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fight against the man of sin, and your fingers to make battle against his Babel. Whereof your paraphrase upon the Revelation of St. John, is a memorable monument left to all posterity: which I can never look upon, but those verses of the poet run always in my mind :
Cæsaribus' virtus contigit ante diem ;
Surgit, et ignavæ fert mala damna moræ.
How constant you have been ever since in the profession and maintenance of the truth, your late protestation, made unto both the houses of your parliament giveth sufficient evidence. So much whereof as may serve for a present antidote against that false and scandalous oration spread amongst foreigners under your majesty's sacred name, I humbly make bold to insert in this place, as a perpetual testimony of your integrity in this behalf.
“Whath my religion is, my books do declare, my profession and my behaviour do show : and I hope in God, I shall never live to be thought otherwise ; sure I am I shall never deserve it. And for my part I wish that it might be written
Merc. Gallobelgie. ann. 1623. * His majesty's answer to the petition of the parliament touching recusants, 23d April, 1624.
in marble, and remain to posterity, as a mark upon me, when I shall swerve from my religion ; for he that doth dissemble with God, is not to be trusted by man. My lords, I protest before God, my heart hath bled, when I have heard of the increase of popery: and God is my judge, it hath been so great a grief unto me, that it hath been like thorns in mine eyes, and pricks in my sides ; so far have I been, and ever shall be, from turning any other way. And, my lords and gentlemen, you all shall be my confessors; if I knew any way better than other to hinder the growth of popery, I would take it; and he cannot be an honest man, who knowing as I do, and being persuaded as I am, would do otherwise.”
As you have so long since begun, and happily continued, so go on, most renowned king, and still shew yourself to be a defender of the faith ; fight the Lord's battles courageously, honour him evermore, and advance his truth; that when you have fought this good fight, and finished your course, and kept the faith, you may receive the crown of righteousness, reserved in heaven for you ; for the obtaining of which double blessing, both of grace and of glory, together with all outward prosperity and happiness in this life, you shall never want the instant prayers of
i 2 Tim. chap. 4. ver. 7, 8.
It is now about six years, as I gather by the reckoning laid down in the thirty-first page of this book, since this following Challenge was brought unto me from a Jesuit, and received that general answer, which now serveth to make up the first chapter only of this present work. The particular points which were by him but barely named, I meddled not withal at that time: conceiving it to be his part, as in the fortieth page is touched, who sustained the person of the assailant, to bring forth his arms, and give the first onset; and mine, as the defendant, to repel his encounter afterwards. Only I then collected certain materials out of the Scriptures and writings of the fathers, which I meant to make use of for a second conflict, whensoever our challenger should be pleased to descend to the handling of the particular articles by him proposed; the truth of every of which he had taken upon him to prove, by the express testimonies of the fathers of the primitive Church, as also by good and certain grounds out of the sacred Scriptures, if the fathers' authority would not suffice.
Thus this matter lay dead for divers years together: and so would still have done, but that some of high place