Sect. 15. Our chiefest Aduersarie Car∣dinal Bellarmine, testifies the truth of our doctrine in the principall points of con∣trouersie betwixt vs.
BVt admit our Transla∣tion of the Scriptures were vnperfect, the Fa∣thers doubtfull, the Romish writers not refined by the Inquisitors for weightie rea∣sons best knowne vnto them∣selues were to bee reiected, yet I hope they will giue vs leaue to produce such writers against whom they take no exception, I will present vn∣to them their owne Cardi∣nall Bellarmine, who I thinke was the first and best that Page 288 wrote the whole body of Controuersies on their side, let him, I say, be conuented and examined without par∣tialitie, and it shall appeare vpon a reuiew, that in the principall points of diffe∣rence betwixt vs, he is infor∣ced to confesse the antiquitie and safety of our doctrine, and plainely to acknowledge the vncertaintie and nouelty of his owne.
First touching the vncer∣taintie of all the Trent Sa∣craments, it is Bellarmines confession,*None can be cer∣taine of the certaintie of faith, that he doth receiue a true Sa∣crament, because it depends vpon the intention of the Mi∣nister, and none can know ano∣ther mans intention.
Touching Transubstanti∣ation, it is Bellarmines confes∣sion,* it is not improbable that there is no expresse place of Scripture to prooue it, and it may bee doubted whether the Text will beare it.
Touching Priuate Masse, it is Bellarmines confessi∣on:*That is a more perfect and lawfull Masse wherein priests and people communicate together; Neither is there any expresse mention amongst the ancients where none did com∣municate but the Priest alone; but by coniectures.
Touching our prayer in Page 290 a knowne tongue, it is Bellar∣mines confession (in the Pri∣mitiue Church) when the Christians were but few,*they did all sing and answer one Amen, at the time of diuine Seruice.
Touching our Commu∣nion in both kinds:* it is Bel∣larmines confession: Christ did institute in both kinds, and the ancient Church did admi∣nister vnder both kindes, but the multitude increasing, the inconuenience appeared more and more, and by degrees the vse of both kinds ceased.
Touching our two Sacra∣ments, it is Bellarmines con∣fession:*As for baptisme and the Eucharist, the thing is most euident, concerning the other fiue it is not so certaine.
Touching faith and good Page 291 workes, it is Bellarmines con∣fession:*The Protestants doe not deny but that faith and re∣pentance are requisite, that is a liuely faith and an earnest re∣pentance, and that without them no man can be iustified.
Lastly, touching Iustifica∣tion by faith onely, it is Bel∣larmines confession:*For feare of vaine glorie, and by reason of the vncertaintie of our workes, Tutissimum, it is the safest way to relie wholly on the mercy of God.
I begge not of our Aduer∣saries the points in question betwixt vs, but I wonder ra∣ther why they should send out such (Anathemas) and curses against all or any of those that denie their do∣ctrine, when as their best learned confesse, that many Page 292 principall points of their owne Religion, yea many Articles of faith are neither ancient, safe, nor Catholike: It is not the name of Catho∣lique (which they assume) that makes good the Catho∣lique doctrine, neither is it the opinion of the great learning, or the multitude on that side which must out face the truth, for our Sauiour Christ doth especially note the members of his body by the name of a Little flocke,* as if the paucitie of true be∣leeuers were the speciall Ca∣racter of the true Church: and as for the learned on that side, You see your calling bre∣thren (saith the Apostle,) Not many wise men after the flesh,*not many mightie, not many noble are called. And if Page 293 our aduersaries list to assume all learning and knowledge vnto themselues, I enuie not their great wisedome, but I rather admire with wonder and pitie,* and I thanke thee O Father, Lord of heauen and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast reuealed them vnto babes. And if our aduersaries please to reflect vpon their owne Religion, they shall find likewise that the principall markes of the Romane Church were disco∣uered and foretold long since by Christ and his Apostles, that it should bee after the working of Sathan, with all power, and signes, and lying wonders: and wee know such miracles are the special cara∣cters of the Roman Church: Page 294 The Spirit of God foresaw that their doctrine would consist in forginges, not onely of Fathers, of Coun∣cels, of Schoolemen, but of daily miracles in their Church, and for this deceiue∣ablenesse of vnrighteousnesse, because they receiued not the loue of truth, that they might be saued: their iudgement was foretold, and is now accom∣plished.*God shall send them strong delusions, and they shall beleeue lyes. I list not to insist vpon such feyned miracles wrought either by their Priests or by their companions for lu∣cre sake:* It is sufficient that their owne Schoolemen con∣fesse it, but I professe with Austin, As they were necessa∣rie before the world beleeued to induce it to beleeue; so hee Page 295 that seeketh to be confirmed by wonders, now is to be wondred as most of all himselfe, in refu∣sing to beleeue what all the world beleeues besides him∣selfe.