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.
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The 22. motiue is the 43. demaund.

Suceession. S. Optatus motiue. The Church is euerlasting & visible. S. Hieroms & S. Augustines motiue. the Church euer∣lasting. * The communion of the B. of Rome, to be kept of all Christians. Succession in the see Apostolike. Tertullians and Augustines motiues.

That the Church is euerlasting, Bristow neede not haue takē such paynes to proue, & that this continuance * is preserued by succession, is also to be confessed. But yt this succession is visible, & limited to any one sea of bi∣shops, it is false. For euen as he him selfe sayth it is neces∣sary that all Adams children to be come of Adam by a con∣tinuall pedegree of fathers and grandfathers and other proge∣nitors, euen vntill his time, and yet no one of Adams chil∣drē can deduce this pedegree by naming of all his pro∣genitors from Adam vnto his time so there is no doubt, but the Church hath had a perpetuall succession in the world, from ye beginning thereof, vntil this day, although she can not name a particular succession of persons in a∣ny one place, for all ages that are past. But euen as by the Scriptures we are taught, that Adam is our naturall father, although we can not name all our aūcestors that haue bene betwene vs and him: right so by the Scrip∣tures we are taught, that the Church is our heauenly mother, although we can not frame such tables of suc∣cession as the Papistes require vs to shew, which they can not performe them selues. For although they can name a number of Bishops, whereof some haue taught at Rome, some haue sitten and slept in their chayer at Rome, and some at Auynion, some haue played the de∣uill therein, an hundreth of the last being no more like to a score of the firste in doctrine and life, then God, whose children the first were, is like the deuill whose Page  71 derlings the last were: yet what is this to shewe a succession of their Church. And howe doth this proue them to be the true Churche: can not the Churche of Constantinople and other Churches in Greece, doe the like vnto this daye? Yet doe the Papistes count all them for heretikes and scismatikes. Whatsoeuer there∣fore Optatus, Hierom, Augustine, Tertullian, or any other haue written of succession of Bishops in the A∣postolike sees, they meane so large and so farre forth as they continue in succession of Apostolike doctrine. Otherwise woulde not Hierom haue embraced Arria∣nisme, because it was receyued by Liberius who sate in the Apostolike see of Rome, and coulde name his predecessors from Peter. Nor Optatus haue recey∣ued Eutychianisme, because it was defended by Di∣oscorus, which satte in the Euangelisticall see of Ale∣xandria, and coulde name his predecessors from S. Marke the disciple of S. Peter. Nether woulde Augu∣stine haue consented to Arrianisme, because it was mayntayned by Eulalius and Euzoius, Bishops of the Apostolike see of Antioche, althoughe they were able to shewe their succession by many Bishops, euen vnto S. Peter him selfe, who planted his chayer at Antioche, by all Papistes confession seuen yeares before he came to Rome. You see therefore howe farre the motiue of succession may drawe or driue any man to haue regard vnto it, euen as long, as there is succession of doctrine, as well as of place and person, and not longer, nor fur∣ther.