Cygnea cantio: or, Learned decisions, and most prudent and pious directions for students in divinitie; delivered by our late soveraigne of happie memorie, King Iames, at White Hall a few weekes before his death.

About this Item

Cygnea cantio: or, Learned decisions, and most prudent and pious directions for students in divinitie; delivered by our late soveraigne of happie memorie, King Iames, at White Hall a few weekes before his death.
Featley, Daniel, 1582-1645.
London :: Printed [by Miles Flesher] for Robert Mylbourne at the signe of the Greyhound in Pauls Churchyard,

To the extent possible under law, the Text Creation Partnership has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above, according to the terms of the CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication ( This waiver does not extend to any page images or other supplementary files associated with this work, which may be protected by copyright or other license restrictions. Please go to for more information.

Subject terms
Elton, Edward, d. 1624. -- Gods holy mind touching matters morall -- Early works to 1800.
Crompton, William, 1599?-1642. -- Saint Austins religion -- Early works to 1800.
James -- I, -- King of England, 1566-1625.
Theology, Doctrinal -- Early works to 1800.
Link to this Item
Cite this Item
"Cygnea cantio: or, Learned decisions, and most prudent and pious directions for students in divinitie; delivered by our late soveraigne of happie memorie, King Iames, at White Hall a few weekes before his death." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 12, 2024.


Page [unnumbered]

Page 1


Relating divers difficult points, and re∣markeable directions to Students in Divinity, delivered by King Iames our late Soveraigne of bles∣sed memory; by the occasion of the publishing Mr. Elton his exposition upon the Commandement, intituled Gods holy minde; and Mr. Crompton his answer to Mr. Brearly, intituled St. Augustines Summos. Ian. 6. 1624.

WHat Varius Geminus spake sometime to Augustus, Qui apud te audent dicere, ignorant tuam magnitudi∣nem; qui non audent, hu∣manitatem: Those that dare speake be∣fore

Page 2

thee know not thy greatnesse; those that dare not, know not thy goodnesse: I may as truly apply to the admirable temper of Majesty and gracious Cle∣mency in our late Soveraigne King Iames. Those that were not afraid to come before him, were ignorant of his Princely Majesty; those that were afraid, were unacquainted with his benigne af∣fability. To omit manifold instances for proofe hereof, which more learned pennes have and will commend to po∣steritie: the sweet close which his Ma∣jestie set (a little before the changing of his corruptible Crowne with an incor∣ruptible) to the late harsh sounding bu∣sinesse about the publishing of two Treatises, the one penned by M. Elton, the other by M. Crompton, deserveth a thankfull acknowledgement of all that were any way interessed in the making or setting forth of those Bookes. The speciall passages of his Majesties learned and pious discourses upon that occasi∣on I have here, though not perfectly yet

Page 3

faithfully related.* 1.1 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

First, his Majestie questioned me for licensing M. Elton his booke, and hee seemed to be very much displeased that any should be permitted to print books in the Church of England, who were not conformable to the discipline of the Church of England. Whereunto my conscience beareth me witnesse that my answer was according to the truth.

First, that M. Elton had set forth in print other books before this, at which I never heard any exception taken for matter of inconformitie.

Secondly, that if he had beene a man unconformable, doubtlesse my Lord of Winton, no favourer of non-conformi∣tants, would never have suffered him to have discharged his Ministery so ma∣ny yeares so neare him, without ever calling him in question, much lesse sus∣pending him for non-conformitie.

Thirdly, that the generall good re∣port of M. Elton his meeke spirit and peaceable cariage as well as his extraor∣dinary

Page 4

painfulnesse in his pastorall fun∣ction, even to the enfeebling of his bo∣die, moved me to gratifie him so farre, being my neighbour, as at his request to peruse that his book, and if I thought it fit, commend it to the Presse.

Fourthly, that of this booke I peru∣sed but 52. pages, in which I was con∣fident that there was nothing contrary to the discipline or doctrine of the Church of England; and that my appro∣bation extends no further then the 52. page, appeareth by my Imprimatur, and the Warden of the Stationers hand af∣fixed to the 52. page, and not to the last page of the booke: at which wee usu∣ally set our hands, if wee allow the whole booke. After that first part of the book allowed by me, I made a stop, because I then understood the Author had made a period of his life. Whilst he lived I might and did alter with his consent, what we thought fit: but af∣ter his decease I left oft intermedling in such a worke wherein I could not suf∣fer

Page 5

all things to passe as they were in that copy, bonâ conscientiâ, nor yet change or mend any thing bonâ fide. Yet the booke tooke the libertie of flie out of the Presse without licence: But that which then escaped virgulam censoriam, hath since met with facem expiatoriam. On Sunday the 13. of Februarie 1624. we saw a februation or purging by fire of all the errors discovered in that Post∣humus, some concerning the Sabbath it selfe, there were burnt above 800 Co∣pies. The greatest holocaust that hath beene offered in this kinde in our me∣morie, for ought I know. VVhereupon the wits of the Citie (which usually will be working upon such occasions) have made a conceited Pageant: And although even innocent mirth may bee subject to censure, when the occasion rather presents matter of pensive, or at least serious thoughts; yet because the Embleme and Motto devised upon this occasion discovereth the affections of many that were there present, I hold it

Page 6

not altogether unfit here to set them downe. Saint Pauls Crosse is drawne at large, and a number of men, partly running away that they might not see such a spectacle, partly weeping, and wiping their eies to see a booke so full (as they conceived) of heavenly zeale and holy fire, sacrificed in earthly and unhallowed flames: their Motto was,

Ardebant sancti sceleratis ignibus ignes,* 1.2 Et mista est flammae flamma profana piae.

In the middest of the area there is de∣scribed a huge pile of bookes burning; and on the one side the Author casting his bookes into the fire, with this Motto:

Sancte (nec invideo) sine me liber ibis in ignē.
And on the other side a Popish shave∣ling Priest answering him with this motto in the next verse:
Hei mihi quod domino non licetire tuo.

Page 7

Before the burning of the Bookes, the Preacher at the Crosse declared divers erroneous assertions therein, condem∣ned (as he said) by Authoritie. Among which that assertion in the fore-front, Inter damnatos,* 1.3 touching the deniall of the Sacrament to the sicke requiring it on their death-bed, collected by conse∣quences from some passages of that booke, seemed to me most blame wor∣thie. For what law of God or man de∣priveth the sicke in their greatest extre∣mitie of paines of body, and troubles of minde, of that unspeakeable comfort which the participating of the blessed Sacrament affordeth to all that worthi∣ly receive it. What devout Christian would not desire with Simeon to take his Saviour into his hands before his departure, that he might the more cheer∣fully sing his Nunc dimittis? Is the Church so charitable to send the other Sacrament home to sicke infants? and will any denie this Sacrament to men of ripe yeares, hungring for this bread

Page 8

of life? what though this Sacrament be not of like necessitie as the other is? yet is it of as great vertue, and greater comfort, by present apprehension: wherof men stand in great need amidst the temptations of Satan, and terrors of conscience, and feare of death, and the strict account to bee given after death. Who knoweth not that the Primitive Church tooke speciall care that all those who were taking their last journey to another world should be provided of this celestiall Viand, which they* 1.4 call Viaticum morientium, nay 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, yet such is the nature of misguided zeale, that under colour of weeding out supersti∣tion, it will pluck up by the rootes ma∣ny plants of Paradise, and acts of true Religion.

But because M. Elton himselfe hath now made his account before the su∣preame Iudge of all, I will amplifie no longer upon this or any other error re∣hearsed out of those bookes, published

Page 9

after his death, nor enter anie action of unkindenesse against any concerning that businesse; but burie all in his grave: because though some of them perhaps intended much evil against me, yet God (through his Majesties grace and good∣nesse) hath turned it to good.

Plinie writeth of a marble Image of Diana set up in Chios, the face whereof was so drawne by Art, that the God∣dess seemed to look sad upon her wor∣shippers as they entred into her Tem∣ple, but smiled upon them as they came out. This Statua presenteth to mee a copie of his Majesties countenance in this busines, which was sad and dread∣full at my comming to him, but cheer∣full and comfortable at my departing. It is well knowne what a bitter storme fell at my first appearance before his Majestie, which yet the day following, through Gods mercie, in whose hands the hearts of Kings are, turned a gol∣den shower; which fell* 1.5 literally up∣on M. Crompton, and allegorically upon

Page 10

me. Seldome or never heard I (especi∣ally on the sudden) such apt solutions of knottie and intangled questions, so pithie and sinewie Arguments, such usefull observations, such divine instru∣ctions, from anie Chrysostome in our Church, as I heard that day from his Majesties mouth: Had not feare and sorrow for his Majesties displeasure, much crazed my memorie, and deaded my spirits at the present, I should have caried away more, and have given a better account of his Majesties learned resolutions, and pious admonitions, given to me and M. Crompton that day: Now I can but present bracteolas sermo∣nis purè aurei & stricturas ingenii vere ignei.

THe first thing to my remembrance questioned touching M. Cromptons booke, was a clause in my written de∣fence, that I was rather induced to li∣cence the booke out of a respect to my Lord, D. his Grace, to whom the book

Page 11

is dedicated by his Chaplaine. What a reason is this, (said his Majestie?) Is it an honour to my Lord D. to bee a patron of er∣rors? Is it any honour to me that the Arians in Polonia have dedicated one of their books to me, containing damnable heresies? I ac∣count it rather a dishonour, and cannot with patience looke upon their dedication to mee. For answer hereunto I humblie besee∣ched his Majestie, that hee would bee pleased to heare that clause in my an∣swer entirely read unto him. VVhere∣upon my Lord of Durham reached me the paper wherein I read as followeth: That although I found many errors in M. Crompton his booke, for which I might have wholly rejected the booke, yet I chose rather to purge those errors, and mend those faults in the booke, and therein used the helpe and advise of M. Cooke, (who lately set forth a Treatise of the same argument, inti∣tuled. S. Austines Religion,) to the end I might gratifie. M. Crompton out of a re∣spect to the Duke, to whom the Booke was dedicated.

Page 12

The next thing examined by his Ma∣jestie was the reason of the suppressing three of the Authors Sections, whereof he complaineth in Print in the conclu∣sion of his booke. My answer to this charge was, That I crossed out those Sections because they crossed the doc∣trine and discipline established in this Kingdome, and savoured of that hu∣mour which never yet bred good blood in the Church. And for proofe of my exceptions against those sections I produced the originall copie written with M. Cromptons owne hand, which tendering to his Majestie, he comman∣ded M. Crompton to reade the first Sec∣tion suppressed touching a paritie a∣mongst the Clergie: Vpon the hearing whereof his Majestie much distasting M. Crompton his assertions, tooke occa∣sion fully to enucliate that question tou∣ching the distinction of Bishops and Presbyters jure divino. Beside the judge∣ment of the primitive Church, and con∣sent of all ancient writers, his Majestie

Page 13

much pressed the subscription of the E∣pistle to Titus,* 1.6 and of the second Epistle to Timothy, as also the Apostles charge to Timothie, 1. 5. 19.* 1.7 Receive not an accusa∣tion against an Elder, but before two or three witnesses. And to Titus the 1. and 5. For this cause left I thee in Creet, to ordaine El∣ders in everie Church. Out of which pas∣sages of Scripture his Majestie so cleerly and evidently evicted a superioritie in Bishops over Presbyters, jure divino, that as hee reformed master Crompton in his opinion, so he much more confirmed and setled my judgement in that tenet, which I held before, and delivered in two severall Consecration Sermons preached in his Graces Chappel at Lam∣beth: viz. That the distinction of Bi∣shops and Presbyters is de jure divino, or Apostolico, not de Ecclesiastico onely, and that according to the Canon of the great Councell of Calcedon, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to bring downe a Bishop to the low ranke of Presby∣ters of Priests, is sacriledge. The first I

Page 14

finde that ever went about to breake downe the partition wall betweene Bishops and Presbyters, was Aerius, a man like his name, light and easie to be caried away with the winde of ambiti∣on: For as Epiphanius writeth, (Heres. 75.) this Aerius standing for a Bishop∣ricke, and being put by it by Eustathius, invented this heresie, ut se consolaretur, to comfort his heart upon the repulse: So when he could not raise up himselfe to the higher rank of Bishops, he sought to pull downe Bishops to his lower rank of Presbyters. VVhat (saith hee) doth a Bishop differ from a Priest? no∣thing at all,* 1.8 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. But for this sawcy ma∣lipartnesse he felt the smart of the Cro∣siers staffe, and for ranking Bishops a∣mong Presbyters or Elders, was him∣selfe ranked amongst hereticks.

After this point touching different degrees in the Clergie was discussed, the two other suppressed sections in M. Cromptons booke were reade, the

Page 15

former touching the unlawfulnesse of anie contract of matrimonie betweene parties of a different Religion. The lat∣ter touching the mariage of the inno∣cent partie after divorce for adulterie. In both which Sections such offensive matter was found, that his Majestie was pleased to say that master Crompton was beholding to mee for suppressing them.

Thus it appeareth my defence for striking out of those sections in master Cromptons booke was verie easie: the harder province was to excuse such sec∣tions which I strucke not out, for his Majestie distasted many tenets of ma∣ster Crompton, but especially insisted up∣on foure.

First, Touching the signe of the Crosse. Secondly, Touching womens bapti∣zing in case of necessity. Thirdly, Touching some kinde of ig∣norance supposed to bee in Christ accor∣ding to his humanity.

Page 16

Fourthly, Touching S. Augustines opinion of Children dying without bap∣tisme.

1. TOuching the signe of the Crosse his Majestie verie much disliked that which M. Crompton averreth, pag. 81. That the signe of the Crosse was not received in the Church till one hundred and sixtie yeares after Christ, and that the au∣thor thereof was Valentinus the hereticke, who comming to Rome stayed there twelve yeares, and brought up the use of the Crosse, as Irenaeus reporteth. This observation, said his Majestie, is most false, the signe of the Crosse is more ancient, Valentinus brought it not first into the Church, neither doth Irenaeus report any such thing.

Since his Majesties speech with us, I have examined the place alledged by M. Crompton out of Irenaeus, and I finde that Irenaeus affirmeth no such thing as is fa∣thered upon him. Valentinus the here∣tick was not the first inventer or author of the signe of the Crosse, but our arch

Page 17

Cartewritist, or raith Catherist Parker, was the first inventer of this slanderous untruth: it seemeth M. Crompton plow∣ed with Parkers lame heifer, which drew his plough-share awry. This Parker in his booke, which he arrogantly and affectedly intituleth, Scholasticall discourse against symbolizing with Antichrist in ce∣remonies, especially in the signe of the Crosse, pag. 75. saith, we use Valentinus his Crosse; I call it his, because he was the first that used this figure the verie first that made account of it: and a few lines after, Valentinus the hereticke being the first deviser of it: and he quoteth (for proofe of this his bold assertion) Ireneus in his first booke a∣gainst heresies. But how grossely here∣in he abuseth Irenaeus, will appeare by setting down Irenaeus his owne words, which are these, Adhuc etiam de Horo suo, quem pluribus nominibus vocant, duas operationes habere eum ostendunt, confirma∣tivam, & seperativam, & secundùm id qui∣dem quod confirmat & stabilit Crucemesse, secundùm id verò quod dividit & distinguit

Page 18

Horum esse: Further he relateth of his fantasticall Aeon, that hee hath divers names according to divers vertues and operations, and giveth instance in two, the vertue of establishing, according to which he calleth him Crosse, and a ver∣tue of severing, according to which hee is called Bound or Tearme. Irenaeus here speakes not of Christs Crosse, but of the fantasticke Aeons Crosse; nor of the signe of the Crosse, but of the name of the Crosse: Neither saith he so much, as that Valentinus was the deviser either of the name, or of the signe, but onely that one of his Aeons had two names: the one 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Terme or Bound, the other 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Crosse: And if wee may not make the signe of the Crosse, because one of Valentinus his fained Aeons was called Crosse, by the same reason wee may not make any bound in our fields, nor definition of anything, because the same Aeon was called by the heretickes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, bound or definition. And by M. Parkers Logique, one of his Ma∣jesties

Page 19

Pursivants must abjute his owne name, and bee no more called Crosse, lest hee symbolize with Valentinus, or offend his god Aeon 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 seculum crux: yet this is one of the least absurdities in that booke of Parker. No Scholler e∣ver spilt so much wit and learning as this braine-sicke Amsterdamian doth in his Treatise of the Crosse: wherein he layeth all his wit and learning upon it, to prove that the making of the sign of the Crosse is the breach of all the ten Commandements. He is not content to write of the Superstition and Idolatry of the Crosse onely, which are notes we have often heard sung by the Martines brood; but hee spendeth 18. whole Sections in discoursing of the hypocrisie of the Crosse, and a whole large booke of the Injustice of the Crosse, chap. 5. and of the Murder of the Crosse, chap. 6. and of the Adultery of the Crosse, chap. 7. and of the Wrong of the Crosse, chap. 8. and of the Slander of the Crosse, chap. 9. and last∣ly, pour faire un bon bouche, of the concu∣piscence

Page 20

of the Crosse, chap. 10.

For proofe of these his prodigious conclusions, he so detorteth Scriptures, and depraveth ancient and moderne Writers, that what was said by the wit∣tie Epigrammatist of Gretzers booke De adorandâ cruce, may bee applied to this booke of Parkers De abolendâ cruce.

Dignum authore opus est, dignus at ille opere est, nempe cruce.

It will be here said, if this escape in M. Cromptons book were so grosse, how came it to passe, that it escaped my cen∣sure in perusing and licensing the same? my answer hereunto is direct, That it did not escape mee, but I tooke notice thereof in reading that Chapter, and both corrected it in that place, and af∣terwards. In that place I inserted these words (as some report,) thereby giving the Reader to understand, that I avow∣ed not the thing there reported, but branded it with suspition: and pag. 84. I determined the cleane contrary in the conclusion of the Chapter, in these

Page 21

words following line 9. To conclude then it is most certaine, that the signe of the crosse was first invented and practiced against Pa∣gans, who used to make it onely in derision of Christianity. The Valentinian heretickes af∣ter abused the Crosse to a fantasticall end, &c.

2. TOuching Womens baptizing in case of necessity, his Majestie in part disliked that which M. Crompton deli∣vers, pag. 95. that for a lay man, and much more for a woman to baptize in case of ne∣cessity, in S. Austines opinion it is a pardo∣nable sinne: though pardonable, yet a sinne, and the usurping of anothers office. The an∣swer hereunto made, as I take it, by M. Crompton, (for I remember not that I spake any thing at all to this point) was that in the Conference at Hampton Court womens baptizing was utterly condemned: and that thereupon an al∣teration was made in the Booke of Common Prayer: and whereas before women were allowed to baptize in

Page 22

case of necessity, in the booke set out by his Majestie, baptisme in private houses in time of necessity is restrained to the Minister of the Parish, or any other lawfull Minister that can be procured. Against this answer his Majestie excep∣ted, That neither in the Common Prayer booke set out by King Edward, nor in that by Queene Elizabeth, there was any men∣tion of womens baptizing. In King Ed∣wards Common Prayer Booke printed An∣no Dom. 1540. in the Rubricke before private Baptisme we reade of them that are to be baptized in private houses in time of necessity:

First, Let them that be present call upon God for his grace, and say the Lords Prayer, if the time will permit, and then one of them shall name the childe, and dip it in the water, or powre wa∣ter upon it, saying these words, N. I baptize thee, &c. and let them not doubt but that the childe so baptized is lawfully and sufficiently baptized.

Page 23

King Edwards booke reformed an∣no Dom. 1552. hath the same ru∣brick verbatim: Queene Elizabeths booke hath likewise the same words: The booke set out upon the conference at Hampton Court, hath altered it on this wise: Of them that are to be baptized in priuate houses, in time of necessity, by the Minister of the Pa∣rish or any other lawfull Minister that can be procured, First, let the lawfull Minister, and them that bee present, call upon God for his grace, and say the Lords prayer, if the time will suffer, and then the childe being named by some one that is present, the said lawfull Minister shall dip it in water, &c.

In all which passages, in all the severall Impressions of the bookes of Common praier, there is nothing said of a womans baptizing, neither to warrant it to be done, nor to con∣demne it when it is done. Neither doth S. Austine simply condemne a Lay man or wo∣man baptizing in case of necessitie, as a

Page 24

sinne, but saith, either it is no fault, or a pardonable. His words, Tom. quarto, lib. 2. contra. Epist. Parmenionis, are, Nulla cogente necessitate si fiat, alieni muneris usurpatio est: si autem neces∣sitas urget, aut nullum, aut veniale de∣lictum est; sed etsi nulla necessitate u∣surpetur et a quolibet cuilibet detur, si datū fuerit non potest dicinon datum, quamvis rectè dici potestillicitè datum. And this said his Maiestie was the summe of the resolution at Hampton Court in this point, howsoever some have mistaken it.

3. TOuching some kinde of ignorance supposed to bee in Christ according to his humane nature; His Majestie disallowed Master Cromptons peremp∣torie resolution, set downe pag. 23, viz. That Christ as man was subject to some kind of ignorance, and this was the Primitive truth taught by St. Austine, and main∣tained by the Church of England. I cannot endure (saith his Majesty) that my Sauiour should be said to bee ignorant of any

Page 25

thing. For in him the divine nature was hypostatically united to the humane, in one person; and that person being divine, could not, nor cannot bee subject to any kinde of ignorance. Here I humbly beseeched his Majesty to be pleased to heare what might be probably alleaged, in defence of M. Cromptons opinion. The rather be∣cause Iunius in his answer to Bellarmine,* 1.9 and D. Feild, a worthy writer of ours, in the 5. booke of the Church, cap. 14. deliuer the same doctrine in effect; as M. Crompton doth in this section.* 1.10 These authorities satisfied not his Majestie,* 1.11 who said, that hee would not that wee should ground our judgement vpon la∣ter writers, especially those beyond the Seas, which were not well acquainted with the Tenets of our Church: and moreover differed from vs in discipline and judgement, touching the decent, ancient and laudible Ceremonies used in our Church. Vpon this occasion, his Majestie gave M. Crompton and Me ma∣ny most usefull instructions in our

Page 26

study in Divinitie, agreeable to those Directions sent heretofore to the Vni∣versities, which deserve to bee written with the point of a Diamond, for the perpetuall use of the Church, and ad∣vancement of sacred knowledge and learning. For these Directions, having given his Majesty thankes, and promi∣sed to follow them, I propounded those words of our Saviour, Marke 13. 32. But of that day and houre knoweth no man, no not the Angels, neither the Sonne, but the Father; Which, as I conceived, made for M. Cromptons opinion, viz. That Christ, according to his humane nature, might be said, if not subject to ignorance, yet to a nescience of some particulars, such as that which is men∣tioned in the Text; for, as for the Iesuits interpretation of that Text, (viz.) That Christ knew not the day of Iudgement, [ad dicendum nobis,] to tell us; I never could like of it, because it is forced, and serveth to give support to the doctrine of Aequivocation. Neither doe I, said his Ma∣jesty,

Page 27

allow of the Gloss of the Iesuites, but you must observe, said he, that Christ said not, that neither the Son of God doth know, but neither the Son himselfe. And hee was the Sonne of God as well as the son of man; and though as man, or by his humane nature he knew not the day of Iudgement, yet as the Sonne of God he knew it. In this ex∣position of his Majesties, according to the interpretation of the ancient fathers Ambrose and Cyril,* 1.12 wee rested both sa∣tisfied, and I humbly desired his Ma∣jestie that hee would bee pleased to re∣solve us in what sense those words of Saint Luke 21. 52.* 1.13 were to bee taken; And Iesus increased in wisedome, and sta∣ture, and favour with God and man. For if Christ increased in wisedome and knowledge, he had then more know∣ledge in his riper yeares, then hee had in his Infancy; and if he had lesse know∣ledge in his younger yeares then in his elder, it seemeth that we may without

Page 28

any disparagement to his omniscience, according to his divine nature, attri∣bute comparative ignorance, or rather nescience to him, according to his hu∣mane nature. This knot his Majesty thus dexterously untied. In the same verse, saith his Majiesty, it followeth, That he increased in favour with God: now saith he, was not Christ alwayes in highest and greatest favour with God? Did God favour and love him more at one time then another? Doubtless not, yet is he said truly to increase in favour with God, because God more manifested & declared his love & favor unto him by the effects, and outward tokens thereof; as he grew in yeares, so likewise may he be said to grow and increase in wise∣dome and knowledge, because he more mani∣fested and declared his wisedome and know∣ledge, as he came to riper age. To this ob∣servation of his Majesty, I replyed; I could not imagine any thing that might with any colour be objected against it, save onely that it is said in the same place, That Iesus increased in wisedome,

Page 29

and stature, but his growth and increase in stature was not onely in appearance to the world, but in truth and properly, and therefore his growth, and increase in wisedome might be conceived to be reall, and in inward habit, and not on∣ly in outward manifestation thereof.

To this his Majestie sayd, that these words, He increased in wisedome, may as wel be interpreted by the other, He grew in favor, as by these, He grew in stature, yet said he, Christ might also be said truly to increase in wisedome, and knowledge in himselfe, as hee did in stature; If wee speake of experimentall knowledge, whereof S. Paul saith, Heb 5. 6. That he learned obedience by the things he suffered; but from this increase in experimentall know∣ledge, none could inferre any ignorance at all in Christ, because, though he knew not some things experimentally in his Infancy, which he knew afterwards in his riper yeares, yet he knew the selfe same things before other∣wise by his divine knowledge, and by his ha∣bitall infused humane.

Page 30

The last point questioned by his Majestie in M. Cromptons book, was his undertaking to vindicate St. Augu∣stine from the imputatioon of being durus pater infantum, a hard censurer of poore children dying unbaptized; whom hee excludeth from all hope of salvation. Although saith his Majesty, I like it better especially in a yong Divine, to endevour to defend an ancient Father, where the truth will bear it, then like Cham to seeke to discouer the nakednesse of the Fathers; Yet I like not your defence of Saint Augustine in this particular, because it is a knowne errour in him, and you ought to have observed three Caveats in reading of Au∣stine, and other ancient Fathers workes.

First, You should observe what they write out of their private opinion, and what they deliver as the Iudgement of the Church. When any of them goe alone, it is not so safe following them, but where wee have their unanimous and joynt consent in any materiall point,

Page 31

we may more securely relie upon them. All the Iesuites in the world shall ne∣ver be able to produce the unanimous consent of the Fathers against us; or for themselves in any substantiall point of Faith, as I have maintained in my bookes against them.

Secondly, That you should distinguish what the Fathers write dogmatically, and what rhetorically: For sometimes they may straine somewhat too far in flourish of exornation and we ought to make the best, not the worst of their sayings.

Thirdly, You should observe what they deliver in rofessed discourse, and for positive doctrine, and what they write in heate of opposition; wherein some∣times through too much vehemency they over straine in their polemicall tractates against Heretickes; For instance, in this very point S. Austin in his worthy treatises, extant in the

Page 32

seventh Tome of his workes, in vehe∣mently oppuguing those Heretickes, that agree with our Arminians, (to wit) the Pelagians, who denyed originall sinne in Infants and conse∣quently the necessity of Baptisme, was so farre transported to urge the ne∣cessitie thereof, that hee excludeth all Infants dying unbaptized from all hope of salvation.

Whether his Majesty received these Observations from any ancient Father, or late judicious Writer: Or whether the same spirit which directed them immediately, instructed him, I know not. But after I tooke a note of these Cautions joyntly from his Majesties mouth, I found thē severally delivered by divers renowned Authors. The first by Vincentius Lirinensis adversus hareses. Tunc operam dabit ut collatas inter se ma∣jorum consulat, interrogétque sententias eo∣rum duntaxat, qui diversi licèt temporibus & locis in unius tamen Ecclesiae Catholicae

Page 33

communione & fide permanentes, magistri probabiles extiterunt, & quicquid non unus aut duo tantum sed omnes pariter uno eod m∣que consensu apertè, frequenter, perseveran∣ter tenuisse, scripsie, docuisse cognoverit, id sibi quoque intelligat sine ulla dubitatione esse credendum.

The second Caution is so necessarie that even the most learned among our Adversaries subscribe unto it.* 1.14 Sixtus Senenses saith, Saee monuimus non esse concionatorum verba semper origore acci∣pienda, quo primùm ad aures auditorum per∣veniant. multa enim declamatore per He∣perbolen enunciant, & hoc interdum Chry∣sostomo contingit. If C. Bellarm. and others of Sixtus Senensis profession, had well observed this Caution of his, they wold never have grounded any Article of Faith upon flowers of speech, and Rhetoricall exornatiōs in the Fathers as they doe in the point of invocation of Saints, which they build upon an Apo∣strophe: nor the carnall eating of Christ with the mouth, upon the Hyperboles

Page 34

of some of the Fathers, viz. Nazianzen, and Chrysostome.

In the last Caution his Majesty cōcur∣reth with great S. Basil, who noteth it of Dionysius, that he gave the first occasion and birth to the Error of the Anomaei, by certaine speaches that fell from him, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Not out of any evill minde he had to broach a new Heresie, but out of an over vehement desire to contradict and confute Sabellius. Sixtus Senen∣ses, and Vasques ingenuously confesse, that many of the ancient Fathers, in op∣position to the Manichean Heresie of fatalitie, spake too freely of mens free∣will. And doth not St. Ierome in heate of opposition to Vigilantius, who too much undervalued Virginitie, runne somewhat upon the other extreame, by too highly extolling the same, even to the disparaging (in some sort) of holy wedlocke? It cannot likewise be denyed, but that Saint Augustine was caried too farre in the point in questi∣on,

Page 35

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: Not out of any evill mea∣ning; but out of opposition to Pe∣lagius his Heresie. In censuring Pela∣gius his Heresie, he goeth so farre in ur∣ging the absolute necessity of Baptisme, that he holdeth all children dying un∣baptized in the state of damnation. For which his severe censure of poore In∣fants, hee is called durus pater Infantum. And this, said his Majestie, I learned when I was but 22. yeares old, and therefore marvell that a Doctor of Di∣vinity, and a Writer against Papists should bee ignorant thereof. My an∣swer hereunto was, I was not ignorant, that no children dying unbaptized, ac∣cording to S. Austines opinion, ordina∣rily were, or could bee saved. And in this regard, hee might justly bee called, durus pater Infantum. But yet I could not thinke S. Austine so severe against poore Infants, as to denie, but that some children dying without Baptisme, e∣specially borne of religious parents,

Page 36

might by the extraordinary mercy of God be saved, as the Thiefe was upon the Crosse, without receiving that, or the other Sacrament, and for proofe of this my opinion touching St. Austine, I alledged these words out of his fourth book de baptismo contra Donatistas, ca. 24. Sicut in illo latrone quod ex baptismi sacra∣mento deficerat complevit omnipotentis be∣nignitas, quia non superbiâ, aut contemptu, sed necessitate defuerat; sic in ijs infantibus, qui non baptisati moriuntur, eadem gratia omnipotentis implere credenda est. Of this place of Saint Austine, his Majestie said, That the words were misalleaged, that Saint Austines words were not, [Sic in infanti∣bus, qui non baptizati moriuntur,] but sic in infantibus, qui baptisati moriūtur, eadem omnipotentis gratia implere credenda est. Hereunto craving leave to speake what I could, with submissi∣on yet to his Majesties better Iudgment, I said, that I thought, the former reading was the truer, because there was never any question of the salvation of Infants

Page 37

borne of faithfull parents, which dyed being baptized; Neither seemed there to me any good correspondence be∣tweene the parts of the similitudes, If we read the words without the nega∣tive particle thus: As the thiefe upon the Cross by the extraordinary mercy of God was saved without baptisme, so Infants are saved dying with bap∣tisme by the mercie of God. Moreover the reason which S. Augustine here ur∣geth to prove the thiefe on the Crosse was saved without baptisme, because he contemned not baptisme, makes as strongly or more strongly for infants, who questionlesse cannot bee thought any way to contemne baptisme. If ne∣cessitie excuse the thiefe on the Crosse, it seemeth that the same necessity in S. Augustines judgement might excuse In∣fants for the want of baptisme. To this his Majestie answered, That the si∣militude in S. Austine stood thus, That as the thiefe on the Crosse was saved without baptisme, because the want thereof was of necessity, and not of contempt, so also chil∣dren

Page 38

that are baptised are saved by the ex∣traordinary mercy of God, without actuall faith and confessing thereof. And to prove this to be S. Augustines meaning, hee commanded my Lord of Durham to reade the words immediately follow∣ing, which are these: Quòd non ex impia voluntate, sed ex aetatis indigentia, nec cor∣de credere ad justitiam possunt, nec ore con∣fiteri ad salutem. Which words, when I heard read, I confessed that his Majesty had more exactly viewed the place, with the severall editions, than I; and that not onely the Authors, but the Li∣censers of bookes were subject to mis∣taking, especially in variety of Editions of the same Author.

And here as I beganne to intreat his Majesties favourable construction of what I had said in all this defence of my selfe and M Crompton, my Lord of Dur∣ham prevented me herein, & his Majesty graciously reached me out his hand to kisse; and thus with fatherly admoniti∣ons, and benedictions also, he dismist us both.



Do you have questions about this content? Need to report a problem? Please contact us.