Select Arguments AND REASONS AGAINST POPERY.

By R. Baxter.

LONDON▪ Printed in the Year. [...].

Select Arguments, AND REASONS, &c.

POpery, is a certain heap or mixture of many grievous Er­rours in the Doctrine of Faith, Government, and Wor­ship, expressed in the Authorized Writings of the Ro­manists, especially in their Decretals and Counsels▪ cor­rupting the Christian Religion which they profess, The whole being denominated from that one Falshood, The Pope of Rome is the Universal Bishop, and visible Head of the Universal Church and Christs Vicar General on Earth, and that, that only is the Catholick Church, and those only Catholicks that so believe; For the Papists professing to be Christians do first own the sub­stance of Christian Doctrine, and then corrupt it, and contradict it by super-adding this Fardle of their own Inventions; Now to [Page 2] shew how dangerous such their opinion is, be pleased to consider these Arguments.

Argument. 1. Those Doctrines which are sounded upon a no­torious falshood and resolved into it, are not a safe way to Salva­tion, but such are the Doctrines which we call Popery, Therefore Popery is no safe way to Salvation;

As for the minor the Papists confess, they are founded on and resolved into the Doctrine of the Popes infallibility, or at least his Counsels, but that this is a notorious falshood is evident from their Histories of both Popes and counsels that have erred, and their own confession, I mean, whilst one part of them do confess that the Pope may err (as the French) and the other (that is the Italians and Spaniards) that a counsel may err▪ nay Pope Adrian the 6th. (whose word fure may be taken in this case of himself) wrote his Judgement of it, acknowledging that a Pope may err.

Arg. 2. The Papists are not agreed amongst themselves either Clergy or Layity about the very fundaments of their Faith, o [...] matters which they make necessary to Salvation, for they main­tain that we must receive our Faith and the Scriptures upon the Authority of the infallible church, and yet are not agreed a­mongst themselves nor ever like to be what the infallible Church is, whether in the Pope, or in a counsel or in both together.

Arg. 3, Popery is a new devised way to Heaven, such as the A­postles never knew, nor the Church after them for many a hun­dred year (in the main parts of it) And therefore can be n [...] s [...]e way to Salvation.

Arg. 4. The Papists are the greatest Schismaticks on Earth, most desperately rending the Church, and separating themselves from the main body thereof, and lay the grounds of a continual Schism in making a new Head, and center of the unity of the Church; The Catholick Church for many hundred years after Christ was that body of Christians who were united only in Christ the Head, and held communion in the Fundament [...]ls of Faith and Worship and had no moral Head or Center but the Worldly greatness of the City of Rome occasioning the usurpa­tion [Page 3] of her Bishop he would needs make himself the Center of union and Universal Head, and is not this the vilest Schism that Men can be guilty of.

Arg. 5. The Doctrine of Popery derogateth from the written word of God, and setleth the decrees of Men above it, enabling them to contradict it's most express Institutions, and therefore is no way to salvation.

Arg. 6. Popery is Idolatry teaching Men to worship the Crea­ture with divine Worship, as the consecrated Host or Bread in their Mass, 'Tis true they tell us, That it is no longer Bread but the Body of Christ, but this is a Fiction, consider these Reasons, If the Bread were Christs real Body, then Christ had two real bodies, a sense and an insensible body both at once, and then the Apostles did tear Christs true flesh, and draw out his blood as well as the Jews, and thence it will follow that Christs glorified body is corruptible, and may be digested by a Mans Stomach and become sinful as being a natural part of a sinner, for the Bread and Wine do nourish us, and turn into our substance, and that a Creature (the Baker or Priest) may make God, and that the Scriptures are not true, which witness that the Heavens must re­ceive him till the restitution of all things, Acts 3. 21. with ma­ny other abominable absurdities.

Arg. 7. The Doctrine of Popery teacheth Men to turn the most of Gods Worship into meer unreasonable ceremonies and vain formalities of Mans devising, and who can think that the holy and blessed God will be delighted in their vain bablings and childish cantings, and affected repetitions of words, and saying and hearing we know not what.

Arg. 8. Popery is maintained most commonly by most wick­ed and abominable means, the very business they so much contend for, Is Pomp, Greatness, Dominion, yea Tyranny in the World, so that 'tis evidently pride, vain glory, and covetousness sets them on, for the support of which, they care not what wickedness they venture: As dispensing with the vilest sins, forging miracles, raising egregious lyes, and butchering where they have power, those that oppose them.

[Page 4] Argument the 9th. If all that part of the Christian World that was out of reach of the Roman Empire did never submit to the Soveraignty of the Pope, Then hath he not been successively or at any time the actual Head of the Universal Church, But 'tis certain vast numbers of Christians amongst the Indians, Abissines, Poles, Muscovites and other parts did never so submit, Therefore the Pope was never actual Head of the Universal Church.

Argument the 10th. The Rule or Test of the Faith of Papists never had a real being, or no succession from the Apostles, and therefore their Faith and Church hath either no real being, or no such succession, for either general Counsels, or Popes, or the Church essential (as they call it, that is the whole Body) is the rule of their Faith, if it be general Counsels. 1. They had no being from the Apostles till the counsel of Nice, therefore the Rule of the Papists Faith was then unborn. 2. Yea the truth is, they ne­ver had a being in the World, for that of Nice was so far from being Universal, that it had but one or two Bishops present, but those of the Empire, nor was there any thing like a free general counsel since the days of the Apostles to this day; If it be the Pope that is the rule of their Faith, then their Faith hath been interrupted, yea and turned to Heresie and Infidelity when the Pope hath so turned. But lastly, If it be the major part of the U­niversal Church, 'tis known that two to one are against them, or at least the greatest part, if we reckon (as we must) the Greek Church; and all others professing christianity in the World, there­fore by that Rule their belief in the Papal Soveraignty is false, and yet besides it would be hard if a man must be of no belief till he have brought the World to pole for it.

Arg. 11. If sence be either fallible or infallible, the Pope is fal­lible, but sence is either fallible or infallible, Ergo, The conse­quence is proved thus, If sence be fallible, the Pope is infallible, and all his Church, for their senses and the Apostles and their Followers too must be fallible, but if sense be infallible, still the Pope and his counsel are, because the common senses of all sound men take that for Bread and Wine which they expresly say (as d [...] fide to be believed) Is not Either Bread or Wine.

[Page 5] Reasons to resolve any considerate Man against Popery.

Reas. 1. The Faith or Religion of Papists as described by them­selves, is so far from infallibility, that it is utterly uncertain unin­telligible and meer contradiction and confusion, a changeable thing that no Man knoweth whether he have it or not, nor when he hath it all, but whoever hath it, hath certainly a hodge podge of Truth and Falshoood.

Reas. 2. Their Papacy which essentiateth their Church is a hor­rid usurpation of Christs own Prerogative, and of an office to do that which is incomparably above the power or capacity of any mortal Man to take care of all the Souls on Earth, and rule the Antipodes, and in those parts of the World which he hath no knowledge of.

Reas. 3. The said Papacy is an arrogant usurpation of the power of all Christian Princes and Pastors, or of a power over them never given by Christ, It setteth up a Kingdom in a King­dom, and taketh from Pastors the power which Christ gave them over their particular flocks.

Reas. 4. Their Church is oft essentially unholy, Heretical and wicked, because the Pope is often so, who is an essential part of it, and therefore it is not the Holy Catholick Church, for whole Counsels have upon examination judged their Popes to be Here­ticks, Schismaticks, Adulterers, Blasphemers, &c. And that Church cannot be holy, whose essential part is so unholy.

Reas. 5. Their Doctrine is not only contrary to many express Texts of holy Scripture, but also contrary to it's self, one Pope and one counsel having decreed one thing, and another the clean con [...]rary.

Reas. 6. Their Religion tendeth greatly to mortifie Christia­nity, and turn it into a dead Image by destroying much of its life and power; by befriending Ignorance, locking up the Scrip­tures blind devotion and external formalities.

Reas. 7. They plead for a Church that never had a being in the World, that is all Christians Headed by one Pope, when all the Christian World did never take him for their Head, nor were governed by him to this day.

[Page 6] Reas. 8. They dreadfully injure the holy Scriptures; as if Je­sus Christ, and the Prophets and Apostles in those sacred Re­cords had not skill or will to speak intelligibly, and plainly to de­liver to us the Doctrines necessary to Salvation, but they make their voluminous counsels more intelligible and sufficient as if they had done it better, And whereas Men must only discern God [...] Laws, and judge causes by the Law, they make themselves Judge [...] of the Law it self; by which they must one day be judged.

Reas. 9 Every honest Godly Protestant may be as sure tha [...] Popery is false, as he is, that he is himself sincere, and loveth God [...] and is truly willing to obey him; and no Man can turn Papist with [...] ou [...] self contradiction, who is a true Christian, and an honest man for b [...] turning Papist he confesseth himself to be before a fall heart [...]d Hypo [...]rite, for it is a part of Popery to believe that non [...] in a state of Salvation but the Subjects of the Pope, or Members of the Papal Church, and consequently that no others hav [...] true Faith, Repentance, or Love to God, all therefore that kno [...] their own hearts to be truly devoted to God are safe from Pope [...] And since it is agreed on both sides that none ought or can tu [...] Papists, but ungodly Hypocrites, no wonder if such are delud [...] by the most palpable deceits and forsaking of God when they h [...] before forsaken him.

To conclude this Paper, there is yet one Argument behind [...] quisite against Popery, for it's professors plead not as other p [...] ­ties, only by the Tongue, but by exciting Princes and States [...] gainst us, and disputing with the Faggot, or Ha [...]chet in th [...] hands, and therefore if we have not Arguments that will con [...] a Navy, an Army, or a Powder-plot, we may still happen to [...] worsted by them. Which I beseech the Lord for the sake of Church, and the honour of the Gospel to prevent.

FINIS.

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