A TREATISE OF Three Conversions of England FROM PAGANISM TO Christian Religion.

  • I. Under the Apostles, in the First Age after CHRIST.
  • II. Under Pope Eleutherius and King Lucius, in the Second Age.
  • III. Under Pope Gregory the Great and King Ethel­bert, in the Sixth Age; with divers other Matters there­unto appertaining.

The First Two PARTS.

Dedicated to the Catholics of England; with a new Addition to the said Catholics, upon the News of the late Queens Death, and the Successi­on of His Majesty of Scotland to the Crown of ENGLAND.

By N. D. Author of the Ward-Word.

Enquire of ancient times before you; remember the old days of your Forefathers; consider of every Age as they have passed; ask your Father, and he will tell you; demand of your Ancestors, and they will declare unto you.

Deut. iv. 32.

LONDON, Re-printed by Henry Hills, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty for His Houshold and Chappel. MDCLXXXVIII.

THE Epistle Dedicatory TO THE CATHOLICS of ENGLAND.

THo' when I wrote the Preface that doth ensue, I had no pur­pose to add any Epistle Dedicatory (most dearly-beloved and worthy Catholics) yet afterwards thinking of some other circumstances both of Matter and Time, I deem'd it not amiss to say somewhat also in this kind of Dedication, both for presenting this Work to whom principally it is due, as also for Advertisement in some few Points which the present State of your Af­fairs doth seem to require.

2. And for the first,Cause of Dedication. Who doth not see and consider that this Treatise of the first Planting of Christian Catholic Faith in England, with the Conti­nuance and Preservation thereof from Age to Age unto our Times, doth chiefly and principally belong to You that are Catholics at this day, most worthy Chil­dren of so renowned Parents, most honorable Off-spring of so excellent An­cestors, most glorious Posterity of so famous Antiquity, whom future Ages will both esteem and extoll above many of your Predecessors, for retaining That in times of War, which they left unto you in possession of Peace, and for defending that by so singular Constancy of Sufferings, which they both re­ceived and bequeathed unto you by quiet Tradition?

3. Which Tradition being set down, proved, and declared most clearly in this ensuing Work, I do by offering the same unto you, but present you with your own, to wit, the History of your own House, the Records and Chroni­cles of your own Family, the Pedigree and Genealogy of your own Forefathers, the Antiquity and Nobility of your own Progenitors, together with your just Title and Claim to their Inheritance, producing jointly for the same your un­doubted Charters, Enrollments, Evidences, Writings and Witnesses, which no man with reason can deny or call in doubt.

4. And furthermore I do add in the end,The sub­stance of the Book. for more full Complement of this whole Cause, all such former false and wrong Suits, Pretences, Pleas, In­trusions, Surreptions, or other like Shifts or Wranglings, which any Heretics to this day (but especially these of our times) have made hitherto about the same, for shew of some Title or Right on their part to this Inheritance and Succession of yours. And lastly, I do produce also the Judgments, Censures, Sentences and Arrests of all Christian Parliaments of the World, to wit, the [Page] Determination of all the highest Ecclesiastical Tribunals in your favor. By all which I doubt not but that your Right and Title remaineth most evident and clear to all Men of Judgment, even to the Enemies or Adversaries them­selves. Wherefore most justly I do Dedicate this Treatise unto you, which so many ways, and for so many reasons, is your own. And so much for the first Point.

5. The second also, about the Circumstances of the present Time, is already somewhat touched in that we have said: How by God's holy Providence you are born in this time of War, Tribulation and Contradiction, instead of that large and long Peace and Tranquility which your Ancestors enjoyed in the use of that Catholic Religion for which you strive and suffer now; which thing, tho' for the present it seem unpleasant and distastful to Flesh and Blood, yet will the hour come when it shall prove a most singular Benefit and Privilege to such as have received Grace to manifest themselves by this occasion,Time of Trial. seeing that, according to the Apostle, this is one principal End, in God's Everlasting Wisdom, for permission of Heresies, ut qui probati sunt manifesti fiant, that those that be of proof be made manifest by this occasion.1 Cor. 11.

6. Wherefore seeing, as the same Apostle saith in another place, it is given to you (dear Catholics, that live in England at this day) not only to be­lieve in him, Philip. 1. but also to suffer for him, (a singular privilege by his ac­count;) yea, and that we may say of You, as he said and gloried of Himself and his Fellows, Vincula vestra manifesta fiunt in Christo in omni praetorio; Ibidem. Your Bonds for Christ are made notorious throughout all the Tri­bunals and Judgment-seats of our Country. And yet further, as he wrote to his dear Thessalonians in their highest praise and commendation, You are become such Followers of Christ and his Apostles, 1 Thes. 1. as receiving the Word of God with Joy of the Holy Ghost in great Tribulation, you are made an Example or Spectacle to all other faithful people in Ma­cedonia and Achaia, for that from you is divulged the Word of God not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in all other places, by rea­son of your Faith, which is published every-where throughout the World.

7. Seeing, I say, all this may be truly written of you, and that our Coun­try hath gotten more honorable Renown in Foreign Catholic Nations, and the Church of God more Glory and Comfort, by this your Patience and Sufferings in these few latter years, than by the peaceable Calm of many former Ages of your Ancestors; I know no true Servant of God, that, together with the com­miseration of your present hard afflicted state, receiveth not also particular Consolation by your Integrity and Constancy, praying for your perseverance in that most honorable Course which hitherto you have held of true Obedience to Almighty God in matters of your Soul,The hono­rable course of English Catholics. and Loyal Behavior of Duty towards your Temporal Prince in all worldly Affairs; which course, tho' it have not escaped the calumnious Tongues and Pens of some carping Adversaries, yet is [Page] it justifiable and glorious, both before God and Man, where Reason ruleth, and not Passion: And I doubt not but that the Wisdom and Moderation both of her Majesty and her sage Council, will rather in this Point ponder your own facts, than your Adversaries words; as also consider how rare such Examples of Patience are in these our days, where so great a multitude for so many years hath passed under the Rod of so sharp Afflictions, which is your singular com­mendation with all wise and godly men, let Cavillers and Calumniators say what they will to the contrary.

8. But God's holy hand hath not stay'd here in proving you by these external conflictions only, but hath passed to the internal also,Internal Tribulati­ons. Esai. 1. that he might say of you as he did of his dearest people when he meant to do them most good: Con­vertam manum meam ad te, & excoquam ad purum scoriam tuam; & auferam omne stannum tuum; I will turn my hand upon thee, and will boil out by fire all thy rust even to the quick, and will take from thee all thy Pewter, thereby to leave thee pure Silver; he would equal you in this Point with the Privilege of his Apostles, that you might say with them truly,1 Cor. 7. Foris pugnae, intus timores; We have fights abroad, and frights at home. You know what I mean, and others will easily guess, that have heard of the late storms past: Only I will say, to your high commendation, that your moderate and sage deportment hath been such also in this Point of not admitting the scandal offered, as all men have been edified by your Wisdom and Piety there­in; seeing fulfilled, on your behalf, that which the Holy Ghost prophesied of holy wise, and peaceable men, truly fearing God:Psal. 118. Pax multa diligentibus Legem tuam, & non est illis scandalum; Those that love thy Law (O Lord) do enjoy their inward Peace, and are not scandalized with what exter­nal tempests soever do arise.

9. In respect of which Piety of yours, it is to be presumed that Christ our Savior hath wrought again by his Substitute (and this upon the sudden) that famous Miracle recorded by St. Matthew, St Mark, and St. Luke, of calming the Tempest that put his Disciples in fear and jeopardy: Exurgens, Matth. 8. Marc. 4. Luc. 8. imperavit ventis & mari, & facta est tranquilitas magna; He rising up, commanded the Winds and Seas to cease, and thereupon ensued a great calm and tranquility; which kind of Miracle is not lightly made among Prote­stants, for that they want the means thereof. And therefore, as a thing pecu­liar to the Subordination of Christ's orderly Church, and wrought by his Divine Power and Vertue, I do the more admire and reverence the same; assuring my self, that no good Catholic will ever hereafter so much as move his finger against it, but co-operate rather to the firm establishment and continuance thereof, as is most behoveful, to the end that as we are all one in Faith and Be­lief, so we be also in Life, Speech, and Actions, especially in this time of trial. Which God of his infinite Goodness grant: To whose holy Protection I com­mend heartily both You and my self, this first of March, 1603.

An Addition of the Author to the foresaid Catholics, upon the News of the Queens Death, and Succession of the King of Scotland to the Crown of England.

SInce the writing of the precedent Epistle, Advertisement is come, that Almighty God of his infinite Mercy hath delivered you at length (dear Catholics) from your old Persecutor, and, as we hope, will also shortly from your Persecution; His Divine Ma­jesty be thanked everlastingly for the same. Here generally the applause is no other­wise, than it was in old time among the Christians, upon the entrance of Constantine into the Empire after Dioclesian, or of Jovinian after Julian. But the former Example seemeth more like, for that good Constantine was of a different Religion when he en­tred, yet of singular hope to become such as afterward he did, both in respect of his excellent Parts,S. Paulin. ep. 11. ad Severum. and of his pious Mother St. Helena. The difference of the two Mo­thers is, That the Empress Helena did assist her Son here upon Earth, as St. Paulinus writeth, towards the Truth and Piety of Religion; but Queen Mary of Scotland and France, being violently deprived of this Life, will do it (we trust) by her Prayers in Heaven. The Comparison also is not improper in this, for that perhaps this our new King is the first that hath been absolutely Lord of the whole Island of Britanny (with the Parts annexed thereunto) since Constantine.

Gallican. orat. in Panaegyric. 1. Constantini.2. We know what Commendation a Heathen Author gave to Constantine while he was yet no Christian; and this in public Audience, at the day of Marriage with the Daughter of Maximianus Herculeus, both the Emperours being present, and hearing him:The moral ver­tues of Constan­tine before he was a Christian. Neque enim (saith he) Forma tantum in te Patris; sed etiam Continentia, Fortitudo, Justitia, Prudentia, sese votis gentium praesentant; Not only the Form and Beauty of your Father (Constantius) doth appear in you; but also his Continency, his Fortitude, his Justice, his Wisdom, do represent themselves in you, according to the full desire and wish of all Nations.Euseb. l. 8. hist. c. 26. Thus said he of that Constantine: Whereupon Eusebius sheweth, That the Christians of that time conceived so great Love towards him, (tho' he were not yet a Christian) as his Adversary Maxentius hearing of his coming towards Rome, was glad to feign that himself would be a Christian also, to retain somewhat thereby of their affections from Constantine.

3. We read of divers excellent Men in Christian Religion, who were presumed and foretold that they would be such, before they were Christians indeed; and this only upon the foresight of their good Natures and vertuous Inclinations; as, St. Martyn, af­terwards Bishop of Tours; St. Nectarius, Archbishop of Constantinople; St. Ambrose, Bishop of Millain, and St. Augustin Bishop of Hyppo: albeit of St. Augustin's Conversion from the Heresie of the Manichees to Catholic Religion, St. Ambrose added another Con­jecture also, or rather Prophecy; to wit, that the Prayers and Tears of his good Mother St. Monica, could not suffer such a Son to perish. All which you see how far it maketh for Us, and for our Hope, of this second Constantine, who wanted not also a holy Mother to Pray and shed Tears abundantly for him whil'st she lived, that he might be such as we most desire now; whereof my self amongst others can be a true Witness, and this from her own testimony.

4. And for that I cannot persuade my self that so holy Endeavors of such a Mother in such a Cause, can be frustrate with Almighty God, I do not only hope well, but do attri­bute hereunto in great part the many Blessings that have fallen upon this King ever since; but principally His Majesty's Preservation and strange Delivery from infinite Dangers,The strange de­liverances of His Majesty from many perils. and most imminent Perils, as all men know; so as neither Cyrus, nor Romulus, nor Moyses himself, was more strangely preserved than this King hath been since his Infancy. And for that God doth never commonly work those great Effects but to great Ends, you Ca­tholics of England may with reason hope well thereof, especially if any thing came by his said good Mothers Intercession, who loved you all so dearly, as whatsoever she asked at God's hands for the Life and Prosperity of her dear Son in this World, a great part there­of was meant (no doubt) for You, and your Good, if ever you came to be under his Go­vernment, as now God hath brought you.

5. Another effect of this holy Queens Prayers for her only Son, I hold to be that other Blessing before-mentioned of so many rare Parts discovered in His Majesty's Person; which truly, tho' I have had ever in great esteem upon the reports of other men, yet hath [Page] the same been exceedingly increased upon the late reading of a Book, written (I suppose) some years agon by His Highness, but printed in London this very year, 1603.The King's ex­cellent Book entituled Basi­licon Doron. This Book is entituled in the Greek Tongue, Basilicon Doron; to wit, A Kingly Gift sent by His Majesty unto the Prince, his eldest Son, (now also our Lord) being in truth a Golden Gift in respect of the excellent matter contained therein; and it discovereth so many rare Parts in the Writer, as may justly give all Catholics good hope to see one day that fulfil­led in His Majesty which most they desire. And would to God this singular Treatise had appeared earlier to the World.

6. For setting aside one Point only therein handled, which is Religion, (wherein His Majesty must needs speak according to his Persuasion and Education in that behalf;) all other matters are such, and so set down, as you will exceedingly delight therein, and profit also thereby, if you read with attention, and ponder all well; but especially Three Points above other I noted, with no small admiration to my self, which I speak in all sincerity of truth, as in the sight of Almighty God. The first is,Three rare Points of His Majesty's Book. the great variety of se­lect Learning, in such a Person, and so occupied otherwise, as His Majesty is. Secondly, the great maturity of Judgment, in applying the same so fitly to the peculiar Affairs of Scotland. The third is, the fervent and extraordinary affection of Piety towards God and Godliness, uttered in so effectual words, and upon so good occasions throughout the whole Book, as a man may easily see it cometh from the heart. And how highly this one Point of Piety is to be esteemed in so High and Mighty a Prince, especi­ally in these our days, when Contentions in Religion have wrought so great coldness of Religious Piety in many Great Mens Hearts, every Wife and Pious Man will easily consider.

7. But I will go no further in this matter, lest I may seem to flatter, which I hate with my heart, and His Majesty detesteth the Vice most prudently and Christianly in this his Book: Only I will add for our common comfort, That it seemeth impossible unto me, that such a Wit, and so godly-affected a Mind, as God hath bestowed upon His Majesty, can be long detained with the vanity and inanity of Sects and Heresies, where no Ground, no Head, no certain Principle, no sure Rule or Method to try the Truth,No reason to be yielded why a man should be rather of one Sect than another. no one Reason at all can be found, why a man should rather be of one Sect than another; but only every ones own Will, and particular Judgment, grounded (as each one will pretend) upon the Scriptures, whereof yet himself only will be the Judge and Inter­preter. Which things being of themselves most absurd, in so weighty a Cause as Reli­gion is, that concerneth the Eternal Salvation of our Souls, it is to be hoped that His Ma­jesty, having the former two parts of Judgment and pious Affection in that Excellency as hath been said, will easily come in time to discover the same, and therewithal the contra­ry substantial Grounds and clear Demonstrations for the Catholic Religion, whereunto this Treatise also of the first planting of Christian Religion in our Country, may (in my Opinion) give no small help and light, if it might please His Majesty to bestow the cast­ing of his eye upon the same.

8. Wherefore, to conclude this Addition to my former Letter, God having wrought so strangely this Change, as here is reported, with so general Peace and Applause of the whole Realm, you are to expect at His Divine Majesty's hands the Effects that are con­form to his Fatherly Love and Care, ever hitherto shewed towards you. And as for the Person now advanced, I know most certainly, that there was never any doubt or dif­ference among you, but that ever you desired his Advancement above all others, as the only Heir of that Renowned Mother, for whom your fervent Zeal is known to the World, and how much you have suffered by her Adversaries for the same. Yet do I confess, that touching the disposition of the Person for the Place, and manner of his Advancement, all zealous Catholics have both wished and pray'd, that he might first be a Catholic, and then our King; this being our bounden Duty to wish, and his greatest Good to be obtained for him. And to this end, and no other, I assure my self, hath been directed whatsoever may have been said, written, or done by any Catholic, which with some others might breed disgust.

9. Now, it hath not pleased Almighty God to give us our desires in the order of our wishes, but first to make him our King,1 Reg. 3. and then to leave us in hope of the other at his due time. What shall we say in this and all the rest, but, as Heli did, Dominus est, quod bonum est in oculis suis, faciat: He is Lord, let him do as he thinketh best? And with Pa­tience, Humility, Longanimity, and Obedience, seek by continual Prayer to hasten that time of our full Joy by His Majesty's Conversion, which we trust in his everlasting Wisdom and infallible Providence is already determined to be suo tempore. And in the mean space, seeing it is here reported, that Catholics, according to their Abilities, have shewed them­selves [Page] in every Country both ready and forward to advance His Majesty's present Admissi­on to the Crown, I do not doubt but they shall find the Effects of his Clemency for their delivery out of such Afflictions, Calamities and Oppressions, as lately they have suffered by the instigation principally of such people, whose Manners are most excellently and pru­dently described by His Majesty in the second Book of his worthy Treatise, as to himself well experienced.

10. And it is no small comfort in this behalf to have a King of whom we may truly use the words of St. Paul, Hab. 5. which he spoke of Christ, Didicit ex eis quae passus est, &c. He hath learned by that himself hath suffered by the same kind of Men. And truly, tho' in his own Person he cannot be said (nor would perhaps) to have suffered properly for Catholic Religion, as You have done; yet if we respect his nearest, either in Nature, Blood, or Affection, and their Number, Rank, and Quality, that among them have suffered for the same Cause, He may be said to have suffered perchance far more than You; for that more of his Princely Blood hath been shed in England, France, and Scotland, about the quarrel of Catholic Religion, than of all other Christian Princes joyned to­gether.

11. And forasmuch as His Majesty doth vouchsafe of his Princely Gratitude to pro­fess in one part of his Instructions to his Son the Prince, That in all his Troubles, Streights, and Dangers, he hath found none so sure and confident unto him, as those that remained Loyal and Faithful to his good Mother the Queen, (who all for the most part were known to have been good Catholics) it is to be hoped that he will make the same Account also of You, that remained Constant and Dutiful, not only to Her Majesty while she lived, but to God's Divine Majesty also, in standing and suffering for your Conscience in Religion; which was the Mark and Badge (if you remember) whereby the foresaid famous Go­vernor Constantius, Father to our Constantine, did try his Christian Courtiers, tho' he were a Pagan himself; rejecting those who upon his Commandment and Invitation had yielded,Euseb. l. 1. de vit. Constant. c. 11. and done against their own Religion; and retaining and honoring others, that had been Constant even against himself: Which fact Eusebius recounteth, with ex­ceeding praise of the Man's Judgment, Justice, and Piety therein; whose Example I hope our now King will imitate, and you follow the Example of the better sort of those Christians, whom Constantius for their Constancy so much esteemed and ad­vanced.

THE PREFACE TO THE CHRISTIAN STUDIOUS READER, CONCERNING THE Edition and Argument of this Treatise, and of the Method held therein, and principal Points to be Treated.

MAN, to be mutable, or (as the Scripture speaketh) uncertain in his fore­sight and Providence, Sap. 9. if no other Arguments were to prove it (as there be infinite) yet my own Experience (gentle Reader) of the success of this Treatise were sufficient, having altered so often my first intention about the same, as it being now ready to come forth, it seemeth nothing less than that which at the beginning I had purposed.

2. My first design was to have written only some few Leaves or Sheets of Paper in answer to Sir Francis Hastings, Sir F. Hastings in his Reply, pag. 192. who in his Reply to the Seventh Encounter of the Warder (which Encounter concerneth principally the Bishop and See of Rome) would seem to diminish that obligation of gratitude, which the Warder said that England had above many other Nations to that See, for Two Conversions of our People to Christian Religion receiv'd from thence. The Knight (I say) endeavored to strike out or diminish that Obligation, by calling in doubt the said Conversions, or cavilling at least at some particulars thereof: Whereupon I thought it needful not only to confirm that which had been written before of the Two foresaid Conversions under Pope Eleutherius and Pope Gregory I. but also to add a Third, more ancient than these Two, to wit under S. Pe­ter himself, and some other Apostles. And albeit all this was meant so briefly (as I have said) in the first designment; yet when I came to the Work it self, it grew more long, and could hardly be dispatched in so many Chapters, as I had purposed Leaves or Sheets at the beginning.

3. The reason of this increase was, for that coming to the examination of the mat­ter, I found Sir Francis to have taken all that he had said concerning that Point, out of John Fox, tho' he cited him not; and Fox again the most part of his Cavils out of the Magdeburgians: So as of necessity I was forc'd to encounter all these Three Adver­saries together, to examin their Arguments, discover their Frauds, and refel their Follies. Which to do with any sufficiency,How the first Part of this Treatise was increased. (as also with the clearness and perspicui­ty which I desir'd) drew the matter on to a bigger Bulk than well could be set forth as a Part only of that Encounter whereunto it belonged: Whereupon, at the persuasion of some Friends, resolution was taken to have it divulg'd in a several Treatise, as be­fore hath been shewed in the end of the Second Encounter already printed.

4. But now, when it was taken in hand to be reviewed for the Edition▪ divers things occurred to be added for the more fulness of the Treatise; and namely, that not only the Planting of Christian Faith in England should be averred by these [Page] Three several Conversions, but that the Continuation also thereof (I mean of One self-same Faith and Belief) should be shewed and demonstrated from the First to the Second Conversion, and from the Second to the Third, unto our days. And with this came the Discourse to occupy a dozen whole Chapters; which was more than twice as much as in the first design was purposed.

5. But being arriv'd hither, there offered it self a new cogitation of adding a Second Part, no less important than the First, for searching out our Adversaries Religion in all this time;Arist. in topicis. Cicer. 1. ad Heren. & de Orator. according to the Advertisement both of the Philosopher and Orator, That it is not sufficient only to confirm our own Cause, except we infringe and refute the contrary. Whereupon it seemed necessary not only to shew the first, second and third Planting of our Religion in England, together with the manifest and visible Continuance thereof unto our Age; but also to demonstrate the contrary in the Religion of the Protestants; Why the se­cond part of the search of John Fox's Church was added. to wit, That it was never planted in England, (I mean in such Points of Doctrin wherein they differ from the Catholic) nor ever was received, nor had essence or being under the name of Christian Religion, from Christ's time to ours. And for that John Fox above all other English Pro­testant-Writers taketh upon him of purpose and by promise to prove the contrary in his huge Volume of Acts and Monuments, Fox in the title of his Acts and Monuments, & in his Protesta­tion to the En­glish Church. to wit, to shew the course and race of his Church (for so are his words) from the beginning of these latter Ages, I was forc'd to joyn Issue with him in particular upon both these parts: I mean, in shewing the be­ginning and continuance of our Church and Religion, and the not being or continu­ance of his; for performance whereof I have had occasion (as you see) to peruse over the first Part of the said Volume, from the beginning of Christian Religion to King Henry VIII. containing above 500 Leaves.

6. But for that the second Part of that Volume, from K. Henry downward (being of no less bulk than the former) treateth of the principal Pillars of his Religion since that time,Why the third part of this Treatise was added a­bout the exa­mination of Fox's Calendar. whereof some he maketh Confessors and other Martyrs, and distributeth them into a certain Ecclesiastical Calendar according to the days of every Month wherein their Festival memories are to be kept, and placeth the said Calendar in the front of his Acts and Monuments; it seemed convenient also, to the end that nothing should remain wholly unsearch'd or unexamin'd in that Work of his, to add a third Part to the former two, for the discussion of this Calendar, and some other necessary Points belonging thereunto.

7. Lo here, good Christian Reader, a brief sum of all my cogitations about that matter; which, if they may serve thee for thy spiritual utility, either for confirming or establishing thee in Catholic Religion (if thou have it already) or for thy reducing unto it, if hitherto thou be not partaker of so high and heavenly a Blessing; I shall be glad, and think my Labor happily bestow'd therein, well knowing of what importance this matter is for thy Eternal Salvation.

The diligence which men ought to use for informing themselves of the truth of Catholic Re­ligion in time of Heresies. Possidon. in vit. Aug. & Aug. l. 4, & 5. confes. Athan. in Sym­bol. vers. 2. Mat. 13. Aug. l. de mo­rib. Eccl. c. 17. Chry. hom. 14. in c. 24. Mat. 8. In respect whereof thou oughtest also, if thou be in any doubt, not only to take up­on thee the labor of reading this, or any such Treatise, that may help thee therein; but also to travel both by Sea and Land, Countries and Kingdoms (if we believe S. Austin, that both said and practised the same) to seek out the Truth and Cer­tainty of Catholic Religion; whereby only, and by no other ways and means under Heaven may a man be saved, or escape Everlasting Damnation, as holy Athanasius protesteth in his Creed. Wherefore this ought to be unto us (as the same Father saith) that rich Jewel found in the Field, for buying whereof we should not stick to sell or lose all other temporal Goods or Riches that we have, seeing Christ our Savior doth so much commend them that did so, and thereby inciteth us also to do the like.

9. And the same Doctor S. Austin, together with S. Chrysostom and other Fa­thers, do reprehend greatly the sluggishness of divers men in their days, that seeing Sects and Heresies to arise, and diversities of Religion in almost every Country, did not bestir themselves to try out the Truth, but were content either to accept of every Novelty thrust upon them, or to remain doubtful or indifferent, which in some sort [Page] is a worse state than the other: For as the Prophecy and Prediction of our Savior is clear, that such times of Heresie and Contradiction should come, when one Sect would say, here is Christ; and another, there is Christ: One Heretic would cry,Matth. 24. Marc. 13. Joann. 7. here is the Church, here is the true Doctrin, here is Reformation; and ano­ther deny it: So the Apostle expoundeth the hidden Providence of Almighty God in this permission of his; to wit, ut qui probati sunt, manifesti fiant; 1 Cor. 11. that those who are men of proof should be made manifest among us. And how then in a time of proof, and of so special trial, when so great a Crown is to be gained, are men so negligent, slothful, and fearful in shewing and declaring themselves? S. Chrysostom yields this reason, which is severe:Chrysost. opere imperfect. in Matt. cap. 23. pag. 962. Chrysost. ibid. Quia ne (que) promissio beatitudinis ejus (saith he) desideratur, ne (que) judicium comminationis timetur, &c. It is, for that neither God's promise of Eternal Felicity in the next Life is desired by these slothful people, nor his threat of Judgment feared. And yet, saith the same Father, si Vestimenta empturus gyras unum negotiatorem & alterum, &c. if you were to buy a Garment, you go about from one Seller or Merchant to another, to see and examin where the best is to be found: And how much more ought this to be done to try out true Religion?

10. If a pretension were made (saith one) to take away your Temporal Lands and Livings, or that any new doubts should be put in the Title of your Inheritance, A representa­tion of such as are negligent in examining the truth of Catholic Reli­gion. or that it should be call'd in question by any Promoters, or busie people, whether you were true Owners of such and such Lands and Livings or no; you would quickly start and bestir your selves, looking out Records and Writings for confirmation of your Right and Title, and would seek Lawyers to plead and defend the same, and you would make account of ancient Witnesses for proof thereof. All which you neglecting in this case of trial about Catholic Religion against Heretics, (which is more clear in it self, if men would attend unto it, than any other proof of Possession, Right, Interest, Title, or Inheritance whatsoever) this negligence (I say) doth clearly declare, that men have more care and cogitation of Temporalities, than of Eternity; of Earth, than of Heaven; and of this miserable, short, and vanishing Life, than of God's Everlasting Kingdom, and their Immortal reigning with him.

11. And thus much be spoken by the way concerning the judgment, sense, and feeling of ancient holy Fathers about the care and sollicitude that every true Christian ought to have for informing himself soundly and substantially, (but especially in time of Heresies) what the truth and certainty of Cath. Religion is; lest being negligent therein, and yielding overmuch to the cogitation of worldly affairs, he be deceived before he be aware, and carried away to Perdition by the present surge and sway of In­novations, under the colour and name of New Reformations; persuading him­self that he goeth right, and hath no need of further advice or information therein.

12. For preventing of which most perilous course, held, (alas!) by too many of our Country at this day, (who persuade themselves,Dangerous cogitations. that either matters of Religion apper­tain not greatly unto them, or that they go well as they are, or that they may remain in­different, or attend to worldly affairs, and let the other alone, or at leastwise do ima­gin by the multitude of contradictions which they see and hear every where, that it is a hard matter to discern which Party hath the Truth, or where that Certainty li­eth:) For help (I say) in all these Points, (but especially the last) I have thought best to publish this Treatise, which I trust shall be a sufficient Light for discerning Truth to them that will vouchsafe to peruse the same; for that it doth briefly, clearly, and in whole sum or view, lay before them the Verity of Catholic Religion, the Off­spring, Increase, and Continuance thereof, together with the Fraud and Falshood of all Sects whatsoever, but especially those of our time.

13. And it is here to be noted, that, as in Suits and Controversies about Tempo­ral Lands and Livings belonging to any Estate or Lordship, a man may take two ways of proof and trial against Quarrellers, that craftily and falsly would intrude or make pretension thereunto: The first, by alleging particular Evidences for every part and parcel thereof severally, as for this Close, this Meadow, this Park, that Pa­sture, [Page] those Woods, that Glebe-land, and the like; which way (as you see) is more prolix and troublesom: There is therefore a second more short and general, where­by a man proving One point, proveth All; as if we would take upon us to shew, that the chief Mansion-house of the said Lordship in Controversie (whereunto all the rest belong) is Ours, and hath been ever held by our Ancestors, and that we are true Successors, Heirs and Inheritors to them. This Issue (I say) were more short and sure; and this is that in which I do now join plea with our Adversaries, especially with J. Fox, in name of all his Brother-Protestants; to wit, that whereas other men hi­therto have taken upon them to defend and prove particular Points of Controversies severally: As for example, the Real Presence, Purgatory, Prayer to Saints, Seven Sacraments, and the like, which are but Branches of our whole Cause; my purpose is to prove all together, by joyning the foresaid Issue about the chief Mansion-house, and true Owners thereof; that is to say, the true Catholic Church, and lawful Family thereunto belonging, descending from Christ himself; for that we proving this only, we prove the whole; no man being able to deny but that where this House and Family is found, there is all the Right and Interest that may be pretended to the State and Dignity aforesaid.

The contenti­on about the House and Mannor place. 14. But now again, for proving of this Point divers ways are or may be held by dif­ferent Men; mine shall be at this time after the fashion of Two that strive and con­tend about the Mansion-house before mentioned, and thereby pretend to the true Title, and lawful Inheritance of the foresaid State and Lordship: the one part pretend­ing only in general terms, That there is such a Noble House, well and strongly built, with great and excellent Qualities and Commodities, and richly furnish'd, whereunto belongeth the said State and Lordship; and that the Owners and Inhabitants thereof have great Privileges and Preferments before all other People; and that there are certain ancient Records extant also of this matter, out of which Records, according to their own exposition, they gather these Properties of the said House and Family, and apply both the one and the other to themselves.

15. But the other party denying their pretence and exposition of old Records, saith, That all this is false;The Catholic Parties Plea for the House. and that according to the true exposition of the said Writings, and the marks and tokens thereby given, the said House and Mannor-place apper­taineth to them only, and therewith consequently the whole State and Lordship with­out controversie; which they offer to try by coming to particulars, shewing when and where, and by what occasion, the said House was first built, what were the Stones and Timber that went thereunto, how the Title of the whole State and Lordship was ty'd or annex'd to this House, together with the Dignities and Privileges thereof; & then to what Family this House was assign'd at the beginning, who were the first Inha­bitants, Dwellers, Guiders and Governors thereof, and how it hath continu'd ever since from hand to hand, and from time to time, always under the same Family by lawful Succession, and hath defended it self from all sorts of assaults made against it, as well of secret domestical Thieves, as open Enemies; and that at this day the same Family is in possession thereof, &c.

16. And as for the other Pretenders, these men offer to shew further against them, that they have been always contemptible & vagrant persons, dispersed here and there in several Cottages of their own building or patching, nor ever dwelt in any House, worth the naming, much less in so excellent a House as this; and that if any of them have at any time heretofore been of this House or Family, they were either dismist and cast out for their disorders, or have run away as Fugitives for guiltiness of their own Consciences.

17. Now then this being so, who doth not see to which party the said House and Mansion-place is like to be judged? And this is the true figure or representation (good Christian Reader) of our present Controversie with J. Fox and his Fellows thro'out all this Treatise, for that he and his pretend a certain title to the true Church and Religion of Christ from all Antiquity, but produce no better proofs to challenge the same, than the Pretenders before mentioned for the said House and Mannor-place, if not somewhat worse, as shall be declared.

[Page] 18. But we on the contrary side do follow the course of the other party in coming to particulars, setting down first how Christ's Church and Religion began, by whom,The applica­tion of the two former Examples. and under whom; who were the first beginners, promoters and professors thereof, what they taught, what they did, whom they left their successors, with what promise and assurance of continuation, and finally how they endured unto this day. And all this is handled in the first part of this Treatise. And then in the second is declared the other point before mentioned; to wit, that the adverse heretical part, had never any house at all, and much less any such as hath been spoken of; that is to say, they had never any Church or certain Family agreeing with it self, nor ever any certain Profession of any one Faith or Religion like in all points to it self, or to that of any others, were it good or bad, false or true, Heretical or Catholic. And this is observed from the beginning of the world to our time, as you shall see manifestly proved afterwards in the prosecution of this work; desiring thee (gentle Reader) to take the pains to read it over with some attention for thine own utility; tho' I presume that thy contentment also in reading thereof will easily equal thy pains, the argument being historical, and not devoid of grateful variety both of times, men and affairs.

19. But now, for that my end and scope in writing this Treatise,Four points of consideration about matters of Faith. and in handling this important Argument of discerning between Religion and Religion, is not indeed so much (if I shall confess the truth) to delight, as to move and profit thee (good Reader,) I have thought convenient for the second part of this my Preface, to adjoyn 3 or 4 points of principal consideration about this Subject of Faith and Belief, and thereof deduce as many inferences of no less importance, for thy good disposition in this behalf, and therewith leave thee for the rest to thine own judgment, and more mature deliberation.

20. The first of which points is,The first point how our arti­cles of Faith are above man's Reason. That Almighty God for man's greater humility and merit in believing, hath placed the greater part of the object of our faith and belief (that is to say, the things which are to be believed) above the ordinary reach of man's reason, and invironed them with such difficulty and obscurity, in respect of our frailty, as with­out the light of his grace, and the concurse and free motion of our own will and good en­deavor, they are not to be attained unto. And this (as I said) as well for man's humi­liation, in respect of the heighth of God's mysteries revealed by faith; as also that man may merit by his free and willing concurse to belief; which he would not do if the arti­cles or object of our faith were so clear as there were no obscurity or darkness in them: for then, according to the grounds of philosophy, man's understanding perforce must yield thereunto, and consequently our will also; whereof would ensue the loss of all merit and reward, according to that Saying of S. Greg. Non habet fides meritum, Greg. hom. 36. in Evang. ubi humana ratio praebet experimentum; Faith hath no merit where man's reason doth make the thing evident. And long before him S. Athan. Fides de re evidenti concepta, Athan. tract. de advent 1. cont. Apollin. Aug. trast. 79. in Joan. & ser. 1. de festo S. Trin. Fides dici non potest; Faith conceived of an evident matter, cannot be called Faith. And briefly, but pithily S. Aug. Laus fidei est; si, quod creditur, non videtur; The praise or merit of Faith stands in this, that the thing be not seen which is believed. And in another place, Credo, quod nescio: & propterea scio, quia scio, me nescire quod nescio; I do believe that which I know not: and thereby I come to know, for that I know my self to have been ignorant in that which indeed I knew not. And finally S. Paul to the Hebrews maketh this plain, when giving a definition of Faith, he writeth thus:Hebr. 11. Est autem fides substantia sperandarum rerum, argumentum non apparentium; Faith is the substance or ground of things hoped for (in the next life) and an argument of such things as be not apparent or manifest to humane sense or reason. Thus teach they. And the matter is clear in it self, and confoundeth the politic vain heads of our days, who will believe no more than they see or feel, or can comprehend by their own un­derstanding.

21. But now concerning the causes of this difficulty or obscurity in matters of belief,First cause of obscurity in Faith. the same Fathers do assign 2 or 3 for principal. The first is the heighth and sublimity of the the articles and mysteries themselves that are to be believed, which being of God's Secrets, do surpass the base capacity and reason of man. As are (for example) the crea­tion [Page] of the world of nothing, the trinity of persons in one nature of divinity, the incar­nation of the Son of God, and his birth without violating his mothers virginity, the re­surrection of our bodies, the being of Christ in the Sacrament, and the like; which hu­man reason cannot reach unto,Second cause. tho' they be not contrary to it, but above it. Another cause is (as S. Ambrose noteth) the Majesty of Almighty God, who will be believed at his word,Ambr. l. 1. de Abraham c. 3. without being asked for proof or reason for the same. For if (saith he) a grave honorable personage in this life, (especially if he be of high authority, and our superior) will take it in disdain to be asked a proof for that he affirmeth; how much more ought God to be credited without proof of human reason, when he proposeth unto us a matter above our reach or capacity?

Third cause. 22. The third cause is that which before I touched, that Man might merit more by believing that which he seeth not evident, according to the Saying of Christ to S. Tho­mas,Joan. 2. Quia vidisti (Thoma) credidisti, beati qui non viderunt & crediderunt; Because thou hast seen, Thomas, thou hast believed; but happy are they that have not seen,How God proceedeth in revealing his Mysteries. and yet have believed. And for all these causes, if we consider the matter well, we shall find that God hath proceeded strangely to man's eye from the beginning of the world, in revealing the mysteries of our Faith unto us; discovering his will on the one side, with infinite testification of his love and desire that we should know them; and yet on the other side, with such reservation in those revelations, as the matter might still be difficult, hard, or obscure, in some respect; and this for the greater merit (as hath been said) of the believer.Gen. 2.6.7.8. As for example, before the flood he appeared to divers Patriarchs from time to time, causing them to preach and open to others his will, and the truth of that Faith which they were bound to believe; but yet he appeared not to all in those days, which he might have done if he would, and thereby have made the matter more clear and out of doubt: but he would have them believe others by words and tradition. And the like manner of proceeding he used after the flood with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for instruction of their posterity.Gen. 20.22.23. Exod. 1.2.3. Deut. 33. Act. 7. Jos. 15. And then again four or five hundred years after that, when he determined to bring the Hebrew people out of Egypt, and to give them a written Law, he appeared not evidently to all the people, but chose Moses to send unto them in his name, and spake to him out of a fiery bush at the beginning, and at other times out of a cloud on the top of a hill. All which things had still their doubts and difficulties for him that would wrangle, or had not good will to believe and credit them.

How Christ our Saviour proceeded in revealing his Mysteries, and why he ap­peared not to all. 23. And finally, when the Son of God came himself in flesh to preach, tho' he used many and sufficient Arguments to draw men unto him, and believe the Mysteries re­vealed by him, as in the next Point shall be shewed; yet used he the same course not­withstanding, that had been used before: for neither appeared he to the whole world (as he might have done by his Divinity and Omnipotency) but to those of Jewry only, nor there to all; nor did he work Miracles in every place, but where he thought expedient. Nor when he rose again from death (which is a Point principally in this matter to be considered) did he appear to all men, or publickly in the Streets of Jerusa­lem, as he might have done, and thereby have made his Resurrection clear and out of controversie; but he appeared only to his Apostles and Disciples: which he expresseth in these words:Act. 10. Hunc Deus suscitavit tertia die, & dedit eum manifestum fieri, non omni populo, sed testibus praeordinatis à Deo: nobis, qui manducavimus & bibimus cum ilio, postquam resurrexit à mortuis. Et praecepit nobis praedi­care populo & testificari, &c. God hath raised up this his Son from death the third day, and gave him to be made manifest, not to all the people, but unto such as were pre-ordained beforehand by him to be witnesses thereof; that is to say, us that did eat and drink with him after his Resurrection; and to us he gave commandment to preach and testifie to the people, &c.

24. Behold here the reason why Christ after his Resurrection did not appear to the whole people in Jewry, but to his Apostles and Disciples only, who were his appointed witnesses, to testifie and preach the same to others, to the end their Faith might be of more merit,Joan. 20. according to his former speech to S. Thomas, Happy are they who have [Page] not seen, and yet do believe. And for the self same causes we may not doubt,Christ's Re­surrection, how, and to whom it was made mani­fest. but that these his apparitions and manifestations, which are recounted in Scriptures to have been made by him at divers times, in sundry places, and upon different occasions, during his abode on earth, for the space of forty days after his Resurrection, (which ap­paritions arrive to the number of 13 or 14) were made in such particular manner by him, as the Scripture recounteth them: First to those godly women,Matth. 28. John 20. Act. 2.10.13.17. Rom. 4.8.14. 1 Cor. 15. 2 Cor. 5. 2 Tim. 2. Luc. 24. Marc. 16. then to the Apo­stles, then to the disciples going to Emaus, and after that to others: All, I say, were so made, as still remained place for our free will to merit in believing them, and divers did doubt at the beginning, as the Scripture saith; and Christ was often forced to reprehend their coldness and backwardness in belief, as when he said, O stulti & tardi corde ad credendum! O you foolish and slow of heart to believe! And at his last departure from them, Exprobravit illis (saith S. Mark) incredulitatem eorum & duritiem cordis; quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt; He did exprobrate unto them their incredulity and hardness of heart, for that they had not believed those who had seen him risen from death again. Which doubt and hardness of heart in be­lieving, he cured wholly afterwards by sending the Holy Ghost.

25. But yet hereby we may evidently see, that Christ required humility and obedi­ence of belief, even in things where our reason or sense resisted,1 Cor. 10. requiring us to capti­vate our understanding (to use S. Paul's own word) unto his obedience in matters of faith; and not only to himself immediately, but to those also that teach and preach unto us by lawful ordination and authority from him, albeit they deliver us matters above our capacity, reach and understanding; and this under pain of eternal damna­tion: for that our Saviour himself having given the Commission of preaching in S. Mark's Gospel aforesaid, Ite & praedicate, Go and preach, he addeth presently,Marc. 16. Qui non crediderit, condemnabitur; He that will not believe, shall be damned. And this is sufficient for the first Point, about the obscurity of the Object of Faith, and Causes thereof.

22. The second Point of this consideration is,The second Point of this consideration, that notwith­standing the Articles of our Faith can­not be demon­strated by Reason, yet have they suf­ficient Argu­ments of cre­dibility. Rom. 12. That albeit Almighty God will have us to yield obedience of faith unto him, as well for his due honor, as for our own uti­lity; yet doth he not leave us without sufficient testimony of the truth, nor requireth at our hands this obedience, but as rationabile obsequium, (to use S. Paul's words) a reasonable obedience, or an obedience founded in all reason of probability inducement and credibility. For proof whereof we must understand, that albeit the most parts of Christian Belief do so surmount (as in the former Point hath been shewed) the reach and capacity of human reason, as they cannot be comprehended thereby (tho' of some other there may be also demonstration made, as shall be shewed in the fourth Point of this consideration;) yet for satisfaction of our understandings, his divine Piety and Pro­vidence hath left unto us so many other proofs and arguments of persuasion and in­ducement, called by Schoolmen Argumenta credibilitatis, Arguments of credibility, which being laid together and well pondered, may justly move any indifferent, prudent, and discreet man, to yield his assent thereunto, and to rest fully satisfied of the truth, as learnedly you have seen proved these days past, by a Treatise set forth in English, for answer of the new challenges of the Minister O. E. this matter is handled more largely. But for my present purpose it is sufficient to record unto you, that of these ar­guments of credibility are full fraught all the books and volumes of the ancient Fa­thers, thereby to prove the credibility, probability, and convenience of Christian Reli­gion, and of every part and article thereof, thereby to leave them inexcusable that will not believe the same: whereof it shall be sufficient, that I allege only the example of S. Peter, who going about to persuade his audience, useth these words,2 Pet. 1. Non indoctas fabulas sequuti, &c. Not induced by vain fables (as the Gentiles were) have we be­lieved and made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but for that we have been made eye-witnesses of his greatness, &c.

27. Thus began S. Peter to persuade his Hearers,Arguments of credibility u­sed by S. Peter. alleging 2 or 3 strong Inducements of credibility for the same. First, that he and the rest of his Apostles had conversed with [Page] Christ himself upon earth, and had been eye-witnesses of all his doings. And secondly, he allegeth that famous Miracle upon the Mount Thabor, when he with S. James and S. John were present at his transfiguration,Matth. 17. and heard the voice from heaven. This is my beloved Son, hear him. And thirdly, he allegeth the Predictions of the old Pro­phets concerning Christ's coming, life, actions, death and resurrection; which S. Peter doth prefer before his sight, knowledge and experience had with Christ, and worthily; for that the Predictions of the Scriptures and Prophets being written by God's Spirit so many Ages before Christ was born, and now fufilled so evidently in his Person, the Apo­stles sight and experience thereof, was but a testimony to the others verity and nothing so certain as the foretellings of the said Prophets so evidently verifi'd in their sights.

Arguments of credibility are not so evident as are philo­sophical De­monstrations. 28. And yet were all these things but inducements and arguments of credibility (as I have said) and not demonstrations. For albeit the truth of Scriptures be most certain and infallible in it self, yet to me, who must take them upon credit of others, either con­cernings the books themselves, traductions or interpretations, or some other such circum­stances, they cannot have the clearness and evidence to convince our Ʋnderstandings, which philosophical Demonstrations have; albeit the assent of our Faith induced by these Arguments of credibility (together with the help of our pious affection, and assi­stance of God's grace) be much more sure, firm and immovable, than that which is gotten by human knowledge; which is partly seen, in that a stronger reason coming against my knowledge, I do change my judgment; but not in Faith, if it be sound. The cause whereof is, for that Faith is grounded upon a more certain foundation than is human science, to wit, upon the credit and authority of God himself: wherein also is to be noted, that these Inductions and Arguments of credibility, may be much more evident to some than to others. As for example, the Miracles done by God in bringing home of the Jews from Egypt, were much more evident to those Jews that then lived, and were present and saw them, than to others that came afterwards. Albeit the Faith and Belief of some of the later, might be as firm and constant as the former. And so the Miracles of Christ and his Apostles were more evident to those that saw them, than unto us that hear them only by relation; tho' yet our Faith may be as good and firm, yea more com­mendable and meritorious than theirs, in that we believe them without seeing, accord­ing to the aforesaid Saying of our Saviour to S. Thomas. And this is the great Piety and Mercy of Almighty God, that we that come after in the end of the World shall lose nothing (if we will) by our so late coming, but may be equal in merit to the first.

Arguments for proof of Christian Re­ligion. 29. Well then, this is the second Point, what Arguments of credibility Christ hath left unto us for proof of Christian Faith, whereof (as I said) all the ancient Fathers Books are full; and you may see many in Eusebius's Learned Books De praeparatione, & demonstratione evangelica; but especially in those that before him wrote Apolo­gies for Christians in times of Persecution, as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others, S. Austin also in 22 excellent Books that he wrote De Civitate Dei, gathered many. And you may see good store laid up in our English Tongue, in the first Book of Resolu­tion, c. 4. entituled, Proofs of Christianity. Which Arguments being indifferently weighed together, with the absurdities of all other Religions besides the Christian, do make our Faith most credible, and sufficient to move any wise considerate man to believe the same, tho' they do not enforce him.

Arguments of credibility for Catholic Re­ligion against all sorts of Heretics. 30. And the like may be said and shewed concerning the Arguments for Catholic Religion against all Sects and Heresies whatsoever; which are so many and pregnant in themselves to him that will consider them duly, as there can be no probable doubt in the world, which is the truth, and which is falshood; tho' oftentimes for want either of diligence to know them, or pious affection to consider indifferently of them, (which is the third Point here to be mentioned) many Mens Judgments are so obscured or perverted, that they cannot, or will not see the truth. Of these Arguments of credibility for proof of Catholic Faith in general against Heresies, you may see many put together by Tertullian in his excellent Book De praescriptio­nibus adversus Haereses; and in S. Augustin's Books De utilitate credendi, & [Page] de moribus Ecclesiae, and other such Treatises; and in all his other Books against the Donatists, Manichees, and Pelagians. And in that Golden Treatise of Vincentius Lirinensis contra prophanas haeresum omnium novitates, who wrote soon after S. Austin; and in our times Bosius de signis Ecclesiae, and divers others, have han­dled the same Argument. And more than this, there want not also store in our English Tongue of like matter, as Dr. Bristow's Motives and others; and you shall find no small number of these Arguments in this Treatise, if you read it over. So as this Point maketh any man inexcusable that will pretend ignorance herein.

31. But now there resteth the third Point, which (as I said) is the Key of all the rest, to open the Gate to true Faith and Belief; which is,The third Point of con­sideration a­bout pious af­fection. Marc. 6. Act. 24. a pious and purged Affe­ction, without which all the Arguments of Credibility in the World will do no good to move a man to true Religion, no more than the persuasion of S. John Baptist did with Herod, nor the often speeches and Conferences of S. Paul prevail'd with the Proconsul Foelix: the reason whereof is, that albeit naturally our Judgment and Un­derstanding should yield to that which appeareth truest, and that our Will and Affecti­on by the same natural course ought to follow our said Judgment and Understand­ing; yet thro' the corruption of mankind we find daily by experience that our Will draweth after it our Judgment, and as she is affected or disaffected, so goeth our Judgment and Understanding also.

32. This Point touch'd Christ our Savior,Evil affection perverteth the understan­ding. Joann. 5. when he said in S. John's Gospel to cer­tain ambitious Jews: Quomodo vos potestis credere, qui Gloriam ab invicem accipitis, & Gloriam quae à solo Deo est, non queritis? How can you believe in me, which do take and seek Glory one of another, and do not seek that true Glory which is only to be had from God? Here you see that an ambitious affection did impossibili­tate their Understanding to believe; notwithstanding what Arguments, Reasons, or Motives soever to the contrary. S. Paul also giving the reason why certain Infidels did not believe the Gospel preach'd by him with many Signs, Miracles, and other Ar­guments to move them, he noteth the whole impediment to be in their affections, saying, In quibus Deus hujus saeculi excaecavit mentes, 2 Cor. 4. ut non fulgeat illumina­tio Evangelii gloriae Christi, qui est Imago Dei: In whom the God of this world hath blinded their Minds and Ʋnderstanding, so that the light or illumination of the glory of Christ's Gospel cannot shine in them, who is notwithstanding the very Image of God, &c.

33. Here you see that there wanted not external Light on the behalf of Christ and his Gospel, (whose Glory shin'd by so many Miracles) in those days of S. Paul; but that the love of this World, and disorderly affection to Honor, Ambition, Rich­es, and other Sensualities thereof, (which here by the Apostle are called, the God of this World, for that worldly men do adore them:) This God, I say, (or Devil ra­ther) of corrupt affections had so blinded their Judgments and Understanding in­wardly, as they could not see this shining Light of Truth. How necessary pious affecti­on is. So that where this pious affection is not, or at leastwise where it is not so purg'd from sinister humors, as it re­maineth with some indifferency of desire to know and follow the Truth if it be dis­covered, no good can be hop'd for:Luc. 23. Matth. 13. In regard whereof Christ refus'd to do Miracles before Herod, or in his own Country, for that he knew them so obstinately averse in mind, as they would not profit by them; And for the same cause he refus'd to reason or argue with Pilat about his own Cause, when he gave him occasion,Joan. 24. Joan. 18. for that he knew his affections to be so ty'd to the World, and himself so addicted to please the People, and to gain the good will of Tiberius the Emperor, as his labor would be but lost in seeking to persuade him, being so obstinately dispos'd otherwise. And thus much of this third Point of pious affection, and the necessity thereof to a Man's Salvation.

34. The fourth and last Point of this Consideration is,The fourth Point of this consideration, whether some Articles of our Faith may be demonstrated, and how. That tho' it be true (as is said in the first Point) that ordinarily and for the most part the Object or Articles of our Faith are above the reach of man's Reason, and were first reveal'd to man from God himself, yet are there some Points thereof which by force of human Reason may be known [Page] and demonstrated. As for example, that there is a God, and that he is but One, and cannot be Many, and that the World was made by Him, and that he hath Providence over the same, and other such-like Points. Which Points and Articles notwithstanding, for that on the other side they are propos'd also in the Scriptures, and in the Nicene Creed, Exod. 20. Heb. 11. Symb. Nicaen. as Articles of our Faith, that must be believ'd by Christians as reveal'd from God: hence ariseth no small question among School-Divines, whether these Points here set down may be known by two distinct ways or no; to wit, evidently, by force of human Reason or Demonstration; and inevidently, by Light of Faith, and Reve­lation from God? Alex. Halens. 3. par. q. 79. Alb. Mag. in 3. p. d. 24. art. 9. Alrisidior. 3. p. tract. 3. c. 1. Bonav. in 3. p. d. 24. art. 2. Durand. in nu. 39. & alii. And the more common and probable Opinion of School-men, and more conformable to the Scriptures and ancient Fathers, is, That they may; for that our Ʋnderstanding may have two Lights to know one and the self-same thing: the first by Revelation from God, which always is with some darkness and obscurity to our Reason, (as before hath been declared,) and consequently our Judgment being not forc'd to yield thereunto by the clearness of evidence, it followeth that our assent by Faith is more free, and greater place is given to pious affection of our will, and there­by also more merit to assent, as before hath been shewed.

How Science may stand with Faith. 35. The second Light may be by force of Man's Reason and evidence of Demon­stration, which sometimes is so clear in it self, as it admitteth no doubt at all; as when we shew this Principle, That every Whole is greater than its Part or that man is a reaso­nable Creature, or like evident things; and then is our Ʋnderstanding forc'd to yield thereunto, and consequently hath the less Merit, by how much less freedom it leaveth to our will and affection to give our assent, or no. But yet this knowledg gotten by human Reason doth not so take away the merit of the other, that proceeded of free assent of Faith, but that both may stand together in one and the self-same man about one and the self-same thing, (to wit, Faith and Demonstration) as distinct lights gotten by different and distinct means, the one by Revelation from God, the other by Demonstration of Reason;A great in­convenience. for that otherwise this great inconvenience (say the Authors that hold this Opinion) would follow, that learned men should be in far worse case for their merits in Faith, than the ignorant; for that whensoever the said learn­ed men do come by means of their study to see clearly by Reason the truth of any Con­clusion of Divinity, or Article of Belief, which simply before they did believe only as revealed from God; (which thing may very well happen, and often doth to learned men,) that then they should lose their former Faith, or at leastwise the Merit thereof, if it be granted that Faith and Science may in no case stand together.

36. But, to leave this to be disputed in Schools and to return to our purpose: There is no doubt, but that some Points belonging to Christian Faith may plainly and abso­lutely be demonstrated and prov'd by human Reason & Science, as those which I have here touched of One God, his Omnipotency, Providence, and the like. Some other there be,Demonstrati­on by supposi­tion. which tho' they cannot be altogether so absolutely convinc'd by Demonstra­tions, yet may they in part, by way of supposition; that is to say, by supposing some one or two Points belonging thereunto, which the Adversary will either grant, or cannot deny. As for example, Supposing there is a God, and that he hath appointed any Religion to mankind, and that the Prophets and Prophesies of the Old Testa­ment are to be believed; it is not hard to prove and demonstrate the Verity of Christi­an Religion against either Jew or Gentile. And the like is it in this matter here treat­ed by me in this Book, against J. Fox and his Fellows, about the Beginning, Plant­ing, Growing, and Continuance of Catholic Religion: For if you suppose only that Christ is God, and that he hath appointed any Religion at all, and that the first Re­ligion and Church instituted by him was true, and truly meant by him, and that he was able to perform his promises made to the first Christians for the Preservation and Perpetuity thereof: This (I say) being granted, what I infer in this Treatise fol­loweth by necessary consequence of moral Demonstration, as you will find in the perusal.

The inference of the first Point. 37. These four Points then I thought good (gentle Reader) to touch briefly in this Preface, meaning to make four several Inferences out of the same, not unprofitable (in [Page] mine opinion) to the purpose we have in hand: For out of the First Point, concerning the height and sublimity of matters of our Faith, above the capacity of Man's Rea­son, I make this inference, That every one ought to come to treat and talk of such things as belong to Faith and Belief, with great reverence, respect, modesty, and submission of mind, not condemning that which his sense or reason reach­eth not unto, nor making the Depth of his own Capacity the Rule and Measure of his Belief. A thing noted in the Sect of Manichees by S. Austin, who writeth,Aug. l. de util. cred. c. 1. That for this cause principally he was nine years of their Company, for that they told him still (he being a young man desirous of Knowledg) that Catholics did superstitiously re­quire Faith before Reason, and that They (the Manichees forsooth) did teach nothing but that which should clearly be discuss'd by force of good Argument and Reason be­fore it was believed, &c. Ʋpon which occasion also the said Father wrote that excellent Book beforementioned, de Utilitate Credendi, S. Austins book de utilitate cre­dendi, what it treateth, and why it was written. of the great utility and infinite com­modities which Catholic Christian People have, in believing simply, by Tradition of their Ancestors, that Faith which is established in the Universal Church of Christ, tho' their own Reason arrive not to penetrate the same; for whosoever openeth once his Ears, (especially the Unlearned sort) to hearken to Human Reasons against the Mysteries of their Faith, he is in danger presently either to lose his Faith, or at leastwise the Merit thereof, together with the peace, comfort, and tranquility of his mind, and thereby openeth a wide gap to the Devil and all his Instruments, as well Infidels as Heretics, to enter in, and trouble the House of his Conscience.

38. And as for Heretics, it hath been an old practice to trouble or draw men from Catholic Religion, or make them stagger, by this means of pretending human Reason against Belief; as we have shewed by example of the Manichees, who took this trick from the old Heathen Philosophers, whom S. Hierom for this cause principally calleth,Hier. l. 2. con. Ruffinum. the Patriarchs of Heretics. The Arians also deceiv'd many by the tricks of human Rea­son, drawing out their Napkins (as Theodoretus saith) and asking the common peo­ple whether Three corners thereof could be One, or no; and then inferring deceitfully thereupon, said, No more could Three Persons be One God. The Sadducees founded their Heresie against the Resurrection of the Flesh, upon the contrariety it seem'd to have with human Reason; which prevail'd afterwards with divers sorts of Heretics, Many Heresies founded in reason against Faith. that had infinit Followers, as, Simon Magus, Basilides, Hymenaeus, Philetus, Va­lentinus, Marcion, Appelles, the Ophites, Cerdonists, Cainites, Albigenses, and others. And now in our days with Zuinglians, Calvinists, Anabaptists, Trinitari­ans, Family of Love, Brownists, and divers other Sects, who do nothing but rave and blaspheme against the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, upon the same ground, that it seemeth contrary to Sense and human Reason. And fi­nally, this is a way to all Misbelief, Atheism, and Infidelity, &c.

39. Out of the Second Point, concerning Arguments of Credibility for our Belief, I infer,The inference upon the se­cond Point a­bout Argu­ments of cre­dibility. Intolerable sloth and neg­ligence in not viewing our Evidences for Catholic Re­ligion. That (seeing God hath left us such store and variety of Arguments for our comfort and consolation in that we believe) every man ought to be diligent and careful to seek out and use them, and not suffer himself to be overborn by deceit­ful quarrelling people in a suit of so great importance, without looking upon his Writings and Evidences that he hath for the same. For how greatly would we con­demn the sloth and negligence of a Man, who descending for many Ages as lawful Heir from a most Ancient and Noble House, of great Riches and Possessions, and seeing false Pretenders to make claim thereunto, and by slight and intrusion to put both Him and his Posterity from the same: How much (I say) should we condemn him, if (having whole Chests full of Writings for his Defence) he should never so much as look them over, or take a view of them, but should suffer himself to be cast and over­thrown in the whole Suit, without pleading at all for Himself or his Interest? Which is the very case of many negligent Christians in our days, who seeing so many assaults to be made by different Sectaries against the old possession of Cath. Religion (which was their Ancestors Inheritance to Salvation, and must be theirs if ever they be sav'd, do yield [Page] so dastardly in this conflict and injury offered them, as they never so much as exa­mine what Proofs or Evidences they have, or may have, for their Defence. A negli­gence no doubt inexcusable, and worthy of infinite rebuke and confusion.

The inference upon the third Point about pious affecti­on. 40. Out of the Third Point, concerning the necessity of pious Affection in him that must profit by these Arguments of Credibility, I do infer, how highly it doth import every man that meaneth seriously to treat of his Salvation in this be­half, to dispossess himself of his Passions and sinister Affections against the Truth, (at leastwise while he treateth this Great Affair) and that he place himself in such an indifferency, equanimity, and serenity of mind, as he may be able to discern and look upon the Truth with an unpassionate Eye, if she chance to appear unto him.

A dreadful threat of our Savior. 41. The saying of our Savior in the place before-alleged of S. John's Gospel, to such as were ambitious, and intangl'd with the Wealth and Honor of this World, and thereby letted to believe the Truth, is terrible and dreadful: For having demanded, How it was possible for them to believe, and thereby come to Salvation, that were so intangl'd and evil-affected in mind;Joan. 5. he addeth presently, Nolite putare, quia ego accusaturus sim vos apud Patrem; est qui accusat vos: Do not you think that I shall have need to accuse you to my Father, (for these corrupt affections of yours rising of Ambition,) for there wanteth not one to accuse you. Whereby Christ insinuateth, amonst other things, that Himself, at the Day of Judgment, was not to be Accuser, but Judge; and that the Condemnation of these men was to be most grievous, who for Ambition, Honor, Wealth, Dignities, and Promotions, had neither Time nor Will to attend to matters of Faith and true Religion, whereby only Eternal Salva­tion may be atchieved; which is a Point greatly to be considered and born in mind; especially by such who are in the same or like Case with those Men of Jewry, to whom Christ our Savior used that dreadful speech.

The inference upon the fourth Point about demon­stration by Reason. 42. Out of the Fourth and Last Point is inferred, That considering all the pre­misses, and that this matter of true Religion is of so great Moment, as hath been shewed, and that in this Treatise so short and clear a way is taken for discussion thereof, as by only joyning Issue about the Planting Continuance, Succession, and Descent of Christian Religion in England, from the Apostles Time unto Ours, the whole Controversie between Us and the Protestants may fully be cleared; and that with such evidence of Reason and necessary Consequence, as, supposing only that Ghrist was Christ, and his Promises true, all the rest doth follow by most certain sequel of Argument, and moral Demonstration. All this (I say) being so, it may encourage and animate the studious Reader to run over this short Treatise. Which if he do with that indifferency and attention which in the Second and Third Point of this Discourse have been touched, I do not doubt but that he shall not need to read many other Books for resolving himself either about the grounded certain Truth of Catholic Religion, or the Vanity, Inanity, Inconstancy, Lightness and Folly of all Sect and Heresies that ever have or shall arise up against the same. And with this (good Reader) I leave thee to the holy Protection and Benediction of Almighty God, and to his merciful direction of thee in so weighty an Affair. This Vigil of the Nativity of our Savior, 1602.

The First PART of this Present TREATISE CONCERNING Three Conversions OF ENGLAND TO THE Christian, Catholic, Roman Religion.

The ARGUMENT.

THe purpose of this first Part (gentle Reader) is, to declare by evident demonstration, both of Histories, Reasons, Antiquities, and Succession of Times, and by confession and other testimonies of the Adversaries themselves, That this our Isle of England, and People thereof, the Britans, Saxons, and English, have at three several times received Christian Faith from Rome, and by Romish Preachers. First, under the Apostles, in the first Age after Christ; And then under Pope Eleutherius, in the second Age; And thirdly, under Pope Gregory, in the begin­ning of the sixth Age: And that this Faith and Religion was no other than the Roman Catholic Faith, generally received over all Christendom in those days; And that it was One, and the Self-same Faith, at all these three times; and that the same was continued and professed after­ward in England publicly for almost 1400 years together, to wit, from the Apostles days, unto the Reign of King Henry VIII. under divers Nations, States, Governments, and variety of Times, by Britans, Saxons, Danes, Normans, and English; and that the self-same Faith continueth at this day in the Church of Rome, and Christian Catholic World abroad, without change or altera­tion of any one substantial Article, or Point of Belief; and that all Cavils and Calumniations of Heretics and Sectaries in this behalf are vain and foolish, and most manifestly here confuted. And finally, a most clear; easie, evident, and infallible deduction, visible to the Eye and Ʋnderstanding of every mean intelligent Reader, is set down, and brought from hand to hand, without interruption, from the first Conversions of our Realm unto this day; and this so perspicuously, as no man, that will not wilfully shut his eyes, but can see and behold the same, as by the Chapters following (God willing) more particularly shall appear.

CHAP. I.

Whether England and English-men have particular Obligations to the See of Rome, above other Nations? And of the first Conversion of Britans to Christian Religion in the time of the Apostles.

AFTER a certain Narration made by me in my Answer to Sir Francis Hastings, Taken out of the fourth chapter of the seventh En­counter. about the seventh Encounter between him and N. D. wherein I declared what Reverend Re­spect other Nations and Kingdoms of the Christian World have ever born to the See Apostolic, and Bishop thereof, until this miserable Age of Heretical Spirits, who ridiculously do hold the same to be Antichrist: I do infer the conclusion and comparison following, about the particular Obligation of English-men towards the same See and Bishop, above many other Kingdoms, saying in my Ward-word thus:

[Page 2] Ward. pa. 103.2. And if all Christian Nations have, and ought to bear, such Reverence and Respect to the See of Rome; The particu­lar obligation of English-men towards the Bish. of Rome. then much more out little Island of England, (as this man calleth it) for that it hath received more singular benefits from thence, than any one Nation in the World besides, having been twice con­verted from Paganism to Christian Religion, by the especial Diligence, Labor, and Industry of the same See. ‘Once, in the time of the Britans, about 180 years after Christ, at what time Eleutherius, that holy Pope and Martyr, converted King Lucius and his Subjects, by the Preaching of St. Damianus and his Fellows,Bed. lib. 1. hist. Ang. cap. 17, 18. &c. Guil. Malmes­bur. lib. 1. hist. Ang. & Pont. Ang. lib. 1. cap. 1. sent from Rome to that effect; And the second time, 400 years after that again, when our Predecessors the English Saxons were con­verted by St. Augustin and his Fellow-Preachers, sent by St. Gregory the Great, then Bishop of Rome, to the same end. And if it be most certain, and cannot be denied, that these two so great and universal benefits rightly con­sidered are the highest under Heaven that our Land could receive from any mortal then, and that the Obligation of this double Spiritual Birth of ours is so much greater than the Bond we owe to our carnal Parents, by how much more weighty and important is our Eternal Salvation than our Temporal Life and Generation: let all men consider the barbarous ingratitude of this man, that barketh with such spite against the See of Rome, the Mother of our Christianity, and against her Bishops, the Workers of so high a Blessing to us. And with this consideration I leave the modest and discreet Readers to judge of the matter, as Reason and Religion shall induce them, and not as the rage of this and other such raving people would incite them.’

3. Thus I wrote then, and to this declaration and conclusion of mine, our Knight taketh upon him now to answer in these words: Whereas this Roman Advocate saith, Wast. pag. 192. An imperti­nent and ca­villing An­swer of the Knight. That this Land ought to bear more reverence to the See of Rome than other Nations, for that it hath received more singular benefits from thence, namely, that it was converted from Paganism to Christian Religion by the special Diligence, Labor, and Industry of the same See; I answer, First, That it is apparent by sundry Testimonies, that this Land was converted to the Faith long before that time by you specified, and not by the Bishop of Rome. Gildas testifieth that Britanny received the Gospel in the time of Tiberius the Emperor, and that Joseph of Arimathea was sent by Philip the Apostle from France hither, where he remained till his death. And Bede (our Country man likewise) doth testifie, That in his time this Land kept Easter after the manner of the East Church; by which my be gathered, that the first Preachers came hither from the East parts of the World, and not from Rome. More proofs might be set down, but I spare them.

4. Mark (good Reader) what manner of Answer this is to my former Speech. and how directly these people do go to the matter. I said before, That the Isle of England, wherein so many at this day do rail against Rome, hath more obli­gation of Love towards the same for benefits received, than divers other Coun­tries; for that the people of this Island have been twice converted by men sent from thence; once, under Pope Eleutherius, almost 200 years after Christ, and again under Pope Gregory the Great, about the year of our Lord 600. Now to this the Kt. thinketh to have answered well, by affirming two or three things; First out of Gildas, That Britanny received the Gospel in the time of Tiberius the Emperor, before any or these two Conversions named by me: Which how like­ly it is, (Tiberius living but five years after Christ's Ascension) shall after be ex­amined. Secondly, That Joseph of Arimathea was sent by Philip the Apostle out of France into Britanny, which yet the true Gildas hath not: But by these two Examples the Knight would shew, That in Britanny the Faith of Christ was not first of all planted from Rome, nor by the Popes thereof, or by their industry. And to the same effect he allegeth out of Bede, the used of observing Easter after the manner of the East Church remaining amongst the Britans in his [Page 3] time; whereof he inferreth, as you see, That it is most like that our first Preach­ers were from the East, and not from the West Church.

5. But suppose all these things were true; do they overthrow that which I said before in my Ward-word, that the Britans were converted under Pope Eleutherius, or the Saxons under Pope Gregory, and by several Preachers sent from Rome by them?How imperti­nent the An­swer of the Knight is. They prove only that before these two public Conversi­ons, which we owe to the Church and Popes of Rome, there might be some sparkles of Christian Faith also in Britanny by other means; which I never de­ny'd, but only said that I would have English-men grateful to Rome for these two; which Conversions no man can deny, without apparent impudence, as after more amply shall be shewed, where also these Examples alleged out of Gildas and St. Bede shall be examined, how far they are true, or do make for the purpose here in hand.

6. So that this first part of Sir Francis's Answer being nothing to the purpose, as you see, tho' all were granted, which he allegeth; Let us hear his second part. Secondly, (saith he) tho' it be granted that Eleutherius sending hither Preachers from Rome in King Lucius his time, did frist convert this Land to the Christian Faith, I say. I say that there is not now the same Faith in Rome that was then: There were then no Masses said, no setting up of Images in Churches, &c. Here now, if we will take Sir Francis's word, we have a sure warrant by his [I say] that the Faith in Rome is not the same now, that it was in Pope Eleutherius his time; and that in particular, there were neither Masses then, nor Images. Where­in you may note, first, that cunningly he holdeth his peace of the Conversion of English-men under St. Gregory, (which most concerneth us that be of this Nation) for that he dareth not deny that both Mass and Images were in use in his time in the Roman Church and Faith; and so brought into England by St. Augustin that converted us:Bed. lib. 1. hist. Ang. c. 34. which is evident in St. Bede in every place of his Story, and particularly where he relateth the first entrance of St. Augustin and his Fellows into Canterbury, in Procession, with a Cross and Image of our Savior in a Banner, and that they said their first Masses there in an old Church of St. Martin, builded, as he saith, by the old Christian Romans before their departure out of Britanny.

7. And for the time of Eleutherius, under whom the Britans were converted, tho' it were not hard also to prove the same particulars; yet will I not take that disputation now in hand, but shall leave it to a better occasion afterward in this Treatise; where, without standing upon these particular two Doctrins of Mass and Images, here mentioned by the Knight, I shall shew more general and firm Arguments that the Faith of the Church of Rome under Eleutherius, The Faith of Rome one and the same un­der Pope Eleutherius, Pope Gregory, and Pope Cle­ment VIII. 200 years after Christ, was the very same, and no other, than was that under St. Gregory, 400 years after; that again, nor this under Gregory different from that which now is in Rome under Clement VIII. a thousand years after Gregory, and shall endure to the worlds end.

8. This, I say, we shall demonstrate afterward most clearly: but yet, to the end the Reader may see in the mean space how much credit is to be given to this Knight's [I say], let him but read the fourth Chapter of his good Masters,Mass confessed in the second Age after Christ. and chief historical Doctors, the Magdeburgians, touching the second Age of Christ, wherein Eleutherius lived, towards the end, as also the beginning of the third Age immediately ensuing, and he shall find that in the second Age,Magdeburg. cent. 2, & 3. cap. 4. de doct. Ignat. Epist. ad Smyrnens. under their ordinary Title of Inclinatio Doctrinae complectens stipulas & errores Doctorum; that is to say, The falling away of Christian Doctrin, containing the stubble and errors of Doctors, they reprehend Ignatius, who was St. John Evan­gelist's Scholar, for using the phrase, Offerre & Sacrificium immolare, to offer and make Sacrifice; as also the holy Martyr Irenaeus, for saying,Iren. lib. 4. cap. 32. That Christ had taught a New Oblation in the New Testament, which the Church receiving from the [Page 4] Apostles, doth offer up throughout all the world, &c. And in the third Age they accuse that blessed Bishop and Martyr St. Cyprian of Superstition for saying,Cyprian lib. 2. Ep. 3. Sa­cerdotem vice Christi fungi, & Deo Patri sacrificium offerre; that the Priest sup­plying the place of Christ,Tertull. lib. de coena Domini. Martial in Ep. ad Burdegal. doth offer Sacrifice to God the Father. They re­prehend also Tertullian for using the phrase, Sacrificium offerre; to offer Sacri­fice. They condemn also St. Martial, Scholar of the Apostles themselves, for saying, Sacrificium Deo creatori offertur in ara; Sacrifice is offered to God our Creator upon the Altar among Christians.

9. So that, if by our Mass Catholics understand no other thing but the pub­lic external Sacrifice appointed by Christ in his Church, as we do not; then may we see that (by confession of the Magdeburgians themselves) this Mass was as well in use in Eleutherius his time, as in time of Gregory I. after him. And the like might we shew about the use of Images, but that it were over long for this place; our intention being only to treat of the Conversion of our Countrey to Christian Religion; and to note by the way, Which is most to be credited by a discreet man,Sir Francis's [I say] rever­ted. either the I say of a Courtly Knight, affirming that Mass was not in the time of Eleutherius; or the Testimonies of so many grave and Learned Fathers to the contrary, that lived in the same Age, to wit, Igna­tius, Martial, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, and others.

10. And this being sufficient for refutation of both parts of Sir Francis's idle re­ply, I shall go forwards to discuss a little the first entrance of Christian Faith into England; how, and in what time, and by whom it is likely that it might be done before the days of Eleutherius; and whether this first Conversion or sow­ing the Faith in our Island may be ascribed also to Rome, as well as the other more public Conversions afterward? Which if it fall out to be so, then hath the Knight, instead of diminishing our Obligation to Rome, not a little increa­sed the same, by mentioning also a third Conversion from that See, which I for brevities sake, and for that it was less notoriously known than the other two, thought good to pretermit in my Ward-word; but now, being moved thereunto by Sir Francis, who fighteth mightily (for the most part) against himself, alleging matters that make for us, I shall now briefly discuss more in particular this affair.

The begin­ning of prea­ching the Christian Faith, and progress thereof.11. First then, no man can deny but that the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Savior, the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, and their beginning of Preaching presently upon the same, was in the eighteenth year of Tiberius, the third Emperor of Rome; who living five years after, and Caius Caligula other four, there entred Claudius, who reigned fourteen years, and Nero after him as many, who in the last year of his Reign put to death St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Peter having come to Rome, according to Eusebius, in the second year of Claudius, which was eleven years after the Resurrection of Christ,Euseb. in chron. An. Christ. 44. tho' some Authors differ in that account. Eusebius his words, transla­ted out of Greek by St. Jerome, are these: Petrus Apostolus, Natione Galilaeus, Christianorum Pontifex primus, &c. Peter the Apostle of the Country of Galile, the first chief Bishop of Christians, after he had founded the Church of Antioch, went to Rome; and having there preached the Gospel, remained Bishop of the same City for twenty five years together, &c. St. Paul was sent thither Prisoner by Festus, Governor of Judaea, in the second year of Nero's Reign,Euseb. in chron: Beda lib. 1 hist. Ang. cap. 3. that is, fourteen years after St. Peter, according to the same Eusebius.

12. The next year after St. Peter came to Rome, which was the third year of Claudius his Reign, there began to be such War in Britanny, as the Em­peror himself resolved to go in person thither; and so he did, with admiration of the whole world.The first en­trance of Christian Faith into Britanny. And if there were any Christians in Rome at that time, as it is likely there were, (the Christian Faith having been now preached in the world some dozen years after Christ's Ascension) it is very probable that some [Page 5] went with him into Britanny; and that this was the first sparkle of planting Christian Faith and Religion in those Countries; but much more afterward, as their number increased, seeing that this War continued for forty years to­gether; that is to say, to the fourth year of Domitian, when as well extern Hi­stories, as our William of Malmsbury, Malm. in Fastis anno ab urbe condita 838. Christi 86. (to omit other Heathen Writers) doth teach, That Britanny was wholly subdu'd, and brought into a perfect form of Pro­vince. And in this time there being continual going and coming from Rome to Britanny, and Christian Religion every day increasing in Rome, the same could not choose but be kindled also in Britanny, especially for two or three Conside­rations. First, Reasons of the repair of Chri­stians to Bri­tanny under Claudius. for that there were many Britans inhabiting in Rome at that day; some for Hostages, some for their own Pleasures, thereby to fly the Wars and unquiet state of their own Country, others taken and carried by force, as Corn. Tacit. lib. 12. Ann. Caractacus Sylurum Rex, Caractacus King of the Sylures, who inhabi­ted that part of Britanny which at this day we call South-Wales, who being taken, was sent to Rome by Ostorius Governor of that Country for Claudius the Emperor, in the 11th. year of his Empire, and much Nobility with him, as Tacitus in his Story doth relate.

13. Some also, both Romans and of other Nations, being Christened, and flying the Persecution which was in Rome against such Men, especially under Nero, got themselves into Britanny, as a place of more liberty, and less subject to Examinations in such matters, by reason of the Wars and Tumults there. And this is conform to that which Gildas the ancient Britan writeth in his Com­plaint of the Overthrow of Britanny; Gild. de exci­dio Britan. c. 6. where having declared the extreme Cala­mity come upon his Country-men by that War and Victory of the Romans against them under Claudius, addeth presently these words: Interea glaciali frigore rigenti Insulae, &c. ‘In the mean space, while these Wars lasted, there appeared, and imparted it self to this cold Island, (removed further off from the visible Sun, than other Countries) that true and invisible Sun, which in the time of Tiberius Caesar had shewed it self to the whole World, I mean Christ, vouchsafed to impart his Precepts, &c.

14. This is the sum and true sense of his Sentence, tho' the words be some­what intricate, and his stile obscure; which Sir Francis understanding not, citeth this place of Gildas (as before you have heard) to prove that Britanny re­ceived the Gospel under Tiberius Caesar: which he saith not, nor is not likely,Gildas misun­derstood by Sir Francis. (as before hath been declared) both in respect of the small time which Tiberius lived after the Apostles began to preach, as also for that in those days there was no War in Britanny, whereof Gildas speaketh immediately before.

15. And thus much of the Time and Occasion whereby Christian Religion began first in Britany, within the first fifty years after Christ's Ascension; whereto also we may add the Testimony of Nicephorus, Niceph. l. 3. hist. cap. 1. Theod. lib. 9. de curandis Graec. affectib. Sophron. in Ca­talog. and before him of Theo­doretus and Sophronius, ancient Writers, who do testifie, That Brittaniae Insu­lae, &c. The Britan Islands fell in division among the Apostles, in their first par­tition which they made of the World. And it is most like that St. Peter being come to Rome to teach and convert the Western-parts of the World, as Italy, Spain, and France, by name; these Islands also received the same benefit from him. And so say our Authors, whom afterwards I shall allege for his being in Britanny.

16. And this is another point of Obligation betwixt England and Rome, (if Sir Francis can be content to hear it) to wit, that the first Bishop of Rome went in person to convert our Country, as afterward we shall hear grave Authors affirm, to whom I remit me. Tho' who indeed were the very first Teachers in Britanny, and Preachers in particular, or Helpers thereunto, is not so certain; our ancient Historiographers, by reason of the variety of Times, and our Countries Calamities, having left no clear Testimony thereof. True it is, [Page 6] that our later Writers of the English Nation,Holinsh. in de­script. Britan. rom. 1. cap. 9. Cambd. in sua Brit. p. 162. namely Holinshed and Cambden, do affirm, That one Claudia Ruffina a Noble British Lady, living then in Rome, and being the Wife (as they say) of one Pudens a Roman Senator, and Mother of the two famous Christian Virgins Praxedes and Pudentiana, did send divers Books and Messages unto her Friends in Britanny, and thereby helped much to their Conversion. And this may appear (say they) as well by the Salutation sent from her by St. Paul's Pen to Timothy, 2 Tim. 4. when he said, Eubulus, Pudens, Li­nus, Claudia, and all the Brethren, do salute you; as also for that she was the first Hostess or Harbourer of St. Peter and St. Paul at their coming to Rome, The story of Claudia Ruffina a British Lady. it may be conjectur'd that she was one of the first Christians of the City. Where­of it may be inferred, that if it be true that she sent those first Messages, Books or Messengers of Christian Knowledge into her Country, she was also the first, or one of the first Helpers to that Conversion.

17. But now the proofs of this mater are not so strong as I could wish or de­sire, for the Honor of our Country; but let us hear them as they be. First, the proof that she was a Britain, is by certain Verses of Martial the Poet, written unto her in his Epigrams, thus:

Mart. lib. 11. Epig. 35.
Claudia caeruleis cùm sit Ruffina Britannis
Edita, cur Latiae pectora plebis habet?

Whereas Claudia Ruffina is born of the Britans (that paint themselves) how cometh it to pass that she hath gained so much the good wills of the Italian People? And then he goeth forward to praise her also for her Beauty, exceed­ing the Beauty either of Italians or Grecians. He commendeth her besides for three Children which she had born to her Husband, and these Children our men would interpret to be the foresaid two Virgins Praxedes and Pudentiana, together with Novatus their Brother, all Children of Pudens the Senator above-named.

18. But altho' I could wish much (as I said) for the Honor of our Nation, that this thing were true, especially her being the Wife to Pudens, and Mother of the foresaid Children, that were all Saints; yet have I great Arguments to the contrary:Arguments a­gainst the story of Claudia Ruffina. Whereof the first is the silence of all Antiquity in this behalf. Martial also being a Heathen, and Enemy to Christians, would hardly have commended her so much, and written Epigrams to her of her rare Beauty, if she had been a Christian, which was the most odious thing that might be in those days; nor could she be so Beautiful in his time, living under Vespasian and Titus, and dying under Trajan, during whose Reign it appeareth in Martial that these Verses were written; for so much as she must needs be very old in those days,Baron. in Mar­tyr. ad diem 19 Maii. seeing that Pudens his House, placed in declivo Montis Scauri, in the side of the Hill called Scaurus, was the first (by Tradition of all Antiquity) that re­ceived St. Peter, and afterward St. Paul in Rome, and is at this day a Church dedicated to his Daughter St. Pudentiana; and from the arrival of St. Peter to Rome, until the time of Trajan, were almost sixty years. So as if she were Wife of Pudens, and Mother of those Children, when St. Peter came to Rome, she must needs be very aged, when Martial wrote those Verses of her Beauty. Besides this,Bed. Ado. Ʋsu­ard. in Martyr. ad 14 Cal. Ju­nii. our own Bede, Ado Archbishop of Trevers, Usuardus, and other ancient Authors in their Martyrologies, do assign another Wife unto Pudens the Senator, as Mother to the foresaid three Children, whose Name was Sabi­nella; so that, tho' it be true that there was such a British Lady named Claudia Ruffina in Rome commended by Martial under Trajan, and that St. Paul did commend another Claudia and Pudens for Christian Religion in his second Epi­stle to Timothy, (all which is sufficiently proved;) yet that this Claudia Ruffina was the Claudia mentioned by St. Paul, or that the same Ruffina was a Chri­stian, or Wife to Pudens, or Mother of Praxedes and Pudentiana, (which are [Page 7] the principal Points whereof the matter dependeth;) This, I say,Points not proved in the Story of Clau­dia Ruffina. is not pro­ved, nor any part thereof, but only huddl'd up by our later Heretical Writers, under a shew of other Proofs, to wit, that there was such a Claudia that was of Britanny, and another by St. Paul named; which are impertinent. Points to the Principal that should have been proved. And hereby we see that Here­tics are but slight Provers, and very deceitful in all matters, as well Historical as Doctrinal.

19. Wherefore, to let this pass, and to speak of the first Ecclesiastical Teachers of Christian Religion in England, who through the great perturba­tion of Wars (as hath been said) were not so well known,The first Prea­chers of Chri­stian Faith in England. nor distinctly ob­served, nor deliver'd to Writing in those days, as otherwise they might have been; yet find I some mention (tho' dispersed) of three several Apostles of Christ to have Preached there, to wit, St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Simon of Chananee, sirnamed the Zealous; two Apostolical Men also in these first troubled Times to have been sent thither, Aristobulus a Roman, whom St. Paul named in his Epistle to the Romans, and Joseph of Arimathea, a Nobleman of Jury, that buried Christ: Of all which Five we shall speak somewhat in order.

20. And first of St. Peter himself to have been in England (or Britanny) and Preached, Founded Churches, and Ordained Priests and Dencons therein,Metaph. apud Surium, die 23 Junii. pag. 862. is recorded out of Greek Antiquities by Simeon Metaphrastes a Grecian. And it seemeth to be somewhat confirmed by that which Innocentius I. Bishop of Rome hath left written above 1200 years agone, saying, That the first Churches of Italy,Innocent. Epist ad Decent. France, Spain, Africa, Sicilia? and the Islands that lie betwixt them, were found­ed by St. Peter, or his Scholars, or Successors. For which cause Gulielmus Eysen­grenius, in his first Centuria, or hundred years, doth write also,Eyseng. cent 1. part 7. dist. 8. That the first Christian Churches of England were sounded by St. Peter under Nero. Whereunto it may be thought that the foresaid Gildas had relation, when expostulating with the Britain Priests of his time for their Wickedness, (for which the Wrath of God had brought in the English Saxons upon them) he objecteth among other things, Quod sedem Petri Apostoli inverecundis pedibus usurpassent; Gild. p. 2. Ep. de excid. Brit. That they had usurped the Seat St. Peter with unshamefac'd feet: meaning thereby either the whole Church of Britanny first founded by him, or some particular place of Devotion or Church which he had erected. And finally, Alredus Rienuallus, Alred. apud Sur. 5. Jan. pag. 131. an English Abbot of the Order of Cisterce, left written about 500 years agone a certain Revelation or Apparition of St. Peter to an holy man in the time of King Edward the Confessor, shewing him how he had Preached himself in England, and consequently the particular care he had of that Church and Na­tion, &c.

21. If any man ask, What time it might be that St. Peter left Rome, About the time that St. Peter went in­to Britanny. Acts 18. Baron. tom. 1. Annal. pa. 512. An. Christi 58. and went into Britanny, and other Countries round about? Cardinal Baronius, a famous Learned Historiographer of our time, thinketh that it was then when Claudius the Emperor banish'd all the Jews out of Rome, (as in the Acts of the Apostles it is recorded) among whom it is like that St. Peter also, being by Nation a Jew, retired himself, and took that occasion to go into divers Pagan Countries to preach the Faith of Christ, that thing belonging especially to his Charge as Head of the Apostles, according to his own words of himself,Act. 15. Ele­git Deus per os meum, audire gentes verbum Evangelii & credere. ‘God hath chosen and appointed that Gentiles shall hear and believe the Word of the Gospel by my mouth.’ This then was the cause why he was so diligent and careful to go and preach every-where Christian Religion, to the end he might fulfil and accomplish this Will and Ordination of his Master. And this was one cause also (to wit, his absence from Rome) why, according to Baronius and other Learned Men, St. Paul writing to the Romans did not name or salute him in his Epistle, whereof our Heretics do brabble much. And thus much of St. Peter.

[Page 8] Of St. Paul's going into Britanny. Theod. Ep. ad Tim. & in Ps. 116. lib. 9. de curand. grac. af. Sophron. Serm. de nat. Apost.22. Of St. Paul's being in Britanny, there are not so many particular Testi­monies; yet the foresaid Theodoretus doth affirm, That from Rome he made certain Exoursions, in Hispanias, & in Insulas, quae in Mari jacent; into Spain, and the Islands lying in the Sea near about. And in another place (as the Mag­deburgians do cite him) he writeth expresly, That St. Paul Preached to the Bri­tains. And the like hath Sophronius Bishop of Jerusalem in his Sermon of the Nativity of the Apostles. Venantius also Fortunatus, a most Learned and Holy. Man, writing above a thousand years agone of St. Paul's Peregrination, saith thus:

Transit & Oceanum, vel qua facit Insula portum,
Quas (que) Britannus habet terras, at (que) ultima Thyle.

He pass'd over the Ocean-Sea to the Island that maketh a Haven on the other side,Arnold. Mirm. in Theatro. even to the Lands which the Britains do possess, &c. For which respect Arnoldus Mirmannus, in his Theatre of the Conversion of all Nations, affirmeth St. Paul to have pass'd to Britanny in the fourth year of Nero, Anno Domini 59; and there to have Preached, and afterward to have returned again into Italy. And so much of St. Paul; who having twelve or thirteen years permitted him by Christ after his coming to Rome before his death, for helping St. Peter, and for assisting the West-parts of the World, and St. Peter himself almost twice as much: it is not unlike (their Zeal being considered, and the state of times weighed) but that they made many Excursions, as the former Authors do write. And thus much of them.

Of Symon the Zealous. Niceph. lib. 2. hist. cap. 40. Dor. in Synops. Baron. ad diem 28. Octobris. Magdeb. cent. 1. lib. 2. c. 2.23. For the Preaching of the third Apostle, Symon Chananaeus, sirnamed the Zealous, we have the Testimony of Nicephorus out of Greek Monuments, to whom agreeth Dorotheus a very ancient Writer; as also the Greek Martyrology, as testifieth Baronius in his Annotations upon the Roman Martyrology. And by this also we see, that albeit St. Peter had undertaken to preach to the West-part of the World, yet did other Apostles also help him therein; as St. Paul in Italy and Spain, and this Symon in Britanny and other places, and St. Philip in France, &c.

Of Aristobulus's being in Bri­tanny. Mir. in theatro de conver. gen­tium, pag. 43. Dor. in Synops. Baron. ad diem 25 Martii. Rom 6.24. Of Aristobulus also, St. Peter's Scholar, do testifie in like manner the foresaid Authors, Mirmannus, Dorotheus, Baronius out of the Greek Martyro­logy, that he was sent by St. Peter into Britanny, and there made a Bishop. And that Aristobulus was a principal known Christian in Rome before St. Paul's arrival there, it appeareth by the Epistle of the said Apostle to the Romans, where he saluteth him in these words; Salute those that be of the house of Aristo­bulus: Nor is it read that ever this Aristobulus came back from Britanny to Italy again. And this of him.

Of Joseph of Arimathea's coming into Britanny.25. Of Joseph of Arimathea his coming into France, and his sending thence into Great Britanny, either by St. Philip (as some say) who preached then in Gaul, or (as Others hold) by St. Peter himself, as he passed that way to and from Britanny; and how he obtained a place to exercise an Eremitical Life for him and his ten Companions in the Island called Avallonia, where Glastonbury after was builded: albeit I find no very certain or ancient Writer to affirm it, yet because our later Historiographers, for two hundred years past or more, do hold it have come down by Tradition,Jo. capg. in SS. Britan. Catal. Polid. Virg. in hist. Ang. li. 1. Cambd. in desc. Brit. pag. 162. Harpesf. in hist. Eccl. f. 3. (and namely Johannes Capgravius, a Learned Man of the Order of St. Dominick, and others after him.) I do not mean to dispute the matter here, but rather to admire and praise the Heavenly Providence and Goodness of Almighty God, who in these very first days of his Gospel procured for so remote an Island so excellent Spiritual Fathers, Founders, and Patrons, both of contemplative and active Life in Christian Religion; the first Four which I have named being all Preachers, and this Fifth having come out of Jury unto Marsilia in France with St. Mary Magdalen and [Page 9] her Company, and seen her extraordinary Austerity of Contemplative Life, and Zeal of Solitude, and doing Penance therein; he began that kind of Life also in Britanny, as our Writers do testifie, and namely Cambden among others doth observe. Solitariam vitam amplexi sunt, Cambd. in desc. Provin. Belg. Britann. &c. ut severo vitae genere ad Cru­cem preferendam se exercerent. Joseph and his Company did take upon them a solitary life, that with more tranquility they might attend to holy Learn­ing, and with a severe kind of conversation exercise themselves to the bearing of Christ's Cross.’

26. And albeit John Fox (out of whom Sir Francis hath stoln all that he saith in this matter, and most of the rest that be Historical, tho' suppressing his Name) doth cavil upon this man's going into England; making him first a Preacher, and not an Eremite; and then saying, That he came not from Rome, but out of Jury and France, Fox's Cavil­lations refu­ted. Cypr. Ep. 45. and consequently that the Church of Bri­tanny is not the Daughter of the Church of Rome, nor had not her first Birth or Institution from thence; (and yet St. Cyprian glorieth in that his Church of Carthage in Africa, and all the other Churches under her in Mauritania and Numidia, had received their first Institution of Christian Faith from Rome, as from their Mother:) All the World may see that this is but a foolish and ab­surd Cavil of Fox; for that albeit St. Joseph came not immediately from Rome, nor was a Roman by Birth, (as none of the Apostles were;) yet he taught in England the Roman Faith, that is to say, the same Faith that St. Peter, and St. Paul, and Aristobulus, that came immediately from Rome, had taught be­fore him, or did teach jointly with him in Britanny. Of which Roman Faith St. Paul had written to the Romans themselves before the going of St Joseph into Britanny: Fides vestra annuntiatur in universo mundo; Rom. 1. Your Faith is preach­ed and divulged throughout the whole World; signifying, That the Christian Faith planted in Rome by St. Peter, was derived already for a Platform into all other parts of the World round about. For which cause Tertullian writing in Africa, said, That the Authority of his Church came from Rome. Tert. l. de pre­scrip. cap. 36. Ʋnde nobis quoque authorit as praesto est, saith he. And St. Cyprian (as before hath been noted) called the Roman Church, Matricem caeterarum omnium, the Mother and Origi­nal Church of all other Churches. And St. Innocentius also,Cyp. in Ep. 45. whose Holiness St. Augustin so much admired, doth affirm, That all Churches generally of the West-parts of the World were founded by St. Peter and his Disciples. And St. Angustin himself had no better way to defend his Church of Hippo, and other of those Countries, to be truly Catholic against the Donatists, Aug. in Psal. contra part. Donat. than to say, that they were Daughters and Children of the Church of Rome, though some of them were very near as far off in distance of place, as England at this day.

27. Well then, by this we see that the shift invented to deliver us from all Obligation to the See of Rome for our two Conversions, under Eleutherius, Heretical wrangling turning to their own confusion. and Gregory I. by saying that some had preached Christian Religion first in Britanny, before these two public Conversions fell out, is a foolish shift, and diminisheth not our said Obligation, but increaseth rather the same. For if this first Preach­ing and first Faith taught in England by our first Preachers, was the Roman Faith, and deriv'd principally from the City and Church of Rome, by the Preaching of St. Peter and St. Paul, Aristobulus and others, as hath been decla­red; and if the very first Beams or Sparkles thereof, before any Preachers per­haps were sent, came by the access of some Roman Christians upon the Wars and other occasions, which before hath been declared; then all this rather multiplieth our Bonds to Rome, than diminisheth the same. And so instead of two Conversions from Rome, (whereof I spake in my Ward-word) now we find three. And consequently a triple Obligation is come upon us for a double.

[Page 10]28. And this shall suffice to the first Answer of Sir Francis, or rather simple shift, by which he would avoid our Obligation to Rome, persuading us that our first Preachers came not from thence, but from Asia, and the East Church. Of which Argument, though I have said more here than I meant to have done; yet for that Sir Francis, and all other Heretics of our time, for hatred to Rome, do seek certain Reasons, or rather foolish Conjectures, to prove the same, I shall be forced to say somewhat more thereof in the Chapter following.

CHAP. II.

An Answer to certain Cavillations, Lies, and Falsifications of Sir Francis, and his Masters, Fox and the Magdeburgians, about the first Preaching of Christian Religion in Britanny.

ALbeit the fond heretical wrangling before rehearsed against Rome, deser­veth not so large a Confutation as I have already bestowed thereon, es­pecially in so clear a matter as are the manifold benefits which our Island hath received from the See of Rome; yet for that it seems to be a general Conspira­cy of all Heretics of our time, as well Lutherans as Zwinglians, Calvinists and Puritans, to take from Rome (if they could) all the merit of bringing Christian Faith into our Country, I am forced in this place to stand longer upon the matter than otherwise I would, for that there followeth also another Conse­quence hereof,Iren. cont. hae­reses. Tert. de prae­scrip. Cyp. l. 4. c. 8. de unit. Eccles. A consequence of the ancient Fathers to be noted. of no small moment, which St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Augustin, and others, are wont to urge greatly against Heretics, to wit, That if our Church be the Daughter and Disciple of the Church of Rome, then ought it to run unto her in all doubts and difficulties of matters of Faith. Wherefore we shall briefly discuss the truth of this Affair.

2. Besides the Proofs set down in the former Chapter how the chief of our first Preachers came from Rome immediately, as St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Ari­stobulus; and that the other, as St. Symon of Chananae, and St. Joseph of Arima­thea, if they did not come from Rome, yet preached the Roman Faith conform to the Preachings of St. Peter and St. Paul: there remain two other Conje­ctures also very probable to the same effect, to prove that St. Joseph was spe­cially directed into Britanny by the same Apostles. The first is, for that King Inas above 900 years past, when he laid the Foundation of Glastonbury-Abby in memory of St. Joseph and his Fellows that had lived a solitary Life there, he caused these Verses to be written in the Church, as Cambden and others testifie,

Guil. Cambd. in desc. Brit. de provin. Belg. An. Dom. 690.
Anglia plande lubens, mittit tibi Roma salutem:
Fulgor Apostolicus Glasconiam irradiat.

Be glad, England, for that Rome sendeth Health to thee, and Apostolical Bright­ness doth lighten Glastonbury. Which could not well be spoken, if the coming of these Saints and first Inhabiters there, had not some relation to Rome, and to the Apostles that sent them.

B. Rheu. l. 3. rerum German. sub Hello. Pant. de viris Germ. part 3. Stumpf. chron. Helvet. l. 7. c. 22.3. Moreover I find in the ancient Chronicles of the Helvetians, and sundry Authors (as B. Rhenanus in his Story of Germany, yea and Pantaleon an Here­tic, and others) do testifie, That one Suetonius, a Nobleman's Son of Britanny, being converted in Britanny by such Christians as first planted the Faith there, and called (after his Baptism) Beatus, was sent by them to Rome to St. Peter [Page 11] Apostolorum Corypheo (as the Story saith) that is,Eyseng. cent. 2. part 5. dist. 2. The story of St. Beatus a Britan, Scholar to St. Peter. to the chief Head of the Apo­stles, to be better instructed and confirmed; who returning backward again from Rome towards Britanny through Switzerland, found such flocking of People unto him, and such propension to Christian Religion, as he stay'd continually among them, and built himself an Oratory to exercise a Monasti­cal Life there, near unto a Town called in their Language Ʋndersewen, not far from the Lake of Than, where he dy'd about the year of Christ 110.An Dom. 110. And for that this man apply'd himself to a Monastical Life, and brought the same purpose with him out of Britanny, (as it seemeth,) the conjecture is not im­probable, but that he was converted and sent to Rome to St. Peter by St. Joseph and his Fellows that followed the same Life in Britanny, and that they had par­ticular correspondence with the said Apostle in that behalf.

4. And thus much being added for confirmation of that which was said and discussed in rhe former Chapter about the first Preaching and Receiving of the Faith in Britanny; there remaineth now,Whether the first Preachers in Britanny were of the East Church, or West, that we see the Objections which Sir Francis and his Men and Masters do bring against this, to prove that the first Teachers of Christian Faith in Britanny were rather Grecians, and of the East Church in Asia, than of the West Roman Church: For which Assertion having no Author at all that ever wrote thereof, nor any man living or dead that hitherto ever affirmed it, beside themselves, or before Luther's days; they are forced to build their whole imagination (I mean Sir Francis, and his Master Sir John Fox, and Fox his Masters again Illyricus Vigandus Judex, and Faber, that make the Quadrillio, or Round-Table of the Magdeburgtans in Saxony) upon this bare Conjecture, and fond Inference, That for so much as in Bede's time some in Britanny observed the day of Easter after the fashion of some East Churches, (for all did not so use it,) therefore it was like that the first Preach­ers of that Island came not from Rome, The foolish Inference of Heretical Ca­villers. (which these men cannot abide to hear) but from the East; as though (forsooth) this abuse might not have entred after those first Preachers, though they had come from Rome. But let us hear their words about this matter.

5. First, Sir Francis writeth thus: Bede our Country-man doth testifie, Wastw. p. 192. that in his time this Land kept Easter after the manner of the East Church, by which may be gathered, that the first Preachers came hither from the East-parts of the World, and not from Rome. Mark, I pray you, the Knight's good gathering: Might not a man as well argue thus; That divers Reliques of the Pelagian, or other anci­ent Heresies, were found in some parts of Britanny in Bede's time; Ergo, The first Preachers in Britanny were Pelagians, or other Heretics? But let us hear John Fox, who taught Sir Francis this Argument, though the other were not so grateful a Scholar as to name him. I take (saith he) the Testimony of Bede,Fox pag. 95. Col. 2. nu. 78. where he affirmeth, that in his time, and almost a thousand years after Christ here in Britanny Easter was kept after the manner of the East Church, in the Full of the Moon, what day of the Week soever it fell on, and not on the Sunday, as we do now; whereby it is to be collected, that the first Preachers in this Land have come out from the East-part of the World, where it was so used, rather than from Rome.

6. Here you see the Argument more fully set down, and the same foolish Collection made that was before. For except it could be proved that this Er­ror of keeping Easter-day with the Jews had begun and endured in Britanny from the Apostles time downward, (which cannot be shewed, but rather the contrary is certain, as after you shall hear) this Collection is not worth a rush. And it is to be noted by the way, that as Fox cannot tell any Tale lightly with­out some notorious Lye, so here be two very manifest: The first,Bed. l. 2. Eccl. hist. c. 4, 19. & l. 3. c. 25. that St. Bede affirmeth this Custom of keeping Easter with the Jews to have been here in Britanny in his time, as though all Britanny had used it; whereas in divers places he doth attribute the same to the Scots, that dwelt in the Island of Ireland [Page 12] principally, as also to some of them that dwelt in Britanny, and to some Bri­tans themselves,Two Lies of Fox. but all the English Church was free from it: So as John Fox his Speech of Britanny in general is both false and fraudulent. But the other clause, That St. Bede testifieth this, for almost 1000 years after Christ, is foolish and impudent, seeing it is notorious that St. Bede dy'd in the year 735, which is almost 300 years short of Fox his Account, and consequently could not testifie a thing so long after his death. But this the Reynard juggleth, to make St. Bede seem to be a late Writer; whom they cannot abide, for that he setteth down the Beginning and Progress of our Church far different from theirs.

7. But I think good to put down also the words of the Magdeburgians about this matter,The Magde­burgians Sen­tence about the Conversi­on of Britanny. Magd. cent. 2. c. 2. p. 9. (out of whom Fox took his Argument, and the Knight of the Fox) to the end it may appear how one Heretic teacheth another (though of different Sects) to cavil, lye, and cogg, and do agree all in one Spirit of Malig­nity, though they differ in Opinions. Thus then these Captain-Lutherans do write of this matter in their famous lying and deceitful Centurial Story: Quis fuerit, qui primùm in Britannia Evangelium docuer it, &c. Who was the first that taught the Gospel in Britanny, is not clear; the thing that seemeth nearest to the Truth is, that the British Church was planted at the beginning by Grecian Teachers, and such as came from the East, and not by Romans, or other of the West-Church. And to this we are moved by two Conjectures: First, That Peter Abbot of Cluniack writing to St. Bernard, saith, That the Scotos Graeco more suo tempo­re solitos olim Pascha celebra­re, non Romano. Scots in his time were wont in old time to celebrate Easter-day after the manner of the Grecians, and not of the Romans: And secondly, for that Geffry the Cardinal, who lived about the year of Christ 700, doth testifie in his Story of Britanny, lib. 8. cap. 4. That the Britans would in no wise admit the younger Augustin, Legat of Gregory the Great, neither acknow­ledge any Primacy of the Bishop of Rome over them; which is another clear sign that Religion was not planted there by Romans. And albeit Pope Innocentius I. in his Epistle distinctione 12. doth affirm on the contrary side, that all the Occidental Churches, and those of Africa, were founded by Peter, or by his Disciples or Succes­sors; yet we judge that to have been spoken by him rather of desire of a little Vain-glory, or of Temporal Power, than for that the Truth is so, or may be proved out of Stories.

8. Thus our Magdeburgenses, whose words I have caused to be noted more at length, by that they require some consideration; and that by these sew, the Reader may judge of the quality of that whole huge lying story of theirs, which our Fox hath followed in his Acts and Monuments, with above 10000 false Additions of his own; and I speak far within number, when I say 10000. But let us return to our present Story.

The examina­tion of the Magdeburgians false dealing about the con­version of Bri­tanny.9. First whereas they say, That to them it seemeth nearest to the Truth, That Grecians and other of the East-Church, and not of the West-Church, were the first Preachers in Britanny; it must either be very imprudently spoken against their own Conscience, if they have read that which I before have set down out of divers Authors, (they having no one Author in the World of their own side that ever wrote so, or signified so, before themselves;) or if they have not read these Authors alledged, then it is great Presumption in them to take upon them to write so Universal an History of all Matters, Times, and Nations, as they profess, without procuring first to read the ancient Authors and Writers thereof, about common and vulgar things at least. But hatred and malice to Rome doth make them blind, and so rather to run into all kind of Absurdities, than to yield any Praise or commendable thing to Rome, or to the Bishops there­of. But let us go forward to examin more particulars, for there are store in this little Story or Relation about Britanny.

[Page 13]10. Their first Conjecture or Argument why Britanny was converted by Grecians and not by Romans, is, as you have heard, for that Petrus Cluniacensis writeth, Scotos Graeco more suo tempore, solitos olim Pascha celebrare; That the Scots in his time were accustomed in old time to celebrate Easter day after the manner of the Grecians. What sense hath this? The Scots in His Time did celebrate in Old Time. What sense, I say, or construction can this have? I confess that some Scots of old time, (especially in Ireland and Orcades, as divers Britans also) did hold the Asian Custom of celebrating the Easter together with the Jews. Bed. hist. Ang. l. 2. c. 4, 19. & l. 3. c. 3, 25. And this needed not to be prov'd by so late an Author as Cluniacen­sis, for that St. Bede 300 years before Petrus Cluniacensis doth testifie the same in divers places of his Works. Albeit how the Scots in Cluniacensis his time did (as these men say) celebrate in old time Easter with the Grecians, (the Greek Church at that time being not different in this point from the Roman, though some in Asia minor were) this cannot be understood by any reasonable man. And it may be it was written after Dinner by these good Germans, when they had drunk hard, and so I leave it to their own Explication; though in what sense soever they speak it, or it may be understood, a most fond Conje­cture it is for that which they pretend, (as we have shewed) to wit, that the first Preachers of Britanny came from the East.

11. About the second Conjecture upon the words of Geffry of Monmouth, About Geffry of Monmouth made Bishop [...] An. 1152. whom they call Geffry the Cardinal, there are as many more unlearned and ma­licious Escapes to be noted. For first, he was never Cardinal in his life, as all our Histories do make it plain; but first a Monk, then Archdeacon of Monmouth, then preferred by King Stephen to the Bishoprick of St. Asaph in North-Wales in the year of Christ 1152, as both Matthew Paris and Matthew of Westminster do affirm in their several Histories handling that year. Neither did any man to our knowledge ever call him Cardinal, but only a certain Venetian School-master named Ponticus Virunnius, who living almost a hundred years agone,Vide Praef. in lib. rerum Brit. Gaufredi, &c. Heidelberg. impress. 1587. translated some part of this Geffry's British History, or rather contracted the same into an Epitome, for the pleasure of a certain Noble Family in Venice, who in old time had come out of Britanny. And this man, either of Error, or Flattery to that Family, or both, calleth him Cardinal forsooth, against the clear Testimony of all others that lived with him; as soon after his Death did the foresaid Matthew Paris and Guil. Neobrigensis, long before this other late Venetian Schoolmaster.

12. And of this our Magdeburgians could not be ignorant, though they would needs make Geffry of Monmouth a Cardinal also; for that in some things he sheweth himself to favor the old Britans against St. Augustin that came from Rome. Neither could they be ignorant also of the time wherein Geffry lived, (except they will confess themselves to be very unskilful and gross Compani­ons indeed) seeing so many Authors do testifie the same, to wit, in the year of Christ 1152, in which year he was made Bishop of St. Asaph, and lived divers years after. So as our German Heretics appointing him, for his more credit, to have lived in the year of Christ 700, do add of their own benevolence to his Antiquity 450 years, which is somewhat more than Fox took from St. Bede a little before, to discredit him, and make him seem a young Author.Notable Falsi­fication of Fox and Magdebur­gians in cor­rupting of Times. And these Confederates do proceed so ridiculously in this kind of Cozenage, as the one affirming St. Bede to have lived 1000 years after Christ, and the other that Geffry of Monmouth lived 700, they come between them both to make the said Geffry to be 300 years elder than St. Bede, whereas he was indeed 450 years younger, the difference is in all 750 years. And this is not of Error, as hath been shewed, and is most plain, but of Envy, desiring to prefer Geffry, that seemeth to favour them sometimes in his Narrations about St. Augustin, and to put back St. Bede, that is every where and wholly against them. And if [Page 14] you find this juggling in so small and short a matter as this is; imagin what passeth in their whole Volumes: I mean both of Fox and the Magdeburgians, as before I have noted. And thus much of the Title and Time of Geffry of Mon­mouth: Now let us come to his Words and Assertions.

13. First, in his sixth Book and fourth Chapter quoted by our Magdeburgi­ans, there is no such matter handled at all as they mention, concerning the Strife between the Britans and St. Augustin; nor in the next two Books following, nor in all the four Chapters of any of the rest. But in the eleventh Book and seventh Chapter, talking of the coming of the foresaid Augustin into England, he writeth thus:

Galfr. Monu­metens lib. 11. cap. 7. Intereà missus est Augustinus à beato Gregorio, &c. ‘In the mean space was sent into Britanny Augustin by Blessed Gregory, to preach to English-men the Word of God, who were yet blind in Pagan Superstition, &c. Though among the Britans that Christianity was yet in force, which being received from the time of Eleutherius the Pope, had never failed until that day, &c. Among whom there was an Abbot of Bangor named Dinoot, that had above 2000 Monks under his charge, who answered to Augustin, when he requir'd Subjection of the British Bishops, and that they would joyn with him to convert the English Nation, That the Britans owed no Subjection unto him, nor would bestow the labour of Preaching upon their Enemies, seeing the Britans had an Archbishop of their own, and that the Saxons took from them their Country; for which cause they hated them extremely, nor did not esteem their Religion, nor would communicate with them, more than with Dogs.’

14. Lo here all that is to be found in Geffry of Monmouth to this purpose; which is nothing else, as you see, but a passionate and choleric Answer of the Britans, as of men afflicted and exasperated. Here is no one word of their not acknowledging the Popes Supremacy, (as the Magdeburgians write) but only that they acknowledged not the Superiority of Augustin over the Britans, seeing he was only sent to the English; and that the Authority of their own Archbi­shop was not taken away by his coming, for any thing they yet knew, but remained as before. Which question of Jurisdiction between two Archbishops falleth out daily, even where the Pope's Authority is acknowledged; and so we see that it is a manifest Lie,An absurd kind of reaso­ning of the Magdeburgians. which the Magdeburgians affirm so resolutely, That the Britans would not acknowledge any Primacy of the Bishop of Rome over them: For they speak (as you see) of Augustin's Authority, and not of the Bi­shop of Rome, from whom we read not that he had yet shewed to them any Authority to place him over their Archbishop; and consequently it is a vain and malicious Inference which the Magdeburgians here do make out of this Answer of the Britans, (if it had been true) that forasmuch as they admitted not St. Augustin's Authority, they acknowledged not the Primacy of Rome, and that this again was a clear sign that Religion was not planted in Britanny by the Romans.

15. For how clear is this, I pray you? or how hangeth this together? might not this Error of not acknowledging the Power of the Roman See, (if it had been among them) have crept in after the first planting of Christian Faith? Will these Germans, or Sir Francis or Fox their Scholars, deny that Ravennae in Italy (for Example) was converted by St. Apollinaris sent thither from St. Pe­ter, Petrus Chrys. Serm. de S. A­pollinari. Et Petrus Damian. de eodem, Mombr. tom. 2. Vide Sur. 23. Julii. for that afterwards the Bishops of that place for many years waxing proud and presumptuous upon the presence and Court of the Exarchs and Vice-Roys of the Emperours residing amongst them, did refuse to yield to the Bishops of Rome? Or for that England at this day, by Error of Protestant Religion, refu­seth to acknowledge any Subjection in Spiritual Affairs to Rome, will our men deny that the English Nation was ever converted to Christian Faith from Rome? [Page 15] Who seeth not the impertinency of this kind of Argument? And yet with such-like kind of Arguments and Inferences, these absurd People do deceive the World.

16. But the last point of these Germans Assertion about Pope Innocentius I. is a most egregious Impudency to say of so holy a Father, so highly commended by St. Augustin, and other Fathers that lived with him and after him,Centuriatores Magdburg. Flaccus Iuyric. Jo. Vigand. Matt. Judex. Basilius Faber. That he spake of Vain-glory, and desire of Temporal Power, when he wrote above 1200 years agone, That all the West-Churches (and the British amongst the rest) were founded by St. Peter, or his Disciples and Successors. And let any indifferent or prudent Reader in the World consider of what weight these words of the Germans may be, when having said That albeit Innocentius I. wrote so, yet we judge that to have been spoken of Vain-glory, &c. A proud Censure of so great a man by three or four poor Companions, that wrote Books for their Bread, and begg'd the same commonly of every Prince to whom they dedicated their several Cen­turies! That so contemptible People (I say) should presume to touch the Ho­nor and Truth of so great and worthy a Saint and Father as was holy Innocentius, so called commonly by St.Augustin, St Hierom, St. Basil, Orosius, and others;Aug. tom. 1 p. 36. & Ep. 91. ad Conc. Carth. Hier. ep. ad De­met. Basil. ep. ad innocent. Orosius in hist. lib. 2. and whom all the rest of the World together with these men admired and respected in his Life for such. Sancti Innocentii (saith St. Hierom to the Virgin Demetriades) qui Apostolicae Cathedrae, & beat ae memoriae Anastasii successor & filius est tene as fidem, nec pergrinam, quamvis prudens callidá (que) videaris, doctrinam recipias. Hold the Faith of holy Innocentius, which is the Successor and Son (in the Seat of St. Pe­ter's Chair) of Anastasius of blessed Memory, that went before him; and do not admit any new or foreign Doctrin, though thou maist seem perhaps wise and subtle to thy self.

17. Thus wrote St. Hierom, which is another manner of Judgment of Inno­centius, both for his Holiness of Life, and Authority of Place to direct men in Religion, than the Magdeburgians give, who would make him Vain-glorious. But thus they use all ancient Fathers that are against them. And so much for this Chapter.

CHAP. III.

The former Controversie is more particularly handled, how the Grecian Cu­stom of celebrating Easter-day after the Fashion of the Jews came first into the British and Scottish Church; and how untruly and wickedly John Fox and John Bale do behave themselves about this matter.

BUT now let us return (if you please) to speak a word or two more of the entrance of the foresaid Custom of celebrating Easter with the Jews into Britanny; to wit, how, and about what time, or upon what occasion,That the cu­stom of cele­brating Easter with the Jews came not in with the first Preachers. it is probable that it entred. Wherein first it seemeth most certain, that it could not be brought in by the first Preachers of Christian Religion, to John Fox and Sir Francis and the Magdeburgians would have men believe. And this is pro­ved as well by the Reasons and Authorities alleged Sup. c. 1. before, to shew that the first Preachers in Britanny either came from Rome, or preached Roman Doctrin; as also by the Reasons following.

First, for that if Damianus, and other Preachers sent into Britanny by Pope Reason I Eleutherius, to instruct King Lucius and the rest in Christian Faith, about the year 180, had found any such Custom there, contrary to the Roman Use from whence they were sent, they would have removed the same, or at least wise [Page 16] have made some mention thereof; forsomuch as at that time the contrary Custom of celebrating Easter upon the Sunday was public in the Use of the Roman Church; and Pope Pius I. had made a Decree for confirming the same against the Asian Use about 40 years before their going into Britanny, to wit, in the year 144, as Euseb. in chron. an. 144. Bed. l. 2. c. 2.4. & 19. Item l. 3. c. 25. Eusebius testifieth.

Reason II 3. Secondly, St. Bede declaring in many places of his Works the Contention that was in Britanny about this Point, as well between St. Augustin and the British Bishops, as between St. Laurentius and others his Successors with the Irish and Scottish Nation; he sheweth in his second Book what Letters Honorius the Pope, about the year of Christ 635, as also Pope John IV. some few years after,Bed. l. 2. hist. cap. 19. wrote to the said Nations about this Error, Pro eodem errore corrigendo (satth St. Bede) literas eis magna Auctoritate atque Eruditione plenas direxit. The Pope wrote them Letters full of Authority and Learning for the correcting this Error. And then Beda addeth further, That Pope John in the beginning of his Epistle declared manifestly, that this Heresie was sprung up among them very lately, nuperrimè temporibus istis exortam esse haeresim hanc, that this Heresie was sprung up very lately in those days. And that not the whole Irish and Scottish Nations, but some of them only, were infected therewith, so as this was never universally received among them, nor begun by An­tiquity.

Reason III 4. The third Reason is, for that St. German and his Fellows going twice into Britanny almost 200 years before this time mentioned, to resist the Pelagian Here­sie, never made mention of this other Heresie of Quartadecimani, or of Paschatitae, (for so they were called, as after shall be shewed;) which yet was condemned for an Heresie more than 200 years before that again, to wit, under Pope Vi­ctor, as hath been said, and so held in all Ages after, especially after the Coun­cil of Nice had reproved the same, and allowed of the Roman Catholic Use; as not only St. Beda, Bed. l. 3. c. 19. in the place before alledged out of the words of St. Wilfrid, doth testifie,Euseb. l. 3. de vit. Constant. cap. 17, & 18. but the same also appeareth by the Emperor Constantine's own Letters registred by Eusebius in his Life. All which being so, it is more than probable that St. German would have said or written somewhat of so great a Controversie, if he had found the contrary Use in practise among the Britans in his days.

Reason IV 5. A fourth Reason may be the Testimony of Florentinus Vigorniensis, who writeth in the year 628 of his Chronicle,Flor. Vigorn. in Chron. an. 628. Eo tempore errorem Quartadecimano­rum in observatione Paschatis apud Scotos exortum, Honorius Papa redarguit, &c. At that time, Honorius the Pope did reprove the Error of the Quartadecimans in celebrating Easter, sprung up among the Scottish-men. Thus wrote he upon the point of 500 years past, whereby it is evident that he held not this Custom to have come into Britanny with the first Preachers of Chri­stianity.

Reason V A Council in England about celebrating of Easter-day. Bed. l. 3. hist. c. 25.6. Finally, it appeareth by St. Bede, That a Synod or Council was gathered of purpose in Northumberland about this matter, in time of our English Primi­tive Church, in the year of Christ 664, and the 22d of the Reign of King Os­wyn, who was there present, with King Egfride his Son. The chief Disputers in this Council on the Scots behalf, for the Eastern Custom, was one Colman, an Abbot first, and after Bishop of Lindisferne, together with Bishop Cedda, and some others. But in defence of the Roman Use were Agilbertus Bishop of the West-Saxons, and Wilfride an Abbot of Northumberland, afterward Arch­bishop of all the Kingdom of Northumbers, Vir doctissimus, &c. a most Learn­ed Man (as St. Bede calleth him) who had studied both in Italy and France, &c.

[Page 17]7. The Question was handled about the Antiquity (as hath been said) of both Uses and Customs,A Synod and Disputation a­bout the Con­troversie of celebrating Easter in Engl. but especially of that of the East among the Scots and British. And albeit that B. Colman did allege the Tradition of Asia. from St. John the Evangelist downward, as also the Writing of one Anatolius a Learned Asian Bishop, that had written thereof almost 200 years before; yet for the Antiquity thereof among the Scots and British Nation, he alleged no greater Continuance than from the Abbot Columba, who lived not full 70 years before that day; for that he died (as John Bale testifieth) in the year of Christ 598.Bed. l. 3. c. 25. Nunquid Reverendissimum Patrem nostrum Columbam (saith B. Col­man) & Successores ejus viros Deo dilectos, qui eodem modo Pascha fecerunt, divi­nis Paginis contraria sapuisse vel egisse credendum est? Shall we think that our most Reverend Father Columba and his Successors, being men so beloved of God as they were, did understand or do contrary to holy Scriptures in celebrating Easter as we do now? &c.

8. Whereunto St. Wilfrid answered both learnedly and piously, That this Error might be tollerable in them that lived so distant from the See-Apostolic,The Answer of St. Wilfrid for the Roman Use. in a Corner of the World, so long as it was held without Obstinacy; they be­ing perhaps pious men, that at the beginning brought it in from the East-parts, and continued the same upon simplicity, delighted with the facility thereof, and not understanding so easily the Catholic Roman Calculation, which had many great difficulties, as after shall appear. Simplicitate rustica, saith he, sed intentione pia, &c. ad quos Catholicus Calculator non advenerat: By a rude kind of simplicity, but Godly intention, they erred, &c. no learned Catholic Cal­culator of Times and Days having yet come to them. Of which point of Cal­culation we shall speak somewhat more presently after.

9. But yet here now we see by this Disputation and Conference of that Sy­nod, That B. Colman himself did not ascribe the beginning of this Custom unto the first Preachers of Ireland and Scotland, Marian. Scot. in Chron. an. 430, & 432. Prosp. in chron. eod. an. Bed. l. 2. c. 19. nor yet unto St. Palladius nor Patri­tius their known Apostles, that 200 years before that time were sent by Pope Celestinus to convert both Nations in the year 430 and 432, as all Authors do agree. And consequently it is most probable to be true, that which Pope John IV. before-named writeth unto Thomianus, Chromanus, and other Scottish Bishops, and to their whole Clergy, That this Custom of celebrating Easter upon the Full Moon of March, was begun but of late among them, (I mean among the Scots dwelling in Ireland, and in the Islands near about, for that of them prin­cipally St. Bede professeth himself to speak.) And thereby insinuateth, that by them also the same was imparted with the Picts and Britans and other Scots that lived in the Isle of Britanny. And by this the Reader may see, how good an Argument it is which the Magdeburgians and John Fox do use and urge so much; to wit, That forsomuch as this Greek or Asian Custom of celebrating Easter with the Jews was found among the Scots and some Britans, in St. Bede's time and afterward: Ergo, It is likely that the first Preachers of Britanny came not from Rome, neither were of the Roman Religion, but rather of the East-parts; of which Sequel I have shewed the Absurdity before in the prece­dent Chapter.

10. But now perhaps you will ask me, How and when it is probable that this Custom came in among the Britans? Whereunto I answer, First, When & how the Eastern Custom came in among the Britans. for the Britans, that some are of opinion it was brought into Britanny it self by Pela­gius the Heretic, or some of his Followers, about the year of Christ 420, who being a Britan born, and a Monk (as some think) of the famous Monastery of Bangor, travelled into Italy first, and then into Sicilia, Aegypt, and other East-parts of the World, to learn and study, as he professed; and by that professi­on of Hypocrisie he crept into many Learned and Godly mens special Love and Friendship: and above others he entred with St. Paulinus Bishop of Nola, and [Page 18] by him with St. Augustin. Aug. Ep. 105. & de dono per­sever. l. 2. c. 20. But afterward being discovered by St. Hierom to have taught Heresies in secret, together with his Fellow and Disciple Celestius, (who by the description made of him by St. Hierom may seem to have been a Scottish-man,Hierom. praef. in l. in Ezech. for he saith, Habet enim progeniem Scoticae gentis de Britannorum vicinia, for he hath his Off-spring from the Scottish Nation near to the Britans;) where­fore these two men being now discovered to be Heretics, and condemned by Innocentius I. and by divers Synods, are said for very shame to have retired in­to Britanny, and being deadly Enemies to the Pope and Church of Rome, that had condemned them, and considering that the Eastern Custom of celebrating Easter was opposite to the same Church, and yet defended by many; it is thought probable enough that they might bring in the same.Herm. Contr. an. 430. chron. Wherewith doth seem to concur somewhat the words of Hermannus Contractus a Chronicler, that wrote above 500 years ago; who writing of the year of Christ 630, saith, His temporibus Haeresis de Paschate, & Pelagiana, Britanniam turbat; In these days the Heresie about the celebrating of Easter, and the Pelagian, did much trouble Britanny. By which words it seemeth that he would signifie that these two Heresies grew to be all one in England, and consequently like to be brought in by the selt-same men.

11. But yet, all this notwithstanding, it seemeth much more probable, ac­cording to St. Bede's History, and the Reasons before-alleged, that this Use of Easter came not in with Pelagius, but long after; for that St. German, and St. Lupus, and others, made no mention thereof; but especially for that the Writings of the Popes Honorius and John IV. to the Scottish Nation and Bishops before-mentioned, say, That this Custom of Easter was newly sprung up in their days: It seemeth more probable (I say) that this Custom was imparted to the Britans by the said Scottish Nation, and namely by those that dwelt (as hath been said) in Ireland, or in the Islands of Hebrides. But how they them­selves gat it, is not so certain; yet the most probable seemeth, that either some of them travelling into the East-Countries, or others of those East-Countries co­ming to them, brought the Observation thereof: For albeit ever after that the same was condemned by Pope Victor, and the Truth established by the Council of Nice, Constant. Epist. ad Episcopos a­pud Euseb. l. 3. c. 18. de vita ejus. the whole Western Church, yea also (as Constantine saith) the far great­er part of all East, held the Roman Use; yet was not the contrary so extin­guished, but that divers Churches of Asia minor, did hold and practise the same for a long time; especially certain Heretics, as the Novatians, Montanists, Priscillianists, Sabbatians, and others that seemed of the Devouter sort, and therewith deceived many simple people, pretending that this Use was more pious than the other,Exod. 12. Levit. 23.5. Numb. 9.11, &c. 28. Deut. 16.5. Mat. 26. Marc. 14. Luc. 22. as being founded in the express words of Scriptures of the Old Testament, and confirmed by the Example of Christ himself, who made his Easter together with the Jews upon the fourteenth day of the Moon of March, as appeareth by the Evangelists.

12. For these (I say) and other like reason, it seemeth (according to St. Bede) that the simple and rude Irish and Scottish Christians (as there he called them) falling upon the Use of this Custom, did like better of it than of the Roman, which required more exact Calculation and Observation of Times and Days, as before hath been touched,Niceph. hist. Eccl. l. 4. c. 36. & l. 5. c. 20. and as appeareth by that which Nicephorus wri­teth, that the old Calculation of Easter according to the Roman Use (to wit, that it should be upon the first Sunday after the Full Moon of March) was so hard to be observed oftentimes, as some learned men of Aegypt were appointed in Alex­andria to calculate every year the same before-hand, & that the Patriarch of that Church had care to send it abroad to other parts of the World for their Instru­ction and direction therein; which Office of calculating Easter-day was exerci­sed for divers years in Alexandria by one Theophilus a Priest of that Church; who afterward coming to be Patriach, wrote divers Paschal Epistles in Greek [Page 19] for direction of finding out the true day of Easter; which Epistles were transla­ted by St. Hierom in the year of Christ 404.Hier. in ep. 31. ad Theoph. Epist. 64. ad Martian. And after the said Theophilus made a Cyclus, or Calculation to serve for 100 years together, as appeareth by St. Leo the Pope in his Epistle to the Emperor Martian. All which Observations and Directions being hard for men so far distant (as Ireland and Scotland was from Alexandria) to know and keep, it is like that they followed rather the other, which was more plain and easie.

13. And this is insinuated before by St. Bede, when he saith that St. Wilfrid objected to B. Colman, that his Ancestors observed this Rustica simplicitate, Lib. 3. c. 25. by a kind of rude simplicity; and added further, that no learned Calculator of Times had ever arrived unto them. Reasons of dif­ficulties in the Roman Ac­count. And if any man will know the Reasons of the diffi­culties that were in this Ecclesiastical Roman Account or Computation for ce­lebrating Easter upon the first Sunday after the fourteenth day of the Moon of March, let him read the foresaid Paschal Epistles of Theophilus, as also the learn­ed Discourse of Anatolius Bishop of Laodicea written about forty years before the Council of Nice, Euseb. l. 7. hist. cap. 29. Aug. l. 2. ad quaest. Jan. c. 1, 2. part whereof is set down by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History. St. Augustin also, in his Answers to the Questions of Januarius, shewing the reasons why the Church of Christ would not have the Feast of Easter to be stable and firm, as that of his Nativity, Circumcision, and some other Feasts are, but rather to follow the motion of the Sun and Moon, for divers Mysteries there­in contained; doth touch divers points of the foresaid difficulties. But the prin­cipal grounds that make the matter hard to the common sort, are, first, the ine­quality between Annus Solaris, and Annus Lunaris, that is to say, the Year ac­cording to the course of the Sun, and according to the course of the Moon; the Church using the second, and not the first. And the difference between them standing in the odds of eleven days, for equalling whereof serveth the Rule of the Epact answerable to the Cycle of the Golden Number,The Use of E­pact, Golden Number, and Cycle of Do­minical Let­ters for obser­ving Easter day. consisting of 19 years Revolution, for observing the beginnings and Full Moons that fall out in every year, seeing that Easter-day must be kept upon the first Sunday af­ter the first Full Moon in March, as hath been said. And furthermore, for­asmuch as this fourteenth day of the Moon must be that which falleth upon the very day of the Spring Equinoctial, or immediately followeth the same, (which Equinoctium was observed by the Council of Nice to be in those days upon the 21st of March, though since that time it fell back by little and little to the 11th day, for correction whereof Pope Gregory XIII. was forced to make his Refor­mation from the year 1582, by detracting ten days, as all men know: For this (I say) and for that if the fourteenth day of the Moon of March should happen to be Sunday, the celebration of Easter must, by the same ancient Euseb. lib. 5. Ecc. hist. c. 23. S. Amb. ep. ad E­piscopos per. Ae­miliam consti­tutos, and St. Bede l. de rati­one temp. c. 57. Fa­thers Prescription, be transferred to the next Sunday. For observing of these Points, the Cycle also of the Sun, or Circle of Dominical Letters, containing the Revolution of 28 years, was invented, as necessary for this Observation. I might add much more to this effect; but this is sufficient to shew the grounds of many difficulties, as also (returning home to our Affair in hand) to shew the beginning of the Eastern Custom among the Scots, Picts, and Britans, not to be of that Antiquity which John Fox and his Fellows would pretend.

14. But now, besides this,Where also they do yield the reasons of this Ordina­tion. we may not omit another point of more consi­deration for the Reader's Utility, which is the small Piety or Religion of these Sectaries of our days; who care not what they grant, deny, or say, so they say somewhat against Rome, her Bishops, or Religion, even in the first Ages, or Primitive Church: For to this end, and with this good mine, you shall see them here prefer in effect the foresaid Eastern Custom of celebrating Easter us'd by the Britans and Scots, before the Catholic Custom of Rome; albeit they well know how many Ages agone it hath been condemned not only for Error, [Page 20] but also for Heresie;The Sectaries of our time al­low of the ce­lebrating East­er with the Jews. yea tho' themselves do practise the contrary Custom at this day in England and Germany. For that this is also a knack of these good men, to speak one thing for advantage, and practise another. As for Exam­ple when the Question is about all those Books of the Old and New Testa­ment which by Luther and Lutherans are rejected from the Canon of Canoni­cal Scriptures, as Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Hester, Macchabees, St. James Epistle, the Apocalypse, and other like: When we reprehend the Lutherans for this point, our Protestants of England take their parts, and defend them stoutly, as we see by the Writings of Fulk, Camp. in ration. reddit. cap. 1. Chark, Whitaker, and others, against F. Campian, that objected the same to Luther and his Followers; and yet on the other side they set the same Books forth in their English Bibles, as Books of the Scriptures. What dealing, I pray you, is this? For either they be Scriptures, and conse­quently of Infallible Truth, or no. If the first, then why do you defend the Lutherans, that call them in doubt? If the second, why do you set them forth to the people among Scriptures?

Luther's Opi­nion of Easter. Lib. de Concil.15. The like Example may be taken from Martin Luther, who in his Book de Conciliis doth persuade the German Princes to observe Easter-day as an immo­vable Feast, whensoever it falleth out, without expecting Sunday, as the Roman Church doth;Gal. 4. which point he saith is contrary to the Apostle, forbidding us to observe Days, Months, and Years. And yet I do not hear but that He, and other Lutherans to this day, do observe the Roman Use in practice of their Church concerning this point.

And the very same may be noted here of our English Calvinists; who tho' in Practice of the English Church do observe the same Roman Custom, as all men do know, yet in their Writings they are content to impugn the same, as a matter coming from Rome; which you may see notoriously performed by John Bale, John Bale de­fendeth the Jewish keeping of Easter. lib. 3. c. 25. a chief Gospeller in King Henry VIII. and King Edward's days, who treating of the former Disputation between Colman the Scottish Bishop and St. Wilfrid the English Abbot, in the foresaid Council of Northumberland re­lated by St. Bede, praiseth highly the first, to wit Colman, together with his Learning and Piety in defending the Jewish Custom; but scoffeth very contem­ptously and spitefully at the second, that propugned the Catholic Roman Use, notwithstanding that St. Bede (as before you have heard) calleth St. Wilfrid Virum doctissimum, a most learned man, and other ways also for his Holiness ex­tolleth him exceedingly, affirming among other points, That for his rare Learning and great Vertue he was made Archbishop of all the Kingdom of Northumberland, divided after him into two Bishoprics, York and Lindisferne; and when afterward (as to the best men happeneth) he was persecuted and driven out by violence of King Egfrid from his said Archbishopric,Bed. l. 3. c. 25. & l. 4. c. 3.14. An. Dom. 677, 678. he went and preached to the South-Saxons, and converted all that Kingdom, together with the Isle of Wight, working many Miracles in like manner among them; whereby he is truly called, the Apostle of Sussex.

16. Thus writeth Bede of St. Wilfrid Apostle of the South-Saxons, who vanquished also in the former Disputations B. Colman, and converted thereby King Oswyn from his former Rite of observing Easter with the Jews, (which he had learned during his Education in Scotland) to follow the Roman Use. But what (think you) saith John Bale thereof? You shall hear in his own words: Stulté respondit Wilfridus, Bal. cent. 1. script. Brit. (saith he) &c. Wilfrid answer'd like a Fool, saying, that the Apostle St. John did play the Jew in many things, &c. So saith Bale; which words, besides the Contumely, contain a most false Lye, and Slander also;Bed. l. 3. c. 25. for that Wilfrid said not so, as in St. Bede may be seen, but only that St. John might tolerate, perhaps, for a time certain Rites of the Old Law, as some of the other Apostles also had done (and namely St. Paul in circumcising Timothy) to bury the Synagogue with Honour, Act. 20. &c.

[Page 21]17. But hearken yet further how this new Gospeller, and old Apostate-Fryer, goeth forward against this holy Man:Bal. cent. 1. script. Brit. in Colman. Temporum (saith he) calculatores Evangelistis opponit; Wilfrid did oppose the Roman Computists, or Calculators of times, against the Authority of the Evangelists. This is an open Lye, as the place in Bede will testifie; for he saith only, that perhaps one cause why the rude simplicity of the ancienter sort of Scottish Christians embraced the Jewish Custom at the beginning, amongst other things might be,Absurd calum­niations of John Bale. for that no learned Calculator of the Roman Use had in those days arrived unto them. He saith not one word of opposing this to the Evangelists; and yet by the way do you note, that this false Apostata would have his Reader think that this Jewish Heretical Custom is conform to the Evangelists, than which nothing can be spoken more wickedly.Bal. ibid.

18. But let us go forward, and see what ensueth: In fine (saith he) suis praevaluit Imposturis, dementatis qui aderant Regibus, &c. In the end Wilfrid in his Disputation prevailed by his Impostures, having bewitched the two Kings that were present, King Oswyn and King Egfrid. Did you ever hear a more shameless tongue? But this he wrote of St. Wilfrid, (Obiter, and by the way) in the Narration he maketh of B. Colman. But when he cometh to talk of him in particular and severally, he is far more bitter and impudent against him; telling us first, how that after Wilfrid had been in France, Italy and Rome, to study,Bal. cent. 1. in Wilfrid. and there learned the Mathematical Calculations of times out of the Gospels: Reversus in Patriam, Romanas Consuetudines, contra Quartadecima­nos, (sic enim pios homines tunc derisorié vocabant) disceptationibus in Synodo pub­licis defendebat, gerebatque circa collum reliquiarum, quas Roma tulerat, capsulam quandam, &c. Et Archiepiscopus denique ob haec & his similia constitutus, bis infra spatium 45 annorum, non ob Regum insolentiam, ut Polidorus immodesté scribit, sed ob suam temeritatem, imò malitiam atque neguitias plures, A most malici­ous speech of Bale against St. Wilfrid. Archiepiscopatu pulsus est, & longo tandem confectus senio, periit Anno Christi 710. He returning from Rome to his Country, did defend by public Disputations in a Synod the Roman Customs against these men, (who being Pious and Godly, were called scof­fingly ‘in those days Quartadecimans) he carried about his Neck a certain Box of Saints Reliques, which he brought with him from Rome: And being for these and other like things made Archbishop, he was driven out twice with­in 45 years from his Archbishopric; and this not by the Insolency of the Kings that drave him out (as Polidor doth immodestly write) but rather for his own Rashness, yea Malice, and many Wickednesses, &c. And so at length being consumed with Old Age, he perished in the year of Christ 710.’

19. Behold here a Narration worthy the Spirit of a new Gospeller and old Apostata, against so Venerable and Worthy a Pillar of our Primitive English Church as was St. Wilfrid! Crimes ob­jected by Bale to St. Wilfrid. Mark how he is tax'd for travelling and studying at Rome, for defending by public Disputations the Roman Custom of celebra­ting Easter, which yet was defended and decreed openly by the General Council of Nice, as before you have heard, and after shall be proved; for bearing a Box of Reliques about his Neck brought from Rome, which no doubt is one of the things that most troubleth the Spirit of John Bale, as it did the Devils and wick­ed Spirits in England, who cry'd, and were cast out by the same, as you may read in them that write his Life.

20. Moreover he saith, That for his own Wickedness he was driven out of his Archbishopric, and so finally perished in the year 710. As for his perish­ing, if he perished that lived so austere a Religious Life, converted so many thousand English Heathens to Christian Faith, wrought so many Miracles as are recorded of him; then woe to Us, that cannot imitate so great Holiness, and woe to John Bale, that ran out of Religion, and being a Fryer took a Wench named Faithful Dorothy; and that, as himself braggeth, Bal. cent. 5. descript. Brit. fol. 244. Neque ab homine, [Page 22] neque per hominem, sed ex speciali Christi dono; Neither from man, nor by man, but by the special Gift of Christ, as tho' Christ did use to divide such Gifts to Fryers that had vowed Chastity. And how good a Fellow he became after­ward, and how pleasant a Companion, you may understand by his own words, when writing of his Works he saith,Cent. ibid. Facetias & jocos sine certo numero feci; I have written Jests and Pastimes without any certain number; (a fit Argument for a new Gospelling Fryer!) But yet how far this exercise of Jesting was from the Gravity and Holiness of St. Wilfrid, no man can doubt. And so himself (miserable man!) may be thought to have perished, while the other reigneth eternally in Heaven.

21. And as for Refutation of the horrible Slander, That for his Wickedness St. Wilfrid was driven out of his Archbishopric; I have no better means present, than to oppose against this lying Apostata the Universal Consent of all Anti­quity, especially those that wrote his Life; as St. Bede, and after him Hedius, Odo, Fridegenus, Petrus Blesensis, and others, who have written both his Life and Death, as of a great Saint; and his Memory and Festival Celebration is held throughout the Universal Church upon the 12th day of October, See the Marty­rology of Ʋsu­ard. and the Annot. of Mo­lan. die 12. Oct. and Baron. up­on the Rom. Martyr. eodem die. as all Martyro­logies do testifie. And thus much of the Insolency of John Bale against the per­son of St. Wilfrid.

22. But now, whereas further he is not ashamed to defend the Jewish Custom, and the Quartadecimans condemned for it, saying, That they were pious men, and were called by the nickname of Quartadecimans for a scoff only; I am for­ced to deal further therein, and to shew him first to be an Heretical and most shameless Calumniator, for that the name of Quartadecimani, or Quatuordecima­ni, (signifying those that observe the fourteenth day of the Moon of March to celebrate Easter) is an old name appointed to those that held that Heretical Use for ma­ny Ages agone, as may appear by St. Epiphanius, that wrote 1200 years agone, whose words are these:Epiph. haeres. 50. Emersit rursus mundo alia Haeresis Tesseradecatitarum appellata, quos Quartadecimanos quidam appellant; There is another Heresie sprung up in the World of some that are called in Greek Tesseradecatites, which others in Latin do call Quartadecimans, &c. The Explication of which words St. Augustin after him, in his Book of Heresies written to Quod-vult-Deus, doth set down thus:Aug. har. 29. Hinc appellati sunt, quòd non nisi quartadecima Luna mense Martio Pascha celebrant; These People are called by the Greek words Tesseradecatites, and by the Latin Quartadecimans, for that they do celebrate Easter upon the fourteenth day of the Moon of March. Unde etiam Quartadecimani cognomi­nati sunt, saith Nicephorus, lib. 4. Histor. cap. 36. for which cause they are cal­led also Quartadecimans.

23. And yet further the same men were called also by a third name of Pascha­tites, as appeareth both by St. Philastrius Bishop of Brixia, somewhat before St. Epiphanius; who in his Catalogue of Heresies numbring up these Pascha­tites, Philast. in ca­tal. hares. yieldeth the reason of their name in these words: Qui asserunt quartadeci­ma Luna celebrandum esse Pascha, non autem sicuti Ecclesia Catholica celebrat; Who affirm that Easter-day is to be celebrated upon the fourteenth of the Month of March, (upon whatsoever day it shall fall out, and not as the Catholic Church doth accustom to expect the Sunday.

24. Well then, we see that St. Wilfrid, and other Roman Catholics of his time, did not invent the name of Quartadecimani for a scoff to disgrace godly men thereby, as ungodly John Bale blusheth not to avouch; but that it is an old name, invented and appointed by the Universal Primitive Church, to them that defended obstinatly the Jewish Custom of celebrating Easter-day strictly upon the fourteenth day of the Moon of March, according to the Prescript of the Mosaical Law; which Custom hath been accounted naught, Jewish, and Heretical, for the space of 1400 years, to wit, ever since the Decree of [Page 23] St. Victor, Pope of Rome, against the same, since which time all Authors that have written of Heresies, have held for Heretics those that defended this Cu­stom; as may appear first by Tertullian, Tert. de prae­scrip. advers. Haeres. that liv'd in that very time of Pope Victor, or presently after; as also by the first Council of Nice, which was held some hundred years after Victor again, and Victor's Decree therein confirmed; as after again in the Council of Antioch, Concil. Ant. cap. 1. Concil. Laod. cap. 7. Theod. l. 3. c. ult. de fab. haer. Niceph. l. 4. hist. c. 36. Damasc. haeres. 50. gather'd together almost 50 years after that of Nice; and somewhat after that again, by the Council of Laodicea; and then by Philastrius and Epiphanius before cited; and finally by St. Augustin, Theodoretus, Nicephorus, Damascenus, and others that ensued. And the De­fenders of this Heresie, (howsoever John Bale and his Fellows will sanctifie them now again for pious men, for that they hold against the Roman Church) were so odious to the Catholic Fathers, even of the Greek and Eastern Church, especially after the Determination of the Council of Nice, (which Determina­tion, tho' it be not extant now in the said Councils Decrees, yet is it testified sufficiently, both by Theodoretus, and the Letters of Constantine himself,Theod. l. 6. c. 9. Euseb. l. 3. de vit. Constant. c. 17, 18. Socrat. l. 6. hist. c. 10, 20. record­ed by Eusebius, that Socrates in his Story writeth of St. John Chrysostom, Arch­bishop of Constantinople, these words: Eis, qui in Asia Festum Paschatis quarto­decimo die mensis primi celebrabrant, Ecclesias, non secùs quam Novatianis, ademit. St. Chrysostom did take away Churches throughout his Jurisdiction from those that in Asia did celebrate the Feast of Easter upon the fourteenth of March, no less than from the Novatian Heretics themselves: And no less doth the same Author report of Leontius Bishop of Ancyra in Asia, and other Eastern Bi­shops.

25. And the reason hereof was not only for that by this different Custom of celebrating Easter there grew great Schisms amongst Christians, but for that indeed the true Formality of this Heresie (consisting in that they would make it of necessity to keep the Old Law in this behalf) was begun first by an Here­tic called Blastus, as appeareth by Tertullian, who (to use his own words) saith thus: Latenter Judaismum introducere voluit, dicens, Tert, l. de praesc. cont. haeres. Pascha non aliter custodien­dum esse, nisi secundum Legem Moysis quartodecimo mensis. He meant covertly to bring in Judaism, affirming that Easter was not to be kept, but according to the Law of Moyses, upon the fourteenth day of the first Month.Why the Asian Custom of ce­lebrating Ea­ster was con­demmed. For refutation of which Heresie, Tertullian saith, Quis autem nesciat, quoniam Evangelica gratia evacuatur, si ad Legem Christus redigitur? Who doth not know but that the grace of Christ's Gospel is made void, if Christ be reduced again to the Observation of the Mosaical Law?

26. This then was the very essential point of this Heresie, and of them that defended the same; to wit, That they would bind Christians to the observa­tion of this point according to the Mosaical Law. Against which point of Ob­ligation St. Paul is so earnest in many places of his Epistles, as he resisted St. Pe­ter openly, for that by his Conversation only he did seem to force or bind men to Judaical Observations: Gentes cogis Judaizare: Gal. 2. you do force Gentiles to follow the Jews. And for this cause he wrote so earnestly to the Galatians: Ecce, ego Paulus dico vobis, si circumcidamini, Christus nihil vobis proderit; Gal. 5. Be­hold, I Paul do testifie unto you, That if you do circumcise your selves, (or use this Mosaical Ceremony) Christ shall profit you nothing.

27. And again, he telleth them in the same place, That whosoever useth but this one Ceremony of Circumcision,How the cele­brating of some Cere­monies or Cu­stoms for a time might be lawful. bindeth himself thereby to the obser­vation of all the Old Law, and consequently doth deprive himself of the whole Grace of Christ; which yet is to be understood (as ancient Fathers do expound) after the Gospel of Christ was fully divulged, and in them that did use any of these Ceremonies as of necessity; for that otherwise we read of the Apostles themselves, gathered together in Council, that they gave leave to Christians for a time at the beginning, abstinere à sanguine & suffocato, Acts 15.29. to abstain from [Page 24] Blood, and that which is strangled, or rather did ordain the same: which yet afterwards was taken away again by Authority of the Church; so as it is evident that the toleration was for a time only, and as a thing indifferent without obligation. And for like respect we read of St. Paul himself, that albeit afterward he did forbid to the Galatians the use of Circumcision with such severity as you have heard, yet at the beginning he circumcised Timothy for respect of the Jews, as St. Luke testifieth, for that the Gospel was not yet so far preached,Acts 16.3. as it made the Observations of the Mosaical Law to be wholly unlaw­ful; especially if they were used as things indifferent, and not of necessity; as it is probable that both St. John Evangelist, Polycarp, and others of the East-Church did,How the Ro­man Use be­gan of cele­brating Easter upon a Sunday. when for a time they used the Festival Day of celebrating Easter, as an indifferent thing, obliging no man to follow the one or the other Use; to wit, either this of the fourteenth day commanded by the Old Law, or the other of the Sunday brought in by Tradition from St. Peter and St. Paul in the Roman Church;Bed. l. de ratio temp. c. 42. Ignat. ep. 6. ad Magnes. & 8. ad Philip. Apoc. 1.10. as, among others, St. Protherius Patriarch of Alexandria (by the Testimony of St. Bede) doth write to Pope Leo: And long before them both, St. Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (which Church was founded by St. Peter) doth testifie in divers Epistles, that Easter-day was to be celebrated upon a Sunday. Yea, St. John himself, making mention of dies Dominicus, the Lord's day, in the beginning of his Apocalypse, as of a solemn Day above the rest, (which no man will deny to be Sunday) there is no other reason why this day should be called our Lord's Day with so special Title of Festivity, but only for that it was dedicated in the Apostles time to the Resurrection of Christ. And if in every Week it be kept Festival for that respect, and that the whole Sabboth be turned into it; then much more just is it that the great Sabboth of Christ's Resurrecti­on should be once a year celebrated upon this day. Yet was the matter, as you have heard, left for arbitrary and indifferent for divers years in Asia, without constraint on either side.

28. But when in process of time the Bishops of Rome, especially Pope Pius I. and Victor, had perceiv'd that by this Toleration and Difference of Observa­tion, not only Schisms and Dissention grew, but Heresie also and Judaism was meant to be brought in; then the said Pius I. in the year of Christ 148. (as Eusebius testifieth) made a Decree against the Asian Jewish Observation;Euseb. in Chron. an. 148. De consecrat. dis. 3. cap. Nosse. & ibid. dis. 4. cap. Celebritatem. Euseb. l. 5. hist. c. 23, 24. and after him again, in the next Age following, Pope Victor seeing the same in­conveniences greatly to increase, wrote a Letter to Polycrates Bishop of Ephe­sus to gather a Synod against it about the year of Christ 249, as Eusebius testi­fieth. And when he perceived, that both He and divers Asian Bishops did stand more stifly in defence thereof than he expected; yea, that they began not only to shew obstinacy therein against the former Decree of Pope Pius and the See of Rome, but to draw near also to the very formality of Heresie before mentioned, to wit, that it was necessary to observe the Fourteenth Day; nay further, that it was ex Evangelii praescripto, & secundum Regulam & Normam Fidei, by the Prescription of the Gospel, and according to the Rule and Norm of Faith,Ibid. cap. 22. as the said Polycrates in his Epistle to Pope Victor writeth: When Victor (I say) saw this, he resolved, after Counsel taken by Conference with divers Synods both of the West and East Churches,The Decree of Pope Victor about keeping Easter. to Excommunicate those Asian Bishops that resisted, if they would not agree. Which Determination albeit Irenaeus and some others at that time did mislike, and dehort Pope Victor from it, as a thing perillous and scandalous, and subject to many troubles, (as Eusebius reporteth,) yet did never any of them say that he could not do it; but rather, when he had done it indeed, they did accommodate themselves thereun­to both in West and East, ratifying and confirming the same by divers parti­cular Synods,Niceph. l. 4. c. 36. as Nicephorus recounteth; to wit, in Jerusalem, Caesarea, Tyrus, Ptolomais, Corinth, Lions of France, where St. Irenaeus himself was Bishop, and other places, &c.

[Page 25]29. And finally the Council of Nice confirmed the same, as the Fathers thereof do testifie by their particular Letters to the Clergy of Alexandria, whose words are these, as Theodoretus relateth them;Theod. l. 6. c. 9. Scitote controversiam de Paschate susceptam, prudenter sedatam esse: Ita ut omnes fratres, qui Orientem incolunt, jam Romanos, nos, & omnes vos, sint consentientibus animis in eodem celebrando deinceps sequuturi. ‘You must understand, that the Controversie about celebrating Easter taken in hand by us, is prudently pacified: so as all our Brethren that inhabit the East-parts will follow for the time to come the Romans, (or the Roman Church) Us, (and the Authority of the Council) and all You (of the Aegyptian Church) with full consent of mind in cele­brating the same Feast.’ Note here, That the Council doth put the Autho­rity of the Church of Rome in the first place, even before Themselves, and then Themselves and the Authority of the Council in the second place, and those of Alexandria in the third; which is another reckoning than our Heretics are wont to make of the Roman Church.

30. Constantine also the Emperour,The testimony of Constantine the Emperor. writing his Letters to all Bishops of the Christian World, that had not been present at the Council of Nice, nor could come, yieldeth account unto them, with great Christian Modesty and Zeal, of the chief Matters handled in that Council: Where coming to speak of the Decree of celebrating Easter, he saith thus:Euseb. l. 3. de vit. Constant. c. 17. Cùm de sanctissimo Festo Paschatis disceptaretur, communi omnium sententia videbatur rectum esse, ut omnes ubique uno, eodemque die illud celebrarent: When the Question was proposed about ce­lebrating the holy Feast of Easter, it seemed good, by the common consent of all that were present in this Council, that all Christians should celebrate the same in one and the self-same day; which day he sheweth to be Sunday, and refuteth at large the Custom of celebrating the same with the Jews upon the fourteenth day of the Moon, tho' it were a Feria concluding thus:Euseb. ibid. c. 8. Quae cum ita se habent, &c. ‘Which things being so, do you willingly embrace this Decree of the Council as a great Gift of God, and a Commandment sent from Heaven; forasmuch as whatsoever is decreed by holy Council of Bi­shops, that must be ascribed to God's holy Will. Wherefore do you de­clare and denounce unto all our dear Brethren living among you, the Decrees of this Council, and namely the Decree of celebrating this holy Feast, &c.

31. Thus wrote our good British Emperour Constantine, with a far dif­ferent Spirit from those Christian Inhabitants of Britanny who afterwards defended the contrary Custom, without respect of holy Decree of the Nicene Council;The wicked Spirit of our Sectaries. but far more opposite and contrary is the wicked Spirit of John Bale, John Fox, and other such latter Brutish rather than British Sectaries, that even in our days, after that the Roman Catholic Use hath been received for thirteen hundred years since the said Council, they are content, for hatred of the Name of Rome, to bring it into Controversie again, and to allow rather the Jewish Use, and to praise them that defend it in our Countrey, (as you have heard) rejecting and defacing others that stood for the Catholic Party, tho' never otherwise so famous and il­lustrious for their Learning and Vertue, as Beda, Agilbert, Wilfrid, and others the chiefest Pillars of our Primitive English Church were. But this is their shameless Spirit, to dishonor (wherein possibly they can) their Forefathers.

32. And thus much of this matter, about the first Conversion, or Preach­ing of Christian Faith in Britanny under the Apostles. Now will we pass to the more public Conversion of our Land under King Lucius, which (as in my Ward-word) I called the First in respect of our two public Conversions from Paganism, so do I here name it the Second in regard of the former [Page 26] Preaching in the Apostles Time. About which Conversion, tho' in effect our Modern Heretics dare not deny the same, yet shall you hear no less wrang­ling of them about this than the former, for the great grief they receive in that it should be said or thought to come from Rome.

CHAP. IV.

Of the Second Conversion of Britanny under King Lucius, by Pope Eleu­therius, and Teachers sent from him, about the year of Christ 180; and of the notorious absurd Cavillations of Heretics about the same also.

ALL that hitherto hath been spoken is about the first Preaching of Chri­stian Religion in Britanny by particular men within the first Age, or hundred years after Christ; which our Roman Enemies, only upon Envy and Animosity, without any one Testimony of Antiquity, will needs take from Rome and the Roman Church, and give it to the Grecians of Asia, and to the East parts, as you have heard. Now do follow two other more famous and public Conversions of the said Island under the two renowned Popes of Rome, and by their special Industry; which are acknowledged and registred by the whole Christian World, and do so much press the Spleen and move the Gall of our Rome-biters, as they leave no corner of their Wits unsifted to discredit or reject the same.

Reasons mo­ving King Lu­cius to enquire of Christian Religion.2. The first Conversion was (as the Warder saith) under Pope Eleutherius towards the end of the second Age after Christ; when King Lucius of Britanny hearing of the great and horrible Persecutions of Christians in Rome, and of their often Martyrings, and that they remained constant notwitstanding in their Christian Faith, to all mens admiration, and that their number did in­crease daily, even of the chiefest Nobility, and that two worthy Senators in particular, Pertinax and Tretellius, had been lately converted from Paganism to profess Christ; yea, that the Emperour himself, Marcus Aurelius, then living, began to be a Friend to Christians in respect of a famous Victory ob­tained by their Prayers,Baron. in annal. Ecc. an. Christi 183. tom. 2. (all which things Baronius sheweth the Emperour's Legat in England to have told Lucius:) For these causes (I say) and for that he hated the Romans and their Old Religion, to whom he understood the Christians to be contrary, he resolved to be instructed in that Religion. And understand­ing the chief Fountain thereof to be at Rome, contented not himself either with Instructions he might have at home by Christians there, nor yet from the Christian Bishops flourishing then in France, as St. Irenaeus, Photinus, and others, but sent men to Rome to demand Preachers of Eleutherius the Pope; who directed to him two Romans, When K. Luci­us was con­verted. named Fugatius and Damianus, by whom the said King and his Countrey were converted about the year of Christ 180, as John Fox holdeth) but as Baronius thinketh 183; from whom Pamelius; Genebrard, Nauclerus, and other Chronographers do little dissent; tho' Mari­anus Scotus doth put it in the year 177. And this Conversion of Britanny un­der King Lucius, is testified both by the ancient Books of the Lives of the Ro­man Bishops, attributed by some to Damasus, as also by the ancient Ecclesiasti­cal Tables and Martyrologies yet extant, as Baronius proveth; and by Bed de gestis Angl. l. 1. c. 4. & de sex. aetat. sub. Ant. Vero. Ado in chron. sub. Commodo Imp. Mar. Scot. in 6. atat. Pol. Virg. l. 1. St. Bede in his History of England, and after him by Ado Archbishop of Tre­vers, and Marianus Scotus anno 177, and all Authors since.

[Page 27]3. This then being so, and John Fox the Father of Lies not [...]ing openly to impugn the same, yet granteth he the thing with such difficulty and strain­ings, and telleth the story with so many hems and haws, ifs and ands, Interpre­tations and Restrictions, as a man may see how greatly it grieveth him to con­fess the substance thereof; I mean of this second Conversion by Pope Eleuthe­rius: and therefore he turneth himself hither and thither; now granting, now denying; now doubting, now equivocating, as is both ridiculous and shame­ful to behold. For as on the one side he would gladly deny the Truth of this Story, so on the other side, being press'd with the Authorities before alledged, and general consent of all Writers, he dareth not to utter himself plainly, but endeavoureth to leave the Reader in suspence, and doubtful whether it were true or no; which is the effect most desired commonly of Heretical Writers, to bring all things in doubt and question, and there to leave the Reader.John Fox his Tergiversa­tion. Fox Act. and Mon. p. 96. col. 2. And to this purpose doth the Fox tell us first, That divers Authors of later Times do not agree about the certain year wherein this Conversion of King Lucius did happen; some saying more, and some saying less. But what is this to the overthrow of the thing it self? For that about the particular times wherein things were done, there is often found no small variety among principal Writers, and about principal Points and Mysteries of our Faith; as, about the coming of the Magi, and Martyrdom of the Infants; about the time of Christ's Bap­tism, yea also of his Passion, what Year and Day each of these things happened; which yet doth not derogate from the certainty of the things themselves.

4. And this is his first Cavil, or rather light Skirmish,First Cavil. whereby he would somewhat batter or weaken the credit of the Story, before he cometh to lay the full Assault, which ensueth immediately, with seven double Cannons planted by him, which he calleth seven good conjectural Reasons, against the Tradition of Antiquity about this Conversion of Britanny from Pope Eleuthe­rius. Wherein notwithstanding you must note, That he proposeth the Con­troversie as tho' his purpose were only to prove that Pope Eleutherius was not the first that converted England; which thing,The effect of 7 Cannons planted by Jo. Fox to batter the story of K. Lucius con­version from Rome. as it might be granted in the sense before often touched, if he spake or meant plainly, so finding him to deal guilefully, and to go about to prove in the end (as appeareth by his Con­clusion) that Eleutherius converted not King Lucius at all, but only helpt per­haps to convert him, or to instruct him better in Religion (being a Christian before) I am constrained to examin briefly the Force (or rather Fraud and Folly) of these his seven Arguments, to the end you may judge thereby, how he behaveth himself in so main a Volume as his Acts and Monuments do con­tain, seeing that in this one matter he beareth himself so fondly and mali­ciously, And for brevities sake I will reduce the said seven Arguments to three general Heads or Kinds; shewing first, that all are Impertinent; se­condly, that some, besides Impertinency have also gross Ignorance; thirdly, that others, besides these two commendations, have Fraud and plain Imposture in them.

5. To the first kind of Impertinent do appertain his fourth, fifth, and sixth Arguments handled by me before against the Magdeburgians, to wit, that St. Bede said in his time, That the Britans celebrated Easter after the fashion of the East-Church; that Petrus Cluniacensis testifieth the same in his days of some Scots;Fox his first kind of Argu­ments Imperti­nent. and that Nicephorus saith that Simon Zelotes preached the Gospel in England. All which three Arguments, as they do serve to no purpose here, but to shew that Fox stealeth all out of the Magdeburgians, so no other Answer is needful to be made unto them, than that which before hath been written; seeing that, all being granted that here is said, yet proveth it nothing that the Faith of Bri­tanny came not from Rome; and consequently all is impertinent.

[Page 28] The second kind of Argu­ments, Imper­tinent and Ig­norant. Fox pag. 95.6. Of the second sort both Impertinent and Ignorant Arguments, are his se­cond and third probations: My second reason is (saith he) out of Tertullian, who living near-about, or rather somewhat before this Eleutherius, testifieth in his Book contra Judaeos, that the Gospel was dispersed abroad by the sound of Apostles in divers Countreys; and then among other Kingdoms he reciteth also the parts of Britanny, &c. Thus you see how impertinent it is to the purpose we have in hand; for that it concludeth not but that Pope Eleutherius after the Apostles time might convert King Lucius and his People publicly by Fugatius and Damia­nus, as we affirm. And then secondly, it includeth notorious Error and Ig­norance,The Age of Tertullian falsi­fied. Tert. lib. de pallio c. 3. n. 42. in that he saith Tertullian lived before Eleutherius; for that it is prov'd out of Tertullian's own Works and Words, especially in his Book de Pallio, (wherein he yieldeth the reason wherefore he changed his Habit from a Gown to a Cloak, as Christians were wont to do in those days) that he was con­verted to the Christian Faith in the tenth year of Pope Victor, that was Suc­cessor to Eleutherius, which was Anno Domini 196. And moreover, he wrote his Book contra Judaeos, cited by Fox, divers years after that again, as Pame­lius and others do demonstrate in his Life.Jac. Pamelius in vit. Tertull. pag. 29. So as Eleutherius reigning fifteen years before Victor (as all Authors do agree) it followeth that he was Pope twenty five years before Tertullian was a Christian: And forsomuch as the Conversion of England is assigned to have been in the fifth year of Eleutherius, it followeth that Tertullian was not a Christian in twenty years after that time. And thus much for his second Reason; now let us hear his third.

Fox ibid. col. 2. n. 73.7. My third probation (saith he) I deduct out of Origen, whose words are these; Britanniam in Christianam consentire Religionem: That Britanny did consent in Christian Religion; whereby it appeareth the Faith of Christ was sparsed here in England before Eleutherius. Mark his own Contradiction; mark his Inference, and note his Imposture. He affirmeth out of Origen, That Britanny did consent in Christian Religion; and yet he saith in his Inference, Whereby it appeareth it was sparsed in England; Sparsing importeth, that particular men here and there were converted; Consent importeth a general Conversion: So that by Origen's words of consent it may seem, that he meant the public Con­version made by Eleutherius; and by Fox's own false Interpretation and foolish Inference he is made to say, that there were only certain sparkles of Christian Religion in his days in Britanny. Orig. hom. 4. in Ezechiel circa medium. But the true words of Origen corrupted by Fox do make the matter more clear; who disputing against the Jews, urgeth them with this Question, Quando enim terra Britanniae ante adventum Christi in unius Dei consensit Religionem? For when did the Land of Britanny agree in the Religion of one God Before the coming of Christ?

8. Here you see the words of Origen, first not truly but corruptly alledged before by John Fox; and secondly, that Origen doth speak them of a consent in Religion throughout all the Land of Britanny, and thereby seemeth to signi­fie, not the particular Conversion of several men before Eleutherius his Time, (as Fox would enforce it,) but rather the public Conversion (as I have said) un­der King Lucius and Eleutherius; which Conversion, according to the former Account of Fox himself,The Age of Origen perver­ted. Euseb. l. 7. hist. c. 1. (who saith it was in the year of Christ 180) was about 76 years before the Death of Origen, for that (as Eusebius testifieth) Origen died in the year of Christ 256, and was of age 69 when he died, so as he was born seven years after our said Conversion under Lucius, and conse­quently he might mean of this Conversion in his former Homily. And it is not only Ignorance, but wilful Malice and Imposture also, in John Fox, to make his Reader believe (as before in Tertullian, so in this Man) that he was either Equal or Elder than Pope Eleutherius. And for this cause, that Origen in his foresaid Homily must needs mean of a former Conversion of Britanny, [Page 29] that came not from Rome. Consider the Man's Honesty and Wit in these shifts.

9. And albeit this may be sufficient, and more than enough, to shew his false Dealing and lack of Fidelity in every thing he handleth, yet will I add his two last Arguments, which he calleth his first and seventh; and in which (as I said before) that not only the former two qualities of Impertinency and Error are to be found, but manifest Fraud also, and wilful Deceit. Let us hear his words. But first I must both pray and prevent the Reader to take in pati­ence the hearing of one and the self-same thing many times repeated,A request and prevention to the Reader. for that we having to deal with three several Parties, that do tell us Tales by retail one to another of them, (to wit, Sir Francis, Sir Fox, and Messieurs the Magdebur­gians) we cannot well see or set down what each of them saith, and borroweth one of another, but by repeating the same things; yet shall it be very briefly. Thus then writeth Fox, in that which he calleth his first probation against the first Conversion of England by Eleutherius.

10. My first probation (saith he) I take out of the Testimony of Gildas,Fox. pag. 96. who in his History affirmeth plainly, That Britanny received the Gospel in the time of Tiberius the Emperour, and that Joseph of Arimathea was sent by Philip the Apostle from France to Britanny. Gild. lib. de Victoria Aurel. Ambrosii. Here you see first not only crambe recocta, according to the Proverb; that is to say, Cole­worts and other Trash twice sodden; but many times also both sodden and set before us: for all this you heard before more than once, both out of Sir Francis and the Magdeburgians. And when all is granted, yet is the whole Argument but a vain and childish Cavil; for it proveth only that Damianus and Fugatius, sent by Eleutherius, were not the very first of all that preached Christian Faith in Britanny; which we never affirmed, but only that Britanny was converted publicly under Eleutherius, which this impugneth not. And se­condly, for the receiving of Christ's Faith under Tiberius the Emperour, I have shewed before that it is unlikely, seeing Tiberius lived but five years after the Ascension of our Savior, and that the place alledged for it out of Gildas (if he mean the true Gildas now extant) proveth it not, but only that Christ him­self appeared to the World in the time of Tiberius, and that the Faith of Christ entred Britanny afterward under Claudius, as may appear evidently to him that will read and examin the place with attention. Which the Fox percei­ving, thought it not best to alledge us the said true Gildas published by Polydor Virgil, and allowed by all Learned Men of Christendom, whose Title is,A forg'd Gildas brought in by Fox. De excidio Britanniae, but runneth to a forged Gildas, De Victoria Aurelii Am­brosii, to confirm his Allegation withal; of which Gildas the said Polydor, after due Examination of the matter, writeth as followeth:

11. Extat item alter libellus (ut tempestive lectorem nefariae fraudis admonea­mus) qui falsissimè inscribitur Gildae commentarium, Pol. Vir. l. 1. hist. pag. 16. haud dubie à quodam pessimo impostore compositum, &c. Sanè is nebulo longè post homines natos impudentissimus, &c. ‘There is extant besides, another Book also (that I may by this occasion advertise the Reader in time of a wicked Imposture) which is most falsly entituled, The Commentary of Gildas, devised, no doubt, by some naughty Deceiver, &c. Truly he was the most impudent Knave that ever lived, &c. Thus said Polydor of the Inventer of this Book; and as much would he have said of Sir John Fox, that obtrudeth the same for a true Author, if he had lived in our days. And seeing that the Calvinists themselves of Heidelberg in Germany, taking upon them to set forth all the British Writers, Anno 1587, (as Gildas, Geffrey of Monmouth, Ponticus Virunnius, and others) durst not set forth this feigned Gildas alledged by Fox, but only the former true Gildas printed before by Polydor; it is a token that Fox is more impudent and more [Page 30] greedy to deceive, than they; as you shall much more perceive by his last Ar­gument ensuing.

Fox pag. 96. Fox's last and falsest Argu­ment.12. For my seventh Argument (saith he) I may make my probation by the plain words of Eleutherius, by whose Epistle written to King Lucius we may understand that Lucius had received the Faith of Christ in this Land before he sent to Eleutheri­us for the Roman Laws; for so the express words of the Letter do manifestly purport, as hereafter followeth to be seen.

Thus saith he, and citeth for his proof in the Margin, Ex Epistola Eleutherii ad Lucium; and by this last and strongest Argument of his, the silly Fellow thinketh to strike the Nail dead, and to prove that King Lucius was a Chri­stian before he received Preachers from Pope Eleutherius; and consequently, that all is false which Antiquity hath held, attributing the Conversion of that Kingdom, and of the King himself, to the Bishop of Rome. For which cause Fox addeth presently, Peradventure Eleutherius might help something either to convert the King, or else to increase the Faith newly sprung up then among the People.

13. So defineth he the matter; and consider, I pray you, what he attri­buteth to Eleutherius in this Conversion: Peradventure (saith he) he might help something to King Lucius his Conversion. And is not this a great matter, especially being qualified (as it is) with the restriction Peradventure? If a man should say of Aesop's Fables, that peradventure some of them in some points might be true; were it not as much as John Fox doth attribute to all this Con­sent of Authors for this Conversion under Pope Eleutherius; seeing he saith not absolutely, Eleutherius did convert King Lucius, or help indeed thereunto, but that peradventure he might help something, &c.? You may mark the diminutives used by Fox to lessen the benefit, to wit, peradventure, might, something, &c. and thereby consider what a holy stomach he hath to Rome, Contempt of the Testimony of Antiquity. and what little ac­count he maketh of the Authority or Consent of all Antiquity, when they make against him.

14. But now let us weigh further his Proofs, and by them also his Frauds and Impostures. First of all for Proofs, that King Lucius was a Christian be­fore he dealt with Eleutherius, he alledgeth the Epistle it self of Eleutherius; which he setteth down as authentical, citing only in the Margin, Ex vetusto codice Regum antiquorum, taken out of an old Book of old Kings, but telleth not where we shall find this old Book; and it may be (perhaps) of as good credit (if it were found) as the Book of Gildas before alledged, De Victoria Aurelii Am­brosii, or as many other fabulous things be in the Story of Geffrey of Monmouth, and John Fox after him.

About the Epi­stle of P. Eleu­therius to K. Lucius cited by Fox. Fox pag. 96. col. 2. n. 40.15. And indeed if we consider the beginning of the first words of the Epistle it self, we shall find certain doubts, which neither Fox nor his Fellows will ever be able to solve; as first of all, that it was written after Eleutherius was dead; for so it appeareth by the Account of Time noted in the Title, which is this in Latin, as Fox relateth: Anno Domini 169 à Passione Christi scripsit D. Eleutherius Papa, Lucio Regi Britanniae ad correctionem Regis & Procetum Regni, &c. Which words Fox omitteth to translate into English, for that they make against him, and therefore would not have his unlearned Reader to un­derstand the absurdity thereof; for they say, That Pope Eleutherius wrote this Epistle to Lucius King of Britanny, to correct both Him and the Nobility of his Kingdom, in the year 169 after the Passion of Christ: To which 169 years if we add other 33, which Christ lived before his Passion, they make 202; which is 19 years after Eleutherius's Death, who dy'd in the year of Christ 184, as all Authors agree. For which cause Fox himself, in this very place, and elsewhere often, doth appoint the Conversion of King Lucius to have been in [Page 31] the year of Christ 180, and the 10th of Eleutherius his Reign; but this Epistle appointeth it 22 years after, to wit, Anno Domini 102. So wise a man is Fox in bringing it in!

16. Secondly, this Epistle was written in Latin, and so should Fox have delivered the same unto us wholly, if he had dealt plainly:Fox's subtilty in concealing the Original in Latin. But he hath not so done, but only giveth us the Title in Latin, without any Interpretation, as now hath been said; and the remnant (or at leastwise so much as he thought convenient) in English only, and this of his own Translation, without letting us see the Original; and so he playeth the Fox in every thing. But, to return again to this Latin Title of the Epistle, there is another cause why John Fox would not translate it into English; and this is, for that it is said therein that it was written by the Pope ad correctionem Regis, & Procerum Regni, &c. to correct the King, and Nobility of the Realm: which proveth that the Pope took himself to be their Superior also in those days, and they to be subject to his correction. For which causes Fox's Scholars, Holinshead, Hooker, and Harrison, do leave out this Title altogether in their Chronicles; for that the word Corre­ction upon the King and Nobility, is an odious thing in these days, especially from Popes.

17. And thus much of the Title, and Fraud used therein. Now let us pass to the Body of the Epistle. Thus it beginneth in John Fox's Translation;Fox pag. 96. Ye require of us the Roman Laws and the Emperours to be sent over unto you, which you may practise and put in are within your Realm. The Roman Laws and the Empe­rours we may ever reprove, but the Law of God we may not. You have received of late, through God's Mercy, in the Realm of Britanny the Law of Christ, &c. Thus saith the Epistle, and out of these last words John Fox doth frame his former seventh Argument, That King Lucius had received the Faith of Christ before he sent to Eleutherius for the Roman Laws. Well, suppose it was so, and that this sending was a second Embassage some years after his Conversion; how doth this infer that King Lucius was a Christian before he dealt with Eleutherius, or before he sent the first time unto him; and so that he was rather converted by Grecians than by Romans, as the next immediate words of Fox are? And that hence it may be inferred that Eleutherius did rather help perhaps to his Conversion, or to increase the Faith newly sprung up, than convert him. Are not these notorious shifts, and shameless windings of our Fox, to delude his Reader.

18. But you will ask me perhaps, how I do prove that this was a second Embassage sent by King Lucius to Eleutherius, and the Pope's Answer to the same? Whereto I say, that this is confessed and proved by Fox himself; who writing of King Lucius saith, That some years after his Conversion, when he had put his Realm in Order for matters of Religion, he wrote again to have the Civil and Imperial Laws sent over to him, whereby to govern his Kingdom accord­ing to Christian Religion.

19. All this, I say, doth Fox set down afterward very particularly,Fox Act and Monument pag. 96. col. 2. n. 30. shew­ing that after King Lucius and his Realm had received the Baptism of Christ, were made Christians, and had turned twenty-eight Heathen Flamens, and three Archflamens, that were before of Gentiles, into so many Christian Bishops and Archbishops: All this being done and well settled,Act & Mon. ibid. the foresaid King Lucius (saith he) sent again to the said Eleutherius for the Roman Laws, thereby likewise to be governed, as in Religion now they were framed accordingly: Ʋnto whom Eleu­therius again writeth after the tenor of these words following; Ye require of us the Roman Laws, &c.

20. Whereby it is evident, that this Letter of Eleutherius (if it be true, and not feigned by Fox) was written to King Lucius some number of years after his Conversion, seeing he could not setttle his Realm, as here Fox de­scribeth, [Page 32] but in some good space of time. Holinshead, Hooker, and Harrison (Disciples also of this Fox) in this do take upon them to determine the Time, (tho' I know not by what Authority) saying, That it was three years after King Lucius his Conversion and Baptism.Holinsh. p. 24. descript. Angl. col. 2. n. 40. The Faith of Christ (say they) be­ing thus planted in the Island, Anno 177, it came to pass the third year of the Gospel received, that Lucius did send again to Eleutherius the Bishop, requi­ring that he might have some brief Epitome of the Order of Discipline then used in the Church, &c.

The contrari­ety between Fox and his Scholars.21. Thus hold they, and that upon this second Embassage followed the foresaid Letter of Eleutherius to King Lucius. Which if it be true, then let them give Sentence of their good Father, what an egregious Hypocrit and Deceiver he was, to argue out of this Letter, That, forasmuch as it ap­peareth by the same, that King Lucius was a Christian when this Letter was written: Ergo, King Lucius was not converted by Eleutherius, but by some other before him, tho' perhaps he might help somewhat to his Confirmation in Religion, &c.

About the substance of Eleutherius's Epistle to K. Lucius 183.22. But now to the substance of the Letter it self, or rather of the piece or parcel that it hath pleased Fox and these his Scholars to impart with us. You must note first, That these good Scholars seeing their Master to have left us this English Epistle of Eleutherius so imperfect and curtail'd, as it seemeth to have neither end or just beginning, do say that the rest was lost, which yet Fox telleth us not. Secondly, they seeing the Title to make much against them, left it out, as before hath been said. Thirdly, touching the very Corps it self of the Epistle set down by him, they put it down so different both in Words, Sen­tences, Authorities, and Texts of Scripture, from that which Fox hath; as it sheweth either the thing to be wholly feigned by Them, or their Master; or that they have a great Liberty and Priviledge to alter the same at their plea­sures.

23. And this would be sufficient for this matter; but further perchance you might demand, Why this Epistle of Eleutherius is alledged and urged so earnestly by them, seeing it seemeth to make so little for them? Whereunto I answer,First Cause. That the chiefest Causes seem to be two or three. The first, That Fox might frame thereupon his former foolish Argument, That forasmuch as by this Epistle it appeareth that King Lucius was a Christian when this Epi­stle was written by Eleutherius, it may seem that Eleutherius converted him not, nor any other sent from Rome; the falshood and childishness of which Argument hath been sufficiently laid open before.

Second Cause.24. The second Cause is, to found two points of Doctrin thereon. The one, That Scriptures only are sufficient to govern any Kingdom without other Ecclesiastical, Civil, or Temporal Laws; which yet themselves do not pra­ctise, where they have Dominion, as experience teacheth us. The other point is, That every King is God's Vicar, that is to say, absolute and supreme Head in all Causes as well Spiritual as Temporal within his Realm; and to this end is brought in the Testimony of this Letter of Eleutherius, not only by Fox, Holinshead, Hooker, Harrison, Hastings, and other of that Crew, taking one from another that Argument; but even their great Champion Jewell, as Holinshead relateth in the first Volume of his Stories.

Hol. l. 4. hist. Ang. c. 19. p. 52.25. The Reverend Father John Jewell (saith he) sometime Bishop of Salisbury, writeth in his Reply unto Harding's Answer, That the said Eleutherius, for general Order to be taken in the Realm and Churches here, wrote his advice to Lucius in manner and form following: Jewell fo. 119. Ye have received in the Kingdom of Britanny, by God's Mercy, both the Law and Faith of Christ; ye have both the New and the Old Testament; out of the same, through God's Grace, by the advice of your Realm make a Law, and by the same, through God's sufferance, rule your Kingdom of Britanny; for in that Kingdom you are God's Vicar, &c.

[Page 33]26. These are the words alledged by Master Jewel out of this Epistle; which differ not much from that which is in Fox and Holinshead: But both of them do add a third Clause out of the said Epistle, which is this;Fox Acts and Mon. p. 96. Hol. descript. Brit. pag. 25. A King hath his name of Ruling, and not of having a Realm. You shall be a King while you rule well; but if you do otherwise, the name of a King shall not remain with you, but you shall utterly lose and forgo it, which God forbid. And then maketh Holinshead this Annotation in these words; Hitherto out of the Epistle that Eleutherius sent unto Lucius; wherein many pretty Observations are to be collected, if time and place would serve to stand upon them.

27. So he saith; but what Annotations these are he declareth not, tho' it be easie to guess by others which he maketh in other places: For that in the very next page before he maketh us a very grave Discourse,The first point of Eleutherius's Epistle. How that Lucius sent to Rome the second time for a Copy of such politic Orders as were then used in the Regiment of the Church; but that Eleutherius, for divers reasons, thought it best not to lay any more upon the Necks of the New Converts of Britanny, than Christ and his Apostles had already set down to all men in the Scriptures. And is not this a wise Discourse? as tho' no Temporal Laws were to be made in a Christian Commonwealth, but only those that are set down in Scriptures. Who seeth not the madness of these Conclusions or Illations? Nay, who doth not consi­der how greatly this matter is against themselves? That King Lucius dwelling so far off from Rome as he did; yea, being otherwise an Enemy to the Roman Nation, as these men confess that he was, did notwithstanding so highly re­spect, even in those ancient days, the See and Bishop of Rome, that he submitted himself thereto, and demanded from thence direction, not only in matters of Re­ligion, and Ecclesiastical Laws, but in Temporal and Civil also; and Eleutherius knowing his own Authority over him and his, doubted not to appoint them what was to be done. And albeit Mr. Jewell doth call it an Advice, as you have heard, yet the Title of the Epistle implieth more, saying, that it was ad corre­ctionem Regis & Procerum Regni, as above we have declared. And this for the first point contained in this Epistle.

28. And for the second,How Tempo­ral Princes are God's Vi­cars also. wherein Eleutherius saith that King Lucius was God's Vicar or Vicegerent (as Holinshead translateth it) within his own Realm; what Catholic ever deny'd this, or that any lawful Temporal Prince is not God's Vicar and Substitute in governing his People under him? Sure we are, St. Paul speaking even of a Heathen Prince or Magistrate, saith,Rom. 13. Dei enim mi­nister tibi est in bonum; for he is God's Substitute to thee for thy good. And in another place, teaching Servants how they should obey their Heathen Lords and Masters, he saith, Servi obedite Dominis carnalibus, cum timore & tremore, Ephes. 6. sicut Christo; Servants obey your Carnal or Temporal Lords, as to Christ him­self. And again in the same place, Sicut Domino, & non Hominibus; As unto our Lord Jesus, and not as unto Men. And doth not here the Apostle confess expresly, that Temporal Lords and Princes, yea tho' they were Pagans, are Christ's Vicars and Substitutes in their Government of Temporal Affairs? But yet I do not think that either Fox or Holinshead will say that they were Christ's Vicars also in Spiritual Affairs, or Heads of the Church within their Realms, as by this Epistle of Eleutherius they would make King Lucius seem to be.

29. And so finally, Whether this Epistle of Eleutherius be true or feigned,Reasons which make the Epi­stle of Eleuthe­rius suspected. it maketh little for them, but much rather against them. And there be divers things in it which do make it probable that it is a feigned matter. First, for the time set down in the Title, shewing it to be written after Eleutherius was dead. Secondly, for that neither Fox nor Holinshead would deliver it unto us in Latin as it was written. Thirdly, for that the Copy set down by Ho­linshead hath many Texts of Scriptures full little to the purpose, and fondly [Page 34] apply'd,John Fox play­eth Reynard the Fox. and unworthy the great Learning of Pope Eleutherius; which John Fox perceiving, like a wily Fox indeed, left them quite out of his Copy; professing notwithstanding to put down the Epistle wholly, as he found it.

30. Fourthly, the last point of Doctrin therein taught, That Kings are no longer Kings than they rule well; and do lose and utterly forgo the same, when they do otherwise; is a Doctrin not fit for Eleutherius, but agreeing rather with that of Husse and Wickliff mentioned before in the Second Encounter, as con­demned by the General Council of Constance. Encount. 2. c. 4. And this shall be enough about this first Heretical Cavillation concerning the Conversion of Britanny under Pope Eleutherius, which our English Sectaries, for hate to Rome, will needs call in doubt. But not being able to stand in this quarrel, they flie to another of more moment, which shall be handled in the ensuing Chapter.

CHAP. V.

Of another Heretical Shift about the former Conversion of Britanny under Pope Eleutherius and King Lucius, as tho' the Faith of Rome that was then, did not remain now; which is reproved by two evident Demonstra­tions, the first Negative, the other Affirmative.

WHen all the former Foxly Shifts and Devices will not serve to shake off the praise of our Britans Conversion from Rome by means of Eleutherius, our Fox diggeth to himself another starting-hole, where­unto, when he is pressed, to run; and his good Cub Sir Francis fol­loweth him diligently at the heels. The Fox his words are these: But grant we here, Fox's Confessi­on, Act, & Mo­num. pag. 96. that it be as they would have it, (and indeed the most part of our English Stories do confess it) neither will I greatly stick with them therein: yet what have they got thereby, when they have cast all their gain? In few words, to conclude this matter, if so be that the Christian Faith and Religion was first derived from Rome by Eleutherius, let them but grant to us the same Faith and Religion that was taught in Rome, and from thence derived hither by Eleutherius, and we will desire no more: For then was there not any Ʋniversal Pope, 1, 2, 3, 4. neither any Name or Ʋse of the Mass, nor any Sacrifice Propitiatory, nor any Transubstantiation, neither any Images of Saints departed set up in the Churches, &c.

Comparison between the Fox and the Cub. Wast. p. 192.2. Thus saith the Fox, granting by Testimony of most Writers that which before he laboured so much to impugn. Now let us hear the Cub, how well he hath learned to bark after his Sire: Tho' it be granted (saith he) that Eleu­therius sending hither Preachers from Rome in King Lucius his time, did first convert this Land to the Christian Faith; I say, there is not now the same Faith in Rome that was then: There were then no Masses said, no Transubstantiation known, no setting up of Images in Churches, no Ʋniversal Pope, &c.

3. Here you see the self-same Speech, with the self-same Spirit, betwixt the Cub and the Fox, the Scholar and the Master; but that the Scholar altereth somewhat the order, to cover thereby his borrowing from the other: Nay, we may note another thing also, which is usual in such people; the Scholar is more earnest and eager than his Master of whom he took it, and more over-lashing; so as what the one speaketh but doubtfully, the other affirmeth most resolutely; what the one saith, the other sweareth. Let them grant us (saith Fox) the same Faith which was then at Rome, and we desire no more. This was somewhat modest, tho' False and Hypocritical; for he meaneth it not, what­soever you grant him, or prove against him. But what saith his Scholar? I [Page 35] I say (quoth he) there is not now the same Faith in Rome that was then. This is more resolute and peremptory as you see: For who saith it I pray you? I say it (quoth he) as tho he would challenge the field of him that will dare to de­ny it, or prove the contrary. But who are you (Sir) that we should yield unto you this Pythagorical Authority of ipse dixit? granting all things upon your own Assertion without further proofs? if you be the Man that so often be­fore have been made a mouse, and your Credit so many times shaken by shew­ing your false dealing, then may it be now an Argument rather to the con­trary: to wit, Sir Francis saith this or that without alledging any Proof, Er­go it is probable that the matter is either feigned or falsified, and this con­sequence you shall see much confirmed both in him and his Father Fox, by this that here we are to examin.

4. For first, both of them do affirm (as you have heard) and that with great Asseveration, that in the Time of Eleutherius the Pope, that is to say, in the second Age after Christ, there was not the Faith in Rome that now is: For that there was no mention or knowledge then, either of any universal Authority of the Church or Bishop of Rome, or of the name or use of Masses, or Sa­crifice propitiatory, or of Transubstantiation, or of Images used in Churches, and the like.

5. To which vain Arguments of both these poor Men, I might answer sufficiently, by telling them (if they will learn) that albeit it were true in some sence, that these Doctrins, which here they alledge and some other in Con­troversie between us, were not found in the Second Age, when Pope Eleuthe­rius lived, so expresly set forth, as in other Ages afterward, when better Occasion was offered, and the Times did more permit the same: yet is this no good Argument to prove, that they were not believed then also in the Ca­tholic Church. For if this Consequence should be admitted, then as well might it be admitted also against many other principal Points and Articles of our Faith, which are acknowledged and believed by Protestants also at this day, tho not expresly handled, discussed or determined in those first two hun­dred Years after Christ: as for Example, the Name and Doctrin of the Bles­sed Trinity, the two distinct Natures, and one Person in Christ, Points of Re­ligion not ex­presly handled or determined by the Church within the first two hun­dred years. his two distinct wills, the Virginity of our Blessed Lady both before and after her Child-birth, the Proceeding of the Holy Ghost, as well from the Son, as from the Father, &c.

6. All which Points and some others are not found to be handled so clear­ly and distinctly by Authors of the first two hundred Years, as afterward, partly for that they were occupied in other matters against Gentiles and Here­ticks that touched not these Points and partly for that General Councils could not yet be gathered together, to discuss and declare them distinctly; tho no good Christians will or may doubt, but that they were believed in the Church before, from Christ downward, and that the General Councils that determi­ned them afterward for Articles of true Belief against Heretics, that had cal­led them in question, did not so determine them, as if they had made them Articles which were not before (for this the Church could not do, as is held by all Catholics) but only that they being Articles of True and Catholic Belief before, the Church did now declare them to be such.

Wherefore this being so, I might answer (and I see not how they could reply) that John Fox and his Scholar may as well deny and call in question all or any of these foresaid Articles, as the other, which they recite. For that they were as little, or perhaps less specified in the first two hundred Years, than these which they object.

7. But I will deal more liberally with our Minister and Knight,Two ways of Proof; the one negative, the other af­firmative. and will seek to satisfie them with Reason, who do brabble and argue against us with­out Reason. I shall endeavour to do the same by two ways, hoping to [Page 36] make their Folly appear to every indifferent Man by them both. The first shall be via negativa, the negative way, by putting them to some proof. And the second shall be affirmative, shewing them what Proofs may be brought for our side. Nothing doubting but that each shall be sufficient to satisfie the equal Reader: Let the first kind of Argument then, by the way of negative, be this.

8. We deny that the Faith now held in Rome, and namely the Articles here mentioned of the Pope, Mass, Transubstantiation, and use of Images, were not believed in Pope Eleutherius's days, as now for the substance of the Do­ctrin. And let them prove it if they can, and if they say, that it is hard to prove a negative, we are content that they prove only an affirmative, where­by the said negative may be inferred, to wit, that any one of these Doctrins did begin to enter into the Church after Eleutherius. And to this Proof they are bound in all equity and reason, as we shall shew by our sequent Discourse. For if it be true, that the Articles and Points of Doctrin here mentioned by Fox and Sir Francis wherein they differ from us,The first way of argument negative a­gainst Prote­stants. be indeed not things heard of, or believed at Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherius (which yet they denie not, but that in other Ages after they were generally received) then followeth it, that Fox and his Fellows must shew the Time, Place, Men, and Occasion of their beginning, to wit, when, where, and by what Men, and upon what Causes, and with what Authority, or Induction or Violence, or by what Deceit, or with what Contradiction of others, these Doctrins entred first, and were continued in the Church. All which Points we can shew of every other Error or Heresie, that hath risen and was held for such, from Christ's Time to ours.

9. And if either Fox or his Cub, or any of that Kennel can or will shew this, and joyn issue with us upon this one Point, we do accept thereof, and the matter may be quickly dispatch'd. But if this cannot be done, then must we follow the Rule of St. Augustin held by him for infallible in such Affairs:The first ground of St. Augustins rule. to wit, ‘That when any Doctrin is found generally received in the known visible Churh, at any Time, or in any Age, whereof there is no certain Author, Time, or Beginning found: then is it sure, that all such Doctrin hath come down from Christ and his Apostles.’

10. This doth that holy Doctor and great Pillar of Gods Church Saint Augustin affirm and reiterate in every place of his Works against Heretics of his Time, which argued, as our Men do, by denying only, and putting Catholics to Proof. As for Example, against the Donatists, denying the custom of baptizing Infants, for that it was not in Scripture, nor recorded by Fathers of the first Ages,Ang. l. 4. de Bapt. cont. Do­nat. c. 6. Saint Augustin answereth thus, Illa consuetudo, quam & tunc homines sursum versum aspicientes non videbant à posterioribus in­stitutam, rectè ab Apostolis tradita creditur. ‘That Custom of Baptizing In­fants, which Men before us in the Church looking upward to Antiquity, did not find to have been ordained by them that came after the first Ages, is rightly believed to have been delivered by the Apostles.’

11. And again in another place speaking of Ecclesiastical Customs, he saith, Quod universa tenet Ecclesia, Lib. 4. de bapt. c. 24. nec Conciliis institutum sed semper retentum est, non nisi anthoritate Apostolica traditum rectissimè creditur. ‘That, which the universal Church doth hold, and was not instituted by any Council, but hath been still retained in the Church, this we may most justly believe to have come from no other Authority, than from the Apostles.’

And the like Speeches unto this hath St. Augustin in divers other places both of this Book against the Donatists, as l. 2. c. 7. and l. 5. c. 23. as also lib. de Ʋnitat. Ecclesiae. c. 19. & Epistola 118, &c. And as for that he speaketh of Institution by Councils, he meaneth of Customs and Ceremonies, and [Page 37] not of Articles of Belief. Which no Council can appoint, but only declare and expound, as before we have shewed.

12. This Position then of St. Augustin is most true and consonant to the Doctrin of all other Fathers in that behalf, that when any thing is found ge­nerally received in the Church, and no Author, Institutor, or Beginning can be found thereof, this without all doubt cometh down from the Apostles. And of this position may be alledged two infallible grounds.Two reasons why that which is gene­rally received in the Church and hath no known begin­ning, may be presumed to come from the Apostles Ioan. 14.15, 16. Mat. 16. The one of Faith, the other of evident Reasons. For in Faith who can think so basely of Christs Power or Will in performing his Promises made unto his Church, to conserve her in all Truth unto the Worlds end, as that he should permit her notwithstanding to admit or teach generally any one false Article of Do­ctrin, and much less, so many as these men object against us? For whereas he promised his Holy Spirit to be with her unto the Worlds end, and that she should be the Pillar and Firmament of Truth to direct others, and final­ly that hell gates should never prevail against her: How should all this be per­formed, if she fell into those Errors, of which Protestants accuse her? or what greater Victory could the gates of Hell have against her, than that from an Apostolical Church, of whom Christ spake, she should become an Apostatical Church, as these Men do call her? which is the greatest Blas­phemy against Christ and his Divinity, that possibly can be imagined, see­ing it doth evacuate his whole Incarnation, Life, Death, Doctrin, Resurre­ction, and other Benefits of his coming, which were all imployed to this end, to make unto himself a Church and Kingdom in this world, that should direct Men in all Truth to their Salvation. And this being taken away, and the other granted, that the Church her self may fall into Error and false Doctrin; then is there no certainty in any thing. And consequently it cannot be that any erroneous Doctrin should be taught or received general­ly by the Church. And this is the first ground of St Augustin's Assertion.

13. But besides this, there is another founded in Reason and Experience,The second ground of St. Augustin's rule. which cannot be denied. And for that it is a consideration of great Importance and may serve the Reader to many purposes of moment, for discerning of Doubts and Controversies; I shall desire him to be attent in perusing the same. We do find by Experience, and that not only in Ecclesiastical, but Temporal Affairs also: That when Orders, Laws and Customs are once settled in any Common-wealth, it is hard to alter or take them away, or to bring in things opposite or different to them, without some Resistance, Dis­pute, Contradiction, or at least some Memory thereof, how, why, and by whom it was done. As for Example, if a Man would go about to bring in any Innovation in the particular Laws of London, and much more in the gene­ral Laws of all the Land: no doubt, but he should find some Resistance therein, some that would dispute about the matter, alledging Reasons to the con­trary: others would resist and oppose themselves; and when all did fail, at leastwise some Record, Story or Memory would be left of this Change.

14. But much more if this matter did concern Religion, which is most esteemed above other Points. As for Example, if a Man would begin to teach any Points of Doctrin at this Day in England contrary or different from that which is there received, and established by public Authority; he would pre­sently be noted and contradicted by some no doubt: as we see the Puritans, Brownists, Family of Love, and other such newer Teachers have been, and the History thereof is notorious, and will remain to Posterity.

15. And this is the very reason also, why all Heretics and Heresies from the beginning did no sooner peep up in the visible Catholic Church, but that they were noted, impugned confuted, and finally cast out from that body, to the Devils dung-hill. And the Records thereof do remain, who were the [Page 38] Authors and Beginners, who the Favourers and setters forward, at what time, upon what occasion, under what Popes and Kings, and other such-like Cir­cumstances. And this will endure to the end of the World.

The proper state of the Question.16. This then being so, we now come to the state of our Question, and to joyn with the Protestants upon this Issue, That seeing the Doctrins before mentioned, of the Popes Authority, Sacrifice of the Mass, Transubstantiation, Ʋse of Images, and the like, were found to be generally received and believed in the Visible and Universal Catholic Church of Christendom, when Martin Lu­ther first began to break from the same; yea, and many Ages before, by their own confession, they must shew us when the said Doctrins were brought in afterwards to the Church, not being there, nor believed therein before; to wit, by what Man or Men, with what Authority, Constraint, or Persuasion, with what repugnance of them that misliked the same, and other like Circum­stances before mentioned; which if they be not able to do, most certain it is, that whatsoever they prattle against these Doctrins, saying they were not in Eleutherius's time, it is nothing but Cavils and Heretical Shifts.

17. And now that they cannot shew any such particularities for the entrance or admittance of these Doctrins into the Church, is most evident: For what­soever time they assign for their beginning, we can still shew, that before that time they were in use, if they mean of the Things themselves, and not only of Words or Phrases.Transubstantia­tion ever in the Cath. Church. As for example, when they object, That in the Coun­cil of Lateran under Pope Innocentius III. in the year of Christ 1215. the word Transubstantiation was first used; we answer, That albeit that word was then added for better explication of the matter, as these words Homousion, Consub­stantial, Trinity, and the like, were by the first General Council of Nice; yet the substance of the Article was held before, from the beginning, under other equi­valent words of Change and Immutation of Natures, Transformation of Elements, and the like. As for Example, that of St. Ambrose speaking of the words of Christ in the Consecration,Amb. l. 4. 5, & 9. de Sacra­mentis. Non valebit sermo Christi, ut species mutet elemento­rum? ‘Shall not the words of Christ be of power to change the Natures of Elements?— And again, Sermo Christi, qui potuit de nihilo facere, quod non erat, non potest ea quae sunt in id mutare, quod non erant? "The Speech of Christ that was able to create of nothing that which was not before; shall it not be able to change things that are already into that which they were not before?’ He meaneth the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, as himself doth expound.

18. So as here we see the change of the Natures of Elements, and of the Substance of one Body into another, averred by St. Ambrose long time before the Council of Lateran; which is the same that we mean by Transubstantiation. And conform to this do speak also other ancient Fathers, as well Greek as Latin; and one thing is specially to be noted, That both the Greek and Latin Church did agree therein in the said Council; there being present two Patriarchs of the Greek Church,The Council of Lateran un­der Innocentius III. Anno 1215. to wit, those of Constantinople and Hierusalem, and others both Archbishops, Bishops, and Prelates: So as of both Churches the Arch­bishops were 70, the Bishops 412, Abbots and Priors 800, and Prelates in all 1215, together with the Legats, Doctors and Embassadors of both Empires, West and East, as also of the Kings of France, Spain, England, Hierusalem, and others. So as this point of Doctrin about Transubstantiation was not han­led in corners, but publicly: and the Council doth not deliver the same as any New Doctrin, but only as an Explication of That which ever had been held before.

19. And the same is answered to the other-like Heretical Cavils about other points here objected by Fox and Sir Francis of an Ʋniversal Pope, the use of the Mass, and Propitiatory Sacrifice, the setting up of dead Mens Images, and the like. For [Page 39] if they understand by the first the Primacy and Supreme Authority Ecclesia­stical of the See of Rome, and her Bishops; and by the second, the Christian external Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of our Savior, instituted by himself as the Complement of all other Sacrifices that went before; and by the third, Sacred Memories and Images of Christ and his Saints, that are not dead, but living and reigning everlastingly in Heaven: then are all these Doctrins (howsoever disguised by Heretics with different words, to make them more odious) most true and Catholic Doctrins, and received in the Church from the beginning, and continued from the Apostles downward.

20. And albeit these People, to continue cavilling, do alledge divers times,A silly shift of the Heretics. that the first of these Articles, about the Popes Supremacy, did begin first under Pope Gregory the Great and Phocas the Emperor, about the year of Christ 600; and that the last, about the Ʋse of Images, was decreed in the second General Council of Nice, about the year 700; and that the other of the Use of Mass be­gan by little and little they cannot tell when: yet is this all most ridiculous, and themselves dare not stand to any certain time by them assigned; for that pre­sently we appoint another time before that wherein these things were also acknowledged; which they cannot do in the Heresies by us objected to them, for that we shew indeed the very true time wherein they began, and had their off-spring, together with the proper Authors, Places, Occasions, and other-like particularities, recorded not by our selves, but by other authentical Wri­ters before us, so as reasonably there can be no doubt thereof. And herein stands the true difference between us: We really and substantially shew the Beginning and Authors of their Heresies, for that they are Heresies indeed; but They cannot shew the Beginning or Author of any of our Articles of Be­lief since Christ and his Apostles, for that they are no Heresies, but Catholic Doctrins, and have ever endured from Christ downward; tho' in some Ages more than other, they have been expounded or declared by Fathers and Coun­cils, according to the necessities of the time; and this is one proper Office of the Holy Ghost, appointed for Guider of the Church to explain matters, as doubts do arise.

21. Wherefore this is the first way of trial whether the foresaid Articles of the Roman Religion, taught at this day, about Transubstantiation, Mass, The Inference upon all the former Nega­tive Argu­ment. and the like, be the same that Pope Eleutherius held, and sent into Britanny, or not. And I do call all this kind of Argument Negative, both in respect of our Adver­saries, that deny them to have been then in use, and of Us, that deny them to have been brought in afterward: And they ought to prove the second, seeing they cannot deny but that they were once generally in use, and received over Christendom. Whereof we do make the former most infallible Inference with St. Augustin, That forasmuch as they were once in use, and generally received, and no particular beginning can be shewed of them or of their entrance: Ergo, They came from the Apostles themselves.

22. To this Inference the Sectaries and Heretics of our time have one only shift more; which is, That albeit these Doctrins have for many Ages been re­ceived generally in the Church of Christendom; yet that they crept into the same by little and little, and finding no resistance, began at last to be univer­sally believed. But this creeping Instance can have no place here by any pro­bability: For, to say nothing of the Providence of God in protecting his Church from such creeping Errors, nor yet of the Promises of Christ before-mentioned to the same effect,That Heresies could not creep into the Church with­out being espied. Reason it self doth demonstrate also that this possibly could not be; For if the Doctors and Fathers of the Church did note and discover from time to time every least Heresie or Error that did peep up in their days, and this not only in Heretics, but in divers principal Fathers also that held any particular Opinions, as is manifest in St. Cyprian, Lactantius, Ar­nobius, [Page 40] Cassianus, and others; If this diligence (I say) were used by them in all other occasions, how could it happen that so many, so manifest, and so important Doctrins, as are in controversie between Us and Protestants, should be let pass without Note or Contradiction, if they had been either New or Er­roneous? How should it come to pass (I say) that no one of these ancient Fa­thers should ever impugn any of these Doctrins, if they were New Opinions, and brought into the Church contrary to the Doctrin that was before, as these men do say? Yea, how should it fall out that no one Record in the World should be left by our Ancestors, that at such a time, by such or such occasions, began the Doctrin of Purgatory, of Praying to Saints, of the Real Presence, of the Ʋse of Images, of Mass and Sacrifice, of seven Sacraments, and the like, that were not held in the Church before?

An experi­mental dedu­ction. 23. And that this is impossible, may be shewed by this experimental Dedu­ction, which now I will set down. Let us imagin that none of these Doctrins were in the first Age under the Apostles; and namely, that then there were but two Sacraments, no Purgatory at all, or any External Sacrifice held. We ask them concerning the second Age, wherein Justinus, Polycarpus, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian, were chief Teachers, whether these Doctrins were in this Age, or no? If they deny it, tho' we might prove the contrary out of their Works; yet, not to pass from this first kind of Argument, we ask the like of the third Age, under Origen, Cyprian, Dionysius Alexan­drinus, Pamphilus, Arnobius, and the rest? And if they deny of this Age also, that these Doctrins were not held by them, we go to the fourth Age, under Athanasius, Hilarius, Optatus, Basil, Nazianzen, Ambrose, Hierom, Chrysostom, Epiphanius, Cyrillus: In whose Writings every where there is men­tion of all these Doctrins, as afterward in our second Argument we shall shew out of the Protestants themselves; and namely the Magdeburgians, that profess to note all.

24. Now then, I ask our Adversaries touching this creeping Instance, how could these Doctrins so creep into the Catholic Visible Church in this fourth Age for example, and be received so generally over all Nations, Countreys, and Kingdoms, by these principal Lights, Captains, Watchmen, and Guiders of the same, as no Note, Detection, Resistance or Memory should be left of any Doubt, Dispute, or Opposition made against them? Is this likely? Is this pos­sible? Read all the Fathers Works over, and find, if you can, but one place wherein one Father did ever hitherto note another for holding Purgatory, Praying to Saints, believing the Real Presence, or the like, as they did Cyprian (tho' otherwise a most Learned and Holy Man) for teaching Re-baptization of Heretics, and some other Fathers for other particular Opinions different from the Catholic Doctrin of that Age. Whereof we may infer, That they would have done the like also in these other points, if they had been held for new or erroneous in those days.A Considera­tion of much importance. And hereof also may be inferred another Sequel or Observation of very great moment against our Heretics, That when soever any Doctrin is found in any of the ancient Fathers, which is not contradicted nor noted by any of the rest as singular, that Doctrin is to be presumed to be no particular Opinion of his, but rather the general of all the Church in his days; for that otherwise it would most certainly have been noted and impugned by others. Whereby it followeth, that one Doctor's Opini­on or Saying in matters of Controversie not contradicted or noted by others, may sometimes give a sufficient Testimony of the whole Churches Sentence and Doctrin in those days; which is a point very greatly to be considered.

[Page 41]25. But yet further, to all this may be added another Consideration of no small weight, which is the difficulty of bringing in certain Doctrins,The difficulty of bringing in five new Sa­craments. if any man would have attempted it; as for Example, the Doctrin of Seven Sacra­ments: If there had been but Two only before in the Apostles time, it had been an extreme great Novelty to have added Five more, which never would have been admitted without much strife and resistance, seeing all Catholics do hold, that Christ only could institute Sacraments, for that He only could assure the Promise of Grace made thereunto, as excellently doth declare the Council of Sess. 7. cap. 1. Trent, and long before that again the Master of Sentences; and 4 dist. 5. q. 10 art. 2. & part. 3. q. 64. act. 4. St. Thomas, in the name of all Catholics, did leave that Doctrin registred, and there can be no doubt thereof.

26. Wherefore this Truth being admitted, That the whole Church hath no Authority to institute any Sacrament, or to alter any thing about the sub­stantial parts thereof; to wit, the Matter, Form, or Number, (as the same Council of Trent in another place declareth;Sess. 21. c. 7.) how was it possible that five whole Sacraments should be added or brought into Catholic Doctrin, and re­ceived and believed throughout Christendom without any resistance or oppositi­on at all, if there had been but two only instituted by Christ, and exercised by the Apostles in the first Age? How, I say, could five more be brought in af­terward? By whom? at what time? in what Countrey? &c. Impossibilities For if any one had begun to do it, others would have resisted; it being a matter of so high moment. And if one Countrey, Province or Church had admitted them, another would have refused; or at leastwise there would have been some Doubt or Disputation, and some general Meeting and Synod, or Council ga­thered about that matter; and some parts would have admitted one Number, and some another, as we see that the Sectaries of our time have done since the matter hath been called in question by them; some allowing five, some four, some three, some two. But no memory of any of these differences being to be found among Catholics, most certain it is that this Number came down from Christ and his Apostles themselves.

27. The like, or greater difficulty,The difficulty of bringing in the use of Confession. would also have been about the use of Sacramental Confession, if it had not been appointed by Christ, and put in ure presently, and so continued from time to time: For that it being a thing in it self most repugnant to man's sensual Nature, to be bound to open his particu­lar sins to another, with that Humility and Subjection which Catholic Do­ctrin doth prescribe in the use of that Sacrament; clear it is, that if it had not been in ure even from the Apostles time, and that as a matter of absolute necessity, it could never have been received afterward, nor yet brought in by any Human Power, Art, or Device. For who (I pray you) should or could bring in such a thing of so great repugnance and difficulty upon the whole Christian Church? Will they say any Pope? Let them name either Him or Them, together with the Time, and other Particularities; which they never will be able to do.

28. Besides this, I ask them further, What Pope would ever have attem­pted this, if it had not been by Obligation before him; seeing that Popes themselves, the more Great and Eminent they be above others, the more na­tural repugnance must they needs find in themselves, to go and kneel down at the feet of an inferior Priest, and confess unto him their most secret sins? And the like may be said of Temporal Princes and Emperours; who if any Pope or Power Ecclesiastical would have laid such a burthen upon them, not used nor of obligation before, how would they have yielded unto it? which of them would not have answered, that seeing their Fathers and Ancestors were saved without this subjection, and irksom obligation of revealing their particular sins, they would hope to be so also? And finally, some great Difficulty, Doubt, [Page 42] or Contention would have been about this matter, before it could have been so brought in, and established all over the Christian World, as we see by experi­ence it was; and at leastwise some memory would have remained thereof in Histories, which we find not, and consequently we may conclude that there was never any such thing. And this is sufficient for our first Argument. Now let us pass to the second.

CHAP. VI.

It is proved by the second kind of Affirmative or Positive Arguments, That the Points of Catholic Doctrin, before denied by Fox and Sir Francis, were in use in Pope Eleutherius his Time, and in other Ages im­mediately following; and this by Testimony of Protestant Writers themselves.

ALbeit the Reasons and Considerations before alledged, whereby our Ad­versaries are willed to shew the beginning of such Articles and Points of our Catholic Doctrin as they deny to have come down from the Apostles Time, were sufficient to put them to silence, being not able to perform any part thereof, and consequently also may open the eyes of any studious Reader to see the Infirmity of Their Cause, and the Strength and Truth of Ours; yet will we, for greater satisfaction of all sorts, pass over to the other part also of Positive and Affirmative Proofs, which are so abundant in this behalf, as if I would set them down all, this only point would require a parti­cular Treatise; wherefore I mean to abreviate the matter, as much as I may.

Two means of proofs by ci­ting Authors.2. For which respect, whereas there are two means to set down these Proofs; one out of the Authors themselves that lived in the same Age with Eleutherius, and the next after; and the other to cite the same out of Prote­stant Writers: I have made choice of the second way in this place, both for that it is shorter, and seemeth also more sure and effectual. For if I should cite the places, as for Example in the second Age, St. Irenaeus lib. 5. advers. haeres. for the Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, and the same, lib. 4. cap. 77. and with him Justinus Martyr, q. 103. together with Theophilus, Athenagoras, Clemens Alexandrinus, for Freewill, and the same Clemens, lib. 5. stromatum, and divers others of that Age, for the Merit of Good Works, for the manner of doing Penance, and the like; and if I should alledge the said Irenaeus, lib. 4. cap. 32. for the Sacrifice of the Mass, and Justinus Martyr Apolog. 2. and Clemens Alexandrinus, lib. 7. Stromatum, about the Rites and Ceremonies of the said Mass, and the same Justinus, q. 136. and the same Irenaeus, lib. 1. c. 18. for the Ceremonies of Baptism and Chrism used in those days: If (I say) I should alledge these, and other Authors of that time, for positive Proofs of Catholic Articles against Protestants in Eleutherius's days, the matter would first grow to be very long; for that I must alledge the places at length, seeing that otherwise the quarrelling Adversary would say that I left out the Antecedents and Con­sequents,Ordinary ca­villation of the Adversary. as themselves are wont to do, when they mean not to have any Text rightly understood; Secondly, they would quarrel with us (when they see themselves prest) about the Authors Books, whether they be truly theirs or no; and thirdly, about the Translation, Words, and Sense. All which would bring a long Dispute.

[Page 43]3. But now finding that certain Authors of their own Religion, (if they be of their Religion) I mean the Magdeburgians, called otherwise Centuriatores, have taken upon them to set down the whole Story of the Church, and have herewithal treated as well of the Doctrin, as also the Doctors of every Age; I have thought best to take my Proofs out of them, being Confessions, as it were, against themselves and their Mates the Calvinists (tho' not very friendly Mates in many matters of Doctrin, as you shall hear) and their Story being the very Ground and Fountain of all John Fox his Volume of Acts and Monu­ments, except only those things which concern England in particular; wherein whether he or they behave themselves with less Honesty or Conscience, is hard to say: but in this Treatise you shall have divers tasts of them both. And this being spoken as it were by the way of Preface, we shall now take in hand the matter proposed.

4. These men being four Saxons, whom before we have named, gathered together in the City of Magdeburg, to wit, Flaccus Illyricus, Joannes Vigandus, The story of the Magdebur­gians. Matthaeus Judex, and Basilius Faber, and in Religion strict or rigid Lutherans, took upon them (as hath been said) to write the whole Ecclesiastical History from Christ to their Time by Centuries or Ages, allowing 100 years to every Age, whereof they are called Centuriatores. And in every Age they handle these and like Chapters, Of the Church, and increase thereof, or Doctrin therein taught; Of Heresies and Heretics; Of Doctors, and Writers, and the like. But amongst other points especially to be noted to our purpose, that presently after the Apostles in the second Century, they make this Chapter, repeating the same in every Age after: Inclinatio Doctrinae, A proud title against the Fathers Wri­tings. complectens peculiares & incommo­das opiniones, stipulas, & errores Doctorum quae palam quidem, hoc est, scriptis tra­dita sunt: That is, ‘The declining of true Christian Doctrin, containing the peculiar and incommodious Opinions of Doctors, their Errors, Straw, or Stubble, which were left publicly by them, that is to say, in their Writings.’

5. This is the Title of this Chapter in every Age, and those last words seem to be added, thereby to insinuate to the Reader that the said Doctors inwardly did hold perhaps many more Errors, and Straw-opinions, in these mens judg­ments, than they left openly in writing. And by this arrogant Title you may see these four good Fellows mean to judge and censure all from the beginning of Christian Religion unto their days; and among others they will censure John Fox also, and his Fellows, as you may see in the Preface of one of their Centuries, dedicated unto the Queen of England the third year of her Reign, 1560, where having told her Majesty a long Tale of the Gospel and pure Word of God, naming the same above half a hundred times (if I have counted right) in this one Epistle, and shewing how Princes must have no other Rule of Go­vernment than the said Word (but yet understood as these men will interpret it) they tell her also, that they now do bring her Antiquity to look upon, yet complaining that few in ancient Times did write luculenter, & cum judicio, Magd. in praef. Ep. dedicat. ad Elizab. Angl. Reginam in cent. 4. perspicuously and with judgment. And then again, Sacrosanctae antiquitatis titulo plurimos quasi fascinari, ut citra omnem attentionem, rectum (que) judicium, quantumvis tetris erroribus applaudant: That very many are as it were so be witch­ed with the holy Title of Antiquity, that without all attention and upright judgment, they do give willingly consent to never so foul Errors, if they be set down by Antiquity.

6. Lo here what an entrance this is of them that profess Antiquity, to dis­credit by their Preface all Antiquity of Christian Religion, and of the eldest and primitive Church, whose Acts and Gests they promise to set down; but the very point indeed is, that they themselves will be Judges of all (as the fa­shion of proud Heretics is) and admit only so much as maketh for their parti­cular [Page 44] Sect,Magdeburgians against the Calvinists. and discredit, or reject the rest. And in this point our English Calvinists are like to find as little favour at their hands, as we that are Catho­licks, and less too; for that by the whole course of Antiquity they do shew these men to be clearly Heretics, and their Opinions about the Sacraments, In­visibility of the Church, and other like, to be Heretical: whereas our Doctrins which they find in ancient Fathers differing from them, they call either incom­modious Opinions, Blots, Stubble, or Errors of Doctors, as before you have heard, and not lightly Heresies. As in this their Preface to the Queen they ad­monish her Majesty more carefully to beware of Their Doctrin than of Ours, in these words;Cent. ib. pag. 9. Tom. 4. The Magdeb. speech to her Majesty a­gainst Calvi­nists. Cùm jam varia grassentur quasi factiones opinionum, &c. Whereas every where now-adays divers factions of Opinions grow up among them, that profess the Gospel; there are some among others, who by certain Philosophical Reasons go about to evacuate, or make void the Testament of our Lord, so as they would remove the Presence of the true Body and Blood of Christ from the Communion, and would by a certain strange perplexity of words deceive the people against the most clear, the most evident, the most true, and the most potent words of our Savior himself: Where­fore your Majesty must principally look to this point, and provide that the Articles of our Faith be kept without such Pharisaical Leaven, and that the Sacraments insti­tuted by Christ be restored without all corruption and adulteration. Thus far the Mag­deburgians to her Majesty, by which you may perceive why I call them Fox his Masters in lying, but not his Mates in believing.

7. To come therefore now to our purpose; I might, as before hath been said, if it were not over long, use two ways for this positive Proof, That these Articles deny'd by Fox and his Scholar were heard of and acknowledged in Eleutherius's time: The first by citing the places themselves out of the princi­pal Doctors that then lived; but this (as I have said) would be over-long. Yet one place I cannot omit of Irenaeus in the very Age we speak of,Iren. l. 3. c. 3. advers. haeres. A notable speech of Ire­naeus, that li­ved with Eleu­therius. and written while Eleutherius yet lived. The words are these: Maximae & antiquissimae Ecclesiae, &c. We shewing the Tradition of the greatest and most ancient Church of Rome, known to all the World, as founded by the two most glorious Apostles Peter and Paul (which Tradition and Faith she receiving from the Apostles, hath preached and delivered unto us by Succession of her Bishops from time to time unto our days) do confound thereby all those [Heretics] which by any ways, either through delight in themselves, or vain-glory, or blindness of understanding, do gather otherwise than they should: For that unto this Church, in respect of her more Mighty Principality, it is necessary that all Churches must agree, and have access; that is to say, all faithful people wheresoever they live. In which Church the Tradition that hath descend­ed from the Apostles, hath ever been kept by those that live in any place of the World.

8. And again, a little after, having for proof of his Faith, and confirmation of Apostolical Tradition, recounted all the Bishops of Rome from St. Peter to his days, he saith, Nunc duodecimo loco, &c. Now in the twelfth place from the Apostles hath Eleutherius that Bishopric, and by this Succession (of the foresaid Roman Bishops) is the Tradition of the Apostles conserved in the Church, and the Preaching of the Truth hath come down unto us; and this is a most full Demonstration, that one and the same lively Faith hath been conserved in the Church from the Apostles time, and delivered unto us in Truth &c.

A collection upon Irenaeus's words.9. Lo here Tradition of the Apostles delivered and conserved by the Suc­cession of the Bishops of Rome! Lo here the Church of Rome called so long ago the Greatest and most Ancient of all other Churches, her Principality both named and confirmed! Behold the Obligation of all other Churches of the World, yea and of all faithful Christians, to agree and have access to Her! See here all vainglorious and self-will'd Heretics confounded by Irenaeus, with the [Page 45] only Tradition and Succession of this Church of Rome and her Bishops, even from St. Peter's time to Eleutherius, that lived with Irenaeus! What Catholic man could say more at this day? And will any jangling Fox or Sir Francis avouch yet without shame, that none of these points were ever known or heard of in Eleutherius's time?

10. Well then, this is one way to confound them, if I would follow it. But being over tedious, I mean to take another, and shew out of their own Historiographers the Magdeburgenses, that all these Doctrins deny'd by Fox, and his Follower here, were known and in ure among the chiefest Writers in the primitive Church, and first Ages after Christ.

And first of all, to begin with this very matter first named by them,About the Pri­macy of the Pope and Ch. of Rome. Cent 2. cap. 4. pag. 63. Of the Primacy of the Pope and Church of Rome: The Magdeburgians have an especial Paragraph thereof, De primatu Ecclesiae Romanae, under the foresaid Title of the incommodious Opinions, Stubble, Straw, and Errors of the Doctors that lived within the first 200 years after Christ. And in that Paragraph they not only do alledge for Stubble this last Authority of Irenaeus by me cited, (tho' they alledge it so miserably maimed, as of six parts they leave out more than five) but also ano­ther place of St. Ignatius, that lived in the first Age with the Apostles them­selves, to the same purpose, which they cite in like manner under the same Title of Straw, and Stubble, and incommodious Opinions. Ignat. epist. ad Rom. And then passing to the third Century, or second Age after that of Christ, they cite Tertullian for the same incommodious Opinion, Tert. l. de prae­scrip. Cent. 3. cap. 4. pag. 84. about the Primacy of the Roman Church and Bi­shop, saying of him, Non sine errore sentire videtur Tertullianus claves soli Petro commissas, & Ecclesiam super ipsum structam, &c. Tertullian doth seem not without Error to think that the Keys of the Church were given only to St. Peter, and that the Church was built but on him.

11. They cite also four or five places out of St. Cyprian, where he holdeth the same with Tertullian, and so they are both confuted for Stubble-Doctors together. Yet go they further with St. Cyprian, citing divers other places out of him to the same effect for the Bishop and Church of Rome, all which they take for Stubble; as where he saith, One God, one Christ, one Church, Cyp. l. 1. ep. 8. one Chair builded upon the Ark by the Word of our Savior; and three or four like places more, which for brevity I omit; and finally they say of him, and three other Fathers of his time, Cyprianus, Maximus, Ʋrbanus, and Salonius, Cyprian egre­giously abused by the Magde­burgians. do think that one [Chief] Bishop must be in the Catholic Church, &c. Lo, four old Fathers that lived almost 1400 years agone, and were the Lights of that Primitive Church, rejected here by four drinking Germans gathered together in some warm Stow of Magdeburg, tippling strongly (as a man may presume) and judging all the World for Stubble besides themselves; for which cause the third person in this Quaternity is called perhaps Mattheus Judex. But let us go forward.

12. They are not content with this rejection of St. Cyprian, but they fall up­on him again in these words; Cyprian affirmeth expresly, Cyp. c. 4. ep. 8. without all foundation of holy Scripture, that the Roman Church must be acknowledged by all Christians for the Mother and Root of the Catholic Church, And further yet in another Treatise, That this Church is the Chair of Peter, from which all the Ʋnity of Priesthood pro­ceedeth. And finally, Cyprian, say they,Tract. de sim­plic. Praelat. Cyp. l. 1. ep. 6. & l. 4. c. 4. ep. 9. Origen. tract. 1. in Mat. & hom. 15. in Levit. hath divers other perillous Opi­nions about this matter; as for Example, That he tyeth the Office of true Pastorship to ordinary Succession, and that he denieth that Bishops can be judg­ed, &c. And Origen also in this Age hath no mean blots about the Power and Office of the Church, &c.

13. Hitherto are the words of the Magdeburgians against the chief Writers of these two first Ages after the Apostles, concerning the point of Principality and Supremacy of the Church and Bishop of Rome, so clearly confessed by [Page 46] the said Fathers (as the Magdeburgians do grant) and on the other side so bold­ly denied by the Fox, and the Knight his Follower and Proselyte, as a thing not so much as heard or dreamed of in these first Ages: whereof you have heard their several and resolute asseverations before; Let them but grant me, saith Fox; and then I say, quoth the Knight, there is no such matter, &c. And by this one point only of the five Articles before objected by them, and denied flatly to have been known or believed in Eleutherius's time, you may see how they behave themselves, and what may be said on our part, and how great a Volume this Book would grow unto, if I should prosecute all the other four Ar­ticles also by them mentioned before, and should pass through the first three or four or five hundred years after Christ (for so much our Adversaries sometimes, upon a good mood of bragging, will seem to allow us) to shew, not out of the Books and Writings of the ancient Fathers themselves, for that this were over long, but what these Magdeburgians do note and gather against themselves, out of their Works, for the Antiquity of that Doctrin which they impugn, reje­cting afterward all again with this only frivolous and fond Cavil, That these Opinions of the Fathers were but naevi, stipulae, & palia Doctorum; stains, stub­ble, and straw of Doctors; opiniones incommodae, &c. and incommodious Opi­nions.

Greg. de Valent. The ridiculous manner of proceeding of the Magdebur­gians.14. Wherein it is well noted by a Learned Man of our time, That these Fel­lows do proceed, as if one being suspected or accused of Theft, Heresie, or any other grievous Crime, should willingly present himself before the Magistrate or Senate of the City; and there first of all, for his clearing, should bring in for Witnesses against him­self the best learned, most grave, ancient, and best reputed honest men of all that City, to testifie that he is indeed such a one, to wit, a false Thief, an Heretic, or the like; but yet, having so done, would endeavor to refute all these again by one bare rejection, saying, that they spake rashly and incommodiously, and that they were overseen, and knew not what they testified, or were in a dream when they spake or testified against him; and finally, that all were deceived, and he alone to be believed against them all. And would this shift (think you) countervail so grave Witnesses against him? or would any indifferent Judge leave to condemn him for this evasion? or would any man think him much better than mad that would take such a course of De­fence? And yet this is the very course of these Magdeburgians, who citing first the gravest and most ancient Fathers of Christendom against themselves, do re­ject the same again with this only jest and contumely, that they spake incommodi­ously, ignorantly, and were Stubble-Doctors.

15. Well then, for so much as concerneth the first Article mentioned by Fox and Sir Francis, as a thing not heard of in Eleutherius's time, (to wit, the Ʋniver­sality and Primacy of the Church and Bishop of Rome) you see, that with going to the Authors themselves of that Age, the Magdeburgians do make it clear against themselves.About Mass and Sacrifice. And for the second point concerning the use of Mass, and Propitiatory Sacrifice, we have cited sufficiently before in the first Chapter of this Treatise out of the same Magdeburgians, who condemn divers of the most ancient Fathers for testifying this matter; and we may do the like in all the other Articles spe­cified by Fox and his Knight, but that it would be over tedious. And therefore I do remit the curious Reader to the Volumes of the Magdeburgians themselves, if he have so much time to lose as the reading thereof doth require: Only in this place I am to note unto him, for his better Instruction, three or four kinds of shifts and frauds used ordinarily by these Protestant Germans, in setting down these and other like matters out of the Fathers, which I shall do in the next ensuing Chapter.

CHAP. VII.

The same Argument is continued, and it is shewed out of the Magdeburgi­ans, how they accuse and abuse the Fathers of the Second and Third Age, for holding with Us against Them.

DIvers are the shifts and frauds, and manifold the abuses, which Protestant Writers, and namely the Magdeburgians, do offer to the ancient Fathers,Three manner of fraudulent shifts in al­ledging & dis­crediting the Fathers. in examining their Sentences about Controversies in Religion: Whereof one principal may be accounted, that of four or five places, or more, that may be alledged out of them for Us and our Doctrin, in the question proposed, they will not cite two, left the multitude of Authorities (if they alledge all that I in the Fathers are found) should give our Cause too much credit. Secondly,II of four or five parts of the Fathers words, contained in the places by them al­ledged, these good Fellows do cut off ordinarily three, lest if they did set them down at length, with their Antecedents, and Consequents, their Opinions might appear more probable and plausible than these men would have them: And of this you have had an Example in the first Authority alledged by me even now out of Irenaeus about the Principality of the Church of Rome; which being set down somewhat at length, as it is in the Author, maketh the matter clear; but shuffled up in four or five words, after a most cur­tail'd manner (as the Magdeburgians do alledge them) do scarce make any sense at all: which is the thing the Alledgers do desire, thereby to discredit the Author.

2. Their third fraud is, that having alledged the first Authorities for Us,III and against themselves, they devise divers pretty and witty slights to discredit them again; as sometimes saying, that in other places the said Father expound­eth or contradicteth himself; sometimes, that he speaketh rashly, or incom­modiously, or without Scripture, and other such contemptuous rejections. As for Example, talking of St. Cyprian that famous Bishop, Doctor, and Martyr, and the Christian Phoenix of his Age (as St. Augustin judgeth of him) these men do handle him in this sort.

3. Cyprianus sine Scriptura loquitur, Cyprian speaketh without Scripture;Cent. 3. c. 4. Cyprianus superstitiosè fingit, Cyprian doth feign superstitiously; Cyprianus malè judicat, Cyprian judgeth naughtily, and the like. Nay, they endeavor to discredit the whole multitude of Doctors and Fathers in every Age: As for Example, in the beginning of the first Age next after the Apostles, they write thus: Tamesit haec aetas Apostolis admodum vicina fuit, &c.Cent. 2. c. 4. p. 55. The judgment of the Magde­burgians con­cerning the second Age. Albeit this Age wus nearest to the Apostles, yet the Doctrin of Christ and his Apostles began to be not a little darkened therein, and many monstrous and incommodious Opinions are every-where found to be spread by the Doctors thereof. Perhaps some cause hereof might be, for that the Gift of the Holy Ghost in these Doctors, did begin to decay, for the ingratitude of the World towards the Truth.

4. Lo here what a Preface this is, to make contemptible to the Reader all the Fathers of the very first Age after the Apostles! But what then do you think they will say of the next following? You shall hear by their own words in the Preface of that Age, which are these:Cent. 3. c. 4. p. 17. Quò longiùs ab Apostolorum aetate recessum est, eò plus stipularum Doctrinae puritati accessit; The farther that we go off from the Apostles Age, the more Stubble we shall find to have been added to the Purity of the Christian Doctrin. Thus they say of these two Ages, and by this last Sentence you may imagin what they will say of all the Ages following.

[Page 48]5. And this is now spoken by them by way of prevention, to discredit ge­nerally the Fathers of these first Ages, when they say any thing against them: But when they come to particulars,Magdeburgians Quips against the Fathers. they have notable Quips for them; where­of, for Example-sake, we shall let you hear some few, whereby you may as well learn their sharp Wits, as heretical Spirits. About the matter of Man's Free-will, About Freewill. whether it were wholly lost by Original Sin, (as Protestants say) or wounded only, as Catholics hold, and strengthened again by God's Grace, to do good in him that will; they write thus of the Doctors of the second Age: Nullus ferè Doctrinae locus est, Cent. 2. c. 4. p. 53. qui tam citò obscurari coepit, atque hic de libero ar­bitrio; No one place or part of Christian Doctrin began so soon to be darkened, as this of Free-will. And then they go on thus with the chiefest Doctors of that Age:Iren. l. 4. c. 72. Irenaeus disputes not distinctly, and wresteth the Speeches of Christ and of St. Paul in favour of Free-will, saying, That there is Free-will also in Faith and Belief: Sed haec satis crasse dicuntur, & aliena sunt à scripturis; But these things are spoken grosly by Irenaeus, and are far from the sense of Scriptures. But whether these Good-fellow-Saxons may be accounted less gross in Wit or Grace than Irenaeus, is easie to guess.

Clem. Alexan.6. From St. Irenaeus they pass to Clemens Alexandrinus, another Pillar of that Age, saying, Eodem modo Clemens Alexandrinus liberum arbitrium ubique asserit, ut appareat in ejusmodi tenebris non tantum fuisse omnes ejus saeculi Authores; verum etiam in posterioribus eas subinde crevisse & auctas esse: Clemens Alexandrinus doth in like manner every-where affirm Free-will;All Doctors in Eleutherius's time said to be in darkness a­bout Free-will. whereby it appeareth, that not only all the Doctors of this second Age were in the same darkness, but that the same did grow, and was encreased in the Ages following. Behold here their general Sentence, both of this Age, and the other ensuing! To what end then should we alledge more particulars in this matter, seeing their re­solution to discredit all? In the third Age they do shamefully slander Tertullian, Origen, Cent. 3. c. 4. p. 77. Cyprian and Methodius for the same Doctrin of Free-will, saying, They do abuse the Scriptures intolerably for maintenance thereof.

Cent. 4. c. 4. p. 291.7. For the fourth Age having given this general Sentence, Patres omnes ferè hujus aetatis de libero arbitrio confusè loquuntur; All the Fathers almost of this Age do speak confusedly of Free-will, &c. They add also, contra manifesta Scripturae sanctae Testimonia; contrary to the manifest Testimonies of Holy Scripture. And then they take in hand to course seven chief Fathers and Doctors; in par­ticular, Lactantius, Athanasias, Basilius, Nazianzenus, Epiphanius, and Hie­ronymus, saying, That they were all deceived, all in darkness, all misled about this Doctrin of mans Free-will. So as it is no marvel if Sir Francis's sharp sight disco­ver so many thick Clouds and Darkness in the Catholic Church of our days, seeing his Masters the Magdeburgians discover so many in the Primitive Church, as by this you may see.

The Contro­versie of Justi­fication. Cent. 2. p. 59.8. About the point of Justification they begin the next Age after the Apo­stles thus: Doctrina de Justificatione negligentiùs & obscuriùs ab his Doctoribus tradita est. The Doctrin of Justification was delivered by the Doctors of this second Age after Christ more negligently and obscurely than it ought to have been.Cent. 3. p. 79. And the same they say of the third Age also: Hunc summum Articulum de Justificatione obscuratum esse, justitiam enim coram Deo operibus tribuerunt; that this chief Article of Justification hath been obscured in this Age, for that the Doctors thereof did attribute Justice before God unto Works, and not to only Faith, &c. And then again in the fourth Age they reprehend greatly Lactantius, Cent. 4. p. 191. Nilus, Chromatus, Ephrem, and St. Hierom, for the same Doctrin. The other lower Centuries I have not lying by me, but it is easie to guess what these men will say of later Ages Authors, seeing they do exagitate so greatly the more ancient.

[Page 49]9. About the Sacrament of Penance, About the Sa­crament of Penance. Cent. 2. p. 62. which is another Controversie betwixt us, they write in the beginning of the second Age thus: Quòd jam tum coeperit haec pars Doctrinae de poenitentia labefactari, ex Tertulliano, Cypriano, & Haeresi Novatiana infra patebit; That this part of Christian Doctrin about Penance, even then (in the first Age after the Apostles) began to be weakened, shall appear afterward by Tertullian, Cyprian, and the Novatian Heresie. Thus they write boldly and confidently as you see. And then in the Age following,Cent. 3. p. 81. Plerique hujus saeculi Doctores, Doctrinam de poenitentia mirè depravant; The most of the Doctors of this Age do wonderfully deprave the Doctrin of Penance.Cent. ib. And what is the reason think you? They tell us presently; Ad ipsum tantum opus poe­nitentis, seu contritionem, eam deducunt, de fide in Christum nihil dicunt; They re­duce Penance only to the works of the Penitent, that is to say, unto Contrition, and do speak nothing at all of Faith in Christ. But who doth not see this to be a notorious slander? For how is it possible to have Contrition without Faith? Consider then how little it is to be wonder'd at, if these Companions and others of their Crew do slander and calumniate Us that live in these days, when they shame not to do it against so many Holy and Learned ancient Fathers of the Pri­mitive Church. But let us go forward.

10. About the Perfection and Merit of Good Works,About Good Works. Ibid. p. 59. these Censurers affirm also, That the true Doctrin of Christ in this behalf was obscur'd in the second Age, immediatly after the Apostles: And they do wonderfully by name fall out with Clemens Alexandrinus, for that he saith, Gratia salvamur, Clem. l. 5. strom. sed non absque bonis ope­ribus; We are saved by Christ's Grace, but yet not without Good Works; which is the very Exposition that Sir Francis himself holdeth before in the second En­counter, but his Masters here do deny it. And then in the next Age they say,Enc. 2. c. 16. Magis, quàm superioris saeculi, Doctores hujus aetatis, Ibid. p. 80. à vera Doctrina Christi & Apo­stolorum de bonis operibus declinarunt; The Doctors of this Age are fallen away from the Doctrin of Christ and of his Apostles about Good Works, more than the Doctors of the former Ages. And then in particular they cry out of Origen, that he writeth, That God giveth Glory to every one in the Life to come, Orig. l 8 in Ep. ad Rom. Cyp. l. Epist. ep. 25. pro mensu­ra meritorum, according to the measure of his merits. Et simili errore (say they) Cyprianus meritorum praecedentium defensione obvelari peccata subsequentia. And that Cyprian by like Error (to Origen) doth say, that by the defence of precedent Me­rits, Sins that follow may be covered. Which they cannot abide to hear.

11. Well, I might run over many other things, as about Laws of Fasting, About Fasting, Virginity, ob­servation of Holydays. Cent. 2. p. 65. Ob­servation of Holydays, Virginity, Continence, and the like, wherein the ancient Fa­thers no less disagreed from our new Gospellers, than We do at this day: And they complain thereof even at the first entrance of the second Age, saying, Do­ctrina de libertate Christiana nonnihil coepit obscurari, &c. The Doctrin of Christi­an Liberty began greatly to be obscur'd in these days. Note, I pray you, that still their complaint is of obscurity and darkness no less in those ancient first Ages, than now they complain of Ours, and with the self-same reason. For what is the reason, think you,Cent. 2. p. 65. why they complain so greatly here of Christian Liberty abridged 1500 years agone? You shall hear the particulars which they alledge, complaining first of these words of S. Ignatius, Scholar to the Apostles:Ignat. Epist. ad Phil. Do not dis­honor (saith he) the Holydays; do not neglect the Fast of Lent, for that it containeth the imitation of God while he liv'd upon Earth; despise not the Passion-week, but do you fast Wednesdays and Fridays, and give the rest of your meat to the Poor, &c.

12. Thus said he,Against Mar­tyrdom. and it misliked greatly the Magdeburgians to hear so much talk of Fasting. And from this complaint they pass to another against all the Fa­thers of that Age, saying, De Martyrio nimis magnificè sentire caeperunt; The Do­ctors of this Age did begin to have too magnificent an Opinion of Martyrdom.Sacred Virgi­nity. And about the Consecrating of Virgins to Christ, they mislike greatly certain speeches of St. Ignatius; as for example, Ep. ad Antiochen. Virgines videant, cui se [Page 50] consecrarint; Let Virgins consider well, to whom they have consecrated them­selves. And again, Epist. ad Thrasen. Eas, quae in Virginitate sunt, honorate, sicut sacras Christo; Do you honor them that live in Virginity, as consecrated unto Christ. And yet further, in his Epist. ad Hieronem. Virgines custodi, tan­quam Sacramenta Christi; Have care to keep Virgins as Sacraments of Christ. Which kind of Speeches misliking our Magdeburgians, they say, That they were an occasion, Page 65. and opened the way to those things, which afterwards were thereupon foun­ded, concerning Cloisters and Vows.

13. In the next Age after, to wit, the third, they also complain greatly of the same things, and many other the like As namely about Chastity and Virgi­nity,Cent. 3. p. 86. Nimium praedicari & extolli Continentiam; That Continency and Chastity was too much commended and extolled. And they are so earnest against Ter­tullian, St. Cyprian ac­cused to hate Women. Origen, and Cyprian, for this matter, (especially the latter) as they do accuse the Holy Man for hatred to Womankind, saying, Ex professo quasi ubique detestatur multebrem sexum; He doth every-where almost even of purpose detest Womankind. But in what sense, I pray you? In no other point (without doubt) but that he had no desire to have a Sister for himself, as each of our German-Ministers may be presumed to have. But why is this false slander of detesting Womankind laid upon holy St. Cyprian by these good Fellows? For­sooth,Cyp. l. de bono Puditiae. for that he praised so much Virginity, affirming, as they alledge him, That Virginity doth equal it self to Angels; yea, if we do examin well the matter, we shall find it to exceed Angels; for that, contrary to Nature, it getteth a Victory in Flesh, Cyp. Serm. de nativ. Christi. against Flesh, which Angels do not. And again, in another place, Albeit Marriage be good, and instituted by God, yet Continency is better, and Virginity ex­ceedeth all. Behold the cause why these Protestants affirm St. Cyprian to have hated the Feminine Sex.

Martyrdom.14. They say also of Martyrdom, that the Fathers of this Age spoke immode­rately thereof: Martyrium immodicè extulerunt omnes hujus aetatis Doctores; All the Doctors of this Age did praise immoderately Martyrdom. And then a­gain,Page 83. Invocation of Saints. of Invocation of Saints, Videas in Doctorum hujus saeculi scriptis non obscura vestigia invocationis Sanctorum; You may see in the Writings of the Doctors of this second Age clear steps of Invocation or Prayer to Saints. And then of Pur­gatory, Semina I urgatorii in aliquot locis apud Originem subinde sparsa videas; You may see the Seeds of Purgatory dispersed in this Age in the Writings of Origen. And you must note, that these good Fellows do speak by diminutives of purpose, calling it signs or footsteps of Prayer to Saints, and Seeds of Purgatory, and the like. But presently in the next Age they accuse openly, and by name, St. Athanasius, Cent 4. c. 4. p. 295. St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Ambrose, Prudentius, Epipha­nius and Ephrem, eight great Doctors, and principal Guides of the Christian Church,Ibid. p. 304. for this Error of Praying to Saints. They accuse also, for express holding of Purgatory, Lactantius, Prudentius, and St. Hierom, in the same Age.

Traditions. Monastical Life. Reliques.15. They accuse all the Doctors of this Age for attributing too much to Tra­ditions and Observations of the Church, especially about Monastical Life, Vir­ginity, honoring the Memory and Reliques of Martyrs. And they are so earnest and impudent in these fancies of theirs, as having cited the Fathers Sentences against themselves, they cannot let them pass without intollerable reproachful words: So do they accuse holy Athanasius of Superstition for commending Vir­ginity.Page 300. And having alledged a long place of St. Basil in praise of Monastical Life, they add this Censure, Quae quidem omnia & praeter, & contra Scripturam sunt; Lib. 2. ad Marcell. All which words (of St. Basil) are both besides and contrary to holy Scripture. Then take they in hand St. Ambrose, saying, Nimis insolenter pro­nunciat de Virginum meritis Ambrosius: Ambrose doth pronounce too too inso­lently of the merits of Virgins.Ephr. l. de lu­ctamin. spiritus cap. 2. And for that holy Ephrem had said, That all pious people shall come merrily in the Day of Judgment before the face of Christ, but [Page 51] especially Monks, and other such as have lived in Desarts in Chastity, Labors, Watch­ings, Fastings, and the like. These good Fellows, whose greatest Labors of Penance have been to drink and be merry in warm Stows, saying,Page 301. Quid potest monstrosius dici contra meritum Christi? What can be spoken more monstrously against the merit of Christ? And then to a Godly Speech of St. Ambrose, Amb Serm. 6. de marg. tom. 3. & in orat fu­neb. de obitu Theodosii. about the pious honoring of Martyrs Tombs, they give this Censure, Cogitet pius Le­ctor, quàm tetra sint ista; Let the Godly Reader consider how horrible these things are, uttered by Ambrose.

16. And in another place, upon certain words of St. Ambrose about the holy Cross found out by St. Helena, they have in their injurious Speeches, Multa commemor at superstitiosa, quae vehementer contumeliosa sunt in meritum Christi, & repugnantia Fidei; Ambrose doth reckon up many superstitious things, which are greatly contumelious against the merit of Christ, and are contrary to Faith. And thus they go forward against the rest of the Doctors and Fathers that a­gree not with them in their Fancies and Heresies; and generally having sought to discredit, about the Article of Justification and Good Works, this fourth Age after Christ, and the chief Doctors thereof by name, as Lactantius, Gregory Nyssen, Hilarius, Nazianzen, Ambrose, and Ephrem; they conclude with this contumely against them all: Jam cogitet pius Lector, Cent. 4. p. 293. quàm procul haec aetas in hoc Articulo, de Apostolorum Doctrina desciverit; Let the Godly Reader now consi­der how far this fourth Age departed from the Doctrin of the Apostles in this Article of Good Works and Justification.

17. Well then,The sum of this Chapter, and shameful shifting of He­retics. in all these points of Controversie between Us and the Prote­stants, to wit, the Primacy and Principality of the Church and Bishop of Rome, the Sacrament and Sacrifice of the Altar, otherwise called the Mass, Freewill, Justification, Penance, Merit of Good Works, Traditions, observing of Fasts, Holydays, Sacred Virginity, Continency, Monastical Life, Prayer to Saints, Purgatory, Memory and Reliques of Martyrs, and other like, (which in effect are the principal points wherein the Protestants do disagree from us) we see by the testimony and witness of their own men that the ancient Fathers of Eleuthe­rius's days, and the next two Ages after him (for I go no lower) did wholly agree with us against them; and this so far forth, as the Magdeburgians do say more than once of all the Doctors of the second Age after Christ, (wherein Eleutherius lived) That they erred, and lived in darkness, for that they held with us, as now you have heard.Cap. 5. num. 2 And with what face then doth John Fox say a lit­tle before, Let them but leave us the Religion that was in Eleutherius's time, and we will ask no more? With what forehead also doth Sir Francis, his Scholar, add,Supra ibidem. I say there is not now the same Faith in Rome that was then; there were then no Masses, no Ʋniversal Pope, &c.? But with such men do we deal, that care not what they say or deny, so they may bear out the matter for the present, and seem always to have somewhat to say.

18. But now will we leave this, and pass to another Conversion under St. Gregory the Great, which concerneth us English-men more particularly than the former; whereabout you shall see no less Heretical Fraud and Malignity used than in the other before-mentioned, if not more; for that these people finding all Antiquity against them, and having no other Authorities for proof of their Religion, but only their own Inventions, with some light shew of Scripture expounded by themselves, are forced to use most shameful and de­sperate shifts, when their Cause is examined by the Histories of former Ages. And so much of this point.

CHAP. VIII.

Of the third Conversion of our Island and English Nation by St. Augu­stin and his fellows sent from Pope Gregory the first, Anno 596. And of divers Heretical Shifts and Impudences to deface the said two excel­lent Men, and the Religion brought into England with them.

YOu have heard the two Shifts before used about the first public Conversion of Britanny by Pope Eleutherius, to wit, first of all to discredit this Sto­ry so much as in them lay, and then being forced to grant it, their last Re­fuge was to say, that the same Faith was not then in Rome that is now, nor that the Points of Doctrin now believed and taught, were known and ac­knowledged then. Both which Shifts have been most evidently refuted, and the same Religion shewed to have been in Rome under Pope Eleutherius, which at this day is there taught.

2. But now there remaineth the other public Conversion of the English Nation from Pope Gregory under King Ethelbert of Kent some four hundred years or more after the other, in which neither of the two former Shifts can be used by our Adversaries. For neither can they deny or bring in doubt the History it self, recorded by all Writers of that time, and since, (and namely and most abundantly by our Countrymen St. Bede, Bed. l. 1. hist. Ang. c. 23. & deinceps. Malm. de gest. Regum. Ang. l. 1. & de Pont. Angl. l. 1. Galf. mon. hist. Ang. l. 11. c. 22. Huntingt. hist. l. 3. c. 1. and his Continuator William of Malmesbury, and others) nor can they say that the Faith of Rome then derived into England, was any other than that, which is now in Rome. Which latter Point, he that will see proved substantially, and examined Article by Article, and Point by Point, by conferring the Doctrin, Rites and Ceremonies brought into England by our said Apostle Augustin, with that which at this day is taught and practised in the Roman Churh; let him read the Translation of the said Story of Bede, put into English by our famous learned Countryman M. Do­ctor Stapleton, with his notes to the same, and the learned Treatise, which thereon, and by that Occasion he made, Intituled, The Fortress of Faith, which sheweth the same to be conform likewise to all Antiquity.

3. Wherefore our wily Knight Sir Francis seeing this, hath answered not one Sentence or Syllable in this his Reply or Wast-word, to this Conversion of Englishmen under Pope Gregory, tho I urged the same somewhat earnestly in my Ward-word. And yet for that upon other Occasions, he saith once or twice in his Book, That Augustin brought in the Romish Religion: as tho the Romish Religion had been different at that day from that of the Christian Bri­tans; and for that his Master John Fox (out of whom he hath stolen all this Story) runneth also to this Shift upon divers Occasions: I am forced to say somewhat thereunto in this place.

Two new wicked devi­sed shifts.4. You must then understand, that Fox and his Fellows being excluded from the former two Shifts (as I have said) and yet forced to use somewhat against this evident Deduction of our English Faith from the See of Rome, they betake themselves to other Refuges, as absurd, or rather more, than the former. The first whereof is, to discredit by all means, they can devise, the Authors of this Conversion, to wit, St. Gregory the Pope, and St. Augustin our Apostle. About this time, Fox Act. & Mon. p. 107. coll. 2. n. 84. (saith Fox) departed Gregory Bishop of Rome, of whom it is said; that of the number of all the first Bishops before him in the Primitive Church, he was the basest, and of all them that came after him he was the best.

The defence of St. Gregory against Here­tics.5. Lo here Envy and Malice how blind they are; for as for Baseness, if he means in Blood or Worldly Honor, it might perhaps with more probability have been attributed to all, or any of the Popes that were before him, than to [Page 53] Gregory, who was (as is known) the Son of a most Noble and Rich Senator Gordianus, as all Authors do testifie.Ioannes Diac. in vita Gregor. Magni. Whose Palace on the Hill Scaurus near to that of the Emperours, is at this day a fair Church and Monastery; and this Man being his Fathers Heir, built with his own Substance seven Monasteries, and endued them with rents before he entred into any religious Order himself. Wherefore touching Birth and wordly Wealth, this was so far off from the Baseness, wherewith Fox would disgrace him, as he might perhaps with more probability have subscribed this note (as before I said) to any other Pope from St. Peter downward, then to St. Gregory. And as for rare and singular Learn­ing; (which impugneth also Baseness) or for Holiness of Life, (that increas­eth much Nobility) I think John Fox dareth not to make St. Gregory inferi­our to many Popes that went before him, tho he were no Martyr, as many of them were. So that hard it were to determine wherein this Baseness doth consist, but that the simple fellow would needs say somewhat to so great a Mans Disgrace. And for terming him the best of all that followed, this is not so much to praise him, as to dispraise the rest; or to make base and best to fall out in Tune, and so we must pass it over as an impertinent Speech.

6. But if we should stand upon the Testimonies of Antiquity in this behalf, to oppose them against John Fox, as namely Joannes Diaconus that wrote his Life, and many other after him; we should oppress the poor Fellow with Multitude of Witnesses; yet cannot we let pass two that lived in Spain at the same time, the one and the other soon after. The first is Isidorus Archbishop of Sevil, who writeth thus presently upon his Death: Gregorius Papa, Isid. de viris il­lustris c. 27. The testimo­ny of Isidorus concerning St. Gregory. Roma­nae Sedis & Apostolicae Praesul, compunctione timoris Dei plenus & humilitate sum­mus, tantoque per gratiam Spiritus Sancti scientiae lumine praeditus, ut non modo illi praesentium temporum quisquam, sed nec in praeteritis quidem par fuit unquam. Pope Gregory Bishop of the Roman and Apostolic See, being full of Compun­ction of the Fear of God, and most high in Humility, was indued by the Holy Ghost with so great light of Knowledge, as not only any Man of the present time is equal unto him, but neither of the Ages past.

7. This is his judgment, which holy St. Hildefonsus Archbishop of Tollet, having cited in a Book of his of the same Title not long after, yieldeth as it were the Reason of this Asseveration of St. Isidore in these words:Hildef. libel. de viris illustr. The judment of St. Hilde­fonse. Ita enim cunctorum meritorum claruit perfectione sublimis, ut (exclusis omnium illustrium virorum comparationibus) nihil illi simile demonstret antiquitas. Vicit enim san­ctitate Antonium, eloquentia Cyprianum, sapientia Augustinum, &c. For St. Gre­gory ‘did shine with so high a perfection of all kind of merits, as (the com­parisons of all other worthy Men being excluded) Antiquity hath nothing to shew like unto him, seeing that in Holiness he surpassed St. Anthony, in Eloquence St. Cyprian, in Wisdom St. Augustin, &c.’

Thus wrote these Men in those days, and albeit it may seem some kind of ex­aggerations; yet we may hereby behold the judgment of those Ages, and the sense of these two learned and holy Prelates, how different they were from John Fox and his Mates in our days, that seek so fondly to discredit so rare a Man; and this shall be sufficient for St. Gregory.

8. Now as for our Apostle St. Augustin, tho' the malice of our Heretics be ex­ceeding great, both against his person and actions; yet is Fox oftentimes for­ced to speak well of him and his company, as in these words:Fox Act. & Mon. col. 2. n. 5. p. 105. Fox praiseth St Agustin our Apostle against his Will. At length when the King (Ethelbert) had well considered the honest Conversation of their Life, and moved with the Miracles wrought through Gods hand by them, he heard them more gladly; and lastly by their wholsom Exhortations and Example of godly Life, he was by them converted and Christened in the year abovesaid 596. and the 36 of his Reign.

[Page 54]9. Thus writeth he there; and moreover talking of a great and special Mi­racle wrought by St. Augustin in sight of the Britans, then his Adversaries, for confirmation of the Roman Doctrin in observing the Easter-feast, as now it is used, (which Miracle was the restoring of a blind Man to his sight, by only kneeling down and praying to God for him in the presence of the multitude whose Prelates had attempted the like before, but could not atchieve it) he saith,Fox. Act. p. 107. col. 1. that the stories both of Bede and Polychronicon, Huntington Iornalen­sis, Fabian, and other more do agree in this matter; And yet in the very next Page following, he goeth about to discredit him by all means possibl [...], and to diminish the Opinion of Sanctity in him: For talking of a certain meeting of seven Britan Bishops with him, where they say St. Austin being now made Archbishop and Primate of England, would not raise nor move his Body at their coming in, Fox writeth thus, Much less would his Pharisaical Solemnity have girded himself as Christ did, and wash his Brethrens feet after their journey, but how knoweth John Fox this?Fox seeketh to discredit St. Augustin. Hear his Reason; Seeing his Lordship was so high, or rather so heavy, or rather so proud, that he could not find in his heart to give them a little moving of his Body, &c.

By this is his Affection seen to the Man, and also by that he would gladly bring him in some manner of suspition, to have been some part of the cause of the slaughter of the Britan Monks of Bangor, slain by Ethelfred a Heathen King of Northumberland, for that they come to Chester to pray against him. Whereas Fox himself notwithstanding doth confess, that both Huntington and other Authors (and he might have said also Bede himself) do say,Bed. lib. 1. hist. c. 35. that St. Au­gustin was dead when this slaughter happened, nor could any way this matter appertain unto him, or to any occasion given by him; yet doth another Com­panion of John Fox go further, and more maliciously against this holy Man our.Jo. Bale. cent. 1. scrip. Brit. fol. 35. Apostle, to wit, John Bale the Apostate Frier, who writeth thus: Augu­stinus Romanus à Gregorio primo ad Anglosaxones papistica fide initiandos Aposto­lus mittebatur. "Augustin the Roman was sent as an Apostle from Gregory the first, to convert the English-Saxons to a Popish Faith. Behold here, how an­cient Papists, the Catholics of England, are by this Mans Opinion.

Bales scurruli­ty against St. Augustin.11. I pass over the rest of Bales false and contumelious Speech concerning St. Augustin, as that he being ignorant of the Scriptures, taught false Doctrin, and that he made himself Archbishop by violence; that he attended more to get tythes and oblations for Masses, than to preach the Gospel, and that he was cause of the slaughter of 1200 Monks, and other such like reproachful lies; against whom I could propose the whole stream of the best Authors ever since his time, both domesti­cal and extern, if it were worth the striving with so contemptible an Adver­sary: and if nothing would restrain the Liberty of so reproachful a Tongue; yet at leastways the respect of our Nation converted by him, and so many great miracles wrought by him to that effect, as both St. Bede and others do recount, and Fox dareth not deny, ought to have some bridle to this shameless Apostata. For that not only St. Bede, Malmesbury, Marianus, Scotus, Sigebert, and others do recount them;Of the mira­cles wrought by St. Augu­stin. but even St. Gregory himself wrote the same by his own pen to Eulogius Archbishop of Alexandria, who had written unto him of some like miracles wrought in Egypt also about that time, in the Conversion of new Christians. St. Gregory's words are these,

Greg. l. 7. Epist. 30. Ind. 1.12. Sed quoniam &c. ‘But for that truly the good, which they do there, is much encreased by the joy you take in other mens good also: I will requite you with the like good News, as you have written to me. Know then, that whereas the English Nation placed in the corner of the World, have remained hitherto in their Infidelity, worshipping stones and blocks, I did by the help of your Prayers these days past (God as I hope, moving me thereunto) send unto that Nation a Monk of my Monastery to preach unto them; who upon [Page 55] my License afterward being made Bishop in the Countreys near unto them,St. Gregories Relation of English Af­fairs. arrived at last unto that end of the world. And now Letters are come unto us both of his Health, and his Work that he hath in Hand; and surely either he, or they that were sent over with him, do work so many miracles in that Nation, as they may seem therein to imitate the Power and Miracles of the Apostles themselves; and in this very last Solemnity of Christ's Nativity past, there were above ten thousand Englishmen baptized by the hands of this our Brother and fellow Bishop, &c.

13. Thus far St. Gregory, who is another manner of Witness than Fox or Bale, tho Fox doth confess (as you have heard before) both the vertuous Life and Miracles of St. Augustin and his fellows. And if he do so indeed, and do think them to have been wrought by Gods Power, and not by the operation of Satan; then it is great Blasphemy both in him and his fellows, to think that God would concurr by Miracles to the planting of false Doctrin and Error, which scornfully they call the Papistical Faith. Whereof now we shall treat more in particular, having disputed these things about Saint Augustin's Person.

14. About which Doctrin these good Fellows seem to quarrel much more,About the Do­ctrin brought in by St. Au­gustin. giving simple People to believe, that he brought from Rome a different Chri­stian Religion from that, which was in Britanny before, as out of Sir Francis own words alledged may appear: And albeit John Fox in his History treating of this matter, doth not dare to affirm it plainly, but rather seeketh here and there to pick out some differences between the Roman Religion, that St. Augu­stin brought in, and that which is now, as for example where he saith:Fox p. 107. col. 2. Note by the way (Christian Reader) that whereas it is said that Augustin A wise con­sequence; for that now also Fonts would hardly suffice to baptize 10000 in a day. Fox in Protest. p. 9. baptized ten thousand English Saxons upon a Christmas day in a River, it followeth (saith he) that then there was no use of Fonts, &c. Yet in a certain Preface of his, which he calleth his Protestation to the whole Church-of-England, he hath these words, All this while about the space of 400 years (after the Conversion of King Lucius) Re­ligion remained in Britanny uncorrupt, and the Word of Christ truly preached; till about the coming of Augustin and his Companions from Rome, many of the said Bri­tan Preachers were slain by the Saxons. And after that began the Christian Faith to enter and spring amongst the Saxons after a certain Romish sort; yet notwithstanding somewhat more tollerable than in other times, which after fol­lowed, &c.

15. Thus writeth Fox maliciously enough (as you see) to bring in doubt and discredit our first Christian Religion, planted by St. Augustin; Whether St. Augustin taught the Saxons true Religion. but yet hereby it is evident, that if Englishmen were ever true Christians either at their first Conversion, or for more than 900 years after, they were Roman Chri­stians. But whether they were ever true Christians indeed or not, that Point Fox dareth not plainly to determine in this place; but only as the fashion of Hereticks is, to call matters in question and leave them in doubt, so doth he, and (as one said well) To lay the Eggs for another to hatch the Serpents. For that Fox his Scholars, Holinshed, Hooker, and Harrison, and other like, have presumed upon this foundation, to determine resolutely the matter, that Eng­lishmen were never true Christians indeed before Luther began his Doctrin, which appeareth in these their words following,Holin. in de­script. Britan. c. 27. col. 1. speaking of the Inhabitants of Britanny. When the sheep of Gods pasture (say they) would receive no wholsom fod­der, it pleased his Majesty to let them run on headlong from one iniquity to another. Insomuch that after the Doctrin of Pelagius, they received that of Rome also, brought in by Austin and his Monks; whereby it was to be seen, how they fell from the Truth into Heresie, and from one Heresie still into another, until at last they were drowned in the pits of Error, digged up by Antichrist, &c.

[Page 56] Whether Englishmen were ever true Christi­ans before Luther's time.16. Thus do write these Companions, of the first Conversion of Englishmen by St. Augustin, but whether they mean of the Britans, or of Englishmen, or of both, that fell into these pits, it is not so easie to judge: For they name both to determin or distinguish neither People; and which way soever you take it, it hath not only falshood and impiety; but open contradictions also in it self. For it they mean the Britans, then it is evidently false, that they were convert­ed by St. Augustin and his Monks. And if they mean of the English, it is much more false, that they ever received the Doctrin of Pelagius, or fell from Truth to Heresie, as these phantastical Men both ignorantly and maliciously do affirm. But let us hear yet further their blasphemous and desperate Speeches of our first Apostle St. Augustin.

Holinsh. ibid. This Augustin (say they) after his arrival converted the Saxons indeed from Paganism, but as the Proverb saith, bringing them out of Gods Blessing into the warm Sun, he imbued them with no less hurtful Superstition, than they did know be­fore. Most vile blas­phemy a­gainst the first Christian Englishmen. For beside the only Name of Christ, and external contempt of their pristin Ido­latry, he taught them nothing at all, but rather an exchange from gross to subtil Treachery, from open to secret Idolatry, and from the name of Pagans to the bare Title of Christians, &c.

17. Lo here these Mens censures of the first Conversion of our English Nation to Christianity. They compare Paganism to Gods blessing and our new Christi­an Religion to the warm Sun, and all our Forefathers Faith and Religion, more than 900 years together, they define to be nothing but Superstition, Trea­chery and Idolatry, no less hurtful than the Paganism it self, which they pro­fessed before, and that they lived and died only with the bare name of Chri­stians without the Substance, &c. And consequently are most certainly damned all eternally. Now if the worst Devil that is found in hell had a mouth, and should be let forth to preach, curse, or scold against us, as these men do; could he speak worse or more blasphemously (think you) against the first Chri­stianity of our Nation, or against God himself, that testified the Truth and Sanctity thereof by so many rare miracles, as before hath been shewed? Could this Divel (I say) in his own shape or language speak more opprobriously of our primitive English Christian Church, then these new Gospellers do? espe­cially if we add that which Friar Bale hath in these words,Baleus descript. Britan. cent. 1. fol. 35. Carnalis illa Anglo­rum Synagoga, quae Roma venerat, illam persequebatur Ecclesiam, quae secundum Christi Spiritum apud Britannos erat. ‘That Carnal Synagogue of English Christians, that came from Rome, did persecute the Church that was in Eng­land, according to the Spirit of Christ bfore Augustin came.’

18. Behold our first Christian English Church not only call'd a Synagogue, but a carnal Synagogue: and the British Church which a little before Holin­shed condemned (as you heard) of Heresie, is now called the true Church, ac­cording to the Spirit of Christ. But what spiritual Man (think you) was this, that so speaketh of Spirit and condemneth our primitive English Church of Car­nality? You shall hear him described by his own pen, and first of his Vocati­on,Ibid. cent. 5. fol. 245. How John Bale became a Friar. how he became a Frier. Duodecim annorum puer (saith he) in Carmelitani Monachatus Barathrum, Nordovici detrudebar. ‘When I was a Boy of twelve years old at Norich, I was thrust into the pit of being a white Friar.’ So he saith, and out of these words two things may be noted of his spirit, which is no doubt of lying, for that both of them are slanderous fictions of his own; first that he was made a Friar at the Age of twelve years, for that no Religious Or­der can admit Men to the same,De Reg. juris l. 6. c. Non solum. & Ca­et. in Sum. Concil. Trid. sess. 28. cap. 15. according to the Ecclesiastical Canons, but of convenient years, and fit to make their choise for so great an attempt, as is to renounce the World, and lead a Religious Life, according to the vows they make, which before the Council of Trent was at Fourteen years, whereunto the said Council added two years more. It might be then perhaps, that this [Page 57] Boy was put into the White Friars Monastery at Norwich at twelve years old, to sweep the Church, or cleanse Candlesticks, or other such Offi­ces fit for that Age, and his Person; but not to be a Friar, or to be admit­ted into the Order it self, and much less (which is the second lie) can it be probable, that he was forced thereunto, as here he telleth his Readers; for that it is well known, that such Profession were not available, for which cause every Order of Religion hath their Noviceships, or times of Probations appoint­ed, wherein Men are to be proved, and to prove also themselves, and to have free liberty to make their Elections, without force or constraint at all. And so do all true Religious Men know and profess, albeit this miserable Apostate having lost all spirit and sense of Religion, and become wholly carnal indeed, would have it thought that he was put into Religion against his will.

19. But how did he get himself out again, (trow you) from this Servitude into Liberty of the Flesh, World, and Devil, and of his new Gospel, you shall hear it also from himself, Apparente Dei verbo (saith he) deformitatem meam vidi, How Bale was unfriared and made an Apo­state. &c. "The Word of the Lord appearing, I saw mine own deformity of being (to wit) a Priest, and a Friar. Well, and what followed? Horribilis bestiae ma­ledictum charecterem deinceps erasi: ‘I did presently then scrape out the cursed mark or character of the horrible Beast:’ So he calleth his old Character of Priesthood, his Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, and other Ob­ligations of Religion.

20. But what was the means to scrape out these Characters? you shall have it from himself in like manner. Non enim (saith he) ab homine, Bale ibid. neque per hominem, sed speciali Christi & verbo, & dono, uxorem fidelissimam accepi Dorothe­am: ‘For that I took unto me (and you must mark the word enim that yield­eth the cause) a most faithful wife. Dorothy (some Nun you may imagin, as faithful in keeping her Vow of Chastity as himself) and this not from any Man, nor by any Mans help, but by the special gift and word of Christ, &c. Lo here Christ made a wooer for this Friar to marry a Nun against both their Vows and Promises made to him before; and is not this a fit Spi­ritual Father to call the whole Primitive Church of England a Carnal Sy­nagogue, &c.

21. But yet hear him out further, what he writeth of our first Christian King Ethelbert, and of the Religion receiv'd by him from St. Augustin, and thereby consider what manner of Men this new Gospel bringeth forth. Ethel­bertus Rex (saith he) Romanismum, cum adjunctis superstitionibus tandem suscepit; hac nimirum adjectâ conditione, ut omnino liber, & non coactitius esset novus ille Deorum cultus: King Ethelbert at length having heard the Preaching,Fox p. 105. col. 2. nu. 5. and ‘considered (as Fox saith) the Miracles and vertuous Life of St. Augustin and his Fellows, admitted the Roman Religion with all the Superstitions adjoyned thereunto; but yet with this condition, that this new worship of Gods (which he now admitted) should be altogether free, and no way sub­ject to Coaction, &c. In which words the Apostate (if you mark him) doth not only speak blasphemously of our whole first Christianity, calling it a new Worship of many Gods; but seemeth also to insinuate, that it was so admitted by King Ethelbert at the beginning, as it might be free for Men to leave it again, when they would. Than which contumelious slander (if he mean it so) nothing can be spoken or imagined more absurd or wicked. Let any Man read St. Gregories letters to King Ethelbert after his Conversion,Bed. l. 1. hist. c. 33. and he shall see an other Lesson there taught him: to wit, his great and perpetual Obligation to God for so singular a Benefit, confirmed from Heaven with so ma­ny Miracles, and such other points.

[Page 58] The wicked intents of our Sectaries.22. But by this we may see, whither these Mens drifts do tend: which is to discredit all Antiquity and Religion, and to bring in question whether Eng­lishmen were ever true Christians hitherto or no. And as for the space of 900 years together after St. Augustin's time unto Luther, these Men deny it flatly, for so much as they say, that our first Faith received from Rome, was not the true Faith of Christ, nor of Christendom; but a particular Romish Faith, full of Error, Superstition, and Idolatry, as you have heard; yea worse (if we will believe Holinshed, Hooker, and Harrison) than was the Paganism, which Englishmen professed before their Conversion: And then followeth, that for so much as they hold also, that the longer Religion endured in Eng­land, the worse it waxed: needs must they conclude, that when Luther began his Gospel, our Fathers and Grandfathers were no Christians at all, and much less true Christians. And this for them.

That Prote­stants cannot be sure that they are Chri­stians accord­ing to Fox and Holinshed.23. But if we will talk of our selves, that now live in England, we must needs also conclude the same: to wit, that after all Mutations made in Eng­land about Religion, since Luther began, the Protestants cannot be sure with any Reason, that they are true Christians, or have yet received the right Faith or Gospel unto this day. Which I prove thus, First for that the Gospel preach­ed by Luther, was never yet admitted wholly into England: For at the very beginning thereof under King Henry, it was contradicted by him and the State,See the Acts of Parliament Anno 31. Hen. 8. c. 14. & anno 32. c. 26. & anno 34. c. 1. during his whole Reign, yea condemned for Heretical, as by many De­crees as well of Parliaments as otherwise by particular Ordinances is mani­fest: his Majesty always holding Luther's Opinions for Heresies, and according thereunto, burned the Professors thereof for Heretics unto his dying day, as is notorious: Tho' in one Article about the Popes Supremacy he concurred with them; but not as taking the same from Luther or his Doctrin: So as Luthers Gospel (if it were a Gospel, as John Fox calleth it every where in his Acts and Monuments) was never yet received in England. For that in King Edwards days the Doctrin of Zuinglius and not of Luther was admitted. Which Do­ctrin Luther always held for opposite to his, and for plain Heresie, as before at large hath been declared.

24. And as for her Majesties time that now is, clear it is that neither of both the former Doctrins or Gospels have formally, or fully been admitted: I mean neither the Lutherans or Zwinglians, Enc. 1. c. 3, 4, 5. but rather the Doctrin of a third, oppo­site in many Points to them both; to wit, of John Calvin. And yet neither hath this Gospel been so frankly or generally received or practised, as the chief Professors thereof, and such as take themselves to follow the same most exactly (I mean the Puritans) do remain content, but rather complain, that their true Doctrin indeed and Gospel, was never hitherto truly established in our Country,Super ibid. as in the first Encounter against Sir Francis we have shewed abun­dandtly.

25. So as if the first Gospel of St. Augustin, brought into England from Rome, wherewith our Ancestors lived and professed Christianity for 900 years toge­ther, were not the true Gospel of Christ indeed, nor the other Gospel of Martin Luther, that appeared to the World in the year 1517 was ever admitted into Eng­land in King Henry's time, that died in the year 1547. And if from thence for­ward under King Edward, Zwinglius's Doctrin and not Luthers, was established, for the English Gospel of that time: And if under her Majesty that now is, nei­ther of these two, but Calvins Doctrin and Gospel hath been admitted (tho' yet with such Restrictions, and Alterations, as the purest Patrons thereof say it is not their Gospel, but a patched thing, as Enc. 1. c. 6.10 and 12. before at large we have decla­red) what followeth then (I say) but that we Englishmen have yet no true Gos­pel at all, nor ever had, and consequently we were never yet true Christians, nor are at this day: For that the Christianity of the antient English from King [Page 59] Ethelbert to King Henry VIII. was no true Christianity, as these men say; and much less will they grant of the Religion established by King Henry, as opposite as well to Protestants as to Catholics. That also of King Edward's days was different from all; and that which now is in Eng­land, is contradicted as well by Lutherans, Zuinglians, and Puritans, as by Catholics. Where then, and among whom, shall we find the true Gospel?

26. One only shift these people do pretend, which is to run to the Britans Religion at that time, when St. Augustin came into England; for this both Fox and Bale do acknowledge to have been the right Religion, and (to use their words) the naked unspotted Gospel, and far different from the Romish Religion that Augustin brought in from Gregory: wherefore that point rest­eth now to be examined. And albeit you have heard a little before how Ho­linshead accuseth the Britans Religion of Pelagianism and other Heresies, Baleus descrip. Brit. cent. 1. fol. 35. yet Bale writeth thus: Priùs illic fuerit Christianismus, &c. ‘Christian Religion was in Bri­tanny before the coming of Augustin and his Fellows: But it was not to their commodity, for that it was without Masses, and without distinction of Meats or Days; and the Britans observed the bare naked Gospel, without Jewish Ceremonies, &c.

27. So writeth he. And Fox (as before you have heard) said,Fox in his pro­testation to the Church of England, p. 9. That for 400 years after Pope Eleutherius and King Lucius, Religion remained in Bri­tanny uncorrupt, and the Word of Christ truly preached, till about the co­ming of Augustin and his Fellows from Rome, &c. And yet he cannot deny but that in this space both the Pelagian and other Heresies had entred also among them, and that some Reliques thereof remained even when Augustin arrived. And whereas they say, that the British Religion before the coming of Augustin was uncorrupt, and free from all Jewish Ceremonies, it is ridiculous; forasmuch as we have shewed Sup. cap. 3. before, that the chiefest difference between these two Religions at that day was about a Jewish Ceremony observ'd by the Britans, against the Order and Faith of the Church of Rome, to wit, the su­perstitious keeping Easter day upon the fourteenth of the first Moon of March, together with the Jews.

28. But as for other substantial points of Faith, (especially such as be at this day in controversie between Us and Protestants, as Mass, Sacrifice, Fast­ing, observing of Holydays, and the like here named) the old Britans Re­ligion did agree with that of Rome, brought in by St. Augustin, and so hath continued until this day; and this shall we shew in the Chap­ter following. So as if the old British Faith was the true Faith, We have it among Catholics at this day, and not Protestants, as shall be de­clared.

CHAP. IX.

That the Roman Religion, brought into England by St. Augustin under Pope Gregory, was the very same that was brought in before under Pope Eleutherius by Fugatius and Damianus, and continued after­ward among the Britans until the coming of St. Augustin to the English Nation.

WE have shewed before how that the Christian Faith, preached in Eng­land in the Apostles time, was the Roman Faith; and that the in­crease, or public Establishment thereof again under King Lucius, was also from Rome; Sup. c. 1, 3, 5, 6. and finally, that the third propagation was in like manner from the same City, under Pope Gregory by St. Augustin. Now remaineth it that we shew and declare how the Britans, from King Lucius's time until the coming of St. Augustin (which was 400 years, and more) downward, did not alter their Faith, nor yet the See of Rome Hers; and con­sequently, that the Faith remaining among the Britans when St. Augustin en­tred, and that which was brought in by Him from Rome, and taught unto the English, was all one.

That Rome changed not her Faith from Eleutherius to St. Gregory.2. And first for the Church of Rome, if we count the Bishops thereof that held that Seat from Eleutherius, the fourteenth Pope after St. Peter, who died Anno Domini 196, until the beginning of Pope Gregory I. the sixty-sixth Pope, who was chosen Anno Domini 590: In this space (I say) of 400 years, there passed fifty Popes all of one Faith; nor shall it be found that any one of them changed his Religion, or was different in belief the one from the other; which is a sufficient proof that the Roman Faith in Gregory's time was the same that it was in Eleutherius's time.

3. And as for the Britans, we read not but that from the time of King Lu­cius they continu'd the Faith receiv'd under him from Pope Eleutherius, until the rising up of the Heretic Pelagius, which was somewhat more than 200 years after; and for other 200 years again after that, to wit, from the time of Pela­gius until the coming of St. Augustin, we find not in any History that the Bri­tans (being once deliver'd from the Heresie of Pelagius by the help of St. German and Lupus, That the Bri­tish Christian Faith was the same with the Romans. Sup. c. 3. Bishops of the Roman Faith) ever changed their Religion in any one substantial point; nor that they swerv'd from the general Faith of the rest of Christendom, except only some few of them infected with the fore­said Heresie whiles it lasted, and the Custom of keeping Easter-day with the Jews: Which before we have shewed to have been perhaps some remainder of Pelagianism, or otherwise brought in after. But howsoever it got in, cer­tain it is, that in other substantial points of Doctrin and Religion, there was no difference between the Britans and Romans at that day, to wit, un­der Pope Gregory that sent hither Augustin; which I shew by the Reasons fol­lowing.

Reason I 4. First, That if St. Augustin at his coming had found any other substan­tial difference of Belief in the British Faith, from that which he brought from Rome, he would have reprehended the same, as well as he did their different Custom in celebrating Easter after the Jewish manner, and some few other Rites of less moment; or at leastwise, being afterward made Archbishop and Primate of all the Land, and conferring with the British Bishops in Council, (as Fox saith he did) he would have communed with them about the same, or objected it unto them,Fox pag. 117. col. 2. or at leastwise have made some mention thereof, [Page 61] either in his Letters to Pope Gregory (as he did of far lesser matters) or to some other man. But any such thing we do not read; and consequently it may be concluded certainly, that there was no such difference in matter of Faith and Doctrin.

5. Another Reason may be taken on the other side, from the Britans towards Reason II St. Augustin; who being in Controversie with him about his preaching to the Saxons, whose Conversion for the present they seemed not to desire (in respect of many injuries receiv'd from them, as St. Bede affirmeth) they did observe all Occasions, Causes, and Reasons, which they might alledge by any proba­bility, why they would not joyn with him in that Work; and if they could have alledged this Cause, That the Doctrin which he preached had been diffe­rent in any one point from that which they had received and observed before, it had been a very sufficient excuse and reason for them. But we do find no such exception alledged by them, and consequently we may conclude (as before) that there was none.

6. Our third Argument or Reason may be deduced from the consideration of Reason III the Universal State of Christian Faith in those days, to wit, under Gregory I. who was chosen Pope about the year of Christ 590, at what time there was Unity and Conformity of one Religion throughout all Christendom, except only in some places of the World certain Reliques of Greg. l. 5. ep. 14. Pelagians, Philas. l. de haeres. Origenists, Greg. l. 3. ep. 32. Dona­tists, and Greg. l. 10. in Job. c. 29. Eutychians, out of whom sprung also in those days the Niceph. l. 18. c. 53. Arminian Errors, as appeareth by the History of those times, especially out of St. Gregory's own Works. Neither do we read that the Britans were noted with any of these Heresies, but only with Pelagianism some years before; from which they had been deliver'd by the Preaching of the French Bishops St. German and St. Lupus, and by the diligence of their own Metropolitans St. Dubritius and St. David afterward. Seeing then St. Augustin came from Rome by Italy and France, and was directed to the Bishop of Arles, Bed. l. 1. c. 25. from whom he passed through France into Britanny; it is certain he brought no other Faith than the Univer­sal Faith of Christendom receiv'd and believ'd in those days: From which seeing that Britanny was not held nor noted to be different, nor yet Excommunicated, (as certain Bishop of Ireland appear to have been by divers Letters of St. Gre­gory himself,Greg. l. 2. ep. 36. indict. 10. & l. 9. ep. 61. indict. 4. written to them in their reprehension for participation with cer­tain Schismatics;) it followeth, that the Faith which St. Augustin brought, and that which the Britans had before, must needs be one and the self-same in all material and substantial points.

7. To which effect also may be added, That in the very next Age among Reason IV the Britans, before the English entred,The presence of British Bi­shops in Fo­reign Coun­cils. there were British Bishops in divers General and National Councils; as in the time of Constantine and Pope Syl­vester we read, That one Restitutus, a famous Bishop of London, was present at the Synod of Arles in France, in the year of Christ 325, and subscribed to the same, as by the Acts of the said Council appeareth;See Syn. 2. A­relatens. to. 1. Concil. and the subscripti­ons. wherein among other points was ordained, That no man having a Wife should be made a Priest without his Wifes consent, promising to forbear her Company for the time to come. It appeareth also by the Apology of St. Athanasius, Cap. 2, & 3. Athan. Apol. 2. cont. Arrian. that divers Bishops of Britanny were present at the Council of Sardica, held for St. Athanasius against the Arians, about the year of Christ 350; as also the Council of Ariminum, wherein tho' the greater part of that Council were beguil'd by the Arians, yet St. Hilary doth praise divers good Bishops for their Constancy, and among other, Provinciarum Britannicarum Episcopos, certain Bishops of the Britan Provinces. By all which is shewed, that the Christian Religion of Britanny was Catholic and Universal, and concurring in all points with the Roman in those days, as Athanasius and St. Hilary, who praised these Bishops,Hilar. de Syn. advers. Arrian. are known to have done; and consequently it cannot be presumed that either the British [Page 62] Religion should be different from the Roman in the next Ages after, when St. Gregory sent St. Augustin to convert the English, or that the Roman Re­ligion brought in by St. Augustin should be different from the British, except only in certain Rites or Reliques of Pelagianism, which yet were not gene­rally received of all, as before hath been declared.

Reason V Observations out of Histo­ries.8. The fifth Argument standeth upon some Observations taken out of Hi­stories, and other Monuments of Antiquity; whereby it may be gathered more or less what points of Religion, among such as are now called in Contro­versie by Protestants, were believed in those days by the ancient Britans. For albeit the Story of that Church before the coming of St. Augustin be not so left written by any authentical Writer, as were to be wished, and as other Coun­treys have (and namely ours by St. Bede) and this in respect of the manifold Wars, great Miseries, and continual Calamities fallen upon the British Nation for 200 years together before the Conversion of the English, (whereby neither the orderly Succession of their Bishops, neither their meeting in Synods and Councils, neither the observation of Ecclesiastical Discipline, neither their Communication with the Churches of other Countreys, and especially the See of Rome, could be so well performed or recorded) yet of the small Spar­kles and Reliques that do remain, it is not hard to guess (besides the Reasons and Considerations before-alledged) what Religion the Britans were of, and whether their Faith agreed more with the Protestants of our days, than with the Religion of St. Augustin brought in from Rome, and continu'd by Catholics unto this present.

Chrys. orat. cont. Gentes, quod unus est Deus.9. For first, if we will hear external Authors, St. Chrysostom testifieth against the Gentiles in his days, that in Britanny there were Altari a Christi dedicata, Altars dedicated to Christ; which Altars do infer Sacrifice, and Sacrifice Priest­hood, as in his Books de Sacerdotio he proveth. So as in St. Chrysostom's Age, which was the very same wherein the Saxons entred into Britanny, the Britans Religion was Catholic, according to St. Chrysostom, agreeing as well with the Western as Eastern Church, whereof himself was. For if they had been different, or had followed any other Religion than the Common, he would not so much have bragged of them, as against the Gentiles he did.

10. But let us return to British Authors themselves. If we read over with attention the little Treatise or Epistle of Gildas, which he writeth of the De­struction and Conquest of his Countrey, (he being the only Author indeed of entire credit which we find extant of those ancient times) we shall find signs and footsteps enough what Religion the Britans were of, tho' his purpose was not to write any Ecclesiastical History. He lived a good while before the co­ming of St. Augustin, and in the second part of his said Treatise reprehendeth grievously the most horrible sins of the Britans, for which these Calamities of the Picts, Scots, and Saxons, came upon them. And he beginneth his complaint first of their Kings and Judges, saying, Reges habet Britannia, sed Tyrannos; Judices habet, Gild. de excidio Britan. c. 26. sed impios; crebro jurantes, sed perjurantes, voventes, sed continuò propemodum mentientes: Britanny hath Kings, but they are become Tyrants; it hath Judges, but they are impious; swearing often, but forswearing; making Vows, but presently almost breaking the same, &c.

11. Here we see that breaking of Vows was held for no small sin in those days.The Britans use of taking Sanctuary, & swearing up­on Altars. But he goeth further, talking of the said Princes; Inter Altaria jurando demorantes, & haec eadem ac si lutulenta paulò pòst saxa despicientes, cujus tam ne­fandi piaculi non ignarus est Constantinus: ‘They run to the Altar and swear, (when they are in necessity) and a little after they despise the said Altars again, as if they were but dirty Stones, of which wicked Sacrilege King Con­stantine is not ignorant, &c. Here you see Altars made of Stone in those [Page 63] days, and Princes accustomed to swear by Altars, and to seek their Refuge in peril or necessity by running to them, and staying by them in Sanctuary, or when they would do any act with religious solemnity; and that it was count­ed a heinous sin to break promises made upon Altars in those days; which yet Protestants make no scruple of.

12. But now what this Oath of King Constantine was, (whereof Gildas speaketh) and in what form it was made, it appeareth in the next words after, which amongst other are these:Gildas ibid. Hoc anno post horribile juramenti Sacra­mentum, quo se devinxit, &c. Deo primum, Sanctorum demum Choris, & Gene­trici comitantibus, &c. latera Regiorum tenerrima puerorum vel praecordia crude­liter inter ipsa (ut dixi) sacrosancta Altaria nefando ense, hasta (que) prodentibus lace­ravit; ita ut Sacrificii coelestis sedem & purpurea pallia coagulati cruoris attinge­rent, &c. ‘Even this year, after a most dreadful Oath, whereby Constan­tine bound himself, &c. first to God, and then to the whole Choir of Saints, and the Mother of Christ accompanying the same, &c. he pierced with his wick­ed Sword and Spear the most tender sides and hearts of two young Princely Children; and this so near to the holy Altars, as their Purple Cloaks all besprinkled with Blood did touch the seat of the heavenly Sacrifice, &c. Behold here an Oath broken, which was made to God upon the holy Altars, in the sight of his Mother, and of all the Saints of Heaven, for the preser­vation of the said two Princely Children committed to Constantine, and most cruelly murder'd by him, even at the side of the said Altars, so near that their Purple Cloaks did touch the seat of the heavenly Sacrifice. Which is the same phrase that other ancient Fathers did use to describe holy Altars; calling them the Seat of the blessed Sacrifice, or (which is all one) the Seat of the Body and Blood of our Saviour. Quid est enim Altare, Optat. lib. 6. (saith Optatus) nisi sedes Corporis & Sanguinis Christi? What is an Altar, but the seat of the Body and Blood of Christ?

13. And now I would ask our men, whether these speeches of Gildas do agree better to Protestants Religion or to Ours? Would any Protestant speak or write thus? But let us hear how he goeth forward against another Britan Prince of that time, called Aurelius: Among many other Crimes,Against King Aurelius. Gild. ibid. pag. 122. he object­eth this: Propriâ uxore pulsâ, furciferam germanam ejus, perpetuam Deo vidui­tatis castimoniam promittentem, suscipis; ‘Thou having driven away thine own Wife, takest unto thee her wicked Sister, which had promised to God per­petual Chastity of Widowhood.’ And then to another wicked Prince,Against King Maglocunus for leaving to be a Monk. Ma­glocunus, he objecteth, That having made a Vow to be a Monk, he returned to the World again, saying, Coram omnipotente Deo, Angelicis vultibus, huma­nisque, perpetuò Monachum vouisti, &c. O quàm profusus spei coelestis fomes despe­ratorum cordibus (te in bonis permanente) inardesceret! ô qualia, quantáque animum tuum Regni Christi praemia in die Judicii manerent! &c. ‘Thou didst vow to be a perpetual Monk before Almighty God, in the sight both of Angels and Men. O how great a flame of heavenly-hope would burn in the hearts of them that now despair of thee, if thou hadst remained in that good state! O how great Rewards of Christ's Kingdom would remain for thee in the day of Judgment, &c.

14. Thus saith he. And would Protestants (think you) speak thus also, seeing John Fox doth so greatly condemn our ancient Kings and Princes of the English Nation,Fox Act. & Mon. p. 103. for that so many of them in the fervour of the Primitive Church, made themselves Monks? Yet Gildas (you see) on the contrary side, commendeth highly that Fact in the Prince Maglocunus, and greatly con­demneth him for leaving that holy state: And hereby also is refuted that foolish refuge of Fox and his Companions, who say and affirm without shame, [Page 64] that Monks had no Vows in those days; but only that Monasteries were Schooles and places of Learning without any Obligation to persevere therein, or to abstain from Marriage, &c. But let him shew, that every one of those 2000 Monks, that he saith lived in the Monastery of Bangor together, did ever marry, or pretend to have Liberty so to do after they were professed Monks, and then he saith somewhat. And as for vowing and public profession made to God in the sight of his Angels, and the whole Church: the matter is evi­dent enough in this place, what was then in use among the Britans.

Against Priests that said Mass sel­dom and ill. Gil. ibid pag. 132.15. But let us pass from Princes to Priests. What saith Gildas of them? You shall hear his Words: Sacerdotes habet Britannia, sed insipientes, &c. Eccle­siae domus habentes, sed turpis lucri gratia eas adeuntes, &c. rarò sacrificantes, & nunquam puro corde inter altaria stantes, &c. Sedem Petri Apostoli immundis pe­dibus usurpantes, &c. Britanny hath Priests, but without Wisdom, &c. They possess the houses of the Church, but go unto them only for filthy lucre's sake, &c. They do seldom sacrifice, but never go to the Altar with a pure heart, &c. They do usurp the Seat of Peter the Apostle, with unclean feet, &c.

16. Lo here, Massing and Sacrificing Priests in those days, which are so hated and persecuted at this day in England, tho', God be thanked, free from these Vices of impure Life,Gildas ibid. which here is objected to the Priests of that time. But let us hear yet Gildas further: In Apostolicis sanctionibus ob inscitiam he­betes, They are dull in observing Apostolical Sanctions, for that they are un­learned and understand them not. Lo here Priests reprehended for lack of skill in the Ecclesiastical Canons, and Apostolical Decrees. And yet he goeth further: Desperatiùs errant, quo non ab Apostolis, vel Apostolorum successoribus, sed à Tyrannis, Ibid. p. 133. & à patre eorum diabolo emunt sacerdotia, These Men do err the more desperately,Buying of priesthood. Act. 2. for that they buy unto themselves the Office of Priesthood not of the Apostles or their Successors (as Simon Magus would have done the Holy Ghost) but of Tyrant Princes, and of the Devil their Father.

17. Here you see that Priesthood in those days was not wont to be given by the Authority of Lay Princes, but by the Successors of the Apostles, to wit, Bishops. And then further he goeth forward shewing how these naughty Priests, being once possessed of that Dignity, and made proud thereby, presu­med to say Mass unworthily:Gildas ibid. Manus non tam venerabilibus aris, quam flammis inferni ultricibus dignas, in tale schema positi sacrosanctis Christi sacrificiis exten­suri, ‘These Priests being once put in this Dignity or Ornament, they presume to stretch out their hands to the most holy Sacrifices of Christ, tho their hands be more worthy of the burning flames of hell, than to touch the venera­ble Altars.’

Altars and Sa­crifice among the Britans.18. Thus he wrote of Altars and Sacrifice among the Britans in those days, and divers other Points like unto this, which for brevity's sake I omit; only I would ask our Men in general, whether this be spoken as of Protestants or no? And then would I demand of John Fox in particular how that can be true which he affirmeth; That the Britans had no Mass in those days, seeing Gil­das talketh so much of Priests that did Sacrifice upon Altars? And if he will say that Gildas useth not the word Mass, it is a plain Cavil, seeing nothing is signified by the Mass, but only the external Sacrifice of Christians here men­tioned. And that the word Mass was generally used in the Latin Church for Sacrifice long before this time of Gildas, appeareth by many Authors, but es­pecially by St. Aug. to 10. ser. 237. & 251. de temp. & in concil. Milevit. c. 12. & Car­tha. 2. c. 3. & Concil. Carthag. 4. c. 84. quibus interfuit Augu­stinus Epiph. haeres. 50. Eu­seb. l. 5. hist. c. 23. & in vita Constant. l. 3. c. 17. Augustin the Doctor, in divers places of his works, whereof some in the Margent we shall note.

19. I would ask also of John Bale, how the Religion of the Britans was the pure and naked Gospel in those days (for so he saith) if it had in it not only that [Page 65] custom of the Jews before mentioned of the Quartadecimani; but all these other Points also, which his Church counteth for Errors, to wit, of Professed Monks, and Consecrated Nuns, of Sacrificing upon Altars, and the like, how (I say) could this British Church be accounted by him and his, so pure and unspotted? But little heed is there to be given to these Mens saying or unsaying, but as the pre­sent occasion of necessity urgeth them. And therefore we will go forward to shew some other Observations in this kind.

CHAP X. The continuation of the same matter, wherein is shewed, by divers Proofs and Examples, that the Britans before St. Gregory's time, were of the same Religion that he sent into England by St. Augustin, to wit, of the Roman.

AND first of all to begin with the first Entrance of our first English Apostles, St. Bede writing of the City of Canterbury, at the coming of St. Augu­stin, before King Ethelbert was converted, saith thus,Bed. l. 1.6. c. 27. Erat autem propè ipsam civitatem ad orientem, Ecclesia in honorem St. Martini antiquitus facta, dum ad­huc Romani Britanniam incolerent, &c. In hac ergo ipsi primò convenire, psallere, orare, Missas facere, praedicare & baptizare coeperunt, A Church de­dicated to St. Martin among the ancient Christian Britans. ‘There was a Church near to the City on the East side, built in old time in the honor of St. Martin, while yet the Romans did hold Brittany, &c. Wherefore in this Church, Augustin and his company did first use to meet together, to sing Psalms, to Pray, to say Masses, to preach, and to baptize the People, &c.

2. Note here, that seeing the Romans left England presently upon the destru­ction of Rome by the Goths (to wit about the year of Christ 400 which was some fifty years before the entrance of the Saxons) then was the use of build­ing Churches in the Honor of Saints in practise among the Britans and Roman Christians of those days living in Britanny. And forasmuch as this Church of St Martins was found fit to say Mass, and Baptize in,An evident Demonstrati­on that the British Religi­on agreed with that of St. Augustin. according to the use of Rome, and for that the Britan Christians were never found to have reprehen­ded, or misliked this manner of serving God, used by St. Augustin and his Fel­lows: it is an evident Argument, that the same was and had been in use also among them from all Antiquity: neither was it a novelty brought in by St. Augustin.

3. Moreover about the same time of the Romans going out of Britanny, or soon after (to wit, about the year of Christ 440) it appeareth by Bede, that the two French Bishops, St. German and St. Lupus the first time,St. German and St. Lupus. and St. German and St. Severus the second time, came into Britanny to resist the Pelagian Here­sie and to reestablish the Catholic Faith that was among them before. And so they did as well by working many Miracles, as by their Preachings, which Bede recounteth at large throughout many Chapters.Bed. l. 1. hist. c. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. But now that these three holy Bishops, (the first of Antisiodore in France, the second of Troy in Campany, the third of Trevers in Germany) were all of the Roman Religion, and held in all Points of Controversie against the Protestants of our Time,That St. Ger­man, St. Lupus, and St. Seve­rus were Ro­man Catholics. both in Doctrin and Practise, is evident, not only by that the Roman Church doth hold them all three for Canoniz'd Saints, and celebrateth their Memories, the First upon the 31 of July, the Second upon the 29 of the same Month, the Third upon the 15 of October, which would never be permitted if they had [Page 66] been different in any one Point of Faith; but also the same is clear, as well by their own Writings that are extant, and by their Lives written by others, as also by divers things recounted by St. Bede in his Story of their Doings in England: as namely where he writeth of St. German, how he cured the Tribu­nes Daughter of Blindness by his Prayer,Relics of Saints. Ibid. c. 18. and by applying the Relics of cer­tain Saints unto her Eyes in the sight of all the People. Deinde (saith he) Germanus plenus Spiritu sancto; &c. ‘Then St. German full of the Holy Ghost, did invoke the Name of the Blessed Trinity, and presently took from his side a certain Box of Saints Relics, that he was wont to carry about his neck, and with his hands did put them upon the maids eyes, which out of hand received perfect sight therewith. Whereat the Parents of the maid rejoyced exceedingly, and all the People did tremble at the sight of the miracle, &c.

4. Thus writeth St. Bede of that Act. And further that the said Bishop went to the Sepulcher of St. Alban (which even at that time appeareth to have been kept with great Devotion) prayed to the Saint largely, and there left in his Sepulcher part of the Relics of all the Apostles, and of divers other Saints, which he had brought with him out of France, and carried away with him, in exchange thereof, much of the earth that was died with the Blood of St. Alban. Which he would not have done if he had been a Protestant. And then yet further, talking of another famous Miracle and Victory achieved by the said St. German against Heretics, with sounding out the word Alleluia, St. Bede saith,Ibid. c. 18. The use of Lent among the Britans. Aderant Quadragesimae venerabiles dies, quos religisiores reddebat praesentia sacerdotum, &c. The venerable days of Lent were come, which the presence of these Priests (of God) made more religious, &c.

5. Behold here now almost 200 years before St. Augustin came into England, the use of Relics of Saints, of praying to Martyrs, and honoring their Sepulchers, the use of Alleluia, the Religious Observation of Lent, and such other Points re­corded to be in practise among the Christian Britans. Is this Protestant-like, think you? or can these men be presumed to have been of our new Religi­on? But let us proceed to talk of some Britan Teachers and Pastors them­selves.

6. Geffrey of Monmouth in his British Story, much esteemed and alledged by our Adversaries, writeth, that at a certain Feast of Pentecost at Chester, about the year of Christ 522. (as Bale holdeth) King Arthur being present, there was a great meeting of Princes,St. Dubritius Primate of Britanny Anno 522. Galf. hist. Brit. l. 9. c. 12. and 13. Lords, and Bishops for his Coronation, and that of the three Archbishops of Britanny at that time (which were London, York, and Chester) Dubritius Archbishop of Chester did the Office of the Church that day, of whom he saith, Hic Britannia Primas, & Apostolicae Sedis Legatus, tantâ religione clarebat, ut quemcunque languore gravatum, orationibus sanaret. This Man being Primate of Britanny, and Legate of the See Apostolic, was so famous for his Religion and Sanctity, as he did heal any sick Man by his Prayers.

7. Lo here the Popes Legate among the Britans did also Miracles before the coming of St. Augustin. And then further talking of the Church Solemnity that day,Ibid. p. 70. Procession and Organs. he saith, Postremo (peract â processione) tot organa, tot cantus fiunt utris­que templis, &c. Lastly the Procession being ended, there were so many Or­gans did sound, and so great variety of Music heard in both Churches, as was wonderful &c. Behold Procession and Organs in Britanny before St. Augustin's coming. This Man afterwards left of his own will the said Archbishoprick, and became an Ermit, as both Jeffrey, and John Bale do testifie, which Protestant Bishops are not wont to do.

8. And further Bale writeth of him that he died the 18 day before the Ca­lends of December, Anno Domini 522. and that his Body afterward in the year of our Lord, 1120 the Sixth of May was translated under Ʋrban Bishop of [Page 67] Rome, to the Church of Landaff in Southwales. All which could never have been done, nor permitted by the Bishop of Rome, if there had been any Suspi­cion, that he had held any Point of Doctrin different from the Church and Faith of Rome at that time; which maketh also the matter evident, that the Here­tical Custom of celebrating Easter according to the Jews,) which in St. Grego­ry's time was found in Britanny) was a latter custom not held by all, but by some few only.

9. In this Man's place was made Archbishop the famous Man David Me­nevensis King Arthurs Unkle (as Jeffrey and Bale do testifie) who passed the said Archbishoprick from Chester to St. Davids, and so it is called at this day of his Name. This David (saith Bale) was a goodly Man of Stature,Bal. descript. Eccles. fol. 30. St. David of Wales Anno Domini 540. about four cubits high, learned and eloquent, and after ten whole years Study in the Scripture, expounded the same as a Trumpet, carrying always the Text of the Gospel with him. He extinguished the Relics of the Pelagian Heresies in Bri­tanny, preached incessantly, cured many sick, and built twelve Monasteries and was held for a very great Saint in his days, and canonized afterward by Calix­tus II. Bishop of Rome, &c. Per Calixtum secundum (saith he) Papisticorum deorum ascribitur in Catalogum, He was put in the Catalogue of the Papistical Gods by Calixtus the Second. Whereby appeareth, that the Britans were not only Papists in those days before the coming of St. Augustin; but had Papist Gods and Saints also there. Yet this Man might live (according to Bale) to have seen the times of St. Augustin's entrance; for that he saith he flourished in the year 440. and lived in all 146 years, tho' Gerrad Cambrensis, Polydor, Camb. in Catal. script. Britan. Polid. l. hist. Angl. in fine. and others do make him somewhat more ancient.

10. And for that we have talked here of John Bale, and that the testimonies taken from Enemies themselves are of greatest weight against themselves: we shall in this place touch certain Points briefly of the chief Preachers and Pa­stors among the Britans in those days; to wit, for the next two hundred years before the coming of St. Augustin into England. Which Preachers are mentioned,Fox in his Protestation to the Church of England. p. 9. 19 British Bi­shops and Do­ctors pretend­ed by Fox to have been Protestants. and much praised both by Fox and Bale, as true Teachers in those days, where­of Fox writeth thus: ‘In this Age (to wit after the Peace restored to the Church by Constantine) followed here in the land of Britanny; Fastidius, Ni­nianus, Patricius, Bacchiarius, Dubritius, Congellus, Kentegernus, Helmotus, David, Daniel, Sampson, Elnodugus, Assaphus, Gildas, Henlanus, Elbodus, Dinothus, Samuel, Nivius, and a great sort more, which governed the Bri­tan Church by Christian Doctrin a long season: albeit the civil Governours for the time were dissolute and careless, (as Gildas very sharply doth lay to their Charge) and so at length were subdued by the Saxons. And all this while about the space of 400 years (to wit from the time of King Lucius) Re­ligion remained in Britanny uncorrupt, and the word of Christ truly preach­ed, until about the coming of St. Augustin, and his Companions from Rome, &c.’

11. Here now you see the chief Teachers of the British Church (Nineteen in number) for the space of 400 years (as Fox avoweth) set down in order, and highly praised by him; but neither his Order or Argument is worth a rush.Neither Or­der nor Ar­gument good in Fox. For as for his Order, he beginneth with Fastidius, that lived not two hundred years before St. Augustin's coming, tho he name four hundred. And then he putteth some before, that lived long after the rest, and sometimes skippeth over 100 years together from one to another, as you shall see by the Examen. And for his Argument, how many lies and errors it containeth, shall easily ap­pear by the Sequel of this Discourse. For first concerning two of the chief in this Catalogue contained, (to wit, Dubritius and David, Archbishops of the Britans) you have seen before, that they were Roman Catholics and canonized many Ages after their Death by Roman Bishops, which they would never have [Page 68] done, if they had differed from them in any Point of Religion. But now let us see of the rest, for I see not what reason there is, why Fox should so com­mend these two.

12. The first four are Fastidius, Ninianus, Patricius, and Bacchiarius, all which are found to have been Catholic Men, and held the common Faith of Rome in those days, nor any of them ever favoured any of these new Doctrins, brought in by our new Gospellers.Fastidius Pris­cus Trit. de script. Eccl. Bal. fol. 23. Trithemius maketh mention of Fastidius whose Sir­name was Priscus, Bishop of the Britans, a Man of rare Life and great Learn­ing in the Scriptures, and a singular Preacher, and lived in the time of Ho­norius and Theodosius the Emperors, about the year of Christ 420. The same do write of him both Honorius, Gennadius, and Bergomas. And John Bale con­curreth with the rest, adding that he was Archbishop of London, and that amongst other his Works he wrote one De Viduitate servanda, of keeping Widowhood, without marryig again. By which only work you may know that he was not of John Bale's Religion. What we have written also of the Religion of St. German and his fellow Bishops, that came into England, may easily declare what Religion this Man was of, who being then Archbishop of London, must needs be presumed to have had a great part in their calling in, as also to have joyned with them against the Pelagians, which he would not have done, if they had not been all of one Religion. And thus much of him.

St. Ninianus. Bed. c. 4. He­ctor. Boet. l. 7. & 15. Ioan. Fordonius l. 3. c. 9. Bal. ibid.13. Of St. Ninianus, who converted the Picts to Christian Religion, St. Bede maketh most honorable mention in the Third Book of his Ecclesiastical History, and the Roman Martyrologe doth cite him for a Saint upon the Six­teenth day of September. Which would never have been permitted, if he had been in any one thing different from the Roman Faith. Nay John Bale writeth of him thus: Ninianus Bernitius ex Regio Britannorum sanguine procreatus, Italiam adhuc adolescens petiit, Romae apud divini verbi ministros mysteria veritatis edo­ctus ad plenum, celer in patriam remigrabat, &c. miraculis ac sanctitate clarissimus obiit anno 432. ‘St. Ninian Bernitius being descended of the Blood of the King's of Britanny, went in his youth into Italy, and being fully taught the My­steries of Gods Word in Rome, he returned swiftly to his Country again, where he flourished exceedingly in Miracles and Sanctity of Life, and after died in the year of Christ 432.’

Mark here, that Princes Children became Priests in those days, and went to Rome to learn Divinity, and that this Man having done so, and brought back into Britanny the Christian Doctrin of Rome, wrought Miracles thereby. Ergo he was no Protestant, so that here Bale testifieth against himself.

St. Patricius. St. Palladius.14. There followeth of Patricius in John Fox; but indeed he should have put Palladius before Patricius. For so doth Bale, and he hath Reason; for that he was a famous Teacher in Britanny, and sent from Rome by Pope Cae­lestinus before Patricius, as Bale doth note, saying first of Palladius: Hic à Cae­lestino Romanorum Pontifice Antistes mittebatur &c. ‘This Man was sent Bishop from Caelestinus Pope of Rome, Bal. ibid. fol. 23. Marian. Scotus. in Chron. eodem. Anno 430. to drive out of Britanny the Pelagian Heresie, which at that time had infected the greater part thereof, and to reduce the Scots to true Piety, &c. He flourished about the year of Christ 431. &c.

Prosper in Chron. ann. 432. & 434. Bed. l. 4. hist. cap. 30.So saith he. And the same is confirmed by that which Prosper (a far bet­ter Author than Bale) writeth in his Chronicle, where he saith that Palla­dius was sent by Caelestinus Pope in the year 432 into Britanny; but especial­ly to the Scots, as testifieth also St. Bede in his Story. So as in this time also the Popes of Rome had Supreme Care in Spiritual Affairs both among the Britans and Scots, seeing he appointed them Bishops from Rome.

[Page 69]15. And this is confirmed also by the other Example of Patricius, St. Patricius. who (as John Bale saith) was sirnamed Mangonius, and was born in Britanny of the Fa­mily of Senators, and thereby called Patricius, but yet of kindred by his Mo­ther to St. Martin Bishop of Tours, study'd Divinity in Rome, and thence sent by Caelestinus the Pope to preach to the Irish-men. Bal. descript. Frit. Cent. 1. fol. 25. Istum (saith he) ad Scotos & Hibernos post Palladium Graecum misit, ut eos à Pelagianorum tueretur erro­ribus: This man did Caelestinus Bishop of Rome send to the Scots and Irish-men (especially those that lived in Britanny) after Palladius the Grecian, to defend them from the Errors of the Pelagians.

16. Behold the Care and Authority of the Bishop of Rome in those days! But what followeth in Bale? Ibid. This man (saith he) did preach the Gospel unto the Irish-men, with incredible fervour of spirit, for forty years together; and did con­vert them to the sincere Faith of Christ. He was most excellent both in Learning and Holiness; and among other Miracles that he did, he continued in Praying and Fast­ing forty days and forty nights, founded many Churches, healed many sick, deliver'd many possessed of Devils, and raised to life sixty that were dead, &c.

17. Behold the effects of Preachers sent forth by the Bishops of Rome, re­counted by the Heretics themselves: Let Fox or Bale shew us any such Exam­ple of Miracles, wrought by Preachers sent by them and their Sect. And that this man also was made Bishop by Caelestinus the Pope,Prosp. cont. lib. Collat. in fine. Bed. hist. Ang. l. 1. c. 13. & in l. de sex aetat. Mar. Scot. l. 2. sex. aetat. an. 432. and sent hither after Palladius, is testified by St. Prosper, that lived in that time, and after him by St. Bede, Marianus Scotus, Sigibert, and others; who say also, that he died in the year of Christ 491, being of the age of 122 years; and his Memory is held in the Roman Calendar upon the 17th day of March, &c. And now our Fox and Bale being taken in these Examples to speak against themselves, we might pass over the rest with silence, assuring the Reader that all is like unto this. Yet some points more we shall note.

18. The fourth before named Bacchiarius, Bacchiarius. Joan. cap. in catal. SS. Brit. Polid. Virg. 1. histor. Harpesf. §. 6. cap. 22. Congellus. tho' he be not mentioned by John Bale, yet other Authors do report that he was brought up in Rome, and in good credit with Pope Leo I. to whom he dedicated a Book written in defence of his Pilgrimage to Rome. He had been the Scholar of St. Patricius; and by this you may guess of what Religion he was.

19. Congellus is the sixth Preacher of true Religion cited in Fox's Catalogue, (for of Dubritius, which is the fifth, we spoke before) whom Bale saith to have flourished about the year of Christ 530, and that he was the first Abbot of the Monastery of Bangor. But what more think you? Ab isto Monachismus à Pelagio introductus, &c. From this man (saith he) the Religion of Monks brought in by Pelagius the Heretic, was not only spread over Britanny under shew of true Religion, but was dilated also into other Countreys, &c. Behold how Fox and Bale agree! Fox saith, He was a true Preacher of the Word of God;Bal. fol. 29. and Bale saith, He was a Father of Pelagian Monks. And note here by the way, that Fox professing to shew the continual Succession of the Britan Church, leapeth from Patricius to Dubritius of whom we spake before, and between whom there was above 100 years distance, if we believe Bale and other Authors. And then followeth Kentegernus and Helmotus before David Menevensis, who should have come after him in respect of time; tho' of Helmotus Bale maketh no mention;Kentegernus. but of Kentegernus he saith, That he flourished in the year 560, and lived in all 185 years; which, if it be so, he must needs be alive long after the entrance of St. Augustin. He saith, He was a Monk, and had three hundred Scholars in one Col­ledge, which he sent to preaching here and there, &c.Bal. fol. 32. And then he addeth fur­ther, Melote utebatur, &c. He used a Garment made of Goats skins, with a streight Hood, having a white Stole about his Neck after the fashion of the Primitive Church. He converted many to the Faith of Christ, recall'd many Apostatas, drove out Pelagi­ans, built Churches, ministred to the sick and healed their sickness, and lived in very [Page 70] great Abstinence, &c. Thus he describeth him, and whether this description doth agree to a Protestant Minister, or to a Catholic Abbot, let the Reader consider.

20. There do follow in Fox's Catalogue, David, Daniel, Sampson, Elnodu­gus Asaphus, and Gildas. But of St. David, the first of this number, we have spoken before in this Chapter. And as for Gildas, (which is the last of this Rank) Bale saith, He was a Monk of Bangor. And further it may easily appear by the speeches themselves, which before we have alledged out of him in the former Chapter, of what Religion he was.

Jo. Capg. in catal. Sanct. Brit.Of Daniel, Sampson, and Elnodugus, tho' John Bale speak little or nothing, yet Capgrave, Leland, and others, shew that they were of the same Religion with the rest, Daniel being the first Bishop of Bangor, and Sampson next after St. Da­vid was Bishop of that place.

St. Asaph re­ceiv'd his Con­secration from Rome. Bal. ibid. f. 34.21. Of Asaph, Bale saith, He was Scholar to the foresaid famous Abbot Kente­gern, and was made Bishop of Elgoa in Wales, which of his name was called Asaph ever since. He flourished in the year 590, and saw the coming in of Augustin and his Fellows from Rome; and was the first of the Britans (saith Bale) qui à Gregorii Romani Discipulis in Angliam adventantibus Auctoritatem & Unctionem acce­pit; that took his Authority and Ʋnction (or Consecration) from the Disciples of Gregory Bishop of Rome, that came into England. So writeth Bale, and by this sheweth that St. Asaph held nothing against the Roman Religion, seeing he ac­cepted his Authority and Consecration from the Bishop of Rome. Besides this, this Bishop St. Asaph hath his Memory celebrated in the Roman Martyrology upon the first day of May, which he should not if he had been different in any one point from the Roman Religion.

22. And so being come down now to St. Augustin's time, it is to no purpose to go any farther, or name the rest that do ensue in Fox, to wit, those five, Herlanus, Elbodus, Dinothus, Samuel, and Nivius, for that they lived after St. Augustin's entrance: whereas Fox's promise was to cite only British Teach­ears that were before him, and different from the Roman Religion, whereof he hath named hitherto none.Bal. ibid. f. 135. Besides that of three of these five Bale writeth not; and as for Dinothus Abbot of Bangor, he was the chiefest of those who opposed themselves against Augustin, and set other men against him also in Synodo Wic­cionum, and was severely punished afterward for the same by the Providence of God,Bed. l. 2 hist. c. 2. as St. Bede noteth, to wit, by the Sword of Ethelfredus a Heathen King of Northumberland long after the Death of St. Augustin, when the said Dinothus and 1200 Monks were slain at Chester by the Souldiers of the said Ethelfride, Augustino jam multo ante tempore (saith St. Bede) ad Coelestia Regna sublato; St. Augustin being taken to Heaven long before; tho' Bale be not ashamed to say that it was done by his suggestion, praising the foresaid Di­nothus and his Confederates, for that they would not preach Baptism and celebrate Easter-day, according to the Custom of Rome, and Universal Catho­lic Church.

23. So as now we see that these men care not what they say or avouch, so they say somewhat against Rome, and those that any way favoured the same; wherein passion doth so greatly blind them, as they cannot discern when they alledge matters plainly against themselves, as you have seen in the for­mer enumeration of British Teachers, Pastors, and Prelates; whom they would have us think to have been of a different Religion from that of Rome; whereas their own words, testimonies, condition, and state of life, do testi­fie the contrary. And so I leave these men to their folly and impudency in this behalf.

CHAP. XI.

The Deduction of the aforesaid Catholic Roman Religion, planted in Eng­land by St. Augustin, from his time to our days; And that from King Ethelbert, who first received the same unto King Henry VIII. there was never any public interruption of the said Religion in our Land.

HAving shewed before, how that the Roman Catholic Faith was first preached in our Island under the Apostles, and then again in the next Age under Pope Eleutherius, and thirdly four Ages after that again under Pope Gregory; and that all this was but one and the self-same Religion, continued, renewed, and revived in divers times, under divers States and People of the Realm; there may seem to remain only now two other points considerable in this affair: The first, Whether this Religion brought in by St. Augustin to England were held at that day for the only true Religion of Christendom, and so accepted by all the World? The other, Whether that Religion then planted hath come down, and been continued in England ever since, by continual Suc­cession, until the first public alteration made thereof in our days? For if this be so, then is the demonstration easie to be made even from the Apostles Times to Ours.

2. And for the first, tho' we have handled the same somewhat before,That the Re­ligion brought in by St. Augu­stin was Ca­tholic. yet briefly we will add now, That there can be no doubt at all in this matter with men of Reason and Judgment, but that St. Augustin and his Fellows brought in with them the whole Body of Religion, as well touching Articles of Belief, as Ceremonies, and Ecclesiastical Customs, which were at that time in use at Rome whence they came, and in other Catholic Countreys by which they passed, namely, Italy, France, and Flanders, Greg. in epist ad Aug. from which Countreys Pope Gre­gory himself exhorteth them by his Letters to take such good Ecclesiastical Uses as they should see most agreeable to Piety, Edification, and Devotion; which is a sign that all those Countreys agreed fully in Faith and Belief with Rome at that day, and were perfectly Catholic, tho' in some external Ceremonies be­longing to Devotion there might be difference. And forasmuch as the French Bishops St. German, St. Lupus, and St. Severus, Bed. l. 1. hist. c. 18, 19, &c. 150 years (as hath been said) before the entrance of St. Augustin, planted in Britanny the French Catholic Faith against the Pelagians; and these men coming from Rome, found no fault therewith, most certain it is that all was one. And finally if we do consider the Works, Writings and Actions of Pope Gregory, related by us before, partly out of St. Isidore, living at that time in Spain, partly out of his own Epistles yet extant, written to the chiefest Bishops of the Christian World, and their An­swers to him again, together with their agreement in Faith and Religion. If we do consider also the Heresies condemned in his days by Him and his Autho­rity, as the Eutychians, Monothelites, and others, which our Protestants also do condemn for Heresies at this day. By all this (I say) and by infinite other Arguments and Demonstrations that may be made, it is most evident, that ei­ther Christ had no Visible Church or Catholic Religion in those days,Either no true Church or Re­ligion was in St. Gregory's time, or else it was the Roman. (which were most foolish and wicked to imagin) or that the Religion of St. Gregory and his Church of Rome, and others of others of the same Communion, was in that Age the only true Catholic Church, and consequently had in it the only true Catho­lic Faith and Religion of Christ whereby Christians might be saved; which also is proved most evidently by infinit Miracles wrought in England, and in [Page 72] divers other Countreys, upon manifold occasions, during this time of our Primitive Church, as shall appear more in particular in the deduction of our second point; which is the continuance of this same Religion from St. Augu­stin to Thomas Cranmer, the first and last Archbishops of Canterbury, following by Succession the one the other for the space of above 900 years; the first dying a Saint, the last ending in Apostacy, as after shall be shewed.

The continu­ation of Reli­gion from St. August. down­ward.3. Wherefore, to come to the second point about the deduction of Catholic Religion in our Nation from St. Augustin downward; first of all, St. Bede talk­ing of the planting thereof, and of our first Primitive Church, (whose progress and increase he describeth for the space of almost 140 years after the entrance of St. Augustin) hath these words: Gregorius Pontifex Divino admonitus instin­ctu, Bed. hist. Ang. l. 1. c. 22. servum Dei Augustinum, & alios plures cum eo Monachos, timentes Domi­num misit, praedicare verbum Dei genti Anglorum, &c. Gregory the Pope, be­ing admonished by heavenly Instinct, did send God's Servant Augustin, and others Monks with him, that feared God, to preach his Word to the English Nation, in the 14th year of Mauritius the Emperour, which was of Christ 596, and the 4th after that St. Gregory was made Pope.’

St. Aug. & his Company lan­ded in the Isle of Thanet.4 These holy men landed in the Isle of Thanet belonging to the Kingdom of Kent; for that the whole Dominion. of the Saxons in those days (which was all the Land, except Scotland, and the other part now called Wales, whither the reliques of Britans were retir'd) was divided into seven several States and Dominions,The 1 King­dom of Kent converted to Christian Faith, anno Dom. 600. Bed. l. 1. hist. Malm. l. 2. hist. which they called Kingdoms. The first whereof (to speak of them according as they received the Faith) was the Kingdom of Kent, whose King Ethelbert (being the fourth in number from Hengistus, that began the same about the year of Christ 450) afterward, first of all other, received the Christian Faith at the preaching of St. Augustin, about the year of Christ 600; that is to say, an hundred and fifty years after they had reigned as Pa­gans there.

2 Kingdom of East-Saxons converted 604.5. The second Kingdom was of the East-Saxons, and contained the Shires now called Essex, Middlesex, and Hartfordshire. The first founder of which King­dom was Erchenwine about the year of our Lord 527, as Stow and some others do hold, tho' Malmesbury doth write otherwise; but both do agree, that under King Seebert, or, as Lib. 2. cap. 5. Bede calleth him, Sabered) those Provinces were convert­ed to Christian Religion by the preaching of St. Mellitus, Fellow to St. Augustin, and first Bishop of their chief City of London, whither he was sent by St. Augu­stin from Centerbury, in the year of Christ 604.

3 Kingdom of the East-Angles converted an. Dom. 609. Malm. l. 1. hist. c. 6.6 The third Kingdom was of the East-Angles, which contained the Shires of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, and the Isle of Ely. Which Kingdom was begun about the year of Christ 492, by one Ʋffa, but converted after to Christian Religion under King Sigebert, about the year of Christ 609, and that by the preaching principally of their first Bishop Felix, born in Burgundy in France, be­ing ordain'd Bishop of a City there; called Dunwich at that time, which now is more than half consumed with the Sea.

The 4 King­dom of North­umbers conver­ted an. 626.7. The fourth Kingdom was of the Northumbers, which contained ma­ny Shires towards the North; to wit, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, Durham, and some part of Scotland. The first Monarch of this Kingdom is accounted Ida; and it received the Faith of Christian Religion under their 13th King, Edwyn, in the year of Christ 626, by the Preaching of St. Paulinus, sent thither to preach by Justus, the fourth Archbishop of Canterbury; by whom the said Paulinus was translated from the See of Rochester to be Archbishop of York.

[Page 73]8. The fifth Kingdom was of the West-Saxons, 5 Kingdom of West-Saxons, converted 635. which contained the Coun­treys of Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Barkshire, and Hampshire. The first Founder thereof was Cerdick, about the year of Christ 509; and under Kenegilsus their fifth King they received the Christian Faith, by the preaching of St. Berinus their first Bishop of Dorchester, in the year of Christ 635.

9. The sixth Kingdom was of the Mercians, or Middle-Countrey,6 Kingdom of Mercians, con­verted 635. being in that time the greatest of all the rest, and containing some fifteen or sixteen Shires, as Glocester, Hereford, Chester, Stafford, Worcester, Shrewsbury, Oxford, Warwick, Darby, Leicester, Buckingham, Northampton, Nottingham, Huntington, and Rutland. The first Founder of this Monarchy is said to be one Creda, about the year of Christ 586; and the Conversion thereof to Christian Faith was about the year of Christ 635, under Prince Peda, Son and Heir unto the notable persecuting Pagan Peda. Their first Apostle was B. Finan, who bap­tized King Peda against his Father's will in the Kingdom of the Northum­bers, at a Town by Berwick called Ad murum, and this by the instance of the good Christian King Oswyn, King of Northumberland, who gave King Peda his Daughter in Marriage on this condition, That he would become a Christian.

10. The seventh Kingdom was of the South-Saxons, 7 Kingdom of the South-Sax­ons, converted anno 662. containing the Shires of Sussex and Surrey; and began about the year of Christ 478, by one Aelus a Saxon, and was converted to Christianity under King Ethelwold, (or Ethel­wach, as St. Bede nameth him, about the year of Christ 662, by the preaching especially of St. Wilfrid their first Bishop, who erected a Monastery for the Epis­copal See in a place called Seolyce or Selcey.

11. Well then, thus we see that within the space of forty years, more or less, six Kingdoms of England received the Gospel, and the seventh not long after, under their first Preachers and Apostles before mentioned. And what great variety of Miracles God did work by these his Servants, and their Helpers and Assistants in this Work of the Conversion of our Coun­trey, is evident by all Stories of that time and after; and no man but an Infi­del or Miscreant, can with any probable reason call them in doubt.

12. And it seemeth that the promise of our Savior made to his Apostles at his last farewell, in St. Mark's Gospel,Marc. 16. for Miracles to be wrought in the Con­version of Nations, (especially of Gentiles,Greg. hom. 29. de festo Ascens. Domini. Marc. 16. as St. Gregory observeth) was as abundantly fulfilled in the first Conversion of our English Nation, as of any other probably in the World. The Signs and Miracles (saith Christ) which shall follow them that shall believe in me, or receive my Faith (especially in the begin­ning) are these: That they shall cast out Devils in my Name; they shall speak with new Tongues; they shall remove Serpents, and if they should drink Poyson it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands upon sick men, and therewith heal them, &c.

13. All these things promised Christ our Savior, and performed them most abundantly in the first Conversion of Nations, while the said Miracles were necessary to plant and confirm the Faith.Why Miracles ceased after­ward. ‘But when (as St. Gregory in the place before alledged saith) the young Plants had no more need of such daily watering by Miracles, then ceased they.’ Tho' in our Countrey and Primi­tive Church they endured no small time, as were easie to shew, if I would stand in this place to run over the Ecclesiastical Stories of the least part of the aforesaid seven Kingdoms; whereof yet many things will be spoken of af­terward.

14. For only in the Kingdom of Kent, for the first hundred years after the Conversion of King Ethelbert, there possessed the See of Canterbury from St. Au­gustin unto Bertualdus, (who died in the year of Christ 730, and with whom [Page 74] St. Bede endeth) eight Arch-bishops,The Primi­tive Church of Kent. all most Godly, and Holy Men, to wit; Augustin, Laurence, Melitus, Justus, Honorius, Deusdedit, Theodorus and Bertualdus. Which Bishops were held for great Saints in our Primitive Church, as appeareth by the writing both of St. Bede, that lived also himself in that Age, and by William of Malmesbury, that lived some Ages after. Who yet alledgeth a more Ancient Author than himself,Malms. l. 1. de gestis Pont. Ang. pa. 112. called Gosselinus, that wrote the Lives and Miracles of all those Eight Arch-bishops of Canterbury, and of some other Saints of our Country. Horum (saith he) & non minus sancti Letardi, &c. Of these Arch-bishops as also of St. Letard, that in ‘Ancient time came in with Q. Berta, the Author before mentioned Gosse­linus hath written their marvelous and admirable vertues, out of Bede and others. Adding also many things, which he saw himself with his own Eyes, shewing the great Miracles and Signs, which they did, &c. He doth recount also the Rank of Kings, with their Kindred, that lay Buried in his days in the Church of St. Augustin at Canterbury. Which he doth worthily call the lights of England, and the Senators of the English Heavenly Court of Parliament. And to this Quire of Saints and Crown or Diadem of our Eternal King Christ, he addeth other pretious Stones also of Inestimable Glory, to wit St. Adrian the Abbot, and St. Mildred the Virgin, as Con­spicuous in Glory of Miracles as the rest, &c.

15. Thus writeth Malmesbury of these servants of God of the Church of Canterbury, for the first hundred years after Christ's Faith received: but he that would recount the like of all the other six Kingdoms and English Churches, should have great store of matter. Especially, if he would enter into the par­ticular Lives and Actions of such eminent Holy Men, as that Age by the force and virtue of that Primitive Christian Religion brought forth. And then, if with all this he remember in like manner that most certain principle before mentioned; that God would never have concurred with such abundance of Piety, Holiness, An infalliable principle. and Miracles to the setting up of a false Religion; he will easily see, how plain a demonstration this is for the truth of that Religion, which was thus planted amongst us, by St. Augustin, and Maligned by these Sectaries of our time.

Catholic Re­ligion planted in England with great power of Mi­racles. Marc. ultimo.16. Well then, in this manner was Religion first planted among us, accor­ding to that which St. Mark the Evangelist saith of the first Preachers and Preachings among other Nations and Gentiles in his time: To wit, Domino cooperante & sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis, Christ working with them, and confirming their Preaching with Signs and Miracles. And this Faith being once planted, did take such deep Root by the said watering of Christ the Author thereof, as it continued and held out from time to time, through all difficulties and differences both of times, Men, and State, and by Peril, Divisions, Enmities, and cruel Wars, that fell out every day between those Seven Kingdoms, until they were united all under one Monarchy some 200 years after; to wit, under King Egbert, King of the West-Saxons. And from him again the same indured other 200 years unto King Edward the Confessor before the Conquest.

17. And that which is worthy also the noteing in this case, is, that during the time of all this Enmity, Emulation, Suspicions, Jealousie of Kingdoms and States, and Bloody Battels between these Kingdoms for the space of the foresaid 200 years, from their Conversion to Christianity until they came to be a Monarchy:One Catholic Religion un­der States that were enemies. They all lived under one Arch-bishop and Primate of Canterbury, holding their due subordination and good correspondence with him, and by him with the See of Rome, and other Catholic Countries for matters of Faith and Ecclesiastical Affairs, no otherwise than if they had been all Friends, yea Subjects and Provinces of one and the self same Kingdom, and [Page 75] this is the vertue and force of Catholic Union. Whereas amongst Sectaries, every little difference of Temporal States, (yea of Towns, Cities, and Go­vernments) doth presently cause a diversity also in Faith and Religion.Diversity of States work­eth diversity of Religion a­mongst Secta­ries. As we see at this day, that Saxony (for example) where the name of the Prote­stants first began, being under a different Prince hath a great difference also in Religion from other parts of Germany, that call themselves Protestants, and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Swedeland, tho' they profess all Lutheranism, yet is the manner so different in these different States, as not only the one will not depend of the other in any sort of subordination or Ecclesiastical Juris­diction (as in England we see they did) but neither do they agree in any one Form of Religion, or substance of belief in all points, no nor in one state it self, where all profess themselves to be Lutherans, as in Saxony, where the higher Saxons allow only rigid or streight Lutherans: But the lower Saxony alloweth only the softer sort, and expelleth the rigid or severe Lutherans; as the other do them, where they get Dominion.

18. Geneva and Berne are both Cities and States of the Switzers, and both of them profess Protestancy, tho' not according to Luthers Doctrin. But yet the Temporal State of the said two Towns being different, the Magistrates have appointed a different and distinct Form. Which in England also we see by experience, how much they differ from those of Scotland, Holland, and France, who profess themselves Protestants of the same Calvinist School: But every Nation and Church after his own fashion. And finally what differences have risen in England it self, during her Majesties only Government, betwixt Puritans, Brownists, Family of Love and State Protestants (as In his humble motives an. Domini 1601. Thomas Diggs calleth them) no Man can be ignorant. But to what differences and divisions they would grow in two or three hundred years (if Sects could last so long, and that the States which profess them were Enemies in Temporal Affairs as it was in England) is easie to guess.

But the reason hereof is manifest, to wit,Why Secta­ries do change so often their Religion un­der different States. that for so much as Sectaries making their own judgments and inventions the Rule of their Belief and Religion, and their Temporal Princes their absolute Guiders and immediate Heads in Ecclesiastical matters: it must needs follow, that as these Princes or States do change or alter for any respect whatsoever (as they do for many) Religion also must needs alter and change for contentment or interest of the said States or Princes.

19. But to return to our Deduction and Continuation of Catholic Religion among the English Saxons after they came to be a Monarchy, (to wit,Affliction by the Danes from the year 800 down­ward. from the year of Christ 800) it is first to be noted that assoon as God had delivered them from one affliction (which was the continual Civil Wars of one King­dom with an other) he sent them a second Calamity, far greater perhaps than the first, induring for other 200 years, which was the continual incursions and devastations of the Danes. Who pursued them not only for Temporal re­spects, to get their Country from them, but also for Religion it self (the said Danes being then Pagans;) as appeareth by the cruel Murders and Martyrdoms as well of St. Edmund King of the East-angles,S. Edmund and S. Elphe­gus Martyred by Danes. Martyred by them about the year of Christ 885, as of Holy Elphegus Arch-bishop of Canterbury, some Ages after, about the year 1011 and of divers others overlong hear to recount. And yet notwithstanding, when the said Danes, Osbertus in vita S. Elph. apud Sur. 21. April Malm. lib. 1. Pontif. Angl. pa. 116. Matth. West. monast. an. Dom. 1011. & 1012. with their King Canutus Son of Swanus, came once by Gods Holy grace to be Christians (which was soon after the foresaid Martydom of the Holy Arch-bishop Elphegus) they sub­mitted themselves with Humility and fervor of Spirit to that very same Chri­stian Faith of their Enemies the English-men, which they had persecuted in them before, taking them also for their instructors. Which is a token, that there was no other Christian Faith known in the World at that day for them [Page 76] to embrace, but only that which the English professed, to the embracing whereof, there is no doubt, but the Miracles wrought continually in confir­mation of the truth of that Faith (as well at the Tombs of the foresaid Mar­tyrs St. Edmund and Elphegus slain by the Danes themselves, as other ways also) did greatly move and animate them.

20. But whatsoever the chief motives were to move this Nation to embrace Christian Religion, this is certain, that soon after this time of St. Elphegus his Death, God delivered the whole Kingdom of England into the Danes hands under the foresaid King Canutus, The good Acts of King Canutus after his Conver­sion. about the year of Christ 1020. And he Reigned and held the same peaceably for almost twenty years. In which time he being now Christian did many notable Acts of a good Religious King; Went to Rome for Devotion to visit the Holy Sepulchres of St. Peter and St. Paul, gave great Alms there and else where, made just Laws in England, loved and favored exceedingly the English Nation, used them with all confi­dence both at home, and abroad, Married King Emma Mother to King Ed­ward the Confessor, thereby to unite himself the more to the Nation. And finally became of a Persecutor and Conqueror, one of the best Kings, that England perhaps had in many Ages to Govern her.

21. William of Malmesbury living (as it hath been said) some 500 years agone under King Henry the first, Son to William the Conqueror, writeth many most excellent Religious Acts of this King Canutus, saying amongst other things thus:Malmes. de gist. Regum Angl. l. 2. c. 11. Monasteria per Angliam, &c. He did repair all the Monasteries in Eng­land, that were overthrown or defaced by the Wars of his Father Swanus or himself. ‘He did Build Churches in all the places, where he had fought any Battels. And appointed Priests for the said Churches, who should Pray continually to the Worlds end for the Souls of them that had been slain in those places. He was present at the Consecration of a goodly Church in a place called Aschendum (where he had his chiefest victory) causing both the Nobles of the English and Danish Nation, to offer with him Rich gifts to the said Church, &c.

The building the Abby of Edmundbury, and rich en­dowment thereof by King Canutus.22. Over the Body of Blessed St. Edmund, which the Ancient Danes had slain, he Builded a Church worthy the greatness of his Kingly Heart, appoint­ing there both an Abbot and Monks, and giving them many Possessions. In so much as by the greatness of his gifts, that Monastery at this day is above all the rest in England. He took up with his own hands the Body of St. Elphegus Arch-bishop of Canterbury (slain not long before by his Danes) and caused ‘the same to be be carried unto Canterbury: Reverencing the same with wor­thy honor. He gave such great Gifts and rare Jewels to the Church of Winchester, that the shining of pretious Stones, did dazle the Eyes of such as did behold them, &c. In the Fifteenth year of his Kingdom he went to Rome by Land, and having stayed some days there, and redeeming his sins by Alms in those Churches, he returned by Sea to England, &c.

23. Thus and much more doth William of Malmesbury write of this notable King Canatus a terrible and fierce Warrior before his Conversion, and much given to Blood and Impiety, whereby may easily be seen, what force Catho­lic Religion is of, to make change in a Mans manners, where it truly entreth. Let Protestants shew us some such examples of Princes Converted to their Religion. But to go forward in Malmesbury: he setteth down after all this a large Epistle of King Canutus, which he wrote from Rome, or in the way homeward, unto the two Arch-bishops, Egetnothus and Alfricus, the first of Canterbury, the other of York, and by them to the whole Realm, giving them account of his Journy to Rome. Where amongst other things he writeth thus:King Canutus his Letter from Rome. Malm. ibid. fol. 14. Canutus Rex totius Angliae, & Denmarkiae, & Norvegiae, & partis Suecorum, &c. notifico vobis, me noviter ivisse Romam, oratum pro Redemptione [Page 77] peccaminum meorum, &c. ‘I Canutus King of all England, Denmark and Nor­way, and part of Swecia, &c. do give you to understand that of late I went to Rome, to pray for the Redemption of my sins, and for the health of my Kingdoms and people: having made a vow of this Journy long ago, but could never perform it until now, by reason I was hindred by the Affairs of my Kingdoms. And now I do yield most hearty thanks to Almighty God, that he hath granted me this Grace to come and visit in my Life time the Blessed Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the Sanctuary that is within and without this City: and according to my desire to honor and worship the same in my own person, &c.

24. Thus he wrote. And moreover adjoyned many other pious Ordinan­ces in the same Epistle to be observed in England, for Restitutions to be made, Alms to be given, and other good deeds to be done, exhorting all to perform them willingly, and threatning them that should do the contrary. And William of Malmesbury saith,How King Canutus per­formed his good desires when he re­turned from Rome. Ibid. fol. 42. that returning after to England he caused the same to be strictly observed. And gave many new priviledges to Churches. And one among other to the Church of Canterbury, which Malmesbury setteth down at length, and in the end hath these words; Si quis verò, &c. ‘If any Man shall perform this my Ordination with a prompt will, Almighty God by the Intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and all his Saints, in­crease his portion in the Land of the living. And this Donation of Privi­ledge is written and Promulgated in the Presence of me King Canutus, in the Wooden Church, in the year of Christ 1032.’

23. Thus far writeth William of Malmesbury of this Kings Pious disposition after his coming from Rome. Stow in Chron. pag. 116. And John Stow addeth out of Henry of Hun­tington, as followeth. After this time, Canutus never bare Crown upon his Head, but he set the same upon the Head of the Crucifix at Winchester, &c. And thus much of his Piety and other Fruits of true Christian Faith, which he had received. And it is no small Argument of the Divine Power thereof, that it could so mollifie and change so fierce a Warriour and cruel a Persecu­tor as this King was before his Conversion.

26. So as now we have brought down the continuance and succession of one, and the self same Christian Religion in England from St. Augustin and King Ethelbert, unto King Canutus, for the space of 400 years. And that this was no particular Religion of England alone, but the Common General Faith not only of Rome, but of all Christendom besides, at that day, and con­sequently the only Catholic Religion of those Ages, appeareth in like man­ner by other words of the Kings former Letter Recorded by Malmesbury, where he saith. Sit autem vobis notum, &c. Be it known unto you, that in this last solemnity of Easter, there was a great Assembly of Nobility here in Rome, Ibidem apud Malm. fol. 41. together with Pope John and the Emperor Conrade (to wit,King Canutus was Catholic. all the greatest Princes from the Hill Garganus unto this other next the Sea) all which did re­ceive me most honorably, and did present me with Magnificent Gifts, &c. Thus wrote the King: Whereby we may easily perceive, that King Canutus was held in all Points for a perfect Catholic Prince, seeing that both Pope John the 20th. and the Emperor Conrade the 2d. did esteem and honor him so highly.

27. After Canutus succeeded in the Kingdom of England his two Sons Harold and Hardicanutus, for two or three years.1043. And then King Edward the Confessor, for Twenty-three years together. After whose Death the second Harold Son of Earl Goodwin holding the Kingdom by violence, against both English and Danes, scarce one year, William Duke of Normandy came in, as all Men know, and Conquered the Land towards the end of the year 1066. and held the same all days of his Life, and so hath his posterity after him by [Page 78] Male or Female unto our time,The Succes­sion of Catho­lic Religion since the con­quest. and have continued the same Religion, which he found or brought into England (for all was one) for the space of 500 years unto King Henry the Eighth's time, which may be proved beside other ways, by the Succession of our Arch-bishops of Canterbury. Stigand an English Man, being the Twenty-third from St. Augustin, holding the same, when William the Conqueror got the Crown, to whom succeeded Lanfranc, and to him Anselmus, and so successively one after another: none of them ever being noted to be contrary to his Predecessor in Religion, until Thomas Cranmer in King Henry the Eighth's time. Who applyed himself to the Religion, which the State and Prince liked best to allow of in that time. And after the Kings Death, agreed to break his last Will and Testament, in changing that Religi­on into Zuinglianism, Thomas Cran­mer Arch-bishop of Can­terbury. most detested by his Majesty. And after again Conspi­red to put down and destroy all the Kings Children, and to set up the Duke of Suffolks Daughter. And finally, was put to Death both for Heresie and Treason in Queen Maries time, as after more particularly shall be shewed. And this was the first change of Religion in any Arch-bishop of Canterbury, from the beginning unto his days.

The conclusi­on of this de­duction.28. So as from King Ethelbert, the first Christned English King, unto King Henry the Eighth being the Eighteenth from William the Conqueror, and more than Eighty from the said Ethelbert, one and the self same Faith endured in England, and the self same Church florished, under so many different both Kings and Nations, as before hath been shewed. And the like we have de­clared to have been for the first 600 years under the Britans, to wit, that they never were known to have changed their Religion. Which being so, the deduction and demonstration is so clear, as any reasonable Man can either make or require for proof, that one and the self same Religion endured from the beginning to the ending among them.

29. Unto which kind of proof the Ancient Holy Father and Martyr St. Ire­naeus, giveth great Authority by a like Argument. For that having made the like Enumeration of the Bishops of Rome, (as we do now of our Arch-bishops of Canterbury) against the Heretics of his days, and that from St. Peter down­ward to Pope Eleutherius, that lived with him, he inferreth this conclusion: Est plenissima haec ostensio, Iren. l. 3. adversus haeres. cap. 3. unam & eandem vivificatricem fidem esse, quae in Eccle­siis ab Apostolis & conservata & tradita in unitate, &c. This is a most full proof, ‘that one and the self same lively Faith, hath been conserved in the Church from the Apostles days unto our time, delivered from one to another in unity, &c. And if that were a most full proof and demonstration in St. Ire­naeus judgment against the Heretics of his time; The same is now much more to us, having seen the Succession of so many Ages since, and noted the man­ner of like proof and Argument in all other Fathers after him. As namely of St. Augustin, Aug. in psal. contra partem Donati. Aug. ep. 165. Numerate sacerdotes velab ipsa Petri Sede, & in ordine illo Patrum, quis cui successit videte. Number the Priests that have succeeded the one to the other even from the Seat of Peter himself. And then further. In hoc ordine Successionis nullus Donatista Episcopus invenitur. No one Donatist Bishop is to be found in this rank of Succession. And yet more.

Aug. ibid.30. Et si in illum ordinem Episcoporum quisquam traditor per illa tempora subrep­sisset, nihil praejudicaret Ecclesiae. And if any Traytor in those days should have crept into that order and rank of Roman Bishops (for of them he speaketh) it should not have prejudicated the Church of God.

31. Which saying of St. Austin may serve us, not only to Answer whatso­ever Heretics do, or may object true or false against the Lives of any latter Ro­man Bishops, but for defence also of the Rank and Succession of our Arch­bishops of Canterbury, notwithstanding the Apostasie of Thomas Cranmer his A­postasie doth not prejudi­cate the See of Canterbury. Thomas Cranmer, or any other his like, that for these latter years may have crept in (as St. Austin [Page 79] saith) or been thrust in, and by violence occupied that See and Seat unworthi­ly, either in respect of his life, or Religion, or both; seeing that the former Succession as well of Men as of Doctrin, from St. Austin to Cranmer, is mani­fest and evident for the space of 900 years without interruption; as also that they were united all this time in Faith and Doctrin, with the Universal Church of Christendom, as Members and Branches of their Head and Body; and that the first breach and interruption made thereof in that See by Cranmer and con­tinued after him by some, of his followers, was noted presently and contra­dicted, yea censured and condemned also by Sentence of the whole Church, and thereupon rejected and abhorred by the principal of his own people, both Clergy and Laity at that time.

32. And the same contradiction endureth to this day, and will do ever, in those that conserve their Ancient Faith and Religion, and do adhere to the law­ful Succession of his Predecessors against him and his partners, until it please Almighty God to put the said order and lawful Succession in joynt again, and restore that chief and head conduct of our Country to his former integrity, whereby the Water of true Catholic Religion was wont to be derived to the people of our Land, and will be again when Gods wrath for our sins shall be pacified, and his mercy induce him to permit (as often otherwise he hath done) that all return to the accustomed Ancient course of Catholic Faith, and Religion again, seeing in very deed there is none but that; for so much as Sects and new Religions are but inventions and entertainments of time, whilst God punisheth some sins in his Servants, and after all returneth where it was before.

33. And this have we spoken by the way, and by occasion of Cranmer that was the first Arch-bishop of Canterbury that ever brake from the Roman Faith, but, notwithstanding his Apostasie, Catholic Religion was not extinguished in England by that, but remained there still all King Henries time, as also during the Reigns of his three Children, King, and Queens, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth unto these our days, as in the next Chapter following more largly and particularly we are to demonstrate.

CHAP. XII.

How Catholic Religion hath continued and persevered in England during the times and Reigns of King Henry the Eighth and his three Children, King Edward, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, notwithstanding all the troubles, changes, alterations and tribulations that have fallen out, and that the same Religion is like to continue to the Worlds end, if our sins hinder not.

THE deduction which we have hitherto made of Catholic Religion from our first Conversion, under St. Gregory and King Ethelbert of Kent, Anno Domini 600. Anno 1509. unto the Reign of King Henry the Eighth with whom concurred in the See of Rome, Leo the Tenth and Clemens the Seventh and other Popes Successors of St. Gregory, hath been for the most part in time of Peace and without any public discontinuance at all, but now are we to prosecute the same matter from the alteration made by King Henry downward unto our days,Anno Domini 1530. and there­in to shew, that albeit in the external Face and Form of Religion, there have been divers Mutations, as Tempestuous Winds and Storms for the present, yet hath the Catholic Religion held firm her continuance throughout all these [Page 80] Tempests, yea shewed her self more clear, eminent and notorious by the Con­fession of her most constant Members, then she did before in peace, which is the proper privilege and excellency of truth,1 Tim. 3. The Catholic faith groweth by persecuti­on and af­fliction, and heresie is o­verthrown. and of the Catholic Church (that is the Pilar of Truth) above all Sects and Heresies (as St. Cyprian, St. Austin, and other Fathers do note) to come out of Persecution, as Gold out of Fire more bright, illustrious, and eminent than before, or as an excellent Ship well Tackled and skilfully guided, breaketh thorow the Waves with­out hurt at all.

2. And this hath been proved now by the experience of 1600 years, where­in this Ship of the Catholic Church hath passed thorow no fewer storms than there are years and overcome them all; whereas many hundred Sects and Sectaries in the meane space have been broken in pieces, perished and consum­ed, either by division among themselves, or with a little externe Persecution or Discipline of the Church, whereof I shall not need to alledge many ex­amples, for that the World is full of them, and all Histories do testifie, and our former deduction hath made it clear, and one Domestical example of our own days there is before our eyes, which may serve for all the rest, to wit, that some severity being begun by our State against two opposite Religions in England, the Catholics and Puritans, (tho' much more rigorous against the former than the second) yet hath Catholic Religion increased thereby, and Puritanism been broken and in a manner dissolved. The Reason of which different success we shall touch afterwards. Now to the purpose we have in hand.

3. For the first Twenty years of King Henries Reign unto the year of Christ 1530 no Man can deny, but that the integrity of Catholic Religion, Union and Communion with the rest of Christendom, and perfect subordination to the See Apostolic of Rome remained in England whole, as the said King had received it from the most prudent, Religious, and Victorious Prince his Fa­ther King Henry the Seventh, and he again from his renowned Ancestors, whom yet King Henry the Eighth as he did excel in knowledge of Learning, So was he nothing inferior to them in zeal of defending the purity of Catho­lic Faith, as may appear by the multitude of Sectaries and Heretics as well Waldensians, King Henry zealous in Ca­tholic Religi­on. Arrians, Anabaptists, Lollards and Wickliffians, as Lutherans, Zuinglians, Calvinists, and the like, burned by him, for dissenting from the universal known Church and Roman Religion in the first said Twenty years of his Reign, which Fox setteth down with great complaint and regret, and we shall after declare more at large in the Second and Third parts of this Treatise.

4. And when Luther afterward rose up, in the Eighth year of this glorious Kings Reign, which was the year of Christ 1517 King Henry caused first the Famous Learned Bishop John Fisher of Rochester to confute the Mad fellow, and after he vouchsafed to do the same himself by a most excellent Book,King Henries Book against Luther, Dedi­cated to Leo 10. An. Dom. 1523. which I have Read, and seen subscribed with his own hand, with the Dedication thereof, by his Ambassador Dr. Clark (after Bishop of Bath and Wells) unto Pope Leo the Tenth, who in gratification thereof, gave his Majesty and all his Posterity, the most Honorable Style and Title of Defender of the Faith.

The begin­ning of the Kings breach with the Pope.5. And thus continued King Henry and the Religion under him in England, until the foresaid year 1530. at what time there happened a most fatal and un­fortunate contention between Clement the Seventh the Pope and him, about his Divorce from Queen Katherine. He began first to shew his grief and dis­pleasure against Cardinal Wolsey, and secondly against the whole Clergy of England, Condemning the one and the other in the Forfeiture of Premunire, who in their submission and supplication for Pardon, either of fear or flattery, called him Supreme Head of their Church of England. Stow An. Dom. 1530.

[Page 81]6. The King also began to shew openly his disgust with the Pope for not yielding to his pretence and Petition: But what? Was the Kings Religion changed by this? Or did he alter his judgment in Faith for this disaffection to­wards the Pope? No truly, as well appeareth by his other actions; For he fre­quented the Mass no less than before, he burned Heretics more than ever, as appeareth by Fox his accompt, and so you shall see in all the residue of his Life, which were Sixteen years after this.King Henry winked for a time at some heretics. And albeit at this time being much troubled with this breach with the Pope, he attended less to repress Heresie for some years, than he had done before, yet was his judgment no less against them than from the beginning, and the longer he lived, the more grew his aversion from them, as may easily appear to him, that will but look over the years that ensued after this disgust and breach with Pope Clement the Seventh. For albeit in the next year after, to wit, 1531 he proceeded to shew his aversion from that Pope, yet did not he neglect the punishment of Lu­therans, as may appear by the burning of David Foster, Valentine Freese, Heretics bur­ned An. Dom. 1531. John Tenkesbury the old Man of Buckingham, and other which Fox doth com­plain of.

7. In the year 1532. The King proceeding in the same discontentment with the Pope, did certain things rather to terrifie him, than to make any change of Religion,Thomas Aud­ley. as making Sir Thomas Audley Chancellor in the place of Sir Thomas More, which Audley was suspected, to favor Lutheranism: In using also familiarly Thomas Cromwell a Man of the same humor or worse.Thomas Crom­well. To which end also he going over into France, conferred with Francis the French King, and persuaded him to Summon the Pope to a General Council, but he would not, whereupon King Henry returning into England, not only spake open words against Pope Clement, but suffered one Dr. Cutwyn, Dean of Hert­fort, to Preach publickly against him in a Sermon before the King himself,Fa. Elstow contradicteth the Preacher in defence of the Pope be­fore the King. in the Church of the Franciscan Friers of Greenwich, who passed so far in that vein, as a grave Religious Father Named Elstow, reprehended him publickly out of the Quire or Roodloft, for which he was sent to Prison. And this was the first open contradiction, that King Henry had within his Realm about this Controversie with the Pope, and yet doth Fox recount unto us divers of his Martyrs most opposite to the Pope, that were burnt by the Kings Authority this year, as namely: James Baynam, Robert Debnam, Nicolas Marish, Robert King, and others.

8. There followed the year 1533 wherein his Majesty was Married to Queen Ann Bullen, Anno 1533. and consequently this year passed most in Triumph about Coronation of the said Queen, as also the Birth and Baptism of her Majesty that now is: So as little was done in matters of Religion any way, but a great Gate seemed to be opened to the Protestants and to Luthers favorers by this Marriage, in so much that Fox doth assign the ground of his Gospel principally from this year in respect both of the Kings and Queens inclination, as he pre­sumeth, and of the great Authority of Cranmer, Cromwell, The begin­ning of Fox his Gospel in England. and some other that he calleth his Gospellers, or Patrons rather of his Gospel. And yet if you behold the external Face of the English Church at this day, all these nam­ed and others held the Catholic Faith, Use and Rites, and both King and Queen, Cranmer and Cromwell; went as Devoutly to Mass as ever before, and so remained they in outward shew (I mean the former three) even to their Deaths; And Cromwell when he was to die, protested on the Scaffold, that he was a good Catholic Man, and never doubted of any of the Church Sacra­ments then used, and the like would Cranmer have done no doubt, if he had been brought to the Scaffold in King Henries days, as he was to the Fire after­wards, in Queen Maries, which had been a happy case for him.

[Page 82] Anno 1534.9. There ensued the year 1534, which was the year indeed of open breach with Rome, for that an Excommunication being set forth by Pope Clement VII. against King Henry VIII. upon notice given of his Marriage, and the said Ex­communication set up in Dunkirk and other Towns in Flanders, which did im­port the consent also and concurrence of Charles the Emperour; and then cer­tain Prophesies being blown about at home, as coming from Elizabeth Barton, sirnamed the holy Maid of Kent, The first year of open breach with Rome. about the King's Deprivation, he was much more exasperated than before; and so calling a Parliament, caused the Pope's Authority to be wholly extinguished, and transferred to himself, and made divers Bishops in order to preach at Paul's Cross against the Pope's Supremacy over the Catholic Church. But what? may we think that these Bishops did in so small a time change their belief in matters of Faith? The King also being angry with divers Friars, as namely with F. Elstow beforenamed, that contra­dicted Cutwyne the Preacher when he inveighed against the Pope's Authority, did this year,Hol. pag. 964: The Franciscan Friars put out of their Con­vents. upon the 11th of August, ordain, That all the observant Friars of St. Francis's Order should be thrust out of their Convents, beginning with Greenwich where the said contradiction was made, and to seem somewhat to favour the Augustin-Friars, of whose Order Luther had been, he commanded them for the present to be put in their places, yet did he at the very same time cause John Frith to be burn'd in Smithfield for denying the Blessed Sacrament, and this by his own particular order; which Frith and his Master Tyndal were the greatest Enemies that Friars had.

Heretics burn­ed an. 1534.10. He burned also this year Henry Poyle, William Tracy, and other Prote­stants, as Fox testifieth in his Calendar: So as we may see that the King's Faith was as before; and tho' he were content to suffer some new-fangl'd Spirits to ruffle at this time, as namely Friar Barnes in London, where he preach'd most seditiously,Stow an. 1534. and Hugh Latimer in Bristol, where, as Stow saith, he stirred a notorious Tumult, causing the Mayor to suffer Lay men to preach, and to pro­hibit and imprison Priests, and other like Disorders; yet what the King thought inwardly of them, he declared afterwards by his acts, when he burn­ed Barns, and cast Latimer into the Tower, and kept him there with evident danger of his life so long as himself lived; which disposition of King Henry, Tyndal smelling at the same season, wrote from Flanders to his Scholar John Frith, See the Letter of Tyndal to Frith, set down by Fox. p. 987. Prisoner in the Tower of London, in these words: And now methinketh I smell a counsel to be taken, &c. But you must understand, that it is not of a pure heart, and the love of Truth, but to avenge themselves, and to eat the Whores flesh, and to suck the marrow of her bones, &c. So wrote that honest man, signifying that King Henry was resolved to make an outward shew in favouring the Gospellers, not for love or liking he had of them, but to revenge himself of the Pope, and to enjoy the Goods of Monasteries, and other spiritual Livings, which he, in his blasphemous heretical vein, calleth the Whores flesh, and marrow of her bones.

11. Well then, this was the beginning of their Gospel in England, by their own Confession and Interpretation; and so whatsoever was done from this year forward, against Catholics or Catholic Religion, unto the 31st year of his Reign, which was of Christ 1540, to wit, for five whole years, was upon these grounds, and to the former ends of Revenge and Interest, if we believe Protestants themselves; in which point notwithstanding, for that divers God­ly, Learned and Zealous men could not be content to follow the King's affecti­ons as others did, and namely Bishop Fisher of Rochester, Sir Thomas More late Chancellor of England, and divers most Reverend and Venerable Abbots, Pri­ors, and Doctors, and other their like, they were content to give their Blood in defence of Catholic Unity against this Schism, as the Abbots of Glastenbury, of Whaley, of Reading, Dr. Forest Queen Catharine's Confessor, Dr. Powel, and the like.

[Page 83]12. Some others, and amongst them one most near to the King himself both in Blood and Affection, namely Cardinal Pool, opposed himself by public Wri­ting from Padua, as we may see by those three learned Books left by him in La­tin, De Unitate Ecclesiae. Others also of the same Blood-Royal, as the Marquess of Exceter, and Countess of Salisbury (the said Cardinal's Mother) shewed their dislike, which afterwards was the cause of their ruin; and many Shires also of the Realm at this time, not being so patient as to bear these Innovations, took Arms, and fell into great Commotions, as in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, So­mersetshire, and some other Provinces, making all their Quarrels for matters of Religion.

13. So as by this we see that Catholic Religion remained still in England both in Prince and People, but that the Prince for a time thought good for other ends to tolerate and wink at disorders therein, until the aforesaid year of 1540; when calling all his Realm together both Spiritual and Temporal to examin well this matter of Religion, they decreed that famous Statute both in Parliament and Consistory Ecclesiastical, called the Statute of six Articles, The Statute of six Articles, An. 1540. or as John Fox nameth it, the whip with six strings or lashes, in which Decree are condemned for detestable Heresies all the most substantial points of Protestants Doctrin, especially of Zwinglians and Calvinists, and most severe punishment of Death appointed unto the Defenders and Maintainers thereof, whereby the Catholic Judgment and Censure of the whole Realm in that behalf was seen, and the King himself made further declaration thereof presently for his own part, by putting away his German Wife Anne of Cleve, by which the Gospel­lers had thought to have drawn him further into League and Religion with the Protestant German Princes, and by punishing Cromwell, the Head and Fountain of most of these Innovations, by the loss of his Head.The burning of Friar Barns a Lutheran, with Gerard & Jerom, Zwing­lians. He burned also immedi­ately after this Statute in Smithfield, upon the promulgation thereof, three fa­mous Heretics, Barns, Jerom, and Gerard; the first an earnest Lutheran, the other two Zwinglians.

14. All these demonstrations I say King Henry made this year of his Catho­lic Opinion and Judgment in all points, except in matter of Supremacy, which was his own Interest. And for the other six years which he lived afterwards, he vary'd not from this, but rather confirm'd the same, as we may see by his burning of Anne Askew for denying the Real Presence in the Sacrament, not many months before his death; and by his own hearing of Mass in his bed, and receiving the blessed Sacrament on his knees when he was not able to stand on his feet; but especially by that which Bishop Gardiner testified while he lived, and preached the same in a public Sermon at Paul's Cross, that the said King not long before his dying day, when he sent him Embassador to a Diet in Germany, K. Henry gave Commission for his re­conciliation with Rome. gave him special Commission in secret to procure by the means of some Catho­lic Princes, and of the Pope's Legat and Nuntio there, some honorable conditi­on for his Majesty's reconciliation with the Pope and See of Rome again; which tho' God of his secret Judgment permitted him not to effectuate by the shortness of his life, yet appeareth it by this what his sense in matters of Religion was.

15. So then now we have that Catholic Church and Religion continued in England during King Henry's Reign, both in Prince and People, tho' much tur­moil'd by Faction, Schisms, and Heresie, wherein notwithstanding she no more lost her possession and continuance, than she did in time of the raging Ari­ans, Donatists, or other Sectaries that prevailed in power for the present time, either generally, or in some particular Provinces, as Lutherans and Zwinglians also did in King Henry's days in divers places, or do at this day, which yet was and is so, as they are easily distinguished from the other, not only by the Divi­sions and Differences among themselves, but also for that the Union of the Ca­tholic [Page 84] Religion doth ever shew it self in some Regions adjoyning; yea com­monly also even in those very places where these Sects do range and bear most rule, some Catholics do remain to contradict them openly, and to plead for their old possession;Catholics in­creased by Persecution. and the greater the Persecution is, the greater and more eminent is this Catholic contradicting part stirred up and increased by the very Power and Vertue of the Cross of Christ in Persecution, as before hath been noted.

16. And this was the state of Catholic Religion in King Henry's Reign; to wit, that it was held and defended publicly, except only the Article of Eccle­siastical Supremacy denied to the Pope, whereunto notwithstanding many thousands of the Realm never agreed, and consequently were truly Catholics. Heretics also were punished, especially those three Sects that principally ranged at that time, to wit, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Zwinglians, (all three taking their Origin from Luther) so as of all these three Sects King Henry burned ma­ny; and albeit of the fourth sort of men that opposed themselves against him, to wit Catholics, he put divers also to death under the name of Papists, yet both this very Name, as also the different manner of their Deaths, but above all the nature of their Cause, doth evidently distinguish them from the other, and shew that their Deaths were true Martyrdoms, and the others due Punishment for their Wickedness.

The name of Papist not just­ly punishable.17. For first, the name of Papists, that signifieth them to hold with the Pope as Supreme Head of their Church, importeth no more hurt or offence than if any Sedition moved within any Realm, those that hold with the King should be called Kinglings; or those, for example, that hold part with the Mayor of London, when any Apprentices would raise Rebellion against him, should scornfully be called Mayorists; and generally for a man to hold with his Lawful Superiour cannot be termed a Faction, and much less an Heresie.

The different punishments upon Catholics and Protestants doth shew what K. Henry thought of them both.18. Secondly, the very difference and manner of punishment used by King Henry towards both parts; the one by Fire, the others by Beheading and Hanging, doth evidently shew what difference he made of them; the one as of Heretics, and the other as of men offending against his State and Person after he had made the Supremacy Ecclesiastical to be a matter of his State and of his Royal Dignity; whereby also he shewed that he was no Gospeller.

19. But now for the third point, which is the most important of all the rest, to shew the difference in these mens Causes, and that the Catholics suffered innocently for their Conscience, and consequently were true Martyrs; and that the other sorts of Sectaries were punished deservedly as Malefactors, it is not hard to prove to him that is of any mean consideration or indifferency in matters. For first, who will not grant but that he that is an honest and good man when he goeth to bed (for example) cannot easily be made an evil man in his sleep, without any motive of his affection or free will at all? And again, He that is a good and true Subject towards his Prince and Countrey this day, how can he well to morrow be judged a Traytor, (the highest sin of all other) if in the mean space he change not his mind, nor do any act of word or deed contrary to that he did before: And yet this was the Cause of the Catholics put to death under King Henry for the Supremacy.

20. As for Example, Sir Thomas More was Prisoner in the Tower of Lon­don upon some displeasure, in the year 1534; where he attending only to his Prayers (as In his Epistles. himself testifieth) and to the Writing of some Spiritual Books pertaining to the contempt of this present transitory World, there passed in the mean time a Statute in the Parliament-house, appointing that whomsoever did not believe the King's Majesty to be Supreme Head of the Church of England [Page 85] in causes Ecclesiastical, should be a Traitor, and suffer death for it; which seeming a new and strange thing unto him, and contrary to the belief of all his Forefathers, he could not so soon conform himself thereunto, and conse­quently refused (when he was demanded) to subscribe to the Statute, and to make so great a change in his Faith upon the change of others; for which soon after he was put to death, not for that he had attempted, altered,The true cause of Catholics suffering un­der K. Henry. or innovated any thing, as you see, but for that he would not alter and make innovation. And this was the proper true cause of all Catholics that suffered for the Supremacy under King Henry VIII.

20. But on the contrary side, the others that were put to death by him as Sectaries, did wickedly and presumptuously alter and innovate of their own heads many things about Belief and Doctrin different from that which they had received, and contrary to the Belief of all their Forefathers, ancient Christians for many Ages together; and that with such obstinacy, as no Reason, Au­thority, Discipline or Order, no Witness Human or Divine, could prevail with them; and albeit for this obstinacy each Sect pretended Scriptures for them­selves, yet the vertue and substance of Scriptures consisting in their true mean­ing, and interpretation thereof, it was intolerable pride and insolency in them to arrogate to themselves the said true Interpretation and Exposition before the whole Church of God that went before them: And hereof ensued the justness of their punishment, which in Catholics can have no place, as before hath been shewed. Yet one Example of each sort of these men shall we here alledge, thereby better to declare the Case.

21. King Henry during his Reign caused sundry sorts of men to be put to death about matter of Religion, as is notorious; and first,The condem­nation of Ana­baptists and Arians by K. Henry. certain Anabaptists and new Arians, namely in the 27th and 30th years of his Reign. In the for­mer of these two Condemnations were nineteen Men and six Women, as Stow and others do relate; and in the second were three Men and one Woman con­demned. These Anabaptists denied, amongst other points, that Children ought to be baptized before they come to years of discretion, and can actually believe; for defence of which Doctrin they stood resolutely upon many clear places of Scripture as to them then seemed; to wit, Qui crediderit & baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit, Marc. 16. He that shall believe and be baptized, shall be saved.Absurd posi­tions of Ana­baptists & Ar­rians in K. Hen­ry's time grounded up­on Scriptures pretended. Lo (say they) it is necessary to believe as well as to be baptized; which Infants being not able to do, ought not to receive Baptism in their Infancy; or if they do, they must be rebaptized again when they come to years of discretion. Thus reasoned they. And besides this Text, they and their chief Masters do alledge almost thirty pla­ces of Scripture more, which seem most plain and evident to them, as by their Books that are extant appeareth.

22. The like places they do alledge also for that other absurd Position of theirs, That no Magistrate may punish by death: as for example, those words of God, Exod. 20. Non occides, Thou shalt not kill; and again the saying of our Savior, Omnes qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt, Matth. 26. All that use the sword shall perish by the sword. Thus said the Anabaptists, from which by no means could they be drawn, but went willingly to the fire for testimony of their Opinions. The Arians also denying the Equality of God the Son with the Father, alledged no less plain places, as they would have them to seem; namely that of Christ himself in St. John's Gospel, ch. 14. Pater meus major me est, My Father is greater than I; and many other, which were too long here to recite. And this of them, who burned together obstinately in one fire in England.

23. But what shall we say of the Lutherans? Do not they alledge plain places also, both against Us and Calvinists as themselves think? For against Calvinists, in defence of the Real Presence in the Sacrament, they urge the [Page 86] plain words of Christ as we do: Hoc est corpus meum: This is my Body. And against us, for their gross Opinion that the substance of Bread and Wine re­maineth together with the Body of Christ, they alledge many places of Scrip­ture where it is called Bread, which places the Zuinglians accepting, do turn the same against the Lutherans, affirming that for so much as it is so oftentimes called Bread in the Scripture,The condem­nation of Lu­therans and Zuinglians by King Henry. it is not the true Body of Christ at all: And this passed between Fryer Barns and the two Apostata Priests Gerard and Jerom, burned with him: The first a fervent Lutheran, the other two earnest Zuinglians, all three consumed by Fire at one Stake in Smithfield by King Henries appointment, in the Thirty-second year of his Reign.

24. But now was there a third or fourth sort of Sectaries in K. Henries days, who were neither Anabaptists, Arians, nor yet perfect Lutherans or Zwing­lians, but would have the Controversie of the Blessed Sacrament and Real Presence, to be an indifferent thing to be believed, or not believed. as every Man should think best:The opinion of Tyndall and Frith agree­ing with nei­ther Luther­ans nor Zwin­glians. So held William Tyndall, as also his Scholar John Frith, whom John Fox doth compare to St. Paul and Timothy, Frith being Burned in Smithfield by the Kings express Commandment in the Twenty-sixth year of his Reign, and Tyndall not long after in Flanders by the said Kings procurement, as more largely we shall declare in the Third Part of this Trea­tise, when we come to examine John Fox his Calendar of Martyrs. Now it shall be sufficient for proof of that we say to alledge Fox himself, who setting down the Articles of Frith for which he was Burned, assigneth this for the first.Fox pag. 942. First (saith he) the matter of the Sacrament is no necessary Article of Faith under pain of Damnation, &c. But may be believed or not believed as every Man shall think best. And for proof thereof alledgeth divers Arguments out of Scripture, that the Fathers forsooth of the Old Testament, were saved by the same Faith that we are, and yet were not bound to believe the Real Pre­sence, &c. And Fox seemeth to like well both of this Argument and of the Heresie.

25. Now then here be four or five sorts of Sectaries Condemned by King Henry, and all defended themselves by shew of Scriptures, but for that each of them doth reserve the interpretation of Scripture to themselves, and thereby teacheth new Doctrin, contrary to that which was received generally in the known Church before them, to whose judgment and interpretation they will not yield themselves: Hereof it followed, that the indictment of Heresie ly­eth truly and justly against them, and that they were worthily Condemned and Burned for this Pride, self-will and obstinacy. But on the contrary side against the Catholics, that died for the Ecclesiastical Supremacy of the Pope, none of these Accusations can justly be laid, for that they do neither stand upon their own judgment, nor have invented any thing of new, nor do adhere to their own Interpretations, or Exposition of Scriptures, but being accused, do make their Plea and Defence far otherwise, to wit, that they found this Doctrin of the Popes Supremacy in use and practice before they were born,The different plea or de­fence of Ca­tholics from heretics, as a thing received from Age to Age by the known Catholic Church time out of mind: that they see all Christian Kingdoms and Princes to have embraced the same, and General Councils to have allowed thereof: That the Texts and Examples of Scripture alledged for the proof of this Article, and all others whereon they stand, are not inventions of their own, but so expounded by Ancient Fathers and uniform consent of the Catholic Church; that all our Christian English Kings from our first Conversion unto King Henry the Eighth acknowledged this Spiritual Authority of the Bishop of Rome; and King Henry himself defended the same most earnestly with his own Pen, not many years before, against Luther and Lutherans: That it is not a thing devised but delivered, as Tertull. l. de praescript. ad­versus haeres. Tertullian said, of the Catholic Faith, and therefore [Page 87] if any point thereof were to be altered, it must be done by the same Authority by which it was delivered to them, to wit by the whole Church, Councils, and General Pastors thereof.

26. This was the Defence and Pleading of Catholics under King Henry the Eighth to excuse themselves from Treason, objected against them, for hold­ing the Popes Supremacy; wherein you see divers notorious differences be­tween the Defence of the Sectaries, and them, for that amongst the Sectaries, every one held what himself thought best, of things invented by themselves, every one cited Scriptures, and interpreted them as he listed, without Au­thority, President or Example of former Ages, and consequently they are justly called Heretics, that is to say choosers. For that they chose to them­selves what to believe in every Sect, and reduced the last and final resolution of all things to their own Wills and Wits, which in matters of belief is the highest Crime that against God and his Church can be committed.

27. But on the other side the state and condition of the Catholics, and their cause is quite opposite to this, for that they stick to Authority, Obedience, Integrity, Example of their Ancestors; they bring nothing of their own; they invent or innovate nothing: They stand only upon that which they have found Established to them, not by this or that Man, or by this or that Author of any Sect, or by this or that particular Congregation, fellowship, or Facti­on, or by this or that Town, City, Province, Kingdom, or Country, but generally by the whole universal Church and Pastors thereof, and therefore properly and truly are called Catholics, which is to say Ʋniversal and gene­ral.

28. And this shall suffice to shew the difference between the Catholic Mar­tyrs, and Heretical Malefactors put to death in King Henries time,The disagree­ment of Fox his Calendar Martyrs. whereof yet we shall Treat more largely in the third part of this Treatise, where we are to handle the particular Stories of Fox his Calendar-Martyrs, and to com­pare and paralell them with ours, shewing that yet never Dogs and Cats, nor yet Sampsons Foxes did ever so disagree in natures and conditions, as these good Martyrs did in Faction and contrariety of opinions amongst themselves, and consequently could not be Martyrs or witnesses of any one Faith whatso­ever.

29. And with this also will we end the Discourse of King Henries Life, ha­ving sufficiently shewed (as to me it seemeth) that the Catholic Religion held her footing and continuance also under ther Reign of this King, no less perhaps than before, yea she shewed her self much more to the World, by the Persecution which then she suffered, than before in the time of peace; for that the Famous and Illustrious Martyrdoms of such excellent Men as were Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, Dr. Forest and many other such Worthies, that suf­fered Martyrdom in those days, did more Illustrate her, and made extern Na­tions to talk more of the Zeal and Constancy of English Catholics, than ever they would have done if that Persecution had not fallen out; and the like success hath happened since both under King Edward the Sixth and her Ma­jesty that now is, as briefly we shall here declare.

30. And as for King Edwards Reign, as it was but short,King Edward the 6th. his Reign. and the first pas­sage from Catholic Religion to open Profession of Heresie: So was it not so sharp for effusion of Blood as under King Henry: For that the King being very young, and those that Governed in his Name not thorowly settled in their States and Affairs, troubled also with much Division and Emulation among themselves, could not attend to prosecute matters so exactly against Catholics, as some of their desires and Appetites were; yet began they very well, as we may see by the most unjust Persecutions and Deprivations of two principal Bishops, Gardiner of Winchester, and Bonner of London, by [Page 88] such violent Calumnious manner as was proper for Heretics to use. The par­ticulars whereof John Fox doth set down at large, whereby a Man may take a taste what they meant to have done,The attempts of Cranmer and Ridley and others of their crew in King Edwards days. if they had had time. For that Cran­mer and Ridley that had been Bishops in King Henries time, and followed his Religion and humor while he lived, being now also resolved to enjoy the Pre­ferment and Sensuality of this time, so far as any way they might attain unto, getting Authority into their hands by the Protector and others that were in most Power, began to lay lustily about them, and to pull down all them both of the Clergy and others, whom they thought to be able or likely to stand in their way, or resist their inventions.

31. And hereupon divers were laid hands on and Imprisoned, divers fled over Seas, sundry most Captious and Calumnious Questions and Demands were devised to entangle Men: As Namely: Whether a King of one year old, were not as truly a King as at Forty or Fifty, which if you did grant concerning the Title and Right of his Crown (which is true) then presently they inferred, that King Edward, being but Nine years old, wanting yet discretion might also be lawful Head of the Church, and determine Controversies of Religion, yea change the Faith and Religion which his Father and all his Ancestors Kings and Princes of England, all Parliaments, Synods, and Councils before his days had left unto him for the space of a Thousand years and more. And albeit he had not sufficient judgment to understand what Religion meant, yet was he made judge thereof by vertue of his Birth and Succession to the Crown.The attempts of Seymor the Protector, and John Bale in flattery to­wards him. And this Point was wonderfully urged by the Protector Seymor, to all Preachers, Prelats, and Bishops of that time, that they should inculcate the same to the people in their Sermons, to the end that himself taking all the said Child Kings Authority upon him, might be Head and Judge in his place: Whereunto that he might seem the more fit and able for his excellent learn­ing, John Bale the Apostata Friar that lived under him, was not ashamed to Publish in Print, and place him for a Learned Author amongst his Illustrious British Writters,Bal. descript. Brit. cent. 5. fol. 237. for that some Proclamations perhaps passed by his hands, tho' otherwise he was known to be so unlearned, as he could scarce Write or Read.

32. But yet (as I said) this Doctrin or rather Paradox, of the Child Kings supereminent ability, high Authority and Supreme Ecclesiastical Power to determin, alter, change and dispose of matters of Religion at his pleasure, tho' he were but of one year old, was sounded in Pulpits every where at this time; whereof Sir John Cheke the Kings School-master amongst others Wrote a se­veral Treatise, besides the large Message sent in the Kings Name (but of his Writing) to the Catholic people of Devonshire, as after shall be shewed. The same also was objected grievously against Bishop Gardiner and Bishop Bonner by Name, that they had not in their Sermons appointed unto them by the Protector, so sufficiently urged this Point of the Kings Ecclesiastical Power in his Nonage, as was required. And this especially for that the people in divers parts of the Realm, and namely those of Devonshire, seeing such alterations to be made in Religion under the Minority of a Child, quite contrary to the Laws and Statutes left by King Henry the Eighth,See Stow and other Chroni­clers in the year 1549. and that all things went backward both at home and abroad (the Towns we had in France being lost, or upon the point of losing) they complained first, and after took Arms for defence of their Ancient Religion, in the beginning of the third year of this Kings Reign, the people of Sommersetshire and Lincolnshire be­ginning first in the Month of May; and then in July the people of Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cornwall, and Devonshire, and in August those also of Yorkshire, all crying and demanding to have the Catholic Religion remain as it was left by King Henry, at least-wise until King Edward came to law­ful [Page 89] age, thereby to be able to determin and judge of matters of Religion; which demand did wonderfully trouble and vex the Lord Seymour Protector, and other new Gospellers, who being hungry after Catholics Goods, could abide no delay in making this desired Innovation.

33. And albeit, before these Insurrections fell out,The general aversion of English-people against the en­trance of He­resie. they did well see by di­vers attempts that the heart of the people was wholly against those their Inno­vations in Religion, as appeareth plainly by a Speech of the Lord Rich, then Chancellor, to the Sheriffs and Justices of Peace of all Shires, gathered toge­ther in London in the year 1548, being the second of King Edward's Reign, as at large you may see in Fox: yet such was their importunity in this behalf,Fox p. 1185. as they would needs go forward; which thing pleasing John Fox well,Fox ib. 1186. he wri­teth thus: By this you may see what zealous care was in this young King, and in the Lord Protector his Uncle, concerning the Reformation of Christ's Church.

34. The same Fox also setteth down in another place what the young King answered to the Devonshire-men that desir'd that the state of matters in Reli­gion might remain as King Henry had ordained and left them; and in parti­cular they required that the Statute of Six Articles against Heretics might stand in force until King Edward came to full age. Whereunto let us hear his Answer, and consider thereby how matters went in those days. To the first, about the Statute of Six Articles made by his Father, and inviolably kept all days of his life, the little Child answered thus: Know you what you require? Fox p. 1189. They were Laws made, but quickly repented; too bloody were they to be born of Our people: You know they helped Ʋs to extend rigor, and to draw Our Sword very often; yea, they were as a Whetstone unto Our Sword, and for your Causes We have left to use them; and sith Our mercy moved Ʋs to write Our Laws with Milk, how be you blinded to ask them in Blood, &c?

35. And then further he saith, But to leave this manner of reasoning with you, K. Henry's Laws rejected by his Son K. Edward. We let you wit, That the same Laws have been annulled by Our Parliament with great rejoyce of Our Subjects, and not now to be called by Our Subjects in question. Dare any of you stand against an Act of Parliament, &c? Assure you most surely, that We of no earthly thing make such account, as to have Our Laws obey'd, for herein resteth Our Honor; and shall any of you dare to breath against Our Honor, &c? Lo how little account this little King Child was taught to make of his old Father's Laws; and how thundringly to speak for the maintenance of his own! But when they came to the second point about his Nonage, he is yet more resolute; for thus he writeth:

36. In the end of your request (saith he) you would have Our Fathers Laws stand in force until Our full age. But to this We think, if ye knew what ye spake, K. Edward's reply to the demand of the people of De­vonshire. you would never have uttered that motion, nor ever have given breath to such a thought. For what think you of Our Kingdom? Be We of less Authority for Our Age? You must first know, that as a King We have no difference of years nor time; but as a na­tural Man, and Creature of God, We have Youth, and by his sufferance shall have Age. We are your rightful King, your leige Lord, your King anointed, your King crowned, the sovereign King of England, not by Our Age, but by God's Ordinance; We possess Our Crown not by Years, but by the Blood and Descent from Our Father King Henry VIII. &c.

37. All this, and much more, did they make the innocent young King to talk and write in defence of their Innovations, who had more Interest therein than He. And as for the Catholic People, albeit they deny'd not but that he was a true King in his minority of Age, yet no man was so foolish as to think (notwithstanding all these preachings to the contrary) but that it was a diffe­rent thing for matters of Religion to be altered now in his Name, than after­ward by Himself when he should come to Age.

[Page 90]38. But among all others, none urged this Argument so much, nor with such Authority, as the King's eldest Sister the Princess Lady Mary, Heir-apparent to the Crown; who being a zealous Catholic, and yet wishing well also to the Protector,Q. Mary's ad­monition unto the Protector and Council. did by sundry Letters, to be seen in Fox, admonish both Him and the rest of the Council, That they should look well what they did, during the King's minority, in altering the Will, Laws and Ordinances of his and her Father King Henry, for that afterward they were like enough to be called to account about the same when the King her Brother should come to full years. Moreover she admonished them. That they had no Authority to make such alteration in so great matters as they did, but ought rather to conserve things in the state left unto them by King Henry her Father, according as by solemn Oath they had sworn unto him before his death that they would do (but especially about matters of Religion) until the King her Brother came unto lawful Age.

Heresie in K. Edward's days entred by vio­lence.39. By all which is clearly seen how the Catholic Religion remained in Eng­land most substantially rooted in King Edward's days, and that Heresie entred only from the teeth outward, and was maintained by violence of Temporal Authority, and according to that was the success: For after many toils and turmoils, one killing another of those that governed, when they thought they had laid a sure Platform to continue the same, by excluding the Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth, and thrusting in Jane the Duke of Suffolk's Daughter, after King Edward's death, and had so plotted and fortified that Design, as they thought it sure; the only Zeal of the common Catholic People, for the reco­vering the use of Catholic Religion again, overthrew all, and placed Queen Mary, as is notorious to the World. And afterward, if we consider the end of most of them, which in those days being Counsellors, for Ambition, or other respects, were promoters of Heresie, as Dudley, Pembroke, Winchester, Arundel, Shrewsbury, Paget, and others, they all died Catholicly, and most of them in this Queens days, when with much favour of the State they might have shewed themselves Heretics.

Catholic Reli­gion restored by Q. Mary.40. And thus much for the Reign of King Edward; after whom Queen Mary succeeding, restored Catholic Religon to her seat and ancient possession again; which having endured only five years, it pleased God to give another trial and probation to his Servants, by a new alteration, in the beginning of her Majesty's Reign that now is: but yet not so forsaking them, nor their Cause, but he left sufficient testimony in our Realm at that time what Religion had born rule unto that day, and how and when the change began. For first of all the Bishops and chief Prelates of the Realm not only resisted this mutation, but most of them suffered Imprisonment or Banishment for the same, as London, Winchester, Durham, Carlisle, Worcester, Lichfield, Ely, Lincoln, Peterborough, Asaph, Chester, tho' some few other were not at first put in Prison, but detained only in Custody, and deprived, as York, Exceter, Bath and Wells. I will omit other principal men, as Deans and Archdeacons of Churches, as Dr. Cole of London, Bishops and Archdeacons deprived and imprisoned for Cath. Faith, An. 1560. Dr. Steward of Winchester, Dr. Robinson of Durham, Dr. Setland of Worcester, Dr. Rambridge of Litchfield, Dr. John Harpesfield of Norwich, Dr. Jo­liff of Bristol, Dr. Boxall of Windsor, Dr. Nicholas Harpesfield of Canterbury, Dr. Dracott of York, Dr. Peter of Buckingham, Dr. Cheasey of Middlesex, and many others, which were over-long to rehearse all. I omit also Dr. Fecknam Abbot of Westminster, and the two learned Priors of the Carthusians, Chasey and Wilson, and many other Religious Men, that left their Livings and the Realm, not to be forced to yield to this change. Which multitude of learned Witnesses, (not to speak of infinite others of less degree) being the chief throughout all Shires of England where they dwelt, did well shew by their constant profession unto their dying days what root and foundation Ca­tholic Religion had in England at that time; and hath yet, I doubt not, as after shall be shewed.

[Page 91]41. And albeit in these forty years and more that have endured since the be­ginning of this change, the Temporal State of our Realm hath for our sins been opposite and enemy to this Religion, with full intent to extirpate and extin­guish the same, yet such is the everlasting force of Truth, and so faithful is the holy Providence of Almighty God for defence thereof in times of most need and pressure, that the Catholic Faith, and Profession thereof, hath never been more eminent and illustrious in England, than in this time of so grievous affliction;The constancy of English Ca­tholics in this time of Perse­cution. there having been above an hundred Priests (not to speak of others of other Degree) that have made profession thereof at the Bars and Benches of most of all the Tribunals and Judgment-seats of Eng­land, and have sealed also their Confession with most willing offering of their Blood.

42. And indeed that which is most rare and worthy noting in this affair, is that most of them were born and bred in England during the time of her Maje­sty's Reign, and were brought up in the Religion that now is professed within the Realm; divers of them also had study'd at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, where they had heard the adverse Part alledge for themselves what they could, and themselves had read and examined with no small diligence what grounds the Protestants had for their Opinions; which being done, they went over the Seas to hear and see the Catholic Party, and so resolve them­selves more substantially in such matters as nearest concerned their eternal Sal­vation; wherein being throughly satisfied in all their doubts, they passed fur­ther, and became Priests, and so returned into England again to impart to others the hidden Treasure of Truth which themselves had found out.The constant resolution of divers Catho­lic Priests. And albeit divers of them were of that Kindred and Parentage, and so qualified also in themselves, that they might have lived both wealthily and at their ease if they would have followed the World and present course of Times, yet made they choice rather to fall into manifold Dangers, Imprisonments, and Death it self, than to forsake the truth of Catholic Religion, or forbear to communicate the same to others; which is another manner of ground and foundation for their Constancy, than John Fox recounteth in many of his Martyrs, who up­on toys became Protestants, and of meer ignorance and obstinacy went to the Fire for the same; as namely, Joan Lashford, Joan Lashford. Fox p. 1547, 1517. Agnes Potten. Joan Trunch­field. a married Maid (as he saith) of twenty years old, that took aversion from the Mass when she was but eleven years old, (upon very good grounds you must imagin in those years of her Age;) as also Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield, the Wives of a Beer-brewer and Shoe-maker of Ipswich, resolved to go to the Fire, upon a certain Vision that one Samuel a Minister told them that he had in the Prison with them. And upon the same ground it seemeth another Wench,Rose Notting­ham. Fox p. 1547. called Rose Notting­ham, embraced the said Minister and kissed him in the street as he went towards burning.

43. Andrew Hewit in like manner, an Apprentice of London of nineteen years old, determined to die with John Frith (then in the Tower of London) for the Opinions that he would die for, tho' yet he did not know what his Opinions were. William Hunter also, another Apprentice of London, William Hunter. and of the same age of nineteen years, running away from his Master, and finding an old English Bible lying in the Chappel of Burntwood, fell to reading thereof,Fox p. 1395. an. 1555. and thereby presently became a Protestant in divers Opinions, and would needs burn for the same. Rawling White likewise is recounted by Fox to have been an old poor Fisher-man in Wales, Rawling White. and hearing of a certain new fresh Doctrin to be had out of the Scriptures in English, and grieved that himself was not able to read them, he put his little Boy to School to learn to read, who being somewhat instructed in that Art, he caused him to read Scriptures unto him,Fox p. 1414. and profited so much therein within a little time, that the old Fisher-man [Page 92] began to be a Preacher; and so leaving his Occupation, went up and down Wales with his Boy after him bearing the Bible, out of which he took upon him to preach at every Town and Tavern thereof, seeking thereby to pervert such as were no wiser than himself; nor could he be restrained from his wilful folly, until the Bishop of Cardiff apprehended him, whom afterward also he was forced to burn, for that he stood obstinate in his fantastical Opinions, which were such as scarce agreed with any Sect whatsoever. And finally, Laurence Sanders, a famous scarlet Martyr of theirs, being a married Priest, and seeing a little Bastard of his brought to him in Prison by the Woman that bare it, he was so tenderly affected thereunto, as in great vehemency of spirit he said to the standers by, What man of my Vocation would not die to make this lit­tle Boy legitimate, and prove his Mother to be no Whore?

44. And of this I might give infinit Examples out of John Fox, what sub­stantial grounds and motives many of his Martyrs had to run to the Fire, or ra­ther how without all ground or probable reason in the world,Heretical ha­stiness to burn for their Er­rors. but only wilful Pride and Obstinacy, most of them thrust themselves to death, no less than in old times did the Massilians, Montanists, Circumcellians, and Martyrians, most famous Heretics, upon the like madness, as after we are to shew more at large in the Cap. 2. third Part, where I am to treat of these matters more particularly, and to give you (if I be not deceived) large matters of laughter, or rather of com­passion, in this behalf. Now this shall be sufficient to shew both the great number and respective quality of domestical Witnesses for the Catholic Faith, and continuance thereof in our Countrey during the time of this sharp Persecu­tion under her Majesty, and that never more than in this time hath the Ca­tholic Church been perspicuous, honorable and eminent in our Realm; which is altogether contrary to that which John Fox ascribeth to his Church, whose Invisibility, Obscurity, and lurking from the eyes of men, he both granteth and excuseth, by the presence of Persecution against her; whereas we hold on the other side, that the true Church (and consequently Ours) is ever more visible and notoriously known in time of Affliction and Persecution, than in Peace.

45. And so we have shewed by Example of our English Church, especially in this present Age, wherein not only domestical sufferings at home have come by Fame, Books, and Writings to the knowledge of Foreign Nations, and thereby also the notice of so many worthy constant Catholics that are within the Realm; but whole Troops also both of English Men and Women in Exile for their Consciences, do represent the same daily to their eyes, as it were by a lively spectacle, to the wonder of the Christian World. But above all the rest, they must needs be greatly moved with the sight of whole Com­panies, Families, and Communities of English of both Sexes, of tender Age, and those for the most part of very principal good Birth and Parentage, that have come forth of our Countrey for the love of Religion, and lived with great Edification in other Nations, partly in Colleges and Seminaries, partly in Re­ligious Convents and Monasteries, yielding great admiration to strangers for their rare Vertues of Piety, Patience, Contentment and Devotion. And as for Colledges and Seminaries,A great num­ber of English Youths in Ex­ile for Religi­on. those of St. Omers and Doway in Flanders, of Rhemes in France, of Rome in Italy, of Valliadolid, Sevill, and St. Lucars in Spain, and of Lisbon in Portugal, do sufficiently testifie. And as for Monaste­ries both of Men and Women, they are not unknown; as that venerable Com­pany of English Carthusians in Mechlyn, the honorable Religious Houses of English Noble and Gentlewomen in Bruxells, Lovain, and Lisbon, whose rare Vertues do singularly edifie all those that know them, and greatly illustrate the Name of our Countrey for Religious Piety with Foreign Nations. All these (I say) do bear witness at this day to the whole World, and to us also, that, God be thanked, the fire and fervor of Catholic Religion, which Christ came to plant [Page 93] upon Earth, is not extinguished by so long and grievous Persecution in our Countrey, but rather increased, at least in Intention, as Philosophers do speak, tho' not in Extension.

46. And truly, when I consider the matter more seriously with my self,The Conclusi­on of the first Part of this Treatise. I doubt much whether England, if it had continued Catholic, had ever enjoy'd such excellent Education for their Youth at home, as by occasion of this Tribulation God hath given them abroad in Foreign Nations. Certainly the Example is rare, and never heard of in former times, and at this day the like is seen in few other Nations besides Us; but in none of those that have suffered for Catholic Religi­on is this Blessing found so abundantly as in Ours, God make us grateful for it; for if our Ingratitude turn not the course of his Mercies hitherto used towards us, it seemeth evident that he will not suffer the Seed of Catholic Religion to be extinguished in England, having conserved the same so potently and strangely unto this day, which is from the first preaching of the Apostles and Apostolic-men to the Britans, unto the time of Pope Gregory I. under whom our English Nation was converted, as hath been declared, and from thence again downward unto Us, which is more than a thousand years; and so I doubt not but he will to the Worlds end, if our sins deserve not the contrary. And this shall serve for this first Part, containing the Deduction and Continuance of Catholic Religion in England without interruption, for more than fifteen hun­dred years together. Now will we pass to the second Part, to examin the same Succession in Protestants Religion throughout all these Ages, if it may be found; making our Conclusion, as after you shall see, That as our Religion entred first, and hath never left England unto this hour, so the Religion of John Fox, in the form that he would have it, was never yet admitted into England publicly, by any Prince or Potentate whatsoever, until this present day, nor ever like to be. And this shall serve for the first Part of our Treatise.

The End of the First Part.

The Second PART of this TREATISE, CONTAINING The SEARCH after the Protestants Church, From the beginning of Christendom to Our Days.

The ARGUMENT.

HAving declared in the former Part of this Treatise how the Faith of Christ was first preached to the Britans at two several times, and then to the English Nation, and all by Roman Preachers; and that the same Faith hath continued from Age to Age in a visible conspicuous Church until our days: there remaineth now, that we examin in this second Part, Where the Protestants Church was in all this time, and whether they had any at all? And if they had, of what sort of men it consisted, and whether it were the same with the Church before-described, or partly the same, partly different; or whether they could stand together, being opposite in any one point of Faith? Moreover, whether the one did persecute the other, or might be reconciled or agreed to­gether? And finally, what is the state of the one and the other at this day? For examination of which points, we shall have occasion to run over again with more advice all the former sixteen Ages from Christ downward, and therein to see and consider, What Church either flourished or prevailed throughout every Age, either Ours, or that of John Fox; and which of them is likeliest to have come down from the Apostles? As also, Whether that Church which was visibly founded by the Apostles, and put on foot by them and theirs, could perish, or vanish away to give place to another? And these are the principal Points of this second Part discussed in the Chapters following; tho' first, before we enter into this examination, we have thought good to treat certain general Points, that make way thereunto, as by the next Chapter you shall perceive.

CHAP. I.

Of how to great Importance Ecclesiastical Succession is for trial of true Religi­on; and how Sectaries have sought to fly the force thereof, by saying, That the Church is invisible; How fond a shift this is, and how foolishly John Fox doth behave himself therein.

THE Sentence of the Philosopher is known to all, That contra­ries being laid together, do give light the one to the other; as white and black proposed in one Table, do make each colour more clear, distinct, and lively in it self. For which respect we having laid open before, in the first Part of this Discourse, the known manifest Succession of Christian Religion in our Isle of England, first from the Apostles times among the Bri­tans, for the first six Ages after Christ; and then again among the English-men, for nine Ages more since their first Conversion from Paganism; we are now to examin what manner of visible Succession John Fox doth bring us forth [Page 95] of his Church, that is to say, of the Protestants of his Religion, (for the said 1500 years, or fifteen Ages) if any such be; for that by this comparison of the One with the Other, the Nature and Condition of both Churches will be understood. But yet first I mean to note by the way certain principal points to be considered for better understanding of all that is to be handled in this Chapter, or about this whole matter of Ecclesiastical Succession.

2. Whereof the first may be that which I have touched in the end of the form­er Chapter, to wit, of how great importance this point is,The principal point to be noted of Suc­cession. (I mean the Succession and Continuation of Teachers, the one conform to the other in matter of Be­lief and Religion) for clear demonstration of Truth in matters of Controversie, and for staying any discreet man's judgment from wavering hither and thither in his belief, according to that which holy St. Augustin said of himself, and felt in himself: For that considering the great diversity of Sects that swarm'd in his time, and every one pretending Truth, Antiquity, Purity, and Autho­rity of Scriptures, and himself also having been misled by one of these Sects for many years, was brought by God at length to be a true Catholic, and to feel in himself the force of this visible Succession of the Catholic Church. And therefore, writing against one that in time past had been his Master, as Head of the former Sect wherein he had lived, to wit, Faustus Manichaeus, St. Augustin's estimation of Succession. after di­vers other reasons alledged of his confidence and assurance of Truth in the Ca­tholic Church, and of his firm resolution to live and die in the same, he bring­eth for his last and strongest reason the perpetual Succession of Bishops in the same Church, and especially in the Church of Rome: Aug. ep. cont. Faust. Manich. c. 4. tom. 6. Tenet me in Ecclesia (saith he) ab ipsa Petri sede, usque ad praesentem Episcopatum, successio Sacerdo­tum, &c. ‘I am held in this Church (against all you Sectaries) by the Succes­sion of Priests and Bishops, that have come down even from the first seat of St. Peter the Apostle, to the present Bishop of Rome (Anastasius) that holdeth the seat at this day, &c.

3. Lo here the force and estimation of Succession with St. Augustin. Where­unto are conform all other ancient Fathers, if we would stand to alledge them; yea they stand so firmly upon this point, and do make so great account of it, as they do generally note Heretics and Sectaries for the contrary defect, to wit, that they have no Succession or orderly continuation either of Bishops or of Faith among them, but did leap hither and thither, (as ours do at this day,) challenging to themselves now this and now that, without either Order, In­terest, Continuation, or Succession:Aug. quaest. 110 in nov. & vet. Test. Ordinem (saith St. Augustin) ab Apostolo Petro coeptum, & usque ad hoc tempus per traducem succedentium Episcoporum ser­vatum perturbant, ordinem sibi sine origine vendicantes. ‘Heretics do trouble and break the order of succeeding of Bishops begun by St. Peter, and brought down by Off spring, one Bishop succeeding another; and so challenge unto themselves a certain Order without beginning.’

4. To which effect also Tertullian, more than 200 years before St. Augustin, challenging Heretics to this Combat of Succession, said,Tert. l. de prae­scrip. advers. haeres. Edant Haeretici origi­nes suarum Ecclesiarum, evolvant ordinem Episcoporum suorum, &c. ‘Let Here­tics set forth the beginning of their Churches, let them recount the order of their succeeding Bishops if they can.’ And then having set down for his part, and for proof of true Catholic Succession, the whole rank of the Bishops of Rome, from St. Peter to Pope Eleutherius that lived in his days. [Mark, I pray you, the proof he useth, tho' he were of the Church of Africa.] He glo­rieth as tho' he brought forth an invincible Argument against all Heretics, challenging and provoking them to do the like if they could:Tert. ibid. Consingant (saith he) tale aliquid Haeretici; Let Heretics bring forth or devise any such things for proof of their Church if they can. And consider here (gentle Reader) how Heretics remain confounded by Tertullian's judgment for want of Succession.

[Page 96] Iren. l. 4. ad­vers. haeres. c. 4.5. But this is not only Tertullian's Opinion; for St. Irenaeus, before him again, objecteth the same to Heretics, against whom he wrote, saying▪ Obedire opor­tet eis, qui successionem habent ab Apostolis, qui cum Episcopatus successione charisma­ta veritatis acceperunt; ‘You ought to obey these who have their Succession from the Apostles, who together with the Succession of their Bishoprics, have received from time to time the gifts or privileges of Truth.’ And in another place,Ibid. c. 45. Apud quas est ea, quae est ab Apostolis successio, hi fidem nostram cu­stodiunt, & scripturas sine periculo nobis exponunt; ‘With whom the Successi­on of Bishops from the Apostles time downwards is found to have remained, these are they who conserve our Faith, and do expound the Scripture unto us without danger.’ Behold the vertue of Succession, which this blessed Bishop and Martyr St. Irenaeus esteemed so highly in his days, as he ascribed thereto both the infallible Conservation of Faith, and true Exposition of Scriptures.

6. And it is to be noted, that he speaketh not only of Succession in Belief, as every one of our Sectaries will seem to pretend, that they have it among them­selves from the Apostles, (which yet is ridiculous, and manifestly false, as be­fore hath been declared, and after shall be more in particular;) but he speak­eth expresly also of the external Succession and Continuation of Bishops, ascri­bing to them, and proving by them, the Succession of one and the self-same Faith:The force of Succession with Irenaeus & other Fathers. And to that end doth he number up all the Bishops of Rome from St. Peter to his time, as Tertullian before-alledged did, (notwithstanding the one lived in France, and the other in Africa,) proving by that Succession of Roman Bishops the true Succession of one and the self-same Catholic Faith to have endured, not only in these several Countreys, but also over all Christen­dom, and that from Christ to those times; esteeming this to be a most invincible Proof and certain Demonstration, or (to use St. Irenaeus his own words) plenissimam ostensionem, a most full probation against all Heretics what­soever.

7. According to which Principle and sure Foundation, all other Fathers also that have ensued since, from Age to Age, have stood very resolutely upon this point of Succession,Hier. dia. ult. cont. Lucif. against the Heretics of their times. Brevem (saith St. Hierom) apertamque animi mei sententiam proferam, in illa esse Ecclesia per­manendum quae ab Apostolis fundata usque ad diem hanc durat; ‘I will utter briefly my sentence and judgment; we must abide in that Church, which being founded by the Apostles, hath endured unto this day.’ As if he had said, We must be and abide in that Church, which as it was visibly founded and spread over the World by the Apostles Preaching, so it hath visibly been con­tinued under her Bishops and Teachers unto this day. Which sentence of his St. Augustin, that lived with him, tho' somewhat younger, confirmeth in these words:Aug. l. de uti­litate credent. c. 17. Dubitabimus nos illius Ecclesiae considere gremio, quae ab Apostolica sede per Successiones Episcoporum (frustra haereticis circumlatrantibus) culmen Authoritatis obtinuit? ‘Shall we doubt still to rest in the lap of that Church, which hath kept continually the height of her Authority by Succession of Bishops from the See-Apostolic unto this day, notwithstanding the vain barking of Here­tics on every side of her?’

8. Thus said St. Augustin of the visible Church in his days, which had not continued much more than 400 years. But what would he say if he liv'd in our days,Barking of Heretics a­gainst Succes­sion, as St. Au­gustin termeth it. after almost 1200 years Succession more since he wrote this, when he should hear far greater and more spiteful barking of Heretics against the same, than he heard in his days? tho' then also he heard much, and much of that which we hear now. But if St. Augustin should live now again, there is no doubt of one thing; which is, that he would make this his Argument of [Page 97] Succession far more strong against our Heretics, and esteem it so much the more, by how much the Power of Christ hath shewed it self more Omnipotent in continuing the same since, for so many Ages more after him, amidst so many troubles and turmoils, changes and alterations of Empires, and Kingdoms, and Temporal States, as before we have noted. And if in England we can number above seventy Archbishops of Canterbury, all of one Religion, the one succeeding the other, since our first Conversion by St. Augustin our Apostle, (not to speak any thing of the British Church before us) as you may see con­fessed by Cambden and other new heretical Writers of our own; and that this English Church was the same in Faith and Belief with the British, In descr. Cantii. (as before hath been shewed) and both of them one with the Roman and General Church from the very beginning to this time, what an Antiquity is this? and how clear and evident a Succession? And how would St. Augustin urge this Argument against our Protestants, if he were now alive again.

9. Sure I am, that if any one Baron, Earl, or Duke in England could shew but the half of these years for the continuance and possession of any Temporal State, Lordship, or Land in England, he would highly esteem thereof, and thereby make a glorious defence against any wrangling Companion that should presume to pretend the same, and deprive him thereof, if he could truly say and prove (as we do in the Cause of our Church) that his Ancestors for 1300 years together had continued in that possession. But no man can prescribe any such time in temporal matters, and therefore are they well called Temporal, for that they change in a little time. And he that will read the foresaid Camb­den's Story, towards the end of every English Shire,A comparison between the durance of the Church & temporal States. (where he taketh upon him to recount the Earls or Dukes that have had their States and Titles over that Shire) he shall see such a broken Succession in those States and Signories as it is pitiful to behold, no Dukedom or Earldom continuing lightly three or four Generations together in any one Name or Family. And this is the frailty and uncertainty of human things.

10. But for matters of Religion appertaining to the Soul, Almighty God hath given another manner of force unto Succession both of Men and Faith. As for ex­ample, in the Law of Nature, he made the same to endure by only Tradition, without Writing, for more than 2500 years, under the ancient Patriarchs be­fore and after the Flood of Noe. And afterward again in the written Law, the Jews continued the possession of their Religion by Succession of Bishops and Ecclesiastical Governors from Moses unto Christ, above 1500 years, notwith­standing all varieties of times and calamities. And no less from Christ to our Age hath he continued the same in a much more glorious sort and manner. In which latter time of Christian Religion (to speak only of this for the present) so many mutations have been made, both in the Roman Empire it self, and all other Realms and Kingdoms round about us, as all men know, and may be seen in Histories: And yet hath the Succession of the Catholic Church and Pastors thereof, together with the Union of Faith therein taught, been most mi­raculously conserved amongst all these tossings and turmoils, breaches and divi­sions of Temporal Kingdoms; which could never have been, but by the Omnipo­tent Hand of our Savior that hath defended it; especially considering withal the great multitude of Sects and Heresies that from time to time have risen, and at­tempted to impugn the same, but could never prevail. And this is sufficient for this first and principal point of the vertue and force of Ecclesiastical Succession.

11. The second point to be considered is, That when Luther's new Religion began, and could alledge no Successors of Bishops,The second principal point to be considered a­bout the visi­bility of the Church. or ancient Teachers for it self, but was much pressed with this other of the Catholics, he devised a cer­tain notorious and ridiculous shift, to say, that the true Church was invisible to the eye of man, and only seen by God, and consequently had no need of any visible or external Succession of Men. And this shift of his is discovered by that [Page 98] he writeth both against In defens. l. de servo arbitr. Erasmus, and Lib. cont. Cathar. Catharinus, and in his wicked Treatise Part 1. de abroganda Missa privata, for taking away private Masses; where having had Conference with the Devil, (as himself confesseth) he asketh very stoutly, Who can shew us the Church, seeing she is secret, and to be believed only in Spirit? To whom if any man would oppose S. Aug. that saith,Aug. in tract. in ep. Joan. digito ostendimus Ecclesiam, we can shew the Church with our finger, should not Luther be well match'd think you?

12. The like held for a time Cap. de Conci­liis. Brentius, as appeareth in his Confession of Wittemberg, and some others of that Sect. But this Opinion of Luther did not long please his Followers; for that In locis com. loco 12. de Ec­cles. Ph. Melancthon, his chief Scholar, did soon after teach the contrary, viz. That the Church was visible to the eyes of men also. And the Cent. 1. l. 1. c. 4. Magdeburgians do hold the same, defining every-where the Church to be a visible Company of Men. Which going back of the principal Lutherans in this point (it being done by a certain Consultation had thereof among them­selves, as Apol. 1. part 3. Calv. l. 4. Inst. c. 1. § 3. Fredericus Staphylus the Emperor's Counsellor, that had been one of them, affirmeth) was some Cause perhaps that Calvin, coming presently af­ter them, took upon him to defend the same Doctrin again, saying, Nobis invi­sibilem, &c. We are forc'd to believe the Church to be invisible, and to be seen only by the eyes of God. Lo Calvin putteth necessity in this point of Belief.

Why Lutherans left the Para­dox of the in­visibility of the Church.13. The Causes that moved the chief Lutherans to go back from their first Opinion about the invisibility of the Church, were principally the apparent Evidences and Demonstrations which Catholics do alledge both out or Scrip­tures, Fathers, common sense and reason, for overthrow of that most fond and ridiculous Paradox. And first, out of holy Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament; these men being not able to alledge any one place where the Name of God's Church is applied to an Invisible Congregation; the Catholics on the contrary side pressed them with many most evident Texts of Scripture, where it was and is used for a visible Company of Men: as that in the Book of Numbers, ch. 20. Cur eduxisti Ecclesiam Domini in solitudinem? Why hast thou brought the Church of God into the Desart? And again in 3 Kings, ch. 8. Con­vertit (que) Rex faciem suam, & benedixit omni Ecclesiae Israel, omnis enim Ecclesia Is­rael, stabat, &c. The King turning his face about, did bless all the Church of Is­rael, for that all the Church of Israel was present, &c. Which places, and many the like, cannot possibly be understood of an Invisible, but of a Visible Company.

14. And much more, if we consider the speeches of Christ and his Apostles in the New Testament;Matt. 18. as these words of Christ, Dic Ecclesiae, si Ecclesiam non audierit, &c. Tell the Church, and if he hear not the Church, let him be unto thee as an Heathen or Publican. But if the Church were invisible, neither could a man complain to the Church, nor hear the Church. Moreover St. Paul exhorteth the chief Pastors of the Ephesians to attend diligently to their charge, Acts 20. In quo vos Spiritus Sanctus posuit Episcopos regere Ecclesiam Dei: In which the H. Ghost hath placed you as Bishops to govern the Church of God. But how could they, being visible men, govern a Company that was invisible, & not to be seen?

Act. 15.18. Evident Scri­ptures for the visibility of the Church.15. And yet further, when St. Paul and St. Barnabas went up from Antioch to Jerusalem, the Scripture saith, Deducti sunt ab Ecclesia, &c. They were brought on their way by the Church of Antioch; and when they came to Jerusalem, suscepti sunt ab Ecclesia; they were received by the Church. And yet further, ascendit Paulus & salutavit Ecclesiam; Paul went and saluted the Church, &c. All which places cannot agree possibly to an invisible Church; and yet that this was the true Primitive Church of Christ, no man can deny.

16. And finally, when St. Paul doth teach Timothy his Scholar, 1 Tim. 3. Quo­modo oporteat conversari in Domo Dei, quae est Ecclesia, &c. How he should con­verse and govern the House of God, which is his Church, Columna & Firma­mentum Veritatis, the Pillar and Firmament of all Truth, Ibid. All this (I say) had been spoken to no purpose, if the true Church of Christ were invisible; for how can a man converse in a Congregation which he cannot see or know; [Page 99] or how can the Church be a Pillar and sure Firmament of Truth to resolve all Doubts and Questions that may fall out about Scriptures, Articles of Belief, and Mysteries of Christ's Religion, if it be an invisible Congregation, that no man seeth, discerneth, or knoweth where or how to repair unto it, nor who are the persons therein contained?

17. And lastly, not to stand longer upon this matter,Evident rea­sons that the true Church must be visible containing both good and bad. that is so evident in it self, and plain to common sense and reason; if the true Church of Christ be a Society not of Angels, Spirits, or Souls departed, but of Men and Women in this life, that must be governed or govern therein; how can they be invi­sible? And if they must have Communion together in external Sacraments, and namely in Marc. ult. Ephes. 4. 1. Pet. 3. Baptism, and participation of the Body of Christ; if they must Rom. 10. Luc. 12. 1 Tim. 6. profess the Name and Doctrin of Christ externally to the World, as also to be Mat. 5. Luc. 11. Joan. 15. persecuted and put to death for the same; if all men must repair unto them, and those that be out of the Church to enter and be received there­in, and those that be in her to be resolved of their doubts, to lay down their complaints, to be governed and directed by her, and finally to obey her under pain of Damnation: how can all this be performed,Mat. 28. 1 Cor. 12. 1 Tim. 3.5. St. Augustin's Discourses a­bout the visi­bility of the Church. See St. Aug. in Psal. 44, 47. & l. 2. cont. Petil. c. 32, & 104. l. 2. cont. Cresco. c. 36. & l. 4. c. 58. tract. 1, 2. in ep. Joan. &c. 4. collat. 3. diei in Bre­vie. if she be invisible to man's eyes, and only seen by the eyes of God?

18. To alledge Fathers and Doctors in this behalf were both endless and needless, for that all of them every-where almost are occupied in setting forth not only the Visibility, but the Splendor also and Greatness, yea the multitude and external Majesty of Christ's Church throughout the World in their days: and only St. Augustin may serve for all, who dilateth himself every-where in this Argument, shewing how the little Stone prophesied by Daniel was grown to be a huge Mountain, and terrible to the whole World: and that the Taber­nacle of Christ (which is his Church) was placed by him in the Sun to be seen of all; and that it was a City upon a Mountain which none could be ignorant of; and other like Discourses founded on evident Scriptures. Whereby is re­futed not only the first shift of Luther and Calvin making the true Church of Christ invisible, but also the second of these latter Lutherans, who (tho' over­come with the former proofs) do grant the Church to be a visible Company, yet do they deny it to be that external conspicuous Succession of Bishops and Councils, which have been most eminent in the known Christian Church from the Apostles downward; but rather to be some few obscure and con­temptible people (which they call the Elect) that have lived or lurked from time to time in shadows and darkness, and known to few or none.

19. But this second device is more fond than the former;A second fond device of Lu­therans about an obscure Church. for where shall a man seek out these hidden Fellows to treat with them, or to receive Sacraments at their hands? how shall they be known? how may they be trusted? whence have they their Authority? what Succession bring they down by imposition of hands from the Apostles time? may not every Sect of Heretics make them­selves Christ's Church by this device? Wherefore of this second point there need to be said no more.

20. There remaineth then a third point to be considered by the Reader be­fore we come to set down the Succession of John Fox's Church;The third point of John Fox's Opinion about the true Church. who having considered with himself that both Luther and Calvin did hold it to be invisible; and on the other side, that divers chief Lutherans had changed their Opinions therein, and held it to be visible, (especially Flaccus Illyricus, and the rest of the Magdeburgians, who were to write a whole Story of their own visible Church in their Centuries, and Fox, to follow them step by step therein, in his English Acts and Monuments) the poor man was brought to a very great per­plexity; forasmuch as on the one side, to leave Luther (but especially Calvin) seemed very hard unto him; and on the other side, not to stick to the Magde­burgians, that are his Masters in his Story, seemed hard also: But especially [Page 100] and above all was he troubled (as it seemeth) with the reason and necessity of the matter it self; for if the Church of Christ be invisible, how can Fox or the Magdeburgians write so great and large stories thereof?A great per­plexity of John Fox. Illyr. gloss. in Matth. c. 1. To which effect Illyricus writing upon the Genealogy set down by St. Matthew's Gospel, of the true Church from the beginning, saith thus: Ostendit ista series Ecclesiam & Religionem veram habere certas historias suae originis & progressus; ‘This Genea­logy proveth that the true Church and Religion have assured Histories of their beginning and progress.’

21. Thus said Illyricus, for that he and his Fellows were then in hand (as hath been said) with their Ecclesiastical Histories named Centuries; which they could not well have written, holding the Church to be invisible; neither yet John Fox could begin so great a Volume with that Opinion.Fox's new Opi­nion making the Church both visible and invisible. Wherefore, after much breaking his brains about this matter, (as it seemeth) he cometh forth with a new Opinion never heard of perhaps before, affirming that the true Church of Christ is both visible and invisible, to wit, visible to some, and invisible to others; visible to them that are in her, and invisible to them that are out of her. You shall hear his words.

Fox in his pro­testation to the Church of England, p. 2.22. Altho' (saith he) the right Church of God be not so invisible in the World, that none can see it, yet neither is it so visible again that every worldly eye may perceive it; for like as is the nature of Truth, so is the proper condition of the true Church, that commonly none seeth it but such only as be members and partakers there­of; and therefore they which require that God's holy Church should be evident and vi­sible to the whole World, seem to define the great Synagogue of the World, rather than the true spiritual Church of God.

23. Thus saith he; wherein you see that he maketh the true Church visible, but only to such as are in her, and Members thereof. A device (I think) ne­ver heard of before, and fit for the Brains of John Fox, which were known to be out of tune for many years before he died; for if he do not trifle and equi­vocate, (meaning one-where internal Visibility by Faith, and another-where external Visibility to the Eye) but doth mean indeed as he should do, and as the Controversie is meant, of external visibility to man's eye, then is it most ridi­culous that none can see the true Church in this World, but he that is a Mem­ber of her; for she is to be seen as well to her Enemies and Adversaries, as to her Friends and Children; the One to impugn and fight against her, the Other to acknowledge and obey her. And I would (for examples sake) demand of John Fox, Whether Herod and Nero, that persecuted the true visible Church of Christ, were of that Church or no? For if they were not, then by his sentence they could not see her, and consequently not persecute her.

24. His comparison also between Truth and the true Church doth not hold; for that Truth is a spiritual thing, to be seen only by the eye of our Understand­ing, but the true Church, consisting of visible Men and Women, may be seen by man's eye; tho' the truth thereof (to wit, whether this or that visible Congregation be the true Church of Christ) is a matter of Understanding and Belief, confirmed unto us by such Arguments as before we have recited, and others. So as albeit the aforesaid Persecutors Herod and Nero (for Example) did not see the Truth of that Church which they persecuted,How Enemies and Persecu­tors do see the true Church. in respect of their Doctrin, (for then perhaps they would not have done it) yet did they both see and know that this was Christ's visible Church, to wit, a Congregation pro­fessing his Name and Doctrin; yea, they might know further that it was his true Church, seeing it was begun visibly and evidently by him and his Apo­stles in their days, and so continued on without interruption; and if they had further known and believed (as we do) that he had promised to maintain and defend this Church unto the worlds end, then must they either have doubted of his Fidelity or Power to perform it, or must have believed also that this [Page 101] Church could not fail; whereof Protestants doubting, must needs doubt also of the one or the other, to wit, of the Fidelity and of the Ability of our Savior to perform his promise. And this is the force of Succession even with Enemies and Infidels

25. But now let us pass to the principal matter intended in this Chapter, which is, the Succession or Deduction of the Protestants Church,Fox in the Title. promised by John Fox in his Acts and Monuments; Wherein (saith he) is set forth at large the whole race and course of the Church, from the Primitive to these latter times of ours, &c. Thus he promiseth in the Title; but how he doth perform it in his whole Book, we shall see afterward in this Declaration.—Tho' in part we may perceive his drift, by that he protesteth to the Church of England be­fore his entrance into his Story in these words:

I have taken in hand (saith he) this History, The purpose of John Fox in his Protest. p. 3. that as other Story-Writers here­tofore have employ'd their travail to magnifie the Church of Rome, so in this Histo­ry might appear the Image of both Churches, but especially of the poor, oppressed, and persecuted Church of Christ; which, tho' it hath been so long trodden under foot by Enemies, neglected in the World, not regarded in Histories, and almost scarce visi­ble and known to worldly eyes, yet hath it been the true Church only of God; wherein he hath mightily wrought hitherto in preserving the same in all extreme distresses, con­tinually stirring up from time to time faithful Ministers, by whom always hath been kept some sparks of this true Doctrin and Religion. And forsomuch as the true Church of God goeth not lightly alone, but is accompanied with some other Church or Chappel of the Devil to deface and malign the same; necessary it is, that the difference be­tween them both be seen, and the descent of the right Church to be described from the Apostles time, &c.

26. Here we see all John Fox his drift laid down. First, he meaneth to contradict all former Writers that have magnified the Church of Rome, and the Greatness and Glory thereof, which he calleth the Devil's Chappel: And in this he must contradict all the ancient Fathers and Writers for divers hun­dred years after Christ, as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Augustin, Optatus, and other Writers, that bring down the descent of the true Church of Christ, by the Succession of the Bishops and Church of Rome, as before you have heard. And secondly Fox meaneth to set out another Christian Church, trodden under foot before, neglected in the World, not regarded in Histories, and almost scarce visible or known; and yet was, and is (forsooth) the only true Church of Christ, keeping some spark of his true Doctrin and Religion, (he doth not say that all was true which she held, nor that all Christ's Doctrin was taught in her, but only some sparks or scraps of true Doctrin) And further he promiseth, that he will describe the descent of this Church from the Apostles time.

27. This is John Fox his promise, and we accept thereof. And tho' it be scarce worth the performance to shew us a hidden, obscure, and trodden down Church in every Age, that keepeth some sparks of true Doctrin and Religion, (for that every Sect and Heresie, not denying Christ and his Doctrin wholly, doth so,) yet shall we accept and exact the same (being never so miserable and beggarly) as we go over the whole course of Times and Ages from Christ downward, following therein the distribution it self that John Fox hath ap­pointed to be observed in his Story; to wit,What is to be handled about John Fox's Church. from Christ to Constantine 300 years; from Constantine to S. Gregory as much; from S. Gregory and S. Augustin, our Apostles, to the Conquest 400 and odd years; from the Conquest to Wickliff other 300 years; from Wickliff to Luther about 240; from Luther's time to ours somewhat less than a hundred. In all which variety of Times we shall examin briefly, Whether John Fox his Church were on foot or no? What Continuance or Succession it may be said to have had? Where, when, and by what men, it was begun, continued, and acknowledged? What Doctrin it held, and whence, [Page 102] and with what Ʋnion or Conformity with it self, or with the Catholic Roman Church? Which Catholic Church being shewed and declared in the first Part of this Book to have been founded by the Apostles, and conserved visibly from that time hither by Succession of Bishops and Prelates, Governors and Professors thereof, will easily also bring in the Notice and Certificate of John Fox his op­posite Church, whereof now we begin to treat.

CHAP. II.

The particular Examination of the Descent or Succession of John Fox his Church in England or elsewhere, for the first Three Hundred years after CHRIST, to wit, unto the time of Constantine the Empe­rour: And whether any such Church was extant then in the World or no, and in Whom.

HE that will consider the proportion of John Fox his Book of Acts and Mo­numents in the latter Edition, he shall find it the greatest perhaps in Vo­lume that ever was put forth in our English Tongue; and the falsest in sub­stance,The substance of John Fox's Book. without perhaps, that ever was published in any Tongue. The Vo­lume consisteth of above a thousand Leaves of the largest Paper that lightly hath been seen, and every Leaf containeth four great Columns; and yet, if you consider how many Leaves of those thousand he hath spent in Deduction of the whole Church, either His or Ours, and the whole Ecclesiastical Story thereof, for the first thousand years after Christ, they are by his own account but threescore and four, to wit, scarce the thirtieth part of that he bestoweth in the last five hundred years.

2. And further, if this his thousand years Story, containing threescore and four leaves, be sifted and examined what it containeth, not four of them do appertain to that which he should handle (which is, the visible Deduction of his Church) as we shall endeavor briefly to shew,The division of 1060 years into four prin­cipal parts. dividing the whole thousand and threescore years, from Christ to William the Conqueror, into four distinct I Times or Stations, appointed out by John Fox himself in his Book; to wit, the II first from Christ to Constantine, containing 300 years; the second from Constan­tine to K. Ethelbert's Conversion by St. Augustin, containing other 300 years; the III third, from King Ethelbert, and other six Kings of England reigning jointly with him, unto King Egbert the first Monarch of the English Nation, which IV space is somewhat more than other 200 years; and the fourth from King Egbert to William the Conqueror, containing the same, or some few more years.

3. Let us now follow (I say) John Fox throughout all these Ages and diffe­rent stations of times, and see out of what Holes or Dens he will draw his little, hidden, trodden down Church, different from the Roman Visible Church, and yet endued notwithstanding from time to time with some little sparks of Truth; which he promiseth to bring down from the Apostles to our time. In the first 300 years then,The first 300 years from Christ to Con­stantine. from Christ to Constantine, whereas all other Ecclesiastical Wri­ters, and St. Luke amongst the rest in his Acts of the Apostles, ch. 2, 3, 4, &c. do set down the visible beginning of Christ's Church by his Apostles and Disciples; their strengthening and confirmation by the coming of the Holy Ghost; their preaching and converting of others; their great and many Miracles, and thereby the establishing and wonderful increase of the said [Page 103] Church throughout the World, and continuance of the same downward by Succession of Bishops, (but namely and specially of the Bishops of Rome, Sup. c. 8, 9. as before hath been declared, and is to be seen in the Writings of Dionysius Areo­pagita, Josephus, Justinus, Egesippus, Clemens, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origenes, Julius Africanus, Cyprian, Eusebius, and others of these Ages:) John Fox fol­loweth no such order at all, nor ever so much as mentioneth any descent of Bishops of His Church or Ours; but only (to spend time,The imperti­nent course taken by John Fox. and fill up Paper) taketh upon him to translate out of Eusebius and other Authors, the Martyr­doms of such as suffered for Christian Religion in the ten general Persecutions of these first 300 years; setting the same forth also in painted Pictures, for no other purpose (as it seemeth) but only to entertain his Reader with some strange and delightful Spectacle; and afterward so to joyn his Protestant burned Martyrs with those of the Primitive Church, as the Painting be­ing somewhat alike, the simple Reader might thereby be induced to think that there was no great difference, either in their Persons, or Cause of suf­fering.

4. But I would ask John Fox, Reasons to prove that the old Martyrs were of our Church, and not of Fox's. To what purpose of his was the bringing in of all these Martyrs of the Primitive Church throughout the World? Were they His, or Our Martyrs, think you? For to both of us they cannot be Mar­tyrs, that is to say Witnesses, we being of a different belief; for that we of our part do hold resolutely the saying of Nisi integram inviolatamque servaverit abs (que) dubio in aeter­num peribit. St. Athanasius in his Creed, That who­soever doth not hold all and every point of the Catholic Faith entirely, shall perish eter­nally. If therefore he will say they were his Martyrs, he must prove that they were in all and every point of His Religion, and not of Ours. And to examin this point (to wit, of what Religion they were, whether more of Ours,Who do more honor the an­cient Martyrs. or of His) divers considerations may be brought in: As first, Who of us do more honor them? We keep their Days and Feasts, as all men know; we put them in our Ecclesiastical Calendar and Martyrology; we keep their Relics; we honor their Tombs; we call upon them in Heaven to pray for us, as reigning in most high Glory with Christ: All which Protestants do mislike; yea,See Fox's Ca­lendar in the be­ginning of his Volume. John Fox by name hath put the most of them (I mean of the Martyrs of these first 300 years) quite out of his Ecclesiastical Calendar, to give place to John Wick­liff, John Husse, Martin Luther, and other like Companions, as may be seen in the very first pages of his Book; which is a sign that we esteem and honor them more than they; which we would not do, if we did not persuade our selves that they were of our Religion, and not of Protestants, in any point of Controversie between us.

5. Moreover the Christian visible Church of that time, (to wit,The second Reason. of those first 300 years, wherein these Martyrs suffered and were put to death) would ne­ver have registred them for Saints, nor admitted them into the number of true Martyrs, if in all points they had not been of her Faith and Communion; no more than she did those of divers Sects, namely of the Marcionists and Monta­nists, who were very many, and bragged of Martyrdom, and of God's assist­ance therein, no less, but much more, than true Catholics; as Apollinaris, Cap. 15. a most ancient Bishop (related by Eusebius in his fifth Book of Ecclesiastical Hi­story) doth testifie at large. Yea, these Heretics (especially the latter sort) were so forward in Martyrdom, as they held it was not lawful to flee in time of Per­secution, as may appear by Tertullian, who defended the same also after he was fallen into that Heresie himself. St. Cyprian doth inveigh often against the Martyrs of the Novatians, and St. Epiphanius against those of the Euphemits, sirnamed (for the multitude of their false Martyrs) Martyrians; and Tert. l. de fuga in persecut. Epiph. in pa­nar. haeres. 80. Aug. cont. lite­ras Petiliani l. 2. c. 83. & cont. 2. ep Gaudentit l. 2. c. 26. & alibi. Of heretical Martyrs. St. Au­gustin no less earnestly doth detest those Martyrs of the Donatists, who, rather than they would lack Martyrs, were ready to murder themselves. All which Martyrs notwithstanding were rejected by the Catholic Church, (tho' in shew [Page 104] they died for Christ) for that they agreed not with her in all points of Faith and Belief. And consequently we may infer for most certain, that seeing the Catholic Church of that time (and of all times since) hath held these Martyrs before mentioned of the first ten Persecutions for true Saints and Mar­tyrs indeed, and have continued their honorable remembrance, both by Histo­ries and celebrating their annual Feasts and Memories; sure it is, that they agreed fully with the said known Catholic Church of those Ages. Whereof we infer again, That seeing the Faith of those first 300 years was continued (as Supra c. 5, 6. before we have proved) in the second 300 years, and so consequently downward, and delivered to us; and forasmuch as the Church of Rome was held still for Head of all this Church, it cannot be that these Martyrs were of John Fox's Religion, and consequently are to no purpose brought in by him, but only for that he had nothing else to talk of, or to make a shew of handling some pious matter in his Book.

6. The third Reason. Moreover, if we would take upon us to reflect upon all that is extant of the sayings and doings of these Martyrs recorded in their Histories, we might soon discern of what Religion they were, and whether they were John Fox his Martyrs or Ours: As for example, in that Answer of St. Andrew. St. Andrew the Apo­stle and holy Martyr, which he made to Aegeas the Proconsul, that exhorted him to sacrifice to Idols: See the sto­ry of his passi­on written by the Church of Achaia in those days, & cited by Remigius in Psal. 21. & by Lanfrank lib. cont. Berengar. & by St. Ber­nard Serm. de St. Andrea, & many others. St. Laurence. Ego (saith he) Omnipotenti Deo (qui unus & verus est) immolo quotidie, &c. ‘I do sacrifice daily to Almighty God (that is One and True) not the flesh of Bulls, or blood of Goats, but the immaculate Lamb upon the Altar, whose flesh after that all the Faithful People have eaten, the same Lamb that is sacrificed remaineth whole and alive as before.’ This man, as you see, spoke not as a Protestant Martyr.

7. The Speech also of St. Laurence Martyr, that suffered in Rome under the Emperor Valerianus (the same year that St. Cyprian did in Carthage) his Speech (I say) to Pope Sixtus Bishop of Rome, whose Deacon he was, and who was carry'd to Martyrdom three days before him, doth not shew that he was a Pro­testant, but rather a plain Papist, as both St. Ambrose, St. Augustin, and other later Authors,Amb. l. 1. Of­ficior. c. 41. & l. 2. c. 28. Aug. tract. 27. in Joan. & Serm. de San­ctis. do relate the same. Cùm videret Laurentius (saith St. Ambrose) Sixtum Episcopum suum ad Martyrium duci, flere coepit, &c. When Laurence the Deacon saw his Bishop Sixtus to be carried away to Martyrdom, he be­gan to weep, not for the others suffering, but for his own remaining behind him; wherefore he cried unto him in these words: Whither do you go (O Fa­ther) without your Son; and whither do you hasten (O holy Priest) without your Deacon? You were never wont to offer Sacrifice without a Minister; what then hath displeased you in me, that you leave me behind you? Have you proved me perhaps to be a Coward? Make trial, I pray you, whether you have chosen unto your self a fit Minister, to whom you have committed the dispensing of our Lord's Blood: And then, seeing you have not denied unto me the Fellowship of admini­string Sacraments, do not deny me the Fellowship of shedding my Blood also with you.’

St. Laurence speaketh like a flat Papist.8. Thus talked St. Laurence of his Deacon's Office in dispensing the Blood of Christ from the Altar, and in ministring to his Bishop while he offered Sacrifice; which is a phrase far different from Protestants man­ner of Speech. But if we consider the Speech of the Heathen Emperour to St. Laurence, set down by Aurelius Prudentius above 1200 years past, object­ing to Christian Priests their sacrificing in Gold, and dispensing the Blood of our Savior in silver Cups, and the like; we shall easily see of what Religion this Martyr was.

[Page 105]
Hunc esse vestris Orgiis
Prudent. in hymn. de San­cto Laurentio.
Mor émque & artem proditum est;
Hanc disciplinam foederis;
Libent ut auro Antistites.
Argenteis scyphis ferunt
Fumare sacrum sanguinem,
Auróque nocturnis sacris,
Astare fixos caereos, &c.

We hear (saith the Persecutor) this to be the fashion and device of your Feasts, and discipline of your Confederation, that your Bishops must sacri­fice in Gold, and dispense Blood in Silver Cups, and that in your Night-Vigils you have Waxen Torches in Golden Candlesticks. &c. And thus much of St. Laurence, whose Persecutor speaketh like a perfect Protestant, which is an Argument that himself was none.

9. Now as for the other glorious Martyr and Bishop St. Cyprian, Pont. Diac. in vi [...]. Cyprian. See also the 28 Epistle of S. Cyp. himself. Supra p. 1. c. 6. who suffer­ed under the same Emperour, and in the same year that Pope Sixtus and St. Laurence did, (as appears by Pontius his Deacon that lived with him) we have shewed before that the Cent. 3. c. 4. Magdeburgians do reprehend him sharply (I mean St. Cyprian) for this very point about offering Sacrifice, for that he saith, Sacerdotem vice Christi fungi, & Deo Patri sacrificium offerre, lib. 2. ep. 3. That the Priest doth perform the Office of Christ, and offereth Sacrifice to God the Father. So as now we have here three Massing or Sacrificing Priests,Old Martyrs massing Priests. (which is the highest Crime objected to Priests now in England) and a Massing Deacon that helpeth to Mass, and all four most glorious Martyrs, within these first 300 years, to wit, St. Andrew the Apostle by his own Confession, St. Sixtus Bishop of Rome by the testimony of St. Laurence, St. Cyprian Bishop of Carthage by the accusation of the Magdeburgians, and St. Laurence the Deacon by testimony of Prudentius, St. Ambrose, and others. And it were over-long to pass any further in this examination (for that the Examples would be infinite) this be­being sufficient to shew how little it maketh for John Fox his purpose to have brought in this so large and particular a story of all the Martyrs of the first ten Persecutions, they being so opposite to his late Protestant Martyrs as they are.

10. Well then, this is sufficient for these Martyrs. But what shall we say to the whole intent and drift of John Fox, which should have been (as you know) to lay before us the continual descent (throughout these first three Ages) of his poor, oppressed, and persecuted (and yet the only true) Church of Christ, almost scarce visible or known to worldly eyes, &c? This, I say, he should have shewed and laid open to us, for that we find no other Christian Church known in the World in these first 300 years, but only One; which, tho' it were much persecuted yet was it neither obscure, nor hidden from the eyes either of good or bad, but most visible and apparent to all the World.The glorious state of the Cath. Church under Constan­tine. Euseb. l. 4. de vit. Constant. And in the end of these 300 years, (to wit, under Constantine the Emperour, and Silvester the Pope of Rome) the same came to be so magnificent and glorious, as all the World remained astonished thereat; which appeareth partly by that which Eusebius and all other Ecclesiastical Writers do recount in the Life of the said Constantine; especially Eusebius, that wrote four whole Books of the said Con­stantine's Life and Actions, (who was a most excellent Christian Emperour:) And, amongst other points of his most pious Devotion, it is recorded that he builded four goodly Churches within the City of Rome, Four Churches in Rome built by Constantine. carrying Earth to the first Foundation of them with his own hands, and adorning them with holy Images, endowing the same with rich Possessions, Furniture, and Ecclesiasti­cal [Page 106] Ornaments, and consecrated precious Vessels for Divine Service; dedica­ting the one of them (which was his own Palace of Lateran) unto our Savior and St. John Baptist, the other to St. Peter, the third to St. Paul, and the fourth to St. Laurence, all which do remain unto this day; and the very manner of building thereof, with their Altars, Fonts, Pictures, and other such-like Antiquities, do well shew without Books what manner of Religion was then in use.

11. This was the known visible Church then of Christians in those days, as glorious and renowned as can be imagined. Of which Church one wrote at that time to Constantine himself thus: Julius Firmi­cus l. ad Imp. de abol. Idol. Quis locus in terra est, &c? ‘What place is there in the whole Earth, which hath not received the Faith of Christ, either where the Sun riseth, or where it falleth? where the North-Pole is elevated, or where the South, all is filled with the Majesty of this God.Optat. l. 2. cont. Parmen. The same writeth Optatus; Concedite Deo, &c. "Yield this unto Christ, who is God, that his Garden spread it self over all the World: Can you deny unto him now, but that Christians do possess both East, West, North, and South, as also the Provinces of innumerable Islands?’ And the same hath St. Basil in his 72d and 75th Epistle, and the like St. Hilary lib. 6. de Trinitate. This then was the greatness of this Universal Catholic Church at that day; and of this Church were counted the head Bishops (for all these 300 years) the Popes and Bishops of Rome, as appeareth by the deductions made by Supra c. 4, 5. Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others, before mentioned; and in this Church was held to be all Catholic Truth, and none out of it: Which being so, I would gladly know what poor, obscure, trodden-down Church, neglected in the World, not regarded in Histories, and almost scarce visible or known (which yet he saith to be the only true Church of God) can John Fox find us out in these first 300 years? especially seeing he saith also, that it must be different from the Church of Rome, as from the Devil's Chappel; and that it must come down from the Apostles time, and always hold some sparkles of true Doctrin.

The obscure mathematical Church of John Fox.12. For Example or Proof whereof notwithstanding, he mentioneth no one Man, Woman, or Child that was of that Church in all these 300 years; and consequently he driveth us to imagin or seek out who they are that made up this obscure Church of his, different and opposite to the Roman: And I can find none, except the known Heretics of these first three Ages, to whom the description of his Church may easily agree; for first, none will deny but that, albeit they were many in number, as Simon Magus and his Followers, the Nicolaits, Ce­rynthians, The chief He­retics of the first 300 years. Ebionites, Menandrians, Saturnians, in the first Age; Basilidians, Gno­sticks, Cerdonists, Marcionists, Valentinians, Encratites, Montanists, and others, in the second Age; as also, Helchesits, Novatians, Sabellians, Manichees, and many more, in the third Age; and that in divers Countries and Provinces they had their Followers, their Churches, their Assemblies, under the name of Reformed Christians, Elect People, and men of more perfection than the rest: yet, in respect of the glorious Catholic Church that shined throughout the World, they were just as John Fox describeth his People here, to wit, a poor, oppressed, and persecuted Church, How old Here­tics were per­secuted. &c. Oppressed by force of Truth, and persecuted by the famous Writings of Catholic Doctors against them, as (after the Apostles themselves) St. Ignatius, Justinus Martyr, St. Dionyse of Corinth, St. Polycarp, Irenaeus, Clem. Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Ammonius, Pamphilus, Arnobius, and others: They were persecuted also by the Excommunications and spiritual Censures of all Catholic Bishops throughout the World, but especially by the Popes of Rome, from St. Peter to Pope Silvester, which were Thirty-three in number, all Martyrs, and every one of them condemned the Heretics of his time.

[Page 107]13. This accursed new Church also of Heretics had the other quality ascri­bed in like manner by John Fox to his Church, to wit, that they were neglected in the Christian World, and not regarded in Stories; but only to recount them to their shame and damnation. Finally, the last commendation also was not wanting to them, that they were almost scarce visible or known, How old Here­tics agree to John Fox's Church. in respect of the flourishing Catholic Church. And lastly, these congregations and swarms of Heretics (tho' never so much divided among themselves) continued indeed from the Apostles by a kind of broken Succession of times, the one rising, and the other falling. And they had the last point also specified by John Fox, of keeping some sparks of true Doctrin in Religion: Aug. l. 2. quaest. Evang. c. 40. for that (as St. Augustin writeth) Nulla falsa Doctrina est, quae aliqua Vera non intermisceat; There is no Doctrin so false, which doth not interlace some true things. And this is proper to Heresies; for that otherwise, if they had no points of true Doctrin, they should be rather Apostates than properly Heretics; for that Apostates are those that deny all Christ's Doctrin, but Heretics do grant some parts, and deny others.

14. About which point of old Heretics,A point much to be noted. and their Affinity with the Prote­stants of this Age, it is worth the noting, That whatsoever some of our late English Writers (especially the Minister O. E. or Matthew Sutcliff) do prattle to the contrary, yet shall you never find any one Article of those that are in con­troversie, and held by us at this day against the Protestants, to have been held singularly by any one old Heretic in that sense as we do hold the same, and much less condemn'd for Heresie in him or them by the Church in these days, or by any one Father thereof. And on the other side, you shall find divers Do­ctrins held by them, and condemn'd in them by the Church for Heresies, (I mean the Heretics of the first 300 years) which the Protestants do hold at this day properly, and in the same sense that those Heretics did: And We do con­demn the same for Heresies in Them, as the Primitive Church did in the Other. As for Example, that of the Pseudo-Apostoli, Heretics called false Apo­stles, who did think only Faith to be sufficient to Salvation without Works; Aug. l. de fide & oper. c. 14. & de unico bap. c. 10. against which Heresie St. Augustin saith were written the Epistles of St. James, St. Jude, St. Peter, and St. John.

15. That other point also,Apud Thoed. dial. 3. which St. Ignatius reporteth of certain Heretics in his time, Qui non confitebantur Eucharistiam esse Carnem Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi, quae pro peccatis nostris passa est; ‘Who did not confess that the Eucha­rist was the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ that suffered for us.’ That other Doctrin in like manner that Theodoretus writeth of the Novatians, His, Theod. l. 3. hae­ret. fabulat. c. 35. Old Heresies held formally again by Pro­testants. qui ab ipsis tinguntur sacrum Chrisma non praebent: quocirca eos, qui ex hac haeresi Corpori Ecclesiae conjunguntur, benedicti Patres ungi jusserunt; ‘To those that are bapti­zed by them (the Novatians) they do not give holy Chrism, for which cause, whosoever returning from that Heresie are to be joyned to the Body of the Catholic Church, the holy Fathers commanded that they should be anointed with the said Chrism.’

16. Cornelius also, Bishop of Rome, complaineth that the said Novatus and Novatians did not receive the Sacrament of Confirmation: For speaking of Novatus he saith, Qui sigillo Domini ab Episcopo non signatus fuit, Cornel. Papa apud Euseb. l. 6. hist. c. 35. quomodo (quaeso) Sanctum Spiritum adeptus est? ‘He that was not signed with the Seal of our Lord by the Bishop, how could he (think you) obtain the Holy Ghost?’ The same Heretics also deny'd the power of absolving from sin in Priests, as also Confession and Satisfaction, according as the same holy Bishop and Pope Cor­nelius objecteth unto him, by the testimony of St. Cyprian. Cyp. l. 4. ep. 2.

And finally, to go no further within these first 300 years, St. Hierom ob­jecteth for an Heresie to the Manichees the denying of Man's Free-will, saying, Manichaeorum Dogma est hominum damnare naturam, & liberum auferre arbitrium: Hier. in prooem. dialog. contra Pelag. "It is the Doctrin of the Manichees to condemn Man's Nature, and to take [Page 108] away Free-will.Chrys. hom. 43. in Joan. Aug. l. cont. Manich. & ep. 28. So saith St. Hierom; and St. Chrysostom and St. Augustin do also testifie the same of the Manichees expresly. And tho' perhaps the Manichees held that Doctrin upon other grounds than Protestants do, yet in the Heresie it self they do plainly symbolize and agree.

17. These are matters then most evident and clear, nor can they be deny'd, but that these Opinions are held by Protestants at this day, in the very same words, sense, and meaning, as they were by the forenamed old Heretics, where­in also they were anathematiz'd and condemn'd by the known Catholic Church of these ancient Ages.

Old Heresies fraudulently objected to Catholics.18. But now, when on the contrary side some Sectaries of our time (to cure or cover this wound of theirs) will needs, like Apes, object to us again, That we hold some old condemned Errors and Heresies also, (or rather some shadow or similitude thereof) you shall ever find one of these two frauds or falshoods in their Objection, to wit, that either they object unto us that which we indeed hold not at all, or at least not in the sense which they object it, or that the thing in truth is no Error in it self, nor ever was held or condemned for such in the sense and meaning in which we hold it, tho' it may have some little ex­ternal similitude with that which was an Error: As for Example; O. E. ob­jecteth unto us,The 1 fraud. That we do symbolize and participate with two old Heresies; the one of the Angelici, Aug. haeres. 39. qui Angelos adorabant, that did adore Angels, as St. Au­gustin saith; the other of the Collyridians, (so called of the Greek word Collyra, signifying a little triangular Cake or Bun, that those Heretics, being Women, did offer in Sacrifice to our Blessed Lady.) But in both these Examples we ut­terly deny that we agree in Doctrin or Practice with those Heretics; seeing that we neither adore nor worship with Divine Honor Angels or other Saints, nor do offer Sacrifice to the Mother of God, but only to God himself alone; tho' in the Honor and Memory also of his Mother,D. Thom. 2.2. q. 85. art. 2. and other Saints glorified by him; which Doctrin of ours is extant in all our Books. So as here is manifestly found the first fraud of our Adversaries, which is, to object to us that which we hold not indeed.

The 2 fraud.19. And the other falshood also cannot be deny'd, whereby they affirm the Doctrin which we truly hold and practise in this behalf, about honoring of Saints, to have been at any time held for Error, or condemn'd by the ancient Catholic Church, or Teachers thereof, for such. Truth it is, that the Mag­deburgians are not asham'd to note this for an Error in Origen; Invocandos An­gelos Origenes putavit, homil. 1. in Ezech. Origen thought Angels to be invoked. And then again,Cent. 3. c. 4. & § de Angelis. Hanc formulam invocandi Angelos proponit, Veni Angele, suscipe conversum ab Errore pristino, &c. ‘And he setteth down this form of praying to Angels, Come Angel, receive him that is converted from his former Er­rors, &c.

20. But I would have the Magdeburgians, or any of their Partners, shew me when or where this Sentence of Origen was ever noted or condemned by Anti­quity for Error or Heresie, as some other Doctrins of his were. Certain it is, they cannot; which is a singular Argument against them; for that those Watchmen of the Church, that noted and condemned those other Errors of his, would have noted also this, if it had been taken for an Error in those days. And further,About honor­ring and In­vocation of Angels. I say to the Magdeburgians, Let them tell us whether other holy Fathers (yea, the chiefest of God's Church) after Origen did not hold the very same Doctrin? Sure I am, that the Magdeburgians themselves, in the very next Century after, do condemn by Name St. Ephrem and St. Hilary for this Doctrin of Invocation of Angels in the same sense that Origen did hold it. And then again,Cent. 3. c. 4. in the same third Century, they do reprehend by Name for Invocation of other Saints (which is the same Controversie) the gravest Doctors of the Church, to wit, St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Ambrose, St. Epi­phanius, [Page 109] Ephrem, and Prudentius, citing their plain words, and condemning their Doctrin in this behalf. So as if this were an Heresie, all these Fathers were Heretics, which were a blasphemous cogitation to think, and much more to speak or utter. And thus much of the first Objection about honoring An­gels and other Saints, wherein Protestants do only calumniate our doings, as you see.

21. As for the Collyridians, he that will read St. Epiphanius, Epiph. l. 3. to. 2. haeres. 78, 79. who writeth of that mad fond fantastical Error of certain Women in Thracia (for so he termeth them) that would needs make our Blessed Lady a Goddess, and offer Sacrifice unto her, he shall find this Father to handle two things at large. First,About the He­resie of the Collyridians. That notwithstanding our Blessed Lady, for the Privilege of bearing the Savior of the World, be highly to be honored, yet not ultra decorum (as his words be) that is, not more than is decent or beyond the limits of a Creature; seeing she is not God, tho' the Mother of God: And consequently these Thracian Wo­men did foolishly and wickedly, in devising this public Sacrifice unto her.

22. Secondly, That albeit this their Sacrifice had been offered by them to God himself, yet was it unlawfully done by Women; for that neither in the Old or New Testament (saith he) was it appointed that Women should do the Function of Sacrifice, but Men only, and those Priests.

And this Argument St. Epiphanius prosecuteth very largely;Mark this dis­course of Epi­phanius about sacrificing in the New Law. proving that in the New Testament and Christian Church the Apostles only, and other Priests succeeding by Imposition of hands, had Authority to sacrifice; but no Woman, no not the Mother of Christ her self, who should have had that Privilege above all other Women, if any of her Sex might have been admitted. And after our Blessed Lady he addeth these that followeth:Epiph. ib. Fuerunt (saith he) quatuor filiae Philippo Evangelistae prophetantes, sed non sacrificantes, &c Philip the Evange­list had four Daughters that prophesied, but not that sacrificed. And again, Et ministrarum quidem Diaconissarum appellatarum Ordo est in Ecclesia, Ibid. haeres. 79. sed non ad sacrificandum, &c. Diaconissis indiguit Ecclesiasticus Ordo, nusquam autem eas Presbyter as aut Sacrificulas constituit, &c. Ʋnde igitur hic rursus Mulierum fastus & insania muliebris? ‘There is (saith he) in the Christian Church an Order of them that are called Diaconesses, but not to sacrifice. The Ecclesiastical Order had need of these Diaconesses (at the beginning) but yet never ordain­ed them as Priests or Sacrificers. And whence then is now come again, this pride of Women, or womanish madness, as to take upon them to sacrifice in the Church?’

23. By all which Discourse you may easily see what was the true Heresie condemned in these Collyridians, to wit, Colere Sanctos ultra modum & decorum, Christians Sa­crifice. as the words of holy Epiphanius are; that is, to worship Saints beyond measure and decency, and above the nature and condition of Creatures; which is forbidden by God's Church, but not to honor Them as Servants of His, and Him in Them. You will see also what Opinion and Use of Christian Sacrifice there was in Epiphanius's days, and how it was deny'd to Women, and practis'd by Priests only: which yet the Sectaries of this Age cannot abide to hear of.The visible succession of the Church in the first 300 years. And here now will we make an end of these first 300 years after Christ; wherein, as you see, John Fox hath put down no Succession of his Church at all, either in Men or Doctrin: For as for men (to wit, Bishops, Pastors, and Teachers, succeeding one to another from the Apostles downward) they were all of the Roman visible Church; and so were all other that bear the name of Christians, (except the Heretics before named:) and of the said Roman and Catholic Church the chief Leaders were, from St. Peter unto Silvester, Thirty-three Popes, (as before hath been mentioned) all Martyrs, and Witnesses of the same Faith. And in other principal Patriarchal Seats, wherein the Apostles had held the first Chairs, (as Antioch, Hierusalem, Alexandria, and the like) [Page 110] there had succeeded other holy Bishops, as also in infinit other places through­out the World; so as in the Emperor Constantine's time, who liv'd in the end of these first 300 years, and was the first Christian Emperor that publickly professed Christian Religion, the said Christian Church was so glorious, that in the first General Council of Nice there were 318 principal Bishops joyned together, the most of them of Asia only. Whereby we see how Illustrious and Eminent the said Catholic Church and Religion was at that time.

The sum of that which hath been said hitherto.24. By which we do most evidently infer, That either John Fox his obscure and trodden-down Church, scarce visible (as he saith) to the World, was not at all in those days, or else it lurk'd only in some of the forenamed Heretics: For if he say that the great perspicuous Roman Church was his at that time, then how doth he define his Church to be obscure, and scarce visible to the World? And moreover, we have shewed Part. 1. c. 5, 6. before, that the Bishops, Doctors, Teachers, Martyrs, and chief Members, or Guiders of this great illustrious Church, were opposite to Him and his Church both in Faith and Doctrin; and this by the confession of his own Doctors and Writers, the Magdeburgians and others, that reprehend and condemn the Fathers of the second and third Ages for holding divers principal Points of Doctrin, now also in controversie, against Them, and for Us. And we have shewed also, that this great Universal and Catholic Church had all Truth in it that was revealed by Christ, and not some sparks on­ly, as Fox requireth in his Church; and that it had continual Succession of multitudes of true Teachers without interruption, and not one starting up in one Age, and another in another, wherewith Fox seemeth to be contented for the continuation of his Church.

The conclusi­on of this Chapter, with an offer to Fox.25. And finally, if Fox, coming at length to be asham'd of his former defi­nition of an obscure and trodden-down Church, and of the sparkled Doctrin of Truth therein taught, should leave the same, and offer to lay hands on the Great, Il­lustrious, and Visible Church of the first 300 years, saying that this was His, (which yet you have seen by many Arguments demonstrated that it cannot be) I shall be content to admit so ridiculous a pretence for a time, with condition that he will stand to it, and go forward with this Church in the sequent Ages, and not to disclaim from Her to his hidden Church again. Which if he yield unto, then have we now a Visible and Eminent True Church on foot (by con­fession of both Parties) which we must follow to the Worlds end, for that she cannot perish again,Part. 1. c. 8. as before we have declared. For which cause I am to pro­secute the same from Age to Age in this Treatise, from this time downwards to our days, in the Chapters that do ensue: where we shall see who sticketh to her, and who flieth from her; who followeth her constantly, or who giveth the slip; for that she being now once so Potent, Notorious, and Illustrious, as both Parts do confess, (if he will stand to it in earnest that she is his Church also) it is not possible that she should be lost, shrink, or fade away again; but that all the World must see it, How, Where, When, and by Whom so great an Accident should fall out; neither can Fox and his People, being now once in Her and of Her, (by his own pretence) be found out of her afterward, but only by Apostacy, or Heresie, and running away. This then let us examin in the Ages following.

CHAP. III.

The prosecution of the same matter; to wit, of the Descent of the Catholic and Protestant Church for other Three Hundred years; that is, from Pope Sylvester and Constantine, to Pope Gregory, and Mauritius the Emperour: And where John Fox his Church lay hid in this time.

AND thus (having run over the first three Ages after Christ) we must now pass to the second station, which is for other 300 years, beginning from Constantine the Emperour downward unto the time of St. Gregory, under whom St. Augustin came into England; in which space of time the Catholic Christian Church spread over all the World (as before you have heard) did grow, and confirm it self powerfully, (especially after Persecution did cease, as by all Stories appeareth) having had thirty-two Popes between Sylve­ster and Gregory, whereof thirty were holden for great Saints, and three or four were Martyrs.

2. The Fathers and Doctors also of these three Ages were most excellent men both Grecians and Latins; and it seemeth that what wanted in these three Ages from the former three in the Glory of Martyrdom, it was supply'd by the Excellency of Learning. As for Example; in the fourth Age after Christ, (which is the first of the second three) did flourish Eusebius, Lactantius, The Fathers, Doctors and Councils of the second 300 years after Christ. Rhe­ticius, Juvencus, Athanasius, Hilarius, Optatus, Climacus, Basil, Nazianzenus, Ambrose, Prudentius, Hierom, Chrysostom, Epiphanius, Cyril, and divers others In rhe fifth Age St. Augustin, Possidonius, Sulpitius, Orosius, Cassianus, Prosper, Vincentius Lyrinensis, Falgentius, and many more. And in the sixth Age Cassi­odorus, Emisenus, Procopius, Fortunatus, Venantius, Evagrius, Gregorius Turo­nensis, and Gregory the Great. All which filled the World with their excellent Books both Greek and Latin; besides many General, National, and Provincial Councils; whereof five were Universal, the first of Nice, the second of Con­stantinople, the third of Ephesus, the fourth of Chalcedon, (wherein there were 630 Bishops) and the fifth was of Constantinople the second time; but of Pro­vincial and National Councils there are receiv'd to the number of almost se­venty to have been held in this time.

3. By all which concourse of Testimonies the Force and Unity of Catholic Faith is shewed, to wit, that these Fathers, Doctors, Popes, John Fox find­eth not a hole for his poor Church in those 300 years. and Councils agree­ing together all throughout the World in one and the self-same Faith and Re­ligion, and continuing the same from Age to Age, with so great Authority of Respect and Majesty, as not only all Ecclesiastical Persons, of what Nations soever, and other Christian People, but all Temporal Princes, Kings and Em­perours in like manner, (except such as were noted with any particular He­resie, as some Emperours of the East) did wholly submit themselves with one consent. Whereby this visible Illustrious Roman Church was made so Great, and Universal, notorious and known, embracing all Christendom, as it is wholly impossible for John Fox to find out any creeping hidden Church bearing the name of Christian in these three Ages, and yet different from this visible and splen­dent Church of Rome, which he calleth the Devil's Chappel: And much more hard will it be for him to find out this in these latter three hundred years, than in the former; for that the external Glory of this Church was increa­sed much more in these three Ages, than in the first three before treated of, which passed all in Persecution.

[Page 112] The Heretics of the second 300 years af­ter Christ.4. The Heresies also and Sects of this time (being above Fifty in number) were beaten down more strongly by the foresaid Fathers, Bishops, and Councils, than before, by reason they had more time and leisure from Persecution to at­tend unto them, than had those of the former three Ages. The principal He­resies of this fourth Age were Meletians, Donatists, Arians, Novatians, Macedonians, Luciferians, Aërians, Eunomians, Apollinarians, Aetians, Priscillianists, Jovini­ans, Vigilantians, Collyridians, Helvidians, Antimarians, and other the like. And in the fifth Age were Pelagians, Nestorians, Eutychians, and other such Rabble. And in the sixth Age, Severians, Monothelites, Chrystolytes, Agnoites, Sadduces, Theopaschites, and the like. Out of which Synagogues and Congre­gations of wrangling Spirits, which succeeded one another in divers Times, Places and Countries, and opposed themselves maliciously out of their obscure corners against the shining Light of the foresaid Catholic Church, if John Fox will frame his poor and beggarly Church, (which yet he holdeth for the only true Church of God) oppressed, and trodden down (as he saith) and almost scarce visible to worldly eyes, In his prote­station to the English Church, p. 9. he may do it with great probability; for that these Fellows were neglected and trodden down indeed by the other opposite Roman Church; and yet did they (as John Fox requireth for the Succession of his Church) continue and rise up from time to time, (tho' by no orderly Suc­cession of Bishops or Doctrin, as hath been said) yea they had that other qua­lity also proper to John Fox his Church, that they always kept some sparks of true Doctrin and Religion together with their Heresies.

So as in this respect of obscurity and contemptibility, John Fox may easily joyn his Church with them; as also in having some sparkles of true Doctrin, but not the whole body of true Doctrin among them.

Communica­tion of Doctrin between Pro­testants and Heretics of the second 300 years after Christ.5. He may joyn also in divers particular Doctrins, which these men held as peculiar Heresies to themselves, and were condemn'd by the Church for such in those days, and are held also in these days by John Fox his Church in the very self-same words, sense, and meaning, as they were held by those He­retics: As namely, he may joyn with the Donatists who said, that thy were the only true Church, and called the Succession of Bishops in the Church of Rome (as Sectaries do at this day) the Chair of Pestilence; and moreover, that the whole Church besides themselves had erred, &c. which is the common Song of our modern Protestants. And further, if you will see how near of Kin these Donatists and our Protestants be,Aug. lib. de hae­res. haer. 69. Optat. l. 2. idem l. 6. both in Manners, Conditions, Do­ctrin and Belief, read St. Augustin, Optatus, and other Writers, that objected against them these things following; to wit, That they had cast the blessed Sa­crament of the Altar to Dogs, overthrew Altars, broke Chalices and sold them, cast a Bottle of holy Chrism out of the Church-window, shaved Priests heads to take away their Unction, turned Nuns out of their Monasteries to the World, polluted all Church stuff, and the like: And whether John Fox and his Fellows do not joyn also in these Points, let the Reader judge.

Aug. haer. 54.6. They may joyn in like manner with the Eunomians for their only Faith, who affirmed (as St. Augustin saith) quòd nihil cuiquam obesset guorumlibet per­petratio ac perseverantia peccatorum, si hujus, quae ab illis docebatur, Fidei par­ticeps esset; ‘That the committing and perseverance in never so great sins could not hurt him that was partaker of their Faith.’ Pacian. ep. 1. & 3. ad Sim­pron. Aug. haer. 53. They may also joyn with the Novatians of that time in denying the Churches power in forgiving sins. They may joyn with the Aerians, who taught (as St. Angustin saith) non oportere orare vel Oblationem offerre pro mortuis; that we ought not to pray or offer Oblations for them that be dead; and further, That solemn Feasts are not to be appointed by the Church, but every one to fast when he would, lest he should seem to be under the Law, &c.

[Page 113]7. Thus testifieth St. Augustin of him; and of Jovinian, that followed him,Aug. haeres. 82. Hier. lib. cont. Jovinian. both the said Father, and St. Hierom (that wrote against him) do accuse him to have held, That all sins were equal before God; that fasting from certain meats was not profitable; that chast Marriage was equal in honor and merit to professed Virgi­nity in Nuns; and that he had been cause that some Nuns had married in Rome; and finally, that the reward in Heaven was equal to all men. And is not this good currant Protestant Doctrin and Practice at this day? But let us go forward. They may joyn also with the Helvidians, or Antidicomarians, in impugning our Blessed Lady, and equalling Marriage with Virginity: And much more with Vigilantius, in impugning the continent sole Life of Clergy-men,Hier. lib. cont. Vigilantium. Wor­ship of Martyrs at their Tombs, use of Candles and Torches in the Church by day-time, Invocation of Saints, Vows of Poverty, and the like.

8. I will go no further, for that this is sufficient to see what Communion John Fox his Church did hold in these three Ages, either with the common known Catholic Church of Christ, or with these lurking Assemblies of Heretics pursued and persecuted by the said Church;The poor shift of John Fox. and for that John Fox is guilty to himself in this behalf, he hath proceeded accordingly in his Acts and Monuments: For whereas he promiseth a several Book of these second 300 years, under this Title; The second Book, Fox pag. 95. containing the next 300 years after Christ, &c. he not finding any sufficient matter for his purpose to patch up this second Book withal, as he did the former, with recounting the Mar­tyrs of those days; what shift deviseth he (think you) to blear his Readers eyes with all, and to seem to say somewhat in the continuation of his Story? You shall hear briefly; and by this one trick you may learn to know the man and his meaning for the time to come.

9. First he writeth but five leaves in all for the continuation of the Story of these second 300 years:John Fox's shift to fill up this second Book. A short Volume you will say for so great and copious an Argument. And yet further, you must know, that of these five leaves he passeth two in telling tales and matters that fell under Pope Eleutherius and King Lucius more than a hundred years before,An. 180. and consequently it should have been told in his former Book by order of Time and Story; and then the other three leaves he spendeth in setting down the entrance of the Saxons into Eng­land about the year of Christ 449, and the Succession of their Pagan Kings unto St. Augustin's coming. So as of all the foresaid glorious Christian Church for 300 years together, (to wit, from Pope Sylvester and Constantine unto Pope Gregory and Mauritius the Emperour, wherein she flourished more than in any other three Ages) we find only five Leaves designed, but scarce three Lines performed: Whereby you may perceive how little part John Fox persuadeth himself to have in these three Ages for his hidden Church. You may consider also what an honest Bargainer he is, and how well he performeth his promise made in the first page of his whole Work, wherein he saith,Fox in the Title of his Acts and Monuments. That he will set forth at large the whole Race and Course of the Church, from the Primitive Age to these latter times of ours, &c. whereof you see he hath performed nothing at all hitherto, either largely or briefly: I mean, of this Race or Course of any Church, General or Particular, Domestical or Foreign, Good or Bad, True or False, His or Ours; for of the first 300 years he wrote only the ten Per­secutions, as you have seen; and of the second 300 years he writeth nothing at all.

10. Which (if you consider well) is a strange confession of his own weak­ness and poverty, seeing that these three Ages (to wit, the fourth, fifth, and sixth) are the most abundant of matter that are to be found in the Church of Christ from the beginning; and so might he see by the Centuries of his Ma­sters the Magdeburgians, who do enlarge themselves much more in these three Ages than in the former, enforced thereunto by the multitude of matter, tho' [Page 114] all against themselves, as before hath been noted, and here will also appear; which John Fox well perceiving, thought best by slight of silence to avoid that inconvenience of treating a History so apparently against himself. Which slight notwithstanding (or rather flight) every man of mean understanding doth easily see, considering that (according to the Argument of his Book, and particular promise made before) he should have declared to us, That the Re­ligion of Britanny in these 300 years next before the entrance of St. Augustin, was for Him, and His Church, and not for Ours; yea, different from the Roman Religion brought in by Augustin, In his Prote­station to the English Church, pag. 10. as often you have heard him protest; and here had been the proper place to have proved it, if it had been provable. And whereas in the same Protestation of his, prefixed before his whole Vo­lume, he avouched (as you have heard) that the chief British Preachers and Teachers of these times before St. Augustin's coming (as Fastidius, Ninianus, Patricius, What Fox should have treated in his second Book & second 300 years after Christ. Sup. part 1. cap. 5. Dubritius, Congellus, David, Asaphus, Gildas, and others before mentioned) were true Teachers, and taught the Gospel rightly, according to the Protestant Faith, and consequently were of his Religion; he ought here to have proved the same by their Writings, Lives, Acts and Monuments, as I have shewed the contrary by all these kind of Arguments and Proofs before. But the Fox knowing the difficulty and peril of this Combat, would not enter into the same, nor take upon him to defend or justifie any thing at all, tho' never so much promised or protested in his Prefaces and Preambles at the be­ginning. Whereof the Reasons are these that ensue.

11. First, For that touching the British Church during these three Ages he had in truth nothing at all to write or relate, but what would be manifestly against himself, if he had written or related it, and descended to particulars. For (according to that you have heard before in divers places of this Treatise) that as the first Faith of the Britans came from Rome, and thereby they were made Members of the Roman Church from the beginning, so remained they united with the same in all points of Faith and Religion, (except some few abu­ses crept in among part of them, towards the latter-end of these three Ages) until the Conversion of the English by St. Augustin to the same Roman Faith. Which point is proved so evidently by so many Signs,Why Fox wri­teth nothing of the Church of Britanny in these three Ages. Arguments, and De­monstrations, as little comfort might John Fox have to enter into this Dis­course or Examination; and consequently, tho' he had promised in the be­ginning to treat this Subject of the British Church, yet coming to the place and time when he should have performed his promise, he thought better to withdraw himself slightly by utter silence, than to put himself in Briars by ma­king any mention at all thereof. And thus much for his silence concerning the Christian Church of Britanny in these three Ages.

12. But for the general Catholic Church of Christendom, tho' these times yield abundant matter, (as hath been said) yet the whole stream and current thereof running quite against him, he thought best in like manner to decline craftily the medling or wrestling therewith: And so much the more, for that he had seen the pitiful plight wherein his Masters the Magdeburgians had cast themselves in their fourth, fifth, and sixth Centuries, by over-large relating the Acts and Gests of these three Ages against themselves and their own Reli­gion; being forc'd to spend a great part of their Labors not so much in relating what the Fathers of those Ages writ or held, as to answer and refute the same, and shew that it was not true, nor the said Doctors and Fathers to be believed therein. Which trouble John Fox (like a wily Fox indeed) thought best to avoid by Art of Silence. I will in this place, for examples sake only, and to give you a taste of the said Magdeburgians dealing throughout their whole Work, (from which John Fox taketh the principal parts of his) let you see some points taken out of their fourth Century, dedicated to her Majesty of England, with a [Page 115] sharp Invective (as before hath been shewed) used by them against the Calvi­nists therein; which Century containeth the fourth Hundred year after Christ,Exc. 2. c. 5. sup. p. 1. c. 6. and the first of the three which now we have in hand, from Constantine down­ward; wherein they spend above 400 Leaves in Folio, and more than twice as much in the other two Centuries that ensue; John Fox not having bestow'd four Leaves upon all three Ages, as you have heard.

13. And that you may perceive how this one Century of the Magdeburgians cometh to make so great a Volume, you must note, that it is divided into cer­tain large Chapters or Heads of different matters. As for example; first,The substance and method of the Magdebur­gians Centuries. of the propagation of Christian Religion in that Age, and the State thereof throughout all Countreys, Kingdoms and Nations; which is a large matter, as you see, comprehending the Stories of all Ecclesiastical Writers. Secondly, of Persecutions, Troubles, and Jars that have passed; as also of Peace and Tranquility. Then of Doctrin, good or bad; then of Heresies; then of Rites and Ceremonies; then of Ecclesiastical Government; then of Schisms; then of Synods and Councils; then of Bishops, Doctors and Teachers, their Lives, Works, and Actions at large; then of Heretics, their beginnings and endings; then of Martyrs; then of Miracles; then of Pagan Commonwealths also; and other such points capable, as you see, of long Discourses: Which I thought fit once to note, to the end that those which have not read the Centuries may know in general what matters they handle, and what method they use therein.

14. Secondly, it is to be noted about the same affair, That in all these Heads and Chapters there be divers things which are not in controversie among us, I mean between Catholics and Protestants, but are common to us both, at least in some degrees. Other Points there are, that they affirm and we deny, or we affirm and they deny. There is a third kind also of Points, wherein, tho' We and Protestants do not agree fully, either in the Doctrin or in the Practice, yet one Sect of them differeth more or less from us than the other. And in all these three Points you shall see some brief Examples of the Magde­burgians manner of proceeding in this fourth Age: Noting to you first by the way their own Testimony of the excellent Learning of the Doctors and Teach­ers thereof in these words: Habuit haec aet as, si quae unquam alia, Cent. c. 4. p. 159. The praise of the Doctors & Fathers of the fourth Age by the Magdeburg. plurimos prae­stantes & illustres Doctores, ut Arnobium, Lactantium, &c. This Age (if ever any other) had very many most excellent and famous Doctors, as Arnobius, Lactantius, Eusebius, Athanasius, Hilarius, Victorinus, Basilius, Nazianzenus, Am­brosius, Prudentius, Epiphanius, Theophilus, Hieronymus, Faustinus, Didymus, Ephrem, Optatus, and others; out of which we shall shew and declare what was the form of Christian Doctrin used in this Age.

15. Lo there the Testimony of the Magdeburgians of the famous Doctors, Teachers, and Leaders of Christ's Church in this Age! And being such as they say, so excellently Learned, and endued with Christ's Spirit for Gui­ding of his Church; is it probable (think you) that these four German Magde­burgians, Illyricus, Wigandus, Judex and Faber, shall come to presume after­ward to condemn them all of Ignorance and lack of Spirit, when they speak against them? Truly they cannot do it with any shame fac'dness or modesty at all, or be believed by any discreet man, if they do it. Well then, let us examin this point a little.

16. In their Chapter of Doctrin, when they talk of these Points, of God, and the B. Trinity, of Three distinct Persons, of the Natures and Wills of Christ, and other such matter, (wherein They and We do not differ) they alledge these Fathers abundantly: And no marvel, for as long as they teach Catholic Doctrin, they have all the Fathers Works and Volumes for them; but when they touch any Point wherein there is controversie between us, there they fall out presently [Page 116] with the said Fathers for holding against them. As for example, in one Para­graph of this Chapter and Doctrin, (which Paragraph is, de lib. Arbitrio) they begin it thus:About Free-will. Cent. 4. p. 211. De lib. Arbitrio, quae commodè & tollerabiliter à Doctoribus hujus aetatis tradita videntur, sic habent; Those things which seem unto us to have been commodiously and tolerably delivered by the Doctors of this Age about Free-will, are these that follow. Wherein they censure first (as you see) all Doctors of this Age, so greatly extolled by them before, as tho' they had de­livered many things incommodious and intolerable about Free-will; as indeed afterwards in another Chapter,Ib. pag. 287, & 291. entituled, The declining of true Doctrin, (con­taining the incommodious Opinions and Errors of these Doctors) they speak more plainly thus: Patres omnes ferè hujus aetatis de lib. Arbitrio confusè loquuntur, & contra manifesta Scripturae fanctae testimonia; Almost all the Fathers of this Age do speak confusedly of Free-will, and against the manifest testimonies of holy Scripture. And for proof of this they name in particular Lactantius, Athanasius, Basil, Nazianzen, Epiphanius, Hieronymus, and Gregorius Nyssenus; condemning them all, for not denying altogether Free-will in man after his Fall.

Cent. 4. p. 231.17. Again, in the same Chapter of Doctrin, and Paragraph de Poenitentia, they begin thus: Doctrinam de Poenitentia, ut gravis per sese, & magni est mo­menti, ita satis tenuiter & frigidè (quantum quidem ex scriptis ejus videre est) quemadmodum & in superioribus saeculis tractatam videas ab hac aetate: Nos igitur ea, quae de hac parte mediocriter & rectè, & utiliter dicta esse videntur recitabi­mus: ‘The Doctrin of Penance, as it is a grave matter in it self, and of great importance, so we do see it handled by this Age (as also by the former Ages) very slightly and coldly, as we may see by their Writings extant: Where­fore we shall recite here those things only of this matter, which seem unto us to have been spoken by the said Fathers with some mediocrity, rectitude, and utility, &c. See now their Judgment and Censure of all the Fathers, not only of this Age, but of all the former Ages also since Christ, as having written both slightly and coldly! And yet further, in another Chapter of de­clining Doctrin,Cent. 4. c. 4. they say, Poenitentiam haec aetas (ut ferè & superiores) neque rectè definiit, neque partes ejus satis explicavit; imò nec de Fide (necessaria Poeni­tentiae parte) propemodùm aliquid habet: ‘This fourth Age, as neither the other three before, have either given the true definition of Penance, nor sufficiently declared the parts thereof; nay they speak nothing almost of Faith, which yet is a necessary part of Penance.’

18. Thus they pronounce boldly of all the Ages since Christ, not excepting that of the Apostles themselves, And who can suffer so wicked a slander, as tho' they had made no mention of Faith at all, or as tho' when they prescribe Fasting, Prayer, Sorrow, and Tears to Penance, they excluded Faith? where­as it is evident, even unto Children, that no man can perform these things, except he have first Faith, and do believe in him whom he seeketh to please and pacifie. I say nothing here of the intolerable Injuries and false Calumnia­tions which they do infer upon the holy Fathers, without all cause, if their words were examined. As for example, in this very place, they condemn St. Ephrem, Cent. 4. p. 294. Ephr. l. 2. de compunctione cordis, c. 3. for depraving Penance, and excluding Faith from the same, for that he saith, Per lachrymas hujus brevissimi temporis peccata (Deus) dimittit, &c. Et, cum sanaverit, mercedem conferet lachrymarum; ‘God (saith this Saint) doth pardon our sins by our tears shed in this short time of our life; and, when he hath healed us, he will give us a reward also for our tears Who seeth not but that this holy Father supposeth Faith in him that doth weep, and consequently is not subject to the wicked slander of the Magdebur­gians, affirming him to exclude Faith?’ Yet thus they use both Him and all Fathers lightly, when they cite them, to refute their Sentences; [Page 117] alledging them commonly with some false Calumniation. But let us go for­ward.

19. When they come to speak of the Doctrin of the Blessed Sacrament and Real Presence (for that in this they hold with us against the Sacramentaries,The blessed Sacrament. Cent. 4. pag. 242. Ambr. lib. 4. de Sacr. c. 4. and Calvinists) they do Cite the Fathers abundantly. As that of St. Am­brose: Didicisti, quia quod accipis corpus Christi est. Thou hast learned, that the thing which thou receivest, is the Body of Christ. And again: Bibi sanguinem è Christo, ìdque in veritate, non in umbra aut similitudine. I have drunk the Blood of Christ, and that in truth not in a shadow or similitude. And then out of St. Hillary: Si verè verbum caro factum est, Hil. l. 8. de Trinitate. & nos verè verbum carnem cibo dominico sumimus. ‘If the word of God be truly made Flesh, then do we truly receive that Flesh in the Lords Supper.’ And further they al­lege St. Hierom, Arnobius, Juvencus, and others of this Age, that have the like Testimonies, and clear Speeches for proof of this verity. Which do seem to them so strong and manifest demonstrations against the Zwinglian, and Calvinian Doctrin, avowing to the contrary, That they hold them for obstinatly blind, that deny or resist the same. And this, for that the Doctrin pleaseth them. But if we step a foot further to the Doctrin of this Blessed Sacrament made also a Sacrifice, and so testified by the same Fathers, that af­firmed the Real Presence: Then our good Magdeburgians, that commended them so highly before, do flatly leave both them and us, and do place their sayings in their other Chapter of incommodious Speeches. Accompting them for Straw, and Stubble, and Erroneous Doctrin. Incommode dictum est; (say they) quòd citatur ex Athanasii libello, &c. ‘It was spoken incom­modiously by Athanasius in his Book of the Image of Christ, where he deny­eth expresly that there is any thing remaining in this World of the Flesh and Blood of Christ, but only that which is dayly made Spiritually by the hands of Priests upon the Altar.’ It is a new phrase also of Nazianzen, Nazianzen. orat. 1. in Ju­liam. when he saith, Mox incruenti Sacrificii oblatione manus commaculat, presently he did stain his hands with the oblation of the unbloody Sacrifice. Again they ac­cuse St. Ambrose for using these words, Missam facere, Offerre, Ambr. lib. 5. ep. 33. Nissen Orat. Catechistica. Offerre Sacri­ficium, &c. To say Mass, to offer, to offer up Sacrifice, &c. They reprehend Gregory Nyssen, for teaching of Transmutation, or Transubstantiation: Dei verbo Sanctificatum panem, in Dei verbi corpus credimus immutari. ‘We do believe that the Bread which is Sanctified by the word of God, is by the same word of God changed into the Body of the Son of God.’

20. It would be overlong to Treat of all the Points in Controversie for which the Magdeburgians do reprehend and Condemn the Fathers of this Age,Cent. 4. pag. 292. which so highly they commended a little before. For about Justification by Faith only, they Condemn by Name Lactantius, Nilus, Chromacius, Ephrem, Hier. in cap. 3. ad Galat. and St. Hierom. And why? for that he saith, non sufficit murum habere fidei, nisi ipsa fides bonis operibus confirmetur. It is not enough to have the wall of Faith, except Faith be confirmed with good works.Enc. 2. cap. 16. Which yet you have heard approved by the Sentence of Sir Francis Hastings before.

21. They condemn the same Lactantius together with St. Gregory Nyssen, Cent. 4. pag. 293. St. Hillary, St. Nazianzen, St. Ambrose, St. Ephrem, and Theophilus Alexan­drinus, for Attributing to much to good works; but especially to those that are voluntary.Theoph. Alex. lib. 3. de Pas­chate. Inter omnia opera (say they) Electitiis plurimum haec aetas tri­buit. Sic enim ait Theophilus; hi qui jejunia, id est, Angelicam conversationem in terris imitantur, per continentiam brevi & parvo labore, magna sibi & aeterna con­ciliant praemia. ‘But among all other works (say the Magdeburgians) this Age doth Attribute most unto voluntary works or such as are chosen by a Mans self, for so saith Theophilus Arch-Bishop of Alexandria, those that do follow Fasting, that is to say an Angelical Conversation upon Earth, do gain unto [Page 118] themselves by this short, and small labor of abstinence, great and eternal rewards.’

Cent. 4. p. 242. Hil. in Ps. 118.22. About Satisfaction they reprehend greatly, and put it for an Error in great Hilarius, for that he writeth upon these words of the 118 Psalm, My eyes have brought forth fountains of waters, &c. Haec poenitentiae vox est, lachrymis orare, lachrymis ingemiscere; This is the voice of true Penance, to pray with tears, and sigh with tears. And again, Haec venia peccati est, fontem fletus stere, & largo lachrymarum imbre mad fieri; This is the forgiveness of sin, to weep a whole fountain of tears, and to wash our selves with a large shower of weeping, &c. This did greatly discontent our Good-fellow-Germans, but St. Hilarius was of another Opinion.

The Fathers condemn'd for divers Doc­trins held a­gainst Pro­testants.23. What should I recite here other Controversies, seeing it would but tire the Reader? For about Invocation and Prayer to Saints, they condemn by name St. Athanasius lib. de Incarnatione, for praying to our Lady; St. Basil, oratione in quadraginta Martyres, for praying to the said Forty Martyrs; St. Gregory Nazianzen, oratione in Basilium, for praying to St. Basil after he was dead, also for praying to St. Cyprian after he was martyred, Orat. in Cy­prianum; they condemn also St. Ambrose, lib. de viduis, for praying to St. Pe­ter and St. Andrew, and our Lady; they condemn Prudentius for praying to St. Laurence; and in another place to St. Vincentius and Cassianus Martyrs, Hym. in Laur. Vincent. & Cassian. They condemn Epiphanius, for saying that Prayers of the Living do help the Dead, Haeres. 75. They condemn St. Ephrem for say­ing, that the Saints in Paradise did pray for them that are alive, lib. 1. de com­punctione cordis, cap. 13.

Cent. 4. p. 299.24. As for unwritten Tradition, they condemn all the Fathers of this Age one by one, reciting their Sentences, and rejecting them. They condemn by name Lactantius, Prudentius, and Hieronymus, for holding Purgatory; they con­demn St. Epiphanius, Epiph. tom. 2. lib. 2. Cent. 4. p. 303. for affirming that the Church admitteth no man to marry after he is Priest; Et haec certe sancta Dei Ecclesia cum sinceritate observat; And truly the holy Church of God (saith Epiphanius) doth observe this Cu­stom with all sincerity. And thus much be spoken only about one Chapter, (to wit, of Doctrin) having over-skipped many other things for brevity-sake in the same Chapter.

25. But if I would pass to other Chapters, (especially that of Rites and Ce­remonies, which is their sixth in order) there would be no end. For first, in the very first Paragraph about Rites or Ceremonies belonging to Churches Service, and public Meeting, (which is but one of almost twenty Paragraphs contained in this Chapter) they set down these Rites following, which do easily shew that Our Religion, and not Theirs, was in practice in this fourth Age.Cent. 4. cap. 6. p. 407. num. 50, 54. Euseb. As for example, the Building of Churches in Honor of Saints by Con­stantine and others at the beginning of this Age, and dedicating them to the same Saints, out of Eusebius and other Authors, pag. 407. nu. 50. Dedications also and Consecrations of the same Temples or Churches, and the Days of the said Consecration kept Holy and Festival with great solemnity,Athan. out of Athana­sius and others,S. Basil. Socr. l. 5. c. 22. Theod. l. 5. c. 18. Opt. l. 6. Zoz. l 6. c. 6. Eus. l. 4. de vit. Constant. Opt. l. 1. cont. Parmen. ibid. Service at midnight used in the Churches at that time, out of St. Basil and others, ibid. Altars builded in Churches for Christian Sa­crifice, by the testimony of Socrates, Zozomenus, Theodoretus, and others, ibid. The Interpretation also, what an Altar meaneth, set down by Optatus; Quid est Altare, nisi sedes Corporis & Sanguinis Christi? What is an Altar, but the seat of the Body and Blood of Christ? Images also set up and painted in Chur­ches in this Age, out of Zozomenus, Eusebius, Optatus, and others, pag. 409. Caereas Candelas, & Lampades; Torches, Wax-Candles, and burning Lamps, set up in the Church by Constantine himself, out of Eusebius, lib. 4. de vita Constant. pag. 410.Basil. Of Vigils and Watches kept in Church-Feasts, out of Basil, [Page 119] Theodoret, and others, ibid. The use of Litanies in those days,Basil. ep. 63. Zozim l. 4. c. 16. they shew out of Basil, Theodoret, and others, ibid.

26. I leave many more Rites and Catholic Ceremonies set down by them in this first Paragraph, which is, of public Meetings, Churches, &c. But if I would pass from this unto many other Heads handled by them, as, about the use of Baptism, and administration of other Sacraments and Sacrifice, about Feasts, Fasts, Marriage, Burying, Honoring Martyrs Tombs, Pilgrimages, consecrating of Monks and Nuns, and other such points, (which these Magdeburgians do handle here at large out of the Fathers of this Age, and practice of that Church, to the number of nineteen or twenty, all against themselves) it were suffici­ent to make a several Book apart. As for Example, about Baptism they teach us, That those who are to be baptized must first be confessed of their sins; Cent. 4. p. 118, 119, 120. that they must say abrenuntio tibi Sathana, & omnibus operibus tuis; that they must be prepared by Exorcisms, and after Baptism be anointed with holy Chrism; that they must fast a certain number of days before their Baptism; that they must thrice be dived in the water; that they must have Lamps lighted at their Baptism. And for the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, they shew us, How it was wont to be admini­stred, and sent (when occasion was offered) from one place to another; how often it should be received, and with what reverence, and with what Vigils and Prayers be­fore; and how it was wont to be carried to them that lay on their Death-bed; and how they were bound to confess it openly to be the true Body and Blood of Christ, be­fore they received it; and what great Miracles fell out for proof and confirmation of the truth about this Real Presence. These,p. 431, 432.433. and almost infinite other points like unto these, the Magdeburgians do prove at length to have been in use throughout this fourth Age by the Testimonies and Writings of the principal Doctors thereof.

27. Wherefore I will leave the Reader to consider, what manner of people these Lutheran Writers are, who do record so many important Testimonies against themselves; and having alledged them, then they refute all again pre­sently with this bare shift, that they are either Jewish or Pagan Ceremonies brought in by the Fathers upon Superstition, and so not to be regarded; and this they think to be sufficient to refute them all. As for Example,The ancient observation of Fasts. talking of the Ceremony of Fasting in those days, what Meats they did eat, and how ri­gorously they abstained, and how long, these good fellows do write thus: Jejunia observasse religiosiùs, quidem seu superstitiosiùs, quàm superioribus saeculis hujus aetatis Christianos Historiae testantur; ‘Histories do testifie unto us, that the Christians of this Age did observe Fasting-days more religiously, or ra­ther more superstitiously, than any Age before, for that Human Traditions began now to be more multiplied; and Epiphanius doth say, that the Fast of Wednesdays and Fridays was observed at this time, as a Tradition of the Apo­stles, but we find no such thing in their Works.’ Thus said these Germans, that never perhaps fasted a day in their life, nor ever abstained for Devoti­on-sake from any good morsel of Meat, that their Lips could reach unto. And so much of these men, for they are not worth the spending of time to re­fute them.

Well then, by these few Examples taken out of two Chapters only of the Magdeburgians about this fourth Age, we see what may be gathered, if we would go over all the three Centuries for these three Ages (from Constantine to St. Gregory;) and thereby also we see the reason why Fox wrote so little of these three Ages, being wholly against them.

28. But now perhaps the Reader will ask, how it falleth out that John Fox having dedicated a special Book (to wit, his second of Acts and Monuments) unto these three Ages after Constantine, (for so is his Title:) how, I say,Fox p. 95. he could make up a distinct Book, and yet say nothing of the Ecclesiastical Affairs [Page 120] therein contained?How Fox fil­leth up his se­cond Book with matter not to his pur­pose. Whereunto I answer, That this is another Foxly fetch of his, to promise and not perform, and to do one thing for another; for that despairing to have matter to his purpose out of the former three Ages (as hath been shewed) he slideth away slightly to another Argument, which he had not promised in his Title; to wit, of some things fallen out in our English Church in the next 200 years after, from the time of St. Augustin and King Ethelbert, unto the time of King Egbert, first Monarch of the English, about the year of Christ 800. But for that these two Ages, (to wit, the seventh and eighth) do contain the times of our primitive English Church, I think best to treat severally thereof in the next Chapter following; this being sufficient to shew, that in these second 300 years John Fox had as little room for his Church, as in the former.

CHAP. IV.

How matters passed in the Christian Church, both abroad, and at home in England, during the third station of Time, from Pope Gregory and Ethelbert King of Kent, unto Egbert our first Monarch, containing the space of two hundred years.

The third sta­tion of Times, from K. Ethel­bert, an. 600, to K. Egbert, an. 800.THere followeth in order the third distinction or station of Times appoint­ed by John Fox in the beginning of his History, and promised by him to be handled distinctly in the prosecution of his Work; and so indeed this sta­tion ought to have been above the rest, for that it containeth the time of our English primitive Church, to wit, the two first hundred years thereof from St. Augustin downward. But (as you have heard before) he finding scarce any thing in these two Ages, which delighted his heretical humor, no not our very Conversion it self from Paganism to Christian Religion, he shuffleth the same over in the end of his foresaid second Book, together with the second 300 years after Christ, from Constantine to Pope Gregory, as before hath been shewed. So as he includeth the Acts of 500 years of the most Famous and Glorious Times that ever were in the Church of God, (whether we respect the General and Universal Church, or the Church of England in particular) in a little Book of a dozen Leaves only,Why Jo. Fox shifted over these 200 years so slightly. of which dozen Leaves the least part doth concern this time; whereas, when he cometh down to handle the Acts and Gests of John Wickliff, John Husse, Hierom of Prague, and other such paltry Heretics, not worth the talking of, he writeth whole Volumes, and many hundred Leaves together; but of these 200 years of our first Conversion and primitive Church, Fathers, Doctors, and Saints thereof, he writeth both very little and most contemptuously; and yet wanted he not Authors to give him matter in this behalf, seeing that St. Bede (that lived in the first of these 200 years) hath left five whole Books of the Acts and Gests there­of, besides other that have ensued, as Gosselinus, Malmsbury, Westmonasteriensis, and others.

The contem­ptuous wri­ting of John Fox in this sta­tion of 200 years.2. But the truth is, that John Fox seeing these times to be wholly against him, and that they lay down more clearly before us (if it may be) than the rest, (especially to English-men) the Truth and Evidence of the Catholic Ro­man Faith, he had no heart nor courage to deal much therewith, but sought to shuffle over in silence, so much as he might conveniently, and the rest to discredit by scoffs, taunts, corruption and falsification, as after you shall see; for I have thought good to make a distinct Chapter of these two Ages, and [Page 121] thereby somewhat to let you see and behold what passed therein (tho' very briefly) and how John Fox doth behave himself in relating the same.

3. First then,Popes & Em­perors of these 200 years. if we consider the Universal Church of Christendom in these 200 years, (which are the 700 and 800 years of Christ) there are recounted to have sitten in the Roman See Thirty-three Popes▪ from Gregory I. to Leo III. and in the East Empire (the West being decay'd before) some Nineteen or Twenty Emperors reigned one after another, from Mauritius to Constantine VI. and Irene his Mother, in whose time Charles the Great of France was made Emperor of the West by the foresaid Pope Leo III.The chief Do­ctors from an. 600, to 800. And during this Race of time the said Universal Church flourished greatly by Learned Men and Holy Bishops; whereof the principal were St. Isidorus Archbishop of Sevil, Sophro­nius, Leontius, Theodorus Archbishop of Canterbury, Venerable Bede, Johannes Damascenus, Paulus Diaconus, Alcuinus our Countrey-man, Ʋsuardus, and others.

4. This time had many Learned Councils also;Council Ge­neral. whereof two were Gene­ral, the one being the third of Constantinople, the other the second of Nice: Whereby were beaten down all the Heretics of those days; the principal whereof were the Jacobites, the Armenians, Monothelites, Neophonites, Heretics of this time. Lam­petians, Agnychites, Iconomachians, or Image-breakers, and other the like. Be­sides all this, there was added to the Greatness of this Church the new Con­version of many Countries from Paganism to Christian Religion.Conversion of England. Amongst which may principally be recounted our English Saxons, as also by their means divers Provinces afterward of High and Low Germany. And this for the continuance and going forward of the Christian Catholic Church in general, planted by Christ, and brought down by Succession from the Apo­stles time.

5. But if you will talk of our new English Church, planted in this mean space, and inserted or united to that General Catholic Church, as a Branch or Member to the whole Body, and as a new Daughter subordinate to her Mo­ther, we shall see her progress to be conform thereunto; to wit, that she multiplied mightily in these 200 years, both in Number, Doctrin, and great Piety of Life; which John Fox himself is forced to confess, in that he having told us of the Conversion of seven English Saxon Kingdoms within the compass of this time, he setteth down divers Tables in the end of all,The growth and progress of the English primitive Church in this time. whereof one is of seventeen Archbishops of Canterbury, from Augustin to Celnothus that lived with King Egbert; and another Table of thirty Cathedral Churches, Abbies, and Nunneries builded, and abundantly endowed by Christian English Kings, Queens, and Bishops of that time; and a third Table of nine several Kings, besides many more of chief Nobility both Men and Women, who leaving the World and their Temporal States, entred into a Religious Life the more strict­ly to serve Almighty God. All which John Fox is forc'd to recount against him­self, and findeth no one in all this time of 200 years, (and much less any com­pany) on whom he dareth lay hands to build up his hidden Church in England withal.

6. And it is to be noted by the Reader, and by us to be repeated again for better memories sake, (that which before we admonished) to wit, that Fox findeth these 200 years of our first English primitive Church so barren of mat­ter for his purpose, as in the whole story thereof he spendeth only eight Leaves of Paper, and these rather in deriding and scoffing the same, and principal Pillars thereof, than writing any Ecclesiastical History. For which cause,Fox's scoffing story of the English primi­tive Church. p. 107, 113, &c. you shall find these Notes and Titles commonly written over the heads of his Leaves and Pages, Augustin's arrival in Kent; Gregory the basest Pope, but the best; Proud Augustin; Lying Miracles; Shaven Crowns; Beda his Birth, and [Page 122] the like.Bed. l. 1. hist. c. 21. Fox p. 113. Of which Learned Holy Man's Story (I mean St. Bede) he maketh so little account, as in the same place reciting a Letter out of him written by a holy Man (Ceolfride Abbot of Sherwyn in Northumberland) to Naitonus King of the Picts, he saith thus: The Copy of which Letter, as it is in Bede, I have annexed; not for any great reason therein contained, but only to delight the Rea­der with some pastime in seeing the fond Ignorance of that Monkish Age, &c. Whereby we may see the drift of this pleasant Fox in these his Acts and Mo­numents; which is, to discredit that whole Time, and all our Primitive Church.

Mat. 18.7. But yet, to the end that the saying of Christ may be fulfilled in him, Ex ore tuo te judico, Serve nequam; I do judge thee out of thy own mouth, thou wicked Servant: I shall here set down two National Synods gathered in Eng­land in these two Ages by two famous Archbishops of Canterbury; the one The­odorus, Bed. l. 4. hist. c. 5. Malm. de gest. Pont. Angl. l. 10. in the year of Christ 680, and related by Beda; and the other St. Cuthbert, in the year 747, related by William of Malmsbury after Bede's death, and both of them set down by Fox. And by viewing the Decrees of these two Synods, you will see whether those Ages were so fond in Ignorance as Fox maketh them. Out of the first Synod, held at Thetford, Fox gathereth ten Decrees in these words:

Fox p. 112. col. 2. n. 63. Decrees of an English Synod, an Dom. 680. out of Fox.8.

  • I. That Easter-day should be uniformly kept and observed throughout the whole Realm upon a certain day, viz. prima 14 Luna Mensis primi.
  • II. That no Bishop should intermeddle within the Diocese of another.
  • III. That Monasteries consecrated unto God should be exempt and free from the Jurisdiction of Bishops.
  • IV. That the Monks should not stray from one place (that is, from one Monastery) to another without the license of their Abbot; also to keep the same Obedience which they promised at their first entring.
  • V. That no Clergy-man should forsake his own Bishop, and be received in any other place without Letters Commendatory of his own Bishop.
  • VI. That Foreign Bishops and Clergy-men coming into the Realm, should be con­tent only with the benefit of such Hospitality as should be offered them; neither should they intermeddle any further within the Precinct of any Bishop, without his special permission.
  • VII. That Synods Provincial should be kept within the Realm at least once a year.
  • VIII. That no Bishop should prefer himself before another, but must observe the time and order of his Consecration.
  • IX. That the number of Bishops should be augmented as the number of People in­creased.
  • X. That no Marriage should be admitted, but that which was lawful; no In­cest to be suffered; neither any man to put away his Wife for any cause, except only for Fornication, after the Rule of the Gospel. And these be the principal Chapters of that Synod, &c.

Fox p. 115: col. 1. n. 84.9. Out of the second Synod, held at Clonisho, Fox gathereth thirty-one Decrees, as followeth:

  • The Decrees of a second Synod, out of Fox, an. Dom. 747.
    I. That Bishops should be more diligent in seeing to their Office, and in admonishing the people of their faults.
  • II. That they should live in a peaceable mind together, notwithstanding they were in place dissevered asunder.
  • III. That every Bishop once a year should go about all the Parishes of his Diocese.
  • [Page 123]IV. That the said Bishops, every one in his Diocese, should admonish their Abbots and Monks to live regularly; and that Prelates should not oppress their Inferiors, but love them.
  • V. That they should teach the Monasteries, which the secular men had invaded, and could not then betaken from them, to live regularly.
  • VI. That none should be admitted to Orders, before his Life should be exa­mined.
  • VII. That in Monasteries the reading of Holy Scripture should be more fre­quented.
  • VIII. That Priests should be no disposers of secular business.
  • IX. That they should take no money for baptizing Infants.
  • X. That they should both learn and teach the Lord's Prayer and the Creed in English.
  • XI. That all should joyn together in their Ministry after one uniform Rite and manner.
  • XII. That in a modest voice they should sing in the Church.
  • XIII. That all Holy and Festival-days should be celebrated at one time to­gether.
  • XIV. That the Sabboth day be reverendly observed and kept.
  • XV. That the seven hours Canonical every day be observed.
  • XVI. That the Rogation-days, both the greater and lesser, should not be o­mitted.
  • XVII. That the Feast of St. Gregory and St. Augustin our Patron should be observed.
  • XVIII. That the Fast of the four times should be kept and observed.
  • XIX. That Monks and Nuns should go regularly apparelled.
  • XX. That Bishops should see these Decrees not neglected.
  • XXI. That the Church-men should not give themselves unto Drunkenness.
  • XXII. That the Communion should not be neglected of the Church-men.
  • XXIII. Item, That the same also should be observed of the Lay men, as time required.
  • XXIV. That Lay-men first should be well tried, before they entred into Religious Order.
  • XXV. That Alms should not be neglected.
  • XXVI. That Bishops should see these Decrees to be notified to the people.
  • XXVII. They disputed of the profit of Alms.
  • XXVIII. They disputed of the profit of singing Psalms.
  • XXIX. That the Congregation should be constituted after the ability of their Goods.
  • XXX. That Monks should not dwell among Lay-men.
  • XXXI. That public Prayer should be made for Kings and Princes.

‘These Decrees and Ordinances being thus among the Bishops conclu­ded, Cuthbert the Archbishop sendeth the Copy thereof to Boniface, which Boniface (otherwise named Wenfride, an English-man born) was then Archbishop of Mentz, and after made a Martyr, as the Popish Stories term him.’

10. Thus far I thought good to set down the Decrees of these two Synods of the first two Ages of our primitive Church in the words themselves of John Fox; whereby you might see, or at leastwise make some guess of the Learn­ing and Vertue of these times, which Fox endeavoreth by all means to bring in contempt. Which point, (I mean of their Learning, Piety, and Godly So­licitude for governing our new-founded Church of England) would more evi­dently have appeared by these two Synods, if this lying Historiographer had [Page 124] not used here also his too Fox like tricks of falsifying and fraudulent omission of other things, which he should have related. For better understanding of these which he hath here set down, I shall speak a word or two of them briefly; for it were infinit to follow him in all these traces, turnings, and wind­ings of his.

Deceitful tur­nings & win­dings of Fox.11. First then, touching the former Council or Synod held by Theodorus Archbishop of Canterbury, and related by St. Bede (for of this only will I treat for brevities sake, to shew an Example thereby how you may trust John Fox in the rest which he writeth) these points may be noted: First, That whereas he saith, that this Synod was held in the year of Christ 680, and quoteth Bede for the same in his Margin, he falsifieth him plainly; for that Bede's words are these, set down at length.

Bed. l. 4. c. 5. Fact a est haec Synodus ab Incarnatione Domini sexcentesimo septuagesimo tertio; quo anno Rex Cantuariorum Egbertus, mense Julio obierat, &c. ‘This Synod was made in the year after the Incarnation of Christ 673; in which year Egbert King of Kent was dead in the month of July before.’ The same testi­fieth St. Bede in other words in the very same Chapter,Bed. ibid. saying thus: That this Synod was gathered the 24th of September in the third year of the Reign of King Egfrid of Northumberland; who began his Reign, according to Stow, in the year of Christ 670.Wilful Errors of John Fox. All which Fox having seen, yet setteth down as out of Bede that it was in the year of Christ 680.

12. Secondly, Fox writeth thus of the place: In the time of this Theodorus a Provincial Synod was held at Thetford, mentioned in the Story of Bede. But he that will read St. Bede himself, shall find these words: In loco qui dicitur Herudfrod;Bed. l. 4. c. 5. Cambd. in desc. Britan. Com. Hartf. p. 302. In a place called Herudfrod, that is Hartford, as William Cambden doth testifie in his Description of Hartfordshire, citing also this very Council out of Bede held at Herudfrod. So as I marvel how doting Fox did fall upon Thetford.

13. But thirdly, there follow more malicious changings and falsifications in citing the Articles themselves of this Synod; whereof he scarce relateth any one without some alteration, as each man may see that will compare them with the Original of St. Bede himself. I shall touch for example the first and the last of the ten, for that they have more express malice in them than the rest, which I do let pass.

Fox p. 112.14. The first Decree of this Synod was, saith Fox, That Easter-day should be uniformly kept and observ'd throughout the whole Realm, upon one certain day, viz. prima 14 Luna Mensis primi; that is to say, upon the first 14 Moon, or day of the Moon of the first Month, to wit, of March. Which is just as the Jews do observe it, against the Use and Custom of the Church of Rome; and is an old condemn'd Error and Heresie, as before you have heard discuss'd at large in the second, third, and fourth Chapters of this Treatise. And you must note that Fox maketh this Decree to say, that this fourteenth Moon, or fourteenth day of the first Moon of March, (for this is the phrase of Ecclesiasti­cal Calculation, to say, Luna prima, Luna secunda, Luna tertia, for the first, second, or third day of the Moon) must be certain, or certainly observed, so as it may not be alter'd, nor Easter observ'd upon any other day; wherein stan­deth the formality of the former Error, as hath been declared, for that it putteth a necessity of observing the old Jewish Law, and thereby doth evacuate the force of Christ's Grace and Gospel, as you have heard before discussed. Which being so, will you easily believe that the whole Church of England could be brought to decree such an Error in a public Council, and that St. Bede in par­ticular would ever relate the same with his approbation, seeing he mislik'd the same so greatly in some of the Britans, Sup. c. 2, 3, 4. as in the former Chapters of this Treatise we have declared?

[Page 125]15. Well then, let us see what the words of St. Bede himself are in this Sy­nodical Decree corrupted by Fox: Primum Capitulum, (saith he,Bed. l. 4. hist. c. 5. relating it out of the words of the Canons themselves) ut sanctum diem Paschae in commu­ni omnes servemus, Dominica post 14 Lunam primi Mensis; ‘The first Article of our Decrees (saith the Council) is, that we do all in common observe the holy day of Easter upon the Sunday next after the fourteenth Moon of the first Month.’

16. Thus saith the Decree, truly related by St. Bede, quite contrary to that which Fox related before; he putting out and putting in of his own,The wicked falsifying of S. Bede by Fox. without shame or conscience, what he thought best in this little Sentence, to make those Fathers seem to say (as he would have them) in favor of a con­demn'd Heresie. To which effect he putteth out (as you have seen) the word Dominica, which maketh or marreth all the matter, and then for post 14 Lu­nam, written at large in St. Bede, he putteth in prima 14 Luna, Fox is taken in his malicious dealing about the Decree of Observation of Easter. short in num­bers only, to make it more obscure, adding prima of his own, and putting out post from the words of the Council, thereby to make the sense more clear in favor of the Heresie; for that prima 14 Luna Mensis primi (which are his words) do signifie the fourteenth day of the first Moon of March expresly. And moreover, he addeth of his own these words, upon one certain day, which the Decree hath not; meaning thereby, that this fourteenth day must be observed with such certainty, as it may not be altered or deferred to any Sunday, but must be observed as an immovable Feast; which out of Luther we have shewed before also to be his meaning.Sup. c. 3. And thus much of the first Decree.

17. The last and tenth Decree hath no less fraud and malice used against it by Fox than this first; for the malicious shameless Fellow would make those Fathers of that Synod to favor the Doctrin and Practice of the Protestants in putting away their Wives for Fornication, and marrying another: for to this effect he citeth the Canon. Tenthly, Fox 112. That no man may put away his Wife for any cause, except only for Fornication, after the Rule of the Gospel: And there break­eth off, as tho' the Council had said no more, nor added any further caution or explication of their meaning. Whereof it would ensue (as Protestants do in­fer) that seeing a man may put away one Wife for Fornication,About marry­ing a second Wife, the first being alive. and is not bound to live unmarried, if he have not the gift of Continency he may law­fully take another Wife, as the practice of Protestants is at this day in England. But the Reader must know, that immediatly after the former words by him re­cited, there follow in the Canon others that mar all his Market; for thus they lie together.

18. Nullus conjugem propriam, Bed. l. 4. c. 5. pag. 227. nifi (ut sanctum Evangelium docet) Fornicatio­nis causa relinquat: Quòd si quisquam propriam expulerit conjugem legitimo sibi ma­trimonio conjunctam, si Christianus esse rectè voluerit, nulli alteri copuletur; sed ita permaneat, aut propriae reconcilietur conjugi: ‘Let no man leave his own Wife, but only, as the holy Gospel teacheth us, for the cause of Fornication; and if any man should put away his Wife that is joyned unto him by lawful Marriage, if he will be a true Christian let him not marry another, but either remain so in Continency, or be reconciled to his own Wife a­gain.’

19. Lo here the fidelity of John Fox in relating matters! This Canon de­termineth two things, you see: First, That a man may not leave the com­pany or cohabitation of his Wife, but only for the sin of Fornication committed by her: The second, That being so separated, he may not marry another for any cause, but either must remain continent, or be reconcil'd to his former Wife again. And this was the Doctrin of the Catholic Church then, and is now; which our Fox would fain have concealed from his Reader, and have [Page 126] made him believe, that the old primitive English Church had been for Them and their Practice at this day. But the poor Reynard is taken at every win­ding, when he is followed, which were impossible to do in all his false doublings. And so these two Examples only shall suffice to shew his tricks in this first point of Falsification. Let us pass to the second of wilful Omission.

Guileful O­missions of John Fox.20. There remaineth to say a word or two of his Omissions, whereby he leaveth out of purpose from his Story those things which might give Credit or Reputation to our English Church in these ancient times, which he seeketh by all means to make ridiculous and contemptible. As for Example, the Number and Quality of the Prelates and Learned Men that then flourished, and were present in these Synods; the Reasons, and Arguments, and other like Cir­cumstances, partly set down by St. Bede and other Authors upon divers occa­sions, and partly registred in the very Prefaces of the Synods themselves. As for Example, in this first Synod here cited, they begin thus:

Bed. l. 4. c. 5.21. In Nomine Domini Dei & Salvatoris Jesu Christi, &c. ‘In the Name of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, reigning for ever, and governing his Church, it pleased him that we should meet together, according to the Cu­stom of the Venerable Canons of the Church, to handle necessary business of our English Church: Wherefore we met together upon the 24th day of the Month of September, A Synod hol­den at Herud­frod, an. 673. in the first Indiction, in a place called Herudfrod; I Theodorus (tho' unworthy) appointed by the See-Apostolic Bishop of the Church of Canterbury, and our Fellow-Bishop and Brother the most Reve­rend Bisy Bishop of the East-Angles, and our Brother and Fellow Priest Wil­frid Bishop of the Nation of the Northumbers was present by his proper Le­gats; there were present also our Brethren and Fellow-Priests, Putta Bishop of the Castle of Kent commonly called Rhofessester, Eleutherius also Bishop of the West-Saxons, and Winfrid Bishop of the Mercians. And when we were all come together, and every man set according to his Order and Degree, I said unto them,’

‘Most dear Brethren, I beseech you, for the Fear and Love of our Savior, that we may handle here in common the things that belong unto our Faith, to the end that these things which have been decreed and defined by the Holy ancient Fathers about the same, may be kept uncorrupt by us all, &c.

22. This is part of the Preface to the first Synod, out of which the former Decrees related and corrupted by Fox (as you have heard) were taken; and by the very words of this Entrance or Preface there is more serious gravity signifi­ed than Fox would seem to acknowledge at this day in England. But seven years after this again the said Theodorus made another Synod, passed over in silence by Fox, but St. Bede relateth the same in these words:

Bed. l. 4. c. 17.23. His temporibus audiens Theodorus, &c. ‘At this time Theodorus the Arch­bishop hearing that the Church of Constantinople was greatly troubled by the Heresie of Eutyches, Leo PP. epist. 10. ad Flavian. Theod. dial. 2. Evagr. l. 2. c. 4. A second Council of Archbishop Theodorus. (that deny'd two Natures to be in Christ, or that his Flesh was like ours) and desiring greatly that the Churches of England, over which he had Jurisdiction, should continue free from such Infection, he gathered together a Synod of very many Venerable Priests and Learned Bi­shops; and finding them, after diligent enquiry made, to agree all together in one Catholic Faith, he thought good to set the same down by Synodical Letters, for Instruction and Memory of Posterity; which began thus: In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, in the Reign of our most pious Princes and Lords, Egfrid King of the Northumbers, Anno 10. upon the fifteenth day before the Calends of October, the eighth Indiction; and Ethel­dred reigning over the Mercians, the sixth year of his Reign, and Adulphus [Page 127] being King of the East-Angles, the seventeenth year of his Reign, and Lod­tharius being King of Kent, in the seventh year of his Reign, and Theodorus by the Grace of God Archbishop of the Isle of Britanny and of the City of Canterbury being President of the Synod, together with the rest of the Bi­shops of the same Island, venerable men sitting with him in Council, and the holy Sacred Gospel being laid before them, in a place called in the Saxon Tongue Hedtfield, after treaty had, they expounded the right Catholic Faith in this manner:’

24. Sicut Dominus noster Jesus, &c. ‘As our Lord Jesus, taking our flesh upon him, did deliver unto his Disciples, that saw him in person,The manner of decreeing in old Synods and National Councils ac­cording to their Ancest­ors. and heard his speeches, and as the Symbolum or Creed of the holy Fathers have deli­vered unto us, and as generally all whole and universal Synods, and all the company of holy Fathers and Doctors of the holy Catholic Church have taught us; so do We, following their steps, both Piously and Catholicly, according to their Doctrin (inspired to them from Heaven) profess and be­lieve, and constantly confess, according to the said holy Fathers Belief, That the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are properly and truly a consubstan­tial Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity, &c. We receive also the holy and universal five Synods that have been held before our time by the blessed Christian Fathers our Ancestors, to wit, those 318 holy Bishops in the first Council of Anno 315. Nice, against Arius and his wicked Doctrin, and of the 150 other Bishops in the first Council of Anno 380. Constantinople against the Heresie of Macedonius, and of the 200 Godly Bishops of the Council of Anno 428. Ephesus against Nestorius and his Errors, and of the 230 Bishops in the Council of Anno 457. Calce­don against Eutyches and his Doctrin, and of the other 165 Fathers gathered together in the second General Council of Anno 532. Constantinople against divers Heretics and Heresies, &c. We do receive all these Councils, and we do glo­rifie our Lord Jesus Christ, as they glorified him, adding nothing, nor ta­king any thing away. We do anathematize and accurse also, both by heart and mouth, all those whom these Fathers did anathematize and accurse, and we do receive them whom they received, &c.

25. Behold here the manner and form of Catholic Councils of old time; who laid down first the Gospel in the midst, and then after due examination of Scriptures, considered that Antiquity of Fathers and Councils had determined in God's Church before them, even from Christ and his Apostles downward; and therein insisted, agreeing all in one, and rejecting and accursing all new, contrary or different Doctrins and Doctors; and by his means, and by the assistance of the Holy Ghost promised by Christ unto his Church, hath she con­tinued now for 1600 years one and the self-same; whereas Sectaries lacking this Humility, Wisdom, and Subordination, but especially God's Grace, are divided and consumed among themselves.

26. But I will pass no further in this point; this which I have said being sufficient to shew that there were more Learned men in England in these times of our primitive Church, than fantastical Fox would have men believe; which is greatly confirmed by that which Malmsbury writeth,Fox p. 113. (and Fox also confes­seth the same) That a General Council being gathered, soon after this which we have mentioned, in Constantinople both of the East and West Church against the Monothelites, An. Dom. 682. The Council of Constantino­ple in Trullo. (that deny'd two distinct Wills of Christ) our Archbishop Theodorus, with some other Learned men of our English Clergy, was called for by Pope Agatho to be one of his Legats in the said Council, where there were 331 Bishops gathered together by order of the said Agatho Bishop of Rome, against the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, (which thing sheweth the great Power and Authority of the Bishop of Rome, even in [Page 128] Greece it self, at that day) the Emperour Constantine IV. being present himself.

Plat. in vit. Agath. PP. Paul. Diac. l. 1. hist. Malm. l. 1. de gest. Pont. Angl. p. 112.27. And to this Council (as is said) was the foresaid Theodorus Archbishop of Canterbury, with divers other Bishops, called by name by Pope Agatho, as we may see in his Letter to the said Council cited by Malmsbury in these words: Sperabamus de Britannia Theodorum, &c. ‘We did hope to have had from Britanny Theodore my Brother and Fellow-Bishop and Archbishop of that great Island, and a Philosopher, together with others which hitherto do re­main there, and then to have joined them to our Humility; and for this cause we have hitherto deferred the Council. Vides quanti eum fecerit (saith Malmsbury) ut ejus expectatione, Universale Concilium differret; "You see of what account this Archbishop was with Pope Agatho, that he would defer a General Council for his expectation.’ Thus writeth he; whereby every in­different man will easily see that this time of our primitive English Church (which Fox by contempt so often calleth Ignorant and Monkish) was not de­void of rare Learned men; and so hath continued until our days, frustrà cir­cumlatrantibus haereticis, Aug. l. de uti­litate credendi, c. 17. (to use St. Augustin's words) Heretics in vain barking on every side against it. With whom John Fox thought good to bear a bark­ing part also; and not being able to find out any one hole or corner for his Church in those Ages, except only among the Heretics before named; he thought good at least to rail and spit at them as he passeth by, and so will he do more and more the lower he goeth, until at length he fall to plain Aposta­sie, and forsaking them openly will join with the known condemned Here­tics and Enemies of this Church; which Church hitherto notwithstanding he will seem in some sort to follow, tho' lazily and dragging behind, and as it were weary of her Company, and looking about him, which way he may give the slip, and betake himself to his heels; as will better appear by that which ensueth.

CHAP. V.

The fourth station or division of Times from King Egbert unto William the Conqueror, containing the space of some 260 years; and how John Fox his Church passed in these days, and whether there were any Pope Joan, or no.

The fourth station from an. Dom. 800, to 1066. Fox p. 121.YOu have heard before how John Fox in his second Book, promising to han­dle but 300 years, touched in the Acts of 500 in less than a dozen Leaves, shewing the small store of matter he had for his Church in those Ages. Now his next Book is entituled thus: The third Book, containing the next 300 years from the Reign of Egbert unto the time of William the Conqueror. So is his Title. And yet, if you count the years from the beginning of King Egbert his Reign, (Anno Domini 802, according to Stow, or 800, according to others) unto the entrance of the Conqueror, Anno 1066, you shall find but only 264 years; and from King Egbert his death but 234. So as Fox is in no one thing exact or punctual. And these 264 years may be counted the fourth station, or par­cel of Time from Christ downward; which now we are briefly to examin and run over, as we have done the former Stations and Limitations ap­pointed.

[Page 129]2. First then, concerning the general Roman Church, it continued in these Ages, as in the former, by continual Succession of her Bishops and Gover­nors, altering nothing in Belief and Doctrin from her Ancestors. And briefly to repeat the sum of all, there ruled in the See of Rome in these two Ages and an half, (as supreme, known, and acknowledged Pastors of this great visible Church) some sixty Popes, from Leo III. that crowned Charles the Great, (and thereby restor'd the Western Empire) unto the time of Alexander II. under whom Duke William of Normandy conquered England. And in the Western Empire there reigned some eighteen Emperours in this space, from Charles the Great to Henry IV. and in the Eastern Empire some twenty five, from Nicepho­rus I. to Constantine X. All which Popes, Emperours and Princes were of one Religion, Faith and Belief in those days. And albeit soon after the See of Constantinople, and Greek Church, by occasion of Emulation against the Roman Empire, did begin to withdraw their due Obedience from the Roman Church, and thereby fell by little and little into divers errors of Doctrin also, and finally were delivered over (as all the World seeth) into the Subjection and Servitude of the Turks; yet in these Ages there was Union and due Subordina­tion between both Churches:The eighth General Council. Which may appear by that one only General Council being held at Constantinople, (even against Phocius, that was Patriarch of the said City) being gathered by order of Pope Adrian II. and Basilius the Grecian Emperour concurring therein. This Council was of 300 Bishops, and confirmed by the said Pope Adrian, An. Dom. 870. being the eighth General Council in order, and the fourth of those that were held in Constantinople. Whereby it cometh also to be noted, That all the General Councils held hitherto in the Christian Church (for the space of 900 years) being eight in number, as hath been said, from the first Council of Nice unto this, and from this to the first General Council of Lateran, holden in the year of Christ 1115, under Pope Innocentius III. were all held in Greece, but yet by order of the Bishops of Rome, sending thither their Legats, and confirming the same afterwards by themselves, without which confirmation they were never held for Lawful in the Christian World; which is no small Argument of the Greatness and Au­thority of the Church of Rome from time to time.

3. It shall not be needful to speak of the particular Heresies of these two or three Ages, which in effect were none of any name, but only two,The Heresies of these Ages. the Icono­clasts, or Image-breakers, and the Berengarians, or Sacramentaries, both of them agreeing in their particular Heresies with the Calvinists of our Times, tho' in many other things different, as it is wont to be. The first of them was begun before these Times by Leo III. Emperour of Constantinople, sirnamed Isaurus, about the year of Christ 750, as before hath been noted, and renewed again by Claudius Taurinensis. The second was begun 300 years after by Berengarius, about the year of Christ 1050, and abjured by him again, as hereafter shall be shewed.

The chief Doctors and Fathers that defended true Religion in these Ages were Turpinus, Eginhardus, Haymo, Rabanus, Frecolphus, Hincmarus, The Fathers and Doctors of these Times. Jo. Diaconus, Remigius, Theophylactus, and others, in the ninth Age; and then in the other, Odo, Ado, Rhegino, Luitprandus, Rhatbodus, Abbo Floriacensis, and others; and the other half of the eleventh Age, Bruchardus, Petrus Damianus, Lanfrancus, and many others.

4. And this was the state of the Universal Christian Church in these Ages; whereunto in all respects was conform the particular Church of England, as the Daughter to her Mother; which may be demonstrated partly by the continual Descent of Archbishops in England, which were to the number of Sixteen,The Archbi­shops of Can­terbury in these Ages. from Celnothus that lived with King Egbert, unto Stigand that possessed the See of Canterbury when William the Conqueror came in, tho' afterward he caused [Page 130] him to be deposed by a Commission from Rome, in the year of Christ 1070, as John Stow and others do note.

5. I do pretermit the Succession of other Bishoprics in England for Brevities sake;Kings of Eng­land in this Time. the Kings also of England that possessed that Crown from Egbert to Wil­liam the Conqueror were some Twenty in number, (if we count Canutus the Dane and his two Children among the rest.) All which Kings, of what Nation or State soever, agreed fully in Faith and Belief with the said Archbishops and Bishops of our Land, and They again with the whole Universal Roman Church, as appeareth by their Acts and Monuments, and John Fox also con­fesseth.

6. Which being so, it is hard to say or imagin where John Fox in these Ages will pick out a different Christian Church (tho' it be never so poor and creeping) for Him and His, either in England or out of England, during this time. And much more hard it is to think how he can devise any visible Continuation of the said obscure and trodden-down Church (as he promised to do) even from the Apostles Time to our Age.Fox in protest. ad Eccl. Angl. pag. 10. His only refuge must be (as before we have often noted) to run to the condemned Heretics of these times, if he find any for his purpose. Which yet he dareth not openly to do, as you have seen throughout all the former Ages: But afterward, when he cometh near home, to wit, after Pope Innocentius III. and John Wickliff, he taketh more heart, affirming Our Church to have utterly perished, and a new visible Off-spring of his Church to have started up; to wit, all the Sectaries and Heretics cast out and condemn­ed of our Church, as you shall see more particularly when we come to that place.

7. For the present Ages that we are now in, he doth not so much as lay hands upon the Iconoclasts or Berengarians, nor doth seem to count them for his Brethren, tho' in the principal Points of their Heresies they agree with Him, as is notorious. And John Fox, to have some visible Members of his Church in these Ages, ought to have shaken hands with them; but the poor Fellow was asham'd to build his Church openly of so ancient Heretics; tho' after­ward, when he beginneth to build indeed, and to gather Stones together, he calleth for the Berengarians again which now he casteth away, as after you shall see.

8. But now perhaps you will ask me, If John Fox do set down no Successi­on in these Ages (as neither in the former of His Church or Ours,) what doth the simple Fellow in all this third Book of his? Whereto I answer first, That albeit he promiseth in the Title,What Fox handleth in these 300 years. That this third Book shall contain the Acts and Monuments of 300 years, together with the whole race and course of the Church, &c. yet hath the whole Book but seventeen Leaves in all, which is little more than one Leaf to every twenty years race and course of the whole Church. And surely, he that so courseth over an Ecclesiastical History, may be called rather a Courser indeed, than an Historiographer.

9. Nay further, he is so envious to the famous Acts of our English Church in these days, (especially with Foreign Nations) as he either concealeth ut­terly the same, or maketh reproachful mention thereof. As for Example, when he speaketh of the most Famous and Renowned Saint of our English Na­tion,Martyrolog. Rom. 5. Junii. Willeb. in ejus vita. Vicelius in hagiolog. Epi­tome operum Bed an. 754. St. Wenfride, (called afterward Bonifacius) and accounted by all Authors the Apostle of Germany, for that he began principally their Conversion, and was afterward most gloriously Martyred by the Pagans for preaching Christ's Gospel, with above Fifty Fellows, the most of them English-men. Of this man (I say) how speaketh Fox? You shall hear presently. But first shall you see the words of a German Writer in his praise: Primus omnium (saith he) qui Australes Germaniae partes, Adams Bremens hist. Ecc. c. 4. &c. The first of all that brought the Southern parts of Germany to the knowledge of Christian Religion from Idolatry, was Wenfride, [Page 131] an English-man by Nation, a true Philosopher of our Savior, St. Boniface an English-man an Apostle of Germany, an. 750. and after for his Vertue called Boniface, and Archbishop of Moguntia. And albeit some Au­thors do name some others that preached in sundry places before him, yet this man (as another Paul the Apostle) did go before all in Labour of Preach­ing, &c.

10. So writeth Adam Bremensis a Saxon, a Canon of the First and Head Church that was builded in Saxony after their Conversion by the preaching of English-men; for so he sheweth in particular that English-men were their Con­verters, but especially four most famous Learned Preachers, and fervent Ze [...]lots in multiplying the Christian Faith, to wit, Willebrordus, Willebaldus, Wille­ricus, and Willehadus; all which were renowned Apostolical Bishops in Ger­many. St. Wille­brord, an. 730. B. of Ʋtright. Bed. l. 3. hist. c. 27. & l. 5. c. 23. Tritem. de viris illust. l. 3. c. 137. Willebrord was sent over out of England with eleven Companions towards the Conversion of Germany by the holy Abbot St. Egbert, as both St. Bede and other Authors after him do testifie; and by Pope Sergius II. was made Bishop of Ʋltraiectum in Frisia, and was the Apostle of that Country, as also a principal Converter of the Kingdom of Denmark.

11. St. Wille­baldus an. 760. B. of Ayste, Democrit. l. 2. de missa in catalog. Episc. de Ayste. Marcell in vit. S. Suneberti, c. 6, & 14. Willebaldus was Bishop of Ayste in Saxony, where he converted many thousands to Christian Faith, and was canonized with universal joy of all that Country by Pope Leo VII. in the year of Christ 1004, as Authors do recount.

12 S. Willehad B. of Breme, an. 780. St. Willehad and St. Willerike were both Bishops of Breme in Saxony: Post Passionem Sancti Bonifacii (saith our foresaid German Author) Willehadus Adam Bre­mens, c. 9, 11, 12. & ipse Angligena fervens amore Martyrii properavit in Frisiam, &c. ‘After the Passion of St. Boniface, St. Willehad (an English-man also) burning with the love of Martyrdom, made hast also to come into Frisia, where the other was Martyred, &c. And then sheweth he how this blessed man, after the Con­version of many Thousands, was sent by the Emperour Charles the Great to preach to the Northern Parts of Saxony; which he did with great fervour, till Windekind, a Pagan Tyrant of that Country, moving War against Charles, drove him out: upon which occasion he retired himself to a contemplative Life for two years together in France, until after he was called out again by the said Charles to be Bishop of Breme, in which Charge he both lived and died most holily.

13. And next to him succeeded one of his Disciples, Willericus, St. Willericus B. of Breme. an. 790. Brem. in hist. c. 12. Erpold. Lin­denb. in hist. Archiep. Brem. in Willericum. and led an Apostolical Life in the same Charge for the space of 50 years together, as Adam Bremensis, Erpoldus Lindenbrughensis and others do testifie.

These Mens Acts then, and other such-like, had been fit matter for John Fox to have handled in his Ecclesiastical History of these Ages; especially if he could have shewed that any one of these that wrought so infinite Miracles, both alive and dead, (as the former Authors do testifie) had been of his Religion. But Fox doth pass over all with silence, (I mean both Them and their Acti­ons,) but only that he taketh occasion to speak contemptuously of the first, and Father of the rest, St. Boniface: For having spoken of the latter Synod of those two which we mentioned in the former Chapter to have been held in England by Theodorus and S. Cuthbert Archbishops of Canterbury, he writeth thus: Cuthbert the Archbishop of Canterbury sent the Copy of the Synod to Boniface,Fox p. 115. otherwise named Winfride, an English man, then Archbishop of Mentz, and after made a Martyr, as the Popish Stories term him.

14. Behold John Fox scarce counteth him a Martyr, tho' he were put to death by Pagans for preaching Christian Faith. And a little after, meaning to put down a certain Godly Epistle of the said Boniface, or Wenfride, written to Ethelbald King of the Mercians, reprehending him for his licentious Life, Fox writeth thus: I thought this Epistle not unworthy here to be inserted, Ib. col. 2. n. 78. not so [Page 132] much for the Authors sake, as for that some good matter peradventure may be picked thereout for other Princes to behold and consider, &c.

Fox goeth a­bout to discre­dit S. Boniface.15. Here now you see the Estimation and Affection of John Fox to Boniface, of whom the Christian World of those Times both thought and spoke so reverendly for so many Ages. But let us hear what John Bale will say; for he being an Apostata,Bal. cent. 1. script. Brit. fol. 54. will be more contumelious, I trow: Winifridus Bonifacius (saith he) claro Anglorum sanguine Londini natus, &c. Winifrid (called also Boniface) was born at London of Noble English Blood, and afterward went to Rome, where Pope Gregory II. having try'd the Man's Faith, and seen his Magnificence of Mind, or rather his shameless Pride, thought him a Fellow fit for his Affairs, and so sent him with full Authority into Germany, to a wild People (as then they were called) to force them to his Faith.The wicked Speech of Jo. Bale against St. Boniface. Neither hath there been any man since the Birth of Christ that hath more properly expressed the second Beast in the Apocalypse with two Horns, than he; for that the Pope being the great Antichrist, he was the second, &c. He did sign with the Pope's Character a hundred thousand men in Bavaria only, adjoyn­ing them to the Kingdom of Antichrist, rather by Fear than by pious Doctrin, &c. He built the Monastery of Fulda, where no Woman might enter, &c.

16. Still you see one quarrel of John Bale against Monks is for shutting out Women from their Monasteries; which as it was holily instituted and obser­ved by ancient Monks, so if it had been well kept in his Monastery of Norwich, it may be he had continued a Monk, as he began, and never come acquainted with Dorothy, that drew him out from thence, as himself Bal. cent. 5. fol. 245. confesseth. But is there any wicked tongue in the world that can speak more impiously than this Fellow doth of so rare an Apostolic Man, and of his Actions; yea, of the Con­version of Infidels to Christian Faith, and their holy Baptism, calling it, sign­ing them with the Character of the Beast? Who but a Beast indeed, or a man of a beastly mind, would speak so? If I should allege the Testimonies of all ancient Authors since his time in praise and admiration of so zealous and holy a Martyr, I should oppress both Fox and Bale with their very Names and Authority.

17. But to return to Fox again. You have heard what he omitteth of the Church of England, which he might well have discoursed of in handling these Times. Seeing he passeth over our particular Church so slightly, you will de­mand, perchance, what he writeth or setteth down of the Universal Roman Church. Truly in effect he handleth nothing of moment nor coherence; tho', to bring in a certain impertinent Tale whereof he desireth to speak, to wit,About the Fa­ble of Pope Joan. of Pope Joan, he setteth us down a short Rank of some few Popes, but namely of Pope Leo IV. unto whom he adjoyneth Pope John VIII. and after him Benedict III. and then Pope Nicholas I. And this Pope John VIII. (which entred between Leo and Benedict) he will needs have to have been a Woman, whom he calleth Pope Joan: And albeit John Fox's words be as foolish and blasphemous as they are wont in such cases, yet will I recite them here, to the end you may see what truth pr probability this so much blazed and canvased Heretical Fiction hath in it.

Fox [...]. Fox's feigned Fable of Pope Joan blasphe­mously rela­ted.18. And here next (saith he) followeth now and cometh in the Whore of Baby­lon rightly in her true colours, by the permission of God, and manifestly without all tergiversation to appear to the World; and that not only after the spiritual sense, but after the letter, and the right form of an Whore indeed: For after this Leo above mentioned, the Cardinals proceeding to their ordinary Election, after a solemn Mass of the Holy Ghost, to the perpetual shame of them, and of that See, instead of a Man Pope elected a Whore indeed, called by the Name of John VIII. who [Page 133] sate two years and six months, &c. The Womans proper Name was Gilber­ta, &c.

19. Behold John Fox describeth so particularly this Woman and her Electi­on, as if he had been present, and seen all pass. But suppose all this were true which he hath written, (as we shall prove it presently to be altogether false:) Suppose, I say, that by Error such a Woman had been chosen; what had ensu'd of that? or what had this prejudiced the Church of Christ? St. Au­gustin asketh the very same Question in a like case, when having recited up the Popes of Rome from Christ to his days, (to wit, from St. Peter to Pope Anasta­sius) he maketh this demand; What if any Judas or Traytor had entred among these, or been chosen by Error of men? Aug. ep. 165. ad literas cu­jusdam Dona­tistae. Si quisquam Traditor (saith he) per illa tempora subrepsisset? If any Traytor in those days had crept in, what had en­su'd thereof? And then he maketh the Answer presently, Nihil praejudicaret Ecclesiae, & innocentibus Christianis. And the very like do I answer in this case: For I would ask John Fox, If, immediately after the Apostles time, (whiles yet he confesseth the Church of Rome to have been in good state, and the true Church of Christ) any Woman, or Hermaphroditus, If Pope Joan had been, she had not preju­diced the Church. or any that had not been baptized, or if a Lay-man, and not Priest, (and consequently not capable of that Place and Dignity) had by Error of men crept into the Office of chief Bishop, (which as it may happen by human frailty, so yet we assure our selves that the Providence of God will never permit it in so high and supreme a Dignity of his Church;) but if it should have happened out, had this preju­diced that Apostolic Church, or made it the Whore of Babylon, as Fox infer­reth of his latter Church? Truly I think he dareth not say so; for that it is evident it were a plain cavil: the only inconvenience of that case being (if it should fall out) that the Church should lack a true Head for the time, as she doth when any Pope dieth until another be chosen. And whatsoever inconve­nience can be imagined in this case, is more against the Protestants than Us; for that their Church admitteth for lawful and supreme Head thereof either Man or Woman, which our Church doth not. Here then is seen John Fox's Folly in urging this point.

20. Again, I would ask the simple Fellow, that repeateth so often the word Whore in this place, as tho' he were delighted therewith, Whether that word used by St. John in the Apocalypse, (to wit, Meretrix Babylon) were meant of a particular person, as he applieth it, or rather of a City or Multitude? If he will answer any thing at all, he must needs grant the second; for that the Vi­sion describeth plainly the City of Rome, scituated upon seven Hills, that slew the Martyrs of Christ, and infected the whole World with the variety and confusion of her Idolatries;The Whore of Babylon was the persecu­ting City [...] Rome [...] the [...] Emp [...] which Sentences being not applicable to the Church or Congregation of Christians in those days, (that was holy, as Fox will confess) but rather to the State and present condition of Rome under those Pagan persecuting Emperours, that afflicted Christians, and forced men to Idolatry, (which State was prophesied that it should fall, and be overthrown soon after by Christ's Power, as we have seen it fulfilled:) All this, I say, being put together and considered, it is a most ridiculous thing to apply this Prophesie of the Whore of Babylon (as Fox doth) to any particular Pope, John, Joan, or Jill, if any such had been.

21. But the very truth is, that this whole Story of Pope Joan is a meer Fa­ble, and so known to the more learned sort of Protestants themselves, but that they will not leave off to delude the World with it, for lack of other matter. If you ask me, How it began, and hath continued in mens mouths so long? I answer, Either upon simplicity, or malice, or both.The begin­ning of the Fable of Pope Joan. Upon simplicity it seem­eth it was begun by the first Author and Relator thereof, Martinus Polonus, that lived about 300 years agone, and above 400 after the thing is said to have [Page 134] fallen out;Mart. Polon. in vit. Imperat. & Pontif. Papa 109. an Chri­sti 855. who was a very simple man, as appeareth by many other fabulous Relations which he maketh: And yet doth not he aver it, but only with this limitation, (ut asseritur) as it is said; whereby he sheweth to have received it only by vulgar Rumor, without any certain Author or Ground. And we shall afterward shew the occasion of the foresaid false Rumor.

22. But the matter being once on foot, it was carry'd on, partly by curiosity of latter Writers, that took it out of Polonus, as Platina, and See a large refutation of this Fable by Onuphrius in his addition to Platina. others relating it with the same restriction, (ut aiunt, as men say,) and partly by malice and emu­lation of them that favoured the German Empire against the Pope, and were glad to have such a matter of some Dishonor to object against the See of Rome; which humor our latter Sectaries also have thought best to con­tinue.

23. But if we go to more ancient Writers, such (I mean) as lived in the very time or soon after the matter is pretended to have fallen out; that is to say, with Leo IV. that held the See eight years, six months, and three days, from the year of Christ 847, to 855; and with Pope Benedictus III. that imme­diately followed him after some few days of vacancy, to wit, from the year 855, to 858. These Authors, I say, do shew evidently, that these two Popes, being both Romans, succeeded immediately one after another, without any John or Joan coming in between them. As for Example, Anastasius Bibliothe­carius, a man of great Reputation, that lived in both these Popes times, and was present at both their Elections, and wrote the particulars thereof, shew­eth amongst other points,Anastas. in vit, Leon. 4. That Leo IV. died the 16th day before the Calends of August, and that all the Clergy of Rome being gathered together (he doth not say the Cardinals, as foolish John Fox doth, for that that kind of Election was not then in use) with one consent did choose Benedict III. &c.

Ancient Au­thors that do exclude Pope Joan.24. Thus writeth Anastasius; and with him do agree the Historiographers that followed next after him, as Audomarus, Luitprandus, Rhegino, Hermanus Contractus, Lambertus Schafnabergensis, Otho Frisengensis, Conradus, Abbas Ʋr­spergensis, and others long before Martinus Polonus; who in their Chronolo­gies do place Benedictus III. immediately after Leo IV. without admitting any other Man or Woman between them. And the very same also doth write Ado Bishop of Vienna, Ado in chron. an. Dom. 855. that lived at the same time; Leone obeunte, Benedictus in se­de Apostolica constituitur; Leo IV. being dead, Benedict was placed for him in the Apostolical See. And as for Joannes VIII. they do place him four Popes after Leo IV. to wit, next to Adrianus II. and say he was a Roman, and reign­ed ten years distinctly. So as if they should miss in this count of Popes and Years, the Error must needs be manifest in Chronology. Yea, not only Latin Writers, but even the Greek Historiographers Zonaras, Cedrenus, Curopalatas, and others, that wrote before Martinus Polonus of matters concerning the Latin Church in those days, and were no Friends to the same, and would have been content of such an Advantage to object against it, yet write they nothing thereof at all; which is an evident proof that there was no such matter.

An Argument out of English Historiogra­phers for o­verthrowing the Fable of Pope Joan.25. But besides these Authorities of external Authors, I have one Argument also of no small moment (as it seemeth to me) taken from our ancient English Histories written in the Latin Tongue; to wit, William of Malmsbury, Henry Huntington, Roger Hoveden, Florentius Vigorniensis, and Matthew of West­minster; whereof the first four lived 500 years agone, and are elder than Po­lonus, and the latest of them 300 years, and was equal with him; and no one of them all maketh any mention of this Pope Joan; which yet in reason they should have done above others, for that they do all agree that in the time of Pope Leo IV. towards the end of his Reign, about the year of Christ 853, King Ethelwolph before mentioned, Son to King Egbert, (having put his King­dom [Page 135] of England in the best order he could, and left the Government thereof for his absence to his eldest Son Aethelbald, assisted with the helps of his second and third Brothers, Athelbricke and Athelred) took his journey for Rome, The going of K. Ethelwolf and Prince Al­fred to Rome. lead­ing with him his fourth Son Alured or Alfred, (who afterward also was King) which he loved most tenderly above the rest of his Children. And coming to Rome, he delivered the same Alfred (being yet of very young Age, according to the account of Matthew Westminster) into the hands of the said Pope Leo IV. to be instructed and brought up by him, (as John Fox also relateth;) and that the said Pope received him with great kindness, and was his Godfa­ther in the Sacrament of Confirmation, detaining him there with him. But how long this Prince stay'd in Rome after his Father's return, tho' it be not set down in particular, yet that it was some number of years seemeth evident, both for that he return'd more Learned, and otherwise better qualified, than any Saxon King had been before him, and for that we find no mention of his Acts in England until in the Reign of his third Brother Athelred, (for all three reigned in order after Ethelwolf their Father) upon the year 871,Stow an. 871. Mat. West. 849. Floren. in chron. eodem an. at the famous Battle of Reading in Barkshire, fought against the Danes, where he being pre­sent, and Lieutenant to his Brother the King, tho' he were but Twenty-two years old, (according to the account of Florentius and of Matthew Westmin­ster,) yet seeing the Enemies Army to press upon him, and his Brother to stay over long at Mass, he gave them Battle in a very unequal place, but with such Valour, as he obtained a notable Victory, &c. But to our purpose of Pope Joan.

26. It is very like, by that which I have said, that this Prince Alfred living in Rome when Pope Leo IV. died, and when Pope Benedict III. was chosen,Why English Writers should have written of Pope Joan more than others, if any such had ever been. Mart. Polon. l. 4. de Pont. an. 855. Plat. in Joan. 8. must needs have known also Pope Joan, if any such had entred & lived two years & a half between them, as Fox would have it: And further, that some of our an­cient Historiographers, writing of those Times so particularly as they do, would have made some mention thereof; especially if this She-Pope were an English-woman, or called Joannes Anglus, (as Polonus saith, or Anglicus, as Platina relateth; or if she were born, brought up, or had studied in England, as the Magdeburgians and others of their Sect devise; or if she went up and down the World in the company of an English Monk of the Monastery of Fulda, as John Fox doth fable:) It is like, I say, that if any of these things had been true, Prince Alfred, or some of his Train residing then in Rome, would have known her, or been acquainted with her, or with the Monk that led her about, or at leastwise have received some special help at her hand when she came to be Pope, which would have deserved some memory in our Histories. But our foresaid Writers do not only not make any mention of her, or of any John or Joan English Pope that came between Leo IV. and Benedict III. but do expresly ex­clude the same, by placing the one immediately after the other, and assigning them their distinct number of years before mentioned, to wit, eight years and three months to Leo, and two years and six months immediately follow­ing to Benedictus III. For so doth Malm. in fact. Reg. & Episc. Ang. an. 847, & 855. Malmsbury in his Chronology, and Flor. Vigorn. in chron. an. 853, & 858. Flo­rentius in his Chronicon, and Mat. West. in chron. Matthew of Westminster in his History, whose words are these: Anno Gratiae 855, Leone Papa defuncto, successit ei Benedictus annis duobus, mensibus sex, & diebus decem; In the year of Grace 855, Pope Leo IV. being dead, Benedict III. did succeed him, and sate two years, six months, and ten days, &c. Which agreeth with all the other ancient extern Authors be­fore mentioned. So as here is neither place nor time left for Joannes Anglicus to have come between them.

27. And all these Authors did write (as hath been noted) either before or with Martinus Polonus, who is taken to have been the first Relator of this Fa­ble. And tho' in some printed Copies of the Chronicles of Marianus Scotus [Page 136] and Sigebertus (somewhat elder than Martinus Polonus) there be mention in a word or two of this Tale, with this ground, (ut ferunt) as men say, yet in more ancient Manuscript Originals, found in There is ex­tant the Original of Sigebertus in Monast. Ie mlacensi in Flanders, and of the corrupti­on of Maria­nus Scotus in this behalf, read him that setteth forth Metrop. Al­berti Cranzii, anno 1574. Flanders and other places, no such thing is seen, but rather to the contrary, with divers evident signs and conjectures, that those few words now found in the printed Copies were added by others afterward in Germany, where the Work lay for many years, during the Contention of the German Emperours against the See of Rome.

28. But besides all this, there ensueth another Argument more evident (in my Opinion) than any of the rest hitherto alleged, for overthrowing of this Fable; which is, That about 170 years after this devised Election of Pope Joan, (to wit, upon the year of Christ 1020) the Church and Patriarchs of Constantinople being in some Contention with Rome, Pope Leo IX. wrote a long Letter to Michaell Patriarch of Constantinople, reprehending certain abuses of that Church,A most evi­dent Argu­ment against the Fable of Pope Joan. and among other that they were said to have promoted Eunuchs to Priesthood, and thereby also a greater inconvenience fallen out, which was, that a Woman had crept in to be Patriarch; which yet he saith that for the horror of the Fact he would not believe. Absit (saith he) ut velimus credere quod publica fama non dubitat asserere, Epist. Leon. 9. cap. 5. & 23. &c. God forbid we should believe that which public Fame doubteth not to affirm, which is, that the Church of Con­stantinople, by promoting Eunuchs to Priesthood (against the Canon of the Council of Nice) promoted once a Woman to the Bishops See, which is so abominable a thing, as the horror thereof doth not permit us to believe it, &c.

29. Thus wrote he; which no doubt he would never have dar'd to do, if the Patriarch of Constantinople might have returned the matter back upon him again, and said, This was but a slanderous report falsly raised against the Church of Constantinople; but that a Woman indeed had been promoted in the Roman Church. How could Pope Leo have answered this Reply? Wherefore most certain it seemeth that at this time there was not so much as any rumour or mention of any Woman Pope that ever had been in the Roman Church, this being 250 years before Martinus Polonus wrote;A probable conjecture of the first Ori­gin of this Fable of Pope Joan. for which cause also it is thought very probably that this rumour of the Church of Constantinople might be the occasion of the Tale raised after against Rome, for that Martinus Polo­nus being a very simple Man, and living so long after, (as hath been said) and hearing an uncertain fame of a Woman promoted to Chief Priest­hood, might ascribe that to Rome, which belonged to Constantinople; which being once written by him, passed to others after him, and so came to our He­retics.

30. Finally, howsoever this be of the first occasion or invention of the Fable, certain it is that most evidently it is a Fable; and that, if other Arguments failed, yet there be so many Incongruities, Simplicities, Absurdities, Varieties, and Contrarieties in the very Narration it self, as it discovers the whole matter to be a meer Fable and Fiction indeed, and a rumour of vulgar people, without ground.Mart. Pol. in vit. Imp. & Pont. an. 855. For Martinus Polonus beginneth his Narration thus: Post Leonem sedit Joannes Anglus Natione Margantinus; After Leo III. sate John English, by Nation a Margantine; but where this Country of Margantia is, no man can tell. And it followeth, Quae alibi legitur fuisse Benedictus III. which other where is read to be Benedictus III. So as this man seemeth to confound him with Benedict, and consequently ascribeth to him the same time of his Reign that is assigned to Benedictus; (to wit, two years and five months;) and yet presently after he saith, That Benedictus was a Roman, Son to Pra­tolus, &c.

Plat. in vit. Joan. 8.31. Platina, that took it out of this Man, to make the Tale somewhat more probable, beginneth thus; Joannes Anglicus ex Maguntiaco oriundus, &c. [Page 137] John of England born at Maguntiacum, &c. Then how could he be John or Joan of England, if he were born at Maguntiacum? and where is this Magunti­acum? and how doth it agree with Margantinus used by Polonus? But then come in the Cent. 9. c. 20. Magdeburgians, and say contrary, that he was Moguntinus, oriundus ex Anglia; of Mentz. Moguntia in Germany, born in England: And contrary to this, Bibliander (another German Sectary) contradicteth that again, saying in his Chronicles, That he was not born in England,Bibliand. in ta­bulis Chronic. but brought up and studied there. And so you see their contradiction about the place both of Birth and Country.

32. But besides this, there are infinit other disagreements and inconvenien­ces in this Story; for that some do feign him to be Joannes VIII. some IX. John Fox saith, That she was called Gilberta before,Fox p. 124. and that she went with an English Monk out of the Abbey of Fulda in Germany to Athens, and there stu­died in Mans Apparel: whereas it is known that This is evi­dent by Cedre­nus & Zonaras in vit. Michael. & Theod. Imp. an. Christi 856. Athens at that time had no School in it all, nor in any many years before. If she were bred also or brought up in England, or went in an English Monk's Company, (as Fox saith,) and if she were an English Priest's Daughter, (as the Magdebur­gians devise;) it is like that Prince Alfred, or some of his Train, residing then in Rome (as before hath been said) would have heard or known of the matter.

33. But John Fox goeth further, and telleth us out of his fingers ends,Fox ibid. That the Cardinals (forsooth) met solemnly after the death of Leo IV. said their Mass of the Holy Ghost, and so proceeded to their ordinary Election, and brought forth Gilberta, &c. But this is all scoffing Foolery, for that Cardinals had not the Election of Popes at that time:Ancient cir­cumspection in chusing Popes. And he that will read the foresaid Anastasius Bibliothecarius (that was present at the Election of Pope Benedictus, and descri­beth the particulars thereof) shall see another manner of Election in use at that day by the whole Clergy. Moreover he shall see that the Custom was not to choose at that time any but such as were known and try'd men, and such as had lived for the most part of their Life in Rome it self, and had given great sa­tisfaction in their Manners, and behav'd themselves well in other inferior Ec­clesiastical Charges laid upon them.

34. All which being so, let any man of reason tell me, how it is possible to imagine that men of those times were so fond and absurd, as to choose to so high a Dignity among them an unknown Man or Woman, whose Parents and Country were not known, nor proof had of their Conversation, and much more that they would choose such a person as this is reported to be, having wandred the World up and down with a Monk, as Fox affirmeth? How could all this lie hidden? Was there none that either by Countenance, Voice, or other Actions of hers, could suspect this Fraud? How happened her own Lovers had not discover'd her, or her Incontinent Life? How could she pass through Priesthood and other Ecclesiastical Orders? How by so many under Offices and Degrees, as they must before they come to be Popes, without descrying?

35. And finally (not to stand upon more Improbabilities) either this Pope Joan was young, or old, when she was chosen. If she were young, that was against the Custom, to choose young Popes, as may appear by the great number of Popes that lived in that Dignity above the number of Emperours, that succeeded often in their Youth; besides, it is a most unlikely thing that the whole Roman Clergy would choose a Pope without a Beard, especially a Stranger. But if she were old when she was chosen, then how did she bear a Child publicly in Procession, as our Heretics affirm? How did they not discern her to be a Woman or an Eunuch, seeing she had no Beard in her Old Age.

[Page 138]36. Again, how could she be nine months with Child in that place, with­out being discovered or suspected by some? How durst she go forth in public Procession, when she knew her self to be so near her time? How is she said to have gone from the Palace of St. Peter to St. John Lateran, whereas the Popes lay not then in the Vatican at St. Peters, but at St. John Lateran it self? Finally, there are so many fond Improbabilities and moral Impossibilities in this Tale, (especially being joyned with the grave Testimonies of so many ancient Authors and Historiographers as before we have recited to the con­trary) as no man of any mean judgment, discretion, or common sense, will give credit thereto, but will easily see the vanity of so ridiculous a Fiction: Wherefore this shall suffice for the Confutation of this Heretical Fable, tho' (as before hath been shewed) if it were or had been true, yet no prejudice could come to Us thereby, that hold, No Woman, good or bad, can be Head of our Church.

CHAP. VI.

The Narration of English Ecclesiastical Affairs during this fourth station or distinction of Time is continued, and the Absurdities of John Fox are discovered.

WHerefore now we shall return to follow the Thread of John Fox's Sto­ry again. And whereas you asked me before, What indeed the poor Fellow performeth in this his Third Book? I now will answer, as then I be­gan to say,Why Fox fal­leth out with the ancient Christian En­glish Kings & Queens. See Fox from p. 130, 131, &c. That in very deed he meerly trifleth out the time, handling no­ting of that he should have done of the orderly Descent, Race, or Course of the Church, but telling us impertinent and trivial matters, and for the most part not Ecclesiastical, but Temporal, to be found in every Chronicler; to wit, certain scraps of the Lives of our English Kings, from King Egbert, Ethelwolf, Ethelbald, Ethelred, Alured, and the rest, unto King Edward the Confessor, and so to William the Conqueror, censuring every Prince (when he speaketh of spiritual matters) for their belief, actions, and doings in Religion. As for Example,Fox p. 120. reprehending them for that they builded so many Monasteries, and much more for that so many of them and their Children entred to be Monks and Nuns; that they gave so much Lands, Livings and Privileges to Abbeys and Churches; and for that they went on Pilgrimages, offered Alms for their Sins, ordained Masses to be said for them when they were dead; that they believed so easily Miracles, went to Shrift, humbled themselves to Priests, and other such-like Religious Actions, which do greatly dis­please Fox.

2. And to shew you some few Examples, he beginneth first with Ethelwolf Son to King Egbert, misliking a certain Donation of Lands which he gave to the Church in his time for Alms, to pacifie (as he saith) God's wrath, there­by the sooner, for diverting the cruel Persecution and Inundation of the Danes, The Donation of King Ethel­wolf, an. 844. Fox p. 120. Malm. l. 2. de gest. Angl. Reg. which had begun in his Father King Egbert's time, and endured still to the utter Desolation of the Land. His words are these: Post multiplices tribulationes ad affligendum usque ad internecionem, Ego Ethelwolfus Rex, &c. After many Tribulations afflicting us even to death, I king Ethelwolf, together with the Council of my Bishops and Princes, have taken this wholsom and agreeable ‘resolution, to give some Portion of the Land of my Inheritance unto God and the B. Virgin Mary, and to all the rest of his Saints, to be possessed by them [Page 139] for ever, &c. to the end that they may pour out Prayers for us to God so much the more diligently, &c.

3. Thus far John Fox; tho' William of Malmsbury doth relate the same far differently, and much more largely, telling what Bishops were present at the making of this Chart; to wit, Alstane Bishop of Shirbourn, (afterward transla­ted to Salisbury) and Swithin Bishop of Winchester, and what Psalms and Mas­ses were appointed by the said Bishops for the King in respect of these Alms and the like. All which do greatly displease John Fox, but help him nothing at all, but disgraceth rather his new Church, this happening in the year of Christ 844.

4. The like Donation doth Fox recite out of William of Malmsbury made by Ethelbald King of the Mercians some years before, (to wit,Fox ibid. The Donation of K. Ethelbald. Malm. l. 1. de gest. Reg. Angl. about the year of Christ 740,) where he saith, Ego Ethelbaldus, Merciorum Rex, pro amore Coe­lestis Patriae, &c. ‘I Ethelbald King of the Mercians, for the love I have to my Heavenly Country, and for the health of my Soul, have thought good to study how by good works I may free the same from the chains of sin: Wherefore seeing Almighty God, for his Mercy and Clemency, without any precedent Merit of mine, hath given me my Crown of this Govern­ment; I do willingly, out of that which he hath given me, restore to him again by way of Alms that which followeth, &c.

5. Thus far that good King; which greatly also misliketh John Fox. And he saith in particular, that two things do much offend him in these Donations to Churches and Monasteries: The first,Fox. p 120. That they should erect these Monasteries of Monks & Nuns (saith he) to live solely and singly by themselves out of the holy state of Matrimony. And secondly, That unto this their Zeal and Devotion was not joyn­ed the knowledge of Christ's Gospel, especially in the Article of our free Justification by the Faith of Jesus Christ.

6. Lo here what two quarrels our Fox hath pick'd out against these ancient Christians! The first, That so many did profess the holy State of Virginity and Continency. The other, That by doing so many good works they lack­ed the knowledge of the Protestants Gospel, which justifieth by Faith only, without good works. But they might answer, with St. James, Jam. 2. Thou hast Faith, and I have Works: shew me thy Faith without Works, and I will shew thee my Faith by Works. And that these good works did proceed of Faith, contrary to the Cavil of John Fox, is evident by those pious words of the King, where he saith, Seeing Almighty God of his Mercy and Clemency, without any precedent Merit of mine, hath given me my Crown, I do willingly restore to him again, &c.

7. But Fox goeth forward in jesting at the said King Ethelwolf, saying,Fox p. 123. That he that had been once nuzl'd up (in his Youth) among Priests, he was always good and devout to holy Church, &c.

And then passeth he on to shew, How after he had established matters in his own Kingdom, he went to Rome, and carried with him his little Son Alured, or Al­fred, committing him to the bringing up of Pope Leo IV. as before hath been said; where also he re-edified the English School, founded by King Offa, and destroy'd by Fire a little before under King Egbert. Moreover he gave (saith Fox) yearly to be paid in Rome 300 Marks to be distributed in this manner; The Alms and pious deeds of K. Ethel­wolf. 100 Marks to maintain the Lights of St. Peter's Church, and another hundred Marks to maintain the Lights of St. Paul's Church, and the third hundred to be disposed in good works at the Pope's appointment. At all which Fox jesteth also merrily, building his Church by these Mocks and Mews.

8. And to like effect he reciteth a Miracle registred by William Malmsbury, Fox p. 133. and by the Charter of King Ethelstone, Son and Heir to King Edward the elder; which King having escaped a great Danger at Winchester, where one of his Subjects, named Duke Alfred, and other of his Nobles, conspiring together [Page 140] presently after his Father's Death, would have put out his eyes: But he esca­ping that Danger, took the said Alfred Prisoner, and for that he denied that he had any such intention, the good King thought there was no better Trial, than to send him to Rome to Pope John XI. to be try'd by a solemn religious Oath before him.A Miracle in Rome upon an English Duke. an. 933. The Pope made him swear before St. Peter's Altar, who forswearing the said Conspiracy, fell down presently before the said Altar in the sight of all the People, and was carried thence in the arms of his Servants to the aforesaid School or English-men, where he died the third night after; where­with the Pope and all Rome remain'd astonished, and the Pope sent presently into England, to know of the King whether he would pardon him, and suffer his Body to be buried in Christian Sepulcher; which King Ethelston, after consultation had with the rest of his Nobility, and by the earnest intercession of Duke Alfred's Friends, was content that he should be so buried; but yet by Sentence of the whole Realm the Possessions of the said Alfred were adjudg'd to the King's use, who bestow'd them all upon Churches and Monasteries, to the Honor of God and St. Peter, which had given this Judgment in the Controversie.

9. All this is testified by the said King's Charter recorded by Will. of Malmsb. and recited by Fox; Malm. l. 2. de gest. Reg. Angl. fol. 28. and the said Charter towards the end hath these words: Et sic judicata est mihi tot a possessio ejus in magnis & modicis, quam Deo & Sancto Pe­tro dedi, nec justius novi quàm Deo & Sancto Petro hanc possessionem dare, qui emulum meum in conspectu omnium cadere fecerunt, & mihi prosperitatem Regni largiti sunt; ‘And by this means the whole Possession both great and small (of Duke Alfred) was adjudged unto me, which I gave unto God and to St. Peter; nor do I know to whom I should more justly give the same, than to God and to St. Peter, who made my Adversary to fall down in the sight of all men, and gave unto me the Prosperity of my Kingdom.’ Thus wrote he about the year of Christ 933, as John Fox counteth; and I marvel he would relate this Story, being so much against himself and his Religion, and in con­firmation of ours,Miracles wrought in Rome in con­firmation of Catholic Re­ligion, an. 933. as it is; for that it sheweth that God and St. Peter in those days wrought Miracles in Rome, when Fox saith that the Faith and Religion of Rome was far out of order from the true Gospel: But this is the misery and calamity of this poor Fellow and his Cause (as often before I have noted) that either he must write nothing at all of these Times and Ages, or else he must write Testimonies against himself.

Fox p. 126.10. I will give you one short Example more, where he allegeth us a Nar­ration of a very old Writer, which he saith he had in Manuscript lent him by one named William Carre, and thereupon he citeth it still by the name of Hi­storia Cariana; Ex vetusto ex­emplari hist. Carianae. this Story being written (as it seemeth) in those Ages, and of the Miseries that happened to England by the Incursions of Danes and other Infidels, seeketh out the causes of God's wrath in this behalf, saying thus: In Anglorum quidem Ecclesia primitiva, Religio clarissimè splenduit, &c. In the primitive Church of England Religion did most clearly shine, insomuch that Kings, Queens, Princes, Dukes, Consuls, Barons, and Rulers of Churches, incensed with the desire of the Kingdom of Heaven, laboured and stirred (as it were) amongst themselves to enter into Monastical Life, and into voluntary Exile and Solitariness, forsaking all to follow their Lord; where in process of time all Virtue so much decay'd among them, that in Fraud and Treachery none seemed like unto them; neither was to them any thing odious or hateful, but Piety and Justice; nor any thing in price and honor, but Civil War and shedding Blood: Wherefore Almighty God sent upon them Pagan And Cruel Nations like swarms of Bees.

Fox relateth matters a­gainst himself.11. This relateth Fox out of his Carian Story; and I know not to what end he should relate it, but only to shew that while English-men lived Godly ac­cording to the fashion of their primitive Church, they esteemed and honored [Page 141] highly Religious and Monastical Life, and many leaving the World, with the Pleasures and Possessions thereof, entred into that Religious Course, endea­voring to follow and imitate their Lord and Master therein, and that so long was England happy and blessed by God: To which effect if John Fox do allege the same, then is it evident what a good Conclusion he doth make against himself & his Religion at this day, that are such professed Enemies to that kind of life so highly here commended, and consequently the Relator thereof doth shew him­self to be as well John Fool as John Fox, not considering what maketh for him or against him.

12. But to the end that we should not think that he hath made Peace or Friendship with Monks for all this, or that he liketh their Life or Profession any thing the better for so many praises given them by ancient Authors, he scoldeth at them every where and upon every occasion, writing over the Pages and Titles of his Book these Superscriptions: Monks, Superstitious Monks, Monks married, Monks meer Lay-men in old times, and the like. And if I should number up the manifest Lies which the miserable and poor spiteful Fellow in­venteth for some shew of proof, you would take pity of Him, and not of the Monks. You shall hear one short Discourse of his about them, and thereby you may judge of the rest.

13. Monks (saith he) were nothing else in old time, Fox p. 138. A lying Dis­course of Fox about Monks. but Lay-men leading a more stricter Trade of Life, as may sufficiently appear by Augustin, lib. de moribus Ec­clesiae, cap. 3. Item lib. de oper. Monachorum. Item Ep. ad Aurelium. Also by Hieron. ad Heliodorum, writing these words, Alia Monachorum est causa, alia Clericorum: Clerici pascunt Oves, ego pascor. One thing pertaineth to Monks, another thing to them of the Clergy: They of the Clergy feed the Flock, I am fed, &c. By all which is evident, that Monks were no other in former Ages of the Church, but only Lay-men, differing from Priests, &c.

14. Thus writeth Fox; which alone were sufficient to shew his peevish Fraud and Folly in all his Writings. For albeit St. Augustin, in the places by him quoted, had written any such thing as he affirmeth, (which is quite false, and so shall the Reader find that will examin the places,Whether Monks were meer Lay-men in old time, or no?) yet the very words of St. Hierom by Fox himself adjoyned do clearly interpret both his own and St. Augustin's meaning, and convince Fox for a meer malevolent Caviller; for that St. Hierom doth not deny that Monks are Clergy-men or Priests, for then he should deny himself to have been a Priest, or of the Clergy, seeing he confesseth himself to be a Monk: but his meaning is to shew the different End and Office of some Clergy-men (to wit, Secular Priests and Bishops that have care of Souls) from Monks; for that the one do attend principally to Action, the other to Contemplation; the one to Preaching, the other to Praying; the one to feed others, the others to be fed; in which latter number St. Hierom for humility putteth also himself, whom yet I think John Fox will not affirm to have been a meer Lay-man, and not Priest and Clergy-man. And so is this cavil of his against Monks (that in old time they were Lay-men) shewed to be most vain and malicious: For what will he say of St. Basil, St. Nazianzen, St. Augu­stin, St. Gregory? were they not Monks, Priests, and Bishops also? how then were Monks meerly Lay-men in old time?

15. The like notorious Folly, conjoyn'd with Falshood, he useth to prove married Monks, alleging St. Athanasius's words, Epist. ad Diacont. qui ait, se novisse & Monachos & Episcopos conjuges & liberorum patres: who saith, that he knew both Monks and Bishops married men, and Fathers of Children. But what proveth this? Do not we see every day, even now in our Church, both Bishops, Priests, and Religious men, that have once been married, and some of them also to have had Children, and after the death of their Wives to have entred into Ecclesiastical and Religious Orders? What fond deluding of his [Page 142] Reader is this? He should have proved that they had married after they had been Priests or Monks, and then had he said somewhat: But this he could not do, and so thought best to make a fond flourish of the other.

16. Nay, in the very Greek Church at this day, where Priests are permit­ted that were married before, tho' their Wives be living, yet if their said Wives die, they are not permitted to marry again. And as for Monks, (out of which Order only Bishops are made in that Church) they were never per­mitted to marry after their profession of Religion.Epiph. l. 2. tom. 1. Nay, St. Epiphanius (a chief Pillar of that Church when it was perfectly Catholic, about 1200 years agone) saith plainly, (as the Magdeburgians also allege him,) That the holy Church of God admitted not in his days any man to Priesthood, or Episcopal Dignity, that either married the second time, or did not abstain from conversation with his first Wife,Magd. cent. 4. c. 4. p. 303. if she lived, after he was admitted to Priesthood: Revera (saith he) non suscipit sancta Dei praedicatio post Christi adventum eos, qui à nuptiis, mortua ipsorum uxore, secundis nuptiis conjuncti sunt, propter excellentem Sacerdo­tii Honorem & Dignitatem. Et haec certè Sancta Dei Ecclesia cum sinceritate ob­servat, &c. ‘In very truth the holy preaching of God after the coming of Christ doth not admit those to be Priests, who after their first Marriage, and their Wife dead, do joyn themselves again in second Marriage. And this doth the holy Church of God observe with sincerity, in respect of the excel­lent Honor and Dignity of Priesthood, &c. So saith Epiphanius, and ad­deth presently,Epiph. ibid. Sed adhuc viventem & liberos gignentem, &c. "But further than this, the said holy Church of Christ doth not admit to Priesthood a man of one Wife, if he live and get Children as before; but only she admit­teth Him to be a Deacon, Priest, Bishop, or Subdeacon, (especially where the Clergy is sincere) who is content to contain from his Wife that he used before, or live in Widowhood if his Wife be dead.’

A clear testi­mony of St. E­piphanius for the Continen­cy of Monks and Priests in his days.17. Thus writeth this holy Doctor, not only of his own Judgment, but of the whole Consent of the Universal Catholic Church in his days; not only of Monks, that make a more strict profession of Chastity, but of all Clergy-men also that lived in Holy Orders, to wit, Subdeacons, Deacons, Priests, and Bishopss. Of whom thus much be spoken by occasion of John Fox his notori­ous Lye, That Monks were only Lay men, and married in old time. And by this we may see his affection towards Them and their Profession. And there were no end, if I should prosecute all his peevish picking of quarrels against them, upon every occasion, or without occasion, thereby to shew his Heretical Stomach in that behalf. One only Example I will shew you more, and so make an end.

A notable sto­ry of K. Alfred, how he recei­ved comfort in his tribula­tion by St. Cuthbert.18. There is a Story recorded by William of Malmsbury, and other ancient authentical Authors (as Fox himself confesseth) touching our foresaid famous English King Alfred, fourth Son to the forenamed King Ethelwolf, and Nephew to King Egbert, brought up in Rome by Pope Leo IV. (as hath been said) who being driven into great Extremities by the Conquest of the Danes against him, was relieved and comforted by the appearance of St. Cuthbert, miraculously foretelling him what should succeed in those Wars, and confirming the same with other Predictions also, which afterwards were fulfilled: Which Story, tho' it be one of the most rare that is to be read in our English Histories, and with most comfort also by him that will consider it with attention and indiffe­rency; and testified also unto us as authentically as any Story may be in this kind, (not only by the said Malmsbury above 500 years agone, but by divers others in like manner, and of like credit, as Fox himself is forced to confess:) yet, for that St. Cuthbert, principal Actor therein, was an unmarried Monk, he cannot abide the Story, but calleth it a dreaming fable, and so doth preter­mit the same in four words. I shall recount it as briefly as I can out of Malms­bury: [Page 145] Solebat ipse (saith he,Malm. l. 2. de Reg. Angl. fol. 23. meaning King Alfred) in tempora posteà faeliciora re­ductus, casus suos jucunda, hilari (que) comitate familiaribus exponere, qualiter (que) per B. Cuthberti meritum eos evaserit, &c.

19. ‘King Alfred was wont afterward, when he was brought from his mi­sery to more happy times, to recount pleasantly and courteously to his famili­ar Friends the Chances and Calamities which he had passed, and how he had escaped them by the Merit and Benefit of blessed S. Cuthbert, &c. So beginneth Malmsbury his Narration; the sum whereof is this:

20. King Alfred and his Ancestors having lost unto the Danes all the North, East, and West parts of England, he had only three Shires to hide himself in upon the South Sea, to wit, Somersetshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire, whither also the Danes followed him with a great Army under their Captain Gormond: And the poor King being destitute of all human help, wanting both Mony, Victuals, and Men, (for all forsook him upon fear) he had no other refuge for saving his Life, than with a few trusty Servants of his, and his Mother (the doleful Queen) to flie into a little Island in Somersetshire, called then Adaling, (wholly beset with Waters and Mire in the midst of marishy ground, and a little Wood joyned thereunto) to hide themselves in, where himself and his Mother being lodg'd in a certain Swineherd's Cottage, the rest made shift for themselves as they might, lying on the ground.The pitiful case of K. Al­fred pressed by the Danes, an. 879. But two things for the pre­sent pressed them most: The first, hunger for want of Victuals; the second, fear of Gormond's Camp that lay so near them. Wherefore sending forth his men to seek some Fish by night, (for that they durst not shew themselves by day) the King and his Mother with woful hearts reposed a little their weary Bodies and Minds in the said Swineherd's House; and being entred into a little slumber, Behold (saith the Story) there appeared to the King St. Cuthbert, telling him both his Name, and that he was sent to him by God to comfort him, and to tell him, That albeit his Justice had hitherto chastened English-men for their sins by the Sword of the Danes, yet that he would not extinguish them, in respect of so many Saints that had been of that Nation; and from this day forward would set them up again; Modo tandem Deus indigenarum,Malm. ibid. Sanctorum meritis super eam mi­sericordiae oculo respicit. Now at length God, for the Merits of English Saints, doth look upon England with the eye of mercy. He told him further, That himself from this state of extreme misery should be restored very shortly to a flourishing state of his Kingdom: For which he gave him presently a sign or token, saying, That albeit that night was a very contrary time to Fishers, both for that all Rivers were frozen, and a little Rain being fallen upon the same, had made it unfit for men to travel in that Art; yet his men should come home all laden with incredible abun­dance of Fish. Thus he told him, persuading him, that when he should see all these things performed, he should remember to be thankful to God and his Servants for their favor towards him, and so departed.

21. The King being wonderfully comforted with this Vision,The appearing of St. Cuthbert to K. Alfred & his Mother. awaked for Joy, and calling upon his Mother the Queen, who lay near him, and had en­joy'd the self-same Vision, they recounted together all particulars, expecting with greediness when their Servants should return from fishing to confirm the same; which soon after ensued; Et tantam piscium copiam exhibuere (saith Malmsbury) ut cujusvis magni exercitus ingluviem, exaturare posse videretur; And they brought with them to the King so great store of Fish, as it might seem to be sufficient to satisfie the hunger of never so great an Army; wherewith King Alfred being encouraged, he adventured a strange attempt, which was to go into the Danes Camp with one Servant only, feigning themselves Musicians, A strange at­tempt & vi­ctory of K. Al­fred upon the vision of St. Cuthbert. where with singing of Songs and sounding their Instruments they passed thro' the whole Camp, discovering their disorders, and where and when they were more weak; and so retiring themselves to their Company, and arming such [Page 144] men as he could, secretly set upon them with such fierceness, as they killed many, and put the rest to flight, and constrained the Danes with their said King Gormond, to demand Peace and offer Hostages for the same. Which were accepted upon two conditions: The first, That all of them should re­tire out of England, except such as would be Christians: The second, That these Christian Danes should be content only with the Kingdom of the East-Angles, to wit, Norfolk and Suffolk. All which was admitted, and King Gor­mond himself made a Christian, and God-son to King Alfred, accepting the said Kingdom of the East-Angles as tributary unto him; and from this day forward King Alfred went gaining more and more, putting his Enemies to flight, until he had recovered his whole Kingdom again. And this both He and his Mother were wont to recount all the days of their life after; and the Events themselves did evidently declare the truth of the Miracle, recorded (as hath been said) by our best Historiographers. All which notwithstanding, John Fox writeth thus:Fox p. 128. The great im­pudence of John Fox in rejecting all our ancient Historiogra­phers. Let us pass over these dreaming Fables, tho' they be testi­fied by divers Authors, as William Malmsb. Polychronicon, Roger Hoveden, Jornalensis, and many more, &c. Whereby you may see what a faithless Ec­clesiastical Chronicler this Fox is, that passeth over things of purpose that are left written by so many grave Authors; and then how perfidious he sheweth himself in censuring for dreaming Fables so important Miracles shewed by God for testification of his Love and Providence towards our Country, and the sa­ving and restoring thereof.

22. For which Infidelity this miserable Fellow hath no other Argument (ex­cepting only his foresaid hatred to St. Cuthbert and other Monks) but only for that the Vision was in time of sleep or slumbring, and for that cause he calleth it a dreaming Fable. Which kind of Argument if we should admit, we must evacuate also, and bring in doubt and contempt, most of the principal Mysteries and Miracles of the Old and New Testament; where commonly things were revealed to God's Servants in Visions by sleep,How God doth appear and reveal matters often­times in sleep. as Genesis 28. Vidit Jacob in somnis Scalam stantem; Jacob did see a Ladder in his sleep. And again in the same Book, cap. 31. Dixit Angelus Dei ad me in somnis; The Angel of God said unto me in my sleep. Joseph also had all his affairs revealed unto him not only in sleep, but also per somnia, by Dreams indeed, Gen. 37.40, 41.

23. The like is related of Saul, 3 Reg. 3. and of Daniel, Dan. 7. And finally, God promiseth by Joel of Saints of the New Testament, senes vestri somnia so­mniabunt, Joel 2. which St. Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, (cap. 2. ver. 17.) interpreteth of true Visions sent from God by the Holy Ghost, saying, This is the meaning of that which is said by the Prophet Joel, which shall come to pass in the latter days, I shall pour out of my Spirit upon all Flesh, and your Sons shall prophe­tize, and your Daughters and young men shall see Visions, and your elder people shall dream Dreams, &c. And finally, if we consider the Story of our Savior's Infancy recounted by St. Matthew's Gospel, we shall find the most part of his Mysteries reveal'd to our Blessed Lady and St. Joseph in sleep; as, Mat. 1.20. Gabriel ap­paruit Joseph in somnis; The Angel Gabriel appeared to St. Joseph in his sleep, and told him that he should not put away his Wife. And then in the 2d. chap­ter, talking of the Magi, He saith, Et responso accepto in somnis; They recei­ving an answer from God in their sleep that they should not return to Herod, they returned another away. Who being gone, the Evangelist saith again, Ecce, Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis; Behold the Angel of God appeared to Joseph again in his sleep, and warned him to flie into Aegypt. And then, when he should come out of Aegypt again, he being in doubt whither to go, Admoni­tus in somnis secessit in partes Galileae; He being warned in his sleep what to do, went and carried Christ into the parts of Galile, &c.

[Page 145]24. Lo here a very frequent custom of Almighty God to warn men of his will in time of sleep! And albeit all kind of Dreams or Representations in time of sleep be not easily to be credited, as the 2 Paral. 33. Levit. 19. Deut. 18. Psal. 72. Num. 12.6. Scripture in other places doth admonish us, yet God saith also, Si quis fuerit inter vos Propheta Domini in Visione apparebo ei, & per somnum loquar ad illum; If there be any among you that is a Pro­phet of God (to whom I mean to reveal my secrets) to him I will appear in Vi­sion, and to him will I speak in sleep. And this is sufficient to shew that all are not dreaming Fables which are uttered in sleep, as the incredulous and infi­del humor of John Fox and of modern Heretics would have it seem when it is against them.

25. But in their own Sectaries they do admire and extoll any thing never so fantastical, yea tho' it be a Vision or Revelation from the Devil himself; for so Luther in his Book about the abrogating of the Mass doth recount of himself, how the Devil did appear unto him by night,Luth. l. de ab­roganda Missa. and reasoned with him against the said Mass. And in another Book written to the Senators of the Cities of Germany, and talking of other Sectaries that did brag of Visions, Voices, and Apparitions of Spirits, (to wit, the Swinkfeldians and Anabaptists) saith thus of himself: Ego quoque fui in Spiritu, atque etiam vidi spiritus (si omnino de propriis gloriandum est) fortè plus quam ipsi adhuc intra annum videbunt; Luth. l. Teuto­nico ad Senator. Civit. Germ. ‘I my self was also in Spirit, (which he speaketh in imitation of St. John the Evan­gelist in his Revelations) and have seen also Spirits,Apoc. 1.10. (if I must needs glory of my own Gifts) and perhaps I have seen more Spirits than they which brag so much of seeing Spirits will see within one year.’ This said Luther of him­self; and hence we must imagin that he so often said of himself,Luth. cont. Reg. Angl. Certum se esse Doctrinam suam è Coelo esse petitam; That he was certain his Doctrin came from Heaven. And Sleydan every-where in his Story doth compare Him and his Visions and Revelations with those of the old Prophets.

26. Carolstadius also, a chief beginner of the Sacramentary Doctrin, brag­geth (as Kemnitius a chief Lutheran reporteth) that it was revealed unto him from Heaven how he should understand those words, Hoc est Corpus meum, Kemnit. in re­pet de Eucha­rist. art. 31. by different pointing of the Sentence from that which it was wont to be. And Zuinglius affirmeth of himself, That he had a Voice by night from Heaven,Zuingl. in sub­sid. de Euch. (which yet Luther saith was from the Devil) telling him how he should ex­pound those words, Hoc est Corpus meum, contrary to all Antiquity, by the Ex­ample of those words of Exodus, Phase, idest, transitus Domini, &c. Mat. 16. Exod. 12.11. And we are a little after to shew more at large in this Infra cap. 8. part. 2. Treatise how John Fox also had a Voice and Revelation from Heaven on a Sunday morning as he lay in his Bed, about understanding of the mystical Numbers in the Apocalypse of Forty-two months assign'd by the Angel to the Reign of Antichrist.Apoc. 13.5.

27. But if we should recount all the Visions and Revelations which John Fox doth attribute to his ragged Martyrs that he setteth down in his Calendar,The visions of John Fox's Martyrs. and how highly he would have them esteemed, there would be no end. Let any man read what he writeth of the Visions and Voices that Samuel a Minister of Ipswich had in his sleep when he was in Prison: He fell into a sleep, Fox p. 1547. col. 1. num. 46. (saith Fox) at which time one clad in white seemed to stand before him, comforting him in these words, Samuel, Samuel, be of good cheer, &c. No less memorable is it (saith Fox) and worthy to be noted, touching the three Ladders which the said Samuel saw in his sleep set up towards Heaven, whereof one was greater and longer than the other at the beginning, but after all three made equal. Which Vision Fox doth expound thus: That Samuel being in Prison with two Women of his Sect, Agnes Potten a Beer-brewer's Wife, and Joan Trunchfield a Shoemaker's Wife, of the same Town; Agnes and Joan were persuaded by Samuel to burn with him, as after they did: And consequently (saith Fox) tho' Samuel was the greater Ladder at the beginning, and higher towards Heaven (as being a Minister or Preacher) [Page 146] and the other two lesser Ladders signified by the Brewer's and Shoemaker's Wives; yet at length were they all three made equal by the Glory of Mar­tyrdom.

28. Thus reasoneth Fox. And then coming to speak of the same two Wo­men apart, he sheweth, that Agnes Potten, the Brewer's Wife, had Visions also:Fox p. 1398. Potten's Wife (saith he) in a night a little before her death, being asleep in her bed, saw a bright burning fire right up as a Pole. By which Vision he sheweth, that the Shoemaker's Wife, who was fearful to die, and would have drawn back, was encouraged by the other also to go to the fire. And do you not see here the Spirit of the Circumcellians and Massilians, Ridiculous Dreams & Vi­sions allowed by John Fox in his Martyrs. to run wilfully to death? From this, Fox passeth to recount another strange prophetical Dream of one William Hunter, an Apprentice of London Nineteen years old, who would needs be burned also, and nothing could keep him from it; much encouraged, as it seemeth, by his Dream.

29. And from this again he runneth to other more solemn Dreams and Vi­sions of John Rough, a Scottish Minister, Director of a certain secret Protestant Congregation in London in Queen Maries days; and of one Cuthbert Sympson, the Deacon or Clerk of that Congregation; which two had Dreams and Vi­sions, the one concerning the other of them. Which Fox thinketh worthy of so great consideration, as he writeth thus in his Margin: The Visions sent to God's Saints concerning their afflictions. Now then touching the first, St. Rough, you must know, that he had been a Dominican Friar in Scotland, (as Fox con­fesseth) and from thence running away into England gate himself a Mate, or (as he calleth her) a Kate; with whom lying in bed, he had a Vision of his Fellow Sympson, The Scottish Apostate Fri­ars Dream & his Kate. Fox p. 1843. col. 1. num. 44. which Fox recounteth in these words: The Friday at night be­fore Master Rough was taken, being in his bed he dreamed that he saw two of the Guard leading Cuthbert Sympson, Deacon of his Congregation, to Prison, and that he had the Book about him wherein were written the Names of all them that were of that Congregation. Whereupon being sore troubled, he awaked, and called to his Wife, Kate, strike light, for I am much troubled with my Brother Cuthbert this night. And when she had so done, he gave himself to read on his Book a while; and then feeling sleep to come upon him, he put out the Candle, and so gave himself to rest again; and being asleep, he dreamed the like Dream; and awaking therewith, he said, O, Kate! my Brother Cuthbert is gone. So they lighted a Candle again, and rose. This is the Vision of the Scottish Friar, which caused his Kate twice to strike fire and light the Candle, as you see.

30. The other Vision of his Clerk Simpson (that kept the Beadroll of the Names of his secret Congregation, and was afterward burned with him in Smithfield) Fox describeth in this manner: Before Simpson's burning (saith he) being in the Bishop's Cole-house in the Stocks, he had a very strange Vision or Appa­rition, which he himself with his own mouth declared to the Godly Learned Man Ma­ster Austen, and to his own Wife, &c. Thus beginneth Fox to relate the Visi­on; noting first (as you see) that he spoke it with his own mouth, as tho' it were a great matter. And then he entreth to make a long Apology against the Papists in defence of these Visions, tho' theirs be not to be believed.

Fox p. 1844.31. They will ask me (saith he) why should I more require these to be credited of them, than theirs of us? This is the demand which he frameth in behalf of the Papists; and I think no man will say but that it is reasonable. Let us hear his Answer: First (saith he) I write not this, binding any man precisely to believe the same, as they do theirs. Lo here is a Foolery with a manifest Lye; the Foolery is in telling us so precise believing all Visions and Dreams, which no wise man ever thought or spake; the Lye is in that he affirmeth us to teach that such precise belief is necessary in Visions among us. But let us hear him further in his Answer to the former demand:Ibid. It is no Argument (saith he) to [Page 147] reason thus: Visions be not true in some; Ergo, they be true in none. This part we grant; but what is this to his purpose or proof? His meaning is, that Ours be not true Visions, and His be. But who shall be Judges? He and His would be. But this is no reason; and we on the contrary do say much more equally,How far Ca­tholics give credit to Visi­ons, and how they examin the same. Nec mihi, nec tibi; neither He, nor We, as particular men, ought to judge of these things; but the Catholic Church, which by her Bishops and Pastors does examin the Proofs, Weight and Moment of every one of these things that fall out, and according to the Quality, Merit and Condition of them to whom they happen, as also of the Witnesses and Testimonies whereby they are proved, she doth judge of the Truth or Probability of every thing: And to Her therefore we stand, and not to the fantastical broken Brains of John Fox, that maketh Miracles and Visions where he listeth, and authorizeth or discrediteth them, when it pleaseth him again.

32. And thus much by occasion of St. Cuthbert's Apparition to King Alfred; Heretical ha­tred against St. Cuthbert. the Holiness of which Saint, how highly it was esteemed in the days of this King, about the year of Christ 878, you hereby see, himself living 200 years before, for that he died upon the year 687, the 20th of March, which day hath ever since been celebrated with perpetual Memory, not only by the Church of England, but also by the Universal; and that most worthily, as may appear by his Life written largely by St. Bede. Bed. l. 4. hist. c. 27, 28, 29. vid Praefat. Bal. cent. 1. script. Brit. in Cuthb. Howsoever John Fox doth speak con­temptuously of him here, and his Fellow John Bale doth revile him: But for what, think you? You shall hear his complaints: Omnia ad amussim Monachus didicit quae ad Monachismum spectare novit, nulla penitus de Evangelio facta mentio­one; He being a Monk, learned exactly all things that appertained to the Life of Monks, but never made mention of the Gospel. And is this likely or proba­ble, think you, that he never so much as mentioned the Gospel, seeing that Monks Profession and form of Life is taken out of the Gospel?Mat. 19. Bal. ibid. But what more ensueth? You shall hear the Apostata utter his Spirit: Faemineum gensn (saith he) exosum ei erat, &c. Women-kind was hateful unto him, &c. This is the same Ac­cusation that the Mgdeburgians laid to St. Cyprian, (if Supra part 1. cap. 6. you remember) for that he praised Virginity. But how doth Bale gather this hatred of St. Cuthbert against Woman-kind? It followeth: Decretum fecit contra Mulieres, Ibid. ne ejus in­grederentur Monasteria; He made a Decree against Women, that they should not enter into his Monasteries? This Decree Friar Bale, that loved Woman-kind, liked not. But he addeth a further Accusation:Ibid. That in the second year of his Bishopric St. Cuthbert left the same, and no less hypocritically than idly made himself an Anchorite, leading for the rest of his days a solitary retir'd life. See what matters they pick out to object unto God's Saints, which themselves cannot or will not imitate.

33. Finally, to end this Chapter, and therewith this fourth station or Time, John Fox, after much trifling here and there, setteth down in the last words of this his third Book a very brief Catalogue of the Archbishops of Canterbury of these Ages, with this Title:The Archbi­shops of Can­terbury of this time scoffed at by Fox. The Names and Orders of the Archbishops of Can­terbury from the time of King Egbert to William the Conqueror, &c. Which he beginneth with Etheldrenus, that was the Eighteenth in Order, and endeth with Lanfrancus, who was the Thirty-fourth, making certain Notes, or rather Scoffs and Jests upon them all; especially upon those that were most renowned for their Holiness and multitude of Miracles, recorded by old Writers; as name­ly, St. Dunstan, of whom Malmsbury and others having left written, That,Malm. l. 1. de gest. Pont. Ang. fol. 115. among other Miracles happened unto him, one was, that his Harp (wherewith he was wont in his Youth to praise God, after the imitation of King David,) hanging up by his Bed-side on a Pin upon the Wall, he heard one night a voice of Angels sing in his Church this Verse; Gaudent in Coelis animae Sanctorum: at which time his said Harp also gave a sound of it self, moved either by the [Page 148] said Angels, or otherwise by Miracle from God. Whereat John Fox in his He­retical Vein maketh much Pastime, tho' (as already you have heard, and shall do more in the third Part of this Book) he esteemeth highly certain devised Miracles of his miserable Martyrs. And so much of this.

34. But now, as touching the principal Point of all this Discourse, (which ought to have been the visible deduction of his Church from King Egbert to William the Conqueror) there is not one word spoken; for all that he writeth is of our Church, and this in Lyes, Fables, Scoffs, and Taunts, (as you see) but of his own Church nothing, no not so much as of any one person, that in all agreed with him or his Church in these days concerning Religion. Nay, let him shew us any one Man, Woman, or Child, Heretic or Catholic, in all this time, who was fully of the Religion now held in England; and that these believed no more nor less than Fox and his Fellows do at this day, and we will yield that he hath brought us forth some visible Church and Succession thereof, tho' it be but of three or four persons.

35. Lo with how little we are content! And seeing Fox will not dare, nor any man for him (in my opinion) to take upon him this Enterprize, to wit, to shew the succession of any three or four persons throughout the space of this first 1000 years after Christ, who did in all things believe and profess the Faith and Religion that now is held in England, (whereunto also John Fox himself agreed fully while he lived, as may appear by the Puritanical Points in his Story, which he commendeth and defendeth in the Lives of Rogers, Hooper, and other their first English Parents, as after shall be shewed:) For­somuch (I say) as this is so, and that never any three persons, of what Con­dition,Heretics seek to pull down, and not to build up. Religion, Sex or Sect soever, can be shewed to have agreed fully in the Protestants Religion that now in England is professed, not only for the time of these first thousand years of Christianity, but neither for the other five hun­dred next following;Part. 3. nor that our English Protestants of these days will bind themselves in all and every Point of Doctrin, Faith and Belief, to stand to any one visible Congregation, Church, Conventicle, Society, or number of men whatsoever, professing the Name of Christ, that have been known to live up­on Earth, from the Apostles time downward, but that they do vary from them in one Article of Belief or other.

36. If all this (I say) be true and most certain, and made evident by this our deduction, and that we offer to joyn any further Issue that shall be deman­ded with any Protestant living upon this point, that shall have any thing to say or reply in this matter. This being so, then is it evident what a Successi­on of the Protestants Church John Fox bringeth, or is able to bring down, or any man for him, notwithstanding his vain brag and flourish in the first Title of his Book,Fox in the Ti­tle of his Acts & Monuments. That he would set down the whole race and course of the Church, &c. The Folly and Falshood of which flourish shall better also appear by that which ensueth from the Conquest downward.

CHAP. VII.

The fifth station of Time, containing other Three hundred years from William the Conquerour unto the time of John Wickliff; wherein is examined, Whether the Catholic Roman Church did perish in this time, as Fox affirmeth? Here is treated also of Pope Hildebrand, and of the Marriage of Priests.

YOU have seen, good Reader, by our former Treatse,The fifth sta­tion from an. Dom. 1066, to 1370. how brief and barren John Fox hath been hitherto in relating unto us Ecclesiasti­cal matters for more than a thousand years: For tho' he promised in the first Title of his Book, (as before you have heard) that he would set forth at large the whole race and course of the Church from the primitive Age unto these latter Times of ours, &c. And again in another Title,Fox in his Title. Fox p. 1. that he was to lay before us the Acts and Monuments of Christian Martyrs, and matters Ecclesiastical passed in the Church of Christ, from the primitive beginning to these our days, as well in other Countries as namely in the Realms of England, and also of Scotland, discoursed at large, The brevity & barrenness of John Fox in preforming his promise. &c. yet this large Discourse for more than a thousand years is concluded by him in less than seventy Leaves of Paper, whereof almost fifty are of impertinent matter, to wit, of certain Differences which he would pick out between the old Roman Church and that which is now; and in the relation of the first Ten Persecutions under Heathen Emperours, which before we have declared how little they appertain to his Argument or Subject taken in hand, which was to set down the race and course of the whole Church. And this being so, you may consider what store of Ecclesiastical matters he findeth to his purpose in these first thousand years, seeing he scarce spendeth thirty whole Leaves therein, whereof also the far greater part (I mean of that he writeth in these few Leaves) is meer temporal or impertinent, as in part you have heard. And how then doth he tell us of Ecclesiastical matters discoursed at large, &c. and of the whole race and course of the Church set forth largely by him, &c. Do you see how these men do face, and lye to deceive their Readers?

2. But let us not complain (I pray you) of brevity or barrenness in John Fox, nor lack of Volume, seeing he hath set forth the greatest, perhaps, that ever was in our English Tongue: And if he have been over-short for the thousand years past, unto the time of William the Conqueror, he will as much exceed in length now for the other five hundred years that are to ensue from the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth, upon which time he bestoweth above 900 Leaves. And the reason of this so notable difference or inequality is that which we have touched before, to wit,Why Fox writeth so lit­tle of the for­mer Ages, & so largely of the sequent. that he finding the whole course of these former Times and Ages of the Christian Church to be against him, nor daring openly to reject that Church, nor manifestly to joyn with her Enemies adjudg'd by her for Heretics; he chose to speak as little of those Times and Affairs as he could. But now he hath taken another resolution much more desperate in hand; which is, to deny Our Church to be any longer a Church, and to set up another of His in her place, by which means he will come to have mat­ter enough; for that this being supposed, and he presuming that all the Acts and Monuments of this Church (I mean the General Roman Church) receiv'd hitherto throughout the World for Christ's Church, are wicked and rebellious unto God, and Acts of the Devil's Synagogue, from the time that John Fox assigneth of her Fall and Apostacy; and that on the contrary side, all the Wri­tings, Actions, and Gests of all sorts of Heretics against this Church from that [Page 150] time,How Fox co­meth to in­crease his lat­ter Books. are the Acts and Monuments of the true Church of Christ: Supposing all this, I say, (as Fox doth) there cannot want matter, either on the one side or the other, to fill up Volumes: And the lower he passeth downward, the more matter he findeth, for that Sects and Sectaries increasing daily, (whom he registreth for Saints and Pillars of his Church) the Volume of his Book must needs grow greatly. And so is it seen by this fourth Book, wherein from the Conquest to the latter-end of King Edward III's Reign, when Wickliff be­gan, (containing 300 years, to wit, from Anno Domini 1066, to 1370,) there are spent above 100 Leaves of Paper; which is much more than was in the former 1066 years. But in the fifth Book from John Wickliff's time to King Henry VIII. (which are but 140 years) are contained upon the point of 200 Leaves; and then again from the beginning of King Henry's Reign to the en­trance of Q. Elizabeth, (being but fifty years) he spendeth above 600 Leaves. And by this you may judge both of the Subject and Substance of John Fox's huge Volume, tho' we are to look into the same somewhat more particularly also as we pass it over in this and the ensuing Chapters.

3. Well then, this being his device and resolution for the present, to have no longer patience with our Church, but wholly to deny the same, his great­est difficulty seemeth to be about the Time and Causes; to wit, where, or when, or how, or upon what occasion, she perished or vanished away; for seeing she hath continued by his Confession also for so many Years and Ages, and come down unto our days, under the self-same Succession of Bishops, Pastors and Teach­ers as before, and consequently also with the self-same Doctrin and Religion, and with the same external Power and Majesty which it was wont: it seemeth a very hard thing upon the sudden either to annihilate so Great and Mighty a Kingdom,An impossible device to an­nihilate this universal vi­sible Church. or (which is much more difficult) to make so strange a Metamor­phosis and Mutation in her, as that she having been hitherto the Church of Christ, his Spouse, his Kingdom, his dearest Beloved, and beautified with his Graces, directed by his Spirit, enriched with his most precious Gifts and Endowments, and so acknowledged also by Fox' himself in former Ages; that now she should become Christ's Enemy and Adversary upon the sudden, and the Kingdom of Satan, his Eternal Foe, and yet to retain still the Name, Place, Estimation, and external Dignity which she had before, professing with no less shew of duty her Obedience and Love to Christ, than in former times she was wont.A strange & incredible mutation. This Change and Metamorphosis (I say) is most wonderful, and incredible to all those that believe Christ to be God, and to have been able to perform his promise, that Hell-gates should never prevail against this Church. Wherefore we are to examin somewhat more diligently in this Chapter, how this matter could fall out, and when, and by what occasion come to pass; for that so great and rare a Mutation as this is never fell out yet in the World be­fore. Tho' Temporal States and Kingdoms have had their changes; nay, all temporal mutations of Empires, Kingdoms, States and Monarchies, have been made principally to shew the contrary stability and immutable continuation of Christ's Church once planted in the World, as in part we have declared Sup. cap. be­fore, shewing how that in all times and seasons, in all variety and variations of States, People, Countries, and Dominions, (as well in England as elsewhere) the Christian Catholic Religion remained one and the same among them all. To which effect also is that notable Prophesie of Daniel, Dan. 2.44. when (foretelling first the breaking and overthrow of all four Monarchies by him mentioned) he addeth, as a notorious opposition to the same, the stability and immortality of Christ's Church and Kingdom once set on foot in these words:The Prophesie of Daniel about the stability of Christ's Church. In the days of these King­doms God of Heaven shall raise up a Kingdom that shall never be dissipated, neither shall this Kingdom be given to another people: This Kingdom shall consume and wear out all the other Kingdoms, but it self shall stand for ever.

[Page 151]4. Thus saith Daniel; and the most of these Points we have seen verified and fulfilled already; for God of Heaven hath raised this Kingdom and visible Church of Christ, which then seemed a strange matter; he hath increased and continued the same for a thousand years and more, as Fox will confess, (which is a longer time than any Temporal Monarchy lightly hath continued without change;) he hath overthrown in this time and consumed the other Kingdoms and Monarchies mentioned by him, Now remain the other two Clauses to be fulfilled in like manner, to wit, That it shall stand for ever, (or, as Christ ex­poundeth it, usque and consummationem saeculi, to to the Worlds end;) and then, quod alteri populo non tradetur; that this Kingdom shall not be delivered over to another People from that which possessed it from the beginning. The quite contrary whereof teacheth here John Fox, affirming this Church (that hath been accounted the true Church and Kingdom of Christ for a thousand years past) is now no more his Church or Kingdom; nor these Popes, Bishops and Pastors (that are found in her to have come down by continual Succession) are now no more the true and lawful Guides or Governors thereof; but that it appertaineth to others: and consequently this Kingdom of Christ is taken from them, and delivered to another People, to wit, to the Berengarians, to the Waldenses, to the Albanenses, to the Wickliffians, Lutherans, Zuinglians, and other like people of latter Ages.

5. This is John Fox his mad Assertion, wherein you see he should prove two Points: First, That our Church, is lost and fallen, and our Men rightly dispossessed of the Interest thereof: And then, That his Men (to wit, these new Sectaries) have entred into a just possession of that Name and Title of the true Church: Both which Points we deny. You shall see how he beginneth to prove the first; that is to say, the Fall and Overthrow of the Universal vi­sible Church, sirnamed the Roman.

And thus hitherto (saith he) stood the condition of the Church of Christ, In his Protesta­tion to the Church of England. (mean­ing the next Ages before the Conquest) albeit not without some repugnance and difficulty, yet in some mean state of the Truth and Verity, till the time of Pope Hildebrand, called Gregory VII. which was near about the year 1080. and of Pope Innocentius III. in the year 1215. by whom all was turned upside down, all Order broken, true Doctrin defaced, Christian Faith extinguished, &c.

6. Here you see John Fox to assign two Times and two Popes, when and by whom not only the true Church was overthrown, but Christian Faith also utterly extinguished, (to wit, Gregory VII. and Innocentius III. two of the most Renowned men both for Vertue and Learning that have possessed that See since the time of our Conquest, or in many Ages before, if we will believe all the ancient Authors that have written of them,) wherein I dare joyn Issue with Fox, or any of his Cubs whatsoever that will defend him in this noto­rious slander against these two worthy Men: For as for Innocentius III. he is affirmed to have been one of the most excellent Popes for good Life and rare Learning that for these thousand years held that See. Of whom Blondus, P. Innocent, 3. Blond. decad. 2. l. 7. p. 297. amongst other Authors, writeth thus: Suavissimus erat in Galliis famae odor, gravitatis, sanctitatis, ac vevum gestarum ejus Pontificis, &c. ‘The fame and scent of this Pope's Gravity, Holiness of Life, and Greatness of his Action, was most sweet throughout all France, &c.’ And for his Learning, the same Author saith, Libros Doctrina plenos scripsit; Geneb. in chron. an. 1198. Cicarell. in vit. Innocent. 3. Platin. ibid. He wrote most Learn­ed Books. In which kind divers Authors do report that he wrote more than most of the other Popes of Rome before his time put together.

7. And as for Gregory VII. albeit he had many Enemies stirred up against him by the Emperour Henry IV. and others, whom he sought to punish and reform for their Misbehavior; yet, if we will believe the chief Authors of that Age, and those that lived either with him, or next unto him, (as [Page 152] Anselmus Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm. Ep. ad Abb. Hryfarg. Mar. Scotus. Lamb. Scaph. Vinc. Gallus. Sigebert. Avent. & omnes in chron. an 1075, 1076, &c. Marianus Scotus, Otho Frisingensis, Aeneas Sylvius, Lambertus Schafaaburgensis, Vincentius Gallus, Abbas Ʋrspergensis, Aventinus, Sigibertus, Tritemius, and many others) he was not only very Learned, Wise, and a Man of great Courage in resisting the foresaid most dis­solute Emperour, that lived scandalously, and oppressed the Church, but also he was reputed of a most holy Life, insomuch as God wrought divers Miracles by him.

8. The very form of his Election, recorded by Platina, Sabellicus, and others,About Pope Hildebrand, ali­as Gregory VII. doth shew what he was, when they say, Elegimus hodie, 21 Maii Anno Domini 1072, in verum Christi Vicarium, Hildebrandum Archidiaconum, virum multae Doctrinae, magnae Pietatis, Prudentiae, Justitiae, Constantiae, Religi­onis, &c. "We have chosen this day, the 21st of May 1072, for true Vicar of Christ, a Man of much Learning, great Piety, Prudence, Justice, Constancy, and Religion, &c. This was the testimony of the whole Clergy of Rome, that knew him better than John Fox and his Fellows. Against whom Lambertus Schafnaburgensis, talking of his whole Life afterwards, saith, Signa & Prodigia, quae per Grationes Gregorii Papae frequentius fiebant, & zelus ejus fervent issimus pro Deo & Ecclesiasticis legibus satis eum contra venenatas detractorum linguas commu­niebant; ‘The Signs and Miracles which oftentimes were done by the Prayers of Pope Gregory VII. and his most fervent Zeal for the Honor of God and de­fence of Ecclesiastical Laws, did sufficiently defend him against the venemous Tongues of Detractors.’

9. Vincentius also Gallus in his History relateth out of a more ancient Histo­riographer than himself, named Gulielmus Historicus, Hildebrandum dono pro­phetiae praeditum fuisse; That Hildebrand the Pope was endued with the gift of Prophesie; which he sheweth by divers particular Examples of Events fore­told by him. And this of Gregory VII.

The Vices of the Emperour Henry IV.10. But what do the same Authors, yea Germans themselves, write of their Emperour, his Enemy, Henry IV.? Surely it is shameful to report his Adulte­ries, Symoniacal selling of Benefices, Robberies, and spoiling of poor parti­cular men, thrusting in wicked men into places of Prelates, and the like: Principes Regni rogat (saith Lambertus) ut patiantur ipsum Ʋxorem repudiare, An. Dom. 1069. &c. ‘He did request the Princes of the Empire that they would suffer him to put away his Wife, telling them what the Pope by his Legat had opposed to the contrary.’ Which being heard by them, they were of the Pope's Opi­nion: Principes aiebant aequè censere Rom. Pontificem; ita fractus magis, quàm in­flexus Rex ab incepto abstinuit; The Princes affirmed, That the Bishop of Rome had reason to determin as he did, and so the King (rather forced, than changed in mind) abstained from his purposed Divorce.

11. Lo here the first beginning of falling out betwixt the Emperour and the Pope; which was increased, for that two years after (as the same Author saith) the Pope deprived one Charles for Symony and Theft, to whom the Em­peror had sold for Money the Bishopric of Constance. And this he did by a Council of Prelates and Princes held in Germany it self, the Emperour being present:Lamb. Schaf. An. Dom. 1071. Cùm etiam (saith he) Rex in Judicio assideret, causamque Caroli, quoad posset, tueretur; ‘Bishop Charles was deposed, notwithstanding that the King was present in that Judgment, and defended him and his Cause as much as he could.’ And this was an increase of the falling out between them: But the constancy (saith the same Author) and invincible mind of Hildebrand against Covetousness, Lamb. ibid. did exclude all Arguments of Human Deceits and Subtil­ties.

Ʋrsp. an. Dom. 1068.12. Ʋrspergensis in like manner, who lived in the same time, reckoneth up many particulars of the Emperour's wicked behaviour in these words: Coepit Principes despicere, Nobiles opprimere; "He began to despise the Princes, op­press [Page 153] the Nobles and Nobility, and give himself to Incontinency.Lib. 4. Annali­um Boiorum. Which Aventinus (an Author not misliked by the Protestants) uttereth more parti­cularly in these words: Henricum stupris, amoribus, impudicitiae, & adulterii flagrasse infamia, nec amici quidem negant; ‘The very friends of Henry the Em­perour do not deny but that he was infamous for his wicked life in Lechery, Fornication, and Adultery.’

13. And finally, not to name any more, Marianus Scotus (that lived in those days) writeth thus of the whole Controversie between them:Mar. Scot. in chron. an 1075. Gregory VII. (saith he) being stirred up by the just clamors of Catholic Men, and hearing the immanity of Henry the Emperour's wickedness, cry'd out against by them, did excommunicate him for the same, but especially for the sin of Simony, in buying and selling Bishoprics; which fact of the Pope did like very well all good Catholic men, but displeased such as would buy and sell Benefices, and were favourers of the said Emperour.

14. And thus much be spoken of the Learning, Lives and Vertue of these two particular Popes, Gregory VII. and Innocentius III. whom John Fox would needs have us believe that they had overturned God's Church, and extinguished Christian Religion utterly in the World. But especially he rageth every where, and with greatest acerbity, against Gregory VII. dilating himself in many large Discourses of that Argument, and telling so many and apparent Lyes of Him, and his Acts and Ends, as were a matter incredible to him that hath not exa­mined them. Neither may I stand to recount them all, or the greater part (for it would require a Volume) but by one or two you shall be able to judge of the rest.

I read and find (saith Fox) that in a Council held at Rome by Pope Hildebrand and other Bishops, they did enact three things: First,Fox p. 158. c. 2 That no Priest hereafter should marry Wives: Secondly, That all such as were married should be divorced. Thirdly, That none hereafter should be admitted to the Order of Priesthood, but should swear perpetual Chastity.

15. Truly it is a strange thing to see and consider the wilful obstinacy and precipitation of Heretics. Fox hath gathered out three Points decreed in this Council; which Council yet he citeth not, nor any Author for it, and so with more safety he playeth the Davus. He leaveth out a fourth Point, which was the principal or rather only Point touching Priests Marriage han­dled in that Council; to wit, That what Priest soever should be known to keep a Concubine under pretence of his Wife, or should be known to have bought his Benefice by Simony, and would not repent or amend, they were forbidden to enter the Church and say Mass, and other men were forbidden to hear their Mass. With which Decree many licentious Priests, that would not be restrained from their loose Life, being offended; and many more Lay-men,A great con­tradiction a­gainst Pope Hildebrand for his Christian Zeal. that depended on the said Emperour, taking their part, cried out against this good Pope, for that he went about to reform these two scandalous Abuses, Simony and Fornication, in the worser sort of Priests. And two notable Calumniations amongst others they raised against him: The first,The first Ca­lumniation. That he did not hold the Mass to be good or available which was said by a Simoniacal or Adulterous Priest; which he never said nor meant, but only that for a pu­nishment, and in detestation of those sins, he would have men to forbear the hearing of such Priests Masses, seeing there wanted not other good Priests to supply their places and Functions: Neither was he the first Pope that made the like Decree for punishing of Concubinary Priests,Distinct. 32. c. Praeter § verum &c. nullus. by forbidding other men to hear their Masses; for that both Pope Alexander II. and Nicho­las II. his Predecessors made the same Decree, as appeareth in their Canons yet extant.

[Page 154] The second Calumniation Fox ubi supra Cent. 11. c. 7.16. The other Calumniation against this Pope was this, which Fox and the Magdeburgians do here set down, That he was the first that began to forbid Marriage of Priests in the West-Church, for so are the words of the Magdebur­gians: And hereupon hath John Fox framed out of the Council the three Points before mentioned, as handled and decreed then, (which is false) and passeth over the fourth with silence, wherein the only Controversie consisteth. And this appeareth in the Lines immediately following in Fox, where he putteth down the Copy in English of Pope Gregory's Bull about this matter, wherein he saith thus:Fox p. 158. col. 2. n. 80. If there be any Priests, Deacons, or Subdeacons, that will still re­main in the sin of Fornication, we forbid them the Churches entrance till they amend and repent; but if they persevere in their sin, we charge that none presume to hear their Service.

Many Falsities & Impostures of Fox.17. By which words we see that Pope Gregory did not treat here as Fox saith, That no Priest hereafter should marry Wives, (as tho' it had been in use or lawful before) or that such as were married should be divorced by this new Decree: And much less was it decreed now, as Fox deviseth, That none hereafter should be admitted to the Order of Priesthood, but should swear perpetual Chastity. All these Points (I say) are either feigned or fraudulent­ly set down by our Fox, as tho' these things had been in lawful use before, and that now by Pope Gregory began this prohibition. But you have heard by Pope Gregory's own words, that he presumeth that all Priests that after Priest­hood have Carnal Conversation with Women, do live in Fornication, ac­cording to the Doctrin, Custom and Practice of the ancient Catholic Church of Christ. And therefore where Fox useth the words Marriage and Lawful Wives, Pope Gregory calleth it Fornication and Concubinary Life. And so it is in the Canon,Distinct. 32. c. Praeter § verum apud Anton. tit. 16. Tritem. in chron. an. 1075. Officium Simoniacorum, & in Fornicatione jacentium, scienter nullo modo recipiatis; Do you not wittingly admit the Office or Service of such Priests as live in Simony or Fornication. And Tritemius relateth the matter thus: Laicis interdixit, ne Missas Sacerdotum Concubinas habentium audire praesu­mant; Pope Gregory forbad Lay-men to hear the Mass of such Priests as were known to have Concubines.

The true state of the Contro­versie.18. This then was the Controversie, Whether Priests that lived with Wo­men (contrary to the ancient Canons of the Catholic Church) were rightly punished by Pope Gregory, Pope Alexander, Pope Nicholas, and some other Popes, by debarring them to say Mass publicly, or other men to hear their Masses? The Controversie was not, Whether it was lawful for them to marry or no; or whether they should promise Chastity at their entrance into Priest­hood? For this Pope Gregory took as a thing determined from all Antiquity before him, especially in the Latin Church. And so testifieth Marianus Scotus, that lived in his time:Marian. Scot. in chron. an. 1096. & tom. 4. Conc. p. 79. Iste Papa (saith he) Sinodo facta, ex decreto S. Petri Apo­stoli, & S. Clementis, aliorum (que) Sanctorum Patrum vetuit & interdixit Clericis (maximè Divino Ministerio consecratis) Ʋxores habere, vel cum Mulieribus habi­tare, nisi quas Nicena Synodus, vel alii Canones exceperunt; ‘This Pope (Grego­ry VII.) having made a Synod, did according to the Decree of St. Peter the Apostle,The Council of Nice for­bidding wives to Priests and Bishops. and St. Clement his Successor, and of other holy Fathers, for­bid unto Clergy-men (especially to such as were consecrated unto God's Service) to have Wives, or to dwell with Women, excepting such only as the first Council of Nice and other Ecclesiastical Canons did except or permit.’

19. This testifieth Marianus of the Pope's intention, and that he made his Decree according to the Decrees, Canons, meaning and practice of all holy Fathers his Predecessors, from St. Peter downward, in the Latin Church. And if we go to the Council of Nice for the exception here mentioned, what Women [Page 155] were allowed to dwell in house with Priests in those days, we shall find all Women to be forbidden to live with Bishops, Priests or Deacons,Conc. Nic. Can. 3. praeter Ma­trem, Sororem, vel Amitam; the Mother, Sister, or the Aunt: But no men­tion at all of the Wife, which should have been the first that should have been excepted by the Council, if any such thing had been lawful or permitted in those days. For albeit in the Greek Church, where this Council was held, some were made Priests that were married before; yet were they never per­mitted to marry after they were Priests, nor are they at this day. And if we consider the whole stream of Greek Fathers in this behalf,The whole stream of an­cient Greek Fathers a­gainst the marriage of Priests. Origen hom. 23. in lib. Num. we shall see them no less by their Writings than by their Doings and Examples, joyn with the Latin Church in this Point about the Continency of Priests and Bi­shops even from the beginning. Illius solius est offerre Sacrificium (saith Ori­gen above 1400 years ago) qui perpetuae se devoverit Castitati; ‘To him only belongeth to offer Sacrifice, who hath vowed himself to perpetual Cha­stity.’

20. Behold Sacrifice and vowing of Chastity in Priests of the Greek Church, above 700 years before the time that Fox saith it was decreed first of all by Pope Gregory VII that they should not marry. And Eusebius, in the next Age after, being one of them that were of the Council of Nice, saith, Eos, Euseb. l. 1. Demonstrat. Evang. c. 9. qui sa­crati sunt, & in Dei ministerio cultúque occupati, continere deinceps seipsos à commercio Ʋxoris decet; ‘It becometh them that are consecrated and occupied in the Service of God, to contain themselves for the time to come from all dealing with Wives.’ There follow in the same Age with Eusebius divers other Fathers; as, St. Cyrill, St. Gregory Nyssen, St. Chrysostom, St. Epiphany; all which writing of this matter, are of the same Opinion.Cyr. Cat. 12. Qui apud Jesum bene fungitur Sacerdotio, abstinet à Muliere, saith St. Cyril; He that perform­eth the Office of a Priest well in the sight of Jesus, (that is to say, is a good Christian Priest) doth abstain from all Women.’ To like sense do write St. Gregory Nyssen, lib. de Virginit. cap. ult. and St. Chrysostom, hom. 2. de patien. Job. And as for St. Epiphanius, we have alleged him Sup. c. 3. Cent. 4. p. 303. Epiph. tom. 1. l. 2. Item haeres. 59. before, as reprehended by the Magdeburgians, for affirming this Rule of Priests Continency from Mar­riage to have been observed in his time throughout the whole Church, with great sincerity wheresoever good Clergy-men were.

21. It were in vain to allege the Latin Fathers, for that our Enemies con­fess them to be all of the contrary judgment to them. But when no other Argument were, the very Example of so great a multitude of famous, learn­ed, and holy Bishops, Doctors, Teachers and Preachers of those first Ages after Christ, that lived Continent, and were not married, (as St. Ignatius, St. Polycarp, Clemens Alexandrinus, St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazi­anzen, St. Chrysostom, St. Epiphanius, St. Cyril, and many others of the Greek Church; as also St. Cyprian, St. Hillary, St. Ambrose, St. Hierom, St. Augustin, and above Fifty Popes of Rome, held all for Saints, and the most of them Mar­tyrs, in the Latin Church:) These Mens Example (I say) is a sufficient Argument to shew what was the Spirit of Christ in those days, to him that hath any feeling thereof.

22. But to say no more of this, but to return to make an end of our speech of Pope Gregory VII. (whom our Protestants, for his singular Vertue and Con­stancy in God's Cause, cannot abide,) Fox concludeth thus of his death:Fox p. 164. Anto­ninus writeth, That Hildebrand as he lay a dying desired one of his Cardinals to go to the Emperour, and desire of him forgiveness, absolving both Him and his Partners from Excommunication, &c. And true it is, that St. Antoninus Archbishop of Florence relateth some such thing upon other mens speeches, saying, Quod misit Cardinalem ad Imperatorem & ad totam Ecclesiam, ut optaret ei Indulgentiam; [Page 156] That he sent the Cardinal to the Emperour and to all the Church, to wish him Indulgence. And what marvel (if it had been so) that a man lying at Deaths door would gladly be at peace with all the World? But why hath not Fox set down the other words of Antoninus presently follow­ing?Anton. part. 2. tit. 16. cap. 1. § 1. Quae tamen vera esse non credo, multis de causis; ‘Which yet for many causes I do not believe to be true.’ Here you may see that Fox is still a Fox.

Naucl. gene­rat. 37.23. Nauclerus reporteth, That his last words lying on his Death-bed in Salerno, were those of the Psalm, Dilexi Justitiam & odivi Iniquitatem, pro­pterea morior in exilio, &c. ‘I have loved Justice, and hated Iniquity; and for this do I die in banishment, being driven away from my See by the violence of the Emperour.’ The death of Gregory VII. Thus wrote Nauclerus of him, tho' a German, adding these words: Vir fuit Gregorius times Deum, Justitiae & Aequitatis amator, in adversis constans; ‘Pope Gregory was a man that feared God, a great lover of Justice and Equity,Plat. in vita Greg. 7. constant in Adversity.’ And Platina, that flattereth not Popes as our Protestants do confess, writing of him, saith, Vir certe Deo gratus, &c. ‘Truly he was a man grateful to God, Prudent, Just, Cle­ment, and a Patron of all Poor, but especially of Pupils and Widows.’ Cranzius also a German saith: Henricus Gregorium septimum virum san­ctum insectatus est; Henry the Emperour persecuted Pope Gregory VII. being a holy Man.

24. But to omit this, and to speak no more of Popes Lives or Learning, especially of these two (Gregory and Innocentius) so well known but only to consider their Faith and Belief, (for That principally indeed concerneth our purpose, seeing that albeit they should be Wicked or Unlearned, yet might they be true Popes:A ridiculous device of Fox how 2 Popes overthrew the Church.) I would ask John Fox, What one Article of Belief any one of these two Popes, living more than an hundred years the one after the other, did they differ in from their Predecessors, or were noted by their Successors for the same? And if no such Article can be brought forth, (as most certainly there cannot) how then could these two Popes, either joyntly or severally, overthrow so great a Church dispersed over all the World (as was at that time the Roman) and much more extinguish the whole Christian Faith, as John Fox affirmeth?

25. Is not this plain madness, to affirm that any one or two Popes could overthrow a whole Church, or extinguish Christian Faith; especially living an hundred years one from the other as hath been said? For if the first had done it, then what needed the help of the second? or if the same Church persevered in Christian Faith for an hundred years together after the first, then did not he overthrow the same. And yet doth John Fox delight himself so much in this Fancy, that in divers places of his Book he foundeth his whole Discourses thereon, as we shall see in the Chapter following.

CHAP. VIII.

Here followeth a dreaming Imagination of John Fox, contrary to it self, about the Fall of the Roman Church, and Rising of Anti­christ; with the rest that remaineth of our Ecclesiastical History from the Conquest to Wickliff.

JOhn Fox taking upon him in his vein of fancy to distinguish Times, and to determin when the Church of Rome fell sick and died, when Antichrist was born, and other like vain imaginations, proving also the same by certain Re­velations made unto himself as he lay on his Bed upon a Sunday in the mor­ning: he setteth down for a ground this distinction of Times in the very be­ginning of his Acts and Monuments in these words: First (saith he) I will treat of the suffering time of the Church, which continued from the Apostles Age about 300 years. Secondly, of the flourishing time of the Church, which lasted other 300 years. Thirdly, of the declining time of the Church, which comprehendeth also other 300 years, until the loosing out of Sathan, which was 1000 years after the cea­sing of the Persecution. Fourthly followeth the time of Antichrist, or the loosing of Sathan, or desolation of the Church, &c.

2. Lo here John Fox maketh a different Account from the former, as tho' the time of Antichrist, and loosing of Sathan for overthrowing the true Church, had begun much sooner than under Pope Gregory and Innocentius, to wit, from the year of Christ 900, which was almost 200 years before Gregory VII. was born. And yet doth he also contradict himself in this, if you mark him; for that he saith this loosing of Sathan was about the thousandth year after the ceasing of Persecution; which ceasing being counted by Fox himself from the time of Constantine the Great, (when he saith Sathan was bound up for 1000 years) the ending thereof must fall, not upon the year of Christ 900, as in this his Account, but rather upon the year of Christ 1300, at which time he was let forth again, (if we believe John Fox) and had power given him, not only to impugn, but to overthrow the Church contrary to that which Christ had promised, Matth. 16. That Hell-gates should not prevail against her.

3. But let us see a third place, where John Fox handleth this Mystery dif­ferent from both these now alleged; to wit, in the beginning of his fifth Book, from Wickliff downward, where he maketh another Account yet of binding and loosing of Sathan, and overthrowing the true Church: And this (forsooth) out of the 20th Chapter of the Apocalypse by a large Text;Fox divers times contra­dicting him­self about binding and loosing of Sathan. which having recited, he saith thus: By these words of the Revelation three special things are to be noted: First, the being abroad of Sathan; Secondly, his bind­ing up; and Thirdly, the loosing out of him again after a thousand years consum­mate, &c.

4. Thus he hath there. And then a little after he maketh his Account thus: The binding up of Sathan, after peace given to the Church (counting from the 30th year of Christ) was Anno Domini 294; which lasted for 1000 years, until Anno 1294, about which year Pope Boniface VIII. was made Pope, and made the sixth Decretals, confirmed the Order of Friars, and privileged them with great freedom.

So writeth Fox, and confirmeth his Sentence by certain old Verses written by a Monk (as he saith) which affirm that

[Page 158]
Cùm fuerint anni completi mille ducenti
Et decies seni post partum Virginis Almae;
Tunc Antichristus nascetur Daemone plenus.

That is, ‘When a thousand two hundred and threescore years after the Vir­gins Child-birth shall be finished, then shall Antichrist be born, replenish­ed with the spirit of Satan.’ Which Fox will needs have to be meant by the foresaid Bonifacius VIII. as tho' He above others had overthrown the Church, and had been the first Antichrist among Popes: Which if it were true, then can it not fall either upon Gregory VII. or Innocentius III. no nor upon Boniface himself named by him; for that he was not made Pope 34 years after this de­vised Prophesie did appoint Antichrist to be born, to wit, 1260; seeing he was made Pope (as Fox also confesseth) Anno 1294.

5. But the best pastime is to hear what immediately followeth in Fox, which are these words: These Verses (saith he) were written (as appeareth by the said Author) Anno Domini 1285. Well, Sir John! and what of this? doth not this overthrow all the credit of your Prophesie, seeing it sheweth that these Verses were written 25 years after the day appointed by the Pro­phesie was past?

6. So we see, that this man having toiled so much to draw all that is spo­ken in the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, concerning Antichrist, and the binding and loosing of Sathan, to fall upon the Popes and Roman Church; he cannot tell where to lay it, but playeth notoriously the Fool, and is con­trary to himself, as by the examination of the three places alleged may appear. For in the first he affirmeth Christian Faith to have been extinguished either by Pope Gregory VII. (in the year of Christ 1080) or by Innocentius III. in the year 1215;In protest. p. 9. and here he will have it to have been under Bonifacius VIII. which was almost another hundred years after Innocentius.

7. In the second place he will have the loosing of Sathan, and consequent­ly also the Fall of the Church, to have been almost 200 years before Grego­ry VII. (that is to say,Acts & Mon. pag. 1. in the year of Christ 900) and all the rest downward, to have been under Antichrist, which he calleth the time of Desolation, and Reign of Sathan over the Church. And he confirmeth the same again in the be­ginning of another Treatise following; where repeating the division of his whole Work, he saith, That his intention is, first to declare the suffering time of the Church, Fox p. 27. c. 1. for 300 years; secondly, the flourishing time, for other 300; thirdly, the declining time, for other 300 years; fourthly, the time of Antichrist reigning and raging since the loosing of Sathan for other 400 years; fifthly, the reforming time of Christ's Church in these latter 300 since John Wickliff begun, and after Luther, and other like people.

Thus saith Fox; wherein he agreeth somewhat (as you see) with his last former Account, that Sathan was let loose to overthrow the Church, about the year of Christ 900; which yet is quite contrary to that which he writeth in his first place before alledged, that the foresaid Church was overthrown by Pope Gregory VII. and Innocentius III. some hundreds of years after that time. But much more contrary it is to that which he writeth lastly out of the Apo­calypse, in his fourth place alleged; to wit, That Sathan was bound up for a thousand years; which number of years after the first Ten Persecutions, he saith, must begin from the year of Christ 294; which he endeavoreth (tho' fondly) to prove out of the 13th Chapter of the Apocalypse, where it is said, That Power was given by the Dragon to the Beast, (to wit, to Antichrist) to speak Blasphemy, Apoc. 13.5. and to do what listed him for Forty two months; which make (as all men know) three years and a half; which is the time allotted by St. John [Page 159] (according to all ancient Fathers Interpretations) to the Reign of Antichrist in the end of the World. And it is so expounded in other places of this Reve­lation it self, to wit, by these words, a time, times, and half a time; Apoc. 12. Apoc. 11.11. and in another place by 1260 days; and then again by 42 months. All which num­bers being examined, do make up just the foresaid three years and a half, pro­phesied and expressed in like manner by Daniel the Prophet.Dan. 1