An Apologie or answere in defence of the Churche of Englande, with a briefe and plaine declaration of the true Religion professed and vsed in the same.

Londini, Anno Domini M. D. LXIIII.

To the right honorable learned and vertuous Ladie A. B, M. C. wisheth from God grace, honoure, and felicitie.

MADAME, ACCORDING to your request I haue p [...]ru­sed your studious labour of trāslatiō profitably imploied in a right cōmendable work. Whereof for that it liked you to make me a Iudge, and for that the thinge it selfe hath singularly pleased my iudgement, and de­lighted my mind in reading it, I haue right heartely to thanke your Ladi [...]ship, both for youre owne well thinking of me, and for the comforte that it hathe wrought me. But far aboue these priuate respectes, I am by grea­ter causes enforced, not onely to shewe my reioyse of this your doinge, but also to testi­fy the same by this my writing prefixed be­fore the work, to the commoditie of others, and good incouragement of your selfe. You haue vsed your accustomed modestie in sub­mittinge it to iudgement, but therin is your [Page] prayse doubled, sith it hath passed iudgemēt without reproche. And whereas bothe the chiefe author of the Latine worke and I, se­uerallye perusinge and conferringe youre whole translation, haue without alteration allowed of it, I must bothe desire youre La­diship, and aduertise the readers, to thinke that wee haue not therein giuen any thinge to any dissemblinge affection towards you, as beinge contented to winke at faultes to please you, or to make you without cause to please your selfe: for there be sundry respe­ctes to drawe vs from so doinge, althoughe we were so euil minded, as there is no cause why we should be so thought of. Your own iudgement in discerning flatterie, your mo­destie in mislikinge it, the layenge open of oure opinion to the world, the truth of our friendship towardes you, the vnwillingnesse of vs bothe (in respecte of our vocations) to haue this publike worke not truely and wel translated, are good causes to perswade, that our allowance is of sincere truth and vnder­standing: By which your trauail (Madame) you haue expressed an acceptable dutye to the glorye of GOD, deserued well of this [Page] Churche of Christe, honourablie defended the good fame and estimation of your owne natiue tongue, shewing it so able to contend with a worke originally written in the most praised speache: and besides the honour ye haue done to the kinde of women and to the degree of Ladies, ye haue done pleasure to the Author of the Latine boke, in deliue­ringe him by your cleare translation from the perrils of ambiguous and doubtful con­structions: and in makinge his good woorke more publikely beneficiall: wherby ye haue raysed vp great comforte to your friendes, and haue furnished your owne conscience ioyfully with the fruit of your labour, in so occupienge your time: whiche must needes redounde to the encoragemente of noble youth in their good educatiō, and to spend their time and knowledge in godly exercise, hauinge deliuered them by you so singular a president. Whiche youre doinge good Madame, as God (I am sure) doth accept and will blesse with increase, so youre and ours moste vertuous and learned soueraigne La­die and Mastres shal see good cause to com­mende: and all noble gentlewomen shall [Page] (I trust) hereby be alured from vain delights to doinges of more perfect glory. And I for my part (as occasion may serue) shal exhort other to take profit by your worke, and fol­lowe your example: whose successe I beseche our heauenly father to blesse and prospere. And now to thende bothe to acknowledge my good approbatiō, and to spread the be­nefit more largely, where you Ladishippe hathe sent me your boke writen, I haue with most hearty thankes returned it to you (as you see) printed: knowing that I haue ther­in done the beste, and in this poynte vsed a reasonable pollicye: that is, to preuent suche excuses as your modestic woulde haue made in staye of publishinge it. And thus at this time I leaue furder to trouble youre good Ladishippe.

An Apologie or aun­swere in defence of the Church of England, with a briefe and plaine declaration of the true Religion professed and used in the same.

IT HATH BEEN AN olde complaint, euen from ye first time of ye Patriarks & Prophetes, and confirmed by the writinges and testimonies of e­uery age,Tertull. in Apolo­getico. that ye Truth wandereth here and there as a straunger in the world, & doth redily fynde enemies and slaunde­rers amongst those that knowe her not. Albeit perchaunce this may seeme vnto some a thinge harde to bee beleeued, I meane to suche as haue scante well and narowly taken heed thereunto, specially seing all mankind of natures very mo­tion without a teacher doth coueite the truth of their owne accorde: and seinge oure Sauioure Christe hym selfe, when [Page] he was on earthe woulde bee called the Truthe, as by a name moste fytte to ex­presse all hys diuine power: yet wee, whiche haue been exercised in the holie scriptures, and which haue bothe redde & seene what hath happened to all god­ly menne commonly at all tymes, what to the Prophets, to the Apostles, to the holie Martyres, and what to Christe hym selfe, with what rebukes, reuilings and dispightes they were continually vexed whyles they heere lyued, and that onely for the truthes sake: wee (I saye) do see, yt this is not onely no newe thinge or harde to be beleued, but that it is a thing already receaued and commonlye vsed from age to age. Nay truly, this might seeme muche rather a meruayle and beyonde all beleife, yf the Diuell, who is the Father of lyes and ennemye to all truthe,Iohn. 8. woulde nowe vppon a so­daine chaunge his nature, and hope that truthe might otherwyse be suppressed, then by belyenge yt: Or that he would [Page] beginne to establishe his owne king­dom by vsing now any other practises, then the same whiche he hathe euer vsed from the beginning. For since any mans remembraunce, wee cen [...]e skante finde one time, either when Religion did first growe, or when it was setled, or when it did a freshe springe vp againe, wher­in truth and innocencye were not by all vnworthy meanes and most despit [...]ully intreated. Doubtlesse the Dyuell well seeth, that so longe as truth is in good sauery, hym selfe cannot be safe, nor yet maintaine his owne estate.

For lettinge passe the auncient patri­arkes and Prophetes, who, as we sayd, had no parte of their lyfe free from con­tumelies and slaunders. Wee knowe there were certaine in tymes past, whi­che said & commonly preached, that the old aūcient Iewes (of whom we make no doubt but thei wer the worshippers of the onely and true God) did worshipp [Page] eyther a sowe or an asse in Gods steede,Cornel. Tacitus. and that all the same Religion was no­thinge els, but a sacriledge and a plaine contempt of all godlynes. We know al­so that the sonne of God, our Sauioure Iesu Christe,Mar. 11. when hee taughte the truthe, was coumpted a Iugler and an enchanter, a Samaritan, Belzebub, a deceiuer of the people, a dronkard, and a Glutton. Againe, who wotteth no [...] what woordes were spoken agaynste Sainct Paule the most earnest and ve­hement preacher and maintainour of ye truth? Somtime that he was a sedi [...] ­ous and busy man, a raiser of tumultes, a causer of rebellion: somtime againe that he was an heretique, sometime yt he was mad: Somtime that onely vp­pon strife and stomacke he was bothe a blasphemer of Gods lawe, and a despi­ser of the Fathers ordinances. Further who knoweth not howe Sainct Ste­phan after he had throughly & sincerely embraced the truth, and beganne frank­lye [Page] and stoutly to preache and set forthe the same as he ought to do, was immediatlye called to aunswere for his life, as one that had wickedly vtered disdain [...]ul and haynous wordes against the lawe, against Moyses, against the Temple, and against God? Or who is ignorant that in tymes past there werre some which reproued the holye Scriptures of falsehood, saying they conteined thinges both contrary and quite one against an other:Marcion ex Tertul. Aelius è Lactantio. and howe that the Apostles of Christe did seuerallye disagree betwixt them selues, and that S. Paule did vary from them all? And not to make rehear­sal of al, for that were an endles labour: who knoweth not after what sorte our Fathers were railed vpon in times past, which first began to acknowledge and professe the name of Christe,Eusib. li. 5. cap 11. Tertull. in Apologe. 3. Idem. 1.2.3. & 7.8.9. howe they made priuat conspiracies, deuised secrete councels against the common welth, & to that end made earelie and priuie mee­tinges in the darke, kylled yonge babes, [Page] fedd themselues wt mens fleshe, and lyke sauage and brute beastes, didde drinke their bloude? In conclusion, howe that after they had put out the candels, they committed adulterye betweene them­selues, and without regarde wrought incest one with an other, that Brethren laie with their sisters, sonnes with their Mothers, without any reuerence of na­ture or kynne, without shame, without difference: and that thei wer wicked men without all care of Religion, and with­out anye opinion of God, being the ve­ry ennemies of mankinde, vnworthy to be suffered in the worlde, and vnworthie of lyfe?

All these thinges wer spoken in those daies against the people of God, against Christ Iesu, against Paul, against Ste­phan, and against all them whosoeuer they were, which at the first beginninge imbraced the truthe of the Gospell, and were contented to be called by the name of Christians; which was then an hate­full [Page] name amonge the common people. And although the thinges whiche they said, wer not true,Tertull. in Apolo. cap. 3. yet the Diuel thought it shoulde be sufficient for him, yf at the least he coulde bringe i [...] so to passe, as they might bee beleeued for true: and that the Christians might bee brought into a commō hatred of euery body, and haue their death and destruction sought of all sortes. Herevpon Kings and Prin­ces beinge ledde then by suche perswa­sions, killed all the Prophetes of God, lettinge none escape: Esai with a sawe, Ieremy with stones, Daniell with Ly­ons, Amos with an yron barre, Paule with the sword, & Christ vpon ye crosse, and condemned all Christians to impri­sonmentes, to tormentes to the pikes, to be thrwone doune headlong from rocks & stepe places, to be caste to wild beastes and to be burnt,Suctoni in Tran­quill. in Nerone. & made great syres of their quicke bodies, for ye only purpose to giue light by night, & for a very scorne & mockinge stocke: and didde compt them [Page] no better then the vilest fylth, thofscou­ringes and laughing games of ye whole worlde. Thus (as ye see) haue the Au­thors and professours of the trueth euer ben entreated.

Wherefore wee oughte to beare yt the more quyetlye, which haue taken vppon vs to professe the Gospell of Christ, yf we for the same cause be handled after the same sorte: and yf wee, as our forefa­thers weare longe ago, bee lykewyse at thys day tormented & bayted with ray­lings, with spitefull dealinges and with lyes, and that for no desert of our owne, but onely bicause we teach and acknowledge the truthe.

They crye out vpon vs at thys pre­sent euery wheare, that we are all here­tiques, and haue forsaken the fayth, and haue with newe perswasions and wic­ked learninge vtterly dyssolued the con­corde of the Churche, that we renew, & as it weare, fetche againe from hell, the olde and many a daye condempned he­resyes: [Page] that we sow abroade newe sects, and suche broyles as neuer yearst weare hearde of: also that we are already deui­ded into contrarye partes and opinions, and coulde yet by no meanes agree well amonge oure selues: that wee be cursed creatures, & lyke ye Gyauntes do warre againste God him selfe, and lyue cleane without any regarde or worshippinge of God: that we despise all good deedes: that we vse noe discipline of vertue, no lawes, no customes: that we esteeme nei­ther righte, nor order, nor equitie, nor iu­stice: that we geue ye brydell to al naugh tines, and prouoke the people to all ly­cenciousnes and lust: that we labour & seke to ouerthrowe the state of Monar­chies and Kyngdomes, and to bringe al thinges vnder the rule of the rashe incō ­stante people and vnlearned multitude: that wee haue seditiously fallen from ye Catholique Churche, and by a wycked schisme and diuision haue shaken the whole worlde, and trobled the common [Page] peace and vniuersal quiet of the church: and that as Dathan and Abyron con­spired in times past against Moises and Aaron, euen so wee at this day haue re­nounced the Byshop of Rome without anye cause resonable: yt we set nought by the aucthoritie of thauncient fathers and Councels of oulde time: that wee haue rashly and presumptuously disanulled the olde cerimonies, which haue ben well alowed by oure fathers and forefa­thers manye hundreth yeare past, bothe by good customes and also in ages of more puritie: and that wee haue by our owne priuate head, without the aucthoritie of any sacred and general Councell brought new traditions into ye Church, and haue don all these thinges not for Religions sake, but only vppon a desyre of contention and stryfe.

But that they for theyr parte haue chaunged no maner of thinge, but haue helde and kepte still suche a nomber of yeares to this verye day all thinges as [Page] they were deliuered from the Apostles, and well approued by the most auncient Fathers.

And that thys matter shoulde not seeme to be don but vppon priuie slaun­der, and to be tossed to and fro in a cor­ner, onely to spyte vs, there haue ben be­sides wy [...]ely procured by the Bysshop of Rome, certaine parsons of eloquence yenough, and not vnlearned neyther, whiche shoulde put theyre helpe to thys cause now almost despaired of, & should polyshe and set furth the same, both in bookes and with long tales, to the end, that when the matter was trymlye and eloquently handled, ignorant and vnskilfull persons mighte suspecte there was som great thing in it. In deede they per­ceiued that their owne cause did euerye where go to wracke, that their sleightes were nowe espyed and lesse esteemed, & that their helpes did dayly fayle them, & that their matter stoode altogether in great neede of a conninge spokesman. [Page] Now as for those things which by thē haue been layed against vs, in part they be manifestly false & condempned so by their owne iudgementes whiche spake thē, partly again, though thei be as false to in deede, yet beare thei a certain shew and colour of truth, so as the Reader (if he take not good hede) may easily be tripped and brought into errour by them, specially when their fine and cunninge tale is added thereunto: and part of them be of suche sorte, as wee oughte not to shunne them as crimes or faultes, but to acknowledg & professe them as thin­ges well done, and vpon very good rea­son.

For shortely to say the truth, these folke falsely accuse and slaunder all oure doinges: yea the same thinges whiche they themselues can not deny but to be rightly and orderly don, and for malice do so misconstre and depraue al our say­inges and doinges, as though it were impossible, yt any thinge could be right­ly [Page] spokē or don by vs. They should more plainly & sincerely haue gon to worke if thei would haue dealt truely, but now they neither truelye nor sincerelye: nor yet Christianly, but darklye and craftely charge and batter vs with lyes, and doe abuse the blindenes & fondenes of the people, together with the ignoraunce of Princes, to cause vs to be hated, and the truth to be suppressed.

This, lo ye, is the power of darke­nes, and of men which leane more to the amased wondering of the rude multi­tude and to darknes, then they doe to ye truth and light: and as S. Hierome sai­eth, which doe openly gain say the truth, closing vp their eyes, and wil not se for the nonce. But wee giue thankes to the most good & mighty God, yt such is our cause, wher against (whē they woulde faynest) they were able to vtter no di­spite, but the same which might aswell bee wrested againste the holye Fathers, against the Prophetes, against the Apo­stles, [Page] against Peter, against Paule, and against Christ himselfe.

Nowe therefore, if it be lee [...]ull for these folkes to be eloquent and fine ton­ged in speaking euil, surely it becōmeth not vs in our cause, being so very good, to be dumme in answering truelye. For men to be carelesse what ys spoken by them and their own matter bee it neuer so falselye and slaunderouselye spoken, (especiallie when it is suche, yt the Maie­stie of God and the cause of religiō may therby be dammaged) is the part doubt­les of dissolute and retcheles persons, & of them which wickedlye winke at the iniuries don vnto the name of God. For although other wrōges, yea oftentimes great, may be borne and dissembled of a milde & Christiā man, yet hee that goeth smothelye awaye and dissembleth the mater when he is noted of heresy, Ruffi­nus was wont to deny that man to be a Christian. We therefore will do the same thinge which all lawes, which na­tures [Page] owne voyce doth command to be don, and whiche Christe him selfe did in like case when he was checked and reui­led, to the intent we may put of from vs these mens slaunderous accusations, and may defend soberly and truely our own cause and innoncencie.

For Christ verelye when the Phary­sies charged him with sorcery as one yt had some familiar Spirites, & wrought many thinges by their helpe, I saide he, haue not the Dyuell, but do [...]e glorifie my Father: but it is you, that haue dis­honored me, and put me to rebuke and shame. And S. Paul when Festus the Lieutenaūt scorned him as a mad man: I (saide he) moste deere Festus, am not madde as thou thinkest, but I speake the wordes of truth and sobrenes. And the auncient Christians when they wer slaundered to the people for mankillers, for adulterors, for committers of incest, for disturbers of common weales, and did perceaue that by suche slaunderous accusations ye Religion which they pro­fessed, [Page] might be brought in question, namely if they should seeme to hold their peace, and in māner to confesse the fault: lest this might hinder the free course of the Gospell, they made Orations, they put vp supplications, and made meanes to Emperors and Princes, that they might defend them selues and theyr fel­lowes in open audience.

But we trulye, seeing that so many thowsandes of our brethren in these last twenty yeares haue borne witnes vnto the truth, in the middest of most painfull tormēts that could be deuised: and when Princes desirous to restraine the Gospel sought many wayes but preuayled no­thinge, and that now almost the whole worlde dothe begynne to open theyre eyes to behold the light: we take it that our cause hath already ben sufficiently declared and defended, and thinke it not needfull to make many wordes, since ye very matter saith inough for yt selfe. For yf the Popes woulde, or els if they could [Page] weigh with their own selues the whole matter, and also the beginning and procedinges of our Religion, how in a mā ­ner al their trauail hath com to nought, no body driuing it forwarde, and with­out any wordely helpe: and howe on the other side, our cause, againste the will of Emperoures, from ye beginning against the willes of so many Kynges, in spite of the Popes, and almoste maugre the head of all men, hath taken encrease, and by little and little spredde ouer into all countries, and is com at length euen in­to Kings courtes and Palaices. These same thinges me thinketh might bee to­kens greate ynough to them, that God him self doth strongly fight in our quar­rel, and doth from heauen laugh at their enterprises: & that the force of the truth is suche, as neither mans power, nor yet hell gates are able to roote it oute. For they be not all mad at this day, so many free Cities, so manye Kynges, so manye Princes which haue fallen away from [Page] the Seate of Roome, and haue rather ioyned themselues to the Gospell of Christe.

And although the Popes had ne­uer hetherunto [...]ea [...]our to consider dili­gentely and earnestly of these matters, or thoughe some other cares do nowe lett them and dyuerse wayes pull them, or though they coūpt these to be but cōmon and trieflinge studies, and nothinge to appertain to the Popes worthines, this maketh not why oure ma [...]ter oughte to seeme ye worse. Or yf they perchaunce will not see that whiche they se in deede, but rather will withstande the knowen truth, ought wee therefore by and by to be coumpted heret [...]kes, bycause we o­bay not their will and pleasure? Yf so be that Pope Pius were the man (we say not which he would so gladly be called) but i [...] he were in deede a man that ey­ther woulde accoumpte vs for his bre­threne, or at least woulde take vs to be men, he woulde firste diligently haue ex­amined [Page] our reasons, and woulde haue sene what might be saied with vs, what againste vs, and woulde not in his Bull whereby he lately pretended a Coūcel, so rashely haue condēned so great a part of the worlde, so many learned and god­ly men, so manye common wealthes, so many kyngs, and so many Prynces, only vppon his owne blynd preiudices and foredeterminations, and yt without hea­ring of them speak, or without shewing cause whye.

But bycause he hath alredy so no­ted vs openlye, least by holdynge oure peace we should seme to graunt a fault, and specially bycause we can by no mea­ne haue audience in ye publik assembly of the general Councel, wherein he would no creature should haue power to geue his voice or declare his opinion, excepte he were sworne and straightly bounde to maintaine his aucthoritie.

For wee haue had good experience hereof in his last conference at the coun­cel [Page] at Trident, where the embassadours & diuines of the Princes of Germany and of the free Cities were quite shutte out from their company: nother can we yet forget, how Iulius the third, aboue ten yeares past, prouided warely by his writt, that none of our sorte shoulde bee suffered to speake in the Councell (except there were som paraduenture yt wolde recante and chaunge his opinion). For this cause chieflye we thoughte it good to yelde vp an accoumpte of oure faith in writing, & truely and openly to make aunswere to those things wherwith wee haue ben openly charged, to thende the worlde may see the partes and foun­dacions of that doctrine, in the behalfe whereof so many good men haue litle regarded their oune lyues. And yt al men may vnderstand what manner of people they be, and what opinion they haue of God and of Religion, whome the Bys­shop of Rome before they were called to tell theire tale, hath condemned for he­retikes, [Page] without any good consideratiō, without any exaumple, & vtterly with­out lawe or righte, onelye bycause he hearde tell that they did dissente from hym and his in som pointe of Religion.

And although S. Hierome would haue no bodie to be patient when he is suspected of heresy, yet we wil deal here­in nether bitterly nor brablingly, nor yet be caried away wt angre & heate, though he ought to be reckned neither bitter nor brabler yt speaketh ye truth. We willingly leaue thys kynde of eloquence to oure aduersaries, who whatsoeuer they say against vs, be it neuer so shrewdly or di­pitefully sayde, yet thinke it is sayd mo­destely and comely ynough, and care no­thing whether it be trew or false. Wee neede none of these shyftes which do maintaine the truthe.

Further, yf wee do shewe it plaine that Gods holie Gospell, the aunciente Byshops and the primatiue Churche do make on our syde, and that wee haue [Page] not without iust cause left these men, and rather haue retourned to the Apostles and oulde catholique Fathers. And yf wee shall be founde to doe the same not coulorably or craftely, but in good faith, before God, truly, honestly, cleerely and plainly: and yf they thēselues which [...]ye our doctrine and woulde be called Ca­tholiks, shall manifestly see how al those titles of antiquitie whereof they boste so much, ar quite shaken out of their hāds, and that there is more pith in this oure cause then they thoughte for, wee then hope and trust that none of them wil be so negligent and careles of his own sal­uation, but he will at length studye and bethinke him selfe, to whether parte hee were best to ioyne him. Vndoubtedlye, excepte one will altogether harden his hearte and refuse to heare, he shal not re­pent him to geue good heede to this out defence and to mark well what wee say, & how truly and iustly it agreeth with Christian Religion.

For where they call vs Heretikes, [Page] it is a crime so haynous, yt onles it may be seene, vnles it may be felt, & in māner may be holdē with hands and fingers, it ought not lightly to be iudged or bele­ued when it is [...]aide to the charge of any Christian man. For heresy is a [...]orsaking of saluatiō, a renouncing of Gods grace, a departing from the body and spirite of Christe. But this was euer an olde and solempne propretye with them and theire forefathers, yf any did complaine of their errours and faultes, and desired to haue true Religion restored, streighte waye to cōdemne such one for heretikes, as men new fangled & factious. Christe for no nother cause was called a Samaritan, but onely for yt he was thoughte to haue fallen to a certaine newe Religi­on, and to be the Aucthor of a newe sect. And Paul thapostle of CHRISTE was called before the Iudges to make aun­swere to a matter of heresy, and therfore hee saied:Act. [...]4. Acordinge to this way whiche they call Heresye, I doo worshippe the God of my Fathers, beleeuinge [Page] all thinges which be written in the law and in the Prophets.

Shortely to speake. This vniuersal Religion whiche Christen men professe at this day,Tertull in Apologe [...]ico. was called firste of the hea­then people a Sect & Heresy. With these termes did they alwaies fil prīces eares, to thintent when they had once hated vs with a foredetermined opinion, and had coumpted all that wee sayed to bee faction and heresy, they might be so ledd away from ye truth & right vnderstāding of the cause. But the more sore and out­ragious a crime heresye is, the more it ought to be proued by plaine and strong argumentes, especially in this time, whē men begin to geue lesse credite to theyre words, & to make more diligent searche of theyr doctrine then they were wont to do. For ye people of God ar otherwyse instructed now then they were in times past, when all the Bysshopps of Romes sayenges were allowed for Gospell, & when all Religion did depende only vp­on [Page] their aucthoritie. Nowe a daies the holie scripture is abroad, the writinges of the Apostles & Prophets ar in printe, whereby all truth and Catholyke doc­trine may be proued, and all heresie may be disproued and confuted.

Sithens then they bring furth none of these for them selues, and call vs ne­uertheles Heretiques, which haue nether fallen from Christ nor from ye Apostles, nor yet from the Prophets, this ys an iniurious and a very spitefull dealinge. With this sword did Christe put of the Dyuel when he was tempted of him: wc these weapons oughte all presumption which doth auaūce it selfe against God, to be ouerthrowen and cōquered. For al Scripture,2. Tim. [...]. sayeth S. Paule, that com­meth by the inspiration of God, is profitable to teach, to confute, to instruct, and to reproue, that the man of God may be perfect and throughly framed to euery good work. Thus did the holy Fathers alway fight agaynst the heretikes with [Page] none other force then with ye holy scrip­tures. [...]. cap. 3. [...]ontra [...]iminū [...]anorum [...]op [...]i. 3. [...].14. S. Augustin when he disputed a­gainst Petilian an heretike of [...] Dona­tistes: Let not these woordes, quod he, be heard betwene vs: I say, or, you say: let vs rather speake in this wise: Thus sayeth the Lorde: there let vs seeke the Church, ther let vs boult out our cause. Lykewise S. H [...]erome: [...]rimum. [...] Agg [...] All those things (sayth he) which without the testimonie of the scriptures are holden as deliue­red from ye Apostles, be throughly smit­ten down by the sword of Gods worde. S. Ambrose also to Gratianus ye Em­perour: Let the scripture (sayeth he) bee asked the question, let the Apostles be asked, let ye Prophets be asked, & let Christ be asked. For at that time made the Ca­tholik Fathers and Bysshops no doubt, but that our Religion mighte be proued out of ye holy scriptures. Neither were they euer so hardy to take any for an he­ [...]itike, whose errour they coulde not eui­dently & apparently reproue by the selfe [Page] same scripturs. And we verely to make aunswere on this wise as S. Paul did: According to this way which they cal heresie, we do worship God and the father of our Lorde Iesus Christ, & do allowe all thinges which haue ben written ei­ther in ye Law or in the Prophet [...], or in ye Apostles workes.

Wherefore yf we be heretikes, and they (as they woulde faine be called) bee Catholikes, why do they not, as they see the fathers which were Catholike men, haue alwaies don? why do they not con­uince and maister vs by the diuine scrip­tures▪ why do they not call vs agayn to be tryed by them? why do they not lay before vs howe wee haue gon away frō Christ, from the Prophets, from the A­postels, and from the holy fathers? why stick they to do it? why are they afraide of it? It is Gods cause: whye are they doubtful to commit it to ye trial of gods worde? yf wee be heretkes which referre all our controuersies vnto the holy scriptures, [Page] & report vs to ye selfe same words, which wee knowe were sealed by God him self, and in comparison of them set little by all other thinges whatsoeuer may be deuised by men, howe shall wee say to these folke I pray you, what mā ner of men be they, & howe is it meete to call them, which feare the iudgement of the holy scriptures, that is to say, ye iud­gement of God hym self, and do preferre before them theyr owne Dreames, and full colde Inuentions: and to maintaine their owne traditions, haue defaced and corrupted now these many hundred yea­res the ordinances of Christe and of the Apostles?

Men say that Sophocles the tra­gicall Poet, when in his oulde dayes he was by his own sonnes accused before the Iudges for a dotinge and sottishe man, as one that fondelye wasted hys owne substaunce, and seemed to neede a Gouernour to see vnto him: to thintent he might cleere him selfe of the faulte, he [Page] came into the place of Iudgemente, and when he had rehearsed before them his Tragedye called Oedipus Coloneus, which he had written at the verye tyme of his accusation, maruelous exactly and conningly, did of him selfe aske the Iud­ges, whether they thought any sot­tish or doting man could do the like peece of worke.

In like manner, bycause these men take vs to be mad, and appeache vs for heretikes, as men which haue nothing to do neyther with CHRIST, nor with the Churche of GOD, wee haue iud­ged yt shoulde be to good purpose and not vnprofitable, yt wee doe openlye and frankely set furth our faith wherein we stande, and shew al that confidence which wee haue in CHRISTE IHESV, to the intent al men may se what is oure iudge­ment of euery pa [...]te of Christian religi­on, and may resolue wt them selues, whe­ther ye faith which they shall see cōfirmed by the words of Christ, by the writinges [Page] of the Apostles, by the testimonies of the catholique Fathers, and by the exaum­ples of many ages, be but a certain rage of furious and mad men, and a compicacie of heretikes. This therefore is oure Beli [...]ffe.

WE BELEEVE that there is one cer­taine nature and diuine power, whiche wee call GOD: and that the same is diuided into three equall persons, into ye Father, into the Sonn, and into the ho­ly Ghoste, and that they all be of owne power, of one Maiestie, of one eternitie, of one Godhed, and of one substāce. And although these three persons be so diui­ded, that neither the Father is the sonne, nor the sonn is the holy Ghost or the Fa­ther, yet neuertheles wee beleeue ye there is but one very God. And that the same one God hath created heauē and earth, and al thinges contained vnder heauen.

Wee beleeue that IESVS Christe ye onely Sonne of the eternall Father (as long before it was determined before all [Page] beginninges) when the fullnes of tyme was com, did take of that blessed & pure Virgin, bothe [...]eshe & all the nature of man, that he might declare to the world the secret & hid will of his father: which will had ben laide vp from before all a­ges and generaciōs. And that he might full finishe in his humaine bodie the mi­sterie of our redēption, & might fasten to the crosse our sinnes, and also that hand­writinge which was made against [...] vs.

We beleue that [...]or our sake he dy­ed, and was buried, descen [...]y [...] into hel [...], the third day by the power of his God­hed retorned to [...]yfe a [...]d rose again, and that ye fourtyth day after his resurrectiō ▪ whiles his Disciples behelde and loked vppon him, he ascendid into heauen, to fulfill all thinges, and did place in maie­stie and glory the selfe same body wher­with he was borne,Augustine. tracta, [...] in [...]. wherin he liued on earth, wherein he was [...]ested at, where in he had suffred most painful torments & cruell kinde of death, wherein he rose [Page] againe, and wherein be ascendid to the right hand of the Father, aboue all rule, aboue all power, all force, all Dominiō, and aboue euery name which is named not onely in this worlde, but also in the world to com. And that there he now sit­teth, and shall syt,Act. [...].3. till all thinges be full perfetted. And althoughe the Maiestie and Godhed of Christ be euery wheare habundauntly dispersed,In Epist, ad Dard [...]m. yet wee beleeue ye his body, as S. Augustine sa [...]eth, must needes be still in one place: & that Christ hath geuen maiesty vnto his bodye, but yet hath not takē away from it ye nature of a body: and that wee must not so affir­me Christ to be God, that wee deny hym to be man: [...]. lib. 1. and, as the Martyr Vigili­us sayth, that Christ hath left vs as tou­ching his humaine nature, but hath not left vs as touchinge his diuine nature. And that the same Christ, though he bee absent from vs concerning his māhood, [...]lgo [...], ad Thraf [...] [...]. yet is euer present with vs concerning his Godhed.

[Page]From that place also wee beleeue that Christ shall com againe to execute that general iudgemēt, aswel of them whom he shall then synde aliue in the bodye, as of them that be already dead.

Wee beleeue that the holy Ghoste, who is, the third person in the holie Tri­nitie; is very God: not made, not [...]reat, not begotten, but proceding from both the Father and the Sonne, by a certain meane vnknowen vnto men & vnspea­kable, and that it is his propretie to mol­lifie and soften ye hardnes of mans heart, when he is once receiued thereunto, ey­ther by ye holsom preaching of the Gos­pell, or by any other way: that he dothe geue men light, and guide them vnto the knowledge of God, to al waye of truth, to newnes of the whole liefe, and to euer­lastinge hope of saluation.

Wee beleeue that there is one Church of God, and that the same is not shutte vp (as in times past amonge the Iewes) into some one corner or kyngdome, but [Page] that it is catholique and vniuersall, and dispersed throughout the whole worlde. So that there is now no nation which can truly complaine that they bee shutt furth. & maye not be one of ye Church & people of God: And that this Churche is the Kingedome, the bodye and the spouse of Christe: and that Christ alone is the Prince of thys Kyngedome, that Christ alone is the heade of this bodye, and that Christ alone is the brydgrome of this spouse.

Furthermore that there be dyuerse degrees of ministers in the church, wher of some be deacons, some preestes, some Byshops, to whom is committed the of­fice to instruct the people, and the whole charge and settinge furth of Religion: yet not withstanding we say that there neither is nor can be any one mā, which may haue the whole superioritie in this vniuersall state, for that Christe is euer present to assist his Church, and nedeth not any man to supply his roome, as his [Page] onely heyre to all his substaunce: and y there can bee noe one mortall creature, which is able to comprehēd or conceaue in his minde the vniuersall Churche, y is to witte, all the partes of the worlde, muche les able to put them in ordre and to gouerne them rightly and duely. For all the Apostles, as Cyprian sayeth,De Simpli, praelat. were of lyke power among themselues, and y rest were the same that Peter was, and that it was sayed indifferently to them al, Feed ye [...]indifferentlye to them all, Goe into the whole world: indifferently to thē al, Teache ye the gospell:Ad Euagri [...] And as Hierom saithe, all Byshoppes wheresoeuer they be, be they at Rome, be they at Eugubi­um, be they at Constantinople, be they at Rhegium, be all of lyke preeminence, and of like preesthood.De Simpli. praelatorum. And as Cyprian saith, there is but one Byshoprike, and yt a peece therof is perfitely & wholy holdē of euery particular Byshop: & according to the iudgement of the Nicene Counsel wee say that the Byshop of Rome-hath [Page] nomore iurisdiction ouer the churche o [...] God, then the rest of ye Patriarkes either of Alexandria or Antiochia haue. And as for the Byshop of Rome, who nowe calleth all matters before him selfe alone, except he do his deuty as he ought to do, except he administer the sacraments, ex­cepte he instructe the people, excepte he waxue them and teache them, wee say yt he ought not of right once to bee called a Bysshop, or so much as an elder. For a Byshop, as saith Augustine, is a name of labour and not of honour: bycause he would haue that mā to vnderstand him selfe to be no Byshop, which will seke to haue preeminence, and not to profyt o­thers: And that neither the Pope nor a­ny other worldly creature, can nomore be head of the whole Church or a Byshop ouer all, then he can be the brydegrome, the lighte, the saluation, and lyfe of the Church. For these priuileges and names belong onely to Christe, and be proprely & onely fyt for hym alone. And that no [Page] Bysshop of Rome did euer suffer hym­selfe to be called by such a proude name and [...]u [...]e before Phoras thempetoures [...]ime, who as wee know, by killing hys owne souerain Morice the Emperour, did by a traiterous vyllanie aspire to Thempere▪ which was about ye sixt hū ­dreth & thirtenth year after Christ was borne.Ca. 47. Also the Councell of Charthage did circumspectly prouide, that no Bys­shop should bee called either the highest Byshop or chiefe preeste. And therefore [...]thens the Bysshop of Rome wil now a daies so be called, & chalēgeth vnto him self an au [...]thoritie, yt is none of his: be­sides yt he doth plainly contrary to ye aū ciēt Coūcels & cōtrary to ye old Fathers. We beleue that he doth giue vnto him­selfe▪ as it is written by his owne com­panyon Gregory,Gregor. epi­stola. li, 4. epist. 76.78.80. Et lib. 7 epist. 6.6. a presūptuous, a pro­phane, a sacrilegious and Antichristian name: that he is also the kinge of pryde, that he is Lucifer, which preferreth him­selfe before his bretherne: that he hathe [Page] forsaken the faith, and is the foreronner of Antichriste.

Further wee saye, that the Minister ought laufully, duely, and orderly to be preferred to that Office of the church of God, and yt no mā hath power to wrest himself into ye holy ministery at his own pleasure & list. Wherefore these persons do vs ye greater wrong, which haue no­thing so common in their mouthe, as ye wee do nothing ordrely and comely, but al thinges troublesomly and without or­dre: and that wee alow euery man to be a preest, to be a teacher, and to be an In­terpretour of the Scriptures.

Moreouer we say, yt Christ hath geuē to his ministers power to bind, to loose, to open, to shutt, and yt the office of loo­sing consisteth in this point, that ye Mi­nister should either offer by ye preaching of the gospel the merits of Christe & full pardō, to suche as haue lowly & contrite hearts, and do vnfa [...]nedly repent thē, pronoūcing vnto ye same a sure & vndoubted [Page] forgeuenes of their sins, & hope of euer­lasting saluation. Or els yt the minister, when any haue offended their brothers mindes with a greate offence, & with a notable & open tault, wherby they haue as it were bannyshed and made them­selues straungers from the common fel­lowship, and from the bodye of Christe, then after perfitte amendement of suche persons, doth reconcile them, and bringe them home againe, and restore them to the company and vnitie of the faithfull. We say also that the minister dothe exe­cute the aucthoritie of binding and shut­ting, as often as he shutteth vp the gate of the kingedome of heauen against the vnbeleeuing and stubborne persons, de­nouncing vnto them Gods vengaunce and euerlastinge punishmente. Or els when he doth quite shut them out from the bosome of the Churche by open ex-communicatiō. Out of doubt, what sen­tence so euer the Minister of God shall giue in this sorte, God him selfe doth so [Page] well alowe of it, that what soeuer here in yearth by their meanes is loosed and bounde, God him selfe wil loose & binde, and confirme the same in heauen.

And touchinge the kayes wherewith they maye either shut or open the kyng­dome of heauen, wee with Chryso [...]om saye, they be the knowledge of the Scri­ptures: with Tertullian we say, they be the interpretation of the lawe: and with Eusebius we call thē the worde of God.

Moreouer that Christes Disciples did receiue this aucthoritie, not that they shoulde heare priuate confessions of the people, and lysten to their whisperinges, as the cōmen Massing preestes do euery where nowe a dayes, and do it so, as though in that one poinct laye all the vertue and vse of the kayes: but to thend they should goo, they should teache, they should publishe abrode the Gospell, and be vnto the beleuing a swete sauour of lyfe vnto life, and vnto the vnbeleuing and vnfaithfull, a sauour of death vnto [Page] death: and that the mindes of godly per­sons being brought low by the remorce of their former lyfe and errours, after they once begonne to looke vp vnto the light of the Gospel, and beleue in Christ, might be opened with ye worde of God, euē as a dore is opened with a keye. Cō ­trarie wise, that the wicked and wilfull folke, and suche as woulde not beleue nor retorne into the right waye, should be lefte still as fast locked and shut vp, and as S. Paul sayeth,2. Tim. 1. waxe worse and worse. This take we to be the meaning of the keyes: and that after this fashion mens consciences eyther to be opened or shut. We saye that the preist in deede is Iudge in this case, but yet hath no ma­ner of right to chalenge an auctoritie or power,De poenite [...] dist. 1. cap. Verbum [...] as saith Ambrose. And therfore our Sauiour Iesu Christ to reproue ye negligence of the Scribes and Phari­seis in teaching, dyd with these wordes rebuke them sayng: Wo vnto you Scri­bes and Pharisies,Luk. [...]. Math. 2 [...]. whiche haue takē a­waye [Page] the keyes of knowledge, and haue shut vp the kyngdome of heauen before men. Seing then the keye whereby the waye and entery to yt kingdom of God is opened vnto vs, is the worde of the Gospell and thexpounding of the Lawe and Scriptures, we say plainely, where the same woorde is not, there is not the keye. And seyng one maner of worde is geuen to al, and one only keye belongeth to al, we say there is but one only power of all ministers, as concerning opening and shutting. And as touching the Bys­shop of Rome, for all his Parasites state [...] ringlie singe in his eares those wordes, To the will I geue ye keyes of the king­dome of heauen, (as though those keyes were fyt for hym alone and for no body els) except he go so to woorke as mens consciences maye be made pliaunte, and be subdued to the worde of God, we de­nye yt he doth either open or shut, or hath ye keyes at all. And although he tought and instructed the people (as woulde to [Page] God he might once truely do, and per­swade him selfe it were at the leaste sōme peece of his duety) yet we thinke his keye to be neuer a whit better or of greater force then other mens. For who hath se­uered hym frō the rest? who hath taught him more cōningly to open, or better to absolue then his bretherne?

We say yt matrimonie is holy and honorable in al sorts & states of persones, in ye patriarches, in the prophetes, in the apo­stles, in holy martyrs, in ye ministers of ye Churche,Chrystost. in epist. ad Tit [...]m Hom. 11. and in Byshopps, and that it is an honest and laufull thinge (as Chry­sostome saith) for a man liuing in matri­monie, to take vpon hym therewith the dignitie of a Bysshop.Euseb li [...] Cap. 5. Nazianz­in mono [...] de Basilie And as Sozome­nus saith of Spiridion: and as Nazian­zen saith of his owne father, that a good and diligent Bysshopp doth serue in the ministerie neuer the worse for that he is maried, but rather the better, and with more ablenes to do good. Further we saye, that the same lawe whiche by con­strainte [Page] taketh awaye this libertie from men, and compelleth them against their willes to liue single, is the doctrine of Dyuells, [...]. Tim. 4. as Paule saith: and that euer since the tyme of this lawe, a wonderful vncleanes of lyfe and maners in goddes ministers, and sundrie horrible enormi­ties haue folowed, as the Bysshop of Augusta, as Faber, as Abbas Panormi­ [...]anus, as Latomus, as the Tripartite worke whiche is annexed to the seconde Tome of ye Councelles, and other chā ­pious of the Popes band, yea and as the matter it selfe and al histories do cōfesse. For it was rightly sayd by Pius the se­cond a Bysshop of Rome, [...]ina in [...]. that he sawe many causes why wiues should be takē awaye from Preistes, but that he sawe many moe, and more weightye causes whye they ought to be restored them againe.

We receyue and embrace all the Ca­nonicall Scriptures, both of the oulde and new Testament, geuing thankes to [Page] our God, who hath raised vp vnto vs that light whiche we might euer haue before our eyes, [...]aste eyther by the sut­teltie of man, or by the snares of the Dy­uell we shoulde be caried awaye to er­rours and lyes. Also that these be the heauenly voices, wherby God hath ope­ned vnto vs his will, and that onely in them mans hearte can haue setled reste: that in them be habundantly and fullye comprehended all thinges what soeuer be nedefull for our saluatiō, as Origene, Augustine, Chrysostom & Cyrillus haue taught: That they be ye very might and strength of God to attaine to saluation: That they be the foūdations of the Pro­phetes and Apostles, whereupon is buylte the Churche of God: That they be ye very sure and infallible rule, wher­be may be tryed whether ye Church doth stagger or erre, and wherunto all eccle­siasticall Doctrine ought to be called to accompte: and that against these scrip­tures neyther lawe nor ordinaunce, nor [Page] any custom ought to be hard, no though Paule his owne selfe or an Aungell frō heauen shoulde come and teache the con­trarie.

Moreouer we alow the sacramētes of the Churche, that is to saye certaine holy signes & ceremonies whiche Christ woulde wee should vse, that by them he might set before our eyes the mysteries of our saluation, and might more stron­gely confirme our faith which we haue in his bloud, and might seale his grace in our heartes. And those sacramentes togither with Tertullian, Origene, Am­brose, Augustin, Hierome, Chrysostome, Basill, Dionysius, and other Catholi­que Fathers do we call figures, signes, markes or badges, printes, copies, for­mes, seales, signettes, similitudes, pat­terns, representations, remembraunces, and memories. And we make no doubt togither with the same Doctours to say, that those be certaine visible wordes, seales of righteousnes, tokens of grace: [Page] and do expresly pronounce, that in the Lords supper, there is truelye geuē vnto the beleuing, the body and bloud of the Lord, the flesshe of the sonne of God, whiche quickeneth our soules, the meate that cometh from aboue, the foode of in­mortalitie, grace, truth, and lyfe. And y supper to be the cōmunion of ye body and bloud of Christ, by the partaking where­of wee be reuiued, wee be strengthened, and be fed vnto immortalitie, & wherby we are ioyned, vnited, & incorporate vn­to Christ, that we may abide in him and he in vs.

Besides wee acknowledge there be two sacramentes, which wee iudge pro­prely ought to be called by this name, that is to saye Baptisme, and the sacra­mētes of thankes giuing. For thus many we see were deliuered and sanctified by Christ, and well allowed of the oulde fa­thers Ambrose and Augustine. We say yt Babtisme is a sacrament of the remissiō of sinnes, and of that washing which we [Page] haue in the blood of Christe, and that no persō which wil professe Christes name, oughte to bee restraigned or kepte backe therefrom: no not the very babes of Christiās, forsomuche as they be borne in sinne, and do pertaine vnto the people of God. We say that Eucharistia, the sup­per of the lorde, is a sacramente, that is to wytte, an euident token of the body and blood of Christe: wherein is set as it were before our eyes, the death of Christ and his resurrectiō, and what act so euer he did whilest he was in his mortall bo­dy, to thende we may giue hym thankes for his deathe, and for our deliueraunce. And yt by the often receauinge of this sa­cramente, wee may daily renewe the re­membraunce of that matter, to thintent we being fedd with the body and blood of Christ, may be brought into the hope of the resurrectiō and of euerlasting life, and may moste assuredly beleue, that the bodye and blood of Christe dothe in like manner feede our soules, as breade and [Page] wine doth feede our bodies. To this bā ­kett wee thinke the people of God ought to be earnestly bidden, that they may all communicate amonge them selues, and openly declare and testifie both the god­ly societie whiche is amonge them, and also the hope which they haue in Christ Ihesu. For this cause yf there had ben a­ny which would be but a looker on, and abstaine from the holy Cōmunion, him did the old fathers & Byshops of Rome in the primatiue Church,Chrysost. [...] Ephe. hom. before Priuate masse came vp, excōmunicate as a wic­ked persō and as a Pagan. Neither was there any Christian at that tyme which dyd communicat alone whyls other loo­ked on.Dis. 2. Ca. Seculares. For so did Calixtus in times past decree, that after the consecration was finished, all should communicate, ex­cepte they had rather stande without the Churche doores:De Consec. dist. 2. cap, Perasta. bycause thus (saith he) did the Apostles apoincte, and the same the holye Churche of Rome kee­peth still.

[Page]Moreouer when the people commeth to the holy communion, the Sacrament ought to be giuen them in both kindes, for so both Christe hath commaunded, and the apostles in euery place haue or­dayned, and all the auncient Fathers and Catholique Bysshops haue folowed the same.Conse. [...]. 2. Ca. [...]mperi. And whoso doth contrary to this, he (as Gelasius sayth) committeth sacriledge. And therefore wee saye, that oure Aduersaries at this daye, who ha­uinge violentlye thruste out and quite forbidden the holye Communion, dooe without the woorde of God, without the authoritie of any auncient Councell, without any catholique Father, with­out any example of ye primatiue Church, yea and without reason also, defend and maintaine their priuate Masses and the manglinge of the Sacramentes, and do this not onely against the plaine expresse commandement and bidding of Christe, but also against al antiquitie do wicked­ly therin, and are very Church robbers.

[Page]We affirme that breade and wine are holy and heauenly mysteries of the bodie & bloud of Christ, & that by them Christ himselfe being ye tru bread of eternal life, [...]s so presently giuen vnto vs, as that by faith we verely receaue his body and his bloud. Yet say we not this so, as though we thought that the nature of bread and wine is clearly changed and goeth to no­thing, as many haue dreamed in these la­ter times, which yet could neuer agree a­mong themself of this their dreame. For yt was not Christes meaning yt the whea­ [...]en bread should laye apart his owne na­ture, & receaue a certain new diuinitie, but yt he might rather chaunge vs (& to vse Theophilactus woordes) might trans­forme vs into his bodie.Iohan. cap. 6. For what can he said more plainly then yt whiche Am­brose saith,De Sacra. lib. 4. cap. 4. Bread & wine remain stil the same thei were before, & yet are changed vnto an other thing: or yt which Gelasius saith, ye substance of ye bread, or ye nature of ye wine, ceaseth not so to be: or yt which [Page] Theodorete saith, After the consecratiō, the mysticall signes do not cast of their owne propre nature:Dialogis & 2. for they remaine stil in their former substaunce, forme and kynde.sermone infantes. [...]e consecrat. [...]st. 2. Cap. [...] mandu. Or that whiche Augustine saith, That whiche ye see is the bread and Cuppe, and so our eyes tell vs, but that which your faith requireth to be taught is this, The bread is the body of Christ, & the Cuppe ys his bloud. Or yt whiche Origene saith:Origene in [...]at. Hom. 15. Bread which is sanctified by the word of God, as touching ye ma­terial substaūce therof, goeth into ye belly and is cast out into the priuey. Or that which Christ him selfe said, not only af­ter ye blessing of the cup, but after he had ministred the Comunion: I will drinke nomore of this frute of the vyne. It is well knowen that the fruit of the vyne ys wine, and not bloud.

And in spaekyng thus, we meane not to abase the Lordes supper, or to teache that yt is but a could ceremonie onely, & nothing to be wrought therin: (as many [Page] falsely slaunder vs we the ache) For wee [...] that Christ doth truely and pre­sently giue his owne selfe in his Sacra­mentes: In baptisme, that wee may put him on: and in his supper, that we may eate him by faith & spirit, and may haue euerlasting lyfe by his crosse and bloud. And we say not this is done slightly and couldely, but effectually and truely. For although we do not touche the body of Christ with tee [...]he and mouth, yet wee hold him fast and eate him by faith, by vnderstanding, and by the spirit. And this is no vaine faith whiche doth com­prehend Christ: and that is not receiued with colde deuotion, whiche is receiued with vnderstanding, with faith, & with [...] For Christ him selfe altogither is so offred & giuen vs in these mysteries, that we may certainly know we be flesh of his fleshe, and bone of his bones: and that Christ continueth in vs, and wee in [...]. And therefore in celebrating these mysteries, ye people are to good purpose [Page] exhorted before they come to receaue the holy communion,con dist. 1. Quando. to lift vp their hearts, & to direct their mindes to heauen ward, bicause he is there, by whom we must be full fedde and liue. [...] Obiecti. [...]eodoreti. Cyrill saith, when we come to receaue these mysteries, al grosse ymaginations must quite be bannished▪ The councell of Nice, as is alleadged by some in greeke, plainly forbiddeth vs to be basely affectioned, or bent toward the bread and wine which are set before vs. And as Chrysostome very aptly wry­teth: [...]ysost. in 10 Corinth. We say that the body of Christe is the dead carcas, and we our selues must be the Egles▪ meaning thereby, that we must flie hye if wee will come vnto the body of Christe. For this table as Chry­sostome saith, is a table of Egles and not of Ieyes. [...] Co [...]. [...] [...]mini. Cyprian also, This bread saith he, is the foode of the soule, and not the meate of the belly. And Augustine,Iohan, [...]acta. 50. How shall I holde him, saith he, which is ab­sent? how shall I reache my hand vp to heauen to laye holde vpon him that sit­teth [Page] there? He aunswereth, Reache thy­ther thy faythe, and then thou hast layde holde on him.

We can not also away in our churches with ye shewes & sales, & byeng & selling of Masses, nor the carrieng about & wor­shipping of bread, nor such other ydola­trous and blasphemous fo [...]dnes, whiche none of them can proue yt Christe or his Apostles did euer ordaine, or left vnto vs: and we iustly blame ye Bishops of Rome, who wtout ye word of God, wtout ye au­thoritie of the holy fathers, without any example of antiquitie, after a newe guise do not onely set before ye people yt sacra­mētal bread to be worshiped as God, but doe also cary ye same about vpon an am­bling horse,In libro de Ceremonij [...] Romanae Ecclesiae. whyther soeuer themselues iorney, as in old time ye Persiās fier & ye reliques of ye goddesse Isis were solemly caried about in processiō, & haue brought ye sacraments of Christ to be vsed nowe as a stage play, & a solemne sight, to the end that mens eyes should be fedde with [Page] nothing els but with mad gasinges and foolishe gaudes, in the selfe same matter wherein the death of Christ ought dili­gently to be beaten into our heartes, and wherein also the mysteries of our redēp­tion ought with all holines and reue­rence to be executed.

Besides, where they say and somtime doe perswade fooles, that they are able by their Masses to distribute and applie vnto mens commoditie al the merites of Christes death, yea although many ty­mes ye parties thinck nothing of ye mat­ter, and vnderstand ful litle what is don, this is a mockery, a Hethenyshe fansie, and a very toye. For it is our faith that applieth the death and crosse of Christe to our benefite, and not the Acte of the Massing preest. Faith had in the Sacra­mentes (saith Augustine) doth iustifie, & not the sacramentes. And Origene saith: Christ is the preest; [...]rigen. ad [...] cap. 3. the propitiation and sacrifice, which propitiatiō cōmeth to e­uerie one by meane of faith. So that by [Page] this reconing we saye, that the sacramē ­tes of Christ without faith, doe not once profite those that be alyue, a great deale lesse doe they profite those that be dead.

And as for their bragges they are wōt to make of their Purgatory, though we know it is not a thing so very late risen amongest them, yet is it no better then a blockyshe and an olde wyues deuise. Augustine in deed somtime saith there is suche a certaine place:Augustin psal. 85. [...] Enchiri [...] cap. 67. De C [...]it 21. Cap. 2 Hypog [...] sometime he de­nieth not but there maye be suche a one: sometime he doubteth, sometime againe he vttrely denieth it to be, and thinketh that menne are therin deceiued by a cer­taine naturall good wil they beare their frendes departed. But yet of this one er­rour hath there growen vp suche a har­uest of these Massemongers, ye Masses being sould abrod comonly in euery cor­ner, the Temples of God became shop­pes to get money, and selie soules were perswaded that nothing was more ne­cessarie to be bought. In ded there was [Page] nothyng more gainefull for these men to selle.

As touching the multitude of vaine and superfluous ceremonies, wee know that Augustin did greuously complain of thē in his owne time: [...]. [...]a. 119. and therfore haue wee cut of a great numbre of them, by­cause we know that mens consciences were cumbred about thē, and the Chur­ches of God ouerladen with them. Ne­uerthelesse we kepe still and esteeme not onely those ceremonies whiche wee are sure were deliuered vs from the Apostls, but some others too besides, whiche we thought myght be suffred without hurt to the churche of God, because we had a desire that all thinges in the holy con­gregation might (as Paul cōmandeth) be don with comelines and in good or­der: but as for all those thinges whiche we sawe were eyther very superstitious or vnprofitable, or noysome, or mocke­ries, or contrarie to the holy Scriptu­res, or els vnsemelie for honest or discrete [Page] folkes, as there be an infinite numbre now a dayes where Papistery is vsed, these I saye wee haue vterly refused without all maner exception, bycause wee would not haue the right worshyp­ping of God any lenger defiled with suche folies.

We make our prayers in that tonge whiche all our people, as meete is, may vnderstand, to thend they may (as Paul counseleth vs) take commō commoditie by common prayer: euen as all the holy Fathers and catholique Byshops bothe in the ould and new Testament did vse to pray them selues, & taught the people to praye to; leaste as Augustin saith like parrottes and ousells wee shoulde seme to speake that we vnderstand not.

Neither haue we any other Media­tour and Intercessour, by whome wee may haue accesse to God the Father, thē Iesu Christ, in whose onely name all things are obteined at his Fathers hād. But it is a shamefull parte and full of [Page] infidelitie that we see euery where vsed in the Churches of our aduersaries, not onely in that they will haue innumera­ble sortes of mediatours, and that vterly without the auctoritie of Goddes word. So that, [...]e▪ ca. 2 [...]. as Ieremie saith, the Saintes be nowe as many in numbre, or rather aboue the numbre of the Cities: & poore men cannot tel to which Sainct it were best to turne thē first. And though there be so many as they cannot be tolde, yet euery one of thē [...]hath his peculiar deuty and office assigned vnto him of these fol­kes, what thīg they ought to aske, what to giue▪ and what to bring to passe: but besides this also, in that they do not on­ly wickedly, but also shamelesly cal vpon the blessed virgine Christes mother, [...]dus. to haue her remember that she is a mother, and to commaunde her sonne, and to vse a mothers auctoritie ouer him.

We saye also, that euery person is borne in sinne, and leadeth his lyfe in sinne: that no body is able truely to saye, [Page] his hearte is cleane. That ye most rightu­ous persone is but an vnprofitable ser­uaunte: That the law of God is perfite, and requireth of vs perfit and full obe­dience: That we are able by no meanes to fulfill that lawe in this worldly lyfe: That there is no one mortall creature whiche can be iustified by his owne de­sertes in goddes sight, and therfore that our only succour and refuge is to flye to the mercy of our Father by Iesu Christ, and assuredly to perswade our myndes, that he is the obtayner of forgiuenes for our sinnes. And that by his bloud al our spottes of sinne be washed cleane: That he hath pacified and set at one all thin­ges by the bloud of his Crosse: That he by the same one onely Sacrifice whiche he once offered vppon the Crosse, hath brought to effect and fulfilled al things, and that for that cause he sayd when he gaue vp the Ghoste, It is finished▪ as though he woulde signifie that the price and ransome was nowe full payde for [Page] the sinne of all mankind. Yf there be any then that thinke this sacrifice not suffi­cient, let them go in Gods name and seke an other that is better. We verely, bicause we knowe this to be the onely sacrifice, are well contente with it alone, and loke for none other: and forasmuche as it was to be offered but once, wee com­maund it not to be renewed againe. And bicause it was full & perfite in all points and partes, wee doe not ordaine in place thereof anye continuall succession of of­feringes.

Besides, though wee saye we haue no meede at all by oure owne woorkes and deedes, but apoint all the meane of oure saluation to be in Christe alone, yet say we not that for this cause men ought to liue looslie and dissolutely: nor that it is ynough for a Christian to be Bapti­zed onely and to belieue, as though there were nothing els required at his hande, for true faith is liuely, and can in no wise be idell. Thus therefore [...]ea [...]he wee the [Page] people, that God hath called vs not to folowe ry [...]t and wantonnes, but as Paul saithe, vnto good woorkes, to walke in them. That God hath plucked vs oute from the power of darkenes to serue the liuinge God: to cutte away all the rem­nauntes of sinne, and to worke oure sal­uation in feare and tremblinge, that it may apere how that ye Spirit of sāctifi­cation is in oure bodies, and that Christ himselfe doth dwell in our heartes.

To conclude, we beleue that this our selfe same flesh wherin we liue, although it dye and come to dust, yet at the last day it shall retourne againe to lyfe by the meanes of Christes spirite which dwe­leth in vs, and that then verely whatso­euer we suffer heere in the meane whyle for his sake, Christ wil wipe from of our eies all teares & lamentation, & that we through him shall enioy euerlasting life, and shall for euer be with him in glory. So be it.

Beholde these are the horrible heresies [Page] for the which a good parte of the world is at this day condemned by the Byshop of Rome, and yet were neuer hearde to pleade their cause. He should haue com­menced his sute rather against Christe, against the Apostles, and against the ho­ly fathers. For these thinges did not only procede from them, but were also apoin­ted by them: except perhaps these menne will say (as I thinke they will in deede) that Christe hath not instituted the holy Communion to be diuided amongest the faithfull: Or that Christes apostles and the auncient fathers haue saide Priuate masses in euery corner of the Temples, nowe tenne, now twenty togithers in one day: Or that Christ and hys Apostls bannished all the common people from the Sacrament of his bloud: or that the thing whiche them selues do at this day euery wheare, and do it so as they con­demne him for an heritike whiche dothe otherwise, ys not called of Gelasius their owne doctour plaine sacriledge: or [Page] [...] these be not ye very words of Ambrose, Augustine, Gelasius, Theodorete, Chry­sostome, & Origene, The bread and wine in the Sacramentes remaine still the same they were before: The thing which is seene vpon the holye table, is breade: there ceaseth not to be still the substaunce of breade and nature of wyne: the sub­stance and nature of bread are not chan­ged: the selfe same breade as touchinge the materiall substaunce, go [...]th into the bellie, and is cast out into the pryuei: Or that Christe, the Apostles, and holy fa­thers prayed not in that tongue whiche the people might vnderstande: Or that Christe hath not performed all thinges by that one offering which he once offe­red: or that the same Sacrifice was im­perfect, and so now we haue neede of an other. All these thinges must they of ne [...]cessitie say, onlesse perchance thei had ra­ther lay thus, that all lawe and right is locked vp in the treasurie of the Popes breaste, and that as once one of his sou­thinge [Page] pages and clawbackes did not sticke to say, the Pope is able to dispence against the Apostles, against a councell, & against ye Canōs & rules of ye Apostls, [...]st. 36, lect. in Gl [...]s [...]. and yt he is not bound to stand neither to ye examples, nor to the ordinūaces, [...]istinct. 82. Presbyter. nor to ye lawes of Christ. We for our parts haue learned these thinges of Christe, of the Apostles, of the deuout fathers, and dooe sincerely and with good faith teache the people of God the same. Whiche thinge is the onely cause whye wee at this daye ar called heretikes of the chiefe prelates (no doubt) of Religiō. O immortal God, hath Christ him selfe then, ye Apostles & so many Fathers, al at once gon a stray? were then Origene, Ambrose Augustin, Chrysostome, Gelasius, Theodoret, for­sakers of the catholique faith? was so notable a consent of so manye auncient Byshoppes and learned menne nothing els, but a conspiracye of heretiques? Or is that nowe condemned in vs, whiche was then commended in them? Or is [Page] the thyng nowe by alteration onely of mens affection sodenly becōme shisma­tique, whiche in them was compted ca­tholique? Or shall that whiche in times past was true, nowe by and by, bycause it liketh not these men, be iudged false? Let them then bring furth another Gos­pell, and let them shew the causes why these thinges which so long haue openly ben obserued, and well alowed in the Churche of God, ought nowe in thend be called in againe. Wee knowe well y­noughe, that the same worde whiche was opened by Christ, & spred abrode by the Apostles is sufficient, both our salua­cion and al trueth to vp holde & mayn­tein, and also to confounde all maner of heresie. By that Wo [...]d only do we con­demne all sortes of the olde heretiques, whom these men say we haue called out of hell againe▪ As for the Arrians, the Eutychians, the Marcionites, ye Ebio­nites, the Valentinians, the Carpocra­tians; the Tatians, the Nouatians, and [Page] shortelie all them which haue had a wic­ked opinion eyther of God the Father or of Christ, or of the holy Ghoste, or of any other poinct of Christian Religion▪ for somuche as they be confuted by the Gospell of Christ, we plainly pronun [...] them for detestable and cast awaye per­sonnes, and defye them euen vnto the dy­uell. Neyther do wee leaue them so, but we also seuerely and straitely hold them in by lawful and politick punishemētes, yf they fortune to breake out any wher [...] and bewraye themselues.

In deede we graunt that certain new and very straunge sectes, as the Anabap­tistes, Libertines, Meneniās, & Zuenk­feldians haue ben stirring in the worlde euersence the Gospel did first spring. But the worlde seeth now right wel, thankes be giuen to our God, that wee neyther haue bredd nor taught, nor kept vp these Monstres. In good fellowship I pray the whosoeuer thou be, read our bokes, they are to be sould in euery place [...] What [Page] hath there euer ben written by any of our cōpany, which might plainely beare with the madnes of any of those hereti­ques? Nay I saye vnto you, there is no countrie at this daye so free from their pestilent infections, as they be wherein the gospel is freely and cōmonly taught. So that yf they wey the very matter wt earnest and vpright aduisement, this thing is a great argumēt, yt this same is the very truth of the Gospell whiche we do teache. For lightly neyther is cockell wont to growe without the wheat, nor yet the chaffe without the corne. For frō the very Apostles times, who knoweth not how many heresies did rise vp euen togeather, so soone as the Gospell was first spred abrode? Who euer had heard tel of Simon, Menander, Saturninus, Basilides, Carpocrates, Cherinthus, Ebion, Valentinus, Secundus, Mar­cos [...]us, Colorbasius, Heracleo, Lucia­nus, and Seuerus, before the Apostles were sent abrode? But whye stande wee [Page] reackoninge vp these? Epiphanius re­hearseth vp foure score sundrie heresies, and Augustine many moe, whiche dyd spring vp euen togeather with the Gos­pell. What then? was the Gospell ther­fore not the Gospell, bycause heresies sprang vp withall? or was Christ there­fore not Christ? And yet as we said, doth not this great crop and heape of heresies grow vp amongest vs, which do openly a broade and frankely teache the Gospel? These poysones take their begininge [...], their encreasinges and strengh emon­gest our Aduersaries, in blindenes and in darkenes, emongest whom trueth is wt tyrannie and cruelty kept vnder, and cā ­not be hearde but in corners and secrete meetinges. But let them make a proofe, let them giue the Gospell free passage, let the truth of Iesu Christe giue his cleare light and stretche sorth his bright beames into all partes, and then shall they furthwith see howe all these sha­dowes streight will vanyshe and passe [Page] [...] at the light of the Gospel, euen as the thi [...]h myste of the night consumith at the light of ye sunne. For whilest these men sit still and make mery, and doe no­thing, we continually represse and put backe all those heresies, whiche they fal­selye charge vs to noryshe and main­teine.

Where they say that we haue fallen into sundrie sectes, and woulde be called some of vs Lutherians, some of vs Zuingliās, and cannot yet well agre a­mong our selfes touching ye whole sub­staunce of doctrine, what woulde these menne haue said, yf they had bene in the first times of the Apostles and holy Fa­thers, when one said: I holde of Paul, an other I holde of Cephas, an other I holde of Apollo: when Paule dyd so sharpelye rebucke Peter: when vppon a falling out Barnabas departed from Paul: when as Origene mentioneth, the Christians were deuided into so many [...], as that they kept nomore but [Page] the name of Christians in cōmon emōg them, beyng in no maner of thyng els like to Christians, when as Socrates saith, for their dissensions and sun drye sectes they were laughed and iested at openly of the people in the cōmon game­playes, when as Constantine the Em­perour affirmeth, there were suche a nū ­ber of variaunces and braulinges in the church, that it might iustely seme a mi­serie farre passynge all the former mi­series? when also Theophilus, Epipha­nius, Chrysostome, Augustine, Rufine, Hierome, being all Christians, being all Fathers, being all catholiques, did striue one against an other, with moste bytter and remediles contentions without end? When as saith Nazianzene, the partes of one body wer consumed and wasted one of an other? when the East part was de­uided from the West, onely for leuened bread, and only for keping of Easter day, whiche were in dyd no great matters to be striued for? And when in al Councels [Page] [...] Credes and new decrees cōtinually were deuised? what woulde these men (from ye) haue said in those days? which side would they specially thē haue taken, and whiche would they then haue for­saken? whiche Gospel woulde they haue beleued? whome woulde they haue ac­coumpted for heretiques, and whom for Catholiques? And yet what a stirre and reuell kepe they at this time vpon two poore names onely Luther and Zwin­glius, because these two men do not yet fully agree vpon some one poinct, ther­fore woulde they nedes haue vs thinke, that both of them were deceiued, that neyther of them had the Gospell, & that neyther of thē taught the trueth aright. But good God, what maner of felowes be these, which blame vs for disagreing, and do all they themselues, weene you, agree wel together? Is euery one of thē fully resolued what to folow? hath there ben no strifes, no debates amongest thē at no time & why then do the Scotistes [Page] and Thomistes about that they call meritum congrui, & meritū condigni, no better agree togeather? Why agree they no better amonge themselues con­cernyng original sin in ye blessed virgin: cōcerning a solemne vowe, and a single vowe? Whye saye the Canonistes that auricular confession is appoineted by the positiue lawe of man, and the Schole­men contrarie wyse, that it is appoinc­ted by the lawe of God? Whye doth Al­bertus Pius dissente from Caietanus? why doth Thomas dissent from Lom­b [...]rdus, Scotus [...]rom Thomas, Occa­nus from Scotus, Alliēsis from Occa­nus: And whye do the Nominalis disa­gree from the Realles? And yet saye I nothing of so many diuersities of fryers and monkes, howe some of them put a great holynes in eatyng of Fyshe, and some in eating of hearbes: some in wea­ring of shewes, and some in wearing of Sandalles: some in going in a lynnen garment, and some in a wollen: some of thē called whit, some blacke: some being [Page] shauen broade, and some narowe: some stalkinge abroade vppon patens, some barefooted: some girte, and som vngert? They ought Iwys to remembre howe there be some of their owne companie whiche say, that the body of Christ is in his supper naturallie:Stepha. [...] in Di [...]ol [...] Sophisti [...] [...] Richard [...] Smith. Contrarie other some of the selfe same companie denye it to be so: Againe that there be other of them whiche saye, the bodye of Christ in the holy Communion is rent and torne with our teache,De consec Recāt. Pe [...] Scholae, & Glose. [...]. and some againe that deny the same. Some also of them there be, whiche write that ye body of Christ is quantum in Eucharistia, That is to say, hath his perfite quantitie in the Sacra­ment: Some other againe saye naye. That there be others of them whiche saye, Christ did consecrate with a certain diuine power,Thomas Aquinas some that he did the same with his blessing, some againe that say hee didde it with vtteringe fiue solemne those words, and some with rehearsing the same woordes afterwarde againe. [Page] Some wil haue it that when Christ did speake those fiue woordes, the materiall wheaten bread was pointed by this de­monstratiue Pronoune,Stephanus [...]ardiner hoc: Som had rather haue that a certaine vagum indi­uiduum, as they terme yt, was ment ther by. Againe, others there bee that say, [...]. dist. Glosa. dogges and myce may truely and in ve­ry deede eate the body of Christe: [...]. Sent. [...]hol [...]. and o­thers againe ther be that stedfastly denie it. There be others whiche saye, that the very accidentes of bread and wine maye nuryshe: others againe there bee whiche say, how that the substance of the breade doth retourne againe. What neede I say more? yt were ouer longe and tedious to recken vp all thinges, so very vncer­taine and full of controuersies is yet the whole form of these mēs religiō and doc­trin, euē amōgest thēselues, frō whence it did first springe and beginne. For hardly at any time do they well agree betweene themselues, excepte it be peraduentur as in times past the Pharisies and Sadu­cees [Page] or as Herod and Pylate did accorde against Christ. They were best therfore to go and sette peace at home rather a­monge theeir owne selues. Of a truthe, vnitie and concorde dothe best become Religion, yet is not vnitie the sure and certaine marke whereby to knowe the Church of God. For there was the grea­test consente that might bee amongest them that worshipped the Golden calfe, and among them whiche with one voice ioyntly cryed against our Sauiour Ie­su Christe, Crucifie him. Nother bicause the Corinthians were vnquieted with priuate dissensions, or bicause Paule did square with Peter, or Barnabas with Paule: or bicause the Christians vpon the very beginning of the Gospell were at mutuall discorde, touchinge some one matter, may we therefore thinke there was no church of God amongest them▪ And as for those personnes whom they vpon spite cal Zwinglians and Luthe­rians, in very deede they of bothe sydes [Page] be Christians, good friendes & brethern. They vary not betwixt thēselues vpon the principles and foundacions of oure religiō, nor as touching God nor Christ nor the holy Ghoste, nor of the meanes to iustification; nor yet euerlasting life, but vpon one onely question, whiche is neither weightie nor great: neither mis­trust we or make doubte at all, but they will shortely be agreed. And if there bee any of them whiche haue other opinion than is meete, we doubt not but or it bee longe, they will put apart all affections and names of parties, and that God wil reueale it vnto them: so that by better considering & searching out of the mat­ter, as once it cam to passe in the Councel of Calcedone, al causes & seedes of dissension shall bee throughly pluct vp by the roote, and be buried and quite forgotten for euer. whiche God graunt.

But this is the moste greuous and heuye case that they call vs wicked and ungodly men, and say we haue throwne [Page] away all care of religion. Though this ought not to trouble vs muche, whiles thei themselues yt thus haue charged vs, knowe ful well how spitefull and false a sayinge it is: for Iustine the martyr is a witnes how that all Christians were called [...],Euseb [...] lib. 4▪ that is Godlesse, assone as the Gospell firste beganne to bee published, and the name of Christe to be openly de­clared. And when Polycarpus stood to be iudged, the people stirred vp the President to sleye and murder all them whiche professed the Gospell, with these wordes, [...], That is to saye, Ridde out of the waye these wicked and Godles creatures. And this was not bi­cause it was true that the Christians were Godlesse, but bicause they woulde not worship stones and stockes, whiche were then honored as God. The whole worlde seeth plainelye ynough already, what we and ours haue endured at these mens handes for religion and our onely Goddes cause. They haue thrown vs [Page] into prison, into water, into fyer, & ha [...] embrued themselues in oure bloude, no [...] bycause wee were eyther adulterers or robbers, or murtherers, but only for tha [...] we confessed the Gospell of Iesu Christ, and put oure confidence in the liuinge God. And for that wee complained to iustly and truely (Lorde thou knowest) that they did breake the lawe of God for their owne moste vaine traditions: And that our Aduersaries were the very foes to the Gsopel, and ennemies to Christes crosse, who so wittingly and willingly did obstinately dispise Gods commaun­dementes. Wherefore when these menne sawe they could not rightly finde faulte with oure doctrine, they woulde needes picke a quarel, and inuey & raile against our manners, surmisinge how that we do condemne all well doinges, how wee sette open the doore to all licenciousnes and iust, and lead away the people from all loue of vertue. And in very deede the lyfe of all men, euen of the deuoutest and [Page] moste Christian, bothe is and euermore hath been suche, as one maye alwayes had some lacke, euen in the very best and purest conuersation. And such ys the [...] of all creatures vnto euell, and the readines of al men to suspect, that the thinges whiche neither haue been done, nor once ment to be done, yet maye bee easely bothe heard and credited for true. And like as a small spotte is soone spyed in the neatest and whytest garment, euen so the least staine of dishonestie is easelye founde out in the purest & sincerest lyfe. Neither take we all them whyche haue at this day imbraced the doctrine of the Gospell to be Angels, and to liue clerely without anye mote or wrinkle: nor yet thinke we these men either so blind, that yf any thing may be noted in vs, they ar not able to perceaue ye same euen through the least ereuie, nor so friendly that they will construe ought to the best: nor yet so honest of nature nor curteous, that they will looke backe vpon themselues, and [Page] wey our fashions by their owne. Yf so be we list to search this matter from the bottome: we knowe in the very Apostle times there were Christians, throughe whome the name of the Lord was blas­phemed and euell spoken of amonge the Gentiles. Constantius the Emperour [...] be waileth, as it is writē in Sos [...]menus, how that many waxed worse after the [...] had fallen to the religion of Christe. And Cyprian in a lamentable Oration set­teth out the corrupt maners in his time▪ The holsome discipline,Cyprian de [...]apsis. saith he, whiche the Apostles left vnto vs, hathe idlenesse and long rest now vtterly marred, euery one studied to encrease his liuelyhode, and cleane forgettinge either what they had done before, whiles they were vnder the Apostles, or what they ought conti­nually to doe hauing receaued the fayth: they earnestly laboured to make greate their owne welth wt an vnsatiable desire of couetousnes. There is no devout reli­gion, saithe hee, in Preestes, no sounde [Page] faith in ministers, no charitie shewed in good workes, no forme of Godlinesse in their conditions, men are become ef­feminate, and womens bewty is coun­terfeited. And before his daies, said Ter­tullian, O how wreatched be we which are called Christians at this time? For wee liue as Heathens, vnder the name of Christe. And without reciting of manye mo wryters, Gregory Nazianzene spea­keth this of the pitifull state of his owne time: We saith he, are in hatred amōg ye Heathen for our own vyces sake, we are also becomme nowe a wonder not alone to Aungels and menne, but euen to all the vngodlye. In this case was the Churche of Godd when the Gos­pell firste beganne to shyne, and when the fury of Tyrauntes was not as yet cooled, nor the sword taken of from the Christians neckes. Surelie it is no new thinge that menne bee butte menne, al­thoughe they bee called by the name of Christians.

[Page]But will these menne I praye you thinke nothing at all of the selues, whi­les they accuse vs so maliciously? & whi­les they haue leasure to beholde so farre of, and see both what is done in Germa­nye and in England? Haue they eyther forgotten, or can they not see what is done at Rome? Or be they our accusers, whose lyfe is suche, as no man is able to make mention thereof but with shame and vncomelines? Our purpose here is not to take in hande at this present to bryng to lyght and open to the worlde those thinges whiche were meete rather to be hyd and buryed with the workers of them, It besemyth neyther our Reli­gion, nor our modestie, nor our shame­fastenes. But yet he which giueth com­maundement that he shoulde be called the vicar of Christ and the head of the Churche, who also hearith that suche things be don at Rome, who seeth them, who suffereth them (for we will go no further) he can easily consider with him [Page] selfe what maner of things they be. Let him on Gods name call to mynde, let him remembre that they be of his owne Canonistes, which haue taught the peo­ple that fornication betwen single folke is not sinne (as though they had fet that doctrine from Mitio in Terence) whose wordes be:Iohan. de magist. D [...] temperā [...] It is no sinne (beleue me) for a yonge man to haunte harlottes. Let hym remēbre they be of his own which haue decreed, yt a preiste oughte not to be put out of his cure for fornication.3.4.7 la [...] Extra. de bigamis Quia, circ Let him remēbre also how Cardinall Cam­pegius, Albertus Pighius and others many more of his owne, haue taughte yt the preist whiche keepeth a Concubine, doth liue more holily and chastelye, then he which hath a wyfe in matrimonie. I trust he hath not yet forgoten, that there be many thousands of common harlot­tes in Rome: and that hym selfe doth gather yearely of ye same harlottes vpō a thirty thousāde Duckettes by [...]he way of an annuall pension. Neyther can he [Page] forgette how himselfe doth maintein o­penly brothels houses, and by a moste filthye lucre doth filthelye and lewdelye serue his owne lust. Were all thinges then pure and holy in Rome, when Io­hane a womā rather of parfe [...]t age thē of parfect lyfe, was Pope there, & bare her selfe as the head of the Church? And af­ter that for two whole yeares in that holye Sea, [...]he image this wo­man Pope [...]ng in tra [...]l, [...]s yet be seene Rome. she had plaide the naughtie Packe, at last going in procession about the Citie, in the sight of al the Cardinals and Byshopps fell in trauaile openly in the stretes?

But what neede one rehearse Con­cubines and Bawds, as for that is now an ordinarie, and a gainefull sinne at Rome. For harlottes syt there now a days,Gen. 38. not as they did in times past with­out the Citie walles, and with their fa­ces hid and couered, but they dwel in pa­laces and fayre houses: they strey about in Courte and market, [...] concilio. [...]lect. Card. [...]. 1. and that wyth bare and open face: as who saye they, [Page] may not onely laufully do it, but ought also to be praysed for so doing. What should we say any more of this? their vi­tious and abhominable lyfe is now tho­roughlye knowen to the whole world. Bernarde writeth roundely and truely of the Byshop of Romes house,De cōsid. ad Eugeni [...] yea and of the Byshop of Rome him selfe. Thy Palaice sayethe he, taketh in good men, but it maketh none: naughtye persones thriue there, and the good appayre and decaye. And who soeuer he were which wrote the Tripartite worke annexed to the Councel Lateranense, saith thus, So excessiue at this daye is the ryote aswel in the Prelates and Byshoppes, as in the Clerkes and Preistes, that it is hor­rible to be told. But these thinges be not onely growen in vre and so by custome and continuall tyme well alowed, as all the rest of their doinges in maner bee, but they are now waxen old and rotten ripe. For who hath not hearde what a haynous act Peter A [...]oisius, Pope Paul [Page] the thirdes sonne cōmitted against C [...] ­mus Cherius the Byshopp of Fauense [...] what Iohn Casus Archebishop of Bene­uentanus the Popes Legate at Venyce wrote in the commendation of a moste abhominable fylthynes, and how he set furth with most lothesom words & wic­ked eloquence, ye mater which ought not once to procede out of any bodys mouth. To whose eares hath it not come, that N. Diasius a Spaniard, being purposely sent from Rome into Germanie, did sha­mefulie and diuilishlie murther his own brother Iohn Diasius, a most innocent and a most godly man, onely bycause he had embraced ye Gospel of Iesu Christ, and wolde not retorne again to Rome?

But it may chaunce, to this they will say: These thinges may somtime happen in the best gouerned common welth, yea and against the Magistrates willes: and besides, there be good lawes made to punyshe suche. I graunt it be so: but by what good lawes (I would know) haue [Page] [...]hese greate myscheues benne punyshed emongest them? Petrus Aloisius after he hadde don that notorious Acte that I spake of, was alwayes cherished in his fathers bosome Pope Paule the third, and made his very derling. Diasius af­ter he had murthered his owne brother, was deliuered by the Popes meanes, to thend he might not be punyshed by good lawes. Iohn Casus Archiepūs Bene­uentarius is yet alyue, yea and lyueth at Rome, euen in the eyes and syght of the most holye Father. They haue putte to death infinite numbres of our bretherne, only bycause they beleued truely and sin­cere [...]ie in Iesu Christ. But of that great and foule numbre of harlottes, fornica­tours, Adulterers, what one haue they at any time (I say not killed) but eyther excommunicat, or once attached? Why? volunteousnesse, adulterie, rybaudrie, whoredome, murthering of kinn, incest, and others more abhominable partes, are not these coumpted synne at Rome? [Page] Or yf they be synne, ought Christes vy­car, Peters successour, the most holye Father, so lightly and [...]lytely beare them as though they were no synne, and that in the Citie of Rome, and in that princi­pall tower of all holynes?

O holy Scribes and Pharises, which knew not this kind of holines. O what holynes, what a Catholike faith is this? Peter did not this teach at Rome, Paul did not so liue at Rome: they did not prac­tise brothelry which these do opēly: they made not a yearely reuenewe and profite of harlottes: they suffered no common Adulterours and wicked Murtherers to go vnpunyshed. They did not receiue them into their intier familiaritie, into their Councell, into their house houlde, nor yet into ye cōpany of Christen men. These menne ought not therfore so vn­resonablie to triumphe against our ly­uing. It had ben more wysedom for thē, eyther firste to haue proued good their owne lyfe before the worlde, or at leaste [Page] to haue [...]ked it a litle more conningly. For we do vse stil the ould and auncient lawes (and as muche as men maye do in the ma [...]ers vsed at these dayes, when al thinges are so wholy corrupte) wee dili­gently and earnestlye put in execution thecclesiasticall discipline: wee haue not commen brothell houses of strumpettes, nor yet flockes of Concubynes, nor heardes of harlot haunters. Neyther do we preferr adulterie before matrimony, neither do we exercise beastly sensualitie. Neyther do we gather ordinarie rentes and stipendes of stewes, nor do suffer to escape vnpunyshed incest and abhomi­nable naughtines, nor yet such manquel­lers as the Aloisrans, Casiās, and Dia­siās were. For yf these thinges woulde haue pleased vs, wee neded not to haue departed from these mennes felowship, amongest whom suche enormities be in their chiefe pride and pryce. Nother▪ ne­ded we for leauing them to ronne into ye hatred of menne, and into most willfull [Page] daungers. Paule the fourthe not many monethes since, hadde at Rome in prison certaine Augustine fryers, manye Bys­shops, and a greate numbre of other de­uout men, for Religion sake, hee racked them and tormented them: to make them confesse, hee lefte no meanes vnassayed. But in thend how many brothels, how many whoremōgers, how many adulte­rers, how many incestuous persōs could he find of all those? Our God be thāked, although we be not yt mē we ought & professe to be, yet whosoeuer we be, cōpare vs wt these men, & euē oure own life & inno­cencie wil sone proue vntrue, & condemn their malicious surmises. For we exhorte the people to all vertue and well doinge, not onelye by bokes and preachinges, but also wt oure examples and behauiour. We also teache that the Gospell is not a boasting or bragging of knowledg, but yt it is ye law of life, [...] Apoll [...] & yt a Christian man (as Tertulliā saith) ought not to speak honorably, but ought to liue honorably: nor [Page] that they be the hearers of the lawe, but the doers of the lawe, which are iustifi­ed before God.

Besides all these matters wherewith they charge vs, they are wōt also to add this one thinge, which they enlarge with all kinde of spitefulnes: that is, that we be men of trouble, yt wee plucke ye sword and Scepter out of Kinges handes: that we ar [...]e the people, that we ouerthrowe iudgemente places, destroy the lawes, make hauocke of possessiōs, seke to make the people Princes, turne all things vp­syde downe: and to be short, yt we would haue nothinge in good frame in a com­mon welth. Good lorde, how often haue they sette on fyre Princes heartes with these words, [...]. ho Apollo [...] ca. 1.2.3. to thend they might quēche the light of the Gospell in the very firste apperinge of it, and might begin to hate the same or euer they were able to know it, and to the end that euery magistrate might thinke he saw his deadly ennemy, as often as he saw any of vs. Surely it [Page] should excedingly greeue vs to be so ma­litiouslie accused of moste hainous trea­son, onlesse we knewe that Christe him­selfe, the Apostles, and a numbre of good and Christian men were in time past blamed and enuied in manner for the same faultes. For although Christ taught thei should giue vnto Cesar that which was Cesars, yet was he charged with sediti­on in that he was accused to deuise some conspiracie and to couete the kingdome. And herevpon they cryed out with open mouth against him in the place of iudge­ment, sayeng: Yf thou let this man scape, thou arte not Cesars friend.

And though ye Apostles did likewise e­uermore & stedfastly teach, ye Magistrats ought to be obeyed, ye euery soule ought to be subiect to the higher powers, not onely for scare of wrath & punishment, but euen for conscience sake, yet bear thei the name to disquiet the people, and to stirre vp the multitud to rebel. After this sorte did Haman specially bring the na­tion [Page] of the Iewes into the hatred of the kinge Assuerus,In the booke of Hes [...] b [...]cause, saide hee, they were a rebellious & stubborn people, & dispised the ordinaunces and commaun­dimentes of princes. Wicked king Achab saide to Elie the Prophet of God,3.0 Reg. 1 [...] It is thou that troublest Israell. Amasias ye priest at Bethell laid a conspiracie to the prophete Amos charge before kinge Ie­roddam sayeng, See,Amos. [...]. Amos hath made a conspiracie against thee in the middest of the house of Israell. To bee breefe: Tertullian saithe, this was the generall accusation of all Christians whiles he li­ued,In Apol [...] cap. 37. that they were traytours, they were rebelles, and the ennemies of mankinde. Wherefore if now a dayes the truthe be likewise euell spoken of, and beinge the same truth it was then, yf it be now like dispitefully vsed as it was in times past, though it be a greuous and vnkind dea­linge, yet can it not seeme vnto vs a new or an vnwonted matter. Forty yeares agone and vpward, was it an easy thing [Page] for them to deuise aginst vs these accur­sed speaches & other sorer thē these, when in the middest of the darkenesse of that age firste beganne to springe and to giue shine, some one glimmeringe beame of truthe vnknowen at that time and vn­hearde of, when also Martin Luther & Hulderike Zwinglius beinge moste ex­cellent menne, euen sent of God to giue light to the whole world, firste came vn­to the knowledge and preachinge of the Gospell, wheras yet the thinge was but newe, and the successe thereof vncertain: and when mens mindes stoode doubtful and amased, and their eares open to all slaunderous tales: and when there could bee imagined against vs no fact so dete­ [...]able, but the people then woulde soone beleeue it for the nouelty and strangenes of the matter. For so did Syminachus, so did Celsus, so didde Iulianus, so did Porphirius the olde foes to the Gospell attempt in times past to accuse all Chri­stians of sedition and treason, before [Page] [...] [...]epute or People were able to [...] who those Christians were, what [...] professed, what thei beleued, or what was their meaning.

But now sithens our very ennemies do see and cannot deny, but we euer in al our wordes and writinges haue diligēt­lie put the people in mynde of their dew­tie, to obey their Princes and Magistra­tes, ye though they be wicked: For this doth very trial and experience sufficient­lie teache, and all mennes eyes, whosoe­uer and wheresoeuer they be, do well y­nough see and wytnes for vs, yt was a soule parte of them to charge vs with these thinges: and seing they could fynde no n [...]w and late faults, therfore to seke to procure vs enuye only with stale and out worne lyes. We geue our lorde God thanks, whose only cause this is, there hath yet at no tyme been any suche ex­ample in all the Realmes, Dominions and common weales whiche haue recci­ued the Gospell. For we haue ouerthro­wen [Page] no kingedome, we haue decayed n [...] mans power or right, wee haue disor­dered no commō welth. There continu­in thir owne accustomed state and aun­cient dignitie the Kinges of oure coun­trie of Englande, the Kinges of Den­marke, the Kings of Souetia, the Dukes of Saxonie, the Counties Palatine, the Marquesies of Brandeburgh, the Lans­graues of Hessia, the common wealthes of the Heluetians and Rhe [...]ians, and the free cities, as Argentine, Basil, Frank­forde, Vline, August and Nor [...]enberge, doe all I saye abide in the same authori­tie and estate wherein they haue beene heeretofore, or rather in a muche better, for that by meanes of the Gospell they haue their people more obedient vn­to them. Lette them go I praye you in­to those places where at this presente through Goddes goodnes the Gospell is taught, where is there more maiesties where is there lesse arrogancie and tir­rannye? where is the Prince more ho­nored? [Page] where be the people lesse [...] hathe there at anye time the [...] wealthe or the Churche beene [...]? Perhappes ye will say, [...] the firste beginninge of this [...] the common sorte euerye wheare [...] to rage and to ryse throughout [...]. Alowe it were so, yet Mar­tin Luther the publisher and setter [...] of this doctrine, didde write [...] behementlye and sharpely a­gainst them, and reclamed them home to [...] and obedience.

But whereas it is wont sometime to be obiected, by personnes wantinge skil, [...] the Heluetians chaunge of [...] and killinge of Leopoldus the duke of Austria, and restoringe by force their Countrie to libertie, that was donne as [...] playtielye by all stories, for [...] hundreth and threescore yeares past or aboue, vnder Boniface the [...]ight, when the authoritie of the Byshop of Rome was in greatest solitie, about two [Page] hundreth yeres before Hulderike Zuin­glius eyther beganne to teache the Gos­pell, or yet was borne. And euer sen [...]e that tyme, they haue hadde all thinges still and quiet, not onelye from forreine ennemies, but also from ciuell dissensi­on. And of it were a sinne in the Hel­uetians to deliuer their owne countrie from foreine gouernemente, speciallye when they were so proudelye and tyran­noullye oppressed, yet to burthen vs with other mennes faultes, or them with the faultes of their forefathers, is against all right and reasone.

But O immortall God, and will the Bysshoppe of Rome accuse vs of trea­son? will hee teache the people to obeye and folowe their Magistrates? or hath hee anye regarde at all of the Maiestie of Princes? whye doothe hee then as none of the olde Bysshoppes of Rome heretofore euer didde, suffre hym selfe to bee called of his flaterers,August. [...]teuehu [...], Antonius [...] Rosellio Lorde of Lordes, as though hee woulde haue all [Page] [...] and Princes, whoe and what [...] they are, to bee his vnderlinges? [...] doothe hee vaunte hym selfe to bee [...] al kynges, and to haue kyngelye [...] ouer his Subiectes? why [...] he al emperors & princes to swere [...] and true obedience? Whye [...] that the Emperours [...] is a thowsandfould inferiour to hym and for this reason,De Maior & obedi, Solite. speciallye by­cause God hath made two lyghtes in the heauen,De maior▪ & obed en Vnam sact [...] and bycause heauen and [...] were created not at two begin­ninges, but at on. Why hath he and hys comp [...]tes (like Anabaptistes and [...], to thende they myght ronne on more licenciouslye and careleslye) shakē of the yoke, and exempted themselues from being vnder all [...]iuell power? why hath he his Legates (asmuche to saye as most s [...]tle spyes) lieng in wayte in all [...] Courtes, Councells, and priuey [...]? whye doth he, when he ly [...], [...] Christian Princes one against an [Page] other, and at his owne pleasure trouble the whole worlde with debate and dis­corde? why dothe hee excommunicat [...] and commaund to be taken as a heathen and a Pagan any Christian prince that renounceth his authoritie? and why pro­miseth he his Indulgences & his pardōs largely to any that will (what way so­euer it be) kil any of his ennemies? Doth hee maintaine Empires and kingdomes? Or dothe hee once desire that common quiete should be prouided for? You must pardonne vs good Reader, though wee seeme to vtter these thinges more bitter­lye and bitingly then it becommeth Di­uines to doe. For bothe the shamfulnes of the matter, and the desire of rule in the Bysshoppe of Rome is so exceeding and outragious, that it could not well be vt­tered with other words, or more mildly. For he is not ashamed to say in open as­semblie,men [...]. 5. Concilio. enmensi. that all iurisdiction of al kinges dothe depend vpon himselfe. And to feed his ambitiō & greedines of rule, [...] hath he pulled in peeces the Empire of Rome, [Page] and hered and rent whole Christendom [...] falsely and trenterouslie also did he release ye Romains, ye Italians, & him [...] to, of the othe wherby they and hee [...] straightly bound to bee true to the Emperour of Grecia, and stirred vp the Emperours subiects to forsake him, and taking Carolus Martellus out of Frāce into Italie, made him Emperour: such a thing as neuer was seene before. He put Ch [...]perieus the Frenche king,Zacharia papa. being no euel prince, beside his realm, only because he fansied him not, and wrongfullie pla­ced Pipin in his roume. Againe, after he had cast out king Philip, if he could haue brought it so to passe, he had determined & apointed ye kingdom of Fraunce to Al­bertus king of Romaines. He vtterly de­ [...]oied the state of ye most florishing cyty & cōmō weale of Florēce his own natiue coūtrie,Clemens papa. 7. & brought it out of a free & pea­sable state, to be gouerned at ye pleasure of on mā:Idē Cl [...] he brought to passe by his pro­curement ye whole Sauoy on the one side was miserably spoyled by Themperour [Page] Charles the fifth, and on the other syde by the Frenche kinge, so as the vnfortu­nate duke had scant one Citie left him to hyde his head in. Wee are cloyed with exaumples in this behalfe, and it shoulde bee very tedious to recken vp all the no­torious deedes of the Byshops of Rome. Of which side were they, I beseche you, whiche poysoned Henry Themperour, euen in the receauinge of the sacrament? whiche poysoned Victor the Pope, euen in ye receauing of ye Chalice? which poy­soned our king Iohn kinge of England in a drinkinge cuppe? whosoeuer at least they were, and of what sect soeuer, I am sure they were neither Lutherians, nor Zwinglians. What is hee at this daye, whiche alloweth the mightiest Kinges and Monarches of the worlde to kisse his blessed feete? What is hee that com­maundeth the Emperour to goe by him at his horse bridell, and the Frenche king to holde his stirrop? Who hurled vnder his table Fraunces Dandalus the duke [Page] of [...]enice Kinge of Creta and Cypres,S [...]hellie [...] fast bound with chaines, to feed of bones amonge his dogges? Who set the Empe­riall crowne vpon the Emperour Henry the sixthys head, not with his hand but with his foote,Coelestin [...]d papa. and with the same foote againe cast the same crowne of, sayinge withall: hee had power to make Empe­rours, and to vnmake them againe at his pleasure? Who put in armes Henry the sonne against Themperour his fa­ther Henry the fourth,Hildebram papa. and wrought so that the Father was taken prisoner of his owne sonne, and beinge shorne and shamfullye handeled, was thruste into a monasterie, where with hunger & sorow he diued away to death? Who so ilfauo­redlye and monstrouslye put the Empe­rour Frederikes necke vnder his feet,Innocenti [...] papa. 3. and as though that were not sufficient, added further this texte out of the Psalmes: Thou shalt go vpon the Adder and cor­katrice, and shalt treade the Lyon and Dragon vnder thy feete? Suche an ex­ample [Page] of scorninge and contemninge [...] Princes maiestie, as neuer before this was heard tell of in any remembruance, except I weene, either of Tamerlanes the kinge of Scithia a wilde and barbarous creature, or els of Sapor king of ye Persians. All these notwithstandinge were Popes, all Peters successours, all most holy fathers, whose seueral wordes wee must take to be as good as seuerall Gospels. Yf we be compted traytours whiche do honour oure Princes, whiche giue them all obedience as muche as is due to them by Godds word, and which doo praye for them, what kinde of men then bee these, whiche haue not one­ly done all the thinges before saide, but also alowe the same for speciallye well don? Do they then either this way in­struct ye people as we do, to reuerēce their magistrate: or can they with honesty ap­peache vs as seditious personnes, brea­kers of the common quiete, and despisers of princes maiestie?

[Page]Truely we neither putte of the yoke of [...] from vs, neyther doe wee [...] realmes, neither doe we sette vp or pull downe Kinges, nor translate go­ [...]ernementes, nor giue oure Kinges poy­sonne to drinke, nor yet holde to them [...] feete to be kissed, nor opprobriously triumphinge ouer them, leape into their neckes with oure feete. This rather is oure profession, this is our doctrine, that merye soule of what callinge soeuer he be, be he Monke, bee he preacher, bee he prophet, be he Apostle,Chrysost. [...]. cap. [...]. Roman [...] ought to be sub [...]ect to kings & magistrates: yea and that the Byshop of Rome himselfe, onlesse he will seeme greater then the Euangelists, then the Prophetes, or the Apostles, ought bothe to acknowledge and to call the Emperour his Lorde and maister: which ye old bishops of Rome,Gregori [...] papae▪ say in epist. who liued in times of more grace, euer did. Our cō ­mō teaching also is, yt we ought so to obey princes as mē sent of God, & yt whoso wt ­stādeth thē, wtstandeth Gods ordinance, [Page] This is oure scholinge, and this is well to be seene bothe in oure bookes and in our preachinges, and also in the maners and modest behauiour of oure people.

But where they saye, we haue gon a­waye from the vnitie of the catholique Churche, this is not onelye a matter of malice, but besides, though it bee moste vntrue, yet hath it some shew and appa­rance of trouth. For the common people and ignoraunt multitude giue not credit alone to thinges true and of certaintie, butte euen to suche thinges also, yf anye chaunce, which may seeme to haue but a resemblaunce of trouth. Therfore we see that subtle and craftie persones, when they had no truth on their side, haue euer contēded and horely argued wt things likely to be true, to the intent they which were not able to espie the very grounde of the matter, might be caried a waye at least with some pretense and probabilitie thereof. In times past where the firste Christians, oure forefathers, in makinge [Page] their prayers to God, didd tourne them­selues towardes the Easte, there were [...] sayde, they worshipped the sunn, [...] it as God.Tertull. in Apol. [...] Againe, where oure forefathers saide, that as touchinge [...] fall and euerlasting life, thei liued by no other meanes but by the flesh and bloud of that lambe who was without s [...]o [...]t, that is to say, of oure sauiour Ie­sus Christ, ye enuious creatures and [...]oes of Christes Crosse, whose only care was to bringe Christian religion into slaun­der by al māner of wayes, made peo­ple beleeue, that they were wicked per­sons, that they sacrificed mens fleshe,Tertull in Apologe [...] ca. [...] and dr [...]nke mennes bloud. Also where oure forefathers saide, that before God there [...] neither man nor woman, nor for attei­ninge to the true righteousnes there is no distinction at all of personnes, and that they didde call one an other indifferentlye by the name of Sisters and Brothers, there wanted not menne whiche forged false tales vpon the same, [Page] sayinge that the Christians made noe difference amonge them selues,Tertull. [...] eyther of age or of kinde, but like brute beastes without regarde had to do one with an other. And where for to pray & heare the Gospell, they mette often together in se­cret and byeplaces, because Rebelles somtime were wonte to do the like. Ru­mors were euery where spredd abroade howe they made priuie confederacies, and counseled together either to kill the magistrates, or to subuert the com­mon wealth. And where in celebratinge the holye mysteries, after Christes in­stitution, they tooke breade and wyne, they were thought of many not to wor­shippe Christe, [...] but Bacchus and Ceres, forsomuche as those vaine Goddes were woorshipped of the Heathen in like sort, after a prophane superstition, with bread and wyne. These thinges were beleued of manye, not bicause they were true in deed (for what coulde be more vntrue?) but bicause they were lyke to bee true, [Page] and through a certain shadow of truth mighte the more easilye deceiue the [...]. On this fashion likewise dooe these menne slaunder vs as Heretiques, and saye that wee haue lefte the Church and felowshippe of Christe: not bicause they thinke it is true, for they dooe not muche force of that, but bicause to ig­noraunte folke it myght perhappes som­waye appeere true. Wee haue in deede putt oure selues aparte, not as heretikes are woon [...]e, from the Churche of Christ, but as all good menne oughte to doo, from the infection of naughtye persons and hypocrites.

Neuerthelesse in this poynte they triumphe maruelouslye that they bee the Churche, that theyre Churche ys Christes spowse, the piller of truthe, the arke of Noe, and that without it there is no hope of saluation. Con­trarywise, they saye that wee bee ronne­gates, that we haue torne Christes seat: that wee are plucked quyte of from the [Page] body of Christe, and haue forsaken the catholique faithe. And when they leaue nothinge vnspoken that may neuer so falselie and malitioslie be saide against vs, yet this one thynge are they neuer hable truely to saye, that we haue swar­ued eyther from the worde of God, or from the Apostles of Christ, or from the primatiue Churche. Surelye wee haue euer iudged the primatiue Churche of Christes tyme, of the Appostles, and of the holie Fathers to be the catholique Churche: neyther make we doubt to na­me it Noes arke, Christes spouse, the piller and vpholder of al trueth: nor yet to fire therin the whole meane of oure saluation. It is doubtles an odiouse mater for one to leaue the fellowshipp whereunto he hath ben accustomed, and specially of those men, who though they be not, yet at leaste seme and be called Christians. And to say truely, we do not dispise the Churche of these men (howe soeuer it be ordered by thē now a dayes) [Page] partely for the name sake yt selfe, & par­tely for that the Gospell of Iesu Christ hath once ben therin truely and purelye set furth. Neyther had we departed ther­from, but of very necessitie, and much a­gainst our wils. But I put case, an Idol be set vp in the Churche of God, and the same desolation which Christe prophe­cied to comme, stoude openly in the holy place? what yf som theefe or pirat inuade and possesse Noes arke? These folkes as often as they tell vs of the Churche, meane therby themselues alone, and at­tribute all these titles to their owne sel­ues, boasting as they did in tymes past whiche cryed The temple of the Lorde, The temple of the lorde: or as the Pha­riseis and Scribes dyd, whiche craked they were Abrahams children. Thus with a gay and iolie shewe deceiue they the simple, and seke to choke vs with the very name of the church. Muche like as yf a theefe, when he hath gotten into an other mans house, and by violence ey­ther [Page] hath thrust out or slayne the ow­ner, should afterwarde assigne the same house to hym selfe, casting furthe of pos­session the right inheritour: Or y [...] An­tichrist after he hath once entred into the Temple of God, should afterward saye, This house is myne own, & Christ hath nothinge to do withall▪ For these menne nowe after they have left nothyng re­maining in ye churche of God yt hath any liknes of this Church, yet will they seeme the Patrones and the valiaunte mayn­teners of the Churche, very like as Gra­chus amongest the Romaynes stoode in defence of the treasury, not withstanding with his prodigalitie and fond expences he had vtterlye wasted the whole stocke of the treasurie. And yet was there neuer any thing so wicked or so far out of reason, but lightelye yt might be coue­red & defended by the name of the church. For the waspes also make honyecom­bes as well as Bees, & wicked men haue companyes lyke to the Churche of God, yet for all that they be not streight w [...]y [Page] the people of God which ar called ye peo­ple of God: neither be they al Israelits of many as ar com of Israell ye father. The Arrians notwitstanding thei were heretiques, yet bragged they that they alone were Catholiques, calling all the test now Ambrosiās,Augustin [...]s in epist. 41 ad vincent now Athanasiās, now Iohannites. And Nestorius, as saith Theodorete, for all he was an He­retique, yet couered he hym selfe [...], that is to weete, with a certaine cloke and colour of the true & right faith. Ebion though he a­greed in opinion with ye Samaritanes, yet as saith Epiphanius, he would be called a Christian. The Mahomytes at this day, for all ye al histories make plaine mention, and themselues also cannot de­nye, but they toke their first begynning of Agar the bonde woman, yet for the very name and stockes sake, chuse they rather to be caled Saracenes, as though they came of Sara the free woman and Abrahams wyfe. So likewise the false [Page] Prophetes of all ages whiche stode vp against the Prophetes of God, whiche resisted E [...]ayas, Ieremye, Christ, and the Appostles, at no tyme craked of any thing somuche, as they dyd of the name of the Churche. And for no nother cause did they so fearcely vexe them and cal thē Ronneawayes and Apostatas, then for that they forsoke their fellowshipp, and kepte no: thordinaunces of the Elders: wherfore yf we would folow the iudge­mentes of those men only, who then go­uerned the Churche, and would respecte nothing els neyther God nor his word, yt muste nedes bee confessed, that the Apostles were rightlie and by iust lawe condemned of thē to death, bycause they fell from the Byshops and preistes, that is you must thīke, from the Catholique Churche: and bycause they made many new alterations in Religion contrarie to the Byshops and Preistes willes, yea and for all their spurninge so ernestlye against it: wherfore like as it is written [Page] that Hercules in olde time was forced in striving wt Antaeus that huge giaunt, to [...]y [...]te him quite vp from the earth that was his Mother [...]re he could conqueere him, euen so must our Aduersaries be heaued from their Mother, that is from this vaine colour & shadow of ye church, wherewith they so disguise and defende themselues, otherwyse they cannot be brought to yelde vnto the word of God. And therefore saith Ieremye the Pro­phete, Make not suche, [...]reat boaste that the Temple of the Lorde is with you, this is but a vaine confidence, for these are lyes. The Aungell also saith in the Apocalyps. They say theybe Iewes but they be ye Synagoge of Sathan. And Christ sayd to the Pharisies when they vaunted them selfe of the kynred & bloud of Abraham: Ye are of your father the Devel,Ioban. 8. for you resemble not your father Abraham▪ asmuche to saye, ye are not the men ye woulde so faine be called, ye [...] the people with vaine titles, and [Page] abuse the name of the Churche, to the ouerthrowing of the Churche.

So that these mens parte had ben first to haue clearely and truely proued that the Romishe churche is the true and right instructed Churche of God, & that the same, as they do order it at this day, dothe agre with ye primatiue church of Christ, of the Apostles, and of the ho­lye Fathers, whiche we doubt not but was in dede ye true catholique Church. For our partes yf we, could haue iudged ignoraunce, errour, superstition, Idola­trie, mennes Inuentions, and the same cōmōlie disagreinge with ye holy Scriptures, eyther pleased God, or to be suffi­cient for thobtainige euerlastyng salua­tion, or yf we could assertaine our selues that the worde of God was written but for a time only, and afterwarde againe ought to be abrogated and put awaye, or els that the sayinges and commaun­dementes of God ought to be subiecte to mans will, that whatsoeuer God sayeth [Page] and commaundeth, except the Byshopp of Rome willeth and commaundeth the same, it must be taken as void an vnspo­ken. Yf we coulde haue brought our sel­ues to beleue these thinges, we graunt there had ben no cause at all why wee should haue lefte these mennes cōpanie. As touching that we haue now den, to departe from that Churche, whose er­rours were proued & made manifest to ye world, which Church also had alredy euidētly departed from Gods worde, & yet not to departe somuche from it selfe, as from therrours therof, & not to do this disorderlye or wickedly, but quietlie and sobrelye, we haue don nothing herein a­gainst the doctrine eyther of Christ or of his Apostles. For neyther is the Church of God suche as it may not be dusked wt some spot, or asketh not sometime repa­ration: els what nedith there so many as­sembles and Councelles, without the which, as saith Egidius, the Christian saith is not hable to stand? For loke saith [Page] he, [...] Concil. [...]teran [...]se [...] Iulio. 2. howe often Councelles are disconti­nued, so often is the Church destitute of Christ. Or yf there be no peryle that har­me maye come to the church, what nede is there to reteyne to no purpose ye names of Byshops, as is now commenlye vsed amonge them? For yf there be no shepe that may strey, whye be they called she­pardes? yf there be no Citie that may be betraied, why be they called watchemen? yf there be nothing that may ronne to ruyne, why be thei called Pillers? Anone after the first creation of the worlde the churche of God began to spreade abrode, and the same was instructed wyth the heauenly word, whiche God hym selfe pronounced with his owne mouth. It was also furnished with diuine ceremo­nies. It was taught by ye spirit of God, by the Patriarches and Prophetes, and continued so euen till the tyme yt Christe shewed himselfe to vs in the flesh. This notwithstāding, how often o good God, in the meane whyle, and howe horribly [Page] was thesame Churche darkened and de­cayed? where was that Churche then, when all fleshe vpon earth had defyled their owne waye? where was it when amōgest the nombre of the whole world there were only eyght persones (& they neither all chast and good) whom Gods will was shoulde be saued aliue from that vniuersall destruction and mortali­tie▪ When Ely the Prophete so lamenta­ [...]e and byterly made mone,3. Regum [...] that onelye himselfe was left of all the whole world whiche dyd truely and dewly worshipp God? And when Esay said,Esai. 1. The siluer of Goddes people (that is of the Churche) was become Drosse: and that the same Citie which a foretime had ben faithful, was now become an harlot, and that in ye same was no part sound thoroughout the whol body from the head to the fote? Or els when Christ him selfe sayde, that the house of God was made by ye Pha­rasies and Preistes a Denne of theues?Math. [...] Of a trouth, the Church euen as a cor­nefyld [Page] except it be ared, manured, tilled & trimmed in stede of wheate, it wil bring furthe thystles, darnell and nettilles. For this cause did God send euer among both Prophettes & Apostles, & last of al his own Son, who might bring home the people into the right waye, and re­payre a new, the tottering Church after she had erred.

But least some manne should say that the forsaid thinges happened in ye tyme of the law onely, of shadowes, and of infancie, when truth laye hid vnder fi­gures and ceremonies, whē nothing as yet was brought to perfection, when the law was not grauē in mennes hear­tes but in stone (and yet is that but a foo­lishe saying,) for euen at those dayes was there the very same God that is now, the same spirite, the same Christe, thesame faith, the same doctrine, the same hope, the same inheritaunce, the same league, and the same efficacie and vertue of Goddes worde▪ [...]. cap. [...] Eusebius also [Page] saith, all the faithfull euen from Adam vntil Christ, were in very dede Christiās, though they were not so termed. But as I said, leaste men should thus speake still, Paul the apostle found the like faul­tes and falles euen then in the prime and chiefe of the Gospel, in chiefe perfection, and in lighte, so that he was compelled to write in this sorte to the Galatians, whom he had wel before that instructed: I feare me (quod he) leaste I haue labou­red emongest you in vayne, and leaste ye haue heard ye Gospel in vaine, O my litle Children, of whom I trauaile a new, til Christ be fashioned againe in you: And as for the Churche of the Corinthians, how fouly it was defiled, is nothing nee­deful to rehearce. Now tel me, might the Churches of the Galathians and Co­rinthians goe amisse, and the churche of Rome alone may it not fayle ner goe amysse? Surely Christ prophecyed long before of his churche, that ye time should come, when dessolation should stande in [Page] the holy place. [...]. Tess. 2. And Paul saith, that An­tichrist should once set vp his owne ta­bernacle and stately seath in the temple of God:2. Tim. 4. and that the time shuld be, whē men should not awaye with holesome doctrin, but he turned back vnto fables & lies, and that wythin the very Church. Peter likewise tellyth, [...]. Pe [...]ri. 2. how there should be teachers of lyes in ye church of Christ: Daniell the Prophete speaking of the la­ter times of Antichrist,Daniel. 8. Truthe sayth he, in that seasone shalbe throwen vnder foote, and troden vppon in the worlde. And Christ sayeth, [...]ath 24. how the calamitie & confusion of thinges shalbe so exceding great, that euen the chosen, yf it were possible, shalbe brought into errour: and how all these thinges shal come to passe not amōgest Gentiles and Turkes, but that they should be in the holye place, in the Temple of God▪ in the churche, and in the companie an felowship of those whiche professe the name of Christ.

Albeit these same warnynges alone [Page] may suffice a wyseman to take heede he do not suffer hym selfe rashelye to be de­serued with the name of the Churche, & not to staye to make further inquisi­tion therof by Gods worde, yet bysyde al this, many Fathers also, manye lear­ned and godly men, haue often and care­fully complained, how all these thinges haue chaunced in their lyfe time. For euē in the middest of that thick myst of dark­nes, God would yet ther should be som, whoe thoughe they gaue not a cleare & bright light, yet shuld they kyndle, were it but some sparke, which menne might espye being in the darkenes.

Hylarius,Con [...] Aur [...]. [...]. when thinges as yet were almoste vncorrupt, and in good case to, ye are yll deceyued, saith he, with ȳe loue of walles, ye do ill worship the Church, in that ye worship it in houses and buil­dinges: ye do yll bryng in the name of peace vnder roofes. Is there anye doubt but Antichrist will haue his seate vnder the same? I rather recken hilles, wodes, [Page] pools, maryshes, prisons, & quauemires, to be places of more safetie: for in these the Prophetes either abiding of their ac­corde, or drowned by violence, didde pro­phecie by the spirite of God.

In Registro. [...]b. 4. epist. ad Ma [...]ri.Gregorie, as one which perceaued and forsaw in his mind ye wrack of al things wrote thus to Iohn Bysshop of Con­stantinople, who was the firste of all o­thers that commaunded himselfe to bee called by this newe name, the vniuersall Bishop of whole Christes Church. Yf ye Churche saith he, shall depend vpon one manne, it will at once fall downe to the grownd. Who is he ye seeth not how this is come to passe longe since? for longe a [...] gone hathe the Bysshop of Rome wil­led to haue the whole Churche depende vpon himselfe alone. Wherefore it is no meruail, though it be clean fallen downe longe agone.

[...].Bernard ye Abbot aboue foure hundred yeares past writeth thus: Nothinge is nowe of sinceritie and purenes emongest [Page] the Cleargie, wherfore it resteth that the man of sin should be reuealed. The same Bernarde in his worke of the conuersi­on of Paul, It semeth now saith he, tha [...] persecution hath ceased: [...] no no, persecu­tion seemeth but nowe to beginne, euen from them whiche haue chie [...]e preemi­nence in the Churche. Thy friendes and neighbours haue drawen neere▪ & stoode vp against thee: from the sole of thy foot to the crowne of thy heade, there is no part whole. Iniquitie is proceeded from the Elders, the Iudges and deputies which pretende [...]o rule thy people. Wee cannot saye nowe, Loke how the people be, so is the priest. For the people be not so ill as the priest is. Alas, alas o Lorde God, the selfe same persons be the chiefe in persecutinge thee, which seeme to loue the highest place, and beare moste rule in thy church. The same Bernard again vpon ye Canticles writeth thus. All they are thy friendes, yet are they all thy foes▪ all thy kinsefolke, yet are they all thy [Page] aduersaries, being Christs seruants, thei serue Antichrist, Beholde in my rest, my bitternes is moste bitter.

[...] libello de [...].Roger Bacon also a man of great fame, after he had in a vehement Oration tou­ched to the quicke the wofull state of his owne time, These so many errours saith he, require & loke for Antichrist. Gersō cō plaineth how in his daies al ye substāce & efficacie of sacred diuinitie was brought into a glorious contention & ostētatiō of wits, & to very sophistrie. The Friers of Lions, mē as touchīg ye maner of their life, not to be misliked, wer wōt boldly to affirm, yt the Romish church (frō whence alone al counsel & ordres was thē sought was the very same harlot of Babylon, & rowt of Diuels, wherof is prophesied so plainely in ye Apocalyps. I know wel e­nough ye authoritie of ye forsaid persōs is but lightly regarded amōgest these men. How thē if I cal furth those for witnes­ses whō themselues haue vsed to honor? what if I say ye Adryan the Bysshop of [Page] Rome did franklye confesse, that all these mischieues brast out first from the highe [...]hrone of the Poper Pighius acknowle­geth herein to be a fault, that many abu­ses are brought in, euen into the verye Masse, which Masse otherwise he wold haue seeme to be a reuerend matter. Ger­son saithe, that through the number of moste fonde ceremonies, all the vertue of the holye Ghoste, whiche ought to haue full operation in vs, & all true Godlines is vtterlye quenched and deade. Whole Grecia and Asia, complaine howe the Bysshoppes of Rome with the martes of their Purgatories & Pardons, haue both tormented mennes consciences, and picked their purses.

As touching ye tyranny of the Byshops of Rome and their barbarous Persian-like pride, to leaue out others whom per­chaūce thei reckē for enemes, bicause thei freely & liberally find fault with their vices, the selfe same men whiche haue ledd their lyfe at Rome in the holye Citie, [Page] in the face of the moste holye Father, whoe also were able to see all their se­cretes, and at no tyme departed from ye Catholike faith: As for example Lau­rentius Valla, Marsilius Patauinus, Fraunces Petrarke, Hierome Sauano­cola, Abbott Ioakim, Baptist of Man­tua, and before all these, Bernarde the Abbotte, haue manye a tyme and muche complayned of yt, geuinge the worlde also sometyme to vnderstande, that the Bysshoppe of Rome hymselfe (by youre leaue) is verye Antichriste. Whether they spake yt truelye or falselye, lette that goe [...] sure I am they spake it plainelye. Neyther canne anye manne alledge that those authors were Luthers or Zwin­glius schollers, for they were not onelye certaine yeares, but also certaine ages or euer Luther or Zwinglius names were hearde of. They well sawe that e­uen in their dayes errours had crept into the Churche, and wished earnestly they might be amended.

[Page]And what maruaile yf the Churche [...] then caryed a waye with errours in that time, specially when neither the Byshop of Rome who thē only ruled ye to [...] nor almoste any other; either didde his [...], or once vnderstoode what was his duetie. For it is harde to be be­lieued, whyles they were ydle and fast a [...]e [...]ne, that the Diuell also all that whyle either fell a sleepe, or els continu­ally lay ydle. For how they were occupi­ed in the meane time, and with what faithfulnesse they tooke care of Goddes house, though wee holde oure peace, yet [...] playe you lette them heare Bernarde their owne friend.Bernarde. ad Eugnium. The Bysshops (saith he) who now haue the charge of Gods churche, are not teachers but deceauers, they are not feeders butte begylers, they are not Prelates butte Pylates. These woordes spake Bernarde of that Bys­shoppe, who named himselfe the highest Bysshoppe of all, and of the other Bys­shoppes like wyse whiche then hadde the [Page] place of gouernement. Bernard was no Lutherian, Bernard was no heretike, he had not forsaken the Catholike churche, yet neuertheles he didde not lette to call the Bishoppes that then were, deceiuers, begilers, and Pylates. Nowe when the people was openly deceiued, and Chri­stian mennes eyes were craftely bleared, and when Pilat satte in iudgement place and condemned Christ & Christes mem­bers to the swoorde and fyer, Oh good Lord, in what case was Christes church then? But yet tell me, of so manye and grosse errours, what one haue these men at anye time refourmed, or what faulte haue they once acknowleged & cōfessed?

But for so muche as these men auouche the vniuersall possession of the catholike Churche to bee their owne, and call vs Heretiques, bicaucause wee agree not in iudgemente with them, let vs knowe I beseeche you, what propre marke and badge hathe that Churche of theyrs, whereby it maye bee knowen to bee the [Page] Church of God. I wys it is not so hard a matter to finde out Goddes Churche, of a mantle will seeke it earnestlye and [...]. For the Churche of Godde is lette vpon a highe and glisteringe place in the toppe of an hill, and buylte vpon the foundacion of the Apostles and prophettes: There saith Augustine,August. de Vnitate E [...] cap. 3. [...]ette [...] seeke the Churche, there lette vs [...]ye our [...] matter. And as he saith againe in an other place,I dem. c [...]. 4. The Churche must be shewed out of the holy and canonicall scriptures: and that whiche can not bee shewed out of them, is not the Churche. Yet for all this I wote not howe, whe­ther it be for feare or for conscience, or des­pearing of victory, these mē alway abhor and flie the woorde of God, euen as the theefe fleeth the gallowes. And no won­der truely, for lyke as men saye the Can­tharus by and by perisheth and dyeth, as­sone as it is laide in balme, notwithstan­dinge balme be otherwise a most sweete smellynge ointment: euen so these men [Page] well see their owne matter is dampped and destroyed in the woorde of God, as if it were in poyson. Therefore the holy scriptures whiche oure Sauioure Iesu Christe didd not onely vse for authoritie in all his speache, butte didde also at last seale vp the same with his owne bloude: these menne to the entent they myghte with lesse busines driue the people from the same, as from a thinge daungerous and deadlye, haue vsed to call theim A bare letter, vncertaine, vnprofitable, domme, killing, and dead: which seemeth to vs all one, as yf they shoulde say, The scriptures are to no purpose or as good as none. Hereunto they adde also a simi­litude not very agreeable, howe the scri­ptures be like to a nose of war, or a ship­mans hose: how they may be fashioned and plyed al manner of waies, and serue al mennes turnes. [...]lberius [...]bius. Ii [...]ra [...]. Wotteth not the Bys­shop of Rome that these thinges are spo­ken by his owne minions? or vnderstan­deth he not, he hath suche champions to [Page] fight him? Let him harken then how [...] & how godlye one Hosius writeth of [...] matter, a Byshop in Polonia as he testifieth of himselfe: a man doubtlesse wer spokē & not vnlerned, & a very sharp and [...] mainteinour of that syde. One will maruaile. I suppose, howe a good manne coulde either conceaue so wicked­lye, or wryte so dispytefullye of those woordes whiche hee knewe proceeded [...] Goddes mouthe, and speciallye in [...] sorte, as hee woulde not haue it [...] owne priuate opinion alone, [...] the common opinion of all that [...]and. He dissembleth I graunt you in deede, and hydeth what hee is, and set­teth fourth the matter so, as though it were n [...] hee and his syde, butte the Zwenkfeldian heretiques that so didd speake. Wee faythe hee,Hosius [...] expresso verbo D [...] will bidde a­waye with the same scriptures, where­of wee see brought not onelye diuerse, butte also contrarye interpretations: and wee will heare God speake, rather [Page] then wee will resorte to these naked ele­mentes, and appoynt oure saluation to reste in them. It behoueth not a manne to bee experte in the lawe and scripture, butte to bee taught of God. It is butte loste labour that a manne bestoweth in the scriptures, for the scripture is a crea­ture, and a certaine bare letter. This is Hosius saying, vttered altogether with the same spirit and the same mind, wher­with in times past Montane and Mar­tion were moued, whoe as men reporte, vsed to saye when with a contempt they reiected the holye scriptures, that them­selues knew many mo and better things then eyther Christe or the Apostles euer knewe;

What thenne shall I saye heere, O ye principall postes of Religion, O ye Archegouernours of CHRISTES Churche, is this that youre reuerence which ye geue to Goddes woorde? The holye Scriptures whiche S. Paule saith came by the inspiration of Godde, [Page] whiche God dyd commende by so many miracles, wherin are the moste perfit [...] of Christes owne steppes, which all the holy Fathers, Apostles, and Aun­ [...]les▪ whiche Christ hym selfe the sonne of God, as often as was nedefull dyd al­leadge for testimonie and proufe: will ye, as though they were vnworthie for you to heare, had them Auaūt away? that is, wil ye inioyne God to kepe silence, who speakith to you mostclearely by his own mouth in ye Scriptures? Or that word, wherby alone, as Paul saith, we are re­conciled to God, and whiche the Pro­phet Dauid saith, ys holye and pure and shall last foreuer, will ye call that but a bare and dead lettre? Or wil ye say that all our labour is lost, whiche is bes­toued in that thinge which Christ hath commaūded vs diligently to searche and to haue euermore before our eyes? And wil ye faye that Christ and the Apostl [...] ment with subtelty to deceiue the people, when they exhorted them to reade the ho­lie [Page] Scriptures, that therby they might s [...]ow in al wisedom and knowledge? No maruaile at al, though these men dispise vs and all our doinges, which set so litle by God himselfe & his infallible saiengs. Yet was it but want of witt in them to thintent they might hurt vs, to do so ex­treme iniury to the word of God.

But Hosius will here make exclama­tion saieng, we do him wrong, and that these be not his owne wordes, but the words of the heretique Zwenkfeldius. But how than, yf Zwenkfeldius make exclamation on the other syde, and saye that the same very wordes be not his but Hosius owne wordes? For tell me where hath Zwenkfeldius euer writtē thee Or yf he haue writtē them, & Hosius haue iudged the same to be wicked, why hath not Hosius spoken somuch as one worde to confute them? Howsoeuer the mater goeth, although Hosius paraduē ­ture wil not allowe of those wordes, yet he doth not disallow the meaning of the [Page] wordes. For wel nere in all controuer­sies, and namely touching the vse of the holy communion vnder both kindes, al­though the wordes of Christ be plaine and euident, yet doth Hosius disdaine­fully reiect them, as no better then colde and dead elementes: and commaundeth to giue faith to certaine new lessons a­pointed by the Church, & to I wot not what reuelations of the holye Ghoste. And Pighius saieth, men ought not to beleue, no not ye most cleare and manifest wordes of the scriptures, onles the same be allowed for good by the interpretatiō and auctoritie of the churche.

And yet as though this were to litle, they also burne the holye scriptures, as in times paste wicked kyng Aza dyd, or as Antiochus, or Maximinus did, and are wont to name thē Heretiques boks. And out of doubt to see to, they woulde faine do as Herode in oulde time dyd in Iewrie,Ensebius. that hee myghte with more surety kepe still his dominiō. Who being [Page] an Idumean borne, and a straunger to the stocke and kinred of the Iewes, and yet coueting much to be takē for a Iew, so thende he might establish to him and his posteritie ye kyngdom of that coun­trey which he had gotten of Augustus Cesar, he commaunded all the Genealo­gies and Petigrees to be burnte & made out of the waye, so as there shoulde re­maine no recorde, wherby he might be knowen to them that came after, that he was an Aliaunt in bloud: wheras euen from Abrahams time these monumētes had been safelye kepte amongeste the Iewes and layde vp in theire thresury, bicause in them it might easely & moste assuredly be found of what linage euery one did descende. So (in good faith) doe these menne when they woulde haue all their owne doinges in estimation, as though they had ben deliuered to vs euē from the Apostles or from Christe hym­selfe, to thende there might be founde no where any thinge able to conuince such [Page] their dreames and lies, either they burne the holie Scriptures, or els they crastely conueye them from the people surely.

Very rightlye and aptly doth Chry­sostome writte against these menne.Chrysost. [...] opere [...] He­retiques, saith he, shutt vp the doores a­gainst the trueth: for they know ful wel, yf the doore were open, the Churche shuld be none of theirs. Theophylact al­so: Gods worde saith he, is the Candle whereby the theefe is espyed: and Tertul­lian saith, the holy Scripture manifest­lye findeth out the fraude and theafte of Heretiques. For why do they hyde, why do they kepe vnder the Gospell, whiche Christ would haue preched alowde from the house top? Why whealine they that light vnder a Bushell, whiche ought to stande on a Candlestick? why trust they more to the blyndenes of the vnskilfull multitude and to ignoraunce, then to the goodnes of their cause? thinke they their slightes are not alredy perceiued, and yt they cā walke now vnespied, as though [Page] they had Giges tyng to go inuisible by, vpon theyre finger? No no: all men see nowe well and well agayne, what good stuffe is in that Chest of the Bys­shop of Romes bosome. This thinge alone of it selfe maye be an argumente sufficiente, that they worke not vp­rightly and truely. Worthely ought that mater seme suspicious which fleeth trial, and is afrayde of the light: for he that doth euill, as Christ saith, seekith darke­nesse, & hateth light. A conscience yt kno­with it selfe cleere, cōmeth willingly into open shew, that the workes whiche pro­cede of God may be seen. Neither be they so very blind, but they se this wel ynogh howe their owne kyngedome strayght way is at a pointe, yf the scripture once haue the vpper hande: and that lyke as men say, the Idolles of diuells in times past, of whom menne in doubtfull mat­ters were then wont to receiue aūswers, were sod [...]nly striken domme at the sight of Christ, when he was borne and came [Page] into the world: euen so they see that now al their suttle practises wil sone fal down hedlong vpon the sight of the Gospell. For Antichrist is not ouerthrowen but with the brightnes of Christes cōming.

As for vs, we runne not for succour to the fyer as these mennes guyse is, but we runne to the scriptures: neyther doe we reason with the sworde, but with ye worde of God: and therewith as saythe Tertullian, do we feed our fayth: by it do we styr vp our hope, and strengthen our confidence. For wee knowe that the Gospell of IESV CHRIST is the power of God vnto saluation, and that therein consisteth eternall lyfe. And as Paule warneth vs, wee do not heare, no not an Aungel of God coming from heauen, yf he go about to pull vs from any parte of this doctrine. Yea more then this, as the holy martyr Iustine spekith of hym selfe, we would giue no credence to God him selfe, yf he should teache vs any other Gospell.

[Page]For where these menne byd the holie Scriptures away, as domme and frut­les, and procure vs to come to God him selfe rather, who speaketh in the Church and in Councelles: whiche is to saye, to beleue their fansies and opinions. This waye of fynding out the truth is verye vncertaine and exceding daungerous, & in māner a Fantastical & a mad way, and by no meanes allowed of the holye Fathers. Chrysostom saith, there be ma­ny oftentymes whiche boast themselues of the holye Ghoste: but truelye who so speake of their owne head, doe falselye boast they haue the spirite of God. For like as, saith he, Christ denied he spake of him selfe when he spake out of the lawe and Prophets, euen so now, yf any thing be preassed vpon vs in the name of the holy Ghoste saue the Gospell, we ought not to beleue it. For as Christ is the ful­filling of the lawe and the Prophetes, so is the holye Ghoste the fulfyllinge of the Gospell. Thus farre goeth Chryso­stom.

[Page]But here I looke thei wil say, though they haue not the Scriptures, yet maye chaunce they haue the Auncient Doc­tours, and the holy Fathers with them. For this is a high bragge they haue euer made, how that al antiquity and a conti­nuall consent of all ages dothe make on their side: and that all our cases be but new & yester dayes worke, & vntill these fewe laste yeares neuer heard of. Que­stionlesse there can nothing be more spit­fully spoken against the religion of God thē to acuse it of noueltie, as a new comē vp matter. For as ther can be no chaūge in God him selfe, no more ought there to be in his religion.

Yet neuertheles we wote not by what meanes, but we haue euer seene it come so to passe from the first beginning of al, that as often as God did giue but some light, and did open his truth vnto men, though ye truth wer not only of greatest antiquitie, but also from euerlasting, yet [Page] of wicked men & of the aduersaries was it called Newfāgled and of late deuised. That vngracious and bloud thrist [...] Ha­man, when he sought to procure the king Assueruses displeasure against ye Iewes, this was his accusation to him: Thou hast here (saith he) a kinde of people that vseth certaine new lawes of their owne, but stifnecked & rebellious against al thy lawes. When Paule also began first to preach & expoūd ye Gospel at Athenes, he was called A tidinges bringer of newe Gods: as muche to saye, as of new reli­gion. for (said the Athenians) maye wee not knowe of thee what newe doctrine this is? Celsus likewise when he of set purpose wrote against Christ, to thende he might more scornefully scoffe out the Gospel by the name of noueltye, What saith he, hath God after so many ages nowe at last, and so late bethought him­selfe? Eusebius also wryteth, that Chri­stian religion from the beginning for ve­ry spite was called [...], that is to [Page] say New & strange. After like sorte, these men cōdemne all our matters as strange & newe, but they will haue their owne, whatsoeuer thei are to be praised as thinges of long cōtinuāce. Doing much like to ȳe enchaūters & sorcerers now a daies, which working wt diuels vse, to say, thei haue their bokes and al their holy & hidd mysteries from Athanasius, Cyprian, Moses, Abell, Adam, & from the Arch­aungell Raphael, because yt their connig comming from suche patrones & foun­ders, might be iudged the more high and holy. After the same fasshion these men, bicause they would haue their owne re­ligion whiche they themselues, and that not longe since, haue brought forth into the world to be the ea [...]lier and rather accepted of foolishe persons, or of suche as caste little whereabouts thei or other do go, thei are wont to say, they had it from Augustine, Hierome, Chrysostome, frō the Apostles, and from Christe himselfe. Ful wel knowe thei, yt nothinge is more [Page] in the peoples fauour, or better liketh the common sorte then these names.

But how if the thinges whiche these men are so desirous to haue seeme newe, be found of greatest antiquitie? Contra­riwise, howe if all the thinges well nye, whiche they so greatly set out with the name of antiquitie, hauing been wel and throughly examined, be at length founde to be but new, and deuised of verye late? Southly to say, no man that had a true and right cōsideracion, would think the Iewes lawes and cerimonies to be new for all Hammans accusation: for they were grauen in very auncient Tables of most antiquitie. And although many did take Christ to haue swarued from Abra­ham & the old fathers, & to haue brought in a certaine newe religion in his owne name, yet aunswered hee them directly: Yf ye beleeued Moyses, ye woulde be­leeue mee also, for my doctrine is not so new as you make yt. For Moses an au­thor of greatest antiquitie, and one to [Page] whome ye geue al honor, hath spoken of me. Paule likewise, though the Gospell of Iesus Christe be of many counted to be but new, yet hath it (saith he) the testi­monie most old, both of the law and pro­phetes. As for our doctrine whiche wee may rightlier cal Christes catholik doc­trine, it is so farre of from newe, that God who is aboue all most auncient, & the father of our Lorde Iesus Christe, hath left the same vnto vs in ye Gospel, in ye prophets & Apostles woorkes, beinge monuments of greatest age. So that no man can nowe thinke oure doctrine to be newe, onlesse the same thinke either the prophetes faithe, or the Gospell, or els Christe himselfe to be newe.

And as for their religion, if it be of so longe continuance as thei woulde haue men weene it is, why doe they not proue it so by the exaumples of the Prima­tiue Churche, and by the Fathers and Councells of olde tymes? Whye lyeth so auncient a cause thus longe in the duste, [Page] destitute of an Aduocate? Fyer and sworde they haue had alwayes ready at hande, but as for the olde Councels & the fathers, al Mum, not a word. They did surely against all reason to beginne first with these so bloudy and extreme means if thei could haue found other more easy and gentle wayes. And yf they truste so fully to antiquitie, and vse no dissimula­tion, why didde Iohn Clement a coun­trye manne of owres, but fewe yeares past, in the presence of certaine honest menne and of good credite, teare and cast into the fyer certaine leaues of Theodo­rete the moste aunciente Father and a greeke Bysshoppe, wherein he plainelye and euidentlye taughte, that the nature of breade in the Communion was not chāged, abolished or brought to nothing And this didde he of purpose, bicause he thought ther was no other copy thereof to be foūd. [...]in [...]t. 27. [...]daem. Why saith Albertus Pighius yt the auncient father Augustine had a wronge opinion of originall sinne? And [Page] that he erred and lyed,August. [...] bono uide cap. 10.27. Nuptiar [...] bonum. and vsed false logi­que as touching the case of matrimonie, concluded after a vow made which Au­gustin affirmeth to be perfect matrimo­ny in dede, and cannot be vndone again. Also when they did of late put in printe the auncient father Origenes worke v­pon the Gospell of Iohn,Liber hod [...] extat & circumfer [...] [...]ur [...] why left they quyte out ye whole sixth Capirre, wher­in it is likely, yea rather of verye suerty, that the sayd Origene had written ma­ny thinges concerning the Sacrament of the holye Communion, contrarie to these mennes myndes, and woulde put furthe that booke mangled rather then ful and perfit, for feare it should reproue them & their parteners of their errour. Call ye thys trusting to antiquitie, whē ye rente in peces, kepe back, mayme and burne the aunciēt Fathers workes?

It is a worlde to see, how wel fauou­redlye and howe towardlye, touchinge Religion, these men agree with the Fa­thers, of whom they vse to vaunte that [Page] they be their own good. The old Coun­cel Eliberine made a decree, that nothing that is honored of the people, shoulde be painted in the Churches. The olde fa­ther Epiphanius saith, it is an horrible wickednes, and a sinne not to be suffered for any man, to set vp any picture in the Churches of the Christians, yea though it were the picture of Christe himselfe. Yet these menne store all their temples and eche corner of them with paynted and carued ymages, as though without them, religion were nothinge worth.

The olde fathers Origene and Chry­sostome exhorte the people to reade the scriptures, [...]rigen in [...]it. [...]a 16. [...]sost, in [...]tha. to buy them bokes, to reason at home betwixte themselues of diuine matters: [...] wiues with their husbāds, and parentes with their children: These men condemne the scriptures as dead elemēts and asmuche as euer thei maye barre the people from them. [...] epist. [...]. 1. [...]. The Auncient fathers Cyprian, [...] [...]stolicas. [...]si. 6 [...] Epiphanius & Hierome say, it is better for one whoe perchaunce hathe [Page] made a vowe to leade a sole lyfe,Hieronym ad Demet dem. and af­terwarde lyueth vnchastely, and cannot quenche the flames of luste, to marye a wyfe, and to lyue honestlye in wedlocke. And the ould Father Augustine iudgeth the selfe same mariage to be good and perfit, and ought not to be brokē again: These menne yf a man haue once bound hym selfe by a vome, though afterward he burne, kepe queanes, and defile hym selfe with neuer so sinfull and desperate a lyfe, yet they suffer not that persone to marye a wyfe: or yf he chaunce to mary, they alow it not for mariage. And they comonlye, teache it is muche better and more godlye to kepe a Concubine and [...] harlot, then to liue that kynde of mariage.

The ould Father Augustine complai­ned of the multitude of vayne ceremo­nies,Ad Ianu­arium. wherewt he euē thē sawe mēs min­des and consciences ouercharged: These men as though God regarded nothyng els but their ceremonies, haue so out of [Page] measure increased them, yt there is now almoste none other thinge left in theire Churches and places of prayer.

[...]. de [...]Again, that old father Augustin denieth it to be leefull for a Monke to spende his tyme slouthfully and ydleye, and vnder a pretensed and counterfeite holines to liue all vpon others. And who so thus lyueth, an olde father Apollonius like­neth hym to a theefe. These men haue (I wote not whither to name them) droues or heardes of monkes) who for all they do nothīg, nor yet once intend beare any shew of holines, yet lyue they not onelye vppon others, but also ryot lauyshly of other folkes labours.

[...]. Rom. [...].The olde Councell at Rome decreed, that no man should come to the seruice sayd by a Preist well knowen to keepe a Concubine. These menne let to fearme Concubines to their preistes, and yet cō ­streigne men by force against their will to heare their cursed paltrie seruice.

[...] 8.The oulde Canons of the Appostles [Page] commaunde, that Byshop to be remo­ued from his Office, whiche will both supplie the place of a ciuill Magistrate, and also of an ecclesiastical persō: These menne for all that, both do and will nee­des serue both places. Nay rather ye one Office which they ought chiefly to exe­cute, they once touch not, and yet no bo­dy commaundeth them to be displaced.

The olde Councell Gangrense com­maundeth, that none should make suche difference betwen an vnmaried Preist & a maried preist, as he ought to think the one more holye then the other for single lyfe sake. These menne put suche a diffe­rence betwene them, that they streight waye thinke al their holie seruice to be defiled, yf it be done by a good and honest man that hath a wyfe. The aūcient Emperour Iustinian com­maunded,In None Cōdition, & 146. that in the holy administratiō all thinges should be pronounced with a cleare, lowde, and tretable voyce, that ye people might receiue some fruite therby. [Page] These menn least the people shoulde vn­derstande them, mumble vp all their ser­uice, not onlye with a drowned and hollowe voice, but also in a straūge and Barbarous tonge.

[...]eil. Cart. [...]. cap. 47.The ould Councell at Carthage cō ­maunded nothing to be read in Christes congregation, but the canonicall Scrip­tures: These menne read suche thinges in their Churches as themselues knowe for a trouthe to be starke lyes, and fonde fables.

But yf there be any that thinke, that these aboue rehersed auctorities be but weake and slender, bycause they were decreed by Emperours, and certein petie Byshopps, and not by so full and perfit Councelles, taking pleasure rather in ye auctoritie and name of ye Pope: [...]os. dist. [...]. let suche a one know, that Pope Iulius doth eui­dently forbid, that a priest in ministring the Communion, shoulde dippe ye bread in the Cuppe. These menne contrarie to Pope Iulius decree, diuide ye bread, and [Page] dip it in the wyne.

Pope Clement saith, it is not laufull for a Byshop to deale with both swords: for yf thou wilt haue both saith he, thou shalt deceiue both thy selfe, and those that obey the. Now a dayes the Pope cha­lengeth to hym selfe both swordes, and v [...]eth both, wherefore it ought to seeme lesse maruaile, yf y haue folowed whiche Clement saith, that is, that he hath de­ceiued both his own selfe, & those which haue giuen eate vnto him.

Pope Leo saith, vpon one daye it is laufull to say but one masse in one Chur­che: These men say daily in one Church cōmonly tenne Masses, twentie, thirty, yea often tymes moe. So yt the poore ga­ser on, can scant tell which waye he were best to turne hym.

Pope Gelasius sayth, it is a wicked deed and sibb to sacriledge in any man to diuide the Communiō, and when he re­ceiued one kinde, to absteine from the o­ther. These menne contrarie to Goddes [Page] worde and contrarie to Pope Gelasius [...] commaunde that one kinde onely of the holy Communiō be giuen to the people, & by so doing, they make their preistes gilty of sacriledge.

But yf they will saye that all these thinges are worne now out of vre, and nye dead, and pertaine nothing to these present tymes, yet to thend all folke may vnderstande what faith is to be geuen to these men, and vpon what hope they call togithers their generall Councelles, let vs see in few wordes what good heed they take to the selfe same things, which they them selues these very last yeres (& the remembraunce thereof ys yet new & freshe) in their owne generall Councell that they had by order called, decreed and commaunded to be deuoutely kepte. In the last Councell at Trident, scant four­tene yeares paste, it was ordeined by the common consent of all degrees, that one man shoulde not haue two benefices at one time. What is become now of that [Page] ordinaūce? is ye same to so sone worne but of mynde and cleane consumed? For these men ye se giue to one man not two benefices onely, but sundry Abbaies ma­ny times, sometime also two Bishopry­kes, sometime three, sometime foure, and that not onely to an vnlearned man, but often times euē to a man of warre.

In the sayde Councell a decree was made, that all Byshops should preach ye Gospell. These menne neyther preache nor once go vp into the Pulpet, neyther thinke they it any parte of their Office. What great pompe & crake then ys this they make of antiquitie? Why bragge they so of the names of the auncient Fa­thers, and of the new and olde Councel­les? Whye will they seme to trust to their auctoritie, whome when they lyft, they despise at their owne pleasure?

But I haue a special fansy to cōmon a worde or two rather with the Popes good holinesse, and to saye these thinges to his owne face. Tell vs I praye you, [Page] good holy Father, seyng ye do crake so muche of all antiquitie, and boast your selfe that all menne are bounde to you alone, which of all the Fathers haue at any time called you by the name of the highest Prelate, the vniuersall Byshop, or the head of the Churche? Whiche of them euer said, [...] Maior, & [...]ob [...] dientia. [...] that both ye swords were commited to you? whiche of them euer said, that you haue auctoritie and a right to call Councelles? whiche of them euer saide, that the whole worlde is but your diocesse? which of them, [...] that al Bishops haue receiued of your fulnes? whiche of them, [...]. atera [...]se. that al power ys gyuen to you as well in heauen as in yearth? [...]ub Iulio. 2. [...]istinct. 9. [...] whiche of them, that neyther kyngs nor the whole Clergie, nor yet all people togyther, are able to be iudges ouer you? whiche of them, ye kynges & Emperours by Chri­stes commaundement and wil, do receiue aucthoritie at your hand? which of them with so precyse and mathematicall limi­tacion hath surueied and determined you [Page] to be seuenty & seuen times greater then [...] mightiest kinges? Whiche of them,De Maior et obediens Solite. [...] more ample authoritie is geuen to you, then to ye residew of ye Patriarkes? [...]ich of thē, yt you are ye Lord God?Extr [...]. Ioan 22. Cū inter In glosa. in ed [...]tione imperssa parisies, et Lug [...]um. or that you are not a meere naturall man, but a certaine substaunce made and gro­wen together of God and man? Whiche of them, that you are the onelye heade­springe of all lawe? Whiche of them, that you haue power ouer purgatories? Which of them that you are able to com­maunde the Aungels of God as you list your selfe?Antonine de Roselli [...]. Which of them that euer said that you are Lorde of Lordes, and the Kinge of Kinges? Wee canne also go further with you in like sorte. What one amongest the whole numbre of the olde Bysshops and fathers, euer taught you either to say priuate Masse whyles the people stared on, or to lyste vp the sacrament ouer your heade, in whyche point consisteth nowe all your religion? or els to mangle Christes sacraments, & [Page] to bereaue the people of the one parte, contrarye to Christes institution and plaine expressed wordes. But that wee may once come to an ende: What one is there of all the Fathers, whiche hathe taught you to distribute Christes bloud and the holy martyrs merites, and to sell openly as marchandizes your pardons, and all the roomes and lodginges of purgatorie? These men are wont to speake muche of a certaine secreat doctrine of theires, and manifolde and sundrye rea­dings. Then let them bring furthe som­what now if thei can, that it may apeare thei haue at least reade or do knowe som­what. They haue often stoutly noysed in all corners where they went, how all the partes of their religiō be very old, & haue been approued not only by ye multitude, but also by the consēt & continual obser­uation of al nations and times: let them therfore once in their life shew this their antiquitie: let them make appeere at eye, that the thinges wherof they make such [Page] a door, haue taken so longe and large en­crease: let them declare that all Christi­ [...] nations haue agreed by consent to [...]his their religion.

Nay nay, they tourne their backes, [...]s we haue said alreadye, and flee from their owne decrees, and haue cut of and [...]bolished againe within a shorte space, [...]he same thinges which but a few years [...]efore themselues had established, for e­uermore forsoothe to continewe. Howe shoulde one then trust them in the Fa­thers, in ye olde Councels, & in the words [...]pokē by God? Thei haue not good Lord [...]hei haue not (I say) those things which [...]hey boast they haue: they haue not ye an­ [...]iquitie, they haue not that vniuersalitie, [...]hey haue not that consent of all places, [...]or of all times. And though thei haue a [...]esire rather to dissemble, yet thei them­selues are not ignoraūt herof: ye & som­me also they let not to cōfesse it openly. And for this cause they say, that the ordi­ [...]ūces of the old Councels and Fathers [Page] be such as may now and then be altered and that sūdry and diuers Decrees seru [...] for sundry & diuers times of the church. Thus lurke they vnder the name of the Church, and begile seely creatures with their vaine glosinge. Yt is to be meruai­led, that either men be so blynde as they canne not see this, or if they see it, to bee so pacient, as they canne so lightly and quietly beare it.

But where as they haue commaun­ded that those Decrees shoulde be voyde as things now waxen to olde, & yt haue loste their grace, perhappes they haue prouided in their steede certaine other better thinges, and more profitable for the people. For it is a common sayenge with them, that if Christe himselfe or the Apostles were aliue againe, they coulde not better nor godlyer gouerne Goddes Churche, then it is at this pre­sente gouerned by them. They haue put in their steede in deede, butte it is chaste in steede of wheate, as Hieremie [Page] saithe, and suche thinges as accordinge to Esayes words, God neuer required at [...]eir handes. Thei haue stopped vp saith he, al the vaines of cleere springing wa­ter, and haue digged vp for the people [...]ceiuable and puddlelike pyttes full of [...]yre and filth, whiche neither haue nor [...] able to hold pure water. They haue plucked away from the people the holie Communion, the worde of God, from­whence all comforte shoulde bee taken, the true worshippinge of God also, and the right vse of sacramentes and prayer, and haue geuen vs of their owne to play withall in the meane whyle, salt, water, oyle boxes, spittle, palmes, bulles, iubi­lies, pardons, crosses, sensinges, and an indelesse rabble of ceremonies (and as a man might tearm with Plautus) pretie games to make sporte withall. In these things haue they set al their religiō, tea­chinge ye people that by these God may be duely pacified, spirits be driuen away and mens consciences well quieted. For [Page] these [...]o, be the orient colours and preci­ous sauours of Christian religion: these thinges doth God looke vpon, & accep­teth them thankfully: these must come in place to be honored and put quite away, the institutiōs of Christ and of his Apo­stls. And like as in times past when wic­ked kinge Ieroboam had takē from the people ye right seruing of God, & brought them to worship golden calues, least per­chaūce they might afterwards chaunge their minde and slippe awaye, gettinge them again to Ierusalem to the Temple of God there, hee exhorted them with a long tale to be stedfast, saying thus vnto them: O Israell, these Calues be thy Gods. In this sorte commaunded your God you should worshippe him. For it shoulde be wearisome and troublous for you to take vpō you a iorney so farre of, and yearly to go vp to Ierusalem, there to serue and honour your God. Euen af­ter the same sorte euery whit, when these men had once made the lawe of God of [Page] none effect through their owne traditi­ons, fearing that the people should after­wards open their eyes and fall an other way, and shoulde somwhence els seeke a suret meane of their saluation, Iesu, how oftē haue thei cried out: This is the same worshippinge that pleaseth God, and whiche hee straitly requireth of vs, and wherwith he wil be tourned from his wrath, that by these thinges is con­serued the vnitie of the Church, by these al sinnes clensed and consciences quieted: and who so departeth from these, hath left vnto himselfe no hope of euerlasting saluation. For it were wearisome and troublous (saye they) for the people to resorte to Christ, to the Apostles, and to ye auncient fathers, and to obserue conti­nually what their wil and commaunde­ment should be. This ye may se▪ is to wt ­draw the people of God frō ye weake ele­ments of the worlde, frō ye leauen of the Scribes & Pharisies, and from the tra­ditions of mē. It were reasō no doubt yt [Page] Christes commaundementes and the A­postls were remoued, that these their de­uises might come in place. O iuste cause I promise you, why that auncient and so longe alowed doctrine should be now abolished, and a newe forme of religion be brought into the Churche of God.

And yet whatsoeuer it be, these menne crye stil that nothing ought to be chan­ged, that mens mindes are well satisfied here withal, that the Churche of Rome ye church which cannot erre, hath decreed these thinges. For Siluester Prierias saith yt the Romish churche is the squyer & rule of truth, and that ye holy scripture hath receiued from thence bothe autho­ritie and credite. The doctrine saith he, of the Romish church, is the rule of moste infallible faith, from the whiche the ho­ly scripture taketh his force. And In­dulgences and pardons (saith he) are not made knowē to vs by ye authoritie of the scriptures, but they are knowē to vs by the authoritie of the Romyshe Church, [Page] and of the Byshops of Rome, whiche is greater. Pighius also letteth not to say, that without the licence or the Romyshe Church, we ought not to beleue the ve­ry plaine scriptures: much like as yf any of those that cānot speake pure & cleane Latin, and yet can bable out quickely & redily a litle some such law Latin as ser­uith the Courte, would needes hold that all others ought also to speake after the same way which Mametrectus & Ca­tholicō spake many yeare ago, & which them selues doe yet vse in pleadyng in Courte, for so may it be vnderstand suf­ficiently what is said, and mennes desi­res be sati [...]fyed, and that it is a fondenes now in the later end to trouble ye worlde with a new kind of speaking, and to cal againe the old fynesse and eloquence that Cicero and Cesar vsed in their dayes in the Latin tonge. So much ar these men beholden to the follie and darknes of the former tymes. Manye thynges as one writeth, are had in estimation often ty­mes, [Page] bycause they haue ben once dedicate to the temples of the Heathen goddes: euen so see wee at this daye many thin­ges alowed and highlye sett by of these menne, not bycause they iudge them so­much worth, but only bycause they haue ben receyued into a custome, and after a sorte dedicate to the Temple of God.

Our Churche saye they cannot erre: they speake that (I thinke) as the Lac [...] demonians longe synce vsed to say, that yt was not possible to fynde any Adul­terer in all their common welth: wheras in dede they were rather all Adulterers, and had no certeintie in their mariages, but had their wyues common amongest them all. Or as the Canonistes at this day, for theire bellies sake vse to saye of the Pope, that forsomuche as he is Lord of all benefices, though he sell for money Byshoprickes, monasteries, preiste hod, spirituall promotions, and partith with nothing freely, [...] Augel [...] [...] papa. yet bicause he counteth at his owne he cannot committ Simony, [Page] though he woulde neuer so faine. But how stronglye and agreablye to reason these things be spoken,Thèodor de Schil we are not as yet able to perceue, except perchaūce these mē haue plucked of the wynges from the truth,Plutarch as the Romaines in olde tyme did proine and pinion their goddesse Vic­torie, after they had once gottē her home, to thende that with the same wynges she shoulde neuer more be able to flee awaye from them againe. But what yf Ieremye tell them, as is afore rehersed, that these be lyes? what yf ye same Pro­phete saye in an other place, that the selfe same menne who ought to be kepers of the vineyarde, haue brought to naught and destroyed the Lordes vynearde? How yf Christ saye, that the same perso­nes who chiefely ought to haue a care ouer the Temple, haue made of ye Lords Temple a denne of Theues? Yf it be so that the Churche of Rome cannot erre, it must nedes folowe, that the good lucke therof is farre greater then al these mennes policie. For suche is their lyfe, [Page] their doctrine and their diligence, that for all them the Churche may not onely erre, but also vtterly be spoyled and pe­ryshe. No doubt, yf that Churche maye erre whiche hath departed from Godds worde, from Christes commaundemen­tes, from the Apostls ordinaunces, from the primatiue Churches examples, from the old Fathers and Councelles orders, and from their own Decrees, and which wil be bound wt in the compasse of none neither oulde nor new, nor their owne, nor other folkes, nor mannes lawe, nor Goddes law, then yt is out of all que­stion, that the Ro [...]yshe Churche hath not onely had power to erre, but that it hath shamefully and most wickedly er­red in very deed.

But say they, ye haue ben once of our felowship, but now ye are become forsa­kers of your profession, and haue depar­ted from vs. It is trew we haue depar­ted from them, and for so doing we both giue thankes to almightie God, & great [Page] lye reioyce on our owne behalfe. But yet for all this, from the primatiue Church, from the Apostles, and from Christ wee haue not departed, true it is. We were brought vp with these menne in darke­nes, and in ye lack of knowledge of God, as Moses was taught vp in the lear­ning and the bosome of the Egyptians. We haue ben of youre company saith Tertullian, I confesse it, and no mar­uaile at all, for saith he, menne be made and not borne Christians. But where­fore I pray you haue they them selfe, the citizens and dweliers of Rome remo­ued, and come downe from those seauen hilles, whervpon Rome sometime stood, to dwel rather in the plaine called Mars his field? They wil say peraduenture, by cause the conductes of water, wher with out menne cannot commodiouslye liue, haue now failed and ar dried vp in those hilles. Well then, lett them giue vs lyke leaue inseeking the water of eternal lyfe, that they giue them selfes in seekyng the [Page] water of the well, for the water verely fayled amongest them. Thelders of the Iewes sayth Ieremye, sent their litle ones to the waterings, and they finding no water, beyng in a miserable case and vtterly marred for thurst, brought home againe their vessells emptie. The nedye & poore folke saith Esaye, sought about for water, but no wheare founde they any, their tonge was euē withered with thirst. Euen so these menne haue broken in peeces al the pypes and cōduites, they haue stopped vp al the springs, & choked vp the fountaine of liuyng water with durte and myre. And as Caligula many yeres past locked fast vp al the storehou­ses of corne in Rome, & thereby brought a generall derth and famyne amongest the people, euē so these men by damming vp all the fountaines of Goddes word, haue brought the people into a peetiful thirst. They haue brought into ye world as saith the Prophete Amos, a hungre and a thurst, not the hunger of breade, [Page] nor the thurst of water, but of hearing the worde of God. With greate distresse went they scattering about, seeking some sparke of heauenly light to refresh their consciences withall, but that light was alredy thoroughly quenched out, so that they could finde none. This was a rue­ful state. This was a lamentable forme of Goddes Churche. It was a miserie to liue therin without the Gospel, with­out light, and without all comfort.

Wherfore though our departing wer a trouble to them, yet ought they to con­sider withall, how iust cause wee had of our departure. For yf they wil saye, it is in no wise lawfull for one to leaue the fe­lowship wherein he hath bē brought vp, they maye aswell in our names or vpon our heades condemne both the Prophe­tes, the Apostles, and Christ him selfe. For whye complayne they not also of this, that Lot went quitte his way out of Sodome, Abraham out of Calde, the Israelites out of Egypte, Christ frō the [Page] Iewes, and Paule from the Pharisees? For except it be possible there maye be a lawful cause of departing, we see no rea­sone whye Lot, Abraham, the Israeli­tes, Christ and Paule may not be accu­sed of sectes and seditiō, aswel as others. And yf [...] these men will needes condemne vs for Heretiques, bycause we do not all thinges at their commaūdement, whom (in gods name) or what kynde of menne ought they them selues to be taken for, whiche despise the commaundement of Christ, & of the Apostles? If we be scis­matiques bycause we haue lefte them, by what name shall they be called them­selues which haue forsaken the Grekes, frō whom they first receiued their faith, forsaken the primatiue Church, forsaken Christ hymselfe and the Apostls, euen as Children should forsake their parentes? For though those Grekes, who at this daye professe religion and Christes na­me, haue many thinges corrupted amō ­gest them, yet houlde they still a greate [Page] numbre of those thinges whiche they re­ceiued from the Apostles. They haue neyther priuate Masses, nor mangled Sacramentes, nor Purgatories, nor Pardons. And as for the titles of hygh Byshops, & those glorious names, they estime them so, as whosoeuer he were that woulde take vpon hym the same, & woulde be called eyther Vniuersall bys­shop, or the Hed of the vniuersal church, they make no doubt to call suche a one, both a passing proude man, a man that worketh despite against all y other Bys­shoppes his bretherne, and a plaine He­retique.

Now then synce it is manifest and out of all peraduenture, that these men are fallen from y Grekes, of whom they receiued the Gospell, of whome they re­ceiued the faith, the true Religion and ye Church, what is ye mater why they will not now be called home again to ye same men, as it were to their originals & first founders? And whye be they afraide to [Page] take a paterne of the Apostles and olde Fathers tymes, as though they all had ben voyde of vnderstanding? Do these menne, wene ye, see more or set more by the Church of God, then they dede who firste deliuered vs these thinges?

We truely haue renounced that church wherin we could neyther haue ye worde of God sincerely taught, nor the Sacra­ments rightlye administred, nor the na­me of God dewly called vppon, whyche Churche also themselues confesse to be faulty in many poin [...]tes: And wherein was nothing able to stay any wise mā, or one yt hath consideration of his owne lavetie. To conclud, wee haue forsaken the Church as it is now, not as it was in olde time, and haue so gon from it, as Daniell went out of the Lyons denne, and ye three Children out of the furnesse: and to say trouth, we haue ben cast out by these menn (beyng cursed of them, as they vse to saye, with boke, bel, and can­dell) rather then haue gon awaye from [Page] them of our selues.

And wee are come to that Churche wherein they themselues cannot denye (if thei wil say truely and as thei thinke in their owne conscience) but all thinges be gouerned purely and reuerently, and asmuch as we possibly could, very neere to the order vsed in the olde time.

Let them compare our Churches and theirs togither, and they shall see that themselues haue moste shamefully gon from the Apostles, and we moste iustely haue gon from them. For we folowinge the exaumple of Christ, of the Apostles, and the holy father [...], giue the people the holye Communion whole and perfite: But these men contrary to all ye fathers, to all the Apostles, and contrarye to Christ himself, do seuer the sacraments, and plucke away the one parte from the people, and that with moste notorious sacriledge, as Gelasius termeth yt.

Wee haue broughte againe the Lords supper vnto Christes institution, [Page] and will haue it to be a Communion in very deede, common and indifferent to a great number, accordinge to the name. But these men haue chaunged al things contrarie to Christes institution, & haue made a priuate Masse of the holy Com­munion: and so it commeth to passe, that we giue the Lordes supper vnto the people, and they giue them a vaine pagent to gase on.

We affirme togither with the aunci­ent fathers, that the body of Christe is not eaten but of the good and faithfull, and of those that are endued with the spirit of Christe. Their doctrine is, that Christes very bodie effectually, & as they speake, really and substantially, may not only be eaten of the wicked and vnfaith­ful men, but also (which is monstrous to be spoken) of myse and dogges.

Wee vse to praye in Churches after that fashion, as accordinge to Paules lesson, [...]. 14 the people maye knowe what wee pray, and may answere Amen, with a general [Page] consent. These men like soundinge mettall, yelle out in the churches vnkno­wen and straunge wordes wtout vnder­standing, without knowledge, and wtout deuotiō, yea & doe it of purpose, bicause ye people should vnderstand nothing at all.

But not to tarry about rehearsing all poyntes wherein we and thei differ, for they haue wel nye no end, we tourne the scriptures into al tongues, they scant suf­fer them to be had abroad in any tongue: we allure ye people to reade and to heare Gods word, thei driue the people frō it. We desire to haue our cause knowen to al ye world, they flee to come to any trial. We leane vnto knowlege, they vnto ig­noraunce: We trust vnto light, thei vnto darkenes: We reuerence as it becōmeth vs, the writings of ye Apostles and Pro­phetes, & they burne them. Finally, wee in Gods cause desire to stand to Goddes onely iudgement, they wil stand only to their owne. Wherfore if they wil waye [...]ll these thinges with a quiet mind, and [Page] fullye bente to heare and to learne, they wil not only alow this determinatiō of oures who haue forsaken errours, and folowed Christe and his Apostles, butte themselues also will forsake their owne selues, and ioyne of their owne accorde to oure side.

But peraduenture they will saye, it was treason to attempt these matters without a sacred generall Councell: for in that consisteth the whole force of the Churche: there CHRIST hath pro­mised he will euer bee a present assistant. Yet they themselues without tarrienge for anye generall Councell, haue broken the commaundementes of Godde, and the decrees of the Apostles: and as wee sayde a little aboue, they haue spoyled and disanulled almoste all, not onelye ordinaunces, but euen the doctrine of the primatiue Churche. And where they saye it is not laufull to make a chaunge without a Councell, w [...]a [...] was he that made vs these lawes, or from whence [Page] hadde they this Iniunction?

Kinge Agesilaus,Plut [...] chus. truelye, didde butte fondelye, whoe when hee hadde a deter­minate aunswere made him of the opi­nion and will of myghtye Iupiter, woulde afterwarde bringe the whole matter before Apollo, to knowe whe­ther hee alowed thereof as his father Iupiter didde or no: But yet shoulde wee dooe muche more fondelye, when wee maye heare Godde him selfe plaine­lye speake to vs in the moste holye scri­ptures, and maye understande by them his will and meaninge; yf wee woulde afterwarde (as thoughe this were of none effecte) bringe oure whole cause to be tryed by a Councell, which were nothinge els but to aske whether menne would allowé as God did, & whether mē would confirme Gods commaundement by their authority. Why I besech you, except a Councell wil & cōmaund, shal not truth be truth or God be God? Yf Christ [...] to do so from ye beginning, as [Page] that he would preache or teache nothing without the Bysshops consent, but refer all his doctrine ouer to Annas and Cai­phas, where should nowe haue been the christian faith? or who at any time should haue hearde the Gospell taught? Peter verily, whome the Pope hath oftener in his mouth and more reuerently vseth to speake of, then he dothe of Iesu Christ, did boldly stand against the holy Coun­cel, saieng, It is better to obey God, then men. And after Paule had once intirely embraced the Gospel, and had receiued it not frō men, nor by man, but by the only will of God, he did not take aduise ther­in of fleshe and bloud, nor brought ye case before his kinsemen & brethren, but went furth with into Arabia to preache Gods diuine mysteries, by Goddes onelye au­thoritie

Yet truely wee doe not despise Coun­celles, assemblies, & conferences of Bys­shops and learned men: neyther haue we done yt wee haue done altogether [...]boue [Page] Byshops or without a Councell. The matter hath ben treated in open Parlia­ment, with long consultation, and before a notable Synode and Conuocation.

But touchyng this Councell whiche is now sōmoned by ye Pope Pius, wher­in men so lightly are condemned whiche haue ben neither called, hearde, nor seene, yt is easie to gesse what we maye looke for, or hope of yt. In times paste when Nazianzene sawe in his daies how men in suche assemblies were so blynde and wilfull, that they were caried with affec­tions, and laboured more to get the vic­tory then ye trueth, he pronounced open­ly, that he neuer had sene a good ende of any Councell: what woulde he say now yf he were [...] liue at this daye, and vnder [...]ode the heauing and shoving of these men? For at that time, though the matter were laboured on all sydes, yet the con­trouersies were wel heard, and open er­rours were put cleane awaye by the ge­nerall voice of all partes: But these men [Page] wil neyther haue the case to be freely dis­puted, nor yet how many errours soeuer there be, suffer they any to be chaunged. For it is a cōmon custome of theirs, of­ten and shameleslye to boast that their Churche cannot erre, that in it there is no faulte, and that they muste giue place to vs in nothynge. Or yf there be anye faulte, yet must it be tried by Byshopes and Abbo [...]tes, only bycause they be ye di­recters & Rulers of matters, and they be the Church of God. Aristotle saith, that a Citie cannot consist of Bastardes: but whether the Churche of God may con­siste of these men, let their owne selues consider. For doubtles neither be the Ab­bottes legitimat Abbo [...]tes, nor the By­shopes naturall right Byshoppes. But graunt they be the Churche: let them be heard speak in Councelles: let thē alone haue auctoritie to gyue consent: yet in olde tyme when the Churche of God (yf ye will compare it with their Churche) was very well gouerned, both Elders [Page] and Deacons as saith Cyprian, and cer­teine also of the cōmen people were cal­led ther vnto, and made acquainted with ecclesiasticall matters.

But I put case these Abbottes and Bysh [...]pes haue no knowledge: what yf they vnderstande nothing what Religiō is, nor how we ought to thinke of God? I put case the pronouncyng and mini­stringe of the lawe be decayed in preists, and good counsell faile in the Elders, and as the Prophete Micheas saith, the night be vnto them in stede of a vision, and darkenes in sted of prophesieng. Or as Esaias saith, what yf al ye watchemē of ye city are become blind? what yf ye salt haue lost his propre strength and saueri­nes, and as Christe saith, be good for no vse, scant woorthe the castyng on the doungehyl?

Wel yet then, they wil bring al mat­ters before the Pope, who cannot erre. To this I say, firste it is a madnes to thynke that the holy Ghoste taketh his [Page] flight from a generall Councell to run to Rome, to thende yf he doubt or sticke in any matter, and cannot expound it of him selfe, he maye take counsell of some other spirite, I wote not what, that is better learned then him selfe. For yf this be true, what neded so many Byshopps, with so great charges and so farre ior­neyes, haue assembled their Conuocatiō at this present at Trident? Yt hadde ben more wisedom and better, at least it had ben a moche nearer way and handsom­mer to haue brought all thinges rather before ye Pope, and to haue come streght furth, and haue asked counsell at his di­uine breast. Secōdly, it is also an vnlau­full dealing to tosse our matter from so many Byshoppes and Abbottes, and to bryng it at laste to the trial of one onely man, specially of hym who him selfe ys appeached by vs of hainous and foule enormities, and hath not yet put in hys aunswere: who hath also afore hand cō ­dempned vs without iudgement by or­der [Page] pronounced, and or euer we were cal­led to be iudged.

How saye ye, do wee deuise these ta­les? Is not this the course of the Coun­celles in these dayes? are not all thynges remoued from the whole holy Councell and brought before the Pope alone? that as though nothing had ben don to pur­pose by the iudgementes and consentes of suche a numbre, he alone maye adde, alter, diminishe, disanull, alow, remytt and qualifie what soeuer he lyst? whose wordes be these then? and whye haue the Byshoppes and Abbottes in the last Councell at Trident but of late conclu­ded with sayng thus in thende, Sauing alwyes the auctoritie of the sea Apo­stolique in all thynges? Or whye doth Pope Pascall write so proudelie of him selfe as though saith he, there were any general Councell able to prescribe a law to the Church of Rome,D [...] Elec̄ [...] & Elect potesfla [...]e. Signif [...]e [...] wheras al coū ­celles both haue ben made and haue rece­ued their force & strength by the Church [Page] of Romes auctoritie? and in ordinaun­ces made by Councelles, is euer plainely excepted the auctoritie of the Byshop of Rome. Yf they will haue these thynges alowed for good, why be Councels cal­led? but yf they commaunde then to be voyd, why are they left in their bokes as thinges alowable?

But be it so, Let the Byshop of Rome alone be aboue all Coūcelles, yt is to say, lette some one parte be greater then the whole, let hym be of greater power, let hym be of more wysedome then all his, and in spite of Hieromes head, [...]. let ye auc­thoritie of one Citie be greater then the aucthoritie of the whole worlde. Howe then if the Pope haue sene none of these things, & haue neuer read either ye scrip­tures or ye olde Fathers, or yet his owne coūcelles? How if he fauour ye Arriās, as once Pope Liberius did? or haue a wic­ked and a detestable opinion of the lyfe to come, and of the immortalitie of the soule, as Pope Iohn had but few yeres [Page] synce? or to encrease nowe his owne di­gnitie, do corrupt other Councelles, as Pope Zosimus corrupted the Councell holden at Nice in times past, and do say that those thinges were deuised and ap­poincted by the holy Fathers, which ne­uer once came into their thought, and to haue the ful sway of auctoritie, do wrest the Scriptures, as Camotensis saith, is an vsual custome with the Popes? How yf he haue renounced the faith in Christ, and become an Apostata, as Liranus sayth many Popes haue bene? And yet for all this, shall the holye Ghoste with turning of a hand, knock at his breast, & euē wheter he will or no, yea & wholy a­gainst hys will, kindle hym a lyght so as he maye not erre? shall he streght waye be the head spring of al right, and shal al treasure of wisdome and vnderstanding be founde in him, as it were laide vp in store? Or yf these thinges be not in him, can he giue a right and apte iudgement of so weightie matters? Or yf he be not [Page] able to iudge, wold he haue that al those matters should be brought before hym alone?

What will ye say, yf the Popes Ad­uocates, Abbottes and Byshops dissem­ble not the matter, but shew them selues open enemies to the Gospell, & though they see, yet they will not see, but wrye the Scriptures and wyttingly & know­ingly corrupt and counterfeite the word of God, and fouly and wickedlye applye to the Pope al the same thinges whiche euidently and proprely be spoken of the person of Christ only, nor by no meanes can be applied to any other? And what thoughe they saye, [...]ostism. cap. Quanto the Pope is all and aboue all? Or, that he can do asmuch as Christ can: and that one iudgemēt place and one Councel house serue for ye Pope and for Christ both together? [...]bas Pano. [...] Elect. ea [...]enerabil [...] Or that the Pope is the same light which should come into the worlde?Cornelius Eposcopus [...] Con [...]il Tridetino whiche wordes Christ spake of hym selfe alone: and that who so is an euil doer, hateth and flieth [Page] from that light? Or that all the other Bysshoppes haue receaued of the Popes fulnes?Durandus Shortly, what though thei make Decrees expreslye against Gods worde, and that not in huckermucker or couert­ly, but openly & in the face of the worlde: muste it needes yet be Gospell straighte whatsoeuer these men say? shall these be Gods holy army? or will Christe bee at hande amonge them there? shall the holy ghost flow in their tongues, or can they with truth say, We and the holy Ghoste haue thought so? In dede Peter Asotus and his companion Hosius sticke not to affirme,Hosius cō Brentium. Lib. 2. that the same Councell wherein our sauiour Iesu Christe was condem­ned to dye, had both the spirit of prophe­sieng, and the holy Ghost, and the spirite of truth in it: and that it was neither a false nor a trifflinge saieng, when those Byshoppes sayde, We haue a lawe, and by our law he ought to dye, and ye thei so sayenge did light vpon the very trouthe of iudgement: for so be Hosius wordes, [Page] and that the same plainelye was a iuste decree, whereby they pronounced that Christ was worthy to die. This me thin­keth is straunge, that these men are not able to speake for themselues and defend their owne cause, but thei must also take parte with Annas and Caiphas. For yf they will call that a laufull and a good Councell, wherein the Sonne of God was moste shamfully condemned to dye, what Councell will they then alowe for false and naught? And (yet as all their Councels, to say truth, commōly be) ne­cessitie compelled them to pronoūce these thinges of the Councell holden by An­nas and Caiphas.

But wil these men (I say) refourme vs the churche, beinge themselues both the persons guilty and the Iudges to? Will they abate their own ambitiō and pride? Wil they ouerthrow their owne matter, and giue sentence against them selues, that they must leaue of to be vnlearned Byshoppes, slowbellies, heapers toge­ther [Page] of benefices, takers vpon them as princes and men of warre? Will the Ab­bottes the Popes deere darlinges iudge that monke for a theefe, which laboureth not for his liuing? and that it is against all lawe, to suffer suche a one to liue and to be found either in citie or in countrie, or yet of other mennes charges? Or els that a monke ought to lye on the groūd, to liue hardly with hearbes and peason, to study earnestly, to argue, to praye, to worke with hande, and fully to bend him selfe to come to ye ministery of ye church? In faith, assone will the Pharisies and Scribes repaire agame the Temple of God, and restore it vnto vs a house of prayer, in steede of a theeuish denne. Ther haue ben, I know, certain of their own selues which haue foūd fault, we many errours in ye church, as Pope Adrian, Eneas siluius, Cardinal Poole, Pighius & others, as is afore saide, thei held after­wards their Councel at Trident in ye self same place where it is now appointed. [Page] There assembled many Byshoppes and Abbottes and others whom it behoued. For that matter they were alone by themselues, whatsoeuer they did no body gainesaid it: for they had quite shut out and barred oure syde from all manner of assemblies, and there they sat sixe yeares feedinge folkes with a meruelous expec­tation of their doings. The first sixe mo­neths, as though it were greatly nedeful, they made many determinations of the holy Trinitie, of the Father, of ye Son, and of the holy Ghost, which were god­ly thinges in deede, but not so necessarye for that time. Let vs see in all that while of so many, so manifest, so often confes­sed by them & so euident errours, what one errour haue they amended? from what kinde of idolatrie haue they reclai­med the people? What superstition haue they taken away? What peece of their tyranny and pompe haue they dimini­shed? as though all the worlde may not nowe see, that this is a Conspiracie and [Page] not a Councell, and that these Byshopes whom the Pope hath now called to ge­ther, be wholy sworne & become bounde to beare him their faithfull allegiaunce, and wil do no manner of thing, but that they perceiue pleaseth him, and helpeth to aduaunce his power, and as hee will haue it: Or that they reckon not of the number of mennes voyces, rather then haue weight and consideracion of the same: Or that myght doth not often times ouercome the right.

And therefore we knowe that diuers times many good men and Catholique Bysshops did tarry at home, and would not come when such Councels were cal­led, wherein men so apparauntly labou­red to serue factions and to take partes, bicause they knewe they should but lose their trauaile and dooe no good, seeinge where vnto their enemies mindes were so wholye bent. Athanasius denyed to come when hee was called by the Em­perour to his Councell at Cesarea, per­ceiuinge [Page] plaine he shoulde butte come a­monge his ennemies whiche deadly ha­ted hym. The same Athanasius when he came afterwarde to the Councell at Sirmium, and foresaw what would be the ende by reasone of the outrage and malyce of his ennimies, hee packed vp his carriage, and went away immediately. [...]pa tita [...]. lib. 10 [...]. Iohn Chrysostome, although ye Em­perour Constantius commaunded hym by four sundry lettres to come to the Ar­rians Councel, yet kept he hym selfe at home still. [...]ib 1. When Maximus the Byshop of Hierusalem sate in the Councell at Palestine, the olde Father Paphnutius toke him by the hande and ledde hym out at the doores sayenge: It is not [...]eeful for vs to conferre of these matters with wicked menne. The Bysshopes of the Easte woulde not comme to the Syrmian Councell, after they knewe Athanasius had gotten hymselfe thence againe. Cyrill called menne backe by letters from the Councell of them, which [Page] were named Patropassians. Paulinus Bysshoppe of Tryer, and manye others moe, refused to comme to the Councell at Millaine, whenne they vnderstoode what a styrre and rule Auxentius kepte there: for they sawe yt was in vaine to go thither, where not reasone but fac­tion shoulde prevayle, and where folke cōtended not for ye truth and right iudge­ment of the matter, butte for partialitie and fauour.

And yet for all those fathers hadde suche malitious and stiffe necked enne­mies, yet if they hadde come, they should haue hadde free speache at least in the Councelles. Butte nowe sithens none of vs maye bee suffered so muche as to sitte, or once to bee seene in these mennes meetinges, muche lesse suffered to speake freelye oure minde, and seinge the Popes Legates, Patriarches, Archebyshops, Bysshoppes, and Abbottes, all beinge conspyred togeather, all linked together, [Page] in one kinde of fault, and all bounde by one othe, sit alone by themselues, & haue power alone to giue their consent: and at last when they haue all done, as though thei had done nothing, bringe all their o­pinions to be iudged at the wil & plasure of ye Pope, being but one man, to thend he may pronoūce his own sētēce of him­selfe, who ought rather to haue aunswe­red to his complaint, sithens also ye same auncient & Christian libertie which of al right shoulde speciallye bee in Christian Councelles, is now vtterly taken away from the Councel: for these causes I say wise and good men ought not to mar­uaile at this day, though we doe the like now, that thei see was don in times past in like case of so many Fathers and Ca­tholike Byshops, which as though we chuse rather to sit at home and leaue our whole cause to Gode, then to iorney thither, whereas wee neyther shall haue place, nor bee able to dooe anye good: whereas wee can obtaine no audience, [Page] whereas Princes Embassadours be but used as mockyng stockes, and whereas also all wee be condemned alredy before trial, as though ye matter were a forhād dispatched and agreed vpon

Neuertheles we can beare pacientlye & quyetely our owne priuate wronges: but wherfore do they shut out Christian kynges, and good Princes from their Conuocation? why do they so vncour­teously, or with such spite leaue thē out, & as though they were not either Chri­sten menne, or els could not iudge, will not haue them made acquaynted with the cause of Christian Religion, nor vn­derstand ye state of their own Churches? Or yf the sayd kynges & Princes hap­pen to entermedly in suche matters, and take vpon them to do that they may do, that they be commaunded to doe, and ought of duty to do, & the same thinges that we know both Dauid and Salo­mon and other good Princes haue don, that is, yf they whiles the Pope and his [Page] Prelates slugge and sleepe, or els mische­vouslye withstande them, doe bridle the Preistes sensualitie, and driue them to do their dewty, and kepe them still to yt: yf they do ouerthrow Idols, yf they take away superstition, and set vp again the true worshiping of God, whye do they by and by make an out crye vpon them, that suche Princes trouble all, and presse by violence into an other bodyes office, and do therby wickedly and malepartly. What scripture hath at any time forbid­den a Christiā Prince to be made priuey to such causes? Who but themselues a­lone made euer any suche lawe?

They will saye to this, I gesse, Ci­uell Princes haue learned to gouerne a common welth, and to ordre matters of warre, but they vnderstande not the se­cret mysteries of Religion. Yf that be so, what is the Pope I praye you, at this day, other thē a Monarche or a Prince? or what [...]e the Cardinals, who must be no nother now a days but Princes and [Page] kyngs sonnes? What els be ye Patriar­ches, and for the most part the Archebys­shops, the Byshops, ye Abbots? what be they els at this present in ye Popes king­dome, but worlikely Princes, but Dukes and Earles, gorgiously accompanied wt bandes of men whither soeuer they go? Oftentimes also gaylye arayed wyth theynes & collers of golde, They haue at times to, certeine ornamētes by them sel­fes, as Crosses, pillers, hattes, miters and Palles, which pompe the auncient Bys­shops Chrysostom, Augustine and Am­brose neuer had. Setting these thinges aside, what teache they? what say they? what doe they? how lyue they? I saye not, as maye become a Byshopp, but as may become euen a Christian man, Is it so great a mater to haue a vaine title, and by chaunging a garment onely to haue the name of a Byshop?

Surely to haue the principall staye & effecte of all maters commited wholy to these mennes hands, who neyther know [Page] nor will know these thinges, nor yet set a iote by any poinct of Religion, saue yt which concernes their belly and Ryot, & to haue them alone sit as Iudges, and to be set vp as ouerseers in ye watch tower being no better then blynd spyes: of the other side, to haue a Christian Prince of good vnderstanding and of a right iud­gement, to stande still like a blocke or a stake, not to be suffred: nother to giue his voice, nor to shewe his iudgement, but onely to wayt what these men shall well and commaund, as one whiche had ney­ther eares nor eyes nor wytt, nor hearte, and whatsoeuer they giue in charge, to alowe it without exception, blindly ful­filling their commaundementes, be they neuer so blasphemous and wicked, yea although they commaunde him quite to destroye all Religion, & to crucifie again Christ him selfe. This surely besides that it is proud and spitefull, ys also beyond all right and reason and not to be endu­red of Christiā and wyse Princes. Why [Page] I praye you, may Cayphas and Annas vnderstand these matters, and may not Dauid and Ezechias do the same? Is it laufull for a Cardinall being a man of warre and delightius in bloud, to haue place in a Councell, & is it not lauful for a Christian Emperour or a kynge? wee truely graunt no further libertie to our Magistrates, then that we know hath both ben giuen thē by the word of God, and also confirmed by the exāples of the very best gouerned cōmon welthes. For besids that a Christian Prince hath the charge of both Tables cōmited to him by God, to thende he maye vnderstande that not temporall matters only, but al­so Religious & ecclesiasticall causes per­taine to his Office. Besides also that God by his Prophettes often and ear­nestly cōmaundeth the king to cut down the groues, to breake downe the Ima­ges and aultres of Idoles, and to write out the boke of ye law for him selfe: and besides that the prophet Esaias saith, a [Page] kyng ought to be a patrone and nurse of the Churche: I saye besides all these thinges, we se by histories and by exam­ples of the best tunes, that good Princes euer tooke thadministration of ecclesia­stical matters to partain to their duety. Moses a Ciuile Magistrat & chief guide of the people,Exod. [...] both receiued from God, & deliuered to ye People al the order for re­ligion and Sacrifices, and gaue Aaron the Byshop a vehemēt and so are rebuke for making the golden calfe, and for suf­fering the corruption of Religion. Io­sua also,Iosua [...]. though he were no nother then a Ciuil Magistrat, yet assone as he was chosen by God, and set as a Ruler ouer the people, he receiued cōmaundements, specially touching Religion and the ser­uice of God. [...]. Kynge Dauid, when the whole religiō was altogethers brought out of frame by wycked kyng Saul, brought home againe the Arke of God, that is to say, he restored Religiō again, and was not onely amongest them him [Page] selfe as a counseller and furtherer of the worke, but he appoincted also hym­nes and Psalmes, put in order the com­panies, and was the only doer in setting furth that whole solemne shewe, and in effect ruled the preistes. Kyng Salomō builte vnto the Lord the Temple,2. Par [...]l. [...] which his Father Dauid had but purposed in his minde to do: & after the finishing ther of, he made a goodly oration to the peo­ple, concerning Religion and the seruice of God, he afterward displaced Abiathar the Preist, and set Sadock in his place.3. Regum. [...] After this, when the Tēple of God was in shameful wyse polluted thorough the uaughtines and negligēce of the preists,2. Parcl. 2 [...] Kyng Ezechias commaunded the same to be clensed from the ruble and filthe, ye preistes to light vp candelles, to burne Incense, and to do their diuine seruice, according to the olde allowed custome. The same kyng also commaunded the brasen Serpent, whiche then the people wickedly worshipped,4. Regum to be taken down [Page] and beatē to pouder. [...] Parall. 17. Kyng Iehosaphat ouerthrew and vtterly made awaye the hil aultres and Groues, wherby he saw Goddes honoure hindered, and the peo­ple holden backe with a priuate super­stition from the ordinarie Tēple whiche was at Ierusalem, wherto they should by ordre haue resorted yearely from eue­ry part of the Realme.Regum. 23. Kynge Iosias wt great diligence put the Preists and By­shops in myde of their duety:Regum. 12. Kyng Io­has bridled the Ryot and arrogancie of the preistes.Regum ▪ 10. Iehu put to death the wic­ked Prophetes.

And to rehearse no more exampls out of the old law, let vs rather cōsider since the birthe of Christ, howe the Churche hath ben gouerned in the Gospels time. The Christian Emperours in old time, appoincted the Councelles of the Bys­shops. Constantine called the Councell at Nice, Theodotius the first, called the Councell at Constātinople. Theodotius the second, the councel at Ephesus, Mar­tian [Page] the Councell at Chalcedone: and when Rufine the heretike had alleadged for authoritie, a Councell whiche as hee thought, shoulde make for him: Hieroin his aduerrsarie to confute him, Tell vs (quod hee) what Emperour commaun­ded that Councell to be called? The same Hierome againe in his Epitaphe vpon Paula, maketh mention of the Empe­rours letters, whiche gaue commaunde­ment to call the Bysshoppes of Italie and Grecia to Rome to a Councel. Con­tinuallye for the space of fiue hundreth yeares, Themperoure alone appointed thecclesiasticall assemblies, and called the Councelles of the Bysshops togither.

We nowe therefore maruail the more at the vnreasonable dealinge of the Bys­shoppe of Rome, who knowinge what was the Emperoures right when the Churche was well ordered, knowinge also that it is nowe a common right to all princes, for so muche as Kinges are now fully possessed in the seuerall partes [Page] of the whole Empire, dothe so without consideration assigne that office alone to himselfe, and taketh it sufficient in summoning a general Councel, [...] pius 4. [...]lla sua Imperat. [...]dinandū. to make a man that is prince of the whole world no otherwise partaker thereof then hee woulde make his owne seruaunte. And although the modestie and mildenes of the Emperour Ferdinando be so greate that hee canne beare this wronge, by­cause peraduenture hee vnderstandeth not well the Popes packinge, yet ought not the Pope of his holines to offer him that wronge, nor to claime as his owne an other mans right.

But hereto some will replye: the Em­perour in deede called Councelles at that tyme ye speake of, bycause the Bysshop of Rome was not yet growen so greate as hee is nowe, [...]ist. [...] [...]cli [...]b. 1 cap. 5. but yet the Emperour didde not then sitte togeather with the Bysshoppes in Councell, or once bare any stroke with his authoritie in their consultation. I aunswere nay, that it [Page] is not so, for as witnesseth Theodorete, Themperour Constantine sate not only together with them in the Councell at Nice, butte gaue also aduice to the Bys­shoppes howe it was best to trye out the matter by the Apostles and Prophettes writinges, as apeereth by these his own woordes. In disputation (saithe hee) of matters of diuinitie, wee haue sette be­fore vs to followe the doctrine of the holye Ghoste. For the Euangelistes and the Apostles woorkes, and the Pro­phettes sayinges shewe vs sufficientlye what opinion wee ought to haue of the will of God. The Emperour Theo­dotius (as sayeth Socrates) didde not onely sitte amongest the Byshoppes,Socrat. l [...] cap. 5, but also ordered the whole arguinge of the cause, and tare in peeces the Heritiques bookes, and allowed for good the iudge­mente of the Catholiques. In the Coū ­cell at Chalridone a Ciuile magistrate condemned for heretikes by the sentence of hys owne mouthe,Socrat. [...] cap. 10. the Bysshoppes [Page] Dioseorus, Iuuenall, and Thalasius, and gaue iudgement to put them down from that promotion in the Curche. In the third Councell at Constantinople, Constantine a ciuile Magistrate, [...] 2. dyd not only sit amongest the Byshops, but dyd also subscribe with, them: For saith he, we haue both read and subscribed. In the second Councell called Arausicanum, the Princes Embassadours being noble menne borne, not only spake their minde touching Religion, but set to their han­des also, aswel as the Byshops. For thus is it writen in the later end of that Coū ­cel, Petrus, Marcellinus, Felix and Li­berius, being most noble menne, and the famous Lieutenauntes and Capitaines of Fraunce, & also Peeres of the Realm, haue giuen their consent, and set to their handes. Further, Syagrius. Opilio, Pantagattus, Deodatus, Cariattho and Marcellus, menne of very great honour haue subscribed. Yf it be so then, that Lieutenauntes, chyefe Capitaines and [Page] Peeres haue had authoritie to subscribe in Councell, haue not Emperours and kinges the like authoritie?

Truely there hadde been no neede to handle so plaine a matter as this is, with so many wordes and so at length, if wee hadde not to doe with those menne who for a desire they haue to striue and to winne the mastery, vse of course to deny all thinges be thei neuer so cleere, yea the very same which they presentlye see and beholde with their owne eyes. The Em­perour Iustinian made a law to correct the behauiour of ye Cleargie, and to cutt shorte the insolencie of the priestes. And albeit hee were a Christian and a Catholique prince, yet putte hee downe from their Papall Throne, twooe Popes, Syluerius and Vigilius, not withstan­dinge they were Peters successours, and Christes vicars.

Lette vs see then, suche men as haue authoritie ouer the Bysshoppes, suche menne as receaue from God commaun­dementes [Page] concerning Religion, suche as brynge home againe the Arke of God, make holy hymnes, ouer see the preistes, builde the Temple, make Orations tou­ching diuine seruice, clense the Temples, destroye the hil Aultres, burne the Idol­les groues, teache the preistes their dew­tie, write them out Preceptes how they should lyue, kill the wicked Prophetes, displace the high Preistes, call togyther the Councelles of Byshops, sit togither wich the Byshoppes, instructing them what they ought to doe, condemne and punysh an Hereticall Byshop, be made acquaynted with matters of Religion, whiche subscribe and giue sentence, and do al these things, not by an other mans Commissiō, but in their own name, and that both vprightly and godly. Shall we say it perteineth not to suche men to haue to do with Religion? or shall wee saye, a Christian Magistrate whyche dealith amongest others in these maters doth either naughtelie, or presumpteous­lye, [Page] or wickedlye? The moste aunci­ente and Christian Emperoures and kinges that euer were, didde busy them­selus with these matters, and yet were they neuer for this cause noted eyther of wickednesse or of presumption. And what is hee that canne finde oute either more catholique princes or more notable exaumples?

Wherefore yf it were lawfull for them to dooe thus beinge but Ciuile Magistrates, and hauinge the chiefe rule of common weales, what offence haue oure Princes at thys daye made, whiche maye not haue leaue to dooe the lyke, beinge in the like degree? Or what especiall gifte of learninge or of iudgemente, or of holynes, haue these menne nowe, that contrarye to the cu­stome of all the aunciente and Catho­lique Bysshoppes, who vsed to conferre with princes and peeres concerning re­ligiō, thei do now thus reiect and cast of [Page] Christian Princes from knowing of the cause, and from their meetinges?

Well thus doinge, they wiselye and warelye prouide for them selues and for their kingedome, whiche otherwise they see is like shortly to come to naught. For if so be, they whom God hath placed in greatest dignitie, didde see and perceiue these mennes practises, howe Christes commaundementes be despised by them, how the light of the Gospell is darkened and quenched out by them, & how them­selues also be subtilly begiled and mocked and vnwares be deluded by them, & the way to ye kingedom of heauē stopped vp before them, no doubt they would neuer so quietlye suffer them selues neyther to be disdaigned after suche a prowde sorte, nor so dispitefully to be scorned and abu­sed by them. But nowe through their own lacke of vnderstanding, & through their owne blyndenesse, these menne haue them fast yoked▪ and in their daun­ger.

[Page]We truely for our parts, as we haue sayd, haue don nothing in altering Re­ligion, either vpon rashenes or arrogan­tie, nor nothing but with good leasure and great consideration. Neyther had we euer intended to do it, except both the manifeste and most assured will of God opened to vs in his holy scriptures, and the regarde of our owne saluation had euen constreyned vs there vnto. For though wee haue departed from that Churche which these menne call catho­lique, and by that meanes gett vs enuy amongest them that want skill to iudge, yet is this ynough for vs, and it ought to be ynough for euery wise and good man, and one that maketh accoumpte of euerlasting lyfe, that we haue gon from that Church whiche had power to erre, whiche Christ, who cannot erre, tolde so long before it should erre, and which we our selues did euidently see with our eyes to haue gon both from ye holy Fathers and from the Apostles, and from Christ [Page] his own selfe & from the primatiue & ca­tholique churche: and wee are come as nere as we possibly could to the Church of the Apostles and of the old catholique Byshops and Fathers, whiche Churche we knowe hath hetherunto ben sounde and perfite, and as Tertullian termeth it, a pure virgine spotted as yet with no Idolatrie, nor with any foule or shame­full faulte: and haue directed according to their customes and ordinaunces not onely our doctrine, but also the Sacra­ments & the fourme of common prayer.

And as we knowe both Christe hym selfe and all good men here to fore haue don, we haue called home againe to the originall and first foundation that Reli­gion which hath ben fowly forslowed & vtterly corrupted by these men. For wee thought it mere thence to take ye paterne of reforminge Religion, from whence the ground of Religion was first taken, Bycause this one reasone, as saythe the most auncient Father Tertullian, hath [Page] great force againste all Heresies. Looke what soeuer was first, that is trew: and what soeuer is latter, that is corrupt. Ireneus oftentimes appealed to ye oldest Churchs, which had ben nerest to Chri­stes time, and which it was hard to be­leue had erred. But whye at this daye is not the same respect and consideratiō had? Whye returne wee not to the pa­terne of the ould Churches? whye maye not we heare at this time amongst vs ye same saiing which was opēly pronoun­ced in times past in the Councel at Nice by so many Byshopes and Catholique Fathers, and nobody once speakyng a­gainste it. [...]: that is to saye, hould still the old customes. When Eldras went about to repayre the ruy­nes of the Temple of God, he sent not to Ephesus, although the moste beautifull and gorgious Temple of Diana was there, and when he purposed to restore ye Sacrifices and ceremonies of God, he send not to Rome, although peraduen­ture [Page] he had hearde in that place were the solemne Sacrifices called Hecatombae, and other called Solitauril [...]a, lectisternia, and Supplicatiōs, and Numa Pompi­lius ceremoniall bokes, he thought it y­noughe for hym to set before his eyes, & to folow the paterne of the old Temple which Salomon at the beginning buil­ded, accordyng as God had appoincted hym, and also those olde customes and Ceremonies whiche God hymselfe had writen out by special words for Moses.

The Prophet Aggeus, after the Tē ­ple was repaired againe by Esdras, and the people mighte thinke they had a ve­ry iuste cause to reioyce on their own be­halfe, for so great a benefit receiued of al­mightie God, yet made he them al burst out in teares, bycause that they whyche were yet aliue, and had sene the former building of the Temple before the Ba­bylonians destroyed it, called to mynde how far of it was yet from that beautie and excellencie whiche it had in the olde [Page] times past before. For thē in deed would they haue thought ye Temple worthely repaired, yf it had aunswered to the auncient paterne, and to the maiestie of the first Temple. Paul bycause he wold amende the abuse of the Lordes supper which ye Corinthians euen then begonne to corrupte, he sett before them Christes institution to folow, sayng: I haue de­liuered vnto you ye which I firste recei­ued of the Lord. And when Christ dyd confute the errour of the Pharisees, Ye must, saith he, retorne to the first begin­ning, for frō the beginning yt was not thus. And when he founde great faulte with ye preists for their vncleanes of lyfe and couetousnes, and woulde clense the Temple from al euil abuses, This house saith he, at ye first beginning was a house of praier, wherin all the people myght deuoutely and sincerely praye together, and so were your partes to vse it nowe also at this daye. For it was not builded to thende it should be a denne of theues. [Page] Likewise al the good and commendable Princes mentioned of in the Scriptures, were praised, specially by those wordes that they had walked in the wayes of their Father Dauid. That is bycause they had retorned to the first and origi­nall foundation, and had restored Reli­gion euen to the perfection wherin Da­uid left it. And therfore whē we likewise sawe all thing es were quite trodden vn­der foote of these men, and that nothing remained in the Temple of God but pi­teful spoyles and decayes, we reckened it the wisest and the safest waye to sett be­fore our eyes those Churches which we knew for a suerty that they neuer had erred, nor neuer had priuate Masse, nor prayers in straynge and Barbarous language, nor this corrupting of Sa­cramentes and other toyes.

And forsomuche as our desire was to haue the Temple of the Lord restored a new, we would seke no other foundatiō, then the same which we knew was long [Page] agone layde by the Apostles, that is to wyte, our sauiour Iesu Christ. And for­somuch as we heard God hym selfe spea­king vnto vs in his word, and sawe also the notable Examples of the oulde and primatiue Churche: againe how vncer­taine a mater it was to wait for a gene­rall Coucell, and that the successe therof woulde be muche more vncertaine, but specially for so muche as we were moste ascerteined of Goddes will, and counted it a wickednes to be to careful and ouer­cumbred about the iudgementes of mor­tall menne, we could no longer stand ta­kyng aduise with fleshe and bloud, but rather thought good to do ye same thing that doth might rightlye be don, & hath also many a time ben don aswel of good men as of many catholique Byshopes: that is, to remedie our own Churches by a Prouinciall Synode. For thus know we the ould Fathers vsed to putt in experience before they came to the pu­blique vniuersal Coūcel. There remaine [Page] yet al this daye Canons writen in Coū ­celles of free Cities, as of Carthage vn­der Cypriā, as of Ancyra, of Neocesaria and of Gangra, also whiche is in Da­phlagonia as some thinke, before that ye name of the generall Councel at Nice was euer heard of. After this fashion in olde time did they spedely meet with, and cut short those Heretiques ye Pelagians & the Donatistes at home with priuate disputation, without any general Coun­cell. Thus also when the Emperour Constantius euidētly and earnestly toke part with Auxentius the Byshop of the Aerians faction, Ambrose the Byshopp of the Christians appealed not vnto a generall Councel, where he saue no good could be don [...]by reason of ye Emperours might and great labour, but appealed to his owne Cleargie and people, that is to say, to a Prouincia [...] Synode. And thus it was decreed in the Councell at Nice, that the Byshop [...] should assemble twise euery yeare. And in the Councel at Car­thage [Page] it was decreed, that the Bysshops shoulde meete togeather in eche of their prouinces, at least once in the year, which was done as saith the Councel at Chal­ [...]e [...]ne, of purpose, that if any errours and abuses had happened to springe vp any where, they might immediatelye at the first enterie be destroyed where they firste begonne. So likewise when Se­ [...]undus and Palladius reiected the Coū ­cell at Aquila, bicause it was not a gene­rall and a common Councell, Ambrose Bysshoppe of Millaine made aunswere, that no man ought to take it for a newe or straunge matter that the Bysshops of the weste parte of the worlde didde call togeather Synodes, and make priuate assemblies in their Prouinces, for that it was a thing before then vsed by the west Bysshoppes no fewe times, and by the Bysshoppes of Grecia vsed oftentymes and cōmonly to be done. And so Charles the great being Emperour, held a prouin­ciall Councell in Germanie, for puttinge [Page] awaye Images, contrary to the seconde Councell at Nice. Neither pardy euen amongest vs is this so very a straunge and newe a trade: for we haue hadde ere nowe in Englande prouinciall Synods, and gouerned oure Churches by home made lawes. What shoulde one saye more? of a truthe euen those greatest Councelles, and where moste assemblie of people euer was (wherof these menne vse to make suche an exceedinge recke­ninge) compare them with all the Chur­ches whiche throughout the worlde ac­knoweledge and professe the name of Christe, and what els I praye you can they seeme to bee, butte certaine priuate Councelles of Bysshoppes, and prouin­ciall Synodes? For admitte peraduen­ture, Italie, Fraunce, Spaine, Eng­land, Germanie, Denmarke, and Scot­lande meete togithers, yf there want Asia, Grecia, Armenia, Persia, Media, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Mauritania, in all whiche places [Page] there bee bothe manye Christian menne and also Bysshoppes, howe canne anye man, beinge in his right mynde, thinke suche a Councel to bee a generall Coun­cell? or where so manye partes of the worlde doe lacke, howe canne they true­lye saye, they haue the consente of the whole worlde? Or what manner of Councell, weene you, was the same last at Trident? Or howe might it bee tear­med a generall Councell, when out of all Christian kyngedomes and Nations, there came vnto it butte onelye fourtye Bysshoppes, and of those some so cun­ninge, that they might be thought meete to bee sente home againe to learne their Grammar, and so well learned, that thei had neuer studied Diuinitie?

What so euer it bee, the truthe of the Gospell of IESVS CHRIST de­pendeth not vpon Councelles, nor as S. Pawle saithe, vpon mortall crea­tures iudgementes. And if they whiche ought to be carefull for Gods Churche, [Page] will not be wyse but slacke their duety, and harden their heartes against Godde and his Christe, goinge on still to per­uert the right wayes of the Lorde, God will stirre vp the very stones, and make children and babes cunninge, whereby there may euer be some to confute these mennes lyes. For God is able (not onely without Councelles, butt also will the Councelles nill the Councelles) to main­taine and auaunce his owne kingedom. Full manye bee the thoughtes of mans heart (saith Salomon) but the coun­sell of the Lorde abydeth stedfast. There is no wisedome, there is no knowledge, there is no counsell against the Lorde. Thinges endure not, saithe Hilarius, that be set vp with mennes workeman­ship: By an other manner of meanes must the Churche of God be builded and preserued, for that Churche is grounded vpon the foundacion of the Apostles and Prophets, and is holden fast togea­ther by one corner stone, which is Christ [Page] Iesu.

But merueilous notable and to very good purpose for these dayes bee Nie­comes wordes: Whosoeuer (sayth hee) the Diuell hathe deceiued and enticed to fall a sleepe as it were with the sweete & deathly enchaūtments of ye marmaids the Sirenes,Hieron. i Naum. cap. 3. those persones doth Gods worde awake vp, sayinge vnto them: Arise thou that sleepest, lifte vp thy selfe, and Christ shall giue the light. Therfore at the comminge of Christe, of Goddes worde, of the ecclesiasticall doctrine, and as the full destruction of Niniue, and of that moste be witfull harlot, then shall the people whiche heretofore hadde been ca [...]t in a traunce vnder their maisters, bee raysed vp, and shall make haste to go to the Mountaines of the Scripture, [...] shall they finde hilles, Moses, [...]reey and Iosua the sonne of Nun: o­ther [...]les also which a [...] the Prophetes: [...] of the newe testament, whiche [...] the Apostles and the Euangelistes: [Page] And when the people shall flee for suc­cour to suche hilles, and shall bee exerci­sed in the reading of those kind of moun­taynes, though they finde not one to teache them (for the haruest shall bee greate, butte the labourers fewe) yet shall the good desire of the people bee well accepted, in that they haue gotten them to suche hilles, and the neglygence of their maisters shall bee openly repro­ued. These bee Hieromes sayenges, and that so playne, as there needeth no Interpretour. For they agree so iuste with the thinges wee nowe see wyth oure eyes haue already come to passe, yt wee maye verelye thinke hee mente to foretell, as it were by the spirite of pro­phesie, and to paincte before oure face the vniuersall state of oure tyme, the fall of the moste gorgeous harlotte Ba­bylon, the repairinge againe of Goddes Churche, the blyndenesse and slewthe of the Bysshoppes, and the good will and forwardenesse of the people. For [Page] who is so blinde that hee seeth not these menne bee the maisters, by whome the people, as saythe Hierome, hathe been ledde into errour, and lulled a sleepe? Or who seeth not Rome, that is their Niniue, whiche sometime was paineted wt fairest colours, but now her vizer be­ing pulled of, is both better seen and lesse sette by? Or who seeth not that good menne beinge a waked as it were out of their deade sleepe, at the lighte of the Gospell, and at the voyce of God, haue resorted to the hilles of the Scriptures, waiting not at all for the Councelles of suche maisters?

Butte by your fauoure, some will saye, These thinges ought not to haue been attempted without the Bysshoppe of Romes commaundement, forsomuche as hee onely is the knotte and bande of Christian societie: he onely is that priest of Leuies order, whom God signified in the Deuteronomy, from whom counsell [Page] in matters of weight and true iudgemēt ought to be fetched, and who so obeyeth not his iudgement, the same man ought to bee killed in the sight of his brethren: and that no mortall creature hathe au­thoritie to bee iudge ouer him whatso­euer hee dooe: that Christe reigneth in heauen and hee in earthe: that hee alone canne dooe as muche as Christe, or God hym selfe canne dooe, bicause Christ and hee haue but one Councell house: That without him is no faythe, no hope, no churche, and who so goeth from him, quite casteth awaye and renounceth his owne saluation. Suche talke haue the Canonistes, the Popes parasites surely, but with small discretion or sobrenesse: for they coulde stant saye more, at leaste they coulde not speake more highlye of Christe him selfe.

As for vs truely, we haue fallen from the Byshoppe of Rome vpon no maner of worldlye respect or commoditie, and woulde to Christe hee so behaued him­selfe, [Page] as this falling away neded not: but so the case stoode, that oules we left him, wee could not come to Christ. Neyther will he now make any other league wt vs, then suche a one as Nahas the kyng of the Ammonites would haue made in tymes past with thē of the citie of Ja­bes,1. Reg [...] whiche was to put out the right eye of eche one of the Inhabitantes. Euen so will the Pope pluck from vs the holye Scripture, the Gospell of our saluation, and all the confidence which we haue in Christ Iesu. And vpon other condition can he not agree vpon peace with vs.

For wheras som vse to make so great a vaunte, that the Pope is onely Peters Successour, as though therby he carried the holy Ghost in his bosome & cannot erre, this is but a matter of nothing and a very trieflyng tale. Gods grace is pro­mised to a good mynde, and to one that fearith God, not vnto Sees and Suc­cessiōs. Riches saith Ierome, may make a Byshop to be of more might then the [Page] rest: but all the Byshoppes whosoeuer they be, are the Successours of the Apo­stles. Yf so be, the place and consecrating onely be sufficient (why then) Manasses succeded Dauid, and Caiphas succeded Aaron. And it hath ben often seene, that an Idoll hath stand in the Temple of God. In old tyme Archidamus the La­cedemonian boasted muche of hym selfe, how he came of the bloud of Hercules, but one Nicostratus in thys wise aba­ted his prydes Nay, quod he, yu semest not to descende from Hercules, for Hercules destroied yll men, but thou makest good men euill. And when the Pharises brag­ged of their linage how they wereof ye kynred and bloud of Abraham, Ye saith Christ, seeke to kyll me, a manne whiche haue toulde you the trouth as I heard it from God: thus Abraham neuer did. Ye are of your Father the dyuel, and wil nedes obey his will.

Yet notwithstandyng, bycause wee will graunt somewhat to succession, tell [Page] vs, hath the Pope alone succeded Pe­ter▪ and wherein I praye you, in what Religion? in what Office? in what peece of his lyfe hath he succeded hym? What one thing (tel me) had Peter euer like vn­to the Pope? or the pope lyke unto Pe­ter? excepte paraduenture they will saye thus: that Peter when he was at Rome, neuer taught the Gospell, neuer fedde ye flock, toke away the keyes of the kingedom of heauē, hyd the treasures of his Lorde, satte him downe onely in his Castle in S. Iohn Laterane, & poincted out with his finger al the places of Pur­gatorie, and kyndes of punyshementes, cōmittyng some poore soules to be tor­mented, and other some againe sodenlye [...]leasing thence at his owne pleasure, ta­king money for so doing: or that he gaue order to say priuate Masses in euery cor­nere or that be mumbled vp the holy ser­uice with a lowe voice and in an vn­knowen language, or that he hāged vp ye Sacrament in euery Tēple and on eue­rie Aulter, and caryed ye same about be­fore [Page] hym whether soeuer he went, vpon an ambling Iennett, with lightes and belles: or that he consecrated with hys holy breath, oyle, war, wulle, belles, cha­lices, churches & aultres: or that he solde Iubilees, graces, liberties, aduousons, preuentions, first fruits, Palles, the wearing of Palles, bulles, Indulgences and pardons: or that he called hym self by the name of the head of the Churche, The highest Byshop, Byshop of Byshopps, alone Most holy: or that by vsurping he tooke vpon hym selfe the right and auc­thoritie ouer other folkes Churches: or that he exempted him selfe frō the power of anye civilie gouernement: or that he mainteined warr [...], set Princes together at variaunce: or that he sytting in his Chaire with his triple Crowne full of labelles, with sumptuous & Persianlike gorgiousnes, with his Royall scepter, with his Diademe of goulde and glitte­ring with stones, was caried about not upon Pa [...]lfr [...]ie, but upon the shoulders [Page] of noble menne. These things no doubt did Peter at Rome in times past, and left them in charge to his Successours as you would say, from hand to hande: for these thinges be now a dayes donne at Rome by the Popes, and be so done, as though nothing els ought to be don.

Or contrarie wise paraduenture they had rather saye thus, that the Pope doth now all the same thinges whyche wee knowe Peter did many a daye a goe: that is, that he rounneth vp and downe into euerye Countreye to Preache the Gospell, not onelye openlye abroad, but also priuatelye from house to house: that hee is diligente, and applyeth that busines in seasone and out of seasone, in dewe tyme, out of dew time: that he doth the part of an Euangelist, that he fulfil­leth the worke and ministerie of Christ, that he is ye watcheman of the house of Israel: receaueth answeares and wor­des at Goddes mouth: and euen as he­receiueth them, so deliuereth them ouer [Page] to the people: That he is the salte of the earth: That he ys the light of the world, that he doth not feed his owne selfe but his flock, that he doth not entangle him selfe with the worldlie eares of this lyfe, that he doth not vse a soueraintye ouer the Lordes people, that he seeketh not to haue other menne minister to hym, but him selfe rather to minister vnto others, that he taketh al Bishops as his felows and equals: that he is subiect to Princes as to personnes sent from God, that he giueth to Cesar that whiche is Cesars: and that he as the old Bishops of Rome dyd (without any question) calleth the Emperour his Lord: Onles therfore the Popes do the like now a dayes, and Pe­ter did the thinges a foresayd, there is no cause at all why they should glorye so of Peters name and of his succession.

Muche lesse cause haue they to com­plaine of our departing, and to call vs againe to be felowes and frendes with them, and to beleue as they beleue. Men [Page] saye that one Cobdon a Lacedemonian, when he was sent Embassadour to the kyng of the Persians to treate of a le­gue, and founde by chaunce them of the court playng at dyce, he returned streight waye home againe, leauing his message vndone. And whē he was asked why he did flacke to doe the thinges whiche he had receiued by publique commission to do, he made aunswere, he thought it should be a great reproche to his cōmon welthe, to make a legue with Dicers. But yf we should content our selues to retorne to the Pope and his popyshe er­rours, and to make a couenaunte not on­ly with dicers, but also with men farr [...] more vngracious and wicked then any dycers be: Besides that this should be a great blot to our good name, it shoulde also be a very daungerous matter both to kindle Goddes wrath against be, and to clogge and condemne our owne sou­les foreuer. For of very trouthe we haue departed from hym whome we saw had [Page] blinded the whole worlde this many an hundred yeare. From hym who to farre presumpteouslye was wont to saye, he coulde not erre, and whatsoeuer he dyd no mortal man had power to condemne hym, neyther kynges nor Emperours, nor the whole Clergie, nor yet all the people in the worlde togyther, no and though he should carrie away with hun to Hell a thousande soules. From hym who toke vpon him power to cōmaund not only menne but euen Goddes Aun­gels, to go, to returne, to leade soules in­to Purgatorie, and to bring them back againe when he lyste him selfe: whome Gregory said, with out all doubt is the very foreronner and standerd bearer of Antichrist, and hath vtterly forsaken the catholique faith: From whome also those ringeleaders of owers, who now with might and maine resist ye Gospel, & the trouth whiche they knowe to be the truth, haue or this departed euery one of their owne accorde and good will, and [Page] woulde euen now also gladly depart fró hyin, yf the note of inconstancie & shame and their owne estimacion amonge the people were not a let vnto them. In con­clussion, wee haue departed from hym to whom we wer not bound, and who had nothyng to laye for hym selfe, but onely I know not what vertue or power of the place where he d'weleth, and a conti­nuaunce of seccession.

And as for vs, we of all others moste iustely haue left him. For our Kynges, yea euen they whiche with greatest re­uerence dyd folow and obey the auctho­ritie and faith of the Byshops of Rome, haue long synce founde and felte well y­nough the yoke & tyrannye of the Po­pes kingdome. For ye Byshops of Rome toke the Crowne of from the head of our Kynge Henrye the second, and com­pelled him to put a side all maiestie, and lyke a meere priuate man to come vnto their Legate with great submission and humilitie, so as all his subjectes might [Page] laugh him to scorne. More thē this, they caused Byshops and Monkes and some parte of the nobilitie to be in the feelde against our Kynge Iohn, and sett all the people at libertie from their othe wher­by they ought allegeaunce to their king: and at last, wickedly and most abhomi­nablie they bereaued the kyng not onely of his kyngdome, but also of his lyfe. Besides this, they excommunicated and cursed Kyng Henry theight, the most fa­mous Prince, & stirred vp against him sometime the Emperour, sometime the Frenche Kyng, & as muche as in them was, putte in aduenture our Realme to haue ben a very praye and spoyle. Yet were they but foules and mad, to thinke that eyther so mighty a Prince could be scared with bugges and rattles: or els ye so noble and great a kyngdome myght so easily, euen at one morsel be deuoured and swalowed vp.

And yet as though all this were to litle, they would nedes make all the Re­alme [Page] tributarie to them, & exacted there yearely most vniust and wrongfull ta­xes. So deere cost vs the freendeshyp of the Citie of Rome. Wherefore yf they haue gotten these thinges of vs by ex­tortion thorough their fraude and suttle sleightes, we see no reason why we may not plucke awaye the same from them againe by laufull wayes & iust means. And yf out kynges in that darknes and blindenes of former tymes gaue them these thinges of their owne accorde and liberalitie for Religion sake, being mo­ued with a certaine opinion of their fai­ned holines, now when ignoraunce & errour is spied out, may the Kinges their successours take them awaye againe, seing they haue the same auctoritie, the Kinges their auncestours had before. For the gyft is voide, except it be alowed by the will of the giuer: and that cannot seme a perfit will, which is dymmed and hindered by errour.

Thus ye see good Christian Reader, [Page] howe it is no new thing, though at this day the religion of Christ be enterteined with dispites and checkes, being but la­tely restored and as it were comming vp againe a new, for somuche as the lyke hath chaunced both to Christ hym selfe and to his Apostles: yet neuerthelesse for feare ye maye suffer your selfe to be led amysse and seduced with those exclama­tions of our Aduersaries, we haue decla­red at large vnto you ye very whole ma­ner of our Religion, what our opinion is of God the Father, of his onely sonne Iesus Christ, of the holy Ghost, of the Church, of the Sacramentes, of the mi­nistery, of ye Scriptures, of ceremonies, and of euery parte of Christian beleue. Wee haue sayde that wee abandon and detest as plagues and poysons all those oide? Heresies, whiche eyther the sacred Scriptures or the auncient Councelles haue vtterly condemned: that wee call home againe asmuche as euer wee can, the right Discipline of ye Church, which [Page] our Aduersaries haue quite brought in­to a poore & weake case: That we pun­nishe all licentiousnes of lyfe and vnru­lynes of maners by the olde and long continued laws, and with asmuch shar­penes as is conuenient and lyeth in our power: That we mainteine still the state of kingdomes, in the same condition and plight wherin we haue found thē, with­out any diminishing or alteration, reser­uinge vnto our Princes their maiestie and worldly preeminence safe and with­out empayring, to our possible power: That we haue so gottē our selues away from that Church which they had made a denne of Theeues, and wherein no­thing was in good frame or once like to the Churche of God, and whiche them selfes cōfessed had erred many weies, euē as Lott in times paste gat hym out of Sodom, or Abraham out of Caldie, not vpō a desire of contention, but by ye war­ninge of God him selfe: And yt we haue searched out of ye holy Bible whiche we are sure cannot deceiue, one sure fourme [Page] of Religion, and haue retorned againe vnto the Primatiue Churche of the aun­cient Fathers and Apostles, that is to say, to the first ground and beginning of thinges, as vnto the very foundations & head springes of Christes church. And in very troth we haue not carried for in this matter the auctoritie or consent of the Trident Councell, wherein we sawe nothing don vprightly nor by good or­dre: where also euery body was sworne to the maintenaunce of one man: where our Princes Embassadours were con­temned: where not one of oure diuines could be heard, and where partes taking and ambition was openly and earnest­lye procured and wrought, but as the holy Fathers in former time, and as our predecessours haue commonly don, wee haue restored our Churches by a Pro­uinciall Conuocation, and haue cleane shaken of as our dewtie was, the yoke and tyrannye of the Byshop of Rome, to whome we were not bounde, who also [Page] had no manner of thying lyke neyther to Christ nor to Peter, nor to an Apostle, nor yet like to any Byshopp at all. Fi­nally, we saye that wee agree amongest our selues, touching the whole iudgemēt and chiefe substaunce of Christian Reli­gion, and with one mouth and with one spirite do woorshipp God and the Father of our Lord Iesu Christ.

Wherefore O Christian and godlye Reader, forsomuche as thow seest the reasons and causes both whye wee haue restored Religion, and whye wee haue forsaken these men, thou oughtest not to maruaile, though wee haue chosen to o­beye our Maister Christe rather then menne. Paule hath giuen vs warning how we shoulde not suffer our selues to be carried away with suche sundry lear­ninges, and to fly their companies, in es­peciall whiche woulde sowe debate and variaunces, cleane contrarie to the Doc­trine whithe they had receiued of Christ and the Apostls. Longe synce haue these [Page] mennes craftes and treacheries decaied and vanished and fled away at the sight and light of ye Gospell, euen as the owle doth at the sunne rysing. And albeit their trumperye be builte vp and reared as highe as the Skye, yet euen in a momēt and as yt were of the owne selue fallyth yt downe againe to the ground, and cō ­meth to naught. For you must not think yt al these things haue com to passe rash­ly or at aduēture: It hath ben gods plea­sure yt against al mennes willes wel nye, the Gospell of Iesu Christe shoulde be spread abroad thorough out the whole worlde, at these dayes. And therfore men folowing godds biddings, haue of their owne free will resorted vnto the Doc­trine of Iesus Christ. And for our parts truely wee haue sought hereby neyther glorie nor welthe, nor pleasure nor ease. For there is plentie of all these thinges with our aduersaryes. And when wee wer of their side, we enioyed such world­lye commodyties muche more liberallie [Page] and bountefullye, then wee doe nowe. Neyther doe wee eschew concorde and peace, but to haue peace with man, wee will not be at warre with God. The name of peace is a swete and pleasaunte thinge, saith Hilarius: But yet beware, sayth he, peace is one thinge, and boun­dage is an other. For yf it shoulde so be as they seeke to haue it, that Christe shoulde be commaunded to keepe silence, that the truth of the Gospell should be betraied, that horrible errours should be cloked, that Christian mennes eyes shold be bleared, & that they might be suffred to conspire openlye against God: this were not a peace, but a moste vngodlye couenaunt of seruitude. There is a peace saith Nazianzene, that is vnprofitable: againe there is a discorde saith he, that is profitable. For we muste conditionallye desire peace, so farre as is laufull before God, & so farre as we may conueniētly. For otherwise Christ him self broughte not peace into the worlde, but a sworde. [Page] Wherefore yf the Pope will haue vs re­ [...]onciled to hym, his dewty is first to be reconciled to God: for from thence saith Cyprian, spring schysmes and sectes, by­cause menne seeke not the head, and haue not their recourse to the Fountaine of ye Scriptures, and kepe not the Rules gy­uen by the heauenly teacher: for saith he, [...]hat is not peace but warre: neyther is he ioyned vnto the Churche which is se­uered from the Gospel. As for these men [...]hey vse to make a marchaundize of the name of peace. For that peace whiche they so faine would haue, is onely a rest of idle bellies. They and we might easily be brought to atonement touchyng all the [...]e matters, were it not that ambitiō, glutony and excesse did let it: Hence com­meth their whyenyng, their hearte is on their Halfepennye. Out of doubt their claymours and styrres be to none other ende, but to maynte [...]ne more shamefully and naughtely yll gotten thinges.

Nowe a dayes the Pardoners com­plaine [Page] of vs, the Dataries, the Popes Collectours, the Bawdes, and others which take Gayne to be godlynesse, and serue not Iesu Christe but their owne [...]ellyes. Many a day a go and in the old worlde, a wonderfull great aduantage grew hereby to these kinde of people, but now they recken all is losse vnto them that Christ gaigneth. The Pope hym selfe maketh greate complaynere at this present, that Charitie in people is waxen coulde. And why so trow ye? Forsooth because his profittes decaye more and more. And for this cause doth he hale vs into hatred all that euer he maye, laieng lode vpon vs with dispitetfull raylings and condemning vs for Heretiques, to thende they that vnderstande not the matter, maye thinke there be no woorse menne vpon earth then we be. Notwithstanding we in the meane season are ne­uer the more ashamed for all this: ney­ther ought we to be ashamed of ye Gos­pell: for wee sett more by the glorie of [Page] God then wee doe by the estimation of menne. Wee are suere all is true that we teach, and we may not either go against our owne conscience, or beare any wit­nes against God. For yf we denye any part of the Gospel of Iesu Christ before menne, he on the other side wil denye vs before his Father. And yf there be anye that will still be offended and cannot en­dure Christes doctrine, suche saye wee, be blynd &, leaders of ye blynde: the truth neuertheles must be preached and prefer­red aboue all: and wee muste with pa­tience wayte for Goddes iudgement. Lett these folke in the meane tyme take good heed what they do, and let them be well aduised of their owne Saluation, and cease to hate and persecute the Gos­pell of the sonne of God, for feare least they feele hym once a redresser and reuē ­ger of his owne cause. God will not suf­fer him selfe to be mad a mocking stock. The world espyeth a good whyle a gon what there ys a doyng abroade. This [Page] flame the more it is kept downe, somuch the more with greater force and strengh doth it break out and flye abroade. Their vnfaithfulnes shall not di [...]apoincte god­des faithfull promyse. And yf they shall refuse to laye awaye this their harde­nes of heart and to receiue the Gospel of Christ, then shall Publicanes and syn­ners go before them into the kingedome of Heauen.

GOD and the Father of oure Lorde IESVS CHRIST open the eyes of them all, that they maye be able to see that blessed hope whereunto they haue ben called, so as wee maye altogither in one, glorifie hym alone, who is the tre [...] God, and also that same Iesus Christ whome he sent downe to vs from Hea­uen: vnto whome with the Father and the holy Ghost be giuen all honour and glorie euerlastinglye. So be it.

The ende of the Apologie of the Churche of Englande.

The manner how the Churche of Englande is administred & gouerned.

The Churche of Englād is diuided in to two Prouinces,

  • Canterbury, and
  • Yorke.

The Prouince of Canterbury hath

Tharchebyshop of the same, who is Primate of all Englande and Metropolitane.

  • The Byshop of London.
  • The Byshop of Winchestes.
  • The Byshop of Elye.
  • The Byshop of Chichestes
  • The Byshop of Hereforde.
  • The Byshop of Salysburie.
  • The Byshop of Worcetor.
  • The Byshop of Lincolne.
  • The Byshop of Couentrie and Lichefield.
  • The Byshop of Bathe and Welles.
  • The Byshop of Norwiche.
  • The Byshop of Excetor.
  • The Byshop of Rochester.
  • The Byshop of Peterborough.
  • The Byshop of S. Dauies.
  • The Byshop of S. Assaph.
  • [Page]The Byshop of Landaffe.
  • The Byshop of Bangor.
  • The Byshop of Oxforde.
  • The Byshop of Glocester, and
  • The Byshop of Bristowe.

The Prouince of Yorke hathe

Tharthebyshop of the same, who is also Pri­mate of England and Metropolitane.

  • The Byshop of Durham.
  • The Byshop of Carliell, and
  • The Byshop of Chester.

Amongest vs heere in Englande no man is called or preferred to bee a Bys­shop, except he haue first receiued the or­ders of Priestho [...]de, and be well hable to instruct the people in ye holy scriptures.

Euery one of the Archebyshops and Byshops haue their seuerall Cathedrall churches. Wherein ye deanes beare chiefe rule, being men specially chosen both for their learning and godlines, as neere as maye bee.

[Page]These Cathedrall Churches haue also other dignities and Canōries, whervn­to bee assigned no ydle or vnprofitable persones, but suche as eyther bee Prea­chers, or professours of the Sciences of good learninge.

In the saide Cathedrall Churches, vpon Sondayes and festiuall dayes, the Canons make ordinarilye special Ser­mons, wherevnto duely resorte the head Officers of the Cities and the Citizens: and vpon the workendayes thryse in the weeke, one of the Canons doth read and expound some peece of holy Scripture.

Also the saide Archebyshops and Bys­shops haue vnder them their Archedea­cons, some two, some foure, some sixe, accordinge to the largenes of the dioces, the whiche Archedeacons keepe year­ly twoo visitations, wherein they make diligent inquisition, and searche both of the doctrine and behauiour as well of the ministers as of the people. They pu­nishe [Page] thoffendors: and if any errours in religion and heresies fortune to springe, thei bring those and other weighty mat­ters before the Byshops themselues.

There is nothing read in oure Chur­ches but the canonical scriptures, which is done in suche ordre, as that the Psalter is read ouer euery moneth, the new Te­stament foure times in the yeare, and the olde Testament once euery yeare. And if the Curate be iudged of ye Byshop to be sufficiently seene in the holy scripturs, he dothe withal make some exposition and exhortacion vnto godlines.

And for somuch a [...] our Churches and Vniuersities haue ben wōderfully mar­red, and so souly brought out of al fashi­on in time of papistrie, as there can not be had learned pastors for euery parysh, there bee prescribed vnto the Curates of meaner vnderstandinge, certaine Home­lies deuised by learned men, whiche doe comprehende the principall poinctes of [Page] Christian doctrine: as of Originall sin, of Iustification, of Faith, of Charitie, & suche like, for to bee read by them vnto the people.

As for Common prayer, The lessons taken out of the Scriptures, thadmini­stringe of the sacramentes, and the resi­due of seruice done in the Churches, are euery whitt done in the vulgare tongue whiche all may vnderstande.

Touchinge the vniuersities.

Moreouer, this Realme of England hathe twoo Vniuersities,

  • Cambridge and
  • Oxforde.

And the manner is not to liue in these within houses that be Innes or a receipt for common geastes, as is the custome of some vniuersities, but they liue in colled­ges vnder moste graue and seuere disci­pline, euen suche as the famous learned man Erasmus of Roterodame, beinge heere amongest vs about fourtie yeares [Page] past, was bolde to preferre before ye ve­ry rules of the Monkes.

In Cambridge bee xiiii Colledges, these by name that folowe.

Trinitie Colledge founded by kinge Henrie the eight.

  • The kinges Colledge.
  • S. Iohns Colledge.
  • Christes Colledge.
  • The Quenes Colledge.
  • Ihesus Colledge.
  • Bennet Colledge.
  • Pembroke Colledge, or Pembroke halle,
  • Peter Colledge, or Peter house.
  • Bunwell and Caws colledge, or halle.
  • One other Trinitie colledge, or Trinitie halle
  • Clare colledge, or Clare halle.
  • S. Katherins colledge, or Katherin halle.
  • Magdalene colledge.

In Oxford likwise there be Colledges some greater some smaler, to the num­ber of foure and twentye, the names whereof be as followeth.

  • [Page]The Cathedrall Churche of Christe, wherein also is a great company of studentes.
  • Magdalene colledge.
  • Newe colledge.
  • Marten colledge.
  • All sowles colledge.
  • Corpus Christi colledge.
  • Lincolne colledge.
  • Anriell colledge.
  • The Ouenes colledge.
  • Baptie colledge, or Bailioll colledge.
  • S. Iohns colledge.
  • Trinitie colledge.
  • Excetor colledge.
  • Brasen nose colledge.
  • Thuniuersitie colledge.
  • Glocetor colledge.
  • Brodega [...]e halle.
  • [...]aete halle.
  • Ma [...]alene halle.
  • A [...]borne halle.
  • S. Marie halle.
  • [...]hyre halle.
  • [...]ewe I [...]e
  • Edmonde halle.

[Page]And besides these Colledges that be in the Vniuersities, this Realme hath also certein collegiate churches, as West­mynster, Windesour, Eaton, and Wyn­chester. The two last whereof do bring vp and fynde a greate number of yong Scholers, the whiche after they be once parfect in the rules of Grammer and of versifieng, and well entred in the prin­ciples of the Greeke tong and of Rheto­rike, are sent from thence vnto the vni­uersities: as thus. Out of Eaton col­ledge they be sent vnto the Kynges col­ledge at Cambrydge, & out of Wynche­ster, vnto the New colledge at Oxford.

The Colledges of both the Vniuer­sities be not only very fayre and goodly builte thorough thexceding liberalitie of ye kynges in olde time & of late dayes, of Byshopps and of noble men, but they be also endowed with marueylous large li­uinges and reuenewes.

In Trinitie colledge at Cambrydge, [Page] and in Christes colledge at Oxford, both whiche were founded by Kyng Henry theight of most famous memorie, are at the least founde foure hundreth Shol­lers: and the like number wel neere is to be seene in certen other Colledges, as in the Kynges Colledge & S. Iohns Col­ledge at Cambrydge: in Magdalene col­ledge and New colledge of Oxford: be­sides the rest which we now passe ouer.

Euery one of the Colleges haue their Professours of the tonges and of the li­beral Sciences (as they cal them) which do trade vp youth priuatly whithin their Halles, to thend they may afterward be able to go furth thence into the common scholes as to open disputatiō, as it were into plain battail, there to try themselfe.

In the cōmon Scholes of both the Vniuersities, there are found at the Kinges charge, and that very largely, fyue Professours & Readers, that is to saye,

  • [Page]The Reader of Diuinitie.
  • The Reade [...] of the Ciuill lawe.
  • The Reader of Physike.
  • The Reader of the Hebrewe tongue. and
  • The Reader of the Greeke tongue.

And for the other Professours, as of Phylosophie, of Logique, of Rethorike, and of the Mathematicalles, the Vni­uersities themselues doe allowe stipen­des vnto them. And these Professours haue the ruling of the Disputaciōs and other schole exercises whiche be dayly v­sed in the common Scholes: Amongest whome, they that by the same Disputa­tions & exercises are thought to be come to any tipenes in knowledge, are wont according to ye vse in other vniuersities, soleniply to take degrees, euery one in ye same science and facultie which he pro­fesseth.

Wee thought good to annexe these thinges, to thende wee might confute & [Page] confounde those that spread abroad ru­mours, how yt with vs nothinge is don in order & as ought to be don: yt there is no Religiō at al, no Ecclesiastical Disci­pline obserued, no regard had of the sal­uacion of mennes soules, but that all is don quite out of ordre and seditiouslye, yt all antiquitie is despised, that libertie is giuen to all sensualitie and lewde lustes of folkes, that the liuings of the Church be conuerted to prophane and worldlye vses, wheras in very trouth we seke no­thing els but that, that God aboue all moste good, may haue still his honoure truely and purely reserued vnto hym, that the rule and waye to euerlastinge Saluacion maye be taken from out of his very word, and not from mens fan­tasies, that the Sacramentes maye be ministred not like a Maskary or a stage playe, but religiously and reuerently ac­cording to the rule prescribed vnto vs by Christ, and after the example of the holy Fathers whiche florished in the prima­tiue [Page] Churche: that that most holye and godly fourme of discipline, whiche was commonly vsed amongest them, may be called home againe: that the goodes of ye Churche may not be laūched out amō ­gest worldlinges & ydel persōs, but may be bestowed vpon the godlye Ministers and Pastours which take paine both in Preaching and teaching: that there may from tyme to tyme arise vp out of the Vniuersities learned & good ministers & others meete to serue ye cōmon welth: And finally, that all vncleane and wic­ked lyfe may be utterly abandoned and banyshed, as vnworthy for the name of any Christian. And albeit we are not as yet able to obteine this yt we haue said, fully & perfitlie, (for this same Stable, as one may rightly call it, of ye Romish Augias, cannot so soone be thorouglye cleansed and ridd from the long growen filth and mucke) neuerthelesse this is it whereunto we haue regarde: hether doe wee tende: to this marke do wee direct [Page] our paine and trauaile, and that hither­to (thorough God his gracious fauour) not without good successe and plen­teous encrease: whiche thing may easily appeere to euery body, yf either we be cō ­pared with our own selues in what ma­ner of case wee haue ben but few yeares synce, or els be compared with our false accusers, or rather our malicious slaun­derours.

The Lorde defende his Churche, go­uerne it with his holy Spirite, & blesse the same with all prosperous felicitie.


Imprinted at London in Paules churche yard, at the signe of the Brasen serpent, by Reginalde Wolfe.

Anno Domini. M. D. LXIIII,

Faultes escaped in the printinge.
B. 4.suche one for heretikes.such ones
F. 5. p. 2.Peter did not thisdid not thus
F. [...]. p. 2.yet beare theyyet bare they [...]
F. 8.they were a rebelliousthey be a rebel.
G. 3. p. 2pardon [...] [...]pardōs so large [...].
K. 5. p. 2.intend beareintende to beare.
N. 1.haue thought so▪thought good so.

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