The rise, growth, and danger of Socinianisme together with a plaine discovery of a desperate designe of corrupting the Protestant religion, whereby it appeares that the religion which hath been so violently contended for (by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his adherents) is not the true pure Protestant religion, but an hotchpotch of Arminianisme, Socinianisme and popery : it is likewise made evident, that the atheists, Anabaptists, and sectaries so much complained of, have been raised or encouraged by the doctrines and practises of the Arminian, Socinian and popish party
Cheynell, Francis, 1608-1665.
Page  1

Chap. I. Of the Rise of Socinianisme.

THe Socinians have raked many sinkes, and * dunghils for those ragges and that filth, wherewith they have patched up and de∣filed that leprous body which they account a compleat body of pure Religion. Ever since the world was possessed with the spirit of Antichrist some Malignant He∣retikes have been ever and anon desperately striking at the Person, the Natures, the offices, the grace and Spirit of Christ. Cerinthius and Ebion began to blaspheme Christ, even in the Apostles time. I need say nothing of Theodot us Byzont in us, Paulus Samosatenus, Arius and the a rest; yet it will not be amisse to shew wherein the Socinians have refined or enlar∣ged the ancient heresies, which have been long since con∣demned to hell. Ostorodus would not have the name of Ebi∣onites imposed upon the Socinians, quia vox Ebion Hebraicé egenum significat, Praef. Iust. pag. 10. 11. it seemes they would not be counted mean conditioned men: and there are some indeed and those no beggers (unlesse it beat Court) who are too much addicted to Socinian fancies; and yet if that be true, which Ostorodus cites out of Eusebius, that the Ebionites were so called because they had a mean and beggerly opini∣on of Christ, sure the Socinians might well be called Ebionites, for none have baser and cheaper thoughts of Christ, then they. If Ostorodus had thought it worth while to have con∣sulted Eusebius his Ecclesiasticall history, lib. 3. cap. 24. or Epi∣phaniusPage  2Haeres. 33. he might have seen another reason why * those heretikes were called Ebionites.

The Socinians take it no lesse unkindly that they are called Arians. Ex consensu tantùm in principalibus cum Ario de Jesu*Christo, Arianismi jure quis argui potest? saith Smalcius. It is well he confesses that they may be called Arians who agree with Arius in the maine, I deny that the Arians had higher thoughts of Jesus Christ, then the Socinians. The Arians were termed 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because they maintained that Christ was created 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Some Arians did acknowledge that * Christ was equall to the Father in essence and nature, though they denyed him to be of the same essence with the Father; and others of them did only say, that the Son was unlike the Father, and were therefore called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; yet these also were cōdemned because neither of these sects would acknow∣ledge the Son to be consubstantiall with the Father; for if they would have confessed that the Father and the Son were of the same essence, they would never have said that their essence was equall, but rather that their persons were equall, and their essence the same; for equality is ever between two at the least: therefore by saying that their nature was equall, they implyed that they had two different natures. And they who talked of a dissimilitude of nature, must necessarily sup∣pose, that the Father and the Son had different natures, for a nature cannot be said to be unlike it selfe: and if this latter sect by dissimilitude meant an inequality, then they were blasphemously absurd, in fancying that there was majus and minus in the same most indivisible, and single essence. Re∣verend *Beza hath set this forth to the life, in his preface to the description of the Heresy and Perjury of that Arch-he∣retike, Valentinus Gentilis, Ariomanitae—in duas minimùm fa∣ctiones divisi sunt, nempe in〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. He disputes the the point, whether 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 did not imply as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉nisi voxilla〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(sicut de Dionysio Corinthio, Basilius ad fratrem scribit) commodâ quadam interpretatione (sed plane ut mihi videtur violentâ) leniatur, Nam certè in unâ eadem{que} pror∣sus essentiâ nullus est ne{que} aequalitatine{que} inaequalitati locus, utpote quae minimùm in duobus cernantur; ac proinde in hypostasibus, nonPage  3in essentiâ spectare aequalitatē necesse est.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉qui Filium Pa∣tri faciebant dissimilem, se vel Arianos prodebant vel stolidos, quum in simplicissimâ & singularissimâ naturâ, nempe Deitate, majus & minus quiddam imaginarentur, pag. 4. & 5.

By this and much more which might be added, it doth plainly appeare that if the Arians were not more Rationall, yet they were more devout then the Socinians, they had a a more honourable and reverent opinion of Christ. For the Socinians will not acknowledge that God and Christ are e∣quall, or like in nature. The Socinians make Christ, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Arians thought him the most excellent of all crea∣tures, and therefore said, that he was created before any other creature, and used by God as an Instrument to create the rest, as Doctor Stegman observes, Disput. 1. pag. 3. Finally the A∣rians* and Socinians agree in this, that both deny Christ to be consubstantiall with the Father, and therefore though they differ in telling their tale, in explaining their errour, yet both agree in the maine, and that's ground enough to call them Arians, if Smalcius may be Judge.

Doctour Stegman usually cals the Socinians, Photinians, and therefore entitles his own book Photinianismus; and the Socinians doe acknowledge that they agree with Photinus in the maine, yet they say it is not sufficient ground to call any man Photinian because he agrees with Photinus in Fundamen∣tal points; but Smalcius tells us that Socinus was the servant of Christ, they own his doctrine, and own the man as their fellow-servant: Quid Photinus? quid alii? nisi servi Christi? they give him and others that are as bad as he is, the right hand of fellowship; and it is commonly conceived that Ma∣humetisme took his rise from Photinianisme. I have no book about me, that fhewes so clearly what the Photinians held, as Iacobus ad Portum Professor of Divinity in Academia Lau∣sannenfi,* in its Epistle Dedicatory, Docerunt Christum Iesum naturâ esse〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, gratiâ divinâ tamen insigniter ornatum, eum{que} tum demum esse coepisse, cùm in utero virginis Mariae con∣ciperetur; ac proinde verbum Dei, vel Deum non aliter in ipso quàm in aliis Prophet is habitasse, nec ipsi〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉aut〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉unitum fuisse, sed tantum gratiâ & efficaciâ ipsi assedisse: ipsumPage  4deni{que} esse〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, sed〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, non autens〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉*ut loquuntur, ex quâ infoelici haeresi postmodum Mahume∣tismus ortus esse perhibetur.

Others call the Socinians Samosatenians, and therefore Thalyaeus calles his booke in which he answers the argu∣ments of Socinus, Eniedinus, Ostorodius, and Smalcius, Ana∣tome Samosatenianismi, in which he shews that the Socinian glosses are of the same colour with Turkish and Iewish blasphe∣mies; the four Professors of the Theologicall Faculty at Lei∣den, have given a large commendation of Thalyaeus in their approbation, printed before the book, and signed with the hands of all the Professors, in which they with one voice vote Socinianisme to be Recoct Samosatenianisme; Impiam Pauli Sa∣mosateni sententiam melior & sanctior Ecclesia sub Cruce adhuc militans, ut enata fuit exhorruit, ea{que} mox publico Episcoporum ju∣dicio execrata est. Scriptum illud conscriptum contra renatum & ab infausto illo Socino ejus{que} asseclis recoctum Samosatenianismum censemus pie docte & solide &c. The Samosatenians did borrow their name from Paulus Samosatenus Bishop of the Church of Antioch, and therefore his practises were the more abo∣minable, because he poysoned that Church, in which Disci∣ples were first called Christians, with Hereticall blasphemies against the Lord Christ, as reverend Beza observes. I find in Augustine that Artimonius did first broach this heresy, and Paulus Samosatenus did revive it; but I need say no more of the Samosatenians, having said enough already of the Photini∣ans, for Photinus did confirm that heresie which Samosatenus did revive, and therefore the followers of Paulus Samosatenus. were more commonly called Photinians then Paulians, or Sa∣mosatenians. And though Philaster reckon Samosatenus his he∣resy by it self, & Photinus his heresie by it self, yet to shew that they were not different heresies, he saith Photinus did in all things follow Paulus Samosatenus. I do not reckon up all the disorderly Heretikes in order, take them as it happens. Nesto∣rius denyed that the self same person was God and man, he would not acknowledge that the Word was made flesh, only the Word was with that flesh, (by an effectuall Presence) which was taken of the substance of the Virgin, Affirmabat e∣nimPage  5〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉illi carni ex Mariâ prognatae nonnisi〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉adfuisse, as learned Beza declares it in brief. If any man desire to be further acquainted with the opinion, and the desputes about it, let him reade S. Cyril, and peruse the famous and Orthodoxe (not the spurious and surreptitious) Ephesine Councell, and he may receive full satisfaction. The Socini∣ans are farre worse then Nestorius, for they do not onely de∣ny, that the selfe same person who was borne of the Virgin, is the second person in the Trinity, but they utterly deny that there is any second Person, or third Person which is Consubstantiall with the Father.

Having mentioned Nestorius, I must not skippe over Eu∣tyches, who in opposition to Nestorius his dividing of the Person of Christ, did vainely imagine, that the natures of Christ were mingled, and so he confounded both natures, and their Essentiall properties: Yet the Eutychians did grant that there were two natures in Christ, which the Socinians deny.


The time would faile me, or at least the Readers patience, should I shew how the Socinians agree with the Noetians, who maintained, that there was but one person in the Godhead: with Macedonius, who denied the Holy Ghost to be a Person: with the Pelagians, concerning their deniall of the Image of God in Adam before his Fall, and their maintaining of Free∣will, and denyall of originall sinne since the Fall. In a word, how they agree with the Valentinians, Marcionites, Cerdoni∣ans, Manichees, Apollinarists, Sabellius, the Donatists, Saddu∣cees, Papists, Anabaptists, Schwenckefeldians, Antinomians, and I know not how many more of the like stampe, hath beene shewen by others already, and the manifestation of their errors in the ensuing Treatise will sufficiently declare. I will passe over many things very observable, because I would willingly discourse at large of some later passages, and subtile inventions by which Socinianisme was introduced in∣to forraine parts, and in some parts established by the suf∣frage and subscription of too many eminent wits, and great Scholars. But I must not in my haste forget Abeilardus, or as Platina cals him, Baliardus, as Bernard, Abailardus, his Page  6 name in our English tongue may be Balard; he flourished * about the yeare 1140. he had a very ready discoursing wit, and is by some voiced to be the first founder of Schoole-di∣vinity; whether he maintained all those heresies which Ber∣nard layes to his charge, I shall not now stand to dispute, there is some cause of doubt; Abeilard lived to make his A∣pology, and if it was but an honest Recantation, he hath made some amends. Learned Mr. Gataker in his Post-script * to Mr. Wottons Defence, pag. 40. & 41. will direct you to Authors, from whom you may receive better satisfaction then I can for the present give, unlesse I were furnished with a better Library.

I shall not doe Postellus so much honour as to take notice of him; as for Servetus, I will not staine my paper with his blasphemies: Mr. Gataker hath shewen his chiefe assertions in the booke forecited from the 42. to the 47. page; it is much questioned whether the Senate of Geneva did not deale too severely with him. Samosatenus, Arius and Eu∣tyches did all revive in that Cerberus, he was both admoni∣shed and refuted by three learned Divines of that age, Oeco∣lampadius, Melanchthon & Calvin; he had time enough given him to recant, hee did stubbornely maintaine his cursed blasphemies for thirty yeares together, as Beza shewes; Ob*triginta annorum blasphemias execrabiles & indomitam pervica∣ciam ex Senatus Genevensis sententiâ justissimo supplici affe∣ctum, quis non tandem nisi planè furiosus & excors abominetur?

The Senate of Geneva were in good hope by this exem∣plary punishment upon Servetus to crush this Cockatrices egge, and kill the Viper; but for all this some under hand, and others more boldly and impudently did seduce the peo∣ple. Bernardine Ochin seemed to be an Academik, a meere Sceptik in Religion, he questioned all things, and determined nothing; Lalius Socinus carried the matter with such a clean∣ly * conveyance, that he was scarse taken notice of, though he received some checks and admonitions, yet most men thought charitably of him during his life; his black designes were not fully discovered till after his death; this is the Grandfather of the Socinians; but I will say no more of him Page  7 yet, till I have shewen what prakes were played by those bold fellowes, who acted those tragedies openly upon the Stage, which Lelius composed behinde the Curtaine, Va∣lentinus*Gentilis practised at Geneva, George Blandrate a Phy∣sitian in Poland, and Transylvania. Give mee leave to make but two or three observations by the way, and I shall open the practises of these impudent Hereticks more fully to you.

First, the Devill hath done more mischiefe in the Church by counterfeit Protestants, false brethren, then by professed Papists, open enemies.

Secondly, observe that vaine curiosity did betray the Churches, and make them a meere prey to these subtile He∣reticks; most men have an itching desire to be acquainted with novelties, and at that time the Churches were very in∣quisitive after a more Rationall way of Divinity, they began to examine the Articles of faith, especially the Article of the Trinity, by some received Axiomes of Philosophy, and by that curiosity puzled their reason, and lost their faith.

Thirdly, though Poland and Transylvania were grievously infected, yet the mischiefe came from Italy, as reverend Beza observes, and therefore cryes out, Saè fatalis esse videtur P∣lonis*Italia. Besides the flame brake out first in the Italian Church at Geneva, though the coales were dispersed and blowne too in other places. The Italian Church had some warning given by the execution of Michael Servetus in the yeare 1553. but that Church was too indulgent for foure or five yeares, yet at last the Elders of the Italian Church, per∣ceiving that some of their flock began to oppose the doctrine of the Trinity, they thought fit to set forth some forme of Confession, unto which they required all to subscribe, upon the eighteenth day of May, 1558. They all protested by that Faith whereby they were oblieged to God, that they would never purposely and malitiously directly or obliquely oppose that Confession, or favour any Forme, or Sect which Page  8 did make the least appearance of dissenting from it; and who∣soever * did violate this Protestation, should be held a perju∣red and perfidious man. Valentinus Gentilis made no great haste to subscribe, but being called upon, he testified his con∣sent with his owne hand. Yet not long after, he said he was pricked in conscience for subscribing to this Forme, and * therefore contemned his Protestation, and endeavoured to seduce the simple people; whereupon he was convented be∣fore the Senate of Geneva, the points in Controversie being rationally discussed, and Valentinus nonplust, he had nothing to say, but that he was not well versed in the art of dispu∣ting, which was notoriously false, for he was an acute subtile man, as appeares by his Confessions, Epistles, Replies; his sublime notions about the Essence, and Subsistences of the Trinity and Quaternity; that one question did sufficiently discover his subtilty, An Essentia divina ex Semetipsa absque ullâ consideratione Personarum sit verus Deus; and that Thesis of his, Deus Pater solus verus Deus est Essentiator, hoc est In∣formator individuorum, nempe Filii Spiritusque. The God of Is∣rael (saith Valentine) is the onely true God the Father of Je∣sus Christ; and so by opposing the Father to the Son, and af∣firming that the Father only was the true God, he did clear∣ly deny the Son to be the true God. Clare apparet (saith the Senate) quum Patrem opponis Filio & uni duntaxat veram Dei∣tatem tribuis, te excludere alterum, quem cum illo confers—Fa∣cessat*antithesis inter Patrem & Filium ubi fit Deitatis mentio—In comparatione fingis duo Antitheta, Patrem opponis Filio ac si in solo Patre esset Dei Essentia—Filium essentiatū à Patre dicis, à Seipso esse neg as—Jamsi Essentia divina sit in solo Patre, vel eripies eam filio, vel partibilem finges, utcunque nnc centies con∣cedas Filium esse verum Deum, spoliatus tamen suâ essentiâ ti∣tularis solùm erit Deus.—Individua tibi somnias quorum singu∣la partem Essentiae obtineant—Deus Indefinite est ingenitus, & Pater etiam Personae respectu ingenitus, filius autem respectu Per∣sonae à Patre est genitus—Non abstrahimus personas ab Essentia, sed quamvis in ea resideant, distinctionem interponimus. Hoc sen∣su Individuos Tertullianus vocat Patrem & Filium, non autem (ut tu stule imaginaris) Individua, quae sub Specie comprehendan∣tur.Page  9 To this effect the Senate answered Valentines subtilties; I have put it close together, that I might not be tedious, and yet manifest upon what grounds this great wit was condem∣ned by that grave judicious Senate.

He had one question more, which he tooke much pride in, namely, Utrum Essentia concurrat in Trinitatem? to which the Senate answered, Essentia non concurrit ad distinguendas personas, nec tamen personae sine essentiâ sunt—Veteres ad Personas tantum nomen Trinitatis retulerunt—Quarum rerum dices esse*Trinitatem? Respondes, tria concurrere, Essentiam, Filium, & Spi∣ritum. Hinc verò plane perspicitur te essentiam Filii & Spiritus exinanire. This conceit of Valentinus, that the Essence, Sonne, and Spirit, make the Trinity, did at once deny the Person of the Father, and the divine Essence of the Sonne and Spirit; for, observe how he puts in the Essence to make up the Tri∣nity, and so left out the Person of the Father, and by oppo∣sing the other two Persons to the Divine Essence, he did im∣ply, that they had an Essence different from the Divine Essence.

Valentine having received this full answer from the Se∣nate, was much enraged, but upon second thoughts, he fell to his devotions, made some shew of repentance, and seemed to be satisfied; nay, hee proceeded so far as to write to the Senate, and acknowledge that he was fully convinced by * the cleare and solid reasons laid downe by the Consistory, in their answer to his objections: Nay, farther yet, he de∣scended to particulars, and confessed that they had manifest∣ly proved, that those three grounds upon which all his fancies were built, were all most false and absurd.

First, saith he, I have offended in that whilest I affirmed, The onely God of Israel to be the Father of Iesus Christ, I considered not that by opposing the onely God to Christ, I denied Christ to be God.

Secondly, I was too rash in considering the Divine Essence out of the three Persons, and concluding from thence, that the Essence and the Trinity of Persons made a Quaternity: for now I perceive that the Divine Essence cannot be considered any where, but in the three Persons.

Page  10 Thirdly, I have offended, in that I said the Person of the Fa∣ther was Sophisticall.

Upon these rotten ruines (saith Valentine) did I build many false consequences, which now I doe abhor and detest, and professe that I beleeve the doctrine of the Trinity in the sense of your Con∣sistory; O my conscience hath beene wounded for my inconsiderate answers to that excellent Divine and servant of God John Cal∣vin! but I have acknowledged my fault with hearty sorrow, and I make no question but the searcher of hearts hath forgiven me; I beseech you likewise to forgive me, for I beleeve that the trouble of my minde will bring forth such fruits of repentance in my future conversation, as will wipe off this offensive blot wherewith now I am bespotted and stained, I hope the clemency of the holy Ministers is such, that they will receive such a miserable stray beast as I am into their fold againe, and triumph at my conversion. Hee procee∣ded farther yet, made a solemne and orthodoxe confession of * his faith, and a Recantation of his errors on the 29. of Au∣gust 1558. At last having abjured his errors under his hand, the Senate in hope that his repentance was cordiall and sin∣cere, they commanded him to walke bare-headed, bare-legged and bare-foote thorow every street in the City, with a Trum∣pet blown before him, and a light in his hand, then to kneele downe, aske pardon of the Senate, and burne all his heretical Doctrines with his owne hand, all which he did upon the se∣cond of September following. Behold the mercy of Geneva to one that was but hopefull, though he had beene an Here∣tick, a Schismatick, a Seducer, they forgave him, and gave him leave to come forth of prison, without taking any Sure∣ties, because he pleaded that he was a stranger, and poore, onely they tooke an oath of him, that he should not depart * the City without their licence: but he soone brake his oath, and fled not far off to Gribaldus and Alciatus, two of his owne stampe, and faction; but he met there with a Gover∣nour of a resolute spirit, who began to enquire into his dan∣gerous opinions, and being fully informed of their desperate malignancy, he committed him to prison for a while, but not long after released him, and gave him a faire warning, but no sooner he enjoyed his liberty, but he presently pub∣lished Page  11 his opinions in print, and abused the Governour with a dedication, as if the book had been published by the Go∣vernors consent and Authority. Not long after he travails to Lyons where he was imprisoned for the space of 50. days, but he pretended that he did only oppose Calvin in the carriage of some controversies, and by that meanes the Antichristian spirit, which reignes in the bosome of Papists, did in∣cline them to forgive and release him; it seems the Papists cares not what Article of faith be denyed, nor how much Jesus Christ be dishonoured, so Calvin be opposed, for by this silly shift he got ot twice from the Papists. Confessionem it a potuit attemper are ut à Papist is admitteretur, solùm Evan∣gelicas*Ecclesias, & nominatim Calvinum perstringens, &c. and by that means he made his first escape; his second escape was obtained by the selfe same shift. Libellum Antidotorum & confessionem sic potuit attemperare ut judicaretur solum Cal∣vinum*impugnare, non ipsam Trinit atem ideo{que} solutus carceribus dimissus est; as Aretius relates in his History of Valentine. But hee was not satisfied yet, unlesse he could beguile Protestants as well as Papists, he went therefore over into Poland, and joyned with Alciat, and Blandrate, in seducing the Polonian Churches, he confirmed his Doctrines by So∣phistry, some fragments out of the Fathers, and some pieces of the Alcor••, to shew that he intended to please the Turks, as well as the Papists, and to quarrell only with the Pro∣testants; his friend Alciat turned direct Mahometist being * led to it by his principles; but Valentine expressed himself in a more reserved and cunning way then Alciat or Blandrate, whereupon there fell out some difference between them, and so by Gods providence they did the lesse hurt in Poland, but there they continued above two years, but at last the King of Poland took notice of them, and intended to have published an edict against their hereticall blasphemies, but then the Antichristian spirit stirred up Cardinal Hosius, to sug∣gest another course to his Majesty: but God moved the King to banish all strangers, Innovatours in Doctrine, and Per∣turbers of the Peace, out of his kingdome, upon the 5. of March, in the yeare 1566. Being banished out of Poland,Page  12 and knowing that Calvin was dead, he thought fit to return in∣to the old quarters, never dreaming that he should have faln into the hands of the old Governour, whom he had formerly a bused in so high a nature; but by divine providence the same person though it was not his turne, was governour of that province, (vide supra, p. 10.) as Aretius declares, Gaium ip∣sum accedens, cui idē adhuc praefectus (prorogat â forte ipsi extra or∣dinem ejus provinciae administratione) praeerat. Valentine thought it his best course, to put a good face upon the matter, and chal∣lenge any man to dispute with him, but the Governour well knowing, that he had been often disputed with, and fairly ad∣monished, cryed, Fiat quod justum est, and clapt him up close prisoner, upon the 11. day of June, 1566. The province being under the jurisdictiō of the Senate of Bern, Valentine appealed from the Governor of Gaium to the Senate of Bern, & he was brought thither upon the 19. day of July. When he was exa∣mined, the Senate charged him with heresy, Perjury, blas∣phemy, * Schism; and over and above that, he had joyned with Alciat and Blandrate, in seducing the simple people. To which he answered, that he had nothing to do with either of thē, for Alciat, saith he, is a Mahumetan, and Blandrate is a Sabellian and Samosatenian; he complained that those Churches which were called Evangelicall, or Reformed Churches, were still too much enslaved to the Pope; and yet when he was among the Papists he saw his own confession, of that which he called his Faith, passed currant enough. Nostras ecclesias*damnari quasi adhuc Papatui servientes, quum interim ipse inter Papist as constitutus posset confessionibus editis elabi. He was questioned for a book which he dedicated to the King of Poland, in which he repeated the confession of his faith, which was confuted at Geneva, and subjoyned his book of Antidotes, in which he indeavours to refute certain Theses collected out of Augustines 15. bookes, de Trinitate, and the 13. chapter of Calvins first book of Institutions, which treats likewise of the Trinity. Finally, he made some sharp Anno∣tations upon Athanasius, and confirmed his own opinion out of the Alcoran. The Senate picked out all his Calumnies, Impostures, blasphemies, heresies old and new. Wherein Page  13Valentine agreed with Arius, is shewen by Aretius, in the 8. chapter of his History; if any man desire to peruse the de∣terminations of Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Tertullian, Augu∣stine in this great article of the Trinity, he may read them at large in the same History, from the 13. to the 17. chap∣ter. I must hasten to bring Valentine to his deserved punish∣ment; the Senate had treated with him, from the 5. of Au∣gust to the 9. of September, and he remained still stubborn, * and pertinacious in his blasphemies, and therefore the Se∣nate pronounced sentence of death upon him, which was accordingly executed; for he could not by prayers, teares, arguments, entreaties, be wrought upon to change his mind: he had a faire warning given him before, by the Senate of Geneva, if he had had the grace to have taken it, their Charge ranne high, and their Admonition was Pro∣pheticall. Filium Dei quem praedicamus, in Diabolum trans∣figuras.*Deum quem colimus, vocas Deum Turcarum, multa{que} ejus generis, sed vide miser ne te praecipitaverit tuus furor ut vo∣ces emitteres quae per jugulum redeant.

It is now time to draw the curtain and look for Socinus who most of this while, played least in sight, till he went quite out of sight, in the yeare 1562. Laelius Socinus was the tutor * and unckle, Faustus Socinus was the Nephew and disciple; Laelius did contribute materials, Faustus added Form and method to that monstrous body of errours and blasphemies which we call Socinianisme. Laelius Socinus was borne in the * yeare, 1525. his parents were of good rank and quality, his Father was styled, IC. torum Princeps. The life of Socinus is written by a Polonian Knight, who was tender of his honour, who hath also set forth a dissertation, which he desires may be prefixed before the works of Faustus, or rather the noti∣ons of Laelius digested into order by Faustus; and out of those two treatises we may pick something to give light to the o∣riginall of Socinianisme; but we are most beholding to D. Ca∣lovius, who hath handled this argument more distinctly, then any man that I have met with, and he saith that about four yeares after Servetus his death in the year 1557. Laelius Soci∣nus did underhand encourage them who had raked in Serve∣tusPage  14 ashes, and blowed some coales that were yet alive, and from thence raised a blacker flame. Laelius then, no doubt, favoured Valentine, for about the year 1558. Valentine began to shew himself, and in that year, the Italian Church put forth their orthodox confession about the Trinity at Geneva, as hath been already shewed. Moreover the Polonian Knight saith, that Laelius did take speciall care of his country-men, quod{que} praecipue suos erudierit Italos: and though Laelius did * keep his most usuall residence amongst the Helvetians, yet his letters travelled up and down the world, and he now and then visited his countrymen in person, who were bani∣shed into Poland, and Germany; he went twice on pilgrimage, to gaine some Proselytes in Poland, first in the year, 1551. and afterwards in the yeare, 1557. and there he infected ma∣ny of the Nobles with his pestilent heresies, which have found such good entertainment ever since, that Poland doth to this very day (the Lord of heaven be mercifull to them) labour under that deadly disease. But it was Laelius his chief desire to instruct his three brethren, Celsus, Cornelius, and Ca∣millus, in that which he called his religion; and though they lived farre asunder, (Celsus enim Bononiae, reliqui Senis agebant) yet they held such intimate correspondence, that the seeds of this heresy were mutually cherished by their frequent letters. But his nephew Faustus was his best Scholar, and therefore by divers hints and intimations best acquainted with the secrets of his art. Ingenio Nepotis confisum plura divinanti in∣nuisse, quàm discenti tradidisse; (saith the Polonian Knight) non dissimulato inter amicos praesagio pleniùs haec at{que} foelicius à Fausto orbi prodenda; and Faustus Socinus doth acknowledge that he did owe all his mysterious knowledge to his Unckle only, (for he was never taught of God) Praeter unum Laelium patruummeum—vel potius praeter paucula quaedam ab ipso con∣scripta & multa annotata, nullum prorsus magistrum me habere contigit. Epist. ad Maro. Sq. You may read particulars in D Calovius (pag. 2. & sequ.) I need not therefore descend to particulars since the confession is so generall; only be pleased to observe that the heresy doth directly strike at the Nature, Person, Offices, Satisfaction, Sacraments of Christ. And as Page  15 the Arminians are much offended with the ninth chapter to * the Romanes, so the Socinians are as much offended with the first chap. of the Gospel according to Saint Iohn; it was there∣fore Laelius one of his master-pieces to pervert that Scripture by a devilish gloss. I dare not give a more gentle Epithet: Fau∣stus doth confesse that his Unckle Laelius did contribute all the stuffe out of which he framed his exposition upon the first part of the first Chapter of Saint John; Illam verborum Jo∣hannis expositionem, & quae ad eandem adserendam produxit, sese magnâ ex parte è Laelii sermonibus, dum adhuc viveret, & post ejus mortem ex aliquibus ipsius scriptis sumpsisse & deprompsisse. V. Frag. duor. script. Socin. & Epist. 1. ad Dudith. pag. 13. But though Laelius Socius carried matters thus closely, and did all by sleight of wit and hand, yet about 3. yeares before his death he was shrewdly suspected for a Seducer, his brother Cornelius was apprehended, the rest fled for fear, Faustus his Nephew and disciple, fled quite out of Italy, to Lyons in France, Laelius in the mean time died in the yeare 1562. and the 37. yeare of his age, as Calovius assures me: Cum Fau∣stus aliquandiu Lugduni in Gallia viveret, Laelius interis Tiguri extinctus est anno 1562. Aetatis ejus septimo supra trigesimum. All Laelius his notes were I beleeve committed to Faustus, qui patruo suo Laelio emortualis extitit, as the same Author, de origine Theol. Soc. §. 25. and therefore certainly most of his opinions would have died with him, had not this un∣lucky Faustus poysoned the world with them. For Faustus himself acknowledges that Laelius was very sparing in ope∣ning himself, except it were in some lighter controversies. Nolebat ille sententiam suamnisi in levioribus quibusdam con∣troversiis omnibus aperire, ne turbarentur Ecclesiae, & infirmi quorum maximam semper habuit rationem offenderentur, & à vero Dei cultu ad Idola fortasse iterum adducerentur. Frag. F. Socini Disp. de Christi naturâ p. 5. Observe by the way that the Socinians doe not much differ from the Papists in any point in controversie between the Papists and Reformed Churches, unlesse it be in the point of Idolatry. But indeed there was one reason more why Laelius was so wary, he knew how it fared with Michael Servtus in the year 1553. & that Page  16 severe example might well keep him in awe for 8. or 9. years after, about which time he died: and indeed Faustus seems to glance at some such reason, for he saith Laelius had observed that there was a custome which grew in request in some Churches, ut Execrabiles haberentur quicun{que} adversus receptas sententias vel mutire quidē ausi essent, in the place forecited. Nay I can easily guesse at a third reason yet, because Laelius had in former time before he was poysoned with Servetus his doctrines taught the same truths which are generally recei∣ved in the Reformed Churches, and if he should have retra∣cted so many opinions, the people would not have beleeved him in any thing he had taught, but would have quite faln off to Popery againe, as he conceived: for the people had a great opinion of his doctrine, though he was neither Doctour nor Pastor in the Church. Neve tandem divina veritas ab eo prae∣dicata (quine{que} Pastoris ne{que} Doctoris officio in Ecclesia fun∣geretur) ob auctoris non parvam (I beleeve it should be, though 'tis printed magnā) auctoritatē magna Christiani orbis detrimento passim rejiceretur. Faustus Disp▪ de Christi natura, pag. 6. It was therefore Laelius his master-plot to propound doubts & questi∣ons to such famous men as Calvin, & others in the Reformed Churches, as if he intended to gain some farther light (when indeed he sought for further advantage) by their determina∣tions. Quod tamen ut omnem offensionem vitaret addiscendi tan∣tum studio a se fieri dicebat: qua tamen ratione ab initio idem vere ab eo factum fuisse verisimile est, quare etiam Discipulum semper se, nunquam autem Doctorem profitebatur. Faustus ubi su∣pra. Master Calvin did easily perceive his subtilty, and there∣fore gave him a faire but sharp admonition about the Ca∣lends * of January, 1552. as the Polonian Knight doth confesse: Si tibi per aereas illas speculationes (saith Calvin) volitare libet, sine me quae so humilem Christi Discipulum ea meditari quae ad fidei meae aedificationem faciunt—Quod pridem testatus sum, se∣rio iterum moneo, nisi hunc quaerendi Pruritum mature corrigas, metuendum esse ne tibi gravia tormenta accersas. Faustus saith that his Uncle was snatched away by an untimely death, non sine Dei consilio, that so those great mysteries which God had revealed to none but Laelius, might be made known unto Page  17 the world. Cùm statim fere post mortem ejus, eorum quae ipse pa∣lam docere non audebat pars aliqua & literis consignari, & passim divulgari est coepta; id quod eo vivente nunquam fortasse contigis∣set, amicis ex iis quae ipse scripserat non adhuc plene edoctis, & ad∣versus praeceptoris voluntatem aliquid eorum quae ab ipso didice∣rant in vulgus prodere minime audentibus. Hac scilicet ratione Deus quae illi uni patefecerat omnibus manifesta esse voluit. Fau∣stus ubi supra, pag. 6. & 7. I am at this great paines of tran∣scribing, because Socinian bookes are so deare, every man will not pay a groat a sheete, the price that I am forced to, onely that I may declare the truth; so much for Laelius.

Faustus Socinus the Nephew of Laelius was borne in the yeare 1539, two houres and three quarters before Sun-rising on the fift of December; so scrupulous are some in calcula∣ting the nativity of this monster; and he himselfe tooke no∣tice of it in his Epistle Ad excellentissimum quendam virum; He was of no meane parentage, his father was by name A∣lexander Socinus, and for his Policie, Subtilitatum princeps, as he was deservedly stiled; his mother was nobly descended, the Polonian Knight hath shewen her descent, Matrem ha∣buit Agnetem Burgesii Petruccii Senenfis quondam Reipub. Prin∣cipis ac Victoriae Piccolomineae filiam. He studied the Lawes till he was about three and twenty yeares of age, and then hee betooke himselfe to the great Duke of Hetruria his Court, where he spent twelve yeares, onely he had so much leisure at Court, as to write a booke about the authority of the Scripture, in which he doth slily pervert the Scriptures, and lay a ground for all his hereticall blasphemies. This is all the account that can be given of him for 35. yeares. I doe not heare of any great brags (though the Socinians doe make loud brags of him) of his Logique, Philosophy, Schoole-di∣vinity, the learned tongues, onely he spent some two or three yeares in digesting his Uncles Notes, and then thought he had learning enough to contradict all the Fathers and Councels, and undertooke to censure all the Reformed Churches, and to dispute with the greatest Scholars in the world: the pre∣sumption of his wit, besides the badnesse of his cause, did betray him to his adversaries, especially in the first prizes he Page  18 played, and he was so subtile as to seeme ingenuous in ac∣knowledging such oversights as he could not possibly con∣ceale: Quod vero ais (saith Faustus to Puccius) supellectilem meam Hebraeam & Graeeam—teipsum latere non potest ejusmodi meam supellectilem non valde curtam modò, sed propemodum nul∣lum esse; Graecos enim fontes, ut egomet omnibus dico, leviter admo∣dum degusavi, Hebraeos vix dum attigi, &c. Socin. Resp. ad Def. Puccii, pag. 49. And he confesses that he made a great flou∣rish in the world before he had any Logick, hee had vapou∣red against Puccius, Palaeologus, Volanus, and divers others, he had composed a Commentary on the first part of the first Chapter of S. Iohn, and on the seventh to the Romans, his A∣nimadversions in Theses Posn. de Trino & uno Deo, & alia quaedam Imperfecta, as he saith, cum nondum Dialecticae ullam operam dedissem, ut post hac non mireris si in meis scriptis multa de∣prehenderis minus rectè tradita ac conclusa. Epist. ad excellentissi∣mum quendam virum. It was no wonder indeed if a man that understood neither Greek nor Hebrew, nor Logick, should give many interpretations, and draw many Conclusions which will not hold. Now whether after the delicacies of the Court, and 35. yeares of his age mis-spent, he was so apt to mould his stiffe braines, and new-cast them into a Logi∣call forme, let the world judge. Socinus then was not the greatest Scholar in the world, though hee thought himselfe able to teach all the Church, and all the world. The Polonian Knight acknowledges that he was of an hasty cholerique di∣sposition, praecipitem ad Bilem natura formaverat; but it seemes his heat did evaporate at Court, In vita alicâ deferbuisse ju∣venilem illum Socini astum, qui plerumque magna in magnos lap∣sus prcipitat ingenia; and yet Marcellus Squarcialupus Socinus his good friend doth often complaine of him for his rash∣nesse, &c. as Calovius shewes at large: you may reade plenti∣full testimonies cited at length, Consid. Th. Socin. pag. 13. & 15. to him therefore I referre you.

Faustus then had more subtilty then learning; when he was not able to prove his opinions, he told his Auditours, Haec si vera non sint, verisimilia saltem & probabilia deprehendetis. He was of a maignant wit, hee knew how to disgrace truth by Page  19 scoffes and slanders, he thought to affright weake spirited men from the Protestant Religion, by telling them that they held opinions (in particular that Christ is God) which made Christian Religion ridiculous to Iewes and Turkes, Et exte∣ris denique omnibus, but names none else. Haecque & hujusmodi alia quaedam, quorum ansam illis dedit graeca vox*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, inge∣niose quidem (ut illis videtur) & foeliciter comminiscuntur quae omnia—cùm ridicula magna ex parte appareant efficitur (proh dolor!) ut Jesu Christi religio—& Judaeis & Turcis & exteris denique omnibus maximè sit ludibrio. Explicat. cap. prim. Ioh. pag. 9. Our superstitious men of late pressed us to comply with them, in hope of converting Papists from their superstition, by conforming our selves to the selfe same superstition, and now the Socinians would have us to deny Christ to be God, that we may convert Turkes and Iewes to the Christian faith: as if the best way to convert men to the Christian faith, were to deny a prime Article of our Christian faith; or as if Jews and Turks would have a better opinion of Christ, if the Christians should deny him to be God, and so harden them in their beloved blasphemies; and yet Faustus Socinus saith his friends did encourage him to write against that inveterate figment of the divine nature of Christ, Hac enim ratione—& Iudaeos & Turcas ad Christianam religionem allici posse, qui portentosis istis opinionibus quae Christianae fidei Axiomata esse creduntur ab eâ amplectenda semper sunt deterriti. Faustus, ubi supra, pag. 2.

I should tyre out my Reader, if I should but reckon up the tricks and devices of this Faustus; for he pretended just as our Translator here, to be a Reformer of the Reformers, nay of the Reformation it selfe; he makes many glorious pretences in his booke called Solutio Scrupulorum. God (saith he) in this last Age intends to make many new discoveries, and to Reforme his Church more thorowly then ever. Lu∣ther he confesses hath discovered truths enough to carry us to Heaven; Zuinglius and Oecolampadius reformed the Church in matters of great weight and moment; they are justly to be extolled, because they have purged the Church from superstition and Idolatry, and caused all false worships Page  20 to be abhorred; but he doth very slily intimate, that it was now left to him to confute all errors which Luther, Zuinglius and Oecolampadius had not observed in the Church; for saith he, though the Idols Temple is laid levell with the ground, * no man hath as yet set up the Temple of Christ: nay he goes farther, Nec caementa & lapides ad illud extruendum parari; and we may truly say, Socinus lapides loquitur, as the Comedian said; and he knows full well how to daube with untempe∣red morter. He hath written two other pestilent Books, in which he hath most cunningly vented his poyson, one is a booke which I never saw, De SS. Scripturae authoritate, which Calovius tels is one of his most subtile pieces, and seemes to be one of his first Essayes: Dominicus Lopez a Jesuit was so taken (or mistaken) with it, as to print it in the yeare, 1588. The other Pamphlet is a briefe discourse, De causâ ob quam creditur aut non creditur Evangelio Iesu Christi. In this second he speakes plainer then in the former, as they say who have read both, and they conceive that it was purposely put forth as a Commentary upon the other; for Socinus did speake more freely still every yeare then other, accordingly as hee saw his Discourses entertained and applauded by potent A∣bettours; he did not put his name to his Commentary upon Iohn, till he saw how it would take; Libuit antequam nomen nostrum prodamus aliorum exigui hujus laboris nostri judicius cognoscere. Explic. Ioh. p. 4. And Calovius saith, he did not put his name to it till whole Churches (Congregations I suppose he meanes) had subscribed to Socinus his Tenets, Calovius de Origine Theol. Soc. p. 19. He gained very much by his feigned modesty, he saith it was his hearty desire to bring all men to his opinion, yet such was his charity and modesty, that he would account them brethren, who coun∣ted him an Hereticke, and held his opinions to be pernici∣ous, upon condition they did their best, to live in obedience to Christs precepts, and sought in a faire way to convince him by Scripture, Explic. cap. prim. Ioh. pag. 4. But though he pretended to be ruled by Scripture, it is most evident that all his Art was to withdraw men from hearkning to the plainest Texts of Scripture which doe contradict blinde car∣nall Page  21 reason. He taught the world a new way of disputing in Divinity; we were wont to argue thus, Whatsoever God saith is true: but God saith thus and thus; ergo: but he taught us to prove, That such and such a proposition is true by the causes and proper effects first, or else saith he, it is absurd to thinke that God said any thing but truth, and therefore un∣lesse it can appeare by some demonstrative argument, that such a proposition is true, we must not pitch upon that pro∣position, as the minde of the holy Ghost in any Text of Scripture; what ever the words of the Text seeme to hold forth unto us, wee must goe looke out for some other sense which is agreeable to right Reason. Rationis lumen quo Deus nos donavit aperte ostendit non debere nec posse corporalem poenam quam unus debeat ab alio persolvi, idque etiam omnium gentium ac seculorum legibus ac consuetudinibus perpetuo & maximo con∣sensu comprobatum sit, as Socinus in his Tract Deservatore; Be∣hold how the light of Reason, the Laws, nay the Customes (and perchance some of them unreasonable) of Nations must over-rule God, so that God himselfe shall not be believed, if he doe not speake consonantly to my corrurpt reason, and our vaine Customes. It is cleare and evident, that whatsoe∣ver Socinus produces against Christs satisfaction, or our Ju∣stification, is a meere figment of his owne braine, for he one∣ly urges some colourable arguments, which have but a shew or shadow of reason. But I shall not instance in more parti∣culars now, because I desire to passe on and discover Socinus his subtilty, in scattering his errors abroad in Sarmatia, Tran∣sylvania, &c. and therefore this shall suffice for the Rise of So∣cinianisme.