Deerly beloved, beleeve not every spirit, but trie the spirits whether they be of God : For manie false prophets are gone out into the world. 1.Ioh. 4.1.
THESE words which I have readde unto you (right Hon. and beloved in the Lord) do divide themselves into three parts: a prohibition, Beleeve not everie spirit: a commaundement, But trie the spirits whether they be of God: and a reason of them both, Bicause many false prophets are gone out into the world. Of these three parts, the last in order is the first in nature; and the first is the last: and I meane to proceed accordingly. First I will shew unto you, that many false prophets are gone out into the world: secondly, the triall of them is to be considered of: which two points being well understood, the necessitie of the prohibition will evidently appeere; which is, that we ought not to beleeve every spirit.
Many false prophets are gone out, &c.
In this first part I observe fower things: the number of these prophets, They are manie: their qualitie, They are false: their going out, and the causes that moove them so to do: and where they remaine, They are gone into the world.
As concerning the number of these prophets, the scriptures do name these: Simon Magus, Elimas, Barjehu, the Nicholaites, Himinaeus, Philetus, Alexander, Phigellus, Hermogenes, Diotrephes, Theudas, and Iudas of Galilee. To whom also these may be added: Ebion, Cerinthus, the Carpocratians, Simon of Galilee, Menander, and divers others.The number of these prophets. Acts.8.
With these prophets the Church was so troubled and disquieted in S. Iohns time, that (as it seemed) some cared for no spirit, prophet, nor doctrine: and some were so giddy headed, that in a maner every spirit contented them, which caused the Apostle to vse in effect these words: to the one sort, Beleev not not every spirit: and to the other, although you are not to beleeve every spirit, yet it is your dutie to beleeve some spirit.
After the Apostles times, as it were out of the ashes of these false prophets, there grew and sproong up so many other schismatikes and heretikes: as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Epiphanius, and S. Augustine do testifie, that the verie name of Christ began to be odious among the people: and as Socrates reporteth, the Christians were mocked and jested at upon publike stages, and in their common interludes.Socrates.
Of the times in like maner wherein we now live, the Apostle S. Paule did prophesie, that there should be many false prophets: and we do see his sayengs therein to be fulfilled by the number of such prophets as now remaine amongst us: Arrians, Donatists, Papists, Libertines, Anabaptists, the Familie of love, and sundrie other (I knowe not of what opinion) so many sectaries and schismatikes, as that in very deed divers do revolt daily to Papistrie, many are become meerly Atheists, and the best do stand in som sort at a gaze.1.Tim.4.
So as all the complaints which in times past have been made heerof, may trulie be applied to these our daies wherein we now live; Vos Christiani dissidetis inter vos & tot sectas habetis: quae licet omnes Christianismi titulum sibi vendicent, tamen alia aliam execratur & condemnat. Quare vestra religio vera non est, nec a deo originem ducit. Yee Protestants say the Papists (as Clemens Alexandrinus noteth some others to have said upon the like occasion) yee dissent amongst your selves and maintaine so many sects: which sects notwithstanding they al claime the title of Christian religion, yet one of them curseth and condemneth another: and therefore your religion is not true, nor hath hir beginning or ground from God.Clem.Stromat. lib.7.
And Chrysostome of the Atheist; Venit gentilis & dicit, vellem fieri Christianus: Sed nescio cui adhaeream. Multae inter vos sunt pugnae, seditiones & tumultus. Nescio quod dogma eligam, quod praeferam. The Infidel and Heathen commeth and saith, I would be a Christian man, but I know not whom I should follow: there is much strife, dissention & trouble amongst you: I can not tell what doctrine to choose to set before other: Nam singuli dicunt, ego verum dico: for everie one saith, I speake the truth.Chrys.in act. Homil.33.
The best amongst us in like maner I feare are come to the same passe that they were at in Melancthons time, who complained as he writeth in this sort; Quos fugiamus habemus, quos sequamur non intelligimus: We understand whom to avoid (meaning the Papists) but as yet whom to follow we know not. God for his mercies sake remoove this great stumbling block from amongst us: even as he shal see it to be most expedient for his church.Melanct. resp. ad Staphyl.
Now of the qualitie of those prophets: they are false: false in doctrine, and false in conversation. In respect of their doctrine, they are called in the Scriptures Spirits of error, seducers, deceivers, juglers, authors of divers sects, false speakers, and the children of the divell, who is the father of all falshoode.The qualities of those prophets.
In respect of their conversation they are saide to be humble and lowlie in outward shew, but yet of nature verie contentious and unquiet, doting about questions and strife of words: wherof commeth envy, strife, railings, and evill surmisings. Their mouths do speake proud things and swelling words of vanitie: likewise dangerous things. They are bolde and stand in their owne conceit: they despise government and feare not to speake evill of them that are in dignitie and authoritie; whereas the angels which are greater both in power and might give not railing judgement against them before the Lord. They are Libellers, and do speake evill of those things which they know not. They are bolder in avouching their untruths, and in depraving their superiors, than Michael the Archangell durst be when hee strove against the divell.Iude.
2.Pet.2. Iude. Matt.23.
Luk.11. Iust. Mart. 2 Tim.2. Rom.3.
Of these false prophets some indevour to seduce the godlie under pretence of dreams and revelations: especially the popish priests and prophets: For prooving of their reall presence & purgatorie, as it appeereth most manifestlie in diverse of their bookes: but especially touching purgatorie in Dionysius the Carthusian; De quatuor novissimis.Dionysius.
Vnto these I might adde the holie maide of Lisbone, who did prophesie this last yeere (if the report be true) that the invincible navie of the Spaniardes should no sooner approch the coast of England, but that presentlie all English mens harts shoulde faile them, and the Spaniards obtain the victory. I praie God that al prophesies and attempts against England have never better successe then these of late have had.
There are other false prophets in like maner so termed, bicause they do applie the saiengs of the true prophets unto a false ende and purpose: as those in the Apostles times who tooke upon them to set down peremptorilie the certaine time of the day of judgement. Such there are also in these daies: especially Brocard the Italian, who expoundeth the prophesies of Esaie, Ezechiell and the rest touching the overthrow of Ierusalem, Egipt, Tyre, Sidon, and Babylon with their kings & rulers to be understood of the destruction of Anwarpe, Paris, the prince of Orange, the prince of Conde, and others both noble men, and famous cities in these last daies.Danaeus in prolego. in 12 Proph. cap.8.
Of this number I may verie well account the late obstinate heretike Francis Ket, who was within these two months brent at Norwich. All the places in the prophets which did describe the spiritual kingdom of Christ, he applied to the materiall restauration of the earthly Ierusalem: affirming that as manie as woulde be saved must go and dwell there in the land of Chanaan.Ket. Contr. Anab.
Lastlie they are to be reckoned amongst the number of these false prophets who do pervert the meaning of the Scriptures for the maintenance and defence of any false doctrin, schism, or heresie. Heerof you know I might give you many examples: I pray you beare with me if I set downe one as strange in my opinion, as any is to be founde in a matter of no greater importance.
The name of false prophet I am content in diverse respects to suppresse: the matter it selfe which I meane, standeth in this sort. There are very many now a daies, who do affirm that when Christ used these words, Dic ecclesiae, he ment thereby to establish in the church for ever the same plat and forme of ecclesiastical government, to be erected in every parish, which Moses by Iethroes counsel appointed in mount Sinaie: and which afterward the Iewes did imitate in their particular synagogs.Matth.18. Num.11.
They had (saie these men) in their synagogs their priests, we must have in every parish our pastors: they their Levites, we our doctors: they their rulers of their synagogs, we our elders: they their leviticall treasurers, we our deacons.The certaine forme of Eccles. govern.
This forme of governement they call the tabernacle which God hath appointed, the glory of God, and of his sonne Iesus Christ, the presence of God, the place which he hath chosen to put his name there, the court of the Lord, and the shining foorth of Gods glorie. Where this ecclesiasticall synode is not erected, they say Gods ordinance is not performed: the office of Christ as he is a king is not acknowledged: in effect that without this governement we can never attaine to a right and true feeling of Christian Religion, but are to be reckoned amongst those who are accounted to say of Christ as it is in Luke, Wee will not have this man to raigne over us.
And their conclusion upon this point against all that do withstand their governement is this, according as it likewise followeth in the same place: Those mine enimies which would not that I should raigne over them, bring hither and slay them before me.Demonstra. of Discipline. Luk.19.
Heere you see there is great vehemencie used, and very sharpe applications are urged, A man would thinke that if the grounde of this government were not more cleere then the sunne, and so determined of by all the godlie and learned in the worlde ever since Christs time, they could never be halfe so resolute or earnest.
But heerein they passe indeede the measure of a modest mans conceite. For there was never ancient father since the Apostles times, were he never so learned or studious of the truth: there was never particular Church, councell or synode, or any man of judgement that ever lived till these latter times (as I thinke, and I have taken paines for the search thereof) that did ever so expound and interpret that place: or that ever did so much as once dreame of anie such meaning.
Besides, it is most manifest that there hath been a diverse governement from this used in the church ever since the apostles times: and these men themselves confesse that long before the councell of Nice this their government began greatly to decay: and that since the said councell it was never heard of in christendome untill these their times.T.C. [Thomas Cartwright.]
A verie strange matter if it were true, that Christ should erect a forme of governement for the ruling of his Church to continue from his departure out of the world untill his comming againe: and that the same should never be once thought of or put in practise for the space of 1500. yeers, or at the least (to take them at the best) that the governement and kingdome of Christ shoulde then bee overthrowne, when by all mens confessions the divinitie of his person, the vertue of his priesthood, the power of his office as he is a prophet, and the honor of his kinglie authoritie, was so godlie, so learnedlie, and so mightilie established against the Arrians, in the councell of Nice, as that the confession of the Christian faith then set foorth, hath ever since without contradiction been received in the church.Concil. Nice.
So as for mine owne part I cannot choose but account these Interpreters to bee in truth perverters of Christs meaning: and do holde them among the number of those of whom Tertullian speaking saith: Caedem scripturarum faciunt ad materiam suam: They murder the Scriptures to serve their owne purpose. And thus of their qualities.Tertul de praescrip. advers. haeret.
Manie false prophets are gone out. Are gone out, that is, are manifest. Before they lay hid in the Church, but nowe by their schismes they have made themselves knowen. They departed from the congregations of the faithfull accounting them ungodlie: and have gathered to themselves companies agreeable to their owne humors: which they onely esteeme for the Churches of God.False prophets go out.
Thus all heretikes and schismatikes have done from the beginning, wherein they are greatly to be woondred at. For this hath ever been reckoned a most certaine ground and principle in religion, that that Church which maintaineth without error the faith of Christ, which holdeth the true doctrine of the Gospell in matters necessarie to salvation, and preacheth the same; which retaineth the lawfull use of those Sacraments onely which Christ hath appointed, and which appointeth vice to be punished, and vertue to be maintaned; notwithstanding in some other respects, and in some points it have many blemishes, imperfections, nay divers & sundry errors, is yet to be acknowledged for the mother of the faithfull, the house of God, the Arke of Noe, the piller of truth, and the spouse of Christ. From which Church whosoever doth separate himselfe, he is to be reckoned a schismatike or an heretike.August. Danaeus Isag. par.3.lib.1.cap.13.
Touching the causes why false prophets with so great danger of their soules do depart from the Church: if we respect them as they are indeed, I can say nothing, but as it is contained in the old distinction; They were in the church, but they were not of the Church. Or as S. Iohn saith; They went out from us, bicause they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they should have continued with us. In the Lords barne there is contained both wheate and chaffe. Triticum non rapit ventus, nec arborem solida radice fundatam: sed inanes duntaxat paleas jactat tempestas: The winde (saith Saint Cyprian) carrieth not away the wheate, nor overthroweth the tree that is deepely rooted, but the light chaffe onely is tossed and carried away with the tempest: how beit although in truth they depart from the Church, bicause they were not of the Church, yet there are certaine reasons whereby they are mooved so to do.The cause why false prophets go out. 2.Ioh.2. Matt.3. Cyprian. [Martin Marprelate.]
There are many causes set downe by the said ancient fathers why so many false prophets do go out into the world, but I will onely touch fower, whereof I finde the contempt of Bishops especially to be one. For unto them as S. Ierome saith ever since Saint Marks time the care of church government hath been committed. They had authoritie over the rest of the Ministerie, Vt schismatum semina tollerentur: That the seed of schismes might be taken away. And againe, Ne unusquisque ad se trahens Christi ecclesiam rumperet: Least everie one drawing to himselfe by a severall way should rent in peeces the church of Christ. For if Bishops had not that authoritie, Tot in Ecclesiis efficerentur schismata quot Sacerdotes: There would be as many schismes in the church as there are priests.
The second cause why so many false prophets are gone into the world, I finde to be ambition; or as Augustine saith, desire of glory: or as Gregorie speaketh, desire of principalitie, not by such as are alreadie advanced to any honour or authoritie, but rather by those who accounting themselves nothing inferior to any of their superiours, do affect with greedines the like places and preferments: the which if they misse one way, they labor to attaine them by another.
De utilitat. cre- dendi in 6. Iob.
This will appeere verie evidently unto those who shall consider the histories of Arrius coveting the Bishoprick of Alexandria: of Donatus laboring to have been Bishop of Carthage: of Novatus desiring a Bishopricke in Italie: and of Aerius contending with one Eustathius for a Bishopricke in Pontus. These men affecting these honorable roomes, by receiving their severall foyles, when through ambition they could not get the places they looked for in the church, they sought to attaine them in their particular synagogs. But the historie of Aerius is most of all pertinent to this purpose. Epiphanius doth reporte it thus in effect.Lib.3.Tom.1.haeres.75.
Aerius and Eustathius being schollers togither in Pontus, and profiting in learning with like commendation, at the last did sue one against another for a Bishopricke there. Eustathius obtained it: Aerius is greatly offended. The Bishop seeking carefully how to content him, made him the Master of an Hospitall. But heerwithall Aerius was not satisfied. The repulse he had taken greatly tormenting him, upon a stomacke he gave over his Hospitall, and began to devise how to slander Eustathius: affirming him to be a proud man, and not the man he had beene taken for: that now he abounded too much in wealth, and was declined Ad pecuniarum collectionem, to hoording of monie. Thereupon he entred into a schisme, he departed from the church, and having allured unto him a multitude of men and women, he fell into many absurdities. That he might likewise, the rather (as he thought) pinch and vexe Eustathius, as also for the advancement of his owne credit: he affirmed himselfe (being but a priest) to be equall in honour and dignitie with Eustathius a Bishop, and that there was no difference by the word of God betwixt a priest and a Bishop. He used for proofe of these his assertions the very same arguments which nowe are used of those that maintaine his opinions: as that the apostles sometimes writing to priests and deacons, & somtimes to Bishops and deacons, should therby signifie, that a Bishop and a priest is all one. Which is an assertion (saith Epiphanius) Stultitiae plena: full of follie. And thus you see what ambition accompanied with emulation wrought in Aerius.The historie of Aerius.
The course of which historie I have the rather at large noted unto you, bicause Martin would gladly have been as subtill to have deceived you, as he is malicious in depraving his superiours. Who taking upon him with Aerius to proove an equality in the ministerie, and that there ought to be no difference betwixt a Bishop and a priest, commeth at last to these wordes; There was never anie but Antichristian popes and popelings that ever claimed this authoritie (he meaneth the superioritie which Bishops have over the clergie) especially when the matter was gainsaid, &c.[Martin Marprelate.]
Why doth mans allowance or disallowance make a matter Antichristian or not Antichristian? Were they godly Bishops which claimed this authoritie when it was not gainsaid, and are they become Antichristian Bishops for challenging the same, bicause som do mislike it? But that you may yet farther see Martins boldnes (I might say either his malice or ignorance) it may please you to understande, what account was made in the church of God in those daies of Aerius gainsaying and impugning of the superioritie of Bishops. For if then his opinion prevailed, the favorers of the same cause now have some what to boast of: but indeed it fell out far otherwise. For it appeereth in Epiphanius, after due triall and examination made by the learned fathers who then lived, of all his arguments and sleights which he used for the proofe of his assertions, that with a generall consent of the whole church his opinions were overthrowen, and he himselfe persisting in them was condemned for an heretike. Saint Augustine likewise beareth witnes heerof, who in his booke of Heresies ascribeth this to Aerius for one, in that he said; Presbiterum ab episcopo nulla differentia debere discerni: That there ought to be no difference betwixt a priest and a Bishop.Cap. 53.
Besides for all Aerius gainsaying, the most of the godly, the best learned, and the most zealous of the fathers, who spent themselves in the defence of religion against such heretikes and schismatikes as the church of God did then abound and slow withal, did themselves take upon them the offices of Bishops: and till this day there was never any but heretikes, and such lewd persons, who did account them antichristian.Chrysost. in Psal. 13.
The third cause why many false prophets go out into the world, Saint Augustine noteth to be selfe-love. Selfe-love saith he, did build the city of the divel. For heerin is their cheefe vaunt and glorie (as Bernard saith) Captare laudem de singularitate scientiae: to hunt after commendation by singularitie of knowledge.
And surely it is greatly to be marvailed at, into what doting follie men may fal, who shall give over themselves to follow this humor. Irenaeus writeth, that some were so besotted with an opinion of themselves, that they accounted their owne writings to be Gospels: as we see nowe by the familie of love, that have set out their Evangelium regni. Others reckoned their owne wisdome far greater then the Apostles. There were who termed themselves γνωςτικὸι, accounting themselves thereby ignorant of nothing. The Manichees derived their name of Manna, bicause they held that whatsoever they taught was to be received at their handes as foode from heaven. Montanus saide, he was the comforter which Christ promised shoulde leade the church into all truth. Novatus called himselfe Moses, and having a brother, he named him Aaron. Simon Magus affirmed sometimes that he was God the father, somtime God the sonne, somtime God the holy Ghost, and somtime the power of God.Advers.haeres. lib.1.cap.1. August. Tertul. Clem. Alex.
And hence it is, that the ancient fathers have reckoned this dotage to be the verie beginning and fosterer of heretikes: Initia haereticorum, &c. The beginning of heresies is (saith Cyprian) Vt sibi placeant: When men begin to please themselves. For then (as Ierome noteth) whatsoever they conceive; Vertunt in Idolum; The make it an Idoll. And againe; Avarus colit Mammona, & haereticus dogma quod finxit: The covetous man worshippeth his monie, and the heretike his owne opinion.In 13. Zach.
They may rightlie therefore be compared unto Pigmaleon, who fell in love with an image of his owne making: or to Narcissus that doted so greatly in beholding himselfe. These men if once they affirme any thing, they wil rather hazard their lives than by revoking the same impaire their reputation.Epist. 190.
The fourth cause why manie false prophets are gone out into the world, is said to be covetousnes: whereof the apostle speaketh when he saith of some, that they teach things which they ought not for filthy lukers sake. Heerunto likewise the divell had respect when he saide unto Christ, All these will I give thee. It is written of Paulus Samosatenus that being allured with great hope of preferment, which hee expected of Zenobia the Queene of Arabia, he fell into those schismes, which after wrought his overthrow.
But I would to God this matter were not evident by experience amongst our selves. For I am fully of this opinion, that the hope which manie men have conceived of the spoile of Bishops livings, of the subversion of cathedrall churches, and of a havocke to be made of al the churches revenues, is the cheefest and most principall cause of the greatest schismes that we have at this day in our church.
I would be loth to say thus much if I had not verie apparant reason to lead me thereunto. For the better explanation whereof I have thought it good to devide the factious of our age into two sorts: the clergie factious, and the laie factious. The clergie factious do contend, that all the livings which now appertain to the church, ought of right to be imploied for the maintenance of their presbyteries, & that rather then they should want, the old spoile of the abbies and such religious houses should be restored againe unto their use: and in this course they are so earnest, as that in a supplication exhibited in the name of the communaltie to the high Court of Parleament 1585. they have set it down as a resolute doctrin, that things once dedicated to a sacred use, ought so to remain by the word of God for ever, and ought not to be converted to any private use.The Clergie factious. Discip.Eccl. Learned disco- urse. The judge to the 6. quest.
The laie factious on the other side are of a far contrarie opinion. For saie they (as it appeereth in the late admonition to the people of England, as I conceive by the circumstances there noted) our preachers ought to conforme themselves to the example of Christ and his Apostles. Their Master had not a house to put his head in. The apostles their predecessors had neither gold nor silver, possessions, riches, goods, nor revenues: and why then should they being in gifts and paines inferior unto them, have greater preferments in the world then they had? If they have a messe of pottage and a canvas dublet, may it not content them? Surelie these advancements which they have do greatlie hinder and hurt them.The lay factious.
Even as though one should saie unto you, my brethren of the poorer sort: these gentlemen and wealthier sort of the laitie do greatly abuse you: the children of God (you know) are heires of the world, and these things which the wicked have they enjoy by usurpation. The earth is the Lords and the fulnes thereof. You have an equall portion with the best in the kindome of God: and will you suffer this unequall distribution of these worldlie benefits? Consider how in the apostles time the faithfull had all things common. They came and laid their goods at the Apostles feet, and division was therof made according to every mans necessitie. You can not but groane under the heavie burden which is laide upon you. Your landlords do wringe and grinde your faces for the maintenance of their pride in apparell, their excesse in diet, their unnecessarie pleasures, as gaming, keeping of haukes & dogs, and such like vanities. They enhaunce your rents, they take great fines, and do keep you in very unchristian slaverie & bondage. Why do you not seeke for your better releefe to renue the use which was in the Apostles times? These great possessions, lands, and revenewes, which the richer sort have in their handes, do (as you see) make them verie proude, choake their zeale, hinder them in their vertuous proceedings, and will in deed (if order be not taken) mar and undo them.The vnabaptists.
Now deerly beloved unto you of all sorts, but especially to you of the richest, I praie you tell me how you like this doctrine. Do you thinke it is true or meete to be taught? No surely it is not. The whole maner thereof is wholy Anabaptisticall, and tendeth to the destruction and overthrow of all good rule and governement. And yet I tell you it may be urged with as great necessitie against the laitie, as the other may against the clergie: but in deede neither the one or the other against either of them both truely. Mary it may be you desire to heare what the clergie factous do answere for themselves, and in what good part they take their schollers liberalitie towards them. I warrant you they are not toong-tied on their owne behalfe, but finding their desire are bolde ynough to tell them of it.
Whilest they heare us speake against Bishops and Cathedrall Churches (saith the author of the Ecclesiasticall Discipline) it tickleth their eares, looking for the like praie they had before of Monasteries: yea they have in their harts devoured alreadie the churches inheritaunce. They care not for religion, so they may get the spoile. They coulde be content to crucifie Christ, so they might have his garments. Our age is ful of spoiling souldiers, and of wicked Dionysians, who will rob Christ of his golden coate, as neither fit for him in winter nor sommer. They are cormorants, and seek to fil the bottomles sacks of their greedy appetites. They do yawne after a pray, and would thereby to their perpetuall shame, purchase to themselves a field of blood.The clergie factious of the lay factious. Discipl. Eccl. T.C. [Thomas Cartwright.]
And whereas you have alreadie in your hands many impropriations & other church livings: they saie that in keeping them you sinne against your owne consciences: that you ought to be so far from looking for anie more, which doth nowe appertaine to the Church, as that you rather ought to feare you loose not that you have alreadie: especiallie seeing you waste the same in courtly braverie, and consume it with most sacrilegious impudency and boldnes.Discipl. Eccl.
I have not used a worde of mine owne heerin, but have been a faithfull relator unto you, what the clergie factious do thinke of their lay schollers. And is not then deere brethren the consideration heerof very pitifull unto you? The one sort you see would bring us to the government which was, as they saie, in the Apostles times, but they would have the livings of these times: the other sort not caring so much for the said government, do greatly urge in the ministery the Apostolicall povertie, to the intent that they might obtaine the pray, which they looke for. Wherby I doubt not, but it is manifest unto you, that covetousnes in them both hath thrust them into this schisme.
But yet a worde or two more unto you the factious of the laitie. I beseech you upon what groundes do you stand? Your owne teachers seeing your fetches do utterly condemne you; and for mine owne part I do not absolve you. It is therefore very meete and agreeable to the reputation which you desire, either for your vertue or for your religion, that before you proceed any farther in your disclosed maske, first you provide you of teachers for your warrant therein: least otherwise you growe into hatred, as men for their commodity regarding neither God nor the word.
Nay in my opinion you ought to be ashamed to open your mouthes ever heerafter against the present governement of the Church, and for the newe platforme, untill you can be contented to be so far from coveting the goods of the church, as that you are both willing and readie to deliver out of your hands such spoiles and praies thereof, as you have alreadie.
If I were urged, deerly beloved, to give my consent to the erection of these Presbyteries, which both the sorts of these men do seeme so earnestly to desire, I could be content (so that first they agreed who shoulde have the present revenues of the church) for som short time (until they saw the mischiefe of them) to yeeld therin unto them. Almightie God graunt unto them and to everie one of us such grace from above, as that we may not wilfully infringe his holy commaundement, prohibiting us to covet other mens goods: but with all thankefulnes to satisfie our selves with those benefits which of his mercie he hath alreadie bestowed upon us. And thus much of these fower causes why so manie false prophets go out from the church.
Now followeth the last point of the first part of my text. Many false prophets are gon out into the world. Into the world; that is (as one observeth verie well upon this place) they are now sproong up in everie corner amongst our selves, even in these places wherein we live, Velut sparsa in nostro itinere pericula & venena: As dangers and venome laid in our waies to intrap and infect us.Where false prophets remaine.
It had beene good for the church, that when false prophets wil needs separate them selves from the communion thereof, they would have gone likewise and have dwelt in some strange countries; as India, Cataia, or to the farthest parts of Afrike, where they might have delighted themselves in all sorts of novelties, and erected such governments as should best have pleased their fansies. But they will none of that: for as Tertullian noteth; Illorum opus non proprio aedificio venit, sed ex veritatis destructione: Their workmanship riseth not by their owne building, but by the overthrow of the truth. And againe; Nostra suffodiunt ut sua aedificent: They undermine our works, that they may erect their owne.De praescrip. adver.haeret.
But indeed if they would be gone to dwel in strange countries: yet they could not be permitted. For (as Saint Augustine saith) where God doth build his citie, the divel wil have another hard by to confronte it: or as an other writeth; where Christ erecteth his church, the divell in the same church-yarde will have his chappell. Where Christs ministers do sowe the good & pure seed of truth, unitie and order, there the divel doth stir up his ministers by waies and meanes secretlie in corners to caste abroad their cockle and darnell of falshood, discorde, and confusion. When Sathan (saith Saint Augustine) saw his temples forsaken, and that his oracles were all put to silence, he cunningly devised for a new supplie, to have alwaies his ministers in or about the church: Qui sub vocabulo Christiano doctrinae resisterent Christianae: Who under a christian name might resist the christian doctrine.Luther. De civit.Dei lib.18.ca.51.
True it is, that almightie God if it had stoode with his good pleasure, could easilie have brought it to passe in spight of the divell, that there should never have been anie such false prophets or heresies amongst us. But he saw it not to be expedient: for as the apostle saith, by his directions, there must be heresies in the church: and that as the ancient fathers do note out of the Scriptures for three causes.The causes why false prophets are suffered to be in the world.
First (as Saint Paule saith) that they which are approoved might be knowne: or as Tertullian speaketh; Vt fides habendo tentationem, haberet etiam & probationem: That faith by having temptation, might have also probation.1.Cor.11. De praescrip. adver.haeres.
Secondlie (saith Saint Augustine) there must bee heresies, bicause God doth see it more agreeable to his wisdome; Ex malis bona elicere quam nulla esse permittere: To bring good out of evill, then at all to permit no evill.Enchirid.
The third reason heerof is this, that men might be driven thereby the rather to labor and search for the finding out of the truth. To that end God permitted the Iebusites to dwell with his people, and to the like purpose Scipio Nasica diswaded the league of peace betwixt the Romans and the Carthaginians, least thereby the Romans should grow to be slothfull. Saint Augustine upon the 54. Psalm affirmeth, that the doctrine of the Trinitie was never so fully handled by the church, as when they were driven thereunto by the heresies of Arrius: nor of repentance, as when Novatus opposed himselfe against it: nor of Baptisme, as when the Donatists labored to confirme their false opinions.Iosu. 15.
And againe, Multi sensus Scripturarum latent, nec asseruntur commodius, nisi quando hereticis respondendi cura compellit: Many senses of the Scriptures lie hid, and are not more profitablie applied, then when men are compelled to answer heretikes.In Psal. 67.
Trie the spirits whether they be of God.
That which I have to saie of this matter will be subject to slanderous toongs: I praie you therefore conceive me rightly, and do not pervert my meaning. Some forbid the children of God to proove any thing. Others command them to be ever seeking and prooving of all things. But neither of them both in a right good sense, do deale therein as they ought to do. A meane course betwixt these two is to be allowed of and followed: which is, that we proove some things, and that we receive without curiositie some other things being alreadie examined, prooved and tried to our hands.Two sorts of erring spirits.
The Popish false prophets will suffer the people to trie nothing, but do teach them wholie to depende upon them: and to that purpose they have indeede three notable sleights.The sleights of popish spirits.
First they forbid them the reading of the scriptures. And the better to be obeied therin, they will not permit the Scriptures to be translated into their vulgar toong. Whereof it came to passe that the people were so easilie seduced and drawen from Christ to the Pope; from his merits, to the saints and their own merits; from his bloody sacrifice, wherby onely sins are remitted, to their most drie and fruitelesse sacrifice; from the spirituall food of his bodie and bloode, unto a carnall and Capernaicall transubstantiation; from the calling upon his name, to the invocation of saints: and from their sure trust and confidence in his death, to a vaine imagination of the vertue of their masses, pilgrimages, pardons, and I knowe not to what intolerable superstition and idolatrie.
Against this their falshood and very lewd dealing all those places of Scripture may be alledged, wherein we are commaunded to search the Scriptures, To proove all things, and to hold that which is good: and likewise in this place to try and examine the spirits whether they be of God.
To the like purpose an infinite number of places out of the ancient fathers may be applied (as you may finde them collected togither by doctor Buckley in his answer to certaine reasons in the Preface of the Remish testament) where they are verie earnest upon this point. That all Christian men should read the Scriptures, buy unto themselves Bibles, and meditate continually upon the word of God: so as thereby their eies might be opened, their consciences comforted, their faith nourished, and their hope lifted up to a full assurance of the promises therein contained.
The second shift which these false prophets of the Romish church do use, is this: Now that they perceive the scriptures to be translated into the language almost of everie nation; and that the bookes are now so common in every mans hands, as that with their former devise they are no longer able to cover their nakednes: they labor with all their might to bind us to the fathers, to the councels, & to the church of Rome, protesting verie deepely, that we must admit of no other sence of any place of the scriptures, than the Romish church shall be pleased to deliver unto us: according to the saying of Hosius; Si quis habeat interpretationem ecclesiae Romanae de loco aliquo scripturae, etiamsi nec sciat nec intelligat an & quo modo cum scripturae verbis conveniat, tamen habet ipsissimum verbum Dei: If a man have the exposition of the church of Rome touching any place of scripture, although he neither know nor understand, whether and how it agreeth with the words of the scripture, yet he hath the very word of God.De expresso Verbo Dei.
To refell the grossenes of this absurd opinion, all that is very effectuall which is brought, to proove that the church is inferior to the scriptures. Besides, we saie that the fathers do in manie points dissent amongst themselves: and their generall councels have been oftentimes repugnant one to another. But yet we joine with them upon a nearer issue. Where the fathers do all agree togither, we do not dislike them; and for the first fower generall councels we allow and approove them.
And heerof it commeth to passe, that we do the rather condemne manie points of Poperie, in that they have of later daies broched and taught us sundrie very strange and dangerous opinions: which as they are not to be found in the scriptures; so are they repugnant as well to the fathers, as to all the foresaid generall councels.
Whereupon ariseth their third shift. They wil not stick to confesse, that they teach manie things now which are not to be prooved either by the words of scripture, fathers, or councels. Mary saie they, if the Apostles and fathers had lived in our times they would have taught and decreed, as we have done.
For you must understand (saith Cardinall Cusanus) Scripturas esse ad tempus aptatas, & varie intellectas, ita ut uno tempore secundum currentem universalem ritum exponantur: mutato ritu, iterum sententia mutetur: That the scriptures are appointed to serve the time, and have divers understandings: so that at one time they may be expounded after the universall, common, and ordinarie custome: & that the same custome being changed, the meaning of the Scriptures may likewise be changed. Nam intellectus scripturae currit cum praxi: For the understanding of the scriptures runneth with the practise of the Church. And therefore he commendeth that obedience to be most full & perfect which is without reason: that is, when a man obeieth without requiring of any reason. Sicut jumentum obedit domino suo: as a horse is obedient to his master.Epist. 2.ad Bohemos.
Another sort of prophets there are, (you may in mine opinion call them false prophets) who would have the people to be alwaies seeking and searching: and those men (as well themselves as their followers) can never finde wherupon to rest. Now they are caried hither, now thither. They are alwaies learning (as the apostle saith) but do never attaine to the truth. That which pleaseth them to daie, displeaseth them to morow: they read the scriptures (as Greg. Naz. writeth) therby To arme their toongs, and that they may be eloquent against the truth.Giddie spirits. Orat. 1.
They will take upon them to be masters, before they deserve the name of schollers, and to be in the greatest matters of Gods law, judges, being far unmeete to be called to the barre. Si verbum nacti sunt subito prosiliunt, summaque cum injuria recte tradita discerpunt: If they catch but a word (saith Gregorie Nazian.) they straight insult upon it, & with great injurie they contemne those things which have beene rightly delivered unto them. They wring and wrest the Scriptures according as they fansie. It would pittie a mans hart considering what paines they will take in quoting of places, to see how perversly they will apply them. And I greatly feare, except they take heed betimes, they will fall into the number of those, who (as Saint Peter saith) being unlearned indeed, and unstable, do wrest the Scriptures unto their owne destruction.Orat.2. 2.Pet.3.
To represse therefore this boldnes, first I say with Tertullian, and then also (for other mens contentation) with Danaeus, that it hath ever been noted as a right property of heretikes and schismatikes, alwaies to be beating this into their followers heads: Search, examine, trie and seeke: bringing them thereby into a great uncertainty wherupon they may insist: as also to a more readie conformitie for the imbrasing of their opinions. For as the said father saith: Qui credit quae credere debuerat, & aliud ulterius putat in ea re requirendum: indicat sane nihil se eorum credidisse quae credere videbatur, aut credere jam desusse: He that once beleeveth those things that he ought to beleeve: and afterwards thinketh some other thing to be sought for in the same; he sheweth himself that he did not beleeve those things which he seemed to beleeve, or else that now he hath given over to beleeve.De praescrip. adver.haere. Isag.par.3. lib.3.cap.42. Tertull.
And therefore in this sence I saie againe with S. Augustine, Melior est fidelis ignorantia quam temeraria scientia: Faithfull ignorance is better then rash knowledge. And with Greg. Nazianzen: It falleth not within the compas of everie mans understanding to determine and judge in matters of religion: Sed exercitatorum: but of those who are well experienced and exercised in them.August. Greg.Nazianzen. Hierom.
The meane therfore betwixt both these extremities of trieng nothing and curious trieng of all things, I holde to be best. And this it is: that when you have attained the true grounds of Christian religion, and are constantly built by a lively faith upon that notable foundation whereof the Apostle speaketh, which is Iesus Christ, being incorporated into his mystical body in your baptisme by the holie Ghost: and afterwardes nourished with the heavenly food exhibited unto you in the Lords supper: you then content your selves and seeke no farther; according to the saieng of Tertullian: Nobis curiositate opus non est post Christum Iesum: nec inquisitione post Evangelium: We neede not to be curious after wee have apprehended Christ Iesus: nor inquisitive after we have received the Gospell. And againe, Cum credimus nihil desideramus ultra quaerere: When once we beleeve, we do not desire to seeke any farther.1.Cor.3. Tertul.
Reade the Scriptures, but with sobrietie. If any man presuming upon his knowledge, seeke farther then is meete for him: besides that, he knoweth nothing as he ought to know, he shall cast himselfe into a labirinth and never finde that he seeketh for.
God hath bound himselfe by his promise unto his church of purpose, that men by hir good direction might in this point be releeved. To whose godlie determination in matters of question, hir dutifull children ought to submit themselves without any curious or wilfull contradiction. I could bring many authorities to this effect. Those things (saith Athanasius) which have been prooved and decreed by so many and so woorthy Bishops, Supervacaneum est denuo in judicium revocare: it is in vaine to call againe into question.Councels. Athanasius.
When certain men in the councell of Calcedon began to dispute of some points determined before in the councell of Nice, the fathers there assembled saide all with one voice: Si quis retractat, anathema sit: si quis super ista inquirit, anathema sit: maledictus qui addit: maledictus qui aufert: maledictus qui innovat: If anie retract, accursed be he: if any inquire of these things, accursed be he: accursed be he that addeth; accursed be he that diminisheth; accursed be he that innovateth.Concil. Calced.
The Emperours Valentinian and Martian thought it verie unmeete, that those things which had been once judged of, and wel decided by the decrees of godly synods, should againe be debated and disputed upon: and both they and divers others made verie godlie lawes for the better conteining of busie heades within the compasse of this christian modestie.Valentinian. Martian.
And surely it is a very true doctrine, that when councels and synods being lawfullie assembled and directed with Gods spirit do resolve upon matters in question: that private men should content themselves therewithall. Neither can I see, now that popery is banished and the truth of christian religion (maugre the malice of all sorts of enimies) is godlie planted amongst us, why in these daies we should not attribute as much to the decrees of our learned fathers in their lawfull assemblies, as other men in times past of as great judgement as we are of, have done.
Is it not very absurd that we should seeke everie way to discredite them in matters of lesser importance, who have most notablie sealed unto us the verie grounds and substance of religion with their blood? Or is it likely that that Church which was able to discerne betwixt truth and falsehood in so great pointes of doctrine being wrapped through continuance of time in so deepe an obscuritie; should be unable to judge of ceremonies, forms of praier, decencie, order, edification, and such like circumstaunces of no greater waight? You would not, I thinke, take it in good part, that men should nowe begin to sift and quarrell at the articles of religion, set out and approoved in the yeere 1562. and yet I see no reason why they may not as well do it, as to carpe and controll at such orders, as were then likewise established for order and government.
Quantarum rixarum semen futura est earum rerum confusio, si prout cuique libitum sit mutare liceat, quae ad communem statum pertinent: Of how great quarels (saith M. Calvin) woulde such confusion become the seed, if it may be lawfull according to everie mans fansie, to change and alter those things which do appertaine to the common state. He meaneth being determined of before with such grave and due consideration as already is mentioned. For as it followeth; Nunquam futurum est ut omnibus idem placeat, si res velut in medio positae singulorum arbitrio relictae fuerint: It will never come to passe, that one and the self-same thing should please all men, if matters may be left indifferent to be determined of, by everie private mans discretion.Lib.4.instit. cap.10.sect.31.
And writing upon this place I have in hand, where the Apostle saith generally; Proove the spirits whether they be of God, he restraineth the words to a due consideration of certaine circumstances. For as there he addeth; Aurum igne aut lidio lapide probatur, sed ab iis qui artem tenent: nam imperitis nec lapis lidius nec ignis usui esse poterit: Gold is tried by fire, and by the touchstone, but yet of those who have skill so to trie it: for unto those that have no experience therein, neither the stone nor the fire serveth to any purpose.Calv. in 1. Ioh.4.
And therefore saith he; Duplex est examen doctrinae, privatum & publicum: The trial of doctrine is twofold, private and publike. The private triall to be had by private men, and privately, he alloweth in such sort, as I have before observed against the Papists: but the publike triall already made or to be made with such consideration as hath been declared, is to be preferred by many degrees. Nam si penes singulos jus & arbitrium erit judicandi, nihil unquam certi constitui poterit: quin potius vacillabit tota religio. For (as there it followeth) if authoritie and libertie of judging shall be left to private men, there will never be anie certaintie set downe, but rather all religion will wholie become doubtfull.2. Admonit.
And for the better observation of this sobrietie in resting our selves upon the decrees of our synods and councels; as also for the avoiding of such confusion as Calvine hath before mentioned; you shal understand that there is not a reformed church in christendom which doth not in this case require subscription (at the least) of their ministers. Calvine refusing to administer the Communion in Geneva, and to use therein unleavened bread or wafercakes, was compelled to depart the citie, and was not received thither againe, until he had allowed of the same kinde of bread; De quo postea restitutus nunquam contendendum putavit, minime tamen dissimulans, quid alioqui magis esset probaturus: Whereof afterwarde being restored, hee thought never meete to contende, not dissembling in the meane while what otherwise he rather approoved.Subscripsion. Beza in vit. Calvin.
In Germanie likewise subscription is required verie streightlie unto the confession of Augusta, of al that take degrees in any of their universities, of all that are made ministers, & of all that are admitted to any ecclesiasticall livings: neither is any suffered there to preach, who shall refuse the said subscription. True it is that one Osiander a notable heretike (as Melancton noteth and I doubt not of his followers) did heerat take many exceptions, greatly inveighing against that order. He cried out, O wickednes, O tyrannie, O cruelty, christian liberty is heerby restrained; a yoke & bondage laid upon mens consciences: godlie mens mouths heereby shall be stopped. It is not tollerable; it is unlawful. Even as many crie out in these daies, and that which is least to be borne withall, by such as account themselves very great lawyers.Melanct.
He likewise (as evidently it may be collected) did bitterlie inveigh against such as did subscribe: Et gloriatur se libertatem retinuisse nec admisissa haec vincula: And he gloried (saith Melancthon) that he had retained his libertie and not admitted these bonds. Atque hi clamores in tanta licentia & anarchia hujus temporis, plausibiles sunt apud multos, qui infinitam licentiam sibi sumunt fingendi opiniones, & Phirronico more labefactandi omnia recte tradita: And these out cries (as it followeth in the same place) in so great licentiousnes and confusion of this time are plausible with many, who take to themselves an infinite libertie of coyning newe opinions, and in a Pirronious sort of the overthrowing of all things which have been rightly determined.
Howbeit notwithstanding this mislike of what schismatikes soever, that Church to this daie requireth this subscription. And Melancthon himselfe by sundrie good arguments approoveth the same in his oration De calumniis Osiandri.
I might heer adde how in times past Emperours, Kings, and generallie al Christians subscribed to the Decrees of the Church either by themselves or by their substitutes: and I would to God the same order were yet observed, especially by our Iustices of peace in England. Peradventure it woulde make them more carefull than they are in the performance of their othes which they take (as it is reported) when they are admitted unto those roomes: especially concerning the punishment of such persons, as are complained of unto them, to be common depravers and contemners of the orders of the church. For heerin (I am afraid) they take as great liberty to dispense with themselves, as ever the pope did with any by his fonde and grossest pardons.
But touching Ecclesiasticall persons it was commaunded about 1270. yeeres ago, that certaine men, having by schisme and heresie devided themselves from the church of God, and rent in sunder by their factions the peace thereof, should not againe be received or admitted before they had subscribed to the constitutions of the church. Thus the words stande in the eight canon of the councell of Nice. Ante omnia hanc habeant ab iis confessionem, quam per scripturam exigi oportet, ut fateantur se cum omni consensu, ecclesiae Catholicae statuta observaturos: Let them first take of them this confession, and that under their hand-writing, that they promise with all consent, to observe the statutes of the catholike church.Concil. Nice.
Beleeve not everie spirit.
That which hitherto hath been spoken doth contein divers & very sufficient reasons why you ought not to beleeve every spirit. There are many of them false, contemptuous, ambitious, proud, and covetous. Whom if you finde (knowing your selves to be throughly grounded in matters of salvation) to draw you by slaunderous speeches, and false collections, into a mislike of other points agreed upon by the church, thereby troubling your peace, and feeding your eares with plausible devises, I beseech you with the Apostle in this place, beleeve them not.
When the Queenes most excellent Majestie had first obtained the crowne, (which God of his great mercie grant she may long enjoy) as a most zealous Salomon, Iehosaphat, and Iosias, hir principal care was, how to abolish all popish superstition & idolatrie, and to place in hir peoples hart a right & true feeling of Christian religion. Wherein through the great diligence of all the godlie and learned in the realm, in disputing, examining and trieng of spirits, of prophets, & of their doctrines, with what notable successe hir highnes did proceed, they are very ignorant that know it not, and verie froward and obstinate that knowing it, will not with all thankfulnes acknowledge it.
All the Churches in Europe which were then reformed, understanding of our reformation, did on our behalfe clappe as it were their handes for joie. The apologie of the church of England which shortly after was set foorth to the justifieng of our doctrine, with the reasons of our mislike of popery, hath ever since obtained principall commendation amongst all the apologies and confessions, which hitherto have beene set foorth by any church in christendome. The Papists onely in the beginning of hir Maiesties raign, did shew themselves to be therewith discontented. Marie now of later yeers we have gotten new adversaries.
O Iesu Christ, who woulde ever have thought, that he should have lived to have heard any Protestants reproove our religion: or would ever have dreamed of such division, of intollerable bitternes against the maintainers of it? It must be confessed for a truth, that Barnard saith upon the like occasion; Leones evasimus, sed insidimus in dracones: We have escaped the lions mouthes, but now are fallen into a den of dragons. Inimici hominis domestici ejus: Our friends are turned to be our enemies. And you know the old saying; Fratrum odia acerbissima: When brethren fall out, they growe to great extremities. The Papists did never deale with more egernes against us than these men do now.Epist.190. Micha. 7. 1. Admonit. T.C. [Thomas Cartwright.] Miles. Galat.3.
Againe, as touching the Communion booke, you knowe what quarels are picked against it, although for mine owne opinion there is not the like this day extant in Christendome.Of the Commu- nion booke.
In the beginning of king Edwards raigne, notwithstanding it was then carefully compiled and confirmed by a synode: yet by and by after (that I may use Master Foxes words) Through the obstinate and dissembling malice of manie, it was impugned. Thereupon it was againe reviewed, and after published with such approbation, as that it was accounted the worke of God. But yet not long after there were againe, who affirming the same to resemble the Masse booke, Divisionis occasionem arripiebant: Did greedily hunt (as Alesius saith) for occasion of division. Vocabula & pene sillabas expendendo: Weighing and sifting the very words, yea almost every sillable in it.Fox. Alesius.
Whereupon Archbishop Cranmer procuring the same booke to be translated into Latin, and requiring M. Bucers judgement of it, received this his approbation: That there was nothing therein contained, which was not taken out of the word of God, or at the least which was against it, Commode acceptum, being well understood. Some things indeed there are, saith he, Quae nisi quis candide interpretur, videri queant non satis cum verbo Dei congruere: Which except a man do charitably interpret, may seeme not sufficiently to agree with the word of God. And in another place; Quae rapi possunt ab inquietis ad materiam contentionis: Which may be snatched of unquiet men to breed matter of contention.Fox. Bucer.
Vpon this occasion the booke was againe carefully survaied and almost in every point (which then was so cavilled at and wrested) corrected and amended. King Edward died, Queene Marie succeeded. The booke is condemned, but yet God raised up meanes for the defence of it.Fox.
Master Iohn Oulde a very learned man writ a treatise against the Papists in defence of the saide booke, and of everie part of the reformation injoied in king Edwardes daies. Archbishop Cranmer likewise being provoked therunto, did offer a challenge to all the papists living, that if he might obtaine the Queenes favor to take unto him Peter Martir, and fower or five others whom he would choose, they would togither defend the fore-said reformation, (naming withal the Communion booke) to be in everie point agreeable to the word of God: and to be in effect the verie same, Quae fuit ante annos 1500. which was above 1500. yeeres ago.Io.Ould. Cranmer.
Another also in those daies, as it appeereth in a Preface before Archbishoppe Cranmers booke of unwritten verities, writeth of the Communion book in this maner. Then (meaning in K. Edwards daies) the common praier was rightlie used, and the Sacraments were plainlie administred according to Christs institution, and the rule of his holie worde. Furthermore, the godlie fathers (who then were fled, and for the libertie of their consciences lived in exile) using in their meetings this forme and order of publike praier: Master Knoxe a man who was of nature too contentious, with some other that joined with him, began to quarrell, and to make manie exceptions against them.E.P.
Doctor Grindall late Archbishop of Canterburie, being there in banishment with them, certified Bishop Ridley condemned to die, and then in prison in Oxford, of Master Knoxes perverse behaviour. Whereunto the godly father answered again in these words, (which he said he thought should be the last that ever he should write.) Alas that brother Knoxe could not beare with our booke of Common praier, in matters against which; although I grant a man (as he is) of wit and learning, may finde to make apparant reasons, yet I suppose he cannot be able soundly by the word of God to disproove any thing in it.Grindall. Ridley.
Afterward when it pleased almighty God to blesse this Realme with the happie governement of our Soveraigne Ladie the Queenes most excellent Majestie that now is (whom almightie God long preserve, with all health and prosperitie to rule & governe us) the saide booke in some points bettered togither with the truth of christian religion, established in hir brothers daies, was againe through Gods favor and hir goodnes restored unto us.
Of this booke a certain learned man writing against Master Harding, uttereth these words by waie of challenge. Our service, is good and Godlie, everie title grounded on holie scriptures, and with what face do you call it darkenes? Sure with the same that the prophesies of the holie Ghost were sometimes called dreames, the doctrine of the apostles heresie, and our Saviour Christ a Samaritaine. As Elias said to the priests of Baal, let us take either our bullockes (meaning the Popes portuise, and our Communion booke) and laie the peeces on our altars, and on which God sendeth fire, let that be the light. And a little before, O Master Harding, turne to your writings, examine your authorities, consider your councels, apply your examples, looke if any line be blameable in our service booke, and take hold of your advantage, I thinke Master Iewell will accept it as an article.Deering.
Heerby you see, deerly belooved, what account was made of this booke in times past, & that by men neither for life nor learning, to be any way contemned. But now the case is altered: and many are growen to such a hatred of it, as they scarcely have patience to heare the booke once named. Cranmer, Ridley, Bucer, Peter Martir with many other, as famous men as ever this lande brought foorth: notwithstanding they imployed their whole times verie diligently and painfullie in the studies of Divinitie, and other good learnings therunto appertaining, were compassed about, belike with such thicke clouds and mistes of papable darknes, that they could in a maner see nothing.
Marie nowe, two or three yeeres studie is as good as twentie. It is woonderfull to see, how some men get perfection. One of fower or five and twentie yeeres old, if you anger him, will sweare he knoweth more then all the ancient fathers. And yet in verie deede, they are so earnest and fierce, that either we 58 must beleeve them, or else account their boldnes to be, as it is, most untollerable.
For they are not afraid, even as hath been saide, with the same faces, that the prophesies of the holie Ghost were sometimes called dreames, the doctrine of the Apostles heresie, and our Savior Christ a Samaritane, to publish in their writings, that the foresaid booke so notably approoved, hath in it at the least above 500. errors. That It is full of corruption, confusion, and prophanation: that the orders therein prescribed are carnall, beggerly, dung, drosse, lowsie, and antichristian. They saie, We eate not the Lords supper, but play a pageant of our own, to make the poore feelie soules beleeve they have an English masse: and so put no difference betwixt truth and falsehood, betwixt Christ and antichrist, betwixt God and the divell.1. Admonit.
If this were true beloved, then had we cause to looke about us: But (God be thanked) there is no such matter: it is but contempt, ambition, and selfe-love that deceiveth them: their toongs and pens are their owne, they will write and speake what they list: and yet who shall controll them? Heretikes in former times looking upon the Scriptures with their eies have condemned them of follie. There was never any thing so exactly written in the worlde, which is not subject to malice & slander. We desire these men in as milde & gentle sort as we are able, that they would not deale in this maner.
The very heathen might teach them better modestie. He that by wresting of lawes established (saith one of that crew) doth seeke to pervert their meaning, Dum sophos esse cupit, fit plane sycophanta: Whilest he woulde seeme wise, he prooveth in deed a sycophant.
I have read, that if any thing, fact, writing, lawe or whatsoever may in reasonable construction admit two interpretations, the best and the mildest is ever to be received. And the civill lawyers have these rules; Semper in dubiis benigniora sunt praeferenda: Alwaies in doubtfull matters the more benigne are to be preferred. Non oportet jus calumniari, aut verba ejus captare: It is not meete to cavill at lawes, or to snatch at their words. Another saith; Non sunt rejiciendae leges quae interpretatione aliqua possunt convenire: Lawes must not be rejected, which by any reasonable interpretation may be reconciled.
By these and many other the like perswasions we labor to withdraw them from their wringing and wresting (with such bitternes) those things in the Communion booke: which either they mislike without cause verie unjustly, or else do pervert upon some false collection verie extreemely. But nothing will serve them: for now some of them through a swelling pride of their own conceits (which as it is commonly noted, hath cast them into a kind of frensie) are not afraid to lay this slander upon the church, and upon hir most excellent Majestie, that since hir Highnes raigne, there hath not been in England anie booke of publike praiers, and order for the administration of Sacraments, or any open forme for the outward profession of our religion, allowed at all hitherto by the lawes of the Realme.
Another sort likewise there are, that will not give their heads for the washing, who of their goodnes are content to allowe us a booke and forme of publike praier confirmed by law, but yet in another sort, even for good natures sake, and bicause they would be thankefull to the time, they wholy condemne it. For say they, though there were never an evill worde or sentence in all the forme of our praiers, yet to appoint that form to be used, though the words be good, the use is naught. As if a man should saie (if I attaine their meaning) although the words in the Lords praier be good, yet to appoint such a forme of praier, the use it naught.2. Admonit.
Good Lord, if the fathers before mentioned, deerely belooved, were now alive to see their dealings heerein, how every boy, in a maner, doth take upon him (as though he onely were learned, zealous & wise) to control, condemne, and to rage thus at his pleasure: surely I suppose they would wish at the least, as Gregorie Nazianzen somtime did, seeing in his daies, the like pride and sawcy malepartnes of many.
When I consider (saith he) effrenem linguarum pruritum: the unbrideled itch of toongs, which raigneth at this time: and how men by their owne voices, as it were, Vnius diei spatio, do make themselves divines, and challenge the commendation of learning and wisedome: Quibus una voluntas ad hoc sufficit ut docti sint, whom their will alone is able to make learned: I cannot choose but wishe with all my hart, with the prophet Ieremie; That I might go and dwell in the wildernes, that so I might leave the societie of men, and give my selfe onelie to contemplation.Orat.3.
And for you my brethren, I am plainly out of doubt, that if they said not of them, Vtinam abscindatur qui vos perturbant: I woulde to God, they were cut off who thus do trouble you: they woulde advise you from the bottome of their harts, to be ruled by the Apostle in this place; Nolite credere omni spiritui: Beleeve not these spirits.Gal.5.
But verie well: seeing they are so greatlie offended with this booke, what is it they desire themselves? Forsooth a booke they could be contented to have, but it must be of their owne making. I beseech you marke and observe their course taken to this purpose. About fower yeeres since, some two or three private men in a corner framed a booke of the forme of common praier, administration of the Sacraments, &c. And without any authoritie published the same, as meete to be imbraced and used in all the parish churches of England.The new Communion booke.
This booke they tolde us was a verie perfect book, agreeable to Gods word, and the use of the reformed Churches: and in the end therof, a proviso is made in these words: Provided that nothing be done contrary to any order set downe in this booke. The posie which they have chosen to set in the fore-fronte of their booke, thereby insinuating the excellencie of it, is this. No man can laie any other foundation then that which is laid, even Christ Iesus.
In this booke they seeme to set downe a breefe sum of christianitie, and the verie absolute forme of ecclesiasticall government: which they saie, Christ hath prescribed onely to be received with the godly in the church. And heer you shall see (my brethren) a verie strange and woonderfull stratageme. For woulde you thinke that in a booke of this nature describing so perfect a platforme of Church governement, the civill magistrate should bee quite forgotten? Was there ever untill this daie anie publike confession set foorth by any true church in the world, since the prophesies were fulfilled (as Saint Augustine saith) that Kings and Queenes shoulde bee the fosterers and nurses of the church, where for any supremacy or government of persons, and in causes ecclesiasticall the civill magistrate is wholie left out? Can there be in a christian common-weale such an absolute order of ecclesiasticall government, as they brag of, set downe for the only forme, which is necessarie to be observed without anie mention of the civill magistrate? Let this sinke into your harts as it shall please God: what if they had obtained their purpose, for the allowance of this booke? But I will proceed with the historie farther.August.
The next yeere another booke of Common praier, &c. with the like authoritie and commendation that the other had, was cast abroad: or you may call it the same booke if you list, so you understand what violence & torments in so tender an age it hath sustained. The whole forme & order of it, was in a maner changed (they are so constant) and in other places and points of matter, there are not so few as 600. alterations. The wise man speaking of such resolution, saith that Stultus ut Luna mutatur.Eccles. 27.
In the last page of this booke for maners sake (as it seemeth) they have remembred the civill magistrate: but that in so cold and sparing a sort, as in my opinion, there is not a priest in Wisbich who will refuse (the circumstances thereof being considered) to subscribe unto it.
But to goe forward: Within another yeere a third booke is begotten and brought foorth, differing in some points from both the other: and they have beene very earnest that this should be allowed of by publike authority. Howbeit if you thinke their meaning to be, as they seem to pretend, you are wholy deceived.
For a simple man would conceive thereby that their purpose is, we should have a prescribed and set forme of publike praier to be used from time to time in our severall congregations: so as poore men by often hearing of them might the better know and understand them, and peradventure have them by hart, or at the least be so cunning in them, as that when the minister shall begin with any praier, understanding before the drift thereof, their harts might fullie concurre with him in every particular sentence, and with a better resolution in the end say, Amen.
But in deede they have no such intent: for you must imagine, though (as the serpent before mentioned) they have many implications and turnings, yet they have alwaies means and waies to shift for themselves. If they should in deed prescribe unto us a set form of praier, it might be said that though the words were good, yet the use were naught: and therefore you shall find it a generall rule in their Rubrickes, that the minister shall either pray as there it is set downe, or else as the spirite of God shall moove his hart, to that effect, framing himselfe according to the time and occasion.
So as you see your selves in this point left to the ministers discretion. If he conceiving a praier upon the sudden, shal after say it was to the same purpose that is prescribed in the booke, you may not controll him.
And how by such kinde of praiers you are like to be edified, and in what danger you are thereby left, he is of simple judgement that cannot discerne it. A great man and Ringleader in this faction (at the least heertofore so accounted) though otherwise of a giddy disposition and verie uncertaine: yet heerof upon his good experience he writeth upon occasion, after this sort.
Now what worship or praiers do you use? I am ashamed to name the boldnes and follie of some who scarce able to utter three words orderly, will yet take upon them to bable out a tedious, long and stuttering praier, wherein every tenth worde shall be the repeating of, O heavenly father, O mercifull father, O deere father, O good Lord, O mercifull God, &c. and all things so foolishly packed togither, that their praieng seemeth rather to be the pratling of an infant that would tell some great tale but can not hit of it. Thus far the reformer: and yet he saith not all.
For sometimes they will so wander either by error or malice, in framing their praiers answerable to their affections (which are oftentimes malitiously bent against any thing or matter wherewith they are displeased;) that no true christian, if he had time to consider of their meaning, ought in charitie when they have done, to say, Amen.
These inconveniences have been long since foreseen, and for the avoiding of them, the church hath ever tied hir ministers in their ordinarie and publike service, unto a prescript and certaine forme of praier.
About 1200. yeeres ago it was decreed in the councell of Milevitanum: placuit, ut preces, &c. Quae probatae fuerint in Concilio, ab omnibus celebrentur, nec aliae omnino dicantur in ecclesia nisi quae a Prudentioribus tractatae in Synodo fuerint: It pleased the councell, that those praiers should be generally used of all men, which are approoved in a councell: and that no other should at all be said in the church, but such as have beene sufficiently considered of by wise men, or allowed of in a synod. And the reason which the councell addeth, is most effectual: Ne forte aliquid contra fidem, vel per ignorantiam, vel per minus studium sit compositum: least peradventure some thing be uttered or framed, either through ignorance or want of due consideration, which may be against the rules of faith.Concil. Milevit.
Thirdlie they crie out, that the governement of the church now established in England, is both antichristian and divelish: and that (as I can collect out of their writings) in two respects: First, bicause where we had before a spirituall Pope, nowe the civill magistrate is made a temporall Pope: which they shew to be far more discommodious to the church, then if they had kept their spirituall Pope still: secondly, bicause bishops in their severall dioceses have a superioritie and authoritie over the rest of the clergie.1. Admonit. Dialog of white divels.
Martin upon this ground tooke upon him verie boldely to reason against the Bishops in this sort. No pettie Popes ought to be maintained or tollerated in any christian common weale: but our Archbishops and Lord-Bishops, &c. therefore, &c. Thus Martin hath reasoned against one part of this antichristian governement. But why staied he there? Indeede it was time for him to staie. He saith he is a courtier: howbeit I am perswaded there is none there of so undutifull a hart to his soveraigne: For though he cunningly would seeme to shew his malice onely against bishops: yet hath he left to be implied the verie same reasons against the civill magistrate.[Martin Marprelate.]
So that upon his principles a man may frame this rebellious argument; No pettie Pope is to be tollerated in a Christian common-wealth: But hir Majestie is a pettie Pope: Therefore hir Majestie is not to be tollerated in a Christian common-wealth. And his Minor may thus be prooved; Whosoever doe take upon them, or usurpe the same authoritie in causes ecclesiastical within their dominions, which the Pope had, they are pettie Popes: But hir Majestie doth so: Therefore hir Majestie is a pettie Pope: and so consequently not to be tollerated in a Christian common-wealth. Now surely if Martin were well examined, he is like to proove a verie good subject. But for me he must be as he list, seeing neither in respect of God nor his prince he wil be as he shuld be.
Touching the Bishops as you have heard before out of Ierom, and as Master Calvin upon his report seemeth to confesse: Bishops have had this authoritie, which Martin condemneth ever since the evangelist S. Marks time. Besides, in the most flourishing time of the church, that ever happened since the apostles daies, either in respect of learning, or of zeale, Martins and al his companions opinion hath heerin been condemned for an heresie. Lastly, there is no man living, as I suppose, able to shewe, where there was anie church planted ever since the apostles times, but there the Bishops had authoritie over the rest of the ministerie. The place of Ambrose will no way serve their turne. But I wil leave this matter, and come to the second part of this their divelish and antichristian governement.Inst.lib.4.cap.4.
When it pleased almightie God to deliver this Realme of Englande from the bondage and thraldome of the Bishop of Rome, it was thought agreeable to the word of God, by the chiefest and best learned men of the religion in all Christendome, that not onely the title of supreme governor over all persons, and in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civill, did appertaine, and ought to be annexed unto the crowne: but likewise all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities, which by usurpation at any time did appertaine to the Pope.
In this supremacie, these principall points were contained; that the king hath ordinarie authoritie in causes ecclesiasticall: that he is the chiefest in the decision and determination of church causes: that he hath ordinarie authoritie for making all lawes, ceremonies, and constitutions of the church: that without his authoritie, no such lawes, ceremonies, or constitutions are or ought to be of force: and lastly, that al appellations, which before were made to Rome, should ever be made heerafter to his Majesties chauncerie to be ended and determined, as the maner now is, by delegates.Supremacy.
This preeminence and authoritie was greatly impugned by the Pope and his adherents: but notwithstanding it was so notably defended by the sundrie writings of rare and speciall men in all gifts of pietie & learning, as that hitherto (Gods name be blessed for it) the truth therein hath notablie prevailed. Amongst manie bookes which have been written to this purpose, you shall finde these very learnedly penned: one De vera differentia Regiae potestatis & ecclesiasticae: another written by Master Bekinsawe, De supremo & absoluto Regis imperio: a thirde, De vera obedientia, written by a man at that time in this point well affected. Likewise (as you may read in Master Foxe) Cutbert Tunstall Bishop of Duresme, and Iohn Stokeslie Bishop of London, write a short treatise in forme of a letter to cardinall Poole then resiant in Rome, very effectually compiled to the same effect. Lastly, you cannot but remember with what learning and authoritie this matter hath been defended by Bishop Iewell against Harding, by Bishop Horne against Fecknam, by the Deane of Paules against Dorman, by doctor Ackwoorth (as it is supposed) against Saunders, and by divers others, as occasions have been offered by the Papists.
I am perswaded there was never cause more throughly handled; and the issue betwixt them was ever this, whether the king within his dominions, or the Bishop of Rome, might by the word of god rightly challenge the foresaid authoritie.
Marie now a third sort of men are risen up in the world: who do affirme that they al joined upon a wrong issue: and that the authoritie which both sides labored for, doth indeed appertain unto their presbyteries, and ecclesiasticall senates.
I would be loth deerely beloved, to abuse you with untruthes: and therefore I have thought good to make this matter more plaine unto you by a very manifest example, authorised in a declaration published by the king of Scots.A declaration.
About some sixe or seaven yeeres ago (as I do imagine) certaine men of the new government, intending the erection of these presbyteries in Scotland, began their parts and proceeded as followeth.Scotland.
They did greatly inveigh against the superioritie of Bishops, and likewise repined at the kings authoritie in causes ecclesiasticall: whereupon in his minoritie, a certaine number of ministers gathering to themselves certaine gentlemen, and divers others, did erect by their owne authoritie their ecclesiasticall senates: and usurping all the whole ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, did alter the lawes at their owne pleasures, without the knowledge and approbation, either of the king or state.
They likewise tooke upon them to discharge the estate of Bishops, and to declare the same to be unlawfull: directing their commissioners to the king, and commanding him and the counsell, under paine of excommunication never afterwards to appoint any more Bishops, bicause they had concluded that estate to be unlawfull.
They prescribed lawes to the king and state, & appointed general fastings throughout the Realme when they thought good: especially when som factioners in the countrie were to moove any great enterprise.
Besides, divers of the ministers having preached very factious and seditious doctrine, and being in that respect called before the king to answer the complaints made against them, they utterly disclaimed the kings authoritie, as an incompetent judge, alleaging for themselves, that for such matters as were spoken in the pulpit, they ought to be exempt from the judgement and correction of princes, denieng his authoritie flatly in causes ecclesiasticall.
The king giving commandement upon the saterday, to certain noble men for the feasting of the embassador of France in Edenborough the next monday after: a number of the presbyterie understanding thereof: assembled themselves togither on sunday in the morning, & presumptuouslie caused the ministers to proclaime a faste to be held the same monday, and could by no means be intreated to alter their determination therin. So as whilest the lords & the chiefe of the citie, according to the kings commandement, were about the intertainment of the embassador, the ministers one after another all the daie long in their severall sermons were bitterlie inveighing against them: and had it not been for the kings, great importunitie, they had been all excommunicated.
But yet another pranke which they plaied passed all these. The king with the advice of his Estates in Parleament, having resolved upon a certaine fact committed by some of his subjects, that it was treason: these men in their assemblie (esteeming their judgement to bee the soveraigne judgement of the Realme) did not onely approove the same fact as lawful, contrary to the said act of Parleament, but ordained al them to be excommunicated, who woulde not subscribe to their determination therein.
When the king saw what course these men held, and how notwithstanding the equalitie they pretended, they sought altogither their owne advancement: how they erected that in themselves, which they had dejected in the Bishops: how they tooke more upon them then ever the Bishops had done: how they did imitate preposterouslie the papall jurisdiction: how under the pretence of their presbyteries, they trod upon his scepter, and labored to establish an ecclesiasticall tyranny of an infinite jurisdiction, such as neither the law of God or man could tollerate: and perceiving withall, that the new erected governement was the mother of all faction, confusion, sedition, and rebellion: that it was an introduction to Anabaptisme and popularitie: that it tended to the overthrow of his state and Realme, and to the decaie of his crown: and that he must either discharge himselfe of the crowne, or the ministerie of that forme of government, by the consent & act of Parliament, 1584. he overthrew their presbyteries, and restored the Bishops again to their places. All this you may finde more at large set down by the king himselfe in his said declaration.
It may heer be said (for they dare say what they list) that nowe the king is of another minde: and that this declaration was made when he had conceived some displeasure against them.
For the king, he is not altred. Ictus piscator sapit. His crowne and their soveraigntie will not agree togither. And what cause he had to proceed against them as he did, although it be great boldnes in such a case, not to rest satisfied in the worde of such a king: yet for your better understanding, what to thinke of this kinde of government (for never a barrell will proove the better herring) you shall heare the opinion of one of our owne countrie-men, who was in Scotland about the same time, and observed verie diligentlie the woonderfull pride and insolencie thereof.
I judge saith he (writing of this Parleament now assembled) that if the Parleament should establish such names, and those the officers according to those names which seeke their owne discipline, that then in steede of one Pope we shoulde have a 1000. and of some lord Bishops in name a 1000. Lordlie tyrants in deed, which nowe do disdaine the names. This I have found by experience to be true: I can testifie by triall of Scotland, which have travelled it over in their best reformed places: as in Doude, Saint Andrewes, Edenborough, & sundrie other townes: and have knowen the king in great danger, and feare of his life by their lordlie discipline, &c. And againe: I have seen all maner of wickednes to abounde much more in their best places in Scotland, then in our woorser places heere in England.
Furthermore it may please you brethren to heare the same mans judgement of such, as do labor so busily in this matter: in a treatise of his against one Barowe.
Whereas you charge us (saith he) in denieng Christ in his offices, and consequently not to be come in the flesh: it shall appeere by your presbyterie or eldermen, that indeede you are and will be the aldermen even to pull the most ancient of all, Christ Iesus himselfe by the beard: yea and seeke not onely to shake him by the lockes of his haire out of his offices, but also all his ancients under him, I meane the lawfull magistrates and ministers, which have lawfull authoritie from him.
Wherefore not we but you rather seeke the glistering blase of great name: and if once you might get up the names of Elders and Presbyters, what mischiefe, crueltie, and pride would not streame from that name, even as fire from a blasing star to set on fire the whole worlde? For every busie foole, the more busie he were in discrediting others, and seeking mastership among the people, the better elder he should be judged. Yea and this new name of an elder given him, were even as a sacrament of grace, and woulde seale up all his knaverie: that whatsoever filthines dropped from him, yet the skirte of his ancients gowne should cover it.
This mans opinion heerin I know will be greatly contemned, bicause I thinke he hath bin of another judgement. But yet they may give him leave to speake, as his experience (which is no foolish master) hath taught him. For commonly it comes to passe, when rash men run hedlong into any new devises, that Posteriores cogitationes solent esse sapientiores: their after wits are best. How beit let him finde what favour at their hands he shall. I must indeed confesse, that if this matter had onely depended upon his report, or opinion I would not at this time have made mention of him. But it is far otherwise. For indeede if their proceedings be better considered, that which he hath saide, either of his judgement touching their presbyteries, or of his experience in Scotlande concerning their practises, and that even against the king it is in a maner nothing.Cicero.
I beseech you brethren, especially you that have beene brought up in learning, and are able to looke into this cause, do but consider how the cheefe magistrates have beene used and dealt withall, wheresoever this absolute government which they speak of, hath been erected. Reade the writings of the chiefest pillers of these platformes, as the booke De jure magistratuum in subditos: the booke intituled Vindiciae contra tyrannos: another De jure regni apud Scotos: The dialogs of Eusebius Philadelphus, with sundry other of that sort: and you shal find in them these most strange and rebellious propositions stiflie maintained, dilated and amplified.
The people of themselves may set up Gods service and abrogate superstition: It is lawfull for the people by force of armes to resist the Prince, if he hinder the building of the Church: That is (as it appeereth by the whole drift almost of that booke) their presbyteries: The people that do not resist the Prince affecting the seat of God (that is claiming supremacie in causes ecclesiasticall) do as it were offer sacrifice to idols. If Princes do hinder them that seeke for this discipline, they are tyrants both to the church and ministers (saith one of them:) And being tyrants they may be deposed by their subjects, as they do generally all of them hold.Steph.Iunius pag. 36. Idem pa.28. Idem pag.3. Dialog of white Divels.
I dare avowe it unto you brethren, and I thinke no man will make exception against it: that if all were laide before you that the Popes have done against Princes: it is not more then these men defend may be put in execution when they thinke good by themselves and the people.
I might make this thing verie plaine unto you by divers particular examples, which they greatly allow and propound to themselves for their imitation: were it not that the very naming of them would grow offensive unto you all. Onely in generalitie it may please you to understand what is written to this purpose in a booke printed at Geneva, & compiled by three or foure whose names I know not. Although (say they) The Popes for sundry enormities have deposed princes by their unlawfull authority, yet the reason that mooved them so to do was honest and just, and meete to be received and executed by the bodie or state of every common wealth.
If any do heer object, that I stand too long upon this matter, considering that these things do touch mens dealings and writings in other countries, and cannot in any sort be applied to our reformers in England: my answer is, that I wish from the bottome of my hart it were so, but I greatly feare, by that which already is done, that except there be in time verie good order taken, it will fall out far otherwise.
For it seemeth to me, that whatsoever hath bin done heerin abroad, is labored for to be put in execution heer with us at hom. Our Bishops you see how unchristianly they are handled, even with more contumely and disdainfull reproch, then ever it is to be read that the heathen used against their priests, of what condition and behavior soever.
Hir majestie (for whose happie estate and long life he that will not praie unto almightie God, deserveth neither state nor life in this common wealth) in that she taketh upon hir to rule as she doth in matters concerning the church, according to the lawfull authoritie which is united unto hir crowne, is by these men cunningly resembled unto all the wicked kings and others, of whom we read in the scriptures, that they took upon them unlawfully to intrude themselves into the priests office: as unto Saule for his offering of sacrifice, unto Osias for his burning of incense upon the altar of incense: unto Gedeon for his making of an ephode: and unto Nadab and Abihu for their offering with strange fire.Miles, &c. 1 Sam.13.
2 Chro.26. Iudg.8.
And they affirme, that no civill magistrate hath preeminence by ordinary authority, either to determine of church causes, or to make ecclesiasticall orders and ceremonies. That no civill magistrate hath such authoritie, as that without his consent it should not be lawfull for ecclesiasticall persons to make and publish church orders. That, They which are no Elders of the church, have nothing to do with the government of the church. And whereas Master Harding saith, that the office of a king in it selfe is one everie where, not onely among the Christian princes, but also among the heathen: and thereupon concludeth, that a Christian prince hath no more to do in deciding of Church matters, or in making ceremonies and orders for the Church, than hath a heathen: Master Cartwright alloweth of his judgement, and doth expressely affirme, that he is of the same opinion, professing his mislike of those who teach another right of a Christian, and of a prophane magistrate.T.C. [Thomas Cartwright.] 2. Admonit. Demonstrat. of discipl.
So as indeede they attribute in effect no more to hir Majestie, and all other civill magistrates in these causes, than the Papists do, which is Potestatem facti non juris. I knowe how some of them shuffle to avoid this accusation, pretending that they give the prince more than Potestatem facti: For our men do thinke they may say what they list, and salve it againe at their owne pleasure: marie Gellius Snecanus he dealeth more plainly, and commending this distinction, saith in expresse words, that Controversia juris doth pertaine to the ministerie: Licet facti executio in politicis sit penes civilem magistratum: although the execution of the fact in civill causes do appertaine to the civill magistrate.T.C. [Thomas Cartwright.] Snecanus de disc.eccles.
Now seing, deerly beloved, how far these men are gone already upon their own heads, who knoweth whether in short time they will not disclaime hir Majesties authoritie, if they shall be called to answer to their misdemeanors, especially if they concerne matters of the pulpit: or whether they purpose to discharge the estate of Bishops and to erect of themselves their new found plat for government? What they will do, I know not; but what they have written, you shall heare.
If this reformation (said on of them, when he was of that humor) be not hastened forward by the magistrate, the subjects ought not any longer to tarie for him, but do it themselves. The author of the second Admonition (against whom, as I thinke, there will no exception be taken) affirmeth, that he and his fellowes Are forced in conscience to speake for this newe order, and (as he saith) to use it. And in another place, that There is many a thousand that desire the same that he doth, and that great troubles will come of it, if it be not provided for. I thinke he meaneth, if they obtain not their desire. Another is likewise very peremptorie and resolute, that the Presbyterie must prevaile: and if it come to passe (saith he to the Bishops) by that means which will make your harts to ake, blame your selves. Martin in his first booke threateneth Fists: and in his seconde, he wisheth that our Parleament, which is now assembled, would put downe Lord Bishops, and bring in the reformation which they looke for, whether hir Majestie will or no. Let the place be considered, whether I have attained to his meaning. Surely whilest he talketh much of treason, I feare he wil be found a traitor himself.Demonst. of discipl. in the Preface [Martin Marprelate.]
For how can he conceive that such a thing should be brought to passe (if hir majesty do hir best to withstande it) without a rebellion at the least, that I may go no farther. Hath not hir highnes in making of lawes a negative voice? Is not Lex principis opus? hath not every law Vim cogentem of the king?
I assure you (my brethren) these are desperate points to be stoode in. And I do verilie feare, that except good order be taken, and that in time, these things will grow to some extremities. For seeing these spirits of ours do follow so exactly, and with such hot pursuite, the outlandish precepts, touching the forme of their new governement, is it not to be provided for, least they fall to the outlandish meanes likewise (mentioned before in their traiterous propositions) for the erecting and establishing thereof?
I was enformed by a magistrate of right good worship, that a preacher of this faction, in the presence of certaine Iustices of the peace, and in a verie great congregation did without controlment, convention, or binding over either to sessions or assises, set on broch the doctrine of the former propositions for violent reformation.
If these things deerely beloved, which I have reported unto you (in sort as I have insisted upon them) be not true, let me be called to mine answer: but if they be true, then I trust you will confesse the necessitie of this exhortation (so far as concerneth your duties) which heer the Apostle maketh: Charissimi nolite omni spiritui credere. Take heed of such spirits least they seduce you, and beleeve them not.
Saint Paule in his epistle to Titus doth straightlie in him commande us, that after one or two admonitions, we should avoide the companie of an heretike. Vpon which place some learned men do observe, that the Apostles doctrine there appertaineth but unto private men. For saie they, if he had written the same to civill magistrates, he would have bidden them after one or two admonitions, to have punished with due severitie all such kinde of persons. And even so saie I touching this place. The apostle exhorteth you that be private men, that you beleeve not everie spirit, but concerning you that be magistrates, I am assured the apostolicall doctrine doth commande you, that by your authoritie you carefullie indevor to suppresse such spirits. Martin affirmeth that the Bishops are in fault, that there are so manie schismes this daie amongst us, and I confesse, I am my selfe in some part of his opinion. But yet no farther, then the same reprehension is to be extended generally unto all other magistrats.Cap. 3.
An exhortation to Magistrats.
Beza. [Martin Marprelate.]
Saint Basill in his time finding the like jars, and disorder that we have now amongst us: how (as it is in the booke of Iudges) everie man did even what he list himselfe, he saith, he perceived this was the cause: for that (as it is there noted) in those daies there was no king in Israel, that is, God was not regarded, or as it may truly be saide, the magistrats did not their duties. For there is no great difference betwixt having none at al, and having of such as do neglect the charge which is committed unto them.Basill.
Nay surely mine opinion is, that if there were not some, (whether Bishops or men of as great or greater authoritie) that doe in some sort favor these spirits, they would never have growen either in number so manie, or in their dealings to have been so violent.
That which Master Calvine writeth, may verie fitlie be applied to this purpose: Nemini verbum facere in mentem veniret, nisi quisquiliae hominum viderent se proceribus officium praestare, ac paratam sibi esse maledicentiae mercedem: subitoque evanescerent mendacia, nisi ab eisdem illis in quorum gratiam conficta sunt, foverentur: None woulde ever have opened their mouthes in this sort, except the base and rascall sort of men had seene that thereby they shoulde gratifie some men in authority, and were to be rewarded: for their evill speaking and lies would soone have died, if they were not nourished by those, for whose pleasure they were published.Epist. 171.
Be it that hitherto you have been mooved to spare them with their great shew of zeale. For as Cicero saith: Vt quisque est vir optimus, ita difficillime esse alios improbos suspicatur: The best men, do least of all suspect others to be evill. Yet now that you see into how desperate and dangerous a course they are fallen, your farther bearing with them will not be well excused. They are almost come (as Tert. noteth) of such like men, A stilo ad machaeram, from wordes to blowes. Hir majestie is depraved, hir authoritie is impugned, & great dangers are threatned. Civill government is called into question: princes prerogatives are curiouslie scanned: the interest of the people in kingdoms is greatly advanced: & all government generally is pinched at, and contemned. The church is condemned, the ancient fathers are despised, your preachers are defaced, and yet these men are tollerated.Ad Q. fratrem. Tertul.
Let it be held for good pollicie, Vt anseribus cibaria locentur, & canes alantur in Capitolio, for feare of theeves in the night: But yet (as Cicero saith) if they will gaggle and make a noise in the daie time without any cause, Opinor iis crura suffringantur: I thinke it very fit they be rapt on the shinnes. And even so it is with these our prophets & their adherents, as it followeth in the same place: Alii eorum anseres sunt qui tantummodo clamant, nocere non possunt: alii canes qui latrare & mordere possunt: cibaria his praeberi videmus: Some of them are geese which onely gaggle, and cannot hurt: others are dogs, which both can barke and bite: and yet we see them maintained. Sed vos maxime debetis in eos impetum facere: But you that are magistrates ought rather to restraine them.Cicero.
Zanchius in his epistle before his answere to Holderus the Arrian, being greatly mooved with the like schismatikes in Germanie, doth crie out in the bitternes of his hart, O tempora, O mores: good Lord what times are these wherein we live, and howe are men in their maners growen to be monstrous? I beseech almightie God (saith he) (using the verie words which Alexander Bishop of Constantinople upon the like occasion had once used) that either it would please his majestie to represse Horam incendiariorum nefarios conatus: The wicked attempts of these firebrands, or else to take me out of this life, that I may never behold the miseries and calamities which of necessitie thereby must fall upon the church. He exhorteth the magistrats that they would more diligently looke unto their duties then before time they had done. Cur enim unicuique quicquid lubet scribere, & in quemvis pro sua libidine debacchari, eaque ratione ecclesias perdere permittitur? For why is everie one suffered (saith he) to write what he liste, and to raile upon everie man at his pleasure, and so by that meanes to destroie the church?Zanchius.
Naie surely if you looke not to this geare in time, this judgement doth but begin at the house of God, and it will proceede farther to the overthrowe of all government. God of his infinit mercy open your eies that you may see these dangers, and grant you both grace and courage, that you may in due time prevent them.To the people.
The doctrine of the church of England, is pure and holie: the government thereof, both in respect of hir majestie, and of our Bishops is lawfull and godlie: the booke of common praier containeth nothing in it contrarie to the word of God.
All these points have been notably approoved and maintained not onely against the Papists, but likewise against some other schismatikes, and you your selves with great joy and comfort have in time past imbraced them accordingly. If any of you now, my brethren, be otherwise affected, the fault is in your selves: for they remaine (as the nature of truth requireth) to be as they were before: but you through your rashnes in following of everie spirit, are growen to a woonderfull newfanglenes: and are indeed become meere changelings. Quemadmodum eadem terra stat recte valentibus, quae vertigene correptis videtur moveri: As the same earth (saith Greg. Nazianzen) appeereth immooveable to those that are in health, which to the giddie doth seeme to turne about: so you, my brethren, by following the perswasions of false prophets (who, as Irenaeus saith; De iisdem non semper easdem sententias habent: Of the selfe-same things have not alwaies the same opinions) are drawen to an unjust mislike of the church; Et amantes vel non amantes, haud eadem de eisdem judicatis: And according to your love or hate, your judgements upon the selfe-same things do varie and alter.Orat.8.
See, I praie you, what dislike is able to worke; and therefore take heed of those who shall indevor, through lies and slanders, to make the truth and the preachers thereof odious and hatefull unto you. For as the Apostle writeth; Aemulantur vos non bene, sed excludere vos volunt, ut illos aemulemini: They are jealous over you amisse, even for their owne purpose and commoditie: yea they would exclude you from the doctrine you have received at our hands, and from the affection and love, which you once bare unto us, that ye might altogither love them, and followe their devises. Gal.4.
And that is the end of their railing and libelling. Mos semper fuit haereticorum, quorum doctrinam non possunt confutare, illorum vitam in odium adducere: It hath alwaies been the maner of heretikes, to bring their lives into hatred, whose doctrine they cannot confute. Knowing that by the contempt of the one, doth easily ensue the dislike of the other.
How beit, they will pretend that the zeale of Gods glorie doth moove them unto such bitternes, against the present estate of religion, and against the chiefe maintainers of it, and that for conscience sake, and for the glory of Sion they are driven to use such more than tragicall outcries. But Bernard will not suffer them to hide their malice under these masks, who writing against certaine schismatikes in his time, saith, Alii quidem nude atque irreverenter, uti in buccam venerit, virus evomunt detractionis: Some do plainly and irreverently, even as it comes into their stomacke, spue out the poison of their slanders. Mary others there be, who cover their malice more cunningly, nay more hypocritically, as though all they said proceeded of meere love and Christian charitie, of whom it followeth; Videas praemitti alta suspiria: sicque quadam cum gravitate, vultu moesto, demissis superciliis & voce plangenti egredi maledictionem, & quidem tanto persuasibiliorem, quanto creditur ab hiis qui audiunt corde invito & magis condolentis affectus, quam malitiose proferri: You shall see some, that after they have fet divers great sighes and grones, will presently with great gravitie and drawing out of their words, with a heavy countenance, with casting downe their heads, and with a pittifull voice, breath out malediction, the which men do rather beleeve, bicause it seemeth by such their hypocriticall dealing, rather to proceed of a sorrowfull compassion, than of malice and hatred. But deerly beloved, take heed of these spirits. Where you finde these conditions, beleeve not, I pray you, any such protestations.Serm.sup. Cant.24.
Furthermore, you shal have some that will come unto you with a long tale, protesting that they cannot refraine their teares, with the ancient men in Esra, to see the foundation of our new temple not to be answerable (as they say) to the beautie of the old. And heerin they thinke they should be verie acceptable unto you: whereas in truth the crying of those aged men, was a great discouragement to the builders, and one of the principall lets, why the worke went no better forward: and the prophet Aggaeus was sent from God to reproove them for it; allowing, nay preferring in some respects, the new building, which then they had in hand, before the other, which some so much affected.Ezra.3. Olevianus in 12.Rom.
So as, deerly beloved, when you heare the like cries, in any wise beleeve them not: but rather shout aloud for joy (as there it is likewise noted) in that you have lived to see your temples purged from the leaven of Poperie, and to florish, as they do, with the sinceritie and truth of Christian religion.
They wil furthermore (the better to creep into your harts) pretend great humilitie, and bitterly exclaime against the pride of Bishops as though they affected nothing else by their desired equalitie, but some great lowlines, and to prostrate themselves at your feet for your service: whereas in deed they shoote at greater superioritie and preeminence, then even your Bishops did use or challenge unto them: and would no doubt tyrannise by their censures over both prince and people at their pleasure, in most untollerable and popelike maner. As partly you may gather by the premisses, and partlie furthermore understand in that not onely they do use the verie same arguments for the soveraigne authoritie of their presbyteries (against the prince) in causes ecclesiasticall: that the Pope doth for his principalitie in the same (and none other so far as I can read, or I thinke can be shewed by any:) but do likewise make to all our arguments for hir majesties supremacie against them, the very same answers, (if not word for worde, yet alwaies in effect) that Harding, Stapleton, Dorman, and Saunders have made to the same arguments, used by Bishop Iewell, Bishop Horn, Master Nowell and others to the same purpose, and against the Pope. I cannot stande to enter into any particular examples of this matter, onely I thought it necessarie at this time to advertise you of it (take his advantage thereof who list) that you might the better beware of such kind of spirits.
You have heard them, I am sure, greatly exclaime against our Bishops livings, as though they had too much, therby to perswade you with what simple allowance they could content themselves: and yet (as you have heard) they reckon all the livings of the church too litle for themselves: condemning you of the laitie, who either have or would have part with them, for cormorants, Dionysians, and for such wicked traitors against the church, as Iudas was against Christ.
The would gladly seeme to be very godly, zealous, and religious: and yet notwithstanding, if you will relie upon Saint Iames his opinion, and judge of them by the usage of their toongs, in their immodest speeches and libelling, you shall finde their profession thereof to be full of so great vanitie, as that particularlie it may be verified almost of everie one of them: Hujus vana est religio.
If they set foorth a booke of common praiers, then caution is made that nothing be done contrarie to any thing set downe in the same. If they decree any thing in their synods (yea though it be in civill matters) against an act of Parleament, that treason is not treason, yet if you withstand them, you are foorthwith accursed: or as touching church causes, except it should so fall out, that they do erre in their determinations, and that in some great matter of faith, all men must stand unto their orders, decrees lawes and constitutions.
But on the other side, if the church indeed, upon sufficient grounds shall either publish a booke, or commande any thing to be observed, though that which is commanded have beene determined of, not onely by provinciall or nationall synods, but by al the generall councels in effect, which were helde before the tyrannie of poperie: yet (as Saint Bernard saith in the like case) Haerent ad singula quae injunguntur, exigunt de quibusque rationem, male suspicantur de omni praecepto, nec unquam libenter acquiescunt, nisi cum audire contigerit quod forte libuerit: they sticke at all things which are injoined, they require the reason of every thing, they suspect amisse of every precept, and wil never willingly hold themseves contented, but when they heare that, which peradventure doth please them.Bernard.
They sift, they search, and condemne at their pleasure. This is too much, that is too little: this is too long, that is too short: this is idolatrous, that is superstitious: this is wanting, that is superfluous: this is not aright, that is awrie: and as Saint Augustine saith, Nisi quod ipsi faciunt, nihil rectum existimant: They thinke well of nothing, but of that they do themselves.August.
If they expound a place of Scripture, as they do that, whereof I spake before, Dic ecclesiae: and those likewise which they bring for the proofe of their aldermen: though they therein dissent among themselves, and from the interpretations of all the ancient fathers who ever lived, yet we must beleeve them (as Hosius spake of the church of Rome) that what they saie, it is the verie word of God.
If they alledge unto us the authorities of fathers and councels, to proove the equalitie of ministers, the authoritie of their laie governors, & the continuance of their presbyteries since the Apostles times: though therein they pervert them all most grossely, (& I feare of purpose to deceive you my brethren, even against their owne consciences, and contrary to the expresse meaning of the said fathers and councels, even in those places which they bring and infinte others:) yet they will face out the matter with verie strange boldnes, & be more then offended that any should examine or seem to mistrust them. I could bring you divers examples heerof, but one of ech sort shall suffice.
To proove the equalitie which they saie ought to be in the ministers of the worde and sacraments, they alledge Cyprian, Ambrose, &c. affirming that in those times there was no difference betwixt a Bishop and a priest, but that they had all equall authoritie within their own parishes, and that whosoever was a Bishop, was a priest, and whosoever was a priest (that is, a minister of the word and sacraments) was a Bishop: whereas in the whole course of their writings the contrarie is most manifest: never man besides themselves (to my understanding) did so expound them: the ecclesiasticall histories report of those times otherwise, & within lesse then an hundreth yeeres after Cyprian, and either before or in Ambrose daies, it was condemned as an heresie, for any to hold that opinion.T.C. lib.1.
pag.99,100,107. T.C. lib 2.
Againe to proove the authoritie of their Aldermen, (which do neither preach nor administer the sacraments) with the use and practise thereof in everie church long after the apostles times, they alledge certain places out of Ignatius, Tertullian, Hierome, &c. where mention is made of priesthood, of colledges, counsailes, and companies of priests, that joined with the Bishops for the better governement of the church, and execution of certaine particular duties.T.C. lib. 3.
Whereas besides that Master Calvin himselfe writing of the state of the church presently after the Apostles daies confesseth, that those priests were ministers of the word and sacraments: Habebant singulae civitates presbyterorum collegium, qui pastores erant & doctores: Everie citie had a college of priests which were pastors and doctors: the verie authors themselves almost in everie part of their works do call the said priests Sacerdotes, (which cannot agree to these lay aldermen) distinguishing them in direct termes, a Laicis from Lay-men: and do ascribe unto them ordinarily, authoritie for the administration both of the word and sacraments, as all writers, fathers, councels and histories from that time till this, have ever (these men excepted) accounted of them, that is, as of pastors, doctors, & ministers of the Gospell.Lib.4.Instit. cap.4.sect.2.
But of all other in my opinion the last example appertaining to this purpose is most notable. For the better understanding whereof, you must know that the church of God ever since the apostles times, hath distributed the ecclesiasticall ministerie principallie into these three parts, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons: according as it is contained in the apology of the church of England: Credimus, varios in ecclesia esse ordines ministrorum: alios esse Diaconos, alios Presbyteros, alios Episcopos, quibus institutio populi & religionis cura & procuratio commissa est: We beleeve that there be divers degrees of ministers in the church: wherof some be Deacons, some Priests, some Bishops: to whom is commited the office to instruct the people, and the charge and setting foorth of religion.Apologie.
This division our new reformers with one consent do allow, for the very platforme of their desired government: But their exposition of the parts therof, is agreeable to that which is before observed of them: even contrarie to the profession which hitherto we have made to all the world, and contrarie to the testimonies of al antiquitie. By Bishops, they say, was ment the ministers of the word and sacraments, without any distinction of degree, or any inequalitie for government or authoritie: and by priests their laie elders onely.
And upon this presumption and verie grosse falsification of all the ancient fathers, the chiefe ringleader in this crue is not afraid to use these words: If master Doctor had ever read the ecclesiasticall histories, he might have found easilie the Eldership most florishing in Constantines time, and other times, when as the peace of christians was greatest.T.C. lib.1.
For replie wherunto master Doctor Whitgift now Archbishop of Canterburie, having desired him that was so cunning in the ecclesiastical histories, to bring foorth but one that affirmeth this kinde of government to have been under Constantinus: about three yeeres after, he brought out Eusebius, who must do this feate for him: in that he saith there were Bishops, Elders, and Deacons at the councell of Nice.Lib.3.pa.67.
But you shall heare this skilfull man in histories, howe he applieth the authoritie of Eusebius. It is manifest (saith he) that the churches were governed under him (meaning Constantinus) as before, by Bishops, Elders, and Deacons; by that which is cited of An infinite number of Elders, and Deacons, which came to the councell of Nice, with the two hundreth and fiftie Bishops.
Heer you see how gladly this fellow would have you to beleeve, that this their governement so earnestly now sought for, did most of al florish about the time of the councel of Nice, that then there was no difference betwixt a Bishop and a minister of the worde, but were both of them, of equall authoritie, and that then their laie Elders had their consistorie with the rest of their companions in every parish.
Whereas all the world knoweth, that Eusebius meaneth nothing els in that place, but to signify the great appeerance, from all places, of the clergie men, of all sorts, in that most honorable synod. And it is likewise apparant by the sixt Canon of the saide Councell, that long before that time, Bishops had verie large jurisdictions: as the Bishop of Alexandria is saide according to an olde custome, to have authoritie or power over all Egypt and Pentapolie.
Nay it is manifest by the historie of those, and the former times, that as at the first for the repressing of schismes, Bishops had authoritie given them over the rest of the clergie, so upon good experience and long proofe, that the Bishops being manie in number, did growe themselves likewise at some jarres; it seemed good unto that councell, with the emperors consent, for the better government of them in like maner, to devide the whole body of Christendome into fower Patriarckships: whereof the first was Rome, which had authoritie over Italy and other churches of the west: The second Alexandria: which had confirmed unto it the old jurisdiction before mentioned: The third Antioch: which was over Syria: and the fourth Ierusalum, that ruled the churches in Iurie.
So as he that should dreame of any such presbyteries in Constantines time, as our new men talke of: must either be very much distempered, verie ignorant or verie malitious. This I am sure of, that men of such a faculty, can never want authority to proove what they list. And therefore as I said, so I saie againe my brethren, that if they shall alledge any of the said ancient fathers, councels or histories to proove the equalitie of ministers, the government of their Aldermen, and the continuance of their presbyteries since the Apostles times, they alwaies abuse themselves, falsifie their authors, & endevour to deceive their readers & hearers: I beseech you deerly beloved, beleeve them not.
I might heere likewise put you in minde, how these prophets, who seeke to withdraw you from the church established, are rent in sunder, and divided amongst themselves. They have written bookes one against another, and do most bitterly condemne the dooings and proceedings one of another. You (saith one sort of them) in that you separate your selves from the publike assemblies in England, are growen to become plaine Donatists and heretikes: you (saith the other) in that you having laid the foundations whereupon we stand, and yet do joine your selves with them, are become meere hypocrites and apostatates: it had been better for you never to have knowen the truth, than by such your dealings so to have betraied it.
Do you see these things (deerly beloved) and will you not eschew them? Will you give your selves over to an unbridled course, the end whereof you know not? Shall men of such inconstancy lead you from the truth, and make you to imbrace those things, which you know to have been condemned with one consent by all the ancient fathers for heresies? If you will needes affect them still, bicause you have no stay of your selves; yet let me, I beseech you, prevaile thus much with you, that untill, at the least, they agree amongst themselves, you will be content to give over any longer to follow them.
In so doing, I doubt not, but you shall returne to your old love of the truth, imbrace with your former joies this your present reformation (which your neighbors adjoining would thinke themselves most happie to attaine:) and with all sobrietie and contentment, willingly and obediently submit your selves to obey these and the like exhortations, penned by the holy Ghost, and tending to persuade you to perseverance in that godly doctrine which you have received. Sicut accepistis Iesum Christum Dominum, ita in eo incedite: As you have received Christ Iesus the Lord, so walke in him. And againe; We beseech you brethren, by the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, and by your assembling unto him, that you be not suddenlie mooved from your mind, nor troubled by spirit, that is, by deluding spirits and vaine doctrine, but stand fast, and keepe the instructions which you have beene taught. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are woorthy love, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be anie vertue, or if there be any praise, thinke on these things, which you have both learned and received, and heard, and seene in your true prophets, who have some of them sealed the truth with their blood, those things, I say, forget not, but hold fast, remember, and put them in practise: Et Deus pacis erit vobiscum, And the God of peace shall be with you.Col.2. 2.Thes.2. Phil.4.
Beware (saith the Apostle) of dogs, beware evill workers, beware of concision, that is, of such as cut a sunder the church of God. If anie man preach unto you any other Gospell, than that which you have received, let him be accursed. Be not caried about with divers and strange doctrines: for it is a good thing that the hart be established with grace. Non convalescit planta quae saepe transfertur: that plant never prooveth, which oft is remooved.Phil.3. Gal.1. Heb.13. Ephes. 4.
The time will come when they will not suffer wholsome doctrine: but having their eares itching, shall after their owne lusts get them an heape of teachers. 2.Tim.4.
Whereas there is among you envieng and strife, and devisions, are ye not carnall, and walke as men? for when one saith, I am Pauls, and another I am Apollos, are yee not carnall? 1 Cor.3.