[Page] Imprimatur, Liber cui Titulus, The Salvation of the Protestants Asserted and Defended, &c.

Guil. Need­ham, R. R. in Christo P. ac D. D. Whihelmo Archiep. Cantuar. a Sacris Domest.

[Page] THE SALVATION OF PROTESTANTS Asserted and Defended, In Opposition to the RASH and UNCHARITABLE SENTENCE OF THEIR Eternal Damnation Pronounc'd against them by the ROMISH CHURCH.

By J. H. Dalhusius, Inspector of the Churches, in the County of Weeden, upon the Rhine, &c.

Newly done into English.

LONDON: Printed for James Adamson, at the Angel and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1689.

Health to the Reader from the Fountain of Health.

Courteous Reader,

IT is sit thou should'st in the first place be acquainted with the Occasion of the following Discourse; which was this: From Heddesdorff, where my sacred Cal­ling gave me an Abode for almost five years together, lyes distant, about an hours Riding, that celebrated Abbey in Rommersdorff, belonging to the Fryers called Predemon­strators, who affirm to be Founder of their order, in the Year 1120, one Norbert, first a Canon in the Church of St. Victor of Santen, near the City of Cleve, which, as they say, laid the first Foundations of Santen; afterwards Chaplain to Lotharius of Saxony; and lastly, by the Au­thority of this Emperor Primate of Germany, that is to say, Archbishop of Magdeburgh, according to the Verses,

Anno milleno centeno bis quoque deno,
Sub Patre Norberto fundatur Candidus Ordo.

They are called Praemonstratenses, or Predemonstra­tors (if we may believe the Story) because the Place for the first building of the Abbey, was shew'd before-hand to Norbert, as he was at his Prayers. And they wear a white Habit, for that the Mother of God brought him a [Page] Habit of that colour, as the Norbertines not long since vaunted, thus bespeaking their Founder;

Cruce locus Praemonstratus
ubi struas Regiam.
Sancta tibi Virgo Mater
vestem praebet niveam.
Sanctus Augustinus Pater
auro praescribit regulam.
Where thy Palace thou shouldst build,
the Cross the Place doth shew;
The Holy Virgin Mother brings
thy Habit white as Snow.
Holy Austin doth unfold
thy Order's Rule in Gold.

The foresaid Norbert held the See of Magdeburgh seven Years and ten Months. He dy'd in the Year of Christ 1134,upon St. Peter and Paul the Apostles day; and was buried in the Church of the Blessed Virgin; where, in the Year 1625, by the Command of the Emperor Ferdinand II, his Stone Sepulchre was broken open, and his Reliques thence translated in great Pomp to Prague. And so dead Norbert was made the living Saint and Patron of Bohemia.

Now in regard the Successors of this Norbert, among which are the Abbots of Rommersdorff, frequently visit our Court of Weeden, and this Village of Heddesdorff, either to look after their Farms and Rents, or as any other Occasions draw them; and by that means were often wont to be in my Company, I thought it not only Decent, but most Christianlike, at all times and in all places to shew them [Page] all the Civility and honest Friendship I could; and from thence forward hitherto so continu'd to do, as faras lay in my Power. They, on the other side, observing this, made reciprocal Returns of Bounty, Respect and Love; as often as I went to visit them.

Confiding therefore in this mutual Amity and Familia­rity, I presum'd, upon the last of December, to send to the present Right Reverend Lord Abbot Charles Wurstius, my kindest Wishes of Prosperity for the ensuing Year. Nevertheless, to this Civility of mine, the next morning, such was the rudeness and barbarity of his Prior, that for Answer he sent me the subsequent Letter, the Contents of which are verbatim as follows.

(The Inscription.) To the Reverend and Learned Mr. John Her­man Dalhusius, for the time Curate in Heddesdorf, and Inspector of the County of Weeden, his much respected Friend.

Reverend and much respected Mr. Inspector,

BY the Command of my Lord Abbot, now upon business abroad, against the approaching New Year, according to your Calender, I pray for, and heartily wish you a good Beginning, Progress, and a fortunate Couclusion of it. Moreover I have sent you, according to your desire, Oats for your Money, together with your Treatise imparted. to us against the Anabaptistical Heresie (sufficiently and clearly formerly refuted and condemn'd by the Roman Catholic Church.) We have perused it, and are pleas'd with your Zeal, but we should have lik'd it much better, if after you [Page] had implor'd the Grace of the Holy Ghost, the only Enlightner of obdurate Hearts, you had bin first a Con­vert to the Lord God, by abjuring the Errors of your Faith, and returning to the Ship, and (which is the Roman Catholic and only saving Church) St. Peter's Net; out of which, by reason of the vast multitude of the Fish, the Authors and first Founders of the Anabaptistical and other Errors, fell down, according to the Catholic Belief, into the profoundest Sea of Hell; of whom the Ring­leader was Luther: Whose success, I grieve to speak it, so fatal to hundreds of thousands of Souls, encouraging Melancthon, Zuinglius, Oecolampadius, Menno, Calvin, and several others, to the End they might raise to them­selves a great Name in the World, and serve their Car­nal Desires, coyn'd and forg'd several other Opinions repugnant to Truth, nevertheless condemn'd by the Roman Catholic Church, according to the Custom ob­serv'd from the very beginning of it, as the Authors of them were Excommunicated. I could wish your Re­verence would more studiously peruse the Catholic Wri­ters with sounder Judgment, that you would foresee your last End, and while you live, consult the Good of your own Soul, lest after you have run the race of this Mortal Life, in Company with those sublime Doctors, as you stile them in your Treatise against the Anabaptists, you be not only depriv'd of Eternal Felicity, but burn in the Infernal Everlasting Fire.

This wholsom Admonition, more precious then Gold and all the Kingdoms of the World, patiently and kindly accept instead of a NEW-YEARS-GIFT, and live eternally the Favourer of him, who is thy Brother most desirous of thy Salvation,

Prior for the time.

John Gaspar Baldem,

[Page] Truly I was amaz'd at the sight of such a merciless Mon­ster, that instead of the Roses of desired Friendship, cast before me Baskets of Thorny Bryers; and rejecting the Salvation of Christ, Pax Vobis, denounc'd a Laborious War against me, yet Glorious for the Truth of the Catholic Evan­gelical Faith. For now, as the Case stood, my Pen was to be drawn in defence of That, and to wipe off pretended Stains. Wherefore I return'd an Answer, tho' overwhelm'd with the Duties of my Calling during the several Holy-days at that time of the Year; and within the space of a few days, I finish'd the following Apology for the SALVATION of CHRISTIAN PROTESTANTS, and took care to have it convey'd to the Lord Abbot of Rom­mersdorff, by means of this short Epistle.

Most Reverend, Famous and Learned Lord Abbot,
My most honoured Favourer and Friend,

YOur Reverend Mr. Prior, in the late absence of your Lordship, sent me a sharp Letter full of thundrings of Eternal Damnation against me and all those, who forsaking your Church, embrace ours. Truly I trembl'd at so rash a Judgment of a prudent Man.

But in regard it is lawful at all times and in all places to repel Force by Force, to resist an unjust Aggressor, and to Answer modestly to one that proposes a hard Question. Nay, since it is our Duty to convince Gainsayers, Tit. 1. 9. I could not think it a piece of Injustice to oppose the foresaid Mr. Prior, with the Treatise annex'd, that he may be certainly assur'd, that he has judg'd of our Dif­ferences, as a Blind Man doth of Colours, or as the Shoe­maker did of the Picture drawn by Apelles. All that I beg of your Reverend Worship is this, That you will be pleas'd so to order the Matter, that this necessary Answer may be deliver'd to his hands; by which he [Page] may understand, that it is the part of a Fool, to Triumph before the Victory; and of one that is far from a Chri­stian, to Judge so prepost'rously of the Salvation of his Neighbor. I had Answer'd sooner, had I not bin hin­der'd by my public Duties, and Transcribing a Copy of this Original Writing, which I intend shall shortly wear a German Cloak, to the end that all People may under­stand it. Farewel, and continue your Favour to,

The most faithful Observer of your Lordship in all good Offices, J. H. Dalhusius.

In the mean time, the Lord Abbot having Intelligence of my Design, that he might remove the impending Burd'n from his Prior, the strength of whose Shoulders he did not well understand, was at first unwilling to receive this Answer of mine, till tyr'd with the Importunity of the Messenger, he took it and retir'd into the next Room: Where he did not keep it long, but by his Servant sent it me back the same day, with these words upon the outside Paper;

BY reason of Strangers that are with me, and other necessary Occasions, I have not leisure to Answer the Enclosed as it ought to be; be pleased therefore to receive back again what you have thought good to write, but what is not convenient for us to read. So may the Reverend Inspector live to the years of Nestor.

Your Brother, Charles, Abbot of Rommersdorff.

But the Lord Abbot was not so fearful to keep the Answer, as an Abbot of the same Order, of the neighbouring Abbey of Seinen, Gulichius, was daring to accept it with a cheerful Mind, and willing Hand, after I had address'd him in the following short Oration, writing after this manner:

Most Reverend, most Famous, and most Learned Lord Abbot, my most esteemed Favourer and Friend.

TOward the beginning of the Year, I found my self involv'd in new Contentions, of which the Author and Beginning is the Worshipful Prior in Rommersdorff, whose Name is John Casper Baldem, who in Answer to a Writing, which ought to have bin instead of a pleasing New-Years-Gift, gave me to understand, That my self more especially, and all those whom you unjustly call Ʋncatholic, are unavoidably subjected to Eternal Dam­nation. It was but just therefore that I should Answer him, according to the Matter which such a rash Judg­ment requir'd. Presently I did that which is just; and this day took care that the Original Writing, at my urgent Request, might be deliver'd to the Prior himself by the Lord Prelate Charles Wirtzius, in hopes the Lord Abbot, as my singular Friend, would have bin so favourable and sincere, as to have deliver'd him the Original Copy which I sent. But Right Reverend Abbot, seeing the Conside­ration of your most Exquisite Learning, and the Justice of your Friendship contracted four years since, may seem to demand so much, that I should inform you, at least by a Copy, of your business in some measure importing the Honour of your Order; and that you should not re­main Ignorant, according to the Greek Proverb in Homer, [...], what Good or Ill is done within our Houses, I thought it necessary to impart to you the Nature of our Quarrel. In the mean time, by the love of Jesus Christ I conjure you, that laying aside inveterate Prejudices, you would peruse this present Treatise; and afterwards with an Answer first to be communicated to the Brothers in Rommersdorff, to oblige [Page] the longing Expectations of him, who am, was, and will be to the end of my Life,

The sincere Observer of Your Worship, in all good Offices,

Here we stopt, most Worthy Reader, proceeding no farther; for the Reverend Abbot of Seinen, Gulichius, has hitherto left me nothing but the desire of a future Answer.

But to the end the Church of the Protestants, so often, nay daily, after the manner of Baldem, in the Desks and Pul­pits of the Monks, abandon'd to the Infernal Devils, may be furnish'd with farther Arms against such a Customary Damna­tion; and that the Innocence and Eternal Salvation of it may be more and more asserted and established with Triumphant Ar­guments and Reasons, we thought it worth our while to publish this Orthodox Answer, wrested and extorted from us by the Force of a Fire-breathing Quill, and drawn out of the dark shades of my Study.

I will not here meddle with any Man, besides the Prior my Antagonist, who because he has spoken what he pleas'd, shall hear perhaps what he will not like so well. I shall only speak of Errors, I shall spare Persons, and, which is the chiefest thing of all, I shall examin and correct all things by the Rule of Christian Charity, and Invincible Truth. In the mean time, Reader, make use of this necessary Answer, to the Ad­vancement of God's Glory, the Establishment of thy own Faih, and the Encrease of the true Catholic Church.

May it please the God of Peace to heal these Divisions, that so Christians being recal'd to Truth and Charity, may once more constitute one Sheepfold under one Shepherd Christ, Not Antichrist. Amen.

To the Right Reverend the BISHOPS, The Reverend and Learned PASTORS, And, To All and Singular the MEMBERS Of the Reformed English Church; The AUTHOR wishes The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Love of God the Father, And the Fel­lowship of the Holy Ghost.

Most Honoured Lords, and Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ,

IN like manner as the Jews of old, when they past their little Children through the Fire in Honour of Moloch, that they might not be mov'd with their pitiful Outcries and Lamentations, endeavour'd [Page] to deafen and silence those doleful and ruthful Moans and Shrieks of the distres­sed Infants with variety of Sounds and Noises loud and shrill; such are the labours of the Followers of the Church of Rome, to leave no Stone unturn'd, to stop the Mouths of the Detectors of their False Doctrins: And in regard they are not able to compass their Ends by the way of Truth, they not only rage with Fire and Sword against the Orthodox, but per­secute them with Clamour and Judicial Sentences; and which is more, fill every corner of the World with their Thundring Writings, to prevent the Voice of Truth from being heard; nay, which is more then all this, like Ahab himself, they make it their business to throw the guilt of the Troubles which themselves have rais'd, upon the Faithful Preachers of the Truth; and which is most horrible to hear, make it their glory to condemn them all to the Punishment of Infernal Fires.

The same ill Fate has befall'n me. For when it was my late hap to officiate in the Function of Ecclesiastial Overseer, in the County of Weeden, upon the Rhine, one of the Popish Prelates, a certain Neigh­bour [Page] of mine, was not asham'd, instead of a NEW-YEARS-GIFT, to send me word, That not only my Self, but also all the Protestants in general were eternally Damn'd, and to be infallibly Burn'd in the everlasting Fire of Hell. But in regard that by the Testimony of the Apostle, We can do nothing against the Truth, 2 Cor. 13. 8. but for the Truth; and that it is the chief Duty of a Preacher of the Gospel, To hold fast the faithful Word which is according to Tit. 1. 9. Doctrin, that he may be able both to Exhort in wholsom Doctrin, and to Convince them that say against it; I thought it my Duty, not only to Translate into the German Lan­guage the Catechism of Controversies, written by Monsieur Moulin, and by that means to arm my Auditors against the daily Attacques of the Monks; but also to refel such an inconsiderate and unchri­stianlike Letter, and by this my ANSWER to vindicate the Salvation of the Protestants against so horrible a Condemnation. Where­in I have chiefly made it my business to encounter my Antagonist with the Sword of his own Brethren, as having brought in Aid of our Cause, the Testimonies of the most Famous Popish Doctors against him. [Page] Not that I would have it so to be under­stood however, as if the Suffrages of Men that wander in the Paths of Error, were necessary for the support of our Doctrin, but only that as vanquish'd Enemies, fol­lowing the Triumphal Chariot of Truth, their Necks laden with Chains, and com­pell'd to submit to the Victress, they might give all the World an unquestionable Te­stimony of her Conquest; or else, that if after the first Rout, they should adven­ture to make a second Attempt upon her, being by this Stratagem set together by the Ears one among another, and distract­ed in their Minds, or at least in their Sentences, they might by mutually wound­ing each other, destroy themselves; there­by affording us this pleasing Spectacle, as if the Lord had set every Man's Sword upon his Neighbor throughout the Host; and had so brought it to pass, that they should kill one another with the Weapons which they had made themselves; and that the Heads of these new Goliah's should be cut off with the Swords which they had girt upon their own Loyns. For thus we see that the Papists in many things are like Samson's Foxes, having their Tails [Page] in such a manner ty'd together to set on Fire, that with their Heads they draw two contrary Ways; or else like certain Monsters, whose Bodies are not united together till about the Navil or the Belly.

But as Fawning creates Friends, and Truth begets Hatred; so neither could I avoid the Hatred and Persecution of the Papists. For their Revenge transported them to that degree, that they sent se­veral Soldiers to apprehend me, and to have punish'd me with eternal Captivity; who because they could not overtake me flying away on Horseback, discharg'd two Pistols at me, to have kill'd me outright; but in vain, while God in his Mercy pro­tected me.

Constrain'd therefore by these and other Persecutions, and continual way-layings of my life, some Weeks ago I threw my self into the Bosom of your Church, that under your Protection I might live in more safety; and so soon as opportunity should permit, that I might be ready to employ the utmost of my Abilities and Sedulity in your Service.

[Page] But in regard, that according to the Proverb, There is no Desire of that which is to Men Unknown, I thought it might be worth my while most devoutly and humbly to offer and dedicate this my Answer to all and singular both Shepherds and Sheep, High and Mean, Ecclesiastics and Laity, Magistrates and Subjects, as having no other means to excite and kindle in your Hearts, when once made known to your Christian Pity, so much of gene­rous Goodness, as to receive me into the Arms of your Charity, and make me Par­taker of your Labors.

Accept, I beseech ye therefore, most Honourable Patrons, with courteous Mind and Hand, this little Treatise of mine; and open to me the doors of your Bene­volence; and what you would should be done to your selves in the same case, that do to me. Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not. While we have Gal. 6. 9, 10. therefore time, let us do good unto all Men, especially unto them that be of the houshold of Faith.

In the mean time, our Merciful God, who has begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ; that being Phil. 1. 6, 11, [Page] fill'd with the fruits of righteousness, ye may speak the Word of God without fear, and con­tinue in one Spirit, and one Soul, holding toge­ther 14, 27, in the defence of the Faith of the Gospel; and in nothing fearing your Adversaries, which is to them a Token of Perdition, but to you of 28, 29. Salvation, and that of God. For to you it is given for Christ, not only this, that ye believe in him, but also this, that ye suffer for his sake. Having the same sight which ye saw in me, and now hear in me. My Brethren, count it all joy, James 1. 2, when ye fall in diverse temptations. For bles­sed is the Man who endureth temptation, because 12. that when he is try'd, he shall receive the Crown of Life, which the Lord has promis'd to those that love him.

May it please the same Almighty God, That fighting a good fight, ye may hold Faith and a good Conscience, which some having put away, as concerning Faith, have made Shipwrack. So shall ye remain faithful unto death, and a Crown Apoc. 2. 10. of Life shall be given unto you. So that when the time of your dissolution is at hand, you may gladly and truly say, We have fought a good 2 Tim. 4. 6, 7, 8 Fight, We have fulfilled our Course, We have kept the Faith. Henceforth there is laid up for us a Crown of Righteousness, whicb the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give at that [Page] day; and not only to us, but to them that have lov'd his appearing.

Now unto the King Everlasting, Incorruptible, Invisible; To God only Wise, be Honour and 1 Tim. 1. 17. Glory for ever and ever, Amen.

So farewel, most Honoured Patrons, and benignly favour,

Your most Humble Servant And Exile, J. H. Dalhusius.

THE SALVATION OF PROTESTANTS Asserted and Defended, &c.

The Salvation of Body and Soul comes from one Fountain of Sal­vation, which is Jesus Christ, God blessed for ever, Amen.’
Reverend and most Learned Mr. Prior,

THere has been an idle report spread up and down, that the Reverend Abbot of the Monastry of Seinen propos'd to me several things concerning the Catholic Religion, if not in Writing, yet by Word of Mouth, which I either am or was not able to re­solve. From which trifle of a Report, those of your Party have thought to gain a Petty Lawrel Wreath; and those of our side have been in a deep Suspence, not knowing what was done, or what was to be done; for that Fame is as well an obstinate Retainer of what is feign'd and bad, as a Divulger of Truth. I am not willing to believe that the Prelate aforesaid is the Father of this Abortive Birth, in regard that since a Non-Entity can have no Accidents, He could never in the Truth of the Matter divulge, that he propounded any thing to me to be resolv'd, when assuredly I remember it no more then I do an Act that never was done. This indeed is true, that about three years since, [Page 2] returning from the Visitation of the Church of Grentzhausen, and going into the Monastery in my road, at what time my Fellow-Brethren, Mr. William Simonis, and Mr. Arnold Schnabel, the one Pastor of the Church of Alsbach, the other of Ruchroeten, both most vigilant and learned Persons were with me, he read to us many and various Manuscripts taken out of our Doctors, and Arguments against those Authors, and highly vaunted them to be invincible; but we Three so well at that time defended the Truth, that your Party had no reason to boast of Advantage. But now that the Reverend Prior not only extends his Prayers for my Health, but also heartily wishes and desires, That after I had adjur'd and forsaken my Religion, I should consult the good of my Soul, by returning to Peter's Nett, which is the Roman and only Soul­saving Church; lest after I had finished this life, I should not only be deprived of Eternal Felicity, but with the rest of my Doctors burn in the Everlasting Fire of Hell; truly as upon the sight of the first, I return him many Thanks; so in re­spect of the latter, I cannot forbear but that out of Duty and Conscience, and for the love of Truth, I must Answer as follows, that I may not be again reproach'd to have thrown away my Buckler when the Duel was offered me, which was infamous among the Romans, or to have sought for Safety by ignominious Flight. And I sincerely and constantly adjure you, Reverend Prior, together with your Companions, that with impartial Minds, and laying aside all fore-con­ceived Opinions, you would vouchsafe to read and weigh what shall be here written. Therefore that I may hasten to the thing it self, the whole Hinge of your Epistle turns upon this, to persuade me that the Romanists (give me leave to call you so throughout this Writing) are only worthy and fit to obtain Salvation: On the other side, that all the Protestants are damn'd, nay, irrevocably consign'd to a sad Eternity.

Is not this your Thesis? Nay, most certainly it is. It will be my part therefore to Prove and Assert the Salvation of the Protestants, and to Examin and Correct your rash [Page 3] Judgment by the Rule of Charity, with regard however to the Civil Friendship of both; more especially of that which is between me and your most reverend and famous Master, Charles Wertzius, whom I here name with Honor. I wish he had bin at home; for then you would not have presum'd to have dealt so disingeniously by me. But the Proverb says, When the Cat is gone abroad, the Mice play. But to the purpose.

There is nothing which the sacred Scriptures more fre­quently recommend to us then Charity. This is that sacred and perpetual Fire, which it behoves us more religiously to keep burning, then that which formerly was intrusted with the Vestals in Rome, or with the Priests in the Temple of God. For Charity (saith St. Paul) is the bond of perfection, Col. 3. 14. The end of the Commandment, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Nay, The fulfilling of the whole Law, Rom. 13. 10. And if a Com­parison should be made between the three Theological Ver­tues, there is no question but the Palm would be given to Charity as the Principal, 1 Cor. 13. 13. Faith represents the Porch of the Temple, in regard it holds forth to us the Propitiation of our Sins upon the Altar of the Cross. Hope represents the Holy Place, as being that which shines out to us with the sevenfold Lamp of Evangelical Promises, in certain Expectation of Eternal Beatitude. But Charity representing the Holy of Holies, and glittering on every side with pure Gold, is only worthy to be the Seat of the Deity; for as God is Love, 1 Job. 4. 16. so the Empyrean Seat, and the fiery Throne of Charity in our Minds, have a mutual Resemblance. Now there may be numbred seve­ral Duties of this Christian Charity, the Queenof all Vertues, as well toward God as toward our Neighbor. Toward God, there are two sorts of Duties incumbent upon every Man by the Command of Charity; of which some are Positive, others Negative. By the one a Christian is oblig'd to Ex­ercise Benevolence and Bounty toward his Neighbor, as much as in him lyes, affectionately and effectually in Word and Deed. By the other he is deterr'd from all manner of [Page 4] Ill-will, and doing Injury to his Brother, not only directly by hurting him, but also indirectly by throwing Scandals upon him; not only openly and outwardly with Hand or Tongue, but also covertly and inwardly, by bearing Malice, Envy, Hatred, or by unjust Suspicions and rash Censures, as St. Paul witnesses, 1 Cor. 13. 5. For Charity thinks no evil, suffers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. More particularly the Scripture, in more places then one, condemns rash Judgments, by which Men, for the most part violating the Laws either of Divine Truth or Christian Charity, judge evilly of the Actions or Persons of their Bre­thren. To which purpose that Sentence of our Savior is express and positive, Mat. 7. 1. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Such were the Judgments of the Pharisees formerly concerning others; so that they lookt upon all others beside themselves as Ideots, prophane and polluted Sinners. And at this day, there is nothing more frequent among Men, then these unjust Cen­sures, who are often wont to receive with the Left-hand, what is reach'd forth with the Right; and to interpret all things in the worst sense, according to the variety of their Passions. For Example; if any Man grows Rich through the blessing of God, he is adjudg'd to have acquir'd those Riches by evil means: If he fall suddenly into extreme Ca­lamity, this is presently deem'd to befal him by the secret Judgment of God revenging his secret Transgressions: If any one be averse to Superstition, he is accounted Profane: If he professes Piety, he is said to be an Hypocrite: If Liberal, he is taxed for a Prodigal: If Frugal, he must be Covetous: If Prudent, he is a Coward: If Magnanimous and Sedate in the midst of the raging Waves, he is pronounced Rash and Bold. Such is that Judgment of yours, most Learned Mr. Prior, which you give in your Letters of Me and all the Protestants, rather with a blind Fury, then a quick Understanding: That is to say, that we are all Damn'd to Eternity; and that unless we return to Peter's Ship, by sub­mitting our selves to the Pope, we are adjudg'd in this Life [Page 5] to the Torments of Hell. You are not the only Person who lye under this Mistake, for there are not wanting among ye those that in their Harangues to the People, in affrighting terms do pawn their own Salvation upon it, that all the Pro­testants are Damn'd. By vertue of which precipitate Con­demnation, the hatred of many is kindled against us; for it is a difficult matter to love those whom they believe to be so hated of God, that they are already destin'd to the Flames of Hell: And in regard there is but little difference between a Damn'd Person and the Devil, it is but rational that they should abhor such Persons as the Devil, who by an anticipated Sentence are already numbred among the Damn'd. Nay, those of your Party, who either out of Duty or Inclination are better and more tenderly affected towards us, are wont to look upon us with Horror and a kind of Commiseration, saying, That they are very sorry that Men of such excellent Endowments, and otherwise born to Vertue, should be out of the way of Salvation, and willingly throw themselves headlong into Hell. For these Reasons therefore I thought it necessary to exa­min by the Rule of Charity and Truth this Judgment so frequently given and inculcated against us; to the end that if it be found to be rash and prohibited by the Sentence of Christ, not only you, Mr. Prior, may be brought to remit somewhat of your rigor, and blush at what you have so un­justly written, but that we our selves also slighting and con­temning this preposterous Judgment, may continue cheerful and constant in the Truth of God, saying to our Prior, and such like supercilious Censurers as He, what St. Paul said to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 4. 3. With us it is a very small thing that we should be judged of you, or of mans judgment. It is better to be condemn'd by a Physitian, then a Judge; by Men, then by God. Wherefore as no Man can be a Judge in his own Cause, it is not for the Accuser to pass Sentence upon the Guilty: So that it might be sufficient to plead in Opposition to this unjust Judgment, that Mr. Prior would sit [Page 6] Judge in his own proper Cause; and that being carried away with various Affections, he never regarded what was true and honest, but what was profitable and convenient. This Judgment certainly is not to be imputed to Equity and pure Reason, but to Anger and Hatred. As Parents are wont to love their Children tho' Maim'd and Lame, so your Doctors are so preposterously devoted to their own pre-conceived Opinions, that they hate all Men who go about to impugn or correct them; and that so much the more, by how much the greater force they find in the same Opinions to establish their Authority in the World, and to encrease and preserve their Earthly Riches.

The Condition of the Protestants in this respect, resembles the Condition of our Savior, while he was upon the Earth. For because he oppos'd himself against the Corruptions both of Manners and Doctrin which abounded in the Church, and propounded a sort of Justice quite different from the Pharisaical Pride, and rejecting unwritten Traditions, la­bour'd to cleanse the House of God, and restore all things to the Primitive Fountains of Purity and Truth; therefore he was accounted a Samaritan, and proclaim'd a Seditious Person, a Demoniac, a Blasphemer, Turbulent, and an Inno­vator. The same things befal the Reformed; for therefore are they unjustly condemn'd, because they desire that the Temple may be cleans'd, that Abuses and Corruptions may be reform'd, which Time, Ambition, Avarice, Negligence, Ignorance, and other Pests have brought into the Church; that the Justice of our Savior may be fully acknowledg'd; that unprofitable, intolerable and superstitious Traditions may be cut off, and all things, as much as may be, restor'd to the Primitive state of the Church, and the Exemplar and Pattern of purest Antiquity. And indeed if you would but lay aside your Affections, and give never so little attention to the Word of God, you would there find how unlawful 'tis for you to give any such Judgment upon Christians, and to devote them to Maledictions whom Christ has redeemed [Page 7] with his Blood, whose Faith is conformable to the Scripture, and who repose their whole Confidence in the Grace and Mercy of God, and the Merits and Cross of Christ. Cer­tainly the Point of Eternal Salvation is of a higher Nature then to be wrested away by little blind miserable Animals to their Tribunal; or that any Man should presume to pro­nounce any thing concerning it, beyond the revealed Will of God. For God has assum'd it to himself, his Sentence is to be expected, and not to be anticipated by our Judgment, For what Mortal was ever privy to his Secrets, or whom did he ever permit the perusal of the Book of Life, and the Catalogue of Election? St. James, c. 4. of his Epistle, v. 11, 12. positively admonishes us, to condemn that Law which con­demns his Brother, and that he who judges of the Law, is not a Doer of the Law, but a Judge. And that Men for this reason should not invade the Laws of God, he adds, There is one Lawgiver, who is able both to save and to destroy; who art thou shat judgest another? Excellent also was the saying of the Ethnic Poet; Those things which it concerns us not to know, let us not take care to believe; let Secret things be left to God. Many are number'd among Wolves in this World, whom Christ will joyn to his Sheep at the last Judgment. Many who are weigh'd in the Ballance of human Censure, are rejected as Brass, which the Touch-stone of Divine Judg­ment will demonstrate to have bin fine Gold. First there­fore I would fain know of you, Mr. Prior, upon what ground you come to be more certain of the Damnation of others, then of your own Salvation. For if it be a piece of Arro­gance as you commonly teach against us, for any Man to assure himself that he is the Son of God, and Heir of Heaven, certainly it must be a great piece of rashness to determin as to others, that they are the Sons of Wrath and Hell. I rather am of Opinion, that the Religion of the Protestants is so far from being an Obstacle to Salvation, that it rather serves in a high measure to promote Salvation. I confess, there is no hope of Salvation beyond the Pale of [Page 8] Christian Religion; so that Salvation cannot be obtained in the Communion of Ethnics, Mahometans and Jews; no, not in the Society of those who retaining the Name of Christ, nevertheless subvert the Foundation of Salvation, such as formerly were the Ebionites, Borborites, Manichaeans, Arrians, and at this day the Socinians; or if there be or were any other such like Monsters in Religion. But in our Religion, what is there to be discover'd that subverts the Fundamental Articles of Christianity, but rather, on the other side, what serves in a high degree to support them? Does it not admit the Scriptures of the old and New Testament to be of Divine Inspiration, and the Three more solemn Creeds, the Apostolic, Athanasian and Nicene, together with the Four Oeconomic Councils of Nicaea, Chal­cedon, Ephesus and Constantinople? Does it not adore in truth One God, Three in One, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Does it not acknowledg one Christ, God and Man, for the Mediator between God and Men, the Re­deemer of Souls, a Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church? Does it teach any thing concerning God, which is repug­nant to his Majesty, his Glory, and his Power? Can it be accused of any Opinion that subverts good Manners, or that sins against the Law of God or public Honesty? The aim of Religion is to inform Men how to live well and bear Death with confidence, to the end that after they have lived in the fear of God, they may die in his favour. And this is that which a Christian may easily attain in our Reli­gion; for it most powerfully excites a faithful Man to fear God and love his Neighbor. It propounds no Article of Faith from whence various Corollaries may not be deduc'd for performance of our Duties, and Reformation of our Lives; and administers most sweet and those most effectnal Consolations to a Christian against the assaults of all Temp­tations, and Death particularly; advancing the Certainty of Redemption, through Christ, into the number of the Sons of God, by his Merit and Favour; so that they them­selves, [Page 9] who deal so rigorously by us, so often as any one is to be prepar'd for Death, insensibly come over to our side, and tacitly renounce their own Opinions, as is to be seen in Conson. Agoniz. written by Viguerrus. For then they do not comsort the dying Person with heaps of his own proper Merits, but exhort him to put all his hope and confidence in the Mercy of God, and the Satisfaction of Christ. Nor do they scare their doubtful Consciences with the Terror of Purgatory, but comfort it with the hopes of soon obtaining Everlasting Rest; and admonish the sick Person often to repeat the words of David, Into thy hands I commend my Spirit. The Bishop of Toledo is reported to have written to the Pope, that the Emperor Charles V, declar'd upon his Death-bed, that he plac'd all the Hopes of his Salvation in one Redeemer and Saviour Jesus Christ, and in his Merits, adding withal, that he look'd upon Luther's Opinion con­cerning Justification, to be very true. To which, as the Famous John Crocius, my Tutor formerly at Marpurgh, reports in his Anti-Wigelius, p. 451. they make the Pope to return this Answer; That he would not celebrate his Funeral Obsequies, because he held with Luther in such a Principal Point of Religion. Maximilian II, when the Bishop of Naples D. Lambert Gruterus came to him, then lying under the Pangs of Death, would not suffer him to be admitted, but upon promise first, That he would talk of no­thing else, but of the Merits of Christ, his Blood and S [...]eat; The Bishop was as good as his word, and made a long Oration concerning the Merits of Christ full of Consolation; and when the Emperor was ask'd, Whether he intended to die in that Faith? He made Answer, I shall do no other­wise: As Crato relates in his Funeral-Oration; and Chytraeus Chron. Sax.

The Head and Summ of Christian Religion, is Christ Crucify'd, 1 Cor. 2. 2. Other Foundation can no Man lay then that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 3. 11. So that for the obtaining of Salvation, there is no other Rule [Page 10] of Faith to be acknowledg'd then the Word of Christ re­sounding in Scriptures; nor any other Merit to be pleaded before God, but his Death; nor any other Purgatory but his Blood; nor any other Propitiatory Sacrifice for our Sins, but that which he offer'd once upon the Cross; nor any other Head of the Church, nor any other Mediator with God, but Himself. Behold the Foundations of our Faith: Why should you deny us Eternal Salvation?

Moreover it would be very cruel, and altogether repug­nant to Christians, to condemn to the Torments of Hell so many Myriads of Christians, living in the East, under the Pa­triarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Constanti­nople; The Georgians, Armenians, Abissines, Egyptians, Greeks, whose Churches the Apostles founded, Martyrs water'd with their Blood, the most Learned of the Fa­thers cultivated with their Instructions, so many Councils honour'd with their Decisions, and which are able to vye their Titles of Antiquity and Succession with Rome it self. Now if the way to Salvation is not to be deny'd to these Christians dispers'd over the East, and retaining the Foun­dations of Christianity, tho' believing nothing of the Fire of Purgatory, the Pomp of Papal Dignity, Transubstan­tiation of the Bread into the Body of Christ, Communion under One Kind, the Use of Latin or a Foreign Tongue in Publick Worship, the necessary Celibacy of the Ministry, Auricular Confession, and the like; why may not Salva­tion be obtain'd in the Society of the Reformed Churches, which are gather'd to Christ in the West, tho as to those Points they have renounc'd the Roman Communion? Then there is another thing which you Romanists confess of your own accords, that our Church Reform'd according to the Word of God; leads all the Members of its Communion directly to Christ; that they may obtain Salvation in him and by him; that they feed the starving Consciences with the Spiritual Bread of the Divine Word, and Sacramental Eucharist, call Sinners to Repentance, and recommend to [Page 11] every one Piety towards God, and Charity towards our Neighbor. There is also another thing which they ac­knowledge, that our Reformed Church both has and admi­nisters the true Baptism of Christ, and by means of that, Spiritually begets Sinners which are to be Heirs of the King­dom of Heaven; seeing that by their own Confession, our Children dying after Baptism receiv'd in our Churches, ascend to Joys Celestial, as may be collected from Bellarmin, lib. 1. de Bapt. cap. 11.

In the mean time, I beseech you, Venerable Sir, can you tell me what Motives they were that lead you head­long into so absurd a Precipice? Or what, I beseech you, were the Impulsive Causes and Pregnant Reasons of so pre­posterous and unseasonable a Damning of our Souls?

If you are Ignorant, as I shrewdly conjecture you are, I will tell you what they are from your own Doctors, who have written variously concerning this Question, that is to say, That we are therefore to be Damn'd, and are Damn'd to all Eternity. First, Because we are guilty of Blasphemy against the Omnipotency of God, in the business of the The usual gruonds of the Papists uncharitable Judgment. Eucharist. Secondly, Because we make God the Author of Sin. Thirdly, Because we fasten Despair upon Christ, when he was upon the Cross. Fourthly, Because we are injurious to the Virgin Mary and the Saints. Fifthly, Be­cause we oppose Chastity, Sobriety, Mortification, Good Works, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and every pious Institution. And Sixthly, Because we are Heretics, or at least, Seventhly, Schismatics.

These are the Imputations which I find in Bellarmin, Becanus, Tirinus and Stapleton, all Jesuites, the great Props of your Cause, and the Pillars of this cruel Sentence. Nevertheless know, Mr. Prior, that these Accusations are no more then mere Imaginations, and feigned Dreams, which have no real Foundation; as I shall with all possible brevity demonstrate in order, both for your own and the sake of others; and if these Pretences of yours be found to be [Page 12] groundless and unreasonable, there needs no more to con­vince you of your Error, and your stragling from Truth and Charity.

First therefore we are accused, as if we would limit Di­vine 1. Of Prote­stants bound­ing God's Omnipotence Omnipotence; and that we plainly deny it, while we assert, that it is impossible for the Bread to be Transub­stantiated into the Body, or that any Body should be actually in divers places; or that Accidents should subsist without a Subject; or that there should be some Bodies allow'd of that fill no space. But far be it from us to limit the infinite Pôwer of the most Infinite, or in the least to call it in question. We are ready with our Blood to subscribe to the Apostles Creed, in the first Article whereof we profess to believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. And this we generally add for a Conclusion to our ordinary Prayers; For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for ever and ever, Mat. 6. 13. Then also our Saviour taught us, That those things are Easie and Possible with God, which seem to Men Impossible. Let him be Anathema, that calls in question the Power os the most High; who existing of himself, because, according to the common Axiom, There is nothing in God which is not God; it is impossible for him to be limited or bounded. And this Infinity we could as certainly believe in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in reference to the destruction of the Bread, and substituting the Body of Christ in the room of it, as it is certain and perspicuous from the Word of God, that our Bodies should rise at the Day of Judgment; our Faith would be dire­cted by the Cynosure of Divine Will; nor can we doubt but that God both could and would have done it, had he so decreed the thing to be done, as profitable and necessary for our Salvation. But as to this, we find, First, That those Sacred Mysteries which are distributed to us from the Table of the Lord, are and remain both in Substance and Name what they were, as to the Substance, before the Consecra­tion. Nor need we to produce the Testimony of Senses for [Page 13] it; our Seeing, Tasting, Feeling, Smelling, which accord­ing to the Opinion of certain Philosophers, are rarely de­ceiv'd about their proper Objects; the Authority of St. Paul is sufficient, and beyond all Objection; 1 Cor. 10. 16. The Cup of Blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? The Bread which we break, is it not the Com­munion of the Body of Christ? And then again, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Let a man examin himself, and so let him eat of this Bread, and drink of this Cup. Secondly, We find that the eating of his Flesh, and the drinking his Blood, is recommended to us by Christ, Joh. 6. But there, there is nothing spoken of Oral feeding, by which the Body of Christ is actually swallowed into our Bodies; but he speaks of Spiritual and Mystic Eating, by which he remains in us, and we in him; which does not come to pass by Chewing, but by Believing; not in swallowing down into the Stomach, but by receiving him with the Heart & with Faith, as Christ in the same place clearly and frequently explains himself; as when he says, ver. 35. He that cometh to me, shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me, shall never thirst. And thus all Antiquity has expounded this Context of St. John. And several Te­stimonies might be produc'd of St. Austin alone, among all the rest of the Fathers, to the same purpose; whose follow­ing words were taken out of his Commentaries upon St. John by Gratian. Distinct. 2. Consil. Can. 47. Why dost thou make ready thy Teeth and Belly? believe, and thou hast eaten: For to believe in him, is the same as to eat the living Bread; who believes in him, eats him, is invisibly fed, because he invisibly grows again. Now that we ought to understand the words of Christ in this place of Mystical and Spiritual Feeding, the constant Rule propos'd by the same Father, constrains us, l. 3. de Doctrin. Christ. c. 16. If the Scripture (saith he) seems to command an unlawful and wicked act, and to forbid a profitable and good deed, then it is Figurative. Ʋnless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, you shall not have Life within you. Here it seems to command a wicked Act. There­fore [Page 14] it is a Figure, commanding its to communicate the Passion of our Saviour, and to remember profitably and sweetly that his Flesh was crucified and wounded for our sakes. But I abstain for the nonce from farther Explication of this Matter, unless occa­sion shall be given of vindicating this Epistle by a Reply.

In the mean time, the sole Omnipotency of God is usually oppos'd to so many effectual Arguments, by which we are constrained to assent to the Opinion of the Antients concern­ing the Sacrament, as if God were bound to display his Power to do whatever Men fancy to themselves; or that we must be said to Blaspheme his Omnipotence, because we do not consent to their Dreams and Miracles; whereas if those new and unprofitable Opinions were approv'd by the assent of the Divine Will, we should never meddle to contra­dict this Argument taken from God's Omnipotency. But since there is nothing that can be produc'd in their favour out of the Testament of God; but on the contrary, so many De­monstrations fighting against them, we dare pesume to descend to the Examination of this Argument; Not to limit the Omnipotence of God, but to shew that those things that you Romanists would defend by virtue of that, are of the number of those things which fall not under the Power of God, not through Impotency or want of Strength, but through the Excellency and Perfection of his Power. For tho' God be Omnipotent, yet he can neither Walk, nor Sleep, nor Die; for that these things would contradict the Perfection of his Eslence. In this sense, the Scripture testifies that God cannot lye, nor deny himself. Hence it comes to pass, that tho' the Divine Power extends it self to Infinity, yet is it agreed among all Christians, that God cannot do those things which imply Contradiction, because he cannot lye nor deny himself. To this Truth your Bellarmin gives his Assent, lib. 3. de Euch. and all your Doctors subscribe to his Opinion. And upon this Ground we dispute with you, alledging, I. That it is impossible that Accidents should exist without any Subject; in regard it is Essential to all [Page 15] Accidents to inhere in their Subjects. Insomuch, that by virtue of that inherence it is, that an Accident is distinguish'd from Substance. Nor can any Accident be fancy'd without some Subject to which it may adhere, and by which it may be supported; but that some such Accident must be fan­cy'd which is no longer an Accident, which implies a Con­tradiction. II. It is impossible that the Body of Christ sholud be in infinite places remotely distant one from another, in Earth, tho' he do not descend from Heaven, whether never­theless he ascended after his Resurrection; as it could not then have bin that he should have bin in Heaven, unless he had locally and visibly ascended thither from the Earth. III. It cannot be that any Body should be any where actually and properly, but that it must be in the same place corpo­really and locally; because the manner of being somewhere, must correspond with the manner of being simply, which is the proper manner of the thing in dispute: And as a Spirit cannot be any where actually present, unless definitely and spiritually; so neither can a Body be any where actually pre­sent, but corporeally and circumscrib'dly; for if it were actually in any place where it were not corporeally, then it would cease to be a Body. IV. It cannot be that the Body of Christ should at the same moment of time, be visible, pal­pable and circumscrib'd in Heaven, and in infinite places of the Earth, after another manner invisible, impalpable, un­circumscrib'd, without Extension, and Latent under a Point. V. It is impossible that any singular or individual Thing should be multiply'd in infinite places, and yet the Singu­larity and Individuality remain entire, without having its Unity destroy'd by that multiplication. VI. It is impossible that the Thing contain'd, should be greater then the Thing containing: And that the Body of Christ should lye hid un­der a small Morsel of Bread, or be streightned within the Bowels of a Mouse, in the same stature as he had when he was upon the Cross. These and such like Miracles as these, all sprouting out of the Opinion of Transubstantiation, we op­pose [Page 16] as Impossibilities; not that God wants Power, but because these things imply a Contradiction. And therefore we cannot be accused of any Blasphemy against Divine Om­nipotency.

About Three hundred years ago flourish'd Durandus. de Apud Bellarm. de Euchar. l. 3. c. 5. Sancto Portiano, Bishop of Meaux, of the Dominican Order, of great repute among the Scholastics, and one that Rome never yet declar'd a Heretic. He affirms Contradictory Penetration of Dimensions to be impossible, by means of which two Bodies shall be able to possess one and the same place; and argues against whatever has bin produc'd to the contrary, tho' taken from the Nativity of Christ, his Ent [...]ance among the Disciples, the Doors being shut, and his Ascent into Heaven; affirming, That it is much more just and ra­tional to say, that the Creature gave way to the Creator; so that the Heavens if they were solid, parted asunder, to give free passage to their Lord; and that the Doors of the House where the Disciples met, miraculously open'd before him, that so he might more easily come to them; and that the Womb of the Virgin was divinely dilated to facilitate his Nativity; then that they should oblige the Creator to pe­netrate other Bodies, and so to receive a Law from their Na­ture, rather then to give it Them. All which Expositions of Durandus may be defended and maintain'd out of the Word of God, Psal. 14. 7, 9. The Gates of Heaven are commanded to lift up their Heads, that is, to fly open to Christ ready to ascend into Heaven, then under the name of the King of Glory entring in.

Joh. 20. 26. It is not said that Christ came to his Disci­ples through the Doors shut, but at what time the Doors were shut, [...]. Now suppose they might be open'd to him by the Ministry of Angels, , as the Prison-Doors flew open to Peter, Act. 12. 10. And as Mat. 28. 2. the Angel descended from Heaven which remov'd the Stone laid upon the Sepulchre. Luke 2. 23. relates, That the Bles­sed Virgin brought her Offering to Jerusalem, and that there [Page 17] Christ stood before the Lord; As it is written in the Law of the Lord, That every Male opening the Womb, shall be called holy to the Lord. By which Law the Holy Virgin had not bin oblig'd, unless Christ at his Birth had open'd her Womb: Neither is it any Obstacle to her perpetual Virginity, in re­gard she never knew Man; and for that this Gate through which the Lord of Hosts past, according to the saying of Ezekiel, c. 44. 2. remain'd from that time always constantly shut. Now if the Crime of Blasphemy were never imputed to Durandus, nor any of his Followers, for these seeming attacks upon Divine Omnipotency, why are we reproach'd as Enemies of the same Omnipotency, for only averring the same things? Thomas Aquinas, listed among the number of the Saints, vulgarly call'd the Angelical Doctor, and to whom they feign that the Statue of a Crucifix should speak these words at Naples; Thou hast written well concerning me, what Reward dos̄t thou expect? This Aquinas, Part 3. Quest. 76. almost quite through the whole Question, affirms it impos­sible and contradictory for the same Body to be locally and circumscrib'dly in two several places; and alledges, That the Glorious Body it self of our Saviour, cannot be locally, vi­sibly and circumscrib'dly but in one only place; That in this manner now he is not in any other place then in Heaven; That he never is moveable and visible in the Eucharist, or after any other manner then only Sacramentally. And where­as it has bin said, that he has bin seen in this most August Sacrament, under the Form of a Boy, or of Flesh, or of Blood; That it was neither the Body nor the Substance of Christ. Now if Thomas could not persuade himself, that it was pos­sible for the Body of Christ to be locally in two different places, with whom Vasques the Jesuite, and all the rest at this Time agree; and which is more, if he did not believe that that which was sometimes said to be seen in the Eucha­rist, was the Body and Substance of Christ, or prov'd the local Presence of his Body in the Sacrament; must we be call'd Blasphemers who are of the same Belief, and conse­quently [Page 18] assert, that the same Body cannot be actually present in two different places, in regard the actual Presence of any Body of necessity must be Corporeal, Local and Circum­scrib'd? 'Tis true, I acknowledg a certain Sacramental Pre­sence in the Eucharist, but different from that which Tho­mas has invented; not Physical and Real, but Moral and Significative, which is agreeable to the Being and Nature of the Sacrament; as also Super-physical and Real through Faith, in Vertue and Operation; which does not require a Physical and Real Presence in the Substance either of the Person or of the Thing, Joh. 8. 56. 1 Cor. 10. 3, 4.

As we are undeservedly accus'd of Blasphemy against the Omnipotency, so are the Accusations that follow meer Ca­lumnies invented to inflame a hatred against us; yet the main Pillars to support the most learned Mr. Prior's Damnation of our Souls. It is a Capital Crime This, and highly deserving to Whether Pro­testants teach that God is the Author of Sin. be immediately rank'd next to the former. For in the next place you assert, Mr. Prior, that we teach, That God is the Author of Sin; whence you infer that the Devil is our God, and that the Reformed go about to recal from Orcus the long since buried Heresies of the Florinians and Manichaeans. Nay, the Calumny was carried so high, that Becanus the Jesuite, in his Manual Controv. propounds this Question; Whether God be the Author of Sin? as one of those which are controverted at this day between You and Us. And tho' we deny'd it, and complain'd of the Injury done us, wishing Anathema's to all that teach, That God is the Author of Sin, yet the Imputation continues, and our Adversaries would fain persuade us that we believe otherwise then really we do. As Mercurie in Plautus would have persuaded Sosias that he was not the same Person he took himself to be. However, do but turn over the Confessions of Faith, the Forms of Consent, the Public Catechisms of our Church, and try whether you can find in them any thing that [...]avours in the least of that Impiety. Come to our holy Assemblies, vouchsafe to hear our Sermons, and try whether you can [Page 19] find any such thing there; nay, whether we do not openly and professedly teach the contrary, as often as occasion of­fers. So far are our Churches from this Blasphemy, that they expresly and in formal Terms reject this Proposition, That God is the Author of Sin, Confess. Gal. Art. 8. & Belg. Art. 13. They who lay this to our Charge, acknowledg that it is Affirm'd by none of us; only by certain Conse­quences they would Wire-draw it from some Sentences of our Doctors; acknowledging nevertheless, that Zuinglius, Mar­tyr, Calvin and Beza, whom you have charged as guilty of this Crime, expresly and in formal Terms have condemn'd that impious Axiom in their Writings; and whose Testi­monies also your Doctors produce, as is to be seen in Bellar­min de amiss. grat. l. 2. c. 2. and in Becanus after him, l. 3. Manual. Cont. l. 3. c. 5. quaest 6. §. 4. Nay, Calvin himself, against whom nevertheless you have the greatest Peek, is acknowledg'd by your Doctors, to have most effectually confuted the same Impiety against the Libertines that up­held it.

Truly since the Romanists at this day will not allow that to be an Axiom of Faith, which is not to be found literally in Scripture, but is only deduc'd from a certain kind of Consequence, That which is not cannot be, that they should justly attribute to some of ours this Assertion, That God is the Author of Sin; because it seems to be consequentially deduc'd from some of their Sayings, seeing it is not only any where expresly Extant in any of their Writings, but is also expresly in plain words refuted and rejected by the same Authors. So that if every one ought to be the Interpreter of his own words, we are rather to believe our own Authors as to their Sense, then their Adversaries; who do not condemn them for what they have said, but with envious Eyes industriously search and prie into their Writings to find out Flaws and Pretences of rejecting and condemning them.

Ours therefore are desirous to maintain that all the Works of God were known to him from Eternity, Act. 15. 18. that [Page 20] nothing lyes conceal'd from him, and that nothing hap­pens in the World without some secret Dispen sation of his. That he is not what Epicurus dream'd him to be, a slothful Spectator of those things which are trans­acted in the World; but that his Eternal Providence sits at the Helm, and that he steers and governs the Ship as he pleases himself. In him we have our Being, live and move, as St. Paul teaches us, Act. 17. 28. Also that our Sins and Transgressions of his Law are subjected to the Govern­ment of his most secret Counsels; as Poysons may be whol­somly and profitably administred by a prudent Physitian; and as the Sun-beams diffuse themselves over Mud, and penetrate rotten Carkasses, without being defiled. That God often punishes Sins by Sins; and that not only the Hearts of Kings are in his hands, as Solomon tells us, Prov. 21. 1. but universally of all Mankind, like a stream of Waters, so that he may incline them which way he pleases. Lastly, after a wonderful and most ineffable manner, as St. Austin speaks, Enchirid. c. 120. That what is done contrary to his Will, is not always done without his Will; because it could not be done, if he did not permit it; neither does he permit against his Will, but voluntarily. As he is Good, he would not permit Evils to be done; unless as he is Omnipotent, he could bring Good out of Evil. Now tho' some of ours, desirous to explain themselves concerning these most constant and perpetual Truths, have made use of some Expressions somewhat harsh, they are not therefore presently to be condemn'd; much less are others to fasten upon them whatever may be squeez'd from their Sayings by certain violent and malitious Consequences.

But what Sayings of our Divines will you Romanists pro­duce, to give credit to your Calumnies, the like to which I will not shew you in Scripture? Joseph, Gen 20. 50. said to his Brethren, That the same evil which they had contriv'd against him, God had contriv'd for the best, to the preservation of a mighty People; that is to say, Divine Providence con­curring with their Theft, and making use of it to a wholsom [Page 21] end. The Lord himself testifies, Exod. 10. 1. That he ex­asperated and harden'd the heart of Pharaoh and his Servants, tho' Moses had wrought all his Miracles in the midst of them. By Nathan, 2 Sam. 12. 11, 12. he declar'd to David, That he would stir up evil against him out of his own house, and that he would cause his Wives to be ravished before his face, and de­liver them to his Servants, who should lye with them in the open Sun; adding also these words, Thou didst this secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the Sun. Such like Expressions are to be met with, Isai. 6. 10. and 63. 17. Act. 4. 27. Rom. 1. 24. And would I be prolix, I could de­monstrate, that there has been nothing said by Ours in this Matter, but that much harsher has fallen from the Pens of the most learned Men in your Church; nay, what whole Societies maintain at this day in the very Bosom of it. Let one serve for all; that is to say Bellarmin, who, l. 2. de amiss. Grat. c. 13. thus goes on; God does not only permit the Wicked to commit many Evils, neither does he only forsake the Godly, that they may be constrain'd to suffer what ever injuries the Wicked shall offer them; but also he presides over those evil and malicious Wills, rules and governs them, twists and bends them by working in them invisibly; so that altho' they be evil out of their own vitious Inclinations, yet they are dispos'd by Divine Providence more to one sort of Mischief then another.

III. As it cannot be without extreme Injury said of us, That we make God the Author of Sin; so it is no less maliciously fixed upon us, in your Church, to the end you may have a Pretence the more freely to condemn us, that we maintain, That Christ despair'd upon the Cross, and that the grievous Concerning Christ's De­spair on the Cross. Torments which he felt in his Body, would have little availd, unless he had also suffer'd in his Soul the Pangs and Tor­ments of the Damn'd. But look upon the Tenth Section of the Gallican Catechism, where the contrary is expresly asser­ted; that is to say, that Christ still hop'd in God in the midst of all his Agonies, even then when he cry'd out in the depth of all his Woes, My God, My God, why hast thou [Page 22] forsaken me? As i [...] his Father had bin in wrath with him, and had deserted him. It behov'd Christ, to the end he might free the Souls together with the Bodies, to suffer the Punishment of our Sins, as well in his Soul as in his Body. The most Learned among you in this Point, are of the same Opinion with us. Cardinal Cusanus, Exercit. Spirit. l. 10. ex Serm. Qui per Spiritum, has utter'd those things upon this Subject, without any Censure of your Church, which would have been adjug'd Blasphemous and Impious in the Reformed, had they dropt from their Pens. The Passion of Christ (says he) then which none could be greater, was like that of the Damn'd, that cannot be more damn'd; that is to say, even to the Torments of Hell. In his behalf says the Prophet David, The pains of Hell compass'd me about, never­theless thou hast brought my Soul out of Hell. But he is the only Person who through such a Death enter'd into that Glory. That same Pain of Sense conformable to the Pains of Hell, he was certainly resolv'd to suffer, to the Glory of God the Father; that he might shew, that he was to Obey him to the extremity of Punishment. For this is to glorisie God by all possible manner of means. And thus our Justification comes solely from Christ. For we Sinners in Him discharge the debt of Infernal Torments which we justly deserve, that so we may attain to the Resur­rection of Life. Suarez also, of the same Order, in 3 Thom. Quaest. 52. Art. 4. Disput. 43. Sect 1. relates out of Medina, That some Catholics believ'd, that Christ suffer'd outwardly some Pains of the Damned in Hell, yet not in the same man­ner as the Damned suffer; that is to say, against their Wills, or with Disorder and Confusion, but out of extraordinary Cha­rity. What more have ever any of Ours said, not to offend Christ, but out of a desire to seek the Fountain of Sweet­ness in the Bitterness of his Woes; the Harvest of Joy in his Sadness, Security of Heart in his Horrors, and the [...]eby to acknowledge his Victory the more Illustrious, by how much the Combat was more Terrible which he undertook; and the Triumph the more Glorious, by how much the [Page 23] more Dreadful the Labors were that he sustain'd? But from the Pens of which of Ours dropt any thing like that, which John Ferus both taught and wrote upon this Sub­ject? By Birth a Teutonic (says Sixtus Senensis, a Dominican Biblioth. l. 4.) of the Order of Minors, Preacher in the Chief Church at Mentz, a Person highly learned in Theology, endu'd with a singular Eloquence, whose Equal in the duty of Evange­lical Preaching the Catholic German Churches at this time have not to shew, because he wrote in a more free and polite stile Pious and Learned Meditations, according to the Catholic Doctrin. This Man therefore upon Mat. 27. discoursing of Christ's Exclamation upon the Cross, has these Expres­sions; Christ at this hour put off God, not by Exposing himself, but by not Feeling; he set aside the Father, that he might act the Man. Thus God the Father now does not act the part of a Father, but of a Tyrant, tho' in the mean time he had a most tender Affection for Christ. And in another place; Christ, that he might set Sinners free, put himself in the place of all Sinners; not Stealing, nor committing Adultery, nor Mur­ther, &c. but translating to himself the Wages, Punishment and Deserts of Sinners, which are Cold, Heat, Hunger, Thirst, Dread of Death, Dread of Hell, Despair, Death, and Hell it self; that he might overcome Hunger by Hunger, Fear by Fear, Horror by Horror, Despair by Despair, Death by Death, Hell by Hell, and in a word, Satan by Sitan. Go then, Reve­rend Mr. Prior, and bring me any Reformed Doctor that ever talk'd at this rate, which nevertheless in Ferus the Monk never any of your Party censur'd for Blasphemy.

IV. These more grievous Calumnies being thus wip'd off, the rest that remain behind are too slight for me to spend much time in refuting them. The most of your Party cry out, That we deserve to be damn'd, because we are Of Protestants being Ene­mies to the Blhssed Vir­gin and Saints Enemies to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, as also to Mortification, &c. Are we to be traduc'd as Enemies to the Blessed Virgin, who understand that we cannot be so, but we must cease to be Christians, who believe her now [Page 24] in Heaven, enjoying Celestial Glory near her Son? Who know that on Earth she was the truly happy and blessed Mother of our Lord and Savior? Are we to be accounted the Saints Enemies, who boast of their Communion in our Creed, and by the Imitation of their Examples, as much as in us lyes, labour up the same Hill to the same Reward? But you will say, That we Reformed do not adore the Blessed Virgin, nor the Shrines of the Saints, &c. I An­swer, That we abstain from that sort of Worship, not out of hatred or contempt of the Blessed Virgin, but lest we should offend them, by paying to them that Religious Wor­ship which is only due to God. The Faithful in the Old Testament, never gave these Honors to the Prophets and Patriarchs deceas'd, and yet they were never accounted their Adversaries. For four hundred years together there was no such Adoration us'd in the Primitive Church. And Antiquity anathematiz'd the Collyridians leaning that way, and saluting the Holy Virgin by the Title of Queen of Heaven, as we find in Epiphanius, Haeres. 79. cont. Collyrid. The Body of Mary was really Holy, but no God. She was really a Virgin, and an honourable Virgin; but not intended for our Adoration, in regard that she ador'd him that was begot of her Flesh. And moreover by the Example of the Angel refusing Adoration and Worship from John, he proves, That much less the Virgin Mary either desires or ought to be Worship'd. But what he said particularly of the Virgin, that did St. Austin affirm at the same time concerning all the Saints; that is to say, That they are to be Honour'd in respect of Imi­tation, not to be Worship'd in respect of Religion; l. de vera Relig. c. ult.

V. Neither can they find any thing in us, that is repug­nant Of Protestants being Ene­mies to Cha­stity, Sobrie­ty, &c. to Chastity, Sobriety, Mortification of the Flesh, and Study of Good Works. For to all these things we Pastors frequently and seriously in our Pulpits exhort our Flocks. Nor by the Grace of God do we so live, that we should be thought to have proclaim'd open War to all [Page 25] Vertue and Godliness. For our not allowing that Law of Celibacy, so burthenson to the Clergy, is no hatred of Chastity, when Celibacy it self is that which has turn'd away so many, and still hurries multitudes from the true Paths of Chastity. Insomuch as Pius II, as Platina relates in his Life, was wont to say, That Wedlock was deny'd the Priests upon good Grounds, but that for better Reasons it ought to be restor'd them.

We are not averse to Sobriety and Fasting, because we reject those superstitious Observations; upon the Prescribing of which the same thing is said to us, as formerly they us'd to say, against whom the Apostle writes, Col. 2. 21. Eat not, taste not, touch not; and to which, upon the score of our Consciences, we cannot submit. Not that we are so addicted to luxurious Lives, or so studious to indulge our Appetites; but because they put a Bridle upon our Consciences, con­trary to the Liberty purchas'd us in Christ; and consti­tute the Essence of Fasting, not in humbling the Mind before God, and Veneration of his Deity; but in the nice Choice of some sorts of Meats, and Rejecting others; and because they affirm, that by such bodily Exercises, and such kind of Diet, our Sins may be Expiated, and that Men thereby merit Eternal Life. We do not hate the Mortifi­cation of the Old Man, while we reject the publick Whippings and affected Macerations of those who had rather exercise Cruelty upon Nature, then correct the Corruption of it, and who seem to bear a hatred to their own Flesh, contrary to that of the Apostle, Eph. 5. 29. Whereas they ought rather to submit the Affecti­ons of their Hearts to the Will of God. For if it were so much a Duty to Chastize and Enslave your outward and visible Bodies, the Baalites, Brachmans, Priests of the Syrian Goddess, the Mahometan Monks, and those Whipsters which about Two hundred years ago the Roman Church numbred in the List of Heretics, have outdone and still outdo you in those Rigorous Exercises. But the Body which [Page 26] thou art to subdue, is the Body of Sin; and the Members to be extirpated, are the Vices of it, as the Apostle says, Col. 3. 5. Mortifie your Members which are upon earth; Forni­cation, Ʋncleanness, inordinate Affection, evil Concupiscence, and Covetousness, which is Idolatry. Lastly; it is no hating of Good Works, to pronounce them necessary for Salva­tion; yet so, that they may but only be the way to the Kingdom, and not the Cause of Reigning; the cause of our Salvation being solely ascrib'd to the Mercy and Grace of God in Jesus Christ, and by no means to our own Merits, joyn'd with his, as if they could be Assistant to­ward so great a Benefit. But would to God, that setting aside these Controversies about the Use of Good Works, we could but give our Minds both of us to practice them with a sincere Charity; then Mr. Prior would not be so highly exorbitant in his Unchristianlike Judgment con­cerning us. Then again, how can any Hatred of the most sacred Eucharist be affixed upon the Reformed, who urge nothing so much as the entire taking of it under Both Kinds, in conformity to the Institution of Christ; and who believe concerning it, both what the Scripture holds forth, and what the Fathers of the Ancient Church deliver? But it is no hatred of this most August Sacrament, to refuse to Kneel to it, and to pay the highest degree of Veneration to it, as it is the Custom in your Roman Church. We abstain from this Adoration of the Eucharist, lest we should pay to the Creature, what is only owing to God. The Sacraments are Holy Things, which are to be lookt upon with Decency and Reverence, but not to be Ador'd. The Brazen Ser­pent among the Israelites was a sacred Thing, and as it were the permanent Sacrament of our future Redemption by the Cross of Christ; but yet the Israelites were Idola­ters, so soon as they began to Adore it and Worship it with Frankincense. We do not read that the Apostles Wor­shipt this Sacrament. Christ indeed is to be Ador'd in the Use of this Sacrament, as in every Religious Performance; [Page 27] and in that sense it is true what St. Austin says upon Psa. 98. Let no man eat his flesh, unless he have first ador'd; which words, Gloss. decret. in Can. Accesserunt & distinct. 2. of Con­secration, are interpreted of Spiritual Eating; so that he thence infers an Argument, That no Mouse can receive the Body of Christ. But the Sacrament it self cannot be the Object of our Adoration, nor can the Presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament be the Ground of it. Such is the miserable Servitude of the Soul to take Signs and Symbols for Realities; so that it cannot lift up the Eye of the Mind above the Corporeal Creature to receive Eternal Light, as St. Austin says, lib. 3. de Doctrin. Christ. c. 5. Without doubt Antiquity never knew what Adoration of the Sacrament meant; and as little known to them was that Modern Practice of car­rying it about the Streets, or of erecting to it, in the High­ways, Altars hung about with Tapestry, or of shewing it to the People at certain Hours of the Day, when the Mass is not celebrated. At that time it was distributed to the People either Sitting or Standing, generally upon the Lord's Days, when it was chiefly administred; as appears out of Justin, Apol. 2. but never Kneeling; because it was a Crime among the Primitive Christians to Kneel upon the Lord's Day, as all the Learned agree. Nor do the Romanists deny but that there is some danger of Idolatry in this Ado­ration; because that many things are requir'd in Transub­stantiation, which whether they are really so as they ought to be, is not evidently apparent to any Man. Therefore the Famous Biel, lect. 50. in Can. letter O, proposes to him­self this difficulty; Because an Error may happen in Conse­cration, by means of which the effect of the Consecration is hindred; as if the Person that Consecrates be no Priest; or because he errs in Form, or because the due Intention is want­ing; nor can he that stands by, be sure that a Transubstantiation is made; no nor the Priest that celebrates; because he is not absolutely certain whither he be a Priest or no, in regard the Intention of his Ordainer is not positively known to him; all [Page 28] which things consider'd, how can he that Adores the Sacrament, avoid the danger of Idolatry? For if he adores an unconsecrated Host, which he thinks to be consecrated, he commits Idolatry. Nor does he propound any other Remedy to escape this danger of Idolatry, then a Conditional Adoration; which whether it pleases your modern Doctors or no, I know not. These are his words, Litt. R. Resp. Secundum Alex. part. 3. quaest. 30. memb. 3. art. 1. sect. 3. and after him Bi­shop Thomas, and St. Bonaventure in 3. distinst. 9. ‘That the Host or Eucharist upon the Altar ought to be ador'd, upon condition, that all things requisite to the Consecra­tion, are so as they ought to be.’ Since then the Adoration of the Sacrament is dubious and dangerous, we of the Re­formed Church are not to be accounted Enemies of the Sacrament, because we do not adore it, following that course which is safest and voidof all danger, lest we should adore what we know not, like the Samaritans of old, John 4.

Lastly, We cannot be traduc'd for being Enemies to any profess'd legal Order, whether Political or Ecclesiastical; since it is our desire that all things should be done decently and regularly in the Church, according to the Apostolic Precept, 1 Cor. 4. 40. And for that we press nothing more urgently in the Public Government, then due Obedience to the Magistrates, ignorant of the dangerous Axioms of your Roman Church, which tear up by the Roots the Au­thority of Princes, and subject the Heads and Diadems of Kings and Emperors to the Mitre and Feet of the Pope. Nay, we are in this Point so rigid in our Duty, that Bellar­min complains, That we give too much Power to Magistrates, c. 17. de Laicis. But because we hold, That the Laws of Men do not bind the Conscience, it is not to be taken in such a sense, as if we deny'd, That Men were to be obey'd, because of our Consciences; but only as making this difference be­tween Human and Divine Laws, That the latter only bind and subject the Consciences immediately and of themselves. [Page 29] And Bellarmin, c. 9. de Laicis, confesses; John Gerson, Chan­cellor of the Academy of Paris, de vit. Spirit. Lect. 4. and Jacobus Almain, a Doctor of the Sorbonn, de Protestat. Ec­clesiae, quaest. 1. cap. 10. both Famous Men, and neither of them taxed with any Error in Faith.

We do not allow so many Rites and Ceremonies in the Church, not out of any hatred of Order and Decency, but out of a just abhorrence of Tyranny and Susperstition. The more Night comes on, the more the Darkness encreases. Multitude of Ceremonies are so far from helping, that they stifle Piety. If the Roman Pontiff press'd no more then only a certain Primacy among the Bishops of the West, for Orders sake; and that by a positive Human and not Divine Law, he might then perhaps have some Pretence to complain of us, for refusing to acknowledge such a Primacy, as Ene­mies to Order in the Church; and yet there might be a Decency observ'd therein, without any such Primacy, as is apparent from the Example of our Churches. But we are not to be accus'd of Despising Order, while we only re­ject his Authority; in regard he arrogates to himself an absolute Primacy in the Universal Church, not only of Order, but of Power, Authority and Jurisdiction; by virtue of which he pretends to be Monarch of the whole Church jure Divino, contrary to the Saying of St. Cyprian, de Simpl. prael. A Bishoprick is that, of which a part is held by several in particular to make up the whole.

Thus far we have discuss'd the more weighty and more heavy Calumnies which are cast upon the Protestants by the Romanists, on purpose to render them odious to the People, and that they may have some Pretence to deliver them up to the Flames of Hell. Now there are some other Motives of this rash Judgment to be examin'd, that there may not the least shadow of Reason remain to support it. There is no Name by which we are more frequently mark'd out, then that of Heretics; and under this Title you, Mr. Prior, Anathema­tize us, tho' not the First. For the Pope every year, in his [Page 30] Bull entitl'd, Caena Domini, brandishes his Thunder of Ex­commuication over our Heads, and Interdicts us from all Society with Roman Catholics; so that they dare not either read our Books, or hear our Sermons. Where-ever the Rigor of the Inquisition reigns, our People are hurry'd be­fore its cruel Tribunal, as to the Altars of Busiris, and the Roman Doctors presently Preach to us the Axioms of their School; ‘That Heretics and Excommunicated Persons, ipso facto, lose the Dominion and Property of their Goods and Estates; That they are incapable of all lawful Ju­risdiction; That they do more harm in a Common­wealth then Whores; nay then Jews and Turks; so that 'tis better to tolerate Brothel-houses and Synagogues then their Meetings: That for this reason the Pope has Power to deprive Kings of their Dignity; to absolve Sub­jects from their Oaths of Fidelity given to the Magistrates: That a Husband may forsake his Wife upon this account, if she presume to bring up the Children, common to both, in Heresie, altho' the Husband had condescended and engaged his Promise upon the Contract of Marriage. Lastly, That Faith given to Heretics, may be violated without any remorse of Conscience.’

However I maintain this Crime of Heresie to be unjustly, and out of meer Calumny fixed upon Us, the word being Whether Pro­testants be He­retics. taken in that Sense, wherein the Scripture condemns He­resie; as when St. Paul reck'ns it among the Fruits of the Flesh, Gal. 5. 20. and commands Titus to reject a Heretic, Tit. 3. 10. I say Protestants are no Heretics in that sense wherein Heresie is condemn'd in Scripture. Certain it is, that the Signification of this word is in general more dif­fus'd among the Antients, and in particular more largely us'd among the Romanists, and that among both they are frequently tax'd of Heresie, who according to the Scripture are very remote from it. First in general among the An­tients: For Philastrius Bishop of Brescia, Contemporary with St. Ambrose, reck'ns for Heresie the Opinion of those [Page 31] that attributed the Epistle to the Hebrews, to Clement or Barnabas; also the Opinion of them that affirm'd the Stars to be fix'd in their Celestial Globes. Whether or no were the Quartodecimans justly deem'd Heretics, because they would have Easter to be precisely celebrated upon the Four­teenth Moon? For this was the Opinion of all the Churches of Asia the less, and which Polycrates, a holy Man, stifly maintains from Apostolical Tradition. And when Victor Bishop of Rome, presum'd, about Two hundred years after Christ, for that reason to Excommunicate the Asiatic Churches; that is to say, to renounce Communion with them; Irenaeus of Lyons sharply reprov'd him, as the Epistles of Polycrates and Irenaeus extant about this Matter in Eu­sebius, declare, Hist. Eccles. l. 5. c. 23. & 24. Was Aetius deservedly numbred among the Heretics, because he ac­knowledg'd no difference, jure Divino, between a Bishop and a Presbyter? For it is not evident that the Scripture acknowledges any such difference; and that St. Jerom upon cap. 2. of the Epistle to Titus, was plainly of the same Opinion; nay, and according to Medina in Bellarmin, That St. Ambrose, St. Austin, Sedulius, Primasius, and other the most Famous Fathers of the Church, were all of the same Judgment.

Then again, without question, Rome does no way ap­prove the Ancients for numbring the Angelics among the Heretics, because they gave Religious Worship to Angels, which she herself defends; or those who by St. Austin are call'd Nudipedales, or Pattalorynchites; against the former of which it is objected, That they went Bare-foot, seeing that at this day this is one of the greatest Marks of ex­traordinary Sanctity among you Romanists. The other are tax'd to have profess'd a certain sort of Religious Silence, which the Carthusian Monks however make no small part of their Glory. Or the Collyridians of Epiphanius, Heres. 79. who offer'd to the Blessed Virgin little Cakes or Wiggs, in Greek call'd [...], and gave her the Title of Queen of [Page 32] Heaven: Which they that now refuse to do, are all ac­counted Heretics. Or the Starolatrae of Nicephorus, Hist. l. 18. c. 54. who, as the Name imports, worshipt the Cross; which most of you assert is a Duty to be done; Gretser the Jesuite affirming, who in that, follows Thomas, Cajetan, Valentia and Vasquez, that it is the more common Opinion among those of his Religion, l. 1. de Cruce, c. 49.

More paricularly among the Modern Romanists under Gre­gory VII. The Collation of Benefices by Princes, and by Caesar, was call'd the Simonian and Henrician Heresie. And as often as in Matters meerly Political any difference hap­pen'd betwen the Kings and Emperors and the Bishops of Rome, they declar'd them Heretics. Thus Boniface VIII, declar'd Philip the Fair, King of France, a Heretic, because he sent none of his Soldiers to the Holy War. Thus John Albret, King of Navar, was declar'd a Heretic by Julius II, because he took part with Lewis XII, tho' the Quarrel was not about Matter of Faith; and by virtue of that Condem­nation he lost his Kingdom, which the Spaniard has kept ever since. John XXII, pronounced Lewis of Bavaria, the Emperor, a Heretic, because he defended the Cause of the Franciscans, at that time out of the Pope's Favour; but more particularly that of Ockam. I forbear to mention any more.

We must therefore restrain the Signification of this word, and a little more diligently examin who is properly a Here­tic, to the end we may the more easily prove the Protestants not to be guilty of this Crime. ‘An Heretic (in my Opi­nion) is one who for the sake of Temporal Profit, but chiefly of Honor and Supremacy, or of Lordship, either founds or follows False and New Opinions.’ Thus St. Au­stin, de utilitate ad cred. Honor. c. 1. Now in this sense we are not Heretics: For tho' the Opinions were False which we up­hold, yet we could not be said to follow them for the sake of any Temporal Profit, more especially of Honor or Supre­macy, but only for the obtaining of Salvation, and upon [Page 33] the only Motive of our Consciences; in regard it is plain to all the World, that God has annexed to our Profession Reproach, the Cross and Poverty; and that the Protestants often experience the Truth of that Sentence of St. Paul, All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer Persecution, 2 Tim. 3. 12. Let Cardinal Bellarmin come in for a share too. Why? Because he has lit upon a most powerful means for me to demonstrate to Mr. Prior, That We are no HERETICS. He therefore, c. 8. de not. Eccles. go­ing about to prove, that there is no Church among the Greeks, notwithstanding the continued Succession of their Bishops from the Apostles time; at least from the Reign of Constantine the Great, under whom he believes the Constan­tinopolitan Church began, says, ‘That the Greeks were lawfully convicted in three full Councils, the Lateran, that of Lyons, and the other of Florence, of Heresie and Schism, more especially of the Heresie about the Proceeding of the Holy Ghost from the Son.’ This Question about the Proceeding of the Holy Ghost, I do not pretend to enter into; nor do I see any great difference between the Latins, affirm­ing the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son; and the Greeks, alledging that He proceeds from the Father through the Son. This is that which I think worthy Ob­servation, That after all the Tridentin Decisions, whereby the greatest part of the Opinions of our Churches were condem'd for Heresies, Bellarmin attributes no other Heresie to the Greeks, besides that of the Proceeding of the Holy Ghost. Whence it follows, that among the Greeks, the Marriage of Priests, Communicating under Both Kinds, and with Leavened Bread; the Rejecting Extreme Unction, Auricular Confession, Transubstantiation, Purgatory, and Pontifical Monarchy, were no Heresies; in all which the Orientals agree with us▪ Now if these Articles of the Greeks had bin Heretical, how comes it to pass that the Lateran, Lyons and Florentine Councils, which enquir'd into their Errors, past them by? But if they were not Heretical [Page 34] among the Greeks in the East, why should they be so among the Protestants in the West? If among the Greeks it be no Heresie, but only a Schism to reject the Papal Authority, and to shake off his Yoke, why must it be a pernicious and capital Heresie among the Protestants? Neither is it to be doubted, but that if the Greeks would have subjected them­selves in the Lateran Council to the See of Rome, all the above­mentioned Articles, except the denial of the Pope's Supre­macy, had been allow'd them. Whence it is apparent that those Articles are neither Heretical nor pernicious in Faith, nor destructive of Salvation; since it was possible that the Greeks retaining them, might nevertheless have bin true Members of the Catholic Church, and consequently capable of Eternal Life.

But that no Man may think I am overcuriously romaging for my Justification in the Thesis's of my Adversaries, that I may slip out at length at some Back-door, I shall add some direct Reasons for our Innocency, which cannot be Answer'd.

First therefore, no Man can be traduc'd as a Heretic, and branded with an Infamous Crime, unless it be suffi­ciently apparent, that He, as the Scripture says, has re­ceded from the Holy Command of God, and suffer'd Ship­wrack of his Faith. For as St. Austin says, de unit. Eccles. c. 5. ‘No Man is to be branded with an ignominious Mark, unless it be first prov'd by most manifest Proofs, that the Mark belongs to Him.’ And therefore formerly Councils were assembled, as well Provincial as General, for the Con­viction of Heretics; wherein it was lawful for the Of­fenders to defend themselves, and the Cause was seriously examin'd by the Rule of Faith, and the Documents of Sacred Scripture. Neither did Passion prevail among Them, but Truth and the Fear of God. But in respect of the Pro­testants, no such thing was ever observ'd; for against them they began preposterously with Execution. The first Arguments of their Adversaries, were Halters, Fire and [Page 35] Sword, according to the Dystich affixed to the Bed of Charles V, at the Augustan Dyet, in the Year 1530.

Ʋtere jure tuo, Caesar, servosque Lutheri
Ense, Rota, Ponto, Funibus, Igne neca.
Caesar, use thy own Power, and Luther's fry
With Halters, Swords, Wheels, Fire and Sea destroy.

Whence it came to pass, that after a thousand sorts of Executions, and numberless Martyrs consum'd by violent Deaths; at length a Council was assembled, but packt, and consisting of none but the Capital Enemies of the Pro­testants; not to hear them calmly and mildly, nor to discuss their Cause with Charity and Meekness, but to brandish and rattle o'er their Heads the Thunder os Anathema's. Neither were they ever admitted or heard in this Council, I mean that of Trent; the History of which, if read, is sufficient to display the Justice of it. Nay, Rome it self was asham'd of this Council; for she only publish'd the Canons and Decrees, but diligently suppress'd the Acts; which nevertheless were afterwards, through the singular Providence of God, brought to lightby Paul Sarpio, a Vene­tian, of the Order of the Servites, under the Name of Pietro Soave Polano, to the great astonishment and detesta­tion of all Men, whose Judgments were more sound and impartial.

In the Second place, there is no Heresie, where there is no stubborn Obstinacy, nor wilful persisting in the Error. This St. Austin teacheth us, Epist. 162. ‘They who de­fend not their Opinion with any stubborn Animosity, tho' false and perverse, more especially if not brought forth by the boldness of their own Presumption, but having receiv'd it from their Parents, either seduc'd or fall'n into Error, seek after the Truth with industrious Care, ready to be corrected when they have found it, are [Page 36] not to be numbred among Heretics.’ Now the Reform'd are far from any such Stubbornness; nothing retains them in their Religion, except the force of Conscience through the evidence of Truth. We daily offer those who accuse us of Heresie, to forsake the Error, if we are in any, so they shew it to us with the Light of Truth. For with that only Daughter of Heaven we are enamor'd e'en to death, who alone can recover and assert our freedom. If we discover any extraordinary Zeal and Fervor (I wish it were more fervent) in our Profession, that is not to be imputed to any Spirit of Contradiction, but to that most firm Persuasion of our Hearts, through the Celestial Illu­mination of the Divine Word, that we are in the way of Truth. But yet a little farther.

Thirdly, As a Cat has an enmity against a Bat, and will Whether Pro­testants be Sehismatics. eat it, either because she takes it for a Mouse, or a Bird; so you Romanists prosecute us Protestants with an impla­cable Hatred, and damn us to the Flames of Hell, either as Heretics, or, if that Pretence fail, as Schismatics. For they who deal most gently by us, can afford us no better then to lay to our Charge the Crime of Schism, the Rend­ing of the seamless Garment of Christ, the Viper's Skin, and the breach of the Churches Unity. But as far as we are from Heresie, so far likewise are we from Schism; and of this Crime it will be as easie to clear our selves as of the former.

First therefore, tho' the first Authors of the Reformation had overhastily deserted the Roman Communion; which cannot be said, in regard that they try'd all ways to pre­serve themselves in it, with safety to their Consciences; nevertheless they who were born after the Schism, and prefer the Protestant Communion before the Roman, be­cause they find Satisfaction of Conscience in it, which they have no prospect of in the other Communion, cannot be accus'd of Schism, nor can be censur'd to have lost the hopes of Salvation, because they persevere in the Protestant [Page 37] Communion. This perhaps, Mr. Prior, you look upon as a Paradox, and yet it may be prov'd without any great difficulty. Certain it is, that formerly, under Jeroboam, ten entire Tribes, a Schism happening, deserted the Com­munion of the Church and Temple of Jerusalem, of which God had said, My Name shall abide there; and having made choice of Dan and Bethel for the places of Public Worship, joyn'd Idolatry to their Schism. For the Calves at Dan and Bethel, under which they ador'd God, were most assuredly Idols. Nevertheless it is a Question whether the Posterity of these Schismatics, born in the time of the Schism it self, and as it were carry'd away with the Torrent of it, are to be excluded from Salvation; so that they abstain'd from the Worship of Idols at that time. The reason of the Doubt seems very great; for that God, long after the Schism, still acknowledg'd the Ten Tribes for his People; sent his Prophets to them, and entrusted them with his Extraordinary Oracles. If then it cannot be said of these Ten Tribes, so notoriously Schismatical, that there was nothing remaining of the Covenant of God, and Light of Nature for them, who were as it were swept away with the Torrent of Schism; much less are the Modern Prote­stants to be excluded from Salvation, and formally to be accounted Heretics, tho' it should be granted, that the first Authors of the Schism did sin against the Rules of Charity, and overhastily broke the Bond of Unity, espe­cially seeing that the Divine Worship under the New Testament is not fixed to Rome and the Quirinal Mount, as it was to Sinai, and the Temple of Jerusalem.

But there is no necessity that we should over earnestly desire the Assistance of the Ten Tribes; our Cause would be but in a desperate Condition, should it stand in need of their Aid. I must confess, we did depart from the Church of Rome, and that another Worship was set up in the West as to External Rites, then was publicly receiv'd before the time of that departure. But I deny that this departure, [Page 38] so far as concerns our selves, to be a Schism; rather I averr, on the other side, that it was lawful and just, and that they are to be accounted Schismatics who were the occasion of so necessary a departure, that caus'd the Wound to Gangrene, and shut the Gate against all Peace and Re­union of the Church. For sometimes it may be conve­nient to desert some Societies that profess the Name of Christ, if there be taught among them any other Gospel then what we have receiv'd from the Apostles. This is a thing not to be question'd. Hence Apoc. 2. 6. the Ephesians are commended, because they hated the Nicolaitans. On the other side, the Pergamenians are reprov'd, ver. 15, 16. because they gave them a Toleration. Hence in the An­cient Church, the Orthodox and Catholics always very sedulously deserted the Communion of Heretics. Rome it self, which now accuses us of Schism, in the very In­fancy of the Christian Religion departed from the Asiatic Churches upon a slight difference about Easter-day. And it is long since that the Romanists broke the Bond of Unity with the whole East. But it is not long since, that the Com­monwealth of Venice being Excommunicated by Paul V, the Jesuites were seen openly to desert the whole Territory; so that they rather chose to renounce their Temples, their Al­tars, and their Ordinary Worship, then remain in the least Communion with the Venetian. So that they are not simply to be blam'd who separate, but they that separate unjustly and rashly. Let us see then whether or no our Separation were just and necessary, that we may free it from being Schismatical.

Certainly it cannot be said, that we separated willingly and of our own accords, but constrain'd and expell'd by all manner of violences. In the very Bosom of the Roman Church, we importunately desir'd a Reformation of Abuses, which process of time had multiplied, as well in Doctrin as in Disciplin; and which the Grandees and People in the Churches of Germany, France, England, and the Low Coun­tries, [Page 39] most earnestly long'd for, both in the Head and Members. But what was done? They were not only not heard, much less heard in so just a Petition, but all seve­rity was exercis'd against them with Temporal and Spiri­tual Arms; Fire, Sword and Halters were made use of to extirpate out of the World those whom Anathema's and the Thunder of Excommunication had expell'd from all Public Communion. Thus Excommunicated, Expell'd, and lyable to dire Persecution, what should we do? It was not safe to redeem your Communion at the Price of our Consciences, by subscribing to the Errors themselves, and by receiving all those School-Assertions which we deem'd contrary to the Rules of Christian Doctrin, as Articles of our Faith. Therefore it was necessary that another Worship should be set up, that other Pulpits should be erected, and that other Congregations should be as­sembled together, which was every where done by the Authority of the Magistrate, whose Duty it is to protect the Church, and sedulously to take care for the Reforma­tion of Doctrin and Disciplin therein, if corrupted through the neglect of the Ordinary Pastors. Becanus the Jesuite, Analog. Vet. & Nov. Test. c. 26. num. 4. reck'ns up several Reformations made in the Jewish Church by Pious Kings, such as were Asa, Jehosaphat, Josia, Ezechia and Joas, who most certainly had sufficient Authority to reform the Worship of God, and to restore it to its Primitive Purity. Therefore it cannot be deny'd, but that those Christian Princes and Magistrates, who in the times of our Fore-fathers, put their helping Hands to the Reforma­tion, had a Right to labour the Institution of another Worship, more Pure, more Holy, and more Plain then that from which they were forc'd to make a Separation, because they had requir'd a Reformation of it. More­over, tho' Rome had not forsaken us, yet there was a ne­cessity of forsaking her; because she refused to reform her own Abuses, and long contracted Corruptions. We [Page 40] have in this particular a most express Command, Apoc. 18. 4. Come out of her my people, that you be not partakers of her crimes, and receive not of her punishments. Which Command is of so much the greater moment, because the Jesuites themselves, Ribera upon the 14. and 18. Apoc. and Viegas upon the 18. interpret that to be meant of Rome, not the Ethnic, but the Christian Rome, and such as it is in Scripture foretold it shall be under Anti-Christ. To us also (says Viegas, sect. 1. in 18. Apoc.) it seems that the same thing ought to be said with Aretas, Primasius, Ambrose, Jerom, and others, (observe what Testimonies he cites and how many) that the Idolatry of it is here meant, and that Rome shall depart from the Faith, and so shall become the Habitation of Devils, and of every unclean Spirit, and every unclean Bird, by reason of her execrable Enormities, and Superstition of Idolatry, which at that time shall rage far and near in the Roman City and Empire. But you would say, Mr. Prior, if you had any Wit, how comes it to pass that you have now more nice Consciences, then your Fore-fathers had before the Refor­mation, who dy'd in the Communion of the Roman Church, and of whose Salvation you are unwilling to make any doubt?

I Answer, first; That the Consciences of others are no Rule to ours, and that every Man ought to follow his own and not anothers. Would you have me, as you desire in your Letter, that I should embrace the Roman Communion? What if I should press you to embrace Ours, wherein so many Men enjoy the Tranquility of their Consciences?

Secondly, I say that our Fore-fathers might with safety to their Consciences persevere in the Roman Commu­nion, notwithstanding they abominated the Abuses and Corruptions of it, because God had not shewn them a way to depart; nor were the Abuses as yet so palpably intolle­rable, because they had not as yet obtain'd the force of Law, nor were establish'd under the Penalties of Excom­munication. [Page 41] But the Example of our Ancestors cannot be apply'd to us, because that God set up the Standard of the Gospel in another place to Us. He call'd to Us to come out of Babel, when the Opinions of the Scho­lastics were changed into Articles of Faith. So long as the time appointed for their Captivity lasted, the Israelites might securely abide either in Egypt or Babel: But it had bin a Crime for them to have remain'd there any longer, when God call'd them forth to Liberty. He would be very ridiculous indeed, who having rich and fertile Pa­stures, should neglect them, and rather chuse to carry his Flock into noxious Grounds, in hopes that his Sheep would let alone the hurtful Weeds, and only feed upon the wholsom Herbs. So were he deservedly to be derided, who should prefer the noxious and dangerous Pastures of the Roman Church, before the well Wooded Gardens of the Reformed Churches, in hopes of discern­ing the poysonous Weeds from the wholsom Herbage, as it is very probable our Ancestors did.

Lastly, I add this farther; That I do not here dispute, Whether the Roman Communion may be retain'd, with­out the loss of Eternal Salvation? This Question belongs to another place. But, Whether we are Schismatics, because we have deserted it? Now I maintain the Negative, be­cause that Conscience alone summon'd us to the Separation, without any other Consideration; nay, contrary to all other worldly Considerations which persuaded us to adhere to it. Some there are, who to convict us of Schism, re­proach the Calling of our Pastors, but with an Argument too weak for the Proof of so great a Crime. Formerly the Novatians and Donatists made a Schism in the Church, because they wou'd not submit to Bishops of Places Cano­nically instituted, but set up Bishops of their own chusing, who, for that they were destitute of Canonical Election, wanted a lawful Calling. But there was no such thing could be said of our first Pastors in the Work of Reforma­tion. [Page 42] For they were not elected and constituted hand over head, in Opposition to others already Canonically in­stituted, as the Novatians in the Roman See oppos'd No­vatus against the Council; but were lawfully and canoni­cally constituted in their Functions, according to all the Ceremonies then us'd in the Church, and by the nature of their Calling, by which they knew themselves bound to propagate the Truth, were constrain'd in their Consciences to oppose themselves against the Abuses and Corruptions at that time crept into the Church, and to apply them­selves to a Reformation. But as they were lawfully Call'd, so they could impart that Calling to others; and by that means it is deriv'd to us, and so by us may be deriv'd to our Successors. For they are not to be thought to have lost their Calling, for opposing themselves against the Abuses of that Church wherein they receiv'd it. Nay, they had bin unworthy of it, had they not oppos'd them­selves against those Corruptions that were so well known to them. For every Church that confers upon any Man the sacred Function of the Public Ministry, seems to say to him, what Trajan the Emperor was wont to say to the Per­son whom he created Master of the Horse, by the delivery of a Sword, Ʋse this in my defence, if my Commands are just; but if unjust, make use of it against me. Thus a Pastor Canonically ordaind, ought to make use of his Calling, to support the Doctrin of the Church wherein he re­ceiv'd it, if it be conformable to Truth; but if not, to oppose it.

Nor does their being Excommunicated, deprive them of their Calling; because it was unjust, and made use of to support the Errors which they impugned, and to keep up in the Temple the Money-Changers Tables, which they endeavour'd to overturn. Nay, the very Romanists themselves confess, that the Character of the Clergy is in­delible, and that an Excommunicated Person may Con­secrate, Preach, and administer the Sacraments effectually. [Page 43] Neither is it to be said, that the first Reformers were meer Presbyters, that could not confer their Calling upon others, in regard that Ordination belongs only to the Bishops. For in regard the sacred Scriptures do not so plainly teach us what is the difference between a Presbyter and a Bishop; and that some of yours, particularly Medina, confess that the Function of Ordaining may as well belong to a Pres­byter as a Bishop, you ought not to make any great diffi­culty in this Case, in regard the Dispute is not yet de­termin'd.

To which I add, That in several places the Reformation began from the Bishops, who therefore held their former Dignity in the Reformation, which they held before. And it is a wonder, Mr. Prior, that you and yours should carp at the Calling of our Pastors, to prove our want of Succession of Pastors, when your selves acknowledg, that any Man without Orders, without a Character, without any Call, may Consecrate the Eucharist. I am contented with one unanswerable Argument. Your Durandus, in his Rationale, lib. 4. cap. 35. § 7. also the Author of the Curates Manual, de Sacr. Eucharist. cap. 10. and many others, give this Reason for the Secreta, (i. e. the speaking the words of Consecration so low as not to be heard) being intro­duc'd in the Canon of the Mass: Because that formerly, when the Canon was repeated with a loud Voice, the People readily learnt the Rites of Consecrating; whence it came to pass, that the Shepherds in the Country, laying the Bread upon a Stone, and repeating over it the Canon and Words of the Consecration, presently changed their Bread into Flesh. Now either this must be a Fable, which however you frequently make use of to establish your Fig­ment of Transubantiation; or else you must allow that any Man may Consecrate and Celebrate the most August of all Sacraments, tho' neither Call'd nor Ordain'd, as we cannot believe those Shepherds to have bin.

[Page 44] But as the Crime of Schism is falsely laid to our Charge, so are we most falsely said to be without the Church, without which there is no Salvation. We have separated indeed from the Roman Communion, but it does not thence follow that we are out of the Church of God, in regard that by the Grace of God we are Members of the Catholic Church, professing Christianity, baptiz'd in the Name of the most holy Trinity, in all things adhering to the Head and Foundation, Christ Jesus. Cardinal Hosius, in his Confession, acknowledges, That the Church is there where­ever the Belief of the Mediator is. We have a Belief of a Mediator, through the favour of God; and therefore we are hated at Rome, becaose we acknowledg Christ to be the only Mediator. Besides that, we have not departed from your Roman Church, unless in such things wherein she first departed from the Word of God, and the Purity of Antiquity, adhering still to the same Communion of Faith and Charity with Her in the Fundamentals of Chri­stianity; and knowing that we and the Members of your Communion are Brethren in Baptism, as the Israelites and Jews were Brethren in Circumcision, tho' in External Wor­ship they differ'd very much.

Nor can any probable Reason be invented to convince us, that any Man ought to be subject to the Bishop of Rome, and retain his Communion, to the end he may be in a Church out of which there is no Salvation. So many Christians as are within the ancient Patriarchates of the East, and who exceed you Romanists far in number, are not rashly to be said to be out of the Church of Christ, because they refuse to be under the Pope's Yoke. The Churches of Asia were not excluded from the Covenant of Christ by the rash Excommunication of Pope Victor, because they separated from him upon the difference about Easter-day. The Roman Clergy separated from their Pope Liberius, who had subscrib'd to Arianism, without incur­ing the blame of Schism, or the loss of Salvation. The [Page 45] Famous St. Cyprian Bishop and Martyr, whom your Church afterwards worshipt among the rest of her Saints, dy'd out of the Communion and Subjection to the See of Rome, divided from her both in Faith and Affection, by reason of his Doctrin of Re-baptizing Heretics, was very hardly thought of by Stephen Bishop of Rome; and yet no Man hitherto made any doubt but that he obtain'd Salvation. And therefore 'tis an idle thing to exact from us Subjection to the See of Rome, to the end we may be in the Church, and obtain Salvation, especially if the Papacy be now Extinct, and that there has bin no lawful Pope for a long time.

Now this is easily prov'd: For that I may pass over in silence so many Schisms by which the Succession of the Popes was interrupted; So many Simoniacal Elections into that See, which are recorded in History; so many Popes in the Tenth Age to be call'd Apostatic, and Renouncers of Christ, rather then Apostolic (upon the Testimony of Genebrade) I use a new Argument to which you Romanists can make no Answer. It is confirm'd as well by the Canon Law, as by Custom time out of mind, That a Pope may constitute a new Law, and a new Form for Chusing a Successor; which not being observ'd, an Election otherwise made, is void. Hence Julius II, grieving that he had invaded the Supreme Authority by Simony, made a new Law concerning the Simoniacal Election of the Pope for the future; whereby he ordain'd, That any Pope who after him should be Simoniacally elected, should be lookt upon as an Intruder, a Magician, a Publican, an Arch Heretic, and that he should by no means be acknow­ledg'd for a lawful Pope. But that Sixtus V, was cho­sen Simoniacally, is a thing which almost every Body knows.

For that he might be elected, he bought the Suffrages of Cardinal d'Este, and the Cardinals depending upon him, and covenanted with him in a Writing drawn up [Page 46] and subscrib'd with his own Hand, that during his Pon­tificate, he would never make Jeronymo Matthei, who was de'Este's Enemy, a Cardinal, upon condition that by d'Este's means he obtain'd the Pontificate. Upon which being made Pope by d'Este and his Faction, he confess'd himself to be the work of his hands. However Sixtus forfeited his Faith to Him, and created Matthei Cardinal for all that; which Cardinal d'Este took so ill, that he sent the Contract between him and Sixtus to Philip II, King of Spain, who in the Year 1589, sent the Duke of Sessa his Extraordinary Embassador to Rome, to give Notice to Sixtus of his Intentions to call a General Council upon the Information of a Simoniacal Election, and to require the Cardinals created by the Predecessors of Sixtus, and other Ecclesiastics, to be present at a Council to be assembled at Se­vil; but because upon intimation of the Council Sixtus dy'd for Despair, the business went no farther. This is related in a certain Book, entitled Papatus Romanus, cap. 10. pag. 200, &c. Seeing then that Sixtus was an Illegal and Simoniac Intruder, certain it is that the Papacy ceas'd in him; so that they who succeeded were no true Popes, because they were elected by the Cardinals which he created; who being Intruders, as created by a Simoniac, wanted Right of Election, as well according to the Council of Constance, as for that according to the Rule of the Lawyers, No Man can transfer more Right to another, then he has him­self.

And therefore the whole World ought not to be shut up in one City. Some are of Cephas, others of Paul, others of Clement; let it suffice a Christian to be of Christ. Whoever fears God, and works Righteousness in whatever part of the World he is, is acceptable to God. If two or three are gathered together in the Name of Christ, he will be in the midst of them. The Supernal Jerusalem, which enjoys her Liberty, is the Mother of us all. We shall not be Judg'd by the Roman or Popes Communion, but [Page 47] by the Communion of Saints, and of Christ. Therefore we cannot be Schismatics, upon this just, necessary and sound Separation of ours.

There are still remaining, Reverend Mr. Prior, some other Motives of yours to this rash Judgment which you give of us, which are now to be brought to the Touch with the rest. There are some who believe, a Posteriori, that we are deservedly to be listed among the number of the Damned, because we stand Excommunicated by the Pope and the Catholic Church: But in regard these Excommunications do not strike us, but either as Heretics or Schismatics, they do us no hurt, in regard we are neither Heretics nor Schismatics, as hath bin already shewn. If they are necessarily to be numbred among the Damned, whom the Pope has Excommunicated, of necessity all in Asia the less, who dy'd during the Excommunication of Victor upon the Paschal difference, must be by all Christians excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven; and that the Sacraments, which you our Adversaries never­theless will allow, preserve their Excellency by way of Physical Cause, and in general all Public Worship must be depriv'd of their Efficacy in all Provinces which are sometimes subject to Papal Interdiction. Nor ought we to pass over in silence that Observation of St. Jerom upon that place of Mat. 16. wherein the Keys of Heaven are promis'd to St. Peter. ‘This Place (saith the holy Man) the Bishops and Presbyters not understanding, assume to themselves something of the Pride of the Pharisees, even to Damn the Innocent, and Absolve the Guilty; whereas God regards not the Sentence of the Priest, but the Life of the Offender.’ But according to this Saying of St. Jerom, all Casuists and Canonists acknow­ledge that an unjust Excommunication is Invalid; and that such an Excommunicate may both Administer and Receive the Sacraments with a good Conscience.

[Page 48] ‘An Excommunication without a just Cause, is not valid in the Interior Court; therefore such a one may Cele­brate, where it is no Scandal (says the Jesuite Emanuel Sa, voce Excommunicat. § 4. But Toletus, lib. Instruct. Sacram. cap. 10. num. 7. more positively asserts, That there is no unjust Sentence of Excommunication can bind, ei­ther as to God, or as to the Church. But it is unjust (as he says again § 1.) from some defect; which if it be Essential, makes it no Excommunication; and then it is not to be dreaded, neither does it bind either in the Court of Heaven or Earth:’ Which he confirms by the Testimony of several Canonists. If therefore we are unjustly Excommunicated, and as the Schoolmen Phrase it, Clave Errante, or with an Erring Key, and that these Excommunications are of no force, Our Damnation can­not be inferr'd a Posteriori from such Sentences; but that they are unjust and null, I shall easily demonstrate. An Ex­communication is said to be null, says Toletus, ibid. § 4. if it contain an intolerable Error, &c. ‘Now then a Sen­tence is said to contain an intolerable Error, when any one is Excommunicated; because he does that which is Good in it self, or does not do that which is in its own act Unlawful.’ Why then are we Excommunicated? Surely because we do that which is good in it self, applying our selves to the Word of God, and will not adhere to those who would have us to be wiser then the Scripture can make us, and refusing to do what is evil in it self, or at least what we judge in our Consciences to be so, and because we adhere not to a Worship unlawful and contrary to Scripture.

‘An Excommunication is void, if it be pronounc'd by one already Excommunicated or Suspended from Juris­diction, or Interdicted, or after a lawful Appeal, says Emanuel Sa, as above, § 1.’ And Toletus has the same words. Now such is the Excommunication which is thunder'd over our Heads. For it is long ago that the [Page 49] Bishops of Rome through their Simonies have according to the Canons incurr'd the Penalty of most dreadful Excommunications; so that they are uncapable of all Ju­risdiction. ‘For an Excommunicate cannot exercise an act of Jurisdiction, without sinning; nay, if it be a public Excommunication, all his Sentences are void, says Toletus, lib. 1. Inst. Sacerd. cap. 13. § 4.’ And who can question, since the first Punishment of a Simoniac is, ipso facto, Papal Excommunication, as Toletus asserts, lib. 5. cap. 93. but that he is notoriously and publicly Excommunicated, who is notoriously and publicly Simoniacal, as I have particularly made it appear of Sixtus V, who was nevertheless the Author of that Bull, entitled de Coena Domini, in the Form in which it is now Extant, whereby the Protestants are solemnly Excommunicated every year by the Pope?

To this I add, That they two can have no Jurisdiction over Us, who Curse us to the Pit of Hell, and so their Excommunications, tho' they two were lawful Bishops, are void. For if a Bishop cannot Excommunicate one that is out of his Diocese, or in a Priviledg'd Place, as Emanuel Sa affirms, as above, Sect. 12. By what Right does the Bishop of Rome pretend to Excommunicate us, who never belong'd to a Diocese? Or to arrogate a gene­ral Jurisdiction and Authority over the whole Church of God, which he had never any thing to do with? In a word, we value not their inconsiderate, unjust and void Excommunications.

They are dull and silly Thunders that hurt no body. Such sort of Curses, God, for the benefit of his true Adorers, turns into Blessings, according to that of David, Psal. 109. ver. 23. From such Tempests the Damna­tion of the Protestants is no more to be inferr'd, then of theirs who formerly profess'd Christ, because the Scribes and Pharisees Excommunicated them after their Solemn manner.

[Page 50] No less ridioulous are they who alledge, that the Pro­testants Concerning want of Mi­racles among Protestants. are therefore damn'd, because they profess a Religion which wants the Seal of Miracles. Truly you Romanists do very well to put us in mind of your Mi­racles. For most Learned Men of your Communion complain, that the Golden Legends of the Saints are stust with Fables, and Couterfeit Miracles, as you may read particularly in Melchior Canus, producing the Testimonie of Ludovicus Vives, lib. 2. Locor. cap. 6. Their Frauds and Impostures are everywhere obvious; by which the saying of Lyranus upon Dan. 2. before the Reformation; Sometimes there was in the Church a notorious Delusion of the People by Miracles counterfeited by the Priests and their Adherents for Temporal Gain. Those Imaginary Miracles, with which the Protestants were to be convinced, in regard they are Signs for Unbelievers, are not only very seldom wrought before us, but are many times said to be hindred by our presence.

The Mexican and Japanic Prodigies, of which the Jesuites so loudly boast, are but Imaginations, since Acosta, Victoria and Canus expresly acknowledge, that no Miracles are wrought in India to promote Conversion. And Acosta denies that there is any use of Miracles there, lib. 6. proc. Ind. Salut. cap. 17. In those places (says he) there is no need of any more then good Works, and of shining so before Men, which the Natives beholding, may glorifie the Father which is in Heaven.: This is the most potent Miracle to persuade. But Francis Victoria, Relect. 5. Prop. 5. is of Opinion, ‘That the Christian Faith is not so sufficiently preach'd to the Barbarians, that they should be bound to believe under New Sin: For I hear of no Miracles and Signs, no Examples of a Life so Religious, but of many Scandals, and many Impieties.’ Insomuch that Canus applies those idle Relations to the common Spanish Proverb, Long Ways, long Lies; as if they might lie by authority, who tell [Page 51] Stories done or counterfeited in remote and distant Re­gions. So that if Xaverius the New Apostle of Japan, had had the Gift of Miracles, which is so easily believ'd of him, he ought chiefly then to have exercis'd his Gift in the Ship, which carry'd him from Malaca to Japan, where he was forc'd, nolens volens, ‘To behold the Mariners sacrificing to an Image of the Devil, after the manner of their Country, and imploring the Answers of the Image touching the Success of their Voyage, which, as the Barbarians said and believ'd, were sometimes favourable, sometimes terrible.’ Nor would he have needed, had he receiv'd the Gift of working Miracles from Heaven, to have spent so much time in learning the Japan Language. The words of Xaverius are these; So soon as we have obtain'd the assistance of Language, we hope that by the assistance of God the business will proceed much better; for now we only converse among them like a sort of Images (as not long ago, in the Tract of the Rhine, the Capuchin Marco de Aviano, to put off his Miracles, ran about, like a Barbarian, among the Germans, for no body understood what he said) they talk much concerning us, and turn and look one upon another, while we are mute, and are constraind as it were to go to School again, till we have learnt the Elements of the Language. Is here, I beseech you, any Apostolic Character to be found? Yet all these are Extant, Epist. lib. 1. Epist. Japan Adject. Com. Eman. Acosta, of the Transactions of the Jesuites in the East, and by Maffaeus the Jesuite, set forth at Delingtren, Anno Dom. 1571. The Epistle is written by Xaverius to the Society from Congoxima, on the First of No­vember, 1549. Afterwards the same Maffaeus, for what reason I know not, left out this Epistle, from whence I faithfully transcrib'd the Quotations above-men­tion'd; unless it were that he was asham'd of the Truth in his select Epistles written from India, which [Page 52] he added to his Indian History, Printed at Cologn, Anno Dom. 1589.

Moreover, not to say any thing of the Work of Refor­mation begun and propagated, then which a greater Miracle can hardly be imagin'd, I would fain oppose the two following Observations to those that reproach us with want of Miracles.

I. Miracles are not always among them, with whom they are wrought, as a mark of Truth, when Heathens and Heretics formerly could boast of Miracles, and many shall say to Christ in that day, Lord, have we not cast forth Devils, and wrought many Wonders in thy Name? To whom he shall answer, Depart from me, for I know ye not, Mat. 7. 21, 23. And there shall come false Christs and false Prophets, arm'd with Signs and Wonders, by which the Elect themselves, if it were possible, shall be seduc'd, Mat. 24. 24. Thus Allius Naevius, the Augur, cut a Whetstone with a Razor, in the view of all the People of Rome. And one of the Vestal Vir­gins, as a confirmation of her untainted Chastity, took up Water in a Sieve, and carry'd it away. And Claudia, another of the same Order, alone without any help, with her Girdle drew along the Ship which carry'd the Mother of the Gods, which many Mariners, hawl­ing all together, could not stir. Plutarch also, in Corio­lanus, relates that the Image of Fortune spoke; and often, as the same Author relates, in the same Life, the Images and Statues were seen to Sweat, Bleed and Weep. St. Austin likewise tells us of many such Portents that happen'd among the Gentiles, lib. 10 de civitate Dei. Tacitus also. Hist. lib. 4. relates of Vespasian, that by his single Touch, he restor'd Sight to the Blind, and Strength to the Lame. Bellarmin. cap. 14. de Not. Eccles. ‘That both their Diseases proceeded from the Devil, who having seiz'd the Eye of the one, and the Leg of the [Page 53] other, hindred the Use of their Limbs, to the end he might seem to heal when he ceas'd to hurt.’ I do not see why the Protestants may not use the same Ex­ception against so many Miracles which the Romanists seign by the Touch either of their Images or their Reliques. But I shall here furl my swelling Sails, Mr. Prior, being ready to explain and enlarge my self, whensoever you shall be pleas'd to re-assume and examin this Matter.

II. Miracles do not of necessity follow Truth. For tho' they were necessary in the time of Infant Chri­stianity; yet the true Religion being now establish'd and setled over all the World, if not manifestly profitable, they cease however to be absolutely necessary. So that St. Austin, lib. 2. de civitate Dei, with very great reason said, Whoever still enquires after Prodigies, to confirm his Belief, is himself a great Prodigy. I forbear any more; let it suffice me only to produce the Fathers of the Second Nicene Council, act. 4. Why do our Images at this day work no Miracles? I answer with the Apostle; Miracles are not for Believers, but for the Ʋnbelievers. Now then if the Protestants embrace the Doctrin of Christ and his Apostles, the Miracles of Christ and his Apostles are sufficient for them: Which would be necessary again, were they to follow some new and never heard of Gospel before.

Nor does the difference, whatever it is, between the Reform'd Churches and the Lutherans, whatever it be Concerning the Differen­ces of Prote­stants among themselves. either in Ceremonies, or some Points of Doctrin, savour a jot more your precipitate Judgment concerning the Eternal Damnation of the Protestants. For you Romanists your selves acknowledge, that the Greek and Eastern Christians would be in the way of Salvation, would they but submit to the Empire of the Pope, tho' they retain'd their Ceremonies and Opinions differing in many [Page 54] Circumstances from the Rites and Doctrin of the Roman Church. It is apparent from the Epistle of St. Austin to Januarius, that all the Churches did not make use of the same Rites and Ceremonies. In the Apostolic Churches also, soon after the first dawn of Christianity, Disputes and Contentions arose; to pass by those that fell out between Cyril and Theodoret, Chrysostom and Epiphanius, St. Jerom and St. Austin; nay, between those very Men themselves that reproach the Lutherans and the Reformed with their differences, which I would to God they were clos'd up, There is the greatest difference among these Upbraiders, not only as to Ceremonials, as is apparent from so many Orders of Monks varying among them­selves in Habit, Rules and Public Worship; but also as to Opinions; as is evident from those most terrible Con­troversies about which your Theologists most sharply con­tend and quarrel one with another; of the Authority of the Pope above a Council; of a Council above the Pope; of the Infallibility of the Bishop of Rome; of his Power over Kings and Secular Princes; the Conception of the Blessed Virgin; of the sort of Adoration due to the Cross and Images; of Predestination, Grace, Free-will, and the like. So that the Doctors of your Communion split themselves into various Sects; according to which some are Thomists, others Scotists, others Real, others Nominal, others love to be call'd Jansenists, and others Molinists. Nay, there is not any Article of the Christian Faith, about which you have not rais'd Contentions and Di­sputes, if not more sharp and eager, yet of no less mo­ment then all those which are stirring between the Re­formed and the Lutherans. And that diversity which you object against us, is far inferior to your Dissentions; nor is it concerned in the Fundamentals of Christianity, in which the Reformed of both Parties are plainly agreed. So that it is a kind of Miracle, that there should be so little variance between so many Reformed Churches [Page 55] dispers'd all over Europe, compos'd of various People and under several Princes; tho' among them there is no Church which commands over others, nor any inter­vening Political Tye to constrain them to such an Agree­ment in Matters of Faith.

In the mean time, there is no Schism between ours and the Lutheran Churches, seeing that we neither sepa­rated from Them, nor they from Us. In Poland, the Brethren of the Helvetian, Bohemian and Augustan Confession, setting a laudable Example, communicated before together, by virtue of the Decree of Sendomir. And in the Year 1631, in the National Synod of France, a Decree was made for admitting the Lutherans, as Bre­thren in Christ, and Members of the same Mystical Body to our Communion of the Lord's Supper, and for allowing them Brotherly Toleration in those Points wherein they differ from us. And tho' they in their Anger pretend that we Err in Fundamentals, which, through the Mercy of God, they will never be able to prove; yet we judge more tenderly and better of them, so disproving the Opinions which they obstinately defend, that we deny them to be in themselves deadly or per­nicious to Salvation; or that they are such as ought not to hinder Christian Peace between us and them, or prevent an Ecclesiastical Communion which might be obtain'd between Churches not agreeing in all things, if the Foundation were sound. Now we believe that to be a Fundamental Error, wherein there is, accord­ing to the ancient Phrase of the Synagogue, a Denial of the Foundation, which cannot comply with true Faith and Holiness. For neither all Truths, even those that are reveal'd, are of the same necessity: Neither are all Wounds which are given to Truth, Mortal; nor is every Disease, an Epelipsie or the Falling-sickness. St. Paul distinguishes between the Foundation and the Superstructure, 1 Cor. 3. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. He that [Page 56] meddles with Fundamentals, is lyable to an Anathema, Gal. 1. 8. In others there is room left for Exhortation, Rom. 14. 1. Phil. 3. 15, 16. Here the Gnat is not scrupulously to be strain'd at, as there the Camel is not to be rashly swallowed. We break Friendship with those that are openly Wicked, but we bear with the blemishes and infirmities of Friends. Nor is that pre­sently to be thought of the necessity of Faith, which yet may have a near Relation to it. And therefore you canot blame us for offering our Communion to the Lutherans, and rejecting the Papal. For that between us and them there is not only a Harmony in the Foundation of our Faith, and all the most solid and neces­sary Points of Christian Religion, but also in common Protestancy against the Idolatry, Tyranny and foul Errors of the Church of Rome; both Sides impugning the Adoration of the Bread, Transubstantiation, Sacri­fice of the Mass, Communion under One Kind, Justi­fication by Works, Traditions not written, Purgatory, Worship of Images, Infallibility of the Pope, &c. So that it would be much better for us to arm our selves with mutual and brotherly forbearance against the con­tinual Conspiracies of Antichrist, then to lay our Sides open to them through our unhappy Discords and Wars by which neither side can hope for Triumph.

Far more absurd it would be to upbraid the Protestants Concerning the Number of Protestants who do not submit to the Church of Rome. with their small Number, or to infer their Damnation from that. For much more numerous is the Number of Christians under the four Patriarchs in the East, and the Great Duke of Muscovy and Russia, then of those who in the West adhere to the See of Rome. With­out question the Number of the Orthodox was very small, at what time, as St. Jerom testifies, The whole World groan'd, and admir'd to see it self all Arian.

[Page 57] Scarcity makes things valuable; we are not to adhere to a multitude in Evil; nor is the broad Way to be trod, but the narrow Path which leads to Life, not per­vious to many. If we must be excluded from Salvation for the smallness of our Number; By the same reason the Pharisees of old might have damn'd the Apostles, and the Heathens the Christians. In the mean time, they who reproach us with our small Number, and glory in their own Multitude, when they come to view the face of Europe, are compell'd to talk after another rate. Bellarmin. praefat. in Tom. 1. Controver. cannot restrain his fury. Who is ignorant (saith he) of that same Lutheran Pest (for Truth was a Plague to the Seat of Pestilence, as Christ was the Death of Death, and a Pest to Hell) that sprung up not long since in Saxony, and soon after over-ran almost all Germany; then spreading to the North and East, delug'd all Denmark, Sweadland, Norway, Gothland, Pannonia, Hungary; and then with equal rapidness shooting to the West and South, poyson'd all England, France and Scotland, flourish­ing Kingdoms once; and at last crossing the Alps, extended it self even as far as Italy?

Nor are we to be condemn'd, because we call our selves Reformed or Protestants, rather then Catholics. For we were first call'd Protestants in the public Dyet at Spire, Anno Dom. 1529. because our Electors and Princes there protested against the Errors and Super­stitions of the Romish Church, plainly in the fame sense as in the old Old Version of the 2 Chron. 24. 19. they who after the Death of Jehoiada oppos'd themselves against Idolatry, were mark'd out and differenc'd by the same Name.; but those Idolaters would by no means give ear to the Protesters. So that there being no Satisfaction given to our Consciences upon that Pro­testation, deservedly we deserted that Communion, which we believ'd to be pernicious to our Salvation. [Page 58] Nor are we therefore to be thought to have deserted the Church: For, as St. Chrysostom says very remarkably, Hom. 46. in Mat. ‘He does not separate from the Church who separates Corporeally, but he who Spi­ritually relinquishes the fundamental Truths of the Church. We have left them Locally; They have forsaken us in Point of Faith: We in departing from them, have left the Foundation of the Walls; They in forsaking us, have forsak'n the Foundations of Scripture.’ We are call'd Reformed, not because we reform'd the Religion deliver'd us by Christ and the rest of his Apostles; but because we cleans'd it from the Rust of Abuses and Corruptions which that holy Religion had contracted through length of time, the Subtilty of Satan, and the Vices of Men. And this Reformation the People, the Princes and Magistrates, and those not a few, most earnestly and importunately long'd for all over Europe: So that the Tridentine Fa­thers, to satisfie the public Demands, at least in out­ward shew, were compell'd to add something of Refor­mation to every one of their Dogmatical Sessions. However we do not renounce these Names of Catholic Protestants, Reformed, or Lutherans, seeing that addition of Catholic belongs, of right, rather to Us then to you Romanists; for that the Doctrin which we profess, is the Sincere, Orthodox and Catholic Doctrin of the Christian Church, as the Apostles deliver'd it from the Beginning. Reformed we are, in reference to the re­jecting Abuses, and human Inventions; but Catholics, as we retain the fundamental Articles of the Christian Religion. Nor can this Name suit with them from whom we have departed in any other respect, then as they retain some fundamental Truths, which as yet are common both to them and us; but not in respect of their Additions and Traditions in which we dissent from them.

[Page 59] In vain do you glory against us, of retaining this Name by Force. For, as Salvian of Marseilles says, lib. 4. de Provid. What is a holy Name without Merit, but an Ornament in the Dirt? All the particular Assemblies of Heretics (says Lactantius, lib. 4. Divin. In­stitut. cap. ult.) believe themselves to be the chiefest Christians, and their Church to be the Catholic. The very Turks would be called Musselmanni, that, is the Faithful or Catholic; but it suffices us to be really Catho­lics. Good leave therefore have you from us, O Ro­manists, to usurp this Name; as we call the Saracens Mahumetans, who nevertheless derive not their Original from Sarah, as Sons of the Promise; but from Agar, the Egyptian Bond-woman.

Thus all the Prejudices and Foundations of your pre­cipitate Judgment being repell'd and remov'd, Vene­rable Mr. Prior, you constitute at length the only Foun­dation of your Opinion upon this, That in regard that Of the New­ness of the Reform'd Re­ligion. Ours is a new Religion, it is impossible we should gain Salvation by the Profession. But those things which now are old, were formerly new. The Chri­stian Religion is at this day New to the Chineses and Japanners, nevertheless they ought not to reject it for that Reason. For this very sake of Novelty, the Hea­thens refus'd Christianity; but in vain. There is nothing more Ancient then Truth, which beheld the true World in its Infancy: But false Religion, the Older it is, so much is it the more Mischievous.

True it is, the Reformation which we profess, is New and newly done; but the Rule of it, which is comprehended in the Word of God, is of great Anti­quity; according to which, whatever was added of Human Invention, is separated from the Orthodox and Catholic Doctrin, to the end that true and refin'd Antiquity might be retain'd. Hence the famous Peter Moulin, a Frenchman, in a large Treatise against Car­dinal [Page 60] Perron has more then sufficiently demonstrated the Novelty of Popery, and the Antiquity of the Re­formed Religion. Therefore our Religion cannot be call'd New, since that alone propounds to us things to be believ'd, which were believ'd by all Men, and every where from the Time of the Apostles, according to the Rule of Vincentius Lyrinensis, and produces over and above out of the Treasury of the Scripture, her most certain Documents: Where it is apparent, That all those things which we disprove in the Roman Com­munion, are really new and unknown to the Apostles and their Primitive Successors.

It is a New thing, and never heard of by the Ancient Church, that the Christian People should be forbid the Use of the Cup in the sacred Eucharist. It was a New thing, that Boniface II, above Six hundred years after Christ, should be the first who call'd himself Ʋniversal Bishop, and Bishop of Bishops; and long after him, that Gregory VII, or Hildebrand, should presume to lay violent hands upon the Rights of Emperors and Princes. Nothing Newer then the Papal Indulgences, which first gave occasion to the Modern Controversies at Wittembergh and Zurich; Anthony Archbishop of Florence acknowledging, part. 1. Tom. 10. cap. 3. That as for Indulgences, we have nothing in the Scripture con­cerning them, nor from the Sayings of the Ancient Fa­thers; and the Jesuite Valentia agreeing, cap. 5. de In­dulg. That there were certain Catholics before Luther, (of whose Opinion Thomas makes mention, part. 3. quest. 15. art. 5.) who said, That Indulgences were pious Frauds.

Moreover, that the Eucharist was celebrated of old without Communicants, no Man can find in the Writings of the Antients. The Adoration of Images was not establish'd till near Eight hundred years after Christ, in the Second Council of Nice; and that so slenderly, [Page 61] that the Decrees of that petty Council were condemn'd and rejected in two Synods assembled at Paris and Frankford by Charles the Great. And tho' these Synods were only National, hence nevertheless it appears that all the Churches of Germany and France, of which Nations those Synods consisted, had not then admitted the Public Worship of Images. Nay, even George Cas­sander infers from St. Austin upon Psal. 113. That Images and Statues were not set up in Churches in St. Austin's time. Moreover Bellarmin reports of Scotus, That he did not believe Transubstantiation to be an Article of Faith before the Lateran Council; that is, before Five hundred years ago. The Law of Celibacy, enjoyn'd the Clergy and the Priests, is a very New thing, and to which the Clergy of Leige and the Ger­mans would not yield Obedience till about Five hun­dred years since. At length Calixtus II, who was created Pope in the Year 1119. constraind them all to submit, which produc'd these Verses upon him:

O bone Calixte, jam omnis Clerus odit, te,
Quondam Presbyteri poterant uxoribus uti,
Hoc destruxisti, postquam tu Papa fuisti,
Ergo tuum nomen merito habent odio.
The Clergy hate thee, Good Calixtus, why?
The Presbyters of old with Wives did lye;
This thou destroy'dst, when thou wer't Pope created,
Therefore thy Name is now deserv'dly hated.

The Apostles never knew what Monkish retirement meant, which came into the World about Three hundred years after Christ, under Antony and Paul; but the Church was utterly ignorant of Monkish Beggery, till the times of Francis and Dominic, who, as all Men know, were but of late years.

[Page 62] I will not undertake here to unravel your whole History, otherwise there would appear very little of Antiquity in it. For all those Opinions of the Romish Church which we have rejcted, are not only new, but so new, that as the Abuses multiply'd, they were dislik'd and reprov'd by all good Men long before Lu­ther's time; among whom there were some, who being offended at such kind of Innovations, and consulting the good of their Consciences, openly deserted your Communion; as the Wicklevians in England, the Hus­sites in Germany, the Waldenses or Albigenses in France and Germany, whose public Confessions are at this day Extant, conformable to Ours in the principal Heads.

Nor can I forbear to add in this place a remarkable Testimony concerning the Waldenses (whose Names for above Six hundred years has bin terrible to the Roman See) given by one Rainer, an Inquisitor of the Faith against them, about Three hundred years ago, and not long since publish'd by Gretser the Jesuite: ‘Among all the Sects (says that same Rainer) that are or ever were, there is not any one more pernicious to the Church (meaning the Roman) then that of the Poor of Lyons (meaning the Waldenses) for Three Reasons. First, because more lasting; for some say, that it has bin ever since the time of Silvester, and others deduce it from the time of the Apostles. Secondly, because more general; for there is hardly any Country into which this Sect has not made a shift to creep. Thirdly, because all others are abominable to God for the Immanity of their Blasphemies, but this of the Waldenses only carries with it a great shew of Piety; because they live justly before Men, and believe truly of God, and all the Articles of the Creed, only they blaspheme and hate the Roman Church.’ But so much for Them.

[Page 63] Thus, Mr. Prior, you have what, as I was willing, so it was my desire to Answer to your insipid and inconside­rate Letter. Do you see by what has bin said, that you have violated the Divine, Civil and Public Laws of the Instrument of the Peace of Munster; nay, which should first have bin said, against the Rules of Christianity, which proscribes and abominates all such Censures of our Neigh­bour worse then a Dog or Snake? What now remains of Counsel or Remedy for such an unjust Judge? I will tell you:

Implore of God, and beseech your injur'd Neighbor, through whose sides you have wounded such infi­nite numbers of Christians, to forgive you, and to pardon these Transgressions of yours that are of so great weight.

Endeavour industriously for the future, like the smitten Fisherman, to Traffic at a better rate, and to be transform'd by renovation of Mind to this, that you may be able better to prove, what is the good Will of God so pleasing and so perfect.

Beware of being wiser then it becomes you to be; and with an unfeigned Charity for the future, detest so wicked and perverse a Judgment, adhering to that which is more solid; and if it may be, as much as in you lyes, live at Peace with all Men, that you may not be overcome by Evil, but may overcome Evil by Good.

This pious and sincere Counsel if you slight and dis­regard, through Contumacy and Despising it, assuredly there will nothing more certainly befal you then this, That being depriv'd of Eternal Felicity (I repeat your own words) after you have finish'd this Mortal Course, you will for ever burn with your Seducers in the Everlasting Fire of Hell. From which however the Great God of his infinite Mercy preserve you. Amen.

[Page 64] Farewel, and instead of a New-Years-Gift, meekly and with patience accept this wholsom Answer and Admonition, more precious then Gold, or all the King­doms of the World. Live soberly, and live eternally the Favourer of him who is

Visitor of the County of Weeden.

Most desirous of your Salvation,
John Herman Dalhusius,

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