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A07929 Thomas Bels motiues concerning Romish faith and religion. Bell, Thomas, fl. 1593-1610. 1593 (1593) STC 1830; ESTC S101549 148,032 178

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the iustifying faith with the rest albeit it is most cleare that he speaketh of the miraculous faith onelie which is often in the verie wicked The same greeke word in two severall places of saint Matthew is likewise taken for the whole For in the second chapter it is thus written When king Herod heard hee was troubled and the whole citie of Hierusalem with him VVhere if the greeke word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 were interpreted everie and not the whole the sense would be absurd to wit everie citie of Hierusalem being yet but one onlie Hierusalem in all but 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 being taken for the whole the sense is plaine and easie to wit the whole citie of Hierusalem So in the sixt chapter it is thus written Neither was Salomon in all his glorie araied like one of these VVhere if the word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 bee taken for everie the sense is not currant because Christ compareth his bountifull providence over hearbes and flowers not with a peece of Salomons glorie but with all and the whole For whosoever shal otherwise interpret the greeke word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 shall no litle derogate from the magnificence of Christ his providence as also frustrate his comparison Our holie father Abraham in matters of salvation doth not send vs to traditions but to the scriptures of Moses and the prophets For thus it is written Habent Mosen Prophetas audiant illos They have Moses and the prophets let them heare them As if he had said now the law is not studied now the prophets are contemned now God is not heard speaking in his word Some would haue angels come downe from heaven some desire miracles other some the dead to rise againe But to heare Moses and the prophets that is to read the scriptures is the true and only way to attaine eternal life And doubtlesse if the scriptures be meanes to bring vs to salvation which the papistes dare not denie then must they be sufficient for that end or else Christes workes should be vnperfect For which cause Saint Iohn writeth thus Haec autem scripta sunt vt credatis quod Iesus est Christus filius Dei vt eredentes vitam habeatis in nomine ipsius But these things are written that yee may beleeve Iesus to be Christ the sonne of God and that by beliefe yee may have life in his name Loe Saint Iohn affirmeth so much to be written as is sufficient for our beliefe through which we must be saved The popish glosse vpon the same text hath these wordes Haec quae fecit Iesus ante resurrectionem et post dicit se scripsisse vt fidem astruat qua vita habeatur The thinges that Iesus did before and after his resurrection hee caused to be written for the establishing of that faith which giveth life Nicolaus Lyranus their owne deare doctor confirmeth the same in these wordes In nomine eius i. per fidem nominis Christi quia secundum quod dicitur Act. 4. neque enim aliud nomen est sub coelo datum hominibus in quo nos oporteat salvos fieri In his name that is through faith of the name of Christ because as is said in the actes ther is no other name vnder heaven given vnto men in which we can be saved S. Hierome though so much liked of the papistes is not for all that dissonant from the rest For thus doth he write Ergo nec parentum nec maiorum error sequenáus est sed auctoritas scripturarum Dei docentis imperium Therefore we must neither follow the errour of our parents nor of our auncestours but the auctoritie of the scriptures and the commandemēt of God that teacheth vs. S. August that grave father that glistering beame that strong piller of Christs church doth avouch the same truth in words yet more manifest writing in this maner Cūmulta fecisset Dom. Iesus nō omnia scripta sunt electa sunt autem quae scriberentur quae saluti credentium sufficere videbantur where as our Lord Iesus did manie thinges all were not written but so much was appointed to be written as was thought sufficient for the salvation of the faithfull What more forceable wordes can be wished what more effectuall narration can be expected what more sensible speeches can bee vsed yet if it be possible to say more herein the selfe same Augustine will performe it in another place where he hath these expresse words In his enim quae aperte in scriptura posita sunt inveniuntur illa omnia quae continent fidem more sque vivendi spem scilicet atque charitatem For in those things which are plainely set downe in the scripture are found all those thinges which conteine our faith and maners that is hope and charitie Loe all things that concerne faith hope and charitie are plainly found in holie scripture where it is diligently to be observed that Saint Augustine doth not onelie say that all thinges conteining faith hope and charitie are to bee found in the scripture but hee doth further say that all such thinges are plainlie set downe in the scriptures VVherevpon I inferre this notable document against popish doctrine that albeit manie thinges in manie places of the scripture bee obscure and intricate which I willinglie graunt vnto the papistes consequentlie that the same surpasse the capacity and iudgement of the vulgar sort yet are all thinges concerning our beleefe concerning our maners concerning our hope concerning our charity concerning our salvation so plaine and so manifest as everie one even of the meanest iudgement may easilie perceive and vnderstande the same and this the papistes must perforce graunt vnto mee neither will I require more at their handes This is confirmed by my Lord of Rochester their learned Bishoppe and reputed martire For these bee his wordes as hee himselfe hath vttered them Scriptura sacra conclave quoddam est omnium veritatum qua Christianis scitu necessariae sunt The holie scripture is a cellar parlour or storehouse of all truthes which are needfull to be knowen of Christians NOVV gentle reader by this bishops confession it is evideut that popish vnwritten traditions are not needfull or necessarie for christians and so with no reason can they be thrust vppon vs. Dionysius Areopagita who lived in the Apostles time is of the same mind These are his wordes Omnino igitur non audendum est quicquam de summa abstrusaque divinitate aut dicere aut cogitare praeter eaquae nobis divinitus scriptae divinae enuntiarunt In no wise therefore may wee make bold to speake or thinke anie thing of the most high and ineffable divinitie but that onelie which holie writ hath revealed vnto vs from heaven Melchior Canus albeit he labour with tooth and naile to prove the consent of the fathers to yeelde vs an vndoubted argument of the truth yet can hee not denie that
which perteine to his office and to his proper subiects he can doe as much as the Pope Loe this great learned Papist who for his learning is reverenced of all Papists in the world ascribeth no lesse auctoritie to every Bishop in his diocesse then to the Pope himselfe Againe he affirmeth that no bishops authoritie is dependent vpon the Pope but is immediately from Christ so that papistrie is still confuted and confounded by it selfe and that by the best doctours of greatest authoritie even in the Church of Rome Iosephus Angles though otherwise he flatter the Pope and advance his auctoritie yet hath Gods Spirit enforced him to testifie the same truth These are his wordes Si comparemus B. Petri aliorum Apostolorum potestatem ad gubernationem omnium credentium tantam alij Apostoli habuerunt potestatem quantam B. Petrus habuit it a quod poterant quemlibet Christianum totius orbis sicut modo Rom. Pont. excommunicare in qualibet Ecclesia Episcopos sacerdotes creare ratio est quia omnis potestas B. Petro promissa tradita fuit caeteris Apostolis collata hoc sine personarum loci vel fori discrimine If we compare the power of S. Peter and of the other Apostles to the government of all the faithfull other Apostles have even as much power as S. Peter had so that they could then excommunicate every Christian in the whole world as the Bishop of Rome doth now and also make Bishops and Priests in every Church The reason is because all power promised and given to S. Peter was also given to the rest of the Apostles and that without difference of persons place or consistorie This is the sentence of fiyer Ioseph who vnwittingly and vnwillingly such is the force of veritie doeth wonderfully advance the trueth even while he seeketh to oppugne the same 1 For first he graunteth that every Apostle had as much auctoritie as S. Peter 2 Secondly that every Apostle had then as much auctoritie as the Pope chalengeth now 3 Thirdly that every Apostle had auctoritie from Christ to create Priests and Bishops every where 4 Fourthly that all this their authoritie was given them without difference of person place or consistorie O mercifull God blessed be thy holy Name for ever such is the maiestie of thy holy Gospell that the enemies thereof iustly infatuated for their sinnes doe vnwares even then illustrate thy trueth when they thinke the most to obscure the same This I did not see O God when I was abandoned from thee this I nowe behold O God when thou of thy mercy hast called me to thee Graunt O sweete Father that all seduced Papistes may behold the same with me to the glorie of thy holy Name the honour of thy Church and the eternall solace of their owne soules For more then the Popes owne deare doctours doe teach vs we desire not at the Popes hands The generall Councels of Constance and Basil decreed this matter in these manifest tearmes Ipsa synodus in spiritu Sancto legitimè congregata generale concilium faciens Ecclesiam militantem representans potestatem immediatè à Christo habet The Synode lawfully assembled in the holy Ghost making a generall Councell and representing the Church militant hath power immediately from Christ. Thus saith the Councell and doubtlesse where power commeth immediately from Christ it can not be derived from the Pope Thirdly S. Paul had speciall auctoritie over the Gentiles and largely as much as Peter if not more and consequently since all Christians now were Gentiles then the Pope if he will needes have superioritie over his brethren Bishops must reduce his succession from S. Paul For thus saith S. Paul of himselfe 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 The Gospell of the vncircumcision was committed to me even as the Gospell of circumcision to Peter The third Conclusion KInges have power coactive over Popes but Popes have no coactive power over Kings albeit Popes of late dayes have not onely excommunicated Princes but deposed them also For proofe of this conclusion many texts of holy Scripture are consonant King Salomon deposed Abiathar and placed Sadock in his roome For so the booke of Kings saith Abiathar quoque sacerdoti dixit rex vade in Anathoth ad agrum tuum quidem vir mortis es sed hodie te non interficiam quia portasti arcam domini dei coram David patre meo sustinuisti laborem in omnibus in quibus laboravit pater meus eiecit ergo Salomon Abiathar vt non esset sacerdos domini paulò post Sadoc sacerdotem posuit pro Abiathar Then the King said to Abiathar the priest goe to Anathoth vnto thine owne farme for thou art worthie to die but I will not this day kill thee because thou barest the Arke of the Lord God before David my father and because thou hast suffered in all where my father hath beene afflicted Salomon therefore cast out Abiathar from beeing priest vnto the Lord and set Sadock the priest in the roome of Abiathar King Iosaphat appointed both Ecclesiasticall and secular Magistrates commanding them strictly to looke vnto their charge These be the words of holy writ In Hierusalem quoque constituit Io saphat Levitas sacerdotes principes familiarum ex Israel vt iudicium causam domini iudicarent habitatoribus eius Praecepitque eis dicens sic agetis in timore domini fidelitèr corde perfecto King Iosaphat appointed in Hierusalem Levites and Priests and Princes of the families of Israel that they should iudge the iudgement and cause of the Lord to the inhabitants thereof And he commanded them saying Thus shall ye doe in the feare of the Lord faithfully and with a perfect heart And it followeth in these wordes Omnem cau sam quae venerit ad vos fratrum vestrorum qui habitant in vrbibus suis inter cognationem cognationem vbicunque quaestio est de lege de mandato de caeremonijs de iustificationibus ostendite eis vt non peccent in Dominum Every cause which shall come vnto you of your brethren which dwell in their cities betweene kindred and kindred where soever question is of the law of commandement of ceremonies of iustifications tell them that they sinne not against the Lord. It followeth thus Amarias autē sacerdos Pontifex vester in his quae ad deum pertinent praesidebit porro Zabadias filius Ismaelqui est dux in domo Iuda super ea operaerit quae adregis officium pertinent Amarias the Priest and your Bishop shall beare rule in those thinges which perteine to God and Zabadias sonne of Ismael captaine in the house of Iuda shall be over those workes which belong to the office of the King These are the expresse words of holy Scripture which I have alleadged at large because if they be once applied effectually they can not but proove my opinion fully 1 First therefore as the Queenes
with traditions of men and consequentlie that we must reiect and renounce the pope and all the rable of popish cleargie-men as who do either not deliver the word of God at all or at least so mingled so pestered so corrupted so adulterated with mans traditions as no part there of remaineth sound pure and intire It then standeth vs vpon to employ our whole care studie and industrie that we may liue secure from the leaven of these Pharisees that is of these popes and popish vassalles who in steede of christian doctrine doe hypocriticallie deliver vnto vs yea with threats of fire and faggot enforce vpon vs the present poison of our soules For if he that sitteth in Peters chaire be Antichrist as vvitnesseth their owne Bernard if the bishops of Rome have written in their thighes the king of kinges and Lord of Lords as their Gerson avoucheth if all power asvvell civill as ecclesiasticall be chalenged of popes as their Silvester affirmeth if popes can place and displace kinges and Emperours and dispossesse them of their regalities and royall seats as their Iesuit Bellarmine boasteth if the bishops of Rome be as farre above kinges in auctoritie as is the Sunne above the Moone in excellencie as pope Gregorie teacheth if no king can draw the sword against any of his subiects being cleargie-men without the popes good licence and favour as the said Gregorie telleth vs if the pope bee taken to be greater then any king by seaven and fourtie fold as the popish glosse proclaimeth nay if the pope applie the substantial parts of one subiect to another if the pope take vpon him to make of nothing somthing as affirmeth another glosse then doubtles doth it necessarilie follow that if the pope be not that Antichrist whereof S. Paul speaketh to the Thessalonians yet is he perforce that Antichrist where of Saint Iohn writeth in these wordes Omnis spiritus qui solvit Iesum ex Deo non est hic est antichristus de quo audistis quoniam venit iam in mundo est Everie spirit that dissolveth Iesus is not of God and this is Antichrist of whom you haue heard that he is alreadie come and is even now in the world For not onely they dissolve Iesus that denie his divinity or his humanitie or the hypostaticall vnion of the same but they also that derogate in anie point from the office auctoritie and power of Christ who is our eternal king our head our prophet our priest and in like maner all they that by any meanes depresse or obscure the same as doe the papistes in innumerable particulars to wit in their reall inherent iustice in their condigne merites of workes in their congruent dispositions in their massing sacrifice in their carnall presence in their accidents without subiectes in their lordlie papall primacie in their purgatorie-purifications in their satisfactorie supplements in their disholie supererogations in their pharisaical flagellations in many other like superstitiōs fondly reputed holines these things are partly proved already but more fully exactly throughout the whole discourse following pervse it therfore gētle reader willingly marke it attentively iudge of it friendly condemne nothing rashly revolve the authorities seriously approove the trueth constantly reiect falshood zealously and if thou shalt perceiue thyselfe to reape any spirituall commoditie by this my labour then vouchsafe to commend me in thy heartie praiers to the father of all mercie to vvhom vvith the sonne and the holie ghost be all honour povver glorie and dominion novv and evermore Amen The preface speciall to the simply seduced Papistes LIke as the soule surmounteth the body in originall dignity so doe the diseases of the soule exceed the diseases of the body in all impiety And consequently greater consideratiō ought to be had in providing remedies for the soule then for the body Neverthelesse so it is that none will or can in deed provide a remedy for that sore whereof he hath no feeling or intelligence at all In regard whereof especially because papistry is of papistes reputed no disease or sore I haue imployed that small talent which God of his meere mercy hath bestowed on me to the end that all papistes who shall seriously peruse this my briefe discourse may with all facilitie perceiue such to be grievous diseases of the soule as heretofore they deemed to be none But as they that are ignorant of their disease neither doe nor can provide a soveraigne remedie for the same in like manner neither can they at any time be perfectly cured who though they knowe both the disease and the medicine for the same yet will they not apply that medecine vnto their sore Euen so in the subiect matter that papist who will not once read this short volume which unfoldeth the abomination and manifold deformities of popery and that by most lively and euident demonstration deduced out of the bowels of popery it selfe must perforce still remaine in the agonie of his said disease Againe if any papist shall read it but with a resolved mind to contradict it and so either rashly to contemne it or without iust triall to discredit it Such a papist as many I feare will be found by sinister perswasion of seditious seminaries can not for want of due application attaine the expected effect otherwise correspondent thereunto And that thou beloued papist whosoeuer thou art maist with more alacrity read this little booke I do assure thee that my proceeding in the discovery of popish superstitions vanities enormities falshoods dissentions errours heresies and blasphemies is such and so sincere as upon a salvo conducto as they tearm it granted from any king christian and license procured of my gracious dread soveraigne I am and will be most willing to repaire into any province in Christendom there to give an account and to make triall of the same Let therefore no popish censurers comminations or excommunications terrifie thee from beholding the dangerous wounds of thy soule Let no sinister perswasions of such as are wedded to their own imaginations disswade thee from the reading of this discourse Let no wilfull conceit so take place in thine heart as thou wilt rashly condemne it before thou make due triall therof Call to mind for Iesus Christ his sake and for the salvation of thine owne soule that thou art not this day more zealously affected to Popery then I my selfe was of late yeres Adde hereunto for Gods loue that the perfect and exact knowledge of poperie which I haue attained by Gods grace and painfull studie hath so lively set before mine eyes the popish enormities superstitions absurdities errours impieties and blasphemies as upon the due consideration thereof I could not but loath detest and abhorre all papistry and stand at open defiance with the same Especially because at length I perfitly understood that papistry in all ages had civill warres against it self Which thing is made so cleare and manifest by this little book as more shall not need
faciunt peccatum The children of God both love and doe iustice but the children of the deuil both loue and do sinne and againe Manifestum fit studium bonorum operum effectum esse preaestinationis It is manifest that studie to liue well and to doe good workes is the effect of predestination and an hundred such like places the same author hath which I let passe for brevitie sake neither doth anie other of the learned amongest vs hold contrary to this doctrine nay all the pulpets God be thanked found out and extoll the praise of good workes yea which is more to be admired of the papistes who thinke so baselie of our religion wee affirme the good workes of the regenerate to be so acceptable in Gods sight that he will not suffer the least therof to be vnrewarded further we teach affirm in our religion that the regenerat childrē of God cā not cōtinue in gods favour vnles they detest sin striue against the concupiscence of the flesh do good works yet further we auouch cōstantlie that none cā beleeùe truly in Christ which doth not love Christ which doth not emploie his whole care studie industrie to doe the will of Christ and to keepe his commaundements And that this is the faith and doctrine of the Church of England verie manie God be thanked for it haue left to their posteritie livelie testimonies of the same wherof I will onelie name one who as hee did inwardlie in his heart beleeue the gospell so did he outwardlie in his life professe it and after his death confirme the same with a most charitable and christian testimonie of immortall memorie I speake of that honourable and zealous christian Sir VValter Mildmey the late foūder of a most famous colledge in the vniuersitie of Cambridge which he tearmed not after his owne name as the greater part vseth but Emanuell that is God with vs giuing vs to vnderstand therby that as hee beleeued and loued God so he would testify the same to al posterities by that worthie act as by the effect and fruite of a liuelie faith Now then how doe we differ from the papistes herein Zanchius shall answere Atque hic est vnus ex praecipuis vsibus bonorumoperum quod ijs non tanquam salutis causis sadtanquā effectis predestinationis fidei tum nos tum proximi certiores fimus nostrae electionis eoque salutis And this is one of the chiefest vses of good works that both wee and our neighbours are assured by them of our election and salvation not as by the causes of salvation but as by the effectes of predestination and of faith But the papistes will say if good woorkes cannot merite glorie nor iustifie wherefore then must we do them I answere that we must liue well and doe good workes for the loue and dutie we owe to God and because so is his holie will and good pleasure so saith the Apostle in these words ipsius enim sumus factura creati in Christo Iesu in operibus bonis quae preparavit Deus vt in illis ambulemus for wee are his workemanship created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes which God hath ordained that we should walke in them so then we thinke as reuerentlie and esteem as worthilie of good works as doth anie papist in the world for we grant that none can be saued or sanctified without good workes and further that none is truelie iustified which hath not good works yet for all that do we constantly affirme and that by the authoritie of holie writte that no man is or can be iustifyed by vertue of his good works the error of the Papistes consisteth in this that they do not distinguish betweene sanctification and iustificatiō the truth of our doctrine which is the verity grounded in the sacred scriptures is this that sanctificatiō iustificatió are inseparably vnited in one the same subiect in eodē instanti tëporis nōnaturae as the scholes speake that is we are freelie iustified sanctifyed also in the same instāt of time but first iustified in prioritie of nature for example fire and the heate are both at one and the same time though fire be before in prioritie of nature that is though fire goe before as the cause of euerie thing is before the effect of the same and as fire is not before heate in time and yet the cause of that heate so is our iustification not before our sanctification or our inherent iustice in time and yet is it the cause of our sanctification of our inherent iustice and of all the good workes we doe which thing if the papistes would once seriouslie observe they would not differ from our opinion in this behalfe vnlesse they haue fullie resolved to oppose themselves desperatlie against the truth The 12. Preamble VVHo so euer will but euen superficiallie consider the vncertaintie of popish doctrine shall thereby without further discourse find svfficient matter to abhorre and detest the same as most friuolous most ridiculous most irreligious For example in the sacrament of the altar as they terme it if certaine questions be propounded vnto them the best learned know not what to answere but so simply and so sottishly as euerie child may espie the follie of their doctrine If anie papist can truely and without blushing say the contrarie let the same be notifyed by his ansvvere to these my briefe demaundes 1. First I demaund how they excuse the people that adore with diuine worship the thing eleuated ouer the priestes head at Masse from idolatrie from heresie from false beleefe For if either the Priest want intention to consecrate vvhich often chaunceth by reason of vvandering imaginations or of purpose meaneth not to consecrate or of negligence omitteth any vvord of consecration then by popish religion the thing adored is but pure bread so the adorers thereof become idolaters vvorshipping a peece of bread for the euerliuing God And if the people either refuse to adore or doubt if they may adore they are deemed heretiques ipso facto for their pains because as the Popes disholie canons tell vs he that but doubteth of Romish definitions concerning faith and maners is an heretike 2 Secondlie I demaund what it is that the priest receiueth and deliuereth to the communicants when he hauing 40. breads before him supposeth them to be but 38. or 39. and so intendeth to consecrate no more for beyond the priestes intention consecration cannot extend as all wise Papistes graunt neither is his intention more limited to one bread then to an other and therfore can no more consecrate one bread then another 3 Thirdlie I demaund which part of the host as they terme it is the popish made God when the sacrificer intendeth indefinitelie to consecrate the one halfe of the said host and how there in adoring they can avoid idolatrie 4 Fourthly I demaund howe many gods or how many times God is made in
temeritate culpari I neither can nor dare denie but as in our auncestors so in my workes also are manie thinges which may iustly and without all temeritie be reproved yea the same saint Augustine opposeth only saint Pauls testimonie against all the writers Saint Hierome could alledge about the great controversie where saint Peter was reproved of saint Paul By which testimonie it is very plaine that S. Augustine did reverence the old writers but yet did think them men and to have their errors therefore would be not admit for truth what soever they wrote but only that which he foūd to be consonāt to the holie scriptures And because my L. of Roch. is so highly renowmed in the church of Rome he shal make an end of this conclusion where he writeth in this maner Nec Augustini nec Hieronimi nec alterius cuinslibet auctoris doctrinae sic ecclesia subscripsit quin ipsi locis aliquot ab ijs lice at dissentire nam in nonnullis ipsilocis se plane monstrarunt homines esse atque nonnunquam aberrasse sequitur quo fit vt tametsi propter aliquas humanas hallucinationes de multis quae dicti patre in commentarijs suis reliquerunt dubitare liceat sanctitatem tamen eorum haud licet in dubium revocare The church of Rome hath not so subscribed to the doctrine either of Augustine or of Hierome or of anie other writer but that we may dissent from their opinions in some places For themselves haue in certaine places shewed plainlie that they were men and wanted not their errours VVherefore albeit by reason of humaine frailtie we may lawfullie doubt of manie thinges which the said fathers have left behind them in their bookes yet may we not now call their holinesse into question In which wordes our great popish bishop teacheth vs three documents 1 First that their church giveth everie one libertie to dissent from Augustine Hierome and other writers whosoever 2 Secondlie that the fathers have plainlie declared themselves to be men and to haue had their imperfections accordinglie 3 Thirdlie that manie errours are to be found in the commentaries of the fathers So then our bishop is of my opinion and so also should the rest be if they would be constant in their owne doctrine which is published to the view of the world The 3. Conclusion NOt that which the greater part of the fathers or moe voices agree vnto is alwaies the vndoubted truth but often times that which the lesser part and fewer persons doe affirme For the proofe hereof Melchior Canus writeth thus Scimus frequenter vsu venire vt maior pars vincat meliorem scimus non ea semper esse optima quae placent pluribus scimus in rebus quae ad doctrinam pertinent sapientum sensum esse praeferendum sapientes sunt paucissimi cum stultorum infinitus sit numerus VVee know it often chaunceth so that the greater part prevaileth against the better vve know that those thinges are not ever the best which please the most we know that in matters of doctrine the iudge ment of the wise ought to be followed for wise men bee few and fooles infinite Iosephus Angles Thomas Aquinas and Petrus Lombardus affirme it to be the opinion of the old fathers of Basilius of Ambrosius of Chrisostomus of Hieronimus of Eusebius of Damascenus of Gregorius and of others that the world was created in 6. naturall daies successivelie as Moises recordeth the same yet this notwithstanding saint Augustine holdeth opinion against them all and saith that the 6. daies mentioned by Moises were metaphoricall not natural Moises dividing those things which were made by parts for the better capacitie of the rude and ignorant people to whom he spake which opinion of one onelie Augustine was ever preferred in the church as testifyeth Melchior Canus in these wordes At communis hic sanctorum consensus nullum argumentum certum theologis subministrat quin vnius Aug. opinio caeteris omnibus adversa probabilis semper in ecclesia est habita But this common consent of the holie fathers doth not yeeld any found argument to devines for the opinion of one onelie Augustine repugnant to the rest was ever thought probable in the church All the old writers Augustinus Ambrosius Chrisostomus Remigius Eusebius Maximus Beda Anselmus Bernardus Erhardus Bernardinus Bona ventura Thomas Hugo and all the rest without exception affirme vniformelie citing expresse textes of scripture for their opinion that the blessed virgin Marie was conceived in originall sinne yet doth the late hatched nest of Iesuits and sundrie other papistes avouche this day the contrarie for the truth Therefore saith their owne archbishop and greate canonist Panormitanus that we ought at all times to give more credite to one onelie prelate whosoever alledging the scriptures then to the resolution of the pope himselfe or of his counceil not grounded vpon the said scriptures The 4. Conclusion THe papistes themselues doe often reiect the generall and common opinion and follow their owne private iudgements never remēbring or litle regarding that they condemne the like in others This writeth their owne Melchior Canus Vbi ego si Thomistae omnes cum Scotistis existant sicum antiquis iuniores vellent contra me pugnare tamen superior sim necesse est non enim vt nonnulli putant omnia sunt in Theologorum auctoritate wherin though all the Thomistes stand with the Scotistes though the old writers with the yong fight against me yet shall I of necessity have the vpper hand ouer thē For al things rest not as some do think in the authoritie of divines Their owne Cardinal Caietain notwithstanding his zealous affection towards poperie his owne popish estate did for all that freelie acknowledge the truth in this point in so much that he preferreth a sense newly perceived but grounded vpon the scriptures before the old received opiniō of how many fathers so ever whose words because they are worthie the hearing and reading I wil alledge at large Thus doth he write Super quinque libris Mosis iuxta sesum literalem novumque scripturae sensum quandoque illaturus sub s●matris ecclesiae aec apostolicae sedis censura rogo lectores omnes ne precipites detestentur aliquid sed librent omnia apud sacram scripturam apudfidei christianae veritatem apud Catholicae ecclesiae documenta ac mores siquando occurrerit novus sensus textui consonus nec a sacra scriptura nec ab ecclesiae doctrina dissomus quamvis a torrente doctorum sacrorum alienus aequos se prebeant censores meminerint ius suum vni cuique tribuere solis scripturae sacrae authoribus reservata est authoritas haec vt ideo credamus sic esse quodipsiita scripserunt nullus itaque detestetur novum sacrae scripturae sensum ex hoc quod dissonat a priscis doctoribus sed scrutetur per spicacius textum ac
contextum scripturae si quadrare invenerit laudet deum qui non alligavit expositionem scripturarum sacrarum priscorum doctorum sensibus sed scripturoe ipsi integrae sub catholicae ecclesiae censura alioquin spes nobis ac posteris tolleretur exponendi scripturam sacram nisitransferendo vt aiunt de libro in quinternum Being now readie to write vpon the pentateuch of Moses according to the literall sense and purposing to bring now and then a new sense of the scripture vnder the censure of our holy mother the church and apostolike seate I desire all that shal read my commentaries to contemne nothing rashly but to ponder every thing with the scripture and the veritie of the christian faith and the doctrine of the catholike church And if at any time a new sense occurre which is consonant to the text and not dissonant from holy writ or doctrine of the church although it swarve from the opinion of never so manie fathers yet let the readers iudge thereof indifferently and according to equitie Let them remember to give everie one his right for this priviledge is onely graunted to the writers of the holie scriptures that wee must therefore beleeve it to be so because they haue written so Let none therefore loath a newe sense of holie scripture because it dissenteth from the old doctors but let him exactlie consider the text and context of the scripture and if he find it to agree let him praise God who hath not tied the exposition of the holy scriptures to the opinions of the old doctors but to the integritie of the scripture it selfe vnder the censure of the catholike church For otherwise neither wee nor our posteritie should have anie hope to expound the scripture but onelie to translate out of one booke into another Thus we heare the verdict of our Caietaine our Thomist our frier our Cardinall of Rome by whose resolution it is evident that no sense though never so new no exposition though never so strange no opinion though different from never so many fathers ought to bee reiected if it be agreeable to the scriptures and consequently it followeth by the said resolution that everie truth is to be tried by the scriptures and none by the fathers For first our Cardinall telleth us that he purposeth now then to bring newe senses new Glosses nevv expositions of the Scriptures Secondly he saith that such new senses must not rashly bee contemned but duely examined by the scriptures and then admitted if they be found consonant to the same Thirdly he teacheth us this golden lesson that God hath not tyed the exposition of the scripture to the iudgement of any auncient father or fathers whosoever Fourthly he telleth us that the Apostles and such as only penned the holy scriptures had this speciall prerogative that they coulde not erre All which important pointes are so learnedly so gravely so christianly observed by this Cardinall as more cannot be wished yea in the selfe same preface hee professeth constantly that hee will neither expound the Greeke nor the Latine text but the fountaine and the originall to wit the Hebrew And his reason is because the Hebrew onely is authenticall Where note by the way that the Latine edition which the papists tearme vulgata and which is so magnified by the late councell of Trent as both the Greeke and the Hebrew must give place unto the same is of small or no authoritie in respect of the Hebrew by Cardinall Caietanus his resolution Note secondly that this Cardinal did dedicate these his commentaries in which all these memorable observations are conteined to our holy father Pope Clement him selfe who perused them and difallowed no part thereof and consequently that this doctrine of Caietane is confirmed by the pope For so mightily hath God alwayes wrought for the truth of his Gospell as evident testimonies are set downe euen by the adversaries and remaine this day with them vncancelled for confirmation of the same Neither is this the opinion of the popes Cardinall onely but of Aquinas also his angelicall and best approoved doctour His wordes I will likewise alledge at large because albeit they belong yet can they not be thought tedious to such as loue the trueth as which are most significant and effectuall for the controversie now in hand Thus therefore doeth he write Licet locus ab auctoritate quae fundatur super oratione humana sit infirmissimus locus tamen ab auctoritate quae fundatur super revelatione divina est efficacissimus Vtitur tamen sacra doctrina etiam ratione humana non quidem ad probandum fidem quia per hoc tolleretur meritum fidei sed ad manifest andum aliqua aliaquae traduntur in hac doctrina Cum igitur gratia non tollat naturam sed perficiat oportet quod naturalis ratio sub serviat fidei sicut naturalis inclinatio voluntatis obsequitur charitati vnde apostolus dicit 2. Cor. 10. in captivit atem redigentes omnem intellectū in obsequium Christi Et inde est quod authoritatibus philosophorum sacra doctrina vtitur vbi per rationem naturalem veritatem cogno scere potuerunt sicut Paulus act 17. inducit verbum Arati dicens sicut quidam poetarum vestrorum dixerunt genus Dei samus sed tamen sacra doctrina huiusmodi auctoritatibus vtitur quasi extraneis argumentis probabilibus auctoritatibus autem canonicae scripturae vtitur propriè ex necessitate argumentando auctorit atibus autem aliorum doctorum ecelesiae quasi arguendo ex proprijs sed probabiliter innititur enim fides nostra revelationi apostolis prophetis factae qui canonicos libros scripserunt non autem revelationi si qua fuit alijs doctoribus facta Although the place of authoritie which is grounded vpon mans reason be most weake and infirme yet the place which is grounded vpon divine authoritie is most sure and effectuall neverthelesse sacred doctrine vseth also mans reason not indeede to establish faith for so faith should lose it merite but for the manifestation of some other thinges which are deliuered in this doctrine Since therefore grace doth not destroy nature but doth pervert the same it is expedient that naturall reason be servant vnto faith even as naturall inclination of the will is servant vnto charitie whervpon the apostle willeth vs to bring our vnderstanding captive to the obedience of Christ. And from hence commeth it that sacred doctrine vseth also the authorities of philosophers when they could by naturall reason haue knowledge of the truth as Saint Paul alledged the saying of Aratus yet sacred doctrine vseth such authorities as arguments which are externall and onely probable But vseth the authorities of canonicall scripture as argumentes that are proper and which conclude of necessitie as for authorities of the doctors of the church it vseth them as proper arguments but which are onely probable
and do not conclude necessarilie For our faith is grounded vpon revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical scripture but not vpon revelation of anie other writers if anie were made vnto them Thus saith Aquinas Out of whose words I gather First that the authoritie brought from man is ever insufficient 2 I gather secondly that that ground whereupon we must build as vpon an vndoubted truth is onelie and solelie the authoritie of the scriptures 3 I gather thirdlie that mans reason may never be vsed to establish any point of doctrine 4 I gather fourthlie that the fathers are to be read reverentlie and their authorities to be vsed as probable reasons but not as necessarie demonstrations 5 I gather fiftlie that feined romish revelations are not authentical And consequentlie that all revelations divulged vnder the name of Saint Bridget and others are either meereillusions or of small force and which can yeeld no sound argument in matters of faith Victoria in verie briefe wordes vttereth this point effectuallie Licet in hoc omnes conveniant non est tamen mihi certum Although saith he all agree in this yet doe not I make it certaine Navarre singeth the same song in manie places whereof I will recite onelie one Tum quod fundamentum principale ipsius est quod communis tenet oppositum quodip sum etiam ipse assero sed non obstat quia a communi recedendum quum pro contraria est textus velratio cui non potest satis bene responderi Because also his principal ground is that the common opinion is to the contrarie which thing I my selfe also graunt But that is not of force for we must renounce the common opinion when there is either text or reason which can not be sufficientlie answered In fine their owne glosse in their decrees reiecteth saint Augustine roundlie in these words Cum enim salva sua pace Augustinus non bene opponit istis it a dormit avit hic Augustinus VVhere saint Augustine by his favour doth not well obiect against this and so Augustine here was a sleepe Loe when the fathers speake not placentia everie beggerlie popish glosse reiecteth them at pleasure And yet must wee vnder paine of excommunication admit their authoritie when they seeme to make for