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A Protestation to the whole Church of England.

partiallitie gone vpright betwen God, and Baal, halting on neither side, it might well haue bene found the most part of all this Catholicke corruption intruded into the Church by the Bishops of Rome, as Transubstantiation, leuation, and adoration of the Sacrament, auricular confession, forced vowes of Priestes not to marry, veneration of Images, priuate and satisfactory Masses, the order of Gregories Masse now vsed, the vsurped authoritie and Summa potestas of the sea of Rome, with all the rout of their ceremonies & wiedes of superstitiō ouergrowing now the Church, al these (I say) to be new nothings lately coyned in the minte of Rome, without any stampe of antiquitie, as by readyng of this present history shall sufficiently, I trust, appeare. Which history therfore I haue here taken in hand, that as other storywriters heretofore haue employed their trauaile to magnifie the Church of Rome: MarginaliaImage of both Churches.so in this history might appeare to all Christen readers the Image of both Churches, aswell of the one, as of the other: especially of the poore oppressed and persecuted Church of Christ. Which persecuted Church though it hath bene of long season trodden vnder foote by enemies, neglected in the world, nor regarded in histories, & almost scarce visible or knowne to worldly eyes, yet hath it bene the true Church onely of God, wherein he hath mightely wrought hetherto in preseruing the same in all extreme distresses, continually stirring vp from time to time faithfull Ministers, by whome alwayes hath bene kept some sparkes of his true doctrine and Religion.

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Now for somuch as the true Church of God goeth not lightly alone, but is accōpanied with some other Church or Chappell of the deuill to deface and maligne the same, necessary it is therefore, the difference betwene them to be sene, and the descent of the right Church to be described from the Apostles time. MarginaliaThe descent of Christes Church from the Apostles time described.Which hetherto in most part of histories hath bene lacking, partly for feare, that men durst not: partly for ignoraunce that men could not discerne rightly betwene the one and the other. Who beholding the Church of Rome to be so visible and glorious in the eyes of the world, so shinyng in outward beauty, to beare such a porte, to cary such a trayne and multitude, and to stand in such hye authoritie, supposed the same to be onely the right Catholicke mother. The other because it was not so visibly knowne in the worlde, they thought therefore it could not be the true Church of Christe. Wherein they were farre deceaued. For although the right Church of God be not so inuisible in the world, that none can see it: yet neither is it so visible agayne that euery worldly eye may perceaue it. MarginaliaHow the true church of Christ is visible, and not visible.For like as is the nature of truth: so is the proper condition of the true Church, that commonly none seeth it, but such onely as be the members and partakers therof. And therfore they which require that Gods holy Church should be euident and visible to the whole world seeme to define the great Synagoge of the world, rather then the true spirituall Church of God.

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In Christes time who would haue thought, but the congregation and councels of the Pharisies had bene the right Church: and yet had Christ an other Church in earth besides that, which albeit, it was not so manifest in the sight of the world. yet was it the onely true Church in the sight of God. Of this Church ment Christ speaking of the Temple, which he would rayse agayne the third day. And yet after that the Lord was risen, he shewed not him selfe to the world, but onely to his elect which were but few. The same Church after that encreased and multiplyed mightely among the Iewes, yet had not the Iewes eyes to see Gods Church, but did persecute it, till at length all their whole nation was destroyed.

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After the Iewes then came the heathen Emperours of Rome, who hauing the whole power of the world in their handes, did what the world could do, to extinguish the name and Church of Christ. Whose violence cōtinued the space of iij. hundreth yeares. All which while the true Church of Christ was not greatly in sight of the world, but rather was abhorred euery where. And yet notwithstandyng the same small selly flocke so despised in the world, the Lord highly regarded and mightely preserued. For although many then of the Christians did suffer death: yet was their death neither losse to them, nor detriment to the Church: but the more they suffered, the more of their bloud encreased.

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In the tyme of these Emperours, God raised vp then in this Realme of Britaine diuers worthy teachers and witnesses, as Elnanus, Meduinus, Meltiuianus, Amphibolus, Albanus, Aaron, Iulius and other moe. In whose time the doctrine of faith without mens traditions was sincerely preached. After their death and Martyrdome, it pleased the Lord to prouide a generall quietnes to his Church, wherby the number of his flocke began more to encrease.

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MarginaliaThe antiquitie of the Church here in Englād with the descēt of the same.In this age then followed here in the said land of Britaine Fastidius, Niuianus, Patricius, Bacchiarius, Dubricius, Congellus, Kentigernus, Helmotus, Dauid, Daniel, Sampson, Elnodugus, Asaphus, Gildas, Henlanus, Elbodus, Dinothus, Samuel, Niuius & a great sort moe, which gouerned the Church of Britaine by Christen doctrine a long season, albeit the ciuill gouernours for the time were then dissolute and careles, as Gildas very sharply doth lay to their charge, and so at length were subdued by the Saxons.

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All this while about the space of foure hundreth yeares, Religion remained in Britaine vncorrupt, and the word of Christ truly preached, till about the comming of Austen and of his companions from Rome, many of the sayd Britaine preachers were slaine by the Saxons. After that began Christen faith to enter and spring among the Saxons, after a certaine Romish sort, yet notwithstanding somewhat more tollerably, then were the times, which after followed, through the diligent industry of some godly teachers, which then liued amongest them: as Aidanus, Finianus, Coleman Archbishop of Yorke, Beda, Iohn of Beuerlay, Alcuinus, Neotus, Hucharius, Serlo, Achardus, Ealredus, Alexander Neckam, Nigellus, Fenallus, Aelfricus, Sygeferthus and such other: who though they erred in some few thinges, yet neither grossely, nor so greatly to be complained of in respect of the abuses that folowed. For as yet, all this while,

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