The 46. motiue is the 39. demaund.
Such seedes of our doctrine (sayth Bristowe) as haue growne before this time, did alwayes growe in euell * grounde, namely in heretikes as denyall of prayer for the deade in Aerius, who beside that errour was an Ar∣rian. He chargeth vs also with denying the ordinarie fast of the church, but that is false. For we hold that the fast which is appointed by the church, ought to be ob∣serued, although we hold that no man is bounde to the blasphemous, superstitious, and counterfait fast of the Popish synagogue. In that time in which Aerius liued, there were other times of fasting appointed, then such as the Popishe church obserueth. But the wedsnesday fast (sayth Bristowe) the church hath released. In what gene∣rall councell good Sir: are you able to shewe: likewise of other times of fast named in Epiphanius? if you be not able to shew this where is either your vniuersalitie, antiquitie, or succession in doctrine and discipline, with∣out interruption.
More thē this (sayth he) Aerius did hold, that a Bishop & a Priest be equall, which also the Protestāts do main∣teyne. In preaching the word and ministring the Sacra∣mentes. S. Hierom Euagrio is of the same opinion that they are equall likewise in Epistad Titum. cap. 1. shewing that a Bishoppe is preferred before a Priest magis eccle∣siae consuetudine quam dispositionis dominicae veritate rather by custome of the church to auoyde schismes, then by truth of the Lordes disposition. Furthermore one of the Protestantes seedes is, that we must not pray to Saints, Page 124 but this was held of certayne heretikes in S. Bernardes time who were called Apostolici & were also Anabap∣tistes, denying the baptisme of infantes. The conclu∣sion is, that these opinions can not be good, because they are founde in some heretikes. And the contrary opinion must needes be true, because they are found in some holy men, as in S. Athanasius, Epiphanius, Au∣gustine. &c. Although these opinions are but fewe in comparison of so many articles of religion, in whiche we dissent from the Papistes, which if they coulde be founde in heretikes, we should soone heare of them: yet what Logike is in this conclusion of Bristow, you shall see by examples of the like, and euen of the same heretikes. Aerius, as Augustine reporteth out of Phila∣stre, did also receiue into his felowship none but suche as wete continent, and had so renounced the worlde, that they possessed nothing in common, likewise they abstayned from fleshe. The very same doth Bernarde report of the heretikes called Apostolike, that they re∣reuerenced mariage, and abstayned from all flesh and whitemeates. In canti. ser. 66. This diuelishe seede pro∣phecied before to be the note of Antichristian hypo∣crites, grew in many heretikes before the time of the Papistes, and not these only, but many other also. Wor∣shipping of Images in Carpocratians Ep. 1. lib. 1. T. 2. pre∣fat. contr. Gnostic. 27. 29.
The superstitious estimacion of the crosse in the Va∣lentinians Epiph. Ho. 31. Transubstantiation of the wine into blood in Marcus and the Marcosians Ire•aeus lib. 1 cap. 9. Prayer for the deade in the Montanistes. Tert. de Monon. & de Anima. &c. Inuocation of Angells in the Caianites and many other Popishe plantes were first sowne by the deuill in elder heretikes. And yet were this no good argument to confute these opinions or errors, because they are founde in heretikes, except they were found to be contrarie to the word of God. All is no he∣resie, whatsoeuer an heretike hath affirmed, for there was neuer heretike, but affirmed much truth, neither is Page 125 all truth that is affirmed by euery Sainct and holy man, for not one of the ancient writers but is acknowledged to haue affirmed some vntruth. Only the holy Scripture ought to haue this preheminence, as Augustine sayth, that it may iudge of all sayings and writings, it selfe be∣ing iudged of none, because it is the word of God which can not erre or be deceaued. Cont. Crescon. gram. lib. 2. cap.••. But Bristowe hath Scripture to proue that he which denyeth prayer for the dead, being found among the Arrians & Anabaptists, can not choose but be boūd in bundells with them and cast into the fire. Mat. 13. In deede he that is an Arrian or Anabaptist shal not escape for denying prayer for the deade. But the Angells that are the reapers, are not so vnskilfull, but that they can discerne true Christians denying the abuse of prayers for the dead, which the Scripture doth not admit, from blasphemous heretikes, among a great number of false∣hoodes affirming some truth.
But it is a sore matter, that he sayth, The verie worst sorte of heretikes of this time, as the Anabaptistes, Trinita∣ries, yea the verie Epicures and Atheistes, were first Prote∣stantes, ye such they be and will seeme to be still. He had spoken more truly, if he had sayd they were first Pa∣pistes. But what heretikes and Atheistes woulde seeme to be, it is no dishonor to our cause, seeing all hypocrits would seeme to be true Christians. That only Papistes are troubled in our countrie, and all other sectes tol∣lerated and mainteyned the publike execution and punishment of Anabaptistes and other blasphemous sectes as the Familie of Loue &c. doth playnly proue to be false, and Bristow to be a shamelesse slaunderer.