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word, is not so certain as of that we perceive by sense.” And, is it as certain? Yea, I taught, as he himself, I trust, will not deny, that the things which God doth promise in his word are surer unto us than any thing which we touch, handle, or see. But are we so sure and certain of them ? if we be, why doth God so often prove his promises unto us, as he doth by argument taken from our sensible experience? We must be surer of the proof, than of the thing proved, otherwise it is no proof. How is it, that if ten men do all look upon the moon, every one of them knoweth it is as certainly to be the moon as another ; but many believing one and the same promise, all have not one and the same fulness of persuasion? How falleth it out, that men being assured of any thing by sense, can be no surer of it than they are; whereas the strongest in faith that liveth upon the earth, hath always need to labour and strive, and pray, that his assurance concerning heavenly and spiritual things, may grow, increase, and be augmented ?
10. The sermon wherein I have spoken somewhat largely of this point was, long before this late controversy rose between him and me, upon request of some of my friends, seen and read by many, and amongst many, some who are thought able to discern; and I never heard that any one of them hitherto hath condemned it as containing unsound matter. My case were very hard, if as oft as any thing I speak displeasing one man's taste, my doctrine upon his only word should be taken for sour leaven.
11. The rest of this discovery is all about the matter now in question : wherein he hath two faults predominant would tire out any that should answer unto every point severally: unapt speaking of school-controversies, and of my words so untoward a reciting, that he which should promise to draw a man's countenance, and did indeed express the parts, at leastwise most of them, truly, but perversely place them, could not represent a more offensive visage, than unto me my own speech seemeth in some places, as, he hath ordered it. For answer whereunto, that writing is sufficient, wherein I have set down both my words and meaning in such sort, that where this accusation doth deprave the one, and either misinterpret, or without just cause, mislike the other, it will appear so plainly, that I may spare very well to take upon me a new needless labour here.
12. Only at one thing which is there to be found, because Mr. Travers doth here seem to take such a special advantage, as if the matter were unanswerable, he constraineth me either to detect his
oversight, or to confess mine own in it. In settling the question between the church of Rome and us, about grace and justification, lest I should give them an occasion to say, as commonly they do, that when we cannot refute their opinions, we propose to ourselves such instead of theirs, as we can refute ; I took it for the best and most perspicuous way of teaching, to declare first, how far we do agree, and then to shew our disagreement; not generally (as Mr.Travers's wordsa would carry it, for the easier fastening that upon me wherewith, saving only by him, I was never in my life touched); but about the matter only of justifcation : for further I had no cause to meddle at this time. What was then my offence in this case? I did, as he saith, so set it out as if we had consented in the greatest and weightiest points, and differed only in smaller matters. It will not be found, when it cometh to the balance, a light difference where we disagree, as I did acknowledge that we do, about the very essence of the medicine whereby Christ cureth our disease. Did I go about to make a show of agreement in the weightiest points, and was I so fond as not to conceal our disagreement about this? I do wish that some indifferency were used by them that have taken the weighing of my words.
13. Yea, but our agreement is not such in two of the chiefest points, as I would have men believe it is. And what are they? the one is, I said, “ They acknowledge all men sinners, even the blessed Virgin, though some of them free her from sin.” Put the case I had affirmed, that only some of them free her from sin, and had delivered it as the most current opinion amongst them, that she was conceived in sin: doth not Bonaventure say plainly, " omnes fere,” in a manner all men do hold this ? doth he not bring many reasons wherefore all men should hold it: were their voices since that time ever counted, and their number found
a His words be these : “ The next sabbath-day after this, Mr. Hooker kept the way he entered into before, and bestowed his whole hour and more, ouly apon the questions he had moved and maintained. Wherein he so set the agreement of the church of Rome with us, and their disagreement from us, as if we had consented in the greatest and weightiest points, and differed only in certain smaller matters. Which agreement noted by him, in two chief points; is not such as he would have men believe: the ore, in that he said they acknowledged all men sinners, even the blessed Virgin, though some of them freed her from sin : for the council of Trent holdeth, that she was free from sin. Another, in that he said, They teach Christ's righteousness to be the only meritorious cause of taking away sin, avd differ from us only in the applying of it. For Thomas Aquinas, their chief schoolman, and Archbishop Catharinus, teach, That Christ took away only original sin, and that the rest are to be taken away by ourselves : yea, the council of Trent teacheth, That the righteous ness whereby we are righteous in God's sight, is inherent righteousness, which must needs be of our own works, and cannot be understood of the righteousness inherent only in Christ's person, and accounted unlo us.
smaller which hold it, than theirs that hold the contrary? Let the
do conceive of the canon that concerneth this matter. The fathers of Trent perceived, that if they should define of this matter, it would be dangerous howsoever it were determined. If they had freed her from her original sin, the reasons against them are unanserwable, which Bonaventure and others do allege, but especially Thomas, whose line, as much as may be, they follow. Again, if they did resolve the other way, they should control themselves in another thing, which in no case might be altered. For they profess to keep no day holy in the honour of an unholy thing; and the Virgin's conception they honour with a feast, which they could not abrogate without cancelling a constitution of Xystus Quartus. And, that wbich is worse, the world might perhaps suspect, that if the church of Rome did amiss before in this, it is not impossible for her to fail in other things. In the end, they did wisely quote out their canon by a middle thread, establishing the feast of the Virgin's conception, and leaving the other question doubtful as they found it; giving only a caveat, that no man should take the decree which
a This doth much trouble Thomas, holding her conception stained with the natural blemish inherent in mortal seed. And therefore he putteth it off with two answers; the one, that the church of Rome doth not allow, but tolerate the feast; which answer now will not serve. The other, that being sure she was sanctified before birth, bat unsure how long a while after her conception, therefore, under the name of her conception-day, they honour the time of her sanctification. So that, besides this, they have now no soder to inake the certain allowance of their feast, and their uncertain sentence concerniug her sin, to cleave together. Tom, iii. part 1. quest. 27. art. 2. ad 2, 3.
pronounceth all mankind originally sinful, for a definitive sentence concerning the blessed Virgin. This in my sight is plain by their own words, “ Declarat hoc ipsa sancta synodus," &c. wherefore our countrymen at Rheims, mentioning this point, are marvellous wary how they speak; they touch it as though it were a hot coal : “ Many godly devout men judge that our blessed lady was neither born nor conceived in sin.” Is it their wont to speak nicely of things definitively set down in that council?
In like sort, we find that the rest, which have since the time of the Tridentine synod written of original sin, are in this point, for the most part, either silent, or very sparing in speech : and, when they speak, either doubtful what to think, or whatsoever they think themselves, fearful to set down any certain determination. If I be thought to take the canon of that council otherwise than they themselves do, let him expound it whose sentence was neither last asked, nor his pen least occupied in setting it down; I mean
Andradius, whom Gregory the Thirteenth hath allowed plainly to Lib. v. def. confess, that it is a matter which neither express evidence of
Scripture, nor the tradition of the fathers, nor the sentence of the church hath determined ; that they are too surly and self-willed, which, defending their opinion, are displeased with them by whom the other is maintained: finally, that the fathers of Trent have not set down any certainty about this question, but left it doubtful and indifferent.
Now whereas my words, which I had set down in writing, before I uttered them, were indeed these, “ Although they imagine, that the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, were, for his honour, and by his special protection, preserved clean from all sin : yet concerning the rest, they teach as we do, that all have sinned.” Against my words they might, with more pretence, take exception, because so many of them think she had sin : which exception notwithstandiog, the proposition being indefinite, and the matter contingent, they cannot take, because they grant, that many whom they account grave and devout amongst them think, that she was clear from all sin. But, whether Mr. Travers did note my words himself, or take them upon the credit of some other man's noting, the tables were faulty wherein it was noted, “ All men sinners, even the blessed Virgin.” When my second speech was rather, “ All men except the blessed Virgin.” To leave this ; another fault he findeth, that I said, “They teach Christ's righteousness to be the only meritorious cause of taking away sin, and differ from us only in the applying of it.” I did
say so, and, " They teach as we do, that although Christ be the only meritorious cause of our justice, yet as a medicine, which is made for health, doth not heal by being made, but by being applied : so, by the merits of Christ, there can be no life nor justification, without the application of his merits : but about the manner of applying Christ, about the number and power means whereby he is applied, we dissent from them.” This of our dissenting from them is acknowledged.
14. Our agreement in the former is denied to be such as I pretend. Let their own words therefore and mine concerning them be compared. Doth not Andradius plainly confess; “ Our Orthod. lib. sins do shut, and only the merits of Christ open, the entering unto dist. 1. blessedness?" And Soto, “ It is put for a good ground, that all, quæst. 4. since the fall of Adam, obtained salvation only by the passion of Christ : howbeit, as no cause can be effectual without applying, so neither can any man be saved, to whom the suffering of Christ is not applied.” In a word, who not? When the council of Trent, reckoning up the causes of our first justification, doth name no end but God's glory, and our felicity; no efficient but his mercy; no instrumental but baptism; no meritorious but Christ; whom to have merited the taking away of no sin but original, is not their opinion: which himself will find, when he hath well examined his witnesses, Catharinus and Thomas. Their Jesuits are marvellous angry with the men out of whose gleanings Mr. Travers seemeth to have taken this : they openly disclaim it; they say plainly, “Of all the catholics there is not one that did ever so teach ;' they make solemn protestation, " We believe and profess, that Christ upon the cross hath altogether satisfied for all sins, as well original as actual."a Indeed they teach, that the merit of Christ doth not take away actual sin in such sort as it doth original; wherein, if their doctrine had been understood, I for my speech had never been accused. As for the council of Trent, concerning inherent righteousness, what doth it here? No man doubteth, but they make another formal cause of justification than we do. In respect whereof, I have shewed you already, that we disagree about the very essence of that which cureth our spìitual disease. Most true it is which the grand philosopher hath, “ Every man judgeth well of that which he knoweth ;” and therefore, till we know the things thoroughly
iii. In Sent.
a Bellarm. Judic. de lib. Concor. Mendac. 18. Nemo catholicorum unquam sic docuit; sed credimus et profitemur, Christum in cruce pro omnibus omnino peccatis satisfecisse, tam originalibus quam actualibus.