that is to say à deadly sinne: à sinne by which our soules incurre death: as great an obligation as can be. The reason is because all that are come to the vse of reason are bounde not onely to an ha­bitual faith such as children haue; but also to an actual faith: that is to produce acts of faith: and actual faith supposeth some knowledge of what is to be beleeued; and therefor euery one must haue some knowledge of those thinges which he is to beleeue. Children before they come to the vse of reason haue onely the habit of faith which is giuen them in baptisme; and this is sufficient to saue them that can haue noe more: but when they come to the vse of reason, then they come to the vse of their faith, and are bounde to con­uert themselues to à supernatural end, by produ­cing acts of faith, and of the loue of God; which they can not doe except they know something of him; and therefor S. Ep. 119. Augustin sayth that know­ledge is the engine by which the building of charity [Page 8]is raised vp to endure for euer. Euery tradesman must know the trade which he professeth, or els he cannot expect to haue by right the wages due to his trade. The trade which we professe is the true worship of God in the christian faith; we are there­for boūd to know what belōgeth to that profession; otherwise we cānot expact the reward of good chri­stians. We deserue not indeede the honour of that name if we know not what is professed by it. Eccl. 5. Be stedfast in the way of our Lord and in the truth of thy vnderstanding and in knowledge. Saith holy Ecclesiasticus, Cor. 1.14. and the Apostle saith that if any man know not, he shall not be knowne.

Now to say in particular how much of the chri­stian doctrine euery one is bounde to know, and which are these cheife points of obligation to be learned, can not be done in general termes to all alike: for this obligation is to be measured according to the difference of capacitys and other circumstances which are to be considered in seue­ral callings of persons. [...]. Tho see. [...]. q. 1. art. 5. S. Thomas and the com­mon opinion of authors holdeth it absolutely ne­cessary to saluation in euery one to haue an ex­plicite faith, that is, expresly to beleeue the my­sterys of the blessed Trinity and of the Incarna­tion, and the twelue articles of the Creede, and that it is à mortal sinne to be ignorant in the substance of those mysterys. I should thinke it a very grosse ignorance in any Catholike not to know all these points; to wit the my­stery of the blessed Trinity in one God and three persons, the mystery of the Incarnation in Iesus Christ the Sonne of God incarnated, true God [Page 9]and true man, that redeemed vs, shall iudge vs, and giue glory to the good; What the Catholike Church is, that the Sacraments of the Catholike Church giue grace to sanctify vs, what it is that he receiueth in the Eucharist, what he cometh to con­fession for, what the Masse is, whatmortal sinne is, and that the Praecepts of the Church oblige vnder à mortal sinne. This is as litle as can well be ex­pected of all christians. And this is conteined in the Summe of the christian doctrine which I haue deliuered to be gotten without booke; the vnder­standing of which is sufficient to discharge the obligation which euery one hath to learne the christian doctrine. I doe not say that it is absolu­tely necessary for euery one to vnderstande it all, much lesse to gette it all without booke. But I say that it is absolutly necessary for saluation to vn­derstande the cheife points of it, and that to be sure it were good to vnderstande it all and to gette it all without booke. But it shall suffice for the present for all to know that they are bounde vn­der à mortal sinne to know the head points and principal parts of the christian doctrine. Let all then remember this obligatiō and those that haue bene negligent in performing it, let them con­fesse their negligence and learne better hereafter. For if any man know not, he shall not be knowne. Cor. 1.14.

THE SECOND DISCOVRSE OF FAITH.

I INTENDE now to say some­thing of faith in general: à subiect necessary to be spoken of; but it is hard to speake well and cleerely that which is necessary and sufficient to be spoken of it. Prou. 25. Thou hast found honey eate that which sufficeth thee, least perhaps being filled thou vomit it vp. These words are commonly applyed by authors to this purpose. Honey is pleasant to the tast and necessary for many vses; but it must be caten with moderation, onely what is suffi­cient: many by eating too much honey haue hurt themselues; for our stomacks are not capable of much honey. As honey is to our bodys soe is knowledge to our soules, both pleasant and pro­fitable. What more pleasant to the vnderstanding then the knowledge of truth? and some know­ledge is necessary euen of the points of faith: but many haue receiued hurt by too much desire and greedinesse of knowledge, by seeking too cu­riously without humility into the mysterys of faith; for our vnderstandings are too weake and of themselues vncapable of those glorious myste­rys. [Page 11] He that is a searcher of the maiesty shall be oppressed of the glory saith the same chapter of holy prouerbes. This weakenesse I humbly acknow­ledge in my selfe, and feare that I shall speake obscurely of this subiect; and therefor I will craue the intercession of our blessed Lady. Haile Mary &c.

Quest. What is faith? Answ. Faith is à superna­tural light and gift of God, by which we beleeue and firmely adhere to the doctrine of the Church.

God giueth vs his diuine light and holy inspi­ration to beleeue the Catholike Church; we by that superuatural light and gift of inspiration beleeuing it haue then the true faith.

Vnder three titles I wil comprehende all that is necessary to be said of this. In the first place I will shew how that faith is à supernatural light and gift of God. In the second I will shew how that this supernatural light and gift of God is all wais with obedience to the Church. And al­though by these two titles the nature of faith be sufficiently declared, and in all points we shall rest satisfyed with the authority of the Church; yet I will adde one title more for the good of those that are out of the Catholike Church, in which I will shew how this supernatural light and gift of God directing to the true Church is to be sought for and obtained by them.

THAT FAITH IS A SVPERNA­tural light and gift of God.

ALthough such be the condition of mans vnderstanding, that by the visible thinges which he seeeth made he may discouer some­thing of the maker of them; as is the omnipo­tent power and eternal diuinity of him that made them; yet it cannot be thought that either man or any other creature can by its owne natural light onely attaine to glory which is supernatural; but he must be eleuated by à supernatural power to produce such acts as haue proportion to the ob­taining of it. The apostle hath said this in plane termes. Eph. 2. By grace you are saued through faith and that not of your selues, for it is the gif [...] of God. That which is natural is with in the spha [...]e of nature; but supernatural thinges are in a higher sphaere; and therefor the state of glory which is supernatu­ral can not be attained vnto but by à supernatural light of faith, as being without the sphaere of na­ture. God hauing ordained all creatures to his scruice serues himselfe of them according to their nature. He appointeth vnto euery one its prop­per office and setteth it within the limits of its owne sphaere: out of which of it selfe it can not passe. Now the most blessed vision of God in glo­ry which is obtained by true faith and the loue of him is supernatural to vs; and therefor is not to be attained vnto by the light of natural reason, as being out of that sphaere. Seeing, hearing and feeling are in different sphaeres; and therefor they can not reach into, nor medle with each others of­fices. The sight tends to colours, the hearing to [Page 13]soundes, the feeling to palpable thinges, and they keepe themselues within their owne sphaeres. We see not voices, we heare not the light nor co­lours, nor doe we feele either of them. Children and fooles catch at shaddowes, and hearing the Eccoès which their voyces make, they looke about to see them. But wisemen know that this is foolish. Why? because they are in different sphaeres. Euen soe it is à childish and foolish thing for men to study by natural reason to comprehende the my­sterys of faith and to thinke by the natural light of humane faith to attaine to supernatural glory; there being à farre g [...]eater distance betwixt natu­ral and supernatural thinges then there is betwixt the sphaeres of hearing and seeing: both of which are within the compasse of nature. Therefor the state of glory which is supernatural can not be at­tained vnto by faith which is à natural light of rea­son; but by faith which is a supernatural light and gift of God.

Secondly we see that there are many natural thinges which we can not vnderstande; much lesse then should we thinke to comprehende the my­sterys of diuine faith. Who can vnderstande how the loadstone and Iett draw to themselues iron or litle sticks, without either corporally tou­ching them or hauing any spiritual influence in to them? who can vnderstande the nature of the Remora à litle fish, which yet is reported to stoppe the mighty force of a shippe vnder saile by onely cleauing vnto it? Who can vnderstande the cause of those vast mountaines of water which mariners call Gusts, and say they see in their Indian voya­ges [Page 14]to fly in the ayre and sometimes happen to fall vpon their shippes and to breake them into pee­ces? Who can vnderstande the tydes of the flowing and ebbing of the sea depending as they say vpon the course of the moone; yet soe different in se­ueral harbors? All which thinges and many more hath God concealed from vs to keepe vs in humi­lity: and shall we thinke to make the mysterys of faith to be subiect to our vnderstandings? We know not how the parts of a litle chippe or straw are continuated together, and the best Philoso­phers acknowledge their ignorance in it, and bles­se God that hath humbled them in those obuious thinges, and shall we presume vpon the mysterys of faith? Those wise disputers that held disputa­tion soe long with holy Iob prooued in the end to haue spoken vnwisely, and our Lord appearing in à whirlwinde rebuked them saying Who is this that wrappeth in sentences with vnskillfull words? Iob. 38. Gird thy loynes like à man: I will aske thee, answere thou mee. And then he putteth seueral hard que­stions which he continueth in the 38.39.40. and 41. Chapters of Iob admirable to reade, and which indeede noe man can sufficiently answere; although they were but of natural thinges. Now if man with all his witt can not vnderstande many thinges which are obuious in nature, what propor­tion hath he in himselfe to the mysteries of diuine faith? and if God will haue vs to see and to con­fesse our weakenesse in these lower and lesser thin­ges; will he haue vs to rely vpon our owne reason in the mysterys of faith vpon which our saluation dependeth? Eccl. 3. Seeke not thinges higher then thy selfe, [Page 15]and search not thinges stronger then thy ability: but the things that God hath commanded thee, thinke on them allwais, and in many of his works be not cu­rious, for it is not necessary for thee to see with thy eyes those thinges that are hid. In superfluous thinges search not many wayes, and in many of his works thou shalt not be curious. For very many things are shewed to thee aboue the vnderstanding of men. God will haue vs to humble ourselues and to rely vpon him; and then he will eleuate vs by supernatural meanes to see that which by nature we could not haue seene. And therefor S. Augustine speaking of beleeuers saith tract. 40. in Ioan. Not because they haue knowne therefor they haue beleeued; but they haue beleeued that they might come to know: for we doe not know that we may beleeue, but we beleeue that we may know.

Thirdly there is noe absolute certainty in our owne vnderstandings, but in God onely; and therefor in all the mysterys of faith we must rely vpon him and acknowledge his authority in them; or els we could be sure of nothing. For our vn­derstandings as long as we liue in this world worke all there operations by the corporal organs of our senses; which as weake instruments often faile them; and therefor by our owne vnderstandings onely we can neuer be infallibly certaine of any thing; because in them we haue noe firme and certaine rule of truth. And this is the cause why the aunciēt Philosophers when they came to speake of God were as it were in amaze or wildernes running forward and backward, vp and downe, saying and gainesaying what they had said before [Page 16]because they wanted the supernatural light and gift of faith, and spoke and wrote of God onely by there owne witts and inuentions; and therefor they neuer kept at a certaine, Di [...]p. 12. Me [...]aph. c. 1. but were allwais al­tering in their conceipts and opinions: as Petrus Hurtado hath obserued by diuerse places which he citeth out of Aristotle himselfe, and then ap­plyeth the word of the Apostle to him. Cor. 1.1. I will destroy the wisdome of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reiect. Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made the wisdome of this world foolish? but to vs (saith the same Apostle in another place) God hath reuealed by his spirit. Cor. 1.2. And truely if we had not the spirit of God inspiring vs to beleeue the Church and inspiring the Church in all which it teacheth; but were left to our owne understan­dings and were to goe onely by our owne thoughts, it would planely follow that we should be as vncer­taine and altering in the mysterys of faith, as we are vpon the disposition of the organs, vpon which our vnderstandings depende: and we should thinke something, but could beleeue nothing without diuine and supernatural faith.

Lastly we haue the examples of all holy men and of all true beleeuers that euer were, to haue humbly and piously submitted themselues to God, thinking their owne reason to weake à foun­dation to build their faith vpon, and haue acknow­ledged it to be supernatural, and haue chosen rather to rely vpon the diuine authority and to receiue there faith from God as he spoke to them by the Church, then to trust to their owne [Page 17]vnderstandings, and to beleeue noe more but what they saw; as may appeare in all times. From the beginning of the world vntill the comming of Christ all true beleeuers beleeued in him as then to come onely, and sawhim not: and when he came he commended their faith. Io. 8. Abraham reioyced that he might see my day: and he saw and was glad. That is, he saw it with the light of faith before it came; and he required the like faith of all those that were to come after him, and blessed those, that soe beleeued, Io. 20. saying blessed are they that haue not seene and haue beleeued. But he blessed not Thomas for requiring to see before he would beleeue; but he rather reprehended him for it. After Christ all holy men haue euer bene of the same minde with the former, neuer daring to trust to their owne reasons in the mysterys of faith: but haue thought it allwais most reasonable and safe, to rely vpon God for supernatural light, and grace to enable them to beleeue the Church, and to assure them by it of all which they beleeued in the Catholike faith, confessing allwais an obscurity of reason in those thinges. And soe S. Peter compareth faith to a candle shining in à darke place, and S. Pet. 2.1. Cor. 2.10. Paul requireth that faith bring into captiuity euery vn­derstanding vnto the obedience of Christ and he cal­leth it the substance (that is a substantial and sure ground) of thinges to be hoped for and an argument (that is a certaine and infallible inference of the truth) of thinges that appeare not: Heb. 11. and he com­pareth it to the seeing by a glasse, Cor. 1.23. saying We see n [...]w by a glasse in à darke sort. After the Apostles the world continued still in the same minde S. Au­gustine [Page 18] What is faith but to beleeue what thou see [...] est not? Aug tract. 40. in Io. Cy il. Ca­teth. 5. Esa. 7. Chrys. ser. de f [...]d [...]pe & Char. S. Cyril of Hierusalem, faith is the eye which giueth light to our consciences and maketh vs to vnderstande for the prophet hath said vnles you beleeue you shall not be permanent. S. Chrysostome faith is the fountaine of iustice, the head of sancti­ty, the beginning of deuotion the foundation of reli­gion. None without this hath attained to our Lord, none hath gotten vp to the toppe of sublimity with­out it. Faith is an innocent and pure credulity by which we come to God, we cleaue to his praecepts and with à purifyed minde we worship him. It excludeth all doubts, it holdeth certaintys and sealeth vp pro­mises. He is happy that hath it, he that forsaketh it is miserable. It sheweth the miracles it exercizeth the vertues, and accomplisheth the gifts of the Church. By all which it appeareth that they held faith to be aboue reason, and that it is not à na­tural but à supernatural light and gift of God.

It is à knowne story that which Sozomene à graue authour about twelue hundred yeares since hath related Eccles. hist. c. 17. There came vnto the great Councell of Nyce many of the learne­der sort of Gentils some to be satisfyed and some of malice to oppose the doctrine of Christ. These by their cunning had proposed the controuersys of Christians in such termes and vaine differences of words that they had brought all into strife and confusion. A certaine Philosopher glorying in his wit and eloquence derided and contemned the priests that were present as not daring to contest with him; and none vndertaking to answere him, a good old bishop weake in learning but strong in [Page 19]the faith of Christ (of which he was an illustrious confessour) confiding in the iustice and truth of his cause (which giueth aduantage enough against all infidelity) riseth vp against him. At which some laughing, others fearing his weaknes; at length giuing him leaue to speake, he beganne In the name of Iesus Christ attende O Philosopher what I say to thee. There is one God the Creatour of heauen and earth and of all thinges [...]isible and in­uisible. He made all by vertue of his Word and by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost he established them. This Word which we call the Sonne of God taking pitty vpon mankind would be borne of a virgin, con­uerse amongst men and dy for them; and he shall come againe, and shall giue sentence vpon euery one ac­cording to their work. That this is true we dispute not, but we beleeue it. Doe not therefore loose thy la­bour curiously to refute that which by faith onely is to be vnderst [...]ode. Seeke not h [...]w this or that can be true in faith; but if thou doest be leeue tell mee. At which the Philosopher answered presently Credo, I doe beleeue. And giuing thanks to the bishop he perswa­ded the rest to beleeue with him protest [...]ng by oth that it was the power of God that had changed him, and that by an inward and secret vertue he felt himselfe conuerted to the Christian faith. Here this Philosopher confirmed what the bishop said, and what we are saying, that to dispute with cu­risity of matters of faith is to destroy faith; which to be certaine must be grounded vpon the auto­rity of God, and not vpon the witts and disputa­tions of men.

Out of all that which hath bene said we may [Page 20]gather two principal thinges. Scruples of faith are but obscuritys of reason. The first is for Ca­tholikes that they cannot with reason trouble themselues with any scruples and doubts of faith; for that those are but obscuritys and vncertaintys of our owne reason, and not of the thinge it selfe which is beleued, which is infallibly and infinitly certaine; as proceeding from a supernatural light and gift of God, by which we beleue the diuine au­thoritority. And therefor if we perceiue our selues at any time to be ledde by the weaknesse of our reason into scruples and feares concerning any point of faith (all of which haue the very same cer­tainty) let vs presently checke our selues and bring backe our thoughts to God againe to rely vpon him, My soule what are we doeing? whither doe we goe? this is not the way to the blessed sight of God. We must not thinke, but beleeue: we must not goe by thoughts but by certaintys: noe wise man durst euer goe by this way which we are in: we shall con­founde and loose ourselues. Let vs keepe the plane and common tracke which all haue gone, which God hath commanded, which our blessed Sa­uiour hath taught, which his Apostles haue fol­lowed, and all true beleeuers after them; and that was to beleue by faith which is a supernatural light. If thou doest beleeue in God rely vpon him and vpon the Catholike Church guided by him, and not vpon thy owne witts. And presently in all temp­tations let vs professe this beleefe saying I beleeue the holy Catholike Church; and that not for my owne reason but for the authority of God. Ho [...] 2. de Symb. Euseb. Emissenus. The faith of the Catholike religion is the light of the soule the doore of life, the foundation [Page 21]of eternal saluation. Whosoeuer shall forsake it, followeth the euill guide of his owne vnderstanding. Whosoeuer thinketh by his owne wisdome to attaine to the secrets of heauenly mysterys doth as one that will build without à foundation or that wil not enter at the doore, but at the toppe of the house; if in the night time he goe on without light, he falleth downe to the bottome. The second is for those that are not in the Catholike Church; that they following a religion which beganne in priuate mens witts haue not the true faith, nor shall euer come to haue it as long as they seeke it by their owne witts onely and by euidence of reason, which some of them seeme to expect and stay for: for this is to stande watching for larcks when the sky falls, which shall neuer be; yet shall as soone come to pas­se as that they shall come to haue the true faith without supernatural light and diuine inspiration; therefor they ought to seeke for this and to haue recourse vnto God, humbly beseeching him that he will enlighten and inspire them to the true faith. And this by Gods grace I shall shew them how to haue recourse vnto God, for soe as to ob­taine it. All points of faith ac­cording to reason.

But we are here to obserue that although faith be supernatural, and natural reason be not suffi­cient to resolue vs finally in matters of faith, nor to be relyed vpon in them; yet all which we be­leeue is according to reason: and although all the mysterys of faith be not to be comprehended by vs; yet we haue allwais reason soe to beleeue. For God gouerneth this world wisely and sweetly ac­cording to the natures of his creatures; and ha­uing [Page 22]giuen vnto man a reasonable nature, by reason he bringeth him to that faith which he will haue him to beleeue, giuing him rational and prudential motius to thinke in reason that that is the true faith. First because as by reason we are brought to beleeue in God, soe also for the cer­tainty of all which we beleeue, by reason we ground ourselues vpon the diuine autority. Se­condly reason also telleth vs that God gouerneth vs not by ourselues without depend [...]nce of and submission vnto any superiour authority vpon earth in points of religion; but that he allwais inspireth vs to the obedience of the Church (as in the next title I shall shew.) Thirdly we haue motiues credible enough to induce an vnderstan­ding and prudent man to beleeue that which is indeede th [...] true Church and to be gouerned by it: and soe we haue all the reason in the world to beleeue the christian faith and the Romane Catholike Church: the ignorant because they see in it all that they can desire to see, or can see in the true Church: to wit externally a most holy and wise gouernement, learned men giuing their liues, and holy men working of miracles; and those as plane, as miracles can be, and soe frequent that euery ignorant man may either see them or heare of them soe certainely, that he cannot in rea­son doubt of them all. Then for the learneder sort they see that the faith of Christ by the most au­thentical writings that are in all the world is de­duced euer from the beginning of the world vntil the comming of Christ, and euer since his com­ming it is deduced vnto vs in none but in the [Page 23]Church of Rome: and all other Churches of christians hauing goneforth of it, they must either be haeretical or schismatical Churches, or els there can be noe haeretical nor schismatical Chur­ches in the world. These are sufficient motius to an vnderstanding man to thinke by reason that the Romane Church hath the true faith which God will haue him to belseue, and is the true Church which he will haue him to obey. Yet if we had not the supernatural light and inspiration of God mouing vs to that faith; but that we were to goeby our owne thoughts onely, then were it not a supernatural faith of absolute and infalli­ble certainty, as not proceeding from the autho­rity of God, nor had it proportion to superna­tural glory. But when reason dictateth somethinge to be true, and God confirmeth it by the declara­tion of the Church, which is as his voyce and hath his authority; I being illuminated and ins­pired of him to beleeue the Church; then what­soeuer I soe beleeue I beleeue it for the diuine au­tority; and although vnto reason it haue some obscurity, and be not absolutely certaine as it is in reason onely; yet as it is beleeued by faith it is absolutly and infinitly certaine; because then it hath the testimony and authority of God. And soe wisdome reacheth from end to end mihtily and disposeth all thinges sweetly. Mightily, Sap. 8. in that God assureth vs with his owne diuine word of the truth of our faith: Sweetly, in that he draweth vs euen by our owne reason soe to beleeue in him. By reason we are brought to beleeue the true Church, God illuminateth and inspireth vs to beleeue him [Page 24]speaking by that Church, and by that superna­tural light and gift of inspiration we produce acts of faith. Now we will shew

THAT THE SVPERNATVRAL light and gift of faith is all wais to the obedience of the Church.

BY that which hath bene said it doth appeare that faith is not a natural, but a supernatural light and gift of God, now we will shew that by it we are allwais to adhaere and firmely to beleeue the doctrine of the Church; which is the second part of that which you haue answered to the que­stion of faith.

The ennemy of mankind enuying at our felicity that we should haue and cooperate with that light of faith which he reiected, and should by it at­taine to that blessed state of glory which he must neuer obtaine, cometh in the night time to sow in our harts many darke fallaces against faith, and by false illusions and conterfeit inspirations often deceiueth vs; and therefor we must haue some anes to try this deceiuing spirit and to dis­couer his false inspirations from the true, and some power to allow or to disallow of particular mens spirits: and by this we may see how necessa­ry it is that there should allwais be in the world a continual Church infallibly assisted of God for the trying of spirits and discerning of them, and that the diuine inspiration should allwais be with obedience to that Church. I referre the reader to [Page 25]the ninth article of the Creede and to the elea­uenth discourse of the Praecepts of the Church, where I declare more fully the necessity and au­thority of such a continual Church; where he may see how that we could neither know which were the true scriptures, nor which were the true sense of them, nor certainely destinguish betwixt true and false reason, nor beleeue any thinge as certaine by faith; but that all order and gouern­ment in religion were quite destroyed, if we had not a continual visible Church with assurance from God of his diuine assistance with it, and we were bounde to obey it in the deciding of all con­trouersys in religion, which by proude and con­tentius men might be raised of any point though neuer soe cleere. Here now I speake onely of the diuine light and inspiration vpon which we depen­de in all points of faith, and I shew that being that this necessary light and inspiration may be counterfeited by our enemy; we must of necessi­ty acknowledge some external vniuersal power vpon earth authorized of God to try and to de­stinguish the seueral spirits of all men. And this external power must either be assured by the diui­ne assistance of the verity of that which it decla­reth, or els it were also deceiuing as the false spi­rit is; and we should haue noe meanes to discerne the true spirit of God from the false; but euery man might teach what he list vnder pretence, of diuine inspiration. Inspiration to faith must betryed by the Church.

There was neuer yet any man that labored to set abrode any errors in religion but as he preten­ded his doctrine to be of God, soe he pretended [Page 26]the spirit of God to be after some sort with him; but he will come to noe tryal of his spirit, but would haue all to beleeue him vpon his owne bare word that he hath the spirit of God. Soe the Archhaeretike that beginneth new doctrines in disobedience to the whole Church, would haue men to take his word against all the world that then is, that he hath the spirit of God; and to prooue it he alleageth many reasons of his owne, but he will not be tryed by any authority; and soe his spirit being brought to be subiect to his pri­uate reason and all things being as you see finally resolued by it, the controuersy coms in the end to that which in the former title is refuted, and by which he is conuinced, to wit that we are not to be resolued in matters of faith by our owne vn­derstandings and priuate reasons onely; but by the testimony of God inwardly in ourharts, and externally as now I shew by the authority of the Church. Tim 1.4.

S. Paul saith that certaine shall depart from the faith attending to the spirits of error, and do­ctrines of deuils. Io. 1.4. By which we see that men may haue false spirits. And S. Iohn sayeth beleeue not euery spirit, but prooue the spirits if they be of God. By which we see the same; and also that we must haue some meanes for the tryal of false spirits. Now what way can be thought more reasonable for the tryall of spirits, then by the sentence of the whole Church which is giuen without partia­lity or respect of persons in generall to all alike. Suppose two men going forth of the Church ob­stinatly manteining some new and contrary opi­nions [Page 27]to the doctrine of the whole Church and to each other. Both of them pretende that they haue the spirit of God, and yet they mainteine contrary doctrines to the whole world and to one another. First it is certaine that both of them haue not the spirit of God: for the spirit of God is the spirit of truth which can not be thus diuided. Which then of them hath the true spirit! how shall they be tryed? The one of them alloweth of such and such scriptures and of such a sense of scriptu­res: and the other denyeth all that he sayeth, and yet pretendeth that he hath the spirit of God. First, this can not be decided by their spirits; for as long as they hold contrary doctrines their spi­rits can neuer agree for the one of them to be tryed by the other. Shall it be decided by their owne reasons? but who shall be the iudge betwixt them? it must not be the determination of any particular man; for that is as subiect to errour as they are: and besides this question being concer­ning the spirit of God, it cannot be decided by any authority lesse then diuine; least otherwise the true spirit were reiected for false, as possibly it might be by any inferiour authority. Shall it be decided by force of armes? That is soe absurde that it needeth noe refuting: (although perhaps Ioannes de Zischa was of that opinion: for what absurdity will not an haeretike mainteine?) How then shall they be tryed? bring them to the Church and see whether they will heare it. But they will not be soe tryed. How then? there is now noe other way left to try them by. They must then goe without any tryal at all to say what they list, and soe they [Page 28]shall both prooue false spirits, as being contrary to S. Iohn that sendeth vs to try our spirits, and as being contrary to the scriptures which com­mande vs to heare the Church. Ma [...]t 8. Therefor the spirit of God is allwais with obedience to the Church; and the final resolution of faith is reduced to the word of God speaking to our harts, and interpre­ted by the Church. For there is noe way to try spirits, and to declare certainely who are rightly inspired, but by the authority of God speaking by it, and by submitting our selues, to the obe­dience of it, Lu [...] 10. as to the voice of God. He that hea­reth you heareth mee: and he that despiseth you despiseth mee. Saith Christ to the Pastors of the Church, who haue the authority of the whole Church. Mat. 18. And in another place, If he will not heare the Church let him be to thee as the Heathen and the Publican. Aug. tract. 109. in Io S. Augustine, the word of faith and the word of the Apostles; to beleeue God and to beleeue the Church is the very same thinge.

Secondly the true faith hath bene often proo­ued, and false doctrines confuted by miracles: and these miracles haue planely conuinced for the obedience to that Church whose faith was soe confirmed. Elias prooued by miracles the true faith of the Israëlits, and confounded the Idola­trous Gentils. Soe did Christ and his Apostles by many miracles prooue the christian faith against both Iewes and Gentils. And these miracles obli­ged all whom inuincible ignorance excused not vnto the obedience of the Church of Christ, and shewed planely that the spirit of God was to the obedience of that Church; but noe miracle was [Page 29]euer wrought to shew that men should obey noe Church; but that they might liue after their owne liking, and beleeue what they would without obe­dience to any authority vpon earth. Neither can there be any miracles wrought for any such man­ner of liuing: for miracles being done in confir­mation of the true faith oblige others to imbrace that faith which is soe confirmed by miracles; and soe men come to an vnity of faith, and make a Church, that is to say a people vnited together in faith and religion. But if men might for all tho­se miracles which they see, still follow their owne priuate spirits and not vnite themselues in obe­dience to that company whose faith is soe confir­med by miracles; but might disobey it in matters of faith; then they might disobey the authority of God, and miracles were to noe purpose. The­refor the very being of true miracles in confirma­tion of faith prooueth the being of a Church to which our spirits must allwais obey. Moreouer if euery man were to be guided by his owne priuate spirit without obeying any Church there should be noe neede at all of miracles: for the spirit is an inward and miracles are an outward testimony of the truth of any thinge to draw others vnto it; but if all were to follow the inward testimony of their owne spirit without submitting vnto any ex­ternal power, then were they not to regard the outward testimony nor to be drawne by it. And indeede to say that euery one is to follow his owne priuate spirit without being bounde to the obe­dience of any external power, is as much as to say that euery one hath the true spirit of God: [Page 30]and then what neede were there of miracles? All which is contrary to the words of Christ and of the Apostles, and contrary to the examples of the scriptures, and to reason and experience by which we see soe many spirits of errors and of sinne in prowde and euill men. Miracles may be and haue bene wrought to prooue the true faith: but such miracles prooue that the spirit of God is to the obedience of the Church; therefor the spirit of God is to the obedience of the Church.

Thirdly God hath ordained an orderly go­uernment in his diuine worship: and all order includeth subordination of inferiours to supe­riour powers, and leaueth vs not to ourselues alone subiect to noe authority in points of religion: and the same natural reason that bringeth vs to rely vpon the diuine autority in matters of faith telleth vs also, that it is a more reasonable way for God to inspire vs to the obedience of the Church and to guide it with his sure and infallible assistance; then to guide euery man by himselfe and his owne priuate spirit, without being subiect to any auto­rity or acknowledging of any superiour: for this were to take away all order, and to bring such a confusion into the world by making euery man his owne iudge, as would by consequence destroy the world which without order can not subsist. For if there were not allwais vpon earth some power authorized of God to prooue and approoue of the spirits of men; what errors would be broched and what villanys committed and mainteined by wicked men vnder pretence of diuine inspiration? God inspireth men to an orderly gouernment in [Page 31]his diuine worship; therefor the diuine light and inspiration of faith in allwais to the obedience of the Church. Soe that we may well say that faith is a supernatural light and gift of God, by which we beleeue and firmely adhaere to the doctrine of the Church. God giueth vs supernatural light to enlighten our vnderstandings, and by his holy inspiration moueth our wills to submitte ourselues and to beleeue in all thinges according to the doctrine of the Church; we cooperating with that light and inspiration of God submitte ourselues to the obedience of the true Church, and then we haue actually true faith. And whosoeuer he be that pretendeth himselfe to haue the spirit of God, yet will not submitte himselfe to any Church but beginneth a new religion contrary to all the Chur­ches then in the world, or will mainteine a religion which soe beganne, certainely that man hath not the true faith, nor is the spirit of God in him.

But he sayth that he hath prayed to God for his spirit, and Christ hath said that our father will giue the good spirit to those that aske him. Luc. 11. Many there are that satisfy themselues with this answere; and because they say their prayers and doe morall good works they will stande in disobedience to the true Church, and mainteine a religion which beganne at sometime in disobedience to all the Churches in the world; therefor I will say somethinge to shew the weakenesse of it. I say therefor that this man willfully deceiueth himselfe in that he either prayeth not as he ought to obtaine the diuine inspi­ration according to that of S. Ia. 4. Iames you aske and receiue not; because you aske amisse; or if he [Page 32]obtained it by his prayer he followed it not. For although it be true that he who prayeth as he ought with a desire of following of the truth; although he be then in a false religion and out of the state of grace obtaineth not withstanding of congruity the diuine inspiration to the true faith, and shall come to haue the true faith if he will follow that spi­rit: but if he beginne a religion in disobedience to the whole Church of Christ or follow a religion which soe beganne, in obedience to no knowne Church then extant in all the world; I say that either there is some defect in his prayer, as there was in the Pharisys prayer who prayed not rightly: or if he prayed rightly, soe as that he was then inspi­red of God to the obedience of that which is the true Church, that then he followed not the diuine inspiration: but as that yong man of the ghospel who asking of Christ what he should doe to recei­ue euerlasting life, when Christ told him Goe sell Whatsoeuer thou hast and giue to the poore, and come follow mee. Marc. 10. He followed not the diuine cal­ling but was strucken sad and went away sorrow­full. Soe doth he and soe doe many when God sufficiently inspireth them to the Catholike Church: for although God speake to their harts, and haue illuminated their vnderstandings to thinke at sometime that the Catholike faith is the true faith; yet they sleight that good thought; they are strucken sad to thinke of the persecution which they hazard in themselues, children or freinds, endangering their wordly preferment or riches on which they haue sett their harts, and can not soe wel enioy in it: and being dishar­tened [Page 33]with these thinges they follow not the cal­ling of God. And although for the present their conscience accuse them; yet going on in their old way within a while they forgette that euer they were called and will tell you that they say their prayers, and that the spirit directeth them in the way in which they are. Where as indeede when they rightly considered of it the spirit of God di­rected them a quite contrary way, and would agai­ne direct them to the same way; if they would seeke as they ought to be inspired of God, and obey his inspiration when he speaketh to their harts.

In the next place therefor I will shew how the diuine inspiration to the true Church is to be prayed for. I onely desire thus much of all those who are out of the Catholike Church; that being as I haue shewed that the true faith, which is by a supernatural light and gift of God, is allwais with obedience to the Church, they will resolue with themselues to seeke vnto God to be inspired to that Church: And that if he speake to their harts soe, as that they come once to thinke that the Catholike Romane Church is the true Church; they take that word of God as a lanterne to their feete and follow it: or els they are all ready con­demned in their owne consciences, and shall finde one day those words to be true which the Holy Ghost hath threatened, Esa. 65. Because I called and you haue not answered: I spoke and you ha­ue not heard, &c. you shall cry for sorrow of hart, and for contrition of spirit you shall howle. But let vs see.

AFTER VVHAT MANNER THE diuine inspiration to the true Church is to be sought for by those who are out of the Catholike Church.

HAuing shewed that natural reason without supernatural light and diuine inspiration is not sufficient to direct vs in matters of faith, and that this supernatural light and inspiration to faith is allwais with obedience to the true Church. The next thinge most necessary to be shewed is how to obtaine the diuine light and inspiration to that Church. Diuerse haue setforth seueral marks to know the true Church by; and in the ninth article of the Creede I destinguish the true from all false Churches by their continuall obedience to the head and Pastors of the Church. But here I intreate of a more prime subiect ne­cessary to be knowne before that: to wit that being noe marks are sufficient to discerne the true Church by, soe as to become à member of it without diuine light and inspiration by which they are brought to obey it, I now shew how that efficacious light and inspiration is to be obtained.

But first I aduertise the Catholike reader that this point hath not cheifly relation to him; but to those that are out of the Catholike Church. Yet thus farre the Catholike is concerned in it, as that he shall planely see by that which immediatly I am going to say, that according to his owne [Page 35]grounds, and according to reason, he can not seeke vnto any other Church: where as all other Churches according to reason ought allwais to be seeking vntill they come to it. For this is the com­fort of Catholikes and of none but Catholikes, The Church can not erre. that vnderstanding and firmely beleeuing that the Church shall neuer faile out of the world by teach­ing errors in faith; but that it is the pillar and ground of truth, Tim. 1.3. and that the spirit of God is With it vntill the worlds end to teach it all truth, that it is builded vpon a rocke, and that the gates of hell shall neuer preuaile against it. Io. 14. Mat. 16. And that Christ hath prayed for it that the faith of the cheife go­uernour their of faile not in the gouerning of it, and that the other gouernours of it might be sanctifyed in verity and that it is the body, Luc. 22. the spouse, the kingdome, and the house of Christ. Io. 17. Ca­tholiks grounding themselues vpon all these places of holy scripture and vpon the ninth ar­ticle of the Creede I beleeue the Catholike Church, hold it a most horrible blasphemy against them to say that the Church can erre, and a damnable heresy obstinatly to contradict it: and hauing by reason of all these places continued allwais in obe­dience to it, and soe kept constant to their aun­cient religion, which was then extant in the world when all others beganne their new professions, which then were not extant in any place of the world: Catholiks according to these grounds must still continue as hitherto they haue all wais done in obedience to the same Church, and can not seeke vnto any other religion, nor doubt of their owne as long as they adhaere vnto it; but [Page 36]must sticke fast to that pillar and sure ground of truth and beleeue that the spirit of God and assi­stance of Christ is allwais with the Church, and that obeying it they obey the holy Ghost and Christ. They by these grounds can not (as you see) pray to God to inspire them to the true faith, but must pray to God that they may allwais con­tinue in the spirit of obedience to the Church as hitherto they haue done. And soe this point hath onely soe farre relation to Catholiks, as that they may gather by it that as hitherto God hath giuen them his holy light and spirit to reiect all priuate inuentions both of their owne and of others, to obey the autority of the whole Church and to adhaere to it; soe they ought still to doe, and to pray to God that they may allwais doe soe and neuer forsake it

But all those who haue goneforth of the Church and followed the priuate inuentions of some par­ticular men (as all others but Romane Catholi­kes haue done) beginning new Churches which then were not teaching, That it behoueth Pro­testants and those that are out of the Catholike Church to if examin the state of their owne Church nor gouerning of people in any place; but were prohibited by the auncient Church as soone as they beganne, and would haue bene prohibited sooner if they had begunne sooner with their new doctrines to oppose it: all these and those that follow them of necessity mainteining that the true Church had then failed and that there was then noe true Church in the world which they might submitte vnto; but that God sent them to reforme the Church and to restore it to its truth againe (as Protestants say that when Luther beganne to oppose the Romane [Page 37]Catholike Church the true faith was perished, wholy extinct, destroyed not one iot of the ghospel had bene knowne, but by his labour and study; and the like sayings, which may be seene in the booke called THE AVTHOVR OF THE PROTESTANT RELIGION, l. [...]. c. 1. and commonly in authors. This they saying, as they needes must by consequence to their new refor­mation; they ought in all reason if they will haue any care of their soules to be continually feareful and in doubt concerning their faith: and being that the true Church may and did (as they say) faile, and was quite decayed out of the world, they ought to pray to God to enlighten them to see whether it be not decayed againe as then they say it was, and stande not neede of a new reformation, as then they say it did; and if it doe that he will bring them to the true faith. Or els if they will be out of doubt and free from feares, they must beleeue as we doe that the Church could not stande neede of any reforma­tion at all in doctrines of faith, and soe to betake themselues againe to the obedience of it and to rest secure and contented with the Apostles Creede I beleeue the Catholike Church, without troubling themselues about reforming it. But being that they can neuer be certaine in their faith as long as they hold it lawfull to change their religion by reforming of errors in the Church; they ought to haue often recourse vnto God to know when they should change their religion, and to what religion they should change. And this by Gods grace I will now shew them how they shall haue [Page 38]recourse to God for. This question therefor I adde here for Cods sake and for those that are out of the Catholike Church, that being as I haue shewed in the former title saying their prayers they ob­taine not the diuine grace, because they pray amisse they may know how to pray. And because I conceiue it the most necessary of all points, and that on which the conuersion of those that are in a false religion cheifly dependeth, that they haue true recourse vnto God: and also because it was commended to mee by a very graue and expe­rienced person to procure of such that they will commende the state of their soules to God; whose grace worketh much more efficaciously in them then our words can doe: and because it is a meanes which none by reason can except against; there­for I would adde this whole title for their satisfa­ction and final good, that seeking rightly to God they may obtaine the pretious iewel of true faith in obedience to the true Catholike Church ne­cessary to saluation.

But that the Protestant or any such reader may receiue that benefit by [...]his which I wish him, and may haue some feeling of that which we are now treating of, I desire him first to take into serious consideration the state of his soule and of religion; and that he goe not coldly about this busines which of all thinges in the world concer­neth him most, and is as important vnto him as his entrance into that happy and blessed state were he shall enioy the glorious sight of God; or his entrance into hell where he shall neuer see the diuine face, but most irefull and full of [Page 39]rage against him to the extreme horrour of his soule: and to thinke truely that in this I aske no­thing but that which is both according to his owne grounds and also reasonable in it selfe. For his predecessors hauing forsaken the common re­ligion of christians which was then vniuersally professed by that which had the name of the Ca­tholike Church, for a religion which had then noe name nor being in any place of the world, he may with great reason feare himselfe and with much more reason forsake his new religion for some other that was then extant and especially to that which both is now, and was then the most famous of all christendome. But that which I now aske of him is not to change, but onely to haue recourse to God, and to pray vnto him that if his Church doe erre (as he sayth that it may and once did) that by his diuine light and inspiration he will bring him into the true Church. He that were trauailing in a vast wildernes vncertaine of his way, and saw the darke night comming on, and heard the wild beasts sallying out of their dennes roaring and seeking for their pray, in what feare and anguish of minde would he be? what would he giue for a guide that could sett him into à safe way free from dangers? much more feare­full is the condition of euery man that is out of the Catholike Church: this world is the wildernes in which he wandereth, heauen is his home, obe­dience to the Catholike Church is the onely way to it, death is the night that draweth on, and the infernal spirits as wild beasts surrounde him. Poore soule thou confessest thy selfe to be in an [Page 40]vncertaine Church which may lead thee to hell, and why dost thou not tremble for feare and cry vnto God? betake thy selfe vnto him, call vpon him, beseech him earnestly to guide thee, and that by his holy light and inspiration he will bring thee to see whether thy Church erre or noe, and if it doe to forsake it and to obey the true Church. And this I will shew thee how thou shalt require it of him.

I said before that the spirit of God is denyed to none that rightly aske it. To obtaine then the diuine inspiration inspiring vs to the obedience of the true Church, we neede noe more but rightly to aske it. He therefor that beleening in a Church which may erre is resolued with himselfe to vse all possible meanes to know whether it erre or noe, and to be inspired vnto the true Church, let him take a time of purpose to thinke of this important businesse and to commende it seriously to God; and then the first thinge which he must doe is to prepare himselfe with a calme and quiet minde and ready promptitude to performe that which God shall inspire him, firmely purposing that nothing in the world shall hinder him to fol­low that which he shall thinke to be the true way of saluation, Prou. 16. soe that he may truely say My hart is ready ô Lord my hart is ready. It perteineth to man (saith the holy proue be) to prepare his hart, and againe the hart of man disposeth his way. Hauing thus prepared his hart with an earnest desire of the diuine inspiration and with à full purpose of obeying it, then let him make his prayer to God not in extrauagant words as some [Page 41]doe with the Pharisee; but with all the humility and feruour of minde that he can possibly stirre vp in himselfe; beseeching his diuine and infinite goodnes that he will not permitte his soule to perish in a false religion; but that he will en­lighten him to see which is the true Church and efficaciously inspire him to the obedience of it. Hauing made his prayer, let him then consider quietly with himselfe some grounds of religion; as for example the necessity of a continual visible Church declared by holy scriptures and by na­tural reason for the gouernment of the world in the true worship of God; and therefor that must be the true Church of Christ which hath conti­nued at all times for the saluation of soules: and that all those Churches which haue begunne at any time to oppose the setled Church of Christ, which was then in the world are false Churches, as being in their beginning guilty of the greeuous sinne of disobedience to the continual Church which God hath ordained at all times for the go­uernment of the world in his true worship. And if he be a Protestant he may thinke with himselfe how that at that time when Luther beg [...]nne to op­pose the Romane Catholike Church he submitted himselfe to noe Church then extant in all the world; but beganne to teach a doctrine which all people in the world reiected for false, and did many thinges which noe Church that was then would iustify for lawfull; but gotte onely some priuate men to ioyne with him against all Churches that then were, pretending that the­re was noe Church which they could lawfully [Page 42]ioyne themselues vnto, and that he was sent of God to reforme the errors of the Church. Buecer. Ep. ad Episc. H [...]reford. termeth him the first Epi­stle of the re­formed do­ctrine Fox act. pag. 400 & 416. that God sent Lu­ther, and ga­ue him his mighty spirit to reforme religion: and that he was à conductour and chariot of Israel to be reueren­ced next vnto Christ and S. Paul, aboue all the saints. VV [...] [...]k resp. ad Edmund. Camp ration. 8. we reuerence Luther as a father and imbrace the Lutherans and Zuin­gl [...]ans is ve­ry deere bre­thren. Thus Protestants themselues confesse that Luther was the beginner of the reformed doctrine which they professe. And thus did all the seueral Churches of Christians but the Romane Catholike Church beginne disobeying of it, and obeying, and vni­ting themselues to noe Church then extant in the world. Hauing quietly with himselfe considered some such reason, noe doubt but God will illumi­nate him to thinke and to see that this is not the Ca­tholike Church, and inspire him with pious affe­ctions of his will to the obedience of the Romane Catholike Church, out of which all others went­forth and had their beginnings in disobedience to it. And being thus moued and inspired of God to the obedience of that Church which he then thin­keth in his hart to be the true Church, that inspi­ration must be followed as the will of God; and presently without delay he must gette himselfe vnited to that Church. He is therfor first to pre­pare his hart with an indifferency and willingnes to doe that which God shall inspire to him: se­condly to pray earnestly and humbly to God to inspire him to the true Church: thirdly with a quiet and calme minde to weigh with himselfe some reasons and grounds of religion according to his capacity: and lastly to choose and to resol­ue with himselfe according to that which God then speaketh to his conscience and to goe about presently to performe it. This is a thinge easy to be done by them and a thinge which (as I haue shewed) all those that are not Catholiks euen ac­cording [Page 43]to their owne grounds ought in all reason to doe, if they will haue à care of their saluation. And hauing done all this on their parts, they haue done what in nature they could doe; and relying for the rest vpon God for his helpe, it is then most congruous and agreeable to the diuine goodnes to enlighten them and to shew them the truth which they desire and pray for. And if after­wards they follow it not; it is not for any defect of his assistance who by reasons sufficiently con­uincing drew them at that time vnto him, and offered them his diuine grace to become actually members of the true Church; but it is of their owne wills and stubborne mindes that will not make vse of those helps and good motions, which were abundantly sufficient for their conuersion.

This is the way which I direct vnto all such tra­uelers as are out of their way or vncertaine of their way; as all those confesse themselues to be who be­leeue in a fallible Church. Let them haue re­course vnto God, and see what he speaketh to their harts, let them open their vnderstandings to his diuine light, and let them prepare their wills to receiue those inspirations with which he mo­ueth them to acknowledge his autority in the true Church, and they shall finde comfort in him. By this light and inspiration of God to obey his Church all are conuerted that are truely conuer­ted: in this consisteth the security of all constant Catholiks, who not by their owne reasons, but by the diuine autority and inspiration are resol­ued in all points of faith, and that inspiration finally tryed not by their owne iudgments, but [Page 44]approoued of by the continual Church, by which the true faith and worship of God is allwais con­serued in the world; and beleeuing and adhaering vnto that Church, they adhaere vnto the diuine autority, and are grounded vpon a sure and im­moueable rocke.

I haue said now all that I haue to say of faith. I haue shewed in the first title that it is a super­natural light and gift of God; and therfor it is most vaine and dangerous to seeke by natural reason into the mysterys of faith euen as though one should thinke to fly, and should steppe downe from some high precipice, or from the toppe of a house. Secondly I haue shewed that the inspiracion of God to the true faith is al­lwais to the obedience of the Church. And lastly I haue shewed how this diuine inspira­tion is to be sought for, and obtained by those that haue it not. In the following discourses I shall declace the particular mysterys of faith and points of the christian doctrine.

I wil adde onely a word or two to apply all to the greater honour of God, and your profit, that Christ hauing giuen sentence saying, Marc. 16. Heb. 11. He that beleeueth not shall be condemned and the Apostle hauing declared that without faith it is impossible to please God, those that feare the damnation of their soules and desire to please God wil aboue all things in the world esteeme of the true Catholike faith, as a pretious iewell and rich treasure vpon which the loue of God and their saluation dependeth, and will not permit­te themselues for any hopes or ioyes of this pas­sing [Page 45]life, to be depriued of it. It is a supernatu­rall light and gift of God intrusted to thee that art a Catholike, by thy obedience at all times to the continuall Church of Christ; and they haue miserably lost that treasure that through pride and peruersednes haue inuented singulari­tys of their owne or mainteined the singularitys of others against that authority. O wicked pride, O diabolicall peruersednes! Lucifer was an arch­haeretike, amongst the Angells by not standing in verity but resisting the power of God: And archhaeretiks are Lucifers amongst men by de­fending new doctrines against the authority of the Church, which is the supreme power of God vpon earth. Lucifer beganne the disorder of the damned and confusion of hell, where noe order, but eternall horrour dwells: they beginne a disorder in the Church, by drawing others into contempt of their superiours to mainteine their obstinacy against all authority. How highly doe these wretches displease God without faith? How deepely are these misbeleeuers condemned, charged with the losse of soe many soules, as follow them? This is all that can be said for their comfort, that the disorder wich they make and confusion amongst men, is but a hell vpon earth, out of which they may be freed if they will forsake those singularitys which without au­thority they defended, and defende that autho­rity which at first they forsooke. And this is the comfort which now I would giue them, that they seeke againe for the treasure which they haue lost. Consider then the state that you are in, the [Page 46]greeuousnesse of your sinne, and the losse which you susteine, soe much to be deplored. It is God which you haue lost, not a God of syluar as that which Michas ranne weeping and wailing for: Iudg 18. but it is the foundation of all true Godli­nesse, the Catholike faith which Iesus Christ preached and established in his Church, and that Church neuer to be interrupted at any time, nor to stande in neede of reformation from er­rors. That Church you must seeke for, there you shall finde the faith which you desire, if you de­sire indeede the true Catholike faith, and with syn­cere harts pray to God for it. But you preferre perhaps the temporall goods of this world before the blesse of heauen, you feare the losse of ri­ches, of pleasures, of dignitys, and perhaps of li­fe; and you feare nor to offende him in whose onely power these things are; and besides all that can destroy both soule and body into hell. How many are there in the Catholike Church rich enough, Matt. 10. honorable enough, and healthfull enough, allthough they hazard all this to defende the faith of Christ? This aduātage we haue of thee that our sufferings for Christs sake shall be rewar­ded in heauen, and for that which thou sufferest thou shalt haue noe reward. Were it not better allthough with hazard of persecution to saue thy soule then to loose thy soule and to be in danger of miserys here also? Christ gaue his life for the loue of thee when he needed not, and dost thou repine to giue thy life for thy owne soule? God can giue comfort in the midst of persecution, that noe threats of our enemys shall affright vs, [Page 47]but that we shall be contented with them, and reioyce in his grace and diuine assistance which then he wil giue, and which we must rely vpon before hand; and then we shall not feare. We de­ceiue ourselues in that naturall feare: For nature hath noe power in that conflict, but supernatu­rall grace which God will then giue to those that desire it. But you, ô Catholike souldiers that defende this treasure, how honorable is the cause which you defende in it? how powerfull and rea­dy is your captaine to defende you? and how rich and liberall to rewarde you in the end? you defende that faith which Christ deposited with his Apostles, which they deliuered to their suc­cessors, and which descended from them by Pastors to Pastors and from people to people through all ages and times into your hands. Keepe faithfully the depositum thus giuen to you and auoide all those noueltys which men take vp of themselues, and are not giuen by authority to them. Trust in Iesus Christ and he will comfort you soe, that neither shame nor paine shall trouble your mindes in time of persecution. Tim. 1.6. Fight the good fight of faith: apprehende eternall life where in you are called by patience to possesse your soules. There are noe greater riches noe more ample possessions, Serm. de verbis Dom. cap. 4. nor honours more excellent (saith S. Augustine) then the Catholike faith: in defen­ce of which three hundred thousand martyrs by computation of authors haue suffered onely at Rome, twenty seauen of them hauing bene with­out interruption the bishops of that place. Bles­sed be God that enabled them to it, Cor. 1.10. and who will [Page 48]make with temptation issue in vs with constancy to follow their glorious example. Matt 10. He that shall perseuer vnto the end shall be saued. Grant vs ô Lord perseueran [...] in faith and good life to the saluation of our soules. Amen.

THE THIRD DISCOVRSE. OF THE SIGNE OF THE CROS.

I INTENDE now to declare vnto you the signe of the Cros. Which as it is a deuotion vpon all occasions soe much frequen­ted in the Catholike Church; it is very fitting that all Catho­liks should vnderstande it, and know the my­sterys that are conteined in it. But first we will salute the blessed virgin and require her in­tercession. Haile Mary &c.

HOVV THE SIGNE OF THE Cros is to be made.

Quest. Let vs make the signe of the Cros. Ans. In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Allwais when you make the signe of the Cros [Page 50]say the words leasurely and destinctly and make a plane and destinct Cros; not hudling it ouer hastily without deuotion; but doe it soe that you may shew yourselues to honour the mysterys which are contained in it.

As for the placing of the words some say and of the Holy Ghost vpon the left shoulder and leaue nothing but Amen for the right: others say Holy vpon the left shoulder, and Ghost vpon the right, and say Amen after that the whole Cros is made: and because I haue bene often asked concerning this, I would seeke into authors for their satis­faction; Mich. Bauld. Manual. carem. p. 3. c 3. but of a long time I could not meete with any that soe mu [...]h as mentioneth how the words are to be applyed; vntill at last I founde in a very learned and exact master of caeremonys where he expresseth that In the Name of the Father is to be said at the forehead, A [...]d of the Sonne vnder the breast, and of the Holy vpon the left shoulder, and Ghost vpon the right, and Amen to be said after that the whole Cros is made. Which manner I should rather approoue of. First for his autority. Secondly because otherwise if all those words And of the Holy Ghost were to be applyed to the left shoul­der, the Persons of the B Trinity should not ma­ke a complete and perfect Cros, but onely three corners of it: which is not fitting nor suetable to the perfection of that mystery. Thirdly The Holy Ghost passing from one shoulder to the other bet­wixt the Father and the Sonne participating of both doth in some sort adumbrate the manner of his procession, by that mutuall loue which is bet­wixt the Father and the Sonne. Finally howsoeuer [Page 51]the words be applyed the same mysterys are in­tended by them: and the substance of their signi­fication is more to be regarded then the manner of their representation. We will therefor declare in substance

VVHAT IS SIGNIFYED BY the signe of the Cros.

Quest. What is the signe of the Cros? Answ. The signe of the Cros is a profession of the christian faith.

The signe of the Cros is sometimes called by authors a short Creede; because it breifly com­priseth the cheife mysterys of the Creede The Creede is an abbreuiation of the cheife points of the christian faith; and the signe of the Cros is an abbreuiation of the Creede, professing more breifly the mysterys which are principally con­teined in it.

Quest. How is the signe of the Cros a profession of the christian faith? Answ. Because in the signe of the Cros we professe the mystery of the blessed Trini­ty, and of the Incarnation, which are the two cheife mysterys of the christian faith.

Quest What is the blessed trinity? Answ. The blessed Trinity is God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the Holy Ghost, one and the same God in three different Persons.

Quest. What meane you by the mystery of the In­carnation? Answ. We meane that the Sonne of God was incarnated: that is became man to redeeme vs.

We professe in the words the mystery of the blessed Trinity, when we say In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. We say In the name, and not in the names, to shew the vnity of nature in the Persons of the blessed Trinity: all which agree in the name and nature of one eternal and omnipotent God: eue­ry one hauing the same essence and nature, the very same power, wisdome and goodnes, all and infinite perfections being included in all, and euery one of them: and yet we name three, to wit the Father the Sonne and the Holy Ghost to shew the Trinity of Persons really destinct and different from one another. This we intende to professe in the words. Then in the action we pro­fesse the mystery of the Incarnation, in that we make a Cros to shew that we beleeue in Iesus Christ the Sonne of God incarnated redeeming vs by giuing his life on the Cros for vs: and these are the cheife mysterys and propper onely to the christian faith; for that none but christians be­leeue them. Soe that the signe of the Cros may well be called a profession of the christian faith; for by professing of that which is conteined in it the people of Christ are destinguished from all other professions of people which are in the world; and therefor the holy fathers of the pri­mitiue Church commende very much the vse of it, (as you shall presently see) and we haue great [Page 53]reason to esteeme of it, as the most propper and particular glory of christians, signifying those blessed mysterys which we must allwais defende against the enemys of Christ. If then you are christians honour Christ in his Cros and neuer be ashamed of that blessed signe. It is the glory of Christ and of all christians. Frequent it therefor with much reuerence, and if any one aske you why you doe soe? tell him that you professe your selfe a christian by it, and that you will neuer be as­hamed of that profession. Remember then that in the words of the Cros we professe the mystery of the B. Trinity, and in the action of making a Cros we intende to professe the mystery of the Incarnation and of our Redemption in Iesus Christ the Sonne of God incarnated who redee­med vs on the Cros. Now we will explicate that which is necessary of these mysterys.

The mystery of the blessed Tilnity is one of those in which our faith is most of all exercized, and by which euery one may see his owne weake­nes, and the neede which he hath of supernatural light and grace from God to eleuate his vnder­standing and to excite his will to acts of diuine faith. For it is a mystery which surpasseth the na­tural vnderstanding both of men and angels, and which teacheth vs by experience not to search into the mysterys of faith, but that we are to rely in them vpon a surer ground then our owne vn­derstandings are. S. Paul writing to the Roma­nes warneth them not to be too wise, Rom. 12. but to be wise vnto sobriety. Those that would be satisfyed in any points haue the priests their Pastors to goe [Page 54]vnto for satisfaction; for the words of S. Peter concerne them most when he admonisheth Be ye ready al [...]wa [...]s to satisfy euery one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. Pet. 1.3. Priests must be able to satisfy others Priests must enable themselues to giue satisfaction to the peo­ple in all those thinges which they are bounde to know; and if they be defectiue in this which is but a small knowledge, God will reiect them from him as vnworthy of priesthood. Ose. 4. Because thou hast repelled knowledge, I will repell thee that thou doe not the function of priesthood vnto mee. The Prophet Malachy spoke very propperly to this when he called priests Angels saying The lipps of the priest shall keepe knowledge and from his mouth thou shalt require the law: Mal. 2. because he is the angell of our Lord of hosts. The angels are the treasurers of the diuine mysterys who open them in their messages to mankind, as God will haue them to be imparted vnto vs; soe priests haue the keeping of the diuine mysterys, and must deliuer them to the people as they neede them: and the­refor the people must aske of them, and adhaere to the doctrine of the Church when it is deliuered by them. Yet the mystery of the blessed Trinity is a mystery which is kept euen from the know­ledge of priests although angels: witnes S. Au­gustine who was a priest and one of the cheife of the Angelical Hierarchy of Priests, B. Trin. for he was a bishop; yet he relateth of himselfe how that being on a time walking on the sea shore studying vpon the mystery of the blessed Trinity he saw a child who hauing made a litle pitte in the sand was lauing with a spoone the water of the sea into Aug. ad volus. [Page 55]that litle pitte. S. Augustine earnestly obseruing him, asked him what he meant? did he thinke to empty the maine ocean into that litle pitte? yes replyed the child as soone will I bring the ocean into this compasse, as thou with thy vnder­standing shalt comprehende the mystery of the blessed Trinity. By which he vnderstoode that it was a messenger of God sent vnto him to humble him and to let him know that the mystery of the blessed Trinity is aboue humane vnderstanding. We see by reason that God the Creatour of all thinges must needs be aboue all thinges incom­prehensible infinite in power, wisdome and good­nes: and therefor for men to thinke to compre­hende God is to contradict the first principle of reason and aboue Lucifers pride to thinke to be equall with him. It is enough for vs to thinke that God is God, that is to say the supreme and infinite perfection which putts bounds and limits to the perfections of all other thin­ges; who as he hath sette a terme of time to our liues, soe hath he also limited our vnderstan­dings: and we can noe more by our owne power exceede those limits, then we can by our owne power escape death. Great is our Lord, great is his strength: Psa. 146. and of his Wisdome there is noe num­ber. If we will build vpon a sure ground let vs cleaue to that rocke which Christ hath left, and say as our Creede teacheth vs, I beleeue the holy Catholik Church.

In the law of Moyses the mystery of the bles­sed Trinity was beleeued as authors commonly shew by diuerse places in the old Testament: [Page 56]although the Prophets haue deliuered it for the most part in obscure termes to the Israëlits, least they who liued amongst idolatrous nations and were of themselues prone to idola [...]ry should take occasion by the Trinity of Persons to beleeue in many Gods. But idolatry being to be soe much subuerted by the faith of Christ and bu [...] litle or noe danger of it amongst christians; the mystery of the blessed Trinity is deliuered to v [...] planely and more expresly in the new Testament, our Lord and Sauiour at his last departure from his Disciples commanding the expresse profession of it to be made in baptisme when we are made christians. Mat. 28. Going therefor teach ye all nation [...] ba­ptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Sonne and of the Holy Ghost: Io. 1.5. and againe There be three that giue testimony in heauen the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost. And these three be one. Ge­nebrard sheweth by diuerse places out of the aun­cient [...]hilosophers that the Gentils by their fami­liarity and commerce with the Iewes came to heare and to write of the B Trinity. But the moderne Iewes which now are, earnestly oppose it; being fal­len in this point, as they are also in the mystery of the Incarnation from the true faith which their fo­refathers professed That which we beleeue of this mystery is to acknowledge an vnity of Godhead, essence, and nature in the Trinity of Perfons. God the Father is the same God as God the Sonne, God the Sonne is the same God as God the Holy Ghost, and they are not three Gods but one onely God The Person of the Father is not the person of the Sonne, nor is the Person of the Sonne the [Page 57]Person of the Holy Ghost: but they are three really destinct and different Persons. This we in­tende to professe when we say in the Name of the Father and of the Sonne and of the Holy Ghost.

We also paofesse. in the signe of the Cros the mystery of the Incarnation in that we make a Cros to remember and acknowledge the loue of God with which he soe loued the world that he gaue his onely begotten Sonne to become man, Ioan. 3. and to redeeme vs on the Cros. God had crea­ted man in a happy state in Paradise, as it were in the way to heauen, enuironed on all sides with vnspeakeable pleasures: and in that pleasant way was conducting him to the heauenly glory. But man sinning lost the fauour of God, was de­barred of that blessed state which he should haue obtained, and being then out of the state of grace he could sinne still more and more; bu [...] he could doe noe good worke sufficient to satisfy for his sinnes, and to be restored againe to the diuine grace by it. God of his iustice re­quireth satisfaction; but noe man not creature being able and of sufficient worth to make it, and the diuine nature not being subiect to make sarisfaction in in it selfe, it was the goodnes of God to vnite our weakenes to his power and our nature to his diuine nature in the incarnation of his sonne, that the nature of man being vnited to his diuine person, might by that person, be soe dignifyed, that it could make worthy satis­faction for the sinnes of all men that should apply vnto themselues the merits of his passion. This is the mystery which was reuealed vnto [Page 58]Abraham and the holy Patriarks, which many kings and Prophets desired to see, and which filled the hart of Abraham soe full of comfort that he laughed for ioy to heare and thinke of it. By this the seed of the Patriarks was multiplyed like the starres of heauen and like the dust of the earth which is not to be numbred and all kin­dreds were blessed in it: to wit as Christ came of their seede, by the merits of whose passion heauen is replenished with saints more glorious than the starres, and the Catholike Church of all faithfull christians haue sprung from him, dil [...]ed to the west. and to the East, and to the North, and to the south not to be numbred: all whosoeuer are saued being saued by Christ our Sauiour. We can neuer sufficiently acknowledge the loue of God in this mystery: by it man was soe exalted as to become the diuine Spou­se by the mysterious vnion of our nature vnto God in Christ, that the Apostle might wel say we are made the consorts of the diuine nature, for as man and woman are made consorts by holy marriage, Petr 2 1. their mindes, bodys and tempo­ral riches becomming common and as it were all one betwixt them; soe the Sonne of God vniting mans nature vnto his, they were, then two natures in one person, and man was made cō ­sort to the diuine nature, and endowed withall the titles and riches of God, that according to S. Ath [...]nasius his Creede, as man consisteth of a spi­ritual and corporal nature, soe that of soule and body is constituted an intire man: soe doth Christ consist of two natures diuine and humane. [Page 59]There is noe good thinge which we can desire but we haue it in this mystery. For our soules being sanctifyed by the passion of Christ they are made also the consorts of the diuine nature by grace, and God comming to them as to his spou­ses bringeth with him all good thinges to them, and in the end will carry them into his glorious kingdome.

These two mysterys of the Blessed Trinity and and of the Incarnation, are as I haue said the two cheife mysterys of the christian faith, prop­per onely to christians and destinguishing them from all other people; and therefor the signe of the Cros which conteineth them is vsed in the Catholike Church as a breife and ready profes­sion of the faith of Christ: that as nations, com­monwealths and noble familys haue their ar­mes and cognisants by which they are knowne and destinguished, and in which they honour themselues; soe christians haue the signe of the Cros as their propper armes by which they are knowne and professe themselues to be the children and disciples of Christ; and therefor we haue great reason to glory in it and to thinke it our cheife honour and security to haue the armes of such a king and father, Hauing declared the sense and signification of the figne of the Cros now we wil speake

OF THE WORSHIP WHICH good Christians ought to giue to the Cros of Christ.

BY that which hath bene said it doth easily ap­peare that all Christians haue reason to ho­nour the Cros. Infidels, Iewes and Turks haue allwais opposed the honour of it, pulling downe breaking and defacing of crosses, pretending that which is true indeede, that the dishonour which they doe to the Cros is done to Christ, whose enemys they professe themselues to be. Heretiks agree with Infidels Iewes and Turks when they pull downe chrosses and yet wil pre­tende themselues to be the freinds of Christ and his faithfull seruants; hauing wilfully blinded themselues not to see that which the others by nature see that the iniurys which are done vnto the Cros fall voon Christ for whose sake we ho­nour it. Heretiks as you see agree here in their actions with Infidels, Iewes, and Turks, and dif­fer onely in pretence from them: and natural reason sheweth that Infidels, Iewes, and Turks say truely in that which they pretende and that such haeretiks haue both euill actions and af alse pretence also; and soe they haue in this lesse veri­ty then the former. But the Catholike Church hath neuer consented to the iniurys of the Cros; because we know that such iniurys fall vpon Christ crucyfied; and therefor as fast as they pull downe crosses we labour to set them vp, and as they [Page 61]striue to dishonour the Cros, we striue against them to honour it. We blesse ourselues with the signe of the Cros, bow to Crosses, kisse and re­uerence them, we institute holy dayes in honour of it, and in all thinges we glory in the Cros of our Lord Iesus Christ, as the cheife instrument of his passion; and therefor we thinke it a sitte signe to putte vs in minde of it and that we may aptly vnderstande his passion by it. Thus hath the Church of God in the Apostles times and euer since vsed the Cros to signify the passion of Christ, and honored it in that signification. Thus did S. Phil. 3. Paul vnderstande by the enemys of the Cros the enemys of Christs Passion, and thus doe Infi­dels, Iewes and Turkes thinke that shewing them­selues to be enemys of Crosses they shew them­selues to be enemys of the Passion of Christ, and haeretiks who professe themselues the Disciples of Christ should by reason conceiue (as without doubt they doe) a feare and horrour when they abuse Crosses; and cannot by reason but thinke themselues enemys of the Passion of Christ when reason telleth them the relation which Crosses haue to it; and therefor we rightly honour and worship them. What did S. Paul but that which we doe when he said God forbidde that I should glory sauing in the Cros of our Lord Iesus Christ? Gal 6. did not he vse here the Cros to signify the Passion of Christ and honour it in that signification? in the very same sense doth the Catholike Church vse it and doth nothing but that which S. Paul here did: and we may very well make this argument. S. Paul vsed the Cros to signify the Passion of [Page 62]Christ and then honoured it in that signification; therefor we may lawfully doe soe: he glo­ried inwardly in his hart in the Cros, and his ton­gue and lipps moued corporally in honour of it, meaning still to honour the Passion of Christ by it; and this is that which good Catholikes doe honouring with their harts and their whole bodys mouing in honour of the Cros, vnderstanding by it the Passion of Christ. Aug. tract. 43. in lo. S. Augustine sayeth that Christ choosing the death of the Cros hath fixed the signe of the Cros in our foreheades that we might say God forbidde that I should glory sauing in the Cros of our Lord Iesus Christ.

The Cros is the cheife instrument and weapon with which our Sauiour fought and obtained that glorious victory by which he saued vs; and there­for we ought to glory in it and to keepe it in great reuerence. Dauid fighting for the people of God ouercame the Philistaean gyant and with a sword cut of his head; and it pleased God that his sword should afterwards be honored by the people, being carefully lapt vp and kept in the temple as a memoriall of their champions victory. This is very propper to our purpose: Dauid may re­present Christ who is our champion, but infinitly more glorious; and therefor more worthy to be honored by vs. But as the sword was to Dauid soe was the Cros in respect of Christ, the instrument of his victory: and if it were the will of God to haue Dauid honored afterwards in his sword, be­cause the honour of it redounded to him, shall not we honour Christ in his Cros, and thinke that the honour of the Cros redoundeth vnto Christ? [Page 63]If some euill minded man had entred into the Temple, and taking downe king Dauids sword from behind the Ephod, had abused and broken it; would not this man haue bene iust y thought to haue dishonored king Dauid himselfe? and to haue committed in this a hainous contempt against him? yes certainely; because the disho­nour which was done would haue bene conceiued as done to his person; the sword being honored onely in relation to him: soe the iniurys which are done and honour which is giuen to the Cros redounde vnto Christ for whose onely sake we honour it.

S. Ignatius who liued in the Apostles times, The power of the signe of the Cros. Ig. Ep. ad Phil. and died à martyr doth testify the esteeme and wor­ship of the Cros in those dayes calling it h [...]erophy of christians against the deuils power, wh (sayth he abhorreth the very sight of it. Tert l. de [...]or. mil. c. 3. Tertullian liued not long after those times and he sheweth th [...]t the same deuotion continued still in the Church by these words, whe [...] w [...] first set forward, Cyrill. Ca­te [...] si 13. and S. Hie­rome Ep. 2 [...]. ha [...]e the like words. wh [...] we goe forth or come in wh [...] we put on our cloths or shoes, wh n we w [...]h our hands or l [...]h acondle, in all exercises w [...] weare one foreheades with th signe of the Cros. Soe much was the signe of the Cros vpon all occasions then frequented by christians that this authour would make soe remarkeable an ex­pression of it as though they had euen worne it into their foreheades by often making it. Not long after Tertullian came Constantine the Emperour, who in his deuotion to the Cros may well be called Great; for where as other Em­perors commonly aspire to greatnes by enlarging [Page 64]their dominions and by raising of great monu­ments to continue their memory in the world; it seemeth that he had noe greater ambition then to raise and aduance the glory of the Cros. He vndertooke for this purpose a hard taske in those times: and that was by his imperiall auto­rity to honour the Cros soe much, as to make those ensigues of the Romane Eagles with which they had conquered the world to be come infe­riour to the Cros and to raise it more glorious then they in his cheife banner This he wndertooke and notwithstanding all the opposition which he might expect from the senate and people of Ro­me, (who were then Pagans) with gods assistance he encompassed it. Of this banner much mention is made in Authors. Eusebius who had seene it hath giuen this description of it. Euseb. l. 1. de vita Const [...]n. A high speare was [...]acted set about w [...]th gold, which had a cor­ner made a thwart after the manner of a Cros. On the toppe of it a crowne was placed wrought with gold and pretious stone. Vnder it there was a symbole of the soueraigne name. The name of Christ was represented in the first letters of two verses the lett [...]r P standing vacant in the mi st: which the Emperour in later, times vsed to weare in his helmet. Vpon the thwart corner which was fied on the speare a veile hung downe of royall purple which with variety of pretious stones mat­ching one anotheri, with the splendour of there shining and with the abundance of gold that couered them gaue an vnspeakeable lustre to the beholder. Thus did this good Emperour honour the Cros. And the same authour saith that this [Page 65]banner was soe good a safeguard to Constantins army and to him that carried it, Euseb. hi [...] l. 9. c. 9. that which way soeuer it was carried, in that place they allwais gotte victory, and that the bearer of it was neuer hurt as long as he kept with it; but that one time for feare forsaking it he was slaine. And he saith also that after that Constantine had gotten that memorable victory ouer Maxentius, L 1. d [...] vita Constan. in which the Cros miraculously appeared in the ayre to him, he set vp a Cros with these words, This is a souue­raigne signe. And that in the hand of his owne image he caused a Cros to be put with these words. La. de vita Constan. with this signe of true fortitude I haue freed your city. And that he vsed often to signe his face with the signe of the Cros. And that in his picture ouer the gates of his imperiall pallace the signe of the Cros was painted ouer his head, and a vanqui [...]hed dragon vnder his feete All this deuotion did this great Emperour vse to the signe of the Cros, and neuer was condemned for it by any, but such as were themselues condemned for haeretiks.

Afterwards the Emperour Theodosius of re­uerence to the Cros prohibited it to be made on the ground. Were it not an imposture worthy of an haeretike to leaue out on the ground, and to say onely that Theodosius prohibited it to be ma­de, as though he had intended to take it away? yet D Kellison hath obserued out of Alanus Co­pus that some haeretiks haue done soe. K [...]lli [...]in tertiom part. Orat. 1. [...] Iul.

S. Gregory Nazianzen, who flourished a litle after those times, relateth how that the wicked Em­perour Iulian hauing once apostatized from the faith of Christ, and become an idolatrous Infi­del, [Page 66]amongst the many vices to which he prosti­tuted his soule, he gaue himselfe to the study of ne­cromancy: and being affrighted at the first sight which he had of the deuils, he made on a suddaine the signe of the Cros, as he had done when he was a christian, and that the euill spirits fled then pre­sently away from him. And that to satisfy him his master magitian told him, that the spirits did not feare, but hated the Cros, and that if he would be their Disciple he must leaue it of. And in the same place he relateth how that Iulian being on a certaine time with his Southsayers looking into the entrailes of beasts they found a Cros in them; and inquiring the presage of it, they told him that by this it was portended that Iulian with all his power should neuer be able to roote out the faith of Christ; but that it should last for euer. S. Hiero. ad Eust. Hierome was somethinge later then S. Gre­gory Nazianzen, he writing to the Lady Eusto­chium his deuout penitent exhorteth her to fre­quent the signe of the Cros. Aug to. 5. l. 22. c. 8. deciu. Dei. S. Augustine came a litle after him, and relateth this miracle wrought by it. There was saith he in Carthage a woman by name Innocentia vexed with a Canker in her breast, who hauing vsed all the remedys which the physitians could praescribe, and at last meeting with one who told her planely that there was noe remedy for it, but that she must haue patience with it and lett it alone; for that according to Hypo­crates such cankers are worse for being tampered with. She being then out of hopes by any naturall meanes, betooke herselfe to the authour of na­ture who can cure without them. And it pleased [Page 67]God to send her a vision in which she was admo­nished to goe to the Church when baptisme was administred, and to procure the first that she mette with of the newly baptized christians to make the signe of the Cros vpon her brest, and that soe she should be cured. She did soe and was restored to perfect health. This happened in S. Augustines time in the city in which he liued, and himselfe hauing had the examining of it, cau­sed it to be published.

We haue then S. Paul and those that liued in the Apostles times honoring the Cros as we now doe, and we may see by the writings of their successors the Saints of the primitiue Church, the power and vertue of the signe of the Cros, and what deuotion was then borne to it. He whom all this is not suf­ficient to moue, but shall still oppose this blessed signe sheweth an intollerable obstinacy, in himselfe and that he needeth rather some meanes to mol­lify his hart, and to moue his will, then any argu­ments to conuince his vnderstanding; and therefor let him haue recourse vnto God by prayer (as I shewed in the last title of the former discourse) that he will enlighten and inspire him to the truth; for he may deceiue himselfe, but God can not deceiue him.

I haue now noe more to say of the signe of the Cros. You haue seene first how it is to be made. Secondly what mysterys are contei­ned in it, to wit the mysterys of the B. Trinity and of the Incarnation. Thirdly what reuerence we ought to beare vnto it. Let vs confesse the greatnes of God in the mystery of the blessed [Page 68]Trinity, and feare him: let vs acknowledge his loue in the mystery of the Incarnation, and loue him; and let vs honour that holy signe by which those mysterys are signifyed. The Cros is the sword of Christ, the glory of christians, the ter­rour of deuils, our armes and armour against all dangers both of body and soule. It is (saith S. Augustine) the chaire in which our master satte to teach vs. Aug. tract. 119. in lo. to. 3 1. ad Tim. 3. He taught vs from thence a lesson of all vertues, of perfect charity towards God and our neighbour, of humility, patience, meeke­nesse, fortitude, pouerty, and of perfect resig­nation with the will of God in all things. If thou feelest thy selfe cold in the loue of God, neg­ligent in frequenting the Sacraments, in com­ming to masse &c. and hast but litle feeling of goodnes nor care of Gods seruice in thee, behold Christ vpon the Cros, heare him how he calleth vpon thee to see him paining vnto death for the loue of thy soule. If thou art offended at thy ene­my, and dost not forgiue him, behold thy master on thee Cros, and heare him not onely forgiu­ing, but excusing and praying for his enemys. If thou feelest in thy selfe a desire of praise, worldly glory and preferment, behold the sonne of God in his passion become the abiect of men, that a notorius condemned theefe was preferred before him. If by sicknesse, soares, and other like affli­tions thou art moued to impatience, see him in his Passion how he gius his blessed head, his face, his hands, his feete, and his whole body as a lambe to his enemys to be bounde, to be beaten to be nailed, stabbed, cut, and wounded, as they would [Page 69]themselues. See the blood running out of his crowned head by drop after drop, where the thor­nes pierced it, and out of his hands and feete and wounded side, not by drops, but by a con­tinuall course vntill they were left dry. What did he say to those that tormented him, and in his torments vpbraided him with false crimes? all that time he answered not a word in his owne be­halfe, but with silence went on, stoode still, or layed downe as they would haue him that car­ried him from place to place, and from one pai­ne to another, he neuer opening his mouth to de­sire any ease or to intreate for any thing, to teach thee meekenesse He defended innocency against the power of kings, priests, and presidents, to teach thee fortitude in Gods cause. He became naked to teach thee pouerty. He tooke the cuppe of his Passion willingly from the Angell, and drunke it vp to the bottome, more then ne needed for the health of mankind; because it was for the honour of God, and his diuine will that he should doe soe. Learne thou to resigne thy will to the will of God, and to be contented in all occasions as he shall dispose of thee. Finally there is neither writing, nor preaching, nor any words whatsoe­uer that imprinteth soe much the loue of God in our harts, nor moueth soe efficaciously to all vertues, noe not the holy scriptures themselues, nor any remedy soe good against all kind of sin­nes as the meditation of Christs Passion which is read vnto vs in the signe of the Cros. L. 6. in Ep. ad Rom. Origen asking by what meanes we shall performe the Apostles words that sinne reigne not in vs, Rom. 6. an­swereth [Page 70] where the death of Christ is carried there sinne can not reigne; for (saith he) the Cros of Christ hath such power that if we beare it before our eyes, and keepe it in our mindes, noe concu­piscence, noe lust, noe anger, noe enuy can ouer­come vs, He [...]5 in M [...]t. to. 2. the whole army of sinne is put to slight. S. Chrysostome, let them attende that are ashamed of the Cros of Christs Passion. For if the Prince of the Apostles (S. Peter) were called Satan when he had not learned the mystery of the Cros; Mat. 16. because he said Lord be it farre from thee this shall not be vnto thee; how shall they be pardoned that dare to deny the Cros now when it is preached all ouer? let none be ashamed of these signes of our saluation; but let vs carry the Cros of Christ about vs as a ioy­full crowne; for all things that are conducing to sal­uation are accomplished in it. When we are regene­rated the Cros is present, when we are fedd with the most sacred soode, when we are placed in the order of consecrating, all ouer, and at all times that signe of victory is vsed. Wherefor let vs haue that signe in our houses, in our windowes, on our forehea­des, and in our mindes with much deuotion. It is the signe of our saluation, of our vniuersall liberty, of the mildnesse and humility of our Lord. When there­for thou signest thy selfe with the signe of the Cros thinke of the mystery of the Cros, and extinguish the fire of wrath and other Passions in thee. When thou sig­nest thy selfe with the signe of the Cros, arme thy face with confidence and thy minde with the thoughts of freedome. For Paul exhorting to true freedome calleth vs to the memory of the Cros saying, you are bought with a great price. Cor. 1.6. This was the price of the Cros. We [Page 71]must not onely make it with our singars on the body but with considēce on our soules: and if soe thou make it, none of the wicked deuills will dare to encounter thee, when he seceth the speere of his mortall wound. For if we are affraid to behold the place where con­demned persons are executed, what dost thou thinke will the deuill doe to see the sword with which Christ disarmed him, and cut of his head? be not thou then ashamed of soe great a good, least Christ be ashamed of thee when he commeth in his maiesty. Thou shalt see then this signe borne before Christ as bright as the sunne. The Cros shall goe before him, and shall speake with a lowde voice for him, to shew that there was nothing wanting on his part. This signe both now and of old doth open the doores that are shutt, is hath extinguished poyson, it hath tamed wild beasts, it hath cured the mortall stings of serpents. The Cros hath conuerted the world, it hath put away feare and brought the truth, it hath turned earth into heauen, men into Angells, death into sleepe, it hath brought all our enemys downe to the ground. If a gentill shall say to thee, adore not him that was Crucifyed: be not affraid with a cleere voyce and countenance to say, I adore him, and will adore him for euer. And if he shall lauhg at thee, weepe thou with many teares to see his madnes. Giue thankes vnto our Lord by whom we haue these things which none without the diuine grace can say. We wi [...]h a lowde and cleere voyce and with speciall confidence will cry out. The Cros is our glory our freedome our crowne, the head, and fountaine of our happines. I would I could say with S. Paul the world is Crucifyed to mee and I to the [Page 72]world. But my Passions hinder mee that I can not say soe? Wh [...]efore I admonish you and much more my selfe that we be Crucifyed to the world, that we haue nothing to doe with he earth, but that our wh le mindes be insla [...] with the desire of hea­uenly glory. Thus S Iohn Chrysostome: and there remaineth nothing for mee to adde to his words, words worthy of his holy zeale and eloquence, I would I had an Angells voice to sing them as they deserue: I would repeato that saying ouer and ouer againe. Th Cros is our glory, our free­dome, our cr [...]wne, the head, and fountaine of our happinesse. Make it not onely with the fingars on the body, but with confidence on the soule, and make it as a profession of this faith▪ as an incite­ment vnto all vertues, as an armour against all temptations, as a defence against all dangers, as a comfort in all afflictions. It is the beginning of our awaking, of our sleeping, of our prayers, of our studies, of our preaching, of our Catechi­zing, of our eating, of our drinking, of our wal­king, of our riding of our working, and of our leauing of from worke; all our actions shall be­ginne and end with this blessed signe and words. In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

THE FOVRTH DISCOVRSE OF THE CREEDE. OF THE AVTHORITY AND VSE of the Creede.

I INTENDE now to declare the Creede vnto you, in which not onely the cheife mysterys of the christian faith, but all whatsoeuer the christian doctrine teacheth in some sort is conteined. But first we will haue re­course vnto God, and craue his assistance by our blessed Ladys intercession. Haile Mary &c.

Before we declare the articles of the Creede in particular, we will say somethinge of the authori­ty and vse of the whole Creede, to shew how au­thentical and pious it is. Although the Creede be not deliuered in any part of the scriptures, yet it is of equall authority with them to vs; nei­ther they nor it being receiued by vs but for the testimony of the Church, which both of them haue, and which in all thinges we are bounde to beleeue: the same autority of the Catholike Church which hath deliuered the scriptures to [Page 74]vs deliuering also the Creede to be beleeued in the same manner by diuine faith; the one by wri­ting, the other by word of mouth from time to time; both of which traditions being in themsel­ues by humane meanes onely, a like fallible, and by the power of God a like infallible. S Pauls writings are receiued by vs as the word of God; and he himselfe hath said of his preaching al­though not written, that it was to be receiued not as the word of man but as the word of God. Thes. 1.2. And againe he planely commandeth them to receiue the like traditions which are deliuered by word of mouth as well, as those that are written saying, Breth en stande and hold the traditions which you haue learned whether it be by word or by our Epistle. Thes. 2.2. These are as plane words as S. Paul could speake or write to let vs vnderstande, that the words of the Church are to be receiued as the writings which it deliuereth: and the holy fathers by these words vnderstande the same autority to be for all the mysterys of faith, and for the lawfullnes of all the ceremonys generally practised and allowed of by the Church, although not mentioned ex­presly in the scriptures, as is for the scriptures themselues. L. 3. c. 3. S. Irenaeus biddeth vs in all questions of controuersy to haue recourse vnto the Aposto­licall traditions, and to try them by the Aposto­licall succession of bishops, and in particular by the chayre of Rome: and saith that there are ma­ny nations of barbarous people simple for their learning, but most wise in the constancy of their faith who neuer had the scriptures.

S. Clement the disciple of S. Peter and the [Page 75]adiutor of S. Paul speaking of the Creede saith, that the Apostles, before that they separated them­selues into seueral countreys to preach the ghos­pell, conferred together, and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost made the Creede as a rule to direct them and others in the faith which they were to preach; and therfor saith he it is called the Symbole, which is a Greeke word signifying a collection or a conference, for that it was made by the general assembly and conference of the Apostles. S. Ambrose hath these words. Ep. 81. The Apo­stles like a company of skillfull workmen conserring together made the Symbole as a kea to locke vp the Diabolical darknes and to let in the light of Christ; and we must deliuer this kea to ourbrethren that the Disciples of Peter may vse it to locke the gates of hell, and open the gates of heauen to themselues. S. Augustine speaketh thus of it. Serm 80. de temp. The Apostles haue deliuered a sure rule of faith comprehended accor­ding to the Apostolicall number in twelue sentences. They called it a Symbole by which Catholike vnion might be conserued and haeretical pranity conuinced. It is a Symbole breife in words but large in mysterys; for whatsoeuer is praefigured in the Patriarks, what­soeuer is declared in the scriptures, an [...] whatsoeuer is foretold by the Prophets either of God the Father, of God the Sonne, or of the Holy Ghost, or of the re­ceiuing of the Sacraments, or of the death and re­surrection of our Lord is conteined and breifly con­fessed in it. Let therefor euery one learne that Apo­stolical faith when he comes to yeares of vnderstan­ding which he professed in baptisme by the months of those that then carried him. And in another place [Page 76]he saith that christians should vse it as à looking glasse morning and night to examine themselues in their faith by it. L 1 dosymb. 1.

By all which it doth appeare first that the Cree­de is of diuine autority, as made by the Apostles and deliuered by word of mouth from them to posterity, as the written word of the new Testament was from hand to hand to be beleeued with diui­ne faith. Secondly out of S Ambrose and S. Au­gustine, that it being a kea and a looking glasse which the Apostles made for vs, we ought with great reuerence to keepe it and to vse it as such, often frequenting it to locke vp the infernal darknes from vs, and to open the diuine light vnto our soules: and to examine ourselues in faith by it, as by a looking glasse, that soe we may allwais keepe constant to the Catholike Church.

Quest. Say, the Creede. Answ. I beleeue in God the Father almighty maker of heauen and earth. And in Iesus Christ his onely Sonne our Lord. Who was conceiued by the Holy Ghost borne of the Virgin Mary. Suffered vnder Pontius Pilate, was Crucifyed dead and buried. He descended into hell the third day he arose againe from death. He as­cended into heauen; sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to iudge vs all; both the quicke and the dead. I beleeue in the Holy Ghost. The holy Catholike Church, the Communion of Saints. The forgiuenesse of sinnes. The Resurrection of the flesh. Life euer­lasting. Amen.

THE FIRST ARTICLE.

I Beleeue in God the Father almighty, maker of heauen and earth. In this article the Apostles professe their beleefe in the first person of the blessed Trinity: in the following articles they professe the second person and the third. But we are not here to vnderstande that God the Father without the Sonne and the Holy Ghost, made the world; for euery external worke which God doth is done by all the Persons of the blessed Trinity: the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, hauing all the same vndiuided power, all equally concurring to the making of the world and of euery thinge that is conteined in it. The Father is named first and the creation of the world is here parti­cularly attributed to him; because he is the first Person from whom the Sonne and the Holy Ghost eternally proceede.

God is rightly termed a father to signify his power, loue and care ouer vs. God a father For as fathers be­ginne the generation that commeth of them, and gouerne their children and prouide for them: soe is God the beginner of this world, he gouer­neth it with his power, and by his prouidence conserueth it. Deut. 32. Is not he thy father that hath pos­sessed thee, and made and created thee?

By heauen and earth are vnderstoode all crea­tures heauenly and earthly, that is both spirituall and corporal creatures. And in this the power of God is expressed by his external works soe, as is sufficient to destinguish him as the supreme power, [Page 78]and to putt vs in minde of our duety to him, and dependance of him, as giuing vs our being and still conseruing vs in the being which we haue, and which all creatures should presently and in an in­stant loose, if he should withdraw his diuine helpe from them: and there would be noe creatures at all, but as there was once nothing but God.

God is the most perfect of all thinges and therefor a spirit; all ouer by his power; and his power is himselfe. He is not conteined in any place now, noe more then he was before the crea­tion of the world. He was all wais the same power, the same goodnes, and those infinite. He euer had a decree to create the world; and that eternall decree he performed in time, making the Angels onely spirits, men both spiritual in their soules and corporall in their bodys, and other creatu­res as we see onely corporall. He made heauen a place of glory for the good, and hell a place of punishment for the wicked. He desireth the sal­uation of all and giueth sufficient meanes of saluation to all: that being the end for which he made vs.

In this article we doe not say I beleeue in Gods, makers &c. but I beleeue in God the maker &c. In which we haue two thinges professed. Athe [...]sts. First the es­sence and existence of God against prophane and wicked atheists, and secondly against Pagans the being of one onely God. This is here but breisly professed: for the Apostles made the Creede but onely as an abbreuiated profession and rule of faith to ground and guide vs in the articles which we were to beleeue: they prooued them in their [Page 79]preaching, as neede required: yet that there is a God as in the Creede they suppose it, soe also they might doe in their preaching, and needed not to prooue it to Iewes or Gentils, who were then onely in the world, and were neuer likely to deny it. But now in these times of soe many heresys, I doe not see that any point of faith whatsoeuer is more necessary to be prooued. For heresy as it is a corruption of the true faith, soe it corrupteth and destroyeth by litle and litle the very hart and roote of all faith, and as it annulleth the authority of the Church, it taketh away the foun­dation of all certainty, and openeth a gappe to euery mans errors to say what he listeth and for shamelesse atheisme to enter in by it. For make it once lawfull to disobey the Church (which is the onely authority of God externally vpon earth) as all archhaeretiks doe, who beginne their new doctrines with obedience to noe Church then extant in all the world; and then it followeth that euery man without controle may beleeue and teach what he will himselfe; for there is noe au­thority vpon earth to controle him, and soe he may as well teach atheisme as heresy. Secondly those that are of God are ordained (saith the A­postle) that is to say they are with order: Rom. 13. and he requireth there that we be subiect to higher powers, not onely of necessity, but for conscience sake: now order importeth subiection and subor­dination of inferiors to superiour powers: if then you take away this subiection and subordination of inferiors to superiours, as haeretiks doe by disobeying the Church you take away all order [Page 80]in religion, and by consequence you take away God, and bring in atheisme and a worse disorder then is in hell. How hateful then is heresy to God which is opposite to all religion? and how dan­gerous is atheisme, In Collar. Patrum. and necessary to be preuented in haeretical times? Cassianus relateth an exam­ple of this in which he sheweth by experience that heresy leadeth into atheisme. He sayth that there was a certaine religious man, who beginning first of indiscretion to make comparisons betwixt the Saints, and being reprehended by his superiour for it, he tooke in such euill part his reprehen­sion, that he fell to say that the Saints were noe better then other men; and when he was reproo­ued for his temeratious speech he fled to the scriptures, demanding the contrary to be shewed by them: and when the scriptures were produced against him, he interpreted them after his owne sense and liking: and when the interpretations of holy fathers were alleadged against him, he scor­ned all, saying that they were men and might erre. Lastly the authority of the Church guided of God for the orderly gouernment of the world is obiect­ed against him: and when he saw that he must either sticke to the autority of God gouerning vs by the Church, and deny his owne singularity; or sticke to his owne singularity and deny allorder and gouernment of God; he stucke like an haeretike to his owne singularity and rather then he would submitte vnto the Church he denyed God and fell to atheisme. The end of this obtinate brute was at last to become madde and to dy roaring like a beast. Now his last proposition was but con­sequence [Page 81]to the former: for he that in matter of faith will beginne a nouelty by which he separa­teth himselfe from all religions and will obsti­natly mainteine it against all Churches, why may he not as well deny that there is a God seeing that he hath but his owne opinion for both?

The same experience we haue now a dayes of too many who by long continuance in heresy and disobedience to the true Church, seeme to haue lost the very beleefe of God and all feare and fee­ling of him out of their harts: and in this haere­tical kingdome it is long since come to that, that euery man in religion might in a manner hold what opinious he liked, soe that he were not a Romane Catholike, and as an enemy of the Catholike Church would but goe to their Chur­ches. A neighbour yet liuing not farre from this place mainteined publikly against the my­stery of the blessed Trinity, and the diuinity of our Sauiour, and being many yeares since ap­prehended for it when he was brought to his tryall he was cleered and by publique authority set at liberty to teach his blasphemys as now he doth to all that will heare and learne them; the Fore­man of the sury who was a knight of the best ranke in this countrey (of what religion I know not) declaring (as I haue heard) that he would rather take the lines of twenty Papists then to haue the blood of one such man vpon him. Tell one of our libertines that he is an atheist (which a Romane Catholike presently would abhorre to heare) most English Protestants make but a iest of it; and many there are who seeme [Page 82]as though they would gladly be soe indeede, that they might let goe the bridle to all liberty and follow their sensuality without restraint. They seeing the wicked sometimes to prosper in their liues, and in the end to dy life other men, doe what they can to perswade themselues that there is neither heauen nor hell, and to say in their harts that there is noe God. This is now the plane case of many amongst vs; and I could rehearse the prophane sayings of some of our great ones which I haue heard of to this purpose many yeares since; but they are not worth the repea­ting. He that will reade The Authour of the Prote­stant Religion. l. 1. c. 4. may see more particu­larly how the doctrine of Protestants tendeth to atheisme, and the vnworthy and atheisticall speeches of their authors: and in The Suruey of the new Religion l. 8. almost all ouer, but espe­cially c. 3. he may see the same. This is easy to be seene in all heresys, that they beginning allwais in the contempt of the Church, assume to them­selues liberty of doctrine, and that liberty of doc­trine bringeth liberty of life: now who doth not see the next, and last consequence, which liber­ty of life, and doctrine runneth into.

It is therefor very necessary in these times to say somethinge for haeretiks, in proofe of this first article of the Creede, to preserue it as the hart, roote, and foundation of faith from their corruption, and to let those libertines see their extreme folly, that labour to beate out of their harts the feare of God. But Catholiks, who be­leeue it as a point of the Catholike, and Aposto­like [Page 83]faith, neede noe proofe of it, because they haue it as they haue all other points of faith, by the testimony of God manifesting himselfe to them; who can not deceiue vs as we may doe our selues by our owne reason. God is true, Rom. 3. and euery man a lyer faith the Apostle, and therefor we may mistrust ourselues, but we can not mistrust God, nor contradict the Church by which he speaketh to vs, and gouerneth vs. If it be an irreuerence to stande in contradiction with a graue and reue­rent person; how much more must it be to con­tradict God? were he not a madman that should oppose his physitian, and denying that to be poyson which he affirmeth to be soe, should take it, and kill himselfe? or if a man seeing a caldron full of melted led prepared by some workeman, and were warned by him to take heed of it, yet would not regard his words; but because he saw not the fire vnder it nor any smoke in it should deny it to be hot, and throw himselfe into it? would not you thinke that he were worse then madde? we ought to beleeue God the workman of the world, and not like atheists, who because they see not the fire of hell, will not beleeue it, but throw themsel­ues into it, and damne themselues. And we must not onely beleeue in God, and receiue for his authority all points of faith; but we must also with our mouths Confesse our beleefe, and de­fende it with our liues when neede requires. Rom. 10. With the hart we beleeue vnto iustice: but with the mouth Confession is made to saluation. Saith the Apostle And the holy king saith I beleeued for which cause I spake. And as S. Peter, Psal. 115. and S. Iohn answered [Page 84]to the high Priests; and Princes of the Iewes, we can not but speake the thinges which we haue seene and heard; soe ought we in the like occasion to speake resolutly the thinges which we see, Act. 4. and heare in the Catholike faith, and say with S. Paul I am not ashamed of the ghospell. And in all temptations both publike and priuate, stande to our Creede, Rom. 1.8. and professe I beleeue in God and the Catholike Church. This I wish that all the world could truely say, and I will bring all that I can to say soe: and to beginne with the atheists of these times who in words say I beleeue in God, but not in hart, he shall see first that all the An­gels and all nations of men giue testimony against him. Secondly he shall see God and feele him by experience in himselfe. Thirdly he shall see him by natural discourse.

ALL ANGELS AND ALL nations of men giue testimony of God.

SOe great is the subordination which euery vn­derstanding hath to the supreme wisdome; and soe great is the inclination which all reasonable creatures haue to confesse, and to acknowledge the supreme reason which ordered theirs; that all nations of men that euer were and the whole nature of Angels haue consented allwais vnto it, and conspired against atheists to choke atheisme as the monster of nature, and as the common enemy of the world. And euen as bees ioyne [Page 85]together to driue waspes out of their hiues as the destroyers of their nature; and as all kingdomes rize vp in defence of their kings, parents, and fortunes against murderers, robbers, and theeues, to exterminate them from the face of the earth; soe haue all nations at all times combined toge­ther against atheists to mainteine the diuine power, and to acknowledge God as their su­preme king and parent and to defende him as their owne liues honours, and fortunes, which by reason they see cannot be mainteined without order, and cannot be ordered but by the power of God. In soe much that all nations of men, and the most peruersed and obstinate of the Angels, haue allwais acknowledged his diuine power.

If the writings of our auncestors shall haue any place with vs, (as by reason they must ex­cept we will liue life beasts, without any corres­pondence of times,) we haue that the prowdest of the rebellious spirits, as he kept allwais his natural reason, soe did he allwais keepe his na­tural knowledge, and acknowledgment of God, and neuer sinned soe as to deny his diuine power, or to thinke to be equall with him; for that he knew could neuer be: and euen then when he sinned, he implyed as much in words, calling God The most high, as hauing all inferiour to him: he sinned in desiring of a higher glory then God had ordained for him, and repining at it, he drew others to be his complices, and to desire the same and to repine with him; and for this he was cast downe with them into hell. This if [Page 86]we will giue but humane credit to the best anti­quity we must soe vnderstande, as that Lucifer refuted atheisme euen then when he sinned, and that God by that first sinne would shew himselfe to the world.

And as amongst Angels soe amongst men the prowdest of all men and most prophane were certainely those, who would be worshipped for Gods euen whilst they liued: yet these men neuer fell directly into atheisme; but rather euen in that hight of pride they implyed an acknow­ledgment of the diuine power: for they hauing gotten the superiority ouer others, to preserue it the better, and to begette in their people a greater reuerence vnto them, assumed to them­selues high titles; and because the title of God is the highest of all titles, they would be called soe: and that it might not seeme vaine, in word and name onely, without substance, they would be thought to haue somethinge more then hu­mane in them, and required of their inferiors some worship more then the ordinary, which was giuen to men: and soe it seemeth that Aman would haue had Mardochaeus to haue worshipped him. Yet in this they acknowledged a diuine power; and euen then they worshipped their false Gods, as also Aman euen then acknowled­ged a higher power then his owne in the king, whom he worshipped vpon earth.

The greatest libertines that euer were in the doctrine which they taught, was Epicure and his followers; yet neither he nor they euer came to that prophanenesse as directly to deny God; [Page 87]but onely indirectly and by consequence, as all wicked men doe in their works, and those that teach false doctrines of God doe in words. He and his company persuaded themselues that after this life there was noe further felicity for men; but he denyed not but that some higher power ordained this present felicity of life which we enioy. Verbo, Athaus. They professed (sayeth Prateolus) that there was a diuine power, but they pretended that as God troubled not himselfe about vs, soe he would not haue vs to trouble ourselues about worshipping of him, but to follow the pleasures of this world which he had made for vs Cicero sayth of this libertine that his doctrine was to perswade men to follow their pleasures in all thinges, and to trouble themselues with nothing, Tuscul l. 3. nor euer to thinke of death, or of any change, or losse of those pleasures; but to thinke that they should enioy them all, or the greatest part of their liues without paine, or sorrow, or feare of offending the Gods. By which it is manifest that these men were not atheists, but that they ac­knowledged a diuine power all though they would not trouble themselues to worship it: which gaue occasion to the rest of Philosophers to call them atheists, and to set vpon them with arguments as such; because atheisme was the consequence of their absurdity, although they professed it not. That which they professed was the hight of libertinisme in the pursuite of pleasures; but it was inferiour to atheisme which taketh away the first principle of reason and of all effects.

Amongst all the false doctrines which at seue­rall [Page 88]times haue sprung vp in the world, and haue bene entertained by some nations, or peoples for their owne ends and ease, there neuer was any any nation or people that in their highest pros­perity, or lowest aduersity for any ends whatsoe­uer, but still they acknowledged a diuinity In the first beginning of idolatry when the world was distracted into soe many errors; that euery countrey, city, and family might set vp priuate and particular idols to themselues, as they liked, we doe not reade of any that would deny God and professe atheisme. They persecuted those of the true religion who retained the worship of one eternal, and omnipotent God, and would not follow their new idolatry, and worship of many Gods; but still they acknowledged some diuine power. And if you descende from that first separation of men from the diuine worship you shall not finde that in all the time past any one nation, prouince or citty in all the world did euer resolue to professe atheisme, or did but allow or countenance it. Some few priuate men there haue bene whom auncient authors haue branded with this infamy, as Diagoras, Prota­goras, and Theodorus. Yet these men if they fell to atheisme (which also may be doubted) could neuer get any footing in the world, but were presently detested for their singular pro­phanesse. Yet I doe not deny but that there haue bene some atheists in the world, as there is noe wickednesse but some haue committed it. That which I say is that as by natural reason we must hate vice and by nature abhorre to murder our­selues; [Page 89]soe doe we by nature abhorre the sinne of atheisme: and that all nations haue punished it as they doe other vices which are against nature. It is noe maruaile that some men haue runne willfully into this sinne, as they haue done into murder and euen to murder themselues: which notwithstanding by nature they abhorre, and can expect noe pleasure, but vtmost paine in it. It is indeede a meruaile and most admirable, that atheisme giuing soe great liberty to all sinne, there haue bene in the world soe few that haue fallen into it: and by this it is manifest that God fights particularly against it, and hath giuen by nature to reasonable creatures to defende his power and goodnesse.

And perhaps neither those aboue mentioned were guilty of this sinne. First for that it is not likely that those men were soe much peruerted in their mindes and wills as Epicure was in the desire of liberty, who notwithstanding as you haue seene came short of atheisme. Secondly I finde by chan­ce in S. Iohn Chrysostome where he putteth them by name and Socrates together for defending of the same doctrine and mainteining of this pro­position Ignoro 'Deos I know not Gods meaning I know not many Gods in the plurall number, Chrysos [...]o 4. in primam ad Cor. l. 14. but one onely God: and he sayeth that they vltimum subierunt periculum, that is either lost their liues, or were in danger of their liues, for defending of that proposition. Now it is well knowne that Socra­tes lost his life for defending of that proposition in the sense aboue mentioned of one onely God; and for this they might well be then in danger [Page 90]of their liues.

Atheisme then is a sinne which cannot be in­curred, but by a generall contradiction to the whole world, and by a violent forcing of nature and conscience to admitte of all sinnes, and which hath in it selfe the malice of all sinnes, as allowing of all wickednesse whatsoeuer. How great then are the punishments of this greeuous sinne soe much abhorred by the world and con­teining after a sort the guilt of all sinnes? So­crates dranke poyson, forced vnto it by Infi­dels for defending of one God; yet this was neuer a singularity in the world, and euen then was professed by the whole nation of the Iewes, famous in the world: what shall the atheist de­serue for professing of that, which all nations of the world haue euer abhorred, and for con­tradicting of that which all nations haue euer professed, and was before men professed by Angels, and euen by Lucifer the worst of deuils? the atheist in this goeth beyond Lucifer, and as for the hight of his prophanenesse, he deserueth in a higher nature the damnation of his soule, then Lucifer deserued hell; because he denyeth the first principle of nature, and all nations hau­ing by instinct of nature some religion he will haue none. De leg. Cicero, There is noe nation soe barba­rous, but although it know not what God it should haue; yet it knoweth it should haue a God.

Now if the atheist shall set himselfe to ex­claime against all nations, and shall say that they haue all done this for some temporal respect, it shall auaile him noe more, then if some hainous [Page 91]malefactour or very vicious man should exclaime against his superiors, and against all nations for punishing of him, and for hindering the mis­cheifs which he would otherwise perpetrate. And by this saying atheists condemne themselues; the same natural reason that condemneth sinne and vice condemning them in the opinion of all nations, as more destroying of nature and order then any vicious men whatsoeuer. And therefor as it were a vaine thinge in publike ma­lefactors, and should auaile them nothing to con­demne the lawes of nations that condemne them: soe were it in atheists to exclaime against all na­tions, and should auaile them nothing when all the world shall condemne them before God.

OF THE NATVRALL, AND experimentall feeling which we haue of God.

MEn vse rather to disswade from vices then to disprooue them; because nature of it selfe without discourse of arguments at the first apprehension abhorreth vice; and therefor there needes noe disproofe of it. The same may be said of atheisme, that as naturally we loue vertue and hate vice for the beauty and goodnes which appeareth in the one, and for the deformity and euill which we perceiue in the other; soe the di­uine beauty and goodnes draweth vs to it, and by nature we are conuerted to God, and auersed [Page 92]from atheisme euen at the first apprehension, as the greatest of all euills: and our consciences tell vs that after the very salfe same manner that we feele ourselues auersed from vice, soe doe we also finde ourselues from atheisme; but onely that we behold atheisme as more deformed, and mon­struous then any vice is. And as we loue and can­not but loue vertue, soe we cannot but loue God in himselfe, and naturally we loue those whom we see to loue and serue him. Because we cannot but see and feele the goodnes of God towards vs, and his power ouer vs, working in vs and disposing of vs, and dispensing vnto vs such per­fections, as he would giue, and not we would choose, and laying vpon vs such imperfections of greifs, sicknes, soares, Passions of minde as he would, and that which to nature is most terri­ble, to wit death. By all which we see a superna­turall power-aboue our nature which ordained these thinges. And that power as by nature we see and feele it, soe also by nature wefeare it, na­turally abhorring sinne by which we displease him.

It is true great sinners haue many times sen­sibly but litle of this feare left, and may perhaps come to that hardnes of hart, as to haue noe fee­ling at all of the feare of God when they sinne, according to the holy Prouerbe, The impious when he shall come into the depth of sinnes contem­neth. Prou. 18. But this prooueth not, but that by nature he feareth God: it prooueth indeede the great mercy of God to suffer those vessels of wrath to continue soe long without their due punishment, that they feare him not, and the great inclination [Page 93]which our corrupted nature hath to corrupt still more and more, and to fall deeper and deeper into sinne, and sheweth how good a thinge it is after any sinne presently to repent for it, and as soone as we can to vse those meanes which we haue in the Catholike Church for the cleering of our consciences againe; least that by continuance in one sinne, we fall into another, and harden our harts by litle and litle to all sinnes. Although I say such men when they sinne haue noe sensible feeling of God or feare of his iustice; yet by na­ture they haue that feare when they feele it no [...]. Hawks by long custome to their keepers loose the feeling of that natural feare which they haue of them, and will sport with them and bite at them without any feare at all; yet naturally they haue allwais the same feare of them; and their keepers permitting this haue still the same power ouer them, which they had before. Soe many sinners by much sinning, and long continuance in sinne may perhaps (I say perhaps, for perhaps they cannot) quite loose their sensible feare of God when they offende him; yet naturally they haue still the same feare of him, and he allwais the same power ouer them. And if any man come to that hardnes of hart, as to haue noe fee­ling of the diuine power when he sinneth, it is by long continuance and custome of sinne that he looseth that actuall feeling and feare of God; yet naturally and radically he allwais hath it, and can loose it noe more then birds, and beasts can euer leaue to haue a natural feare of man.

Tertullian and Seneca haue obserued that [Page 94]atheists when they fall into any great misery, Ter. Apoll. Senec. l. 1. de [...]rn. and especially when they come to dy, of all men are most deiected to thinke of the iustice of God, and the punishments that abide them; and are more vexed in conscience then any, detesting then their former wickednes and the pleasures of their life, for which they denyed God. And Zeno the Philosopher was soe well satisfyed with this experience, that he vsed to say that to him it a was a better proofe of the diuine power, to heare the atheist who blinded with sensuality had denyed God, to confesse him againe when he was freed from that passionate desire, then it was to heare it prooued by the best arguments of Philosophy. This may be deduced out of S. Pauls argument to the Philosophers of Athens, when preaching to them he said God is not farre from euery one of vs. Act. 17. For in him we liue and moue and be. That is that we haue within vs a feeling of God, that gaue vs the perfections which we could not haue of ourselues, and that we haue noe such feeling of stocks or stones of which their idols were made, as not hauing power by nature to giue being, life, and motion.

And this natural feeling and feare of God, as it pleased him to imprint it in our harts, soe he hath a care to preserue it in vs, and hath ther­for shewed sometimes his exemplat iudgments vpon men of such atheistical spirits as haue stri­uen to pull downe sanctity of life and to destroy vertue. Cantip. l. 2. apum a. 48. Cantipratensis relateth of one Simon a libertin of Paris, that railing against Christ for teaching holinesse of life, he fell downe to the [Page 95]ground giuing a great roare like a beast, his eyes rowling after a gastly manner and making a ter­rible noyse with his tongue, but could not vtter a word, but Alis, Alis, which was the name of his concubine. And it is reported of Machiauel that prophane Politician that when he dyed, being strucken with despaire, he vttered certaine words wnworthy to be rehearsed.

If then by nature we haue a feeling of God, and for that feeling we naturally feare, and ab­horre to offende him, and if wisemen haue ob­serued in atheists that when calamitys befall them, and especially at their deaths they are glad to retract their errour, and repenting for it to humble themselues to God, or els to dy after a most miserable and horrible manner; how great then and enormous is their wickednesse? and how desperatly senslesse is he of his owne good, who for that delight which is common to other sinners, will surmount them all in a higher degree of malice, and by a singular prophanenesse put himselfe vpon the racke of his owne conscience soe greeuous, that for feare of worse torments he shall be forced, either to confesse that which before he denyed; or els, which is worse, to dy a miserable death, and perhaps in that desperate manner, as to be made an example to the world of the diuine iustice? Let vs now shew in a word or two how

NATVRALL REASON DOTH demonstrate the power of God.

FAith is the first foundation of religion, and the first foundation of faith is to beleeue that there is a God, who will reward those that wor­ship him. He that will come vnto God must first beleeue that he is and is a rewarder of those that seeke him. Heb 11. Sayth S. Paul; and therfor the first thinge which the Apostles would propose to be professed in the Creede was I beleeue in God, and the last thinge which they would conclude it with was life euerlasting: a necessary beginning to bring vs to that happy end. The first words of the Creede being then the foundation of faith; and he hauing giuen vs natural reason, as a gui­de to the higher light of faith; it was necessary that this first article and foundation of faith should be [...]ithin the limits of natural reason soe farre, as that discerning by nature that there was a superiour of nature, we might haue recourse vnto him, as to our superiour, and receiue from his authority the articles of faith, which he will haue vs to beleeue with subordination to that gouernment, which he hath instituted in the Church.

And that we might see this first verity, the Apostle sayth that God left not himselfe without testimony being beneficiall from heauen giuing raines and f [...]tefull seasons, Act. 14. filling our harts with f [...]ode and gladnes. He hath indeede left as many testi­monys of himselfe, as there are creatures of his [Page 97]making: the least of which is sufficient to prooue him as the cause from whence they proceede, and the power of which they depende. But the more eminent creatures of God declare his per­fections after a more eminent manner; and they alltogether manifest his power soe, that we are forced to confesle it to be infinite, and that he is incomprehensible in goodnes, and without number of greatnes: because he eminently must conteine in himselfe the perfections of all that are, and of all that are possible, and those are without end; and therefor he is infinitly greater then any limited reason can comprehende.

But let vs see the testimonys which God hath left of himselfe. I will now dilate my speech a litle vpon the creatures of God, that we may see and honour him in them. Truely if we will consider the admirable composition which we see in this world, and will hearken to the har­mony which it maketh, we cannot but come in minde of the maker of it, and admire and blesse him. Reg. 3.10. And as the queene of Saba when she saw the great works which Salomon had done, and the excellent fine order of his house, and seruants, admiring at it was soe rauished with astonishment, that she had noe longer spirit with admiring him; soe the soule of man may well be rauished with admiration to consider the power and wisdome of that workeman, who hath builded the heauens as a house, but much more admirable, and in a higher nature of workmanship then Salomons was, and with a household of seruants in better order then Salomon could deuise for his. We [Page 98]shall see conteined in this house a number of crea­tures astonishing vs with strange and vnspeake­able varietys; some with being onely, some with life, some with sense, and some with reason: euery one it is propper kind, and in its propper office, with such parts and abilitys, as are ne­cessary for the dew performance of it: some of them incorruptible, others corrupting; and tho­se after a strange manner concealed from our vnderstandings, when they are dead to reuiue againe to life, by the corruption of their seede. Soe from bodys we come to spirits that gouerne them: and amongst spirits to some supreme cause, and gouernour of them. All which if we will atten­de vnto, we cannot but reflect vpon the workman that made it, and admire at his power and great­nesse. That meruelous mother worthy of good mens memory, seeing all her sonnes but one to haue passed through cruell torments to the crowne of martyrdome, and the yongest of seauen to be brought to execution with a manly courageexhor­ted him, Mach. 2.7. saying I beseech thee my sonne that thou looke vp to heauen and earth and to all thinges that are in them: and vnderstande that God of nothing made them and mankind. And Cicero sayth that there is nothing soe manifest when we looke vp to the heauens, Gi [...] l. 2. de [...]at. deer. as that there is a diuine power that made and gouerneth them. Behold then amongst visible creatures first the heauens, see their huge greatnes and capacity, conteining not onely a thousand and twenty two starres, which astrono­mers haue mentioned, but an innumerable num­ber which they cānot discerne to reckon, and some [Page 99]of them may be thought to be a thousand times bigger, then the whole globe of the earth: how exceeding great then must the capacity of the heauens be to conteine them all? Behold them of a nature incorruptible, soe solid and strong, that with that mighty violent motion, which some of them haue, they neuer breake, nor cor­rupt nor weare away the least haire bredth. See their great brightnes, calmenes, and quietnes, without any noyse at all in that violence of mo­tion. Looke vpon the elements, the fire next vnto the starry heauens, vnder that the ayre, and then the waters, and the earth: all of them of contrary natures; yet agreeing together in those admirable effects, which we see to result of their concord, that all sublunary productions depende not onely of some one of them, but of them all.

Looke now downe vnto the earth, and be­hold there the many kindes of liuing and sensi­ble creatures, and amongst them all one onely endowed with reason, as the Prince of the rest to order them, and he inuested with such power and commande, that by nature they feare, and tremble at his voyce. Behold them more in par­ticular, and first thy owne soule a spirituall crea­ture, which can moue in an instant to the furthest part of the earth, or of the heauens; and yet for the present is bounde to an earthly body whe­ther it will or noe. Consider then the disposition of thy body, prepared as a seate sitte to receiue it, and with parts conuenient for its operations: and this not by its owne reason, for that it hath [Page 100]none. Behold the many diuerse natures of sensi­ble creatures that moue themselues; some flying, some walking, some creeping, some swimming, all liuing by the ayre, some on the earth, some within the earth, some in the fire, some in the waters: all of them directed by some reason to loue that which is good for them, and congruous to their nature. Behold those creatures that liue without sense; trees, plants, flowers, and herbes, producing fruits with admirable variety of tasts, smells, pleasant colours, and profitable effects, to delight the senses of higher creatures which are sensible, and to serue them. And lastly be­hold the earth with being onely; yet susteining all liuing thinges in the life which they haue. All these haue their limits set, their perfections and operations, and are bounde within them whether they will or noe, and did not choose for them­selues, but haue onely that which another would giue them. These are the testimonys which God hath left of himselfe, and by these testimonys we must confesse the supreme power that caused all this, and sett it in that order which we see it to haue. And therefor it is natural to man when he looketh vp to the heauens, with gladnes of hart to blesse God: and if we haue a litle bird, fly, flower, or any creature though neuer soe imperfect in our hands, and consider attentiuely the parts and composition of it, reason presently telleth vs, that it could not make it selfe, and by na­ture we blesse God that made it.

Say now according to reason, and tell vs who it was that made the heauens, and gaue them that [Page 101]huge vastnesse and capacity, more then we can thinke? that brightnes, calmenes, solidity, and incorruptibility? who gaue to the elements their mighty power by concorde to produce those great effects? who gaue to man the principality ouer other creatures, and made them by nature to feare and obey him? and who was that supe­riour of mankind, that commanded his spirituall and incorruptible soule to his corporall and cor­ruptible body? what reason was it that directed vnreasonable thinges to that which is good for them? and made those which are vnsensible to yeeld such pleasure, and profit to the senses? and who gaue to the earth, that hath not life, power to conserue the liues of other thinges? He that had power to doe all this, we will confesse him to be God, and we will praise and blesse him. For of themselues they could not be at all, nor would haue bene with the imperfections which they haue.

Here now reason is sufficiently satisfyed, and the malice of man conuinced, that shall deny God. For the reason of euery man of it selfe pre­sently consents (if by malice and liberty it be not forced to the contrary) vnto some superiour power, that caused these thinges. And that power all though we cannot comprehende it, because it is aboue vs, and must needes be infinite in perfection: but of what nature soeuer that su­preme power be, meaning the supreme we say God, and blesse him.

All this is breifly formed out of S. Thomas and Aristotle after this manner. Wheresoeuer [Page 102]we see motion and alteration in any thinge, there we must grant a cause of that motion and alte­ration: but we see motion and alteration in the productions of creatures, which beginne to be, and before were not; therefor we must grant some cause of that motion, and alteration by which they are produced and come to be. This doth S. Thomas call a demonstration, and Aristotle with the rest of Philosophers call it a Metaphysicall Euidence: that is to say an eui­dence, which is not onely deduced by Physical principles of nature; but that the contrary con­teineth repugnance in it selfe: and that it is the first euident certainty, from which all natural euidences are deduced. And to contradict it is either to say that all the world came by chance; or els to runne from cause to cause without end into insinites, which in substance commeth to be the same, noe cause at all being assigned. First the alterations which we see can not come by chance: for there can be noe alteration with­out a cause. Neither are the alterations which we call chances soe called, because they are without a cause, but because they are vncertaine in their causes, as might be manifested by examples, which were too long for this place. But this an­swere is not to the purpose: for reason is now required, and reason requires reason, and is not satisfyed with chance; for that is to giue noe reason at all. To say that the productions of crea­tures procede from infinite causes is a greater absurdity, and indeede in termes an infinite an­surdity, as making an infinite collection of men, [Page 103]and soe of other creatures, succeeding one an­other without beginning, yet euety man of this infinite collection to haue had a beginning and time to be conceiued and disposed in.

But because I would keepe within the capa­citys of all, I will omitte much which might here be said, and say noe more but this, that if we should set vp such a succession of infinite effects from infinite causes, for euer producing one another we should neuer come to the know­ledge of any thinge, nor assigne the cause of any thinge, but still runne into infinites. And by this very reason did Aristotle although a Pagan acknowledge one supreme, omnipotent, and eternall cause of all thinges, and all to haue proceeded from him, to auoide the absurdity, and repugnance of infinite causes, which other­wise he saw would follow. Neither can there be any satisfaction to reason for this admirable or­der and harmony which creatures make, but to come to one supreme power, and highest reason which gaue vnto creatures their power and per­fections in those limits, and order, which we see them to haue, that Astronomers can fore tell to an instant the courses of the sunne, moone, and other planets, and their certaine ecclypses many dayes before they come to passe; and that priests and exorcists haue power ouer the deuils to commande them in possessed persons to those strange effects, which we see. None of which pas­sages would prophane men beleeue, if they were not seene. Therefor we seeing such an order in natural thinges, and also supernatural effects [Page 104]aboue nature we must of necessity grant a supre­me cause of nature, and supernaturall power that dispenseth with it, when and as it pleaseth him: and that this power being that it limited all is li­mited by none; but is without limits, one eternal and omnipotent God, in whom and of whom all thinges are. And soe the question is answered, and reason is satisfyed, hauing all that it desireth, which is the rest of that motion, and cause of that alteration which we see in creatures.

Thus by the light of reason God sheweth him­selfe to vs and calleth vs to serue him: and if any man shall for harden his hart by sinne, and the loue of liberty, as not to be moued with the ge­neral consent of all nations, with that feare and feeling which he hath of God, and with these pla­ne and easy reasons, he were rather to be looked vpon as a monster sw [...]ruing from the nature of all men, then to be esteemed as of the same na­ture and reason with them: and if he haue any sense of man lef [...], is rather to be diswaded from vice by the reason and natural auersion which he hath from it, then to be delt with by argu­ments. And therefor I say noe more to such a man but this onely word; let him fly vice and follow a vertuous, and orderly life, as reason dictateth that he should; and then noe doubt but within a while he shall both see the power of God in all creatures, and also shall obserue his diuine prouidence, and goodnes by many oc­casions in particular to himselfe. For there is nothing that dulleth reason and confoundeth it soe much in vs, as the much following of our [Page 105]owne wills, and long continuance in sinne without repentance; nor is there any thinge which ope­neth our vnderstandings soe much to reason, as the following of reason in order, and goodnes of life.

You shall see now in a word or two how the master of Philosophers hath discoursed of God by naturall reason onely. He seeing that some cause by reason should be assigned of creatures, and not to leaue them to chance, and perceiuing the absurdity and contradiction of running into infinite causes, came to setle himselfe in one eter­nal and omnipotent God, as the first and su­preme cause of all thinges, and spoke very ho­norably and with great reuerence of him, giu­ing him such titles as might declare his soueraigne power and eminent perfections aboue all, as hauing all thinges depending of him. Sometimes he calleth him ens entium the Being of beings some times Primum Principium rerum omnium, Lib. demun­do ad Alex. The First Principle or Beginning of all thinges. Metaph. l. 12. And speaking of the Intelligences, that moue and guide the heauens, he assirmeth one to be the head and Prince of all, whom he calleth Deum, God, The Supreme Gouernour of the world, and of all thinges. And in his books of physicks rebuking the dullnes of some in this point, he hath these admirable words. L. 2. Phys. c. 4. Some there a [...]e who haue referred the cause of all thinges to chance, which is to be admired at in them; because affirming of sensible thinges and plants that they are not by fortune; but that they c [...]me of some na­ture, or reason, or such like cause: for that we haue [Page 106]not any thinge of euery seede; but of such an one an oliue, and of such a man, and yet the heauens, and those which amongst sensible thinges are more diuine they will haue to be by chance, and to haue noe cause. Thus did he discourse of God, acknow­ledging him to be the cause of all, and the source and fountaine of all perfections, from whence all goodnes sprang. He gaue vnto him the nature of a spirit, as more perfect, and free from the imperfections of corporal substances, and con­fessed him to be infinite and incomprehensible Neither doth his doctrine of the worlds eternity disprooue his autority for this. For as light is caused by the sunne, and heate by fire, and yet are allwais coexistent with their causes; soe might he acknowledge God the authour and cause of the world, and for want of faith imagine that it was eternally coexistent with him.

But if Aristotle discouered thus much of God and spoke soe honorably of him not hauing the light of faith, but onely of natural reason. How much ought we to loue and serue him in the Ca­tholike faith? Hier. 32. O most strong, great, and mighty, the Lord of hosts is his name (saith the Prophet) great in councell, and incomprehensible in cogita­tion: whose eyes are open vpon all the wayes of the children of Adam, to render vnto euery one accord­ing to his wayes, and according to the fruite of his inuentions. Let vs then that beleeue these words by faith, prayse that blessed and powerfull name, that we may haue in the end that rewarde which his goodnes hath prepared for vs. But we will speake a word or two

OF THE VNITY OF GOD.

IN the first article of the Crede we professe two thinges: One God. to wit that we beleeue in almighty God, and secondly that we beleeue in one God the maker of heauen and earth: for we doe not say makers but the maker, to signify vnity. By the first atheisme, and by the second paganisme is reiected. And the first being allready soe fully declared, it will not be needfull to insist much vpon the second point, it being a verity which the wisest of pagane Philosophers haue by reason discouered, who haue confessed one supreme and first cause of all effects. And therefor S. Augu­stine reporteth of Seneca the Philosopher, Aug de ciu. Decl 60.10. that speaking of idols he vsed to say, that of custome they were adored, but not of verity. Heare the words of S. Paul disputing with the learnedest pagans of the world, the Philosophers of Athens, vpon this point. Act. 17. The God that made the world and all thinges that are in it, he being Lord of heauen and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hand needing any thinge: where as himselfe giueth life vnto all, and breathing, and all things. If God made the world and all things that are in it, he must then haue all within his power, all must de­pende, and stande neede of him, and he him­selfe must stande neede of nothing. He is not then a granen idoll that stoode neede of men to carue it, nor any liuing creature, as the dragon of Babilon, that stoode neede of some to serue it with foode; neither is he the Sunne or moone [Page 108]that stoode neede of some power to giue it the limited perfections, which it hath, as all other creatures. God needes noe other God, for then he were not the first beginning of all perfections, including all perfections within himselfe.

This is sufficient by natural reason of this verity. That which we beleeue in the Catholike faith is, in one God the maker of heauen and earth, that is of all creatures heauenly and earthly, and the consetuer of them: a spirituall substance infinite in power, infinite in wisdome, infinite in goodnes, infinite in duration, immense in infinite places possible, and in all perfections infinite. This we see by reason, and beleeue by faith. Deut. 6. Heare Israël the Lord our God is one Lord which words, beside their diuine authority, haue the highest degree of humane credit, as the most auncient and authenticall writings by consent of the greatest part of the world. Esa. 44. Eph. 4. I am the first and I the last, and beside mee there is noe God. One Lord, one faith, one baptisme.

Men of more eminent dignity and authority as Priests, Men called Gods. Prophets, Iudges &c. are someti­mes in holy scriptures called Gods, in respect of their preeminency and authority ouer others, by which they represent the diuine power.

THE SECOND ARTICLE. And in Iesus Christ his onely sonne our Lord.

Quest. Who is Christ? Answ. Christ is the sonne of God incarnated: true God, and true man: our Redeemer, Iudge, and Glorifyer.

ALL this we say in the Creede, when we professe our beleefe in lesus Christ the one­ly sonne of God, borne of the Virgin Mary Cru­cifyed for our Redemption, that he shall come to iudge vs all, and that there is life euerlasting, to wit to those that are iust through the merits of Iesus Christ. Thus this answere is contained in the Creede. In the which we hauing first professed our faith in God, as he created vs, we professe him now in another mistery, to wit as he was incarnated to redeeme vs: a mystery which we can neuer acknowledge with sufficient gratitude. For the vnderstanding of which we may reflect vpon our former condition and the misery out of which we are freed by it. Man was in paradise in a happy state of spirituall and corporall delights, his soule was in grace and fauour with God, and his body had then the gift of immortality, that without dying it should enioy those pleasures for a time, and afterwards the glory of heauen for euer. He was warned onely of one thinge, and that was to forbeare one fruit of Paradise; which God to keepe him in obedience, and due sub­iection, [Page 110]had forbidden him to eate of. Gen. 2. Of euery tree of Paradise eate thou: but of the tree of know­ledge of good, and euill eate thou not. For in what day soeuer thou shalt eate of it, thou shalt dy the death. To wit the death of body and soule. Man forbore not, but eate of that forbidden tree, and as soone as he eate of it his soule died instantly, and his body from that time beganne to dy. But the death of our soules being indeede our true and greatest misery, God was moued with pitty towards them, and of his infinit mercy he de­creed to reuiue them againe to his diuine grace and fauour. For this he sent his onely sonne to be incarnated, that is to take the flesh, and na­ture of man vpon him; that in that nature he might make satisfaction for the first sinne which man had committed, and for the sinnes of all men occasioned by it. And satisfaction being made by him, the wrath of God might then cease against vs, and we becomming his beloued chil­dren, and freinds, might serue him worthily, and obtaine the blisse of heauen, which before we had lost.

All the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost concur­red equally to the effecting of this mystery, as hauing all one and the same vndiuided power; but the worke was effected in the Sonne onely, the second Person who was incarnated. Authors commonly declare this by the similitude of two helping another to put on a garment. They all three concurre to the vesting of one of them, and one of them onely is vested with the [Page 111]garment. The garment in this mystery is the na­ture of man, with which the Sonne of God onely was vested; but the Father and Holy Ghost both concurred with him to the putting on of that gar­ment. And the Sonne of God being soe vested, that in Christ our nature was really vnited to him, we say truely that Christ our Sauiour is true man, as consisting of two destinct natures, diuine and humane. According to his diuine nature he pro­ceeded eternally from God the Father; according to his humane nature he proceeded in time from the blessed Virgin his mother; and according to that nature he made satisfaction sufficient in it selfe for the sinnes of all men that euer were, or shall be; and therefor we call him out Sauiour and Redeemer; because all whosoeuer haue bene, or can be saued, are saued by the merits of his Passion. He is our Iudge, and in the latter day shall iudge vs. He is our Glorifyer, for that by his merits our good works become meritorious, and purchasing of glory. He is called Iesus (that is to say Sauiour) not onely because he is our Sauiour indeede, Iesus. but also because it was his propper name, imposed not by chance, but by the will and expresse com­mandde of his father; the Angell forespeaking it to the blessed Virgin, when he said Behold thou shalt conceiue in thy wombe, and s [...]alt beare a sonne: Luc. 1. and thou shalt call his name Iesus. He is called Christ to signify his dignity, and speciall fun­ctions according to his humanity: Christ. for Christ is as much as to say, The Messias or Annointed; and he was annoinsed in diuerse respects. Priests and kings are annointed, because they haue autho­rity [Page 112]from God to represent his maiesty. Prophets aunciently were annointed, because they were the interpreters of God, and dispensers of diui­ne mysterys, as Priests and kings are also in their kind. Christ had all these offices, and according to his humane nature he was Prophet, Priest, and king after an eminent manner; and therefor he was eminently and singularly annointed, not by the hands of Prophets, or Priests, but spiri­tually by God himselfe. Ps 44. Thou hast loued iustice and hast hated iniquity: therefor God thy God hath annointed thee with the oile of gladnesse aboue thy fellowes. God annointed Christ; and Prophets, Priests, and kings are annointed as lesser Christs that haue power vnder him. Christ shewed him­selfe a Prophet, actually prophecying many thinges; and in particular the most remarkeable passages of his owne death and resurrection. As priest he offered the most holy Sacrifice of his body at the last supper and afterwards againe, he offered the same sacrifice of his body vpon the Cros. He also shewed himselfe to be a king, and to haue regall power, that could bring kings to adore him, and that he could haue brought other kings, and all the kings of the world as well as them to his feete, if it had pleased him. Besides, the Catholike Church is his kingdome, he is the head and king of it, allwais with it vnto the con­summation of the world.

His onely Sonne our Lord. The Apostles in the former article hauing professed the Father, who is the first Person of the Blessed Trinity; now they professe the second Person in Iesus Christ [Page 113]the Sonne of God. S. Iohn testifying that which is here professed, saith, Io. 1.4. We haue scene and doe testify that the Father hath sent the Sonne, the Sauiour of the world. And then presently he ad­deth whosoeuer shall confesse that Iesus Christ is the Sonne of God, God abideth in him and he in God. This all good christians doe testify, and confesse: and for that end the Apostles made this article, that we might allwais professe it. We will see here

CHRISTIANITY DEMONSTRATED.

THat which we beleeue and professe in this ar­ticle, was allwais beleeued by all true belee­uers euer from the beginning of the world. All the quires of Angels in their first creation foresaw, that the Sonne of God was to be incarnated in le­sus Christour Lord: and the good Angels willingly submitting to him, and beleeuing in him were saued by his pretious blood. But Lucifer and the wicked Angels could not endure to see the nature of man exalted to that high dignity aboue Angels, that our nature should be assumed of God and not theirs; which he could but would not assume: noe where doth he take Angels: (saith S. Heb. 2. Paul) but the seede of Abraham he taketh. This was the sinne of Lucifer, that ennuying and repining at the glory of humane nature in Iesus Christ, he drew others into the same sinne with him, and for aspiring to be aboue him in glory, he was cast downe into the depth of the lake, and lost that glory which he might, and should haue had, and [Page 114]which the good Angels haue by submitting to the diuine ordination in it. This was beleeued by our first parents in paradise, and euer since as I shall presently shew. Christ was promised to them, and after them to the following patriarks, and after the Patriarks to Prophets: they deli­uered that faith to posterity vntill his comming, he when he came deliuered it to the Apostles, they to the Church, the Church by a continuall succession of Pastors hath deliuered it vntill our times, as it doth now to vs, saying, I beleeue in God the Father almighty maker of heauen and earth, and in Iesus Christ his on [...]ly Sonne, our Lord. In this faith all miracles haue bene wrought that euer were wrought in testimony of faith. This was confessed by heauen, earth, seas, by liuing trees, and sensible beasts, and not onely by holy men, but euen by the powers of hell; all the crea­tures of God obeying Christ at his comming. This the Apostles saw, and were commanded by him to speake it, and when they were forbidden by his enemys, Act. 4. they answered we can not but speake the thinges which we haue seene, and heard; and would loose their liues, rather then they would cease from publikely professing it. S. Paul who saw not the miraculous life of Christ with his Disciples, nor heard his preaching; but was af­terwards called and enlightened by him, became notwithstanding soe assured of this verity, and by true charity soe vnited vnto him, that he thought it was vnpossible for any torments to separate him from him; Rom. 8. [...]ho then shall separate vs from the charity of Christ? tribulation? or dis­tresse? [Page 115]or famine? or nakednesse? or danger? or per­secution? or the sword? (as it is written: for we are killed for thy sake all the day: we are esteemed as sheepe of slaughter) But in all these thinges we onercome because of him that hath loued vs. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalitys, nor powers, neither thinges pre­sent, nor thinges to come, neither might, nor hight, nor depth, nor other creature, shall be able to sepa­rate vs from the charity of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. S. Paul was rauished and ena­moured with the beauty of Christs diuinity, and was transformed as it were by loue into him, con­fessing him to be the image of the visible Go [...]. Colos. 1. Heb. 1. The first borne of all creature by whom he made the worlds, being the brightnes of his glory and the sigure of his substance. Whom the Angels adore soe much more excellent then themselues, as he hath inherited a more excellent name aboue them. For to which of the Angels (saith this holy Apostle) did he say at any time Thou art my Sonne to day haue I begotten thee? Colos 2. in wh [...]m dwelleth all the full­nesse of the Godhead corporally. All this did S. Paul say and professe of Christ. It was then noe meruaile that with Gods grace he would defende him till death. Thus did the Apostles professe of him; and this profession they made good by many miracles, which the enemys of christianity haue written of and confessed. This the posterity of the Apostles haue allwais professed in former ages and haue stretched forth their hands and feete vpon racks, and with cheerfull mindes haue yeelded their bodys into the hands of torturers, [Page 116]to vse their owne wills, and to fullfill their desires vpon them by what torments they would; rather then to forsake the faith of Iesus Christ: and thousands of thousands of faithfull christians, gathered together in the Catholike Church, are now ready with them in the same manner to pro­fesse it. But we will honour Christ, and comfort good christians, by declaring the testimonys which God hath giuen of him.

We haue of Christ two kindes of diuine testi­monys. First by diuine scriptures, and secondly by his miraculous works. We will heare first what the scriptures testify of him. When the mystery of the Incarnation was fullfilled, and Christ came into the world, there were then in all the world but two onely religions, or diuine worships professed: to wit the religion of the Iewes, who worshipped one eternall, and omnipotent God: and the religion of the Gentils or Pagans adoring many Gods. And the worship of one God being in the first article setled for true, and the worship of many Gods reiected by the Apostles for false, it followeth that the people of the Iewes were then the people of God, whom he had chosen to be truely honored amongst. Secondly it followeth that the Iewes hauing then the true faith and di­uine worship, whatsoeuer they then beleeued was true, and that they then beleeuing in Christ as to come he was then indeede to come; and whatsoeuer they beleeued of him then as future, the same we are to beleeue of him as past; and whatsoeuer the scriptures receiued by them (which are the old Testament (haue declared of [Page 117]him, that is allwais to be beleeued as of diuine authority, and as spoken by the word of God, who dictated those scriptures, for the gouern­ment of the world in the true worship of him.

Now the holy scriptures of the old testament deliuer soe planely the comming of a Messias, or (which is all one) a Christ to redeeme the world, that all whosoeuer receiue those scriptures doe still confesse it. For it is the maine butte, and prime scope of the old Testament, to shew that Christ was promised from the beginning to the Patriarks, and reuealed from time to time to the Prophets, that the world might expect him then to come; as it is the butte and scope of the new Testament to declare him to the world to be allready come. And as the new Testament describeth all ouer the ioy of the faithfull in en­ioying him; soe did the old testament comfort the faithfull then with the expectation and hopes of him. First his comming was signifyed euen at first in paradise in terrour to the serpent who had caused our sinne, when our Lord threatening him with an enemy that should come against him said, I will put enmitys bet [...]ixt thee and the woman, Gen. 3. and thy seede and the seede of her: she shall bruize thy head in peeces, and thou shalt ly in waite of her heele. Christ was by this mysteriously denoted, God then declaring that the enmity of mankind with the serpent was to be especially betwixt him and the seede of a woman: by which it is signifyed that Christ the Redeemer of the world and the serpents greatest enemy should be particularly the seede of a woman; and is not there said to be [Page 118]of the seede of a man; because he was to be con­ceiued and borne of a Virgin mother, without the helpe of man. And this was the prerogatiue of the Sauiour of the world that the sinne of mankind being first occasioned by a woman; he that was to be the death and destruction of sinne should be by the power of God of womans seede onely, without man. The same was deliuered by reue­lation to the Patriarks, and Prophets afterwards; and they did not onely declare it to posterity; but also described the manner of the accomplish­ment of it. Esa. 9. A litle child is borne to vs and a sonne is giuen to vs and principality is made vpon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Meruelous, Counseller, God, Strong, Father of the world to come, The Prince of peace And in another place the same Prophet describeth the circumstances of his comming among the Iewes Arize be illumi­nated Hierusalem: Esa. 60. because thy light is come &c. vpon thee shall our Lord arize, and his glory shall be seene vpon thee. And the Gentils shall walke in thy light, and kings in the brightnesse of thy rizing. Lift vp thine eyes round about and see, all these are gathered together to thee. Thy sonnes shall come from a farre, and thy daughters shall rize from the side. Then shalt thou see, and abounde, and thy hart shall meruaile and shall be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be conuerted to thee the strength of Gentils shall come to thee. Here it is foretold that the Messias should come amongst the Iewes, vnder the dominion and commande of Hierusalem; the comming of kings to acknowledge his power, and the conuersion [Page 119]of the Gentiles, who by multitudes farre and neere, should receiue the light of his doctrine, and obey him our Lord. But I neede not stande to alledge scriptures for the comming of the Messias, for it is inferred by that which I haue said allready, that the Iewes who had then the true worship of God beleued it, and it shall appeare by many places of the scriptures, which I shall afterwards alledge. Neither is there any diffe­rence betwixt that which the people of God be­leeued of him by those scriptures before his com­ming, and that which the faithfull now beleeue of him since his comming, but onely in the di­uersity of times; they being before and we after him, they beleeuing in him as to come and ex­pecting of him, we hauing receiued the ioy of his comming. They were not then called Chri­stians although they beleeued in Christ; because they were but one nation, and people of the Israëlits consisting of diuerse tribes, and tooke their denomination of Ie [...]es from the [...]ribe of Iuda, which was the cheife tribe, and of which it was foretold that the Messias should come. But after his comming when the true faith and diuine worship was not confined to one onely nation; but was enlarged vnto other nations and made common to all, then all tru [...] beleeuers beganne to be called by the Apostles Christians, Act. 11. as by a name which abstracted from all nations to those who beleeued in Iesus Christ, the true Messias, and Redeemer of the w [...]rld. Soe th [...] all true beleeuers haue allw [...]is beleeued in Christ, as the Israëlits or People of the Iewes did immediatly [Page 120]before his comming, and as now we doe.

But when Iesus Christ our Sauiour came into the world, and preached his heauenly doctrine amongst the sewes, a People wholy drowned in sinne, and giuen to pride, and desires of this world; he abstaining from their euill wayes, re­buking their vices, and exhorting them to vertue, and contempt of the world, without giuing any hopes of temporall riches and glory; but onely of spirituall blessings, and such felicitys as were to be expected in the world to come; they despi­sed him, and easily finding out wayes to delude their scriptures, and hardening their harts against his powerfull miracles, by which he prooued himselfe to be the Sonne of God, and the Sa­uiour of the world, they made it a blasphemy in him to say soe, and sought in priuate to haue killed him; but that not preuailing, for that the scrip­tures had otherwise foretold his death; they pu­blikely apprehended him, and deliuered him to the Gentils accusing him, and procuring sen­tence of death to passe against him, and to be openly executed in the sight of the world: and soe the scriptures were fullfilled in that which they had foretold of him, and which he also had fore­told of himselfe. And although they knew also of his resurrection againe, and that testifyed euen by their owne witnesses; yet they continued obstinate in malice against him, and contradict­ing the doctrine which he taught, haue euer since for these sixteene hundred of yeares in vaine ex­pected, and still expect another Christ to come to redeeme them.

Here we haue two thinges to declare. First that Christ the Messias foretold and promised by the scriptures was to be true God: and secondly that Iesus Christ our Sauiour was indeede the true Messias, whom the scriptures foretold and pro­mised. And although the mir [...]es which our bles­sed Sauiour wrought were sufficient to prooue this doctrine to be true, he declaring himselfe both to be the Sonne of God, and the promised Messias; yet I will breifly alledge some places of scriptures to shew that the promised Messias was to be true God. Say to the faint harted: Esa. 35. take cou­rage, and feare not: (saith the Prophet Esay) be­hold your God shall bring reuenge of retribution: God himselfe will come and will saue you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the eares of the deafe shall be open. Then shall the lame leape as a hart, and the tongue of the dumbe shall be opened. Here the Prophet sayth planely that God himselfe should come to saue vs, and foretelleth the miracles which were to be wrought at his com­ming, and by which he was to prooue himselfe, as Iesus Christ our Sauiour did.

The Prophet Hieremy hath declared this most conuincingly against the enemys of Christ. Behold the dayes come, saith our Lord: Hier. 23. and I willraise vp to Dauid a iust branch: and he shall reigne a king &c. And this is the name that they shall call him: THE LORD OVR IVST ONE. Here the very Iewes confesse that the Prophet speaketh of the Messias, who was to come of Dauids race as of the most eminent man, by which the tribe of Iuda (of which Christ was to be borne) was aduanced to re­gall [Page 122]dignity, and of which many kings after Dauid did succeede. And by these words he is manifestly declared to be true God: for where the Prophet saith, that he should be called our Lord the iust one the hebrew text hath the word, terragramma­ton, by which God named himselfe to Moyses, and which is vnderstood by all, as the most pro­per name of God, neuer vsed to signify any other but the true, eternall, and omnipotent God. And the people of the Iewes haue that word in such reuerence that as vnutterable they will not name it, nor reade it in the scriptures, but read Adonai insteede of it, which the Septuagint in­terpreters expound Lord.

The Prophet Michaeas declareth in particular his proper procession by which he proceede [...]h eternally, as the Sonne of God from his eternall Father. Mi [...]h. 5. And thou Bethleem, Eprata, art a liue one in the thousands of Iuda: out of thee shall come forth vnto mee he that shall be the dominatour in Israel: and his comming forth from the beginning, from the dayes of eternity. Where we haue two processions in the Messias: the one eternall, as he was the Sonne of God proceeding from the Father; the other temporall; as he proceeded man of the Virgin M [...]y and was borne in Bethleem called Ephrata to destinguish it from another Bethleem in the tribe of Zahulon. Thus would God or­daine that the holy scriptures of the old Testa­ment should foreshew, and declare the diui­nity of Christ, which the Apostles professe in this article.

Now we shew how that Iesus Christ our Sa­uiour [Page 123]was the true Messias of whom the scriptures foretold, and whose diuinity they declared. Christ proo [...] ­ed by scrip­tures. It was necessary that holy scripture should soe farre declare the circumstances of the Messias his com­ming as that the world might haue sufficient signes and tokens to know him by when he came, and that the Iewes amongst whom he was to come, receiuing those scriptures, might by the same scriptures receiue him, or be vnexcusable if they receiued him not; and therefor our Sauiour ad­monished them saying search the scriptures. Io. 5. For you thinke in them to haue life euerlasting; and the same are [...]ey that gine testimony of mee. The testimo­nys of the scriptures, by which they testify the circumstances of the Messias his comming to agree to our Sauiour Iesus Christ, are soe many, that I once thought to haue mentioned none of them; but onely to haue shewed the diuine testi­mony of his doctrine by the miracles which he wrought; yet I will take somethinge out of au­thors for this also, and especially out of Lyra commented vpon by Burgensis: and note by the way that this Burgensis had bene himselfe a learned Iew, borne of the tribe of Leui and brought vp in the study of that sect; but discouer­ing the many sleights, and impostures which are vsed by them, after a long conflict with him­selfe, resolued in the end to become a christian, and accordingly with his whole family he recei­ued in baptisme the faith of Christ. After some yeares he was made bishop of Burgos in Spaine, and became an eminent prelate in the Church of God, and wrote his commentarys vpon Lyra, [Page 124]in which he hath well testifyed his zeale of the Catholike faith.

First by the circumstances which the scriptu­res deliuer as tokens of Christ the Messias, it ap­peareth that he is allready come. The Prophet Esay speaking of the land of Iury which was to bring him forth, Esa. 66. sayth, that before she traueled she brought forth, before her time came to be deliuered she brought forth a man child. In all that Chapter he speaketh of the Messias his comming; and ac­cording to the Chaldaike traslation those words are to be vnderstoode of his comming before the destruction of Hierusalem, when the land of Iury felt as it were, the pangues of a woman in child birth in that desolation, and deluge of sorrowes, which then came vpon h [...]r: and it is as much as to say that the land of Iury should bring forth the Messias after a strange manner, not after the ordinary course of women, who haue ioy after their deliuery; but on the contrary the paines of deliuery after her bringing forth of him: and soe it happened with them in the comming of Christ: for after his comming when they should haue receiued him and reioyced in his birth, then came their sorrowes for reiecting and denying him, to the extreme misery of Iury and Hierusalem, and vtter dispersion of that people. And it is to be obserued that this Chal­daike translation is esteemed of by the Iewes for the most authenticall translation which they haue; in soe much that they place it with their scriptu­res in another columne ouer against the text, that they may haue it ready at hand for the vnder­standing [Page 125]of the scriptures. Soe that the paines of the land of lury being allready past in the destruction of Hierusalem, about sixteene hun­dred yeares since, and Christ the Messias being brought forth before it; it followeth that he must then haue bene come; and therefor it is a most extreme obstinacy in the Iewes, and those that receiue those scriptures, that seeing these thinges to haue come to passe they doe not seeke after Christ, who came in those times, and with soe many miracles and mysterys preached his ghospell.

But the Prophet Daniel foretelleth the time of his comming. He setting himselfe to pray car­nestly to God in fasting, sackcloth, and ashes, for the redemption of the Israëlits out of the captiuity of their enemys in which then they were, obtained not onely his desire; but also more then he prayed for: and that was that an Angell of God should appeare vnto him, and reueale both the redemption of the Israëlits, out of that par­ticular captiuity of the Babylonians; and also the time when the generall Redeemer of the world should come. Dan. 9. Seauenty weekes are abbridg­ed vpon thy people, and vpon thy holy city that preuarication may be consummate, and sinne take an end, and iniquity be abolished: and euerlasting iustice be brought, and vision be accomplished, and prophecy: and the Holy one of Holys be annoin­ted. Know therefor and marke: from the going forth of the word, that Hierusalem be built againe vnto Christ the Prince, there shall be seauen weekes, and sixty two weekes, and the streete shall be built [Page 126]againe, and the walls in straitnesse of the times. And after sixty two weekes Christ shall be flaine: and it shall not be his people, that shall deny him. These weekes of yeares which the Angell here assigneth for the comming of Christ the Messias, make in all foure hundred and ninety yeares: about which very time our blessed Sauiour came, preached his ghospell, and suffered death; and there was none els that came about that time, that can be thought to be the promised Messias, the Holy of Holys that was slaine, and whom noe people should deny. And after whatsoeuer manner these weekes of yeares be vnderstoode, they must long since hane expired

The Prophet Aggaeus describeth these cir­cumstances of the Messias his comming. Agg. 2. As yet there is one litle while and I will moue the heauen, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry Land. And I will moue all nations: and the desired of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory &c. Great shall he the glory of this last house, more then of the first. By which it appeareth that Christ the Messias was to come in the time of the second Temple, which is now long since des­troyed; to wit a few yeares after the Passion of our blessed Sauiour: and therefor he, or els some other of those times was Christ the desired of all nations, and promised by these scriptures; but there is none els that is or can be pretended to be he: for although S. Iohn Baptist was taken by the Iewes to be he; yet they presently left that conceipt, when they saw him to submitte vnto Christ, as his inferiour, and to acknowledge [Page 127]him whom they would not receiue. Therefor Christ our Sauiour was Christ [...]he Messias, of whom this Prophe [...] was inspired here to speake. Furthermore the other tokens by which the Pro­phet here foresheweth the comming of Christ the Messias, agree punctually to our blessed Sa­uiour. First the heauens were moued by diuerse strange apparitions which authors mention to haue bene seene against his comming: as by the mira­culous starre which appeared to the wisemen, and conducted them to the astonishment of Herod, and all Hierusalem. The sea and the earth were then moued, when all the subiects of the Roma­ne Empire repaired to their natiue places, to haue their names enrolled; as though of purpose that the B. Virgin Mary might goe from Naza­reth to Bethleem, the place where the Sauiour of the world, according to the Prophets, was to be borne. Which motion being generall in all the vast dominions of the Romanes, was most remarkeable and soe great and strange a motion both by scaand land, as vntill then the world had neuer seene nor could see; and therefor most worthy to be noted. But it was a more fearefull motion of the earth, that, which Iosephus relareth to haue happened a­gainst the comming of Christ. Ios l. 1. de bel Iud. He saith that there was then in Iury such a terrible carthquake, that the neighbouring countreys thought that all the inhabitants of it had bene vtterly destroyed and not one man of them left aliue. As for that which the Prophet sayeth of the last house, that is to say thesecond Temple, which was then inbuilding, that it should be greater in glory then the first, which [Page 128]Salomon builded, it declareth and confirmeth all the rest: for it can not be vnderstoode that the second Temple should excell the first in ex­ternall glory; because in that it was farre inf [...] ­riour vnto it; as appeared by the ancients of Isra [...], who remembring the first, wept to see the second in its beginnings soe farre short of it: it was but halfe as high and in workmanship, riches, and externall beauty not comparable to it. It was in­deede more glorious in this, and more to be honored, that the Sauiour of the world honored it with his personal and corporal presence, com­ming in the time of the second, and being by our blessed lady presented in it, and hauing preach­ed, and wrought miracles at it, and kept the obseruances of it. Thus did the sonne of God and eternall wisdome, of whom Salomon was but a figure, hon [...] it and render it more glo­rious then Salomon could doe the former. Deny this to the second Temple, and you make it in all thinges inferiour to the first.

He now that should thinke to satisfy all these scriptures concerning the time, circumstances, and signes, by which they haue foreshewed the comming of the Messias, by saying that he is all-ready come, and came about that time in which our B. Sauiour came, but doth not yet manifest himselfe to the world, but lyeth hidden, and vn­knowne, retired vp in the Caspian mountaines, or that he liueth priuately at Rome, as a lepar, or that he wandereth about the world from coun­trey to contrey (as the commune saying is of the wandring Iew, and perhaps from hence deriued [Page 129]that some Iewes haue affirmed this of their Christ his wandering vntill the time of his manifestation come,) he that shall say this may feigne what he will, and sheweth planely thathe seeketh but tode­lude the diuine scriptures, and regardeth but litle the good of his soule, which he will hazard by such vaine fictions which neither he, nor any other knoweth of, obstinatly inuented against the light of his owne scriptures, and against the ghos­pell of Iesus Christ, planely fullfilling them in the sight, and to the notice of the whole world. But this siction of some Iewes was forbidden and suppressed presently by the rest.

Many other testimonys haue the scriptures giuen of our Sauiour Iesus Christ. First they often declare that Christ the Messias, and Redeemer of the world should come of the tribe of Iuda, and of the house of Dauid: Dan. 7. which is soe certaine­ly verifyed in our blessed Sauiour, that his enemys as yet could neuer question it. Esa. 7. They de­clare that he should be borne of a Virgin: that he should come forth of Bethleem: Mich 5. that kings should present him with gifts: Ps. 71. that a messenger should goe before him to prepare his wayes; the voice of one crying in the desert prepare the way of our Lord: that he should cure, blinde, deafe, Mal. 2. & [...]sa. 4. [...]sa. 35. dumbe, and lame: that he should come meeke poore, and more particularly riding on an asse. Zach. 9. Ps 40. Zach. 11. That he should be despised by his owne seruant, and that his price should be thirty peeces of syl­uar: Esa. 35. Esa. 53. that he should be reputed amongst the wick­ed: that he should become the most abiect of men, a man of sorrows: that he should be car­ried [Page 130]as a lambe to the slaughter, Ps. 21. without opening of his mouth: Ps. 68. that his garments should be di­uided by lott: that gall and vinagre should be giuen him to drinke. These and many more thin­ges would God haue to be foretold in the diuine scriptures of Christ the Messias to come. All which agree soe planely to our Sauiour Iesus Christ that they neede noe application.

He that would see what the Sybills haue pro­phecyed, and what other authors of the Genti­les haue written of him, may reede the Spiritual Directory, Broughtons Ecclesiastical History or the Holy Court; but I haue shewed it allready by a better testimony of the diuine word, and will therefore omitte those inferiour authoritys.

Now we will declare the faith of Christ by his works, and shew by them that his words were true when he said, Io. 5. the very works which I doe giue testi­mony of mee. First the manner of calling his A­postles, in the beginning of his ghospell, and miracles, and their st [...]ange readinesse in follow­ing, and obeying of him, shew that the power of God was planely with him: and that he had power ouer their harts. They knew him not when he called of them; and some of them before then had neuer seene him. He was to the eye a poore man, that had nothing to giue them, nor any meanes of preferment for them; nor yet what with all to maintaine them; and neuerthelesse he onely calling of them, without any delay or demurr [...] at all, or without obiecting, or questio­ning of any thinge, they left all they had, and presently followed him. He shewed in this his [Page 131]power ouer them, and that he had the harts of men in his hands, to draw them vnto him. He was of that sanctity of life, that his enemys haue confessed and admired it. He was full of charity to all, and of humility, patience, mildnesse, and other vertues; so [...] meeke and truely louing to his enemys, that in the midst of all those great igno­minys, false accusations, greeuous and vnspea­keable paines which they put him vnto, he vttered not the least word of disdaine against them; but euen then in his hart he waspittying of them and fell to his prayers, praying earnestly to his Father for them, and cordially excused them in what he could. Nor did he offer to resist or let others to doe it for him; allthough he shewed planely that by many meanes he could haue defended himselfe. With these and the like vertues he planted first his ghospell. He confirmed it also with many miracles which he wrought, giuing health to the sicke, sight to the blinde, hearing to the deafe, speech to the dumbe, and restoring the dead to life againe. And he confirmed the miracles of his life by his glorious resurrection when he was dead? Who euer heard the like to this? Christ confirmed his doctrine with a most eminent san­ctity of life; he confirmed againe the verity of his doctrine, and fanctity of life by as plane mi­racles as any can be; and to confirme all this, he promised that within three dayes after his death, he would raise himselfe againe to life, and he per­formed it All this our blessed Sauiour did, to draw vs to him, and especially to the lewes to bring them to receiue his doctrine, and to be­leeue [Page 132]in him; or els that they might be vnexcu­sable, if they beleeued not. We reade of di­uerse wicked men, who by false delusions haue gone about to prooue their errors; but the holiest of men that euer were neuer shewed the like sanctity, nor wrought such miracles as our Sa­uiour wrought, nor concluded them with their resurrection from the dead. This would the Son­ne of God particularly reserue to himselfe to con­firme that ghospell which he was to preach, and to make manifest his diuine, and soueraigne power, that he was the authour of life and death. Mahomet indeede had many wayes by false im­postures to delude his souldiers; but being once dead his power was at an end. In his life time he shewed himselfe an Anti Christ to Christ, prowdly extolling himselfe aboue the Sonne of God, and promised to his followers that he would rize agai­ne from the dead; but as I say he being once dead, his power was at an end, and his promise vanished away with him. His promise was to rize againe to the world eight hundred yeares after his death; and although he tooke soe long a space for it; yet now that space is runne, and eight hun­dred yeares being past long since, Mahomet is still as dead as he was, and we haue noe newse of his rising againe. The whole world was witnesse of our Sauiour Christ his death, thousands of people saw what he suffered, and beheld his death vpon the Cros; and the third day after he roze againe to life, and made his enemys the witnesses of his resurrection.

But we will insist a litle longer vpon this point [Page 133]of our blessed Sauiours resurrection: for it is a most material, and maine ground of the Apostles in their preaching, for the foundation of the christian faith and conuersion of Insidels; as may be seene all ouer in their acts and Epistles. S. Act. 13. Paul preaching Christ to the Synagogues when he had shewed his descent according (to the di­uine promise) from the Patriarks, he concludeth all with the testimony of his resurrection, and repeateth it ouer againe, Vrging it as by reason a most efficacious motiue and conuincing argu­ment fully to satisfy their vnderstandings, and to draw them to beleeue in him. First Christ would soe notify the mystery of his resurrection in his life time, as that his very enemys might stande in expectation afterwards to see the performance of it; and that by it he might not onely encou­rage his disciples and reinforce, them who as faint harted souldiers had forsaken him in his Passion; but also that it might serue as a testimony to the world of the verity of his doctrine, and that his sufferings were voluntarily vndergone, and of his owne good will; that soe the scandall of the Cros might be taken away, and all seeing his power might beleeue in him. And therefor he spoke of it, and promised it first whilst he liued, and would in his Passion be publikely accused of it, vntill he had made it soe knowne, that the Priests of the Iewes and Pharisees hearing ofit, might labour all they could to hinder it, and that all their labour might appeare to be in vaine. When therefor they had gotten their malice full­filled and according to their desire had procured [Page 134]his death, they came together to Pilate, and said Sir, Mat. 27. we haue remembred, that the seducer said yet liuing, after three dayes I will rize againe. Commande therfor the sepulcher to be kept vntill the third day: least perhaps his disciples come, and steale him away, and say to the people, he is rizen from the dead &c. And Pilate said you haue a guard: g [...]e, guard him as you know. And they de­parting, made the sepulcher sure; sealing vp the stone, with watchmen. Thus would Christ haue his resurrection to be taken notice of, and to be op­posed before it came to passe, and would permitte his enemys to vse what meanes they could to pre­uent and hinder it, or to conceale it. But what is man to compare with God? or who can hinder the diuine ordinance? by these meanes the re­surrection of Christ became better testifyed, and was made more apparent afterwards when he made good his word and performed it. On the third day early in the morning the deuout wo­men being come to the monument, Mat. 28. Behold there was made a great earth quake. For an Angell of our Lord descended from heauen: and comming rolled backe the stone and sate vpon it: and his countenace was as lightening: and his garment white as snowand for feare of him the watchmen were affrighted and became as dead. And the Angell answering said to the women feare not you. For I know that you seeke Iesus that was Crucifyed. He is not here for he is rizen as he said. Come and see the place where our Lord was laid. All these thin­ges the watchmen were made witnesses of, and testifyed them to the cheife Priests; who consult­ing [Page 135]together gaue them a great summe of money, to say that his disciples had come by night, and had stolne him away when they were a sleepe: and promised to them that if the President should come to heare of it, they would perswade him and secure them. Who notwithstanding would not be perswaded by them; but taking the parti­cular examination of it from the watchmen themselues, informed Caesar of the truth of it; and by his information, and other motiues the Emperour was soe moued in affection towards Christ that he proposed in the senate for diuine honour to be giuen to him by the Romanes: and being offended that he obtained it not, he pro­tected those that were deuoted vnto him, and commanded vnder paine of death that none should hinder their deuotion.

But Christ would not leaue his resurrection with these onely, although sufficient testimonys of the good women, and euill watchmen; but would appeare aliue vnto many more, and re­mained forty dayes after it vpon earth, that by many apparitions, in which he often shewed him­selfe, he might giue sufficient proofe of it. Mar. 16. We haue how that first he appeared to Mary Magda­lene, after that to two disciples going to Emaus, after that to all the disciples together, except Thomas, who then was not with them, after that to them all againe when Thomas was with them, and permitted him to be incredulous of his re­surrection, and not to beleeue the rest of the Apostles affirming it, that he might both see him and feele him to be rizen againe, and should [Page 136]confesse him in those circumstances to be his Lord and his God. Cor. 1.15. And S. Paul mentioneth to the Corinthians how that he appeared to more then fiue hundred brethren together. Thus would our Sauiour take still more and more witnesses of his resurrection before that he would ascende into heauen, Act. 1. s [...]ewing himselfe aliue after his Passion by many arguments. For he was seene, heard, felt, and did eate with the liuing. And the mystery of his resurrection was soe manifest, and certaine, that all our Euangelists in their ghospels would record it, without feare of either Iew or Gentil disproouing them in it; and soe certaine that Iosephus the best historiographer of those times, and who flouri [...]hed immediatly after them could not with his honour (although a Iew) question the truth of it or omitte to speake of it; but hath recorded it for true amongst the publike and re­markeable thinges that then happened, com­monly knowne, and vnquestioned; and hath left in his history this worthy saying of Christ. There was in these times Iesus a wise man if it be lawfull to call him a man; Iosl 18. antiquit. c. 6. for he was a worker of miraculous thinges, and a teacher of those that de­sired the truth, and adioyned vnto himselfe many both of the Iewes and Gentils. This was Christ: him did Pilate crucify at t [...]e accusation of the cheife of our nation. But those that lou [...]d him yet forsooke him not: for [...]e appeared againe vnto them the third day aliue. Because the Prophets by the inspi­ration of God foretold these and other innumerable miracles of him. In which words of this authour is conteined the summe of all that which I haue [Page 137]said of the miracles of Christ: to wit that he con­firmed his doctrine with miracles, and his mira­culous life by his resurrection from the dead: the Prophets being inspired to foretell these thinges of him.

And as Christ himselfe first founded the ghos­pell of our beleefe in the fanctity of his owne life and miracles; The Apostles preaching. soe also would he haue the same faith to be propagated afterwards by the sanctity and miracles of his Apostles. First their holines of life was admitable euen to their enemys. They were contented with shame, pouerty, hungar, cold, heate, imprisonment, banishment, whipps, and all kind of disgraces, and crueltys, that they might honour Christ and enioy him. And soe willingly did they suffer without euer repen­ting them of that which they had done for Christs sake; that after persecution they still beganne againe to preach him; carrying his ghospell from place to place, and proclaiming it amongst all sorts of people, not fearing the barbarousnesse of any, but condemning all danger and labour­ing incessantly, reiovced to suffer for him. They mainteined the ghospell of Lesus Christ with such reasons, force of spirit, and miracles, that being themselues vnlearned, they confounded the learn­edest of the world. All were astonished at the hearing of them, the fame of their preaching ringing in all places. They confounded the Iewes, silenced the oracles of the idols; and with in a few yeares they filled the world with a number­lesse number of constant christians. And this they did not by force of armes, making of seditions, [Page 138]or raising of partys to defende their cause, or to increase their number; but with humility and patience. Thus did the faith of Christ beginne in the vertue and power of God; and not as ido­latry and Turcisme, by the power and commande of the sword, forcing of people to their obe­dience. It beganne in litlenes, pouerty, humi­lity and patience, and increased as a grane of mustarde seede into a goodly tree: hauing noe Princes or potentates of the earth to protect or to countenance it, noe men of learning, elo­quence or humane pollicy, to draw others vnto it; but of such learning and eloquence as God infused into them. God spoke in their mouths, and with their hands: and God soe speaking the prowde of the world came downe to their doctrine and became humble christians, the rich of the world contemned riches, the followers of vice beganne to loue vertue, and a happy change was seene in the world by them. They had to contest with Princes, Iudges, Priests, Magistrates, Phi­losophers, artificers, and all sorts of people, who as their enemys mainteined their auncient rites and Priuileges against them Yet these poore and ignorant men kept still the christian faith on foote, and maugre all the power which their ene­mys had, the more they opposed it, the more God increased it, and the number of the faithfull was daily augmented: that their enemys of all ranks and manner of callings in the end were con­tented to ioyne with them, and to hazard their titles, dignitys and profits, and to forsake their owne wills, and liues to obey Christ. This was [Page 139]most miraculous; euen as much as the miracles which they wrought, and as planely testifyeth the power of God to haue brought these thinges to passe.

After the Apostles the same faith of Christ was still continued by others, whom God raised as Apostles to succeede them; and to whom he gaue the same spirit with sanctity of life, and power of miracles to defende it. And is at this day professed and defended by missions of Priests and religious men, who goe as Apostles to preach the faith of Christ (as I haue seene in Spaine eue­ry yeare) for the most part to be sent vnto the strange and rude people of the Indias for their conuersion) and by soe many miracles make good that which they preach, that it were a mad­nesse to question all those thinges which God hath wrought by them.

And euen here amongst vs vnworthy we see by continuall experiences the power which Christ promised to his Apostles of casting forth deuils, Exorcismes. to be practisedby christian Priests with good successe; the powers of hell trēbling at the name of Christ, are forced whether they will or noe to yeeld posses­sion when they arecōmanded by it. And to attribu­te this vnto art magicke by the cōmande of grea­ter deuils ouer the lesse, is that desperate refuge which the Iewes vsed against Christ himselfe, Mat. 12. saying that in Beelzebub Prince of the deuils he did cast forth deuils; and which was commonly obiected against the Apostles by their enemys, and can not be true. First for that the exorcismes of the Church are not done against the lesser deuils onely, but [Page 140]with the greatest opposition, hatred, and despite that possible may be against the greatest and all the deuils of hell; ouer whom there is none but God, that hath supernaturall power. Secondly the kingdome of the deuils is not soe diuided, as that any of them should doe good or hinder euill except they be forced vnto it by the power of God; yet by christian exorcists they are often for­ced to many thinges amongst Infidels to the de­struction of infidelity and heresy, and amongst christians of euill life to the hinderance and con­fusion of sinne: which the deuills with all their power would mainteine. Thirdly if we might at­tribute that which is done to the extirpation of infidelity, heresy, and confusion of sinne, or for some good end, to any other but the power of God; we should neuer acknowledge, nor could euer destinguish the power of God at any time to be exercized ouer the deuils; although we saw them neuer soe much forced, and neuer soe good effects to proceede of it; but might attribute goodnes to the authour of euill. And this was that manifest conuincing argument with which our Sauiour answered to the Pharisys, when they made this very obiection against him If I in Beel­zebub cast forth deuils, Mat. 12. your children in whom doe they cast out?

We haue then for the comfort of christians christianity demonstrated by the holy scriptures of the old testament and the miracles of Christ, and of the Apostles, and of the continually suc­ceeding and now being Church of Christ.

That which he taught and confirmed by mi­racles [Page 141]was, that he was the Sonne of God, the authour of life, the promised Messias and Sauiour of the world. This the Apostles preached after him: and this we now preach in the Catholike Church, Act. 4. and say with S. Peter neither is there any other name vnder heauen giuen to men, where in we must be saued but in the euer blessed name of Iesus: in him we blesse and honour God, professing him in the Creede to be his onely Sonne our Lord. As the Sonne of God he is true God, infinite in all per­fections, equall with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, and the very same in nature and essence with them: according to which nature the A­postles in this article professe him our Lord. Ac­cording to his humane nature he is also our Lord; for that his humane nature being vnited to the diuine, was exalted in dignity, and made supe­riour vnto all creatures, and had power aboue all men and Angels. Mat. 28. All power (saith he) is giuen to mee in heauen and earth. Christians that be­leeue in Iesus Christ, and carry in their name the name of him ought very much to honour them­selues in it, and to imitate him. In baptisme they haue renounced the works of Satan to put on the armour and follow the warrfarre of Christians: and then they receiued, as also in the other Sa­craments, the souldiers garment of diuine grace, their sinnes being forgiuen them by the merits of Christ. Let vs then as his souldiers, and seruants serue him, and resist his enemys. Let all the world open their eyes and harts to his diuine power, and if they haue any feeling of God, or desire to haue it, and will consider the works which he [Page 142]hath done, and suffered, noe doubt but they shall see and confesse that which his very enemys con­fessed; who hauing seene the passages of his death went away, Mat. 27. saying, Indeede this was the Sonne of God. Let them beleeue and professe this in the true Church of Christ, and let neither life nor death, nor the loue of any creature euer be able to separate them from it. But there remai­neth yet to shew which of all christian Churches is the true Church of Christ. This by Gods grace I shall shew in the exposition of the ninth article; where I shall destinguish the Catholike Church from all false Churches. Now we will goe on to

THE THIRD ARTICLE.

WHO was conceiued by the Holy Ghost, The attri­butes of the B. Trinity. borne of the Ʋirgin Mary. Although the mystery of the Incarnation be at­tributed here onely to the Holy Ghost, as though Christ were conceiued by his onely power; yet we are not to thinke that it was done by him onely without the Father, and the Sonne. For this is a rule without exception in the mystery of the bles­sed Trinity, that all the externall works of God, to wit those which he doth in respect of creatures, are done indiuisibly by all the Persons of the B. Trinity; because their power is all one indiuisible power in them: and soe the Conception of our Sauiour was done by the same power of the Fa­ther and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. And to say here that Christ was conceiued by the Holy Ghost is the same as to say, that his concep­tion [Page 143]was by the power, and speciall gift of God, after a supernaturall and not after a natural man­ner. It is here attributed particularly to the holy ghost by reason of the great loue and bounty of God which he shewed in it. For although all the diuine perfections be equally commune to all the Persons of the B. Trinity; yet some certaine titles or attributes there are, which are vsed as propper and particular to them seuerally. Soe we attribute power to God the Father; because the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost proceede from him. We attri­bute wisdome to the Sonne; because he procee­deth from the Father by way of vnderstanding. We attribute goodnesse, loue, bounty, and the like to the Holy Ghost; because the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Sonne by the operation of the will, which loueth nothing but that which either is good, or at least is apprehen­ded then as good. And soe those works of God in which his power is most manifested are attri­buted to the Father: those which declare most his wisdome are attributed to the Sonne: and those which shew most his goodnes, loue, boun­ty, and the like, are attributed to the Holy Ghost. Neither was it an inuention of men by these ter­mes and attributes to destinguish the diuine Per­sons; but it was an inuention of God himselfe. The Apostles were inspired to attribute power particularly to the Father; saying I beleeue in God the Father Almighty. S. Iohn was inspired to attribute wisdome to the Sonne calling him the Word of God which was from the beginning. And Christ himselfe attributed goodnes in par­ticular [Page 144]to the Holy Ghost, Luc. 11. saying your father from heauen will giue the Good Spirit to those that aske him. Soe although all the diuine persons be equall in power, wisdome, goodnes, and in all perfections the same, according to S. Iohn These three be one, and soe all of them concurre equally to the Conception of Christ; yet here it is attri­buted particularly to the Holy Ghost; because the loue of God is soe eminently manifested in it. For the same reason we paint the Father as an auncient man; because the Sonne and the Holy Ghost proceede from him: we paint the Sonne in humane nature, an intellectuall creature, because his procession is by way of vnderstanding: we paint the Holy Ghost as a done; because the done is a bird that sheweth most loue; and loue (as I haue said) is the property of the Holy Ghost. Neither can it be displeasing to God that we ex­presse him by these corporal shapes and species of visible things, which are naturall and necessary for our vnderstandings. And to shew this he would expresse himselfe soe, appearing in those very shapes by which we expresse him. He appeared vnto Daniel like an old man. Dan. 7. I beheld (saith he) till the thrones were set and the auncient of dayes sate his vesture white as now, and the haire of his head life cleane wooll. The Second Person was not onely made into the similitude of men but appea­red in the true nature of man in Iesus Christ our Sauiour. Phil. 2. The Holy Ghost at the baptisme of Christ was seene as a done ouer him, S. Iohn tes­tifying I saw the Spirit descending as a done from heauen, Io. 1. and he remained vpon him. Thus would [Page 145]God represent himselfe to vs, and we can not re­present him better then as he hath represented himselfe.

Borne of the Virgin Mary. By this article the Apostles professe the procession of Christ accord­ing to his humane nature. For hauing in the first article professed the Father who is the first Per­son, and in the second the Second Person, in Iesus Christ his onely Sonne; now they goe on to speake of him as man, according to the na­ture which he assumed of the Virgin Mary his mother. For where as other children proceede both of father and mother, he by the operation of the Holy Ghost was conceiued of his mothers nature onely, she remaining allwais a Virgin. S. Ioseph, as the husband of our blessed lady, was taken for the father of Christ. And when they heard him with that knowledge and wisdome dis­puting in the temple, Mat. 13. admiring they said is not this the carpenters sonne? noe! he was the sonne of the blessed Virgin, and assumed humane nature of her nature, and of her Virginal body; but of noe man. And this was a mystery which God would reueale and foretell by his Prophet long before, Esa. 7. saying behold a Virgin shall conceiue and beare a sonne. For as soone as the Angel had deli­uered his message to her, and she had answered, Behold the handmaid of our Lord, Luc. 1. be it done to mee according to thy word, consenting to the mys­tery propounded by him, the sacred body of our Lord was of the Virgins body presently form­ed and his soule was infused into it, and they being vnited to the diuine Person; there was then [Page 146]in one person the vnion of two natures, and Christ who was the eternall sonne of God, was also the sonne of man, as he proceeded of the Virgin Mary: both natures in that admirable coniunction keeping their perfections, that as S. Leo saith the glorification neither consuming the inferiour, nor the assumption deminishing from the superiour. This is a mystery incomprehensible by vs; and therefor the omnipotency of God was propounded by the Angell to our blessed lady as to be considered particularly in this worke, Luc. 1. when he said the Holy Ghost shall come vpon thee, and the power of the most high shall ouer shaddow thee. For as the loue and goodnes of God towards vs appeareth here most illustrious; soe was it most congruous, that his power should appeare aboue our vnderstandings, most miraculous.

The conception of Christ surpassed all ordinary conceptions not onely in that he was conceiued of a Virgin mother; but also in the circumstan­ces of it. For where as the space of some dayes is required for the framing of our bodys, and to dispose them for our soules; the sacred body and soule of our Lord were both vnited together in the first instant of his conception, and the diuine nature vnto them: by which his humanity was enriched with diuine gifts, and was in eminency of dignity and sanctity aboue all: all others being by adoption onely, and Christ by nature the sonne of God. This is not vnderstoode by vs, but beleeued; yet it was as easy to God that by his high power a Virgin should conceiue, and bring forth without the concurse of man; as it [Page 147]was for the rodd of Aaron to conceiue nourishing moysture, and to putt forth budds, leaues, flowers, Nu. 17. and almonds by the same power of God, without the natural concourse of the earth. And it is in­deede as easy to God to make a Virgin to con­ceiue as the blessed Virgin did of her owne nature onely with out the helpe of man, and to frame a body in an instant, as our blessed Sauiours was, as it was for him to make all other women to con­ceiue with the helpe of man, and to frame the body by litle and litle with fitte dispositions for the soule: which he could haue ordained other­wise, but would not; because he would haue the conception of Christ to be aboue all most pure and miraculous.

And as the conception of Christ was most misterious; soe was it fitting that his birth also should be: that she who had conceiued with the priuilege of her Virginity free from corruption, should bring him forth in her deliuery free from paine, and other myserys which other women are then subiect vnto. And that as the ioy with which she conceiued him was not corporal, but hea­uenly and spiritual; soe that his birth should be also full of ioy and heauenly consolation to her. For if God would send his Angell to the shep­heards to comfort their harts and to fill them with ioy for the birth of our Sauiour; how great may we thinke the ioy of the B. Virgin then to haue bene, who was soe singularly chosen of God to be his mother? We can not but with reuerence thinke of those consolations, which she had in his birth. He came from her sacred wombe as the beames [Page 148]of the sunne pierce through cleare crystal, with­out hurting it; and as the same sacred body of our Lord passed through the sepulcher in his re­surrection without breaking it, soe did he passe out of his mothers wombe without any violence done to her.

We ought very much to reioyce in the birth of Christ for the reason which the Angell gius, because this day is borne to you a Sauiour. What greater ioy can prisoners, and condemned per­sons haue, then in one that will saue them. We haue then great reason to reioyce in that ioy which the Angell brought, and to celebrate euery yeare that sacred day. And yet soe great is the malice of heresy, soe dishonorable to God, and peruerting the mindes of men, that some in this kingdome, who call themselues christians, dare venture to worke on Christmas day, refusing to giue that honour, which all christians haue soe long giuen to the birth day of Christ. We reade in holy scriptures that kings in auncient times kept festiuall the yearely day of their birthes: soe Pharao Gen. 40. Antiochus. Mach. 2.6. and Herod Mat. 14. and can the birth day of any king with iustice be obserued, and not the birth day of Christ the king and Sauiour of the world? If some courtyer of Pharao had refused to keepe the feast of his birth day, opposing the solem­nity which the rest did obserue; would not he with reason haue iudged it as an affront, and pu­nished it as a dishonour done to him? How dare then any christian be soe bold, and prophane, as not to keepe the solemnity of Christs birth, [Page 149]knowing that one day he shall iudge him for it? It is true authors differ in assigning the day on which he was borne. But what then? shall we there­for keepe noe day at all in honour of it? or shal any one shew himselfe soe singular and prowde, as vpon his owne sense and authority to dis­obey the whole Church of Christ? We know not for certaine the time in which the scriptures were written, nor the authors that wrote them all; shall we therefor reiect them as some haeretiks haue done, and haue noe scriptures at all? we know not iust the time in which the Sundays Sabaoth was first begunne to be kept; shall any one there­for refuse to obserue it? but if the Church could change the Sabaoth from the seuenth day, on which God had instituted it, to the eight day; and could binde all soe to obserue it, although it were not the day on which God rested from the creation of the world; shall not the Church binde all to obserue a day which she determineth in ho­nour of Christs birth? although perhaps he was not borne iust on that day? Luc. 2. we reioyce in that message which the Angell brought, when he said behold I Euangelize to you great ioy, which shall be to all the people, for to day is borne to you a Sauiour. It is fitting that the Church should institute a yearely solemnity of that ioyfull day, and it is fitting that we should obey the Church. The day which the Church instituteth is Christmas day, and therefor we keepe it. Besides this is most likely to be the true day of his birth; which, Aug. l. 1. de Trin. c. 5. according to S. Augustine, was on the eight of the Calends of Ianuary. Euer blessed and most solemne may [Page 150]that day be in which our Sauiour was borne, in which the sonne of God first appeared in the na­ture of man, in which our nature first appeared vnited to God, and in which both natures being married together, came forth of the Virgins wom­be as out of their bride chamber, the Angels reioycing and bidding ioy vnto men. Luc. 2. Then it was when they were heard to sing, Glory in the highest to God: and in earth peace to men of good will. Let vs with the Angels say those words, and doe as we say in all our actions. The mystery of the Incar­nation often represented.

This the Catholike Church laboreth to doe in this mystery of the sonne of Gods incarnation, representing it vnto her people, and stirring them vp to a gratefull remembrance, and thanks­giuing for it by many deuour prayers, and cae­remonys, which they often repeate in honour of it: as by the signe of the Cros, the masse, the Creede, the Haile Mary, and the like, in which it is still commemorated; that we behold in them the fullfilling of that great vision, which Moyses had, Exo. 3. when our Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middes of a bush: and the bush was on fire, and was not burnt. By which the Conception of Christ was fignifyed to be of the blessed Virgin, without detriment of her Virgi­nity, and that he was to be borne without paine to her. And this vision, as it signifyed the Sonne of God vested with our nature, was soe high and glorious, that Moyses was commanded to bare his feete for the holinesse of the very ground on which it appeared. Iob. 16. He at whose beck the pillars of heauen tremble and dread is inuolued in the my­serys [Page 151]of our nature to draw vs to vertue and to saue vs by his merits.

THE FOVRTH ARTICLE.

SVffered vnder Pontius Pilate was Crucifyed dead and buried. The Apostles hauing pro­fessed Christ in the glory of his diuinity, as the onely Sonne of God, and in the mystery of his conception and ioy of his birth, set him now be­fore our eyes in his passion and death. That sacred body which was conceiued by the Holy Ghost, and was vnited to the diuine word, in the wombe of a Virgin, we behold it now in the hands of cruell executioners, who haue free power to tor­ment and to kill it; see now that body nailed vpon a Cros and soe exposed to the scorne of the world. That face of life whose beauty the Angells desire to behold, is left pale and dead without comli­nesse and beauty. The horrible paine which Christ suffered in his Passion is not to be apprehended by vs; but was without doubt soe great in it selfe, that the apprehension of it in him had bene sufficient to haue bereaued him of life, if he had not sup­ported nature by supernaturall meanes; as he did in that agony which he suffered in the garden by the apprehension onely of his future Passion, Mat. 26. when he said my soule is sorrowfull euen vnto death. For his body as it was conceiued and framed onely of the Virgins blood, was of a more tender com­plexion, and more sensible of paine then others are, and soe he had a more liuely apprehension, greater horrour, and more repugnance from the [Page 152]torments of his Passion, which he foresaw, and according to the inferiour part of his soule, he desired and prayed to be freed from, although they were woluntary to him.

For the vnderstanding of which we are to vnder­stande two powers in the soule of man commonly called the Superiour, and Inferiour part, or por­tion of the soule. The superiour power is in respect of its higher operations of reason and will, which it hath equall with the Angels. The inferiour part or portion of the soule is the inseriour powerwhich it hath, as it is sensitiue, causing vs to feele by our senses, as inferiour creatures doe. According to the superiour of the soule, the Passion of Christ was nothing sorrowfull to him, as not being contrary to his reason and will; but it was most voluntary nay ioyfull to him: he went as a gyant to runne that race, and was straightened vntill he had per­fected the baptisme of his Passion. According to the inferiour power of the soule, as it is sen­sible, he could not but feele paine, and his senses did abhorre the torments of his Passion; for otherwise they had bene noe torments vnto him: and as the complexion and constitution of his body was more perfect, soe was he more sensible of paine; and therefore the very apprehension of his Passion had a more violent effect in him, then the paines of death is euer read to haue had in any other; causing a sweat of blood to runne downe to the earth from him. This would he suffer be­fore his Passion, to shew that his sorrows were aboue all sorrows and most horrible to him. Yet he would preserue his life vntill he had suffer­ed [Page 153]those thinges, and fullfilled that which the scriptures had foretold of him.

For two reasons the Apostles would specify, that Christ suffered vnder Pontius Pilate. First for the more particular and exact relation of his Passion; to shew that the Prophecys were full­filled that had signifyed the time about which it should be. And secondly for the performance of his owne words, to shew the accomplishing of that which himselfe had foretold, when speaking of his Passion, he said, Mat 20. they shall deliuer him to the Gentils to be mocked, and scourged, and crucifyed. Which was fullfilled when the Iewes apprehending him, deli­uered him to Pilate, and his souldiers, who were Gentils, and scourged, and crucifyed him For the cheife of the Iewes seeing that they could not re­sist the doctrine which he preached, nor the power of his miracles, caused him to be appre­hended, and to be sent as a malefactour to Pon­tius Pilate, who was then the Romane President of Iury, Crucifyed. and who by the instigation of the Iewes adiudged him as they desired to the death of the Cros: which was held in that place the most dis­gracefull kind of death, that malefactours could suffer; and was soe much abhorred by the law, that we reade in deuteronomy he is accursed of God that hangeth on a tree. Deut. 21. Yet this the most re­prochfull of all deaths was Christ contented to vndergoe for vs: and that in a most ignominious manner betwixt two the eues.

We haue in the scriptures many mysterious types, and honorable figures, by which God would foreshew the death of his sonne. Innocent [Page 154]Abel murthered by his brother was a figure of Iesus Christ killed by the Iewes. Gen. 4. Gen. 22. The Sacrifice, which Abraham was commanded to offer in his onely sonne, was a type of Christ offered for vs on the Cros. Exo. 12. The vnspotted lambe which the Israë­lits were commanded to offer when they came out of Aegypt represented also our Sauiour offer­ed for our redemption: of whom the Prophet saith, Hier. 11. and I as a mild lambe that is carried to a victime. The brazen serpent which God com­manded to be erected, that the people beholding it might be cured from the stings of the fiery ser­pents was, as it were, the shaddow of Christ nai­led on the Cros. For as those that were wounded by serpents were cured by that; and as of vipers and scorpions a medicine is made against their poyson and stings; soe the malice of sinne com­mitted by man was cured by man againe in Iesus Christ contrary to him. By a man death, (sayth the Apostle) and by a man the resurrection of the dead. Cor. 1.15. And as the brazen serpent was in shew a serpent; but had noe sting nor poyson to hurt, but vertue to cure the stings of other serpents; soe Christ in the similitude of the slesh of sinne had noe sinne, Rom. 8. but tooke away the sinnes of the world; and therefor himselfe signifying his death on the Cros, Io. 3. said, as Moyses exalted the serpent in the desert, soe must the sonne of man be exalted.

Christ suffered voluntarily of his owne free­will; Christ suffer­ed volunta­rily. and could if it had peased him haue escaped all, or any part of his Passion, and death. This he often shewed in his life time. Sometimes when they would haue killed him, he became presently [Page 155]inuisible to their sight, and walked through the midst of them without being seene. Sometimes he preuented them, absenting himselfe, seeing their inward thoughts and harts to be bent against him. Sometimes he shewed that he had power ouer their mindes, mouing them as he would, and asswaging the malice which was in them, vntill the hower of his suffering came: and when his hower was come, he came forth amongst his ene­mys, and euen then he moued multitudes of peo­ple to follow, and to glorify him; but a few dayes after when they came to apprehende him he would then be taken, and would not defende himselfe, or be defended by others. He would with a word of his mouth strike them downe to the ground, to shew that he had them in his power, and could haue freed himselfe; but he would let them rize againe, and would goe away prisoner with them, to fullfill the will of his father by suffering, and dying for vs.

Christ suffered for the redemption of all, and redeemed all: that is by his Passion he purchased meanes for the saluation of all. These meanes are the Sacraments of the Catholike Church. Those that are baptized and receiue worthily the rest of the Sacraments, as they are necessary for them, are saued by the merits of Christ in them. Those that are not baptized, or receiue not the Sacra­ments as they are necessary for them perish not through any defect in the Passion of Christ, by which they had sufficient meanes to be saued; but through their owne sinne; because they will not apply those meanes to themselues, which Christ by [Page 156]his Passion procured for their saluation.

The least paine of our Sauiours Passion, or the least action which he did in his life time had bene sufficient to haue redeemed the whole world, and a thousand worlds, if it had bene offered to that end by him, as the full price of our redem­ption; because it proceeded from the diuine Per­son which was of infinite dignity; but it was not intended soe by him. He ouervalued the purchase of our soules; and by a superabundant grace would giue more then he needed when he gaue his life for them, and would haue nothing to stande for the price of our redemption without his death. This he would doe to testify his loue towards vs, and to giue vs an example of many vertues.

Quest. What doe we gett by Christ redeeming vs? Answ. We gett the forgiunesse of our sinnes, and the acceptance of our good works by the merits of Christs Passion, applyed vnto vs in the Catholike Church.

The Sacraments of the Catholike Church haue their vertue, and effect by the Passion of Christ. Those that worthily receiue them are sanctifyed, and haue the remission of their sinnes: and being then in the state of grace, the good works, which in that state are done by them are acceptable to God, and haue proportion to supernatural glory. The Sacraments therefor hauing by the merits of Christs Passion power, and vertue to sanctify vs, we haue by his merits the forgiunesse of our sinnes, and the acceptance of our good works.

Man had committed sinne in paradise, and all mankind was infected with that sinne: and our nature being once tainted, it corrupted still more and more and we fall in our life times into many actuall sinnes. All the good works which we could doe were of noe value, nor could we by any mea­nes make satisfaction for any sinne either origi­nall or actuall; because there is noe condignity in person and works betwixt vs and God that was offended. The Sonne of God was therefor incar­nated in Christ, that the diuine nature vniting to it selfe the nature of man, might soe dignify it by that vnion in him, that he could make satis­faction for our sinnes, and obtaine for vs the re­mission of them, and that our good works being then done in the state of grace might become acceptable to God and proportionable to glory, which of themselues they could not be. We could haue sinned still more and more, heaping sinne vpon sinne, and increasing our damnation; but we could haue done nothing in that state by which we could rise from any sinne. Soe that the remis­sion of our sinnes, and the acceptance of our good works to the obtaining of euerlasting glory, is to be attributed to the merits, and power of Christs Passion, which is actually applyed vnto vs by the Sacraments of the Catholike Church.

The Apostles would particularly professe in the Creede the Passion of Christ, and that he dyed, to confounde those haeretiks that should deny his death, as some haue done. These are sufficiently refuted by this article, and by all the Euangelists affirming that he gaue vp the ghost. [Page 158]That is is to say that his ghost, spirit, or soule (which is all one) departed, and was separated from his body; death being nohting els but the departure or separation of the soule from the body. For this reason also the Apostles would declare, that Christ was buried, to confirme his being dead. But although he would haue his body to be buried, as the bodys of other men; yet he would preserue it from corruption in the earth; because it was most decent that that sacred body, which was soe miraculously framed by the Holy Ghost without corrupting the Virginity of his mother, should after death be free from all cor­ruption: according to that which the holy king had prophecyed thou shalt not giue thy holy one to see corruption. Ps. 15.

To conceiue somethinge of the greatnesse of this mystery we may consider who it was that suffe­red these thinges: that it was one whose person infinitly surpassed in power, wisdome, beauty, riches, and all kind of dignity, and goodnesse, the most renowned Prince that euer was in the world. And if it be a horrible thinge to thinke of the murthering of any man, and much more of some great and gracious Prince, and a cruell spectacle to behold it: what feeling ought chri­stiins to haue of the Passion of Christ, when they consider it? But it is but a weake comparison to compare Christ to any earthly Prince. Io. 1. S. Iohn saith that he was the Word which was with God, and that this Word was God. O almighty God what then shall we say or thinke of this mystery? thy power and maiesty seemeth here to be lessen­ed, [Page 159]thy wisdome is dispised, thy goodnes ques­tioned, brought to tryall, and condemned. O blessed Sauiour whom S. Paul describeth to be he, whom God hath made the heire of all, Heb. 1. the brightnesse of his glory, and the figure of his sub­stance, how comes thy brightnesse to be soe ob­scured, and thy sacred and life giuing face to be­come pale, and void of life? as a roote from a thirs­ty ground, that there is noe beauty nor comli­nesse in it? It was by vs that thou camest into this plight: thou didst beare our sinnes, and they put thee to paine, and disfigured thee. Thinke now O Christians of that which you beleeve, and con­fider who he was, and what he suffered for you. Iesus Christ the onely sonne of God suffereth for man, the master for the seruant, the Creatour for his creature, he that made Angels and men, heauen and earth, he of whom, and by whom and in whom, are all thinges he bore our infirmitys our sorrowes he carryed, Rom. 11. and became as a lepar struck­en of God, and humbled. Esa. 53. He was wounded for our iniquitys, and with the waile of his stripe we are healed: our sinnes drew blood of his sacred body, and crucifyed, and killed him. Heauen stoode astonished the sunne was ecclypsed, a terrible darknesse was spred ouer the earth, the earth was shaken, graues opened, and the bodys of the dead roze vp to life againe, at this mystery; and shall it make noe impression in vs? Behold ô Christians Christ expired on the Cros and say often with your selues who is this that is Crucifyed and dead? who is this that is crucifyed and dead? It is the onely son­ne of God, whom the Angles adore, the latchet of [Page 160]whose shoe S. Iohn Baptist was not worthy to loose. Thinke then againe what he was crucifyed for? It was to take, away our sinnes, and to blesse vs with euerlasting glory. O blessed Lord, O God our Sauiour how great was thy loue to vs, and thy hatred to sinne, that could cause the miracle of thy incarnation, and death for our redemp­tion? I reioyce in thy merits by which I am re­deemed: and being now at liberty, I dedicate my selfe for euer to thy seruice. Keepe thou my soule, and let it neuer forsake thee The benefit which we haue by the death of Christ was praefigured vnto vs in the law of Moyses, where guilty persons, that had sled to the cittys of sanctuary, were set at liberty, and went home pardoned at the death of the high Priest. Our high Priest was Iesus Christ, heauen is our blessed home, sinne banished vs from thence, but thither we returne againe by the death of Christ. Heb. 10. hauing considence (saith the Apostle) in the entring of the holys in the blood of Christ. Let vs serue him as we ought, and then indeede we may haue confidence in him.

THE FIFTH ARTICLE.

HE descended into hell, the third day he arose againe from death. The Apostles hauing in the former article professed the Passion and death of Christ, declare now his victory, and triumph ouer it. That which by this article is proposed to be beleeued is, that the soule of Christ depart­ing in death from his body, descended truely into hell. For as long as his body remained in the [Page 161]sepulcher, his soule was separated from it, and all that while was descended into hell.

Some haeretiks haue wickedly denyed this article of Christ his descension into hell, igno­rantly vnderstanding by hell his sepulcher Not considering that his descending into the sepul­cher was professed before in the former article; and therefor there needed not another article to repeate it ouer againe, and to say that he de­scended into the sepulcher. Neither is it a propper manner of speech in that sense: for the body of our Lord was then dead, and descended not, but was laid by others in the sepulcher. This therefor can not be vnderstoode of his body de­scending into the sepulcher; but of his soule de­scending into hell.

Aunciently by hell some place in general was vnderstoode, where the soules of men resided after death; and it was not onely taken for the place of the damned, but also for the resi­dence of the iust. As when the holy Patria [...]ke Iacob mourning for the death of his sonne Io­seph, said, Gen. 37. I will descende vnto my sonne into hell and when the Apostle saith, Phil. 2. In the name of Iesus euery knee bow of the caelestials, terrestrials, and insernals. For hell in Latine is as much as to say a place inferiour vnto vs, or below vs, which is therefor in the earth. For the vnderstanding of which we may destinguish fower places in the earth, the receptacles of soules departed. Fower kinds of hell. First there is the lowest hell of euerlasting damnation: which is the furthest place from heauen, as most suetable to those whose liues, and actions were [Page 162]furthest of, and most opposite to God; and there­for in respect of punishment it is the deepest hell. Secondly the next aboue that in paine, is Purgatory. Thirdly aboue purgatory is the place where the soules of those are detained, who dy onely in original sinne. Fourthly aboue that there was a place for the soules of the iust, that dyed before Christ, not hauing the guilt of any sinne, or satisfaction to make for it. For it was not conuenient that any should enter into heauen before Christ who purchased it for all, and there­for those soules remained in an inferiour place vntill the death of Christ; and then he descending to them freed them from that place. This was some times called the bosome of Abraham; because Abraham was the father of the elect, and com­prized as it were in him all the iust as Christ came of his seede who was the head of all the iust. Thi­ther therefor did our blessed Sauiour descende, to blesse and to free those holy soules. And per­haps he would also shew himselfe to the soules of purgatory, for their comfort; as also to the damned soules, for their terrour and rebuke.

Christ was buryed on the fryday on which he suffered. (For the death of the Cros was held in that ignominy, that the law commanded, those that were Crucifyed to be taken from the Cros on the same day.) After his buriall he remained in the sepulcher all that day, and all Saturday, and part of Sunday vntill about breake of day: all which time his soule was descended into hell. Then he released the iust out of that place in which they were detained, and brought them with him [Page 163]to the sepulcher: where vniting his soule and body together againe, the third day he arose from the dead; not as those who haue bene reuiued by the power of others to a second life, and to dy a second death; but by his owne power he aroze againe to dy noe more. For the diuine nature being allwais present with his body and soule, as vnited with them in the vnity of person, he had power to raise himselfe, and by his owne power he tooke life againe, and aroze glorious; and therefor he said of himselfe. Io. 10. I yeeld my life &c. I yeeld it of my selfe and I haue power to yeeld it: and I haue power to take it againe.

We reade of diuerse who haue bene raised from death to life both before, and since the resur­rection of Christ; but his resurrection excelleth theirs in many respects. First for that he raised himselfe (as I haue said) by his owne power; and all others were raised by his power. Second­ly he was the first that euer aroze glorious. Third­ly others aroze to death, as well as to life. Fourth­ly his resurrection was the cause and meanes of all our glorious resurrections. In these respects S. Paul calleth him the first fruits of those that rize to life. Cor. 15. Christ (saith he) is rizen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleepe: In Christ all shall be made aliue. But euery one in his owne order: the first fruits Christ then those that are of Christ.

The resurrection of Christ ought to be a great comfort and encouragement to the good. For his rizing to glory hath giuen vs hopes of a glo­rious resurrection. Blessed be God (saith S. Pet. 1.1. Peter) [Page 164] and the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, who hath regenerated vs vnto a liuely hope, by the resurrection of Iesus Christ from the dead vnto an inheritance incorruptible. We are encouraged to beare with patience all afflictions, and all kind of persecu­tions in this world, in hopes to rize glorious with him. Christ is our head and we are the members of his body, and he hauing made way through persecutions for vs, we ought couragiously to follow him.

THE SIXT ARTICLE.

HE ascended into heauen sitteth at the right hand of God. Christ hauing consummated the worke of our redemption by his death on the Cros, and after his death performed his resur­rection, and hauing after his resurrection remai­ned forty dayes on earth, to teach his disciples, speaking of the kingdome of God; (that is to say instructing them concerning the gouern­ment of the Catholike Church, which is the king­dome of God vpon earth) he had done now all for which his father sent him, and was to ascende into heauen, and to carry mankind vnto that blessed place of glory, which he had purchased for them. He tooke therefor his disciples vnto mount Oliuet to be the witnesses of his ascension: and lifting vp his eyes, and blessing them, he was gloriously el [...]uated in their sight: and they being [...]auished with ioy, and spirituall consolation at it; behold two Angels (whom the Euangelist calleth men) stoode beside them in white gar­ments, [Page 165]and said to them, Act. 1. Ye men of Galily why stande you looking into heauen? This Iesus which is assumpted from you into heauen shall soo come, as you haue seene him going into heauen. Thus would our Sauiour ascende, that he might giue vnto the world a tast, and scantling of the future glory, and a memorial of his second comming.

This was the most glorious day that euer was to mankind. For this is the day of our first entring into heauen. The holy Prophet, king Danid in­uiteth all the world to the ioy of this day, saying, All ye nations clappe hands: Ps. 46. make iubilation to God in the voyce of exultation. God is ascended in iubilation. To day mans nature triumphed in the heauens, and that soe glorious, that it was exalted aboue all the coelestiall powers of Angels, to the very right hand of God. Ser. 3. de Ascen. See ô man (sayth S. Iohn Chrysostome) how high thy nature is exalted. Consi­der the distance of heauen, and earth, and of the lower to the higher heauens, and from those higher heauens to the Angels, and from them to the higher powers, and from those to the seate where our Lord sitteth. Humane nature is exalted thus high aboue all: that nature which was of it selfe soe low, that it could be noe lower, became now soe high, that it could be raised noe higher. And the Holy Ghost to shew how high that glory was which mankind then re­ceiued, would inspire the Apostles to make such a remarkeable expression of it, as to say that it was set at the right hand of God. That as great Princes and eminent personages, when they will shew a more then ordinary respect to some other Prince their freind, they set him on their right [Page 166]hand; soe the nature of man in Iesus Christ, who was the Prince of mankind, ascending into hea­uen, the king of heauen, and of the whole world would be said to set him on his right hand. A greater expression of his loue could not be made then this; yet thus would he haue his A­postles to expresse it.

Christ ascended both in body and soule: for they being once vnited together in his resurrec­tion, were neuer more to be separated againe. He ascended by his owne power, and not as Elias, Abacuc. S. Phillip, or others, who were eleua­ted into the ayre, carried by Angels: for their soules and bodys, being then vnglorifyed, could not by their owne power ascende. But Christ (be­sides that he ascended by the power of his diuinity) being in the state of glory, his body was perfectly subiected to his soule, and was therefor eleuated by it: and stoode noe neede of the externall helpe of Angels. In that he is said to sitt at the right hand of God, we are to vnderstande a siguratiue manner of speech, which God would haue to be vsed, to accommodate himselfe to our weake vnderstandings, which can haue nothing repre­sented to them, but by the species of corporal thinges: and soe Christ is said to sitt at the right hand of God, to shew how highly our nature was exalted in him; although God haue noe hands, nor corporal parts; as being a spiritual substance that needeth not them. Neither ought we to thinke by this, that there is any preceden­cy of place, or degrees of dignity in the Persons of the B. Trinity; but that the Father, the Sonne [Page 167]and the Holy Ghost are all of equall and infinite dignity. Christ according to his humanity is said to sitte at the right hand of God, in respect of creatures, in that he is superiour to them in dig­nity and glory. And according to his diuine na­ture he may be said to sitt at the right hand of God in this sense, and to this end, that we might not vnderstande as Arius did, that the Sonne of God was inferiour to the Father. For which reason the holy Psalmist also placeth the Sonne at the right hand of the Father, Ps. 109. and then pre­sently in the same psalme, the Father on the right hand of the Sonne, to signify equallity betwixt them.

Let vs now apply this mystery to the profit of our soules, that they may haue the benefit of it, and receiue the giftes which were then giuen; Ps. 67. for it is written ascending on high he ledd captiuity captiue, he gaue gifts to men. Iph. 4. These gifts are too great to be spoken: for vnto some he gaue then the gift of heauenly blesse. Towit to the soules of those in limbus whom he freed out of captiuity, and carried with him. And to those, whom he left behinde him on earth, he gaue the promise of the Holy Ghost, and performed that promise within a while sending him to comfort, and encourage them. If we will haue these gifts, and will ascende with Christ, we must forsake sinne that hindereth vs of him. Ser. 2. de Ascen. Our sinnes (saith S. Augustine) as netts intangle us, and as chaines ty vs downe to the earth, that we cannot ascende; and therfor as the psalmist hath said, let vs breake their fetters. Let vs leaue of our pride, our coue­tousnesse, [Page 168]our carnal sinnes; that being cured from them, we may ascende with our physitian. Thus S. Augustine, and I will adde thus much to him, that as euery one is inclined to some particular sinnes, or sinne, by which as by a greater chaine, and maine roote, he sticketh fast in the earth, and is hindred from ascending to Christ; soe ought we to labour more earnestly to roote out that sinne out of our harts, which is more parti­cular and propper to vs, and which we are most guilty of, that we may sing with ioy vnto God, thou hast broken my bondes I will sacrifice to thee the hast of praise. Ps. 115. Let vs keepe in our mindes the Ascension of Christ, and haue considence in him who sitteth at the right hand of God, allwais ready to pray for vs. Io. 1.2. We haue (saith S. Iohn) anaduocate with the Father, Iesus Christ. If Christ after his resurrection had assumed to himselfe the glory of this world, and liued as a Prince vpon earth, hauing the whole world for his do­minion, as subiect to him, he would haue had followers enough, we should all haue flocked vnto his court: but that would haue bene of cu­riosity in many, and of an vnperfect loue; such as the Apostles sometimes bore to him, when he was visibly with them; but how much more ought we to desire to be with him in heauen, and to aspire vnto that blessed court? he would ascende thither, that we might follow him thither; for this is all that he desireth Fa [...]h [...]r whom thou hast giuen mee, Io. 17. I will that where I am, they also be with mee. Christ is indeede our beloued spouse, and the onely treasure of a christians soule, we ought to [Page 169]loue him aboue all, and to seeke in all thinges to please him, and to remaine with him: and therefor he would ascende into heauen to draw vs after him; and that our harts might be where our treasure is, and our conuersation in heauen. Let then euery one now resolue to leaue of all sinne, and beginne to set forward in his Ascension with Christ, and let vs thinke that being now in our iourney to heauen wards, euery day, and euery hower we are drawing neerer, and neerer to him.

THE SEAVENTH ARTICLE.

FRom thence he shall come to iudge vs all both the quicke and the dead. Christ hath many honorable, and worthy titles. He is our Sauiour, or Redeemer: he is our Aduocates and he is our Iudge. In the former articles the Apostles haue deliuered his two first titles; now they propose him as our Iudge. Cor. 2.5. We must all be manifested before the iudgement seate of Christ, (saith S. Paul) that euery one may receiue the propper thinges of the body, according as he hath done, either good or euill.

There are two iudgements in which Christ sitteth as iudge ouer vs. First there is the priuate, and particular iudgment of euery one at his death. Secondly there is a general day of iudg­ment for all. Our soules departing in death from our bodys, are presently set before the iudgment seate of Christ, who as iudge shall call them to an account of all whatsoeuer they haue thought, [Page 170]said, or done; and weighing all with an exact, and iust ballance, he shall giue sentence iustly according to our works. Besides this, God would for many reasons ordaine one solemne day for the general iudgement of all. First for the greater honour of Christ our iudge, that as he was pu­blikely in the sight of the world condemned by the wicked; soe he might publikly, and in the sight of the world, shew his power and innocency, and condemne them. Secondly for the greater honour of the iust. Thirdly for the greater con­fusion of the deuils, and of the damned soules; God then making a publike manifestation of his loue of goodnes, and of the hatred which he beareth to sinne: with infinite liberality rewarding the one, and with extreme and vtmost seuerity punishing the other. Fourthly, being that we see posterity, for the most part, to imitate their praedecessors, and to follow the wayes which they haue trodden out to them: and this imitation of good or euill praedecessors to last sometimes for many yeares, and ages, and may last we know not how long: it is conuenient that there should be in the end one general day of iudgment, in which it might appeare how much euery one hath contributed to the good, or euill of others after them, euen to the end of the world Lastly that the body and soule which haue accompanied together in this life, and both of them concur­red iointly in their works, may meete and be vnited againe, and remaine together in pleasure, or in paine for euer.

Christ shall performe this office of iudge euen [Page 171]as he is man. For as kings delegate their autho­rity to those whom they make iudges, to iudge and to giue sentence in person of the king; soe would God honour the humanity of Christ, giuing him authority as iudge in his place, accord­ing to S. Iohn, Io. 5. He hath giuen him power to doe iudgment also because he is the sonne of man. S. Peter preaching in Cornelius his house the mys­terys of the life and death of Christ, after that he had spoken of his Passion and resurrection, he draweth to an end in these words. Act. 10. He comman­ded vs to preach to the people, and to testify, that it is he that of God was appointed iudge of the liu­ing, and of the dead. It is then Iesus Christ that shall call vpon the blessed, and from his glorious iudgment feate, shall say to them, Come ye blessed of my father possesse the kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the wo [...]ld. And it is he, who from a terrible tribunal, shall pronounce to the wicked. Mat. 25. Get ye away from mee you cursed into fire euerlasting, which was prepared for the denill and his Angels. In this sentence of the damned there is a double punishment included. The one is the great losse which they incurre, and for euer must susteine of the sight of God, and fruition of him in glory; the other is of an vnspeakeable ragious paine, which besides their losse they must for euer endure. The first is intimated by gett ye away from mee. The second by that which followeth of euerlasting fire. Which two punish­ments of losse, and paine, ioyned with eternity, cause in the damned an vtter desperation and rage; and those also eternall. Euen as slaues when [Page 172]they are condemned to the gallyes, or to grind in mills, or the like slauerys all their life time, are setled and established in that state of misery as long as they liue; soe the damned are setled in that state of desperation, rage, and horrible torment, to endure it, and to endure it still, and can neuer change or alter from it. In all thy works remember thy latter ends, Eccli. 7. and thou wilt not sinne for euer. This is the last thinge which the Apostles would mention of Christ in the Creede, and which ought to leaue a great feare, and vehement horrour in the mindes of the wicked, to whom he shall come as to his enemys, that can expect noe fauour from him. And therfor this day is cal­led the day of our Lord. Because Christ shall come as a terrible Lord to them; and shall call them to a strict account for the neglect of their seruice to him; and they hauing receiued good thinges in this life, but wickedly imployed them, haue then euill to receiue: but the iust who haue serued God duely, and haue not sought after the plea­sures, and goods of this world; but haue then good thinges to receiue, haue reason to reioyce, and to be comforted at the thought of this day: and therefor at the departure of Christ in his Ascension from the Apostles, the Angels were sent to comfort them with the remembrace of his second comming, saying, Ye men of Galilee, why doe you stande looking into heauen? Act. 1. this Iesus which is assumpted from you into heauen, shall soe come as you haue seene him going into heauen. He commeth as a spouse full of ioy to the iust, and blesseth them with euerlasting blessings; because [Page 173]they haue prouided the light of good works. Let vs doe soe, and we shall be admitted into his ioyfull nuptials, and receiue blessings of him.

Thus you vnderstande what is meant by the quicke and the dead, to wit the state of the good, and of the euill: the one of them liuing spiritually with the life of grace; the other being dead in sinne But perhaps it may be vnderstoode also of corporal life with which some shall be then liuing on earth, when Christ shall come, and shall be iudged with those that were dead before that day. And who knoweth but he himselfe may liue to see the terrible appearence of Christ com­ming to iudge him, and that presently dying, he shall rize againe, to receiue the sentence of his iudgment? for Christ himselfe hath said, that of that day or hower noe man knoweth, Mar. 13. neither the Angels in heauen. How much then ought we to feare, and preuent it, and not to remaine one day, noe nor one hower, in mortall sinne?

THE EIGHT ARTICLE.

I Beleeue in the Holy Ghost. Hitherto the Apo­stles in all the former articles haue deliuered those thinges, which concerne the first and second person of the B. Trinity, the Father, and the Sonne; now they professe the third Person in the Holy Ghost. S. Act. 19. Paul comming to Ephesus found certaine disciples soe ignorant, that asking them if they had receiued the Holy Ghost, they answered that they had not soe much as heard, that there was a Holy Ghost. This had bene in­deede [Page 174]a very great ignorance in them, if they had bene Christians, which they were not: (and the mystery of the blessed Trinity) was to be but ob­scurely deliuered to the Iewes (as I haue shewed in another place treating of it.) They were the Disciples of S. Iohn Baptist, baptized by his baptisme, which could not giue the Holy Ghost, and were not as yet baptized with christian bap­tisme, in which the Holy Ghost is giuen; and therfor it was a lesse ignorance in them But for any of vs not to know what the Holy Ghost is, were an extreame ignorance. And therefor we will first declare who the Holy Ghost is, and why he is soe called.

The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the B. Trinity: and is as much as to say. The holy spirit. And although the Father, and the Sonne, and the holy Angels, are holy spirits; yet they are not The Holy Ghost of whom we are speaking. When therefor we say the Holy Ghost we meane the di­uine Person of the Holy Ghost; as when Christ commanded baptisme in the name of the Father and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. The first Person of the blessed Trinity is called The Father because the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost proceede from him. The second Person is called The Sonne, because he proceedeth as sonne from the Father. The third Person is called the Holy Ghost, or holy spirit, because he procee­deth from the Father and the Sonne, by way of mutuall inspiration.

The Holy Ghost is true God, omnipotent, eternall, and infinite in all perfections: the very [Page 175]same in essence, and nature with the Father, and the Sonne. And therefor S. Peter threatening Ananias for his deceit, and ly, which he had told, said, Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy hart, Act. 5. that thou shouldst ly to the Holy Ghost? t [...]ou hast lyed to God. And therefor in the words of baptis­me he is commanded to be named, as the same in Godhead, with the Father, and the Sonne: and S. Iohn saith There be three which giue testimo­ny in heauen, the Father, the Word, Io. 1.5. and the Holy Ghost. And these three be one. Three in destinction of Persons, one in the vnity of nature, and es­sence. And because the Holy Ghost proceedeth both from the Father and the Sonne, therefor he is sometimes said in the Scriptures to be the spirit of the Father, and sometimes the spirit of the Sonne.

THE NINTH ARTICLE.

THe holy Catholike Church, the Communion of Saints. The Apostles hauing professed their beleefe in God the Father almighty, maker of heauen and earth, and in Iesus Christ his one­ly Sonne, our Lord, borne, and crucifyed in the nature of man, and their beleefe in the Holy Ghost, they had giuen vs in breife the mysterys of the B. Trinity, and of the Incarnation. The next thinge which they minded was to make an article of beleeuing the Catholike Church. Which article was noe lesse necessary then any of the for­mer: nay in this it was the most necessary of all, that by beleeuing the Church we come to haue the [Page 176]truth of the former, and to vnderstande rightly all the articles of the christian faith. And there­for (as S. Augustine hath obserued) the Prophets haue spoken planelyer of the Church then they haue done of Christ himselfe; Aug. in Is. 30. because the autho­rity of the Church is the rule and guide, by which we are to be directed in all thinges, which we be­leeue of him: and all true beleeuers are kept in the vnity of true faith, and that faith which was foun­ded by him continueth allwais inuiolated, by continuall obedience to the Church. This then being the end, and intention of this article, let vs now come to the declaration of it.

Quest. What is the Catholike Church? Answ. The Catholike Church is the congregation of all faithfull Pastors, and people, vnited together, as a body with its head.

S. Augustine defineth the Church to be the congregation of all the faithfull dispersed ouer the world. Which is in substance the same that is here answered: for euery one that hath the true faith, and is in vnion with the head, and Pastors of the Church, by obeying them, is a member of the true Ch [...]ch; and all these put together make the whole Church. But because Schismatiks although they beleeue in all points; yet are out of the Church, as diuiding themselues from it by disobedience to the head and Pastors theirof, therefor to be a member of the Church we require vnion with the rest of the members vnder one head, to wit the Pope, who is for the time the [Page 177]successor of S. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, and the Head of the Church. Now for the explication of this article.

In the first place the Church is said to be ho­ly. Holy. It is holy in diuerse respects First in respect of the eminent holines of Iesus Christ, the cheife head of it. Secondly for the holy gouernment which Christ instituted, and allwais conserueth in it. Thirdly it is holy in respect of the holy sa­crifice, which it hath of his most sacred body, and in respect of the holy Sacraments and obser­uances that are in it. Fourthly in respect of the Vicarhead Pastors, and people, whose holinesse it includeth. Christ ascending into heauen made S. Peter the head of all the Apostles, and of the whole Church to remaine as Vicar to himselfe vpon earth, commending particularly to him the charge of his sheepe; that is of all faith­full christians that are in the Church, as in his sheepfold. This charge was performed by him whilst he liued; and after his death by men of great holines, who succeeded him; ioyning their blood vnto his, as it were in a continuall streame of martyrdome, for almost three hun­dred yeares after the Ascension of Christ. After them those who haue succeeded in that chaire and office, haue bene for the most part men of great holinesse; as they haue great meanes to be, and as it is fitting they should be in that holy office. The Church is also holy in many other inferiour Pastors, and people of all sorts, and callings; of Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins, who haue illustrated it with their holy liues, and [Page 178]haue rendred it a deere, and amiable spouse to Christ. Lastly the Church is holy as being by its authority the ground of all holines, there being none at all but in it For there can be noe holi­nesse in this world if not grounded vpon true faith, Heb. 11. without which it is impossible to please God. And being there can be noe faith that can please God but in the Catholike Church, all holinesse that is amongst men is in the holy Catholike Church.

The Church is called by the Apostles Catho­like, Catholike. which is as much as to say, vniuersal, to destinguish the true Church of Christ from all false Churches of christians, which they saw might rize vp in following times, and did euen then beginne to rize in their times. None of which can be said to be Catholike or vniuersal; but priuate and particular Churches, which be­ginne by opposing of the Catholike and vni­uersal Church, then extant when those new sects beginne. First the Church is vniuersal in doctrine, for that it teacheth all ouer the same doctrine, and yeeldeth obedience to the same gouernment, vnder one head: and soe the Church of Rome is Catholike, and the Church of Protestants is not Catholike for that protestants agree in name onely, and nor in doctrine: and also because some of them acknowledging a head vpon earth; (as the English Protestants did) and some of them acknowledging noe head vpon earth, they haue not all obedience to the same authority; which obedience must necessarily be had to be the same Church, and to be the true [Page 179]Catholike Church. For the Apostles made this article to keepe vs allwais in the odedience of the true Church, and that those might be knowne to haue the true faith of Christ, who retaining the doctrine which is professed by the whole Church, which then is, and obeying the autho­rity of it, submitte in all controuersys to that which it teacheth, and say with the Apostles I beleeue the Catholike Church; and therefor two Churches, that obey two different authoritys, can not both of them be vniuersal and Catholike. Secondly the true Church is vniuersall in times: for that it must be at all times, and neuer soe va­nished out of the world, that there should neede any to restore it againe: for God doth not soe vnequally destribute his graces as to leaue the the world at any time without meanes of salua­tion; which cannot be without a true, and law­full Church. Besides the Apostles Creede is to be said at all times; and soe we are allwais to say I beleeue the Catholike Church: which we could not allwais say, if at some time there were noe true Catholike Church in the world. Thirdly the Church is vniuersal in place: for if S. Paul could with truth apply those words of the psalme their sounde hath gone forth vnto all the earth; Ps. 18. and vnto the ends of the [...]ound world the words of them, to the Church of Christ in the Apostles times, when it was nothing soe much dilated, as now God be thanked it is; we may now with good rea­son call it Catholike in respect of all places, when the sounde of the Apostles doctrine is soe much enlarged, that there is hardly any place [Page 180]of the world, whither the Catholike Church doth not send her subiects to preach.

Out of this vniuersality of the Church it fol­loweth, One. that there is but one true Church in which saluation may be had: for vniuersality importeth vnity: and if there be vnity in the Church, and that this vnity be necessarily required, and in­cluded in the word Catholike or vniuersal; which signifye h [...] many agreeing in the same thinge; then two Churches which are not vnited in the same Communion, and obedience to the same authority, can not both of them haue meanes of saluation: for if they could both haue meanes of saluatiō, and yet might lawfully disobey each others authority; then we should not be bounde to obey it nor could it lawfully require obedience to it: which is contrary to the words of Christ binding vs to the obedience of the Church, and contrary to this ar­ticle, and to all reason and gouernment. S. Au­gustine There is nothing which a christian ought soe much to feare as to be separated from the body of Christ, Aug. tract. 27. which is for certaine the one Catholike Church. For if he be separated from the body of Christ, he is not a member of him. If he be not a member of him, he is not nourished with his spirit. By which it is plane in the doctrine of this saint, that it can not be a true Church which is separated from the true Church; and by consequence two Churches, which separate from each other can not both be true. Therefor let those take head that hearken to that bold persuasion of some, who perswade themselues, that saluation may be had in any religion, or in either of some two reli­gions, [Page 181]or in any faith soe that they beleeue in Christ; for they shall finde one day, that dis­obedience to the true Church is a sinne which deserueth damnation. S. Augustine againe in another place. Epist. 104. Being out of the Church and diuided from the heape of vnity, and the bond of charity, thou shouldst be punished with eternal fire, although thou shouldst be burned aliue for the name of Christ.

The Church is honored in the scriptures with many noble, and glorious titles. The titles of Church. It is called the kingdome of God, the house of God, his spouse, his faire one, his onely one, and the very body of Christ. He gouerneth it as his kingdome, he prouideth for it as his household, and loueth it as his deere spouse, and as his owne body; pleas­ing and delighting himselfe in the soules of good Catholikes that serue him. It is compared to the holy city of Hierusalem, in which the true wor­ship of God flourished, and in which diuine sa­crifice was duely offered. It is compared to the arke of Noë out of which there was noe saluation; but a general death and destruction.

Infidels that haue not the faith of Christ are out of the Church. Haeretiks, Schismatiks and excommunicated persons although they beleeue in Christ; yet because they heare not the Church, that is obey it not, they are also our of it, as hea­thens that participate not the benefits of it.

The Catholike Church hath two parts, The trium­phans and militant Church. the one Triumphant, the other Militant. The Trium­phant Church is the company of blessed soules in heauen: who hauing gotten victory ouer their [Page 182]spirituall enemys in this life, are now triumphing in euerlasting glory. The Militant Church is the company of the faithfull vpon earth, liuing as it were in a warrfare, where we are allwais fighting with the enemys of our soules, and by perseuering vnto the end in the seruice of God, we shall be crowned like good and faithfull souldiers. The Militant Church conteineth both good and euill liuers, Mat. 3. and therefor it is compared to a field that beareth both good corne, and cockle; to a nette that gathereth together both good, and euill fish. The good are kept, Mat. 13. but the bad are throwne away. It is compared to tenne virgins, fiue of which were wise, and had prepared the light of good works against the comming of Christ to reward them; Mat. 25. and therefor they were admitted into his heauenly nuptials; but the other fiue came like fooles, and although they had the faith of Christ, and were christians; yet wanting the oile of the loue of God, and the light of good works, they were excluded from his blessed ioyes. By these and the like places we are giuen to vnderstande, that it is not enough to haue the true faith, and to be Catholikes, if our liues be dissonant from our profession, that we liue not like good Catho­likes: for there are many euill liuers in the Ca­tholike Church, who as bundles of cockle shall be throwne into the fire.

The Communion of Saints. Communion of Saints. S. Iohn Euangelist writing to the faithfull giueth them as the cause of his writing, that you also may haue society with vs, Io. 1.1. and our society may be with the father and with his sonne Iesus Christ. That is that you may keepe [Page 183]in the society and Communion of the Church, and be partakers of those good works, and mea­nes of saluation, which are to be had in it. For there in is the Catholike Church such a partici­pation of good works, that all Catholikes that are in the state of grace participate with one an­other in them, and receiue benefit by the good works of others. The reason is because the Ca­tholike Church is as it were one body, and all the members of it liue by the same spirit of the Holy Ghost, and of Iesus Christ, who keepe them in that holy vnion, and Communion to­gether. And as all the members of the body con­curre and helpe to the good of each other; soe euery member of the Catholike Church helpeth to the good of the rest, and receiueth good by the rest, participating of their good works. Ps. 118. [...]am par­taker of all that seare thee. Saith he holy psalme. And in the P [...]ter nester our Sauiour hath taught vs soe to pray, that euery one should aske in the name of all, saying giue vs, forgiue vs &c.

Those who are guilty of mortall sinne, as they haue noe reward of grace for any worke of their owne, which is done in that state, soe they loose the benefit which they should receiue by the good works of others. For although they be members of the Catholike Church; yet wanting the life of grace they are as dead and rotten members, into which the rest haue noe spirituall influence.

The benefit which is reaped by the good works of others is participated by euery one in measure, and proportion to the disposition which he hath for it, and according to the intention of him [Page 184]that performeth the worke: for as we are more or lesse in his intention; soe doe we participate more or lesse benefit by the worke which he doth. For this it is enough to say that our good works are offerings which we make to God; and are ther­for receiued and applyed by him according to the offerers intention. By all which we may see what a happinesse it is to be in the Catholike Church, Ps. 83. and in the state of grace Blessed are they who dwell in thy house ô Lord. Now let vs speake

OF THE AVTHORITY of the Church.

BY these words of the Creede it appeareth that the Catholike Church is of diuine authority: for euery article of the Creede being of diuine authority; and we being by this article bound to beleeue the Church; it followeth that the Church hath diuine authority, and that we are bounde to beleeue, and to obey it, as hauing the autho­rity of God. And therefor this article was most profitably, and necessarily made by the Apostles, as the ground and foundation of diuine faith and worship. For although in the scriptures it be plane, and by reason must needes be true, that we are allwais to be gouerned by the authority of the Church; yet this article being soe commonly and often professed, it is agreat curbe to the rizing of new sects and haeresys, all which beginne in the disobedience of some priuate men to the au­thority of the whole Church: and it can not but [Page 185]be a horrour to their mindes, and a greeuous wounde to their owne consciences, to see how they contradict the common Creede of the A­postles. And therefor S. Paul might well say that a man that is an haeretike is subuerted and sinneth; Tit. 3. being condemned by his owne iudgment.

The authority of the Church is diuine in that it is declared also by the scriptures: and that in innumerable places, which for breuity I omitte, and will mention onely the words of our Sauiour, which he spoke to his disciples at his last farewell from them. Christ in his Ascension being to leaue his Apostles with a hard taske, and difficult worke which they were to performe in founding of the Catholike Church amongst soe many enemys, he told them for their comfort, Mat. 2 [...]. Behold I am with you a [...]l dayes euen to the consummation of the world. He spoke then to the Apostles, and would not onely comfort them, but all others who were to haue the gouernment of the Church for euer after, promising to be with them, as long as the world should endure. As long then as Christ was to be with them their doctrine was for euer to be true and their authority diuine; and he being to be with them vnto the consummation of the world, their doctrine was to be true and their authority diuine vnto the consummation of the world, as the doctrine and authority of Christ, who pro­mised allwais to assist them in their worke: and soe their worke was his worke, and their doctrine and authority were his. Christ therfor is allwais with the Pastors of the Church when they repre­sent, and haue the authority of the whole Church; [Page 186]not with euery one of them particularly, but with all of them together; and therefor although any one particular bishop, as he is onely a particular member of the Church may erre; yet all bishops cannot possibly erre at any time; because Christ hath promised to be with them all dayes.

It is not needfull to produce the sentences of fathers for the diuine authority of the Church; both because these words of the Creede made by the Apostles, and at all times consented vnto by the fathers I beleeue the Catholike Church may stande for their sentences; and also because their sentences to this purpose will frequently occurre in that, which I haue to say of the Church. Scrip­tures and fathers are easily misconstrued by haere­tiks, who make them to speake as they will vn­derstande them: or if they be too plane against them, they discarde the sentence, or the whole booke. For those that are soe bold as to contra­dict the whole Church haue lost their shame, and neede regard noe authority at all But because they pretende reason, as building all their doc­trines vpon their owne witts; and because this point is soe necessary for the deciding of all con­trouersys, and to the true and lawfull condemna­tion of all haeresys; we will make it euident by plane and easy reasons, which all may vnderstande.

To thinke to haue religion without the diuine authority of an infallible Church, is to thinke to build without a foundation, or as we com­monly say to build castles in the ayre; the foun­dation of all true religion being the authority of the Church which professeth it. Grant once [Page 187]that a Church may erre (as it may if it be not supported by the diuine authority) and we can not be certaine of any doctrine which it teacheth; and being vncertaine of the truth of its doc­trine, we are not bound to beleeue vncertaintys, and it can not be the true religion, if it be pro­fessed by a Church which we are not bounde to beleeue. And therefor the first thinge, which is to be established as the foundation of true reli­gion, is the infallible and consequently diuine authority of the Church that professeth it. Take once away the authority of the Church, and ab­solue men from the obedience of it, and you make euery man his owne master, and leauing him to himselfe to beleeue what he listeth, all is brought into vncertainty and confusion: for there is noe point of faith soe certaine, nor any thinge soe cleere, but by prowde and contentious men it might be brought into question.

This is declared by particular instances. If the Church of Christ were not of diuine authori­ty, and infallible certainty in all which it teach­eth, we could not be certaine either of the Creede, or of the scriptures, or of the sense of either of them, or of any article of faith what­soeuer; nay the very foundation of all religion would be destroyed, the diuine existence becom­ming also vncertaine to vs; and insteede of go­uernment, vnion, and order in the worship of God, we should haue noe diuine worship, nor God, at all; but a horrible confusion, and more then hellish disorder would dwell vpon earth.

First the Creede is not receiued but for the [Page 188]authority of the Church▪ We beleeue that euery article of the Creede was made by diuine inspi­ration and authority, and as such we will defende them with our liues; yet this we know not but by the Church: for of our selues we could not cer­tainely know it, nor should we beleeue it of the Creede more then of other writings, which we receiue not as of faith, but that the Church com­mandeth vs soe to beleeue of it, and not of them. Againe we doe not know the sense of any article of the Creede, but by the authority of the Church: take away this and we had the sense of them to seeke we knew not where: euery one might follow his owne sense, and we should be certaine of no­thing, but of vncertainty and confusion. Take away the diuine and infallible authority of the Church in the Apostles times, and you bring all into vncertainty whatsoeuer they taught, and ruine the foundation of the whole christian faith, and it had bene noe matter what they had deli­uered in the Creede, or whether they had made any Creede at all. Take away that authority from the Church of Christ that is at all times; and it is noe matter what Creede it deliuer, or what sense of the Creede; seeing it may erre in that which it sayeth, and those thinges may be false which it deliuereth for true.

The same appeareth in the scriptures. We beleeue that such and such scriptures were written by some that had the spirit of God to write no­thing but truth in them; that all those bookes which we receiue were written with that spirit; and that all those bookes passing through soe [Page 189]many hands, and handwritings, as must neces­sarily haue bene before printing was inuented, haue remained vncorrupted vntill our times. How doe we know all this to be soe, but by the authority of the Church? deny this, as all hae­retiks doe to follow their owne phansys, and you may admitte of what Scriptures you will, or if you will, you may deny all scriptures. And this we see by experience to be true, that haere­tiks reiecting the authority of the Church, and disobeying it, reiect also the scriptures, and re­ceiue but what they will. The Carpocratites, Se­uerians and Manichees reiected all the old Testa­ment, and all the foure ghospels of the new, except that of S. Luke. Cerdon and Cerinthus reiected S. Luke. The Seuerians reiected the acts of the Apostles, and all the Epistles of S. Paul. Luther and some Protestants reiect the Epistle of S. Iames. The Alogians and some Protestants reiect the Apocalypse. And Suencfeldius seeing such a strife about the scriptures, cleered him­selfe readily, in a word reiecting all. Soe that if we might contradict the Church, and follow either our owne, or the conceits of any priuate men, we might reiect the true scriptures, as these haue done, and receiue false scriptures, as the Apocryphi did, or deny all scriptures as Suenc­feldius, Quintinus, the Libertines and other haeretiks haue done. The authority of the Church bindeth vs to receiue scriptures, and appointeth what scriptures we should receiue: and for that authority we receiue the ghospell, which S. Marke wrote who was noe Apostle, and not that of S. [Page 190]Thomas who was an Apostle, and we reiect the ghospell of Nicodemus, who had seene Christ, and receiue the ghospell of S. Luke who neuer saw him. Therfor we must ground our selues vpon the authority of the Church, and obey it, or els we should not know what scriptures to receiue. S. Augustine hath said this in plane ter­mes, Epis. fund. c. 5. when he said that he would not beleeue the ghospell but for the authority of the Church. And addeth that for the same authority he would not beleeue Manichaeus the haereticke.

Further more the word of the scriptures is not profitable to vs, but in its true sense; and that true sense can not be knowne but by a true interpretour; which euery priuate man, as we see, is not: for although there be a great dis­parity in the abilitys of men excelling one an­other; yet noe man of himselfe is free from errour, and can but by his owne reason probably affirme that, which another may probably deny; and therfor all priuate opinions must be referred vnto some certaine authority, which must decide all controuersys in the sense of the scriptures. Besides the scriptures in themselues are soe hard to be vnderstoode and full of difficultys; that it were against reason to leaue euery man to his owne sense and construction of them. They haue beside the litteral sense many kindes of allegorys, in which if we should follow the letter, it would kill vs. The deuill alleadged the letter and word of holy scriptures; but in a false sense to tempt Christ; and Christ refuted him by the words of scripture in their true sense: but if we had [Page 191]not at all times the like authority of Christ in the Church, the deuill would easily peruert the scrip­tures to vs, and we should be subiect to continuall errors. S. Peter saith that in the Epistles of S. Paul there are certaine thinges hard to be vnder­stoode which the vnlearned and vnstable depraue as also the rest of the scriptures to their owne per­dition: and S. Augustine, Pet. 2.3. Epis. 119. who was one of the learnedest sort of men, confesseth that there were more places of the scriptures, which he vnder­stoode not, then that he vnde stoode. The sense of the scriptures is soe depraued by haeretiks, that Luther called the scriptures the booke of haeretiks; euery haeretike alle [...]dging scriptures, and all of them deprauing them to their owne perdition; and in this they are knowne to depraue them, that they follow their owne interpretations, and priuate conceipts against the whole Church. Simon Magus would giue soe much honour to the Angels, that he would haue them our media­tors aboue Christ, and he alleadged scriptures and reason for this doctrine: Protestants honour them soe litle, that they will not grant them any mediation at all, neither v [...]der Christ; and they also alleadge scriptures and reasons for their doctrine. The Manichees forbadde some meates as in themselues vnlawfull to be eaten, and al­leadged scriptures and reason for this doctrine: Protestants allow of all meates to be eaten at all times, (although it be against the praecep [...] of the Church) and alleadge also scriptures and reason for their doctrine The Marcionists Encratites, and other haeretiks forbadde marriage as vnlaw­full, [Page 192]and alleadged scriptures and reasons for this doctrine: Protestants esteeme soe highly of marriage that they make it lawfull for virgins and religious persons that haue dedicated and vowed their chastity to God, and alleadge also scriptures, and reasons for it. Pelagius attribut­eth our good works to our owne natural forces, and to freewill more then to grace; and hath more shew of scriptures, then most haeretiks haue for their doctrines: Protestants on the contrary grant noe freewill at all, and will not want scrip­tures nor reasons for themselues. Thus you haue two contrary doctrines both of them alleadging scriptures, and both of them in a false sense, the truth being betwixt them both (saith a learn­ed authour) as Christ was betwixt two theeues. Mald in Io. 6. But how doe we know that neither of them hath the true sense of the scriptures? We know it by the authority of the whole Church, which at first de­clared against those doctrines: and therefor who­soeuer shall obstinatly mainteine them are haere­tiks; because they deny the ninth article of the Creede, not beleeuing the Catholike Church; but standing obstinate against all authority that was then in the world. Which if at any time it were lawfull to doe; then were there none to in­terprete the scriptures, and to destinguish betwixt sense and sense, and reason and reason; and we might as well haue noe scriptures at all, as haue noe meanes to know the true sense of them.

Lastly if there were not at all times some au­thority amongst men infallibly assisted of God to gouerne, and direct in his worship, and to [Page 193]determine the verity of all propositions, that were to be beleeued with diuine faith; then might euery man beleeue and say what he liked, and all order and gouernment were taken away, and vtmost disorder would reigne amongst vs, euen to the denying of God. For although natural reason doth declare the diuine existence, and a demonstration may be made by a good Philo­sopher to prooue it; yet liberty would induce to that which is against reason, and would draw into atheisme as it doth to other vices which by the reason, and nature of all men are abhorred. Besides not one man among a thousand can make that demonstration; and what then should be­come of those that can not, if they were to forsake the authority of the Church, and follow onely their owne reasons? should he onely be saued that can make it? noe nor he neither by that, which were but a natural knowledge, and humane faith in him.

Out of all which it followeth, that the Ca­tholike Church hath diuine authority to deter­mine all veritys, and to decide all controuersys of faith, and to direct vs infallibly in that which we are to beleeue, and to doe in relation to the honour of God: or els the Creede had bene in vaine, as also the scriptures; all proofe of reason had bene vncertaine, all vnion and orderly go­uernment, and the very foundation of all reli­gion were vtterly destroyed; and therfor one may as well say I will haue noe Creede, nor religion at all, as to say I will haue or beleeue noe Church: and those onely remaine sure and secute from [Page 194]errour that at all times, in all controuersys follow the sentence of the Church, and adhaere to it. And therfor the Apostles by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost made this important article, that we might neuer forgett our obedience to the Church, but that in all doubts and difficultys we might haue recourse to it, and say I beleeue the Catholike Church. And that those who will stande against it may be knowne to be infringers of the law, and Creede of the Apostles.

From hence is the beginning of all heresys, that some priuate men will contradict the autho­rity of the whole Church, and obiecting against some particular point, or points of faith, they make themselues the iudges, and determine as they will themselues. They contende allwais about some particular point, or points of faith, and wrangle about them▪ but if you aske them vpon what authority they contradict the Catho­like Church, and all the Churches in the world, separating from them? they are then out of their witts, and know not what to say; knowing that if they pretende the word of God, the same ques­tion confoundeth them againe, demanding vpon what authority they dare interprete the word of God against the Catholike Church, and against all the Churches in the world? besides that the word of God is against them, com­manding both in the Creede, and scriptures to beleeue the Church. If we will giue them sa­tisfaction in those particular points, and diffi­cultys, it is but of curtesy; for we confesse that there are many points of faith, which by our owne [Page 195]reason we cannot comprehende: the most rea­sonable, and best satisfaction is because the Ca­tholike Church soe teacheth: otherwise as I haue shewed we should neither haue Creede, nor scrip­tures, nor God. Contende not then with hae­retiks about particular points; but aske them vpon what authority they dare question them? what Church will they follow? If they will fall from the Catholike Church to some company of haeretiks, that beganne at some time against all Churches, or if themselues will beginne such a company, they are here condemned in this ar­ticle. The authority of the Church is the rule, the guide, the sure anker, to which we must all wais hold. It is a rocke which dasheth in peeces all temptations of faith, and obiections of hae­retiks, and keepeth vs free from doubts and feares, as in a quiet, and safe harbour. Let vs now speake

OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Church.

THe Church in holy scriptures is compared to a well ordered citty, such an one as Hie­rusalem was, when the seruice of God slourished in it. But the gouernment of the Church of Christ doth farre excell that. For it is a gouernment which God hath taken a neerer charge of, as hauing in his owne person instituted it first, and engaged himselfe by promise allwais to protect, and defende it: and therfor he must at all times prouide such gouernors for it, as shall carefully [Page 196]mainteine his diuine seruice in it. Esa. 62. Vpon thy walls, Hierusalem, I haue appointed watchmen, all the night, for euer they shall not hold their peace. It is compared to the army of a campe set in array, Cant. 6. glorious in it selfe, and terrible to its enemys for the order which it hath.

The order and good gouernment of the Church consisteth in the dew subordination of subiects to their superiors. As in our bodys seueral offices are giuen to seueral parts, and all of them constituted vnder one head. And as in a common wealth some beare offices, and others without offices obey them, and all are finally reduced vnto some head, and supreme power, and that supreme power subordinate lastly to God that impowred it; soe in the gouernment of the Church, some haue authority ouer others, and one head is placed ouer all. These are the pastors whom God hath appointed, and disposed into that order. Rom. 13. Those thinges that are of God are or­dained. Saith the Apostle; that is to say, they are with order; and to be with order is to be not all alike; but with subordination of inferiors to su­periour powers; and soe the order of the Church consisteth in people subordinate to their pastors, and of pastors subordinate vnto one supreme head vpon earth. And the head and pastors of the Church exercizing their power most fully in a General Councell; it will be sufficient for the gouernment of the Church, to speake of the head, and of General Councels.

Christ chose out of all the world some to be his disciples; Of the head of the Church. out of his disciples he tooke some [Page 197]to be Apostles, and out of his Apostles he chose one to be the head, and to haue authority ouer his whole Church. These (vnderstanding by the disciples all those that were vnder the Apostles) were then the whole Church of Christ. S. Peter was chosen by him, as the head and supreme pastour ouer all, both pastors, and people. Him and his successors we call the vicars of Christ, that is to say, he that beareth vpon earth the person and place of Christ, who is in heauen the cheife head of the Church. Neither can it in rea­son offende any, that we call S. Peter, and his successors in that office the Vicars of Christ. For if S. Paul might authorize what he did in punish­ing, and pardoning of the Corinthian with the authority of Christ, and could lawfully say, that he did it in the name, vertue, Cor. 1.5. Cor. 2.2. and person of Christ, he being but a subiect of the head pas­tour of the Church; with much more reason the cheife pastour, and head of the Church may be called the Vicat of Christ, he performing, and executing that office after a more eminent man­ner in the name, vertue, and person of Christ.

Christ first promised this authority when asking his disciples, whom they thought him to be, Pe­ter answered, Thou art Christ the Sonne of the liuing God. Then [...]esus answering said to him. Mat. 16. Blessed art thou Simon [...] I say to thee thou art Peter; (that is to say a rocke) and vpon this rocke I will build my Church, and the ga [...]es of hell shall not preuaile against it. And I will giue to thee the keyes of the kingdome of heauen. And whatsoeuer thou shalt binde vpon earth, shall [Page 198]be bounde also in the heauens: and what soeuer thou shalt loose in earth, it shall be loosed also in the heauens. By which it is most euident, that some greater dignity, and preeminonce was intended to Peter, then to the rest of the Apostles. First it was a most singular high mystery that which Christ asked, and Peter then professed; and which be­fore then perhaps was neuer reuealed to any of the Apostles, and which flesh and blood could not reueale; that is by humane meanes could not be vnderstoode. Moreouer Christ then blessed him, and spoke vnto him after a most particular, and energious manner of speech, calling him a rocke: which was not his name, nor had ary relation to him, more then to the rest of his A­postles, but in respect of some mystery, to wit as he was to be the prime foundation of the Church amongst them. Then the keyes of the kingdome of heauen were particularly promised to him, hauing first called him a rocke, and pro­mised to build his Church vpon that rocke. Which can not be vnderstoode of Christ; for Christ spoke not then to himselfe; but to Simon: be­sides the Church was then all ready builded vpon Christ; but here he speaketh for the future, and promiseth that it should be builded vpon Simon, whom he called Peter: and said thou art a rocke, and vpon this rocke I will build my Church; and therefor he must not be vnderstoode then to say, that he would build it vpon another rocke, and not vpon that. For although the Church were build­ed cheefly vpon Christ; yet then he spoke of Simon, and therefor it must be builded vpon [Page 199]him also: to whom he then also said I will giue to thee. By all which it is manifest to any that hath not the spirit of contradiction, and wrangling about any thinge, that Christ did not say here that he would build his Church vpon himselfe; but vpon Simon, whom therefor he called a rocke. And vnto this all the holy fathers agree, that he founded his Church vpon S. Peter; although they grant also that which is true, to wit that the Church was founded vpon Christ; and also vpon Peters Confession, as a meanes and preparation for the building of it upon his person.

That which Christ here promised, he after­wards performed, when before his Ascension he spoke to Peter, and gaue vnto him the care of his flocke, asking him first, Io. 21. Simon of I [...]hn louest thou mee more then these? and Peter answered yea Lord thou knowest that I loue thee. Then he bad him feede his lambes. And againe he asked him Simon of Iohn louest thou mee? and Peter answer­ed againe Yea Lord, thou knowest that I loue thee. Christ not contented with all this, asked him againe the third time, louest thou mee? and Peter answering Lord thou knowest all thinges: thou knowest that I loue thee. Then he badde him feede his sheepe. Now what could all this signify, that Christ should soe often aske of Peter if he loued him, and if he loued him more then the rest, and that Peter should againe, and againe professe his loue to him, and that he should haue the care of Christs lambes and sheepe; but that as Peter had professed, before the rest, his faith in him when he promised the supreme authority to him, [Page 200]soe he should professe his loue especially aboue the rest, when he gaue him that authority. And this authority being ouer the lambes and sheepe, it is general ouer all the whole flocke, great and litle, pastors and people; all being conteined in the denomination of lambes and sheepe. Eu­sebius Emissenus, Ser. de net. Io. Enang. he first committed his lambes and then his sheepe to him; because he made him not onely a pastour; but the pastour of pastors. He is therefor the pastour of all for beside lambes and sheepe there is nothing in the Church. And S. Ber­nard If thou louest mee Peter seede my sheepe What sheepe the people of this or that city, Ber. l. 2. de consid ad Eugen. c. 8. countrey or kingdome? to whom is it not plane that he assigned in particular none, but all? T [...]ere is nothing excep­ted where noe destinction is made. S. Gregory, It is plane to all those that reade the gh [...]spell that from our Lords mouth the charge of the whole Church was deliuered to Peter Prince of the Apostles. Greg l. 4. Ep. 76. It is indeede soe plane in the ghospell, that for all the senses which most places of the scriptures ad­mitte, and in which the holy fathers haue di­uersely vnderstoode them; yet as Maldonat hath obserued vpon this place of S Iohn 21. there was neuer any father, either of the Latine or Greeke Church, that vnderstoode this place contrary to that sense; yet Luther and Caluin are soe bold, as not onely to question it; but also to contra­dict it, and to stande in this contradiction against them all, and against the whole Church. S. Denis calleth S. Peter the supreme glory and most auncient tuteur and safeguard of dinines. De din. nem. c 3. And hauing bene present when he and S. Paul were [Page 201]martyred at Rome, he writeth to Timothee (who was his fellow disciple to S. Paul) the manner how they saluted one another before martyr­dome. ad Tim. When (saith he) the two pillars of the world were separated, Paul said to Peter, Peace be with thee foundation of Churches, shepheard of the ewes and lambes of Christ. Peter said to Paul, Goe in peace preacher of the good, mediatour and captaine of the health of the iust. Thus did S. Paul salute S. Peter with that which was his prime and prop­per title of the shepheard of Christs flocke. The holy fathers also speake in such termes of S. Peter, and giue him such titles, as planely ex­presse an eminency of power and authority ouer the rest of the Apostles. Hyp. decon­samma. mund [...]. Tert. prascrip. c. 22. Cyp. ep. 40. ali [...]s lib. 1. ep [...]. Pet. Alex ser. de poenit. Amb. in c. 2. ad Gal. Opt l 2. cont. Donat. Cyr. Catech. 2. & 1. & 17. Greg N.Z. or 7 [...]piph. haer. 51. Chrysos [...]ora. 5. in Iudaos. Damesus. ep. 2. Hiero. in psal. 13. Hyppolitus Peter the Prince of the Apostles. Tertul. The Rocke of the Church. Cyprian. One God, one Christ, one Church one chaire founded vpon Peter by our Lords voice. Pet. Alex. Peter the Prince of t [...]e Apostles. S. Ambrose To Peter alone the grace of the primate­ship amongst the Apostles was giuen. S. Optatus In the citty of Rome the Episc [...]pal chaire was first giuen to Peter, in which Peter the head of all the Apostles satte. S. Cyril, Hieros. calleth him the Prince of the Apostles. S. Greg. Naz. The safety of the Church. S. Epiphan. The captaine of the disciples. S. Chrysos. The Prince of the Apostles. S. Damasus. The onely Prince of the Apostles S. Hierome Peter the head of the Church. S. August. Who knoweth not most blessed Peter to be the Prince of the Apostles. The primacy amongst the Apostles by speciall grace is praeeminent in Peter S. Leo Peter alone is chosen of all the world to be set ouer the vo­cation [Page 202]of all nations, Aug. tract. 56. in lo. & l. 2. d [...] bap. cont. Donat. c. 1. Lee ser. 3. de anniuers. Assumpt. and all the Apostles, and all the fathers of the Church.

Neither doth the supremacy of Christ ouer the Church hinder the supremacy of S Peter in spiritual affaires, any more then his supremacy in temporal power hindereth the supreme autho­rity of temporal Princes in temporal affaires. Christ of himselfe was the head of all authority, both spiritual and temporall; but after his ascen­sion into heauen, he being visibly absent from vs, as he left kings with supreme authority in the temporal gouernment of their kingdomes; soe also he left one head to haue supreme authority vnder him in the gouernment of the Church, which is his cheife kingdome conteining all the kingdomes of the world; and therefor stoode much more neede of a head to gouerne and keepe vnity in it. This as I haue shewed could be none but S. Peter whilst he liued, for that Christ foun­ded the Church on him, gaue vnto him the keyes of heauen, and made him the pastour of all his sheepe in such circumstances, as are most euident for it. Moreouer he is first named in the catalogue of the Apostles, Mat 10. and said to be the first; not for that he first followed Christ: Amb. in Co. 2.12. for as S. Ambrose sayth, Andrew first followed Christ before Peter; and yet the primacy Andrew receiued not. To him the Apostles had recourse, as to their superiour: he tooke vpon him cheifly to decide controuersys in General Councells, to speake before the rest, to worke miracles before the rest: and was neuer murmured at by any of the Apostles, as taking vpon him more then his due. The auncient and [Page 203]holy fathers of the Church acknowledge, as you haue seene his supreme authority. And if all this be not sufficient; let it suffize that it is the doctri­ne of the Catholike Church: what vpstart teacher will beginne to contradict it? or who will be­leeue and follow him?

It was very necessary that Christ should or­daine one head, and supreme power in the Church, for the keeping of vnity and concord in it; and that in all difficultys which should arize the Pastors of the Church might be called together by the cheife head, the place of their meeting might be assigned by him, and they be kept in vnity by obeying his authority. S. Cy­prian considered this as the onely meanes for the suppression of haeresys, Cyp. defim­pl [...]t prae­atorum siu [...] de vnit. Eccles. which the enemy of God laboreth soe much to raise, and deliuereth it as the meanes instituted of Christ to keepe vnity in the Church The enemy (saith this saint) perceiuing his idols to be forsak [...]n, and his temples to be deserted by the multitude of beleeuers, inuen­ted a new deceit to deceiue the vnwary by the name of a Christian, raizing heresys and schismes to corrupt verity, and to subuert faith. This is ô bre­thren because we haue not recourse unto the origen, nor seeke to the head. Which if we would examine and consider, there would neede noe long treatise nor many arguments to finde out the truth. Our Lord said to Peter, Thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke I will build my Church &c. and againe after his resurrection Feede my sheepe. Vpon him alone he buildeth the Church, and commendeth to him the feeding of his sheepe. And although he gaue equall [Page 204]authority to all the Apostles after his resurrection, saying as my father sent mee, All the A­postles equal in Apostle ship. Yet Veteronely had the pri­macy. Hiero. l. 1. aduers. Io­uin. c. 14. soe I send you, re­ceiue the Holy Ghost whose sinnes &c. Yet to ma­nifest vnity be constituteth one chaire and by his authority he disposed the origen of that vnity to beginne from one. The rest of the Apostles were that which Peter was. The primacy was giuen to Peter, that the Church of Christ might appeare to be one, and one chaire. S. Hierome Although all the A­postles in Apostleship were alike; yet Christ for the better keeping of vnity, and truth, would haue one to be the head of them all; that a head being once constituted, occasion of schisme might be taken away. By which we see how necessary it was, in the opinion of these saints, that one should be established, as the supreme pastour and head of the Church, and that although all the Apo­stles had the same power as bishops, and had their authority immediatly from Christ himselfe; and soe the Church was also founded vpon them, that is vpon their necessary functions; yet it was cheifly founded vpon S. Peter, as the Primate and supreme pastour ouer all, who had also from Christ himselfe the lawfull execution of that authority.

Now if one supreme head was constituted of Christ as necessary to keepe vnity and preuent schismes in the Church of God; the gouernment of the Church required euer after, that supreme power to remaine in successors to him; and it was not to continue onely for thirty six, or thirty seauen yeares, as long as S. Peter liued; there being afterwards as much, if not more neede of [Page 205]it; schismes and heresys being as likely to rize in the Church after the Apostles dayes, when it was destitute of their presence, as when it had their helpe and assistance; and S. Cyprian as you see maketh this to be the origen of all schismes and heresys, because they seeke not to the head. And therefor, as I shall shew in the next title, it is a sufficient destinction to discerne all false Churches by, that they beginne allwais in dis­obedience to the head of the Church, and the Pastors of his Communion. But hauing spoken of the head of the Church, in the next place we will speake of Generall Councels.

Christ hauing chosen Apostles to gouerne the Church, General Councells. and amongst the Apostles one to be the head; these then had the authority of the whole Church, and all were bounde to obey them. When therefor the general necessity of the Church requireth, for the preuenting of schismes or he­resys, or the deciding of any controuersys that a Generall Councell should be called, the head of the Church exercizeth his supreme authority, summoning the Pastors together, and appointing a place of meeting for them: who consulting and resoluing vpon those questions; their reso­lutions are to be imbraced by all, as hauing au­thority from Christ himselfe, who made him the lawfull head, and them the lawfull Pastors of his Communion, in place of S. Peter and the Apostles; to whom the Holy Ghost was sent for their assistance, and whom Christ promised to be with vnto the consummation of the world. Thus did S. Peter with some other pastors of the [Page 206]Church, that could conueniently be present, meete at Hierusalem: and hauing ended their consultation they rehearsed their decrees, and doubted not to call them the decrees of the Holy Ghost, Act. 15. saying, It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to vs. Such decrees as these are receiu­ed by all, as hauing indeede the authority, voyce, and consent of all true beleeuers that are in the world. For euery true and faithfull christian giuing his voice, as he ought, to that assembly, it hath the authority of the whole Catholike Church, and of all the faithfull in the world. Soe S. Atha­sius calleth the Councell of Nyce, Ath. de gest. Conc. Arim. an assembly of the whole world. S. Leo calleth also the decrees of that Councell the de [...]rees of the whole world. S. Augustine The sentence of a plenary, Aug. l. de b [...]p cont. Donat. l. 2. c. 4. or Generall Councell is the sentence of the whole Church. And speaking of the validity of baptisme done by hae­retiks, (which validity S. Cyprian and some others of that time denyed) he hath these words. Neither durst we affirme any such thinge (to wit as that the baptisme of haeretiks is valid) were we not well grounded vpon the most vniforme autho­rity of the whole Church: vnto which vndoubtedly S. Cyprian would haue yeelded, if in his time the truth of this question had bene cleered, and by a General Councell established. Greg in re­gistro. l. 1. c. 24. S. Gregory that he esteemed of the foure Generall Councells of Nyce, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon, as of the foure ghospels of Mathew Marke, Luke and Iohn. Blessed Theodosius before S. Grego­rys time went vp into the pulpit, as Metaphrastes declareth in his life, and pronounced publikly [Page 207] Let him be accursed that esteemeth not the foure holy Councels equal with the foure ghospells. An edict was setforth by the Emperour Valentinian and Martian his collegue in which the decrees of the Councel of Chalcedon are commanded to be obserued in these words. Let now all prophane strife be laid aside: for verily he is impious and sacrilegious, that after the sentences of soe many Priests, shall thinke that there remaineth any thinge by his opinion to be handled. Another decree is ex­tant of the Emperour Martian to the people of Constantinople, in which he sayth, We haue for­bidden all to dispute of religion; for one or two can not finde out those secrets: especially when soe many venerable Priests, with extreme labour, and much prayer, could not discouer the truth, but by the di­uine authority. It is indeede a most vaine thinge to dispute of the truth of those thinges which a Generall Councell hath declared to be true; be­cause all such thinges haue bene already sufficient­ly disputed by the best authority of the world.

That therefor, which by a General Councell is established as of faith, remaineth allwais firme and certaine in its truth; for God is not changed, nor can his words euer be but true: and the words of a General Councell are the words of God; Christ and the Holy Ghost teaching them all truth. Mat. 28. Io. 14 & 16. That which by some former Councell hath bene but obuiously, and sleightly handled, as being then out of question, may be more illus­trated by a following Councell: and such orders and constitutions as are agreeable to some times, may be repealed, as not conuenient for other [Page 208]times: and soe S. Augustine saith that the former are sometimes amended by the following; but noe General Councell, signed vnto by the head and Pastors of the Church, can euer be decla­red for false, nor any thinge which is declared by such a Councell. Some conuenticles of haere­tiks as that of the Arians at Ariminum, and of Nestorians at Ephesus, haue bene declared for false; because they were not general of the whole world, nor called and ratifyed by the bishop of Rome; as all General Councels vsed and ought to be. But those, which were true Councels, and were truely authorized by him, were neuer ques­tioned afterwards, nor any, thinge in them.

But although a General Councell includeth the authority of the whole Church; yet it is not necessary, that euery member of the Church be present at it: it is sufficient that the voice and assent of euery member of the Church be with the Pastors of the Church: for as it is not required that euery member of a kingdome be personally present at the Councell table of the king; but onely the king, and Peeres of the realme, who haue authority ouer all: and as the superiors onely and magistrates of the Commune Wealth, which are present in consultation make lawes for the good of all, and all are bounde to obey them, as the lawes of that nation and commune wealth, which they defende with their liues, and are guilty of death, if they breake them; because they proceede from the general and lawfull au­thority: soe the head of the Church, and pas­tors that are in Communion with him, being [Page 209]placed by Christ and the Holy Ghost, to gouerne the Church, haue lawfull authority to determine for all, and all are bounde to obey their decrees: for that they are the decrees of all, and that as­sembly is the whole Church in authority. Thus an assembly of the cheife of the [...]raëlits is called in holy scripture all Israël, Reg. 3. [...]. and as I haue shewed the holy fathers haue called General Councels assemblys of the whole Church, and of the whole world. Neither is it necessary that all the bishops of the Church be personally present at them. For that is morally impossible, and very incon­uenient; some being necessary to remaine for the performing of Episcopal functions. All the Apostles were not present with S. Peter at the Councell of Hierusalem; but onely those which could be spared from their places: which all at once can not be.

General Councels consist onely of bish­ops. Neither can, Councels enely of bishops. or euer did any other but bishops take place by their owne authority in them. And therfor S. Leo in his Epistles, and S. Augustin commonly call them Coun­cels of bishops. In the acts of the Councell of Chalcedon these words are some times re­peated Synodus Episcoporum est non Clericorum. Superfluos mitte foras. The Councell is of bish­ops not of Clerks. Those that are supersluous let them be put forth. The Abbot Auxentius being inuited to the Councell answered, It is not for Monks to teach others but to be taught. This is due onely to the dignity of bishops. As for temporal Princes, as such they neuer had any spiritual iu­risdiction [Page 210]in the Church of Christ; for that was giuen to Peter and the Apostles. The Emperour Theodosius writing to the Councell of Ephesus sayeth, It is not lawfull for mee, that am noe bishop to intermedle in Ecclesiastical affaires. The Em­perour Valentinian being sollicited by some bish­ops to cause a Councell to be called for the de­ciding of certaine questions then in controuersy, answered It is not for mee that am but in the ranke of the people to medle with those thinges. Let the Priests to whom they belong agree among them­selues to meete where they like. These Emperours spoke like wise men and good Christians. Cor. 1.7. Euery one in the vocation that he was called, in it [...]et him abide, saith the Apostle. Bishops are called to gouerne in spiritual, temporal Princes in tem­poral thinges; and they must not goe forth of their propper callings. Bishops made not them­selues bishops: God gaue that authority to them; and whosoeuer haue it, must haue it of God I will giue Pastors (saith God by his Prophet) and they shall feede you with knowledge and doctrine. Hier. 3. And S. Heb 5. Par. 2.26. Paul speaking of priesthood sayth neither doth any man take the honour to himselfe, but he that is called of God as Aaron. Ozias king of Iuda resisting the Priests, and comming boldly to the altare to vsurpe without calling their au­thority and office, was strucken of God with a suddaine leprosy which then in the sight of all broke forth of his forhead; soe that for his prowde aspiring to the dignity and office of Priests, he was then for his leprosy to be excluded euen from the people. And Saul for offering of ho­locaust [Page 211]being a king onely, and noe Priest, (al­though compelled as he thought by necessity vn­to it) lost notwithstanding his kingdome from himselfe and from his posterity for euer. Some times Emperours and Prince, are present at Ge­neral Councells to grace, and protect them from turbulent men; but they giue not their voices in any thinge. Soe Constantine the first christian Emperour was present in the first General Coun­cell of Nyce, but how? he came in the last of all, and hauing a litle low seate sette for him, he satte not downe vntill the bishops made him a signe to sitt downe. And as for the decrees of the Councell we reade that three hundred, and eight­teene bishops subscribed to them; but not that Constantine euer subscribed. Soe also men of more sanctity of life and eminent in abilitys, although not bishops are sometimes called to assist in General Councels; but not to giue sen­tence, or to subscribe to the decrees by their owne authority.

The gouernment therefor which Christ ordain­ed in his Church was by S. Peter, and the A­postles; that is to say by one head, or cheife bish­op, and by inferiour bishops vnder him. And their authority is most full, and obliging when it speaketh by a General Councell. Then the head of the Church exercizeth more fully his supreme authority, calling together the pastors of the world, and assigning to them the place of their meeting. The bishops and others, who for sanctity, wisdome, and learning are in reason to be thought the best deseruing of the whole [Page 212]world, are present at them. Being come together solemne dayes of prayer are instituted for the inuocation of the Holy Ghost. Euery one of this absolute company hath then liberty to speake his minde freely, and by the grounds of his owne religion, is bounde not to dissemble, but to speake the truth according to his conscience; they being for the most part meere strangers to one another. All things being well examined they subscribe in order, first the head bishop, and then the rest after him, according to their digni­ty. This is the harmony which Christ hath com­posed in his Church, of people concording with their pastors, and of pastors with their supreme head. Now what more satisfaction can our soules desire, then from such an assembly of soe many holy and learned men, who haue the voyce of the whole Catholike Church, and the assistance of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost? Let any chris­tian speake truely, and he must needes confesse that it would be a horrour to his conscience, and that his owne thoughts would condemne him of errour, if he were condemned by such an autho­rity. And therfor S. Paul might well say, that the haretical man is condemned by his owne iudg­ment. Tit. 3. Because he seeing his doctrine to be publi­kely condemned by the general sentence of the whole Catholike Church, that then is in the world, can not but see his owne peruersed obstinacy in still mainteining it, and that he breaketh the concord of people with their pastors, confound­eth all order of gouernment in the Church, destroyeth the certaine ground of all diuine ve­ritys, [Page 213]and maketh the Creede, scriptures, and all principles of faith to become subiect to the censure of euery priuate man. Wherefor the A­postle biddeth vs to take heed of such men, and our blessed Sauiour himselfe hath commanded vs to regard them noe otherwise, then as Hea­thens and Publicans.

Victor an auncient and graue authour, Vis l. 2. de p [...]rses. Vandal. who liued in the age of S. Augustine about twelue hun­dred yeares since relateth a passage worthy to be remembred to shew the comfort and confiden­ce, which Catholikes haue in General Councells, and how that haeretiks are affrayed, and dare not stande to them. Hunnericus king of the Vandals persecuting the Church, summoned the Catho­liks of his dominions to come to Carthage to a publike disputation with his Arian bishops. Bishop Eugenius in the name of the Catholikes answered in this manner. Let the kingknow that trusting in God we are ready, and very glad to haue a publike triall of our cause, but we desire that all the world may be present at it: for we will not take vpon vs to decide the generall cause by our parti­cular votes. Let therfor all those beyond the seas know that the vniuersall cause is here to be treated, and not onely the cause of the Affrican Prouinces; for we will be tryed by the vniuersal authority, and consent of all. And when the king returned answere by his Prefident, that he would grant him his de­sire, if he would bring all the world vnder his power, Eugenius replyed againe. Thou shouldest not desire that request of mee, which is not in my power to performe. That which I say to the king is, [Page 214]that if his maiesty desire indeede to be sdtisfyed in our religion, (which onely hath the true faith) let him sende vnto his friends, and I will sende vnto my fellow bishops, and especially to the Romane Church which is the head of all Churches. The bishop suspecting the intention of the king de­nyed to come to his city, and wisely appealed to the generall authority, and especially to the bishop of Rome; but noe haeretike will euery yeeld to that appeale, where the question is to be tryed by the vniuersal authority of the whole Church: but as owles and battes fly from the sunshine, soe doe they from such a glorious tryall: and as they beganne in the disobedience of a few obsti­nate persons, or of some one silly man; soe they are affrayed to be tryed by the vniuersal Church, which is at all times, and was then when their dis­obedience beganne. Disp. Lyps. Luther was contented to haue a tryall of his doctrine by single disputation; and when that worthy man D [...] Eckius, the glory of Swedland, publikely confuted, and shamed him, he broke forth into blasphemous words, vnworthy to be repeated. But he durst not come to the Councell of Trent; which he needed not to h [...]ue feared, if he would haue submitted to the authority of the vniuersall Church, as all good Christians ought to doe. Now let vs see,

WHICH IS THE CATHOLIKE Church.

Quest. Giue mee a difference betwixt the true, and all salse Churches? Ans. The true Charch con­tinueth [Page 215]allwais in vnion, and obedience to its head pastors: all false Churches beginne in dissentions, and disobedience to the head and pastors of the Church.

Thus S. Cyprian S. Hierome and others al­leadged. S. Peter being constituted of Christ as the head, and supreme pastour of the Church (as I haue shewed, and is confirmed by all that which I haue to say of his successour the Bishop of Rome,) and that authority being necessary to remaine allwais after him; we must see at all times, and in all controne [...]sys what the successour of S. Peter, and the pastors that ioyne with him determine and we must adhaere to them, as to the true and lawfull authority of the Church. This (as I shall [...]hew) is the bishop of Rome and the pastors of his Communion; and therefor those, that obey him and them obey the lawfull authority, and are the true Church, and they are all false Churches that disobey them. Because the authority of the whole Church residing in the head and Pastors of it, disobedience to them is disobedience to the whole Church: and all false Churches of christians being either of Schis­matiks or haeretiks, and they beginning allwais in disobedience to the Church; it followeth that those who continue allwais obedient to him, that is then the head of the Church and to the pastors of his Communion, are the true Church, and the company of them altogether is the whole Ca­tholike Church: and those that refuse to obey their authority are false Churches of Scismatiks or haeretiks.

And this disobedience is not onely the origi­nal cause of all false Churches, and a destinctiue signe to discerne them by; but it is the very es­sential forme which constituteth them in the na­ture of false Churches, and maketh them to be such. For noe man can be a member of a false Church for false doctrine onely; except it be ioyned with obstinacy, and disobedience to the Church. A good Catholike may hold, or reach false doctrine of ignorance, or mindelesnesse; but he is not a Catholike if he mainteine any thinge obstinatly against the authority of the Church. In points which are disputed by Phi­losophers, and Catholike diuines, affirmed by some, and denyed by others, a falsehood is taught on one side; but noe errour in faith, is committed, nor the sinne of schisme, or haeresy is incurred; because the head and pas­tors of the Church hauing declared nothing in those points, there is noe disobedience to the Church by them. S. Cyprian and the bishops of Affrica erred in doctrine and opinion, when they thought that the baptisme of haeretiks was not valid; but they erred not in faith; because the Church had then declared nothing of it; and therefor it was noe formal errour, or heresy, be­cause there was noe disobedience to the Church. I may erre say the fathers commonly alleadged but I will neuer be an haeretike. Errour is of the minde and vnderstanding, but heresy is the de­fect of the will: to be allwais free from errour we can not, but from schisme, and heresy, we may if we will. It is then willfull disobedience to the [Page 217]head and pastors of the Church that constituteth all false Churches: and it is obedience to the head and pastors of the Church, that conserueth vs in the true Church. The true Church is a con­gregation of people vnited together with his l [...]wfull head and pastors: all false Churches are congregations of people diuided from, and dis­obedient to the head and pastors of the Church. S. Paul warneth the Romanes to remember this marke, saying. Rom. 16. I desire you brethren to marke them that make dissentions and scandals contrary to the doctrine which you haue learned and anoide them. If all christians had remembred these words, and at all times had obserued them, there had neuer bene any false Church of christians. And if all would here after obserue them in the beginning of heresys, the arch haeretike might despaire of his worke, and would not gett soe much as one follower after him: he would discouer himselfe by the propper marke of an haeretike: which is not onely to hold false doctrines, but also to make dissension in the Church, by teaching new doctrines, and by standing obstinate in them. If therefor you see any one to beginne some singu­larity of doctrine contrary to that which is taught in the Church, suspect presently such a man, as tainted at least with a dangerous humour of pride, if not with inward heresy: but iudge him not an haeretike vntill his errour be made manifest by the authority of the Church, and he stande ob­ [...]inate against that authority. Which if he doe, then he maketh dissention and scandall, and we may then, and must iudge him to be an haeretike, [Page 218]and auoide him. We should pitty such a man with all our harts, and pray for him, as for our bro­ther, but we ought to auoide his conuersation, as the breath of one infected with the plague. But if you see that he gette followers to ioyne with him, and to mainteine his disobedience to the head and pastors of the Church; you haue then in them a false Church, and those that mainteine their disobedience, though neuer soe long after, are all members of the same false Church: and those that keepe in vnion and obedience to their head and pastors, are the true Catholike Church.

Now christians you haue for ener a preuen­tion against all schismes and heresys that may hereafter arize: you shall presently destinguish the true Church from the false by this noble cog­nizant, to wit obedience to the head and pastors of the Church: and the false you shall discerne it, by the infamous brand of pride, and disobe­dience to them. Keepe your selues in vnion and obedience to that authority, which is, and allwais must be in the Church of God, and you are grounded vpon a sure rocke. I would that these words were written in the doores of euery Church, and engrauen in the walls in stones of flint. THE TRVE CHVRCH CONTINVETH ALLWAIS IN VNION AND OBE­DIENCE TO ITS HEAD AND PASTORS: ALL FALSE CHVR­CHES BEGINNE BY DISOB [...] DIENCE TO THE HEAD AND PASTORS OF THE CHVRCH; [Page 219]that all by often beholding them might re­member their due obedience to the Catholike Church.

And this marke is not onely sufficient to dis­couer for the future, and to preuent the rizing of false Churches here after; but also to shew which of all christian Churches, that are now extant in the world, is the true Catholike Church for Christ hauing instituted the gouernment of his Church to be by one head, and supreme pas­tour, and by other bishops, as inferiour pastors in Communion with him: and the gouernment which Christ instituted being allwais to be obser­ued and obeyed by vs; there needeth noe more to shew which is the true Church; but to shew who is the true head of the Church by succession from S. Peter, and by the lawfull possession of his chaire and power. For he and the pastors of his Communion are to be obeyed, as deriuing their authority from Christ himselfe, and as hau­ing from him the authority of the whole Church. This argument is often vsed by S. Cyprian, who biddeth vs in the beginning of all heresys, and for the deciding of all controuersys, allwais to looke vp to the head of the Church, and to seeke to him: and tractatu de simplicitate praelato­rum siue de vnit. Eccles. he maketh this the cause of all heresys as you haue heard. Because (saith he) we haue not recourse vnto the ormen, nor seeke vnto the head: and then he beginneth to deriue that authority from Christ, vnto S. Peter, that by one head and supreme pastour vnity might be preserued in the Church. And sayth againe that [Page 220] Heresys haue sprung and Schismes haue bene bred by noe other cause; Cyp. l. 1. ep. 13. & 55. but for that the Priest of God is not obeyed, nor one iudge considered to be for the time in the Church of God. Soe that to shew who is the true head of the Church will sufficiently destinguish the true Church: for the pastors that communicate with him are the true pastors, and the people of that Communion are the true peo­ple of God, and that whole congregation of pas­tors and people being taken alltogether, is the whole Catholike Church.

Now to shew who is the true head of the Church we must secke into antiquity, and see what bish­op did aunciently in the first Church of the Apostles, and in the primitiue times after them beare that authority, and was then acknowledg­ed for the head, and supreme pastour of the Church. For as truth which was eternally in God was before falsehood which came afterwards by creatures; and as true and lawfull power was first in the true Church of Christ, and false vsurped power was afterwards begunne by disobeving it; soe he that was first acknowledged in the primitiue times of the Church, as the head and supreme pastour, he and his successors are all wais to be ac­knowledged after him: and they are false Chur­ches, that haue begunne at any time in disobe­dience to him, and to the pastors of his Com­munion.

Now let vs see what bishop was acknowledged in the primitiue times, and was first obeyed, as the head and supreme pastour, and which of all Churches that how are retaine still their obedience [Page 221]to him. These are either all or the cheife christian Churches that are now in the world. The Ro­mane Church which is truely Catholike, and Vniuersal ouer the whole world: the Greeke Churches which are not Catholike nor vniuer­sall in the world (although some of them be much spred:) The Church of the Georgians, of the Armenians, of the Aethiopians, of the Arians, of the Nestorians, of the Waldenses, of the Lutherans, of the Zuinglians (if any of them be yet extant destinct from the Caluinists) the Church of the Caluinists, and the Church of England, which is the latest, and newest of them all. If there be any more besides these (as we see petty sects daily to arize out of the later and to beginne in disobedience to them, as all of them once did to the Romane Church) both they and all the rest, beside the Romane Church, shall appeare to be false Churches, and it onely to be the true Catholike Church; for that it onely is in vnion and holdeth obedience to the true and lawfull head of the vniuersall Church, and to the pastors of his Communion; all the rest dis­obeying that authority.

But first it is to be obserued that the word Church, being a word of Communion, sigui­fying a company of people communicating to­gether in the same faith, and vnder the same au­thority; it can not be the same Church, and a lawfull Church, if it haue not the same, and that a lawfull authority. Secondly; some of these ac­knowledge a head, and supreme pastour of the Church vpon earth, and others of them will ac­knowledge [Page 222]none The Romane Church all ouer the world acknowledgeth the bishop of Rome to be vpon earth the head and supreme pastour of the Church. The Graecians, Armenians. Geor­gians, Aethiopians and Churches of the east haue some of them the Parriarke of Constan [...]inople, others the Patriarke of Alexandria or a parricu­lar and propper pastour to themselues whom they acknowledge for the supreme head of their Church, and the Church of England vntill with­in these tenne or dozen yeares acknowledged their temporal prince, man, woman, or child that was for the time, to be the head of that Church. Others there are who are headlesse, acknowledging noe supreme head vpon earth in any spirituall power; as the Lutherans, Cal­uinists &c. these are but few, and inconsidera­ble in comparison of those that submitte vnto a head, and supreme authority. And I shall shew that both they and all others beside the Romane Church are false Churches, for that they stande disobedient to him, and to the pastors of his Communion, who is indeede the true head of the Church.

I haue shewed before that the gouernment which Christ instituted in his Church was by S. Peter as the head, and cheife pastour of it. Now I shew that that supreme authority of S. Peter was acknowledged by the primitiue Church, to descende vpon the bishop of Rome as successour to him; and that there is none but he, that can with reason pretende to haue had that authority. This is prooued first by the manifest testimonys [Page 223]of those auncient writers that then liued. Secondly by the practise of those times; for that the bishop of Rome exercized in fact that supreme autho­rity, and the faithfull of those times obeyed it. Thirdly for that there is none els, that can pre­tende to haue bene at any time aboue all other bishops, as the cheife pastour and gouernour of the Church.

First then I produce soe many, The Bishop of Rome is acknowled­ged by the primitiue fathers to be the head of the Church. and such testi­monys of auncient writers, as shall be sufficient to satisfy him that regardeth the safety of his soule. And to beginne euen from the Apostles times; the scriptures which they wrote declare soe farre for the supremacy of the bishops of Rome that they are alleadged to that purpose by holy and auncient authors, as will appeare by their fol­lowing citations; who seeing the supreme pastor­ship to haue bene promised by Christ vnto S. Peter Mat. 16. and to haue bene giuen him Io. 21. when he commended soe particularly the feeding of his sheepe to him: and considering him to haue died at Rome bishop of that place, and a suc­cessour in his authority to be allwais necessary for the gouernment of the Church; without any more argument they grounded themselues vpon these scriptures and commonly alleadged them for the supremacy, not onely of S. Peter, but also of the bishop of Rome. The same they inferre out of S. Paul to the Romanes where he sayth your faith is renowmed in the whole world; Rom. 1. gather­ing by these words the supremacy of the Romane chaire. S. Epis 55. Cyprian speaking against some of those times sayeth, They are soe bold as to carry letters [Page 224]from prophane schismatiks to the Chaire of Peter; Nu. 6. and the principall Church whence priestly vnity arose, not considering the Romanes to be them, whose faith (the Apostle being the commender) was prais­ed, to whom misbelcefe can not haue accesse. And S. Hierome know ye that the faith of the Romanes will receiue noe such deceits, Adner. Ruffin. l. 3. c. 4. to. 2. nor can possibly be changed, though an Angell taught otherwise, being fensed by S. Cyp. ep. 52. and An­ronian. Amb de obi­tu fratris. Pauls authority. And S. Cyprian and S. Ambrose signify that it is all one to say the Romane faith, and the Catholike faith. All which they would neuer haue said, if they had not thought the Romane chaire to haue had preemi­nence and authority aboue all, and vnderstoode the words of S. Paul in that sense that the faith of the Romanes was renowmed in the supreme au­thority of that sea; and therefor we may rightly alleadge those scriptures according to the aun­cient fathers interpretations for the supremacy of the bishop of Rome. But we will produce their plane testimonys immediatly from the Apostles times. Anacletus who liued with the Apostles hath these words. Ep. 3. ad omnes Epis. This holy and Apostolicall Ro­mane Church, not onely from the Apostles but euen from our Lord and Sauiour himselfe, hath obtained the principality and eminency of power ouer all Churches, and ouer the whole flocke of the people of Christ; he himselfe saying to S. Peter Mat. 16. Thou art Peter &c. And they also them­selues consented vnto it, that he should be aboue all the rest of the Apostles, and should be Cephas that is to say the head, and beginning of the Apostle ship: who deliuered the same forme to his successors and [Page 225]the rest of the Apostles to bishops, to be held by them. If any difficult causes arize amongst you, referre them to this head, that by the apostolicall iudg­ment they may be ended: for such is the will of our Lord who hath soe determined, as by the foresaid places is declared. Therfor this Apostolical seate is constituted of none other but of our Lord himselfe to be the hinge (and the head) as is said before of all Churches. That as the doore is guided by the hinges; soe by the disposition of our Lord all Chur­ches should be gouerned by this holy seate. S. L. 3. c. 3. Ire­naeus, who liued in the next age after the Apos­tles, reckoneth vp all the bishops of Rome vnto Eleutherius, who then gouerned, to shew the succession of that supreme authority from S. Peter: and saith, that in all cases of controuersy we should haue recourse vnto the Apostolical tradi­tions, and try them by the Church of Rome. Tertullian, L. depudi­citia. who liued in the same age with him calleth the bishop of Rome Pontificem Maxi­mum, Episcopum Episcoporum. The highest Priest, the Bishop of bishops. S. Cyprian, De vnitate Eccles. who liued in the next age after them, speaking of the beginning of heresys saith in substance all which I am saying; to wit that all schismes and heresys haue begunne by disobedience to the head of the Church, and par­ticularly specifyeth to what head to wit to the suc­cessour of S. Peter that is for the time: and saith that if we would seeke to that iudge all controuersys would soone be at an end. And speaking of the bishops of Rome, L. 4. ep. 9. from hence (saith he) all heresys haue rizen and still arize because that bishop, who is but one and presideth ouer the Whole Church, is despi­sed [Page 226]by the prowde presumption of certaine men, and he whom God hath dignifyed is iudged by men, as vn­worthy of dignity. In the next age liued S. Athana­sius, a glorious Confessour, and for forty yeares and more in which he was bishop, the prime pillar of the Catholike Church in the easterne parts against the Arian haeretiks. Apud Theo­ [...]et. [...]. 4. c. 3. He reckoneth vp the Chur­ches of the seueral parts of the world, and saith that they and the whole world consented to the Councell of Nyce, in which the primacy of S. Syluester then bishop of Rome, was acknowledg­ed and declared. And it is here to be obserued that the Arians, who are the auncientest of all sects now extant out of the Catholike Church, beganne but in these times when the Romane bishop had bene honored for about three hun­dred yeares as the Vicar of Christ vpon earth. And the same saint together with the fathers of the Councell of Alexandria wrote vnto Felix. 2. then bishop of Rome after this manner. To the honorable holy father Felix Pope of the Apostoli­cal seate of the city of Rome Athanasius, and all the bishops of the Aegyptians, Thebaians and Ly­bians by the grace of God assembled in the holy Councell of Alexandria. We suggest vnto your holy Apostleship that you would vouchsafe to vs of your wounted care ouer vs &c. Because most holy father our praedecessors, and we haue receiued helpe of your Apostolical scate. We implore that Apostolicall and according to the canons the cheife seate, that we may haue helpe from thence, from whence our auncestors haue had their doctrines, orders, and relcefe. Vnto that we haue recourse as to our mother, [Page 227]that we may be nourished at her breasts. And as the mother own not forgett her child; soe doe not you forgette vs committed to your charge. For our ene­mys haue inuolued vs in noe small troubles ap­prehending and threatening vs with irons, vnles we will yeeld to their errors. Which without your knowledge we will not presume vpon; the canons hau­ing decreed that in cases of moment nothing should be done without the Romane bishop. Therfor God hath placed you and your praedecessors the bishops of Rome in the toppe of all, that you might haue a care of all Churches, hauing the iudgment of all bish­ops committed to you. For we know that in the great Councell of Nyce, of three hundred and eighteene bishops it was established by all, that without the sentence of the Romane bishop, noe Councell should be called, nor any bishops condemned: although these and many other necessary thinges be taken away from vs, and burnt by turbulent haeretiks &c. Like­wise it was agreeably defined by the foresaid fathers; that if any of the bishops shall haue in suspicion the Metropolitan, Comprouinciales, or Judges let him appeale to your holy seate of Rome, to whom the power of binding, and loosing was giuen, by speciall priuilege, by our Lord himselfe &c. Thou art the deposer of prophane haeresys, inuaders, and infesters as the Head and Doctour, and Prince of orthodoxe doctrine, and vnspotted faith. After S. Athanasius in the next age liued S. Optatus bishop of Mi­leuetum in Affricke, who made a catalogue of all the Popes from S. Peter, to Siricius, who then gouerned: and writing against the haeretike Par­mention, he telleth him that in setting vp a chaire [Page 228]contrary to the Chaire of Rome, he could not pleade ignorance, knowing that the first was giu­en to S. Peter to be at Rome and particular chai­res to the other Apostles, L. 1. conc. Parm. that he might be knowne for a schismatike and praeuaricatour, that should set vp a chaire in opposition to it. Amb. in 3. ad Tim. S. Ambrose speak­ing of Damasus then bishop of Rome, saith that all the world being Gods; yet the Church onely is hit house, whose Rectour or Ruler at this time is Dumasus. S. Hierome also liued in the time of this Pope, and there being then in Antioch three seuerall factions, all of them pretending to haue the Pope on their side, he thus declareth himsel­fe writing to Damasus. ad Damas. I cry for him that ioynes with Peters chayre. Meletius, Vitalis and Pau­linus say they adhaere to thee. I could beleeue it, if onely one of them affirmed it, but now either two of them ly, or they all three ly. I know not Vitalis, Meletius nor Paulinus, he that gathereth not with thee scattereth, he that is not of Christ is of Anti­christ. I ioyne my selfe vnto thy holinesse. That is the chayre of S. Peter. Vpon that rocke I know the Church was built. S. Augustine made a catalogue of all the Bishops of Rome from S. Peter to A­nastasius, who then liued, and saith, that the suc­cession of those bishops kept him in the Catho­like Church, Ep. 165. and that the principality of the Apo­stolical chayre allwais flourished in the Church of Rome. S. Leo Pope writing to the Emperour sti­leth himselfe Bishop of the Vniuersal Church al­though he refused the title of Vniuersal Patria [...]ke or Bishop of the Church when the Councell of Chalcedon gaue it to him; L [...]. ep. 52. because it was a title [Page 219]more subiect to misconstruction. Theodoret wri­ting to this Pope saith your sea praesideth ouer the whole world, that holy sea holdeth the sterne of go­uernment ouer all the Churches in the world. S. Gre­gory the great who for the aforesaid reason refu­sed the title of Vniuersal Patriarke, often calleth the Church of Rome Caput omnium Ecclesiarum. L. 7. c. 26. The head of all Churches. And saith that if a falt be committed by a bishop, he knoweth none, but he is subiect to the Apostolical seate. And againe who doubteth but the bishop of Constantinople is subiect to the Apostolical seate? which also the most pious Emperour, and Eutichius our brother, the bishop of that city doe allwais confesse: and yet the bishop of Constantinople then tooke place of all other bishops, but the Bishop of Rome. Thus you see by euident testimonys of auncient writers, that in the primitiue times of the faith of Christ the Bishop of Rome was acknowledg­ed, as the prime pastour and head of the Church.

The same I shew also by the practise of those times: The B. of Rome aun­ciently ex­ercized in fact the su­preme au­thority. for that the Bishop of Rome then exer­cized in fact the supreme authority, deporting himselfe in all thinges, as the head of the Church. He, or his legates for him, praesided allwais in General Councells, confirmed them, and was obeyed by them, as the superiour ouer all bish­ops, and all people; as giuing bishoppricks to the worthy, as depriuing the vnworthy, as giuing lawes vnto all, and hearing the causes of all of whatsoeuer Diocese, and of the cheife bishops, and cheife princes of the world in spirituall af­faires. All which will appeare by that which fol­loweth [Page 230]As soone as the Church of God had got­ten a Christian Emperour, that bishops from all places could safely meete together, a General Councell of the whole world was assembled at Nyce, to decide the controuersys of those times. Hosius, Vitus, and Vincentius presided in that first General Councell of the whole world, as the legates of S. Syluester then Pope, and subscribed in the first place. And the primacy of the Roma­ne Bishop was in that Councell expresly and of purpose declared: as you haue seene in the words of S. Athanasius and the bishops of Aegypt, The­bais and Libya written to Pope Felix. The second General Concell was held at Constantinople; and the fathers of that Councell wrote vnto Da­masus Pope, confessing themselues to be mem­bers of him. In the third General Councell, which was held at Ephesus, S. Cyril Patriarke of Alexandria praesided in place of Pope Celes­tine, and in condemning of Nestorius the Coun­cell vseth this forme that they were forced by the Canons and by the authority of bishop Celestine to proceede with weeping teares to that heauy sentence against him. The fourth General Councell was [...]eld at Chalcedon, where Paschasius, Lucentius, and Bonifacius praesided in place of S. Leo Pope, and subscribed first. And the fathers of this Coun­cell wrote vnto Leo to desire his immediate ap­probation of their canons, stiling him, The Head and vniuersal Patriarke of the Church. And his approbation being sent and read in the Councell, the fathers cryed out, Soe doe we all beleeue. Pope Leo soe beleeueth, let him be accursed that doth se­parate [Page 231]and diuide. This is the faith of Leo cheife bishop. Peter hath spoken by Leo's mouth, and the Apostles haue taught soe. Leo hath taught truely we all beleeue as Leo beleeues. In the fift General Councell, which was held at Constantinople, Menas praesided, who had bene thrusten out of that seate; but was restored to it againe by the authority of Pope Agapetus. In the sixt General Councell, which was held also at Constantinople Theodore, George and Iohn praesided, as the legates of Pope Agatho, whose letters being read, the fathers of the Councell cryed out, as those of Chalcedon had done almost three hundred yea [...]es before to Pope Leo, that Peter spoke by A­gathós mouth &c In the seauenth General Coun­cell, which was held at Nyce, two Peters were the legates of Pope Adrian, and had the first place and when his letters were read the fathers answer­ed, The whole Synode doth soe beleeue and teach. The eight General Councell was held at Con­stantinople, where Donatus and Stephanus Prae­sided as the legates of Pope Adrian and subscri­bed in this forme; I Donatus by the grace of God bishop of Ostia, hauing the place of my Lord A­drian, high Priest, and vniuersal Pope, and prae­siding ouer this General Councell, according to his will haue promulged all that is here read, and haue subscribed with mine owne hand.

I adde here that the very word, and title of POPE is soe holy, honorable, and authen­tical, that it is a sufficient proofe of his primacy, and eminent authority aboue all. For where as it signifyeth in it selfe a Great or Grane Father, and [Page 232]was first of all giuen to Patriarks and more vene­rable pastors, and higher dignitys; it was decreed by an assembly of more then sifty bithops, aboue a thousand yeares sinne, that it should be giuen to none, but to the bishop of Rome, as to the Vni­uersal Father of all faithfull christians. Bishops, Emperours, Princes haue obeyed this decree, the custome of nations hath consented vnto it: and the very enemys of the Catholike Church, now after the praescription of a thousand yeares, giu­ing him that honorable title, vertually confesse the supreme authority which then he had. The bishops of Rome exercised authority ouer other dioceses, and ouer the cheife persons of the world both of the Clergy and Laity S. Athanasius Pa­triarke of Alexandria, (who then tooke place of all but the bishop of Rome) Asclepas of Gaza, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Lucius of Adriano­polis being expelled out of their bishoppricks by those of the Arian faction, repairing to Pope Iulius, were by his authority restored to their seates againe: Theod. l. 2. c. 4. and the Arians hauing by letters misinformed the Pope against Athanasius, he commanded both him and them to come to Rome to answere for themselues. S Iohn Chry­sostome fled vnto Pope Innocentius, who resto­red him to his sea againe: and the Emperors Ar­cadius, and Honorius, for that they were slow in effecting his restitution, and Arsatius and At­ticus for intruding into his place, and Theophi­lus Patriarke of Alexandria for deposing of him, although the prime men of the world, both of the Ecclessiasticall, and Laity, were all excommu­nicated [Page 233]by the Pope. Menas Patriarke of Con­stantinople being thrust out of his seate by An­thimus an haeretike, (the Emperour fauouring him) appealed to S. Agapetus Pope, who not dreading the Emperours power opposed himselfe, as a good and valiant Pastour in defence of the people of Constantinople as vnder his generall charge, against Anthimus the wolfe, that was comed amongst them. And when the Emperour with terrible threatenings menaced him, the bles­sed Pope bared presently his necke before him, and told him that he was ready to loose his head for that cause, which he must, and would de­fende as long as he liued. And Vigilius, who succeeded in the Popedome next but one to him, being earnestly sollicited to restore Anthi­mus, would neuer yeeld to it; although he were apprehended, and suffered much for that cause; but stoode still constant to his charge, and ex­communicated Theodora the Empresse, as the cheife instigatour of those cuills.

Thirdly the same is prooued for that there is none other but the bishop of Rome, None other but the Ro­man [...] Bishop cantustly pretende to supremacy in the Church. that can pretende euer to haue had that supreme autho­rity in the primitiue Church: for if any other could haue any iust pretence to it, it should be the Patriarke of Antioch: for that was the first Episcopal seate of S. Peter; but he can not pre­tende euer to haue had that supreme authority after S. Peter, for the Patriarke of Alexandria was aboue him, although vnder the bishop of Rome. Antioch was indeede the first seate of S. Peter, the chaire of Alexandria was founded by [Page 234]S. Marke, in S. Peters name, and S. Peter liued at Rome most part of the time of his primacy, and dyed there bishop of that place: His succes­sour must be vnderstoode of his last seate which he died possessed of, as all antiquity with good reason vnderstoode it: and therefor although all these three in reuerence to S. Peter, were made Patriarchical seates; yet Rome was esteem­ed allwais as the cheife: it had the first place, Alexandria the second, and Antioch but the third. The Patriarke of Constantinople cannot pretende to the primacy; for that he was not soe much as a Patriarke long after the former, nor for some hundreds of yeares after Christ; there being noe Constantinople before Constan­tine; but an obscure Bythinium of noe such name or note. The Patriarke of Hierusalem cannot pretende vnto it; for he was vnder the bishop of Caesarea, as his Metropolitan, and gaue place to all the former. These were the prime of the world in Ecclesiasticall dignity; and the bishop of Rome was the prime of them, and exercized au­thority as you haue seene ouer them; therefor there is none, but he that can pretende to haue bene the head, and supreme pastour in the Church of Christ. To talke of any saecular Prince being the head of the Church is not worth mentioning; for he as such hath noe calling to that office. The head of the Church, is the successour of S. Peter, who gouerned the Church, as his successors also did, many yeares after him, vnder heathen Prin­ces, who could not be the head of the Church of Christ. Neither was any Christian Emperour euer [Page 235]permitted soe much as to haue a voyce in General Councels. Out of all which hath here bene said it doth appeare soe manifestly, that at first the supreme authority ouer the Church of Christ was acknowledged to reside in the Bishops of Rome, as the successors of S. Peter, that to deny it is to deny any thinge of antiquity, and to confounde all traditions of writings and of thinges past. And hence it followeth that the primitiue Church ac­knowledging the supreme authority ouer the Church to descende, by the institution of Christ, vpon the bishops of Rome, as vpon the successors of S. Peter, we ought to acknowledge the same, and that that bishop hath the prime authority, and that he, and the pastors that ioyne with him haue the whole lawfull authority of the true Church. And therefor all those Churches that haue begunne at any time in disobedience to that authority, and continue still disobedient to it were then, and are still false Churches; for that they haue the Marke which we haue assigned of disobedience to the head, and pastors of the Church, and which S. Cyprian hath giuen of despising that one iudge, and priest, that is for the time the Vicar of Christ.

It is not now much needfull to examine the beginnings of other Churches and to shew them to haue begunne in disobedience to the bishop of Rome and his pastors; because that hauing bene the gouernment of the primitiue Church, the rest must at some time haue gone forth of it. Yet for more cleernesse and satisfaction of all, I will say somethinge of the particular beginnings either [Page 236]of all or of the more notable sects that are now extant; to shew how and when they went out of the Romane Church. First the Arians, who are the auncientest of all those that are now extant, beganne in the disobedience of Arius a Priest of Alexandria about three hundred yeares after the first establishing of the faith of Christ: who sepa­rating himselfe from the head and pastors that then were (to wit of S. Syluester Pope, and the fathers of the Councell of Nyce who were ioyned in Communion with him) beganne a new Church without successiō of head and pastors from Christ. The Nestorian Church beganne in the disobe­dience of Nestorius bishop of Constantinople, aboue foure hundred yeares after the first esta­blishing of the Church of Christ, who separating himselfe from the head, and pastors that then were (to wit from S. Celestine Pope and the fathers of the Ephesin Councell in Communion with him) beganne a new Church which had noe succession of head and pastors from Christ. The seueral Churches of the Graecians and easterne people beganne first in the disobedience of Pho­tius aboue eight hundreds yeares after that the faith of Christ was receiued by the world: who hauing inuaded and vsurped the chaire of Con­stantinople, was by the authority of Pope Adrian, and of the Councell of Constantinople deposed, and Ignatius whom he had thrust out was againe restored. But Photius raising new dissentions, and seditions in the Church of God, drew the Graecians from their dew obedience to the head and pastors of the Church; and soe beganne diuerse [Page 237]schismaticall Churches; seuerall bishops assuming to themselues absolute authority and submitting to none, mainteined in schisme their owne Churches, which had noe succession of head and pastors from Christ, except they were as all false Churches are of a succession inuisible. The Wal­denses beganne in the disobedience of Iohn Wal­do, an ignorant lay man in the city of Lyons, aboue eleauen hundred yeares after that the faith of Christ had flourished in the world: who dis­obeying the authority of Alexander 3. Pope and of the fathers of a General Councell held at Rome, beganne a new Church against all, saying we must obey God rather then men. And Iohn Hus was proceeded against as an haeretike for mainteining with obstinacy his doctrine. The Church of the Lutherans beganne in the disobe­dience of Martin Luther, a Fryar of the holy order of S. Augustine, about fifteene hundred yeares after the first establishing of the Church of Christ: who disobeying the authority of the head and pastors of the Church that then were, to wit of Pope Leo, and the pastors of his Com­munion, broke his vowes of pouerty, chastity, and obedience; and hauing gotten some to fol­low him, he beganne with them a new Church, which had noe succession of head and pastors from Christ, nor from any Church; except it were a succession inuisible. The Zinglians beganne in the disobedience of Vlricus Zuinglius a Ca­non of Constance: who seeing the people of Ger­many soe greedily to swallow downe the liberty of Luthers doctrine and noueltys, disobeying [Page 238]the authority of Pope Clement, and of the pas­tors of his Communion, would beginne also a new Church contrary both to the Church of Rome, and of Luther; denying the reall presence of the body of our Lord in the holy Eucharist. The Church of the Caluinists beganne in the disobedience of Iohn Caluin Priest of Noyon: who following the example of Luther and Zuin­glius, brokeforth after them out of the sheepe­fold of Christ, and disobeying the authority of Paulus 3. then Bishop of Rome, and of the pas­tors of his Communion, beganne a new Church according to his owne words separating themsel­ues from the whole world. Resp. ad versip. The Church of England which is the newest of them all, beganne in the disobedience of king Henry the eight; who hau­ing first obtained of Pope Leo the glorious title of Defendour of the faith for his good seruice done to the Church of God, especially in oppugn­ing of Luthers heresy, became afterwards soe blinded with carnality, that desiring of Pope Cle­ment a diuorcement from his lawfull wife, and not obtaining it, he denyed his authority, for­badde in his dominions all commerce with the court of Rome, and caused himselfe to be pro­claimed The supreme head of the English Church vpon earth; putting to death Bishop Fisher, Sr Thomas Moore and others, for denying his su­premacy. By all which it appeareth that the words of S. Iohn may well be applyed to all these sects when to discouer the false Churches of schisma­tiks and heretiks, which he speaketh of by the name of Antichrist, he giueth them this marke, [Page 239] They went out from vs. Io. 1.2. Soe may we say of all the sects of schismes, and haeretiks that are in the world, they beganne at some time in disobe­dience to the Romane Church: the beginners of them were once Romane Catholiks, but they were the chaffe of the Catholike Church, which being puffed vp with pride and obstinacy, went out from vs, and beganne new Churches, which were not then at all in the world.

You haue seene now the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome to haue bene first acknow­ledged, and obeyed by the primitiue Church; and consequently all other Churches of christians whatsoeuer, without naming of any, haue at some time goneforth of that Church, and begunne in disobedience to that Bishop, and to the pastors of his Communion: and you haue seene also in particular the cheife, and most notable (and one may say all other Churches: for that the rest of the petty sects haue begunne indisobedience to some of these and goneforth of them) you haue seene I say in particular the rest of the Churches that now are to haue begunne in disobedience to that authority, which was first obeyed by the pri­mitiue Church of Christ, and was then obeyed in the world, and euen by themselues vntill they tooke vpon them to disobey it. Wherefor I con­clude with this, that the true Church is that which continueth allwais obedient to the true head of the Church, and pastors of his Communion, and they are all false Churches that haue begunne in disobedience to the true head of the Church and pastors of his Communion: but there is none [Page 240]but the bishop of Rome that can with any reason pretende to be the true head of the Church, nor any pastors that can pretende to be in Commu­nion with the true head of the Church, but those that are in Communion with him; therefore that is the true Church which hath continued all wais in obedience to the Bishop of Rome and his pas­tors, and they are all false Churches, that haue begunne at any time, and continue still in dis­obedience to him and them. There remaineth now onely to see what they can say for themselues, and to shew the vanity of their pretences.

First if they deny that the Romane Bishop had supreme authority in the primitiue Church, it is to confound, as I haue said, the knowledge of all thinges past. I haue shewed that the holy fathers of those times haue interpreted the scrip­tures for the Bishop of Rome his supremacy, and I haue shewed by their plane sentences, and expresse words, that the Romane Church hath ob­tained from our Lord and Sauiour himselfe, the principality and eminency of power ouer all Chur­ches; that holy seate being the hinge and head of all Churches, that in all controuersys we ought to haue recourse vnto it, that the Bishop of Rome is the highest Priest, and Bishop of bishops, that all schismes and heresys haue sprung from the disobe­dience to that chaire, that they are Schismatiks and Praeuaricators that set vp another chaire con­trary to it, that they belong to Antichrist that are not of that Communion. I haue shewed also that the Bishop of Rome his supremacy was acknow­ledged by Generall Councels, that his legates [Page 241]praesided in them, that he protected the good, and corrected the [...]ad, both of the Clergy, and of the Laity of other Dioceses, euen the cheife persons of the world, as vnder his charge, and that there is noe other bishop, that by any title can iustly pretende to haue had that authority in the primitiue times. And therfor it is most sense­lesse to deny his supremacy which the world hath soe long confessed. And if they shall still oppose it, Sap. 5. the round world shall fight with him against the senslesse, who are soe bold, as to hazard their soules against the whole world, and against soe many worlds, as I haue shewed gathered together in General Councels, who haue submitted to the Bishop of Rome, as to their supreme pastour.

They will grant then perhaps that the Bishop of Rome was once the head of the Church, and that he and his pastors had the authority of the whole Church; but will say, that he and they were fallen into errors; and therfor they were bounde to disobey them. But this is not a good answere: for it is authority which now we inquire after, and which we require obedience vnto. All doctri­nes must be tryed by lawfull authority; but law­full authority must not be questioned in doctrine; for that there is none to question it▪ For subiects to examine the authority of the Church, and the doctrine which it teacheth is to set the feete aboue the head, and to subuert all order, and gouern­ment in the Church of God. Christ hath giuen Apostles, Pastors, Eph. 4. and Doctors vnto the edifying of his body, that is to the building vp, and pre­seruing of his Church: and these must either be [Page 242]obeyed, or els they were in vaine, and to noe purpose. It is therfor preposterous, and haereticall to disobey the authority of the Church vnder pretence of errors. Neither is there any thinge by which haeretiks discouer, and condemne them­selues more, then by talking of errors in the Church; for by that one sheweth, that he hath somethinge to say against the doctrine of the Church; which is to be an haeretike. The head of the Church and pastors of his Communion haue the authority of the whole Church, and can not teach false doctrine: for if they could we should haue noe certainty of the scriptures, or of the sense of them, or of the Creede, or of any point of faith, and this article were in vaine when we say I beleeue the Catholike Church. Which being made by the Apostles, to be said at all times; the Church can neuer teach false doctrine; but in all doctrines whatsoeuer, and in all contro­uersys we must cleaue to the authority of the Church, as to a firme, and sure rocke, and all­wais say I beleeue the Catholike Church. Ep. 48. S. Augus­tine it is impossible that we should haue iust cause to depart from, and to impugne the whole Church. They must first shew that the gouernment of the Church was taken from the bishop of Rome, and his pastors, and was giuen to some others, whom they obeyed; or els they could not law­fully disobey them vnder any pretence whatsoe­uer. Authority must gouerne the Church: we shew our authority to be the same which the pri­mitiue Church obeyed, and we aske them vpon what authority they disobeyed it? what head and [Page 243]what pastors deliuered their doctrine to them by continual succession from Christ, and from S. Peter? This they must shew, or els they open a gappe to all haeretiks, to disobey the Church when they will themselues, vnder pretence of false doctrine.

If they say they haue authority from an inui­sible head, and inuisible pastors, it is a ridiculous saying. As though a company of souldiers who were brought before a Councell of warre for de­serting their colours should pretende licence from inuisible officers: or as rebels, who being accused for resisting of lawfull authority, should pre­tende a commission for what they did; and being required to shew it, should say that it were inui­sible; soe we aske them vpon what authority they disobeyed, that authority which the primitiue Church obeyed? and they say by the authority of a Church inuisible. We bid them shew their commission; they say it is inuisible. Is not this Ridiculous? for this it is enough to say that men are men, that is to say a corporal, and visible creature; and therefor if the Church which gaue them authority were a congregation of men, it was visible: and if it were the true Church it was most eminently visible; as a candle not hidden, but set in a glorious candlesticke that all might see it, and see by it, what they were to beleeue for true: and as a city on a hill conspicuous to all, teaching, preaching, administring sacraments, and gouerning of people after a glorious, and eminent manner, that all might haue recourse vnto it. To alleadge onely an inuisible authority [Page 244]is to shew noe authority; and shewing noe autho­rity they are noe true Church.

If they say that they disobeyed not, and went not out from the Communion of the Bishop of Rome and his pastors; but were thrusten out of it whether they would or noe, (as a later authour who would seeme wiser then the rest hath vrged) it is the weakest of all answeres. For if they had kept themselues in obedience to their lawfull gouernors, as they ought they could neuer haue bene out of the Communion of the Church. They were thrusten out of the Church of Rome, as Ozias king of Iuda was thrusten out of the holy temple of Hierusalem, a plague of leprosy ap­pearing suddainly in his forehead in punishment of his pride and disobediēce to the high Priest and priests that were with him; soe they obstinatly dis­obeying the head and pastors of the Church that then were, departed of their owne accord from the inward Communion of the Church, and were thrusten out onely from externall Communion with it, least they should infect others with the plague of heresy, or schisme which appeared in them.

Seeing therfor all these answeres to be vaine and groundlesse, and that they can shew noe head; and pastors in all the world, that gaue them au­thority to teach their doctrine in disobedience to those, whom the primitiue Church obeyed; they will pretende authority not by succession of pastors from pastors which is the ordinary way; but after an extraordinary manner, immediatly from God himselfe, to disobey the first, and to [Page 245]beginne a new gouernment contrary to it; and hauing for this an extraordinary calling and com­mission immediatly from God, they needed noe authority from any pastors vpon earth; and the­refor they will act according to their commission, and will be tryed by none, nor be subiect to any but God. This is the onely answere which an hae­retike can make; who reiecting indeede the au­thority of all men that then are, must of necessity pretende a particular, and extraordinary com­mission immediatly from God. But neither is this a good answere. First for that there can be noe such extraordinary commission, as to disobey the lawfull authority of the Church of Christ; it being builded vpon sure promises of his perpe­tuall assistance, that it can not faile in doctrine; but hauing ordained pastors for the gouernment of it, he will haue them allwais to be obeyed; and therefor that Church that hath not allwais a con­tinual succession of lawfull pastors, is not the Church of Christ. Secondly if they haue any such commission from God, they must shew it; or els they open a gappe for all disobedient persons to runne out of the Church disobeying their law­full pastors when they list themselues, vnder pre­tence of commission from God. And this com­mission not comming to them after the ordinary manner from pastors to pastors, but after an ex­traordinary sort, immediatly, as they pretende, from God himselfe; they haue noe ordinary mea­nes to shew it, but must prooue it by extraordi­nary fignes, and miracles, such as are propper to God onely, and proportionable to that kind [Page 246]of commission. Soe did Moyses prooue by mi­racles that he was sent of God: soe did Christ prooue his authority by miracles. But if they haue neither miracles to prooue extraordinary, nor succession of lawfull pastors for ordinary com­mission; but vpon their owne bare word onely will draw men from obedience to their lawfull pas­tors, we must take them for such as Core, Dathan, and Abiron were; who disobeying their pastors, and hauing noe commission from God to shew for it, they and their followers sunke downe vi­sibly into hell. Now for miracles to iustify their disobedience to the Church, they neither haue, nor can possibly haue; for that God will not ap­prooue of any such disobedience; but hauing or­dained the gouernment of the Church to be by S. Peter as supreme head, and by [...] Apostles as pastors vnder him; and Christ [...]auing pro­mised to be with them all dayes to the consum­mation of the world: we must at all times looke vnto the successors of S. Peter and his pastors, as to the lawfull authority of the Church of Christ, and allwais obey them: and we must take those for false Churches that disobey their authority. And therfor S. Cyprian solidly rebuketh Nouatus the [...]aeretike for separating himselfe from the Communion of Cornelius then Bishop of Rome, and concludeth that the Church of Christ being but one, and not conteining both those that are with in, and those that are out of it, those onely (saith he) are in the Church, Cyp. l. 4. op. c. who are in the COm­munion of Cornelius successour to Fabianus.

But that they may not thinke to excuse their [Page 247]disobedience by any pretences, I stoppe all pre­tences whatsoeuer, and preuent all answeres that can possibly be deuised, by that which followeth. They can not deny but there haue bene, and are false Churches of christians in the world: but there neuer was, nor now is, any false Church of chris­tians, but it might haue, if it would, the same pre­tences, and haue the same ground for them that any of these haue; they being commune to all dis­obedient and obstinate persons that will stande out against the Church; therefor all which any of them can pretende for themselues are but vaine pretences, and if euer there were any false Church of christians in the world, they are all false Churches. As for the first S. Paul saith that there must be heresys. Cor. 1.11. Which being held by a Communion of many, there is then a false Church. He that readeth D Prateolus of the be­ginnings of heresys, and seeeth the absurditys which they haue obstinatly mainteined, will easily grant that there haue bene false Churches of Chris­tians in the world. He shall finde some against the whole B. Trinity, some against one of the Per­sons, some against another, some against the diui­nity, some against the humanity of Iesus Christ, some against the blessed Virgin; some against the Angels, some against the Saints, one saith that Christ is the sunne which we see to shine, an­other saith that himselfe is Christ, another mak­eth himselfe to be the Holy Ghost, some will haue all to marry, some will haue none to marry, some soe affected to sobriety that they held wine vnlawfull to be drunke, euen to the consecrating [Page 248]of water insteede of it, some are running naked, others are foming, quaking and changing gastly countenances as a signe and point of perfection, another cryeth downe learning, and will haue noe triall of the truth but by force of armes, commanding for that purpose his disciples at his death to make a drumme of his skinne. All which I mention in relation to the Apostles words; and to my first proposition that there haue bene false Churches in the world: and withall to obserue what absurde errors men would runne into, if there were not at all times an authority of visible pastors guided by the Holy Ghost to gouerne the Church, and all were bounde to be gouerned by them. Now if any of these were a false Church it was for their obstinacy in those errors, and for their disobedience to those pastors which the pri­mitiue Church acknowledged to haue by succes­sion from S. Peter the supreme authority, and to the pastors of their Communion, as hauing at all times the lawfull authority of the whole Church. And these were as I haue shewed the Bishops of Rome, and the pastors that were in Communion with them: none els hauing any pretence vnto that succession. Then for the second proposition, I aske any one of those sects that are now out of the Catholike Romane Church, what pretence can they haue which is not common to all the rest, and which all the false Churches that are or euer were, and which they confesse to be false Chur­ches might not, if they would, haue alleadged for themselues as well as they, to excuse there dis­obedience? If they pretende errors in the doctrine [Page 249]of their pastors, or if they alleadge priuate spirit, or if they pretende authority from the true Church but inuisible, or if they say that they were thrus­ten out of the Church against their wills, or if they pretende immediat commission from God to disobey all authority vpon earth in religion; who doth not see that all these are but vaine pre­tences common to all that will vse them, and which if they were to be allowed of, a gappe were opened for all turbulent, and disobedient per­sons, to runne out of the Church vnder some of these pretences at any time when they would themselues. Neither is there any thinge which any of them can pretende; but that which all the rest may as well take for pretence, and all the false Churches that euer were whom they confesse to be false Churches may as well pretende as they. And if this be not soe, I desire, and challenge any wise and learned man, of whatsoeuer sect out of the Romane Church, to study and to thinke with himselfe of any lawfull pretence, and excuse for their disobedience to the Romane Church, and then to take some other which he holdeth to be a false Church, and conferring them to­gether, to propose to his owne conscience, whe­ther that pretence agree not as well to the other, as to his owne. And if he can deuise none which is propper to his owne Church more then to false Churches, then I warne and charge him to returne againe to the obedience of that authority which the primitiue Church first obeyed, and which the Romane Church hath allwais obeyed, and which his Church and all others haue at some time [Page 250]goneforth of and disobeyed: and this was as I haue shewed the authority of the bishop of Rome and his pastors. All those Churches that are now extant out of the Romane Church went first out of it by disobedience to the head and pastors of the Romane Church (and as for Protestants they confesse that they went forth and separated them­selues from it, Aug. l. 2. cont. Crescon. c. 33. l. 3. c. 43.44. l 2. cont Gau­den. c. 3 l. de vntco bap [...]s. c 15. ep 48. L. 2. cont. Pet [...]l [...]. c. 19. as may be seene in The Authour of the Protestant Religion l. 2. c. 11.) They must the­refor shew some iust cause why they went forth and separated themselues. For as S. Augustine, alluding to the holy Prouerbe c. 30. often ob­iecteth against the Donatists, The euill child call­eth himselfe iust, but he can not excuse his going forth. And in another place, You must come and giue an account of your separation. But none of them haue a iuster cause, nor can giue a better account of their separation, then those whom they confesse to be false Churches; therefor they are all false Churches.

I haue now sufficiently performed one thinge which I promised in the title of this booke; The verity of the Roma [...]e Cathelike faith is de­monstrated by industion from a [...]l other reli­gions. to wit to demonstrate by induction, from all the reli­gions that are in the world the verity of the Ro­mane Catholike faith. As for the atheist he ought indeede to be excluded from all speech of reli­gion, for that he hath none; yet his prophanesse is disprooued in the first article of the Creede, in which the Apostles laid the foundation of re­ligion, saying, I beleeue in God. The Pagans re­ligion is disprooued in the same article, in that he beleeueth not in one God, the maker of heauen and ea [...]th. The Iewish and Turkish sects are dis­prooued [Page 251]in the second article, for that they be­leeue not in Iesus Christ the onely Sonne of God. All sects of Christians that are out of the Romane Church are disprooued, in that they haue broken this ninth article of the Creede I beleeue the Ca­th [...]like Church, disobeying its authority in the lawfull head and pastors of it. Let them harken to the words of the Holy Ghost. Deut 17. If thou perceiue that the iudgment with thee be hard and doubtfull &c. Thou shalt come to the Priests of the Leuitical stocke, and to the iudge that shall be at that time, and thou shalt doe whatsoeuer they that are presi­dents of the place which our Lord shall choose shall say, and teach thee, according to his law; and thou shalt follow their sentence: neither shalt thou decline to the right hand nor to the left hand. But he that shall be prowde, refusing to obey the com­mandement of the priest, which at that time mi­nistreth to our Lord thy God, and the decree of the iudge, that man shall dy. Here now I cry to all those christians that are out of the Romane Church, Graecians, Arians &c. and to all the seueral Churches of Protestants, and especially to you my very deere Countreymen, for whose soules I haue long hazarded my corporall life. You haue contemned this great authority, or rather a greater then it was. You haue refused to obey the commandement of the priest and priests not of the Leuitical stocke; but of the institution of Christ, to wit the Successour of S. Peter, and his pastors: that is to say the Bishop of Rome and his pastors, who gouerned the primitiue Church of Christ, and were then actually gouerning it [Page 252]when your Churches beganne. These you know you haue disobeyed, and stande still disobedient vnto. General Councels haue declared against you all, and especially against the seueral sects of Pro­testants the Councell of Trent, consisting of two hundred and fifty fiue fathers, besides the most eminent doctors of the Catholike Church. All Romane Catholiks obey this Councell in all points of faith, and you disobey it. Disobedience to the Leuitical priest and priests, by the law of Moyses, was punished with death: and your dis­obedience (I am sorry with all my hart; but I haue noe scruple to speake it) shall without doubt, if you repent not, be punished with eter­nal death. Therefor I coniure you by the sweet merites of Iesus Christ, in whom you beleeue, and whom you expect to be your iudge, to re­flect ypon your soules, and vpon true religion. Call to minde how your Churches beganne, and how schismes and heresys beginne; and if you finde (as you shall easily finde) that you haue begunne after the very same manner as they, in disobedience to the head and pastors of the Church, and to all but your owne wills; your be­ginners were as Core, Nu. 16. Dathan, and Abiron, that beganne diuisions in the Church of God: their followers that liued with them were as the fol­lowers of the former, whom God destroyed also with them; and you rising vp to mainteine their disobedience when they are dead and gone, are like to those who after their deaths rose vp to ius­tify their cause, and were therefor by the iudg­ment of God consumed with fire. Forsake their [Page 253]company, desert that vnlawfull cause and returne againe into the sheepfold of Christ, if you desire to be saued.

THE TENTH ARTICLE.

FOrgiuenesse of sinnes. None can rightly consi­der these words as made by the Apostles to be an article of the Creede; but he must needs con­ceiue some greater mystery to be conteined in them, them onely to professe that God can, or doth forgiue sinnes. Neither can he in reason vn­derstande any other thinge, then that there is power of forgiuing sinnes in that Church, which they had newly professed. This was indeede a gift, and priueledge worthy to be mentioned in the publike Creede.

Christ after his resurrection, before he ascended into heauen, appeared to his Apostles, and breath­ing vpon them said, Io. 20. Receiue ye the Holy Ghost who­se sinnes you shall forgiue, they are forgiuen: and whose you shall retaine they are retained. This was a mystery which the Church of God had great rea­son to remember, and often to inculcate vnto her people; and therefor the Apostles hauing pro­fessed their beleefe in the Catholike Church, in the next place would commemorate this gift, and power, which the Catholike Church hath of the forgiuenesse of sinnes; that with gratitude we might remember it and make good vse of it.

It is a greater worke (saith S. Aug. tract. 52. Augustine) to make an euill man good, then to make the world of nothing. Yet it is giuen vnto man to doe this great [Page 254]worke. It is giuen I say vnto man: for it is not of his owne power; but of the gift of God. God onely of his owne natural power can forgiue sin­nes, Esa 43. I am he that taketh cleane away thine iniqui­tys; but he can, if he will, giue that power vnto men. The Apostles had that power by the gift of God, as they had of him to worke many mira­cles, which were as hard and vnpossible to na­ture, as to forgiue sinnes. Iudges of themselues haue not power to iudge; but when the king mak­eth them iudges, and giueth them power, then they haue power, and may exercize it; and the exercize of it is good and valid; because the king who gaue them that power setteth them in his owne place, giueth them to represent his owne person, and ratifyeth the sentence which they giue; soe priests are made of God the iudges ouer soules, they beare his person, they forgiue sinnes, and whose sinnes they forgiue vpon earth, those are forgiuen by him in heauen. By sinne we be­come debtours to God: he is the creditour, who onely of himselfe can forgiue; but he substitut­ing others to forgiue in his name, his substitutes can validly forgiue: and the substitutes of God are his priests To say that men can not haue power to forgiue sinnes is that which the Iewes obiected against Christ, and which he answered and disprooued by a miracle, shewing by it that himselfe not onely as he was God, but also ac­cording to his humanity could forgiue sinnes. A lame and impotent man being brought vnto him he said, Mat. 9. Thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. And when the Iewes heard those words, presently they [Page 255]said that he blasphemed, as though the power of forgiuing sinnes had bene soe propper to God, that he could not haue imparted it to man. But they shall see the contrary, and that there was noe blasphemy in his words. Wherfor thinke you euill in you harts? (saith Christ) whether is easier to say thy sinnes are forgiuen thee? or to say arize and walke? but that you may know that the Sonne of man hath power on earth to forgiue sinnes, Arize take vp thy bedd and goe into thy house. And he aroze and went into his house. And the multitudes seeing it glorifyed God that had giuen such power to men. Now let none euer say that men cannot haue power to forgiue sinnes.

It is soe farre from being a blasphemy or in­iury to God to say that he giueth power to men to forgiue sinnes, that to say the contrary is a blas­phemy and iniury to him; to wit that he can not, or doth not giue that power to men. For as the honour and power of the king is not diminished, but rather his loue and care ouer his subiects is demonstrated, in making iudges to conserue ius­tice and order amongst them, and especially in giuing power to his iudges to pardon offences done against him; soe is it a special demonstration of the loue of God vnto men, to giue power to priests to forgiue sinnes which are committed against him. And this is that which the Apostles would haue vs here to professe, to wit the forgiue­nesse of sinnes by power giuen to the Catholike Church. He that considereth the euill of mortall sinne, how that it woundeth, and quite killeth our soules, leauing them depriued of the grace of God, [Page 256]and guilty of the paines of hell, will esteeme great­ly of this power; and will thinke that there is no­thing in the world, which soe much behoueth a sinner, as the right application of that power to himselfe. Esa. 27. This is the end and fruit of all that sinne be taken away. Saith the Prophet. By this our soules when they are as a dead and filthy carrion in the sight of God are restored to the life of grace made cleane, and beautifull, and all the happines of future life also becommeth then due to them. This we shall learne how it is to be applyed in the Sacrament of Pennance, where the benefit of it is obtained.

THE ELEAVENTH ARTICLE.

THe Resurrection of the flesh. How necessary this article was to the establishing of the christian doctrine, it appeareth in this, that the holy scriptures doe not onely professe it, but also prooue it. S. Paul prooueth the resurrection of our bodys by the resurrection of Christ. If (saith he) there be noe resurrection of the dead neither is Christ rizen againe. Cor. 1 15. And if Christ be not rizen againe, then vaine is our preaching vaine also is your faith. And he declareth and confirmeth it by the similitude of corne, which corrupting in the seede, rizeth vp fresh, and faire corne againe. With these and the like arguments he disputeth against certaine men, that denyed the resurrec­tion: Tim. 2.2. as Hymenaeus and Philetus who interpreted the scriptures to be vnderstoode of the resurrea­tion of the soule to the state of grace. Christ also [Page 257]himselfe disputed with the Saducaeans about this point, and confirmed in fact the truth of it, when he raized Lazarus to life: who although he had bene fower dayes dead, and laid then stinking in the monument; yet when Christ called, he heard, Io. 11. and obeyed, comming forth fresh and liuely. Holy Iob in the midst of all his assictions com­forted himselfe with these words. Iob 19. I know that my redeemer liueth, and in the last day I shall rize out of the earth. And I shall be compassed againe with my skinne, and in my flesh I shall see God. Thus did this holy man solace himselfe with the thought of the resurrection, which he saith he had laid vp in his bosome, vsing it as a cordiall, and antidore against his great miserys.

Our soules and bodys desiring by nature to be vnited together for the complete and intire constituting of man, it stands with reason that they should once come together againe, that the soules of the blessed may enioy their desire and be satiated in the naturall appetite which they haue vnto their bodys. And for this reason the immortality of the soule, and the resurrection of the body is mentioned in the scriptures, and was taken by the auncient Philosophers, as it were for the same: because such is the connexion be­twixt them, that by the immortality of the soule the resurrection of the body is inserred; for if the soule be immortal, and haue a natural appetite to the body, as being ereated to constitute man con­sisting of both soule and body; then that appetite must once be satiated by the resurrection of the body after death, and revnion of the soule to it [Page 258]againe: and soe take away the resurrection of the body, and you take away the immortality of the soule, and then all grounds of faith and the hopes of future life are taken away with it; our soules being mortal with our bodys: and therefor S. Paul, If I fought with beasts at Ephesus what doth it profit mee, Cor. 1.15. if the dead rize not againe? let vs eate and drinke for to morrow we shall dy. And therefor S. Chrysostome calleth the Saducaeans, who de­nyed the resurrection, the most pernicious hae­retiks that euer were. S. Ambrose hauing proou­ed it by scriptures and by the examples of those, who haue rizen from the dead, and by reasons which he calleth euident, concludeth all in this plane and certaine truth, that the corruptions of seedes and productions, which we see of new thin­ges, are vnto God the resurrection of the old.

That which we beleeue by this article is, that the very same bodys which liued before, although neuer soe much corrupted shall be vnited to their soules againe, and remaine for euer with them, (for if it were not the same body which was be­fore, it were not a resurrection, but a production of a new thinge) and that this resurrection is ge­neral to all, Cor. 1.15. according to the Apostle, As in A­dam all dy soe in Christ all shall be made aliue. Neither doe his words to the Thessalonians make against this, Thes. 1.4. where he saith The dead that are in Christ shall rize againe first. Then we that liue that are left with all, shall be taken vp with them in the clouds to meete Christ. For those that be liuing on the earth, when Christ shall come to iudg­ment, shall dy and rize againe to receiue their [Page 259]sentence. And of this there can be noe doubt, if we consider the cause of the resurrection which is generall to all, Cor. 2.5. that euery one may receiue the prop­per things of the body according as he hath done either good or euill. All men being constituted of body, and either seruing or not seruing God by it, must rize againe, that they may receiue in their bodys according to the works, which they did in them.

S. De ciu. D [...] l. 22. c. 19. Augustin hath declared with what beauty and ornaments the bodys of the iust shall rize againe, free from the deformitys and imperfec­tions which before they had. They shall haue noe defects of litlenes, weaknes, crookednes &c. There shall be noe excesse in bignesse; the fatt and corpulent shall deminish of their bulke, and those that want of their natural pitch shall come to their perfect syze and stature. There shall be then noe tendernesse of infants, noe feeblenes of old age, noe sicknes, lamenesse or infirmity in any part. They shall rize all full of ioy and con­tent, neither as yong, nor as old; but in a midle perfect age. The haire and other ornaments of the body neither too much, nor too litle, all in­decency being changed into comlines and de­cency: that the body and soule may both toge­ther praise their creatour, as well in corporall, as in spirituall glory.

THE TWELFTH ARTICLE.

LIfe euerlasting. Because life is the most pre­tious of all things to vs; all the happinesse [Page 260]which we enioy in this world being enioyed by life, and lost by death, therfor the euerlasting felicity of heauen is called euerlasting life: and the losse of it may very well be termed an euer­lasting death: the eternall separation of our soules from God being infinitly more miserable to them then their separation from their miserable bodys; and therfor as dying creatures carne and anhele for life, soe ought we to earne and anhele after that blessed life. Some times that happy state is called the kingdome of God, the house of God, paradise, the holy city: thus in the scriptures; and all to enamour vs with it.

The cheife felicity of the blessed, which is cal­led their Essentiall blesse, consisteth in the cleere vision, that is to say the perfect knowledge which they haue of God; that they know him with full content, as one doth his freind, when he is pre­sent with him, Cor 1.13. Io. 17. and beholdeth him face to face. We see now by a glasse in a darke sort. But then face to face saith the Apostle; and Christ saith, This is life euerlasting that they know thee the onely true God.

The glory of the Saints is giuen to them according to the measure of their grace; for as they dy in a higher state of grace, soe shall they receiue a higher reward of glory; the scrip­tures frequently declaring that the reward is to be giuen according to our works. Cor 1.3. Euery one (saith the Apostle) shall receiue his reward according to his labour. Luth in Na­tiuit Maria Virgni. By which we may see how false that in­ference of Luther was. Christs iustice is imputed vnto euery one alike; therefor euery one is as [Page 261]holy as our blessed lady. For Christs iustice is im­puted vnto euery one in that degree in which euery one applyeth it to himselfe, and vnto all the saints alike soe farre, as to obtaine glory, S. Aug tract. 67. in Io. but not in the same degree. S. Augustine shall an­swere him. The penny indeede is giuen vnto euery one alike; but the many mansions signify the diuerse dignitys of merits in that one eternall life. And pre­sently after he citeth the Apostle Cor. 1.15. where speaking of the resurrection of the body, he saith one glory of the sunne, another glory of the moone, and another of the starres: for starre differeth from starre in glory. Soe (saith he) is the resurrection of the dead: the Saints as starres haue different mansions, Greg. mor. l. 1. c. vltime and different claritys in the kingdome of heauen. S. Gregory confirmeth S. Augustins words, as it were repeating the very same ouer againe. Because the elect of God haue different works in this life, in the next without doubt there shall be a difference of dignitys; and therefor in my fathers house there be many mansions.

Now to speake of the greatnes of this glory I know not how to beginne: for it is neither in the tongue of man to speake, nor in his hart to thinke the liberality of God in rewarding of his friends. The Saints are then vnited in perfect friendshipp with him, and are receiued into his innermost tabernacles, where they shall neuer feare to loose his grace, nor their place of glory. And by that neere and intimate vnion with God, the diuine power, wisdome, and goodnes appeareth soe resplendently in them: that euen as iron when it is redd hott seemeth to be all fire, by the fire [Page 262]which it conteineth; soe the saints by that bright glory and sublime light, by which God dwelleth in them, and ioyneth himselfe to them, seeme to haue put on the very nature of God. It ought to be a great comfort in the way of vertue, and an encouragement to vndergoe labors for Gods sake, to thinke of the reward which we shall haue in the end. Dauid a yong man comming into king Sauls campe, to visit his brethren that were souldiers in it, saw the huge army of their ene­mys ouer against them, and a mighty gyant stan­ding in the midst of both, formidably armed, challenging all Israël to a single duell with him; and although he saw all the Israëlits to fly from his face forvery feare, yet hearing by chance of a great reward which was promised to any that should kill him; to wit that he should haue the Kings daughter to wife, and other things. He hearkened after it, and when he had informed himselfe well, and vnderstoode that such was in­deede the kings promise, his spirits were raised with the hopes of reward, and his hart was on fire to be in hand with the gyant: and allthough he knew neither how to weare armour, nor manage armes, but without either sword, or speare, or any defence for himselfe, was to venture his life with an old tryed souldier, he feared nothing but went downe vnto him as though it had bene to beate a dogge, and seeing his enemy to ap­proch he ranne towards him threw a stone onely in his face, and closing presently with him, with his owne sword he cut of his head. Soe in our spirituall combats the rewarde which we shall haue after [Page 263]victory ought to be a great encouragement vnto vs. We shall haue the grace of God which is the kings eldest daughter, and by it euerlasting glory in the kingdome of heauen. Remember then that thou art the souldier of God, and in all temptations thinke that he then calleth thee forth to fight for him in his owne presence and before the host of his Angells and Saints; and that in the sight of them all and in their hearing, he had made the promise of thy reward: and besides that he will soe helpe thee that thou art sure of victory if thou wilt. Who in this case would not runne vnto the batle? This is the case of euery one of vs. Apos. 2. God hath promised, to him that ouercommeth I will giue to eate of the tree of life: to wit euer­lasting, and he giueth vnto euery one sufficient meanes to ouercome. Is he not a coward in the sight of God, and before the whole court of hea­uen that shall refuse to fight vpon these termes? Thinke what this reward is: an eternity of hap­pines. And when thou hast thought for a good space say to thy selfe I can not comprehende that eternall happinesse. Ep. 205. ad Cyr Hicros. Ps. 83. In the Epistles which are commonly said to be S. Augustins he describeth a vision which himselfe had to his purpose, and I will giue it you, as neere as I can in the same words and stile. I was (saith he) in my cell at Hippo resting and greedily thinking of the glory of the blessed, and of the greatnes of their ioy: and being compelled by the intreaty of my deere Seuerus once the disciple of venerable Martin bishop of Turon, I desired to setforth a short treatise of this matter; but hauing pen, in my hand to write to most [Page 264]holy Hierome for his opinion in it, when I had be­gunne the exordium of my salutation, behold a sud­daine light, such as our times hath not seene, nor can be spoken with our tongues, entred into my cell, and filled it with an vnspeakeable sweetnes of all odours. Which when I saw, I was soe astonished, that the powers of my minde and body were quite taken from mee. For J knew not then that the right hand of God had exalted his seruant. (Because at that very hower did S. Hierome depart this world) And therefor because mine eyes had neuer seene the like brightnes nor euer had I felt such sweetnes, I wondered and was quite rauished with it. And being in this sort I heard a voyce comming forth of that light saying to mee, Augustine what dost thou meane? dost thou thinke to put the sea into a litle dish? to hold all the earth in the compasse of thy hand? to detaine the heauens from their naturall course? shall thy eye see that which none could see? shall thy eares heare more then the eares of any? and those things which haue not entred into any hart dost thou thinke to conceiue them? where is the end of that which is endles? how wilt thou measure that which is immense? The sea shall be put into a litle dish, the earth shall become a handfull, and the heauens shall sooner stay their course, then thou shalt vnderstande the least part of that ioy and glory, which the blessed enioy. But that thou shouldst vnder­stande that which I know now by experience not to vndertake impossible things. Seeke not to vnder­stande, but labour to gett that glory which thou wouldest conceiue. Thus S. Hierome would preuent his letter, and satisfy him by experience in that [Page 265]which he desired to vnderstande; to wit that the glory of the Saints is aboue humane vnderstand­ing. It is enough for vs to thinke that it is a life in which God is enioyed for euer; but here we can not comprehende what God is, what euer is, or what that life is in which God is enioyed, and which they lead in heauen. O the infinite good­nes of God! O eternity! O sweet life in which that infinite good is eternally enioyed! That which is good and the best in euery thinge that is conteined in God, the summe and hight of perfection. I say all in this word Perfection. And this perfection thou shalt allwais desire, Ps. 23. and haue it allwais there as thou defirest in God. How be­loued are thy tabernacles O Lord of hosts? my soule coueteth and fainteth vnto the courts of our Lord. My hart and my flesh haue reioyced towards the liuing God. This is the end of the Creede and of true faith that we gaine euerlasting life. This is the finall but infinite reward which Catholiks onely, and none but good Catholiks come to receiue: that our soules shall be placed in perfect spirituall pleasures, and our bodys in corporall, and shall still aime at that which is most perfect, and enioy that perfection which they aime at, to wit God in his glory.

THE FIFT DISCOVRSE. OF THE SACRAMENTS.

I INTENDE to declare the Sacraments vnto you: which as they are the most estimable iew­els and pretious ornaments by which the merits of Christs Pas­sion are applyed for the sancti­fication of our soules; soe it is very necessary for all to be well instructed in them; that those holy mysterys being receiued with due reuerence, may blesse and effectually sanctify the receiuers of them. Mat. 7. Giue not that which is holy to doggs: neither cast you your pearles before swine. Saith our bles­sed Sauiour. That is, that holy things are not to be giuen to the vnworthy, and as S. Augustine hath noted, especially the Sacraments which are vnder­stoode by pearles, as the most pretious of holy thinges. That I may speake worthily of them, and you receiue benefit by my speech, we will say the Haile Mary for our Blessed Ladys intercession Haile Mary &c.

Quest. What is a Sacrament? Answ. A Sacrament. is an outward signe which causeth grace in vs.

To be a Sacrament is to be an outward signe, and to be an outward signe, is to be somethinge that may be perceiued outwardly by the senses. By the sense of seeing we perceiue in the Sacraments the thinge which is done, as the ablution in baptis­me: and by the sense of hearing the words that are said: and in that which is done and said consisteth the nature, and essence of euery Sacrament, as it is an outward signe to our senses. S. Augustine, The word is ioyned to the element and there is a Sa­crament. The Sacraments cause grace in vs; Tract. 80. in Io. be­cause they are the meanes which Christ hath insti­tuted to sanctify vs by; and we can not be sancti­fyed, but by the diuine grace being caused in vs.

OF THE EFFECTS OF THE Sacraments.

THE prime and propper effect of euery Sa­crament is to cause grace: for they are not onely signes to signify that God then giueth grace; but they haue power giuen them of God to cause grace in the soules of those that worthily receiue them: that as a Cherry tree produceth a cherry, and a Plumtree a plumme; soe the Sacraments of Christ produce grace, as their propper fruit, in the soules of the worthy receiuers of them, God vsing them as instruments to our sanctification.

This is the difference betwixt the Sacraments which were before Christ both in the law of na­ture and of Moyses, and the Sacraments which now we haue in the law of grace, that the Sacra­ments which were before the comming af Christ [Page 268]could not giue grace to saluation, but onely fig­nifyed the grace, which was to be giuen by our Sacraments; because they signifyed him onely who as then was to come and had not purchased grace by his passion, as yet suffered: and soe they onely signifyed that grace which he was to pur­chase, and which was to be giuen by the Sacra­ments of Christ: by the merits of whose passion God then gaue grace to those that receiued the former Sacraments; but the Sacraments them­selues as they were of those lawes and times, had not that power; and therfor the Apostle calleth them weake and poore elements: that is in compari­son of the vertue and efficacy of our Sacraments; Gal. 4. which as they are the Sacraments of the law of Christ haue this preeminence aboue them, that they can cause grace in vs.

Quest. What is grace? Answ. Grace is a super­natural gift, which maketh vs gratfull, and accep­table to God.

Grace is a certaine supernatural quality which God infuseth into our soules, by which they are sanctifyed, and soe adorned and beautifyed in his sight that he cannot but loue those that haue it, and can loue none that haue it not. It is as though a king should bestow some gift vpon euery one of his freinds in token of friendship; which gift should soe endeere them vnto him, that they were sure of his fauour as long as they kept it, and to loose his fauour if they lost it: soe that this token should both destinguish them from his [Page 269]enemys, and also cause them to be his friends. Such a gift is the grace of the Sacraments; it for­mally causeth vs to be the freinds of God, and destinguisheth vs from his enemys.

All the gifts of God may be called graces in a large sense, as they are gifts which of meere grace, and beneuolence he bestoweth on his crea­tures: and soe the gift of tongues, of prophecy, of miraculous cures, and the like are commonly called graces: but they are not the grace of the Sacraments, which maketh vs gratfull to God. For although those gifts or graces for the most part be giuen to the good; yet sometimes they are giuen to euill men; as the gift of prophecy was giuen to Balaam an idolatour, and to Caiphas, euen then to prophecy, when he was sitting in iudgment against Christ: but none but the iust haue Sacramental grace; because it sanctifyeth all those that haue it. Secondly the good motions and holy inspirations, by which God moueth vs to good works are called grace; but they are not the grace of the Sacraments, which sanctifyeth vs; they being often and for the most part (God knows) reiected by many, that answere not to them. Thirdly the general concourse of God, by which he preserueth all creatures in their being, and concurreth with them in their works, is called grace, as when we say by the grace of God I will doe this or that: that is to say with the diuine helpe and concurrence. And in fine all the good which we haue may be called grace, as it proceedeth of the gracious goodnes of God towards vs. But the grace which is caused by the Sacraments sancti­fyeth [Page 270]our soules, and maketh them gratfull to God, which the others doe not.

This effect which the Sacraments haue of caus­ing grace in vs, although it be supernatural to them, as they are onely corporal signes; yet vnto God that giueth them that power it is natural; and as easy is it to him to giue to his creatures power of sanctifying, and of giuing grace, as it is to giue them power to any other miraculous ef­fects: all which although they be in some sort supernaturall; yet by the will of God they are made subiect to natural, and secondary causes. And God to shew this power and dignity of out Sacraments, would haue all that solemnity in the baptisme of Christ, that the heauens should open, and the whole B. Trinity should sensibly appeare. The Father in the voice, saying, this is my belooued sonne in whom I am well pleased, The Sonne in humane nature submitting himselfe to be bapti­zed, Mar. 3. and the Holy Ghost in the likenes of a doue. It was also for the greater reuerence of our Sa­craments that great solemnity, with which the Confirmation of the Apostles was celebrated on Whitsunday, when the Holy Ghost came with astonishing glory, and great signes to confirme them: God honouring the rest of the Sacraments by these two first, to shew the power which they all haue.

OF THE NECESSITY OF Sacraments.

GOD hauing ordained man for a glorious future life, by duely worshipping him in this; and directing him in his worship, not by leau­ing euery man to himselfe, independant of all authority, and subiect to none; but by subiecting him to the obedience of a continual Church, and of spiritual pastors in spirituall thinges; it was necessary that he should ordaine some external and corporal meanes of sanctification in the Church, that all might vnite and combine to­gether in the true worship of God by them; which by onely internal and spiritual acts could not be; because we vnderstande not but by outward words and signes. S. L. 19. cont. Faust. c. 11. Augustine Men can not agree in the profession of any religion, either true or false, except they be vnited by some visibles signes or Sacraments. Because as long as we liue in this life, our soules in their operations depending of our bodys, can conceiue nothing but by outward species receiued in our senses. Rom. 1. The inuisible things of God are vnder­stoode by those thinges that are made. And therfor the manner of our sanctification, and of receiuing grace, which is spirituall and inuisible, must be by corporal and visible Sacraments, that the Church may combine together in the worship of God by them. To be admitted then into the Church some visible signe was necessary: and for this is Baptisme; for by it we are made members of the Church of Christ. After that the other Sa­craments [Page 272]are necessary for the ordering, and gouerning vs in the progresse of our spiritual life which is then begunne. In breife corporal Sa­craments were necessary to admitte vs into the Church, and then for the Church to gouerne vs by them. VVho insti­tuted the Sacraments. And being that they giue grace for our sanctification; it followeth that they must be of diuine institution; none but God being able to giue them that power; because none but he had that power to giue them, and to determine and appoint them as the meanes of our sanctification; and therefor the Sacraments could not be insti­tuted by the Apostles, or by the Church after them; but by Christ himselfe.

OF THE MATTER AND FORME of the Sacraments, and of the intention of him that administreth them.

BY that which hitherto hath bene said of the Sacraments it appeareth, that they are the medicines of our soules, which through the merits of Christs Passion giue health vnto sinners. Now medicines as such include and require three things. First the thinge it selfe which is to be ap­plyed. Secondly the application of it, that it be applyed. Thirdly that it be rightly applyed. That which in the Sacraments is as the medicine it selfe is the matter of the Sacraments; that is so methinge which in euery Sacrament is applyed: as water in baptisme, oile in Confirmation &c. That which [Page 273]in the Sacraments is as the application of a me­dicine, is the forme of the Sacraments; as the words in Baptisme, Confirmation &c. Because by them the matter or medicine it selfe is applyed to the patient. That which is required as necessa­ry to the due and right application of it, is the intention of him that administreth it: to wit that he intende to apply it as a Sacrament and remedy for sinne. And if any of these three things be want­ing, either the matter, the forme, or the right intention of the minister, it is noe Sacrament. The matter and forme are required as the essen­tial parts, which Christ ordained for euery Sa­crament to consist of: the intention of the minister is noe part of the Sacrament; yet it is a condi­tion and circumstance necessary to it: because those things which are indifferent vnto seueral ends must be determined by the intention to the end which they are intended for. A charitable and liberal gentleman, seeing a company of poore folkes at his doores, throweth them his purse, and biddeth them take it: they goe away giuing many thanks; and blessing God and him, they take it as an almes to vse as their owne. The same gentleman throweth his purse to his steward and biddeth him take it, meaning to lay vp: he taketh it without thanks giuing: because it was not meant him as his owne, nor giuen him as a gift. Now what maketh the first to be a gift, and not the second, but the intention of the giuer? who though he did the same thinge, and said the same words to both; yet the purse in one case onely was bestowed, because soe intended. Soe in the [Page 274]Sacraments, the matter and forme may be ap­plyed to diuerse ends. One may doe all that is to be done, and say the words of baptisme to shew another how to baptize, or ouer an Infidel in iest onely and prophane mirth; and then there is noe baptisme; because his intention was then to teach another, or to be merry, but not to baptize. It is recorded of S. Athanasius that being a child as he was playing amongst the children of In­fidels he baptized them as he had seene amongst christians. And it was founde to be true baptisme; because vpon due examination after­wards it appeared, that he then intended to giue true christian baptisme: but if Athanasius had baptized in sport onely, it had bene noe baptis­me; because he had not had that intention which God then inspired him to haue, and which was necessary for the Sacrament.

The effect of the Sacraments dependeth not vpon the holines and goodnes of the minister, nor requireth any more goodnes in him, then the goodnes, that is the truenesse, of his inten­tion: but as a lame and diseased physitian may administer good physicke to his patient, and to good effect; soe an euill minister may ministrate good Sacraments and to good effect, if the re­ceiuer be rightly disposed for it. Aug tract. 2. in lo. Iudas (saith S. Augustine) as an Apostle baptized amongst the A­postles, and we doe not reade that Christ commanded those, whom Iudas had once baptized, to be againe rebaptized. The reason is because he that admi­nistreth the Sacraments is but the instrument of Christ, who instituted them and gaue them their [Page 275]power, himselfe being the principal cause of their effect; and the instrument worketh not by it selfe, but by the vertue and power of the principal agent that imployeth it. For as wine or beere is noe better, nor worse for being drunke out of a syluar bowle then out of an earthen pott, and as the physitian giueth noe power to his medicins, but onely applyeth them with that power which they haue of God; and therefor the moral good­nes of the physitian auaileth nothing to the effect of the medicine; soe the effect of the Sacraments dependeth not on the goodnes of the minister; because he is but the instrument of Christ, who acteth by him. Yet thus much may be said, that as wise patients would rather choose physitians of good health, then those that are sicke and can not cure themselues; soe it is wisdome rather to receiue the Sacraments at the hands of good, then of euill ministers to whom we might say physitian cure thy selfe. Luc. 45 Besides it is more reuerence to the Sacraments.

OF THE CHARACTER OF THE Sacraments.

THE Councel of Trent hath declared, that besides the effect of grace which all the Sa­craments giue, some of them imprint a certaine character, or marke vpon the soules of those that receiue them. These are Baptisme, Con­firmation, and Orders; because by these Sa­craments men are chosen, and deputed to some [Page 276]offices more then by the rest. By baptisme we are first deputed and enter into the office of chrif­tians, and seruice of Christ. By Confirmation we are chosen and deputed as his souldiers, to fight for him with fortitude in time of persecu­tion. By Orders men are deputed to certaine spi­ritual offices in the Church. Aug. l. 2. e. 23. cont. ep. parm. S. Augustine calleth the character of the Sacraments a badge or cog­nizant of some spirituall power; and compareth it to the signe and token of honour which soul­diers vsed to weare in his time. It is not (saith he) to be thought that the souldiers of Christ should want that honour, which the souldiers of this world haue.

The effect of the character is not to giue grace, but onely to destinguish those that are deputed to those offices as I haue said. This character is soe fir­mely sealed vpon the soules of those that receiue those Sacramēts, that it can neuer be blotted forth, nor taken from them: and therefor those three Sa­craments are but once receiued, and can not be reiterated againe, as the other Sacramēts may, and must be when neede requireth; because the other Sacraments haue not this effect, when they giue grace: and therfor nothing of them remaining, when the diuine grace is lost by mortall sinne, they must be renewed againe in vs; but these three neede not to be receiued againe; because they leaue their character, seale, and pledge allwais in vs. And in this sense the words of the Apostle are litterally vnderstoode. Cor. [...],1. He that hath annointed vs God: who also hath sealed vs, and giuen the pledge of the spirit in our harts.

OF THE REVERENCE WITH which we ought to receiue the Sacraments.

AMongst all the points of christian doctrine there is none more necessary to be perfectly learned, then the doctrine of the Sacraments. The other mysterys of faith we are bounde to know them speculatiuely, soe as to beleeue them; but of the Sacraments we are bounde to haue a practical knowledge, to receiue them worthily and with fruit. By this we may conceiue some thinge of the reuerence which we owe to them: that as pretious as the blood of Christ is, and as auailable as the merits of his Passion are to vs, they auaile vs nothing at all, nor can we by any other possible meanes receiue the benefit of them, but by the Sacraments. They are the cundits by which his pretious blood is conueyed, and conducted to our soules: and he that re­ceiueth any Sacrament in mortal sinne stoppeth those cundits with beastly silth profaneth them, and poysoneth his soule. The Holy Ghost in the booke of wisdome describing the impietys of wicked men saith, Sap. 2. they haue not knowne the Sacra­ments of God. That is to say the cheife mysterys of God. Now amongst all the mysterys of God, the seauen Sacraments are soe high and eminent, that aboue all others they haue purchased to them­selues the name and title of Sacraments. That which followeth of this is, that it is a most gree­uous [Page 278]ignorance not to vnderstande them; and that there is noe irreuerence in the worldsoe great, as is the vnworthy receiuing of any Sacrament. Christ standeth with the chalice of his Passion ready to powre it on thy soule, to wash away thy sinnes; and thou profanest that chalice when thou profanest any Sacrament by receiuing it vnwor­thily. Thou spillest on the ground, and willfully treadest vnder thy feete the blood of thy Sauiour. The sonne of God hath prouided in the Sacra­ments a remedy for thy weake and dying soule, and in steede of applying it thou abusest it. If a wise and carefull physitian should send vnto his patient in peril of death some very pretious and costly medicine, and should assure him to saue his life and restore him his health by it; how ioy­full should he be at the comming of it? but if this patient should refuse to take it, and insteede of taking it, should treade it vnder his feete or throw it to the doggs, how great were the contempt which he shewed of his physitian and of his owne life? Mortal sinne is a deadly sicknesse, Christ is our physitian he sendeth vs the Sacraments a costly remedy to him, and the onely remedy that can, and is sure to cure vs. He that neglects to receiue the Sacraments neglecteth his owne life; he that receiueth them vnworthily, receiueth them as a dogg that had noe soule to be saued, and hath noe benefit, but woundeth and poysoneth his soule by the sacrilege which he committeth. A man (saith the Apostle) making the law of Moyses frus­trate, Heb. 10. without any mercy dyeth vnder two or three witnesses. How much more thinke you doth he deserue [Page 279]worse punishments which hath trodden the sonne of God vnder foote, and esteemed the blood of the tes­tament polluted where in he is sanctifyed, and hath done contumely to the spirit of grace?

This is a sinne which seareth vp the conscience and obdurateth the hart against God: and for those that are guilty of this sinne, if they continue any time in it, it is very hard, and must be by a very speciall grace of God, if euer they come to true repentance. I shall speake more of this in the Sacraments of Eucharist and Pennance, which very wicked christians some times abuse to their damnation.

That we may not loose the benefit of the Sa­craments, it will helpe vs very much before the receiuing of any of them to consider well, what it is that we are then going to, and to thinke of the great loue that Christ bore to our soules, when he was nailed to the Cros, and by the price of his life purchased for vs, that the Sacraments should sanctify and saue vs. He loued vs to the end, and euen after his death he would shew by a mystery how much he loued vs, and how deere the Sacra­ments were to him, permitting his blessed side to be opened, that blood and water might issue out, to signify Baptisme and the Eucharist, and by them all the other Sacraments, as receiuing then their power from him. Imagine then ô Christian when thou goest to any Sacrament, that thou didst see thy Sauiour hanging on the Cros, and his side running downe with blood and water; and that he called thee vnto him, to let it fall vpon thy soule: with what reuerence wouldest [Page 280]thou come to him, and bring thy soule to that fountaine? Thinke with thy selfe that thou wilt prepare the like reuerence when thou receiuest any Sacrament.

OF THE NVMBER OF THE Sacraments.

Quest. Say the seauen Sacraments Answ. Bap­tisme, Confirmation, Eucharist, Pennance, Ex­treme-vnction, Holy Orders, Matrimony.

SOme Protestants allow of two onely, Kellisin 3. part. to. 2. q. 65. ar. 1. some of three, some of fower, and Luther alloweth so­merimes of one onely, and some Lutherans haue allowed of seauen Sacraments. Thus they are di­uided in a point which must needs be one of the most fundamental points of faith. All Catholiks that are in the world vnanimously agree that there are neither more nor fewer but iust seauen Sacra­ments; and those as aboue said. S. Thomas de­clareth the nature and necessity of seauen Sacra­ments for our spiritual life by seauen things in­cluded necessarily in our corporal life. First our corporal life supposeth generation: and to this baptisme is answerable; for by it we are generated and haue our first spiritual being and birth: and therefor S. Paul telleth the Corinthians, Cor. 1.4. whom he had christened, or caused to be christened, that he begott them to Christ: and in the same sense he calleth Onesimus the child which he begotte in prison. Phile. Secondly our corporal life includeth growth and increase of strength: to this Confirma­tion [Page 281]is answerable in our spirituall life; for by it we are strengthened in the true faith of Christ. Thirdly our corporal life requireth foode for nutriment, and especially bread: to this the Sa­crament of Eucharist is answerable; for by it our soules are nourished with spirituall vigour and nutriment, euen in the similitude of bread; when we receiue him who is the bread of Angels, as he feedeth them with his glorious sight and presence. Fourthly our corparal life requireth medicines for the diseases, and hurts, which we are subiect vnto: this is supplyed by the Sacrament of Pen­nance: Christ hauing instituted it as a remedy for all the spirituall hurts and diseases which we incurre after baptisme. Fiftly our corporal life requireth armes of defence against our corporal enemys; and soe doe our soules, especially at the hower of our death when our enemys rage most against vs; and for this we haue the Sacrament of Extreme vnction, by which our weake senses are armed against the deuils power. Sixtly the corporal life of man, as he is ordained to the so­ciety of other men, requireth a superiour autho­rity to be in some, for the gouerning of others; and soe an orderly gouernment is necessary for vs in the Church of God; and for this we haue the Sacrament of orders in which power is giuen to some in spiritual things Seauenthly, for the continuance and conseruation of humane nature, a continuall succession, and propagation of mankind is necessary in the world; and for this the spiritual life of man requireth, that it be done by a Sacrament for the orderly propagation of [Page 282]men, and the increase of soules to the worship of God. This is by the Sacrament of Matrimony: which as it is a duety of nature is onely for corpo­ral generation; but as it is a Sacrament it giueth grace, for the increase of soules in the diuine worship.

The number of the Sacraments shall appeare furthermore out of the scriptures in that which I haue to say of euery Sacrament in particular. The same is declared by diuerse Councels. And al­though the fathers haue had noe occasion in their writings to name them alltogether; yet they haue made mention of them all, as occasion serued. Neither is it necessary that we should assigne the time when euery Sacrament in particular was in­stituted of Christ. We know the times of the insti­tution of some of them; and we know that for forcy dayes, betwixt his resurrection and his As­cension, he frequently appeared vnto his Apo­stles, and taught them many things, which they were to obserue in the Church, which are not mentioned in the scriptures; and we know that the Sacraments of the Church must be of Christs teaching, and ordaining. We haue for the num­ber of the Sacraments the same authority, that we haue for any of the scriptures, to wit the au­thority of the Church: which although it declare not the time when the scriptures were written; yet it assureth vs of all their verity; and soe it doth of the number of the Sacraments. ad Casulan. S. Augustine giueth vs this rule, that for those thinges which are generally receiued by the Church, if their be­ginnings be not knowne, they are to be taken [Page 283]for Apostolical traditions: but such is the num­ber of seauen Sacraments; therefor they are of Apostolical tradition. Thus much of the Sacra­ments in general; let vs now come to their par­ticular declarations.

OF BAPTISME. OF THE NECESSITY OF baptisme.

BAptisme is commonly called the doore of the Sacraments; because it is the entrance to the rest, necessary to be had before them. For vntill we be christened we are not christians; and vntill we be made christians we can not receiue the Sacraments of the people of Christ. Baptisme is our first spiritual generation, and before genera­tion we haue noe operation; because we are not; soe before baptisme we haue noe spiritual being in grace; and therefor it is to be supposed before the rest of the Sacraments be receiued; the words of S. Iohn being then verifyed he gaue them power to be made the sonnes of God. Io. 1. For as we are borne the children of Adam, and of wrath in our corporal births; soe in baptisme we are borne the sonnes of God, by grace through the merits of Iesus Christ. As necessary then as generation is to the corporal being of all men, soe necessary is baptisme to the being of all soules in the diuine grace and fauour: and as necessary as birth is to the perfection of man in this world, soe necessary [Page 284]is baptisme to come to the perfect state of glory. Vnles a man be borne againe of water and the spirit he can not enter into the kingdome of God. I [...]. 3. By which words it appeareth that Baptisme is a Sacrament that is to say an outward rite or signe that causeth grace in vs. Baptisme a Sacrament. We haue a rite and outward signe in the water; and we haue the effect of grace in that the kingdome of heauen is obtained by it.

Heretiks (that would confounde all things in the Church of God) haue gone about to take away our christendome from vs, affirming quite contrary to the words of Christ, that a man not borne of water may enter into the kindome of heauen, pretending that children are sanctifyed by their parents faith, and therefor will not bap­tize them. But this as I haue said is directly con­trary to the words alleadged, and in it selfe most absurde, in that it maketh the kingdome of hea­uen to come to children, not by grace, but by in­heritance from faithfull parents; and superna­turall glory to be obtained by natural and corpo­ral meanes. Children are not absolutly holy, in that they come of holy parents: good parents are indeede a meanes to thee sanctification of their children by procuring for them that which God hath ordained for their sanctification; but the goodnes of the parent can not merit grace for the child, nor sanctify him. This must be done by applying the merits of Christs passion to chil­dren in some Sacrament. And soe the children of the Iewes in the law of Moyses were saued by the faith of their parents in this sense, that they hau­ing the true faith, applyed vnto their children [Page 285]those meanes of sanctification, which God then ordained for them: but neither in the law of Moyses, nor of nature were children euer san­ctifyed by onely being borne of good parents; but somethinge was allwais done to them, as Circumcision, or some other outward signe for their sanctification: which although it were farre inferiour to our baptisme; yet it was necessa­rily required: there being noe proportion betwixt kinred in blood, and the diuine grace and glory. S. Augustin Doe not beleeue, Aug. l. 3. de anima & e [...]s ori­gine [...]. 9. doe not say that chil­dren before baptisme can haue their original sinne forgiuen them, if thou wilt be a Catholike.

OF THE EFFECT OF BAPTISME.

THE propper and particular effect of Baptis­me is to make him that receiueth it, to be­come a member of the body of Christ, as being admitted into his Church by it; and to dispose and prepare him for the rest of the Sacraments after it. The general effect of Baptisme, which it hath commune with all the Sacraments, is to giue grace to the sanctification of soules: and this it doth after soe full and plentifull a manner, that it remitteth all sinne whatsoeuer, original and actual, great and litle, and forgiueth all punish­ment due to it in the next world. Rom. 6. We are buried (saith the Apostle) together with him by Baptisme vnto death. That is to the death and destruction of sinne, and of all punishment after it. We haue a figure of this in Naaman the leptose Prince of Syria, who washing himselfe in the waters of Ior­dan, [Page 286] Reg. 4 5. as the Prophet had praescribed to him, he came forth soe cleane and perfectly cured, that the Holy Ghost saith his flesh was restored as the flesh of a litle child. Ezechiel prophecyed of this, saying, I will powre out vpon you cleane water and you shall be clensed from all your contaminations. Ezech c. 36. The Bap­tisme of S. Iohn had not this effect; but was a Sacrament, that is to say a holy mystery betwixt the law of Moyses, and Christ; not remitting of sinnes, but ordained of God as an honorable pre­paration for christian Baptisme: and for this rea­son Christ himselfe would be baptized by it, not to be purifyed (saith S. Augustine) by the waters, but to purify them by touching his most pure flesh. And as it were to prepare them for that more ho­norable Baptisme, which he was to commande.

The Apostles haue declared the effect of our Baptisme by some typical figures of the old Testa­ment. S. Peter applyeth the miraculous Salua­tion of mankind by water, Pet. 1.3. in the dayes of Noë, as a figure of our saluation by the water of Bap­tisme. S. Paul deliuereth the passage of the Is­raëlits through the sea to the land of promise, as a figure of our passing the waters of Baptisme to our desired rest in glory. Thus would God honour our Baptisme with these honorable figures, and inspire the Apostles to take notice of them. We ought therfor with great reuerence, humility and deuotion to be present at the administring of this great, and powerfull mystery.

OF THE CAEREMONYS OF Baptisme.

THE dignity of the Sacraments of Christ re­quireth that they be deliuered with deuout, and reuerent caeremonys; such as may both ex­presse the nature of them, and moue vs to deuo­tion in those holy mysterys. Haeretiks when we speake of caeremonys presently beginne to laugh, and as those that are possessed with euill spirits deride holy things; soe doe they the caeremonys of the Catholike Church. But this is the spirit of haeretical pride which is in them, proceeding from their owne willfull ignorance, because they will not consider and vnderstande truely the nature of caeremonys; The original cause and grounde of caeremonys. which is to be a corporal worship of God according to our nature, and an humble acknowledgment of our weake and corporal na­ture; who are indeede spiritual creatures in our soules, but tyed vnto and clogged with a body which is earthly; and therfor we must honour. God both with our soules and bodys: with our inward affections, as the operations of the soule, and with corporal caeremonys as the duety of our bodys; euery creature being to honour him after that manner which is natural to it. Angels honour God onely by affections, which are spi­ritual; because they are onely spirits: but man that consisteth both of soule and of body, must worship him both with spiritual affections of the soule, and with corporal reuerence. It is true, God respects most the inward of our [Page 288]harts, and without that nothing is acceptable to him; but he will accept of corporal works together with our harts: he will haue vs to pray in spirit in­wardly, yet he refuseth not our vocal prayers, which are corporal expressions of our inward re­uerence to him. Nay he is soe farre from refusing them, that Christ would both practise them him­selfe, and commende them to his Disciples; giu­ing them a forme of vocal prayer. And as God, who respects most the inward of our harts, would neuerthelesse allow of and commende vocal prayer; that we might vse it as an expression na­tural to vs, to humble our selues in the conside­ration of our weake nature; soe will he haue vs to expresse our inward submission of hart by corpo­ral caeremonys, and humble ourselues by them vnto him.

This is the original cause of vocal prayer and of caeremonys, as kneeling, holding vp our hands and the like at our prayers: and for this cause God would haue caeremonys to be vsed in his ser­uice, both in the law of nature and of Moyses; and Christ would initiate the law of grace with many caeremonys, which himselfe vsed. Read the fifteenth of Genesis, Gen. 15. and you shall finde that God commanded to take for sacrifices such and such creatures, of such an age, to be diuided after such a manner, and to be laid in such a posture: all which an haeretike may laugh at, if he will. Af­terwards in the law of Moyses; he that should reade, with the spirit of an haeretike, all those very many and strange caeremonys, which were then vsed, Exod. 29. and should see in the ordaining of Aaron the [Page 289]blood of a ramme put vpon the tippe of his right eare right thumbe, and right great toe, would perhaps laugh them to scorne, although they were ordained of God, as this whole law was; which was soe full of caeremonys, that it may well be diuided into the Caeremonial law. He that in the spirit of an haeretike should reade the seauenth of S. Marke, Mark. 7. and should see Christ take the deafe and dumbe man out of the multitude, might aske to what purpose did he soe? could he not as well haue cured him amongst the people? he putt his singars into his eares: to what purpose, would this haeretike say, could he not haue cured him as well without that caeremony? he spitted, touched his tongue, looked vp to heauen, groan­ed, said Epheta. To what purpose, might he say, was all this? could not he haue done the miracle as well without it? Yes! Luc. 18. Christ could haue cured him without these caeremonys, with a word onely, as he did the blind man with onely Respice: or without any word at all; but onely the word of his will, as he did the Centurions boy, neither speaking, nor touching, nor soe much as seeing him, but with his eyes of pitty; being then in body absent from him. But although then he would vse noe caeremonys; yet at other times, as you haue seene, he did; and for the most part he cured by imposition of hand; and that to very good purpose: and if the haeretike will know to what purpose it was; it was to teach him, and all men to worship God according to their nature, and to humble themselues in the consideration of their corporal nature. Holy Dauid, seeing the [Page 290]arke of our Lord coming forth of Obededoms house, moued with the zeale of diuine worship, deuested himselfe of his princely maiesty, and being a king, he thought it noe disparishment to gird himselfe with a linnen Ephod, and to leape and dance before the arke of our Lord: Michol his foolish wife looking through a window and seeing it, despised him in her hart for that caeremony of deuotion; and when the king came to his house she mette him, and vpbraided him with it, as a scornefull caeremony. But what was his answere to her? Reg. 2.6. Before our Lord will I play and will become more vile then J haue bene and I will be humble in mine eyes. This is the effect of the caeremonys of the Church, to humble vs to God whilst we reuerence him both in body and soule. Dauid was an humble man, and the type of a good Catholike, Michol was a prowde woman, and may signify haeretiks; for as she derided Dauids deuotion, soe doe haeretiks deride the caeremonys of the Church: but we haue an answere for them in Dauids words. I will humble my selfe both in soule and body to God, and will serue him with all my might, spiritually and corporally. This is a sufficient answere to all obiections against caeremonys.

There are two kinds of caeremonys: Two kindes of caeremonys the one hath a direct and immediate relation to God, without representing any particular mystery, as kneeling at our prayers or to the B. Sacrament, holding vp our hands, adorning of Churches, and the like. The other is of caeremonys which represent some particular mystery as the signe of [Page 291]the Cros, in relation to the Passion of Christ, and the caeremonys of the masse, and of the Sacra­ments, which for the most part signify some­thinge of his life or death. By the first we humble our selues to God in the condition of our nature: the same we doe also by the second, and further­more by them we remember, and honour the mysterys which they represent. All the caeremonys of the Church are in the same nature as corporal sacrifices, Sacraments, and vocal prayers; out­ward expressions of our inward affection. Nei­ther can there be any thinge obiected against the nature of caeremonys, but it hath the same force against them.

This is sufficient for caeremonys in general. Now for the particular caeremonys of baptisme, we neede but to shew that they haue holy signifi­cations. The font consecrated. First then the font is consecrated with holy oyle, to signify the inward vnction of the Holy Ghost by the grace of baptisme. Oyle is a liquor which spreadeth it selfe, mollifyeth that which is hard, and cureth wounds. And therefor may well signify grace, which diffused in our harts, dilateth it selfe by good works, softeneth, and tendereth them to the loue of God, and cu­reth vs from deadly sinne; and therfor oile is often vsed in the Sacraments, and caeremonys of the Church; and was vsed in the law of Moyses, Exod. 29. Exod 40. by the expresse commande of God, in the consecra­tion of Priests, and of things that belonged to the Church. The tabernacle and vessell theirof: the altare of holocaust and the vessell theirof: the lauer with the f [...]ote their of: all shalt thou consecrate with [Page 292]the oile of vnction that it may be most holy. The font being consecrated the child is brought to the doore, and stayeth there, to signify that we must first lay downe our burden of sinne, and ease our­selues of it, if we will enter into the house of our Lord. He is instructed in the christian doctrine, by the Pater Noster, and Creede &c. Those that are baptized at yeares of discretion answe­re for themselues those that can not answere for themselues haue their God fathers to see them instructed in the duetys of a christian. God fathers. It was the Apostles care as they were pastors ouer all, to pro­uide spirituall foode of instruction, both for great and litle; and therefor they instituted God­fathers in Baptisme, who as nurses might feede yong christians, and strengthen them in the doc­trine of the Catholike Church. That great Phi­losopher of Athens who liued in Christs time, and was conuerted by the preaching of S. Paul, was chosen of God, for the recorder of the Church in those times; and he as an eye witnesse hath declared the vse of Godfathers in these words. Dionys part. 3. c. 3. Eccle­fiashier. It hath seemed good to our captaines, to receiue in­fants after that manner, that the natural parents of the child should deliuer him to some man learned in diuine things, whom as vnder a master or diuine father, he leadeth the rest of his life. Him whom S. Denis calleth there Diuine father, we keeping the very same terme, call him Godfather: and this office was, as you see, by institution of the Apostles, who were our captaines, or els of Christ himselfe. He further declareth in what words the Godfather vsed to vndertake his charge, saying, [Page 293] Ipromise to bring this child to the knowledge of holy thinges, that by my serious admonitions, he renoun­ce the contrary, and performe what he hath promised. S. Augustine in a Sermon of Baptisme, which he made after easter, when it vsed to be more solem­nely administred, declareth in what things they ought to instruct their Godchildren. Teach them (saith he) to obserue chastity, to loue iustice, to conserue charity, and aboue all, teach them the Pater Noster, Crede, and ten Commandements, and the first rudiments of the christian religion.

This institution of Godfathers was very much to the aduancement of christian piety in all those that were to be baptized, who although they were at yeares of discretion, yet as yong christians were to be instructed in religion, and deuotion. Prou. 22. A yong man according to his way when he is old will not departe from it. I haue somethinge of this disc. 1. treating of instruction. The Councell of Trent, to auoide confusion in the office of Godfathers, hath commanded that there shall be but one, either a Godfather or a Godmother, or at most both a Godfather, and a Godmother.

Exorcismes are vsed to expell the deuils if they haue gotten any power ouer, or about the party, and that they may not hinder the due adminis­tring of the Sacrament. In these exorcismes that power is exercized, which Christ promised, and gaue to his Apostles ouer vncleane spirits, that they should cast them out. Mat. 10. The signe of the Cros is often made in remembrance of Christs Passion, and to signify that this (as all other Sacraments) hath its power, and vertue from it. Imposition [Page 294]of hands is vsed to signify the spiritual cure, which is then done; Christ declaring to his Apo­stles that they should cure by imposition of hands. Spitle. Spitle is put vpon the eares, nose and mouth, and the word Epheta is said, in imitation of the same caeremonys of our Sauiour, when he resto­red the impotent man of the ghospel [...], and to shew the custody, Salt. which we ought to haue of our senses against temptations. Salt is put into the mouth to commende vnto vs wisdome in speech, and actions: salt signifying wisdome: for as it is the seasoning of meates, Col. 4. soe is wisdome and discre­tion the seasoning of our words, and deeds. Your talke allwais with grace let it be seasoned with salt; saith the Apostle. (And because it is hard to speake much with discretion and without sinne; therefor silence is often seasonable, and much talke vnseasonable.) The Creede is said to pro­fesse the faith of Christ, and the Pater Noster to signify our hopes in his merits, which are then applyed. The annointing signifyeth our spiritual warrfarre, that as wrestlers aunciantly annointed themselues to become more actiue against their enemys; soe we against the spirituals of wicked­nesse. Godfathers in behalfe of their children, renounce the deuils power, and aske baptisme in their name, that they may come as volunteers, and not forced souldiers into the wartfare of Christ. Baptisme is then giuen, and in that forme of words, Mat. 28. which Christ commanded, saying, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Fa­ther, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost.

After baptisme a Cros with holy Chrisme is [Page 295]made vpon the toppe of the head, to shew the grace which then he hath receiued: and that euer after he is to fight vnder the banner of the Cros. This vnction after baptisme is a kind of lesser Confirmation: for although it haue not the force and vertue of a Sacrament; yet it helpeth to strengthen the soule in the grace of Baptisme, and faith of Christ, as a deuout caeremony parti­cularly instituted for that end. The linnen, Apoc. 7. cloth or Chrysome, which is put ouer them, signifyeth the white garment of glory, which the elect haue in company of the lambe and which is purchased, by Baptisme. The wax light which is put into his hand, signifyeth the light of good example which he is to carry in his works. These are the cheife cae­remonys of Baptisme which the Church vseth: and to question the caeremonys of the vniuersal Church (saith S. Ep. 118. Augustine) or to dispute of them as though they were not to be done, is most insolent madnesse.

As for the name of the child the best is to fol­low the general custome of the Church, which is also commended in the Romane Catechisme: and that is to impose allwais the name of some saint; in whom he may haue both a patterne to imitate, and a patrone to helpe him. Die 20. August. Surius relat­eth how that S. Steuan imposed his owne name vpon the Prince of Hungary, assigning it to him euen before he was borne. It is a thing much re­prehended by the Councell of Trent to giue such strange and exoticall names, as some doe to their children. And it is not onely a vaine and prophane thinge outwardly, but also iniurious to the chil­dren themselues. The poore infant must take that [Page 296]name whether it will or noe for all the life time, and perhaps when it is dead shall then curse the pa­rent that imposed it, when it shall goe to hell for want of a patrone, by whose assistance it might haue liued, and dyed in better estate. Besides a phantastical name being once begunne, is occa­sioned to remaine still in that kinred, if the chil­dren be not wiser then their father was.

Baptisme being a Sacrament of absolute ne­cessity, when present danger of death vrgeth, and noe Priest is at hand, it may and must be giuen by any of the Clergy, and in absence of all the clergy by a lay man; and in absence of a man by a woman. They may giue the essence of Baptis­me; but the caeremonys are not to be attempted vpon by any but by Priests. It is good therefor for all, but especially for Midwiues, to know how to baptize in time of necessity. They are to powre water vpon the head, or vpon some other part of the child, or to dippe some part of it into water, and to say I Baptize thee. N. in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost. And this is a sufficient Baptisme.

OF CONFIRMATION.

COnfirmation is a Sacrament for it hath all which is included in a Sacrament: to wit to be an outward signe by which grace is caused in the soule. That it causeth grace, it appeareth in that the Holy Ghost was receiued by it. S. Cy­prian then they are sanctifyed and the sonnes of God, Act. 2. Ep. 70. when they are borne of both Sacraments, speaking [Page 297]of Baptisme and of Confirmation [...] Melchiades Pope, who liued a thousand and three hundred yeares since, writing to the bishops of Spaine saith, I sought whether Baptisme, or imposition of hands was the greater Sacrament. Know that they are both great Sacraments. He speaketh there of Baptisme and Confirmation: soe that comparing them together, he durst preferre neither of them; they being both great Sacraments. And indeede if Confirmation be to be compared with Baptis­me it must needs be a great Sacrament. The caerem [...] ­nys of Con­firmation. The oile of Confirmation is the sacred Chrisme, made of the oile of oliues; a fluid and softening liquor (of which I haue spoken in Baptisme) and of balsome which preserueth from corruption. Both very propper to this Sacrament. Godfathers are vsed also here as in Baptisme, for suretys A Cros with holy oile is made in the forhead, to shew our con­fidence in the Cros of Christ, and that we must neuer be ashamed to follow him with our Cros­ses. A litle stroke on the cheeke is giuen by the bishop, saying, Pax tecum, Peace be with thee, to shew that by patience in persecution we receiue euerlasting peace.

The propper effect of this Sacrament is to giue strength and fortitude, to mainteine constantly the faith of Christ in persecution. This effect ap­peared presently in the Apostles, when hauing on Whitsunday receiued this Sacrament by the Holy Ghost descending soe gloriously vpon them; they became then soe changed, that they who in the Passion of Christ had shewed such weaknesse, as all of them to forsake him, and Peter the cheife [Page 298]of them to deny him thrice ouer, for the words of a silly girle, were now soe encouraged and con­firmed, that they cameforth of that place like lyons, not fearing all Hierusalem, nor all the world: but Peter and the eleauen that were with him comming openly into the streets, and a great multitude gathering about him, he beganne to preach Christ, Act. 2. and said, Ye men bret [...]ren let mee boldly speake vnto you. And he spoke soe boldly and with such spirit vnto them; that on that day there were conuerted about three thousand soules. And when they were apprehended afterwards and and brought before the Councell, Act. 5. they went from the sight of the Councell reioycing, because they were accounted worthy to suffer reproch for the name of Iesus. such was the grace of Confirmation in them.

OF THE EVCHARIST.

Quest. What is the Blessed Sacrament of Eucha­rist? Ans. The Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist is the very true body, and blood of our Lord, vnder the signes of bread or wine.

TO be the Eucharist two things are required. The inward substance, and outward signes or species. The inward substāce is the body and blood of our Lord; the outward signes or species is the appearence which it hath of bread or wine. The same substance of Christ which is in the Eucharist is also in heauen; but the Eucharist is not in hea­uen, because he is not there vnder the signes of [Page 299]bread or wine. The same signes of bread and wine are vpon the altare before, as after the consecra­tion, but the Eucharist is not there before cōsecra­tion; because then the substance of Christ is not vn­der those signes; but the bread and wine being consecrated into the body of our Lord, by the in­finite power of God Christ is vnder those species and it is then the B. Sacrament of Eucharist.

This is commonly called the Blessed Sacra­ment; for that it is eminently blessed aboue the rest of the Sacraments, and infinitly blessed in that it conteineth the authour of all blesse. These are the words of S. Denis the disciple of S. Eccl hier. c. 3. Paul concerning it, for it is (saith he) according to our renewmed master the Consummation of the Sacra­ments. Neither is it almost lawfull for any of the priestly functions to be exercized, but this diuine and high Sacrament of Eucharist must be performed. It is the highest indeede and most diuine of all the Sacraments; because the rest conteining onely the vertue and power of Christ; this truely and really conteineth Christ himselfe. And therefor the Apostles called it the Eucharist, that is to say, a high and blessed grace or gift. By it the Church of Christ is placed in a midle ranke of honour, aboue the synagogue of the Iewes, and vnder the cittizens of heauen; we being but a litle lesse ex­alted then they. The Synagogue of the Iewes in the law of Moyses had Christ in sigure onely, we in the Eucharist haue him as really as the cittizens of heauen, but they haue him in glory.

In the Eucharist all Christ is conteined, for although by vertue of the words, This is my body [Page 300]&c. his body onely be really present in it; yet be­cause all his perfections are allwais accompanying his sacred body, and wheresoeuer it is, there is all Christ; hence it followeth that both his body and soule, and all the perfections of his diuine and humane nature, and all whatsoeuer is in Christ, is really in the Eucharist in company of his body. If his body were without his soule then it were dead, Rom 6. as it was in the sepulcher: but Christ rising againe from the dead now dieth noe more. Saith the Apostle. Christ therfor being now not dead, wheresoeuer his body is, there his soule is all ouer vnited to it. There is then his intire humane na­ture of body and soule; and being that his diui­ne and humane nature are allwais vnited together, there is also the diuine word and nature of God. All Christ is intirely in the host, and all Christ is intirely in the chalice, although vnder different signes and species. And Christ is not onely all in all the host, and chalice; but all Christ is in euery part of them: soe that he that receiueth onely the host, receiueth as much as he that receiueth both host and chalice; and he that receiueth the cha­lice onely, receiueth as much as both chalice and host, and the least particle of either of them is as much as all. The reason of this, supposing the truth of Christs words, may easily be vnder­stoode; for that he did not determine any parti­cular quantity to be consecrated: which if he had done, then a lesser quantity had not bene conse­crated: but leauing the quantity indifferent, and the least part of it being consecrated as well as the whole, it is the perfect Eucharist, and perfect [Page 301]Christ, as well as the whole.

Christ being shortly to depart this world, would leaue vnto vs a great testimony ef his loue; and although his passion and death were sufficient to testify it; yet besides them he would bestow a gift, token, and pledge vpon vs; which might all­wais remaine with vs as a memorial of him. He called therfor his disciples to supper: and being there all together, he made his wil and last testament amongst them; bequething vnto them the most pretious, gift, that was in his hands to giue, and in his blessed hands were all thinges. It was his owne pretious body which then he bequeathed and gaue to them, and with it all the perfections of his diuine, and humane nature, and he gaue it not in promise onely, and for the future: but he deliuered it then to them for themselues, and for all good christiās for euer. And that noe haere­tike might misconstrue his will, and defraude the world of this pretious Isgacy, he declared his min­de soe planely and in such termes, as could not wel be misinterpreted; telling them that it was the very body which Was to be deliuered and that blood which was to be shedd. G [...]r. 1.11. For the Apostle sayth that whilst they were at supper Iesus tooke bread and blessed and brake: and he gaue to his disciples and said take ye and eate THIS IS MY BODY which shall be deliuered for you, and taking the chalice he gaue thanks and gaue to them saying: drinke ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament which shall be shed for many vnto remission of sinnes. Commanding them to doe the same in commemoration of him. If then his [Page 302]true body and blood was deliuered and shedd, it was his true body and blood which then he gaue to them. And although (as there is noe absurdi­ty soe great but haeretiks wil finde out how to mainteine it) the Manichees haue conceited, that an apparent body onely, and not the true body of Christ was deliuered on the Cros for vs: yet now, that I heare of, there are noe such hae­retiks in the world. All christians then beleeuing that his true body was deliuered on the Cros; why shall not all as wel beleeue, that his true body is conteined, in the Eucharist, seeing that we haue the same authority for it?

After this the Apostles vndertooke to conse­crate the Eucharist, and honored it as the very true body and blood of our lord. Cor. 1.11. Mat. 26. S. Paul who­soeuer shall eate this bread or drinke the chalice of our Lord vnworthily he shall be guilty of the body and blood of our Lord. and that he eateth and drinketh iudgment to him selfe, not discerning the body of our Lord. Thus did the Apostles receiue the Eucharist from Christ, and honored it, as his true body. And the primitiue Church that receiu­ed it from them gaue it the same honour as they did, and as the Romane Church now doth. That the Rom. Church doth now giue it that honour, it is well knowne, and that the primitiue Church ho­nored it as much it shall appeare by the sentences of those fathers and first by the honorable names which they giue it. Hier. Eccl. c. 3. Ignat. ad Ephes. Iustin. A­poll. Cyp. de lapsis. S. Denis termeth it hostia saluta ris the sauing host. S. Ignatius calleth it medicamen­tum immortalitatis, antidotum non moriendi, the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death. [Page 303]Iustinus Caro & sanguis incarnati Iesu, the flesh and blood of Iesus incarnated. Cyprian de laps. Sanctum Domini, gratia salutaris, sacrificium perpes holecaustum permanens, the holy one of our Lord, the sauing grace, the continual sac [...]ifice, an offering allwais remaining. Concilium Nicaen. Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi, the lambe of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world. S. Cyr my­stag. 4. Cy­ril. hath these words of it, Vnder the shew of bread the body is giuen to thee and the blood is giuen vn­der the shew of wine. Doe not consider it as naked bread and wine: For it is the body and blood of Christ, according to the words of our Lord. and al­though thy sense doth suggest this, faith doth con­firme thee. Iudge not by tast, but beleeue by faith for most certaine without doubt, Hil. l. 8. de Trin. that the body and blood is then giuen to thee. S. Hilarius. Of the ve­rity of flesh and blood there is noe place of doubt left. By the profession of our Lord himselfe and by our faith, it is flesh and blood indeede. Amb. l. 4. c. 4. Is nothis the truth? let it be vntrue to them, who deny Iesus Christ to be true God. S. Ambrose. This is bread before the sacramental, words, but the consecra­tion being done of bread it is made the flesh of Christ. S. Chrysostome. Chrysos. ho. 24. in cor. 1. & l. 3. de Sacerd ho. 2. ad pop. Antioch. We adore him on the alta­re as the sages did in the manger. and againe: O miracle he that sitteth with the father in heauen, at the very same time is handled of men beneath. Christ ascending to heauen both hath his flesh with him and left it beneath Elias left his cloke to his disciple; Aug. inps. 33. but the sonne of man ascending left his owne flesh. S. Augustine vpon the 33. Psalme ad­miring how Dauid could carry himselfe in his [Page 304]owne hands, concludeth that it is to be vnder­stoode of Christ when at the last supper he tooke himselfe literally into his owne hands. Thus did the fathers of the primitiue Church beleeue of the Eucharist, acknowledging allwais the omnipo­tent power of God to be miraculous in it. This beleefe continued in the world for a thousand yeares, or there abouts, before any haeretike op­posed it; and when it beganne to be opposed, the Church in seueral general Councels declared the truth of it, and condemned the contrary as he­resy Conc. Lateran. sub Innocen. 5. Conc. Rom. ex Cocleo l. 1. hist. Hussit. Conc. Constantien. sess. 8. Conc. Trid. sess. 13. cap. 1. can. 1.

Berengarius was the first that publikly denyed the real presence of our Lord in the Eucharist; who reiecting the commune and receiued doctri­ne of the Church, denyed that to be the body of Christ which Christ affirmed to be his body, in­terpreting his words as he liked himselfe, contra­ry to all authority, in an illiteral and vnpropper sense. That which he gott for his paines was to haue his doctrine condemned in seueral Coun­cels. But at last being touched inwardly with re­morse of conscience he recanted. And although he fell into heresys againe: yet he had soe much feeling of the auctority of the Church, and of a General Councel, as that he recanted againe, and (which is very rare in such men) he remain­ed repentant vnto his death; and being then affrighted at the thought of his former errors he is recorded to haue confessed the horrour of his conscience saying, for my repentance I hope for [Page 305]glory but because I haue seduced others, I feare torments. Zuinglius and Caluin haue lately re­newed his doctrine againe. but we haue for the Catholike faith the words of Christ in the Scriptu­res, the scriptures interpreted by the holy fathers, and their interpretations approued of by the au­thority of the whole Church in general Councels.

Now that the Eucharist is a Sacrament I doe not perceiue that any haeretike doth deny it who alloweth of Sacraments; Io. 6. for those that hold but two or three Sacramēts haue the Eucharist for one of them. And it appeareth to be an outward signe which causeth grace in vs, in that Christ promised if anyman eate of this bread he shall liue for euer.

OF TRANSVBSTANTIATION,

Quaest. Is there any bread or wine in the Eucharist? ANS. Noe it seemeth but soe. The bread and wine are conuerted by the words of consecration in to the true body and blood of our Lord.

AFTER that Berengarius had recanted his first errour in which he denyed the true and real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he fell in­to a second, in which he affirmed that the sub­stance of bread and wine still remaine after con­secration; soe that there was noe transubstantia­tion, that is to say conuersion or change of one substance into another: but this was also condem­ned as an heresy, and he in the end abiured it. We beleeue then that in the consecration the substance of bread and wine are destroyed, and [Page 306]changed by the power of God into another sub­stance. The holy fathers haue allwais acknowledg­ed this conuersion of substance to be in the Eu­charist, and haue applyed diuerse figures out of the old testament, and other similitudes to decla­re the Catholike doctrine in this. The rodd of Moyses was transubstantiated, that is conuerted into the substance of a Serpent. The waters of Aegypt were turned into blood. Water at the feast of Cana was changed by our sauiour into very good wine. Soe by the omnipotency of God, the substance of bread and wine is conuerted into the body of our Lord. And these very similitudes are vsed by the fathers to this purpose. Iren. l 3. cont. haere­ses. c. 2. Amb. l. 4. de Sacram. c. 4. & lib. de his qui initiantur. myst. S. Irenaeus declareth it by the water turned into wine. S. Am­brose by the rod of Moyses and the waters of Aegypt. Moyses his rod (saith he) was turned into a serpent and from a serpent into a rod agai­ne. The riuers of Aegypt were running with wa­ter and their fountaines on a suddaine brokeforth with blood, and at the prayers of the Prophet the blood is turned into water againe. If humane bles­sing haue such power, what shall we say of the di­uine consecration, where the words of our Lord and Sauiour doe operate? If at the words of Elias fire descended from heauen, shall not the words of Christ haue power to change the kinds of elements? Thou hast read of the creation of the world, he said and it was done. And could the word of Christ create of nothing that which before was not, and could he not change that which was into another thinge which was also. What more could we haue desired S. Ambrose to say? All things are [Page 307]possible and easy to God, and nothing more easy then another to him. Yet to our vnderstandings it is easier to conuert somethinge that is all rea­dy, into some other thinge that is also, then to create some thinge of iust nothing. What diffi­culty is there then, that God who with a word of his power created heauen and earth, and made all things of nothing, should change the substances of bread and wine into the substance of his sacred body, which he would leaue with vs It is a mi­racle which God would worke; and the fathers of the Catholike Church haue allwaies acknowledg­ed it soe: and that there is here a change of na­tures: but if there were onely a change in the sig­nification, as the Zuinglians and Caluinists say; or onely in the real presence as the Lutherans say, then there were noe miraculous change of that which were before; it remaining still there according to them. Neither are those similitudes alleadged to any purpose by the fathers, vnles we vnderstande a change of the former into a new substance, as there was in them. The Iuy bush before it be hung vp is noe signe of wine, and when it is hung vp it becommeth a signe; but there is nothing aboue nature in that con­uersion; because there is a change onely in the signification, which then it hath, but not in a new substance or nature. But the holy fathers acknow­ledge some thinge supernaturall in this conuer­sion, and compare it with conuersions of sub­stances which were miraculous; therefor there is here a transubstantiation or conuersion in the substance. Otherwise there were noe parity in [Page 308]their comparisons nor connexion in their speech.

WITH WHAT DEVOTION we ought to receiue the Eucharist.

BY that which hath bene said of this Sacrament we may vnderstande somethinge of the deuo­tion which is due to it, and thinke that soe great a miracle which God worketh continually in his Church to shew his loue to vs, and to enrich our soules, obligeth vs to a high and eminent de­gree of gratitude to him, and that all the deuo­tion that we can possibly stirre vp in our selues, is too litle for it. The Apostle admonisheth vs to try and to proue ourselues before we come to this mystery, least insteede of life and happinesse, which we should obtaine by worthily receiuing it, we incurre iudgment and death by an vnworthy communion in mortal sinne. O how damnable is the malice of that man that commeth with such a sinne to, this communion, to vnite goodnes to malice, purity to impurity, Christ to his filthy soule? Thou stoppest thy nose at noysome carrions and lothsome stenches; yet thou wilt force thy sauiour into thy stinking brest which is most hor­rible and lothsome to him, vntill thou hast proou­ed and purged it. What punishment maist thou expect? The arke of our Lord was but a weake fi­gure of Christ, yet entring into the cittys of the Philistiims, the enemys of God, they were punis­ed with greeuous plagues; and being set in their t [...]mple it strucke downe their Dagon, and broke it in peeces for onely standing beside it. then how [Page 309]darest thou, that art in mortal sinne, come soe boldly vnto Christ, as to take him in to thee? Reg. 1.5. The Philistiims vsed outwardly great reuerence to the arke, carrying it from city to city, and setting it in their temple beside their God; yet touching it as idolatours with impure hands, Reg. 1.5. they were punish­ed with such sores, and diseases, that as the holy Ghost saith, the howling of euery city went vp into heauen. And when it came from amongst them, and stoode in the confines of Bethsames although the Bethsamits beheld it with ioy and receiued it: with Holocausts and victimes: yet seauenty men of the people, and fifty thousand of the common people were strucken of our Lord for beholding it; that lamenting they cryed out, Reg. 1.17. Who can stāde in the sight of this holy Lord God Oza was pu­nished an Israelite also, and seruant of God for­touching it suddenly, and as he thought vpon ne­cessity, to hold it vp from falling: yet because hedid it not with sufficient wariues, it cost him his life, being presently strucke dead in the place. And darest thou come soe boldly not to touch the Arke but to receiue the B. Sacrament in mortal sinne? how knowest thou that God wil spare thee more then he did them, thy irreuerence being infinitly grea­ter then theirs was? Thou art baptised in the blood of this Sacrament, and when thou pro­phanest it, thou abusest as much as euer thou canst that sacred blood. Thou apprehendest and im­prisonest thy sauiour within thee, with the Iewes thou persecutest his honour and life. And this being a christian to Christ thy master, and who must one day be thy iudge. If thou wert guilty [Page 310]of some heinous crime, and shouldst entertaine in thy house him who were shortly to call thee to his tribunall, and to iudge thee, wouldest thou not seeke to please him in his entertainment? doe soe then to Christ: giue him entertainment as he desireth that he may proue afterwards a fauourable iudge to thee.

This sacrament is the miracle of miracles, the memorial of the maruelous things, by which God would shew his loue to vs, Zach. 2. and to abuse him in it is to touch him in the aple of his eye, and to wound him at the hart. For euery thinge as it is higher in perfection, soe the contempt of it is of a higher malice; and this being the most perfect of all the Sacraments, infinite in perfection, the irreuerence done to it is of the highest, and of infinite malice. And therfore it deserueth greater punishments.

S. Paul threatening iudgment to those that receiue vnworthily as not discerning the body of our Lord. Therfor, saith he, are there among you many weake, Cor. 1.11. and feeble, and many sleepe, that is to say many are sicke and by. But if the diseases and deaths of those dayes proceeded from thence that the B. Sacrament was not re­ceiued with sufficient reuerence; what shall we thinke of these deadly times in which now we liue, but that they haue proceeded from the same cause; the B. Sacrament hauing bene of later yeares soe extremely prophaned. The beginners of these heres [...]s, who soe often consecrate the sa­cred host, and sacrilegiously receiued it, brought into the christian world these floods of blood­shed, [Page 311]which still continue, to the massacre of many thousands of christians all ready past; and now without doubt it is a greater cause of deaths and miserys to vs then it was in S. Pauls dayes to christians,

Consider therfor when thou goest to receiue what it is that then thou receiuest, and prepare in thy selfe loue and reuerence towards it. It is Christ thy redeemer, thy Iudge, and thy omni­nipotent God. If thou receiuest him in mortal sinne thou damnest thy soule by a sinne aboue mortal sinnes which are of frailty, it being of malice without either profit or pleasure to thy selfe; but onely for the deuils pleasure that tempted thee to that sacrilege. Humble thy selfe vnto God and prepare thy selfe with a cleane con­science to receiue into thee that soueraigne guest, which the Angels of heauen desire to be­hold, and with trembling reuerence adore his glory, dispose thou thy selfe with Angelical reue­rence and purity to receiue him.

The first thinge which thou must doe is to make a good and intire confession of rhy sin­nes: (as I shall [...]hew in the next Sacrament) and not onely to cleanse they soule from mortal, but as much as thou canst also from venial sinnes. After confession giue not thy selfe to vnnecessary imployements or conuersation; which may coole and hinder thy deuotion, but keepe thy selfe more retired in thy minde, praying vntill masse beginne: and if it beginne not presently thou maist reade in some treatise of the B. Sacrament, if thou hast it, or walke quietly vntill masse. At [Page 312]massetime attende deuoutly to the mysterys of it; which thou must haue learned to vnderstande. At communion time rise vp from thy place, and come before the altare with profounde reueren­ce, stirring vp in thy selfe many feruerous acts of the loue of God, and detestation of sinne. Say then from thy hart the words which S. Peter, who with great faith, and ardent affection receiued the words of Christ and professed them to be the words of life when some of his disciples went away for the hardnesse of this mystery. Christ preaching to the people that he would giue them a more pretious bread then the Manna of their forefathers, and that this bread was to be his owne flesh; the Iewes beganne to murmure saying, Io. 6. how can this man giue vs his flesh to eate? he then confirmed his words againe in plane termes, Saying, Amen, Amen. I Say to you vnles you eate the flesh of the sonne of man and drinke his blood you shall not haue life in you [...]he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath life euerlasting: and I will raise him vp in the last day. Formy flesh is meate indeede, and my blood is drinke indeede. They seeing him thus to confirme what he had said before, that he would giue them his owne flesh to eate; and not vnderstanding how it could be: many euen of his disciples said that it was a hard speech, and went backe and walk­ed not with him. But Christ turning to the twelue and asking them, what will you also de­part? Then S. Peter with a constant and ready faith answered for himselfe, and for them. Lord to whom shall we goe? Thou hast the words of [Page 313]eternal life. And we beleeue and haue knowne that thou art Christ the sonne of God. This was an answere worthy of S. Peter: and Christ had soe disposed of his speech, as though of purpose he had intended to draw this answere from him. It was for our instruction in this point: that we might say as S. Peter said, especially then when we are going to receiue. Lord wither shall I goe but vnto thee? I beleeue thy words for that they, are thine: thou hast the words of eternal life (and looking towards the B. Sacrament) I be­leeue and know that thou art Christ the sonne of God. L. 6. de Saccrd. And thinke with what respect the Angells attende on thy communion. S. Chrysostome saith, that there is not doubt but the priest is guarded by Angels whilst he is in hand with the blessed Sacrament; and that a venerable and graue person had informed him, that himselfe had seene the Angels enuironing it bending, their heads in homage, as souldiers (saith he) doe to their captaine, and courtiers to their king. See then that thou remember the Angels reuerence. And when the priest presenteth the sacred host to then, and saith Domine non sum dignus, &c. Say thou with him Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter vnder my roofe; but onely say the word and my soule shall be saued. And repeate them thrice ouer with him. The humble Centu­rion thought it too great an honour for him to haue Christ to come into his house to cure his seruant; but he entreth into thy body, to cure thy soule. Thou hadst neede to be more humble, and better disposed then he was, although worthy [Page 314]to be commended of Christ. When the priest de liuereth the blessed Sacrament to thee, lift vp thy head that he may see what he doth, and hold the towel vnder thy chinn to kepp any particle that might chance to fall: open thy mouth decently, and putting thy tongue to thy lips, receiue that sacred host, as a pledge of thy redeemers loue: who as he came into this world and refused nei­ther shame nor paine to make thee his freind, soe whould he still humble himselfe in remaining with thee to keepe thee in his freindship.

As soone as thou hast receiued, and washed thy mouth, if neede be, with some drinke; gather together all the powers of thy soule to giue thanks vnto God, doe homage to him with them, and offer them to him to be imployed in his seruice all thy life time: loue him with all thy hart, and detest all that which is displeasing to him, and neuer faile as often as thou receiuest to make a vehement detestation of that sinne, which thou art most inclined vnto, purposing and thinking how to amende it. Vntill thou hast the benedic­tion of the priest, sitt still on thy knees, burn­ing with loue and reuerence to thy soueraigne. Thenn rize vp, and returning to thy place againe, take thy booke, and say the prayers of thanks­giuing: and departing out of the Church or ora­tory. haue a care for that day to keepe thy sen­ses more retired, and as it were at home with thy guest. If some great personage or prince were come to thy house, thou wouldst not stirre abro­de as long as he stayed; but wouldest with good reason stay at home, and attende vpon his plea­sure. [Page 315]The king of kings infinitly more worthy then all the princes of the world put together, commeth to thee in the Eucharist, haue there­for a care to please him, and let noe occasions draw thee away from him. Frequent Communion

Concerning the frequenting of the blessed Sa­crament these are the words of S. Augustine. Serm. 21. de verbis Domini. To receiue the communion of the Eucharist euery day I neither commende nor discommende it; but to com­municate euery Sunday, I would wish and ex­hort euery one soe to doe, if his soule be without affection to sinne. And he exhorteth all, soe to order their liues, Part. 1. [...]h. 20. that they may be worthy to re­ceiue often. B. Bishop Sales in his Introduction to a deuout life aduiseth euery one to receiue at least once a month. That which may be gathered out of them both, is in breife, that some may re­ceiue eueryday, many may receiue euery weeke, all may receiue euery month. Those that receiue eue­ry day had neede to be of great sanctity, and aboue others in their good example and conuersation. Those that receiue once a weeke, must be free from affection euen to venial sinnes, not that they neuer committe any, but that they be not affected to any. To receiue once a month requir­eth onely a cleare conscience, that they prooue and purge themselues first by a Good confession, of their mortal sinnes: which if they doe they shall finde great benefit in often receiuing. S. Am­brose, when thy aduersary shall see thy lodging taken vp with the brightness of the heauently pre­sence, perceiuing all place for his temptations to be preuented by Christ, he will depart and runne away.

S. Bonauenture of reuerence to the B. Sacra­ment abstained for some dayes from saying of masse, L. 2. depro­fec. relig. c. 27. and being present at the masse of another priest, at communion time he felt a particle of the sacred host to come from the altare into his mouth. By which he vnderstoode, as himselfe saith, relating this passage, that it was better for the loue of God to receiue often, then to absteine for feare. There remaineth yet to speake

OF COMMVNION VNDER one kind.

IT is necessary that we declare why the people receiue onely vnder one kind, seeing that Christ instituted it vnder both, gaue it to his disciples vnder both, and commanded them to consecrate it as he had done; and seeing also that the people in the primitiue Church receiued vn­der both kinds. There are many good reasons for it, as you shall presently see; but first we wil examine what it was that Christ commanded at the last supper for if he commanded that all should receiue vnder both kinden, then all were bounde soe to receiue; but if he did not com­mande it, then it is indifferent to receiue vnder both, or one kind onely.

Christ at the last supper commanded his Apo­stles saying, Luc. 22. doe this for a commemoration of mee. But it is to be obserued that he said this after the consecration of the bread, before he had begunne with the chalice, as both S. Luke, and S. Paul declare; and therefor if he commanded [Page 317]any thinge concerning the kinds of species in which we were to receiue, it was of the species of bread that we should receiue in it; and not of the chalice, which as yet he had not begunne with. But the truth is that he commanded no­thing concerning the receiuing vnder one or both kindes; but he left it indifferent according to conuenience of circumstances, which might oc­curre in the Church, and soe the primitiue Church allwais vnderstoode it. That which Christ commanded his Apostles was to consecra­te as he had done, and that they should giue in substance that which he gaue, but not that they should giue it with all the same circumstances with which he gaue it to them, as is manifest. For he gaue it at supper, to twelue onely not the first: but the last meate of that day. The primiti­ue Church gaue it not after supper nor onely to Bishops or priests, who are as the Apostles, but to the Clergy and Laity, of men, women, and children; and that the first meate of the day. Soe that the substance onely of that which Christ then did was commanded by him to be done afterwards; but for all to receiue vnder both kindes belongeth onely to the circumstances of receiuing it; and therefore it is indifferent. And although the Eucharist being consecrated vnder both kindes, it be then necessary that in both kindes it should be receiued; yet it is not necessa­ry that all should soe receiue it. For when Christ said, drinke ye all of this, Mat. 26. he said soe onely to the Apostles, intending to debarre none of them from it. And soe if we will vnderstande his [Page 318]words, doe this in commemoration of mee as a com­mande, for receiuing vnder both kindes; it must be as a commande to some distributiuely, but not vnto all the collection or congregation of the Church, taking euery one in particular. As when God commanded increase and multiply, Gen. 1. he com­manded not all to marry, but onely soe many as were necessary to fullfill the intent, and end of marriage with conuenience. And therfor the Church hath allwais obserued that at masse which is the publike seruice of God, and most special representation of the last supper, the blessed Sa­crament should be receiued vnder both kindes, in imitation of Christs action, and performance of his will; but that out of masse both Priests and people should receiue vnder one, or both kindes, according to conuenience of times and circum­stances. Thus it was receiued in the primitiue Church sometimes vnder one kind onely, some­times vnder both by the people. Cyp d [...]lapsis nu. 10. S. Cyprian de­clareth that the chalice onely was giuen to chil­dren. Euseb. l. 6. c. 36. Besad Ca­sars Patr [...]. Eusebius and S. Basil that ermits kept thee host in their cells, to receiue it; because the species of wine could not soe well be kept by them. And S. Augustine S. Bede, Theophilact and others vnderstande out of S. Luc. 24. Luke, that the two disciples at Emaus receiued vnder one kind onely (to wit in the species of bread) from our Sauiour him­selfe. For the text sayeth, that he hauing broken bread, and reached to them their eyes were open­ed, and that they knowing him in the breaking of bread he banished out of their sight; soe that as soone as they knew him he vanished away; and [Page 319]stayed not to consecrate the chalice. By that which hath bene said it doth appeare that it is not of obligation, nor was held soe by the primitiue Church for all to receiue vnder both kindes. Which is enough for our purpose, the Church then being to iudge of the reasons, and circum­stances, when it shall be receiued vnder one, or both kindes.

Now for the reasons why all should not be bound to receiue vnder both, and why the peo­ple now receiue it not vnder both, there are many First for that the species of wine could not well be kept, as it were necessary that they should all wais be, if all were bounde to receiue vnder that spe­cies. Secondly many irreuerences would be en­dangered of spilling the chalice, if all both old and yong, sicke and lame persons were bounde to receiue it. Thirdly many haue an auersion from wine that they can not drinke it. Fourthly suffi­cient wine could hardly be gotten for soe many and frequent Communions as Catholiks (God be thanked) now vse. For these and the like rea­sons Christ would not binde all to receiue vnder the species of wine; but would leaue the manner of receiuing to the determination of the Church, according to diuersity of times and circumstances. In the primitiue Church the people for the most part receiued vnder both formes, it being then necessary for the setling of the faith of Christ that his actions should be more strictly obserued, allthough it were in things indifferent and with some inconuenience. But now that the faith of Christ is setled in the world, those things which [Page 320]are indifferent; and were with some inconuenien­ce at first permitted, are now to be remedied; especially then when the inconueniences grew soe great that haeretical spirits tooke occasion to ima­gine false doctrines by them: as it happened in this very case, when Iacobellus of Prague being offended to see some of the people to receiue vn­der one kind onely, and some vnder both; to re­medy it would needs hold all to be bounde to re­ceiue vnder both kindes: which was contrary to the continual doctrine, and practise of the Church, and to the reasons alleadged. To reforme this er­rour the Councell of Constance proceeded against it: in which Iacobellus his doctrine was condem­ned, and for the future it was ordained, that at masse as the special representation of the last sup­per and commemoration of it, the Priest should receiue vnder both kindes, both the host and the chalice, and that out of masse all should receiue onely the host. Soe all inconueniences were taken away, a decent vniformity was procured in the Church, and the auncient and true doctrine was better vnderstoode; that it was not of obligation for all to receiue vnder both kindes. For as the Councell of Trent hath obserued when Christ said vnles you eate the flesh of the sonne of man and drinke his blood you shall not haue life in you. Io. 6. He added also he that eateth this bread shall liue for euer. By which he declared that the benefit of the Eucharist is receiued as much in the host onely, as in both the host and the chalice; euerlasting life being promised to those that eate that sacred bread.

OF THE EFFECTS OF THE Eucharist.

THE effect of the Eucharist is to giue grace, by which we become the adopted children of God, nourished and fedd as it were at his owne table, our soules hauing satiety in him, and ob­taining by it the fullnes of his glory. That where as according to S. Tract. 26. in Io. Augustine by other meate and drinke we seeke to be satiated, there is noe true satiety but in this, by which we gaine heauen. And it is especially gained by this Sacrament, both by reason of the more special vnion which we baue with Christ in it; and also for that the gift of per­seuerance is especially here obtained as by a strong and nourishing bread. It remitteth sinne and preserueth from future sinne, according to the disposition of the receiuer; according to which also it blotteth out the punishment due to it. It hath for its propper effect to feede and to strengthen the soule, to keepe it in spiritual health and vigour. And because for the most part it is receiued with more feruour and sweetnes of deuotion, and outwardly in the similitude of bread; therfor it is compared to the Manna of the Israëlits, which is thought by some to haue had the sweetnes of all tasts. S. L. 8. ep. 62. Ambrose We haue the Manna euery day rayning downe vpon vs; that body which came from the virgin: and S. Iohn Chry­sostome therefor calleth it the fountaine of para­dise, from whence sensible riuers flow. Ho. 45 to. 1.

The Saints of God haue bene soe transported with spiritual consolations in the receiuing of the Eucharist, that good and authentical writers haue recorded of some, who haue liued for di­uerse months, and of others who for some yeares together haue bene susteined without any other foode. S. Katherine of Siena was singularly deuo­ted to the blessed Sacrament. She receiued it eue­ry day (except her Confessour commanded the contrary, (whom she obeyed in all things) and noe doubt but that for a long time she was sustein­ed onely by it. In her life it is said that as chil­dren earne vnto their mothers brests, soe did she to the blessed Sacrament, and that it often happen­ing that she being in an extasy all the time of masse vntill Communion, and then comming to her selfe, would say O my Lord although I were dead I should reuiue againe to enioy thee.

THE SACRAMENT OF Pennance.

Quest. What is the Sacrament of Pennance?

Answ. Pennance is a Sacrament by which we haue the forgiunesse of sinnes in Confession.

FIRST we will shew that this is a Sacrament in the forgiuenesse of sinnes, and then we will declare the parts of it, and benefits which are re­ceiued by it. Although Luther for the most part denyeth this to be a Sacrament, and laboureth with other Protestants, to robb the world of the [Page 323]benefit of it; yet l. de capt. bab. he saith that it is a Sacrament. There he saith truely, for it is soe indeede, and hath all that is included euen in the Protestants definition of a Sacrament Apol. Confess. art. 13. which is to be an outward signe instituted of Christ, by which grace is promised. And this it shall appeare to be.

Amongst the many apparitions which Christ made betwixt his Resurrection and Ascension to his disciples, S. Iohn hath recorded that once he came and stood in the midst of them, and said Peace be to you. Io. 20. And when he had said this he shew­ed them his hands, and side, and said againe Peace be to you. As my father hath sent mee, I also doe send you. And he breathed vpon them and said: Receiue ye the Holy Ghost: whose sinnes you shall forgiue they are forgiuen them: and whose you shall retaine, they are retained. This is all which the Euan­gelist mentioneth to haue passed in that solemne apparition which must therfor include some great mystery. Hence it appeareth that this is a Sacra­ment: for where forgiunes of sinnes is promised, there grace is promised. And this forgiuing and retaining of sinnes being giuen to the Apostles, and their successors to be practised by them, who vnderstande not the inward of mens minds and consciences; the poenitent must declare his sinnes to them, that they may know what, and how to forgiue, or to retaine them. And soe there is all that is included in the nature of a Sacrament, to wit an outward signe both in the poenitent confess­ing, and in the Priest absoluing, and that out­ward signe instituted, of Christ to giue grace vnto [Page 324]sanctification. By which the Catholike doctrine is made manifest, that power is giuen to the Church to forgiue sinnes. For is it likely that Christ would appeare in all those circumstances, and mysterious caeremonys giuing them the Holy Ghost for nothing but onely, to let them know, that God can and doth forgiue sinnes. The Apo­stles esteemed soe highly of this grace; that they made the forgiuenesse of sinnes an article of the Creede: to wit by the power of the Catholike Church, which they had professed in the article before. Is it likely that they meant to make it an article of the Creede, that God can and doth for­giue sinnes? After that, they vnderstoode that themselues had power to forgiue sinnes, they being sent as Christ was sent, and the Holy Ghost being giuen soe particularly then to them; and ther­for they feared not to practise the forgiuing of sinnes.

Priests of themselues haue not power to for­giue sinnes; for noe man of himselfe hath that power. They haue it of God, as the vicars and sub­stitutes of him who gaue it them. God giu's power to priests as kings doe to iudges: Iudges represent the person of the king; and Priests represent the diuine maiesty: Iudges must be informed, and soe must priests: iudges giue sentence, and their sentences are ratifyed by the king, God giueth au­thority to priests and their sentēces are ratifyed by him: he that contemneth the authority of the iudge contemneth the authority of the king, and he that contemneth the priests authority contemneth the diuine maiesty; Christ hauing made them his iud­ges, [Page 325]and set them in his owne place, with power to binde and to loose, promising that what they did vpon earth should be ratifyed in heauen.

That Christ did truely giue this power to the Church, his words are as plane as words vse to be: and that plane words might not be misconstrued, he deliuered them in such circumstances, as might binde them, as it were, to that sense. First he told them that he sent them, as his father had sent him, who forgaue sinnes. Then he breathed vpon them, and badd them receiue the Holy Ghost: what for? it must needs be for some great worke, and eminent power. Then he told them what it was for; to wit to forgiue sinnes. Is not this as plane as can be? Besides we destroy all connexion, and sense in the words of Christ, if we will haue him to say whose sinnes you shall forgiue, when they could forgiue none at all. He that shall call this power of forgiuing sinnes, power onely to declare, that God then forgiueth the poenitent his sinnes, and shall say that priests doe not for­giue, but onely declare that God then forgiueth, shall say nothing to the purpose. For although it be true, that priests doe not forgiue sinnes by their owne natural power; but doe declare that God then forgiueth with them; yet they doe pro­perly forgiue, and as properly as iudges doe, who hauing commission from the king to punish, or to pardon, are properly said to pardon that crime which the king pardoneth by them. Soe priests pardon and forgiue sinnes by commission and power from God. And he that calleth it power to forgiue calleth it as Christ did, and he that will [Page 326]call it onely power to declare, miscalleth it, and sheweth in himselfe a contentious and contra­dicting minde, in reiecting of those termes which Christ and his Church doth vse.

To say that God can not giue that power to men, for that it were to deuest himselfe of his owne power is disprooued in fact; for that Christ euen according to his humanity had, and exer­cized that power: and when the Iewes murmured at him for it (as haeretiks doe against priests) he prooued it by a miracle: as is declared in the tenth article of the Creede. Besides! what is there that God can not doe? or what impossibility is there in the giuing of that power to men? It is a supernatural power, noe harder to be giuen then supernatural power is for the working of miracles, as for casting out of deuils, who by nature are farre superiour to vs: yet that power was giuen to the Apostles, and they practized it, as their suc­cessors also doe to good effect. And for God to giue the power of forgiuing sinnes to men, is not to deuest himselfe of it; but it is rather to vest himselfe with mercy and iustice as becommeth him: mercy in accepting of soe small a worke, iustice in requiring that worke of vs.

We will see what the fathers of the primitiue Church haue said of this power, and that in their times Confession was practised for the remission of sinnes. Dion. ep. 8. ad De [...]ophi. S Denis, the disciple of S. Paul, declareth that it was then the order of discipline for sinners to come prostrate to priests for the forgiuenes of sinnes. Tert l. do [...]anit. Tertullian hath much of prostrating to the priest in Confession saying, that when they come [Page 327]to his feete they touch Christ and beseech Christ: And that it is a happy and profitable shame: and to animate all to good and cleere Confessions, he saith if thou dost repugne from Confession, thinke that thou hast hell in thy hart, and thou driuest it out by Confession. Imagine the greatnes of that punish­ment, and feare not that which doth remedy it. S. Cyprian de laps. Brethren. I intreate euery one to Confesse his sinnes in this world whilst his Confession and remission which is by priests is acceptable. Paulinus in vita Ambrosij: that S. Ambrose, by shedding teares in the Confession of his poeni­tents, drew teares from them also. S. Augustine. Ho. 49. ex 50. homilijs. Let noe man say, I doe pennance priuatly with God who knoweth my sinnes: for then in vaine as it said whose sinnes you forgiue &c. were then the keyes giuen in vaine to the Church of God? we frustrate the ghospell and the words of Christ, and promise to our selues that which he denyeth. L. 2. de vifie. infir. c. 4. And in another place, There are some that thinke it sufficient to Confesse t [...]eir sinnes to God. For they will not, or are ashamed to shew themselues to the priests, whom God hath appointed to discerne of leprosy; [...]eu. 13. & 14. deceiue not thy selfe, be not ashamed to Confesse to the Vicar of Christ. For his iudgment also thou must vndergoe. And he biddeth vs a litle after to con­sider ourselues then, as hauing the Angell of God before vs, and with confidence and reuerence to lay open to him the state of our conscience, and all our secret sinnes, with the circumstances that aggrauate them; and declaring in particular some circumstances necessary to be confessed, he saith it is better to be ashamed here before one iudge, then [Page 328]at the day of iudgment to be repulsed in the sight of all the world. Thus much for the institution of this Sacrament, and the practise of the primitiue Church.

The essential parts of it consist in somethinge which is done by the poenitent and somethinge by the priest. That which is required of the poeni­tent is Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction: which are the matter of the Sacramēt, as the acts of him that seeketh to be reconeiled to God. For as re­cōciliation vnto human freindship requireth tho­se three things in the offender; to wit sorrow for his falt, acknowledgment of it, and satisfaction for it; soe doth also our reconcilement with God. That which is required on the priests part, is to giue abso­lution as the forme of the Sacrament: God vsing humane meanes, when he pardoneth by men.

This Sacrament doth not allwais take away all punishment due to the sinnes which were forgiu­en. For our soules hauing bene purged before, and made the temples of God in baptisme, and we hauing polluted them againe with new sinnes, we can not in reason expect to haue all due punish­ment to be taken away by this, as we had by bap­tisme. God was espoused to vs in the holy font, and when after it we fell into sinne we basely adul­terated and broke our fidelity with him: it is well that he will receiue vs to his fauour againe; we must not thinke to haue as much in this Sacra­ment, as we had at first in baptisme: according to the deuotion and disposition which we haue; soe is our punishment more or lesse forgiuen. He that loueth much shall haue much for giuen him. [Page 329]Now let vs see how to dispose ourselues for it. Three things as I haue said are required on the poenitents part. Contrition, Confession and Sa­tisfaction. First,

OF CONTRITION.

BY Contrition we may vnderstande all that which the poenitent is to doe before Confes­sion, as a preparation to it. He is to examine his conscience, to be sorty for his sinnes, and to pur­pose to amende them: and if any of these three things be wanting, the Sacrament is not onely without fruit, but a mortal sinne is committed. As for examen of conscience, those that haue abstained long from confession and haue their soules ouergrowne with much filth of sinne, must take more time for it; that through negligence they omitte nothing which is necessary to be con­fessed. Those also that come oftener to confes­sion, and haue onely venial sinnes to confesse ought to be carefull in the examining of their consciences, the better to dispose themselues for confession, and to preuent euill customes, and also the better to discerne the greeuousnes of so­me which see me perhaps but litle sinnes to them, but are indeede greater then they seeme to be.

For this it wil helpe much, that we gett a cus­tome of examining our consciences euery night before we goe to bedde, calling to minde the sinnes which we haue commited that day, and noting them downe in our memory, as it we­re in a table booke against we goe to confession [Page 330]The first thinge which we are to doe in this nightly examen is to giue thanks vnto God for the benefits of that day. Secondly to desire grace and light of him to see our falts. Thirdly to examine ourselues what we haue offended in. Lastly to make a breife act of Contrition, that is of sorrow for our sinnes, and purpose to amen­de them for the loue of God (as I shall shew within a leafe or two.) Besides this we ought allwais to haue an eye ouer our owne behauiour, and when we haue offended God any way, pre­sently to thinke with ourselues, this was a sinne, I will remember it when I goe to Confession. The examine before Confession may be made by thought, word, and deed: and whether the sinnes which he committed by thought, he did not also committe them by word, and if he committed them by word, whether he did not also in deede As for example BY THOVGHT: if he offended inwardly by anger in his hart, whether he did not also vtter some angry words, and whether he proceeded not to some actions to hurt his neighbour, or something that belonged to him. And if he haue, let him Confesse it. I Confesse I was angry at my neighbour, and proceeded to such and such words and did such and such things against him, or intended to doe them. And soe in other sinnes; as in carnal sinnes, if he sinned by thought, if he proceeded to vn­chast words, and if to vnchast actions; for it is a greater sinne to sinne by word, then by thought onely, and by worke then by word onely. In the examining of his thoughts, he may thinke [Page 331]whether he haue giuen way to any irreuerent thoughts against God, or his Saints, or to any dreams, or superstitious thoughts. If he hath thought euill of others, iudged rashly, borne hatred and ill will to any, bene sorry at their well­fare or reioyced at their euill, desired their death, or some hurt or losse to them. Thoughts of pride and vaine glory in our actions, desire of praise, honors and preferments, too much ap­plication to worldly riches, vnchast thoughts. BY WORD. If he hath bene negligent in prayer, if he hath sworne, and if it were vpon an vntruth, if he hath cursed his neighbour, or any other creature; and whether it were with a desire of that euill towards them▪ or rashly onely, with­out any such desire; if he hath made any vnlawfull vow; if he hath murmured at his superiors, if he hath dispraised and detracted from any; if he hath not reprehended those vnder his charge; if he hath told vntruths wittingly, if he hath mocked or scoffed at any, councelled any to sinne, or hin­dered the good which they intended; if he hath spoken vnchast words, or sung vnchast songs. BY DEEDES. If he hath vsed any superstitious actions, or omitted to doe any thinge for some su­perstitious cause, and conceit; if he hath wrought vpon holy dayes, or permitted others vnder his charge to worke, or if he hath omitted himselfe, or hindered others to heare masse on holy dayes; if he hath not obeyed his parents, or superiors, and if it were in any matter of moment, to tell what and how it was; if he hath broken his fast; if he hath strucken, beaten or willfully hurt any [Page 332]body, or their goods; if he hath taken any thinge from any body publikely, or priuately, and to thinke of what value it was, or hath trespassed his neighbour any way; if he hath vsed deceit in buying or selling, as tradesmen in their weights, and commoditys which they sell; if being hyred by daytale he worke not sufficient for the wages which he taketh; if he hath vsed vnchast looks, books, or actions; too much curiosity in dressing and adorning; if he hath exceeded in too much eating, drinking, or sleeping; if he hath offended in gaming, spending his meanes, or more time in it, then was sufficient for recreation, vsed sleights, and cousenage in it. Thus we may exa­mine ourselues by thought, word, and deed, re­membring especially the occasions which he is im­ployed in, and the course of life and calling, which he professeth, what sinnes he committeth in it, and the circumstances in which they were committed, whether there were not somethinge which might aggrauate the sinne.

It is an errour in some that if they get their wont­ed number of prayers said they thinke them­selues wel prepared to confession and come with litle or noe examining of conscience at all. The­se must vnderstande that prayer is not the prop­per preparation for confession, and that it is not a time then to say many prayers; but to stirre vp in themselues a true repentance for their sin­nes, by remembring them, sorrowing for them, and purposing to amende them. This is then ne­cessary; but prayers are not necessarily required. And therefor we must be sure to examine well, [Page 333]our consciences before confession, that we come not of custome, without deuotion, and due pre­paration to it. And when we haue done all that belongeth to the Sacram [...]nt, then we may take time to pray.

Hauing examined thy conscience and wit­nessed against it the sinnes which thou knowest, stirre vp in thy selfe a vehement sorrow for them; and be indeede in thy hart confounded to thinke that thou hast sinned againe, and againe, without amending those things which thou hast soe often repented for. By which thou mast thinke that there is but litle feruour of deuotion in thee; and that thou hast great reason to feare that thou art of the number of the lukewarme, an therefor in great danger. Inflame in thy selfe an ardent loue of God, be sorry that thou hast soe litle feeling of sorrow, and purpose firmly that now at last thou wilt beginne to amende, and wilt fly the occasions by which thou art tempted, begging of God that he wil see this amendment in thee, and giue thee efficacious grace for the performing of it. Endeauour then to make a perfect act of contrition, which is very necessa­ry for all to vnderstande and to learne.

A perfect act of contrition is a perfect act of loue, that for the loue of God we are sorry to haue offended him, and not for the shame of sinne, feare of punishment, or losse of reward, which proceedeth from the loue of concupiscence which is in vs, by which we regard our owne interest. And therefor such shame or feare is not sufficient for an [...]act of true contrition, which includeth the [Page 334]the loue of God aboue all things. This is an act of contrition, I loue thee ô God aboue all things in the world, and for thy owne sake I am sorry to haue offended thee. And this act if it be truely conceiued, and made in our harts is the most gratefull act to God that we can possibly make; for by it we offer vp our selues, all our actions, and all creatures to God as his owne, and as it were one sacrifice due to him. And soe a pur­pose of amending, and of confessing our sinnes, and of keeping all the commandements of God is included in this act: and it is soe perfect, and pleasing to him, that he that should haue it, and should dy before he could come to con­fession should haue his mortal sinnes forgiuen him, and be saued by vertue of it. For if Martyrs haue all their sinnes forgiuen them by Martyr­dome: because they loue God more then their liues, and more then the whole world; soe shall he that hath a Martyrs charity, and is in the preparation of his minde a Martyr, in that he loueth God more then his owne life, and aboue all thinges in the world, and feareth more to offende him then he doth the paines of death or torments of hell. Therefor it is good for all to make such acts of inward contrition, especially before confession; and to accustome themselues often to make such acts; that in all dangers when they haue not the opportunity of a priest for confession, thy may fly vnto an act of contrition, as to a sanctuary which in time of neede shall saue them.

He that hath not soe perfect a loue of God, as [Page 335]true contrition requireth must haue at least at­trition for his sinnes which is a more imperfect loue mixed with feare of punishment, of losse of reward, or the like: which being ioyned to con­fession, is perfected by it, and becommeth con­trition in effect, giuing grace and forgiuenesse of sinnes. For it can not be thought but that the Sacrament being added to an act of attrition, more perfection must be added to it; and that is to giue grace. For as the Councell of Trent hath declared, the Sacrament of pennance is the Sa­crament of the dead, because it reuiueth to the state of grace those who were in the state of sinne, which they could not be with true contrition.

The third thinge which the poenitent must haue before confession is a firme purpose of amendement: which purpose although it be in­cluded in an act of contrition; yet it is good to make it alwais expresly by it selfe; because we know not when we haue true contrition. And it is good allwais to make a purpose to amende, and to fly the occasions of that sinne in par­ticular which we offende most in. Neither is this purpose euer to be omitted, because it is of­ten broken; for if we should runne on still in sinne, and neuer purpose to amende, we should neuer amende: and if for all the good purposes which we make, we still fall into sinne, what would become of vs, if we made not those pur­poses, and contrary acts to it The purposes which we make and the detestations of sinne are a great meanes to hinder it; and a most soue­raigne remedy it is against all sinne, and especial­ly [Page 336]against euill customes, presently to make a contrary act in detestation of them, and to gett to confession as soone as we can.

OF CONFESSION.

HAVING prepared our selues with due examine of conscience, sorrow for our sinnes, and purpose of amendment, the next part of this Sacrament is confession. We come then to the priest, and with reuerence to the Sacrament we kneele downe at his feete full of sorrow and con­fusion. We may thinke then of the Magdalene how she came to the feete of Christ confessing her sinnes; not in particular, for that she needed not to him who knew them allready, and saw the secrets of her hart; yet she confessed them in ge­neral; if not by word of mouth, yet by many ex­pressions of sorrow for them, and of much loue of God. Luc. 7. And therfor she deserued to heare thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. Thinke thou I say of her example, and prepare the like sorrow and loue in thy selfe, when thou comest to cleare thy con­science in confession.

The poenitent kneeling downe saith Benedicite: that is to desire the blessing of God, and of the priest for the worthy performing of that action. The priest then prayeth for him: then he saith I confesse mee to almighty God, to the blessed Virgin Mary, to S. Michael the Archangell, to S. Iohn Baptist, to S. Peter, and to S. Paul, and to all the Saints in heauen, that I haue offended by thought, word, and worke, through my fait, [Page 337]through my falt, through my most greeuous falt. The meaning of which is to prostrate himselfe before God, and the whole court of heauen, and before the priest, as the Vicar of God vpon earth; to acknowledge, and confesse his falts. Then he beginneth to declare in particular what he hath offended in. For the rightly performing of which, he may vnderstande three conditions to be principally necessary for a good confession: to wit that it be intire, cleare, and obedient.

For the first condition of integrity, it is neces­sary that we confesse all the mortal sinnes which we know ourselues to be guilty of, expressing euery one of them in particular, the number and the circumstances aggrauating them. Venial sin­nes are not absolutly necessary to be confessed; because they are not quite opposite to the effect of the Sacrament; but may stande with grace; yet of deuotion we confesse them, for many reasons aboue mentioned. Children and some very wicked persons breake sometimes this condition of integrity, and either because they vnderstande not, or consider not the worke which they haue in hand, they conceale sometimes their sinnes from the priest: but this is indeede either very childish, or very impious, and sheweth that they haue not a true apprehension of the dignity of a Sacrament, nor of the state of their soules, who onely receiue good or euill by that which they then doe; it im­porting nothing to any other whether they con­fesse well or ill. Let these therefor vnderstande, and consider that this is the profanation of a Sa­crament, a heinous mortall sinne; not as other [Page 338]mortall sinnes of frailty, but of malice, against the first commandement, directly opposite to diuine worship. He that hideth his wicked deedes (saith the holy Prouerbe) shall not be directed: Prou. 28. but he that shall forsake them shall obtaine mercy. He bringeth vpon himselfe not one but many euills. First not confessing any mortall sinne, he committeth a new mortal sinne, and that of a higher nature. Secondly the sinnes which he doth Confesse are not forgiuen. Thirdly all the sinnes which he hath committed euer since he first be­ganne to conceale, although he had Confessed them, he must Confesse them all ouer againe, with those which he concealed: for although they were Confessed they were not forgiuen.

The deuill noe doubt but laboureth all he can to hinder the fruit of this Sacrament, by which he looseth soe many soules: and because he pre­uaileth sometimes with such as I haue mentioned, I will speake a word or two for their good, that they may abhorre this sinne. First I tell them that this Sacrament is the onely remedy which God hath ordained for actual sinne. Our soules were first lost by original sinne, and by Baptisme they were saued from that shipwrack; but falling after Bap­tisme into actual sinne, there is noe hopes to be saued, but by duely receiuing the Sacrament of pennance: Hiero. ep. 8. ad Dome­rriad Amb. ad virg. laps c. 8. and therfor Saints and spiritual men commonly call it the second planke of saluation in the shipwracke of our soules. Tell mee then O faintharted Catholike, that art affraide to Con­fesse thy sinnes: if that thou wert floating on the waues of the sea vpon a good and sure planke, [Page 339]wouldst thou be ouercome with feare to forsake it? why then art thou ouercome with feare to con­ceale thy sinnes in that pittifull state of damnation: seeing that by concealing them thou dost let goe the planke in which is all thy hope, and without which thou sinkest downe, and art sure to perish. Thou hast suffered shipwracke by mortal sinne, wilt thou let goe thy sauing planke, and perish in the waues? Thou art wounded mortally and art sicke vnto death; if thou discouer not thy wounds, thou dyest with out remedy: wilt thou languish vnto death and willfully refuse all helpe? Thou hast a physitian that can cure thee, and that as priuatly as thou canst desire, and with as litle shame to thee; but thou must either tell thy dis­ease, and shew thy wounds or dy. Thus doe the holy fathers declare the necessity of intire Con­fessions. Further if thou dissemblest with the priest thou dissemblest with God, and adding sinne vnto sinne thou woundest thy soule with a new and deeper wound, and with a sinne which is most opposite to grace, and to the forgiuenesse of any sinne: and that very sinne which now thou wilt not Confesse priuatly, thou shalt be forced to Confesse it one day, in the sight and hearing of all the world, when the deuill shall accuse thee publikely, saying I gotte him to committe such a sinne, and to conceale it in Confession: I accuse him of the sinne, and of a sacrilegious Con­fession. And Christ will then be ashamed of thee before his Angels, that wert ashamed of him before thy ghostly father; and thou shalt be condemned as guilty of both sinnes; and shalt goe amongst [Page 340]the damned. This is all that thou shalt gett by thy shame; for in this world thou didst gett nothing at all. Other sinnes when they are committed bring either some profit or pleasure with them; but this hath neither profit nor pleasure in it, but euen then when thou committest it, thou hast an inward horurour and paine, to thinke of the losse which thē tho susteinest and of the comfort of a good Confessiō, and how greeuously thou woundest thy soule, with a new and more greeuous wounde. If thou didst see thy vtter enemy laid pittifully wounded in danger of death, and the surgeon dressing him and binding vp his wounds; couldest thou finde in thy hart to come to him, and tearing of his plaster, to wounde him againe with a new and worse wounde? Such an enemy thou art vnto thy selfe, when being at Con­fession vnder the hands of the priest, thou hidest any mortal sinne. Thou abusest the onely remedy of thy soule, and being woūded and then in cure, thou tearest of the plaster, and woundest thy selfe againe with a new and more greeuous mortal sinne, and such an one as in it selfe is contrary to all remedy.

It was very remarkable to this purpose that which happened not long since in a citty of Spaine. A notorious malefactour being sentenced to dy, was put into the place of retirement which they haue in the prison for condemned persons to pre­pare themselues in for their death. And comming to Confession he beganne to be troubled and could not goe on; but made strange gestures and shewes of affrightment when he would haue Con­fessed some sinnes. The Priest, who was my very charitable good freind, and who told mee him­selfe [Page 341]all that I am now relating perceiuing it, and asking the cause of it; with much difficulty at last he answered, and told him planely that the deuill was there, and threatened him that he durst not Confesse. At which the priest roze vp and with the signe the Cros vanquished him. But the deuill (who vseth not to yeeld at the first repulse) re­turned againe, and at the Confessing of some sinnes troubled him as before; and the priest againe vanquished him. And thus returning se­ueral times he putte the poore man into such an amaze and feare, that he durst not Confesse but made an end concealing some of his sinnes. The priest gaue sentence of absolution, but it was in vaine and of noe value, as a iudge misinformed; the party remaining guilty of all his former sin­nes, and of one more, and that perhaps greater then any which he had to Confesse. That night the de­uill appeared vnto him all in flames, threatening him [...]ot to Confesse such and such sinnes, which he had concealed: and with all he commanded him to throw away that which he had about his necke (which was a litle Cros and image of our blessed lady, which the priest sent to a brother of his owne, liuing then aboue a thousand miles from him; who wore them and after some yeares shewed them to mee.) In what a terrour may we imagine that man then to haue bene and fearfull perplexity, to obey or to disobey the deuils com­mande? he thought them then to be his onely ar­mes, and saw that if he threw them away he disarmed himselfe: and on the otherside he feared his threatn­ing, if he obeyed not. But he chose for better [Page 342]to disobey him, and it was a happy disobedience: for his prowde enemy confounded with it, vanis­hed away presently with out hurting him. The man expected vntill morning, longing to see the priests returne; whom as soone as he saw, he ranne presently to him, and glasping him in his armes, he besought him to heare his Confession againe, and then he made a better Confession, declaring intirely the sinnes which he had concealed, and the sacrilege which he had committed in conceal­ing them. And relating all that had passed with him, he desired at his death the priest to tell it vnto others, that they might learne by him to make good Confessions. Who related it accord­ingly in his sermon to all that were present at the malefactors execution. This happened in a place of Spaine which I know very well; and there can be noe question of the truth of it. Those who in Confession conceale any mortal sinne, are as this man was in the deuils power, and to gett out of it must doe that which he did; and that was to cleere himselfe by a better Confession: but this is a greater mercy then they deserue.

Those that beginne once to dissemble in Con­fession put themselues in the worst state and great­est danger that a sinner can be in this world: for they make themselues vncapable of remedy; and can neuer be rightly delt with by the priest: who not knowing the state of their conscience, looseth his labour by all which he saith to them. Nay sometimes it may chance that he may consaile them to that which is a sinne. For example one of these men being slacke in comming to Con­fession, [Page 343]if the priest call vpon him, he calleth him to a mortal sinne: and againe if he come not to annual Confession, he committeth a mortal sinne. What consaile can be giuen them in this case? if we counsaile them either to a badde Con­fession, or to noe Confession, we counsaile them to their damnation: and one of these we must doe, if they will not Confesse intirely. Yet I will ven­ture to counsaile them rather to absteine from Confession, and soe from Communion also at Easter time; then to dissemble in Confession. This I doe not absolutly counsaile; for this is also to damne themselues; but seeing that they are otherwise resolued vpon a greater dishonour to God, and greater damnation, I perswade them to the lesse. That which I absolutly perswade them is to be conuerted in their harts, and by a good Confession to giue glory to God, ioy to the An­gels, and satisfaction to their owne consciences. O christian if thou didst but consider the value of a Sacrament, and how deerely the Sonne of God bought it for thee, thou wouldst be affraide to trea­de it vnder thy feete, as thou doest when thou pro­fanest it. If therefor thou art resolued to be a chris­tian, and a Catholike, abuse not Christ in a Sacra­ment of the Catholike Church. Be not soe wicked or soe childish, as for a litle shame to cōmitte that sinne which thou hast neither profit nor pleasure in, but loosest that which in the end must be thy onely remedy. Ouercome thy selfe in this, as thou dost in the other austeritys of the Catholike profession: speake freely thy sinnes, or els thou hadst better be noe Catholike nor christian.

The next condition is that it be plane and cleere. This must proceede from an earnest desire of being rightly vnderstoode by the priest. And for this a conuenient breuity is best: not to be tedious in rehearsing that, which is not necessary; and yet soe, as the nature of the sinne and the circumstances aggrauating it be rightly vnder­stoode. Regard not then any fine words or cu­rious stile, but speake simply, and familiarly, as to an intimate freind of thine, whom God hath sent to sitte in his tribunal. wha will the eloquen­ce of orators or the tongue of a lawyer auaile thee at the day of iudgment? It shall not then be asked how eloquently thou hast Confessed, but how humbly and truely. If we feare that the priest heare vs not or vnderstande not right, we may aske him. Father doe you heare mee? or doe you vnderstande mee? And when we haue confessed all we make an end saying, therefor I beseech the blessed Virgin Mary, S. Michael the Archangell, S. Iohn Baptist S Peter and S. Paul, and all the Saints in heauen, and you my ghostly father to pray for mee. Hauing said this he attendeth quietly to the priest to be directed by him. If he had for­gotten any thinge in Confession, or not vnder­stoode the priest, he may say Father I had forgot­ten such a thinge, I vnderstande you not &c. And hauing rightly vnderstode his pennance, and the aduises which are giuen him, he must fixe his min­de earnestly vpon God at the time of absolution, and take heed then of distractions; for soe [...] might come to loose the benefit of the Sacrament for that time: and therfor it is good then to be [Page 345]making acts of the loue of God and of sorrow, and to vse some good words; as those of the hum­ble Publican who knocking his breast and saying God be mercifull to mee a sinner, Luc. 18. he went away ius­tified. These or the like words may be repeated often ouer with much repentance, whilst the priest is giuing absolution.

The third condition of a good Confession is to be obedient; that is that the poenitent accept of those remedys which are praescribed him: that he auoide the occasions of sinne, make restitution if it be needfull, and performe carefully the pen­nance which is enioyned him. Of which we shall speake in satisfaction.

It is necessary for all to know that Confession in some cases is voide, and most be reiterated; and which these cases are. The first is want of suf­ficient examination of conscience, when the poe­nitent vseth not due diligence in remembring of his sinnes, that he omitteth through negligence any mortal sinne, he must then make all his Con­fession ouer againe. Secondly if willfully he speake any vntruth in Confession in some matter of mo­ment. Thirdly if he conceale willfully any mortal sinne. Fourthly if he hath not a firme purpose to leaue of some mortal sinne, or to fly the occa­sion of it. Fiftly, if the poenitent were fallen into some excommunication, and did not first pro­cure to be absolued from it. Sixtly, if the Con­fessour were deficient in knowledge power, or iu­risdiction. In all which cases the poenitent is boun­de not onely to Confesse his sinnes ouer againe; but also to Confesse the sinne which he committed in soe Confessing.

OF SATISFACTION.

THE third and last part of the Sacrament of Pennance is Satisfaction. That is that we accept and performe some penalty for our sin­nes in lieu of that punishment, which we should haue suffered in the next world, if we had not here preuented it. For the which we are to vnderstande that euery sinne includeth two things: to wit the auersion of the sinner from God, and his con­uersion to some creature for which he forsaketh God. And on the contrary when our sinnes are forgiuen, and we are restored to the state of gra­ce, there are two things; to wit an auersion from the creature and conuersion to God. The con­uersion to God and restoring of the sinner to his fauour againe, taketh away the staine and blem­ish of sinne, and freeth from hell; but being that his auersion from the creature and conuersion to God againe is not allwais soe intense and ferue­rous as his conuersion to the creature and auersion from God was; therefor there remaineth some­times some punishment to be suffered by reason of his cold conuersion. Now there are in euery sinne two euils of punishment corresponding to the two euils aforesaid in the sinne. The one is the losse of God and separation from him, which correspondeth to the auersion of the sinner from God: the other is a sensible punishment corres­ponding to our conuersion to the creature, for the sensible pleasure which we tooke in it. The first euill of the losse of God is repaired by our con­uersion [Page 347]to him in confession: by which we are restored to his fauour againe. But the punish­ment of our senses is not allwais quite taken away; but as our auersion from God and conuersion to the creature for sensible pleasure was more earnest and intense then our conuersion is to God againe; soe it is fitting that some sensible paine should re­maine to be susteined. These are the grounds of the Catholike doctrine of Satisfaction and of Purgatory: of both which we wil say somethinge here, as in their propper place.

If I said noe more in proofe of this doctrine but onely that the Bishop of Rome and Pastors of his communion deliuered it, I had in reason said enough: For he being the head of the Church, as the true and lawfull successour in S. Peters primacy (as I haue shewed him to be) he and the Pastors of his communion haue the lawfull authority of the whole, Church, and are the whole Catholike Church in authority: and being that we must alwais say I beleeue the Catholike Church; we must allwais beleeue and obey the succession of that authority. But I will say somethinge in particular of them. That which the Catholike Church teacheth of Satisfaction is that although the conuersion of a sinner to God may be soe intense and perfect sometimes, that he may obtaine a full remission of all punishment, and be as it were new borne to God in baptisme; yet this doth not allwais happen. Our conuersion to God is not allwais soe intense and perfect, but that there may and commonly doth remaine some punish­ment [Page 348]to be suffered after it. This we shew first by holy Scriptures.

When the children of Israel sinned by murmur­ing against God and their Pastors, Moyset praying obtained the remission of their sinne. But yet (saith God) all the men that haue seene my Maicsty, Nu. 14. &c. And haue tempted mee, &c. they shall not see the land for the which I sware to their fathers. Here their sinne was forgiuen them; yet it was punished afterwards, those that had sin­ned neuer entring into the land of promise. Nu. 20. Moyses and Aaron sinned at the waters of con­tradiction: and when their sinne was forgiuen there remained a penalty to be endured by them, and they endured it, not bringing the people into the holy land Dauid had sinned by murder, and adultery; and Nathan being sent to reprooue him, and bring him to repentance, Reg. 2.12. he repented, and deserued to heare from the Prophet our Lord hath taken away thy sinne thou shalt not dy. But his sinne being taken away, it was not withstand­ing punished with the death of his sonne, the Pro­phet declaring the sonne which is borne to thee dying shall dy. And for all king Dauids earnest praying, fasting and lying on the ground, he could not obtaine the life of the child. By all which we see that punishment of sinne may remaine to be suf­fered, when the sinne is forgiuen.

It Was therfor the custome of the Catholike Church aunciently, as now it is, to impose penal­tys vpon sinners at their repentance, as by auncient Canons doth appeare. Ep 3. & 14. can. 38. S. Basil. ep. 3. & 14. can. 38. He that hath committed adultery shall not [Page 349]communicate in the Sacraments for fifteene yeares. S. Augustine Let vs seeke confession with a pure hart and performe the pennance, which is giuen by priests.

It is against reason that he, that commeth to confession with many mortal sinnes, should thinke to haue noe more puishment then he that hath but one onely, if they be disposed with equal deuotion. Yet they were both alike, if they had noe more punihment but onely to confesse, and that then all sinne and punishment were taken away. Sinne therfor and punishment are onely soe farre correlatiues, that punishment allwais supposeth sinne to haue bene; but doth not require that there be then actually sinne. Neither is it worth any thinge that which, haere­tiks obiect against this. That Christ satysfyed for vs; therefor we neede not to satisfy for our selues: noe more then it is to say, Christ did good works for vs: therefor wee neede nor to doe good works for our selues. Our good works derogate not from the good works of Christ, nor our Sa­tisfaction from his Satisfactions. our good works haue their value from his, and soe hath our satis­faction: but neither of them is hindered by him. Thus much for Satisfaction, and for the enioyn­ing of pennance after the remiffion of sinnes.

As for Purgatory it followeth hence, that tho­se who dy with their sinnes forgiuen them; but haue not that intense sorrow and perfect repentan­ce which is necessary for the remission of all pu­nishment due to their sinnes, must haue their punishment in some place in the next world, [Page 350]where they must be purged from that guilt of pu­nishment (as also of their lesser sinnes before that they can enter into heauen.) Aërius was one of the first that denyed Purgatory: and that which he gott for it was to be recorded as an hae­retike euer from the times of the primitiue Church, and to haue his doctrine in thelist of those whom S. Epiphanius, haer. 75. And S. Au­gustine haer. 83. haue branded with the marke of haeresy. Luther at first although he denyed indul­gences, yet was soe resolute in the mainteining of Purgatory, that in his disputation with Eckius he would needs make publike profession of it, saying I firmely beleeue and dare boldly say I know there is a Purgatory whatsoeuer haeretiks raile against it. Disp. lips. But hauing once fallen from the Catholike Church he was constant to nothing but vnconstan­cy, and came in the end to deny Purgatory also. But the Catholike Church hath allwais acknow­ledged that there is a place for the soules of those to be purged in, who dy in venial sinne, or haue not made full satisfaction for their mortal, which place therfor may aptly be called Purgatory.

That there is such a place, it appeareth in all those sentences of Scriptures, where prayer for the dead is commended. Teh. 4. For those who are in heauen, or in hell are not to be prayed for. Set thy bread and thy wine (saith holy Toby) vpon the burial of a iust man. Not as the Gentils vainely did, to delight the dead with corporal viands; but to be giuen to the poore to pray for them. Hence saith S. Chrysostome who liued aboue twelue hundred yeares since came the cus­tome [Page 351]of calling together the poore to receiue almes, to pray for the dead. Thus did Iudas Ma­chabaeus make a gathering, and sent a great sum­me of syluar, to be bestowed in sacrifice for the dead. Where vpon the Scriptures make this in­ference. Mach. 2.12. It is therfor a holy and healthfull cogi­tation to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sinnes. And if any deny these Scriptu­res to be canonical, because the Iewes deny them, S. L. 18. de ciu. Det. Augustine will alleadge against them the authority of the Church of Christ, and will tell them, Not the Iewes but the Church holdeth the books of Machabees to be canonical. And his owne reason will tell him, that to deny the authority of the Church is to deny all Scrip­tures, and to confounde the order of the whole world. Tertul. Tert. l. de coron militi [...] c. 3. Amb. orat. pro Theod. Aug. l. 8. de Genes. con. Mani­chaeos. Oblationes pro defunctis facimus. We make offerings for the dead. S. Ambrose in his speech of the Emperour Theodo­sius prayeth for him. Thou o Lord giue rest vnto thy seruant Theodosius S. August. speaking of him, that dyeth in sinne saith, after this life he shall haue either the fire of Purgatory or eternal fire. And in Psal. 87. In this life purge mee and make mee soe, that I may not neede the purging fire.

The doctrine of Purgatory is soe planely deli­uered by the auncient fathers of the Church that, Caluin could not deny or conceale it: but l. 3. Instit. c. 5. §. 10. calleth it a most auncient obser­uation of the Church and saith, that the fathers, as humane, were deceiued. But who can endure this saying in him? were the auncient fathers of [Page 352]the Church, and both the Church which was aun­ciently and which was when Caluin came into the world deceided, and Caluin not deceiued? shall Caluin take vpon him to correct the auncient fathers and present obseruations of the Church? And shall any hazard his soule with Caluin against them? He asketh what authority of Scriptures they had? Must the whole Church be examined by him in the Scriptures? And shall not he be thought an haeretike for this, and to abuse the Scriptures in condemning of the Church? S. Au­gustine shall answere him. Aug. l. de cura pro mortuis. Jn the books of the Machabees we read that sacrifice was offered for the dead: but although in the auncient Scriptures it were not at all to be read, the authority of the vniuersal Church is noe small matter which is cleere for this custome, where in the prayers of the priest which to our Lord God are powered forth at his altare, the commendation of the dead hath its place. S. Augustins argument was good, in which he prooued Purgatory both hy the Scrip­tures, and the Church. But if this be not enough for Caluin, to whom nothing will serue but his owne will and word. We will also produce his owne words against him: l. 4. Instit. c. 2. num. 3. he saith that without controuersy nothing from the beginning untill that age was changed in doctrine. To wit vntill the times of Tertullian, Origen and Augustine, of whom he was speaking. If therfor this were the doctrine of the Church in those times, it was the doctrine of Christ and of the Apostles euer from the beginning. And soe Caluin is condemned by Scriptures, fathers, [Page 353]Church, and by his owne words; and Purgatory is prooued to be the true Catholike, Apostolike doc­trine. There for pennances are rightly enioyned, prayers may be said, almes deeds giuen, indul­gences granted, and many voluntary afflictions haue bene vndergone by the Saints, and faithfull of the Catholike Church, to escape the paines of Purgatory: which although they be but tempo­ral: yet they are most greeuous, and vehement, more then can be spoken. And because the Ca­tholike doctrine of Indulgences by many is not vnderstoode, I wil say somethinge of them in this, which is also their propper place.

An Indulgence is as much as to say a fauour­able remission or pardoning of some due pu­nishment. Such are the indulgences of the Church either absolute remissions, without ex­change or imposing of any other taske; or ex­changes of a greater into a lesser penalty. The power of granting indulgences, or absoluing from punishment (which is all one) was granted by Christ vnto his Apostles, and especially to S. Peter, to whom he promised the keyes of the kingdome of heauen, Mat. 16. and told him whatsoeuer thou shalt loose vpon earth shall be loosed in hea­uen. What can be vnderstoode by the keyes of heauen, and the words following but power soe to open heauen gates, as to take away all that hin­dereth for entring in at them: to wit sinne and punishment? He gave also the like authority to the rest of the Apostles saying whatsoeuer you shall loose vpon earth shal be loosed in heauen. Mat. 18. If whatsoeuer they loose be loosed, then punish­ment [Page 354]loosed by them on earth, is loosed also in the sight of God in heauen. Neither is there any good connexion in those words, if they be not vnderstoode of absoluing, as well from punish­ment as from sinne.

Now if any aske how it can be, that sinnes of which the diuine iustice requireth soe much satis­faction, should be satisfyed for with soe litle, as some indulgences require; and some indulgences require nothing at all to be done for the gaining of them:) he may vnderstande that indulgence or pardon of punishment is neuer granted; but full satisfaction is made to God for the sinne. For there is in the Church a treasury of Satisfactions soe great, that it can neuer be exhausted by sa­tisfying for sinnes. There are in this treasury the satisfactions of Christ infinitly more, then all the sinnes in the world can require. There are also the good works of our B. Lady; that had nothing of her owne to satisfy for. There are the good works of S. Iohn Baptist, of the Apostles, and of many others whose works were much more satis­factory then their owne sinnes needed, and may be applyed by the pastors of the Church to those that stande neede of them. For the Church is a body, and all the members of it haue a Commu­nication, and participation of good works with one another, as we professe in the Creede saying, I beleeue the Communion of Saints. And the psal­mist sayeth. Ps. 118. Col. 1. I am partaker of all that feare thee. And S. Paul. I now reioyce in suffering for you, and doe accomplish those thinges that want of the pas­sions of Christ in my flesh for his body which is the [Page 355]Church. He did not fullfill the passions of Christ for any defect or want which was in them; but that by his sufferings the passion of Christ was applyed actually to the Colossians, as it is by the suffrages and good works, which are done in the Church for others: and by them their punish­ments are fully satisfyed for.

If any aske why the Pope onely and bishops giue indulgences? I answere that the words of Christ before alleadged were spoken onely to S. Peter, who was to be the Pope, and to the Apo­stles who were at first the onely bishops of the Church. And the practise of the vniuersal Church, which ought to be our rule in all things, hath bene allwais for the Pope and bishops, and not for priests to grant Indulgences. S. Augustine speak­ing of the obseruations of the Church saith, If the Church through out the World frequent any of these things to dispute of it as not to be done is most insolent madnes. Epist. 118. To question that which the whole Church obserueth, or curiously to dispute of it is full of danger and presumption: but soe as to disallow of it and to condemne it, is absolute mad­nes, and the propper madnes of heresy.

Now as you haue seene the power of granting indulgences to be deriued from Christ; soe you shall see the practise of it to haue bene in the pri­mitiue Church. Although then they were neither soe commune, nor solemne as now a dayes. First because in those times of persecution christians could not soe frequently meete together. Second­ly because the graces and gifts of the Apostles and their successors were then greater, and aequiualent [Page 356]to the benefit of indulgences. Thirdly the feruour and deuotion of those christians was also greater, the blood of Christ being yet warme (and as S. Hierome saith boyling in them.) That they nei­ther stoode soe much neede of indulgences, nor were their punishments often remitted. Yet S. Paul exercized this power, when in the person of Christ he gaue indulgence or pardon (as he term­eth it) to the sinfull Corinthian, least he should haue bene swallowed vp with sorrow at the great­nes of his punishment. Cor. 2.2. And whom you haue par­doned any thinge, I also. For my selfe also that which I pardoned, if I pardoned any thinge for you in the person of Christ. Thus S. Paul pardoned him: and not onely in the sight of the Church, but also in the sight of God: for otherwise this pardon had been to his hurt, and he had not pardoned in the person of Christ, who hurteth not by his par­dons. Tertullian. lib. ad martyres. c. 1. and S. Cyprian l. 3. c. 15. & ser. de laps. affirme that it was then the custome of bishops, at the intreaty of those who were designed to martyrdome, to grant pardons to offenders from the penaltys of the Church. That which S. Paul and these bishops did was the very same which the Catholike Church now doth in giuing of indulgences: for they are nothing els but the releasing of punishments in the sight of God. Diuerse examples and canons of the Church for this are to be seene in authors, which for breuity I omitte.

Indulgences vpon a iust cause, and for a good end may sometimes be granted without the en­ioyning of any penalty. As those were which pri­mitiuely [Page 357]were granted at the intercession of mar­tyrs; and those which are now granted to some at their deaths, for some great deserts and good seruice allready done to the Church. But ordina­rily some pious worke is praescribed; and soe a greater punishment is changed into a lesse. That which is required to be done ought to be perform­ed with much deuotion; and to gaine the indul­gence it must be done in state of grace; and ther­for Confession and Contrition are for the most part expresly required in euery indulgence.

Indulgences which are granted to the soules in purgatory are applyed vnto them onely by way of suffrage, that is by a pious offering of ours to pay their debt, and not by applying any power or iurisdiction of the Church ouer them. For the pastors of the Church haue power and iurisdiction ouer the militant Church onely, ouer which they can visibly exercize their power of gouernment.

By indulgences we are not to vnderstande that soe many yeares, or dayes of purgatory are re­mitted; but that soe much punishment is par­doned, as soe many yeares or dayes pennance should haue satisfyed for, according to the pen­nances of the primitiue Church. A plenary indul­gence is a full and totall pardon of all punish­ment in the sight of God. A Quarentine is as much as to say an indulgence corresponding to the pennance of forty dayes: which aunciently was a time of prayer, fasting, and other austeri­tys in those times often vsed, and was called Qua­dragena a Quarentin; and when it was with bread and water onely, it was called Carentia, an ab­staining [Page 358]from meates. A Iubily is a more solemne kind of indulgence. It is is an hedrew word signi­fying ioy or reioycing. The Israëlits euery fiftith yeare had a Iubily yeare: which was soe solemne that they absteined from tillage in it. Lands that were sold returned to their owner, slaues were en­franchized, banished men restored, debtors set at liberty. All but in figure of the spirituall ioy and liberty which we obtaine in Christ. And therefor we haue now a yeare of iubily: which at first was kept euery hundreth yeare, then euery fiftith, now euery twenty fift. The faithfull being piously inuited to Rome, a place allwais frequented for indulgences, and where Saints haue soe much de­sired to liue, that S. Catherine of Siena vsed to say I treade vpon the blood of martyrs at Rome. There doth the holy Vicar of Christ himselfe en­tertaine his people, wash their feete, make ex­hortations to them, and spareth nothing to pro­mote the loue and seruice of God in them.

Thus much as to the declaration of satisfaction; which is the third part of the Sacrament of pen­nance. Hauing Confessed our sinnes, and receiu­ed our pennance, and absolution from the priest, we must remember well the aduises which were giuen vs, and purpose to keepe them: and per­forme our pennance presently, least we should forgette it or any part of it. It is a signe of loue and reuerence to God, when we goe willingly and readily to pay that which we owe him.

I haue now but one word more to say of this Sacrament, and that is to exhort all to frequent it, and to coniure him vehemently that is fallen [Page 359]into any greater sinne, presently to seeke out a priest and to gette his conscience cleered by Con­fession; and if he hath not then the opportunity of a priest, to fly instantly to an act of Contrition, and to make it with all the feruour and humility, that possibly he can, and in the meane time to slippe noe occasion of Confession. Truely I thinke I may say, that amongst soe many good remedys, as spiritual men haue praescribed for particular sinnes, it is the best and most general against all sinnes whatsoeuer to repent presently by a good Confession of them. For as great wounds are easily cured when they are brought presently into the surgeons hands, and by differ­ring and not applying remedy in time, they be­come vncurable and without remedy: soe the longer we differre our Confession, the harder we make our Conuersion, and if we stay long in sinne we harden our harts still more and more, vn­till we come in the end to the vtter contempt of God, and of our owne soules. And therefor I ex­hort all from this very instant to purpose with themselues that if they chance at any time through frailty to fall into some great sinne, they will seeke presently to Confession after it. O thou that fearest not to be in mortal sinne, if thou didst but vnderstande the heinous condition in which thou art, that thou standest then face to face at defyance with God, who with one word of his will can strike thee downe instantly into hell; and what it is to want the mediation of Christ, of our B. Lady, thy good Angell, thy patrone, and of all the Saints, and the suffrages [Page 360]of the Church, thou wouldst not remaine one moment in that state. It is a humane thinge (saith S. Gregory) to erre; but diabolical to perseuer in it. If we fall into sinne we doe but like men, if we rize againe, we doe as the Saints haue done; but if we perseuer in sinne, we are like the deuil, who must remaine in sinne for euer.

OF EXTREME-VNCTION.

THIS Sacrament hath for its propper effect to giue grace, and strength against tempta­tions at our death. For the hopes of our enemy being then at the last, he striueth all he can against vs. Apoc. 12. The deuill is descended to you hauing great wrath knowing that he hath but a litle time. Said the heauenly voice which S. Iohn heard. Some he tempteth to presumption, others to dispaire, some by too much loue to their freinds and fa­mily, some thinke of nothing but the riches which they leaue, some by too much desire of life, that they will not apprehende nor prepare themselues for death: and generally as we draw neerer to our ends we grow more subiect to extremitys of pas­sions: all which the deuill knoweth how to make vse of to our hurt. But his commune temptation is to terrify sinners with greeuous feare and af­frightments at their sinnes past. Sap. 4. They shall come fearefull in cogitation of their sinnes, and their iniquitys on the contrary shall conuince them. Saith holy wisdome. Neither shall their naturall coura­ge and strength then auaile them any thinge, though neuer soe bold and bragging in time of [Page 361]health. Great Saints haue shewed much feare at their death. S. Hilarion whose perfection S. vita Hilar. Hie­rome describing saith that great concourse of bish­ops, priests, Clergymen and monks sought to him, the temptation of christian matrons followed him, multitudes of the common people, potentates and iudges came to receiue holy bread and oile of him; and yet his minde continued fixed on solitude, yet for all this when he came to dy he was oppressed with such a feare and horrour of death, that to encourage his soule he said, Goe forth what dost thou feare? goe forth my soule what dost thou doubt of? thou hast serued Christ now almost seuenty yeares, and dost thou feare death? If Saints at their death haue bene thus terrifyed, what may they expect who haue committed many sinnes, and perhaps but lately repented for them, and perhaps but sleightly, and haue but few good works then for their comfort? Therefor our Sa­uiour hath prouided this Sacrament as an armour for vs against that time.

S. Iames, Iam. 5. is any man sicke among you let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray ouer him anoiling him with oile in the name of our Lord. And the prayer of faith shall saue the sicke, and our Lord shall lift him vp, and if he be in sin­nes they shall be remitted him. By which words we haue the practise of the Catholike Church well prooued, and Etreme Vnction declared to be a Sacrament; that is an outward signe that sancti­fyeth vs. There is an outward signe in the external rite of anoiling, and in the forme of words signi­fyed by prayer. And that this outward signe caus­eth [Page 362]grace vnto sanctification, the words following doe declare, in that sinnes are remitted, which can not be but by grace being receiued. And it fol­loweth hence that Christ instituted it. For the Apostles had not the power of instituting such signes: neither could S. Iames haue promised re­mission of sinnes by it, if Christ had not instituted it, Luth. Praef. ad nou. Test. and giuen it that power. It is true Luther re­iects this Epistle of S. Iames, denying it to be ca­nonical, and calling it an Epistle of straw; but the authority of the whole Church hath declared it for canonical. And if the whole Church be not sufficient for Luther, we will put Caluin into the ballance against him, an authour at least of equall grauity with him; Caluin l. 3. Instit. c. 17. and Caluin holdeth it for ca­nonical. S. Bernard in vita Malach. relateth of S. Malachy that he assisting with a sicke woman, and not thinking her to be in such danger as to require the Sacrament of Extreme-Vnction, de­parted from her without ministring it; but she dying in his absence, he returned againe full of sorrow, and pittying that she should want the benefit of it, he fell to his prayers, restored her to life againe. And then (saith S. Bern) he anoil­ed her knowing that by this Sacrament sinnes are re­mitted, and that the prayer of faith saueth the sicke.

The holy oile is then applyed as a spiritual salue to the senses; because by occasion of our senses we committe sinne. But beside the spiritual remedy which our soules gaine by it, it hath also a corporal effect of giuing health to the body, as the Apostle declareth, the sicke being saued and alleuiated by it. By reason of which effect this [Page 363]Sacrament is not giuen in danger of death by warre or otherwise, but onely by sicknes.

OF THE SACRAMENT of Orders.

THE Sacrament of Orders is that which Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons and others receiue when they are ordained: by which they receiue spiritual power for the gouernment of the Church. Tim. 1.4. That it is a Sacrament it appeareth by the words of S. Paul to Timothy. Neglect not the grace which is giuen thee by prophecy with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. By this it hath all which is conteined in the nature of a Sacrament: the imposition of hands, and the words that are said (which are there signifyed by Prophecy) being an external signe, Amb. in Tim. by which grace in giuen. Vpon which words S. Ambrose saith that Timothy, by the imposition of the hands of priesthood was designed to the worke, ard re­ceiued authority, that he durst offer sacrifice to God in our Lords steede. The same power is ex­pressed by the words of the bishop when heordain­eth priests saying, Receiue thou authority to of­fer for the liuing and the dead in the name of our Lord. To offer, there is to offer sacrifice, as S. Ambrose also expresseth it; and to offer sacrifice is the most propper office of priests; priest and sa­crifice going allwais together, soe that there can be noe priest, but he must haue power to offer sacrifice.

The propper and peculiar effect of this Sa­crament [Page 364]is to giue grace to exercize worthily Ecclesiastical functions. Which power and grace as it is in the Church of Christ is most high and eminent aboue all dignitys. For what can be compared to the dignity of christian priests? Both in respect of their power of Orders, by which they consecrate the most blesed host, and also in respect of their power of iurisdic­tion, by which they remitte sinnes? Neither of which is within the Angels power. And there­for priesthood is not obtained in the Catholike Church, but after diuerse yeares preparation; the lower Orders being first receiued, and after them Subdeaconship, after that Deaconship, after Deaconship priesthood: euery one of the higher Orders in seueral yeares; that the dignity of priesthood may be ascended vnto by degrees, and with sufficient time of probation.

The lower orders are fower: Porter, Lector, Exercist, Acolyt. They are called lower or lesser orders; because they haue a more remote relation to the blessed Sacrament then the higher orders haue, in which relation the dignity of all the or­ders doth cheifly consist, of priests in consecrat­ing it, of Deacons and Subdeacons in assisting about the altare at the consecration of it; and of the lower orders concurring in their nature, though more temotely, to the decent ministring of it. The office of the Porter is to open and shutt the doores of the Church, to admitte of the faithfull, and to exclude the faithlesse out of it, and to ring the bells. The office of the Lector is to reade the lessons of the old and new testament, [Page 365]which aunciently the bishop vsed to expound. The office of the Exorcist is to expell the deuill, and to hinder his power ouer those who are to be, or are allready baptised, and to prepare water in the font. (of which reade the second article of the Creede towards the end) This power was gi­uen by Christ, Matt. 10. who hauing called (saith the E­uangelist) his twelue disciples together, he gaue them power ouer vncleane spirits that they should cast them out. And againe in the same place, Cure the sicke, raise the dead, clense the lepers. cast out deuils. The office of the Acolyt is to car­ry the canstlesticks, and cruits, and to light the candles.

The office of the Subdeacon is to serue at the altare vnder the Deacon, to prepare the altare cloths, to wash the palls, and corporals, &c. and to read the epistle. The office of the Deacon is to attende vpon the bishop at all times, but especially to guard him, and the priest at masse, and at Sermon; and to be as it were the eye of the Bishop to obserue the liues of the people, to see that they come to diuine seruice, and to in­forme him of their behauiour within, and with­out the Church. The office of priests is to go­uerne the Church, to offer sacrifice, and to re­mitte sinnes. Rom. 1. These are the orders of the Catho­like Church. Those things that are of God, are or­dained. Saith the Apostle, that is they are with order. And the more order that euery thinge hath, the more it appeareth to be of God. And therfor he hath ordeined these orders in his Church, that our religion might appeare to be of [Page 366]him, and that the B. Sacrament might be wor­shipped with decency amongst vs.

As there are seueral degrees of orders, soe there are seueral degrees of priests. First there are ordinary priests, and then Bishops, and betwixt priests and bishops there is noe degree of orders. Those who were aunciently called Choriepiscopi that is to say Vicars of Bishops being sometimes onely priests, although they had priueleges aboue ordinary priests, as to giue lower orders, as also Rural Deanes might haue: sometimes being in­feriour bishops and had licence to ordaine with higher orders; but they were not of any order betwixt priests and bishops; but either onely priests, or true bishops. Aboue Bishops are Arch­bishops, then Patriarks, then Cardinals, and aboue all the Pope. Which is an honorable title decreed aboue a thousand yeares since to be gi­ven to none but to the bishop of Rome, as to the most eminent father of all; whom therfor S. Cyril in the Councell of Ephesus called, The Patriarke and father of the whole world.

As the inward acts of our minde which we of­fer to God are spirituals hosts or sacrifices; soe all men may be said to be spiritually priests by their holy and feruerous affections which God setteth on fire in their harts. And therfor S. Pe­ter admonisheth all, saying Be ye a holy priest hood to offer vp spiritual hosts. Pet. 1.2. But although all be priests in the spiritual hosts of their minde; yet all may not take vpon them to performe the Ec­clesiastical functions of priesthood. For this they must be called of God and haue authority from [Page 367]him, Hier. 3. I will giue Pastors (saith God) who shall feede you with knowledge and doctrine. And S. Paul speaking of priesthood saith neither doth any man take the honour to himselfe; Heb. 5. but he that is cal­led of God as Aaron. It is a dignity which must not be taken, if not giuen. All were not priests in the law of Moyses, but onely the sonnes of Aaron to offer sacrifice to God. And we reade in the Scriptures of the great punishments of God vpon prowde and praesumptuous men who haue assumed that dignity without order to themselues. Soe great is the dignity of priesthood, that S. Francis vsed to say, that if he should meete with a saint from heauen, and with a priest together, he would not doe reuerence to the saint, vntill he had kissed the priests hands. Signifying how much he was bounde to reuerence those hands from which he receiued the body of Christ; and for himselfe he could neuer be gotten all his life time to ascende higher then Deaconshipp. Bo­nauen. in eius vita

For the greater honour of priestshood, and that priests may attende better to the performing of that high function, the Catholike Church hath all wais annexed chastity to it, neuer permitting her priests to marry. And therefor those that will be priests must be willing to vndergoe the obliga­tion of a fingle and continent life. He that rightly considereth the dignity of priesthood and the pre­eminence which virginity hath before marriage wil easily condescende to this institution of the Church. S. Paul generally councelleth virginity, Cor. 1.7. and foretelleth to those that marry the tribulations [Page 368]which they shal haue; requiring of those that ha­ue wiues, that they be as those that haue not wiues (which is very hard for them to be) and saith that he that is without wife is careful of tho­se thinges which pertaine to our Lord, how to please God: but the married man is diuided betwixt the loue of his wife and how he shall both serue God, and attende to his family. By all which it is manifest that the true and syncere meaning of the Apostle was to commende vir­ginity. and to preferre chastity before a married life. And as manifest it is according to his words that the inconueniences, and distractions of marriage are least suetable to the office of priests, who of all men ought to be most vnited and con­uersant with God, and to follow the example of Christ their master, who was a priest, and a virgin, borne of a virgin.

S, Aug. retract. l. 2. c. 2. & haer. 82. Augustine calleth Iouinian the haeretike a monster for making marriage equal with virgini­ty; and saith that this haeresy was soe sottish and fleshly, that it could neuer deceiue soe much as one learned priest, but onely some carnal and simple women. As priests are aboue Angels in dignity, soe it is fitting that they should imitate their purity; and Angels neither marry nor are married. Nay it is fitting that they should be as the Catholike Church hath ordained them to be, aboue Angels in this, that Angels are chast by na­ture onely; but priests are chast by the grace of this Sacrament, and by vow which is better.

It was the auncient custome of the Church as now it is, for the Clergy to weare their crownes [Page 369]shauen. S. Denis who liued in the Apostles times maketh mention of it, Eccl. Hierar. c. 6. S. Beda deriueth the first vse of it from S. Peter. it representeth the crowne of thornes, of our sa­uiour. It denoteth the dignity of priests as kings. Of whom the words of S. Peter 1.1. L. 5. hist. Aug.c. 2 [...]. may cheesly be vnderstoode saying. you are an elect genera­tion a kingly priesthood. It signifyeth also that priests are to reiect all vaine superfluitys of this world, and to betake themselues to the spiritual lot, and part which they haue chosen.

OF MATRIMONY.

MATRIMONY is declared by the Councel of Florence to be a true and prop­per Sacrament, Sess. vitim. one of the number of the seauen Sacraments of the law of Christ instituted by him to giue grace. And therefore amongst christians it is absolutly indissoluble, which as a contract of nature onely it is not. It hath for its propper ef­fect to remedy the vnlawfull concupiscences of the flesh, and to giue grace to man and woman to liue together in mutual loue, and coniugal chastity; and to bring vp their children in the seruice of God. It is called by S. Eph. 15. Paul a great Sacrament: to wit, in the mystery which it repre­senteth of the marriage of Christ with his Church, to which for euer he hath espoused himselfe; and as a good husband allwais loueth it, teacheth it, defendeth it, prouideth for it, and remaineth for euer the head of it. By this similitude we haue the duety of marriage wel deciphered, and man [Page 370]and wife by it are taught how to behaue them­selues to each other. Christ loueth his Church with an infinite loue; the Church also loueth him with a continuall and neuer interrupted loue. Christ suffered for his Church, giuing euen his life to gaine her an immaculate Spouse. The Church also suffereth for him in the blood of her chil­dren that in her victorys of martyrdome she may well say to him as Sephora did to Moyses, Exod 4. a bloody spouse, thou art to mee, when she saw the blood of her children circumcised by him. Christ as a good husband beareth with many im­perfections, and sinnes that are committed in the Church, and vpbraideth her not, but pittyeth her and furthereth the amendment of them by faire meanes and good words, calling her his freind, his beloued, his faire one: and the Church as a good wife confesseth her falts, and asketh pardon for them, submitting herselfe more humble then Sara, calling him her Lord, her master, her sa­uiour. Finally Christ sitteth at the right hand of his father allwais ready to mediate for his Church in heauen, and hath prouided to remaine also with her in the B. Sacrament allwais vpon earth: and the Church reciprocally laboreth for him, giuing Sacraments, offering sacrifice, exhorting, commanding, reprehending, and punishing of her people to make them honour him. Thus ought man and wife to liue together in continuall loue, and to beare patiently, and contentedly to­gether the tribulations of marriage; not vpbraid­ing one another with their falts, but with wise and milde termes, to procure the amendment [Page 371]of them, and to concurre together in all things both to their spiritual, and temporal good.

Of this, vnion, loue and goodnes of married folkes dependeth very much the good of all mankind; and therfor it is often and earnestly commended in the Scriptures. In the first mar­riage of man and woman in Paradise, God to to shew the loue, which he would haue betwixt man and wife, would frame the wife of a true and reall part of her husbands body, and not of his hands, fingars or toes, not soe intimate to him; but of a ribbe of his side neere to his [...]art. And when Adam awakened out of his sleepe and first saw her, he was presently enamoured with a holy loue of her, as his lawfull wife: and euen then presently he beganne to giue documents to mar­ried folkes saying, Gen. 2. For this man shall leaue his father and mother, and shall cleaue to his Wife, an [...] they shall be two in one fles. This Adam spoke to his posterity, whom in the spirit of prophecy he foresaw, and would forwarne of mu­tual loue; that as man and wife are but one in flesh, Soe they might be in minde and will, according together to take a part in all things. And therefor Adam called her his fellow companion, as parti­cipating with him in a happy and good company, all dissension and diuision betwixt them being contrary to the Sacrament, and in it selfe most greeuous euē as the diuiding of liuing flesh, which bleedeth and smarteth on both sides; or as the cutting of the whole body into two, which can not be, but with excessiue torment and certaine death. Soe the diuision and dissention betwixt [Page 372]man and wife is allwais painefull on both sides, and if it be in a matter of moment or with scan­dall, it is death and damnation to their soules.

The best therefor is to reflect well vpon the inconueniences of marriage before hand, and to preuent them. Yong folke many times deceiue themselues, who setting their mindes too earnestly vpon marriage, imagin great happines and noth­ing but content in it. But this content lasteth but a while with them. For as soone as they feele the tribulations of that state, they beginne to loath it, and by litle, and litle to thinke them vntol­lerable, and to wish themselues vnmarried a­gaine. And this is soe commune that, as the saying is, one priest hat could vnmarry would haue worke enough for many priests. These re­semble litle children that cry after their mothers, they will not be quiet till they haue their desire, and within a while they beginne to be weary, and cry to be backe againe. Marriages that are made without due consideration, and especially with out being well commended to God, haue many times the like issue: and these are often ob­serued to be of those who marry very yong, who indeede seldome apprehende rightly, that which they vndertake. But what remedy? When they are once married there is then none but in true vertue and a good cōscience: they must setle themselues, and be contented with the sower and the sweet, taking one with the other as it shall please God to sende them; and when any Cros happeneth, with a constant and heroical minde to beare it for Gods sake, and to accustome themselues to some [Page 373]good words in those occasions: as, Gods will be done, or the like, expecting patiently and cheer­fully a change when he shall send it; and God will send a good change, if they expect his time.

But the remedy of remedys and the prime remedy for all inconueniences should haue bene to haue foreseene and preuented them before marriage, by considering well, whether they were called of God, or noe, to that state of life. And this I will tell them how they shall examine it. First let them resolue that in this busines which concerneth them for all their life after, they will doe nothing rashly; but will take time to consider of it, and to commende it well to God, and hau­ing had the Councell of their ghostly father and his prayers, and confessed and communicated for that end, let them then take a time to consider of it. First let them offer themselues vpon their knees to God, firmely purposing to serue him all their life time in whatsoeuer state he shall call them to. Hauing made that firme purpose, let them then pray to him to enlighten them, and to our B. Lady, their good Angell, and their par­ticular patrone to assist them in that worke, that they may know, and follow the will of God in it. Then they may examine their natural inclinations and complexion, and other circumstances how they sute with this or that state. And it will not be amisse to thinke, that if they were then at the hower of their death what they would wish to haue chosen. Hauing weighed well all things, that which with most peace and quietnes offereth it selfe as best for them, that they may resolue vpon, and [Page 374]follow it as the calling of God, and can haue no [...] iust cause to repent it afterwards.

Finally I commende againe much loue to mar­ried folkes: but it must be a spiritual and super­natural loue: such as Bishops Sales in his Intro­duction to a deuout life commendeth to them such as is betwixt Christ and the Church, Introd par. 3. c. 37. for Gods sake. Beasts and birdes loue their mates with a natural loue onely. Heathens loue their wiues and husbands with a natural and rational loue: but Christians being contracted by a Sacrament, must haue a higher loue, to wit sacramental and gracious, for the loue of God, because it is his will; otherwise it is but beastly, or at most a hu­mane loue, such as heathens haue, and will not last in them.

Those that are to marry must declare in three things. First whether they haue made any vow inconsistent with marriage. Secondly whether they be not allready contracted with some other. Thirdly whether their marriage be with their pa­rents consent? for they ought to haue at least their interpretatiue consent, as yong Toby had when by the Angels directions he was married without the knowledge of his parents; but not without their probable good liking of it. And as children in this owe a duety to their parents; soe it is fitting that parents should haue some respect to the affection and liking of their chil­dren, and not to force them to marriages which they can not affect: for as marriages without consent of parents; soe forced marriages haue seldome good successe.

The Romane Catechisme aduiseth here to warne the married, that vpon festiual dayes and in times of pennance they absteine from the acts of matrimony. This is to be vnderstoode by way of Councell, not of obligation. Yet it is a Coun­cell to be noted, and followed, as rendring ma­trimony more honourable betwixt them, when it is vsed in due circumstances.

I haue said now all that I haue to say of the Sacraments. You haue seene in generall of them all, that they haue their power and effect through the merits of Christ, as issuing out of his blessed side vpon the Cros, and as the onely meanes of our sanctification. With what deuotion then ought we to come to them.

Thinke with thy selfe when thou goest to re­ceiue any of the seauen Sacraments, that thou carriest then thy soule vnto Iesus Christ to be washed in his blood; and although it were neuer soe sicke, lame, or wounded; yet if thou commest worthily to any Sacrament he will turne vnto it take it into his hands, and cure it. Nay if the dam­ned soules could possibly receiue any Sacrament worthily, they should be freed out of hell by it; because the merits of Christs Passion are infallibly applyed by any Sacrament worthily receiued. And in this consisteth the horrour of the damned, that they are not in state, nor euer shall be wor­thy to receiue the Sacraments of the Catholike Church. And this is our happines in this life, that allthough our sinnes be neuer soe great; yet as long as we haue time to receiue the Sacraments, or onely, to desire them for the loue of God, we [Page 376]may be freed from sinne and sanctifyed by them. But without them (at least in desire) we cannot be freed from mortall sinne. For although by con­trition sinnes may be forgiuen; yet that contrition includeth desire of the Sacraments. Besides that contrition is hard to be obtained. For the sinner wounded by sinne, and vnder the feete of his ene­my, held downe by his power, and by his owne euill inclinations, is easily kept in subiection, and hardly rizeth to that perfect loue of God, which contrition requireth; and therefor we haue the Sa­craments to helpe our weakenesse in that case, that if they haue but the feare of damnation and the loue of glory, and will apply a Sacrament to that feare and loue, it conteineth the vertue of Christs passion, and will soe cherish and strengthen them, that allthough they were dead it would reuiue them to life. And therefor our blessed Sauiour breath­ing vpon his disciples said, receiue ye the holy ghost to shew the power of the Sacraments in forgiuing of sinnes. And at the reuiuing of Lazarus he weeped, groned in spirit, troubled himselfe, prayed for him, and called vpon him with a lowd voice, to shew the horrible state of men in mortall sinne signifyed by Lazarus that was dead; and that soe we might esteeme more of the Sacraments by which they are not onely reuiued againe, but soe highly honored as to become his beloued spouses; euen as though some poore handmaid were taken out of slauery, and brought to the kings pallace to be made his wife. If thou dost remember these things when thou goest to the Sacraments, that thou goest then to be clensed [Page 377]with the blood of Christ, and to be made the spouse of God, thou wilt detest thy sinnes with thy whole hart, and prepare thy selfe with much loue and deuotion to thy heauenly spouse. And we must neuer come to the Sacraments vn­till we haue this preparation in our selues.

THE SIXT DISCOVRSE. OF THE COMMANDEMENTS.

Question. Say the tenne Commandements. Answ. Exod. 20. Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vaine. Remember thou sanctify the Sabaoth day. Honour thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt not committe adultery. Thou shalt not steale. Thou shalt not beare false witnes against thy neihhbour. Thou shalt not couet thy neighbors wife. Thou shalt not couet thy neighbors goods.

THE Romane Catechisme hauing expounded the Creede and the Sa­craments, giueth in the next place the exposition of the Commande­ments. In the Creede we haue the summe of what we are to beleeue: in the Sacra­ments [Page 379]we are sanctifyed with diuine grace: and in the Commandements we are taught how to be haue ourselues towards God and our neihhbour, soe as to keepe that grace which we receiued in the Sacraments.

The commandements are the law of God; and to say the law or the Commandements is the same thinge. For the Commandements (saith S. Au­gustine) are the summe and abbreuiation of that which God hath commanded; all being deduced from them, as from the first principles of that law which by nature he had imposed vpon men. We obserue them not because they were of the law of Moyses: for that law was to vanish away as a shad­dow, when the light of Christ came into the world; we obserue them because they are natural prae­cepts obliging all by an obligation of nature, which we see by reason, and feele by experience in ourselues. Neither were the commandements deliuered to the Israelites soe much to let them know their obligation to them, as to make them remember it. And therefor they were deliuered with such dreadfull signes (as I shall presently declare) that they might reuerence them the more, and feare to breake them.

It is the office of priests to instruct in the Com­mandements, and to see that they be kept. Gal. 6. If a man be praeoccupated in any falt you that are spi­ritual instruct such an one: These are priests who haue the spirituall charge of soules, and who must answere for the sinnes of the people committed to them. They haue then good reason to instruct and to reprehende; and if people wil haue priests [Page 380]to answere for them, they must be contented to be reprehended by them, and must heare and obey them in the Commandements of God; otherwise they shall be condemned as disobedient to God himselfe: Luc. 10. He that heareth you heareth mee, and he that despiseth you, Heh. 10. despiseth mee. Saith our sauiour and S. Paul saith, Obey your Prelates and be sub­iect to them. For they watch as being to render ac­count for your soules. The imperfections of priests are readily noted, and euery word which they speake is put into the weighskales to be examin­ed, but their instructions and admonitions are not soe hearkened vnto; they are more obserued in the breaking then in the keeping of the Com­mandements. L. 2. de cons It is true S. Hierome saith that a trifeling word in the mouth of a priest is a sacri­lege. And S. Bernard calleth such a word a blas­phemy in them. Mal. 2. But God saith that they are his Angels when they deliuer the law. The lipps of the priest shall keepe knowledge, and the law they shall require from his mouth: because he is the Angell of the Lord of hosts. Their falts indeede become greater by the greatnes of their dignity; yet for all their falts, the law must be receiued of them: and good Catholiks wil reuerence priests as Angels, and will be glad of their admonish­ments as from heauen. It is my part to instruct in the keeping of the Commandements, and yours to harken and to learne to keepe them. That we may both doe our parts, we will pray to our B. Lady for her intercession. Haile Mary, &c.

OF THE AVTHOVR OF THE Commandements.

IT ought to be a great motiue to vs for the keep­ing of the Commandements, to thinke who it is that commandeth them. It was not any po­tentate of the earth, though neuer soe great and powerfull: neither was it any Angell from heauen that imposed them vpon vs. God is the authour of the Commandements, God that made both men and Angels, heauen and hell, for the reward or punishment of those that keepe or breake them. This consideration he would inculcate in the very first words in which the Commande­ments were deliuered, Exod. 20. saying I am the Lord thy God. It is our Lord, our master, our eternal and omnipotent God, that commandeth vs these things. Let vs feare him, and keepe his Com­mandements. Mal. 1. If I be the Lord where is my feare saith the Lord of hosts.

The Commandements were written by An­gels in the two tables of stone, and deliuered by the Angels to Moyses; but they were not com­manded by Angels. God commanded them and with his owne fingar hath printed them in the harts of all men, striking reuerence vnto them, and a natural feare to breake them. And the more to augment that feare and reuerence in vs, he deliuered them after a most maiestical and dreadfull manner to the Israelits. They were to prepare themselues for three dayes before, to [Page 382]wash their garments and to absteine from their wiues; that by that external and corporal purity their deuotions might increase, and their reueren­ce to them. The third day being come, and the morning appearing, behold (saith the holy Scrip­ture) thunders beganne to be heard and lightenings to flash, Exod. 19. and a very thicke clowde to couer the mount, and the noyse of the trumpet sounded ex­ceedingly. Moyses brings the people towards the mountaine; and such was the reuerence which God then required of them, that they were to keepe of, and vnder paine of death not soe much as to touch the mountaine on which they were de­liuered. He and Aaron onely were called vp, and all the people when they saw the voyces and the flames, the sounde of the trumpets and the mount smoking were soe terrifyed, that languish­ing and euen like to dy, they gott a great way of, and were glad to cry out vnto Moyses. Speake thou to vs let not our Lord speake, least perhaps we dy.

All this maiesty would God shew to the Israelits that they might acknowledge his power in the Commandments, and feare to breake them. And it was not onely for that people that he would shew this terrour and maiesty; but for all others after them, that all might acknowledge his diuine power, and that they keeping the Commande­ments might moue others by their example to keepe them. Eu [...]d. 20. This is your wisdome and vnderstand­ing before peoples that hearing (that is obeying) all these praecepts, may say behold a people full of wisdome and vnderstanding a great na­tion. [Page 383]He that considereth rightly the maiesty of God commanding him, and seeth himselfe besett on al sides, that he can by noe meanes escape his power, will thinke it indeede his onely wisdome to submitte vnto him, and to obey him. But so­me haue said that the Commandements of God are vnpossible to be kept, and yet professe them­selues to be christians. This is a saying vnworthy of that name; and we will shew on the con­trary

THAT THE COMMANDEMEN [...] of God [...].

CHRISTIANS in their christendome haue receiued grace for the keeping of the Commandements; and that Christian that sayeth the Commandements are vnpossible to be kept, doth he not dishonour his christendome, and the merits of Christ in which he was christened? It is a saying more propper for some prophane mis­creant and atheist, that wil not beleeue in God, then for one that professeth himselfe to know God, and to loue him. He that knoweth God knoweth him to be an infinite perfection, and by consequence a iust God; and he that loueth him wil giue him that report; but what iustice were the­re in commanding vnpossible things, and in pu­nishing for not performing such Commande­ments? Or what loue doth he shew to God in re­porting this of him? That seruant that should re­port of his master that he commanded his ser­uants [Page 384]to doe things that were vnpossible to be do­ne, and punished them for not doeing such things, did he shew any loue to his master by speaking soe of him? Or did he not rather com­plaine of his master as an vniust man and cruel tyrant? It were a cruelty and vniustice of God, to punish for not performing of impossible Com­mandements; therefor the Commandements of God are possible to be kept.

It is indeede impossible for vs by nature one­ly, without grace to kepe the Commandements soe, as to obtaine supernatural glory; but by su­pernatural grace it is not onely possible, but easy to obtaine that blessed state, by keeping of the Commandements. God Commands vs noe mo­re, but to doe our endeauours to the fulfilling of the Commandements, he giueth grace to ma­ke good our endeauours, and to fullfill them. It is as though a louing fathers hould commande his sonne to cooperate with him in the doeing of somethinge which he will helpe to doe, and will doe chiefly himselfe. Such a father is God to vs: he commandeth vs nothing but that to which he himselfe will put his hand, and doe more in it then we doe. It is as when a new scholler is brought to a master to learne to write. The master biddeth him take his penne and write: and then taking him by the hand and guiding it, behold with his masters helpe a faire letter is made, and his kind master giueth him a reward for that litle which he did, which was noe more but to permitte himselfe to be guided by him. Such a master we haue of God: he requireth noe [Page 385]more of vs; but onely that we will cooperate with him, and be guided by him: the worke he will doe it cheifly himselfe; and yet he will giue vs an eternall reward, for the litle which we doe in it with his grace. Now if God giue grace for the performing of the Commandements, it is noe matter how hard they be in themselues; for with his grace they are easy and light. S. Iohn. Io. 1.5. His Commandements are not heauy. And S. Paul who said of himselfe that he was nothing; Cor. 2.12. yet he saith I can all things in him that strengtheneth me. And S. Augustine de bono perseu. c. 10. Phil. 4. Cor. 1.10. Giue what thou commandest, and commande what thou wilt. And vpon those words of the Apostle he that loueth hath fullfilled the law, he hath a very fine discourse, Rom. 13. to prooue that the Commandements are not onely possible but easy to be fullfilled. For (saith he) who can but loue that infinite goodnes, that infinite power, infinite beauty, infinite riches, infinite liberality, and infinite blesse of all per­fections? and he that loueth hath fullfilled the law. Let vs not then murmure at the hardnes of the Commandements, nor pretende impossi­bilitys in them. God is a louing father, let vs blesse him who will not suffer vs to be tempted aboue that which we are able, Cor. 1.10. but will both helpe vs to keepe them, and rewarde vs for keeping them.

Christ hath said that the whole law and the Prophets depende on these two Commande­ments: to wit to loue God with our whole hart, Mat. 22. soule, and minde, and to loue our neighbour as our selfe. That is to say that all, whatsoeuer was commanded in the law and written by the Pro­phets, [Page 386]tendeth to this, that we loue God for his owne sake, and our neighbour for Gods sake. Because God in himselfe deserueth loue, and our neighbour for his sake deserueth to be loued. How easy then by the grace of God are the Comman­dements to be kept? They are all included in these two; and these two are reduced to one: to wit the loue of God; an easy Commandement. Thus much of the ten Commandements in gene­ral: now in particular.

THE FIRST COMMANDEMENT.

I AM the Lord thy God which brought thee forth of the land of Aegypt, Exod. 20. from the house of serui­tude. Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee. Thou shalt not make to thee a grauen thinge, nor any similitude that is in heauen aboue, and that is in the earth beneath, neither of those things that are in the waters vnder the earth. Thou shalt not adore them nor serue them. The substance of all this is con­teined in those words. Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee. That which goeth before are words of maiesty, to begette reuerence to the Commandements of God, and to oblige the Is­raëlits to the keeping of them, by commemorat­ing the benefits which they had receiued of him; and especially in being soe miraculously deli­uered out of the intollerable bondage of Aegypt. But if this were a benefit soe much obliging them; how much more obligation haue we to keepe the Commandements? who haue bene deliuered out of soe great and miserable a seruitude, that the other [Page 387]of the Israëlits was but as a figure to signify it, and a cypher which may stande for nothing in com­parison of it. Hier. 16. Behold the dayes shall come saith our Lord and it shall be said noe more the Lord liueth that brought forth the children of Israël out of the land of Aegypt. But the Lord liueth that brought forth the children of Israël out of the Land of the North, and out of all the Lands to the which I did cast them out. I will bring them againe into their Land which I gaue to their fathers. Behold I will send many fishers and they shall fish them. We are these Israëlits whom God hath fished by the A­postles, which he sent to draw vs out of the state of idolatry; a darke, cold, and barren Land sig­nifyed by the North, and hath brought vs into the admirable light, and happy state of the faith of Christ. The redemption out of Aegypt is not to be any more mentioned nor named a redemp­tion in comparison of this. This we ought with gratitude to remember, and to loue and serue God hartily for it; because by it he hath freed vs from hell. The words that follow are in decla­ration of the Commandement, by which the worship of strange Gods is prohibited.

The Commandements were deliuered in two tables: in the first were written the three first, which immediatly concerned the loue of God. In the second the seauen last which concerne not soe immediatly the loue of God; but are with relation to our neighbour. But some louers of diuision will needs diuide the first Commandement into two, and breake the connexion which the doctors of the Church haue commonly acknowledged [Page 388]in them. They will haue the first to conteine all vnto the end of those words. Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee; and the second Com­mandement to beginne at the words following, and to conteine the forbidding of images and pictures; because they thinke by this meanes to giue it more force against the auncient and Ca­tholike doctrine, which alloweth them to be wor­shipped, as holy thinges; where it hath indeede noe force at all against it (as I shall presently shew.) Onely obserue here that it maketh noe more against images in two Commandements then in one, soe that we keepe the same words and their propper translations (which not with­standing those very men haue made bold to alter.) I remember that a Protestant freind of mine once obiected to mee that Catholiks had taken away one of the ten Commandements (meaning that we had put two into one) to mainteine our doctri­ne of the worship of images. But those that had soe possessed this ignorant man, had manifestly deceiued him; for the Catholike Church hath de­clared nothing in this, but leaueth it indifferent to be vnderstoode as one, or as two Comman­dements. That which the Catholike Church teacheth is that which the Holy Ghost saith; Exod. 34. Deut. 4. and that is, that the Commandements are ten in num­ber; but to any particular manner of diuiding them the Church obligeth not. Those that will diuide the first into two must take heed that they make not eleauen Commandements: and if to remedy this they shall ioyne the two last into one; then they fall into another inconuenience which [Page 389]is to make fower Commandements in the first ta­ble, and six onely in the second; which is contrary to the commune and auncient manner of diuiding them, into three of the first table belonging to God and seauen of the second table belonging to our neighbour, which S. Augustine approoueth of, Aug. quest. 71 in Exod. and which hath in it selfe most cōnexion. For that there is more cōnexion betwixt forbidding strange Gods, and forbidding of grauen thinges to be adored and serued, then there is betwixt the desire of adultery and the desire of theft, as is manifest; they being in two destinct kindes of sinne; and therfor with more reason shall be diuided into two Comman­dements then the first. Thus much for the diui­sion of the Commandements.

Thou shalt not haue strange Gods before mee. VVorship of images. Two things are here commanded: The one po­sitiue to wit to worship the true God: the other negatiue prohibiting the worship of false Gods. And although the second be included in the first; because the worship of the true God excludeth the worship of false Gods; yet because the Israe­lits were a people prone to idolatry, and to liue in the midst of Idolatrous nations; that they might not fall into that sinne, as in the end they did, when Ieroboam, Achab, and other wicked kings pretended to worship the God of Israel, when they worshipped idols also; therefor they were not onely commanded to worship God; but also expresly forbidden to worship strange Gods. And by this we may vnderstande the sense of the words following thou shalt not make to thee a gra­uen thinge, nor any similitude &c. to be, that they [Page 390]should not make them to be adored, and serued as Gods; Sap. 13. which the Gentil idolatours did, who haue called the works of mens hands Gods: and whom holy wisdome in the same place reproou­eth, for that either the fire, or the winde, or the swift ayre, or a circle of starres, or exceeding much water, or the Sunne and the moone they thought to be Gods, rulers of the world. This was perfect idolatry: and this was that which God would here preuent in the Israelits: and by this the worship of images with inferiour onely, and not diuine worship, but as holy things, is not forbidden.

But suppose that the Israelits were commanded here, not onely not to worship images and pictu­res with diuine worship in themselues, but also not to haue them amongst them; it would make nothing against vs. Many things were forbidden them which are lawfull to vs: the circumstances of that imperfect law, of that peoples weaknesse, of those times, and places, requiring it. They were forbidden to eate blood; because they were of themselues a bloody people: and in the A­postles times it was necessary to obserue it as a praecept; Act. 15. but now it is not. Certaine corporal clensings were commanded them, and certaine creatures were forbidden to be eaten as vncleane; and these were neither obserued in the Apostles times, nor are now. Images and pictures in those idolatrous times might be forbidden them to haue, for their pronenesse to idolatry; but the Apostles had them, and we haue them, and wor­ship them as holy thinges in the law of Christ; which was to be, and hath bene as we see, the do­struction [Page 391]of idolatry. That which the Commande­ments oblige vnto by obligation of nature, that we, and all people are bounde to obserue; but that which they commande as propper to the Israelits onely, obligeth not vs. He therefor, that would make a good argument against our worship of images must prooue that it is forbidden either by some particular praecept propper to vs, or by a natural praecept commune to all; but this none can euer prooue. As for any particular praecept propper to vs, there is none can or doth offer to produce any praecept by which images are for­bidden to be worshipped particularly by christi­ans. And for any general praecept forbidding by nature the worship of images, as holy thinges, it is contrary to reason, to the scriptures, to Ge­neral Councels, and to the practise of the primi­tiue, and present Church.

Natural reason and order requireth that euery thinge be honored according to its natural good­nesse. God is to be worshipped as God with supre­me and diuine worship primely in himselfe; and creatures with inferiour worship according to their nature, as they haue more or lesse relation to God. We giue ciuill honour to one another, and especially to our superiors, as hauing a neer­er relation to him that is supreme; and we giue religious worship to holy things, as they haue more or lesse relation to him. Images then hauing a particular relation to God by the holy things which they represent, are to be worshipped with a holy and religious worship: natural reason teaching that when we worship any thinge, we [Page 392]should worship that also which hath relation vnto it; because in respect of it, and for its sake it de­serueth also some worship; and therefor we loue all that haue relation to our freinds, and worship our superiors for Gods sake, whom they represent. We are not then forbidden by any praecept of na­ture to worship images with a secondary, and re­latiue worship: but we are taught by natural rea­son, that as they haue relation to the holy things which they represent, they are to be worshipped with a holy and religious worship, though rela­tiuely and secondarily onely; the goodnes of the thinge represented being the prime motiue of that worship. And this is confirmed for that all men by nature apprehende the iniurys done to the images of their enemys, as done to their ene­mys themselues, the prototypes of those images; and therfor by the same reason we must apprehen­de that the worship which we giue to the images of our freinds, as to Crucifixes, holy pictures, and the like is giuen to the prototype represen­ted by them. Therefor images are to be wor­shipped with secondary and relatiue worship for the prototypés sake, which is primely and prin­cipally worshipped in them.

That which the Catholike Church doth in this is commended all ouer in the scriptures: the arke, the temple, the vessell and ornaments of it, the priests garments, and the like, being to be wor­shipped with inferiour religious worship for the relation which they had to God. They prayed towards the temple in reuerence to it, the vessel of it were not to be touched with vnconscerated [Page 393]hands. The ground on which Moyses saw that great vision was called holy, Exod. 3. and as such was to be honored with his bare feete when he trode on it, onely in relation to the vision that appeared to him in that place. Make then this argument, That which hath relation to holy things is holy, and to be worshipped in that relation: images and pictures haue relation to holy things; therefor they are holy and to be worshipped in it. But it displeaseth the enemys of the Catholike Church to haue it called adoring of images. This ought not to displease them; for creatures are often said in the scriptures to be adored. Abraham being amongst the Hethaits lawfully adored before the people of the Land. Iacob adored Esau, Gen. 23. and Esau adored him againe, Ioseph adored Iacob, Dauid adored Saul, the Prophet Nathan adored Dauid and we are commanded psal. 98. to adore the footstoole of God: which must be vnderstoode of some creature in relation to him. And if all this sa­tisfy not, let them agree with vs that images and pictures, as they haue relation to holy things, are to be honored, and for the name, let them call it reue­rence, honour, worship, or the like, as they please.

The Catholike doctrine in this was aunciently questioned by haeretiks; but is was declared by the Councell of Nyce against them, and those ac­cursed that should deny it. The Apostles in their canons haue commended the vse of images and pictures to vs, and the fathers in their writings ha­ue declared them to haue bene vsed in their times, as now they are in the Catholike Church. S. Cont. Iul. Basil speaking of the saints saith for which cause the [Page 394]historys of their images I honour and publikely adore: For this as deliuered by the Apostles, is not to be prohibited; but in all Churches we erect their historys. S. Chrysostome in his Lyturgy, the priest coms forth carrying the ghospell, with the Clerke before him, hauing a light, and turning to the image of Christ he bendeth his head. What more could we haue desired them to say? Was it now truely said of Caluin that for the first fiue hundred yeares after Christ, images were not worshiped, these Saints hauing liued farre with in that time? Or is it true that which our enemys make their people to beleeue, that we committe idolatry by it, giuing diuine honour to crea­tures?

The contrary is an auncient heresy noted in Marcyon, Manichaeus, Xenaias, and others, who were then recorded as haeretiks for it: and the wicked Iulian as he Apostatized from the chris­tian faith denying his christendome; soe did he also deny to worship the holy images, that repre­sented the mysterys of that faith; and pulling downe that which the pious woman whom Christ cured of the blody flux had erected of him, and which for some hundreds of yeares vntill his reig­ne had bene reuerenced by christians, he set vp, his owne insteede of it: but the diuine indigna­tion quickly appeared against his prophanesse: fire descending from heauen, and breaking it in peeces, diuided the head from the shoulders of the image of that wicked man. Hist Trip. l. 6. c. 1. Eusebius l. 1. c. 13. relateth how that Abagatus king of the Edis­sens in Syria sent vnto Christ desiting him, to [Page 395]come and cure him; and that Christ wrote backe letting him know that himselfe could not then come; but that after his death one of his disci­ples should cure him. And that a painter being sent by the king to bring him at least the liuely countenance of him, when he should haue drawne his picture, the brightnesse of his face did soe dazle the painters eyes, that he could not goe on with his worke. Where vpon Christ tooke a cloth, and applying it to his sacred, and life giuing face, printed his blessed countenance vpon it, Lib 4 hist. c. 26. and sent it to the king. This is recorded by diuerse au­thors, and Euagrius mentioneth the miracles which were wrought by that picture. For what end now did Christ thus draw this miraculous pictu­re, and send it to the king? Was it to be cut in peeces and abused as haeretiks doe the pictures of him? or els to be kept and honored for his sake? Truely as it was the picture of Christ whom he loued and worshipped, he could not in reason but loue and worship it: and if he had done otherwise, he had not shewed himselfe the freind of Christ. The worship of images is not then forbidden by nature; but is grounded vpon the nature of images and of our nature, who are to worship holy hings. And such worship is de­duced as you haue seene from the Scriptures, warranted by Councels, and by practise of the primitiue Church, and by miracles; and there­for whatsoeuer obiections that can be made against it must either be (as they are) vaine ca­uils, or plane forgerys of contentious and dissembling men.

Neither is the worship of reliques as it is vsed in the Catholike Church contrary to this Com­mandement, Reliques. but for the same reasons to be al­lowed of; for that we haue noe prohibition either in general or in particular forbidding them to vs; but rather the quite contrary as we haue said of images; natural reason instructing vs to worship that as holy, which hath relation to holy thinges: and it is deduced from the Scriptures as before, and also by diuerse miracles recorded in the Scriptures to haue bene wrought by reliques. The body of a dead man was restored to life by touch­ing the bones of Prophet Eliseus: Reg. 4.13. and there vpon it is said, Eccli. 4 [...]. that the dead body of Elizeus prophe­cyed. And in the new testament the woman that was troubled with an issue of blood came behind Christ, and touched the hemme of his gar­ment, saying within herselfe, If I shall touch onely his garment I shall be safe. Mas. 9. And Christ turning vnto her commended her, Act. 5. and she was cured. In the acts of the Apostles we haue that people put their sick and lame folkes in the streets and high wayes with in the compasse euen of S. Act. 19. Conc. Nyc. Peters shad­dow, that it might touch them as he passed by, and cure them of their infirmitys: Act. 3. & 4. and that the nap­kins or hand kercheifs of S. Paul being laid vpon the sicke, cured them. The second Councel of Nyce alloweth of the worship of holy reliques. The tombes of Saints were aunciently worshipped in the Catholike Church S. Aug. l 22. de C [...]. D. [...]. c. [...]. Augustine relateth the miracles which were done at S. Steuans tombe. S. Hierome cont. Vigilant. we honour the reliques of Martyrs that we may worship him whose Mar­tyrs [Page 397]they are. We honour the seruants that the honour of the seruants may redounde vnto the master, who saith, the that receiueth you receiueth mee. And this is soe plane in the holy fathers, that the Magdeburgians confesse their authority, but condemne them for it: which is sufficient to con­demne themselues in the opinion of all wise men: that they starting vp against their Superiors and against theauthority of the whole Church, that was then when they beganne, would resist the whole world then present, and also stande at de­fyance with the auncient fathers. By that which hath bene said of holy images and reliques the worship of Saints is also prooued lawfull; for that we worship them not as God, but as his ser­uants in relation to him, who is their master.

That which is commanded in the first comman­dement is the true worhip of God, to wit, as it is in the Catholike Church; and therefore atheisme, and all false worship of infidelity and heresy is forbidden in it. Necromancy and all kind of witchcraft, superstitious obseruations and actions; such as yong women doe to see him that must be their husband, or to finde somethinge that is lost. These if they be not excused by ignorance) com­mitte a mortal sinne against the first Comman­dement, in that they implicitly acknowledge su­pernatural power to be in some other thinge besi­de God; and soe they worship stranges gods.

THE SECOND COMMAN­DEMENT.

THOV shalt not take the name of God in vaine. By this Commandement we are not forbidden absolutly to sweare, but to take the name of God in vaine. To sweare may be law­full, nay sometimes worthy of praise; but to take the name of God in vaine is allwais vaine and vn­lawfull. It is an act of diuine honour and wor­ship to sweare in due circumstances: for by such an oth we acknowledge the supreme goodnes, Deut. 6. and first verity to be in God. Thou shalt feare thy God and him onely shalt thou serue and by his na­me thou shalt sweare. Ps. 61. And king Dauid: all shall be praysed that sweare by him.: Cor. 2.1. The Apostles so­metimes confirmed their sayings by oth, Apoc. 10. The Angels are also [...]ead in the Scriptures to haue sworne; as the Angell that appeared to S. Iohn sware by him that liueth for euer and euer. Nay God himselfe, Gen. 22. the Lord of Angels is read to haue sworne in diuerse places of the old testament our Lord called Abraham, saying by my owne selfe I haue sworne. Psal. 109. And in the Psalmes our Lord sware and it wil not repent him. Soe that there is, noe doubt but it is lawfull to sweare, if the conditions of a lawful oth be obserued.

As for the conditions of a lawfull oth, authors commonly vnderstande them to be conteined in the words of Hieremy; Hier. 4. Thou shalt sweare our Lord liueth, in truth and in iudgment, and in iustice. [Page 399]The first condition is verity, that it be true that which we call God to be the witnesse of. The second is that it must be also with iudgement, and not rashly and inconsideratly, as some doe vpon eue­ry friuolous occasion, abusing the holy name and maiesty of God. This is a very great irreue­rence: For if it be an irreuerence to a king or great personage to be called as witnesse of triuial, and friuolous things of noe moment, as of killing of flyes, or picking of strawes, much more is it against the diuine maiesty to be called rashly, and indiscretly as a witnesse, without necessity. The third condition is iustice, that it be iust and lawfull that which we promise and sweare to. This condition was wanting in Herods oth, who hau­ing sworne to the daughter of Herodias to grant her whatsoeuer she should aske, and she asking the head of S. Iohn Baptist, he was then either to breake his oth, or to doe that which was worse, to deliuer the life of a iust and innocēt man into the hands of a malicious and spitefull woman. It was also wanting in those wicked Iewes, who meeting together swore that they would neither eate nor drinke till they had killed S. Paul. Act. 23. Such oths neuer binde; for noe oth can make an vnlawfull thinge to be lawfull; but the oth being past, the worke is still as vnlawfull as before; and if he performe it, he committeth two mortal sinnes: one in swearing, and an other in performing an vnlawfull thinge.

Catholiks that liue in the dominions of infi­dels or haeretiks, must be very wary of any oths which are tendered to them, and consider well before they take them. If the oth intrench any way [Page 400]vpon Religion, as praeiudicial to the Catholike faith, Act. 5. they must not take it for the whole world nor hearken to it, but must answere resolutly as S. Peter did saying God must be obeyed rather then men. If it seeme not much to concerne re­ligion, the best is to take aduize of the lawfull nesse of it; and if an answere be required pre­sently before that we can haue aduize, we may commende it breifly to God, and hauing first resolued with ourselues firmely, that we will not offende our conscience, we may consider of the grounds for the lawfullnesse of it, an we must by all meanes iudge it lawfull before we take it. If we thinke that it hath sufficient probability, and that our doubt be but a timo­rous feare, we may iudge it lawfull, and then ta­ke it; but if we finde not sufficient probability that we can iudge it lawfull, but that we hang in suspense and doubt of the lawfullnes of it, it is by noe meanes to be taken: for he that doubteth of the lawfullnes of the oth, and yet taketh it, sinn­eth and is condemned by his owne conscience, as doeing of that which he could not iudge to be lawfull, but at least doubted to be vnlawfull. That which is obserued in such oths is, that there is but litle thanks afterwards to those that take them. An. 464. Baronius recordeth of Hunnericus king of the Vandals that being himselfe an haeretike, he sent an oth vnto his Catholike subiects, in which they were to sweare that after his death they would admitte of his sonne Hildericus to be their king, and that they should haue noe correspondence from beyond the seas: promising that if they [Page 401]would take this oth they should haue their Chur­ches deliuered to them. The first thinge which the Catholike Bishops did was to make a resolute and vnanimous profession of their faith. They sent therefor to the king in these words We haue allwais said, and now say, and will allwais say, we are bishops, we are christians, we all hold one true and Apostolical faith. But as for the oth, some of them were of minde to take it, hauing a scruple of their Churches being otherwise de­tained from them; others fearing some deceit in the busines, excused themselues with the words of Christ I say to you not to sweare at all. But in fine they were all to be banished. those that would take the oth as men of noe conscience that would sweare to any thinge; and those that would not, because they loued not the king. Such is the per­formance of haeretiks promises.

It is not onely vnlawfull to take the name of God in vaine; but also to sweare by his creatures. For as the power and goodnes of God is resplen­dent in them, he that abuseth them abuseth God. It is then an euil custome that which some haue of swearing by this light, by this fire, and the like oths, Mat. 5. by which this Commandement is broken and therefor Christ I say to you not to sweare at all neither by heauen because it is the throne of God: neither by the earth, because it is the footstoole of his feet.

This Commandement is broken by vaine oths, vaine promises, by breaking of vowes, by pro­phaning of Scriptures, applying them to idle and i [...]reuerent purposes, by blaspheming, and cur­sing, [Page 402]&c. It is an vnworthy thinge to see the ir­reuerence of some to this Commandement, and to the most sacred name of God, which vpon euery occasion they abuse, powring forth oths vpon oths, as water vpon the face of the earth. Base minded men, who because they see the patience of God with sinners, that presently he striketh them not, they contemne him: and where as they flatter men and giue faire words to their enemys for feare, they rize vp against God with oths cur­ses, and blasphemys, as though they would fight, and be reuenged of him. Those that haue this euill custome may be thought to haue committed a mortal sinne when they first gott it; and al­though they can not on a suddaine quite leaue it of; yet they are bounde vnder a mortal sinne to endeauour against it.

That which is propper to this sinne is to harden the hart more then other sinnes doe, and to dis­pose those that vse it to all other sinnes: for as it hath a vaine and seeming brauery in the opinion of foolish men; soe they take more complacen­ce and continuelonger in it euen to the hardening of their harts soe, that they haue almost noe feel­ing of the offence of God. And therefor the Ho­ly Ghost hath said Aman that sweareth much shall he filled with iniquity. Eccl. 23. L. 4. Dial. [...]. 18. And then presently he addeth and plague shall not depart from his house. For it is obserued of swearing that beside the pu­nishment of the next world it is often exemplar­ly punished in this. S. Gregory relateth of a child that was visibly taken away from his father by the deuils, for cursing and swearing. Which was such [Page 403]an example, as perhaps the like is hardly read of in punishment of any other sinne. For that child was but fiue yeares old, and I know not whether he were capable of sinne or noe. But whether he sinned or were earried away to preuent his sinne: it was a manifest plague of God vpon that house for swearing; and by this and the words alleadg­ed, we may well thinke that many houses are plagued for it.

The remedy is to consider the infinite maiesty of God. Romedy [...] against swearing. The courtiers of heauen are allwais in his presence praising him, and shall I stande be­fore his face cursing and swearing by his blessed name? what hurt hath the Creatour of the world done to mee that I should soe dishonour him to his creatures? It is also a good practical remedy to gette a custome when any thinge troubleth vs to say some good words, as God be blessed. Blessed be the name of God, or the like: and often to vse them, as readiest with vs. The words of S. Paul are very literal for this, saying, Rom. 12. blesse and curse not. Iob soe holy a man, and soe great in the world disdained not this easy but efficacious remedy, who when all those calamitys came soe thicke vpon him, he broke not out into oths and curses, but had ready to say blesse [...] be the name of God, and soe gotte victory, and a duble reward euen in this world. Let vs gette a custome of such words. It is a custome easy to gette.

THE THIRD COMMANDEMENT.

REMEMBER thou sanctify the Sabaoth day. The word Sabaoth signifyeth Rest: and soe the Sabaoth day is as much as to say a day of rest, in which we are to rest from labour. Here then we are commanded to sanctify to God a day of rest, that absteining from corporal works, we at­tende vnto acts of religion, and diuine worship. This is an obligation which all haue by nature; that as all times were created, and ordained for the seruice of God; soe some dayes should be particularly obserued in honour of him. But we are not by nature bounde to obserue any one day more then another: for that was to be determined by the Church, which is directed by the Holy Ghost to order all according to conuenient cir­cumstances. And soe the Church of the Israelits was commanded to obserue the seauenth day, on which God rested from the creation of the world: and the Church of Christ is directed to keepe the next day after it, in remembrance of the resurrec­tion of our sauiour, and of the comming of the Holy Ghost: both which mysterys happened on the next day after the Iewish Sabaoth, and on that day which we call Sunday, and which the Scrip­tures call the Dominical day, that is to say Our Lords day. Thus the Sabaoth day was transfer­red vnto the next day by the same authority that first commanded it: and was kept by the Apostles on the same day on which we keepe it; as appear­eth [Page 405]by S. Cor. 1.16. Paul commanding the gatherings to be made In the first of the Sabaoth. That was on the first day after their Sabaoth, in which the peo­ple of Christ mette together to celebrate our Lords day. And S. Iohn sayth, Apoc. 7. J was in spirit on the Dominical day, that was on our Lords day, to destinguish it fom the Iewish Sabaoth.

By the Sabaoth all holy dayes are here vnder­stoode. In the law of Moyses diuerse other solem­nitys beside the Sabaoth were commanded, and obserued some with more and some with lesse so­lemnity, according to the more or lesse remark­able mysterys which they represented. The feast of Azyme or Pasch was the cheife, Then the feast of Pentecost. Thirdly the feast of Tabernacles in remembrance of God praeseruing them after their comming out of Aegypt for forty yeares in taber­nacles. Besides these, they had also diuerse other lesser feasts, as of the New moones, &c. but the­se were the cheife, and soe solemne, that they were kept with octaues, and all the male people ac­cording to Maldonate was to be at them. but now as shaddows their feasts are passed away, Col 2. and obli­ge not. Let noe man (saith S. Paul) iudge you in meate, or in drinke, or in part of a festiual day, or of the new moone or of Sabaoths: which are a shaddow of things to come. to wit of more per­fect obseruations, and feasts that were to come in the law of Christ. And therefor beside the Sabaoth which we celebrate euery weeke we obserue also other solemnitys of the cheife mysterys of the christian faith: as also of our B. Lady, and of the Angels and Saints; intending allwais the su­preme [Page 406]honour of God in them.

To sanctify holy dayes it is not sufficient onely to abste [...]e from seruil works; but we much sanc­tify them by some special works of religion done on them to the sanctifying of our soules, that they may haue the Sabaoth of a good conscience and rest from sinne, Reg. 1.25. which causeth sohbing and scru­ple of ha [...]t in vs. For this the Church hath com­manded that euery one heare masse vpon holy dayes; because it is the cheife act of religion, as the sacrifice of the law of Christ; and therefor fit­ting that euery one should be present to offer vp to God, at least one masse euery holy day. The other prayers of the Church, as being much infe­riour to the masse; and sermon which is inferiour to the prayers of the Church, oblige not all vnder a mortal sinne to be present at them. Yet of deuotion, it is sitting that all should be pre­sent also at those holy seruices of God, which are to be preferred before any priuate deuotions of our owne. Besides we shew more loue by those works of supererogation, a good seruant will not expect to be commanded to euery thinge, but of his owne accord will doe that which he seeth to conduce vnto his masters profit. After euensong honest and modest recreations are not to be hin­dered, those that haue labored hard all the weeke had neede of some time of recreation to refresh themselues; and honest recreations may either lawfully be taken then, or els they can neuer be had. Those that are soe praecise to the contrary (as some hypocrytical spirits of thesetimes haue bene) commande they know not what, and im­pose [Page 407]burdens which if themselues were to carry after a whole weeks labour, they would not touch with their fingar. God may be honored in such recreations, and the seruants of God know how to honour him in them.

It is a great wickednesse in many who insteede of sanctifying of holydaies with good works, and absteining from sinne, make them the commune dayes of sinne, prophaning them with new and more greeuous sinnes committed on them. This is a circumstance at least fitting (if not absolutly necessary) to be expressed in confession. For as it were a circumstance of higher malice for a subiect to strike at the king, and to attempt to kill him on some solemne day in which he were reioycing in the midst of his people, and comforting them with his gracious and glorious aspect; soe it is a great sinne and heinous malice in a christian to giue himselfe to vice vpon holydayes, and as it were to committe treason against God, when his faith­full seruants are gathered together to praise and blesse him.

This commandement is broken by vnnecessa­ry works; but not by ringing of bells, adorning of altares; dressing of meate and the l [...]ke. Christ himselfe allowed his disciples to doe such works on the Sabaoth day: and when the Iewes mur­mured at them, he iustifyed with good reasons that which they did, saying, Ma [...]. 2. that the Sabaoth was made for man and not man for the Sabaoth. And when the Pharisys murmured at his curing on the Sabaoth day, Luc. 14. he asked them which of you shall haue an asse or an oxe fallen into a pitte [Page 408]and will not incontinent draw him out on the Sa­baoth day? Luc. 6. And vpon the like occasion he asked them if it be lawfull on the Sabaoth to doe well or ill? Yet God would haue this commandement to be soe strictly obserued in that law, that it was not then lawfull to kindle a fire, soe much as to dres­se meate on the Sabaoth day; nor to take a iour­ney aboue a mile or two at most, according to Maldonate. A man being apprehended for ga­thering of sticks on the Sabaoth day, was brought vnto Moyses and Aaron: but they not knowing the will of God what was to be done with him, God himselfe gaue sentence of death against him, Num. 15. say­ing to Moyses dying let t [...]is man dy let all the multitude stone him without the campe. And they carried him out, and stoned him to death. Nay he would worke a miracle in praeseruing the Man­na for two dayes together rather then they should gather it on the Sabaoth day, although it were their necessary Foode, and but a small labour. How carefull then ought we to be in the keeping of this commandement in which God would be soe strict? It is a great neglect in masters to dispo­se noe better of their affaires, then to haue their worke to doe when their seruants should be at rest. But in this as all other things the custo­me of the Church according to places is to be re­uerenced,

THE FOVRTH COMMAN­DEMENT.

HONOVR thy father and thy mother, that thou mast be longliued vpon earth. Here now beginne the Commandements of the second table. The three former were conteined in the first, and in them was commanded that which pertained immediatly to the loue of God: These belong to the loue of our neighbour. The loue of God is the roote and foundation of keeping the Com­mandements: for those that truely loue God will willingly, and readily keepe his Com­mandements: and by keeping them they are more and more grounded and perfected in the loue of him. It was a high expression that of S. Iohn, when he said God is charity and he that abideth in charity abideth in God, Io. 1.4. and God in him. by louing of God we are vnited vnto him, we haue him in our harts, we will that which he willeth, and are as it were all one with him: that as the Saints of heauen see all things in God who abideth in them; soe it is a kind of heauen vpon earth to be vnited vnto God by loue, afflictions being sweet and confortable in the loue and ser­uice of him. And to know whether we haue the loue of God or noe, the same Apostle giueth for a signe the loue of our neighbour, saying, in the same place If we loue one another God abi­deth in vs, and his charity in vs is persited. He that loueth God loueth all those whom God loueth; and soe he loueth his neighbour because God loueth him, and will haue him to loue him.

Euery man is by nature our neighbour, and because our father and mother haue most propin­quity of nature with vs; therefor the Commande­ments of the second table, that concerne our neighbour, beginne with the loue of our father and mother, that all others might be vnderstoode by them, who are our neerest neighbors. In the first place our superiours, spiritual and temporal are vnderstoode by parents. Heb. 13. Of the first the A­postle saith, Obey your Prelates and be subiect to them. For they watch as being to render ac­count of your soules. Of the second S. Peter, Be subiect to euery humane creature for God, Pet. 1.2. wh [...]ther it be to the king as excelling, or to rulers as sent by him, &c. for soe is the will of God.

Here we are to speake both of the duety of children, and of parents. For as children owe a duety to their parents; soe parents owe their duety to God, as his children. Children are to loue, ho­nour, and obey their parents, and to releeue them in their needes: and parents are to instruct and correct their children, and to prouide for their mainteinance. Children must loue and re­uerence their parents in their harts, and must speake well of them, and loue to heare them well spoken of, and performe submissiuely all those filiall respects which children vse to their parents. They must obserue them and learne at their good example. They must obey them willingly, and haue their consent in those thinges that concerne their course of life; knowing that it is a mortal sinne in things lawfull, and of moment, to dis­obey them. But if they should commande some­thinge [Page 411]which were vnlawfull; then we must hate our father and mother that we may be worthy of Christ, and answere with S. Act. 5. Peter God must be obeyed rather then men. Dutifull children shall haue a duble reward: a long life in this world, and an euerlasting life in the next. Piety is profit­able (saith the Apostle) to all things hauing pro­mise of the life that now is, and of that to come. Tim. 1.4. And this reward consisteth not onely in the long­nesse, but in the happinesse of their present life; that they shall liue prosperously and in felicity. For in Deuteronomy where the Commandements are repeated more at large, Deut. 5. it is honour thy father and mother &c. that thou wast liue a long time &c. and it may be well with thee. They are to releeue their parents in all; but most of all in their spi­rituall necessitys to see that they want noe ne­cessary helpe for their soules.

As for the duety of parents to God, they are to loue their children, not for themselues, but for Gods sake: they are to instruct them or to see that they be instructed in their prayers, christian doctrine, and good life: in which there is a great negligence in some parents. The loue of parents to their children ought I say to be for Gods sake, and not as some who are soe immoderate and vn­wise in the loue of them, that indeede they make fooles of them, for want of instruction and dew correcting of their falts. These haue not the right spirit of parents, and their father which is in hea­uen will not omitt to punish this falt in them. Will you see a pittifull example of this? Reg. 1.4. Heli was a very good man, but that he is noted of too much [Page 412]indulgence to his children; and therefor both he and they were examplarly punished of God with suddaine death. Israel being worsted in batle by the Philistaeans, sent for the arke of our Lord into the campe amongst them, and receiued it with such showtes and acclamations of ioy, that the earth rang with the sounde of their cry, and their enemys were terrifyed to heare it. Great then were the hopes of Israel, and their expectation of an­other day. The day of batle was come and Heli not being able to be present himselfe at the fight, for that he was almost a hundred yeares old, caus­ed a stoole to be sett ouer against the way, and satt him downe on it to expect the newse of their good successe. A messenger com's fast enough with ill newse, and letteth him know that Israel was put to flight, a great ruine was made of the people, his two sonnes were slaine, and that (which was worst of all) the arke of God was ta­ken by the enemy. With all which the old mans hart was soe surcharged, that his strength beganne to faile, his spirits to faint, and by litle and litle quite forsaking him, he fell backwards ouer and broke his necke. A pittifull spectacle to behold the most venerable personage of all Israel, the high Priest and Prince of that people, to ly in that posture dead with sorrow. And this imputed byau­thors to noe other sinne in him, but to too much in­dulgence towards his children. This is a loue which beside the hurt which childrē receiue by it, hinder­eth much the loue of God in parents, diuerting their mindes from him, and as it were turning him out of possession, who ought to possesse the centre [Page 413]of our harts. It is as hame for christians to haue noe better loue then that of nature which is commune to dumbe beasts. The loue which parents ought to haue of their children ought to be gracious and orderly for the loue and honour of God; and of such loue they may haue as much as they can: but to preferre the loue of kindred before God is disorderly, and vnworthy of a christian. The man of the ghospell, Luc. 9. whom Christ called to fol­low him, excused himselfe for that he had his fa­ther to bury; but this was not a good excuse; na­tural loue being to yeeld and to obey God. Christ knew what he had to doe; and if he had not called him he had done a good worke in burying of his father; but Christ calling him, he ought to haue forsaken all, and to haue followed him: and the­refor he said let the dead bury their dead, but goe thou setforth the kingdome of God. Those that pre­ferre the loue of any thinge before God are spiri­tually dead, as S. Tim. 1.5. Paul saith the that is in delicious­nesse liuing is dead. But thou if thou regardest the life of thy soule, follow mee, and loue mee aboue thy kindred, and all things. Yet parents must take heed on the other side, that they be not soe seuere in correcting of their children falts, as to dull and disharten them. Fathers (saith S. Col 3. Paul) pro­uoke not your children to indignation, that they be­come not discouraged. Let parents obserue this rule, that they neuer seeme to correct their chil­dre in anger, but allwais for the desire of their good; and let their children allwais see this desire in them. For such reprehensions and corrections as they perceiue to proceede onely out of passion [Page 414]worke but litle to their amendment. Parents must also prouide for their children with a mo­derate care; and not as some doe who vnder pre­tence of proulding for them neuer thinke them­selues rich enough. These ought to consider that their children are the children of God, and he will prouide for them, if they serue him; and the best foundation of riches and of a long and prosperous race is to bring vp their children in the knowledge and feare of him; for if God build with them their houses will stande. Many poore children who haue bene left without parents haue prospered better with the blessing of God, then others haue done with large reuenewes left them. Finally pa­rents must be most of all carefull that they giue noe ill example to their children; this being that vpon which the good or euill of the whole world very much dependeth; euen as the good­nes of the branches dependeth of the roote, and bole of the tree. Otherwise occasion is giuen for children to learne their parents vices, and to teach them to their children againe, and soe vice goeth from generation to generation by the ill example of parents; and as the links of a chaine are drawne by one another, and fall one after another; soe fathers draw their children downe in­to sinne after them, that for many generations they come in the end to meete all in hell I et parents and children often reade the booke of Toby: they haue there an example of a good father and of a good sonne, and God blessing them both.

THE FIFT COMMANDEMENT.

THOV shalt not kill. By which we see that this as all other places of scripture hath its propper sense. For as S. Aug. de ciu. c. 20. sayth, we are not forbidden here to kill meate for our sustenance, nor to kill men in our owne defence, as in a iust warre, or for execution of iustice vpon malefactors. Because nature allowing and requir­ing these things, God doth not disallow of them. Some also by particular inspiration of God haue lawfully killed; as Moyses who although he were the mildest man in the world, yet when he saw an infidel heathen beating one of the people of God, moued with a holy zeale he killed him, and bu­ried him in the sand. This was lawfull as being by diuine inspiration in signe of future my­sterys. Exod. 32. Soe when he saw the people committing of idolatry he ioyned vnto him those that were of our Lord, the Leuites, and sent them to kill the idolatrous people: and they returning with the slaughter of about three thousand men, he commended them saying you haue consecrated your hands this day to our Lord that blessing may begiuen to you. Phinees also moued with the like zeale, Nu. 5. killed the two fornicators in their wicked act, and auerted the wrath of God by it. God the au­thour of the Commandements dispensed then in the keeping of them, and soe they were not formally broken.

That which is forbidden here is to kill vpon priuate authority and not onely to kill; Anger. but also [Page 416]all actions of anger, by which the peaceable con­uersation of men is disturbed. Mat. 5. You haue heard (saith Christ) how it was said of old thou shalt not kill and who soe killeth shall be in danger of iud­gement but I say to you that whosoeuer is angry with his brother shall be in danger of iudgment and whosoeuer shall say to his brother Raca shall be in danger of Councell. And whosoeuer shall say thou foole shall be guilty of the hell of fire. By which we are taught the right vnderstanding of this Commandement to be, not onely to prohibite killing, but also to be inwardly angry, or to make outward shewes, or to giue words of anger.

Of all the sinnes which are committed by men none are soe horrible to nature as the sinnes of blood: Is. 8. and to shew how great a sinne it is to kill, Christ would call the deuill a mankiller from the beginning: because the malice and euill of mur­der could not be better expressed then by put­ting it and the deuill together, and making him the authour of it. Cain was the first mankiller amongst men, who inticeing his brother into the fields, roze vp against him and killed him. And presently he was strucke with such a horrour at his crime, that he despaired of mercy, and like a desperate reprobate went hanging downe his head, thinking that euery one that saw him would kill him and cried: Gen. 4. Loe now thou dost cast, mee out this day from the face of the earth and from thy face I shall be hid, and I shall be a va­gabonde and fugitiue vpon earth: euery one there­for that findeth mee shall kill mee. And God to increase this horrour of murder in vs, both in [Page 417]the law of nature, and of Moyses prohibited the eating of blood. Lou. 17. Nay they were not soe much as to let blood to ly open vpon the ground, but to couer it. And euen dumbe beasts that could not sinne were to loose their liues if they killed any man. All this was that men should abhorre the sinne of murder; and not be ouer bloody then, when the true worship of God was main­teined rather by force, and by shedding of their enemys blood, then propagated by patience, as now it is in the faith of Christ.

Here enter those ignominious single com­bats, of which the Councell of Trent hath these words. That the detestable vse of Duells contriued by the deuill to a bloody death of the body, and des­truction of the soule, may be quite banished out of the Christian world. In which yong men, who vnderstande not what belongeth to wisdome and true glory, meete in the field to wound, teare, and kill one another like madd doggs. And after their miserable deaths they become infamous to posterity, purt out of the Communion of Saints, both of the militant and triumphant Church of God, and depriued of christian buriall, to ly like doggs in the fields. That the words of the Apocal. 22. are fully verifyed in them. Without are doggs sorcerers and murderers. There is a booke he­re newly published called LA DESTRVCTION DE DVEL; in which is shewed how contrary to reason and true christian honour D [...]els are: and in which is declared how that the Marshals of France, and diuerse Gentlemen of quality haue protested against them, and promised that they [Page 418]will neuer regard any challenge, nor fight a duell vpon any occasion of iniury whatsoeuer.

An heroicall and christian like minde guided by vertue and discretion, will make iniurys ho­norable through patience: which is the most propper vertue and honour of christians. Christ was borne patient, liued a patient life, and at his death his patience was most eminently great, more then we can vnderstande. He founded his Church first in his owne sufferings, and then in those of his Apostles after him, and after them he enlarged it by the patience of many martyrs, and soe he still continueth and preserueth it. And therefor christians ought very much to flourish and excell in this vertue, louing their neighbour, and bearing with one anothers falts. Christ called his disciples brethren, because he would haue them to be as brethren in loue and vnion of hart. And it was the first name which christians had to be called the brethren, euen before they were called christians: for then as the Euangelist declareth the multitude of beleeuers had one hart and one soule. Act. 4. And soe great was the loue of christians in the primitiue Church, that their very enemys admiring at it, Apol. 36. according to Tertullian vsed to say see how they loue and are ready euen to dy for one another. The peaceable and mild of hart are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who dwell­eth in the house of peace: the peeuish and ma­licious of hart are of the deuils spirit; and the more their anger and malice increaseth the liker they grow to him. The best is to foresee the occa­sions and to preuent them.

We haue many examples of the punishments of anger, and to commende patience to vs. Col. 7. c. 27. Cas­sian recordeth how that the abbot Moyses was possessed by the deuill, for one small impatience by which he sinned. Serm. 15. Quadrag. But it was a terrible sight that which S. Bernardin as an eye witnes report­eth of a woman in a great presse of people who by chance throwne downe by a yong man, be­came soe madde with anger that the man falling downe on his knees to aske forgiuenes of her, and she denying it, in the sight of all was car­ried away by the deuill.

The example of the Priest Paphnutius was ad­mirable in this, euen in his youth, Cas. coll. 18. c. 15. who liuing in the wildernes in great sanctity of life, one of the brethren out of enuy to him, to blemish his good name, tooke occasion on the Sunday, when all was at the Church, to goe into his cell, and to leaue there a booke hidden; and comming presently to the Church; as soone as seruice was done he complained publikely that some had stolne his booke from him. At which all being strucken with admiration, as a strange and vn­vsuall thinge amongst them; he that had hidd it desired that before any stirred out of the Church, some faithfull persons might be sent to search in the cells of euery one for it. Some of the aun­cienter Monks being sent, founde it in the cell of Paphnutius hidden amongst the baskets and frailes which he made. At which the holy yong man stoode a long time astonished neither daring to confesse nor to deny it. But in the end he desi­red them to impose what punishment they pleased [Page 420]vpon him: and going forth he afflicted himselfe with many teares, and with two weeks fast, ab­steining also from holy Communion; and then prostrating himselfe at the threshold of the Church he asked pardon. But it pleased God to to declare the innocency of his seruant: for his enemy was forced to bewray himselfe, the deuill possessing and pittifully vexing him. And when none could helpe him he was dispossessed by Paphnutius his prayers. Remedys against anger.

Authors haue praescribed many meanes for patience and remedys against anger; but they may all be reduced vnto this, that we procure in our harts a great loue of God, and apprehen­sion of his goodnesse; Io. 1.4. for then we shall loue our neighbour for his sake. If any man (saith S. Iohn) shall say I loue God, and hateth his neighbour, he is a lyer. When therefor we are at any time pro­uoked vnto anger, let vs presently make an act of the diuine loue, and thinke that we see the liuing image of God in the face of him that pro­uoketh vs; and although he abuse that image in himselfe, by then prouoking vs; yet God, whose image he is, is still the same, as louely and beau­tifull as before; Gen. 9. and therefor I will not abuse his image, nor be angry at it. Whosoeuer shall shed mans blood his blood shall be shed: for to the image of God man was made. Secondly we may consider our selues as the souldiers of Christ then called out to fight, and that the armes of his souldiers are patience; without which we can by noe meanes gett victory; the enemys of Christ being armed with impatience. If we saw two companys, the [Page 421]one of them following of Christ for their captai­ne, the others vrged and driuen on by the deuill, which side would we take? the one armed with patience and meekenes towards the other, the other with rage and malice against them. Behold in the one their pale faces, staring eyes, foming mouths, and their whole bodys swelling with the deuils poyson; who clappeth his hands and vr­geth them to more and more anger. Behold on the otherside the graue and mild countenances of the souldiers of Christ, shining like the sunne all this while on their enemys, and laboring to pacify them; Christ as their captaine exhorting them still to perseuer in patience. Prou. 16. Which of these would we rather preferre? a patient man is better (saith the holy Prouerbe) then a strong one, and he that ouer ruleth his minde then the ouerthrower of cittys. Thirdly we may consider the rewarde and blessing which the patient man gett's; God then presently blesseth him, and opening and enlarg­ing his hart to receiue more and more fauours of him, in the end he goeth away with the crowne of victory. Fourthly we may consider the good which we may doe to others by the example of our patience; our very enemy will be edifyed at it, and although for the present he perceiue not the grace of thy good example; yet with in a while he will see it, and be sorry for his falt: and thou shalt be better satisfyed with this, then if thou hadst spitte in his face, or taken whatsoeuer re­uenge of him. Fiftly we may consider the many hurts which are endangered when men are blinded with passion and want reason to guide themselues. [Page 422]A man that were to runne a race in a craggy place full of pitts and praecipices, with his eyes blind­folded, were he not in manifest danger to fall and kill himselfe: soe are men in their passion, they goe not leasurely; but runne headlong, and being blinded in their vnderstandings, Io. 1.2. what can be ex­pected: but ruine to them? He that hateth his brother is in darknesse (saith S. Iohn) because darknesse hath blinded his eyes. Many great euils haue ensued of passionate and crosse answeres, which might haue bene preuented with a mild word spoken in time. Lastly we may consider how that all afflictions are sent of God, and come not by chance but for our tryall and good: Tob. 12. soe the Angell comforted Toby saying, it was neces­sary that temptation should prooue thee; and therefor holy Iob said, that God had taken his goods, and had strucken him, and he blessed God for it. We will then be contented with them, and make them wellcome as the messengers of God.

THE SIXT COMMANDEMENT.

THOV shalt not committe adultery. As there is not any thinge which marryed folkes may challenge more iustly of one another, then loue and fidelity; soe there is nothing which they ought to disdaine more then adultery, by which that trust and fidelity is broken betwixt them. When they were marryed they betrothed them­selues to each other, promising perpetuall loue, and euerlasting loyalty, as two in one body, and one hart. This promise of loyalty which was then [Page 423]solemnely made betwixt them, sealed by a Sacra­ment, and deliuered into the hands of God, is most treacherously violated by adultery. Let the­refor those that are married vnderstande the greeuousnes of this sinne, as quite opposite to the perfection of their state, and signification the­re of; which is the inseperable loue and vnion of Christ with the Catholike Church.

In this Commandement all carnal sinnes are vnderstoode as forbidden by the name of adulte­ry. Fornication which is with a single person, Deslouring which is with a virgin, Incest which is with ones owne kinred, Sacrilege with a sacred person. All which are of seueral kindes and high­er malice, and therefor to be destinguished, and particularly expressed in confession. Carnal sinnes are communely called in English Beastly sinnes; and they may well be soe called: for by them especially, men become like vnto beasts, following onely their owne appetite and sensuali­ty which is most sordid and brutish And although these beastly sinnes at first be pursued with ter­rours and remorse of conscience; yet if they be often committed, and not presently repented for, they make men to become euen quite Brutish without any regard of God: that the Prophet saith, fornication and drunkennesse take away the hart. Ose. 4. And therefor this sinne hath bene most exem­plarly punished. The whole tribe of Beniamin was almost vtterly destroyed in punishment of one carnal sinne. Iud. 20. Two of that tribe committing adultery with another mans wife; the rest of the tribes conceiued such a disdaine at it, that they [Page 424]all roze vp in batle to be reuenged of them. And God permitted that the tribe of Beniamin should gett the better at first, but it was to encourage them but to their owne ruine; they being ouerthrowne in the end, and such a slaughter made of them, that of fiue and twenty thousand and seauen hun­dred valiant warriars, six hundred onely were left aliue, who saued themselues in the rocks: and the remaines of the citty euen from men vnto beasts were deliuered to the sword, and all the cittys and villages of Beniamin were consumed with fire, for this one sinne.

We haue the vertue of chastity by many exam­ples commended vnto vs, especially in the law of grace. First the Sonne of God himselfe taking the nature of man would make choyce of a virgin to be conceiued and borne of, to be most con­uersant all his life time with, would keepe virgi­nity himselfe, would be baptized by S. Iohn Baptist a virgin, would chose a virgin for his be­loued disciple, and at his death would commen­de his owne mother to that virgin to be as his mother, and him vnto her to be as her sonne. His Apostles obserued chastity and commended it to their disciples to be obserued by them. And we haue many examples of holy men and women that haue followed them in it both in the primi­tiue times, and euer since, sufficient to inflame the harts of good Catholiks with the loue of it, and to prooue chastity to be a vertue not soe hard to be obtained, as some vncleane spirits of these latter times would perswade the world. Diuerse holy men haue kept continent from their wiues [Page 425]and liued not as their husbands, but as their brothers; Not in sensible but inuincible by temp­tations of carnality, which through care and vi­gilancy they still ouercame.

Cassianus reporteth of Iohn the Abbot that a lay man entring whilst he was in hand with a po­sessed person; the deuil, Cass. coll. 14. c. 7. whom he could by noe meanes driue out, went out of himselfe at the comming in of that man. The abbot admiring how the layman should haue that uertue, was gi­uen to vnderstande, that he hauing desired to en­ter into religion, and being forced by his parents to marry against his will, had kept his virginity in marriage for eleauen yeares: at which he then confessed that it was noe meruaile that the spirit of impurity could not endure the presence of such a man. S. Greg l 4. Dial. c. 11. Gregory relateth of a certaine mar­ried man that being made priest became such a stranger to his wife, that vpon noe occasion for any necessity whatsoeuer he would permitte her to come neere him: and hauing passed forty yeares as it were vnacquainted with her, she came to see him at his death, and approching with her care towards his face, to perceiue by his breath­ing whether there were any life in him; although he seemed to be dead, yet he had life enough to feele her approching, and with all the strength that he had he cryed out away with the woman: for the fire is noe yet quite extinguished in mee, S. Bernard being tempted by a lewd woman to sinne, cryed out against her, as against a theife, or a murderer. S. Thomas of Aquine seeing such another to enter into the chamber to him, [Page 426]catched hold of a fire brand, and droue her away with it: and presently betaking himselfe to his prayers he fell a sleepe, and had a vision in which the Angels girded him with a girdle; after which time he was neuer troubled with carnal sugges­tions. Such is the rewarde which God giueth to his seruants for one such combate valiantly main­teined, and victory atheiued by them. But what shall we say of that champion of chastity whom S. Hierome mentioneth epist. de vita Pauli: Who hauing ouercome many cruell torments his ene­mys resolued at last to assalt him by faire meanes, and to attempt him by carnall sinnes. They car­ried him into a sweet and pleasant garden, laid him there in a bedde of feathers, strowed with roses, and delicious flowers, neere vnto a riuer­side; where the beauty of the place, fresh ayre, and pleasant noyse of the riuer might inuite him to delight: and that he should not fly the tempta­tion they bounde him downe with soft skarfes of silke; and being thus bounde they sent vnto him, a shamelesse harlot to tempt him. O God free thy seruant in this excesse of temptation. The wicked woman beginning to allure by such meanes as she knew, and by such as the deuill would then sug­gest to her, the yong man whose will was still free to resist sinne, bate of his owne tongue and spitted it out at the harlots face, that she might be terri­fyed at the sight of his blood, and he with that paine might ouercome the pleasure.

How many examples haue we also in the weak­er sexe, who by the grace of God haue bene strengthened aboue their nature in defence of [Page 427]chastity? some coniugal, some vidual, and some virginal. Dan. 13. Jt is better for mee (saith Susanna) without the act to fall into your hands then to sinne in the sight of God Intending to loose her life: and then crying out against the vicious old men that tempted her, God heard her cry, af­frighted them, saued her from sinne, and from death afterwards by a miracle. Iudith adorned with beauty, youth, and riches, kept her chastity in widdowhood, and was therefor chozen of God to be the instrument of the peoples safety; killing Holofernes with her owne hands, and putting his mighty army to flight. Soe that the Holy Ghost hath left this commendation of her. Iud. 3. Thy hart was strengthened because thou hast loued chastity, and after thy husband thou hast not knowne an­other; therefor the hand of our Lord hath strength­ened thee, and therefor shalt thou be blessed for euer. S. Cecily seeing that she could not a­uoide marriage, Sur. to. 6. said vnto her husband on the day that they were married, Valerianus I haue now a secret to tell thee, I am in the custody of an Angell, who hath charge of my virginity; ta­ke heed therefor that thou attempt nothing against mee by which thou maist incurre the diui­ne wrath: and he desiring to be certifyed of the truth, was made worthy to see the Angell that kept her, and was confirmed in the faith of Christ by it; and became a martyr. To relate the exam­ples of chastity in the Saints, and the punish­ments of carnall sinnes on the contrary, were neuer to make an end. Murderers, and fornica­tors (saith God from his throne) their part shall [Page 428]be in the poole burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

The rootes of carnality are sloth and glutto­ny, especially drunkennesse. And the remedys against it are corporal austeritys, moderate paines taking, Apoe. 21. and especially reading of good books, and studying. Loue literal studyes (saith S. Hie­rome) and shou shalt not loue the vices of the flesh. But in time of actuall temptation the best is presently to fly the occasion, and to keepe out of it as long as the temptation lasteth: and if it continue still, I thinke it the best not to stande repeating of many acts, and purposes contrary to it; but hauing once for euer detested it in our harts, to sleight it, and to thinke that we will be contented with such thoughts, and will haue them willingly as long as it shall please God, without repining; and then to diuert ourselues by some good imployment: and if we be by ourselues alone, or at our prayers to stande streight vp on our feete, and to keepe our selues quietly in that posture keeping our harts firmely, Iob. 31. and earnestly fixed vpon the loue of God. I haue made a couenant with mine eyes that I would not soe much as thin­ke of a virgin. saith holy Iob. Women must be carefull to giue noe occasion as some doe, who haue but litle scruple of it. As for their attyre it is well when it is with decency, and according to their ranke. That which the Apostle aduiseth them not to adorne themselues in plated haire or gold or pretious stones or gorgeous apparell, Tim. 1.2. is to be vn­derstoode when they are vsed without order, and with excesse, or to an euill end.

THE SEAVENTH COMMAN­DEMENT.

THOV shalt not steale. There are three kindes of temporal goods possessed by vs: Life, Honour, and riches: and these three kindes of goods are defended by three Commande­ments: Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not com­mitte adultery, thou shalt not steale. In the first life, in the second honour, and in the third our riches are defended from enemys. All kind of vnlawfull taking away of our neighbours rich­es is forbidden in this Commandement: whe­ther it be by theeuery, which is a surreptitious and priuate taking away; or by robbery that is by violence and force, or by sacrilege, which is when sacred things are taken: which is the great­est sinne against this Commandement, as re­dounding more neerely, and immediately to God.

By the sinne of stealing the vertue of iustice which giueth euery man his owne is violated, and the grounds of all order and of humane conuer­sation is taken away; to wit that euery one may haue and enioy his owne. And therefor the A­postle saith that theeues shall not possesse the king­dome of God. Cor. 1.6 Besides many euils are secondarily caused by it: hatred, enmitys, suspicions, rash iudgments, quarrels, and murders: and some­times the innocent are condemned for the guilty, and loose their liues, good name, and all their [Page 430]temporall goods of this world, for another man­sinne. Besides all this there is another burden which lyeth heauy vpon theeues; to wit the obli­gation which they haue of restitution: because it is not onely vnlawfull to take, but also to keepe our neighbors goods from him, or to hinder his right, Ep. 54. ad Maccd. or iust profit. S Augustine the sinne is not forgiuen if restitution be not made. That is if it be not made in due time. And this restitution being many times hard and sometimes vnpossible to be made, and allwais against their wills, they hardly resolue to amende, and seldome come to true repentance, except they come to the gal­lowes, which is a great mercy of God towards some. This obligation of restoring was perhaps that which the Prophet would signify in theeues, when he said, Abac. 2. woe to him that multiplyeth things not his owne, how long also doth he aggrauate a­gainst himselfe thicke clay? as one, that is fallen into a deepe pudle, or quagmire, sinketh still deeper and deeper, and draweth more and more clay, and mire vnto him, that in the end he is choked and drowned in it; soe theeues the more they steale, the more restitution they draw to themselues to be made, that in the end they are dishartened to thinke of it, and soe goe on and dy in their sinne.

This Commandement is many wayes broken: for not onely those that steale themselues, but also all those that participate with them, or har­bour, or countenance them, sinne against it. It is also broken by those that vse any deceit in words, or deedes, or any fraudulent meanes in [Page 431]buying, and selling, as not to sell good wares, or not to giue good weight, or good measure. A deceitfull ballance is abomination before God: Prou. 11. and an equall weight is his will saith the holy prouer­be. Tradesmen also and those that being hyred neglect their worke, and performe not a suffi­cient dayes worke, offende against this Com­mandement, as taking that which they haue not duely deserued. Those also are guilty of this sinne that by sleights, and lyes, wrest rewards from others, and those that receiue stipends for offices, which they duely performe not.

There are also many kinds of robbery. It is an abhominable robbery that which is done by the rich against the poore by vniust extorsions, forced exactions, or hindering any way by their awefullnes, and power, that they dare not aske or can not gette their owne of them Must the poore man that hath wrought hard all day goe supperlesse to bedd through their couetousnesse? Goe too now you rich men (saith S. Iohn) weepe howling in your miserys which shall come to you. Ia. 5. Your riches are corrupt and your garments are eaten of moths. Your gold and syluar is rusted. And their rust shall be for a testimony to you. And shall eate your flesh as sire. You haue stored to your selues wrath in the last dayes. And presently he giueth the cause saying, behold the hyre of the workemen that haue reaped your feilds which is defrauded by you cryeth: and their cry hath entred into the eares of the Lord of Sahaoth. You haue made merry vpon the earth: and in riotousnes you haue nourished your harts in the day of slaughter. You haue presen­ted [Page 432]and slaine the iust one. And he resisted you not. Those that pay not their tithes breake this Com­mandement. Vserers also who by vniust exactions oppresse others, spinning by litle and litle their very bowels from them, by taking moneys or other profits onely for loane, contrary to the commande of Christ, Luc. 6. doe good and lend hoping for nothing there by. Iudges also who for bribes sell to the rich the causes of poore men. Those also that pay not their debts, but by prolonging defraude their creditors Of these the holy king. The sinner shall borrow and not pay. Psal. 36. And those who seaze presently vpon their pledges, if they be not redeemed iust at the appointed time. Those also that gette the saile of corne or other commoditys into their owne hands, to raize the rates of them; which is called Monopoly. He that hideth corne shall be cursed among the peoples: Prou. 11. but blessing vpon the head of those that sell. All these are a kind of robbers, and breake this Commandement.

And because robbers as well as thecues are bounde to restitution, it is necessary to declare who they are that haue this obligation of resti­tution. These are in the first place those that rob­be, or steale, and those that commande them to doe soe; for they are the causes and authors of their sinne, and the worst of all kindes of theeues. Secondly those who hauing not the power to commande, perswade others to it. Thirdly those that consent. Fourthly those that participate of the profit (if that may be called a profit which is vniustly gotten.) Fiftly those that might and ought to haue hindered, and did not. Sixtly [Page 433]those who conceale, dissembling themselues not to know of it, when they ought to speake. Lastly those that assist, harbour, or any way protect theeues. All these are inuolued in their sinne, and are bound to restitution, as the theeues themselues.

That which is obserued of this base and con­temptible sinne of theeuery, is that it taketh away the truth and fidelity of those that are addicted to it; theeues being for the most part full of lyes and deceit. For by much deceiuing they get a custome to deceiue, and are the most perfidious of all men, betraying euen their best freinds if it serue to their purpose. Soe Iudas was first a theefe stealing from Christ and the Apostles. And then became a traitour to his master.

The rootes of this sinne are couetousuesse and idlenes. Some steale of couetousnes onely when they haue noe neede: others of idlenes because they will not worke. And these for all their steal­ing are still needy, and in misery; and yet will hazard their liues, and good names, to liue in want when they might follow many other honest courses in which they might liue out of hazard, and in more plenty. S. Dial. l. 3. c 26. Gregory relateth how that Menas a poore hermite hauing nothing but some bee hiues to liues on; there came a robber into those parts who being admonished not to medle with the hermits bees, neuerthelesse he spared them not. Esa. 33. But God who by his Prophet hath threatened woe be to thee that dost robbe shalt not thou also be robbed? permitted the deuill to take possession of his body and greeuously to vexe him for it.

The remedys against this sinne are to doe al­mes deeds, that giuing somethinge of their owne for Gods sake, they may keepe their hart open to their neighbour, and free from the desire of his goods. Let them remember the words of the A­postle, Tim 1.6. They that will be made rich fall into the snare of the deuill. And let them neuer forgette that general rule of Christ, Mat. 7. all things whatsoeuer you will that men doe to you, doe you also to them. For this is the law and the Prophets.

THE EIGHT COMMANDEMENT.

THOV shalt not beare false witnesse against thy neighbour. In the former Commande­ments of this table the sinnes, that are commit­ted by worke, are forbidden, in this we are for­bidden to sinne by word. But that which is cheifly forbidden here, is to giue false testimony in iudg­ment against our neighbour, as being most in­iurious and hurtfull to him; in that it is auouched by an oth, in which God standeth as witnesse, and against which the iudge can not except but by euident proofs, or by the insufficiency of wit­nesses. But not onely false testimony in iudgment; but also out of iudgment is here forbidden: for in the booke of Leuiticus where the Comman­dements are repeated ouer againe, the words are more generall You shall not ly, neither shall any man deceiue his neighbour. Leu. 19. By which it appeareth that all kind of lyes, detractions deceitfull, and iniurious words are here forbidden.

That which was said in the former Commande­ment [Page 435]against theeues may be applyed here to de­tractors and lyars who are theeues in their kind; in that they take away the good name of their neigh­bour; and soe much worse then theeues, by how much his good name is more pretious then his riches; and are therefor bounde to restitution more then theeues. The deuill when he lyeth speaketh of his owne (saith Christ) because he is a lyer and the father thereof who stood not in verity; Io. 8. but falling himselfe into lyes, draweth all he can after him, to learne to ly. What can there be more filthy and base then, as S. Iames saith, with the same tongue to blisse and to curse God? we say our prayers and blesse God, and within a while we make some ly, and soe curse him. Lyars are by S. Paul expresly excluded from the king­dome of heauen. Cor. 1.6. And the psalmist asking of God Lord who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? Ps. 14. answereth presently he that speaketh the truth in his hart, that hath not done guile in his tongue. Yet these are the commune diseases and plagues of the world. Lyers and detractors are as the frogs of Aegypt spred all ouer: euery house, and chamber is full of them, bedds and tables are hanted by them, and all conuersation is pestered with this base sinne of noting the imperfections, and blemish­ing the good names of others: by which quarrels are bred, and false accusations ensue amongst steinds and neighbors. Behold (saith S. Ia. 5. lames) how much fire what a great wood it [...]nk [...]di [...]h. And the tongue is a fire a whole world of iniquity An vnquiet enill full of deadly poyson. If any man of­fende not in word this is a perfect man.

How carefull haue the Saints of God bene in the custody of their tongues? some of them are read to haue passed whole yeares without once speaking to any; that by continuall silence they might learne either to speake well, or to hold their peace. S. Thomas of Aquine when he stu­died in his youth, because he was of few words, his fellow schollers vsed to call him the dumbe oxe; but in his disputing he shewed such wit that his master vsed to say that one day the voice of that dumbe oxe would be heard alowd, and ad­mired at in the world. And soe it is, he hauing now purchased the title of Angelical Doctour, Sur. to. 3. and is esteemed the Prince and Master of all Diuines. S. Romualdus founder of the order of the Camaldulenses liuing solitary in the moun­taines by seauen yeares silence obtained the vn­derstanding of the psalmes. In reg. Mo­nach c. 22. And S. Hierome writing of the institution of virgins to Eustochium, affirmeth that he had mette with many in the wil­dernes, that for seauen yeares had neuer spoken to any man. O how farre were these saints from detracting, and lying, or from flattering to please others? which is another basenesse of the tongue, commune euen with those of more honour. The Prophet Michas hath giuen vs an example how to speake when it is necessary to great personages. Reg. 3.22. The two kings Achab and Iosaphat going out with their armys against the king of Syria, consul­ted him concerning the euent of the warrs, and when the false Prophets had lyed and flattered them with good successe, he spoke the truth fore­telling the ouerthrow of the Israelites, and the [Page 437]death of Achab in his owne hearing: and al­though he receiued a box on the eare for it by Sedechias, and was cast into prison by Achab; yet the truth in the end made good it selfe; and that which he said proouing to be true, those that had iniured him were slaine in the batle, and he was set at liberty. Reg. 4.5. Giesi the seruant of Elizeus was presently strucke with leprosy, for telling a ly to his master: Act. 5. and Ananias and Saphira were forth with strucke dead for lying to S. Peter.

But although it be vnlawfull to ly as being contrary to the diuine verity; yet it is not a sin to conceale the truth in our speech: for we are not bound to speake allwayes according to the meaning of those, who haue noe authority ouer vs, and whom we neede not to acquaint with the truth of those things which are more conuenient to be concealed from them. Of this we haue many examples in the Scriptures, Gen. 20. Gen. 42. as when Abraham said that Sara his wife was his sister for feare of a greater hurt. And as Ioseph obiected to his bre­thren that they came as spyes, and casting them into prison swore by the health of Pharao that they should not be set at liberty, vnles they would cause their yongest brother who was at home to be brought to him, as though to try whether they were spyes or no: and yet he set them all but one at liberty. Then againe he putte a siluer cuppe into their sacks to accuse them of theft all which was done for their greater good. Nay our blessed Sauiour himselfe comming to Emaus with the two disciples made semblance (saieth the Euangelist) to goe further: Luc. 24. although he desired to be inui­ted [Page 438]in by them. It was very gracious that which S. Ep. ad Rust. Hierome relateth of a yong man. I will speake, saith he that which I saw my selfe in Egypt. There was in the Monastery a certaine Graecian youth, who was very much troubled with temptations of the flesh; and hauing conferred with his Su­periour about them, when he was almost despe­rate of remedy, his Superiour deuised how to free him from such thoughts. He commanded a certaine graue person to affront and abuse him by euill words, and as soone as he had done, to come first, and to make his complaint against him. Witnesses also being called, they all spoke against the yong man. At which he was soe much perplexed that he neuer ceased to complaine to himselfe, hauing none to take his part, but on­ly that his Superiour would seeme sometimes, as it is were to defende him: and hauing permit­ted him to passe a whole yeare in this perplexity, and vexation of minde he asked him then how he felt himself for carnall temptations. Father (quoth he) I am weary of my life, and am I likely to take any pleasure in those thoughts? Was it not now better for the Superiour to vse this kind of pious fiction to diuert him from carnality, then to haue let him runne into hell by it? Such kind of speeches are not then lyes or deceitfull aequiuoca­tions; yet to make them lawfull they must be vsed in necessary circumstances; that they be re­quired either for some good end, or to preuent some greater euill.

But slandering and rash iudgements are greater sinnes of the tongue. Deus. 19. The law of Moses com­manded [Page 439]that false witnesses should vndergoe the punishement due to the same crime, of which they accused others. If this were put in practise now a daies, how often should we be punished? and what punishments should we vndergoe who are soe ready vpon all occasions to censure falsly of others, making ourselues witnesses before we be called. Nay wee can not finde in our hearts to giue due praise euen to that which is well done; but either we say that it was not soe well as thus or thus, or cls wee set some euill character v­pon it: Mat. 16. as Iudas Iscariotes who when Christ was annointed he called the ointment, Perdition, and wast, saying, whereto is this wast? this might haue haue bene sold for much, and giuen to the poore. Soe these malicious censurers turne day into night, and light into darknes. The seruants of God would rather suspect, and mistrust their owne senses, in that which they heard or saw, then they would iudge euil of their neighbour by it; be­cause they thought they could neuer be certaine of it. The deuill vsing all his art to raise slanders and detractions against others, being read to haue sinned in the shapes of holy men to defame them.

The remedys against this sinne are to procure in ourselues a great loue of God: for so we shall loue our neighbour, and speake well of him for God sake. Secondly it will be good to gette a custome of speaking well of others, by taking occasion sometimes to commend, that which we see whorty of commendation in them. Third­ly, when occasion happeneth that we must needs [Page 440]speake of our neighbours falts to doe it with an inward pitty, without the desire of hurting them, hating nothing but the sinne which they committed.

THE NINTH COMMAN­DEMENT.

THOV shalt not desire thy neighbours wife. Exod. 20. In the booke of Exodus, where the substance onely of the ten Commandements is giuen in briefe, Deut. 5. the two last commandements are put to­gether thus. Thou shalt not couet the house of thy neighbour: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor seruant, nor handmaid, nor oxe, nor asse, nor any thinge that is his. But in the booke of Deutero­nomy where they are deliuered more destinctly, and at large, they are plane lyer destinguished in these words, Mat 5. Thou shalt not couet thy neighbours wife, nor house, nor feild, nor man seruant, nor woman seruant, nor oxe, nor asse, nor all things that are his. Where we see the concupiscence of the flesh first forbidden, and then the concupis­cence of our neighbours goods: and soe the Ca­tholike Church commonly vnderstandeth the de­sire of our neighbours wife to bee forbidden in the ninth, and the desire of his goods to be prohibited in the tenth Commandement: soe that as the act of adultery, and the act of theft are forbidden in two destinct commandements, to wir in the sixt and the seauenth, as being two destinct kindes of sinne in act; soe the de­sire [Page 441]and consent vnto adultery, and the desire and consent vnto theeuery are forbidden also by two distinct Commandements, as being two seueral kindes of sinnes, and hauing noe more connexion in desire, then adultery and theeuery haue in act.

This Commandement therefore correspondeth to the sixt, and forbiddeth that in desire, which it did in act: and giueth to understand, that not onely euill deeds and words; but also euill desires are vnlawfull. It was an errour amongst the Iewes to thinke that the desire or consent vnto sinne was noe sinne, soe that it were not performed in worke: but this errour is confuted by these two last Commandements, and by the words of our Sauiour, it was said of old, Mat. 5. thou shalt not committee adultery. But I say vnto you who soeuer shall see a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. This is the diffe­rence betwixt diuine and humane Lawes, that the diuine Law can binde our interiour thoughts: and humane lawes can binde onely our exte­riour actions. Because men not seeing the inten­tion can not iudge of it; but God who seeth our thoughts can binde our intentions; because he can iudge of them, and can conuince vs, and condemne vs for them, euen by our owne con­science. Man seeth those things whith appeare, Reg. 1.16. but our Lord beholdeth the hart. And soe he can forbidde, as here he doth, the desire and inward consent vnto adultery.

The sinnes of the minde are commonly called the sinnes of concupiscence: and it is necessary [Page 442]to declare what concupiscence is. Concupiscence is the naturall inclination and appetite which we haue of pleasant and delightsome things. And this concupiscence in itselfe is noe sinne, but is indifferent vnto good or euill; and is actually good when it prosecuteth good and lawfull de­ligts, and is actually euill when it desireth euil and vnlawfull delights. Ps. 118. It was a good concupis­cence in King Dauid when he sang: Concupiuit anima mea desiderare iustificationes tuas omni tem­pore, My soule hath coueted to desire thy iustifica­tions at all time. It was an euill concupiscence in him, and against this commandement, when he coueted another mans wife. It is a good con­cupiscence to desire good to our neighbour; it is an euill concupiscence, and against the next commandement to desire his goods from him. Our concupiscence in it selfe, and by nature is good, but it is made euill by desiring euill de­lights.

Saint Gregory hath obserued certaine degrees, or as it were steps in the sinnes of the minde First their is Suggestion. Secondly, Delectation, and thirdly, Consent. Suggestion is when the sinne is suggested and proposed to the minde: and this is no sinne, as being caused by the natural species and phancys only, before the operation of the will De­lectation is the delight which followeth of those suggestions: which if it be onely natural and vn­willingly, it is noe sinne; but if it be any way voluntary, as caused of purpose, or not suffici­ently resisted, then there is some sinne in it; be­cause there is some kind of consent. Finally sinne [Page 443]is compleated in the will and consent. Euery one (saith S. Iames) is tempted of his owne concupis­cence abstracted and allured. Afterwards concu­piscence when it hath conceiued, bringethforth sinne. But sinne when it is consummated generateth death. That is weare tempted by our owne appetite, and when we giue way to our appetite tempting vs to that which is vnlawfull, we bringforth sinne, and by sinne we incurre eternall death.

By this Commandement forbidding the desire of adultery all vnlawfull desires of the flesh are vnderstood. The remedys against them are as in the sixt Commandement against adultery: to vse corporal austerity, moderate paines, reading of good bookes, and to flye the occasion of such sinnes; and in time of temptation to make pre­sently an act of detestation of them, and then to diuert ourselues by some other imployment; and if for all this the temptation still continue, to be content to haue it, as long as it shall please God.

THE TENTH COMMANDEMENT.

THOV shalt not couet thy neighbours goods. By this Commandement we are forbidden the desire of vnlawfull profit: and although by house (which is in the words of this Comman­dement at large) all kinde of temporall riches be vnderstood sometimes in the Scriptures, Exo. 1. and all kind of wordly prosperity; as where it is said that God built the midwiues of Aegypt houses. That is prospered them with worldly blessings; [Page 444]yet he would here specify some particular goods of our neighbour, the more to auert vs from coueting any of them. And because all the sinnes of the minde proceede from the desire, either of vnlawfull pleasure, or of vnlawfull profit; there­fore they may all be vnderstood as forbidden by one of these two Commandements, in the first of which the desire of vnlawfull pleasure; in the second the desire of vnlawfull profit is prohi­bited; and therefor there needed no commande­ment corresponding to the fift to forbid the de­sire of killing; because it is included in one of those two Commandments.

Coueteousnes of goods is that which is for­bidden here, Tim. 1.6. which the Apostle calleth the roote of all euills. And in this it may be esteemed the basest of all sinnes, that riches are the basest of temporal felicitys; yet it is a meruaile to see how wretchedly some are affected to this sinne; who haue soe set their hearts on riches, that they would liue as it seemeth of the very thought of them, and neuer vse them: they passe many a hungry day and want many things which they might haue, because they will be couetous, and haue riches they know not what for: but still the more they haue, the more they would haue, their auarice increasing like the thirst of one in a dropsy, that the more they drinke, the more their disease in­creaseth, and their desire of drinke. These ought to consider that riches are the creatures of God ordained for vse, and if they be not vsed they are abused, and the order is peruerted, which God ordained in the creation of them.

Some sinne by excesse in the contrary, that they will not thinke nor prouide how to liue, but spend as long as they haue any thing, and then they passe on a slothfull and carelesse life; choos­ing rather (as the common saying is) hungar with ease, then plenty with paines taking. These must consider that God hath prouided sufficient­ly for them, and if they will needs contemne the prouidence of God and spend all, then they must vse their limmes to liue by: and that euery man must liue of his owne care and labour, in his calling: The rich haue a more carefull and lesse painefull life; the poorer as they haue lesse care, so they haue more paines to take. And if they be able they must worke, and not thinke any more idly and loosely to depende of others then others thinke to depend of them. These sinne by too much neglect of riches, as they are good; the couetous sin by too much loue of that which is base in riches.

The remedy of couetousnes is to stirre vp in our selues an ardent loue of God, that we loue him in our riches, and them not for themselues, but for his sake; and to doe sometimes some deeds of charity for this end, that we may keep our harts allways free from the loue of riches, and open to the loue of God and of our neighbour. O that rich men would remember those words which King Dauid sang, [...]s. 61. If riches abound set not your hart vpon them. They might desire riches, haue riches, and keepe them, if they would but keep their harts of them, and vse them as God hath ordained them to be vsed. Dauid performed [Page 446]himselfe that which in this he commended to others; who although he were guilty of some other sinnes; yet he is not noted at any time to haue set his hart on riches, when they abounded with him, as a king in plenty of all things. He was a very charitable man, gaue much to the building of a temple to God; by which it appeareth that he sett his hart on almesdeeds, and doeing works of charity, and not vpon riches: and if all rich men would doe soe, they might be happy and blessed in their riches.

You haue now the ten Commandements de­clared: the Commandements not of any king or superiour vpon earth, but of God the maker of heauen and earth; and who gaue these Comman­dements after such a terrible manner to the Israe­lits, that as you haue heard, they were allmost killed with feare at the receiuing of them; becau­se they were a hard harted people and as stubborne and peruersed children were to be gouerned with the sight of the rodde. But we that liue in the law of Christ, which is the law of clemency and grace, and in which we haue such an example of the loue of God in the mystery of the incarnation and pas­sion of the sonne of God, we ought to be drawne by loue to obey him, who intreating and exhort­ing to keepe his Commandements demandeth, If you loue mee keepe my Commandements. Io. 14. And a litle after he that hath my Commandements, and keepeth them: he it is that loueth mee. We professe ourselues to be christians that is as the disciples, seruants, souldiers, and spouses of Iesus Christ to loue him; and we follow obey, sight for, and [Page 447]adulterate with the deuill his professed enemy. O Christian is this thy loue? is this to be a Chri­stian? the beloued disciple of Iesus Christ saith, He that saith he abideth in Christ ought as he walk­ed himselfe also to walke. Io. 1.2. You would thinke it a horrible thinge to see a christian to deny his chris­tendome and to become a Turke or Pagan; and yet in deedes we deny it when we breake the Com­mandements of God, which then we promised faithfully to keepe. Tit. 1. They Confesse that they know God: but in their works they deny saith S. Paul. This is to be a christian in name onely, and not indeede; as the traitour or rebell to the king hath the name of his subiect but is not subiect to him: and thus S. Iohn Euangelist was inspired to declare, Io. 1.1. He that saith he knoweth him, and keepeth not his Comman­dements is a lyer, and the truth is not in him. If the­refor you will be constant to the faith of Christ, and beare truely the name of a christian, be good christians, keepe the Commandements of God: let not the pleasure of any thinge draw you from him, giue him the first place in your harts, care not for the fauour of any, soe as to loose the di­uine fauour, contemne riches, forsake all vnlaw­full desires, beare afflictions, losses, iniurys, im­prisonment, or any paine what soeuer rather then to committee any mortall sinne: powre forth this life which here you enioy, to please God the su­preme goodnes better then life. How many mar­tyrs haue giuen their liues not onely in defence of faith, but of the Commandements of God, to fly sinne? Dun 13. It is better for mee (s [...]ith chast Susan­na) without the act to fall into your hands, then to [Page 448]sinne in the sight of our Lord. Math. 1.2. Allthough all nations obey king Antiochus I and my sonnes and my brethren will obey the law of our fathers said the holy Priest Matathias, when the kings officers vrged him against the lawes of God. Death suf­fered for the loue of God maketh a martyr: and soe S. Iohn Baptist was a martyr; because he suf­fered for the good works which he did: and soe S. Peter was a martyr in minde, when for the loue of Christ he said with thee I am ready to goe both into prison and vnto death. Luc. 22. And shall we for a moment of delight, that endeth be it be begunne, breake the Commandements of God, loose his fauour, and be banished from him for euer? Let vs resist temptations couragiously, and with zeale of Gods honour say from our harts, all though all should obey the world, the flesh, or the deuill I will obey the law of God. I will liue and dy in his seruice. Lord my God for euer will I Confesse to thee. Psal. 29.

THE SEAVENTH DISCOVRSE. OF THE PATER NOSTER.

Quest. Say the Pater Noster. Answ. Our Father which art in Heauen. Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdome come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen. Giue vs this day our daily bread. And for­giue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue them their trespasses against vs. And lead vs not into temptation. But deliuer vs from euill. Amen.

THIS is that blessed, and most per­fect prayer which Christ himselfe made, and gaue to his disciples, to teach them how to pray▪ It is ne­cessary then that the disciples of Christ vnder­stand it, and learn to pray by it. For this we will implore the intercession of our Bessed Lady.

Haile Mary, &c.

Christ the best Pastour, that euery was, and the forme of all good Pastours teaching his dis­ciples all that was necessary for them to know, would not leaue them ignorant in a matter of soe much importance, as prayer is; and there­fore he would not only deliuer vnto them some circumstances to be obserued in prayer; as to pray with humility, confidence, and the like; but would also giue them an expresse forme of words to be vsed by them; that they might haue it as a pattern and perfect modele to frame all their prayers by; there being nothing that can be asked of God, but it is conteined in some of the petitions of the Pater Noster. But before we come to declare the petitions in particular, we will say something of prayer in general, and first

OF THE BENEFITS AND fruits of Prayer.

THE benefits and fruits of Prayer, are so many and generall that we neede not name any, but say all. For there is nothing that can be good for vs, or worthy of asking, but it may be obtained by deuout prayer: Io. 15. our Blessed Sa­uiour hauing promised without exception, If you abide in mee and my words abide in you, you shall aske what thing soeuer you will, Mat. 7. and it shall be done to you. And the more to incite vs to pray, he saith, Aske and it shall be giuen you: seekö and you shall finde, knocke, and it shall be opened to you. For euery one that asketh receiueth: and [Page 451]that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. And in another place the saith, Luc. 18, it behoueth allways to pray, and not to be weary. What more could bee said to commende pray­er to vs, and to shew the force and fruit of it? it is as necessary as our very breath: For as we can not liue without continuall breathing; noe more can our soules without continuall prayer: we will say then that prayer is the breath of our soules. And although this be verifyed by conti­nuing in faith, hope, and charity, and in all good works, which as prayers please God and obtaine benefits of him; yet he would commende all by the name of prayer, and bid vs pray always to increase in vs the esteeme of it.

The seruants of God haue found by experience the force of prayer. Deut. 6. What shall we say of Moyses who remained diuerse times forty dayes and forty nights in prayer for the people, as himselfe wit­nesseth: and when they were in batle with Amalech, as long as he lifted vp his hands to pray they ouercame, and when he was weary, as his armes failed, soe they failed against their enemys. In imitation of which Theodosius the Christian Emperour, being to ioyne batle with the tyrant Lugenius, went first vp vnto a high place, where he might behold both armys, and besought God, that being that the vndertaking of that warre was for his sake, he would giue him victory ouer his enemys. His prayer was heard, Baron. an, 394. the two A­postles S. Iohn and S. Philip being seene to sig [...]t for him, and to turne the weapons of their enemys against themselues.

Dauid being a King could finde leasure to giue praise to God seauen times a day. In imi­tation of which the Catholick Church command­eth the seauen Canonicall Houres to be said euery day by Ecclesiasticall persons, Tob. 8. vnder a mortall sinne. Toby being married remained the three first nights with his wife in prayer, before that he had knowledge of her, professing vnto God, that he married her not for fleshly lust, but for the loue of posterity in which his diuine name might be honored. And she, who on the very first nights of her former marriages, had buried sea­uen husbands, enioyed Toby with life and health, the deuill who had killed them hauing no power ouer him. S. Bartholomew is recorded to haue prayed a hundred times euery day, and as often euery night: and diuerse other Saints are read to haue followed his example. Hist. trip. l. 8. c. 1. S. Paul the Ermit is affirmed to haue said euery day three hundred prayers (which he remembred by three hundred little stones) before he attended to any other bu­sines. And Gregory Lopez a holy man who liued lately in the Kingdome of new Spaine is thought for many yeares at euery drawing of his breath to haue said in his hart. in vitu cus Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heauen. Amen Iesus. By all which we may see the great esteeme which the Saints haue had of prayer, and the benefit which they expect­ed by it. But now we will speake of that which it hath in particular, as its proper and peculiar fruit.

The first is that by prayer we keepe our harts in humility and submission to God, acknow­ledging [Page 455]by our prayers, that he is the supreme power and high perfection from whence all be­nefits proceed: and that we depending of him as his creatures, Apoc. 8. come for succour and releife to him: and therefore S. Iohn saw the prayers of the Saints, as incense, which was to be offered on the Altare, and the Catholike Church prayeth with the holy King saying, Ps. 440. Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight. Because it is a kind of in­feriour sacrifice, and hath the effect of it to doe homage vnto God, and to keepe vs in humility towards him.

The second fruit of prayer is that it pacifyeth the diuine wrath prouoked by sinne. For al­though the prayers of a sinner, as long as he is in mortal sinne, haue noe proportion to the re­mission of his sinnes, or to the releasing of his punishment; yet it is congruous and most agree­able to the infinite goodnesse and liberality of God, that he should accept of the endeauours of our nature, and should grant vs his grace for such endeauours; and soe sinners that are out of the state of grace, obtaine grace of congruity, by praying for it. But the prayer of the iust is soe powerfull that after a certaine manner it for­ceth God as it were by violence to grant that which he desireth, and holdeth his hands from punishing of others. Euen as strong dammes, well fortifyed with stone and timber, resist huge inun­dations of waters, and suport their mighty weight, soe the prayer of the iust resist the wrath of God and beare of the weight of his indignation from sinners. This is expressed in the words of God to [Page 454]Moyses when Israel had adored the molten calfe, and the diuine indignation was comming as a torrent to sweepe them quite away from the face of the earth the prayers of Moyses had such power to withstande it that God said Exod. 23. Suffer me that my fury may be angry against them, as though he had held him by force from destroying them.

Thirdly as I said before of sinners that the for­giuenesse of their sinnes and punishments are ob­tained as it were by violence, when the iust pray for them; soe also we may say of all others be­nefits; for that the goodnes and liberality of God is such that he is forced as it were to grant all, and can deny nothing which is worthily asked of him. This he would shew euen in the granting of a temporall benefit at the prayers of Iosue, when the Israelits wanting day to pursue the victory; Iosue praying commanded the Sunne and Moone to stande still;; and they stoode still till the peo­ple reuenged themselues of their enemys. And to shew how powerfull the prayer of the iust is, the Holy Ghost would make so remarkeable an ex­pression, as to say that God obeyed the voice of a man, as though Iosue by his prayers had had God at obedience. And although heauen be gained as well by all good workes, as by pray­ing; Ser. de temp. 226. yet S. Augustine calleth prayer the kea of Heauen. Let vs learn then how to pray.

OF THE PREPARATION TO PRAYER.

THAT we may pray with profit, Eccl. 18. and reape the fruite of prayer, we must prepare our­selues duely to it. Before prayer prepare thy soule, saith the Holy Ghost. The first and most neces­sary preparation is to bee cleere from mortall sinne. For prayer which is made in mortall sinne hath but litle force, and noe condignity at all to the obtaining of supernatural gifts, which must proceed from the diuine grace. And therefor he that will pray effectually, must first make cleere his conscience by a good confession; that being restored to the grace of God, his prayer may be acceptable to him. But if he haue not the op­portunity of a Confessour, let him in the meane time make an act of contrition, which may sup­ply confession vntill it can be had: and let him pray for contrition, and for a fitt disposition for prayer: as the man of the Ghospell, Marc 9. who when Christ required of him to beleeue, he said. I doe beleeue Lord: help my incredulity. Soe may the sinner endeauour before prayer to make an act of contrition, and pray for that which is want­ing in him. The Publican was a sinner when he began to pray, but praying with humility and sorrow, he obtained the remission of his sinnes, when standing a farre of, Luc. 18. and knocking of his breast, he prayed, God be mercifull to mee a sinner. By his standing a farre of his humility, by the knocking of his breast, and the words [Page 456]which he spoke, his great sorrow is denored; and by so praying (although he were at first a sinner) yet by prayer he obtained contrition, and by contrition his sinnes were forgiuen, Act. 10. and he went away iustifyed. So Cornelius the Centurion pray­ed and gaue almes: and although then as a Gen­til, he were out of the state of grace: yet by con­tinual prayer (for the Euangelist commendeth him as allways praying to God) he obtained the vision of an Angell, and S. Peter was sent to en­lighten him with the Faith of Christ. Those there­fore that are out of the state of grace, and haue not the opportunity of confession, let them pray for contrition, and endeauour to stirre vp in themselues a true and feruerous loue of God. Wicked Antiochus was grieued at his sinnes, or rather at his punishments, and although he ac­knowledged the truth, that they came from God; yet it is said, Mach 2.9. He prayed to our Lord of whom he was not to obtaine mercy: because he was not truely penitent, nor sought the honour of God, but his owne ease only by prayer.

The next preparation to prayer is to come with much humility and reuerence, considering who it is to whom we are going to speake, and who we are that are admitted to speake. It is God to whom we speake. God the Lord of Heauen and Earth, that made vs of noe better thing then the slime of the earth, a peece of dead clay, breath­ing life and giuing reason to it: and that peece of earth being thus framed of God, hath rebelled against him, and abused his maker; and euen then not being quite free from sinne, is permitted [Page 457]neuertheles to appeare in his sight and to petiti­on him. Eccli. 35. The prayer of him that humbleth himselfe shall penetrate the clowdes. Thus did holy Abra­ham pray with humility, saying, Gen 18. I will speake to my Lord where as I am dust and ashes.

Thirdly we must pray with much loue and con­fidence in the goodnes and bounty of God. We may consider then that he is (as he is indeede) our father, allwais desiring our good, and that he is infinitly liberall of all those things which he knoweth to be good for vs; and that we will kneele downe to him, as a louing and gracious child would doe to his father, to aske blessings of him; and that we will aske with confidence that which is necessary for vs, and will obey him. Thus the holy King prepared himselfe with hu­mility, loue, and confidence, and then powred forth his prayer in the sight of God. Let vs then remember to prepare ourselues to prayer with these three things. First with a cleere conscience by confession or contrition. Secondly with hu­mility and reuerence to God. Thirdly with loue and confidence in him. Let vs see now

FOR WHAT THINGS, AND FOR whom we are to pray.

THE cheife thing which we are to pray for is that which is the cheife good; and that is that God be honored, his blessed name being hallowed byvs; and that we may soe serue him here, that we may enioy him in heauen. All temporall things as health, wealth, strength, beauty, and the like, [Page 458]are to be prayed for conditionally, if they be con­ducing to our future happines: but it is dange­rous to pray to excell much in them: and there­fore the wise man durst not pray for riches, but for necessarys. Prou. 30. Beggery and riches giue mee not, giue mee onely things necessary for my sustenance. Charity, humility, patience, and all vertues may absolutly without any condition be prayed for; because they of themselues aduance the honour of God in vs, and helpe vs to euerlasting glory.

We pray for all men, because we are bounde to desire the good of all as our neighbors. But of all men we pray especially for the Catholike Church, and of the Catholike Church we pray especially for the Popes holines, as the head of the Church. Then we pray for our particular pre­lates and pastors, and generally for all the pastors of the Church, that they may excell with such vertues as may illustrate it, and render it a more amiable spouse to God in the sanctity of her subiects; which dependeth most vpon the goodnes of Church men. And therefor as the Euangelist sayth prayer was made without in­termission for Peter, Act. 12. he being then Pope and in the hands of his enemys. And S. Paul desired the prayers of the faithfull, that his seruice might be acceptable. We pray also for our temporal su­periors, the king, and his officers, that they may gouerne according to the lawes of God. Lastly we pray for all people, euen our enemys, the conuersion of Infidels, Iewes, Turks, and hae­retiks to the Catholike faith. And we pray not onely for the liuing: but also for the dead (of [Page 459]which I haue spoken in the Sacrament of Pen­nance) as a deuotion both charitable to them, and profitable to ourselues. It is a deed of charity to pray for them, because they can not pray for themselues: and it is profitable to vs, because besi­de the reward of our owne good worke, we shall be sure to haue their intercession both now in pur­gatory, and afterwards when they come to hea­uen. For they are not like the cupbearer of Pharao, who prosperous things succeeding to him forgotte his friend, of whom in prison he had receiued comfort. Now let vs see

TO WHOM WE ARE TO PRAY.

WE pray to God, as to the supreme power and first authour of all benefits: acknowledging all goodnes to pro­ceede from him. And therefor prayer in the A­pocalypse is assimilated vnto incense, and is cal­led a sacrifice; because it respecteth God as the source and first authour of goodnes. We pray also to our blessed Lady, and to the Angels, and Saints, as the freinds of God, for their prayers, and intercession to him. But an haeretike will pre­sently obiect that if prayer be a kind of sacrifice, how doe we pray to the Saints, all sacrifice being to be offered to God? Our prayers indeede may be called and are a kind of sacrifice; because we either expresly confesse the supreme power of God, or implicitly acknowledge it by all prayers. The prayers which we make immediatly to God are a kind of Sacrifice; because by them imme­diatly [Page 460]and directly we acknowledge his supreme, and diuine power. The prayers which we make by the mediation of the Saints are also sacrifices in their kind, because mediatly and indirectly they acknowledge the same, in that finally they tende vnto God, by the Saints praying to him, as we desi­re. The prayers which we make to Saints are a kind of sacrifice as they tende vnto God; as they tēde vn­to the Saints, they are not sacrifices, because they acknowledge not the supreme and diuine power to be in them.

It was an auncient heresy in the primitiue Church to deny the inuocation of Saints, mainteined by vigilantius and other haeretiks, Hier. cont. vigil. and of purpose re­futed by S. Hierome and others of the holy fathers: but time which is the abolisher of all heresys had a­bolished this, and the Catholike Church which sur­uiued all times, had suruiued this heresy and bu­ried it in the obliuion of men: vntill some vnruly spirits of these later yeares, who would be ruled by noe Church in the world, raked vp this heresy out of the dirt, and set it on foote againe▪ But you shall see the inuocation of Saints breifly made good by scriptures, Councels, the authority of the auncient Church, and by reason.

Turne to the 48. Chapter of Genesis, and you shall finde there the Patriarke Iacob blessing the children of Ioseph, and inuoking the Angels and Saints vpon them in these words, Gen. 48. The An­gell that deliuereth mee from all euills, blesse these childrën: and be my name called vpon them, the na­mes also of my fathers Abraham and Isaac. Here this holy Patriarke after that he had twice called [Page 461]vpon God, then inuoked his Angell, and the Saints Abraham and Isaac, who as yet were not in perfect glory. And if they onely departing as holy men in the fauour of God might be prayed vnto be­fore that they had the perfect glory of heauen; with much more reason the Saints of God may now be prayed vnto, when they are in that per­fect state. And he that shall vnderstande the An­gell whom he there called on, to be any other then his owne Angell guardian, shall contradict the common interpretation of the fathers, who prooue by this place that we haue euery one an Angell Guardian deputed to defende vs; and shall shew but litle reuerence to the holy scrip­tures which he dareth to delude with such vaine glosses of his owne head. But to be breife I will say noe more but that S. Paul prayed to the liu­ing for their prayers, therefor with more reason we may pray to the Saints for their prayers, when they are in glory. But of this afterwards.

The second Councell of Nyce which is receiu­ed by our enemys declareth expresly for the in­uocation of Saints. The fathers of the Councell of Chalcedon cryed out to blessed Flauianus martyr act. 11. Flauianus that is dead is yet liuing a martyr let him pray for vs.

The practise of the primitiue Church ought to be sufficient for this The auncient lyturgys of the Church seruice, the Romane which S. Peter made, that of Hierusalem which S. Iames made, that of the Aethiopians which S. Mathew made, that of Milan which S. Barnaby, and S. Ambro­se made, and that which S. Iohn Chrysostome [Page 462]made, all of them making a deuout commemo­ration of our blessed Lady, and imploring her intercession. As for the sentences of these and other holy fathers, they are as plane as my words now are for the inuocation of Saints, and they haue as earnestly defended it, as we now doe. S. Athanasius ser. de Deipara. Speaking of our B. Lady saieth, all the quires of Angels are incessantly singing that glorious hymne Aue gratia plena Do­minus tecum &c. And we the terrestrial hierarchy of men salute thee, saying Haile full of grace, pray for vs O Lady, O Mistres, O Queene, O Mother of God. What more could any Catholike haue said, or desired of S. Athanasius then to heare him praise our blessed Lady, and pray to her in the very same termes which himselfe now vseth in the Catholike Church? Ser. 1. de S. Steph. S. Augustine, if Steuan were heard when he prayed for those that stoned him, how much more shall he be heard, when he prayeth for those that pray deuoutly to him. If S. Athana­sius and S. Augustine should appeare now to the world to decide this controuersy, and should say noe more but these words ouer againe, who would not thinke that the controuersy were ended, and sentence giuen for the inuocation of Saints? but their testimonys will not satisfy our obstinate ene­mys, who confesse that the auncient fathers teach inuocation of Saints, but accuse them of errour for it. O haeretical pride! shall one single man disobey all the Churches that are then in the world, and stand also at defyance with the holy and auncient fathers? and shall any man shew that contempt of his owne soule, as to follow [Page 463]Luther who came but in the last age or Caluin who came after him, rather then the whole world that then was when they came, and also rather then those learned Saints whom the christian world hath held in reuerence for these many hundreds of yeares?

Finally this is also, manifest by natural reason; which dictateth that the intercession of the freinds and fauorits of Princes may with prudence be de­sired for the obtaining of benefits of them: but the mother of God, the Angels, and Saints, are the freinds, and fauorits of God; therefor their intercession may with prudence be desired, for the obtaining of benefits of him.

If they obiect that to pray to the Saints is in­iurious to God; for that he is the giuer of all be­nefies of himselfe infinitly liberal, and that it de­regareth from his power and goodnes to aske of any but of him, and that it is to make the Saints Gods to pray to them to interceede for vs, and that the liberality of God is such that he needeth noe intercessors; all this is to noe purpose. It is not iniurious to God to honour his seruants for his sake, and to desire his fauorits to stande our freinds with him; but it is rather iniurious to God to thinke that he will not allow of his fauorits in­tercession▪ We pray not vnto Saints as to the su­preme power and authour of gifts; and therefor we make them no [...] Gods; but we pray to them to obtaine gifts of God for vs; and by this we ver­tually acknowledge, and confesse the supreme power and liberality to be in God, and that all power is subordinate to him, and all gifts pro­ceede [Page 464]from him. And allthough the liberality of God be such that he needs noe intercessors, noe more then he needeth any honour or praise from vs; yet our vnworthinesse is such that our prayers stande neede of intercessors, and the diuine libe­rality is such as to heare the prayers of his best freinds, and not to hinder them for praying to him. Neither is there any thinge of this obiection, but it hath the same force against the aduocatship of Christ, and of the faithfull that are liuing; which not withstanding our enemys allow of, as nothing iniurious to God, or derogating from his liberality.

They obiect the words of the Apostle, there is one God, Tim. 1.2. one also mediatour of God and men, man Christ Iesus. And S. Iohn sayth if any man shall sinne we haue an aduocate with the father Ie­sus Christ the iust: Io. 1.2. and he is the propitiation of our sinnes. Christ therefor being our mediatour, and our aduocate we are not (say they) to vse the mediation and aduocatship of any other. First this argument is turned backe vpon themselues. If Christ be our mediatour and aduocate, it is not then iniurious to God nor derogating from his liberality, to make vse of a mediatour and aduo­cate (as they said before that it was.) The words therefor alleadged make nothing against the Ca­tholike doctrine, nor are here applyed to good purpose, nor in their true sense: for the Apostles speake there of the mediation of Christ by way of redemption; and soe Christ is our onely media­tour and aduocate, because he onely in the pro­pitiation of his passion redeemed vs, and the An­gels [Page 465]and Saints redeemed vs not. By him the An­gels are good Angels, and by him the Saints are Saints: and by his powerfull redemption he ob­tained that the Angels and Saints might pray, and be heard praying for vs. This is the honour which Catholiks giue to the mediation of Christ, and which Protestants deny to him. Againe not onely by way of redemption, but also by way of intercession Christ is our prime mediatour and intercessour, by whom Angels and Saints inter­ceede for vs. He interceedeth in his owne name and vertue, they interceede in his name and ver­tue, he the cheife they inferiour intercessors vn­der him. And this is well expressed by S. Bernard of our blessed Lady ser. qui incipit signum magnum apparuit post ser. 5. de assump. Opus est mediatore ad mediatorem Christum, nec alter nobis vtilior quam Maria. We stande neede of a mediatour to Christ our mediatour, and none more profitable then Mary to vs. And the same is also orderly expressed by the Catholike Church, in the end of our prayers asking through the merits of Christ out Lord. S. Tract. 1. in Io. Augustine hath these words in declaration of the place of S. Iohn aboue men­tioned, answering this very obiection of theirs. But some will say doe not the Saints then pray for vs? doe not bishops, prelates and pastors pray for the people? Yes! marke the scriptures and you shall finde that the Apostles prayed for the people, and againe desired the people to pray for them, and s [...]e the head prayeth for all, and the members for one another. This is the doctrine of the Catholike Church. Christ is our onely aduocate by way of [Page 466]intercession; our B. Lady the Angels and Saints are inferiour aduocates vnder him, the faithfull that are liuing are inferiour aduocates vnder them, praying for one another, and desiring the prayers of one another: and soe the Church is a body well vnited, the head helping the inferiour members, and they all concurring to helpe one another by their prayers.

Hence the Catholike doctrine is further con­firmed. It can not be denyed, but that we may lawfully begge the prayers of one another; the­refor with more reason we may begge the inter­cession of the Saints For the first S. Paul often desired the prayers of the faithfull; to the Romans that you helpe mee in your prayers. Rom. 15. And in the sa­me place he prayeth for them: and he desireth the Thessalonians brethren pray for vs. Thes. 1.5. & 2.3. And agai­ne in the second brethren pray for vs. and to the Hebrews pray for vs. And S. Iames pray for one another that you may be saued. Ia. 5. The second follow­eth planely: for there is nothing which they haue obiected, or can obiect against the inuocation of Saints, but it hath the same force against desi­ring the prayers of the liuing: for if it be iniu­rious to God or to the mediation of Christ to de­site the mediation of the Saints in heauen, much more must it be to desire the intercession of sin­ners vpon earth. But they say that the Saints in heauen heare vs not, nor know when we desire their prayers: but this is not truely said of them. Christ saith that the Angels reioyce at the con­ue: Luc 15. sion of a sinner; but how can they reioyce at it, if they know it not? Saints whilst they liued [Page 467]on earth vnderstoode the secrets of mens harts, and haue knowne things that haue passed at farre distance from them, and haue foreseene many thinges euen before they came to passe, and shall they be lesse knowing when they are in glory? Sa­muel told Saul what was in his hart, Reg. 1. [...]. and promised to tell him all things that were in his hart: and it was noe meruaile for God had reuealed them vnto him. Elizeus saw in absence that which passed betwixt his seruant and the Prince of Syria, and at his returne he rebuked him for the gifts which he had receiued, and thought to haue concealed from him. If liuing in this world they knew these things by the reuelation of God, when it was ne­cessary that they should know them: shall we thin­ke that our prayers are hidden from them now in heauen, and that God will let vs want their in­tercession for want of reuealing our prayers to them? Noe we shall loose nothing by any igno­tance of theirs. They see God in glory, and in that glorious sight they see all that is good for them to see; therefor if they might pray, and be desired by others to pray for them whilst they liued in this world, there is nothing to hinder them for being prayed vnto in the next. Hence it appeareth how absurde that question of Caluin was, [...]olu. l. 4. insti. nu. [...]4. when he asked how it came to passe that the Angels and Saints could heare soe farre, as be­twixt heauen and earth? (I giue you not his words; because they are blasphemous and to irreuerent to be repeated) but if Caluin will know how it com's to passe, I tell him that it is by the light of glory which the Saints haue, and if he say that [Page 468]they haue noe such glory, he shall neuer haue it himselfe, nor can in reason expect to haue it.

If they obiect the words of Ecclesiastes to shew that Saints might be prayed vnto in this life and not in the next, B [...]l 9. where it is said better is a dogg liu­ing then a Lyon dead. It is true in respect of the o­perations of life, which then the Lyon hath not: and soe the Saints according to their bodys were better aliue then dead; because their bodys liuing had the operations of life, which dead they haue not: but according to their soules which are spi­rits, they are not onely as perfect, but much per­fecter, and without comparison more actiue, lightsome, and vnderstanding, being then not onely lightened of the burden of their bodys, but also enlightened with the light of glory. Saint Hierome answered this very obiection to Vigi­lantius the haeretike about twelue hundred yeares since in these words. Lib. cont. [...]g. If Apostles and marryrs liu­ing in their bodys. could pray for others when they might be sollicitous for themselues, how much more after their crownes victorys, and triumphs? Moy­ses but one man getteth pardon of God for six hun­dred thousand armed men. Steuan the first martyr after the example of our Lord, prayed for his per­secutors: and now when they are with Christ shall they haue lesse power? Paul saith of himselfe that two hundred and seauenty soules were granted him in the shipp at his prayers: and now that he is resolued and with Christ, shall he haue his mouth shutte vp, and shall he not open it for those who all ouer the world haue beleeued at his ghospell? and shall Vi­gilantius a liuing dogge be better then Paula dead [Page 469]Lyon? This of the Ecclesiastes were indeede to some purpose, if J did beleeue that Paul were dead in spirit. Thus did S. Hierome discourse as a Ca­tholike on this point, shewing that the Saints with much more reason shall be prayed vnto in heauen, then on earth, and that there is noe comparison in those words of Ecclesiastes betwixt the soule of man, whilst he is liuing and whilst he is dead; but onely betwixt a liuing and a dead body; and he calleth Vigilantius a dogge for bark­ing against the Saints, in denying their inter­cession.

We pray therefor to God as to the supreme power, to grant vs that which we want We pray to our blessed Lady, the Angels and Saints, not to grant vs our wants, but to grant vs their interces­sion to obtaine them of God for vs. And in this the Catholike Church vseth an orderly destinc­tion euen in words when we pray, destinguishing betwixt the diuine maiesty, as supreme, and the Saints, as his seruants. We say not to God Lord pray for vs but Kyrie eleyson, Lord haue mercy vpon vs. Nor to Christ as he is the sonne of God doe we say, Christ pray for vs; but Christe eleyson, Christ haue mercy vpon vs. We doe not say to our B. Lady, or to the Angels, or Saints, haue mercy vpon vs, but holy Mary pray for vs, all ye holy Saints of God make intërcession for vs. Soe giuing vnto God that which is his due, to wit the supre­me and all honour both in himselfe and in his seruants: and we giue vnto the Saints inferiour honour, as the beloued seruants of God, and fol­low the Councell of the holy psalmist who beginn­ing [Page 470]his last psalme was inspired to say prayse God in his Saints. Ps. 150. This I haue said in honour of God and of his blessed Saints: and euery word that I haue said I giue it freely to their honour, desiring their prayers.

We pray particularly to some Saints for some particular benefits; because we see those benefits more frequently granted by hauing recourse vn­to those Saints [...]nd if any aske why God granteth those benefits rather at the intercession of those, then of other Saints? I answere with the Apostle, who hath knowne the name of our Lord, Rom. 11. or who hath bene his Counsellour? And this is a sufficient an­swere to such questions of curiosity: for so it might be asked why God would determine particular offices to such and such Angels? Yet the reason may be giuen to honour the merits of those Saints in some circumstances of their liues, or deaths, which those benefits haue relation vnto. Soe wo­men that haue sore breasts obtaine helpe by the intercession of S. Agatha, whose breasts were cut of for the faith of Christ. S. Apollonia is called vpon for the tooth ake; because her teeth were strucken out for the same cause. S. Roch is inuok­ed against the pestilence, because himselfe was infected with it. S. Blase against paines of the throte, because he cured a child that was like to dy of a bone in the throte. And our blessed Lady with good reason is called vpon by women in tra­uaile, because she is the ioy, glory, and comfort of all women who in her child bearing was exemp­ted from those paines: and it pleaseth God that those miracles he remembred by vs. If any aske [Page 471]why in some places more then others we pray for such and such benefits? I answere that there may be many reasons why God would oblige especial­ly the inhabitans of that place, and honour it with miracles; and if this be not sufficient satis­faction; I aske of him why at the Probatica pond in Hierusalem miraculous cures were obtained, rather then in others places? and why onely one was cured at a time, and no more? and why the leprous Prince of Syria was sent to be washed in lordan, rather then in other waters? and to be washed seauen times rather then any other num­ber. If he giue mee a good reason for these, the same will I giue him to his question; if he re­ferre mee to the diuine will and pleasure so will I referre him. Hauing declared whom wee are to pray to, we will speake

OF SOME IMPEDIMENTS that hinder vs in the obtaining of our prayers.

THE first and greatest impediment that hin­dereth the obtaining of our prayers, is the greatest of all euils, to wit sinne; and therefore before prayer we ought to haue cleered our con­science, as I haue said, that our prayer may be of more force with God. And some sinnes there are which hinder more then others: these are es­pecially those which are more opposit to charity towards our neighbour: as hatred and rancour of hart, and hardhartednes against the poore. How [Page 472]can that man pray to God to be forgiuen by him when he beareth in his minde a grudge against his neighbour, and will not forgiue him? he keepeth in his hart an iniury as he conceiueth, yet he w [...]ll haue God to forgette the iniurys which he, a base worme, committeth against him. O spitefull hart thou contradictest in thy minde that which thou sayest in words, as though thou would­est dissemble with God. Thou pretendest with thy mouth, and kneelest downe as if thou would ho­nour him, and in thy hart thou art meditating a mischeife to his seruant. When you shall stretch forth your hads I will turne a [...]ay mine eyes from you: Isa. 1. and when you shall multiply prayer I will not heare for your hands are full of blood, saith God by his Prophet. If a wicked murderer that had killed the seruant of some Prince, should runne to his master, and should hold vp his hāds smoking with his seruāts warme blood▪ were he likely to obtaine pardon no certainly, he should rather moue him to more horrour against him, and for his bold pre­sumption to send him away presently to be hanged vp in chaines Thus malicious spirits and reuenge­full harts come to their prayers, and hold vp their hands bloody with desire of reuenge against their neighbour. It was directly to this purpose that which S. Tim. 1.2. Paul wrote. I will that men pray in euery place: lifting vp pure hands without anger. Our blessed and most mild Sauiour hath giuen vs many lessons for this, and amongst the rest when he said, Mat. 5. If thou offer thy gift at the altar, and their thou remember that thy brother hath ought against thee leaue their thy offering before the al­tare, [Page 473]and goe first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then comming thou shalt offer thy gift▪ When therefore we goe to our prayers, if we finde our selues not well setled in charity with our neigh­bour, let vs first in our harts be freinds with him, and if neede be, goe presently and reconcile our­selues to him, and then our prayers shall be as a sweet incense both to God, and to our owne con­sciences.

Hardnes of hart towards the poore is another sinne, Almes deeds. which hindereth much the obtaining of our prayers▪ How can we thinke to haue God liberall to vs, when we deny to the poore man that which he asketh for God sake? Prou. 21. He that stopp­eth his eare at the cry of the poore, himselfe also shall cry, and shall not be heard, saith the holy Prouerbe. Let vs giue with a good will for Gods sake, and then we may aske freely of him. Luc. 6.5. Giue (saith Christ) and there shall be giuen to you. Good measure and pressed downe and shaken together, and running ouer shall they giue into your bosome. For with the same measure that you doe mete it shall be measured to you againe. When therefore wee haue any thing of moment to aske of God, let vs giue some almes first for God sake. And those that haue not much to giue let them giue a little willingly.

The second impediment in the obtaining of our prayers may bee our vndue and vnworthy manner of praying, that we pray not with due reuerence and attention. For this we may con­sider diuerse sorts of attention in prayer. First there is attention to the words, that we misse none [Page 474]of them. Secondly attention to the sense of the words, that we vnderstand them as we pray. Both which attentions are good; but there is a third much better then they; and that is attention to the presence of God, and to the thing which we pray for. That we prostrate ourselues with reue­rence and humility before him, and desire ear­nestly that which we aske of him. This attention may be had by of those that vnderstande not the words of their prayers: and therefor they are not to be reprchēded that say their Pater noster, and other prayers in Latine, although they vnderstande them not For it is not the vnderstanding but the aflecti­on which God regardeth most in prayer. Ignorant men presenting their petitions to the King bring many words in them, which themselues vnder­stande not, and sometimes the whole petition in a language which they haue no skill of; yet they obtaine their desire: and if the King saw the in­ward of their harts, as God doth, and the great reuerence which they beare vnto him, and their feruours and earnest desire of obtaining, he would without doubt he much moued by it to grant their petition. It was to this purpose that which Christ said to the Samaritan woman. Io. 4. The houre commeth and now it is when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and verity. For the Father seeketh such to adore him. That is to say in the law of grace which commeth and now is, the true adorers shall worship God spiritually more then in the law of Moyses, which consisted rather of corporal san­ctifications, and outward ceremonies then of spirituall grace which is giuen in the faith of [Page 475]Christ. Our prayers then that are sanctifyed by the law of Christ ought to be with much fer­uour of spirit, more cordiall then verball: and the more cordiall that they are, the more suetable they are to that law. Therefor to praye well and efficaciously, wee ought to pray with great reue­rence, and attention to the presence of God and to the thing which we pray for, desiring it with much earnestnes all the time that we pray.

Thirdly the inconuenience of the thing which we pray for is oftentimes a hinderance to the ob­taining of it; because we see not the contingencys and circumstances of future things we aske some­times we know not what: that which is both in­conuenient in it selfe, and may be hurtfull to vs. As when lames and Iohn came vnto Christ, Marc. 10. say­ing, Master we will that what thing soeuer we shall aske thou doe it to vs, and then they asked to sit one on his right hand, and the other on his left in his Kingdome. But he told them, you wott not what you aske. So the same Apostles seeing Christ hindered to enter into a city of Samaria tooke such a disdaine against those that hindered him, that they were presently about bringing of fire from heauen to consume them: Luc. 9. but Christ re­buked them, saying, you know not of what spirit you are. They asked that which was inconuenient. And Peter asked that which was hurtfull, when being enamoured with the glory of Christs trans­figuration he desired to stay in that manner with him for euer. Here he knew not what he said: Marc. 9. and when Christ was foretelling the mistery of his Passion, Peter could not endure to heare of it; [Page 476]but disswaded him from it desiring that which was hurtfull both to himselfe and to all mankind in the hinderance of Christs suffering; and therefor his master rebuked him, saying, Goe after mee Satan thou art a scandall to mee. God sheweth his loue as much in denying our prayers when they are hurtfull, as in granting them when they are profitable to vs; and therefore we ought to be as well contented with the one, as with the other, and neuer to repine at the not obtaining of our prayers: For if we haue not our desire we haue that which is better for vs. If we were hindered by a freind for taking of countrefeit gold insteed of true, or from drinking of poyson insteed of good drinke, had we not good reason to thanke him for it? He that reflecteth vpon the passages which haue happened to him, and obserueth diligently how he hath obtained, or not obtained his pray­ers, shall see without doubt, and in his hart con­fesse the manifest prouidence of God in denying himsome things which he hath prayed for. This I thanke God I haue often seene in my selfe, and found by experience that sometimes I haue pray­ed to be freed from some dangers, when if I had had my desire, I had manifestly incurred farre greater, which none but God could foresee and preuent. And once in my youth by my earnest prayers especially by the intercession of S Igna­tius of Loyola, whose assistance I particularly then implored, I was strangely freed from a very great affliction which troubled mee. But after a while it returned againe vnto mee, and that to my great good, as since I haue perceiued, and [Page 477]haue often acknowledged the goodnesse of God both in taking it away to shew the power of his Saint, and in restoring it againe, it being neces­sary for mee. The liberality of God is infinite, and and his care neuer faileth towards vs, but he will grant our petitions as they are conuenient, and will not make vse of our ignorance to hurt vs, nor always grant that which we thinke, but that which he knoweth to be good for vs.

These therefore in breife are the cheife hinde­rances from obtaining of our prayers. The sinnes which we are guilty of, hardnes of hart against our enemys, and against the poore, want of de­uotion and attention at our prayers, and the in­conuenience of that which we pray for. Hauing said thus much of prayer in general, let vs now declare the petitions of the Pater Noster.

THE FIRST PETITION.

OVR Father which art in Heauen: Hallowed be thy Name. The first words, Our Father which art in Heauen. are an exordium of humi­lity, reuerence, and confidence which we vse to God. He is our father in many respects. First as we haue our being from our fathers: so we haue it more principally from him, who gaue being both to vs, and our fathers. Secondly, God is our father in his care and prouidence ouer vs. He sen­deth vs as Pilgrims, to trauail in this world, but he committeth vs as his children to the Angels of his Court, to be as our Tutors, to guard, and protect vs. Holy Tobias was a good father to his sonne, [Page 478]when sending him a dagerous iourney he thought of some carefull man to be his guide: but God was a better father to him, who sent an Angell to guide him, and to deliuer him out of those dāgers out of which no man could haue deliuered him. This father of ours had but one onely naturall sonne and desiring to adopte vs for his children he sent that onely sonne to redeeme vs, and to giue his life as the price of our ransome: Io. 1. and so he made vs his children giuing vs power (as saint Iohn saith) to become the sonnes of God, and to be borne of him. He neuer forgetteth vs, not ceaseth to prouide for vs in our needs, although we forgette our duty to him, Ps. 88. and behaue not our selues as his good children. He correcteth vs as a father with pitty, Iob 5. He visiteth in a rod our ini­quitys and our sinnes in stripes, yet he taketh not away his mercy from vs. He wounds and cures, (saith holy Iob) he striketh, and his hands shall heale againe. He woundeth vs for our good; For by those wounds he cureth vs. Finally he is in all things a louing and blessed Father, and maketh his children glorious by obeying him. God is the Father of all, as he created and prouideth for all; but he is especially the father of Christians, whom he hath begotten into the Faith of Christ by Bap­tisme. [...]al 5. You are all the children of God by Faith in Christ Iesus, saith the Apostle. As long as we continue in his fauour, we haue the benefits of his children, and a portion of glory is due to vs: but when we loose his fauour by mortall sinne, we become then of his children his ennemys, and loose all the right which we had vnto glory, and [Page 479]can not say as Christians ought to say our Father.

Which art in Heauen. God is in all places essen­tially: for his power being in all places conseru­ing all things and all places, and his power be­ing the very same as himselfe; it followeth that himselfe is by essence in all places. But he is said to be in Heauen, because he is there after the most eminent manner communicating himself in glo­ry to his creatures.

Hallowed be thy Name. Authours haue com­monly diuided the Pater Noster into seauen petiti­ons: and the first is to desire that then a me of God be hallowed. For this is the first and cheife good, and the principall thing which wee are to desire and pray for, that God may haue that honour which is due to him. We aske in this petition that the externall honour of God may increase amōgst his creatures: (for his intrinsecall honour and perfections are infinite and increase not) and that his true worship may be knowne, and giuen him by the enemys of the Catholike Faith, and that Catholiks may liue according to the holines of their profession. But how farre are we from the performance of this prayer? Those that in words say hallowed be thy Name, Rom. 2, and hallow it not in works, blaspheme it. By you the Name of God is blasphemed amongst the Gentils. They are like the souldiers of Pilate who kneeled downe to Christ, Mat. 27, saying, Haile King of the Iewes, and then spitted in his face, and strucke him about the head with a reede. So they kneele down to their prayers, and seeme to honour God in words; but rising vp from them they dishonour him in worke. This is [Page 480]not like good children, Mat. 5. nor according to the command of Christ when he said, So let your light shine before men: that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heauen.

THE SECOND PETITION.

THY Kingdome come. Here we aske the blessed state of Heauen, which is therefore called the Kingdom of God; because God sheweth him­selfe there in glory, as a King, reigning in the mindes and hearts of his Saints, who are in per­fect loue and subiection to him And supposing here that which we prayed for before; to wit that it be for the honour of God, we may be vnder­stoode to pray that our soules may be freed out of the prison of our bodys, Phil. 1. and come soone to that happy state; as the Apostle desired to be dissolued and to be with Christ.

The Kingdome of Heauen is the first thing, Mat. 6. which we ought to aske for our selues. Seeke first the Kingdome of God and the iustice of him and all these things shall be giuen you besides, Christ said this to his disciples after that he had delinered the Pater noster to them, in which he taught them first to aske the honour of God, and then those things which were good for themselues, and amongst all those things in the first place the kingdom of hea­ven. Tract. 102. This is (saith saint Augustin) that full and perfect ioy which we ought to pray for, and which oll our prayers ought to aime at, as the only true ioy. Here the Romane Catechisme admonisheth Pastors to excite their people to the loue of that [Page 481]Kingdome by the sentences of holy Scriptures, which are indeede frequent enough for it. But in order to this it ought to be sufficient, that Christ hath said in few words. Aske and you shall receiue: that your ioy may be full. For what ioy should we de­sire, but that which is full ioy? and fullnesse of ioy is not to be had but in heauen. Euery thing aspir­eth to that in which its cheife and full ioy consist­eth. Sensible things to that which pleaseth the sen­ses, liuing things to the conseruation of life, and those things which haue onely being and noe life delight in that which is according to their nature, and seeke to it; because there is the fulnes of their ioy. And shall the soule of man which is reason­able aboue all these things, forsake that which is its cheife and full ioy. All corporall things tende with violence thither where their cheife ioyes are, and rest not contented vntill they enioy them The Sunne, Moone, and Planets, reioyce in their courses, the Starres in their stations, and keepe themselues in them; because there is the fullnes of their ioy. The creatures of the earth are some aboue the earth, some within it, and some part within, and part without it, as trees and herbes, and will not liue otherwise; because there is the summe of their delight. The fishes of the Seas and fresh waters seeke allways to be there, and striue by violence to that place. Light thinigs tende vpwards, and heauy things to the centre of the earth; because there they haue the fulnesses of their ioy. The fulnesses of our ioy is noe where but in Heauen: and why doe not we then seeke to it, and abhorre all that hindereth vs of it? [Page 482]We liue in this world as it is were out of our ele­ment, in a place most lothsome to our soules, a deadly prison condemned to dy continually, and in danger of eternall death. Rom. 7. What ioy can we take in this condition? Vnhappy that I am (saith the Apostle) who shall deliuer mee from the body of this death.

The Kingdome of God is diuersely vnder­stoode, First it is general ouer all the world, as he gouerneth and prouideth for his subiects which are the multitude of all creatures. Secondly it is more particularly ouer the Catholike Church, as the people of a Kingdome gathered together to worship him, as their true King. Thirdly, more particularly yet, his Kingdome is with the iust, in whose harts he reigneth by grace: of whom Christ the Kingdome of God is with you. Luc. 17. Lastly, his Kingdome is most especially ouer the blessed to whom at the day of iudgement he shall say; Mat. 25. Come the blessed of my Father possesse you the Kingdome prepared for you.

Here we aske that we, and all people may soe liue in the Communion of the Catholike Church by Faith and good works, that in the end we may obtaine the glory of Heauen. For this Kingdome is not otherwise obtained; but by such faith, as S. Gal. 5. Paul requireth, which worketh by charity, as by those who haue giuen meate, drinke, and cloths for Gods sake; and they shall be excluded that come with the profession onely of Catholiks saying, Mat. 7. Lord, Lord open vnto vs, but bring not with them the light of good workes. Not euery one that sayeth Lord, Lord shall enter into the [Page 483]Kingdome of Heauen, but he that doth the will of my Father: of which point Saint Augustine wrote a booke de fide & operibus, in which he sheweth that the Epistles of S. Paul were misconstrued by some of those times, as though he required not good works after baptisme; cap. 14. but that faith alone did iustify. And therefore (saith he) the other Epistles of Peter, Iames and Iude were written, to auouch vehemently that fait without good works profiteth nothing.

THE THIRD PETITION.

THY will be done in Earth, as it is in Heauen. Man hath not a greater enemy then his owne will, when it is not gouerned by the will of God. All good things which we haue come by the good­nesse of the diuine will: and all euills that befall vs come through the malice of our owne wills. The ignorance of our vnderstandings neuer hurt­eth our soules, but when it is voluntary, and all our sinnes proceede from thence, that either we will not doe what we know is to be done, or will not know what we are to doe. Esa. 5. Hence is that curse of the Prophet; Woe vnty you that call euill good and good euill, putting darknesses light, and light darknesse: putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. This curse commeth by the euill of our wills; because we will follow our owne blindnes, and not the will of God, which ought to be our rule and guide in all things. The malice of men beganne presently to be much vpon earth, and the cogitations of their hart, were soe bent vpon [Page 484]vpon euill, that a deluge of waters was sent to destroy them. This euill was in their harts, that is to say in their wills, because they followed not the will of God, which is sweet and lightsome, but their owne wills, which are darke and bitter in effect; and so haue all the euils of the world come. Therefore we are topray and to labour with our­selues for conformity with the will of God.

Besides we not knowing what is best for vs, aske that some times which is hurtfull: as sicke folkes in a feauer desire that which hurteth them: and as children who would take poison for treacle, if they had there owne wills: and therefore sicke folkes and children haue keepers, whose wills they must follow, and be directed by. We are as children in our wills and vnderstandings; both deficient by sinne. God is our keeper, we must be ruled by him, and pray for obedience to his holy will, that we may follow it, and then all will be well with vs.

In earth as it is in Heauen. We pray not here that we may doe the will of God vpon earth with that perfection with which it is done in Heauen; for that is vnpossible; but that as the Saints of God performe his will according to the perfection of their state; so that we may performe it according to the perfection of our present state: and that as the Saints in Heauen haue a most perfect con­formity with the will of God; so that wee may imitate them euery one in the vocation in which he is called, following the diuine pleasure in all things, and saying willingly with holy Iob: As it hath pleased our Lord so is it done. Iob. 1. The name of God be blessed.

THE FOVRTH PETITION.

GIVE vs this day our daily bread. This and the petitions that follow are to be referred to those that goe before: to wit that the name of God be hallowed, & that we may gaine his blessed king­dome. For all whatsoeuer we prayfor is to be ordai­ned to the honour of God, and to the gaining of that kingdome. L. 2. deserm. Dem. We pray (saith S. Augustine) not for temporall things as our true goods but as our necessarys: because they are in themselues im­perfect; and therefor not absolutly good; nor to be prayed for; but as they are referred to the ho­nour of God, and haue a partial and participated goodnes from him. Whether you eate or drinke, Cor. 1.10. or doe any other thinge, doe all thinges to the glory of God. Saith the Apostle to the Corinthians. And the same Apostle desired the Romans to pray for him that he might escape the hands of his ene­mys, and that his seruice might be acceptable. Where he referreth the escaping of his enemys to the glory and seruice of God.

Yet we may see by this petition that it is law­full to pray for temporal things: for although God of his owne goodnes doth prouide sufficient­ly for vs; yet soe, as that he will haue vs to aske and pray for that which we stande neede of. Soe the Patriarke Iacob prayed, and made a vow of some particular deuotions to be done, for the ob­taining then of a prosperous [...]ourney. Saying, if God shall be with mee, C [...]n. 28. and shall keepe mee in the way by the which I walke, and shall giue mee bread [Page 486]to eate and rayment to put on, and I shall be return­ed prosperously to my fathers house, the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I haue erected for a title shall be called the house of God: and of all thinges that thou shalt giue to mee, I will offer tithes to thee. All this did this holy man doe that God might blesse him and supply his wants in that voyage.

By bread all corporal necessarys are here vn­derstood. For foode being the most necessary of all corporal thinges, and bread-being the most necessary of all foodes, it may properly signify all temporall necessarys: and therefor in the holy scriptures bread is taken generally for any kind of meate, as in the place aboue cited, where la­cob prayed for bread and rayment: and Luc. 14. where it is said that Christ entred into the house of a certaine Prince of the Pharisys to eate bread. Luc. 14. That is to say to eate meate in general; for it was a feast which the Pharisee then made for his freinds.

Here we may conceiue somethinge of the great losse which we haue incurred by sinne. Man whilst he was in paradise, and in state of grace, was well prouided for of all corporal thinges; the tree of life supplying him soe, that he could feare noe want. But falling into sinne he fell into feare and shame, and beganne to want meate and cloths, and many other things, and was glad to take paines, and to worke hard to get that which he stoode nee­de of: and for all his paines taking is still in feare of want; and therefor we are taught here to humble ourselues to God, and to pray to him to blesse our labors, and to giue fruit to them; which other­wise [Page 487]are vaine and fruitlesse: and to shew this he sendeth sometimes excesse of heates, colds, thun­ders, droughts, inundations and the like, by which he deminisheth our allowance, and taketh as much as he will from vs. What a folly then is it in rich and worldly men for the loue of riches, or for any worldly respect to forsake God, and to sinne against him? If God should blast their corne burne their grasse, send diseases to their goods, fire to their houses, or some greeuous lamenesse, or deformity to their persons, what would they doe then? Iob was rich enough, and had honour enough as a prince. Yet he came to loose all, and to be in great want, and such misery, as to ly vpon a dunghill, and to scrape away the putre­faction from his body with shells, and such things as he founde beside him. This would God per­mitte in him, to shew that all our felicitys are in his hands, and that their is none rich and pros­perous but by him. And because he tooke all pa­tiently, and remained still the seruant of God, he was blessed againe with temporal prosperity double to that which before he enioyed. Antio­chus was a king farre greater then Iob; yet lesse then God, who for his pride and cruelty, des­troyed his armys and brought him to that misery, that as holy Scripture saith he that seemed to him­selfe to rule euen ouer the wanes of the sea and to wey the heights of mountaines in a ballance,Mach. 2.9.now being humbled to the ground was carried in a porta­tiue seate testifying the manifest power of God in himselfe: soe that out of the body of the impious man wormes crawled abundantly and his liue flesh fell [Page 488]of for paines, with his smell also and stinke the army was annoyed. Now what better was this man for all his worldly greatnes, when God would thus punish him? he was made an example to others of the power of God, and because he made not good vse of his afflictions, as Iob did; but remai­ned still in his wickednes, he was neuer restored to prosperity againe, but died miserably. It is therefor a vaine thinge to forsake God for tem­porall prosperity, seeing that all blessings pro­ceede from him, and cannot be had but by him. And yet that which is most absurde of all, these very men, that goe to the deuill for riches, and for a pleasant life, come to God to aske bread of him in their prayers. They serue the world and the deuill and aske their liuelyhood of God. Is not this absurde? Seruants aske their wages of the masters whom they serue; as souldiers doe of their captaines and generals. Was their euer any soul­dier that went to the general of the enemys campe to aske pay or prouision? If then worldlings you will serue the world, why doe you aske your bread of God? or if you thinke that he onely can prosper you, and reward you euen with temporal blessings, why doe you serue any other but him for them? Serue God and be constant to his ser­uice according to the rules of the Catholike Church [...]nd you can want nothing that is good for you. Holy Toby was constant to the seruice of God, and euen in time of great persecution he had enough both for himselfe, and for others; and although he lost much, and gaue much away for Gods sake; yet God allwais increased his store. [Page 489]It ought to be a comfort to vs to heare king Dauid in his old age sing I haue bene yong, Ps. 36. for I am old: and I haue not seene the iust forsaken, nor his seede seeking bread.

This day. We are taught here to aske but for one day, and soe from day to day, that we may haue confidence in God, and not set our mindes too much vpon riches, and of pro­uiding without end, as some doe, who neuer know when they haue enough. Esa. 5. Woe to you that ioyne house to house, and lay field to field euen to the end of the place: shall you alone dwell in the midst of the earth? Their couetousnes is with out limit; as though all had bene made for them, and theirs. Better were it for them to thinke how to liue in an orderly and dis­creete way, and to bring vp their children in the feare and seruice of God, with an indiffe­rent competency.

Some authors vnderstande here by bread the blessed Sacrament of Eucharist, which ap­peareth as bread, and is indeede the bread of Angels, in that it conteineth him, who feedeth the Angels with the ioy of his presence. Hence S. Ambrose taketh occasion to commende the often receiuing of the blessed Sacrament, saying, if it be our daily bread, why shall we be a yeare before we receiue it?

THE FIFT PETITION.

AND forgiue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue them their trespasses against vs. Amongst the infinite testimonys of the loue of God towards vs, There is none greater then the passion of Christ: by which the maine fountaine of his mercy was opened to cleanse us from sinne, that we might hope, and aske confidently, that our trespasses might be forgiuen. And as the Councell of Trent hath declared there is none in this world soe free from sinne, Ia. 3. but that he may say this petition. Saint Iames speaketh in general in many things we offende all. Eccl. 7. And the wise man was inspired to say. There is not a iust man in the earth that doth good and sinneth not. We all then haue reason to pray for this; and as there is not any euill in the world so great as sinne; so there is nothing which we haue more reason to pray for, then the for­giuenesse of sinnes. Esa. 7. The iniquity of the house of Iacob shall be forgiuen; and this is all the fruit that his sinne be taken away. It is indeede all the fruit that a sinner can desire, to haue his sins taken away; and it is fruit enough; for so he hath the cheife thing which he can wish for in this world, to wit grace by which he hath right vnto heauen.

Yet as great, as this fruit is of the forgiuenes of our sinnes, we are not taught, so much as to aske it, but with this condition: that we will for­giue to our neighbour his trespasses against vs.

Christ was a most perfect master of all vertues and nothing was there necessary or good for vs to [Page 491]learne, but he hath taught it most perfectly, both by word and by worke; yet of all the lessons which he hath giuen, there is nothing so much incul­cated by him, as charity and meekenes to others. First in his owne person he hath giuen vs such an example, that we cannot comprehende the dig­nity of it, The very Sonne of God to suffer words and blowes, and in the end death it selfe by his wicked and cursed seruants, that he might chan­ge their curse into blessings; what shall we say or thinke of this? He could with one twinkle of his eye haue destroyed his enemys, and freed him­selfe; but he would let them goe on in persecuting of him vnto death, and then pray for them. He was scoffed at and held his peace, he was accused and answered not for himselfe, he was strucken and bore it patiently, hee was crucifyed and prayed for those that crucifyed him, his whole life and death was a continuall patterne of this vertue; and for his words, his paraboles and preach­ings, they were allways commending it, tending continually to the loue of God by the loue of our neighbour. And S. Iohn his beloued disciple that slept in his bosome, was so filled with the same spirit of his master; that in his first Epistle de­claring how great a connexion there is betwixt the loue of God, and the loue of our neighbour, he proceedeth to these earnest termes. Io. 1.4. If any man shall say that I loue God, and hateth his brother he is a lyer. And it is recorded of this holy A­postle, that at his death these were his last words, litle children loue one another. And when he had repeated this Sentence often ouer to his disci­ples [Page 492]they desiring him to speake something els to them, he reprooued them for it, telling them that it was a saying worthy of their master. It is to be obserued here that where as other vertues are ask­ed onely in generall, hallowed be thy Name, thy Kingdome come, &c. this is asked in particular, that we be forgiuen, as we forgiue. Now what Chris­tian is there, that can professe himselfe a disci­ple of Christ, and yet stande at defyance against his neighbour? how can he say this soueraigne prayer euery day, and let his hart fester so long against any man, that the sunne set before he pa­cify himselfe?

If we read in the law of Moyses of some exam­ples in which the Saints of God haue taken re­venge of their enemys, as when Elias command­ed fire to come downe from Heauen to consume the two Captaines of King Ochosias, and their souldiers, it was by particular inspiration and in zeale of iustice, that Kings might learne reue­rence to the seruants of God. Besides Christ was not then come, who was to mollify the hard­nesse of that law by more mildnesse in the law of grace; and therefore he said, you haue heard that it was said of old, Mat. 5. Thou shalt loue thy neigh­bour and hate thy enemy. But I say to you loue your enemys, doe good to them that hate you. For if you loue them that loue you, what reward shall you haue? doe not also the Publicans this? and if you salute you brethren onely doe not also the heathens this? be you perfect therefore, as also your heauenly Father is perfect.

We haue the examples of Martyrs, Confessors, [Page 493]and of all sorts of Saints, who in the law of Christ haue come to this perfection, as to loue those that hated them. S. Steuen being apprehēded, brought before the councell of the Iewes, and accused by false witnesses, ceased not still to do good for euill; but made a discourse to them to shew that Christ was expected by the holy Patriarkes, to come to redeeme them? and therefore exhorted them to beleeue in him. And when they were euen cut in their harts, and gnashed with their teeth against him, and were stoning him to death, he fell downe vpon his knees, and prayed for them, crying with a lowd voyce, Act. 7. Lord lay not this sinne vnto them.

It was a fine example that which S. Gregory relateth of Libertinus a Monke, Gregor. dial. c. 1. who hauing re­ceiued a great blow on the face by his Superiour suddenly striking with a boord at him, he went away quietly into his cell, without shewing the least signe of impatience; and comming the next day to the Abbot that had strucken him to aske leaue to goe abroade; the Abbot suspected that he would forsake the Monastery; but percei­ving his occasions to be reall and iust, and obseru­ing his bruised face, which with a meruelous tran­quillity of minde hee endured, he fell downe v­pon his knees, and asked pardon. And the other againe fell prostrate to his Superiour, confessing his autority ouer him. We haue in good authors the examples euen of wild beasts, who haue rende­red themselues seruiceable to the Saints of God, and followed them for their mildnes.

How generous and Christianlike is this spirit [Page 492] [...] [Page 493] [...] [Page 494]of patience in bearing and pardoning of iniurys? when the minde setleth it selfe for the loue of God and inwardly contented with that satisfaction, one pittyeth to see his enemy in passion; euen as one that were in a calme and safe harbour would pitty to see another on the raging sea in shipp­wrack; and either by some discreet word laboureth to pacify him or giueth him leaue to pacify him­selfe. Ps. 86. The mild shall inherit the land and shall be delighted in the multitude of peace. But to see some of an implaceable minde, bearing grudges in their harts, and neuer making and en of their malice; what spirit shall we call this, vnworthy of the name of a Christian? and it is a dissembling spirit with which many are deceiued, who thinke themselues free from it. Presently vpon euery oc­casion they are thinking how to be reuenged of their neighbour, and when they can neither spare him with a good word nor a good looke, they will tell you that they are in charity with him, and meane him noe hurt. A peruersed, and childish saying! If others should behaue themselues in like manner to them, they would easily see the shame of it, but in themselues they see it not, nor con­sider not the hurt which they occasion by their ill exāple and behauiour. Which if all should imitate, there would be noe freindship nor true charity in the world. If neither the loue of God, nor any god­nes of nature will moue these to amēde, Let them feare some exēplar punishment by the words of the holy Ghost, Eccle. 28. who saith, He that will be reuenged shall finde reuenge of our Lord, and hauing spent all that chapter in speaking against that sinne he draweth [Page 495]to an end in these words. Blessed is he that is coue­red from a wicked tongue, that hath not passed into the anger therof. For the yoke of it is a yoke of iron: and the band of it is a band of brasse. The death of it is a most wicked death and hell is more profitable then it.

To aske with more earnestnes the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, and to receiue our petition, it is ne­cessary to stirre our selues vp to a great compunc­tion of hart, and vehement detestation of sinne, as the greatest of all euills, that can befall vs. First it is the cause and origen of all euills, as it depisueth vs of God, an infinite good. Secondly by sinne we are made slaues to the deuill, the hardest master and most cruell tyrant of the world, and of the spouses and temples of God, his horrid and vgly mates, accursed of God and giuen to the sorrows of an eternall destruction know you not that you are the temple of God? Cor. 1.3. (saith the Apostle) but if any violate the temple of God, God. will destroy him. Thirdly by sinne we are at con­tinuall warre and vnquietnes with in ourselues. For as long as we haue any sense of reason, al­though we be out of the state of grace, we must be sensible of sinne which is contrary to reason. And therefor Abigail wisely disswaded Dauid from taking reuenge of Nabal saying this shall not be an occasion of sobbing to thee, Reg. 1.25. and a scruple of hart. And Dauid complaining of the sinnes of his former life, saith that as arrowes they stacke fast in him, Ps. 37. and that his bones had noe peace at the face of his sinnes. There is noe paine nor tor­ment in the world to compare with a guilty con­science, [Page 496]the vengeance of God purseing vs as our shaddows, and affrighting vs with feare of punishment, when we haue sinned. And therefor the Holy Ghost in the scriptures compareth sin­ners to sicke, lame, sore, and diseased persons. Tribulation and anguish vpon euery soule that worketh euill: Rom. 2. but glory, and honour, and peace to euery one that worketh good. Saith the Apostle.

This is sinne and these are breisly and in ge­neral the euills of it. Which if we will consider as we ought, we shall desire aboue all things in the world, and with as much earnestnes cry vnto God, to be freed from any mortal sinne, as we would to be freed from some grecuous torment. Know thou and see (saith Hieremy) that is an euill and a bitter thinge for thee to haue left the Lord thy God. Hier. 2. And those that will not see this, nor vnderstande the euill of sinne to seeke the forgiu­nes of it, are said in the scriptures to haue a hart of stone, and of Adamant. And such is the good­nes and mercy of God vnto sinners, that he neuer denyeth the forgiuenes of sinnes to those, that truely seeke for it. King Dauid washed his couch with teares, S. Peter went out and wept bitter­ly after his sinne, S. Mary Magdalene shed many teares vpon the feete of Christ. Let vs imi­tate them.

THE SIXT PETITION.

AND lead vs not into temptation. Hauing in the former petition prayed for the for­giuenes of our sinnes we pray now not to be led into temptation. For when our sinnes are forgi­uen vs, then we are in more danger of temptation: because we are then the freinds of God, and the professed enemys of the deuill; and therefor he striueth more against vs. Tobias a holy man was tempted euen to the feare of death by the vehe­mency of paine which in his eyes he suffered. And the Angell when he cured him told him, Tob. 12. because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prooue thee. Iob a iust and per­fect, man was strucken in his goods, in his chil­dren, and in his owne body. And when the faith of Christ beganne first to be planted the deuill roared like a Lyon, and with open mouth went against the Apostles, euen to sift them with his teeth, and made some attempts vpon Christ him­selfe. He is a prowde and daring enemy, and spareth none; but he rageth more vehemently against the iust, knowing that his victory is great­est ouer them, and that the sinnes which they committee are greater by reason of their ingrati­tude, Pet. 2.2. and greater contempt of God It was better for them not to know the way of iustice then after the knowledge to turne backe. And therefor we haue great reason to feare temptation and to pray a­gainst it, when we are in the state of grace: espe­cially seeing that holy men are often ouercome [Page 498]by it; as Dauid, Salomon, the Apostles and euen Peter himselfe; who hauing made a promise to his master, Mat. 26. saying, Though I should dy with thee I will not deny thee: yet at the words of a silly girle he denyed him By all which we may see how weake wee are and easily ouercome, if God assist vs not: and how necessary it is that we should haue recourse to him and pray for helpe.

That which ought to be a comfort to vs in temptations, is the meanes which we haue in the Catholike Church to ouercome them. For al­though man had allwayes freewill to resist; yet now in the Faith of Christ wee are much more strengthened, and our enemy is so weakned by his sacred passion working [...]n the Sacraments that, he is compared in the Scriptures to a dragon bound in chaines. Apoc. 20. I saw (saith S. Iohn) an Angell des­cending from Heauen hauing the kea of the bot­tomles depth and a great chaine in his hands, and he apprehended the dragon and bound him for a thousand yeares. The Angell signifyed Christ, the dragon was the deuill, the chaine with which he was bounde, are the Sacraments of the Ca­tholike Church, the thousand yeares denote the time from Christ vnto Antichrist: all which time we haue such helps and meanes to resist temptati­ons, that the infernall dragon is as it were bounde vp in chaines. Ia. 4. Resist the deuill and he will flee from you.

But how is God said to lead vs into temptati­on? The Pelagian heretiks interpreted this place of being led into humane miserys, and not into sinne; for they conceited that man of his owne [Page 499]power without the grace of God could resist, and ouercome all temptations. And therefore Catho­liks vrged this place against them, where we pray for grace to ouercome temptations; because we cannot ouercome them without it; as S. Hierome in his third booke against the Pelagians, and saint Augustine prooueth in diuerses places. But mo­derne haeretiks haue a ready answere to this ques­tion; they make God the cause and authour of oursinne, and take away freewill from vs, that we are led by force into sinne. l. 4. instit. c. 26.9. Caluin that God not onely foreseeth mans sinnes; but also hath created him of purpose for that end. Thus did this obsti­nate man blaspheme. But the Catholike Church hath neuer consented to any such doctrine; but hath allways taught that the good which we doe is of God, and that the euill which we doe is of ourselues; as shall be declared more opportunly in the twelfth discourse of sinne, I will now onely shew in what sense wee pray not to bee led into temptation.

There are two sorts of temptations, that is to say tryals (for to tempt is the same as to try. First when of ignorance one will take a tryall, be­cause he knoweth not vntill be try: and thus God neuer needeth to tempt or try any; because hee knoweth before hand both what we can doe, and what we will doe The second kind of temptation or tryall is by exercising and teaching? as when souldiers are tryed, that is trained and exercised to batle: or as theeues that try and traine vp o­thers to theeuery: and this kind of practicall temptation is good or euill, as it hath relation, [Page 500]and is intended for a good or euill action A Captaine teacheth his souldier how to defende himselfe, and to offende his enemy in a iust warre, a theefe or robber teacheth his partner how to defende himselfe, and offende another in an vn­just action. A Master of fence teacheth his scho­lar the postures, and guards of his owne defence, and sometimes he hitteth him a blow to make him remember and learne the better: an enemy cometh with his weapon against him, not to teach him, but to take his life. God allways tempteth vnto goodnes, as a good Captaine, as a louing master to teach and enable vs. Thus he tempted the Israelites that by their victorys others might learne to ouercome. Deut. 13. Your God tempteth you, that it may appeare whether you loue him or not. So he tempted Abraham to immolate his sonne? First intending his good, then giuing him efficacious grace to obey, and lastly rewarding him. This is a most blessed kind of temptation: he sendeth vs against our enemy; but hee putteth the victory into our hands, giuing vs grace to ouercome if we will, and then crowneth vs for ouercom­ming. As a master hee striketh vs sometimes by afflictions, and euen by those blows he teach­eth vs and strengtheneth vs to ouercome, and then rewardeth vs. This is not to tempt vs to sinne; but to traine vs vp to victorys and crowns. Well might S. Ia. 5. Iames say, Let noe man when he is tempted say that hee is tempted of God. For God is not a tempter of euills. Those whom God tempteth he tempteth for their greater glory, hee tryeth them, and as gold in the furnace he proueth them. The [Page 501]deuill tempteth allwais as a theefe intending euill, and as an enemy to hurt, and to kill our soules. God permitteth him to tempt; but hee giueth allways sufficient grace for vs to ouercome if we will vse it: and if we will not vse it, it is not his falt, nor can our sinne be imputed to him, who giueth grace to hinder it; but onely it may be said to be permitted of God. And so Exod 7. God is said to have hardened Pharao his hart; that is permitted him to harden his owne hart, as is declared in the eight chapter, and other pla­ces where not God, but Pharao himselfe is said to haue hardened his hart. And to thinke as Caluin doth that God created any of purpose that they might sinne, is a thought vnworthy of a Christian, or of any man that beleeueth God to be the su­preme good.

That therefore which we aske in this petition is that God will not permitte vs to be tempted so, as to yeeld to temptation; but that he will giue vs efficacious grace to resist, and ouercome all temptations. We aske not that we may neuer be tempted, for so we should neuer be crowned; the crown of victory not being obtained but by batle. We pray for victory and this by the helpe of God is easily obtained. Gen. 39. Ioseph the Patriarke was assalt­ed by a wicked woman tempting him to lust: but by the helpe of God, he ouercame the tempta­tion. Holy and chast Susanna was grieuously tempted, falsely accused, and brought euen to the vtmost danger of death, but God vndertooke her cause, and defended her. It was a glorious victory that which Iob gott ouer the world, the flesh, and [Page 502]the deuill, and as gloriously rewarded of God that gaue it. Let vs pray to God and serue him, and he will giue grace against temptations. For this is the way: to arme ourselues with prayer, and vigilancy against them, and to keepeallwais in our harts a vehement detestation of all mortall sinne in general; and when any particular temp­tation beginneth in vs, to resist it presently at first, by making a contrary act to it, and then without delay to fly the occasion of that kind of sinne. Thus we shall gett victory, and the glorious crowne which to the victorious is promised. For the resisting of particular temptations see the Commandements.

THE SEAVENTH PETITION.

BVT deliuer vs from euill. Here we repeate all which we prayed for in the former peti­tions, redoubling our prayer againe for them: for he that prayeth to be freed from euill, prayeth to be freed from all that is opposite to the honour of God, to the obtaining of his kingdome, to the performance of his will, and from any thinge that is contrary to the other petitions. And we aske further more, the remission of the punish­ment due to our sinnes; and also to be freed from those corporal euils, which euery hower we are subiect vnto.

I said at first that the Pater Noster was a per­fect patterne, and forme of prayer, which our blessed Sauiour made for our instruction. Let vs then obserue dilligently the methode of it,