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57 [36]

The doctrine of the Church of Rome examined. And compared with the old Church of Rome.

qua quis firmiter credit, & certo statuit propter Christum sibi remissa esse peccata, seseq; possessurū vitam æternam, non fides est, sed temeritas: non spiritus sancti persuasio, sed humanæ audaciæ præsumptio. MarginaliaEx Lindano in Epitome doctrinæ EuangelicæThat is: that fayth, wherewith a man firmely beleueth and certeinely assureth hym selfe, that for Christes sake his sinnes be forgiuen hym, and that he shall possesse eternall lyfe, is not fayth, but rashnes: not the persuasion of the holy ghost, but presumption of a mans boldnes.

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¶ Of workes, and the law.

MarginaliaThe first errour of the papistes touching good workes.AS touchyng the doctrine of good workes and the law, what the teachyng of S. Paul was to þe Romanes, ye heard before. Who although he excluded good workes frō the office of Iustifiyng, yet he excluded them not from the practise and conuersation of Christen lyfe, but most earnestly called vpon all faythfull beleuers in Christ, to walke worthy theyr vocation, to lay downe theyr old conuersation, to gyue theyr members seruauntes of rightuousnes, to offer their bodyes vp to God a lyuely sacrifice &c. The lyke example of whose teaching, if the Churches now reformed do not folow, let theyr Sermons, theyr preachynges, writynges, exhortynges, and lyues also beare record. Who although they can not say with Christ: which of you can blame me of sinne: yet they may say to þe aduersaries, who soeuer of you is without fault, cast the first stone of reproch agaynst vs. Wherfore Hosius, Pighius, with theyr felowes, do them open wrong, MarginaliaHosius in 2. tom. confessionis Cap. 1.and sclaunderously belye them in comparyng thē in this behalfe to Ætius, Eunomius, and other heretickes called Anomæi, who takyng the good sentences of S. Paul, did abuse þe same to filthy licence of the flesh, & corruption of wicked life. &c.

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But to let these slaunders passe, now what the errours be of the Church of Rome touchyng this part of doctrine, remayneth to be declared. Whose errour first stādeth in this. that they misvnderstādyng the definitiō of good workes, do cal good workes, not such as properly are cōmaunded by the law of God: but such as are agreable to the popes law: As buylding of Abbayes, and Churches, giuyng to þe high altar, foūdyng of trentals, findyng of chauntries, gyldyng of Images, hearyng of Masses, going on pilgrimage, fighting for þe holy crosse, keeping of vowes, entring to orders, fasting of vigiles, creepyng to the crosse, praying to Saintes, &c. All which are not onely reputed for good workes, but so preferred also before all other workes, that to these is gyuen pardon from the Pope, double and triplefold more, then to any other good worke of charitie commaunded in the law of almighty God.

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MarginaliaThe second errour of the papistes in the doctrine of good workes.An other errour also may be noted in the Papistes, touchyng the efficient or formall cause of good workes. For albeit they all confesse in their bookes, that Gratia Dei gratis data, is the chief principal cause therof, and worketh in vs Iustitiam primam (as they call it) yet the good workes after regeneration, they referre to other subordinate causes vnder God, as to free will, or to habitum virtutis, or ad integra naturalia, and nothyng at all to fayth, when as fayth onely next vnder God, is the roote and fountaine of all well doyng: MarginaliaFaith the roote and cause of good in the fruites of a good tree, albeit the planter or the husbādman be the principall agent therof, and some cause also may be in the good ground, yet the next and immediate cause is the roote that maketh the tree fruteful. In lyke maner the grace of God, in a soft and repentaunt mollified hart planteth the gift of fayth. Fayth as a good roote cā not lye dead or vnoccupyed, but spryngeth forth and maketh both þe tree fruitful, and also þe fruites therof to be good, which otherwise had no acceptation nor goodnes in them were it not for the goodnes of the roote from whence they spryng. MarginaliaWorkes are not to be called good but by reason of fayth.So Paule, although he had certeine workes in hym, such as they were, before his conuersiō, yet had he no good workes before þe grace of Christ had rooted hys fayth in hym. So Mary Magdalen the sinner, and Zacheus the Publicane. So all na- tions of the Gentles began to bryng forth fruite, and especially good fruite, when they began to be ingrafted in Christ and to receaue the roote of his fayth, whose fruites before that were all damnable and vnsauery. MarginaliaThe office of fayth to iustifie.As touchyng the cause therfore of good workes, there is no other in man but fayth, whose office as it is to iustifie vs in heauē: so the nature of it is here in earth to worke by loue, as the roote worketh by the sappe. MarginaliaThe effect of fayth to bryng forth good workes.For as a man seeth and feeleth by fayth, the loue and grace of God toward hym in Christ his sonne: so begynneth he to loue agayne both God and man, and to do for his neighbour as God hath done to hym. MarginaliaFides per dilectionem operās. Gal. 5.And hereof properly spryngeth the runnyng fountayne of all good workes, and deeds of charitie.

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MarginaliaThe 3. errour of the papistes touching the end of the law and good workes.Thyrdly, as they erre in the cause of good workes, so do they erre much more in the end of the law, and of good workes: for where S. Paule teacheth the law to bee giuen to this vse and end, to conuict our transgressions, to proue vs sinners, to shew and condemne our infirmitie, and so driue vs to Christ: they take and apply no other end to the law but to make vs perfect, to keepe vs from wrath, & to make vs iust before God. MarginaliaThe end of the law and good workes peruerted.And lykewise, where S. Paule proueth all our good workes to bee vnperfect, and vtterly secludeth them from the end of Iustifiyng: they contrariwise do teach, as though the end of good workes were to merite remission of sinnes, to satisfie vnto God, to deserue grace, to redeme soules from Purgatory, and that by them the person of þe regenerate man doth please God & is made iust before God. For so they teach most wickedly & horribly, saying: MarginaliaTho. Aquinas. Hosius in 2. tom. confes. cap. 1.That Christ suffered for originall sinne, or sinnes goyng before Baptisme, but þt actuall sinnes, which follow after Baptisme, must bee done away by mens merites. And so they assigne to Christ the begynnyng of saluation, or obteynyng of the first grace (as they call it) but the perfection or cōsummation of grace they geue to workes and our owne strength. Neither can they in any case abide, that we be iustified freely by the mercy of God through fayth onely, apprehending the merites of Christ. Howbeit neither doo all papistes in this theyr errour agree in one. For some make distinction and say: that we are iustified by Christ principaliter. i. principally: & minus principaliter. i. lesse principally, by the dignitie of our own deedes, contrary to the 8. principle before mentioned: page 34. MarginaliaThe diuers opinions of the Catholicke Papistes, how fayth iustifieth.Other hold that we are made righteous before God, not by þe workes that go before fayth: but by our vertues that follow after. Some agayn do thus expound þe saying of S. Paul: we are iustified by fayth: that is (say they) by fayth preparing vs, or setting vs in a good way to be iustified. Other expounde it by the figure Sinecdoche, that is, by faith conioyned together with other vertues. Other thus: by fayth, that is, being formed with charitie, &c. MarginaliaThe popes doctrine agaynst the principles of Scripture.Thus all these do derogate from the benefite of Christ, & attribute vnto workes a great or the greatest part of our iustification, directly agaynst the true veyne of S. Pauls doctrine and first institution of the auncient church of Rome, and against all the principles of holy scripture.

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MarginaliaThe 4. errour of the Papistes touchyng þe imperfection of mā in satisfiyng þe perfection of the law.Furthermore, as touching the sayd doctrine of the law and workes, they erre in misunderstanding the nature of the law and workes. For where S. Paul disputeth that the law is spirituall, & requireth of vs perfect obediēce of þe whole power of mā, which we being carnall are neuer able to accomplish: they affirme other wise, that the law doth require but onely outward obedience of man, and therewith is contented: And this obedience, they say, man is not onely able to performe, but also to doo more and greater thinges then the law requireth. MarginaliaAgaynst þeþe principles of Scripture.Wherof riseth the workes of supererogation, contrary to the 6. and 8. principles aboue specified pag. 34. Also there be, say they, among other certayne workes of the law, which pertayne not to all men, MarginaliaPreceptes and Counsayles.but are consilia, counsailes, left for perfect men, as matter for them to merite by, and these they call opera perfec-

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