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Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name by Edmund Campion

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embezzled the money of their Churches and wasted the patrimony of
Christ? Take on the contrary Constantine the Great, that scourge
of the persecutors of Christ, to what Church did he restore
tranquillity? To that Church over which Pope Silvester presided,
whom he summoned from his hiding-place on Mount Soracte that by
his ministry he might receive our baptism. Under what auspices
was he victorious? Under the sign of the cross. Of what mother
was he the glorious son? Of Helen. To what Fathers did he attach
himself? To the Fathers of Nice. What manner of men were they?
Such men as Silvester, Mark, Julius, Athanasius, Nicholas. What
seat did he ask for in the Synod? The last. Oh how much more
kingly was he on that seat than the Kings who have ambitioned a
title not due to them! It would be tedious to go into further
details. But from these two [Emperors, Decius and Constantine],
the one our deadly enemy, the other our warm friend, it may be
left to the reader's conjecture to fix on points of closest
resemblance to the one and to the other in the history of our own
times. For as it was our cause that went through its agony under
Decius, so our cause it was that came out triumphant under

Let us look at the doings of the Turks. Mahomet and the apostate
monk Sergius lie in the deep abyss, howling, laden with their own
crimes and with those of their posterity. This portentous and
savage monster, the power of the Saracens and the Turks, had it
not been clipped and checked by our Military Orders, our Princes
and Peoples,--so far as Luther was concerned (to whom Solyman the
Turk is said to have written a letter of thanks on this account),
and so far as the Lutheran Princes were concerned (by whom the
progress of the Turks is reckoned matter of joy),--this frantic
and man-destroying Fury, I say, by this time would be
depopulating and devastating all Europe, overturning altars and
signs of the cross as zealously as Calvin himself. Ours therefore
they are, our proper foes, seeing that by the industry of our
champions it was that their fangs were unfastened from the
throats of Christians.

Let us look down on heretics, the filth and fans and fuel of
hell[6] the first that meets our gaze is Simon Magus. What did he
do? He endeavoured to snatch away free will from man: he prated
of faith alone (Clen. lib. i. recog.; Iren. l. 1, c. 2). After
him, Novatian. Who was he? An Anti-pope, rival to the Roman
Pontiff Cornelius, an enemy of the Sacraments, of Penance and
Chrism. Then Manes the Persian. He taught that baptism did not
confer salvation. After him the Arian Aerius. He condemned
prayers for the dead: he confounded priests with bishops, and was
surnamed "the atheist" no less than Lucian. There follows
Vigilantius, who would not have the Saints prayed to; and
Jovinian, who put marriage on a level with virginity; finally, a
whole mess of nastiness, Macedonius, Pelagius, Nestorius,
Eutyches, the Monothelites, the Iconoclasts, to whom posterity
will aggregate Luther and Calvin. What of them? All black
crows,[7] born of the same egg, they revolted from the Prelates
of our Church, and by, them were rejected and made void.

Let us leave the lower regions and return to earth. Wherever I
cast my eyes and turn my thoughts, whether I regard the
Patriarchates and the Apostolic Sees, or the Bishops of other
lands, or meritorious Princes, Kings, and Emperors, or the origin
of Christianity in any nation, or any evidence of antiquity, or
light of reason, or beauty of virtue, all things serve and
support our faith. I call to witness the Roman Succession, _in
which Church_, to speak with Augustine (_Ep_. 162: _Doctr.
Christ_. ii. 8), _the Primacy of the Apostolic Chair has ever
flourished_. I call to witness those other Apostolic Sees, to
which this name eminently belongs, because they were erected by
the Apostles themselves, or by their immediate disciples. I call
to witness the Pastors of the nations, separate in place, but
united in our religion: Ignatius and Chrysostom at Antioch;
Peter, Alexander, Athanasius, Theophilus, at Alexandria; Macarius
and Cyril at Jerusalem; Proclus at Constantinople; Gregory and
Basil in Cappadocia; Thaumaturgus in Pontus; at Smyrna Polycarp;
Justin at Athens; Dionysius at Corinth; Gregory at Nyssa;
Methodius at Tyre; Ephrem in Syria; Cyprian, Optatus, Augustine,
in Africa; Epiphanius in Cyprus; Andrew in Crete; Ambrose,
Paulinus, Gaudentius, Prosper, Faustus, Vigilius, in Italy;
Irenaeus, Martin, Hilary, Eucherius, Gregory, Salvianus, in Gaul;
Vincentus, Orosius, Ildephonsus, Leander, Isidore, in Spain; in
Britain, Fugatius, Damian, Justus, Mellitus, Bede. Finally, not
to appear to be making a vain display of names, whatever works,
or fragments of works, are still extant of those who sowed the
Gospel seed in distant lands, all exhibit to us one faith, that
which we Catholics profess to-day. O Christ, what cause can I
allege to Thee why Thou shouldst not banish me from Thine own, if
to so many lights of the Church I should have preferred
mannikins, dwellers in darkness, few, unlearned, split into
sects, and of bad moral character!

I call to witness likewise Princes, Kings, Emperors, and their
Commonwealths, whose own piety, and the people of their realms,
and their established discipline in war and peace, were
altogether founded on this our Catholic doctrine. What
Theodosiuses here might I summon from the East, what Charleses
from the West, what Edwards from England, what Louises from
France, what Hermenegilds from Spain, Henries from Saxony,
Wenceslauses from Bohemia, Leopolds from Austria, Stephens from
Hungary, Josaphats from India, Dukes and Counts from all the
world over, who by example, by arms, by laws, by loving care, by
outlay of money, have nourished our Church! For so Isaias
foretold: _Kings shall be thy foster-fathers, and queens thy
nurses_ (Isaias xlix. 23).

Listen, Elizabeth, most powerful Queen, for thee this great
prophet utters this prophecy, and therein teaches thee thy part. I
tell thee: one and the same heaven cannot hold Calvin and the
Princes whom I have named. With these Princes then associate
thyself, and so make thee worthy of thy ancestors, worthy of thy
genius, worthy of thy excellence in letters, worthy of thy
praises, worthy of thy fortune. To this effect alone do I labour
about thy person, and will labour, whatever shall become of me,
for whom these adversaries so often augur the gallows, as though I
were an enemy of thy life. Hail, good Cross. There will come,
Elizabeth, the day, that day which will show thee clearly which
have loved thee, the Society of Jesus or the offspring of Luther.

I proceed. I call to witness all the coasts and regions of the
world, to which the Gospel trumpet has sounded since the birth of
Christ. Was this a little thing, to close the mouth of idols and
carry the kingdom of God to the nations? Of Christ Luther speaks:
we Catholics speak of Christ. _Is Christ divided?_ (1 Cor. i.
13). By no means. Either we speak of a false Christ or he does.
What then? I will say. Let Him be Christ, and belong to them, at
whose coming in Dagon broke his neck. Our Christ was pleased to
use the services of our men, when He banished from the hearts of
so many peoples--Jupiters, Mercuries, Dianas, Phoebades, and that
black night and sad Erebus of ages. There is no leisure to search
afar off, let us examine only neighbouring and domestic history.
The Irish imbibed from Patrick, the Scots from Palladius, the
English from Augustine, men consecrated at Rome, sent from Rome,
venerating Rome, either no faith at all or assuredly our faith,
the Catholic faith. The case is clear. I hurry on.

Witness Universities, witness tables of laws, witness the
domestic habits of men, witness the election and inauguration of
Emperors, witness the coronation rites and anointing of Kings,
witness the Orders of Knighthood and their very mantles, witness
windows, witness coins, witness city gates and city houses,
witness the labours and life of our ancestors, witness all things
great and small, that no religion in the world but ours ever took
deep root there.

These considerations being at hand to me, and so affecting me as
I thought them over that it seemed the part of insolence, nay of
insanity, to renounce all this Christian company and consort
with the most abandoned of men, I confess, I felt animated and
fired to the conflict, a conflict wherein I can never be worsted
until it comes to the Saints being hurled from heaven and the
proud Lucifer recovering heaven. Therefore let Chark, who
reviles me so outrageously, be in better conceit with me, if I
have preferred to trust this poor sinful soul of mine, which
Christ has bought so dearly, rather to a safe way, a sure way, a
royal road, than to Calvin's rocks or woodland thickets, there
to hang caught in uncertainty.


You have from me, Gentlemen of the University, this little
present, put together by the labour of such leisure as I could
snatch on the road. My purpose was to clear myself in your
judgment of the charge of arrogance, and to show just cause for
my confidence, and meanwhile, until such time as along with me
you are invited by the adversaries to the disputations in the
Schools, to give you a sort of foretaste of what is to come
there. If you think it a just, safe, and virtuous choice for
Luther or Calvin to be taken for the Canon of Scripture, the Mind
of the Holy Ghost, the Standard of the Church, the Pedagogue of
Councils and Fathers, in short, the God of all witnesses and
ages, I have nothing to hope of your reading or hearing me. But
if you are such as I have pictured you in my mind, philosophers,
keen-sighted, lovers of the truth, of simplicity, of modesty,
enemies of temerity, of trifles and sophisms, you will easily see
daylight in the open air, seeing that you already see the peep of
day through a narrow chink. I will say freely what my love of
you, and your danger, and the importance of the matter requires.
The devil is not unaware that you will see this light of day, if
ever you raise your eyes to it. For what a piece of stupidity it
would be to prefer Hanmers and Charks to Christian antiquity! But
there are certain Lutheran enticements whereby the devil extends
his kingdom, delicate snares whereby that hooker of men has
caught with his baits already many of your rank and station. What
are they! Gold, glory, pleasures, lusts. Despise them. What are
they but bowels of earth, high-sounding air, a banquet of worms,
fair dunghills. Scorn them. Christ is rich, who will maintain
you: He is a King, who will provide you: He is a sumptuous
entertainer, who will feast you; He is beautiful, who will give
in abundance all that can make you happy. Enrol yourselves in His
service, that with Him you may gain triumphs, and show yourselves
men truly most learned, truly most illustrious. Farewell. At
Cosmopolis, City of all the world, 1581.


[Footnote 1: Cf. Newman, _Lectures on Anglican Difficulties_,
Lect. xii.: "I say, then, the writings of the Fathers, so far
from prejudicing at least one man (J.H.N.) against the modern
Church, have been singly and solely the one intellectual cause of
his having renounced the religion in which he was born and
submitted himself to her."]

[Footnote 2: Richard Cheyne, Anglican bishop of Gloucester, to whom
there is extant a letter from Campion, dated 1 November, 1571.]

[Footnote 3: The Latin is Philippos.]

[Footnote 4: Seems to refer to the first Protestant bishops,
_mighty hunters_ (Genesis x. 9) after place, and, to secure it, all
too ready to alienate the manors and possessions of their see.]

[Footnote 5: I have here paraphrased, as any literal translation
would have been hopelessly obscure to most modern readers.
Campion could but hint darkly his comparison of the Elizabethan
persecution to the Decian. The Latin runs: _Etenim, ut nostrorum
illa fuit Epistasis turbulenta, sic nostrorum haec evasit divina
Catastrophe_. _Epistasis_ is "the part of the play where the
plot thickens" (Liddell and Scott). _Catastrophe_ is "the turn
of the plot" (Id.).]

[Footnote 6: _Faeces et folles et alumenta gehennae_.]

[Footnote 7: _Mali corvi_.]

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