AN ANSWER TO SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON THE Spirit of Martin Luther AND The Original of the REFORMATION; Lately Printed at OXFORD.

The fierceness of Man shall turn to thy praise, and the fiercness of Them shalt thou refrain. Ps. 76. 10.

OXFORD, Printed at the THEATER. Anno 1687.


IO. VENN. Vice-Can. Oxon.
Iulii 29. 1687.


WHEN I first happ'ned upon this Pamphlet, and by some peculiar beautys in the style, easily discover'd it's Owner, I was, I must confess, not a little surpriz'd: I could not have imagin'd that a Man of so bigg a reputa­tion as the Author of the Guide in Controversy; One, whose thoughts had for some years convers'd with nothing less then Oecumenical Councels, Popes and Patriarchs, should quitt all those fine amuse­ments for the humble task of Life-writing, and drawing of Chara­cters. 'Twas mean prey, I thought, for a Bird of his Pounces: and the Design he did it with, made it ten times more a Riddle. The Doctrines of the Reformation have, for near two Centuries, kept the field, against all Encounterers: and do's He think they may be foil'd at last by two or three little Remarks upon the Life and Actions of a single Reformer? But it look's like a Jest, when the Irregularities committed by Luther in Germany, are turn'd upon Us here in England: as if any thing that He said, or did, could affect a Church establish'd upon it's own bot­tom, and as independent on any forreign authorities, as the Crown, Her Defender wears. Luther's Voice is indeed to Us, what oura Author term's it, the Voice of the Stranger; and tho' we are allwaies ready to wipe off the unjust aspersions cast upon him by his Enemies, yet this is what we are oblig'd to, not as Sons, but as Friends. Whenever injur'd Virtue is set upon, every Honest man is concern'd in the Quarrel. But these last Attacqu's have been so very feeble, that had we for once trusted the Cause to it's own strength, 'twould have suffer'd but little Damage. And I for my part should have done so, did I not know there were a sort of Men in the World, who have the vanity to think every thing on their side unanswerable, that do's not receive a sett Reply; tho' at the same time they are pleas'd to answer nothing themselves. They fight indeed all of 'em, like Tartars; make a bold and furious onset, and if that does not doe, they retreat in disorder, and you never hear of 'em afterwards. And this, I expect, will be the present case. The Editor of these Consi­derations won't much care for replying, I believe; because that must be de proprio, and can't be drawn from the old store of provisions laid in by the Fraternity. But whether the Poysons were of an earlyer mixture, [Page] and design'd, like Italian Preparations, to work now at a distance, or whether later temper'd, is a thing we may safely be ignorant of; as long as we are secure of the Antidote, before they take their effect. And this the Theatre-Press thinks her self engag'd to promise: considering from Whose Munificence she had her Birth, and especially to Whom she ows her Lustre; a late Prelate, of a remarkable zeal for the establish'd Church; and who, were Religions to be try'd by Lives, would have liv'd down the Pope, and the whole Consistory. If the Services she do's now are not of the most deserving Character, 'tis what the Meanness of the Opposer, and a worn-out Cause will bear: she has already produc'd the strongest arguments against Popery, Fathers, and Bibles. The pre­sent Attempt is confin'd perfectly within the bounds of an Answer; and pretend's to nothing more then a bare pursuit of the Author step by step; and the laying open his Blunders, for the Reader's ease, just in the same order they ly. There was nothing frightful in this Task, but the toil of being forc'd to think so long upon so very thoughtless a Writer: in all other respects 'twas as easy as one would wish. The History-part lay within a little room; and the Reasonings upon it were so thin, that they needed only setting in the light, to be look'd thro'. In both, my great­est helps have been drawn from one single Author, the Considerer him­self: who in every Book of his has made it appear, that he can write Contradictions, as well as believe 'em. This small performance had seen the light much sooner, but that it waited the Edition of another Piece which should regularly have prevented it. But the Gentleman employ'd on that occasion having not yet had all the leisure he expected, 'twas thought fit rather to send this abroad, out of it's due place, then stay till every body had forgotten the Book it answer's: a misfortune, which I fear it has already in a great measure undergone. In the Defence of Our Reformation, to come, 'twill be found, that the Considerer is no good Historian; the Replyer, has prov'd him no good Catholic; the Ani­madverter no good Subject; and all together no good Disputant: so that I have now no new side of him left, to entertain the Reader with. What he is, after all this, no body know's; 'tis much easyer to guess, what, under another Revolution, he will be.

Answer to Considerations &c.

MARTIN Luther's Life was a continual Warfare, he was engag'd against the united forces of the Papal world, and he stood the Shock of 'em bravely, both with Courage, and Success. After his Death, one would have expected, that generous Adver­saries should have put up their Pens, and quitted at least so much of the Quarrel as was Personal. But on the contrary, when his Doctrines grew too strong to be shook by his Enemies, they persecuted his Re­putation; and by the venome of their tongues suffici­ently convinc'd the world, that the Religion they were of, allow'd not only Prayers for the Dead, but even Curses too. Among the rest, that have engag'd in this unmanly design, our Author appears: not in­deed after the blustring rate of some of the party, but with a more calm and better dissembled malice: He has charg'd his Instrument of Revenge with a sort of White Powder, that does the same base action, tho' with less noyse. 'Tis cruel thus to interrupt the Peace of the Dead; and Luther's Spirit has reason to expostu­late with this Man, as once the Spirit of Samuel didEcclus. 46. 20. 1 Sam. 28. 15. with Saul—Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up? He know's the sequel of the story: the answer that was given was no very pleasing one; it only afforded the Enquirer an account of his own Discomfiture. Let us see whether this Disturber of Luther's Ashes will have any better fortune.

The first thing we are presented with, is a double [Page 2] Character of the Good, and Evil Spirit, set out by those Works or Properties, which are said to attend each of 'em in Scripture. And by this Test it is that Lu­ther's Consid. p. 2. Spirit is to be try'd. For—so often as the Teachers of new and strange Doctrines come into the World, professing opposition to those receiv'd by our present superi­ors, and to the common Tenents of the Church, Christians are directed by St. Iohn c. 4. v. 1. to try such Spirits, whe­ther they are of God. And we are instructed by our Lord Mat. 7. v. 16. that they shall know and discern them by their Fruits. The inference from hence is, that Luther's Do­ctrine should be try'd by his Works. Now, tho' we are very willing to stand to this Test, yet nothing hitherto said can any ways engage us to it. For here is a manifest violence offer'd to two places of Scrip­ture: by leaving out the preceding verse in one, and the subsequent in t'other, he has quite perverted the meaning of both. St. Iohn sayes, Beloved believe not 1 John. 4. 1. every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they be of God. How shall we try them? the next verse instructs us. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God; every Spirit that con­fesseth Ib. v. 2. that Iesus Christ is come in the Flesh, is of God. Nothing can be plainer then that the Apostle here would have new Teachers prov'd, by the conformity their doctrine bore to that he had deliver'd. But this was not for our Author's purpose to observe; and there­fore He drop'd the latter part of the Quotation, which would have expounded the former, and slip'd over to St. Matthew's—Ye shall know them by their Fruits. Whom?Mat. 7. 16. Ibid. v. 17. Consult the foregoing words. Beware of false Prophets, which come to you in Sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening Wolves. The caution here given is against such as come in Sheeps clothing, that is in all outward in­nocence and meekness (as our learned Paraphrast ex­pound's [Page 3] it *) Ye shall know them by their Fruits: not by their well or ill living sure, for they are suppos'd to put on the Vizard of seeming sanctity: but -by the doctrines, which, as soon as they have got any authority with you, they will endeavor to infuse into you [id. ibid.] Thus are the two Texts, which should be the Basis of the whole discourse, prov'd directly contrary to the de­sign of it, and naturally leading us to the examination of particular doctrines according to a receiv'd standard, the thing which our Adversaries so studiously avoid. But Scripture-proof was never the Talent of these men, and 'tis no wonder they are foyl'd, when they fight us at our own weapon. Yet in these places, the sense offers it self so easily, and that shuffling way in which they are propos'd, looks so like a Trick, that we can't but question our Author's sincerity: and shall there­fore be the less concern'd, when, in the Progress of these Papers, we find him m [...]gling and putting a wry [...]ense upon our Protest [...]t Writers, since 'tis but what he has done to the inspir'd Penmen themselves. But to drive this point further, whether Works ought to be the adequate measure of Doctrines? I say, not onely that he has not prov'd it by any authorities drawn from Scrip­ture, but that it is impossible he ever should. For Scrip­ture cannot be against Scripture: Now we have fre­quent instances in Holy Writ, where God Allmigh­ty has made bad men the Instruments and Promo­ters of a good Doctrine; such indeed, whose actions were not agreeable to what they taught. So Balaam was a Diviner, yet the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, andNum. 24▪ 2. he prophesied of the coming of Christ. Iehu tho' other­wise [Page 4] none of the Holiest men, was yet imploy'd by God in that grand Reformation of his, when the whole Land of Israel was over-run with Baalism. A Case so parallel to this we are upon, that one would wonder it should never be taken notice of in the whole course of the Pamphlet, did we not know some men's Talent lay in dissembling things, when speaking out won't be for their turn. I ask him again, if the Iews should have con­trasted thus with Hosea; that his message could not come from God, since his works were not answerable: heHos. 1. 2. had taken a Wife of Whoredoms to him, and lov'd a­nother that was an Adulteress: or should a Ninevite Hos 3. 1. have disputed the mission of Ionas, because he was a wicked person, and had been thrown into the Sea to appease a tempest, would this kind of Plea have held a­gainst the Prophets? If not, why is it urg'd against Lu­ther? Or why are Scripture-Maxims put upon us, with­out taking notice of Scripture-Examples, that ly cross 'em? He has not offer'd any thing from the Fathers upon this occasion, and therefore we may take it for granted, they are Ours. Indeed, to instance in no more, St. Austin a is express upon the point. Nay the greatest of their own party even the two pillars of the Romish faith, Bellarmin b and Baronius c are in this case as much Protestants as we are. But he himself has given up the Cause p. 98. He there in broad words confesses, that a teacher of Truth may bring forth the fruits of a bad [Page 5] life. And if so, I would ask him, why he writ his Book?

And here the business seems to be at an end. For if no proof has been brought, why a good Doctrine should alwaies require good outward works to support it: and yet it be the whole drift of the Pamphlet, to bring Luther's preaching to such a scrutiny, 'tis all built on a false foundation, and, when that's weak'ned, must drop a course. But because we are pretty well assur'd of Luther's Moralls too, we'll be so obliging as to give up what has been allready said, and put the Cause upon that Issue: tho' his Life dos not in the least concern the Church of England. In order to this let us take the prescrib'd method, and put our selves in the same po­sture Consid. p. 2. now, as we should have been in, had we liv'd at the first appearance of Luther. And since the Properties of the Evil Spirit are reducible to Two. 1. Fleshly Lusts. 2. Contention and Disobedience, (as One, who [...]e know­ledge in this case we shall not question, has inform'd us) let us see, whether after our most impartial resear­ches, we in those circumstances could have fix'd either of these blots upon him.

1. As to Fleshly Lusts, there is no one action through the whole course of Luther's life, that can possibly come under that Character, but only his Match with Bora. Now this hapned not till 1525, and in 1517 Luther had begun to Reform: so that, should I put my self in­to that posture, the Considerer desires, yet here would be nothing for my observation to lay hold of for above eight years together. Fleshly Lusts therefore could have given me no prejudice against Luther's Doctrine, when it first appear'd, since his very Adversaries do not till long after that time charge 'em upon him. Yes but wepag. 20. are told, that he preach'd against the Vow of Continence [Page 6] long before he married. Now tho' it be something im­proper, to call preaching an Act of Fleshly Lust, and give me that to try his Doctrine by, which is indeed a piece of the Doctrine it self; yet neither did Luther let fall a syllable against these Vows for several years af­ter his first setting out. So that had I liv'd in the dawn of the Reformation, and made all those Observations I am desir'd to do, I can as yet see no reason, why I should not have been Luther's Proselyte. And thus much will serve to free Luther from Incontinence, as far as the method propos'd reaches: the Breach of Vow, and Marriage it self shall be more largely discours'd of in their proper places.

2. The other Head of the Charge is Contention and Disobedience. And here again I am invited to consider, whether Luther was not in an high manner guilty of these? and, if so, whether a wise man that had liv'd in those days, could have had any reason to follow so unruly a Guide? Now the Question here is not whether Luther disobey'd? for that's confest: but when and in what manner he did it. For if upon enquiry it be found, that for near three years together he treated his Adver­saries with all mildness, and paid a just deference to his Superiors; if he threw not off their Authority, while there was any hope left of doing things in a regular way, and mingled no gall in his expressions till after all the venemous mouths in Europe had been open'd upon him, how can he with any colour of reason be term'd conten­tious or disobedient? And that this was his case any im­partial man that reads the joint accounts of Sleidan, Soave, Melancthon▪ and Melchior Adamus, must needs ac­knowledg. 'Tis a known story that he first stood up against the gross abuse of pecuniary Pardons: he pro­pos'd his sentiments about it in a mild Scholastic way, [Page 7] and invited all that should think themselves strong e­nough to a fair disputation. This Challenge was not thought fit to be accepted of: but Thecel the [...]preader of the Pardons answered him an easier way, by brand­ing him with Heresy, and denouncing Anathemas a­gainst him from all the Pulpits in Saxony a. This did not heat him, he went on calmly, representing the case in a letter to the Arch-Bishop of Mentz b, and afterwards in two more to the Bishop of Brandenburg, in whose Dioceses the scene lay: all written with so deep an humility, that one would say, the impressions he took from his Vow of Obedience were then strong upon him c. I am well content, (says he) I had rather obey▪ than even, if I could, to do miracles a. This submissive way of representing things he continu'd afterwards in several Letters to the Pope, though he knew Leo had form'd a design against his Life d, and taken Fryar Hogo­strat's advice, to confute his Doctrine by fire and fag­got e. Upon the Legat's summons, he submitted him­self to an Examination, and appear'd before him; and tho' Cajetan us'd him very coursly in the Conference f, yet no unbecoming word came from him g. At last, when for along time he had employd all the most inof­fensive methods; and instead of the Redress he expected from Rome, found his Books burnt there, himself con­demn'd without an hearing, and his Adversaries Ec­kius and Prierias supported in all the Ribaldry of Lan­guage, that their passions could suggest, he then, and not 'till then, first chang'd his note, and put on a greater [Page 8] freedom of Expression. Before this time, he strove with no man, but in the spirit of meekness, and threw off no Authorities that he had engag'd himself to obey a. But the Pope had now declar'd his judgment by a fresh Bull, and own'd the Cause: so he was forc'd▪ to de­ [...]line his censure, and appeal to a Council. Thus are the earliest actions of Luther in no wise chargea­ble with contumacy; and I believe that part of the first Volume of his Works, which contains whatever he wrote in his two leading Years, will, tho' sifted by an Enemy, hardly afford, throughout, one single indecency.

I might here again very justly drop this Answer: for since the drift of his book is already evacuated, whatConsid. p. 2. need I pursue him thro' all it's particulars? He advis'd me to put my self in the same posture I should have been in had I liv'd at Luther's FIRST APPEARANCE: I have done so, and find that this first appearance of his has nothing hi­deous or frightful in it: the Posture, he put me in, has prov'd flatly against his design: for it represent's Luther under the Image of an holy and humble person, with nothing of Fleshly Lust, or disobedience about him. But because I find the bulk of his book employ'd upon the latter passages of Luther's life, I am tempted to think that by first appearance, he might mean last appearance; and shall therefore (after I have desir'd him to consider to what trouble his odd way of expression has put me) fol­low him even in that sense too; confronting his Accu­sations Paragraph by Paragraph, as they ly in order. And perhaps, by that time this is done, 'twill appear, that he mean't, neither first, nor last appearance▪ but just nothing at all.

The thing promis'd was to set out some of Ls. Works [Page 9] or Fruits, that by them we might pass sentence upon his Doctrines: let us see how he performs. He entertains us first with a Preamble about the holyness of Martin Ls. life, while a Monk; in such obliging terms, that for a page or two, you'd think him on our side: but 'tis only a piece of his address, a small civility before he open's his busyness: in return to't therefore I am his humble Servant, and so (if he pleases) we'll come to the Point.

We find him then §. 3. and 6. crying [...]: he has discover'd the main root of the Reformation: the first wheel it seems which set all the rest a work; was a new Do­ctrine that Martin, while a Monk, embrac'd, of Iustifi­cation by Faith alone. Now 'twill be found I believe, when this is look'd into, that he has discover'd just no­thing but the depth of his own understanding. For

1st. I would ask him, whether this new Doctrine of Justification be one of those Works which Ls. Faith is to be try'd by? if not, why are we amus'd with it here for a dozen pages together? was he serious when he propos'd a method, which he quits now the first step he advances? But admit the pertinence of the remark, I am sure we have a great deal of reason to question the Truth of it. For tho we are not at all concern'd, where L. first took up this opinion, yet

2dly, How is it prov'd, that he embrac'd it while in the Monastery? why, by express assertions of this Do­ctrine, in Treatises of his, written ten years after he came out on't A fine discovery indeed! and every ways befitting a man of my Author's Sagacity! Now should I turn this way of reasoning upon him, and prove from what he now writes, he must needs have been a Papist 20. years ago, he would not, I believe, admit the argument, because there is a scurvy inference hanging at the tail of it. Nay.

[Page 10] 3dly, He is so far from fixing the time when this new Doctrine was first hatch'd, that he has not prov'd the Doctrine it self to be new: tho, he attempts it §. 6. by citing a decision of the Council of Trent's, together with Bellarmin and Cassander's authorities. But I would have him remember, that the Epocha of that Do­ctrine, he calls new, does by his own accompt run at least 30 years higher then the oldest of these: so that L. is brought in guilty of Novellism, as Strafford was of Treason, by a Law made after the fact was done. Now to urge the suppos'd perpetuity of their Faith for the validity of this instance, is to urge a thing, which Protestants deny: and therefore any argument ground­ed upon that maxim can be nothing but a childish petitio Principii, a fault which his own Logic whips him for. Should I insist upon every failure of this nature, I must write Volumes, for there is never a step made without a stumble. 'Twill be more material to ob­serve, that

4thly, He has not dealt fairly with Ls. Doctrine invid. §. 7. this point; insinuating all along that it falls in with the Solifidian and Fiduciary Errors: but he wrongs him infinitely, for an hundred instances might be brought from his writings, where the necessity of good works in order to Salvation is display'd. But instead of that, I shall leave him to be confuted by Bellarmin's confes­sion a, or, if he won't take his word, by his own p. 16. where he allows Ls. faith to be such, as when true, has allways good works joyn'd with it. L. teaches indeed that fides sola justificat, but not solitaria; that faith a­lone justifies, but not the Faith that is alone: Good Works are inseparable attendants upon this justifying [Page 11] Faith, but they contribute nothing to the act of Justi­fication: they make not just, but are allwaies with them that are made so. This is Ls. was the C. of Rome'sa, and is now the C. of England's Doctrine: if he'll be pleas'd to attacque it as such, it shall not want a Defender. As to his Quotations on this occasion, they are, (as at other times) very trifling. To pursue every particu­lar of 'em would be nauseous and unnecessary: one ge­neral Remarque, that I shall leave with the Reader, will lead him into the sense of 'em all. L. wrote against a sort of men that held good works to be meritorious, and rely'd on 'em, as of themselves satisfactory, without a particular application of faith: this was the Doctrine (or at least the practice) of the cloyster; and this L. through all his Writings encounters: so that where ever he put's a slight upon good works 'tis as they stand di­stinct from Faith, under the notion that superstitious zeal had then cloath'd 'em with b. I will not say that in the prosecution of this he never went awry, he did so in reviving that doubt, which was sometime in the primitive Church, of St. Iames's Epistle being Canoni­cal, because he thought it ran counter to St. Paul: but he withdrew this plea of his, when better inform'd; if quoting from it afterwards, as from Scripture, be owning it's Authority. 'Tis plain his followers think so: the most rigid of whom, and who in every puncttlio would be thought like Luther, do yet retain this E­pistle in the Canon. Indeed in the 1st. Edition of his [Page 12] German Bible he call's it straminea; not absolutely, but in comparison with those of St. Paul. But in all the Editions after 1526 'tis left out: and the arida, the Pamphlet talk's of, is in none of 'em at all. The ob­jection drawn from his calling St. Paul Evangelist in preference to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, is ridiculous, for he there tells you what he mean's by Evangelists, viz: such as preach the glad tidings of that comfortable Doctrine (as our Articles term it)▪ of Justif [...]cation by Faith alone: and in this sense he say's - you may more properly say the Gospel of St. Paul then of Matthew &c. And what is there so heynous in this expression? 'Tis low ebb sure with his Accuser, when such Peccadillos as these are put in to swell the Charge. But the grand Article is to come. L. (he says) was so strangely affected with this new invention [he mean's justifying Faith] that he made bold much to prefer the Mahometan life as to good manners before the Christian. Now had L. spoke up to this accusation, yet Chrysostom's example would have been his defence. For he says the very same thing in almost the same terms of the Christians in his time com­par'd with the Pagans a. But L has indeed said no such thing. In the place cited he compares Mahometans▪ and Papists as to the austerities of living: but 'tis far from his principles to say all good life and practice consists in these strictnesses b. He only urges that if it were so, then the one would lay as fair a claim to it as the o­ther. For the proof of this he vouches the testimony of a Papist, one us'd barbarously by 'em in a slavery of 11 years continuance; and who had therefore no great reason to favor 'em. The Considerer here gives him [Page 13] the Ly, and says no such thing is to be found in that Relation. I shall not return the Complement, but de­sire the Reader to look at the bottom of the page a, and he'll be pretty well satisfy'd of my Author's mode­sty. This innocent reflection gives occasion for one of the wildest inferences that ever was made. He is con­demn'd immediately as preferring Turcisin to Christi­anity, the Alchoran to the Bible, and Mahomet to Christ. With this false scent my Author runs away at full cry; proves manifestly to you, that the Christian Re­ligion is the most holy of all Religions; and after he has heated his imagination to an high pitch of zeal, con­cludes with a Deus tibi imperet, the Ld. rebuke thee. His fancy, it seem's has made a Gyant of a Windmill, and he's now engaging it: I shall slip away in the mean time, and when he has spent his fury, meet him at the 10th Paragraph.

For so far we must go before any new matter offers it self. His reflexions between are so very mean, that a bare recitall confutes them. Ls. Doctrine (he says)§. 7. is since detested by many judicious Protestants. If you ask him how he knew it, he'll tell you - Hammond and Thorn­dike wrote against the Solifidians, and Luther himself (one of those judicious Protestants) confess'd, that some wrested what he taught to their own destruction. it is a Doctrine void of Consolation - because some men§. 8. think they have this Faith, when they have it not, and [Page 14] so are betray'd into a fatal security. This is such stuff as no patience can digest. But L. pursu'd this notion §. 9. so far, as to hold a parity of honor in all justify'd. He did so, as to the act of Justification it self, and so must all do that hold it gratuitous: but not as to the degrees of Sanctification afterwards. The honor of Knighthood is the same in all upon whom the Prince confer's it: but some Knights may live up to their characters bet­ter than others, and so possess a larger share in the Prin­ces favor. What little amusements these are for so mighty a man in Controversy to sport himself withall? He might e'en as well have employ'd his time (as the Au­thor of a Book of Education say's some Princes haveEduc. p. 13. done) in the frivolous and low delights of catching Moles, baltering Frogs, hunting Mice with humble-bees, making Lan­terns, Tinderboxes, and such like Manufacture.

Come we now to the second Branch of Ls. Accusa­tion,§. 10. his vilifying Religious Vows, Pennance. &c. Agen I must ask him, is this a work to try the Doctrine by, or rather a part of the Doctrine that is to be try'd? If Works are to decide the goodness or badness of Ls. cause, according to what was first propos'd, why are these spe­culative points preposterously put upon us? But if our Author, in spite of his own design, is resolv'd to give us a list of his Doctrines, with what color of reason can that about Indulgences be slipp'd over? 'Twas the main Article that made the breach, as all their own writers confess: and do's it not deserve a mention? But we deal with a man that understands very well the order­ing of his scenes. This busyness of Indulgences is too gross to be touch'd upon, 'twould leave ill impressions upon the Reader's mind; and therefore he passes it over just as Mezeray and the French Writers do the battle of Cressy. It cannot be shewn so much as in Profile, no [Page 15] light will make it look lovely. Here is a fair occasion given to supply the defects of my Author's story, and shew to what beastly uses Indulgences were then put, and upon how brave an occasion it was, that L. first appear'd: but because the whole voice of Germany in the Centum Gravamina a, and the Trent-Council it self b has done it to my hands, 'twill be perhaps a needless trouble. I go on then to see what L. has said in dis­paragement of Pennance, Vows, &c.

As to the first of these, Pennance, and what fall's un­der it in all that heap of Quotations which he has pil'd up Paragr. the 10th, nothing is aim'd at but the super­stitious, and meritorious use of it: and this all Protestants as well as L. decry. When he's pleas'd to urge any thing in it's favor, twill be time to think of our rea­sons. In the mean while he's resolv'd, I find, by such dry tedious accompts, to force his Reader upon the Practice of Pennance, where he is not able to recom­mend the Doctrine of it. He hath a long passage out of the Colloquia where L. deter's men from solitary­ness: from indulging themselves in a strange affected retirement, he dos not from a sober solitude, that ral­lies our scatter'd strengths, and prepares us against any new encounters from without: for this he both taught and practis'd, He has indeed said nothing there, which St. Bernard did not say 500 years ago of some who in pursuit of greater sanctity withdrew themselves into desarts c such, says he, are tempted by the Devil, and in the end, by sad experience find the truth of that saying. Wo unto him that is alone! for if he falleth, he hath none to help him. But a shorter Answer may be given to this [Page 16] and all other places taken from the Colloquin mensali [...] 'Tis a book not receiv'd yet into the Canon by the Learn­ed: It depends purely on the credit of one Van-Spar [...], that tell's a blind story of his finding it in the ruines of an old house many years after L. and Aurifaber the pre­tended compiler was dead: but should it be genuine, yet no fair adversary would urge loose table talk against a man in controversy, and build serious inferences up­on what perhaps was spoken but in jest.

Vow's and Celibacy are the next points he goes upon. The latter of these makes an intire Treatise of it self, and is the Task of another hand, to which I refer the Rea­der, that desires a fuller satisfaction; and shall only make a reflection or two en passant. L. recommended ma­trimony, §. 11. n. 2. he did well, I hope, to follow so good a Guide as St. Paul:—Yes, but in preference to Celibacy: now this, I say, is a piece of my Author's mendacity: for in that very place that he has recourse to, for the proof of this assertion, these words are plainly read. a Sicubi conjugium quis cum caelibatu conferat, praestantius certe do­num est caelibatus. With what tolerable ingenuity could he pass this over unmention'd? Yet in spite of Ls. de­claration in the case, he will it seems prove the Tenet upon him. He urges that place, where L. says, that—properly speaking the state of the Religious Orders is mun­dane, §. 11. n. 6. and that of Matrimony Spiritual. He dos so, but he says more too; for the very next words are De istis autem Ordinibus & Religiosis loquor, qui eo nomine ha [...]tenus sese & nominari & jactari perpessi sunt. He affirm's not absolutely that Marriage is the more Spiritual state, but in comparison with Celibacy as then practis'd in the Church of Rome: where it was commonly forc'd b, taken [Page 17] up under a bold vow a, thought meri [...]orlous b, and lead in all uncleaness c. And in this sense it was that he said, Matrimonium velut esse aurum, spiritualem vero statum ut stercus; for to the objection made immediately upon this,—What then must none live unmarried? he answers—I am now talking not of Celibacy it self, but of the Spiritual state (as they term it) two as different things, as can well be imagin'd. Again when he expound's that Text urg'd for virginity, ['Tis good for a man so to be] of conveniency in 1 Cor. 7. 26. §. 11. [...]. 6. this life, not of Spiritual good; 'tis in concent to his own Principles, which allow no merit, no intrinsic worth to accompany one state more then another. But then he own's this convenience may be employ'd to a very good use in respect of another life too e, as it afford's us freer seasons of attending upon God and Virtue. The state it self is not more holy then another, but it gives a lar­ger scope to display the holyness we allready have, and to procure what we have not. He invites all people in general to matrimony because he thinks the Qui potest capere, capiat of o [...]r Savior's, implys f, the gift of Con­tinence to belong but to a few. But where he meets these few, he break's out into Euges, and Acclamations; and expresses himself in terms that might become the mouth of St. Hierome. g Those are high and noble Souls (says he) who by the Grace of God have laid such a chain upon their passions, as, tho' supplyd by nature with all bodily 31 [Page 18] vigor, can yet willingly abstain. Thus after all the little sleights and cavils of the Considerer, 'tis plain that Lu­ther's expressions are just, and his thoughts every way re­gular upon the point. Tho', should he have indulg'd himself in a flight or two beyond strict truth, in praise of marriage, it had been no more then what some Fa­thers have been guilty of on the other side, as his very Adversaries confess a. And a great deal must have been allow'd to his natural warmth of temper, in this case, when 'tis consider'd what sort of Church he engag'd: a Church, where marriage had by b two Popes been stil'd c unholy, d carnal, and unpleasing to God; by e two Saints, filthy beastlyness; and by f a Council it self, unclean abomi­nable contagion. I shall dismiss this point with a request to the Considerer, that he would do Lr. at least this ju­stice in citing him, as not to make him speak in congru­ously: Christus ipse non consuluit—say's Lr.—caelibatum, my Author wisely put's in. Now unless he can provep. 21. caelibatum a man or a woman, this Latin will be much­what the same with a solaecism: for nothing but men and women dos consulo ever advise. But a piece of false Grammar is easily pardon'd, where we have so much false reason to deal with.

The discourse of Vows (blended with that of Celibacy in the Pamphlet) has that art and address in it as to make Lr. appear a Lampetian. But this is an unworthy design. For any man conversant in his Works must know, [Page 19] that he was not utterly against all Vows a but only for regulating the use of some. Heare him once for all thus speaking, Ego sane non repugnaverim, siquis privatim ar­bitrio suo velit vovere, ne vota penitus contemnam aut dam­nem b. The thing he blam'd was their being taken up absolutely, without any reserve of necessity: His maxim was, that absolute Vows can be made only of such things as are wholly in our power then, when we Vow: and of this kind, he says c all Scripture-Vows were. Now Continence he thinks is a Gift perfectly out of our reach, and therefore dos not ly within the compass of such a Vow. The Considerer supposes otherwise, affirming this Gift to be giv'n to all those, who use a just endeavor for p. 21. it. But we say, that the wisdom of the Holy Ghost would then never have prescrib'd marriage as a remedy for fornication, for what need of a remedy, where there is no Disease? We appeal to that Text—All men receive not this saying, and from thence urge, that a single LifeMat. 9. 11. is not the Talent of all men: and Maldonate allow's us, that almost all the Interpreters (amongst whom he rec­kons three Fathers of the first magnitude) do so ex­pound it d. Tho', with the modesty of a Iesuit, he says afterwards, that nevertheless he is not of their opinion. To his three Fathers (Origen, Nazianzen, and Ambrose) we add two more, St. Hierome e, and St. Austine; f and are content to err in the interpretation of a Text, with al­most all the Fathers on our side. But Lr. sometimes pre­sumes [Page 20] upon the Gift of Continency, as when the Wife is sick &c.§ 11. n. 4 Right! in such circumstances as took their rise from a lawful and warranted action de do's; and there he thinks the divine veracity engag'd to make good the promise of our being tempted no farther then we are able; not so, when the necessity that lyes upon us, had it's rise from something unlawful, and unwarranted, such as he accounts Vow'd Celibacy to be: which he knew under this indispensable restraint was never taught nor pra­ctis'd by Antient Fathers; and he knew too the wild effects that had follow'd upon this restraint in latter times, when men allow'd themselves all Liberties that did not directly infringe their Vow, and Concubinage, and simple Fornication were almost expung'd out of the list of Sins. Damianus's letter to Nicholas the 2d about the middle of the 11th Century is an Authentic Record of the lewd­nesses committed under the reign of Celibacy: the gros­sest part of his confession, was (as Baronius owns) suppress'd by the Pope, yet as it now stands, 'twould make a man think Sodom and Gomorrah were rebuilt agen. Clemangis's complaints a near 300 years ago are known things, and Erasmus's confession b is a standing testimony. Who is ignorant of the story of Petrus Aloysius, Paul the 3d's, Bastard, or of the Arch-Bishop of Benevento's Poetry? These were crying lewdnesses, yet not resented by the Popes then in the See: nay the latter was thought fit to be honor'd afterwards with the character of Nuntio to the Venetians. Yet the Pamphlet is very warm with Lr. for impiously accusing the Religious of uncleanness. And § 11. n. 3. §. 11. n. 7. if it were so, how could he know it, that himself liv'd chast? The Question is silly enough to Answer it self. The matter of fact has been already in part made out, and [Page 21] might yet farther be clear'd by a Cloud of Witnesses. The beastlynesses upon Record committed in our En­glish Monasteries are a sufficient sample of what was done in the rest. We have the Prior of St. Andrew's Confession amongst our Rolls: we have an abstract of the Brevia­rium Compertorium in Monasteriis Ao. 1538. Which if we do not more largely insist upon, 'tis our good manners that will not suffer us to talk of those sins, which their Re­ligion did not hinder them from Acting. In such a time therefore as this, when the Celibate was stain'd with these impurities, 'twas requisite to preach up the honor of the married state in the highest strains it would bear. Prudent Zeal could contrive no better an expe­dient, and I see not how Lr. Accuser can charge him on this account, as encouraging the liberties of the Flesh, Vide §. 3. 12. unless he first subscribe the lew'd determination of Coster and the Casuists, that says—'Tis less sin for Priests to for­nicate then marry a. As for that expression, si Domina no­lit, § 11. n. 3. adveniat ancilla, tho' it be indeed too light upon so serious an occasion, yet any man who consults the Con­text will find nothing indecent at the bottom on't. Lr. is making a decision upon St. Paul's rule of separating only for a time. Here, says He, if the Wife persists in an obstinate denyal of the Bed—opportunum est ut dicat maritus - si tu nolueris, alia volet; si Uxor nolit, adveniat Ancilla. That is, she shall be taken into her place not as Woman but as Wife; after divorce made from the other: for so the next words plainly speak—ita tamen ut antea iterum & tertio uxorem admoneat, & coram aliis ejus etiam pertinaciam detegat, ut publice & ante conspectum Ecclesiae duritia ejus & agnoscatur & Reprehendatur. Si tum renuat, repudia eam—He must first admonish her [Page 22] twice or thrice in public, and then—Repudietur Uxor, adveniat Ancilla. I was willing to propose this passage intire, to take off the disguise which it's Quoter has put upon it. He has shuf [...]led the two ends of the sentence together, and by taking out the ita tamen &c in the mid­dle, made it speak just as he would have it. That which gives distast to the Ear in it is a German by-word: and such kind of things Lr. according to the humor of those times, pursues with some fondness: take it singly, and it carries an air of levity, I confess; but, in consort with the rest, you see, has a meaning quite different from what this Author would insinuate.

Thus far my Author has slip'd his first design; not a let­ter of what has been yet said promoting any wayes the tryal of Ls Spirit, by the Fruits of it. He begins now (after a Parenthesis of 25. Pages) to offer something that looks that way. Ls Anticelibacy stay's not here, he says, he shook §. 12. off his Vow, and Married a Nun: This we acknowledge to be a Work, and we'll prove it no bad one. Had he done it with the Pope's License, his Adversaries must have been silent, for that's a rul'd case with the School-men; and the K. of Aragon's story is too known to be repeated. Yet these same Schoolmen do not stretch the point so far, as to say the Pope has an absolute unlimited power over these Vows: no, a solemn Vow (such as Luther's was) is, they say, de jure positivo ac naturali: and that in this therefore, the Pope cannot make a nullity, where there is none; but onely declare it, where it isa. Now if Ls Vow was of it self void, what need of a recourse to the Pope to have it declar'd so? 'Twas made immediately to God, without a­ny intervening obligation to his Holyness; and tho' the [Page 23] judgment of the Church be desireable to satisfy a scru­pulous Votary that he is releas'd, yet if the Votary be sa­tisfy'd without this judgment, and his grounds be ratio­nal, he may act accordingly, without sin. Now Lr. had several reasons to think his Vow not binding. It was taken up without deliberation, or even consent. Neque enim libens, & cupiens fiebam Monachus, sed à terrore & agone su­bitae mortis vovi coactum ac necessarium votum a: And a­gainst the express commands of his Father b: to whom Obedience was he knew injoin'd by Scripture, when Continence was notc. So many flaws had this Vow in it's first conception, And as he had taken it up thro' dis­obedience, so 'twas laid down in compliance to that ve­ry authority it had defy'd: for so Melchior Adamus relates the story. But what need was there of doing this in the 42d year of his Age? when (in the homely phrase of the Pamphlet) the boilings of nature were now well asswag'd? But is the Considerer so well acquainted with Luther's Crasis, as to be sure of that? Are fresh lustings a greater wonder after forty, then a new Religion after three­score? If Lr. did not then burn, how comes this act to be a Fleshly Lust with my Author? If he did, why is it questi­on'd, when an Apostle has given his warrant for it? He himself, I own, gives another reason for his Marriage—the leaving his own doctrine confirm'd by his own example d. But he does not give it as the onely one. Tho should he lay the whole stress of the case upon this principle ▪twould easi­ly bear it. Men were then strangely possess'd with the aeternal obligation of a Vow: when they grew uneasy under it, yet they look'd on Mariage with horror and de­testation, [Page 24] and chose rather the methods God had forbid▪ then the remedies he had appointed. To rescue men's minds from the slavery of these notions was Ls design: He could no wayes so effectually recommend his do­ctrine, as by being himself the example of it. This mo­tive therefore was sufficient to authorise what he did: since according to St. Thomas a and St. Bernard's b rules, 'tis allowable to exchange a Vow for any greater good that stands in competition with it. And the picking out Bo­ra to match with, one who had formerly been a Nun▪ was but making the President he was going to set, more conspicuous; and an open declaration that the quarrel between him and Rome was irreconcileable.

Besides it must be consider'd, that Lr. did not by any particular sollicitations invite Bora, either to leave her Monastery, or to take up thoughts of marriage: she had done both of her own accord. Her Veil she had thrown off above two years before her acquaintance with Lr. and went so far in these resolutions, as allmost to close with a match that was proffer'd her, but this breaking off, His offer was accepted. But Adamus says that Lr. himself af­terwards §. 12. regretted this action. What is mean't here by regretting, I don't understand: for Adamus says no more, then that he was concern'd at the censures of some peo­ple about it: But the Pamphlet in the next words will explain it self, where we are inform'd, that Melancthon too by Ls procurement took a Wife, so that it's plain now that by regretting is meant approving: for certainly, if a man were disgusted at marriage, he would never recommend [Page 25] it to his friend▪ This I take, in the language of the book▪ to be a sufficient autocatacrisy. If the English Reader bep. 10. startled at the Word, he may be pleas'd to know, that it's Greek for a Blunder.

After these advances, Lr. wholly left off his▪ Canonleal §. 13. Hours: an heynous accusation! why, he had left off his Monkhood too, and was no longer oblig'd to 'em▪ How could he have the leysure and retiredness of the Cloyster, to perform all those acts of Devotion in, when the Bur­then of the Reformation lay upon his Shoulders? No▪ his active spirit was employ'd upon things more accept­able to God almighty, because more useful to mankind. He was wrestling against Principalities and Powers, against Ephes. 6. 12, 13. 14, 15. 16, 17. 18, 19. the Rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiri­tual wickedness in high places. To that end he took unto him the whole armor of God, that he might be able to withstand in the evil day; and having done all, to stand. He stood there­fore, having his Loyns girt about with Truth, and having on the brest plate of righteousness, and his feet shod with the pre­paration of the Gospel of Peace: Above all, taking the shield of Faith, wherewith he was able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And he took the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Yet praying alwayes with all Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all Saints; And for himself, that utterance might be given unto him, that he might open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel. I could not forbear setting down at full length this Panoply of St. Paul, wherewith Lr. compleatly arm'd himself in his spiritual warfare: and I do not know whe­ther this description belong's so justly to any man as him, since the day's of the Apostles. Should he therefore have laid aside his Canonical Hours, yet the Work he was about, sufficiently atton'd for the omission. But I had rather his [Page 26] Accuser should vindicate him, then I. You will find then, that tho Lr. has discharg'd these duties quite at the entrance of the Paragraph; yet at the end of it you will be told, that he never totally cast off this holy Exercise. So obliging­ly do's this author contradict himself, to spare the Re­plyer's pains. [...]d And this ease I must acknowledge he has more then once afforded me.

In the following Account of Ls. appearing before§. 14. the Legat in Germany, I must desire him to rectify a mistake or two: for neither was Lr. condemn'd by Caje­tan there, nor was Cajetan a moderate Prelate. He de­scended to bitter reprehensions (says Soave Hist. Counc. Tr. p. 8.) and base terms, and concluded that Princes haue long hands, and so bid him be gone. Here was no Judicial Process, all ended in a threatning: and this moderate Pre­late behav'd himself with such a rude zeal through the whole conference, that even his own party blam'd the furiousness of it. [Soave ibid.] If Lr. afterwards threw off the Pope's Authority, it was not till he had try'd all softer wayes of redress, by Letters, Remonstrances, and the most submiss applications: it was not till a fresh Bull of Leo's had declar'd how inflexible the Court of Rome was in the point of Abuses; and not till Prierias had in downright terms told him—Indulgentiae authori­tate scripturae non innotuere nobis, sed authoritate Ecclesiae Romanae, Romanorumque Pontificum, quae major est. The Pope now was become a party in the cause, and could not be rely'd upon for a decision: to a Council therefore he appeal'd; and, if he afterwards revok'd this Plea too▪ 'twas because he found the expected Council was dwind­ling into a Conventicle; a pack'd Assembly of Italian Bishops, not a free convention of Fathers from all Quar­ters of the Christian World. So that to urge upon this account, that he deny'd the Authority of the present Church, §. 15. [Page 27] or deny'd [...] pres [...] Church [...] true [...], [...] [...]ay§. 16. no worse of it, an [...] [...] f [...] b [...] [...]e present Church here is meant [...] more then the Court of Rome, and it's dependents. But he is challeng'd of go­ing much farther then this, even to [...] of the vi­sibility of the Church for many ages upon what account? Because he made this the only note of the [...] Church▪ that there the Gospel be truly and sincerely [...]. As if [...]. and with him a great train of learned [...], did not own, that in all that dark [...] of [...] were still some gleams of light, some witnesses that a­rose, to give testimony to the truth, and protest against innovations▪ I cannot but take [...] way, of a little artifice of the Considerer's▪ [...] he has of disguising a Doctrine, when it lyes a little too open, by putting a new name to it▪ Is it too bold to say the Elements must be ador'd? they shall then only have a certain sort of a Cul [...] paid them▪ So here the Priest is said, to operate the presence of the body and blood of Christ: which in plain broad English is neither more nor less then to make God. But that's too gross to go off, so a term is coyn'd to make the conveyance easy.

As for the newness of Ls. opinions, and his marching§. 16. alone, against the Doctrine of the primitive ages, 'tis so beaten a point, that it deserves no other Answer then that true Jest of Scaliger's▪ [...] Novato­res, sed Vos estis Veteratores: and the Considerer, if he pleases, may apply it.

But 'tis ridiculous to say he deny'd the validity of§. 18. the former Clergy's ordination: for that necessarily draws along with it, the invalidity of his too. Yet he proceeded, we see, in the work of his Ministry with­out expecting any new Mission, and never thought him­self54 [Page 28] oblig'd to a reordination. No, he was so far from this, that in the Articles of Smalcald he own's Orders confer'd by a Popish Bishop even then to be valid a and in his Letter about the Anabaptists, you will find him in 20 places owning, that the C. of Rome hath the true Faith, Baptism, Sacraments, the Keys, the Office of Preach­ing &c. Concessions that run as high, as any the most charitable Protestants now make. So that that obje­ction of the Devil's in Ls. book of the Mass, must be counted a flourish only, and not a convincing argument; for tho' Lr. gives his assent in general to the reasoning of that discourse, yet he do's not say every particular of it amounted to a demonstration. As for his book adver­sus falso-nominatum ordinem Episcoporum, and some harsh expressions about the Prelates of his time, they must not be so understood as if he meant to unbishop 'em, but only to set out their corruption and degeneracy. Atha­n [...]sius do's not speak more softly of the Arrian Bishops in Constantius his Court: he says they are [...]: and that if any of'em has a mind to be consecrated, he is not told, that a Bishop should be blameless, but only bid to rage against Christ and never trouble himself about manners b But these words must be allow'd a latitude, and are not strictly to be taken, as if the Father deny'd the validity of their Consecration.

After the Breach with the Pope, 'tis own'd that Lr. [...]. 17. took the freedom of calling him Antichrist, when ever he came in his way: but ere this can be made his crime, it must be prov'd, that St. Paul has not call'd him so too; for otherwise we can't but think that he has taken after a good pattern. If his spirit must be dubb'd evil for an [Page 29] hard▪ word or two against his holyness, of what spirit pray was the sacred Council of Brixia, when they stig­matiz'd Hildebrand? calling him—Virum procacissimum, sa­crilegia & in [...]endia praedicantem, Perjuria & Homicidia de­fendentem, manifestum Necromanticum- and a deal of that stuff. Now can I see no great difference between Lr. and the Council in this matter, but that they rayl'd perhaps with infallibility on their side, when He had only plain certainty on his.

But he rejected the authority of Councils: yes, siquan­do §. 19. contraria Scripturae statuunt a, and so do all the Reform'd, as well, as He. So that this won't pass for a fault in him, till 'tis prov'd one in us too. But he never refus'd to be concluded by the authority of One legally summon'd: as is plain from that Preface of his to the Smalcald Arti­cles, written a little while before he went out of the world. Indeed the sense he had of the tricks and Arti­fices us'd in convening these Synods for some Centuries together, and the noise of his Adversaries, who were perpetually crying Councils, Canons &c. when they had nothing else to say for their cause, might perhaps force out an expression or two from him, that did not carry all the respect due to those great Names: he had fire in his temper, and a German bluntness, and, upon these provocations, might possibly strain a phrase with too great freedom: yet even the diligence of his accuser has in all his works been able to find out but a few passages of this nature; and of them the most material perhaps were never found out by any body else but himself. For those two, which seem the warmest on this occasion, are quoted, the one from Assertio Art. 36. contra Reg. Angliae; the other from a Treatise of his about Councils in 1639; two imaginary books that the considerer dreamt of per­haps, [Page 30] but I am sure L. never wrotea. So that till he lay' [...] his Indictment in some certain County, we don't think our selves bound to answer an indefinite charge. As for the rest, we acknowledge, he call'd the Council of Con­stance, Synagogam Satanae; and I wonder my author should be offended at the expression, when 'tis consider'd what unlucky things they did in the business of the Pope's Su­premacy: especially since their own Annalist has given the same Title to that of Syrmium: a Council legally sum­mon'd by the Emperor Constantius, approv'd by Pope Liberius; and which they of the Roman Perswasion have no colour to reject, but upon Protestant grounds, because it made Heretical Decrees. Lr. says—sive Papa, sive Con­cilium sic aiunt; abundet quisque in sensu suo, in rebus non necessariis ad salutem. Assert. Art. 28. Here is He repre­sented by this author as denying the power of the Church in indifferent things: but this is foul dealing to conceal the occasion the words were spoken upon, and then fa­sten a sense of his own. This Article is aim'd against the pretences of a Pope or Council to make that a necessa­ry point of faith, by their determination, which was of it self unnecessary before. For they took upon 'em he knew to enlarge the Creeds which were already fix'd; and had explain'd a Parable of our Savior's in a far different sense to what he taught it in: The Faith, which was but a Mustard-seed in the Primitive ages, was grown by little and little tow'rds the beginning of the 16th Century in­to a great Tree. This power of their's and no other Lr. here disowns: as any one that views the place but curso­rily, must needs see. There is no harm in this I hope: and yet how bigg the accusation look'd, as his sly Ene­my had manag'd it? There is another sentence taken [Page 31] from Tom. 2. p. 243. But I must desire the Citer hence­forward to inform us of his Editions too: for in the first Wirtenberg one, which I now have by me, no such thing appears. I would request of him too, to be punctual in his Titles, that we who are at the drudgery of Reading him, may loose no more time then is necessary. By the book de gravi doctrina, is meant, I suppose de quavis doctri­na: p. 33. but 'tis a trifle he has taken from it, and what he knows every body own's. Thus has this one Paragraph afforded us more absurdities, then we could possibly have expected in so narrow a compass; and methinks, tho I don't well know what the words mean, yet in the phrase of the man, it discover's a strange plerophory of blindnes [...].

Lr. is next arraign'd for speaking contemptuously of§. 20. Fathers: but this is a rank calumny: No man has a great­er veneration for 'em then He. Let his latest Writings (which our. Author observes to have been the most haughty) give us a tast of his thoughts on this point. I say not this, to lay a blott on the Holy Fathers, whose Labors we ought with veneration to receive; They were great men, but men still—and a little afterwards▪ b When [...]e find the opi­nions of Fathers jarring with Scriptures, we must pay a respect to 'em even in their very Errors, and acknowledge the [...] as our Betters: but we are not nevertheless for their sakes to depart from the authority of holy Writ. Nothing can be express'd with greater decency; and therefore we may reasonably suspect false play in the Citations, which would persuade us to the contrary. To instance in the first—Non ego quae­ro quid Ambrosius, Augustinus▪ Concilia &c. dicunt. Contra Reg. Angliae. Lr. is there proving that no sort of Tradi­tion 60 [Page 32] can make an Article of faith, of what is not contain'd in Scripture; and in this case if a thousand Ambroses, or Councils should vote it such, he would slight the decision. This is plain from what immediatly follows—Non dispu­to quid à quoquam dictum vel non dictum sit, sed an hoc di­ctum necessarium sit servatu, an sit articulus fidei, an sit aequa­le verbo Dei &c. I desire the Reader to trust his own eyes in consulting this Passage, and then tell me, whether this Man be not the foullest Trader in Quotations, that ever he dealt with. Indeed he is a very Procrustes in his way: whatever he meets of other men's, he unmercifully ei­ther stretches, or curtails, till he has made it exactly of a size with his own notions. The rest of the Testimo­nies are highly impertinent: and if they be look'd into, 'twill be found they signify no more then this—the Fa­thers have err'd and therefore he cannot rely merely upon their authority: and what is this more then their own) Canus and Cajetan say? that no man should detest a new sense of Scripture for this, that it differs from the an­tient Doctors, for God hath not (say they) ty'd exposi­tion of Scripture to their sensesa. We have a surfet of Quotations here agen from the Colloquia: but I have told him what credit they are like to find with us. That from Captivitas Babylonica, needs only to be propos'd intire. It goes upon a supposition that Lr. had already shew'd the plain meaning of Scripture to be against the doctrine of the Mass. Here says he—Quid dicimus ad authoritates Patrum? Primum respondeo—si nihil habetur quod dicatur, satius est omnia negasse, quam Missam sacrificium esse concede­re, ne verbum Christi negemus. Very right! supposing, as he do's, that Christ's words are express in the case: But nei­ther do's he rely on this Plea: for in the very next line he reconciles the Fathers, and Scripture: and shew's there [Page 33] is no clash betwixt 'em. What he wrote in comm [...]nda­tion of Melancthon before his works, cannot be suppos'd so exact, as to discover his judgment on the point: but was only a complement strain'd a little too high in behalf of a friend.

I must leave the Track of the Discourse here, to fetch in another instance of Lr. despising Church-Guides, and yet arrogating to himself all the Authority of them. 'Tis at §. 23. Which because I take to be the compleat­est62 piece of false dealing that ever was us'd [...] paper, I shall set down intire.

Upon the same presumption of his unerring judgment, he by his single Authority alter'd the former public Lit [...]rgy, and reform'd the service of the Mass. (apud Hosp. fol. 20.)—The place cited in Hospinian has not one word of this, but it has something directly contrary to it. Luther began not the Reformation of the service of the Mass, the Austin-Fryars did it, a without his knowledge, when he was in his retirement after the Dyet of Worms; and he wrote his book of the Abolition of the Mass after­wards, only to confirm them in what they had done. Carlstat too, b while he was absent, promoted a Reforma­tion of the Mass, and of several other abuses: but in too tumultuous a manner, so that Lr. upon his return to Wir­tenburg complain'd of the violence of their proceedings.—Non quod impie fecissent, sed quod non ordine: damnare se Missam Papisticam &c, sed damnare solo verbo, non violenta abrogatione. The Mass then was abrogated, without Ls. consent; and not either by the single Authority, of him or any one man else; the whole University of Wirtenburg first gave in their reasons to D. Frederic, and he him­self comply'd with the alteration. Luther afterwards prevail'd to have as much of the service as was innocent [Page 34] restor'd agen; and he was deputed to throw out all that part of it, that made the Sacrament a Sacrifice. He did so, but impos'd not even this form as obligatory: for thus he speaks in the preface to it. Nulli praejudicamus, ne aliam amplecti formulam aut sequi liceat; quin ex animo per Christum obsecramus, ut siquid melius illis revelatum fue­rit, nos priores tacere jubeant, ut communi opera rem communem juvemus.

and generally held in matters of Religion no Ecclesiasti­cal [i. e. human] Laws obliging. (See before §. 19.)—I have prov'd already, that that Paragraph say's no such thing, and that Lr. never disallow'd the power of the Church in things indifferent.

began a new ordination of Bishops and Ministers descend­ing from him, after having declar'd their former unction null, and God's Church to be only that where the Gospel was purely preacht; that was his—I have shewn that he's far from declaring their former Unction null, since in the Smalcald Articles he allows their Ordinations to be valid. Nor did [...]e ever deny that the true Gospel was preach'd under the Papacy—Nos fatemur (they are his words) sub Papata plurimum esse boni Christiani, imo omne bonum Christianum, imo verum nucleum Christianitatis a.

By the same Authority assisted by the Power of the Prince, he made new Bishops, and put them in the places of the de­ceas'd: against the Canonical Election of another, made his intimate Friend Amsdorf Bishop of Neoburg. (see Melch. Ad. vit. p. 150.) George Auhaltinus, Bishop of Mersburg. That he made new Bishops, we admit; not out of choyce, but necessity: following, as he thought, in this case the pra­ctise of the Church, mention'd in that well-known pas­sage of St. Austin's—in Alexandria & per totam AEgyptum, si desit Episcopus, consecrat Presbyter. But that he put these [Page 35] Bishops in the places of the deceas'd by his [...] Authority, is notoriously false; for the D. of Saxony alwayes presen­ted: as the following story will evince, when freed from the disguises he has put upon it, and honestly told. The Canons of Neoburg upon a vacancy, presented one Psugius to the Bishopric, who was refus'd unanimously ab Eccle­sia, ab Ordinibus, & Patroni [...] Ecclesiae, say's Adams a. The D. of Saxony had always the right of Allowance; but in this case 'twas deny'd him: so he thrust out the Invader, and collated Amsdorf to the Benefice: Luther perform'd the Consecration, and the D. and his Brother Ernest, were present at the Ceremony b

By the same Authority he sentenc'd the Canon-Law con­sisting of the former decrees amass'd, as well those of Councils, as those of Popes to the fire; and assembling the University solemnly burnt it at Wirtenberg. The matter of Fact is true, but 'tis frivolous to say he assum'd to himself any particu­lar Authority in the doing it. The reasons, he publish'd, declare that 'twas done by virtue of the Commission, he had as Preacher of God's word; and the Oath he took, at his going out Dr. of confounding all pernicious Doctrines, as much as in him lay. So that he own's himself upon the level with all of the same degree. But he had other mo­tives he tell's you. His books had been solemnly burnt at Rome as Haeretical: some people, he found, were startled at it; so he was forc'd boldly to make reprisalls, and do an action in the same way, to buoy up their cou­rages: yet he did it not singly, the University concur'd. This way of Burning declares no such Authority as the Considerer talk's of. Neither he, nor any one else that assisted at the Oxon-Decree, pretended to it: if He declar'd his opinion then against Bellarmin the Iesuits &c, 'twas all that was expected.

[Page 36]By the same, he frequently pronounc'd Anathemas, and Excommunications to those reform'd that dissented from him in opinion—Is there no difference between an Authorita­tive Iudicial Anathema, and a Wish of Execration? The Monks certainly did not pretend to the Anathematizing power; and yet at the entrance of their MSS. we alwayes find this sentence—Quicunque hunc librum violaverit &c sit Anathema Maranatha. 'Tis the constant style of all their own men that write warmly: The Papist Repr. and Misrepr. has us'd it at the tail of his Pamphlet for some pages together. Thus has not this Paragraph one inge­nuous word throughout. I have dissected it for a sample, to shew how a man that had the patience, and was sure of the days of Iob, might handle the rest: for I'll do my Author this right, to acknowledg, that his Book's all of a piece. But he is here inconsistent not only with truth but himself. He would make us believe that Lr. in these actions pretended to a je ne scay quoy Authority, forgetting what he had sleepily own'd in the Paragraph before, that Lr. requir'd not conformity to his Doctrines, out of any Authority he claim'd to impose them, which Authority [...]e re­nounc'd—He think's perhaps, that what's past ought not to be thought of, but we are not of his opinion.

In this point of Church-Authority, and that other of Marriage, I have si [...]ted all the little scraps alledg'd by the Pamphlet, with the greater care, because here it is, if any where, that the Author seems to be awake, and have some eye to his design. I don't know whether the Read­er will thank me for this exactness, I hope the Writer won't. But to make amends to 'em both, I promise in what follows not to be so punctual, but skip over some­times 4 or 5 pages together, without saying one word to em. This Weapon form'd against us, if it had any sharp­ness, yet by this time I'me sure 'tis quite blunted: a Child [Page 37] may now be trusted with it, for the Tool has not Edge enough to hurt him. For what are the mighty Conside­rations with which we are now to be entertain'd? The first is that—

Luther was so bold, as to think and say he was certain §. 21. n. 1. of what he taught: a crime of so high a nature, that the Considerer has taken pains to prove it by a Passage as§ 24. n. 1. 2. long almost as from hence to the beginning of the Refor­mation. Now he might have spar'd his labor, for all well­grounded Protestants are in this point as bold as Lr. him­self. We have a certainty, whose Evidence we find, and under whose guidance we think our selves secure, with­out the pretended boast of Infallibility: a word, which sound's bigger indeed, and fill's the mouth better, but is not so satisfactory at the bottom, as a late Author has (tho' not infallibly, yet) certainly prov'da. But we'll allow the Considerer to decry this Protestant Certainty, which he never understood: if he had, our charity tells us, he would never have chang'd it for the gawdiest pretences on t'other side.

But Lr. maintain'd this certainty of his against other§. 24. n. 3. §. 21. n. 2. Reform'd, which were equally certain; and in contradi­ction to himself too: for in the point of Consubstantiation, tow'rd the latter end of his life he chang'd his mind, say the papers; and quote for it Melchior Adams, and Hospi­nian. I suppose my author is sure of Ls. instability in this point, because he averr's it so confidently: Now I am as sure, that from the authorities mention'd no such thing can be infer'd, as shall presently be made out. Here is certainty against certainty, and one of us must be in the wrong. Yet neither of Us is oblig'd to think his own sentiments ere the less right, merely because the other opposes 'em: Why then might not Lr. maintain his cer­tainty [Page 38] against those of the Reformation that maintain'd the contrary? The conviction of his understanding lay within it self, and could not be weakned by another man's not being convinc'd. The reason of my certainty in the case is, because I am very well satisfy'd that what Adams and Hospinian have here said, do's not at all infer a change in Luther's Opinion. The story they tell is this—Lr. some days before his death, own'd that he had written a little too warmly in the Sacramentary-Contro­versy: upon this Melancthon desires him, [ut leni edito scripto se explicaret] that he would explain himself in some milder treatise. The heat of dispute had forc'd out from him Expressions, that seem'd to make his doctrine run higher then really it did. 'Twas his friends advice there­fore, that he should in some just discourse, calmly and without reflection state the point; and (not correct, but) explain his first notions. [ut leni edito scripto se explica­ret] Now whatever sense explaining may now bear▪ yet in those days it did not signify changing: for the Bishop of Condom had not then writ his Exposition. I am fur­ther convinc'd, that this story relates not to any change of Ls. opinion, but only to an hot word or two, that ought to have been softned, from the Preface, with which Hospinian usher's it in. Multi (says He) verba Lutheri urgent, quae calor disputationis [...] exprimere solet, dissimulantes aut nescientes illa, quae valedicturus Colle­gio Philosophico, dixit: and then comes the Relation▪ Had his Adversary acted up to this Remark of Hospini­an's, the bulky book we have now before us would have lain within a very little compass. But to go farther, and yield him what he do's not ask—What if Hospinian should have said in other places that Lr. waver'd in the point of the Sacrament? do's it follow, that he really did so, because one of differing sentiments, and that would a­ny [Page 39] wayes have drawn Lr. over to his party, has said it? or can we conclude upon Ls. instability (as our Author has done) because in a single notion, no wayes fundamental, an Enemy writes that he had some doubtings? This is such a way of reasoning as is answer'd only by being de­spis'd. However 'tis pretty odd to see instability and fluctuation in opinion so earnestly charg'd upon Lr. by such as have liv'd half their days in a poyse between two Churches; and write even now, when the Scales are turn'd, with so much waryness and reserve, that a body would not think 'em heartily of any.

But Lr. condemn'd his Brethren of the Reformation§ 22. 25. 26. too; not without their returning the Censure—There was eagerness I confess on both sides, but this is far from laying a blot upon Lr. It argues him a very honest man, who had such a zeal against Error, as not to suffer it in a Friend: and is an undenyable evidence, that he took not upon him the character of a Reformer, in opposition to a Party, (as has been falsly suggested) since, where truth was concern'd, he equally oppos▪d All. The de­bate Perhaps between him and the Sacramentarians (as they are call'd) was manag'd with a fierceness not ex­actly warrantable: but it must be consider'd, that the best men of antiquity have been guilty of such excesses. Have we forgotten the feud of Hierome, and Ruffinus? of Epiphanius, and Chrysostome? of Victor, and the Greek Bishops, whom he excommunicated for a trifle? Or to go higher, did not Paul and Barnabas, when sent out together by the Holy Ghost, dispute with that vehe­mence, about a very little point of conveniency, that they were forc'd to break company? These infirmities are such as Christians of the first rank have fallen into; and the proving Lr. guilty of 'em, is the proving him a Man, and no Angel. How far either he; or any other [Page 40] Reformer might go in this quarrel, out of a Love of vi­ctory and the shame of being baffled, it concern's not me to determin. I am satisfy'd with what the Apostle has told me, that—some preach Christ out of Contention, and strife: yet so they preach, and so we believe. But what will my Author leave unobjected against Lr. when (p. 67.) he makes it his crime, that he defy'd and abus'd even the Devil? whereas Saints (he says) are usually more modest and go no farther then a bare imperet tibi Dominus. A pretty way of calling himself Saint! for 'tis his own fa­miliar phrase. But upon the same principle we must deny him to be one, for Saints are usually more modest then to call themselves so.

We are now to have a tast of the male dicency of Ls. Spi­rit §. 33. from his book against Henry the 8th: a fault, which I cannot but wonder to find objected by such men, who every day make bolder with the names of both him, and his Royal Issue. I shall not wholly defend his carriage here, since he himself has condemn'd it. All the Truth in the world on one's side can never justify an unman­nerly expression. But it must be consider'd, when a King of such repute for learning enter'd the Lists against him what a noise this action made, and how some weaker Protestants must needs be startled by it. Lr. therefore, that he might fix his followers, thought himself concern'd to take up a brisker air of assurance; and shew a particu­lar undauntedness in the cause of Truth, when it had so mighty an Opposer. But here he overacted his part: his passions, when once let loose, were too impetuous to be manag'd; the native plainness of his Country, and the privacy of his own Education, which had not been much acquainted with greatness, carried him beyond the re­spects due to a Crown'd Head; and brought out such blunt Truths from him as neither Friends, nor Ene­myes [Page 41] could tell well how to approve. But the party was even with him. Sr. Tho. More took up the quar­rel, a man (as they tell us) much a Christian, much a Gentleman, and naturally of great mildness and candor: who yet forgot himself so far in this Answer to Lr. that he has there thrown out the greatest heap of nasty Lan­guage that perhaps ever was put together. The book throughout is nothing but downright Ribaldry, with­out a grain of reasoning to support it; and gave the Au­thor no other reputation, but that of having the best knack of any man in Europe, at calling bad names in good Latin. Tho' his passion is sometimes so strong upon him, that he sacrifices even his beloved purity to it—Haec est (he says) Domini Doctoris Posterioristice; qui quum sibi jam prius fas esse scripserit Coronam Regiam con­spergere & conspurcare stercoribus, an non nobis fas erit posterius hujus posterioristicae, linguam stercoratam pro­nuntiare dignissimam, ut vel mejentis mulae posteriora lingat suis prioribus &c. p. 72. I forbear to instance any farther: if the Reader has a mind to see railing in it's perfection, let him open any one page of his book, and he'll have a glut of it. But perhaps the bad treatment, which Lr. had before receiv'd from one Sovereign Prince, might urge him to talk the more disrespectfully of ano­ther. The style of Edicts, we know, is generally calm and majestic: yet Charles the 5th after the Dyet of Worms put out such a blustring one againg Lr. as even modest Papists have condemn'd.—Constat (says he) hunc unicum non hominem, sed daemonem potius figura & specie humana cuculloque Monastico indutum &c. Ulem­berg confesses that this decree was by some thought too sharply penn'd: but these were only the ignorant (he says:) for others very well knew, that Maximilian once saw a Devil sitting upon his Cowla. As for the heat, [Page 42] with which he treated his other adversaries, 'twas some­times strain'd a little too far, but in the general was ex­tremely well fitted by the Providence of God to rowse up a people, the most phlegmatic of any in Christendome. Europe lay then under a deep Lethargy, and was no o­therwise to be rescu'd from it, but by One, that would cry mightily, and lift up his voice with strength. Be­sides Printing, and Letters had just then peep'd abroad in the world; and the restorers of Learning in Italy, ta­king the advantage of the Press, wrote very eagerly a­gainst one another, so that Invectives were in those dayes the fashionable way of writing. If Lr. therefore min­gled a little Gall with his Ink in his books of Controversy, he follow'd but the humor of the Age; and considering the stupidity, the malice, and the obstinacy of his Rea­ders, cannot but be thought excusable. I have seen at the end of Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History, a Cata­logue of Caesars, Bishops, Haeretics &c, where Chryso­stom is set down as guilty of too great sharpness, and liberty of speech: but 'tis added—Profecto illorum tem­porum vitia secari atque uri, non levibus medelis curari voluere. And this is the Plea, we would make for Lu­ther. In the mean time 'tis base in his Adversaries thus to dwell upon the excesses of a passion, of which they themselves were in a great measure the occasion. When they could not coolly convince hima, they rail'd, and call'd him an Haeretic: thus they wound up his temper to a pitch, and then treacherously made use of that infirmity. And 'tis the same ungenerous method they take in reproaching us with Schisms, when alass! none know's better then they, how the Panther (for [Page 43] under that name it seems we must be baited) came by her Spots.

To what purpose then are Erasmus and Calvin's testi­monies§. 31. n▪ 2, 3. urg'd upon a confess'd point? 'Tis own'd Lr. had a vehemence of speech, and if he offended that way, yet 'twas an useful (not to say a necessary) failure. There was but this single fault that Erasmus, tho' an Enemy, could object to him; the other part of the character speaks as high as we could wish. For his Life and Manners, thus—Hominis vita magno omnium consensu probatur▪ Iam id non leve praejudicium est, tantam esse morum integritatem, ut nec hostes reperiant, quod calumnien­tur a. And as to his doctrine, Compertum est a Theo­logis quibusdam damnari ut Haeretica in libris Lutheri, quae in Bernardi Augustinique libris, ut Orthodoxa, imo ut pia leguntur b. So that Erasmus is perversly brought in to blacken Ls. reputation: what he says of him would not disparage the best of Saints: for it amounts to no more then this, that he had many great virtues, and a­mongst them one small infirmity. So that if the Stan­dard Comines has given us of a good King be accepted, that he is then to be accounted so, when his Virtues ex­ceed his Vices, how good a Man must we conclude Lr. to have been? Guicciardine I'me sure, has taken a much greater latitude for Popes, who, he saysc are now adays to be prais'd for their goodness, when they exceed not the wickedness of other men. But further, Schooling Lu­ther, §. 31. n. 3. is an undervaluing term, and would make one think that Erasmus had a mean opinion of him. Whereas I do not know any one even of the Reform'd that speak's more respectfully of Luther, than he. When Aleander, and Caracciolus were sent from Rome to Colen in 1520. to [Page 44] tempt Erasmus with a Bishopric, to write against Luther, hear the return he made 'em. Major est Lutherus, quam ut in illum ego scribam. Major est Lutherus quam ut a me intelligatur. Plane Lutherus tantus est, ut plus eru­diar & proficiam ex lectione unius pagellae Lutheranae, quam ex toto Thoma. If this be Schooling, 'tis well for the Considerer: I'll engage that no adversary of his shall in this sense ever school him.

There is a little occasional Remark of the Author's, p. 45. which slipp'd me. He is there angry with Lr. for say­ing—That Peter taught otherwise than he should by the word of God, and therefore Err'd: whereas his E­xample only, he says, and not his Doctrine was false. But this is trifling: for are there no Errors in matter of Practice? and do's not He who so err's, if he be in a con­spicuous station, teach as much by his Example, as he could by his doctrine; since every action is suppos'd all­waies to be bottom'd upon some principle? But besides 'tis highly probable that Peter asserted an opinion a­greeable to this practice: for else how could St. Paul withstand him to the face? Withstanding by words on one side implyes an opposition in the same kind on t'o­ther. When Elymas is said to have withstood Paul and Barnabas; and when Paul says of Alexander, he hath greatly withstood our words, do we think the withstand­ing there was without speaking?

He steps out of his way (p. 59.) to make a remark up­on Calvin: but because the Scene of our affairs now lyes at Wirtenberg, and Geneva is many miles off, he must pardon me, if I don't step out of my way to confute it.

Hitherto the Considerer has been attacking Lr. in his Doctrines and Positions: and now and then a Work or two has crept in to keep his first design in Countenance: he's now making his last efforts upon his reputation by [Page 45] shewing us what Company he kept. He would perswade§. 32. us that Lr. had frequent intercourses and Dialogues with the Devil. He proves it first by the story Lr. tells of him­self in his book de Missa privata &c. 'Tis true, he do's there say, that waking once at midnight, Satan began this disputation with him: but how began it? In animo instituit, say the words of the Relation: by suggesting bad thoughts to him, not by any personal conference, as the Pamphlet all along would insinuate. To fix this Idea upon the mind of the Reader there is an account here given of Satan's way in disputation: Diabolus sua argu­menta fortiter figere, & urgere novit: voce quoque gra­vi & forti utitur &c, All which is wanting in the first Wirtenberg-Edition, but was requisite to support the fi­ction of a real appearance, which my Author had rais'd. If Lr. relates these suggestions in the way of a formal and set Dialogue, it is only a contrivance of his to make the story more divertive in the telling; and was perfectly the style of the Convent in those days: I desire therefore the Reader to remember the excuse, Lr. has made for him­self—Pium Lectoremoro, ut ista legat cum Iudicio, & sciat me fuisse aliquando Monachum a.

He goes on with 2 or 3 Quotations from Melancthon, and Melchior Adamus, which in their utmost stretch can sig­nify no more then that Lr. lay under severe agonies of mind. Oh! but Adams says the Divil appear'd to him in p. 52. his own Garden in the shape of a black Boar. And the Col­loquia Mensalia relate, how when Lr. was at his chamber in the Castle at Wartsburg, the Devel crack'd some nuts, he had in a box upon the Bed-post, tumbled empty barrels down stairs &c, What pretty stories these are for a man of my Author's seriousness to sport himself with all! He know's Adams is a Collector, and took every thing upon trust, [Page 46] without ever being fam'd for any exactness of judgment: and as for his Table-talk he would do well to vent it there, where 'twas first spoken, for we have told him more then once, that it is not like to bear the force of an argument with us: it may serve to divert a Reader, but is not fit to convince him. But Lr. himself confesses (Lib. de Vot. Monast.) that the Devil us'd all methods to hinder and an­noy p. 62. him. No doubt on't, 'twas his interest, so to stop the progress of the Gospel: and since Ls. death, the same design has been carrying on by him and his Agents against his reputation. But this is so far from giving us a preju­dice against Luther, that we think it a very good chara­cter of him, that the Devil and he were at enmity, and no very bad one, that the Considerer is not his Friend. I have strictly examin'd particulars here, and letting e­very tittle, he has brought, go in his own sense, can disco­ver, after all, none of those frequent intercourses and nego­tiations, we were told of. Unless it be proper to say that Lr. negotiated with a Black-boar, and had an intercourse with the Devil about Nut-cracking. stories so silly, that they are fit to be the Objects of a stronger and more re­signing Faith, than we Protestants can pretend to.

Pass we on then to the next Paragraphs. And there I found my Author pretty well disengag'd from Quota­tions. I was in hopes upon this to see a fair naked piece of reasoning, and was resolv'd▪ to give it as fair an An­swer. But I quickly saw there was no need for it; sheer argument is not the talent of the man, I have to deal with: Little wrested sentences of authors are the Bladders, which bear him up, and he sinks downright, when he once pretends to swim without 'em. He discourses us here very largely upon the Craft and Wilyness of the De­vil; and proves how sly and double-fac'd his designs com­monly are, for 4 or 5 pages together: all which we in [Page 47] one Line answer, by granting it. But what inference do's he make from these Premises? that a man besett with Temptations cannot possibly know, with what design the Devil attacq's him? No: that Luther did not? Nor that neither: but only that 'twas pretty difficult for him to do it. Perhaps it was, but if fastings, prayers, and a se­rious application in order to a discovery of truth won't call in God Allmighty's assistance, what shall we say of that Text where 'tis promis'd, that we shall not be tem­pted above what we are able? These means Lr. us'd, and these we question not but God accepted of, and led him into Truth. Now for our Author's saying that this might be a Satanical Illusion, so say I too: but the quaestion is, not what it might be, but what it really was. And to this there's not a syllable of proof offer'd. He has only busi­ly been proving how ready Satan is to get an advantage over us: 'tis own'd; and he has been formerly told, that we are not ignorant of his devices.

But the Arrow is now drawn to the head. There seem's §. 39. great evidence, he says, that the whole platform of the Refor­mation proceeded Originally from the Devil. A gross calum­ny! which we could not easily pardon, if he did not kindly wipe it off, by the reasons that follow. His very next words are—For many of these very arguments against the former Church, which the Devil now openly own'd and urg'd to Lr. in this disputation held A. D. 1522. were the very same that had been urg'd by Lr. some years before. That is, be­cause Lr. urg'd these arguments first, and the Devil after­wards, therefore Lr. copied from the Devil. 'Tis amazing to consider how this inference should come into the head of any thing that thinks. The truth of the story is this. Lr. had publish'd several Treatises against the Mass long before this dispute: one in High Dutch in 1520; and the same year had writt against it in his Captivitas Babyloni­ca: [Page 48] another in Latin, entitled de abroganda Missa priva­ta Ao. 1521. and some months before this, in his book a­gainst Ambrosius Catharinus, and his Wormes-Articles. In 1522. the Devil (that is, Luther's Conscience, by his in­stigations) turn's these very reasonings upon him; and taking advantage of 'em as of confest principles, inferr's, that then Lr. must have been unpardonably wicked in u­sing Masses for 15 year together. Audisne, inquit, excel­lentissime Doctor? num ignoras Te per annos quindecim pri­vatas Missas quotidie fere celebrasse? &c. How comes the Pamphlet to conclude then from this account, that whilst Lr. was in the bosome of the Church, the Devil by his arguments disputed him into a Reformation? Will he pre­tend that these reasonings must needs be receiv'd from Satan at first by Lr. because us'd by him afterwards a­gainst Luther? This is so precarious a consequence, and yet establishes so unchristian a reflection, that it deserves only one of his own Deus tibi imperets for an Answer. Let the case be put home to him, and he must own the foolishness of it. He has left the Communion of the Church of England for some time; upon good grounds, I suppose, he'll tell us—and convincing reasons: should the Devil now employ these very reasons against him, by the force of them to set out how heynous his sin was in continuing so long in our Communion, would it fol­low that the Devil was the Author of his Conversion? Or rather would he not think us that made this infe­rence, neither good Christians, nor good Arguers? And yet he, who would pass for both, has not, we see, given Lr. fairer play. But the Old Serpent, he say's, was very silly, if his design upon Lr. in this conference was as we have represented it: for he might have consider'd in the dis­covery of so much new truth, what might have hapned, if in­stead of despair he should prove a Reformer. What dos hep. 85. [Page 49] mean here? Could the Devil fear a discovery of Truths, which (as he himself own's p. 71.) Lr. had preach'd up 5 years before? Could he dread a future Reformation, which had then been a good while afoot? These are such inadvertencies, that a body would think, even our Author with all his drowsy reasoning could never have been capable of 'em. No, his design was to stop a Refor­mation already begun, by involving in despair one of the chief supports of it. He gave no new light to Lr. but only accidentally added new strength to his Faith, inas­much as the assault was in vain. False therefore is that Assertion of the Pamphlet's, that Lr. yielded the field to the Devil in this Combat as Conqueror: All he yielded to in the dispute, was the conviction of those arguments, which he himself had before reform'd upon. The objections the Tempter rais'd from hence to discourage his Faith, and shake his constancy, those he withstood and baffled. What is there then in this Encounter that can be lay'd hold of to Ls. disadvantage? Is it, that he convers'd with the Devil? He did not, we see; the dispute was manag'd in animo atque in corde, by suggestions within, not without by any personal appearance. But had he really enter'd into Dialogue, yet the President, our Savior has given, would have been his warrant. And would one ransack the Lifes of their Popes [Sylvester the 2d, Gregory 7, Be­nedict. 8, Hildebrand &c.] 'twere easy to retaliate, and shew how much greater intimacies have been maintain'd between Satan and some of them. Is it, that his Doctrine of the Mass was struck out in this Conflict? or that it gave him any occasion of Reforming in this point? We have evidently made out the contrary by an elder date of some works of his, which establish these very opinions. Yet should it have been so, the actions of their own Saints would justify Ls. management. For their admir'd Domi­nic [Page 50] reform'd the Religious of his Covent upon just such another rancounter with the Devila; and made use of his accusation, tho' contrary to the intention of the ac­cuser. Is it that Lr. comply'd with the Tempter's argu­ments? no such matter! The supposition he allow'd, be­cause 'twas his own; but deny'd the Sequel, which his disputant would have fasten'd upon him. Yet should what he yielded to, have been Satan's own proposition, it do's not follow that he was therefore in the wrong: for Lying is not the indelible Character even of the Father of Lyes; sometimes a Truth serves his turn better. He quo­ted Texts right upon our Savior, tho' he expounded em wrong: and surely he told no ly, when he confess'd Christ­Jesus to be the Son of the living God. Do's this story carry such scandalous impressions along with it, that even Chillingworth himself own's it as one of his motives for deserting our Communion? But pray take in the other part of the account too; and consider how he laugh'd at it when he return'd. So that after a search into particu­lars, all we find true in this affair is, that the Devil once made a solemn onset upon Lr. as before he had done on his Redeemer. A Calumny, which we are so far from disowning, that we are proud on't! The Devil had great reason to employ all his Engines against a Man, who had made such ravage in his Kingdome: and he took a good time to make his attacq's, when Lr. was in his soli­tudes at the Castle of Wartsburg: for there it was, I think, that the scene of the Temptation lay. Upon the whole then, our Author's modesty seem's to be unexampled, who upon so slight grounds, nay upon no grounds at all, could be bold enough to say, that—the whole Platform of p. 71. the Reformation proceeded originally from the Devil. and agen that—the Devil is the Original Founder and Abetter of the p. 72. [Page 51] Reformation. These are such sawcy expressions upon a Religion establish'd by Law, as deserve rather to be burnt, then confuted.

The manage and address of my author has been spent to no purpose in tricking up this story: for after all, we see, it has no hideous appearance. He's resolv'd now (in contradiction still to the method laid down of consider­ing works only and not disputing) to baffle the arguments the Opponent urges in the dispute, and shew how slight the propositions were, which Lr. let go for good. So thatp. 72. the Tables are turn'd, and whereas the Scene before lay betwixt Lr. and Satan, 'tis now betwixt the Devil and the Considerer. And for my part, to give every one his due, I think the Devil has much the best on't. I shall pass by the little skirmishings on either side, and touch onely on what's material. The Devil argues against private Mas­ses,§. 40. n. 3. from the nature of Christ's institution, when he di­stributed it about to his disciples, and said—Do this &c. From St. Paul's Comment on these words 1 Cor. 11. from the usage of the Primitive Churcha; and from the term Communion, which she allways express'd it by. Here the Answerer has nothing to say, but that the Priest in these Masses is ready to communicate the Sacrament to all that offer themselves. But this is not enough: for the Devil's quaestion is, whether it be not against the notion of a Sacra­ment, that the Consecrater alone should partake of it? He urges farther, that neither have they any intention of com­municating it, because the words of Consecration are pronounc'd, according to the Canon of the Mass, with a Whisper, and so not defign'd for the peoples Ears. And to all this there's not a word reply'd. The Devil goes on to object, that as Lr. had withheld all the Sacrament in private Masses, so neither did he give it entire in public ones. To§. 40. n. 4. [Page 52] this the answerer returns nothing, but that the practise of the primitive Church is sufficient warrant, that the words of institution are not so to be expounded as if both kinds were necessary. But this bold assertion has been so fully vanquish'd in a late Reply to the Bishop of Meaux's treatise on this subject, that I shall not stop here to expose it. The Reader will there find, that not a single instance of Communion in one kind is to be found in all the Re­cords of antiquity. At least, if our word will not be taken, that of the Council's will, which decreed it with a non-ob­stante to the custome of the Primitive Church. Satan ar­gues§. 40. n. 5. against their form of ordination, which seem's rather to give the power of offering a Sacrifice, then distributing a Sacrament. For the words, he says, of the Suffragan, when he deliver's the Chalice into the Priest's hands, are—Take thou Power of consecrating, and Sacrificing for the Quick and the Dead. What say's the Replyer? Why, that Sacrificare in the Churches sense takes in the distributing part too. But we know this is not the Church-sense, and referr our selves to the Trent-Catechism to expound it. There a the Eucharist is said to be instituted upon a double account: the one that it might be a Spiritual food for our Souls, the other that it might be a Sacrifice for our Sins. So that whatever belong's to it as it is the food of our Souls, be­long's to it as a Sacrament: and certainly the ministring of it to the people belong's to it, as it is the food of our Souls, and therefore as a Sacrament not a Sacrifice. Besides the notion of Sacrificing has nothing in it of distribution. 'Tis offering something slain by the hands of a Priest, to God. Now this is all done, before it comes to be distribu­ted to the People, as they who allow private Masses must needs acknowledge. It avails not the Considerer here to urge another part of the office, where the Priest is said to [Page 53] be ordain'd in totum Presbyteratus officium: for if in the most solemn clause of it, where the power is specify'd; and convey'd, no mention be made of a power of impart­ing the Sacrament, why should not the totum officium be ra­ther reduc'd to this, then this to that? Nor do's this pre­judice. Ls. Orders at all: for since no set form of words is prescrib'd by God as essential to Ordination, we doubt not, but that, where the Church intends to convey this, it is actually convey'd, tho the form of doing it should be a little defective: which is all the Devil here pretends to make out; and which yet I don't see how his Adversary has answer'd. Satan proceeds to another objection against his using the Mass as a Sacrifice propitiatory for sins, con­trary to Christ's institution. Our Author says, 'tis a pro­pitiatory Sacrifice, onely as those under the Law are said to be so, with respect to that on the Cross. But by his leave, we deny the Parallel: for the quaestion we would put, isn't whether the Sacrament of the Mass be as truly propitiato­ry, as those under the Law? but whether it be as truly a Sacrifice? If so, then 'tis a true proper Sacrifice, without relation to that of the Cross; (for such the Jewish Sacri­fices were) and is not onely commemorative, or representa­tive, as we are told at a push: Even as the annual offering of the Paschal Lamb was not only commemorative of that first Paschal Lamb, but also in it self, exclusively to that respect, an entire proper sacrifice. But if he shall say, 'tis not of it's self a true proper sacrifice, 'twill follow, that neither can it be so, with respect to that on the Cross; for whatever is not in it's own nature a true pro­per sacrifice, can never be made so by a relation to some other that is. The Parallel then is wide. For the immo­lations under the law, were first in their own nature Sa­crifices, and then propitiatory in vertue of that last offer­ing upon the Cross: whereas the Sacrament of the Eu­charist [Page 54] has not that first ground of a real Sacrifice; and so nothing to support it's propitiatory vertue upon. But learned Protestants he says have long▪ since yielded up▪ §. 45. this argument, and quotes Mede and Perkins for it. They say indeed that the Eucharist is a sacrifice in representa­tion, and who ever said otherwise? but deny expressly that 'tis really and properly such. Our Author wonders they should relieve themselves with this distinction, and yet own the Legal Sacrifices (tho' representative) to be proper and real. But I hope his wonder will abate a little, now I have shew'd him the difference between 'em. St. Paul's authority brought from 1 Cor. 10. 18. is beside the purpose. The Apostle is there arguing against the Gno­stics, who joyn'd in the Idol-Feasts, and whom he there­fore accuses of participating of the Idol-God: even as those (he says) who joyn in the Christian-Feast, partici­pate of Iesus Christ.—Therefore the one is as much a Sa­crifice as the other! No! But therefore the one is as much an act of Religious worship as the other, and a confederating with him to whom the Sacrifice is offer'd: for upon that the Apostles argument runns. Satan had therefore rea­son to say, that Christ instituted not the Sacrament to be either a Sacrifice, or singly receiv'd: for look upon the words of institution—Do this—Do what? no doubt on't, what I did; that is, bless the bread and wine, and distri­bute it. So that, where this is not done, there is no Sacra­ment; and where it is done, no sacrifice. For nothing is done but what Christ did. Now he did not offer up him­self: for then what need of the oblation of the Cross af­terwards? as 'twas well urg'd by near half the Divines and Fathers of Trent a. Who asserted also that neither Scrip­ture, Fathers, Canon of the Mass, or any Council, ever said that Christ offer'd up himself in the last supper. But [Page 55] I▪am weary of saying what has been so often said, and shall therefore leave Satan and my Author to dispute it out, as not being much concern'd which way the victory▪ goes: for the strength of the cause, I suppose, do's not de­pend upon either of their talking. Indeed since the main of the argument has prov'd good, 'tis a needless task to vindicate particulars. If what is said in the lump be sup­pos'd of force enough to ground Ls. aversion against the Mass, 'tis all we desire. So that had I leisure to pursue the minutes of the discourse, yet the argument would be but where it was: for one demonstration upon a subject is as good as a thousand. The disputing part might have been spar'd here, because 'tis forreign to the first design of pro­posing bare Works, and by them making an estimate of do­ctrines. But I must be content to follow my Guide in his own way. Should I have set aside every thing that was▪ impertinent, my Answer must have lain within the room of one of his paragraphs. But this hadn't been deference enough to an Author of his bulk; and the dwarf had look'd too despicably little, to encounter the Gyant.

He comes now to make his reflections upon this dry§ 41. 42▪ tedious story. He guesses it probable that the Devil in­tended by this Dialogue to fix Luther's notions of the Mass more strongly upon him: and I guess otherwise. His only way to confute me will be, to shew, that those no­tions are bad: till that's done, we are not to be mov'd by conjectures.

Here is a digression about Zuinglius §. 44. which yet§. 44. contrary to the rule of Episode, has nothing in it surpri­zing. Zuinglius dreamt it seem's, one night of a Text, which upon recollection he found very pat to his Doctrine of the Eucharist: and what thoughtful man is there, that has not met with such lucky hints sometime or other, without thinking himself oblig'd to the Devil for the discovery?

[Page 56]The next ▪Paragraph recapitulates, and has been An­swer'd§. 45. §. 46. already. He beginn's then to make his Concessi­ons. Luther, he thinks, discover'd not these wiles of Sa­tan; but inferr's, that he was therefore the more dange­rous§. 47. instrument: and so takes occasion to tell us the sto­ry of Vaninus, and lay out bigotry, and false confidence in all it's colors. Some people have dy'd by suspension at Tyburn, he says, some by fire at Smithfield, with an equal resolution for two contradictories. This is a darling Point, and he's every wery where full of it: you'll find him at it, in muchwhat the same words. Church-Gov. part. 5. p. 260. But what do's he mean by it? would he argue that because both thought themselves certainly in the right, therefore he of the two that was in the right, was not sure of it? Do's Truth know her self 'ere the less to be truth, be­cause Error stand's up, and pretend's boldly to know the contrary? This strike's at all certainty, as well as Luther's: and my Author must be a Sceptic, and no Roman-Catholic if he believes it.

He own's there were several specious pretences for a§. 48, 49, 50, 51. Reformation, and allow's Lr. not to have been destitute of many personal virtues; but then he says they did not ballance his vices: and to prove this, instances in his sen­suality and disobedience; two crimes, which he has dealt with, as Varillas dos with Charles the 5th; and, to make the more solemn shew, split 'em into twenty. For he ac­cuses him of Pride and Contention, of Licentiousness, and Rebellion; of Anger, nad Impatiency: he accuses him of self admiration, and contempt of others; of railing, and blas­phemiug against the Catholic Church—and of a great many other Synonyma's. All which have been sufficiently confu­ted in what goes before; and shall receive here no other Answer, then one of his own, [—Words.] I shall give one instance of my Author's integrity, and so dismiss this point. [Page 57] He cannot but own, that Lr. disswaded the Protestants from taking up arms in the Cause of Religion, but (ac­cording to his usual way of guessing at peoples thoughts) imputes it to his being conscious of their weakness. All that I shall say to this kind censure is, that the passive o­bedience of the primitive Christians has been us'd at the same rate by a late Author▪ whose face I have since seen thro' a pillory.

He gives a finishing stroke to his reasonings now§. 52. tow'rds parting, by a Parallel drawn between Luther and Mahomet. A man is tempted here to return the kindness, and give him another between some body, that He knows, and Iudas. But we understand with what design this odi­ous comparison was made, and shall therefore (to mor­tify him) not be provok'd. Only he'll give us leave to re­vive an old observation, that Mahomet, and Pope Boniface were cotemporaries. Indeed Boniface got the start of him a little, and set up his kingdome about 15 years be­fore him: but Mahomet having the advantage of so good a pattern, tho' he began something later, has thriv'd bet­ter. There is an author too of ours that has writt a book, call'd Turco-Papismus, which I would desire him to read, be­fore he ventures at capping Characters. These, he has given us, are very childish, and have no other property of parallels, but that, draw 'em out o'both sides, as far as you please, they'll never meet. I am too weary now to allow my self any excursion from the main design; else here's a fair opportunity to shew how great a bungler my Author is in hitting features. And after all, let the likenesses be ne­ver so true, yet a Parallel in a writer of Controversy, is no more then a Simile from a pleader at the Bar: it may glit­ter a little, and look prettily, but will never convince the Jury. What is said upon this occasion then, I shall suppose within a Parenthesis, and so go on.

[Page 58]He resumes his first method afresh, and after this long§. 57. account, would now at last try his doctrine by his works, according to that Text—Ye shall know them by their fruits, which he here repeats agen, and expounds as formerly. But I have shew'd him from the natural drift of the words, from the joint authorities of our and their own Exposi­tors, that this Text must have another meaning. Yet we have comply'd even with this sense too; and expected, af­ter we had condescendingly made Ls. works Umpires in the Controversy, that the gross of his book should have been taken up in setting them out: but find contrarily that two thirds of it have been employ'd against his doctrines. We may hope at least that he will be more pertinent in the close. Here then after some little flourishes about the§. 61. Connexion of Truth and Holyness, Error and Vice (which kindly destroy one another) he summ's up the Evidence; that is he setts out what bad consequences Luther's do­ctrine had; instancing in Variety of Sects, Dissoluteness of Life &c. which (he says) attended the Reformation. So that by Works, it seems, he did not mean Ls. Works, as we were foolishly made to believe for above an 100 pages to­gether; (for on this Topic not one word here is said) but the works of those that follow'd Luther; and when His faylings are too light to carry any weight, other mens Vices are thrown into the Scale. What a strange thoughtless­ness is this to write a book, and then baulk the whole de­sign of it, just when 'tis to be shutt up? The Deserter, it seems, is resolv'd to maintain his character, by running from every thing, and leaving his own very methods in the lurch. But how do's he prove this Dissoluteness of man­ners upon the Reform'd? why, as he do's other things, he says it. Now whether there were at that time any such bad things, as he talks of, among Protestants, or no; yet we are sure these fruits could not spring naturally from [Page 59] Ls. doctrine: they might perhaps arise from it, as Vermin from the power of the Sun, by Equivocal production; but that they were it's direct genuine issue, is a proposition in vain asserted, unless it be prov'd. To shew this, would be to his purpose: till he do's, we are left at a gaze; and have nothing (for all his fine promises at first) to try Ls. doctrines by, but the very doctrines themselves. But men had rea­son to suspect 'em (he says) because they came into the world §. 58. neither with miracles, nor (if we consider all said) with the signs of a good Spirit, nor yet own'd or defended (nay also rejected and condemn'd by the Church.) For the first of these, Mira­cles, Luther, we own, came without 'em, but neither had he any need of 'em. Their use is to establish some new doctrine, not to restore an old one, which was his case. And▪ therefore he no where pretend's to any extraordinary imme­diate vocation, but onely to that ordinary call of the Pres­bytery, and the commission then given him to preach the truth of the Gospel, and confound Error. As to the signs of a good Spirit, I have consider'd all said, and cannot find that he had the signs of a bad one. He had a zeal for God's glory, which hurried him sometimes beyond what was decent in his expressions: but this imperfection was, we doubt not, easily pardon'd by that God, who in some measure ac­cepted Iehu's zeal, tho stain'd with gross hypocrify. In other things I hope I may by this time boldly pronounce him blameless. As for the Churches rejecting and condemning his Doctrine, 'tis the old figure of the Church of Rome for the Catholic Church; and is too trite a subject to be here insist­ed on.

But Truth and Holyness, Error and Vice have a necessary Con­nexion: §. 59. What then? Luther we have prov'd an holy man▪ and therefore this do's not touch us in the sense he would have it. Yet truth and holyness, Error and▪ Vice are not, it seem's, so necessarily link'd together, but that a Teacher [Page 60] of something false may bring forth the fruits of a good life; and contrary, the Teacher of Truth the fruits of a bad: for these are his words in this very paragraph. So that Necessary and Contingent are the same in this man's Logic.

Agen he proves, that where more corrupt Doctrines are §. 60. believ'd, and taught, there for the general are more corrupt lives. Agreed! but are Luther's Doctrines of such a stamp? In­deed in his gross way of delivering 'em, they may have such an appearance. The 4 main heads are, he says, 1. The §. 61. Nullity and Antichristianism of the former Clergy and the non­obligation of their Laws. But I have made out from the Smalcald Articles, that Luther held no nullity in this case: & tho' in points fundamental he allow'd not the Authority of councils, as depending merely on revelation for them▪ yet in things indifferent I have shew'd that he was as wil­ling to be concluded by their sanctions as any man. 2. The inutility of works, pennance, mortifications &c. This is all a slander: he decry'd not the use▪ but the merit of them. 3. The servitude of Man's will, and inability to do good even in the re­generate. Ls. Doctrine of free will is, when fairly expoun­ded, the same with the Church of Englands: as such, we own it, and shall defend it. 4. The sole sufficiency of Faith in us for our Iustification. We have told him that Luther held good works as necessary to Salvation as any Papist of 'em all, tho' he did not think they were the cause of justifica­tion. That they follow'd upon it, as heat attends the light of the Sun, he own'd: but then as heat do's not enlighten, however close join'd with that which do's, so neither do they justify. If then 'twas out of these three latter points, that a great dissoluteness of Life, Covetousness, Oppression &c. grew; 'tis to be hop'd the crimes imputed are but a fiction, and that the Reform'd are not so bad as they are represented, since those three points, when truly stated, have a quite different air, we see, from what he has bestow'd upon 'em. [Page 61] The Parragraph referr'd to, I'me sure, proves no such thing:§ 7. there are two or three expressions from Erasmus, Calvin, and Musculus, which represent some of the Reform'd as worse then while they were Papists. And will he take the advantage of this, so far as to say, that the Reformation do's of it self make men worse? If he will, 'tis plain, he's re­solv'd to make all the spiteful inferences he can, without troubling himself whether they are just or no.

He proceeds to reflect on the many Sects that sprung§ 62. up after the Reformation. But a late Apologetical Vindicator of the Church of England has so fully clear'd this objection, that the most partial must be satisfy'd. I can add nothing to what that worthy Author has done, and shall therefore spare my self the trouble of transcribing. I shall only take notice of something the Considerer relates on this occasi­on. By reason of these Sects, he says, following the Reformation so close at the heels &c,—Lr. often foretold that the true Religion should not long continue after his death. He bring's not a Let­ter from Lr. to confirm this report, which is an evident sign that he cannot: for upon lesser occasions▪ he do's not spare his Latin. Indeed Luther was so far from any diffi­dence of this nature, that his Adversaries have blam'd him for a too great presumption on t'other side: particularly Bel­larmin in his 12th. Note urges against him a prophecy of his, that in two years the Papal Kingdome should be de­stroy'd. Tho' this too be a falsity, and was broach'd by Cochleus, a venemous writer; and one so careless of truth or falshood, that Sanders himself is not more. But my Author has a great knack at Remarks: i'the end of this Paragraph, he makes another about our refining in the points of Controversy, and coming nearer and nearer still to the Church of Rome. Now let any man compare Bellarmin's bold truths, with the softnings of the Bishop of Condom, and the Repre­senter, and then tell me, on which side this imputation [Page 62] lyes. 'Twill appear, I believe, upon this search, that Old Popery, and New Popery agree no more, then the two styles.

We are come now to the last stage of the Pamphlet;§. 63. where we may see how much art is requisite to manage circumstances well. Nothing is less obnoxious to censure then the story of Ls. death, when intirely told. Yet as pas­sages are here pick'd out, and wrested it makes no good ap­pearance. This we have the more reason to take ill of him, because he there quotes Iustus Ionas his account, the most authentic extant; and yet takes but a single circumstance from him in the whole relation. The truth is, no other ac­count bear's any credit with us: This was compil'd by Eye-witnesses, Ionas, Caelius, and Aurifaber: who solemnly invoke God to witness that they have related all things with exact fidelity; and who indeed durst not have done otherwise; since Count Mansfeld, and several other per­sons of Quality were present also, and could have confu­ted 'em, had they been faulty in any thing. Sleidan has con­tracted the story from them, and in his words I shall give it you. Vide marg. a. Here is first of all no surprize, as the [Page 63] Pamphlet tell's us; Luther had early warnings given him by a lingring sickness, and was sensible of his death some time before it's approach. Neither hapned it amidst all the Iollity that is pretended: He had discours'd all that day on divine subjects, had employ'd his latter days in preach­ing, and receiving the Sacrament, and his breath depart­ed with a prayer. But this prayer had never a miserere mei in't, says the Objecter. What then? must all good men at their death be ty'd up to a particular phrase? yet never­theless it had something equivalent: Rogo te, mi Domine, Iesu Christe suscipe animam meam, was no assuming expres­sion, but as much a request of mercy as the other. He dy'd calmly too, and with all the easyness of a man falling a­sleep: not with the tortura oris, and dextrum latus totum infuscatum, which we are told of out of Cochleus. The Con­siderer might be asham'd, after he had professedly disown'd that senseless writer thro' his whole book, to close it up at last with a little piece of borrow'd malice from him. A thousand such particulars as these might be drawn from Lindanus, Pontacus, Thyrraeus and the rest of that rank Crew, who have taken care that neither Luther nor any o­ther Reformer should go down to the Grave with honor. Luther had the luck to detect one of these shamms whilst living: for even Then a story was sent abroad of his Death, with all the hideous circumstances imaginable a: But he himself confuted it in writing, and shew'd us in this one report what credit may be given to the rest. Yet Bellar­min was so taken with these fooleries, that he has, ridicu­lously enough, inserted into his Notes of the true Church, this for one—The bad ends of it's opposers: and there with [Page 64] a great deal of formality tells this story of Ls. death, and twenty more not less extravagant. But let the Considerer p. 104. rebuke him for it: his words are, that the chief authors of Sects and Haeresies have, not unfrequently, nothing in their Life or Death exorbitant or monstrous: which also is a kind hint, that he himself has been committing an impertinence for above an 100 pages together; For 'tis an Observable very easily drawn I think from this Concession, that the Life and Death of a man can be no standard of his doctrine; which evi­dently undoes all he has been doing, and putt's us in mind once agen of the humble-bees, and the Tinder-boxes.

I have done with his Paragraphs; and shall now examin a little his design in writing em. It was, I suppose, to lay a blot upon the Reformation in general, and particularly that of the Church of England. But first, how comes the Church of England to be concern'd in what Luther said, or did? Whilst he was pulling down the Papacy in Germany, she was carrying on the same design here at home. She had struggl'd and heav'd at a Reformation; ever since Wic­liffs dayes, for abont a 150 years together: her Lollards (as they were call'd) had all along spoken, written, and dy'd for it: she could not nevertheless bring it to the birth 'till a­bout this time, when the Eyes of all Europe began to be o­pen'd: then it was that she push'd it forward, and threw off the Popes Yoke in concert with other Churches. Her proceedings were regular, and by the joint Authorities of the state Civil and Ecclesiastical. If irregularities were done elsewhere, let them Answer for 'em, that did 'em. Whatever Luther's actions at that time might be, they con­cern us no more, then the Historian's flourish about Sultan Selim's Conquests do's his History of Haeresys: they were cotemporary indeed, and that's all; for there's no other dependence between 'em.

But neither is the Reformation in general at all blasted by [Page 65] this method. For let Luther be as bad as he will, yet the Doctrine of the Apostles, and the primitive Church is, we hope, ne'r the worse for his preaching it. He pretended to no new Revelation; had he done so 'twould have been re­quisite, perhaps, that he should have liv'd up to it: he only pointed out some old Truths, that had layn hid a great while; and detected some Errors, which in the course of time had, like rust, overspread Christianity. Here have we nothing to do but to put our selves upon the search, whe­ther these pretences of his to antiquity be true or false: for if they be true, 'tis a confest point that they must be li­sten'd to, whoever he be that makes 'em. Idolatry is agreed to be a sin on all sides: should a Iew therefore object it to the Church of Rome, as an hindrance of his Conversion, she were bound to reform even on this admonition. But where a new Religion is reveal'd, the case I confess, is o­therwise: there the doctrine it self is in dispute whether true or false; all aids therefore are to be call'd in, that may any ways assist us in the discovery; and the Lives of the Revealers may be justly enough set over against the Reve­lation, to find whether they agree. Thus should that bad man Lr. have been the first discoverer of Errors in the Church, yet his badness would in no wise have prejudic'd his discovery. But what now if he were one of the latest pro­testers against Popery? and even then, but one among many, that set about the same work? The objection at this rate lessens very much, and comes to no more then this, t [...] amongst a Cloud of Witnesses, there was One of no very good reputation. And that this is the case, has been prov'd up­on 'em to a demonstration a hundred times over. Melchior Adams has afforded us the Lives of no less then 22 Divines, who immediately before, and together with Luther pro­moted all the same design. The Errors of the Church of Rome were never possess'd quietly: we have told 'em when they came in, and who they were that rose up against 'em, [Page 66] in every age, from the 6th Century down to the 16th. If any man requires this Catalogue, he may find it in White's True way to the Church compleatly and learnedly sett down a: not to mention Field, Usher, Catalogus Testium Vt ritatis, and twenty more. Goldastus's three Volumes suf­ficiently explain the sense of all ages in this point; and Orthuinus Gratius's Collection of Complaints lets us know what peoples thoughts were, when Luther appear'd. He did not awaken the world with new surprizing noti­ons; for then they would have suspended their judgments a while: whereas thousands follow'd his standard, as soon as ever it was advanc'd; and Melitz the Apostolic Com­missary own'd that in 1518 (a year after Lr. first preach'd) he found in his journy from Rome to Saxony three on Lu­ther's side to one that stood for the Pope b. Luther then was one of the latest asserters of truth, and even at that time not single: Oecolampadius, Zuinglius, Carlstad, and many more were e'en as early as he: tho' 'tis true he signaliz'd himself above the rest by a peculiar bravery of mind, and an un­dauntedness in the cause of God, that was little less then miraculous. He labor'd more then them all, yet still they were his Fellow-Labourers in the Gospel: and therefore, were the Reformation to be run down by Life-writing, yet to think this task is perform'd by considering the actions of Lr. alone, when there were so many both before and with him that embark'd in the same cause, is the most senseless thing imaginable.

But further, when the Considerer has manag'd this argu­ment to the best advantage, he would do well to consider too, how it returns upon him. Luther, even in the colours he has laid upon him, do's not look half so ill as some Popes of theirs who were his Cotemporaries. Iulius was of a cruel restless temper, and sacrific'd the peace of all Italy to his ambition. Leo the 10th. is deservedly infamous for his base prostitution of Indulgences. Paul the 3d. kept a Whore [Page 67] openly, and own'd it; and advanc'd a-Bastard of his to the Principality of Parma and Piacenza. Would we ascend higher to the known names of Hildebrand, Innocent, Boni­face, and the rest of those lew'd Popes, whom Bellarmin con­fesses to have gone in a long Train to the Devil, we should quick­ly find how advantageous Luther's character would ap­pear: and what reason Castilio's Painter had to reply upon the Cardinal, who blam'd him for putting a little too much colour into St. Peter and Paul's faces, that 'twas true indeed, in their Life time they were pale mortify'd men, but that since they were grown ruddy, by blushing at the sins of their Successors. Now let any man tell me, why manners are not (as much, nay) more requisite to an Infal­lible Guide, then a fallible Reformer? since in the one, we accept the Doctrine merely for the man's sake, in the other the man for his Doctrine's sake: especially since the first involves alwayes the latter's character; for Infallibility carrys along with it the perpetual power of reforming A­buses. This holds good then against such as place the last appeal in the Pope: those who take refuge in a multitude, have an Arrian Council to Answer for; a Council, where the lives of the Fathers were as unorthodox as their Principles; and this in a much higher degree then is pretended upon Luther, if Athanasius's word may be set over against the Considerer's.

The method then of the Pamphlet is every wa [...] [...] sufficient, and let the Spirit of Martin Luther be as [...] 'tis suppos'd to be, yet the proof of this would not bla [...] one single truth of that Religion, he profess'd. But to [...]e off all seeming objections, and stop the mouths of the most unreasonable Gainsayers, I have examin'd even this little pretence too; and find, upon a faithful enquiry, that Lu­ther's Life was led up to those Doctrines he preach'd, and his Death was the death of the Righteous. Were I not confin'd by the character of an Answerer merely to wipe [Page 68] off the Aspersions that are brought, I could swell this book to 'twice the bulk by setting out that best side of Lr. which our Author in the Picture, he has given us of him, has; con­trary to the method of Painters, thrown into shade, that he might place a suppos'd deformity or two the more in view. He was a Man certainly of high endowments of mind, and great Virtues: he had a vast understanding▪ which rais'd him up to a pitch of learning unknown to the age he liv'd in: his knowledge in scriptures was admira­ble, his Elocution manly, and his way of reasoning with all the subtilty that those honest plain truths, he delivered, would bear: His thoughts were bent alwayes on great de­signs, and he had a resolution fitted to go thro' with 'em: The assurance of his mind was not to be shook, or surpriz'd; and that [...] of his (for I know not what else to call it) before the Dyet at Worms, was such as might have become the days of the Apostles. His Life was holy, and, when he had leisure for retirements, severe: his virtues active chiefly, and homilitical, not those lazy sullen ones of the Cloyster. He had no ambition but in the service of God: for other things, neither his enjoyment, nor wishes ever went higher then the bare conveniencies of living. He was of a temper particularly averse to covetousness, or any base sin; and charitable even to a fault, without respect to his own occasions. If among this Crowd of Virtues a fail­ing crept in, we must Remember that an Apostle himself [...] not been irreprovable: If in the Body of his Doctrine [...] Flaw is to be seen; yet the greatest Lights of the Church, and in the purest times of it, were, we know, not exact in all their Opinions. Upon the whole, we have certainly great reason to break out in the phrase of the Prophet, and say—How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth glad tideings?


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