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 8. motiue is the 12. demaund.

Visions a marke of true doctrine and Doctors. Christ to be beleued for visions. S. Augustine was of our religion and*brought thereto by God. Beleuing the reall presens of Christ in the sacrament of the altare which is to be worshipped with religion, saying masse for the dead. Prayer for the dead v∣sed alwayes. S. Gregory was of our religion. Masse sayd euery day. Prayer for the dead cōfirmed by a vision seruing for our religion, prophecies for our religion. VVhy Protestants deny not all the Scriptures. Visions for our religion. The commu∣nion booke burned in a vision. The communion in a vision re∣ceaued by a blacke dogge. The seruice of Protestantes to be refrained. S. Cyprian of our religion.

Page  24 Of visions we haue the same rule, that of miracles such as are of God srue to cōfirme that doctrine which * is deliuered in the holy Scriptures. such were the visi∣ons shewed vnto the Apostles and holy men. But if any vision seemed to bringe in any doctrine that was not coneyned in the Scriptures, both the vision was to be knowen for a deuilh illusion, and the dreamer of that vision commaunded to be slayne. But how will Bristw proue, that S. Augustine was of his religion? euen by that wise argument, that he seth so often, because he held some one error common with them, although he were contrary to them in the whole substance of religi∣on. For thus he reasoneth. S. Augustine was of the same religion that his mothr Monica was, who saw in a visi∣on that he should be conuerted to the Catholike faith when he was a Manichee: But Monica was of our reli∣gion, because he beleued the reall prefence, and worshipped so that blessed sarament with religion, and making of it God him selfe.

But how proueth he that she so beleued and wor∣shipped? She knew sayth he that from the alar was mini∣s••ed & dispensed victima sancta &c. that holy sacrifice wher by was stricken out that hand writing that was again vs. Au. lib. cont. 9. ap. 13. A straunge conclusion. She acknowled∣ged the ministration of the sacrament to be a dispensati∣on or communication of the sacrifice of Christs death, which euery Protestant doth, therefore she beleued the reall presence. But how did she worship the sacrament, and make God him selfe of it? Mary (S. Augustine sayth) Ad vnm &c. To the sacramēs of whih our price, thy hand∣may de ved her soule with the bonde of faith. What word is here of worshipping, or making the sacrament God him selfe? Yes sayth Bristow: for Augustine sayth in other places, we must tye our soules to God alone, whereof religion is so named, wherefore she tying her soule to the sactament, maketh the sacrament God him selfe. A substantiall reason I promise you, by which you may as wel prou that she worshipped baptisme and made God Page  25 him selfe ofit, for there is no doubt, but vnto baptisme (which is also the sacrament of our pryce) she tyed her soule with the bande of faith, and so hath euery faithfull Protestant. For the sacraments by faith, are certaine pledges of our conunction with God through Christ. Into whose death we are ingraffed by baptisme, as we are fedde with his body and blood in the supper.

The place of Augustine is corruptly cited by Bristow, who hath cut of both the head and the foote of it, which is this.

Ad vnum Deumtendentes, & ei vni religantes an∣mas nostras, vnde religio dicta creditr, omni superstitione ca∣reamus. Hauing respect to one God and tying our soules to him onely, whereof religion is thought to be called, let vs be voyde of all superstition. For Monica had re∣spect onely to God, when she tyed her soule by faith vn∣to the seale of Gods promises.
And she was voyde of su∣perstition, when she cleaued to none other ceremonye of coniunction with God, but onely to that, which was ordeyned of God him selfe for that purpose. But howe proueth Bristow, that prayer for the deade was vsed al∣way, or that Masse was sayd for the deade. Because that in the corrupt tyme of Augustine, prayer was vsed for the deade, and in the prayers vsed at the celebration of the communion, remembraunce was made of the dead. This is a straūge kind of reasoning: that was vsed some∣time, therefore it was vsed alwayes. But how long it was vsed, and how it was taken vp, I haue shewed in myne aunswer to Allins booke of Purgatory.

Now commeth S. Gregory to be of Bristowes religi∣on. I will not deny but in many errors and superstitions Gregory agreeth with the Papistes, but yet not in all, nor in some of the chiefest. The visions he rehearseth for prayer for ye dead, if they were not fayned dreames, they were illusiōs of ye deuil, because they serue to main∣teine that doctrine, which is contrary to the Scriptures, which teach that after death followeth iudgement im∣mediatly, so that no prayers can preuaile. Heb. 9. 26. But prophecyes are for Bristowes religion. How so I praye Page  26 you? The conuersion of Augustine and the death of Cassius were foretold in vision. If both those were graū∣ted to be true visions, your religion were neuer the bet∣ter, except the conuersion of the one, and the death of the other be your religion. But admitting the dreame of Monica to be a true vision, howe proue you that the Chapeline of Cassius did not fayne his vision after his maister was dead?

But the dreame of Iudas Machabaeus who sawe the Prophet Ieremy pray for the people, is recorded in the Canonical Scripture it selfe (sayth Bristow) 2. Mach. 15. chap. which Scripture the Protestants reiect, because it maketh against them, as they would doe all the rest, but that they thinke they haue inuēted shiftes good enough to blinde the worlde. What reuerence we beare to the holy Scriptures of God, he him selfe, our owne consci∣ence, and the whole world can testifie. And the reiecti∣on of such bookes as were not written by the spirite of God, doth approue the same. Beside the authoritie of the auncient Churche, both of the Iewes and Gentills which neuer receiued the same bookes into the canon, we haue often made manifest demonstration, that they proceeded not from the spirite of God. Wherefore the Papistes making them of equall credit with the worde of God, incurre the curse of God, which is vnto all them that either adde or take away any thing from his holy word.

But the Papistes are not destitute of visions in these daies, for Bristow knoweth a Protestant who hath con∣fessed that he saw in a dreame, the communion booke out of many handes cast into a fire, and yet the man cō∣tinueth a Protestant. Verely he doth as a good Christi∣an should doe, that not onely with no vaine dreames, but nether with visions of Angells from heauen he will be moued to condemne that doctrine which he know∣eth assuredly to be agreable to the holy Scriptures. But there was a Papist in London, which came to ye Church against his conscience, and sawe a fowle blacke dogge Page  27 take the communion euer more, at the naughty mini∣sters hands, as he offred it to the communicants, which stroke the Papist so at the hart, that he went home and dyed vpon it. This deuilish illusion, or melācholike per∣swasion of a deuilish dogged Papist, thinketh Bristow able to condemne the holy ministration of the Lordes supper, warranted by •••• Scriptures according to Christes institution? As for the extaticall & fantasticall dreame of maister Allington, tending (as I remember) to main∣teine Idolatrie, wise men regard as much as such fanta∣sies deserue, after which, if we should shape our religi∣on, we shoulde alter as often as any mans fonde humor or foolish conceit ministreth newe visions and straunge apparitions. But I mauell amonge so many visions, that Bristow omitteth, the famous vision of Elizeus Hall that came from Manchester to London, with a booke of his cold prophecyes, to cōuert the Queene & the Realme to Papistrie. Well (sayth Bristow) you scorne at our vi∣sions and dreames, yet was S. Cyprian of our religion: Because he defendeth some visions and dreames which were seene in his time, which were not to mainteyne a∣ny thing cōtrary to the Scripture, but that which was a∣greable to the same. A poore reason, why he should be of your religion. And yet it is all the reason that you bringe. But for our iudgement of miracles, of visions & dreames to be motiues in controuersies of the Church, you shall heare Augustines sentence, De〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Ecclesiae cap. 16. against the Donatistes.

Remois ergo omnibus tali∣bs, Ecclsiam suam demonstrent, sipossunt, non in sermonibus & rumoribus Asrorum, non in concilys Episcoporum suorum, non in literis quorumlibet d. sptatorum, non in signis & prodi∣gijs fallaibus, quia etiam contra ista verbo Domini praepara∣ti & cauti redd••i sumus, sed in praesripio legis, in Propheta∣rum praedictis, in Psalmorum cantibus, in ipsius pastoris voci∣bus, in Euangelistaru' predicationibus & laboribus, hoc est in omnibus canonics sanctorum librorum auctoritatibus. Wherefore setting aside all such matters, let them shew forth the Church to be theirs, if they can, not in the Page  28 speaches and rumors of Africanes, not in the councells of their Bishops, not in the writings of all maner of dis∣coursers, not in deceyueable signes & wonders, because that euen against those thinges, we are prepared and made warye by the worde of our Lorde: but in the pre∣script of the lawe, in the predictions of the Prophets, in the songes of the Psalmes, in the voyces of the sheepe∣herd him selfe, in the preachings and labors of the E∣uangelistes, that is to say in all the canonicall authori∣ties of the holy bookes 3. And againe in the same chap∣ter, & sic stendat & non dicat, verum est quia ego hoc dico, aut quia hoc dixit ille collegameus, aut illi collegaemei, aut illi Episcopi vel Clerici, vel Laici nostri, aut ide verum est quia illa & illa mirabilia fecit Donatus, vel Pontius, aut quilibet alius, aut quia homines ad memorias mortuorum no∣strorum orant & exaudiuntur, aut quia illa & illa ibi contin∣gunt, aut quia ille frater nofler, aut illa soror nostra, tale visum vigilan vidit, veltale visum dormiens somniauit. Remoue∣antur ista vel figmenta mendacium hominum, velportenta fallacium spirituum, aut enim non sunt vera, quae diuntr, aut sihaereticorum aliqua mira facta sunt, magis cauere debemus. And let him so shew it, that he say not, it is true because I say this, or because this sayd that companion of mine, or those companions of mine, or those our Bishops or Clerkes or laymen: or therefore it is true, because Do∣natus or Pontius or any other hath done these or those miracles, or because men pray at the memories of our martyrs & are hearde, or because these are those things doe happen there, or because that our brother or that ou rsister sawe such a vision waking, or dreamed such a vision sleping. Let these things be remoued which ether are the faynings of lying men, or els the wonders of de∣ceyuing spirites, for either they are not true that are sayd to be, or if any miracles are done by heretikes, we ought the more to take heede of them. And yet againe he writeth in the same booke and chapter. Sed vtrumips∣ecclesiam teneant, non nisi diumarum sripturarum Canontcis libris ostcudant, quia nee nos propterea dicimus nobis crede∣rePage  29 oportere, quod in ecclesia Christi sumus, quia ipsam quam te∣nemus co••niendauit Mileuitanus Optatus, vel Mediolanen∣sis Ambrosius, vel alij innumerabiles nostrae cōmunionis Epi∣scopi, aut quia nostrorum collegarum concilijs ipsa predicata est, aut quia per totum orbem in locis sanctis quae frequentat nostra communio tanta mirabilia, vel exauditionum vel sa∣nitatum fiunt, ita vt latentia per tot annos corpora martyrum (quod possunt à multis interrogantes audire) Ambrosio fuerint reuelata, & ad ipsa corpora Caecus multrum annorum, ciui∣tati Mediolanensi notissinus oculos lumē{que} receperit, aut quia ille Sōnium vidit, & ille spiritu assumptus audiuit, siue ne in∣iret in partem Donati, sue vt recederet à parte Donati. Quae∣cun{que} talia in Catholica fiunt, ideo sunt approbāda, quia in Ca∣tholica fiunt: non ideo ipsa manifestatur Catholica quia hae: in eafiunt. Ipse Dominus Iesus cum resurrexisset à mortuis, & discipulorum oculis videndum manibus{que} tangendum cor∣pus suum offerret: nequid tamen fallaciae se pati arbitraren∣tur, magis eos testimonijs Legis & Prophetarum & Psal∣morum confirmandos esse idicauit ostendens, ca de se imple∣ta, quae fuerant tanto ante praedicta. Sic & ecclesiam suam cō∣mendauit dicens praedicari in nomine suo poenitentiam & re∣missionem peccatorum per omnes gentes, inciptentibus ab Hierusalem. Hoc in Lege & Prophetis & Psalmis esse sri∣ptum ipse testatus est, hoc eius ore commendatum tenemus. Haec sunt causae nostrae documenta, haec fundamenta, haec fir∣mamēta. But whether they holde the church or no, let them shew none otherwise, but by the Canonical books of the holy Scriptures: Because that neither we do say, that therefore men must beleue vs, that we are in the Church of Christ, because Optatus of Mileuitum or Ambrose of Millain, or innumerable other Bishops of our communion, haue commended this Church which we hold, or because it is commaunded in the councels of our fellow Bishops, or because that in the holy places which our comunion doth frequent throughout the worlde, so gteat miracles are done either of hearing mens prayers or of healings, so that the bodies of mar∣tyrs which haue bene hidden for so many yeres, (which Page  30 which thing if they will aske they may heare of many) were reuealed vnto Ambrose, and that at the same bo∣dies a man which had bene blind many yeres, very well knowen to the city of Millain, receiued his eyes & sight: or because this man sawe a dreame, or that man being taken vp in spirite did heare, either that he shoulde not enter into the faction of Donatus, or that he should de∣part from Donatus side. Whatsoeuer of such things are done in the Catholike church, they are therefore to be approued because they are done in the Catholike church, but the church is not therby proued Catholike, because such things are done in it. Our lord Iesus him∣selfe, when he had risen from the dead, & offred his bo∣dy to be seene with the eyes, & touched with the hands of his disciples, yet least they should think they suffered any illusion, he iudged that they were rather to be con∣firmed with the testimonies of the lawe & the prophets, & the Psalmes, shewing that those thinges were fulfilled of him, which were so long before prophecied. So also he cōmended his church, saying, that repentance & for∣genenes of sinnes must be preached in his name throgh out all nations, beginning at Hierusalem. This he him selfe testifieth to be writtē in the lawe & the prophetes, & the psalmes, this we holde being commnded to it by his owne mouth. These be profes of our cause, these be our foundations, & these be our strong argumentes.

These thinges I haue set downe more at large, out of Augustine, because they are not onely a stop vnto these motiues of miracles, & visions, but in a manner to all the rest that followe.