A retentiue, to stay good Christians, in true faith and religion, against the motiues of Richard Bristow Also a discouerie of the daungerous rocke of the popish Church, commended by Nicholas Sander D. of Diuinitie. Done by VVilliam Fulke Doctor of diuinitie, and Maister of Pembroke hall in Cambridge.
Fulke, William, 1538-1589.

The 11. motiue.

The practise or custome of the church of God. S. Paule and S. Augustine of our religion. Exorcisme & exufflation in bap∣tisme. * Pelagians aliue againe in Protestants. Baptisme neces∣sary for saluation of children. Chaūge of religion neuer made by us. Altares & prayer for the dead used alwayes. Reall pre∣sence of Christ in the Sacramēt. Pilgrimage reliques of Saints. S. Hierom of our religiō. Miracles for reliques. Churches cōfir∣med by miracles. VVhat an impudēt attēpt is chaūge of religiō.

Of the churches practise & custome I say, euen as of the churches iudgement, that how much soeuer it be to be esteemed, yet is not the Popish church the Catho∣like church of Christ but an apostasie & schisme from it. Neither is it sufficiēt for Bristow to say, ye Popish church practiseth many things that the aūciēt church of Christ practised, therfore it is the true church of Christ, except he can proue, that the Popish churchteacheth & practi∣seth all & nothing els but that which the anciēt church of Christ did teach & practise. In stede whereof Bristow can allege nothing, but certeine spots & wrinkles of the elder church, which the Popish church doth embrace, hauing almost nothing els like vnto it. But let vs see how substantially he proueth out of S. Paule & S. Augustine, that the churches custome and practise is an infallible rule of truth. First S. Paule (saith he) 1. Cor. 11. after many Page  39 reasons for the vncomelines of womēs going barehea∣ded recoyleth to this inuincible forte. Si quis &c. But if any man seeme to be contentious: we haue no such cu∣stome (for women to pray vncouered) nor the church of God. See how this impudent asse, to stablish his ground of custome, is not ashamed to falsifie the wordes of holy Scripture. S. Paul saith, if any man seme to be desirous of contention, we haue no such custome, nor the churches of God, whereby he meaneth plainly, that it is not the custome of the Apostles, nor of the church of God, to be contentious about such small matters of external beha∣uiour. May we herof inferre, that whatsoeuer the church at any time hath vsed, is allowable, & to be vsed alwaies? S. Aug. Ep. 118. Ian. is cited by Bristow but corruptly. Si quid tota per orbē frequentat ecclesia hoc quia it a aciendū sit disputare insolētissimae insaniae est. If ye whole church do vse any thing, only to call it in question whether that thing should be so don, is a poinct of most prowd or most strāge madnes. But Augustine is not so generall, for his words are, siquid horū, if any of these things, speaking of cere∣monial obseruations, as of receiuing the cōmunion fa∣sting &c. be vniuersally vsed of all the church, when it is not cōtrary to the word of God, it were madnes to striue about it. For in the first place, Augustine setteth the au∣ctority of Gods word, & secōdly the custome of the vni∣uersal church being not contrary to Gods word, & last of all, the customs of particular churches, which are varied according to the diuersities of cōtries & natiōs. Now for these matters in cōtrouersy betwene vs, I answer, as Au∣gustine doth to the questiō of Ianuarius, immediatly af∣ter the words cited by Bristow. Sed ne{que} hoc ne{que} illud est in eo quod tu queris. But neither is this nor that, in the que∣stion that thou propoundest: that is neither the practise of the vniuersall church, nor the auctority of the Scrip∣tures, serueth to decide this question but it is the third kind. So say I to Bristow, nether the auctority of the holy Scriptures, nor the practise of the vniuersall church, can be shewed for these things, which thou defēdest, but they Page  40 are of a third kind, that is contrary to the word of God and the practise of the most auncient Primitiue church But Augustine (sayth Bristow) proueth that infants are borne in sinne against the Pelagians, which are reuiued in Protestāts, by the customes & practise of the church, which was to baptise thē for remission of sinnes. And this practise he called the waight of truth, & a most plaine bignes of truth. The slaūder, that Pelagiās are aliue in Protestāts, by denying children to be borne in sinne, I wil no more esteme, then the barking of a dogge against the moone. But where he sayth, that Augustine by the only practise of the church, cōuinceth the Pelagians calling the pra∣ctise pōdus veritatis &c:

it is a shameles lye, for his words are in the same Epist. 105. Circunstiantur enim & diina∣rum auctoritate lectionū, & antiquitus tradito & retc̄to firmo Ecclesiae ritu in baptismate paruulorum. For they are com∣passed about, both by the auctoritie of the diuine rea∣dings, & also by the stedfast practise of the church, deli∣uered of old & reteined in the baptisme of infants.
But he vrgeth them with exorcisme and exsufflation, which were there vsed in the church: I confesse, but their mea∣ning by exufflatiō & exorcisme, he defendeth out of the Scriptures. And who can blame Augustine, if after he haue mightely confuted the Pelagians out of the Scri∣ptures, to shew the nouelty of their heresie, he alleaged the perpetuall practise of the church, which she alwaies had & alwaies shall haue in praying for the conuersion of infidels, & for the perseuerāce of the faithful in good∣nes. This is all one (saith Bristow) as if we should reason a∣gainst these heretikes out of priuate mens beades & out of the publike prayers which are in the portuse or Breuiary, or in the missall and such like bokes. The deuill it is, except Bristow can proue, that such beades and prayers, were euer vsed in the church.
For Augustine sayth de bono perseuer. ca. 22 Atque vtinam tardi corde, & infirmi qui non possunt, velnon dum possunt Scriptur as vel earum expositiones intelligere, sic audrient vel non audirent in hac quaestione disputationes no∣stras, vt magis intuer entur orationes suas, quas semper ha∣buitPage  41& habebit ecclesia ab exordijs suis, donec finiatur hoc se∣culum. And I would they that are dull of hart & weake, which can not, or as yet can not, vnderstand the Scrip∣tures or the expositions of them, would so heare or not heare our disputations in this question, that they would rather consider their owne prayers, which the church alwaies hath had & shall haue, from her beginning vntil this world be ended.
You see plainly, that Augustine ioy∣neth to the auctority of the holy Scriptures, the perpe∣tuall practise of the church which hath continued from the beginning and shall remayne vnto the ende. Which seeing it can not be shewed for Poperie, the argument of the practise of the church serueth not for Popery. Bristowe proceedeth and passeth ouer the example of Christian women, which killed them selues, rather then they would haue their bodies abused, yet notwithstan∣ding by the churches iudgement were honored as mar∣tyrs To which I aunswere, the church considered their minde which was good, & not the fact which was euell. At last he commeth to affirme that the Popish church neuer made any chaūge of religion. Which is a shame∣lesse assertion, although he say that none of his aduer∣saries is able to charge them with any alteration since Augustines time. For to omitte the whole scope of do∣ctrine, cleane peruerted, I will obserue only the practise of the church in Augustines time, about the Lords sup∣per. In that time the lay people did receaue the com∣munion in both kindes and one thousand yeres almost after, which of late the Papistes haue altered. In Au∣gustines time, the communion was geuen to infantes which the Papistes doe not obserue, therefore they can not bragge of perpetuall practise and deny all chaunge in religion made by them. But Bristow not content with this vayne bragge, will go farther and shewe that whatsoeuer they haue vsed sithe S. Augustines time, was obserued euen so in all that time that passed betwene S. Paule and S. Augustine. Is not this a master of impu∣dence, to promise that which all the worlde of learned Page  42 men doth know to be impossible to be performed, and whereof the promiser himselfe, can bring no profe at all but his bare worde. For he beginneth with exorcisme and exsufflation, which as it was vsed in Augustines time vnnecessarily, so it appeareth by Cyprian, that was long before him, that it was vsed for the casting out of the deuill in them whose bodies he did sensibly possesse. lib. 3. cap. 7. ad Magnum. Of the sacrifice of the Masse, worshipping of the Sacrament, and oblation for the deade, as Bristow referreth the reader to his fift and seuenth motiues so doe I to mine aunsweres vnto the same. Concerning the vse of the altare, howe truly he sayth, I referre the reader to mine answere of D. Hes∣kins lib. 3. cap. 31. The other fonde reason of the practise of the church, that children were taught to beleue the reall presence of Christ in the Sacrament, for which he citeth Aug. de Tim. lib. 3. cap. 10. which the poore man borowed out of Allens booke of Purgatory, is discussed & answered in my confutation of the same treatise lib. 2 cap. 9. Then followeth going on pilgrimage, to holy pla∣ces, worshipping of reliques, prayer vnto Sainctes, vsed (as he sayth) in Augustines time. For worshipping of re∣liques and praying to Sainctes, he citeth Aug de cre pro mor. Who concludeth that to be buried at some memorie of the martyrs doth in this poynct only auayle the dead, that the affection of supplication commending him also to the patro∣nage of the martyr may be encreased. That this was no perpetuall practise of the church to desire the interces∣sion of Sainctes, it is manifest by this, that Augustine him selfe dare affirme nothing certeinly, whether or how the Saincts may heare our prayers. Affirming that this question passeth the power of his vnderstanding cap. 16. But by the name of memory, Bristow will vnder∣stande relique, because it is somtime so vsed, which is no strong argument. But admitte it were so, how can he proue, either that practise to haue bene continued from S. Paule to S. Augustine or the same opinion of reliques to haue ben in Augustines time, which is mainteined in Page  43 the Popish church? that there was superstitious peregri∣natiō vnto Ierusalem &c. vsed in S. Hieroms time, it is as true as that the same was reproued of him Ep. ad Paul. If God shewed any miracles at the deade bodyes of the Martyrs, to confirme that religion for which they suffred against the Gentiles it foloweth not that the re∣liques of dead Saints are to be worshiped, kissed, saught vnto by pilgrimage &c, but most absurd is it, that Bristow would haue Hierome by oftē entering into the Cryptos or vaultes of churches at Rome, to signifie that he went a Pilgrimage. Hierome was not so grose, to accounte walking about the Citie to be a Preregrination. But what is so leaden or blockishe, which these doltish Pa∣pists will not auouch for the mainteinaunce of their trompery. Last of all he chargeth the Protestantes, with an impudent attempt, in making such an vniuer∣sall chaunge of the whole face of Religion, which none of the olde Heretikes did before thē. That we are like to none of the olde Heretikes, we like our selues neuer the worse, but as concerning the vniuersall chaunge, it was necessary in reformation where there was an vni∣uersal Apostacie. For any alteratiō that we haue made, the Papistes dare not affirme for shame, that wee haue brought any thing into the Church which ought not to be vsed by the worde of God: neither are they able to proue that we haue omitted anything, which by the ho∣ly scripture is necessaryly required. To cōclude, you see that the practise of the church, except it be perpetuall, euen from the first beginning, is no Motiue by Augu∣stines iudgement, and that Bristowe though hee hath bragged much thereof, for some superstitions vsed of olde, yet he hath brought nothing, to proue that they haue beene from the beginning.