The 14. motiue is the 26 demaund.
Bristow woulde haue it considered whether euer any Catholike man in matters of fayth, did obstinately refuse to*beleue the olde fathers consenting in one and agreeing toge∣ther, but onely such as were heretikes. I aunswer Bristow playeth the captious, and yet foolishe Sophister. For in this first demaunde, he seemeth to vnderstand all the olde fathers consenting together, but in the rest of the chapter he playnely speaketh, but of some of the olde writers: nowe there is great difference betwene all and some. For we denye nothing that all the olde fathers did consent vpon, although we denye some thing that some of the olde fathers did allowe. For example, we denye prayers for the deade, which some of the olde writers did allowe. But if Bristow woulde breake his heade in peeces with studye, he shall neuer be able to proue, that all the olde writers did mayntayne prayer for the deade, the like I saye of prayer vnto Sainctes, and of some prerogatiue of the Bishop of Rome ouer other Bishops, of some ceremonies &c: which being the dregges of a great quantitie of good liquor con∣tayned in the vessells of diuerse of the olde writers, and yet of the later sorte of them, the Papistes haue onely sucked out, letting all the good liquor to runne beside them. And like impudent dogges yolpe & barke against vs, that the fathers are all of their side, and contrarye to vs: with as good reason, as one that hath gotten the excrementes of a man, shoulde boast Page 52 boast that he hath the same man in possession. I thinke the reader can not but laughe, when he readeth it so often noted by Bristow. Pelagians aliue in Protestantes. When of all olde heresies we are further from none, nor Papistes nearer to any, then to the heresie of the Pelagians. But why troe ye are Pelagians aliue in Pro∣testants? Because Augustine writing against Iulian the Pelagian lib. 1. cap. 2. sayth of the fathers, Qu•d credunt credo &c. That which they beleue I beleue also. I holde that they holde, I teache that they teach, I preach that they preach, and lib. 2. quos opor•ct &c. Christian people ought to prefe•re the auncient holy truth, before your profane nouelties and chose rather to sticke to them then to you. And are Pelagians aliue in Protestants, because Augustine rec•iueth the olde writers, that were agreeable to the scriptures? Did not the Pelagians alledge the authority of the old writers also? L•b cont. Iul cap. 2. & 3,
As vayne a cauill it is, that the Protestantes are a∣shamed of their fathers: When we acknowledge no fathers, vnto whose iudgement we will stande abso∣lutely in all controuersies, but the Prophetes and the Apostles and God him selfe, by whose spirite they did write. As for Simon Magus, Eunomus, and suche olde heretikes we detest, more then the Papistes doe. But AErius, Vigilantius, and Iouinian were playnely of our opinion, and of them we are ashamed. And doe you Papistes beleeue nothinge common with AE∣rius, Vigilantius, Iouinian? Doe you in no poynte holde that which Arius, Macedonius, Eutyches did holde? Doe you mayntayne no opinion which was taught by Mahomet him selfe? you will aunswer, that there neuer was heresie, but it h•lde and taught ma∣ny articles of truthe, which if you holde as they did, you are not therefore their children, in suche articles Page 54 wherin they were heretikes. Euen so we aunswere you of AErius, Vigilantius, Iouinian, we are not ashamed to beleue any truth which they helde, their errours we leaue vnto them selues. But I know you will replye, that among the errours of AErius, the denyall of prayers to profit the deade was one accompted by Epiphanius and Augustine. Then it is your parte to shewe, what argumentes out of the holy Scripture they bring to proue this opinion to be an errour. Otherwise their au∣ctoritie alone, is not sufficient to make it a truth. Vigi∣gilantius is baighted only by Hierome, of other learned men in his time, he was counted a godly man, and a learned. As for Iouinian, we take not his parte, if in all respects he made mariage equall with virginitie, which in some respect the Apostle preferreth. But we must see of what religion and auctoritie, the fathers were. First sayth Bristow you may perceaue by Iewells challenge, that for Purgatorie, prayer for the dead and to Saincts, merite of good workes &c. there is somthing conteined in the olde fathers which liued within 600. yeares after Christ, because he durst not make his challenge of these articles, but of the Masse, the Pope, the eucharistie &c. But I pray you Bristow, are not these greater matters a∣mong you, then the other?
If therefore you be not able to proue your greatest mysteries of antiquitie, out of any one father for so ma∣ny ages, what great matter is it, if you haue them fa∣uourable in a fewe articles of lesse moment? But Bristow with wayght of reason will beare vs downe, that all the fathers are on their side wholly, and against vs in all poynctes of our controuersie. And this is his reason: who are driuen to mayteyne the fathers cre∣dit and auctoritie, Papistes or Protestantes? Not Pro∣testantes verily, but Papistes, ergo the fathers be all for Papistes and against Protestantes. A mightie rea∣son of mayne force. Dioscorus and Eutyches in the councell of Chalcedon boasted of the auctoritie of the holie fathers, and stoode much in defense of their Page 55 creditte therefore the fathers were whollie on their side.
But let vs heare L. Humfreys opinion out of his booke of B. Iewells life, of Iewells challenge, of the fa∣thers and of the Saincts in the calender. Nay rather let vs heare Bristow yelping like a little curre agaynst so great a lyon. First he snatcheth peeces of his sentences gnawne from the rest, and then squeleth out as though he had hearde some maruelous straunge soundes. D. Humfrey sayth, Iewell gaue the Papistes too large a scope, when not content to haue beaten them downe with the auctoritie of the holy Scriptures, he made his challenge vpon the testimonie of the fathers, and that so many hundreth yeares after Christ. And here∣in he was iniurious to him selfe, that refusing that meane by which he might more easely & more straight∣ly haue maynteyned his cause, after a maner he spoy∣led him selfe and the church. This is his opinion of Maister Iewells challenge. Howe followeth his opi∣nion of the fathers and of the Sainctes in the calender. This thing (sayth D. Humfrey) he did not with his wil, but yet he did it not without a cause, that he might strike you through with the testimonie of your fathers, as it were with your owne sworde. For it had beene manlie for a Christian man to say. Thus sayth the Lorde. It had bene sufficient to haue layed agaynst you. Your doctrine is contrarie to the Scripture. For it is the question of men possessed with deuills to say: What haue we to doe with thee Iesus thou sonne of Dauid? But it is an interrogation of the Saynctes. What haue we to doe with our fathers with fleshe and bloode? You heare by these wordes, what a daun∣gerous opinion he holdeth of the fathers and of the Saynctes in the calender, namelie that the fathers are no farther to be followed, then they followed the holie Scriptures, and that the Sainctes either liuing or deade, whether they be in the calender or no, deny their fathers as fleshe and bloode if they be in any Page 56 respect an hinderance for them to obey the will of their father in heauen.
These are the perillous opiniōs, that Bristow brableth against falsifying his words by ommission & dep•auing his meaning by false surmising.
But Bristow hath yet an other reason to proue the fa∣thers to be in all poinctes of their side. If in all poinctes (sayth he) they be not with the Protestants, then vndoubted∣ly in all poynctes they be with vs. And what is the reason of this monstruous conclusion? There was neuer but one true religion. As though none can be of true religion but such as erreth in nothing. But who would spend incke and paper to confute such vaine reasonings.