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 18. motiue is the 3. demaund.

Going out. S. Optatus motiue. The churches practise is alwayes infallible. The vnitie and constancie of the Bishops * of England. Protestants doe decay and shall come to nothing.

Page  69 We like Optatus Motiue well, for going out of the * Church into any other faction. But it may not be drawn contrarie to his meaning against those which goe out of Babilon into Ierusalem. He saith, VVe must see who hath remained in the roote with the whole worlde. Verely not the Papists, which are departed from the doctrine of the Apostles which is the roote of the Church, by them planted in all the worlde. VVe must see who is gone foorth. which Bristow doth rightly referre to that say∣ing of Saint Paule. Discedent quidam à fide, Some shall departe from the Fayth. But who are those? They that teache the doctrine of deuilles, forbidding to marrye and commaunding to abstaine from meates. Nowe whether Papists or protestants be such, let the worlde iudge. Optatus will haue it farther considered, VVho is set in an other Chayre that was not before? Verely none so manifestly as the Pope, who sitteth in a Chayre, that none of the Apostles, nor Apostolike men, for many hundreth yeeres after Christe did knowe.

Againe, VVho hath sette an Aultar against the Aultar? who but the Papists, which haue erected the Sacrifice of the Masse, to ouerthrow the Aultar of the crosse of Christ? Finally, VVho hath made an ordination, the other before ordayned, beeing whole & sounde. Quis ordina∣tionem fecerit saluo altero ordinato. Which Bristow hath falsely trāslated thus. VVho hath placed Bishops there, where others were placed before which are yet aliue. As though it were a faulte, to putte out false Bishoppes, and to supply the roomes with true Bishoppes, where as Optatus meaneth of Heretikes, which are gone from true Byshoppes, and sette vppe Heretikes in schisme, the true Bishoppes still remayning as the Papistes did in Queene Maryes time, vntyll they had burned vppe almoste all.

As for the vnitie and constancy of the popishe de∣posed Prelates, which hee commendeth, is sufficient∣ly knowne to the worlde, which although they were all saue one obstinate in the beginning of her Maiesties Page  66 raygne, because they hoped by trayterous practises, foolish prophecies, & deuilish coniuration, to see an al∣teration shortly, aswel for religion, as also for the whole state of the common wealth, and withall had experi∣ence of the mercifulnes and compassion of the Kinges of Israell, so that they were not in feare of their liues, or any great hazard of their goods, yet had they all or the most part of them (such was their good constancy) reuolted from popery, and sworne against the Pope, in the raygne of Kinge Henrye and King Edward. As for the decaye of Protestants and professors of the truthe of Gods word, which the cold prophet foreseeth, by some trayterous deuise, whispered among his pewfel∣lowes at Louayne or Dowaye, it shall haue such successe and euent by Gods grace, as hitherto the like treaso∣nable practises haue obteyned, whiche alwayes, (Gods holy name be praysed therefore) hath turned to the confusion of Popery and the further spreading of the light of the Gospell.

In the demaunde, he vrgeth vs to shewe when the Ro∣manes went out of the truth, frsaking any company of Chri∣stians then liuing. This hath bene often shewed, that the Romanes though not all at once, yet by litle and litle, euen as the mysterie of iniquitie got strength, which began to worke in the Apostles tyme, haue de∣parted from the communion of other Christians. The first storye that maketh notable mention, is Euseb. lib. 5. cap. 25. of Victor which did cut him selfe from all the Churches of the East about a ceremonye, since which tyme, the Romane Bishops, by litle and litle, haue de∣parted vntill they made a generall apostasie and de∣fection, from the vniuersall Churche, condemning all the Christians in the world, except such as held of their particular schismaticall and hereticall Churche of Rome.