That in obeying the Romish Churches decrees, wee doe not obey Gods Word as well as them, but them alone in contempt of Gods principall Lawes.
1 BVt the simple (I know) are borne in hand, by the more subtile ort of this generation, That thus obeying sinfull men they obey Christ, who hath enioyned them this obedience vnto such; That thus beleeuing that sence of Scrip∣ture, which the Church their mother tenders vnto them, they doe not beleeue her better then Scriptures, be∣cause these two beleefes are not opposite but subordinate; that they preferre not her decrees before Christs written Lawes, but her interpretation of them, before all priuate expositions. This is the onely Citie of refuge left them, wherein, prosecuted by the former arguments, they can hope for anie succour; but most of whose gates alreadie haue beene, all shortly shall bee shut vpon them.*
2 That they neither beleeue nor obey Gods Word whilest Page 29 they absolutely beleeue and obey the Church without appeale, is euident, in that this Church vsually bindes men, not vnto po∣sitiue points of Religion gathered so much as from any preten∣ded sence of Scripture expounded by it, but to beleeue bare ne∣gatiues; as, that this or that place of Scripture, either brought by their aduersaries, or conceiued by such amongst themselues, as de∣sire the knowledge of truth and right information of conscience, haue no such meaning as the Spirit of God, not flesh and bloud, (as farre as they can iudge of their owne thoughts,) hath reuealed vnto them.
3 But the Spirit may deceiue priuate men; or, at least, they may deceiue themselues, in their triall of Spirits. They may in∣deed, and so may men in publique place, more grieuously erre in peremptorie iudging priuate men, because obnoxious to errour in the generall, erroneous in this particular, wherein they ground their opinions vpon Gods Word, plentifull to euince it (at least) very probable reasons they bring manie and strong, whereunto no reasonable answere is brought by their aduersaries, whose v∣suall course, is, to presse them onely with the Churches authori∣tie; which appeares to be of farre greater waight then Gods word, vnto all such as yeeld obedience to her negatiue decrees, without any euidence or probabilitie, either of Scripture or naturall rea∣son, to set against that sence and meaning of Gods Lawes where∣vnto strength of arguments vnrefuted, and probable pledges of Gods Spirit vndisproued haue long tied their soules. Doe wee o∣bey God, or beleeue his word, whilest we yeeld obedience to the Church in such Commandements, as to our consciences vpon vnpartiall examination seeme condemned, ere made by the very fundamentall Lawes of Religion, and all this oftimes without a∣ny shew or pretence of Scripture, to warrant vs, that we doe not disobey God in obeying them?
4 But doth the Romish exact absolute obedience in such pointes, as, if it were possible they could bee false, may endanger the very foundation of true Religion, without euident demonstration, that their daily practise neither doth nor can endanger it? Yes. For what can more concerne the maine foundation, which Christians, Iewes, and Mahumetans most firmely hold, then those precepts, in number many, all plainely Page 30 and peremptorily forbiding vs to worship any Gods but One, or any thing in the Heauen or Earth but him onely. The Romanists themselues grant,* that, cultu latriae God alone is to bee adored, that so to adore any other is Idolatrie; and Idolatrie (by their con∣fession) a most grieuous sinne. O how much better were it for them to hold it none; or Gods Word forbidding it of no autho∣ritie, then so lightly to aduenture the hourely practise of it (in contempt of such fearefull threatnings, as they themselues out of Gods Lawes pronounce against it,) vpon such broken disioin∣cted surmises, as are the best they can pretend for their warrant.
5 To beleeue Christs flesh and bloud should bee there present, where it cannot be seene, or felt, yea where we see and feele ano∣ther bodie as perfectly as wee can doe ought, is, to reason, with∣out warrant of Scripture, but a sencelesse blinde beleefe. But grant his bodie and bloud were in the Sacrament rightly admini∣stred, yet that out of the Sacrament, either should bee in the con∣secrated host, whilest carried from Towne to Towne for solemne shew more then for Sacramentall vse, is to reason ruled by Scrip∣ture (to say no worse) more improbable. Now to worship that as God, which to our vnerring sences is a Creature, vpon such blind supposals, that Christs bodie, by one miracle may be there; by another vnseene is worse then Idolatrie committed vpon de∣lusion of sence. So to adore a wayfer, onely a wayfer in all appea∣rance; without strict examination, nay without infallible euidence of Scriptures vrged for the reall presence; is more abhominable, then to worship euerie appearance of an Angell of light, without triall what spirit it were, Sathan or some other, that so appeared. And if we consider the olde Serpents vsuall slight to insinuate himselfe into euery place, wherein inveterate custome or corrupt affection, may suggest some likelihood of a diuine presence vnto dreaming fancies, (as he did delude the old World in Oracles and Idols:) the probabilitie is farre greater, his inuisible substance, (by nature not incompatible with any corporeall quantitie) should be annexed to the supposed hoast, then Christs reall body, vncapable for any thing wee know of ioinct existence in the same place with any other; howsoeuer, most disproportionable to such base effects as must proceede from the substance contained vnder the visible shape of bread, such as no accident could either breed, or support.
Page 31 6 This is a point (as is elsewhere obserued) wherein Satan see∣meth to triumph ouer the moderne Papists, more then ouer all the Heathens of the old World, whose sences onely hee deluded, or bewitched their reason, but quite inuerts all vse of these mens sence, faith and reason, making them beleeue Christs bodie to be present in the Sacrament, after a supposed miraculous manner, quite contrarie to the knowne nature of bodies, and yet more preposterously contrarie to the very end and essence of miracles. For what miracles were euer wrought to other purpose, then to conuince the imperfect collections of humane reason by eui∣dence of sense, God vsing this inferiour or brutish part (thus asto∣nished by his presence) to confute the curious folly of the supe∣riour or diuine facultie of the soule, as hee did sometimes the dumbe Asse to rebuke the iniquitie of the Prophet her Master. But so preposterously doth Sathan ride the moderne Papists that hee is brought to beleeue a multitude of miracles; against the eui∣dence of sence, or reason, contrarie to the rule of faith; all offe∣red vp in sacrifice vnto the Prince of darknesse; that he hauing, put out the eyes of sense, reason, and spirit at once, may euer after lead them what way he list. And as vnhappie wagges, or lewd companions, may perswade blind men to beg an Almes, as if some great personage did, when as a troupe of more needie beggers then themselues, passe by; so is it much to bee dreadded, least the Deuill perswade the blinded besotted Papist that Christ is present where he himselfe lies hid; that hee may with heart and soule offer vp those prayers and duties vnto him which belong properly vn∣to God; and worship in such manner before the boxes whereinto he hath secretly conuaid himselfe, as the Israelites did before the arke of the Couenant.
7*Vasquez thinkes we may without offence adore that bodie wherein the Deuill lurkes, so we direct not our worship vnto him, but to the inanimate Creature, as representing the Creator. Sup∣pose this might be granted vpon some rare accident, or extraordi∣narie manifestation of Gods power in some particular place, in case, men were ignorant, or had no iust presumptions of any ma∣lignant spirits presence therein: Yet were it damnable Idolatrie daily to practise the like especially where great probabilitie were of diabolical imposture, which the solemne worship of any Crea∣ture Page 32 without expresse warrant of Scripture, will inuite. Yet sense doth witnesse that Christ is not, no Scripture doth warrant vs, that he or any other liuing Creature, vnlesse perhaps* wormes, or such as spring of putrifaction, is present in their processions. Notwithstanding all the expresse Commaundements of God brought by vs against their practise: the§ Trent Councell ac∣curseth all that denie Christs reall presence in procession, or con∣demne the proposall of that consecrated substance to be publike∣ly adored as God; not so much as intimating any tollerable ex∣position of that Commandment, which forbids vs to haue any Gods but one.
8* To omit many more; another instance sutable to the former and our present purpose, wee haue in the decree of communica∣ting vnder one kind. Our Sauiour at his institution of this Sacra∣ment, gaue the cup aswell as the bread, and with the cup alone this expresse iniunction Bibite ex hoc omnes, Drinke all of this, al∣beit none of his Disciples were consicients or such as did conse∣crate. S. Paul recites the same institution in like words & continued the practise in such Churches as he planted. Thea Trent Coun∣cel acknowledgeth that the vse of the cup was not infrequent, or vnvsuall in the Primitiue Church; indeed altogether vsuall, and the want of it for many hundered yeares after Christ, vnknowne. The onely instance, that can from Antiquitie bee pretended, to proue it lawfull, and which in all likeli-hood did partly occasion it, argues the Ancients vse of it in solemne assemblies, to haue beene held as necessarie. For euen in cases of greatest necessitie, when the cup could not bee carried to parties sicke, or otherwise detained from publique Communions; they had the consecrated bread dipped in it. And*Gregorie of Towres relates the poyso∣ning Page 33 of King Clouis sister (Queene to Theodoricke) by her owne daughter, in the Chalice, so, as he intimates withall, the ordinarie vse of the cup at that time, aswell amongst French Catholickes as Italian Arrians. Onely this was the difference; The Arrians did not, as the Catholiques, drinke of the same cuppe with their Prin∣ces.
9 It may be, feare, conceiued vpon this or like example, least the Priests should, in a more proper sense prooue conficients, not of Christs, but of Lay Princes bodies; made them, afterwardes, more willing to forbeare the Cup; and the people, either in man∣ners would not, or otherwise could not, be aduanced aboue them at this Heauenly banquet. Turonensis reason against these Here∣tiques, I thinke, did hold no longer then his life; few Princes af∣terwardes durst haue aduentured to trie the truth of his conclusi∣on [Whether poyson drunke in the Sacrament administred by the supposed true Church would haue wrought. For, vnlesse my memorie faile mee, Ecclesiastike Princes, Popes themselues, haue beene as surely poysoned, in Catholike Chalies; as the foremen∣tioned Queene was in the Arrian cup.
10 But what occasions soeuer, either mooued the laitie of themselues to imbrace, or the Cleargie to enioyne this Commu∣nion vnder one kind; the* Trent Councell specifies none, and yet accurseth all that will not beleeue the Church had iust causes so to doe. Without any sure warrant of Scripture to perswade it, they bind all likewise to beleeue this bare negatiue, [That neither our Sauiours wordes, at his institution of the Sacrament, nor a∣ny other place of Scripture, enioyne the vse of the cup as neces∣sarie, by way of precept or commandement:] Nor doth Christs words, in the sixth of Iohn, howsoeuer we vnderstand them, according Page 34 to the diuerse interpretations of Fathers, (either of Sacramentall or Spirituall eating) enforce any such necessitie. Will you heare their reasons for this bold assertion. He that said, vnlesse yee eate the flesh of the sonne of man and drinke his bloud, you haue no life in you; said also,*If any man eate of this bread, he shall liue for euer. And he that said, whosoeuer eateth my flesh and drinketh my bloud hath eternall life; said also, the bread which I will giue is my flesh, which I will giue for the life of the World; Hee that said, whosoeuer eateth my flesh and drinketh my bloud, dwels in me and I in him: hath said withall, hee that eateth this bread shall liue for euer.
11 Gods precepts must bee very peremptorie, and conceiued in formall tearmes, ere any sufficient authoritie to enioyne obe∣dience, in what subiect soeuer, will bee acknowledged in them by these men, that dare thus deny a necessity of communicating Christ in both kindes, imposed vpon all in these wordes; Verely, verely I say vnto you, except yee eat the flesh of the sonne of man, and drinke his• bloud, you haue no life in you; onely because it is said in the words going before, If any man eat of this bread, he shall liue for euer. Of how much better insight in Scriptures, then these graund seers of Rome, would blind Homer, had he liued in their time, haue pro∣ued? For he neuer denied his fained Gods their Nectar, because Ambrosia was an immortall meate, And would hee, or any man not more blinde in heart and minde then he was of bodily sence, collect, against Christs expresse wordes, that his bloud, the true heauenly Nectar, was not necessary, because his flesh doth streng∣then to eternall life, especially if hee considered their captious in∣terpollation, against whom in that place hee disputes, which cau∣sed him not to expresse his minde so fully there, as elsewhere hee had done albeit afterwards he ingeminates the necessitie of drin∣king his bloud, aswell as eating his flesh in such precise and formall tearmes; as if he had euen then bethought himselfe, that such An∣tichristian Spirits as these Trent Fathes, might happily dare to e∣lude his most sacred precept, by such Satanicall glosses, as in that decree they haue done.
12 He had told the Iewes (asmuch as was pertinent to their ob∣iection) that hee was the liuing bread, which came downe from Heauen: much better then Manna, which their Fathers had ea∣ten. Bread he called himselfe in opposition vnto Manna, not re∣strayning Page 35 this to his bodie or flesh onely; albeit what he meant by bread, he expounds partly by his flesh, And the bread which I will giue is my flesh, which I will giue for the life of the World; Besides that bread in the Hebrew Dialect containes all sorts of food, the man∣ner of giuing this An brosia was such, as did affoord Heauenly visible Nectar too. For whilest hee gaue his flesh vpon the crosse, hee powred out his bloud withall. But the Iewes catch at this speech, ere he had expounded his full meaning, How can this man giue vs flesh to eate? Then Iesus said vnto them, verely, verely I say vn∣to you, except ye eate the flesh of the sonne of man, and drinke his bloud, ye haue no life in you. Which wordes, considered with the former circumstances,* to any mans capacitie not infatuation, import thus much; Doe yee murmur that I should profer you my flesh? verily I say vnto you, and yee may beleeue me, Vnlesse ye drinke my bloud, as well as eate my flesh, yee haue no life in you. For so hee addes, my flesh is meate indeede, and my bloud is drinke indeed; that is, both are as necessarie to eternall, as meat and drinke to corporall life.
13 For these and many like reasons, necessarily arising from the text; some, aswell of their greatest Schollers, as best interpre∣tors, denie the former places to be meant of Sacramentall eating, otherwise, vnable to conceiue any possibilitie, either of auoiding the inconueniences vrged by vs, or of defending their infallible Church from errour in this decree. Yet saith the Councell, howsoe∣uer they be vnderstood, according to the diuerse interpretations of Fa∣thers, they inferre no such necessitie. No? not if most Fathers, as Mal∣donate contends, did hold them to be directly meant of Sacramen∣tall eating? Why then did Iansenius and Hesselius renounce the Fathers in this? surely to defend their mother, whose credit they haue much better saued, vpon supposition that these wordes are meant onely of spirituall manducation, then Maldonate, otherwise acute, but most peruersely sottish, in his Apologie for this decree, hath done. And yet, to speake the truth, the same inconuenience will follow as necessarily,* though not so perspicuously at first Page 36 sight, albeit we grant them to be meant of spirituall eating prima∣rily.* For * in that they are meant primarily of spirituall they cannot but be meant of Sacramental eating also, seeing these two (as elsewhere I haue obserued) are not opposite, but subordinate. Whence if we grant that Christs bloud, aswell as his flesh, must bee communicated to vs by faith, or spirituall manducation; the consequence will bee [Therefore the cuppe, as well as the bread, must bee administred in the Sacrament;]* because Christ saith in the institution, that the cup is his bloud, and the bread his bodie or flesh: that is, the one is the sure pledge, o• instrument; where∣by his flesh; the other whereby his bloud, which wee must spiri∣tually eate, (as well in the Sacrament as out of it,) must bee com∣municated vnto vs. For, as the auncient Fathers haue obserued, our Sauiour Christ did in his institution exhibit that vnto vs sen∣sibly which before hee had promised as inuisible, so that the pre∣cept of eating Christs bodie, and drinking his bloud sacramen∣tally doth binde all capable of this Sacrament as strictly, as that other of eating his bodie and drinking his bloud Spiritually: see∣ing this latter is the seale and assurance of the other. And as our aduersaries acknowledge an absolute necessitie of pre•pt, for eating Christ Sacramentally and Spiritually, though that pre∣cept concerne not infants: so in all reason they should grant an equall necessitie of precept, for eating his flesh and bloud distinct∣ly in the Sacrament, though this bee not necessarie to all men, at all times, if without negligence or contempt they cannot be partakers of both. For impossibilitie, vpon what occasion soe∣uer, not caused through their one default, exempts them from that generall precept of eating Christ vnder both kindes; as want of yeares, or discretion, doth children from any iniunction, di∣uine, or humane of communicating so much as in one kind. For notwithstanding the former precept, [except ye eate the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinke his bloud, yee haue no life in you,] as per∣emptorie as any can be for communicating, aswell sacramental∣ly as spiritually, in both kindes; it were vncharitble to mistrust Gods mercie towardes such poore soules, as long for the cup of saluation, which no man giueth them; yea which the Romish Church hath by decree, as peremptorie as she could make, denied to all the Laitie without exception, to al the Cleargie except such, Page 37 as may by a peculiar right challenge his bloud as their owne, by way of exchange, because they haue made him a bodie which hee had not before.
14 Yet is it a small thing with this great whore,* to depriue the Christian World of the Lords, vnlesse shee vrge it, instead there∣of, to pledge her in the cup of Deuils, full of the wine of fornica∣tion, coloured with her adulterate Scriptures authorized no doubt for such purposes. Where our Apostle Saint Paul saith, that he, and his fellow Ministers were stewards of the mysteries of God; the vulgar Romane edition renders the Greeke, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 by the Latine dispensatores and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (rightly rendred in this place) elsewhere (vpon carelesnesse, rather then any intention of harme, as I am perswaded) by the Latine*sacramentum. Whe∣ther vpon set purpose of some more learned in that Councell, pre∣suming to gull the simple and illitterate by their cunning, as Chemnitius probably thinkes; or whether the mysterie of iniqui∣tie (as is more probable) wrought vnawares in the braines of the ignorant,* which were the maior part, and, as some haue related, did ouersway the learned vncapable of such impudency as should giue countenance to this ignominious decree; partly from the e∣quiuocation of the Latine dispensatores, partly from the synomi∣nall signification which the vulgar hath made of mysterium, and sa∣cramentum, the beetle-heads haue hammered out an interpreta∣tion of Saint Pauls words before cited, so scurrilously contrarie to his meaning, that the blacke Dogge, which is said to haue appea∣red vnto Cardinall Crescentius (might hee haue spoken in the Councell) could scarce haue vttered it without blushing. For the Apostle meant such dispensatores or Stewards, as our Sauiour speakes of in the foure and twentieth of Saint Matthew; such as should giue their fellow seruants their inst portions without pur∣loyning; such as daily expected their Masters returne, to cal them vnto a strict account of their stewardship. For so it is expressely added,*Moreouer, (or as much as belongs vnto our office) it is required of Stewards, that they be all sound faithfull.
Not to dispute of the Churches authoritie in disposing of Sa∣craments, Page 38 nor to exagitate the impietie of this decree, be the one for the present supposed as great, the other as little as they list to make it; onely this I would demaund of any that is so himselfe; whether he can imagine any men, sober, or in their right mindes, would not assoone haue vrged that text, The foole hath said in his heart there is no God, for establishing Atheisme, or Saint Peters checke vnto Simon Magus, to prooue Simonie lawfull; as deriue the Churches authoritie, for detayning the least part of the word of life, much lesse the cup of saluation, from these wordes, Let a man so thinke of vs as of the Ministers of Christ, and disposers of the secrets of God. What secrets? of the Gospell, before hid, but now to be published to all the World; of which the same Apostle else∣where had said, Anccessitie is laid vpon me, and wee vnto mee, if I preach it not. Of the vse, or necessitie of the Lords cup, not a word in this place, not a syllable, for the Lord had sent him, not to admi∣nister this Sacrament, but to preach the Gospell: of which the Doctrine of the Lords Supper was a part indeed; but where ex∣pressely and directly he deliuers that, doth hee intimate by any cir∣cumstance, that either it had beene, was, or might bee otherwise administred, then according to the patterne prescribed by our Sa∣uiour at the first institution? Rather his often repetition of these coniunctiues, This bread and this cuppe, eating and drinking, the bodie and bloud, &c. Argue, he neuer thought the one should be re∣ceiued without the other; that this prohibition of the cup was a particular branch of the Mysterie of iniquitie, not to breake out till latter ages, hid from his eyes that had seene the Mysterie it selfe begin to worke. As oftenaas yee shall eat this bread (saith the Apostle) and drinke this cup, yee shew the Lords death till hee come. Wherefore whosoeuer shall eate this bread, and drinke the cuppe of the Lord vnworthily, shall bee guiltie of the bodie and bloud of the Lord. Let a man therefore examine himselfe, and so let him eate of this bread and drinke of this cup. For he that eateth and drinketh vnworthily, ea∣teth and drinketh his owne damnation, because hee discerneth not the Lords bodie.* Yet vnto the Trent Councell Saint Paul in the Page 39 former place, where hee had no such occasion, as not speaking one word either of the Doctrine, necessitie, or vse of the Sacra∣ments seemes to intimate, and that not obscurely, the Churches authoritie in dispensing them as the Trent Fathers haue done. What then might euery Minister of Christ, euerie distributer of Gods secrets, haue vsed the like authoritie, before the Church re∣presentatiue did; at least, by tacite consent, approue the practise? This place doubtlesse proues, either altogether nothing, or thus much, for the Apostles wordes are indefinite, for their litterall sence, equally appliable to euerie faithfull Minister, or priuate dis∣penser of such secrets; not appropriate to the intire publique bo∣die Ecclesiastique, or the capitall or Cardinall partes thereof. Of the Corinthians, to whom he wrote, one said, I am Pauls, another I am Apollos, the third I am of Cephas; all boasting in the personal excellencies of their first Parents in Christ, as the Papists now doe in Saint Peters and his successours Catholique Primacie. To as∣swage these carnall humours in his children, their Father that great Doctour of the Gentiles, seekes more in this, then in any o∣ther place of all his Epistles, to debase himselfe, and diminish others high esteeme either of his owne worth, or of his calling *Who is Paul then? and who is Apollos, but the Ministers by whom ye beleeued; and as the Lord gaue to euerie man? I haue planted, Apol∣los watered, but God gaue the increase. So then, neither is he that plan∣teth any thing, neither hee that watereth, but God that giueth the en∣crease, And he that planteth, and hee that watereth are one, and euery man shall receiue his wages according to his labour. For wee together are Gods labourers: ye are Gods husbandrie, and Gods building. And after a serious incitement of master builders to fidelitie, with the like admonition to Gods husbandrie, or building, not to reioyce in men, he concludes as he had begun, Let euery man esteeme vs (such as I haue said) Ministers of Christ and disposers of the mysteries of God. Of whom were they so to esteeme? Of Saint Paul himselfe, and euery faithfull Minister. Doth he then intimate here any such prerogatiue aboue the meanest of his brethren, as the Romish Cleargie vsurpes ouer the whole Christian World? any authoritie to prohibit, either the dispensors of Gods mysteries from admini∣string, or men so carnally minded as were these to whom he wrote from communicating Christs bloud aswell as his bodie? So the Page 40 Trent Fathers thinke; and, as if for their wilfull deniall of the Lords cup vnto the people, the Lord had giuen them the cup of giddinesse, to cast them into a Babilonish slumber whilest they consulted about this decree; and their Scribes through retchlesse∣nesse had written, what their rauing Masters in their sickly or drunken dreames, had vttered: wee finde, in the same Decree, another place of Saint Paul immediately annexed, though as dis∣proportionable to the former (as it is placed in their discourse) as a mans head to an horses necke, both as vnsutable to their inten∣ded conclusion, as a super addition of finnes or feathers would be, to such a monstrous Hippocentaurique combination. The place is Saint Pauls conclusion of that discourse concerning the Sacra∣ment,*Other thinges will I set in order when I come.
16 Granting (what is not necessarie) hee spake of ordering matters concerning this Sacrament: to receiue the wine, aswell as the bread, was no part of their present disorder, whose misbe∣hauiour at the Lords Table did minister mere iust occasions to Saint Paul, then long beardes did to the Councell of Constance, to denie the vse of the cup, might Christs bloud and bodie, which he had iointly rendered to all, be vpon any occasion iustly seuered by man in the administration of his last Will and Testament. Whatsoeuer the number or qualitie of the guests bee; the great Lords Table must be alwaies so furnished as it was at the first insti∣tution; for he hath no respect of persons. If a rich stately Prelate come in with a gold ring in goodly vestiments, & a poore honest Layicke in vileraiments, he saith not to him in Pontificiall roabes, come sit you here at my messe, where you may drinke of my wine aswell as eate of my bread: nor to the poore Layicke, stand thou there a part, or sit downe here vnder my footstoole, where thou maist bee partaker of the crummes which fall from my table, though not of my cup, which must be kept for thy betters. High and low, rich and poore, all were redeemed with one price, all at this offering equal, all alike free to tast of euery dish, so they come with wedding garments, without which euen the best must be cast out, as vnworthie to tast of any part, if not of all. That part, which the Counsels of Constance and Trent, vpon pre∣tences of reuerence to the LORDS Supper, haue detai∣ned from Moderne Christians, the Corinthians had receiued Page 41 vnworthily; yet was not the Cuppe, for this reason, held super∣fluous by Saint Paul who onely sought to represse the abuse, as knowing the vse of it to bee most necessarie. The matters then hee meant to order, when he came, was, to set out this Heauen∣ly banquet with greater decencie and solemnitie, not to abridge them, of any substantiall or materiall part thereof.
17 Nor doe the Trent Fathers, if wee may trust them vpon their* words. For they (desirous as it seemes to make the whole Christian World as sottish, as themselues were impious) would make men beleeue, they could iuggle away the Cuppe, and neuer touch the very substance of the Sacrament; as if the wine were not as substantiall a part of the Lords Supper, as was his bloud of his bodie, or humanitie. An integrall or materiall part they can∣not denie it to bee; and such if it bee, there Apologie is as shame∣lesse, as if a man should let out most of anothers bloud, cut of his arme, or legge, or maime him in some principall part, and plead for himselfe, I did not meddle with his substance, meaning (as the Councell I take it heere doth) his essence, seeing he is yet as truly a reasonable Creature, as before.
18 But to debarre them of that refuge,* it may be they sought or their followers may yet hope to finde in the equiuocation of this word, substance, importing as much sometimes as a material, or in∣tegral, sometimes as an essential part. If the cup be an essential and substantiall part of this Sacrament, the Councell by their owne confession did souly erre, in prohibiting Communion vnder both kindes: If no such part it bee, they might by their owne rule haue altogether denied the vse of it so much as to the sacrificer, or consicient: but so the verie vse and end, on which the essence of the Sacrament, (as of all other matters of moral practise) imme∣diatly depends, and by whose expiration instantly must determine, should vtterly haue perished. The end and vse of this sacred institution, as our Sauiour expressely teacheth, and the Coun∣cell grants, was to represent the testators death, yea so to repre∣sent it, as we migh be partakers of his bodie and bloud, not spiri∣tually onely, but withall, (as the Trent Fathers contend) sacra∣mentally. Admitting then all they can pretend against the neces∣sitie of the Cuppe [That whole Christ were in the bread alone;] yet this will not preserue the true and fruitfull vse of Page 42 the Sacrament, nor salue that deadly wound, the essence of it must perforce receiue from frustration of the end, necessarily ensuing the cuppes absence. For this Sacrament was ordained, as to re∣present, so to exhibit Christs bodie, vnto all faithfull Communi∣cants not as intire, and whole; his bloud, not as it was inclosed in the vaines: but the one, as torne and rent, the other, as shedde and powred out vpon the crosse. This is my bloud of the new Testa∣ment, (saith our Sauiour) which is shed for many, (for all that re∣ceiue it faithfully) for the remission of sinnes. His bloud then, as shed and powred out, is as the loadstarre of penitent and contrite hearts, whereon the eyes of their faith, that seeke remission of sinnes in this Sacrament, must bee fastened: for (as thea Apostle saith) without sheding of bloud is no remission. This was the com∣plement of that inestimable all-sufficient Sacrifice, that which re∣presents his precious bloud thus powred out, the principall part of this Sacrament, aswell in respect of representing his death, as in applying remission of sinnes thereby in generall purchased, and by this Sacramentall Type sealed to euery one in particular; es∣pecially if the Trent Councels Doctrine be true, that Christs ve∣rie bloud, which was shed vpon the crosse, is really present in the Chalice, and might be as immediately sprinkled at least vpon the lips or dores of euerie faithfull receiuers heart, as the bloud, of the Paschal Lambe was vpon the doore-posts of the Israelites. Thus, as Sathan the Father of lies, so false opinion, suggested by him, draw men with pleasure into those euils, for whose practise in the end they become their chiefe accusers. That opinion which first brought in neglect of the Chalice, and, as the Trent Councell presumed, would haue warranted them in making this decree, doth most condemne them: for the measure of their iniquitie, could not haue beene so fully accomplished, vnlesse they had held a transubstantiation of the wine into Christs bloud.
19 What part of Scripture, can wee presume they will spare, that dare thus countermand the most principal of all Gods Com∣mandements? what reckoning may wee thinke, they make of our Sauiour Christ, that aduenture thus shamefully to disanull and cancell his last will and testament, defrauding almost the whole Christian World, of halfe their Lord and Maisters royall allow∣ance, partly without any shew of Scriptures, either to restraine, Page 43 or otherwise interpret these Soueraigne precepts; partly vpon such idle and friuolous allegations, as may further witnesse their sleight estimate of Gods Word, saue onely so farre, as it may bee wrested to serue their turnes.
20 But grant the places there alleaged by the Councell,* did so mitigate either the forme of the institution, or the peremp∣torie manner of our Sauiours speeches in the sixth of Iohn, as to make it disputable in vnpartiall iudgements, whether they did plainely inioyne any necessitie of communicating vnder both kindes: the former decree notwithstanding would manifestly in∣ferre an vsurpation of Soueraigntie •uer Gods word, quite con∣trarie to the generall Analogie of faith, reason, and conscience; by all which, in cases doubtfull, and, for the speculatiue forme of truth, disputable with eqall probabilitie, affirmatiuely or negatiuely; wee are taught to frame our choice, when wee come to practise, according to the difference of the matter, or of consequences, which may ensue, more dreadfull one way, then the other, alwayes to preferre either a greater good before a lesse, or a lesse euill before a greater, though both equally probable. Suppose then these two contradictorie propositions, [The deniall of the cup is a mutilation of Christs last will and testament: the deniall of the cuppe is no mutilation of Christs last will, and Testament,] were, for their speculatiue probabilities, in iust examination, equipen∣dent; yet the doctrine of faith deliuered in Scripture, reason and conscience, without contradiction, instruct vs, that to alter, ab∣rogate, or mutilate the sonne of Gods last will and testament, is a most grieuous, most horrible, most dreadfull sinne; but to per∣mit the vse of the Chalice, hath no suspition of any the least euill in it. Had the Trent Fathers thus done, they had done no worse then our Sauiour, then his Apostles, then the Primitiue Church, (by* their owne confession) did. This excesse of euill, without all hope of any the least compensatiue good to follow vpon the deniall, should haue swaied them to that practise, which was in∣finitely more safe, as not accompanied with any possibilitie or shew of danger; although the speculatiue probabilitie of anie diuine precept necessarily inioyning the vse of the cup, had beene none. Thus peremptorily to aduenture vpon consequences so fearefull, whereto no contrarie feare could in reason impell, nor Page 43 hopes any way comparable allure them; thus imperiously to de∣priue the whole Christian World of a good, in their valuation, (testified by their humble supplications and frequent embassages to that Councell) so inestimable, without any other good possi∣ble to redound vnto the deniers, saue onely vsurpation of Lord∣ly Dominion ouer Christs heritage; plainly euinceth, that the Church is of farre greater authoritie with them, then GOD: Word, either written in the Sacred Canon, or their hearts; then all his Lawes, either ingrafted by nature, or positiue, and Super∣naturall. For,
21 Admit this Church representatiue had beene fully per∣swaded in conscience rightly examined, and immediatly ruled by Scripture, that the former decree did not preiudice the instituti∣on, vse, or end of this Sacrament; yet most Christians earnest de∣sire of the Cuppe, so publikely testified, could not suffer them to sleep in ignorance of that great scandall, the deniall of it needes must giue to most inferiour particular Churches. Wherefore the rule of charitie, that mooued the Father of the Gentiles to that se∣rious protestation.*If meate offend my brother, I will eate no flesh while the World standeth, that I may not offend my brother: should in all equitie, diuine, or humane, haue wrought these Prelats hearts to like profession, If want of their spirituall drinke offend so many Congregations, and such a multitude of our brethren, we will rather not vse our lawfull authoritie acknowledged by all, then vs•rp any that may be offensiue or suspicious vnto others, though apparantly iust vnto our selues: for they could not be more fully perswaded, this decree was iust then Saint Paul was that all meates were lawfull to him.
22 But may we thinke these Prelates had no scruple of consci∣ence, whether the very forme of this decree were not against our Sauiours expresse command,*bibite ex hoc omnes, drinke yee all of this: For mine owne part, whiles I call to minde, what else where I haue obserued, that the Iewes were neuer so peremptorie in their despitefull censures of our Sauiours doctrine, nor so outragiously bent against his person, as when their hearts were touched in part with his myracles, or in some degree illuminated with the truth he taught: The Councels extraordinary forwardnesse to terrifie all Page 45 controuenaries of this decree, makes mee suspect they were toe conscious of their own shallow pretended proofes to elude Gods word, whose light and perspicuitie in this point had exasperated their hardned hearts, and weake-sighted faith, to be so outragious, in the very beginning of that session, as if they had meant to sti•fle their consciences, and choake the truth, lest these happily might crosse their proceedings, or controule their purposes, if this cause should once haue come to sober and deliberate debatement, For, as theeues oftentimes seeke to auoid apprehension by crying lou∣dest, turne the theefe; so these wolues hoped well to smother their guilt, and preuent all notice taking of their impietie by their grie∣uous exclamations against others monstrous impious opinions in this point interdicting all vpon penaltie of the causes following, ere they had determined ought to teach, preach, or belieue other∣wise then they meant to determine.
23 Yet,* though the Councell accurse all that holde communi∣cation vnder both kindes as a necessarie Doctrine, it doth not absolutely inhibit all vse of the Chalice, but leaues it free vnto their Lord the Pope to grant it, vpon what Conditions he please, either vnto priuate men, or whole Nations, vpon what conditi∣ons then, may wee presume, will it please his Holinesse for to grant it? vpon any better then Satan tendered all the Kingdomes of the Earth vnto our Sauiour? for this fained seruant of Christ, a true Gehazi, repining at his Lord and Masters simplicitie, that could refuse so faire a profer, made after Sathan in all hast, saying, in his heart, I will surely take somewhat of him, though my Ma∣ster spared him; and, pretending, a message in his name, to whom all power was giuen in Heauen and in earth, hath got an interest in the chiefe Kingdomes of the World disposing such as hee can best spare, or worst manage, to any potent Prince, that will fall downe and worship him and his copartner the Prince of darke∣nesse; Page 46 who, of late yeares, haue almost shared the whole World betwixt them; the one ruling ouer infidels, the other ouer profes∣sed Christians. And seeing the Pope (because his pompe and dig∣nitie must bee maintained by Worldly wealth and reuenewes) dares not part with the proprietie of so many Kingdomes at once, as Sathan (who onely lookes for honour) profered; hee hath found out a tricke to supply his wants, for purchasing like honour and worship, by his office of keeping Saint Peters keyes, if earthly Prouinces or Dominions faile him, Gods Word, his sonnes bloud and bodie, all, shall be set to sale, at this price, Fall downe and worship him. For no man, we may rest assured, no Nati∣on or Kingdome, whom hee can hinder, shall euer tast of the Lords Cup, vnlesse they will first acknowledge lawfull authoritie in him, to grant, denie, or dispose of it, at his pleasure; which is an homage wherewith the Deuill is more delighted, then if wee did acknowledge him Supreme Lord of all the Kingdomes of the Earth: for that were as much lesse preiudiciall to Christs prero∣gatiue royall, as a damage in possession or goods would bee to a personall disgrace, or some foule maime or deformitie wrought vpon a Princes bodie.