DR. REIGNOLDS HIS LETTER TO that Worthy Councellor, SIR FRANCIS KNOLLES, Concerning some passages in Dr. Bancroft Sermon at PAVLES Crosse, Feb. 9. 1588. in the Parli­ament time.

As also A QVESTION RESOLVED BY A LEARNED DOCTOR, whether the Angels of the seaven Churches, Revel. 2, & 3. make for Episcopall prae-eminence Jure Divino.

LONDON Printed by W. I. dweling in Red-crosse Street. 1641.

DOCTOR REIGNOLDS his Letter to Sr. Francis Knolles concerning Dr. Bancrofts Sermon at Pauls crosse, Feb. 9. 1588. in the Parliament time.

ALbeit (Right honourable) I take greater comfort in labour­ing to discover and overthrow the errours of Iesuits & Papits, (enemies of religion) then of the ministers of Christ, yet seeing it hath pleased your Honour to require me to shew mine opinion of some things that certaine of these men maintaine and stand in, I thought it my duty by the exampleDeut, 33, 9. of Levi, who saide of his father and mother I regard them not, nor acknowledged he his brethren to declare the truth without respect of persons.

Of the two points therfore in Doctor Ban­crafts sermon which your honour mentioneth, one is concerning that he semeeth to avouch the superiority which Bishops have among us over the Clergie to be Gods owne ordi­nanc though not by expresse words yet by ne­cess [...]ry consequence; In that he affirmed that there opinion who oppugne that their s [...]ri­orety to be heresie, wherin I must confesse he hath cōmitted & oversight in my Iudgmēt, & himselfe I thinke advertised therof will acknowledge it, for havingepag 18. said first that Aerius affirmeth [Page 2]that ther was no difference by the word of God betwixt a Prest & a Bishop & afterwards that Martin and his companions do maintaine this point of Aerius, he addeth that Aerius persist­ing therin was cōdēned for an hereticke by the generall consent of the whole Church, pag 19. and likewisepag 69 that Martins, and all his companions opinio [...] hath herein been condemned for heresie.

Touching Martine, if any man behave him­selfe otherwise then in discretion and charitie he ought, let the blame be laid where the fault is, I defend him not; but if by the way, he ut­ter a truth, mingled with whatsoever else, it is not reason that that, which is of God, should be condemned for that which is of man; no more then the doctrine of the resurection should be reproved becauseAct, 2 3.8. it was main­tained and held by the Pharises. Wherefore removing the odious name of Martin, from that which in sincerety and loue is to be dealt with, it appeareth, by the aforesard words of D. Bancroft, that he avoucheth the Superiore­ty which Bishops haue over the Clergie to be of Gods owne ordinance; for he improveth the impugners of it, as holding with Aerius, that there is no difference by the word of God be­twixt a Prest, and a Bishop, which he could not doe with reason, unlesse he himselfe proved the Bishops supreriorety, as established by Gods word: and he addeth, that their opinion, who gaine say it is Heresie, whereof it insueth he thinke it contrary to Gods word; sith He­resy [Page 3]is an errour repugnant to the truth of the word of God, as (according to1 Tim, 6, 3. Titus 3, 10. 2 Pet 1 19 21. the Scrip­tures) our owne ChurchThe defence of the Apolog. part 1 et 7 de vision 2 answ. to the Rhem. Titus 3 10, doth teach us.

Now the Arguments which he bringeth to prove it an heresy, are partely overweake and partly untrue: ouerweake thatpa 18 he beginneth with, out of Epiphanius; untrue, that he adjoy­neth of the general consent of the Church. For though Epiphanius do say, that Aerius his assertion is full of folly, pa 19, et 69 yet he disproveth not the reason which Aerius stood on, out of the Scriptures; nay he dealeth so in seeking to dis­prove it, that Bellarmine the Iesuite, Tom. 1 cont 5 lib, 1 ca [...]pt 5 though desirous to make the best of Epiphanius, whose opinion herein he maintaineth against the Pro­testants, yet is f [...]rced to confsse, that Epiphanus his answer is not all of the the wisest, nor any way can fit the text.

As for the generall consent of the whole Church which D. Bancroft saith, condemned that opiniō of Aerius for an Heresy, & himselfe for an Hereticke, because he persist [...]d in it, that is a la [...]ge speach: but what proofe hath he that the wh [...]le Chur [...]h did so? It appeareth he saith inHeresy 15, Epiphanius. It doth not, and the con­trary appeareth byin epist ad Titum 1 et Epist 85 ad Evagrium S. Ierome, and sundry others, who liued some in the same time, som after Epiphanivs, even Saint Austin himselfe, though D. Bancroft cite him, as beareing witnes thereof▪ likewise I grant S. Austin cap 53. in his booke of heresies, ascribeth this to Aerius, for one, that he said, Presbiterum ab [Page 4]episcopo nalla differentia deberi discerni: but it is one thing to say, there ought to be no difference betwixt them, (which Aerius saying condem­ned the Churches order, yea made a schisme therin, & to is censured by S. Austen counting it an heresie asIn Ar [...]ument prefix lib, 3 Epiphanius be tooke it re­corded, himselfe, asde heres, ad quod vnit De umin prefatio ne he witnesseth, not knowing how farre the name of Heresy should be stretched) another thing to say, that by the word of God there is no difference betwixt them, but by the order & custome of the Church. which S. Austen Epist, 19 sayth in effect himselfe, so farre was he from witnssing this to be heresy by the generall consent ôf the whole Church Which untruth how wrongfully it is fathered one him and on Epiphanius (who yet are all the wi [...] ­nesses, that D. Bancroft hath produced for the proofe hereof, or can for ought that I know) it may appeare by this, that our learned coun­try man of godly memory Bishopdefence of the Apolog part 2 cap. 9 divis 1, pag 198. Iewell, when Harding to convince the same opinion of heresie alleaged the same witnesses, cyting, to the contrary Chrisostome, Ierom, Austen, and Ambrose, knit up his Answer with these words: All these, and other moe holy Fathers, together with the Apostle S. Paul, for thus saying by Har­dings advice, must be held for heritickes. And Mi­chaell Medina (s) a man of great account in the Councell of Trent, more ingenious here in then many other Papists, affirmeth not onely the former ancient writers alleadged by Bishop Iewel, but also an other Ierom, Theodoret, Prima­sius, [Page 5]Sedulius, and Theophilact, were of the same minde touching this matter with Aerius. With whom agree likewisein 1 Tim, 3. Oecumenius, De sacris, hom, orig, et confir. lib, 1. cap 5. &in Epist, ad Titum. Anselmus Arbp: B: of Canturbury, & anCollect, can. lib, 7 cap, 87, and 127. other Anselmus, andPolicar lib 2 Titus 19, et 39. Gregorie, and (z) Gra­tian, and after them how many? It being once inrolled in the Cannon law for found, and Catholike doctrine, and thereupon publikly taught by learnedAuthor gloss. in ca dist, citat. hodericus ca [...]. Ave lat, incon­cil, Basil, Du [...] ­ren, de sacra ec­cle minist. lib 1 cap. 7. men; All which do beare witnesse against D. Bancroft, of the point in question, that it was not condemned for in Heresie by the generall consent of the whole Church: For if he should reply,Ccap, legimus, dist, 39, cap, O­limp, dist, 95. that these lat­er witnesse did live a 1000 yeares after Christ, and therefore touch not him whopag 19. said, it was condemned so in the time of S. Austin, and ofpag 69. Epiphanius, the most flourishing time of the Church that ever happened since the Apostles dayes, either in respect of learning or of zeale, first they, whom I named, though liveing in a latter time, yet are witnesses of the former.

Oecumenius the Greeke Scholiast treading in the steppes of the old greeke Fathers, and the two Anselmes, with Gregorie, and Cratian, expresing S. Ieromes sentence word by word. Besides that, perhaps it is not very likely that Anselmes of Caunterbury should have beene Canonized by the Pope of Rome, and worhip­ed for a Saint, that the other Anselmes, and Gregory, should have such place in the Popes library, and be esteemed of as they are: that [Page 6] Gratians workes should be allowed so long time by so many Popes for die golden founda­tion of the Canon law, if they had taught that for Catholicke, and sound, which by the gene­rall consent of the whole Church, in the most flourishing time that ever happened since the Apostles dayes, was condemned for heresy: cheifely in a matter of such waight, and mo­ment, to the Popes supremacy: which as they doe claime over all Bishops by the ordinance of God, so must they allow to Bishops over Pristes by the same ordinance, as they say at length: and therefore have not onely de­creed it now in theSess 28 cap 4. canon 6 et 7. Councill of Trent, but also inAnnot. marg, ad cap legimus dist. 1 [...]. the new edition of their Canon law have set downe this note, that one Hughs Glosse allowed by the Archdeacon (saying, that Bishops have differed from Preists always as they doe now in Government, and Prelatship, and and efices, and Sacraments, but not in the name and Title of Bishop, which was Common to them both) must be hell hereafter for S. Ieromes meaning at least for the meaning of the Canon taken out of S. Ierom, though his wordes be flat and plaine against this glosse, as Bellarmine Tom 1 con­tro 3 lib. 1 cap. himselfe confesseth. Wherto may bead­ded, that they also who have laboured about the reforming of the Chvrch these 500 yeare, haue taught that all Pasters be they intituled Bishops, or Preists, haue equall authority & power by Gods word, First theAeneus Sil­vius histo. [...] [...]em, cap 35 et Pigh Hierarch Eccles. lib 1 [...]ap 10. Defens, p [...]cit [...] 2. cap. 15 Waldenses, next (i) Marsitius Patavinus then (k) Wickliffe [Page 7]and his schollers; afterwardAeneas Silvius loco citato. Husse: and Hu­ssites: last of allAdversus fal so nominat or din, epist et ad ver Pap [...] Rom. Luther, in epist, ad philip, 1 et Ti­tus 1 Calvine Apos. Confes Wit [...] [...]. c 2 21. Bren­tius, Decad 5 set, 3 Bullinger, Loc Com. Tit de minist verbi, Musculus & other,Tho, Waldē doct fidei Tom 1: lib 2 cap 60. et Tom 2 c 17 who might be reckoned perticularly in great num­ber, sith as here with us both B [...]shops; and the Quienes (s) Professors of DivinityIewell loca citat, et Pilkington in the Treatise of burning Paules C [...]urc [...]s D Humphrey in cap et in D [...]re [...] Iesuitas part 2 [...]at, 3 et D Whit ad tat. Camp [...]a [...] et confuta, Durel Iesuitae lib 6, in our V­niuersities, &M. Bradford, Lambert et others. M. For Acts et. D Fulke against Bristow Motives 40. and Answer to the Rhemists Titus 1, 5. other learned men do consent therein: so in forreine Nations all whom I haue read treating of this matter, and many moe (no doubt) whom I have not read,

The sifting & examyning of the Trent Coun­sell hath been under taken by only two, which I have seene, the one a divine, the other a Law­yer,part 2. Kemnis [...]s, lib, 4. and Gentilletus; they both condemne the contrary doctrine thereunto, as a Trenterrour; the one by Scriptures; and Fathers, the other by the Canon Law. But what doe I further speake of severall persons? It is the common judgement of the Reformed Churches of Helvetia, Savoy, France, Scot­land, Germanie, Hungarie, Polon, the Lowcoun­tries, and our owne, witnes theHa [...]mony sect 11. in Helvet, post G [...]lia, Belgia, Anglia. etc. Harmonie of Confessions.

Wherefore sith D. Bancroft (I assure my selfe) will not say that all these have approved that as sound and christian doctrine, which by the generall consent of the whole Church, in a [Page 8]most flowrishing time, was condemned for heresie: I hope he will acknowledge, that he was over seene, in that he avouched, the Supe­riority which Bishops have among vs over the Cleargie to bee of Gods owne ordinance. And thus farre of the former poynt of D. Bancroft Sermon.

The latter is, concerning that he affirmeth, that S. Ierem pag 14, et 69. saith, and M. Calvin seemeth on his report, to confesse that Bishops have had the said superiority ever since the time of S Marke the Evangelist. Of the which point I thinke as of the former; sith neither Ierom saith it, neither doth Calvin seeme to confesse it on his report. For Bishops among us, be­sides ordeyning, and laying on of handes, may doe sundry other things, which inferior Mini­sters, or Preists (as D. Bancroft termeth them) may not; ButEpist, ad Evagrum. Ierom, after mention of the superiority allotted to Bishops since S. Marks time, what doth a Bishop (saith he,) except ordi­nation, which a Preist doth not? Meaning, and in forcing by this kind of speach, as a thing most evident, and such as no man could deny, that Bishops had, that onely power above Preists then, whichHom, 11. in 1, Tim. Chrysostome also witnesseth.

Though nether had they it alone in all places as it is apparant by aConcil. 4. [...]an. 3. Coūsell of Carthage, shewing their Churches order: that the Preists layd their hands together with the Bishop on those who were ordeyned. Yet Ierom having proved by testimony of Scripture, that in the [Page 9]Apostles times, Bishops, and Priests were all one, even in the rightIn 1 Tim, 4 14. of this two, granteth that afterwardes Bishops had that peculiar unto themselues some where, but nothing else saue it. S. Ierom therefore saith not of that superiority whereof the question is, that Bi­shops have had it ever since S. Marks time.

No more doth M. Calvin seeme to confesse it upon his report. For Calvin in the (sameInstit, lib. 4, cap, 4, sect, 2 place that D. Bancroft quoteth) shewing how in old time the Ministers that had charge to teach chose of their company one in every ci­tie, to whom they did especially giue the title of Bishop; lead equality should breed dissen­tion, yet (saith he) the B [...]shop was not above them in honour and dignity, that he had rule over them, but looke what is the consuls duty in the Senate. to propose matters, to aske their opinions, to direct others by giuing thē advise, by admonishing, by exorting, to guide the whole action by his authority, & see that performed which was agreed vpon by their cō ­mon consent, that charge had the Bishop in the assembly of Ministers. And having decla­red, that S. Ierom sheweth this to have been brought in by the consent of men upon the first of Titus, he addeth that the same S. Ierom otherwhere shweth, how ancient an order of the Church it was, even from S. Marks time to Hereclas and, Dionisius at Alexandria. In which words of Calvin, seeing that the Order of the Church he mentioneth, hath euident [Page 10]relation to that before described, and that in the describing of it, he had said, the Bishop was not so aboue the rest in honor to rule over thē: It followed, that M. Calvin doth not so much as seeme to confesse of Ieroms report, that ever since S. Markes time Bishops have had a ru­ling superiority over the Cleargie.

Wherefore to use no more profes in a thing manifest which else might easily be proued more at large out of S. Ierom and M. Calvin both: it is certaine that neither of them doth affirme, that Bishops so long time have had such superioritie as D. Bancroft seemeth to fa­ther upon them.

Thus haue I signified mine opinion of the points that your Honour specified in D. Ban­crofts Sermon. Which yet if he, or any doe prove, that I have erred in, or take him other­wise then I ought, I shall be willing by Gods grace to correct:1 Cor. 14.31. remembring the Apostle lesson, that The spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets. 19 Sept: 1598.


A QVESTION RESOLVED BY A LEARNED DOCTOR, whether the Angels of the seaven Churches, Revel. 2, & 3. make for Episcopall prae-eminence Jure Divino.

For the Negative. First Did these seaven Angels denote seaven prae­sidents of the Praesbyteries of those seaven Churches, yet this would not conclude for e­piscopall praeeminence over Presbyters.Cicero pro Mu [...]aenaicum multi pares digni­tate sunt, vnus tamen primum locum s [...]lus potest obtine­re. For D Reignolds was of opinion (in his conference with Hart) that in each of these 7. Churches, there was praeses praesbiteri [...], and th [...]t such a one is noted by the Angell; yet was he utterly against the Ius divinum of Episcopal praeeminence over praesbiters. as appeareth by his letter to Sir Francis Knolles.

2. But there is no sufficient evidence to prove that in those seaven Churches there was any such praeses, praesiding over the rest of the praesbiters, for these Reasons.

1. When Paul sent to Ephesus for the praes­biters Act. 20 when he tould them they should see his face no more, we find no collour of any such praesidency among them. to them the Church is commended to be fed by them, without all respect to Tymothy who stood at his elbow, and had ben with him in Macedo­nia, [Page]and was now waiting upon him to Ieru­salem.

2. M. Mede in his Cōmentary vpon the Re­vel. pag 265. hath these words. Deni (que) (vt iam semel iterum (que) monvimus) quoniam Deus Angelos adhibit providentiae suae, in rerum humana­rummotubus, & conversionibus ciendis, gubernan­dis (que) administros, id cirquo (que) multorum manibus peragur, Angelo tamē tanquam rei gerend [...] pre sidi & duci pro cōmuni, loquendi modo tribunn­tur. Lastly (as we have already once & againe admonished) because God vseth the Angels of his providence, as ministers in the mooving and managing of the motions and conversi­ons of humane affairs; therefore those things which are performed by many, are neverthe­lesse attributed (as we speake commonly, to the Angell as the presaes and author of the mana­ging of the businsse. Now if it be so, that in other places, where one Angel is mentioned, many are ment, may it not be so in this?

3 If by the Name of the Angell in each place is comprehended the whole Church, how much more by that Angell may, yea must bee comprehended the whole company of pres­byters? But under the Name of that Angel is comprehended the whole Church, as Ambro­siv [...] An [...]bertus in his second booke vpon the Revelation, not onely writeth but proveth in these words: Vna eadem (que) locvtione & Ange­los & ecclesias Vnum esse designat: Nam cum in principio locutionum, quaead septem fiunt An­gelos [Page]dicat, et Angelo illius ecclesiaescorbe, in fine tamen earundem noe dicit: qui habet aurem, audiat quid spiritus dicat Angelo, sed quid Ec­clesia dicat.

Thirdly, For further evidence unto this Truth it is observable from the very Text it selfe, that albeit the seven Candlestickes are said to be the seven Churches;In heaven that goes for a starr which some times is found to be a com­pound of ma­ny starrs. yet the seven Starres are not sayd to be seven Angels of the seven Churches, but thus, The seven starres are the Angels of the seven Churches. Revel. 1.20.

Fourthly, This is further confirmed by Epi­phanius, who writing of the Heresy of the Milesians, saith, that in ancient times, this was peculiar to Alexandria that it had but one Bi­shop, whereas other cityes had two. And he being Bishop of Cyprus, might well be acquanted, with the condition of the Churches of A­sia, which were so nigh vnto him.

5 yet is there a more pregnant argument thē these, out of the very text, & it is takē out of the epistle to Thyatira, where a distinction is made between the mēbers of that Church thus [...], vobis & reliquis: Now who are signified by vobis, but those to whom he spake under the name of the Angel? And by Reliquis, who are signified but the rest of the people? The people governed, and you governing, and that in the plurall number, vo­bis: what can be more evident to proue, that by the Angell is ment all the presbiters which haue a ioynt preeminence over the people, not [Page]one in preeminence over the presbiters? Yet what is this preeminence of presbiters over the people, not a preeminence of Dominion, but a preeminence of service, and therefore ought to be called not [...] an Hierarchy, or sacred government, as commonly it is, but [...] rather, a servile Government: as the Author of the History of the Councell of Trent well observes, & all the authority of the Church in the exercise of ecclesiastical cēsures, even of the sorest Excōmunication it selfe, is but the fruite of loue, and for their good on whom it is exercised, mourning for them, who through hardnesse of heart could not mourne for themselues, and therefore to excommuni­cate is in Scripture phrase to mourne 1 Cor. 5.2. and 2 Cor. 12 2.

Lastly, The censures of the Church were [...], the censures of many, and not the censures of one, 2. Cor. 2.6. And surely, when our Saviour referres us to the Church, under these words, Dic Ecclesiae, Mat. 18. he referrs us not to one, but to many.


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