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of other nations, but that he may shed his precious blood for the saving of the nations. Vainly didst thou by envying fear him to be thy successor, whom by believing thou oughtest to seek as thy Saviour: because if thou didst believe in him, thou shouldst reign with him; and as thou hast received a temporal kingdom from him, thou shouldst also receive from him an everlasting. For the kingdom of this Child is not of this world, but by him it is that men do reign in this world. He is the wisdom of God, which saith in the Proverbs, By me kings reign. This Child is the Word of God: this Child is the power and wisdom of God: If thou canst, think against the wisdom of God: thou workest thine own destruction, and dost not know it. For thou by no means shouldst have had thy kingdom, unless thou hadst received it from that Child which now is born."
As for the censure of the doctors of Salamanca and Vallodilid, our nobility and gentry, by the faithful service which at that time they performed unto the crown of England, did make a real confutation of it. Of whose fidelity in this kind I am so well persuaded, that I do assure myself, that neither the names of Franciscus Zumel and Alphonsus Curiel, how great schoolmen soever they were, nor of the fathers of the society, Johannes de Zinguenza, Emanuel de Roias, and Gaspar de Mena, nor of the pope himself, upon whose sentence they wholly ground their resolution; either then was or hereafter will be of any force, to remove them one whit from the allegiance and duty which they do owe unto their king and country. Nay I am in good hope, that their loyal minds will so far distaste that evil lesson, which those great rabbies of theirs would have them learn; that it will teach them to unlearn another bad lesson, wherewith they have been most miserably deluded. For whereas heretofore wisey
y Veritas sapienti nitet, cujuscunque ore prolata fuerit. Gildas, in Codice canonum Cottoniano tit. De veritate credenda, quocunque ore prolata fuerit. Similiter Nennius, præfat. in historiam Britonum (MS. in publica Cantabrigiensis academiæ bibliotheca :) Non quis dicat, aut qualiter dicatur, sed quid dictum sit, veritatis testimonio magis attendendum esse probatur
men did learn to give credence to the truth, "by whosoever's mouth it should be delivered:" now men are made such fools, that they are taught "to attend in the doctrine of religion, not what the thing is that is said, but what the person is that speaketh it."
But how dangerous a thing it is, to have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ in respect of persons; and to give entertainment to the truth, not so much for itself as for the regard that is had to the deliverer of it: I wish men would learn otherwise, than by woful experience in themselves. "The truth (saith Claudius) is to be loved for itself, not for the man, or for the angel, by whom it is preached. For he that doth love it in respect of the preachers of it, may love lies also, if they peradventure shall deliver any;" as here without all peradventure, the pope and his doctors have done, unless the teaching of flat rebellion and high treason may pass in the account of Catholic verities. The Lord of his mercy open their eyes, that they may see the light, and give them grace to receive the love of the truth, that they may be saved. The Lord likewise grant, if it be his blessed will, that truth and peace may meet together in our days, that we may be all gathered into "one fold," under "one shepherd," and that "the whole earth may be filled with his glory." Amen, Amen.
z In doctrina religionis non quid dicatur, sed quis loquatur attendendum esse. Thom. Stapleton. defens. ecclesiastic. authoritat. lib. 3. cap. 7. et demonstrat. principior. doctrinal. lib. 10. cap. 5.
a Veritas propter seipsam diligenda est, non propter hominem, aut propter angelum, per quem adnunciatur. Qui enim propter adnunciatores eam diligit, potest et mendacia diligere, siqua forte ipsi sua protulerint. Claud. in Galat. cap. 1.
b John, chap. 10. ver. 16.
c Psalm 72. ver. 19.
TO THE READER.
IN judging of the religion of our ancestors, we are not to build our conclusion upon every single proposition wherein they either agree with, or dissent from us; but upon the main bulk of the substantial points of doctrine which are controverted betwixt us at this day. Therefore the adversary must not imagine, that I intend here to make such simple collections as these. Such a man held such a point with us: therefore he was a Protestant; no more than I will allow him to frame the like. Such a man was a monk, or in such or such a particular agreed with the now Church of Rome: therefore he was a papist. And forasmuch as for any one man we have not sufficient evidences left unto us, whereby it may appear what he held in every particular, the only way that now remaineth is to join all of them together, with this presumption, that what one man of note hath delivered, the contrary whereof is not to be found in others of his countrymen who lived about the same time; that is to be supposed to have been the doctrine which was commonly received in those countries at that time.
Hence it is that I oftentimes chain together the sayings
of divers authors into one context; and insert also sometimes certain sentences of theirs, which do not so much make for any controversy, as for the apt connexion of the points, and the illustration of the present head of doctrine there treated of. And although my principal intention in this discourse was to produce such evidences as might shew the agreement that was betwixt our ancestors and us in matter of religion, and to leave the instances which might be alleged for the contrary to them unto whom the maintaining of that part did properly belong: yet I have upon occasion touched upon that part also, and brought to light some things which I met withal in such hidden antiquities, as in all likelihood would not have come unto their notice without my discovery.
The printed books which I cite, lie as open to them as they have done to me; neither need they our help for the collecting of such things out of them as may seem to make for their purpose: I would we were half as careful for the maintenance of the truth that way, as they every day shew themselves to be in not letting slip any manner of advantage which may countenance their superstitions and errors. As for the manuscripts which I use, they are partly known to some of them, partly notified in the marginal quotations of the treatise itself, where the place is noted in which they may be found. A great part whereof being gathered together in the rare treasury of that worthy baronet, Sir Robert Cotton, I thought it not amiss to mark all such with an asterisk (*) in the following catalogue; to the end, that if any of the other side will be pleased to look into these things, he may with more ease satisfy himself by perusing the chief of these monuments brought thus together into one place; and so as well examine the truth of my allegations, as take up what he shall think meet for the patronage of his own cause;
my intention herein being to deal fairly, and not to desire the concealing of any thing that may tend to the true discovery of the state of former times, whether it may seem to make for me or against me.
A catalogue of the authors cited in this discourse, according to the times
wherein they flourished.
300. Eumenius Rhetor
317. Constantinus Magnus: cui ineptissima afficta est Donatio
400. Jo. Chrysostomus
414. Pelagius et Celestius hæretici
433. Prosper Aquitanicus
450. Synodus Patricii, Auxilii et Issernini
494. Concilium Romanum sub Gelasio
580. Venantius Fortunatus
592. Gregorius I.
610. Laurentius, Mellitus et Justus: quorum epistolæ ad Hibernos pars habetur apud Bedam
620. Taliessinus Bardus
634. Honorius I. cujus epistolæ ad Hibernos pars habetur apud Bedam 639. Clerus Romanus: cujus epistolæ ad Hibernos fragmentum habetur apud Bedam