A preamble vnto an incounter with P.R. the author of the deceitfull treatise of mitigation concerning the Romish doctrine both in question of rebellion and aequiuocation: by Thomas Morton. Published by authoritie.
Morton, Thomas, 1564-1659., Parsons, Robert, 1546-1610.
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Some examples of Cardinall Bellarmine → his falsifi∣cations in the allegation of testimonies.

§ 16.

SAint Cyprian saith,1Whence is this tradition? is it deriued from the Lords authority, or from the precept of the Apostles? For God willeth that we should do those things which are written. From whence Protestants conclude, that the Scriptures are of sufficiencie for our direction in all questions of faith. Bellar∣mine answereth, that2Cyprian spoke this when he thought to de∣fend an error, and therefore it is no maruell if hee erred in so rea∣soning, for the which cause S. Augustine (saith hee) did worthily refute him. The question is not what errour Cyprian held, but whether his maner of reasoning frō the sufficiency of scripture were erroneous, or no. Bellar. pretendeth that S. Augustine did worthily reprooue him. But whosoeuer shall consult with S. Augustine in the chap. specified, shall find that this point by Page  67 him is excellently commended,3That Cyprian warneth vs (saith S. August.) to run vnto the fountaine, that is, vnto the tra∣dition of the Apostles; from thence to deriue a conduit to our times, it is chiefly good and doubtlesse to be performed.

74 Secondly, Bellarmine → to establish the authority of the Pope, doth giue this prerogatiue to S. Peter, to wit:4 That S. Peter was the only Bishop, and that other Apostles tooke their orders from him: which he laboureth to euince from the testi∣monies of Anacletus, Clemens Alexand. Eusebius, and Cypri∣an; wherein he is refelled by his own Doctours. One saying, that5 Indeed those Fathers meane no such thing: Another, that6 The Epistles of Anacletus are counterfet, which many vrge more than is meet to the end they may aduance the authority of the sea of Rome.

75 Againe, where Bellarmine → citeth the testimony of7Plati∣na for the commendation of Pope Hildebrand: And in another place finding Platina obiected in the question of confession, answereth for the disabling of the Author, saying,8 that Pla∣tina had no publike authority to pen the liues of the Popes from publike records. Which is notably false, Platina himselfe in his epistle Dedicatory vnto the then Pope writing thus:9Thou (o Prince of Diuines, and chiefe of Bishops) hast commanded mee to write the liues of the Popes: whose history is therfore great∣ly Page  68 commended by Balbus, as being10True, and taken out of publike monuments. I could furnish P. R. with infinite such like delusions, and will also whensoeuer my Aduersary shall renew his demand: for such a multitude of examples I could bring, that I finde it a greater difficulty for me to subtract, than to multiplie.

76 Therefore I will now confine my selfe within the pre∣cincts of but one onely controuersie concerning Purgatory: where Bellarmine → distinguishing of the diuers acception of the word fire in the writings of ancient Fathers, concludeth that, 11When the Fathers speake of the fire of the day of doome, when all the world shall be of a flame, they meane not Purgatory fire, which soules suffer immediately after death. After this hee allegeth.12Most plaine places, (as hee calleth them) out of the Fathers for proofe of Purgatory. Amongst others (in his first booke de Purgatorio) S.13 Ambrose serm. 20. in Psal. 118. for proofe of Purgatory fire: which hee himselfe confesseth in his next booke14not to be meant of Purgatory. So he dealeth also with S.15Hilary, vrging his sentence vpon the Psalm. 118. as an euident place for Purgatory, which by his owne iudge∣ment 16Seemeth not to signifie Purgatory. And yet againe, a∣mong Page  69 his17manifest places of the Fathers for Purgatory, he al∣legeth the testimonies of18Origen,19Basil,20Lanctantius,21Hierom,22Ambrose: all which are acknowledged expresly by23Sixtus Senensis, from the euidence of the contexts to haue spoken only of the fire of the day of iudgement, and con∣sequently as24Bellarmine → hath taught vs; not of the fire of Pur∣gatory. Lastly he professeth to confirme the doctrine of pur∣gatory out of most of the25Greeke and Latine Fathers. And a∣nother Iesuite saith more largely26of all the Greeke Fathers: which is an assertion as false, as peremptory, euen by the con∣fession of their owne Bishop saying:27That there is very rare mention of Purgatory in the Greeke Fathers; and that the Latine Fathers did not all at first apprehend the doctrine thereof.

77 If any shall but obserue in this one controuersie the num∣ber of witnesses brought in for the confirmation of this their new Article in the name of ancient Fathers, which are by con∣fession of our Aduersaries meerely counterfet. as Clemens his Constitutions, Clemens Epistles, Athanas. in quaest. Eusebius E∣missenus, Iosephus Ben Gorion, Hieron. in Prouerb. August. ad fratres in Eremo, the Liturgies of Iames and others: All which as they are vrged for proofe of Purgatory, so are they reiected Page  70 by their own men (I desire to be challenged for proofe heerof) as forged, or corrupted, or Apocrypha; and indeed no better wit∣nesses for truth, than the Knights of the post bee fit men for a Iury. If further he shall mark how true Fathers and Scriptures are instanced in for proofe of the same Article, whereof (when I speake of Fathers) most of them (when I speake of Canoni∣call scriptures) all of them are found by the iudgement of their owne Doctors to be tortured, wrested, and forced, as it were, to say that which they neuer meant. If he, lastly, consider how almost euery one of them indeuouring the defence of the same doctrine is in his owne assertions contradicted by himselfe, which may be in this one controuersie concerning Purgatory, a late Article of their faith, most plainly discerned.

78 These obseruations may giue our Reader such a scantling of their dealing, that we may iustly pronounce P. R. his cen∣sure vpon themselues, Not to be beleeued heereafter. So despe∣rate hath his demand beene, when he required any one ouer∣taken in a triple falsitie, as though he would venture all the cre∣dit of all the Annotations vpon the Remish Testament, all the vo∣lumes of Baronius his Annales, all the monuments of Councels in their Binius and Surius, all the disputes of Bellarmine, of Greg. de Valentia, of Coccius, and all other their late Doctors, vpon (as I may so call it) only tray trippe, a triple falsitie, and then neuer to be credited againe. I am perswaded that no Pro∣testant, who hath beene conuersant in reading and examining their Authors, but he will stand astonished to heare this grant our Mitigator maketh, as being (as I haue said) intolerably disaduantagious vnto the Romish part: but he will easily cease to maruell when he perceiueth by whom it is made, to wit, P. R. the Authour of the booke of Mitigation, who himselfe is guilty of thrice three palpable falsities, so that none shall heer∣after need to wonder why hee hath beene so lauish in hazzar∣ding other mens credits, seeing he is so desperately prodigall of his owne. Let vs draw neere vnto him to shew this, for hee calleth vs vnto him.

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