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 23. motiue is the 44. demaund.

Apostolike Church. The Communion of the Bishop of Rome to be kept of all Christians. Apostolike Church is the Romane * Church. Apostolike Church as the Romane is S. Augustines motiue. Succession of the Bishops of Rome, the motiue of Op∣tatus, S. Augustine and S. Irenaeus.

Page  72 This motiue in effect, is all one with the former, and in a maner so confessed by Bristow him selfe. But thus he takth his principle of their singing in the Masse, & our saying in the communion, of the creede, in which we confesse that we beleue one onely Catholike and A∣postolike Church. This one Catholike Church sayth Bristow is our Church that is Apostolike, because it agreeth with the faith of the Church of Rome, which is the sea of an Apostle, holding on to this day by succession, and to which was written an Epistle by an Apostle. I aunswer, it is not the po∣pish Romane Church, because that Church is departed from the vniuersal Church of Christ, planted by the A∣postles through out the worlde, and holdeth not on in succession of the doctrine of the Apostle, which did write that epistle to the Romanes. But Bristowes wise reasoning, is to be noted. S. Peter was an Apostle. That is true. he was the first Bishop of Rome. It is a great doubt, whether he euer came at Rome, and it is out of doubt by the Scriptures, that he taried not there so longe as the histories affirme, and last it is false that he was a Bi∣shop of a particular Church, which was an Apostle ouer all the world, and specially ouer the circumcision. There is a citye in the worlde named Rome. And that citye by the Scripture is the seat of Antichrist and the whore of Ba∣bylon. Apoc. 17. vers. 18. S. Paules epistle to the Romaines is extant. and euen that epistle will proue the Church of Rome at this day, to be not apostolicall but apostatical, as in many articles, so in the article of iustification. Rom. 3. vers. 28. Are not those causes why a Church is called Apo∣stolike, sayth Bristow? No verily but onely because it hol∣deth and mayntayneth the Apostolike doctrine, which if it doe in all necessary articles, then is it Apostolike, & hath succession and plantation of the Apostles, or els not, although it be gathered in such cities in which the Apostles haue preached, planted, and to whome they haue written. But Tertullian doth so define Apostolike Churches, sayth Bristow. I say it is vntrue, for Tertullian against newe heretikes, sendeth vs not to the emptye Page  73 chayres of the Apostles, which had written to such ci∣ties, but vnto the the testimony of their doctrine, recey∣ued from the Apostles, and continued vntill that time.

So he sendeth them that are in Achaia, to Corinthe. such as are in Macedonia to Philippi, those that are in Asia to Ephesus, & them which be neare Italy to Rome, from whence they of Africa had their authoritie, not by excellency of that Church aboue other Apostolike Churches, but by nearenes of place: Therfore he saith, Proxima est tibi Achaia? habes Corinthum.

Si non longè es à Macedonia, habes Philippos. Si potes in Asiam tendere, ha∣bes Ephesum, si autem Italiae adieceris, habes Romam, vn∣de nobis quae{que} auctoritas presto est statuta. Is Achaia nea∣rest vnto thee? thou hast Corinthe. If thou be not farre from Macedonia, thou hast Philippi. If thou canst goe into Asia, thou hast Ephesus. If thoulye neare to Italy, thou hast the Church of Rome from whence vnto vs also (in Africa) authoritie is setled nearer at hand. Ter∣tul. de praeser.
But Bristow sayth that the auncient fathers when there were many Apostolike Churches standing, they did principally and singularly direct men alwayes to the Church of Rome. This you see to be false, by the place of Tertul∣lian last cied. But that they did more often direct men to the testimony of the Church of Rome, it was for that by meanes of the Imperiall citie, it was more notori∣ous and best knowne. Otherwise it is a very lye of Bri∣stow, where he sayth, that when the fathers name the Apostolike church, they do meane the Romane church by excellency, as the Poet signifieth Vergil and the Phi∣losopher Aristotle. A like lye it is, that no Church re∣mayneth in the world founded by any of the Apostles, but onely Rome. For many Churches remayne to this day, that were planted by the Apostle Paule, who from Hierusalem to Illyricum filled all the contryes with the doctrine of the Gospell: of which many vnto this day continue in profession of Christianitie, beside all the Churches of India & AEthiopia, which were also plan∣ted by the Apostles Thomas and other. The more bea∣stly Page  74 is the blundering of this Bristow, who dreameth, that the councell of Constantinople the 1. which made this confession by the Apostolike Church, did not onely meane the Romane Church, but also none other but the Ro∣mane Church.

As though that councell could not distinguish the Catholike Apostolike Church, dispersed ouer all •••• face of the earth, from the particular Apostolike Church of Rome, which was but a member therereof: when the same councel gaue the like priuiledges of honor to the Church of Constantinople, which the Church of Rome had, reseruing but the senioritie to ye Church of Rome. And being called to a councel at Rome by the Princes letters, procured by Damasus Bishop of Rome, & other Bishops of Italy & the West, they refused to come, as ha∣uing already by the Emperour of the East being gathe∣red to Constantinople, oncluded what they thought good to be decreed, Histor. trip. lib. 9, cap. 13. And in their epistle written to their fellow ministers Damasus, Am∣brose &c. gathered in councell at Rome, wherein they excused their refusall to come, they call the Church of Antiochia, seniorem & vere apostolicam Ecclesiam, the el∣der, & truly an Apostolike Church. The church of Ieru∣salem they call the mother of all Churches. Ep. Concil. Constanti. Hist. trip. lib. 9. cap. 14. Nether was it euer in their mind, to make the particular Church of Rome, the only Apostolike Church of the world, but onely a principall member consenting with the same. The succession of bi∣shops of Rome alledged by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Augu∣stine, Optatus doth nothing in the world defend the po∣pish bishops in their successiō vnto this day, for so much as they succeede not in doctrine, as well as in place. Ne∣ther doe we make any leape from Luther vnto the A∣postles, but prouing our doctrine to be the doctrine of the Apostles, we doubt no more of perpetuall succession thereof, then knowing our selues to be descended from Adam, we doubt whether we haue had a line all discent of progenitors vnto this time, that I may vse Bristowes Page  75 owne example, to declare that numbring of Bishops is no more necessary in the one, thē shewing our pedegrie in the other. Seing the question is not how many men, & in what places were professed this doctrine, but whe∣ther it be the same which •••• Apostles taught: but that can not better be proued, then by the writings of •••• Apostles.

The places cited by Bristow for succession out of I∣renaeus Tertullian Optatus, Augustine you shall sinde answered in my confutation of Stapletons fortres part. 2. cap. 1. & of Sanders rocke cap. 15. where also is answered the place of S. Luke cap. 22. of Christ praying that Peters faith might not faile.