A collection of certaine learned discourses, written by that famous man of memory Zachary Ursine; doctor and professor of divinitie in the noble and flourishing schools of Neustad. For explication of divers difficult points, laide downe by that author in his catechisme. Lately put in print in Latin by the last labour of D. David Parry: and now newlie translated into English, by I.H. for the benefit and behoofe of our Christian country-man
Ursinus, Zacharias, 1534-1583., I. H., fl. 1600., Pareus, David, 1548-1622. aut, Junius, Franciscus, 1545-1602. aut
highlight hits: on | off
Page  [unnumbered] Page  1

A PREFACE TO THE THIRD PART OF 〈◊〉 his Catechisme touching Sacra∣ments. Wherein is sifted and refuted the slaunderous and Satyricall Declamation of Bellarmine → , prefixea before the second Tome of his Disputations, touching the Sacraments. {inverted ⁂}

THE third part of the Ca∣techisme setteth downe briefly the true doctrine of the Sacraments, disco∣vering withal at large the very fountaines thereof; not only clearing to the capacity and conceite of younge beginners the chiefe controversies of our time, especially of Bap∣tizing of Children, Transubstantiation, Consubstantia∣tion, and Excommunication (depending on the do∣ctrine of the Sacraments) but also diving so far in∣to the depth of them, that even the diligent and learned sort may therewith all rest satisfied. Ma∣ny controversies and contentions of wrangling Page  2 Sophistes are there of purpose lefte vndiscussed: for why shoulde a learner bee wearied with that, wherevpon those subtile disputants cannot them∣selues as yet resolue? or why should men be ouer∣curious & costly in trimming vp a trifle? notwith∣stāding, by those solid grounds of doctrine it may easily app••te, how vaine and varying from Gods word they are, howsoeuer they vaunt themselues to the view of the simpler sort in rich seeming robes of reueren, but pretended Antiquity. For Truth is a touch-stone, seruing for the triall both of it selfe, and also of error.

But we shall hereafter finde occasion to tal•• of these matters in our publike schooles more at large. For the presumption of the Iesuites is growne to that height of impudēcy, that nothing can be so absurdely disputed by their schoole men, whereupon they doe not thinke themselues able by their sophistry to set so faire a varnish, that both learned, and vnlearned shall accept it for currant Catholique. And if there bee any (as doubtlesse there are many things) so grosse & false, that they admit no colour, then with shamelesse oaths they face vs downe, that they were neuer written, or so much as once approued by any of their Catho∣liques. For these (if I bee not deceiued) are those three impute Spirites,* lately spewed out of the mouth of the Dragon, to bewitch the Monarches of the worlde, and vnder-proppe the ruines of Popery.

Here they dispute busily, whether Sacraments be Page  3 thinges reall, or rationall, or accidentally composed and consisting of things and wordes? and therefore Whe∣ther they may properly bee defined, or no? and if they may, whether the vulgar definition (that is, A visible signe of invisible grace,) doe indifferently agree vnto them all? Coldely indeede and slenderly they teach, that Sacramentes are visible and sensible signes, signifying an holy thing by way of likenes & proportion: but perversly they deny that vn∣to them is required the expresse commandement of God in Scripture; they deny that in them is a∣ny promise of grace and remission of sinnes, yea or so much as annexed vnto them by the ordi∣nance and appointment of God: in a word, they deny that they are ordained to stir vp, nourish, & confirme our faith. But they maintaine, that they are the causes of grace in vs, that they bestow grace vpon vs, that they are the instruments of iustifica∣tion, that of themselues they effect grace, iustifica∣tion,* and sanctification by the very worke done, that is, by the naturall power and vertue of the sacra∣mental action it selfe thereunto appointed by God; or (as others wil) by the power of God assistant to the things signed, according to covenant, euen without faith or in warde motion of the receiver. And this force and efficacy they attribute onely to sacraments of the New Testament: as for those of the Olde. some there are which leaue vnto them only the bare and naked signification of iu∣stification; others besides that doe also yeeld the effect of iustification, but only in regarde of the Page  4 worke of the worker,* that is in respect of the devoti∣on and desert of the vser. And here againe some except circumcision, as iustifying through the vvorke done; others reckon it with the rest. And this is that stale stuffe of the olde school-men, which these late iuncketters haue nowe againe sumptuously dressed, and dished out to the world for delicates.

Especially Bellarmine → the Arch-sophist of this age doth flatter himselfe in these follies,* that he is fully perswaded he can obscure the cleere sunne∣shine. And therefore insolently and ill-besee∣ming the duty of so great a disputant, he slaunde∣reth & taunteth our Doctors (most of them now dead) neither shewing nor obiecting to them fal∣shood or paralogismes in their proofes, but onelie with scorne and disdaine giving them the lie, & the lie: which strange manner of disputation is now taken vp for a fashion amongst those railers. But the most worthy Divines Whitaker, Danaeus, Sibrandus & the rest haue now so discovered the folly of that most insolent man, that even the le∣suites themselues are ashamed of their Galiah, and beginne to repent them of his too great liberty v∣sed in disputation.*

He hath prefixed before his second Tome of disputations which lately hee set forth about the sacraments A Satyric∣all Declamation or Libelling speech, wherein he professeth that he will play▪ Stage-part, and represent vnto his Romish audito∣ry a spectacle not vnpleasant, concerning the furi∣ous Page  5 contentions of Heretiques. His maine pur∣pose therein is to oppose our Doctors betweene themselues each against othe, and by his vpstart sophistry to de barre vs the speciall vse of the Sa∣craments, namely the seaing of the promise of grace, and strengthning of our faith. But how perversely he dealeth I haue here thought good briefely to declare.

First of all he goeth about to shew out of Lu∣ther,*Carolostadius, Melancthon, Zwinglius, and Cal¦vin, that the worde Sacrament hath beene by di∣verse, and those our wrighters, partly received, partly reiected. As if the Schoole-men themselues did neuer doubt or dispute about the originall sig∣nification, propriety, and vse of a Sacrament? And if at any time our wrighters haue seemed to make que∣stion of the worde, yet it is a cleere case, that by consent of all it hath beene hitherto receaved in our churches▪ and retained vnto this day with∣out controversie. Wherefore that which he spea∣keth of Luther and Melancthon is plainely frivo∣lous. The opinion of Carolostadius (a man gauled by Luther) none in a maner haue followed. With Zwinglius he doth manifestly cavil. For he indeed could haue wished the word Sacrament had never beene receaved by the Germanes; but why? truely for no other reason, but because he detesteth the horrible abuse of a Sacrament, in swearing there∣by: a thing (alasse!) to familiar with the Germanes. As for Calvin, that he should little allowe of the word, and reprehend it, yet not accompt it a mat∣ter Page  6 worthy the striuing about, it is an impudent devise of the Iesuits, which without shame hee might babble out in his theater at Rome, frō whēce Calvines Christian Institution is exiled.* They who with iudgement shal read the whole 13. Section wherevnto afterwardes the Iesuit pointeth, shall see that Calvin doth not reprehend the word, but the subtility of Sophists, who out of the significati∣on of the Latin word do impugne the confirma∣tion of our faith by Sacraments.

Then comming to the nature of a Sacrament, he bringeth forth vpon the stage Luther, Zwingli∣us, and Calvin as it were skirmishing there-about betweene themselues: saying, that Luther would haue the Sacramentes to be only testimonies ordai∣ned by God, for the stirring vp of our faith: Zwinglius certaine engadgings of our selues vnto God: lastly, Calvin ioining (as it were) both opinions into one, would haue them to be signes of Gods loue towardes vs, sealing our faith; and testimonies againe binding vs vnto Godlinesse. And this is the conflict. But in∣deede the Iesuite would faine shew his auditors a fault where none is.

The consent of Calvin & Luther in this point is so evident,* that it needes no proofe. That the opinion of mere tokens and markes of our binding and profession is by way of cavill fathered on Zwinglius, the Iesuite himselfe afterwardes vnwittingly wit∣nesseth, where he writeth, that the opinion of Ca∣rolostadius and the Anabaptistes touching meere to∣kens of our profession hath beene as wel by others, as Page  7 by Zwinglius confuted, and almost quite buried: And this that he writeh is true. For Zwinglius both elsewhere, and also in his booke wrighten to the Princes of Germany, doth plainly enough expoūd himselfe wrighting after this manner: The verie signes are so ordained by Christ himselfe, that even by their analogie and proportion they prevaile very farre, in leding vs vnto the thing present by faith and contem∣plation. And afterwardes more plainely; The Sacra∣ments are not in vaine; for they shewe vs the saluation giuen by God, thither they ourne our thoughts, & con∣tinually EXERCISE OVER FAITH which immedi∣atly they promise, & drawe vs to brotherly charity. And whilest all this is don, one & the same Spirit worketh in vs, who inspiringe somtymes without meanes, som∣tymes with meanes, draweth whither, how farre, and whom it pleaseth him. Thus farre Zwinglius. Now wht could haue ben spoken more clerely touch∣ing the consent betweene Luther and Caluin, then that Sacramēts were ordained for this end, namely to leade vs by similitude & proportion vnto the thing present by faith, to declare vnto vs our saluation, to turne our thoughts, to exer∣cise our faith, and to be meanes and instruments of the holy Ghost? Is this of Sacraments to make meere tokens & markes of our Profession & obligati∣on vnto Christ, and his church? the Iesuite doth o∣penly wrong our Doctors.*

Neyther doth he stay here, but hath a farther fling at euery of them by course. He exclaimeth on the opinion of Luther, that sacraments strengh∣then Page  8 our faith, as so absurd, that nothing possi∣bly could be devised more absurd. And why, I pray? Because (forsooth) that is the vse of mira∣cles: for this is the sume of all he saith.

But absurd is the Iesuite himselfe,* who there∣fore remoueth the Generall Difference from one Kind, because it agreeth with the other; whereas he cānot be ignorant, that General Differences are cōmonly & indifferently in all their Kindes. Is not this the generall vse of all diuine signes, to put men 〈◊〉 mynde of Gods pleasure & benefites, and to seale vnto vs the certainety of our faith in his promises? for ther∣fore doth God incke those signes with his word, that so he might prouide for our weaknes, & con∣firme vnto vs his promises. Yf the Iesuite make doubt hereof, let him ouer-runne the scripture from the first Sacrament or immortality in Para∣dise, vnto the last signes of he small comminge of Christ; & he shall finde they agree all in this, as well vniuersall, as particular; as well those that were deliuered in things naturall, as miraculous; as well ordinary, as extrordinary:) But I hope he will not deny that a miracle is a diuine signe & Lombard himselfe can teach him that a Sacra∣ment is one sorte of diuine signes.*Miracles ther∣fore & sacraments agree in this vse, but that mira∣cles are seales, either of the whole doctrine in ge∣nerall, or of some certaine promise; Sacraments, onely & especially of the promise of grace.

Neyther makes it to the purpose that he saith miracles are of themselues knowne,* & depend not a∣ny Page  9 way on preaching; & that Sacraments are not vnderstood, vnlesse they be confirmed by the te∣stimony of the word: 〈…〉 speaketh 〈◊〉 the force of miracles is vaine. They may indeed of themselues strike into 〈…〉, but they can no more of them selues teach & con∣firme that heauenly doctrine whereof they are seales then can the Sacraments without decla∣ration of their doctrine. Besydes, how followes this? 〈…〉 themselues do not seale vnto vs the promies, as 〈…〉 they do not at all seale thē. Suppose miracles haue force & efficacy of them∣selues; that hinders not but that Sacraments also may haue their force & efficacye by the appoint∣ment of God. For both naturall, & miraculous, and also voluntary signes doe signifie, though in one sorte the flame be signified by smoake, in an other the power of God by miracle, in a third the promise of grace by sacrament.

After this he scoffes at that comparison (as foo∣lish) wherein our wrighters lyken the worde to Princes Charters o Letters Patentes,* and the Sacrament to their seales: maintaining the con∣trary, that the word rather should be called the seale of the sacrament, thē the Sacramēt the seale of the worde. And why so? Because (saith hee) as the seale without the wrighting hath his force, and not the wrighting without the seale; so the word of God euen without sacrament hath very great authority, the Sacrament without the worde none at all. But twise ridiculous and foolish is the Iesuite: first in at∣tributinge Page  10 force to the seale without the wrigh∣ting, & none to the wrighting without the seale: secondly in making the worde a seale, because of it selfe it hath authority. For (tell me Bellarmine → ) what force hath the Popes leaden bull? or what doth it seale vnto you being plucked from his pardon? and if you deny that the wrightings & charters are acknowledged without their seales; I answere that this is neither generally, nor of it selfe true.* Did you neuer see any billes, hand∣writings, acquittances, or rescriptes of Princes ratifyed without their seales? The wrightings e∣ven of good men, much more of Princes, & most especially of God himselfe, haue and deserue sufficient authority in themselues, as appeareth in times past how the wrightings of Emperors were wont to bee confirmed rather by markes subscri∣bed, then by waxen seales. But by accident, that is, by reason of the fraile faith & life of man it is now come to passe, that wrightings though con∣firmed by many seales are scarsely sure enough. Now what folly is it in you, of the word to make a seale, because without any sacrament it is of sufficient authority? whatsoeuer is in it selfe au∣thenticke, will you presently take that for a seale? A seale is the visible signe of any writting, whose vse is not so much to adde authority, as to ascer∣taine vs of the truth. Such a signe is not the word of God. But it is more fitly compared vnto wrightings, because therein God instructeth his Church in his will, & doth as it were bequeath Page  11 vnto it certaine goods, or good things. It hath in it selfe authority from God the author; the sacra∣ments are thereunto added as seales, not (as you suppose) that from them it might receiue autho∣rity, but that by them God might strengthen our feeblenesse & infirmity. For they are visible pic∣tures, or rather the promises themselues attired in certaine ceremonyes, & (as it were) visible wordes,* as Austin pretely termeth them; because they picture and present vnto our eies those be∣nefites which the vvorde soundeth vnto our eares. But more credit is giuen to a thinge seene then onely heard.

Thirdely he cavilles with Luther in this sorte.* If a sacrament were nothinge els but an instru∣ment to stirre vp and nourish aith in vs; why are infantes, mad men, and men asleepe sometimes baptized in the Church? But why doth he not lykewise make a question of* belles, churches, & altars? let your church (if it will) baptize madde men, and men asleepe: as for infantes of the church of Christ, we answere that they indeed al∣though wanting the vse of reason are notwith∣standing baptized, because of the commaunde∣ment and promise of God. But (you will saye) they do no beleeue: ergo baptisme confirmes not their faith. Deny not what you know not. They beleee not as men of age: ergo beleeue they not at all? yf this be true, why may not this also be as true? they are not reasonable as men of age: therefore they are not rea∣sonable at all. To them is promised the holy Ghost Page  12 workinge faith in vs, to them is promised the grace of the couenant, & the kingdome of God. And although actually they do not beleeue, yet why may they not as well by inclination beleeue through grace, as by inclination they sin through nature? As therefore they beleeue: so baptisme is vnto them a seale confirming their faith. But who sayd a Sacrament was nothing else but an instrument to stirre vp, & nourish our faith? there are more vses of a Sacrament besides this. But ad∣mit baptisme doe not confirme fayth in insants; yet it will confirme them when they are come to age. For the fruit of baptisme is not restrayned to one moment;* witnesse Austen & Lombard him∣selfe. Yet are they to be baptized, that their a∣doption & regeneration may be sealed vnto thē, and they distinguished from Infidels: which things, as they are not to be accounted nothing; so truly we doubt not but that through baptisme they are imparted & sealed vnto the infantes of the church, not (as you teach) because of the worke don, but in regard of the Institution & appoint∣ment of Christ. Thus therefore the Iesuite seeth how the baptisme of Children doth not dissemble or take away the confirmation of faith.

But here masking wholy vnder a vizard of the Anabaptistes,*Infants (saith he) who while they are in baptizing crye & struggle, either vnderstand what is doing, or not: yf they doe not vnderstand, neyther doe they beleeue, and are in vaine baptized; & then the Anabaptistes preuaile: yf they vnderstand, then are Page  13 they willfull sinners, & sacrilegious, & then againe the Anabaptistes preuaile. Indeed the stage-man play∣eth his part cunningely. But what if with an ar∣med dilemma (as he termeth it) I should lyke∣wise say? The Iesuite, that writt this, is eyther a good man, or a cauiller. If a good man, he should not so haue tyed, & then wee haue the better: if a cauiller, he should not be beleeued, & then againe we haue the better. Is not this the like reason? Either horne and part of the Iesuites dilemma is deceiptfull: and in the for∣mer there is a double fallacy.*First frō that which is but partely true he concludeth as if it were sim∣ply and wholy true; as where he reasoneth thus, Infants do not vnderstand: ergo they do not beleue; it is true of the actes and vse, not of the possibilitie of beleefe. I meane that possibilitie, not which wee haue by nature,* but by grace of that promise, I will be thy God, & the God of thy seede,. Secondly he disputeth from that which is no cause as if it were a true cause, thus, Infants do not actually beleeue: ergo they ought not to be baptized. For the cause of bap∣tizing of infants is not the actuall vnderstandinge or beleefe of infants, but the promise pertaining vnto them,* as being children of the couenant, & Church, as Peter wittnesseth, Let every one be baptized in the name of Iesus Christ &c.: because to you and to your children is the promise made.

In the latter part of his argument is the same sophisme. Infantes when they are to be baptized cry. struggle, & often vse mishapen & distorted motions. But why? is it because they striue against the sa∣cred Page  14 action of baptisme? no, but because some o∣ther thinge grieueth them, as that they endure some passion paynefull to their tender infancye. But what thinkes the Iesuit of those Infants which were vnder bloudy circumcision? what thinkes he of Abraham an oldeman? of the males of his fa∣milye? & of the Sichemites? was there (thinkes he) no struggling? no mishapen or distorted motion? Or why should he rather terme infants sacrilegious, then he doth his Vestal Nannes, who in tune of their confession, penance, and com∣municating (so lessoned by the E••ers) do often let fall many à tender teare? who in sacred a∣ctions vse more misshapen motions then the Preist at Masse? nay did the Iesuit himselfe never weep for devotion in saying Masse, and so proue himselfe sacrilegious? Bellarmine so great a Doc∣tor (me thinke) should be a shamed of so child∣ish trifles. Here what Austin sayth of this matter. Wheras infants striue as much as they can by cryes & shrinkings,*it is not imputed vnto them, & all their resistance is accounted nothing &c. because they know so little what they doe, that they are not thought to do it. the like vnto this we may read, in his 23 Epistle, & in his 4. booke & 25. Chapter of Baptisme a∣gainst the Donatistes.

In the end he dismisseth Luther with this frūp. I pray 〈◊〉 what Gospell, Apostle, or Prophet did he euer read that Sacraments of the new Testament were seals of the worde of God? was it (belike) in the Gospell of Saint Luther? But where as he sayth were seales of Page  15 the worde of God, for were seales of the promise of grace, it is but a cunning peece of forgery, thereby to make vs seeme to repose all the au∣thority of Gods worde on the Sacraments, which we before haue refuted. Thus he presumes to pul a dead lyon by the beard, whose very lookes, were he liuing, he durst not abide. But I pray, Sir, tell vs first in what Gospell you read that Sacra∣ments are not seales of the promise of Grace, nor con∣firme our faith, but that they bestowe grace, that they iustifie & sanctifie, if they be of the old te∣stament, by vertue of the very actiō of the receiuer; if of the new, by the worke done, evē without faith, or any good intēt, or motiō of the receiuers (wher∣as contrary-wise the scripture speaketh playnly, that Circumcision profitteth them that keepe the lawe,*but to the transgressors thereof it is vncircumcision.*Those which beleeue and are baptized shall be saued.*Wee must examine our selues, 〈◊〉 so eate of this holy bread) In what gospell (I saye) reade you this? Belyke in som Layolan or Gregoriō Calendar. Now one the other side hearken where Luther hath reade, that sacramēts are seals of the promise of grace. God sayth of circumcision,*That it may be a signe of the couenant betweene me and you. But Paule in∣terpreteth this couenant to be grace,*& the righte∣ousnesse of fayth.* Of the Passeover, That bloud shall be vnto you for for a signe vpon those houses where yee are, that seing that bloud I may passe over you. But this Passeover did signifye the grace of Christ.* Of Bap∣tisme,*Baptize all nations in the name (that is, in the Page  16 authority, commaundemnt, & steede) of the father,*the sonne, & the holy Ghost. And: Arise, wash away thy sinnes. And, Baptisme is the washing of new birth.*Baptisme saueth vs. not that wherewith wee wash away the filth of 〈◊〉, but that whereby with a good conscience we make request vnto God.* Of the Lords Supper:*This cup is the new testamēt in my blood. Also Doe this in remembrance of me. This if you vnderstand you haue the thinge you sought for, namely where in scripture Sacraments of both lawes are said to be seales of grace. (For why, as you vse to say, should sacraments of the new testa∣mēt be of worse conditiō thē those of the old?) if you do not vnderstand, you are not worthy to be called a maister in Israel, which know not that* na∣turally it belongeth vnto all sacraments to signifie & seale vnto the faithfull some promise of grace. Listen farther vnto the Fathers of the Church, as Basil, who confesseth plainly what you deny impudēt∣ly: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, For baptisme is the seale of saith.* And Tertullian, spea∣king of baptisme in this sort;*This washing is a seale of our faith: And Austen, who termeth the sacra∣ments certaine visible seales of heauenly thinges. Do you not now blush at your owne question, Where red Luther this?

So dismissing Luther he settes vpon Zwinglius, taking vpon him to lash (for sooth) & scourge his opinion That Sacramentes are signes of engadg∣ing our selues vnto God. But we haue already proved that here the Stage-mā doth but play the caviller. Page  17 At the length rouzing himselfe more terribly a¦gainst Caluin,*Betweene Luther (saith he) & Caluin this is the difference, that whereas hath ake the Sa∣craments testimonies or scales of Gods promise, Luther will haue that promise to be of present iustificatio,*Cal∣uin of eternall election. And least he should 〈◊〉 to say an vntruth, he cites a place out of Cal••n, Antidor. concili, Sess. 6. ca. 5. as if he should there say, that infants are baptized, not to the end they might be receiued into adoption of the sonnes of God, but that vnto them the promise of life might be sealed, vnto whome before by grace of predestination it pertained.* And out of the 7. Session and 8. Canon, as if there hee should wright, that the right end and vse of sa∣craments is this, to ascertaine vs of the eternall ado∣tion & grace, whereunto before the foundation of the world we were predestinated, Thus farre the Iesuite, but all impudently & without shame. For Caluin in neither place speaketh one ote of eternall e∣lectiō, or the grace of predestination. Only in the former this he saith: Insants are for this reason bapti∣zed, because they are heires of the promise. For vnlesse the promise of life did before pertaine vnto thē, that man should prophane baptisme, whosoeuer did but minister it vnto them. In the latter these are his wordes. All∣though baptisme be the hand-wrighting of that mutuall obligation which is betweene God & vs, yet the especiall vse thereof is, to assure vs of free remission of our sinnes, and perpetuall grace of adoption. But is this to deny that sacraments are seales of the promise of presēt Page  18 iustification? Is this to restraine sacraments one∣ly to thinges past, as namely to the grace of electiō? But this is Bellarmines trust and fidelity in citing the wordes and sentences of the Fathers and our Doctors. Such are his two whole▪ volumes of dis∣putations, namely a rude rable of false quotatiōs, which if the learned shall vouchsafe in courtesie to examine, they shall soone see this doubtie dis∣putant left as as dry as a kexe. But to the purpose. That the sacraments are seales of our eternall election, although I deny not but that in the lawfull vsing and worthy receiuing of them it is most true yet remember I not, that Caluin hath any where thus written, nay the Vbiquitaries of our daies slander Caluin & Beza as maintainers of a cleane contra∣ry error, to witt, that they vtterly deny the sa∣craments to be seales of our election: which also is altogether false. But the simple & naked truth of Calvines doctrine is this. Sacraments profite bee∣ing vsed a righte, and doe exhibit seale and confirm grace vnto the worthy receiuer, not in regard eyther of the worke wrought, or the deserte of the worker, but in respecte of the promise of God instituting or ordaininge them, as also through the faith of the worthy receiuer. And here by grace he vnderstandeth euen our saluation it selfe, together with all the precedent causes, meanes, and consequentes thereof, such as are, our free election, remission of sinnes, rege∣neration, sanctification, and life eternall: So that by the name of grace he cōpriseth, both grace past and already giuen, togither with that which is presēt Page  19 and to come, but especially that which is there in the sacramente exhibited and present. For euen our election before the world was, is sealed and and assured vnto vs by the sacraments, not as it is from aleternities decreed by God, or as a thing done heretofore and past, but as the present and constante decree of God reuealed in the Gospell concerning our saluation in Christ, and by the same sacramentes everlasting life is confirmed not as a future good, but as already we haue takē possession thereof by faith.

For confirmation of this truth I could produce an infinite number of testimonies out of Caluin his Christian institution: but it shall suffice to re∣fute the Iesuite by the coūter-poyson of his Coū∣sels: Can: 7. on the sacraments Caluin saith thus: God in the sacramēts doth promise grace not only of ele∣ction, but also of iustification, Can. 4. Sacramentes are seales of the Gospell. And can it bee denied but that the Gospell is a promise of actuall & present iustification by faith? Can: 8. In baptisme God washeth vs by the bloode of his son, & by his spirite doth regenerate vs. In the sa∣crament of the supper he feedeth vs with the body and blood of Christ. Can 7. of baptisme: this is a principall part of baptisme, that is assureth us of free remission of all our sins: & what is this els but present sustification? and these may serue to cōvince the Iesuit of a militious slāder, cōcerning the seals of our electiō, that Cal∣v••vnderstandeth them not onely of things past.

But who seeth not his absurd collection, that if the Sacraments may goe for seales of our eter∣nall Page  20 election, that then they shall not be seales of present iustification? Are not election & iusti∣fication subordinate, and consequents one of the other? so farre are they from abolishing one the other, that the contrary should rather be infer∣ed; they are seales of our eternall election, there∣fore of iustification & present grace. For iustifi∣cation is so proper, & naturall an affecte of elec∣tion, that there can be had no certainty of the latter, without assurance of the former. For they who are iustified in Christ,*are also chosen to him before the foundation of the world. Whome God hath prdesti∣nated these also hath he called,*iustified, and glorified. Now then let the Iesuite with open mouth exclāe on Caluins opinion as false, absurde, dangerous, and impious. And why forsooth false? Because (saith he) Caluin, contrary to that which the Scripture teacheth, restrayneth Sacraments only vnto the thinge past, namely to the grace of election. But this cauill is already refuted.

And why absurde? Because (saith he) he reach∣eth that by the Sacraments the promises are sealed vn∣to our consciences, & yet that infantes are lawfully bap∣tised, which noyther haue vse of reason nor conscience. But we haue already sufficiently proued, that neyther infantes borne in the Church of beleeu∣ing parentes, are altogether voyde of reason o faith, if we respecte the promised grace, although actually they haue neyther the faith nor reason, which is in those of riper yeares: nor that bapti∣sing of Children & confirmation of their faith Page  21 by Sacraments is therfore to be differred because they doe not beleeue, seeing of the Sacramentes there are other endes & purposes whereunto they are ordained.

But why pernicious and dangerous. Because he teacheth that the children of the faithfull are borne iust and holy, and hath perswaded many that the sacraments are not necessary vnto the receiving of the grace of Christ. Whence it is come to passe, that many contemne the said sacraments, and in the meane while the soules of many infantes never purified by the saving vvaters of baptisme, abide in perpetuall corruption. And is it in deed pernicious to teach, that the children of the faithfull are borne holy, that is, not straungers, but heires of the covenāt, according to that promise; I will be thy God, and the God of thy seede? That there∣fore is likewise pernicious which the Apostle tea∣cheth;*If the roote be holy, the branches also are holie. And the vnbeleeving wife is sanctified by her husbande,*else were your children vncleane; but now they are holy. And this is the chiefe comfort of godly parentes, that they knowe that both branch and roote are sanctified, that is, that they & their children may from their mothers wombe plead priviledge in the covenant with God, by vertue of the free pro∣mise made vnto them and their seed after them.

But they are by nature the sonnes of wrath? Who knowes not that? Calvin teacheth both that they are the sonnes of wrath in regard of nature; and sonnes of the covenant in respect of grace: according to that of Saint Peter;*Yee are the sonnes of the Prophets &Page  20 nall election, that then they shall not be seales of present iustification? Are not election & iusti∣fication subordinate, and consequents one of the other? so farre are they from abolishing one the other, that the contrary should rather be infer∣ed; they are seales of our eternall election, there∣fore of iustification & present grace. For iustifi∣cation is so proper, & naturall an affecte of elec∣tion, that there can be had no certainty of the latter, without assurance of the former. For they who are iustified in Christ,*are also chosen to him before the foundation of the world. Whome God hath prodesti∣nated those also hath he called,*iustified, and glorified. Now then let the Iesuite with open mouth ex••āe on Caluins opinion as false, absurde, dangerous, and impious. And why forsooth false? Because (saith he) Caluin, contrary to that which the Scripture teacheth, restrayneth Sacraments only vnto the thinge past, namely to the grace of election. But this cauill is already refuted.

And why absurde? Because (saith he) he teach∣eth that by the Sacraments the promises are sealed vn∣to our consciences, & yet that infantes are lawfully bap∣tised, which neyther haue vse of reason nor conscience. But we haue already sufficiently proued, that neyther infantes borne in the Church of beleeu∣ing parentes, are altogether voyde of reason or faith, if we respecte the promised grace, although actually they haue neyther the faith nor reason, which is in those of riper yeares: nor that bapti∣sing of Children & confirmation of their faith Page  21 by Sacraments is therfore to be differred because they doe not beleeue, seeing of the Scramentes there are other endes & purposes whereunto they are ordained.

But why pernicious and dangerous. Because he teacheth that the children of the faithfull are borne iust and holy, and hath perswaded many that the sacraments are not necessary vnto the receiving of the grace of Christ. Whence it is come to passe, that many contemne the said sacraments, and in the meane while the soules of many infantes never purified by the saving vvaters of baptisme, abide in perpetuall corruption. And is it in deed pernicious to teach, that the children of the faithfull are borne holy, that is, not straungers, but heires of the covenāt, according to that promise; I will be thy God, and the God of thy seede? That there∣fore is likewise pernicious which the Apostle tea∣cheth:*If the roote be holy,*the branches also are holie. And the vnbeleeving wise is sanctified by her husbande, else were your children vncleane; but now they are holy. And this is the chiefe comfort of godly parentes, that they knowe that both branch and roote are sanctified, that is, that they & their children may from their mothers wombe plead privilege in the covenant with God, by vertue of the free pro∣mise made vnto them and their seed after them.

But they are by nature the sonnes of wrath? Who knowes not that? Calvin teacheth both that they are the sonnes of wrath in regard of nature; and sonnes of the covenant in respect of grace: according to that of Saint Peter;*Yee are the sonnes of the Prophets & Page  22 of the covenant. That is spoken against the Pelagi∣ans denying originall sinne; this against the so∣phistes, tying grace to the sacraments: neither of these is perniciously taught, because either 〈◊〉 & according to scripture. Let Calvines Christian in∣stitution be searched, and his Commentary on those words of Saint Paule; we are all by nature the sennes of wrath. Thence may the Iesuite, and Selneccer, and Hunnius, and all the rabble of Calvines adversaries learne, that originall sinne is as naturall vnto vs as poison to a serpent, & yet neverthelesse the chil∣dren of the faithful are a seede blessed even from their mothers wombe. Or if it like them better) let them heare and reconcile David confessing of himselfe,*Behold I am borne in sinne, and my mother cō∣ceived me to inquity. And yet else-where he com∣fortes himselfe in this manner,*On thee haue I de∣pended from the time wherein I was borne, and from my mothers wombe thou art my God: or God himselfe cōplaining in this sort of mans nature.*The thought of mans heart is wicked from his childhood, and yet Ie∣remie witnessing, Before I framed thee in thy mothers belly I knew thee; & before thou camest out of her womb I sanctified thee. Thus the Iesuite sees in what re∣spect Calvin saith that infantes are borne holy: namely not simply, and wholy, but in some sort I shall hardly beleeue vnlesse the Iesuites shewe it, that it is found in Calvin that they are borne iust. For in this life it is not all one to be holy, and to be iust.

Now whereas hee patcheth this vnto the rest, that Calvin hath perswaded many, that the sacraments Page  23 are not necessary vnto the receiving of the grace of Christ, and that therevpon hath followed the contēpt of baptisme with the destructiō of many souls, this is part∣ly a cavill, & partly a plaine sophisme. A cavill that Calvin should altogither deny the necessity of sa∣cramēt, a sophisme in imputing to his doctrine the contempt of baptisme, which the Iesuite faineth to haue ensued therevpon.

Indeede he doth not binde God and grace vn∣to the sacraments, nor falsly placeth in thē an ab∣solute necessity, as do these Sophisters. His purpose is only with Bernard to condne, not the absence, but contempt of sacramentes. But is this to per∣suade many that sacramentes are not necessary. Heare (I pray you) what himselfe hath written of this matter in his••stitution. Now (saith hee) even hereby it appeareth that their conceit is to be cassiered, who adiudge all that haue not beene baptized vnto eter∣nall death, &c. The promise of God is manifest: whosoe∣ver beleeveth in the sonne shall not see death, nor come into iudgment, but is already passed from death into life. Which I would not haue so taken, as if I meant that bap∣tisme might be contemned without offence (for I am so farre from excusing this contempt, that I affirme the league and covenant of God thereby to bee violated and broken) thus much it suffiseth to proue, that it is not so necessary, that we must needes thinke him damned, who shall be debarred all meanes and opportunity of ob∣taining it. But if we yeeld to their devise we must with∣out exception condemne all those whom any chance shall hinder from baptisme, how great so ever bee their 〈◊〉, Page  24 whereby Christ himselfe is possessed. And in his Anti∣dot〈…〉 (saith he) that the vse of those helpes of our salva•••n which Christ hath giuen vnto vs may be said to be nec••••ry, 〈◊〉 there is opportunity of receiving 〈◊〉. Howbe••he faithfull are alwaies to bee admoni∣sh•• that the necessary of a sacrament is none other the〈…〉 wherevnto the power of God is not to 〈◊〉. Indeede there is no good man whose 〈…〉 tremble at that 〈◊〉, The Sacramēts ARE THINGS SVPERFLVOVS, &c. These are his word▪ which thoroughly retort and refell the〈…〉.

But children are borne holy, therefore they need not be baptised, whence en•••th a contempt of baptisme. Nay rather contrarywise because they are borne holy, that is, sons and heires of the covenant, they had neede be baptised. For (saith Calvin elsewhere) they are not received into the church by baptisme for a∣ny other reason, but because before they were borne they did appertaie vnto the body of Christ. Otherwise the children of Christians ought no more to be bapti∣zed then the children of Turkes. Wherefore Pe∣ter exhorteth the lews to be baptised in the name of Iesus Christ. Wherefore? because (saith he) the pro∣mise was made to you and to your children. This ther∣fore is the reason why baptisme is due vnto our children and not vnto the children of Turkes be∣cause they from their mothers wombs are childrē of the promise, which these are not. Wherefore the contempt of baptisme cannot ensue on that, which vnto the godly, is the chiefe motiue of de∣siring Page  25 and ministring baptisme: neither neede we to feare least that should turne to the destruction of soules, wherevpon is grounded the especiall comfort of parentes & children, togither with the iust desire of baptisme. And if the Iesuite proceed therefore to accoūt the baptisme of childrē vaine, because the infants of the church even from their birth are reckned in the covenant: let me intreate him to learne of his maister Lombard, that baptisme is a sacrament of remission of sinnes before graunted through faith. But O heavy sentence pronounced by the Maister of Sentences, Infantes dying vnbapti∣sed, though in carrying vnto baptisme are damned! O not onely pernicious, but impious also and cruell divinity of the Iesuites, enthralling God vnto ele∣ments, chaining his power with absolute necessity (wil he nil he) vnto signes and sacraments, con∣demning no lesse bloudily, then impiously vnto hel many thousands of infantes who without any faulte of theirs coulde not bee baptized, yea al∣though they be adiudged by Christ himselfe vn∣to the kingdome of heaven. I know the authori∣ty of Austine is here pretended, who writ that in∣fantes dying vnbaptised must needes be damned, but to milde and gentle damnation. And if they so applaud this error of that most holy & learned Father, why doe they not as well mainetaine an other of the same Fathers, altogither relying on the same 〈◊〉that infantes likewise without receiving the 〈◊〉 sp∣per cannot bee saved? Heerevnto they force Saint Ambrose, but the learned not without good cause Page  26 doe rather thinke that Prosper was the author of those books wherein this is found then Ambrose. For what Ambrose thought may appeare by his o∣ration of the death of Valentinian; as also how god∣ly is the iudgement of Bernard concerning the godly not baptized: God be mercifull vnto me. For I cannot desparre of saluation, for want onely of the wa∣ter of baptisme: I can not accoumpt faith vaine, I can not confoud hope or forgoe charity, especially it onely im∣possibility, & not contempt forbidde that water.

Last of all the Iesuite inueigheth against the opinion of Cauen as impious. But why! because (saith he) it maketh the sacraments false, the mini∣ster sacrilegiouse, Gea himselfe altar, & as it were per∣tured. For if a sacrament be a diuine oath & seale, wherby the promise of eternall election is sealed, then as often as it falleth out (which is very often) that the reprobate are baptized, euen so often is cōmeth to passe that the wordes of the sacrament are false, & God him∣selfe altar in the mouth of the minister. This iniuri∣ous vntruth is more sharpe & shamelesse then all the rest, whose bull-warkes notwithstanding, builded forsooth on the seales not of presēt grace but onely of election already past, we haue suffi∣ciently battered. The rest is answered in a worde: that sacraments do promise and seale vnto vs the grace of God, if they be in their right vse: which is not, when they are received by the reprobate. This only might suffice to cause the Iesuites cavill to vanish like smoake before the winde. Howbe∣it I am content to answere more distinctly.

Page  27 A sacrament doeth not become false, though sometimes it bee in vaine ministred vnto the re∣probate making shew of faith. For in it selfe it stil remaineth a seale of grace, though not vnto thē, because they beleeue not: as the sonne howsoe∣ver in it selfe glorious and glistring, yet shineth it not vnto the blinde, because they see not. For it is a signe, conditionall, so offering and sealing grace vnto vs, that withal on our parts it requireth faith & conversion: which whosoeuer bring not with them, it neither bestoweth nor sealeth vnto them any thing, neither is it vnto them a sacramēt, that is, a seale of grace, through their owne fault: for it is no vse but an horrible abuse of a sacrament, to be received of the reprobate without faith. The scripture every where teacheth that nothing can be accounted a sacrament without the vse there∣vnto appointed by God:*If thou be a transgressor of the law thy on cumcision is made vncircumcision. And This is not to eate the Lordes supper.* And he which of∣fereth an oxe,*is as if he offerea a dogge. The baptisme of Simon. Magus was a true sacrament, but not vn∣to him,* for his hypocrisie, as Peter witnesseth, Thou hast no part nor fellowsh pnth businesse, for thy hearte is not right. That sop in the Lords supper was a true sacrament, but poison to Iudas, not because in it selfe it was evill, but because the evill man did e∣villy receiue that which was good. To conclude, by Lombard his owne confession, baptisme is alike holy, whether ministred vnto the good or evill: & there∣fore alike true. But will you cal Peter sacrilegious, Page  28 because to Simon Magus a reprobate, but profes∣sing the Apostolique faith, he in Gods name oste∣red grace, and to his power sealed it by baptisme? But this he did not absolutely, but with conditiō if he truely beleeued: as Phillip said vnto the Eu∣nuch, thou maist bee baptised, if thou beleeue withall thy heart. If therfore he did not truely beleeue he sea∣led nothing vnto him, as rightly faith your friend Lombard, The visible baptisme did nothing profit Simon Magus, because he wanted the invisible. Moreover he discharged his duety, which was not to search the secrets of hearts, or sounde the vnmeasurable gulfe of Gods predestination, but to baptise the professors of faith, whether hypocrites, or no. For the church iudgeth not of things so secret, but on∣ly the hart-searching God. The like reason serveth for all other Ministers, which ought to iudge of those that are to bee baptised, not according to Gods predestinatiō, but mans professiō & Christs commandement. This if they doe, themselues are not sacrilegious, but the reprobate hypocrits who vnreverently and irreligiously presse to the sa∣craments.

But fie on that his blasphemy, where hee saith, that if sacraments bee ministred vnto reprobate hypo∣crites yet vnrevealed, then God must lie by the mouth of the minister. Did God (thinkest thou) lie by Peters mouth when he baptised Simon Magus? He seti∣ously and sincerely by his word & sacrament of∣fereth adoption and grace vnto al, purposing also to bestow it, but cōditionally, if they beleeue: & cō∣mandeth Page  29 thē to beleeue, and receiue by faith the grace offered. But to infidels and hypocrites he is so far frō promising or sealing any grace of adop∣tion and election whē they force themselues vn∣to the sacrament, that he threatneth them with a terrible and feareful iudgement. Hee therefore is true in offering, howsoeuer the grace offered to the vnbeleeuers be of none effect.

But (saith the Iesuite) he doth not onely offer,*but indeede also bestowe it, when men are indeede baptized. We graunt it. For this Calvin also confesseth in Antidot. Artic. Paris. speaking on this manner. The godly do all confesse that in baptisme is offered,*yea & exhibited or giuen vnto vs both remission of our sins, & grace of the holy spirite. But (saith he els where) these good fathers by reason of their grossenesso doe not here obserue, that what grace so euer is by sacraments bestowed on vs, must notwithstanding be imputed vnto faith; For he which sondereth faith from the sacramērs, doth as f he seuered the soule frō the body! God there∣fore doth indeed giue that which he offereth, but vnto those that beleeue. To the vnbeleeuing he neyther promiseth nor performeth any thinge as longe as they continew in their vnbeleife: & that through their owne fault; because by infidelity they refused the good offered, & as much as in them lieth, make a mocke of God which offereth it. This Cauill therefore of the lesuites is no lesse impudent and blasphemous against God, then was that of the Iewes, who accused God of per∣fidiousnesse, vnlesse he would performe the coue∣nant Page  30 evē to the vnbeleeuers: which the Apostle retorting: shall (saith hee) their vnbeleife make the faith of God vaine?*God forbidae. Let God be 〈◊〉, & euery man a lyar.

Well then. Let vs now returne the Iesuites blasphemy vpon his head. Both he & his mailler Lombard teach, that reprobation is nothing else, but that some there are on whom God will haue no mercy. For so doeth the maister of sentences define it. Suppose thē that the Iesuite even by the very worke wrought either of baptisme or of the masse should bestow the grace of sanctificatiō vpon Simon Ma∣gus or the like reprobate, shall not hee and the sa∣crament become now sacrilegious, in conferring grace on a reprobate, of whom God will haue no mercy? may shall not he make God himselfe a lier and contrary to himselfe, in his name bestowing, or testifying (vnlesse he altogither exclude God out of the sacraments) that God himselfe bestow∣eth the grace of sanctfication on a reprobate, on whom notwithstanding hee hath for all eternity decreed to bestowe nothing, and on whom God will haue no mercy. From this blasphemy howe the Iesuite can acquite himselfe maintaining his opinion of the worke wrought, let him looke to it. But howsoeuer he acquite himselfe. he must with∣all discharge Calvin of the cavill devised against him.

Let this suffice briefly for answere to the per∣verse peevishnesse of this stage declaiming Iesuit. The rest which hee disputeth towardes the ende Page  31 pertaineth nothing to vs: well they may prevaile vpon those against whom they were vvritten, namely Swenckefield & his brethren Vbiquitaries, common corrupters of the doctrine of Christ his person, and the sacraments.

highlight hits: on | off