[Page] THE Repentance of Iohn HAREN Priest, and his re­turne to the Church of God; publickly by him recited in the French Church at Wezell, in the presence of the Senate, composed of the Ministers and the people assembled togeather vpon the 7. day of March, Anno. 1610.

Likewise, The Recantation of MARTINE BARTOX, at Rochell, sometimes Doctor of Diuinitie in Spaine, Vicar Prouinciall and Visitor of the order of the holy Trinitie for the redemption of Prisoners in the Kingdomes and Crowne of Arragon.

Ezeckiel Chapt. 33. Vers. 11.

J am liuing, saith the eternall God, and I take no pleasure in the death of a Sinner, but rather that he should returne from his vvickednesse and liue.

Apocalips Chap. 18.

Come foorth of Babilon my people, least you be partakers of her sinnes, and so be punished vvith her: for her sinnes hath mounted vp vnto Heauen, and God hath determined to punish her iniquities.

Translated out of Latine and French, into English.

LONDON, Printed for H. Rockit at S Mildreds Church in the Poultrie, and N. Bourne at the Royal Exchange. 1610.

[Page] The Repentance of Iohn Haren, and his returne to the Church of God, publickely by him recited in the French Church at Wezell, in the presence of the Senate, composed of the Ministers and the people assembled togeather vpon the 7. day of March, Anno. 1610.

To the faythfull Christians of the Netherlandes, that haue abandoned the abuses of the Church of Rome, to liue in puritie & sinceritie of conscience, IOHN HAREN wisheth health and prosperitie.

DEarely beloued Breathren in the Lord, This Treatise which I im­bolden my selfe to present you withall, belongeeh truely and di­rectly vnto you, in regard of the subiect and matter therein contai­ned: for although that by my fall, & beastly Apostacie, I haue offen­ded all the world, neuerthelesse I know and am assured, that the Churches, in the middle whereof I haue been nourished from my youth vpwards, and whom I serued many yeares in the worke of the Lord, haue been most afflicted: if you will vouchsafe to read it, you shall therein see, and manifestly behold most great ef­fectes of the prouidence of God towards his elect, who for a certaine time being seduced by the malice & practise of the Diuell, fell not onely into great tempestes and ship­wrackes, but into horrible and scandalous laborinthes of troubles: but yet not so low, but that falling into the armes [Page] of their nourse, (which is the Church of God,) they haue been relieued and comforted againe: For the fall of theMich. 7. 8. Elect, is not eternall.

You shall also therein perceiue how that in thinges which seeme most doubtfull and wholly desperate; and when in outward appearance wee are as it were at the poynt of death and vtter destruction, our Lord hath vsed, and is alwayes ready to put foorth his hand to defend andExod. 2. preserue those that are his. Who would euer haue thought, that Moses, being abandoned by his Mother, and put into the Water in a Basket, should haue been the Deliuerer ofGene. 39. the people of God? And that Ioseph, sold, by his breathren▪ mourned for by his father for dead, & cast into a miserable Prison, should saue his Father and Breathren from most great Famine, & place them in the best part of Egipt? WhoIonas. 2. would haue thought that Jonas, cast into the Sea, and swal­lowed; yea & as it were buried in the belly of the Whale, should haue been the sauer of the great citie of Niniue, and a figure of the Messias? And that I, being cast into a sor­rowfull and miserable Prison, wherein I remained for the space of 8. yeares and more, wholly without hope of deli­uerance from thence; wherein Antechrist of Rome, had caused me to be throwne at the instance and motion of his Legate Coriolanus (the Plague of all Germinie,) for hauing bindred his cruel purposes & desseignes against the Chur­ches on this side. God moststrong, powerfull, & good, by his most mighty arme, & contrary to all humane expecta­tion, hauing broken my Bandes, and deliuered my soule out of the danger of death, yea of eternall death, should charitably deliuer me into the handes of his Church; to the end I should serue him the rest of my dayes, iustly and holily: For the which, while I liue, I will neuer cease to yeeld prayse and thankes-giuing vnto God.

You shall likewise know by this Discourse, the great virtue, force, & efficacie of Prayer made in Fayth, where­by we obtaine of God much more good, then we dare aske or demande at his hands. What could the Mother of Moses [Page] desire more, when her Child was put into the Water, butExod. 2. onely that God would preserue it from death? But by her Praier she obtained much more; for he being found by Pharaos Daughter, he was not onely deliuered out of danger, and committed to his owne Mother to be nour­sed, but waxing great, he was adopted for the Sonne of the Kings daughter. What could the people of God (cruellyExod. 12. afflicted by the Egiptians) desire more, but that God haue­ing toucht the heart of Pharao, he should permit and suffer them to depart out of Egipt, to serue him in the land of their Fathers? But he did more for them; for, deliuering them out of the miserable seruitude & tirannie of Pharao, he inriched them with the spoyles and riches of the Egip­tians; whom afterward he drowned and vtterly ouerwhel­med in the Sea; thereby declaring his Iustice in punishing of those that afflict his people. What could lacob likewiseGen. 33. when he left the house of Laban his Father in law, haue desired more, when he prayed vnto God to deliuer him from the feare which he had of his brother Esau, but that he might passe freely & safely on his way? but God not one­ly graunted him that, but much more: for when his bro­ther met him, he not onely receiued and entertained him courteously, but offered to beare him company on the way. And what could Joseph (being a Prisoner) more desireGen. 41. of God, but onely his enlargement and deliuerance from thence? which at last he obtained, and much more; for he was made Lieutenant and Gouernour of all Egipt. But I for my part, haue receiued more grace and fauour, then all they; for the billowes of the tempestes of the soueraigne God, had not onely subiected my life to a miserable tem­porall captiuitie, wherein not onely the Pope and his sup­ports, determined to destroy me, and to make me vnprofi­table vnto the world during the rest of my dayes: but Sa­than, enimie to my Soule, had made and seduced me to become one of the most filthy Apostates that euer was heard of: and for that cause my heart was continually vexed with most cruell troubles: mine owne corruption [Page] made warre against me, and my torments put me in feare and doubt, that God had wholly reiected and barred me out of the Kingdome of Heauen. I found my selfe to be in continuall feare (for want of Fayth & repentance,) think­ing in that abusiue of troubles, that by incredulitie, I should vtterly be cut off from the loue and fauour of God. Yet I was not destitute of the Spirit of Prayer: for in my greatest troubles and aflictions, lifting vp mine eyes vnto Heauen, I often times sayd, Hath the Lord cast me off for euer? Is his louing kindnesse withdrawne for euermore? Hath the most mercifull God forgotten to be pittifull; hath he (by reason of his anger) shut vp his compassion? And often times sighing and speaking vnto my soule, I said: Oh my soule! Why art thou abashed, & why doest thou tremble within me? Repose thy trust in God, and hope in him, he shall yet be praysed and magnified in thee, when with a benigne countenance onely, he easeth thy torment. The Father of mercie, the God of all consolation, did not reiect my prayer: he receiued my request, and heard me in Heauen: He brake my bandes, and of a Captiue, set me free and at libertie: He dealt not with me as I deserued, nor rewarded me according to my iniquities: For that as farre as the Heauens are distant from the Earth, so much hath his mercie been aboundant vnto me. With the same affec­tion that a Father is mooued towardes his Child, with the same hath the Lord been mooued towardes me. Let my Soule blesse him, and all the partes and members of my body prayse his holy name: He hath saued me out of the Pitte, and withdrawne my life from death: Hee hath pardoned all my Iniquities, and healed my Inf [...]ties. The Lord doth right and iustice vnto all those [...] iniuries and persecutions. I will not therefore doe [...] who sayling in the middle of the Seas, and after a th [...]sand dangers safely arriueth at his desired Hauen, without con­sidering or marking the hand of the Pilote that stirred the Shippe; I will diligently acknowledge in this my deliue­raunce, the hand of God, the prouidence of the Lord, and [...]

[Page] THE Repentaunce of IOHN HAREN, and his Conuersion from the Church of Rome to the true Church of God, openly published and made by him in the French Church, remayning in Wezell, in the presence of the wise and discreete Senat of the same place, the 7. day of March. Anno. 1610.

MY Lordes, and louing Breathren in the Lord, at my comming out of my sorrowfull Prison, wherein I haue been violently holden for the space of eight yeares & vpwardes, for suckering your Churches: pas­sing by this towne of Wezell, to goe [...] friendes, I haue imboldned my selfe to salute you, and to giue you to vnderstand many thinges which concerne the ho­nour and glory of God, the edification of his Church, and the saluation of my soule.

[Page] Truely, if it were not for the assurance that I haue of your pietie towards God, and Christian charitie towards your Neighbours, I durst not haue been so bold, as I am at this present, to certifie you of the miserable estate, where­into my sinnes haue brought mee; but assuring my selfe, that you will be imitators of the Mercie of God, and of the Grace of his Sonne, our Lord Iesus Christ; who desi­reth not the death of a Sinner, but that he should conuert and be saued; it maketh me doe that vnto you, which the diseased person doth vnto the Phisition; which is, to discouer the Griefes of my heart, and the Wounds of my soule.

Beloued breathren, in mee you see and behold the pa­terne and spectacle of the iust Iudgement of God vpon man, who hauing acknowledged Iesus Christ for my Sa­uiour, trode his Word vnder my feete, and made no ac­count of his holy Ordinaunces; and therefore God as a iust Iudge, set me vpon the scaffold of his Wrath and In­dignation; because I would seeme to be Wise in my selfe, forgetting the indignitie and miserie of my estate, I haue grieued the holy Ghost, which had registred mee in the Cathalogue of the blessed; certainely I had been most happie, if at the issuing foorth of my Mothers Wombe, I had been buried, without euer seeing the light of this World, seeing that by my sinnes, I haue subiected my vn­certaine dayes, vnto so many outrages and griefes: For▪ is there any man that hath receiued more benefites at the holy and liberall handes of God our Father, then I? Who from my youth vpwardes, was brought vp and nouri­shed in the most excellent Schooles that are in Christen­dome; hauing had a Father, that spared no thing to bring me vp in Learning, Vertue, and Pietie, and that shewed me an example of Constancie and Fidelitie; hauing suf­fered death for professing the name of the Lord. But, as if God had done me wrong, to continue his graces and great mercies vnto me, I became the most filthy & beast­ly [Page] Apostate that euer was in the World; I say the most fil­thy: for, consider I pray you, the Apostacies which were in times past in the auncient Church, specially during the tenne great Persecutions from Nero to Constantine the great; and the eleuenth, which was vnder Iuhan that wic­ked Apostate, which caused so many Reuoltes in the Church, and when so many great persons made ship­wracke of the Fayth.

Consider also the Apostacies that haue been com­mitted in our dayes, and you shall see, if you can sinde the like to mine? That a Seruant of God, nourished and brought vp at the feete of true Doctors, the Sonne of a Martire, one that preached the Ghospell 17. or 18. yeares, and that with edification in the time of Perse­cution, when the Swordes of Tirantes made all publike places in the Netherlandes redde with humaine blood, I reputed my selfe not onely happy to beleeue and anounce Iesus Christ; but with the losse of my goodes to indure all sortes of oprobyes and slaunders for his name; in, and by whom I beleeued and spake. And yet neuerthelesse af­terward, with so great scandale, hauing made my selfe a Disciple of Antechrist, Who would not be abashed, and abhorre such an offence?

And therefore it is, that I openly cry out and con­fesse, that my Sinne is not like vnto other mens sinnes; for if any man sinneth by ignoraunce or infirmitie, hee shall finde a Mediatour which will pray for him, and it shall be pardoned: but who shall be my Mediatour? I haue offended God and all his Seruantes; I haue scan­dalized his people, and haue made my selfe vnworthy of the commiseration of honest men: Therefore the dolors of death eternall haue compassed me about, and the tem­pestes of my iniquitie haue abashed me; for the Arrowes of Almightie God haue wounded my soule in such maner, that no part of my Flesh, nor any of my Vaines are whole, so much my mischiefe increaseth: my Heart panteth and [Page] beateth in my breast with griefe, my Bones are weakened by reason of the great distresse, which I indure by meanes of my wicked action.

Behold how those that abandonate them-selues vnto Vanities, are forsaken of God, and of their owne grauitie. It is a horrible thing to fall into the handes of the liuing God, and to abiure his Trueth, once knowne.

What shall I doe? shall I despaire? Must I at my depar­ture out of this life, attend and expect the reward of Cain and ludas, and say with those miserable Apostates; My Sinnes are greater then the Mercie of God? No, I will not despaire; for I know, the eternall God is good; that his Mercie surmounteth all the Heauens, that he desireth not the death of a Sinner but rather that he should repent and be saued; and that incessantly he pardoneth and forgiueth his elect.

He pittieth true repentant sinners, be they neuer so miserable and great offenders: and where Sinne aboun­deth, his Grace super-aboundeth.

I haue met with my Mediatour the Sonne of God, my soueraine Sacrificator, who can and will haue compassion of my infirmities: but more then that, his voyce and his example sommon, induce; yea and lead me to approchMath 11 28. neere vnto him. Come vnto mee (sayth hee) all you that are heauie laden and wearie, and I will refresh you. AndEsa. 1. 18. againe, Come now (saith the Eternall,) if your Sinnes were as redde as Scarlet, I will make them as white as Snow: and if they were as redde as Vermilion, I will make them white like Wooll.

When a man of credite speaketh, wee beleeue him: how much more then ought we to beleeue the mouth of him that can not lie? It is hee that sanctifieth my af­flictions, to the ende that they should not bee the entry vnto eternall paine.

I haue likewise set before mine eyes, an infinite number of examples of his pietie towardes Sinners. The poore [Page] Publican casting downe his eyes to the ground, crauingIoh 12. 3. mercie of Iesus Christ, returned home iustified. The sinfull woman washed our Sauiours feete with her teares; and hauing wipt them with her haire, obtayned pardon of her finnes. The poore Theefe being hanged vpon the Crosse, desiring to be saued, and calling vpon Iesus Christ, assen­ded from the Crosse into Paradise. S. Peter hauing threeLuk. 22. times denied his good Maister, after he had bewayled his sinnes with humilitie and repentance, lost not the grace of an Apostle, but was reestablished in his estate and vo­cation Gal. 2. 11.

I call to minde great and inorare sinnes, cruelties, and wicked Apostasies committed against God, and his Pro­phets by King Manasses, who neuer the lesse being Pri­soner in Babilon, and finding his Conscience to be much pressed with the feeling of his wickednes, after he had confessed his faultes vnto God, he was receiued into mer­cie. Jonas flying away frō the face of God & from his pre­sence in Tarsis, because he would not follow his vocation, was cast into the Sea; and after being miraculously deli­uered out of the Whales belly, went to Ninine to declare his Commission.

All these examples haue made me know, that God is exceeding good to those that seeke him; who pardoneth all our infirmities: hee is so good, that hee will neuer re­ward vs according to our sinnes, for he is prompt to Mer­cie, and slow to Anger; and hee is the perfection of all goodnesse.

Vp then my soule, and prayse God: and thou Sathan my aduersarie, present no more vnto mee the inormitie of my apostacie, thinking to astonish my conscience, for the mercifull God of my continuall complaintes, hath heard my voyce, he hath receaued my request, and hath graunted me more then I asked him: All my enemies shall be ashamed and confounded, neither could Sathan beLuk. 15. both my Iudge and my Accuser, for it was God whom I [Page] had offended, who onely is my Iudge: If therefore he is my Iudge, who dares take vpon him to condeme me? If he be with me, who can be against me? and if my Iudge will be my Aduocate and my Intercessor, why should I feare the power and force of the Diuell, & Tirants, although they sought to assayle me?

And therefore being in this sortresolued, I determine to doe two thinges: The one following the example ofLuk. 15. the Prodigall Childe, to returne to my Countrie, and my Fathers house againe, I know he is mercifull, and that al­though by my sinnes I haue lost his fauour, yet he will ne­uer leaue nor loose his bountie. I will willingly forsake the company and fellowship of those filthy Beastes▪ with whom I haue so long time conuersed, which is the King­dome of the Romane Antechrist the Sonne of perdition, that lifteth and opposeth himselfe against the Kingdome of the sonne of God; and that vnder a false title of Pietie, at this day tiraniseth ouer all the world, desiring to satisfie his couetous humour with crueltie and ambition. I will willingly abandon that sorrowfull habitation, so odious and infamous, and will put on the Roabe of Humilitie, to present my Father with a true and sinceere contrition and confession of my faultes and offences. My contrition shall be a disliking and detestation of my sinnes commit­ted, a trouble of Conscience, apprehending and feeling in my Soule, the wrath and anger of God, which I haue in­curred and deserued by my offences, which would cause me to despaire, if I were not strengthned an other way; which is by a true and liuely faith in the mercie of God; by the which after I haue truly & duely confessed my sinnes, I depose my selfe by faith to mount vp vnto the throane of grace, to obtaine one drop of the Blood of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ.

Secondly, I haue sayd within my selfe, I will seeke the face of God: But where shall I find it, but there where his Word is faythfully preached, and the Sacramentes truely [Page] administred? This Church so well marked, was once my Mother; she conceaued and brought me foorth to Christ my Sauiour: she had giuen me many faire & great prero­gatiues; for she had committed vnto me the keeping of her Spouses Flocke; but I was one of those foolish Shep­heardes, (of whom the Prophet Ezecheel in his 13. Chapter of his Reuelations speaketh,) which follow their owne fantasies, and haue no care to execute their Offices and Vocations; and therefore God, the iust Iudge, was angrie with me; he dispoyled me of his fauours, which were the singuler giftes & graces wherwith he had indowed me in my youth; and hath made me eate with Beastes, as he did the Prodigall Child: Yet I can not forget the loue which once she bore me; and therefore I haue aproched vnto her againe, hoping that she will be a follower of the bountie of God to wardes me asking two things of her: The one, that she will vouchsafe to pray vnto God for me; for as issue of all enterprises dependeth vpon the fauour of God, (without the which we can doe nothing,) it is reason and very fitte to begin so holy a worke, with the inuocation of his holy name: The other, that in this great perturbation of Spirit whereunto my intemperaunce hath brought me, she will vouchsafe to giue me counsell and aduise, for that from hence-foorth I will no more be wise in mine owne conceite, but onely in God; in whom consisteth the spring of Life and Wisedome.

I was then in an obscure and blacke Prison, wherein Antechrist of Rome had caused me to be cast without any hope euer to come out againe. My Accusations were; That beeing Seruant to the Dutchesse of Cleaue, I had been a Fauteur & Mediator for the Churches which our Lord had assembled in the Dukedomes of Inlyers, Cleaue, and Bergh, hindring diuers sinister enterprises pretended a­gainst them. The rigor which they vsed against me was great, and my life was in danger, if the hatred of the Eccle­siasticall persons, which were the cause of my mischief, [Page] had had as much place and force, as the benignitie and prudence of the noble Princesse of Lorraine had power to defend and preserue me from their cruelties.

Being in my sorrowfull Prison, abandoned of all the World, when it seemed that I was at the poynt of death; and that Heauen and Earth had conspired togeather, and agreed to worke my ouerthrow and destruction, I desired my God, to let me know the cause of his wrath and anger conceaued against me; who sufficiently made me vnder­stand by his holy Spirit, that my apostacie was the only cause thereof. I lamented my euill; I fainted vnder the bur­then of my anguish; I washed my Bedde with teares, and watered my Couch with weeping; and without longer delay, I made a Vow agreeable and pleasing vnto God: which was, that if he would vouchsafe to deliuer me out of Prison, and to restore me to my friendes againe, that in the first reformed Church, according to the word of God, which I should come vnto, I would certifie vnto it my af­fliction, & my desire; which was, to cry God mercie, & to extirpe the Scandale proceeded of my Apostacie, by the way of humilitie & repentance. The Lord which doth all things iustly, heard my Prayer, he receaued my request, he graunted my desire, he brake my bands, and of a Prisoner, made me free. It is reason therefore that I performe my Vowes: I haue not done like Ionas, who in stead of go­ing to Niniue the great Citie, tooke the way to Tarsis: norLuk. 19: like the wife of Lot, who looking backe whē she went out of Sodoma & Gomora, was turned into a Piller of Salt. Our Lord also saith, That hee which putteth his hand to the Plough, & looketh backe, is not good for the kingome of heauen: therfore I esteemed the things of this world, hurt­full and a hinderaunce vnto the couers of my vacation: & taking my way straight to this Church which had in­gendred me in Christ, with teares in my eyes, and griefe of heart, not so much with the feeling of my temporall af­flictions, as for that I haue offended: I asked two things of [Page] her; the one, if that the way of Repentance should yet be open vnto me? and the other, what penaunce I deserued, or should submit my selfe vnto, to deface the euill which I had committed? Shee made me answere; that God neuer shutteth the Gate of his Church against any man, truely repenting: and hauing considered my teares and com­plaintes, and the effectes of my contrition, she did chari­tably comfort and instruct me.

I am with ioy and gladnesse of spirit come out of Babi­lon, Mother of Confusion, which had lifted me vp in pride against God and his Church; which fostered in my foule, not onely a perpetuall dolour and anguish, but an executioner which neuer let me rest in peace night nor day. For the which, infinitely I thanke my God, that in my old age, and before I goe downe into the Sepulchre, after hee had fatherly punished mee with so long and horrible Imprisonment; he hath this day restored me to my Mother his Church, to be a Temple and Habitation of his Spirit: in the vertue whereof, I beseech him to blesse and sanctifie my steppes to his glorie, and to make me capiable to be, and continue his most humble and obedi­ent seruant.

Oh happie Prison, which hath deliuered my soule from destruction! and taking me by the hand, to lead and conduct me by the pathes of Iustice, to the Peace of the Elect: Who would not admire the great effectes of the prouidence of God, who in most desperate thinges, can withdraw the shadow of darknesse, to illuminate and direct our vncertaine steppes, to follow his will? Behold how it happeneth many times, that that which we thinke would be most hurtfull vnto vs, turneth vnto our great profit.

For the Prison, out of the which I am deliuered, without any blot of mine honour, hath done that in me, which the Prison in Babilon sometimes wrought in King Manasses: So that I will not cease euery day to giue thankes vnto our [Page] good God, who euen in the multitude and greatest force of my afflictions, did alwayes support and vpholde my Soule in such libertie, that it seemeth that how strong and great soeuer my troubles were, they had power onely to ouercome and master my particular Passions, and to ele­uate my Spirit to Heauen; to make me so much the more capiable to obtaine of God the assuraunce of his mercie, by dispoyling me of the transitorie & corruptible thinges of this world, to the end to eleuate and stirre mee vp to thinges glorious and eternall. For as much trouble and disquietnesse as my imprisonment procured vnto my bo­die, so much and more force and resolution it added vnto my soule. It is true that Pietie is weakened, by too great Felicitie: but the Crosse and Persecution accompanied with a good Conscience, maketh it become an assured Bulwarke against all the effortes and forces of the Diuell. And in trueth we see, that those whom God punisheth grieuously in this world, for the most part are they, whom he instructeth most fauourably; in such maner, that to speake properly, the euils which God sent me, and which I indured patiently, were no euils vnto me, but sharpned and stirred vp my spirit to soueraigne good.

Certainely that which Plato sayth, is very true; That those that are in griefes and anguishes, haue the functions and faculties of the Soule more excellent, then in time of prosperitie. But that which maketh me most to woonder, is, that as much as my afflictions separated me from the House of God, and the companie of the Faithfull; so much it seemeth, that they augmented and increased the former affection which I had, to reunite my selfe thereunto, and to leaue Papistrie.

A good man, can not shunne aduersities; but hee may well surmount and vanquish them: and Although he see­meth vnto men, to be wholly abandoned and reiected; so it is, that in the middle of his troubles, he alwayes enioyeth a perfect felicitie, the which hath sworne to be so loyall [Page] vnto him, that whatsoeuer hapneth vnto him, shee is al­wayes with him, shee is alwayes within him, and maintay­neth his Soule in such an estate, that in what condition so­euer shee findeth her selfe to be, shee is alwayes like vnto her selfe, being so highly eleuated aboue the accidentes of humaine thinges, that shee can not receiue any hurt or disgrace.

Seing then that the word of God teacheth vs, that hee which hath publikely offended the Church, ought to con­fesse and acknowledge his fault openly; and for that the Order of Ecclesiasticall discipline in the Church of God practiseth the same: I haue desired that my returne into the House of God, should be publikely made, and in the middle of this notable congregation of the Children of God, in this Towne of Wezel [...]; and that not onely because of the knowledge which I haue of so many Prerogatiues which our Lord hath giuen it, as being the auncient re­ceptacle of poore afflicted Christians; hauing purged it from the darkenesse of errours & ignorances of the Romish Wolfe, for the space of 70. yeares and more; and miracu­lously defended and preserued it from a thousand and a thousand outrages, ambuscadoes, and sinister enterprises of Tirantes; whereof I am partly an eye-witnesse. And thus much more, for that I know that at this present, and in this notable companie, there are yet many of you that know, that the subiect and ground of the anger of those that persecuted mee, proceedeth from this; that duering the time of my continuance in the seruice of the noble House of Cleaue, I did charitably succour the afflicted Churches, which Antechrist and his supporters sought and inforced them selues to ruinate and ouerthrow. Knowing then, that with the cause of my afflictions, the cause of fauouring of your Churches (and particularly of that which our Lord hath assembled in this Towne,) was ioyned: I assure my selfe, that you will haue compassion of the griefes which I feele at my heart, for hauing offen­ded [Page] God, that in respect of me, you will doe as God pre­sently doth; who hauing opened the eyes of my vnder­standing, hath taken my sinnes and cast them behind his backe: hee hath throwne them into the deepe Sea, that he might not lay them any more to my charge: whereof not onely the holy Ghost beareth me witnesse, but by the or­dinarie ministerie which it hath pleased him to establish in his Church, giueth me euident and manifest assurances, beseeching you to haue pittie on mee; and casting from before your eyes the scandale which I haue committed: restore me to that alacritie of spirite which in times past my heart enioyed, when holding each other by the hands, we ascended with ioy to the Mountaine of the Lord, seek­ing the God of lacob, with Songes and Thankes-giuing, because he had made vs members of his Sonne Christ Ie­sus; whereby in this temporall life you shall do that which God doth in the spirituall life, in comforting the afflicted, and such as are truely stricken with vnfeigned sorrow & remorse of their sinnes: for as by his goodnesse and boun­tie he relieueth and strengthneth them; so he that loueth clemencie and mercie, maketh himselfe worthy and ca­piable both of the Joue of God, and the world.

Let your hearts then be mooued with my sigthes, & by bereauing your selues of the remembrance of my faultes; therein shew your selues as strong as my wickednesse is great: my brused bones shall reioyce, my tongue shall openly sing the prayse of the Lord; my closed lippes shall open againe, highly to thunder foorth his Iustice: I will teach his wayes to those that transgresse, to the end that such as haue done, as I haue done against the Lord, may willingly conuert.

I am assured that you will graunt my request, for I per­ceiue your bowels to be mooued and proane to mercie; your countenaunces are witnesses vnto me of your chari­tic; and your teares, of the griefe you haue in your hearts. I likewise will neuer beleeue that there is any man in this [Page] holy assemblie, that will be an Imitator of the rudenes and inhumanitie of the brother of the Prodigall child, thatLuk. 15. murmured at the liberalitie vsed by his father, when he re­ceiued his brother home againe. The House of God is great and wide and his Tablemost rich, to receiue & nou­rish vs all. Our Lord saith, that the Shepheard reioyced to haue found his lost Sheepe. The Woman that had lost her Groat, reioyced with her friendes for the finding of it a­gaine: and the good Father for his Sonne, which had of­fended him so many and so often times. And will not you reioyce with the holy Angels, for the honour which God hath done vnto me, this day to haue receiued me into his Church; from the which Sathan, enimie to Iustice and truth, had separated me, & almost destroied me, if God had not bin merciful vnto me? But he hath lost his prey, he hath spent his time in vaine, he remembred not that God is my Father, that his Christ is my Mediator; he knew not that the holy Ghost had registred me in the booke of Life, and in the cathalogue of the Elect; whose fall is not eternall.

Therefore that I may no more fall into those snares and nettes, I haue withdrawne my selfe into the house of God, into the fort of the Lord, to be made his household Ser­uant, and a member of his Sonne, willingly forsaking the raigne of the Pope; whose doctrine & religion, to say truth, is no other thing but auncient paganisme, mixed with Iu­disme, and couered with the cloake of Christianitie; which treadeth vnder foete the knowledge of the soueraigne God, and the mercies of his sonne Christ Iesus.

For when men make the simple people beleeue, that the Sonne of God (in whom consisteth the wel-spring of life) hath not fully satisfied the Iustice of God his Father, but hath onely obtayned the first grace for vs; that is to say, the occasion or cause of Merite; and that it resteth now in vs to be carefull not to lose the occasion, to obtaine the rest. Is it not a most impudent boldnesse, to dispoyle Iesus Christ of his vertue, seeing the Scripture witnesseth for [Page] him; that all those that beleeue in him, are iustified? And those hel-houndes teach, that there proceedeth no other benefite vnto vs from him, but onely that hee hath made vs an ouerture and way to be iustified; contrarie to theIohn. 5. 12. Iohn. 5. 24. Rom. 3. 24. Iohn. 3. 13. Ephe. 2. 6. Col 1. 13. expresse word of God, which teacheth vs; That whoso­euer hath the Sonne of God, hath life also: Whosoeuer beleeueth, hath past from death to life; is placed in Hea­uen with him; is already transported into the kingdame of God, and hath obtained saluation. And these misera­ble abused Papistes, not contenting themselues therewith, bereaue God of a great part of his Prayses, to transferre them vnto men.

But tell me I pray you, What thing is more agreeable to the Christian fayth, then to acknowledge and confesse our selues to be destitute of all vertue, to be clothed therewith by God: voyde of all goodnesse, to be filled therewith by him: slaues to sinne, to be deliuered by him: blind, to be illu­minated by him: weake, to be sustained by him: to bereaue our selues of all maner of glory, that he onely may be glo­rified, and we in him? Further, what is more proper vnto Faith, then to assure our selues that God is our benigne and louing Father; when Christ is acknowledged to be our Brother and Mediatour, then to expect all good and prosperitie from him, whose loue and fauour is so much shewed & extended vnto vs, that he spared not his Sonne, but exposed him vnto death for vs: then to rest in a cer­taine assurance and hope of saluation, and of life eternall, when we know that Christ hath been giuen vs by the Fa­ther; in whom such treasures are hidden? But these thinges are repugned by the Papistes, who say, that such certaintie of assurance, cannot be without arrogancie & presumpti­on: But as we must not presume of any thing to be in our selues; yet we must presume of all thinges in God, for in trueth we are not for any other cause bereaued of all vaine glorie, but onely to the end that we should be glorified in him. On the other side, behold and see with what affection [Page] those miserable and ignorant persons (I speake specially of Ecclesiasticall persons) are mooued and ledde: they easily permit both them selues and others, to be ignorant, negli­gent, and carelesse of the true Religion, which is taught vs by the holy Scriptures, and which ought to be resolutely and firmely held among all men; and thinke that it is no great matter what Fayth euery man holdeth; nor whether he holdeth with God or Christ: so that with an inueloped or imposed Fayth (as they tearme it) they submit their cen­sures to the iudgement of the Church, and care not though the glory of God be poluted by euident Blasphemies, so that no man speaketh a word against the authoritie of our Mother the holy Church; that is, (according to their mea­ning,) the Sea of Rome: And therefore they fight and con­tend with such rigour and boldnesse for the Masse, Pur­gatorie, Pilgrimage, and such trifles, in such maner that they denie, that true pietie can be obserued, if all those thinges be not beleeued and holden for infallible rules of our saluation; although they prooue nothing by the word of God: Wherefore I pray you, but onely because their Belly is their God, the Kitchin their Religion, and the World their Paradise; which being taken away, they are not onely perswaded that they can be Christians, but which is more, no men: and although some of them liue delicately and in great aboundance, and others liue barely and votarely in pouertie gnawing of Crustes, neuerthe­lesse they liue all by one Pot: which without such aydes, would not onely waxe cold, but wholly be frozen vp: And therefore he which among them, hath most care of his Belly, is the most zealous in their Fayth. To conclude, they haue all one selfe-same purpose and intent, either to maintaine their Kingdome, or their Bellies: and there is none of thē that sheweth the least apearance in the world of true zeale, and yet they cease not to Slaunder, and with Fire, Sword, Water, and all other mischiefes, to pur­sue and persecute the doctrine of Trueth; either to [Page] make it odious, or suspected. But if we were permitted to speake as boldly and as well as they, I am perfwaded that their hotnesse, wherewith they boyle so terribly a­gainst vs, would be somewhat cooled: for to say trueth, that which the blind world at this day honoureth in those idle Bellies, is onely a faigned vizard of Hipocrifie, which vnder the shadow of the Church, would hide their coue­tousnesse, to beare rule; seeking for the Church of God, in the beautifulnesse of Houses, and other exteriour orna­mentes; thinking that the vnion of the Faythfull, consist­eth and is contayned in those exteriour thinges, which are transitorie and corruptible; and not rather in righte­ousnesse and trueth. Wherefore according to the word of God, we hold the Sea of Rome to be the Seate of Ante­christ, which eleuateth and opposeth it selfe against that of the Sonne of God, which vnder a false title of Religion, at this day tiranniseth ouer all the world, liuely represen­tingDan. 9. that Seate of Impietie whereof the Prophet Daniel, 2. Thes. 2. and the Apostle S. Paul haue spoken; whereof we say, the Pope is the Captaine, which hath prophaned the Holy Temple of God by horrible abhominations, in such sort, that therein there rather appeareth an Image of Babilon, then any shew of the holy Citie of God.

But some men will obiect, and aske mee; Did not you before your reuolt, know these great impieties and mis­chiefes, viz. that all the Romane sect is but a King dome of Vntruethes, where the name of the eternall God is villa­nously prophaned, and the Lordes honour impudently giuen vnto Idoles?

I answere, that I knew it, hauing a hundred and a hun­dred times published and preached it vnto the World▪ but in trueth I confesse, that I neuer did so pertinently vnderstand, nor marke so well the horrible Sacrileges of Antechrist, as I did while I conuersed familiarly with them in Rome, where euery man attendeth his owne pro­fite and pleasures, and not the seruice of Iesus Christ.

[Page] We must not then feare that by leauing the Church of Rome we diuorce our selues from the Church of God; for the communion of the Church was not ordained to that end, that it should be a place for to draw vs to idolatry, impietie, ignorance of the true God, and other wickednes: but rather to retaine vs in the feare of God▪ and in the obe­dience of the truth. We do truly withdraw our selues from Poperie, and not from the Church; we shun and flie from idols, but not from the true Church; we will withdraw our selues from the tyrannie of the Pope, and not from the true Christian common wealth; from the plague, and not from life: ready to reunite our selues with them, when Antichrist, and the mischiefe which he hath brought into it, shall be driuen away. In the meane time the house of God shall be my habitation, the Lord my portion, and his Sonne my Pa­stor: he will cause me to rest in his parkes of assurance, he will restore my afflicted soule, and will preserue me, if it pleaseth him, from the bloudy hands of those that seeke my vtter ruine and ouerthrow.

All you that haue done as I haue done, and haue suffered your selues to runne headlong into mischiefe, and which as yet liue in the kingdome of Antichrist, with a contami­nated and defiled conscience, and vnquietnesse of spirit (for I thinke and beleeue certainly that it is impossible for a man that hath knowne the impieties of Papistrie, where the bloud of Christ is bought and sold, where his onely propitiatorie sacrifice offered for our sinnes, is esteemed to be insufficient to deface them; where the merits of men are equalized with the merits of Iesus Christ: I beleeue that his soule is alwayes in paine, and that if he stayeth long there, in the end he will feele an executioner in his consci­ence, which will neuer suffer him to liue in peace night nor day:) I beseech you most humbly in the name and fa­uour of Iesus Christ, to abandon and leaue the synagogue of Sathan, and to reunite and ioyne your selues to this Church of God, vnited and conioyned in faith with the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles, in the word of God; which is faith­fully [Page] preached, and the Sacraments duly and purely admi­nistred. It is into his lap that I yeeld my selfe, it is vnto the guard of his pietie that I haue recourse: beseeching him with all humilitie to receiue and admit me into the com­munion of his children, hauing determined to liue with them (by the power of my God) all the dayes of my life. I likewise desire those, on whom God hath powred his grace (hauing miraculously preserued them in his Church, with constancy and perseuerance, without hauing diuorced themselues, or committed apostacie as I haue done:) to praise God with all their hearts, and continually to giue him thanks; for it is a most great miracle, which proceedeth not from their owne force and vertue, but from the holy and liberall hand of God our Father. Wherefore let them perseuere in louing of God, and flie from finne and vices; and being of a good courage, the kingdome of Antichrist will fall, and that of Iesus Christ shall be established: but before that hapneth, the diuell will enforce himselfe more then euer he did, to make warre against the Church.

Behold wherefore, if euer the children of God haue had need of prudence and wisedome surely to direct their vn­certaine paths according to the word of God, it is now in this pitifull and sorrowfull time, wherein Satan, enimy vn­to all righteousnesse and godlinesse, seemeth to haue so much authoritie euen ouer the elect, that if they were not miraculously aided and defended by the holy and liberall hand of God our Father, they should not onely be vtterly cast downe, but the earth would soone be reduced vnto the same state that Sodome and Gomorra was in times past. Let prayer therefore, accompanied with true repentance, be our refuge vnto him, who will neuer forsake his inheri­tance, and that will cause the assaults of Antichrist to pe­rish, as he once drowned Pharaoh in the sea.

To make an end, I beseech you pray vnto God for me; and if any one among you haue any bookes, which in times past haue beene printed in my name, in diuerse lan­guages, bookes full of iests, lies, and false suppositions; I [Page] desire they may be burnt and consumed to ashes. I will not likewise passe ouer in silence, that in the confutation of those bookes, and in some histories, wherein mention is made of my fall, there are some clauses ignorantly set downe; which I impute not so much to the inconsiderate zeale of the Authors, as to mine owne fault, which God would iustly punish and correct, hauing placed me vpon the scaffold of his wrath and indignation, as I had most iust­ly deserued.

If you aide me with your prayers vnto God, and if you be imitators of that great mercy which he hath shewed this day vnto me, which I beseech you beare in minde; I will praise God for your pietie, and pray vnto him to continue his mercy towards you and yours, with long life and hap­py dayes.

The prayer of king Manasses when he was prisoner in Babylon.

O Lord Almightie, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, and of all the righteous seed of thine elect; which hast made heauen & earth with all their ornaments, which hast bound the sea by the word of thy commande­ment, which hast shut vp the deep, and sealed it by thy ter­rible and glorious name, whom all doe feare, and tremble before thy power: for the Maiestie of thy glory cannot be borne, and thine angry threatning towards sinners is im­portable, but thy mercy is vnmeasurable and vnsearchable; for thou art the most high Lord, of great compassion, long suffering, and most mercifull, and repentest for mans mise­ries. Thou, O Lord, hast promised of thy great mercy, to giue grace of repentance and mercy vnto those that haue sinned against thee, and hast appointed repentance vnto those that are sinners, that thou mightest saue them by the greatnesse of thy compassions. Thou therefore, O Lord which art the God of the iust, hast not appointed repen­tance vnto the iust, as to Abraham, Isaac and Iacob; nor for [Page] those that haue not sinned against thee; but for me that am a sinner, for I haue sinned aboue the number of the saud of the sea; my transgressions are exceeding many, and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of the heauens. For the multitude of mine vnrighteousnes, I am bowed downe with many and great sinnes, and cannot lift vp my head, neither haue any release, but onely in thy free mercy: for I haue prouoked thy wrath, and done euill before thee, I haue not done thy will, neither kept thy commaunde­ments, but haue most wickedly committed sinne and ini­quitie in thy presence, and wilfully multiplied sinne vpon sinne. Now therefore, O Lord, I bowe the knees of my heart, beseeching thee of grace and mercie. I haue sinned, O Lord, I haue sinned & done euill before thee; but I humbly beseech thee forgiue me, O Lord, forgiue me, and destroy me not in the multitude of mine vnrighteousnesse, be not angry with me for euer by reseruing euill for me, neither cast me into the bottomlesse pit of hel: for thou art the God, euen the God of them that repent. And in me, I beseech thee, shew foorth thy goodnesse, in sauing me that am vn­worthy, in the multitude of thy great mercie: and I will praise thee all my life long for euer; for all the powers of heauen praise thee, and thine is all glory for euer and euer. Amen.

The Conuersion of a Doctor in Spaine.

SEeing Almighty God, who is the chiefest goodnesse and felicity, and maketh his grace and goodnesse communicable to o­ther things, hath participated himselfe in things we see not and touching the Di­uinity, to the Son by generation (contraryAtha. in Symb. Psal. 2. 7. Hebr. 1. 3. to the opinion of Arrius, and Samosate­nus,) and to the holy Ghost by proceeding (contrary al­so to Macedonius, and Eunomius, arch-heretiques) euen ac­cording to his infinite Essence, without any distinction or deuiding of the same, and to be equall with him in deity stance.

Ioh. 1. 15. Therefore the Sonne, begotten of the Father, and not made, and the holy Ghost which proceedeth from the Fa­ther, and the Sonne, (as from one beginning) haue the same essence in number, and inseparable nature with the Fa­ther, (contrary to the opinion of the Valentines, which faine more then one:) yet his Persons (viz.) of the Father, of theAtha. in Symb. Sonne, and of the holy Ghost, are in number distinguish­ed and deuided, (contrary to the Sabellians, who dreameIdem. in Symb. they are all but one Person.) For the Person of the Father is one, of the Son another, and of the holy Ghost another: But of the Father, the Sonne, and the holy God, there is but one Diuinity, one equall glory, and one coeternall Ma­iesty. Num. 23. 19.

Malac. 2. 6. Gen 1. 1. Hebr. 1. 2. & 11▪ 3. Ioh. 1. 3 God himselfe is immutable in his counsels, neither can he be any way hindered or deceiued in the same. By reason whereof it comes to passe, that whasoeuer happeneth, the same he hath determined from eternity: who in things that we see, by his word (as he saw good) hath created all things of nothing, and made and disposed in order, the heauens, [Page] the earth, the sea, and whatsoeuer is therein contained, by his euer-liuing Sonne, working with the Father: who also by his infinite and consubstantiall power and vertue, viz. by the holy Ghost, administers all things in his diuine Proui­dence. In this participatiō God remaines in himselfe, impar­ting his Essence to other Persons, but not his Person; that he cannot communicate: for if it were to be communicated, theLuk▪ 18. 19▪ Tho 1. q6▪ Ar. 2. 2. in Aug. vt supra. Hebr. 2. 16. Mat. 1. 16. Luke 2. 1. Dio de. di▪ no. Ioh. 1. 14. distinction of persons would be takē away. But God (who is only good) did participate himselfe vnto men, when he cō ­municated his word full of grace & truth. He took not vpon him the nature of Angels (as Paul saith) but humane nature. In this first communication God is in himselfe, but in his se­cond (after a sort) without himselfe. Such a one did Dionysius Areopagita regard him to be, when he said. This we dare speake for truth, that almighty God suffered on earth by the power and force of charity, viz. he was not in himselfe. Of this partici­pation S. Iohn writes, and the other Euangelists.

Math 1. 16. Luke 2. 1. Ari. 1▪ de coel. text 32 & 2. text. 17 tom▪ 2. Gal 4. 5. Gen. 3. 6. 1. Cor. 15▪ 22. And seeing God made nothing in vaine, this communi­cation also was made for some purpose. For it was to take away the sinne committed by our first parents, and by propagation (Christ accepted) past ouer and transmit­ted vnto mankind. By reason whereof (as Paul saith) we are all borne the sonnes of wrath, because we all sinned in Adam.

Wherefore the right which we had to the inheritance of eternall life before the fall of Adam, we afterwards lost; as the Lawyers teach. But God, that (as a father) loueth vs theRom. 5. 12. Quisquis P. filij ver [...] P. ad l. i [...]. Gal. 4. 5. Ioh. 3. 16. Rom. 5. 9. Luke 19. 10. Math▪ 18. 12. sonnes of adoption, decreed in his vnchangeable counsell, to send forth his Sonne, made of a woman, and made vn­der the law (for what loue exceeds the loue of a father?) that we might receiue the adoption of the sonnes. And (as Iohn witnesseth) God so loued the world, that he gaue his onely begotten Son, &c. by whose coming, and participation Saint Paul saith, We are saued from wrath, and redeemed.

The Sonne of God is also communicated vnto vs, that he might instruct vs in his holy wisedome and vnderstanding;Col. 2. 3. because in him are had all the treasure of wisedome and know­ledge. [Page] For he was the chiefe Maister, and teacher, when he was appointed by God the Father, that all should receiue & vnderstand from him the doctrine of truth: for thus God spake of him: This is my wel-beloued Sonne in whom I am well Math. 17. 5. pleased, heare him.

Besides; Let a man examine himselfe, and so let him eate of this bread, &c. By which it manifestly appeares, that it continues to be bread. And the very Priests of Rome themselues after consecratiō of the Sacramēts (which according to their opi­nion is euē the body of Christ, & not bread) vse the signes of the crosse vpon the same Sacrament, calling it an holy ✚ Sacrament, a pure ✚ Sacrament, an vndefiled ✚ Sacrament, the sanctified ✚ bread of eternall life, and the cup of ✚ e­uerlasting saluation. So that they name it bread, and yet are contrary to themselues. The same truth teacheth that holy father Irenaeus: saying. Now it is no common bread, but the Eu­charist, Irenaeus cap. 34 lib. 4. aduers. heres. consisting of two things: that is, earthly, and heauenly. In which words he expresly teacheth, the bread to remaine there still. Moreouer the forme of the body of Christ is the soule; for Aristotle saith, that Anima est actus corporis Lib. 2. anim [...] text. 4. & 6. 10. 2. physici potentiâ vitam habentis. But it cannot be said that the substantiall forme of bread is conuerted into the soule. Therefore the same substance of the bread remaineth. Fur­ther, if the substantiall forme of bread be conuerted into the body of Christ, it would then follow, the body of Christ to consist of two formes, which is most false. Also the Ac­cident without the substance cannot be ministred or giuen; but there the Accidents are seene, tasted, smelt &c. Therefore the substance is giuen. The refuge of the Papists is to make it a miracle, by which the whitenesse of the bread continues, and other accidents thereunto belonging. But it is a false reply; for it is not found in the holy Scriptures, neither was it needfull that Christ should worke such a miracle. Saint Augustine saith: These things may be honoured, as religious but Aug. de Trini. lib. 3. cap. 10. to worke wonder or astonishment they cannot, as miraculous. Also the accidents are alwaies destroyed by the corruption of the substance. But (as I will make manifest hereafter) the very [Page] accidents of bread are destroyed in time, therefore transub­stantiation of the bread is not giuen.

By reason whereof the Papists at their times renew such sa­crifices, reserued in their Vestries, or other places appointed to keepe their holy things, and reliques: that is, euery weeke in Sommer time: but in the Winter time at 15 daies. And this is done to take away the scandall of their corruption: Therefore Transubstantiation is not giuen.

In a matter so plaine, and euident, I neither desire to spend much time, nor to be too tedious, or troublesome to the rea­ders.Chr. P [...]ze. P. 8. in disp. coen [...] Domini Ioh. Cal. lib. 4. cap, 17 Sect 12. & 13. vs (que) ad 20. Ft in eodem lib & ca. Sect. 18. But if any shall be desirous to reade more concerning this point, let them looke vpon Christophorus Pezeline, and Iohn Caluin, who very manifestly and learnedly teach the truth, and make it cleare and apparant to the eyes and vn­derstanding of such as are blind and ignorant.

Of the Corporall absence of Christ in the Sacrament.

The 4. cause of his seperation. BEcause it is the ground and foundation of the tyranni­call monarchy of the Papists, to blind the eyes of the faithfull, which (according to their enchaunting speeches) beleeue the body and bloud of Christ to be really in the consecration of many sacrifices, and (as they say) in euery one of them, and in the cup, and chalices; I will speake some­what by the way against their false opinions, not to the sa­tisfaction of them that reade, (for of this matter, they may peruse the Institutions of Doctour Caluin,) &c. but to ex­presseCal. lib. 4. cap. 17. a Sect. 14. vs. ad 50. mine owne minde▪ I say first: The Papists do adde and detractmany times from the words of the true text to con­firme and establish their owne inuentions; as it is to be seene by the Inquisitors, who adde to the Gospell of Christ what may▪serue their owne purpose.

For Christ doth thus admonish vs by Math. Chap. 18. Math. 18. (before cited:) If thy brother trespasse against thee, go and tell him his fault betweene thee, and him alone: &c. If he heare thee not, t [...]ke yet with thee one or two witnesses: If he will not vouch­safe to heare them, tell it vnto the Church.

[Page] The Church of Rome to these words of Christ, addeth (praeter causam fidei, but for faith or religions sake:) so that they take away and cut off the meaning of the Gospell, and contradict Christ himselfe, so charitably admonishing, and exhorting. So do they contradict Saint Hierome, Saint Am­brose, and many other holy Fathers, and many times adde and detract from the very words of the holy Scripture: as manifestly appears in that vnchristianlike booke intituled, the Index expurgatorius.

But now to returne to our purpose: The Church of Rome to the words of Christ: saying, This is my body, addeth (for) which Christ neuer pronounced, nor Saint Peter, whatsoe­uerTho. 3. p. q. [...]8 Ar. 2. 5. Thomas affirmeth. And if the Priest pronounce not (for) among the Papists he sinnes hainously. Also the Church of Rome addeth, that the bread of consecration ought to be vnleauened: which precept was neither deliuered by Christ nor his Apostles. The Greeke Priests do vse leauened bread. Therefore it may be said, that if they be various in the mat­ter, there can be no truth found in the forme. For the deter­minate matter, hath her determinate forme; and the deter­minate forme also her determinate matter. But they adde and diminish at their pleasures, contrary to the rules and commandements of God: who saith, You shall not adde to Deut▪ 1. 9. & 12. 32. the word that I speake vnto you, nor take from the same. And moreouer, What I command thee that onely doe, neither adde thou any thing, nor diminish. God reprehends such as are bold and audacious in this behalfe: saying, I protest vnto every Rcu▪ 22. 18▪ man, that heareth the words, &c. If any man shall adde, &c. See how God reproues the bishop of Rome & all his Popish Priests & complices that walk against Gods cōmandemērs; for the word of the Lord endureth: and he himselfe saith,Luke. 21. 33. Heauen & earth shall passe away, but my words shall not passe a­away. Therefore that God, that true and euerlasting God, will send vnto them sodaine ruine and destruction.

Amongst other ceremonies which the Papists do vse, one is after consecration of the bread, to blesse the same bread with the signe of the crosse, and certaine words, &c.

Now I demand of them, if it be lawfull for the creature to [Page] blesse the Creator? For benediction (as Saint Paul saith) is alwaies from the greater to the lesser, The lesser is blessed of Hebr. 7. 7. the greater, as he affirmeth in expresse words. Hebr. 7. 7 For the father giues his blessing to the sons, as Isaac did to Iacob, Gen. 27. 27. 40. 48. 15. and Esau, and Iacob to the sonnes of Ioseph his sonne. And it is commonly obserued, that the father at the very point of death giues his blessing to his sonnes: but the sons (which are the lesser) although they reuerence and honour the fa­ther, do not yet giue him benediction. By which I conclude, that the Papist Priests (as inferiour) ought not to blesse Christ their superiour: and if they do it in their Masse (as they terme it,) they blesse not Christ the Creator, but the bread the creature; and so they worship the creature, not theRom. 1. 25. Creator: as Saint Paul saith, They haue turned the truth of God into a lye, and worshipped and serued the creature much more then the Creator.

Neither ought we to beleeue that Christ is in their hands, when the words are pronounced by them. For many are consecrating the Sacrament at once, and the body of Christ being but one in number, is not in many sacrifices. For the body of Christ is natural, and keepeth a place, and is not gi­uen in many places at one time. But the Papists reply to this, saying; that the body of Christ is there sacramently, notTho. 3. P. q. [...]6. 5 5. totally. But this is a very idle distinction, and a slanderous boldnesse: to say they haue Christ (in that manner) in their hands at the Sacrament. For if (as they confesse) Christ haue a chiefe place in heauen, and yet is in the Sacra­ment with the same really as he is heauen, it would fol­low.

God in times past who was figuratiuely in the Arke, wasExod. 25. 10. Vs (que) ad 25. couered with a Table of gold, and so the Arke was hono­red and had in admiration, that the Priests might with feare come vnto it. For when Vzzah, as the Arke of God was carried out of the house of Abinadab, with a godly zeale2. Sam. 6. [...]6. vs (que) ad 11. put his hand to the Arke, The Lord was very wroth, and smote him in the same place for his fault, and there he died by the Arke. Therefore Dauid that day feared the Lord, and said, How shall [Page] the Arke of the Lord come to me? and durst not bring the Arke of the Lord to himselfe.

If this be so, how dare the Romish Priestes pronounce Christ himselfe with his Diuinity and Humanity to descend into their hands? Or if the true body of Christ were in the sacrifice, or the sacrifice it selfe were the true body of Christ, how comes it that brute beasts haue place there? For many times the flies goes vpon it, and other insensible creatures, as is daily seene and made manifest. And I my selfe often celebrating the Masse, haue seene flies vpon the Sa­crament consecrated, and made holy. Therefore we may not beleeue the true body of Christ to be there. Sometimes also by negligence of the Priests, part of the sacrifices haue fallen vpon the ground, and bene troden vnder foote. And I am a faithfull and true eye witnesse, that in the yeare of our Lord 1595 in a Church, which the Order of the most holy Tri­nity hath at Turol, whereof I was chiefe, a certaine religi­ous man (as they call him) celebrating the Sacrament, tur­ned the chalice vpside downe, and the consecrated wine (as they say) was part sprinckled on the earth, and part shed vpon the Altar. And for these mischaunces there are certaine rules set downe in the Missall of Rome, ordaining punishments to such Priests by whom they happen or be­fall. Also in the Emperours Cathedrall Church of S. Paul, in the yeare of our Lord 1580. the theeues stole away a sil­uer Casket, where the consecrated Sacrifices were vsually kept, and threw the sacrifices themselues vpon the ground and vpon the Altar. In the yeare of our Lord 1586, in the Monastery of S. Sauiour at Fraga, theeues a [...]so tooke a­way the chest where the Sacrifices were kept, and they were throwne vp and downe. Therefore we may not beleeue the body of Christ to be there. For if (as they grant) the bo­dy and bloud remaine vnder those formes, so long as they continue vncorrupt; and if also laid vpon the ground (as is aforesaid) they be vncorrupt, and so are troden vnder foote; then Christ must likewise be troden vnder foote, which is a most grosse absurdity. Sometimes also as I haue [Page] seene) wormes haue bred in those their sacrifices. If then we hold their opinion, it must needs be that they beingendred out of the body of Christ, not out of the bread, because there (as they say) the bread is not. Haec de Accidentibus. Be­cause if by miracle (as they hold) they continue and abide of themselues, then they ought to be kept by miracle without any corruption; for there is no greater reason for the one, then for the other: nor of the body of Christ. Otherwise the body of Christ should change the forme, and the very wormes should partake of the body & bloud of Christ, and from thence haue originall beginning; which is most false and vnworthy. Therefore it is to be said, that nothing is there more then the bread it selfe.

Moreouer, let there be two sacrifices of bread put toge­ther, sod, and made at one time, of one meale, fire, and wa­ter; and let the one be consecrated and made holy, and the other vnconsecrated, and we shall see their corruption to be alike. It therefore followes, that the one hath no more in it then the other, neither is the body of Christ more in the consecrated forme of bread then in that which is vnhallow­ed. Sometimes also poyson (as they say) is put into that Sa­crament, that so men may be bereaft of their liues; as it is read of the Emperour Henry the 7, and of Pope Victor the third, whereof the first losse his life by the Sacrament of bread poysoned by his Consessour: the last, by wine trans­substantiate. Therefore we must conclude, that the body of Christ is not there, or otherwise the body of Christ to be the instrument of sin, and the meanes of euill; which is blas­phemy.

This corporall absence, Christ hath manifestly shewne,Ioh 12. 3 Isa 66. 1. Act. 1. 11. saying, The poore you shall haue alwaies with you, Me you shall not haue alwaies. Christ also speaketh of the absence of his humanity, (for his Diuinity fils both heauen and earth:) in which humanity he shall not come vnto vs till the day of iudgement. Moreouer the Papists affirme, that the matter of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, ought to be deter­minate.

[Page] They are also possessed with many mad imaginations, saying, this is a true Proposition, Out of bread becomes the The. 3. 75. 8. body of Christ. And this also is false: Of bread becomes, or is made, the body of Christ. These are words of exceeding folly and dotage, and are differing and repugnant to themselues, although Thomas expound them supernaturally. In con­uersions also, that which is conuerted is corrupted, and that into which the conuersion is had, is begotten and in­gendred: Thus after their opinion we must say that Christ is so begotten and ingendred; which is an heresie.

The Diuell getteth much, and enlargeth his power and number by the idolatry of the Church of Rome, which he still perswades them to maintaine; and so they will, vntill it shall please God of his infinite goodnesse and mercy to o­pen their eyes, and make their vnderstanding perfect, that they may truly see and reade the booke of God, for they yet liue in error and darknesse. But if they would looke vpon, and heare the booke which Hilkiah the high Priest found in the house of the Lord, they would do as that god­ly king Iosiah did in the 18. yeare of his Monarchy: who as2. Kin. 22. 10. 11. 12. soone as Shaphan the Chancellor had shewed it, and read it to the king, and that he had heard the words of the booke of the Law, he was so moued therewith, that he rent his clothes, and wept before God; and crauing pardon at Gods hands, humbled himselfe, destroyed the idols, and walked according to the will, and word of the Lord.

The fifth cause of his separa­tion. Luk. 1. 36. 1. Pet. 2. 22. I was also much troubled in minde about the power of the Pope, when he doth those things which almighty God neither doth, or can do. For although God be omnipotent, and nothing is vnpossible with him, he yet worketh no sinne or euill, neither is there any guile found in his mouth; nei­ther can he do that which is wrapt or encombred with con­trouersies and contradictions.

But the Pope takes vpon him to do this; for if any come vnto him, and desire the reliques of some Saint, as of Her­molaus, or any other, he will answer that he hath none, be­cause his bones are dispersed: But he takes the bones per­haps [Page] of some reprobate and wicked person, and blesseth them, and baptised in the name of Hermolaus, he deliuereth them to him that makes suite for the same; and then the bones of him are worshipped, whose soule in hell is cruci­ated. And thus it begets scandall and contradiction, that the bones of any wicked or idle persons, are the bones of some Saints or others, at his pleasure.

I obserued the power, couetousnesse and tyranny of the same Pope: I beheld his exceeding pompe and pride, and with these things, and many more of this nature, my minde was much tormented. For seeing Christ is the fulnesse of all grace, in that he endues the Church with spirituall grace and vnderstanding; we ordaine him to be the head thereof,Ioh. 1. 15. Ephes. 1. 22. Colos. 1. 18. with S. Paul, saying: He hath made all things subject vnder his feete, and hath appointed him ouer all things to be the head of the Church. And seeing both Men and Angels are ordained toColos. 2. 10. enioy Gods glory; euen as of men, so also of the Angels he may rightly be called the head. For the mysticall body of the Church doth not onely consist of men but of Angels. But of all this multitude and number Christ is the head, for that his seat is neere vnto God, and doth partake of his gifts not onely more absolutely then men, but more per­fectlyEphes. 1. 21. also then the very Angels: so that from his influ­encePsal. 8. 8. both men and Angels receiue their benefits. As Saint Paul witnesseth, saying: He hath set him at his right hand in the heauenly places, farre aboue all principality, and power, and Ephe. 1. 21. might▪ and domination, and euery name that is named not in this Math. 4. 11. world onely, but also in that that is to come, and hath put all things vnder his feete. And so S. Matthew saith, Behold the Angels came and ministred vnto him. And albeit the Angels themselues lacke faith (Quia non per fidem sed per speciem am­bulant) and the Church is the congregation of the faithfull, neuerthelesse Christ is their head.

There fore besides that diuine wisedome which Christ had from the beginning, he had also a humane knowledgeSexta Synod. (notwithstanding the position ofsuch as deny, that there be two sorts of wisdomes in Christ, which in the sixth Sy­node [Page] Ambr. l. de incar. Dom. [...]ap. 7. is held a thing damnable:) for as S. Ambrose saith, God did assume the perfection of humane nature in the flesh, tooke vp­pon him the sence of man, but not the pride of carnall sensualitie. But to the sence of man appertaineth an humane know­ledge created. Therefore in Christ is giuen that experi­mentallLuk 2. knowledge of which S. Luke speaketh. So did loel prophetically see him taught, saying to the people, Reioyce Ioel. 2. in the Lord your God, for he hath giuen you the raine of righ­teousnesse, &c. And the spouse saith, I will leade thee and bring Cant. 8. 2. thee into my mothers house, and there thou shalt instruct me. And Isaias, I haue giuen him for a Prince, and a maister vnto Isa. 55. 4. the people, comprehending these two things, namely, that he was a Redeemer and a Maister: for whereas he termes him a Prince, he meanes him to be a Redeemer; but calling him Maister, he signifies him an instructer or teacher. Christ therfore is endued with all these sciences, by which mē were instructed by him; as out of Mathew, opening his mouth, he taught his Disciples, and out of Iohn, Iesus ascended in­toMath. 5. Iohn 7. the Temple and taught the people, and as it is written in Luke, They found him sitting in the Temple, &c. By two wayes then he taught the people, that is, by example, andLuk. 2. Act. 1. words. For Iesus began to do, and afterwards to teach, the true and simple doctrine without any kind of commixtion.

Seeing therefore Christ came to teach mankind, and to1. Cor 6. The first cause of his separa­tion from the Romish Church. redeeme them with his most pretious blod, my selfe being one among the rest to be redeemed and taught through his vniuerse and exceeding goodnesse, was at the length called to the true knowledge of his diuine will and pleasure, and by his assistance I began to open the eyes of my vnderstan­ding, and to purge and seclude my selfe from those mists and errors of the Romish Church, by which my minde be­fore was too much caried away and obscured. I obserued againe that from time to time there was a continuall muta­bilitie and various changing of opinions among the Pre­lats: for what was one day receiued and allowed by au­thoritie, was the next day prohibited, and vtterly disa­nulled: as it is plainely to be seene in Indice expurgatorio. [Page] For whatsoeuer seemed to taxe the errors of the Priesthood, the same by commandement of the Inquisitors, and of the Church of Rome, was forthwith razed out and extin­guished.

The second cause of his se­paration. Secondly, because if the Bishops at any time gaue power and authority to any for the preaching of the word of God▪ they did not graunt him free libertie of speech, but prescri­bed him a forme of preaching; as my selfe can witnesse by their Commissions granted to me in that behalfe: which is manifestly knowne to be a thing repugnant to the truth. For as Paul saith, The word of God is not tied or limited: but2. Tim. 2. they limit the same, saying, We giue you authoritie for the preaching of the word of God, so farre forth, as you do it according to the opinions of the holy Fathers, and to the decrees of the most holy Councell of Trent. When as not­withstanding neither the opinions of the Fathers or of the Councels agree amongst them, neither are they alwayes true. But if they do agree, and are true, they are (as is a­foresaid) euery where altered by them and changed. And if according to their iudgements the word of God should be expressed, the truth would sometimes be made more manifest and apparent. But in this they are contrary to them selues, as that most learned man Iohn Caluine hath rightlyIo. Caluin in ini. tio Institut. Ep. ad Regem. Fran. and learnedly set downe. I am an eye witnesse (saith he) of the tyranny of the Bishops, and Inquisitors; for I haue often heard very learned men preach amongst them: but because those things that haue bin preached, were displeasing to the tyrannous Inquisitors and Bishops, the same preachers and learned men haue bene compelled euen in the same Church (and that against their owne consciences) by their com­mandements and authoritie to speake against themselues, and to preach another doctrine, contrary to the truth. For instance whereof, Father Lobo, a famous preacher, whose name is well knowne in Spaine and Italy, at Rome in the be­ginning of Pope Gregory the 13, in his Sermon was heard to vtter these words: It is of more weight and efficacie, and of greater profit and vtility with God, to heare his word, then the [Page] Masse. But the same preacher forthwith by the comman­dement of that great beast (the Pope) was compelled to make his publicke recantation; and yet for all this, he was depriued of his authoritie of preaching, and enioyned to o­ther penances. Let God arise, and iudge his cause, who saith, Ʋiuus est sermo meus, My word is a liuing word; and Dauid (lest he should fall) did place the word of God, A Lanterne vnto his feete: by which also the heauens wereHeb. 2. Psal. 118. 105. Psal. 32. Psal. 108. Luke 15. Idem. Wild 9. Eccles 1. 5. 16. 14. 37. Luke 1117. framed, and which endureth for euer. To heare the same word by which all things were made, and is the fountaine of wisedome, the publicans and sinners assembled them­selues together, and the people preassed vpon Christ to heare the word of God, of which all things were made; for it is the fountaine of wisedome. Ezekiel admonished the sonnes of Ammon, the mountaines of Israel, and the dry bones, to heare the word of the Lord God: by mediation whereof the bones came together, bone to his bone, and behold the synewes and the flesh grew vpon them, and the skinne couered them.

Christ also calleth them happy and blessed, that heare the word of God. What the word of God makes loose and free, that these tyrants do bind and tye to limits and com­passe. When Iohn Baptist was in prison, he preached theMath 1. 1. Eccles 4. 30. same word, which (as the Lord saith) we ought not any way to oppugne or resist.

In the yeare of our Lord 1597. Ʋalentine Cortazer being Inquisitor, the twentieth day of Iune comming to visit the city of Liria, entred the same in his accustomed pompe and vanitie, and did impose vpon me the charge and duty of preaching a Sermon of Faith. And vpon Sonday the 22 day of the same moneth and yeare, Aderat Inquisitor Eccle­siae pro Tribunali, sitting in great maiestie, and (as the man­ner is) Lecto mandato praeceptorum de accusatione, I ascended the place of preaching, and hauing saluted the Inquisitor began my Sermon. After I had past ouer many things in praise and commendation of the Inquisitors and Inquisi­tion, I spake thus to the Auditorie. Remember (deare breth­ren) [Page] and be mindfull of those words which I spake vnto you in Lent time, in a Sermon touching brotherly correction (for two Lents I was their Preacher.) You are bound (as I then told you) euery one of you to correct, and admonish your brother secretly betweene you and him. But if afterLuk. 17. 3. Math▪ 18. 15. 16. 17. Leuit▪ 19. 7. admonishment he continue still in his wickednesse, then tel and acquaint the Church therewith. Yet before brotherly correction you are not tied to denounce him. Marke this well. This I speake vnto you, in the name, and behalfe of the liuing God.

Hauing made an end of my Sermon, I was inuited by the Inquisitor with all kindnesse and courtesie to take my dinner with him; which being ended, he began to fall into commendation of my Sermon, but vtterly to condemne that brotherly admonition, saying, That it is not admitted in matters of faith, with which the Inquisition hath to do, and takes notice of. I replied with the very words of Christ in defence thereof, but was compelled to hold my peace, and the Sonday following constrained to preach of him that they hold and terme accursed, in the presence of the Inquisitor, and lay open his mind and pleasure against Gods word, and to say that brotherly correction had no part or place in such matters, as were contained in the Edict. Do but see, and behold how the word of God is tied, and bound by these people of Antichrist. And this whilest I was one of their number, and company, drew my mind into diuerse and sundry distractions.

Of Transubstantiation.

MY soule also was grieuously troubled about Tran­substantiationThe third cause of his separa­tion. 1. Cor. 11. 26. & per totum cap. of bread and wine into the body and bloud of Christ: for this among other things alwayes see­med vnto me a matter of much difficultie. And Saint Paul teacheth the contrary, speaking of the Lords supper, he al­wayes nameth bread, saying, As aften as you shall eate of this bread, and drinke of this drinke, &c. Againe, Whoso­euer shall eate of this bread, &c. Also by this it followes, that the Pope doth falsly intrude himselfe to be the head of the Church, as is proued by this reason. The Primitiue Church, and that which flourished for many yeares, knew no other head but Christ, nor had any vniuersall Bishop. But the Primitiue Church (euen according to the opinion of the Papists) was the true Church: Therefore the true Church ought to knowe or acknowledge no head but Christ, nor any vniuersall Bishop. It is also thus proued by authority.

Gregory Bishop of Rome wrote against Iohn Patriarch of Constantinople, saying: He that shall name himselfe the vniuersall Bishop, may be called the forerunner of Anti­christ. And the Councell of Carthage forbiddeth the Bi­shop of Rome to be called the vniuersall Bishop (as Gra­tianus witnesseth) in these words: But now, no not the Bi­shop of Rome may be called vniuersall. What should I speake of the Synode of Chalcedon? whose arguments are so many and so euident against the Sea of Rome, that the same must either needs fal from her high pride and dignity, or the whole authority of her Councell be vtterly suppres­sed; as here manifestly appeares, in that the same Synode is held and celebrated, onely by the Emperors command, without either the presence, or authoritie of the Bishop of Rome: as in those times euen vnto the yeare of our Lord 900 (as Cusanus witnesseth) their Councels were not vsu­all to be assembled but by the direction of Caesar. And [Page] Pope Leo (as Thomas affirmeth) following the same cu­stome,The. 3. 2. 67. ar. 1. ad. 1. submitted himselfe to the opinion and iudgement of the Emperour.

Christ the true Bishop, as in this world he took vpon himMath. 18. 4. Idem 20. 26. Marke 10. 43. Luke 22. 25. no person of state, so he appointed no dominion or Empire among his Apostles, but with graue words pacified them (muttering somewhat among themselues of principality) so that he drew their thoughts and cogitations vnto ano­ther forme of life farre differing from the Princes of this world; and openly affirmed, that such as would be the first, and greatest in the kingdome of heauen, must humbleIohn 13. 15. Luke 22. 26. themselues amongst men. And whosoeuer will be great a­mong you, let him be your seruant. Christ euer taught and exer­cised humility, saying, I haue left you an example, euen as I do, so also do you.

Christ had not where to lay his head, and will not one Pallace suffice the Bishop of Rome? Christ refused the con­dition of Regall dignity, being offered, and will not one Crowne content the Bishop of Rome? Is it not enough that he possesseth Italy, vnlesse with his triple Crowne he com­mand the world? Christ departed away into a mountaine himselfe alone, that they should not make him a king, de­claringIohn 6. 15. 18. 46. his kingdome not to be of this world. And shall this glorious Vicar, in the name of Christ, with such honor and superfluity possesse his kingdome in this world? Or shall he thinke men will continue so besotted, and misca­ried in this difference, and vnlikelinesse of things, as to be perswaded that he beares the place and office of Christ here vpon earth, or rather not of Antichrist?

Boniface the third was the first that tooke vpon him the name of vniuersall Bishop, about the yeare 600; which name was neither giuen him by Christ, nor from heauen, but by that tyrant and parricide Phocas the Emperour. From that troublesome fountaine did arise the great floud of Papistrie, and that proud name had first beginning. And yet in those dayes the Popes did not, as now they do, pre­sently ascend to the top and height of dignity, but by de­grees [Page] did steale into rule and dominion. For Boniface the 8Plat. in his Pon [...] after he had by cunning and sedition crept into the Papall place, made Emperours and Kings to feare him, going a­bout to depose, and raise vp to authoritie, whom he plea­sed. So he thought himselfe both King and Emperour: in so much as when the Iubilee was first granted, he shewed himselfe openly the first day to the people, attired in his Pontificall vestments; and the day following in his armor, and coate of male; and in the presence of all the people with a loude voyce he commanded himselfe to be proclaimed Caesar. Which vanity Baldus Antoninus Arch-bishop of Florence, Salo, and many others, doe maintaine by their false doctrine, saying▪ that Emperours and Kings are but the Popes substitutes, and that the Bishops of Rome had both the power of spirituall and temporall gouerne­ment.

They ground their false opiniō vpon the power of Christ, which power they pretend to haue as his Vicars: for Christ saith, All power is giuen vnto me, both in heauen and in earth: Math. 28. 18. Ioh. 17. 2. Hebr. 2 8. Ezec. 37 22. Ioh. 18. 33. Math. 2. 2. Mar. 15. 26. and so by consequence, both the swords: for he is named King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and in diuers places of the Scripture is called King and Emperour. Ezechiel giues him both names, and the Magicians and Pilate call him King.

But I demand this of these Antichrists; that if they imi­tate Christ in this, why they do not follow him in humility? For although Christ had the power of rule and command, yet he in respect of his humility vsed them not, but rather affirmed his kingdome not to be of this world. But if the Pope do not imitate Christ, he is not his Minister, his Vicar, nor successour. As the lewes boasted before Christ, that they were of the seed of Abraham, so the Pope glories in the suc­cession of Christ, and of Peter. But the same answere that Christ giues vnto the Iewes, he giues also to the Pope▪ as you may read in Iohn 8. Chap. the 37 verse, to the very endIoh. 8. 37. of the same Chapter.

But the Pope saith, they are called the Seruants of ser­uants, and so named for their humility. So that may suffice. [Page] To this I answere, that vnder a faire shew lye hid foule intēts. He carries the name of humility, but his deedes are cleane contrary. Is he the seruant of seruants, that holdeth his foote forth for Kings and Emperous to kisse, and do reue­rence to? Is he the seruant of seruants, that is carried vpon mens shoulders? Is he the seruant of seruants that makes such daily boast of his kingdome and authority? Is he the seruant [...]. Decret. Greg. tit. 7. can. Lib. 1. decret Greg. tit. 33. of seruants, that saith he hath authority from heauen, and the fulnesse of power to make iustice of iniustice? Is he the seruant of seruants, that saith he is like vnto the Sun, and the Emperour like the Moone? No, but he is rather to be called an Harpy crowned, or a deuouring Hiena, that vnder a faigned shew of humility, worketh death and cruelty.

Sedition and controuersy oftentimes troubles the minds of such as aspire vnto that vaine dignity, and contend for the Papall seat and authority and the place in which stands much scandall, when schismes, and deuisions arise in the Church, in the very act of election.

Many times this fals out, for proofe whereof reade Plato Plat. & Illescas in vitis Pa [...]r. and Illescas in the History of the Bishops.

If then the election of this present Pope, Clement the 8. be diligently examined, it was in like manner very irregu­lar, & the people did much murmure at it. By reason where­of (vnlesse I be deceiued) the Diuines are very doubtfull concerning his election, For at Vall-Solet. a (place where the king of Spaines Court is) in the yeare of our Lord 1602. Theses Theologicae apparuerunt, teaching Pope Clement the 8. not to be held a true Bishop, which doctrine (amongst ma­ny other) father Bazquez maintained, being one of the so­ciety of the Iesuits: which comming straight way to the eares of the Bishop, he caused both him and them to be pre­sently called beforehim.

And because amongst many other reasons that haue mo­ued me to this separation from the Church of Rome, this of the vsurped power of the Pope hath of long time bene the chiefest, I thought it my part to say something of his [Page] tyranny, & of his name and hypocrisy.

But for that this little labour hath bene onely vndertaken by me to satisfie mine owne minde, and to make some de­claration thereof vnto others; lest I should be tedious and troublesome to the Readers, I will for this time pretermit the further handling of these things, yet (God willing) in their place and time shall they be particularly expressed more at large; imitating the doctrine of Saint Paul, who after his owne conuersion did conuert his brethren; which Christ also our heauenly Schoolmaister doth teach vs: say­ing to Peter: Now thou art at length conuerted, strengthen thy brethren. And I my selfe conuerted, am bound in duty to do the same, yet in the meane time reade Doctour Caluin, li. 4. Institut. Cap. 6 7. & 11. Cal. cap. 6. 7. 11.

Of Purgatory, and the Sacraments.

INsomuch as I am now determined to imbrace the truth of the reformed Church, I do with stedfast reso­lution,The 6. cause of his separation looke into the sentences thereof, being consonant and agreeable vnto the Gospell of Christ; lest the words of the Lawyers may be inferred against me, who hold this opinion, That it is a foule & dishonorable thing for a­ny that liues in the common-wealth, to be ignorant of that law, in which he is conuersant. And so there is no other Church allowed of more then the Church militant and tri­umphant: But amongst the Papists Purgatory is ordained, the third Church, which I vtterly deny and abiure. For (as Saint Paul saith) Christ is the purger of our sinnes, and sitteth at the right hand of the Maiestie in the highest Hebr. 1. 3. places.

Besides hell and heauen, there is no middle place found in the holy Scriptures, where our soules should rest, or be detained. The opinion which the Papists hold of Veniall sinnes, and the ceremonies, by which the same is absolued, I wholly disalow, as vile, and excreable; nor is there any other then mortall sinne, which is onely washed away [Page] Heb. 9. 14. Ephe. 1. 7. by true contrition of heart, by the mercy of God, and the shedding of the bloud of Christ; as Saint Paul saith. The Sacrament also of extreme vnction, by mediation of which (as the Papists dreame) the reliques of sinnes mortall are taken away, is a very idle, and ridiculous matter, and no Sa­crament. For if it were a Sacramēt, the redemptiō of Christ were imperfect, and in vaine; which is against the truth ofPsal. 116. 5. 6. Gods word, which saith The Lord is mercifull, and righte­ous: and our God is full of compassion. The Lord preserueth the simple: I was in misery and he sauedme. I reiect also the Sa­crament of Confirmation, and the rest which the Pope hath ordained, and onely reuerence and embrace the Sacraments of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper, instituted by our Sa­uiour. By this I am instructed in the rules of Christ, and by this I am more and more strengthened, and confirmed in him.

Of Auricular confession.

AVricular confession, (which the Papists call the Sacra­ment of Penitence) is very foolish. For this tyranni­call confession, is neither found in the law of nature, nor in the Law of God: but in the diuell and the Popes kitchin, to increase their fare, and delicacies. Neither did the ApostlesCal. lib. 3. Cap. 4. Chrysoft. teach the same, or Saint Iohn Baptist: as Caluin directly pro­ueth. And Chrysostome also maintaineth: whose words (Con. 3. t. 2. Pag. 1371.) are these: Why dost thou blush and art asha­med to tell thy sinnes? Take heed thou reueale them not to any man, lest he vpbraid thee; nether confesse them to thy fellow ser­uant, lest he publish them: but vnto him which is the Lord, who hath care and charge ouer thee. And againe, Tell thy faults on­ly vnto me priuately, (God here speaketh,) that I may heale thy disease, and deliuer thee from sorrow. Which words (be­cause they are repugnant and contrary to that great beast) are by the commandement of the Inquisitors taken away and blotted out in the booke, called Index expurgatorius.

Many in the same manner of confession haue reuealed [Page] their sins willingly to their Confessours, and the Confessour to the Iudges, and others.

A certaine Bishop of Girona in the time of Iames the se­cond king of Arragon (being his Confessour) reuealed his confession to the Pope, and the king forthwith cut out his tongue. I my selfe can faithfully witnesse, that being many times present at the talke & communication of Confessours, they haue so foolishly behaued themselues, and so openly in their talke reuealed the sinnes that haue bene confest vnto them priuately by the penitents; that their names and per­sons haue easily become knowne to me, and perhaps to ma­ny others, that haue heard the conference. And although there be diuers lawes ordained by the Pope to punish Con­fessours thus offending; they yet commit this crime of re­uelation, and (which is worse) without a summe of money, the Penitents haue no grant of absolution, as appeares in the bookes of Taxes, &c. By which feare, many euen in the very act of confession do conceale the truth, till they be compelled to confesse the same. I could speake much of this matter, and point it out with my very fingar, but I will obserue my oath, and with good aduice forbeare to re­late it.

In this matter of auricular confession, the Confessours are wont to seduce, and auert the minds and affections of women from God, and to turne and conuert them to their owne lusts and filthinesse. To proue this true, I present (as witnesses) those Confessours that haue bene punished by iudgement of the Inquisition, for such abhorred and abho­minable wickednesse; and such as haue bene adiuged to punishment, and by sentence of the Prelats and others, for being found guilty of the like misdemeanours. For by au­ricular confession, many monstrous enormities arise, and are begotten.

To auoid the imputation of tedioulnesse, I will not con­tinue to make any longer discourse, or discouery of the er­rours of the Church of Rome. But with all my heart, with [Page] all my minde, and with all my soule, I reuerence and con­fesse all things whatsoeuer our new reformed Church doth allow and embrace. And if any of the Church of Rome, shall vpbraide me that I haue falsely and perfidiously fallenAmb▪ Ca 9. in Lucan, lib. 6. from the same.; I answere with Saint Ambrose, In leauing it I forsake not Christ: Him onely no man ought to forsake, or change: to whom it is worthily said, Lord to whom shall we flie? Thou hast the words of euerlasting life. For the faith of the Church is commanded chiefly to be sought for, in which if Christ haue habitatiō, it may vndoubtedly be cho­sen and followed: But if the people be perfidious, and the maister an heretique, and deforme and dissigure the dwel­ling place; the fellowship and communion of such here­tiques is to be abandoned, and such a Synagogue to be a­uoided. We must shake off the dust from our feete, lest the drought of our barren vnfaithfulnesse prepare and make the way sandy, and hard to the true progresse and passage of our mindes and vnderstandings. So if there be any Church (as he saith afterward) that renounceth the true faith, and doth not keepe and obserue the foundation, and ground of the Apostles preaching, it is to be left and forsa­ken▪ that it beget not the corruption of vntruth.

Seeing then I haue found Christ onely, and his doctrine dwelling in the reformed Church, and haue seene that erro­nious teachers do deforme & disgrace the habitation of the Church of Rome; I haue deseruedly left the one, that I may cleaue to & embrace the other: & that according to the com­mandementEph. 5. 10. &. 1▪ ca. 5. 11. & 10. of the Apostle: saying, Do not company together with idolaters. And againe: Haue no fellowship with the vnfruit­full workes of darkenesse, but euen reproue the rather. And what more vnfruitfull worke is there, then to embrace false do­ctrine, and heresie? In another place: We command you a. Thes. 5. 6. brethren, in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that ye withdraw your selues from euery brother that walketh inordinately, and notTit. 2. 10. 11.after the instruction which he receiued from vs. And to Titus, Reiect him that is an heretique, after once or twice admonition. And the Apostle moreouer saith thus. If any preach the Gos­pell [Page] vnto you otherwise then you haue heard and receiued it, let Gal. 1▪ 8. him be accursed. And a little before that: Although any, yea an Angell from heauen should teach you any other doctrine then that we haue preached vnto you, let him be accursed. But I will no longer stay vpon those places of the Prophets, wherein the people is oftentimes exhorted to leaue, and go out of Ba­bylon, which I know the Church of Rome both imitates and followes.

Let it not be obiected vnto me by any aduersary, that I haue denyed my baptisme by which I am consecrated to al­mighty God: for I onely renonunce the vaine ceremonies vsed therein by the Bishops, without authority of holy Scriptures. The vertue whereof I know to depend on God, & not in man that administers the same vnto me. Seeing thē it is the part of a louing mother, not onely to bring vp her children in the obedience and feare of God, but to instruct them also, and nurse them vp with the food of his heauenly word▪ and so vnite them to Christ: as I haue bene conse­crated to God by baptisme in the Church of Rome, so in the same I haue bene seduced from Christ by humane inuen­tions. I haue therefore worthily, and of right, made choice of that Church, in which the true baptisme is sincerely ad­ministred, and the sound doctrine thereof is faithfully de­liuered to such as are baptised, through the whole course of their liues. Besides I perswade my selfe (and that truely) that I am more deepely bound to God the Father, God the Son, and God the holy Ghost, (being three Persons yet onely God) then the Church of Rome, which hath forsaken and rebelled against that faith which the Apostles in times past so highly commended in her, and against whom that im­putation of reproach may worthily be had, which was once laid vpon the Church of the Iewes in these words: And their Ezech. 23. 31. sonnes whom they beare vnto me, they haue offered to Idols, to be deuoured. And againe in the same Prophet: They haue play­ed the whores, and bloud is in their handes, and with their idols haue they committed adultery And what is it else to commēd the inuocation of soules? the adoration of images? the ob­seruation [Page] of Purgatory? and of Pardons? They glorie of the workes of Supererogation, the rules and examples of men that are sinners: as Francis, Dominicke, Bruno, Celestine, Ignatius, Loyola, and others, and especially to thurst yong men and women against their wils into a monastery? What is this else (as I say) but to be consecrated to idols, and to su­perstitiousIdem 16. 20. 2. Cor. 6. 17. Apoc. 18. 4. Isa. 52. 11. worshipping, and in the end to the deuill him­selfe, and damnation?

And because (as it is well knowne vnto me) the Papists thinke we walke not after the right decrees and determina­tions of the true Church, neither beleeue those things, which are to be beleeued: I will therefore, seeing (as God hath commanded) I am separated and come from among them, relate those things, which we faithfully hold andRom. 1. 16. imbrace: For as Paul saith, I am not ashamed of the Gospell of Christ, for it is the power of God vnto saluation to euery one that beleeueth. Before all things we beleeue in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heauen and earth, and in his Word, begotten of the Father; and in the holy Ghost, pro­ceeding from them both, to whom their due and distinct properties are to be attributed: in which (according to Essence) we neither separate the Sonne, nor the holy Ghost from the Father: nor (contrary to the opinion of the Ma­nicheys) diuide the Father from the Sonne, or from the ho­lyAug. in Manich. Ghost: but we beleeue that they haue one vnity of Essence, and Trinitie of Persons, without any confusion.

Which vnitie and trinitie (as Hilary, Ambrose, and manyHil. 1. lib. Trin. P. 5. à principio. Amb. lib. 1. ad Grat▪ ca. 5. 7. an­temedium. others teach) cannot perfectly be comprehended by natu­rall reason; but is apprehēded by faith, as many other hiddē mysteries of God, of which S. Paul speaketh: Oh the deepnesse of the riches both of the wisedome and knowledge of God. How vnsearchable are his iudgements, and his wayes past finding out? All honor be giuen to the blessed Trinity, being one God, and to whom is equall glory in three Persons, contrary to the opinion of Arrius, that blasphemously takes away theLeg. disput. Atha. & Artij in con. Ni [...]. equality of Persons, holding the Sonne to be inferior, and the holy Ghost to be seruant to God the Father.

Of Christ the Sonne.

Ioh. 3. 17. & 4. 25▪ Act. 3. 19. Hebr. 2. 19. Gen. 1. 1. Ioh. 1. 3. 1. Col. 16. Pro. 8. 22. Apoe. 3. 14. Psal. 32. 9. Ioh. 3. 4. Luk. 2. 11. Idem. in eod. Mat. 3. 5. Luke 3▪ Acts 10. Ioh. 11. 1. S. Hierome lib. contra. Helui. de perpe. virgi. Mar. Amb. sup. Luc. li. 2. ca. 1. S. Aug. in Serm. 14. de nat. Do. S. Tho. 3. p. q. 28. ar. 1. 2. 3. 4. 1. Tim. 6. Acts 3. 13. Rom. 4. Phil. 2. Ephe. 4. Acts 2. Apoc. 1. Acts 13. Ioh. 10. 18. Rom. 8. 11. Acts 2. 24. Mar. 16. 19. Luke 24. 51. Psal. 109. 1. Ephe. 4. 9. Luke 21. 21. Ma.. 25. 31. Rom. 2. 6. Apoc. 22. 12. VVE beleeue in Iesus Christ, his onely begotten Sonne, the Redeemer and Mediator of man­kind: through whom in the holy Ghost he created all things in the beginning; not that he redeemed mankind without the Father, which sent his Sonne to be the Redee­mer of the world; or without the holy Ghost, by whom man is conceiued and annointed: but because the only per­son of the Sonne tooke vpon him humane nature, and by his death and passion payd the price of our redemption; and is but one person (contrary to the opinion of Nestorius, that maintained two.) We beleeue also that Christ was borne of the virgine Mary, according to humane nature it selfe, by the inspiration of the holy Ghost; and we beleeue (with the Catholicke Church) that she was a virgin before the birth, in the birth, and after the birth, against Heluidius, whom S. Hierome vtterly disallowes, so doth S. Ambrose, S. Augustine and S. Thomas.

We beleeue also that Christ our Lord, suffered vnder Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, and descen­ded into hell, and the third day rose againe: not by ano­thers meanes, as Lazarus, and others, but by his owne pro­per power and vertue; because he was God, which accor­ding to Diuinitie was cause of his resurrection, as Iohn saith: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it downe of my selfe. I haue power to lay it downe, and haue power to take it againe.

We confesse also that he ascended into heauen, & sate at the right hand of his Almighty Father, which ascension Christ made not according to his diuine nature (which was neuer out of heauen) but as he was man, for so he entred in­to heauen, and by his owne power ascended.

We confesse further, that with great Maiestie and glory he shall come to iudge both the quicke and the dead: and to reward euery man according to his workes: which are all matters of faith, and to be beleeued, and are taught in the reformed Church. With true faith we imbrace the Apostolicke Creed, the Creed of Nice, and Athanasius: And so to that Church, whose confession I find to be agree­ing [Page] and conformable to the holy Scriptures, I wholly yeeld and subscribe vnto.

But lest any man should thinke, that either for want, and necessitie, or for any horrible offence committed, and so for feare of punishment, I haue left, and separated my selfe from the Church of Rome, I will make short repetition of what hath befallen vnto me, through the whole course of my life, euen from my infancie: not led by ostentation, or vaine glory, but that in remembring thē, I may be the more drawne to giue humble and hearty thankes vnto almightie God, who hath had such pity and compassion on me.

I was borne at Caesar Augusta (which is the chiefest place of the kingdome of Arragon.) The day before the Calends of February, at two of the clocke in the afternoone, and in the yeare of our Lord 1567. of honorable parentage both by father and mother, as is well knowne in my countrey, and by Gods prouidence without any impediments or de­fects of nature: I was baptized in the parish Church of Saint Giles, and confirmed by that excellent Prince Ferdinand Viceroy of Arragon, and Arch-bishop of Caesar Augusta. From my infancy with my parents great care and industry I was trained vp in the doctrine and religion of the Church of Rome, and with my yeares my knowledge thereof was much increased, and I did reuerence the same with such ho­nour and ardency, as no other religion appeared vnto me so profitable or pleasing.

My father departed out of this life when I was but 16 yeares of age; but my mother as she was carefull I should be brought vp and instructed after the customes of the Ro­mish Church (for she was full of zeale and deuotion,) so was I taught Musicke and Military discipline, and other exercises of body, to my age best fitting and agreeable. I was still sollicitous to reade bookes of Christian Religion, and to take counsell and be conuersant with such men as seemed to me to be honest, and learned: So that desire of further knowledge daily increased in me. The respect therefore of all temporall goods being laid aside, I wholly [Page] applied my selfe to be in the number and societie of them, whom they of Rome call and account Religious: and con­trary to my mothers minde, or the good will of my bre­thren and kinsfolkes, I followed the Religion of S. Francis, and with all alacrity and willingnesse of heart, I entred the Monastery of Iesus. Which when my mother heard of, she was moued with much sorrow, and both by her words and deeds shewed that I had greatly displeased her. Yet she lo­ued me dearly, & alwaies hoped of me to be a refuge & suc­cour to her age. Hauing therefore takē coūsell, accompanied with a Noble woman (her sisters daughter) she came to the Couēt, with an intent to alter my purpose, & both of themAd conuentumm laboured byall that prayers or intreaties, or faire promises, might effect, to draw me frō that vndertakē resolution. But I was so constant in my deuotion of that Monasticke life, as neither my mothers lamentations, or large gifts proffered vnto me, could work alteration of my mind. So for that time she departed, but vpon further counsell and aduice taken, she came thither againe with a great troupe attending her, with purpose in deed to haue taken me away by force and violence. Which when I and the religious men of the Mo­nastery perceiued, we hindred their determinations, so as my mother by no meanes could obtaine her purpose. But she tooke it so grieuously, that for the space of many dayes she fell into an extreme phrensie.

Hauing recouered her health and senses againe, she still continued her meanes and deuices to change my mind, and vsed the same almost a whole yeare, so that at length she compelled me to forsake the Monasterie. Neuerthelesse I promised such as I left behind me, to returne againe with what speed I might possibly. But I became somewhat for­getfull of my promise, by reason that at that time, my coun­trey presented vnto me many obiects of pleasure and dele­ctation. For there were great triumphs and solemnities for the celebration of the mariage of Katherine daughter to king Philip the second, with Charles Duke of Sabaud: with which my mind was much caried away and distracted.

[Page] But my former purpose and my continued deuotion vr­ging me, I performed my promise, and with great ioy of those Religious men that expected me, I returned backe to the Monastery, where I liued a while in much gladnesse and contentment. But after a certaine time I left the Mo­nastery againe, by some occasion of businesse, and retai­ning my first religious purpose, I be tooke my selfe to the Religion of the holy Trinity, and was receiued in the Con­uent of Caesar Augusta in the yeare of our Lord 1585. I made choice of this Order, for the singular deuotion there­of. The Prelate and other religious men of the same Mo­nasterie for many causes were desirous of my continuance amongst them. I therefore began to apply my studies to humanity, till at Valence by the diligence of my Tutor, and my owne great labour, I attained to some perfection of Lo­gicke and Philosophy. Afterwards I was sent to that fa­mous vniuersitie of Illerd: where I wholly dedicated my selfe to Diuinitie, and hauing passed the seuerall termes and courses of Disputations, Exercises, and Lectures, I was commended to be one of the best in Theologie. For which I gaue God hearty thankes: for these beginnings broughtme in the end to know those things which my soule euer thirsted after.

These foundations layd, I was so well esteemed of, that I was called to the Ministery, contrary to their owne orders and institutions, which forbid any man that dignity vnder the age of 33 yeares. But the Prouinciall did willingly dispence with me, and so I was made Minister of the Mona­stery of Liria: About three yeares after, I was made Mini­ster of another monastery of higher dignitie, called Nue­stra senora de las sogas, in which time by occasion of some contrary occurrents that befell concerning our Order, by certaine learned Prelats, and very great men, I was chosen Embassadour to the Reuerend Generall of our Order, abi­ding then at Paris: which I discharged, by Gods assistance, though with great danger of my life. After I had obtained the presence of our Generall, he lent such attention to the [Page] complaints deliuered by me, that he dispatcht me with ex­pedition and order for such as were troublesome and igno­rant of obedience: and gaue me full power, and orders, for the reading of Diuinity.

Graced with all these titles, and additions of dignity, and preferment, I returned againe into Spaine: But I had not long stayed there, when vpon instance of other weigh­ty occasions that concerned our Order, I was sent againe to the Generall, with two other graue Ministers in my com­pany. Him I found so kind, and louing, and so respectiue of me, that whatsoeuer belonged to the gouernment of the Prouince, I obtained at his hands. He created me at that time both Maister and Doctor (which with vs is a matter of much honour and commodity.) But after my returne into the Prouince (which containes vnder it the kingdomes of Arragon, Valence, Catalonia, and Mallorica) by comman­dement which I had receiued from the Generall, there was a Conuocation had for the election of the Prouinciall; and the choice fell to M. Stephen Bertiz, a Noble man, of verie great learning, and my especiall good friend. He for the loue he bare me, made me chiefe Secretary of the Prouince. A little while after the religious men of our Monastery of Dertasa, made me Minister (which in the Order of the holy Trinitie, is as high a place as theirs is, who in the orders of other monasteries are called Priors, Wardens, Abbots, Prelates, &c.) and created me also the chiefe of the house. That I might not seeme vnthankfull, I tooke vpon me that charge, and in the Colledge of the same City I was made Doctor. Afterwards (vnknowne to me) both by the Church and Citizens of Vernauen, farre enough distant from my house, I had the charge giuen me of their Church, and of the preaching of the Lent sermons. And that I might wholly consecrate my selfe to preaching and reading, and not be hindered by any other care of rule or gouernment, (which is much contrary to the profession of learning) I left the monastery of Dert, and resigned my office of ministery.

In the monastery also of Valence, which is the chiefest [Page] monastery of all the Prouince, where are resident to the number of 50 Preachers, Doctors of Diuinity, and others most approued men for learning, there was an assembly had for the election of one that should be Minister & Head of that monasterie; and the 26 day of April, in the yeare 1601, that lot fell to my share. So consequently all the goods & riches of the monastery were put into my hands and posses­sion, as well of siluer and gold-plate, as of other precious ornaments, treasure, and sums of money, with which the same monastery is richly furnished: For it hath yearely to be laid forth and distributed by the Minister 4000 crownes a yeare. In the time that I was Minister of Valence, I was of­ten created visitor of the houses, and with the fulnesse of power made Vicar Prouincial of all the foure kingdomes. And lastly, the 8 day of Nouember in the yeare 1602, with generall and Apostolique power was constituted visitor of certaine monasteries within the limits of the Prouince. I was greatly beloued of the Generall, and other Prelats and Re­ligious men of that Order which in times past I professed, and was well accepted with Ecclesiastical gouernors.

Gal. 6▪ 14. But as S. Paul saith, God forbid that I should reioyce but in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified vnto me, and I vnto the world. In the knowledge wherof, & in the glory of the crosse of Christ, I would not delay, but pay my first fruits vnto the Lord, who saith, Thou shalt not be Exod. 22. 29. slacke to pay thy first fruits. Which is nothing else, but to a­uert and turne from the way of wickednesse, and to follow and imbrace the way of the Lord.

If for this alteratiō of my estate, I should make any recko­ning of this world: alas, how many shold I see to rise against me▪ my friends are become my enimies, my kinsfolks stran­gers, all leaue and forsake me, all dispise me, and call me heretique: but I will answer with the Prophet Dauid, My Psal 26. 10. father and mother haue for saken me, but the Lord hath taken me vp. I will not striue to please them, as Paul saith, If I should Gal. 1. 10. yet please men, I were not the seruant of Christ. I had rather displease men, then follow lies and vntruths with them, see­ing [Page] the Prophet Dauid doth encourage vs, saying: O yee Psal. 4. 3▪ sonnes of men, how long will ye turne my glory into shame, louing vanitie, and seeking lies? I now desire to continue in this truth, that the curse of God may not be laid vpon me, who saith, Cursed is euery man, that continueth not in all things, which are Gal. 3. 10. written in the booke of the Law, to do them: And so with the Prophet, I rather chuse to be an abiect in the house of my God, where his Gospell is sincerely taught, then to dwell in the ta­bennacle of sinners, where the Gospell is obscured, and madePsal▪ 83. 11. darke with fables, and false interpretations.

For euen as the sundry and various expositions of the law make the law doubtfull and obscure; so the Gospell is darke, and made intricate by many intepretations. I now therefore loue, and imbrace the truth. Now God hath made me partaker of his goodnesse, and his passion was not in vaine for me. Now hath his goodnes extended it selfe to cō ­municate those things vnto me, as were determined for me in the beginning. In times past I was Saul, a persecutor ofAct. 11. 2. the true Church; & as he went about to destroy the true do­ctrine of Christ, so did I likewise both in my priuate & pub­lick Sermons & Exercises endeuor to put downe & annihi­late that sound doctrine of the true reformed Church. But now through the infinite mercy of God, I haue (as Saul did) fallen to the earth; and as he at Damascus, so haue I at Ru­pell found Ananias, who hath taught me what to do, and remoued the scales from mine eyes that hindred my sight and vnderstanding.

I looke to be persecuted, and expect false censures and iudgements to be passed vpon me: but what do I respect them? Did not Aaron speake against his brother Moses? Num. 21. 1. And did not God himselfe admonish Hieremiah to take heed of his kinsfolkes, saying: For euen thy brethren, and the Hierem▪ 12. 6. Acts 11. 3. house of thy father shall deate vnfaithfully with thee? Did not Peters friends also contend against him, because he went in to men vncircumcised, and did eate with them? So (me thinkes) I see how they contend and cry out against me. [...] God, who (as Dauid saith) is the father and helper of [Page] orphanes and fatherlesse, will not rest to defend and pro­tect me. Oh my Lord God, of whom the Prophet hath said, that thou wilt saue, & preserue them, that put their trust in thee, My whole hope and confidence is in thee, & I stand in need of thy aid and defence. Be vnto me (oh Lord) as a shield, and buckler against those roaring Lyons that go about toExod. 14▪ 30. & 15. 4. Dan. 13. 63. & 14. 39. deuoure me. And as thou didst deliuer Moses out of the hand of Pharaoh, Susanna from false iudgement, and Daniel from the Lyons denne: so deliuer me from their hands. Giue vnto my soule the grace and gift of perseuerance; and grant that they who are yet blind may haue their eyes ope­ned, and at length attaine to the knowledge and wisedome of the truth, made knowne in thy Gospell. In respect of thee (oh my God) I make account of nothing: I leaue and forsake all things▪ and hope not for any thing but thy glo­ry. The honours which I had in mine owne countrey, I vt­terly despise; the dignity which I haue hitherto possessed, I am quite forgetfull of; and forgo my quondam Prouinciall, who ordained me to be his successour. My friends and all my kindred for thee I contemne, and willingly reiect for euer.

Phi. 3. 7. For those things that were aduantage vnto me, the same I account losse for Christs sake, and do iudge them to be dung: that I might win Christ, and be found in him, with S Paul. And I will follow the true doctrine of Christ: saying, If any manLuke 41. 26. Math▪ 10. 37. come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his owne life also, hee cannot be my Disciple.

I confesse vnto thee my Lord and my King, and I giue praise vnto thee my God, and Sauiour▪ for that thou hast de­liuered me from perdition, and from the tongues of them that speake lyes. Be a succour vnto me, and a tower of de­fence in the face of mine enimies, that I may constantly a­bide the slaunders and backbitings, wherewith I know they swarme and are full. Wherefore oh most merciful God and louing Father, who in the multitude of thy mer­cies dost put out of thy remembrance the sins and iniqui­ties [Page] of such as confesse vnto thee▪ by the grant of thy pardō make void the imputation of all former offences. Looke fauourably vpon thy seruant, and giue vnto me that with true confession, and contrition of heart, begge remission of my sins. Refresh and renew in me (oh Father) whatsoeuer the diuelish fraud and deceipt of the Church of Rome hath distained and corrupted; and win a member of thy redemp­tion, to the body and vnity of the true reformed Church.

We the Pastours, Seniours, and Deacons of the Church of Rochel, whose names are here vnderwritten, do witnesse and make it knowne, that Martin Bartox hath made a sum­mary confession of our faith, and publickely discouered▪ & vtterly renounced the errours of the Romish Church, be­fore a great company of Gods faithfull seruants, being then present, reioycing and congratulating his conuersion: we witnesse further, that we haue seene and heard to be perfor­med, whatsoeuer is herein made mention of, or set forth. From this Citty of Rochel:

  • Pa­stors
    • I. Merlnius
    • H. Colomozius
    • S. Loumaeus
    • L. Cerclerus
  • Seni­ors.
    • Chalmotius
    • Cl. Heralts
    • I. Farnoulius
    • I Bodierus
    • I. Dournes
    • Durantius.
  • Deacons.
    • I. Agre­stsns.
    • A. Ma­quinus
FINIS.

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