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 24. motiue •• the 45. demaund.

The Romaines neuer chaūged their religion. S. Bede of our * religion, the Rmaine church his motiue, Protestāts be of ma∣ny old heresies. The Apostles were of our religion. Prayer for the dead vsed alwayes.

If the Romaines had not chaūged their religion since * their faith was cōmended by the Apostle, there should be no controuersie betwene vs & them. And if Bristow cā proue by the Apostles writing that he is of their reli∣gion, or that they were of the Popish religiō the strife is at an ende. How farre Bde was of your religion, I haue shewed in the answer to Stapletons fortresse. But he vr∣geth vs to shew, what Pope chaunged their religion, what tu∣mults rising in the worlde thereon, what Doctors withstoode it, what coūcels accused &c. which he saith they can shew in all innouatiōs both great & sinal, that euer by heretikes were at∣tēpted. What an impudent lyar is this Bristow to brag of that, which at this day is impossible to be don, by any mā liuing in the worlde. For of so many heretikes as are re∣hersed by Epiphanius & Augustine, not the one halfe of thē can be so shewed as Bristow like a blind bayard boa∣steth they can doe. But if we say the chaunge was not made al at once we must shew whē euery pece was alte∣red, as they do of our doctrin, of old taught by many old Page  76 heretiks, AErius denying praier for the dead &c. Whereof many are slaūders & lyes, the rest if we can not defend by Scriptures let them be takē for heresies. To the pur∣pose, we haue often shewed and are ready daily to shew, the beginning of many of their heresies, & errors, as of the Popes supremacy in Victor, of prayer for the dead in the Montanists, of their crossing in the Valentinians, of images in the Gnosikes and Carpocratians, and so of a great many other errors, which are contrary to the holy Scriptures, by which we first reproue them of falshood, and as stories serue vs, we open their beginnings. And wheras Bristow without all shame, affirmeth that prayer for the dead was vsed alwayes, & citeth Irenaeus among other for his auctor he sheweth nothing but impudency matched with his heresie, for there is no worde in Ire∣neus, to proue that prayer for the dead was vsed of any godly man of his time.

Tertullian a Montanist is the first that maketh any mention of prayers for the dead, & only in such bookes as he wrote when he was an heretike. Whereas Augu∣stine sayth Ep. 119. That ye church of God nether appo∣ueth, nor keepeth secret, nor doth such thinges as be a∣gainst the faith, and good maners, it is to be vnderstan∣ded of such things, as the church knoweth to be against the faith. For of some thinges the church may be igno∣rant, as Augustine confesseth in his retractations lib. 2. cap. 18.

Vbicun{que} in his libris commemoraui ecclesiam non ha∣bentem maculam aut ruga non sic accipiendum est, quasi iam sit, sed quae praeparatur vt sit, quando apparebit etiam glorio∣sa. nunc enim propter quasdam ignorantias & infirmitates mebrorum surum, habet vnde qutidie tota dicat: Dimitte nobis dbita nostra. Wheresoeuer in those bookes I haue made mention of ye church, not hauing spot or wrinckle, it is not to be takē, as though she were so now, but which is prepared that he may be when she shall appeare also glorious: For now because of certaine ignorances and infirmities of her members, euen the whole church hath cause to say euerie day, forgiue vs our trespasses.
Page  77 Notwithstanding the watchmen therefore prophecied by Esay, continually geuing warning vpon the walles a∣gainst the inuasion of open enemies, and blasphemous heretikes, yet many hypocrites haue crept into the church secretly, and vnder shew of pietie, haue shewed many errors and superstitions, while the mysterie of mi∣quity wrough the full manifestation and Apostasie of Antichrist. In the demaunde Bristow denyeth that any Pope did erre, although I haue shewed both out of sto∣ries, S. Hierom, the Pope Damasus, and the generall councels, the contrarie. But admitting they did erre, yet (sayth he) they erred not in such matters as the Prote∣stantes doe now charge the Pope & Romaines withall. Whereto I answer, that against that blasphemous prin∣ciple of theirs, that the Pope can not erre, we first bring in those examples of Popes, that were heretikes & for their time altered religion like heretikes in such mat∣tes as we both confesse to be errors. Then this being obteyned, that the Pope is not priuiledged from error, the matters in controuersie wherewith we charge the Pope, are to be examined only by the auctoritie of the holy Scriptures and thereby to be decided.