A protestation against popery by way of a confession of Christian religion collected for the benefit of private friends.
I. D., fl. 1607., Dunster, John,
Page  [unnumbered] Page  [unnumbered]

A PROTESTATION A∣GAINST POPERY BY way of a Confession of Christian Religion collected for the benefit of private friends.


Apoc. cap. 18. ver. 2.

Cecidit, Cecidit Babylon illa magna.


Senec. in Troas.
—Haemanus Troiam erigent?
Nullas habet spes Troia, sitales habet.

AT OXFORD, Printed by Joseph Barnes, Printer to the Vniversitie. 1607.

Page  [unnumbered] Page  1

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

I vnfainedlie beleeue that there is one immortall vn∣compounded vnlimited Es∣sence which created this world & furnished the shop thereof with wonderfull va∣riety: who since doth guide and gouerne the same by a prescribed and regular order, taking immediate notice not only of Angels offices and mens acti∣ons, but of every yea the smallest and basest thing in the world, not permitting any thinge to the lust of fortune or command of destiny this super∣nall power J call God, and avow him to be the maintainer and rewarder of vertue, the revenger and iudg of wickednes, and J ascribe vnto him heauen for his throne, and the ball of the earth for his footstoole, and J subiect vnto his absolute command all the powers of heauen and earth, & render vnto him obedience praier and thankes∣giuing for his tribute.

That there is such a God J appeale vnto the cōscience of the most desperate forlorne wretch in the world, tell me whosoever thou be that hast Page  2 thy conscience most deaded & seared with a hott iron, when thou committest a sinne, and thinkest that thou hast a vaile cast before the eies of God, & resoluest thus in thy hart, Who seeth me? J am compassed about with darknes, the walles couer me, whome need J to feare? the most high will not remember my sinnes; yet tell me J say why is thy hart so disquieted within thee? why is thy coū¦tenance cast downe for shame? why do thy knees smite togither and thy ioints shiuer for feare? Jf there be no power that doth knowe or cā punish thy fault what need this anguish? But J wot well that these stiring motions within thee, are as so many summons to put thee in mind that there is a God in thy conscience which seeth thy sinne, & wil arraigne thee for the same, and award condē∣nation against thee, if thou prevent not his iudg∣ment by repentance.

I beleeue this God is one as it is said in Deute∣ronomie, Audi Israel Deus tuus Deus vnus est: there is not for every kingdome a God, a God for Zidon, a God for Amon, a God for Moab, and a God for Ekron, but one alone God manageth the affaiers of the whole world, for if it be true in go∣vernment of an earthly kingdome 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, much more in the being of a Deitie, for a Page  3 multitude of Gods would crosse and incumber the designes one of another and none should be omnipotēt, and so there should be a tumultuous disorder in the gouernment of the world, which Ovide pointeth out vnto vs saying,

Mulciber in Troiam, pro T'roiâ stabat Apollo.
And Homer in the 21. of his Jliades,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

This God is simply one in nature & essence, yet this one God doth subsist in three persons, each of them severally communicating in the whole of that one nature and essence: yet so as we cannot say that there are three Gods, but one God, for though the persons be distinguished in number, yet they be not devided in Essence: which is a mis∣tery to which mans vnderstanding must vaile bonnet, seeing that it hath not pleased God who∣lie to reveale it to the sonnes of men, and that the Cherubins do couer their faces before it, as bee∣ing not able to apprehend the persit view therof. wherfore let vs say with holy Moses, Hidde things belonge vnto thee ô lord, but revealed thinges vnto vs and our children; and let vs onlie learne as much of this vnitie & Trinitie as it hath pleas∣ed God to reveale vnto vs in his word, alwaies Page  4 remembring that saieing of Arnobius

De Deo loqui etiam vera periculosissimum est.

That there are three persons in the Deitie the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghost, as it may be proued by manie pregnant places of scripture, so it is evident frō the baptisme of Christ in Iordan, where the Sonne was baptised by Iohn, the holie Ghost descended in the visible forme of a doue, the father gaue witnes from heauen that this was his welbeloued sonne, etc. vpon which place St. Augustine giueth the note, Qui nescis trinitatē ito ad Iordanem; And yet that there is likwise an vnitie of Essence of which without inequalitie the whole Trinitie doth participate may be proued by an vsuall forme of speech in the Hebrew origi∣nal, when speaking of God a nowne of the plural number is ioined with a verb of the singular, as in the begining of Genesis. 1.5. In principio crea∣vit Elohim (1) Dij caelum et terram-Dij for the persons in the plurall number & creauit to note the vnity of the Essence in the singular number.

This Trinity of persons thus conspiring in the vnitie of Essence, is notwithstanding distinguish∣ed by attributes, and proprieties.

Page  5These attributes or proprieties are twofold

  • 1 Incommunicable. and
  • 2 Communicable.

Incommuni¦cable propri¦eties are,

  • 1. Of the father, to be vnbegotten.
  • 2. Of the sonne, to be begotten, the curious search of whose ge∣neration is sealed vp with that saying of Gregory Nazianzene, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
  • 3. Of the holy Ghost to be pro∣ceeding.

How the generation of the sonne, and the pro∣cession of the holy ghost do differ J cannot tell, only J say with St. Augustine that they doe differ sed ego distinguere nescio, non valeo, non sufficio.

The cōmunicable proprieties are, simple, infi∣nite, immutable, eternal, iust, merciful, only wise, omnipotent, of which the three persons doe in∣separablie communicate.

Out of these proprieties doe issue Apoteles∣mata and actions, in which the Trinitie doe like∣wise severally, yet inseperablie communicate. These outward actions of the Trinity doe belōg Page  6 vnto one of these three heads.

viz

  • 1. Creation,
  • 2. Redemption.
  • 3. Sanctification.

Creation is

  • 1. Of the world in generall.
  • 2. Of man in speciall.

God created the fabrick of the world of no∣thing, bestowing but six daies for the making and adorning of the same, & euer since by his watch∣ful eie of prouidence hath and doth carefully go∣uerne the same. Which Plato could teach vs, who avoweth it to be one, and the selfe same su∣preame powers office, to bee 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 We condemne therfore the blasphemy of the Epicures, which make our God an idle and care∣lesse God, like vnto Baal in the book of Kings which was asleep and must be awaked; as also the opinion of Auerroes (vpon how goodly pretence soever builded) who hemd the prouidence of god within the circle of the moone saying as it is in Iob, The clouds hide him that he cānot see & he walketh in the circle of heauē, thinking it absurd ad hoc deducere Dei maiestatem vt sciat quot culi∣ces Page  7 nascuntur. for we concerning our God haue learned of a better master that although he hath his dwelling on high yet he abaseth him∣selfe to behold things in heauen and earth;* that he is a God not only of the mountaines, but of the vallies likwise, lending his prouidenc•… to the examination of things of the least consequence as feeding of Rauens, lighting of sparrowes vpō the ground, clothing of lilies, and numbering of haires. A doctrine not fully beleeued of them, who, when they see the wicked to build heapes of sinne as high as Bable, and yet to escape the ven∣gance of God, when otherwise the godly are vn∣der his rod and punishment, doe break out into blasphemie, & fome out openly, that which Davids foole did but say in his hart-Nō est Deus-*Henc Cato would faine haue God to giue him a reason-why Caesar overcame Pompey and Her∣cules in the Poet complaines in the extremity of torment,* that he which had freed the world of robbers, and sauage beasts, and beene profitable to al men, had liued in miserie, and should die in shame: when on the contrarie, Euristheus a tirāt did liue in the ruffe of pride, and was liues-like, & the rod of God was not vpon him. Et sunt qui cre∣dere possunt esse Deos? Nether did the minds of hea¦then mē Page  8 only, but of Gods Saints also totter and reele in their iudgmēts concerning prouidence-for there was a time when Ecclesiastes complained, Be∣hold the teares of the oppressed and none com∣forts them: & likwise Habacuck, Thou art a God of pure eies and canst not see evill, thou canst not behold wickednes, wherfore dost thou looke vp∣on the transgressours, and houldest thy tongue, when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous then he? But to stop the mouths of he∣athen men, and the better to settle the strugling thoughts of all Christians, J will say no more thē that which Ecclesiastes and Habacuck, vpon bet¦ter advise of gods alwaies righteous iudgmēts, & after the tēpest of the thoughts was alaied haue avowed before me; to wit, that howsoever God doth seeme not to see or to winck at the wicked yet indeed if we suspend our hasty iudgment a while and waite in patience till he hath whet his glittering sword, and his hand shall take hold on iudgment, we shal finde that of Moses to be true, That he rewardeth to their face them that hate him, to bring thē to distructiō, for so speaketh Ec∣clesiastes. If in a countrie thou seest the oppressiō of the poore, and the defrauding of iudgment & iustice, be not astonied at the matter for he that Page  9 is higher then the highest regardeth, and there be higher then they; and Habacuck likwise, ô Lord thou hast ordained them for iudgment and ô god thou hast established them for correction, if not in this world, yet vndoubtedly in the world to come-for J remember that the Apostle giueth it for a note, that bccause the Thessalonians were afflicted with persequutions by wicked men,* that this was an argument, that there is a iudgment to come in which it should go well with thē and as ill with their enemies.

This God having created al things in the stage of the world by a word only of his mouth, being come in the 6. day to create man, as being a work of more excellency, and therfore more difficulty, doth as it were call a councell, and advise with the other persons of the Trinity, Venite faciamus ho∣minem, nor simply so, but a more excellent crea∣ture then the rest, In similitudinem nostram, nor only let vs make man, but let vs invest him with liberties and priviledges aboue other creatures, and make him a None-such in the worlde, to rule over fishes of the sea, birds of the aire, and beastes that walke vpon the plane of the earth.

So then man was created of the dust of the earth, and God breathed into him the soule of life, Page  10 and had infusde frō aboue such supernatural gra∣ces, that he was indeed the mirror of Gods crea∣tures, & miniō of the world, like vnto God, vpon whom the alone God had conferred in abundant measure all his speciall ornaments; for he had no darknes in his vnderstanding, nor perversnes in his wil, nor Rebellion in his affections, no sicknes nor crasines in his whole body, nor never shoulde haue had, if never mispending this rich dowrie of God, hee did never run bankerupt beyonde the bounds of Gods commandements. But this man thus highly exalted in the loue of God Peacock-like taking a view of his owne glory, discontinued his wonted obedience to his Soveraigne, nor on∣ly so, but having all that he could aske or thought he should receiue from God,* betooke himselfe to the Divel to serue him vpō * credit only of better pay, thinking by violence to breake into heaven, and to exalt his throne by the throne of the al∣mightie.

But foolish man by this his Apostasie and wil∣full disobedience forfeited his former more bles∣sed estate, and was stript of his Masters livery, and all his excellent graces, dispossessed of Paradice and sent vnto the Divel to pay him his wages for his former service, and al his posterity by the guilt Page  11 of his transgression haue their nature defiled, and are abandoned of God, and entitled to the Divel for his children and of-spring, a wicked seed, wit∣ches children, and sonnes of Beliall. And now ô yee sonnes of men, saith God by his Prophet Micheas Remember what Balak king of Moab had devised, and what Balam the sonne of Beor answered him, that you may know the righteousnes of the Lord, for so I hope I may apply this prophesie. O yee sons of men now at this time, during our bondage vn∣der the divel, remember what the Prince of dark∣nes had devised against vs, and how Iesus Christ the sonne of the living God, hath answered him, and stopt his mouth with a voice of blood, & nai∣led his accusation to a Crosse, that yee may know the righteousnes, nor that only, but the excee∣ding loue & rich mercy of the Lord to mankinde: for there being no way to free vs out of the pow∣er of the Devil, but by satisfying the iustice of God for the former transgression, God the Father in the fulnesse of time sent his beloved sonne made of a woman and clothed in our flesh, by the shed∣ding of his precious bloud to redeeme out of the power of the Devil al those, that by faith applie the merite of his passion vnto themselues, and do afterwarde shew their thankfulnes vnto God for Page  12 so great Redemption: having alwaies in their mindes those words of the Lord which hee spake by his Prophet J say, Remember these things ô Ia∣cob and Israell, for thou art my servant, I haue for∣med thee thou art my servant ô Israell forget mee not, I haue put away thy transgressions like a cloud, and thy sinnes as a mist, turne vnto me for I haue redeemed thee. Reioice yee heavens for the Lorde hath done it, showt ye lower parts of the earth, burst forth into praises ô ye mountaines, ô forrest and e∣very tree therin, for the Lord hath redeemed Iacob and will be glorified in Israell.

I beleiue that God, J doe not say approued, or suggested, or furthered, but permitted and di∣rected and J may truly say, willed and ordeined the fall of Adam, that therby he might take occa∣sion to manifest his glory, & that in two respects.

1 In erecting a consistorie and tribunall for his iustice.

2 Jn exposing to the view of all men the inex∣haustible treasure of his rich mercy, or that J may speake in the words of a prophet In opening of a fountaine of mercy to the house of Dauid and to the Inhabitants of Ierusalem, and to all the Israel of god, for sinne, and for vncleannes.

Concerning the first, J confesse that there can Page  13 no other reasō be assigned of the reiection of the wicked, but that of Christ in the Gospell, Etiam pater quia sic placuit tibi: or to speak to the capa∣city of the ignorāt, but the alone absolute wil of God ordeining, and as J may so speak, adiudging to distruction the wicked before they were presē∣ted vpon the stage of the world, or had done ei∣ther good or evill. For hath the potter power of a lump of clay, to make a vessel to dishonour, and shall not the almighty Iehouah by his vnlimited & transcendent power, ordeine vessells of wrath for the euill day and for destruction? Seing he is the lord in the parable of Matthew who said An¦nō licet mihi quod volo facere in meis? yet againe J confesse that God condemneth not into hell any man, but for sinnes and trespaces, for I hold this to be a true position in diuinity, that sinne is not the cause of reiection; yet may be, and indeed is the meritorious and impulsiue cause of dam∣nation; wherefore whosoever thou art that set∣test thy face against heauē, & openest thy mouth in blasphemies against God, lay thy hand vpon thy mouth, and look back vnto the fall of Adam, and consider what thou broughtest with thee frō thy natiuitie, and from thy fathers house. Doe not censure God in thy blasphemous thoughts, Page  14 as if vpon lust only and not of deserued iustice he did award sentence of condemnatiō against thee: and J could also wish that many men would be more sparing to scann this doctrine, & chose ra∣ther to admire and magnifie then strictly to exa∣mine by the Canon of our reason, the secret and hiddē will of God; saying with St. Paul, ô the deepnes both of the wisdome and knowledg of God, how vnsearchable are his iudgments, and his waies past finding out. And with St. Augus∣tine, Disputare vis mecum mirare mecum et exclae∣ma, ô altitudo! Ambo consentiamus in pauore, ne in errore pereamus.

Concerning the second I beleue, that all men being infected from Adams sinne (not only with imputatiue guilt, as Pighius would haue it, but by naturall corruption also as S. Paule avouch∣eth) haue iust cause inhering and residing in them at their birth, for which they should be reiected of God, and left weltering in their filthy blood to the contempt of their person, yea to be sent into hell to haue their originall impietie expiated with brimstone: but that God for the glorie and riches of his mercy being loath to wreak his fury in the generall perdition of all mankind, not of foreseene either woorkes or faith, but of his good Page  15pleasure and only meere mercy hath called some out of the cursed estate of al mankind, on whom to bestow fauout, and the kingdome of his loue, ordaineing them in his secret c•…unsell to be Citi∣zens with the Angels of the heauenly Ierusalem, and heires of heauen, & coheires with Christ, And doth call them at due time, some at the third how∣er, and some at the eleventh, if not outwardly all by his word, yet inwardly all by the hidden ver∣tue and efficatious power of his holy spirit, out of the power of darcknes to be of the houshold of God and in the bosome of the Church, there to be consecrated by Baptisme, nourished at the Lords table, instructed by the word, gouerned by his spi∣rit, and euen then he bestoweth vpon them his Beloued, & with him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 he giueth re∣mission both of sinnes and punishment, and all the benefits and meritts not of his passion only but of his incarnation also: and hath giuen vs the hand of faith, to reach and apply them vnto our selues, yea to owne, and possesse them as truly as if ours not by imputation onlie, but originally & by inhaesion; so that before God all the company of the faithfull are accounted as onlie one Nume∣ricall body with Christ, for the spirit of God by his sanctifying power by little and little doth worke Page  [unnumbered] away the old man of our corruption, and doth put on vs a new creature making vs reallie partakers of the substaunce of the flesh yea of the whole person of Christ, and his proper ornaments and graces, as righteousnes and sanctification. The which great blessing of our every way vndeseru∣ed redemption, when I seriously revolue with my selfe, I cannot but break forth into praise, in the words of Zachary, Blessed be the Lord God of Isra∣el because he hath visited and redeemed his people etc. and vse those words of admiration otherwise applied I confesse in the book of Numbers; Ac∣cording vnto this time, it shall be said of Iacob and Israel what hath God wrought?

Man hauing receiued these rich fauours of God in his creation and redemption, hath no∣thing charged vpon him for his tribute, but only to shew a good faithfulnes to adorne his christian profession, and to be carefull to shew forth good workes. Wherfore I confesse vnto the glorie of God that every one of Gods children, which hath his sinnes washed away in the bloud of the Lamb, hath it not left vnto him as Arbitary, but hath a necessitie laid vpō him to doe good works, and that in these respects following.

1. In respect of God, it being his will and com∣mandement Page  17 that they should be done, by such our obedience to testifie our thanckfulnes for his great mercies of Creation and Redemption.

2 In respect of our selues, that we by these fruits of Sanctification may be led backward to a cer∣tainty of our Iustification & effectual Vocation & Electiō, & so finding our names written in the book of life, may be perswaded Certitudine fidei, cui nō potest subesse falsū, of our future glorificatiō

3. In respect of others. 1. Ne quis de nobis con∣queri possit Philip. ca•… 2

2. That other men seeing our good workes may be allured to glorifie our father which is in heauen, & to saie as the Gentiles to the Iewes in the pro∣phesie of Zachary, Ambulabimus vobiscum, for we haue hard that God is with you. This truth bee∣ing alwaies resolued on, that our best workes are not perfit in their owne esteeme and valeue, if examined according to the precise rule of the decalogue (lex spiritualis est, ego autem homo car∣nalis) and in the district iudgment of God, and therfore away with meritt, and let vs say with St. Augustine Vae laudabili etiam vitae hominum, sire motâ misericordiâ discutias eam Domine, and as∣suredlie every one of vs may confesse with An∣selmus Terret me vita mea, nā diligenter discus∣sa Page  18 apparet mihi aut peccatum, aut sterilitas, tota vita mea,

God maketh his will knowne two manner of waies. 1. By his workes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of which I haue spoken in the creation.

2. In his word.

Of the word of God.

Not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the substantiall word of God, of whom before.

But 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the enunci∣atiue and created word of god, called somtimes simpy the scriptures, somtimes with an Empha∣sis, the holy (Rom. 12.) and sacred (2. Tim. 3. ch.) scriptures.

That they are

  • 1. The word of God,
  • 2. Sufficient to saluation.
  • 3. Plaine and therfore to be translated.
  • 4. By whom they are to haue their sence.

I acknowledg all these books which make vp the body of holy writt which we call the holy scri∣ptures, to be inspired by the holie Ghost, and to be vndoubtedly the true word of God, of which I am perswaded not so much by the iudgment of Page  19 the Church, as for these reasons following.

1. From the Maiestie of God, speaking in the scriptures, for in them nothing is set downe in so easie and simple forme of words, but I doe per∣ceaue characters engrauen by the finger of God et genium humano maiorem.

2. From the efficacie of the scripture, for me thinkes, while I read, my hart doth burne within me, as the harts of the 2 disciples that went with Christ to Emaus: so that J confesse with the Pro∣phet. Surely as the raigne cōmeth downe, and the snow from heauen, and returneth not thither a∣gaine, but watereth the earth and causeth it to bring forth and bud: so is my word that goeth out of my mouth, it shall not returne vnto me void, but it shall accomplish that I will, and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. This I confesse against all those Vatican Rabsakes, who hauing adamant harts, the which the spirit of the Lord cannot pierce, doe impeach the power of this word: Ho∣sius that doth call it, or approues it to be called, e∣genum quoddam elementum, Stephen Pal•…tus, rem inanimatam, Melchior Canus, mortuum iudicem, & Eckius more blasphemously atramentariam scripturam and I condemne Angelus Politianus, as blasphemous, that preferred Pindarus his OdesPage  20before the Psalmes of Dauid Quid palea ad triti∣cum? Nonne verbum meum est instar ignis (dicit Iehouah) tanquam malleus conterens petram?

3 Frō the event of prophesies, every one com∣pleat in his proper time, although foretolde long before, to wit, The people of Israels bondage in Aegypt, and delivery from thence. The kingdome to continue in the line of Iudah, vntil Christ came in the flesh. The prophesie of Iosias, given by name three hundred years before his cradle. The captivity into Babylon, & freedome by Cyrus. The time, place, and manner of Christs birth, The re∣iection of the Jews, & calling of the Gentiles. So that God might wel proclaime of himselfe, as it is in Isay. I am God & there is none other, & there is nothing like me, which declare the last things from the beginning, & from of old the things. &c. say∣ing, my councell shall stand, and I will doe, what soe∣ver I will, evē so, good Lord, thy word, is the word of Truth, yea as one of thy Apostles hath it more Emphatically, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: it is truth it selfe, and one iod therof shall not fall vnto the ground vnfulfilled, for though the Scheme of the world were a way, and the Prophets doe not liue for euer, yet thou ó lord with thy Angels wilt come to performe their prophesies in their moments.

Page  214 And especially from the testimony of the spi¦rit of God, which persuadeth vnto our soules and consciences, the vndoubted truth of that word, which some doe contemne and deride as fool∣lishnesse; and hence I iudge it to be, that martyrs being resolued by the powerfull perswasion of this spirit, of the truth hereof doe boldly offer to seale the same with their blood protesting that nothing shall remoue them from profession of this truth * non minae, non blandi menta, non vita, non mors, non palatium, non satellites,*non impera∣tor, non imperium, non homines non daemones.

2 I beleue that almighty god hath made knowne vnto vs in his written word so much of his will as is sufficient for the instruction of the faithfull, without the patching too of Traditions; So that I account that Canon of the Councel of Trent to be blasphemous, by which it is prouided, that Tradi∣tions are to be receiued paripietatis affectu, with the written word of God, and concerning Tradi∣tions, J am wont to say with St. Ambrose, Quod non legi vsurpare non debeo. That which J finde not in the scripture ether expressed, or deducable by easy consequence I ought not to vse, and a∣gaine, Caeli mysterium me doceat Deus, qui me con∣didit, non homo, qui se ipsum ignorauit, and with O∣rigene. Page  22 Non sum aliorum sermonū discipulus nisi caelestum.

3 This scripture so sufficient, I acknowledge to be easy, and facile, fitted to the capacitie of the simplest, whose vnderstanding God hath not shut vp in that iudgment, vobis non datum est nosse misteria regni:* so that the weaklin in faith thence may draw milke for his weake stomack, and the more able Christian, may haue stronger meat to better his groath in the mystery of faith: wherfore J could wish that the scriptures were permitted to every nation,* and language vnder heauen, in their owne familiar tongue that so euery mā may haue and read them to his comfort: for why should I not wish that the spirit of God did not only rest vpon Moses, and the seauenty ancient men in the book of Numbers, but that Eldaed and Medaed, yea and all the Lords people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit vpon them.

But since Scripturae non sunt in legendo, sed in intelligendo, as St. Hilary well obserueth and see∣ing in them somthings are so difficult, as that we may truely saie with the Eunuch to Philip, Quomo∣do possum intelligere, si non aliquis viam praemon∣stret mihi? J would haue you for the sence of scripture not to advise with humane reasō, which Page  23 is blind in matters of piety nor 2 with any Swen∣feldian Enthusiast that vaunts of immediate re∣uelations from the spirit of God: for a lying spirit may speak in the mouths of such Prophets.* Nor 3 with the Pope, that Tarpeian oracle, for J find not warranted by scripture any infallibility in his iudgmēt, seeing he may erre. Nor 4 with Coūcels for they cannot be called so often as the Church may want decision for sence 2 they are often times an assembly of malignant persons against the Godly as the councell at Carmell against Elias, and at Gilead against Micheas, & at Trent against the Protestants howsoever Campian be Hyperbolicall in its Commendation, Bone Deus quae Gentium varietas, qui delectus episcoporum totius orbis, qui Regum et Rerum pub: splendor, quae medulla Theologorum, quae sanctitas quae lachry mae, quae teiunia, qui flores Accademici, quae linguae, quanta subtilitas, quantus labor, quam infinitae lec∣tio, quantae virtutum, et studiorum divitiae Augu∣stum illud sacrarium impleuerunt? Nor 5 with fa∣thers, for they are men, and may, and doe erre, & againe they abrogate this authoritie from them∣selues,* for so S. Augustine Talis ego sum in scrip∣tis aliorum quales ego esse volo intellectores meorum and how did S. Augustine read other fathers wri∣tings Page  24 he will tell you himselfe Cypriani literas non vt Canonicas habeo, sed considero ex Canonicis. But with any Child of God, I say with any child of God, who hath the gift of interpreting, whō J would haue not vpon any Praetorian authority to com∣mand men to beleue whatsoeuer he list, as they in the Poet, Quod volumus sanctum est: but to proue his sence of scripture by scripture and to follow these 6 rules following.

  • 1 To be acquainted with the wordes & Phra∣ses of Scripture.
  • 2 To humble himselfe in praier vnto Almigh∣ty God: vpon this hope.
    Qui dedit, vt quaeras addet vt invenias:
  • 3 To marke antecedents and consequences.
  • 4 To obserue heedfully the occasiō of the text the maine scope, and circumstances thereof.
  • 5 To parallelle like places.
  • 6 To haue alwaies before his eies, for his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the measure of faith in the Articles of the Creede.

Of the Church

  • 1 The authority thereof.
  • 2 The matter.
  • 3 The forme.
  • 4 The affections.
  • 5 The head.
  • 6 The Notes.

Page  251 I confesse that by this immortall seede of the word, God hath begotten him a Church. So that the Scripture is the mother of the Church, and the Church the daughter of the Scripture: how preposterous then, I will not say, blasphemous, is the iudgmēt of the Church of Rome, who set Ha∣gar aboue Sara, and the daughters foote in the necke of the mother, & subject the oracles of God to the censure of men, avowing the authoritie of the Scriptures to be such, and such only as the Church doth afford it, yea more blasphemouslie that the Scripture without the censure and ap∣probation of the Church is in it selfe no more, & no more to be esteemed then Aesops fables: know yee not ye Vatican Rabsakes, that blasphemers, & al lyers shal haue their part in the lake which bur∣neth with fire & brimstone? Yea they debase the authority of the Scripture so farre belowe the Church, as, that they say expresly—non omnem〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉esse peccatum: that every obliquity to the law of God is not a sin: and yet Andradius ere∣cting himselfe vpon his Portingall buskin, proclai¦meth Quic quid a pralatorum Ecclesia ac maxime a Rom. pontificis iussu dissidet immane esse peccatū and againe maiori scelere inuolui cum qui pontifi∣cias quam qui diuinas leges prefregerit and they Page  26 account none to be obedient sonnes to their Sea but such as will say with Erasmus, that although indeed he did knowe another sence then that of the Pope of Rome to be more consonant vnto the Text of scripture; yet, Sed tamen, si hoc ecclesiae iusserit credam: captiuabo. n. intellectum meum in obsequium Ecclesiae.

The matter of this Church is

  • 1 Angells
  • 2 men
1 Angels for not to conceale anie thing I knowe I like not the sentence of M Beza, and M Perkins be it spoken with reuerence to so worthy men,* but chose rather to tread in the paths of Antiquity, se∣ing the learned Zanchius is perswaded that An∣gels be parts of the mysticall body of Christ and members of the Church, seing they receaue by the mediatiō of Christ, these benefits ensewing.

1 To be confirmed in their blessed estate.

2 To haue a more perfit Revelation of the will of God touching the calling of the Gentiles.

3 To be reconciled to man, from whom they were averse before, as beeing executioners of Gods wrath vpon our sinnes, and hence is their ioie for our severall conversions.

And I beleeue that this opinion is stronglie Page  27 mainetained, and abetted with these places of Scripture: Ephes. 1.10. Coloss. 1.20.

2 Men. 1 Not Hypocrites, or wicked men, for howsoever they carry an outwarde profession of Sanctity, and the livery of Christians, yet indeed are they not true and living members of Christs body: for otherwise this would follow, that the Hypocrite being to receiue his portion in the fie∣ry lake, that Christ should condemne into hell, his owne members; only I must advise you, that in the iudgment of Charity you doe esteeme all those for true members of Christ, which fashion thēselues to an outward cōformity in the church, alwaies remembring what St. Augustine answe∣red Petilian charging him to be a reprobate. In a∣rea domini sum vel frumentum, vel palea: sed hu∣ius area ventilabrum non est lingua Petiliani.

But 2. holy men, elect children, & Saints of God, for their sinnes beeing washed away in the bloud of the Lambe, they only are cloathed with the stole of righteousnes, and haue palmes in their hands, and doe follow the lambe whither-soever he goeth, singing honour, and praise, and immor∣tality to him that sitteth vpon the throne, & to the Lambe for evermore.

3 The inward forme of this Church is the bōd Page  [unnumbered] of the spirit, by which the Saints of God dispersed ouer the whole earth of diuerse times, are knit to¦gether and linked in a vnion to Christ their head and a communion amongst themselues.

4 I beleeue this Church to be inuisible in re∣spect of this inward forme, for although Momus desired, yet God neuer granted a window to the breast of man, so that we cannot enter with a Cā∣dle to see their faith, their election, the Graces of the holie Ghost & in respect of the better part, to wit, the Saints blessed in heauē, to whō as we cā∣not extend the tormēts of mallice, or the scourge of our tongue, so neither bodily eies: yet visible in some particular churches,* as now in England (for the welfare of which church my praier hath euer bin that in the Canticles, Arise ô North & come ô South, and blow on this garden, that the spices ther of may flow out) yet so as subiect to change, haue∣ing a waxing, and a waning like the moone: for somtime we read that Christ saith of his Church who is she that looketh forth as the morning, faire as the moone, pure as the sonne, terrible as an army with banners. Somtimes againe we read of the Church, that she is driuen by the red dragon in∣to the wildernes and hath sent after her, a riuer of water, to swallow and drowne her vp.

Page  295 This Church is a body coupled togither by ioints. Ephes. 4.16. & therefore must haue a head, the which head I confesse Christ, & Christ alone to be according to that, Coloss. 1.18. Et ipse caput corporis (t) Ecclesiae: for no other Creature whatso∣ever cā performe the offices of a head to this bo∣dy, which are, vi intus agente, as Paule speaketh, Eph. 5. To giue efficacy, & quickning to the same, and to powre forth oile in great aboundance into the seaven lamps which stand in the golden can∣dlesticke in the temple,* as it is in the vision of Za∣charie: and therefore the first, and best Bishops of Rome never durst arrogate vnto themselues, to be the general fathers, and heads of the Church, nor any in more corrupted times, vntill Boniface the 3. about 600. after Christ, having absolved frō Parricide Phocas, who had killed Mauricius the Emperour and his Lorde, obtained in lew of this Church blessing to be called the Oecumenicall and generall head of the Church; which ever since the Bishops of Rome haue continued, & do seeke to mainetaine by a distinction minted by them. That Christ indeed is the head of the triumphāt, and Militant Church both, and the Pope of the Militant only againe, That Christ is the head of the Church by soueraigne preheminence, in a more Page  [unnumbered] diuine, ample, absolute, excellent, and transcendēt sort, but the Pope is Head only Ministerially. Foolish men, that seeke to couer their ambition with such Figleaues, as these are, for what need Christ of a ministeriall head, to supply his presēce in the Church, and if the Pope of Rome be that head, how wisely hath Christ prouided, that Error and Heresie shall neuer preuaile in it? seing the Pope may erre, non solum actu externo, in quae∣stione facti, errore exempli, in declaratione opini∣onis propriae, in iis quae obiter dicat, in mediis ante conclusionem, sed etiam in rebus fidei, vt summus pontifex, vt publicum os ecclesiae, in definitiuâ sen∣tentiâ; for many of them haue bin Heretickes, witnes Liran in Matthew 16. legimus multos pon∣tifices apostatàsse a fide & this Bellarmine doth in some sort grant when he faintly deuieth it if not rather, insinuateth the same.*Non est proprie He¦retica ista sententia, puta, papam errare posse. it may be as Stapleton will haue it, an erroneous, a scandalous,*an offensiue position, but non est propri∣e heretica.

6 The true markes and badges of this Church are only two the sincere preaching of the word, & the 2 lawfull dispensation of the sacraments, not Antiquity, nor multitude, nor miracles, nor the Page  31 rest which Bellarmine repeateth to the number of foureteene.

1 The sincere preaching of the word to which we admit nobody but he that is lawfully called by the Church, and Christian magistrat; neither do J see how the Papists can obiect vnto Luther, and other ministers in the Reformed Churches to haue no lawfull calling, seeing they receiue their ordination from themselues, and we do not deny but the Popish Bishopps, in creating ministers, howsoeuer they vse more ceremonies then need of, truly to conferre the office vpon whom they lay their hands.

I professe that ministers thus called haue a right to the vse of the Keies. The keies of the Church are the power of binding and loosing, of retaineing and remitting of sinnes.

I beleue that sinnes are only remitted, by god, for I acknowledg it to be his incommunicable property to forgiue sinne according as he pro∣claimeth of himselfe, Ego, ego sum, qui deleo iniqui¦tates tuas propter me etc. and that man hath but a secundary and ministeriall power, to wit, to pub∣lish forgiuenes of sinns, to those, whome God in heauen hath forgiuē, for we are but Embassadors and doe intreat for Christ sake Reconciliamini Page  [unnumbered] Deo: otherwise if the minister doe take vpon him, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, vpon any absolute power resting in himselfe to forgiue sinns, the sinner to be absol∣ued may say vnto him, as Augustine hath it: Quid ego homo, nisi ager sanandus? vis mihi esse medicus mecum quaere medicum, for he sinfull man as he is hath need of one to forgiue his sinnes likwise.

I acknowledg power in the minister to retaine sinne, and to award Excommunication, against desperate and scandalus offenders, only I could aduise, they would remenber, and practise these few rules following. 1 That such ecclesiasticall curses be denounced according vnto the word of god.

2 That they put a difference betwene priuate and publike sinns, betwene delicta & scelera.

3 That they be not too sharp in their censures, remembering that of Chrysostome Si Deus est tam benignus, vt quid sacerdos eius tamausterus?

Against the first, the Bishopp of Rome highly offendeth, when euery Easter day he excommuni∣cateth the Reformed Churches, before his so∣lemne Masse; for wheras the Pope denounceth his curse against vs, Quod haretici, we knowe the cause is false, and therfore the curse not effectual seeing, as it is in the Prouerbs. A curse causelesse Page  33 shall not come and therfore we say with Tertullian Dum a vobis damnamur, a Deo absoluimm.

2 The second note of the Church is the right∣full administration of the Sacraments.

Now Sacraments are only two

  • 1 Baptisme.
  • 2 The Lords supper

I confesse Baptisme to be a leale of the coue∣na•• of grace, and therfore children being con∣tained in the couenant (promissio facta est vobis, et liberis vestris) are to receue the seale of the co∣uenant, and to be baptised; howsoeuer first the Pelagian, and since the Anabaptist with great fury, & greater phrensy teach the cōtrary: & we haue nothing so commonly in our mouths as that comfortable saieing of Christ in S. Augus∣tine, Baptisma quare Domini, ego quaesiui serui howsoeuer Campian doth put on a whores-fore∣head and impudently charge vs, to make Baptis∣me but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉si habeas recte, sicareas, nihil dā∣ni.

Yet doe I not avouch that Baptisme is simplie necessary to salvation, for I am perswaded, that childe may bee saved which is prevented in his Baptisme, by suddaine death, and that saying of Saint Bernard alwaies was of authority with me, Non privatio, sed contemptus Baptismi damnat,Page  34 and that of Saint Ambrose. Qui Sacramentum o∣mittunt (to wit, in the case aboue specified) grati∣am tamen, non amittunt; and I thinke, that Saint Augustine, if soberly vnderstoode, is not so much my enemy in this point, as Papists and some Pro∣testants doe beleeue.

I confesse originall sinne to be weakened, and bridled by Baptisme, yea taken away quoad reatū & imputationem, but not quoad actum, & totali a∣bolitione, as the Papists would haue it, for it stil re∣maineth in vs as long as wee walke sub onere car∣nis, and is indeed a sinne; howsoever in Christ not imputed vnto the person in whom it is: or if you will so haue it, I wil giue you my iudgment of Cō∣cupiscence, remaining after Baptisme in Saint Augustines wordes, Remittitur in Baptismate, non finitur. And againe, Sed sufficit (inquis) quod in Baptismate accepi Remissionem omnium peccato∣rum? nunquid quia deleta est iniquitas, finita est in∣firmit as? Adhuc carnem fragilem portas, adhuc cor∣pus, quod corrumpitur aggrauat animam, adhuc v∣ti{que} dicis, donec sanentur languores tui, Dimitte nobis debita nostra.* Baptisme is only to be dispēs∣ed by a minister, not by a lay man, much lesse by a woman: yet I am perswaded, that if a lay man, or woman haue de facto baptised obseruing the Page  35 forme of words the baptisme is not to be repeat∣ed, and I rest in the iudgment of a learned fa∣ther amongst vs, whose wordes they are, pie fit, fi minister tingat solus, at fit etiam siting at alius, & againe malè factum est, silaicus, peius,*si feminarē sacro-sanctam hanc attigerit, sed factum est, & quod factum est, infectum esse non potest.

2 The other Sacramēt is the Eucharist, in which the true body and bloud of Christ is giuen vs vn∣der the visible forme of bread, and wine to be re∣ceiued by the mouth of faith of euery beleeuer. And J am perswaded that as truely as the breade and wine is receiued by my hand, and conueied into my stomack, so assuredly the body and blood of Christ Iesus is receiued by the hand of faith, & conueied vnto my soule, and cōscience, and this certainely is assured vnto me by those Emphati∣call formes of speeches peculiar in the sacraments by which the bread is tearmed the true body, and wine, the blood of Christ: so thē the body of Christ is present in the sacrament, verè non imaginarie, how be it non corporali presentia, sed spirituali according to that of S. Augustine. Quid paras ven∣trem, et dentes? crede, et mandacasti.

Away then with the whe•… ten Idoll, the masse, and Popish Transubstantiation, for that there cā Page  36 be no such 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or Transubstantiation, I pro∣test vpon these seasons.

1 It crosseth the institution of Christ, he bid∣eth vs to receaue his supper In mei recordationē now we knowe that Recordatio is Rei absentis nō praesentis.

2 Christians would then be Anthropopnagi & the Lords table should be like the house of Poly∣phemus in the poet, et trepidi tremerent sub den∣tibus artus.

3 This implies a blasphemy, for then Christ be¦ing chewed, and eaten in ventrem cederet, and therfore according to the doctrine of the Gospell in latrinim abiiceretur.

4. Then the wicked should eate his flesh and so haue eternall life.

5 We fee the Accidents of bread, and wine to remaine, and therfore the propper substances of bread, and wine, must remaine, except we would haue an Accident to subsist without his proper substance which is absurd in reason.

And I do account that glosse which the master of the sentences doth set vpon this matter very rediculous, to wit, that therfore the bread and wine being indeed vanished away, their accidēts must remaine to couer rhe flesh, and bloud of Page  37 Christ

1 Ne abhorreat animus,*si carnem ipsam oculi vsurparent.

2 Ne ab incredulis Religioni Christianae in sul∣tetur as if they did eate mans flesh. I protest lik∣wise against the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and consubstantiation of the Lutherans, who do faine a Coexistence of the body of Christ, in sub, or cum pane, and I could wish that they would vse more moderation a∣gainst their Opposits.

J conclude my iudgment of both sacraments with this doctrine that neither sacrament hath vim causatiuā gratiae, as the Papists speake, that I may explicate my selfe to the capacity of the sim¦ple, that there is not in the corporall elements of the Sacraments any supernaturall Grace inherēt and essentiall, but that the sacraments are instru∣ments and meanes by the which the holy ghost is effectually powerfull to offer exhibit, and apply the merit of Christs passion to euery beleeuer.

Page  38That which pessimè & pertinacissimè Eut•…∣ches, as I read of him, I hope J may truely and from a sober and Christian resolution averre: In hac fide genitus sum vs{que} bodie vixi in ea, et opto mori.

Etiam sic sentio, sic credo.

I. D.

His qui contradicit, aut omnino a Christi
nomine alienus est, aut est Hereticus.

To the Reader.

THis little Booke for priuate vse,
was pen'd some time agoe;
And now diuulg'd for priuate freinds,
His Author wills it soe,
But if it come to others handes,
And they some profit gaine:
Then thanke his friends, that for their sakes,
He hath tooke all this paine.

ROGER KNIGHT.