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IMPOSSIBILITY OF RECONCILIATION, FROM THE NATURE OF THE

MATTERS CONTROVERTED.

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SECT. 1.

From the Impuration or Corruption of the Roman Church. But, to leave this first head of our adversaries' indisposition to peace, say that the Papists could be content to hearken to an agr ment, which I can never hope to see while Rome is itself; say they should seek it: yet, as things now stand, while they will not and we may not stir one inch from our station of judgment, God forbids, the truth debars our reconciliation. We dare not, whatsoever some kind-hearted mediators may persuade us, either divide Christ, or betray him with a kiss. The truth is on high : “ They may well ascend to us," as Leo said of old *

;

6 but for us to descend to them, is neither safe nor honest."

First of all, how too plain is it, that the ROMAN CHURCH IS PALTABLY DECLINED FROM THAT ANCIENT PURITY OF RELIGION, WHICH ŞHE ONCE PROFESSED! It is not more certain and sensible, that the City of Rome is descended from her seven bills to the Martian plains, that lie below them; or, that the spiteful heathens of old, as Eusebius reports t, turned the sacred monument of the tomb of Christ into the temple of their Venus.

What a cloud of witnesses have we, of this noted decay of that Church! yea, witnesses of their own!

To begin with that other sex. Hildegardis, a nun and a famous prophetess of her time, accuses the Apostolical Order of the ytter extinguishing of religion amongst them: Matilda or Maud, who lived in the same age, censures them with common apostacy from the Christian Faith: and both of them, by some extraordinary revelation, clearly and directly prophesied of this religious and holy restoration of the Church, which our days see accomplished I. St. Brigit $, the foundress of the Order of St. Saviour, which was canonized || by Pope Urban, sticks not to teach openly in her writings, that the Pope doth “ torment, yea, crucify the souls of the elect;" and boldly foretells, that all his followers and abettors and whole clergy shall be cut off, and that his See shall sink down into the bottom of hell **: and this she doth so tartly and vehe

Epist. ad Euph. Pell. cit. I. ïïi. de Laicis, + Euseb. Hist. 1. jü. c. 25.

Anno 1170. Ex Loc. Com. Ilenr. Token. Illyric. Proph. Rythmic. S. Brig. Præfixa Revel. || Anno 1370. q Rev. l. 1. c. 41. Cricciare, conò crucifigere electorum animas, &c.

** Revel. Extr. c. 8.

§ Vila

mently, that the Romanists of those times threatened and endeavoured to burn her alive. Robert, our Bishop of Lincoln, to whom the greatness of his head gave a homely but famous name *, whom Illyricus mis-nameth Rupertus, a worthy and peerless man in his age, durst, before the Pope's own face, openly accuse the pastors of his time to be the spoilers of the earth, the dispersers and devourers of God's flock, the utter wasters of the holy vineyard of God. That Carthusian of Coleyne t, which is said to have gathered that Book of the Bundle of Times I, complains that truth was then perished from the sons of men. Petrus de Aliaco, a Cardinal, confesses that the ancient Divines built up the Church, but the then present seducers destroyed it. And unto these agree John de Rupescissa || a monk; Picus, earl of Mirandula 1 ; Trithemius, the abbot; Laurence Valla; and those worthy lights of the Council of Basil, the Cardinal of Arles and Thomas de Corsellis **. But Nicholas Clemangis, the archdeacon of Bayeux, speaks nothing but stones and bullets; who, in a whole volume, hath freely painted out the corrupt estate of the Church ++: neither did Dominicus, Bishop of Brixia, speak any whit more sparingly; who, even in those times, durst set before his book this title, “ The Reformation of Rome ff :" to say nothing of Joachim; of Peter, of Ferrara, the lawyer; of the three Theodoricks; of Lyra, Petrarch, Gerson, Everard the Bishop of Salisburg, Erasmus, Cassander, Espencæus, the Jury of Cardinals selected by Paul the Third, (amongst which, Gasper Coteranus, James Sadolet, and our Cardinal Poole were, as they might, of eminent note) Alvarus Pelagius $$, Şavanarola || || of Florence; and whomsoever those times yielded at once both learned and good. Even Pope Adrian himself, the Sixth of that name, while he instructs his legate in his message, censures the Church; and ingenuously complains, that all was gone to wreck and ruin.

What shall we then say to this? Can any man be so partial, as to think that so many saints of both sexes, prophets, prophetesses, monks, doctors, cardinals, popes, should, as Jerome speaks of the Luciferian heretics, merely devise these slanders to the disgrace of their holy mother? If any man be so mad, he is well worthy to be ever deceived.

Indeed, Rome was once a holy city (1 : but now, as no less famous the other way, she is become a city of blood *** This grape is grown a dry raisin tit. Neither did that good hermit, Antony, so justly say of his Alexandria, as we may now of Rome; “ Woe to

* Grosseteste in Manusc. An. 1250. + Jo. Trevisa, translated into English. | Aabetur initio Polychron. Ranulph, in Manuscript. Anno 900. g Artic. in Concil. Constant. edicis 1535. ll Anno 1350. lib. Vade mecum.

Lib. Advers. Ement. donat. Constant. ** Ænæas Syl. de Gest. Concil. Anno 1416. tt Ad Pium ii. 11 Lii). Reform. Cur. Rom. Anno 1400. 8 9 Avenuin. Annal. lib. vii.- Osiand. Confut. Thes. Coster. || || Jo. Mirandula, Marsil. Fecin. e: Comineus report him to have been a prophet.-Espenc. in Tit. -Ostand Papa non Papa, I9 Mait. iv. 5. Toris oysa,

S'977 70. Ezek. xxiv. 6, 9. Att 'Asa Puan; sapis ist. Theocrit.

Idyl. xn.

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care we,” saith he*, “ for the same Creed ? Faith is not in words, but in the sense.

And, indeed, I remember what Ruffinus reports done by Arius. That worthy Constantine had charged him to write what faith he held : he delivered bim a Creed; in words, ours; in sense, his

And how right his wicked brood took after their father, in the ensuing times of the Church, let histories witness : sure I am, whosoever shall read the Creeds of their several sects, shall hardly fetch out any thing, which an orthodox censurer would think worthy of reproof. How oft do they yield Christ to be God; yea, God of God; and yet perfidiously reserve to themselves, in the mean time, that absurd conceit, that he was created er non entibus t !

As, therefore, Severianus, the Syrian, in Theodoret, spake Greek as a Grecian, but pronounced it like a Syrian: so there may be many, which may speak truths, but pronounce them heretically, " For all heresies," saith Irenæus $; s talk of one God, but mar him with their misconceits." “ Yea, for the most part, all heresies,” saith Chrysologus ll, “ set a face of the Trinity." To little purpose. It was not ill said of Gratian 1, “ That no man is to care for words, since that not the meaning should serve the words, but the words rather the meaning."

Let us grant all this, and more. Let it be said of the Creed, as Jerome said of the book of Job, that every word abounds with senses “ There is no Divine Word,” as Tertullian speaketh ++ wisely, “ so dissolute and diffused, that only the words may be defended, and not the true meaning of the words set down.” To put the Cardinal out of this needless fear, the proper and native sense of the Creed may be fetched out; and, I add yet more (except but that one article of Christ's descension into hell, which Ruffimus confesses he could not find, either in the Roman or Eastern Creeds) is openly confessed on both parts. And yet,

for all this, we are never the nearer to peace: for, from these common principles of faith, the subtle device of heretical pravity hath fetched strange and erroneous consequences, which, by their sophistical and obstinate handling, are now improved into heresies; and dare now threaten, not only opposition, but death unto those very principles, from which they are raised.

Of this kind, are the most of those Romish opinions, which we undertake to censure in this discourse.

But, if, by the universal consent of all, it should appear that both word and sense are entire; that both the principles, and necessary conclusions thence deduced, are undeniably sound; “ Yet," saith Bellarmin II, " there can be no peace with Lutherans." Let all the world know this, and wonder.

**

* Bell. de Laicis. lib. iji. c. 19. t 'Exxovtiw. 'Ouersebu5wy. & Iren. I. i. c. 9. Il Petr. Chrys. Ser. 109. Trinitatem vocabulis mentiuntur,

Decr. 22. q. 5. Humana. ** Hier, in Præf. ++ Tert. de Presc, # Nulla tamen par cum Lutheranis. De Laicis. l. iii. c. 19. Sect. 4.

Our King (be it spoken to the envy of those which cannot emulate him, an incomparable Divine for a Prince, yea, a Prince of Divines, a king of men, and a wonder of kings, mighty both with his sceptre and his pen) going about, in that learned and ponderous Discourse, to clear himself from the aspersion of heresy, which that foul hand had unworthily cast upon him, professes solemnly and holily, that whatsoever is contained either in the Sacred Scriptures, or the Three Famous Creeds, or the Four First General Councils, that, he embraces with both arms; that, he proclaims for his faith ; that, he will defend with his tongue, with his pen, with his sword; in that, he will both live and die

Yea, but this is not enough, saith that great antagonist of princes t: for there are other points of faith, wherewith religion is, now of late times, enlarged; as transubstantiation, purgatory, the Pope's primacy: a whole dozen of these goodly articles hath the Tridentine Council created, in this decayed age of the world, lest the Fathers of Italy should seem to come short of the Apostles, and the Pope of Christ; any parcel whereof, whosoever shall presume to call in question, is a heretic presently, and smells of the faggot.

And, how ordinarily is that laid in every dish, " That he cannot be a member of the Church, which withdraws his obedience from their Pope, the head of the Church I"

Neither is that any whit milder, which Gratian cites from Pope Nicholas the Second; “ Whosoever goes about to infringe the privilege of the Roman Church, or derogates from her authority, is a heretic $."

But that is yet well worse, which the allowed Table of the Decree hath peremptorily broached || : “ Whosoever obeys not the Pope's commandment, incurs the sin of idolatry;" or, as Gregory the Seventh, from whom Gratian would seem to borrow this, which yet is not to be found in his Epistles) “ of Paganism.”

Whatsoever, therefore, Christ Jesus, whatsoever the Apostles, whatsoever the Councils and Fathers of the Primitive Church have commended to us to be believed, shall avail us little, neither can ever make us friends, unless we will be content to beslave our faith unto their Popeling:

And can they think we will look at Peace, upon such a condition? That hope were bold and foolish, that could expect this. Neither do they more scornfully cast us out of the bosom of their Church, for spitting at these Articles of Straw, which their vanity hath devised, than we can confidently condemn and execrate their presumption, which have so imperiously obtruded such trash as this upon the Church of God.

* In Præfat. ad Imper. et Princip. + Bell. Resp. ad Regem. Non satis est ad hæreticum nomen fugiendum illa recipere, quæ Rex Anglorum recipere alque admittere se dicit. p. 80. Etiamsi novitia ci nupera illa sint, si quis tamen ca neget, immurem ab hæresi non fore. Bell. Resp. ad Regem. p. 98.

Bell. I. de Laicis, ii. c. 19. § Dist. 2?. Omnes. H Margaritæ Decret. rel Tabula Martinia, In verb. Lobcdicntia,

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From the Impuration or Corruption of the Roman Church. BUT, to leave this first head of our adversaries' indisposition to peace, say that the Papists could be content to hearken to an agreement, which I can never hope to see while Rome is itself; say they should seek it: yet, as things now stand, while they will not and we may not stir one inch from our station of judgment, God forbids, the truth debars our reconciliation. We dare not, whatsoever some kind-hearted mediators may persuade us, either divide Christ, or betray him with a kiss. The truth is on high : “ They may well ascend to us," as Leo said of old * ; “ but for us to descend to them, is neither safe nor honest.”

First of all, how too plain is it, that the ROMAN CHURCH IS PALPABLY DECLINED FROM THAT ANCIENT PURITY OF RELIGION, WHICH ȘHE ONCE PROFESSED! It is not more certain and sensible, that the City of Rome is descended from her seven bills to the Martian plains, that lie below them; or, that the spiteful heathens of old, as Eusebius reports t, turned the sacred monument of the tomb of Christ into the temple of their Venus.

What a cloud of witnesses have we, of this noted decay of that Church! yea, witnesses of their own!

To begin with that other sex. Hildegardis, a nun and a famous prophetess of her time, accuses the Apostolical Order of the utter extinguishing of religion amongst them: Matilda or Maud, who lived in the same age, censures them with common apostacy from the Christian Faith: and both of them, by some extraordinary revelation, clearly and directly prophesied of this religious and holy restoration of the Church, which our days see accomplished I. St. Brigit $, the foundress of the Order of St. Saviour, which was canonized || by Pope Urban, sticks not to teach openly in her writings, that the Pope doth “ torment, yea, crucify the souls of the elect 1;" and boldly foretells, that all his followers and abettors and whole clergy shall be cut off, and that his See shall sink down into the bottom of hell **: and this she doth so tartly and vehe

* Epist. ad Euph. Pell. cit. l. iii. de Laicis. + Euseb. Hist. I. iü. c. 25.

Anno 1170. Ex Loc. Com. Ilenr. Token. Illyric. Proph. Rythmic. S. Brig. Præfixa Revel. || Anno 1370. 1 Rev. l. 1. c. 41. Crieciare, Cmò crucifigere electorum animas, &c.

** Revel. Extr. c. 8.

§ l'ica

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