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    OF THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS AND Matters Ecclesiastical Passed In The Church Of Christ, From The Primitive Beginning, To These Our Days, As Well In Other Countries, As, Namely, In This Realm Of England, And Also Of Scotland, Discoursed At Large: AND FIRST, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CHURCH OF ROME THAT NOW IS, AND THE ANCIENT CHURCH OF ROME THAT THEN WAS.

    CHRIST our Savior, in the Gospel of St. Matthew (Matthew 16:16), hearing the confession of Simon Peter, who, first of all other, openly acknowledged him to be the Son of God, and perceiving the secret hand of his Father therein, answered again and (alluding to his name) called him a rock, upon which rock he would build his church so strong, that the gates of hell should not prevail against it, etc. In which words three things are to be noted: First, that Christ will have a church in this world. Secondly, that the same church should mightily be impugned, not only by the world, but also by the uttermost strength and powers of all hell. And, thirdly, that the same church, notwithstanding the uttermost of the devil and all his malice, should continue. Which prophecy of Christ we see wonderfully to be verified, insomuch that the whole course of the church to this day may seem nothing else but a verifying of the said prophecy. First, that Christ hath set up a church, needeth no declaration. Secondly, what force, what sides and sorts of men, of princes, kings, monarchs, governors, and rulers of this world, with their subjects, publicly and privately, with all their strength and cunning, have bent themselves against this church. And, thirdly, how the said church, all this notwithstanding, hath yet endured and holden its own. What storms and tempests it hath overpast, wondrous it is to behold: for the more evident declaration whereof, I have addressed this present history, intending, by the favorable aid of Christ our Lord, not so much to delight the ears of my country in reading of news, as most specially to profit the hearts of the godly, in perusing antiquities of ancient times: to the end, first, that the wonderful works of God in his church might appear to his glory; also, that the continuance and proceedings of the church, from time to time, being set forth in these Acts and Monuments, more knowledge and experience may redound thereby, to the profit of the reader and edification of christian faith. * For if these divers times of the church, which have been so horrible and perilous from the beginning, almost, of the gospel (but especially during this latter age of Christ’s church, according to the true forewarning of the apostles), had not wanted writers and historians, more than writers might have lacked matter copious to work upon, so many notable things worthy of knowledge, which have happened in this church of England since the reign of Lucius (but namely since Satan broke loose), had not so escaped and passed without memory. Hereof some, yet notwithstanding (praised be the Lord there-for!), have been preserved and remain; but yet the most things lost in silence; and some, again, misshadowed and corrupted, either through obtrectation or flattery of writers; who, not observing “legem historiae,” as Tully required, seemed either not bold enough to tell truth, or not afraid enough to bear with untruth and time.

    For as there never happened greater perturbations, tumults, and dissensions, among all the monarchies that have been since the first constitution of public regiment, than hath been seen among churchmen; — betwixt popes, one pope with another, betwixt popes and emperors, for giving and taking the imperial crown, and likewise betwixt popes and other nations; — so writers commonly, in taking parts either with one or other, as they inclined their affection, framed their style.

    Add also, hereunto, the barbarousness of those days, and, partly, negligence in the learned sort, which were no small causes why we lack now so many things much needful for those times to be known.

    Notwithstanding such as yet remain to be collected, especially of the more sincere and less suspected sort of writers, I have here purposed, by the favorable grace of Christ our Lord, in this history to digest and compile ; not so much to delight the ears of my country, as to the intent to profit the church of Christ, so that we, in these reformed days, seeing the prodigious deformities and calamities of these times now present, and comparing the same with the times that were before, may therefore pour out more abundant thanks to the Lord for this his so sweet and merciful reformation.* For the better accomplishing whereof, so to prosecute the matter, as may best serve to the profit of the reader, I have thought good, first beginning from the time of the primitive church, and so continuing (by the Lord’s grace) to these latter years, to run over the whole state and course of the church in general, in such order as digesting the whole tractation of this history into five sundry diversities of times. F629 First , I will intreat of the suffering time of the church, which continued from the apostles’ age about three hundred years.

    Secondly , of the flourishing time of the church, which lasted other three hundred years.

    Thirdly , of the declining or backsliding time of the church, which comprehendeth other three hundred years, until the loosing out of Satan, which was about the thousandth year after the nativity of Christ. During which space of time, the church, although in ambition and pride it was much altered from the simple sincerity of the primitive time, yet, in outward profession of doctrine and religion, it was something tolerable, and had some face of a church; notwithstanding some corruption of doctrine, with superstition and hypocrisy, was then also crept in. And yet in comparison of that which followed after, it might seem, as I said, something sufferable.

    Fourthly , followed the time of Antichrist, and loosing of Satan, or desolation of the church, whose full swinge containeth the space of four hundred years.

    In which time both doctrine and sincerity of life were utterly, almost, extinguished; namely, in the chief heads and rulers of this west church, through the means of the Roman bishops, especially counting from Gregory VII. called Hildebrand, Innocent III., and the friars which with him crept in, till the time of John Wickliff and John Huss, during four hundred years.

    Fifthly and lastly, after this time of Antichrist reigning in the church of God by violence and tyranny, followeth the reformation and purging of the church of God, wherein Antichrist beginneth to be revealed, and to appear in his color, and his antichristian doctrine to be detected, the number of his church decreasing, and the number of the true church increasing.

    The durance of which time hath continued hitherto about the space of two hundred and fourscore years; and how long it shall continue more, the Lord and Governor of all times, he only knoweth. For in these five diversities and alterations of times, I suppose the whole course of the church may well be comprised. The which church, because it is universal, and sparsedly through all countries dilated, therefore in this history, standing upon such a general argument, I shall not be bound to any one certain nation more than another: yet notwithstanding keeping mine argument aforesaid, I have purposed principally to tarry upon such historical acts and records, as most appertain to this my country of England and Scotland.

    And forsomuch as the church of Rome, in all these ages above specified, hath challenged to itself the supreme title and ringleading of the whole universal church on earth, by whose direction all other churches have been governed; in writing, therefore, of the church of Christ, I cannot but partly also intermeddle with the acts and proceedings of the same church, forsomuch as the doings and orderings of all other churches from time to time, as well here in England as in other nations, have this long season chiefly depended upon the same. Wherefore, as it is much needful and requisite to have the doings and orderings of the said church to be made manifest to all christian congregations, so have I framed this history, according to the same purpose. First, in a general description briefly to declare, as in a summary table, the misguiding of that church, comparing the former primitive state of the forenamed church of Rome, with these latter times of the same: which done, then after, in a more special tractation, to prosecute more at large all the particulars thereof, so far forth as shall seem not unprofitable for the public instruction of all other christian churches, to behold and consider the manner and dealing of this one. In the which one church of Rome four things, as most special points, seem to me chiefly to be considered; to wit, Title, Jurisdiction, Life, and Doctrine. Wherein I have here to declare, First, concerning the title or primacy of the church, how it first began, and upon what occasion; Secondly, concerning the jurisdiction and authority thereof, what it was, and how far it did extend; Thirdly, touching the misorder of life and conversation, how inordinate it is; and Fourthly, the form of doctrine, how superstitious and idolatrous of late it hath been. Of the which four, the first was prejudicial to all bishops; the second, derogatory to kings and emperors; the third, detestable to all men; the fourth, injurious against Christ.

    For first , the title and style of that church was such, that it over-went all other churches, being called “The holy universal mother church, which could not err;” and the bishop thereof, “Holy father the pope,” “Bishop universal,” “Prince of priests,” “Supreme head of the universal church, and vicar of Christ here in earth, which must not be judged; having all knowledge of Scripture, and all laws, contained within the chest of his breast.”

    Secondly , the jurisdiction of that bishop was such, that, challenging to himself both the swords, that is, both the keys of the spiritualty and the scepter of the laity, not only he subdued all bishops under him, but also advanced himself above kings and emperors, causing some of them to lie under his feet, some to hold his stirrup, some to lead his horse by the bridle, some to kiss his feet; placing and displacing emperors, kings, dukes, and earls, whom and when he listed; taking upon him to translate the empire at his pleasure, first, from Greece to France, then from France to Germany, preferring and deposing whom he pleased, confirming them which were elected.

    Also, being emperor himself, sede vacante , pretending authority or power to invest bishops, to give benefices, to spoil churches, to give authority to bind and loose, to call general councils, to judge over the same, to set up religions, to canonize saints, to take appeals, to bind consciences, to make laws, to dispense with the law and word of God, to deliver from purgatory, to command angels, etc.

    Thirdly , what was the life and conversation of the court of Rome, hereafter in the process of this history followeth to be seen and observed.

    Fourthly , such was his doctrine in like manner, tedious to students, pernicious to men’s consciences, injurious to Christ Jesus, and contrary to itself. In laws more divers, in volume more large, in diligence and study more applied, in vantage and preferment more gainful, than ever was the study and learning of the holy Scripture of God.

    All which four points well considered and advised in this present history set forth, I trust it may minister to the indifferent christian reader, sufficient instruction to judge what is to be esteemed of this see and church of Rome.

    But here by the way it is to be noted, that all these deformities above touched, of vain title, of pretended jurisdiction, of heretical doctrine, of schismatical life, came not into the church of Rome all at one time, nor sprang with the beginning of the same church, but with long working and continuance of time by little and little crept up through occasion, and came not to full perfection, till the time partly of pope Silvester, partly of pope Gregory VII. A.D. 1080, partly of Innocent III., and, finally, of pope Boniface VIII. A.D. 1300. Of the which four popes, the first brought in the title, A.D. 314, which was never in such ample wise before publicly enacted, and received publicly in the said church of Rome. The second brought in jurisdiction. The third, which was pope Innocent, with his rabble of monks and friars (as Peter the Lombard, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus), and with such other bishops as succeeded in the same see after him, corrupted and obscured the sincerity of Christ’s doctrine, and manners also. And lastly, pope Boniface VIII., A.D. 1300, and after him pope Clement V., over and besides the jurisdiction sufficiently advanced before by pope Hildebrand, added moreover the temporal sword to be carried before them; and that no emperor (were he never so well elected) should be sufficient and lawful without the pope’s admission, whereby the pope’s power was brought now to its full pride and perfection. And thus came up the corruption of the Romish church in continuance of years, by degrees and not altogether nor at one time, as is declared, and hereafter more particularly (Christ willing) shall be expressed.

    Wherefore, whosoever shall have hereafter to do with any adversaries, about the antiquity or authority of the church of Rome, let him here well consider when and how the Title, Jurisdiction, and Corruption of Life and Doctrine, first began in the pope’s see. And so shall he see, that the church of Rome, as it is now governed with this manner of title, jurisdiction, life, and institution of doctrine, never descended from the primitive age of the apostles, or from their succession, “Nisi tantum aequivoce, et non univoce.” F632 Like as “Sancta Maria picta non est sancta Maria, et homo pictus non est homo,” as the schools do say (that is, “As the picture of the holy Virgin is not the holy Virgin, and as a man painted on the wall is not a man”), so it is to be said of the church of Rome (the institution and doctrine of the church of Rome I mean), that although it hath the name of the church apostolical, and doth bring forth a long genealogy of outward succession from the apostles, as the Pharisees did in Christ’s time bring their descent from Abraham their father: yet all this is (as I said) but only aequivoce , that is, in name only, and not in effect or matter, which maketh the apostolical church indeed; forasmuch as the definition of the apostolical church neither now agreeth with this present church of Rome, nor yet the manner, form, and institution of the said Romish church, as it now standeth with this title, jurisdiction, life, and doctrine, had ever any succession or offspring from the primitive church of the apostles. But, as Christ said by the Pharisees, that they were the children, not of Abraham, but of the devil, in semblable wise may be answered, that this church of Rome now present, with this title, jurisdiction, life, and doctrine now used, cannot be fathered upon the apostles, neither Peter, nor Linus, but is of another author, whom here I will not name.

    And here now cometh in the argument of Pighius, Hosius, a3 and Eckius, to be answered unto, who, arguing for the antiquity and authority of the church of Rome, reason on this manner: — That forsomuch as an ordinary and a known church visible must here be known continually on earth, during from the time of the apostles, to the which church all other churches must have recourse:

    And seeing then there is no other church visible, orderly known to have endured from the apostles’ time, but only the church of Rome:

    They conclude, therefore, that the church of Rome is that church whereunto all other churches must have recourse.

    To the which paralogism I answer thus: that this word “durans ecclesia,” the “during church,” in the minor, hath fallaciam aequivoci . For although the name of the church and outward succession of bishops have had their durance from the time of the apostles, yet neither is the definition and matter which maketh a true apostolical church indeed, and univoce , now in the church of Rome, nor yet were the form and institution of the church now used in Rome ever from the apostles; which apostles were never authors or fathers of this title, jurisdiction, life, and doctrine, now taught in Rome; but rather were enemies ever to the same.

    Again to the major, which standeth upon two parts, I answer, first; although the necessity of the church, during from the apostles, may and must be granted; yet the same necessity was not bound to any certain place or person, but only to faith: so that wheresoever (that is to say, in whatsoever congregation) true faith was, there was the church of Christ.

    And because the true faith of Christ must needs ever remain on earth, therefore the church also must needs remain on earth. And God forbid that the said true faith of Christ should only remain in one city in the world, and not another as well. And therefore to the second part of the major is to be said, that as this true and sincere faith of Christ is not so given, to remain fixedly in one place or city alone; so neither is there any one church in the world so ordained and appointed of God, that all other churches should have their recourse unto it, for determination of their causes and controversies incident. And thus much to the argument of Pighius and Hosius.

    Now as touching the authorities and allegations of the ancient doctors and holy fathers in the commendation of the church of Rome, here cometh in also to be noted, that whosoever will understand rightly their authorities, and answer to the same, must first learn to make a difference and distinction of the said church of Rome, from what it was, to what it is: forasmuch as the church of Rome is not the same church now, which it was then, but only aequivoce : otherwise, as touching the very property and definition of a church, it is another church, and nothing agreeing to what it was then, save only in outward name and place. Therefore, by this distinction made, I answer the places of Irenaeus, Cyprian, and other famous doctors, commending the church of Rome as catholic and apostolical, and say that these doctors, speaking of the church of Rome which then was , said not untruly, calling it catholic and apostolical; for that the same church took not only their ordinary succession of bishops but also their ordinary doctrine and institution from the apostles. But speaking of the church of Rome which now is , we say the said places of the doctors are not true, neither do appertain to the same; all which doctors neither knew the church of Rome that now is, nor, if they had, would ever have judged any thing therein worthy such commendation.

    Over and besides, our adversaries yet more object against us, who, heaving and shoving for the antiquity of the Romish church, for lack of other sufficient reason to prove it, are driven to fall in scanning the times and years. “What!” say they, “where was this church of yours before these fifty years?” To whom briefly to answer, first we demand what they mean by this which they call our church? If they mean the ordinance and institution of doctrine and sacraments now received of us, and differing from the church of Rome, we affirm and say, that our church was, when this church of theirs was not yet hatched out of the shell, nor did yet ever see any light: that is, in the time of the apostles, in the primitive age, in the time of Gregory I. and the old Roman church, when as yet no universal pope was received publicly, but repelled in Rome; nor this fullness of plenary power yet known; nor this doctrine and abuse of sacraments yet heard of. In witness whereof we have the old acts and histories of ancient time to give testimony with us, wherein we have sufficient matter for us to shew that the same form, usage, and institution of this our present reformed church, are not the beginning of any new church of our own, but the renewing of the old ancient church of Christ; and that they are not any swerving from the church of Rome, but rather a reducing to the church of Rome. Whereas contrary, the church of Rome which now is, is nothing but a swerving from the church of Rome which then was, as partly is declared, and more shall appear, Christ willing, hereafter.

    And whereas the said our adversaries do moreover charge us with the faith of our fathers and godfathers, wherein we were baptized accusing and condemning us for that we are now revolted from them and their faith, wherein we were first christened: to this we answer, that we being first baptized by our fathers and godfathers in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the same faith wherein we were christened then, we do retain: and because our godfathers were themselves also in the same faith, therefore they cannot say that we have forsaken the faith of our godfathers. As for other points of ecclesiastical uses, and circumstances considered, besides the principal substance of faith and baptism, if they held any thing which receded from the doctrine and rule of Christ, therein we now remove ourselves; not because we would differ from them, but because we would not with them remove from the rule of Christ’s doctrine. Neither doth the sacrament of our baptism bind us in all points to the opinions of them that baptized us, but to the faith of him in whose name we were baptized. For as, if a man were christened of a heretic, the baptism of him notwithstanding were good, although the baptizer were naught; so, if our godfathers or fathers, which christened us, were taught any thing not consonant to christian doctrine in all points, neither is our baptism worse for that, nor yet are we bound to follow them in all things, wherein they themselves did not follow the true church of Christ.

    Wherefore as it is false, that we have renounced the faith of our godfathers wherein we were first baptized, so is it not true, that we are removed from the church of Rome; but rather we say, and (by the leave of Christ) will prove, that the church of Rome hath utterly parted from the church of Rome, according to my distinction before touched. Which thing the more evidently to declare, I will here compare the church of Rome with the church of Rome; and in a general description set forth (by God’s grace) the difference of both the churches, that is, of both the times of the church of Rome: to the intent it may be seen whether we, or the church of Rome, have more apostatized from the church of Rome. And here first I divide the church of Rome in a double consideration of time; first, of those first six hundred years which were immediately after Christ; and secondly, of the other six hundred years, which now have been in these our latter days: and so, in comparing these two together, will I search out what discrepance is between them both. Of the which two ages and states of the Roman church, the first I call the primitive church of Rome, the other I call the latter church of Rome, counting this latter church from the expiration of the thousand years between the binding of Satan and the time of his loosing again, according to the prophecy of St. John’s revelation (Revelation 20:3); counting these thousand years from the ceasing of persecution, under Constantine the Great, to the beginning of persecution of the church again under Boniface VIII. and Ottoman the first Turkish emperor. F634 And thus have ye the church of Rome parted into two churches, in a double respect and consideration of two sundry states and times. Now in setting and matching the one state with the other, let us see whether the church of Rome hath swerved from the church of Rome more than we, or no.

    And to begin, first, with the order and qualities of life, I ask here of this Roman clergy, where was this church of theirs which now is, in the ancient time of the primitive church of Rome, with this pomp and pride, with this riches and superfluity, with this gloria mundi , and name of cardinals; with this prancing dissoluteness, and whoring of the courtesans; with this extortion, bribing, buying and selling of spiritual dignities; these annates, reformations, procurations, exactions, and other practices for money; this avarice insatiable, ambition intolerable, fleshly filthiness most detestable, barbarousness and negligence in preaching, promise-breaking faithlessness, poisoning and supplanting one another; with such schisms and divisions, which never were more seen than in the elections and court of Rome these seven hundred years, with such extreme cruelty, malice, and tyranny in burning and persecuting their poor brethren to death?

    It were too long, and a thing infinite, to stand particularly upon these above rehearsed. And if a man should prosecute at large all the schisms that have been in the church of Rome since the time of Damasus I., which are counted to the number of eighteen schisms, what a volume would it require? Or, if here should be recorded all that this see hath burned and put to death since the loosing out of Satan, who were able to number them? Or if all their sleights to get money should be described, as process of matter would require, who were able to recite them all? Of which all notwithstanding, the most principal grounds are reckoned at least to fourteen or fifteen sleights. F636 1. Annates, or taxes on vacant archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbacies, priories conventual, and other benefices elective. F637 2. Annares for retaining all previous preferments, along with the new one, although there had been paid similar annates before, on similar occasions, for the same preferments. 3. New annates for all the same are required again, tories quoties they be, or are feigned to be, vacated by presentation to a new benefice, whereby it hath sometimes chanced that three or four annates have been paid by the same person for the same benefice. 4 . Preventions of benefices given out before they fell; the same prevention being often given to divers and sundry persons by the pope’s officials, for money’s sake. 5. Resignations upon favor, which used to be granted by the ordinary, but which now in all cases the pope forbiddeth, or rather challengeth to be reserved to himself. 6. Commendams. 7. Vacancies in Curia Romana. F638 8. Dispensations without end, as to dispense with age, with order, with benefices incompatible, as, if the number be full, if the house be of such or such an order. Item, dispensation for irregularity of various kinds, as for times of marriage, for marrying in degrees forbidden, or in affinity canonical (as for gossips to marry):

    It hath been known in France that a thousand crowns have been paid to Rome in one instance, for dispensing with this canonical affinity (of gossips, as we call it), the same being yet not true but feigned. Item, dispensing for eating meats in times prohibited. 9. Innumerable privileges, exemptions, graces for not visiting, or visiting by a proctor, for confirmations of privileges, for transactions made upon special favor of the pope, for exchanges of benefices with dispensation annexed, or making of pensions, with such like. 10. Mandates issued by the pope to ordinaries, whereof every ordinary, if he have ten benefices in his gift, is liable to be served with one: if he have fifty benefices in his gift, he may be served with two mandates: and for every mandate there comes to the pope about twenty ducats. And yet, notwithstanding, so many mandates are sold, as will come buyers to pay for them and take their chance. 11 The pope’s penitentiary, for absolution of cases reserved to the pope, for breaking and changing of vows, for translation from one monastery to another, also from one order to another, for license to enter into certain monasteries, to carry about altars, with many other things of like device, pertaining to the office of the pope’s penitentiary. 12. Giving and granting of innumerable pardons and indulgences, not only in public churches, but also to be bought in private chapels. 13. Appointing notaries, and prothonotaries apostolic, and bishops “vague,” termed “nullitenentes” at Rome. 14. Granting bulls and commissions for new foundations, or for changing of the old; reducing regular monasteries to a secular state, or restoring again to the old; and writs without end about matters depending in controversy, that otherwise might and ought to be decided by the ordinary.

    By reason of all which a7 devices (not including the first, of the annates), it was found by a computation made in the time of Louis XI. (A.D. 1463), that, at that time, the sum of 200,000 crowns was yearly paid, and transported to Rome out of France alone; which sum Carolus Molineus testifies, had in his time, A.D. 1551, been doubled to 400,000, besides a like sum for annates; to all which add the revenues of French benefices, held by aliens at the court of Rome: which altogether are thought to make the total sum yearly going out of France to the pope’s coffers of late years, ten hundred thousand, or a million, crowns. Now what hath risen besides in other realms and nations, let other men conjecture.

    Wherefore if the gospel send us to the fruits to know the tree, I pray you what is to be thought of the church of Rome, with these fruits of life? Or, if we will seek the church in length and number of years, where was this church of Rome with these qualities then, at what time the church of Rome was a persecuted church, not a persecuting church? And when the bishops thereof did not make martyrs, as these do now, but were made martyrs themselves, to the number of five-and-twenty, in order one after another?

    Or when the bishops thereof were elected and exalted, not by factious conspiring, not by power or parts-taking, not by money or friends-making, as they be now, but by the free voices of the people and of the clergy, with the consent of the emperor joined withal, and not by a few conspiring cardinals, closed up in a corner, as now they be, etc.

    And yet, if there were no other difference in the matter, but only corruption of life, all that we would tolerate, or else impute to the common fragility of man, and charge them no further therein than we might charge ourselves. Now over and beside this deformity of life, wherein they are clean gone from the former steps of the true church of Rome, we have moreover to charge them in greater points, more nearly touching the substantial ground of the church, as in their jurisdiction presumptuously usurped, in their title falsely grounded, and in their doctrine heretically corrupted. In all which three points, this latter pretended church of Rome hath utterly sequestered itself from the image and nature of the ancient and true church of Rome, and they have erected to themselves a new church of their own making, as first usurping a jurisdiction never known before to their ancient predecessors. For although the church of Rome in the old primitive time had his place due unto that see among other patriarchial churches, and due authority over and upon such churches as were within his precinct, and bordering near unto it, as appears by the acts of the Nicene council: yet the universal fullness and plenitude of power in both the regiments, spiritual and temporal, in deposing and dispensing matters of the church not to him belonging, in taking appeals, in giving elections, investing in benefices, in exempting himself from obedience and subjection of his ordinary power and magistracy, with his coactive power newly erected in the church of Rome, was never received nor used in the old Roman church, from the which they disagree in all their doings.

    For although Victor, then bishop of Rome, about A.D. 190, went about to excommunicate the east churches, for the observation of Easter-day, yet neither did he proceed therein, neither was permitted by Irenaeus so to do.

    And although Boniface I. likewise, writing to the bishops of Carthage, required of them to send up their appellations unto the church of Rome, alleging moreover the decree of the Nicene council for his authority; the bishops and clergy of Carthage assembling together in a general council (called the Sixth Council of Carthage) to the number of two hundred and seventeen bishops, after that they had perused the decrees in the authentic copies of the aforesaid Nicene council, and found no such matter as was by the said Boniface alleged, made therefore a public decree, that none out of that country should make any appeal over the sea. And what marvel if appeals were forbidden them to be made to Rome, when both here in England the kings of this land would not permit any to appeal from them to Rome, before king Henry II., who was thereunto compelled by pope Alexander III., because of the murder of Thomas Becket; and also in France, the like prohibitions were expressly made by Saint Louis , a8 A.D. l268, who did forbid by a public instrument called “pragmatica sanctio,” all exactions of the pope’s court within his realm. Also by king Philip the Fair, A.D. 1296, the like was done, who not only restrained all sending or going up of his subjects to Rome, but also that no money, armor, nor subsidy should be transported out of his realm. F641 The like also after him did king Charles V., surnamed the Wise, and his son likewise after him Charles VI., who also punished as traitors certain seditious persons for appealing to Rome. The like resistance, moreover, was in the said country of France, against the pope’s reservations, preventions, and other like practices of his usurped jurisdiction, in the days of pope Martin V., A.D. 1418. Item, when king Henry VI. in England, and king Charles VII. in France, did both accord with the pope, in investing and in collation of benefices, yet, notwithstanding, the high court of parliament in France did not admit the same, but still maintained the old liberty and customs of the French church: insomuch that when the duke of Bedford came with the king’s letters patent to have the pope’s procurations and reservations admitted, yet the court of parliament would not agree to the same, but the king’s procurator-general was fain to go betwixt them, as is to be seen in their registers, A.D. 1425, the 5th day of March. In the days of the which king Charles VII. was set forth in France “pragmatica sanctio,” a9 as they call it, against the annates, reservations, expectatives, and such other proceedings of the pope’s pretended jurisdiction, A.D. 1488. Wherefore, what marvel if this jurisdiction of the pope’s court in excommunicating, taking appeals, and giving of benefices, was not used in the old church of Rome, when in these latter days it hath been so much resisted?


    And what should I speak of the form and manner of elections now used in the church of Rome, clean converted from the manner of the old church of their predecessors? For, first, in those ancient days, when yet the church remained in the apostles only, and a few other disciples, the apostles then, with prayer and imposition of hands, elected bishops and ministers; as, by the apostles, James was made bishop of Jerusalem, Paul in Crete elected Titus, and Timothy in Ephesus: also Peter ordained Linus and Clement in Rome, etc. After which time of the apostles, when the church began more to multiply, the election of bishops and ministers stood by the clergy and the people, with the consent of the chief magistrate of the place, and so continued during all the time of the primitive church, till the time and after the time of Constantine IV., emperor of Constantinople , a10 which emperor (as write Platina and Sabellicus) published a law concerning the election of the Roman bishop, that he should be taken for true bishop, whom the clergy and people of Rome did choose and elect, without any tarrying for any authority of the emperor of Constantinople, or the deputy of Italy: so as the custom and fashion had ever been before that day, A.D. 280. And here the bishops began first to writhe out their elections and their necks a little from the emperor’s subjection, if it be so as the said Platina, and Sabellicus after him, report. But many conjectures there be, not unprofitable, rather to think this constitution of Constantine to be forged and untrue : first, for that it is a11 derived from the pope’s bibliothecary, that is to say, from the keeper and master of the pope’s library, a suspected author, who, whatsoever feigned or apocryphal writings he could find in the pope’s chests of records, making any thing on his master’s side, that he compiled together, and thereof both Platina, Sabellicus, and Gratian take most part of their reports, and therefore may the more be suspected.

    Secondly, whereas Platina and Sabellicus say, that this Constantine IV. was moved by the holiness of pope Benedict II. to make that constitution, how seemeth that to stand with truth, when both the emperor was so far off from him, being at Constantinople, and also for that the said pope reigned but ten months? which was but a small time to make his holiness known to the emperor so far off. And grant he were so holy, yet that holiness might rather be an occasion for the emperor so to confirm and maintain the old received manner of his institution, than to alter it.

    The third conjecture is this, for that the said constitution was not observed, but shortly after by the said Benedict, was broken in the election of pope Conon. F644 And yet notwithstanding, albeit the constitution were true, yet the election thereby was not taken away from the people, and limited to the clergy only, and much less might be taken away from the clergy, and be limited only to the cardinals, without the consent of their prince and ruler, according to their own rubric in their decrees, where the rubric saith: “Let no bishop be given to any people against their wills; but let the consent and desire both of the clergy and of the people, and of the order, be also required,” etc. And in the same distinction, also, we read the same liberty and interest to be granted by Charlemagne and Louis his son; not to a few cardinals only, but to the order as well of the clergy, as of the people, to choose not only the bishop of Rome, but any other bishop within their own diocese whatsoever, and to the monks likewise to choose their own abbot, setting aside all respect of persons and gifts, only for the worthiness of life, and gift of wisdom, so as might be most profitable for doctrine and example unto the flock, etc. And this continued till the time of the aforesaid Charlemagne and Louis his son, of the which two, Charlemagne the father received expressly of pope Adrian I., A.D. 775, full jurisdiction and power to elect and ordain the bishop of Rome, like as did also Otho, the first German emperor, of pope Leo VIII., A.D. 961. The other, that is Louis, son to the aforesaid Charlemagne, is said to renounce again, and surrender from himself and his successors, unto pope Paschal and the Romans, the right and interest of choosing the Roman bishop, and moreover to give and grant to the said Paschal the full possession of the city of Rome, and the whole territory to the same belonging, A.D. 821; as appeareth by the decree, “Ego Ludovicus.” F647 But admit that feigned decree to be unfeignedly true (as it may well be suspected for many causes, as proceeding out of the same fountain with the constitution of Constantine aforementioned, that is, from the master of the pope’s library, of whom both Gratian and Voluteran, by their own confession, take their ground), yet the same decree doth not so give away the freedom of that election, that he limiteth it only to the cardinals, but also requireth the whole consent of the Romans; neither doth he simply and absolutely give the same, but with condition: — “Whomsoever all the Romans with one counsel, and with one accord, without any promise of their voices granted before, shall choose to be bishop of Rome.” And moreover in the same decree is required, that at the consecration of the said bishop, messengers should be directed incontinent to the French king concerning the same.

    Furthermore, neither yet did the same decree (albeit it were true) long continue. For although pope Stephen IV. and pope Paschal I. in Louis’s time were impapasied through discord, without election of the emperor, yet they were fain by message to send their purgation to him of their election. And after that, in the time of Eugene II., who succeeded next to Paschal, Lothaire son of Louis, and emperor with his father, came to Rome, and there appointed laws and magistrates over the city. Whereby may appear the donation of Louis, in giving away the city of Rome to the pope, to be feigned. And after Eugene, pope Gregory IV., who followed in about three years, durst not take his election without the consent and confirmation of the said emperor Louis. And so in like manner his successors, pope Sergius II., pope Leo IV., pope Nicholas I.; and so orderly in a long tract of time, from the aforesaid Nicholas I. to pope Nicholas II., A.D. 1059 (which Nicholas in his decree, beginning “In nomine Domini,” ordained also the same); so that in the election of the bishops of Rome, commonly the consent of the emperor and the people with the clergy of Rome was not lacking. After which Nicholas, came Alexander II., and wicked Hildebrand; which Alexander being first elected without the emperor’s will and consent, afterward repenting the same openly in his preaching to the people, declared that he would no longer sit in the apostolical see, unless he were by the emperor confirmed. Wherefore he was greatly rebuked, and cast into prison by Hildebrand, and so deposed.

    Then Hildebrand and his followers so ordered the matter of this election, that first the emperor, then the lay people, after that the clergy, also, began to be excluded. And so the election by little and little was reduced to the hands of a few cardinals, contrary to all ancient order, where, ever since, it hath remained.

    And like as in elections, so also in power judiciary, in deciding, and determining of causes of faith, and of ecclesiastical discipline, the state of the church of Rome now being, hath no conformity with the old Roman church heretofore. For then bishops debated all causes of faith only by the Scriptures, and other questions of ecclesiastical discipline they determined by the canons, not of the pope, but of the church, such as were decreed by the ancient councils, as writeth Gregory of Tours. F650 Whereas now, both the rule of scripture and sanctions of the old councils set aside, all things for the most part are decided by certain new decretal and “extravagant,” that is, extra-decretal constitutions, in the pope’s canon law compiled, and in his consistories practiced.

    And whereas the old ordinance and disposition, as well of the common law as of the sacred councils, and the institution of ancient fathers, have given to bishops, and other prelates, also to patrons and doctors of ecclesiastical benefices, every one within his own precinct and dominion, also to cathedral churches and others, to have their free elections, and to prosecute the same in full effect; ordering and disposing promotions, collations, provisions and dispositions of prelacies, dignities, and all other ecclesiastical benefices whatsoever, after their own arbitrement, as appeareth by the first general council of France; by the first general council of Nice; also by the general council of Antioch, and is to be seen in the pope’s decrees; and likewise, beside these ancient decrees, the same is confirmed again in more later years by Louis IX. the French king, in his constitution, called “Pragmatica sanctio,” made and provided by full parliament against the pope’s exactions, A.D. 1268, in these words as follow. F654 “Item, the exactions and importable burdens of money, which the court of Rome hath imposed upon the church of our kingdom (whereby our said kingdom hath been miserably hitherto impoverished), or hereafter shall impose, we utterly discharge and forbid to be levied or collected hereafter, unless there come some reasonable, godly, and most urgent cause and inevitable necessity; and even then not without the express and voluntary commandment of us, and of the aforesaid church of our kingdom.” Now, contrary to and against these so manifest and express decreements of general councils, and constitutions synodal, this latter church of Rome of late presumption, degenerating from all the steps of their ancestors, have taken upon them a singular jurisdiction by themselves and for their own advantage, to intermeddle in disposing and transposing churches, colleges, monasteries, with the collations, exemptions, elections, goods, and lands, to the same belonging: by reason and example whereof have come in these impropriations, first-fruits, and reservations of benefices, to the miserable despoiling of the clergy, and horrible decay of christian faith; which things among the old Roman fathers were never known. For so far was it then from being the case that due necessaries were plucked from the church, that emperors, kings, and princes, plucking, from their own, did rather cumulate the church with superfluities.

    Again, when such goods were given the church by those ancestors, they were neither so given, nor yet taken, to serve the private use of certain churchmen taking no pains therein, but rather to serve the public subvention of the needy, as is contained in the canonical institutions f655 by the emperor Louis the Pious, set forth A.D. 830. The words be these: “The goods of the church are the vows and bequests of the faithful, the fines of sinners in satisfaction for their crimes, and patrimonies to succor them with hospitality, that are needy.”

    Whereunto agreeth also the testimony of Prosper, whose words be these: “Good men took not the goods of the church as their own, but distributed them as given and bequeathed to the poor.” And saith moreover: “Whatsoever the church hath, it hath in common with all such as have nothing.”

    Add the worthy testimony of St. Augustine to Boniface: “Si autem privatim, quae nobis sufficiant possidemus, non sunt illa nostra, sed pauperum, quorum procurationem quodammodo gerimus, non proprietatem nobis usurpatione damnabili vendicamus,” etc. f658 Likewise vowsons and pluralities of benefices were things then as much unknown, as now they are pernicious to the church, taking away all free election of ministers from the flock of Christ.

    All which inconveniences as they first came and crept in chiefly by the pretended authority and jurisdiction abused in this latter church of Rome, so it cannot be denied, but the said latter church of Rome hath taken and attributed to itself much more than either the limits of God’s word do give, or standeth with the example of the old Roman church, in these three things especial. Whereof as mention is touched before, so briefly I will recapitulate the same.

    The first is this: that whatsoever the Scripture giveth and referreth, either to the whole church universally, or to every particular church severally, this church now of Rome doth arrogate to itself absolutely and only; both doing injury to other churches, and also abusing the Scriptures of God. For albeit, the Scripture doth give authority to bind and loose, it limiteth it neither to person nor place, that is, neither to the city of Rome only, more than to other cities, nor to the see of Peter, more than to other apostles, but giveth it clearly to the church, whereof Peter did bear the figure; so that wheresoever the true church of Christ is, there is annexed power to bind and loose, given and taken merely as from Christ, and not mediately by the pope or bishop of Peter’s see.

    The second point wherein this present church of Rome abuses its jurisdiction contrary to the Scripture and steps of the old Roman church, is this: for that it extendeth its authority farther and more amply than either the warrant of God’s word, or example of time, will give. For although the church of Rome hath (as other particular churches have) authority to bind and absolve, yet it hath no such authority to absolve subjects from their oath, subjection, and loyalty to their rulers and magistrates; to dispense with perjury; to pronounce remission where no earnest repentance is seen before; to number remission by days and years; to dispense with things expressly in the word forbidden, or to restrain that which the word maketh free; to divide religion into religions; to bind and burden consciences with constitutions of men; to excommunicate for worldly matters, — as for breaking of parks, for not ringing of bells at the bishops’ coming, for not bringing litter for their horse, for not paying their fees and rents, for withholding the church goods, for holding on their prince’s side in princely cases, for not going at the pope’s commandment, for not agreeing to the pope’s election in another prince’s realm; with other such things more, and more vain than these. Again, although the Scripture giveth leave and authority to the bishop and church of Rome to minister sacraments, yet it giveth no authority to make sacraments, much less to worship sacraments.

    And though their authority serveth to baptize men, yet it extendeth not to christen bells; neither have they authority by any word of God to add to the word of God, or take from the same, to set up unwritten verities under pain of damnation, to make fresh articles of belief, or to institute strange worship, otherwise than He hath prescribed who hath told us how he would be worshipped.

    The third abuse of the pope’s jurisdiction standeth in this; that as in spiritual jurisdiction they have vehemently exceeded the bounds of Scripture, so they have impudently intermeddled themselves in temporal jurisdiction, wherein they have nothing to do; insomuch that they have translated the empire, they have deposed emperors, kings, princes, rulers, and senators of Rome, and set up others, or the same again at their pleasure; they have proclaimed wars, and have warred themselves. And whereas emperors in ancient time have dignified them in titles, have enlarged them with donations, yet they, receiving their confirmation by the emperors, have, like ungrateful clients to such benefactors, afterward stamped upon their necks, have made them to hold their stirrup, some to hold the bridle of their horse, and have caused them to seek their confirmation at their hand; yea, have been emperors themselves, “sede vacante, et in discordia electionis,” and also have been senators of the city; moreover, have extorted into their own hands the plenary fullness of power and jurisdiction of both the swords, especially since the time of pope Hildebrand; which Hildebrand, deposing the emperor, Henry IV., made him give attendance at his city gate. And after him pope Boniface VIII. showed himself to the people on the first day like a bishop, with his keys before him; and the next day in his robes imperial, having a naked sword borne before him, like an emperor , a13 A.D. 1300.

    And forsomuch as this inordinate jurisdiction hath not only been used of them, but also to this day is maintained in Rome; let us therefore now compare the usage hereof to the old manner in times past, meaning the primitive and first age of the church of the Romans; wherein the old bishops of Rome in those days, as they were then subject to their emperor, so were other bishops in like manner of other nations subject every one to his king and prince, acknowledging them for their lords; and were ordered by their authority, and obeyed their laws, and that not only in causes civil, but also in regiment ecclesiastical.

    So was Gregory, surnamed the Great, subject to Mauritius, and to Phocas, although a wicked emperor. So also both the pope and people of Rome took their laws of the emperors of Constantinople, and were subject to them, not only in the time of Honorius, a hundred years after Constantine the Great, but also in the time of Martian, A.D. 451, and so further unto the time of Justinian and of Charlemagne, and also after their days. F661 In all which continuance of time, it is manifest, that the imperial law of Martian did rule and bind in Rome both in the days of Justinian, and one hundred and fifty years after, till the time of the empire being translated from Greece unto France. Whereby it is clearly false, that the city of Rome was given by Constantine I. unto the bishop of Rome to govern: for that pope Boniface I., writing to the emperor Honorius, calleth in the same place Rome the emperor’s city. F662 And the emperor Lothaire also appointed magistrates and laws in Rome, as is above mentioned. f663 Moreover, for further probation hereof, that both the bishop of Rome, and all other ecclesiastical persons were in former time, and ought to be subject to their emperors and lawful magistrates, in causes as well spiritual as civil, by many evidences may appear, taken out both of God’s law and man’s law. And first by God’s law, we have example of godly king David, who numbered all the priests and Levites, and disposed them into four-andtwenty orders or courses, appointing them continually to serve in the ministry, every one as his proper order and turn came about: which institution of the clergy good king Hezekiah, also, afterward renewed, of whom it is written: “He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all things as his father David had done before: he took away the high groves, and brake down images,” etc. (2 Kings 18:3,4) The said Hezekiah also reduced the priests and Levites unto their orders prescribed by David before, to serve every one in his office of ministration (2 Chronicles 29,30,31). And this order from David still continued till the time of Zachary, at the coming of Christ our Lord, being of Abias’ course, which was the eighth order of the priests appointed to serve in the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 24:10; Luke 1:8). To pass over other lighter offices translated from the priests’ to the kings’ authority, as concerning the ordering of oblations in the temple, and reparations of the Lord’s house (2 Kings 12,23), king Solomon displaced Abiathar the high-priest by his kingly power, and placed Sadoc in his stead (1 Kings 2:27). Also, dedicating the temple of the Lord with all the people, he “blessed the whole congregation of Israel” (1 Kings 8:14). Judas Maccabeus also elected priests, such as were without spot and had a zeal to the law of the Lord, to purge the temple, which the idolatrous Gentiles had before profaned. (1 Maccabees Also king Alexander, writing to Jonathan, appointed him chief priest in his4:42.) country. (1 Maccabees 10:19.) Demetrius ordained Simon and Alcimus in the like office of priesthood. (1 Maccabees 7:9; 14:38.) Jehoshaphat likewise, as in the whole land he did set judges, so also in Jerusalem he appointed Levites and priests, and heads of families to have the hearing of causes, and to minister judgment over the people (2 Chronicles 19:8).

    By these and many other examples it is to be seen, that kings and princes in the old time, as well when priests were born priests, as when they were made by election, had the dealing also in ecclesiastical matters; as, in calling the people to God’s service, in cutting down groves, in destroying images, in gathering tithes into the Lord’s house, in dedicating the temple, in blessing the people, in casting down the brazen serpent within the temple, in correcting and deposing priests, in constituting the order and offices of priests, in commanding such things as pertained to the service and worship of God, and in punishing the contrary. And in the New Testament, what meaneth the example of Christ himself, both giving and teaching tribute to be given to Caesar? to Caesar, I say, and not to the high-priest. What meaneth his words to Pilate, not denying power to be given to him from above? (John 19:11) And again, declaring the kings of nations to have dominion over them, and willing his disciples not so to do, giving us to understand the difference between the regiment of his spiritual kingdom, and of the kingdoms of this world, willing all worldly states to be subject under the superior rulers and magistrates, in whose regiment are dominion and subjection, and not in the other. Whereunto accordeth also the doctrine of St. Paul, where it is written: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers” (Romans 13:1), from whose authority, neither pope, cardinal, patriarch, bishop, priest, friar nor monk is excepted nor exempted: as Theophylact, expounding the same place declareth and saith, “He teacheth all sorts, whether he be priest, or monk, or else apostle, that they should submit themselves under their princes,” etc. And St. Augustine writing to Boniface saith in much like sort: “Whosoever refuseth to obey the laws of the emperor, which make for the verity of God, incurreth the danger of great punishment,” etc. Also, in another place, writing against Cresconius, he hath these words: “Kings, according as it is enjoined them of God, do serve God in that they are kings, if they in their kingdoms command those things that be good, and forbid things that be evil, such as appertain not only to human society, but also to God’s religion,” etc. f666 And yet, to come more near to the pope’s own doctors, Thomas Aquinas, not much discrepant from the injunction of the apostle above alleged, thus describeth the office of a king: “Let a king,” saith he, “understand, that he hath taken this office upon him to be as the soul within the body, and as God in the world.” In like agreement with the holy apostle St. Paul joineth also St. Peter: “Be you subject,” saith he “to every human creature, whether it be to the king as most preeminent, or to others set over you,” etc. (1 Peter 2:13) Where the common gloss addeth thereto, “To obey the same, whether they be good or evil.” These places rightly pondered, let any man now judge, whether the pope hath not done open wrong to the emperor, in exalting himself above the jurisdiction of his lawful prince and magistrate, notwithstanding whatsoever his own canon law saith to the contrary.

    And as it is sufficiently hitherto proved by God’s law, that all ecclesiastical persons owe their due subjection to their lawful princes, in matters as well temporal as spiritual: so no less evidences may also be inferred out of man’s law, and examples of the oldest fathers to prove the same. And first, to begin with the example of Gregory the Great, who in his epistle to Mauritius, writeth thus: “You were then ‘my lord,’ when you were not the lord of the whole empire: behold Christ himself shall make you answer by me, which am his most simple servant and yours,” etc. And before him Eleutherius his predecessor, bishop of Rome, writing to Lucius, king of this realm, calleth him by the name of Christ’s vicar. But what needeth much confirmation of this matter, when the pope’s decrees and canons be full of records hereof, testifying how the ancient church of Rome, not only received, but also required of the emperors, laws and constitutions to be made, touching not only such causes, but also such persons as were ecclesiastical? And here, to omit by the way the chapter “Principes seculi,” also the chapter “Administratores,” with divers other beside, I will recite out of the epistle of Boniface I. to the emperor Honorius, so much as serveth for our purpose; where it is mentioned, that the said Boniface, bishop of Rome, sent an humble supplication to the aforenamed emperor, desiring him, by his authority, to provide some remedy against the ambitious contentions of the clergy, concerning the bishopric of Rome: which emperor Honorius, incontinent at his request, directed and established a law, that none should be made bishop of Rome through ambition, and charging all ecclesiastical ministers to surcease from ambition: appointing moreover, that if two were elected together, neither of them both should be taken, but the election to proceed further to another, to be chosen by a full consent of voices. F671 To this I adjoin also the law and constitution of Justinian the emperor, ratified and renewed afterward in the council of Paris, in time of King Louis the Pious; where all bishops and priests be expressly forbidden not to excommunicate any man, before his cause was known and proved to be such as, for the which, the ancient canons of the church would have him to be excommunicate. And if any should otherwise proceed contrary to the same, then the excommunicate person to be absolved by the authority of a higher decree, and the excommunicate to be sequestered from the communion, so long as should seem convenient to him that had the execution thereof. F672 The same Justinian, moreover, in his laws and constitutions, how many things did he dispose and ordain in church matters; as to have a determinate number of churchmen or clerks in churches; also concerning monasteries and monks; how bishops and priests should be ordained; concerning removing of ecclesiastical persons from one church to another; also concerning the constitution of the churches in Africa; and that the holy mysteries should not be done in private houses, so that whosoever should attempt the contrary, should be deprived; moreover, concerning clerks leaving their churches; f679 also concerning the order and manner of funerals; and that bishops should not keep from their flock. F681 The same Justinian granted to the clergy of Constantinople the privilege of the spiritual court, in certain causes only civil, and not belonging to the bishop’s cognizance; otherwise in all criminal causes he left them to the judgment of the secular court. F682 He giveth also laws and decrees for breach of matrimony, in his Constitutions, and in divers other places. And, after the doctrine of St.

    Paul, he commandeth all bishops and priests to sound out their service, and to celebrate the mysteries, not after a secret manner, but with a loud voice, so as they might not only be heard, but also be understood of the faithful people, what was said and done. Whereby it is to be gathered, that divine prayers and service were then in the vulgar tongue.

    And as the said Justinian, and other emperors in those days, had the jurisdiction and government over spiritual matters and persons, the like examples also may be brought of other kings in other lands, who had no less authority in their realms, than emperors had in their empire. As in France, Clovis, the first christened king, caused a council to be called at Orleans, of thirty-two bishops, where thirty-one canons were instituted concerning the government of the church, about five hundred f685 years after Christ. Charlemagne, beside his other laws and edicts political, called five synods, one at Mentz, the second at Rouen, the third at Rheims, the fourth at Chalons upon the Saone, and the fifth at Aries, where sundry rites and ordinances were given to the clergy, about eight hundred and thirteen years after Christ. The same Charlemagne also decreed, that only the canonical books of Scripture should be read in the church, and none other. Which before also was decreed A.D. 397, in the third general council of Carthage Item, he exhorteth and chargeth bishops and priests to preach the word, with a godly injunction to bishops; “The bishops, either by themselves or their deputies, shall set forth the food of God’s word to the people with all diligence. For, as St.

    Gregory saith, the priest which goeth without the sound of preaching procureth against himself the wrath of the secret Judge. And also they shall bring up their clergy to them committed, in soberness and chastity.

    The superstition which in certain places is used of some, about the funerals of the dead, let them exterminate and pluck up by the roots.” f690 Moreover, instructing and informing the said bishops and priests in the office of preaching, he willeth them not to suffer any to feign or preach to the people any new doctrine of their own invention, and not agreeing to the word of God; but that they themselves both will preach such things as lead to eternal life, and also that they set up others to do the same: and joineth withal a godly exhortation, “Ideo, dilectissimi, toto corde praeparemus nos in scientia veritatis, ut possimus contradicentibus veritati resistere: et divina donante gratia verbum Dei currat et crescat, et multiplicetur, in profectum ecclesiae Dei sanetae, et salutem animarum nostrarum, et laudem et gloriam nominis Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Pax praedicantibus, gratia obedientibus, gloria Domino nostro Jesu Christo, Amen.” F691 Furthermore, the said Charlemagne, in his Constitutions, divideth the goods given to the church, so that, in the more wealthy places, two parts should go to the use of the poor, the third to the stipend of the clergy. Otherwise, in poorer places, an equal division to be made between the poor and the clergy, unless the gift had some special exception. F692 And in the same book, a little after, the same author, Ansegisus, declareth it to be by the said Charlemagne decreed, that no ecclesiastical person or persons from thenceforth should presume to take, of any person, any such gift or donation whereby the children or kinsfolks of the said donor should be defeated of their inheritance duly to them belonging.

    Louis the Pious, king of France, and afterwards emperor, was son to the foresaid Charlemagne, who, being joined together with the said Charlemagne his father in the empire, ordained also with his father sundry acts and observances touching the government of the church, as in the author before alleged may be seen: as first, that no entry should be made into the church by simony; again, that bishops should be ordained by the free election of the clergy and of the people, without all respect of person or reward, only for the merit of life, and gift of heavenly wisdom.

    F695 Also the said kings and emperors forbade that any freeman or citizen should enter the profession of monkery, without licence asked of the king before; and added a double cause wherefore: first, for that many not for mere devotion, but for idleness, and avoiding the king’s wars, do give themselves to religion; again, for that many be craftily circumvented and deluded by subtile covetous persons, seeking to get from them that which they have. F696 Item, that no young children or boys should be shaven, or enter any profession without the will of their parents. And no young maidens should take the veil or profession of a nun, before they came to sufficient discretion of years to discern and choose what they will follow.

    That none should be interred or buried thenceforth within the church: f697 which also was decreed by Theodosius and Valentinian, four hundred years before them. Item, the said Charlemagne, two and twenty years before he was emperor enacted that murderers, and such as were guilty of death by the law, should have no sanctuary by flying into the church: which also was decreed by Justinian three hundred years before this Charlemagne. F698 Moreover, the aforesaid Louis the Pious, with his son Lothaire (or as some call him Clothaire) joined with him, among other ecclesiastical sanctions, ordained a godly law, for laymen to partake of the sacrament of the body and blood of the Lord, in these words: “That laymen do communicate at least thrice [a year], if not oftener, except they be let, percase, by some heinous and grievous offenses.” Item, they enacted that no goods of the church should be alienated under the pain “Leoninae constitutionis.” Unto this Lothaire , a14 the French king and emperor, pope Leo IV. maketh suit, in these words: — “The Roman law (meaning the law of the French emperors), as it hath hitherto stood in force, so now it may continue still in its vigor and strength.” F701 About A.D. 848, after this Lothaire, succeeded his son Louis II. in the kingdom and empire of France, before whom the foresaid pope Leo was brought into judgment for treason, and pleaded his cause; and there was, before the emperor, quit and released: which declareth that popes and bishops all this while were in subjection under their kings and emperors. F702 Moreover, descending yet to lower times, A.D. 1228, Louis IX. called Saint Louis, established a law or decree, against the new inventions, reservations, preventions, and exactions of the court of Rome; and in the same year, another law against the pestiferous simony prevailing in the church; also, A.D. 1268, he made a famous law for the maintenance of the liberty of the church of France, called “Pragmatica sanctio Sancti Ludovici,” the which sanction was also practiced long after in the kingdom of France against the pope’s collectors and under-collectors, as appeareth by the Arestum of the parliament of Paris, A.D. 1463. Furthermore, king Philip the Fair, A.D. 1308, set forth a law called “Philippina,” wherein was forbidden any exaction of new tithes and first fruits, and other unaccustomed collections, to be put upon the church of France. Charles V. named the Wise, A.D. 1369, by a law, commanded that no bishops nor prelates, or their officials within his kingdom of France, should execute any sentence of interdict, or excommunication, at the pope’s commandment, over or upon the cities or towns, corporations, or commons of his realm. F703 Item, Charles VI. A.D. 1388, against the cardinals and other officials and collectors of the pope, revoking again the power which he had given to them before, provided by a law, that the fruits and rents of benefices, with other pensions and bishops’ goods, that departed, should no more be exported by the cardinals and the pope’s collectors unto Rome, but should be brought to the king, and so restored to them to whom they did rightly appertain. F704 The like also may be inferred and proved by the stories and examples of our kings here in England, as king Offa, and the kings Egbert, Edgar, Alfred, Ethelwold, Canute, Edward, William the Conqueror, William Rufus, Henry I., Henry II., till the time of king John, and after. Whose dealing, as well in ecclesiastical cases as temporal, is a sufficient demonstration to prove what injury the popes, in these latter days, have done unto the emperors, their lawful governors and magistrates, in usurping such fullness of power and jurisdiction over them, to whom properly they owe subjection; contrary to the steps and example of the old Roman bishops their ancestors: and therefore have incurred the danger of a praemunire , worthy to be deprived. Although it is not to be denied, but that ecclesiastical ministers and servitors have their power also committed unto them, after their sort, of the Lord, yet it becometh every man to know his own place and standing, and there to keep him, wherein his own precinct doth pale him; and not rashly to break out into other men’s walks. As it is not lawful for a civil magistrate to intermeddle with a bishop’s or a preacher’s function, so unseemly and unorderly it is again, that Boniface VIII. should have borne before him the temporal mace and naked sword of the emperor; or that any pope should bear a triple crown, or take upon him like a lord and king. Wherefore let every man consider the compass and limitation of his charge, and exceed no further. The office of a bishop or servitor ecclesiastical, was in the old law to offer sacrifice, to burn incense, to pray for the people, to expound the law, to minister in the tabernacle, with which office it was not lawful for any prince or man else to intermeddle: as we read how Uzziah was punished for offering incense, and Uzzah for touching the ark, so now the office of christian ministers, is, to preach the word, to minister the sacraments, to pray, to bind and loose where cause urgently requireth; to judge in spiritual cases; to publish and denounce free reconciliation and remission in the name of Christ; to erect and comfort troubled consciences, with the rich grace of the gospel; to teach the people the true difference betwixt the law and the gospel, whereof the one belongeth to such as be not in Christ, and come not to him, the other pertaineth to the true believers in the Son of God: to admonish also the magistrates erring or transgressing in their office.

    And as these properly belong to the function of the ecclesiastical sort, so hath the civil governor or magistrate again his proper charge and office to him assigned, which is, to see the administration of justice and judgment, to defend with power the right of the weak that suffer wrong, to defend from oppression the poor oppressed, to minister with equity that which is right and equal to every man, to provide laws good and godly, to see the execution of the same as cause moveth: especially to see the law of God maintained, to promote Christ’s glory and gospel in setting up and sending out good preachers; in maintaining the same; in providing bishops to be elected that be faithful; in removing or else correcting the same being faulty or negligent; in congregating the clergy, when need is of any counsel or election, to hear their learning in causes propounded; and, according to the truth learned, to direct his judgment in disposing such rites and ordinances for the church as make to edification, not to the destruction thereof: in conserving the discipline of the church, and setting all things in a congruous order. Briefly, the office of the civil ruler and magistrate extendeth to minister justice and judgment in all courts, as well ecclesiastical as temporal; to have correction over all transgressors, whether they be laymen or persons ecclesiastical. And finally, all such things as belong to the moving of the sword whatsoever (that is to say, all outward punishment) are referred to the jurisdiction of the secular magistrate, under whose subjection the ordinance of God hath subjected all orders and states of men.

    Here we have the witness also of Hormisdas, bishop of Rome, which being well weighed, maketh the matter plain, that princes have to deal in spiritual causes also, not only in temporal: where the said Hormisdas writeth to Epiphanius, patriarch of Constantinople in this sort: “Clara coelestis misericordiae demonstratio procedit, quando reges seculi causas de fide cum gubernatione politiae conjungunt.” etc. And thus much, and too much peradventure, concerning the matter of jurisdiction, in which point this new church of Rome hath swerved from the ancient church of Rome which was, as is sufficiently proved. The third point wherein the church of Rome hath broken, and is departed from the church of Rome, is the form of style and title annexed to the bishop of that see. As where he is called pope, most holy father, vicar general, and vicar of Christ, successor of Peter, universal bishop, prince of priests, head of the church universal, f706 head bishop of the world, the admiration of the world, neither God nor man, but a thing between both, etc.; for all these terms be given him in popish books. Albeit the name “pope,” being a Greek name, derived of Pa>ppav , which soundeth as much as father in the Syracusan speech, may peradventure seem more tolerable, as one which hath been used in the old time among bishops; for so Augustine was called of the council of Africa, of Jerome, of Boniface, and others. Also Cyprian, bishop of Cartilage, was called papa . F707 Item, Clovis or (as Rhenanus calleth him) Louis, first christian king of France, calleth a certain simple bishop, papam ; Jerome also, in his Epistle to Chromatius, calleth Valerian by the name of pope; and likewise writing to Eustathius and Fabiola, he calleth Epiphanius, “beatum papam .” In the Apologies of Athanasius, we read oftentimes that he was called papa , and archiepiscopus . Ruffinus also calleth him pontificem maximum . F709 Also Aurelius, president in the sixth council of Carthage was called of the said council papa . F710 And before this, Eleutherius, bishop of Rome, writing to king Lucius, the first christian king in this land, calleth him in his Epistle, the vicar of Christ, etc. But that any of these terms were so peculiarly applied to the bishop of Rome that other bishops were excluded from the same, or that any one bishop above the rest had the name of oecumenical, or “universal,” or “head,” to the derogation of other bishops, or with such glory as is now annexed to the same; that is not to be found neither in histories of the old time, nor in any example of the primitive church, nor in the testimonies of ancient approved doctors. First, before the council of Nice, it is evident by pope Pius II. F711 that there was no [special] respect had then to the church of Rome, but every church was ruled by her own governance, till the year of our Lord, 325. Then followed the council of Nice, wherein was decreed, that throughout the whole university of Christ’s church, which was now far spread over all the world, certain provinces or precincts, to the number of four, be appointed, every one to have his head church, and chief bishop, called by them metropolitan or patriarch, to have the oversight of such churches as did lie about him. F712 In the number of which patriarchs or metropolitans, the bishop of Rome had the first place, the bishop of Alexandria was the second, the bishop of Antioch the third, the bishop of Jerusalem was the fourth patriarch. Afterward, to the number of these patriarchs came in also the bishop of Constantinople, ranking above the bishop a15 of Alexandria. F713 So these four or five metropolitans or patriarchs had their peculiar circuits and precincts to them peculiarly appointed, in such sort, as one of them should not deal within another’s precinct, and also that there should be among them equality of honor, whereupon we read so oft in the decrees of the old councils of “equal degree of thrones, and of honor among priests and ministers.” F714 Again, speaking of the said patriarchs or primates, we read in the second and third chapters of the council of Constantinople, “That bishops should not invade the diocese of other bishops without their borders, nor confound churches together,” etc Moreover, the old doctors, for the most and best part, do accord in one sentence, that all bishops wheresoever placed in the church of God, “be of one merit, of like honor, and be all successors together of the apostles.” F716 Also, he that is the author of the book, called Dionysius Areopagita, calleth all the bishops “of equal order, and of like honor,” etc. All this while the bishop of Rome was called a patriarch, and a metropolitan, or bishop of the first see; but no oecumenical bishop, nor head of the universal church, nor any such matter. Insomuch, that he, with all other bishops, was debarred from that, by a plain decree of the council of Carthage, in these words, “That the bishop of the first see shall not be called the prince of priests, or the high priest, or any such thing.”

    F718 And lest any here should take occasion of cavilling, to hear him called “bishop of the first see,” here is to be expounded what is meant by the “first see,” and wherefore he was so called: not for any dignity of the person, either of him which succeedeth, or of him whom he is said to succeed, but only of the place wherein he sitteth. This is plainly proved by the council of Chalcedon, wherein is manifestly declared the cause why the see of Rome, among all other patriarchal sees, is numbered for the first see by the ancient fathers: “The fathers,” saith the council, “did worthily attribute the chief degree of honor to the see of old Rome,” for why? “because,” saith the council, “the principal seat of empire was in that city.” F719 The same also is confirmed by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, who declareth, “That the excellency of the Roman empiry did advance the popedom of the Roman bishop above other churches.” F720 Moreover, saith the said Eusebius, “The council,” saith he, “of Nice gave this privilege to the bishop of Rome, that like as the king of the Romans is named emperor, above all other kings, so the bishop of the same city of Rome should be called pope, above other bishops.” F721 By these places hitherto alleged (and such other, many more than be here alleged), it appeareth that though these titles of superiority had been attributed to the bishop of Rome, yet it remaineth certain, that the said bishop received that preferment by man’s law, not by the law of God. And so is the distinction of the pope’s proved false, where is said, “That the church of Rome took not its primacy by any council, but only by the voice of God.”

    F723 And this is to be said: although it were true that these titles and terms were so given to the bishop of Rome in the old time, yet how and by whom they were given, ye see.

    Now, to try this matter, as joining an issue with our adversaries, whether these aforesaid titles of sovereignty were applied in the old time of the primitive church to the bishop of Rome, as to be called the vicar-general of Christ, the head of the whole church, and universal bishop, remaineth to be proved. Whereto this in my mind is to be answered, that albeit the bishops of Rome of some (peradventure) were so called by the names of higher pre-eminence [in respect] of that city, of some going about to please them, or to crave some help at their hands; yet that calling, First, was used then but of a few: Secondly, neither was given to many: Thirdly, was rather given than sought for, of the most: Fourthly, was not so given that it maketh or can make any general necessity of law why every one is so bound to call them, as the bishop of Rome now seeketh to be taken and called, and that by necessity of salvation; as the decree of pope Boniface VIII. witnesseth, where is said, “That it standeth upon necessity of salvation, to believe the primacy of the church of Rome, and to be subject to the same,” etc. f724 As touching therefore these titles and terms of pre-eminence aforesaid, orderly to set forth and declare what histories of times do say in that matter, by the grace of Christ, First, we will see what be the titles the bishop of Rome doth take and challenge to himself, and what is the meaning of them. Secondly, when they first came in; whether in the primitive time or not, and by whom. Thirdly, how they were first given to the Roman bishops; that is, whether of necessary duty, or voluntary devotion, whether commonly of the whole, or particularly of a few; and whether in respect of Peter, or in respect of the city, or else of the worthiness of the bishop which there sat. Fourthly, and if the aforesaid names were then given by certain bishops, unto the bishop of Rome, whether all the said names were given, or but certain, or what they were.

    Fifthly, or whether they were then received of all bishops of Rome, to whom they were given, or else refused of some. Sixthly, and finally, whether they ought to have been refused being given, or not. Touching the discourse of which matters, although it appertain to the profession rather of divines than historians, and would require a long and large debating, yet, forsomuch as both in these and divers other weighty controversies of divinity, the knowledge of times and histories must needs help divines disputing about the same, so much as the grace of Christ shall assist me therein, I will join to the seeking out of truth such help as I may.

    And first, to begin with the names and titles now claimed and attributed to the see and bishop of Rome, and what they be, is sufficiently declared above, that is, “the chief priest of the world,” “the prince of the church,” “bishop apostolical,” “the universal head of the church,” “the head and bishop of the universal church,” “the successor of Peter,” “most holy pope,” “vicar of God on earth,” “neither God nor man, but a mixed thing between both,” “the patriarch or metropolitan of the church of Rome,” “the bishop of the first see,” etc. Unto the which titles or styles is annexed a triple crown, a triple cross, two crossed keys, a naked sword, seven-fold seals, in token of the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Ghost; he being carried pick-back upon men’s shoulders, after the manner of the heathen kings, having all the empire and the emperor under his dominion.

    And that it is not convenient for any terrene prince to reign there, where he sitteth, having the plenary fullness of power, as well of temporal things as spiritual things in his hands. That all things are his, and that all such princes as have given him any thing, have given him but his own: having power at his will and pleasure to preach indulgences, and the cross against christian princes whatsoever. And that the emperor, and certain other princes, ought to make to him confession of subjection at their coronation: having authority to depose, and that he, de facto , hath deposed emperors and the king of France; also to absolve the subjects from their allegiance to their princes: whom kings have served for footmen to lead his horse, and the emperor to hold his stirrup. That he may and doth give power to bishops upon the bodies of men, and hath granted them to have prisons: without whose authority no general council hath any force; and to whom appellations in all manner of causes may and ought to be made. That his decrees be equal with the decrees of the Nicene council, and are to be observed and taken in no less force than if they had been confirmed with the heavenly voice of St. Peter himself. F726 Item, that the said bishop of Rome hath the heavenly disposition of things, and therefore may alter and change the nature of things, by applying the substance of one thing to another. F727 Item, that he can of nothing make something; and cause the sentence, which before was null, to stand in effect; and may dispense above the law, and of injustice make justice, in correcting and changing laws, for he hath the fullness of power. And again, if the pope do lead with him innumerable souls by flocks into hell, yet no man must presume to rebuke his faults in this world. Item, That it standeth upon necessity of salvation to believe the primacy of the see of Rome, and to be subject to the same, etc.

    These things thus declared, now let us see whether these names and titles, with the form and manner of this authority and regality above rehearsed, were ever attributed by any in the primitive time to the bishop of Rome: for all these he doth challenge and claim unto him by old possession from the time of St. Peter. And here a question is to be asked of our adversaries the papists, Whether they will avouch all these aforesaid titles, together with the whole form and tenor of regality to the same belonging as is afore touched, or not? If they will, let them come forth with their allegations; which they never have done yet, nor ever shall be able. If they will not, or cannot avouch them altogether in manner as is specified, then why doth the bishop claim them altogether so stoutly, usurp them so falsely, and obtrude them upon us so strictly? Moreover, if the said our adversaries, being convicted by plain evidence of history and examples of time, will yield unto us (as they must needs) in part, and not in the whole; let us come then to the particulars, and see what part of this regality they will defend, and derive from the ancient custom of the primitive church, that is, from the first five hundred years, I mean after Christ. First, in the council of Nice , a16 which was A.D. 325, in the sixth canon of the said council we find it so decreed, that in every province or precinct some one church, and bishop of the same, was appointed and set up to have the inspection and regiment of other churches about him. “After the ancient custom,” as the words of our council do purport, “let the bishop of Alexandria have authority over all Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, forasmuch as the like custom hath obtained in the case of the bishop of Rome. In like manner, also, in the province of Antioch and in the other provinces let the pre-eminence be reserved to the metropolitan churches.”

    It then follows in the seventh canon, that the bishop of Jerusalem, also, should enjoy the honor which belonged to him by usage and ancient tradition, provided only, that his metropolitan be not defrauded of his proper dignity. In this council, and in the said sixth and seventh canons, First, whereas the bishops of Alexandria, of Rome, and of Antioch are joined together in one like manner of dignity, there appeareth no difference of honor to be meant therein: Secondly, forsomuch as in the said two canons, after mention made of them immediately followeth, that no bishop should be made without consent of the metropolitan, yea and that the bishop also of Jerusalem should be under his metropolitan, and (can. 4.) that the metropolitan should have the full power to confirm every bishop made in his province; therefore it may be well suspected, that the third epistle decretal of pope Anacletus and of pope Stephen, with other more, are forged; wherein these bishops, and especially the bishop of Rome, is exempted and dissevered from the name of a metropolitan or an archbishop, to the name of a patriarch or primate, as appeareth in the decrees. F733 Wherefore, as we must needs grant the bishop of Rome to be a metropolitan or archbishop by the council of Nice; so we will not greatly stick in this also, to have him numbered with patriarchs or primates.

    Which title seemeth in the old time to be common to more cities than to Rome, both by the Epistle of Anacletus, of pope Stephen, of pope Julius and Leo, etc.

    After this followed a17 a general council in Africa, called the sixth council of Carthage, A.D. 419, where were congregated two hundred and seventeen bishops, among whom was also Augustine, Prosper, Orosius, with divers other famous persons. This council continued the space of five years, f734 wherein was great contention about the supremacy and jurisdiction of Rome; the [occasion whereof arose the year before, by Zosimus,] then Roman bishop. This Zosimus had received into the communion of the church, without any examination, one that came to complain to him out of Africa, named Apiarius, a priest, whom Aurelius the metropolitan, with the council of Africa, had worthily excommunicated for his detestable conditions before. F735 Upon this, Zosimus, after that he had received and showed such favor to Apiarius, for that he did appeal to him, sendeth to the council his legates, to wit, Faustinus, bishop of Potenza, and two priests of the church of Rome, named Philippus and Asellus, with these four requests: First, that Apiarius, whom he had absolved, might be received of them again, and that it might be lawful for bishops or priests to appeal from the sentence of their metropolitans, and [even] of a council, to the see of Rome. Secondly, that bishops should not sail over importunely “ad comitatum.” F736 Thirdly, that if any priest or deacon were wrongfully excommunicate by the bishops of their own province, it should be lawful for them to remove the hearing and judging of their cause to their neighbor bishops. Fourthly, that Urban, Aparius’s bishop, either should be excommunicated, or else sent up to Rome, unless he would correct those things that were to be corrected. For the maintenance whereof, the said Zosimus alleged for himself the words (as he pretended) taken out of Nicene council. The African council hearing this, and remembering no such thing in the council of Nice to be decreed, and yet not suspecting that the bishop of Rome would dare wrongfully to falsify the words of that council, writeth to Zosimus, declaring that they never read, to their remembrance, in their common Latin exemplar of the Nicene council any such canon, yet notwithstanding, for quietness’ sake, they would observe the same till they might procure the original copies of that council to be sent to them from Constantinople, Alexandria, and from Antioch. In like effect afterward they wrote to pope Boniface, who shortly after succeeded Zosimus; and thirdly also to Celestine, who succeeded Boniface.

    In the mean time this aforesaid council sent their legates, Marcellus and Innocent, to Atticus, patriarch of Constantinople, and to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, for the authentic copies in Greek of the Nicene council; which being sent unto them, and they, finding in the true originals no such canon as the bishop of Rome had falsely forged, [they sent them to pope Boniface. After him succeeded Celestine, A.D. 422, who likewise sent his legates to the bishops of Africa, in behalf of Apiarius: whereupon] they wrote a sharp and [yet] a handsome letter to pope Celestine, (calling him in the said letter, by the way, “Domine frater,”) declaring to him, how they had perused all the copies of the council of Nice, and could find no such canon as he and his predecessors had falsely alleged, and (therewithal, reciting the sixth canon afore mentioned) declaring how the decrees of the Nicene council had committed all and singular persons ecclesiastical, as well bishops as others, unto the charge of their metropolitans. Moreover, expounding the same decree, they showed the reason thereof.

    First , For that (say they) the fathers of that council did most prudently and justly provide, that all controversies be ended “in iisdem locis, where they began. 2. For that it is not to be supposed contrary, but that the grace of God will be as prest and ready in one province as in another, to instruct his ministers both prudently to understand judgment, and constantly to maintain the same. 3. Specially, for that there is no need to seek further to any foreign help, because that the party, who is not contented with the determination of his judges or commissioners, may lawfully appeal either to a provincial or else to a general council. 4. That way to be better than to run to any foreign judge, it must needs be granted; because it is not likely that our God will inspire justice, in hearing and determining causes, into one bishop, and deny it unto a multitude congregated in a whole council. 5. Neither can it be, that any foreign judgment-can stand good, for that the necessary witnesses will never be able to attend, either through infirmity of sex, of age, or of sickness, or some other impediment.

    Wherefore, as by these and other reasons they thought it not convenient for them to carry their matters over thence unto Rome; so neither was it to be found (say they) by any council of the old fathers decreed, that any legates should be sent from Rome to them, for deciding of their matters. And therefore exhorted they the said bishop of Rome, that he would not introduce “Fumosum typhum (or rather as I may call it, ‘typhos’) seculi in ecclesiam Christi, quae lucem simplicitatis et humilitatis Deum videre cupientibus praefert:” that is, “that he would not introduce the fuming and swelling pride of the world into the church of Christ, which church showeth and giveth the light of simplicity and of humility to such as desire to behold God.”

    F737 In these aforesaid letters, moreover, is signified, how the forenamed malefactor Apiarius, whom the bishop of Rome before had absolved and received to the communion of the church, was afterward found culpable; and therefore the council proceeded against him, brought him to open confession of his faults, and so enjoined him due penance for his demerits, notwithstanding the absolution and inconsiderate clearing of the bishop of Rome before proceeding.

    In sum, out of this council of Carthage these points are to be noted.

    First , How glad the bishops of Rome were to receive such as came to them for succor. 2. What pride they took by the occasion thereof, thinking and seeking thereby to have all under their subjection. 3. To the intent to allure others to seek to them, how ready they were to release and quit this Apiarius as guiltless, who afterwards was to be tried culpable by his own confession. 4. How, contrary to the acts and doings of the Romish bishop, this council condemned him whom the said bishop of Rome before had absolved, little respecting the proceedings of the Romish church. 5. How the bishops, of old time, have been falsifiers of ancient councils and writings, whereby it may be suspected, that they which shamed not to falsify and corrupt the council of Nice, much less would they stick to abuse and falsify the decretal epistles and writings of particular bishops and doctors for their own advantage, as no doubt they have done many one. 6. In this aforesaid council, whereat Augustine himself was present, and where Aurelius, president of the same, was called papa , the bishop of Rome was called expressly in their letters but “bishop of the city of Rome,” and dominus frater , that is, “brother lord bishop.” 7. The dominion of this Roman patriarch, in the said council of Carthage, was cut so short, that neither it was permitted to them of Africa to appeal over the sea to him, nor for him to send over his legates to them, for ending their controversies. Whereby it may sufficiently appear, that the bishop of Rome in those days was not at all admitted to be the chief of all other bishops, nor the head of the universal church of Christ in earth, etc. 8. We hear in this council, five causes or reasons given, why it is not necessary nor yet convenient for all foreign causes to be brought to one universal head or judge, as is before recited.

    Ninthly and lastly, By the said council of Carthage we hear a virtuous exhortation to be given to the bishop of Rome, that he would not introduce into the meek and humble church of Christ, the fuming and swelling pride of the world, as is before declared. In this, or in some other council of Carthage, it was moreover provided by express law, and also specified in the pope’s decrees, that no bishop of the first see should be called the prince of priests, or the chief priest, or any such like thing; but only the bishop of the first see, as followeth more in the said decree. “Be it enacted, that no bishop, no, not the bishop of Rome, be called universal bishop.” F738 And thus much concerning this aforesaid council of Carthage.

    Not long before this council, was celebrated in Africa another council, called the second synod of Milevis, about A.D. 416, at the which council also St. Augustine was present, where it was decreed, under pain of excommunication, that no minister or bishop should appeal over the sea to the bishop of Rome. F739 Whereby it may appear that the bishop of Rome, all this space, was not universally called by the term of oecumenical or universal bishop, but bishop of the first see: so that if there were any preferment therein, it was in the reverence of the place, and not in the authority of the person. And yet it was not so in the place, that the place importeth the city of Rome only, but the first see then was called the metropolitan church; as by the words of the Nicene council, and other constitutions more, is to be seen, where the four patriarchs were called prw~toi or prwte>uontev or proestw~tev, as, namely, by the words of the council of Cartilage may appear, which be these, “Except he have some special license or exception, by the consent of the proper bishop of the first see in every country, that is, of him that is the primate in the said country.” F740 Also the words of the thirty-ninth canon of the council of Carthage, before touched, be these, “That the bishop of the first see be not called prince of priests, or head priest, or else any such like.” F741 Again, Anicetus, the tenth bishop of Rome, and pope Stephen, and pope Felix, making a difference between a primate and metropolitan, write thus: “Let no archbishops be called primates, but only such as have the first see.” F742 Thus it is made plain, how the bishop of the first see, or first bishop, or primate, is none other but he which was called patriarch, and belonged not only to the church of Rome, but to all such cities and places where before, among the gentiles, were “primi flamines.” F743 And here, by the way, is to be noted the repugnance to truth of such as craftily, but falsely, have counterfeited the pope’s decretal epistles; which, besides other great and many conjectures, hereby also may be gathered. For, whereas Clement, Anacletus, Anicetus, and others, joining together the office of patriarchs and primates, do divide the same from the order of metropolitans, or archbishops, alleging there-for the constitutions of the apostles and their successors, that is to be found false by the canons of the apostles, by the council of Nice, and by the council of Antioch, with others more. For in the canons of the apostles, whereas in almost every canon mention is made of bishops, priests, and deacons, no word is there touched either of any order above the bishop, or lower than the deacon; save only in the thirty-third canon, setting an order among bishops, the canon willeth the bishops of every nation to know their first or chief bishop, and him to be taken for the head of them: he saith not the head of the church, or head of the world, but “the head of those bishops.” And where? Not in Rome only, but plainly and expressly in every nation, for so the words purport: “The bishops of every nation ought to know the first or chief among them.” F747 Moreover, the council of Antioch, reciting the aforesaid canon word for word, expoundeth the matter plainly, instead of tolei proestw~ta ejpi>skopon, which is as much to say, “metropolitan;” and in the end of the said canon, calleth him tolewv ejpi>sjopon, that is, “metropolitanum.”

    F748 Whereby it is concluded that to be false, that Clement and Anacletus and Anicetus are reported (but falsely) to put a difference between primates or patriarchs, and metropolitans or archbishops: whereas, by sufficient authority it is to be proved, that in the old church both primates, first bishops, bishops of the first see, patriarchs, metropolitans, bishops of the mother-city, and archbishops, were all one. First, that primates and metropolitans were both one, is before declared by the canons of the apostles, and by the council of Antioch aforesaid. Again, that patriarchs and archbishops were all one, is evident by the 123d Novella of Justinian, who in the said constitution, reciting the five patriarchs above mentioned, calleth them by the name of archbishops: and, a little after, calleth the patriarch of Constantinople archbishop, by these words: “Which be under the archbishop and patriarch of Constantinople.” F752 And after, speaking most plainly in the matter, he setteth another order, divers from that of Clement, Anacletus, and Anicetus, in placing these aforesaid persons, first beginning with bishops, then over them setting the metropolitan, and over him again the archbishop, and there stayeth, making no further mention of any other above him: whose words be these, “If a bishop be accused, the metropolitan to have the examination of those things that are brought against him: if the metropolitan be accused, then the archbishop to have the hearing thereof, under whom he dwelleth.” F753 And in the same constitution moreover, “If any suit or supplication be brought against a bishop by a minister, or any other, first the metropolitan to have the deciding of the matter, and if any default shall be found in the judgment thereof, then the hearing and ending of the case to be brought before the archbishop.” F754 In this constitution of Justinian, although the metropolitan be placed above the bishop, and the archbishop above the metropolitan, yet, notwithstanding, by this are sufficiently confuted the forged constitutions of Clement, Anacletus, Anicetus, Stephen, and Felix; who, in their epistles decretal, join together in one form and order both archbishop and metropolitan, and above them both do place the patriarch, and above the patriarch the apostolical see, to wit, the bishop of Rome; as may appear in reading the first epistle of Clement: the second epistle of Anacletus.

    F756 Also the epistle of pope Stephen I. F757 (where note by the way, that Gratian referreth this place of the epistle to pope Lucius): item, the first epistle of pope Felix II. F758 In all which aforesaid epistles, this order and difference of degrees is taken: that the first and principal place is given to primates or patriarchs, the second to metropolitans or archbishops, the third to bishops; and finally, above all these, is extolled the apostolical see of the bishop of Rome, contrary to all that which before hath been alleged out of Justinian, the council of Nice, and of Antioch, etc. Whereby it may appear, that either Justinian in preferring archbishops above metropolitans, had not read these epistles decretal, if they were genuine; or if they were forged, they which forged the said epistles in their names did not well consider what Justinian had written in this matter before.

    Thus then these titles above recited, as “bishop,” “metropolitan,” “the bishop of the first see,” “primate,” “patriarch,” “archbishop,” that is to say, chief bishop, or head bishop to other bishops of his province, we deny not but were in the old time applied, and might be applied to the bishop of Rome, like as the same also were applied to other patriarchs in other chief cities and provinces.

    As touching the name likewise of “high priest,” or “high priesthood,” neither do I deny but that it hath been found in old monuments and records of ancient times; but in such wise and sort as it hath been common to bishops indifferently, and not singularly attributed to any one bishop or see. Whereof testimony we have out of the seventh general council, where the bishop’s office is called “summum sacerdotium,” “the high priesthood,” in these words: “Substantia summi sacerdotii nostri sunt eloquia divinitus tradita, (id est) vera divinarum scripturarum disciplina,” etc.: that is, “The substance (say they) of our high priesthood, is the word or discipline of holy Scriptures given us from above.”

    And likewise the council of Agda maketh relation “of bishops set in the high priesthood,” meaning not of any one, but indefinitely and indifferently of whomsoever. Also Fabian, bishop of Rome, A.D. 240, writing in general to his brethren and to all bishops and ministers ecclesiastical, doth attribute to them the same title of “summum sacerdotium,” in these words: “God, which hath preordained you brethren, and all them which bear the office of high priesthood.” F761 With like phrase of speech Anacletus also, in his second epistle, speaking of bishops in general, calleth them “summos sacerdotes:” “Unde liquet quod summi sacerdotes, (id est) episcopi, a Deo sunt judicandi,” etc.: “The high priests, that is, bishops,” saith he. F762 And moreover in the same place he calleth them “apostles,” and “successors of the apostles.” So doth Innocent I. in A.D. 405. F763 Also Zosimus, bishop of the said city of Rome, in A.D. 418; speaketh “de summo sacerdotio,” that is, “of high priesthood,” not only of the church of Rome, but of all other churches. The same Zosimus, in his writings alleged by Gratian, referreth the name and place summi pontificis , of “the high bishop,” not only to the see of Rome, but uniformly to every bishop, as there appeareth. F765 And thus much as touching the name or title of high priest, or supreme bishop; which title as I do not deny to have been used in manner and form aforesaid, so do I deny this title and style of summus orbis pontifex , as it is now used in Rome, to have been used, or usually received during all the primitive time of the church that is, five hundred years after Christ (after the manner and sort I mean of that authority and glory, which in these days now is used and is given to the same), until the time of Phocas, the wicked emperor, which was after the year of the Lord 608. The which title as it is too glorious for any one bishop in the church of Christ to use, so is it not to be found in any of the approved and most ancient writers of the church, namely, these: Cyprian, Basil, Fulgentius, Chrysostome, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, or Tertullian: but rather written against by the same, especially of the last. And therefore not without cause it is written and testified of Erasmus, who, speaking of the said name of “summus orbis pontifex,” denieth plainly the same to be heard of among the old writers, whose words be these: “Certe nomen hoc nondum illis temporibus erat auditum, quantum ex veterum omnium scriptis licet colligere,” etc. as whosoever readeth the same authors, shall find to be true.

    The like is to be affirmed also of other presumptuous titles of like ambition, as “the head of the universal church,” “the vicar of Christ in earth,” “prince of priests,” with such like: which all be new found terms, strange to the ears of the old primitive writers and councils, and not received openly and commonly before the time of Boniface III. and the aforesaid Phocas.

    Now remaineth the name of the pope, which, of its nature and by its first origin, being a word of the Syracusan speech called pa>ppav signifieth as much as “pater,” father, and was then used and frequented of them in the old time; not so as proper only to the bishop of Rome, but common and indifferent to all other bishops or personages, whosoever were of worthy excellency, as is partly before declared. But now, contrarily, the generality of this name is so restrained and abused, that not only it is appropriate to the bishop of Rome, but also distincteth and dissevereth the authority, and pre-eminence of that bishop alone from all other bishops, for which cause it is now worthily come into contempt and execrations. No less is to be rejected also the name of “universalis” or “oecumenicus pontifex,” “summus orbis episcopus,” “caput universalis ecclesiae,” “Christi in terris vicarius,” “princeps sacerdotum,” etc. All which terms and vocables, tending to the derogation of other bishops and patriarchs, as they were never received nor allowed in Rome (if we believe Gregory) during the time of the primitive church, so now are worthily of us refused.

    It cannot, indeed, be a18 denied, but there were certain in the primitive time which began privately to assume that proud and wicked title of “universal bishop;” as John II. and Menna, patriarchs of Constantinople; as appeareth in the Acts of the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 536, wherein both Menna, and also John, is titled “oecumenicus patriarcha.”

    F768 Afterward, the patriarch John IV. (surnamed the Faster), holding a council at Constantinople, A.D. 588, went about to establish and ratify this title, and to dignify his throne therewith, by the consent of the council and the emperor of Constantinople, and obtained the same. Concerning the which title, although it was then used in Constantinople through the sufferance of the emperors, being then willing to have their imperial city advanced, yet notwithstanding, this aforesaid title, all this while, was not in the city of Rome. And in Constantinople it stood not then in force “jure aliquo divino,” but only by man’s law. And thirdly, it was then but only “verbalis titulus,” having no true domination over all other churches, nor any real authority, belonging to the same; forasmuch as neither the bishop of Rome, nor any of the west churches were subject or did acknowledge service unto them, but rather did repugn the same, namely, Pelagius II. and Gregory a19 I., both bishops of Rome at that period; whereof Pelagius, writing to all bishops, saith plainly in these words, “That no patriarch should take the name of universality at any time; because that if any be called “universal,” the name of patriarch is derogated from all others.” F769 “But let this be far,” saith he, “from all faithful men, to will to take that thing to him, whereby the honor of his brethren is diminished.”

    Wherefore the said Pelagius chargeth all such bishops, that none of them in his letters will name any patriarch to be universal, lest he take from himself the honor due to him, while they give that which is not due to another.

    What can be more evident than these words of Pelagius, who was bishop of Rome next before Gregory, A.D. 583? In like manner, or more plainly and more earnestly, writeth also Gregory of this matter in his register, proving and disputing that no man ought to be called “universal bishop;” a20 moreover, with sharp words and rebukes detesting the same title, calling it new, foolish, proud, perverse, wicked, profane; and such, that to consent unto it is as much as to deny the faith. He addeth further and saith, “that whosoever goeth about to extol himself above other bishops, in so doing followeth the example of Satan, to whom it was not suffcient to be counted equal or like unto other angels.” In his epistles how oft doth he repeat and declare the same to repugn directly against the gospel, and ancient decrees of councils? affirming that none of his predecessors did ever usurp to himself that style or title; and concludeth that whosoever so doth, declareth himself to be a forerunner of Antichrist.

    F770 With this judgment of Gregory well agree also the words of St.

    Augustine, where, reciting the words of Cyprian, he thus saith: “For none of us doth ever set himself to be bishop of bishops, or after a tyrannical manner doth subdue and bring under his fellows unto the necessity of obedience.” By these words of Cyprian and Augustine it is manifest, that in their time was no supremacy or universal title among bishops received, nor that any great respect was had to the bishop of Rome (as pope Pius II. Saith ), before the council of Nice. And after, in that council, the said bishop of Rome had no further authority to him limited, than only over his province, and places suburban, bordering about the city of Rome. F773 Against whose primacy divers churches also did resist long after that; as the churches of Ravenna, Milan, and Aquileia.

    Also the Greek churches have resisted the same to this day, likewise the churches of Asia, Russia, Moscow, Wallachia, and other more. F744 But to return again to Gregory, who, confirming the sentence of Pelagius his predecessor above mentioned, had no small conflicts about this titlematter, both with the patriarch and with the emperor of Constantinople, as witness Antoninus and others, etc. The history is thus: After that John, being made, of a monk, patriarch of Constantinople, by his flattery and hypocrisy had obtained of Mauritius the emperor to be extolled above other bishops, with the name of “universal patriarch,” and that he would write to Gregory (then bishop of Rome) for his consent concerning the same, Gregory, abiding still in his constancy, did set himself stoutly against that antichristian title, and would give no place. At the same time the Lombards had invaded the country of Italy and the city of Rome, the emperor keeping then at Constantinople, and setting in Italy an overseer called “exarchus,” to rule in Ravenna. Gregory, perceiving the emperor Mauritius to be displeased with him about the matter afore touched, writeth to Constantina the empress, arguing and declaring in his letters, that for him to be universal patriarch would be in him presumption and pride, for that it was both against the rule of the gospel and the decrees of the canons, namely, the sixth canon of the Nicene council; and the novelty of that new-found title would declare nothing else, but that the time of Antichrist was near. Upon this, Mauritius the emperor, taking displeasure with him, calleth home his soldiers again from Italy, and inciteth the Lombards against the Romans, who, with their king Agilulph, thereupon, contrary to their league made before, set upon the city of Rome, and besieged it a whole year together; Gregory, yet notwithstanding, still remaining in his former constancy. After these afflictions thus overpast, Eulogius, patriarch of Alexandria, writeth to the said Gregory in his letters, naming him “universal pope:” unto whom Gregory, refusing the same, answereth again as followeth.


    Behold, in the preface of your epistle directed to me, ye have used a proud appellation, calling me “universal pope,” which I beg your holiness hereafter not to do, for that is derogated from you, whatsoever is attributed to another more than reason requires. As for me, I seek not advancement in words, but in manners; neither do I account that any honor, wherein I see the honor of my brethren to be hindered: for my honor I take to be the honor of the universal church: my honor is the whole and perfect vigor of my brethren. Then am I really honored, when to no man is denied the due honor which to him belongeth; for, if your holiness call me “universal pope,” in so doing you deny yourself to be that, which ye affirm me to be, universal: but that God forbid. Let go these words, therefore, which do nothing but puff up vanity, and wound charity. F776 It were too long here to infer all such letters and epistles of his concerning this matter, written to the emperor Mauritius and Constantina the empress, but that shall more largely appear hereafter (Christ willing) in the body of the history, when we come to the year and time of Gregory, which was well nigh six hundred years after Christ. In the mean season this is sufficient to declare, how the church of Rome, with the form and manner of their title of universal supremacy now used and maintained, hath utterly swerved from the ancient steps of the primitive church of Rome.

    Now let us see what the adversary-side hath to object again for the title of their universality, or rather singularity. And first, here cometh in a blind cavillation of a certain sophister, who, glossing upon the words of Pelagius above recited, laboureth to color the plain text with a subtle meaning, as though the sense of the canon were this, not to deny absolutely that any one may be universal bishop, but only to deny it after this sense and meaning, viz. that he should be the proper pastor of every church alone, so that there should be no other bishop beside himself.” F777 Thus goeth this sophister about to dash out this text; but he cannot so discharge the matter. For neither did John the patriarch then seek any such thing as to be bishop and proper pastor of every church alone; nor, if he had, would the council of Constantinople and the emperor Mauritius ever have agreed thereunto. Neither is it true, what this glosser saith, viz. that Pelagius does not, here forbid the primacy or supremacy of that patriarch, which indeed is the only intent of Pelagius in that canon, witnessing as well other historiographers, as namely Antoninus, and also the gloss ordinary upon the same canon.

    Out of the same fountain springeth the like or very same reason, of late renewed by a certain new-start English clerk in these our days, who, answering to the places of Gregory touching the said matter, laboureth to avoid the clear authority of him by a like blind cavillation, saying that John, bishop of Constantinople, by this title of “universal bishop,” understood himself only to be a bishop, and none else; and that Gregory in resisting him, had none other meaning but the same. And to prove this to be the very meaning of Gregory, he reciteth the words of Gregory, written to the said John archbishop of Constantinople as followeth: “For thou (John bishop of Constantinople) who sometime didst grant thyself unworthy the name of a bishop, art now come to this, that thou dost seek to be called a bishop alone.” F780 Upon this word “episcopus solus,” this glosser would ground a surmise, that Gregory did find fault with the archbishop, not for any primacy which he sought for above other bishops, but only for that he coveted to be a bishop and pastor alone in every church, in such sort, as there should be no other bishop or pastor else, but himself only. But, as is said, that was never the archbishop’s seeking, nor the matter of Gregory’s reprehension. For the said archbishop of Constantinople went not about to be bishop alone (which was much too absurd, and also impossible), but to be universal alone: nor to take away the office from others, but the honor from others; not to depose them, but to despise them. And therefore saith Gregory “despectis fratribus,” not “depositis fratribus:” so that this word “solus” here noteth a despising of others, not a deposing of others, and importeth a singularity in condition above others, and not the office or substance of ministration without others; that is, to be universal among many, and not to be one alone without any; nor to diminish the number of them, but only to increase the honor to himself. For the more evident probation whereof (although the thing itself is so evident, that it needeth no proof), what can be more plain than the words themselves of Pelagius and Gregory? wherewith they charge him for running before his brethren, for challenging superiority above them, for diminishing their honor by taking more honor than to him was due, for following the angel of pride in exalting himself, in admitting that to him, which the bishops of Rome and their predecessors had refused, being offered to them before: all which words declare, that he sought not to thrust out all other bishops out of their churches, and to be bishop himself alone, for that was never offered to the bishops of Rome by the council of Chalcedon, that they should be bishops alone, and none other: neither did Lucifer seek to have no more angels in all heaven but himself, but he to be above all other alone.

    Likewise the word “praecurrere,” that is, “to run before other,” in the epistle of Pelagius, declareth that John sought not to be bishop alone, but bishop universal. We say not that a man runneth before another, when he runneth alone and no man followeth him; that is not properly “praecurrere,” but “solus currere.” Moreover, in seeking to be superior to other bishops, he seeketh not to take away other bishops, but to make other bishops inferior to himself: for where no inferior is, there can be no superior, forsomuch as these together are correlatives, and infer necessary respect mutually. And if it were true, as this glosser saith, that he had sought to be bishop alone, how would that council either have granted that unto him, or have offered it to the bishop of Rome before? or if they had, how could it be possible for him alone to serve all churches, without any fellow-bishop to help him? And whereas this aforesaid clerk standeth so much upon the words of St. Gregory “solus episcopus,” Gregory therefore shall expound Gregory, and one “solus” shall declare another. Wherefore, if this divine (whatsoever he be, doctor or bachelor) either knoweth not, or would learn, what “only bishop” meaneth in this place, another place of the said Gregory may instruct him; where Gregory, writing to Eulogius patriarch of Alexandria, giveth this reason why he refused the same title offered to himself, which before was offered to the said John, patriarch of Constantinople, saying, “For if one alone would be called a “patriarch universal,” then should the name of patriarchs be derogated from all others.” Whereby two things are to be noted; first, what thing it was which the patriarch of Constantinople did seek, for Gregory here findeth no other fault, but with the same which was given to John, which was to be called “patriarch universal.” The second thing to be noted is, the cause why Gregory did rebuke this title, both given to John, and offered to him: “Because,” saith he, “if one take upon him the name of universal patriarch, then is the name patriarch taken from the rest.” As who would say, If I would take upon me to be named universal patriarch, then should there be no other patriarch, but I should be bishop patriarch alone. And here cometh in your “solus episcopus.”

    Furthermore the same Gregory, speaking of the said solus in another place by, seemeth to declare there, what he meaneth by this “solus” here, in these words as follow: “So that he would be subject to none, and would alone be chieftain to all other.” F784 And so by this place may the other place be expounded: “Ut solus episcopus sit is, qui solus inter episcopos praeesse appetat:” that is, “Solus episcopus meaneth one, who alone seeketh to be extolled above other bishops.” But to be short in a matter that needeth not many words, he that thus cavilleth upon this place, “solus episcopus,” in Gregory, must be desired here not to take “solus” alone, but join withal the word going before, which is, “despectis fratribus.” By the which might seem sufficiently declared what Gregory meant by “solus episcopus;” meaning, that to despise other bishops, and to diminish their honor, to set up his own, and to be subject to none, but to prefer himself unequally before all others, is as much as to be counted bishop alone. And thus much touching this objection.

    Another objection of our adversaries is this: Although (say they) no bishop of Rome was ever called, or would be called by the name of “universal bishop,” yet it followeth not therefore, that they be not, or ought not, to be heads of the universal church. Their reason is this: ‘As St. Peter had the charge of the whole church (by the testimony of Gregory) committed unto him, although he were not called universal apostle: so no more absurd it is for the pope to be called the head of the whole church, and to have the charge thereof, although he be not called universal bishop.’

    Wherein is a double untruth to be noted; first, in that they pretend Peter to be the head, and to have the charge, of the whole church. If we take here “charge or head” for dominion or mastership upon or above the church in all cases judiciary, both spiritual and temporal; to that I answer, The words of the Scripture be plain, “Not as masters over the clergy,” etc. ; “But you not so,” etc. Again, that the church is greater, or rather the head of Peter, it is clear, “All things are yours, whether it be Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas; either the world, death, or life; you be Christ’s, Christ is God’s,” etc. (1 Corinthians 3:22). In which words the dignity of the church no doubt is preferred above the apostles, and above Cephas also.

    Moreover, as the dignity of the wife is above the servant, so must needs the honor and worthiness of the church (being the spouse of Christ) surmount the state of Peter or other apostles, who be but servants to Christ and to the church; yea, and though they were princes of the church, yet, after the mind of Baldus, “Magis attenditur persona intellectualis, quam organica.” F788 Otherwise, if by this word “charge” he meant only the office and diligence of teaching; to that I answer, The same Lord that said to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” said also to the others, “Go and preach this gospel to all nations.” And he that said to Peter, “Whatsoever thou loosest,” said also to the others, “Whatsoever ye remit in the earth.”

    Moreover, if the matter go by preaching, Paul the apostle labored more therein than ever did Peter, by his own confession, “plus laboravi;” also suffered more for the same, “plus sustinui;” neither was his doctrine less sound, yea, and in one point he went before Peter, and was teacher and schoolmaster unto Peter, whereas Peter was by him justly corrected (Galatians 2:11). Furthermore, teaching is not always, nor in all things, a point of mastership, but sometimes a point of service. As if a Frenchman should be put to an Englishman to teach him French, although he excelleth him in that kind of faculty, yet, it followeth not therefore, that he hath fulness of power upon him, to appoint his diet, to rule his household, to prescribe his laws, to stint his lands, and such other. Wherefore, seeing in travail of teaching, in pains of preaching, in gifts of tongues, in largeness of commission, in operation of miracles, in grace of vocation, in receiving the Holy Ghost, in vehemency of torments, and death, for Christ’s name, the other apostles were nothing inferior to Peter; why Peter then should claim any special prerogative above the rest, I understand no cause; as indeed he never claimed any, but the patrons of the apostolical see do claim it for him, which he never claimed himself, neither if he were here, would no less abhor it with soul and conscience than we do now; and yet our abhorring now is not for any malice of person, or any vantage to ourselves, but only the vehemency of truth, and zeal to Christ and to his congregation.

    Moreover, if these men would needs have Peter to be the curate and overseer of the whole universal church (which was too much for one man to take charge of), and to be prince of all other apostles, then would I fain learn of them, what meaneth “dextrae societatis,” “the right hand of society,” between Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, mentioned in the Galatians (Galatians 2:9). What taking of hands is there between subjects and their prince, in way of fellowship? or, where fellowship is, what mastership is there? Or again, what state of mastership is it likely that Christ would give to Peter, who, being indeed master of all, took such little mastership upon himself, that he washed Peter’s feet, to give Peter ensample to take no mastership upon him, but rather to humble himself, and that not only in inward affection, but also in outward fact? Although I am not ignorant that Peter, in divers places of the Gospel, hath his commendation, neither do I deny Peter to be worthy of the same. But yet these words of commendation give to him no state of superiority, or jurisdiction upon all others, to have all under his subjection. As if a schoolmaster should give more special charge to some one of his scholars for his riper towardness; yet this giveth him no fullness of authority, or power coactive upon the rest, unless by special admission he be deputed thereunto. Whereof nothing can be gathered of Peter; for if it be true that St. Augustine saith, that such things as were spoken to Peter have no lightsome understanding except they be referred to the church, whereof Peter did bear a figure, then hath the person of Peter nothing to claim by these words, but all redoundeth to the church, which, being meant by Peter, hath power by this reason, both over the person of Peter, and all other persons in the Lord.

    But here stumbleth in an argument of our adversary again, which he, in the margin of his book, calleth an invincible argument, drawn out of the bowels of St. John Chrysostome, whereby he supposeth to have given a shrewd blow to protestants, and to have gotten Hector’s victory upon a certain English prisoner taken in plain field, and of all such as take his part.

    The text only of Chrysostome he reciteth, but maketh no argument, albeit he maketh mention of an invincible argument in the margin. But, because he either wist not, or list not to shew his cunning therein, I will form that argument for him which he would have done, but did not: and so will form it (the Lord willing) as he himself must of necessity be driven to do, if the matter ever come to the trial of act, and not to the trifling of words. First, he taketh his text out of Chrysostome, as followeth: — “For what cause, I pray you, did Christ shed his blood? Truly to redeem those sheep, whose charge he committeth to Peter and to Peter’s successors.” Upon this place of Chrysostome, this clerk taketh his medium , Christ’s suffering. His conclusion is, that all which Christ died for, were committed to Peter; wherefore the form of the argument must needs stand thus, in the third figure: — Christ suffered for all men: Christ suffered for them whom he committed to Peter. Ergo , all that Christ died for, were committed to Peter.

    If this be the form of his insoluble argument, as it seemeth to be by the order of his reasoning, and also must needs be, taking that medium , and making that conclusion as he doth (for else in the first figure and first mood, the text of Chrysostome will not serve him), then must the form and violence of this inexpugnable argument be denied, for that it breaketh the rules of logic, making his conclusion universal, which in that figure must needs be particular, either affirmative or negative. And so this “argument invincible” falleth into one of these two straits; either concluding thus, the form will not serve him, or concluding, in another figure, the words of Chrysostome will not answer to his purpose, to prove that all the world was committed to Peter. Which proposition, as it is strange in Scripture, so neither is it the proposition of Chrysostome. And though it were, yet both without inconvenience might be granted of us, and being granted, serveth his purpose nothing, so long as the proposition is not exceptive, excluding other apostles. For the words of Chrysostome do not so sound, that the whole world was committed to Peter only, and to none other. Likewise then, as it may be well affirmed of us, that, the world was committed to Peter: so can it not be denied of them that the world was also committed to John, James, Bartholomew, Paul, Barnabas, and other all and singular apostles. For he that said to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” said also to all and singular his apostles, “Go into all the world and preach,” etc. (Matthew 28:19). Moreover, forasmuch as this man collecteth out of Chrysostome, that the whole world was committed to Peter, how shall we then join this meaning of Chrysostome with St. Paul, which saith that the gospel was committed to Peter over the circumcision, as was Paul over the uncircumcision? And here an answer to this doughty argument, both to the form and to the matter thereof: albeit concerning the matter, here lacketh much to be said more of Peter’s successors in the text of Chrysostome. By the which successors is not meant the bishop of Rome only (as the papists would bear us in hand), but all such true and faithful pastors, whom the Lord’s calling sendeth, and setteth over his flock, wheresoever, or whatsoever they be. For as Peter beareth a representation of the church, by the testimony of Augustine, so the successors of Peter be all faithful pastors and overseers of Christ’s church, to whom Christ our Lord hath committed the charge of his flock. Wherefore they are not a little deceived, who, looking upon the rock only of the person and not the rock of confession (contrary to the rule of Hilary, ) do tie the apostleship or rock of Peter to one only bishop, and the succession of Peter to one only see of Rome; whereas this being a spiritual office and not carnal, hath no such carnal race or descent, after any worldly or local understanding; but hath a more mystical meaning, after a spiritual sense of succession, such as Jerome speaketh of, “All,” saith he, speaking of bishops, “be successors of the apostles,” etc. f793 Of like force and fashion, and out of the same figure, the same author patcheth, moreover, another argument; proving that the bishop of Rome was titled the head of Christ’s church, in the primitive time of the old ancestors, before the age of Gregory. His argument proceedeth thus, in the third figure: St. Peter was called by the ancient fathers, head of Christ’s church: St. Peter was bishop of Rome: ergo , the bishop of Rome was called head of the church in the old ancient time.

    This argument expository, being clouted up in the third figure, and concluding singularly, hath rather a show of an argument, than maketh any necessary conclusion; standing upon no mood in the said figure, if the author thereof were put to his trial. Albeit, to leave the form, and to come to the matter of the argument . a21 First, how well will he dispatch himself of the major, and prove us that St. Peter, although he were at Rome, and taught at Rome, and suffered at Rome; yet that he was bishop and proper ordinary of that city and special see of Rome? As touching the allegation of Abdias, Orosius, Ado, Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, Optatus, Augustine, brought forth for his most advantage, to prove his major: thus I answer concerning Orosius, Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, and Augustine, that whereas they speak of St. Peter’s chair, or planting the faith at Rome, straightway this man argueth thereupon, that Peter was bishop of Rome. But that doth not clerkly follow: for the office of the apostles was to plant the faith in all places, and in every region, yet were they not bishops in every region. And as for the chair, as it is no difference essential that maketh a bishop (forsomuch as a doctor may have a chair, and yet be no bishop), so cannot he conclude, by the chair of Peter, that St. Peter was bishop of Rome. For all this proveth no further but that Peter was at Rome, and there taught the faith of Christ, as Paul did also; and peradventure in a chair likewise; yet we say not that Paul was therefore bishop of Rome; but that he was there as an apostle of Christ, whether he taught there standing on his feet, or sitting in a chair. In the Scripture commonly the chair signifieth doctrine or judgment, as sitting also declareth such as teach or judge, whether they sit in the chair of Moses, or in the chair of pestilence. “Planting,” likewise, is a word apostolical, and signifieth not only the office of a bishop. Wherefore it is no good consequent, he sat, he taught, he planted at Rome, his chair and seat was at Rome; ergo , he was bishop of Rome. — And thus much touching Orosius, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine.

    As for Abdias, Ado, Optatus, and such others — although we should have much wrong offered, and never should make an end, if we should be prest with the authority of every one that could or did move pen, in all the whole first age of the church, to be our judges in every ecclesiastical matter; and much more wrong should have, if the authors either corrupted or counterfeited should be laid unto us, speaking not in the same sense, or in the same tongue, or in the same time wherein they wrote; — yet, to help and to salve the authorities of these authors, so much as we may, I answer to their allegations with this distinction of a bishop, which is to be taken either generally, or specially. After the first, a bishop is he to whomsoever the public cure and charge of souls is committed, without any limitation of place. And so the name of bishop is coincident with the office of apostle, or any public pastor, doctor, or curate of the universal flock of Christ. And thus may Paul, Peter, or any other of the apostles be called bishops. So also is Christ himself by express word called ejpi>skopov kai< poi>mhn that is, “bishop and pastor” (1 Peter 2:25); and thus may Peter well be named a bishop of these foresaid authors after this manner of taking. But this public and general charge universally over the whole, without limitation, ceased after Christ and the apostles. For then were bishops by places and provinces appointed, to have special oversight of some particular flock or province, and so to be resident and attendant only upon the same.

    The other diversity of this name “bishop,” is to be taken after a more special sort; which is, when any person, orderly called, is assigned namely and specially to some one certain place, city, or province, whereunto he is only bound to employ his office and charge, and no where else; according to the old canons of the apostles, and of the council of Nice. F795 And this bishop, differing from the other, is called “Episeopus intitulatus,” having his name of his city or diocese. And thus we deny that Peter the apostle was ever bishop elected, installed, or intituled to the city of Rome: neither doth Optatus, Abdias, Ado, or Jerome affirm the same. And if Ado say that Peter was bishop of Rome five and twenty years, until the last year of Nero, that is easily refuted both by the scriptures and histories: for so we understand by the declaration of St. Paul (Galatians 2:1), that, fourteen years after his conversion, St. Paul had Peter by the hand at Jerusalem.

    Moreover, the said Paul in the aforesaid epistle witnesseth that the charge apostolical was committed unto Peter over the circumcised, and so was he intituled. Also St. Paul writing to the Romans, in his manifold salutations to them in Rome, maketh no mention there of St. Peter, who doubtless should not have been unremembered, if he had been then in Rome. Again, St. Peter, dating his epistle from Babylon, was not then belike at Rome.

    Furthermore, histories do record that Peter was at Pontus five years, then at Antioch seven years. How could he then be five and twenty years at Rome? Finally, whereas our adversary, alleging out of Ado, saith, that St.

    Peter was there five and twenty years, until the last year of Nero, how can that stand, when St. Paul, suffering under Nero, was put to death the same day twelve months, that is, a whole year after Peter? But especially how agreeth this with Scripture, that Christ should make Peter an apostle universal to walk in all the world? “Ite per universum orbem.” Item, “Eritis mihi testes usque ad fines terrae.” And our papists would needs make him a sitting bishop, and intitle him to Rome. How accord these, “apostolus” and “episcopus,” “ire” and “sedere,” “omnes gentes” and “Roma” together?

    And thus have I resolved the first untruth of that popish demonstration before rehearsed, wherein they think to prove that as Peter, although he was not called “universal apostle,” yet was the head of the whole church: so the pope might have had, and hath had, after him, the charge of the whole church, although he was not called “universal bishop” in the old time.

    Now followeth the second untruth to be touched in the same argument; which is, that because Peter was the head of the church, so therefore the pope must also be the head of the church, and was; albeit he was not called “universal bishop” for a long time. But this we do deny, yea, the matter denieth itself by their own position; for, being granted by them, that the title of “universal bishop” was not received at Rome, but refused to the time of Gregory, then must it necessarily be granted, that the bishops of Rome, before St. Gregory, had not the charge of the whole church, neither could be admitted by that reason to be heads of the church: forsomuch as there can be no head, but that which is universal to the whole body, neither can any have charge of the whole, but he must needs be universal to all and singular parts of that, whereof he hath the charge. As in sciences, whosoever hath knowledge and cunning in all the seven liberal sciences, and all the parts thereof pertaining to liberal knowledge, is said to be a universal learned man: so, in office, to whomsoever the public charge of all churches doth appertain, how is he not to be called “bishop universal?”

    Now if before St. Gregory’s time the name of “universal bishop” was repealed in Rome, how then can the name be refused, and the definition of the name be admitted? Or else let our adversaries tell us how they define a universal bishop, seeing this word “bishop” is properly the name of office whereto is annexed charge. Wherefore, if a bishop be he which hath the charge of all souls in his diocese committed to him, and must render account for them all; then to him whose charge extendeth to all and singular churches, and must render account for every christian soul within the whole world, the name of an universal bishop cannot be denied, having the office of an universal bishop. Or, if he be not an universal bishop, he cannot then have the charge of the whole, that is, of all and singular churches of Christ. For such is the rule of true definition: “cui convenit definitio, eidem convenit definitum.” Et contra: “cui adimitur definitio, eidem et definitum adimitur.”

    Although this word “universal” in the Greek writers signifieth that which we in our vulgar English tongue call “catholic,” yet I suppose our adversaries here will not take “universal” in that sense. For after that meaning, as we do not deny that the bishops of Rome may be universal bishops, so neither can they deny but other bishops may also be as universal, that is, as catholic as they. But such as more distinctly and school-like discuss this matter, define universal or catholic by three things; to wit, by time, place, and person; so that whatsoever extendeth itself to all times, all places, and all persons, that is properly universal or catholic.

    And contrariwise, what thing is to be called universal or catholic, reacheth to all those three aforesaid, comprehending all places, times, and persons, and extendeth itself of his own nature to the same; or else it is not to be called properly universal or catholic. And thus three things there are, which most commonly we call catholic or universal: that is, the church, which is called the catholic church: faith, which is called the catholic faith: a man, whom also we call a man catholic: because these three of their own nature and disposition (no contrary obstacle letting) extend themselves so to all, that no time, place, nor person is excluded. Which three conditions, if they altogether concur in the charge of the bishop of Rome, then is it an universal charge, and he an universal bishop: if not, then neither is his charge universal, nor he the head of the church, nor yet universal bishop.

    For how these three can be separated, I cannot see, except the adversarypart do prove it more evidently than they have done.

    And thus much to the objection of our adversaries; arguing thus, that as St.

    Peter being not called universal apostle, yet was the head of the universal church; so the pope, although he was not first called universal bishop, had, and might have the charge of the whole church, and was the universal head of the same. Which objection containing (as is said) a double untruth, our adversaries, yet notwithstanding, do busy themselves greatly to fortify by sundry testimonies and allegations, patched out of old and ancient doctors, but specially out of Theodoret, Irenaeus, Ambrose and Augustine, proving by them, that the see of Rome, having the pre-eminence and principality, hath been honored above all other churches; whereupon the said adversary, before minded, grounded this consequent.

    Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, and Theodoret affirm, that the church of Rome is the chief of all other churches: — ergo , the bishop and head of that church is chief and head over all bishops, and head over all other churches.

    But this consequent is to be denied, for that the excellency of the church or place doth not always argue the excellency of the minister or bishop, nor yet necessarily doth cause the same. For, in matters of the church which are spiritual, all pre-eminence standeth upon spiritual and inward gifts: “spiritualia enim spiritualibus comparantur,” as faith, piety, learning and godly knowledge, zeal and fervency in the Holy Ghost, unity of doctrine, etc.; which gifts many times may excel in a church, where the minister or bishop is inferior to bishops or ministers of other churches. As the most famous school in a realm hath not alway the most famous schoolmaster, neither doth make him thereby most excellent in learning above all others; so, if our adversaries do mean by this pre-eminence of the church of Rome such inward gifts of doctrine, faith, unity, and peace of religion, then, say I, the excellency hereof doth not infer or argue the excellency of the bishop.

    And thus concerning the principality of the church of Rome, commended at that time of the doctors, it may be true, and so well expounded one way.

    And thus do I grant the antecedent of this argument, and deny the consequent. But here will our adversaries peradventure reply again, and say, that the principality of the church of Rome, which is commended by the doctors, is not meant here so much of inward gifts and endowments belonging to a christian church, as of outward authority and domination over other churches. Whereto is to be answered, first, What necessity is there, or where did our papists learn, to bring into the spiritual church of Christ this outward form of civil regiment and policy; that as the Roman emperors, in times past, governed over all the world, so the Roman bishop must have his monarchy upon the universal clergy, to make all other churches to stoop under his subjection? And where then be the words of our Savior, “Vos autem non sic?” If they hold their affirmative “quod sic,” where then is Christ’s negative “non sic?” If they say, there must needs be distinction of degrees in the church, and in this distinction of degrees superiority must necessarily be granted for the outward discipline of the church, for directing matters, for quieting of schisms, for setting orders, for commencing of convocations and councils, as need shall require, etc.; against this superiority we stand not, and therefore we yield to our superior powers, kings and princes, our due obedience, and to our lawful governors under God of both regiments, ecclesiastical and temporal. Also in the ecclesiastical state, we take not away the distinction of ordinary degrees, such as by the scripture be appointed or by the primitive church allowed, as patriarchs or archbishops, bishops, ministers, and deacons; for of these four we specially read as chief. In which four degrees, as we grant diversity of office, so we admit in the same also diversity of dignity; neither denying that which is due to each degree, neither yet maintaining the ambition of any singular person. For as we give to the minister place above the deacon, to the bishop above the minister, to the archbishop above the bishop: so we see no cause of inequality, why one minister should be above another minister; one bishop in his degree above another bishop to deal in his diocese; or one archbishop above another archbishop.

    And this is to keep an order duly and truly in the church, according to the true nature and definition of order by the authority of Augustine, where he thus defineth that which we call order: “Order,” saith he, “is a disposition or arrangement of all things, according as they are matches or not matches, giving to every one respectively his own right and proper place.” F799 This definition of St. Augustine standing with the things before premised, now here joineth the question between us and the papists; whether the metropolitan church of Rome, with the archbishop of the same, ought to be preferred before other metropolitan churches and archbishops through universal christendom, or not? To the answer whereof, if the voice of order might here be heard, it would say, “Give to things that be matches and alike, like honor; to things unlike, unlike honor.” Wherefore, seeing the see of Rome is a patriarchal see appointed by the primitive church, and the bishop or archbishop thereof limited within his own bordering churches (which the council of Nice calleth “suburbicarias ecclesias,” ) as other archbishops be; he ought therefore orderly to have the honor of an archbishop (ordering himself thereafter), and such outward preeminence as to other archbishops is due. More if he do require, he breaketh the rule of right order, he falleth into presumption, and doeth wrong unto his fellows: and they also do wrong unto themselves, whosoever they be, who, feeding his humor of ambition, give more unto him than the aforesaid rule of order doth require. For, so much as they yield to him more than is his right, so much they take from themselves which is due to them. And the same is the cause, why Gregory reprehendeth them, who gave to the archbishop of Constantinople that which now the bishop of Rome claimeth to himself, charging them with the breach of order in these words: “Lest that while any singular thing is given to one person, all other priests be deprived of their due honor.” F801 And for the like cause, Pelagius his predecessor exhorteth that no priest do give to any one archbishop the name of “universal bishop,” “lest,” saith he, “in so doing, he take from himself his due honor, while he yieldeth to another that which is not his due. F802 And also in the same epistle, “for,” saith he, “if he be called the chief universal patriarch, then is the name of patriarch derogated from others,” etc. f803 Wherefore, as is said, seeing the bishop of Rome is an archbishop, as others be, order giveth that he should have the dignity which to archbishops is due; whatsoever is added more, is derogation to the rest.

    And thus much concerning distinction of degrees, and order in giving to every degree his place and honor.

    The second reason and answer to the objection before moved is this: That being granted to the papists, that the doctors aforesaid (speaking of the principality of the church of Rome) do mean not only of the inward virtues of that church, but also of the outward authority and jurisdiction of the same, above other churches: yet the cause wherefore they did attribute so much to that church, is to be considered; which was this, as before was alleged out of the council of Chalcedon, “for the rule and empery which that city of Rome had then above other cities;” which cause, being outward and carnal, was neither then cause sufficient, and, now ceasing, importeth not to us the like effect, according as they say, “Sublata causa tollitur effectus.” So that by the reason thereof, the aforesaid principality of the church of Rome did not hold them “jure divino, sed humano.” And as it holdeth by man’s law, so by man’s law it may be repealed again.

    Wherefore, be it admitted that both the pope sitteth and succeedeth in the chair of Peter, and also that he is the bishop of the greatest city in the world; yet it followeth not thereby that he should have rule and lordship over all other bishops and churches of the world. For First, touching the succession of Peter, many things are to be considered: First, Whether Peter sat and had his chair in Rome, or not. Secondly, Whether he sat there as an apostle, or as a bishop. Thirdly, Whether the sitting in the outward seat of Peter maketh successors of Peter. Fourthly, Whether he sitteth in the chair and seat of Peter, which sitteth not in the doctrine of Peter.

    Fifthly, Whether the succession of Peter maketh not rather an apostle than a bishop, and so should we call the pope the “apostle” of Rome, and not the “bishop” of Rome. Sixthly, Whether ecclesiastical functions ought to be esteemed by ordinary succession of place, or by God’s secret calling and sending. Seventhly and lastly, Whether it stand by scripture, any one succession at all to be appointed in Christ’s church, or why more from Peter, than from other apostles.

    All which interrogatories being well discussed (which would require a long process), it should well appear what little hold the pope hath to take this state upon him, above all other churches, as he doth. In the mean time, this one argument by the way may suffice, instead of many, for our adversaries to answer to at their convenient leisure. Which argument thus I form and frame in Camestres . F806 All the true successors of Peter sit in the chair of the doctrine of Peter, and other apostles uniformly:

    No popes of this latter church of Rome sit in the chair of St. Peter and other apostles doctrine uniformly: Ergo , No popes of this latter church of Rome be the true successors of Peter.

    And when they have well perused the minor of this argument, and have well conferred together the doctrine taught them of St. Peter with the doctrine taught now by the popes, of justification of a christian man, of the office of the law, of the strength and largeness of sin, of men’s merits, of free-will, of works of supererogation, of setting up images, of seven sacraments, of auricular confession, of satisfaction, of sacrifice of the mass, of communicating under one kind, of elevating and adoring the sacramental elements, of Latin service, of invocation, of prohibition of meats and marriage, of vowing chastity, of sects and rules of divers religions, of indulgences and pardons; also with their doctrine taught now of magistrates, of the fullness of power and regality of the see of Rome, with many others like to these; — then will I be glad to hear what they shall say to the premises.

    Secondly, if they would prove by the allegation of the doctors, Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, Theodoret aforesaid, the bishop of Rome to be the chief of all bishops therefore, because the city whereof he is bishop is the chief and principal above all other cities, that consequent is to be denied. For it followeth not (taking, as I said, the principality of that church to stand dia< to< basileu>ein thlin, that is, upon the principal dominion of that city), no more than this consequent followeth:

    London is the chief city in all England: ergo, the bishop of London is the chiefest of all bishops in this realm: which argument were derogatory to the archbishops both of Canterbury and York.

    Yea, to grant yet more to our adversaries (which is all they can require) viz. that the aforesaid doctors, as Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, and Theodoret, in giving principality unto Rome, meant to have respect unto the virtue of succession from Peter, and not unto the greatness of the city: yet notwithstanding, for all this, their argument holdeth not, if it be rightly considered; to say, The apostolic see of Rome, having succession from Peter, with the bishops thereof, was chief then of all other churches in the primitive time of these doctors: ergo , the apostolical see of Rome, with the bishops thereof, having succession from Peter, ought now to be chief of all other churches in these our days.

    This consequent might well follow, if the times were like, or if succession, which gave then the cause of principality, were the same now, as it was then. But now the time and succession is not correspondent, for then succession, in the time of these doctors, was as well in doctrine apostolical, as in place apostolical. Now, the succession of doctrine apostolical hath long ceased in the see apostolical: and nothing remaineth but only place, which is the least matter of true spiritual and apostolical succession. And thus much to the authority and testimony of these forenamed doctors.

    Besides these objections heretofore recited out of Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, and Theodoret; our adversaries yet object and heap up against us, moreover, examples of the primitive time of the church, testimonies of general councils, and opinions of ancient writers taken out of the book of councils and epistles decretal, whereby their intent is to prove the foresaid terms of “the head of the church,” “ruler of the church,” “chief of all other priests,” to be applied not only to Peter, but also to the bishop of Rome within the compass of the primitive time. And here cometh in the testimony cited of Vincentius of Lerins; of the epistle of Paschasius and his fellows, writing to Leo from the council of Chalcedon; the testimony also of Justinian the emperor in his Codex, where John, then pope, is called “caput omnium ecclesiarum.” F808 The testimony also of Athanasius, with his fellow-bishops of Egypt, of Thebais, and Lybia, in their epistles to popes Marcus, Liberius, and Felix. Likewise the testimony of Jerome, of St. Ambrose, of St. Augustine to Boniface, of Theodoret, in his epistle to pope Leo, and of Chrysostome. F813 By which testimonies our adversaries would prove St. Peter, and after him the bishop of Rome, to be called and taken for head of the church, chief bishop, prince and ruler of the whole clergy. F814 To all which objections fully and exactly to answer in order, would require a whole volume by itself. In the mean time, leaving the rest unto them unto whom it doth more properly appertain, briefly with this one short distinction I answer these and all other such-like places, where St. Peter with his successors is called head of the church, chief of bishops, prince of the apostles, etc. In which places, the words “head,” “chief,” and “prince of the apostles,” may be taken two manner of ways; to note either dominion or else commendation.

    For so we read sometimes “caput” and “princeps” to be words not of authority, but of excellency, whereby is declared the chiefest and worthiest part among many parts, and not possessor and governor of the whole. Like as, in the person of man, the head is the principal part of the whole body, being endued with reason, and furnished with most excellent senses, by the which the whole body of man is directed: so, thereof is derived by a metaphor, to what man or thing soever nature or condition hath given the greatest excellency of gifts and properties above other parts or members of the same society, that the same should be called “caput” or “princeps,” head or prince, of the said parties. And yet the same head or prince, so called, hath not always dominion or jurisdiction of the rest. So we call those, in our vulgar speech, the head or chief men of the parish, who, for their riches, wisdom, or place, are most specially noted; after like phrase of speech we call him the head man of the inquest, that hath first place: and yet neither they, nor these, have any dominion or jurisdiction upon the residue. In a school, the chiefest scholar in learning is not therefore the master or governor of his fellows. Neither hath Marcus Cicero any title thereby to claim subjection and service of all other orators, because he is named “princeps eloquentiae,” and goeth before them in that kind of phrase. The same Cicero calleth Cratippus, “principem hujus aetatis philosophorum:” as Homer may be also called “poetarum princeps:” and yet neither philosophers to Cratippus, nor poets to Homer, owe any thing else, but only fame and praise.

    And what if St. Peter, the blessed apostle, be called and counted by the old ancient doctors “Coryphaeus apostolorum,” which is, head and prince of the apostles, for his excellent faith, for his divine confession, and singular affection to the Lord Jesus; yet what interest or charge either hath he to challenge over the apostles, or the pope after him over all other bishops and the whole church of Christ, although the pope have the like excellency of Christ’s faith which Peter had; as would God he had! As concerning these allegations therefore out of the doctors, two things are to be observed: first, that neither these names and titles, though they be given to Peter, do give him any state or dominion over other apostles; nor yet the succession of him doth further, any whit, this celsitude and regality of the pope to advance him above his fellow archbishops, as now he doth.

    And (speaking of the writers and councils of the primitive age) if our adversaries would needs provoke us to the numbering of testimonies and dividing the house, for these aforesaid testimonies alleged on their side I could, on the contrary part, recite out of the witness of doctors, out of the examples of councils, and practices of emperors, no less than sixty voices, much more repugnant against their assertion, than there is for the pope.

    The tractation whereof for this present I do either refer to them that have more leisure at this time to discourse them, or else defer to another time, if the good pleasure of the Lord shall be to grant me further leisure in another book to treat thereof at large; in such order, as (if the Lord so grant) shall appear sufficient matter, to prove by the doctors, general councils, examples and histories of time, that the bishops of Rome, during the first five hundred years after Christ, although for the greatness of the empire they were somewhat more magnified than the others, and therefore were sought of many, and were flattered of some, and they themselves divers times did set forth themselves more than they should, yet, by the common consent of churches, were stopped of their purpose, so that by the consent of the most part, within the compass of that age, the bishops of Rome had not this regal state of title, jurisdiction, and fullness of power, which now they usurp, but were taken as archbishops of equal honor, of equal merit, with other archbishops and rulers of the church. And if any preferment was given unto them something above the rest, yet neither was it so given of all, nor of the most part: secondly neither was it so given of them for any such necessity of God’s word, “aut jure aliquo divino,” as which did so bind them thereunto; nor yet so much for the respect of Peter, and his succession, as for certain other causes and respects, as may be gathered to the number of thirteen. F816 1. Of which, the first is the greatness of the city and monarchy of Rome. 2. The second is the authority of the emperor Constantine the Great, the first of the emperors converted to the faith, and ruling in the same city; by whom the universal liberty of the church was first promoted; and by whom the causes of bishops, who might be at variance, were sometimes (as a matter of indulgence) committed to the bishop of Rome, and to other bishops near at hand, to be decided; as appeareth in Eusebius. F817 3. The third was the council of Nice, which confirmed the preeminence of that church to have the oversight of the churches bordering about it.

    F818 4. The fourth cause of advancing the church of Rome, was the unquiet state of the eastern church, much troubled in those days with sects, factions, and dissensions, whereof we may read in Socrates and Sozomen. F819 5. The bishops of Rome being wont to be summoned, like other metropolitans, to attend synods, then, if it chanced them to be absent, and their sentence nevertheless to be required, by the occasion thereof they began at length to take it for a canon or rule ecclesiastical that their sentence must be required, and thereupon to disallow those acts of synods, whereto their sentence was not required. 6. Another cause was, that when any matter affecting the common interests of the church was in hand at any particular place, whatsoever was done, commonly the manner was to write to the Roman bishop for his approbation in the same, for public unity and consent to be had in Christ’s church, as appeareth by Ambrose. F820 7. Item, for that the testimonial sometimes of the Roman bishop was wont in those days also to be desired for admitting teachers and bishops in other churches, whereof we have example in Socrates. F821 8. Moreover, this was a great setting-up of that church, when their sentence not only was required, but also received divers times of other bishops. F822 And when bishops of other provinces were at any dissension among themselves, they of their own accord appealed to the bishop of Rome, desiring him to cite up both parties, and to have the hearing and deciding of the cause, as did Macarius and Hesychius send to Julius then bishop of Rome. F823 9. Item, in that certain of the Arians, returning from their Arianism, offered up and exhibited unto the bishops of Rome their recantations, and were thereupon of them received again, as Ursacius and Valens did to Julius. F824 10. The tenth cause was also, for that Gratian the emperor made a law, that all men should retain that religion which Damasus bishop of Rome, and Peter bishop of Alexandria did hold. F825 11. And also, if the bishop of Rome happened to disallow the appointment of any minister or ministers, the popes, perceiving how diligent and ready such were to seek their favor, and to send up their messengers to Rome for their purgation, took thereby no little means of exaltation. F826 12. Besides these aforesaid, the bishops of Rome had also another artificial practice, that in sending out their letters abroad, as they did so many, in all their epistles (if the epistles be theirs, and not forged) f827 ever they were harping of the greatness of their name, and of their apostolic see, and of the primacy of St. Peter, their predecessor and prince of all the apostles, etc. And this they used in every letter whensoever they wrote to any, as appeareth in all their letters decretal, namely, in the letters of Melchiades, Marcellus, and Marcus, etc. 13. Again, if any of the eastern church directed any writing to them, wherein any signification was contained of ever so little reverence given unto them (as learned men commonly use for modesty’s sake), that was taken by and by and construed for plain subjection and due obedience, as declareth the letter of Damasus, written to the bishops of the eastern church beginning thus: “Quod debitam reverentiam,” etc. In English thus: “Whereas your charity yieldeth due reverence to the apostolical see, you in so doing, dear children, do much for yourselves,” etc. Whereas the bishops of the eastern church, notwithstanding, had shewed little or no reverence in their epistle to pope Damasus before.

    Thus have ye the first and original grounds, by the means whereof, the archbishops of the Romish see have achieved this their great kingdom and celsitude over Christ’s church, first beginning the mystery of their iniquity by that which was modestly and voluntarily given them; afterward, by use and custom, claiming it ambitiously unto them of duty and service; and lastly, holding fast (as we see) that which once they had gotten into their possession, so that now in no case they can abide the birds to call home their feathers again, which they so long have usurped.

    And thus much concerning the life, jurisdiction, and title of the Roman bishops: in all which (as is declared) they, and not we, have fallen from the church of Rome. To these I might also join the manner of government, wherein the said Romish bishops have no less altered, both from the rule of scripture, and from the steps of the true church of Rome; which government as it hath been, and ought to be, only spiritual, so hath the bishop of Rome used it of late years no otherwise than an earthly king or prince governeth his realm and dominions — with riches, glory, power, terror, outward strength, force, prison, death, execution, laws, policies, promoting his friends to dignities, revenging his affections, punishing and correcting faults against his person more than other offenses against God committed, using and abusing in all these things the word of God for his pretext and cloak to work his worldly purpose withal: whereas indeed, the word of God ministereth no such power to spiritual persons, but such as is spiritual: according to the saying of the apostle, “The armor and artillery,” saith St. Paul, “of our warfare, are not carnal, but spiritual: such as serve not against flesh and blood, nor against the weak person of man; but against Satan, against the gates of hell, and the profundities of the wicked power.” F829 Which armor as it is all spiritual, so ought they which have the dealing thereof to be likewise spiritual, well furnished with all such gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, as are meet for the governance of his spiritual church: as, with wisdom and knowledge in the scripture to instruct the ignorant; with inward intelligence and foresight of the crafty cogitations and operations of Satan, and with power of the Spirit to resist the same; with practice and experience of temptations, to comfort such as be afflicted and oppressed of Satan; with heavenly discretion to discern spirits, and truth from untruth; with judgment and knowledge of tongues, and learning to convict error; with zeal of God’s glory; with fervency of prayer; with patience in persecution; with a mind contented with all cases and states incident; with tears and compassion on other men’s griefs; with stoutness and courage against proud and stout oppressors; with humility toward the poor and miserable; with the counsel of the Lord Jesus by his word and Spirit to direct him in all things to be done; with strength against sin; with hatred of this world; with gift of faith; power of the keys in spiritual causes — as to minister the word, the sacraments, and excommunication when the word biddeth, that the spirit may be saved, and to reconcile again as case requireth, etc. These and such like are the matters wherein consist the sinews and strength of the church, and for true governance of the same. But, contrary to these aforesaid, both the bishop and clergy of this latter church of Rome proceed in their administration and governance as those who, under the name and pretense of Christ and his word, have exercised of long time nothing else but a worldly dominion, seeking indeed their own glory, not the glory of Christ; riches of the world, not the lucre of souls; not feeding of the flock, but filling the purse; revenging their own wrongs, but neglecting God’s glory; striving against man only, and killing him, but not killing the vice, nor confuting the error of man; strong against flesh and blood, but weak against the devil; stout against the simple, but meek against the mighty: briefly, doing almost all things preposterously, more like to secular princes, than spiritual pastors of Christ’s flock, with outward enforcement, and fear of punishment, with prisoning, famishing, hanging, racking, drowning, heading, slaying, murdering and burning, and warring also: on the other side, with their riches and treasures; with their guard and guardiance; with strength of men; with court and cardinals; with pomp and pride about them; with their triple crown; with the naked sword; with their ordinary succession; with their laws and executions; their promotions and preferments; their biddings and commandings; threatenings and revengings, etc.

    In fine, to compare therefore the image of a worldly kingdom, with this kingdom of the pope, there is no difference, save only that this kingdom of the pope, under hypocrisy, maketh a face of the spiritual sword, which is the word of God; but, in very deed, doeth all things with the temporal sword; that is, with outward forcement and coaction, differing nothing from civil and secular regiment in all properties and conditions, if it be well considered. For, as in an earthly kingdom, first there is a prince or some chief magistrate appointed, having dominion over his nobles and commons, containing all his subjects under his statutes and laws (with the which laws notwithstanding he dispenseth at his pleasure), under whom all other inferior magistrates have their order and place to them appointed to rule over the subjects, and yet to be subject under him: so, if the state and form of the pope be well considered, we shall see it altereth nothing from the same, but only in the names of the persons. In civil government, all subjection is referred to one head ruler, whose authority surmounteth all the rest, and keepeth them under obedience: in like manner the government of the popish church is committed to one man, who, as chief steward, overseer, and ruler of Christ’s household in his absence, hath supreme power over all churches, to moderate and direct all the affairs thereof. But here standeth the difference; in civil policy he is called a king or prince; here he is called a pope.

    The king hath next unto him his dukes and earls; the pope’s nobility standeth in his cardinals and legates, who, though they be no dukes in name, yet in pomp and pride, will not only give check to them, but also mate to kings themselves, if they might be suffered, as did Theodore, Lanfranc, Anselm, and Thomas Becket; and so would Thomas Wolsey have done, had not the king given him a check to his mate betime. In civil policy, next to dukes and earls, followeth the order of lords, barons, knights, esquires, gentlemen, with mayors, sheriffs, constables, bailiffs, wardens, etc. The like race is to be seen also, although under other names, in the pope’s policy: of primates, bishops, suffragans, provosts, deans, canons, vicars, archdeacons, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists, lectors, door-keepers, singsters, with other clerks. And as, in the other, under wardens cometh the order of scavengers, so neither doth the pope’s monarchy lack his channel-rakers, to whom may well be compared the rabblement of abbots, provincials, priors, monks, friars, with their convents, and nunneries.

    Moreover, from justices, judges, lawyers, sergeants, attorneys, which be necessary officers in the commonwealth, what differ the pope’s inquisitors, canonists, doctors, and bachelors of the pope’s law, commissaries, officials, proctors, promoters, with such others, which serve no less in the spiritual court and in the consistory, than the other aforesaid do in the temporal court or in the Guildhall? Now, whoso listeth to compare the glory and magnificence of the one, with the glory of the other; also the power and strength of the one regiment, with the power of the other, and so the riches of the one, with the riches of the other, I suppose he shall see no great odds between them both, taking the pope’s kingdom, as it hath stood in his full ruff, and yet doth stand where churches are not reformed. As for subtlety and politic practice, there is no man, that is indifferent, that doubteth, or that hath his eyes, that seeth not, that the pope’s hierarchy in holding up their state, far excelleth all the empires and kingdoms of worldly princes, of whom all others may take example to learn.

    Thus, in comparing the pope’s regiment with civil governance, as they do little or nothing disagree, so, in comparing again the same with the order of Scriptures, or with the regiment that was in the old ancient church of Rome, we shall see no resemblance between them. As we read in the apostles’ time, all the armor of Christ’s ministers was spiritual, and full of godly power against the spiritual enemies of our salvation, governing the church then with peace, patience, humility, true knowledge of God, the sword of the spirit, the shield of faith, the breast-plate of righteousness, hearty charity, sincere faith, and a good conscience: (2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Timothy 1:19) so, after the apostles, in the time of Ambrose, by his own testimony it is to be understood, that the armor of churchmen was then “preces et lachrymae,” prayers and tears; whereas now the armor of the pope’s priesthood is nothing else but “ignis et ferrum,” fire and sword, wherewith they keep all things under their subjection. And here cometh in the enormous and horrible abuse of excommunication, suspension, and interdiction, in cases frivolous or worldly; and for such things as for which the civil magistrate will not commit any citizens to the stocks, the pope’s censure will not stick to commit a christian to the devil: not to speak of their other usurped dealings and doings in matters that belong to the civil sword, and which be to them impertinent; as, in punishing whoredom and adultery; in administration and probates of testaments; in bearing civil office, as, popes to be senators of Rome, and emperors also sede vacante ; cardinals to be captains in war, and rulers of regions; bishops to be presidents or chancellors; priests to be stewards in great men’s houses, or masters of mints, or clerks of the market, or gardeners to gentlemen, etc.: all which here I overpass, referring them to the deeper consideration of such as have more leisure to mark the order of their doings, and so to judge of the same with indifferency, according to the rule of truth taught in God’s word, and public examples of the ancient church of Christ in the primitive time.

    Thus, having discoursed sufficiently so much as concerneth the manner of life, title, jurisdiction, and government of the pope’s see (in all which points it is to be seen how this latter church of Rome hath receded from the true ancient church of Rome), it now remaineth, according to my promise, and order prefixed, consequently to proceed to the fourth and last point, which is of Doctrine: wherein consisteth the chiefest matter that maketh with us, and against them; in such sort as (their doctrine standing as it doth) neither are they to be reputed for true catholics, being altered so far from them; nor we otherwise than heretics, if we should now join with these. For the more trial whereof, let us examine the doctrine and rites of the said church of Rome, now used, and compare the same with the teaching of the ancient catholics; to the intent that such simple souls as have been hitherto, and yet are, seduced by the false vizard and image of this pretensed and bastardly church, perceiving what lieth within it, may be warned betime, either to eschew the peril, if they list to be instructed, or, if not, to blame none but themselves for their own wilful destruction.

    And albeit I could here charge this new-fangled church of the pope with seven or eight heinous crimes, as blasphemy, idolatry, heresy, superstition, absurdity, vanity, cruelty and contrariety (in which it neither agreeth with the old learning of their fore-elders, nor yet with themselves in sundry points), yet, after a more temperate sort to pass this matter with them, these two things I will and dare boldly affirm, that in this doctrine of the pope now taught in the church of Rome, there is neither any consolation of conscience, nor salvation of man’s soul. For, seeing there is no life, nor soul’s health, but only in Christ, nor any promise of salvation or comfort made, but only by faith in the Son of God; what assurance can there be of perfect peace, life, or salvation, where that which only maketh all, is least made of, and other things which make least, are most esteemed?

    For, to say the simple truth, what else is the whole course and body of the pope’s law now set forth, but a doctrine of laws, a heap of ceremonies, a teaching of traditions, a meditation of merits, a foundation of new religions? all which confer not one jot to the justification of our souls before the terrible judgment of God. And therefore, as it may be truly said that this doctrine of the pope is void of all true comfort and salvation, so likewise it seemeth that these, who addict themselves so devoutly to the pope’s learning, were never earnestly afflicted in conscience, never humbled in spirit, nor broken in heart, never entered into any serious feeling of God’s judgment, nor ever felt the strength of the law and of death. For if they had, they should soon have seen their own weakness, and have been driven to Christ; then should they have seen what a horrible thing it is, to appear before God the Father, or once to think on him (as Luther saith) without Christ. And, on the contrary side, then should they know what a glory, what a kingdom, what liberty and life it were, to be in Christ Jesus by faith, holding their inheritance, not with the bond son of Hagar, but with the free son of Sarah; by promise, and not by the law; by grace, and not by works; by gift, and not by deserving: that God only might be praised, and not man.

    And thus were the old Romans first taught by St. Paul writing to the Romans. The same did Cornelius the Roman, who was the first that was baptized of all the Gentiles, learn of St. Peter when he received the Holy Ghost, not by the deeds of the law, but only by hearing the faith of Jesus preached: and in the same doctrine the said church of the Romans many years continued, so long as they were in affliction. And in the same doctrine the bishop of Rome, with his Romans, now also should still remain, if they were such ancient catholics as they pretend, and would follow the old mother church of Rome, and hold the first liquor wherewith they were first seasoned. But the sweet verdour and scent of that liquor and pleasant must is now clean put out through other unsavoury infusions of the pope’s thrusting in; so that almost no taste nor piece remaineth of all that primitive doctrine, which St. Paul and other apostles first planted among the Gentiles. And what marvel if the Romans now, in so long tract of time, have lost their first sap, seeing the church of the Galatians then, in the very time of St. Paul their schoolmaster, he being amongst them, had not so soon turned his back a little; but they were all turned almost from the doctrine of faith, and had much ado to be recovered again.

    Of this defection and falling from faith, St. Paul expressly foretelleth us in his letters both to the Thessalonians, and also to Timothy, where he showeth, that a defection shall come, and that certain shall depart from the faith, attending to spirits of error (1 Timothy 4:1). And to know what errors these shall be, the circumstance plainly leadeth us to understand in the same place; where the said apostle speaketh of marked consciences, forbidding men to marry, and to eat meats, ordained of God to be taken with thanksgiving, for man’s sustenance; most evidently, as with his finger, pointing out unto us the church of Rome, which, not in these points only, but also in all other conditions almost, is utterly revolted from the pure original sincerity of that doctrine, which St. Paul planted in the church of the Romans, and of all other Gentiles.


    First , the doctrine of St. Paul ascribeth all our justification freely and merely to faith only in Christ, as to the only means and cause immediate, whereby the merits of Christ’s passion be applied unto us, without any other respect of work or works of the law whatsoever; and in this doctrine, the church of the Romans was first planted. 2. Secondly, the same doctrine of St. Paul, cutting off, and excluding all glory of man’s deserving, stayeth only upon God’s promise and upon grace, not man’s merits; upon mercy, not man’s laboring or running; upon election and calling, not man’s willing, etc. 3. Thirdly, the same doctrine, casting down the strength of man and his integra naturalia (as the schools do term them), concludeth all flesh under sin, and maketh the same destitute of the glory of God. 4. Item, it maketh manifest difference between the law and the gospel, declaring the use and end of them to be diverse: the one to kill, the other to quicken; the one to condemn, the other to justify; the one to have an end and a time, the other to be perpetual, etc. 5. Item, the same doctrine of St. Paul, as it showeth a difference between the law and the gospel; so it maketh no less difference between “justitia Dei,” and “justitia propria;” that is, the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man, abhorring the one, that is, man’s own righteousness, coming by the law and works; and embracing the other, which God imputeth freely and graciously to us for Christ his Son’s sake, in whom we believe. 6. Item, it wipeth away all traditions, and constitutions of men whatsoever, especially from binding of conscience; calling them beggarly elements of this world. 7. Likewise it rejecteth and wipeth away all curious subtleties and superfluous speculations, and knoweth nothing else but Christ only crucified, which is the only object whereunto our faith looketh. 8. Furthermore, as the same doctrine of St. Paul defineth all men to be transgressors by disobedience of one Adam, though they never touched the apple, they coming of his stock by nature; so doth it prove all men to be justified by the obedience of one, though they did not his obedience, they being likewise born of him by spiritual regeneration and faith. 9. And therefore, as all men, coming of Adam, are condemned originally, before they grow up to commit any sin against the law; so all men regenerated by faith in Christ, are saved originally, before they begin to do any good work of charity, or any other good deed. 10. Item, the doctrine of St. Paul, perpending the high glory of a christian man’s state in Christ Jesus by faith, first setteth him in a perfect peace with Almighty God (Romans 5:1): secondly, exempteth him from all condemnation (Romans 8:1); thirdly, it matcheth him with angels: it equalleth him with saints and fellow-citizens of heaven; it numbereth him with the household of God; and co-inheriteth him with Jesus Christ himself (Ephesians 2:19): fourthly, it adopteth him from the state of a servant, to the state of a son of God, crying “Abba,” Father (Galatians 4:6): fifthly, it openeth to him a bold access and entrance to the high majesty and throne of grace (Ephesians 2:20; Hebrews 4:16): sixthly, it subjecteth all things under him as ministers (yea, the apostles themselves in their highest office), death, life, things present, things to come, with the whole world besides; and assigneth him no spiritual head, but only Christ, saying, “And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:23): seventhly, it advanceth and setteth him in a spiritual liberty or freedom, above all terrors of spirit, rising either of God’s law or man’s law, above all dreadful fears of sin, damnation, malediction, rejection, death, hell, or purgatory; above all servile bondage of ceremonies, men’s precepts, traditions, superstitious vices, yokes, customs, or what else soever oppresseth and entangleth the spiritual freedom of a conscience, which Christ hath set at liberty; and requireth, moreover, that we walk and stand stout in that liberty whereto we are brought with the free son of Sarah, and not suffer ourselves any more to be clogged with any such servile bondage — that is to say, although we must be content to subject our bodies to all service, and to all men, yet must we not yield our spiritual consciences and souls as slaves and servants, to be subject to the fear or bondage of any terrene thing in this world (Galatians 4:3; Colossians 2:20), forsomuch as we are in that part made lords and princes over all things, whatsoever can harm, or bind, or terrify us. 11. Item, the right vein of St. Paul’s doctrine putteth no difference nor observation in days and times (Galatians 4:10; Colossians 2:8). 12. Item, it leaveth all meats to be indifferent, with thanksgiving, to serve the necessity of the body, and not the body to serve them (Colossians 2:21; 1 Timothy 4:3). 13. Item, it permitteth marriage without restraint or exception, lawful and also expedient for all men, having need thereof (1 Corinthians 7:2). 14 Item, it admitteth no sacrifice for sin but the sacrifice of Christ alone, and that done, once for all, with blood. For without blood there is no remission of sin, which is applied to us by faith only, and by nothing else (Hebrews 9:22). 15. Item, as touching the holy communion, by the letters of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:16,17,21; 11:20, etc.), we understand, that the use then amongst them was, to have the participation of the bread called the Lord’s body, and of the cup called the Lord’s blood, administered not at an altar, but at a plain board or table, the congregation there meeting together after the time of their supper; where, not the minister alone did receive, while the others looked on, but the whole congregation together did communicate with reverence and thanksgiving; nor lifting over the priest’s head, nor worshipping, nor kneeling, nor knocking their breasts; but either sitting at the supper, or standing after the supper. According to which form the Muscovites yet, to this day, following the old rite of their country (although being drowned otherwise in much superstition), use to receive it after they be risen from their dinner, standing. Experience whereof was seen here at London the first day of October, 1569. 16. Item, the said apostle, besides the sacramental supper, maketh mention of baptism, or washing of regeneration, although he himself baptized but few (1 Corinthians 1:16). Of the other sacraments, he maketh no mention. 17. Item, by the same doctrine of St. Paul, no tongue is to be used in the congregation, which is not known, and doth not edify (1 Corinthians 14:26). 18. Item, the rule of St. Paul’s doctrine subjecteth every creature under the obedience of kings and princes and ordinary magistrates, ordained of God to have the sword and authority of public regiment, to order and dispose in all things, not contrary to God, whatsoever pertaineth to the maintenance of the good, or to the correction of the evil; from whose jurisdiction there is no exemption of vocations or persons, whether they be ecclesiastical or political. And therefore to this office it appertaineth to preserve peace, to set things in lawful order, to conserve christian discipline in the church of Christ, to remove offenses, to bridle the disobedient, to provide and procure wholesome and faithful teachers over the people, to maintain learning and set up schools, to have oversight, not only of the people, but also of all ecclesiastical ministers, to see every one to do his duty, and to remove or punish such as be negligent; also to call councils and synods, and to provide that the church goods be faithfully dispensed by the hands of true dealers; to the sustentation of the church, of true teachers, and to the public necessity of the poor, etc. 19. Furthermore, by St. Paul’s doctrine, the ministers and superintendents of Christ’s church have their authority and armor likewise to them limited; which armor is only spiritual and not carnal, whereby they fight not against flesh and blood, but against the power of darkness, error, and sin; against the spiritual seduction and craftiness in heavenly things, against the works and proceedings of Satan, the prince of this world, in comforting weak consciences against the terrors of the devil and desperation; and, finally, against every cogitation lifted up against Christ, to subdue every celsitude to the subjection and power of Christ Jesus the Son of God.


    Briefly to reduce the whole doctrine of St. Paul into a compendious sum, it consisteth chiefly in these five points: — 1. First, in setting forth the grace, great love, and good will, and free promises of God the Father in Christ Jesus his Son, to mankind, “which so loved the world, that he hath given his own Son for the redemption thereof:” (John 3:16) “Which gave his Son to die for us being his enemies:” (Romans 5:10) “Which hath quickened us, being dead in sin:” (Ephesians 2:1) “Which so mercifully hath reconciled the world to himself by his Son, and also by his ambassadors desireth us to be reconciled unto him:” (2 Corinthians 5:20) “Who hath given his own Son to be sin for us:” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “To be accursed for us:” (Galatians 3:13) “Which, by firm promise, hath assured us of our inheritance:” (Romans 4:16) “Which, not by the works of righteousness that we have done, but of his own mercy, hath saved us by the washing of regeneration.” (Titus 3:5) 2. The second point consisteth in preaching and expressing the glorious and triumphant majesty of Christ Jesus the Son of God, and the excellency of his glory; “Who, being once dead in the infirmity of flesh, rose again with power, and ascending up with majesty, hath led away captivity captive:” (Ephesians 4:8) “Sitteth and reigneth in glory on the right hand of God in heavenly things above all principates and potestates, powers and dominations, and above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come:” (Ephesians 1:20) “At whose name every knee is to bend both in heaven and in earth, and under the earth, and every tongue to confess our Lord Christ Jesus to the glory of God the Father:” (Philippians 2:11) “In whom and by whom all things are made both in heaven and earth, things visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominations, or principates or potestates, all are by him and for him created, and he is before all, and all things consist in him who is the head of his body the church, the beginning and first born from the dead, in whom dwelleth all fulness:” (Colossians 1:16-19) “To whom the Father hath given all judgment, and judgeth no man himself any more:” (John 5:22) “To whom the Father hath given all things to his hands:” (John 13:3) “To whom the Father hath given power of all flesh:” (John 17:2) “To whom all power is given in heaven and earth:” (Matthew 28:18) “In whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) 3. Thirdly, he declareth the virtue of his cross and passion, and what exceeding benefits proceed to us by the same. “By whose blood we have redemption and remission of our sins:” (Ephesians 1:7) “By whose stripes we are made whole:” (Isaiah 53:5) “By whose cross all things are pacified, both in heaven and in earth:” (Colossians 1:20) “By whose death we are reconciled:” (Romans 5:10) “Who hath destroyed death, and brought life to light:” (2 Timothy 1:10) “Who by death hath destroyed him which had the power of death, that is, the devil; and hath delivered them which lived under fear of death all their life in bondage:” (Hebrews 2:14) “By whose obedience we are made just; by whose righteousness we are justified to life:” (Romans 5:9) “By whose curse we are blessed, and delivered from the malediction of the law:” (Galatians 3:13) “By whose blood we that once were far off, are made near unto God:” (Ephesians 2:13) “Who in one body hath reconciled both Jews and Gentiles unto God:” 27 (Ephesians 2:16) “Who, by his flesh, hath taken away the division and separation between God and us, abolishing the law which was set against us in precepts and decrees:” (Ephesians 2:14,15) “Who is our peace, our advocate, and propitiation for the sins of the whole world:” (1 John 2:12) “Who was made accursed, and sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in him:” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “Who is made of God for us, our wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30) “By whom we have boldness, and entrance with all confidence through faith in him:” (Ephesians 3:12) “Who forgiveth all our sins, and hath torn in pieces the obligation or hand-writing, which was against us in the law of commandments; and hath crucified it upon the cross, and utterly hath dispatched and abolished the same; and hath spoiled principates and potestates, as in an open show of conquest, triumphing over them openly in himself:” (Colossians 2:13-15) “Who justifieth the wicked, by faith:” (Romans 4:5) “In whom we are made full and complete,” (Colossians 2:10) etc. 4. The fourth branch is, to teach us and inform us, to whom these benefits of Christ’s passion and victory do appertain, by what means the same is applied and redoundeth unto us; which means is only one, that is, only faith in Christ Jesus, and no other thing; which faith it pleaseth almighty God to accept for righteousness. And this righteousness it is, which only standeth before God, and none other, as we are plainly taught by the scriptures, and especially by the doctrine of St. Paul. Which righteousness, thus rising of faith in Christ, St. Paul calleth the righteousness of God, where he, writing of himself, utterly refuseth the other righteousness which is of the law, and “desireth to be found in him, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness of Christ, which is of faith.” (Philippians 3:9) Again, the said apostle, writing of the Jews, which sought for righteousness and found it not; and also of the Gentiles, which sought not for it, and yet found it, showeth the reason why: “Because,” saith he, “the one sought it as by works and the law, and came not to it; who, knowing the righteousness of God, and seeking to set up their own righteousness, did not submit themselves to the righteousness which is of God. The other, which were the Gentiles, and sought not for it, obtained righteousness, that righteousness which is faith.” (Romans 9:30,32) Also, in another place of the same epistle, St. Paul, writing of this righteousness which cometh of faith, calleth it the righteousness of God, in these words: “Whom God,” saith he, “hath set up for a propitiation by faith in his blood, whereby to make manifest the righteousness which is of himself, in tolerating our sins,” (Romans 3:25) etc. By the which righteousness it is evident that St.

    Paul meaneth the righteousness of faith, which Almighty God now revealeth and maketh manifest by preaching of the gospel. Wilt thou see yet more plainly this righteousness of God, how it is taken in St.

    Paul for the righteousness of faith, and therefore is called the righteousness of God, because it is imputed only of God to faith, and not deserved of man? — In the same epistle to the Romans, and in the third chapter aforesaid, his words be manifest: “The righteousness of God,” saith he, “is by faith of Jesus Christ, in all, and upon all that do believe,” etc.

    Wherefore, whosoever studieth to be accepted with God, and to be found righteous in his sight, let him learn diligently, by the doctrine of St. Paul, to make a difference and a separation, as far as from heaven to earth, between these two, that is, between the righteousness of works, and the righteousness of faith; and in any wise beware he bring no other means for his justification or remission of his sins, but only faith, apprehending the body or person of Christ Jesus crucified. For, as there is no way into the house but by the door, so is there no coming to God but by Christ alone, which is by faith. (Romans 9:32) And as the mortal body, without bodily sustenance of bread and drink, cannot but perish; so the spiritual soul of man hath no other refreshing but only by faith in the body and blood of Christ, whereby to be saved. With this faith the idolatrous Gentiles apprehended Jesus Christ, and received thereby righteousness. Cornelius, the first baptized Roman, so soon as he heard Peter preach Christ, received straightway the holy Ghost. (Acts 10:45) Peter himself confessed, and, for his confession, had the keys of heaven. (Matthew 16:19) Zaccheus received the person of Christ into his house, and, withal, received salvation both to him and his whole household. (Luke 19:9) What a sinner was Mary, who had no less in her than seven devils; and yet, because she set her heart and affection upon that person, many sins were forgiven her. (Luke 7:47) The right-hand thief, how far was he from all works of the law; and yet by faith entered he justified into paradise the same day with Christ. (Luke 23:43) In like manner, although the poor publican came to the church with less holiness, after the law, yet went he home to his house more justified than the Pharisee with all his works, and all by reason of faith. (Luke 18:14) The parable of the prodigal son who was lost, yet revived again; also of the lost groat, and of the lost sheep which went astray and was found again: what do these declare, but that which is lost by the law is to be recovered by faith and grace? And how oft do we read in the gospels, “Thy faith hath saved thee,” (Luke 18:42) etc. “Jesus seeing their belief,” (Matthew 9:2) etc. “He that believeth in me, I will raise him up in the last day,” (John 6:40) etc. “Believe also in me,” (John 14:1) etc. “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life,” (John 6:47) etc. “Without me ye can do nothing,” (John 15:5) etc. “He that is in me,” (John 6:56) etc. “He that loveth me,” (John 14:21) etc. “He that heareth me,” (John 5:24) etc. “He that abideth in me,” (John 15:5) etc. “He that receiveth me,” (Matthew 10:40) etc. “Unless ye eat my flesh, and drink my blood,” (John 6:54) etc. “That they may receive remission of sins, by their faith in me,” (Acts 26:18) etc. “To him all the prophets give witness, to have remission of sins, whosoever believeth in his name,” (Acts 10:43) etc. “He that believeth and is baptized.” (Mark 16:16) “He that believeth in me, shall do the works that I do, and greater than these,” (John 16:12) etc.

    And likewise in the writings of St. Paul, how often do we hear the name of Christ almost in every third or fourth line, where he still repeateth: “In Christo Jesu,” “per Christum Jesum,” “per Jesum Christum dominum nostrum,” etc. “Qui credunt in ipso,” etc. “Omnes qui credunt in eo,” etc. “Credentes in illo, in eum,” “credentes illi,” “in nomen ejus, in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi,” etc. “Believe,” saith St. Paul to the jailor, “in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved and thy whole house,” (Acts 16:31) etc.

    Thus, then, thou seest, as the passion of Christ is only the efficient or personal cause immediate of our salvation; so is faith only the instrumental or mean cause that maketh the merits of Christ to us available. For as the passion of Christ serveth to none but such as do believe, so neither doth faith itself (as it is only a bare quality or action in man’s mind) justify, unless it be directed to the body of Christ crucified, as to its object, of whom it receiveth all its virtue.

    And therefore these two must always jointly concur together; faith, and Christ Jesus crucified. As for example, when the children of Israel were bidden of Moses to look up to the brazen serpent, neither could the serpent have helped them, except they had looked up, nor yet their looking upward have profited them, unless they had directed their eyes upon the said serpent, as the only object set up to the same purpose for them to behold; so our faith, in like case, directed to the body of Jesus our Savior, is the only means whereby Christ’s merits are applied unto us, and we now justified before God; according to the doctrine of St. Paul, who, in express words defining to us what this faith is, and how it justifieth, saith: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thy heart that God raised him from death, thou shalt be saved,” (Romans 10:9) etc. Besides this, what action or quality soever is in man, either hope, charity, or any other kind of faith and believing, be it never so true, except it apprehend this object, that is, the body of Christ the Son of God, it serveth not to justification. And that is the cause why we add this particle “only” to faith, and say that faith only in Christ justifieth us; to exclude all other actions, qualities, gifts or works of man, from the cause of justifying; forsomuch as there is no other knowledge nor gift given of God to man, be it never so excellent, that can stand before the judgment of God unto justification, or whereunto any promise of salvation is annexed; but only this faith looking up to the brazen serpent, that is, to the body of Christ Jesus for us crucified.

    As for example, when the Turk saith, that he believeth in one living God that made heaven and earth, his belief therein is true, yet it justifieth him not, because it lacketh the right object, which is Christ. So, when the Jew saith, that he believeth in one God, maker of heaven and earth, and believeth also the same God to be omnipotent, merciful, just, and true of promise, and that he hath elected the seed of Abraham: true it is that he believeth, and yet all this serveth him not, because Christ the Son of God is not joined withal. And though the said Jew should be never so devout in his prayers, or charitable in alms, or precise in keeping the law, and believe never so steadfastly that he is elect to be saved; yet he is never the nearer to salvation for all this, so long as his faith is not grounded upon the head corner-stone, which is the person and body of Jesus Christ, the true Savior. After like sort it may be said of the papist, when he saith, that he is baptized, and believeth in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, and also confesseth Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, who died for our sins, and rose again for our righteousness, etc.; his belief therein is true, and indeed would save him, if he did stay his salvation in this faith, and upon Christ his Savior only, according to the promise and grace of God, and go no further. But that he doth not: for neither doth he admit Christ only to be his perfect Savior without the help of other patrons, heads, advocates, and mediators, nor yet permitteth his faith in Christ only to be the means of his justification; but setteth up other bye-means, as hope, charity, sacrifice of the mass, confession, penance, satisfaction, merits, and pardons; supposing thereby to work his justification before God, contrary to the word of promise, to the gospel of grace, and to the doctrine of St. Paul, whereof we shall see more, the Lord willing, hereafter.

    And thus much of the true causes of our justification after the doctrine of St. Paul. Concerning which causes this distinction furthermore, by the way, is to be added, that, as touching the original causes of our salvation, which be divers and sundry, some are external and without us; some are internal and within us. Of the external causes which are without us, the first and principal is the mercy and grace of God. Of this followeth predestination and election. Then cometh vocation. The last and next cause to us is the death and bloodshed of Christ, whereby we are redeemed, and all these be external causes, because they are without us.

    Of internal causes that be in man through the gift of God, there is but one, and no more in Scripture appointed, that is our faith in Christ, which is the gift of God in us. Besides this, there is no gift of God given to man, virtue, work, merit, nor any thing else, that is any part or cause of salvation, but only this gift of faith, to believe in Christ Jesus. And this is the cause why we hold that faith only justifieth; meaning that amongst all the works, deeds, actions, labors, and operations, whatsoever man doeth or can do, there is nothing in man that worketh salvation, but only his faith given to him of God to believe in Christ his Son; following therein the true trade of St. Paul’s teaching, who, in precise words, so ascribeth justification to faith, that he excludeth all other actions of man, and works of the law. And therefore in the same epistle to the Romans, St. Paul, reasoning of the glory of justifying, asketh this question, How this glory is excluded; whether by the law of works? And concludeth No, ascribing only the glory thereof to the law of faith; and consequently upon the same he inferreth: “We hold that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” F832 And how then can that be accounted for any part of our justification, which St. Paul utterly debarreth and excludeth in that behalf? Of such like exclusives and negatives, the whole course of St. Paul’s doctrine is full, where he still concludeth: “It is the gift of God, not of works, that no man should glory,” etc. “Not of the works of righteousness, which we have done, but of his own mercy,” etc. “Not after our works, but after his own purpose and grace which is given to us,” etc. Again, “A man is not justified by works,” etc. Also, “To him that worketh not, but believeth in him which justifieth the wicked, his faith is imputed for righteousness,” etc. f833 By these exclusives and negatives in St. Paul’s doctrine, what doth he else mean, but utterly to seclude all kind of man’s merits, and works of the law from the office and dignity of justifying? And although he expresseth not the word, “only,” yet, upon his exclusives and negatives, this exceptive must needs be inferred. For in all logic the consequence is necessary and formal, as, One man is suffered to come into the house, and no person else is suffered but one: ergo , one man only is suffered to enter into the house. And thus much concerning faith in Christ proved to be the only mean, or instrumental, or conditional cause of our salvation, and no other besides the same alone, by the doctrine of St. Paul taught to the ancient Romans. 5. The fifth branch, which I note in St. Paul’s doctrine, is this: that after he hath thus established us in certainty of our salvation through faith in Christ, then after that, he exhorteth us vehemently, and with all instance, to good works, showing the true use and end of good works; which is, First, to show our obedience and dutiful service (as we may) unto God, who hath done so great things for us: secondly, to relieve our neighbors with our charity and kindness, as God hath been kind to us his enemies: thirdly, to stir up others, by our example, to praise God, to embrace the same religion, and to do the like. For requisite it is, that as God hath been so merciful to us and gracious in eternal gifts, we should be merciful likewise to others, in temporal commodities. And seeing it hath pleased him, of his fatherly goodness (of our parts so little deserved), to call us to so high a vocation, to give the blood of his Son for us, to forgive us all our sins, to deliver us from this present wicked world, to make us citizens of heaven, yea, his children, more than servants: little then can we do, and well may we think those benefits ill bestowed, if we forgive not our neighbors, and show not something again worthy that holy calling wherewith he hath called us, in mortifying our worldly lusts here, and studying after heavenly things: and finally, if we, being provoked with such love and kindness, render not again some love for love, some kindness for kindness, seeking how to walk in the steps which he hath prepared for us to walk in, serving him (so much as we may) in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. And though our obedience shall always be imperfect, do the best we can, yet reason would that some obedience we should show, as loving children to such a loving Father.

    And this is the cause why St. Paul is so vehement and urgent to call for good works, not that works should justify, but that we, being justified so mercifully and tenderly through his grace, should not abuse his grace in vain, but endeavor ourselves to our uttermost to render our service again to him, in such conversation of life as may most make to his glory, and profit of our neighbor. And though the words of our Savior seem, in some places, to attribute to our obedience and charity here in earth great rewards in heaven, that is, of his own free grace and goodness, so to impute small matters for great deserts, and not for us to claim any meed thereby or thank at his hand, as by any worthiness of our doings: no more than the servant can, who, when he cometh from the plough and serving the cattle in the field, serveth first his master at home and waiteth upon his table: the master is not bound (saith Christ) to thank his servant there-for, and bid him sit down: “So you,” saith he, “when you have done that is commanded you, say ye are unprofitable servants; ye have done but what your bound duty was to do.” (Luke 17:10) Again, here also is to be understood, that where such rewards be ascribed unto men’s deeds, it is not for the worthiness of the deed itself, but for the faith of the doer, which faith maketh the work to be good in God’s sight; for else if an infidel should do the same work that the christian doth, it were nothing but mere sin before God. In that, therefore, the christian man’s work is accepted, be it never so small (as to give a cup of cold water), the same is only for his faith’s sake that doth it, and not for the work which is done.

    Whereby again we may learn how faith only doth justify a man, and that three manner of ways.

    First, it justifieth the person, in making him accepted, and the child of God by regeneration, before he begin to do any good work.

    Secondly, it justifieth a man from sin, in procuring remission and forgiveness of the same. Thirdly, it justifieth the good deeds and works of man, not only in bringing forth good fruits, but also in making the same works to be good and acceptable in the sight of God, which otherwise were impure and execrable in his sight.

    The office therefore of faith and works is divers, and must not be confounded. Faith first goeth before, and regenerateth a man to God, and justifieth him in the sight of God, both in covering his ill deeds, and making his good deeds acceptable to God; climbing up to heaven, and there wrestling with God and his judgment for righteousness, for salvation, and for everlasting life. Works and charity follow faith, and are exercised here upon the earth, and glory only before man, but not before God, in showing forth obedience both to God and to man. Further than this, our good works do not reach, nor have any thing to do in the judgment of God touching salvation. I speak of our good works (as St. Paul speaketh) (Romans 7:18) as they be ours, and imperfect. For else, if our works could be perfect according to the perfection of the law, as Christ wrought them in the perfection of his flesh, that is, if we could perform them, and transgress never a jot, so might we live in them; as it is said, “Qui fecerit ea, rivet in eis.” But now, seeing the imbecility of our flesh cannot attain thereto, it followeth thereof that all glory of justifying is taken from works, and transferred only to faith.

    And thus much concerning the principal contents of St. Paul’s doctrine; wherein the church of the ancient Romans was first grounded and planted, and so continued in the same, or at least did not much alter, during the primitive state of the church. Likewise the same form of doctrine the latter Romans also, that followed, should have maintained, and not have fallen away for any man’s preaching, but hold him accursed, yea if he were an apostle or angel from heaven, teaching any other doctrine besides that institution which they have received (Galatians 1:8); for so were they warned before by the apostle St. Paul to do. And yet, notwithstanding all this forewarning and diligent instruction of this blessed apostle of the Gentiles, what a defection of faith is fallen among the Gentiles, especially among the Romans, whereof the said apostle also foretold them so long before, fore-prophesying: “that the day of the Lord shall not come, except there come a defection before, and that the man of sin should be revealed, the proud adversary of God,” (2 Thessalonians 2:8) etc. meaning, no doubt, by this defection, a departing and a falling from that faith which the Holy Ghost had then planted by his ministry among the Gentiles, as we see it now come to pass in the church of Rome, which church is so gone from the faith that St. Paul taught, that if he were now alive, and saw these decrees and decretals of the bishop of Rome, these heaps of ceremonies and traditions, these mass-books, these portuses, these festivals and legends, these processionals, hymns, and sequences, these beads and graduals, and the manner of their invocation, their canons, censures, and later councils, such swarms of superstitious monks and friars, such sects, and so many divers religions, the testament of St. Francis, the rule of St. Benedict, of St. Bridget, of St. Anthony, etc.; the intricate subtleties and labyrinths of the schoolmen, the infinite cases and distinctions of the canonists, the sermons in churches, the assertions in schools, the glory of the pope, the pride of the clergy, the cruelty of persecuting prelates with their officials and promoters: he would say, this were not a defection, but rather a plain destruction , and a ruin of faith; neither that this were any true church of Christ, but a new-found religion, or paganism rather, brought in under the shadow of Christianity; wherein remaineth almost nothing else but the name only of Christ, and the outward form of his religion, the true vein and effect whereof is utterly decayed; as to them which list to examine all the parts of this new Romish religion may soon appear.

    For, save only that they pretend the solemn form and words of the Creed, and are baptized, confessing the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: as touching all other points and true sincerity of the christian faith, which they outwardly profess, they are utterly degenerated from that which St. Paul and the word of God first had taught them.

    First, they confess the Father in word, but his will, in his word expressed, they renounce. His grace they acknowledge not; his benefits and promises, given unto us in his Son, they receive not; the vigor of his law they feel not; the terror of his judgments earnestly they fear not; his commandments they obscure by traditions and commandments of their own.

    Likewise the name of Christ his Son in word they confess, but his office in deed they deface and diminish: his glory they seek not, but under his name they do seek their own; the power of his blood and passion they know not, or else dissemble it, whom neither they admit to be the head of his church alone, nor Savior alone, nor to be our only patron and advocate, but match him with our Lady and other patrons, so that every parish almost in Christendom hath its peculiar patron besides Christ to hold by.

    In like manner they confess the name of the Holy Ghost; but God himself knoweth how far they are from the comfort, knowledge, and taste of the Holy Ghost; as well may appear by their councils, by their expounding of scripture, by their superstitious ceremonies; by their outward worshipping and idolatrous invocation to stocks and stones, and to dead creatures; by their scrupulous observation of days, times, places, numbers and gestures: and no less also by their doctrine, which defraudeth the poor hearts of simple Christians of their due consolation, joy, and liberty in the Holy Ghost, and keepeth them still in a servile bondage, and a doubtful uncertainty of their salvation, contrary to the working of the Holy Spirit of God.

    And thus the church of Rome, pretending only the name of Christ and of his religion, is so far altered from the truth of that which it pretendeth, that, under the name of Christ, it persecuteth both Christ and his religion; working more harm to the church of Christ, than ever did the open tyrants and persecuting emperors among the heathen: not much unlike herein to the old synagogue of the scribes and pharisees, who, under the name of God, crucified the Son of God, and, under pretense of the law, fought against the gospel; and, under the title of Abraham’s children, persecuted the children of Abraham. And as they, bragging so highly of “the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord,” did indeed destroy the true temple of the Lord; right so these pretensed catholics, in these days, after they have raised up a catholic church of their own, and have armed the same with laws, and have gathered unto them a power of priests, prelates, abbots, priors, of religious men, of cardinals, and also of secular princes to take their part; now, under the name of the catholic church they persecute the true catholic church, and, colouring their proceeding still with “in nomine Domini,” most cruelly put them to death who die “pro nomine Domini;” condemning them for heretics, schismatics, and rebels, not who deny any part of the creed, which they themselves profess, nor such whom they can convict by any scripture; but only such, who will not join with their errors and heresies, contrary to the honor of God and truth of his word.

    And lest any should think this, that we here protest against the corrupt errors and manifold deformities of this latter church of Rome, to proceed of any rancour or private affection, rather than upon necessary causes and demonstrations evident, my purpose is (by the Lord’s leave) to take herein some little pains, as I have collected, a little before, the sum and contents of St. Paul’s doctrine, wherewith the old church of Rome was first seasoned and acquainted, so now as in a like summary table to descry the particular branches and contents of the pope’s doctrine now set forth, to the intent that all true christian readers, comparing the one with the other, may discern what great alteration there is between the church of Rome that now is, and the church of Rome that was planted by the apostles in the primitive time. And to the end to open unto the simple reader some way whereby he may the better judge in such matters of doctrine, and not be deceived in discerning truth from error; first we will propound certain principles or general positions, as infallible rules or truths of the scripture, whereby all other doctrines and opinions of men being tried and examined, as with the touchstone, may the more easily be judged whether they be true or the contrary, and whether they make against the scripture or no.


    The first principle . — As sin and death came originally by the disobedience of one to all men of his generation by nature: so righteousness and life come originally by the obedience of one to all men regenerated of him by faith and baptism (Romans 5:17).

    The second . — The promise of God was freely given to our first parents, without their deserving, that “the seed of the woman should break the serpent’s head.” (Genesis 3:15) The third . — Promise was given freely to Abraham before he deserved any thing, that in “his seed all nations should be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3) The fourth . — To the word of God neither must we add, nor take from it (Deuteronomy 4:2).

    The fifth . — “He that doeth the works of the law shall live therein.” (Galatians 3:12; Leviticus 18:5) The Sixth . — “Accursed is he which abideth not in every thing that is written in the book of the law.” (Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10) The seventh . — God only is to be worshipped. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 4:8) The eighth . — “All our righteousness is like a defiled cloth of a woman.” (Isaiah 64:6) The ninth . — “In all my holy hill they shall not kill nor slay, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:9; 65:25) The tenth . — God loveth mercy and obedience more than sacrifice (Hosea 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:22).

    The eleventh . — The law worketh anger, condemneth and openeth sin (Romans 3:19).

    The twelfth . — The end of the law is Christ, to righteousness, to every one that believeth (Romans 10:11).

    The thirteenth . — Whosoever believeth and is baptized, shall be saved (Mark 16:16).

    The fourteenth . — A man is justified by faith without works, freely by grace, not of ourselves (Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8).

    The fifteenth . — There is no remission of sins without blood (Hebrews 9:22).

    The sixteenth . — Whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

    The seventeenth . — One mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). And he is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2).

    The eighteenth . — Whosoever seeketh by the law to be justified, is fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).

    The nineteenth . — In Christ be all the promises of God, Est and Amen . (2 Corinthians 1:20) The twentieth . — Let every soul be subject to superior powers, giving to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to God that which is God’s (Romans 13:1).

    These principles and infallible rules of the scripture, as no man can deny, so, if they be granted, the doctrine then of the pope’s church must needs be found not to be catholic, but rather full of errors and heresies, as in the sequel following remaineth more expressly and particularly, by the grace of Christ, to be convinced A SUMMARY COLLECTION OF THE ERRORS, HERESIES, AN ABSURDITIES, CONTAINED IN THE POPE’S DOCTRINE, Contrary To The Rules Of God’s Word, And The First Institution Of The Church Of Rome: — And First: Of Faith And Justification.

    First, as touching the only means and instrumental cause of our justification, whereby the merits of Christ’s passion be applied to us and made ours, ye heard before how St. Paul ascribeth the same only to faith; as appeareth by all his epistles, especially that to the Romans, wherein he, excluding all kind of works, ascribeth all our salvation, justification, righteousness, reconciliation, and peace with God, only unto faith in Christ. Contrary to which doctrine, the pope and his church have set up divers and sundry other means of their own devising, whereby the merits of Christ’s passion (they say) are applied to us and made ours, to the putting away of sins, and for our justification; as hope, charity, sacrifice of the mass, auricular confession, satisfaction, merits of saints, and holy orders, the pope’s pardons, etc. So that Christ’s sacrifice, stripes, and suffering, by this teaching, doth not heal us, nor is beneficial to us, though we believe never so well, unless we add also these works and merits above recited. Which if it be true, then it is false what Isaiah the prophet doth promise: “In his stripes we are all made whole,” (Isaiah 53:5) etc. This error and heresy of the church of Rome, though it seem at first sight to the natural reason of man to be but of small importance, yet, if it be earnestly considered, it is in very deed the most pernicious heresy that ever almost crept into the church; upon the which, as the only foundation, all, or the most part of all the errors, absurdities, and inconveniences of the pope’s church are grounded. For, this being once admitted, that a man is not justified by his faith in Christ alone, but that other means must be sought by our own working and merits to apply the merits of Christ’s passion unto us; then is there neither any certainty left of our salvation, nor end in setting up new means and merits of our own devising for remission of sins.

    Neither hath there been any heresy that either hath rebelled more presumptuously against the high majesty of God the Father, nor more perniciously hath injured the souls of the simple, than this doctrine.

    First of all it subverteth the will and testament of God: for whereas almighty God of mercy hath given us his Son to die for us, and with him hath given out his full promise, that whosoever believeth upon him should be saved by their faith; and assigneth none other condition, either of the law, or any of works, but only of faith, to be the means between his Son and us: these men take upon them to alter this testament that God hath set, and adjoin other conditions, which the Lord in his word never appointed nor knew. To whom the words of Jerome upon the epistle to the Galatians, speaking of such, may be well applied: “Which make of the gospel of Christ the gospel of men, or rather the gospel of the devil,” etc. f835 Secondly, whereas the christian reader in the gospel, reading of the great grace and sweet promises of God given to mankind in Christ his Son, might thereby take much comfort of soul, and be at rest and peace with the Lord his God; there cometh in the pestiferous doctrine of these heretics, wherewith they obscure this free grace of God to choke the sweet comforts of man in the Holy Ghost, and oppress christian liberty, and bring us into spiritual bondage.

    Thirdly, as in this their impious doctrine they show themselves manifest enemies to God’s grace, so are they no less injurious to christian men, whom they leave in a doubtful distrust of God’s favor and of their salvation, contrary to the word and will of God, and right institution of the apostolic doctrine. And whereas our new schoolmen of late, to maintain the said wicked point of doctrine, do object unto us that we rather leave men’s consciences uncertain, forsomuch as, if life, say they, were not a due reward, it were uncertain; and now forsomuch as due debt is certain, and mercy or favor is uncertain, therefore, say they, we, leaving men’s consciences to the mercy of God, do leave them in a doubtful uncertainty of their salvation: — to this I answer, that due debt, if it be proved by the law duly deserved, must be certain; but if the law shall prove it imperfectly or insufficiently due, then it is not certain, neither can there be any thing duly claimed. Now, as touching mercy, so long as it remaineth secret in the prince’s will, and not known to his subjects, so long it is uncertain. But, when this mercy shall be openly published by proclamation, ratified by promise, conferred by will and testament, established in blood, and sealed with sacraments, then this mercy remaineth no more doubtful, but ought firmly to be believed of every true faithful subject. And therefore St. Paul, to establish our hearts in this assurance, and to answer to this doubt, in his epistle to the Romans doth teach us, saying, “And therefore of faith, that, after grace, the promise might be firm and sure to the whole seed of Abraham,” (Romans 4:16) etc.: meaning hereby, that works have nothing to do in this case of justifying; and noteth the reason why. For then our salvation should stand in a doubtful wavering, because, in working, we are never certain whether our deserts be perfect and sufficient in God’s judgment or no. And therefore, saith St. Paul, to the intent our salvation should be out of all doubt, and certain, it standeth not of works in deserving, but of faith in apprehending, and of God’s free grace in promising.

    Fourthly, as in this their sinister doctrine, they break this principle of christian religion, which saith that a man is justified by “faith without works,” so again, it breaketh another principle above rehearsed. For this rule being granted, that nothing is to be added to Godword, nor taken from it, then have these men done wickedly in adding (as they do) to God’s word. For whereas the word of God limiteth our justification to no condition but faith; “Believe,” saith he, “in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved and thy whole house,” (Acts 16:31) etc.; these justiciaries do add thereto divers and sundry other conditions besides, and such as the word also precisely excludeth, as hope, charity, the sacrifice of the mass, the work of the priest ex opere operato , auricular confession, satisfaction, meritorious deeds, etc.

    And thus much concerning the doctrine of faith and justification; whereby it may appear into what horrible blindness and blasphemy the church of Rome is now fallen, where this kind of doctrine is not only suffered, but also publicly professed, which, speaking against faith, thus blasphemously dare say: “That faith wherewith a man firmly believeth, and certainly assureth himself, that for Christ’s sake his sins be forgiven him, and that he shall possess eternal life, is not faith, but rashness; not the persuasion of the Holy Ghost, but presumption of a man’s boldness.” F836 OF WORKS AND THE LAW.

    As touching the doctrine of good works and the law, what the teaching of St. Paul was to the Romans, ye heard before; who, although he excludeth good works from the office of justifying, yet excludeth he them not from the practice and conversation of christian life, but most earnestly calleth upon all faithful believers in Christ, to walk worthy their vocation, to lay down their old conversation, to give their members servants of righteousness, and to offer their bodies up to God a lively sacrifice. The like example of whose teaching, if the churches now reformed do not follow, let their sermons, their preachings, writings, exhortings, and lives, also bear record; who, although they cannot say with Christ, “Which of you can blame me of sin?” yet they may say to the adversaries, Whosoever of you is without fault, cast the first stone of reproach against us. Wherefore Hosius and Pighius, with their fellows, do them open wrong, and slanderously belie them in comparing them in this behalf to AEtius, Eunomius, and other heretics called Anomoi , who, taking the good sentences of St. Paul, did abuse the same to filthy license of the flesh, and corruption of wicked life.

    But to let these slanders pass, now what the errors be of the church of Rome touching this part of doctrine, remaineth to be declared; whose error first standeth in this; that they, misunderstanding the definition of good works, do call good works, not such as properly are commanded by the law of God, but such as are agreeable to the pope’s law; as building of abbeys and churches, giving to the high altar, founding of trentals, finding of chantries, gilding of images, hearing of masses, going on pilgrimage, fighting for the holy cross, keeping of vows, entering to orders, fasting of vigils, creeping to the cross, praying to saints, etc. All which are not only reputed for good works, but so preferred also before all other works; that to these is given pardon from the pope, double and triplefold, more than to any other good work of charity commanded in the law of almighty God.

    Another error also may be noted in the papists, touching the efficient or formal cause of good works for, albeit they all confess in their books, that “Gratia Dei gratis data” is the chief and principal cause thereof, and worketh in us “justitiam primam,” as they call it, yet the good works after regeneration they refer to other subordinate causes, under God; as to free will, or to “habitum virtutis,” or “ad integra naturalia,” and nothing at all to faith, whereas faith only, next under God, is the root and fountain of all well doing: as in the fruits of a good tree, albeit the planter or the husbandman be the principal agent thereof, and some cause also may be in the good ground; yet the next and immediate cause is the root that maketh the tree fruitful. In like manner, the grace of God, in a soft and repentant mollified heart, planteth the gift of faith. Faith as a good root cannot lie dead or unoccupied, but springeth forth, and maketh both the tree fruitful, and also the fruit thereof to be good, which otherwise had no acceptation or goodness in them, were it not for the goodness of the root from whence they spring. So St. Paul, although he had certain works in him (such as they were) before his conversion, yet had he no good works before the grace of Christ had rooted faith in him. So Mary Magdalene the sinner, and Zaccheus the publican — so all the nations of the Gentiles — began to bring forth fruit, and especially good fruit, when they began to be engrafted in Christ, and to receive the root of his faith, whose fruits, before that, were all damnable and unsavoury. As touching the cause therefore of good works, there is no other in man but faith, whose office as it is to justify us in heaven, so the nature of it is here in earth to work by love, as the root worketh by the sap. For as a man seeth and feeleth by faith the love and grace of God toward him in Christ his Son, so beginneth he to love again both God and man, and to do for his neighbor as God hath done to him (Galatians 5:14). And hereof properly springeth the running fountain of all good works and deeds of charity.

    Thirdly, as they err in the cause of good works, so do they err much more in the end of the law, and of good works; for, whereas St. Paul teacheth the law to be given to this use and end, to convict our transgressions, to prove us sinners, to show and condemn our infirmity, and to drive us to Christ, they take and apply no other end to the law, but to make us perfect, to keep us from wrath, and to make us just before God. And likewise whereas St. Paul proveth all our good works to be imperfect, and utterly secludeth them from the end of justifying, they, contrariwise, do teach as though the end of good works were to merit remission of sins, to satisfy unto God, to deserve grace, to redeem souls from purgatory, and that by them the person of the regenerate man doth please God, and is made just before God. For so they teach most wickedly and horribly, saying, that Christ suffered for original sin, or sins going before baptism; but the actual sins, which follow after baptism, must be done away by men’s merits. F838 And so they assign to Christ the beginning of salvation, or obtaining the first grace, as they call it; but the perfection or consummation of grace they give to works and our own strength. Neither can they in any case abide, that we be justified freely by the mercy of God through faith only, apprehending the merits of Christ. Howbeit neither do all papists in this their error agree in one; for some make distinction, and say, that we are justified by Christ, “principaliter,” that is, “principally:” “et minus principaliter,” that is, “less principally,” by the dignity of our own deeds, contrary to the eighth principle before mentioned. Others hold that we are made righteous before God, not by our works that go before faith, but by our virtues that follow after. Some again do thus expound the saying of St.

    Paul, “We are justified by faith:” that is (say they) by faith preparing us, or setting us in a good way to be justified. Others expound it by the figure synecdoche , that is, by faith conjoined together with other virtues; others thus: “by faith,” that is, being formed with charity. Thus all these do derogate from the benefit of Christ, and attribute unto works a great or the greatest part of our justification, directly against the true vein of St. Paul’s doctrine, and first institution of the ancient church of Rome, and against all the principles of holy scripture.

    Furthermore, as touching the said doctrine of the law and good works, they err in misunderstanding the nature of the law, and works. For whereas St.

    Paul disputeth that the law is spiritual, and requireth of us perfect obedience of the whole power of man, which we, being carnal, are never able to accomplish; they affirm otherwise, that the law doth require but only outward obedience of man, and therewith is contented. And this obedience (they say) man is not only able to perform, but also to do more and greater things than the law requireth. Whereof rise the works of supererogation, contrary to the sixth and eighth principles above specified.

    Also there be, say they, among others, certain works of the law, which pertain not to all men, but are “consilia,” counsels, left for perfect men, as matter for them to merit by, and these they call “opera perfectionis,” or “opera indebita;” adding unto these other new devices to serve God, after their own traditions and beside the word of God; as monastical vows, wilful poverty, difference of meats and garments, pilgrimage to relics and saints, worshipping of the dead, superstitious ceremonies, rosaries, etc., with such like: And these they call works of perfection, which they prefer before the others commanded in the law of God; insomuch that in comparison of these, the other necessary duties and functions commanded and commended by the word of God (as to bear office in the commonwealth, to live in the godly state of matrimony, to sustain the office of a servant in a house), are contemned, and accounted as profane in comparison of these, contrary to the tenth principle above mentioned.

    OF SIN.

    Of sin, likewise, they teach not rightly, nor after the institution of the apostles and the ancient church of Rome, while they consider not the deepness and largeness of sin; supposing it still to be nothing else but the inward actions with consent of will, or the outward, such as are against will: whereas the strength of sin extendeth not only to these, but also comprehendeth the blindness and ignorance of the mind, lack of knowledge and true fear of God, the untowardness of man’s mind to God-ward, the privy rebellion of the heart against the law of God, the undelighting will of man to God and his word. The sense of flesh St. Paul also calleth an enemy against God, and feeleth in himself, that is, in his flesh, nothing dwelling but sin.

    As touching also original sin, wherein we are born, which is the destruction of original justice, and of God’s image in us (remaining in us, and bringing forth in us wicked cogitations, affections, and motions of naughtiness against the law of God, and never ceasing so long as man liveth), this original sin the pope’s doctrine doth not deny, but yet doth much extenuate the same; and holdeth that this inward concupiscence and vicious affections, not bursting out in us with consent of will, are no mortal nor damnable sin, but only “fomes peccati:” and say moreover, that this “concupiscentia” in us is no depravation of the higher, but only of the lower, parts of man, being a thing ajdia>foron, indifferent, and no less natural in us, than is the appetite to eat and drink; and that the same is left to remain in the saints after baptism, to be to them occasion of more meriting.


    Of penance, this latter Lateran church of Rome, of late, hath made a sacrament; contrary to the fourth principle before: which penance (say they) standeth of three parts; contrition, confession, and satisfaction canonical. Contrition (as they teach) may be had by strength of free-will without the law and the Holy Ghost, “per actus elicitos,” through man’s own action and endeavor. Which contrition first must be sufficient, and so it meriteth remission of sin. In confession they require a full rehearsal of all a man’s sins, whereby the priest, knowing the crimes, may minister satisfaction accordingly. And this rehearsing of sins ex opere operato deserveth remission; contrary to the fourteenth principle before.

    Satisfactions they call “opera indebita,” enjoined by the ghostly father.

    And this satisfaction (say they) taketh away and changeth eternal punishment into temporal pains, which pains also it doth mitigate. And again, these satisfactions may be taken away by the pope’s indulgence.

    This unsavoury and heathenish doctrine of penance far differeth from the true teaching of holy scripture; by the which teaching, repentance properly containeth these three parts: contrition, faith, and new life. Contrition is called in scripture the sorrow of heart, rising upon the consideration of sin committed, and of the anger of God provoked, which sorrow driveth a man to Christ for succor; whereupon riseth faith. Faith bringeth afterward amendment or newness of life, which we call new obedience, working fruits worthy of repentance.


    As there is nothing more necessary and comfortable for troubled consciences, than to be well instructed in the difference between the law and the gospel, so is the church of Rome much to blame in this behalf, because it confoundeth together those two, being in nature so diverse and contrary one from another; as threatenings with promises, things temporal with things eternal, sorrowful things with glad tidings, death with life, bondage with freedom, etc.: teaching the people that whatsoever the law saith, the gospel confirmeth; and whatsoever the gospel saith, the same is agreeable to the law, and so make they no difference between Moses and Christ; save only that Moses (they say) was the giver of the old law, Christ is the giver of the new and a more perfect law. And thus imagine they the gospel to be nothing else but a new law given by Christ, binding to the promises thereof the condition of our doings and deservings, no otherwise than to the old law. And so divide they the whole law after this distinction, into three parts: to wit, the law of nature, the law of Moses, and the law of Christ. And as for the gospel, they say it is revealed for no other cause, but to show to the world more perfect precepts and counsels, than were in the old law, to the fulfilling whereof they attribute justification; and so leave the poor consciences of men in perpetual doubt, and induce other manifold errors; bringing the people into a false opinion of Christ, as though he were not a remedy against the law, but came as another Moses to give a new law to the world.

    Furthermore, as they make no difference between the nature of the law, and the nature of the gospel, confounding Moses and Christ together, so neither do they distinguish or discern the time of the law, and the time of the gospel, asunder. For whereas St. Paul bringeth in the law to be a schoolmaster, and limiteth him his time unto Christ, and saith that Christ is “the end of the law” (that is, where the law ceaseth, there Christ beginneth, and where Christ beginneth, there the law endeth), they, contrary, make the law to have no end nor ceasing, but give to it immortal life and kingdom equal with Christ, so that Christ and the law together do reign over the soul and conscience of man. Which is untrue; for either Christ must give place, and the law stand; or else the law (the condemnation and malediction of the law, I mean) must end, and Christ reign (Ephesians 1:20). For both these, Christ and the law, grace and malediction, cannot reign and govern together. But Christ the Son of God, who once died, can die no more, but must reign for ever. Wherefore the law with his strength, sting, and curse, must needs cease and have an end. And this is it that St. Paul, speaking of the triumph of Christ, saith, that he, “ascending up, led away captivity captive,” (Ephesians 4:8) and hath set man at liberty; not at liberty to live as flesh lusteth, neither hath freed him from the use and exercise of the law, but from the dominion and power of the law, so that, “there is now no condemnation to them that be in Christ Jesus, which walk not after the flesh.” (Romans 8:1) And in another place St. Paul, speaking of the same power and dominion of the law, saith, that “Christ had taken the obligation written against us in decrees, and hath nailed it upon the cross, triumphing over all (Colossians 2:14). So that as the kingdom of Christ first began upon the cross, even so upon the same cross, and at the same time, the kingdom of the law expired; and the malediction of the law was so crucified upon the cross, that it shall never rise again, to have any power against them that be in Christ Jesus. For like as if a woman be discharged from her first husband being dead, and hath married another man, the first husband hath no more power over her; even so we, now being espoused unto Christ our second husband, are discharged utterly from our first husband, the Law (Romans 7:3), and (as St. Paul in another place (Romans 6:14) saith) “are no more under the law,” that is, under the dominion and malediction of the law, “but under grace;” that is, under perpetual remission of all sins, committed not only before our baptism, but as well also after baptism, and during all our life long. For therein properly consisteth the grace of God, in not imputing sin to us, so often as the repenting sinner, rising up by faith, flieth unto Christ, and apprehendeth God’s mercy and remission promised in him, according to the testimony both of the psalm, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no sin,” (Psalms 32:2) and also of all the prophets, “who,” as St.

    Peter saith, “give record to him, that, through his name, all that believe in him shall receive remission of their sins.” (Acts 10:43) Which being so, as it cannot be denied, then what need these private and extraordinary remissions to be brought into the church by ear-confession, by meritorious deeds, and by the pope’s pardons? For if there be no condemnation but by the law, and if this law itself, which was the first husband, be captived, crucified, abolished, and departed, what condemnation then can there be to them that be in Christ Jesus, or by whom should it come? If there be no condemnation, but a free and general deliverance for all men, once gotten by the victory of Christ, from the penalty of the law, what needeth then any particular remission of sins at sundry times to be sought at the priest’s hands, or the pope’s pardons? He that hath a general pardon, needeth no particular. If remedy for sin be general and perpetual, once gotten for ever, to all them that be in Christ Jesus, what needeth any other remedy by auricular confession? If it be not general and perpetual, how then is it true that St. Paul saith, “The law is crucified, and condemnation abolished?” or how standeth redemption perpetual and general, if remission be not general? For what is redemption else, but remission of sin, or sins bought out? or what else to kill the law, but to discharge us from condemnation for ever? He that delivereth his friend for a time out of his enemy’s hand, doth him a pleasure; but he that killeth the enemy once out of the way, giveth perpetual safety. So, if remission of sins by Christ were for some sins, and not for all, the law then must needs live still. But now the killing and crucifying of the law importeth full remission and absolute, and our safety to be perpetual. But here, percase, will be objected of some: How standeth remission of sins certain and perpetual, seeing new offenses, being daily committed, do daily require new remission? Hereto I answer: Albeit sins do daily grow, whereby we have need daily to desire God to “forgive our trespasses;” yet, notwithstanding, the cause of our remission standeth ever one and perpetual; neither is the same to be repeated any more, nor any other cause to be sought besides that alone. This cause is the body of Christ sacrificed once upon the cross for all sins that either have been or shall be committed. Besides this cause there is no other, neither confession, nor men’s pardons, that remitteth sins.

    Furthermore, as the cause is one and ever perpetual which worketh remission of sins unto us, so is the promise of God ever one, once made, and standeth perpetual, that offereth the same to the faith of the repenting sinner. And because the said promise of God is always sure and cannot fail, which offereth remission to all them that believe in Christ, being limited neither to time nor number, therefore we may boldly conclude, that what time soever a repenting sinner believeth, and by faith applieth to himself the sacrifice of Christ, he hath, by God’s own promise, remission of his sins, whether they were done before, or after, baptism.

    And moreover, forsomuch as the said promise of God offereth remission to the repentant sinner by no other means nor condition, but only one, that is, by faith in Christ, therefore, excluding all other means and conditions of man’s working, we say, that what repenting sinner soever believeth in Christ, hath already in himself (and needeth not to seek to any priest) perpetual assurance of remission, not for this time or that time only, but for ever and a day. For the promise saith not, He that believeth in Christ shall be pardoned this time, so he sin no more; neither doth it say, that the law is stayed, or the sentence reprieved, but saith plainly, that the law, with her condemnation and sentence itself, is condemned and hanged up, and shall never rise again to them that be in Christ Jesus; and promiseth indeterminately, without limitation, remission of sins, “to all that believe in his name” (Acts 10:35). And likewise in another place, the scripture, speaking absolutely, saith, “Sin shall not prevail over you,” and addeth the reason why, saying, “Because ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) Adding this lesson withal (as followeth in the same place), not that sinners should sin more therefor, because they are under grace, but only that weak infirmities might be relieved, broken consciences comforted, and repenting sinners holpen from desperation, to the praise of God’s glory. For, as God forgiveth not sinners because they should sin, so neither doth infirmity of falling diminish the grace of Christ, but rather doth illustrate the same, as it is written, “My strength is made perfect in infirmity.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) And again, “Where sin aboundeth, there grace super-aboundeth also.” (Romans 5:20) In remission of sins therefore, these four things must concur together: first, the cause that worketh, which is the sacrifice of Christ’s body; secondly, the promise that offereth; thirdly, faith that apprehendeth; fourthly, the repenting sinner that receiveth. And, although sins daily do grow, which daily provoke us to crave remission, yet as touching the cause that worketh remission of our daily sins, and the means which apprehend and apply the said cause unto us, they remain always one and perpetual; besides which no other cause nor means is to be sought of man. So that to them that be repenting sinners, and be in Christ Jesus, there is no law to condemn them, though they have deserved condemnation: but they are under a perpetual kingdom, and a heaven, full of grace and remission, to cover their sins and not to impute their iniquities, through the promise of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And therefore wicked and impious is the doctrine of them, first, which seek any other cause of remission, than only the blood of our Savior; secondly, which assign any other means to apply the blood-shedding of Christ unto us, besides only faith; thirdly and especially, which so limit and restrain the eternal privilege of Christ’s passion, as though it served but only for sins done without and before faith, and that the rest, after baptism committed, must be done away by confession, pardons, and satisfactory deeds. And all this riseth because the true nature of the law and the gospel is not known, nor the difference rightly considered between the times of the one and of the other. Neither again do they make any distinction between the malediction of the law, and use of the law. And therefore, whensoever they hear us speak of the law (meaning the malediction of the law) to be abolished, thereupon they maliciously slander us, as though we spake against the good exercises of the law, and gave liberty of flesh to carnal men to live as they list: whereof more shall be said (by the Lord’s grace) as place and time shall hereafter require.


    Concerning free-will, as it may peradventure in some case be admitted, that men without grace may do some outward functions of the law, and keep some outward observances or traditions, so, as touching things spiritual and appertaining to salvation, the strength of man, being not regenerate by grace, is so infirm and impotent, that he can perform nothing, neither in doing well, nor willing well; who, after he be regenerated by grace, may work and do well, but yet in such sort that still remaineth, notwithstanding, a great imperfection of flesh, and a perpetual repugnance between the flesh and spirit. And thus was the original church of the ancient Romans first instructed. From whom see now how far this latter church of Rome hath degenerated, which holdeth and affirmeth, that men without grace may perform the obedience of the law, and prepare themselves to receive grace by working, so that those works may be meritorious, and, of congruity, obtain grace. Which grace once obtained, then men may (say they) perfectly perform the full obedience of the law, and accomplish those spiritual actions and works which God requireth: and so those works of condignity deserve everlasting life. As for the infirmity which still remaineth in nature, that they nothing regard nor once speak of.


    Over and besides these uncatholic and almost unchristian absurdities and defections from the apostolical faith, above specified, let us consider the manner of their invocation, not to God alone, as they should, but to dead men; saying that saints are to be called upon, “tanquam mediatores intercessionis,” “as mediator of intercession:” “Christum vero tanquam mediatorem salutis;” “and Christ as the mediator of salvation.” And affirm moreover, that Christ was a mediator only in time of his passion: which is repugnant to the words of St. Paul, writing to the old Romans, where he speaking of the intercession of Christ: (Romans 8:34) “which is,” saith he, “on the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” And if Christ be a mediator of salvation, what needeth then any other intercession of the saints for our suits? for salvation being once had, what can we require more? or what lacketh he more to be obtained of the saints, who is sure to be saved only by Christ? And then, in their catholic devotions, why do they teach us thus to pray to the blessed virgin, “Save all them that glorify thee,” etc.; if salvation belong only to Christ? unless they study of purpose to seem contrary to themselves.

    Hitherto also pertaineth the worshipping of relics, and the false adoration of sacraments; that is, the outward signs for the things signified, contrary to the seventh principle before. Add to this also the profanation of the Lord’s supper, contrary to the use for which it was ordained, in reserving it after the communion ministered, in setting it to sale for money, and falsely persuading both themselves and others, that the priest doth merit both to himself that saith, and to him that heareth, “Ex opere operato, sine bono motu utentis,” that is, “Only by the mere doing of the work, though the party that useth the same hath no motion in him.”


    As touching sacraments, their doctrine likewise is corrupt and erroneous.

    First , They err falsely in the number: for where the institution of Christ ordaineth but two, they (contrary to the fourth principle above prefixed) have added to the prescription of the Lord’s word, five other sacraments.

    Secondly , In the cause final they err: for where the word hath ordained those sacraments to excite our faith, and to give us admonitions of spiritual things, they, contrariwise, do teach that the sacraments do not only stir up faith, but also that they avail and are effectual without faith; “Ex opere operato, sine bono motu utentis.” As is to be found in Thomas Aquinas, Scotus, Catharinus, and others more.

    Thirdly , In the operation and effect of the sacraments they fail, where they, contrary to the mind of the Scriptures, do say that they give grace, and not only do signify, but also contain and exhibit that which they signify; to wit, grace and salvation.

    Fourthly , They err also in application, applying their sacraments both to the quick and the dead; to them also that be absent; to remission of sins, and releasing of pain, etc.

    In the sacrament of baptism they are to be reproved, not only for adding to the simple words of Christ’s institution divers other newfound rites and fantasies of men; but also, where the use of the old church of Rome was only to baptize men, they baptize also bells; and apply the words of baptism to water, fire, candles, stocks, and stones, etc. But especially in the supper of the Lord their doctrine most filthily swerveth from the right mind of the Scripture, all order, reason, and fashion; most worthy to be exploded out of all christian churches. Touching which sacrament, the first error is their idolatrous abuse by worshipping, adoring, censing, knocking, and kneeling unto it; in reserving also and carrying the same about in pomp and procession in towns and fields. Secondly, also in the substance thereof their teaching is monstrous, leaving there no substance of bread and wine to remain, but only the real body and blood of Christ, putting no difference between calling and making. Because Christ called bread his body, therefore (say they) he made it his body, and so, of a wholesome sacrament, make a perilous idol: and that which the old church of Rome did ever take to be a mystery, they turn into a blind mist of mere accidents, to blear the people’s eyes, making them believe they see that they see not, and not to see that which they see: and to worship a thing made, for their Maker, a creature for their Creator: and that which was threshed out of a wheaten sheaf, they set up in the church, and worship for a Savior: and when they have worshipped him, then they offer him to his Father: and when they have offered him, then they eat him up, or else close him fast in a pix, where, if he corrupt and putrefy before he be eaten, then they burn him to powder and ashes. And notwithstanding they know well, by the Scriptures, that the body of Christ can never corrupt and putrefy, yet, for all this corruption, will they needs make it the body of Christ, and burn all them which believe not that which is against true christian belief.


    What order and rule St. Paul hath set for marriage in his epistle to the Corinthians it is manifest; where, as he preferreth single life, in such as have the gift of continence, before the married estate, so again, in such as have not the gift, he preferreth the coupled life before the other; willing every such one to have his wife, “because of fornication.” (1 Corinthians 7:2) Furthermore, how the said apostle alloweth a bishop to be the husband of one wife (so he exceed not, after the manner of the Jews, who were permitted to have many), and how vehemently he reproveth them that restrain marriage, his letters to Timothy do record (1 Timothy 3:12; 4:3). Moreover, what degrees be permitted by the law of God to marry, in the book of Leviticus is to be seen, chap. 18:3-20. Also how children ought not to marry without consent of their parents, by manifest examples of the Scriptures it is notorious.

    Contrary to these ordinances of the Scripture, the new catholics of the pope’s church, first do repute and call marriage a state of imperfection, and prefer single life, be it never so impure, before the same; pretending that where the one replenisheth the earth, the other filleth heaven. Furthermore, as good as the third part of Christendom, if it be not more, both men and women, they keep through co-acted vows from marriage, having no respect whether they have the gift or no. Ministers and priests, such as are found to have wives, not only they remove out of place, but also pronounce sentence of death upon them, and account their children for bastards and illegitimate. Again, as good as the third part of the year they exempt and suspend from liberty of marriage. Degrees of copulation forbidden they extend further than ever did the law of God, even to the fifth or sixth degree; which degree notwithstanding they release again, when they list, for money. Over and besides all this, they have added a new-found prohibition of spiritual kindred, that is, that such as have been gossips (or godfathers and godmothers) together, in christening another man’s child, must not by their law marry together. Briefly and finally in this doctrine and cases of matrimony, they gain and rake to themselves much money from the people, they augment horrible sodomitry, they nourish wicked adultery and much fornication, they fill the world with offensions and bastards, and give great occasion of murdering infants. F843 OF MAGISTRATES AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

    Ye heard before what rules and lessons St. Paul gave to the old Romans concerning magistrates, to whose authority he would have all human creatures to be subjected; and how they are the ministers of God, having the sword given unto them, wherewith they ought to repress false doctrine and idolatry, and maintain that which is true and right (Romans 13:4).

    Now let us survey, a little, the pope’s proceedings, and mark how far he transgresseth in this, as he doth in all other points, almost, from true christianity.

    First , the pope with all his clergy exempt themselves from all obedience civil.

    Secondly , they arrogate to themselves authority to ordain and constitute, without all leave or knowledge of the ordinary magistrate.

    Thirdly , yea they take upon them to depose and set up rulers and magistrates, whom they list.


    The paradoxes, or rather the fantasies of the latter church of Rome concerning purgatory, be monstrous; neither old nor apostolical. 1. First (say they), there is a purgatory, where souls do burn in fire after this life. 2. The pain of purgatory differeth nothing from the pains of hell, but only that it hath an end: the pains of hell have none. 3. The painful suffering of this fire fretteth and scoureth away the sins before committed in the body. 4. The time of these pains endureth in some longer, in some less, according as their sins deserve. 5. After which time of their pains being expired, then the mercy of God doth translate them to heavenly bliss, which the body of Christ hath bought for them. 6. The pains of purgatory be so great, that if all the beggars of the world were seen on the one side, and but one soul of purgatory on the other side, the whole world would pity more that one, than all the others. 7. The whole time of punishment in this purgatory must continue so long, till the fire have clean fretted and scoured away the rusty spots of every sinful soul there burning, unless there come some release. 8. Helps and releases that may shorten the time of their purgation, by the pope’s pardons and indulgences, sacrifice of the altar, diriges and trentals, prayer, fasting, meritorious deeds out of the treasurehouse of the church, alms and charitable deeds of the living, in satisfying God’s justice for them, etc. 9. Lack of belief of purgatory bringeth to hell. F845 Many other false errors and great deformities, heresies, absurdities, vanities, and follies, besides their blasphemous railings and contumelies, may be noted in the said latter church of Rome, wherein they have made manifest defection from the old faith of Rome, as in depriving the church of one kind of the sacrament; in taking from the people the knowledge and reading of God’s word; in praying and speaking to the people, and administering sacraments in a tongue unknown; in mistaking the authority of the keys, in their unwritten verities; in making the authority of the Scripture insufficient; in untrue judgment of the church, and their wrong notes of the same; in the supremacy of the see of Rome; in their wrong opinion of Antichrist.

    But because these, with all other parts of doctrine, are more copiously and at large comprehended in other books, both in Latin and English, set forth in these our days, I shall not need further herein to travail; especially seeing the contrariety between the pope’s church and the church of Christ; between the doctrine of the one, and the doctrine of the other, is so evident, that he is blind that seeth it not, and hath no hands almost that feeleth it not.

    For (briefly in one note to comprehend that which may suffice for all), whereas the doctrine of Christ is altogether spiritual, consisting wholly in spirit and verity, and requireth no outward thing to make a true christian man, but only baptism (which is the outward profession of faith), and receiving of the Lord’s supper; let us now examine the whole religion of this latter church of Rome, and we shall find it, wholly from top to toe, to consist in nothing else but altogether in outward and ceremonial exercises; as outward confession, absolution at the priest’s hand, outward sacrifice of the mass, buying of pardons, purchasing of obits, extern worshipping of images and relics, pilgrimage to this place or that, building of churches, founding of monasteries, outward works of the law, outward gestures, garments, colors, choice of meats, difference of times and places, peculiar rites and observances, set prayers, and number of prayers prescribed, fasting of vigils, keeping of holidays, coming to church, hearing of service, external succession of bishops and of Peter’s see, external form and notes of the church, etc. So that by this religion to make a true christian and a good catholic, there is no working of the Holy Ghost almost required; as for example, to make this matter more demonstrable, let us here define a christian man after the pope’s making: whereby we may see the better what is to be judged of the scope of his doctrine.


    After the pope’s catholic religion, a true christian man is thus defined: first, to be baptized in the Latin tongue (where the godfathers profess they cannot tell what); then confirmed by the bishop; the mother of the child to be purified; after he be grown in years, then to come to the church; to keep his fasting-days; to fast the Lent; to come under Benedicite (that is, to be confessed of the priest); to do his penance; at Easter to take his rites; to hear mass and divine service; to set up candles before images; to creep to the cross; to take holy bread and holy water; to go on procession; to carry his palms and candle, and to take ashes; to fast the ember-days, rogationdays, and vigils; to keep the holidays; to pay his tithes and offering-days; to go on pilgrimage; to buy pardons; to worship his Maker over the priest’s head; to receive the pope for his supreme head, and to obey his laws; to receive St. Nicholas’ clerks; to have his beads, and to give to the high altar; to take orders, if he will be a priest; to say his matins; to sing his mass; to lift up fair; to keep his vow, and not to marry; when he is sick to be annealed, and take the rites of the holy church; to be buried in the church-yard; to be rung for; to be sung for; to be buried in a friar’s cowl; to find a soul-priest, etc.

    All which points being observed, who can deny but this is a devout man, and a perfect christian catholic; and sure to be saved, as a true faithful child of the holy mother-church?

    Now look upon this definition, and tell me, good reader, what faith or spirit, or what working of the Holy Ghost, in all this doctrine, is to be required. The grace of our Lord Jesus give the true light of his gospel to shine in our hearts. Amen!

    Sun tw~| Cristw~|


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