THE TRIUMPHS OF ROME OVER DESPISED PROTESTANCIE:

SATIS EST prostrasse.

Vincere praeclarum est, supra modum vincere invidiosum.

LONDON, Printed Anno Dom. 1655.

TO THE VICTORIOUS Roman Catholique Knight, That foyld the Vicar, and won the Lady.

Unknown Sir,

YOu cannot marvaile if the same of your late exploit have drawn a stranger to celebrate your victo­rie with these Triumphs, which he hopes may receive the favour of an acceptation from you, as presuming that the prosperous successe of your noble at­chievement hath not so over-elevated you, as to scorit so mean a present from an obscure hand, which can no otherwise commend it selfe to you, then by the good int [...]ndment of the Authour, the variety of the subject, and the unusuall manner of tractation; somewhat inclining to un­seriousness, [Page] as aiming no less at your de­light then satisfaction. If therefore you have not over-laught your selfe at the silly impertinencies of the Vicars wife, be pleased to bestow some gentle smiles upon this wel-merited gratulation; the fashion whereof cannot choose but like you, since it is but an imitation of your own pattern; although indeed, I could, in your silence, have learn'd it of better Masters; from the rule of Solomon, Prov. 26.5. and from the example of E­lijah, in the entertainment of his Baalites, 1 Kings 18.27. Ridiculum acri fortius. Farewell, great Sir, and enjoy your happy winnings, without the envie of

Your truly Catholique wel-willer, Faithfull Will-bee Vicar of Non-such.

The Introduction.

COME Brethren, come; for shame let us at last return into that bosome which we have unkindely forsaken. Is it not our Mother that recalls us? Our Mother sure e­nough, both as Catholick and as Roman: If any of you have so little grace as to doubt it, tell me I pray you, was it not her Eleutherius Venerunt Eleu­therio mittente praedicatores duo in Britanniam viri san­ctiff. Phaganus ac Deruvianus Mal­mesb. vid. H. Spel­man. Conc. that helpt our King Lucius and his Brittons to their Christendome? Was it not her Gregorie that sent the holy Monke Austen, with his fourty associates to convert our Saxons? What though this Summo tempore Tiberii Caesaris. Gildas sup. ibid. scil. anno 5 v [...]l 6 post Christi resurrectio­nem. Island had the Gospel planted in her as soon or sooner then Rome it self (within five or six years after our Saviours passion) as Gildas and Niceph. l. 2. c. 40. eandem doctrinam etiam ad occideata [...]em oceanum, & Insulas B [...]itannicas perfert Simon Zelotes. Nicephorus? What if immedi­ately upon S [...]ephens death, and the forced disper­sion of the Jews, Joseph ofGildas Albanicus histor. Aurelii Ambrosi [...] Arimathea, Gallia in Britan, missum a Philippo Apost. Joseph. & cit. a F [...]xio & Spel. with his twelve holy complices, landing here out of [Page 2] France, here preached and here dyed, as Baron. 1. tom. an. 35 Baro­nius himself, out of an old Record in the Vatican Library, tells us? What if the first fabrick of a Christian Church, that was in all the world, was erected in our Glastenbury thirty one years after our Saviours death; yea, what if St. Paul him­self preacht the Gospel here ere he could preach it at Homil. 4. de cur. Graec. assect. l. 9. ser. 9. vid. Spelm. ibid. Rome, as Theodoret and Sophronius? yet we must still beleeve she is our Mother. What if upon the cruel persecution of Dioclesian and Maximinianus this Nation yeelded many noble Christian Clarissimos Lam­pades sanctorum martyrum nobis accendit, Gild. Alb. s. 8. Martyrs, Albanus, Julius, Aaron, with others; the first whereof was attended by a thousand Bed. l. 1. c. 7. cit. H. Spelm. cum mil­le viris sicco in­grediens pede. partakers through the dryed channel of the Thames, as Albanum egregi­um foecunda Bri­tannia profert. ex Fortunato presby­ter Beda ibid. Beda, out of Gildas, tells us? What if this Illico Siccato ali­ceo, ibid. Island had three Archbishops and twenty eight Bishops governing this Church in a Christian manner; and one and twenty hundred religious persons devoutly serving God and main­taining themselves with the labour of their hands, living together in a blessed society at Bangor, un­der the presidency of the famous and learned Di­nothus, In quo tantus fer­tur fuisse numerus monachorum ut cum in septem por­tiones esset divi­sum, nulla horum portio minus quam 300 homines ha­beret qui omnes de labore manum suarum vivere so­leant, Bed. before ever the Monk Augustine set foot upon the Kentish shore, yet we must still beleeve she is our Mother. What if those honest and pious Brittish Bishops in several Synods stood out and protested against the Roman Authority, pressed by those new Emissaries, and stifly maintained their due subjection to their own Archbishop, then of St. Davids, with defiance of any other, refusing to yeeld so much as to those three tolerable propo­sitions made to them by the new pretended (but [Page 3] usurping) Archbishop Austen, viz. first, to keep Easter on the same day with the Roman Church; secondly, to receive their ceremonies in Baptism; thirdly, to joyn with them in preaching to the Anglo-Saxons? What if these Brittish Christians all this while, both before and after Austen's time, keep themselves close to the fashions of the Greek Church, with a peremptorie rejection of the Ro­man? yet we must still beleeve she is our Mo­ther.

But was it not a brotherly kindnesse in those our Roman Godfathers, out of a cruel revenge of the peevish frowardness (as was conceived) of the un-yeelding Brittons, to stir up (as the suspicion runs strong) King Edilbert to a bloody Extinctos in ea pugna ferunt de his qui ad orandum ve­nerunt viros circi­ter mille ducentos, ibid. warre, and therein to the slaughter of twelve hundred of those religious Christians, who only fought on their knees with the weapons of their prayers.

Tantae stragis erat Romanum temnere morem.

But why should we be guilty of so much wrong as not to give the Divel his due, much more a Saint? why should we be so ingratefull as to smo­ther courtesies? Pope Gregorie (whom the world is wont to stile the last of the good Bishops and first of the bad) was our good friend and worthy benefactor, and merits an eternall memory for the care and pains that he took towards the conversion of our wilde beathenish Saxons, and imploying and [Page 4] encouraging his Abbot Augustine and his Monks and Clergy in the hard service of this uncouth Plantation; for the advancing whereof he freely bestirred his brain and his pen, writing to no few­er then fifteen or sixteen several Bishops and Prin­ces for their ayd in so holy a work; and affording his grave directions to his new-created Metropo­litan of England, who was zealously and studi­ous, I know not whether more to advance the faith of Christ, or the honor, government, and cere­monies of the Roman See. In the mean while the Brittish Bishops still held their own, not lying open to any taxation or blame but their refusall of sub­jection to the Roman authority, mantaining their constant adherence to their own Archbishop, till after the Norman Conquest; when Henry the first subduing the Principality of Wales, forced them to stoop unto his Canter­bury.

How much then we and our fore fathers are be­holden to Rome we see, and shall be to blame if we acknowledge not; And why is not this abundantly enough reason to enslave our faith ever since, to their inerrable judgment, and to pin our soules upon their sleeves for ever? What though they have departed from themselves, yet it is not for us (in way of gratitude) to depart from them. If our mother will mixe poyson to us belike we must drink it, for we may not disobey.

But did we stand in no relation at all to the Church of Rome, were we mere strangers to her, yet so transcendent advantages hath she above all [Page 5] other Churches, that he should be very hard-heart­ed and a back-friend to his own preferment, that would not strive to be first in her lap. Who is so bl [...]nde as he that will not see these whole dozen of supereminent excellencies for which she is conspi­cuous to all the World?

She and her Religion is 1 more gay and glo­rius; 2ly More pleasant and joviall; 3ly More pure and holy; 4ly More powerfull and mighty; 5ly More pious and devout; 6ly More easie and plausible; 7ly more sure and certain; 8ly More free and bountifull; 9ly More gainfull and com­modious; 10ly More wise and witty; 11ly More mercyfull; and 12ly More unanimous then any rivall under heaven. Can you have the patience to goe along with me through all these notorius priviledges, I shall promise you a full conviction.

CHAPTER I. The triumph of Glorie.

AND first whiles you see other Churches either naked or like some sorry drudges, either sluttishly or raggedly clad in their homespun russet, and at their best, without welt or gard, behold her like a Queen mounted on her gawdy choppines, curiously dressed, all to be jewelled, be spangled, powdred, paint­ed, perfumed. What talk you of the simpli­citie of the Gospel, and whisper that the Kings Daughter is all glorious within? so let her be: but give me a Church that is all glorious without too; such is she, such is none but she! Other Churches have but one head, (and that is in heaven) but the Church of Rome, and she alone (thanks to the good Emperor Phocas) hath two heads, one in heaven the other on earth; both glorious: If fools talk of monstrosity, let them learn that this point is de fide; and matters of faith must not be scanned by reason: See what an head she hath here below, as much above Kings as Kings are above their Subjects; as much bigger then the Emperors as the Sun is big­ger then the Earth: For howsoever the honest [Page 7] Abbot Planum est Apo­stolis interdicitur dominatus, I ergo tu & tibi usurpare aude aut dominans Apostolatum, aut Apostolicus domi­natum, Bern. de Consid. ad Eugen. l. 2. c. 6. Bernard (good soul) could tell his old friend Pope Eugenius, that he could nor be capable at once of Sovereignty and Apo­stolicisme; yet he was quite out upon the matter, and must know and learn from our later Doctors (Antonius Ant. Sanctarellus de Societ. Jesu Tract. de Haeresi & potestate summi Pont. anno 1625. approba a primo­rib. Jesuitis. Sanctarellus for one) that the Pope hath full power over all temporals, and as Alvares roundly, in all, through all, above all; that his sublimity is such (as In omnia, per omnia, super om­nia. Hujus summi Pontificis tanta est sublimitas tanta immensitas & nul­lus mortalius com­prehendere queat, Cassen. ex Zoderico. Casseneus) that it cannot be com­prehended: who can doubt of this, when Pope Bonifacius 8. non Galliae modo, sed mundi dominum se praedicavit. Popyr. Mass. v. Bonif. 8. Boniface the eight himself (that could not erre) tells us that he is no less then Lord of the World? and not without reason: how can he goe less, as Vicar general, to the great King of heaven? by vertue whereof both his Jurisdiction is boundless, as universal Quid tu Christo universalis Eccle­siae capiti in extre­mo judicio dicturus es examine, &c. Greg. de Epis. Con­stantinopol. l. 4. Epist. 38. Bi­shop of the Church on earth (in spight of Pope Gregorie himself, who unwisely cryed down that stile as insolent and pompaticall, professing that it had been tendred to himself by the Councel of Superbi & pom­patici, &c. per vene­randam Synodum Chalced. Romano Pontifici oblatum est, sed nullus unquam [...]orum hoc singularitatis nomen assumpsit, Greg. l. 4. Ep. 32. Mauritio. Chalcedon, but he had re­fused it as utterly unlawfull, proud, injurious, and precursorie to Antichrist himself) and his Dominion also is paramount to all Kingly and Imperial power. Time was indeed when the Popes flew a lower pitch, dating their letters by the reign of their Lords the Emperors; when Pope Gregory the Great [Page 8] could come with his cap in his hand to Em­peror Mauritius with Gregor. ubi supra. Vobis obedientiam prae­bere desidero, I desire to yeild you obedience, and were so farre from claiming to have a finger in the Emperors Crown, that they were content the Emperor should have an hand in their Mitre: so Pope Adrian, anno 796, gave, with all due submission, power to Charles the Great to choose the Popes, his Successors: and Pope Gregorie the fourth confirmed the same, anno 830; and Pope Leo the ninth yeelded the same to Emperor Otho, anno 961: after whom Pope Alexander the second, being chosen without the Emperors consent, repenting him of that wrong, was (as he was well served) deposed by busie Pope Hildebrand: At and after which time their Vide in quantum licentiae tum pro­cessit Rom. Eccles. ut se intromittere inciperet de Eccle­siis vacantibus sole­bant aliquando Imperatores de Ro­mana disponere Ecclesia, &c. K [...]n­tius Metrop. l. 7. c. 45. Holiness hath been better advised, strongly wrestling with, and giving sound falls to their contesting Caesars; Gregorie the seventh to Henry the fourth; Pashcall the se­cond to Henry the fifth; Innocent the third to Philip; Innocent the fourth to Frederick and Conrade; John the two and twentie [...]h and Benedict the eighth to Ludovic. Bavar. legem tulit ne in posterum Pontifices Romani absentes esse liceret ultra tres menses, nec ultra 20 miliaria ab urbe progredi, Papyr. Mass. Lewis of Bavaria; al­though this last gave a Cornish hugge to his unequall match, making a Law that the Pope should not be absent above three moneths in a year, and not above twenty miles from Rome, satis pro Postmedo Jea [...]. 21. veneno extinctus in Eucha­ristia, Krant. Me­trop. l. 9. c. 6. Imperio: But the winde stood not long in that doore: the case is altered quoth Ployden: Now, of a long time, the [Page 9] Emperour Postea Imperator si praesens est, stu­pham equi Papalis tenet, et dein ducit equum per fraenum aliquantulum.Lib. Sacr. cerem. knows his duty, that is, to hold his Holinesse his stirrup, and to lead his horse by the bridle; the ignorance or for­getfulnesse of which point of his office had like to have cost Frederic [...]. il en cuida perdre sa co­rone pour 'n avoir pas tenu bien &c. audit tenu estrien ganctru a Adrian. 4. Revis. conc. du Trent. Frederik the second his Crown, which he might justly have forfei­ted for taking hold of the wrong side; at least a tedious delay till he had learnt bet­ter manners: well done brave Country­man; this was our English Adrian: Or if his Holinesse be rather pleased to be carried in his Si Pontifex sella vehatu r. 4. majores principes, etiam Im­perator in hono­rem Servatoris sel­lam ipsam cum Pon­tifice humeris suis aliquantulum por­tare debet. Lib. Sacr. Cerem. chair, it shall be the Emperours of­fice with three other Kings or Princes to put their shoulders to his happy load: Or perhaps upon further favour Caesars mighti­nesse may be prefer'd from a Groom or Escuier of the stable, to be his Holinesse his Chaplain; for though Licet Imperator aut alius princeps &c. non habet ordi­nem; tamen offici­um subdiaconatus potest Episcopo ministranti exer­cere. Cassen. Nor. mund. 5. parte. Emperours or Kings be not admitted to holy Orders, yet nothing hinders but that they may be allowed when his Holinesse officiates, to supply the place of his Sigismundus Rex in urbe Constantia, Papa primam mis­sam celebrante Di­aconi habitu indu­tus legit Evangeli­um alta voce, Exiit edictum. Bin. In notis Con­cilii Constantiensis. Deacons, or Subdeacons: as King Si­gismund in the City of Constantine, when the Pope said his first Masse, being formally at­tired in the habit of a Deacon, did with a a loud voice read the Gospel of the day out of Luke 3. Exiit edictum.

Yet further, if the Emperour will be a white boy and please his Holinesse well, he may be advanced to be a Canon in the Church of Lateran; Imperator recipitur in Canonicum & fratrem Ecclesiae Lateranensis. Lib. Sacr. Cerem. whiles his great Patron [Page 10] the Pope sits stately in his Pontificalibus to be adored by the Grandees of the Earth with the kisse of his toe: An homage which I confesse Lipsius himself spits at as base, and more then servile,Turpe ac plus quam servile Lips. not. in Sen. 1.2. De Benef. Elect. l. 2. and such as if a Caius Caesar or Dioclesian (who affected divine honour) required of their vassals, yet the elder Maximinus abhorred, with a (Dii pro­hibeant) The gods forbid, Dii prohibeant ut quisquam ingenuo rum pedibus meis oscula sigat. Lips. ib. that any ingenuous man should kisse a foot of mine. How well methinks it becomes the house, that this o­dious guise which practised by the prou­dest Heathen,Senec. de Benef. l. 2. c. 12. drew from Seneca the excla­mation of O superbias magnae fortunae, Oh the pride of a great fortune, should be taken up by a Christian prelate, the professed succes­sor of an humble fisherman. If a faire La­dies kisse of Pope Leo his hand over erecting him suddainly in a lustful passion (out of a revenge whereof, he is said to have cut off that guilty hand, which yet they say was mercifully restored by the blessed Virgin) were the occasion of this hateful change from the hand to the foot, the World hath reason to beshrew her lips;Quid contumelio­sum est socculum auro & margaritis distinctum, nullam partem corporis e­lecturus quem pu­rius oscularer. r. But let that passe, and to say the truth, what so great harme is it to kisse a cleanly and precious Carbunole? Onwards you do in the mean time sufficiently see the incomparable Ma­jesty of that glorious Prelate.

Maximil. Imp. scri­bit ad Baronum de Lichtensterne, &c.Can any man marvel now that Maximi­lian the Emperour had an ambition of be­ing Pope, and offering so faire for it by [Page 11] Baron Lichtensterne as three hundred thou­sand Duckets,Hoc scriptum suit a Maximiano, Anno. 1511. 6. Septembris, ut Waremundus de E­renberg, in verisi­mil. Vide monita Poli­tica. p. 33. Luther. serm. Conv. p. 302. the pawning of four precious chests, with his rich Investural Robe for the purchase of it? and if the bargaine could have been driven, would have had a good match of it too. But it is no wonder at all that Pope Julius the second would be Em­perour, and in that right challenged both Swords, Temporal and Spiritual; though the Temporal of it selfe is indeed but lead to the steele of the Spiritual.

Now then what a saucy word was that of John Gerson Chancellor of Paris, Papa est frater no­ster, alioqui debe­ret dicere Pater meus vel Pater mi. Jo. Gerson. An li­ceat in causis fidei a Papa appellare. Papa stupor mundi, non Deus, non ho­mo, sed utrumque. Gloss. in proemio Clem. Moscan De Rom. Pont. l. 1. c. 11. who durst say. The Pope is our Brother, else he could not say Our Father; when he might know how the old stile came, Nec Deus est nec homo: he is neither God nor man, but neither and betwixt both. Some spightful detractors will be ready to talke of Lucife­rian pride, and Worldly pompe; and to say they feare his Holinesse hath forgot what his Master of Ceremonies said at his Inau­guration,Cum exicrit P. Ca­pellam St. Gregorii ceremoniarius stup­pae ignem mittit, ac genuflexus ait, Sie Pater, &c. Lib.Cerem. when he burnt the towe before him at his coming out of St. Gregories Chap­pel, Sancte Pater, sic transit gloria mundi; Holy father, thus passes the glory of the World; and that of his Petrach, The life of man is short, of Kings shorter,Hominum vita bre­vis, regum brevior, pontificum brevissi­ma Petrarch de Remed. l. 1. of Popes shortest of all: as (welfare all good tokens) he might have seen eight Popes in the space of twelve years. These malevolent fooles will be apt to put him in minde of what that merry Miller Plautus said of old;Qui quaerit alta, i [...] malum videtur quae­rere Plaut. Pseu­dolo. Qui [Page 12] quaerit alta, &c. he that looks too high, seeks his own mischiefe, and can tell him that the highest is not alwayes the best: as for example, the chimny is the highest piece of the house, but the foulest. But it matters not what they say, unlesse they were wiser; their eyes are bleared with envy at this resplendent glory. Iwis Chry­sostome was deceived when he could say,Illis qui vehemen­ter excellunt nemo inviderit. Excellen­tiae quippe cedunt omnia. Chrysost. Ho­mil. 3. in Epist. ad Philip. &c. No man envies a transcendent excellency; rather contrarily, the higher, the greater in­vidence; but all is one, his Holinesse wots well, and better then themselves what be­longs to pride;Non video quomo­do qui altum hunc locum tenet, salvari possit. and knows right well what one of his Predecessors (I meene Marcellus the second) said of old; who after a long silent dump, broke out at the Table into these words; I do not see how he that holds this high place can be saved; but withal he knows what that mouthful of words did cost the speaker, who lived but twenty dayes after them. It was time to be rid of such an ominous bird;In vita Bellarmin. whether on the same grounds Cardinal Bellarmine had wont to pray to God that he might never be Pope, I leave it to the scanning of deeper judge­ments; but let that passe; Returne we to our more pleasing thoughts. Did you but see the state of his Holinesse at the Feast of his Coronation,Primum serculum portavit nobilior princeps sive, Impe­rator sive Rex. Lib. Sacr. Cerem. you could not but wonder at that magnificence: To say no more, there should you see him served with Prin­ces, the Emperour (if present) carrying up [Page 13] the first dish to his Table, Kings holding the Bason and Towell for the washing of his holy hands, as the King of Denmark did to Sixtus the fourth; and so oft as it pleased his Holinesse to drink,Papa cum biberit, omnes flectunt genua praeter Episcopos. Ibid. you might see all the beholders humbly cast down upon their knees. Surely the majesty of his single Holi­nesse, whom you shall behold with his Tri­ple-crown on his head, with his rich Crosier in his hand, with the glorious Robes of his Pontificality on his back, is enough to dazle your eyes; but when you shall see him in his Conclave, assessed with all his glittering Cardinals about him, you cannot but be transported with a reverentiall admiration of him, and those his Princely Senators. I tell you one of those red Hats are more worth then all the blew and black Bonnets of their maligners; so as any man might justly won­der at Ferdinand of Toledo, Ferdinandus è Tole­tana familia post triduum remittit Cubicularium Papae bene remuneratum cum pileo quem attulit, indignum se professus tanto mu­nere. Petramell. vita Cardin. pag. 252. who after three daies entertainment sent back (not un­rewarded) his Holinesse's Chamberlaine, and that glorious Cap of better mainte­nance, with a cold complement, refusing that honour which others bought so deare, For do we not know (what ever they were once) that they are now Princes fellows, yea in some sort their betters? for at the solemnity of his Holinesse his Coronation,Regi sedes nulla pa­ratur in Convivio, quia seder in mensa post primum Cardi­nalem. Sacr. Cerem. the greatest King must not take his place before the first Cardinall. And good reason: for they make up one body with the Pope, saith Jacobatius; and by vertue thereof, [Page 14] saith Casseneus, Unum corpus cum Papa constituunt. Jacobit. de Concil. they judge all men, and can be judged of none. If you cast your eyes down lower to the meaner Clergy,Cardinales post Pa­pam judicant omnes & à nemine judican­tur Cassen, Glor. mund. parte 4. nu. 8. where­fore doe you think their Priests have their crownes shaven, but to shew (as the Coun­cell of Ravenna tells you) that they are of a royall kind?Coronam portent condecentem Sa­cerdotes per quam designantur regalis esse generis. Co [...]c. Raven. 3. Rubr. 10. And what marvellous port do we see in the intermediate dignities! I lie (saith St. Bernard) if I have not seen an Abbot ride with threescore horse and men.Mentior si non vidi Abbatem 60. equos & eo amplius in suo comicatu ducere. Apol. ad Gulielm. Abbatem. And how then? Ah poor Bernard; how narrow were thy thoughts, who (though an Abbot, and that a famous one too,) couldst say, Cannot one man serve both to wait at his board,An non posset unus minister jumentum ligare, & ad mensam servire, & Lectum praeparare. Idem. and to make his bed, and to dress his beast? how truly dost thou herein ve­rifie the old word, Bernard sees not all things? there is yet more pomp and state then thine eyes ever reacht to;Videmus hodie equitantes super mulas, secundas Abbatias, secundos Episcopatur: Gallicè deux crosses & deux mitres: & adhuc non sunt contenti. Menot. Feria 6. Sabbat. post dominic. 2. fol. 8. We see at this day, saith the zealous Menot, two Cros­ses and two Mitres, two Abbacies and two Bishopricks on one Mules back. And it was thought worthy the care of a Councell to enact that an Archbishop when he visits should be content to take up with forty or fifty horse,Archiepiscopi vi­sitantes 40. vel 50. equis sint conten­ti, &c. Bin. notis in Concil. Lateranens. ex Matth Paris. Tyrannus sacerdo­tum vocatus. a Bishop with twenty or thirty, an Archdeacon with five or six: a poor retinue to our VVolsees, or that proud Pre­late of Ely, who in the time of his Viceroy deputation was attended with no lesse then a thousand. O base Protestancy when we behold this superabundant superfluity of State and glory.

[Page 15]From their persons, cast your eyes upon their Churches, Chappels, Oratories: see how sumptuously they are built, how rich­ly furnisht, how gorgeously decked;Ferdinand, Mendes de pinto Histor. Chines, ubi (que). al­though I am afraid the Chinoese and Indian Temples erected to their hellish Pagodi are yet much fairer and wealthier then they. Look upon their Altars, and see how gaylie they are set out. Look to their Images, and see how trimly they are dressed with va­riety of Robes, lighter and cooler for Sum­mer, warmer and weightier for Winter. If some carping Erasmus will not stick to say that they suit our Lady so unfitly, as that both the fashion and stuffe were more pro­per for the Stews then the Church; and if some of our jeering companions shall scorn­fully ask what difference there is ‘Effigies inter vestras statuam (que) Bathulli?’ and shall tell us that all blocks are alike; they are easily choaked with this answer, That if our infidelity cannot distinguish, their faith can.

Now upon all this, let me make your selves the Judges, whether poor pelting Protestancy can stand in any comparison with the Gayetie of the Roman profession; yea, whether the one be not as mean, as the other glorious! Alas, we have not a Lady to dresse, nor a Saint to worship, nor a toe to kisse, nor an Oracle to consult, nor a Vice-God to rule, nor one that can pretend to so much honour as to be thought capable [Page 16] of the suspicion of being Antichrist. My first task then is done; onely two rules lie in my way, which if I cannot remove, some stronger hand may. First, I confesse my dulnesse cannot apprehend how these should stand together; that outward splen­dor should be the mark of the true Church, and an argument of Gods speciall favour; and yet the great merit and proof and praise of Sanctity should consist in wilfull poverty: If perfection of holinesse be found in bravery, how is not St. Francis a foole? a true Fatuellus indeed, as himselfe con­fesses. He whom they make one of the prime Saints in Heaven, goes woolward, barelegg'd, skrubbing in Hairecloth, and lowsie rags, measuring the greater sancti­mony of his minors and minimes, by the multitude of their patches,Humilis Franciscus debet in sede Luci­feri sedere. Lib. con­formitate, Franc. Foecundatur. and is therefore advanced to the voyd Throne of Lucifer himselfe, because no rogue upon earth was so poor as he: whilest that man whose Title is Holinesse it selfe, challenges to have no Peere under Heaven, and rides on the neck of Princes; Aread me this Riddle who can. Secondly, I am much scrupled to finde the reason why no Pope since that prime Apostle (whom they claime to suc­ceed) ever chose to call himselfe by the name of Peter. Yea they all purposely shun it; there have been those who were christ­ned by that name at the Font, but have changed it when they come to the chaire, [Page 17] as Petrus de Tarantasia would be Innocent the fourth, Petrus Carafa would be Paul the fifth; and Sergius the third was once a Peter; which howsoever Baronius would seem to impute to their modesty, and great reve­rence to their first founder, yet that is but a meere shuffle: for had they not as much reason to reverence the name of St. Paul as St. Peter? since both are confessed to be their joynt-founders; and Paul professes that he was not inferiour to the chiefe A­postles; yet we see Carafa cast off Peter and take up Paul. Besides, do we not see it or­dinary for men to weare those names with­out scruple, which are worthy of higher reverence then that of Peter? One calls himselfe Frater Archangelus, another Ra­phael, another Michael, another Gabriel, another Thomas de Jesu, another Johannes de Jesu Maria, another de Dieu, and many other the like: No no; I doe much fear this pro­ceeds from the conscience of their guilti­nesse; as justly doubting, lest this name would plainly upbraid them with their palpable dissimilitude to that their first pattern, whiles every one that heares it would be ready to say, How like is this Peter the Pope to Peter the Apostle? were the old Fisherman alive, would he not say, Can this be my successor? Had not Raphael Ʋrbin, the famous Painter, just reason (when he was challengd for laying too much colour on the faces of Peter and Paul) to say [Page 18] that he did it purposely to represent them blushing in heaven to see the Church sway­ed by such Successors? Successors (to con­tradict the old Glosse) rather to Augustus the Emperour, then Peter the Fisher; And what do we think the head of the Church above, will say of her head below? What my Vicar and thus gay and pompous? was this my garbe whiles I was on the earth? What a perfect copy is here of my meek­nesse and humility? was I lackied and congyed by great Princes? was my toe ever reach't out to be kissed by the great Poten­tates of the earth? Did not I when I stood despicably to be judged by Pilate, say, My Kingdom is not of this World?John 18.36. Did not I say to my Disciples, Vos non sic, It shall not be so with you. Here I confesse I stick; but some of the learned society will easily take me off.

Perhaps some malevolents will be apt to lay in our dish the example of Heraclius the Emperour,Adricomius de Terra Sancta. who having got a peice of our Saviours Crosse would have carried it in princely state through the High-street of Jerusalem; and being bravely mounted, was entering through the guilded gate with that intention; but being met by the grave Patriarch Zacharias, and admonished how little that pompe would agree to the prece­dent of his crucified Saviour, who in no lesse humility then disgrace, walked sadly with his crosse on his shoulders, through [Page 19] those streets towards his Calvarie; present­ly alighted, disrobed himselfe, passed mournfully on foot along that very way which his Saviour had troden before him; as holding it more meet to imitate the low­ly dejectednesse of his blessed Redeemer, then to Triumph in the joy of so precious a Relique. But, Tush, we live by rules, not by examples; Ywis, these men know a better way then so, finding it far sweeter to enjoy the munificence of their Saviour in so lavish a prosperity, then to imitate him in his poverty and suffering; and upon this account, can laugh at the impotent enviers of their greatnesse, and applaud themselves in the glad sense of their outward felicity, as a Church beforehand Triumphant here, whosoever shal prove to be so in heaven.

CHAP. II. The triumph of Pleasure.

HOw far more gaysome and glorious the Religion of our Grandmother Rome is then all her emulous corrivalls, you have fully seen; see now how far more jolly, more pleasant and joviall; a consideration worthy of your thoughts; for who would care for a profession that hath no life in it? [Page 20] for a gloomy and dull Religion that hath no more Sun in it then Jordanus Bishop of Ra­venna out of Strabo reports of our Britaine; Chronìc. de Ori­gine Gothorum. which he saith is alwayes overcast with perpetual fogges and thick mists; blessed little lesse with the light of that glorious Planet by night then by day. A cheareful and sprightly Devotion for my money; al­though I perceive even the very Turkes themselves are so far from a melancholly dumpishness,Blunts relat. of this Travels. that there is scarce one of them that hath not his fiddle with two or three strings hanging at his girdle to cheere him up: But sure a little mirth is more worth then a great deale of sorrow; and if our mortified Votaries had not thought so, they would never have endured that their Friar Juniper should go away (which I blush and tremble to write) with the title of Jocula­tor Christi. Frater Juniperus Joculator Christi: Liber Conform. p. 106.

What a merry World it is then with those under the Roman obedience, who is so blind that sees not? For first as it was said of Athens long since, that that City a­lone had more Feasts then all Greece beside; so may we say of Rome and her appur­tenants, that she hath, and makes, and keeps more Festivals, then all the rest of Christendom put together; Tertullian could say of old, that onely those fifty Holidayes, betwixt Easter and Whitsontide (which the ancient Church kept with so cheerful regard, that in that space no man did so [Page 21] much as de geniculis adorare) were more then the superstitious Heathen kept all the whole year thorough; What would that witty African say if he now lived to see the multitude of Play-dayes which are enacted and solemnly observed by our Roman Law­givers?

If you know not, they have their double, and halfe double Festivals;Vide Gavantum de Festis Sanctorum. 7.10. the double both greater and lesser; In the clementine re­cognition of the Breviarie distinguisht into four ranks, of all which if need were I could give you a perfect Calender, all in red letters. Let it be sufficient to know that the half-double Festivals with the Sundayes exceed the numder of 130. as their Gavantus hath punctually reckoned; and that the Double Festivals of Saints, besides those (not a few) of Christ and his blessed Mother in the Ro­man Calendar are 64. where note by the way, that the Lords-dayes are but half-double Festivals, whereas many Saints days are (Duplicia majora) the greater kind of Double Festivals, and their observations after High Masse is accordingly. Good reason that the waiters should be set and served before their Masters, the Saints above their Maker: Now if we put all these to­gether, see what a merry life they lead who live under the Roman obedience above all Geuses and Hugvenois, who are all the while droiling, and snoiling at their labour, whiles these other like Gentlemen (or as [Page 22] the Saxon terme was of old, Ydle men) take their pleasure in ease and disport. Teriul­lian might have been wiser then to say even in those dayes when Holidayes were more thin sowne,Tertull. Apologetico. Dies festi minuendi; Holidays would be abated: The Church is since grown more free and liberall, and hath or­dained, that if there be not Holidayes enow, it may be in the power of the Bishop with­in his Diocesse to make more; though in­deed curtall'd to the halfe; with this cau­tion too, that he must call the people to­gether beforehand, and know of them, whether such his grant may be for their case; for it may be some narrow-hearted fellowes may be apt to take up that snudg­ing complaint which Petrus de Aliaco the Cardinal of Cambray made in his discourse of the Reformation of the Church,Dies operabiles vix sufficiunt pauperi­bus virae neces­saria procuranda. Petr. de Aliaco. de Reform. Eccles. jus­su Sigismund Impe­ratoris Scrip. Dies opera­biles, &c. The work-dayes (saith he) all the year thorough are scarce sufficient for poor men to get necessaries to keep life and soul together; It is no matter; Let them ply it the harder while they are at it.

But the having of Holidayes is not all; all is in the keeping them. And as the Ro­mans of old had their Flamines, Macrob. Saturn. l. 1. c. 16. whose care it was to see that those Festival dayes were duely observed; so have their Successors, still their Consistorialls with their busse Flies under them, which will be sure to fetch up, and plague those, who shall dare to defile any Holiday with a stitch of work: [Page 23] But now, what manner of keeping is this we talke of? Somewhere they keep some few (though somewhere none) in a poor dull fashion, onely in going to Church and doing nothing; as if they were meer Vacu­nalia and no more; Onely our Frolick Catholiques, know how to keep them like themselves, in Feasting, Dancing, Reveling, in Beare-baitings, and all other sportful Games; in so much, as our froward Coun­tyman Bromiard could say, that the Devil had more and better service done him that day, then all the week beside. Tertullian was too scrupulous when he stood upon Casté agitandi; as if those dayes were to be soberly spent, and especially devoted to piety. Pope Gregory was yet more indul­gent, whiles he allowes that the Pagan Feasts should be so turned to Christian, as that there should be some kinde of obser­vation of such fashions and pastimes, as might be pleasingly suitable to their former guise; of each whereof every man will take the counsel of Thierrick Vallicolor to Cardinal Antherus.

Hoc celebri festo solito jucundior esto.
Upon the day of this celebrios Feast
More mirthful be then upon all the rest.

They have their Jovial (which some sowre Cynick would call licentious) Carne­val, wherein every man cries Sciolto, letting himself loose to the maddest of merriments, [Page 24] marching wildly up and down in all formes of disguises; each man striving to out-go other in strange prancks of humorous de­bauchednesse, in which even those of the holy Order are wont to be allowed their share; for howsoever it was by some sullen authority forbidden to Clerks and Votaries of any kinde to go masked and misguised in those seemingly abusive Solemnities,Bononiae autem ubi ipsimet Laici cle­rico ad hoc inci­tant atque invitant, Dicentes (licet falso) larvarum u­sum maxime prop­ter clericos esse inventum; nullum est scandalum at­que ideo non nisi veniale peccatum Alphons. Vivald. Candel. Aur. de Ʋsu larvarum. yet more favourable construction hath offered to make them believe that it was cheifly for their sakes for the refreshment of their sad­der and more restrained spirits, that this free and lawlesse Festivity was taken up; In comparison whereof some rigid censurer would say the Roman and Grecian Baccha­nals were sober pastime; Adde to these their pleasant Playes, and lively Pageants, wherewith they celebrate the great Festivals of the Nativity, Passion, and Resur­rection of our blessed Saviour: There might you see the Gospel upon the Stage: There might you see Christ acted (all but his reall dying) to the life; There might your eyes have met with Judas that betray'd him, in all his activity, save onely not hang­ing himselfe: There also with bold Peter that would have rescued his Master, but without an eare slasht off, there with blind Longinus that pierced him, there you should have seen him bleeding, and expi­ring; and might perhaps smile at the cause­lesse teares of some passionate women, that [Page 25] deeply feel the tor [...] and paine of that coun­terfeit crucifixion: There should you see him gently let down by the honest Arima­mat [...]ean from the Cross for feare of hurting; shortly, there you might see the sequele of that holy story very finely mocked with a feigned and too-scenical representation.

Or if you desire to feed your cares no less then your eyes; do but hear the ravi­shing harmony of their sweet Musick, both at their Mass and Vespers; I dare say, the Spheares of Heaven make none such.

These delights are Universal; but be­sides them, there are specialties of pleasure proper to places and persons without num­ber. B [...]ccius the pleasant Monke, when he was askt by Pope Paul the third which was the merriest day at Rome, could answer him,Papyr. Masson. Paulo. 3. that wherein the Pope dies, and that where­in his Successor is chosen; and indeed the former of these is most outrageously law­less, the other most comfortable in their renewed hopes. The old saying is, that a Dog hath his day; but for all his jesting, the life of their holy father affords them many gaudy dayes: In the beneficial visits of Emperour and Kings, in the Feasts and Munificent entertainments of their Cardi­nals, and especially that solemne day where­in his Holiness bounseth at St. Peters Church door. What merry work it was here in the dayes of our Holy Fathers (and I know not whether in some places it may not be so [Page 26] still) that upon Saint Nicholas, St. Kathe­rine, St. Clement, and holy Innocent day, children were wont to be arayed in Chim­ers, Rochets, Surplices, to counterfeit Bi­shops and Preists, and to be led with Songs and Dances from house to house, blessing the people who stood girning in the way to expect that ridiculous benediction: Yea that boyes in that holy sport were wont to sing Masses, and to climbe into the Pulpit to preach (no doubt learnedly and edify­ingly) to the simple Auditory. And this was so really done, that in the Cathedral Church of Salsbury (unlesse it be lately de­faced) there is a perfect monument of one of these Boy Bishops (who dyed in the time of his yong Pontificality) accoutred in his Episcopal Robes, still to be seen; A fashion that lasted until the latter times of King Henry the eight, who in the 33. year of his Reign, Anno Domini 1541. by his so­lemne Proclamation, Printed by Thomas Bertler the Kings Printer, cum privilegio, straitly forbad the practice.

And that you may not think this sporting foolery peculiarly confined to our Island, know that it was taken up in other Coun­tries also. The Council of Saltzburgh, very bluntly tells you in the year 1274. Lude quidam noxii; There are say they, certain harmeful sports, which the Vulgar calls [Eptus puor] that is, Episcopatus Puerorum, used in some Churches so insolently, that [Page 27] many times great errors and greivous of­fences ensue upon them;Hos ludos in Eccle­siis & a person is Ec­clisiasticis de caetero fieri prohibemus. These sports (say they severely enough) we forbid here­after to be used in Churches, and of Eccle­siastical persons: But withal,Nisi forte parvi se­decim annorum et infra fuerint qui hujusmod; Ludos exercent, Concil. Saltezburgh, Anno Domini 12▪ 4 Bin. those fathers gravely adde (nisi forte) and unlesse per­haps they be used by children of sixteen years old or under: then belike they might be allowed to play the fooles with good li [...]ing.

Neither had the boyes onely leave to play thus, but the men, yea even Clerks themselves took leave to be so prodigal of their mirth, that they gave themselves li­berty to go up and down the Country, and make themselves Jesters and Buffons in great mens houses; in so much, as the se­cond Councell of Saltzburgh thought it re­quisite to marre their mirth, unkindly re­straining them by so strict a Law, that who­soever should practice that (as they pleased to call it) ignominious Art,Clerici quî se Jo­cula tores seu Gali­ardos fecere aut Buffones, si per an­num exercuerint illam iguominio­sam artem, ipso jure, &c. Concil. Saltz­burg. 2. Anno 1310. for a whole year together should ipso jure remaine under the deepest censure; but if a shorter time, be­ing thrice admonished, he repented not, he was to be stripped, of all clerical priviledges: And as the Clerks were notoriously active in these mirthful disorders, so they were no lesse passive in some other. When a young Preist was to say his first Masse,Missae novae con­vivia, Ludi, chor [...]ae tollantur. Ex. Prov. 2. Gavantus. V. Missae. what a cost­ly height of merry entertainment was he wont to be put to, what Meat, what Wine what Musick was sufficient for this gratu­lation? [Page 28] And if a Souldier were to be ho­noured with a Military Girdle, how were all the neighbour Parsonages filled with the chargeable entertainment of that jolly and reveling retinue?

What pleasure through his Holinesses indulgence do his white sonnes of Spain finde in their Juogo de Toros, In regnis Hispaniae praedictae paenae sunt revocatae (scil tau­rorum & ferarum agitatoribus) his condicionibus, ne fiant dicbus feslis, & ita ut non possit mors sequi, Iniisdem regnis eadem con­cessit Clemens 8. adhortans ne hac benignitare abu­tantur. Anno 1596. Gavant. V. Tornea­mentum. which though it were not long since for the great inconve­niences (which were found in it) loudly bellowed down by a Bull from Rome; yet now lately upon some cautious termes is let as loose as the Bull that is hunted, and even Clerks and religious Pesons not inhibited from being spectators.

What should I speak of our merry Wakes, and May-games, and Christmas triumphs, which you have once seen here, and may see still in those under the Romane dition; In all which put together, you may well say, No Greek can be merrier then they. Now on the other side, in opposition to these jol­lities, what I pray you, hath Protestancy to lay in the scales, that might weigh down, or but sway the Balance to an equilibration? yea what is there here but a sad, serious, sportlesse Devotion? All they can say or do, is (as their preachers inculcate to them for their cold comfort) that of St. James, If ye be merry, sing Psalmes; and that of St. Paul, In Psalmes and Hymnes and Spiritual Songs, singing with a grace in your hearts unto the Lord; and to labour for that inward joy [Page 29] of the Holy Ghost, which may make them truly and secretly happy; as for outward recreations, they allow them gladly, but onely such forsooth, as whereby the body may be better, and the soul no worse; and higher they will not go. Alas, we have either no Holidayes, or no sport in them, no Jubilees, no Carnevals, no Pageants, no musical Vespers, no Bishops now (as it falls out) either Boyes of Men; no baiting of Bulls, but with Dogs to observe a Statute, no Wakes, no May-games, no Christmas Lords; shortly like weake Melancholicks we boast of no pleasure, but honest, sober, modest, and such as might not mis-become an Heremite, nor shame a Saint.

CHAP. III. The trinmgh of Holinesse.

WHiles we professe to lament the im­purity of the lives of too many of ours, confessing it uncapable of either deni­al or concealment, our Good mother of Rome boasts still of her holinesse, and we may believe her. Onely it hath been her unhappy lot to meet with unkinde sonnes, which have not stuck to blazon her as shamefully foule, both in life and doctrine; and her mishap hath been yet the harder, that the honester men have been still the [Page 30] more clamorous. It was but a gentle word of Cassander when he said,Non inficior Roma­nam Ecclesiam a prisco suo decore & splendore non pa­rum diversam. Cas­sand, de offic. boni. viri. Status insuper Ec­clesiae nonne factus est totus quasi bru­talis & monstro­sus. Gers. Serm. in die Circumcisionis. Inquirite si quae hodie claustra Mo­nialium facta sunt sicut prostibula me­retricun; siquae Con­secrata Canonico­rum Monasteria si­ant quasi fora & di­versoria, &c, Joh. Gers. declaratio de­fectum. he denied not but that the Church of Rome had not a little departed from her wonted beauty and splendor: But who would believe that so pious a man as John Gerson, Chancellor of Paris should so slander his mother as to say, The state of the Church is grown altogether brutish and monstrous; and should give an Item to the overseers to in­quire whether the Cloisters of Nunnes be not become the Stewes of Harlots, and the Monasteries of Canons be not grown to be Innes and Market-places; and whether their Cathedral Churches be not made the Dennes of Theeves and Robbers; And that another no lesse godly then he, should say, that the Church is grown to that passe, that it is not worthy to be governed by any but by Reprobates.Libido s [...]upri, gu­lae, coeteri (que) inde­coris non minor in­cesserat Adolescen­tes Pati muliebria, sacerdotes sacere virilia, vestales pu­dicitiam in propa­tulo, habere, &c. Nam quicun (que) im­pudicus adulter & ganeo, anu, pene, ventre bona patria Lancinaverat, Ro­mam velut in Asyl­um se recipiebat Orat. praemonitoria Caesaris Branchedau­riae ad Imper. &c. Who would think that so wise a man as Caesarius Branchedorus could so far over-reach as to say, that the lusts of whoredome and gluttony, and other shame­ful enormities had gotten such an head, that young men did Pati muliebria, and Preists did facere virilia; that their Nunnes did as it were openly professe unchastity: and at last, that who soever was noted to be a shamelesse Adulterer, or a wilde Ruffian that had lavisht out all his Patrimony anu, pene, ventre, was sure to betake himself to the Court of Rome as his Sanctuary; Yea who would think that such a Saint as Bernard [Page 31] should not stick to say of some places under the Roman obedience,Si auderem dicere' daemonum magis quam ovium pascua haec. Bern. Consid. l. 4. c. 2. Dico tamen in no­stris Episcopatibus, jus, [...]as, honestas, religio perierunt. Bern. in persona Episcopi, Treverensis Epist. 177. Vertant (aiebant majores) uxores in sorores, ac. haec aeras vertit in scor­tilla, amiculas & metetriculas, & consequenter libe­ros legitimos in mamzeres, nothos & spurios. Espenc. Appendice Deus abstulit no­bis filios, Diabolus dedit nepotes. Alexand. Papa, Idem. citante Espencoeo: ibid. Non huc adducam quanta sit turba Monasteriorum, in quibus adeo nulla viget disciplina ple­tatis ut prae his lu­p [...]nacia si [...]t & magis sobria & ma­gis pudica. Erasm. Epist. Grunnio. Deteriores profecto non Gentilibus, ve­rum etiam Daemo­nibus. Nic. Cleman­gis de lapsu & repar. Justitiae. Albert. Argentinus in Chronic. Revis. de Conc. de Trente. that they were not pastures of Sheep, but (if he durst say so) of Devils; and could cry out that in their Bishopricks, Justice, Right, Honesty, Reli­gion, were utterly lost. Who could have lookt for such language to fall from so grave a father as Espencaeus, that our Ancestors wisht that Clerks should turne their Wives into their Sisters; but now our Age turnes them into Lemmans and Whores, and Har­lots, and consequently their lawful issue in­to Bastards; And again, God hath taken away our Sonnes, and the Devil hath given us Nephewes. Who could imagine that so learned and ingenuous a man as Erasmus, would so far wrong his Neighbours as to say, (turba monasteriorum,) a number of Mo­nasteries are so degenerated, that the Stewes are more chast, and sober, and modest then they. That so honest a man as Nicol de Clemangis should cry out of these sacrilegi­ous profaners of the Church, as worse, not then Heathens onely, but then very Devils. And what shall we say to that holy Bishop who told, Benedict the 12. then newly ele­cted Pope, that he had had a Vision where­in that face of his was clearely represented to him, and withal, that therein, also there was shewn to him a beastly dirty stable with a white Marble coffer in the midst of it, very faire but empty, adding this Com­mentary upon his said Vision to his new [Page 32] Holinesse: You are that white coffer, the Church is that stable; it beho [...]es you to purge the Court and See Apostolique which is at this day in a soule and beastly con­dition All this while these men speak not of those professedly debauched wretches, that make a trade of filthinesse, whereof yet St. Thomas Aquinas makes a cleanly comparison,Id facit in mundo meretrix qoud sen­tina in navi, in pa­latio cloaca. Tolle baec & omnia [...]aetore replebis. Thom. de Reg. Princ. l. 4. and in a sort a plea for their toleration; That a Whore in the World is as the pumpe in the Ship, or a privy in a Palace; Take these away, and you shall fill them with stench and annoyance: Surely (by the way) upon this account Rome must needs be very sweet, when in that City a­lone in the year 1565. as it said, there were reckoned no fewer then 2800.Rivet. iu Petri Sanct. Curtisans; wherof if any should be coy and pretend to a repentant modesty,Cogi possunt ad patiendum, se cog­nosci. Anton. Schap­pius in Lib. de Jure non scripto. Vivald. Cand. 4. part. c. 3. some grave Authors of theirs have taught that they may be compel­led to their fornication, though the shame­faced Casuist Covarruvids blush at the mo­tion: but what speak I of Fornication, Fornication is but meere chastity in com­parison of what their own Casuists confesse to be usually acted in their [...]; I will favour chast eyes in concealing it.Athenaus & Aelia­nus. It was a strange Devotion in the Heathen Corin­thians, that they prayed for an increase of their Whores, and thought to please their gods with vows of bringing in more sup­ply of Curtisans. I never heard that Venice it selfe ever did so much: Ywis, there is [Page 33] no need of any such Devotion, there are store of such cattle everywhere.Supplicat of Beg­gars. Vid. Fox. Mo­num. and Acts. The suppli­cation of Beggars tendered to King Henry the eight, assured him that by vertue of the sa­cred Votaries, there were 100000. Whores in this our Nation; not all such sure by open profession (as what and how many acts make up that trade) which some measure onely by scores,Truly they do no­thing but apply themselves in all things how they may have every mans Wife, every mans Daughter, & every mans Maid. Ʋbi supra. others by thousands (I leave to their Vivaldus, and Mos­conius to determine) but by secret constu­pration; for they instance in mens Wives and Daughters, and Maid-servants thus foulely debauched; though no doubt many a one of them the while, wipt their mouths and made faire weather of it,Luther. Sermones Gonvivales. pretending chastity, and therein resembling a foule close-stoole with a gilt cover: Neither was it otherwise elsewhere; whereupon it was that Dr. Staupitius told the Bishop of Magdeburgh that he was the greatest whore-master in Germany; for whereas other masters of the trade had but fifty Florens yearely, the Bishop had no lesse for his rent of them then 500. l. Did these odious crimes shroud their heads in Brothel-houses onely, the shame were lesse; Although the very Abassines could teach us to barre these filthes out of our Cities, and as our fore fa­thers were wont to disgrace them with pecu­liar habits of infamy; But that the reproach of such foul guiltinesse should be cast upon holy Orders, upon persons professing strict [Page 34] mortification,Quidam sacerdotes cum propriis soro­ribus concum bentes Filios exeis genera­runt, omnes ergo foeminae excludan­tur. Concil. Moguntin. sub Stephano. c. 10. Providendum est quantum possumus ne mali sacerdotes sint; etiamsi boni multi esse non pos­sumus. Salm. Tract. Christum. esse in Euchar. adorand. Domini Eccles. non damnetis animas vestras habetis ma­intenant filos vir­gines. Habetís aves cantantes de nocte quae sunt a la cage vos bene intelligitis me; Ponatis eas ex­tra. Menot. Feria a post Dominic. 40. fol. 129. Omnia bona Eccle­sia sticorum transe­ [...]ntper eroismots de I. Ave Marie. Primo benedicta tu, Ce sont les grandes pompes, grandes bragances, &. Menot. Feria. 6. Sab. post Dominic. 40. fol. 8. Certe videtur quod praelati sint per modum flagelli mis­si a Deo, vel potius dati a Diabolo ad destruendum & depopulandum ec­clesiam. Idem. Menot. fol. 81. Quidam dicunt que le corones des Prestres seront pa­vees des cues de enfer. Menot. fol. 63. the slander is intolerable: Were the fathers of the Council of Mentz well advised when they could say, Quidam sacerdotes, &c. some Preists lie with their own Sisters, and beget children of them? Was Salmeron sober when he said, we must provide what we may that our Preists may not be bad men, though many of us cannot be good? Was the zealous Preacher Fryar Mènotein in his right wits when in the Pul­pit he play'd so boldly upon the Clergy; Ye, my Masters of the Church, do not damne your soules; ye have now Birds in a Cage that chirp to you by night; ye know my meaning; put them away. Did he not rave when he told them that all the goods of their Churchmen passe away upon three words of the Ave Marie; First Bene­dicta tu, in their great pompes and brave­ries; The second, in mulieribus, their Gos­sips and Lemmans; The third Fructus ven­tris, in their Banquets and Belly-cheere? But was he not stark staring mad when he siad, Verily it seemes that our Prelates were sent of God by way of a scourge to us, or rather given by the Devil to destroy and ruine the Church; and other where, they say that the streets of hell are paved with our Preists crownes; yea, not to mention Dominicus a Soto; which confesses the multi­tude of concubinaries, and adulterers, in [Page 35] their Clergy;Sacerdos quidam rediens a focaria sua, &c. Brom, Sum. predunt V. Luxuria. Was not out Bromiard wor­thy of a sharpe censure for that shrewd tale which he tells of a Preist returning from his Lemman somewhat late, who hearing a lamentable noise of a ghost not far from him, askt what or who he was? the ghost replied, who art thou that askest? A Preist said the man: A Preist? said the ghost, A Preist? and being asked why he redoubled the word with such a vehemen­cy, answer was made by the ghost, that there came daily such store of Preists to hell,Mali praelati ani­mas tradunt custo­diendas daemoni­bus 1. malis curatis qui eas plus quam daemones destru­unt. Brom. ibid. V. Praelatus. Quia daemones non tot commit­terant luxurias, &c. that he had thought there had been none left alive upon earth: And elsewhere, Mali Praelati, &c. Ill Prelates saith he, com­mit soules to the Devils to keep, that is, to lewde Curates which destroy them more then the Devils themselves; for the very Devils would not commit such riotous out­rages, nor give so many wicked examples as they: Not to make any reckoning of our Jeffry Chaucer or their Fryar Mantuan, whose tongues shall passe for no slander.Horror enim est au­dire quam multa perperam per 28. ferme Episcopos sint admissa. Naucler. vel 2. Ge­nerat. 31. What shall we say to their own Chronicler Nauclerus who hath presumptuously dared to say Horror est, &c? What foule things were done by twenty eight Popes on a row, it is horrible to tell. In the meane time it is welll for the fathers of the Society that they are stanche; for that their holy founder St. Ignatius Loiota pray'd for them,Alphons. Vargas Re­lat. Stratagem Je­suit. as Alphon­sus Vargas tells us, that none of that fellow­ship for an 100. years after the rule received [Page 36] might fall into any deadly sin; so as all is cock-sure for them, however their Tus­sonius, and Reihnigius, and Coprevicius are slandered with no small faults; and many false tales are told of them by their Hassen­mullerus, and our secular Preists, and Robin­son, and Waddesworth, with other malevo­lents. As for the holy Sisterhood, how­ever it have been in times of yore that scarce any one of them could be found that was not furnisht with her Devotus Carnalis, as Alvarez Pelagius enformes us; yet now there is order taken with them to be chast enough (except you would stand upon the over­strict termes of the rule of St. Columbanus, Quid prodest virgo corpore, si non est mente? Columb. Re­gal. Fenestra qua S. Eu­charistiae elevatio prospiciatur altius ne pateat duobus cubitis & unciis 2. ne sacerdos ex al­tare possit videre moniales Pro. 1. Gavant. V. Moni­alium Eccles. Caminus privatis cellis ne permit­tatur; & ubi est ob­struatur. Pro. 4. Gavant. Quid prodest, &c. what availes it to be a Virgin in body, if not in minde too?) There were never poor maides hamper'd with so straight laws as they; not so much as the Preist at Masse shall be allowed to have but a glint of them: The Bishop himselfe, when their persons, yet shall not visit their faces. Not to instance in more; Not a chimny shall be suffered to be made in their private Cells, or if any be made, it shall be stop't up, lest some Amorous Ju­piter should descend down that way in a golden showre; and all this perhaps little enough; Ask the Sisters at Lisbon else: Poor soules,Inclusa quaedam sanctissime vrpecat, &c. Brom. sun. V. Confessio. what will be come of them trow we, if our Bromiard say true, who tells us of an holy Recluse which had been long meured up in her chast Cell; at last espying a faire [Page 37] handsome stripling through the key-hole, having more then a monthes minde to him, and soon after dying, appeared to her Si­sters in a woful posture and told them, that for that one glance of her eye, and that one wanton wish she was damned.

Thus are those godly Governours care­ful to prevent evils; and when they are discovered, are as ready to punish them, having ordained many sharp laws for the correction of hainous offenders; As for example, the Council of Lateran, Anno 1179. enacted, that if any Clerk were taken in that incontinency which is against nature, he should be excommunicated and cast out of the Clergy; which yet perhaps some Draco-like Law-givers would have punished with death it selfe. Other severe Penances have they laid upon Adulteries and such other lighter sinnes, as they call them, which we shall meet with in their due places.

So as after all these scandalous aspersions cast enviously upon our holy Mother, who sees not that she surmounts in purity of conversation all her competitors; who whiles they taxe her, are willing enough to forget their own guiltinesse. Just as the Parthians who in fight with the Romanes, having slaine one Rustius a Romane Souldier,Such as the cursed Monk Dan Constun­ter hath written in his Book of Coitu Chaucer Merchants Tale. and finding in his pocket a ribaldish pam­phlet called Mil [...]sii (as bad belike as the cursed Monke Dan. Constantine wrote De coitu) cryed out upon the beastly humour [Page 38] of these men which could bring bawdy pa­pers into the field with them, whiles them­selves who were thus clamorous had brought along with them no fewer then a thousand Harlots to follow their Camps. Clodius accusat maechos.

And as for purity of Doctrine, who can make doubt of their sensible advantage? What though they preach up the law­fulnesse of the publick Stewes, of a delusive equivocation, of the murder of heretical Kings, and determine of the horrid sacri­ledge of a mouse that eates her maker, the equality of Traditions to the written word of God, the inerrablenesse of a sinful and wicked man; an equall adoration to the stock and to the Saint, and a thousand such seeming heterodoxies? yet we must know that if the Church have defined them so, they are de fide, and must be beleeved by us to be no lesse true then the Gospel. Fond Hereticks will not know the Latitude of the power of the Church; but they must be taught that what point soever she shall de­termine, though it be but that Toby had a Dog, and that dog had a taile, it must in that name go currant for fundamental.Heu, Fides & Christi­anitas crescunt ho­die sicut Lunaplena, & equus coccus. Brom. V. Fides. Upon which weighty considerations it was (for one) that our Bromiard could say, that Faith and Christianity increase and thrive amongst them, like a full Moon, or a blind Horse.

Now on the contrary, if you look to the [Page 39] lives of the Opposites, you shall finde their very Leaders foulely scandalous, and infa­mously branded; Martin Luther, if he were begot by an Incubus, yet he was an honest Friar,Luther. S [...]rm. Con­viv. as he could say of himselfe for 15. years together; then, as the World knows, turned Apostate: What though Erasmus and all other his adversaries confess he was (setting his marriage with Katherine Bora aside, which in a Cloister they lookt upon as no lesse then sacriledge) of an inoffensive conversation; for although the wit of an hyperbolical Balzac can play upon him, and say he vomited as many times as he spake; yet he should have much adoe to finde that (though a German) he was once drunk in his life, or guilty of any excesse: Yet if a cleane life, he had a foule mouth, as both the Pope and King Henry can witnesse, and which alone blazons him suf­ficiently, was taught by the Devil to cry down the Masse. What if he seriously and plainly confesse, that the Devil taking advantage of his former superstition urged upon him those arguments purposely to have driven him to despair for his guilti­nesse of that Idolatrous service? that is all one, we must beleeve it was done by that foule spirit in a way of hellish familiarity, and not in any hostile fashion; and though there be never so many proofes of his dying in a composed and Christian manner, yet we must be content to be faced down that [Page 40] he was violently killed by the Devil whom he had served. For John Calvin, it is well enough known that the World rings of him as stigmatized and foulely criminous; how­soever Geneva magnifies him for Exemp­lary and Saint-like holinesse, and all men admire him for his incredible painfulnesse in his Station,Rivet. in Petr. sanct. having for 23. years together preached daily; besides his doubled Sunday labours, and his weekly Divinity Lecture in the Scholes, and all this not perfunctorily performed; howsoever then any wise man might well think how utterly inconsistent such assiduous toile can be with basely-lasci­vious thoughts and actions [Otia si tollas, is the old and true word] And however the State of Geneva by authentical Testimony under their publick seale have fully cleared him from that malicious aspersion; yet it is enough that a Balsec, his professed enemy an infamous Apostate, hath said it; he can­not be innocent whom such a Saint accu­seth, though fifteen years after death. As for another of their good Leaders Huldricus Zuinglius, did it not become him well, of a preacher of peace to turne firebrand of war, to change his Gown into a Corselet, and in stead of his quiet bed to die in the field? What, if it appear that he was importunate­ly pressed by those of his charge to yeild them his presence amids their Troopes, not as a Souldier, but as a Pastor (though armed for more security) what if he [Page 41] were unhappily slaine amongst other his good neighbours (as it was the lot of that incomparable Chamier at Montalban) and after burnt by the Tigurines to ashes? And what if (for a marvellous Testimony of his honest intentions) his heart alone was three dayes after such his combustion found in that heape of ashes entire and untouch­ed? yet how can it be other then a foule slur to his reputation, that a professed Prea­cher should be found thus dead, and wrapt not in lead but in iron? Whatever liber­ty latter times have taken, neither the Antient Councils abroad, nor our Octo­bone Canons at home, would have in­dured it; and we know who sending the coat-armour of a consecrated person taken captive to the Pope, could say, Vide an haec sit tunica filii tui; See if this be your sonnes coat.

To let passe their guides, if we cast down our eyes upon their followers in general, Cardinal Bellarmine hath passed their doome roundly and soundly. As for the people (saith he) there are indeed in the Catholique Church many bad men, but of the Hereticks there is not one good; Ipse dixit; and if the Cardinals make up but one body with the Pope, by vertue of that union he can no more erre in his sentence then his Holinesse himselfe; and so actum est de haereticis; the summe of all is, The Church of Rome after all slanders is holy; [Page 42] the opposite Churches after all Apologies are equally impure as she is holy.

CHAP. IV. The triumph of Power.

AS in Glory, Pleasure, and Purity, so much more in Power doth our fore­said Mother of Rome exceed all her Rivals. Lest you doubt it, her power is clearely seene in her mighty Iurisdiction, and in her miraculous operations. For first, what is it that her ministerial head wants of omni­potency?Supra jus, contra jus, &c. Moscon. de Majest. Eccl. milit. l. 1. De summo. Pont. Ask Mosconius, and he can assure you that the Pope is above law, against law, without law, and therefore can do all things; he can open and shut Heaven, Hell,In omni promisso­rio juramento Po­testas Papae exci­pitur. Reg. Cas. Jo. Bacon in 4. Dist. 25. q. 14. and Purgatory; He can dispence with vowes and oathes; insomuch as in every promissory oath that a man swears, the Popes power is tacitely fore-excepted; He can increase the number of the Books of the holy Scripture; He can Canonize Saints,Revis. du Concil. de Trente. Depose and dethrone Kings, Dispose of all earthly Dominions; So as it was a­cutely distinguisht by Jacobus de Terano, that [Page 43] when our Saviour gave charge to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, he meant it for a continuance but onely for the present until the time of his crucifixion, telling us that when he shall be lifted up, he will draw all to him; that is (saith he) he will take away all the Kingdomes of the Earth from Temporal Princes, and bestow them upon his holy Vicar the Pope,Rodrigoez Cas. Conscient. by ver­tue whereof he can mould and frame Kings to his own pleasure; For example, he can command a King to take such a wife as he shall recommend to him; he can dethrone and depose the proudest Monarch. Yea what do I speak so narrowly and mincing­ly of his power? he is Rex Regum, Moscon. Ubi supra. and Domi­nus Dominantium, the King of Kings,Omnis rationalis creatura Papae im­perio subjacer. Ibid. Papae unum Trib­nal cum Deo. Ibid. and Lord of Lords; every rational creature is subject to his rule and command: and in short he hath one and the same Tribunal with God himselfe; So as it was but his meet Title, that was in our time given to Pope Paul the fifth; Paulo Quinto Vice-Deo; Gul. Sruther. Spec. Princip. which after some agitation in the consisto­ry, was resolved upon by his Holinesse to be a Stile not unfit for himselfe to own. Ge­nesius Sepulveda would seeme to tell us no lesse, Ponti [...]ces pro Deo habemus, we account of the Pope as instead of God himselfe;Quicunque deside­rat primatum in terra, inveniet con­fusionem in coelo. Chrysost. in Matth. hom. 43. Ibid Moscon. Papae: this height is for wonder, not for emulation. Now, what if a Saint Chryso­stome shall say, He that affects a Primacy on Earth, shall finde confusion in Heaven; [Page 44] That winde shakes no corne; certainly he were much too blame, that having the keyes of Heaven hanging at his girdle, would not let in himselfe.

If you think fit to look down to the sub­ordinate Clergy, their power will be found no lesse then stupendious: As no Prelate but hath power to excommunicate, so their excommunication is dreadfully powerfull. The Abby of Fusniack was horribly in­fested with flyes;Vita Bernardi. Excommunico eas, said the holy Abbot of Clarevall; on the next mor­ning those noysome guests are found all dead in the floore:A. Roberto Grost­head Ep. Lincoln. Vivaldus, Excom. est jumentum Dia­boli. Ossa tacta a Rob. Brook excom. per Thomam Becket ca­nes noluerunt comedere. Florileg. Anno 1170. A white loafe upon the words of excommunication passed turnes as black as a coale; absolved, turnes to the former hew. Robert Brook being excom­municate, (and by vertue thereof become jumentum Diaboli) the very Dogs refused to take the bones from his hands, which he offered unto them; and as readily snatcht away being tendered by others;Mr. Clovet in his motives to conver­sion. They can give up whom they list to the power of the Devil, and rid whom they please from that evil spirit by their mighty exorcismes.Leo African. def [...]r. Affricaae Diabolo possidenti quendam, dicit Franc. Faciam Fra­trem Iuniperum ve­nire contra te, nisi recedas, & Daemon subito recedebat. Lib. Conform. Fran­cisc. Foecundatur fructu. 8. And if but a peice of a Versicle of Despau­terius his Grammer be but muttered over the Demoniack, Carbasus hic, &c. the foule spirit dares not abide by it: But if it be some stiffe Fiend such as the African conju­rers of Fez were wont to stile Aerie spirits, let but St. Francis threaten to send Fryar Juniper to him, he dares not stand the in­counter; [Page 45] so as it was a word of unjust disparagment which Chrysostome could cast upon their Exorcists, Nos miseri, Nos miseri & cala­mitofi qui neque culices expellere possumus; nedam Daemones. Chrysost. in illa Qui credit in me majora faciet. &c. mi­serable and woful creatures that we are, we cannot so much as expell fleas, much lesse Devils. But it is yet a far higher power which every Priest by vertue of his office can and dares challenge to exercise, even no lesse then to create his maker. Casseneus can tell you, Licet Angelus; Licet Angelus pos­sit unum coelum movere. &c. Cassen. Glor. Mundi. 4. num. 6. although (saith he) one Angel can move one heaven, yet he can­not bring down one of those heavens to the earth: But a Priest can speedily and sud­dainly fetch the true body of Christ from Heaven to the Altar, even in so short a space as the Sun can diffuse his beames of light; Yea herein a Priest saith the Author exceeds the power of the Archangels:Imo vero superat potestatem Arch­angelorum, ubi supra. And I hope we shall not need to strive to go higher; and let this be the beginning of her mira­culous operations, though ordinarily and constantly wrought: There is a world be­side of extraordinary and occasional mira­cles whereby her Religion is not a little honoured and confirmed. Ywis, our Re­formers must confesse themselves here to seek: Can they boast of a St. Briget, St. Brigida panem datum cani adulan­ti, quod restituitur in caldario; vita Bri­gid [...] Kildurensis a Cogitoso ejus ne­pote scripta. Os infantis nuper­rimè nati, &c. that having given a peice of Bacon to a fawning Curre, yet after he had eaten it found it a­gain restored in her kettle? That but sign­ing a new-born Infant with a crosse, caused it to disclaime the wrongfully imputed fa­ther and to name the true; and was not [Page 46] the childe (trow we) as miraculous as the Saint,Pater meus on est Episcopus Broen, sed homo ille vila qui in populo ultimus sedet. Jo. Capgrave in vita Brigid [...]. Tangens lignum altaris, in testimo­nium virginitatis, statim viride factum est, vita Brig. p. 206. Ova fracta pauper­culae signo crucis reparavit. [...]lorileg. St. Brendanus Pas­chalem solemnita­tem supra monstro­sam maris belluam per septennii spati­um celebravit. Gerald. Camtr. trues de mirac. c. 10. Post longos & in­defatigabiles labo­res desideratissima Paradisi terrestris visione, &c. Idem ibid. that he could know his own father? That for a proofe of her Virginity, did but touch the seare-wormeaten wood of the Altar, and turne it fresh and green. Can they brag of a Saint Swithine that by ma­king the signe of the Crosse made whole the poor womans egges that were all un­happily broken in her basket?

Can they shew us a St. Brendais that for seven yeares together celebrated his Easter upon a Whales back, mistaken at first for an Island; but when it was perceived, St. Machu [...]es (as happy was) by his prayers fixed that Sea-monster for starting; so as after that, the same Saint travelled so far as to the earthly Paradise, and as good luck was, returned safely home: But whether that Whale lay there lieger for the whole seven years together, or whether it came kindly every Easter to seek and finde out St. Brendan, and to offer the service of his back to so holy a purpose (because the earth could not afford roome enough for that businesse) truly I cannot shew you.

Libro de sanctis Hibernicis nuper Latin. edit.Can they produce us such a Saint as St. Fingare, who sayling from Ireland upon a broad leafe into Cornwall, in the disappoint­ment of her shipping, being martyred by the Tyrant, carried her head in her armes (just as the great French Saint did) up to an hill not far off, with intention to bury it there; but hearing some unquiet Gossips [Page 47] scolding there, brought it down into the vally, and washing it in a Well that sprang up there, purposely in the place quietly buried it and her selfe? Now in my minde, Dr. Picard [...] of Paris the late ill-advised Editor of those uncouth relations of the Irish Saints, with so great gravity and au­thority, was much too blame to give the Hereticks such free leave to laugh at those too-admirable Stories,Rideant sane si vo­lunt segreges ho­dierni. Picard. prae­fat. which otherwise they might have perhaps passed over with­out any great change of countenance, or at least with an easie smile; whereas now they cannot but laugh a good at his so prodigal indulgence and prodigious faith.

Can you brag of a Saint Clare that stood still from holy Thursday in the afternoon till the Saturday Vespers in one place [nihil perpendendo] thinking of nothing?St. Clara sterit a die Jovis sancto post vesperam usque ad Sabathi sancti ho­ram tertiam nihil perpendendo. Lib. conform. fol. 105. Lib. de sanctis Hibern. praecitat. wherein yet she had not so much patience as her Sister-Saint in Ireland, who putting her hand out of her window, had a Thrastle came and laid her egges in her hand; where the good woman stood stock still till those egges were hatched, and in all likelyhood stir'd not till the pretty Birds were fledge, that she might not lose the fruit of so great a mercy. In the meane time we must think the place was no lesse sweet,Wilhelm [...]s Abbot Willariensis jussit oeconomum bovem suum, &c. Spec. ex­empt. ex. Tho. Can­terprat. then was the musick of that grateful Bird.

Can they shew us such a merciful Saint as the good Abbot of Willar, who to save a poor big-bellied womans longing, killed [Page 48] his Oxe, and gave the poor soul a good peice of beefe thereof, which yet was the next morning found alive soundly grazing in his pasture? Can they tell us of such a Saint as the holy Bishop Everm [...]dus of Race­burgh, Everm. Raceburg. Episcopus Chirothe­cas deposuit; inven­tae sunt in aere pen­pentes. Lib. de sanct. tribun. Fr. Conradus qui suscitavit quinque mortuos. Lib. Con­form. pag. 199. who thinking to lay his Mittins upon a spirgat on the wall, left them hanging up­on the Sun-beames; right, so as St. Bridget (alike mistaking) hanged her wet cloake. Can they shew us such a Thaumaturgus as Fryar Conrade; who raised five men from the dead? or such a powerful Orator as Fryar Antony of Padua; who finding his labour lost in converting the Hereticks, went to the Sea side and called the Fishes together both small and great,Ingens multitudo piscium accessit & caput exerebant extra mare. Confor. Franc. Foecundatur. which in whole shoales assembled themselves, and lifting up their heads above the water, listened very atten­tively to his forcible perswasions, and no doubt could not but be turned Catholiques, as they plainly testifyed in their silence: The successe whereof could not but stir envy in the peevish Hereticks, who bidding the holy man to supper, set before him a great ugly Toad,Unde Bufonem in­gentem &c. ecce corpus caponis cali­dissimum & olens, &c. Ibid. urging him with that charge in the Gospel [VVhatsoever shall be set before you, eate] but he did onely make the signe of the Crosse over it, and it was suddainly turned into a goodly fat Capon, piping hot from the spit,Fr. Bened. de Are­tio multum devo­tus Danieli. Pro­phetae, affectavit ejus sepulchrum, &c. Lib. Conform. fol. 73. Can they name us such a Favourite as Fryar Benedict of Are­tium, who having been much devoted to the blessed memory of the Prophet Daniel, [Page 49] had a great minde to visit his Tombe in Ba­bylon; but being disheartened with the length of the Journy, and the feare of the Dragon that keeps it, one day as it happi­ly fell out, an huge great Dragon appeared to him, and enwrapping him in the win­dings of his long-sweeping taile flew away with him roundly to Babylon (was not his heart at his mouth, think we, the while?) and set him down faire and softly close by the Tombe aforesaid; where he viewing that sacred Corps, made so bold out of his deep devotion to borrow a finger of it to keep for a precious Relique: When straightwayes up was he snatcht againe by that friendly Dragon, and carried gently and safely to his old Cell.Dionys Carthusiuan­us de 4, Novisse. Part. 3. cic. a Kelleto nu­mero in Miscellan. Can they speak of such a Saint as Christina, who dying in her childehood was kindely welcom'd into Heaven, but was withal offered the choice whether of staying still there in happinesse, or returning to the Earth again for her greater merits in delivering poor souls out of their Purgatory torments? she like a most charitable Saint chooses the latter: Down therefore she comes to this lower World; where yet she so lives as not abi­ding the stench of the sinnes of men, she makes her residence on high, perching on the tops of the tallest Trees, and the lofti­est Pinacles, and satisfies her hunger with the milk of her own breasts: And why might not her Virginity afford her milk [Page 50] enough out of her own store? Ask Dionysius the Carthusian else.Vexillifer Christi.

Lib. Conform. l. 1. Fructu. 10. pag. 140. Ovem sibi oblatam sic instruxit ut cum Fratres in Ecclesia cantarent, ipsa in­grederetur, ut sine alicujus informa­tione genua flecte­ret, vocem bala­tus emmittens. Lib. Confor. p. 191. Franciscus dicendo missam in calice araneam invenit quam nolens pro­ [...]jcere, bibit cum sanguine, &c. fol. 72. Aquam de Petra bi­bendam dedit ora­tione suâ cuida cujus asino vecta­batur. Conform. 187. Capilli B. Francisci immissi muro fractu­ram redintegrarunt. Conf. fol. 193. Nihil Christus fe­cit quod Franciscus non fecit, immo plura fecit quam Christus. L. Confor. fol. 1149. Fontem aquae mu­tavit in vinum in Marchia Pag. 147. Christus semel a­quam in vinum mutavit, Franciscus [...]er. Christus semel transfiguratus est, Franc. vigesies.But not to instance in thousands: Can they sample us with such a patterne of powerful Sanctity as blessed St. Francis Christs Standard-bearer, as they stile him, and Jesus typical; Heaven and Earth are filled with astonishment at his wonders: What should I talke of the petty miracles of the reclaiming of his Brother Wolfe, and instructing of his Sister Sheep; the o­bedience and homage done to him by the Foules of the Aire, Fishes of the Sea, and the Ants of the Earth; or the Spider which he willingly swallowed down his throat at Masse, creeping whole out of his thigh; or water fetcht out of the Rock to satisfie the thirst of that honest man which had lent him his Asse; or a lock of his haire laid in the crack of a riven Wall, making up the breach without morter, and a world of the like feates; the History of his wonder­ful Conformities to Christ published lately with great authority by Bartolomaeus de Pesis, doubts not to tell you, that as he was conformed to Christ in his wounds, so he transcended Christ in his miracles: If our blessed Saviour turned some vessels of wa­ter into wine, Francis turn'd a whole foun­taine so; if our Saviour raised some few from the dead, he and his then-present re­tinue raised up no lesse then a thousand: After his death, by his merits he freed 1000. [Page 51] souls out of Purgatory,Franciscus & fratres sui supra millenos mortuos ad vitam revocarunt, plus mille Deabolos ejecerunt, Mar [...]. Luther in proefat. Germanic. libro prefixâ. Daemon Baroni cui­dam moranti in Alpibus juxta Eu­gublu narrat mor­tem Francis. & [...]it, da [...]ae sunt ei animae plusquam mille pro suo comitatu, quas suis meritis lib­eravit. Lib. Conf. p. 318. Obviam vene­runt ei ad coelum ascendenti, Christus, mater ejus, Angeli coetus Apostolo­rum. Fol. 324. In supremo omni­um ordinum, 1. Seraphico locata est anima Francisci. Ibid. Domus Lauret. ter mota loco ab Angelis, 1. per mili­aria 2000. Tursell. in Priaef. hist. as the Devil told a certain Baron living in the Alp [...]s; and with that traine his soul was seen by Bernar­dus de Quinta Valle in the forme of a bright Star ascending into Heaven, and was tri­umphantly met in the way by Christ and his blessed Mother, the Angels, the Apostles, Martyrs, and holy Doctors, and placed in a throne of the highest order of Seraphins, the formerly vacant seat of Lucifer. Lastly, for it were easie to be endlesse; Can they tell us of any holy building that travail'd through the Aire (God knows why, and when, and whence) two thousand miles at once, as our Lady of Lorettoes Chappel did? Have they any such strange and faith­ful records as the Golden Legend, John Cap­grave, Speculum exemplorum, and such o­ther famous Monuments? which perhaps the Hereticks, and some ill advised friends may slander as lyes; calling them Miracu­lorum monstra, as Melchior Canus did, and stick not to say, that if the Saints in Heaven could know what is written of them, and could be capable of Humane affections in that Region of impassibility, they would surely blush for shame, to see such prodi­gious tales fained concerning them;How many lyes does this young man tell of me? and as they say, Socrates when he read Plato's Dia­logismes could say, Quam multa de me men­titur adolescens? so doubtlesse would they say; How many grosse lyes do these idle Cloiste ers raise of us? Yet for all that, [Page 52] honest Catholiques do as verily believe that St. Patrick raised not onely Fota from the grave after he had lyen there ten yeares; but also the great Gyant Glasse, a man of an 120. foot long,Jo. Capgrave de vita St. Patricii. Sextus Rex Edward. in mensa sedens Westmonast. risit & dixit septem dormientes in mon­te Celîo requies­cere jam 200. annis in dextro Latere, jam vertisse latus. Anonym. Continuat. Hist. de best. Ang­l [...]y. the Irish Kings Hogheard, an hundred yeares after his burial, and christned him, and freed him from his old torments? And that the seven Sleepers in Mount Celius after two hundred yeares lying on the right side, did on the suddaine for more ease turne them to the left; as fooles abroad do believe, that all the poste­rity of the Persecutors of St. Thomas Becket are at this day borne with long hairy Tailes dangling down behind them.

No, no, all other pretended Churches may go whistle for Miracles; whereas Lip­sius can tell you of the two Ladies that have done hundreds, and every story can in­forme you how frequently the retired Cells of holy Hermites have been visited by cele­stial guests:Diabolus in forma Christi apparere praesumpsit multo­ties Ruffino. Lib. confor. Conf. 7. Only the spight is, the holy Book of conformities it self tells us that the Devil himselfe hath not seldome appeared to Fryar Ruffin and others of his Fraternity in the garbe and forme of Christ, and in such illusions hath so cunningly demeaned him­selfe, that he hath dangerously deceived the beholders;2 Cor. 11.14. and we know who told us that Satan himselfe is o [...]ten transformed into an Angel of light: now all the craft is to dis­cerne the counterfeit Angel from the reall Devil. Luther it seemes, would pretend [Page 53] to some such skill;Luther. Serm, Con­vivial. for when a Neighbour of his, a Maid lying on the bed of her sick­nesse, had represented to her a very glorious apparition, which both she and her friends thought no other then heavenly, they sen­ding for Luther to behold that radiant spe­ctacle, he straight resolved it was an evil spirit; charging the Maid to defie it in that name, and to spit at it; which with much adoe she at last yeilded unto: whereupon that glittering Angelical apparition sud­dainly turned it selfe into an ugly Serpent; and crawling upon the bed of the sick per­son, bit her by the eare, and having drawn blood of her vanished: Some eyes are more piercing then other; howsoever there­fore advantage is hereupon by incredulous men to doubt, whether an ignorant Fryar can be more likely to discerne which is the true Devil,Jo. Gerson. then the wisest man was able to know (in a schisme of some fifty yeares continuance, when two or three Popes were tugging together by the eares for Peters Chaire) which was the true Pope! Yet we must take it for a sure rule, that the Devil may appeare in all colours but whi [...]e, and so long as he hath not a cloven foot, all is safe. In the meane time, the Miracles of Rome remaine unshaken by all froward infidelity. The fond Hereticks are ready to choak us with Vespasians cure of a blinde man, and of a lame man too;Vespas. Sputo cura­vit coecum, con­tactu pedum resti­tuit claudum. and of the great Cures that were done by [Page 54] Pyrrhus his great Toe, yet neither of these were Saints; and to colour and excuse their impotency, can tell us of John Baptist, who did no miracles;Nota quod Multi non sancti faciunt miracula; ant vi verborum, ut con­secratio Eucharistiae, aut vi parentelae ut Rex Franciae, vel illi de domo S. Pauli, aut arte ma­gica. Dominic. Felin. in Cap. Venerab. de Test. and think to stop our mouthes with the profession of our Felinus; Multi non sancti &c. Note, saith he, that many who are not Saints, yet do work miracles either by force of the words, as in the con­secration of the Eucharist, or by vertue of their place or family, as the French King, and those of the house of Saint Paul, or by Art Magick; and are apt to strengthen their conceit with that resolution of our famous Postiller John Ferus; who tells us that new Revelations will indeed stand in need of new Miracles:Novae revelationes egent novis Mira­culis; Vetus au­tem doctrina sive de Lege sive de E­vangelio non ìndi­get novis miracu­lis, &c. Jo. Ferus in lib. Judicum. But the old Doct­rine whether of the Law or Gospel, needs no new or further Miracles, since it is so sufficiently confirmed already, that if an Angel from Heaven should teach otherwise, and confirme his Doctrine by Miracles, he were justly worthy to be accursed: But let them enjoy their own dull inefficacy, and rest content with their own confessed disability; we see in the meane time how just reason the Church of Rome hath to truimph in the visible power of her unlimi­ted Iurisdiction, and of her (if not incre­dible) yet unparallelable Miracles.

CHAP. V. The truimph of Piety or Devotion.

A Professed purity of life without true piety in the heart, is no better then gilded Hypocrisie; Sincerity of Devotion is the maine ingredient to a Saint: And herein, if it may appeare that our said Mo­ther of Rome doth as far exceed all other Churches, as her seven hills (where she sat of old) do over-look the Martian Vally (where she now resides) the day and the cause is clearely ours. Now then, what do we account Devotion, but fasting and pray­ing, and all other acts of Religious worship? In all which, who dares offer to compare with the great Metropolis of Christendom? First of all her Fasts, and her Feasts, do as it were divide the yeare betwixt them; and are not those Fasts as solemnly and severely kept, as if all men from the cradle had ta­ken example of St. Nicholas, who (they say) when he was an Infant, did two dayes in the week (Wednesdayes and Fridayes) con­tent himselfe with sucking but once a day. [Page 56] As for wine and sweet meats, they break no square how plenteously soever poured down; It is flesh that breeds the quarrel. In the great Deluge, the Sea escaped the curse; onely the Earth and her store con­tracted impurity; Let the mawe be cram­med never so full with the most delicious and proritative fish or viandes, and let them swimme in the most inflaming liquor, here is no Fast violated: The Lollards are strange­ly mistaken; it is not abstinence but change of diet that makes an holy Fast; And what a vain brag it is of their great Cham­pion,Chamur. Nostrae compotaiones sunt modestiores vest­ris jejuniis. Vinum Theologi­cum & Tortae Jaco­bitarum in prover­bium abierunt. Jo. Gerson. Alex. Alensis. Pleno laudant je­junia ventre. Nostrae compotationes, &c. Our com­potations are more sober then your Fasts; And full unjustly doth John Gerson check our holy Masters with the Proverbe of the Theological Wine, and the Jacobites Cakes: Neither is he worth his eares that hath not learn'd to distinguish betwixt Jejunium Je­juni, and Jejunium Jejunantis; and that can­not both commend, and brag of fasting with a full panch: But to speak ingenu­ously, it is not a meere not eating that is so pleasing to God; for then Apollonia Schriera who received no food into her bo­dy for ten yeares space,Gulielm. Fabricii Observat Medic. Cent. 5. Domino Brederodio. should passe for a Saint of greater merit then any History ever before recorded; and Efgenvougen End the maid of Meurs should go beyond her no less in reputation of sanctity, who abstained sixteen yeares from any bodily sustenance; but therefore onely is fasting acceptable to [Page 57] God, for that it gets us a stomack to our Devotion;Chrysolog. Serm. 4 [...] So as Chrysologus had reason to say, Jejunium sine pietate jejunat; A Fast without Piety may fast for any acceptance, Now if you will measure Piety by tale of prayers, what Church under Heaven is not over-matcht by the Roman? Tell me where else ye can finde the perpetuity of a forty-hours Letany, upon all publick occasi­ons of Drought, Raine, Famine, War, Pesti­lence? where so solemne Processions? where such thraves and lasts of private Oraisons, which without the well-devised helps of stringed calculation, could never keep even reekoning? where such a world of new-multiplied Rosaries? where such Masses and Dirges, and funeral Obsequies for both alive and dead? Shew me else­where another Egidius Albornotious, Genesius Sepulve­da in vita Albor­notii Cardinalis. that by his last Will and Testament took order for fifty thousand Masses to be sung for his soul: shew me where so many thousand Torches are flaming at a Cardinals Funeral,Lib. Ceremon. Sacr. Tit de Cardinal. that the waxe amounts usually to no lesse then sixe thousand, or eight thousand pounds: And no marvel; for whiles some other Religions rest piously contended with the care of pleasing one Mediator, the Roman abounds with as many Mediators as there are Saints and Angels in Heaven. They have learned better manners then to rush in rudely to the presence, and to presse to the chaire of State; and to blurt out their [Page 58] bold petitions to the King of glory:Nobis non opus est At [...]ien [...]bus &c. They are taught (whatever Chrysostome saith to the contrary) to make their humble ad­dresses to some friendly Courtiers; and speed in their suit thereafter; And for this purpose, how happy are they in the variety of their celestiall Patrons; what dolts were the Pagans of old, to adore such mean ill-chosen Deities!Xenoph de ex­pedit. Cy [...]i. The Thurians, if the North wind do but bluster a little upon the threat­ning Navy of their enemy Dionystus, clatte­ring the ships one against another, straight­waies are ready to sacrifice to that propi­tious deity; and now who but Boreas? And the Romans erected Temples to the Green sickness and Ague,Pallori et Febri fana fecerunt Au­gust de Consensu Evang. l. 1. c. 17. for want of wit and bet­ter Grace; But these Christian Devotio­nists know where to meet with their Beau­tified and Canonized Patrons at all seasons, and upon all occurrences; On St. Johns day they can implore that Saint especially for a benediction upon their Wine, on St. Stepens day for their Pastures, on St. Markes for their Corn, on the Assumption of the blessed Virgin for their Herbes, Plants, Roots, and Fruit, &c. As for the Marinary deities, they have plenty, for fear least some of them should not be at leisure, or otherwise im­ployed in the vast element; St. Andrew, St. Clement, Haytoni Passagiun [...]crrae sanctae. St. Barbara, St. Nicholus, and St. Mi­chael the Archangel, whose Grecian Pro­mon [...]ory Malea, when they passe by, they are glad to ply him with their best devotions, [Page 59] that he would hold still his wings, from resting too hard upon their sayles, and how can they miscarry under such Tute­lage?

Adde to these the setled course of their Canonical houres, which either no secular occasions may intermit; or (if a necessity intervene) must be as necessarily (redeemed with all speed, lest the suppliant should dye in Gods debt: Yesterdayes task therefore may be done to day, this day's to morrow; however the grumbling votary (weary of the burden) is ready to say, Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof; In this therefore Luther when he was a Friar approved him­selfe a true paymaster,Luther Serm. Con­viu. that on the Saturday still lockt up himselfe close to defray the debt of his omitted devotions all the week long: In the performance whereof, so that the number be kept up,Non est de ratione orationis ut cogi­tet orans de ipsa lo­cutione & Suarez. de Orat. l 3. c. 4. it matters litle what the intention of the thoughts be: So that the Beades knack, and keep just reckoning, let the eyes rove, and the eares listen, and the feet walk, and the heart ramble, the work is both done and accepted.

Now for the better fixing of the thoughts which are apt to wander upon all occasions, and for the heightening of devotion, they have their sacred Images, before which they are lowly Prostrate, adoring not the statue or picture if self as such, which even the heathen Idolaters professed to abhorre; but the Saint represented by it. And what if [Page 60] their St. Thomas his determination be that the resemblance is to be entertained with the same act of worship with the Proto­type;Sacram Imaginem Di Jes. Christi aequo honore cum libro Sanctorum Evan­geliorum adorari decernimus Concil Oecum. Const. 8. Can. 3. which is more then the Fathers of Constantinople required to be done to the I­mage of Christ himself (the respect where­unto they only equalized to the Veneration of the Book of the holy Gospel) yet they are under a sufficient guard of distinctions to free them from the imputation of any but a mis-interpretative Idolatry; and what though it be confessed that the subtiltyes of those intricate distinctions is such,Spalat. part. 3. that plain unlettred Laicks, not understanding them, do commonly misbestow divine worship upon those stocks and stones; and though Pope Gregorie himselfe, professedly forbad their adoration; yet we have learnt of Gre­gorie de Valentia, that whiles the holy Apo­stle Peter, tells us of some abominable Ido­latries, [...]. he plainly intimates that there are Idolatries, not abominable, such as these now used under the Gospel in spight of all sacrilegious Iconoolasts, not as Lay-mens books for history onely, but as the sensible helps of pure devotion Furthermore, who can be ignorant of those sweet ditties, and Angelical Hymes, (far beyond some of Ma­rianaes Canticles) wherewith their devotion is not a little elevated, in the severalties of their hoy Offices; so exactly revised of late, by their onely Poetical Pope Ʋrban the 8th. that there are no fewer then 900 false quan­tityes [Page 61] (if we may credit Gavantus) corrected in them; although the sleering Heretiques will be apt to wish that his holiness had ra­ther bestowed his paines in correcting the faulty sense of the prose, complaining that in their late corrections, they have (like un­trusty Tinkers) pretending to stop one hole, made two: For example; let Pope Innocent himself be heard speake,Tertio loco Tua Fraternitas requi­sivit quare fuerit mutatum &c. Innocent. P. de Ce­lebratione Missae Cap. cum Martha; etiam cit. Jo. de Neapoli qu. 41. ad finem. your Bro­therhood (saith he) requires to know, why & how it comes to passe that whereas in the secret service of St. Leo according to the old Copies it was wont to be read, Grant Lord we beseech thee that this our prayer may be available to the soul of thy servant Leo; now in our late missals it runs thus Grant we beseech thee O Lord that by the intercession of St. Leo this prayer may be available to us; which (saith the said Innocent) must be so understood, that our prayer should sue to be available in this regard, that the Saint above may be more and more glorified by the faithful on earth. Thus cunningly is the cat turn'd in the pan; and instead of our well-wishing to Leo, Leo is become an In­tercessor for us; and the improvement of our devotion must be, that the Saints in Heaven may more palpably rob God of his honour. But this is but the Heretiques gloss of Burdeaux which mars the Text; and so let it passe.

As for the particular exercises of devoti­on which consists in the Benediction of [Page 62] things, consecration of places and persons, solemnization of times, canonization of Saints, hallowing of Bells, Election of Di­vine Patrons of Cities and Churches, exor­cization of Devils, honouring and transpor­ting of Reliques, where shall you finde them so much as mentioned but in the See Aposto­lique? where did you hear ever of a sword, or a rose blessed on a Christmas day, or upon the Sunday of laetare Jerusalem, and sent to the great Potentates of the earth by any save Peters successor as Pius the second to James the second of Scotland, Sixtus the fifth to the Prince of Parma; where of any flagg? or Banner, blessed with the sure promises of victory, as in 88? where, of holy keyes sent from the bodies of Peter and Paul? Shortly, I would fain see any Religion under Hea­ven yeild such a benediction of holy-water, as his Holiness useth, over that parcel, which serves for the making up of his Agnus Dei: wherein he prayes to God Ʋt ea quae &c. Ut ea quae in hoc aquae vasculo prae­parata ad nominis tui gloriam infun­dere decrevimus es Lib. Sacr, Gerem That thou would'st be pleased so to blesse these things which we have purpos'd to in­fuse into this vessel prepared to the glory of thy name, as that by the veneration and honour which is done them, we thy ser­vants may have all our crimes done away, the blots of our sins wip't off, pardon ob­tained, and graces conferred, that at the last together with thy Saints, and Elect ones, we may merit to attain everlasting life.

[Page 63]The ignorant Protestant now is ready to ask his Holinesse for his Quo Warranto; what ground of warrant he hath to make so bold a Petition? when God hath made any promise to grant a request of so high a na­ture? who might as well quarrel with all the Energetical prayers of the Church; all which hang upon the same string: As those which are used for the exorcisation of Rue, Hypericon, Aristolochia, and other holy Ingredients for a powerful fumigation against Devils, for the blessing of clouts in the way of cure of Diseases, the hallowing of the Corner-stone in buildings; of Palls, Vestments and Altar-cloathes, of Beades, Graines, Bracelets, of Chalices, Bells, and all other holy Utensils, and a world of the like implorations; not considering that the word is Univeral, Quicquid petieritis; and that besides, both the Church and his Holi­nesse being freed from the danger of errour, may safely say; Quod volumus sanctum est, What we will is holy.

Now upon all these occasions I cannot but blesse my selfe to see the reverent scrupulo­sity that is used in medling with these holy things. That in an holy Procession on Cor­pus Christi day,Non e fenestris in­spiciant laici. Gavant. Prov. 4. no Lay person may so much as look out of their windowes: That on that day no Relique of any Saint may be carried; That on other dayes no Image of the blessed Virgin, or any Saint may be car­ried about, save onely those which are pictu­red [Page 64] in silk or woven work:Corporale non de­bet tangi a Lucis, nec a sacratis faemi­nis. Act. Mediolan. Eccles. c. Sacrat. Post primam Loti­onem potest tangi & reparari. Ex. Syl. V. Corporale. Unde non placet Sanchez qui eos tangi a faeminis concedit. Can tit. Agnus; neque laici eos tangant, neque forcipe, ne (que) chiro­thecis, sed clerici in sacris. Enchirid. Epor. Gavant. Tit. Agu. That the Cor­poral cloth may not be toucht either of any Lay-man, or any of the holiest Sisters, till af­ter the first washing: That the Altar-cloathes must have their peculiar Brushes; That no gloves be worne in a Quire; That no gilt chalice may be used; That no Agnus Dei may be toucht by a woman; the liberty whereof given by Sanchez the Jesuite is shrewdly checked; and a thousand the like Curiosities which do sufficiently argue the awful respcts which they beare to the very circumstances of their Devotions: But what shall we say to the substance of their highest act of Piety? If some villainous heretical mouse shall have unhappily light upon a consecrated host; let Peter Lombard the great Master of sentences be ask't, Quid su­mit mus? What doth the mouse eat? He will answer you, Deus novit: God knows, and it is his wisest way to do so: For, if he shall say, A wafer, it is Heresie; for conse­cration is past; the bread is transubstantiate into the body of Christ. If he shall say, The body of Christ; how odious it sounds to seek a Saviour in a mouses belly? Hold thine own Peter; there is no safety but in silence; neither can we be too chary in the management of such sacred matters: For example, So it was, that in a certain Town wherein the Pestilence raged greivously, a poor hosteler lay infected on a pad of straw in his stable; sends for the Curate of the [Page 65] place to give him the Sacrament; the Priest being (as he had just cause) feareful to come over neare to the contagious person, got a long stick, and in the cleft thereof puts the consecrated host, and so offers it to the si [...]l [...] man; the cleft being somewhat too wide, the host slips out, and falls upon the ground; there being then (as it fell out) divers Goslings in the roome, they straight run and gobble up that sacred morsel; yet so, as that by reason of their likenesse to one another, the amazed Curate could not distinguish which of them it was that was guilty of that horrible sacriledge; the distressed man pitifully bewailes that woful, mishap; or­der is taken (besides his own penance) that the whole gaggle of those Goslings must be burnt to ashes, and those ashes laid up in the Sacrary; so the ill-bestowed deity is sure to be met withal somewhere. The Rela­tion I had from sure hands; which, or the like accident might occasion that Act of the Church of Milaine, Eucharistia in peste non debet ministra­ri cum instrumen­to. Act. Mediol. Eccles. de cura post. c. 15. Alii concedunt cum Cochleari ar­genteo. Vener. in Exam. Epor. forbidding absolutely in a time of Pestilence to gve the Sacrament cum instrumento; whiles yet others allow it to be given in a Silver-spoone, where is not the like danger of miscarriage.

But I must needs take leave to wonder how this care can consist with the relation which I had made to me by Dr. Tilenus, a man both famously learned, and undoubt­edly creditable; who told me, that com­ing through France hitherward, lodging in [Page 66] the City of Roan, there fell out that night á dangerous fire not far from his Inne; which being at last happily quenched, moved much matter of talke to the neighbour in­habitants; amongst the rest, the next mor­ning he heard an old woman and a black­smith discoursing of that businesse; Had not I (said the woman) obtained of the Curate to cast the body of our Lord into the flame, that fire would not so soone have been quenched; Tush, said the Smith (who perhaps might have some tincture of Hu­guenotisme) had not I procured the next houses to be suddenly pulled down, your devise & the Curates had not sav'd the whole Street from burning. Was there ever heard of such a receit for fire? That a Christian should burn that which he adores? Let that old woman by my consent passe for a Witch, that made no bones of offering this tort to a Saviour whom she had formerly abjured, rather then so foule should be pra­cticable: Yet those Catholiques bear a fairer respect to the Sacrament then so;Non adhibeatur In valvis ecclesiae contra Grandinem, benedicendo ae­rem. Prov. 3. Gav. V. Euthar. Eorum cera adole­atur ad suffumiga­tionem contra Tempestates. Non suspendantur in ramis arborum, &c. Enchyr. Ep. Tit. Agnus. who were wont to hang it on the Church doore for blessing of the Aire, for preservation against Hailstones; A practice which yet is forbid­den by a Provincial Synod, seeming indeed very improperly to incroach upon the Of­fice of the Agnus Dei, whose best and well allowed use is (not to be hanged up on trees to procure fruit, or to be cast into the field to mend the soile) but that the waxe [Page 67] of it be burnt for a suffumigation against Stormes and Tempests: Neither can it be denied that the Prelates of the Church un­der the Roman [...]dition are worthy of great commendation for their care in providing for the honour and and safety of the Eucha­rist; ordaining that every eight day the holy parcels be renewed; and that every carelesse Curate which shall suffer the holy parcels to putrifie in the Pixe,Putrefactis hostile (quod absit) in Pixide, custos ea­rum. 30. diebus ponitea [...]. Ex. Sylvio. Euchar. 2. q. 9. Ante Eucharisti­am semper ardeat lampas. Ex. Prov. 1. shall pay thir­ty dayes severe penance for his neglect: which lest it should fall out for want of light, it is ordered that a Lamp shall hang alwayes burning before the Eucharist; nei­ther is it fit that a Divine power should dwell in darknesse. But amongst all their acts of Piety, none is more eminent then those that concern the Saints, whether in their Canonizations, or the Adoration of them and their Reliques. As for the first, I cannot wonder enough why his Holinesse when he goes about that act of his Apotheo­sis, should need publickly to protest,Papa facit protesta­tionem, &c. Lib. Sacr. Cer. that he intends not to do any thing that may be prejudicial to the Faith, or to the Catho­lique Church, or the honour of God; doubt­lesse he were very hard-hearted that should not believe him without any such passion­ate asseveration: But I perceive there is somewhat in the winde; For besides the many counterfeits that there are in the World, which are ambitious of Saintship (as the holy woman in Bressia, whereof [Page 68] Gerson speaks; who professed to read al mens sins in their foreheads, and that she could every day deliver three souls out of hell; And that other extatical Damosel, which pretended an union with God, above all humanity; or Magdalene de la Croix, or the holy maid of Kent, or the military Pu­celle of France) It seems (as I learn from the book of Holy Ceremonies) that his Holiness was once compelled to Canonize a Saint against his will; and so, had need to cry, Domine vim patior; But, if that were all, why doth he now, that he is free from all constraint, so oft and earnestly call on the people to pray,Saepe in Canoniza­tione Sanct. monet omnes precentur ne permittat Deus ec­clesiam suam errare. Lib. Sacr. Curam. that God would not suffer his holy Church to erre in that act he goes about; Now you may be sure the He­retiques will not stick to say; If his holiness were conscious of his own indefectibility, in this service, he would save his breath for another purpose.

Canonizatio et mi­racula probare est una de majoribus causis quae inter Christianos proponi possunt, et quaestio est de fide, ut ait Glossa in. sedis Vivald. candel parte 3 a 13. Si unus Sanctus vo­catur in dubium, e­tiam ceteri vocari possunt &c. Ibid. Vivaldus ex Ambr. Catharino.It is true, and they take it from learned Vi­valdus (for which he cites the glosse also) that Canonization of Saints, and probation of miracles is one of the greatest and weigh­tiest businesses, that can be proposed among Christians, and is no lesse then de fide; For, as the same Author out of Ambrosius Cathari­nus truly observes; If one Saint may be doubted of, why not another? and so the Heretiques should be in the right, whiles they teach it to be a matter of much hazard to call upon the Saints; which were horrible [Page 69] to affirme. When therefore they shall look into the Calender, and shall find some Saints that were not so much as men, and more that were not so much as honest, how can they choose but say as the Psalmist did of the Idols, they that make them are like un­to them, and rather incline (as Erasmus pro­fesses) to say Sancte Socrates ora pro me.

But the best is, the World is out of fear of too much over-lashing in this kinde; for that it is taken for a fatal rule that the Pope commonly survives not this act of Divine state,Pere Matth. instan­ceth in Clem. 4. and Adrian. 6. above one year after he hath perfor­med it; which Pere Matthiev instances in some formidable particulars; And I see no reason why his Holiness should be of the minde of his St. Francis, to say,Fr [...]admonitus a me­dico mortem ap­propinquare, Bene veniat (inquit) so­ror mea mors. Lib. Conf. p. 315. Bene veni­at soror mea mors; Welcome good Sister death.

As for the old and true Saints, the very Heretiques themselves perhaps are not so destitute of grace, as to deny them any ho­nour, under divine; especially the blessed Virgin; as she well deserves to be high in their books, above others; but they are too strait-laced in standing upon the same terms, with St. Bernard, At valde veneranda est mater Dei. Bene mones; sed honor re­ginae deligit justiti­am. Et in super Virgo Regia falso non indiget hono­ris titulo: Bern. ad Canon. Lug­dumens. de fe­sto conceptionis St. virg. the Devout Abbot of Clarevall; who in opposition to the new erection of the feast of her conception when it was suggested, that men could not easily offend in giving too much respect to that blessed one; could answer, Honor Reginae diligit justitiam, The Queens honour loveth Justice.

[Page 70]But as for the Saints of the new Edition, they carry no more credit with them, then the new Gospel of the Franciscans and Bene­dictines, which under the name of the Evan­gelium á [...]ernum, mentioned in the Revelation, they would have foisted upon the world, for which they are justly branded by our Chaucer.

Now, if the Saint be a nullity, what is the adoration? I cannot but be sensible of that secret envy, wherewith malignant eyes look upon the honour that is done to these Beatifi­ed souls, and much more to the Canonized; Their Holidayes, Vigils, Octaves: their Temples, Altars, Thurifications, their Invo­cations, Oblations, Nuncupations of vows, their Elections to the publick Patronage of Cities and Countries, the Pilgrimages to their shrines, the decantation of their mi­racles, the Veneration of their Reliques: And if it have falne out that there hath been a discovery of any pious fraudes in any of these, as for example, if there have been any frequent resort of Pilgrims to his Gol­den Lupa within two Miles of Wurtzburgh, Luther Serm. conviv. Also Herman nus the founder of the wicked heresie of the Fratritelli was honoured for a Saint twenty years after his death; after his body was taken up, and bur­ned, Prateolus. v. Her­manus. which after proved to be but a Bitch which a lewde Churchman had interred there, as Luther tells us, what sport do the Heretiques make with this mis-taken peice of Devo­tion; whereas they might if their lips did not hange in their light, see many notable monuments of both ancient and modern Saints, and many precious Reliques worth [Page 71] the wiping of their eyes to behold; as St. Josephs Breeches (and if you will, Lipsius his, offer'd to our Lady to boot) St. Annes Combe, Judas his Lanterne, and a thousand such: But amongst all the rest, who would not be eager to see those Immortal Reli­ques; The feather of the Archangel, which the Pardoner (had it not been purloined) would have shewed to the admiring mul­tudes;Mr. Cloves, his Mo­tives. And the red Velvet Buckler now still reserved in a Castle of Normandy, which the Archangel Michael made use of when he combated the Dragon. Howsoever, I do not apprehend so much miracle in the pre­servation of those Monuments, as in their supernatural multiplication; that the Cross which once Simon of Cyrene bore on his back, should now be able to load a Ship; That whereas John Baptist lost but one head, now there are two sensibly to be seene;Upon Matth. 14. one at Amiens in France (as our Rhemists affirm) the other in St. Sylvesters Abby in Rome; besides the scattered parcells of it in several places.

Now in all these respective circumstan­ces of Veneration, well may the Roman Ca­tholick (I trow) say, of all theirs (accor­ding to that of the Psalmist) Such Honour have all his Saints: But in the meane time, what becomes of the most eminent and best deserving professor of Protestancy? What, Ywis, but this? He dies and is tumbled in­to an hole, mortuus est sine lux, sine, crux, Erasm. [Page 72] sine clango; and his memory dyes, and lies buried with him, without any Epitaph, but dead and forgotten; yet his obstinacy talkes confidently of a blessed Triumph in Heaven, far surpassing all the pompous commemorations upon earth; and pleaseth himselfe with that of Solomon in spight of all malice; Memoria justi in benedictioni­bus.

CHAP. VI. The triumph of Ease.

THere are excellencies which are so hard in atchieving, that they scarce requite the cost of purchasing; like to some sweet kernel which lies inclosed in so thick a shell that it is hardly worth the cracking: Give me those contentments which besides their value and pleasure in their enjoyment, are justly commended by the ease of attaining them: Such is the Roman profession; The dignity whereof is equally matched with the facility: Per­haps our holy Mother will give me little thankes for this praise; as affecting rather [Page 73] a sterne austerity and deep mortification in the practice of her Religion; boasting of the harsh discipline and exact rigour of her Clients; showing with much gloriation their stinging Haire-clothes, their bloody Whips, their knotted Girdles, their rough and patched Garments, their barefoot Walks, their uneasie Lodgings, their broken Sleepes, their purposely-disguised Habits; rejoycing in the ambitious contestation be­twixt her St. Francis and her St. Clare, And St. Clares was found the courser. Lib. Confor. whe­thers Coate should be more course and beg­gerly; upbraiding the Hereticks with their apparent Delicacie, the nice curation of their Skin, the softnesse and cost of their Attire, the curiosity of their fastidious Mawes, their sinking in their Down-beds, the perpetual Frolicks of their Feastings, and the pleasures of their continual Dis­ports: And surely, as to the former of these, the plea cannot be denied to be just, and uncapable of contradiction. What Heremites, or Recluses can the Protestant Churches boast of? What woolward pen­anes, what weary pilgrimages, what blee­ding backs? Onely they pretend for them­selves thus; If the body of Piety be yours, the soul of Piety is ours; If the Roman Catholick have the sowrer face, the English Catholick hath the sadder heart; if the one professe more mortification of the flesh, the other more deep and lively stirrings of the spirit.

[Page 74]But let not our holy Mother stand too stiffly upon the termes of her outward rigi­dities; Her Opposites will be ready to clap her in the teeth with St. Pauls check, That bodily exercise profiteth little; and to put her in minde of what her dearest Son St. Francis said once when it was too late; That it repented him he had used his Bro­ther Body so hardly; and what another that had more wit, and no lesse holinesse then he, even St. Bernard himselfe said; who lamentably complaining of the wrong that he had done to himselfe by his undue austerities, whereby he had disabled himselfe to the publick services of his holy Devotions,Cavendum est ne dumnimis flagellare cupimus, salutem perdamus; & dum hostem subigere quaerimus, civem oc­cidamus. Bern. de Septem grad. Confess. hath left this caveat behind him for all posterity, Cavendum est, &c. Heed must be taken saith he, lest whiles we whip too much [Salutem perdamus] we de­stroy our health, and whiles we seek to sub­due an enemy, we kill not a Subject.

Rather, notwithstanding the ostentation of these outward penalties, let not our holy Mother suffer her selfe to lose the praise of the facility of her Religion; For as for these bodily penances whether voluntary or imposed, the Opposites make light to be out-done by them; and are ready to say, that if the sin of the soul could be done a­way with a little smart of the body, they would think it a very easie condition; a­vowing that the inward acts of true morti­fication (which they practice) are Scorpi­ons [Page 75] in comparison of those Flea-bitings: They can twit her with ill patternes of bo­dily sufferings not inferiour to hers; The Mattarii amongst the Manichees, lay as hard as her Votaries:Mattarii quidam Manichaei qui in mattis dormiunt, &c. August. contra Faustum. L. 5. The Baalites spared their flesh lesse then her cruellest whip-stocks; The Charinzarri can keep as strict a Fast as theirs if but for Arzibur their Sergius his Dog: The Turkes can keep a more absti­nent Fast till they can see a Star; the Mahu­metan Dervises, the Bonzes of China, the Me­negreros of Pegu, and Bramaa, and other the Votaries of the Indian Pagodes, Vid. Fernand. Men­dor. de Pinto. put them­selves to more paine then the most selfe-afflicting Capuchine, yet never the better; And can tell her withall, that she with all these shall for a cold thanks for their labour, heare from the mouth of God, Quis requisi­vit? Who required this at your hands? Let her therefore (if I might be worthy to advise her) stand upon those easie taskes of Piety and Religion, wherein she goes farre beyond all her Corrivals. For, whereas the fond Protestant professes with Luther, Exemplo meo didi­ci difficillimum esse opus, Orare. Luther in Psal. 51. that he findes it a very hard work to pray; for as much as the heart being forestalled with worldly thoughts, is not easily redu­ced to a praying condition; and the minde of a man is still apt in the holiest action to be volatile, and lies exposed to a world of distractions, and much strugling there must needs be to work that froward peice in our bosome to a meet apprehension of that in­finite [Page 76] Majesty whom we speak unto, and to those holy affections and divine ravish­ments of spirit which are requisite in that man, who desires to pour out his soul to God with sensible comfort; the more fa­vourable Oracles of Rome teach us, that there needs none of all this; Ʋt quid perditio haec? It is not necessary saith her acute Suarez, Non est de ratione orationis, &c. Supra. cit. Ex. Suraez de Orat. in prayer to think of the thing sig­nified by the words; neither is it essential to prayer for a man to think of the speech it selfe; it is sufficient to think of God to whom he speakes; He that wants Devo­tion (saith Jacobus Graphius) sins not;Sufficit de deo co­gitare, ibid. Sicut Verba incan­tantis vim habet, &c. As the words of a Charmer (saith learned Sal­meron) have their force and efficacy though they be not understood of him that utters them; So Divine words spoken with a good and simple intention, have force and vertue to dispel all the power of the Devil: To what purpose then should any man rack his thoughts to bring and hold them in a due fixednesse upon the matter of his prayer, when the very sound of the words will do the feat without the concurrence of the heart? And this Antoninus illustrates by a witty example;Respondit Sace dos, Sicut lapis pre­ciosus aeque valet in manu imperiti; sic preces, &c. Auto­nin. Sum. Part. 3. Tit. 23. One propounded this Question to a learned Priest, whether the prayer which he understood not were e­qually effectual with those which he spake with understanding; and received this an­swer: As a precious stone saith he, is of no lesse worth when it is in the hand of an [Page 77] unskilful man, then when in the hand of an expert Jeweller; so are good prayers.Magis fore ad aedifi­cationem Eclcesiae ut preces vulgari lingua concipe ren­tur. Cajet. resp. ad Artic. pacis. Cardinal Cajetan therefore was foulely over­seene, when he flatly determined that it would be more to the edification of mens souls that prayers should be made in their own Mother tongue;Fishers Confer. with Dr. White. wherein it is some marvel to see him seconded by Fisher the Jesuite in asserting of that, which his fellow Ledesma termes no better then a profane recitation.

What Latinity there is in Opus operatum it matters not, I am sure there is much ease; Well fare St. Dominick, therefore who (they say) by Revelation brought up that order of the set number of our Paters and Aves, (which costs us no paines but Lip-labour) although it seemes he fell somewhat too short in his reckning; allotting but 63. Aves to the Corone of our Lady, in remem­brance of her so many yeares, that she is said to have lived upon earth; whereas now more accurate search hath found them to be 73. I am sure there is no fervent prayer raised out of a recollected and well wrought heart which requires not more true labour then an hundred formal Ro­saries.

And whereas the Protestant and all reli­gious Christians in all other Churches think it concernes them highly to meditate in the word of God day and night, and to la­bour earnestly to informe themselves in all [Page 78] points necessary to salvation; Our holy Mother bids us save that labour also; not onely forbearing to encourage Lay persons (as St. Chrisostome did of old) to read the Sacred Scriptures, but absolutely forbid­ding the use of them in their native Langua­ges,Biblia vulgari lin­gua edita non pos­sunt legi neque retineri Clem. 8. in Indice libr. prohib. upon no small penalty: and if any passage thereof be allowed to be publikely read in the Church it is in Latin, no lesse familiar to the poor ignorant Auditories then Greek and Hebrew, lest they should understand and trouble their heads about it. Indeed what should unlettred Laicks do with Scripture, more then children with edge-tooles? It is not necessary to salvation (saith Cardinal Bellarmine) to beleive that there are any di­vine Scriptures.Dan. Tilen. de verbo non Scripto. l. 4. c. 8. And perhaps it had been better for the Church saith Cardinal Hosius, if no Scriptures had been written; It is a­bundantly enough for Lay people to cast their soules upon the trust of the Church, which cannot erre; and to think themselves safe and rich enough, if they be furnished with the Colliers faith, without any curi­ous and explicite inquisition into the Arti­cles of beliefe.

And whereas the heaviest load that can be upon the heart of a Christian is his sin, which cannot but breed a perpetual unqui­etness to the soul;Lutherus non abs­que magna animi concussione, &c. Roffens art. 10. contra Lutherum. as that which according to Luthers determination, is attended with great concussion of spirit: the gentle Ca­suists of our holy Mother Rome speak bet­ter [Page 79] things, and like kinde and cunning Phy­sitians, give present ease to the troubled Conscience. Contritio una &c. Contritio una vel remissa potest delere quodcunque pec­catum quamvis gra­vissimum. Tollet. In­struct. Sacr. l. 3. Ad perfectionem paenitentiae requi­ritur tenuis quidam dolor animi inter­nus. Maldon. sum. q 16. art. 1. Non est necessarium dolere magis de u­no peccato quam de alio. Quià sufficit ad contritionem do­lor in universali de omnibus peccatis; et talis dolor non est intensior respectu unius peccati quam alterius. Franc. de victoria De Contri­tione. One act of contrition though never so little, is enough to blot out the greatest sin, faith Card. Tollet. To the perfection of penitence there is one­ly required an outward grief of heart, if ne­ver so small saith Maldonat. Nay there needs not a full contrition, an attrition is enough, saith Franciscus Victoria: It is not necessary to sorrow for one sin more then another since a general sorow for all our sins in com­mon is sufficient to Contrition, and such a sorrow as this is not more intense for one sin then for another saith the same Author. Courage, therefore, say the comfortable Casuists; the most sins are venial, these break not the peace betwixt God and the soule; As for the mortal, at the worst, they are blowne away by the breath of Confes­sion: Yea, which is yet more, some sins by custome (which our simplicity would have thought had rather aggravated them) lose their malignant nature, and become no sins.

For example. If a man (saith the Casu­ist Rodriguez) have a custome of swearing,Rodriguez Cas. Const. Let him have once done his penance for it, although he afterward swears still, not con­sidering what he saith, he doth not therein sin; because to swear thus is not an humane voluntary act; Thus he, for which he cites Medina also. But if Custome do not abate [Page 80] a sin, it is no more but confess and be free: And though it prove too true, which that great Tell-troth Gerson observes, that there is scarce any full and sincere confession now a dayes to be had, yet that blame is not to be imputed to the Ordinance, but to the man, who having swallowed the poyson, sticks at the Antidote whereby he might be cured: Our Bromiard can tell us of a close sinner,Brom. sum. v. Con­fessio. of whom the Divel could say con­fidently, Tush, let that man alone, I have his Tongue fast in my purse; who having afterwards unloaded his Conscience, by a penitent confession, and turned over a new leafe; the same Divel, being expostulated with concerning him, could answer; I said indeed that I had his Tongue in my purse, and so had, but his Confessarie hath pickt my purse, and got it out; The moral whereof is, no other then that of wise Solo­mon; Prov. 28.13. He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesseth his sin shall finde mercy. Though I perceive already the Heretiques are here ready to take me short, and to pull me by the sleeve, and tell me, that I have forgot the principal verbe; for Solomon saith, He that confesseth [and forsaketh his sin] shall finde mercy: But it is no matter for that; whiles our learned Casuists assure us,Fr. Victoria ubi su­pra. that not a full and absolute act of the will, but a mere velleity to leave a sin, is ground e­nough for a perfect pardon and clear abso­lution, which I hope is an easier way, then [Page 81] is proposed by the crabbed opposites, who stand peremptorily upon the necessity of an hearty sorrow and deep compunction of the soul, with an earnest loathing and de­testation of the sin, to the obtaining of re­mission.

I like not these severe and cruel Task-masters, which make the way to Heaven more strait and difficult then it is. Give me those plausible and indiligent Doctors, that professe by the very act of Sacramental pe­nance to change the eternal punishments of hell, into the Temporal of Purgatory; and to buy off the temporal torments of Purgatory with the purchase of Indulgences; so as now hell is quit, Purgatory discharged, and Heaven opened; and, Hey then, up go we; and is not this a more easie and pleasing way to glory, trow we, then striving to resist our sins unto blood, to offer an holy violence to our souls, in mortifying our e­vil and corrupt affections? to curbe and re­strain our sensual desires? to labour hard in bringing our rebellious hearts to the obe­dience of faith, to crucifie the old man, and to sayle to Heaven in a flood of tears?

CHAP. VII. The triumph of Assurance.

Let the way be never so smooth and faire, yet if we be not sure it leads us aright, we walk with diffident steps, and know not whether it were not better to repent us of every pace that we measure in that pro­gression: But when we are assured of the directnesse of our paths, we passe on cher­fully, though in a more unpleasing [...]ck. It is therefore a further praise of the Roman faith that in all her Tenets of Religion, it is not more easie and plausible to incertain any, then sure to hold; How should it be other­wise, since it is one of the main Principles of her faith, that her head cannot erre? and surely, let her undertake for her head, (wherein the Loco-motive faculty lies) I dare for the body: As a man, as a private Doctor, as Innocentius, he may chance to erre, but as Pope Innocentius he cannot; now, some blunt undistinguishing German would be ready to ask (as one of them did in the like case) if the man, the Doctor, [Page 83] the Innocentius should go to hell, what would become of the Pope? but these ca­vils are for want of wit and grace, to know the infallibility feoffed upon St. Peters chair, whosoever he be that fits in it.

For did no our Saviour say; to that Prime Apostle, I have prayed for thee that thy faith faile not; which (though the Heretiques would make us believe, that it respected onely the personal faith of Peter, which Sa­tan would speedily endeavour to shake by that tempting cribration) yet (according to the rule of Favores Ampliandi) we must know is to be extended to all that should pretend ever after to be his successors whe­ther right, or wrong? And when he said Literally, Thou art Peter, he said in effect, Thou art Innocentius (for his successor and he are all one) and upon thee will I build my Church; which doubtlesse is no other then the Church of Rome; though the peremp­tory Opposites say, Rome was not then thought of for a Church, nor many a faire year after; so as (being then and of a long time after perfectly Pagan) she was some­what likely for that present to stand out a­gainsts the Gates of hell; upon these sure grounds, by a miraculous traduction of Grace, whosoever doth but sit down in the Chaire, wherein St. Peter once sate at Rome (for Antioch is not worth talking of, though there he sat sure enough) is as certainly free from error in faith, as if he were transfor­med [Page 84] into the blessed Apostle himselfe; what though he be no good or holy man, (as their Papyrius Massonus truly professes that no man now a dayes requires any ho­linesse of a Pope;Quamquam nemo hodie in Pontifici­bus sanctitatem re­quirit; optimi pu­tantur si vel leviter boni sint, vel minus mali quam caeteri mortales esse sole­ant. Pap. Masson. Initio. 3. since they are held to be the best Popes that are lesse ill then other men use to be: Yea let him be an arrant Conjurer, as more then one have been ac­knowledged to be; Let him be as proud and arrogant as Boniface the eight, who sti­led himselfe the Lord of the World; Let him be as perjured an impostor and as shamelesly incestuous as Alexander the sixt: Let him be as violent an intruder as Llama­sus the third; Let him be as abominably criminous as John 22 was convinced by a general Council to be; Yea what do I nib­bling at particulars? let it be granted that 150. of them were Apotactical, and Apo­statical miscreants, as Genebrard himself con­fesseth, yet they can no more erre in the Chaire, then their flatterers could say true. Their Biographer Massonus notes it for a sin­gular providence that no Pope ever sat in that Chair, which was blinde, lame, crook­backed, or otherwise deformed in body, but the Heretiques are ready to tell him, they could rather have wisht he could just­ly have acquited them from leud lives, de­formed souls, and crooked conditions; But let them have been Divels incarnate else­where, yet if they be once set in the holy Chaire, no error in judgement of faith [Page 85] dare offer to fasten upon them.

Yet perhaps it may be possible to finde some men, whose lives may be impure, yet their Doctrine sound, as on the contrary Bernard could say of Arnoldus of Briria that his conversation was honey,Arnoldus, cujus conversatio mel, doctrina venenum [...] but his Do­ctrine poyson; it is yet the greater wonder, that let a very boy, or an ignorant body be preferred to the blessed Chaire once, he is instantly priveledged from errour; we have no reason to grant that any such uncapable person hath ever been suffred to disparage that sacred se [...]t. But the Opposites are ready to choake us with a pretty Pope of nine years old; with a Boniface the ninth, a tall stripling which was as high in the Schole as his Grammer, and could hardly write or sing, raised to the Papal dignity: And cast us in the teeth with that irref [...]agable word of our own Alphonsus de Castro; since it is ap­parant (saith he) that many Popes have been so utterly unlearned, that they have not attayned to so much as the knowledge of the Grammer, how shall we think they can be fit men to give us meet Interpretations of Scripture? But the more unlikely the e­vent is, the greater is the miracle;Cum consset mul­tos Papas adeo illi­teratos esse ut Grammatican pe­nitus ignorent; quomodo fit ut sa­cras literas inter pretari possinit Alpos Castro l. 1. de Hares. so as Flo­rilegus need not now to mak [...] so great a wonder of Joachim, who of a Laick un­lettred man, was on the suddaine become an Altilogu [...] Theologus, since it appears this is no newes at Rome, The example whereof cannot but have had a very wholsome influ­ence [Page 86] upon the subordinate, Clergie, for the priveledge both of their age, and igno­rance.

Rogerus Eborac. Ar­chiepiscopus titula vitimberbes, et qous­dam etiam agentes sub ferula aptos ma­gis aedificare casas et plastella adjungere muris, Iudere par impar, equitare in arundine longa quam personas, ge­rere in Concilio magnatum.So we finde, that Roger Archbishop of York admitted beardlesse boyes from under the ferule to Ecclesiastical promotions; yea chil­dren more fit to drive a top, thē weild a Cro­sier: grave Espencaeus speaking of Nazianzens censure of some abuses in that holy station; lets fall these bitter termes Quid diceret &c. What would that father say (saith he) if he saw instead of reverend fathers in Christ, boyes irreverent against Christ? And as for the ignorant prelacy of Rome, Marforius plaies the Jack sufficiently in Pasquils suite to Eugenius the fourth.

Pasquillus marmo­reus. Optime Pon­tifex, Galerum Pas­quillo huic tribuas roganti. Si imbelle sum at (que) rude mar­mor; Complures quoque etiam epis­copos ipso me ma­ge saxeos videmus. Paq. Masse. Eugenio
Good Pope be pleased to bestow
An hat on Pasquil: for although
A marble rude and base he be,
Yet many Bishops made we see
More senselesse every way then he.

But the best is, this businesse is now upon the mending hand;Cum ind [...]gnum sit beneficia ecclesiasti­ca conferri illiteratis ignotis, insufficienti­bus [...]iet indignis, statu mus, et distri­ctius prohibemus ne parochialis ecclesia de caetero detur sive conferatur nisi tali qui competente sciat legere et can­tare er divinum for I finde that in a due care of reforming this abuse of admitting young Novices and unlearned persons to Ecclesiastical Benefices, it is enacted by the Council of Ravenne, that no Parish Church shall be conferred upon any but such a one as can competently read, and sing, and say his service. Neither shall any possesse a [Page 87] Canonship in a Cathedral Church but he that can read, and sing,Nec Canonicatum misi qui sciat legere, cantar [...] et competenter con­struere, et 15. an­num attigerit. Concil. Raven 16. and competently con­strue also; and one that hath attained to the age of fifteen year; nor a Prebend in a Collegiat Church, except he can compe­tently read, and be twelve years old;Nec canonicatum vel praebendam in ecclesia Collegiata nisi sciat compe­tenter legere, et duodecimum an­num compleverit; nec rurale Benefi­cium alicui prorsus iliterato, sed qui sciat aliqualiter legere. ibid. Nullus initiatus 1. a Tonsura ante 14. um annum possit ob­tinere beneficium simplex. Gav. Tit. Beneficium ex Tri­dentinae Sess. 21. Suf­ficit annus 14 us in­ceptus tui. ibid. nor any rural Benefice, if he be altogether un­lettred, and cannot in some sort read; And the Concilium Sabinense to the same purpose, that no Clerk shall be admitted to holy Or­ders, Nisi liter aliter sciat loqui; neither doth the holy Council of Trent now of late deviate much from the wary steps of their prede­cessors, having ordered that no simple Be­nefice shall be bestowed upon any under the age of fourteen years; adding withal that if the 14th year be begun, it is sufficient: So as now there can be no fear but that those great Sees will be learnedly furnished.

More then all this, what if the man be in no Orders at all, a meere Lajck, what then? Yet if he be elected to the Papacy, he is ipso facto, infallible: For example,Constantinus Pap [...]a accusatus in synod Lateranensi quod nullis sacris initia­tus. &c. Navclen vel 2. Gene­rat. 26. Pope Con­stantine the fourth being challenged and ac­cused by the Council of Lateran, that being not initiated into holy Orders, he presum­ed to hold the See Apostolique, and to do such acts as pertaine to that sacred Function (a disorder which is sufficient to make a man perpetually irregular) at the first hear­ing lowly louted and cry'd Peccavi, craving pardon for his offence; pleading that the honour was forced upon him by the impe­tousity [Page 88] of the people: But by that time he had slept upon it, the next morning he was in another tune, and now stood stiffly upon his right; alledging strongly the example of some of his allowed Predecessors in some other Sees; As Sergius Bishop of Ravenna, and Stephen Bishop of Naples. And surely since the vertue is in the place, and not in the man; why should not he challenge an equall priviledge of infallibility with the best? And I hope Dame Joan English, whiles she sat upon that Throne, play'd her part as laudably as the gravest of their learned Doctors; and all because she sat in the same chaire of Papal Office, though not in the Marble chair, Tanquam in stercoraria, as all her Successors since that time have ever done.Sedet in porphyre­tica tanquam in stercoraria. Lib. Sacr. cerem. Indeed I do not heare of any Saint she Cano­nized, nor of any Council she call'd, nei­ther are those Acts essential to that sacred Function, since the latter have been wont to be done by Emperours: and the former is (not without great pretence of Reason) judged by Marsilius Patavinus to be an act more meet for a General Council,Marsilius Patavinus censet authoritatem canonizand soli Concilio Generali commitrendam. L. 10. q. defensor pacis inscribitur parte. a. Hospinianus de Canonizat. Multi sunt in con­sortio sanctorum qui nou sunt in Ca­talog. who can best judge of the qualification of persons fit for that superlative honour; and if it were not at all done by either of them, it is a true word of Erasmus, Multi sunt, &c. Many are in the company of the Saints which are not in their Catalogue; But for the ordinary transactions of the Consistorie and Conclave, she left not (for ought I can heare) any [Page 89] blurre upon her judgement, though she left some blurre upon her honesty, and some monument of her Sexe in the open Street.

Now the envious Malignants I confesse put us somewhat hard to it, whiles they lay in our dish some sad instance of humane frailty in some of St. Peters Successors: whiles they tell us of Pope Marcellinus, that out of feare yeilded to cast some graines of Incense into the Idols fire, as himselfe min­ceth the act, for which he underwent a wil­ling penance; Or Liberius the Pope sub­scribing to the Arrian Heresie,Siffrid l. 2. Epitom suá scribit Joanni quem 18. vocat pe peram quendam Librum scripsit Bint. in notis de Jo­anne 19. vulgo 21. as is undeni­ably contested by Athanasius and Jerome of Pope John 18. (as he is reckoned) who as Siffridus tells us, wrote a wicked and here­tical Book which he meant to have publi­shed to the World, had he not been happily prevented by the fall of his house on his head. Of Pope Celestine the third,Celestinus 3 us er­ravit de dissolven­do matrimonio conjugum, si alter in haeresin inciderit Licitumque esse parti Catholicae conrahere matri­monium. who erroneously (though Cathedra) defined the dessolution of the Marriage contracted with an Heretick; and the lawfulnesse of the second marriage of the Orthodoxe per­son after such dissolution; which though now obliterated for shame of the World, yet Alphonsus de Castro professeth to have seene it recorded in the ancient Decretals: Neither can we deny but they may make our eares glow with shameful examples of this kinde; what need we to particularize,Multi Pontifices in errores et haereses lapsi esse leguntur, Concil. Basil in Ep. Synodica. when the Council of Basil speakes with a full mo [...]th? Many Popes are read to have [Page 90] falne into Errors and Heresies; but that wherewith I finde my selfe in greatest perill of confusion, is thar horrible testimony of John Picus Earle of Mirandula, who tells us, Sed & alium, Sed et alium me­minimus Pontificem creditum et or­dinatum, quem ta­men prástantes viri putarunt nec Pon­ficem esse nec esse posse, utpote qui nullum deum cre­dens &c. Jo. Pic. Mirand. Theorem. 4. de fide p. 177. &c. I remember another who was believed to be Pope, and so ordained; whom yet some worthy persons think that he neither was truely a Pope, nor indeed could be; who in believing that there is no God, exceeded the highest pitch of In­fidelity; confessing to some of his Dome­sticks, that even whiles he held the Papal See, in that very time he believed there was no God at all: And how could this man (think we) erre in the Faith, whiles he was in so good a mind?

Aliumque familiari suo cuidam apperu­erat apud sel anima­rum immortalitatem minime creditam. ibid.Againe (saith he) I remember another Pope which told a familiar friend of his that the immortality of the soul was not belie­ved by him; who dying afterwards appear­ed to that friend lamentably acknowledg­ing that he now found his soul to be immor­tal, to his infinite losse and perpetual tor­ment: Oh miserable Pastor of soule that dinied the very being of that charge which he professed to feed. What then shall we say to this? Perhaps that learned and no­ble person might be mis-informed, by some spightful slanderer, who affained such dreadful blasphemy upon their Holinesse;O miserum affecta­torem tor Pontifi­cum qui nihil ex aula praeter inopiam et canitiem horren­dam attulerit. Mass. Nical. 50. Some cast Courtier, who had with Poggius worne out his time in the vaine hopes of preferment, and now at last carrying away [Page 91] nothing thence but gray haires and beggery devised (it may be) those hellish Calum­nies to the blemish of his regardlesse ma­ster: Or if the suggestion were true, why do we not rather what those worthy men whom he mentions say? these monsters of infidelity were no more Popes, then Comets are Stars, or Devils Angels of light, because they do but appeare in that likenesse: And, that had they been true Popes, they had never been suffered to fall into so pro­digious and detestable opinions; since by vertue of their station (as hath been suffi­ciently shown) their faith is inviolable, their decisions infallible.

Neither is it any small favour of the Al­mighty that he hath left to his Church such an inerrable Judge of controversies, to whom it may resort upon all occasions for full satisfaction, and therein finde rest to the soul; whereas the obstinate Protestant is still to seek in all his doubts, and hath no­thing in his mouth but Scripture, Scripture, which he also construes according to his own private spirit; not considering that the true sense of it (which lies not in the skin, but the marrow of it) must be fetch't from the living Oracle of the Church; and that it is the Church alone which gives au­thority to the Scripture, if not primarily in it selfe, yet secondarily to us: The mis­construction whereof is that which vainly puffes them up in an high conceit of their [Page 92] own erroneous opinions; although let an indifferent eye look upon them, it will easi­ly finde them to be no friends to Rome. Luther tells us of one of the Electors,Luther serm. Conviv. the Arch-Bishop of Men [...]s, who by chance had light upon a Bible, and for four hours space read in it very seriously; one of his Coun­sell seeing him, ask't his Highnesse what he did with that book? to whom he is said to have answered, I know not what Book it is; but sure I am, that what I finde written in it is against us.Ibid. Luther. Much to the like purpose was that conference which we finde repor­ted, betwixt VViliam Duke of Bavaria, and Doctor Eckius; The Duke askt the Dr. Sir, may we not overthrow this new Doct­rin of the Hereticks by the Scripture? No said the Doctor, by Scripture we cannot, but by the Fathers we may.

The Malignants cannot forbeare to smile at the decision; and say the Doctor spake the truth without racking: But though Fathers and Councils be all ours, as Campian triumphantly vaunteth, yet this is not that we build upon: It is the un­failable sentence of Peters unerring Succes­sor that we do with all confident assurance rely upon in all matters of faith; whose judgement we do with that eloquent Bi­shop of Bitonto prefer before hundreds of Augustines, Hieromes, Chrysostomes, and the rest of those learned and godly Fathers; Let the Hereticks hugge their Scriptures in [Page 93] their bosome, as the onely guides and grounds of their faith; Let us pitch se­curely upon that firme rock of the Church whereon the fond refractaries will needs willfully split themselves.

CHAP. VIII. The Triumph of Bounty.

AS no Church under Heaven is said to be so rich as our holy Mother the Church of Rome, so none is equally free and bounti­full; Thus it is, and should be with all ingenuous natures. The earth sends up va­pors, and receives showres back again; Oh the liberality of the holy See: The sons of that Mother have suckt bounty from her brests;Nihil [...]uiqam ne­gavit, quandoque duobus idem annu­erit. Anno. 1294. Bin. in notis. Celestine the fifth (good soul) was so free, that he would deny nothing to any suitor; yea that he would grant the same boone to two or three several petitioners. Alexander the fifth was of the same soft Me­tal,Episcopus dives, pauper, Cardinalis Papa mendicus. who professed to have been a rich Bi­shop, a poor Cardinal, but a beggerly Pope: So had he laid about him, that what enrich­ed all others, had impoverisht him: And the [Page 94] praise that St. Bernard gives to Gilbert Bishop of London, is, that in a rich Bishoprick he was yet poor not onely in his estimation through humility according to the old Greek verse [...] but in the estimation of others through his liberality; [...]: So Innocentius 8th. was by Lionel Bishop of Concordia in his funeral oration styled vir di­tissimae paupertatis; So John (surnamed the Eleemosynarie, Joan. Eleemosyna­rius Patr. Heirosot. croper ta rium pre­ciosum vendidit. &c. Brom. v. Eleemos. Sanctus Germanus extra Mediolanum veniens &c. Brom. ibid. or Almoner sold the rich Co­verled that had been given him, and de­stributed the price among the poor; So Saint German is said to have chid his man, that having three Florens in his purse, he had given but two of them to a poor indigent: So the Heremite kissed the thieves hand that had stolen his victuals, for helping him so much the sooner into Heaven. But above all those thousands that might be instanced in this kinde, St. Francis is worthy to bear away the Bell, who to a poor man that cra­ved his almes gave all his Clothes,Lib. Conform. and stood naked the while till he could be recruited with some other rags; and to a poor wo­man likewise begging of him, finding by the information of one of his Disciples that they had nothing left but the book of the holy Gospels, out of which they were to read the lessons of divine service, could say, Da huic sorori nostrae librum Evangelii: Give this our Sister the book of the Gospel, so parting with that at last which (as he con­ceived) had bidden him to give all away. [Page 95] Neither would he admit of any man into the Society of his Order, but such a one as was of his own diet, totaliter expropriatus, willingly stript of all, in an holy bounty, and contempt of the world;Lib. Conform. 2 [...] Fructu. 4. pag. 218. In so much as when one of his Brotherhood earnestly sued to him that he would allow him to have but a Psalter to read on, and being denyed, he renewed his request more vehemently; St. Francis being overcome with his importuni­ty, yeilded so far as to refer him to his servants judgement in the point; but after his second thoughts, meeting with this bookish brother, where was it (said he) that I told you I referred you to your servants judgement concerning the Psalter desired by you? when the place was shewed him, St. Francis falls down there on his knees, be­fore his young brother, and cried (as is used in confession) Mea culpa, frater, mea culpa, It was my fault, brother, it was my fault to yeild so far: For whosoever will be a Friar minorite; must not be allowed to have any more then his two coats, his chord, and his breeches; and if necessity urge,Conform. l. 2. Fruct. 4. pag. 218. his shooes. And what a foule penance he en­joyned to one of his poor Fraternity for hi­ding a peice of coyne, I shall in good manners forbear to relate.

How strictly and curiously this rule of his is observed, by his followers, the world can well witnesse; let Krantzius speak for the rest; who tells us that these men may take [Page 96] up St. Pauls words in a contrary sense, as ha­ving nothing yet possessing all things (2 Cor. 3.10.) Meet sons for so bountiful a Mother; of whose munificence there are no bounds: Who can expresse the numbers and extent of her Indulgences, and gracious concessi­ons of all kindes; which how free they are, the Taxa Camerá Apostolicá can fully testifie: As for the pardons of Course granted for sins of ordinary incursion,De adulteriis et a­liis peccatis quá minora sunt. put case for A­dulteries and other lesse crimes, as Alexander the third stiles them, they are more com­mon then the stones in the street, so nume­rous, that they cannot come under any ac­count; and those no lesse free, then fre­quent; though it is fit and reasonable that they which partake of so great a benefit, should porrigore manus adjutrices; One good turne requires another; and a little ease to the soule, is worth a good lining of the purse.

But the height of spiritual bounty is in the extraordinary exercises of Papal benefi­cence, such as are the Grants of his Diplo­mata confessionalia; Dictae sunt Bullae pro peccatis ad huc committendis quibus scilicet data est potestas eligendi confessorem &c. Vid-Chemni [...] Exam. de Indulgentiis. Bulls of special Grace, which may have a relation to sins that are to be committed in the future. For exam­ple, a well disposed man hath a minde to commit some pleasing sin whether of lust or revenge, and yet save his soul harmelesse; what now is to be done? Let him purchase one of these powerful Bulls, by vertue whereof he shall be enabled to choose a [Page 97] Confessary for his own tooth: To whom faculty is thereby granted to absolve him, and to gratify him with a plena­ry Indulgence in what case soever shall be propounded; which was according to the old Doctrine that Tetzel the great Pardon-monger, Luthers good friend taught, and wrote;Luth. Serm. Conviv. that the Popes Indulgences could remit and pardon those sins which a man intended to commit in time to come: Now if any crafty chapman shall have made such ill use of this wholsome Doctrine, as to drive the bargain with a well-meaning Peniten­tiary, for pardon of a concealed sin, purpo­sed to be done by him, and shall thereby mean (as the Tale goes) his robbing of the Pardon-monger himself, and easing him of his carriage; for my part I shall hold him worthy of no lesse punishment, then to be cursed with Bell, Book and Candle.

Another improvement of the free hand of our holy Mother, much of kind to the for­mer, is the large dispensations, granted by his holinesse, upon all weighty occasions; which some quea [...]y stomacks (such as Ger­som and Erasmuses) do not well digest, mi­staking the terme, and calling them dissi­pations; Well fare yet the zeale of a learned Spaniard, Mart. Alph. Vivaldus Candel. Aureo. Martin Alphonsus Vivaldus who flies fiercely in in the face of one of their greatest Bishops, for making question of the lavish exercise of the Popes power in this kinde, Piis auribus &c. It is offensive to [Page 98] pious eares (saith he) which is spoken by a most reverend Bishop of Spain a Dominican by profession; who handling the question whether the Pope may erre; I would to God (saith he) that any doubt could be made of this conclusion; but we see daily come from the Court of Rome such large, yea loose di­pensations that the world cannot bear them any longer; whereupon the zealous Doctor beates his Candlestick about the eares of this Censorious Prelate, twitting him with the contrary judgement of their common Mo­ther, the University of Salamanca: Where­as other Catholiques take too tamely the heavy censures which passe daily upon his holinesse in this behalfe: It is a starke shame to see,Defence of the Apol. 3. part. p. 371. That when Bishop Jewel so long a­goe hath so clamorously laid open such a rabble of grosse and intolerable flatteries (as he proclaimes them) falne from the pens of some Roman Parasites, both Divines, and Canonists,Vide citationes authoris apud Juellum loco prae­dicto. concerning the prodigiously-exorbitant powers and practice of Papal di­spensations (such as any modest man would blush to hear) as that the Pope may dispense (saith one) against Paules Epistles; against the new Testament, saith another; against both Old and New Testament, saith a third; against the Law of God, saith a fourth; above the Law saith a fifth; of wrong he can make right, of nothing something, saith a sixt: Yea to shut up all) sin onely excep­ted he can [quas [...] omnia facere, quae Deus po­test] [Page 99] do in a sort all that God can do; Yet

Nec quisquam ex agmine tanto
Audet a dire virum.
Not one in all that great and boastful rout
Dares come to graple with that Champion stout.

No one Catholique pen hath ever wagg'd against him, for either Apologie, or excuse: Neither yet after so many and bitter com­plaints made in, and to the Council of Trent concerning the horrible abuse of this pra­ctice is the case thought meet to be any whit altered: but,

Intranti nummo quasi quodam principe summo
Exiliunt valuae, nihil auditur nisi salve.
When money enters like some mighty Lord,
The gates flie ope; God save you is the word.

As Cardinal Cusanus could say in his time, It is no more, but deferunt a [...]um et argentum, et reportant chartas, Men bring in Silver and Gold, and carry out papers.

Yet a third peice of Papal bounty is the granting of extraordinarily high priveledges to Princes and States far better then a Gol­den Rose upon Dominica Laetare (though daub'd over with the preciousest Balsome, and perfumed with Muske, and blessed with holy water) which are feoffed not upon their persons onely, but their successors: Yet not so, but upon misdemeanure they may be reversed; and upon the necessity or greater availe of the Church, infringed. [Page 100] The rule is Papa nunquam ligat sibi manus, The Pope never ties his own hands; those are still left at liberty, to tie or untie at plea­sure. So we have known more then once, that notwithstanding his engaging himself by his free concessions, yet that he makes bold to take the freedome of doing what he lists, as the Gravamina Germaniae would make us believe: And here in England, (when time was) the Parliament, and especially the Peeres complained to, and of Pope In­nocentius, in the first Council of Lyons, that Martin his legate, had injuriously violated the priviledge granted specially to the King of this Realm, by the See Apostolique, That no person should execute the Office of a Legate in this Land, unlesse he were espe­cially requested thereunto, by his Majesty; which wrong they do so sharply resent, that they speak big words (if not saucy) to his holinesse; Non possumus aequanimiter tolerare, nec per dei gratiam amplius tolerabimus; we neither can, nor by Gods grace will suffer it to be done any more.Binius ex Matthaeo Paris. Anno 1345. And the bold French Lawyers, the spawne of that refractarie Sorbone, have got a distinction by the end of Privilegia remuneratoria; differencing the priviledges that are yeilded upon conside­rations, from those that are merely free and voluntary; standing upon it, that if the priviledge were granted in way of re­muneration and upon a mutual concordate it is not the power of his holinesse to reverse or violate it.

[Page 101]Let them argue the case, whom it concerns. But, certainly, in this last and worst age of the world, the great Kings of the earth grow resty, and headstrong, having learnt at last, to know their own strength; and now ha­ving got the bit between their teeth, their rider is best to sit sure for fear of a fall.

In the mean time, hitherto, as some Popes have given out themselves for the Lords of the world (usurping the speech of him that said, All the Kingdomes of the earth are mine, and to whomsoever I will,Luke 4.6. I deliver them) so there have not wanted great Princes which have been content to receive the grant, and confirmation of new King­doms from their hands (cum privilegio ad pos­sidendum solum) and have nothing to plead for the propriety of their right, in those large territories, snatcht from their heathen owners, but a sheeps skin sub Sigillo piscatoris; So as these Beneficiaries cannot but ac­knowledge our Rome the mistresse of the world, not more great then bountifull.

As for other Churches, what have they to give? were it not well with them, if they could but hold their own? If (as the world goes) they can maintaine but a bare subsi­stence upon earth, although, in the mean time, they are confident of a large portion in heaven?

CHAP. IX. The triumph of Gain.

BOunty cannot live, and hold out, un­lesse it be fed, and supplied with in­comes of profit, It will easily therefore be granted, that the holy Mother, being so beneficent, must needs be recruited with large accession of gainful emoluments: As no Church under Heaven is so free, so none is equally rich; when his holinesse enters upon his Apostolical charge,Pontifex aceipit de gremio Camerarii sui pecuniam. Ubi nihil tamen est auri vel argenti, spar­gens (que) in pop. dicit. Aurum & argentum non habeo; quod autem habeo hoc tibi do. Lib. sacr. Ceremon. Thomae Aquinati accedenti ad Inno­centium 4. cum magna vis pecuniae numeraretur, vides Thoma Ecclesiam non amplius dicere posse, Aurum & argentum non habeo Cum doctor Ange­licus resp. urbane & modeste, Nec modo quod tunc, claudo imperare ut surgat & ambulet Bapt. Gillius. Acad. Flor. Dial. 3. he onely scat­ters brasse among the people, and borrows the words of St. Peter; Silver and Gold have I none; but by that time he is warm in his seat, he is in another tune so as when Tho­mas Aquinas came to Innocent the fourth (whom he found surrounded with great heaps of Gold) Lo Thomas, said the Pope, the Church cannot now say, as of old, Sil­ver and Gold have I none; No, said the surly Doctor, neither can she say to the lame man, Arise and walk.

It was a strange thing to see a Pope Cele­stine 5th. to be still an Anachorite in Peters [Page 103] Chaire, and to meet him in the street riding on an Asse; or to hear of a Pope Clement 4th. who having two daughters, bestowed a whole three hundred pounds upon one of them for a marriage portion, and gave thirty pound with the other to place her in a Nunnery; and from his nephew (perhaps his son) that had three Prebends, took two away, in his bountiful liberality. Or to hear an Alexander 5th. a begger in the Epis­copal Throne; These may passe for prodi­gies of a pusillaminous mortification; the kindly successors of Peter bewray other manner of spirits, and keep another kinde of estate; whether by the munificent Lega­cies of Emperours, Kings, Princes, and other Potentates, or by vertue of their invaluably rich offices, and vailes. As for those of the first kinde, we cannot easily be beaten off from the just maintenance of those two great Donations of Constantine; the one, of the place of Lateran, and City of Rome, the other of the Territories of Rome, Italy, and other the Western Countries therein mentio­ned; though, Otho Frisingensis, Platina, Papyr. Mass. in vita. Confer of Hart and Reynolds. Kran­tzius, Cusanus, Laurentius Valla, and Pius him­selfe give up the latter of them as suppositi­tious, and though, for the former, it be ap­parent, that the Emperour possessed Rome still, for 400. years after the pretended grant.

But it is needlesse to enquire thus late, quo jure; we are sure his holinesse holds them [Page 104] now fast enough; Besides the addition of o­ther rich Principalities derived since upon the Church by the munificence of pious Be­nefactors. Oh the inexhaustible bounty of those holy Souls of our Ancestors! What was it that those Religious heroes thought too good to accumulate upon the Church? How happy did they think themselves in making the Church their heir?Regna magis quam caenobia vir sanctus posteris reliquit &c. non tam pauperi­bus hospitium quam clericis & sacerdo­tibus otium at (que) luxuriam pariturus, Volateran. If but to one order of St. Benedict, Tertullus a Patrician of Rome could give his large patrimony, lea­ving to posterity regna magis quam caenobia, kingdoms rather then Monasteries, as Vola­teran tels us; what shall we think of the uni­versal indowments of the See Apostolique? Besides these voluntary Donations, the Im­posed sums ftom all Christian nations must needs make up a very large and scarce com­putable revenue; Take the account, as it is given in from France, by the sure and faith­ful hand of Nicholaus Clemangis, Taxa vacantiarum secundum quod de­scribitur in libris Camerae Apostolica de Ecclesiiis Cathe­dral. et Abbatiis Galliarum taxatis ascendit ad sexenta nonaginta septem millia septingenta quinquaginta Eran­corum sine praelatu­ris &c. Nic. Clem. de Annatis non sol­vendes p. 100. who tels us that the Taxe of the vacancies of Cathedrall Churches and Abbacies in France, as it is set down in the books of the Chamber Aposto­lique, arises to six hundred ninety seven thousand seven hundred and fifty Franks, besides Prelacies, and other inferiour Digni­ties and Benefices; which amount to neer as much more. To which, he adds that if in o­ther nations the like rate should be received, The sum would arise to no less then six mil­lions, nine hundred seventy seven thousand and five hundred Florences. And if greater [Page 105] authority be yet required The Archbishop of Lyons in the Councel of Basil told the fa­thers assembled in the year 1436. that in the time of Pope Martin, Archiepiscopus Lugduni in Conci­lio Basil, narravit Anno Dom. 1436. quod tempore Mar­tini Papae ad Curiam Rom. ex sola Fran­cia venerunt novem milliones aurii, com­putati ab Episcopis & Praelaturis abs (que) illis qui de parvi [...] clericis sumebanr [...]. Hen. Tok. Legat. Archiepiscopi Mag­deburg &c. Nec dubium quin omnibus certis & accidentariis com­putatis, Papa singuli [...] annis decem millio­nes coronatorum undequa (que) corrase­rit. ibid. Henr. Epist. Anglorum ad Innocentium. Italici percipientes in Anglia sexaginta millia Marcarum & co amplius &c. there came to the Court of Rome out of France above nine mil­lions of Gold, being accounted from the Bi­shops and prelates, besides those sums which are raised from smaller Benefices: Neither is there any doubt to be made that the Pope by all both set, and accidentary incomes takes up ten millions of crowns yearly into his coffers. And that I may not trifle the rec­konings of other nations, hear what our English Parliament in the daies of Henry the 3d. complaines to, and of Pope Innocent: The Italians (say they) receive out of England six hundred thousand marks and more, every year, besides divers other sums; So as they carry out of the Kingdom more profits, of meer rents, then the King himself (who is the Tutor of the Church, and Governour of the Kingdom) receiveth: Thus they: subscribed, magnates et universitas regni An­gliae: The Peers and Commons of the King­dom of England.

Besides the set and fixed revenues, many casual windfalls of no smal value contribute much to the craming of his Holiness coffers.

The Prelates of that universal See know their heir, beforehand, even Peters successor: What share soever some secular Bishops are allowed in some Countries,Potest Episcopus donare in vita non causa mortis. Ex Barbos. Gav. to have in dispo­sing their estates, those which are Regulars, [Page 106] cannot look to make any other will of their goods or Lands,Episcopus Regularis ne (que) de Patrimonia­libus, nec de acqui­sitis potest testari. Idem. In infirmitate non potest quilibet E­piscopus immode­ratas facere Eleemo­syna. Ibid. Bona Episcopi titu­laris acquiruntur Papae. Idem. whether patrimonial, or ac­quisite; and the rest towards their end may not be too free of their almes; what should I mention the moneths reserved, the An­nates, Advousons, Expectatives, and other perquisites of Rectories and other lower dig­nities? And if an Archbishoprick fall void, there is the price of a Pall, coming flush in; which is no small one;Luth serm. Conviv. The Archbishop of Ments paid belike for his, six and twenty thousand Crowns; and the rest in the like proportion. So as St. Peters successor needs not fish for unlawful emoluments, such as Symoniacal contracts (to the penalty where­of his Holiness is not liable) or such as Pope Leo is charged withall, who is said to have been bribed with 8000. [...]uth. Conviv. serm. Duckets by the Ca­puchines to balk their visitation; Perhaps it may have been with him, as was said of Gal­ba, that himself did no injuries to men, but his servants might verifie that of the Poet,

Ʋenales (que) manus, ibi fas ubi plurima meroes.
Sale hands, & that's most right that brings most gain.

himself surely would scorn so sordid a con­tract, seeing so strong a current of coyne flowing in daily into his mint by justifiable waies. O the not more admired, then en­vied treasures of his Holiness! Even in our time, Pope Sixtus Quintus, (sife-cin (que)) (as some idle gamesters mis [...]named him) of an hog-heard, as it is said, becomne an holy [Page 107] Franciscan, Post annos 5. habe­bat in aerario. 5. mil­liones aureorum, ut testatur Ciracella in ejus vita. (who by his vow must not medle with money) in the first year of his Pope­dome added unto the Treasury a whole million of Crowns; and after five years had five millions in stock; Nicol. Clemangi [...] ubi supra. And not to instance in any more, John the 22d. as Nicholaus Cleman­gis assures us, had a million, and seven hun­dred thousand florences of Gold laid up in se­veral places; Whereto also the same author adds that the Colledge of Cardinals, were suppos'd to have half so much for their share laid up also. It is well yet, that, by his say­ing, this wealth runns not in one channell; and that his Holiness can abide, that this precious ointment should run down, from his beard, to the skirts of his garment too. How rich therefore do we think the Clergy of his immediate subordination must needs be (Dignum patella opercu'um) when John Ger­son can cry out enviously enough I warrant you: Quae uti (que) abominatio &c. Quae uti (que) abomi­natio quod unus tener ducenta, alter trecenta beneficia Ecclesiastica. Gerson Declar. defectuum vir. Eccles. What an a­bomination is this (saith he) that one man should hold two hundred, another three hundred Ecclesiastical Benefices in his hand; But above all, what a super-excessively rich Court is that of Rome? wherein his Holiness, and his potent factors, strive who shall more overlay each other with weight of Gold; what Court under heaven doth so swarme with varieties of Officers, both for state, and profit? many whereof are so vendible, that we are acquainted with the price before­hand; To give you a tast; Not to speak of [Page 108] the Master of the Palace,The Court of Rome with the Govern­ment, Officers, and value of their Offi­ces, publisht in Italian, and tran­slated by Mr. Henry Cogan, set forth 1654. the secret Cham­berlain, The Secretary of state; the 24 Se­cretaries of Breives, the Generals both of the Guards, and of the holy Church; places of not more honour, then profit. The Vice-chancelorship is of the value of fifteen or sixteen thousand crowns by the year; The Officers of the Apostolical Chancery; both the Regent and the twelve Prelates, the Ab­breviators, so rich that the Regentship is sold for two and twenty thousand crowns; the rest, every Abbreviatorship, for twelve thousand crowns.

The Cardinal Chamberlain worth twelve or fourteen thousand crowns yearly; The Master of the Brieves worth thirteen thou­sand; The prefect of the Brieves twelve thousand; The Lord Treasurer Generals place worth seventy thousand crowns; The Auditors of the Chamber sold for seventy thousand crowns; The office of the Lead bought for three thousand crowns; Four Officers of the Register, call'd Ministers of the Register of supplication, sold for four thousand crowns a peece; The Pronotaries participant, whereof thee are twelve Pre­lates, each place bought for seven thousand crowns.

I could easily weary you, if I listed to tran­scribe the Catalogue of the Offices of the Palace, as the writers of the Penitentiarie, the writers of Brieves, Apostolical Squires, Knight of St. Peter and St. Paul; Knights of [Page 109] the Flowerdeluce Lauretan Knights, and God knowes how many more rich places (both of dignity and employment) all which are confessedly so bought and sold, that (as it may fall) both parties may make a good market.

Now all this magnificence, and wealth, could not hold up, if Rome were not the O­cean, into which all the rivers of the world run to pay their tribute, especially in the case of Dispensation, and of Absolutions from Cases Reserved; these alone (if the world had no quarrels that might draw on Appeals) were enough to make Tyber over­flow his banks.

Vpon these occasions, Oh what flocking there is to this Metropolis from all the regi­ons of Christendome? In so much, as the view of this general resort drew from the envious tongue of him whom the world hath long stiled Ʋenerable,Venerabilis Beda. the willing mis­construction of those well known Letters S. P. Q. R. as importing,Senatus, populus (que) Romanus. Stultus populus quaerit Romam; All flock hither, none empty han­ded; but (as happy is) none go away over­loaded, (except it be with grief for what they left behind them, and what they can­not but carry with them) For I perceive it is a stale proverb at Rome, Tritum Romae ada­gium, è Curia tria reportari Inane mar supium conscien­tiam malam, stoma­chum malum. as Massonus him­self tels us, that men do ordinarily carry a­way from the Court of Rome an empty purse, an ill conscience, and a bad stomach.

Thus invaluably rich is the Roman [Page 110] Church; and why may she not make it an argument of Gods speciall favour to her, as wel as some prosperous usurpers in all times have made successe the proofe of a good cause? Now, what wealth can the Prote­stant and pretendedly Reformed Church boast of to the World? Surely, they are abounding, but it is with wants; full, but of sorrows and afflictions; loaded, but with heavy pressures, with contempt and dis­graces: He is wilfully blinde then, that will not see where to pitch his choice: The one saith,Babylon. Esay 47.8. Revel. 18.7. I sit as a Queen, and am no widdow, and shall see no sorrow: Of the other God saies, Come down O daughter Sion, and sit in the Dust. The one is high mounted, and sits gorgeous­ly arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with Gold and pearles, and precious stones; with a golden cup in her hand, and a glori­ous title in her forehead: The other lies groveling on the earth, arrayed in Sack­cloth, covered with ashes, drenched in tears, miserable for the time, and onely in hope happy and glorious.

CHAP. X. The Triumph of Wisdom.

IF thou be wise, be wise for thy selfe,Prov. 19.12. is the counsaile of the wisest King; which if ever any Church under Heaven have care­fully taken, it is the Roman: so cunningly is the frame of her government contrived, that her witty and deare sonne, that hath written de regimine Principis, could not de­vise how to mend it: neither is the mini­stration and management of it any way unanswerable to the platform. For, to be­gin with matter of caution: Whereas it hath alwaies been found dangerous to let the Vulgar know too much; since know­ledge is an edge-toole, which unskilfull hands cannot tell how to rule, but are rather apt to wound themselves therewith; and (as the old axiome runs) ignorance is the mo­ther of devotion; it hath therefore been the wisdom of our holy mother to keep the common people blindfold; and to cause them to take up with an implicite faith, without enquiring into the mysteries of faith; and informing themselves of the [Page 112] special points of Religion; as suspecting, that, upon more light of understanding, they would grow scrupulous, censorious, refra­ctory; Indeed, as Luther said, what should a cow doe with nutmegs? And because if the Laity should be allowed to read the Scriptures in a language which they under­stand, it is fear'd they would easily finde (that which the Archbishop of Mentz in a former passage professed to see) that those holy pages are no friends to Rome; Biblia vulgari lin­gua edita non pos­sunt legi; ne (que) Epis­copi, ne (que) Inquisi­tores, ne (que) Regula­rum superiores dare queunt licentiam. Clem. 8. in Indie. lib. prohibit. Ne (que) compendium historiae Bibliorum, Ibid. therefore our holy father Clement 8. hath found it the wisest way, strictly to forbid both the rea­ding and retaining of any Bible, or any part of it, in the mother tongue of any Nation under heaven, inhibiting also any abridge­ment of the historie thereof under great pe­naltie, restraining the power that any Bishop in former times might have used in giving License upon good caution to some confi­ding persons to read the same. And lest some other heretical books should poyson the mindes of unwary readers to the great prejudice of the Roman faith; what curious remedie, hath that wise Church provided, for both the prevention of that danger where it may happen, and the redress where it is.

Order is first taken for the prohibiting & suppressing of all books that are apparently contagious; so as they are smothered ere they come to the light of the world; as for others, that amongst much wholsome mat­ter, [Page 113] have some interspersions of suspitious or unsafe passages, they are soundly purged, & corrected, and taught to speak true Roman; yea though it be one of the antient Fathers, though Augustine himselfe,St. Augustine spea­king of eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of Christ; hath, Facinus vel flagitium videtur Jubere; figura ergo est, &c. Addit. Inquis. dicet, haereticus, verba Au­gustini sunt, lib. de doctrina Christianae. l. 5. c. 16. if his pen have lasht out in the opinion of a solicitous super­visor, he shall be fetch't in, with a dicet Haere­ticus: as for the careful courses that are taken for the safety of all reimpressions, the wit of man can rather admire, then sample them; And lest conference & conversation should infect any sou;le, it is enacted by Pope Grego­ry 15. Anno 1622. that no hereticall person whatsoever, on what ever pretext,Cabant. v. Haeresis. shall hire an house, or dwell within the territories of Jtaly, and the Jsles adjoyning;Ibid. As also that no Jtalian shall dare to dwell in any region of the hereticks where there is not a Catho­lique Priest to support him;Ibid. that he shall not make use of an heretical Physician, except in the utter want of a Catholique Doctor;Ibid. That no man shall be sent to the places of here­ticks upon the businefs of Merchandise,Ibid. ex­cept he be 25 years old; That it shall not satisfie the Inquisition, that he who hath hereticall books, do burn them privately (there may be fraud in that pretence) unless he bring them to the superiour.Cabant. de Monialibus.

As for due caution for avoiding of scan­dall, how singular and exemplary it is: No tall trees may be suffered near to a Mona­sterie of holy Sisters: No chimney may be allowed to their private Cells:Caminus non admittatur cellis privatis. ibid. The Regu­lars may not buy or procure any closes, or [Page 114] gardens near to the Nunnerie:Ibid. The window which looks into the Quire must be but two Cubits, and twelve inches high; the proba­tioners may not go forth to visit their pa­rents;Ibid. None of them may walk forth but by couples;Ibid. Their nearest cousins may not be admitted to visit them,Ibid. when they are sick, no not in the case of death; Their Confessary may not go in to hallow the house on holy Saturday,Ibid. nor may accompany the physiti­ans or workmen; Lastly, they may not have Licence to go abroad, unless it be for almes; and onely those, which are fourty years old, and not faire; Though for this last clause, I take care how it will be con­strued, whether in relation to their own o­pinion or others; If to their own, I doubt they must all keep house perpetually.

Ibid.For extreme unction and the sacred via­ticum which is to be delivered to dying persons, how wisely is it instituted that these sacramentall acts shall not be perfor­med to any one, by him that is the Confes­sarie of the sick person; lest there may have been unmeet secrecies smothered between them, and each of them be unjustly indul­gent to other in the parting.

Ibid.For exorcisations, in the practice whereof there hath been of old a just suspition of jugling, what can be better advised then that they shall be done in the church open­ly, neither before the Sun-rising, nor after the Sun setting, and that when very few [Page 115] are allowed to be present.

The like curiosities of heedfulnesse may be easily observed in all the comportments of these prudent governours; which some uncharitable censurers will perhaps inter­pret the wrong way, and be apt to say ‘Self-guiltinesse is causer of suspition.’

For my part, I cannot but praise their wit, as in this warinesse, so in their winning plausibility, and fine waies to hook in and gratifie the great ones: Besides the Golden Roses, and hallowed swords, and Banner, wherewith they please more Boyes, they can ennoble them with high Titles. France hath, The most Christian King; Spaine, the Catholique King; England, the Defender of the Faith; Scotland had, the Defender of the Church; the Helvetian, Defenders of the liberties of the Church.

Sunt & hic Priamo sua praemia laudi:

Neither is the care to please more then the tender feare to offend the mighty:Bulla coenae excom­municat imponentes nova pedagia sive gavellas subditis. Was it not wisely turnd off, when the Bulla caenae had excommunicated a [...] that lay new imposts and gavels upon their subjects, (which the learned Casuist shrugs at, as Casus difficilis principibus, periculosus scriben­tibus) to resolve, That this hard censure is only for those great persons that acknow­ledge to have superiours over them,Mart. Vival. de Bulla coenae. as Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Barons; but as for those temporall Lords that have no su­periours in Temporalities, as the Emperour, [Page 116] King of Spain, and King of France, it con­cerns not them at all; They may crush their Subjects with what load of Taxes they please.

Ne dum rex Chri­stianissimus ab aliis excommuni­cari non potest, immo ipse alios sal­tem, Laicos saltem, Laicos ex justa causa potest ex­communicare. Degrassat. l. 2. Jure 9. Rex Franciae duos habet bonos Ange­los &c.And what shall we say to that bold plea which is connived at, for the King of France, that the said king cannot be Excommuni­cated by any man? Yea, so farre is it from that, as that the same king hath power to excommunicate others, especially Lay per­sons, as Degrassalius shames not to professe, adding withall, that the king of France hath two Angels, whereas other men have but one; And though it seem to sound harsh, that where the Lord is declared an here­tick, there the Vassals are bound to deny him any obedience, yet the matter is so well qualified with temperate and safe excep­tions, that there is no great cause of fear in that scarrecrow.

For matters of profit, what a wary hand doth his Holinesse hold over his Subjects;Sal exterum in ter­ris Ecclesiae ne ematur. Gregor. 13. Gavat. Bulla. c. How wisely hath he enacted that no forrain Salt shal be b [...]ught within all the Territo­ries pertaining to the Church?

Piratae excommu­nicantur (non omnes sed) dis­currentes mare nostrum, praecipuae à monte Argentario us (que) ad Terracinam, & omnes eorum sautores et recep­tores. Bulla coenae à Clem. 8. anno 1600. Excom. impedientes victualia deferenda ad usum Romoe curiae. ibid.How prudently hath he provided for the free and safe traffique in his own Harbours, by his Bulla coenae, excommunicating all Pi­rates that shall presume to infest his own Seas, especially from the mount Argentarius to Terracina, and all the favourers, and re­ceivers of them? as for his neighbour Prin­ces, let them look to themselves, Non omni­bus [Page 117] dormit Innocentius; How justly and dis­creetly doth he excommunicate all those which shall any way hinder the bringing of provision and victuals for the use of the Court of Rome? And if he doe on Holy-Thursday pronounce that deadly sentence against all those that withhold the Isle of Sicily, and other Dominions, being the Pa­trimony of the Church, from the hands of the owner, let the guilty Potentates of the earth look how (whiles this Capitolin Ju­piter thunders, and lightens so fearfully) they can shrowd their heads under some safe Laurell to escape blasting.

What a laudably thrifty law is that,In infirmitate &c. ut supra. Gavant. Tit. Epis. which ordaines that no Bishop towards his end shall be too liberall of his Almes, for fear of cheating his Holinesse of his hopes? That the goods of a Titular Bishop shall come clear in to his Holiness his coffers without diminution. Indeed, whither should they goe else? His wife and children lie all in a little compasse; being all covered under one purple gown of his Holinesse: which is given out, as one main reason to enforce a Celibate upon their Ecclesiastiques, lest this streame should be diverted into other chan­nels.

Lastly,Archiepiscopus sepeliri debet cum pallio in previncia sua circa humeros, extra vero eo pli­cato sub capite. Gavant. tit. Archiepis. what advantagious rules of holy frugality doe we meet with in their wise constitutions? As, that an Archbishop must be buried with his Pall; either upon his body if he be interred at home; or wrapt up [Page 118] under his head, if buried abroad; that ware is too costly to be either forborn, or to be left to a Successor. It was in the old negli­gent times that Papyrio tels us, these Prelates were wont to consecrate each other with­out relation to a Roman Pall; the world is now grown wiser then to lose such a col­lop.

Gavant. è Borbos. v. Forum Epicopale.In matter of Testament, if the heire doe neglect to perform the will of the dead within a yeer, the Bishop shall turn Execu­tor.

However, under the Law the price of an whore,Meretrix non repel­lenda fundare vo­lens Jus patronatus. Navan. Miser. no more then of a dog, could be allowed to be brought into the Sanctuary; yet now it is better advised, that if a Cur­tizan out of the cleanly earnings of her ho­nest trade shall be so charitable as to found the patronage of a Church, it shall be ac­cepted. And if a Will prove to be faulty, as vitiated by some corrupt hand,Vitiato testamento, non tolluntur Le­gata ad pios usus. Sylv. v. Legata. Ad pios usus valet Testam. coram duobus Testibus, etiam mulieres sint. Slyv. v. Testam. Ibid. Gavant. yet the Le­gacies bequeathed in it to pious uses must hold good.

That to make good a Testament to pious uses, the witnesse of two persons onely, (though they be women) shall be sufficient.

That though an Institution made by a dumb man be of no force, yet his gifts to pious purposes shall be alwaies valid.

Ibid.That a condemned, malefactor, if he be allowed to retain his goods till his death, may bequeath them to pious uses.

Ibid.That though the church may not take [Page 119] ought from the hands of an impenitent ma­lefactor, yet an excommunicate person may dispose of his goods to pious uses.

That if a Testator shall say I leave all my goods to the disposing of Titius, Ibid. Titius is bound to distribute them to pious uses.

That if a Challice be given by Will,Ibid. it is to be supposed to be of silver.

That in all Legacies to Churches within the Diocesse the Bishop must have his Cano­nicall portion.Ibid.

It were easie to tire the reader with a view of the large list of such wholsome and right Lesinante Lawes of holy Church, which though looking right forward at pi­ety, yet squint a little aside at profit, if I lis­ted to be tedious; but these are enow, to let him see, that St. Bernards words were more modest then true, when he said, We are not more wise then our forefathers; It must indeed be confessed, that some no less wise then holy Institutions we received from the hands of our Immemoriall ance­stors, whereof the Church makes singular use at this day; and especially, that of auri­cular confession, then which nothing could be ever devised more avaylable both to the full knowledge of the state of the Church, in all parts of the Christian world, as also to the retayning of men in their due obedi­ence, and the reformation of their manners; whereof the hereticks (though they bite it in) cannot choose but secretly think (accor­ding [Page 120] to that of the Comedian) Tum demum &c. Then do we begin to know the worth of our own goods when we have lost them.Tum demum nostra intelligimus bona, cum quae in pote­state habuimus ea amisimus. Plaut, Captivi. But there is one main point of wisdome, wherein the present Church farre transcends their most prudent predecessors; The fashion was of old, that upon all occasions of weight, Coun­cels were called straight, whether provincial, or Oecumenical, there all businesses were a­gitated, there determined, with so great au­thority, as that it was the received doctrine of the times that the Session of a Generall Synode was the highest Tribunal,Concil. Basil. from which there was no appeale; and to which, his holiness himself was bound to be sub­ject; But now the world hath learn'd ano­ther Lesson: Both his holiness, and all the crue of his Doctors (the good old Sorbone excepted) have fully and peremptorily de­termined, that the Pope is above a Generall Councell; that he alone can and shall manage all the affayres of the Church, decide all controversies of Religion,Papa sententialiter excommunicat ap­pellantes ad Con­cilium, quia ipse solus potest quam­cun (que) rem etiam determinare & definire. Vivald. in Cass. Bullae. n. 8. define of all mat­ters of faith; that appeales lye from the most generall Synode to the Papall throne; that the appellants to a Generall Councell are liable to excommunication; that the Popes tribunal (being one & the same with Gods) the onely Lawfull appeale is to his Holiness better informed; So as now, the large fist of his Holiness hath so grasped all the affayres of Christendome, that none can fall beside it; and how safe may we well think them [Page 121] in those hands, that are not subject to er­rour.

Some querulous spirits are apt to com­plaine of the miscarriages of matters of pub­lique administration, at the toleration of foule abuses in the Church Catholique; but it is for want of knowledge of these prin­ciples, which our holy Mother doth precise­ly go upon; one whereof most deservedly is, Ʋiderit utilitas; very poorely therefore doth the Chancelor of Paris salve up that sore, which was even then complained of;Talia tolerantur in Ecclesia in peregri­nationibus certis, in cultu imaginum &c. Fateor abnegare non possum multa inter Christianos simplices sub specie religionis intro­ducta esse quorum sanctior esset omis­sio. Tolerantur tamen quia non possunt funditus erui. Jo. Gers. de ero ribus circa artem magicam. Talia tolerantur &c. such things (saith he) are tolerated in the Church, in certain pilgri­mages, in worshipping of Images, in holy waters, in exorcismes, and the like; which are brought in under a show of religion that were much better to be omitted; but they are therefore tolerated [quia non possunt fun­ditus erui] because they can not be utterly rid, and abandoned.

Wheras the true reason (if he could have hit on it) is that of Geminianus. Error utilis tolera­tur, A profitable error is meet to be suffered; This alone is the ground of all those gainful chaffers, that are made at Rome, for a world of Indulgences, and dispensations, and drives the rich trade of that inversed Alchymie, of changing Gold into Lead;Honorius 3. in literis ad Clerum Anglica­num fatetur. scanda­lum Romanae curiae, &c: Matth. Westmo­nast. l. 2. Anno 1226. this teaches them to make advantages even of com­plaints; In which kinde that or Honorius 3d. is very eminent; who receiving from the Clergy of England sad exclamations, against [Page 122] the avarice and oppressions of the Court of Rome, in his crafty answer, confesses, those complaints to be too just and true, but withall tels them that all this mischief arises from the poverty of their holy Mother; for the remedie whereof, he requires of them the further supply of two prebends in every Cathedrall, and in every Covent the yearly stipend of one Monk; so the complaynants are eased, as Plutarks mule was, which being laded with salt, and finding ease by lying down in the water, by the melting of his burden; was the next time Loaded with wooll, which by being drenched doubled the weight.

Shortly then; whether we regard the marvelous care and vigilancy for the pre­venting of evills, or the rare and singular ar­tifices of acquiring, preserving, increasing the honors, and profits of the present world, mother Rome is more fit for wonder then e­mulation:

As for our silly Reformers, how enviously do they (I warrant you) look upon the un­matchable glorie, wealth, policy of this great mistress of the world? All dogs will be still ready to fly upon that Curre that runnes away with the bone: But where are their cunning contrivances, and subtile de­vices, to eschew their own dangers or to work mischief to their opposites, to advance their own estate, and suppress their enemies? what slye shifts, and visor-like pretences [Page 123] have they to cozen the world withall? what do they affect but a plaine, right-downe, honest simplicity? as those that pretend to wit enough, when they are stricken on the one cheek, to turn the other; and to say with him in the Satyrist, Tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum; and as the Prophet said of their great Lord and Master, Sicut ovis ad occisionem; As a sheep to the slaughter; rather suffering themselves to pocket two wrongs, then to offer one; caring more to be honestly poor, then injuriously rich; in a word, affecting so too much of the Dove, that they have too little of the serpent.

CHAP. XI. The Triumph of Mercy.

THere is no one thing wherin the Oppo­sites think to finde so much advantage of exception against the Apostolique Sea, as for her unmercifulnesse, and extream cru­elty; which, as it is an inhumane, and (in that regard) odious, so a much more un­Christian disposition; but,Est justitia parcena est misericordia puniens. August. in the mean time they little consider, that, as there is a cruel mercy in sparing, so there is a merci­full security in punishing great offenders. And what offence can be greater, then he­resie? [Page 124] which alone is of so hainous a nature,Haeresis est crimen quod nec confessio celat. that (according to the old and wel known verse) it may not though under the sacred seale of Confession, be concealed; Well then, what though Luther professe, that he believes verily that Rome hath slain an hun­dred thousand Martyrs;Luther. serm. conv. wherein I hope his meaning is to take in Old heathen Rome into the number! What though Erasmus after his jeering fashion brings in Charon the Ferry-man of Hell,Erasm. Charon queritur sylvas omnes in Elysiis campis ita succisas esse comburendis hae­reticorum umbris, ut non suppetat lignum cymbae suae resarciendae. Coll. v. Charon. complaining that his black Barge was now leaky and ready to sinke for want of mending; and that there was no wood left in the Elysian grove to re­paire it, for that it was all spent in the bur­ning of heretiques! What though there be much noise of many horrible murders, and massacres of harmlesse Christians, of the Waldenses in many Regions of Christendom, of Merindol and Cabriere; and tell of that Tragicall slaughter in France, and the Ʋal­toline! what though the world rings of that bloody butchery of the Inquisition? and the ugly Devils painted on their San-benitos [...], [...]. &c. Who can stay the clack of ill tongues? But in the mean time these busie talkers, whiles they exaggerate these pretended immanities, are willing to forget that part of the wallet that hangs behind them; and to passe over those horrid per­secutions, which the innocent Roman Ca­tholiques have suffered under their tyranny in the time of Qu Elizabeth; whose bloody [Page 125] reign one of our Poets celebrated then, in a sad Elegie beginning with ‘Ergone sanctorum nondum saciata cruore?’ and having compared her with Busiris and Phalaris, shutts up,What? not yet sated with the blood of Saints. All Tyrannes rage yeelds to Elizabeth. with ‘Omnis Teddariae cedat furor Elizabethae.’

But belike she speeds thereafter; For father David at Ypre, out of his Pulpit,Dr. Merlin reports it, who was testis auritus. told the people; That he had been a dozen yeares exorcising a devill, whom (saith he) I never found one day missing till such a day this week; the reason whereof when I demanded of him, answer was given, that he was indeed that day absent,Bombinus in vita Campiani. as being commanded to attend Queen Eliza­beth to hell: And since that time many holy Priests, and fathers of the Societie, have saluted Tyburne in a worse fashion then Father Campian did, when with Father Parsons he passed by that sacred Crosse. I know their ill-willers will be ready to say, they suffered not for religion, but for trea­son; and indeed it is true, they might have kept their soule within their teeth long e­nough, for any violence would have been offred them, if they had onely held all the supernumerarie articles of the Roman faith, without the acting of those things, which by the Law were declared treasonable (for never any man of them suffered for meer conscience) but if they will be nibling at al­legiance, and wilfully fall upon those pra­ctises, which carry in them a forfeiture of [Page 126] life; now the State thinks it may justly say to them, Perditio tua ex te, Thy destruction is from thy selfe: but let every tub stand on his own bottome: As for our holy mother, grant that she hath been the death of so many heretiques, yet this is to be said for her, that she hath killed them in love: love to her selfe, that she may not be troubled with them; love to the Church, that it may not be embroyled by them; love to the world, that it may not be infected by them; love to their soules, that their sufferings in the other world may be the lesse, by how much the time of their sinning is shorter. And who then can blame her for her so holy intention? As it is wont to be said, that not the death, but the cause, makes the martyr; so the same rate holds in the in­ferring of death; the meere killing is not that which deserves either blame or appro­bation; all is in the cause that merits it, and the mind that inflicts it. Levi lost the bles­sing by the sword, and by the sword reco­vered a greater blessing; Phineas his bloody zeale won both forbearance to Israel, favour to his person, and honour to his posterity. In some cases there goes but a paire of sheares betwixt justice and rigour: And mercy and severity may well lodge under the roofe of one breast.

For example: St. Francis was a man to whom we may well attribute the title of Moses in his time (mitissimus super terram) [Page 127] the mildest man on the earth, as might be proved by many instances; now this holy man was in hand to preach to a great audi­tory assembled for that purpose, and offering to leane his back against an oke to that end, he espied a number of Ants or Pismires cree­ping thereabouts, in compassion of whom, he spake to the people to give way to his sisters the Ants a while, that they might de­part in safety; as he charged them also to do they obeyed, and he strait fell to his work; but whiles he was zealously preaching, there comes a woman with a Cymball in her hand, ringing it so loud that the voice could not but be drowned with the sound, St. Francis being much troubled with that in­terruption, charged her to hold her hand, & keep silence, she still goes on with her unsea­sonable Musick, he charged her the second time to hold still, she still persists, the third time he required her silence; when that would not prevayle, he straight sayes, Tolle Diabole quod tuum est, Divell take thy own; Up goes the woman instantly, being sud­denly snatcht into the ayre, & for ought we know carryed quick to hell; Now you will perhaps think it strange that so much mer­cy to the Ants should stand together with so much cruelty to the woman, and will be ready to say Tantaene &c. Is there so fierce choler in a Saint? But we must learne to know a difference betwixt the rage of an holy zeale, and a sinfull revenge; and be­lieve, [Page 128] that Saints have thoughts, and wayes of their own, which we may neither follow nor judge of.

Diodor. sicul. l. 4. c, 1But as for any direct acts of Cruelty, such, as those of the Priests of Meroe, who could send to their Kings to murther themselves at pleasure; such as Ravillac and our pow­der-plotters were, notoriously guilty of, our holy mother abhorres them; I dare say, sufficiently, albeit Father Garnet, be upon that account, Beatified: Some passages of cruelty may perhaps be found in some guil­ty Covents, as Erasmus tells an abominable story from the mouth of Matthew Cardinalis Sedunensis, who (that Counsell might be the better kept) related it to a whole Tablefull; of Dominicans burying a man quick in their cloister; and Henry Stephen in his Apo­logy for Herodotus can easily furnish us with such tales, terrible to be told, and the heads and bones of infants found in the walls and ponds of old Cloysters speak too much to be denyed, or concealed; But these are personal crimes, not therefore justly imputable to a community; although the malevolent will be apt enough to say they may thank our holy mother for her ill-advised Lawes of enforced celibate.

But notwithstanding these calumnious imputations, whosoever shall seriously view all the carriages of our holy mother, whe­ther in her Constitutions, or practises; shall finde store of mercy in them all.

[Page 129]It shall not repent us,Concil. Toleran. tempore innocen­tii 6. Quod constitutio­nes praedictae ob­ligent non ad cul­pam, sed ad poe­nam tantum. Tho. Aquinas asserit Benedictum statuisse profiteri suos monachos re­gulam non obser­vare. Hospin. in reg. Bened. De adulteriis & aliis criminibus quae minora sunt potest Episcopus cum suis clericis dispensare post peractam poenitentiam ut in suis ordinibus de­serviant. Alex. 3. Episc. Sabernitan. Venialia peccata ut gratia hominem non privant, ita sine confessione remitti possunt. Greg. va [...]. l, 1. de missa. A veniali potest absolvere quicun (que) sacerdos simplex in soro Sacramentali, Imo per quemcum (que) alium secularem extra sacramenta­lem confessionem cum deprecatione Miseratur rui omni­potens deus posse deleri tangunt om­nes infra, & expresse tenet Victoria in summâ sacram. Vi vald. de Erasm. Desunctus in loco sacro sepultus (scilicet excommu­nicatus) non debet exhumari ut Hagel­letur, sufficit flagel­lare sepulchrum. Nava [...]. c. 23. nu. 32. Steph. Avil. c. 7. dub. 2 Adulteros morie mulctari debere docere, non modo notoriam injusti­tiam, verum etiam haereticam doctri­nam esse. Biniua in notis ad Concil. Veneticum. Quae dormiendo violata fuit aut dum ebria erat, non amittit virginita­tem, nisi tali animo ad dormiendum decubuerit. Candel. aureum Vivaldi Pa [...]. 2. de electione Abbatissae c 3. A fortiori non violat Ecclesiam pollurio quam confessarius invitus patitur audiendo confessionem. Steph. D. Avila de censuris. Tit de violat. Eccles. Respondetur 2. Ap­pellatione carnium lardum non inclu­dit, nec contra. Cand. Vivald. de quadregisimali jejunio. c. 11. Potest Episcopus punire Mendicantes habentes plures campanas, cum debeant esse contenti una. Barbos. allegat, 105. Gavant, Regular jura. to instance in some particulars, for a tast of the rest.

And first, what a mercifull act was that of the Council of Toledo in the time of Inno­cent. 6. That those Lawes and Statutes which are made for the well ordering of Ecclesiastique persons shall not binde ad culpam, but ad poenam onely; somewhat of Kin to that favourable construction of A­quinas, that the Monkes are bound onely to profess, not to keep the rules of Benedict.

What a kinde law is that of Alexander the 3d. that for adulteries, and such other sleighter crimes the Bishop may dispense with his Clerks, that they may still, after their penance is done, serve in their former stations; How favourable is that determi­nation, that as for veniall sinnes, we need not trouble our selves in confession with them, for that they are wipt off otherwise? How mild is that sentence that English Catho­liques sin not in conversing ordinarily with the hereticks though excommunicate? for that though those be notorious heretiques, yet they are not denounced by name. Not to be endless, what beams of mercy shine forth in all these ensuing determinations; That from a veniall sin, not onely a simple Priest in Confession, but a mere Laick out of con­fession may absolve a man with the prayer of misereatur; Yea the Lords prayer or a little aspersion of holy water is sufficient; That an excommunicate person if he burried in holy [Page 130] ground shall not be taken up againe, and be whipt; it shall suffice that his grave onely be whipt; That those clerks which are married men, if they be not bigami may be buried in holy ground in the time of Inter­dict; That to hold adultery ought to be punish't with death, is not onely unjust but hereticall; That a mayd which is vitiated whiles shee is a sleep, or dead-drunck doth not hereby lose her virginity, unless she layd her selfe down to sleep with such an intent: That a Penitentiary suffering an involuntary pollution in some cases of Con­fession, sinneth not. Jo. Gerson.

That in some parts it shal be lawfull to eate eggs and whit meat on Frydayes, and the head feet and inwards of beasts on Sa­turday. That Bacon shal accounted no flesh; That beggers which are ready to af­famish for want, may in Lent-time eate what they can get.

That every severall Order of Mendicants shall content themselves with one Bell: That a Bishop may dispense with all irregu­larities incurred by any secret crime (except murder) but this faculty is denyed to all those Bishops which live in the countries where the Councell of Trent is not recei­ved.

That manslaughter (if altogether casuall) shall induce no irregularity; and yet so [Page 131] tender is our holy mother of the effusion of blood,Clericus in sacris secando venam ad emittendum san­guinem si moriatur aeger, sit irregularis. Gavant. v. Irregularis. as that shee hath ordained that if any Clerk that is in holy orders, shall open a veine, and the patient shall dye upon that phlebotomy, the unhappy Chirurgian is thereby made irregular; And which is yet a greater proof of her tender-heartedness, the holy Confraternity of the blood of Christ, which are imployed to attend the execution of condemned hereticks, may not be suffered to lend light from their Tapers to those Torches wherewith the fyre is to be kindled.

By all which and much more, that might be said, it sufficiently appeares, how graci­ously indulgent our said holy mother is, to all her children, how gently-severe to small offences, how carefully provident for the supply of their necessities, how averse from the shedding of blood.

As for her opposites, they give her the hearing in all this plea,Brom. sum. praedic. v. executor. but they are ready withall to tell us Bromiards Apologue of the Birds, and the Fouler: The Fouler in a cold morning caught good store of them, and still nipt them in the head, and put them up; his eyes in the mean time watering with the sharpnesse of the ayre; see, said one of the Fowles how the man pitties us, he weeps to see us taken: Ah, said the other, look not to his eyes, but look to his fingers; there you shall see what pitty we finde from him. And put us in mind of St. Chrysostomes sure [Page 132] way of discerning a wolfe from a sheep; It is possible (saith he) for the wolfe to clothe himselfe with the sheepes skin, so as that cannot descry him; and to imitate the sheeps voice, so as that shall not bewray him; but look to his chaps, and they can­not deceive you. You shall not finde either grasse in the wolves mouth, or blood in the sheeps. So then, without more words, let all the world judge betwixt us, at whose doore soever lies the most store of blood spilt for meere Religion, Let him passe for wolvishly cruel and unmercifull.

In the mean time there is one main chal­lenge of unmercifulnesse which they have got by the end, having learned it, as I sup­pose from the pious Chancellor of Paris, which I confesse I can neither conceale nor answer; that mortified Pilgrim (as his name signifies) would needs be practizing; and in those strained numbers hath let fall these lines:

Arbitrio Papa proprio si clavibus uti
Jo. Gerson. versu supra materiam Indulgentiarum.
Possit, our sinit ut paena pios cruciet?
Cur non evacuat loca purgandis animabus Tradita.
If then the Pope can of his own free will
Dispose the Keys! why doth he suffer still
poor pious souls in lingring pain to lye?
And in those direful flames un pitied fry?
Why doth he not quite voyd that horrid cell,
Where souls are purg'd with fire next that of hell?

[Page 133]Thus that pitifull Doctor; Answer him who can. I confesse this Nut is too hard for me to crack; I leave it to some of the learned Fathers of the Society, which have stronger chaps.

CHAP. XII. The triumph of Peace and Ʋnanimity.

AS all these foregoing priviledges of our holy mother are apparent enough to observing eyes, so this of unanimity is most clearly conspicuous, so as all the rest of the world cannot choose but see and wonder, and envy; whiles other professions, like to drops of water spilt in the dust, lose them­selves in their divided singularity; the judgements of her Governour [...] and Doctors hold together, and beare forward, like a strong torrent, whose force abides no re­sistance. Look upon the Protestant Chur­ches, you shall finde them in their miserable spoliaries, wallowing in dust and blood;Jeslerius Scaphu­sensis de bello Eucharistico. six severall wars have passed between them in the Eucharisticall quarrels; and with what furious bitternesse they fall still upon each other the world sees and smiles; nei­ther [Page 134] can it wish better musick then to heare a fierce Lutheran say,Prolaeus praefar. F [...]sc culi &c. From the Calvinian Fraternity good Lord deliver us, Libera nos Domine: Looke upon the strange variety of sects which swarm amongst them; whereof, if some be sleight, others are prodigious: as, Anabaptists, Libertines, Shakers, Antinomians, Socinians, Anti-Scripturists, Adamites, Ran­ters, and a world of such Bedlam-birds as these. These mischiefes of errour and division are the unavoydable attendants of their Apostacy from their Catholique mo­ther; whose peaceable sonnes hold close to­gether, like the scales of Leviathan, insepa­rable, impenetrable.

It were indeed an hard case, if they had nothing to plead for themselves; I confesse they are not to seek for an answer; both of Apology and Recrimination; it were a des­perate cause that could finde no Advocate; even losers may have leave to talk, though to little purpose.

And first, for the Division of the Evange­licall Churches following their different guides, they would make us believe that neither Luther nor Calvin is any Saint whom they worship: that they hate to say, I am Pauls, and I am Apollo's [...]: that they scorn to be called other then Christian for a name, and Catholique for a sirname; that they justly respect those Worthies as brethren; but should not, without much indignation heare them called their Fathers or masters.

That for the divisions of Reuben there are [Page 135] great thoughts of heart; that they can la­ment those breaches which they cannot make up.

That their prayers and teares shall not want for the perfect union of all honest and faithfull hearts; and we may believe them if we list. But in the mean time, they would face us out, that those quarrels are not deadly in themselves, though over hainous­ly misconstrued; that words are more guilty of this spiritual affray then substance of matter; that none of those litigious points touch upon the foundations of faith; so as they may well hope, notwithstanding those petty differences, to meet with other in heaven, and can say to the most rigid op­ponents, as Optatus said of the Donatists, Collegae eritis si vultis; fratres eritis si non vultis. Ye may choose whether you will be our Com­panions, but ye shall be our brethren.

As for those other wild Sectaries, they professe to hold them as no other then so many mad men broken out of Bedlam; and tell us that the Church of England makes account of no other interest in them, then a man makes of those Vermin which breed out of his excrementitious sweat, or those Ascarides which are apt to grow in his most uncleanly parts; and it were well if they shifted off so. But these frantick whimsies, could be and their crazed authors will not be shaken off with so much ease.

Besides, they tell us there may be a peace not worthy to be boasted of: Faciuut pacen [...] [Page 136] commercia culpae. Combinations in mischiefe makes robbers and rebels too firmly una­nimous; That there is not more peace at Rome then in Hell it selfe; even that king­dome of darknesse, if it were divided in it selfe (as our Saviour tels us) could not stand: And on earth the wildest beasts, as Beares, Lyons, Tygers, agree wel with those of their own kind: And on the contrary there may be good musick in discords. The Prince of peace had never professed to come down with a desire to send fire and sword upon the earth, if those were not in some cases both necessary and usefull. If in the secret commonwealth of a mans own bosome there be not an intestine war, there can never be a true and firm peace. And the old rule is, Better a just warre, then an unjust peace.

Further, they tell us it is no news to finde divisions and quarrels in the Church of God; for when (say they) was it ever other­wise since the two first brethren til this pre­sent hour? Y wis there needs no heathenish fancy of Praeadamites, to maintain the broyls of the first world; from the same loynes was that hostility raised, which so much infested the holy seed. It was a fiction in the Hea­then Poet, that Discord took it ill she was not called to the banquet of the Gods: so as onely in heaven she is not to be found; but to the banquet of men she will be sure to come unsent for; and to presse in so [Page 137] forceably, that it is not truth of Religion that can shut her out: when God had but one visible Church upon earth, thither shee crouded in, and would be entertayn'd (malgri) in the unhappy division of the Ten tribes from the two; Immediately before our Saviour, she thrusts into the families of Sammai and Hillel, the two great Masters of Jsrael, and there raysed no less then eigh­teen quarrells, and that not without blood; In the time of Christs being on the earth, she prevailed so farre, as forceing her selfe upon the Jewish Church, she set five several Sects by the eares amongst them; After our blessed Saviours resurrection she shoulder'd into the Christian Church, raysing therein threescore heresies before ever Constantine blessed it with a Generall Councell; al­though (as happy was) it pleased God so to order it, that by provinciall Synodes, in the meane time, she was thrust out by head and shoulders; And since that time, how over­well she hath sped, the world is too lucu­alent a witness: Neither was she less busye in the Heathen world; So as Themistius justly pleaded to the Emperour (objecting the differences maintayned amongst the Christians) that their number was not con­siderable in comparison of severall sects of Philosophers (the Divines of those Pagans) and their opposite opinions: And wise Se­neca could justly say, that the Clocks would sooner agree then the (Philosophers: So as [Page 138] they are not alone in this jarring condition. Nay they are so bold, as to tell us by way of recrimination, that they fear, it will prove that their Roman Censurers are somewhat like to Barbers, which can with ease cut o­ther mens hayre, but cannot polle them­selves; and to this purpose, they tell us two shrewd tales; but we may choose whether we will beleeve them; The best of it is, they are no points of faith: The one is, that the Romanists halt on their own sore, be­ing themselves guilty of what they taxe in others: The other, that the Courses they take to hold up their pretended agreement are such, as make their hollow concord not worth boasting of.

For the first, they say (wheras we twit them with our Quakers and Ranters) That they have been themselves infested with as wild cattell as ever the Protestant Church was; For instance, they tell us of the Fratri­celli Frierlings,Prateolus Catal. haeres. v. Fratricelli. or Eratres de paupere vita, as they were called, which had their begin­ning in the parts of Italy, in the time of Pope Benedict the eleventh; and, Albert the first, Emperour whose doctrine and practise was to allow, and use promiscuous beastliness; The manner whereof was, that they drew together such handsome women whom they had seduced, both widowes and vir­gins into some secret roomes for the pur­pose; which done, their Priests and Clerks barring the doores, for a faire colour of their [Page 139] villany, began to sing holy hymnes; after which, about midnight, their Priests with a loud voice admonisht them to go two and two together, a man and a woman, and invoking the holy spirit to fall into carnall copulation; which was no sooner said then the candles were put out, and every man took that woman which was next him; and if it fell out so, that a woman upon that cou­pling, conceived; the infant when it was borne, was brought into the roome; and so long posted over from one hand to ano­ther of their Priests, till it should expire; and he in whose hands it dyed, was to be accounted their high Priest. These abho­minable practises were accompanied with no less wicked opinions against propriety of goods, against Christian Magistrates, against the soules vision of God till the day of judgment, and divers other of the like; Nei­ther were these monsters of men and opin­ions pent up in a Corner, but (as is confessed by Pope John 22. in his extravagant) were spread farre about, both in Italy and the Island of Sicily and other places, [sub habitu novae religionis] as is there confessed; the founder of which odious sect was one Her­mannus an Italian, by the same token,Prateol. de Haeres. Hermannus. that having been solemnly buried in Ferrara, and honoured devoutly for a Saint, he was twenty yeares after, by the command of Boniface the eight taken up and turn'd (what remain'd of him) to ashes.

[Page 140] Gregorii 10. tempore sc. anno 1275. emerserunt ex Italia Flagellantes haere­tici incerto authore qui per Germaniam & Galliam vagantes se Flagellarunt. Tenebant neminem salvari nisi sanguine prop [...]io flagellis ex­cusso baptizaretur, &c. Binius ex Sterone: Prateol. Tit. Fla­gellantis.They tell us of the sect of the Flagellants, or whippers, which arising in Italy, diffused themselves into France and Germany in the time of Gregorie the tenth, Anno 1273. Ma­ny whereof (as Carion tells us) about the yeare 1343. came to Spires, on the day of their publique diet, making great ostenta­tion of sanctimony, (much after the Ana­baptists way as Prateolus describes them) who under their red crosses and bloody skinnes hid black hearts; which appeares by their wicked tongues in crying downe baptisme of water, as utterly annulled and changed into a baptism of blood; In decry­ing the holy Gospel, as upon the comming in of their sect, useless, and utterly frustrated. Lastly, in admitting of the free licence, and non-obligation of oathes, according to the damnable rule of the Priscillianists,

Jura, perjura, secretum prodere noli.
Sweare and forsweare, say and unsay,
Thy secret never do bewray.

They tell us of a worse sect then both these,Prateol. Haeres. Tit. Templarii. the Templars; who, as Prateolus tells us out of the historie of William Archbishop of Tyre being as few in number, as holy and charitable in profession (as being (under the three vows) in the nature of Canons re­gular) grew after to be great and numerous; three hundred Knights in that Covent rich­ly endowed in all parts of the Christian world; but being over pampered, with prosperity (as Moses saith of his Jesurun) [Page 141] they waxed fat, and kicked;Deut. 32.15. and forgot God that made them, and slightly esteemed the rock of their salvation. I abhor and tremble to speak or think of those flagitious acts, and those hellish heresies, wherewith they were charged by Pope Clement the fifth,There are some authors who think they were unjustly proceeded with in such rigour. But Papa Clemens 5. in Bulla condemnatoria ordinis edicit clausu­lam. Quanquam de jure non possumus, tamen ex plenitudine potestatis dictum ordinem, reprobamus. Bin. ex Thoma Walsingham. by whose decree, together with the sentence of the General Councel at Ʋienna, consi­sting of 400 Bishops in the year 1311. at the earnest instigation of Philip the faire, King of France, they were condemned to be burnt, and their whole Order, (after it had stood 200 yeers) utterly extinguished for ever.

Yet, as if it were possible for ought under heaven to be more vile then the foremen­tioned enormities they tell us they could present us with more dangerous and more pestilent sects then these; namely, the au­thors and abettors of that everlasting Gos­pel which was set on foot by the Benedictines and Franciscans, about the yeer 1255. where­of our Chaucer thus:

For they through wicked invention,
Geffr. Caucer in the Rom. of the Rose sol. 163.
In the yeer of the Incarnation
A thousand and two hundred yeare,
Five and fifty, furder ne neer,
Broughten a book with sorry grace,
To your ensample in common place,
That said thus; though it were fable,
This is the Gospel perdurable
That from the Holy Ghost was sent;
Well were it worthy to be brent.

[Page 142]This Gospel (which was so far from ever­lasting, that it was now long since buried in silence, for shame of the world) was the damnable doctrine of that cursed Calabrian Abbot,Prateolus de Haeres. Tit. Joachim. Joachim (a monk of the order of Saint Benedict) which Prateolus in favour of the Author (as willing to smother) minces with the name of fables onely: but such fables they were, as professed to destroy all Chri­stianity; disparaging the blessed Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his sacred person no lesse; some particulars whereof were no other then these following: That the ever­lasting Gospel excels the doctrine of Christ; That the new Testament is to be annulled.The Rejoynder of P. Singe to Malconi ex Henric. Erphurd. Chronico et Eyme­ric. Director. In­quisit. That the Gospel of Christ brings no man to a perfect state; That another Gospel, and another Priesthood was to succeed the Gos­pell and Priesthood of Christ; the whole drift of it being to advance the contempla­tive, that is the Monkish life instituted by Benedict, above the active set forth by Christ and his Apostles.Prateolus. Haeres. Bernard. Luxenbu­ry. Concil. Latteran. 2. sub Innocentio. Can. 2. actor. Not to meddle with the hereticall doctrine of this unchristian Abbot concerning the Trinity, in opposition to the Orthodoxy of Peter Lombard; it shall suf­fice for the shutting up of this odious point, to tell you from Alphonsus à Castro of the three states of men fancied by this Joachim; Alphonsus a Castro l. 3. advers. heraes. l. 3. the first, the state of the flesh, from Adam to Christ; the second, a middle state, betwixt flesh and spirit; from Christ to St. Benedict: the third, which is all spirit, from St. Benedict [Page 143] to the end of the world; and this is that state of perfection which himself with the Monks of that Order set forth to the world; This is too foule you must needs confess; but the opposites will yet tell you the worst part of the tale is still behinde; and will needs per­swade you that this Atheous and blasphe­mous whimsey did not content it selfe to creepe into the obscure cells of Monks and Friers, but presumed to climbe up to St. Pe­ters chayre, and there to finde both harbour, and protection; for when the Divines of Paris justly resenting the shame, and perill of those divelish conceits, did seasonably bend their pennes against them with a zeale meet for Christians, the provoked Monkes flye to the refuge of Pope Alexander the fourth, from whom they found such favour, that he in an extravagant of his flyes fiercely upon the French Divines, deeply censuring their Book, as pernicious and detestable; defending and praising his well-minded vo­taries; and yet more, advancing them to the honor of Inquisitors of haereticall pravi­ty; damning by his Bull Gulielm. de sancto Amore for his invectives against those holy Orders.

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas. The ravens scape, the Doves must pay for all.

Moreover they say they could tell us of the Illuminati of Aragon, of Thomas Campa­nella, of Maria de Ʋalentianos, lastly of Poza, and Antonius Sanctarellus of late (if we may [Page 144] beleeve Alph. Ʋargus) strongly abetted, the one by the great ones of Spayne, and both by Jesuites in their foule and highly-prejudi­ciall opinions; In all which and more of the like kinde, (which they say, if need were they could produce) they doubt not to finde a meet parallel to the worst of their Qua­kers, and Antinomians; And for their more sober disconcordants, whose number and quality is over aggravated (they say) by their adversaries, they think to match them at least, if not to exceed them farre, in the score of Roman divisions; for which pur­pose, they send us to Cornelius Mus the fa­mous Bishop of Bitonto; who speaking of the sensible degeneration of their Di­vines,Cornel. Mus. in Rom. 6. addes Hinc sexcentae, &c. Hereupon (saith he) have risen up six hundred sects, Thomists, Scotists, Occhamists, Albertists, Egidians, Alexandrists, &c. Or if this will seem to be but a phrase of Oratory; they stick not to tell us of three hundred severall contradictions of opinions amongst their Divines confessed, and reckoned up, on se­verall occasions, by Cardinal Bellarmine him­selfe in the specialties of the Controversies handled by him; whereof not a few are of very high importance; which may perhaps be one reason why those volumes of his, are not so vendible at Rome, as in Paules Church­yard; Neither is there any one point of dif­ference betwixt us and them, wherein they do not differ amongst themselves: Onely [Page 145] herein (they say) is the difference; The Romanists have had the care and opportu­nity to quench that fire in the gleeds, which our neglect or other diversions of authority, hath sufferd to grow into a flame. Besides these doctrinall quarrells amongst the mem­bers, they tell us of the real quarrels betwixt the pretended heads of the Romish Church; naming (if need be) the severall schismes that have falne out amongst them (some­times two, sometimes three Popes at once) contiuning for 40 or 50 years together; So as scarce any man, unless by revelation (as Gerson himselfe professeth) could say, This is Peters successor.

But (say they in the second place) yield we that there is calmer weather, and more visible peace at Rome then in other regions of the world, this argues no whit at all the better state of their cause; since it proceeds onely from the unjust prnciples of their Ty­ranny. For first, to be sure to keep their people from fighting, they keep them al­wayes blindfold, not suffering them to have any glympse of light either from Scriptures, or conferences, or their own authors;Luther. serm. Conviv An­drew Carolostadius was a doctor of eight years standing ere he read the Bible; and what courses are taken to restrayne Layicks from reading of that perilous book, hath been in part intimated already: Under no less pe­nalty are they kept from agitating any con­troversie of Religion in private discourse, [Page 146] even though they be learned,ir Edw. Sands his elation. and able to rule those edge-tooles; & upon the same ac­count those Catholique authors, which do but relate the opinions and arguments of Protestants (though with the strongest con­futation) are not suffered to be exposed to publique sale; on the same ground also it is, that all Translations of the Councel of Trent into French, and other languages are abso­lutely forbidden.

Congregat. Concil. 2 Junii 1629. Gavant. Tit. Conc. Trid.Secondly, the extreme cruelty of the In­quisition is such as inforces silence amongst all those that live under the Roman subje­ction; and makes them according to the Counsaile which Alberto Scipioni an old Ro­man Courtier gave to Sr. Henry Wotton, to keep Gli pensieri stretti, Sir H. Wottons letter to Anonymus. which is ingenuously Confessed by the Archbishop of Spalata; tel­ling Suarez, that divers sects of the Roma­nists would fly out, (nisi illos ignis et securis in officio detinerent) if fire, and the axe did not keep them in compass; It is not therefore out of pure good will, but out of starke fear that Rome is unanimous; since we upon sure intelligence know that there are many thousands both in Spaine and in Rome it self, that dare onely with Nicodemus come to Christ by night, whose hearts are Evangeli­call whiles their faces are Pontifician.

Lastly, They would fayne bear us down, that if there be lamentable breaches in the Church of God, we may thank them for it: for would ye (say they) have yielded (when [Page 147] there was just complaint of the abuses and errors crept into the Church, and the store of tares sowne in Gods field while the Hus­bandmen slept) to have had timely reme­dies applyed, by a free and General Councel, the whole Christian world had been happily unanimous; whereas now, by your guilty aversness from that soveraigne meanes of cure, out of a stomachfull, and proud un­willingness to forget any jot of your ill-ac­quired usurpation, the severall Limmes of the Church are miserably torne from each other, and all (if their challenge could be made good) torn from the head; wherein we shall not need to appeal to any other judge­ment, then that of honest Cassander, whom two Emperors thought a meet arbiter of the differences of the Church, Ne (que) unquam credo &c. Neither had there I verily beleeve (saith he) been any controversy amongst us, concerning the external unity of the Church, unless the Popes of Rome had abused this authority to a certaine kinde of domina­tion, and out of their own covetousness, and ambition, had raised it up beyond the bounds prescribed by Christ and his Church; Thus he ingenuously, as being bribed on neither part; so as it plainly appeares the Rabbets skin had comne off clearely, and smoothly, if it had not stuck at the head.

Thus they plead colourably for them­selves, As it is a strange cloth that will take no dye; But when all is done, the succes­sours [Page 148] both of Peter and Mahomet have peace in their territories;Cantie. 6.13. As for the Protestant Church, there is nothing to be said to or for her, but Return O Shulamite, return, return; and, What will ye see in the Shulamite? as it were the company of two armies.

FINIS.

REader, it is rare to see Books come forth without Errata, This hath been very un­happy, in the margin especially. These are quickly found, and easily corrected.

IN the Introduction, marg. Presbyter, read Presbytero. p. 7. marg. et nullus mortalius, read ut nullus mortalium. p. 11. marg. read papa est frater noster, alioqui deberet dicere pater meus, vel pater mi. p. 14. marg. Episcopatur, Episcopatus. p. 16. Conformitate, Confor­mitatum. p. 24. marg. Clerico, Clericos. p. 30. marg. defectum, de­fectuum. p. 35. Loyota, Loyola. p. 36. marg. utperat vixerat. p. 37. dan Constanter, Constantine. p. 45, nedam, nedum. p. 49. read Carthusianus de 4. noviss. cit. a Kelleto nostro. p. 62. read ex lib. sacr. Cerem. p. 76. sacedos, sacerdos. p. 86. Competente, compe­tenter. p. 87. misi, nisi. p. 94. Cropertarium, coopertarium. p 104. Apostolica, Apostolicae. p. 106. Eleemosyna, Eleemosynas. p. 113. Cabant, Gavantus. p. 117. previncia, provincia. p. 129. Sabernitan, Salerniran.

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