A RECANTATION SERMON PREACHED IN THE GATEHOVSE AT VVEST-minster the 30. day of Iuly 1620. In the pre∣sence of many worshipfull persons, by Iohn Harding, late Priest and Dominican Fryar.
Wherein he hath declared his iust motiues which haue mo∣ued him to leaue the Church of Rome, and to vnite himselfe with the reformed Church of England, whose faith and doctrine, the ancient fathers and holy Mar∣tyrs hane confirmed both by bloud and writing.
Shewing herein the grose errors of Rome, in matters of faith, their corrupting the Fathers, and their present declining to some strange and future Ruine.
LONDON, Printed by Barnard Alsop for Roger Iackson, and are to be sold at his shop against the Counduit in Fleetestreet.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE SIR ROBERT Nanton, Knight, chiefe Secretary to his Ma∣iesties state and one of his Maiesties most Honorable Priuie Councell.
HE that hath passed a dangerous sicknesse, and hath recouered his former health againe, is bound in a double Obligation: The one is to bee gratefull to the Person by whose meanes he recouered his health: The other is to vse all meanes possible, that those which be sick of the like disease, may by his recouery be the better: Ac∣cording to that of our Sauior, Et tu cōuersus confirma fratres tuos: And therefore right Honourable, although it be somewhat besides custome to make Dedications of printed Sermons; yet it is my duty to offer to your Honour the first fruits of my con∣uersion: Your Honor being next and immediately vnder God the chiefe worker thereof. The which as it is a gretaer benefite then any worldly thing can afford me, so doth it require a fuller acknowledgement then as yet, I could at any time manifest: howsoeuer I haue most earnestly desiredit. In which respect be∣ing ouer intreated by some of my friends to publish this Sermon of my Recantation, and to set downe to the open view of all, the Page [unnumbered]iust reasons, and sollid grounds that moued mee there unto. I haue made hold to passe it vnder your Honours name, hoping by your former encouragements, of your loning acceplance. And albeit they be but my first Assayes in this kind, and therefore may chance to seem: but harsh, yet because my desire is only to set forth God; mercy towards me: your Honors louing kindnesse shewed to me, And to stop the mouthes of some malicious Papists that rayle against me, I trust that your Honour will accept of this my weake endeauour as a token of my thankefull mind, which I in all duty recommend vnto your Honours fauour, and your selfe and yours, in your affaires vnto the mercy, and blisse of the blessed Trinity, who ever so asssist your Honour in all your proceedings, as that after these present toyles and troubles, your Honor may receine that happy Crowne of glory, Quam repro∣miscit Deus diligentibus se.
Your Honors euer in Christ Iesus Iohn Harding,
A RECANTATION SERMON, PREACHED BY A DOMINICAN Fryar.
Psal. 119. verse 71.It is good for me that I have beene in trouble, for thereby I have learned thy Statutes.
*SEneca a graue Phylosopher, writing vnto Nero, and tracting of Cinna an ancient Ro∣man, and publike Rebell, hee vseth these words: Periti medici vbi blanda medela non pracedat tentant contrarium. It is the vse of good Physicians that when a gentle Medi∣tine doth take no place, they presently apply a sharper salue, and more bitter corrasiue: The like course taketh Almighty God with those that bee repugnant vnto his holy will and re∣bellious against his knowne truth, when faire meanes and louing kindnes cannot preuaile, then goeth he non allicien∣do sed compellendo, not by alluring or enticing, them but by compelling and enforcing them, vt quod non possit per dis∣ceptationePage 2saltem pos sit per vim, that those whom hee cannot win by louing exhortations he will bring them home by ex∣tremities: For as Isocrates an ancient Grecian saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, afflictions are our instructions, and extremitie is Gods opportunity. The prodigal child would not returne vn-his father vntill extremity compelled him, Manasses liuing in his pompe and pleasure in Ierusalem, planted groues, and set vp Idols against God and godlinesse, but being in prison in Babilon, and chained in a dungeon the Scripture saith, that he did turne his heart vnto the Lord his God and besought him earnestly: therefore saith Salomon to all things, there is an appointed time, and a time for euery purpose vnder the heauēs: God hath his time to afflict vs, that we may the more earnestly seeke after him, multiplicatae sunt infirmitates, eorum postea acclerauerme: as our Sauiour saith, seeke and you shall find? But how must we seek? it is said we must seeke him by Prayer. Inuoca me in die tribulationis & ego exaudiam te, call vpon me in the time of trouble, and I will heare thee.
The Prophet Dauid being much afflicted in many of his Psalmes, doth often call vpon the Lord, as in the 120. Psalme ad Dominum cum tribularer clamaui: when I was in trouble I called vppon the Lord, and in the 130. Psalme, de profun∣dis clamaui ad te domini, domine exaudi vocem meam, out of the deepe of my heart haue I called vnto thee O Lord, O Lord heare my prayer: so that as prosperity doth cause many to forget God, and to neglect their duties towards him: so doth aduersity call them home againe, and makes them more carefull to seeke after him, and to walke more warily in his wayes. And therefore, the Prophet Dauid in another place of this Psalme saith, Before I was in trouble I went wrong, but now haue I learned to keep thy lawes, and so concludeth in the seuenth verse saying, bonū est mihi quia bumili asti me, it is Page 3good for me that I haue beene in trouble. The like may I say at this time right Worshipfull and my louing auditors, it was good for mee that I haue beene in trouble, for before I was in trouble albeit I had a zeale to serue the Lord, yet I had not the true way and meanes to serue him as he ought to be serued: hauing liued as long time from the truth as from my country and friends, being from my first arriuall into this Land, deteyned in pryson, sequestred from all conuersa∣tion and society. In this my affliction and long misery I pray∣ed both instantly and feruently to the Almighty that hee would vouhcsafe to open mine eyes, enlighten my darkenes, and incline my heart vnto his testimonies, that I might serue him in holinesse and righteousnesse all the dayes of my life, for in him only, and for him only, I desired to liue and dye, refol∣uing my selfe that whatsoeuer shall bee fall me in this life, I will esteeme it all happinesse, for the peace of conscience and the glory of Gods most holy name.
As I was thus communing with my soule, there came in∣to my mind that worthy precept of St. Iohn when he saith, Trust not euery Spirit, but try the Spirits, whether they bee of God or no: Likewise I did much ruminate and ponder with my selfe, the place of the Prophet Esay, where he saith; to the Law and the Testimony If they speake not according to this Word, It is because there is no light in them. Whence I did gather, that all Seruices and Doctrines of Religion are not ac∣ceptable before God: For Faith commeth by hearing and hearing of the word of God: so that if they speake not accor∣ding to this Word it is rather fancy, then faith, humane tra∣ditions, then Gods institutions, and consequently condem∣ned by our Sauiour in the 15. of Mathew, where he expresly reprooued the Commandements and traditions of men. And St. Paul reiecteth as Bastard slippes all voluntary SeruicesPage 4what apparance or outward shew of deuotion soeuer they beare.
By which and other like places, I was moued to examine my profession whether it were of Gods institution, and espe∣ciall command specified to vs, or whether God were the au∣thor of those Seruices and Ceremonies which now beate great sway in the Church of Rome: and after due examination I found out for certaine that many points of the Religion, now embraced by the Romanists are not to be found within the volume of Gods Word. When I considered this, and perceiued the weakenes of the grounds that must warrant our soules, it gaue me occasion to forsake my communion with the Church of Rome, in whose bosome I haue beene long detayned; of whom I may iustly complaine as the Pro∣phet Ieremy did of the false teachers in his dayes, they haue reiected the Word of the Lord, and what wisedome is then in them.
Likewise I often busied my selfe in reading of Books, trea∣ting of Religion, & such as handled matters now in contro∣uersie: as the Apollogy of the most reuerent Father and lear∣ned Scholler Iohn Iewell, Bishop of Sarisbury, written against a friend and neere Kiseman of mine Docter Harding; toge∣ther with another no lesse reuerent then learned, Marcus Antoniuus de dominis Archbishop of Spalato, whom after I had well perused, I found such comfort in my conscience and such sollid doctrine for my soule, that I made no doubt to say with the Prophet Dauid, a domino factum est hoc, this is the Lords doing. Now the Sunne is vp, and the Clouds of ignorance are gone, the truth shineth, and the Kingdome of Heauen is at hand, therfore I may say with my Text, bonum est mihi quia humiliastime. It is good for mee that I was in trouble, for thereby I haue learned thy Statutes. But what Page 5are these Statutes? they are the Word of God, contayned in the Law and the Prophets: which are the rule of our Life, and the square of our Faith, and the very Oracle of Al∣mighty God, from Heauen to reueale his will vnto vs, for certaine it is that Christ came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it: hee swarued not from the Law and the Pro∣phets, neither did the Apostles teach any thing vpon their owne will and discretion, but the Doctrine which they re∣ceiued of Christ, they faithfully deliuered it vnto the peo∣ple, and Nations.
And this they preached at the first in viua voce:, that is, in a liuely Voyce, and afterward deliuered it vnto vs in wri∣ting, to be the foundation and Pillar of our Faith, Qui hoc credit (saith Tertullian) nihil habet quod vitra credat: He that beleeueth this, hath no Obligation to beleeue any thing else: and this is that which we ought to beleeue without ei∣ther adding or diminishing.
I would now demand of the Pope and his Papalins, in what Gospell, in what Apostle, in what Prophet or Euangelist, or Book of Moses, they find either Pope or his supremacy? where are his Pardons? where is his Masse? where Images? together with many other his Fopperies, which now they hold to be very precious. We reade in the 20. of Exodus, that almighty God doth expresly forbid the making of any Image, to represent the Person of Almighty God, or to do any seruice and obey sance to any Picture, or representation of the creature: for first God is a Spirit invisible, incom∣prehensible, and Eternall, and therefore hee cannot be sig∣nified by any Image or creature, which is both corporall and momentary, and therefore God in his second Com∣mandement forbiddeth all seruice done vnto Images: but contrary vnto this the Church of Rome doth command Page 6and allow not only the making of Images, but also doth command the seruing and worshipping of them, as by incensing them, in lighting of Candles vnto them, by kneeling before them, and by yeelding vp their offrings, and deuotions vnto them.
All which can bee no lesse then grosse Idolatry: for al∣beit, they do not worship their Images, as stocks and stones, but as they represent either God or some Saint: So like∣wise did not the Isralits, worship their golden Calfe, as the true God, but they did worship the true God in the Calfe, and yet notwithstanding, the Text saith, that they did com∣mit Idolatry, and many of them were seuerely punished for the same, Exod. 32. so that the Idolatry of the Church of Rome is as grosse as that of the Isralites. What can bee more iniutious vnto God then to hope for helpe of him, and yet notwithstanding to pray vnto a sencelesse stock? The faith of the Patriarkes and Prophets, & righteous Fathers from the beginning of the world, was the same as ours is, and ought to be, as the Apostle saith, that they were all bapti∣zed in the red Sea, and did eate the same spirituall meate, and iniutious vnto drinke the same spirituall drinke, as wee doe now: But was Abraham, Isaack, or Iaacob, Papists? did they fall downe before stocks and stones? before Idols or Images to pray or offer vnto them? did they go on pilgrimage one to ano∣thers Relikes to doe deuotion vnto them? there is neither shew nor shadow of these things in the Word of God.
Chrysostome saith, that Christ, nee discessit a lege neque a Prophetis: but none of all this is to bee found in the Law or the Prophets, therefore in no wise to bee ad∣mitted.
As touching the distinction which they vse betwixt Duleiam and Latreiam, affirming that they giue to Saints Page 7onely Du••iam; that is, a kind of Religious Seruice, and that they giue Latreiam vnto Almighty God, intimating thereby that they both worship God and serue their Ima∣ges: Our Sauiour confoundeth them in the 4, of Mathew saying as is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serue.
And Saint Paul perswadeth the Corinthians to turne from Idols and Images, and to serue the euerliuing God, where hee doth vse the word Duliea, for the Seruice of the true God, shewing heereby the opposition that is betwixt the one and the other, that he that serueth Images, cannot in any wise serue the Almighty God:yea God himself spea∣keth it plainely, in his first Commandement, to worship and serue him, only, neither will he giue his Honour to any other.
In the first precept God condemneth all false Gods, in the second all false worshiping, of the true God, as making of Images vnto God, or yeelding vnto the Image any part of deuotion which belongeth vnto the Lord. For it is not e∣nough to know the true God, and to acknowledge him a∣lone to be worshipped, according to the first Commande∣ment, & yet breake the 2. by worshipping him amisse: As in setting vp of Images, and bowing and kneeling vnto thē: for as the Almighty God saith in the 27. of Deut. verse 15 Cursed be the man that shall make any carued or molten Image, for it is abomination vnto the Lord, they that make them are like vnto them, and so are all they that put their trust in them. For as Nadab and Abihu, the sonnes of Aaron by offring of strange fire before the Lord, became lyable to his wrath and maledictiō for their presump∣tion: so the Papists that doe adde strange doctrines and new inuented traditions to the Word of God, Page 8and seruice of the Lord do incurre his heauy wrath & con∣tinuall displeasure. And therfore we are willed by the holy Ghost to flye from them and their abhominations, least we be partakers of their sinne, end so likewise of their pu∣nishment,
The 2. Motiue that moued me to leaue the Papists, is, be∣cause they do as it were hood-winke the people in their re∣ligion, giuing a Seruice in a language they vnderstand not, amazing them with many outward Ornaments, and huge heapes of Ceremonies, calling Ignorance the the Mother of Deuotion, and Images Layemens Books. But we reade in the Councell of Tolledo in Spaine, that Ignorantia est mater omnium errorum, Ignorance is the mother of Deuotion, but rather of Atheisme, and the roote of all errour. What should it auaile Moses to speake in Hehrew to a man of Africa, who vnderstands no Hebrew, and what may it auaile the people of other countries to heare their common Seruice in a tongue they vnderstand not: for albeit they heare with their eares, they vnderstand not with their hearts, they are not much better then Birds and Parrats which babble much, and vnderstand nothing: Therefore in the primatiue Church; when Faith was then in learning, the prayers & o∣ther Seruice was set fourth in a common tongue, knowne vnto the people that they might vnderstand what they did professe, and to be able to giue a reason of their faith.
When Almighty God appointed Moses to open the Law for the direction of his Church, he decreed it as an e∣uerlasting duty to all his people, that the booke of the Law shold not depart out of their mouthes, but that they should meditate therein day and night, to obserue and doe accor∣ding to all that is written: But how should they meditate in them if they be vnknown to them? and how should they Page 9know thē if they be in a tongue they vnderstand not? is not this the curse which God by his Prophet denounceth say∣ing, I wil speak vnto this people in another language & by strāge lips, so as they shal not vnderstand me: who would not iust∣ly suspect such a church, yea & cōdemn it, whē to maintain and continue their errour, they will haue none of the peo∣ple either to search the Scriptures, or to vnderstand their common Seruice that they heare dayly? Thus the silly Pa∣palins are led like blinde men they know not whether, and with her fides implicita that is, to beleeue in grosse (for their part) they know not what are lamentably seduced. The people go to see Masse, but not to vnderstand it; and oft∣times the Priest himselfe vnderstands not what he saith, and this is done for a double end, the one is that the people may be kept still in Ignorance, and the other is, that it may bee a marke of the Popes dominion, in that they vse his language in their deuine Seruice, and so might bee thought to hold their Religion from the Popes Chaire, euen as the Spaniard constreyneth the Indians to speake Spanish, the better to re∣duce them vnder his Dominion. But the Prophet Dauid saith Psal. 86. Dominus narauit in Scriptur is populorū, God hath opened and declared his wayes and will in the Scrip∣tures: but in whose Scriptures? Hierom vpon this place an∣swereth thus, the Scriptures of the people, so called, because they be read vnto the people, that is to say, that all may vn∣derstand, because the Princes of Christ which were the A∣postles and Euangelists did not write them for afew, but for the whole people, not that afew, but that all should vnder∣stand.
Saint Paul writ long Epistles to the Corinthians, Ephesi∣ans, and Philippians, in his owne language, that all might reade and vnderstand what hee wrote vnto them: Why Page 10then may not others reade the same Epistles in their own language as the Corinthians and Ephesians did in theirs. St. Hierome, in an Epistle to Laeta, writeth thus, Let thy daugh∣ter loue diuine and heauenly Bookes instead of silkes and precious Stones, let her learne of the Psalmes to despise earthly things, let the Prouerbs of Salomon teach her to liue vertuously, let the Ecclesiastes accustome her to renounce worldly vanity, let Iob teach her patience, let her take the Gospell of Christ into her hands, & let it not depart from her, let her diligently study the Acts and Epistles of the Apostles.
And when shee hath enriched the Closset of her heart with such riches, then let her learne the doctrine of the Pro∣phets, and the bookes of Moses. This was the practice and vse of the Church in Saint Hieromes time, and long after him, as may appeare by Saint Gregory, in his Pasto∣ralis.
If the reading of the Scriptures may bee forbidden because some abuse them; in the vsing: then also may the Sacraments be forbidden, because they are sometimes abu∣sed in the receiuing, which to doe were a thing much disso∣nant to Gods will & pernicious vnto his Church: and ther∣fore the proposing their seruice in a strange language, and forbidding the people the reading of the Scriptures, is al∣together against Gods word & the ancient custome of the Primatiue Church, and so by consequence is not to be fol∣lowed by any of the children of the Church of Iesus Christ.
A third reason that moued me to follow this pious re∣solution was, that they hold against all Scripture, and au∣thenticall reason Purgatory, that is, a purging fire after this life to clense our sins. Against this opinion of the Papists our Sauiour himselfe in the 16. of Saint Luke doth much Page 11confute, where he maketh mention only of 2. places; name∣ly, Heauen and Hell: saying, that the rich mans soule pre∣sently after death went to Hell and there was tormented; and Lazarus soule, at his death, was carried by the Angels into Abrahams bosome, a place of ioy and comfort. For as Saint Ciprian saith against Demetrian, that after this life there is no place of Repentance, there is no satisfaction more to be made, life is heere either lost or won by the due worshipping of God, and the fruits of faith; So the same Author saith in the same Treatise, that if a man in the de∣parting hence doth sincerely acknowledge his sinnes, and truly imbrace Gods Word, thus confessing, and thus be∣leeuing, he hath free pardon and forgiuenesse granted him of all his sinnes, by Gods goodnesse and free mercy, and at that very instant passeth to immortality: Euen in the last moment of his life God refuseth not Repentance, and what∣soeuer is truely done, is not to late done.
And Saint Ambrose in his Booke Debono Mortis saith, that he that in this life receiueth not remission of his sinnes, shall not haue remission in the world to come.
Now if their sinnes be forgiuen in this world, likewise the punishment due to the same is also forgiuen in this world, and so there can remaine no Purgatorie to tor∣ment them in the next life. But certaine it is, that the bloud of Christ doth clense vs from all our sinnes, as Saint Iohn saith, and is the onely Purgatory, that a Christi∣an man should hold, which doth deliuer his people as well from the punishment due to sins, as from the sinne it selfe: for as the Prophes Esay saith, our punishment was laid vp∣on him, and with his stripes wee are healed. Saint Au∣gust. in his Sermon De tempore 232. saith, there are but 2. places, hee that reigneth not with Christ at his departure Page 12hence shall perish with the Diuell without end, so that in what stare the last day of our life shall find vs, in the same state the last day of our life shall iudge vs.
Now if this be true, as most true it is, then the propitia∣tory Masse so much esteemed in the Romish seruice, is but a forgery: For first it cannot be propitiatory for the dead: for as the Tree falleth so it lyeth, and as man is found in his de∣parting, so goeth he to Hell or to Heauen. A third place is not mentioned, now if any be in Heauen, Masses cannot auaile them, for they enjoy all blisse possibly already, if they be in Hell, we read, ab inferno non est redemptio, out of Hell there is no redemption, for as the Prophet Dauid saith, a man can by no means redeeme his brother, he cannot pay his ran∣some to God, so precious is the redemption of soules, and the continuance for euer.
And so it is cleare, that for the dead it cannot be propi∣tiatory, and as for the liuing it cannot benefite them, for then were it derogatory to the Passion of Christ once offe∣red for all vpon the Crosse: whose Oblation was absolute and perfect as Saint Paul in the 5. to the Hebrewes 6.7. spea∣keth, and therefore needeth not Masse, or any thing else to helpe it, yea it were grosse and damnable to suppose any imperfection in that Sacrifice and Oblation of our Sauiour once offred on the Crosse, seeing that God the Father twise spake from Heauen with a loud voyce, saying this is my beloved Sonne in whom I am well pleased.
The fourth Reason, that moued mee to renounce my former profession with the Romanists is that, they quite con∣trary to the words of our Sauiour and the whole vse of the ancient Christians abuse the Sacrament of the Lords Sup∣per, partly by adding, and partly by diminishing, from the same, when our Sauiour spake these words, hoc est corpus Page 13meum: This is my Body, hee expounded himselfe pre∣sently saying, it is the Spirit that giueth life, the Flesh pro∣fiteth nothing. These words are spoken spiritually, there∣fore you must vnderstand them spiritually. Saint Augu∣stine in his Commentaries vpon the 98. Psalme saith, you shall not eate this Body that you see, neither shall you drinke that Bloud which vpon the Crosse was once shed: for our Sauior recommended vnto vs a Sacrament (to wit) that which you see on the Table is Bread, and that which you see in the Cup is wine, but touching that wherein your faith is to be instructed, is the Body and Bloud of Christ For as Baptisme doth change a man ac∣cording to grace, yet notwithstanding he remaines the selfesame man according to visible measure as he did be∣fore, but inuisibly by grace is made another man; out∣wardly nothing is added, but inwardly all is changed: So in the blessed Sacrament, outwardly nothing is chan∣ged, but there remaineth true Bread and true Wine, but inwardly by faith, we apprehend the Body and Bloud of Christ.
But these words which our Sauiour spake figuratiuely, the Papists expounds them literally, and thereby they cause the people to commit Idolatry, by adoring Bread as God: for they hold that after the words of Consecra∣tion, there remaineth no longer Bread nor Wine, but there is really and Transubstantially the Body and Bloud of Christ. But Saint Peter saith, that the Heauens must containe the Body of Christ vntill the end of the World.
Now if Christs Body bee in Heauen; then it cannot bee in the Earth at once, and the same time: for as Page 14Saint Augustine, Tractatu 3. in Iohannem. Corpus Domini in quo resurrexit, vno tantum in loco esse potest. If they say that it is done by miracle in the Sacrament, then it should be visible, to the outward eye and sences. When Christ turned water into Wine, it was visible Wine. When Moses Rod was turned into a Serpent, it was a visible Serpent, and so if the Bread be turned into the Body, and the Wine into the Bloud of Christ, it must also be a visible body.
But if they expound these words of our Sauiour, hoc est corpus meum literally, to belong vnto all, why should they not also expound the words following literally, that when he tooke the Cup, he said, This is my bloud, should be appertayning to all aswel as the Bread. In the old Law Circumcision was called the Lords Couenant, when it was not the Couenant but a Signe thereof: For the Couenant was this to Abraham: Ego ero Deus tuus & Deus seminis tui.
Likewise the Pascall Lambe was called the Passeouer of the Lord, when it was but the signe of the Passeouer, as passing ouer the red Sea, so that it may stand with good Reason, that Christ called the Bread his Body, as hee called the Pascall Lambe his Passeouer, and yet was but a signe thereof, so the Bread is called his Bo∣dy, and is but a signe or remembrance of the same: and therefore it is called a Sacrament because that in it one thing is seene, and another thing vnderstood that which is seene is Bread, and Wine, and hath a visi∣ble apparance or forme, but that which is vnderstood hath a spirituall vse and profit.
So that the thing which signifieth, is oft-times called Page 15by the name of the thing which it signifieth, as Saint Paul calleth the Rocke Christ, yet it was not Christ by sub∣stance, but by signification; euen so our Sauiour said, This is my Body, when he gaue Bread the sigue of his Body, and the Apostle said, the Rock was Christ, for that the Rocke which they spake of signified Christ. The Gospell standeth not in the words of the Scripture but in the meaning.
Therefore Saint Paul saith, that the Communicant doth eate Bread after Consecration; for if the Bread were who∣ly and truly Transubstantiated into the Body of Christ, hence it followeth that euery one that doth receiue the sa∣crament doth also eate the Body of Christ, and conse∣quently cannot be damned. For our Sauiour saith, He that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Bloud hath eternall life: & so by this rule the wicked shall be saued as well as the god∣ly. Moreouer if Christ be present according to his humane Nature, then is it no Sacrament: for euery Sacrament is a signe, & inanis est signi visus vbi resipsa presens est the signe is to no effect, where the thing it selfe is present. And it is to be noted likewise, that the signe must haue some Analogie with the thing that it signifieth: Now the thing signified is the Body and Bloud of Christ, which is true meate & true drinke, as our Sauiour himselfe witnesseth, in St. Iohns Gos∣pell, but the species or accidents of Bread and Wine are not true meate, nor true drinke, & by that meanes cannot giue any fit proportion with the thing signified by them. Fur∣ther it is an Axiome in Phylosophy, that accidentis esse est in esse, that the being of an accident is to be in some subiect. But these accidents as colour, sauour and roundnesse, they cannot bee in any subiect and so by consequence they can∣not exist in the Sacrament.Page 16
For they cannot be in the body of Christ because it is glorified: but the accidents are subiect to corruption; and therfore they must either exist without a subiect, which is contrary to Phylosophy, or else to bee seated in the Body of Christ which is now glorified, and this is impossible. It is further to be noted that the Church of Rome doth muti∣late and curtall this Sacrament, for they take the bloud of our Sauiour (which is our redemption) from the lay-peo∣ple: yet certaine it is that our Sauiour did institute this Sa∣crament vnder both kinds, and as he said to all, take & eate, this is my Body: So did he likewise speake vnto all, when he deliuered the Cup; saying, drinke ye all of this? and Saint Paul writing to the Corinthians sayth, As often as ye eate of this Bread, and drinke of this Cup, ye shew forth the Lords death vntill he come
For as Alexander of Hailes saith, whole Christ is not con∣teyned vnder each kind, but the Flesh only vnder the forme of Bread, and the Bloud vnder the forme of Wine. And heere vpon Gelasius, Pope, made a Decree that they should either receiue the whole vnder both kinds, or receiue none at all vnder any kinde: For there can bee no deuision of this one Sacrament and high mistery, with∣out great Sacriledge; so that by their owne Doctors it is e∣uident that they commit great Sacriledge in deuiding this Sacrament, and do much abuse the people of God in deceiuing them of the precious Bloud of our Sauiour.
The 5. Motiue which mooued mee to persist in this my enterprise, is, that the Pope challengeth authority vnto him∣selfe to forgiue sinnes, and thereupon sendeth forth his Bulls, Pardons, and Indulgences, pardoning whom he list, and as he list, as if he were God himselfe, hauing absolute Page 17power to do what he list, insomuch as Traytors and Rebels against God and their lawfull Prince, hee will not only par∣don without exception, but he will enable them in their damnable courses, to the ouerthrowing of themselues and their Princes. What the Religion of Rome is, it may easily appeare by this, that a man may haue for money a Li∣cence, or dispensation for any sinne, a Popes pardon is suffi∣cient for all: but to what end serueth pardons, when as there is no Purgatorie? for neither the ancient Fathers make mention of it, and the Grecians vntill this day be∣leeue it not. Siluester Prierias in his Booke against Luther, saith, that Pardons are not knowne vnto vs by any autho∣rity of the Scriptures, but by authorie of the Pope, which is greater then the authority of the Scriptures: Vox bouis non hominis. It is the voice or saying of some Beast, and not of any Christian man.
Certaine I am that the Pope cannot justifie an vnrigh∣teous man whom God abhorreth, neither can he condemn the faithfull whō God doth much tender and fauour: ther∣fore his Pardons are rather pernitious then any whit com∣modious to the persons that buy them, bearing them in peace and security, when indeede they are in much perill and misery.
VVhere doe they find that the Pope hath any superiori∣ty ouer Kings, Princes, or Emperours; that hee hath any authority to depose them from their Crownes, and dignities, and to absolue their subiects from their Oath and Allegeance which they haue sworne vnto their Prin∣ces: That vpon his Excommunication it is lawfull for them to rebell against them, and so practise all Hostility to depose them?Page 18
There is not one word sentence or place out of the Scrip∣ture to proue it; no precept or example of antiquity to warrant it, and yet they commend it for a chiefe point and ground of Catholike and Christian faith.
By what right doth he claime this supreme authority: if he clayme it as a successor of St. Peter, it is impossible, for that Saint Peter neuer had any such Title or preeminence o∣uer the rest of the Apostles.
It is true that Christ said to Peter, Thou art Peter, and vpon this Rock I wil build my Church. These words hitherto giue no superiority to Peter aboue the rest. Only they shew that the Church is built non super petrum sed super Petram, not vpon the person of Peter but vpon the Rocke: Of which Saint Paul saith, Petra autem erat Christus, the Rock was Christ, whom Saint Peter confessed to be the Sonne of the euerli∣uing God.
This confession of Saint Peter is, that Christ is the Rock wherevpon the Church is builded, aliud fundamentum nemo, potest ponere nisi id quod positum est Christus Iesus. Other Foundation can no man lay, but that which is laid al∣ready: namely, Christ Iesus.
Where then shall wee find that Peter was made Prince of the Apostles, to rule ouer all the rest, as our Popes doe now?
But what hath the Pope to doe with Peter? or what doth the Pope doe as Saint Peter did? Saint Peter did conuert soules, plant Churches, and preach the Word of God vnto all Nations, but in what Pulpit hath our Popes euer set foote? where haue they preached the Gospell or expounded the Word.
The first Lesson that Saint Peter teacheth vs, is to feare Page 19God, the next is, to Honour the King. Quis haec est voluntas Dei, for this is the will of God. But the Popes say, that they are Princes aboue Nations and Kingdomes: they can depose Kings, and pull downe Emperours, they haue authority ouer their subiects, to discharge them from their Oathes, they haue the right and clayme vnto both swords, as well temporall as spirituall: And that all Kings and Princes ought to depend at their beck, and to sweare obedience, vnto their holinesse, as to their supreame heads and Soueraignes, vnder the paine and losse of all their Do∣minions.
We reade that Boniface the eight because he could not haue the treasury of France, at his command, endeauoured by all meanes possible to remoue Phillip the French King from his estate, and vnder his Bulls and Letters Pattents, made a deede of gift of all the state of France vnto Alber∣tus then King of the Romans.
As touching the Kings of this our Realme of England: as our duty and alleageance bindeth vs, we may iustly com∣plaine that Pope Alexander the 3. by violence and tyrran∣ny forced King Henry the second to surrender vp his Crowne Imperiall into his Legats hands, and afterward for a certaine space to cōtent him in priuate estate, to the great indignation and griefe of his louing subiects. Like wise that Innocentius the 3. stirred vp the Nobles and Commons of this Realme against King Iohn, and gaue the inheritance & possession of all his Dominions vnto Ludeuicus the French King, Pius Quintus of late dayes gaue away his Kingdome to Philip the 2. King of Spaine. Shall any one thinke that these be deeds of holines, and that he doth all this by right and equity through vertue of his spirituall priuiledge.Page 20
Surely no, it is meere sacriledge against God, and tyr∣ranny ouer his Princes and Vice-gerents, and not the part of any Minister of Christ or successor of the Apostles.
For first Christ himselfe saith, that his Kingdome is not of this world. He himselfe likewise refused to be made a King. He himselfe payd tribute vnto Caesar, and commanded o∣thers to do the same, saying, giue vnto Caesar those things that bee Caesars.
Now if Christ himselfe was subiect vnto Caesar, and com∣manded all others to be subiect and obedient vnto him, it is a shame for the Byshop of Rome to exalt himselfe aboue Caesar, and to animate others against him. Imperium in Principe & obedientia in subdito, est de inre diuino, Rule in the Prince, and obedience in the Subiect, are both immedi∣atly from God; and as euery member of the body naturall must subiect it selfe vnto the rule and regiment of the head if it meane to liue and thriue: So must euery subiect in the body politicke, be subiect and gouerned by the Prince which is the head of all, and aboue all. And therefore they are called in the Psalmes Vosestis Dij, yee are as Gods, so that he which contemneth them, contemneth God; they are called noursing Fathers, that we should alwayes loue and reuerence them like vnto our Fathers; they are also called Kings Princes and Rulers of the Earth, which are Names and Titles of honour, so that those whom God vouchsafeth thus to Honour, we ought without all contra∣diction, to loue, honour, and obey. Therefore euery soule that is subiect to God must bee subiect to them, because he that calleth them Kings calleth vs subiects: this is their Pa∣tent that God hath chosen them Kings, and set them vpon the Throne to rule his people, and hath commanded euery Page 21soule to be subiect vnto their power Si omnis anima, if eue∣ry soule must be subiect vnto their power, then doubtlesse must both Popes and Byshops bee subiect to their Prince: Qui vos tentat ab hac vniuer salitate excipere conatur decipere. He that goeth about to exempt you from this vniuersall Law, goeth about to beguile you. For our Sauiour as hee commanded it, so did hee in his owne person performe it. Exemplum dedit vobis vt sicut ipse fecit & vos faciatis: Hee left you an example that as hee did, so should you also doe.
So that it is a thing most certaine that the Pope of Rome hath no authority ouer Kings either in Ecclesiasticall or Temporall matters, but is therein an Vsurper, Intruder, and a most odious Traytor, both to God and Prince: for all the ancient Churches haue affirmed, and euer acknowled∣ged, the supreame auhority of Princes, aboue all Priests and people whatsoeuer.
Tertullian an ancient Doctor and Priest, in his Booke ad Scapulam, hath these words, Colimus Imperatorem vt ho∣minem a Deo secundum & soli Deo minorem: Wee honour the Prince as next and imediatly vnto God, & inferior only vnto God. And in his Apologeticks, he saith, that Principes sunt a Deo secundi post eum primi ante omnes & super omnes: That Kings and Princes are the second to God, next vnto God, aboue all and ouer all. Optatus lib. 3. Contra Parmenia∣num saith, that supra Imperatorem non est nisi solus Deus qui fecit Imperatorem. It was the Lord which appointed Mo∣ses, Iosua, Dauid and his posterity to rule ouer Israel, It was the Lord which moued the peoples heart to feare honour and obey them, for as euery beame is from the Sunne, and euery Branch is from the Roote, so doth euery power pro∣ceede Page 22from God, so that it is Deiure deuino, that Kings haue rule ouer their subiects, and therefore all subiects by the Law of God and nature are bound to honour and obey their Princes.
Good Kings are Gods Images, and euill Princes are his Executioners: Asher, was his Rod; Nabuchadonezer, his seruant; and Cyrus, was his anoynted: And therefore aibe∣it God vseth them as a Father doth his rod, first to correct his children by them, and then breaketh and throweth them away, yet the children and beloued of the Lord must submit themselues vnder his instrument of correction.
The Rubenites, Gaddits, and halfe the Tribe of Manasses, said to Salomon, whosoeuer shall resist thy will, or will not obey whatsoeuer thou commandest, let him bee put to death. So that in Israel whether their Kings were faithfull or vngodly, the people euer yeelded ciuill faith and obedience. For as Saint Peter saith, this is the will of God, and whosoeuer resisteth this obedience, resisteth the will of God, and so heapeth vnto himselfe vengeance against the day of wrath: and so cōsequently this doctrine of rebelling against Princes must needs be very damnable and odious, and worthy to be con∣temned of all those that feare God. But it is not my pur∣pose or intent to set downe heere in particular all the erro∣nious parts of Doctrine at this present professed and em∣braced in the Church of Rome; for there are many other points & pernicious grounds by me obserued, which in no point agreeth with the word of God, but I suppose that these few positions which I haue already touched may bee sufficient enough to make it manifest vnto the world that I haue enterprised nothing without good reason; & that my conscience could neuer haue suffered mee to haue liued in Page 23quiet and rest, if I had done any otherwise: all which things duly and carefully ballanced in my mind, haue exceedingly stirred me vp to this my pious resolution.
It is a difficult thing to resist Gods voice, to fight against the truth; which discouereth her selfe so apparantly; my con∣science still vrging me, I could doe no lesse then retire my selfe back vnto the Lord, from whom I haue long erred & gone astray, saying as Aristotle was wont to say, Socrates is my friend, & so is Plato my friend, but the friendship of the truth is far aboue all. I can no longer beare witnesse against God, it is no longer secure, to call good euill, or euill good, light darkenesse, or darkenesse light. I must not be ashamed of the Gospell of Iesus Christ, for it is the mighty pow∣er of God vnto saluation: It is now high time to set aside all blinde affection, and to iudge vprightly. It is dangerous to ioyne with them that haue burnt Gods Word; and scorne∣fully called it a leaden rule, & a Nose made of waxe, that call ignorance the mother of Deuotion, & dumb Images Lay mens Bookes, who forbid marriage, and lycence Concu∣bines, who haue deuised vnto themselues a strange Religi∣on, contrary to the Scriptures, ancient Counsels, old doc∣tors, and example of the Primatiue Church: whom so ma∣ny Kingdomes, countries and infinite thousands of godly people haue forsaken: From whom the holy Ghost by ex∣presse words hath commanded vs to depart: as it is writ∣ten in the Apocalips, Come away from her O my people that ye be not partakers of her sinnes, lest ye be also parta∣kers of her plagues: for she hath falsified the holy farthers with such translations and expositions, not as may best ex∣presse their meanings, but as may best further their owne pretenses, and purposes, they wrest them, they alter them, Page 24they put to them, and take from them: sometimes they take the bare words against the meaning, and sometimes they frame a meaning against the words: they imagine counsels that were neuer lied, Canons of counsels that were neuer seene, they bring forged Pamphlets vnder the name of Athanasius. Anacletus, and other godly Fathers by whom they were neuer made. These are not errors in manners which may be in any good Church, but they are errors in Faith and Doctrine, which cannot stand with the true Church. And therefore as Saint Ciprian saith, let not lies deceiue vs any longer, it is night vntill the day spring, but when the Day appeareth, and the Sunne of truth is vp, both the darkenesse of the night, as also the thefts commit∣ted in darkenesse will appeare and giue place. Now the Sunne of truth is vp, and the Clouds of ignorance are scat∣tered, I will say with Saint Paul, Let vs cast away darkenesse, and put on the armour of light: To maintaine a fault knowne, is a double fault: Errour cannot stand but by errour, and the mouth that speaketh vntruth killeth the soule. There∣fore I may safely and ioyfully say, Bonum est mihi domine, quia humiliasti me, vt discam instisicationes tuas, It is good for me that I haue beene in trouble, for thereby I haue lear∣ned thy truth.
O my God leade, me in the truth, teach mee to do thy will. Albeit I haue erred and strayed like a lost sheepe, Ego tamen filius tuus; & fillius ancillae tuae, Yet I am as child of thine inheritance, and borne and brought vp of thy Hand∣mayd, which is thy Church and Spouse. Open mine eyes, & suffer me not to be deceiued by the abuses of the world: Sweete Iesus confirme me in this my resolution, helpe my vnbeliefe, increase the Faith which is within me; fructifie Page 25in me that assurance of Abraham who beleeued in hope a∣gainst hope: arme me with thy promises: deliuer me from mine enemines: replenish me with the Spirit of constan∣cy, to the end, and in the end, that hauing gotten the victo∣ry, I may say with the Apostle Paul, Bonum certamē certaui, fi∣dē seruaui, cursū, consummani, de reliqu• reposita est mihi coro∣na iustitiae quam reddit mihi in ill• die Iustus index. 2. Tim. 4.7.8. I haue fought a good fight, I haue finished my course, I haue kept the Faith. 8. Henceforth there is laid vp for me a Crowne of Righteousnes, which the Lord the righteous Iudge shall giue mee at that Day.