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A16691 The rasing of the foundations of Brovvnisme Wherein, against all the writings of the principall masters of that sect, those chiefe conclusions in the next page, are, (amongst sundry other matters, worthie the readers knowledge) purposely handled, and soundely prooued. Also their contrarie arguments and obiections deliberately examined, and clearly refelled by the word of God. Bredwell, Stephen. 1588 (1588) STC 3599; ESTC S106388 120,820 166

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tidings ceasse except the parchment hold and his message misseth except a waxemarke giueth it Is this Ierusalem where such Bishops raigne or should we call it the throne of the Lord is it not rather the seate of iniquitie to which as the Prophet saith the wicked do approch c. And a little after Now therefore yee Preachers because yee subscribe that the Lords gouernment is wanting and yet set vp other Lords or suffer them in his place and because you cannot neither will you preach but by their good leaue and licence therefore you cannot preach my word VVhat do you at Paules Crosse or what should my messengers do there do not there the Bishops as also in your parishes tread downe the Lords Sanctuarie and are not the people as they ouer whome the Lord did neuer beare rule yet you say the Bishops gouernment is tollerable and take the teeth of those VVolfes for a discipline to the Sheepe Againe within few lines This is now the throne of the Bishops which in the dioces parishes and cathedrall Churches is lift vp against Christ From it doth come foorth their lawes and iniunctions by which all men euen small and great rich and poore free and bonde are made to receiue a marke in their hand or in their forehead For all are made thralles and slaues to their pollicie to build the Church and to worshippe God after their deuisings c. Nowe yet more apertly if it were possible to shewe how he depraueth their very authoritie I must trouble the reader with mo of his places In his declaration telling of his owne authorizing by the Bishops among other like he hath these words that he thought it lawful first to be tried of the Bishops then also to suffer their power though it were vnlawful if in any thing it did not hinder the truth but to be authorized by them to be sworne to subscribe to be ordained and receiue their licensing he vtterly misliked and kept himselfe cleare in those matters howbeit the Bishops seales were gotten him by his brother which he both refused before the officers and being written for him would not pay for thē and also being afterward paid for by his brother he lost one and burnt another in the fire and another being sent him to Cambridge he kept it by him til in his trouble it was deliuered to a Iustice of peace and so frō him as is supposed to the B. of Norwich Yet least his dealing in this manner should encourage others to deale in worse manner he openly preached against the calling and authorizing of preachers by Bishops and spake it often also openly in Cambridge that he taught among them not as caring for or leaning vpon the Bi. authority but only to satisfie his duty and cōscience Also in the same discourse he hath these words This he that is himself iudged not only to be against the wickednes of the Bi. but also against their whole power and authority for if the authority of the Church and of the forwardest brethren or elders therein be aboue the Bi. how should it not follow but that the Bi. may be cōmanded accused charged by the Church yea also discharged and separated as is their desert but now because of their popish power and canon lawes they haue lift vp their authority more high then the Church cā take accompts of them and not only by force do thrust out and trouble whom they list but also raigne as Lords Dukes in their dioces their authority must needes be vsurped And a little space after he saith thus of them that They rule by three sorts of lawes as by the ciuill the canon the common lawe which are three kingdoms vnto thē or as the Popes triple crowne and by pretēding the fourth law which is the word of God they ouerrule too too much Agreeably with this he saith in another place Behold cā they be Ierusalē which is called the throne of the lord whē there the Bi. sit as in the throane of Antichrist What throne hath Christ but by his gouernment which they say is wanting and what is the throne of Antichrist but that Lordship in their dioces with such sway of popish officers with such romish traditiōs A little after VVhat shal we answere they say they call no preachers to preach but God the Church the Queene and people agree to receiue them so their parishes are churches and those great assemblies are the flocke of Christ for they are faire cages though the birds are vncleane knowe you not an honest woman for she doth loue fornicators so may you knowe the true Church for she loueth such Prelates O church of price O the famous church of England Tell ye the church that is tell ye the Bi. of the dioces the church can giue him authority to authorize both the church it selfe and the Gospell as if God should intreate such a Prelate to be good vnto him c. And by and by after Yet is this church of England the piller and ground of truth for the Bi. ouerride it they are the truth and it is the ground it is the beast and they are the riders it stoupeth as an asse for thē to get vp the whip of their spiritual courts and the spurres of their lawes and the bridle of their power do make it to carie thē VVe giue say the Bi. then we take say the Preachers hold take you authority but on this condition that you preach no longer then we list Marke you this say the preachers for we haue no authority but by the bishops and if they giue it vs why may they not take it away so the theefetaker doth please the theefegiuer and the yong wolfe wanteth whē the old wolfe is angry Lastly thus he writeth in another place of his declaration Now wheras they mingle ciuill and church offices it was answered by the word of God that such mingling was flat Antichristianitie for Christ himselfe refused to be a ciuill Iudge and diuider of lands and forbad his Apostles to meddle in such manner Againe it is written No man that goeth on warfare entangleth himself with the affaires of this life for if once ecclesiasticall persons as they call them get ciuill offices they become that second beast which is Antichrist for they get the image of the first beast which is the power and authority of wicked Magistrates that confirme their authority so they giue a spirit to the image that it should speake that is their church lawes and orders hauing got ciuill power both to deceiue men by shew of Religion and to force them with threates and penalties Now would I knowe of the reader what it is that Browne by these places hath spared vnto any Bishop in England or left vndepraued in their authority Furthermore for the vnlawfulnes of medling with or complaining to their courts officers behold how vehemēt he is as in all his dealings Also
Lawe Hereupon hee addeth To all these poyntes that they are true I do subscribe with mine hande and name this 7. of October Anno Dom. 1585. Here I obserue that he testifieth it to be orderly done to come to our owne parish Churches which is more then his writings can well beare howsoeuer he thinke to shift it Also in that he sayth he refuseth not to communicate in the Sacraments perhaps he stoppeth the crye of his conscience which telleth him he communicateth not in the Sacraments with our congregation by this foolish and deceitfull perswasion namely that he satisfieth his promise by communicating in the Sacraments though but in his owne conuenticles But his argument of fact that he giueth to bring credite withall vnto the same assertion as in these wordes For I haue one childe thas is already baptized according to order and Lawe c. this I say stoppeth vp that starting hole against him And then it woulde bee shewed in what congregation of ours hee hath communicated in the Sacraments since the day of his running ouer sea Nay if his behauiour bee truely obserued when hee commeth into our congregations I doe not thinke it can bee proued that hee hath since that day so much as ioyned with them in their prayers To this last place of the matter of Brownes subscription I haue reserued one thing which is good for al to know and some to prouide for and that is this Answering to my Admonition for that point of his subscription which I had obiected against him as a proofe of a vile conscience he graunteth that he had subscribed but he denieth that he had so subscribed as that he should be prooued against himselfe thereby in anie thing Thereupon he setteth me downe though vntruly as you haue heard certaine fourmes of the pointes whereunto hee did subscribe and there withall telleth mee what handsome interpretations of his owne wordes he can make whereby giuing one hand to the satisfying of the authoritie that then dealt with him with the other hee stroketh the eyes of his foolish followers that they might sleepe still in the opinion of his good meaning As though the dealings of Rob. Browne had not otherwise bene vile ynough except he had by this means shewed that he hath not one haire of an honest man about him Read beloued and then testifie The first article of his subscription he reporteth thus The bishops ciuill authoritie Browne did acknowledge lawfull in his subscription and their magistracie to bee obeyed Well how doe you thinke he maketh this agree with his bookes euen thus hee telles you that hee doeth by those wordes neither iustifie those for brethren which doe persecute nor allow an idle and Lordly ministerie in the Church as a part of the brotherhoode How the reader can conceyue this that he denieth vpon his subscription I knowe not but thus much I am sure this his explication certifieth that the BB. being by the Queene and her lawes allowed the titles of Lordes are accounted of Browne not to bee members of the Church And by this answere it appeareth he coggeth this imagination into his disciples that hee allowed the BB. ciuill authoritie but therewithall denied them their ecclesiasticall ministerie Howbeit in plaine wordes he subscribed to their authoritie To couer himselfe in the 2. article hee is faine to hide the trueth as I haue before discouered For the third though he vse the same craft yet in that hee cannot but confesse that hee subscribed that his childe was baptized according to order of lawe to salue his credite with his companions in this hee saith But yet it was done without his consent and contrary to an order he had taken and appointed for it was baptised in England he being beyonde the sea If it were contrarie to his purpose howe coulde it argue his not refusing to communicate in the Sacrament On the other side if hee tell his disciples true of his meaning herein that hee had taken other order for his childs baptizing but that his being beyond sea crossed his purpose how agreeth that with his neglecting of the same order taking for his later childes baptizing which euen at the time of his subscription he alledged by way of coniecture as if God had giuen his wife safe deliuerance to be baptized also according to lawe He was nowe in Englande when hee might haue taken better order if the first were such an errour But because he had no such colourable excuse for this he tooke a shorter way though no lesse shamefull in stepping ouer that part of the article as though there had beene no such thing Also for his alleaging his seruants comming to Church according to lawe whereby he perswaded vnto the BB. his owne conformitie that way he excuseth this to his companions to be for that he was not to force his seruants agaynst their conscience and custome being newly come to him Adding this beside that he neuer came to the same Church with them the parson beeing a common drunkard and infamous by sundrie faults Againe confessing he promised the BB. on the one side that he would come to Church according to order of lawe On the other side hee perswadeth his disciples that hee might well ynough doe so for that there was no lawe to force him to take such a parson for his lawfull minister neither to ioyne with him in the prayers and Sacraments Thus hath hee first manifestly mocked authoritie so as that place of Iude which hee had wrongfully writhen towardes mee returneth nowe againe with full force vppon his owne heade And secondly hee apparantly sheweth that hee continueth his olde course of seducing the seelie sheepe euen as heretofore In summe if all that is here sayde touching his subscription bee melted together as in one lumpe where shall wee find a more perfect image of a pestilent schismaticke and one more voide of all conscience than is this Browne though Rome it selfe be raked through to find him Howe well doe these notes which were long agoe obserued to be the verie properties of all heretikes agree with this mans maners namely to shrinke from their doctrines as ashamed when they are pressed with them and neuerthelesse still vnderhande to glorie in teaching such things Againe as an other testifieth It is not ynough to bee heretikes vnlesse they bee also hypocrites These are they that come in sheepes clothing Sheepe they are in shew foxes for craft but wolues in act and crueltie Neither is it in price with them to followe vertue but to colour vices as with a certaine painting of vertue To the 108. 14 No part of Church Discipline can bee wanting but the Church doeth straight way goe to ruine thereby Againe there may be a true Church of GOD without the Presbiterie These two axiomes will not well agree as the Admonition supposeth Browne sent me glewe which he sayde was strong ynough to holde them together I haue tryed it and it will
betraying the good cause yea who ought to go before all others in suffering for this reformation but hee onely that pretendeth to holde the same at a higher price and to seeke for it with a more feruent zeale than all others But we haue experience sufficient of him what great things he hath suffred and how And this we know whatsoeuer he discourseth otherwhere of his fugitiue life that although some others haue bene hanged for his heresies he hath not only bene contented to let them go without his companie but comming also to some triall of his courage before authoritie there was not onely no shew of that Heroical spirit which he woulde haue you see in his writings but contrariwise shifting answeres with subtill reseruations shamefull and disorder like giuing backe from the trueth it selfe and finally a most hypocriticall subscription least hee shoulde haue felt affliction in the least of his fingers Of any of these if you doubt I will bee readie to shewe you prooues 31 In my first answere I shewed you the right vnderstanding of that comparison of the leauen which S. Paule vseth in the 1. to the Cor. 5. cap. that you might see if that place so commonly obiected of your leader to warrant your separating from our assemblies be but rightly vnderstoode it quickeneth our care and diligent indeuours to remoue corruptions but teacheth no man to forsake his Church I gaue you to vnderstande that the comparison is there of qualitie not of quantitie I speake not of like force and like nature without regarde of like woorking I knowe we consider of the natures of things by their effects and therefore I saide also that Paule putteth vs in minde of the effect of leauen The leauen in sowring the meale wherwith it is mingled and the vngodly in corrupting those with whom they keepe companie haue herein both a like nature yea and their effectes when they doe come to passe are both alike For it is true that when the wicked drawe others after them to become also of euill conuersation that before were not so the effect is like to the sowring of the meale which before was not so but now the measure of working of the one and of the other is not the same in both subiects Which that I may helpe you the better to vnderstand consider that the matter subiect to the sowring of the leauen is meale a thing altogether and wholy disposed to receiue the impression thereof without resistance But the matter whereon the wicked doe worke in this comparison is a company consisting of two sorts of men contrarily disposed and tempered the one apt to be infected the other hauing a supernatural power to hold out their contagion So that though the sowring that the one maketh the corrupting that the other worketh be alike yet are they not equal For of the meale all is infected but not all of such a cōpanie and so is it in the comparison that I gaue you By the salt all the liquor is seasoned but so is not alwayes a wicked company by two or three righteous men cōuerted Againe the leauen in one night so wreth the meal wherwith it is mingled you dare not say that the case is the same with a whole cōgregation and yet you say more if you hold that by warrant of this scripture you must depart frō the sacrament where you see vnworthy ones admitted for so you account the whole congregation to be leauened that is vnsanctified in a moment But I must further remēber you that as in diuers places the scripture speaketh of leauen in the ill part so our Sauiour Christ propoundeth a similitude by the same in the good part Which if you applie and vrge as farre foorth as you haue done this you must say that where faith regeneration by the gospel is once begun there do al become faithful renued euen as of 3. pecks of meale all becommeth leuened Which if you doe say all the worlde will crie shame of you If you feare so to abuse this place why feare you not also in the other Moreouer whereas your leader teacheth you to applie these woordes of Saint Paule A little leauen leaueneth the whole lumpe as though the Apostle had giuen you to vnderstande thereby that one knowne and so proued a wicked man remayning vnseparated in a Church vnsanctifieth the whole and bringeth a nullity vpon it hee doeth too grossely and shamefully abuse miscary and seduce you For by leauening Paul meant corrupting them with euill manners Like as to the Galathians hee meaneth by the same speech the corrupting of that Church with false doctrine and not the disanulling of either So that if God haue yet left you the vnderstanding to make difference betweene sicke and dead and that which is vnpure and that which is not nowe at all your leader can no longer misleade you in this poynt For if hee dare auouch it that whatsoeuer congregation is corrupt either in manners or doctrine the same is not to bee reputed or ioyned with as a Church of God we can soundly and so may safely proue and denounce him for a Donatist and not worthy to liue in any land of Christian gouernement His vnsatisfied dalyance with my comparing of salt with the righteous argueth the man either so pursued by the hande of God that whilest hee controlleth all men himselfe is vtterly spoyled of vnderstanding or else of so reprobate a mynde that hee wilfully closeth his eyes and stoppeth his eares at those thinges that haue speciall force to affect the senses to the reformation of his iudgement And after that hee hath altogether thus abused you in the scope of my comparison least hee should leaue you any light at all in it hee takes it to his owne stithie and hammers it a newe for so hee presumeth it shalbe fit for the schollers of his learning The Lorde giue you eyes to see and a heart to abhorre his most dangerous and pestilent conclusion for thus hee teacheth you euen the same doctrine which right nowe I called Donatisme that like as sweete water intermingled with poyson is poysoned and turned into the nature of poyson so the notorious wicked openly mingled in one outward Church with the righteous or the righteous with them they become one wicked crewe together euen all of them poysoned and infected together As touching the author of this sentence I haue litle hope as in all the rest to preuaile ought by my answering onely for your sakes my deare brethren that haue not as yet sounded the deepenes of Satan in him I will herein also lende my labour to weigh out this matter by the waightes of the Sanctuary And although my 11. 28. Sections do sufficiently couer him with shame and confusion for this poynt yet shall this bee further also euen as the nayle of Iahel to pearce through the temples of Sisara downe into the earth First this his bold