The ancient doctrine of the Church of England maintained in its primitive purity. Containing a justification of the XXXIX. articles of the Church of England, against papists and schismaticks: The similitude and harmony betwixt the Romane Catholick, and the heretick, with a discovery of their abuses of the fathers, in the first XVI ages, and the many heresies introduced by the Roman Church. Together with a vindication of the antiquity and universality of the ancient Protestant faith. Written long since by that eminent and learned divine Daniel Featly D.D. Seasonable for these times.
Lynde, Humphrey, Sir., Featley, Daniel, 1582-1645.
Page  122

Concerning the testomonies of Cardinall Bellarmine; Chapter 15. Spectacles, a page 464. us{que} ad 485.

THE testimonies alleaged by the Knight out of Cardinall Bellarmine for the Protestant faith, in the points of Transubstantiation, private Masse, Prayer in an unknowne tongue, Com∣munion in both kindes, the number of Sacraments, the necessity of good workes, and justifi∣cation by faith alone, have beene all answered in the former Sections, and that which he addeth concer∣ning universality and miracles, maketh for the Ca∣tholike and against the Protestant faith.

The Hammer.

THe testimony of an adversary is of great force,* especially a learned one, most of all one his death-bed, when he looketh every houre to be summoned before the Judge of all flesh: and therefore we have all reason to make great dainties of the noble confession of the learnedest of all our Romish adversaries in the maine point of faith, wherewith he gave up the ghost: Domi∣ne Page  123me admittas in numerum sanctorum tuorum, non meriti astimator, sed veniae largitor. Lord admit me into the number of thy Saints, not weighing my merits, but pardoning my offences: this testimony and prayer of his, printed in his will, the Knight in this Section backeth with another taken out of his third booke Dejustificat. c. 17. Vel habet homo vera merita, vel non habet, &c. Either a man hath true merit, or he hath not; if he hath not, he is dan∣gerously deceived, and seduceth himselfe, whilest he trusteth in false merits; for these are deceitfull ri∣ches, saith Saint Bernard, which rob a man of the true: but if he hath true merits, he looseth nothing by this, that hee regardeth them not, but putteth his whole trust in Gods mercie only. This is not on∣ly Forte, but Fulgens telum: to use the words of Quintilian, Not onely a strong, but a beautifull, bright, and shining weapon: wherwith the Knight giveth his Adversary such a deadly wound, that hee panteth as it were for life, through all this Section. Much adoe hee hath to say any thing, which yet is as good as nothing: to wit, that Bellarmine in his first booke De Iustificatione, cap. 1. saith, that Hee will indeavour by five principall Arguments, to demonstrate that a man is not justi∣fied by Faith onely. What will the Iesuit conclude from hence? that the Cardinall contradicteth himselfe? I grant it, and I take it for a singular Ar∣gument and Evidence of Truth on our side, which inforced this great Cardinall, after hee had spent all his strength in justifying the Ro∣mish Page  124Tenet concerning justification by workes, and the merit therof, in the end to undoe all that he had done, and conclude fully with the Knight, that In regard of the uncertainty of a mans owne justice, and the danger of vaine-glory, it is safest to renounce all mans merit, and to put our trust onely in Gods mercie. Sufficit ad meritum scire, quod non sufficiant merita. For other passages in this chap∣ter, I shall passe them over with a drie foot, be∣cause there is nothing materiall in them said in excuse of Bellarmine his warping from the Ro∣mish Religion, which hath not beene discussed before. As for such Rotten-stuffe wherewith hee pieceth it up in his later Paragraphs, namely, five, six, seven, and eight; fetched from Romish Broker-shops concerning the name Catholique, and multitude of Professours, and miracles, because none of it sutes with the title or argument of this Chapter, I will not defile my hands with it: one∣ly I wish the Reader to take notice, that the Iesuit twice in this Chapter convinced by evidence of Truth, yeeldeth the Knight the Bucklers, ac∣knowledging out of Cardinall Bellarmine, That our Doctrine is safer than theirs, in two maine points: the one concerning the Sacrament, the other justification by Faith onely. For the first,*Page 465, hee is constrained to con∣fesse, that though hee holdeth Private Masse to be lawfull; yet, that It is a more perfect; and in a certaine sort more lawfull Masse, where there be some to communicate with the Priest: Page  125for then it hath both the ends for which it was or∣dained. Certainly, that which is more lawfull, is safer: our Communion therefore, wherein some of necessitie communicate with the Priest, is safer than their Private Masse by the Iesuits owne confession. For the second, I find, page 471. that, though much against his will, yet in Terminis, hee concurres with Bellarmine, in ac∣knowledging our Doctrine concerning relying onely on Christs merits, and Gods mercie for salvation, to be safest: and what else doe all Pro∣testants contend for in the point of Justification by Faith alone; but that all men renounce their owne inherent righteousnesse, and trust onely to Gods mercie in Christ for Justification and Sal∣vation? If at Christs dreadfull Tribunall, the safest Plea are Christ his merits applied to us by Faith, I wonder any dare to use any other? If there be safety, nay most safety, as the Iesuit con∣fesseth in this point of Protestant doctrine, there must needs be truth in it; for there can be no safe∣tie for the soule in a lye.