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A07845 The golden ballance of tryall VVherein the reader shall plainly and briefely behold, as in a glasse of crystall; aswell by what rule all controuersies in religion, are to be examined, as also who is, and of right ought to be the vpright iudge in that behalfe. Whereunto is also annexed a counterblast against a masked companion, terming himself E.O. but supposed to be Robert Parsons the trayterous Iesuite. Bell, Thomas, fl. 1593-1610. 1603 (1603) STC 1822; ESTC S120918 58,889 126

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ecclesia constituitur ex collectione omnium fidelium vnde omnes fideles orbis constituunt istam ecclesiam vniuersalē cuius caput sponsus est ipse Christus Papa autē est Vicarius Christi non verè caput ecclesiae vt notat glossa in Clem. ne Romani de elect Quae notabiliter dicit quod mortuo Papa ecclesia non est sine capite ista est illa ecclesia quae errare non potest For concerning maters of Faith euen the iudgement of one that is a meere Lay-man ought to be preferred before the sentence of the Pope if that Lay person could bring better reasons out of the old and new Testament then the Pope did And it skilleth not if one say that a Councell cannot erre because Christ prayed for his church that it should not fayle For I say that although a general Councell represent the whole vniuersall Church yet in truth there is not truely the vniuersall Church but representatiuely For the vniuersall Church consisteth of the collection of all the faithful Whereupon all the faithfull in the worlde make this vniuersall church which cannot erre wherof Christ himselfe is the head The Pope is the Vicar of Christ but not truely the heade of the church as noteth the Glosse vpon the Clementines which saith very well that when the Pope is dead the church wanteth not then an head and this is that Church which cannot erre Out of these wordes I note first that by the opinion of the great Papist Panormitan a meere laye mans iudgement euen in matters of faith ought to bee accepted and receyued before the Popes constitution if that Lay-man bring better reasons then doth the Pope I note secondly that through the wonderfull prouidence of God euen the enemies of the truth the Papists I meane are enforced to testifie the truth against themselues in their owne printed bookes For doubtles this Testimony of this Papist is the foundation of that doctrine which is this day established in the church of England and in all other reformed churches throughout the Christian world I note thirdly that a generall councell may erre because it is not the Catholike or vniuersall church indeed A generall councell therfore yeeldeth not any infallible iudgement CAP. VII Shewing that the holy Scripture is the sole and onely infallible rule of truth IN the former Chapters I haue shewed first that all Bishoppes may erre seuerally secondly that many Bishops may erre ioyntly together when they teach one and the selfe same thing Thirdly that the Pope or Bishoppe of Rome may erre not onely in his priuate opinion but also in his publike sentence and definition Fourthly that Prouinciall Councels may erre Fiftly that generall counsels may erre It therefore now remayneth that I find out and set down some such rule as is infallible and will not in any respect point or clause deceiue them that follow it and leane thervnto Which rule say I is the holy scripture the sole and onely written worde of God And I proue the same briefly first by the written word it selfe which telleth vs plainely that the holy scripture was written by the instinct of the holy Ghost euen as God himself appointed it to be done That prophesie came not in old time by the wil of man but holy men of God spake as they were moued by the holy Ghost That God is not as man that he should lie neyther as the sonne of man that he should repent I proue it secondly by the testimony of S. Dionyse Areopagita whose wordes are these Omnino igitur non audendum est quicquam de summa abstrusaque diuinitate aut dicere aut cogitare praeter ca quae nobis diuinitus scripturae diuinae enuntiarunt In no wise therfore may we make bold to speake or thinke any thing of the high and ineffable diuinity but that onely which holy writ hath reuealed to vs from aboue I proue it thirdly by the verdict of S. Austen in these wordes Ego solis eis scripturarum libris qui iam canonici appellantur hunc timorem honorem didici deferre vt nullum eorum authorem scribendo aliquid errasse firmissime credam Alios autem ita lego vt quantalibet sanctitate doctrinaque praepolleant non ideo verū putem quia ipsi ita censuerunt sed quia mihi vel per illos auctores canonicos vel probabili ratione quod a veritate non abhorreat persuadere potuerunt I have learned to giue this feare and honour to those onely bookes of scripture which are called Canonicall that I firmely belieue no author therof to haue erred in any point but yet I reade others so that how holy or learned soeuer they bee I doe not by and by thinke it true because they say so but because they perswade me by those Canonicall Writers or by probable reason that that is true they say The same S. Austen in an other place telleth vs plainely that the holy Scripture is the rule of faith These are his wordes Sancta scriptura nostrae doctrinae regulam figit ne audiamus sapere plusquam oportet The holy Scripture setteth downe the rule of our doctrine that we presume not to be wiser then it is meete and conuenient The Iesuite Bellarmine whose words are most forceable against Papistes because he is the mouth of all Papistes confesseth plainely that the worde of God is the rule of faith that the written word because it is the rule hath this prerogatiue that whatsoeuer is contained in it is of necessitie true and must bee beleeued and whatsoeuer is repugnant to it is of necessitie false and must be reiected But because it is a partial rule and not the totall rule of faith thereupon it commeth that something is of faith which is not contayned in the same Thus writeth the Iesuite Out of whose wordes euerie child may gather that the scripture is the infallible rule of faith For although the Iesuite would make vnwritten traditions to bee a ioynt rule together with the written word whose opinion I haue disproued in my Booke of Motiues yet neyther doth hee neither can he deny but that all must bee reiected whatsoeuer is repugnant to the holy scripture By this my discourse hetherto it is cleare and euident to euery indifferent Reader that neither Fathers Popes nor councels prouinciall or generall are or can bee the infallible rule of faith but the sole and onely written word of God that is the holy Scripture But now remayneth a most intricate and d●fficult question who must bee the iudge of the Scripture that is who must determine and set downe what writinges what opinions what preachinges what doctrines are grounded vpon the Scriptures and are consonant to the same againe what opinions what Writinges and what doctrines are not grounded vpon the Scriptures nor are agreeable to the same Hic labor hoc opus est I therefore proceede to the next
came I will it not deny that the West and Occidentall Churches did so greatly reuerence the Church of Rome and many times to appease controuersies and dissentions had recourse to it as to the Mother Churche and auncient Nurse of the Faith But for all this they neuer ascribed this prerogatiue to the Bishoppe of Rome that hee could not erre neyther euer did they acknowledge him to be the sole and onely iudge in questions and controuersies of religion This to bee so one onely testimonie will suffice For S. Cyprian an auncient Father a very learned Bishoppe and blessed Martyr although hee greatly honoured the Church of Rome and the Bishoppes therof for respectes aboue mentioned yet was he so farre from acknowledging the supposed prerogatiue of the Bishoppe of Rome that his faith could not faile or that hee was the sole and only iudge in questions and controuersies of religion that hee flatly reiected his opinion contemned his definitiue sentence and derided his iudiciall decree calling him blinde bussarde and arrogant Prelate The controuersie was this whether they which were baptized of Heretiques ought to bee rebaptized or not The mater and Saint Cyprians words are set downe at large in my Booke of Motiues And the matter it selfe is partly already proued in the Chapters afore going and shall bee more fully confirmed in the Chapters following CAP. V. Shewing that Prouinciall Councels may erre THAT Prouinciall Councels may erre euen in matters of Faith it is so cleare and manifest that famous and verie learned Papistes affirme the same to witte Adrianus who was sometime Pope himselfe Iohannes-Gerson sometime Chauncellor of Paris Almainus and Alphonsus both of them renowmed Papistes For they all hold as the Iesuite Bellarmine graunteth that the infallibility of iudgement touching matters of faith resteth solely in the church and generall Councels this assertion being confessed by great learned Papistes were enough to satisfie the indifferent Reader if more could not be said Saint Cyprian assembled in councell togither with fourescore learned bishops defined against the truth that such as were baptized of Heretiques ought to be baptized againe This decree is extant in the first tome of Councels and is this day reputed for a grosse errour throughout the christian worlde The Prouinciall Councell holden at Iconium decreed with Saint Cyprian and his fellow Bishops that rebaptization was lawfully ministred to those that were baptized of Heretiques The Councell of Sardis erred grossely condemning two Catholike Bishops Iulius the Bishop of Rome and Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria The third Councell of Carthage decreed the Apocryphall bookes of Tobias Iudith Baruch Wisdome Ecclesiasticus and the Machabees to be Canonicall But the Councell of Laodicea which was confirmed in the sixt generall Councell condemned that decree long before it was made and denied the said bookes to be Canonicall The Councell of Varmes decreed that secret theft should be knowne and tried by the deliuerie and receyuing of the holy Eucharist Which is a notorious error and a wicked decree as the great papist Aquinas witnesseth in his Theologicall summe The Councell of Rome celebrated by Pope Stephanus disanulled all orders giuen by Pope Formosus and the Councell of Rauennas called by Pope Iohn disanulled the Actes of the Councell vnder Pope Stephanus In fine a Councell holden at Rome vnder Pope Nicholas decreed and enforced Berengarius to confesse the same that the true body of Christ was broken with the Priests hands and consumed with the teeth of the faithfull And yet is this a notorious error manifest to all the worlde Wherefore the Popish Glosse to saue the credite of the decree of the Pope and Councell if it would bee addeth these wordes for explication sake Nisi sanè intelligas verba Berengarii in maiorem incideshaeresim quam ipse habuit ideo omnia referas ad species ipsas Nam de Christi corpore partes non facimus Vnlesse thou vnderstande soundly the wordes of Berengarius thou wilt fall into a greater heresie then hee had and therefore thou must referre all things to the formes For of Christ bodie no partes are made Loe the Popish glosse saith plainly which is the truth in deed that Christ bodie cannot bee broken or diuided into partes And for all that the Pope with his popish Councell enforced Berengarius to beleeue the contrarie and to cōfesse the same The Apostles words are these Christ being raysed from the dead dieth no more death hath no more dominion ouer him But certes if the true bodie of Christ Iesus be broken in deede and torne in peeces with mans teeth then doubtlesse must it bee corrupted and Christ himselfe must die againe This veritie doth so gall the Papists that the Iesuite Bellarmine who is the mouth of all the Papists is inforced will he nill he to confesse the truth vnawares These are his owne wordes which I wish the Reader to marke attentiuely Certum est semper fuit Christi corpus incorruptibile nunc existens non posse frangi teri nisi in signo siue sacramento ita vt dicatur frangi ac teri cum signum eius id est species panis frangitur teritur Sequitur verum Christi corpus ibi praesens existens frangitur teritur non tamen inse sedin signo It is and euer was certaine and without doubt that Christs bodie now being incorruptible cannot bee broken and torne but in the signe or Sacrament So that it may be said to be broken and torne when the signe thereof that is to say the forme of bread is broken and torne The true bodie of Christ there present is broken and torne yet not in the bodie it selfe but in the signe thereof Thus writeth our Iesuite most Christanly but vnawares agaynst himselfe if his words be well obserued I therefore note first that by Bellarmines owne confession Christs bodie is now immortall and incorruptible I note secondly that Christs bodie can not now bee broken in deed but onely in the signe or Sacrament thereof I note thirdly that Christes bodie is truly said to be broken as our Iesuite affirmeth because the signe of his bodie is truly broken Out of whose wordes and graunt this proposition is inferred of necessity to wit that Christ bodie is truly said to be present to the faithfull and to be truly eaten of them when the signe of Christes bodie is truly present and truly eaten of them Againe it must needs follow vpon the Iesuites grant and exposition of the Romish faith which is a wōder to bee heard that when Christ vttered these wordes to his Apostles this is my bodie his meaning and the true sense of the wordes was this This is my bodie that is to say this is the signe and Sacrament of my bodie The reason hereof is euident because Christes naturall and true body can no more be truely eaten then it can be truely broken And
name aswell as he doth a generall councell which thing I haue already proued I say thirdly that the great popish Archbishops Panormitanus telleth vs as is alreadie proued that a priuate mans iudgement is better then the Popes To which I must needes add the wordes of doctor Gerson the Chancellor of Paris and a renowmed popish writer which are these Quilibet homo doctus potest debet toti concilio risistere si videat illud ex malitia vel ignorantia errare Euerie one that is learned may and ought to resist and stand against a whole Councell if hee perceiue that the Councell erreth either of ignorance or of malice Lo all that I say is true euen by the popish doctrine And so no Papist can with reason denie or gain-say the same For first you see by Gersons doctrine that a generall Councell may erre Secondly that a priuate man both may and ought to withstand the Councell when the generall Councell would decree agaynst the truth Thirdly that lay-men haue euer beene present in Councels and there deliuered freely their opinions Which freedome by late popish tyrannie is this day banished out of the Church I say fourthly that Melchior Canus a famous Schoole-doctor and popish Bishop shall conclude and knit vp this discourse These are his expresse words Praestanti quod in se est Deus fidem ad salutem necessariam non negat Sequitur nō n. vnctio quemcunque simpliciter docet de omnibus sed quemque de his quae sunt ei propria necessaria Sequitur concedimus liberaliter doctrinam cuique in sua vita statu necessariam illi fore prospectam cognitam qui fecerit voluntatem dei Sicut n. gustus bene affectus differentias saporum facile discernit sic animi optima affectio facit vt homo doctrinam Dei ad salutem necessariam discernat ab errore contrario qui ex Deo non est To the man that doeth what in him lieth God neuer denieth faith necessarie to saluation For the vnction doth not simply teach euerie one euerie thing but it teacheth euerie one so much as is proper and necessarie for him And we grant freely that doctrine necessarie for euery mans life and state is sufficiently knowne to him that doth the will of God For like as the well affected taste doth easily discerne the differences of sauours or tastes so doth the good affection of the minde bring to passe that a man may discerne the doctrine of God necessarie to saluation from contrarie error which is not of God Thus writeth the grauest and rarest Papist for learning in the vniuersall worlde and consequently it is and must be of great force against the Papist whatsoeuer hath passed from his penne And I protest vnto thee gentle Reader that nothing hath more estraunged me from poperie and set me at defiance with it then the cleare and perspicuous doctrine of the best learned and most renowmed Papists For whosoeuer will seriously peruse the bookes that I haue published to the view of the world shall therein find confirmed by the doctrine of the best approued Papists euery poynt of setled doctrine in the Church of England Out of these wordes of this learned Papist I note first that when S. Iohn saith the vnction teacheth vs all things he meaneth not the difficult questions in Religion but all such poyntes as are necessarie for euerie mans saluation In note secondly that no man wanteth this knowledge and iudgement of doctrine but he that is willingly ignorant and will not applie himselfe to attaine the said knowledge I note thirdly that euerie priuate man is able to-iudge and discerne true doctrine from falsehoode and error so farre forth as is requisite for his saluation as well as a sound and good taste is able to discerne the differences of tastes Hereupon I inferre this necessarie cōsequent of popish doctrine against the Pope himselfe vz. that many wise godly and learned Bishops with other ministers of the church assembled in a nationall Synode at the command of their naturall Soueraigne are able to discerne so much truth from falshoode and error as is necessarie ether for their owne soules health or for the publique peace of the Church God graunt that this doctrine may take deepe roote in the hearts of the readers to his glorie the good of their soules and the peace of the Church Amen FINIS A COVNTERBLAST AGAINST THE VAINE BLAST OF A MASKED Companion who termeth himselfe E. O. but thought to be ROBERT PARSONS that trayterous Iesuite LONDON Printed by Iohn VVindet for Richard Bankworth dwelling in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the Sunne 1603. To the right worshipfull my approued good friend Maister John Bennet Doctor of the Ciuill law and one of her Maiesties Councell in the North partes of England IF I shoulde take vppon mee right worshipfull to discourse at large of the plots practises dealings and proceedings of our Iesuites and Iesuited persons time doubtles would sooner faile me then matter whereof to speake I haue verie lately published a discourse of this argument intituled The Anatomie of Popish tyrannie In it the Reader may view at large the doctrine the Religion the manners the natures the conuersation the practises and the whole proceedings of the English traiterous hispanized Iesuites So that now to recount the same were actum agere and a thing altogither needlesse One of these Iesuites hath lately published a most scandalous and rayling Libell against the reuerend and learned man of God master Doctor Sutcliffe as also agaynst master Willet In which Libell the said masked companion terming himselfe E. O. hath obiter disgorged some part of his bitter gall agaynst my selfe For the confirmation whereof that all the world may see his follie and consequently the follie of all the Iesuites who combine and conioyne in this affaire I haue addressed this Counterblast in which the indifferent Reader may plainly behold that the Iesuites and Seminaries can say nothing in deed to the doctrine contained in my Bookes howbeit they bestirre themselues with might and maine to dazell the eyes of the simple and sillie Papists that they shall not see the Sunne shining at noone tide The worke such as it is I dedicate vnto your worship in token of that gratitude which is due vnto you for your worships manifold kinde curtesies towardes mee Accept I pray you the present in good part not respecting so much the gift as the minde of the giuer The Almightie blesse your worship with manie happie yeares to his glorie the good of his Church and the benefite of your owne soule From my studie this 14. of Februarie 1602. Your worships most bounden THOMAS BELL. A COVNTERBLAST against the vaine blast of a masked Companion who termeth himselfe E. O. but thought to be Robert Parsons that trayterous Iesuite CAP. I. Of the manner of Iesuiticall Proceeding in all their seditious and scandalous libels THE Iesuites as the secular Priestes
will see what is best If it bee done it must be verie short and rather made to describe the man then to vnfold at large his doctrine For if it bee long neither the time nor commoditie of transporting vp and down nor the securitie of doing it can be correspondent That shall bee done on my part which may be This gentle Reader is there whole narration which for the exact examination and confutation thereof I will repeate by particular members one after an other euer adding a particular seuerall answer to the same The Iesuite Concerning the answere to the wrangler I am euen as I was before vncertaine what were expedient The Answere To these wordes I answere first that the Iesuites haue beene long buzzing about an answere to my bookes and haue vsed as great speede therein as hee that shoulde driue a snaile from Paris to Rome For after my bookes haue beene eight or nine yeares in their handes and vnder their malicious censure they are still at the same poynt where they began That is to say they neither haue made neither can they make any answere to my bookes I answere secondly that though the Papists be greatly troubled about my bookes and doe often consult among themselues how to frame some aunswere therevnto yet can they not this day tell what is expedient for them to doe in that behalfe But euery wise man can easily discerne that if the truth were on their side and that they could confute the doctrine laid downe in my bookes they would vndoubtedly performe the same The Iesuite The man desireth nothing but wrangling And besides that which I feare most is that which I haue seene by experience in other his writings that is exceeding and outragious choller The aunswere To these wordes I answere first that if I did but wrangle they might with facilitie haue aunswered me so many yeares ago Secondly that the Priestes and Iesuites are of a verie shallow iudgement and small reach if they can not tell in eight whole yeares what to answere to a wrangler or wrangling disputation Thirdly that the Iesuite as is confessed alreadie can not yet tell what is expedient to be done in that matter Whereupon it followeth of necessitie that it is a matter of great moment and of no smal importance For otherwise a man of rare wisedome and deepe iudgement such as our Iesuites vsually be especially those Iesuites who are elected to be prouincials and rulers of all others within a whole Prouince could not but know in much lesse time then 8 or 9. yeares what were fit meete expedient to be done concerning the answering of my bookes And yet as this great father of wisdom freely granteth he is still as vncertain as he was afore what aunswere were best to be made Fourthly that our father Iesuite lieth flatly vpon his head when he saith that hee feareth nothing more then my exceeding and outragious choller For first he and his brethren do not spare at all to write against their owne brethren the secular Priests who shew more choller in one leafe of paper then I haue done in all my Bookes Againe he and the other Iesuites doe disgorge more choller agaynst the Seculars in the least page they haue written then my selfe haue done in all my bookes Hereof none can be ignorant that shal seriously peruse my booke intituled the Anatomie of Popish tyrannie The Iesuite Whereby he will be moued to vtter not onely vll imperfections which he knoweth of our fellowes but also those things which ought to be most surely sealed vp The Answere I answere first that hereby euerie one may see that the Iesuites and their fellowes are full of notorious imperfections which they feare shall be made knowne vnto the world Secondly that if the Iesuites be guiltie in their own consciences of greater crimes offences then the secular Priests haue discouered to the world then certes they are so farre from being Saints that they are more like the Diuels of hell Thirdly that they haue damnable practises among them which must be sealed vp and not be made knowne vnto the world But hereof Watson the secular Priest seemeth to haue spoken sufficiently in his Quodlibets My book of Anatomie will tell them more Fourthly that the Iesuite doth vnawares confesse me to be an honest man For it must needes bee the part of an honest man to speake nothing of his enemie but onely that which he knoweth to be true The Iesuite The man being past all grace and shame The Answere I say first that it is no maruaile if this lewde Iesuite write thus of me to his felowes couertly seeing both hee and his fellowes write most bitterly and impudently against their owne brethren the secular Priests men of better deserts by many degrees then themselues Secondly they are arrant traitors cruell murderers impudent lyars notorious coozeners full of enuie pride malice and all vices vnder heauen as the secular Priests write of them and consequently this Iesuites tongue can not or at least ought not to be of credite against any man Thirdly all that this rayling impudent companion can truly say of me is nothing else in deede but that I haue renounced lately inuented popish Religion For the olde Roman religion practised in the primatiue church I allow and defend in al my bookes and will perseuere in the same God willing vnto my liues ende It is the superstition and Idolatrie of latter yeares crept into the Church of Rome by little and little the originall whereof I haue proued in my booke of Suruey agaynst which proofe this proude Iesuite can say nothing that I impugne condemne in all my writings Fourthly this rayling fellow hath graunted alreadie that I will vtter nothing of them but known truths consequently I must haue some grace and honestie left by his owne confession The Iesuite Neuerthelesse for this matter as ye shall all agree For I doubt not but so manie and such will see what is best The Answere Loe they that haue consulted how to answere my bookes are not onely many in number but also of the best iudgement and reputation among them For you heare his wordes so many and such will see what is best And yet these men so many and so worthie haue not in so many yeares found out any answere to my bookes But as he truly sayth they see what is the best to be done As if he should haue said the best is to passe ouer the matter with silence as wee haue done heretofore For his doctrine is sound grounded vpon the Scriptures Councels Fathers and the practise of the ancient Church and we are not able to gainsay the same It is better to sit still then to rise vp and fall The Iesuite If it be done it must be verie short and rather made to describe the man then to vnfold at large his doctrine For if it belong neither the time nor commoditie of transporting vp and downe nor the securitie