A parallel: of nevv-old Pelgiarminian error
Featley, Daniel, 1582-1645.
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THE TRANSLATOR to the Reader.

Christian Reader,

THere fell lately into my hands, a Latine Copy, of the ensuing Pa∣rallell drawne, (as I am giuen to vnderstand) by two English Di∣uines, at the request, and for the satisfaction of a forraigne Mini∣ster of State: At the first view I laid it aside, as an euidence where∣of I conceiued the truthes aduo∣cates, especially in this Kingdome, had no present vse. But afterwards reuiewing it more fully, and finding it ve∣ry particular and punctuall in this kinde: and, that on the by, it gaue much light to the Disquisition of some points now in agitation. I thought fit to translate it, for more publique vse. For as Zanchius complaineth with much re∣gret of the Lutheran Vbiquitaries, that he found them vbi{que}, euery where to vex and molest him: So it is to be feared, that the error of the Vniuersalists is too vniuersally dispread. Many men haue too much free-will, and take to them∣selues too free liberty now a dayes to aduance and main∣taine free will. I would to God more had the power of grace to contend for speciall and sauing grace, and reso∣lutely to defend her Supremacie aboue corrupt Nature. The errors touching these points, of no lesse consequence then difference, are here briefly set in view in a two leafed Page  [unnumbered] Tablet, representing on the one side the olde, and on the other the new Pelagianisme varnished ouer with a faire glosse by the pensil of Arminius, and his Schollers. The occasion of drawing this Tablet, as I finde in the Latine Preface, was this. Acacius Baron of Dona residing some moneths in England, to sollicite the recouery of the Pala∣tinate, was often set vpon, and much laid at by a stranger there named Roerghest, a man deepely engaged in the Ar∣minian party, who, though he could not draw him from the trueth to that side, yet he cast such mists of doubts before him, that his Lordship for better clearing, desired the con∣ference of some English Diuines, versed in controuersie of this Nature. And opportunely meeting with two at once, after kinde and respectiue salutation, he demaunded of them why the Diuines of England so generally distasted the doctrine broached by Arminius. Their answere was, That albeit those tenets were plausible to corrupt reason, and set out to 〈◊〉 best aduantage, by the wit and Art of the patrons thereof 〈◊〉 the sacred Scripture (to which Naturall reason must bow 〈◊〉 strike sayle) throughly searched, and impartially scanned, gaue no support at all to this new modell of Gods counsels framed in mans brain, And that the prime Fathers of most eminent note in the Church aboue 100. yeares agoe, at the first birth of those mishapen Brats, ••shed them against the stones, and conse∣quently that by the same Orthodoxe ancient Church, the new reuiuers of those er••rs at this day were then before hand condemned in lumbis parentum, in the loynes of their parents, the whole and halfe Pelagians. The Baron some∣what affected with this answer, as it should seeme, taking it indignly that Roerghest should offer thus to delude him with false shewes.

What say you, quoth he? The Doctrine so much strouen for, and so highly extolled by some, is it nothing but olde heresie new furbished ouer? Certèsi Arminius Pelagium refodit, meritò vos Arminium defoditis. Verily if it be so, Page  [unnumbered] as you affirme, that Arminius diggeth Pelagius out of his graue, you haue all reason to bury Arminius deepe, that he rise not againe. It was not long that this Honourable personage, was againe encountred by this sollicitor Ro∣erghest, and further vrged vpon his former motiues. Whereupon the Baron acquainted him with the English Diuines answer, which like strong Physick wrought pre∣sently with his queasie stomack, and brought forth from him the Catalogue ensuing, with a challenge, Quid tan∣dem Arminio cum Pelagio? What kindred or neighbour∣hood hath Arminius with Pelagius, or with the Demipe∣lagians? This Catalogue being then sent from him, and receiued by those two Diuines, they iudged not complete enough to set out the bounds of the question; but thought needfull thereunto to take in more ground out of the lar∣ger fields of those Fathers that entred into the lists of this combat. Accordingly partly out of that Catalogue, and partly out of the auncient Fathers, they make vp a kinde of list of the olde errors: and as for the new, they take them out of the Treatises of some principall Belgique Writers of that side: which, collected into a small map, they exhibite to the Baron to be deliuered to the confident chalenger. Who vpon the receipt thereof, vndertooke to returne forthwith a direct and punctuall answer. But this Dutch Champion quitting the field, tooke Sea, and returned into Holland, casting his promise to the same windes, that filled his sayles. So is his forthwith drawne forth now diuers yeares, and his answer in vaine expe∣cted.

So deuine and admirable is the course of grace, that it reacheth an helping hand euen to those who through error ioyne hands and pennes against it, and enlightens the vnderstandings euen of those that cast mysts to dimme the light thereof. There may therefore bee hope, that as Pighius endeuouring to euert Caluins writings in point of Iustification, was in that point conuerted himselfe by Page  [unnumbered] them: so this Challenger considering of this answer, though with intent to refute the same, was himselfe confuted by it, and rectified in his iudgement. For in this 〈◊〉 of both grosse and refined Pelagianisme, any mn that look∣eth not through a Iesuites spectacle, may (though in small modell) behold the true shape and temper of Pelagius his frenzie in Arminius his fancie, and resolue, as St. Ierome did, in a like case, Aut Plato Philonizat, aut Philo Plato∣nizat, Either the Pelagian predestination was ex praenisa fide Arminij, out of the foreseene faith of Arminius, or Arminius his deuise out of the fore-read faith of Pe∣lagius.

If any, after hee hath viewed this table, cast a scorne vpon it, as composed by some gloating Puritane, and con∣demne Criminis inauditi, of a new found crime, namely of doctrinall Puritanisme all those that giue any credit to such Parallells, or differ from him in those points, I will giue no sentence against him, but referre him to reade it in Tully,*Aut est ex ijs, qui illos non norunt, aut ex ijs, qui iudicare non possunt, Either hee knoweth not the parties whose tenets are here set one by the other, or hee wants iudgement to compare, & for defect thereof, Cosens him∣selfe with Mountebanke wares. The prouerb is, Inter caecos luscum regnare posse, That among blinde men, a pur∣blinde or blinkard may dominere, and put trickes vpon them. But, God forbid, that any of the Seers of Israel should mistake old heresie new coyned, for current truth. At the first setting of the Mint on work by Iames Harman at Leyden, when a peece new stamped was transported, and presented to King IAMES, our late Soueraigne, of most blessed memory, vpon the very first cast of his eye, he discouered it to be no better then an halfe faced groat of the Semipelagian alloy. Et statim perfodit stylo Regio, and forthwith stabbed it through with his Royall pen, and branded the Master of the Mint with the title of the enemie of God. And that the same iudicious King persisted Page  [unnumbered] in this his iudgement, both of the Coyne and Coyners euen to the end, to mee it is a thing most euident, by a faithfull and allowed relation, which I haue seene of di∣uers remarkable directions and instructions giuen by his Maiesty to two Diuines, about a moneth before his death, questioned before him about a booke then published, tou∣ching the Doctrine of St. Austen.

In that discourse, his Maiestie hauing occasion to touch vpon the Treatises of St. Augustine, that are extant in the seuenth Tome, (which hee might seeme prophetically to recommend as a soueraine antidote against an euill vp∣creeping since his death) hee stiled them St. Austins Pole∣micall tracts against the heretickes that agree with our Ar∣minians: and presently calling to minde their proper name, termed those hereticks (from the Author of that Sect) the Pelagians. Which Paraphrase of his Maiestie, because it giueth much life to the ensuing Tablet, and this Tablet light to his Maiesties speech, I haue made bold to borrow the Character of the Presse, to imprint both more deepely in thy memory: and to expresse to thee my de∣sire to serue as a voluntary, (as did that excellently lear∣ned and zealous Archbishop Bradwardin) In causa Dei contra Pelagianos, in Gods cause and quarrell against the Pelagians.