A RELATION OF THE State of Religion, and with what Hopes and Policies it hath beene framed and is maintained in the severall states of these westerne parts of the World.
HAving now almost fini∣shed my intended course of travell, and comming to cast vp (as it were) the short account of my labours, I shall heere en∣devour briefely to relate what I have observed in the matter of Religion, my time being chiefely imployed (as was from the first my principall designe) in viewing the state thereof in these Westerne parts of the world, their divided factions and professions, their differences in matters of faith, and their exercises of religion, in government Ecclesiasticall, and in life & con∣versatiō, what vertues in each kind eminent, what eminent Page [unnumbered] defects. Moreover, in what termes of opposition, or corres∣pondencie each standeth with other, what probabilities, what pollices, what hopes, what iealousies are found in each part for the advauncing thereof: and finally, what pos¦sibilities and good meanes of vniting, at leastwise the se∣verall braunches of the reformed professours (if vnitie vni∣versall bee more to be desired then hoped in such bitter∣nesse of minde, & equalitie of forces as leaveth on neither side, either dispositiō to yeeld, or doubt to be vāquished.)
In the midst of these thoughts not intending to deliver a full report of all these points, which would too much ex∣ceede a reasonable proportion, but restraining my selfe chiefly to such parts and places as may seeme most nessa∣rie for one of my Countrey to know.*
1 FIrst, the Roman Religion, framed in those middle times when there was no man to controll them, did light into the hādling of such men as made their greatnesse welth and honor, the verie rule to square out the Cannons of faith, and then did set Clearkes on worke to devise Ar∣guments to maintaine them.
2. This Religion seemeth notwithstanding at this day, not so corrupt in the very doctrine (and in their Schooles, where yet manifolde oppositions doe hold them in awe, that hath caused them to refine it) as it is in the practise here of, and in the vsage among themselves, wherein they are so gross: as that sundry men whom the reading of their Bookes hath allured, the view of their Churches hath averted from their partie.
3 I must omit an endlesse multitude of their super∣stitions and ceremonies, for they are enough to take vp a great parte of a mans life to peruse, beeing without vni∣formitie, and different in diverse Countryes, and with∣all so childish and vnsavourie, that as they argue seeli∣nesse and rawnesse in their inuenters, so can they bring no other then disgrace and contempt to those exercises Page [unnumbered] of Religion wherein they are stirring.
4 How they communicate divine honour to Saints & Angels, by building Churches, erecting Altars, commen∣ding prayers, & addressing vowes vnto them, in worship∣ping their Images, going in pilgrimage to their Reliques, attributing all kind of miracles both to the one & to the o∣ther, I will in this place restraine my selfe especially to Ita∣li•, where it hath wrought this generall effect, that men have more affiance, and assume vnto themselves a greater conceit of comfort in the patronage of the creatures and servants of God, then of God himselfe, the Prince & crea∣tor▪ And touching the blessed virgin, the case is cleare, that howsoever their Doctrine be in schooles otherwise, yet in all manner of outward Actions, the honour which they do vnto her, is double, for the most part, vnto that which they do our Saviour: where one professeth himselfe a devote or peculiar servant to our Lord, whole Townes sometimes, as Vienna, &c. are the Devoti of our Ladie. The stateliest & fairest Altars are hers, for the most part, where one prayeth before the Crucifixe, two pray before her Images, where one vowe vnto Christ, tenne vow vnto her, & not so much to her selfe, as to some particular Image of hers, which for some notable power and grace of operation of miracles they chiefly serve, as the glorious Ladie of Loretto: the de∣vout Ladie of Rome: the myraculous Lady of Proven∣san•: the Annuntiata of Florence, all whose Churches are so stuffed with vowed presents and memories, as they are faine to hang their Cloisters and Churchyardes with them. And such as their vowes are, such are their Pilgri∣mages; and to nourish this honour, for one miracle repor∣ted to be wrought by the Crucifixe, not so fewe, perhaps, as one hundred are voiced vpon those other Images, nei∣ther will I omit this no lesse certaine, though lesse appa∣rant, that where one fasteth on Friday, which they ac∣count our Lords day, many fast on Saturday which they account our Ladies day, in honour to her. In all which the Page [unnumbered] people do but folow their guides; who, as in the measuring of their devotion by tale on beades, doe string vp ten salu∣tations to our Lady, for one of our Lords prayers. So them∣selves also in their Sermons, make their entrance with an Aue Maria, yea a solemne divine honour which they have, most commendable, if it were well vsed: that at Sun rising, none, and Sunne setting, vpon the ringing of a bell, all men, in what place soever, house, fielde, streete, or mar∣ket, doe presently kneele downe, and send vp their vnited devotions to heaven. This honour is by them chiefly in∣tended to our Ladie, the devotion is the Ave Maria, and the bell that ringeth to it, hath also that name. They teach in pulpit, that nothing passeth in heaven without her expresse consent. That the stile of that court, is, Placet Do∣minae, that matters of Iustice come properly from Christ, and matters of Grace from her, that it was the vision of a holy man, that certaine that would have beene condem∣ned by Christ, in regard they were her servants, have bin absolved by her intercession. So the principall streames o• affiance and love, are diverted from him, and turned vpon those vnto whom so great honour is not due, nor so vndue honour can be acceptable.
5 Their Liturgies being not vnderstoode by the peo∣ple, are not able to holde them occupyed with any spiri∣tuall contemplation: for supply whereof they hold them to their charming with their beades in the meane season, which being so vnsavory a foode as it is, they vse it accor∣dingly: when they are wearie of it, they entertaine the rest of their time with talke and mirth, which their Priestes themselves also at their leisures forbear not, not forgetting yet at certaine pauses to shew devotion, wherein their out∣ward iestures are decent, reverent, and significant. And this honour is to be yeelded to the Italian nation, that hee is naturally not vndevoute, were his devotion duely gui∣ded and cherished, and not starved and quenched in the darke mist of a language, which hee neither vnder∣stands Page [unnumbered] what is saide to him, not yet what himselfe say∣eth.
6 The best part of their exercises of Religion, are their Sermons, wherein much matter, both of faith and piety is eloquently delivered, by men surely of wonderfull zeale & spirite, if their interior fervor were correspondent to their outward •ervencie; how beit they are sometimes mingled with so palpable vanitie (as besides their other poverties, as forced allegories, and vnnaturall interpretations, wher∣in they are fervent,) they have legends of Saints, and tales (at which children with vs would smile) solemnely historized in their Cathedrall Pulpits; yet what religious∣nesse soever is the peoples mindes may wholy bee attri∣buted to their Sermons, whither the better disposed peo∣ple doe resort.
This one thing I cannot but highly commend in that sort and order: they spare nothing, which either co•t car▪ performe in inriching, or skill in adorning the Temple of God, or to set out his service with the greatest pompe and magnificence that can be devised. And although for the most part, much basenesse and childishnesse is predomi∣nant in the maisters and contrivers of their ceremonies, yet this outward state and glorie being well disposed, doth ingender, quicken, increase, and nourish, the inward re∣verence, respect, and devotion which is due vnto sove∣raigne maiesty and power. And therefore, howsoever some will not be perswaded in it, yet in the zeale of the common Lord of all, I chuse rather to commend the ver∣tue of an enemy, then to flatter the vice and imbecility of a friend.
7 But to returne to the Church of Rome, and to come to the consideration of their penance and confession, out of which, so great good is promised to the world, and the want thereof so much vpbraided to their opposites. I must confesse I brought with mee this perswasion and ex∣pectation, that surely in this must needes bee a very great Page [unnumbered] restraint to wickednesse, a great meanes to bring men to integrity and perfection, when a man shal daily, as it were, survey his actions, censure with griefe, confesse with shame, cure by councel, expiate with punishment, extin∣guish with firme intent, never to returne to the like again; whatsoever had defiled or stained the soule, (neither doubt I but it had this fruit in the first institution, & hath also with many at this day, yea and might perhaps have bin restored better in reformed Churches, to ther prima∣tive sincerity, thē vtterly abolished, as in most places it is:) Notwithstanding, having diligently searched into the meaning thereof in those parts, I finde, that as all thinges whereof humane imbecillitie hath the custodie and go∣vernment, fall away, decaying by insensible degrees, from their first perfection and purity, and gather much soile & drosse in vsing: so this as much as any thing. For this point of their religion, which in outward shewe carrieth a face of severitie and discipline, is become of all others, the most remisse and pleasant, and of the greatest content to the desolutest mindes, the matter being growne with the common sort to this open reckoning; What neede wee refraine so fearefully from sinne, God having provided so ready a meanes to be rid of it when we list? yea, and the worser sort will say; When wee have sinned we must con∣fesse, and when wee have confessed, we must sinne againe, that we may also confesse againe, and with all, make work for new indulgences and iubiles; making acount of con∣fession, as drunkards do of vomitting: yea, I have knowne of those that carried shew of very devoute persons, who by their owne report, to excuse their acquaintance in mat∣ters criminal, have wittingly periured themselves in iudge∣ment, only presuming of this present and easie remedy of confession, and others of more ordinarie note amongst them, who when their time of confessing was at hand, would then venture on those actions which before they trembled at, as presuming to surfet, by reason of the neigh∣borhood Page [unnumbered] of the Phisition, which Phisition also himselfe is perhaps more apparantly infected with the noysome disease his patient discloseth, then the patient, who is not anie way bettered by the connsell which the Phisition gi∣veth.
But this must be granted to be the fault of the people, yet a generall fault is it, and currant without controle∣ment; howbeit, neyther are Priests, nor the people to be more excused on their part. The Priests will tell the pe∣nitent, that God is mercifull, that whatsoever sinnes the penitent committeth, so long as hee continueth in the Church, and is not a Lutheran, there is, good remedie for him.
And for Penance, it consisteth ordinarily but in Ave∣maries and Paternosters, with Almes-deedes by those that are able, and fastings by them that are willing; yea, I have knowne, when the pennance for horrible, and o∣pen blasphemie, besides much other lewdnesse hath beene no other, then saying of their Beades thrice over, a matter of some houres muttering; and which in Italy they dispatch also as they goe in the streetes, or as they* ride, or doe their buisinesse at home, making no other of it, then as it is, two lips, & one fingers work. But were the penance by the Priests enioyned, never so hard and sharp, the Popes plenary pardons sweepe all away at a blow: Now of these they have granted (and this man especial∣ly) so huge a nūber, as that there are few Churches of note in Italy, which have not purchased or procured a perpetu∣all Indulgence, by vertue whereof, whosoever shall at cer∣taine set yearely daies, being confessed, and having com∣municated, or as in some pardons, having but only an in∣tent to confesse and communicate in time convenient powreth out his devotions before som Altar in that Church and extendeth forth his hands in almes, in behalfe therof, (which clause in al former grants was expressed, but is now left out for avoiding of scandale but is still vnder∣stood Page [unnumbered] and practised accordingly) hath forthwith remission of all sinne and punishment; yea, if the worst fall out, that a man be so negligent as to drop into Purgatory at the time of his decease, which but by very supine negligence can hardly happen; yet few Cities are there, wherin there are not one or two Altars priviledged, Prodefunctis, where for everie Masse, a soule is delivered, and so a great mul∣titude of A•tisons must needes make their ware cheape. I will not heere warble long vpon this vntuneable harsh string, neyther will mention perhaps, the fourth part of that I have seene, much lesse rake old rustie stuffe out of the dead dust and darknesse, wherein time and shame hath suffered it to rest: onely for example sake, and for ve∣rifying what I have said, I will set downe some of that which is nowe in vse at this day, which is printed on their Church doores, and proclaymed in their Pul∣pits.
8 In the Ermitanes of Padua, their Preachers pub∣lish pardon of plenarie indulgence from Baptisme, to the last confession, with eight and twentie thousande yeares over for the time ensuing. The pardon of A∣lexander the sixt for thirtie thousand yeares; to whom soever before the Altar of our Ladie•, shall say a pe∣culiar Ave Marie. At the Sepulchre of Christ in Uenice, is a stately presentation, whereon is wrtten, Hic situm est corpus Domini nostri Iesu Christi; (yet inferring no reall presence there as I take it) with verses annexed of, Conditur hoc tumulo, &c. There is hanged in a printed Table, a prayer of Saint Augustines, a very good one indeed, with indulgence for fourescore and two thousand yeares, granted from Boniface the eight, and confirmed by Benedict the 11. to whosoever shall say it, and that for every day toties, quoties, &c. (which is some∣what worth) that in a few daies a man may provide for a million of worlds, if they did last no longer then this did in Saint Francis Church. At Padua I heard a Reverend Page [unnumbered] Father preach at large the holy history of the divine par∣don of Sisa ab omni culpi & poena, granted by Christ in per∣son at our Ladies suit, vnto Saint Francis, extending to all such, as having confessed and communicated, should pray in Saint Francis Church there, yet sending him to his Vi∣car, Pope Honorius that then was to passe it, with many o∣ther apparitions and delectable strang accidents of great content to pleasant minded hearers, which pardon is since enlarged by Sixtus the fourth, and fifth (which both were Franciscans) to all lay brethren and sisters that did weare Saint Francis Cordon, in what place soever. Gregory the thirteenth hath granted to the Carmine at Syenna, for eve∣rie Masse said there at the Altar of the Crucifixe, the deli∣verie of a soule out of Purgatorie, to the Carmine at Pa∣dua more liberally, for to everie one that shall say seven Aves, and seven Pater nosters, before one of their Altars on the Wednesday in Easter weeke, or kisse the ground before the Altar of the blessed Sacrament with the vsuall prayers for the exaltation of the Church, extirpation of he∣resie, and vnitie of Christian Princes, plenary Indulgence for himselfe, and the delivery of what soule out of Purga∣tory he pleaseth. To the fraternitie of the Altar of the Conception of our Ladie in Duamo, or the Cathedrall Church in Padua, confessing and communicating at their entrie into that societie, full remission of their sinnes at the houre of their death▪ naming but Iesus with their mouth, or if they can not, with their heart: the like is ordinarily graunted to all other Fraternities. To everie Priest as of∣ten as he shall say five printed lines, importing that he wil offer vp the precious bodie of our Saviour, so many fiftie yeares pardon. By this Pope, this one amongst many o∣thers innumerable to the Friers, & lay Fraternities of both sexes of the Carmine in Syenna for everie time that they are present at their solemn Processions, plenary Indulgen∣gences for all their sinnes past, and 40 yeares, & 7 daies o∣ver, to some for to come, & this for ever, with extēt of like Page [unnumbered] grace to all other, that by their presence shall honor those processions, but to last no longer then till the yeare of Iu∣bile. Now besides these and infinite other of this stile, there are Indulgences more free, and lesse restrained then for time, place, or duty, to give them by grant from Pope Iohn the twentith, every inclining of the head at the name of Iesus, getteth twentie yeares pardon, a matter in Italy, no not at this time vnpractised. And to grace that ceremo∣nie the more, I have heard sundry of their renowmed Di∣vines teach in Pulpit, that Christ himselfe on the Crosse bowed his head, all Altars of station, which are in very great number, haue their certaine perpetuall Indulgences indif∣ferent for all times, sundrie Crosses graven in Pavements of their Churches, have Indulgenges annexed for everie time they are kissed, which is so often by the devouter sex, that hard Marble is worne with it. The third and fourth Masse (as they say) is a preservative and ransome of his parents from Purgatorie, yea though they should be sung without any such intention, which causeth many warye men which would bee sure from Purgatorie, to make some one of their children a Priest alwaies. The saying of the Beades over, with a Medall or other trinket of the Popes benediction appendant, getteth plenarie Indul∣gence and deliverie of what soule out of Purgatorie one pleaseth.
9 For to speake also somewhat of their life and conversa∣tion,* & as briefly as may be (being a theam Itake very smal delight to handle) neither being of any great profit to be knowne & yet being knowne sufficiently to all men, too much to some, who not content to spot themselues with al Italian impurity, proceed on to impoyson their Country also at their returne hither, that we need not marvaile if those rare villaines which our ancestors never dreamed of, do now grow frequent, and such men as they would have swept out of their Cities and streets, as the noysome dis∣grace and dishonour of them, and confined to a Dungeon Page [unnumbered] or other desolate habitation, doe vaunt themselves now, & with no meane applause, for the onely gallants and wor∣thie spirits of the world.
But to touch so much of their lives as shall bee necessa∣rie for this purpose, and rather the causes then the effects themselves, it is not to bee marvailed, if the glorie of their Religion, (consisting most in outvvard shewe, and the exquisitenesse in the number of intricate dumbe Ce∣remonies, if their devotions being not seasoned vvith vn∣derstanding requisite, but prised more by tale then by weight of zeale, if as by the vertue of their Sacra∣ments, of their actes of pietie, being placed more in the verie massie materialitie of the outvvarde vvorke, then in the puritie of the heart from vvhich they proceede) it is not, I say, to bee marvailed though the fruites also of their conversation bee like vnto those rootes, rather such as may yeelde some reasonable outvvarde obedi∣ence to Lawes, then approove that inwarde integritie and sinceritie of that fountaine from whence they issue. For although in their civil carriage one towards another, they have especiall good vertues, well worth the imi∣tating, beeing a people, for the most part, of a grave and stayed behaviour, very respective and curteous, not curious, or medling in other mens matters, besides that auncient frugalitie in their dyet, which to their great case and benefite they still retaine.
And there bee also amongst them, as in all other places, some men of excellent and rare perfection, yet can it not bee dissembled, but that generally the whole Countrey is strongly overflovvne & overcome vvith vvic∣kednesse, vvith filthinesse of speech, vvith beastlinesse of actions, both governors & subiects, both priests & Friers, each striving (as it vvere) vvith other in impudencie ther∣in, even so farre forth, that vvhat in other places vvoulde not be tollerated, is there in high honor, vvhat elsevvhere even a lose person would be ashamed to cōfes, their priests Page [unnumbered] and Friers refraine not openly to practise, yea, if any man forbeare the like, they finde it very strange, & hold inte∣grity for little better then seeliness or abiectnesse. I cannot heere forget the saying of an Italian Gentleman of verie good qualitie, but in faction Spanish, at my first entry into Italy: namelie that the Italians were excellent men but for three faults they had: in their lust they were vnnaturall; in their malice vnappeasable, and that they would deceive all men. Vnto which he might truly have added; They spend more vpon other men, then vpon themselves, they blas∣pheme oftner then sweare, and murther more then revile or slaunder: notwithstanding, this testimony I yeelde, not onely willingly, but gladly to them: (for what ioy could it be to the heart of any man, to see men fall irreco∣verablely from the love and lawes of the Creator:) That at one time of the yeare, (namely at Lent,) they are much reformed, no such blaspheming or durty speaking, their vanities of all sorts reasonablely laid aside, their pleasure abandoned, their apparrell, their diet & all things else cō∣posed to austerity & state of penance. They have daily their preaching with collection of almes whereof all men resort: and to iudge of them by the outward shew, they seeme to have generally a great remorce of their wicked∣nesse: in so much, that I must confesse, I seemed to my selfe in Italy, to have learned the right vse of Lent, there first to have discerned the right fruit of it, and the reasō for which those sages at the first did institute it; neither can I easily accord to the fancies of such (as because wee ought at all times to leade a life worthy of our profession) thinke it therefore superstitious, to have one time wherein to exact or respect it more then another: But rather doe this con∣ceive, that seeing the corruption of the times and wicked∣nesse of mans nature is now so exorbitant, that a hard mat∣ter it is, to hold the ordinary sort of men at all times with∣in the lists of piety, iustice, and sobriety, it is fit therefore that their should be one time at least in the yeare, & that Page [unnumbered] of a reasonable continuance, wherein the season it selfe, the vse of the world, and practife of all men (for e∣ven the Iewes and Turkes have their Lent, though different) the commaundement of superious, and in some the verie outwarde face and expectation as it were of all thinges, should constraine men (how wicked and retchlesse soever) for that time to recall them∣selves to some more severe cogitations and courses, lest sinne having no such Bridle to checke it at anie time, should at length waxe headstrong and vnconquerable in them; that on the other side being thus necessarily invred for a while, at least wise to make a bare shewe of walking in the pathes of vertue, they might after∣wardes perhaps more sincerelie, and willinglie persist, or at least wise returne more readily vnto them some o∣ther time. And verily I have sundry times had this cogi∣tation in Italie, that in great loosenesse of life, and decay of discipline in those partes, it was the speciall great mer∣cie and grace of God, that the severitie of Lent should be still preserved, least otherwise the flouds of sinne grow∣ing so headstrong, and outragious, and having no where, either bound or banke to restraine them; might plunge that whole Nation into such a gulfe of wickednesse, and bring them to that last extremitie, which should leave thē neither hope for better, nor place for worse: yea & I was so farre from thinking the institution of Lent superflu∣ous, or the restraint in it vnprofitable, that I rather incli∣ned to like the custome of the Greeke Church, who be∣sides their great Lent, have three other Lents also in the yeare, though the other neither so long, nor yet so strict a generall observation. Two things are further to be ad∣ded in the honour of Italie: Their Monasteries see∣med, for the most part, to bee greatly reformed of that they have beene, and of that they still are in Fraunce, and other places, where their loosenesse of governmēt, and often scandalles ensuing, dooth breed them a repu∣tation Page [unnumbered] cleane contrarie to their profession, and the rea∣son is whi•• the Monasteries and Covent of Friers are not reformed: there is a feare that the Pope hath, that over-great severitie woulde cause a great number to dis∣frier themselves, and flie to Geneva, vppon hope of more lybertie, which hee estemeth an inconvenience, more to be shunned, then the former mischeife. An o∣ther thing verie memorable, and to be imitated in Italie, is the exceeding good provisions of Hospitals and houses of pietie, for olde Persons enfebled, for poore folkes mai∣med or diseased, for Gentillitie impoverished, for travel∣lers distressed, for lewd women converted, for children abandoned, which the devotion of former times have founded and enriched, and this present age dooth verie faithfully & discretly governe, and if it were not for those houses, in the number, goodlynesse, and great revenewes whereof, Italie exceedeth anie one Countrey in the world, it might be said to be p•ore and miserable: for though it be incomparably the richest Nation in Christendome at this day in all the West parts, by reason of their long peace, and their neighbours long warres, yet considered that their welth there, is so ill digested, and so vnequally divided in the bodie thereof, by the infinitenesse and ever∣sucking veynes of their taxes and customs, carrying all their blood to the higher partes, and leaving the lower readye to faint, starve, and wither, It is not vntruly sayde, that the rich men of Italie are the richest, and the poore the poorest creatures, that any one Countrey can yeelde againe, both which in a well pollicied state were to be avoyded. Besides these Hospitalles, they have their houses of free loane to the poore, which is sōe helpe, seeing Italie of all other places is most infected with V∣surie▪
But now to come to the view of their Ecclesiasticall go∣vernment, how it is referred to the conduct of soules to their true happinesse (which should be the naturall and Page [unnumbered] proper end of that regiment, whereof I can say little,) and how it is addressed to the vpholding of their worldly power, and glory of their Order, to the advancing of their part, and overthrow of their opposites, which I suppose to be the chiefe point they now respect; as I thinke it may be truly said, that there was never yet state fra∣med by mans wit in the world, more powerfull and for∣cible to worke those effects, never any more wisely con∣trived and plotted, more constantly and diligently put in practise and execution, that if the foundation bee free from vntruth and dishonestie (for rottennesse of heart is an infirmitie which will ruine all strength builded thereon) their outward meanes were sufficient to subdue a whole world. Now as in every Art and Science there are some certaine propositions, vpon the vertue whereof all the rest depend, so in their Art also they have certaine as∣sertions which as indemonstrable principles they vrge all to receive & hold in this maner. • That they are the church of God, within the which there is great facility, and with∣out which there is no possibilitie of salvation. 2 That di∣vine prerogative is granted vnto them abve all the people in the world, which doth preserve them everlastingly from erring in matters of faith, and from falling from GOD. 3 That the Pope being Christes deputie, hath the keyes of heaven in custodie, to admit in by Indulgence, & shut out by excommunication, as he shall see cause. 4 That the charge of all soules being committed to him, he is thereby made soveraigne prince of this world, exceeding in power and maiestie all other princes, as far as the soule in dignitie doth exceed the bodie, & eternall things surmount things temporall: and seeing the end, is the ruler and commander of whatsoever doe tend vnto it, and all things in this world are to serve but as instruments; and the world it self but as a passage to our everlasting habitation. 5 That ther∣fore he that hath the managing of this high honour to be the supream conductor vnto it, hath also power to dispose Page [unnumbered] of all things subordinate as may best serve to it, to plant, to roote out, to establish, to depose, to bind, to loose, to al∣ter, to dispence, as may serve most fitte for the advance∣ment of the church, and for the atcheving of the soules fe∣licitie, wherein whosoever oppose against him, whether by Heresie or Schisme, they are no other then verie Re∣bels or seditious persōs, against whom he hath vnlimited & endlesse power, to proceede to the suppressing, ruining and extinguishing of them by all meanes that the Com∣mon-welth of God may florish in prosperitie, and the high way to heaven bee kept safe and open for all Gods loyall and obedient people. In these poynts no doubtes or questions are tolerable And whoso with them ioyne in these, shall find great connivence, in what other defect or difference soever: this being the very touchstone by which all men are to be tried, whether they be in the Church, or out of the Church; whether with them, or against them: and by this plott have their wits erected in this worlde, a Monarchie more potent then ever any that have bene be∣fore it: A Monarchye, which intitling them (de iure) to all the world, layeth a strong foundation thereof in all mens conciences, (the onelie firme ground of obedience in the worlde) and such a foundation, as not onely holdeth fast vnto them whatsoever it feazeth on, but worketh out∣wardly also by engines, to weaken, and vndermine the states of all other Princes howe great so ever, and that in such sort, as by possessing themselves of the principall places, the hearts of their subiects (as being those from whome they have their principall good, even the happi∣nesse of their soules) to incite vppon everie conscience a gaynest their naturall Soveraigne at pleasure, and by a writte of Excommunication to svbdue, or at leastwise greatly to shake whom they list, without fighting a blow, without leavying a Souldier; & lastly, a Monarchie which as it was founded by meere witte, needeth not anie thing but meere witte to mainetaine it, which en∣richeth Page [unnumbered] it self without labouring, warreth without endan∣gering, rewardeth without spending, vsing Colledges to a great purpose, as others can fortresses, & working greater matters, partly by Schollers, partly by swarmes of Friars, than else they could ever doe by great garrisons & armies. And all these maintained at other mens charges, for to that rare poynt have they also proceeded, as not onely to have huge rents themselves out of other mens states, but to maintaine also their instruments out of other mens de∣votions, and to advance their favorites, vnder the faire pre∣tence of providing for Religion, to the verie principall preferments in forraine Princes Dominions. That no man need find it strange, if finding the revenew of skill and cunning to be great, and their force mightie, especially what they worke vpon simplicitie, and ignorance. They inclosed in times past all learning within the wals of their Cleargie, setting forth Ladie Ignorance for a great Saint to the Laitie, and shewing her vnto them for the true mo∣ther of Devotion. And assuredly, but for one great de∣fect in their pollicy, which was hard in regard of their owne particular ambition, but otherwise not impossible to be avoided; That they choose their Pope lightly verie old, and withall, without any restraint of all Families and Nations, whereby they are continually subiect to double change of government: The Successor seldome prose∣cuting his Antecessors devices, but eyther crossing them through envie, or abandoning them vpon new humour, it could not have been, but they must have long since beene absolute Lords of all: which defects notwithstanding (so strong was their pollicy by reason of the force of their Cardinall fonndation:) That no Prince, or Potentate e∣ver opposed against them, but in fine, even by his owne Subiects, they eyther maistered him, or vtterly brought him to good conformitie, by great losse and extreamitie, t•ll such time as in his latter age the bottom of the founda∣tion it selfe being stoutly discovered, hath given them a Page [unnumbered] sore blow, hath changed in great part the state of the que∣stion, and hath driven them to a re-inforcement of new in∣ventions and practises.
12 Howbeit those positions being the ground of their state, and the hope of their owne glory, in them they ad∣mit no shadow of alteration, but indevour still per fas & nefas, euen by all the meanes in the world to strengthen them, and (amongst their manifold adversaries) hate them most of all other, who have laboured most in stopping of that foundation. And seeing that by reason of this bookish age, they have not that helpe of ignorance which in times past they had, they cast about greatly to soake and settle them in mens perswasions and consciences by another way: They tell men, that the very gound whereon we build our perswasion of the truth of Christianity it self, are no other then credible: That the proofes of the Scripture to be the word of God can be no other at this day than probable, onely being impossible for any wit in the world to produce, exact, necessary, and infallible demonstrati∣ons: Eyther that the holy Apostle Saint Paule had his calling from above, or that those Epistles were of his writing, so likewise in the rest, and that the chiefe proofe that we have therof, is the testimony of the church, a thing which their very adversaries are forced to confesse. Now that this probable perswasion of the truth of Chri∣stianity doth afterward grow to an assurednesse therof, this issueth from an inward operation of Gods divine spirit, the gift whereof is faith; and that faith being a knowledge, not of bare science, but of beleefe, which searcheth not the particular necessitie of the veritie of things delivered, but relieth in generall vpon the approoved wisedome, truth and vertue of him that doth deliver it. Then surely, who∣soever will have necessarie proofe of the severall Ar∣ticles of Religion, doth but wittily deceive himselfe, and by over-curious indevour to chaunge his faith in∣to science, doth loose that which he seeketh to perfect: Page [unnumbered] If then without faith there is no possibly of Salvation, this surely must needes be the hie way to perdition. Now see∣ing christianitie to be a doctrine of faith, a doctrine where∣of all men, even children are capable, as being grosse, and to be beleeved in generall: The high vertue wherof •s in the humility of vnderstanding, and the merite in the rea∣dinesse of obedience to imbrace it (for these have beene alwaies the true owners of faith.) And seeing the outward proofes are no other than probable, and of all probable proofes, the Church testimonie is most probable: what madnesse were it for any man to tire out his soule, and to waste away his spirites, in tracing out all the thorhy paths of the controversies of these daies, wherein to erre is no lesse easie than dangerous, what through forgery abusing him, through Sophistrie transporting him, and not rather to betake himselfe to the right path of trueth, whereunto God and Nature, Reason and Experience doe all give wit∣nesse: and that is to associate himselfe to that Church, whereunto the custody of this heavenly and supernaturall trueth hath beene from heaven it selfe committed, to weigh discretely which is the true Church, and that bee∣ing once found, to receive faithfully and obediently with∣out doubt or discussion whatsoever it delivereth. Nowe concerning the first point some doubt might be made, if there were any Church Christian in the world to be shew∣ed which had continued from Christs time downe to this age, without change or interruption, this only excepted: But if all other have had their end or decay long since, or their beginning but of late, if theirs bee founded by the Prince of the Apostles, with promise by him, That hel gates should not prevaile against it, but that himselfe would be assisting to it, vntill the consummation of the world, which hath continued on, now to the end of a thousand sixe hundred and foure yeares, with an honourable and certaine line of two hundred and fortie Popes, all beeing Successours of Saint Peter; both Tyrants and Traitors, Page [unnumbered] both Pagans, and Heretiques, in vaine wrestling raging barking, and vndermining, if all the lawfull Councels that ever were in the world, being the general Senates of Gods officers and Ministers have from time to time approved, obeyed, and honored it; if God have so miraculous•y bles∣sed it from above, as that so many sage Doctors should in∣•ich it with their writings, such armies, yea millions of Saints with their holines, of Martires with their blood, of Virgins with their puritie, should sanctifie and seale it; if their Church have beene a ruine alwaies to them that op∣posed against her, a stay, repose, and advancement to all her followers; if even at this day in such difficulties of re∣bellions and revolts of her neerest children, yet she stret∣cheth out her armes to the vttermost corners the world, embracing whole Nations into her bosome; If lastly in all other opposite Churches whatsoever, ther be nothing to be found but inward dissention and contrarietie, chāge of opinions, vncertaintie of resolutions, robbing of chur∣ches, robellion against Governors, confusion of orders, nothing to be attended but mischefe, subversion, and de∣struction (which they have well deserved, and shall assu∣redly have) whereas contrary, in their Churches, the v∣nitie vndivided, the obedience vnforced, the resolvtions vnalterable, the most heavenly order reaching from the height of all power, to the very lowest of all subiection, with admirable harmonie, and vndefective correspondē∣cie, al tending to the same way, to the effecting of the same worke, did promise no other than continuance, increase, and victorie. Let no man d••bt to submit himselfe to this glorious spouse of God, •• whose head is the blessing of God, in whose hand is the power of God, vnder whose feet are the enemies of God, & to whom round about do service all the creatures of God. This then being accor∣ded to be the true Church of God, it followeth that shee be reverently obeyed in all things, without further inquifi∣tion, having this warrant, That whoso heareth her, hea∣eth Page [unnumbered] Christ, and whosoever heareth her not, hath no better place then a Publican or a Pagan. And what folly were it to receive the Scripture vpon the credit of her authority, and not to receive the interpretation also vpon her autho∣rity and credite? And if GOD should not protect his Church alwaies from error, and peremptorily command all men to obey her, then had hee made but slender provi∣sion for the Salvation of mankinde, to whome errour in matter of faith is certaine damnation; which conceipt of God (whose care of vs, even in all thinges touching this transitorie life, is so plaine and evident) were vngratefull and impious. And hard were the case, and meane had beene his regard of the vulgar people, whose wants and difficulties in this life will not permit; whose capacities will not suffice, to sound the deepe and hidden mysteries of divinity, to search out intricate controversies, if there were not other, whose authority they might rely on: Bles∣sed therfore are they which beleeve and have not seen, the ••erite of whose religious humilitie and obedience, doth exceede perhaps in honour and acceptation before God, the subtill and profound knowledge of many other. And lastly, if any man, either in regard of his vocation, or reason of his leasure, list to studie the controversies, let him take heede he come not with a doubtfull minde vnto thē, (for diffidence is as the sinne of rebellion) let him be stedfast in faith, let him submitt his owne reason to the Churches au∣thoritie, being the house of God, the pillar and ground of truth, let him be fast and immoveably built vppon that foundation, and let his end onely bee this; to furnish and arme himselfe in such sort, as to bee able to withstand and overthrow those heretiques, when, they shall at any time chose or chance to encounter, This is the maine course of of their perswading at this day, whereby they seeke to re∣establish that former foundation: In the vnfolding where∣of, I have beene the longer because triall hath taught mee that not by some mens private election, but as it should Page [unnumbered] seeme by common order▪ direction, or consent, they have relinquished all other courses, and doe hold them to this as the most effectuall meanes, by the way of perswasion to worke this designe. In considering whereof, there com∣meth to my minde, that diversity which a wise Philoso∣pher hath intimated in the wits of men; That some are of so sharpe, deepe, and strange discourse, that they yeelde not their assent vnto any thing vntill they have found out, either some proper demonstration for it, or some other certaine proofe whereon to ground it •suredly, Others are so shallow and weake in that faculty, that they feare al∣waies errour: and therefore doe more willingly accord to whatsoeuer some of account for wisdome doe bare∣ly affirme, then to any thing which this reason alone (which they suspect) inferreth. Now these latter excee∣ding the other, as farre in number, as in worthynesse and honour of nature, they are exceeded by them; the Romanist taking a course so fitting to the feeble and fearefull humour of this sort, do greatly sway with them, wheras if they meet with one of the former, of more tough constitution, that wil not be carried away with those plau∣sible declamations, nor yeeld his consent in grosse, with∣out particular examinations, they bestow smal cost on him as having small hope to prevaile: wherein I holde them wise in the rules of pollicy; that having found by certaine and vnfaileable experience, that the ignorance of the Laity was the cheefest and surest finewe of their greatnesse and glorie, they now beeing not able to keepe them longer in that blinde ignorance, doe cunningly endevour so to leade them out of the briars, as to enter them withall into a second kinde of ignorance; that beeing not con∣tent to see vtterly nothing, at leastwise they may bee perswaded to resigne vp their owne eye sight, and to looke through such spectacles as they temper for them.
13 This beeing the maine ground-worke of their pol∣licie, Page [unnumbered] and these the generall meanes to build and establish it in the mindes of all men, the particular waies they hold to ravish all mens affections, and to fit each humor, (their iurisdiction & power being but perswasive & voluntary) are wel nie infinit, there being not any thing, either sacred, or prophane, no vertue or vice almost, no things of how contrary conditions soever, which they make not, in some sort, to serve their turne; that each fancy may be satisfied, and each appetite finde what to feede on; whatsoever ey∣ther wealth can sway with the lovers, or voluntary poverty with the despisers of the world; what honour with the ambitious, what obedience with the humble, what great imployment with the stirring mettald spirits, what perpetuall quiet with heavy and restive bodies, what con∣tent the pleasant natures can take in pastimes and iol•ity∣what cōtrariwise, the austere mindes in discipline & rigor; what love, either chastity can raise in the pure, or volup∣tuousnesse in the dissolute; what alurements are in know∣ledge to draw the contemplative, or in actions of state, to possesse the practique dispositions; what prerogative of reward can worke with the hopefull; what terrors, doubts, and dangers with the fearefull; what change of vowes with the rash, of estate with the inconstant; what pardons with the faulty or supplies with the defective; what mira∣cles with the credulous, what visions with the fantasticall, what gorgeousnesse of shewes with the vulgar & simple, what multitude of ceremonies with the superstitious, what prayer with the devoute, what workes of pietie with the charitable, what rules of higher perfection with the elevated affections, what dispēcing with the breach of all rules with men of lawlesse conditions: In summe, what thing soever can prevaile with any man, either for himself to pursue, or at leastwise to love, reverence, or honour in another, (for therein also mans nature receiveth great satisfaction) the same is found with them, not as in other places of the world by casualty, blinded, without order, & Page [unnumbered] of necessitie; but sorted into great partes, into severall pro∣fessions, countenāced with the reputatiōn, honoured with prerogatives, & facilitated with provisions & yerely main tenance: and either as the better things advanced with ex pectation of rewards, or borne with, how bad soever, with silent tolleration, what pompe, what riot, to that of the Cardinalls,? what severity of li•e comparable to the Here∣mits and Cap•chi•s, who wealthier then their Prelates, who poorer by vow and profession, then their Mendi∣c ants; on the one side of the streete, a Cloister of Virgins, on the other a stye of Curtezans, with poblique permissi∣on: to day all in maskes, with all loosenesse and foollery, to morrow all in processions, whipping themselves till the blood follow: vpon one doore, an excommunication, throwing downe to hell all transgressours, on another, a iubilie or full discharge from all transgressions. Who more learned in all kinde of sciences then their Iesuites; who more ignorant then their ordinary Masse priests; what Prince so able to preferre his servants and followers as the Pope and in so great multitude; who able to take deeper or readier revenge of his enemies; what pride equall to his making Kings kisse his pantables, what humility grea∣ter then his shriving himselfe daily on his knees, to an or∣dinary Priest, who more difficult in giving dispach to the greater, who easier in giving audience to the meanest: where greater rigor in the world, in exacting the observa∣tion of the Church lawes; where lesse care and conscience of the commandements of God: To taste flesh on a Fri∣day where suspition might fasten, were a matter for the Inquisition: whereas on the other side, the Sunday is one of their greatest market dayes. To conclude, never govern∣ment, never state in the world so strongly compacted of infinite contrarieties, all tending to entertaine the severall humours of all men, and to worke what kind of effects soever they shall d•sire, where rigor and remissenesse, cru∣eltie and lenitie are so combined, that with neglect of Page [unnumbered] the Church to stirre ought, is a sinne vnpardonable, whereas with dutie towards the Church, by interces∣sion for her allowance, with respective attendance for her pleasure, no Lawe almost of God or Nature, so sacred, which one way or other, they finde not meanes to dispense with, or at least wise, permit the breach of, by connivence and without distur∣bance.
But to proceed to their more particular proiectes, and more mystical devises, for the perpetuating of their great∣nesse; there was never yet state so well built in the world, having his ground, as theirs hath, in the good wil of other and notwithstanding by his owne maine strength & pow∣er, that could longer vphold it selfe in flourishing reputa∣tion and prosperitie, then it could make it selfe necessarie to them by whom it subsisted. All callings of men, all degrees in common-wealthes, yea particular great perso∣nages, are then wayning in their greatnesse, when they de∣cay in their necessarinesse to them from whom they have it, which the Papacy nothing ignorant of, hath by secrete cunning, so deepely engaged and interessed from time to time, the greatest Monarches in Christendome, in the vp∣holding of his estate, that without the Papacy, sundrie of them have no hope, and some no title to continue in their Dominion. For (to omit things more apparant and in the eyes of all men,) they have pretended authority to ex∣communicate and depose them, to discharge subiects of all othes and bonds of obedience, to oblige them vnder paine of damnation to rise against them, to honour their murtherers with the title of Martyrs (for to that degree of extremity hath some of their sect growne.) The effect of which proceeding, some Princes have felt, and most have* feared, and few at this day list to put it to adventure: the tēpering with so vnlimited power of Princes mari•ges, by dispensing with degrees, by the law of God and the world forbidden, by loosing and knitting mariage, by devise at Page [unnumbered] pleasure; by legittimating vnlawfull and accursed is∣sue, and thereby advancing into Thrones of regali∣tie, oftentimes base, sundrie times adulterous, yea, sometimes incestuous, and perhaps, vnnaturall of springs dooth not Reason foretell, and hath not experience thought, that both the parties in such mariages, and much more their whole issue, are bound in as strong a bond to the vp-holding of the Popes infinite authoritie and power, as the honour of their birth, and the title of their Crowne are worth? It was a s•ely conceit in them which hoped that Queene Mary would not vphold the Popes authoritie in England, by reason of her promise when a greater bond to her, then her promise did presse her to it. What man ever in the world, stucke faster to his chosen friend, then the late King of Spayne Philip did to the Papacie? (notwithstanding with the Popes themselves, his often ielousies and quarrels) who ordai∣ned moreover, that all his heires and successours in the e∣state of the Low-countries, by vertue of his late transport, shall for ever vpon their entrie into those Seigniories, take an oth for the maintaining of the Papacie and that Religi∣on. Is not the reason apparant, that if the Papacy should quaile, his only sonne whosoever descend of him, is dishonured and made vncapable of those great E∣states and Kingdomes which now he holdeth, yea and a fire kindled in his owne house about the title to them? neither is it to be admitted into any conceit of reason, but that this young King will be as sure to the Papacy, as his father, being borne of a marriage prohibited by God, ab∣horred happily by Nature, disaproved by the world, and onely by papall authority made alowable. For (for my part I hold not that opinion vnprobable) that the marri∣age of Vncle and Ne•ce, (as it was in this case) was con∣trarie to the law of Nature, and not to Gods positive law∣onely, seeing the Vncle hath a second right and place of a father. But howsoever that point stand, wherin I dare Page [unnumbered] not affirme ought, it is creerely contrary to such a positive lawe of God, as the reason and cause thereof must needes continue vnto the dissolution of the world, or overthrow of mankinde. And therefore, in reason and law, no way agreeable or dispensable with, but by the same or higher authority, then that which first did make it: that the Pope neede not thinke that they do him so apparant wrong, who invest him with the title of that man of power, who sitting in the temple of God, exalteth himselfe above God. For what may it seeme else, bearing himselfe head of the Church, to take vpon him to councell, or authentically to alow of the breach of Gods law, without having his ex∣presse & precise commission for so doing: Though I am not ignorāt, that they have distinctions for all this, which were a merry matter, if Sophistry were a proper sciēce of sal vatiō. But by this & some other mariages, those strainge re∣lations of aliance have growne: that K. Philip (were he a∣live might call the Archd. Albert, both brother, cosen▪ ne∣phew & son; for all this were he vnto him, either by blood or affinitie, being vnkle to himselfe, cosen germain to his father, husbād to his sister, & father to his wife. & to come a step neerer home the same rule of Pollicy made me greatly feare (til now that god by death hath prevented the mis∣cheife) howsoever hitherto, what for feare of scādalizing, what for other respects the Pope made shew, not to be for∣ward to cōsēt to a intended mariage betwē a married K. & his Mistris, much lesse to legittimate the childre adulter∣ously begottē, by finding nullities on both sides in the for∣mer mariages things made of purpose, as he knoweth, to cloke a falshoode, that yet notwithstanding himselfe or his successours, would yeelde to it in the end, if any co∣lour in the world could be laid vpp on the matter, to salve the credite of his not erring Sea: And hee might see good hope for that race to prevaile, deriving the sucession also of his other greate Kingdome vp∣pon issue, whose tytle must holde vppon his legit∣timation Page [unnumbered] hee might be better assured of it, then he hath beene hitherto, and have them ever firme and irrecon∣cileable adversaries, to all those, whither subiects or neigh∣bours, or whosoever, as should oppose against his So∣veraigntie and vnstinted power. So searching and penetrant is that Sea, to strengthen it selfe more by the vnlawfull marriages of other men, that ever Prince yet coulde doe, by any lawfull marriage of his owne,
15 The dispencing with oathes, and discharging from them, especially in matters of treatie betweene Prin∣ces and Estates, is a thing so repugnant to all morall hone∣stie,* so iniurious to the quiet and peace of the world, so o∣dious in it selfe, so scandalous to all men, that it may be, they adventure not to play vpon that string in this curious age, so often as heretofore, for feare of discording all the rest of their harmony. Cleare it is, that heretofore this made them a necessarie helpe for all such Princes, as either vpon extreamity, were driven to enter into hard conditi∣ons, or vpon falshood and dishonesty, desired to take their advantage against their neighbours when it was offered: In which, Princes having no meanes to salve their credite with the world, but onely by iustifying the vnholinesse of the Art, by the Popes holy authoritie interposed in it, were afterwards tied firmely to adhere vnto them. And this was the cause that Francis the first of France, with whom (im∣mediately vpon his oath, given to Charles the fift, for per∣formance of the articles, accorded at his delivery (Clement the 7. dispenced, and by probable coniecture, had promi∣sed to dispence with his oath, before he had made it vpon hope whereof also he tooke it: the effect was for the Popes behoofe, that ever after there was strict love and amity betwen them testified finally to the world by that famous marriage betweene the sonne of the one, and the kinswo∣man of the other. And verily, though I hold in generall too much suspitiousnesse, as great a fault, and as great an Page [unnumbered] enimie to vvisedom, as too much Incredulitie (it doing of∣tentimes as great a vvrong to friends, as the other doth re∣ceive vvrongfull hurt from dissemblers:) yet vievving the short continuance of svvorne leagues at this day, the small reckoning that Princes make of oathes solemnly taken, vvhether to neighbours or subiectes; not faith but profit being the bond of aliance and amitie, which altering once, the other have no longer during: it maketh me think it not possible, that Popes vnlimited fingers may bee stirring e∣ven at this day more often in secret, in vntying those knots of the bonds of conscience then the world is ware of: at leastwise, that by authority and imitation of his example, Princes assume vnto themselves a like faculty of dispen∣cing with their own oaths, whensoever they can perswade themselves it is behooveful to their kingdome, as he when to his Church. But howsoever that standeth, this is verie apparant, that by this Doctrine and policy, the Popes op∣posices and enemies (especially the states and Princes of the reformed Religion) are inestimably preiudiced, being reduced hereby to a continuall vncertaintie and confusion in all their weightiest actions, counsels, and resolutions, there beeing a warrant for all men to breake league and oath with them, and no neede of particular dispensation from his holines. Their Church long since by her rules, and some of great reckoning amongst them, more lately by their writings have published & preached to al the world, that faith given to heretikes is not to be kept; that leagues with them are more honourable in their breaking, then in their making, denying that right vnto Princes of Christian profession, which Christians vnto Heathens, Heathens one to another, of how different religion soever; yea al hono∣rable princes vnto very traitors & rebels, have alwaies kept vnviolable. And finally, if father Parsons at his last cōming to Rome, pretending to make peace betwixt the E•glish scholers, & the Iesuits (who were charged with too much indirect dealing, & large imblessing) & set•ing downe cer∣taine Page [unnumbered] indifferent Articles betweene them to that purpose, whereby each part should be bound to desist impugning of the other, did by handling the matter with such convei∣ance and cunning, (imitating therein a rule of fast on the one side, & loose on the other, in the groūd of their order) as first to sweare the Scholers, to observe that which was their part, & after to leave the Iesuites vnsworne to theirs, to effect his secret & ambitious intent; & to the great grief of the Scholers, made the Iesuites their governours: what other account can be made of these leagues & peaces be∣twixt those of the Romane, & of the reformed religion, but that the one side being tyed by oath, & the other left free, (for so are they taught) they shall so far-forth have perfor∣mance & continuance, as shal be to the advancement and profit of that party which esteemeth it selfe at liberty, the sacred, the soveraigne instrumēt of all iustice amongst mē, what is it, what can it be in the world but an oath, beeing the strongest bound of cōscience? This is the end of strifes particular; this is the sodder of publike peace, & the sole assurance of amity betweene divers nations, which being made here below, is inrolled in his high Court, whose glo∣rious name doth signe it, who hath made no graunt of ac∣cesse to his celestial pallace, but to such as have sworn true, though it redound to their owne damage, yet swarve not from it; that nothing but mischiefe can be presaged to the world, in this age most wretched, wherin Pe•iuty hath vn∣dermined the tribunals of iudgement, which hath chased out true iustice out of the world, & left no place for a iust man where to stand against the craftie: But what may bee said when he that sitteth in the Temple of God, shall so far advance himselfe above God; as to dispence with oathes made sacred by the most holy & high name of God? when he that professeth himselfe sole vmpire & peace-maker of the world, shal cut in sunder those onely finewes that hold peace together? when the father of Princes shall cary him∣self with so wicked partiality, and cast (by dissolving of Page [unnumbered] oaths) affliction on the partie he hateth, and making the other perpetually obnoxious to him to worke his owne certaine advantage from both? and lastly, by making of that ancient bridle of the vniust, to be now an onely snare to intrap the innocent, and impose that blemish vpon Christianitie, which the Pagans in their naturall morality have abhorred?
I will not here omit one other great helpe, which casu∣alty rather then cunning may seeme to have wrought, it falling out often in the affairs of men, that where wisdome hath furnished out sundry aids & instruments, there some also do frame themselves (as it were by chance) resulting out of the concurrēce of diverse accidents with the former, as at this day the greatnesse of the house of Austia, exten∣ding it selfe well nigh to all quarters of Europe, and confi∣ning with many of the Popes principall adversaries, who having long since vpon the rich purchase which they had of the Indies, devoured in assured hope and conceit, the Monarchy of our Westerne world, and finding no fitter meanes to enlarge their temporall Dominions, than by concurring with the Pope, in restoring his spirituall, have linked themselves most fast with his Sea, and investing themselves voluntarily with an Office of their owne direction, have taken vpon them to be the executioners of his Excommunications, that having title from the Pope who giveth his enemies the foyle by distracting their owne Subiects from them, vpon feare of his curse: the rest they may supply out of their owne force and op∣portunities: having erected for this purpose that superpo∣litique and irrefragable order (as they count it) of the Ie∣suites, who couple in their perswasions, as one God, and one Faith; so one Pope also, and one King, bea∣ring the world in hand, and there is no other meanes in the world for the Church to stand, but by resting vpon this pillar, and by vniting in this sort all the forces of the Christians: this the onely meanes to vanquish the Arch∣enemy Page [unnumbered] of Christianitie, that the Italians may not brag to have beene the onely men, who have subdued the world vnto them by their wit, the Spaniards having prooved so good Schollers in their Schooles, that though they fol∣low them in their grounds of pretending the advance∣ment of Religion, and in their instruments of religious Orders, to practise mens minds with, yet in this they out∣goe them, that they vse the Popes weapons, lightnings and thunderings, and terrors for instruments of their owne greatnes, & his hope of reestablishing his spirituall reputa∣tion by them, to the immoderate increase of their secular power by him, that the Pope also himselfe must in the end be constrained to cast himselfe into their armes, and to re∣maine at their devotion, acknowledging him hencefor∣ward for his good Lord & Patron, whō he hath heretofore governed & commanded as his Son, a point which as some of the ministers of Spaine, in the height of their pride have not beene able to hold in, but have braved the assembly of Cardinals to their beards, that they hope ere long to see the day that their master should tender halfe a dozen to the Pope to be made Cardinals at once, wherof he should not dare to refuse to choose any one. And the Cardinals themselves should as little da•e to choose any other Pope then whom he named, so their too important pressing of the Pope in these latter times to serve all their ambitious and raging turnes▪ in the long preiudicing the libertie of the Conclave in their elections have given them good as∣surance, that they speak as they meane, that their brags are hopes & purposes, and these threatnings (being the natu∣rall fruits of the Spanish hautines & insolency, who in the pride of their Monarchie are growne now also to sweare by the life of their king) have extreamely perplexed some of the later Popes, and driven them to very extraordinary and desperate resolutiōs, which they have paid for de•rly, & in general, have made it enacted for a rule in that sea, not somuch to seeke the repairing of their forrein spiritual au∣thoritie Page [unnumbered] (if it cannot be done but by meanes of so huge in∣convenience) as to strengthen and make themselves great in their temporall estate at home, yet seeing Fraunce,, be∣yond all hope of Man re-vnited within it selfe, and likely to flourish as in his former prosperitie, whereby they shall be able to ballance these Monarchies, as to make that part the heavier, to which they shall propend (an auntient rule and continuall practise of that Sea) I should not greatly doubt, but that they will be contēt againe henceforward, so long as matters stand in the tearmes they doe, to enter∣taine that good correspōdencie with the house of Austria, as to serve them with their Excomunications, that they may be served by them with their Executions. The sweete∣nesse whereof, as the Spaniard hath long since tasted, in effect (having seazed on a Manor, by that onely pretence, and of late times in high cōceit and hope, trusting to have imbraced both Frannce & England by the same meanes) so I doubt not but that other braunch of the house of Au∣stria in Germany, which hath ingrossed, and in a manner •ntailed to their house, so many elective states; the Em∣pires, the kingdome of Bohemia with his dependāces, and of Hungarie, and were likely also of late to have added the Princedome of Transilvania, whensoever they should at∣t•ine quiet and securitie from the Turke, which hath no great vnlikelihood to be compassed in short time, woulde take the same course against the Protestants of Germany, having so many Prelates and o•b•rs there to assist them, (who by rooting the Protestants out of all their estates have prepared a good ground for such a future exploite) howsoever the Pope himselfe doth yet forbeare his thun∣ders, having learned by his losse else-where, that it argu∣eth in these actions, more courage than w••te, to make noise before the blowe be ready. Nowe, as these are the hopes of the house of Austria, for the enlarging of their e∣states, and molesting of their neighbors, so for the enter∣taining of perpetuall vnitie and love amongst themselves Page [unnumbered] they vse the grand preservative and helpe of marriage, the onely sure bond of amitie in the worlde. Insomuch, that by continuall inter-marrying amongest themselves, they remaine still as brethren all of one Familie, and as armes of the selfe same bodie: These take I to be the meanes whereby the Papacie hath assured so many of the greatest vnto it.
17 To descend from which, to those that are next to them in degree, as the nobilitie, and other persons of worth and qualitie▪ the Papacie is not vnprovided of his Instruments to worke vpon these also; shee hath her baits to allure them, her hookes to retaine them▪ I will not stād much vppon the benefite their confession dooth heerein yeelde them, whereby prying into the hearts and consci∣ences of all men, they attaine knowledge of the secretes, they sound the dispositions, they discover the humors of all the most respective and able persons, of what coun∣trey, or calling, place, or qualitie soever▪ A matter of sin∣gular consideration in the managing of affaires, of princi∣pall importance for the well guiding of Councelles: The ignorance whereof hath beene the cause of errour in the wisest deliberations, and of vncertaine successe in the most grounded resolutiōs: to omit the great wealth which they heape thereby, perswading their Penitents, especially in that onely houre of agony and extremitie, to rāsome their sins committed against God, by consecrating their goods vnto the Church of God, whereby they have prevailed in all places (so farre the Iesuites above all other, who are no∣ted and envied by other orders of friars, for ingrossing the commoditie of being rich mens Confessours, when good is to be done, with whome their prankes in that kind have beene so rare and memorable, that most states at this day have beene forced, by publique order, to limite the pro∣portion of that kinde of purchase) for in that case they can easily extenuate those other helpes of Indulgence, and of Requiems, and their priviledged Altars. And yet without Page [unnumbered] touch of the Popes omnipotencie: They count them but simple folks, that cannot vse their severall devises, without crossing one of the other, how contrarie soever. They can tell them, that it may be for want of contrition in thēselves those soveraigne pardons wanted a fitte Subiect to worke on; and so for other after-helps, the want of intention in the Priest may frustrate the Masse of the prerogative of vertue, whereby their soules may perhaps frie in Purgato∣rie, when their friends shall imagine they shine in Glory, that the onely sure way of having good, is doing good. And what good to bee done at his death, but by be∣stowing well of his goods? And where better bestowing them than vppon him that gave them? And to GOD they are given, when they are given vnto his Mini∣sters.
18 And heere I will no other than mention onely the* helpe which the choice of their Cardinalles doth yeelde herein, whom they choosing a great part of the most noble and potent families, that either voluntarily desire it, or otherwise can be induced to accept it, they both give good satisfaction to all forraine Nations, and especially holde Italie to them in speciall devotion, and strengthen themselves with the favor and support of those mens ki•∣reds, whom they have placed in the next steppe to the top of their glorie; yea, and oftentimes by meanes of these Car, dinals (their assured instruments) they insinuate them∣selves into the swaying of the gouernmēt of those estates, wherein, either by their Nobility, or other woorth, they beare authority; A pollicie of long vsag• and observed by many.
19 But Iewels are rare, and for few mens wearing▪ the multitude and diversity of men of spirit requireth also store and varietie of competent living and preferments to entertaine them with good content and corespondencie; a thing in all estates of very necessarie and chiefe regard, wherein, although the Papacie seeme at the first blush to Page [unnumbered] haue no furniture extraordinarie above other Princes, save only in one kinde, for men of Ecclesiasticall calling, by which he is able to advance men of learning incompara∣bly above any other Prince in the world, as having welnie all the Archbishopricks and Bishoprickes in Italie, with other Church-livings almost halfe the benefices in Spaine, very many Ecclesiasticall preferments of all sorts in other countries at his bestowing. And if wee looke into the vse and practise of these times, it will appeare, that even by Ecclesiasticall livings, he partly accommodateth, and part∣ly suffers to be accommodated, all professions and ages, though neither fitte nor verie capable of Ecclesiasticall or∣der, what by dispensations or tollerations to bee admini∣strators to Abbeys, Bishoprickes, and other benefices as is vsed in Fraunce. What (as in Italy and Spaine) by assigna∣tions of yearely pensions out of their revenewes, which beeing so great as they are, they may easily, and having hope of aspiring they may willingly beare: and most of this out of the dominions and territories of other Princes, and without any charging or impoverishing of his owne: A choyce and refined peece of high Quintessence of wit, which yet never State coulde distill out of their braines to aspire vnto, besides the Papacie. To let passe the infi∣nite number of Honours and Lyvings, what Ecclesiasti∣call, what subordinate, and ministeriall to them, and what also in part temporall as belonging to the Knights of the holy Orders, which are many. All which, although not directly in his owne donation, yet in that they have their right, either grounded, or greatly favoured and con∣tinued by his religion: And in decay of that (as experience hath shewed) were likelie to quaile, are strong proppes to the vpholding of the Papacie▪ arming so many tongues and hands in the defence therof, as either are, or have hope to be advanced by it, each drawing his friends and follo∣wers with him. A sweete enchanter and deceiver of men, is the hope of honour and worldly profite, which lulling Page [unnumbered] oft even in the better sort) the conscience asleepe, doth a∣waken withall, and sharpen the wit, to find out arguments for the prooving of that cōclusion, which affection before hath framed, and by custome continueth, & ingendreth in them a perswasion that they have done well, in that which at the first, their own knowledge could say otherwise; how powerfully them may it sway with that other sort of men, whose belly being their god, make their appetite their sole Religion? which if the experience of former times hath not sufficiently affirmed, it were to bee wished perhaps, that more fresh proofe might have beene given thereof once againe in this kingdome of France▪ where some of the wi∣sest and chiefe have thought, that if the King hath accorded to the Cleargies late supplication, to bestowe Church-li∣vings vpon fit men, and only of Ecclesiasticall calling, Those Princes & Peeres, which n•w in regard of that par∣ticular commoditie which they reape from the Church in termes as it standeth, would have vnsheathed their swords in defence thereof, would soone have turned themselves another way, to the vtter razing of it, that they might sa∣tisfie their greedinesse with the spoile of that state, whose pay they could no longer have.
20 But for the Cleargie themselves, who are in al places vnder the Papacie, great in number and power, they are most firmely assured to that Sea, what by the multitude of exemptions and prerogatives above the temporalty, which vnder the Popes protection they securely inioy, vvhat vvith expecting no other then vtter sacking & •uine, if the opposites of the Popes should happen to prevaile, so discreet & violent have bin their car•iage in most places, vvhere they have bin able, eitheir to bring or to pull in their reformation: yea herein also it hath be•alne, as in some other things, that not only casual, b•• evē more crosse accidents have redounded to the Popes great advantage & benefit. The part vvhich in this age hath ••• raised against▪ having wrought this affect, to •••• the rest more firme, Page [unnumbered] more serviceable, & more zealous towards him, insomuch whereas in France he was smally regarded of any, but stomaked at by the Princes, impeached, abridged, & ap∣pealed from, by the Prelates; and lastly, either despised or neglected by the people, the hatred and rancor conceived against his enemies with eagrenesse of oppositiō, kindling, and having long continuance therein, hath strongly settled and produced effects of cleane contrarie nature; the Prin∣ces have ioyned in holie league, for the vpholding of him, the people with all furie have raged, have fought against, have murdered and massacred his opposites in all places, and the cleargie of Fraunce, which heretofore withstoode him in many Councels, doth now call maynly for his Coū∣cell of Trent to bee admitted A Councell of all other most partiall vnto him, & carried by him with such infinit guile, and craft, without any sinceritie, vpright dealing, or truth, as that thēselves will even smile in the triumphes of their owne wittes, (when they heare it but mentioned) as at a master Stratageme. Yea, so strongly hath this oppositi∣on fastened his Cleargie vnto him, that the name of a Ge∣nerall Councel is now the most plausible, which in former time was the most fearefull thing to him in the world, and wherevnto hee was never brought with any better good will, then an olde bitten Beare is drawne to the stake to be bayted, by his enemies, who dare tugge him in company, at whom in single they scarce durst barke: so powerfull is the nature of all opposition to increase de∣spight and hatred against the enemie, and to make friends, especially those that are interessed in the same cause, to cleave more close together. Yea rather, so wise is the ever admirable Creator, even in all his workes, of what nature so ever, as to temper the very accidents in the life of man, with such proportion and counterpoise, that no prosperity without his inconvenience, no adversitie without his com∣fort, to chase out of mans life security and dispaire, the on∣ly enimies of all vertuous & honest courses. To each thing Page [unnumbered] hath the goodnesse of that Architect imparted a peculiar badge of honour, that nothing should be dispiseable in the eies of other▪ the prince in maiesty & soveraignty of pow∣er, the nobility in wisdome & dominative vertue, togither with the instruments therof, as riches, reputation, allies, and followers, & the people in their multitude are respectable and honorable, which multitude being of so great conse∣quence in matter of state, the policy of the papacy hath not neglected, but provided both reasonable intertainment for them, and fit means also to practise and work vpon them: here commeth in those heaps of their religious orders, and that multitude of Friars which abound in all places, but wherwith Italy above all doth swarme. A race of people in former times honorable in their holines, now for the most part contemptible in their wickednes and misery; alwaies praying, but seldome with signe of devotion; vowing o∣bedience, but stil contentious, chastity, yet most luxurious; poverty, yet every where scraping and covetous: which I speak not of thē all, there being many among them of sin∣gular piety & devotion in their way, but a very smal part as they generally reported where ever I have come. But to re∣turne to the aid which the Papacy do reape from them, the onely▪ contentfull care that the ordinary sort of men have in this world, is for the providing for their childrē, to leave them in good estate, & not inferior, but rather above their ancestors, which those that have many, not being able to performe, for all it is a great ease to them (and such an ease as even Princes & great Peeres themselves sometimes dis∣daine not, but are rather glad of) to discharge their hands of some of them, especially of such as by disgrace, or by defect of nature, are eyther more backward, or lesse lovely then other, at an easie and small ra•e, and yet with honorable pretence, namely by consecrating them wholy to the service of the Creator, and providing higher place for them in his celestiall Kingdome. For such is their opinions of these orders of religious and Angelical Page [unnumbered] perfection as they vsually stile them. The Friers also them∣selves, having names given them by their governors, each according to his merits, importing no lesse, and as they in∣crease in their holinesse, so proceeding in their titles, from Padre benedicto, to Padre Angelo, then Archangelo▪ Cheru∣bino; and lastly Cerephino, which is the top of perfection: but for their owne high conceit of their perfection and merits this example may serve. I have heard one of their most renowmed C•puchines for zeale, sanctitie, and lear∣ning, preaching in a principall place before the Bishop, in sharpe reproofe of their forsaken crew of blasphemous gamesters, pray solemnly to God (though acknowledging himselfe first in humilitie a great sinner) by his merits, and discipline, by the teares which his eyes had often shed, by those many sharpe voyages, which for the love of God he had made, by that chasticement which he had often given himselfe, because they did grieve (animam pauperis which was himselfe) that if there were any, not∣withstanding his admonitions, which should still persist in that wicked gamestry, he would strike them ere that day twelvemonth with some markeable punishment. The same man at an other time in an extacie of charitie, calling God, all his Angels, and Saints to witnesse it, to strip himselfe of all his merits, there before the little Cru∣cifix, embracing, and kissing it, and to pray it to re∣ward them, vpon his dearely beloved Auditorie, for whose sakes hee was contented also to bee reputed the greatest sinner of all the assemblie: Such being their per∣fection then in desiring it, must needes issue of an ho∣nourable affection. Now although Italy being a thir∣stie Manager doth in his heart greatly repine at a custome which their Nunneries have of late brought vp, being indeed constrained to it by the excessive multitude, which in the former respect are thrust vpon them) which is, not receive any gentleman or marchants daugh∣ter, without the dowry of 200, crownes at least, Page [unnumbered] and fifteen or twentie crownes yeerly pension during her life, and ten yeerly rent to their house for ever. Neither ad∣mit they of any mans daughter without some crowns al∣so in name of a dowrie at their spirituall mariage to God, and those shalbe but seruing Nunnes to the former. Yet finding two charges, this is farre the easier, they are con∣tent to swallow downe that, which by champing on the bit, they can not remedy. But the orders of religious men bring them an other ease also: It disburtheneth their coū∣try of an infinite number of discontented humors, and dis∣pairing passions, whosoever in his deerest loves hath proo∣ved vnfortunate, whosoever cannot prosper in some other profession which he hath beene set to, whomsoever some notable disgrace or other crosse in estate hath ber•aved of all hope of ever rising in this world, whosoever by his mis∣cariage hath purchased so many enemies, as that nothing but his bloud can yeeld satisfaction to their malice▪ All these, and many others reduced to like anguish of minde, and distresse, or otherwise howsoever out of taste with the world, have this haven of content alwaies open to flie to, when they can find no other place of repose to stand in: then resolve they to go Friars (as they phrase it) yea who∣soever by his monstrous blasphemy or other like villany hath deserved all the tortures and deaths in the world, if (before the hand of Iustice lay hold vpon him) he volun∣tarily professe himselfe a Cap••hine or Hermite, or of such like strict order, the Pope forbiddeth any further pursuit▪ as thinking his voluntary perpetuall penance sufficient. And in this maner is the greatest sort of their gentry Capuchins, for so are the most of the order by birth. Neither is this re∣ligious life (save in some very few Orders) so severed from the world and the commoditie thereof, but that it enioy∣eth as many contentments as a moderate mind need wish & moderate affections can find means also to satisfy them selves at pleasure: In summe, they are rather discharged of the toil•s and cares, than debarred of the comforts and so∣lace Page [unnumbered] of this life. Neither is there almost so meane a Fria• a∣mong them, that hath not some hope to be Prior of his covent, and then perhaps of that resort or province, and lastly, not impossible that his good fortune may so ac∣company his merits, as to attaine to be the Generall of all his Order. And the Generals are as likely to be made Car∣dinals as any men. And finally, sundrie of them within the memorie of man, have beene advanced from the pre∣heminences of the Cardinals dignitie, to the soveraigntie of papall glorie.
Hope is a sweet and firme conpanion of man, it is the last thing that leaveth him, and the highest things it pro∣miseth him, it maketh all toiles supportable, all difficul∣ties conquerable. Now the multitude of these Orders, and good provision for them being so great an ease to all sorts of men in their private estates, as they generally account it: It must needs be a great bond of their affection vnto the Papacie, vnder which they enioy it, as by whom a∣lone those Orders are protected, and whom his adversa∣ries do seeke vtterly to exterminate & ruine. I shall speake little of the particular persons that enter into those Orders who draw thereby their whole race the more to fa∣vour, that way (which in so infinite a number of them must needs be of great moment.) Against this might be obiected with great reason, the inestimable damage which the publike do therby receive, as in Italy for example, per∣haps halfe of the land in many places therof, and general∣ly a full third, besides their other vailes, being appropria∣ted to this sort of people, and other persons ecelesiasticall, yea and of the people themselves, perhaps a quarter of a million at least in that one Countrey, having withdrawne themselves thereby from all service of Prince, or people, or Countrey, and confined themselves to their Cloysters life, living onely vpon the honie, which the toyling Bee doth gather, with perhappes an other quarter of a million of an other sect (I may erre in both numbers, Page [unnumbered] but I ayme as neere the trueth as by coniecture I can, pro∣portioning the places where I have not beene with those where I have beene) who have abandoned themselves to another trade as idle, but more wicked, devouring with mens goodes, their bodies and soules at once, which may be the cause that that countrey (though as populous as it can well beare, yet commeth manifold waies short of that strength which in former times it hath had, either for de∣fence of it selfe, or offence of his neighbors; yet notwith∣standing these are Theoremes which few list to speculate. The whole worlde running mainely to things sensible and present, and to that which profiteth them in their owne particular, though it bringeth with it a certaine hurt and finall ruine of the publique, without the safetie where of to them that iudge things rightly, neither any particular e∣state can prosper, nor the most prosperous estate conti∣nue long.
22 But the benefite which the Papacie doth draw from these Friars consisteth in this point, accommodating and yeelding content. It stands in the multitude of harts, of tungues, and pennes (dispersed in all countries, but vnited in his service) of men of most furie, and furious zeale, who with incessant industry and resolutenes incre∣dible, give over no travell, leave no exploit so difficult or desperate vnattempted for the vphoulding of the Papacie, and advancing of that religion. On which all their com∣fort and credite in this life, all their hope of prerogative in the life to come dependeth, beeing of the other side estee∣med for the most lowsie companions, the most vnprofita∣ble droanes, the most devouring locusts, the most repro∣bate, ignoble, ignominious, and wicked race, that ever the world was pestred with; in summe, more vile than the very mire they tread on. There was never yet state so wel plot∣ted in this world, or furnisht with such store of instrumēts to imploy in his service, as to be able to practise & perswade with the multitude (otherwise than in their publike assem∣blies, Page [unnumbered] or other meetings) the Papacy onely excepted, who by reason of the infinitenesse of these religious people, all made out of other folkes stuffe, and maintained at o∣ther folkes charge, is able, and dooth deale in publique and private, as occasion requireth with men, women, & children, of how meane estate soever, instructing, exhor∣ting, confirming, adiuring and kindling them in such sort, as maketh fittest for their dri•e: & for the end propo∣sed, though there is difference in force of operation, be∣tweene private perswations, and those publique preach∣ings, where the hear•rs, according to the vse of mans nature, neglect that in particular, which is commen∣ded to their regard in common, though easie to con∣ceive; yet they onely can sufficiently perhaps esteeme who have seene a Friar, an abandon of the world, a man wholy rapt with divine affections and extasies, his apparrell de∣nouncing all earthly vanities, his countenance preaching severitie, penance, and discipline, breathing nothing but sighes for the hatred of sinne, his eyes lifted vpwards, as fixed on his loyes, his head bowed one the one side, with tendernesse of love and humility, extending his ready hands to lay hold on men• soules▪ to snatch them out of the fiery lawes of that gaping blacke Dragon, and to place them in the path that conducteth to Paradice. When such a man▪ I say, shall addresse himse••e to a woman (whose sex hath beene famous ever for devotion and credulousnesse) or to any other vulgar person, of what sort soever, perswa∣ding and beseeching with all plausible motions of rea∣son, yea with sighe• of feare, and teares of love, instanting and importuning no other thing at their hands, then onely this, to be content to suffer God to save their soules, and to receive them vnto everlasting happinesse, which they shall certainly attaine by rancking themselves with the heavenly armies of God, (that is) by ioyning themselves to the Church of Christ, and his Vicar, And this againe and againe, are sundry times teached Page [unnumbered] and pursued with shew of incredible care of their good, without seeking other meede or commoditie to himselfe, save only of being the instrument of a soules salvation. Is it to be marvelled, if such a man be received as an An∣gell of God, sent expresly for their salvations, to whom he commeth, though he prevaile and possesse them in such forcible sort, as that no accesse remaine for any contrarie perswasion; that nothing so violent which they will not attempt, nothing so deere, which they will not bestowe for the advancement of that Church, by which themselves hope finally to bee so highly exalted? And although all Friars (being of so divers mettall) are not able to play their parts so naturally, and with such perfection as some that I have seene, yet beeing trained vp in the same schoole, they all hold one course: and certainely by their dealing with men at single hand in private by particular applyed per∣swasions, (which though they vse not continually▪ yet doe they not neglect it whensoever • oportunity doth re∣quire. They prevaile as (experience doth daily shew) ex∣ceedingly.
23 What now may I say of their readinesse to vnder∣take,* and resolutenesse to execute? what act how dange∣rous and desperate soever, that may tend to the advance∣ment of their side and order. I need not seeke farre backe, nor farre off for examples. The late Henry of France, slaine traiterously by a Iacobin, & this King wounded by a Schol∣ler of the Iesuites, the one for want of zeale only in their violent courses, the other as misdoubted of sinceritie in his conversion, may shew what measure their professed ene∣mies were to attend, if they could have as open and ready accesse vnto them. Againe, this King went in danger of his life, a long while sought by a Cap••chin, having vnder∣taken it (as it was said) at the instigation of certaine Iesu∣ites of Lorreine, to dispatch him, whose picture being brought to Paris by the Marquise Du Pont, search was made for him, and at length he was taken, and executed, Page [unnumbered] together with another Iacobine for the same crime. And vvhat may it be thought these men vvould not do, being commanded by their Generals, vvhom they have vovved to obey? And in the Popes necessarie service, and vvith his expressed desire, vvho are carried vvith so desperate rage and furie against vvhatsoever impediments their bare con∣ceits, vvithout vvarrant of higher authority present vnto them, and is in violent attempts to be executed by them∣selves: they are men resolved, and hardly, as having no po∣sterity to be oppressed by their ruine, (which of all other things doth most containe men in duetie,) So in exciting the multitude of sedition or tumult in favor of their cause, and of their Catholike religion, they are as sedulous and secret, vsing opportunitie of confession to practise the vulgar, with annexing such conditions to the absolutions they give them, as the turne they intend to serve, requi∣reth. A point very memorable, in weighing the manifold fruites which at this day that Sacrament beareth for the Papacie, as hath beene discovered at Paris that certaine Confessours, having taken a solemne promise of their pe∣nitents, that they would live and die in the Catholike reli∣gion, yea and die for it also, if neede shall require, have enioyed them therevpon, to oppose by all meanes a∣gainst the verefying of the Kings Edictes for the Protes∣tants. Soone after ensued a generall rumour and terrour of new massacres, though vpon no ground that I can learne.*
24 But amongst many other points to bee regarded in these Friars, the very multitude it selfe seemeth to mee to be one, not of the least confederation, if the Papacy being reduced to any termes of extreamity, should resolve to put them in armes for their finall refuge and succour. The Franciscans alone in the time of Sixtus Quintus, their fellowe and Father, are said to have beene found by survey to bee thirtie thousand. the Capuchins, a late branch of them, doe vaunt to be eight thousand at this present. The Dominicans strive in competency with the FranciscansPage [unnumbered] in all things. The Iesuites being great statists, are withall, exceeding rich, and many: but for the greedinesse of wealth, and rare practises to get it, infamous in all places. The Garmelitanes and Augustines, have their hives in every garden, and everywhere swarme. The other orders of Friars and Monkes, being exceeding many, complaine not of paucity in their severall professions. In some other Countries they are sowen, but Italy is thicke strowed with this kind of people, whose number perhaps in the whole, may passe a million of men, of the which, one halfe at the least, eyther are, or would grow to be of lusty able bodies not vnfit to be soone imployed in any warlike service: if the Pope having played away the rest of his pollicies, were brought to his last hand, to set vp his rest vpon those men, what should hinder him from raising huge armies of them in all places? their course of life, perhaps their vowes and profession, whereof himselfe hath the key to locke and o∣pen at pleasure may breed vnwillingnesse of minde, or backwardnesse of such actions, which canot be imagi∣ned to them that know their eagernesse of spirit, and con∣sider withall, their standing with his estate, and falling with his ruine. Then for their vnaptnesse and vndisposition of bodie, their fasting, watching, lving on the ground, endu∣ring cold, exact keeping of orders and obedience to their commanders, ought to make them fit to all military dis∣cipline. Then for the difficultie of assembling them in such case together. Heere needs must I speake of the ex∣actnesse of their order and government, being such as needeth not yeelde to any. I know to that purpose, each order hath his Generall residing at Rome, for the most part, to advise with the Pope, and to receive his di∣rection from him, which being men of great reputation & power, are chosen though in shew indifferently by all the Maisters, that is, Doctors of their order whatsoever: yet in election it is so finely and cunningly contrived, that the voices of Italy are farre predominant, even as in the e∣lection Page [unnumbered] of the Pope, the Italian Cardinals; so in their moderne generall counsels, the Italian Bishops doe farre exceed all the rest of Christendome; that so the safetie of the papall sea, & the greatnesse of Rome, may rest assured.
These Generals have vnder them their Provincials as Lieutenants in every province or state in Christendome. The Provincials have vnder them the severall Priors of co∣vents. And those their companies. A commandement dis∣patcht away from the Generall, passeth roundly by the Provincials to the Priors with all speed, being received by the inferiours, they addresse themselves to the perfor∣mance; yea though it commaund them a voyage to Chi∣na or Peru, without dispute or delay they readily set for∣ward. To argue or debate on their superiors Mandates, were presumption, proud curiosity to search their reasons; to detract or disobey them, breach of vow, equall to sacri∣ledge; So that as in a well disciplined army, the Generall guiding, the Souldiers follow; he commaunding, they obey, without further delay or question: So those have no other care than to performe with dexterity, what Man∣date soever their General in the plenitude of his authoritie shall addresse to them. This order, this diligence, this secrecie, this obedience, in a people that may wander without suspicion in all places, and find good reliefe & aid in their passage, wil answere the former obiection. To add the good grace wherin they are generally with the vulgar, the meanes which they have to provide all things necessa∣rie with their repositories of Reliques and silver Images, what with Church-place and treasure, wherein some of them are exceedingly rich, and daily increase, vnlesse the world should with generall consent bend against them, it may be (if the times should inforce such imployment) they should be able (being associated with such friendes as they should find) to make a very strong part in all pla∣ces for the Pope, especially considering that these forces should be then raised out of their enemies countries, and Page [unnumbered] so weaken them, as bloud drawne out of their owne bo∣dies. And that no man may deceive himselfe with that er∣rour: That in these professors of peace, there is no humor of warre, that minds wholy possessed with sweet contem∣plations, can imbrace no thought of bloody resolutions: let him but a little dive into the late French troubles, he shall finde that the militarie companions of the leaguers, were oftentimes even stuffed with Priests and Friars, tall men and resolute, he shall find that of these people, there have served (what in field, what in garrison) at one time, sufficient to have made a great army of themselves onely. He shall find, that at Orleance, a Capuchin being expresly sent to that purpose by his Prior, went vp and downe the streets with a woodden crosse, crying, come forth good Christian, destroy the enemies of the Crosse of thy Savi∣our: and therewithall put to the sword at sundrie times, sixe score of the reformed religion, vntill he left none re∣maining. Lastly, he may vnderstand, that more lately in Paris, some of them in their sermons have incited (not obscurely) to a new massacre, complaining that the bo∣die of the Realme is sorely diseased, being surcharged with corrupt humors, as not having beene let bloud this five and twentie yeares, as it ought. To conclude, I conceive this force of Friars, to be so great, (what in regard of their very multitude, what by reason of their deadly rage a∣gainst their opposites) that it would be hard for any state to bring in the reformed religion, without discharging it first of this difficultie and burthen. In Germany the first re∣formers of religion in this age, were friars themselves, who being men of great marke and reckoning amongst their owne, drew their Covents and other troops of their Or∣der with them, and thereby set the rest in such amaze∣ments, that the Pope grew into a generall great iealousie of them all, doubting their vniversall revolt from his obe∣dience. In England they were with great policy and pra∣ctise dissolved, bofore any innovation in religion was mē∣tioned, Page [unnumbered] wheras to have done both together, had been per∣haps impossible. But first cleare preventing them of pre∣tence of religion, & after finding their religion cleare strip∣ped of that Patronage, they were more quietly minded, and this more quietly reformed. In France this king vpon that outrage against his person, smoked the Iesuits out of his nest, in most parts of his kingdom. If he had done the like to the Dominicās, (a most potent & florishing order in Spaine above all other) in revenge of the murder of Henry the 3. his predecessor, or if he would or could do it now to them, and to the Capuchins, (who at this day next to the Iesuits, are of greatest renowne) in punishmēt of their late practise, so fortnately discovered, & so chastice the schools alwaies, whē he took their schollers in so enormeous falts, there were great hope for the reformed religion in time to prevail, which is now preiudiced & persecuted by these Friars, that hardly can it keepe foot on the ground it hath. Thus much of the strength which these religious orders do yeeld the Papacie.
25 To this may be added the like invention of spirituall* fraternities & companies, perhaps equaling, yea exceeding n nūber the very orders of Friars: in which▪ vnder the pro∣tection, & in honor of some saint, or of any other holy man or religious Minister, & oftentimes annexing thēselves to some of the orders of friars, the lay people of al sorts, both men & women, both single and maried, do inrole them∣selves into one or more of these societies, approaching so much neerer to the state of the cleargy, vnto which sundry of thē are no other then annexaries & appurtenāces, wher∣by, as they tie thēselves to the orders of them, cosisting in certain extraordinary devotions & professiōs, bearing also certain times som badge of their company: so are they made partakers of al such spiritual prerogatives, either by partner∣ship with other Churches merits, or intrest in sundry Indul∣gences, some halfe plenary, some whole, some for the time past, some before hand for sundry years to come, & chief∣ly Page [unnumbered] for the avoiding or speedy dispatch out of purgatory, as the Pope or his predecessors, for the incouragement & comfort of the Christian people in their devotion & cha∣rity, have thought good to grant vnto them. These frater∣nities are not yet growne into any great request in other* places, howbeit in Italie they have so multiplied, that few (especially of that vulgar and middle sort of men, who af∣fect any reputation of devotion) but have entred into some one of them, and sundry into many; the assurāce of whom vnto Papacie, must needs be doubled, since love groweth according to the proportion of hope.
26 Now come I to the last ranke of the Roman pollicies, aranged against their professed & feared enemies, whereby they do seeke to re-enter where they have beene disrooted and practise as well for the wasting away of their opposits where they are, as for shutting them & their doctrine out, where yet they have not beene. I will not heere exemplifie vpon things manifest and ordinary, being high waies, so plaine that a guide were needlesse; their persecutions, con∣fiscations, tortures, burnings, secret murthers, generall mas∣sacres, exciting of inward seditions & outward hostility a∣gainst their adversaries, their oppressing & debasing of thē where themselves are the stronger, are things whereof they were none of the inventors, though perhaps the cō∣mēdation of the exact refining of them, of straining thē to their highest note, of sedulitie & perseverance, putting thē in execution, may be more due & proper to them then to any other; neither yet will I meddle greatly with their Art of slandering their opposites, o• disgracing their persons, misreporting their actions, falsifying their doctrine & po∣sitiōs, (things wherwith their pulpits do daily sound & their writings swell againe.) But they are not the first, neither, that have run this blacke course, no more then the former red: others have done it before them, ye the buying of mēs cōsciences, by proposing reward to such as shall relinquish the protestant religion & turne to theirs, as in AusbariePage [unnumbered] where they say there is a knowne price for it, of ten flo∣rence a yeare. In France, where the Clergie have made cō∣tributions for the maintenance of runnagate Ministers, is a devise also ••esh & of easie conceit. I will rather insist vp∣pon their inventions lesse trivial, and more worthy to be regarded. A wonderfull thing it is to consider the great diversitie of humours or tempers of minde, which this age hath produced in this one point wee speake of, touching the meanes of growing onward vpon the adversarie part.* A sort of men there liveth in the world at this day whose leaders (whether vpon extreamity of hatred toward the Church of Rome, or vpon selfe-liking and singularitie to value their owne wittes and devises) did cut out in such sort, their reformation of religion, as not onely in all out∣ward religious services & ceremonies, in governement, & Church discipline, they doe strive to be as vnlike the Papacie as is possible: but even in very lawfull polli∣cies, for the advancing of their part, doe disdaine to seeme to bee imitators to them, whom they so much abhorred, much like stowt •arted, selfe-witted Captaine, who scornes to imitate any stratageme before vsed by the enemie, though the putting of it in exploit, might give him assured victorie: Neither doe these mens* schollers, as yet one whit degenerate, yea perhaps that dis∣ease (if I may so censure it) hath tainted, in some degree, all the protestant party, who never could finde the meanes in all this age, to assemble a generall Counsell of all their side for the composing of their differences, and setting or∣der in their proceedings, for want I must confesse of some oportunities, but of a great deale of zeale also in their governors, (as to mee it seemeth:) neither yet have they in any one of all their Dominions, erected any colledge of more contemplative persons, to confront and oppose a∣gainst the Iesuites, but have left this weighty burthen of clering the controversies, of perfecting the sciences, of an∣swering the adversaries writings, (of exceeding huge tra∣vel) Page [unnumbered] either vpon their ordinary Ministers to be performed at times of leisure from their office of preaching, (& then is it done accordingly) or vpon such as in Vniversities, ha∣ving some larger scope, shall willingly and of their owne accord vndertake it for sometimes: whereas on the con∣trarie side, the Papacie seemeth to me, very diligently and attentively to have considered and weyed, by what means chiefly their adverse part hath growne so fast, beyond ei∣ther their owne expectation, or the feare of their enemies, as in lesse then an age to have won perhaps the moity of their Empire from them. And those very means, thēselves have resolved hence-forwards to appy, in strong practise on their side also, that so, as by a countermine, they may either blow vp the mindes of their adversaries, or at least∣wise give them a stop from any further proceeding, like a politike Generall, who holdeth it the greatest wisdome to out-goe his enemies in their owne devices, & the greatest valour to beate him at his owne weapons. I will not here presume to presse in with my determination vpon this great difference and question, although it seeme to mee, to be no other then a plaine quarrell, betweene stomacke, and discretion: A small deale of wisdom, me thinke, might decide it, especially considering that all good things are frō God, though they be found in his very enemy: & what∣soever is not vniust (being vsed in a good cause) is good.
27 The first and chiefe meanes, wherby the reformers of Religion prevaile in all places, was their singular assidu∣itie* & dexteritie in preaching, especially in great cities, & Palaces of Princes, whereby the people (beeing ravished with the love & admiration of that light which so brightly shined vnto thē, as mē with the Sun, who are newly drawn* frō dungeon) readily followed those who caried so faire a lamp before them. Hereto may be added their publishing of treatises of vertue, of piety, of spirituall exercises & de∣votions, which ingendred a firme perswasion in the minds of men; that the soile must be sound, & good, from whence Page [unnumbered] so sweet, wholesome, and heavenly fruites proceed. Now although the opinions of the Papacy, and of a great part of the reformed religion be as opposite herein, wel-nie as hot and cold, as light and darknes; the one approving no devo∣tion severed from vnderstanding, the other thinking the vnderstanding to be a means, rather to divert & dazle the devotion, then to direct and cherish it. And for preaching in like sort, the French Protestants making it an essential & chiefe part of the service of God, whereas the Romanists make the Masse only a worke of duty, & the going to Ser∣mons but a matter of conveniency, & such as is left free to mens leasures & oportunities, without imputation of sin: yet in regard of the great sway (which they have learned by their losse) that those cary, in drawing of mens minds & affections, they have indevoured in all places in both those kinds, to equal, yea & to surmount their adversaries. For al∣though in multitud of preachers they greatly come short, (being an exercise wherein the secular priests list not to distemper their braines much, but commend it in a maner wholy to their regulars & friars) & these (thinking the cun∣trey capacities to blockish, or otherwise not worth bestow ing so great cost on (do imploy thēselves wholy in cities & other places of great resort, all which they have great care to have cōpetently furnished: yet in the choyce of them whom they send out to preach, in the diligence & paines which they take in their Sermons, in the ornaments of elo∣quence & grace of action, in their shew of piety & reverēce towards God, of zeal towards the truth, of love towardes his people, which even with their tears they can often tes∣tifie, they match their adversaries in the best, & in the rest far exceed them. But herein the Iesuits cary the bel frō all other, having attained the cōmendations. & working the effect of perfect orators: And of those besids, certain drawn yearly by lot frō their general residing at Rome: their choise preachers are sent abroad amongst Infidels & heretiks; at Lent in especial they are sent out, one in each city in ItalyPage [unnumbered] with yearly charge, and the custom of Italie is for the same mā to preach every day in the lent without intermission (if their strength do serve them) so as sixe daies in the weeke to preach on the Gospel of the dayes, and on the S•terday in honor & praise of our Lady: so in every yearely change there is the delight of variety, & in the daily continuing of the same, the admiration of industry. Some such like course it is to be thought, that the Iesuites hold also in other Coū∣tries, their proiects being certaine and exactly pursued. But wonderfull is the reputation which redounds thereby to their order, & exceeding the advantage which it giveth to their side, for bookes of praier & pietie, all countries are full of them at this day, in their own language, to stopp in part, the out-crie of their adversaries against them, for im∣prisoning the people whollie in those darke devotions, & especially to win the love of the world vnto them, by this more inward and lively shew of sanctitie & godlines. Yea, herein they conceive to have so farre surpassed their oppo∣sites, that they forbeare not to reproach vnto thē their po∣vertie, weaknes, & coldnes, in that kind, as being forced to take the catholikes books to supply theirs, which as in this it cannot altogither be denied to be true, so on the other side, it had bin greatly to be wished, that these bookes of Christian Resolution & exercise, had bin the fruits of con∣science, rather then of the wits of those that made them, which in some of them, as father Parsōs by name, have bin otherwise, besides the rest of his actions vnsutable to those resolutions. Some of them also more zealous in their way have not forborne to cōfesse, that by performing so good works with a good mind, to a good end, & conforming their own lives & demeanors acordingly, they might have prepared mens minds to an hope of a through recōcilatiō wheras now, by vsing holines it self for a meere instrumēt of practise▪ & to win men to their party, they cannot but drive the world into such a laborinth of perplexities ielou∣sies, as to suspect alwaies their policies & dispaire of their honesties.
Page [unnumbered]28 A second thing whereby the Protestant part hath so greatly enlarged it selfe, hath bene, their well educating of youth, specially in the principles of Christian Religion & pietie, wherein their care and continuance, is even at this day in many places very worthily to be cōmended of all, and imitated by them, who hitherto have bin more remisse in educatiō of youth, & sowing in those pure minds, seede of vertue and truth, before the weedes of the world do rā∣cor and change the soile, being by the consent of the most renowned wise men of the world, a point of incōparable force and moment, for the well ordering and governing of all kind of states, and for the making of Common-weales ever happie and flourishing for all education confor ming to the lawes and customes in being, doth vphold states in the termes wherein they are. The first seasoning with opinions & accustomāces whatsoever; being of dou∣ble force to any second perswations and vsages: not com∣prising herein those nimble & quick-silvered braines which itch after change, liking in their opinions, as in their gar∣ments, to be noted to be followers of outlandish fashions, as being of a more refined & sublimated temper, then that their Country conceits can satisfie. Here in then the Papa∣cie were taken short by the protestants (even as in the for mer) and mightily overonne e•e they were aware thereof: notwithwāding, as difficulties doe rather kindle then daūt the generous spirits, & adde that to their diligence, which was wātting in their timelines, so these men have bestirred themselves so well therein, to follow the trace which their adversaries had led them, that in fine they have in some sort out-gone them in it, & quoted them in all, one onely excepted, that they respect not much instruction of their childrē of the meaner sort as being likely to sway litle, whereas the Protestants seeme in religious instruction in∣different to both. But for the rest, what is it they haue o∣mitted, what Colledges for their owne, what Seminaries Page [unnumbered] for strangers, to support and perpetuate their factions & practises in their ēemies dominiōs have they not instituted almost in all parts in Christendome, and maintaine still at their owne and their favorites charge? Is it a small brag that some of their side do make, that their English Semi∣naries abroad send forth more Priests, than our two Vni∣versities at home do Ministers? Behold all the Iesuites the great Clearks, Polititians, and Orators of the world, who vaunt that the Church is the soule of the world, the Clear∣gie of the Church, & they of the Cleargie, doe stoope also to this burthen, and require it to be charged wholy vpon their shoulders, in all places wheresoever they can plant their neasts, their open free schooles for all studies of hu∣manity. To these flocke the best wits, and principall mens sonnes in so great abundāce, that wheresoever they settle, other Colledges become desolate, or frequented onely by the baser sort, or those of the heavier mettall. And in truth such is their diligence and dexteritie in instructing, that e∣ven the Protestantes themselves (in some places) send their sonnes to their Schooles, vpon desire to have them proove excellent in those Artes they teach▪ besides, be∣ing in truth but a baite and allurement where•vnto to fa∣sten their finall and principall hooke, they plant in their Schollers with great exactnesse and skill the roots of their Religion, nourish them with an extreame hatred and de∣testation of the adverse partie. And to make them for e∣ver intractable to any contrary perswasion, they worke into them by great cunning an obstinacy of mind, and sturdie eagrenesse of spirit, to affect victorie with all vi∣olence of wit in all controversies, than which no greater enemie to the finding out of truth which (being pure and single in his owne nature) appeareth not but to a cleare and sincere vnderstanding whom neyther the fumes of fierie passion do mist, nor sinister respectes or preiudices sway downe on eyther side, from the pitch of iust integritie, neither thinke I any vnfitter sort of men in Page [unnumbered] the world to be imploied in the contemplation and search of truth, than these hote men and headie, who being so∣daine in their actions, seize lightly on that which com∣meth first to hand, and being stiffe in their resolution, are 〈…〉sported with every preiudicate conceit, from one error 〈…〉 another, having neither the patience they should, to weigh all points diligently, nor the humility to yeeld vp their owne fancies to reason; neither yet that high hono∣rable wisedome as to know, that truth being the marke they professe to strive at, in the overthrow of their errors, they attaine the summe of their desires, and remaine con∣querors, by being conquered: yea sundrie times have I seene two eagre disputers loose the truth, and let it fall to the ground betweene them, which a calme minded hearer hath taken vp and possessed.
But these Iesuites (presuming perhaps of the truth before hand, & labouring no other thing than the advan∣cing of the partie) indevour (as I said) by all meanes, to imbrede that fiercenesse and obstinacie in their Schollers, as to make them ho•• prosecuters of their owne opinions impatient and intractable of any contrarie considerations, as having their eies fixt vpon nothing, but onely victorie in arguing, for which cause (to strengthen in them those passions by exercise) I have seene them in their bare Gram∣maticall Disputations, enflame their Schollers with such earnestnesse and fiercenesse, as to seeme to be at the point of flying each into others face, to the amazement of those strangers which had never seene the like before, but to their owne great content and glory as appeared. Over and above all this, they have instituted in their schooles a speciall fraternitie, a congregation of our Ladie, with certaine select exercises and devotions, into which (it be∣ing a reputation to be admitted) it must cause (in congrui∣tie) the forwardest of their schollers, to fashion themselves by all means as to content their humors, and so to be re∣ceived (in shew) into a degree of more honorable estima∣tion Page [unnumbered] (but in truth) into no other than a double bond of as∣surance.
I shall not need to insert here their singular diligence, and cunning, in inticing (〈◊〉) the most noble of their Schollers, oftentimes the most adorned with the gra∣ces of nature and industry (especially if they have any like∣lihoode of wealthy succession)▪ to abandon their frindes and to professe their Order (a thing daily practised in •ll places by them) yea wheresoever they espie any one of rare spirite, they will be tempering with him, though hee be the onely son and solace of his father, whereby (though they drawe on them much clamor and stomacke, yet doe they greatly therby enhaunce the renowne of their soci•∣ty, by furnishing it with so many persons of excellent qua∣lity or nobilitie, whom afterwards they imploy with great iudgement, as they finde them fittest. Neither yet do they heere make an end with this parte, but this Order hath al∣so their solemne cha•echising in their Churches on Son∣daies and Holidaies, for all youth that will come, or can be drawne vnto it, that in no point the diligence of their adversaries may vpbraide them: But this point of their Scholes in instructing youth, is thought of such moment by men of wisdome and iudgement (beeing taught so by very experience and triall thereof) that the planting of a good Colledge of Iesuites in any place, is esteemed the on∣ly sure way to replant that religion, and in time to eate out the contrary. This course hold they in all Germanie, in Sa∣voy, and in other places, and the excluding it from France is infinitly disliked; and that which makes them vncertain what will become of that kingdome.
29 A third course that much advantageth the Prote∣stants* proceeding, was their offers of disputations with their adversaries in all places, their i•erated and importu∣nate suites for publike audience and iudgement, a thing which greatly assured the multitude of their soundnesse whom they saw so confident in abiding the hazard of trial Page [unnumbered] being that, wherof the want is the only preiudice of truth, and the plenty, the only discovery & ruine of falshoode: they standing in like termes, as a substantiall iust man, and a facing shifter, where•of the ones credite is greatest there, where he is best knowne, and the other where he is least, And by reason the Romanists were not so cunning then in the questions, nor so ready in their evasions & distinc∣tions, as they are now growne, the effect of these disputa∣tions (whether received or refused) was in most places such as to draw with them an immediate alteration of religion. Hereto may be added those admirable paines, which those first reformers vndertooke and performed, in translating the Scriptures forthwith into all languages, in illustrating all parts thereof with ample Comments; in addressing In∣stitutions of Christian religion; in deducing large histories of the Church, from the foundation to their present times; in furnishing all common places of divinity with abundāce of matter; in exact discussing of all controversed questi∣ons: and lastly, in speedy reply to all contrarie writings, the greatest part of these labours tending to the iustifying of their owne doctrine, & to the discoverie of the corrup∣tion and rottennes of the other, that they might overbeare these with the streames of the evidence of Reason, by the strength of whose power they complained, to bee over∣borne. There is scarce any one of these kindes of writings, (save the translating of the Bible into vulgar language) wherein the Romanists have not already, or are not like very shortly, either to equall, or to exceede their adversa∣ries in multitude of workes, as being more of them that apply those studies in diligence, as having much more o∣portunity and leasure in exactnesse, as comming after them and reaping the fruits of their travels, though in truth they come short, and in ingeniositie, being Truths companion: But as for the controversies themselves, the maine matter of all other therein, their industry is at this day incompa∣rable, having so altered the tenures of them, refined the Page [unnumbered] states, subtilized the distinctions, sharpened their owne proofes, devi•ed certaine, either answers or evasions alrea∣die resolved on, for all their adversaries arguments, allega∣tions, and replies; yea they have differences to divert their strongest oppositions, interpretations to elude the plainest text in the worlde; circumstances and considerations, to inforce their owne seeliest coniectures; yea reasons to put life into their deadest absurdities: as in particular a verie faire case in schoole-learning they have, to iusti∣fie their Popes grants of many score thousand yeeres par∣don, that in affiance of this furniture, & of their prompt∣nesse of speech and wit (which by continuall exercise they aspire to perfect) they dare enter into combate even with the best of their oppugners, and will not doubt, ey∣ther to intangle them so in the snares of their own quirks, or at leastwise so put off his blowes, with the wardes of their distinctions, that an ordinarie Auditor shall never perceive them to be vanquished, and a favourable Audi∣torie shall report them vanquishers. Wherevpon now to bee quitte with their adveisaries, and by the very same Arte to drawe away the multitude, they cry mainely in all places for tryall by disputations. This Campion did many yeeres since with vs. This, as I passed through Turricke did the Cardinall Andrea of Constance, and his Iesuites with their Ministers, being by auntient right within his Dioces▪ not long before, the same was done to them of Geneva. And verie lately the Capuchins renued the cha•enge, in which partes I observe this discreete valour on both sides▪ that as the Romanists offer to dispute in the adversa•ies owne Cities, which they know their Magistrates will ne∣ver accord; so the Ministers in supplie thereof, offer to goe to them to their Cities, and that is now as much disliked on the other side, each part being conte•ted that the fire should bee kindled rather in his enemies house then in his owne: yea there are not wanting some •••pe∣ters amongest them, that have beene talking a long Page [unnumbered] while (whether out of their owne dreames, or out of the desires of greater persons, which I halfe coniecture) of a generall solemne conference to be sought and procured, of the choyce and chiefe every way of both the sides, vn∣der pretence of drawing matters to some tollerable com∣position: But in truth (as I conceived) rather to over-beare and disgrace the contrarie cause, with their varietie of en∣gins, and strength of wit to we•ld them at all af•aies at pleasure, than vpon sinceritie of affection, or probabilitie of any vnitie or peace to ensue; so great is their hope of ha∣ving cure by the weapons, from whence heretofore they have had their wounds.
30 A fourth way that mightily afflictes the Papacy, & consequently advaunceth the reformation & her procee∣dings, was a course, in my opinion, surely more excusable,* where it cannot, that commendable where it can bee spa∣red: and that is the discoverie of the private blo•es of an enimie further then the question in hand doth constraine, howsoever the Protestants (at leastwise some of them) by example of those ancient and reverent Orators ripped vp to the quicke, the lives of their adversaries in their parti∣cular actions, especially of their Popes, and of their Pre∣lates, as also of their Votaries of all sorts, and sexes, wherein the store of matter was huge, the qualitie of it so enormous, loathsome, vgly, and matchable in all kind of villanie, to the veriest monsters of the Heathen, the per∣sons defiled with it, of so imminent place in the steering and vpholding of their Church; and lastly the trueth thereof, so vndoubted and certaine, being drawne in times past out of their owne stories and Authors printed and approved amongst themselves to be true, for that pre∣sent, being, of things done ordinarily for the most part, and openly in the sight of all men in Rome, and in Italie, (even as they continue perhappes not much better in many thinges at this day,) that publishing and presen∣ting it to the prepared mindes of the worlde, besides an Page [unnumbered] extreame horrour and detestation which it brought, did work in them this perswasion also, that it could not be but Hell gates had prevailed against that Sea, whose Gover∣nours, whose Prelates, whose Priestes, whose Virgines, had lived most of them so long time in the •awes of the Prince of Hell: Neyther that it was probable they had beene carefull in preserving the doctrine of Christi∣anitie, who had beene carelesse of all partes of Christi∣an life and honestie. And as in their lives, so in their wri∣tings also, of doctrine and devotion, and in the actions concerning them; their deifying of the Pope with most impious flatterie; their abusing of the Scriptures, with all irreverence and prophanenesse; their iugling with their Images, to make them sweate, weepe, and bleede, to ra•e in the people a devotion towards them of Heathe∣nish Idolatrie, their forging of Miracles, in exorcismes, in cures, in apparition of soules for their lucre and ad∣vauntage, their graunting of Pardons for some pray∣ers before Images, for many thousand yeares, their Pardon for sinnes to come, before they bee committed; their shamelesse ridiculous tales of our Saviour, and the holy and blessed Saintes, making marriages heere vpon earth, betweene him and some of our women Saintes, with infinite store of childish vanitie and sot∣t•sh absurditie, (as to their adversaries) though them∣selves seemed (I must confesse) to conceive otherwise of them, some of their graver Doctors both preaching them in Pulpit, and publishing them new•ly in elaborate and ample Histories; their promising to the vse of certaine devotions to our Ladie, to have a sight of her some∣time before their dying dayes, and much more, their falsifying and forgeries in all matters of antiquities, thrusting in, cutting out, suppressing trueth, suborning fained writinges, as their turnes did require; all which, though being obiected in this sort to them∣selves, they had eyther their allegations of good intent, Page [unnumbered] to defend, or at leastwise the commiseration of humane infirmitie to excuse them, yet were they not so washed a∣way from the mindes of the people, who could not con∣ceive this house to have beene guided by the Spirit of God, wherein they saw so many foule spirits of pride, and hypocrisie, of lying and deceiving, to have borne so great office so long, and without controlement. These things being perceived by the favorites of the Papacy, to have made so deepe impression in the minds of all men, and to have greatly preiudiced them in their more plau∣sible allegations, mens hearts being alreadie taken vp and fraught with detesting them, they cast about for revenge and redresse in the same kinde, not as the plaine blunt Protestant; who finding all the matters made readie to his hands, bestowed no other cost, but the collecting and setting it in some order together; but like a superna∣turall Artisan, who in the sublimitie of his refined witt, disdaines to bring onely meere Art to his worke, vn∣lesse hee make also in some sort the verie mater it selfe. So these men in blacking the lives and actions of the re∣formers, have partly devised matter of so notorious vntruth, that in the better sort of their owne Authors it happeneth to bee checked: partly suborned other Post men to write their Legends, that afterwards they might cite them as approoved Authours, and Histories, as is evident in the lives of Calvine, and Beza, written by their sworne enemie Botsacke, the twise banished and thrice runnagate Friar, and Phisition, for those names his often chaunges, and hard chaunces have given him. This man being requested by their side to write thus, is in all their writings alleaged as Canonicall. But in this kind, surely me-thinks the conditions of those parties are too vnequall, for the Protestant whatsoever he hath eyther in impeaching his adversarie, or clearing his owne actions, vnlesse hee can directly proove out of the adver∣saries owne writings, it is with them as nothing, and no∣better Page [unnumbered] than as are testes domestici in the law, whereas the Romanist whatsoever he slaunderously surmiseth, vnlesse the other partie be able, by direct proofe to disproove it, (which being to iustifie in the negative, is alwaies verie difficult, and for the most part impossible) he triumphes as in a matter of truth▪ not to be gainsaid. And whoso∣ever maketh this account, that in these kinde of blowes, even where the wound is cured, the scarre lightly conti∣eth. At this present they give it out, that they have a booke in hand of the lives of the Ministers of England; wherein it were to be wished, that some, who by their dissolutenes and corruption, have given occasion of offence against the order it selfe, might by their exemplarie punishment with all expiate the reproach, though at these mens hands who in disgrace of our Prelates, have cited Marprelate in their late bookes for a great Author and witnes, & others of like and lesse indifferency & honestie: the innocent and culpable are to expect perhaps like measure. Then for the measure and doctrine of the Protestants, the bookes of some of our owne Countrimen, besides many other, are famous, who have taken a toile (how meritorious God knoweth) surely very laborious, out of infinite huge Volumes which that part hath written, to picke out what∣soever (especially severed from the rest) may seeme to be eyther absurdlly, or falsely, or •ondly, or scandalously, or dishonestly, or passionately, or •luttishly, conceived or written: for even in that kinde, having the advantage of the homely phrase of our countrey, and namely in those times they haue not spared, and these with their crossenesse; and contradictions one of another s•t cunningly together, they present to the view of the world, & demand whether it be likely that these men should have bin chosen extraor∣dinarily by God, to be the reformers of the church, & trea∣surers of his truth, who besides their virious lives, & hate∣full conditions; in their more sober thoughts, and very do∣ctrine it selfe, were possessed with so fantasticall, so wild, Page [unnumbered] so contrarie, so furious, so maledicent, and so slovenly spi∣rits, wherein, as they do in some sort immitate their adver∣saries, so yet with this difference, that the one hath ob∣iected that which either (as being the approoved doctrine of their church) was with such publike authority delivered to the people, or else, which was so vsuall amongst their Canonists and Cleargie, as might plead vncontrolled cu∣stome to shew it lawfull, whereas the other part finding very small store of that nature, have runne for supply to every particular mans writings, wherein so huge a multi∣tude of authors and works as this age over-rancke therin, and mens fingers ever itching have produced, it had been surely a great miracle, if they had not foūd matter enough, either worthy to be blamed, or easie to be deprav•d in their enemies writings: One of the most renowmed Sages and Fathers of the Antients having found so much to con∣demne and retract in his owne. And if the Protestants should list to requite them in that kinde, they might per∣haps finde stuffe enough (I will not say to lade an Argosy) but to overlade any mans witt in the world to reply vnto. But verily these courses are base and beggarly even when singlenesse of minde and truth doth concurre with them: and farre vnworthy of an ingenious & noble spirit, which soareth vp to the highest and purest paths of verity, dis∣daining to stand raking in these puddles of obscuritie, vn∣worthy of that charitable and vertuous minde which stri∣veth by doing good to all, to attaine to the high honour of being an immitator of God, who is sorie of those very faults, which are in his enimies, & discloses them no further than is necessary, eyther for defence of impugned truth, or for warning to the world to avoid the contagion of the disease, or seducements by the deceased. But if to this base∣nes of discoveries other iniustice be also added, if malice doe preferre them, if sleight increase them, if falshood and slaughter •aint them▪ then doe they not onely abuse men from the dignitie of their nature, but even associate them Page [unnumbered] with the foule enimy and calumniator therof, whose name is the slaunderous accuser of his brethren. I suppose there was never man so patient in the world (that patterne of all perfection, our Savior Christ excepted) but if a man shuld heap together all the cholericke speeches, all the wayward actions that ever scaped from him in his life, and present them in one veiw all continuate together (as is the fashion of some men) it would represent him for a furious and ra∣ving bedlem, whom displaying al his life in the same tenor it was led, the whole world might wel count of his stayed∣nesse, & admire him for his moderation & magnanimitie. They that observe nothing in wisemen of vertue, but their fault▪ and imperfections (from which neither the wisest nor perfectest have beene free,) what doe they but pro∣pose them as matter of scorne, and abhorring whome God hath as it were marked out for patternes of honor to immitate? Yea this age hath brought out those curst and these accursed wittes, who by culling out the errours and shews of error, by formalizing the contrarieties, misinter∣preating the ambiguities, intangling the obscurities, which in the most renowmed Authors for humane wisedome that were ever in the world, their envious and malitiously fine braines could search (immitating him therein, who by his Labours of the very same nature, though with lesse and no ground at all against the sacred Bible, purchased the infamous name of the enemy of Christianity) have doone that hurt vnto the studies of learning, which no∣thing but the vtter extinguishing of their vnlearned works can expiate.
31 The last meanes I will heare speak of, were vsed in set∣ting forward this reformation of religion, was the deligent compiling the histories of those times and actions, and e∣specially the Martyrologie of such as rendered by their deaths, a testimonie of that trueth which was persecuted in them: These memories and stories presenting general∣ly to the world, the singlenesse and innocencie on the one Page [unnumbered] parte, the integritie of their lives, the simplicitie of their de∣vises, the zeale of their desires, their constancie in tempta∣tions, their tolleration in torments, their magnanimitie, & celestially inspired courage and comfort in their very ago∣nies and death, yeelding their bodies with all patience to the furious flames, and their soules with ioy to the handes of him that made them. On the other side, representing a serpentine generation wholy, made of fraud, policies, and practises, men lovers of the world, and haters of truth and godlinesse, fighters against the light, protectors of darke∣nesse, persecuters of marriage, and patrons of brothelles, abnegators and dispencers against the lawes of God, but tyrannous importunators, and exactors of their own: men false in their promises, treacherous in their pretences, bar∣barous in their executions, breathing nothing but cruelty fire and sword against mē that never offended them, save in their desire to amend them, which they could not en∣dure (and much of this, sett out in sundry places with pic∣tures, to imprint thereby a more lively sence of commise∣ration of the one parte, and detestation of the other) bred in mens minds a strong cōceit, that on the one side Truth and Innocencie was persecuted, on the other violence and deceit persecuting, that the one part, cōtrarie to al humane probabilitie, being nourished with the only dew of divine benediction, flourisht in the flames, & as camamile, spread abroad, being troad vnder feet, the other, notwithstanding al humane and infernall devises, yet cursed from above, fa∣ded, not vnlike to come to ruine. The Papacie being net∣led extreamly with these proceedings, hath resolved to give over the kindling any more of those vnfortunate fiers (save in some secure places, to maintaine the vsage of that law) the ashes of which they have perceived to have beene the seede of their adversaries, but rather by secret making men away in their Inquisitions▪ and by general massacres to ex∣tinguish them. Then to affront them in the same kinde of Martyro•ogies and Histories they have first caused stories Page [unnumbered] to be written also in their favour. making in them a repre∣sentation of authority, and iustice proceeding by pollitick execution of Lawe, in the necessarie defence of God Church, and of all Catholike States and Princes, against a company of base rebelles, of vow-breaking-Friars, of Church-robbing polititians, & Church-raizng souldiers, of infected, and infecting, both Schismatiques and here∣tiques, innovators of orders, vnderminers of government, troublers of states, over-turners of Christendome; against whom, if they have not yet sufficiently prevailed, it is to be attributed only to the force of popular fury, and not to any strength and goodnesse of their cause, much lesse to any celestiall and divine protection. Next for Martiro∣logies, they have England for their field to triumph in, the proceedings wherein against their late Papists and com∣plices, they aggravate to the height of Neroes and Diocle∣sians persecutions, and the sufferers of their side, both in merites of cause, in extreamitie of torments, & in constan∣cy and patience to the renowned Martyres of that Heroi∣call Church age, whereof (besides sundry other bookes) they have published a great volume lately to the world in Italian, compiled with great industrie, approved by au∣thoritie; yea some of their bookes also with pictures illu∣strated: in summe, wanting nothing save onely trueth and sinceritie. An easie thing it is without growing to the extreame impudency of palpable lying, by leaving out the bad on the one side, and the good on the other, by infor∣cing and florishing all circumstances and accidents which are in our favour and by elevating and disgracing of all the contrarie, by sprinkeling the termes of honour wholy on the one part, and of hatred and ignomie on the other, to make their tale turne which way shall please the teller. But writers of histories should know, that there is a dif∣ference betweene their profession and the practise of ad∣vocates, pleading contrarie at the barre, where the wise∣dome of the Iudge, pickes the truth out of both sides, Page [unnumbered] which is intire perhaps in neither.
32 And verily in this kinde, both the Protestants and Papistes seeme generally in the greatest part of their sto∣ries, to be both too blame, though both not equally, ha∣ving by their passionate reports much wronged the truth, abused this present age, and preiudiced posteritie: inso∣much, that the onely remedie now seeming to remaine, is to read indifferently the stories on both parts, to count them as advocates and to play the Iudge betweene them. But partiallity seemeth to be the chiefe fault of the Pro∣testant, love & dislike sometimes dazeling his eyes, draw∣ing him from an Historiographers into an Orators profes∣sion, though some of them have carried themselves therin with commendable sinceritie, even as some also of the o∣ther part have discharged themselves nobly. But surely the Priests and Friars which have written in that kinde, have strangely behaved themselves, and disclosed how small reckoning they make of truth in any thing, their devising, their forging, their facing, their peecing, their adding, their paring, having brought, not onely their modesty, but their wits also in question, whether they forget not what it was they vndertooke to write, a worke of storie, or of poetry rather, which Artes though like yet (ought they to know) are different. And for these Martyrologies, to speake of England as they doe, (let the trueth of Religion be indif∣ferent on whether side) vnlesse difference be made be∣tweene men, who suffer for their consciences onely, their very adversaries having no other crime to obiect against them, and those who eyther in their owne particular per∣sons, or at least wise in their directors, whom they have chosen to follow, and vowed to obey, are convinced to have attempted against the Prince and state, and to have practised the alteration and ruine of both. If no difference be to be made between these mens sufferings, let all things be a like, let the persecuting of the sheepe and the hunting of wolves be one. But enough, and too much perhaps of Page [unnumbered] these comparisons and imitations.
33 I will ioyne onely heereto their pollicie of newes,* for some kinde of resemblance it hath with the former. It could not (I must confesse) settle in my conceit of a long time, that men of their wisedome, so well furnished with better meanes, should descend to that base & vaine devise of inventing and spreading false newes in their favour, be∣ing an odious kinde of abusing the world; and such also as in the end, being choaked with the truth, redoundes to the deepe disgrace and discredite of the Authors, being accounted no other then the trick of a bankerupt. Howbe∣it, finding by experience that this is frequent amongst them in other places: at Rome above all other, it was al∣most their ordinary practise; from whence, during the time of my abode in Italie (besides other lesse memorabl) there came first solemne newes that the Patriarkes of A∣lexandria with all the great Church of Africa had by their Ambassadors submitted & reconciled themselves to the Pope, and received from his holinesse absolution and benediction, there being no such matter as I learned after∣wards of a great Bishop, who hath particular acquain∣tance and intelligence with that Patriarke. Another time that the King of Scots amongst many acts worthy a Chri∣stian Prince, had chased away the Ministers, yea and exe∣cuted two of them, consiscating their goods, and bestow∣ing them vpon the Catholikes, which newes was soone after recalled from the same place. Not long after that, Be∣za the Arch-heretick, and Calvines successour, drawing towards his death, had in full Senate at Geneva, recanted his religion, exhorting them, that if they had care to save their sovles, to seeke reconciliation with the Catholike Church, and to send for the Iesuits to instruct them. Wherevpon, both himselfe by speciall commission from the Pope, was absolved by the Bishop of Geneua ere hee died, and the Citie had sent an ambassage of submission: the beginning of which newes it was my chance to heare, Page [unnumbered] as being whispered among the Iesuites two monthes be∣fore it brake out. But when once it was advertised so so∣lemnly from Rome, it ranne over all Christendome, and in Italy was so verily beleeved to be true, that their were, as is said, who rode on very purpose to see those Ambassa∣dours of Geneva, yet invisible. And to make vp the full measure of that worthy pollicy, being afterwards at Lions and vnderstanding that the Poste of Rome, who then pas∣sed by for Spaine, gave confidently out, that he left the Queene of Englands Ambassadors at Rome, making great instance for agreement and amity with his holinesse, and to have her recatholised and absolved, newes, as to me thē semed cut out purposely for Spaine, & to comfort their fa∣vourers & affected adherents: finding also by the obser∣vation and iudgement of some wise men, that the Iesuites are the Maisters of that mint, and that all the coines are of their stampe, yea, and that the glorious newes of the mira∣culous proceedings of the Fathers of their society in con∣verting the Indies, are not thought much truer. And last∣ly, perceiving that the doctrine of all that fide in the cases of conscience, making it lawfull for them to equivocate with their adversaries in their answeres, though give vpon their •athes, whensoever their lives or liberties are tou∣ched; yet the Iesuites are noted by some of their owne friends to be too hardy equivocator•, and their equivoca∣tions too hard, whereof they give this example of a Iesu∣ite, who instructed, a maid servant in England, That if she were examined whether she knew of any Priests resorting to her maisters house, she shoul• sweare (if she were put to it) that she knew not of any, which she might doe lawful∣ly with this secret intent, that shee knew not of any, (viz. with purpose to disclose them.) Though others defend this as a point of allowable wisedome, all these things con∣sidered, it hath made me to mitigate my former imagina∣tion, and to deeme it not impossible, that this over politike & too wise order, may reach a note higher then our grosse Page [unnumbered] conceits, who thinke Honestie the best policie, and Truth the onely durable armor of proofe, and may find by their refined observations of experience, that newes make their impression vpon their first reporting, that then if they be good, they greatly raise vp the spirit, and confirme the minde, especially of the vulgar sort, who easily beleeve all that their betters tell them: and afterwards when they hap to be controlled, mens spirits being cold, or not so sensible as before, they either litle regard it, or impute it to common errors & vncertainty of things, yea and that the good newes commeth to many mens eares, who never heard of the checke it hath, and at leastwise it may serve their turne for some present exploit, as Marchants do with their newes, (whether imitators or imitated of these men, I know not) who finding some difficultie in accommoda∣ting their affaires, have in vse to forge letters, or otherwise raise bruits, eyther of some good successe in their Princes actions, (as our men they say at Constantinople) or of some great alterations in some kind of marchandise, (as certaine not long since have done at Paris) which may serve for that present instant to expediate their businesse; yet surely me-thinks these learned fathers should consider that though lying bee helde for a necessary fault in Mar∣chants, (if any fault be necessary, which for my part I hold not) yet it cannot be admitted for an allowable pollicy in Divines, being the of-spring of that arch-enemy, both of the Dietie and Divinitie: and if a dead flie doe viciate a whole boxe of sweet oyntment, so a little folly may ble∣mish greatly a very wise man, and some falshood discredit the delivery of much truth. Then verily I crave leave at their hands, of advancing them in the rest of their super∣suttle inventions, I arrange this amongst the poore polli∣cies of the hospitall of the desperate.
Now these being weapons wherewith they fight a∣gainst their adversary, they whet thē, by framing an vtter breach or separation in all religious duties betweene their Page [unnumbered] partie and their opposites, not only in such points as wher∣in they discent, (which is the part of all men which list not to wound their owne consciences,) neither yet in all ec∣clesiasticall duties alone, (which sundry other Churches, antient and moderne, have done, and still doe,) as think∣king that the good things which heretiques retaine, are vi∣tiated by those bad, wherewith either their faithes or fun∣ctions are stained, though perhaps there be a dram more of zeale then charity, in the ingredience of that Canon, vn∣lesse the heresie be capitall and directly opposite to the glorie of God, or honour of our Saviour. But the Church of Rome at this day hath strained that string, as to stretch it out to all divine duties whatsoever, though not Eccle∣siasticall, but performed by private persons, and in seve∣rall, as occasion serves; neither to such onely as faith hath revealed to vs Christians, but even those which the light of Nature hath taught all men in the world; yea, Pagans and Barbarians as yeelding glorie to God, imploring his aide and favoure▪ tendring him thankes for be∣nefits, in none of which actions may they ioyne with the Protestants, being so commaunded by the soveraigne Lord of their Church. If a Protestant begin to settle him∣selfe to pray, with that prayer which the lippes of our Sa∣viour hath sanctified and taught, it is now so polluted by passing through his lippes, that a Romane Catholick may not stay in the roome, if hee vse that voice which all the creatures of God in their severall languages doe daily sound foorth and say; God bee praised; or, Glorie bee to the Highest. The Romanist alone is silent, and may not ioyne his assent, if at meate hee yeelde thankes vn∣to God for his blessings, bee it but with Deo gratias, (which was ever in Augustines mouth though this chaseth not a Catholike from his dinner, (which were to his losse,) yet must hee forbeare his Amen vnto it.
On the contrarie side, some Romane Catholicks will Page [unnumbered] not saie grace, though be at his owne Table, when a Protestant is present, thinking it better to leave GOD vnserved, then that a Protestant ioyne in serving him, though the Custome of giving GOD thanks at meales, is generally amongst these Catholiques growne cleane out of vse both in Fraunce and Italy, for ought I could see: as not knowing that the Popes pardon is gained by the vse of grace in cuppes. In summe, they are more averse to ioyne with a Protestant in dooing honour to GOD, then the very bruite beasts, if beasts by pro∣per speech could sound forth Gods praise, as the legends of their Saints in their favour doe fancie, wherein how religiously they have proceeded for the amplifying and advauncing of Gods service, that GOD doth know: how politiquely for the strengthening of their owne part amongst their enemies, that the world may know by these few considerations; First by this course that they keepe their lay followers in a perpetuall darke ignorance of the Protestants faith and religion, having made it an high de∣gree of deadly sinne, either to read their bookes, or to heare their Sermons, or to be present at their Service, or any way to communicate with them in religious du∣ties whatsoever. Whereby, whatsoever their lay mul∣titude cōceiveth of the reformed religion; or of the points of doctrine which therein are taught, is that only which the enemies thereof doe tell them, who reports according to the disease of their owne stomackes, and as I may re∣present it, in most odious and hideous forme to the hea∣rers.
So that now no more mervaile (which experience doth teach,) that seldome or never a lay Catholique can bee found, that conceiveth rightly of any (almost) of the Protestants propositions, sith seldome or never was Romane Priest yet to be shewen, that hath not falsi∣fied and depraued them vtterly in reporting them. Where∣as, if those lay Catholiques should once open their Page [unnumbered] cares to know the Protestants opinions from themselves, that hold thē (which was the vse of the old world in their ingeniovs simplicitie and singlenesse of proceeding) they would not bee found, either so absurd perhaps, but that a reasonable, or so wicked, but that a religious minde might imbrace them.
Then secondly▪ by this meanes they doe knit their own fact on more fast together, and vnite them more soundly to the head thereof the Pope, sith no service of God, but in his communion, and with him no coniunction without vtter separation and estranging from his enemies, where∣as if his party should but ioyne with the Protestants in such service of GOD, as are allowed by both, this con∣cvrring with them in some actions, might abate that vt∣ter dislike which they have of their whole way, yea and happily taking a liking of them in some things, they might bee drawne still by degrees to other; and finally, steppe away or grow colde in their first affections. For factions, as by disparitie of minde they are raised: so by strangenesse they are continued and growne mortall; whereas on the other side, they are slaked by intercourse, by parley they are reconciled, by familiarity extingush∣ed. A memorable example of the vertue of this pollicie our owne Country in these latter times hath yeelded, wherein the first reformation vnder King Edwarde, the Pre•ates and Clergie having before discarded the Pope, did easily ioyne with the Protestants, though not in their opinions, yet in the publike service of God in the Churches, being indifferently composed, and offensive to neither part. And but that the Pope soone after vpon ex∣traordinarie cause, was restored to his former authority by Queene Mary, that faction had in likelihoode bin long since ended. But after that the Pope was once againe ad∣mitted, and had liberty to temper with his partie at plea∣sure, in the second reformation by her Maiesty, not a Bi∣shop of his could be perswaded to come to our Churches Page [unnumbered] but choosing rather losse of living; and the greatest part also of Recusants, which have since beene continued by their followers to this day. Notwithstanding our service be lesse offensive to them, then in King Edwards, and in no part opposite to any point of their beleefe. But so it see∣med good to their pollitique Governours, by this vtter breach and alienation, to preserve and perpetuate the re∣maines of their partie, and that in the middest of their more potent adversaries, though armed with Lawes, quickened with suspitions, yea exasperated by their often dangerous practises against them.
Now in that they proceede also a steppe further, and inhibite their partie, not onely the reading of the Prote∣stants bookes, and repaire to their Churches, but also ioy∣ning with them in any service of God, in whomsoever, or in how lawfull sort soever performed, thereby doe they ingender in them an extreame hatred, and bitter detesta∣tion of their opposites. For if the Protestants, by reason of their enmitie with the Pope, and swarving from his way, do stand in te•rmes of so deepe disfavour with God, that the prayer it selfe doe turne into sinne; that their humble thankes givings are abhominable presumptions; that to ioyne with them in praysing the Creator of the world, is no better then treason to his Maiestie: then surely, woe woorth the houre wherein they were borne, and blessed bee that hand that shall worke their bane and ruine. Then no stay or doubt, but what the Pope directes, that boldly to bee executed against these enemies of God: And this have they set vpp as a Crowne, and accom∣plishment, to the rest of their practises against their adver∣saries: for now is their faction, not onely kept on foote, and continually mainteined without decay▪ but enflamed also with such hatred of their enemies▪ that they are readie to any violence, that opportunity shall devise. For as diversities of iudgements doe growe •nto dis∣likes, and dislikes by oppositions doe issue into facti∣ons; Page [unnumbered] so hatred in factions doth breake out into seditions▪ and attend onely advantage to vse force against these they hate: whereas on the contrarie side the Protestants (being not armed, nor quickened vp with such stings of hatred as his adversaries) is more cold and carelesse in his oppo∣site desires, and exceeding inferiour in all strong attempts and practises. But certainly howsoever in this crafty kinde of pollicie, which hath too much bewitched the wittes of this age, and doth too much tyrannise over that aun∣cient true wisdome, wherewith the world in fore-times was more happily governed, these courses may seeme very fine and effectuall for the atchieving of that end whereto they are framed; yet hard (I suppose) now it would bee to bee showne, how they can stand with the principles and rules of that Religion, whose rote is Truth, whose braunches are Charitie, whose fruites are good deedes, extending and ever offering themselves with cheerefulnesse vnto all men, to the encouraging of friendes, and reclaiming of enemies, to the amending of the worse, and the accomplishing of the better and noble mindes, in the high vertuousnesse thereof, doth carrie it selfe in all actions, with such moderation, and measure, as that it neither hate his enemie so much in re∣gard of his wickednesse, but loves that whatsoever in him hath resemblance of vertue; neither yet feare him, so much for his mischievous desires, as to rage and growe fierce vpon him in his weaknesse, but contenteth it selfe so farre-forth onely to represse him, as maie dis-inable him thence forwardes from doing hurte vnto others, how much more may it seeme reasonable, that the hea∣venly affections of a Christian reioyce for whatsoever goodnesse appeareth in any man, as finding there some liniaments of his Creators Image, detest no∣thing but impietie and wickednesse the worldes dis∣honour.
And lastly, in the true and serious worshipping Page [unnumbered] of God, doe ioyne when occation offers, with whatsoe∣ver of his creatures in vnited affections, to cheere vp his service, where scandall (by shewe of approving that which is evill in them) doth not hinder: But the world in the besenesse of his mettall, nowe in the last and woo•st, and in the weakenesse of his olde and decayed yeares, laying the ground of all his pollicie, in feare and ielousie issu∣ing from a certaine consciousnesse of his owne worth∣lesnesse, and for want of vertue, holdeth this course for the best, which workes with the greatest advantage, and most secret, against those which either are, or in time may become concurrants or ennimies, letting passe with some termes of spirituall commendations, those auncient & more noble waies, which being derived from the high* governour of both the worldes: and having their ground in the immoveable principles of true wisedome & vertue, must needs be of great force, both for the vpholding and effecting of all worthie and honorable desires, were* there afirme minde to pursue them, and a strong arme to weild them; both which to this weake world are wanting* but of this matter sufficient.
It is nowe time to come to the view of those meāes which are vsed by the Papacie, for excluding of all accesse and sound of Religion, in those places where their power remayneth yet vnabridged: wherein (as in other like cases before) I will lightly passe over that which is apparant to all eyes: and that is, what service their Inquisition doth therein, being in truth, the principall and most for∣cible engine in accomplishing that worke, and such as wheresoever it, and the coundell of Trent can bee throughly planted and established, (as in Spaine and all Italie, saving onely in the kingdome• of Naples, where the tyrannie of Spaine is an Inquisition sufficient (as the Inqui∣sition is also of the two, the better) that it doth rid thē of feare, and their adversaries of hope, of letting in the refor∣mation vnlesse perhapes in some vniversall deluge of Page [unnumbered] warre, when the execution of lawes and such searchers shall bee forced to cease. For this Inquisition being com∣mitted lighthly to the most zealous, industrious, and rigo∣rous Frias that can bee found in all places, who leave no one rule thereof vnpractised, taking hold of men for the least suspition of Heresie, or of affinitie, or commerce with Heretiques that may bee, as the bare reprooving sometimes the lives of the Cleargie, or having anie Booke or edition prohibited (though yet with some re∣garde of the nature and qualitie of the persons seeing many men make those octions su•icious, which other∣wise would not make the man) discovering men, by the pressing of all mens consciences, whom they charge vnder an high degree of damnation (being a case reserved, and wherein not any vnder a Bishop or Archbishop can ab∣solve them) as I have seene in their printed instructi∣ons at Scienna, to apeach even their nearest and dee∣rest friendes if they knewe, or did but suspect them to bee culpable therein proceeding against the detected, with such secrecie, and severitie, as that first they shall never have notice of their accusers, but shall bee vrged to reveale their verie thoughts, and affections: Second∣ly, if by long inquirie they be taken tardie in any one thing delivered in their opinions, or can bee convi∣cted thereof by any two witnesses, they are cast and gone.
Thirdly, if nothing fall out to be prooved against them, yet will they hold them in their holy house diverse years, sometimes in great anguish and miserie, for a ter•our to other, and for their exact tryall. And lastly, besides all other tortures and scornes, if one be touched the second time, nothing but death without remission. This doth so sweepe all the quarters and corners where it walkes, that as a sheering wind it killeth all in the budde, no wit nor provision being possible to avoide it, yea, is such a bridle to the verie freedome of minde, and libertie of speech Page [unnumbered] which they of their owne way would otherwise vse, That many of their Catholiques elsewhere who would die per∣haps if need so were, for their religion, yet abhorre the ve∣rie mention and name of the Inquisitiō, as being the grea∣test slaverie, that ever the world hath tasted: and that the Venetians themselves could never yet be brought to admit in other sort, then with certaine verie favourable exceptions for strangers (who are generally also in Italie little searched into their consciences, by reason of the gain that comes by their repaire, but may passe well enough if they giue no scandall) and with retaining the soveraigne sway thereof in their owne hands at all times. But to let the racke of mens soules thus rest as an invention, fitter for the religion of Antiochus, and Domitian, or Mahomets Al∣cheron, than for the clemencie of his Gospell, who was Prince of mildnesse and mercie, it is a wonderfull thing to see what curious order & diligence they vse, to suffer no∣thing to be done or sprung vp among themselves which may any way give footing to the Religion they so much* hate: And first for the scriptures, Forsomuch as the refor∣mation seemeth grounded vpon them, having striven to square it out wholy by that rule, as farre forth as their vn∣derstanding and wits could wade. And forasmuch as •• is a thing which the Romanistes denie not, That a great part of their Religion hath other foundation, which see∣meth in many points to swarve much, yea and plaine∣ly to crosse the scriptures, as an ordinare Reader by his meere naturall witt, not fashioned by their distinctions, nor directed by their glosses would expound it. For this cause though heretofore to stop their adversaries mouths, alwaies yelping and crying with hatefull soundes. That they would not suffer the poore people to heare GOD speake to them, that they starued and murthered their soules in ignoraunce, robbing them of the breade of life, the voyce of Christ, and cramming and choaking them with their emptie superstitions, their poysoned Ido∣latries. Page [unnumbered] That their scriptures would shew them that their worshipping of Images was ever with threats prohibited in the law of God: That their praying in vnknowne lan∣guages, and by tale▪ is plainely reprooved, their invoca∣ting and praying to saints, a matter there never heard of, that their ceremonies were vanities, their trafficke for soules very sacriledge, their Miracles delusions, their in∣dulgences blasphemies, that it would discover their Church to be the bodie strangely infected and polluted with foule and pestilent diseases, And finally, that their not erring and incon•oleable Lord of Rome was no other than that imperious bewitching Ladie of Babylon: though, I say, as well to beat back these irkesome outeries of their adversaries, as also to give some content & satisfaction to their owne, that they might not thinke them so terrible a∣fraid of the Bible, they were contented to let it be transla∣ted by some of their favourers into the vulgar, as also some number of Copies thereof to be saleable for a while at the beginning. Yet since having huisht that former clamour and taken better provision for the establishing of their affatres, they have called all vulgar Bibles straightly in againe (yea the verie Psalmes of David, which their fa∣ctious Preacher Bishop Pa•gorola translated) as doub∣ting else the vnavaleablenesse of those former inconveni∣ences.
To let passe these hard conceits which they breede in the multitude, as touching the inextricable obscuritie of the scriptures, the easinesse to mistake it, the daunge∣rousnesse to erre by it, having raised in some places such base and blasphemous proverbes concerning it, I would rather themselves would extinguish them, than that I list to giue life by recording them in this place, neyther yet in their verie sermons, though they preach alwaies in a ma∣ner of the Gospell of the day, doe they read or any waye recite the text, but discourse onely on such pointes of it as they thinke fittest, without more solemnitie, that no Page [unnumbered] sound of Scripture may possesse the people, although the vse in France be otherwise for that matter, yea some parts of Scripture, as Saint Paules Epistles they are so iealous of, and thinke so dangerous, that (as I have heard credible report, (for my selfe did not see it) some of their Iesuites of late in Italie in solemne Sermons, and other their fa∣vorites elsewhere in private communication commending betweene them Saint Peter for a worthy spirite, have censured Saint Paule for a hote headed person, who was so transported with his pangs of zeale and eagrenesse be∣yond all compasse in most of his disputes, That there was no greate reckoning to be made of his Assertions, yea he was dangerous to read, as savouring of heresie in some places, and better perhaps he had never written▪ Agree∣ably to which I heard other of their Catholiques deliver, that it hath beene heeretofore very seriously consulted among them, to have censured by some meanes, and reformed the Epistles of Saint Paul, though for my owne part, I must confesse I cannot beleeve this point, as beeing an attempt too abhominable and blasphemous, and for these times too desperate a scandall. But howsoever, he of all other is least beholding to them, whom of mine owne knowledge and hearing some of them teach in the pulpit, not to have beene secure of his preaching, but by confe∣rence with Saint Peter, nor that he durst publish his Epi stles, till Saint Peter had allowed them, these orders they have taken to avoide danger from the written worde, ad∣vauncing in steede thereof, the amplitude, the sufficien∣cie, and vnfallible certaintie of GODS Oracles and wordes not written, but delivered by the custodie of his holy Church by speech onely, which Church hath deli∣vered her mind in the Councell of Trent, whereto al those that are solemnly made Doctors in Italie must subscribe.
35 And as in the foundation of the Reformation which is the Scriptures, so much more in the edifice it selfe, the doctrine and opinions they beate away all sound Page [unnumbered] and eccho of them, beeing not lawfull there to alleadge them, no not to glaunce at them, nor to argue & dispute of them, no not to refute them: In ordinary matter of com munication to talke of matters of religion is odious and suspitious, but to enter into any reasoning, though for Ar∣gument sake, without other scandall, is prohibited and dangerous Yea it was once my fortune to be halfe thret∣ned for no other fault than for debating with a Iew, and vpholding the trueth of Christianitie against him, so vn∣lawfull are all disputes of Religion whatsoever: And the Friars even in Fraunce, in their indevours to convert o∣ther, will say it is lawfull to perswade them, but not to dispute with them. But in Italie this is much more exact∣ly observed, wherein their Divinitie disputations in their Vniversities or Colledges (as some such disputations they have, but very sleight and vnfrequent) I coulde not per∣ceive that ever they debated any question at this day con∣troversed otherwise than as ever among themselves, and betweene the Schoolemen. And which was more straunge to me till I sounded the reason, in no place of Italie where ever I came, could I have anie of their Prea∣chers treate of any point in question betweene them and the Protestants save onely at Padua, where, in re∣spect there are alwaies diverse hundreth of strangers of the adverse part, it is otherwise practised. But in all other places, for ought I could perceive, either they mention now no adversaries, or if they do (which is very seldome) yet doe they not vnfolde their opinions and arguments, but either from other Chimeraes of their owne in steed of them, & so flourish about or two in canvasing their owne shadowes, as is vsuall in France also, or else dispatch them away with certaine generall reproches, and then (as I have heard) some of them will formally conclude. But what do I name Heretikes in an assemblie of Catholiques? How∣beit they are not so forgetfull and carelesse of their crosse neighbours, as this course might seeme at the first blush to Page [unnumbered] import; but those offices they doe, they doe them to the best purpose, teaching the people somtime in pulpit, much more in private conference, and in their confession, that the Lutherans and Calvinists, are blasphemers of God, and of all his Saints; and above all other, that they despise and vilifie our Lady, saying plainly, she was no better than one of their owne wives. That they abolish the Church Sacra∣ments, the onely meanes of salvation, that where ever they come, they either raze or robbe Churches, & make stables of them, that in England they have neither Churches, nor any form of religion, nor serve God any way, that the Eng∣lish Nation (since their falling away from their Church) is growne so barbarous, that their students are very Canni∣bals, and eate young children, and that there is no kind of villanie, which is not currant amongest them. And that a∣bove all other places, Geneva is a very professed Sanctuary of Rogerie, giving harbour to all the runnagates, traitors, rebels, and wicked persons of all other Countries: By which speach, verie generally in Italie, spred and belee∣ved, some memorable accidents have at some times hap∣pened, Sundry of their prigging and loose Friars, hearing Geneva to be a place of good fellowship (and thinking the worse prankes they plaied with their owne, ere they came ther, to finde the better welcome at their comming) have robbed their Convents of their Church-plate, & reposito∣rie, and brought away the bootie in tryumph to Geneva,* vnder the colour of being reformed in their Religion, where their advancement hath beene straight to the Gib∣bet for their labour; a reward vnexpected, and such as caused them to complaine pitifully of their wrong infor∣mation. For such is the extraordinary severity of that Ci∣tie, as to punish crimes committed without their estate, with no lesse rigor, then as if they had beene done amongst them. And not many yeers since, it was the lot of a Spa∣nish Gallant, who stoode vpon his State, and carry∣ed a Mint about him, to repaire thither to have stamps Page [unnumbered] made him for the coyning of Pistolets. His defence was, that hee vnderstoode that their Citie was free, & gave re∣ceipt to all offēders: but withal (said they) when they were come they punished their offences; a distinction which the poore Gentleman never before studied, & the learning of it then cost him no lesse then his head-peece. And as by those kinds of slanders, so also to harden mens mindes, a∣gainst them, they will tell of strange miracles have befallen them; a point wherewith the Pulpits of France doe also ring dayly, where in the siege of Paris, they were growne to that audaciousnes, as to perswade the people there (who generally beleeved it) that the thūder of the Popes excom∣munications had so blasted the Heretikes, that their faces were growne al black & vgly as Divels, their eyes & looks gastly, their breaths noysome and pestilent, much like to the Servide Madon & Bollonia, whom I heard in Pulpit a∣mong a multude of moderne miracles, which had fallen out to their punishments who were excommunicated (the continuing wherein a yeare without seeking absolution, in∣curreth suspition of heresie) tell this also of an hereticall gentleman of Polonia, who talking at a solemne dinner a∣gainst the Pope, the bread of his trencher grewe black as inke, & vpon his repētance it returned to his former white∣nes. A thing happened but lately, & reported by the Popish Ambassadors to a Cardinall, by the Cardinall to a Bishop, by this Bishop to this Frier, an imitation perhaps of that re∣nowmed miracle of eating tables for hunger, threatned by that winged Prophetesse, with like deduction of credit, Quae Phaebo pater omnipotens mihi Phoebus Apollo Praedixit vobis furiarum ego maxima pando: And these things are in steed of refuting the Protestants religion, which are not in vaine: for the vulgar sort of people, who beleeved (as they say) God and Pope, thinke all Gospell that their Fryars tell them. And I have heard some coniecture at others to bee Lutherans, only by reason that they were so mōstrous blas∣phemers as they were; but all are not of that stampe, those Page [unnumbered] Gentlemen and others that have travelled abroad, & those also at home, that are not paisionately blind, but discreet and inquisitive of the truth of all things, howsoever dissen∣ting from them, yet have no such conceit of the Protestants opinions or actions. But the most strange thing (as to me it seemeth) of all other; is, that those principall writers, who have imployed themselues wholy in refuting from point to point the Protestants doctrine, & arguments, are so rare in Italy, as by ordinary inquiry (I beleeve) are not to be found. The controversie of Cardinall Bellarmine, I sought for in Venice in all places, neither that, nor Gregory of Valenza, nor any of such quality, could I ever in any shop in Italy set eye on, but in stead of them, an infinite of meere invectiues and declamations, which made me intertain this suspicious con∣iecture, that it might be their care, that no part of the Pro∣testants positions and allegations should be knowen, they were so exact, as to make discurrēt in some, even those very bookes, which were constrained to recite them, that they might refute them in such wise, as not to suffer them to be cōmonly saleable, but only to such, & in such places, as the superiors shal think meet: but the truth of this coniecture I leave to further enquiry. The conclusion is this, no sound of the reformed religion, either stirring in Italy, or by any hu∣mane wit now possible to be raised, for to bring in from for∣reine places any heriticall writing, though it were without malice, it were two years straight imprisonmēt (as they say) if he scaped so. So far are they from their adversaries, eyther simplicity, if their cause be bad, or honesty, if good, who not onely in the most of their Replies, print both together, to give means of indifferency in iudging to the Reader, but even permit their adversaries (yet vnanswered) disputers to runne current among them, so they be in the Latin, and not purposely writtē (as som are) misdrawing the multitude. It remained now to restraine the Italians from going abroad to forreine Countries where those contagious sounds and sights might infect them. Heerein the nature of the ItalianPage [unnumbered] doth supply, who wonders at vs Englishmen that come tra∣velling so farre thither, himselfe having no humor to stirre one foot abroad. And indeed little neede, considering how all nations in Christendome do flock to him, but not so for marchants, these fly abroad in exceeding abundance to all places, and in wealth (where ever they come) overtop all o∣ther, such is their skil, their witt, their industry, their parsimo nie. Behold then this late Popes exploit in that point, he hath, by his painted Bul, vnder paine of excomunication, forbidden them all repaire for traffique to hereticall coun∣tries, wherevpon some (as I heare) are retired from Englād and other in other places are said to have importunated & obtained some out chappell to have their Masse in. Thus hath euery gap his bush, each suspition his prevention.
36 One thing only remaineth as a garland to all the rest: It were a hard state and tyrannicall, where the Superiours should assume to themselves all licence of doing, and not permit the inferiors, at least wise, libertie of speaking, which is but a slender revenge for so great a wrong as ill govern∣ment; yet such as by giving vent to the boyling fumes of ha tred, doth evaporate and aslake that heat which otherwise would flame out into fire and mischiefe. For which cause the wisest mē have bin alwaies pleased, that loosers should have their words. And they that endevored to bridle mens tongues by sharp laws (whom they rather should have charmed and held in tune by their owne integritie) haue learned that things violent are seldome permanēt, that the enioying of too much patience, makes mē breake into mad nes. Yea, I haue heard men of great experience and iudg∣ment say, that the best way to reconcile countrey enmities is, to let the good men chide a while heartily together, & their stomakes once being disgorged, a peaceable motion will find good audience, so necessarie are these evaporati∣ons to the mind of the multitude, which may serve for a iu∣stification of the wisdome of the Papacie in those former free times when they; and others said, what ech humor Page [unnumbered] advised. But little was it then feared which since hath fol∣lowed, little was it then imagined, that the time shoulde come, when the world awakened by the cries of a Friar, should looke so broadely about, and search so narrowly al the sleights and hid corners of the Papacie▪ what their do∣ctrine had beene, what their lives, what their scopes, what their practises. Not so many of the consecrated Divines, patrones of the Roman state, with thousands of prayers & vowes daily adored: nor so many of their inshrined and myracle-woorking-Images, to whome such store of lāpes and pure candels were daily burning, so much incense perfumed, so long iournies to pilgrimage perfourmed, such aboundance of giftes and glad offerings presented, One whom lastly, so many, so devout, so humble hung downe heades, and bowed knees, and beaten breastes, and lifted vppe eyes attended, did ever fore tell so notable a calamitie. It was not then thought that their would arise a generation, who would alleadge in good earnest, that, diverse hundred of yeares since, as also more freshly, sundrie of their owne Authors and followers, had (in bitter detestation of their monstrous abhomination) de∣scribed out the Pope for the antichrist foreprophesied; cal∣led Rome, the very Babylon and temple of heresies, the corrupter of the world, the hate of heaven, and in effect, the verie gate or hieway to hell: that the lives of their Pre∣lates, Priests, Friars and Nunnes, (not for some particular offences which will alwaies befall, but for the ordinariy tenor and course of conversation) had beene so reported by men of their owne religion, that an honest adversary cannot reade them without sorrowe, nor a modest, with∣out shame and blushing: that the iniquitie of their chiefe See hath bin so exorbitant, as to have raised among them∣selves this saying, amongst other concerning it, ingrossed in their owne booke; That the worst christians in Italy are the Romans, that of the Romans, the Priests are the most wicked, the lewdest Priests are preferred to be Cardinalls, Page [unnumbered] and the badest among the Cardinals is chosen to be Pope. Neither was it then foreseene that the world entering into these considerations, would thinke that they had reason, which called for a reformation, that it was not a fatall cala∣mitie of this age, but a supernatural blessing of God from aboue, after the kindling of many precursory lights of knowledge, and furnishing other instruments to serve thereto, to direct a meere accident of scandall of their part, namely, the vndiscreet proclaming and seale on their par∣dons (as the wisest and worthiest of their owne Historio∣graphers reports it) to the provoking of certaine men of more zeale, & courage, than pollicy, or skill in conducting their actions; who without any such premeditated intent, yea and drawne into the listes, & held in them against their will, by the violent pressing and insulting of their adversa∣ries, having beene forced to sift throughly the Romish do∣ctrine and practise, have discovered therein those errors and abuses, which it was hie time to be swept and purged out of the Church, and that the establishing of this reforma∣tion, how vnperfit soever, to be done by so weake and sin∣ple meanes, yea by casuall and crosse meanes, against the force of so puissant and politique an adversary, is that mi∣racle which wee are in these times to looke for; wherein it pleaseth God (whose goodnes doth alwaies speake out) to renowne his higher wisedome, in guiding this vntoward world by ordinarie courses, as in fore-times his power by annexing therein his often extraordinarie wonders. But the Papacy at this day, by wofull experience, what damage this licence of writing among themselves hath done them, and that their speeches are not only weapons in the hands of their aduersaries, but eyesores and stumbling blocks also to their friends, vnder shew of purging the world from the infection of all the wicked & corrupt bookes and passages, which are eyther against honesty or good manners; for which two purposes, they have their severall officers, who i•deed, blot out much impiousnes and filth, and therin de∣serve Page [unnumbered] to bee both condemned and imitated (wherunto the Venetians adde also a third to let nothing passe that may iustly be offensive to Princes) have in truth, pared, and lopt off al whatsoever, in a manner, their watchfull eyes could observe, either free in disclosing their abuses & coruptious, or sawcie in construing their drifts & practi∣ses; or dishonorable to the Cleargy, or vndutiful to the Pa∣pacy: these editions only authorised, all other are disallow∣ed, called in, consumed, with threats to whomsoever shall presume to keepe them; That no speech, no writing, no e∣vidence of things past, no discourse of things present: in sum, nothing whatsoever may sound ought, but holinesse, honour, purity, integrity to the vnspotted spouse of Christ, & to his vnerring vicar, to the mistris of Churches, to the father of Princes. But, as it fals out now & then, that wis∣dome & good fortune are the ruine of them, that too much follow them, by drawing men somtimes, vpon a presum∣tion of their wit & cunning in contrivements and of their good succes withall in one attempt, to adventure vpon an other still of yet more subtill invention, and more dange∣rous executiō, which breaks in the end with the very fine∣nesse it selfe, & overwhelmes them with difficulties: So it is to be thought, that their prosperous succes in pruning & pluming those latter writers affected with good ease, and no very great clamor, as having some reason, and doing re∣ally some good, was it that did breed in them a conceipt, that it was possible to worke the like conclusion in writers of elder times, yea in the fathers themselves. In al other mo∣numents of reverend antiquitie, & the opinion of possibili∣ty redoubling their desire, brought forth, in fine, that Index expurgatorius, whereof, I suppose, they are now not a little ashamed, they having by misfortune lighted in their ad∣versaries hands (from whome they desired by all means to conceale them) where they remaine as a Monument to the iudgement of the world, of their everlasting reproach and ignomy. These purging Indices are of divers sorts, some Page [unnumbered] worke not above 800. years vpward, other venture much higher, even to the prime of the Church, the effect is, that forasmuch as there were so many passages in the Fathers, and other antient Ecclesiasticall writers, which their adver∣saries producing in averment of their opinions, they were not able, but by trickes & shiftes of wit, to reply & to ease themselves, of that wit, labour, and qualitie, perhappes indede, more commendable in some other trade than in Diuinitie, where Veritie shoulde sway, where the love of the truth should assubiect or extinguish wholy all other passions, and the the eie of the minde fixed at∣tentively vpon that obiect, should divert from the re∣garding of other motions whatsoever. Some assemblies of their Divines, with consent, no doubt, of their redoubted superiors and soveragnes, have delivered expresse order, that in the impressions of these Autors, which hereafter should be made the scādalous places there named, should be cleane left out, which perhaps (though in this present age would have finally prevailed to the reclaiming of their adversaries) it would have bin great assurāce to the retayn∣ing of their owne, to whome no other bookes should have bin granted; yea perhaps, Time & Industrie, which eate e∣ven thorrow marbles, extinguishing or getting into their hands all former Editions: and for any other new to be set •u▪ by their adversaries there is no great fear, whose books being discurrant in all Catholiques countries, their wāt of meanes requisite to vtter an impression, would disharten them from the charge, the mouth also of Antiquity should be throughly shut vp from vttering any sillable or sound a∣gainst them.
Lastly, by adding wordes where oportunitie and pretence might serve, and by drawing in the marginall notes & glosses of their friars into the text of the fathers, (as in some of thē they have already very hansomely begū, for the mouth of antiquity should be allso opened for thē) Their remained then only the rectifying of S Paule, whose Page [unnumbered] turne in all likeliehoode, (if ever) should be the next, and other places of Scripture, whose authority beeing set be∣neath the Churches alreadie, it were no greate matter to submit also to her censures, especially for so good an intēt, as the weeding out of heresies, and the preserving of the Catholike saith in his purity & glory. But above all other, the second Commandement (as the Protestants, Grecians, and Iewes reckon it) were like to abide it, which already in their vulgar catechisme is discarded as words superfluous, or at leastwise vnfit or vnnecessarie for these times: and then, without an Angel sent downe from heaven, no means to controle or gain-say them in any thing. But these are the dreames, perhaps, of some over-passionate desires, at leastwise not likely to take place in our times. But what is it which the opinions of the not possibility of erring, of the necessary assistance of Gods spirite in their Consistories, of authoritie vnlimited, of power both to dispence of Gods lawes in this world, & to alter his arrests and iudgements in the other (for therevnto doe their pardons to them in Purgatory extend). What is it which these so high and fer∣tile opinions are not able to engender, and powerfully to inforce, and to execute, carrying men away headlong with this raging conceipt; that whatsoever they doe by the Popes, they doe by Gods owne commandement, whose Lievtenant on the earth he is, by a commission of his own penning: that is to say, with absolute and vnrestrained iurisdiction, that whatsoever they do for the advancement of his See and Scepter, they do it for the vpholding of the Church of Christ, and for the salvation of mens soules, which out of his obedience doe vndoubtedly perish. And verily it seemes, no causelesse doubt of feare, that these humours, so forward, so ventrous to alter and chastice with palpable partiality, the workes of former times in any age, which hath so many iealous eyes on their fingers, so many mouth•s open to publish their owne shame, such store of coppies to restore and repaire whatsoever Page [unnumbered] they should presume to maime or deprave that in former ages, when there were few copies, small difficulties, no ene∣mies, as it is found by certaine & irresragable arguments; that bastard writings were forged in their favour, and fa∣thered on honest men, who never begat them. So also they might besides, by their choppings and changings, puttings in, and pvttings out, suppresse many good evi∣dence which they perceived were not greatly to their pur∣pose should be extant. But of all others, in reforming and purifying of Authors, the care and diligence of this Pope doth farre exceede, who not content with that which hath beene done in that kinde before him, nor thinking things yet so bright as they should be, causeth much to be per∣used and skowred over anew; yea, and it is thought, will cassiere some worthy Authors, who as yet (though with cuts and gashes) hold ranke amongst them. And for a fur∣ther terrour, not to retaine bookes prohibited, I have seen in their printed instructions for confession, the hearing or reading of bookes forbidden, set in ranke amongst the sinnes against the first Commandements. And for fur∣ther provision, the Iewes (who have no other trades to speake of, then loane of money and old stuffe) are inhibi∣ted in many places the medling any more with bookes, for feare that through error or desire of lucre, they might doe them preiudice. Neither is it lawfull in Italy to carry bookes about from one place to another, without allow∣ance of them from the Inquisitor, or search by their autho∣rities, wherein as I confesse, they have neglected nothing which the wit of man in this kinde could possibly devise. So yet it may be doubted, that as too much wiping doth in the end draw blood with it, & soile more then before; so these too rigorous cuting off of all Authors tongues, lea∣ving nothing which may favour any freedome of spirit, or give any satisfaction for vnderstading times past, may raise such a longing for the right Authors in the mindes of all men, as may encourage the Protestants to reprint them Page [unnumbered] in their first intirenesse, having hope given to vent them, although in secret. These have I observed for the com∣plots and practises of the Roman Church and Papacy, not doubting but that they may have many more, and much finer then I can dreame of: & yet in the surveying of these altogether, me thinks they are such, that it causeth mee in generality of good desire to wish, that eyther the cause which they strive to maintain, were better, or their pollicies whereby they maintaine it, were not so good.
37 Now to take a view of the present state of the Papa∣cie, or rather of some points therein more requisite to be knowne: First, to consider it in his owne proper and pe∣culiar Dominions, namely, in the Seigniories and Territo∣ries which the Pope holds in Italy, (for as for Avignon with his Countie Uenassive in France, by reason of the ill neighborhood of the Protestants of Grange, it hath yeelded him (I weene) in these latter times no great matter) yea, rather it hath beene an overcharge vnto him: for which cause, they like well to be vnder the Pope, as bringing more vnto them, then he taketh from them. I take it at this day, of the foure great States of Italy, (by reason of the accesse of the Dukedome of Ferrara, escheated to him of late) to be clearely the third at least, and to surmount the great Dukes, which it hath well-nie surrounded also, yea, question might be made concerning the second place. For although the Venetians in amplitude of Territories farre, and in greatnesse of revenewes not alittle exceed it: yet (besides other difficulties and charges of necessity, to which they are more subiect) in militarie force they greatly come short, the popes men retaining still the brave hearts of their ancestors, and breeding among them plentie of a∣ble leaders, whereof at this present, both the great Duke and Venetians, doe serve themselves, whereas the Lum∣bards, wherein is the scumme of the states of Uenice, are as heavy and vnwarlike, as their soile is deepe and fat: in∣so much, that the Venetians are driven to seeke abroad, and Page [unnumbered] especially to the Grecians, from whom they are to have at all times, ten thousand at call. But on the contrarie side, being to be alleaged, that the Uenetians are by sea puissant, where the Pope can doe nothing, I suppose they may still hold the second place of greatnesse. The first even in Italy without other respectes, being incomparable due to the Spanish mightinesse; and this in possession: Besides which, all Italy holding, partly of the Pope partly of the Empyre, (save the Citie of Uenice, who acknowledge no Lord) of the Pope the Kingdome of Naples and Cicile, with their dependants, the Dukedomes of Parma, Valen∣cia, & Vrbin, besides other lesse quillets of these. The Dut∣chy of Urbin no great thing, but full of goodly men, and of some 100000. crownes revenewes, is in great probability to devolve to the church ere long, the Duke being in years, and without heire, though as now vnmarried, by his olde wiues decease of late. But the Iesuites labour hard that he so remaine, perswading him that Bigamy is not so accep∣table an estate to God. Heere is also possibilities of the cheating of Parma and Placentia, there being but the young Duke, who remaineth still vnmarried, being with∣stood, as it is thought, in his long love to Florence, both by Spaine of old, and now by the Pope, (also besides, the great Duke is not hastie to forgoe his Neeces portion) and the Cardinall Furnesy his brother, who in that case I be∣leeve, should finde as difficult a suit at Rome for dispensa∣tion to marrie, as the Duke of Farara did before him, for a transport of his tenure. Of Naples I can say nothing, eyther for probabilitie or possibility, as things now stand, onely it is apparant that the Popes have a verie great desire vnto it, and opinion of good title also even in present; but the vnfortunate successe and fearefull example of Pope Sixtus Quintus doth feare them, who of a simple Friar, being aduanced to the Papacy, by the favour of Spayne, whom of long he had served, fore-seeing very plainly the inevitable bondage, which together with all Italy, the very Page [unnumbered] Apostolique Sea, and Ladie Church did grow into, per∣ceiving their irreligion in encroachmentes vppon their Church-rights, their tirannous importuning him to serve their turne and humours, their bravadoes, threats, insolen∣cies, and lording over him. When his eies did see this daily, and could not remedie it otherwise, being constrained by these iminent dangers and present indignities, hee durst harbour in his minde the afflicted forsaken thoughts of Paulus Quartus his predecessor, and imbrace a designe of chasing the Spaniards out of Italy, and especially of recove∣ring the Realme of Naples to the Church, which hath now but a quit-rent, of foure thousand crownes out of it, be∣ing one of the richest places that is in the world. For the effecting of which purpose, by enhaunsing his impostes vpon all commodities, after the example of the other Princes and states, his neighbours, and by other devises to∣gether, with good managing in short time, he raised five millions of treasure, a good ground of warre. And more∣over, after the example of the same Paulus Quartus, who brought into Rome it selfe, two thousand Almanes Luthe∣rans, to oppose against the Duke of Alva, King Philips Generall in Italy, yea, and was content to indure quietly those abuses and despites which they daily offered to his Images and Sacraments, and sundry other devotions, as re∣maineth in a report of credit not to be excepted against. So this Sixtus began covertly to seeke strength from the Pro∣testants, propounding to favour this French Kingslabours, yea and desiring to entertaine good correspondency with England, conunending her Maiestics government above all Princes in the world, by which neglect •ee drew vpon him so great offence of the Spanish partie, and especially of the Iesuites, from whom also as being too rich; for vowes of povertie he tooke at one clappe above 20000. crownes rent, and bestowed vpon Saint Peter, as I have heard reported, as they have stiled him an Avarist, that the divell, with whom hee had intelligence, came and fetched Page [unnumbered] him away, being in truth, one of the worthiest Popes this age ha•h seene. The vnpropsperous events of these high in∣devours, and his precipitated ruine, who dared to advance them, having beene poisoned by Spanish practise, as the wisest there say (and whilst my selfe was in Italy, a Priest, one of the Popes subiects, reported in secret, that there was lately a supplication pute vp to his Holinesse, by a person vnknowne, craving absolution at his handes, for making away of a Pope, which was thought could bee no other then this Sixtus,) dooth terrifie them that come after from venturing themselves in the like, and for imitating his actions, whose end they have cause to tremble at.
So Naples remaineth not in his view that hath most right to it, but in his hands and armes that i• strongest to hold it. And this for the Popes temporall state, which may perhappes yeeld him now neere two millions of yearely revenewes, by reason of the great increase Ferrara hath brought, and be able to make at home for their owne defence, some hundred thousand fighting men, or there∣abouts, if neede were.
Besides which rent arising at home at his owne state, that which he sucketh out of forraigne partes is not small even at this day, though nothing perhappes in compa∣rison of those former rich times, when mony came in dai∣ly so flush from all quarters, that there temporality, (which now they make their principall) was then but an accessary addition to their greatnesse. For among other blowes which Luther hath given that See, it hath compelled them, besides the intire losse in Countries revolted, e∣ven out of those which sticke to them, to draw more mo∣derately then before, for feare of offending: yea, they have beene also in these latter times, forced to share or yeelde vppe into the hands of great Princes (of Fraunce namely, and Spaine, for the better assuring them) a▪ great part of those fleeces, which themselves were wont Page [unnumbered] to share from the Clergy heretofore, without any part∣ners: howbeit in Italy and some other places, their an∣nuities and tenths, doe still runne currant, (besides the Spogly, as they terme them, or strippings which they have of Clergy men at their deaths, vnlesse in their life∣time, by some yerely pension they list to redeeme) and amount (no doubt) to a good round summe. His gaine out of Spaine is thought matchable very neere to that of Italy, which the Kings thereof doe and will more contentedly endure, for the better assuring of the Papacy vnto them, which otherwise were likely to run mainly with France; I would not report it, but that I have it frō mē good of place, that Pius Quintus, vnder pretences (after the Councell of Trente) of reforming their Clergy and such like affaires, was complained on to the Counsell of Spaine, to have drawne fourteene millions from them out of the King∣dome. what gaines their pardons bring, I cannot esti∣mate, they being not solde now to particular persons after their former vsage, saving in Spaine and the appurtenances to them, whereof also the late King himselfe was said to have the greater share and in regard thereof, to have pres∣sed it mightily vpon his people. It is to be presumed, that such a multitude of generall, perpetuall, and plenary indul∣gences, for all persons, times and offences, as are granted to the religious houses, and to some other Churches of Italy, and to sundry in France also, yeld somwhat to the holy father, in way of thankful acknowledgment, considering that their gaine by them is nothing.
The Cordeliers at Orleance, at the publishing of one indulgence, picked vppe (as they say there) foure thou∣sand at a blow. But howsoever the mistrie of that secret standes, this is plaine and apparant; that the Po∣pes are contented to vse their religious houses, as verie spunges, to drinke what iuyce they can from the people, that afterwardes, hee may wring them out, one by one into his own cesterne. The Covents have from Page [unnumbered] him these indulgences of grace to remitte sinnes, and free soules from Purgatory: at the yerely publishing where∣of in their Churches, there stands in some convenient place, the boxe of devotion, with some poore begging crucifixe likely before it, and two tapers of each side to see the chinke to put mony in. What man can be so vn∣thankefull, so stony, and dry-harted, as to give nothing to them, who have forgiven him so much, especially, there ne∣ver being wanting some holy pretence to incourage, nor many an eye open to see their good doing;
Besides this, the Pilgramages to their miraculous ima∣ger, which drew great commodities to their Cities also & states, wherein the people not ignorant thereof, helpe to set them a working: a consideration that brings contentment therewith no lesse to the Princes. So sweete is the taste of gaine from whatsoever, the visiting of their holy reliques, (both which have their offerings) the purchasiing of mas∣ses, both auxiliatory & expiatory, their rewards for pray∣ing, their collections for preachings, besides sund•y other duties, amongst which their obi••s which are so benefi∣ciall, that their account is from a rich man, to draw viis & modis, some hundred at his funerall, or else it goeth hard: yea, this is so certaine, and so good a rent vnto them, that if any man should be buried without their solemnitie, and some of their odors to accōpany his coarse, he should be thought a very heriticke, and to be sure to have some bad bruite set abroach concerning him; as fell out not long since to a welthie Citizen of Lucca who willed by his testament, to be buried in the night, without their ringing, tapering, censing, attending, or singing, hadde a rumour soone spread on him by the belly devote Friers, whom hunger and losse of hope, haue made wic∣kedly irefull, that he was haunted and molested with rattes on his death bedde: these meanes extraordinarie, be sides these ordinarie revenewes, increasing often by inheritance, discending vpon them, which happen to Page [unnumbered] any of their brotherhoods, goeth (to the convent for ever: such is the law of Italy) being granted or permitted by the Pope to the Friars, and all to enrich them. The lawe re∣quires, reason and equitie allowes, and their vowes of po∣vertie adviseth, that when they grow too rich his Holi∣nesse should let them blood in their over-full veines, for his necessarie sustenance, as did Sixtus, who pared away the superfluities of sundry rich Covents, as fitter for his high estate and honourable designes, then for them, who had poverty in their vowed recommendations: This Pope dealeth more gently by way of loanes, which may per∣haps in the end come all to one reckoning. Besides the which, when warre against the Turkes, or Heretiques, or other enemies of the Church, or any other great affaires requires imployment of the Church treasure, then are taxes and subsidies imposed, or requested to a certaine proportion, vppon the revenewes of all Abbeyes, and o∣ther religious Covents in Italy, besides the rest of the Cleargie, which can be no small matter, as was done these last yeares for the service of Hungarie. I might adde here∣unto the toll of his forreine commodities, the fees of dis∣pensations, chiefly in prohibited degrees for mariage, and infinite other expeditions, wherin his Papal authority doth accommodate, & is accommodated reciprocall of all Na∣tions; but this is sufficient to verifie that assertion, that evē at this day those out-incoms are good helps for an extra∣ordinary odd share when need is. And yet all this notwith∣standing the treasure of the Church is smal. Sixtus Quintus left five millions by his great reckonings & husbandry: his successor Gregory the 14 wasted foure of thē i•ten months & lesse, above his ordinary revenews, in pompe & riot. This man is very chary over that one remaining & disstilleth all other devices, rather then set finger to that string▪ which yet his late Prowesses have caused him to assay. But were the Church rent and gaine how huge soever; two assi∣duall Horseleaches which never leave sucking it, will Page [unnumbered] never suffer it to swell over-great in treasure. The first is the high place of honour, which hee taketh farre above all other Princes and Monarchs in the worlde, which draw∣eth him to inestimable charge in all places, to carrie it wi•h countenance and comelinesse requisite; being for∣ced thereby in his owne traine, in the intertainment he gi∣veth Princes, in the allowance he giveth his Legates, Nun∣cioes, and other Ministers, which according to his owne greatnesse are sent into other Countries, and lastly, in fur∣nishing out the multitude of his actions and practises over the world, do raise his charge, for the most part, according to the proportion of his high estate (for Honour and Fru∣galitie, are the vnfittest companions that can be). It is Li∣berality and Expence, that both breedes and maintaines honour; neither can a iudiciall man perhappes wish worse to his enemie, than to have an honorable calling, and a poore living.
Another thing which keepeth the Papacie alwaies so bare, yea, and makes their temporall state the worse, go∣verned in Italie (for so it is counted) is their often chaunge of Popes, by reason of their yeares, the infinite desire each hath to advance his kindred, his children first if hee have any, as Paulus the third, who left his base issue no lesse than Dukes of Placentia, and Parma: Gegorius the thirteenth more lately, who made his base sonne Duke of Sora, and Castellane, of Saint Angelo. And if they have no children, or list not bee knowne of them, then their Ne∣phewes and other kinsmen, which is common to them all: yea, it oft falleth out, that those Popes, who have not any knowne children of their owne, by extending of their love larger to a great multitude of their Nephewes, yet desiring for their owne renowne, and perpetuating of their owne name, to raise them to a great estate and wealth as they can possibly) do consume more the goods and treasure of the Church, than those other, who have their loves though stronger, yet to fewer, as was apparant in the two Grego∣rie,Page [unnumbered] the thirteenth, with his few sonnes, and the fourteenth with the multitude of his Nephewes and Kinsmen: and these men being raised often from the bottom of basenesse to the height of pride and power, having no hold in their hand, nor scantling of their fortunes, as having never been in middle state, which is the measure of both extremities, do fall into riot, able to ruine a Prince, and rage and ravine in their Offices and Government, as they that knowing their time short, meane to vse it to the full proofe. The examples of both are many, and fresh, which for their foul∣nesse and basenesse, I list not to repeat, for which cause it was a good helpe to Sixtus Quintus to be Pope, that he had small kinred, though the ground is moove∣able, seeing pedegrees change (for the most part) toge∣ther with mens fortune, which as a conscionable Arbira∣tor, neither annoyes the poore ever with multitude of kins∣men, nor discomforts th• rich with paucitie.
39 For the sta•e of the Cleargie vnder the Papacie, it varies as the Countries. In Spayne the Prelates are ex∣ceeding rich in revenewes. The Archbishoppricke of To∣ledo, not inferiour to some Kingdomes; in Italy the li∣vings of Prelates a•e competent, considering the ex∣cessive multitude: yet with so great diversities, as some meere Bishoprickes are aboue two thousand Crownes rent, and other some vnder a thousand Crownes. But the custome of Italy which auoydeth, yea, and bla∣meth multitude of Seruants, and great house-keepings in all sortes and degrees▪ makes 〈…〉 all matter suffi∣cient, and a great superfluous. Besides, there to have many liuings, is a matter of cred••e, and not of profit onely, though as wise men as t•ey have thought other∣wise of it, to be a private great burthen, and a publique great mischiefe. The Parish Priests in Italy, who have no• the Tenthes, which in a Countrey, whose soyle yeeldeth three harvestes in sundrie▪ places, all in one yeare, would amount to an huge matter; and considering the great Page [unnumbered] rents and rackes would be vnsupportable, but have in stead of them certaine farmes as gleabe land appropriate, and some certaine small quantitie out of the increase of their neighbours, are so provided for, that the meanest lightly which are their Curates, have a hundred crownes a yeare, and the Piovatri which are Priests of mother Churches from two hundred, to five hundred & vpwards sometimes, which they help out with masses as occasion serveth, which are still in Italy as cheape as a groat. In Germany the Pre∣lates are lightly great Princes, and great Nobilitie is requi∣red to have those places. In France the Cleargie hath beene in fore-times most flourishing, their revenew amounting when land and all things were cheapest, to sixe millions in the whole, besides their great place in the state, and ample iurisdictions in their precincts: at this day they are fallen generally, especially the inferiour part, into great miserie, and beggery, accompanied with all base and vilde conditi∣ons, whereby the common people is growne vtterly also without knowledge of God, or sense of religion, being fallē into those termes, that plenty which should make men thankfull, maketh them wanton, & affliction which should make men repentant, makes them desperate, and nothing can better them. The whole Realme in summe, hath beene scourged with a three stringed whip, Warre, ill Government, & Iniustice, whereof the two latter are likely to last still, whiles on the one side, the places of Iustice are sold, as by the Drum on the other side. The Church Prelacies, and o∣ther governments of soules, are made the fees and charges of their Courtiers, and soldiors▪ whose merits would have rewards, but suting to their qualitie, which in such a realme as that, could not want, but for want of indifferencie, and measure, heaping all vpon a few, and most, where are lesse deserts: whereas these so vnfit and ill suted recom∣pences, distemper that harmony which should be in • flo∣rishing state, and fill the land with all kinde of corruption, and confusion.
Page [unnumbered]40 But to returne to the Papacie, or rather to the Pope himselfe, and first to his election, the right whereof having beene of olde in the Cleargie and people, and from thence transferred to the Emperours nomination, is now wholy remitted to the colledge of Cardinalles, so that two third partes of their voyces that are present are requisite to him, that eyther by adoration or scrutenie shall cary it away which double proportion of voyces to agree, maketh this election of greater difficultie, and giveth occasion of rarer devises in it, than I suppose are to be found in other partes of the world. I have heard that in these latter times a Car∣dinall of Sicilie, whose holines and learning advaunced him to that dignitie; (for of some, such alwaies there is care to make choise for divers considerations) entring the Con∣clave to an election, and exspecting that by incessant prayer as in times of olde, some divine inspiration should have pointed out Christs vicar, But finding when he was there, nothing but practising, and canvassing, promising, & terri∣fying, banding, and combining, setting some vp for stalles, onelie to ease passage for others, who were reserved vnto the last course, when other mens hopes and angers being spent and evaporated, had abated the prime edge & strēgth of oppositions; In summe, being himselfe also assaulted by all meanes, yea tugged and haled now by one party, now by another; the good man agast, as in a matter cleane con∣trary to his fore-framed expectation. Ad hunc modum (said he (fiunt Pontifices Romanis. There with all, so soone as the Conclave was broken vp he retired to his country, and neuer saw Rome againe. But the matter of greatest marke herein at this day, is the power of the K. of Spaine in swaying those Elections, who by pensions, by perferments, by hopes of the highest, hath assured a great third part of the Cardi∣nalls to him: And to be alwaies at his devotions in all Ele∣ctions, whereby having the exclusiue (as they terme it) no Pope can be made but with his liking. He prodeeds on by his Ambassadors to name also some five or six vnto them, Page [unnumbered] whereof please they but to choose any, he shall rest wel sa∣tisfied: which course though it mightily distaste the rest of the Cardinalls, who are hereby for ever debased from their chiefe desire, yea and inwardly much afflict: the great states of Italie, who are loth to have their Pope of a Spanish Edi∣tion, yet there is no remedie, one of these in fine they must needs choose, the discretion they can have, is onely this, to choose such of them as is like to prove least to his purpose.
A memorable example heereof in the election of the saide Gregorie, where the greatest parte of the Cardinalles enflamed against the King, and banding against him, yet in conclusion, after twoo moneths imprisonment in the Conclave, were forced to relent, and to choose one of his nomination, or otherwise a cleere case, no Election at all, which whether there were or no, made no mater to Spaine who stands vpon a sure ground in his exclusive obstinate∣nesse. The nessesitie of the Church, the state of the Papa∣cie, their owne present condition, the disorders of the cit∣tie of Rome, and of all their territories which in want of a Pope, and this locking vppe of the Cardinalles in a cel∣lar, doe swarve exceedingly, did maynly cry out to have some Pope or other, which at the last they yeelded to, by consenting vpon a favorite, yea a subiect of Spaine also, for such was that Gregorie, howbeit the maine matter runneth not with him so cleerely, they being not the same men that are chosen, and that are Popes: But changing with their estates both name and nature also, yea sometimes not ea∣sier to finde two divers men of humours more different, than is the same man in his Cardinalship, and in his Papa∣litie, whereof no better witnesse than Sixtus Quintus, the most crooching humble Cardinall that ever was lodged in an oven, and the most stowt resolute Pope that ever ware Crowne: in his Cardinalshipe, a meere vassall and slave of Spaine, in his Papasie, the most dangerous enimie that Spaine ever had in the world: in summe, who in his Cardinalship was scorned as a base Friar, in his Papacie Page [unnumbered] was reverenced as a Prince of great worth and spirite; nei∣ther is there any marvell to be made of this difference, see∣ing the meanes of obtaining and maintaining the Papall honour are so cleane contrarie, seeing in the one state they fashion themselves to all other mens humors, in the other, they looke all men should accommodate themselves to their honors. And lastly, seeing these Princes, whose favors are the only hopes to compasse this place, and their power quelling downe the estate. For this cause as in general the Cardinals doe, in their hearts favor France above Spaine, both as being the weaker part, and the further neighbours, & the only hope to maintaine counterpose against the o∣thers greatnes. So let the king of Spaine make what choice among them of a Pope he can, he shall finde that as long as these reasons continue, whosoever sits in the seate, will more respect his owne safetie, than the service of his pre∣ferrors, even as doth this very Pope, who for that cause is conceived to have made some alteration of inward friend∣shippes, though holding good termes of love and loyaltie with both. But this vncertainty & mutability of the newe Popes affections doth cause both the K. of Spaine & other princes of Italy, above all other things, to aime at a man of calme nature, & not of stirring mettall, that if they cannot make any great account of his friendship, yet his naturall disposition and temper may assure them, that he shall not be a raiser of new stirs in Italy, and diverse of them to scamble somewhat for ther own, have bin as on the other side, a speciall good inducement to the Cardinalles, in his age and sicknesse, that the place may bee soone void again; for the gaining whereof there is alwaies practising and plotting immediately vpon the Election.
41 Thus is the Pope made, who hath his councel of car∣dinals to attend and advise him, he chosen by them. & they created by him, whose nūber may amount, they say to 72 but many places are kept void still, to serve for desperate pushes: for these there are some 20. being lightly the yōger Page [unnumbered] sonnes of Dukes and Princes, who) in case their Ancestors states should descend vp on them, with dispensation from the Pope, may resigne vp their hats among the Cardinalls for their owne honor, and for the gratifying of the world,) are sorted out and divided, al the orders of religi∣ons, & all the nations of christendome, wherof they are ap∣pointed the particular protectors in the Court of Rome, As the Protectour of England now is Cardinall Caietane, a ve∣rie stout man of Spanish faction, who hath beene Legate into Fraunce, and more lately into Poland, but now re∣turned.
42 Now for this Pope, who is by countrey & birth, a Florentine, was chased from thence with his father vpon a conspiracie against Don Cosmito; I have little more to say, than what I have before touched, hee is reputed to bee a man of a good calme disposition, and not too crafty▪ yet close, and one that can hold his owne well enough, kind to his friends, & devout in his wa•es, & thinks without doubt, that he is in the right: he wil weepe very often (some con∣ceive vpon a weaknesse & tendernes of minde, habituated therin by custom,) others say vpon pietie and godly com∣passion. At his mafles, at his processions, at the fixing vp of his iubilies, his eyes are still watering, sometimes stream∣ing with teares, insomuch, that for weeping he seemeth an other Heraclitus, to ballance with the last Gregorie another Democritus for laughing▪ Touching his secret life the Itali∣ans speake somewhat diversly, especially for his younger yeares. But mens tongues are alwaies prone to taint their governours, and the worse men speake worse, in hope to lurke themselves vnder the blemish of their betters. For my part, hearing no extraordinarie badde matter against him, but only by suspition, I iudge the best, and howsoe∣ver, I had rather preserve the credit of a bad man, than staine or impaire it in a good. For his yeeres, hee doth not much exceed three score, but is troubled with the dropsie, and that caused (some say) accompanied with a thirstie in∣firmitie, Page [unnumbered] for a Prelate he hath good comendations, an ene∣mie to the licentious lives of the Friars, yea to the pompe▪ also, and secular braverie of Cardinalls, howbeit more desiring reformation in both, then daring to attempt it in either, for ought as yet appeareth. Verie magnificall & ceremoniall in his outward comportment, in his private, cariage humble, as his frends say, in managing the Church temporall goodes, rather trustie than liberall, but of their spirituall treasure of supererogatorie workes large, bountifull in Indulgences and Pardons which they vse• not onely as charitable reliefes of the needie, but as honorable giftes also to reward Princes that have presented him. In these I should thinke him verie exceeding wastful, but that where the treasure is infinite, there the spender in ordinarie estimation cannot be prodigall. For a Prince he hath beene somewhat defective heretofore, as being neither of deepe resolution, nor of great spirit. But fortunate men are wise, and conquerors are valiant. And surely this mans pro∣iects and attempts have so well prospered, what in the matter of Ferrara, what in working the great peace, (the honour whereof by them oft is wholie attributed to the pope▪ though others say he was importuned to deale in it by the Spaniard, being so tyred & waisted out with troubling his neighbours, that in fine he delighted not in any thing but in peace only,) that he hath purchased him the opinion not onely of a fortunate and wise Pope, but of one who doth sincerely affect the quiet of Christendome, & thinketh nothing remaining to the height of his glory, but to be the Author of an vniuersal league, and warre against the Turk against whom he hath sundry times given aide already, & that for that ende (notwithstanding his abilitie & oportu∣nitie, what by his excommunications, what by his ready ar∣mie to have righted himselfe yet hath he laid by his owne particular pretences, aswel against the great duke of Tusca for Burgo di San Sepulcr•, which belongs to the Church, as also, and more principally against the Venetians for RomgoPage [unnumbered] and the Polissina, which they have rent by warre, and re∣taine from farrara, not to mention that ancient quarell touching the Patriarkship of Aqueileia, whose territory e∣ven all Friuli their state hath vsurped, that no private nor temporall commoditie of this Church and Sea, might give ••pediment to the publike good, in withstanding and re∣pressing the grand enemy of Christendom. These thoughts surely are honorable, neither vnnecessarie for his owne fu∣ture safetie, considering how neere a neighboure the Turke is to him, and how often his state hath bin afflicted by him and somtimes in hazard. But now for his neere neighbours the great Duke, and the Uenetians as their States; so their loves and his, are but neighbourly, they thinking his grow∣ing to be their stoppe and endaungering, But the Uene∣tians perhappes feare him, and the great Duke hateth him more. The Uenetians having still painted in their great Pallace, and dayly before their eies, the extremitie which former Popes excommunications hath brought thē to, having their state as ill seated▪ in regard of potent neigh∣bors, who all gape after them vpon any advauntage, as any that I know againe in the world. The Turke confining and bordering with them on the East; the King of Spaine on the West; the Emperour on the North, and the Pope on the South, who can never want pretence, they holding that which they list not yeeld: besides some iealousies and dis∣curtesies passed lately betweene them and the Pope and his Cardinals. The great duke, not only for that hereditary enmitie first, and that personall discourtesie since, & what for effecting that title of King of Tuscanie, whereof his wife is written Queene by some already: and having gotten as is said the Emperors liking, the Pope denyed him in putting him off, with a distinction, that he was content he should be K. in Tuscanie, but not of Tuscanie which scholasticall subtilties plaine suters love not, but much more care for the correspondēcie of conference & favor which is thought to be betweene the Pope, and those popular Florentines; who Page [unnumbered] distasted with their home government, once free, now al∣most servile, live elsewhere abroad, and at Rome in excee∣ding store, specially seeing not only the Pope in the faction of his particular family, but all popes in the affection which the Papacy both engender, do naturally more desire that their neighbours states should be popular, as having the ground of their greatnesse in swaying the multitude. But generally the Duke of Tuscane will be alwaies regardfull to hold the best correspondency with the Popes that may be, as having their state very often to assault on that side, the rest being surrounded by the Appennine and the Sea. To conclude, this Pope, where there is no private cause of dis∣favoring his persō, or disalowing his place, carieth the name of a good Pope, and they which do subtilly see the points of goodnesse, more then curiously, will say, that •ius Quin∣tus was a good Prelat, but no good Prince, that Sixtus Quintus was a good Prince, but no good Prelate. Gregorie the 13. a good Prince and Prelate, but no good man, this Pope, both good man, good Prince, and good Prelate, and so I leave him (wishing his daily encrease in all parts of true goodnesse, whereof his Church hath too little) and him∣selfe happily (as other good men) nothing too much: re∣turning to the Papacy.
43 The next point which commeth to be considered, is,* what power it is at this day in this world, by reason of those nations, which either in whole or greater part still adhere vnto it, which are Italy with his Islands, Spaine with his In∣dies, Germany with his skirts, which I count the 17 provin∣ces of the Low countries, on the one side, the 13 Cantons of Suizzers, and 3 leagves of Grisons on an other, and Bohe∣mia with his Marquisate of Moravia & Slesia on the third. And lastly, the great vnited, well seated, fruitfull, populous Kingdomes of France, with his neighbours of Loraine and Savoy, whom though Princes of the Empyre, whensoe∣ver themselves list, and finde it for their profit, yet in regarde of their greater affinitie to Fraunce, both in Page [unnumbered] language and fashion (which associate also affections) I annexe vnto it, of all which, some briefe seemeth necessary to be taken. For as for Poland and Transilvania, with Vala∣chia and the remaines of Hungary, by reason of their neere and dangerous confining with the Turke, together with the multitude of Religions, which are swarming in them, (in Poland especially, of which it is said by way of bi-word, That if a man hath lost his Religion, let him to go seek it in Poland, and he shall be sure to find it, or else make ac∣count that it is vanished out of the world,) ther is no great reckoning to bee made of their force eyther way. Then England, with the more North Kingdomes, Scot∣land, Denmarke, and Sweden, (whose King notwithstan∣ding is of the Roman faith now, but hath few there that fol∣lowe him.) They are accounted to have wholy cast off the Papacy▪ for albeit they make reckoning of many savou∣rers in them, as of foure thousand sure Catholicks in Eng∣land, with foure hundred English Roman Priests, to main∣taine that militia, who vpon quarrel with the Iesuites, affec∣tors of superiority, & disgracers of all that refuse to depend vpon them, have instantly demaunded of late, a Bishop of the Pope to be cosen by them, and to be resident among them: yet this is so small a portion, being compared with the whole, as not to bee estemed, especially seeing in Italy counted wholy theirs, there are full foure thou∣sand professed Protestantes, that have exercise of their Religion also in the valleies of Pimont, and Salusto, be∣sides sundrie Gentlemen who live abroad, and resort to them. In Lucca also a great part are thought favorites of the reformation: some of that sort there are scattered in all places, especially in Venice. But their p•ucity and obscurity shall enclose them in a Cipher: so that Italy wee will account it to stand wholly for the Papacie, though the Princes, and other free States thereof, little like the Popes enlarging his temperall Dominion at home, being alreadie of a large sise in proportion with Page [unnumbered] theirs, and especially for those pretences, which his Sea neuer wants, and those extraordinarie advantages with concurrence of his spirituall supremacy, doe giue him by interdictions, excommunications, discharging othes of obedience, which above all other they have greatest cause to feare, both in regard of their huge company of Priests, Prelates, and Friars, wherewith hee hath fortified himselfe mightily in their States; As also, for that discon∣tent which their cruell impositions, extortions, and oppres∣sions have bred in their owne subiects, who wish rather, that all Italy were reduced into the hands of some one na∣turall potentate, whose greedinesse, how great soever, they were able to satisfie, And of the Popes above all men, who promiseth much lenitie by his late example at Ferrara, where he remitted many imposts which their late Dukes had raised, than to be thus daily racked and de∣voured by so many pettie Tyrants, as it were with their prowling Gabil•ieres, whose ambitions and emulations, whose prides and pleasures, thirteene millions of yeere∣ly revenew vvhich Italy now yeeldeth them, is not able to satisfie; though I say for these causes the Princes and States of Italy no way favour the Popes strength in his temporality at home, considering vvithall, vvhat swelling and turbulent spirits mount sometimes into that Chaire, have purposely set Italy on a flaming, for that in the sac∣king of many, themselves might get somewhat for the ad∣vancing of such as nature and bloud did cause them to love best; yet on the contrarie side, for his spirituall power and soveraigntie abroad, they vvish it vpheld and re∣stored (if it vvere possible) both for the honour of their nation (which is thereby their triumphant Queene of the world) and much more for the commoditie, which by vi∣cinitie they and theirs reape thence in more aboundance than all other together, vvhat by sharings, as occasion serveth, in his booties abroad, vvhat by being alwaies in sight to receiue favours at home, what by that vvhich stic∣keth Page [unnumbered] to them in very passing thorow their Territories.
Then to exclude any innovation, the care of their owne safetie, and not quiet alone▪ perswades them, it being dange∣rous in a body so full of diseases and discontented humors to change or stir any thing, seeing all alteration sets humors on working, & one humor on foot, quickneth vp all other, what allured by Sympathie, what by Antipathie provoked, the end thereof is, eyther the dissolving of Nature by length of conflictes, or the disburthening of Nature, by expelling that which before did oppresse it. For this cause no audi∣ence to be given to the reformation, as enemie to their peace, which is the Nurse of their riches, and sole Anchor to their safetie. For it were but simplicity to thinke that conscience and love of truth did sway the deliberation, the World having in most places done Religion this honour, as to remoove it out of those secret darke Cabinets of the heart, where the iealousie of some devout dreames of the Gardens of Paradise had imprisoned it, and advaunced it vnto the fairest sight and shew of the whole world, even for to make a maske of it, or rather, a very vizar, with mouth, eyes, and nose, very fairely painted and proportio∣ned to all pretenses and purposes. And others yet of more gallant and free spirit, have given it generall passage, to goe whither it selfe listeth, so that it come not neere them: It doth much grieve mee to speake, yea the very thought of it must needs bring horrour and detestation, what a huge multitude of Atheistes doe brave it in all places, and there most, where the Papacie is most in his prime: What re∣nouncers of God, blasphemers of his onely begotten Sonne, vilanisers of his Saints, and scorners of his ser∣vice, who doe thinke it a glorious grace to adore a King of a Countrey; But to name or to thinke reverently of the Creator of the World, to proceede from a timorous base-mindednesse, and abiectnesse. Of so deepe reach and iudgement, are these pedlers in their pro∣portions, who doe know no other Magistrates, but Page [unnumbered] those of their parishes. These men are favourable alike to all Religions, but can best endure that wherein they are least checkt, and may range with most impunity.
But for the Souldiarie of this age, a profession and an exercise, reputed in olde time for an onely Schoole of Vertue, but now defamed with all manner of vice and vil∣lanie: in olde time such, That the wisest Philosophers thought it reason sufficient, why the Lacedemonians were more vertuous than other Nations, because they followed the warres, (at this day a cause of cleane contrarie effect) those desperate Atheismes, those Spanish renouncings, and Italian blasphemings, have now so prevayled in our Christian Cu•pes, that if any restraine them, hee shall bee vpbraided as no souldiour, nor gallant-minded man, that the verie Turkes have the Christians blaspheaming of Christ in execration, and will punish their prisoners sore∣ly, whenas through impatience or desperatenesse they burst into them. Yea the Iewes in their speculations of the causes of the strange successes of the affaires of the worlde, assigne the reason of the Turkes prevailing so against the Christians, to bee their blasphemies and blaspheamous oaths, which wound the eares of the verie heavens, ann cry vnto the high Throane of Iustice for speedie vengeance. As for Princes and great persons, it is a rare thing, and surelie an happie, wheresoever it falleth out of them, that any of them hath any extraordina∣rie store of religiousnesse of any sort. Their example (I doe speake of many of them) which might bee the soveraigne restorers of vertue, & reestablishers of a happy world, with the endles bliss• of many millions, now perishing through their default, is at this day the only ruine and despaire of goodnesse, having forgo•ten whose Lievetenants they are in the world, for what end they are placed, for what cause they are honoured; and most of all, what great ac∣count they have to passe at the last Audit, when their fa∣vorites and fancie- feeding flatterers shall all shrinke from Page [unnumbered] them, and nothing but their owne deedes and desertes ac∣companie them. But all of these, whether Atheistes in opinion or conversation (betweene whome is small choice) being reckoned or let passe to make vp the num∣ber; yet holde I that from Italie there are more wishes thā other helps, to maintaine the Papacie abroad, by reason of the partition of it in such a multitude of States, where the greater do nothing but Lymbick their braines in the arte of Alchumie, & ballancing▪ to inrich themselves: by the one, drawing golde out of all things, and by the other, to poyse their neighbors, & to keep them of equal weight, their ad∣ding some helpe with their hand where the scales are ligh∣ter, & the lesser States fly most to the protection of the chiefe, as the citties of Genovay and Luca, the duke of Ur∣bin, the seignior of Prombino, with certaine other, who all recognizing the king of Spaine for their Patron, as casting by him to bee sufficiently secure from the encroachments of those other three. And counting that from him the vni∣ted consent of all the rest, will still preserve them to whome his greatnesse is fearefull, and his growing would bee pernicious. There have beene of them also, as the last Duke of Ferrara, who hath entertained both amitie and straight intelligence, with sundry of the Protestant Princes of Germanie, vpon purpose to holde their neigh∣bours, and especially the Pope in, and off calling the Protestants to their succour, if they should either as∣saile, or otherwise provoke them. And thus much for Italy.
44▪ The next is Spaine, reputed wholy the Popes also, as having beene long time governed by the most de∣voted King, and longer curbed by the most cruell Inquisi∣tion that ever the world had, for the vpholding of that way, how be it the State of Spaine is not to bee passed so lightly over, wherein (although my selfe have never beene) yet by manifolde inquiry and information from Page [unnumbered] some of their owne and others, who have beene in it, men of knowledge and credite. Thus much doe I conceive as touching the state of their religion: that of a Nation that aimeth so apparantly at the Monarchy of the whole west, it is at this day none of the most puissant to atchieve the same, their Country being so generally exhaust of men, what eaten vp by long warre, what transported into their huge number of Indian Collonies, that their Cities re∣maine now wholy peopled with women, having some old men among them, and many young children, whereof the grave attends the one, and forraigne service the other: a fit state for an Amasonian Empire to bee revived in. So likewise for a Kingdome that hath the surname of Catho∣like, none in greater danger in the world, either wholy, or in great part, to cast off Christianitie, vnlesse grace from a∣bove, and better wisdome doe stay the increase of those pesti•ent rankes of Mahometisme, and Iudaisme, which threaten the finall decay and eating out of Christianisme. And to carrie this matter with an indifferent course of re∣pose, neither aggravating so much as some doe in their doubts & iealousies, nor yet extenuating it so much as o∣thersome in their confidence and iollitie, seeing feare casteth beyond lightly, and hope short of the verie danger.
There is in Spaine a sort of people of the Mauran•, (as* they terme them) who are baptised Iewes and Moores: and many of them in secret, with all circumcised Christiās, who are spread over the whole land, but swarme most in the South parts confining with Affrica, and are in such store, as in many places (as some say) they exceede the true Christians by no small proportion. For as for the In∣quisition, which was instituted of purpose against those mungrell Christians, some hundred yeares sithence, at what time King Ferdinande, by chasing the Iewes and Moores, and Arabians, out of the Realmes of Spaine, merited the name of King Catholike: great numbers of Page [unnumbered] them chose rather to make change of their religion in shew, then of their Country in deede, and consented to re∣ceive baptisme, which in secret they polluted, or denoun∣ced by circumcision, or other superstitions, wherein the Arabians and Moores concurred with the Iewes, and so continued with a false face and double hart, and have trans∣mitted both the one, and the other to their of-spring to this very day. This Inquisition being first brought in to cha∣stise these miscreants, and received in Aragon, (a freer State then the rest) for terme of eighty yeares: (besides that, it is theirs in right, long since expired & holdeth on∣ly by title of the Kings pleasure and possession: And the Portugalles have now againe renewed their old suite, toge∣ther with their old offer of eighty thousand crownes, to buy it out in their Countries for their persons, which it is thought this yong King hath meaning to accept) the eye and edge of it hath been so wholy of late times convetted to the rooting out of their formed religion in all places that the other sort by neglecting them, have growne in strength, and by their strength now beginne to dispise their chastisers, whom feare (they say) inforceth often to winke at many things, which no eye open but needs must see. Thus fareth it with gardens wherein greater care is ta∣ken to pull vp the suspected hearbes, then to kepe downe the apparant weedes: what further hopes this sect may have I know not. This is cleere, that a great part of the Spanish Nobility is mixed at this day with Iewish blood; they which say least and speake fauourably for the honor of Spaine, will say, their are of them a hundred thousand families, in which at the least are a hundred thousand men able to beare armes, All which though conforming them∣selves in some sort and outward shewe to the Christian re ligion, yet are thought in heart to be vtterly adverse from it, and to retaine an inward desire to returne to that super∣stition from which their auncestors by rigor and ter∣ror were departed.
Page [unnumbered]And the Iewes will say in Italy, that there come divers Spaniards to them to be circumcised there, and so away to Constantinople: to plant in the East. The State of Spayne is in often feare of those mens rebelling, and specially that they would ioyne with any enemies that would invade them. For although they are forbidden to have any armes, and yearely search made for it over all Spayne, in an vn∣knowne and least suspected instant, yet is there no doubt but armed they are, and have their secret caves and devises to conceale them. This sort continually growing by living quietly at home, and the other part decaying daily by for∣raigne imployment, what the issue may be, though reason may probably coniecture, yet time onely and proofe can give assurance, by marrying of their younger brethren with the Iewes, for wealthes sake, vpon whom in time, the elder failing, the honour and hovse hath descended. But to leave these Maurani, another pestilent sect there was not long since, of Illuminati in Aragon, whose foun∣ders were a hypocriticall crew of their Priests, who affe∣cting in themselves and their followers, a certain angelicall purity fell sodainely to the very counterpoint of iustify∣ing bestialitie. But these men and their light are quenched some while since. The last and obscurest sort, are the poore persecuted Protestants, against whom, all lawes, and wits, all fortunes are strongly bent: all which notwithstanding, there are thought to be no fewer then twentie thousand in Ciuill it selfe, who in heart are that way: amongst whom, certaine bookes of their religion being secretly dispearsed, the Inquisitors for their number sake, who were to be tou∣ched, were required to forbeare, and to provide some o∣ther way. In summe, I have heard some of their owne Countrey and religion acknowledge, that among other things, the scandals of their Cleargie, and Friars, especially in forging miracles in their spirits and images, doth draw the people to loathing and suspition of their way. And were it not for the Inquisition, it is thought generally Page [unnumbered] they would fall away, and turne Protestants in short time. They have in Spaine (as is told me) a Crucifixe, whose haire and nailes fall agrowing now in this old age, as in a dead man executed, the rest not stirring: at which, the devout men of the Clergie girke vp their eyes, and the wiser of the laitie wagge easily their heads. The holy Nunne of Por∣tugal, of whome the Spaniards taken prisoners in 1588. made so much talking of, who had the five wounds blee∣ding on her, and the print of the crucifixe in the skinne of her breast, to whom that invincible Army repaired for be∣nediction to set forward their victorie, is lately discovered and condemned for a Sorceresse, by a generall complaint of that whole sisterhood, who hating her for her arrogan∣cy, and watching her fingers, in fine, discovered, that the one was but a forced rawnesse of the flesh, caused by fret∣•ing hearbes and waters, when she went to shew her selfe; and the other came by a continuall binding of a little gra∣ven crucifixe to that part which was so printed. The fa∣mous Lady Guadalupa, who transporteth through the ayre such prisoners in Affrica as vow themselves to her, is said by some to have her credite impaired, by occasion of a fu∣gitive servant, who being runne from his Maister, was su∣borned by the Friars to play that flying part, complaining that our Lady for the wickednesse of this age, did restraine those graces, but yet that it was a godly act to maintaine men in their devotions. In fine, he was disclosed and seised on by his Maister. But this is more certaine and of more generall report, that for the weeping and sweeting of their images, they have had a tricke in all places to boare holes behinde them, and put to them the new cut sprigges of a vine, which being of a bleeding nature, and dropping ea∣sily thorow the thinne plaister, remaining vnpiersed, make shew of teares or sweate, as they list; yea, some of their Ita∣lian Friars have confessed withall, that their fashion is when their Gimmalls are all in tune, for a miracle to en∣ioyne some seely old woman in her confessions, to say her Page [unnumbered] devotions before the Altar, where the Image prepared to play a miracle doth stand, abusing the weakenesse of her sexe and age, to report that confidently which her pronnes to thinke our Ladie might extraordinarily love her, made her easily beleeve. Wise Gentlemen that have been at the exorcising of spirits, have observed plaine arguments of intelligence betweene the parties as in actors of Enterlude, though this should away: and so were heard to avouch the multitude of the Indemoniati in Italy, (whereof most are women) being so huge, even as of witches in Savoy, of which some are daily cured in shew by their Exorcismes: but for one that is helped, twentie is eyther past their cu∣ring, or otherwise, as in counterfaits vnwilling to be cured. In summe, the falshoods in all these kindes are growne so so ordinarie and palpable to themselues, that some of their better Prelates have caused an Image of our Ladie to bee taken away off his place, vpon the broaching of a report, that it discovered it selfe for a wonder-worker. So vnsa∣vory is the foode of fooles, to the taste of wise men; and such is Gods curse vpon all forgery and falshood, as in the end, to overthrow that which chooseth it for his founda∣tion, as hath happened alreadie in some places. and may with time in other.
45 Touch Germanie, I have seene an olde esti∣mate* of it by such as fauoured the Papacy, that in the beginning of Ferdinand, there was not past one twelfth part remayning Catholicke, vvhich now in my vnder∣standing must needs bee otherwise. For comprehen∣ding in it Bohemi• with his appurtenances, I should think that neere a sixt part vvere devoted that way, their num∣ber beeing increased, and perhaps doubled since that time, by the sedulitie of many of the Prelates and o∣ther great Princes. The Dukes of Bavaria, who v∣sing the advantage of the Interim on their part, have forced those Protestantes which vvere in their States to quitt, eyther Religion or goods and Countrey. Page [unnumbered] The same hath beene attempted by the Arch Duke of Austria, and in some places, as in their Country of Firoll effected. But in Austria it selfe not so, wherein the num∣ber of Protestants exceedes and is fearefull to their oppo∣sites, though the publike exercies of their religion is restrai∣ned in some of the chiefe Cities, as in vienna; but the most part of the country are of it, so are halfe the nobility. The Duke of Cleves a third Prince, affected the same way, hath shewed himselfe a little more moderate then some other, so advised by neighbourhood. The free Cities which are of very great number and strength, have all (save some very few) freede themselves from the Pope either in whole, or in greater part: the State of the Empire for that point, contai∣ning in it a very huge circuite of territoryes, full of mighty Princes, and well fortified cities: that if it were more strict∣ly vnited vnder one Monarchie, and not rent into facti∣ons with diversity of religions, breeding endlesse iealosies, hart burnings, and hatreds, it needes not other helpe to affront the great Turke, and to repulse his forces to the se∣curity of Christendome.
But in this so vnequall proportion of adherents to the Papacie, two things there are which gives them hope of better, if prosperous successe doe second their well contrived proiects. The one is the creating the Emperour alwaies of their owne party, whereof they as∣sure themselves by these considerations; First the• is no house in Germany at this day, of that infinite greatnesse as is requisite to withstand the Turke in his incroachments, the house of Austria set aside, who by their alliaunce, or rather neere intirenesse with Spaine, and sundry elective Kingdomes which runne necessarily vppon them, shall be alwaies able to make head against any power in the world. And by their owne state, confining so immedi∣ately with the Turkes, shalbe necessarily inforced to im∣ploy the vttermost droppe of their blood to keepe them off: next, whensoever the matter growes to the Electi∣on Page [unnumbered] one of another new Emperour, they shall alwaies have the casting voice with them or rather in them, having entan∣gled the States of Bohemia in such bondes, and promises. Besids, there is no other whom they may make choyce of, that they may make no other accompt of it, then as be∣ing halfe hereditarie. And lastly, their late pollicie now strengthened, by vsage of declaring a King of Romans in the Emperours life time, whilest his presence and power may governe the action, doe assure them, it shal alwaies passe with them roundly and quietly.
The other ground of their hope, is the division of the Protestants into their factions of Lutherans and Calve∣nist•, as they stile them, wherein the Ministers of each side, have so bestirred themselves, that a coale which a wise man with a little moysture of his mouth would soone have quen•hed, they with the winde of others have con∣trariwise so enflamed, that it threatneth a great ruine and calamitie on both sides. And though the Princes and heades of the weaker sides in those parts, both Palgrave, and Lansgrave, have with great wisedome and iudge∣ment, (to asslake those flames) imposed silence in that point to the Ministers of the one partie, hoping the charitie and discretion of the other sort would have done the like: yet it falleth out otherwise, the Lutherane Prea∣chers rage hitherto in their Pulpets against the other as much as ever, and their Princes and people have them in as great detestation, not forbearing to professe openly, they will returne to the Papacy, rather then ever admitte that Sacramentarie and Predestinarie pestilence. For these two pointes are the ground of the quarrell, and the latter more scandalous at this day then the former. And some one of their Princes, namely, the Administratour of Saxonie, is strongly misdoubted to practise with the Emperour, for the ioyning of the Catholike and Luthe∣rane sect in one, and by war to roote out & extinguish the Page [unnumbered]Calvinists, the most plausible motion of the Emperor that ever could happen. Neither is there any great doubt, but if any stay and agreement could bee taken with the Turk, all Germany were in danger to bee in vproare within it selfe, by intestine discention: howbeit, all the Lu∣therans are not caried with this sterne humor: but they on∣ly which are called Lutherani rigidi, the greater part, which are perhaps the Molles Lutherani, are quiet enough. Nei∣ther account they otherwise of the Calvinists, then as of erring bretheren, whom the Rigidi haue (as is saide) threat∣ned to excommunicate as Schismatiques and Here∣tiques.
To this lamentable extremitie hath the headinesse of their Ministers on both sides brought it, whilst in the peremptorinesse of their poore learning, they cannot in∣dure any supposed errour in their bretheren, whereof themselves, even the best of them perhaps (if they were well sifted) would be found to be full enough: (such take I to bee the condition of all men of this world, that in their ignorance of all actions, save of their Schooles and books) make more account of some ill shaped Sillogisme, then of the peace of the Church, and happinesse of the worlde, the end whereof will bee, that their enemies shall laugh when themselves shall have cause to weepe, vnlesse the gratiousnesse of God stirre vp some worthy Princes of renowne and reputation, with both sides to enterpose their wisedome, industry, and authoritie, for the vni∣ting of these factions, or at leastwise, for reconciling and composing those differences in some tollerable sort. A worke of immortall fame and desert, and worthy of none but them, of whome this wicked base worlde is not worthy. But heereof I shall have occasion to speake in his due place; for this place it suffiseth, that these intrin∣sicall quarrels, are the hopes which make their enemies hold vp their heads, and quickneth their expectations to see the blades of these reformers drawne one against ano∣ther, Page [unnumbered] that themselves being called to the beating downe of the one partie, may afterwards in good time assaile the other. In the meane season, planting in all places their Colledges of Iesuites, as the onely corrasive medicine to fret out their adversaries: Now on the other part, the hopes are also not fewe: besides, their over-topping of them so much in multitude and power.
First the Germaines bearing a naturall stiffe hate to the*Italians for his winding and subtill wit, (which dispiseth and would ransacke him, but that hee opposeth a proude stoutnesse, and intractable obstinacie, which serveth al∣waies as a wall of defence to simplicitie) will hardly (what tempering soever the Princes make) bee brought ever to reaffect the Papacie, whose sleights and devises they are throughly acquainted with, and have in more de∣testation, than any Nation whatsoever. And for their owne inwarde dissentions, it is to bee hoped, that though no courses were taken to compound them, yet never will they bee so madde, as to decide them by a generall open warre, having on both sides, the Turke, Pope, and Emperour to ioyne them in friendshippe. For although the contention of brethren bee bitterest, yet a common strong enemie alwaies maketh them friends againe. And as for the Administrator so much suspected, who prowles, as some say, in the practises for his owne greatnesse) his authority is but short, and expireth within three yeares.
Then for having an Emperor of some more indifferent familie, though their desire bee in that point of all other greatest, yet their hope is (as I suppose) least▪ & that which is, seemeth to be grounded vpon Electors of Collen, either if the old Elector Gerardu• Thrachesius should live so long, whom in that case they might by force restore to his place from which he standeth now by force reiected, yet retai∣neth his claime still, and stile of Elector. Or if some other of that See, might be induced to follow the steps of two of their auncestors, who have turned Protestants, of which Page [unnumbered] cause that place wilbe alwaies in danger, by reason of such vicinitie and intermixing of their state with Protestant Princes. Besides, in Collen it selfe the religion hath already sooting, or at the leastwise might be drawen to that civill indifferencie, as in preserving their freedome of election, to change once in an age that familie of Austria wherein the Empyre having continued these seven discents, may in time be established by prescription. And lastly, for the Iesuites their great Patron and planter, the olde Duke of Bavaria, having now retyred himselfe into their College, and resigned his state to his Sonne Maximiliàn, who it is thought doth disfavour them, as much as his father do∣ted on them. These and other such chaunges may give stay to their proceedings. But to leaue these hopefull specu∣lations on both sides; and to take matters in termes they stand now, and may so continue. The benefit which the Papacie may expect from the Empire, is rather to keepe matters in that stay they are, then anie way to restore it where it hath beene disposed. For although the Turkish warres should cease, which is not vnlikely, con∣sidering the calme nature of both Emperours, who take more delight in Chambers then fields, yet shall our Chri∣stian Emperour be inforced still in fortifiing and main∣teyning Garrison all along his Frontires and confines, so to exhaust his owne treasure, and employ his people; so that he will not be able to doe else-where any ex∣traordinarie matter, without helpe extraordinarie, which is never over-readie. And time which may prodvce ma∣nie accidents in his favour, may also produce in his dis∣favour as many. And by so many the more, as the ground out of which in those partes they may grow, is manifold∣ly larger against him then for him.
Now for the low Contreys, the Papacie hath two thirdes with it, and of the Switzers and Grisons, two thirds, against it also. The Protestants are lightly the weal∣thier,* and the Papists more warre-like which may suff∣fice Page [unnumbered] for those parts of France; how much the bet∣ter is it knowne vnto vs at home, so much the lesse shall I need to speake much in this place. Neyther is it verie easie to proportion the parties, by reason they of the Religion are so scattered in all places; yet in Poicton al∣most all, in Gasconie an halfe; in Languedocke, Normandie, and other West Maritine Provinces, a reasonable strong part, as likewise in sundrie mediterrane parts. But what∣soever is the proportion of the number to their opposites (which is manifoldly inferior, not one to twentie,) their strength is such, as the warres have witnessed. And speci∣ally at this day, notwithstanding such massacring them, so generall arising of the whole realme against them, by the vttermost extremitie of fire and sword, to extermi∣nate them, they are esteemed to be stronger than at any time heretofore. In summ, so strong, that neither have their adversaries any great hope to winne, and themselves not in feare to be borne downe by warres; that their practise of peace (which hath sorely alreadie bitten and afflicte their states) by depriving them of place, of office, & honor in the realm, confining the exercise of their religion into cham∣bers and remote corners, did not impoverish, debase, & dis harten the partie, and so withdraw those from them that otherwise would sticke to them. That is it which they misdoubted, and by the Edict now past and verified, have sought to remedie. But looking more attentively into this partie, I find, that as conscience, in what religion soever dooth even in the mists of error, breed an honestnesse of minde, and integritie of life and actions in whome it sett∣leth: So divine and pure vertue, as the love of the Crea∣tor. which is the ground of all that merite the name of Religious; so also, that in them that affect the greatnesse singlenesse and in a manner, a verie carelesse simpli∣citie in their Religion, as contenting themselves with the possession of the rich treasure of truth, and for the preserving of it, or themselves, recommending those cares Page [unnumbered] to God onely, yet tract of afflictions, much miseries, of∣ten over-reaching by subtiltie of adversaries, doth finally purge out those grosse witted humors, and doth ingender a verie curious and advantagious warines in all their pro∣ceedings, having learned by experience, the wisedome of the Aphorisine: That a small error in the foundation and beginning of all things, doth prove in the proceeding and end of them, a great mischiefe, as hath fallen out in their men, who doe as farre heerein out go their opposites, in all civill policies, as in other places they of the Religion are lightly outgone by them, which next vnto divine blessing which accompanieth good causes, where wickednesse or wilfull witlesnesse doth not barre against it, I account their chiefe reason of their present strength and assurance, by their providence in their capitulations, by their resolutions in their executions, by their industrie, and dexteritie in all occasions presented, they have possessed themselves of an exceeding great number of strong townes or places, there is scant any office or estate can fall void, but that they lay in by all meanes to get into it. They have Synods for their Church affaires, their conventions and counsels for their civill, their people is warlike▪ for leaders (a matter of maine importance,) they are aboue their adversaries, having besides those three of principal and knowne name, other in Gasconie of lesse place and degree, but in skill and valour not inferiour to the best. In fine, they have learned the wisedome of Spes sibi quisque, &c. the con∣trarie whereof before, brought them so neere to their ruine. But now touching the weakenesse of them of the Romane Religion, in comparison of that strength which their multitude should promise, much more may bee said. First one great part of them are in heart with the reformed Religion, though for worldly respectes they hold in with the other: also will begin to disclose them∣selves daily, those things being not setled in reasonable sort, which have hitherto beene but in motion: Second∣ly, Page [unnumbered] they are not all Papists that hold with the Masse; but the Catholickes are heere divided into as different opi∣nions, and in as principall matters as the Protestants in any place that ever I heard of, although their discretion and moderation is such, as not to interrupt the common con∣cord with private opinions.
The ground of which disagreements in opinion (as I do take it) is the antient diversity between the Roman Church & the Gallicane, which in many ceremonies differs much from the Romane Church, as (to omit sundrie other) in the priests Lotions at the Masse, and in their walking hymmes at Vespers, and in some of them rather runs with the vsage of the Greeke Church (as in their holy bread on Sundayes for them that do not communicate) so also in the verie head point of their ecclesiasticall government, it holdeth the general Councel to be above the Pope, which opinion is at this day very currant & strong, even among such Catholiques as favour the Papacie, which I reckon for the first differēce touching the estate of the Church, which calleth into question, in whom the very Soveraigntie and Supremacie therof is placed. An other sort are there which hold their Church to be the true Church, although they acknowledge sundry errors of abuses of lesse importance, both in doctrine and practise. But for the the Pope they hold resolutely, that he is that Antichrist, which sitting in the Temple (that is in the true Church of God, for e∣ven by his verie being Antichrist, some prove they are the true Church (doth advance himselfe above God, as they thinke apparant by his dispensing with the law of God, by the marchandizing of soules, in his purgatorie par∣dons, releasing them in an other world; whom divine sentence hath bound, as also by his Indulgences for great summes of money in this world. And not least of all by his arrogating the impossibility of erring, being a property pe∣culiar vnto God, and not communicated, but only at times to the extraordinary Prophets, as all Churches in the world Page [unnumbered] besides the Romane acknowledge. This sort spreadeth farre, and as themselues will say of the learned sort, three parts of foure consent in this opinion. And they which are most devoted to the Pope, that in that respect doe hate this realme above all other, confesse that Lawyers are great∣ly infected; in which regard also some, terme these the Par∣liament Catholickes. The opinions thus prevailing a∣mong the Catholickes of France, it is not to be marvelled,* that the realme was so readie vpon the Popes refusall to re-blesse the king vpon conversion to them, to withdraw vtterly from the obedience of his Sea, and to erect a new Patriarch over all the French Church. The now Arch∣bishop of Burges, who was ready to accept it; and but that the Pope in feare thereof did hasten his benedictionit had beene effected, to his vtter disgrace and decay: As the prof∣fer and probabilitie thereof will hold him in awe, and in good temper of cariage to his kingdome, and content to beare indifferent sway with them in any things; as on the contrarie side, his great doubt of the French vnsoundnesse to him at the heart, will cause him the lesse to favour any of their footings in Italy.
Now these men, though they dislike also of the refor∣med religion, as having brought in an extreame innovati∣on of all things, in stead of a moderate reformatiō of what was iustly blameable, yet will carry themselues alwaies in likelihood in an indifferent neutralitie, rather than by ex∣tinguishing the one extreame to overstrengthen the other. A third part of this side we may make the Royalists, who as much as they dislike the attempts of the Protestants in alteration of religion, so much & more do they hate those mischevous courses taken by their adversaries against them, which have threatened so neere ruine to the whole state of the kingdome, that it may shew halfe a miracle that it hath ever recovered, being so long a time at the very point, ey∣ther of shivering in peeces, (as hath happened heretofore in other countries in like case,) or of rendring it selfe into the Page [unnumbered] servitude of that hatefull name of their neighbours. This part having by experience learned the wisdom to knowe, that the quarrel of religion is but a cloake of ambition for the great ones. At this day many Traytours intents passe vnder catholike pretences; that the Protestants will be al∣waies a sure enemine to the Spanyard; and to all his favo∣rites, partizans, & pensionaries: that whilest he may be suf∣fered to enioy liberty of conscience, without any disabling or disgrace in the state, he will be in all occasions ready to serve the King to his vtmost, and forward by deserts to maintaine his favour; that it is not so easie a matter to ex∣tirpate them, as some thinke, having so deepe roote in the realme as they have, besides the favour of so many great princes their neighbours abroad, who are ingaged & im∣barked in the same very cause. And that although it were to be wished for the happinesse of the kingdome (which during this diversitie and dissention in religion shall breed greater securitie to their neighbours than to themselves;) that if it were possible, some course were taken for a finall revniting of all into one profession, yet this being not to he hoped for in this exasperation of mindes on both sides, must be commended to time, which workes out manie thinges, which effecteth even wonders, on a sodaine. And finally, to some generall good way to bee taken by the ioint consent of wise and worthy princes for effecting like vnity over all Christendome, if it may bee: In these considerations, this part, which with his appurtenances is now the greatest, will never advise the King to become head of a partie againe, so long as hee may bee absolute cōmāder of the whole having found the sidening course in such strēgth of both partts to be a false ground ruinous to them that take it. To these may be annexed those moral mē (as they cal them) who thinke not these diversities of opi∣nions of any such momēt, as that they ought to disioyn thē who in the love of God, in the beliefe of the fundamental Articles of Christian faith, in integrity & honesty of con∣versation, Page [unnumbered] (which are the greatest bondes) remaine vnited, much lesse that they ought to enrage mens mindes so far, as to cause them to take armes to decide the quarrel, which are not those Instruments wherewith eyther errour should be razed, or •ueth or religion planted. And finally, to this part may be added all those who affect a quiet worlde and peace above all things, which is the desire of those lightly, who in a middle degree of condition possesse also a mode∣rate temper of affections, which is ordinarily the greatest part in all well ordered commonwealths. And withall, farre surest and firmest to the state. None of these will be easily drawne to enter into any violēt course against those of the reformed religion, so long as they have discretion, by no iealousie to provoke them. The last parte is indeede of the vowed and sworne enemies the Leaguers and re∣bels (as some name them) once the greatest and most fa∣voured part of the realme, at this day not so; their plausible pretences being now dismasked, and their disastrous suc∣cesse in their disorderly actions, which hath brought things to the verie counterpoint of that they aymed at, and left nothing but a memorie of much trouble and miserie, with the wasting of the people, the sacking of Cities, the har∣rowing and desolating of the Countrey, with imminent danger of vtter overthrowe for ever of the realme, making them hatefull & despised in those very same minds, wher∣in they were erstwhiles inshrined with all dovotion, which reasons have so abated also the hawtinesse of their hopeles heades, who lately breathed nothing but Crownes and Scepters, but glorie to their followers, and have turned their song of Soveraignety to a more peaceable & calme tune of, Nec veterum memini L•torve malorum, hovvbeit right zealous men of the baser sorte, lighty possessed vvith •riars, vvho fill them vvith furies against their religion, are as malitious & ragefull against the Protestants as ever; & thirst after nothing so much as to imbrew themselves once againe in their blood, vvhich they stick not to professe, Page [unnumbered] and indede, had they heads and opportunities, would ac∣complish.
46 The number of these is verie greate and desperate, but impuissant, base, & broken, with these in heart ioyne in a maner all the Clergie, who count their religion and re∣formation their bane, & the verie calamitie of their estate for ever. Agreat error among other (as was observed by the worthie Chauncellour Mounsier W. L. Hospital) in the plottes and procedings of the first Protestants of Fraunce, to alienate so respected and potent a part of the Realme, by leaving them no hope of any tolerable conditiō, vnder the reformed state whō by following the wiser courses of their moderate neighbors they might have gained to them in greatest part as others did Now this part which are the onely assured enimies of the Protestants, and of whom they make account that they will not faile them at a neede dooth come short of them perhaps in strength, though in multitude they farre exceede them, whereas this is also not to be least considered that as in the bodie of a man the hu∣mors draw still to the sore; so in a state, all adverse and dis∣contented persons doe associat themselves lightly to the parte grieved & persecuted. This take I to be the present estate of the factions in Fraunce: For matters of Religion submitting my opinion (as in all other things) to be censu∣red & reformed by whomsoever with more experience & deeper iudgment shall have waded in & weighed these considerations. But to make any farre reach or coniectnre for the time to come, that will not I be so saweie as to doe in French affayres, whose Minds are so full of Quick silver that the •imble wittes would take it, perhappes in dud∣g•o•, that ony should presume to amagine they woulde plod on, in any tenor with that dull constance which their hevier mettald neighbours doe vse, beingable even in fresh experience to boast, that their lightnesse of spirit & mutabi∣litie of resolutions, have suddenly recovered them from these termes of extremities whi•h in the hādes of any con∣stant Page [unnumbered] nation in the world, had beene a very long cure, if not desperate & curelesse. But verily this dissention & di∣versitie in Religion, is still a verie great weaknesse & dis∣ease in their estate, and such as will be alwaies a matter of iealousie amongst themselves, of assurance of their neigh∣bours; of ioy to their enemies: For Loraine, & Savoy, with the Vallesi who confine on Savoy, they runne wholy in a manner with the streame of the Papacie, though in both parts ther be store of Protestants, and that the men of the better sort, but without any publicke shewe of their Reli∣gion, save onely in some out Shyres of Savoy neare Ber∣ne, and Ceneva What Madam the Kings sister may ef∣fect in Loraine or contrariwayes, her selfe may suffer, time onely by triall is able to ascertaine. These perticulars thus admitted, it will be to great diffcultie to make some cō∣paratiue estimate of the whole strengh of the Papacie, in respect of the Priestes, being the part now onely on foote against them. For as for the greek Church, the case is evident, that though it bee granted, that they ex∣ceede any other, yet are they so oppressed vnder Tur∣kish tyrannie, or remooued so farre off, (as the Mos∣covite, and some others) that they come not into any account in the surveigh of the strength which now wee speake of. But for Westerne and Latine Churches in the generall division into the part reformed, and part Papall admiting them in number and circuite of territories to bee neare equall As considering the huge com-passe of Germanie, an Empire possessed so wholie in a man∣ner by the Protestantes, I can make no other expo∣sition. In other pointes wee shall finde great oddes and advantage, for strength indifferent, kinde on both sides; First, the kingdomes and States of the Romish parte, lying nearer the Sunne, are not onelie in riches, both naturall of their soyle, and accessorie, by great opportu∣nitie of traffique to all partes of the VVorlde, by mani∣folde degrees superiour to their Northren adversaries Page [unnumbered] but also in a finenesse and subtiltie of wit, which having that other instrument of wealth to worke by, doth farre passe in all ordinarie and orderly actions. That robusti∣ousnesse of bodie, and puissance of person, wich is the onely fruit of strength, that those colder climates do yeeld, though sometimes extraordinarily, it is knowne and to bee graunted, that those Septentrionall inundations by their verie violence and multitude, as in people more generative, have so wholy diluviated over all the South, that as a raging tempest, they have ruined those power∣full and flourishing Empyres, in the suddennesse of an in∣stant, which had beene many ages in rearing and sprea∣ding it selfe over the world.
37 But these have beene no other than currentes, or brookes of passage, soone vp, soone downe, soone come, soone over-gone; neyther have the Northern people ever yet for all their multitude and strength, had the honour of being founders or possessors of any great Empyre, so vnequall is the combate betweene force, and wit, in all matters of durable and grounded establish∣ment. An other point of great advantage •n the selfe same side is the vniting of their forces into foure heads, which vniting is a verie redoubling of strength in all things, they have on eyther parts, first and principally the Pope himselfe seated royally and pontifically in the mid∣dest: and chiefest regarding the rich Sunne in hie glo∣rious rising, and the Moon• in the height of her beauti∣full walke, on his left hand, the Emperour. The auncient Romanes of honor, on his right hand: The King of Spayne, the new planet on the West, at his backe the French King, the eldest Sonne of the Church, mightie Mo∣narches, opposed as brasen walles against his enemies on all sides about him: And the lesser Prince and States of Italy, as matter rather of solace and honour then otherwise, and to exercise himselfe as his humours of favours or displeasure shall advise, whereas on Page [unnumbered] the contrarie part the onely puissant Prince, in any com∣parison with those other, is her Maiestie of England, whose State is so divided from all the rest of the world, that it is the lesse fit in that respect for the rest to make head at. The other have the Pope as a common fa∣ther, adviser, and conducter to them all, to reconcile their iarres, to appease their displeasures, to decide their diffe∣rence, and finally, to vnite their endeuours in one course, to instance, to presse them, to remoove stops, to add en∣couragement by ayde from himselfe above all things, to draw their religions by consent of Counsels, to an vni∣tie, or likenesse and conformitie. In all places a prin∣cipall piller or stay to the vnlearned multitude, of glo∣rie to themselues, of vpbraidings to their enemies: whereas on the contrarie side, the Protestants as seuered bandes, or rather scattered troopes, each drawing adverse away, without any meanes to pacifie their quarrels, to take vp their controuersies without any bond to knit their forces or courses in one: No Prince, with any preheminence of iurisdiction above the rest; no Pa∣triarke, one, or more, to have a common superinten∣dance, or care of their Churches for correspondencie and vnitie, no ordinary way to assemble a generall Coun∣cill of their part, the onely hope remayning ever to as∣swage their contentions, and the onely desire of the wi∣sest and best mindes amongst them. Every Church al∣most of theirs, hath his severall forme and frame of go∣vernment, his severall Lyturgy and fashion of service. And lastly, some severall opinion from the rest, which though in themselves they be matters of no great mo∣ment, being no differences essentiall, or in any part capi∣tall, yet have they beene, are, and will be as long as they continue, causes of dislikes, of iealosies, of quarrels, and of danger.
In summe, what vnitie soever is amongst them pro∣ceeds only from the meere force & vertue of verity which Page [unnumbered] all persons seeke for, which, though it bee incomparably the best and blessedest, and which alone doth vnite the soule with God; yet for order in the worlde, for quiet in the church, for avoyding of scandall, for propagating and increase, of what great power that other vnitie is which proceedes from authoritie, the Papacie which standeth by it alone may teach vs. These then are the advan∣tages on the parte of the Papacie. But nowe one disad∣vantage (such is the nature of all things) impeacheth and diverteth all other their forces, & that is their vicinity with their grand enimie the Turke, who by land and Sea pres∣seth harde both vppon the Emperour, Pope, and the Mo∣narchie of Spaine, and driveth then oftentimes to such ex∣tasies of devises, that Spaine hath no other shifts to cleere himselfe, than by diverting him vpon his owne deere bre∣thren of Austria, and causing him to sall foule vppon his friend the Emperour, wherein he is driven yet to a two∣folde charge, both in bribing the Bas shawes, to draw their Lord into Germanie, and in supporting their Empe∣rour with money to withstand him. The Emperor on the other side calleth the Protestants for his aide, without whome the whole Empire were in danger to wreking: The Pope, who of all other is in deepest feare, though not yet in the neerest, knowing that the finall marke that the Turke shooteth at, is Italie, as thinking that to be the banner nowe onely remaining to be sett vp for the accom∣plishment and the perfection of his Empire. And that the warres with the Emperour, are but to open that land pas∣sage, forasmuch as by Sea hee hath alwaies prooved the weaker, bestirres himselfe on all sides in the best sorte he is able, both in sending such ayde as his proportion wil bear and especially in soliciting of the Princes of his parte to en∣ter into a common league, and warre against him, giving overture of like desire for the Protestants also▪ but the Protestants would know what securitie and quiet they shall have from himselfe first, their neere and sterne, and Page [unnumbered] vnplacable enemie, before they waste out themselves, in giving ayde vnto him against a common enemie indeede But one who is furthest off from them of all other▪ who as now is desirous enough to entertaine friendship, and who at the worst hād carrieth no more cruell hate against them and their profession, neyther condemneth their reli∣gion more than the Pope their fellow christian. Then for his Catholiques and Polakers they cleerely slip collar, both for the naturall hatred they beare the Germaines; & for that they are in peace and amitie with the Turke, pay∣ing a certaine tribute. And although his neere neighbors, yet not in his way, which is not the North; but to the sunne, and to the South parts, and mainely and plainely to the conquest of Italie. The Venetians are contente al∣so to live rather as free tributaries to the Turke▪ as they now are, than as slaves vnto Spaine, who in ioyning with them heeretofore in league against the Turke, & Pope Pius Sixtus, did cōtrary to his oath & bond forsake them, & suffer them to be beaten, being left alone to the Turks furie. And all this to the end, that having their state vtter∣ly maymed and broken by the Turke; they might be con∣strained wholy to cast themselves, their soveraignetie, & cittie, into the armes & embracements of Spaine for safe∣garde. With this vnchristian treacherie have they charged him heretofore, though now all beeing quiet, they are content to put an vnacceptable motion to silence, by de∣maunding of impossible conditions of securitie. Then for Fraunce it is farre off; & lookes that the neerer be (as they ought) more forward first, and requireth also with reason some breathing time to revive himselfe after his wearinesse by his late pangs. Lastly, Spaine hath so much to doe with England, and the revoulted Provinces, that hee thinketh the time gained that the Turke forbeareth him: So that in the end the whole burthen must rest on the Emperor, with that small helpe that Italie and some others do yeeld him And were it not his good fortune, or rather, Gods good Page [unnumbered] providence, that the verie same plagues that have ruined the glory & grace of Christendom, should now infect also the grand enemy thereof, namely, Effeminatensse and A∣varice, whereof the one is the corrupter of all sound deli∣berations, & the other the quailer of all manly executions, which prevailing in his estate, as they do at this day give hope that his tyranny groweth toward his period, & for the present proved so, that a weake defendant may shift bet∣ter, having no other than a cowardly assailant. This mat∣ter would have growne to that extremitie by this time, as could have called the King of Spaine with all his forces to some more honorable enterprises than he hath hitherto vndertaken. And this is the bridle that holdes in the Papacy with all her followers from any vniversall proceeding by force against the Protestants, who herein are greatly ad∣vantaged above them, in that either their oposites lye be∣tweene them and the Turks, or in that their Countries coa∣sting so much as they doe towards the North are out of his way & no part of his present ayme. But those aduanta∣ges & disadvantages of the Papacie equally weighed, I sup∣pose this disadvantage more mischievous for the presēt, as proceēding from outward force in the hands of an eni∣mie, and the other advantages more stable, as springing from the inwarde strength of their owne wealth and or∣der.
48 This then being so, and that all things considered, there falleth out, (if not such in differencie and equality, yet at the leastwise, such a proportion of strength vpon both sides, as bereaveth the other of hope ever by wa•re to subdue them,) seeing (as the Proverbe is) A deade woman will have foure to carry her foorth, much lesse will able men be beaten out of their homes, and seeing their is no apparance of ever forcing an vnity, vnlesse Time, which eateth vp all things, shoulde bring in great alterations: it remaineth to bee considered, what other kinde of vnity poore Christendome may hope for, whether vni∣tie Page [unnumbered] of Veritie, or vnitie of Charitie, or vnitie of perswasi∣on, or vnitie of authoritie, or vnitie of Necessitie, there* beeing so many other kinds and causes of concord: A kind of men there are whom a man shall meet with in all coun∣tries, not many in number, but sundry of them of sin∣gular learning and pietie, whose godly longings to see Christendome re-vnited in the love of the Authour of the name above all things, and annexed in brotherly corre∣spondencie and amitie, as beseemeth those, who vnder the chiefe service of one Lord, in the possession of one ground and foundation of faith, doe expect the same finall re∣ward of glorie (which proceeding from the Father and Prince of Peace, reiecteth all spirits of contention, from ••taining it) hath entred into a meditation, whether it were not possible, that by the travel and meditation of some cal∣mer mindes that at this day vsually write, or deale on ey∣ther side, these flames of controuersie might be extinguish∣ed or as•aked, and some tollerable peace re-established in the Church againe. The iustnes of their vertuous desires to see it so, hath bred in them an opinion of possibilitie that it might be wrought, considering first, that besides infi∣nite other points not controuersed, there is a full agree∣ment in the foundation of religion, in those same Articles which the twelve Apostles delivered vnto the Church; perhappes not an abridgement onely of the faith, but even as a touch-stone also of the faithfull for ever: that whilst there was an entire consent in them, no discent in other opinions shoulde breake peace and communion. And secondly, considering also there are in great multitude on both sides, (for so are there vndoubtedly) men •er∣tuous and learned, fraught with the love of God and the truth, above all things, men of memorable integrity of heart and affections, whose lives are not deere vnto them, much lesse their labors to be spent for the good of Gods Church and people, by whose ioint indevours, and single and sincere dealings in common conference for the search Page [unnumbered] of trueth, that honorable vnitie of veritie might bee esta∣blished. But if the multitude of crooked and side respects, which are the onely olouds that eclipse the trueth from shining more lightly on the face of the world, and the on∣ly prickes which so enfroward mens affections, as not to consider and follow what were for the best▪ doe cause that this chiefe vnitie findeth small acceptation, as it is to bee feared at leastwise, that the endlesnesse & ill fruites of these contentions which tend mainely to the encrease of Athe∣nisme within, of Mahomatisme abroad by which obstina∣cy the Iewes shake the faith of Christians, taint the better mindes of acerbity, & load the words with poyson, which breake so out in their actions, which themselues thinke holiest, namely, the defence of Gods trueth, which each side chalengeth; that in thinking they offer vp a pleasing sacrifice to God, they give cause of wicked ioy vnto his & their enemies; that those wofull effectes with very tedious wearinesse, may draw both parts, in fine to some tollerable reconciliation, or to some vnity of charitie: at leastwise, to some such as may be least to eithers preiudice. Let the one side give over their worshipping of Images, and of∣ffering supplication to Saints, their offensive ceremonies, their indulgences, their vsing of strange language not vnderstoode in their devotions; (al which themselves con∣fesse, not to bee necessarie orders of the Church and such as at pleasure shee may dispence with) yea Pope Clement the seaventh gave some hope to the French king, that hee would not be stiffe in things of this quality, and that the respect of time might iustifie the alteration; and some of the later Popes condescended to them of Baua∣ria, about the cup of the Sacrament, hoping that would have contented them, which since, they, or their successors have taken from them again: On the other part let the Pro∣testants (such at leastwise, as seeke to purge out that nega∣tive and contradictorie humour, of thinking they are then rightest when they are vnlikest the Papacy; & then neerest Page [unnumbered] to God 〈…〉 furthest from Rome.) Let them, I say, looke with the eye of charitie vpon them, as well as of severitie, and they shall finde some excellent order of government, some singular •elpes for increase of godlinesse and devo∣tion for the conquering of sinne, for the profiting of ver∣tue: and contrariwise, in themselves, looking with a more single and lesse indulgent eye then they doe, they shall finde there is no such absolute perfection in their do∣ctrine and reformation, as some dreamers in the pleasing viewe of their owne actions doe fancie: Neither ought they to thinke it strange, they should bee amisse in any thing; but rather a very miracle, if they were not so in many; For if those antient Fathers & Sages of the Church, who with greater helpes, beeing neerer the time of puri∣tie, with equall industrie, so spending their lives with lesse cause of vnsinceritie, having nothing to seduce them; notwithstanding, were not able in their weakenesse and blindnesse of their humane nature in this world, to soare vppe so high alwaies in the search of trueth, as to finde out her right State in the height of the heavens, but sometimes Errour to bee dwelling nearer them in steede thereof: How lesse likely that our age, more intangled with the worlde, further remooved from those faultlesse institutions, and so bitterly exasperated with mutuall controversies and conflictes, should attaine to that excellencie and perfection of knowledge, which (it may bee) God hath remooved from mans reach in this world, to humble him, and to increase his longing towards another world. And as the present time doth dis∣cover sundry errors in the former, so no doubt will the future in that which is now present: so that ignorance and errour, which seldome goe severed, beeing no other then vnseperable companions of man, so long as hee conti∣nueth in his terrestriall pilgrimage, it can bee no ble∣mish to them to revise their doctrine, and to abate the ri∣gor of certaine speculative opinions, especially touching Page [unnumbered] the eternall decrees of God, the qualitie of mans nature, the vse of workes, wherein some of their chiefe Authors have come to such an vtter opposition to the Romist do∣ctrine, as to have exceedingly scandalized all othe Churches withall, yea and many of their owne to rest very ill satisfied. The state of truth is aloft, that of vertve in the middest alwaies; both places of honour, but neither truth nor vertue draw to an vtter extreamitie. And as in some points of doctrine, so much more in their practise, in order of government and ecclesiasticall degrees, in solem∣nities and statelinesse in the service of God, in some exer∣cise of pietie, devotion and humility, especially in set fa∣stings, accompanied with due contrition of heart & praier. Besides, in many other ceremonies, they might easily with out offence of conscience at all, frame to draw somewhat neerer to their opposites then now they are, which yeel∣ded on both sides a general and indifferent confession and summe of faith, an vniforme Lyturgy, a correspondent forme of Church-government to be made of the points both should agree in, and to be established vniversally throughout all Christendome, that this all Christians should necessarily hold, and this their Divines in Pulpits should teach, and this their people in Churches should exercise: which done, the vnitie of communion should remaine vnviolated for all other questions to be confined to the Schooles, the Counsels, and to the learned lan∣guages which are the proper places to trie them; and it should bee lawfull for each man to beleeve as hee found cause, not condemning others with such peremptorinesse as is the guise of some men of over-weening conceits: and all this to bee done by some generall counsell assembled and composed indifferently out of both sides, m•ns minds being before hand prepared and directed to this issue and conclusion.
But now, if eyther the obstinacie of the Popes ambi∣tion, or the wilfulnes or scrupulositie of any opinionative Page [unnumbered] Ministers should oppose against, and impeach the vnitie of Charitie; then the vnitie of authoritie to be interposed to assist it. That is, the Princes of Christendome to presse this agreement, to constrain the Pope to content himselfe with that temporall state which the skill of his ancestors have got, and left him. And for his spirituall, to be such as the ancient Councels had limited. And for all other gain∣sayers to censure or punish them. Now for the Princes with ioint assent to do this, how many haue mightie mo∣tives to enduce them. The service of Christ, the honour of Christian Religion; the peace of Christendome, the streng∣thening of Christians, the repulsing and overthrow of all Turkes and Infidels: and these in generall. In particular, the assuring of their owne lives and persons, which so ma∣ny, vnder pretence of Religion daily conspire against, the quiet and secure enioying of their rich states, and king∣domes, the transmitting of them to their posteritie, with∣out question or opposition. And lastly, the deliverie of their miserable subiects (which should be deare vnto them as children) from those extreame vexations of spirit and bodie, and those inestimable calamities in their states and conditions, wherewith these dissentions in Religions and effects thereof do now afflict them. And this is in gene∣rall, the summe of the discourse of that kinde of people which doe shew them (and they are for the most part) Protestantes though perhaps not running iump with their side in everie thing: also many of the other part, are caried with the same good zeale and affection, to the like desire and intention. But these are of the moderate sort of the Catholiques, and not of their Cleargie. And such lightly as have but an indifferent conceit of the Popes claime and proceedings, of which sort, amongst the wise sort of the layity, are very many. But now in exacter consideration of this motion, there appears for the effecting of it, sundry difficulties, so great, that they draw to be next neighbors, to so many impossibilities, whereof I will mention onely Page [unnumbered] two of the chiefe. For as for the thing it selfe, I must con∣fesse for my owne part, the greatest desire I have in this world, is to see Christendome reconciled in the badge of their profession, and that without the ruine or subversion of eyther part, which cannot be done, but to the vnexpres∣sable mischiefe and misery on both sides, and with the vt∣ter inhazarding both of Christendome and Christianitie, and that any peace were better then those strifes, which did not preiudice that higher peace betwene God and mens consciences: then for the way they purpose, it see∣meth for the generality of it, ther is no other now lef• (see∣ing the opposition of extreames is no way peaceable) but by extinguishing the one, or drawing both to some more temperate and milde estate. But in this cause, two things doe cleane shorten this hope: The first is, the vn∣tractablenesse of Papacy to it, who in so many conferen∣ces as they have made in this age, have alwaies ere they parted, plainely discovered, they came not with any such intent as to yeeld any thing for peace, much lesse for truths sake, but onely to assay, eyther by manifold perswasion and intreatie to reduce, or otherwise to intrap and disgrace their adversaries. And if some one of them have shewed himselfe more flexible at any time, it hath beene his vtter discredit with his owne partie for ever after; a very sterne proceeding of theirs, admitting the fundamentall positi∣ons whereon the Papacy is built as good as necessary. For if divine authoritie doe concurre with them in all their ordinances, if Gods spirit assist them in all their decisions, and all possibilitie of erring be exempted from their Pope and Church, what temaines there but only that they teach we beleeve, they commaund, and the world obey. Indeed in humane governments, where reason is shut out, there tyrannie is thrust in; but where God commandeth, to a •e reason is presumption, to oppose reason, flat te•ellion. To this miserable necessitie have their assertions tied them, which they have laid for their foundation, miserable to Page [unnumbered] themselves, & miserable to the whole world. What can be more miserable to an ingenious good minde, then to have intangled himselfe in such a Laborinth of perplexitie and mischiefe, as to have left no place for the acknowledging of his errors, without ruining his estate, (when as error is onely purged by acknowledging, and doubled by denyi∣ing it?) And to what a miserable push have they driven the world, eyther in their pleadings against them with such force of evidence, or in their ioyning with them, as to stop the mouth of the one, and to hang the faith of the other, on this vnnaturall paradox; I and my Church cannot possibly erre? And this you must take on our words to bee true. For as for their coniecturall evidence out of the Scrip∣tures, there seeme to be as much, or more for the King of Spaines not erring, as there is for the Popes, it being said, That the heart of the King is in the hand of God, a divine sen∣tence is in his lips, and his mouth shall not transgresse in iudge∣ment. But now, as by these meanes they have debarred themselues from acknowledging, and consequently from being controlled of error in matters of doctrine, so on the other side, to reforme any great matter in their practise, were to open the eies & mouthes of all men against them, who now in the obedience of their blindnesse, sticke fast vnto them. Let them suspend from hence forwards, the worshipping of Images, the flecing to Angels and Saints by vowes and praiers for pattonage, besides the great losse it would bring vnto their traine in their offerings; What a iealosie would it breed in the heads of their owne, that they had led the world all this while on the blinde side, and that other things perhaps were introduced for gaine, and corruptly continued as well as these. Then for their adversaries, their owne maner of saying is, yeeld one thing vnto them, and yeeld all, sith all hang vpon the same Prince, and by the same string that any one doth. So that it seemeth not to have beene vnwisely conceived by him, who said; that to perswade the Pope to any such re∣formation, Page [unnumbered] was to perswade him to yeelde vp his keyes and Crowne, and to returne to the order of his predeces∣sours and other Patriarches, which to do, as yet he shew∣eth no intention. Than to hope, that though himsefe and his Sea should withstand it, yet the learned of his side might be enduced in other places to some treaty of accord, they know them not, which would have that conceipt of them.
For though it were perhaps not vntruely saide of a great man of their owne, that the Popes not erring was but an opinion of Pollicie▪ not of Theologie, to give stay to the La•tie, not stoppe to the Divines, of whome (in such in∣finite controversies and iarrings about interpretations of Texts and conclusions of Science, wherein manie have spent a large part of their lives) Never any yet went to bee resolved by the Popes, as knowing it to bee true which their owne Law delivereth, that in holinesse many an old woman, & in knowledge, many a Friar might out-goe the Pope, but in power and authoritie the whole world was vnder him: yet at this day they doe so generally all cling vnto him, and drawe by his line, as having no hope, ey∣ther of standing against their opposites, but onely by him, or of vnity amongst themselves, but onely in him, that touch him, and touch them; yea, they thinke some of them, the name of Paptist to bee as good and a more ne∣cessarie name at this day then of Catholiques, the one shewing only their vnity with their body, the other with the head of the Church, which is now more needefull. It remaineth that Princes take the matter in hand, and con∣straine the Pope and other to yeeld to such accord as they should thinke reasonable. Indeed this were an only way to effect it: for Reason is a good Orator, when it hath force to back it. But where are those Princes? they dreame of an old world, and of the heroicall times, who imagine that Princes will breake their sleepes for such purposes. If there were at this day, a DAVID in Spaine, a IOSIAS Page [unnumbered] in France, or Ezechias in Italie, a Coustantine in Germanie, the matter were ended in a very short time. But take men as they are, and as they are like to bee (beeing brought vppe in the middest of their factions and flatterers, where they seldome heare truth, and if a good mo∣tion, by chance bee set on foote by one part, it is sure to bee straight crossed, through the watchfull industrious envie of the other), the world may hold it selfe reaso∣nable happie and content, if the civill State bee vphelde in any tollerable manner, and not thinke that they should care greatly for reforming the Church, and much lesse for the vniting of the State Ecclesiasticall, the dissentions whereof, have, and daily serve so many mens turnes. And though it is to bee acknowledged and thankefully commemorated, that this age hath not beene so vtterly ba••en of good Princes, But some have deserved to have beene enrolled amongst these Worthies; yet the am∣bition and incroaching humours of certaine, and want of corespondencie requisite in others, have stopped per∣haps those honorable thoughts and designes, which had else beene employed for the vniversall good of Christen∣dome. In summe, there is small hope remaining in this part, the world having extinguished the care of the pub∣lique good, by an over-care of their private, and each proiecting to passe their owne time smoothly over, in pleasure, and recommending posteritie to the Starres and Destinies), these reasons, together with the long conti∣nuance of this division, whereby both parts are formali∣zed and setled in their opinions: insomuch, that at this day there are but very fewe, (in comparison of former times) that are gained either way: doe make mee dis∣paire greatly of any successe by that course, and so esteeme of that plot, as an honest heartie desire, but no probable designe, and as a cabinet discourse of speculative conside∣ration, which practise in the world, and experience doth neede to certifie.
Page [unnumbered]The next point is, whether necessitie (which over∣rules all frowardnesse and sturdinesse of humors and pas∣sions) may not presse them to some vnitie, if the Turke grow still great vpon them, as hitherto he hath done, hee shall leave no hope for Christendome to resist, But in their inward concorde. True it is that a forreine enemie is a reconciler of bretheren; and that common daunger holdes them together, as long as it lasteth, which else should flie asunder vppon everie light occasion. But herein me thinketh, it commeth first to be considered, whether the Turke be so fearfull a Monarch as is com∣monly conceived, especially since his late so huge in∣largement towards the East, that which most men esteeme in him the grand cause ofterrour, seemeth to mee a chiefe argument of the contrarie at this present, and that is the hugenesse of his Empire. For Empires are then at the strongest, when they are at their biggest, there being a cer∣tain due proportion in all things, which they breaking, the that exceed, as wel as they that comeshort, may be accōun ted huge add vaste, but not great, since that is great pro∣perly which is great in the actions, which one as often im∣peacheth by vnwildinesse in the bigge, as by weaknesse in the little. But if to this be adioyned, (as it sometimes fall out) that there be but a little soule to moove this vaste bo∣die, (which maketh some of the biggest men, to be neither wisest nor valiantest,) and that the government (which is the soule of the state) is scant & feeble, not able to embrace nor order so huge affaires▪ then is their no greater presage of ruine, thē the verie massinesse it selfe, which every strōg push or iustle maketh reele and totter for want of that in∣ward strength which were requisite to hold it steddie. And this take I to be the state of the Turkish Empire at this day which being a meere tyrannie as ayming only at the migh tinesse and securitie of their great Lord, the sole absolute commander, without any respect to the benesite of the people vnder him, save only so far-forth as may serve vpō Page [unnumbered] his greatnesse: and for that cause in his iealousie & distrust of his owne, keeping territories halfe desolate, waste, and vn-inhabited, his subiectes without heades of Nobilitie to lead them; without harts to encorage them to seek their liberty or deliverie, abusing them by all kinde of bestiall education, and oppressing them by all sortes of extortion and outrage, giving the land where he conquereth to his Souldiers, & Timarri, which scattered over all parts of his ample Empire, are the onely contented people, & strength (in effect) he hath, as being boūd by their tenures to serve whither soever hee cals them, & without his charge. This beeing his state, it is cleare, that the wildnes & lying waste of his Countrey, is to the great diminishing of his owne wealth and revenue, which is lesse than some one of our christian princes be at this day, though his Empire be lar∣ger then all theirs togither. The vnpopulousnesse, togither with the basenesse & feeblenesse of such as are weake, that no one Country is a defence for himselfe, but must have the concourse of very many of the rest to assist it: And last∣ly, the huge circuite of his soyle and confines, embracing (as is esteemed) eight thousand miles of land, and of sea, as many, is the cause, that his Timarri cannot assemble togi∣ther▪ but in very long time, wherein oportunities are often lost, besides the trying both of themselves, & their horses, before they arme. And the truth here of is assured by fresh experience, he having done no great matter in all his wars of Hungarie, to speake of, onely Germanie with some small helpe of Italy, being opposed against him: But if we consider the effeminatenes of the education of their great Earles in these times: a thing which they are advised and constrained vnto, even contrarie oftentimes, to the manli∣nesse of their owne natures, and al to keepe the father from iealousie of his owne sonne, whose bravenesse of minde, and warlikenesse, is still suspected, And vse, having once soaked into their bones in youth, doth for ever after loose the sinewes of manly dispositions, and assub∣iect Page [unnumbered] them to the softnesse and basenesse of pleasures: con∣sidering also the avarice and corruption which raignes there, all peace and warre, all frenships and enmities, all favours and wrongs, all counsailes and informations, being growne to be saleable. If these be as they are, the signes of the diseased, and prognosticators of a •ying Monarchie, much more of a tiranny; then surely have we not now so great cause to dread him, as to blame our selves, and our wrangling who choose thus in practising to exterminate each other, to trace out a dishonourable and fruitlesse life. At the ende finding our selves at the same, or woorse termes then when we beganne, rather then establishing first a firme ac∣corde at home, to attempt with vnitie, zeale, love and forces, so iust, so Christian, so honourable, so rich a warre. And verily, if but Princes confining vpon him (though agreeing among themselves for the most patte in Re∣ligion) were not so strongle infected with emulation∣and home- ambitions, as •o condiscend to paie Tri∣bute to the Turke in severall, for so doe they as a redemp∣tion, each of them of their peace, whereof it hath no lon∣ger assurance thē his pleasure, which with double as much vnderhand bribes and presents must be dayly sweetned. And which is yet woorse, when he list, commeth to in∣vade any one of them (as he doth for his verye exercise, & avoyding tumults at home) the rest doe hold off from gi∣ving succours to their neighbours, for feare of drawing on revenge vpon themselves some other time, which is the cause of the Polonians and Venetians at this present, who scarsely dare so much as pray against them in their devoti∣os, otherwise then in their hearts, which I weene they doe duely. where it not I say that their private ambitiōs, feares, and mistrustes did drive them to make so abiect and vn∣christian choyse, as to inthrall themselves into such bonds of tribute, and slaverie, to so proude, and insolēt, and wic∣ked enemie rather then to ioyne in one course, for the Page [unnumbered]•oo•ing of him & his tyranny out of this part of the world, it were not so much to bee doubted, but the feare now of this side would soone turne to the other, seeing that one good blow to a body so built, & so ful of distempers were able to put the whole in danger of ruining, and shivering. These reasons indu•e me not to thinke that the daunger from the Turke should bee so great, as to enforce the Christians to runne mainly to an accorde: and though it should, yet without other sounder working by perfect composing of all inward dissention, this would be but a civill accord, & onely for this time, which (the feare once past) would dissolve of it selfe, and the former contentions revive as fresh as ever. For the bond of common feare, is the strongest indeede of all other, but the shortest with∣all, which nothing during the daunger is able to breake, and the danger once past, falles in sunder of his owne vn∣soundnesse, howbeit if the Turke should set foote in Italie, and abate the Popes strength, by possessing his State, then would I not doubt much, but that both himselfe would bee content, and all other Princes forwarde, that some such v•itie, as is before spoken of, might bee esta∣blished.* But that is a case as vnlikely in short time, as in tract of time not impossible to happen if some manly stow•e Turke, should succede these woman•sh. There remaines then, the vnitie by perswasion only, which both sides seeme now to •est on, each practising and hoping in tract of time to eate out the strength of th•ther, by his industrie, in drawing away by perswasion his followers and adherents wherein the Protestant accoun•eth his ad∣vantage so much the greater, in that the vnitie of veritie is it which hee perswadeth; and truth beeing by so infinite degrees stronger than vn•r•et•, having God to blesse it, heaven▪ and earth, and all the creatures of GOD to wit∣nesse it; and falshoode it selfe (which is alwaies his owne cut-throte, by his crossing and con•rariety) to yeeld con∣fession vnto it, vnlesse the fault be exceedingly in the •ādler Page [unnumbered] and pleader, it must needs in the end maugre the malice of all enemies, and craft of all inventions, prevaile and have the victorie, although the vtter abolishment of the King∣dome of Antichrist they referre with the prophecie to the appearance of our Saviour in iudgement & triumph, now shortly approaching. On the other side, the Papists hope that their perswasion being seconded by so great Princes authoritie, and fat•ered, by so many collaterall aydes, of motives, and practises, leaving nothing v•assayed which may preiudice, inflict, or annoy their opposite; and pro∣viding as they do, a perpetuall succession of instruments to be imployed in each kind over all partes of Christen∣dome, they shall in the end tyre, eate out, and vtterly con∣sume the strength and stomacke of their vnpolitique and divided adversaries. In the number wherof, though they score vp all religions, especially christian, that acknowledge not the Pope, and the three-fold plenitude of his super∣nall, terrestriall, and infernall power, extending to heaven in canonizing Saints, to the lower parts of the world in •reeing from Purgatorie, & over the earth in being the v∣niversall guide and pastor of all mem, yet are they not af∣fected to all their opposites in like sort (speaking of such as with whom they live and daily converse,) For, to omit the Iew whom they mo•ke with their M•ssias so long in comming, as also the G•aecian whom they pittie with their Patriarch vnder the Turkish slaverie, their hatred is to the Lutheran, the Author of their calamitie. But hatred and feare both of the Calvinists onely, whom they account the onely growing enemy & dangerous of their state. For* as for the Lutherane he was long since at the highest, & if he fetch an inch forwards one way, for an ell he looseth an other, it is only by a kind of boysterous force and violence against the Ca•vinists as in Strasborough of late. The reason •herof (besides the absurdities of the •biquitary Chimera) •ath perhaps beene in part, for that their opinion tooke vp his seat in Germanie, a stiffe people, but on heavie, Page [unnumbered] which will hold their owne well, but gaine little vpon o∣ther men, whereas the other falling vpon a livelier metall,* of the French especially, who are alwaies stirring and pra∣ctising vpon their neighbous. And more vehement for the while in whatsoever they affect, hath had a very huge in∣crease in latter time, notwithstanding those massacres which have beene vsed to extinguish them, and still grow∣ing forwards in all places where once it taketh, and over∣toppeth them now, from whose roote at first it sprung. This therfore by all meanes they seeke to represse, giving some blind hope to the Lutherane of quiet & toleration, so hee will ioyne against these a while the sretters out of both: But of all places, their desires & attempts to recover England have beene alwaies▪ & still are the strongest, which in their more sober moods, so many of them wil acknow∣ledge to have beene the onely nation that walke the right way of iustifiable reformation, in comparison of o∣ther, who have runne headlong rather to a tumultuous in∣novation (so they conceive it) wheras that alteration that hath beene in England▪ was brought in with peaceable and orderly proceeding, by generall consent of the Prince and whol realm represētatively assembled in solemn Parliamēt a great part of their owne Cleargie according and confor∣ming themselves vnto it, no Luther, no Calvine, the square of their faith, what publique discussing & long delberation did perswade them to be faulty, that taken away: The suc∣cession of Bishops, and vocation of Ministers continued, the dignity and state of the Cleargy preserved, the honour and solemnitie of the word of God not abused, the more ancient vsages not cancelled. In summe, no humor of af∣fecting contrarietie, but a charitable indevour rather of conformitie, with the Church of Rome in whatsoever they thought, not gaine saying to the expresse law of GOD, which is the onely approoveable way in all new reforma∣tions: yet notwithstanding, in regard of the power and renowne of the Prince, and of their exemplarie policy in Page [unnumbered] government of the state, in regard that they concurring entirely with neither side, yet reverenced of both, are the fitter and abler to worke vnity betweene them; and to bee an vmpire also & directer, a swayer of al, whensoever there should be an occasion of assembling of their councels, or conioyning their forces, for their common defence, and especially, for that it is the only▪ Nation of the Protestant party, able to encounter and affront their king Catholikes proceedings for the rooting out of heresie, as their actions both by sea and land have manifested. Of all places in the world they desire most to recover it, making full account that the rest would then soone followe and apply to them of their owne accorde one after another. But to as high a tide as they are risen in their desires thereof, to as lowe an ebbe, are they fallen in their hopes, being lesse now (for ought I perceive) than ever, having seene her Maiestie kept, and almost myraculously preserved, their treasons discovered, their excommunications vanished, their armies defeated, their cartels and bookes answered, their chiefe champions discouraged, wasted, deceased; those that re∣maine, though many, yet few of ability, insomuch (were it not for some hope of reformation which time may bring) their foūders were likely to withdraw from them ere long their stipends, which get them but a name of fruitlesse li∣berality. And this is all I can say for any hope or meanes of this generall vnity; and so much I leave and recommend it to God, as being both our best and now onely remaining pollicie, to addresse our vnited and generall supplications to his divine power & maiestie. That it may please him, by that ever-springing fountaine of his goodnes & gratious mercy, even beyond all humane hope (if it mayst and so with his blessed will) and by such meanes as to his Divine wisdom are ever in readinesse, to effect those things which to mans wit may seeme impossible) to extend his com∣passionable and helping hand, over his miserable, defiled, and disgraced Church, persecuted abroad, and persecuting Page [unnumbered] it selfe at home, confined by Tyrants into a corner of the worlde, and therein raging and renting it selfe into fitters to purge out of mennes mindes that ambition & vanitie, which so bewitches them with the love of Pomps & glo∣ries of this perishing and ending world, which in the brea∣thing of a breath they will loathe and despise as nothing, and to graffe in them a pure and single eye, to behold the eternall trueth (which seene) breedeth love, and love, conductes to happinesse; To roote out all gall and acer∣bitie on both sides, and to bend their hearts to charitie, that being re-vnited in the pilgrimage of this life, this countrie of our terrestriall bodies, we may after our service & course therein accomplished, ascend vnder the conduct of our Saviour, before ascended to our everlasting rest, in the countrey of our celestiall Soules, there in societie & vnitie of Saintes and Angelles to enioy the happie vision of the all glorious deitie, and to sing his praise for ever.
I should heere make an end concerning the Church of Rome, but that a question incident to the mater, which last was spoken of, beeing mooved by many, & diversly aun∣swered, dooth sommon me to deliver vppe my coniecture also; and that is, vpon what ground of equitie or pollicie the Pope should suffer both the Iewes and Graecians to have publike exercise of their religiō in Italie, yea in Rome it selfe, vnder his Holinesse nose, and onely the poore Protestant must be persecuted and chased, if it be possible, out of the worlde; no view of his religion to other, no exercise of it to himselfe permitted. For as for the Graeci∣ans they have a Church at Venice, with an Archbishop of Philadelphia, a Bishope of O•igo, and sundry other Priests to governe it. And the Italians also doe often repaire vnto thiere Masse. They have their Masse also in Greeke with leavened breade & other schismaticall ceremōies at Rome it selfe and in Naples they say their priests retaine their wives still by permissiō frō the Pope; in regard that in these places they acknowledge the Pops preheminence and Page [unnumbered] power, which at Venice they doe not, but a meere prima∣cie of order, which the auncient Councils thought good to give him. No more do Grecians in Apuglia, and Calabria, about Otranto, and at Cassana, nor in Cortu, & other Ilands adioyning to that coast, being the old remaines of the Oc∣cidentall Grecians, and who have alwaies, and doe still fol∣lowe the Greeke Church in all things, though these in Ca∣labria, and Apuglia be subiect to the King of Spaine, and in his power to roote out when soeuer himselfe listeth. And yet euen in Italy it selfe doth he suffer them and their Reli∣gion, who never could be induced to tollerate the Prote∣stants in any the remotest corner of his huge scattered Mo∣narchie, though the Grecians are condemned Heretiques, even in matter of the Trinitie, and perpetuall oppugners of the Papall right and authoritie. Then for the Iewes, they even swarme in the most of the chiefe parts of Italie, at Rome specially where the least number I could ever heare them esteemed at, is ten thousand and vpwards, though others say twise as many. They haue there, at the least, fower or fiue Synagogues, both there & else-where; their Circumcision, their Liturgies, their Sermons in pub∣lique, and all that •i•t may resort vnto them: yea, in means of enriching themselves, they are so much fauoured, that in all places they are permitted to straine vp their vsurie to eighteene in the hundred vpon the Christian, (for among thēselves they no where vse it) whereas also that summe in a Christian is not tollerated, which causeth many of the Christians to vse these Iewes vnder-hand, in improoving their vnlawful rents to their vtmost proportion. They have also in some places & it may be in all, a peculiar Magistrate, to decide any controversie betweene Christians and them, with particular direction to favor thē in their trades. And lastly, where France hath banished that race, in Avingnon only the Popes citie are they harbored & retained. Some answere to this demand in defence of the Pope, that the Church hath no authoritie to chastice the Iewes, who ne∣ver Page [unnumbered] were within the Church, but are as enemies in euen termes, whereas the Protestants are either vnnaturall or re∣bellious children, who haue flung out of the Church; or the issue of such, against whom her authoritie is endlesse, & vn∣restrained, to take all courses possible to reclaime them for ever. This answere seemes faultie, both as short of the que∣stion, seeing it extendeth not to the Grecians, who are in the very same role of Hereticks, & Schismaticks, flingers out of the Church; & for that there is difference betweene exercising iurisdiction in punishing an enemie, & not har∣boring & cherishing him, and his vnlawfull and scanda∣lous religion in our verie bosoms, as is done in Italie, who have called the Iewes in thither, yea, & stil do entice them whom Fraunce, England, & Spaine, have banished from thē long since. Others leaving these quirkes of iustice, hold by the text of Charitie, That it is a Christian act to harbor a harmelesse enemie, & especially that it is of al other most befitting the Church, who hath hereby also better meanes to reduce them to the Faith: And so in fine to save their soules, which is the summe of their endevors. And in forti∣fying this answere, there is to bee alledged for the first point, that the Iewes have their Service in Hebrewe, and the Grecians in Greeke, which Italie vnderstands not, yea, and that they haue purged the Hebrewe Liturgy from all points wherein they did impugne or scandalize Chri∣stianitie. And for the second point; that the Iewes are bound to repaire at some times to the Christian Sermons by which meanes some few of them have beene conuerted and more may be when God shall please so. But neither seems this answer so perfect as were requisite, for the Iews doe make their Sermons or expositions of the Lawe in the Italian language, though the text of Scripture they cite in the originall. And although they have purged their Li∣turgies, as they say, yet leaving them Circumcision, they tollerate that which is now intollerable. And as for their gayning of any soules among them, if they gained not Page [unnumbered] more Crownes, that reason would not stand: for if any cre∣dit may be given to the Hebrewes themselues, as many Friars become Iewes, as Iewes become Friars, of both sorts some, but few of eyther. But of the good provi∣sion they have taken to convert them, and of the fruites thereof I shall speake hereafter: In the meane time, this I aske: would they suffer the English Protestants to have an English Church there, none vnderstanding their lan∣guage, neyther in service, nor Sermons, yea and purging their Lyturgy of whatsoever may seeme to impugne or de∣face their religion (if there be any thing in it of that offen∣sive qualitie) as for my part I know nothing, but thinke rather, with great iudgement it was purposely so framed out of the grounds of Religion, wherein both sides agree, that their verie Catholickes might resort to it, without scruple, or scandal, if factiō more then reason did not sway. Then for repayring to their Sermons they know by expe∣rience they will not be backward, especially having the opinion of great men (as some say) that it is not vnlawfull. And lastly, what reason why they should not be as hope∣full to gaine English mens soules as Iewes? yes, their hope is greater, else would they not bee at such cost vp∣on the one abroad, and bestow so little labour vpon the other at home. To this question they would aunswere; first, that there were more daunger of flocking away their people, if they should have but once a bare view of our Churches, as being more infectious, therefore no po∣licie. And secondly, to what purpose the making of any such motion, what need vnto vs, and vnto them what pro∣fit? This answer deduced from policy and profit I take to be the right answer. Also to the first principall question, and neyther of the former drawne from Iustice or Cha∣ritie; For there is no cause of any feare at all, eyther of the oppressed Grecian, or of the obstinate Iewe, bearing a marke of ignominie and reproach in all places, yea, they remaine the rather as examples, and spectacles among Page [unnumbered] them, of contempt and miserie; the one for the vngratefull refusall of Christ himselfe; the other for his sedition against the Vicar of Christ, as they inferre against him: whereas to give the Protestant any foot amongst them, were the next way to leave themselves no foote to stand on: On the o∣ther side, by extending pitie towards the afflicted, and dis∣maid Graecian, whom the verie hand of God hath laid as low as the verie dust, they saw some hope of regaining him againe vnder their subiection, which were to them a reputation and strength inestimable, and such as they cun∣ningly by false bruits, cause the wicked daily to feede on. Then for the Iew, the profit by him is exceeding great, and greater in proportion of number then by the verie Curtesans, and that as well to the Pope, as to other Prin∣ces of Italy, to whom they pay a yearely rent for the very heads they weare, besides other meanes, to racke, and wracke them in their purses at pleasure: which gaine, as it is a peece of a cause why the beastly trade of the one; so it is the entire reason why the cruell trade of the other is per∣mitted: they being vsed as the Friars, to sucke from the meanest, and to be sucked by the greatest; insomuch, that the Pope besides their certaine tribute, doth sometimes (as is said) impose on them a subsidy for ten thousand crownes extraordinarie for some seruice of state.
52 Now to consider a little, what probabilitie of their conuersion there is in these parts. And by the way to touch somewhat of their religion, and vsage. Thus standeth their case; they haue a religion, though something strange to our conceits, as being framed, not only out of the law of the old Bible, but also out of sundry capricious fancies & fables of their Rabbins, yet so hansomly peeced and glued togither, that one part seemes to hang to the other not absurdly. And that which they hold, they are so perfit in, that they wil give both a probable account of it out of certaine Morall Phi∣losophie, & reason, (wherin they are wel seen) as also make some shew for it out of the Bible it self, wherin they are the Page [unnumbered] skilfullest men (I beleeve) in the world. And needes must they be so, setting their children to the Hebrew language at three yeeres olde, and following no other studie save of the Bible, and writings vpon it all their life long, except some few that betake themselves to Physicke. Touching God and his nature: Their opinions are for the most part very honorable and holy, save that they deny the trinitie. Touching Angels, but weake, and soyled with much Poe∣trie, Touching the nature and condition of man, very ex∣quisite, and for the most part, drawing neere vnto truth. But for the three states of the soule of man, they run some more strange courses, holding the creation of them altoge∣ther with sundry of the antient, and others, the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of Pythagoras (though not to different species) and Platoes Purgatorie of Vertue and Vice, and mans course; in both they thinke not much amisse, so that to the expiation of sinne, they hold nothing necessary but the repentance of the sinners, and the mercie of the Forgiver, which in that case is alwaies readie; For reward, that it commeth wholy from the bountie of God, without desert, yet different in degree, according to the works of each man. That the generall law of all men is the law of nature onely, which who so keepes, it shall lead him to blisse, in what Religion soever, though the Hebrewes, vnto whom the law of Mo∣ses was peculiarly given, by observing it shall haue a pre∣rogative of glory.
They preferre the ciuill life before the solitarie, and Marriage before Virginitie, as being to Nature more agreeable, to mankinde more profitable, and consequently to God more acceptable. Their beleefe of the end of the world, of the finall iudgement, of the resto∣ring of mens bodies, and of their happinesse everlasting in the height of the heauens, is good in the generall: But as they thinke it a bad opinion which some men seeme to hold, That God in his everlasting and absolute pleasure should affect the extreame miserie of any of his crea∣tures, Page [unnumbered] for the shewing of his iustice and severity in tormen∣ting them; Or that the calamitie, casting away, and dam∣nation of some should absolutely and necessarily redound more to his glorie than the felicitie of them all, consi∣dering that his nature is meere goodnesse and happinesse, and hath no affinitie with rigour or miserie: so contrari∣wise they thinke with Origen, That hell, in the end, shall be vtterly abolished: And that the Divels themselues af∣ter a long course of bitter repentance and punishment shall finde mercie at his handes that did create them, That the World may bee entirely restored vnto that puritie where∣in Almightie God at the first did make it. And to that perfection and happinesse whereto each part of it in his severall degrees was destined by him, from whom no∣thing but goodnesse and blessednesse could proceed: Their Lyturgie in the kinde of it, is not much different from ours, consisting in Psalmes, and Prayers with sundrie short Hymnes and Responds of Lessons: One out of the Lawe, and read by some chiefe person, an other out of the Prophets, correspondent vnto the former in Argument, but is read by some boy or meane compani∣on; For they will in no sort doe honour, neyther attri∣bute they that authoritie to any other part of the Bible that they doe to their Law, which they doe vsually carrie about their Synagogue at the end of their Service in pro∣cession, with many ornaments of Crownes and Scepters, the children kissing it, as it doth passe by them. And sometimes doe they make proclamation, who will give most to their treasure, to have the honour of that time of taking out of the Law. But for the manner of performing their service and their behauiour therat, it is different from all other that ever I saw; They chaunt it in a strange wilde halowing tune, with imitating sometimes trumpets, and ecchoing one to another, and winding vp by degrees from a soft or silent whispering to the highest and lowdest notes that their voyces will beare, with continual great wagging Page [unnumbered] of their bodies, and exultation, as it were, in some sauage and raging solemnitie, sometimes all springing vp light∣ly from the ground, and with as much varietie as wilde worke will receive, They weare certaine Ornaments of imbrodered linnen, cast mantle-wise about their shoul∣ders, which are their Philacteries edged with knotted, fringe, according to the number of the Commandements, and serving as locall memories of the Lawe. The reve∣rence they shewe, is in standing vp at times, and the ge∣sture of adoration in bowing forwards of their bodies; for kneeling they vse none, no more than doe the Graecians; neither stirre they their bonets in their Synagogue to any man, but remaine still covered: They come to it with wa∣shed hands, and in it, they burne Lamps to the honour of God: but for any shewe of devotion, or elevation of spi∣rit, that, yet in Iewes could I never discerne; but they are as reverend in their Synagogues, as Grammer boyes are at Schoole, when their master is absent: in summe, their holinesse is the very outward worke it selfe, beeing a brainelesse head and soulelesse bodie. For circumcision they vse it to the dead aswell as to the living, yet no way thinke it necessarie for the infants salvation: They are a sub∣till and advantagious people, and wonderfull eagre or gaine, insomuch, that whoso deales with them, needes let his wit goe with his beliefe, or else his findings shall come short to his expecting; as earnest to make Proselits as e∣ver were their ancestors, and as obstinate against Christ as the Priests that condemned him. In other points they are, perhaps, rather to be commended than otherwise. Their care of avoiding fornication is such, that they doe marie their sons at eighteene yeares: but adulterie they would pu∣punish with death, if they had liberty; when they break the Lawe, they come to their Rabbi for punishment, yet with∣out any particular disclosing of their fault: they kepe their fasts and feasts verie duely: But as the Christians fast the night, so they the noone alwaies: They are charitable a∣mong Page [unnumbered] thēselves, leaving no poore vnrelieved, no prisoner vnransomed, which maketh them good price vpon everie pretence. And although for their vsurie and guilefull dea∣ling they are generally hated there, and handled like verie dogges, yet some of them I haue knowne m•n of singular vertue and integritie of minde, seeming to want no grace but the faith of a Christian: Each Synagogue hath his Rab∣bi to expound their Lawe, to instruct their children, to decide their differences. For their Massias, they say now, seeing hee stayes so long, hee shall bee a fore-runner of the end of the world, and shall gather by his power, all nations into one folde, and so resigne them vp into the handes of that eternall Pastor. But it doth seeme they ex∣pect him out of the East, whither the Spanish Iewes fled, and have exceedingly multiplyed, for those doe they holde to bee of the Tribe of Iuda, and the other in Germa∣nie and in Italie to be of the Tribe of Beniamin, who in honour of the more noble Tribe, and to correspond with them the better, do learne the Spanish tongue which those still retaine.
53 But now to come to the point which I principally intended, which is, what probabilitie there is of their con∣version* in Italie: Three great impediments, besides their naturall and inrooted obstinacie I suppose there are which hinder it. The scādals of the Christians, the want of means to instruct them, & the punishment or losse which by their conversion they incurre. A scandall it is to see mans lawe* preferred before Gods, to see so great a matter made of ea∣ting flesh vpon a friday: and that adulterie should passe for so ordinarie a pastime; a scandall are all these blasphe∣mies darted vp with hellish mouthes against God and our Sauiour, so ordinarily and openly, that some of them are become verie Interiections of speech to the vulgar, and o∣thersome meere phrases of gallantry to the braver: a scan∣dall is the forging and packing of myracles, wherein the Friars and Iewes concurre in equall diligence, the one Page [unnumbered] in contriving, the other in discovering them. And surely this is an exceeding great scandall to them; seeing truth is of so pure and victorious a nature, that it refuseth to be in league with any falshood in the world, much more disdai∣neth to be assisted by it: neither can there bee a greater wrong done to a true conclusion, then to indevour to prove it by an vntrue allegation: a scandall is the alterati∣ons which they are forced by the inquisitors to make in their Authors and monuments of antiquitie, thinking that these devises are our best evidences. But of all these altera∣tions, they keepe a note for a time: A scandall is the vow∣ing and praying to Angels and Saints, which they hold to be the duties peculiar to God onely, and so hath it beene esteemed among them in all ages: yea, and they note that the Christians pray more often and more willingly vnto Christs mother, then vnto Christ himselfe, or to God. But the greatest scandall of all others, is their worshipping of Images, for which both Iewes & lurkes call them Idolatrous Christians. Now this is so much the greater, & of more indignitie, for that they generally con∣ceiue it to be a thing which Christ himselfe expresly com∣manded, and that in the Gospel of Christ, written by the Evangelists thēselves; that the Decalogue should be recited with omission of the second Precept, as one of their greatest Rabbines contested with me, beeing induced into that error by some Catechisme of the Christians, which he had seene with that fault. Now when they come to confe∣rence with the Priests & Friars, (as somtimes they do), they vpbraid this as a perēptorie exception against Christ: those good men deny it not for feare of scandalizing their own, but letting it passe for currant; that Christ, whom the Iewes call a Carpenters son, was an Image-maker: or howsoe∣ver, an Author of the worshipping of them, seeking to sa••e vp the gash which they have made in the plaine words of that Law which was written by the finger of God, with their speculative plaisters of distinguishing betweene the Page [unnumbered] Image of the true God, and the Idolls of the false gods, of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of intention instrumental, & finall in worship; all which are the vnfavorest dregs to the Iew in the world, who faith; there was never yet Nation in the world vnder the Sunne, so blockish as to worship a stocke and stone, as a finall obiect, but onely as a representer of some absent di∣vinitye, and that the heathen themselves call them the Effi∣gies and symulacra of other; yet such Effigies, as that the di∣vine power by his vertue, did sometimes inhabite & work miracles by, even as our Lady doth in her images in divers places of Christendome; whereby, if the poore ideot were deceived among the Pagās, to thinke sometimes that very image some diviner persō, as cleare it is, that the like befalls infinite simple christiās, seeing their images either to grone or to weepe and bleede, as they doe often, and so infinite cares wrought by viewing and touching them: And for their degrees of worshipe betweene Gods image & the Saintes, they cannot perceive them, they kneele to them alike, they pray to them alike, they vow to them alike, they incence them alike, they burne candles to them alike, they clothe them alike, they offer giftes to them alike: the difference (if it be any) is in their mentall affections, which whether the blunt and vndistinguishing witts of the vulgar doe ob∣serve, they suppose a small measure of discretion may con∣iecture. In like sort, for their distinction betweene the images of the true God, 〈…〉 of the false gods: they tel them that in other cases that might have his place; but now in this law, it being expounded in other places as prohibiting this base & sēsuall seducing kinde of worshiping God him∣selfe by an image (if any image of God were possible to be made) That thus the law it selfe doth plainely deliver: thus they which received the law vnderstood it, thus al their ho∣ly ancestors & learned doctors have still interpreted it▪ and thus hath their nation in all ages beleeved: and therefore they say, for their comming to the Christians sermons; that as long as they shall see the Preacher direct his speech and Page [unnumbered] prayer to that little wooden crucifixe that stands on the pulpit by him, to call it his Lord and Saviour, to kneele to it, to imbrace it, to kisse it, to weepe vpon it, (as is the fashion of Italy) this is preaching sufficient for them & per swades them more with the very sight of it, to hate Chri∣stian religion, then any reason that the world can alleadge to love it: and those be the scandalls which I heard them∣selves alleadge they take on that side, besides their Tran∣substantiation, which they can at no hand digest: The particular scandalls frō the Protestants, is their mutual dis∣sentions which they hold to proceed from the want of the vnity of truth in their foundations, otherwise save for their generall exceptions against Christianity, they hold their re∣ligion very conformable to the law of Nature, which they account the principall. But were all the vnneedefull scan∣dalls in those parts removed, yet is their no good meanes there of the Iewes conversion vsed. They complaine first, that the new Testament, being the ground of our religion, they cannot see it. That Italian translation which they had, is called in, and taken from them, it is printed in Hebrew letters, but not in Hebrew language, at leastwise, not in such as they can vnderstand. With Greeke and Latine their na∣tions never medled: besides which, the Inquisitors have inhibited and taken from them, all bookes that were ever published in that theame on either side, as well those that have bin written in defence of christian religion, as also the contrary against it, alleadging they will have no disputing in matter of religion either way, much like to an Edict set vp at Dola, in the french County, where the Iesuites re∣side, forbidding any talke of God, either in good sort, or in bad. Then lastly, for those few sermons they are bound to repaire to, seldome are they directed to the pointes they sticke on, but holde on their vsuall tenour, as re∣specting meerely the Christians. The last discouragement to men, especially of their mettall, is, that at their conuer∣sion to Christianity, they must quitte their goods to the Page [unnumbered] Christians. And the reason is, for that in baptisme they re∣renounce the divell and all his workes, part whereof, are the Iewes goods being gotten, eyther of themselves, or of their ancestors by vsury. Now this is such a cold comfort to a man set on the world, (as that Nation is wonderfully) that for my part I have not hard of any cōverted in those parts, save some Phisitians, with some of their children, who by friendship to the Pope, have obtained dispensatiō to retaine their goods stil, in as much as they were gotten by their ho∣norable profession. But if on the contrarie fide, the Chri∣stians would againe in their charity, give somewhat for the competent entertainment of such as for Gods sake did give vp their owne, I could not but well commend that rigor of iustice, which the bountifulnesse of this mercy did mitigate and asweeten. But being no such matter, there remains no∣thing for a Iew converted, but to be friared, a trade which of all other they lest can fancy, as being contrary (as they al∣ledge to Nature it selfe) which hath made man sociable, and each helpfull to other in all civill duties, a trade never com∣manded or commended by God, never practised nor coun∣selled by their renowmed ancestors, who received conti∣nuall instruction and inspiration from above, which none of their Patria•kes or Prophets hath given example of. Onely in three or foure thousand yeares, Elias and some one other, hath beene found, vpon verie extraordinarie cause, to haue taken also an extraordinarie course of life, though of other nature, and to other purpose then the vo∣taries of our times. And these are the termes that the Iewes stand on in those parts: and so must I leave thē to the mer∣cifull care of God, an vnblessed and forsaken people, obsti∣nate within, and scandalized without, indefatigable in their expectations, vntractable in perswasion, worldly, yet wretched, received of their enemies, but despised and ha∣ted, scattered ouer all countries, but no where planted, dai∣ly multiplying in number, but to the increase of their ser∣vitude, and not to their power. In summe, a long conti∣nued Page [unnumbered] and marked example of Gods iust severitie to abate their pride, that glory even as they in their ancestors and founders, Gods Temple, and Oracles, promises, and many prerogatives, long continuance in honourable estate and glorie, (which things, if they were sufficient to preserve any seat in the world, euen their seat had beene preserved by them) and to proclaime to the whole world, that there is no assurance of the fauour, protection, and assistance of God, (without which all falls to ruine) but in beleeving in his Sonne, and in keeping his commandements. And this also may serve touching the Church of Rome sufficient.*
Next followeth the Greeke Church inthralled (all in a manner save the Muscovites and Candians, with some few other of no great name or number) vnder the Turkish tyrannie: of which Church, as their farre distance from vs requireth not to speake much, so their vniformitie in mi∣serie, yeeldeth not much to be spoken for their Religi∣on, except onely their ancient error, touching the pro∣ceeding of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone, where∣in they have long dissented from all Latine or VVest Churches. In other points they seeme to stand in some middle termes of opinion, betweene the Romish and the Protestants, in the more weightie, or at the leastwise in the dominative. With Rome they concurre in the opinion of Transubstantiation, and generally in the service, and whole bodie of the Masse, in praying to Saints, in auricular con∣fession, in offering of sacrifice, and prayer for the dead, and in these, without any, or with no materiall difference. They hold Purgatory also and the worshipping of pictures: but for images, they will not so much as indure them in their Churches. As well for the proclivitie they have to trayne away the ignorant into the crime of Pagan errors, as also to avoid that similitude betweene their Churches and Hea∣thenish Temples of Idols, which imagery doth cause. And for their pictures, they kneele to two onely, to Christ, and our Ladie: the rest they passe over with an ordinarie reve∣rence. Page [unnumbered] For Purgatory they hold none, in hell, or in the skirts thereof, or by any outward torment, but that the soules of the faithfull are not received into glory, till by an extreame compunction and anguish of mind, they have worne out those staines with which the same, and the pleasures therof in this life, defile them. In summe, those opinions which grew into the Church before that separation betweene the Greeks & the Latins, and all those ceremonies which were common vnto both, they still retaine, as their crossings, and tapers, with certaine other. But for these superstitiōs which have crept in fresh memory, or which were as antient, yet not so currant; and in generall, all those Canons of the Ro∣mish faith, which have beene thrust on the Church in those times, by the vnaccountable power & pride of the Papacy, tending to the advancement of their owne Sea, and to the exempting of their Church & doctrine from triall, by those Anabaptifticall fancies of the spirit, that mans them, and protecteth them from error in their consultations or resolu∣tion touching matter of faith, extenuating the sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures in comparison of their spi∣rit, or Church guided by it; all these things they abhorre no lesse then the Protestant: they hold vnderstanding requisite to concurre with affection, for the accomplishment of de∣votion in praying to God. And although their Lyturgies be the same that in the old time, namely; Saint Basills, Saint Chrysostomes, and Saint Gregories translated, without any bending of them to that change of language which their tongve hath suffered, yet doe they say, that alteration is not so great, but that their people with small accustoming, vnderstand the language well enough. But by praying with Saint Dominickes round counters, they esteeme of it no better then those heathenish repetitions, and vnnaturall lip-labour which our Saviour censureth: neither can they beleeve that the Apostle Iames the lesser, who is painted vnder the Papacy with his great beads at his girdle, even as Mary Magdalen lightly praying before a crucifixe, was Page [unnumbered] Saint Dominicks disciple, but a wiser mans farre, & one that introduced a better fashion of praying, if the world would have bin contented to have followed his prescripts. In like sort, for the holy water so much vsed vnder the Papacy, they beleeve no such feare, that the divel should have of it, nor svch force in it as to purge sin as their neighbors doe teach: they repute it a very vain opinion, that the Church cannot erre, both in the whole, & in every part therof: and consequētly, that their neighbours of Rome had bestowed their pains better, which they have spent, in proving & per∣swading that they cānot erre, in providing & caring more not to have erred. They acknowledge that there is sufficient doctrine in Scripture for salvation, though to the antient v∣sages of the Church, & writings of the fathers, they yeeld due reverence. Three things in the Pope they condemne, especially his pride, in arrogating of so exorbitant a iuris∣diction over all Churches, contrarie to the decrees of anti∣tient Counsels, & vpon no shadow of right or good foun∣dation, but chiefly in vsurping that temporall tyranny over Princes & the States, in deposing of the one, & disposing of the other at his absolute pleasure; his cruelty in persecuting other Christians with such extremity (for their dif∣ferent opinions) his presūption in mounting to the seate of God, by dispencing with the lawe of God & granting par∣don for sin, & liberty out of Purgatory, which they accoūt to be of those royal prerogatives incident to God only. For as for the doctrinal foundations of these indulgences, the overplus of merits & satisfactions, in some being more thē they needed, or then were to be required of any ioyes of heaven, in their particular persons, & consequently remain as a perpetual treasure to the Church, to be conferred by the Pope, on his weaker & lesser deserving, or rather lesse satisfying children (for so is their opinion) so farre are they from prising m••ts at such an estimable valew, that con∣trariwise they concurre in assertion with the Protestants, that it is impossible for any creature to merite, as by Page [unnumbered] way of right, the least dramme of reward at, his Creators hands; the service of ten thousād millions of worlds, being not able to adde any shadow of perfection to him, who is perfection it selfe, hauing whatsoever is good or desireable within himselfe, even frō all eternity, in infinitie of degrees & with impossibility of any the least addition. But whatso∣ever reward is bestowed vpon the Creature, floweth forth from the meere bounty & gratiousnes of the Creator, who as in goodnesse alone & meere grace did make him, so al∣so in meere grace doth advance him to that high happines. That service intermediall which he requireth, is a gratious disposition of sweetest harmony, from the inexplicable wisdome of a Lord & Father, still abounding & inlarging his hands in all bounty & goodnesse towards his sons and servants, & destined to no others then to the creatures meere benefit & advancement only; that by his requisite indevors in those honorable waies of wisdom & vertue, of love & thankfulnesse, & of imitating of his Maker in doing good in the world, he may growe to a higher degree of glorie, which is proposed & reserved by that great rewar∣der in the height of the heavens, as a full & finall accom∣plishment of his whole deserts, as the Crovvne of his cele∣stial blessednesse. Now, as in this opinion they agree in ge∣nerall vvith Protestants doctrine, so do they mightily dis∣sent from that doctrine, touching the eternall counsels of God, vvhich Calvine (as some conceive) first reveiled or rather introduced into the vvorld. And since, some of his friends and fellovves have seconded, as thinking it very in∣iurious to the goodnes of God, & directly & immediat∣ly opposite to his nature, in regard vvhereof, one of their Bishops hath vvritten a booke against it, vvhich hath bin sent to Geneva, and there receiued. Thus much of their doctrine, vvhich though it may better and fuller be taken out of their Bookes, yet have I thought not inconvenient to deliver this in briefe, hovv I have found them also in speech and conference affected.
Page [unnumbered]55 Their Liturgies, for the most parte, are those three I have named, all which they vse for varieties sake in the severall feasts and times allotted for them. For the forme and ceremonies, they much resemble the Latines, though of the two the French Masse more than the Italian, not onely in their holy bread, but especially in their Altar, which with great misterie (as is said) they both inclose from the people, that the Arcana of those their ineffable cros∣sings and convertings, may not bee prostituted and Pollu∣ted by vnsanctified view, whereas the Romanes lie open on all sides to all eyes. In their hoast they vse leaven, which the Latines avoyde. They elevate it forward, which the Latines doe backeward, and neare the bodie of the Church, which the other doe at the Altar. In their cros∣sings they are verie plentifull, but herein swarving from the Latines. The Greeke, who is more nimble therein, beginneth his crosse on the right side, and the Latines on the left, each with his severall mysterie. They have also a shifting▪ in one, and the same Masse, from one Altar to another, which the Latins have not, who contrariwise haue in a Church a dozen Masses, sometimes all going at once at severall Altars, which the Grecians vse not for ought I could see; they have much adoe with their lights, in putting them out, and in againe, at severall times and parts of their service, & their Liturgy is much intermedled with singing performed in a tune, neither artificial nor altogether neg∣lected, but grave alternated & branched with diuers parts. At the Creede the Priests come forth to the doore of the chancels, & hold vp a little imbrodered picturé of Christ, towards which they do reverence, and pronounce their be liefe. Their gesture, or reverence, are the very same with the Iewes, standing vp and bowing forwardes their bodies at times; for kneeling they vse none, save only (as they say) one day in the yeare. At there comming, they bow themselves thri•e toward the Altar, and three times crosse themselves at their departure, having taken their holy bread with kissing Page [unnumbered] their Prelats hands, from whom they receive it, they final∣ly salute the pictures of Christ, & our Lady, kissing their hands which are plated over with mettall for wearing. But the Grecians pictures of Christ, & of our Lady, are nothing like the Latines, but as different as any two ordinarie faces that a man shall see. The most vniformity therin that I have seene, is with vs in England, For in Italy there is little, espe∣cially of our Lady, whose very pictures, which they say S. Luke himselfe partly did drawe, & partly begun, & an An∣gel did finish, may argue more devotion towards her in the drawer, then acquaintance, vnlesse her face were verie vari∣able or their skill verie slender. Somewhere, as at Loretto, she is painted like a Blackmore: In summe, they have so lit∣tle knowledge of her countenance and favour, that in some places they will assemble diverse of their fairest Curtesans, to draw the most modest beauty of a Virgin, out of the flagrancie of harlots. But to returne to the Grecians, and to come now to their government, which is auncient, by Pa∣triarkes, Archbishops, and Bishops, with other orders in∣feriour, vnto whom the people carry exceeding respect, as it were, to the publike fathers, and heads of their nation; notwithstanding that calamitie wherein the tyranny of the Turke hath plunged them. They have also a religious order amongst them, of S. Basill, the great founder of the East Monks; and S. Benedict of the West. These only have their vowes of chastitie & austerity, and may not marry, which to the rest of their Cleargy is not prohibited; they have also their proper habite, but shaven they are not, for ought I could discerne; no more are their Priests, being a ceremony so bald, that some Priests in France are ashamed of the marke, and few of them have it that can hansomly a∣void it. But as in the multitude of their religious orders, they differ much from the West Church, the Grecians ha∣ving only this order of S. Basil, & the Latines having multi∣plyed therin to greater store & varietie, then are professions in a cōmon wealth, or trades in a city, so also in their vse & Page [unnumbered] course of life. For the Roman monks by withdrawing them selves from the societie of other men, and living and dying within their Cels, do bereave the world of that benefit, and of that dutie and service wherein each man is bound to the behoofe of other, alledging in place thereof the blessings which by their assiduitie and fervor in praier not interrup∣ted nor cooled by secular cōmercemēts, nor drawne down vpon the world, doe grow vnto the Church, whereas the Grecians continue that more approved institutiō of them by spirituall meditations, and exercises, and by severitie to make themselves fitter to serue in the Church of God, in ecclesiasticall calling with exemplarie holines. And accor∣dingly their Prelates and other principall priests are chose in many places out of one of their order, & in greatest part these guides of their Church, have a wonderfull care, and are continually pricked with the motion of much feare and griefe of heart, lest their persecuted flock, gasping in helpe∣lesse and comfortlesse exreamitie of all miserie, having fa∣mine of soule, and great blindnes within, for lacke of a Pa∣stor, & meanes to maintaine them, without, seeing nothing but triumphes over Christ, and scorners of his religion, in∣solencies, and violencies against their persons, oppressions, and extortions vpon their goods, rapines, and murderings vpon the verie soules of their children; (a case to be bewai∣led with teares of bloud by all Christian hearts that knew it, hearing the onely anchor and stay of ther soules (which is the expectation of the comming of Christ, and of future salvation) daily derided and blasphemed by the pride of the mightie. And finally, seeing no shadow of any hope of de∣liverie from this calamitie, (vnder the burden whereof they grone) should in the end fall away, and revolt to Turcisme, inviting them therevnto with so many baites of pleasures, of freedome, and of worldly glorie. In which fearefulnes of mind, the onely remedy remaining, is the vertuousnes of their owne example, in constancie and patience, and avoy∣ding of all scandall to their people, which is the cause that Page [unnumbered] they vvill not heare of any reformation of any thing: not, I suppose, for any presumption or obstinacie of minde, as disdaining reformation, but all trembling at alteration vvhich must needes accompany it, least their people per∣ceiving hovv they had bin amisse in something, might sus∣pect the possibility of like error in the vvhole, & fall mainly vvhither the force of povver, & vvorldly prosperity (a chief argument to the vulgar mind) should sway them: & on the other side, their doubt of further exasperating the Turke in his crueltie against them (considering that in Greece and in all those parts of Europe, the Christians vnder the Turke, doe verie manifoldly exceede in number the Ma∣hometitians themselves) may be a cause, why in their gene∣rall they hold so small intelligence, and correspondence with the West Church of one side or other, and are like to continue so, whilest their thraldom and cause of that feare shall last, though in their particular, they will declare a brotherly affection of both, and desire of the vnity of all in one truth. But for the Turke himselfe, hee maketh full account, that whensoeuer the West Christians should shortly invade him, these Christians vnder him would runne to their aide, if they sawe any likelihoode that they should prevaile. And this hath beene seene alreadie more then once by example, and hee provideth accor∣dingly.
The Moscovites are a great Church, a free and puissant, not Schismaticks from the other Grecians (as some in dis∣grace* of both deliver) though, perhaps, not cōcurring fully in al points, neither is it true which other of a contrary cō∣ceipt have rumored, that the Patriarch of Constantinople had removed his Seat to Mosco, whither he went, only to erect that See into an Archbishopricke, which before it was not, & returned. But the Turk to keep the Moscovits from stir∣ring against him, causeth the Tartarians to make oftē incur sions & roads into their country, that so being held alwaies in awe on one side, they may have lesse stomack on the Page [unnumbered] other to imbrace any thoughts or dessignes of interprising or combining with other Christians against him. It were needlesse now to enter into any view of their lives, neyther could it serve eyther way to their honor, or reproch of their Religion and gouernment, being maimed, interrupted, or stopt in his operations, of what quality soever, through his tyrany, who strives to plant barbarousnes among them, as knowing, that neither civilitie founded his Empyre, nor with civilitie could it long continue. But the case is general, and experience shews it in all places, that the afflicted in all religions, how contrary soeuer, are, for the most part, men of conscience and honestie, save only where hopes draw other humors to them. For it cannot come from lesse than a ver∣tuous affection, to prefer the sinceritie of conscience before worldly glory, howsoeuer it may be stained with erronious opinions: as on the contrary side even the purest religion in prosperity draws it to an infinity of timeseruers, who being trained vp in the exactions of cup discipline, make their Ran∣devous where the best cheere is stirring, and follow Christ vpon a sharp devotion, but to his bread, not to his doctrine. In which regard, the fruits of life in divers religions and go∣vernments are not to be compared, but where their pros∣perity and adversity are equall; So fals it out in this particu∣lar we now speak of, where the Grecian who is counted by the corruption of his country, to be naturally a crafty mer∣chant, a seditious person in all kinds of gouernment, is now become humble, obedient, and peaceable; and at divine ser∣vice gives shew of more devotion than the Romanist in any place, for ought I have yet seene. But the lamentable calami∣ty of this afflicted & distressed Church once florishing in all worldly glory (now such as it hath pleased the wild bore to leave it) is able to dissolve a marble heart into streams of tears, & causeth me, in true sense of compassion of their mi∣serie, to wish with the humble petition of a mind pierced with grief, to the iust Iudge of the world, redeemer of man∣kind, and savior of his people, to cast downe his pitifull eies Page [unnumbered] vpon them; to behold on one side his triumphing fierce e∣nimies persecuting without measure; on the other, his poore servants troden downe & persecuted without helpe, hope, or comfort; to dissolue the pride and power of the one, to comfort the astonished and wasting weaknes of the other, with some hope of succour and finall delivery; to inspire the hearts of Christian Princes, (their neighbours) compoun∣ding or laying aside their endlesse and fruitlesse contētions, to revenge their quarrell against their vniust oppressor; to deliver now, at length, the Church of that bane, the world of that ignominy, mankind of that mōster of Turkish tyran∣ny, that hath too long raigned and laied the earth desolate: A small thing were it, if this revenue and treasure were only supplied and maintained out of their goods and labours, or if their bodies and lives were onely wasted and worne out in his works & slaueries, it might be suffered, for goods are transitorie, and death the end of all worldly miseries: But to be forced to pay a tribute also of soules to his Mahomet, to have their deerest children snatcht out of their bosomes, to be brought vp in his impious abhomination, and to be im∣ployed in murdering them that begat them, and in rooting out of the faith, wherein they were borne and baptized, and which onely were able to bring their soules into happines. This surely is a calamitie insupportable, and which crieth out vnto God in the heavens for reliefe. How long shall that hateful name of that cursed seducer vpbraid the glori∣ous & lovely name of our Savior? How long shall his fals∣hood insult ouer our faith? how long shall his barbarisme oppresse our civility, & his tyranny affront the true honor of all lawful government? but how long soever, this stands firme for ever, that the iudgmēts of God are iust, & directed in his sharpest chasticemēts to the benefit of the world and instructiō of men, & sound to vs: that if those people amōgst which our Savior himself cōversed, at what time his beau∣tiful steps honored this world, with those Churches which his Apostles so industriously planted, so carefully visited, so Page [unnumbered] tenderly cherished, instructed, & cōfirmed, by so many pe∣culiar Epistles, and for whom they sent vp so many servent praiers; yea, to whom are remaining those particular letters which the spirit of the highest indited in the very heavens, and sent downe vnto them. Aforewarning of that plague which is since befallen them, if besides these spiritual prero∣gatives and graces, the puissance and glory of the great em∣pire of the world; the christian empire of Rome being tran∣slated vnto them, & seated in their lap and with promise of perpetuitie to their present prosperity, such then was the strength thereof: Notwithstanding when they fell away frō their first zeale & charitie, when knowledge, the right mo∣ther of humilitie, made them swell, when they envied each others graces, which they ought to haue loved, whē aboū∣dance of all things bred wantonnes instead of thankfulnes. In fine, when they forgot the Author of all their blisse, and fell to snarling and biting one another, insteade of putting vp and forgiving of offences, if not for the name of Bro∣therhood, yet for his sake, who was father and equall lorde of both: it pleased God to suffer a base thiefe and a wicked, with a traine of vagabondes (to the eternall reproach of all their wisedome and pollicie) to advaunce himselfe so by his industrie and their securitie, and to grow to such an height in his successors and folowers, as to be a terror and amaze∣ment to all the world, and to themselues an vnexplicable & vnsuccorable calamity to strip them of all those graces and blessings which vngratefulnes wold not acknowlege, pride and wantonnes did abuse: And to heap on thē as much mi∣serie, as the cruelty of a barbarous and mercilesse tyrant can infflict vpon such as haue no meanes to appease him, save their calamitie alone, or to withstand him, besides their pa∣tience, then surely wee who come short of them so farre in pledges of favor, and equall them in our faults, And they who have had in particular the like threatening caveats of cutting off: notwithstanding the virtues of their honoura∣ble auncestors▪ may thinke it high time to enter into a more Page [unnumbered] serious cogitation of their wayes, to turne all their pollicies & contentiōs against others, into an humble and sincere ex∣amination of our selues, that repentance and amendment may prevent those punishments which our wickednesse hath deserued, and obstinacie now highly doth prouoke.
58 It remaineth that I should proceed to the churches reformed, of which there are many things also to be saide; But my length in my former (drawne on by multitude and varietie of matter still freshly presenting it selfe contrary to my intention) doth cause me to deferre the rest till some o∣ther occasion. In the meane while it doth hūbly and gladly submitte it selfe to be censured and controlled by those of wisedome, experience and iudgement. For howsoever, I have waded heerein with that vprightnes of minde, which becommeth a lover and searcher of trueth: And have also to my best, avoyded that ras•nes and lightnes in beleefe, which they that are subiect vnto, shall swallow downe ma∣ny a morcell, which will fill them with winde insteade of good iuyce & nourishmēt: yet viewing on the other side in such a multitude at this day, perhaps with like integritie, e∣quall warines, more diligence, and manifoldly more means of certaine informations, have delivered either histories, or other particular relations, how few there are that have not stumbled vpon many an errour, where they thought was nothing but plaine ground and trueth: I cannot have anie affiance or presumption of my good fortune, as to hope to be the man alone that should hit trueth in all things, But rather as foreseeing almost an impossi∣bilitie of not often erring in matter.