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A14614 The copies of certaine letters vvhich haue passed betweene Spaine and England in matter of religion Concerning the generall motiues to the Romane obedience. Betweene Master Iames Wadesworth, a late pensioner of the holy Inquisition in Siuill, and W. Bedell a minister of the Gospell of Iesus Christ in Suffolke. Wadsworth, James, 1572?-1623.; Bedell, William, 1571-1642. aut; Hall, Joseph, 1574-1656. 1624 (1624) STC 24925; ESTC S119341 112,807 174

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to bee an euasion of Protestants THe first whereof is the dislike of the Protestants euasion as you call it by the inuisibilitie of their Church Giue mee leaue here to tell you plainly yee seeme to mee not to vnderstand the Protestants doctrine in this point Else yee would haue spared all that The Catholike Church must euer be visible as a Citie set on a hill otherwise how should shee teach her children conuert Pagans dispence Sacraments All this is yeelded with both hands The Congregations of which the Catholike Church doth consist are visible But the promise made to this Church of victory against the gates of hell the titles of the house of God the base and piller of Truth an allusion as I take it to the bases and pillers that held vp the veile or curtaines in the Tabernacle the body of Christ his Doue his vndefiled are not verified of this Church in the whole visible bulke of it but in those that are called according to Gods purpose giuen to Christ and kept by him to bee raised vp to life at the last day This doctrine is Saint Augustines in many place● which it would bee too tedious to set downe at large In his third booke De doctrina Christiana among the rules of Tychonius there is one which hee corrects a little for the tearmes De Domini corpore bipertito which he saith ought not to haue beene called so for in truth that is not the Lords body which shal not be with him for euer but he should haue said of the Lords true body and mixt or true and fained or some such thing Because not onely for euer but euen now hypocrites are not to be said to be with him though they seeme to be in his Church Consider those resemblances taken out of the holy Scripture wherein that godly Father is frequent of chaffe and wheat in the Lords floore of good and bad fishes in the net of spots and light in the Moone Of the Church carnall and spirituall of the wicked multitudes of the Church yet not to be accounted in the Church Of the lilly and the thornes those that are marked which mourne for the sinnes of Gods people and the rest which perish which yet beare his Sacraments Consider the last Chapter of the booke De Vnitate Ecclesiae and that large Treatise which he hath of that matter Epist. 48. The place is long which deserues to bee read for the obiection of the Vniuersality of Arianisme like to that of Papisme in these last ages which Saint Augustine answeres in the fifth booke De Baptismo contra Donatistas cap. 27. That number of the iust who are called according to Gods purpose of whom it is said The Lord knoweth who are his is the inclosed garden the sealed fountaine the well of liuing waters the orchard with Apples c. The like hee hath l. 5. c. 3. 23. he concludes that because such are built vpon the Rocke as heare the Word of God and doe it and the rest vpon the sand now the Church is built vpon the Rocke all therefore that heare the Word of God and doe it not are out of question without the Church In the seuenth booke cap. 51. Quibus omnibus consideratis● Read and marke the whole Chapter Out of these and many more like places which I forbeare to mention it appeares that albeit the true Catholike Church is such as cannot bee hid yet considering that it consists of two sorts of people the one which is the greater part who doe not indeed properly belong to it the other the fewer truely and properly so called to whom all the glorious things spoken of the Church doe agree The face therefore of the mixt Church may be ouer-run with scandals as in all times almost The greatest number may sometime bee Idolaters as in the Kingdome of Israel vnder Achab. The principallest in authoritie may bee false teachers as the Priests and Prophets in Ieremies time the sonnes of pestilence may sit in Moses Chaire as they did in Christs time Yet still the Church is the ground and piller of Truth in the Elect Ipsa est praedestinata columna firmamentum veritatis The Sheepe heare not Seducers Iohn 10. 8. to wit finally and in any damnable point Thus was it before Christ thus since thus in the Church of England before yea and since it was reformed Thus in that of Rome it selfe at this day There is a distinction of Thomas of those that be in the Church which rightly ● interpreted agrees fully herewith There are some De Ecclesia numero tantum Some numero merito The former are such as haue onely fidem informem the latter formatam Now though the persons of such as be in the Church be visible yet the Faith and Charitie of men wee see not and to argue from the priuiledges of the Church numero merito to the Church numero tantum is a perpetuall but a palpable para●ogisme of the Romish faction which is grosser yet when they argue to the Church representatiue and grossest of all when one man is made the Church and he as themselues grant may fall out a Deuill incarnate CHAP. IX Of lacke of Vniformitie in matters of Faith in all ages and places ANd in this selfe same Paralogisme you were beguiled with in the next point of Vniformitie and concord in matters of Faith The true Church yee say ●uer holds such Vniformitie It is vtterly false in the Visible and mixt Church both before Christ and since It is false in the Church of Rome it selfe whose new-coyned faith patched to the Creed by Pius the Fourth came in peece-meale out of priuate opinions and corrupt vsages nor euer was in any age vniformely holden or taught as matter of Faith euen in it as it is at this day So by your owne discourse it should be no true Church And taking matters of faith so largely as it seemes you doe in opposition to such things as bee cer●m●nies or of gouernment it is vntrue also of the Church of the Elect or properly so called For though the Faith in the principles thereof bee euer the same yet many conclusions of Faith haue sometimes lien vnsearched out and like some parts of the world vnknowne till by the industrie of Gods seruants occasioned also by the importunitie and opposition of Heretikes they were discouered Sundrie common errours also there haue beene which in succeeding ages haue beene cleered and reformed as the ●hiliastes That Angels haue bodies That children after they be baptized are to be communicated That Heretikes are to be rebaptized To the Assumption First the Protestants challenge not to themselues any Church as their owne which I must aduertise you of here because formerly also you doe vse this phrase The Church is Christs both the visible and inuisible Next taking matters of Faith for foundations or articles of Faith necessarie to saluation the Church of Christ hath in all ages had
passage of holy Scripture For your conceit or desire that such a Iudge there should be to whom you might in conscience obey and yeeld your selfe because he could not err● doth not proue it You would know the Truth onely by the authoritie and sole pronouncing of the Iudges mouth A short and easie way which to most men is plausible because it spares the paines of studie and discourse To such especially as either out of weaknesse dare not trust their owne iudgement or account it shall haue the merit of humilitie to bee led by their Teachers But what now if God will haue you call no man your Father vpon earth If he will send you to his Word and after you haue receiued the Faith by the Churches testimonie out of the easie and plaine places thereof bid you search the Scriptures to finde the Truth in the remnant and pick it out by your owne industrie The rich man being in hell torments in whose wordes I doubt not but our Sauiour doth impersonate and represent the conceits of many men liuing in this world presumes that if one were sent from the dead his Kinsmen would hearken to him but he is remitted to Moses and the Prophets The Iewes as I perceiued by speech with some of them at Venice make it one of their motiues that our Lord Iesus is not the Christ. He should not say they haue come in such a fashion to leaue his owne Nation in doubt and suspence and scandalize so many thousands but so as all men might know him to be what he was Miserable men that will giue lawes to God Of which fault be you a ware also good Master Waddesworth and be content to take not to prescribe the meanes by which you will be brought vnto the knowledge of the Truth to vse what hee hath giuen not to coniecture and diuine what he must giue But God failes not his Church in such meanes as be necessarie Let vs therefore consider the necessitie of this Iudge Where I beseech you consider for I am sure you cannot but know it that all things necessary to saluation are euidently set downe in holy Scripture This both the Sciptures themselues doe teach and the Fathers auouch namely Saint Augustine and Saint Chrysostome and others I forbeare to set downe their words or further to confirme this Lemma which I proued at large against another aduersarie and shall at all times make good if it be questioned Besides these points there are a great manie other though not of such necessitie yet euidently laid downe also in the same Scriptures by occasion of them Manie by iust discourse may be cleared from these and the former If any thing yet remaine in suspence and vnknowne yea or if you will erred in so it be not wilfully and obstinately yet shall it be euer without perill of damnation to him that receiueth what the holy Ghost hath plainely deliuered What necessitie then of your imaginarie Iudge Yes for Vnitie is a goodly thing not onely in matters necessarie but vniuersally in all Controuersies must not bee endlesse But how comes it to passe then that your Iudge whosoeuer hee be doth not all this while decide the question touching the Conception of the Blessed Virgin that is betweene the Dominicans and Franciscans nor that betweene the Dominicans and Iesuites touching Grace and Free-will and all other the points that are controuerted in the Schooles to spare contention and time a precious commoditie among wise men and giue this honour to Diuinitie alone that in ●t all doubts should be reduced to certainties Or if it seeme no wisedome to bee hastie in deciding such questions wherein wittie and learned men are engaged least in stead of changing their opinions they should fall to challenge not onely the infallibilitie but which were more dangerous the authoritie of their Iudge If it be thought better to leaue scope to opinions opposition it selfe profitably seruing to the boulting out of the truth If vnitie in all things bee as it seemes despaired of by this your Gellius himselfe why are wee not content with vnitie in things necessary to saluation expresly set downe in holy Scripture and anciently thought to suffice reseruing infallibilitie as an honour proper to God speaking there Why should it not be thought to suffice that euery man hauing imbraced that necessarie truth which is the rule of our faith thereby trie the spirits whether they be of God or no. If hee meete with any that hath not that doctrine receiue him not to house nor salute him If consenting to that but otherwise infirme or erring yet charitably beare with him This for euery priuate man As for the publike order peace of the Church God hath giuen Pastors and Teachers that we should not bee carried about with euery winde of doctrine and amongst them appointed Bishops to command that men teach no other or forraine doctrine which was the end of Timothy his leauing at Ephesus 1. Tim. 1. 3. Then the Apostles themselues by their example haue commended to the Church the wholsome vse of Synodes to determine of such controuersies as cannot by the former meanes be composed but still by the holy Scriptures the Law or Rule as you say well by which all these Iudges must proceede Which if they doe not then may they be deceiued themselues and deceiue others as experience hath shewed yet neuer bee able to extinguish the truth To come to Antiquitie There is not any one thing belonging to Christian Religion if wee consider well of more importance then how the puritie of the whole may bee maintayned The Ancients that write of the rest of Christian Doctrine is it not a miracle had they knowne any such infall●ble Iudge in whose Oracle the securitie of all with the perpetuall tranquillitie of the Church is contayned they should say nothing of him There was neuer any Age wherein there haue not beene heresies and sects to which of them was it euer obiected that they had no infallible Iudge How soone would they haue fought to amend that defect if it had beene a currant doctrine in those times that the true Church cannot bee without such an Officer The Fathers that dealt with them why did they not lay aside all disputing and appeale them only to this Barre Vnlesse perhaps that were the let which Cardinall Bellarmine tells the Venetians hindered Saint Paul from appealing to Saint Peter l●st they should haue made their Aduersaries to laugh at them for their labour Well howsoeuer the Cardinall hath found out a merrie reason for Saint Paules appealing to Caesars iudgement not Peters lest hee should expose himselfe to the laughter of Pagans what shall wee say when the Fathers write professedly to instruct Catholike men of the forepleadings and aduantages to bee vsed against Heretikes euen without descending to triall by Scriptures or of some certaine generall and ordinarie way to discerne the Truth of the Catholike Faith from the
prophane nouelties of heresies Had they knowne of this infallible Iudge should wee not haue heard of him in this so proper a place and as it were in a cause belonging to his owne Court Nay doth not the writing it selfe of such bookes shew that this mattter was wholly vnknowne to Antiquitie For had the Church beene in possession of so easie and sure a Court to discouer and discard heresies they should not haue needed to taske themselues to finde out any other But the truth is infallibilitie is and euer hath beene accounted proper to Christs iudgement And as hath beene said all necessarie Truth to saluation hee hath deliuered vs in his Word That Word himselfe tells vs shall iudge at the last day Yea in all true decisions of Faith that Word euen now iudgeth Christ iudgeth the Apostle sits Iudge Christ speakes in the Apostle Thus Antiquitie Neither are they moued a whit with that obiection That the Scriptures are often the matter of Controuersies For in that case the remedie was easie which Saint Augustine shewes to haue recourse to the plaine places and manifest such as should need no interpreter for such there bee by which the other may bee cleered The same may be said if sometimes it be questioned which bee Scriptures which not I thinke it was neuer heard of in the Church that there was an externall infallible Iudge who could determine that question Arguments may be brought from the consent or dissent with other Scriptures from the attestation of Antiquitie and inherent signes of diuine authoritie or humane infirmitie but if the Auditor or Aduersarie yeeld not to these such parts of necessitie must needes be laid aside If all Scripture be denied which is as it were exceptio in iudicem ante litis contestationem Faith hath no place onely Reason remaines To which I thinke it will scarce seeme reasonable if you should say though all men are liers yet this Iudge is infallible and to him thou oughtest in conscience to obey and yeeld thy vnderstanding in all his det●rminations for hee cannot erre No not if all men in the world should say it Vnlesse you first set downe there is a God and stablish the authoritie of the bookes of holy Scripture as his voyce and thence shew if you can the warrant of this priuiledge Where you offi●me the Scriptures to be the law and the rule but alone of themselues cannot bee Iudges if you meane without being produced applied and heard yee say truth Yet Nicodemus spake not a●isse when hee demanded Doth our law iudge any man vnlesse it heare him first hee meant the same which Saint Paul when hee said of the high Priest thou sittest to iudge me according to the law and so doe we when wee say the same Neither doe wee send you to Angels or God himselfe immediately but speaking by his spirit in the Scriptures and as I haue right now said alledged and by discourse applied to the matters in question As for Princes since it pleased you to make an excursion to them if wee should make them infallible Iudge or giue them authoritie to decree in religion as they list as Gardiner did to King Henry the eight it might well bee condemned for monstrous as it was by Caluin As for the purpose Licere Regi interdicere populo vsum calicis in Coena Quarè Potestas 〈◊〉 summa est penes Regem quoth Gardiner This was to make the King as absolute a Tyrant in the Church as the Pope claimed to bee But that Princes which obey the truth haue commandement from God to command good things and forbid euill not onely in matters pertaining to humane societie but also the religion of God this is no new strange doctrine but Calums and ours and S. Augustines is so many words And this is all the Head-ship of the Church wee giue to Kings Whereof a Queene is as well capable as a King since it is an Act of authoritie not Ecclesiasticall Ministery proceeding from eminencie of power not of knowledge or holinesse Wherein not onely a learned King as ours is but a good old woman as Queene Elizabeth besides her Princely dignitie was may excell as your selues confesse your infallible Iudge himselfe But in power hee saith hee is aboue all which not to examine for the present in this power Princes are aboue all their subiects I trow and Saint Augustine saith plainly to command and forbid euen in the religion of God still according to Gods Word which is the touchstone of good and euill Neither was King Henry the eight the first Prince that exercised this power witnesse Dauid and Salomon and the rest of the Kings of Iudah before Christ And since that Kings were Christians the affaires of the Church haue depended vpon them and the greatest Synodes haue beene by their Decree as Socrates expresly saith Nor did King Henry claime any new thing in this Land but restored to the Crowne the ancient right thereof which sundry his predecessors had exercised as our Historians and Lawyers with one consent affirme The rest of your induction of Archbishops Bishops and whole Clergie in their Conuocation house and a Councell of all Lutherans Caluinists Protestants c. is but a needlesse pompe of words striuing to win by a forme of discourse that which gladly shall bee yeelded at the first demand They might all erre if they were as many as the sand on the sea shoare if they did not rightly apply the rule of holy Scriptures by which as you acknowledge the externall Iudge which you seeke must proceed As to your demand therefore how you should be sure when and wherein they did and did not erre where you should haue fixed your foot to forbeare to skirmish with your confirmation That though à posse ad esse non valet semper consequentia yet aliquando valet frustra dicitur potentia quae nunquam dueitur in actum To the former whereof I might tell you that without question nunquam valet and to the second that I can verie well allow that errandi potentia among Protestants be euer frustra This I say freely that if you come with this resolution to learne nothing by discourse or euidence of Scripture but only by the meere pronouncing of a humane externall Iudges mouth to whom you would yeeld your vnderstanding in all his determinations if as the Iesuites teach their Schollers you will wholly deny your owne iudgement and resolue that if this Iudge shall say that is blacke which appeares to your eyes white you will say it is blacke too you haue posed all the Protestants they cannot tell how to teach you infallibly Withall I must tell you thus much that this preparation of minde in a Scholler as you are in a Minister yea in a Christian that had but learned his Creed much more that had from a childe knowne the holy Scriptures that are able to make vs wise to saluation
For which cause the Apostle saith Be not more wise then it behooueth but be wise to sobrietie One thing more also you shall finde that now adayes this spirituall man and sole infallible interpreter of Scripture seldome interprets Scripture or vses it in his Decretalls and Br●●es Nay the stile of his Court hath no manner of smack or sauour of it A long compasse of a sentence intricate to vnderstand yea euen to remember to the end full of swelling words of vanitie with I know not how many ampliations and alternatiues after the fashion of Lawyers in Ciuill Courts not of sober Diuines much lesse of the Spirit of God in his Word Some man would perhaps thinke this proceeds from an affectation of greatnesse and the desire of retaining authoritie which seemes to bee embased by alledging reason or Scripture and interpreting texts For my part I account it comes as much from necessitie For it is notorious that neither the Popes themselues nor those of the Court the Secretaries and Dataries which pen their Bull and Breues haue any vse or exercise in holy Scripture or soundnesse in the knowledge of Diuinitie or skill in the originall tongues wherein Gods Word is written all which are necessarie to an able Interpreter And therefore it is a wise reseruednesse in them not to intermedle with that wherein they might easily fault especially in a learned age and wherein so many watchfull eyes ate continually vpon them And to this very pouertie and cautelousnesse I do imp●te it that the present Pope in his Breues about the Oath of Alleageance vseth not aword of Scripture But tells his faction that they cannot without most euident and grieu●us iniury of Gods honour take the Oath the tenor whereof hee sets downe word for word and that done addes Quae cum ita sint c. Which things saith hee since they bee so it must needs be cleere vnto you out of the wordes themselues that such an oath cannot bee taken with the safetie of the Catholike faith and of your soules sith it containeth many things which are apparantly contrary to faith and saluation Hee instances in no one thing brings neither Scripture nor reason but a Quae cum ita sint without any premisses Which loose and vngrounded proceeding when as it is occasioned the Arch-Priest here and many other of that side to thinke those letters forged or gotten by surreption hee sends another of the same tenor with this further reason Haec aut●● est mera pura integraque volunt as nostra This is now to be more then an Interpreter euen to be a Lord ouer the faith of his followers to make his will a reason What would ye haue him doe to alleadge a better he could not a weake and vnsufficient one he was ashamed hee thought it best to resolue the matter into his sole authoritie Whereby he hath proued himselfe a fallible both Iudge and Interpreter yea a false witnesse against God and the truth commanding by the Apostle Christian men to be subiect and to giue euery man their dues feare to whom feare honour to whom honour and much more if there be any difference allegiance to whom allegiance CHAP. IIII. Of the state of the Church of England and whether it may be reconciled with Rome BVt of your interpreters infallibilitie enough Your next doubt whether the Church of England were of the true Church or no was resolued with a Paralogisme partly by reason of equi●ocation and diuers acception of the tearmes the Church and to erre partly by composition and diuision in the connexion of these by those Verbes can or may Let vs examine the seuerall parts of your Syllogisme The Proposition The true Church cannot erre is confirmed by the consent of all Excuse me Sir if I withhold my consent without some declaration and limitation I say first it must bee declared whether you meane the Catholike Church or a atrue part of the Catholike Church For there is not the like reason of these to error Against the Catholike Church hell gates shall not preuaile against particular when Christ doth remoue the Candlesticke out of his place they doe Witnesse the Churches of Africke sometimes most Catholike And thus it seemes you must take this tearme since your doubt was whether the Church of England be of the true Church or no Besides I must desire to know what manner of errours you meane whether euen the least or onely deadly and such as barre from saluation which the Apostle cals 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 heresies of perdition 2 Pet. 2. 1. Take now your owne choise for if you speake of euery errour the proposition is false euen of the Catholike Church much more of any particular Church Yea I adde further not onely of the Catholike Church by denomination from the greatest part or by representation as the Pastors or Prelates thereof met in a Councill which is still the mixt Church but euen that which is Christs true body whereof he is the Sauiour and which shall be with him for euer As for deadly and damnable errors this true and properly called Church both in the whole and euerie part of the mixt Church is yet priuiledged from them finally for it is kept by the power of God to saluation it is not possible the Elect should thus be seduced Truth it is that by such errors particular visible assemblies vniuersally and obstinately defending them become falsely called Churches from which wee are to seperate our selues Example in the Synagogue and in Churches of the Arians Now let vs see your Assumption But the Church of England head and members King Clergie and people yea awhole Councell of Protestants may erre by your owne grant I answer the Church of England that is the Elect in the Church of England which onely are truely called the Church can neuer deadly erre This no Protestant will grant yee The mixt Church of England head members King Clergie and the residue of the people and a whole Councell of Protestants may erre damnably and therefore much more ●all into lesser errors This they grant And if they shall so erre obstinately they shall deseruedly loose the name of a true Church But they denie they doe thus err yea they denie that they erre de facto at all What followes in conclusion Ergo No true Church This shortnesse in suppressing the verbe would make a man thinke you ment to couer the fault of your discourse And indeede you might by that meanes easily beguile another but I cannot be perswaded you would willingly beguile your selfe Sure you were beguiled if you ment it thus Ergo it is no true Church See your Argument in the like A faithfull witnesse cannot lye But Socrates or Aristides may lye by his owne grant Ergo no faithfull witnesse He that stands vpright cannot fall but you Master Waddesworth by your owne grant may fall Ergo stand not vpright Perhaps your meaning was Ergo it may
become no true Church to wit when it shall so erre damnably But then it followes not There is now no saluation in it and therefore come out of it now When you shew that I shall account you haue done wisely to goe out of it Shew that in anie one point and take me with you In the meane while for my part I shall sooner trust that chapman that shall say to me Loe here is a perfect yard I will measure as truely as I can and when I haue done take the yard and measure it your selfe then him that shall say here is thus much yee shall not neede to measure it but take it on my word yea though one of his Apprentices should stand by and say he could not deceiue mee though hee would as Benedictus a Benedictus tels the present Pope Volens nolens errare non potes Where you relate your endeauour to defend the Church of England and tell of the Puritanes reiecting those Arguments you could vse from the authoritie of the Church and of the ancient Doctors interpreting Scriptures against them flying to their owne arrogant spirit I cannot excuse them for the former nor subscribe to your accusation in the latter Perhaps you haue met with some more fanaticall Brownists or Anadaptists whom here you call Puritans But these that are commonly so called which differ from the Church of England about Church gouernment and ceremonies onely giue indeede to little to the authoritie of men how holy learned or ancient soeuer Which is their fault and their great fault especially in matters of this nature yet they flye not to their owne spirit as you charge them That which you adde that you perceiued the most Protestants did frame the like euasions when you came to answere the Arguments against them on the other side when you shall shew this in particulars I shall beleeue it In the meane while I beleeue you thought so for commonly mediocrities are aggrauated with the hatred slandered with the names of both extreames But in the question betweene the Popish faction and vs you might easily haue discerned why the argument from bare authoritie is not of such validitie For ceremonies and matters of order may be ordered by wise men are not the worse but the better if they be ancient yea if they be common to vs with Rome which Puritans will by no meanes allow In doctrin if holy men yea if an Angell from heauen shall innouate any thing wee are not to admit it Now the controuersies betweene the Romanists and vs are most about doctrine and they exceede as much in extolling the authoritie of the ancients in their priuate opinions and incommodious and strained speeches as the Puritans in depressing them We hold the meane and giue as much to the authoritie and testimonies of the Fathers as may stand with the truth of holy Scriptures and as themselues deferre to the writing of others or require to be giuen to their owne Next you tell of your following their opinion who would make the Church of England and the Church of Rome still to be all one in Essentiall points and the differences to be accidentall Confessing the Church of Rome to be a true Church though sicke or corrupted and the Protestants to be derined from it and reformed This opinion is not onely as you write fauoured of many great Schollers in England but is the common opinion of all the best Diuines of the reformed Churches that are or haue beene in the world as I shewed in part of another worke which as I remember you had a sight of Wherein yet I feare you mistake the tearme accidentall which doth no● import that our differences are but sleight and of small confideration but that all those opinions and abuses which we reforme and cut off are not of the Faith but superfluous and ●oraine yea hurtfull and noisome to it as the weedes are to the corne which ouer-grow and choake it And to follow this similitude the state of the Church vnder the Romane obedience and that part which is reformed is like a field ouergrowne all with weedes thistles tares cockle some part whereof is weeded and clensed some part remaines as it was before which makes such a difference to the view as if it were not the same corne But being better considered it will be found all the difference is from the weedes which remaine there and here are taken away Yet neither here perfectly nor all where a like but ac●ording to the industrie of our weeders or conueniencie of the worke with care of the safetie of the good corne By this Parable you may see what is to be hoped of your labour to reconcile most of our particular controuersies For although I doubt not but in some it may be performed where the difference is rather verball then reall and in the manner of teaching rather then in the substance of doctrine And if moderate men had the matter in handling the flame of contention in a great many more might be troden downe and slaked suppose the sparkes not all extinct yet in some other it is as possible to make the weede and corne-friends as your and our opinions where there is none other remedy but that of our Sauiour Euery plant that my heauenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out Neither doth this impossibilitie arise more out of the nature of the things then the affection of the persons For the Pope and the Court of Rome which are those that domineere on that side doe no lesse out of the feare of their owne ruine deadly detest all reformation then the reformed out of their present view and former feeling the tyrannie of the Papacie which they see doth excommunicate and put to cruell death all that are of this way And which is a prodigious thing where they tolerate the blasphemous and professed enemies of Christ euen with allowance of the publike exercise of their Religion there doe they burne men professing Christs religion according to the ancient and common rule thereof with that vprightnesse of conscience that if they had as many liues as there be Articles thereof they would giue them all rather then renounce any of them As for the Protestants making the Pope Antichrist I know it is a point that inrageth much at Rome But if the Apostle Saint Paul if Saint Iohn in the Reuelation describe Antichrist so as they that doe but looke vpon the Pope well must be forced to say as the people did of the blinde man in the Gospell some this is ●e others he is very like him if himselfe and his flatterers doe and speake such things as if all others should hold their peace doe in a sort proclaime I am he what can the Protestants doe with the matter I will take the liberty here to relate to you what I saw while I was in Venice the rather because it is not impertinent to our present purpose And though perhaps you may
rancour against the Dominicans for it is his very phrase But Master Harding both in this and many things else discouereth his passion and lack of true information in this affaire When with one breath he affirmeth that first it was a Pardon of a Croisade against the Turkes which was preached whereas it was an Indulgence to those that should put their helping hands for the building of Saint Peters Church at Rome as the Articles of this Pardon printed in English one of the Copies whereof I haue my selfe doe shew Secondly next hee saith the preaching hereof was granted to Friar Iohn Tetzet It was Friar Iohn Thecel or Tecel Thirdly hee saith the Elector of Mentz Albert granted this to T●ecel and the Dominicans whereby Luther was bereft of the gaine hee exspected The truth is it was Aremboldus a Bishop liuing at the Court of Rome whom hauing before been a Merchant of Genoa Magdalen the Popes sister put in trust with this merchandize that appointed the Dominicans to bee the retaylers of these Pardons The Archbishop of Mentz had nothing to doe with it otherwise then to allow and suffer it which occasioned Luther to write to him as to the Bishop of Brandenburgh and to Leo himselfe to represse the impudence of the Pardoners And Luther saith further in one place that the Archbishop vndertooke to giue countenance to this businesse with that condition that the halfe of the prey should goe to the Pope and himselfe might haue the other halfe to pay for his Pall. By these errors hea●ed together it may appeare what credit it is like Master Hardings tale be wort●y of touching the remnant that of rancour and malice against the Dominicans and because hee was bereaued of that sweet morsell which in hope hee had almost swallowed downe Luther made this st●rre A hard thing mee thinks it is for any that liued at that day to set downe what was in Luthers heart what were his hopes his desires rancour and spleene much more for Master Harding most of all for you and mee When the actions of men haue an appearance of good Charitie would hope the best Pietie would reserue the iudgement of the intention to God Let vs come to Caluin touching whom I maruell not much that you say nothing of all that which Bolseck brings against him who being by his meanes chased out of Geneua discouereth as I remember in the verie enetance that hee was requested by some of his good Masters to write against him I once saw the book while I liued in Cambridge it hath no shew of probabilitie that Caluin would goe about to worke a miracle to confirme his doctrine who teacheth that miracles are no sure and sufficient proofe of doctrine I maruell rather that euen in reading Doctor Bancroft Master Hooker and Sarauia all opposites to Cal●in in the question of Church Discipline and therefore not all the fittest to testifie of him or his actions all late Writers and strangers to the Estate and affaires of Geneua of whom therefore besides their bare word sufficient proofe were to bee required of what they say you not onely receiue whatsoeuer they bring but more then they bring You say they proue what neuer came in their mindes and what is not onely vtterly vntrue but euen vnpossible As that Caluin by his vnquietnes and ambition reuolued the State of Geneua so vni●stly expelling and depriuing the Bishop of Geneua and other Temporall Lords of their due obedience and ancient inheritance When as the Bishop and Clergie of Geneua vpon the throwing downe Images there by popular tumult departed in an anger seuen yeeres ere euer Caluin se● foot within the gates of that Citie A thing not onely cleere in storie by the Writers of that time and since Sleidan Bodine Caluins Epistles and life but set down by those whom yee cite Master Hooker in his Preface speaking of Caluin Hee fell at length vpon Geneua which Citie the Bishop and Clergie thereof had a little before as some doe affirme forsaken being of likelyhood frighted with the peoples sudden attempt for the abolishment of Popish Religion And a little after At the comming of Caluin thither the forme of their Regiment was popular as it continueth at this day c. Doctor Bancroft The same yeere that Geneua was assaulted viz. by the Duke of Sauoy and the Bishop as he had said before Page 13. which was Anno 1536. Master Caluin came thither If Caluin at his comming found the forme of the gouernment popular If hee came thither the same yeere that the Bishop made war vpon Geneua to recouer his authoritie being indeede either affrighted or hauing forsaken the Towne before how could Caluin expel him And in truth Bodine in his second Booke De Rep. Chapter sixt affirmeth That the same yeere Genoa was established in a State Aristocraticall which was hee saith Anno 1528. Geneua was changed from a Monarchy Pontificall into an Estate Popular gouerned Aristocratically although that long before the Towne pretended to bee free against the Earle and against the Bishop c. What Sarauia hath written touching this point I cannot tell as not hauing his Booke But in Beza his answere to him there is no touch vpon any such thing He ioynes with his complaint of the sacrilegious vsurping Ecclesiasticall goods in answere to his Proême He dissents in that Sarauia accounts the Seniors of the reformed Churches like to that kinde which Saint Ambrose speakes of brought in out of wisdome onely to rule the disorderly Beza saith they were not introducti but reducti Cap. 12. For the rest in all that answere there is nothing of Caluin or any such reuoluing of the state as you accuse him of Which makes mee thinke that herein your memorie deceiued you It may be that in your younger time falling vpon these Authors by occasion of the question of Discipline which was then much tossed ere euer your iudgement were ripened you formed in your minde a false impression of that which they say of Caluin You conceited them out of your zeale in the cause to say more then they do thus possible vnawares receiued the seeds of dislike of the doctrine of Caluin as well as his discipline which haue since taken root in you But you shall doe well to remember the difference you put a little before of these two Christian doctrine is vniforme and euer the same gouernment is changeable in many circumstances according to the exigence of times and persons And euen the same men that write somewhat eagerly against Master Caluin yet giue him the pra●se of wisdome to see what for that time and state was necessarie Master Hooker saith of him That he thinkes him incomparably the wisest man that euer the French Church did enioy since the houre it enioyed him and of his platforme of discipline after hee hath laid downe the summe of it This deuice I see not how the wisest at that time liuing could haue bettered if wee duely consider what