I wish to breath onely so long as that the Catholicke faith may flourish by me. As for my Affections, I thanke God, they are such, that if I had a window in my heart, I would open it for M. Higgons, or any Aduersarie to looke in and see as much as I can my selfe; and then, am I sure, they could not iudge me either deceitfull, or malicious. But to the point, first,
The state of the question, shewing the slander which Car∣dinall Bellarmine → committeth against Caluin.
The first heresie of Iouinian is, (saith the Cardinall) that man cannot sinne after Baptisme: which is the heresie of Caluin, who saith that true faith can neuer be lost. The falshood of this accusation is not obscurely o cōuinced by the Iesuit Maldonate, who discussing that heresie, durst not impute it vnto Caluin: secondly, by Caluinsp acknowledged sen∣tences, wherein he requireth repentance as necessary in all Page 15 that haue bene baptized, that they may be iustified. But M. Higgons would couer the Cardinals nakednesse with a mantle of Deduction, thus: Because Caluin annexeth grace inseparably vnto faith, and anerreth that faith can neuer be lost, it must ineuitably inferre, that a faithfull man doth neuer lose grace also, and consequently doth neuer sinne mortally, because a mortall sinne doth exclude grace from the soule. This M. Hig∣gons his Inference telleth me that he was neuer yet rightly catechized in the rudiments of faith: which I must be per∣swaded of, vntill he make this consequence good, A man cannot lose a iustifying faith after Baptisme: Ergo he cannot sin after Baptisme. Can this be enforced either from the do∣ctrine of Caluin▪ or else of all the Romanists? Caluin tea∣cheth that the iustified mans good actions are polluted with sinne, and some of the Romanists haue acknow∣ledged, in effect, as much (as I there q proued;) whom their Iesuite confesseth to haue bene rgraue and godly Ca∣tholicke Doctors, who taught that all sinnes are in their nature mortall, albeit those sinnes which are called veniall, by the mercy of God, do not dissolue the fauour of God: but may consist toge∣ther with inherent Grace, as not imputed vnto vs for our e∣ternall punishment. Here we see sinnes in their nature mor∣tall, and iustifying Grace to be coincident in one man after Baptisme. But what need we any longer dispute? let M. Higgons, or any other man shew where any Romanist (ex∣cept ← Bellarmine) laid vnto Caluins charge this heresie of Io∣uinian, which is thus expressed by s Alphonsus à Castro: Iouinian held that a man, who once was iustified by Grace, could not sinne any more. But Caluin taught such a faith, which af∣ter Baptisme obtaineth remission of sinne. After, Alphon∣sus maketh the heresie of the Begwardi to be neare of kin to the former errours of Iouinian, who taught, that A man may attaine vnto that perfection in this life, that he cannot sinne. Hath Caluin any alliance with this hereticke? But I am chargeable to yeeld
A iustification of my selfe.
After that I had infringed the consequence, which Bel∣larmine inferred vpon Caluins Assertion, it belonged vnto me onely to maintaine the termes of Caluin his propositi∣tion, viz. True faith cannot be lost. And doth not S. Augu∣stine so distinguish, as supposing▪ that some mens faith either doth not faile at all, or not finally? and yet he neuer doubted but that the most perfect man is guiltie of sinne, as his own t confession doth at large demonstrate. Which is all that concerned me to proue, whereby to acquit Caluin from the imputation of the heresie of Iouinian, who without all u distinction of sinne said, that the once baptized, could ne∣uer after sinne.
That which he obiecteth out of the testimonie of M. Campian, is so silly a flie, that this his so greedie catching at it argueth, that my Aduersarie is not of the Eagles kind. It is true that M. Campian meant that he should not fall in his cause; but doth not M. Higgons see in that testimonie an Ego? [I (saith he) shall neuer fall;] which might giue me an apprehension of his personall constancie in his cause: which sounded to me like the voice of S. Peter, saying, Master, though all forsake thee, yet will not I. For I did not imagine that M. Campians owne defence could consist without a defender, or that his confidence in the mainte∣nance of the cause of Faith had not bene founded vpon an assurance of his owne perseuerance in Faith. And other vnderstāding hereof then this (if there be any truth in me) I had none: so farre was I from violating his intention.