POLEMICA CHRISTIANA: OR, AN Earnest Contending For the FAITH, Which was once deliver'd unto the SAINTS.


  • I. A Letter to the Author of the DIALOGUE, &c.
  • II. A Vindication of the Doctrine of Mr. RICHARD HOOKER, against the Mis-representation of an Anti-Trinitarian, in a Pamphlet Entitled, "Con­siderations on the Explications of the Doctrine of the Trinity.
  • III. Reflections upon some Passages in a Book En­titled, "The History of Religion.
  • IV. A Vindication of VINCENTIƲS LIRI­NENSIS, from the unjust Reproach cast on him, by an Anonymous Writer, in a Book Entitled, "Animadversions on Mr. HILL's Book.

By EDMUND ELYS, sometime Fellow of Baliol Colledge in OXFORD.

Magna est VERITAS, & Praevalebit.

Printed in the Year, 1696.

TO The AUTHOR of the Dialogue, &c.


I Entreat You, by the Common Principles of Hu­manity, that You would seriously Peruse what I have here written, Considering that within a short Time both You, and I shall be Call'd out of this World, to give Account of all our Doings, to the Maker of all Things, and Judge of all Men. Since you Profess, you believe all the Sayings of our Blessed Sa­viour, I pray consider these sacred Words, Mat. 5. 8. ‘Blessed are the pure in Heart, for they shall see GOD.’ I suppose You will not Deny, but that Pu­rity of Heart consists in the True Love of God, and our Neighbour. It seems to me, that you are Guilty of great Irreverence towards the Divine Majesty, in that You throw out such Words as these at every Turn: ‘Good God! But Good God then, &c. Bless me!’ again and again. You shew your self to be most Barba­rously Ʋncharitable, in Reviling Priests of all sorts. ‘In plain Terms, say you, the Priests of all sorts hope insensibly to raise themselves a Dominion over us.’

[Page 2] ‘The Priests of all Ages have rather strove, as a Faction of Men, to raise themselves Great, than to seek through Self-denial, and Humility for the truly Glorious and Incorruptible Crown.’ Answ. Those Holy Men in the Four First General Councils (the A­rians themselves speak well of the Priests in For­mer Ages) were such Glorious Examples of True Ver­tue and Godliness, that whosoever is throughly ac­quainted with Church-History, and has read the Writings of the Ancient Fathers, that Assented to the Doctrines Explicated, and Defended in those Coun­cils, he cannot but Reflect upon the Reproach you cast upon the Priests of all Ages, with the greatest Abhorrency, and Detestation. This Black Turbu­lency of Spirit is not like to compose a Clear Confuta­tion of any Error, nor can it consist with a clear Spe­culation of any Sanctifying Truth: But, I must con­fess, It is very suitable to your impious Boasting, in calling what you write in your Second Sheet, A clear Confutation of the Trinity. Before we Reflect upon your Argumentations here (which can hardly be found in the Croud of such a Multitude of Invectives, and Vain Boastings) we shall consider some Passages in your Dialogue.

Quest. Are there no Texts in the Gospel, where Christ himself Preacht up the Father to be the One, and only God, exclusive of all others, as well as of himself, Pray repeat them, if there be.

Answ. Mark 12. 29, &c. And Jesus answered him, the First of all the Commandments is, Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord, &c.

These words do no more Exclude our Saviour from being the One God, than from being the One Lord: Neither does his [Page 3] being the One Lord Exclude the Father from being the One Lord. But say you in your Clear Confutation, ‘To say of Three Persons each severally God, that they are One God, is as much a Contradiction, as to say, Three Men are One.’ Answ. This Saying of yours is as manifestly False, as it is to say, There is no dif­ference between an Infinite, and a Finite Nature, or Essence. I shall here recite some of the words of my brief Animadversion on The Naked Gospel. ‘Is there any thing more Reasonable, than to conceive, that in God, the One Infinite Essence, there may be a Certain Trinity, which cannot in any wise apper­tain to any Three Persons of a Finite Nature? Can there ever be a more Impious Absurdity than this, to Deny the Truth of that which the Almighty, and Incomprehensible GOD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in whose Name we are BAPTIZED, has Reveal'd unto us concerning Himself, because we cannot find any thing like it, even amongst the Best of his Creatures? To say, that we ought not to Be­lieve any thing, but what our Reason can Fathom, or Comprehend, is in effect to say, We ought not to Believe there is a GOD, it being Essential to the Deity to Be infinitely beyond the Comprehension of our Reason.’

In your Dialogue you say, that our Saviour is cal­led Alpha, and Omega, Rev. 1. 8. in Opposition to I AM in God for pure and simple Being.’ I Beseech You, as you believe there is a God, and that these words which you recite, were written by Divine In­spiration, consider what I say: Alpha, and Omega, the FIRST, and the LAST, is that which is beyond al [...] Bounds, Absolutely Infinite, The One Pure and Simple [Page 4] Being. 'Tis manifest therefore, that the WORD, which from Everlasting was God, which is Alpha and Omega, the FIRST, and the LAST, has the same Eternal Essence with God the Father.

Quest. But pray, what Authority have you to call the Son a God-Angel, as you do? You us'd to say, That there is a Text, where the Son as God, is said to have the Angels for his Fellows; if there be such, pray let us see it, to satisfy us in what you do.

Answ. Heb. 1. 4. Being made so much better than the Angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they.

5, For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6, And again, when he bringeth in the first-begot­ten into the world, he faith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

7, And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his an­gels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8, But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom:

9, Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniqui­ty; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oyl of gladness above thy Fellows.

Answ. 'Tis Evident, that by Fellows we are not to understand ANGELS, but MEN: ‘For verily he took not on him the nature of Angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren, that he might be a merciful, and faithful High-Priest, in [Page 5] things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the People, Heb. 2. 16, 17. I desire any Man that understands the Greek Tongue to compare these words, Heb. 1. 8. [...], with those, Heb. 2. 14. And let him tell me, if there can be greater Evidence for any Assertion concerning the meaning of any Word, or Phrase than we have for this, That by Fellows we are not to understand Angels, but Men. [...].

In your Clear Confutation (as you call it) you have these words: ‘A Trinity supposes Three Persons in God: And why but Three? Surely all between One, and Infinite's imperfect; if divers Personality were a Perfection in God, therefore Infinity should be the Number.’ Answ. The Divine Infinity is Abso­lute Infinity; and 'tis the grossest Nonsense to say, That Number can be absolutely Infinite, since it has a Beginning. We believe that The Father is God, The Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not Three Gods, but One God, because the Onely Wise God himself in the Holy Scriptures has Reveal'd it unto us. ‘Our Trinitarians would tell us, say you, that God is the most pure and simple Being; and yet a­gain they can say, That he is Three Persons, and has Three Wills, and Three Understandings, &c. Answ. Nothing can be more False than to say, That we hold that God has Three Wills, &c. we grant, that it im­plies a Contradiction to say, There are not Three Na­tures Numerically Distinct, where there are Three Wills, and Three Ʋnderstandings, as in Three Men we affirm, That The Father, The Son, and The Holy [Page 6] Ghost, as they have One Divine Nature, have but One Will, and One Understanding: But God the Son, as he has Two Natures, the Divine, and Humane, has Two Wills, &c. but his Humane Will is most per­fectly united to the Divine Will in all things: It was so in all his Sufferings, which were the Objects of his Aversion, being consider'd as in themselves, but of his Volition, being consider'd as the Effects of the Divine Will. This calls me to an Animadversion on those words, which I tremble to recite. I am confident, no truly Learned sincere Christian, that was to write in Confutation of the Religion of the Turks, would pour out such Contumelious Speeches against Mahomet, and his Followers, as you do against the Blessed Jesus, Our LORD, and Our GOD, and against Us, his Followers, Your Present Mystery-men, and Metaphysical Mad-men.

‘Sometimes, say you, by a kind of Ventriloquy they make Christ, as God, to be able to tell us all things, but by, and by again, as Man, they attribute Igno­rance to him. So sometimes again, they make him Omnipotent, and yet by, and by again Hocus pocus, we must have an Angel to comfort him against his Sufferings. Good God! shall we never be deliver'd from these Labyrinths.’ Answ. We do not attribute Ignorance to Christ, as the word Ignorance signifies Imperfection, viz. Any want of Knowledge, but as it signifies simply, Not knowing all Things. Such Igno­rance the most Perfect Finite Understanding must be subject unto: And Christ's Understanding, as Man, is Finite. Upon supposition that He subjected Him­self to Sufferings, where's the Absurdity that he should be Comforted (by an Angel) in that Nature, in [Page 7] which he suffered? But, say you, ‘What! Did only the Man dye? Was only the Man Tempted? Christ then was but inhabited by the God-head; and when the Man was in his streights, God left him to com­fort himself, but where is the Room for the Merit [...], and Sufferings of the God-head then?’ Answ. God the Son Assum'd, or United to himself the Humane Nature, that so he might be capable of Suffering, to Demonstrate that the HOLY ONE hates Sin, with an infinite Hatred, and loves Men, tho' SINNERS, with an infinite Love. In which Demonstration of the Divine Justice, and Mercy towards Men, is impli­ed the greatest Efficacy, that can be to bring Sinners to Repentance. So that the Onely Cause that any Sinner does not Repent, is the Perverseness of his own Will, in that he Shuts his Eyes against this Demon­stration, and so Rejects the Offer of the Onely Effectu­al Remedy for all his Diseases.

I beseech Almighty God by the Death and Passion of the Holy Jesus, who together with The Father, and The Holy Ghost is Worshipped, and Glorified, to have Mercy upon you, to give you true Repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that you may be Reconcil'd unto God, before you shall Go from hence, and be no more seen.

If You, or any of your Companions have a mind to Dispute with me in Private, if You will send me any Letters by the Post, I promise you, that by the Help of God, I shall return an Answer to every Let­ter I shall receive from any of you: And that I shall never Publish any of your Letters without your Con­sent, but I will not Promise not to Publish mine own. I am

Your Servant, and the Servant of all Men, For CHRIST's Sake, Edmund Elys.


THis Anti-Trinitarian tells the World, and that truly, that Mr. Hooker saith, ‘That the Sub­stance of God with this Property To be of None, doth make the Person of the Father; The very self-same Substance in Number with this Pro­perty, To be of the Father, maketh the Person of the Son; The same Substance having added to it the Property of Proceeding from the other Two, maketh the Person of the Holy Ghost. So that in every Per­son there is imply'd both the Substance of God, which is One, and also that Property which causeth the same Person really and truly to differ from the other Two.’

On these words of the Excellent Mr. Hooker, this Disputer maketh this Animadversion. ‘Now to be of none, to be of the Father, and to proceed from both, are but other words for this Sense, To Beget, to be Be­gotten, [Page 9] and to Proceed. But that Father of Modern O [...]thodoxy, Peter Lombard, denies that these before­mention'd are Properties in the Substance of God, or that they can belong to it: He saith, Essentia n [...] est Generans, nec Generata, nec Procedens, i. e. The Substance of God neither Begets, nor is Begotten, nor Proceeds. 'Tis impossible to make this consist with Mr. Hooker, who expresly ascribeth those Pro­perties to the Divine Substance, or Essence, and saith that being in the Divine Substance they make it to be Three Persons.’ To this I answer, That Mr. Hooker does not Contradict Peter Lombard: For 'tis Evident his meaning is this, That the Divine Substance, or Essence, as in the Father, is of None, as in the Son, is of the Father, as in the Holy Ghost, is of the Father, and of the Son. The Property belongs to the Person, and not to the Essence, as Communicable to Three Persons. ‘In every Person, says Mr. Hooker, there is implied both the Substance of God, which is One; and also that Property, which causeth the same Per­son really and truly to differ from the other Two.’ It is a most palpable Falshood which this Man delivers in these words: ‘Here is the same Substance Unbegot­ten, and Begotten.’ Answ. The Person of the Son is Begotten, in that he hath his Substance, or Essence of, or from the Father; he would seem to Obviate this Answer in these words: ‘They will say, Mr. Hooker doth not affirm, that the self-same Substance is Be­gotten, and Unbegotten; this indeed were a slat Contradiction: But he saith, That as 'tis in the Fa­ther, 'tis Unbegotten, as in the Son, 'tis Begotten’ Answ. This is a most notorious Falshood: Mr. Hooker does not assert, That the Essence, as in the Son, is Be­gotten, [Page 10] but that the Person of the Son is Begotten, in that he hath his Essence of, or from the Father.

Let us now consider what a Fast Friend this Dis­puter is to the Phanaticks, i. e. The Despisers of the Li­turgy of the Church of England, which Mr. Hooker has so judiciously and irrefragably Defended. ‘What shall we do here, says He, shall we say Reverend Hooker has mistaken, and mis-led his Sons (who are all the Church of England) into an Error concerning the Trinity? Hath he ascrib'd to the Divine Essence Properties which he calleth Persons, that are not in it? To give up Hooker, is to dishonour the Church of England it self; to part with Father Hooker, is to en­dangerthe very Surplice, and even the Cross in Baptism, nay that Book of Books, the Common-Prayer. If Mr. Hooker could Err about the Trinity, what will the Phanaticks and Trimmers say? Will not they be apt to pretend too, He may have Erred in his profound Dissertations, and Discourses for the Rites and Dis­cipline of the Church.’

Now I appeal to any Person of common Ingenuity in the whole World to Judge, whether I had not Just Cause to Publish that Paper Entitled, ‘An earnest Call to those Non-conformists, who really Believe the Doctrine of the Holy Blessed, and Glorious Trinity, To come into the Communion of the Church of Eng­land, That by their Constant Regular Confession of the Christian Faith, they may Confound the Devices of those Gain-sayers, whom by their Separation they have so much Encourag'd.’

I cannot imagine how 'tis possible, that any Non­conformist, that has the least Spark of Grace, that has in any measure the true Love of the Holy JESƲS [Page 11] in his Heart, should not be Inclin'd to the Communion of the Church of England, upon the reading of these words of the most Judicious and Heavenly-minded Mr. R. Hooker, in the Fifth Book of Ecclesiastical Polity.

The very Creed of Athanasius, and that sacred Hymn of Glory (the Gloria Patri) than which nothing doth sound more Heavenly in the Ears of Faithful Men, are now reckoned as superfluities, which we must in any case pare away, lest we cloy God with too much Service. Is there in that Confession of Faith any thing, which doth not at all times edify, and instruct the attentive Reader? Or is our Faith in the Blessed Trinity a matter needless to be so oftentimes mention'd and open'd in the principal Part of that Duty which we owe to God, our Publick Prayer? Hath the Church of Christ from the first beginning by a secret universal instinct of God's good Spirit al­ways tied it self to end neither Sermon, nor almost any Speech, which hath concern'd matters of God without some special words of Honour, and Glory to that Trinity, which we all adore; and is the like Conclusion of Psalms become now at the length an Eye-sore, or a Gauling to their Ears that hear it?

Against which Poison (Arianism) if we think that the Church at this Day needeth not those ancient Preservatives, which Ages before us were so glad to use, we deceive our selves greatly. The Weeds of Heresy being grown to such Ripeness, as that was, do even in the cutting down scatter oftentimes those Seeds, which for a while lay unseen, and buried in the Earth, but afterwards freshly spring up again, no less Pervicacious than at the first.

I shall not at this time recite any more of the words of this most [Page 12] Pious and Learned Man, but only these (with which I find my own Heart most Zealously affected:) ‘Wis­dom, to the End she might save many, built her House of that Nature, which is common unto all, she made not this, or that Man her Habitation, but dwelt in Ʋs.

The Good Lord give Grace to Thee, and Me, Dear Reader, to Hold the Mystery of this Faith, in a Pure Conscience. Amen.

Reflections UPON Some Passages in a Book ENTITLED, The History of RELIGION.

IT is to me most Evident and unquestionable, that this Gentleman's Design is this, in the Crowd of his Invectives against what he calls Priest-Craft of Heathens, and Papists, closely and subtlely to Convey into the mind of the Reader a Contempt of the Authority of the Church of England, in Enjoyning all those that will be of her Communion, to make Profession of Be­lieving the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, exprest in those Forms of sound words, which we commonly call the Creed of St. Athanasius, and the Nicene Creed. He tells us plainly, p. 85. that ‘The Council of NICE it self shew'd a Spirit of Contention, rather than of Peace, and Charity.’ Truly this Man shews himself to be a Person of very ill Quality, in using such vile Artifices to Delude the Reader, as to endeavour to make him Conceit, that St. Hilary, and St. Gregory Nazianzen did not approve that most Orthodox Council.

[Page 14] Having thus Revil'd those most Orthodox Fathers of the Council of NICE, affirming that they were led by a Spirit of Contention. Hilary, says he, Bishop of Poictiers describes this, saying, we Decree every Year of the Lord a New Creed concerning God, nay every Change of the Moon our Faith is alter'd, &c. Answ. 'Tis evident to every Man that knows any thing of Ecclesiastical History, that St. Hilary speaks against those Creeds that were made in Opposition to the Council of NICE, and that he would not allow the Arians to have the Name of Christians: ‘CHRIS­TIANUS sum, says he, non ARIANUS, Lib. ad Constantinum Augustum. Those other words of his, which I shall here recite will most certainly put this Gentleman to a Blush, if it be possible for him to Blush at any thing.

Deus Alius, quam qui est Ex Deo Nullus est.

— Hoc fidei nostrae secundum Evangelicam, & Apostolicam Doctrinam Principale: Dominum No­strum

Jesum Christum Jesum Christum Deum, & Dei Filium a Patre nec Honoris Confessione, nec Virtutis Potestate, nec Substantiae Diversitate, nec Intervallo Temporis separari.

Gregory Nazianzen, says this Gentleman, was so full of Detestation at these Quarrels of Christians, that at last he resolv'd never more to come into an Assembly of Bishops, because saith he, I have never seen a good and happy End of any Council.’ Answ. Whatever St. Gregory Nazianzen said of any other Councils, most certainly no Man ever had a greater Esteem of the Orthodoxy of the Council of NICE, than this Blessed man abundantly declares in his Wri­tings, particularly in his most admirable Oration, In Laudem Magni Athanasii.

[Page 15] Our Historian is not asham'd to own as great a Re­spect for the Arians, as for the Christians, calling the former One Part of the Christian Church. P. 86, ‘It was still, says he, One Part of the Christian Church that vex'd the other.’ P. 115, He hath these words: ‘From the Two great Springs, Athanasius, and A­rius the Church over-flow'd with Divisions, &c. Answ. Nothing can be more False, and more impu­dently Slanderous than to say, that Athanasius was the Spring, or Cause of those Divisions, for he sted­fastly adher'd to the FAITH, which was once deliver'd unto the Saints. This Gentleman tells us, p. 63. ‘That a Man must be his own Expositor, Minister, Bishop▪ and Council.’ Answ. This is Contrary to the com­mon Sense of all sincere Christians, who Abhor all Self-conceit, or what arises from their own Minds, as dis-united from the Minds of other Christians: They Know, and are Assur'd, that no man Knows any thing as he ought to Know, but as he is In the Communion of Saints. Their principal way of Attaining to more Knowledge of what they ought to Do, is the Doing of what they Know already: And they know they ought to shew all Meekness to all Men, and that they ought to behave themselves Lowly, and Reverently towards any Council, Professing to suit their Determinations to the Holy Scriptures. Any man that will but Peruse the First Chapter of the Learned Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's Book, will clearly perceive the Folly and Madness of this Man's Cavilling about Mystery. ‘Such as are Assertors of Mystery, says he, p. 59. choose rather to search into some Dark Places of St. John's Gospel, or St. Paul's Epistles, to fetch out from thence a Wonderful Divinity, than to attend to the general, [Page 16] the plain, and easily intelligible Current of the Gos­pels, and Epistles.’

To fetch from thence a Wonderful Divinity! what wou'd the man be at? Would he have a Divinity that is not Wonderful, or Incomprehensible? We have seen what mad work has been made (by his Fellow-Cham­pions against Mystery) of what he calls, The general, the plain, and easily intelligible Current of the Gospels, and Epistles, upon Conceit that all those Places of Scripture, where our Blessed Saviour is spoken of as Man, are so many Proofs that he is not God.

Let us now consider this Historian's Attempt to make People to have but light Thoughts of the Doct­rine of the Trinity, upon Account of the Difference betwixt Dr. Sherlock, and the Excellent Animadverter. History of Religion, pag. 116. ‘We have even at this present, an unlucky Instance of the strange Diffe­rences among Learned men. Dr. Sherlock writes a Book in Answer to certain Brief Notes on the Creed of Athanasius: He says his Undertaking is to vindi­cate the Athanasian Creed, and the Doctrine of a Trinity in Unity; which (he says) he has now made as clear, and easy as the Notion of One God. But another, and a very Learned Person too, in his Ani­madversions upon that Book of Dr. Sherlock, calls the Explication of the Trinity advanc'd in Dr. Sherlock's Book, a silly, a contradictory, and an Heretical Notion; wholly of his own Invention, and a Stab to the Heart of the Doctrine of the Church of England: He charges another Book of Dr. Sherlock's, being a Dis­course of the Knowledge of Christ, with vile and scanda­lous Reflections upon God's Justice; and says more­over, that it may deserve to pass for a Blasphemous [Page 17] Libel.’ Pag. 117. ‘What Measures, or Opinions then can the Unlearned take from their (disputing) Lead­ers? Guides that cannot forbear to impose Faith in dark, and unnecessary Points, and yet rate their I­maginations at the Value of Holy Scripture, even while they dis-agree among themselves in the very Points, which they would Enjoin others to Believe.’

I shall say nothing here of Dr. Sherlock's Opinion of the Doctrine of the Trinity, having said enough of it elsewhere: But I must Aver to all the World, that this Person of Quality deals most Ingentilely, and Dis-in­genuously with the Learned Animadverter, in Endea­vouring to Perswade the Reader to Conceit, that this Worthy Person wou'd Enjoin him to Believe any thing concerning the Holy Trinity, but what every Man, that Professeth himself to be a Member of the Church of England (if he do not swerve from all the Principles of common Honesty) does really Believe. The Ani­madverter does not desire, that any man should Assent to what he says against Dr. Sherlock, in the Vindi­cation of the Catholick Faith, any farther than as he may be Convinc'd by the Force of his Arguments. Here I think it my Duty to wipe off one of the foulest Aspersions that have been cast upon the Animadverter, viz. That he is the First Man amongst all the Sons of the Church of England, that ever shewed such a Dislike to Dr. Sherlock's Book Entitled, A Discourse of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ, as if he did it meerly out of Spight, having no rational Inducement thereunto. I am certain that about Eight Years since, there was sent to Dr. Sherlock, from a Divine of the Church of England (whom the worst of his Enemies will acknow­ledge to be far enough from any Priest-Craft) a large [Page 18] Letter, containing a Refutation of several of the gross, and most detestable Errors in that Book. Some Part of that Letter I shall here recite. Abraham's Faith was not a Faith in Christ, say You: But the holy Apostle says expresly, that The Gospel was preached unto A­braham. Now if Abraham Believ'd the Gospel preach­ed unto him, did he not Believe in Christ? The words of our Saviour, which you recite, do most e­vidently Prove, that Abraham's Faith was Faith in Christ: Joh. 8. 56. Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my Day, &c. St. Chrysostome was not of your Mind; his words on this Text are these: [...]. The same Truth is At­tested by St. Ambrose: ‘Hunc Vidit Abraham in isto Sacrificio. Hujus Passionem Aspexit: Et ideo ipse Dominus ait de eo, Abraham Diem meum Vidit, & Gavisus est.’ Let us now return to our Historian: ‘'Tis very observable, says he, p. 99. that For real Heresies of the Flesh there are no Inquisitions set up, nor any particular Persecutions; not for Drunken­ness, or Whoredom, or other Vices: They increase as much by Temptation and Example, as those sort of Vices can; and yet were never made Objects of the (pretended) pious Zeal, or of any Persecution.’ I cannot give a softer Term to this, than that of a Notorious LYE: For can any English Man, that knows any thing of the Proceedings of our Ecclesiastical Courts be ignorant of this: That at the Bishop's Visi­tation all Parsons, Vicars, and Curates; at the Arch-Deacon's Visitation, the Church-Wardens are Bound to Present Drunkards, common Swearers, Fornicators, Adulterers, &c. The most Reverend Arch-Bishop [Page 19] LAUD never shew'd himself more Zealous in any thing, than in the Prosecution of a Great LADY, for Living in Adultery. I shall here relate the whole Story as I find it in Cyprianus Anglicus, p. 266.

The Lady Purbeck, Wife of Sir John Villers, Vis­count Purbeck, the Elder Brother by the same Venter to the Duke of Buckingham, had been brought into the High Commission, Anno 1627. for Living open­ly in Adultery with Sir John Howard, one of the Younger Sons of Thomas, the First Earl of Suffolk of that Family, Sentenc'd among other things to do Penance at St. Paul's Cross, she escap'd her Keepers, took Sanctuary in the Savoy, and was from thence convey'd away by the French Ambassador. The Duke being dead, all further Prosecution against her dyed also with him; which notwithstanding the Proud Woman being more terrified with the fear of the the Shame, than the sence of the Sin, vented her malice and displeasure against the Arch-Bishop (who had been very severe against her at the time of her Tryal) when he was come unto his Greatness, spend­ing her Tongue upon him in words so full of deep Disgrace, and Reproach unto him; that he could do no less than cause her to be laid in the Gate-House: But being not long after deliver'd thence by the Pra­ctice of Howard aforemention'd, Howard was seiz'd upon, and laid up in her Place; which Punishment, tho' it was the least that could be lookt for, he so highly Stomach'd, that as soon as the Arch-Bishop was Impeach'd by the House of Commons, and com­mitted to Custody by the Lords (which happened on Friday Decemb. 18. 1640.) he Petition'd for Relief against the Arch-Bishop, and some others of the high [Page 20] Commissioners, by whom the Warrant had been sign'd. The Lords upon the reading of it, impos'd a Fine of 500 l. on the Arch-Bishop, and 250 a piece upon Lamb, and Duck, and prest it with such cruel Rigour, that they forced him to sell his Plate to make Payment of it, the Fine being set on Monday 21 of December, and Order'd to be paid on Wednesday after.

Let any sincere Christian in any Part of the World that has ever heard this Story be Judge, whether this most Reverend Prelate were not Persecuted for Righ­teousness sake. Most certainly the Wrath of God shall Burn throughout all Generations against the Posterity of his Persecutors, if they Approve the MURTHER, which their Fore-fathers Committed, and against all others, who shall ever undertake to Vindicate that Diabolical false Pretence of Justice. I pray God that all the Enemies of Truth, and Goodness, particularly the Anti-Trinitarians, may know and feel the Power and Efficacy of these sacred words, Matth. 21. 44. ‘Whosoever shall fall on this STONE shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall it will Grind him to Powder.’


I Am so sensible of the Orthodoxy of Vincentius Li­rinensis, in Matters of the greatest Importance to all Mankind, that I think it my Duty to Exhort all Young Students in Divinity, to the diligent Perusal of that Excellent Book Entitled, Vincentii Lirinensis Commonitorium: And to declare to all the World my Abhorrency of the unjust Reproach that an Anony­mous Writer hath endeavour'd to fix upon this most Zealous Assertor of the Doctrine of the H. B. and Glori­ous Trinity, even in these Days, in which we have Heard even from those Men, who wou'd retain the Name of Christians, such horrid Blasphemies, and open Detesta­tions of The Onely True God, in whose NAME we are Baptized, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.

Animadversions, &c. pag. 61.

Mr. Hill makes a strange use of the Maxim of Vin­centius Lirinensis, Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ad omnibus, &c. That Priest was a Semipilagian, that is, he thought that a Man could Believe by his own strength, and that afterward God gave him Grace to [Page 22] execute his Good and Pious Resolutions, He intro­duced this Maxim meerly in opposition to St. August­ine, &c.

Answ. Vincentius Lirinensis was so far from being tainted with the Pelagian Heresy, that he Con­demn'd Pelagius, as a most detestable Heretick, or Wrester of the Holy Scriptures, as he did Arius, Ma­cedonius, Nestorius, &c. He shews us the best way that can ever be to preserve our Souls, by the Grace of God, from the Contagion of any Heresy whatsoever. ‘Sive ego, says he, sive quis alius vellet exurgentium Haereticorum fraudes deprehendere, laqueosque vi­tare, & in Fide sana sanus atque integer permanere, duplici modo munire Fidem suam, Domino adju­vante deberet. Primo scilicet Divinae Legis Auctori­tate; tum deinde Ecclesiae Catholicae Traditione. Hic forsitan requirat aliquis: Cum sit Perfectus Scri­pturarum Canon, sibique ad omnia satis superque sufficiat, quid opus est ut ei Ecclesiasticae Intelligentiae jungatur Auctoritas? Quia scilicet Scripturam Sa­cram pro ipsa sua altitudine non uno eodemque sensu universi accipiunt; sed ejusdem eloquia aliter, atque aliter alius atque alius interpretatur, &c. 'Tis Evi­dent that by Divina Lex he understands the Holy Scrip­tures. By making the Tradition of the Church, subor­dinate to the Holy Scriptures he plainly Declares, that ever since the New Testament was Written, it has been the Duty of all Ministers of the Gospel to Confirm, or Prove the Truth of their Oral Discourses, by shewing their Conformity to the Writings of the holy Apostles. 'Tis Evident that by the Tradition of the Church we are to understand a Summary, or Breviary of the Funda­mental Points, or Articles of the Christian Religion, which the Holy APOSTLES, and Their SUC­CESSORS [Page 23] throughout all Ages have Delivered to the World by word of Mouth in their Preaching, and Catechizing, Injoyning all Christians in all Parts of the Earth to ponder them in their Hearts, and to be al­ways mindful of them: This Summary, or Breviary of the Prime Articles of the Christian Religion is con­tain'd in that Form of sound Words, which we call the Apostles Creed: And this is that TRADITION, or FAITH, (once DELIVER'D to the Saints) which St. Irenaeus speaks so much of, which I doubt not but all Learned Men will acknowledge, when they shall duly consider those words of that Blessed Saint, which I shall here recite, D. Irenaei adversus Haereses, Lib. 1.

Cap. 2. Ecclesia, quanquam per universum orbem terrarum usque ad fines terrae dispersa, ab Apostolis, & eorum Discipulis Fidem accepit, quae est in unum Deum Omnipotentem, qui fecit coelum, & terram, & maria, & omnia quae in eis sunt: Et in unum Chri­stum Jesum, Filium Dei, incarnatum pro nostra salute: Et in Spiritum Sanctum, qui per Prophetas Praedicavit Dispensationis mysteria, & adventus, & ex Virgine na­tivitatem, & passionem, & resurrectionem ex mortuis, & in Carne ad coelos assumptionem dilecti Christi Jesu Domini nostri, & ipsius ex coelis in gloria Patris ad­ventum ad instauranda omnia, & excitandam omnem totius humani generis carnem: cui Christo Jesu Do­mino nostro, & Deo, & Salvatori, & Regi, juxta vo­luntatem Patris invisibilis, omne genu flectatur coe­lestium, & terrestrium, & infernorum; & omnis lin­gua confiteatur ipsi, & judicium justum in omnibus faciat: & spiritualia quidem nequitiei, & impios, ac injustos; & iniquos ac blasphemos homines in ignem aeternum mittat: justis vero, & sanctis, & qui man­data [Page 24] ipsius servarunt, & in dilectione ipsius perman­serunt, partim ab initio, partim ex paenitentia vitam largitus incorruptibilitatem donet, & gloriam aeter­nam tribuat. Cap. 3. Hanc praedicationem, & hanc Fidem Ecclesia, velut dixi, adepta, quanquam per totum mundum dispersa, diligenter conservat, quasi unam Domum inhabitans: & similiter his Credit, velut unam animam, & idem cor habens, & consone haec praedicat, & docet, ac TRADIT, velut uno ore praedita. Nam Linguae in mundo dissimiles sunt, verum Virtus Traditionis una & eadem est. Et neque in Germaniis fundatae & Ecclesiae aliter CREDUNT, aut aliter TRADUNT, neque in Hispaniis, neque in Celtis, neque in Oriente, neque in Aegypto, neque in Lybia, neque hae, quae in medio mundo constitu­tae sunt. Sed quemadmodum Sol creatura Dei in toto mundo unus, & idem est: sic etiam Praedicatio Veritatis ubique lucet, & illuminat omnes homines ad cognitionem veritatis venire volentes. Et neque qui valde potens est in dicendo ex Ecclesiae Praefectis, alia ab his dicet. Nemo enim est super Magistrum: ne­que debilis in dicendo hanc Traditionem imminuet. Quum enim una & eadem FIDES sit, neque is qui multum de ipsa dicere potest, plus quam oportet di­cit: neque qui parum, ipsam imminuit.

This is the Tradition of the Church, or the Catho­lick Faith, which Vincentius Lirinensis Directs us unto in these words: ‘In ipsa Catholica Ecclesia magno­pere Curandum est, ut id Teneamus, quod Ubique, quod Semper, quod ad omnibus Creditum est.’ And now I appeal to any Man of common Ingenuity to Judge what Censure this Anonymus's Assertion De­serves, That Vincentius Lirinensis introduced this Max­im, [Page 25] Quod ubique, &c. meerly in Opposition to Saint Augustine.

I pray God to incline the Heart of this Man, and of all others that please themselves with their extraor­dinary Fluency of plausible Expressions, to consider that they shall Give account in the Day of Judgment of every IDLE WORD.


A LETTER To a Friend,
Concerning the Publication of the short Letter to J. H. a Non-conformist Prea­cher in EXETER.


I Give you many Thanks for acquainting me, that some Ingenious Persons are dissatisfied, that I should put so high a Value upon those few Lines which I wrote to J. H. as to Publish them in my Scripta Polemica. I confess I did it rather out of a Fulness of Thought, that this is a most important Truth, than any probable Grounds that it would be consider'd by many Readers, viz. That J. H. in re­fusing to Answer such a Serious and Equitable Re­quest hath plainly Discover'd his HYPOCRISY, and consequently render'd himself less capable of De­ceiving those People, who shall ever make any just Reflection on it. I did most earnestly Entreat Him, even by the Profession he makes (in common with all those that pretend to be Ministers of the Gospel) of [Page 27] Desiring the Propagation of the Belief of all Sanctify­ing Truth, that if he thought there was any Error in the Printed Paper I sent Him, he would Endeavour to Convince me of it. In that Paper (Entitled, "Ani­madversions upon some Passages in a Book Enti­tuled, The true Nature of a Gospel-Church, and its Government) are these words: ‘It is most Evident, that those Men are Guilty of most Abominable Iniquity, who endeavour to Seduce any People from the Communion of the Church of England, in which the Fundamental Articles of the Christian Religion are so clearly, and fully Exprest, and those most im­portant Expressions so frequently Repeated, that Persons of the Lowest Intellectuals, who do not Rebel against the Light, in frequenting our Religious Assem­blies may more easily attain to the Knowledge of All things that are Necessary to their Salvation, than by Hearing, or Reading the best Sermons, that have been, or shall be Preacht by any of the Non-Confor­mists to the end of the World: Which Assertation is as Evident, as it is, That any Illiterate Persons may more easily Meditate on Truths plainly Ex­prest, and frequently Suggested to their Remem­brance, than Collect the same Truths out of divers large Discourses, if they were therein Imply'd: So that it can hardly be imagined, how any Man can be in any thing more Serviceable to the Destroyer of Souls, than by Teaching People to Despise our CA­TECHISM, and COMMON-PRAYER. It is now Manifest, and shall be so to all Posterity, that the Multitude of these Despisers have Encou­raged the Profest Enemies of the God-head of our Blessed Saviour, to Publish their BLASPHEMIES.’

[Page 28] Arise, O God, Plead thine own Cause: Remember how the foolish man Blasphemeth thee daily.

Dear Sir, I doubt not but you will Join with Me in this my Daily Prayer, that by the Inspiration of the Spirit of Truth the Hearts of all Learned Men, that are assur'd of the Divine Right of EPISCOPACY, may be effectually Inclin'd to Endeavour to the ut­most of their several Capacities to Convince all Per­sons that believe their Souls to be Immortal, of the Truth of this strange Assertion, That the Want of a due Regard to the Authority of BISHOPS has been one of the greatest Causes of all the prodigious Dis­orders and Calamities in the Christian World. Oremus invicem ut Salvemur.

Your Affectionate Friend, and Servant, E. E.


The Paper I mention was Published by Richard Baldwin at the Oxford-Arms in Warwick-lane, 1690. Mr. Wood takes notice of these Animad­versions, &c. in his Athenae Oxonien­ses, Vol. 2. p. 563.

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